How Can We Use Kabbalah?

Michael Laitman
3 min readMay 8, 2024

The “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot” by Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) writes how the wisdom of Kabbalah can either be a potion of life or a potion of death.

It can be explained similarly to the relationship between medicines and poisons in healing people from diseases in our world. All medicines are poisons, but not all poisons are medicines. Medicines were created on the basis of poison, otherwise they would hold no healing effects.

We can be healed or corrected only with the help of poisons, by turning poisons into medicines, or by taking special portions of poisons to counter the diseases within us. This principle stems from nature’s foundations, and it follows the rule that Kabbalah describes, “the angel of death turns into the angel of life.” It is why a snake curled around a vessel with medicine is the symbol for healing used in medicine.

We use the wisdom of Kabbalah similarly in relation to our spiritual development. If we approach Kabbalistic texts as a means to correct our egoistic nature — which makes us prioritize personal fulfillment over the fulfillment of others and nature in general, and which also never lets us feel truly fulfilled — then we attract a special remedial force called “surrounding light” (“Ohr Makif”). When we attract this force, to the extent that it can correct our egoism, then it inverts our egoistic intention upon our desires to an opposite altruistic intention, bringing us into balance with the altruistic trajectory of nature’s source force of love and bestowal.

If, however, we do not use the Kabbalistic texts as means to correct our egoism and to reach balance with nature, a goal that Kabbalah also defines as “attainment of adhesion with the Creator(since nature and the Creator are synonymous in Kabbalah, both defining a single force of love and bestowal that created and sustains all life), then the studies will only serve to inflate our egoistic qualities like pride and self-righteousness, and in general, our demand for personal rewards both in this world and the world to come. We then use Kabbalah incorrectly, as a potion of death, and become bigger egoists, demanding various forms of payment from the Creator.

In another key introductory article about the wisdom of Kabbalah, the “Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” Baal HaSulam writes (in items 69–71) that the source of all problems anybody encounters in the world is due to people’s incorrect use of the wisdom of Kabbalah. That is, our egoistic nature, which leads us to wish to exploit others for personal benefit alone, is the base cause of all problems we encounter in our lives, and its correction — balancing it with the positive force dwelling in nature, the Creator’s quality of love and bestowal — is the fundamental solution to every problem.

Therefore, the difference between rising to an eternal and perfect reality or perishing in our incomplete and unfulfilled egoistic desires rests in the correct use of the wisdom of Kabbalah.



Michael Laitman

PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah. MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute.