5. How did the Kabbalah originate? Who invented it?
The Kabbalah reaches back to the patriarch Abraham, who devoted his life to searching for the One God and revealing God to the world. Abraham is said to have received traditional wisdom from Shem, son of Noah, and his great-grandson, Eiver. Abraham's investigations brought him to supreme levels of prophecy and wisdom. His teachings were passed down in Sefer Yetzirah, The Book of Creation, the most ancient Kabbalistic work.
Abraham passed on his wisdom to Isaac, and they both taught Jacob. Jacob taught the tradition to all his twelve sons, appointing his son Levi as the special guardian of the tradition. Levi handed the tradition to his son Kehat, who passed it to Amram, from whom it came to Moses.
The entire Kabbalah is embedded in the Torah that Moses received at Sinai. Moses entrusted the Torah to the elders of the Children of Israel, from whom it came down to the prophets, who became the chief guardians of the secrets of the Torah. Allusions to the secret mystical knowledge are contained throughout the Bible, and especially in Ezekiel's Vision of the Chariot (Ezekiel chapter 1).
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