Could you briefly describe, for those readers who have no knowledge whatsoever of Kabbalah, what it actually is?
Kabbalah is a method that allows a person to reveal a higher reality. It includes not just
the part of the universe that we perceive through our five senses, but also covers the part of the
universe we do not perceive, the higher reality. This is the part that attracts us to its study.
Thanks to the Kabbalah method, we can come to perceive the hidden higher reality that controls
our reality in the five senses, our inner world. These two parts of reality can be pictured as two
concentric spheres. By knowing how the higher reality rules over our inner world, we will be able
to understand the deeper, general laws of nature that act upon us.
Thus, Kabbalah can help a person to understand him- or herself: Why did I appear here, on this
planet? Why has everything in history happened the way it has? By what formula does humanity
develop? What drives humanity’s and nature’s evolution? Whether it is geological periods, social
formations, our future, our free will or ultimately, some way to change our lives—Kabbalah makes
it all clear. Kabbalah gives very interesting and often unexpected answers to all such questions.
Why do you think so many people feel unfulfilled and unhappy in today’s
People evolve according to the development of their desires. Our desires develop until
we realize that fulfilling them no longer satisfies us. This is because our secret but true aspiration,
which we cannot yet formulate or realize, falls outside the limits of our earthly life.
We receive this desire from above. It is neither given by nature as an animalistic desire (for food,
sex, family or shelter), nor does it develop under the influence of a society as human desires (for
money, respect, control and knowledge). Kabbalah calls it “the desire for spirituality.”
Today, there is a mass awakening of the desire for spirituality, and its growing demand for
fulfillment is causing the most pains humanity has ever experienced. People turn to all sorts of
means to fulfill themselves, but find no avail, and thus today we see more depression, drug abuse,
suicides, and terror attacks than ever before.
Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag predicted that this would happen from the mid-1990s, and that Kabbalah
would become necessary for humanity’s evolution—as a method to attain the fulfillment of this
Can the learning of Kabbalah totally change our lives? If so, how?
The study of Kabbalah done properly allows one to perceive the complete reality,
perceive nature’s acting laws, and control one’s destiny. Our current perception of reality is based
on what information we are able to absorb and process through our five senses. Through science,
we know that this is not the true reality that exists. For example, what we call “sound” is only what
our eardrums can receive within certain limitations, not what truly exists. This goes for all our
Kabbalists tell us that the reality we currently perceive is but a tiny part of the true reality that
surrounds us. In order to perceive the true reality, we need to evolve further by developing new
attributes. Kabbalah is a method that allows a person to attain these new attributes in their current
There has been a lot of interest in Kabbalah by celebrities, but many people have
concluded that what the celebrities are studying is not the real thing due to various rumors
such as the sale of expensive Kabbalah water, red threads etc. How do you react to people
who say that?
We don’t react. We only teach the method of Kabbalah to people interested in learning it.
We do not engage in any other activities as an organization. Moreover, we would like to mention
that even the great Kabbalist the holy Ari warned against using any mascots and charms. He
warned against materializing the text, thus misleading the students into thinking that physical
objects can bring them spiritual benefit.
What would you say to readers who may assume that Bnei Baruch is also not
teaching the real Kabbalah?
The single aim of Kabbalah studies at Bnei Baruch is to attain the higher reality, and all
the study is focused only on this goal. We study according to original Kabbalistic sources of the
Ari, Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag, and his eldest son and successor Kabbalist Baruch Shalom HaLevi
Ashlag, with the aim to reveal what is written in them. There is no coercion in the study and
everyone is free to advance at their own pace. We thus respect the decision of those who wish to
study with us and likewise those who choose not to.
It has been suggested that films such as The Matrix and What the Bleep Do We
Know!? explain many of the concepts found in Kabbalah. What concepts are they and how
do they relate to our lives?
We are unaware of The Matrix trying to convey any Kabbalistic message.
Regarding the film What the Bleep do We Know!?, we met with some of the scientists appearing
in this film to discuss the connection between science and Kabbalah. We found commonalities in
their explanation of our perception of reality. They promote the contemporary scientific discovery
that the entire world we perceive is completely subjective; that we do not perceive the surrounding
world but only our reactions to it.
This means that our five senses define the limits of our perception. Once this is fully realized, we
have nothing to change “outside” us because there is nothing outside us to change: All that we
have is our perception that we receive from the five senses, and we cannot say anything about
what is outside them.
So this allows us to begin to exchange imaginary views of reality with reality itself. A person then
needs Kabbalah, because using Kabbalah one can then research inside one’s perception, and
learn how to expand it. A Kabbalah student develops a new, additional sense which makes
research of the higher reality possible, providing a more complete picture of reality than what we
perceive through the five senses.
If one decides they wish to study Kabbalah, how important is it to first be
The study of Kabbalah deals solely with the attainment of the higher reality. It is based
on universal laws that can be perceived by anyone who wishes to reveal them. For this reason,
age, gender, or religious practices are irrelevant to the study and to a person’s development. As
the Hafetz Chaim (1843—1933) said: “On the learning of The Zohar there are no restrictions.”
It is widely known that if you touch Kabbalah before the age of forty, you’ll go
mad. To what extent is this just a rumor?
This is incorrect; there is no age limit for the study of Kabbalah. One can start studying
at the age of eighty, or even while you are still in school.
The Vilna Gaon, for example, was nine years old when he became a Kabbalist, the holy Ari was
thirty-eight when he died, already as one of the greatest Kabbalists of all time.
The age limit was just another way to prevent people from approaching Kabbalah easily. In the
past, the study of Kabbalah was forbidden to women and to men under forty, and there was a
reason for this restriction. This was because the time was not ready for everyone to study, but
only for a select few who ignored the prohibitions and the threats and dared to study it because
their hearts craved it.
Today, anyone can study Kabbalah because the time is ripe and the souls that materialize in this
world are ready. There is no danger in the study of Kabbalah whatsoever. On the contrary, if you
study according to genuine sources you will find a comprehensive explanation to the meaning of
life, and you will better understand how to conduct yours in congruence with the laws of nature.
People talk about ‘crossing the barrier.’ Can you describe what they mean by
this and how their life is affected after crossing the barrier?
Between the reality we perceive in the five senses and the higher reality, there is
something called “the barrier.” This is essentially a psychological barrier. Kabbalah has no
dealings under the barrier, in the five senses. The reality we feel in the five senses is what
Kabbalah calls “our world.” Above the barrier are the upper worlds, and Kabbalah only concerns
itself with what is above the barrier.
The word “world” in Hebrew (“Olam”) comes from the linguistic root meaning “concealment”
(“He’elem”). So when Kabbalists say that we live in this world, and that there are upper worlds
with a barrier between them, it means that we live in concealment of the actual reality, limited by
our five senses.
The upper worlds are a more revealed part of reality, which we all can and will ultimately attain. By
progressing in the study, we move from world to world, revealing more and more complete parts
of reality. This process continues until we have attained everything there is for us to attain in the
A Kabbalist can explain this state to a person, but it is impossible for a person to understand its
deeper meaning without the correct development. It is like explaining the color red to a person
who has always been blind. How do you explain it using only the senses of sound, touch, taste
Can anyone learn Kabbalah? Is it beneficial to everyone?
The great Kabbalist, the Ari, wrote in the sixteenth century that from his time onward,
Kabbalah was intended for men, women, and children, and that everybody could and should study
the wisdom. Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag expanded upon the Ari’s method, making it suitable for
anybody wishing to study in this generation.
People come to Kabbalah when they are no longer satisfied by material reward and hope that
studying will provide answers, clarification, and new opportunities. When people cannot find
answers in this world, and it often seems that such answers do not even exist, they take interest in
Kabbalah, study it a bit, and find out for themselves if it provides the answers they are looking for.
How does one know whether or not they are ready to learn Kabbalah?
When one is troubled by questions like: Who am I? Why was I born? Where do I come
from? Where am I going? Why do I exist in the world? Was I already here? Will I reappear? Why
is there so much suffering in the world? Can it somehow be avoided? How can I attain fulfillment,
completeness, peace of mind? Subconsciously, one feels that the answers to these questions can
only be found beyond the realm of this world.
All these questions are summarized by a single question that Kabbalah provides the answer for,
and which the Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag writes about in his article Introduction to the Study of the
Ten Sefirot, that “if we set our hearts to answer but one famous question, I am sure that all
questions and doubts will disappear from the horizon and we will find them to be gone. And that
tiny question is, ‘What is the meaning of our lives?’”
It is a simple question, and one who advances in the study feels a growing urgency to reveal its
genuine answer. Such a revelation, through the correct process of study, research and inner
progress, set the goal of Kabbalah studies.
How can people go about beginning to learn the Kabbalah through Bnei
Baruch and are there any specific guidelines for how they should learn?
Bnei Baruch has hundreds of thousands of students all over the world. Most of these
students have been studying through our website: www.kabbalah.info. All material on the website
is provided free, containing everything necessary for a person to advance.
There is no linear learning method in Kabbalah. The work in Kabbalah is not intellectual, but rather
focuses on inner change, called “the work of the heart.” However, in the first stages of study, a
student is advised to absorb as much material as possible, and to ask questions, to test whether it
is something they want to further pursue or not.
All of the services one can use from www.kabbalah.info (i.e. free courses, daily Kabbalah lessons,
1000s of hours of video, audio and text material) are offered at no charge at all because one of
the basic rules of authentic Kabbalah teaching is that the teacher will not gain any profit from
teaching other than a spiritual profit.
In addition some students meet with other students living in their vicinity and study together. A
student can develop very well this way.
Any other comments you think may be important for readers?
Kabbalah is surfacing now because it is more relevant today than ever before. The more
you study it, the more you discover its subtle and positive influence on your life. It is a rewarding
process that begins with a question, and ends in bliss. We invite everyone to join in, watch the
lessons, ask questions, and become part of the Bnei Baruch worldwide community.