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Kabbalah

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Topic: Kabbalah, More Important than Torah Study?

Binyomin Altman wrote:

I recently read the following statement of the Vilna Gaon: "The ultimate redemption of the Jewish People (Geula) will come about only through learning Torah; And primarily through learning Kabbalah [Torah's deep secrets]. Since I don't learn Kabbalah, is my Torah study insignificant with respect to bringing about the final redemption?


Dear Binyomin,

Kabbalah certainly has 'redeeming' qualities. But it has dangers as well. On his death-bed, the Arizal (preeminent Kabbalist, 16th century Safed, Israel) told Rabbi Yitzchak Hakohen: "Tell the disciples in my name that from today they are to stop studying Kabbalah." He warned that they might misunderstand it and thus come to harm.

I spoke to Rabbi Shlomo Fisher, shlita, about this statement of the Vilna Gaon. He explained it as follows: Learning Kabbalah requires an exceptionally high spiritual level. The Geula will come when the people at that high level learn Kabbalah.

As far as the 'significance' of your studies in bringing the Geula, the Talmud says that Torah study helps us survive the exile. And were the whole Jewish people to learn Torah, the Geula would come immediately!

Sources:

  • Even Shleima 11:3
  • Shivchei Rabbi Chaim Vital pp. 25b-26a

 
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