It was the Talmud's way of warning us that over-involvement with mysticism is dangerous. Its esoteric knowledge isn't for everybody. For that very reason, the teachings of Jewish mysticism are known as Kabbalah, literally "received." These ideas were only to be received by direct word of mouth from master to disciple so that the one who transmits its information could be certain of the worthiness and the emotional maturity of the one receiving it.
In time, it was even suggested that there is a minimum age requirement for receiving this secret knowledge: No one under the age of 40 was permitted entry into the club of kabbalistic students.
QUOTABLE"Salt adds flavor to food, though it is not itself a food. The same is true of the Kabbalah. In itself it is hardly comprehensible, and it is tasteless, but it adds flavor to the Torah."
-- Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Lyadi (1747-1813), founder of the Lubovitch movement
"My Little Monster"
THE GOLEMGolem means unformed clay. The golem came alive when Rabbi Loew wrote the word for truth, emet, on his forehead. When it was time for the golem to be returned to dust, the rabbi erased the first letter, leaving on the word met--death.
The Bible Codes
More recently, another insight of Jewish mysticism that had previously been accessible only to a select few became known worldwide with the publication of a book on Bible codes. Studying the Torah by way of a special system that takes note of sequences of letters, mystics see predictions revealed, including events like the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.