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The Veil of Heaven: an introduction to Kabbalah with Reverend Marie-Elsa Roche Bragg

Table of Contents

Throughout biblical times the mystical tradition of both Jewish and Christian Kabbalah was often hidden, but remained alive and ever-relevant because it enshrined eternal truths. Over time generations developed new religious and philosophical ideas as well as gaining guidance and insight in applying them to their time in history. However, the basic teaching of the Tree of Life, otherwise known as ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, with its four levels and dynamic network of paths and principles has remained the same. 

The word ‘Kabbalah’ comes from the Hebrew root ‘to receive.’ An image of this is of humanity standing before the sacred veil of the Holy of Holies seen in places such as Solomon’s Temple, Westminster Abbey or a circle of trees. There, we wait in surrender for the veil to lift and guide us further into relationship with ourselves, the world and the Divine. In the first part of this evening we will introduce the structure of Jacob’s Ladder and then we will ask how it guides us to wait before the veil and understand our spiritual experiences.

Marie-Elsa Roche Bragg is a writer and priest. She studied Jewish Mysticism and Jewish festivals at Leo Baeck Rabbinical College, Ignatian Spiritual direction at Loyola Hall and Theology at Oxford University. She has been a Spiritual Director for over 20 years, an Anglican priest for over 15 years and a student of the late Warren Kenton (Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi) for over twenty-five years. She has also been Duty Chaplain at Westminster Abbey since 2009.

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