Something “Higher” than Intelligence?

Moshe Ben-Chaim

Reader: Is Kabbalah really based on rational principles? Isn’t there a level of reality, which supercedes logic? Isn’t our mind capable of ascertaining truth from a level higher than logic?

Mesora: You make one error; imagining the existence of system “higher” than logic, and then a second error; seeking that imagination using “reason”, which you admit cannot detect it.


True Kabbalah, (matters “received” directly from Moses) are based on rational principles, as is the case with all areas of authentic Torah. There is nothing more elevated and capable in man's makeup than his intelligence, which can perceive only rational concepts, and derive new principles through rational thought alone. Imagining something “higher” than logic exists, as many of today’s Kabbalists falsely assume, is a fantasy like any other, and is a complete fallacy. We don't live in fantasy, but in reality. And reality is that which we can identify only through reason.

G-d gave us one, supreme tool called "intelligence", as this is what He wishes we utilize in our approach to Him, which is His one goal for all mankind, as witnessed through His Torah system.


Does something exist outside of our apprehension? This very question can have no answer, as you are using your intelligence to seek an answer, which you assume is out of the range of intelligence. A similar futility would be to ‘look’ for something in a pitch-dark room. Using a faculty in a 100% crippled state, i.e., vision in darkness, or intelligence in baseless imagination - is the height of foolishness. The Mishna in Talmud Chagiga 11b describes a person who questions matters out of man’s range as better off as never having been born. The Mishna thereby warns us from attempting to exceed our limits. The Rabbis too stated, “In matters greater than you, don’t investigate.”


Use your intelligence to answer your own question: First step; realize with your honesty and intelligence that you see no evidence of anything but the external reality you perceive, you see no evidence of anything but the internally apprehended knowledge you contemplate, and you see no evidence of anything but your rational faculty which uncovers these two areas of knowledge. Nothing else has ever been perceived except for the external, physical world, the internal world of ideas, and our faculty of intelligence. This is an ironclad “proof” (see, we are using reason!) that there are no other methods of operation available to man.


Realize that your very inquiry is a “search”, i.e., your question, “Isn’t there a level of reality, which supercedes logic?” is a search, which by definition, must desire an “answer”.  What would be a satisfying “answer”? Any answer can only be based on “reason”. So you see, you sought a reasonable response, admitting yourself, that reason is THE tool for identifying something as real!