In the Bible, we read about Rivka, the wife of Isaac, being blessed with the miracle of bearing children. If we look deeper into the story of how this happened, we can gain powerful information about the process of inviting miracles into our own lives. How did Isaac plead with the Creator to allow Rivka to conceive? Well, first of all, he rode for hours on a donkey to Mount Moriah, climbed the mountain, and then prayed with all of his heart. The lengthy journey to Moriah—the place where his father, Abraham, had been willing to sacrifice him to God—and then the spiritual effort he made on the mountain are code for us for going outside of our comfort zone. Isaac went to a place where he actually changed his nature, and in so doing, was able to ascend to a higher dimension, a higher plane, and thereby allow his wife who had been barren to finally get pregnant. The truth is that most of us don’t usually go beyond our comfort zone. Sure, we do things for friends, and yes, sometimes we give... Read More
It is said that the tzadikim (righteous souls) never have “peace” in this world. They are always in middle of the cosmic battle between Light and Darkness, fighting on behalf of the rest of us. Thankfully, most of us don’t have to go through a life of unending struggle because we’re not as spiritually elevated as these righteous souls. But what we can glean from their sacrifice is the understanding that every trial that we go through and every test we come up against—whether sickness, loss of a loved one, loss of wealth, or loss of anything else we deem important—is exactly what we need at that moment for our spiritual growth. If we can keep this understanding in the forefront of our heart and mind in the middle of our greatest challenges, then we can anchor ourselves with our certainty in the Light that can carry us through. Read More
Posted In: Pregnancy & Birth, Well Being, Stages of Life Posted On: December 27,2014
The kabbalists teach that around the time of our birthday, things tend to happen that make us change, grow, or perhaps reevaluate our direction. This is because our birthday was our beginning, the seed for our life, the day that our soul chose to incarnate into this lifetime. Every time we return to this day, we are urged by the cosmos to make the corrections that will bring us closer to completing our spiritual job here in this world. So when and if you experience challenges just before or just after your birthday, remember it is only the universe pushing you to grow towards your potential. Read More
Posted In: Planting Seeds, Well Being, Leadership, Stages of Life, Death, Human Dignity Posted On: December 26,2014
I recently read an interesting article entitled “6 Life Lessons: from the Dead” by Bryan Marquard, the obituary writer for the Boston Globe. It reminded me of something that kabbalists have done for centuries, which is to consciously remind themselves of their own mortality as a way of igniting desire for more change and transformation. Today, take a moment to imagine what it would be like to be 90, 100, or 110 years old and think: OK, what did I really do with my life? What did I accomplish? Is at least one other individual a better person because I existed? Did I treat the people around me with care and human dignity? Did I do things in my life that created even the smallest change for others? Did I bring children to this world who are giving and decent because of the way that I trained them? If you can answer all of these questions to your own satisfaction, then great. If not, then it might be worthwhile to consider what you can do to change and shape yourself into the person you... Read More
There’s no question that we are living in an unsettled world. Every week, a new disaster takes over the headlines. Nevertheless, amid all this chaos and destruction, we are able to find proof that the human spirit can still illuminate our way home in the darkness. I just read about a 22-year-old woman in England who raised £20,000 to help pay for housing for a homeless man. Why? Because he had given her £3 to get home one night earlier in the month when she had lost her bank card. And every year, CNN honors 10 heroes of humanity who have done things to make this world a better place. One such honoree is Pablo Romero who started the non-profit called Los Patojos (Little Ones), which offers meals, classes, and medical care to children and teenagers in his community. Another is Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg who translated the pain of losing his two-year-old daughter to leukemia into Kids Kicking Cancer, a program that brings free martial arts classes to children with cancer so that they can... Read More
Posted In: Family, Friendship, Relationships, Well Being, Human Dignity Posted On: December 24,2014
Aaron, the brother of Moses, was the first High Priest in the ancient Temple. It is said about Aaron that he would go to people and tell them good things about one another to make peace and awaken love between them and to bring them closer to God’s love. We are now in the month of Capricorn, a month ruled by Saturn, a cold and harsh planet. We have to try, as Aaron did, to practice a little bit more caring and kindness at this time because that warm energy is lacking in the cosmos right now. Not only can it be a warm feeling to look at others and feel you can be a part of them, join with them, and feel their friendship and their energy, but if you can bring yourself into this space, you can also break down your own walls and open yourself to more love and blessings from the universe. Read More
Posted In: Chanukah, Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: December 23,2014
Sometimes it is only when our deepest self is challenged that we understand what it is that our soul wants and needs to do in this world. That’s what happened to the Maccabees in Chanukah. They were a small band of fighters who, when pressed up against a wall, were able to rise up to overthrow the entire regime that was threatening their whole existence. It was truly a case of a few against many, and the few won out. Most of the time, when it comes to doing something good, powerful, or spiritual in this world, there is usually this battle of the few against the many. If you think about it, many advancements that have had a dramatic positive influence on the world started with two against a hundred or perhaps ten against a thousand. This battle of the few against the many also goes on within each and every one of us. We hear the loud voice of the “many” in our head that says: “You will never make it. Don’t even try. You aren’t good enough, smart enough, or strong enough to succeed.... Read More
Posted In: Chanukah, Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: December 21,2014
There is a concept that we teach here at the Kabbalah Centre about what is called the Or HaGanuz, which translates to “concealed Light.” The story behind this Light goes back to the beginning of time when there was an all-encompassing Light-energy that permeated the world for 36 hours until the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden caused this energy to go into concealment. Since that time, the Or HaGanuz is available for us during the darkest and most difficult trials of our lives, when we have a choice whether to say: “Eh, these teachings don’t work for me. This is a bunch of hogwash. Look at where I am now,” or to say instead: “I know I’m going through this because there is so much more that needs to be revealed through me or from me.” When we say the latter, when we trust that the Creator is with us in the midst our greatest challenges, then we make the connection to this unique Light. Tonight as we light the sixth candle of Chanukah, let’s meditate that we will be able to connect... Read More
Posted In: Chanukah, Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: December 20,2014
The light of a simple Chanukah candle is the same Light that exists in everybody’s spirit. Our job is to make sure that as long as our “flame” still burns in this world, we work to fulfill the purpose for which we came, which is to recognize that kindness, Light, and love exist within every human being. Sure, it’s often easier for us to see what’s wrong with others than to see what’s right with them. We look at somebody and we can somehow realize instantly what positive traits they lack. But the truth is that when we make the effort to see the good in others, our own soul shines more brightly in this world. Tonight as we light the fifth candle of Chanukah, let’s take a moment to recognize two good things about a person whom we don’t really like. As we do, the Light within us will shine brighter and our soul will come closer to fulfilling its mission in this world. Read More
Posted In: Chanukah, Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: December 19,2014
Many years ago, in the Kids Creating Peace summer camp that I founded to bring together Israeli and Palestinian children, there was one child, only six years old, who was particularly frustrated and reluctant at the beginning of camp because he had never been in such close proximity to children from “the other side.” He didn’t know how they were going to get along, play with each other, share with each other, eat with each other, even be in the same room with each other. On the first day, this child stood off by himself; he could not bring himself to participate in anything. Eventually, however, he slowly began to open up and be a part of the activities. This change in him was miraculous, to say the least. At the end of the camp session, he said something that I thought was very profound and powerful, especially coming from such a young person. He said, “You know what? I think we are all like clouds, rain, and rainbows.” When the teacher asked him what he meant, he replied, “Sometimes... Read More
Posted In: Chanukah, Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: December 18,2014
“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first.” – Jim Morrison Sometimes connecting to our inner Light requires that we be revolutionaries—not in the sense of overcoming other people or getting our way, but by simply recognizing our own Light enough to say, “I’m not going to let people step on me. I’m not going to tell people that I agree with them when I don’t. I’m not going to do things just for approval or recognition.” Don’t get me wrong: we all have responsibilities that we need to uphold and we all want to do our utmost to share our time and energy with others. But beyond that, how often are we honest with ourselves about what our soul truly desires? How often do we do (or don’t do) certain things because we feel that if we... Read More
Posted In: Chanukah, Miracles, Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: December 17,2014
The Bible tells us that when Jacob awoke from his dream of angels going up and down the ladder to Heaven, he found a small flask of oil next to him. He took the oil and poured it on the stone on which he had slept, making a vow to give a portion of everything he received to the Creator. Fast forward a little over three decades. Jacob had fled from his father-in-law’s house and was on the road with his family when he realized that he had left behind a few small bottles of oil. Recognizing and appreciating the value of even the smallest gifts bestowed upon him by the Creator, Jacob risked his safety and went back to get them. Jacob’s consciousness and actions on these two occasions planted the seed for the miracle of Chanukah that occurred generations later during the time of the Maccabees when the small flask of oil burned for eight full days rather than one. Jacob had opened the gates via his consciousness, his tithing, and his continual mesirut nefesh, his “giving up of himself.” The... Read More
Posted In: Chanukah, Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: December 16,2014
At the Kabbalah Centre, we teach that Chanukah is not a religious holiday meant for one group of people. Rather, it is a cosmic window in time when each and every soul can reconnect to its true essence and purpose in this world. Each night of Chanukah, we light one more candle than the night before until we have lit all eight candles. If we add up the total number of candles throughout the eight days, we get 36, denoted in Hebrew by the two letters Lamed and Vav. In lighting the candles, we open our hearts to the understanding that the simple little light of the Chanukah candle is the same as the simple Light of the Creator that burns within each one of us. Within that Light is our individual power as well as the unifying force that connects us all. Within that Light are our unique gifts and our love for one another. Within that Light is our connection to the Divine, our connection to each other, and our pathway to perfect freedom. Tonight as we light the first candle of Chanukah, let... Read More
Posted In: The Big Picture, Joseph The Righteous, Miketz, Certainty, Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: December 15,2014
The story of Joseph from the Bible is a story of a man who overcame all sorts of challenges—from being abandoned by his family to being imprisoned, tempted into negativity, and losing everything he had (although he did gain it all back and more). Though he started at the bottom during his time in Egypt, everywhere he went, he rose to the top like oil. In fact, he went from being a servant in the house of Potiphar and then wrongfully imprisoned to eventually become the most powerful man in Egypt, second only to the king. If we read Joseph’s story carefully, we realize that the reason he was successful was because he never lost sight of the spirituality that was inside of him. He had the strength and certainty to say, “I know that wherever I am, there is a reason for my being there.” This consciousness allowed him to find the Light in every situation and to overcome any challenge on his path. This week, let’s bear in mind as Maya Angelou so beautifully put it that “People will forget... Read More
Posted In: Reincarnation, The Soul's Journey, Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: December 14,2014
Once when I was giving a lecture series on reincarnation, someone asked me, "Who cares? What difference does it make if I know about my past lives?" I answered that understanding our past lives is one way we can receive the awareness we need to do our spiritual job in this world. It is said that for someone to start the process of recovery from an addiction, that person needs to acknowledge that he or she is addicted in the first place. So too it is with reincarnation. The Bible talks about punishing the iniquity of one generation to the next. Taken literally, this sounds like punishing innocent children. But what the Kabbalists reveal is that it refers to the lifetimes we are given to come back, to make amends, and to elevate the Light of our soul. Many times it is very hard to find the root of our issues. But when we can look beyond this lifetime, and be open to the idea that perhaps what we are experiencing today is connected to something that happened before, it becomes easier to... Read More
Posted In: Angels, Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: December 13,2014
Kabbalah teaches that the infrastructure of our universe is composed of billions of angels. Angels can enter into our bodies; indeed, they are a part of our bodies. Although angels have the ability to take human shape, they may also appear with six massive wings. Or, they can show up as minute bits of energy, as molecules. Everything in this world is energy and angels are no exception. When we do positive actions, when we push ourselves to be a force of kindness, when we allow the Godliness inside of us to permeate the people around us, we create positive angels that help us move forward on our spiritual path. In the same way, however, when we do negative things, we create negative angels that can hold us back. Today, let’s make a conscious choice to create positive angels in our lives and to take the time to stop and appreciate them when we feel their assistance on our way. Read More
Posted In: Appreciation, Family, Relationships, Parenting, Well Being Posted On: December 12,2014
Each one of us has our own particular way of reaching the Creator—our own internal direction, our own way of bringing ourselves closer to the Light of God. Although the way we choose can sometimes take us far from where we started in life, we can never forget our roots because it is our roots that allowed us to grow into who we are today. Perhaps our parents or the people closest to us are not what we want them to be: They may not agree with our ways or they may not agree with the path we have chosen in life. Or maybe we don’t agree with the way our parents raised us, and we decide that we are not going raise our children that way. Still, we need to treat our parents with respect and human dignity because the specific circumstances and environment that we were raised in shaped who we are and who we will become. Read More
Posted In: Overcoming Challenges, Personal Transformation Posted On: December 11,2014
A reed will bend in the wind but not break, but a mighty tree can crack and topple in the same gust because it is so inflexible. The idea is for us is to be flexible like a reed, open and willing to listen to different ideas and opinions. Doing so will make it easier for us to weather the storms that come our way. Read More
Posted In: Well Being, Human Dignity Posted On: December 09,2014
When we can go beyond ourselves, we can begin to taste the sweetness of our soul's potential. Many people believe spirituality means moving to the mountains to meditate all day. It’s just the opposite, in fact. Spirituality is about becoming involved with removing people’s pain in this physical world. The more work we do with and for others, as opposed to separate from them, the higher we will evolve spiritually. Read More
Posted In: Spiritual Work, The Opponent, Personal Transformation Posted On: December 08,2014
We always need to be on the lookout for what our ego wants us to do, so that we aren't cutting corners and acting selfishly, hoping that no one will notice. Because you know what? The Creator is in every place. He even goes to the Chinese restaurant on Sunday. God is here—with you, with me, with all of us—now and always. Read More
Posted In: Spiritual Community, Human Dignity, Global Consciousness Posted On: December 01,2014
Today is World AIDS Day, the day when people all around the world come together to raise awareness for AIDS and to remember those who have died from this disease. While we can be thankful that we have made great medical advances in fighting this disease, there is a still a battle to be won, not only against the AIDS virus, but against all other forms of sickness, destruction, and chaos that are plaguing the world at this time. That it is why it is important to come together not only on this day, but every day, to garner ourselves with a new consciousness, one that doesn’t only think of our own pain and problems, but about the pain and problems of others as well. It does not matter what path we follow, be it Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, or Islam. Our spiritual teachers embodied the same message which was a signal for life’s greatest purpose. Buddha said, “Consider others as yourself.” Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Mohammed said, "That which you want for yourself, seek... Read More

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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In the midst of such chaos in my life, I have been able to find peace through studying Kabbalah. Without any doubts whatsoever, I would highly recommend anyone to call. I am so thankful for The Kabbalah Centre, because it has made all the difference in my spiritual growth and development.

 

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