The Kabbalah and Its Four Areas of Focus
An alumnus of the City College of New York, Sheila R. Vitale is a writer, teacher, and pastor with several decades of experience in ministry. Currently, Sheila Vitale serves as the pastor and founder of Living Epistles Ministries in New York, where she enjoys studying Scripture and Kabbalah.
Kabbalah, which reached its peak of influence in the later Middle Ages, is the ancient Jewish tradition of spiritual interpretation of the Bible. The tradition continues to this day, and it is especially significant within the Hasidic sect. Kabbalah stresses the importance of becoming other-centered rather than ego-centered. Kabbalah can be found in four forms, each of which maintain a different focus. Sheila Vitale, the pastor of Christ-centered Kabbalah, teaches Philosophical Kabbalah only, and teaches her students to avoid the other forms, especially magical Kabbalah.
- Philosophical - maintains a focus on the spiritual understanding of the Scripture.
- Theoretical – maintains a focus on spiritual worlds and inner reality. Examples of the theoretical realm include souls and angels.
- Meditative – maintains a focus on achieving higher levels of meditative awareness by using divine names and letter permutations. A state of prophecy is also possible.
- Magical – a controversial form of Kabbalah that can be used to attempt to influence natural events through the use of mystical exercises.