The Order of the Day
In the Land of Israel of the 1940s (then called Palestine), a Kabbalah paper was truly an unusual undertaking. For almost two millennia, the wisdom of Kabbalah had been kept hidden and was only revealed to a chosen few. But on June 5, 1940, one of the two great Kabbalists of the twentieth century, Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag (1884-1954), decided it was time for a change. Rabbi Ashlag, also known as Baal HaSulam (Owner of the Ladder) for his authoritative Sulam (Ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar, published The Nation, the first Kabbalah paper in history.
The Nation was intended for everyone, but despite Baal HaSulam’s efforts, its language and style were too complex for most readers to understand. Even today, 66 years after the publication of The Nation, Baal HaSulam’s actions seem highly unorthodox, if not revolutionary.
But Baal HaSulam was not alone. Rav Avraham Kook (1865-1935), Israel’s first Chief Rabbi, supported Baal HaSulam’s statements that his generation was ripe and ready for the wisdom of Kabbalah.
Baal HaSulam envisioned a global society, founded on sharing and mutual giving, in accord with the Upper Force. In Kabbalah, the Upper Force is synonymous with “nature’s comprehensive law of giving,” and Ashlag believed that the more we put off the founding of such a society, the more troubles will befall humanity. Yet, he also assured us that if we consciously applied nature’s rule to the human society, we would reach unimaginable heights; we would become eternal, whole, and balanced with the Upper Force.
This was the message that The Nation carried. Alas, Baal HaSulam’s generation was not quite ready. His paper was printed only once before it was shut down by the British Mandate authorities, who wrongfully suspected him of supporting communism.
Many years have passed since then, and reality has proven Ashlag’s predictions to be true. His predictions concerning the fall of the USSR, growing alienation among nations and individuals, globalization, and nuclear threats are all true today. However, the good news is that his revolutionary creation, the Kabbalah paper, has become a solid fact, as well.
In 1991, Rav Michael Laitman, PhD, successor of Rabbi Baruch Ashlag (the firstborn son and successor of Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag) founded a new group of Kabbalah students—Bnei Baruch (The Sons of Baruch)—named after his teacher. On September 22, 2006, Bnei Baruch published the first issue of its Kabbalah paper, or if you will, the second issue of The Nation. Soon to follow was a similar paper in Russian, and now, a much-awaited English version of Kabbalah Today.
Kabbalah Today is an apolitical, non-commercial paper, aspiring to convey the same message that was conveyed in The Nation. It is intended for everyone, regardless of gender, faith, nationality or age. With today’s increasing interest in Kabbalah, a Kabbalah paper seems to be the order of the day. Its aim is to disseminate the vast knowledge hidden in the wisdom of Kabbalah in clear language and at no cost. We believe that this wisdom can change how we perceive ourselves as individuals and as a society. It is our hope that Kabbalah Today will add a new dimension to our lives, and help to enhance unity and love among all its readers.