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...
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-...
The dictionary defines algorithm as “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.”
Modern man can definitely boast over his accomplishment in all areas of science, technology and innovation. Great minds are continuing the trend of the industrial revolution of the 17th Century. We are coming up with technology which is building upon the innovations of our predecessors by adding to
In Homo Deus, Professor Yuval Harari puts it this way: “‘Algorithm’ is arguably the single most important concept in our world. If we want to understand our life and our future, we should make every effort to understand what an algorithm is, and how algorithms are connected with emotions.
An algorithm is a methodical set of steps that can be used to make calculations, resolve problems and reach decisions. An algorithm isn’t a particular calculation, but...
The 24th of Cheshvan is the Hillula (anniversary of the passing) of my ancestor Rabbi Avraham Azulai. Besides his great sanctity and scholarship, what makes Rabbi Azulai so unusual is that he was a student of both the Ramak as well as the AriZal. In fact it was through his intiative that the buried manuscripts of the Eitz Chaim were dug up from the grave of Rabbi Chaim Vital (main student of the AriZal). He was the author of a commentary on the Zohar under the title Kiryat Arba. and Chesed L'Avraham - an important Kabbalistic work which codifies Kabbalah concepts of which we have classes on in our site www.livekabbalah.com. May his merit be a blessings for us! and may his merit protect us. Light a candle in his honor.
One popular tale about Rabbi Abraham Azulai is that of the Sultan's sword.
The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire made a journey from his seat of government in far off Turkey to places of importance in his domains. He made his way to the Cave of the Machpela in...
Although D'vekut has been popularized by the Ba'al Shem Tov and Chassidut, it first appears in Deuteronomy 11:22: “For if you shall diligently keep all this commandment which I command you, to do it, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to cleave [u-l'davkah] unto Him”-
The Ramban (Nachmanides, 13th century Kabbalist from Barcelona Spain) writes that the verse warns man not to worship God and a being beside Him; he is to worship God alone in his heart and in his actions. And it is plausible that the meaning of "cleaving" is to remember God and His love constantly, not to divert your thought from Him in all your earthly doings. Such a man may be talking to other people, but his heart is not with them since he is in the presence of God. And it is further plausible that those who have attained this rank, do, even in their earthly life, partake of the eternal life, because they have made themselves a dwelling place of the shekhinah.”
By Rabbi Amichai Cohen
Around this time of the year, we wish each other “may you be inscribed in the book of life”.
What does it mean to be inscribed in the “book of life”? Is there really a big book up there?
The Talmud says that on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish (and world) New Year, three books are opened and everyone and everything is inscribed within these books, determining every outcome of next year on a spiritual and material level. The three books are “the books of the righteous (Tzadikim), Intermediates (Beinonim) and wicked (Reshaim)” (Rosh Hashanah 17b).
King David says “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance, and in Your book were all written. The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them” (Pslams 139).
The AriZal explains that this verse refers to Adam, who was formed by G-d and saw everyone who is in the book of life. Adam is the predecessor of...
The Ramak tells us that we are made in the image of the divine which is called Keter or crown.
Man or Adam comes from the word earth and to resemble. It is not enough to merely resemble the divine in form we also must resemble the divine most importantly in deed and action.
But what are G-dly, or divine deeds and action you may ask?
Here we are told that the 13 attributes of mercy are divine paths of just action.
What are the 13 principals?. It should be noted that there are 2- 13 principals found in the Tanach, bible. The first is Moses 13 attributes which he beckons for the Jewish people not to be obliterated by the harsh decrease exacted upon them do to the sin of the golden calf. The 2nd 13 attributes is found in the...
Rabbi Amichai Cohen B"H
The Kabbalah of Shofar
In this discourse the Alter Rebbe discusses the mystical secrets of the blowing of the Shofar according to the Ba’al Shem Tov. Incredibly deep and enlightening.
As a prelude to understanding the blast of the Shofar, the Alter Rebbe gives 3 parables.
1.Sound and speech/thinking and pre-thinking
The Zohar says the sound is the general over encompassing potential, while speech is the specific intonations of sound. For sound to connect with speech it will always bypass the letter .אלף Aleph
All sounds of speech have the the Aleph (א-Ah,Eh etc) in them. Sound is then divided into their specific (5 forms of ) enunciations.
The Alter Rebbe explains that for every giver (mashpia) to give to a receiver (mekabel) it...
By: Rabbi Amichai Cohen
The King Is In The Field- Get out of the desert!
In his Song of Songs, King Solomon writes a most eloquent and deep passage representing a multitude of relationships. The verse “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine” (Song of Songs 6:3) is an immediate allusion to the month of Elul, for in its original Hebrew, “Ani ledodi v’dodi li,” the letters beginning each word serve as an acronym for this month.
Elul is the month preceding Tishrei, the beginning of the Jewish year, starting with the holiday of Rosh Hashanah and culminating with the festival of Hoshana Rabbah. It is during the month of Elul that we try and focus on our past year, reflecting on our deeds, atoning for our mistakes and contemplating our actions and changes for the new year to come. Therefore, as we will see, this statement of King Solomon’s is not only a statement between two...
Live Kabbalah Interview with scholar and author of the "Messianic Temple" Rabbi Chaim Clorfene about the Third Temple which was prophesied by Ezekiel.