Zohar

a tree with roots, illustrate the  relationships  of elements in this world with the elements in the higher worlds of consciousness.

Root and Branch: The Language of Kabbalah

by yedidah on November 23, 2017

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When we read books of kabbalah, as for example English  translations of the Zohar , or look at diagrams of the Sephirot, we often end up more puzzled than enlightened. This is because Kabbalah actually uses a specific language.

As we know, every discipline has its own language. We wouldn’t expect to understand a book on  engineering unless we had already mastered the terms used. So why do we get so surprised when we don’t fully understand what we’re reading in the Kabbalah?

The answer is based on the way the Kabbalah sees reality. Every element in this world comes from the spiritual worlds above. It is a branch, the root of which is to be found in the higher spiritual worlds. Therefore, the sages found that by using ordinary, everyday language that pertains to elements in this world, they could in fact reference their roots in the higher spiritual worlds. Of course, the sages would have a clear perception of the relationships between the elements of this world — the branches— and their equivalent roots in the higher spiritual worlds.

So we find that the sages of the Kabbalah used our  everyday language, but in a way that we, ordinary mortals, who don’t have direct perception of the higher spiritual worlds, can easily be misled by.

That’s why we were so fortunate in our generation to have had   a great Sage like Rabbi Yehudah Leib Ashlag who acted  as translator. He translated  from the language in which the Zohar and other Kabbalah texts are written in and and brought their meanings into our ordinary spoken language. In our generation, we have been so blessed to have had this great Sage in our midst, to open for us wisdom that through its code had been locked for centuries.

This shiur, is dedicated in loving memory of Feiga bat Shmuel and Rvikah and for the elevation of her soul.

 The material for this shiur is taken  from  the forthcoming book, “ The Master of the Ladder, the Life and teachings of the Baal haSulam, Rabbi Yehudah Leib Ashlag, by Rabbi Avraham Mordecai Gottlieb, translated and edited by Yedidah Cohen, Nehora Press. 

 

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the shofar, the Sephirah of Binah

Sounding our own Shofar

by yedidah on September 21, 2016

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Rabbi Ashlag in the Perush haSulam, his great commentary on the Zohar, teaches:

During the 12 months of the year we work on the tikkun of the Malchut. That is, we work on letting go of receiving for ourselves alone, and practice giving unconditionally, doing acts that are in affinity of form with the Creator. In this way we rectify the Malchut—the Shechinah, our collective soul—from the beginning of the year till the end of the year. However, since this tikkun is not yet complete, each year at Rosh haShanah we start the cycle again to rectify the Malchut, until the complete redemption.

This is the reason that each year on Rosh haShanah the world returns to its original state when the great light of Creation, the Or d’Chochmah, came into the world. But if we  were to receive this great light now directly it would cause us harm. Thus the Holy Blessed One gave us the mitzvah of blowing the shofar on Rosh haShanah. The shofar is the voice of Binah, the Sephirah of compassion and loving-kindness.

The presence of this great light allows us to see our thoughts, words, and actions of the previous year more clearly. Often we feel sorry and wish some action or word undone or unsaid. But how can we change reality?

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, in his great work, Mesillat Yesharim, (The path of the righteous) writes:

“Repentance is given to people with absolute loving-kindness so that the rooting out of the will which prompted the deed is considered a rooting out of the deed itself.”

This loving-kindness manifests in the sound of the shofar. The voice of the shofar opens the opportunity to make good , to undo , to come back fresh…. and to a new start.

May we all be blessed to hear the sound of the shofar this year, and merit to sound our own inner shofar both at Rosh haShanah and throughout the whole year.

This Torah podcast is dedicated l’ilui nishmat  Chana Annette bat Mazal and Moshe 

This talk is based on excerpts from Rabbi Ashlag’s Perush haSulam on Zohar Vayerah 381 and  Zohar TeZaveh 88-92

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Further talks on Elul, Teshuvah and Rosh hashanah

Forty days of love: From Elul to Yom Kippur

Enjoying the month of Elul

Shame is a precious feeling

The language of Rosh Hashanah is derived from the Kabbalah

The Shofar, the sound of compassion

Changing our outlook on Rosh HaShanah

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Feeling sad , feeling happy, in our service to God

by yedidah August 2, 2016
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Feeling sad and feeling happy all at the same time? Conflicting emotions aren’t that rare; interestingly enough the Zohar talks about them in context with the person who wants to draw closer to God again after having strayed. How can he come close to God when he is feeling sad, when the injunction is ” serve the Lord with gladness” !? Rabbi Baruch Ashlag looks at this Zohar with sympathy and depth.

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The story of the Children of Israel in Egypt is our story

by yedidah April 17, 2016
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Rabbi Ashlag teaches the redemption of the Children of Israel from Egypt as an on-going process within ourselves. He teaches that Egypt is within us, personified as our egoism, and this constitutes our bondage. The elements of the Pesach preparations and Seder night guide us so we can also celebrate our own redemption by the Hand of the Almighty with joy.

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Becoming Adam

by yedidah March 27, 2016
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Becoming Adam implies coming to resemble the Creator in His loving kindness and unconditional love. But how can we fully embody this? From the Kabbalah of Rabbi Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag

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Called to Prayer

by yedidah January 3, 2016
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Prayer is our connection with our Source. Yet there are many sad and broken people in the world who yet do not call out to the Divine for help. Rabbi Ashlag teaches us that the very turning to God constitutes a Divine call to us. Zohar

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