Q&A

You’ve got questions, we’ve (try to) got answers!

As a Kabbalahist, what do you exactly believe? I am learning about this religion in school and am very confused by its teachings. Do you believe in God? What do you believe about him? How is your religion different from Christianity or Catholicism?

Hi ….,

Good to hear from you.

Just so I have an idea so I can reply age-appropriate (accordingly) may I ask how old are you?

I am 16 and I go to a private school. 

Dear….

If I may guess, you are probably going to a Catholic school.

Kabbalah is part of the ancient tradition of Judaism.

Assuming you are going to a Catholic school, then you are familiar with the Old-Testament and much of Jewish history (at least to some extent.)

Firstly, Judaism is a unique “religion and family” for Jews are the children of Abraham and Sarah, however a non-Jew can become a Jew, if s/he chooses to accept the Jewish practices.

Of-course as you know in the Bible it says the Jewish people are chosen to be “Light onto the nations.”

We often do not realize how far the world has advanced.

The Jewish sages teach, that the first two thousand years (of creation) are called chaos; for as the Bible teaches: theft, rape, violence, was the norm.

Then God sent Abraham to teach the world, not only about a singular God, but that He wishes for us to love and be kind.

However Judaism as a religion becomes formalized at “Mattan Torah” the giving of the Torah – this is where the Jews are told to be “A kingdom of priests,” which in essence means to be unique – to adhere to their obligations; and this makes them role-models; for as God scattered the Jews amidst the world, they took with them this (as we see from the writings of the prophets) often hard-learned lesson – to place God’s will before one’s own!

However Kabbalah is what we call “The Soul of Judaism” – for when God gave Moses the Bible, He did not only give him what we read – He also gave him (according to Jewish tradition which of-course goes right back to then, by the children of the very people!) what we call the “Oral Law.”

In the Oral Law which was transmitted orally (in other words, not written down) for app. 1,500 years, are the details that encompass the Written Law.

For example, in the Bible it says “An eye for an eye.”

According to the explanation in the Oral Law, this means “The value of an eye” (which can be deduced if you were to sell a servant minus an eye – in other words, say people would pay 30 dollars less.)

However, not only did God give an explanation as to the Written Law, He furthermore created a deep truth which isn’t evident.

This truth was so sacred that it was only taught to the greatest saints and scholars.

It was first written down by Rabbi Shimoin Bar Yochai, “The Holy Zohar.”

However even then Judaism forbade anyone under 40 to study this wisdom and usually only if they were initiated.

However as you are probably aware, we believe that the Messiah is coming now.

This is like the rising of the sun – it begins to get light…   and as such, in preparation for the complete and final messianic revelation, God sent a great soul called the Baal Shem Tov (who lived app. 300 years ago.)

He revealed what we call Chassidus, which is called “The Soul of the Soul;” The Quintessential Truth.

I am attaching a copy of my book Kabbalah-Love – this wisdom is very inspirational, and though you may get some of it, for as it comes from The infinite God (who has no beginning, hence no end; has no limitation, even not the limitation of what we prove) hence it is truly an infinite wisdom

If I can answer any other questions, I would be most honored.

May God grant that you be a good person, and light up the world!

Rabbi Wineberg

Q&A on Freedom of choice?

  1. John Fasbinder November 25, 2012 at 5:26 am Edit Reply

    Freedom vs. not-free—-Are these necessarily mutually exclusive? Freedom presumes choice.

    To view the infinite of creation through our finite minds is at best a great distortion, but then again, what choice do we have- we are finite, or are we??

    • Rabbi Michael Zevi Wineberg November 25, 2012 at 8:14 am Edit Reply

      One of the greatest conundrums – but as I understand, the following is the solution, the reason we exist within a a time-space, ultimately a sequential experience paradigm, is for us to freely choose, based on our past experiences our future decisions – so in this sense, we are both within Divine destiny, as well as true freedom of choice at the same time! or perhaps better said, eventually we will all choose the right path!

      Q&A on What is a Mashpia?

      Shalom…

      We absolutely love the blog comments you send to us… so deep… way above my head…but love learning all of this… Thank you very much… Wonder if you might explain what a Mashpia is?

      • Rabbi Michael Zevi Wineberg December 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm Edit Reply

        Hi Annie

        Thanks, I am gratified that I have at least one reader: ) !

        A Mashpia is the methodology to receive God’s advice for you and as our generation is so desperately in need of guidance, God through the Rebbe has revealed this system to us.

        What is a Mashpia?

        Simple, if you request a Chabad Rabbi or Rebbetzin (learned Jewish lady from Chabad) for their spiritual advice in your life, God ensures that the advice they tell you shall be accurate. Though I am nobody, as this is a system from God, if you would like to ask me, I will be happy to reply and of course it would not be my, rather God ensuring that his wisdom – for God can use anyone and anything to convey his message and this is a system to ensure you know it does – will come to you.

        • Thank you Rabbi… so… is this like replacing the Urim v’Tumim they had then… for now?

        • Rabbi Michael Zevi Wineberg December 19, 2012 at 1:47 am Edit

          Yes. However, the Urim Vitumim was more like a Rebbe – prophet – hence any answer to any question; however, the Rebbe taught us four mechanisms for the three categories of questions he would generally receive, which can be replaced through this method – in spiritual matters ask a Mashpia – in financial matters ask a friend in business, and in medical matters ask a Doctor who is a friend; as well as follow the Rambams advice of eating healthy to never get ill in the first place – considering the enormous confusion as well as our personal inability to be objective in our own life, as our desires skew our thinking towards what will give us pleasure as opposed to what is right and good, hence I believe very passionately that if we don’t use these mechanisms our ablity to fall is far greater than our ability to rise.

          “I had a question what can an ordinary person do about evil I’m curious because I saw a quote said by Einstein who apparently said that the world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing”

          It is a very profound question

          The answer is, that there are two parts to our behavior – first and foremost our job is to spread light – goodness and compassion, at the same time it is absolutely true, that we have a moral duty to help those whom evil wishes to harm!

          Q&A on Kabbalah and reality

          In reply to your question “Does the Kabbalah speak to the issue of life in the fleshly body, being only a dream state and that the true home and reality of being, is housed in the higher vibrational
          frequency of the spiritual realms?”

          If I understand correctly there are two interesting premises, one that this earth is a fleshy state and heaven is a higher frequency state.

          The truth is of course there is a third option.

          It is a very lengthy topic which I don’t have the time to treat properly, but this is the kernel of the idea.

          Though our reality is somewhat akin to a dream, heaven also is – Kabbalah distinguishes between three realities, the perspective of Heaven that God’s real and earth is fake; the perspective of earth that Earth is real and heaven is possibly fake; and the perspective of God: that God is real and both are intrinsically constructs.

          The difference is fascinating, for it shifts the idea of heaven being closer to God than earth – in Kabbalistic terminology, only a greater revelation of God’s radiance – in other words, comprehending Godliness – but not a greater revelation of God-himself, who is in essence beyond revelation.

          That being said there is something more Godly about earth than heaven – again a very long discussion, but the essence is that the uniqueness of earth is what is called yesh me-ayin – matter appearing out of nothingness, and the ability to create something out of nothing is the essence of God who himself comes from nothing.

          Hence in actual fact, your body is more Divine than heaven, which is what’s called something from something – as heaven is from a mere one ray of infinite Divine light which progressively downgrades through the four spiritual realms.

          So in summary the bottom line is this, though you feel God more in heaven, God is more on earth! and we access Him through doing acts of goodness and kindness! similar to as our sages state “better one hour of good deeds and resentence on earth than all the life in heaven! though one hour of the bliss in heaven feels better than all the bliss of earth combined.”

          Q&A on Charity

          DEAR RABBI: DOES ARE JEWISH FAITH REQUIRE US TO TITHE 10%, I READ SOME RABBIS SAY YES AND SOME SAY NO, CAN YOU CLARIFY, DOES TITHING 10% IN OUR JEWISH FAITH, THANK YOU RABBI, I REMAIN!

          Answer:

          The answer of course is, it depends.

          Ideally, if we are in the position to, not only should we tithe, we should give twenty percent, and ideally, we should give whatever we can to charity.

          Though it is a well know tradition amongst Jews to tithe, the law stipulates that the obligation is for everyone – even someone receiving charity to give charity – in other words, our obligation to tithe only comes if we are in the position to do so.

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