The principals of Kabbalah can be found in majority of the words most commonly practiced religions today. Kabbalah itself is not a religion, but more a way of thinking. Its purpose is to help provide an understanding of God, the universe, and Gods plans for it. Though it has been in practice for thousands of years, the first known Kabbalah Centre was established in 1922 by Rav Yehuda Ashlag. Known and respected as one of the first kabbalist to introduce a more modernized approach to learning the once sacred wisdom. Before his passing, Rav Ashlag entrusted Rav Tzvi Brandwein with his knowledge and publishings, and granted him leadership. Brandwein later transferred responsibility of the Kabbalah Centre to current leader, Rav Philip Berg.
Kabbalah’s foundation and core component is the book of the Zohar. Spoken by Rav Shimon Bar, and written by his disciple Rav Abba in second century CE. Rav Shimon and son Rav Elazar lived in a cave for more than ten years. During their time there, they received knowledge from Moses and Elijah through Divine Inspiration. Up until the 20th century, most kabbalist practiced the fundamentals of Judaism. Many would participate in worship and Torah classes with an understanding that this would bring them closer to God. Believing that everything is linked together, and that our actions on earth will have outcomes and influences in other realms, they focused heavily on maintaining their connection to and understanding of God.
While Kabbalah was long a closely guarded series of study, the 13th century created a surge of interested in the teachings, and it quickly became popular in Europe and the Middle East. By the start of the 19th century, the religious teachings of Kabbalah had worked themselves around the world, from Europe to Jerusalem. Born in 1885, Rav Ashlag received a traditional Jewish education, and began studying Kabbalah when he was a young child. Intrigued and fascinated by the subject, Rav Ashlag dedicated himself to becoming a master kabbalist and sharing his knowledge with others around the world. At just 19, he became an ordained rabbi and landed a teaching position. Armed with his experience, knowledge and Divine guidance, Rav Ashlag went on to live out his dreams and establish the world’s first Kabbalah Centre.