The Zohar teaches that the portions of Behar-Bechukotai are about one idea: Mount Sinai and the land of Israel. Why is Mount Sinai synonymous with the land of Israel? We learn from the Zohar that we can only be in the land of Israel when we have eliminated that dreadful curse of civilization—which is not a person or group of people—but rather, time, space and motion. In fact, the Zohar says that whenever an empire has succeeded in conquering the land of Israel, that empire has disappeared. What the Zohar is teaching us is that the idea of Mount Sinai is about reducing everything to Light, which is the purpose of our lives. What is this Light? It is certainly not material. For example, the heat that a light bulb generates is something immaterial. This is also true of the Lightforce of God. As we know, wherever Light exists, darkness has no place. When someone is ill, the objective is to remove the illness. When a person is poor, the objective is to create sustenance. With any problem,... Read More
There is no better way to connect with Rav Shimon bar Yochai, the author of the Zohar, than to connect with the spiritual holiday of Lag B’Omer—the anniversary of the day Rav Shimon left this physical world. The Zohar teaches us that Rav Shimon did not truly die. However, the day of Lag B’Omer is to be singled out because, as the kabbalists teach, the day a person leaves this physical world is the day of his or her greatest revelation of Light. Before I explain what took place on the day Rav Shimon left this world, I would like to share that in the portion of Ki Tavo the Zohar states that Rav Shimon and his son, Kabbalist Rav Elazar, fled their home and hid in a cave in Peki'in, Israel; one common story relates that Rav Shimon and his son were fleeing from the Romans, who sought to put him to death for studying the Torah and spiritual teachings. While that has been an accepted story for some 2000 years, there is another version that I would like to share: As we learn in the Zohar, the... Read More
In the Zohar portion of Emor, we learn that as God recognized things would appear chaotic to humanity in the physical world, and that we would be unable to deal with, or improve, such chaos ourselves, He created spiritual events such as Rosh Hashanah, Shavuot and Pesach. Kabbalistically, these are not religious holidays, but rather markers of what is currently taking place in the cosmos; each one of these spiritual events provides us with aspects of the Lightforce of God to help remove the darkness, chaos, and stumbling blocks that prevent the sharing of joy. From the Zohar portion of Emor, we get the understanding that on Rosh Hashanah not only are we being judged for our actions during this lifetime, but we are also being judged for all of our actions in previous lifetimes, which we have not corrected. How can we possibly come out clean from that? I will explain, to make it simple, using the analogy of trees. In the spring, trees are blossoming, once again leaves appear, then fruits... Read More
The words acharei mot mean “after death,” and are included in the first verse of the Zohar portion Acharei Mot—“And God spoke to Moses after the death (acharei mot) of the two sons of Aaron…” We are told that the souls of the sons of Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, were at such a high level that they were equal to the collective soul of the nation of Israel. The beginning of this Zohar portion is followed by a strange section that refers to Yom Kippur. We understand from the Zohar that Yom Kippur is not a religious holiday, but rather a technology, just as when we speak about the Bible we are also speaking of a technology. Things are moving very quickly in our time, both positively and negatively. The Zohar gives us the understanding that the Bible is a tool we can use to protect ourselves, and provides us the possibility of removing negativity—both our own, and all that exists in this universe. The Zohar helps us learn how to extract ourselves from the flawed universe in which we live. So... Read More
Not too long ago, there was a very interesting discovery in science which revealed that the Milky Way is constantly swallowing up small galaxies and star clusters; its powerful gravity pulls these objects apart and their stars then become part of the Milky Way itself. Researchers have also found evidence that the Milky Way is eating up dwarf galaxies. In kabbalistic terms, we would say that the Milky Way has an enormous “Desire to Receive for the Self Alone”. The pull of the Milky Way is four million times stronger than the power of the sun. One second of the sun’s energy has the capacity to sustain our planet for an entire year; it is beyond imagination then that the energy of the Milky Way swallows up everything that comes close to it while giving nothing out. Two thousand years ago, the Zohar spoke about the ugly nature of the Milky Way—which can be viewed both literally and figuratively as that negative force of the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone—telling us that if it could... Read More
Shmini means “eight,” and is referring to the day that followed the seven days Moses served as High Priest in the Tabernacle. On the eighth day, Moses’ brother Aaron was chosen to become the High Priest. The Bible says that on this day the establishment of the priestly family was put in place. There are 91 verses in the portion of Shmini. The Zohar tells us that the number 91 is a mathematical equation representing the unification of the Yud, Hei, Vav, Hei (the Flawless Universe), and the Alef, Dalet, Nun, Yud (the physical world). Their unification is the lesson of this week’s Zohar portion: Once our physical world becomes subject to the Flawless Universe, there is no darkness, only Light. In Shmini we read about Nadav and Avihu, two of the four sons of Aaron. These two sons had a level of consciousness that was equal to that of the entire Israelite population at the time. Although none of us will ever be on their spiritual level, or the level of Moses, we can still achieve our soul’... Read More

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Rav Berg, Spiritual leader of the Kabbalah Centre, has made it his life’s mission to reveal and make relevant the teachings of Kabbalah. He and his wife, Karen Berg, opened the doors of The Kabbalah Centre to all who desire to learn these universal principles. Read Rav Berg's Bio

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