Jovial (29 Dec 2011)
"Tikkun Ha-Olam in Judaism and "What is that "Kab-lah" thingy?""

In re Gerlinda's post at http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/dec2011/gerlinda1228-2.htm , the concepts you quoted are freely discussed in many aspects of traditional Judaism whether in Kabbalistic writings or not.  The phrase is found in the Mishnah, long before the earliest verifiable "Kaballistic" source existed.

 

If death is discussed in a Kabbalist writing, does that make death a Kabbalistic concept?

A topic would be considered "Kabbalistic" if it was discussed 100% in Kabbalistic sources and 0% in other sources.  You could debate the issue if it is 65%-35%.  But seriously, this phrase was being used before the period of modern "Kabbalists" as it tends to be used by most in the Baptist / DoC / and other denominations of a similar bent.

 

The Trinity is discussed in Judaism, mostly in Kaballistic writings.  So one could state that the Trinity is a Kaballstic concept.  They see the Holy Spirit as the Mother of the Godhead / Gerlinda described it as "erotic", though I have never heard any sources in Judaism describe it as an erotic union similar to earthly ones.  I've never heard any Jewish source describe the union between the Father and the Spirit as similar to human eroticism or that they pretend to know the exact nature of it completely.  Only that they consider the Spirit to be maternal.  The Trinity is discussed in numerous Kaballistic sources, but in very few Jewish sources outside of what has been accepted as "Kaballah" by modern standards.

 

Of course, what is considered Kabballah is not something well defined and the definition has changed over time.  The Talmud defines the entire Bible as composed of two parts; Torah (the first five books of Moses) and Kabballah (the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth...all the way through Malachi).

 

The word "Kabballah" can be translated "what is recieved" or "tradition".  Torah is authorized by Moses.  The other books were "recieved" as authoritative without regard to understanding who the author was.  Every Friday night Jews do a ceremony called "Kaballat Shabbat" or "Recieving the Sabbath."

 

But to modern modern Americans, their understanding of the word "Kaballah" is that it is something Modonna does.  And if Madonna does it, it must be weird.  Thus "Kabbalah" means "weird" in their view of things, thanks mostly to one celebrity and the fact that most Christians have very little knowledge of Judaism.

 

There are some weird things said in some books that have been labelled "Kabballah".  there have been weird things said in books that aren't too.  Weird stuff gets said all over the place.  That doesn't mean that Tikkun Olam means anything other than fixing what's wrong with the word.  It's not a deity.  Not every Jew who uses the term means the same thing by it as what some "Kaballistic" writers have recorded.  It simply refers to fixing what's wrong in life.  That's the common udnerstanding.  If some "Kaballist" has weird ideas on how to fix what's wrong with life, it doesn't mean every Jew agrees with it nor does it mean Obama agrees with it nor does it mean anyone is calling on some deity by using the term.

 

Shalom, Joe