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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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Protection from Doubts

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted: January 23, 2019

There is a section in the Midrash that I believe to be a driving thought and force of Shabbat Yitro: The Creator says to Moses, regarding his father-in-law Jethro, or Yitro, "My Essence is always to bring forth, to bring close, and never to push away." We understand from this that in the portion Yitro, the Creator brings us close to Him. However, in order for that to happen, we have to beg for it, and the reason we have to beg for it is important. On the other side of the Creator’s bringing us close is the force of Amalek, the force of doubt and uncertainty, the force that pushes us away from the Creator. Amalek is when the thoughts of, “I don’t even want to connect,” come into our mind. The only way to counteract such thoughts is to first understand what Amalek is, and then, especially on ShabbatYitro when the essence of the Light of the Creator is bringing us close, beg for that... read more

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The Secret of Certainty

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted: January 16, 2019

The great Light of the 72 Names of God, the conduits through which miracles are awakened, is revealed on Shabbat Beshalach, the Shabbat of the Splitting of the Sea. There are numerous powerful teachings about this portion, but I’d like to share one that I find to be particularly beautiful from the Maharal. After the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea, the Israelites sang a song, the first word of which is Az. And the Maharal says that this word, in two letters, is really the secret of certainty. Why? Because Aleph, the first letter of Az, represents the Light of the Creator, the one Light that is everything, and the last letter, Zayin, he explains represents the number seven and how things manifest; the seven lower Sefirot, or emanations, of what is called the Tree of Life, are the levels through which things manifest into this physical world. The word Az represents the consciousness... read more

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Everything is a Miracle

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted: January 9, 2019

The portion Bo discusses the tefilin, or phylacteries, which are worn on the head and arm, saying we put them on to remind us of the miracles that the Creator performed prior to, and during, the Redemption from Egypt. In other places in the Torah where it speaks of physical actions, it also tells us that in doing them we should remind ourselves of the miracles of the Redemption of Egypt. We know that everything written in the Torah has a purpose; what, then, is the importance of constantly reminding ourselves of these miracles? The great kabbalist and commentator Rav Moshe ben Nachman, the Ramban, explains this idea in his commentary on the portion Bo: “From the big and known miracles, we should understand the small miracles. This idea is the basis of all spirituality and connection to the Light of the Creator. A person has no true connection to the Creator unless he understands that... read more

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Injecting Action Into Our Prayers

Topic: Prayer & Meditation | Posted: January 2, 2019

One of the strongest memories I have of my father Rav Berg is from during the Third Meal of Shabbat, when we would sing Yedid Nefesh. It is a song that speaks about the yearning of our soul for the Light of the Creator, and the last part of it speaks about the Final Redemption. And I noticed that the Rav would always move his hands in a way that seemed to be like a sort of calling during the last part. And the question, of course, is why? To answer this, I want to share a tremendous secret from the Ramban, Nachmanides. The secret he revealed has to do with everything that happens in the portion Va’era, and the following portion, Bo: actions. Moses does all kinds of actions. With every plague that he brings, he does an action to call it. And we find this often with other prophets too; not only do they speak a prophecy, they also do an action. So, the Ramban writes, on the portion of Lech... 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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