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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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Helping the Creator

Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted: June 19, 2019

The story in portion Shlach Lecha is one that many are familiar with; it is the story of the spies. The Creator tells Moses to send the twelve spies into the land of Israel, and most of them come back with a negative report. The Israelites then become very fearful and depressed, and negativity ensues. At a certain point, as Moses is asking the Creator not to allow the darkness that the Israelites have awakened to become manifest, he says something very interesting, but also very foundational, to our spiritual work. He says to the Creator, "Now, please, let us make Your strength stronger. Let us make You great." It is very strange; he is speaking to God, the Creator of all things, and saying, essentially, "Let us together, me and You, make You great!" If we don’t understand what that means, it can seem a little bit ridiculous. To understand the secret of that verse, there is a beautiful... read more

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A Spiritual Truth About Change

Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted: June 12, 2019

The beginning of the portion Beha’alotcha talks about the lighting of the candelabra. The Creator tells Moses to tell Aaron to light the candelabra in the Beit HaMikdash (Temple), and it says that Aaron followed the orders as was told. Moses said, “This is how the Creator wants you to do it,” and Aaron did it; it tells us he did not change the directions he was given by God. But why, the kabbalists ask, does the Torah say that Aaron followed the orders? Why does the Torah need to tell us this? We are talking about Moses and Aaron; certainly they understood that this is the way the Creator wants it to be done. Certainly Aaron would listen and wouldn’t change it. It almost seems unnecessary for the Torah to tell us this. But as we know, everything in the Torah has a purpose. The answer the kabbalists give, which is not only important, but also very practical, is as follows. When it is... read more

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The Creator Is in Control

Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted: June 5, 2019

The portion Naso discusses what to do when we need to correct any negative action we have done. Interestingly, however, this portion then begins referring to just one of the many possible negative actions a person can do: theft. But if this portion desires to instruct us on how to correct any negative action, why speak in general terms, discussing only theft? Why, from all the many negative actions that people can do, is theft chosen as an example? The Sfat Emet, in answering this question, gives us a great insight into all negative actions. He writes, "If a person understands and remembers always that everything is the Creator’s, and the Creator is in control of all creation, he cannot perform a negative action." And this is one of the basic tenets of a true spiritual life, which most of us understand, yet do not fully live. If we did, we would never become upset from any outside... read more

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Becoming Like A Desert

Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted: May 29, 2019

The first verse in the portion Bamidbar says that the Creator spoke to Moses in the Sinai Desert. And since we know that all the words in the Torah were put there on purpose, there is something interesting to look at here. It is clear even in the most basic reading of this portion that they were still in the desert; obviously, then, when the Creator spoke to Moses, it was in the desert. So, why does the Torah feel it is important to let us know where Moses physically was when the Creator spoke to him? What lesson are we meant to learn? Rav Yaakov ben Asher, in his commentary, Ba’al HaTurim, addresses this by quoting from the Midrash, saying that unless a person makes himself free and open for all, like a desert, he cannot possibly be spiritual or gain true spiritual wisdom, which is the essence of the Torah. Just as in the desert anybody can come in and do as they wish, so too a person... read more

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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

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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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