Message from Karen Berg
The Ari explains that before any great Light can be revealed it is first necessary to go down to the lowliest state. This is the reason that the Israelites had to go down to Egypt. It was their providence. What is this place called Egypt? It is a representation of the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone. We must have a desire so that we use it to choose the Light. As humanity our mission is to create a bridge from the darkness of this world to the Light of the Creator -- by our will. Like a suction, our wanting draws Light from the Upper world -- the home of the Creator -- into this world, our place of existence, so that we can be the cause of illumination in this dimension which has no light of its own. As we know the Light of the Creator is subjugated, locked out of this reality until such time that we unbolt the lock with our consciousness.
However, there is a danger in that. For the emptiness of this mundane level of reality can sometimes cause our desires to go astray and rather than being the cause we become, like the Israelites, captive to all that we crave.
The Creator knew, then as now, that peeling humanity away from the Desire to Receive would end in failure if we were not given Divine assistance. With that in mind The Creator made an opening in the spiritual structure of the universe – for 24 hours — allowing endless Light to enter our world with no effort required on our part. Appearing in full radiance, imbuing our souls, fortifying our resolve, giving us the strength to restrict, and to use our desire to draw down Light, not it’s many imposters. Not only on this day but for the remainder of the year to come.
On the 15th of Nissan, the Creator is revealed in totality and completeness embracing humanity with Spiritual Light. This is the holiday of Pesach. As it says in the Haggadah: “On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt. I, and not an angel; I, and not a seraph; I, and not a deputy. I am God. I, and no other.”
Why was this revelation unlike any other necessary? Because it was this totality of Light that was needed not only to take the Israelites out of Egypt, but to extract Egypt from within each Israelite.
Using the technology that is the Seder in all of its fifteen steps, the matzah, the wine, and of course the story telling of the Haggadah, we experience, as the scripture tells us, the full revelation of Light, freedom from our selfish desires, as our Egypt is removed from us.
It is written that on Pesach night all those who dwell in the heavens and all those who dwell on earth come together to experience the Creator.
Michael and I invite you to join us for one of the most beautiful connections we can experience all year.
Message from Michael Berg
The Rav would always remind us, and he was very adamant about the fact that all the Holidays – and especially Pesach, or Passover – are not simply a time to come together with our families, nor a time to celebrate history or tradition. One of the biggest gifts of the study of Kabbalah is that it reveals to us not only which unique Light and blessings are available at different times of the year, but also how to connect to that Light. And as always, it begins with consciousness.
Pesach is the only time of the year when the totality of the Light of the Creator is revealed in the world without any limit. Unlike any other time of the year, on Pesach this great Light is revealed regardless of one’s earning it or not. It is a free gift. But of course, more of the Light is revealed depending on one’s consciousness and clarity upon its revelation. The main purpose of the revelation is to free us of the clutches of the negative side.
Simply put, there is no darkness, negativity, and chaos that the Light of the Creator – revealed during the time of Pesach – cannot free us from.
There is much more that can be said, and much more is revealed by the kabbalists, but I ask you to take a moment and think about the previous statement. If we accept and understand the gift of Pesach then we can begin to truly grasp the preciousness of this time and how carefully we need to think about what we do, and what state of consciousness we have during this Holiday.
If we understand that there is only one time a year that the Creator opens up all the gates, regardless of who we are, then let’s make sure to be prepared and make this connection.
Rav Brandwein, the Rav’s teacher, in explaining this idea, compares it to two men who are arguing about the ownership of a chicken. Finally, after much back and forth, one man says to the other, “Let’s let the chicken roam free, and whoever he approaches will be his true and rightful owner.” So too, on Pesach, the Creator says, Let me send a tremendous amount of Light to every single individual, freeing them of the clutches of the negative side, and then let’s see who they connect to. That is what Pesach is about.
The Light frees us and gives us the ability to choose our connection with the Light of the Creator.
It is true that, being a free gift, we will then need to re-earn that Light, but what happens on Pesach is that we are freed of all negativity. And if we make the connection on Pesach we can hold on to that freedom – from pain, from suffering, from fear, from death even – earning it and bringing it in its totality into our lives.
That is the secret of Pesach.
The Rav would often speak about the fact that because the gates are open on Pesach, they’re really open for all of us to grab limitless Light. The Rav would use the example: The bank’s gates are open, and only a silly person wouldn’t run in there and grab as much as he or she could.
This reminds me of a story that the kabbalists often use about a man who goes to his friend and asks to borrow a large sum of money. And the friend says, “Sure, come to me tomorrow. I’ll meet you at the bank and give you the money.” The next day goes by, yet the man doesn’t meet his friend to get the loan. That evening, the man again goes to his friend’s house and repeats his request. The friend says, “Of course, I told you yesterday I will help you. Meet me tomorrow at the bank and I’ll give you whatever money you need.” And again, the next day the man doesn’t show up. And he keeps complaining, “Why doesn’t my friend give me the money?” But he never shows up at the bank to receive it.
That, unfortunately, is what often happens during Pesach.
We come to the Creator, we say give us Light, give us freedom, give us the removal of darkness, pain, and suffering. And the Creator says, I’m ready. Come to me on the night of Passover and I’ll give you all of that Light.
That is the consciousness with which we need to come to Pesach. And therefore, especially this year, whether you’re joining us in Los Angeles or connecting in any of the other Centres, the most important consciousness is to understand, and ask, and therefore receive this great freedom. Not only for ourselves or our families or those around us, but all of us connected to the Centre and to this consciousness should be asking, desiring, and preparing ourselves to receive this great Light of freedom from all chaos for the entire world.
May we have the merit this year to have the elevated consciousness, to have the prepared vessel, for this great Light, so that our lives are truly transformed into freedom from darkness for ourselves and for the world.
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