“Kabbalah (also spelled Kabalah, Cabala, Qabala)—sometimes translated as “mysticism” or “occult knowledge—is a part of Jewish tradition that deals with the essence of God. Whether it entails a sacred text, an experience, or the way things work, Kabbalists believe that God moves in mysterious ways. However, Kabbalists also believe that true knowledge and understanding of that inner, mysterious process is obtainable, and through that knowledge, the greatest intimacy with God can be attained.
The Zohar, a collection of written, mystical commentaries on the Torah, is considered to be the underpinning of Kabbalah. Written in medieval Aramaic and medieval Hebrew, the Zohar is intended to guide Kabbalists in their spiritual journey, helping them attain the greater levels of connectedness with God that they desire.
Kabbalistic thought often is considered Jewish mysticism. Its practitioners tend to view the Creator and the Creation as a continuum, rather than as discrete entities, and they desire to experience intimacy with God. This desire is especially intense because of the powerful mystical sense of kinship that Kabbalists believe exists between God and humanity. Within the soul of every individual is a hidden part of God that is waiting to be revealed. Even mystics who refuse to describe such a fusion of God and man so boldly, still find the whole of Creation suffused in divinity, breaking down distinctions between God and the universe. Thus, the Kabbalist Moses Cordovero writes, “The essence of divinity is found in every single thing, nothing but It exists….It exists in each existent.””