Sephardic vs Hasidic


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Are there any major differences between sephardic and hasidic kabbalah?

the short answer is yes. the not-so-short answer is that they're [somewhat] different systems, albeit both heavily drawing on the system of the ar"i. the ben ish hai was, i believe, a great fan of his. for more on the bi"h's way of doing things, i recommend the site of the NJ iraqi community, which is under the auspices of the hakham of great neck, whose sister is a mate of mine - actually she was the one who taught me correct baghdadi pronunciation; i play oud in her group sometimes.

the primary source-text of hasidic kabbalah is the tanya of r. shneur zalman of liadi, the founder of chabad (which is, of course, an acronym for hokhmah, binah ve'da'at) - there are daily tanya classes on ; i also recommend r. steinsaltz' "opening the tanya" as an introduction. it's almost what i'd call a kabbalistic approach to self-development that goes way beyond mussar.

sephardic kabbalah is, obviously, a huge field; anyone who is undertaking serious studies in this field will have to read the sephardic masters at some point. it is not for the faint-hearted or for those who have a strong objection to haredi opinions or the current political manifestation of the sephardic community in israel - in other words, ovadia yosef's shas party. the best example of this on the web is - there's a lot of really good stuff there, but you'll probably hate the politics. i'm not keen on it myself but if you can transcend it there's some amazing thought there.