Getting to the Forest: An Introduction

The truth is, in a successful relationship, this is always the bottom line—with a friend, with a spouse, and with God. The reality of the commitment itself should be the true personal reason for what we do in our relationships.

My Goal
That having been said, this series is an attempt to clarify a little bit about how the specifics of Jewish living not only fit into the grander Kabbalistic picture of ‘who am I' and ‘what am I doing here', but are indeed its fulfillment.

In a sense, the situation of apparent disconnect between Kabbalah and Jewish practice that currently exists in our society is comparable to the veins flowing through a person's body being disconnected from his or her heart. If there is no blood flowing in a person's veins, certainly the veins would be considered as dead weight and one would ask what he needs them for and proceed to amputate. And if there is a heart beating but no veins to send the blood to, here too one would ask what is the purpose of the heart's beating if there is nowhere to send the blood, and one would come to shut off the heart as well.

This is exactly what is happening to Judaism in our times.

Those actually interested in Judaism and Kabbalah find themselves asking how the specifics of Jewish practice lead one to better one's self, increase goodness in the world, and help to actualize one's relationship with God. In what manner do the details of Jewish law embody the principles of personal growth, fulfillment, world enhancement, and spirituality that Judaism supposedly teaches?

And if there are these beautiful Kabbalistic ideas of a life of fulfillment without offering me a guide to practically living and carrying out that vision, what is the purpose of Kabbalah in the first place? 

And eventually, we would leave the grander Kabbalistic ideals, just as many have left the specifics of Jewish practice.

So, my goal in writing this series is to reconnect Jewish practice with Jewish theory; to explain the specific detailed laws within their general esoteric principles; and to clarify Judaism in the light of Kabbalah.

Now, let us be clear that to get to the Kabbalistic depth of each and every one of the thousands of details in Jewish law would be longer than an encyclopedia and require more virtual space than Wikipedia.

My hope is that enough will be made clear here to earn Judaism a certain benefit of the doubt—that when the reader comes upon a particular detail of Jewish practice which has not been addressed here, his or her intuitive assumption will be that this detail stems from the grander Kabbalistic scheme in some way, and that there is an approach toward greater insight and understanding that is waiting to be uncovered.

1/13/2011 5:00:00 AM