What is Kabbalah?, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

 “To study Kabbalah is to study yourself.”

          - Jason Shulman

Last week I was asked this question by a sixteen year old brilliant student, “What’s the difference between Kabbalah study and an organized religion?”  Although I know they aren’t the same I had to stop and think.

Organized religion usually has a text, organized structure, leadership, and places of worship. The study of Kabbalah is about using sacred scriptures (Torah), Mystical metaphor (The Tree of Life), and life experiences to grow into a very personal relationship with God, spirit, and Divine Intelligence.

Kabbalah is not something you can learn and then do.  It is about becoming more of who you are and then discovering for yourself who God is.  Organized religion often gives us a version of God that is predigested and handed down for generations.

Personally, I am grateful for both.  I find different needs of mine met in each.  Both of them along with my personal work have delivered me to sense of self that carries me through each life event.

Kabbalah has taught me to love my life.  It is the experience of my authentic self that knows God is within myself.  It answers my lifelong yearning to know what life is about.  Kabbalah leaves me free not to cling to life instead of death.  When I am in God, living and dying are the same for me.


Susan Austin-Crumpton

Founder & Executive Director, The Estuary

Email:   susanaustincrumpton@theestuary.org