Kabbalah


#1

Is anyone familiar with what the Church teaches about Kabbalah? From what I have heard some Jews say, it is a legitimate part or practice of Judaism. I have also heard them say that the recent celebrity flocking to Kabbalah is not legitimite. I was told on a Jewish board that Kabbalah is very complex and serious and it is unlikely that the celebrities are participating in it appropriately. Then, I started reading Michael O’Brien’s book “A Landscape with Dragons,” and he fleetingly mentions Kabbalah along with a list of other Heresies. So what are we as Catholics to believe about the “real Kabbalah?” Do we recognize it as a legitimate part of the Jewish Religion that we have great respect for, or a Gnostic Heresy?


#2

From what i heard, it is a jewish tradition that only jewish MEN can practice, so therefore, that lady who calls herself madonna aint doing it right.


#3

I don’t know much about it except that it’s a huge fad right now. IMO, in order to practice it, one must be a serious, observant Jew, not some new ager who bounces from channeling to Wicca to Kabbalah from one year to the next. :rolleyes:


#4

Whats new in that…you didn’t expect her to respect the jewish religion anymore that her own former catholic one did you…?
kabbalah.com/kabbalah/home.html

Sounds New age to me…


#5

I heard Bob Fishman field a question on it on Catholic Answers LIve a while back. I recall that it was a type of Jewish mysticism that seemed to require a rabbi to study it properly. Mr. Fishman recommended that Catholics interested in mysticism would be better served to read St. John of the Cross, Catherine of Sienna or some of the other Catholic mystics.

Of course, not having read much of any of their writings, I have no idea what he was talking about. :hmmm:

With regard to Madonna - everything about her appeal has always mystified me. :bigyikes:


#6

sounds like a marketing ploy to me :rotfl:

**

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**List Price: $415.00 **

They sell this bible code nonsense as well.


#7

Kabbalah, along with Zohar, is an obscure form of Hebrew mysticism that is not part of the “authentic” Jewish faith. None of the Kabbalistic writings are considered inspired by the Council of Jamnia in the 2nd century AD, which formally set the canon of Hebrew scripture. There are all kinds of creepy things in Kabbalah that are completely incompatable with Catholicism. For instance, you can use Kabbalah, supposedly, to create a golem. I.e., you can create an undead servant from the corpse of a deceased loved one. Sound good to you? Ask your priest about that one, “Can I have my wife’s corpse after the funeral so I can turn her into my undead maid?” I don’t think so. But, there are alot of celebrities that buy into this junk. Wasn’t it Madonna that got all the teenies to use that India form of tatooing called Henna? And John Travolta is a Scientologist. Just because Hollywood does it, doesn’t mean its the way to go. If you want a Hollywood icon, look up Mel Gibson or Jim Caveizel.


#8

[quote=Apologia100]Kabbalah, along with Zohar, is an obscure form of Hebrew mysticism that is not part of the “authentic” Jewish faith. None of the Kabbalistic writings are considered inspired by the Council of Jamnia in the 2nd century AD, which formally set the canon of Hebrew scripture. There are all kinds of creepy things in Kabbalah that are completely incompatable with Catholicism. For instance, you can use Kabbalah, supposedly, to create a golem. I.e., you can create an undead servant from the corpse of a deceased loved one. Sound good to you? Ask your priest about that one, “Can I have my wife’s corpse after the funeral so I can turn her into my undead maid?” I don’t think so. But, there are alot of celebrities that buy into this junk. Wasn’t it Madonna that got all the teenies to use that India form of tatooing called Henna? And John Travolta is a Scientologist. Just because Hollywood does it, doesn’t mean its the way to go. If you want a Hollywood icon, look up Mel Gibson or Jim Caveizel.
[/quote]

I hope no one got the impression I’m considering Kabbalah myself or looking to Hollywood for advice. And I hope this wouldn’t encourage someone else to do that. My concern was mostly with how Judaism judges Kabbalah. What I think you’re saying is that Kabbalah is not acceptable to a “good Jew” either, that they would consider it “new agey” (or their equivalent) too. Is that right?


#9

A good place to find insight into Judaism is the website Judaism 101 found here: jewfaq.org/toc.htm which does have a section on Kabbalah.

And from that section:

Readings in this area should be undertaken with extreme caution. There is entirely too much literature out there under the name “Kabbalah” that has little or nothing to do with the true Jewish teachings on this subject. Any book on the subject of practical Kabbalah should be disregarded immediately; no legitimate source would ever make such teachings available to a faceless mass audience.


#10

I wasn’t under the impression you were walking this path. It is my gruff manner of responding when I am mentally exhausted. If I confused or offended you, I apologize. I guess it would be called “New Age” since it is a reimportation of millenia old mystical stuff. But, that is what New Agism is. I think they should call it Old Age, since most of it was around well before the Christian era. Theologically speaking, Christianity is “New Age” compare to Kabbalah, Zohar, Mithraism, Astrology, or Crystalology.


#11

Thanks everyone! This helps put it all in perspective! I’m not offended by anyone’s responses, just too concerned what other people think of me :smiley: :o


#12

[quote=ThyKingdomCome]Is anyone familiar with what the Church teaches about Kabbalah? From what I have heard some Jews say, it is a legitimate part or practice of Judaism. I have also heard them say that the recent celebrity flocking to Kabbalah is not legitimite. I was told on a Jewish board that Kabbalah is very complex and serious and it is unlikely that the celebrities are participating in it appropriately. Then, I started reading Michael O’Brien’s book “A Landscape with Dragons,” and he fleetingly mentions Kabbalah along with a list of other Heresies. So what are we as Catholics to believe about the “real Kabbalah?” Do we recognize it as a legitimate part of the Jewish Religion that we have great respect for, or a Gnostic Heresy?
[/quote]

It is the Jewish form of witchcraft I believe. It is probably Gnostic.

Pax
John


#13

The Kabbalah that Madonna practices is a cult and a watered-down version of the real thing. But most celebs are too stupid to know the difference.


#14

:Kabbalah, along with Zohar, is an obscure form of Hebrew mysticism that is not part of the “authentic” Jewish faith.:

Whatever that means. It was part of the Jewish faith for centuries, until modern rationalistic rabbis started trying to exclude it.

: None of the Kabbalistic writings are considered inspired by the Council of Jamnia in the 2nd century AD, which formally set the canon of Hebrew scripture.:

Well, of course not (though Jamnia was in the 1st century, and I believe the current scholarly consensus is that it wasn’t really a formal Council at all). No one claims that they are Scripture. Rather, they are medieval mystical texts that have played a huge role in traditional Jewish piety. Actually, in some ways I’d argue they show the tug within all forms of monotheism toward something like Christian doctrines of Trinity and Incarnation.

In Christ,

Edwin


#15

Actually, I want to retract a statement that I made that indicated that Jamnia formally define the Jewish canon. It didn’t and the canon technically is still considered open. Kabbalism also dates much further back than the Medival Era. Some claim it goes back to times predating Moses., and it definately pre-Christian. Additionally, there are too many references that smack of astrology, numerology, crystology, and other occultic practices that are forbidden to be practices by both orthodox Jews and Christians. My advice, follow the Church, not this unfounded metaphysical hooplah.


#16

What bothers me is that Madonna’s escapades should make the second page of the newspaper when there is so much going on in the world that deserves coverage as opposed to following her antics particularly her denial of her own Catholic roots.

Let’s pray for her children whom she is leading away from the faith. They are completely innocent.


#17

:Actually, I want to retract a statement that I made that indicated that Jamnia formally define the Jewish canon. It didn’t and the canon technically is still considered open.:

Says who?

: Kabbalism also dates much further back than the Medival Era.:

The roots go back earlier. The Zophar is generally considered to be a work of the Middle Ages (12th century I think), although it claims more ancient origin.

: Some claim it goes back to times predating Moses.,:

Well, some may claim that, but non-Kabbalists have no reason to believe it.

: and it definately pre-Christian.:

Well, the roots could be said to lie in some of the visions of the Old Testament, especially Ezekiel’s vision of the heavenly chariot in chap. 1. The apocryphal and pseudepigraphical literature of the intertestamental period saw a flourishing of this “Merkabah” literature describing ascensions into heaven and visions of God riding on the heavenly chariot. That’s what Kabbalah is considered to grow out of, but it took it a good few centuries.

: Additionally, there are too many references that smack of astrology, numerology, crystology, and other occultic practices that are forbidden to be practices by both orthodox Jews and Christians.:

Well, take it up with orthodox Jews–let them explain why most orthodox Jews of the late Middle Ages and early modern era embraced Kabbalism enthusiastically. I’m not disputing that Kabbalism is incompatible with Christianity, although there were a number of devout Catholics of the Renaissance era (Ficino, Pico, Reuchlin, I think maybe also Nicholas of Cusa) who thought otherwise. Also, what on earth is “crystology”? Use of crystals? Is that in the Kabbalistic literature? I took a class on Jewish mysticism some years ago, but I don’t claim to be extremely familiar with the material. You may be right about astrology. Certainly there are magical elements in some forms of Kabbalah. But I do wonder how you can argue that numerology is incompatible with Christianity. That would have been news to the Fathers!

In Christ,

Edwin


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