The Zohar and Kabbalah
How do those Jews who follow the occultist path of the Zohar and Kabbalah reconcile the Scriptures in the Torah with the ‘twisted’ versions they hold to? The Zohar reduces God to an unknowable, incapable, unreachable being that absolutely has to have man sort out His creation for Him by practicing good works amongst other things. I have a Kabbalist Jewish friend who appears to read the Torah and accepts it as a “book of power” but who cannot seem to connect with what it says about the One True God. I do appreciate that he is probably blinded to the truth by Satan who in my view is absolutely behind the ‘power’ within the Zohar but he always manages to give me the impression he finds the Scriptures of huge value. Is he placing value only in the letters rather than the words as I’ve been led to understand they place a lot of emphasis on ‘numerology’ (gematria)?
Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s answer:
Those who follow the Kabbalah and the Zohar are into such deep mysticism that they do not deal with the God of the Bible but with the god of mysticism which reduces God to the way you have seen it reduced in your Kabbalist Jewish friend. This mystical movement in Judaism began in the Middle Ages with Spanish Jews that began spreading to other parts of the Jewish world and causing people to ignore the obvious meaning of the text of Scripture and taking some mystical deeper meaning with Numerology and other practices; but in the end, it only leads people astray. The only thing you can do is keep encouraging people to get back to what the Bible teaches and interpret the Bible on its own merit and not the way it has been reinterpreted in different traditions including the traditions of the Kabbalah.