Kabalah the Inner Aspect of the Torah
By Rami Aloni
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Now this negative state does not only cause a problem to the man in his thoughts, but also can serve to bring negativity into his life. We can see with our own eyes how both observant and non-observant Jews can become totally attached to the physicality of the world, to the point that they can lose themselves wholly in the externalities, losing any feeling for the spiritual and inner dimension of the soul. In the end they leave any real performance of the mitzvot.
Because of this situation, the necessity of learning the inner aspects of the Torah is much greater than in any previous generation. The purpose of this learning is to remove the mask of the externalities of the world and to expose the true life forces which come from G-d. Therefore the learning of Kabalah today is a necessary medicine to combat the deepening acceptance that the reality of the world is the externalities of the physical.
Yet there exists a danger with Kabala, like with all medicines of not taking it in the proper dosage, at the proper time, etc. So too, with learning Kaballa, one must be careful to learn only with those teachers who have indeed continued the tradition from the great teachers of the previous generations.
Not everyone is ready to 'jump' into Kabballah, a person must first understand much of Torah, both the written Torah and the Oral Torah. Too many people want the 'spiritual high', yet they do not have the proper basis to start learning Kabbalah.
Today when our generation is plunged into the darkness of the physical, the need of this medicine is great. Therefore one must seek out a teacher who is imbued with not only the understanding of this specialized teaching, but also who is totally permeated with the fear of G-d. There are unfortunately many charlatans who after learning a few lessons, begin to teach cabbala to those who know nothing. Protect yourself from them by investigating the criterion of the teacher. Where did he learn, how long did he specialize in this learning? It takes many years of dedicated effort to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to teach Kabbalah from teachers who have a tradition of learning kabballah.
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from the December 2007 Chanukah Edition of the Jewish Magazine