Nitzavim-Vayelech will always be read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah. In this portion we learn about and can connect to something that is certainly not religiosity or commandments of God, but is rather the kind of energy that would permit us to exercise complete control over our situations in life. The Zohar says that the reason there are negative, chaotic conditions is because we, ourselves, create negative energy that affects our minds, our health. There is no way to escape it, not even by going to live on a remote island. We are all contaminated. The only option is to make the presence of the Lightforce felt. This is the entire purpose of the study of Kabbalah. We are either reinforced with sufficient Lightforce of God, so that darkness will not penetrate our lives, or we can rely on our accountant or lawyers or physicians. Next week, we have the two days of Rosh Hashanah that are going to determine the entire next year’s proceedings, yet we hang on to the ego that says, “I am... Read More
I have to admit that this week’s portion is my favorite. One might ask why I would choose this one over and above all the others. Should I say it is because we have a repetition of the blessings, or more importantly the curses? In Ki Tavo, we are again reminded about the importance of listening to God. And, of course, the question that all of us should immediately raise is how can we consider curses when the Israelites had just experienced the miracles of Egypt, the miracles in the wilderness, and a well that had to sustain 600,000 adults and all the children. It must have been a tremendous well. Yet, after having seen all these miracles, the Israelites are then told that if they do not listen to God then the Bible in this section outlines 53 curses. In fact, there are more curses than mentioned in the portion of Vayikra in the Book of Leviticus. The Zohar and Rav Isaac Luria (the Ari) in this week’s portion provide us with a vision of what we can expect in our generation, which... Read More
Ki Tetze discusses the rules concerning the military. However, there is a big difference in our perception of a military soldier and that which the Bible is talking about. The Zohar says that the soldiers were righteous people; but we have to ask how could the Zohar be talking about a military soldier who kills, rapes, and loots? Is this what the Bible is referring to? Why would we want to choose only righteous people who would be forced to kill people? We have the English Zohar, and it is so important that we indulge in reading it weekly because it provides a greater level of consciousness—knowing the knowledge—that can enable us to act as channels. If we treat the Bible as only a literal translation, as has been done for 4000 years, we fall into certain modes and traps that we have created within our traditional interpretations, and thus lose all of our faculties of inquiry. The fundamental reasoning and discipline of Kabbalah is to question, is inquiry. Therefore, the Zohar wants... Read More
The section “shoftim veshotrim” is a description for living in the land of Israel as set down from a legal perspective. The portion refers to the establishment of the judges, the police, the enforcers, and the executioners. The commentators on this section ask the question: Does this indicate that God knew in advance what would be coming when the Israelites could enter the land of Israel; that there would be a need for judges and executioners to exist? The Zohar has a lengthy discourse on the death penalty and states that within these prescribed laws there are four types of penalties. In other words, it was not left to the state to decide whether execution would be in the form of the electric chair or beheading, as was the case over the millennia. Rather what we learn is that there is a prescription of what death penalty one would deserve. It was left to no one but the Bible itself. The four death penalties described in the Bible—death by spear, by hanging, by fire, and by stoning—... 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