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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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The Secret of the Word "Blessing"

Topic: Prayer & Meditation | Posted: August 21, 2019

The portion of Ekev is a continuation from the beginning of Devarim when Moses is about to leave this world. In it, he teaches us a very important spiritual lesson. Moses says that after a person eats or partakes of anything of this physical world, he should bless God - uverachta et Hashem eloheicha. Throughout the prayers - even the kaddish, which is a very powerful prayer - we speak about giving blessings towards the Creator. In religious terms, people understand this concept of blessing as in one way or another giving thanks. But the kabbalists say that the Creator certainly does not need our thanks. So, what is the deeper understanding of this concept of blessing the Creator? There is an explanation given by kabbalist Rabeinu Bachai who tells us that the ancient Hebrew word brachah can mean “blessing,” which is the way it’s literally translated, but it also means “an addition,” or “... read more

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Sharing Without Personal Benefit

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted: August 14, 2019

There are certain Shabbats that are given a name, and the Shabbat of the portion Va’etchanan is one of them. Often these names refer to the Torah reading for that portion; the Shabbat of Va’etchanan, called Shabbat Nachamu, however, relates to its Haftorah portion, from the reading of the Prophet Isaiah. The name is taken from the opening words, Nachamu, nachamu ami, “Comfort, comfort My people.” Isaiah says in his prophecy that people are dry, and that even the kindnesses that are done in this world are like dry weeds that grow. Rav Ashlag and Rav Brandwein point out, and the Zohar explains, that this is really the secret of the barrier between the world as we know it today, with the pain, suffering, and death that exists, and the way it should be. But, what does that mean? What, the Zohar asks, is Isaiah saying when he states that people are dry and their kindness, their actions of... read more

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Holding on to the Soul of Mashiach

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted: August 7, 2019

Rav Ashlag quotes a section of the Tikunei Zohar that explains a verse from Isaiah, which says there is a voice sent by the Light of the Creator that is trying to awaken every single one of us to true spiritual work. But then the voice says, “Why should I keep calling?” So, why does the voice ask that? Because, unfortunately, the Zohar tells us that even most of those who are involved in spiritual work do so on the level of selfishness and for their own spiritual growth; not enough people, the Zohar says, are awakened to do the spiritual work to alleviate the pain, suffering, and death that exists in the world separate from that of their own. And because enough people are not being awakened to that, it says the spirit and soul of Mashiach, the Light of the removal of pain, suffering, and death, leaves and does not return. And the kabbalists explain that especially on Shabbat Devarim,... read more

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Tasting Bitterness As Sweetness

Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted: July 31, 2019

In the portion Masei, there is a discussion of all the travel of the Israelites in the desert, and towards the end, something very strange happens. For 40 years, Moses had led the Israelites through the desert, telling them they’re going to enter into the land of Israel. As they’re finally about to cross the river into this land, the two tribes of Reuben and Gad, and half the tribe of Menasha, say they don’t want to go. They tell Moses they are happy with the land on the other side of the Jordan River and want to stay there. When we read this story in the Torah and the commentaries on it, their choice seems to have been a negative one. However, when Moses is about to leave this world, he speaks about that land and praises their decision, saying, “That is the best land, and their choice was the right choice. The land that they chose is where the Light of the Creator is truly revealed.”... 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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