“The Kabbalah was entirely lost in the thirteenth century…”


Monday 2nd September 2013

“The Chaldean Kabbalah, moreover, the Book of Numbers, agrees perfectly with the eastern arrangement, and disagrees with the present orthodox Kabbalah in its diagrams. … Now, look here: I had a rabbi who had the real Book of Numbers – and there is another; I have only seen two in my life, and I don’t think there exist more. He had fragments of the Chaldean Kabbalah. With that, when I came to take notes (I had large books), when I came to compare with the Rosenroth translation, I saw they had changed it in the most wonderful way. … the Kabbalah was entirely lost in the thirteenth century … Moses de Leon, who is accused of forgery (which is perfect nonsense), took all he could find. What did he do? He had, as so many links were missing, and so many things were lost, to go to the eastern Christians, and to the Chaldean Gnostics to ask them to help, since they had their own Kabbalah. And the result is, you find more of Christian eternity – the Virgin Mary, Joseph, etc. – than the wisdom of the old [Hebrew initiates]. That is the result. Now, in the Chaldean Kabbalah, in the Book of Numbers, you have the wisdom of the Hebrew initiates, but you have not got it in this [i.e. the modern, popular, and accepted versions of the Kabbalah]; they have been so interfering with it, that Mr Isaac Myer may say what he likes, and Mr Mathers also; I say there is more flapdoodle than truth.”

— H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine Dialogues

NOTE: Christian Knorr von Rosenroth – a Christian Kabbalist who lived 1631-1689 and made a translation into Latin of the Hebrew texts “Kabbala Denudata.” Moses de Leon – a Spanish rabbi and Kabbalist who lived 1250-1305 and published the Zohar, which was attributed to the 2nd century A.D. rabbi Shimon bar Yohai. Isaac Myer – an American who lived 1836-1902 and published the book “Qabbalah” in 1888. S.L. Mathers – translated three of Rosenroth’s Latin translations of the Kabbala Denudata into English in 1887.

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5 thoughts on ““The Kabbalah was entirely lost in the thirteenth century…”

  1. Very interesting, I would like to know of Madame Blavastky shared some of the Book of numbers and the Chaldean Kabbalah in any of her books or articles. Thanks.

    1. Hello and thank you for your comment!

      There are a few brief quotations from and references to the Chaldean Kabbalistic system and Book of Numbers in H.P. Blavatsky’s writings, primarily in her book “The Secret Doctrine” and to a lesser extent in her first book “Isis Unveiled.”

      You may possibly also find it interesting to read the compilation of articles in HPB Pamphlet #32 “Kabalah and Kabalism” published by Theosophy Company on behalf of the United Lodge of Theosophists.

        1. Thank you for that. Yes, that’s the one. It turns out that Theosophy Company India publishes it as Pamphlet #11 while Theosophy Company in the USA publishes it as #32…but the content is the same.

  2. Shalom Aleichem

    Va’achol Yisrael Ve’em’ru Amein
    Cabala is the light in a dark hall way.

    Daniel Moshe Johnson

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