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What is Kabbalah?

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Question: What is Kabbalah?

Answer: Kabbalah refers to Judaism's mystical strand and related literature.

Kabbalah, an esoteric system of interpretation of the Scriptures, is based on the belief that every word, letter, number, and even accent contained mysteries interpretable by those who knew the secret.

The two principal sources of the kabbalists are the Sefer Yezirah (Book of Creation) and the Zohar (The Book of Splendor).

Following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492), kabbalah became more messianic in its emphasis. This messianic form of kabbalah was developed by mystics living in Safed, Palestine.

Kabbalah in its messianic form was a major influence in the development of Hasidism. Kabbalah still has adherents, especially among Hasidic Jews.

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