Kabbala is the esoteric part of Torah. In a nutshell, Kabbala explains the inner dimensions of Hashem's mitzvahs, and how the fulfillment of these mitzvahs affects the spiritual world. For centuries, Kabbala has served as a spiritual incentive to encourage the complete and joyous fulfillment of Hashem's mitzvahs. For example, when a person realizes how observing the Sabbath illuminates entire spiritual worlds and creates an indescribable sanctification of Hashem's holy name, that person will exercise extra care in guarding the laws of the Sabbath.
Fad Kabbalists take a distorted and perverted look at religious law. They claim that the mitzvahs of the Torah were designed to achieve a spiritual "tikkun", or correction, of the upper worlds. They maintain that the actual fulfillment of mitzvas is for simpletons: If a person doesn't know the inner secrets of Torah, they say, then that person must fulfill the mitzvah in order to achieve the "tikkun".
For example, the mitzvah of loving one's fellow man creates a unification of the four holy letters of Hashem's name in all the upper worlds. A fad Kabbalist will tell you, "I don't need to go around loving other people; I'll simply meditate on the oneness of Hashem's name, and I'll achieve the same 'tikkun' in the spiritual realm." Such a fad Kabbalist is dead wrong. If the fad Kabbalist meditates day and night but goes around cheating and insulting others, then he/she causes a destruction of all worlds - material and spiritual. Who needs that kind of meditation?
The mitzvahs of Torah are not only designed to effect a tikkun in the upper worlds; they are designed predominantly for purifying ourselves and the physical world in which we live.
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