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Does Kabbalah believe in love at first sight?

by Rabbi Moshe Genuth


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The Short Answer:

Kabbalah believes in attraction at first sight, but not love at first sight. 

The Askmoses Answer:

There is no question that our initial impulses have value. But, it is important to know that when it comes to emotions — which in Kabbalah are characterized by the six Divine emotional attributes which nurture reality — initial impulse and lasting experience are described as opposite aspects of these spiritual forces. More specifically, the quick-to-be-felt aspect of the sefirah (attribute) is associated with its external non-essential dimension, while the harder to reveal inner dimension is related to the sefirah’s lasting experience.

The operative sefirah or spiritual force when considering love is “chesed” or “Lovingkindness,” as it is usually translated. Unfortunately for “love at first sight,” love is considered to be the internal aspect of this sefirah, while attraction, its quickly impulsive counterpart, is its external dimension. (It is interesting to look at the English translation used to denote this sefirah: the first half, “loving,” corresponds to love, its internal dimension; the second half “kindness,” can be understood to come from the word “kind,” as in being of the same kind or even “two of a kind,” the reason that two people would attract each other).

Thus the initial impulse felt between two people is really attraction, which by its nature tends to easily emerge. But love, as the internal aspect of lovingkindness, appears slowly catalyzed by constant nurturing.


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Jewish mysticism. The word Kaballah means "reception," for we cannot physically perceive the Divine, we merely study the mystical truths which were transmitted to us by G-d Himself through His righteous servants.