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April 24, 2017

Archive for Student Articles

The Miracle Of Hanukkah

It is the lovely and sublime season of the year when our days are filled with giving light, perhaps reflecting a general sense that light is associated with the Creator. The wisdom of Kabbalah talks about the inner celebration of Hanukkah, what the story and the practices of the celebration mean. This holiday period stands out among all the others because by immersing ourselves in it, we create the miracle inside ourselves and ultimately in the world. Here is the story:

In 170 BCE, the Greeks, led by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, captured the Temple. There was a division between the adherents of Greek philosophy and religion and those who remained loyal to the concept of a single Creator.

Some priests, including the high priest (Cohen Rishon), supported the Greeks. The Jerusalem Temple was desecrated and turned into a sanctuary of Zeus. Severe persecution and forced Hellenization of the population led to the Maccabean revolt, led by Matityahu Hashmonay who issued the call, “He who is for God, follow me!”

The uprising ended with the victory of the Maccabees. Having entered the Temple, they found that the pure oil to light the Menorah candles would last for only one day. But a miracle occurred. The candles burned for eight days and so is called the miracle of Hanukkah.

It is a rebellion against egoism. The Maccabees (love and bestowal) had successfully united the people, as they had been once before when following Abraham, and the Greeks (ego) disagreed with this, so set about destroying that unity. The miracle of a one day’s supply of oil lasting for eight days exemplifies the enormous force of love and bestowal against which the idols of the ego become helpless.

Today’s idols are abundant and we are cleverly and relentlessly drawn to them by the power of marketing and the greed of the elites. Our ego loves these idols with which we endlessly entertain ourselves.

The season of Hanukkah reminds us that we are bombarded with opportunities to create the miracle inside of us—stronger and stronger enticements to suck our pleasure from the idols. All we need to overcome this egoistic magnet is to wish for it, i.e. desire it. If we want to rise above egoism in our unity, then a completely new upper force will be manifested within us, and we will be able to create the same miracle in the same way as did the Maccabees.

Through their unity, the Maccabees attracted the Light that gave them the opportunity to stay in the state of bestowal, love and connection until they began to pull new masses of people towards themselves.

The desires of people who connect with each other in one whole symbolizes the oil, and their gathering in spite of their egoism symbolizes the wick. They burn in their desire to get closer, and when they unite somehow, a light appears within them that support the fire of their desires.

If they begin to be engaged in even greater dissemination and draw towards themselves greater masses of people, then the lamp will burn continuously.

The time is now. The time the Kabbalists wrote about, when humanity is called to follow the example of the Maccabees—to unite among us and move into the Light.

Hag Sameach! Happy Hanukkah!
By Annabelle

Photo credit: “The Eight Light” by Andrew Ratto on www.pikiwiki.org.il under CC BY 2.5


Holiday Spice

Don’t you just love the environment at Christmastime? Even as a young child, I still remember it: the chilled air, the smell of pine, colored lights and the expectation of something wonderful. My brothers and I decorated a tree, made lists, left out milk and cookies and believed, without a doubt, in the wisdom, justice and mercy of Santa Claus.

Santa was the smiling giver of good things to those who did good. Santa could see every person in the whole world, all at the same time. And he knew everything too, including whether you had been naughty or nice.

I believed in God as a child too, and I knew that God was somehow different from Santa Claus, but I wasn’t quite sure how. So it wasn’t until I was about eight years old and I found out that “Santa” was a lie that I looked deep inside myself and attempted to separate the truth from the fiction.

Finally coming to what I intuitively knew to be true, I decided that God, unlike Santa, was very real. He’d made the world. He’d made the sun, the moon and the stars, He’d made the animals, and all of nature. And he’d made us, me and my brothers. He was the Creator, the Maker of all things. And God was magical too, because not everyone knew He was there.

As a grown-up I’ve been blessed to discover the science of Kabbalah and to have one of the most revered teachers, the great Kabbalist of the 20th century, Yehudah Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) verify my childhood insight. As he explains in his article, The Solution: “There is nothing more natural than coming into contact with one’s Maker, for He owns nature. In fact, every creature has contact with his Maker, as it is written, ‘The whole earth is full of His glory.’”

As this holiday season unfolds, consider that the delightful (but untrue) myth of “Santa Claus” can be transformed into a true metaphor of the Creator, who really is omnipotent and omnipresent, the maker and giver of all good things on earth.

Studying the wisdom of Kabbalah allows us to discover the Creator and how we can receive and share His many blessings. I invite you to learn more.

By Wendy Barker


Comment: The Economy’s Hidden Problem – We’re Out Of Big Ideas

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting editorial: America’s stagnating growth is because we don’t have anymore good ideas.

I study the wisdom of Kabbalah. I got into it years ago because, like many, I wanted something more in life. I wondered and searched for a universal meaning and purpose. Kabbalah is one of the more practical life teachings I found.

Kabbalists define evolution less historically and more egoistically. The method says that throughout history, our ego grew. Ego is our desire to know, think, eat, reproduce, live, make money, and the like. 200 years ago, people were more concerned with survival and less with career success; in short, those people’s ego was less developed.

As the ego grew, so did society. Much of our societal development was facilitated by the ego’s growth. It was fantastic and created present day society.

However, Kabbalists say that the ego would reach a point where it finished growing because life is not only to acquire, invent, and manufacture. For one, this way of living isn’t really sustainable.

I mention this because of this Wall Street Journal article. Kabbalah would probably say the Journal is correct: Our economy is in trouble because we’re out of big ideas.

What’s the solution?

Well, evolution continues but not in the same egoistical direction. We must evolve the connections between human beings. For most of our history, we focused on math, science, history and the like but we can’t afford to only focus there any longer. Nature is telling us [blatantly] that we have no choice but to improve relationships between people.

We look at our own country. America is divided politically and each side kind of hates the other more than our parents generation did. We can especially see this in racial and religious tensions. It is remarkable to me how such an evolved society can be so divided. This hatred is not sustainable.

As we move into the future, education on interconnections between people becomes necessary. This is the new idea we are missing. The next level of innovation is the development of human beings.

By Peter C.


Living The High Life


“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”? C.S. Lewis

For the most part, human beings have never looked for meaning beyond the framework of material life. Frankly, there’s never been a need until now. Humanity has always fulfilled itself with its natural passions for food, sex, and family, and with more “civilized” things like wealth, honor, control, and knowledge.

Of course, there have always been rare individuals who’ve looked for meaning beyond the mundane but, for the most part, humanity has been satisfied with worldly pursuits.

Today, things are different. People aren’t content with what life has to offer; they want to know why they’re alive, and why it’s worth living. For thousands of years, people have found ways of answering life’s questions, but now they bluntly ask: why do we need this life?

The fact that humanity is asking this question is not the problem. The problem is that it can’t find an answer. Now the world is in a crisis. Families are falling apart. Science has reached a dead-end. Depression is on the rise, and people consume themselves with drugs and alcohol just to escape the void that’s appearing in their lives.

The challenge that this generation is facing is in finding a solution to the uncertainty that looms in front of it. The world has always had something to offer, but our egos have outgrown it. Now, nature is pushing humanity to develop.

However, the next rung in human evolution is unknown because, like a stone that doesn’t appreciate the sound of music, humanity doesn’t have the senses to recognize the higher laws that govern life.

Luckily nature has provided the world with a tool that can help it realize its potential—it’s called the wisdom of Kabbalah. This science is nearly 6000 years old, but it’s more relevant than ever. In fact, it was developed specifically for this generation.

Kabbalah is practical. It’s not philosophy or religion. A person doesn’t have to be smart to study it or believe in anything. All that’s needed is for people to start studying it because it describes the foundation of the world in which we live.

The study itself elevates a person. By learning about the world that Kabbalah describes, a person gradually comes closer to it, revealing immense pleasure and complete fulfillment because a person discovers the source of life itself. When humanity connects to its source it will know what to do, and where it’s going. It will understand its purpose in this world, and attain the feeling of true life.

By Shane Greve


It’s Your Lucky Day!


Sometimes a great opportunity presents itself. Here’s one for you! This is your chance to follow in the footsteps of wise and learned people on a well-established, scientifically proven path, guaranteed to lead you to a better life.

The path I’m talking about might be called the road less traveled or the path of wisdom, Kabbalah. This is a very direct path for changing your luck and your life for the better. It was definitely my lucky day when I started on the path three years ago, and I can assure you, I have never looked back.

Many friends traveling this path are much like you and me. Simple, everyday people who’ve begun to wake up and ask questions. The rush for success has somehow lost its lure, and now we see that even acquiring more love, or more money, or more power doesn’t really fill that sense of emptiness. Nor does finding a different job or a different partner.

The rat race, the drive for money, sex, power, and control; none of these are that important anymore. Instead, we are asking those nagging questions that awakening people have been asking themselves for centuries. What am I doing here?  What is the meaning of my life?

Science tells us that just as nature holds a DNA plan for our physical bodies, a plan for our spiritual development is also embedded within us, making spiritual growth a natural part of our human evolution. Yes, there is a special spiritual gene in each of us. It is called our Reshimo (reminiscence) or “the point in the heart.”

Each person has a Reshimo, and like all our DNA it becomes operational as soon as we are born. Unfolding in the background of our lives, our Reshimo silently dictates our attributes, our character traits, our likes and our dislikes, moving us slowly forward to fulfill our destiny, urging us onward and upward towards the higher consciousness of spirituality.

When I discovered this scientifically based information I started to understand myself much better. In addition, I began to understand the importance of connecting with others on the path, which serves to hasten our progress along the way. I’ve noticed that some travelers progress more rapidly or more slowly than others, but regardless of age, experience, or time of life, our own Reshimo is alive and unfolding within each of us, urging us on and silently pointing the way.

I am personally inviting you to come this way, to join me and other friends on this path, to learn and to grow together, each one helping the other along the way.

One of our most revered teachers, the great Kabbalist of the 20th century, Yehudah Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), compared what’s ahead for us in spirituality to emergence from one world to another, from the corporeal to the spiritual, while remaining in a living body here on earth.

As Baal HaSulam explains, a student’s progress can be likened to the quest of a worm who has been born inside a radish. The worm lives in the radish so he knows nothing else. He thinks the whole world is dark and bitter. But, if the worm makes effort, and he begins to move, to seek, and to grow, when he finally breaks through the radish shell and peeps outside, he claims in bewilderment: “I thought the whole world was the radish I was born in, and now I see a grand, beautiful, and wondrous world before me!”

Indeed, there is wondrous wisdom to be learned and much more to reality than we presently know. I invite you to learn more.

By Wendy Barker

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