(redirected from Kabbalists)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to Kabbalists: Kabbalah, kabbalism


or 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.]

kab′ba·lism n.
kab′ba·list n.
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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(kəˈbɑːlə) ,










1. (Judaism) an ancient Jewish mystical tradition based on an esoteric interpretation of the Old Testament
2. any secret or occult doctrine or science
[C16: from Medieval Latin, from Hebrew qabbālāh tradition, what is received, from qābal to receive]
kabbalism, kabalism, cabbalism, cabalism, qabalism n
ˈkabbalist, ˈkabalist, ˈcabbalist, ˈcabalist, ˈqabalist n
ˌkabbaˈlistic, ˌkabaˈlistic, ˌcabbaˈlistic, ˌcabaˈlistic, ˌqabaˈlistic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.kabbalah - an esoteric or occult matter resembling the Kabbalah that is traditionally secret
arcanum, secret - information known only to a special group; "the secret of Cajun cooking"
2.Kabbalah - 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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Even in a passage by one of the closest kabbalists to Luria, his disciple R.
And, to protect Palestine itself from the Nazis, Kabbalists were said to have traveled in a plane to spread cock blood on the borders of the land.
One of the famed Safed poets was Rabbi Shlomo HaLevi Alkabetz, who traveled from Salonika in Greece to Safed so that he could learn from other Kabbalists. While in Safed, he made a long-lasting mark on the city's literary history with an acrostic poem entitled "Lecha Dodi" (Come my beloved).
Haskell's Mystical Resistance: Uncovering the Zohar's Conversations with Christianity delineates the nature of the tragic anti-Jewish persecution in medieval Spain, and the manner in which the Kabbalists responded via subtle critiques of Christianity woven into the Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Splendour).
As he points out in the essay, Kabbalists hold that in generating all of creation, God revealed himself through language.
The Hebrew alphabet, the Aleph Beit, is said by the Kabbalists to embody wonderful and miraculous powers.
Just as God cannot be identified by any one formal name, nor be constricted to any one gender as the kabbalists have taught us, but only be known by the notion of becoming, so Jewishness can never be captured by one single trait, feature, or ideology.
Many Jews may not be aware that their traditional religious beliefs and practices owe much to medieval Kabbalistic philosophy, as developed primarily by the Kabbalists in Safed, Israel.
In addition, they give kabbalists a rare opportunity to hold a "snow incarnation" -- a religious-ascetic activity seen as "atoning torment."
Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sufis, Kabbalists, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, etc., and members of all faith communities are welcome.
Turning next to the mystical aspects of Judaism subsumed under the umbrella of the Kabbalah (Hebrew, "received tradition"), negativity toward others again rears its head: "According to most Kabbalists, the non-Jewish soul was inferior to the Jewish soul" (131), and thus "Kabbalists tended to have hostile views of Christianity and Islam" (132)- -even if, again, powerlessness dictated restraint and, at times, more diplomatic and disguised language than historical reality warranted.