by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
What is the difference between these two Jewish systems of mystical Torah study?
Most briefly, Kabbalah attempts to bring the Jew up into Heaven, while Chassidus tries to bring Heaven down into the Jew. The study of one of these mystical subjects does not preclude study of the other. However, most often, a Jew who is interested in mysticism will stress one or the other.
While Kabbalah stresses the spiritual nature and structure of the Universe, Chassidus focuses on the Jew’s relationship with Hashem. Kabbalah tends to be intellectual, objective, factual. Chassidus tends to be emotional, personal, yearning.
A familiar teaching of Kabbalah is, “With Ten Emanations does G-d continually sustain the Universe.”
A familiar teaching of Chassidus is, “The most important thing to remember is that G-d created all and that He is all.”[i]
Each of us should study with the tools that bring us to our personal goal. Each tool produces its own results. Try to see where you would like to spend your time, where you would like to end up, and then you will be able to choose the proper tool to get you there.
[i] Levi Yitzchak the Berditchiver Rebbe