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The last portion (Vayelech) ends with Moses saying:
Use the song of Ha’azinu for the times we live in today, a time of tremendous negativity everywhere. A time in which it will seem like the Light is not there. Use this song to remember the Light, and to get the power to handle the negativity and the failings that you will experience.
Ha’azinu means listen. How often do we come across people who need to hear but do not, while those who don’t appear to necessarily need to hear, do hear and learn. This week is about learning to hear the truth and hearing what is important for us to hear.
In verse 14 of the Ha’azinu portion, Rav Shimon bar Yochai is upset that the wisdom of Kabbalah is taught using concepts and teachings that are not connected to the source. The Zohar and other writings are full of very lofty concepts that do not always seem to translate into daily life. Surrounding Light (the energy that pushes us to grow, change and protects us), Or D’Chasadim (Light of Chasadim), the Light of sharing (energy to share) and healing – all complicated, detailed concepts that take time to truly understand. And the list goes on with hundreds, if not thousands, of concepts.
Rav Ashlag, the founder of The Kabbalah Centre, told his successor, Rav Brandwein, that a time would come in which a man would simplify this wisdom, making Kabbalah available and understandable to all. That man is the Rav Berg. We simply wouldn’t grasp any of these concepts if not for the teachings of the Rav and his wife Karen, who made the wisdom practical.
Type ‘Kabbalah’ into a search engine today and you will get more than 7 million links. They all teach the lofty concepts, but are not really connected to the source, sometimes mixing in different wisdoms. It ends up being either too complicated (so people think Kabbalah is complicated) or too simple and not really transformative.
There are people out there that are like sponges – they hear about Kabbalah from a place that claims that they teach it, and because they don’t know anything else they think this is the real thing. Let’s make one thing clear – the truth is no one really sticks to the source besides The Kabbalah Centre, simply because they don’t have the lineage. They also don’t have the Rav and Karen to constantly receive ‘updates’ in this wisdom and how they apply to our lives. It’s all lofty, not cognitive nor practical.
This is the only wisdom that can eradicate chaos from your life, keep the blessings you have, draw more blessings and correct your soul.
Rav Moshe Cordevero told his students that, when the next kabbalist after him (the Ari) was revealed, they should leave all of his writings, books and learning methods and study only from the new master, because that is the the way to learn. Can you imagine?The Rav says he didn’t invent or say anything new, the Rav just simplifies it for us and makes it more practical.
We should be honored and humbled that we are studying the real thing, the truth, and not trying to cover it.