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  • The Wisdom of Kabbalah, which has been confused with so many things, says that true happiness can only be attained by changing our inner qualities from reception to bestowal as human beings. It has nothing to do with a philosophical idea, or a commandment of good deeds. Authentic Kabbalah is a practical method that makes one more sensitive to Nature, the developing force of humankind. Our current sensation of happiness is very temporary. Take for instance the joy of a new vehicle. As you drive out of the dealership it is the best thing that ever happened to you! But within even a couple of weeks this car loses its ability to please you, because once we fulfill our desires, we eliminate the need for that particular object of desire. Kabbalah actually means reception, as it deals with changing how we desire, so we can experience lasting fulfillment, and true Happiness. Check these links out for a better explanation:

    http://www.perceivingreality.com
    http://www.kabbalah.info

  • Getting ready for my women’s minyan today, and saw this. Deeper insight into Torah (Kabbalah) can bring happiness but it can also bring soul searching suffering associated with learning the “hard” way from experience — whichever is needed to rectify or heal that soul.

    Just as there are levels of meaning to Torah, there are levels of meaning to mitzvot (commandments). The commandments were designed to bring about harmony and spiritual growth for the individual, community, and universe. After learnning Torah, Talmud (it’s interpretation) and having a teacher to guide learning, most begin to learn the deeper aspects of Torah with ‘mussar’ which is improvement of one’s character. This takes out any rough spots which do often cause misery. This overlaps many stories in the Torah and re-interprets the whole thing according to ethical structures. For example, the ladder climbing of Jacob can be seen in this light, or counting the Omer, the 7 weeks prior to Shavuot where each day can address a different character trait. A good character helps one be happy.

    Hitbodedut (meditation) crying out to G-d in one’s own words, spending time in nature, time also in the Presence of HaShem, as well as ahavas Israel (love for Israel which engenders love for all humanity and the world) also improves the intelligence of one’s soul and happiness, according to Chassidus type Kabbalah.

    Cultivating joy is also one of the areas stressed in many mussar systems including Path of the Just by RaMChaL and the Palm Tree of Devorah by Moses Cordovero, both beginner Kabbalah mussar texts. Once achieved, deeper levels of connection are possible. Judaism is different from many systems because this life helps one connect and hone their character rather than seeking to hermit away from it.

    Edit: What is not Kabbalah:

    The links to the commercial “Kabbalah Centres” and “Kabbalah Research and Education Institutes” are misleading. Just because someone with a PhD who speaks Hebrew says they are teaching Kabbalah doesn’t make it so. I listened to their slick videos and one online class — they never mention G-d or Torah or worry about little things like character development. They are good at introducing some beginner terms, but then they misuse and misapply them in deeper aspects. It’s all about giving them some money and they’ll make you feel good if you worship them as your teacher. That’s not Judaism or Kabbalah! That’s a cult! It has divorced itself from Judaism and is meaningless.

    Here is what Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok says about Madonna’s brand of Kabbalah:

    “I discovered that Madonna’s famous dabbling with sacred Jewish mysticism has taken an interesting turn. In her latest music video for the theme song of a new James Bond movie, the “material girl” of old is transforming herself into a “Kabbalah girl.” Aside from the traditional Madonna blend of music and sensuality, in this video we see Madonna has a Holy Name of G-d tattooed onto her right shoulder. Tattooing, mind you, is a practice forbidden under Torah Law, all the more so abhorred by the Kabbalah. Granted the tattoo may not be real or only temporary but nonetheless, any expression of performing a forbidden act is itself forbidden and inexcusable. Unfortunately, Madonna’s abuse of Kabbalah and traditional Torah Judaism does not stop here.

    Later in the video we see Madonna winding leather straps around her left arm in the exact same format and style as holy tefillin are worn by religious Jewish men. Tefillin consist of a small leather box containing scared parchments. These are then strapped to one’s left biceps, and the strap is wound down the left arm and around the hand. Granted Madonna did not go so far as to defame the tefillin boxes themselves. Yet, it is quite clear that the wrapping of the straps around her arm is done in orthodox Torah style. This act of hers is pure sacrilege.”

  • It’s about how to connect most closely to God. That should make one happy but that’s not a stated goal. It’s Buddhism that uses enlightment to get to nurvana. It can bring peace & well being in the process.

    This site will have a good description of it:
    http://www.jewfaq.org

  • Ask again in 24 hours but my understanding is the Kabbalah is not about becoming happy, but it is about the nature of God. If I had to answer that for a test, I would say according to Kabbalah, happiness is achieved by understanding the true nature of God and living in accordance with his will.

  • response: That one should be patient and wait until tomorrow to get Jewish answers because it is the sabbath and most are off line right now.

    Generally, for Jews, that one should study the Torah anyway possible, keep His commandments, help repair the world and love G-d with all your heart, with all your soul and all your might.

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