Monday, July 5, 2010

Kabbalah's main Sefarim-

The main Sefarim of Kabbalah are:
Zohar (R` Shimon Bar Yohai)
Sha'ar HaGilgulim (R` Haim Wital, in the name of the Ari)
Sha'ar HaKawanot (R` Haim Wital, in the name of the Ari)
Sha'ar Ruah HaKodesh (R` Haim Wital, in the name of the Ari)
Pri Ets Haim (R` Haim Wital, in the name of the Ari)
Ketem Paz (R` Shimon Lavi)
Da'ar U'Tvunah (R` Yosef Haim)
Ma'amarei H`azal (R` Haim Wital, in the name of the Ari)
Ha'Sulam (R` Yehudah Ashlag)
Nefesh Haim (R` Haim Wolozhin)
Ets Haim (R' Haim Wital, in the name of the Ari)

There are more books of the Kabbalah, but those are probably the most famous.

Is Kabbalah a separate religion?

Kabbalah is the mysticism of Judaism.
Kabbalah is not a separate religion. There are some cults out there, that teach Kabbalah to uneducated people, and are making a big mistake. Kabbalah should only be learned with mass knowledge of: Talmud, Torah, Mishnah, Midrashim, and Perush Rashi.
From top to bottom. The word "סוֹד" literally means "secret", but we refer to it as Kabbalah.
After finishing the top three, one you can learn the bottom one.
Kabbalah should not be learned until the age of forty.

Does the "red string" have to do with Kabbalah or Judaism?

No. It is just a myth. I've read from a few Kabbalistic sources- that the color red has some type of effect against Ayin Harah.
So paying $20 for a "red string" isn't worth it, because it's a fake.
If you want something against Ayin Harah, then buy a red rubber band pack for $2.

Rav Perets, is very agianst the color red, and paskens that it should not be worn. This should also be taken into consideration.

What is Kabbalah? -

Kabbalah is Jewish mysticism. The Kabbalah was fully understood by very few people. They are genuine Kabbalists, that don't have full knowledge though.
Here are some famous Kabbalists:

Ramban- R` Moshe Ben Nahman (author of many Sefarim on Torah: Rambam Al HaTorah, Ma'amar HaVikuah`, Hasagot Al HaRambam). [He lived around 850 years ago].

Ramak- R` Moshe Kordevero [He lived around 500 years ago].

Ketem Paz- R` Shimon Lavi (author of the most in-depth commentary on the Zohar: Ketem Paz). [He lived around 470 years ago].

Ari HaKadosh- R` Yitshak Luria (author of many Sefarim on Kabbalah: Orhot Tsaddikim, Pri Ets Haim, Sha'ar HaKawanot, Sha'ar HaGilgilim, Sha'ar Ruah` HaKodesh, Ma'amarei H`azal, and more). [He lived around 450 years ago]. {His teacher was R` Moshe Kordevero}.
NOTE: R`Yitshak Luria, didn't write his books- R` Haim Wital did. R` Haim Wital- was his disciple.

Ohr HaHayim HaKadosh- R` Haim Ben Attar (author of many Sefarim on Torah: Ohr HaHayim Al HaTorah, Rishon LeTsion Al HaNakh, and Pri To'ar Al Shulhan Aruch Yoreh De'ah). [He lived around 350 years ago].

Gra- R` Eliahu (author of over fifty Sefarim: Aderet Eliahu, Divreh Eliahu, and Even Sh'lomo). [He lived around 310 years ago].

H`ida- R` Haim Yosef Dawid Azulai (author of over seventy Sefarim on Torah: Kiseh Dawid, Moreh Ba'etsbah, Birkeh Yosef, Tsiporen Shamir, Kesher Gadol, and Hayim Sha'al). [He lived around 270 years ago]. {His teacher was Ohr HaHayim}.

H`abif- R` Haim Palagi (author of over seventy Sefarim on Torah: Kaf HaHayim, Hayim Be'Yad, Lev Hayim, and Hakikeh Lev). [He lived around 230 years ago]. {He looked up to H`ida, and quoted many Hashkafot from him}.

Ben Ish Hai- R` Yosef Haim (author of over thirty Sefarim on Torah: Mekabtsiel, Ben Ish Hai, Ben Yehoyadah, Od Yosef Hai, Aderet Eliahu, and Rav Pe'alim). [He lived around 170 years ago].

Kaf HaHayim- R` Hayim Sofer (author of many Sefarim on Torah: Kaf HaHayim, Yagel Yaacov, and Yismah` Yisrael). [He lived around 110 years ago]. {His teacher was Ben Ish Hai, and R` Abbdallah Somech}.

Rav Yitshak Kaduri (author of a mystical responsa: She'elot U'Teshuvot HaRav Kaduri). [He lived around our time].{His Sandak was Ben Ish Hai}.

Rishon LeTsion- Rav Mordechai Eliahu (author of a responsa, and a commentary: Ma'amar Mordechai, and Hosafot Al Kitsur Shulhan Aruch). [He lived around our time].

There are levels to the Kabbalah. The three main are: Hochmah, Binah , and Da'at.
Keter- crown
Hochmah- knowledge
Binah- understanding
Gevurah- strength
Gevurah- strength
Malchut- kingdom

The Ari HaKadosh admitted that his knowledge wasn't complete, and that the last person to have complete knowledge of Kabbalah was the Ramban.