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michael berg kabbalah scholar

Michaels Blog

Michael Berg is the co-director of The Kabbalah Centre and editor of the first-ever English translation of The Zohar... read more

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Fight Through the Ego's Complaints

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted: July 18, 2018

The portion Devarim takes place in the days leading up to Moses’ departure from this physical world. Therefore, in it, he gives over important lessons to both the Israelites and to us. In the beginning, he speaks about all the places the Israelites fell and all the mistakes they made before, and during, their forty years with him in the desert. At one point, Moses tells them he realizes that he can’t be their leader or the person who helps them to spiritually change and grow. “I have come to see,” Moses tells them, “that you don’t want me as your leader. But more importantly, I can’t help you.” Rashi, the great kabbalist and commentator, explains this teaches us about Moses’ realization that the Israelites in the desert were what he called an apikores. An apikores is a combination of two words in Aramaic – apik and resen. It means, essentially, someone who does not want to be guided.... read more

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No Light Is Ever Wasted

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted: July 11, 2018

During the Shabbats that are within what we call the Ben HaMetzarim, the “three negative weeks,” we read from the Prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s job was to awaken the Israelites so as to avoid bringing about the destruction; however, if we know the different histories of the prophets, we know that he was unable to do this. As such, if one were to look at the life of Jeremiah and the work that he tried to do, it would seem that he failed. But if he failed, why do we read from him during these three weeks that are considered the most “negative,” or challenging of the year? There’s a beautiful teaching from one of the great kabbalists, Rav Tzadok HaKohen. He says that although in Jeremiah’s lifetime everything that he revealed and tried to teach did not have the impact that he had hoped it would, that Light was actually the Light which will eventually allow the Final Redemption to come;... read more

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"Its Goodness Is Concealed Within It"

Topic: Holidays & Time Zones | Posted: July 4, 2018

As we have spoken about many times before, Shabbat Pinchas is a very powerful Shabbat – not just for healing, as has been discussed, but it’s also an important time to both connect to and understand what we’re connecting to, during what is called the "three weeks." Nothing is a coincidence, and therefore, there is a reason Shabbat Pinchas usually comes towards the beginning of a time period considered to be the three most negative weeks of the year, what the kabbalists call the Yamei Ben HaMetzarim. Literally, those words mean these are days of narrowness, or that are constricted. The great kabbalist the Ohev Yisrael, Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel from Apta, explains that not coincidentally in this week’s portion, we read about all the holidays that appear throughout the year. He points out that the number of holidays throughout the year is 21. And those 21 days of holidays, he says,... read more

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How to Receive Prophecy

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted: June 27, 2018

In the portion Balak, we learn that if prophecy is available for Bilaam, who is considered a very low human being, then it must be available for everyone. Therefore, the Light that is available on Shabbat Balak is that of prophecy, of how we can all live our lives connecting to the Light of the Creator in such a way that our direction, decisions, and actions are so clear that we never have any doubt. So, I want to share a teaching from Maimonides, the Rambam, where he talks about prophecy. There are four very important prerequisites for the highest level of prophecy, he tells us. The first three are: to be a wise person, to be a strong person, and to be a person who can always rule over his negative inclination, never swayed by his Desire to Receive for the Self Alone. And the fourth prerequisite, I think, might be the most important one that we need to either continue or begin working... read more

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Secrets of the Bible

The book by Michael Berg

Secrets of the Bible is a lifelong pursuit and there are many teachings within its veiled text. Bringing forward a fresh and relevant message about ou

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The Thought of Creation

The book by Michael Berg

In The Thought of Creation, Rav Yehuda Ashlag describes the process of the original Creation, which is highly relevant today because life is a continu

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