From the writings of Rabbi Leah Novick, author of On the Wings of Shekhinah
Kabbalah is a Jewish spiritual philosophy which illuminates the nature of God, the creation of the world, the descent of the soul, and the purpose of life on this earth and beyond. Grounded in traditional Jewish religious practice (belief in the sacredness of the Torah and the observance of the 613 “mitzvoth” or positive instructions) the seminal literature of this mystical system (Sefer Bahir and Sefer Yetzirah) first appeared in scholarly Medieval Jewish circles.
The Zohar or Book of Brilliance appeared around the end of the 13th century and was offered as a compilation of ancient esoteric wisdom. Much of the material was presented in parables and legends that provide unique and profound interpretations of the Old Testament.
The development of the system of Sephirot (energy emanations of the Divine arranged on a Cosmic Tree of Life) followed, with implications for use by adepts in prayer, devotion, spiritual evolution and planetary healing. The 16th and 17th century Kabbalists of Safed in Northern Israel, and the miracle working Rabbis of 18th and 19th century Eastern Europe, added new dimensions to the study, teaching and application of Kabbalah to both personal and community life.
This very complex system has a truly simple goal; to teach us that human beings hold the imprint of the Divine and have within them the faculties and capacity to bring down the flow of light energy into this physical dimension. Humans, created in God’s image, are thus endowed with the ability to serve as the bridge between heaven and earth and are therefore capable of impacting on the direction of the universe towards an enlightened future.
KABBALAH READING LIST
Ashlag, Yehudah. An Entrance to the Zohar : The Key to the Portals of Jewish Mysticism; compiled and edited by Philip S. Berg. Jerusalem : New York : Research Center of Kabbalah,  c1974.
Cohen, Yedidah and Cohen, Mark. In the Shadow of the Ladder: Introductions to Kabbalah by Rabbi Yehuda Lev Ashlag. Safed: Nehora Press, 2003. www.nehorapress.com
Cohen, Yedidah. A Tapestry for the Soul: The Introduction to the Zohar by Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag. Safed: Nehora Press, 2010. www.nehorapress.com
Cordovero, R. Moshe Ben Yaacov The Palm Tree of Devorah Miller, Moshe (translator/annotator). Southfield, Michigan: Targum Press.
Dan, Joseph. Jewish Mysticism (Volumes I & II Antiquity and The Middle Ages) Northvale N. J: J. Aronson 1998
Dan, Joseph (ed). The Heart and the Fountain : An Anthology of Jewish Mystical Experiences. Oxford : New York : Oxford University Press, 2002.
Fisdel, Steven A. The Practice of Kabbalah: Meditation in Judaism. Northvale, NJ: Aronson, c 1996.
Frankiel, Tamar Ph.D. The Gift of Kabbalah Discovering the Secrets of Heaven, Renewing Your Life on Earth.Jewish Lights, Woodstock, Vt. 2004
Gikatilla, R. Joseph Ben Abraham Gates of Light Weinstein, Avi trans. (historical intro. by Moshe Idel). San Francisco: Harper Collins, c 1994.
Ginsburg, Elliott Kiba. The Sabbath in the Classical Kabbalah. Albany : State University of New York Press, 1989.
Gottlieb, Freema. The Lamp of God: A Jewish Book of Light. Northvale, N. J.: Jason Aronson, 1996 c 1989.
Green, Arthur. Ehyeh: A Kabbalah for Tomorrow. Woodstock, Vt : Jewish Lights, c2003
Green, Arthur. A Guide to the Zohar. Stanford Ca. Stanford Univ Press 2004
Hallamish, Moshe. An Introduction to the Kabbalah. Translated by Ruth Bar-Ilan and Ora Wiskind-Elper. Albany, NY: State Univ Press, c 1999
Hoffman, Edward. The Heavenly Ladder: Kabbalistic Techniques for Inner Growth. Sturminster Newton England: Prism Press, 1996
Idel, Moshe. Kabbalah : New Perspectives. New Haven : Yale University Press, c1988
Jacobs, Louis. Jewish Mystical Testimonies: N.Y. Schocken Books, Jerusalem Keter 1976
Kaplan, Aryeh (ed and trans). Meditation and Kabbalah. York Beach, Me.: S. Weiser, 1993, c1982.
Kaplan, Aryeh. Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide. New York: Schocken Books, 1985
Litman, Rav Michael. Kabbalah, Science and the Meaning of Life: Because your life has meaning. Bnei Baruch, Laitman Kabbalah, 2006
Leet, Leonora. Renewing the Covenant: A Kabbalistic Guide to Jewish Spirituality. Rochester, NY: Inner Traditions, c 1999
Luzzato, Moses. General Principles of the Kabbalah. Translation by the Research Centre of Kabbalah. New York : Press of the Research Centre of Kabbalah, 1970.
Matt, Daniel C. The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism. San Francisco: Harper, 1996.
Matt, Daniel. The Zohar: Pritzker Edition. 4 Volumes. Palo Alto, California : Stanford University Press, Vols. I & II 2004 Vol III 2006, Vol. IV 2007.
Scholem, Gershom Gerhard. On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah. Translated from German by Joachim Neugroschel. New York : Schocken Books, c1991.
Scholem, Gershom. Origins of the Kabbalah. Edited by R.J. Werblowsky: translated by Allan Arkush. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1987
Scholem, Gershom. On the Kabbalah and It’s Symbolism. New York: Schocken Books c 1965
Sherbok, Dan Cohn (ed). Jewish Mysticism : An Anthology. Oxford : Rockport, MA : Oneworld, c1995.
Shulman, Y. David The Sefirot: Ten Emanations of Divine Power. Northvale, N.J. London, Jason Aronson 1996
Steinsaltz, Rabbi Adin. The Thirteen Petalled Rose: A Discourse on the Essence of Jewish Existence and Belief. Basic Books, 2006 (reissue of 1980 original).
Tishby, Isaiah (ed with Fischel Lachower, interpretations by Tishby) The Wisdom of the Zohar: An Anthology of Texts (Three Volumes) English translation by David Goldstein London U.K and Washington D. C. Littman Library of Jewish Civilization 1994
Trachtenberg, Joshua. Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion. New York : Atheneum, 1974, 1939.
Winkler, Gershon. Magic of the Ordinary: Recovering the Shamanic in Judaism. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, c 2003.
The Zohar. Sterling, Harry & Simon, Maurice (translators and editors).London, N.Y. Soncino Press, 1984.