Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Get a dose of 'Kabbalah for Real'


Kabbalah comes from the Hebrew root meaning “to receive.” While popularly associated with Jewish mysticism, in its general sense kabbalah refers to something passed down from generation to generation. The idea of someone creating their own original kabbalah is just one of many misconceptions and misrepresentations surrounding Jewish esoteric teachings.

In the last 20 years, a number of high-profile celebrities have become involved in a popular form of these ancient teachings, further clouding already murky waters. With all this in mind, Rabbi Kay will be teaching a course for Congregation Ohev Shalom’s Adult Yeshiva Program called “Kabbalah for Real: Introduction to Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formation).”

“Kabbalah for Real: Introduction to Sefer Yetzirah” will meet Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m., Jan. 29th through April 2, at Congregation Ohev Shalom, 613 Concourse Parkway South, Maitland FL, and is supported by The Sager Fund. RSVPs are encouraged, but not required. For more information or to RSVP, contact Susan Sparrow at ClergyAsst@OhevShalom.org or (407) 298-4650.

“Everything from get-rich-quick schemes to evil magic has been promoted under the name ‘Kabbalah’,” Rabbi Kay explained. “Many of the most distorted claims came from outside of the Jewish world, and some were created to deliberately smear Judaism as secretive and malevolent. Those from within the Jewish community were often the result of a few traditional sources mixed with folklore.

“Don’t expect the secrets of the universe or quick and easy techniques for transforming your life, though, Rabbi Kay warns. “Sefer Yetzirah and the concepts of kabbalah it sets down are meant to guide us in accepting the world the way it is. That’s the first step to understanding.”


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