Kabbalah (Hebrew קַבָּלָה "reception", Standard Hebrew Qabbala, Tiberian Hebrew Qabbālāh; also written variously as Cabala, Cabalah, Cabbala, Cabbalah, Kabala, Kabalah, Kabbala, Qabala, Qabalah, Kaballah) is an interpretation (exegesis, hermeneutic) key, "soul" of the Torah (Hebrew Bible), or the religious mystical system of Judaism claiming an insight into divine nature.
Kabbalah is a doctrine of esoteric knowledge concerning God, God's creation of the universe and the laws of nature, and the path by which adult religious Jews can learn these secrets.
Kabbalah stresses the reasons and understanding of the commandments in the Torah, and the cause of events described in the Torah. Kabbalah includes the understanding of the spiritual spheres of creation, and the ways by which God administers the existence of the universe.
According to Jewish tradition, this knowledge has come down as a revelation to elect saints from a remote past, and preserved only by a privileged few. It is considered part of the Jewish Oral Law, although this is not agreed upon by many medieval Talmudic scholars, as well as a minority of current Orthodox rabbis.
According to adherents of Kabbalah, the origin of Kabbalah begins with the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible). When read by a Kabbalist, the Torah's description of the creation in the Book of Genesis reveals mysteries about God's creation of the universe, Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, the [[Tree of Knowledge|Tree of The oldest versions of the Jewish mysticism have been theorized to extend from Assyrian theology and mysticism. Dr. Simo Parpola, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, has made some suggestive findings on the matter, particularly concerning an analysis of the Sepiroth. Noting the general similarity between the Sepiroth of the Kabbalah and the Tree of Life of Assyria, he reconstructed what an Assyrian , derived from the Assyrian word Assur. Furthermore, Dr. Paropla was able to now re-interpret various Assyrian tablets in the terms of this primitive Sepiroth, such as the Epic Of Gilgamesh, and in doing so was able to reveal that the scribes themselves had been writting philosophical-mystical tracts, rather than mere adventure stories. Traces of this Assyrian mode of thought and philosophy eventually makes reappearances in Greek Philosophy and the Kabbalah. of mystical events in the Tanakh, and form the origin of Jewish mystical beliefs.
Early forms of Jewish mysticism can be found in some parts of the Talmud and the midrash literature. Several texts, among them the Sefer HaBahir, Torat Hakana, Sefer P'liyah, Midrash Otiyot d'Rabbi Akiva and the Zohar claim to be from the talmudic era. In the medieval era Jewish mysticism greatly developed with the appearance of the mystical text, the Sefer Yetzirah. Jewish sources attribute the book to the biblical patriarch Abraham. This book became the object of the systematic study of the elect who were called baale ha-kabbalah (בעלי הקבלה "possessors or masters of the Kabbalah"). From the thirteenth century onward Kabbalah branched out into an extensive literature, alongside of and often in opposition to the Talmud.