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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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Bringing True Protection to this World

Topic: Well Being | Posted: January 1, 2020

In the story of Vayigash, Yehuda awakens within himself the understanding that it is not his father, Jacob, or his other brothers who need to be protectors; rather, it is he, himself. As such, the unique Light that is being awakened for us from this portion is to also begin viewing ourselves as protectors. There is an interesting section in the Zohar, in Vayechi, which talks about souls - how they elevate, their different parts, and how we can connect to them. And then, in the middle of that discussion, Rav Shimon bar Yochai goes on to speak of something that when we read it initially sounds a bit scary, but when we understand the purpose of it, see that it awakens us to a new level of responsibility. Rav Shimon bar Yochai, who lived and taught in the land of Israel, says, "When I am surrounded by and teach those students from Babylon, I can reveal secrets to them. And when these people... read more

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Getting Our Light Back

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted: December 25, 2019

The portion Miketzbegins with the word vayehi, representing something negative, which is strange, because this portion talks about a positive occurrence - Joseph coming out of jail. So, what is negative about it? The Ari, Rav Isaac Luria, explains that Pharaoh represents the Negative Side, and in the portion Miketz, Pharaoh receives a level of prophecy. Prophecy is an elevated level of connection to the Light of the Creator, but since Pharaoh represents the Negative Side, how could he possibly merit such prophecy? To answer this, we have to begin with a teaching that my father, Rav Berg, would talk about often. In Hebrew, the word averah is mistakenly translated as “sin” or “transgression.” However, averah comes from the word “to give over,” as in he or she “gives over” his Light to the Negative Side; every time we act in a negative way we are giving our Light over to the Negative Side... read more

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The Creator Told Him To

Topic: Well Being | Posted: December 18, 2019

There is a teaching in the portion of Vayeshev about the understanding that nothing ever happens to us; even the most terrible thing that somebody can do actually comes directly from the Creator. And once we realize that, we can bring miracles into our lives, because as long as we blame another person for the things they’ve done to us rather than immediately seeing it as coming from the Light, we close ourselves off from receiving them. When we look at the story in Vayeshev, Joseph could have a very long list of people to blame. His brothers tried to kill him and sold him as a slave, the wife of Potiphar tried to seduce him and when he didn’t succumb to her, accused him of rape, and he was subsequently thrown into jail. Then, when he was in jail, he asked the wine steward for help, and it says that the wine steward forgot about him. Why did Joseph have to go through all that? Because as... read more

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Drawing the Assistance of the Angels

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted: December 11, 2019

In the first part of the story in the portion Vayishlach, Jacob decides it's time to go back home and meet his brother Esau, after quite a number of years. And the fight that exists between Jacob and Esau, the kabbalists teach, is not actually a fight between two brothers; rather, it is a fight between energies that exist, energies that every single one of us experiences every day. Jacob represents the Light, our soul, the part of us that wants to change and grow, while Esau represents the other side: the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, the aspect that wants to keep us where we are, or maybe even wants to take us backwards. And in this portion is a pinnacle of that battle. A verse that begins the Zohar's discussion about Vayishlach says, “The Creator will send his angels to protect you in all of your ways.” How do we achieve this level of protection and support? By being aware of... 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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