Kabbalah/Daniel 7

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Question
Hi Rabbi,

1. Can Kabbalah be used to interpret the scriptures? I am studying the prophecies and I was wondering what the Jewish interpretation of Daniel 7 is?

Please throw some detail.

2. I was interested in seeing Vedanata in your description. Do you think Vedanta is in anyway related to Judaism?

Thank you,
Vivek

Answer
Hi Vivek

Kabbalah is based primarily on interpretations of Scriptures. However, Kabbalah is deep, complex and subtle, which means that to understand it, you need to have years of experience and prior knowledge of other, more basic Torah sources.

Daniel's vision in chapter 7, as the Scripture indicates, relates to four great kingdoms that would arise and enslave the Jewish people over the course of history. He alludes to the nature of each of these four, not only the nature of each kingdom's population, but also the spiritual nature of each of the four.

The first lion-eagle beast represented Babylon, who had destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple (the Temple was compared to a lion).

The bear represented Persia, who would destroy Babylon and only enslave the Jewish nation for a relatively short time, after which they would help the Jewish people rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

The leopard represented Alexander the Great and the Greek Empire that would follow. They would try and infiltrate Jewish society with their philosophies and would only attack the Jewish people when that attempt failed.

The fourth beast represents the Roman Empire, who would destroy the second Temple and send the Jews into the longest exile that they would ever experience. The fourth beast has iron horns. Iron is always symbolic of devastation and impurity.

In the same vision, Daniel sees G-d depicted as "the Ancient of Days", which refers to a very deep and sublime level of the Divine. The implication there is that only G-d alone, using His deep power, will overcome the fourth beast, the Roman Empire.

There is much more to study on this topic, but most of it is not available in English, which would make it difficult to refer you to sources.

Kind regards,

Rabbi Shishler

Kabbalah

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Rabbi Ari Shishler

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions on Jewish belief, Jewish spirituality & Kabbalah.

Experience

Rabbi, lecturer on Talmud and Jewish spirituality at Chabad House, Johannesburg, South Africa 1997-present. Talmud teacher at local Jewish high school 1996- present.

Organizations
Chabad Lubavitch.

Publications
Monthly column in Jewish Life magazine, South Africa. Jewish Tradition, South Africa. Jewish Report, South Africa. South African Union of Jewish Students annual Holiday guide. Jewish Observer, South Africa. Nshei Chabad Newsletter, NY. Jewish Online Magazine. www.chabad.org

Education/Credentials
Six years of tertiary education at Rabbinical seminaries in South Africa, Israel and New York.

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www.askmoses.com www.chabad.org

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