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Welcome to the Tek-Gnostic Judaism Center

What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law;
all the rest is commentary.

- Talmud, Shabbat 3id


The Essence Of Judaism

The Essence of Judaism is one of the most widely practiced religions in the world. It is also the oldest monotheistic religion, originating at least 3,000 years ago. There are three different kinds of Judaism, Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. Orthodox is the most traditional and had changed very little over the years. Conservative has changed to fit the times without losing much tradition. Reform Judaism is most modern of the three.

No matter which kind of Judaism someone practices, in order to be considered Jewish they must practice Jewish traditions, observe Jewish law, and believe in God. Since Judaism is so old, it has many important traditions, many of which are still practiced today. One of the first things that come to mind when someone thinks of Judaism is the synagogue. In the Orthodox synagogues, only Hebrew is spoken, while in the Conservative and Reform synagogues English is also spoken. The synagogue is a place of worship for the Jewish community. Men used to be the only ones who went to the synagogue, while women stayed at home and raised the family, but now both usually go.

One of the most important Jewish traditions is the Sabbath. The Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday, and ends at sundown on Saturday. During the Sabbath no work is permitted. The entire day is devoted to family and prayer. Another part of Jewish life is kosher food. There are strict rules for preparing food, as well as rules on what can and cannot be eaten.

There are many important Jewish holidays. No work is permitted on any holiday, and most involve one or more visits to the synagogue. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, which lasts eight days. The last day is Yom Kippur, which is one of the most important days of the year. Hanukkah is a minor holiday, but probably the most widely known. Hanukkah lasts for eight days to commemorate the eight days for which the oil for one day lasted. Another holiday is Passover, which celebrates the Jew’s liberation for slavery in Egypt. Passover is a very unique holiday because it is mainly celebrated in the home instead of the synagogue. All Jews celebrate the Jewish holidays, no matter if they are Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform.



Kabbalah... the Essence of Mystical Judaism

Kabbalah is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the mystical aspect of Judaism. It is a set of esoteric teachings that is meant to explain the relationship between an infinite, eternal and essentially unknowable Creator with the finite and mortal universe of His creation. In solving this paradox, Kabbalah seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other ontological questions. It also presents methods to aid understanding of these concepts and to thereby attain spiritual realization. Kabbalah originally developed entirely within the milieu of Jewish thought and constantly uses classical Jewish sources to explain and demonstrate its esoteric teachings. These teachings are thus held by kabbalists to define the inner meaning of both the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and traditional rabbinic literature, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances.

To illustrate an idea of the nature of Kabbalah, it is pertinent to briefly discuss the better known, fundamental concepts of kabbalistic thought: the concept of G-d as Ein Sof, the Ten Sefirot, and the kabbalistic tree of life. This explanation is, at best, a gross oversimplification.

According to Kabbalah, the true essence of G-d is so transcendent that it cannot be described, except with reference to what it is not. This true essence of G-d is known as Ein Sof, which literally means "without end," which encompasses the idea of His lack of boundaries in both time and space. In this truest form, the Ein Sof is so transcendent that It cannot have any direct interaction with the universe. The Ein Sof interacts with the universe through ten emanations from this essence, known as the Ten Sefirot.

These Sefirot correspond to qualities of G-d. They consist of, in descending order, Keter (the crown), Chokhmah (wisdom), Binah (intuition, understanding), Chesed (mercy) or Gedulah (greatness), Gevurah (strength), Tiferet (glory), Netzach (victory), Hod (majesty), Yesod (foundation) and Malkut (sovereignty). The middle five qualities are mentioned explicitly and in order at I Chronicles 29:11: Yours, O L-rd, is the greatness (gedulah), the strength (gevurah), the glory (tiferet), the power (netzach), and the splendor (hod). This passage has been translated in widely varying ways, but the Hebrew corresponds to the names of the Sefirot in order.

The Ten Sefirot include both masculine and feminine qualities. Kabbalah pays a great deal of attention to the feminine aspects of G-d.

The Sefirot are commonly represented as in the diagram at left. This diagram is commonly known as the Tree of the Sefirot or the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. There is great significance to the position of these various attributes and their interconnectedness.

The Sefirot are not separate deities, as some might think by taking this too literally. They are intimately a part of G-d, and yet they are in contact with the universe in a way that the Ein Sof is not. The Sefirot connect with everything in the universe, including humanity. The good and evil that we do resonates through the Sefirot and affects the entire universe, up to and including G-d Himself.


The Zohar

The Mystical Vision of Kabbalah

The Kabbalah
Emanations from the Source



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