Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism
Rabbinic Judaism
Rabbinic Judaism or Rabbinism has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century CE, after the codification of the Talmud...

. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence
Hachmei Provence
The term Hachmei Provence refers to the Jewish rabbis of Provence, a province in southern France, which was a great Torah center in the times of the Tosafists...

 (Southern France) and Spain, and again after the Expulsion
Alhambra decree
The Alhambra Decree was an edict issued on 31 March 1492 by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain ordering the expulsion of Jews from the Kingdom of Spain and its territories and possessions by 31 July of that year.The edict was formally revoked on 16 December 1968, following the Second...

 from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine
Safed , is a city in the Northern District of Israel. Located at an elevation of , Safed is the highest city in the Galilee and of Israel. Due to its high elevation, Safed experiences warm summers and cold, often snowy, winters...

. It was popularized in the form of Hassidic Judaism in the 18th century.

Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an eternal and mysterious Creator
Creator deity
A creator deity is a deity responsible for the creation of the world . In monotheism, the single God is often also the creator deity, while polytheistic traditions may or may not have creator deities...

 and the mortal and finite universe (His creation).