Ask A Kabbalist

Transformative Sharing Versus Bread of Shame


Dear Mr. Michael Berg,

Thank you very much for your book, Becoming Like God. I cried a number of times while reading your book. It is truly inspirational. Thank you.

My question is, can you please differentiate Transformative Sharing with Giving Bread of Shame? How will I know which is which. Thank you. Looking forward to your response.

May God bless you forever and ever. Amen and Amen.


Thank you, that is a good question. Because we are part of the Creator, if we received the blessings the Creator wants to bestow upon us without earning them, we would always feel a bit of shame and lack, because we did not earn that Light. It is a concept Kabbalah calls ‘Bread of Shame.’

The kabbalists teach we come into this world to do the spiritual work of transformation so that we can earn that Light. Therefore, when we’re giving something to a person or doing something for them they have not earned, we are giving them Bread of Shame, as they are receiving fulfillment without effort; they are not doing the work of transformation they need to be doing to earn that Light.

We are here, of course, to help others and share with them. But the way in which we do that is different depending on that person’s level of consciousness. Kabbalah teaches that to truly help a person, that person needs to have a desire to change his or her life. If the person you are looking to share with doesn’t want to make an effort and is just looking for a “handout,” it is a case of Bread of Shame.

Your act of transformational sharing in a situation like that might therefore be to give the person the space to earn the Light for him or herself. For many of us, this is difficult. When we see someone hurting or struggling, we want to come in and save them. However, they have to do it themselves; this is, in fact, not only the most loving and sharing thing we can do for them, but also, an act of transformational sharing, because in so doing we are going outside of our own comfort zone.

The more uncomfortable the sharing is for us, the more Light it reveals, and the greater the transformative power of those actions of sharing… both for our own lives and the lives of those we have shared with.


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