The Arizal on overeating- Parshat Shemot

arizal kabbalah parsha Dec 25, 2018

 “These are the names of the Children of Israel. with Jacob each man and his household, coming (descending) into Egypt”

 A New King

The new King who “did not know Joseph” is the Yeter Hara - the negative inclination, called an old foolish king. This king has no knowledge of G-d (called Joseph), “and he told his nation”- the powers of negativity. “The nation of Israel is becoming great and mightier than us”, the Yeter tov- positive inclination is becoming mightier than us.

Pharaoh had to do something- quick!

The Israelites are summoned to build cities of storage for Pharaoh. Pharaoh has the letters of העורף- the nape. Unlike the face, the nape is desensitized and the inner (holier) motivation is unseen.  The pyramids -“let us build cities of storage, Pitom and Rameses”- let us subjugate the body within the powers of negativity.

Negative eating

Pitom- “the mouth of the abyss” has the letters פה...

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Staying Afloat In A Turbulent World- Lessons Of Joseph & Judah

chassidut kabbalah parsha Dec 23, 2018

"The people of the book", is a pretty accurate description of the Jewish people, wouldn't you say?

More than merely study, learning is intertwined with the very fabric of Jewish survival. Learning Torah has always been the secret of not just spiritual survival, but had the protective qualities to safeguard the individual and the community from the turbulent waves of the world, giving wisdom, inspiration and hope to a people who has defied history. 

We have had many leaders throughout the ages, but the leadership of Joseph and Judah lay the foundations of "the people of the book" as they start their long rode in Egypt and all subsequent exiles. 

 

Joseph & Judah diametrically different. 

Joseph was exceptional. He started off as an a child prodigy we may say. According to Kabbalah, Joseph represents the Sefirah of Yesod. Yesod is called Tzadik- the righteous one and was endowed with the abilities to remain mentally focused and morally righteous...

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The Ba'al Shem Tov Wisdom- Keter Shem Tov: Procreative letters

chassidut Dec 17, 2018

#21 What Is Within A Word?

The Ba’al Shem Tov says that infinite possibilities are hidden within either a spoken or written word. בא אל התיבה״- go into the arc”, the word Teiva- arc, also means word. The Ba’al Shem Tov says means the meaning of this verse is that we go not just into the arc but into the word.

On a similar note it says “male and female should enter the arc”. The Ba’al Shem Tov explains that there are “2 meanings in all words, the male aspect and the female”. Kabbalah explains that  the male aspect is more connected to mercy while the female is connected to judgement.

Meaning that we can analyze the meaning of things in their negative or positive way.

The idea here is that we should view words, not just of the Torah but of people and ourselves in their positive light.

 

#22 Procreative Information

The Talmud - Berachot 63b says “they lectured in a congregation of Torah”.  The Mishnah-...

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The Tenth Of Tevet

history Dec 16, 2018

The Tenth of Tevet is one of the four fast days that commemorate dark times in Jewish history. The others are Tisha B'Av (the day of the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem), the 17th of Tammuz (the day of the breaching of the defensive wall of Jerusalem by Titus and the Roman legions in 70 CE), and the third of Tishrei (the day that marks the assassination of the Babylonian-appointed Jewish governor of Judah, Gedaliah ben Achikam. He was actually killed on Rosh Hashanah but the fast day was advanced to the day after Rosh Hashanah because of the holiday).

The Tenth of Tevet marks the onset of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylonia, and the beginning of the battle that ultimately destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon, and sent the Jews into the 70-year Babylonian Exile. The date of the Tenth of Tevet is recorded for us by the prophet Yechezkel, who himself was already in Babylonia as part of the first group of Jews exiled there by Nebuchadnezzar,...

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Chesed L'Avraham - Rabbi Avraham Azulai: Ma’ayan 1// Nahar 9 חסד לאברהם

chesed l'avraham kabbalah Dec 14, 2018

Ma’ayan 1// Nahar 9

We are in spiritual world history class. In this chapter, Rabbi Avraham Azulai speaks about the second “providential watch”, which takes place after the primordial sin of Adam. The negative impact of the primordial sin is comparable to that of the destruction of the Temple where Kabbalah says the two letters Hey (Binah and Malchut) of G-d’s holy name went into exile.

Those supernal sources become shut and had never since been reopened since the sin. Meaning , that the revelation of Keter (the Divine subconscious) become shut from becoming revealed within Chochmah (Divine intelligence). The two adjoining Middot (Sefirot) were now unable to receive Divine flow from their supernal root of Keter.

The primordial sin caused the world to descend down into the Klipah (literally husk or shell but referring to negativity) not to become elevated until the world will reach it’s final rectification when the world will be cleansed from...

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The Arizal- Sha’ar Hakavanot- Lectures On Prayer

kabbalah prayer Dec 13, 2018
 

Lectures On Morning Prayer# 2

The ARI tells us that there are 2 levels within the worlds, the external and the internal dynamics. The external level of the worlds are the Divine Chariot, angels and offanim a lower form of angels. Although the “worlds” are spiritual, there is nevertheless the external framework of operation.

The inner level, the soul of creation is manifested in the form of Nefesh within the world of Asiyah, Ruach within the world of Yetzirah, Neshama within the world of Beriyah. Each one of these levels has as well external and internal realms.

It is known what the Zohar (Vayakhel 211b) says that we must begin a fixing on the realm of action, which include 4 preliminary preparations to access the soul of prayer.

  1. Cleansing one’s bodily needs by using the bathroom
  2. Donning the Tzizit
  3. The Teffilin of the arm
  4. The Teffilin of the head

Corresponding world

Part of soul

Corresponding Prayer

Physical Preparation

Asiyah

Nefesh

...

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The Ohr Haganuz- The 36 Candles Of Chanukah

By Rabbi Amichai Cohen 

The Ohr Haganuz

The Midrash says that the original light of creation was used by Adam and Eve for 36 hours. The Kabbalists say that these 36 hours correspond to the 36 candles which we light on Chanukah.

To further elaborate what this means allow me explain. Light or fire is the most ethereal creation. While neither gas nor matter, fire ever so elegantly reminds us of the metaphysical creation which alludes our physical perception. The light of fire and specifically the light of a candle reminds us of our spiritual reality, a reality which needs reminding of, a reality which is forgotten by the constant chatter of the day to day, rapid technological, push notification, fast paced rat race of most of our lives.

Fire however can become a destructive force. Instead of a dance of ethereal bliss, If uncontrolled, fire can be the force of doom and disaster.

That is why the Midrash says that G-d saw that the wicked can take advantage of the potential fire, G-d...

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What Is In A Dream?

parsha self help Dec 03, 2018

By Amichai Cohen

When you hear the word "dreams" what comes to mind?  

For many people sleep comes to mind, for others hope for a newfound reality comes to mind. 

We all have those unrealistic dreams, such as "I want to be a fireman when I grow up" or "I want to be superman.." We do however have realistic dreams that we need and must pursue for us to actualize our life's potential. In some ways a dream is similar to hope. We need to have hope in our lives in order to motivate us to pursue something great. When we rely on hope, then we can become hopeless. 

The Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formation) says that the month of Kislev is associated with the sense of dreaming.The month of Kislev sifts between those unrealistic dreams ("I want to be an astronaut" ones) and the real ones we are meant to pursue. 

It is interesting that during this month we read the stories of Jacob dreaming and now Joseph, the quintessential dreamer. 

In the story of Joseph, we...

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The Power Of Gratitude- Thanksgiving

kabbalah self help Nov 25, 2018

In our "I- Generation" where people are increasingly more self complacent, and feel unsure as to what the future brings, the message of gratitude and thanksgiving is even more pertinent. 

Research has found that individuals who keep a gratitude journal in which they write the things they are grateful for, are happier and live a more content live. Taking as little as five minutes a day and showing gratitude has such a powerful effect on our psyches. 

In Judaism, the first words which are uttered each morning are "mode ani l'fanacha.." translated as "I am grateful to you, the living Master of the universe who has returned my soul to me with great mercy in your belief in me". 

These words are said prior to ritually cleansing one's hands and Kabbalah says invokes a transcendent level of G-d, one which bypasses a name. 

We begin our day by showing gratitude, thereby orienting the entire day to be in the spirit of thanksgiving.

The word Mode-...

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Jacob's Ladder- The Treasure Is Right Under Your Head! (+Vlog)

parsha Nov 20, 2018
 

The epic dream of Jacob represents have many different interpretations. According to the Zohar, the ladder represents prayer. The Talmud explains that the ladder represents prayer because the words of prayer ascend upwards and bring down vitalizing energy.

The Midrash has a different interpretation. According to the Midrash the ladder represents the four exiles of the Jewish people. 

The four exiles are: 

1. Babylon

2. Persia and Media

3. Greece

4. Rome

In his dream, Jacob saw the angels ascend upwards, representing and exile, finally completed as the angel descends.

When Jacob saw the angel which represented the exile of Rome, he "become fearful", because the angel did not descend, appearing as if the exile of Rome would never end. 

Then G-d calls to him from on top of the ladder and says "do not be fearful, for the land which you are sleeping upon is your's and your children". 

What is the consolation in G-d's promise?

The Talmud says that G-d folded up the...

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