Kabbalah has become popular in recent years because of its association with celebrities like Madonna. They have popularized it to a level that it has not realized in the thousands of years since it was first created. Kabbalah is thought to be an esoteric spiritual discipline and it is rooted in Judaism. If you are an active practitioner of Kabbalah then you may assume the title of Mekubbal. Kabbalah has multiple lines of descent and as a result there is more than one definition of it. It is thought to have been an influence on not only Judaism but also Christianity and other occult religions.
At heart, Kabbalah is an attempt to explain the relationship between infinity and the ever changing universe. It is not supposed to be formal religion in and of itself and is used to complement other religions. Anyone is welcome to practice Kabbalah. In Kabbalah, there is an effort made to define the nature of human beings as well as the universe itself. It is a deeply philosophical discipline that asks many ontological questions. It relies very heavily on traditional Jewish lore found in the old testament to explain its teachings. Some think that Kabbalah is a key to explaining the deeper hidden meanings of the Hebrew Bible and other aspects of Rabbinic literature.
It is unknown precisely how old Kabbalah is but some claim that it is a precursor to all other religions in the world. It was formalized during the 12th and 13th centuries in Europe. Kabbalah is most deeply embraced by the Hasidic Jewish community in the modern world. It is also finding new life through nonjewish communities taking an interest in its spiritual teachings.
One place that some people go to learn about Kabbalah is the Kabbalah Centre. It was founded by Philip Berg in the 1960s. They chose to locate the first Kabbalah Centre in New York City. From there they branched out to locations all over the world including Los Angeles, London, and Toronto.
Central to the Kabbalah Centres teachings is the idea of Klippot. It means that every person in the world has a direct connection to the higher planes of existence and to Ein Sof, the infinite god. Klippot blocks this connection and it is necessary to engage in spiritual practices like Kabbalah to restore it. Klipot must be managed because negative behavior and violence can increase it and thus block the connection to Ein Sof.