michael berg kabbalah scholar

Michaels Blog

Michael Berg is the co-director of The Kabbalah Centre and editor of the first-ever English translation of The Zohar... read more


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The Forces of Purity

Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted: June 20, 2018

There is a fundamental paradox that the commentators speak about concerning the portion of Chukat and the process of removing the Tumat HaMet, impurity of death, from someone who had been around, or touched, a dead body. There were two main ingredients in the mixture that was used to remove the force of death: remnants of the burning of the Parah Adumah, red heifer, and living water. They were mixed together and sprinkled in a certain way, on certain days, upon a person who had become impure from death, and that impurity was removed. However, although the person who was originally impure became pure through this process, the person who was making him pure and began this process being pure, became impure. And such is the paradox. Throughout the generations, kabbalists have asked why, if this mixture brings purity to the impure, does it then make the pure person impure? There have been... read more


Do Not Be Satisfied

Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted: June 13, 2018

In the portion Korach, the kabbalists tell us that at the core of what Korach was saying was a message so powerful that initially all of the leaders and almost all of the Israelites were awakened by it. So, what was this message? What was so true and powerful about what Korach was saying that he was able to, as the Midrash tells us, draw so many of the Israelites with his words? In the desert at that time, there were different groups of people. There were the kohens, the priests, who were considered the innermost group; they were the ones who were closest to the Light of the Creator and who did the spiritual work in its highest form. Then there were the Levites, who were elevated, but not like the priests. They had a little more distance from the spiritual work. And amongst the Levites themselves, there were different groups that were either closer or further away. The outermost group... read more


Diminishing the Strength of the Negative Side

Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted: June 6, 2018

We have talked previously about the story of the spies in the portion Shlach Lecha, and how their failure to be able to see only goodness and Light where everybody else saw death, destruction, and chaos caused great damage. Because they were not able to maintain that consciousness, the Light of the Creator could not be revealed and the Israelites could not enter into the Land of Israel. The spies walked for 40 days, and they failed throughout those 40 days to see through the illusion of this world. The work to correct that failure manifested as 40 more years. So, what is the correlation between 40 days and 40 years? The Ramchal, the great kabbalist, reveals the secret of the spies in Kinat Hashem Tzevaot, one of his lesser-known books. To start, we need to understand that the number which quantifies the levels of Tumah, the levels of negativity, is 400; 400 is the total number of... read more


Creating a Path to Deeper Wisdom

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted: May 30, 2018

In the Haftorah of the portion Beha’alotcha, the reading from Zechariah, the prophet has a vision of the high priest, and it says the Satan – the global force that's trying to stop any individual from connecting to the Light of the Creator - was standing to his right. The right side represents the positive, the spiritual work, and the left side represents the negative, or selfishness. And while most of us know that the Satan is very much involved in selfishness and negative actions, we often forget that the Satan is there also for the positive actions. Rav Ashlag explains that if it said the Satan was sitting on the left side, it would mean that He was trying to get somebody to be selfish or do something negative. But that's not what it says in the prophecy. It says Satan is standing on the right side, in the spiritual work. So, what is the Satan doing in the spiritual work? Rav Ashlag... read more


Secrets of the Bible

The book by Michael Berg

Secrets of the Bible is a lifelong pursuit and there are many teachings within its veiled text. Bringing forward a fresh and relevant message about ou


The Thought of Creation

The book by Michael Berg

In The Thought of Creation, Rav Yehuda Ashlag describes the process of the original Creation, which is highly relevant today because life is a continu


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