By Bnei Baruch
“Kabbalist.” This word may bring to mind an image of an aged, stately sage, hunched over a thick text, studying and revealing the secrets of the universe. Actually, that image might be a good depiction of some Kabbalists who lived in the past. But even so, there is much more to a Kabbalist than serious, intense study and observation. What isn’t so obvious, and what many people don’t realize, is that a Kabbalist is a child at heart, remaining forever young and retaining a timeless sense of humor.
The last great Kabbalist, the Rabash (Kabbalist Baruch Ashlag), is a perfect example of someone who embodies these two extremes: on one hand, a studious sage who spent most hours of the day hunched over sacred books, and on the other hand, a lover of humor, witty jokes, unconventional points of view, and unexpected discoveries.
At first, it’s not entirely clear how someone who spends his days routinely studying Kabbalistic texts can remain so young and witty. Wouldn’t the routine eat him up? The fact is that there is no routine in a Kabbalist’s life. Only someone watching from aside may think that a Kabbalist goes through the same actions and experiences from one day to the next. But in truth, a Kabbalist experiences his entire life in a spiritual dimension, invisible to the eye, called “the soul.”
Using the method of Kabbalah, he has developed the sensation of the spiritual part within him, called “the soul”—a sensation that’s much more powerful, vibrant and vivid than one’s corporeal life. Thus, the routine actions of sleeping, eating and so on comprise a minor part of a Kabbalist’s life experience, while most of what he feels, in fact—his life—takes place in the spiritual realm.
A Perpetual Child Within
But what’s more: a Kabbalist’s soul is never static. A Kabbalist’s soul grows continuously, making him feel like a child who is always looking forward to the next phase of his growth. It’s just like when we were kids, and wondered about how we would look in the future, what profession we would work in, what car or house we would have, and so on. We always felt that something new and exciting was in store for us, that life was just beginning, and that exciting new discoveries were waiting for us just around the corner.
This is how a Kabbalist feels as he journeys through the spiritual world. He always maintains a “youthful soul,” and in the process, continually discovers new things. He searches for new spiritual sensations within, and analyzes everything he finds along the way. But on top of everything that happens, a Kabbalist remains joyful. This is because one’s soul is always joyful, being in the spiritual realm, where it is connected to the Upper Force—the general force of Nature which exudes only love and goodness. Therefore, in order to grow one’s soul and develop a stronger connection with the Upper Force, Kabbalists advise us to remain joyful all along the path of our spiritual discovery.
Bnei Baruch, http://www.kabbalah.info/ is the largest group of Kabbalists in Israel, sharing the wisdom of Kabbalah with the entire world. Study materials in over 25 languages are based on authentic Kabbalah texts that were passed down from generation to generation.