No such thing as a silly question The community is expected to follow the general reddit guidelines, also known as redditquette. We will not tolerate flaming, trolling or antisemitism in any form.Be polite. "Two jews, three opinions"Is no excuse.You monclerdoudounesolde can disagree without being disagreeable. Everybody is welcome to post.This is a non denominational subreddit.Jews of all varieties and flavors are welcome to share their views, as are our non jewish brothers and sisters;However evangelizing or proselytizing for other religions will not be tolerated. Do not editorialize headlines.This will result in a post being removed, and you will be asked to resubmit.My sister in law was recently married, and the woman who altered her dress and built it up said she would have been able to replicate a dress from kleinfeld with a build up for $1800(The kleinfeld dress was much more than that).She is very reputable and does great work, so my sister in law would have been comfortable with that had she not found a dress elsewhere.Otherwise, build ups are pretty common just advise her not to fall in love with a dress with a lot of top detail, as sometimes that gets covered up or altered as part of the whole raising the neckline and adding sleeves thing. If she on a budget, seriously, check out david bridal.I have several friends who got dresses here in the $500 range and had them built up tzniusdik very very cheaply their final dresses were under $1000 including alterations.David bridal has a reputation of being kind of"Cheapy", but the quality today is much better than it used to be.She can totally wear a white shell under the dresses to try to visualize what it look like with sleeves(And for obvious modesty reasons when coming out of the fitting room). Also, tell her to check out allure bridals/allure modest collection.They make short sleeve wedding dresses that are catered towards religious mormons, but the company will make the sleeves 3/4 length and raise the neckline.When i looked into this for my dress, the $750 dress would have been $900 with the sleeves and neckline alterations, which is really not bad.They would cut the dress from a different pattern with these additions, so it wouldn look up either.This is really the foundation of the religion, and it not going to be quick or easy.Even the sources i can give you won connect all the dots for you, but would give you enough of a skeleton to figure out the rest yourself.Even the relatively bright will never be able to understand it without years upon years of study.If you want to make the analogy to academia, you need to start at square one.Literally kindergarten, learning to read in the language and familiarize yourself with the basic tenants.Be able to follow a jewish conversation.Then you looking at high school.Enough to function adequately inside a jewish society.Everything higher will assume at least a base familiarity with the biblical narrative, ability to practice jewish law and be conversant in its terms, and at least some superficial knowledge of the extra biblical narratives, talmud and midrash.Then comes the undergraduate level.Beyond just knowing jewish law, knowing why it is what is, and how it got there.A more than superficial familiarity with talmud and midrash.At this point, you should be able to figure out what the law is novel situations.You should know what are permissible beliefs and practices, what aren and how to figure out which are which when you get there.This is critical before you can possibly consider moving on.It how you know you on the right track or not, and where the occultists erred.They attempted to go beyond this point without the base knowledge to keep them on track.They followed dead ends and theological absurdities because they didn have the knowledge to differentiate between wisdom and sophistry.The graduate level is where metaphysics and the real philosophy come in.Here you will learn how it is that we came to know g d, what g d is, or rather what he isn why judaism is the correct religion, and come to know how to accurately develop ideas instead of just retaining what you taught.This part is important because the doctoral level will not teach you everything.They will give you"Chapter headings. "Basically, just enough to be able to teach yourself from here on out, not entirely unlike real doctoral level.This is where you learn the absolute highest level philosophies, the secrets embedded in the tanakh and talmud and how to distill them, and how prophecy works.You are primarily inquiring about what we would consider postdoctoral level studies.After you have obtained perfect wisdom and understanding, how to translate that into a mystical experience and prophecy.This level is not taught in any way shape or form.It is a natural consequence of doing the proper studies in their proper order. The mystical experience experience is just a superficial distraction, but it provides the illusion of being deep and meaningful.It fleeting, and once it gone, you left with nothing.Maybe a memory of it, but often just nothing, and it leaves a sense of dissatisfaction and a hole that you almost immediately want to fill with more of the same. A real experience of spirituality(Or anything meaningful)Requires your input more than anything.It difficult, it may even be painful, and often you wish you had never encountered it.But it fills you with a persistent sense of wholeness and connection, it shapes your entire worldview, it is part of you, and it can never be taken away from you(But it can turn against you if you neglect it). Bottom line, spirituality is real and connection to that which is real.Mystical experiences are solipsistic distractions that exist only in your mind(And can be very easily recreated in other ways.You can fake being a learned and holy person;You just come across as a phony). Torah can be learned in isolation.It has to be connected to tradition, and it has be understood in the proper context(Ie the more familiar someone is with the greater body of torah, the more able to correctly understand any other part of torah one is.Just reading the text on its own is likely to lead to misunderstandings and even perversions). There are several parts to the torah, all are important, necessary, and interconnected, but different parts or styles appeal to different people in different measures(And it important to learn in a way that will keep you coming back).But in general, yes, just learning some part of it is the place to start.But it has to be seriously learned(And don worry, there more than enough depth long before you reach"Kabbalah"). The mitzvos are the commandments god gave the jewish people that regulate our lives. (Mitzvah = commandment in hebrew.Mitzvos/mitzvot is the hebrew plural). We are physical beings implanted with a spiritual soul, a lump of earth with a"Breath of life".Therefore we must raise the physical up to the spiritual level and we can only engage with the spiritual level by using our physical bodies.Learning torah is filling ourselves with the spiritual, and performing mitzvos is the physical manifestation of the spiritual. (Therefore the more torah one has learned, the more meaningful that person mitzvos will be). (I suppose you could say this touches on"Kabbalah"A little bit, but to be honest, i consider the term meaningless, and my sources are not what are generally considered kabbalistic.I have to admit, i didn think you would be so seriously interested(And it a good thing): )I don know much about you, and because it an important thing, i would hate to point you in a wrong direction(That could put you off or set you along an incorrect path).Of course, at the end of the day, you will have to decide for yourself what suits you. I don even live in the us, so a lot of this is guesswork and extrapolation, but you can monclerdoudounefemme take it as a framework and build around it. First prize is finding someone both learned and understanding of you, who can guide you along the path that will be best for you.This combination is extremely difficult to find, and unless someone here knows of someone in your area, it a quest you have to undertake yourself. But it somewhat easier to find less personalised programs.Many synagogues have free or nominal educational programs on a regular basis.If you can find a chabad house, they probably have it(And in fact, they might well have introductory kabbalah courses as well which i do not endorse at all, especially if they not accompanied by other programs). Other synagogues and organisations have similar programs.To be blunt, because the stakes are high, but i would limit this to orthodox programs, because i believe that it important to at least start with a traditional understanding, even if you want to move away from it later on.Also, it is best to start with earlier sources to begin with. I think i have heard good things about both torahmates and partners in torah, both of which will help you learn long distance if you can not find an in person teacher at a convenient time.