Torah principles encapsulated in Kabbalah

  • SuzanneMirvis
Based “on the totality of life experience”, Rabbi Dr Lionel Mirvis has expanded his Kabbalah lessons in Cape Town to include Graphic Kabbalah - with DVDs in the pipeline - to “provide the means to deal with rapid change and to pave the way for satisfying, productive, and creative living”.
by SUZANNE BELLLING | May 20, 2015


Rabbi Mirvis has been in the forefront of practical Kabbalah in South Africa for many years, founding the Spiral Institute for Kabbalah in 1986.

Unlike “Hollywood” Kabbalah, as studied by Madonna and her movie peers, he is excited about Graphic Kabbalah which he explains as follows: “The Torah, as the universal blueprint for life, is based on irrational mathematical roots which yield simple, rational and symmetrical patterns that regulate universal being.”

In other words, Torah is based on mathematical principles that govern all aspects of life.

“Once we know these principles we learn to understand the nature, purpose and function of mitzvoth.” Rabbi Mirvis says these teachings give a total perspective on life - the way the world works.

“There are three principles on which this is based - the insight it gives, the insight perspective and back to the insight of knowing everything about everything. It is possible to know everything about everything you want to know pertaining to the matter you want to know about.”

This may sound complicated, but to hear Rabbi Mirvis talk in his rational presentations, one grasps the full picture, as have his students - Jewish and non-Jewish alike. Some, who come with a Calvinistic background, feel a whole new world has opened for them.

Rabbi Mirvis also applies these Kabbalistic principles to business, consulting people on a one-on-one basis.

His student of many years, Lance Gilmour, said the Old Testament always held a fascination for him. “The Bible can be read in a straightforward manner or as an allegory. Rabbi Mirvis’ Kabbalah appealed to me as going into an intuitive state of mind. I like the connection between the afterworld and this world.”

Sarel van der Merwe, who has a background in quantum physics and chemistry, says he has a solid foundation in the Dutch Reformed Church, but Kabbalah “especially Rabbi Mirvis’ methods” gave him more depth and freedom of thought.

Van der Merwe’s wife, Elizabeth, comes to the rabbi’s lectures and conveys what she has learnt to her medical students at the University of Cape Town.

South African-born Rabbi Mirvis, who is the father of the Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, says: “I don’t discriminate; I teach anyone of any religion who is interested.”

He became a fulltime rabbi in the early sixties after working in Johannesburg as a civil and structural engineer. He has four academic degrees in the humanities which provide the grounding for his knowledge of metaphysics. His intensive Torah study culminated in his obtaining smicha in Israel.

He was spiritual leader of three major Orthodox congregations in South Africa and was formerly a dayan on the Cape Beth Din. He lectured in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town, designing their courses, which included Kabbalah.

He is the author of “The Gem of Many Facets”, written under his nom de plume Hayahalom [the acronym of his Hebrew name, meaning “diamond”].

While proud of his son having gained Chief Rabbi status, Rabbi Mirvis is equally proud of his other children - Jonathan, Zvi and Lynette. He has 15 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren and his grandson, Rabbi Danny Mirvis, was recently appointed rabbi of the Mizrachi Shul in Melbourne.


  1. 4 Yitzchack 24 Jul
    Shalom Rabbi;I'm converting and stays in Johannesburg.i would like to attend your lectures about kabbalah.Shabbos Shalom;Wish you well over fast.
  2. 3 Linda 29 Aug
    I would love to know where I can learn these principles. I am in Glenwood, Durban South Africa.xop
  3. 2 AnnaMarie 16 Feb
    Shalom Rabbi Mirvis; Where can I learn these principles.  I am staying in Gauteng.
  4. 1 Shelley van Braningen 26 Mar
    Hi there,
    i would LOVE to attend lectures!!! Where and where are they held in Cape Town?


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