Posted In: Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: June 17, 2017

It’s funny how we think that getting what we want in life will make us happy. Maybe we want to find our soul mate, or make a million dollars, but I’ll tell you a secret: I know people who have found their soul mate, and I know people with a million dollars – and they are some of the most unhappy people I know! If anything, it seems they have more problems now than ever. Now, why do you think that is? 

It’s not about what we get in life. It’s about what we do with our blessings. It’s how we give back to the world that shapes our life, defines us as humans, and builds joy from within.  

Now I know what you’re thinking. That’s nice, Karen. But I could sure use a million dollars right about now, and I could sure use a partner! If I had those blessings, I would give so much! I would do so much good with them! 

Well to that end, I have to ask: Would you, really?  

There’s a parable...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: June 10, 2017

Have you ever noticed how an interview sometimes says more about the person asking the questions than the one who is answering? I’ve been interviewed for a few magazines and news programs myself recently. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to speak about the things that are close to my heart: Kabbalah, Global Spirituality, and creating communities around the world through which individuals can both be enlightened and lift each other up in friendship and unity. But the ‘slant’ is often found more in the questions than in the answers. For instance, one could ask, “Who are you? What do you believe in?” and another might ask, “Who do you think you are? What do you know?” The questions seek the same answers, and yet one is posed with genuine curiosity and an openness to learn, while the other is served cold with a combative nature.

So… is one right and the other wrong? Not necessarily. In fact, a healthy dose of skepticism can be good to have in certain situations. What is...

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: June 03, 2017

Sometimes we use spirituality as an excuse for laziness. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. We’ve all done it. It’s one of the great traps of becoming a ‘spiritual person.’ For example: Meditation is a very powerful spiritual tool, but if you sit in bed all day eating ice cream and meditating on being thin, guess what? It ain’t gonna happen. …Trust me, I know.

As we journey forward on our spiritual path, I think many of us at one point or another make the mistake of believing a spiritual lifestyle is one that ignores the world of physicality. But if this is the case, then why are we here? A person can sit on a mountaintop chanting and praying all day, every day, their whole life long. Does this make one a spiritual person? Well I don’t know, but one thing I personally believe is that when we arrive upstairs, we will first be asked: How did you change the world for the better during your time on Earth? How did you share with your fellow humans? How did you make the lives of...

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Posted In: Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: May 30, 2017

Shavuot assists us to listen to our inner voice, which is always one with the Creator. It is a time in which we can be reborn, so that we may see the world and ourselves in a new and better way. 

Over the past seven weeks, a heavy period of time called the Omer, we have cleansed our vessel to be ready for Shavuot. Now, we are prepared to receive the Light of this holiday, just as it was bestowed upon the Israelites on at Mt. Sinai. 

On the morning of Shavuot at Kabbalah Centres across the globe, we will join in reading the story of Ruth. We connect to her not because she was the great, great grandmother of King David, but because her own life is an example of how out of great difficulty one can rise to be a bright light in this world. Just as out of the process of the past seven weeks we receive this revelation, so too it was in the life of Ruth. Out of our pain, we can find growth and redemption. 

Ruth's lineage wasn't so '...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: May 27, 2017

Have you ever spent any time with unruly children? I mean, really unruly children. I have. Now, don’t get me wrong – all children are beautiful, some are just shall we say… highly spirited? A friend of mine had a couple of kids like that. No matter what she and her husband seemed to do, they could not manage their children’s temperament. We’d be sitting there in the living room and they’d come barreling through, running and screaming, knocking over furniture like bulls in a china shop.

I’ll never forget the day she turned to me and asked: Why, Karen? Why are my children so wild?

I answered, “Well spiritually speaking, many of the behavioral patterns of a child are formed during conception. For example, if one is angry during the moment of conceiving, they might end up with an angry child.”

She didn’t much like that answer. But you know, it is true. We get a glimpse into this profound idea in this week’s portion of Naso. There is an...

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Posted In: Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: May 20, 2017

We are separate so that we may find unity.
We are different so that we may choose harmony.
We are varied so that we may discover the many ways in which we are surprisingly the same.

This week, we read the portion of Bamidbar the first chapter in the book of Numbers. It is in this story that the Israelites themselves are counted, or ‘numbered.’ Why would the Creator ask to know how many followers He has? After all, He is the Creator. Wouldn’t he already know in his omnipresence? Thankfully, we have the Zohar to shed Light on the subject.

There were 600,000 souls accounted for. Just as there were 600,000 when they were in Egypt, 600,000 when they left Egypt, and 600,000 when they were wandering in the desert. And there were how many when they entered the land of Israel? You guessed it! 600,000. Now, how...

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Posted In: Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: May 13, 2017

Everything that occurs is by the grace of God. Nothing but nothing happens without the hand of the Creator.

This week two portions, Behar and Bechukotai, are combined. Both independently discuss the spiritual precept of shemitah, the sabbatical year which takes place in Israel and is the seventh year of a seven year agricultural cycle. Just as people rest from the toils of the work week on the seventh day, the land of Israel is also asked to disconnect from the world of Malchut for the seventh year and not be worked. It is also fascinating to note that the shemitah was the only precept given on Mount Sinai. Why is it so important that for the whole of the seventh year, Israel does not work the land? What is so crucial about the sabbatical? Most importantly, what is the lesson for us as it pertains to our lives today?

The Zohar reveals that the sabbatical is all...

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Posted In: Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: May 06, 2017

Every person is a world unto themselves. By sharing our Light with just one person, we become a servant to all of humanity.

This week’s portion of Emor contains the precepts pertaining to qualities and responsibilities of the High Priest (Kohen HaGadol). But what do these priestly duties have to do with us? Are we meant to simply ignore this section of the Bible? On the contrary, the kabbalists teach that every passage of the Bible contains wisdom and energy we can utilize in our own lives in every generation. There is not one superfluous word or even letter in the entirety of the Bible. Thankfully, the Zohar sheds some much needed Light on the hidden lessons within Emor.

A few weeks back, you may recall we were examining a portion which laid out the details of the Holy Temple – how it was built and what was to take place there. The lesson was that although there is no...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: April 29, 2017

The Golden Rule may not be a rule at all, but a concealed secret for joy.

This week’s portion of Acharei Mot-Kedoshim is so potent, we read it twice a year – once on Yom Kippur, and once during Shabbat in the month of Iyar (Taurus). There are countless lessons we can learn from the story and innumerable benefits from listening to its reading. One of the most important among them is the spiritual teaching that is the purpose for which all the precepts exist. For in this portion we find the Golden Rule: Love thy neighbor as thyself.

For many, this precept is complicated. How can I love my neighbor as myself if I don’t love myself? For that matter, how can I love myself if I don’t know myself?

Let’s use spiritual understanding to help us reveal the deepest and most concealed essence of this phrase and its complexities:

With regard to knowing ourselves, some people...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: April 22, 2017

The holiest of actions are the ones that come from the heart. Big or small, every turn of hand has the power to uplift all of humanity when done with love.

This week’s portion of Tazria-Metzora deals largely in part with the repercussions of our actions. The portion reads like a list of rules and regulations for the Israelites regarding purity or uncleanliness – much of which it would seem does not apply to us today, as we do not have a High Priest to inspect us, or a Holy Temple in which to cleanse. The Zohar, however, tells us that we can find the relevance of the portion even in its name, as Tazria translates to, “She conceives.”

Conception is a funny thing in the Bible. It’s not always linear in nature. For instance, we read about Jacob’s love for Rachel, but Jacob was fooled into marrying her sister, Leah. It says that Jacob’s thoughts were of Rachel during his marital relations...

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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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