Posted In: Posted On: December 16, 2017

Do you remember as a child ever trying to capture a butterfly? With delicate wings, the butterfly bounces and floats gracefully through the air. It seems like the more we tried to capture it though, the more it eluded us. Yet if we had become still, taken a deep breath, and extended our hand, it might have landed right in our palm.

Oftentimes, we bring upon ourselves so much unnecessary pain by not letting go and allowing the Universe to reveal to us its plan. George Ohsawa writes, “Life can be so easy. Refuse to let go and you are a person drowning; the more you struggle, the faster you sink.” Maybe no truer words have been said.

In this week’s portion of Vayigash, Joseph at last reveals himself to his brothers. The same brothers who sold him into slavery and caused such pain to the family. The same brothers who have been racking their brains wondering what the heck caused all the chaos they had been experiencing. However, when Joseph reveals he is alive, the final...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: December 09, 2017

It is said, if we knew how truly perfect life is, we would look up at the sky and laugh. If we are open to it, this revelation can be ours this week.

It is true that when we look around the world, we can see all of its beauty. We can marvel at the sky, the sun, the animal kingdom, the fish in the sea, and the many kinds of humans creating a glorious tapestry. Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life: As though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle.”

Each day, hundreds of thousands of new souls in new bodies are born with beautiful delicate intricacies like eyes, little toes, fingers, organs, and beating hearts. Each day, the sun rises and all of God's creatures around the globe wake to create a symphony of these beating hearts and thinking minds -- all blessed with the ability to live another day. The Universe supports us this week in seeing this perfection of life. Life is good. Love is...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: December 02, 2017

During this time of year, when the weather is cold and the days are short, I think of all the seeds lying in wait deep underground. I think of the beauty that comes in spring, even now while the leaves are dying when there seems to be no color or life at all. I think of all the life that is still yet to come.

This is how life works. There is a cycle to the seasons, and so too to our lives. I wish I could say that in life we will not have our own winters – but we will. I wish I could promise a life without challenges, but I cannot promise that. To be alive is to have challenges. The key to overcoming these moments is to see them for what they truly are: Opportunities to learn, to grow and to inch ever closer towards fulfillment.

In this week's portion, Joseph found himself in some pretty hard times. Much harder than most of us will ever find ourselves in. Joseph's brothers tried to kill him. When that didn't work out, they threw him in a pit. Then they sold him into...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: November 25, 2017

According to the Talmud, every blade of grass has its own angel watching over it, whispering, "Grow, grow." So too is it with us. This beautiful teaching is ours this week.

As the nights grow longer and darker, we are compelled more than any other time of the year, to go within for reflection, meditation, and spiritual growth. Oftentimes, when things are most difficult and most dark, are we able to truly change and become different people than we were before.

Meditation and prayer have been used for thousands of years by our sages, patriarchs, and matriarchs as a way to access a higher energy source. Like the flame of the candle that flows and seeks upward, when we meditate or engage in prayer we access the above worlds, where a reservoir of spiritual energy awaits our assistance. Our patriarch Jacob knew this. In this week’s portion Vayishlach, Jacob was facing his own battle. His brother Esau planned to wage war against him. But the night before the...

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: November 18, 2017

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. " ~ Joseph Campbell

It takes the average baby 1000 hours of practice before they can walk. Some learn to scoot first. Some love to crawl. Others like to get right to taking their first steps. But what is the same across the board is the practice and the many, many times of falling down just to get up and try again. I mention this because this week's energy supports us in going out of our comfort zone and choosing to find that next level. And whenever we do that, we are bound to be met with challenges. Just like the baby struggles before he walks, so too do we go through tests to bring us into who we are meant to become.

This week's portion, Vayetze, means, "and he left." There is so much that unfolds in this story that it could probably be a great script for 2 or 3 fantastic full-length films. We see Jacob...

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: November 11, 2017

The power of kindness, compassion, and love sometimes find our hearts in the darkest nights. While hard to accept in the throes of challenge, the truth is: Without challenge, there is no growth. Without darkness, there is no Light.

Take, for example, the portion of Toldot, in which Rivka, the wife of Isaac, finds herself miraculously pregnant with twin boys, Jacob and Esau. Even in the womb, she can feel their contrasting energies as harsh pregnancy pains, so she inquires of God as to what is happening within her. God says, "In your womb you have two nations." As it turned out Jacob became a man of study and spirit, and Esau being completely the opposite – the epitome of the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone - selfishness and ego.

We may ask, as Rashi did, how these two very elevated souls like Isaac and Rebecca could bring a soul like Esau into the world. The answer is clear when we consider the idea that Light doesn't come from light. Light comes from darkness....

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: November 04, 2017

"When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves," said Victor Frankl... and how true it is. Yet, the power to change ourselves does not only exist in those constrictive times when we are pushed up against a wall in impossible circumstances at the end of our rope. As we grow our consciousness to experience reality from a more spiritual vantage point, we realize that everything – the good, the bad, the ups, the downs, and each singular challenge we face – are all there so that we can progress into something more than we are today. We are tested in life, because it is through those tests that we reveal who we are – to "show 'em what we're made of," as they say.

This idea is something that Abraham the Patriarch knew very well. Abraham went through ten distinct trials, enduring what we would think to be the most painful of situations, and yet at no point did he fall into ‘victim’ consciousness. He could have easily said, "Hey...

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Posted In: Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: October 28, 2017

Human experience reveals that where there is belief and a willingness to do what it takes, people have created incredible realities. Consider the story of the 94-year old woman who just completed a half marathon in June (her first full marathon was at 76), or the incredible feats of mothers who in an instant become powerful enough to lift a car in order to save their child trapped beneath? What this tells us is that we all can achieve miracles in our lives, so long as we have the consciousness to create them. Our reality can only change according to what our mind will allow.

So first off, if I want a miracle in my life, I have to really believe it can happen. Because if I don't believe it can happen, then it simply never can. I have always felt that the Biblical portion of Vayera illustrates this idea perfectly. In this story, Sarah had to create the space for a miracle to occur. Avraham and Sarah were close to 100 years old, and well aware that children were not a part of...

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: October 21, 2017

Have you ever thought to yourself that it's too late to change? Maybe you are well into the second half of your life, and a new career, relationship, or opportunity seems overwhelming or pointless. Or maybe you resist change because you fear the unknown. Like the old phrase goes, "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't." Perhaps you are just comfortable where you are at and you've worked hard to get there; you've established certain routines, ways of doing things and habits, so that you are at a point where your life kind of runs itself. The problem with these fixed positions is that they are usually anchored in doubt, fear, or our comfort zone – and as such, they inhibit our soul, which only wants to grow closer to its Source, and shine brighter through you into this world.

This week, there is an energy permeating the cosmos which can assist us in becoming more open to reaching our next level. By “next level,” I mean an elevated way of living...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: October 14, 2017

This week happens to be the week of my birthday, and so naturally I have always felt an affinity with this week’s portion of Noach the story of Noah and the ark. There is endless wisdom contained within this portion, and each year that I study from it, I find new things. This year, I’d like to share with you three important lessons from which I think all of us could benefit. I hope they resonate with you, as they have resonated with me.

It is my birthday wish that each of you are able to take at least one thing from these teachings and internalize it this week, that your life should be made better by it, and that the world is made better as a result.

1. Develop empathy for all of humanity.

Although Noah was certainly diligent in carrying out the Creator's instructions to build the Ark and gather the animals, he did not plead to God for the rest of the people in the world to be saved (as Moses did, for example). What a powerful...

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Karen BergYOUR 7 DAY SPIRITUAL COMPASS by Karen Berg

Karen Berg, Spiritual Leader of The Kabbalah Centre, has committed her life to introducing the teachings of Kabbalah to the world and to expanding the role of women in spirituality and in the global community.  Read Karen's Bio

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