The following is a sampling of postings on Beliefnet's discussion board "Non-Jews Studying Kabbalah."

PaganSong: "The first time I read up on it, it was in the Jewish tradition, but then when I dug a little deeper I found the Kabbalah to be a much more diversified and 'abstract' spiritual system. It slowly spread into Christianity, I think in the Middle Ages, and then it has been applied to Neo-Paganism, but I'm not sure when that started. So now I'm seeing that there is Christian Kabbalah, Jewish Kabbalah, and Magickal Kabbalah.. Although I am Pagan, I still like studying the Jewish Kabbalah, b/c I don't really like the substitution stuff that can be associated w/ copied religious beliefs."

ECG: "Since the texts discussed with respect to Kabbalah were created before the advent of 'religion', it seems quite natural that all people (regardless of their faith) can benefit from its teachings. I am engaged to a Catholic woman and she was the first to 'jump into' the teachings of Kabbalah (it seems many times woman are the first--of a couple--to come to 'the Light'). I welcome the fact that anyone, and any faith/denomination, can be taught about the soul of the Torah."

Dovid: "As a somewhat observant Jew, I have no problem with anyone of any/no faith studying Kabbalah. I would like to point out, however, that Kabbalah is a recived tradition. To quote a rabbi of my acqaintance, 'You can't learn it from a book. To understand it, you must learn it from someone who understands it.' Other than that, it couldn't hurt, so good luck."

yule: "There is an aspect of Kabbalistic study which does not involve a thorough knowledge of the Judaic Torah, Mishnah, and Midrash; this aspect is open to all people in search of "reality" and the interconnectedness between men's actions and nature's responses to those actions. People of all faiths, or even no faith, can be "good" people, but they can also be "bad"; the kabbalah tells us that every action one performs affects everything else in the Unverse, reqardless of how insignificant that affect may be."

dovber2: "There is a common thread in Buddhist meditation on nothingness and the practice of certain Kabbalistic thinking Jews who meditated on Ayin (nothingness), the state of being before creation. When this state of being is reached, one should then begin prayer."

Read the rest of the discussion, or jump into the debate.

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