desire. Until the arrival of that level, the Jews that returned from the exile in Babylon—after the ruin of the first Temple—kept their unity and their perception of the cohesive law of life.In truth, only two of the twelve tribes returned from their Babylonian exile because the level of egoism was alsogrowing among Israel, and the majority of the tribes could not resist the egoistic drives within them. These drivesseparated them from the nation of Israel, which consists, as explained, of people who live by the law of unity, and notof genetically related individuals. But when Stage Two in the evolution of desires began to manifest in Israel, eventhose who returned from Babylon could not maintain their altruism. Instead, they fell prey to their self- centereddesires.The Babylonian Talmud explains that the sole reason for the defeat of Israel and the ruin of the SecondTemple wasunfounded hatred: “The SecondTemple, why was it ruined, since they engaged Torah and
[spiritual learning]and in good deeds? It was because there was unfounded hatred in it.” In the absence of unity, and because manyJews wished to emulate or even join the Roman culture, the Jewish revolt was hopeless from the start.
So How Easily You Can Understand Why Kabbalah Was Hidden for So Long
Still, even after the revolt, many among Israel maintained their cohesive perception of reality. Rabbi Akiva, for example, whose Talmudic epithet was “Head of all the Sages,” lived and taught in the years following the ruin. According to the Babylonian Talmud, Rabbi Akiva had 24,000 students, but they, too, died (according to the Talmud)because they were not united.Of the 24,000 students, only four survived. And of those four, two became the greatest sages of their generation, andpossibly of all time. The first was Rabbi Yehuda, known as Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi (the president), who becamepresident of the Sanhedrin and chief redactor and editor of the Mishnah, the corpus that is the foundation on whichboth parts of the Talmud are built. The other student was Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai (Rashbi), who became known asthe author of
The Book of Zohar
The Book of Radiance
]—the seminal book of Kabbalah, which all Kabbalists study tthis day and from which they all derive their wisdom.Through the centuries, there have always been sages who kept the wisdom vibrant and evolving. They understoodthe nature of the desire to receive and produced texts that interpreted
, as well as other books of Kabbalah.Yet, for the most part, their books—written from the Kabbalistic-altruistic perception of reality—were misunderstood ball except for fellow Kabbalists because they were read from an egoistic perception. This prevented readers fromgrasping the true meaning of the texts. In much the same way, a person who is blind from birth cannot understand themeaning of vision, much less the joy that comes from observing a beautiful landscape or the captivating power of theview of an ocean’s stormy shore.Thus, because of the decline of the spiritual perception (altruism) among Israel, Abraham’s dream of teaching theentire world the single law of existence had to be postponed until people were once again ready to learn about thislaw.
was concealed soon after its completion and remained hidden for more than a millennium. Kabbalists,too, cloaked the wisdom in mystery and misconception, and declared that only those who met rigorous conditionswere permitted to study it. Since they knew that the majority of people were too far removed from spiritual perceptionto properly grasp the concepts of Kabbalah, Kabbalists distracted people’s minds with stories of miracles and charms,and set up boundaries such as age, sex, and marital status to deter would-be students from probing Kabbalah.
The Link between Pythagoras, Philosophy & Kabbalah
Indeed, the misperceptions of Kabbalah were so deeply rooted that even after the reappearance of