There is no section of the Zohar that really belongs to the portion of Re’eh. The word re’eh means to “see,” which seems to be totally superfluous because the first few biblical verses say, “Behold, I give before you today a blessing and a curse; the blessing if you shall hearken to the commandments of the Lord, which I give you this day; and the curse, if you shall not hearken to the commandments of the Lord…” Does the word “behold” make any sense in what God is telling us? In life, don’t we see the contrary to what this verse implies; those who are kind and good seem cursed, and those who are so evil get away with it? The word re’eh is one of the 72 Names of God that is most often applied during our prayers. When we use the word “see,” it can be used to refer to an understanding, as in seeing something not physical. For example, in the expression “Do you see?” the word “see” or “I see” is replacing “I understand.” We use this expression infinite times. Yet, we also use the word to... Read More
This week’s portion is known as Ekev, a word generally translated as “…it shall come to pass….” Yet we are told by the Zohar that ekev means “heel.” The definition of the word ekev is that it is the heel and the seed that affects every aspect of everything. We learn in Kabbalah that if we can comprehend the root of the matter, understand the source, then we can proceed to resolve the problems that arise from the source. In other words, we see the entire tree when it is still within the seed because we know that the entire tree is already included within the seed. In this portion is the assurance that if we listen to God, everything is going to be great, and on the flip side, if we do not listen to God, then all that can befall mankind in the way of chaos can happen. But this is not accurate because there are those who follow the complete tradition and yet suffer, and those who do not follow any of the tradition and have everything. I have heard so many times people say it is still far... Read More
This Shabbat is traditionally known as Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of Consolation, where God tells us that we shall be consoled. Does this mean that we are now consoled? The Zohar says that we find the consolation in the beginning of the reading in Va’etchanan where the Bible says, “Moses pleaded to God to permit him to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.” What was Moses’ intent here? He already knew that he could not enter into the Land of Israel; he had been told by God. Moses did not find any consolation in the fact that God instructed him to appoint Joshua in his stead. Moses wanted to lead the Israelites. He did not stop begging, even after God had already refused to permit him to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. What can we learn from this stubbornness of Moses, who refused to take no for an answer? What was this all about and what is this relationship to nachamu, or consolation? The Zohar says that when Moses refused to accept this answer, even though it was... Read More
The portion of Devarim is the first section of the Book of Deuteronomy. According to Rav Isaac Luria (the Ari) and the Zohar, this fifth volume was written by Moses himself. The first four books were on the level of Zeir Anpin, the Tree of Life, the level that exists beyond our familiar level of existence. During the course of the reading of Devarim, the Light is brought down into the level of Malchut, our realm. When the sages structured the portions of the Torah 3400 years ago, they calculated that Devarim would be read before Tisha B’Av; Satan is given total dominion over this day. Although there is no Zohar portion on this section of Devarim, Rav Shimon declared there is a Zohar reading that can be found elsewhere in the section of Balak. Balak was bent on the annihilation of the children of Israel and represented the highest level of Satan in this physical reality. The obvious question then is that if this section concerns Devarim, why is it in the portion of Balak? Why is there... Read More
Matot Masei is a tremendously long portion—244 verses, yet there are only two short pages of Zohar discussing it. We know because of the kabbalistic principle that less is always more, where the Zohar either omits or has very little to say on the subject, it is left for us to delve into the secret that can be revealed there. This portion discusses the travels of the Israelites from one city to another; cities of the past that do not exist anymore. According to the Zohar, this is significant because it will be through the process of Quantum—where yesterday, today, and tomorrow are one—that chaos will not be part of our lives. Once we can see tomorrow, we can improve, avoid, or stay away from the event that can bring chaos to us. The Zohar explains that this is what these two portions Matot and Masei are about: Quantum—everything is one.  There are 112 verses in the portion of Matot, and the Zohar explains that the number 112 represents the interfacing between the world of the... 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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