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kab·ba·lahor kab·ba·la or ka·ba·la also ca·ba·la or qa·ba·la or qa·ba·lah (kăb′ə-lə, kə-bä′lə)
1. often Kabbalah A body of mystical teachings of rabbinical origin, often based on an esoteric interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures.
2. A secret doctrine resembling these teachings.
[Medieval Latin cabala, from Hebrew qabbālâ, received doctrine, tradition, from qibbēl, to receive; see qbl in Semitic roots.]
Usage Note: There are no less than two dozen variant spellings of kabbalah, the most common of which include kabbalah, kabala, kabalah, qabalah, qabala, cabala, cabbala, kaballah, kabbala, kaballah, and qabbalah. This sort of confusion is frequently seen with Hebrew and Arabic words borrowed into English because there exist several different systems of romanizing the Hebrew and Arabic alphabets. Often a more exact or scholarly transliteration, such as Qur'an, will coexist alongside a spelling that has been heavily Anglicized (Koran). The fact that the Hebrew and Arabic alphabets do not as a rule indicate short vowels or the doubling of consonants compounds the difficulties. Spellings of kabbalah with one or two b's are equally "correct," insofar as the single b accurately reproduces the spelling of the Hebrew, while the double b represents that it was once pronounced with a double b.
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|Noun||1.||kabbala - an esoteric or occult matter resembling the Kabbalah that is traditionally secret|
|2.||Kabbala - an esoteric theosophy of rabbinical origin based on the Hebrew scriptures and developed between the 7th and 18th centuries|
theosophy - a system of belief based on mystical insight into the nature of God and the soul
Judaism - the monotheistic religion of the Jews having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Torah and in the Talmud