This decree was canceled about 450 years ago, as it was confirmed and written by Rav Avraham Azulay :

“What was decreed from above; not to study the Kabbalah openly, was for a limited time only, until the end of the year 5260 . From there and after, it was allowed, and from the year 5300 it was decreed that it is a “Mitsvah” (commandment). (Or Ha’Hamah, introduction).

Also two of the most important Kabbalists of all times; the Ari Z’al and the Ram’hal started very young as they both died before the age of forty

Tikun

Tikun in the Kabbalah is a very important notion. It shows, in a way, that everything that was created with a possibility of deficiency also has a potential to be rectified. In Hebrew, the word “Tikun” has different meanings; it can be understood as reparation or rectification but also as function, relation or action.

There are different types of Tikunim:

– Tikunim (reparations) that took place in the first emanations to repair the worlds.
– Tikunim (rectifications – relations) for the construction and inter-relations of the Sephirot and configurations.
– Tikunim (actions – functions) of certain configurations for the guidance of the world.
– Tikunim (rectifications) for the souls.

Tikunim (reparations) to repair the worlds

At the creation, when from the configuration of Adam Kadmon emerged the ten Sephirot of the feminine aspect of BaN (52), and the seven lower Sephirot broke. To sustain the recipients of these Sephirot after they broke, 288 sparks of their lights came down as well to keep them alive.
This important damage – Shvirat HaKelim – the breaking of the vessels needed to be repaired. A first Tikun was to help in the ascent of some of these fallen 288 sparks, and to repair the recipients that had broken when they fell, that they might return to their respective lights.
Tikunim (rectifications – relations) for the construction of the configurations

The Tikunim for the construction of the Partsufim – configurations are achieved by way of Zivug (union) of the higher masculine and feminine configurations, during which time the lower configuration will go through a period of gestation inside the feminine higher configuration, followed by its birth.
Tikunim (rectifications – relations) of the configurations for the guidance

There are also Tikunim of different configurations which are their actions, illuminations, and inter-relations in order to influence the guidance of the worlds. These Tikunim result in various illuminations of different intensities, depending on time and the actions of man.
Tikunim (rectifications) for the souls

A Tikun for a soul is its rectification because of its unfulfillment or to cleanse it from any defect. The Tikun for the soul is realized by the Gilgul (reincarnation) and by the ‘Ibur (attachment). By accomplishing what he did not complete of the 613 Mitsvot, by rectifying an act or a damage he caused by his wrongdoings, man makes the necessary Tikun of his soul, which can now ascend to the higher realms and rejoin its source.

Prayer

The order of the prayers is based on the systems of ascension of the worlds, as explained in the Kabbalah. The purpose of this ascension of the worlds is to provoke a union between the masculine and feminine configurations, that they might bestow positive energies as a result of this harmony. At this level of comprehension, we understand that our prayers have a direct influence on the superior worlds, and on their guidance.

Beginning with the first act of the morning of Netilat Yadayim (washing of the hands three times in alternation), until the end of the Tefilah, there is a constant elevation and adhesion of the worlds of ‘Asiah (action), Yetsirah (formation) and Beriah (creation) to the fourth highest world of Atsilut (emanation). This is done by the Hekhalot (portals); they are the different levels of ascension of the prayers before reaching the world of Atsilut during the ‘Amidah. Their principal function is to allow the adhesion and attachment of these worlds in a precise order.

During the prayers, when one knows this system of ascension of the Hekhalot, he concentrates on the words or the names, by which is hinted the precise action of the Hekhal (portal) that makes this ascension. See fig. 28

To get from one world to the next, a secret name called MaV (42), which is hinted at during the Kadish, makes this ascension possible. This secret name of 42 letters is made with the four letters of the name י-ה-ו-ה, the Miluy (spelling) of each one of the four letters for a total of ten letters, and the Miluy of each one of these ten letters for a total of twenty eight. This name is hinted when we answer Yehe Sheme ….. until – Be’alma. The Kadish makes possible the ascent of each world to the next higher world and the descent afterwards from the world of Atsilut to ‘Asiah.

The goal of all the prayers is to help prepare the different masculine and feminine configurations for their Zivug (union). It is only once they are united that our “Avodah” (work – duty) is done, and because of this higher harmony we can now receive from above.

There can be abundance only when the masculine and the feminine are in full harmony. Each day, according to the actions of man, the prayers during the week, Shabbat or Holidays, and depending on time, various configurations allow different Zivugim (unions), and therefore outflows of abundance of variable intensities.

Guidance

At first, the Creator was alone, filling all space with His energy. He was not bestowing His influence because there was no one to receive it. When He willed to create, He started to influence. Kabbalah is the only science that, in the least details, explains to us the true guidance of the world, so that we may understand His will.

The will of the Creator is to bestow goodness on His creatures; all the levels of creation and their guidance were put in place so His kindness could emanate to them, yet in such a way that they would be able to receive it.

The light of G-od is unique, of equal force, quality and beyond all description. The guidance of the world is manifested by different types of attributes such as rigor, mercy, etc. This unique light is therefore transformed or filtered by other lights, to give it various qualities or forces for a guidance based on the system of free choice, punishment, and reward.

These “transforming”, secondary lights are called Sephirot or Partsufim – configurations, and also attributes or qualities of G-od. A Sephira is, in a way, a “filter” that when the unique light enters it, transforms it into a particular force or quality by which the Creator guides the worlds.

The Kabbalah explains to us very precisely this true guidance, and how the worlds are guided by these extremely complex systems of forces or lights, which through their interactions provoke chain reactions that impact directly upon man and the worlds. Each one of these reactions has numerous ramifications with many details and results.

This complex system of forces or lights are the different Tikunim (actions) and Zivugim (unions) of the Sephirot and configurations to influence and make the guidance by means of their different arrangements and amalgamations.

There are two main kinds of guidance:
– The general guidance, which is for the subsistence of the worlds, and is not influenced by the actions of men.

This guidance is by means of the encircling Sephirot.

– The variable guidance, which is on the basis of justice, reward and punishment and is dependant on time and on the actions of man.

This guidance is by the linear Sephirot that are arranged in three columns: right, left and middle, representing the guidance of the world in the manner of kindness, rigor and mercy.

The guidance is mostly influenced by the different positioning and interactions of the masculine and feminine configurations, since they have a direct effect on the measure and balance of the factors of kindness, rigor and mercy.

The masculine configurations bestow kindness, the feminine bestow rigor. By their union, different equilibriums of the two forces of kindness and rigor make the guidance. Complete rigor will be the destruction of anything not perfect, while complete kindness will permit everything without restriction. However, these two aspects are necessary for the guidance based on justice, and for giving man the possibility of free choice.

The guidance is manifested by three main attributes:
· the attribute of kindness – right pillar
· the attribute of rigor – left pillar
· the attribute of mercy – middle pillar

Shevirat Hakelim

At the creation, all the creative forces were invested in the configuration Adam Kadmon. They emerged in different emanations from the apertures in his face for the construction of the worlds.

The ten Sephirot that came out from his eyes were of the aspect of the name of BaN (52); they correspond to the feminine aspect – rigor, and are the root of deterioration. When they came out, the recipients of the first three Sephirot of Keter, ‘Hokhma and Binah received and contained their lights, because they were in the three-column arrangement

The seven lower recipients of the Sephirot were not in the three pillar arrangement needed for the direction of Kindness, rigor and mercy. The lights tried to enter in their respective recipients, but their force was overwhelming and, unable to hold their lights the recipients broke. The lights stayed in the world of Atsilut, their recipients fell to the lower worlds.

This caused an important damage called Shvirat HaKelim – the breaking of the vessels. The recipients of the seven Sephirot, which did not contain their lights, fell to the world of Beriah (creation). This imperfect arrangement is the first origin of damage and of the Sitra A’hra (negative side) – “evil”.

The three first Sephirot Keter, ‘Hokhma, and Binah did not completely contain their lights in their lower parts; they fell lower but did not break. These lower parts correspond to what is needed for the guidance of the seven lower Sephirot, if they had completely contained their lights, the seven Sephirot would not have broken, and the notions of Kilkul (damage) and Tikun (repair) would not exist. The roots of all the created are in the seven lower Sephirot (Za’T); the three first Sephirot are like a crown on the other seven to repair and direct them.

It is important to understand that all that happens in our world is similar to what occurred in this fall. If the recipients had contained their lights, the seven lower Sephirot would not have broken and the world would have been in a perfect state from the start.

Tsimtsum

In the beginning, there was no existence except His presence; the Creator was alone, occupying all space with His light. His light, without end, borders or limit, filled everything. He was not bestowing His influence because there was no one to receive it. When He willed to create; He started to influence. His light being of such holiness and intensity, it is not possible for any being to exist in its proximity.

The “Tsimtsum” is the first act of Ein Sof (Infinite) in the creation. It is the retraction of His light from a certain space and encircling it, so as to reduce its intensity and allow created beings to exist. After this contraction, a ray of His light entered this empty space and formed the first Sephirot.

By these boundaries, He revealed the concepts of rigor and limit needed by the created beings, and gave a space for all the created to exist.

What is Kabbalah

The Kabbalah teaches the unfolding of the worlds, the various powers of influence on these worlds, the role of man in the creation, the will of the Creator and so on. It explains in details; the creation of the present and previous worlds, the different lights or energies that make their guidance, the final goal of man and the creation.

The Kabbalah explains often allegorically, the beginning of creation as well as all the dynamic systems that are put in place to interact with man, and for the guidance of the worlds. These systems make us understand the purpose of our actions, their interactions with the superior realms, the hidden messages and meanings in the Torah. With a deeper understanding of the reasons and goals of all these actions, one could definitely ascend to a higher level of service and closeness to his Creato