Origins of the Kabbalah Centre
Although many people just started hearing about the Kabbalah Centre fairly recently, the seeds for this facility were planted almost a century ago. It was 1922 when Rav Yehuda Ashlag began enlightening students with the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah. He gave his protege Rav Yehuda Tzvi Brandwein all kinds of information about the hidden traditions of Kabbalah, and Brandwein in turn revealed this important knowledge to Rav Berg.
To study Kabbalah is to delve into one of the most pressing topics in the history of the world—namely, the secret knowledge of God. Throughout the ages, certain truths have been revealed to individuals. Starting with Adam and continuing with Abraham and Moses, God has allowed certain human beings to catch glimpses of the vast, mysterious expanse that exists beyond the veil. These people have then gone on to reveal their findings to others, and it is in this manner that an oral tradition of the Kabbalah began.
It was in the 1700s, however, when the information that had been handed down became even more protected. Many influential rabbis made the decision that much of the information could not be deciphered on its own. It was so dense and complex that it would require the help of an educated Kabbalist to interpret. Although this helped to ensure that the proper information was making its way down to future generations, it did make the process of learning the Kabbalah much more exclusive and restricted.
Rav Ashlag honed in on all of the ways in which Kabbalah Centre could be brought more into the mainstream. In fact, it was his sincere belief that studying the Kabbalah could bring salvation to those who might otherwise be lost. This passion for spreading the truth led him from Poland to Israel and eventually New York. Although this brilliant man did not attract many devotees during his lifetime, he attracted the right ones. It was Rav Yehuda Tzvi Brandwein who was able to extrapolate the data, preserving it for generations and solidifying the foundation of the Kabbalah Centre that we know today.
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