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July 14, 2024

Archive for May, 2007

Kabbalah – the Phenomenon, Fallacies and Facts

Kabbalah - the Phenomenon, Fallacies and Facts

Part 1 of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Kabbalah explains the general phenomenon and its popularity, and gives an overview of what exists today in the world regarding the word Kabbalah. It also discusses what Kabbalah is and what it isn’t, and gives some background on how it got started.

We have been receiving many responses to the competition showing the many misconceptions we all have about Kabbalah prior to encountering the authentic study through Bnei Baruch. We will post some of these coupled with explanations about these misconceptions from Part 1 of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Kabbalah in coming newsletters and blog posts.

Next Thursday we will publish the winning entry. You still have until Monday, June 3, 2007 to enter! Send all entries to english@kabbalah.info

Click here to pre-order your copy today!


Meditation and Kabbalah
The Meditation Misconception

COMPETITION ENTRY FROM PAULA: Prior to coming to Bnei Baruch to learn what the wisdom of Kabbalah really is, I spent 12 years intensely studying Judaism and so-called “Kabbalah.”

My biggest stumbling block was meditation and so-called “Kabbalistic meditation.” I fully expected to attain the upper worlds by sitting in stillness with my eyes closed and chanting various permutations of names of G-d. All my closest “divine” connections came from my meditation practice and that was my ultimate pleasure, that sweet “divine connection.”

Imagine my surprise and shock to learn that meditation was actually reducing me to the level of a stone! Sure I could feel the divine, but in the same way a stone does 🙂 It was like settling for the teeny-tiniest fragment of the upper light. Now I wrestle to become a fully speaking human in this world, thanks to Bnei Baruch.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Kabbalah

FROM THE BOOK: Meditation is considered by many as part of the spiritual work or practices of a Kabbalist. But not all Kabbalists have practiced meditation, and even those who did meditate did not practice it in the sense we do today.

Today meditation is associated with Eastern teachings, something that Kabbalists in the past did not know. Generally, Eastern meditation is used for relaxation and for uniting with higher levels of existence by “removing” the ego. In Kabbalah, the ego is not removed, but elevated to a higher level of practice. It connects with the divine instead of canceling itself. This embrace of ego and Creator is called Yihud (unification).

pp. 10/11 of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Kabbalah, by Rav Michael Laitman, PhD and Collin Canright.

Video Click here to view a related video: “Can a Kabbalist also be a Buddhist?”

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VIDEO: Why Do I Give Of Myself So Freely But Things Don’t Work Out?

Why Do I Give Of Myself So Freely But Things Don’t Work Out? 04:56
Kabbalah tells us that there are 4 possible modes of interaction with the single force in the universe that works in the form of either bestowal or reception.

Click here to view the video at Kabbalah TV

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Four Phases of Direct Light

“And when upon His simple will, came the desire to create the world and emanate the emanations,”
The ARI’s Tree of Life, Part 1

Four Phases of Direct Light
Click here to view a dynamic flash presentation of the
Four Phases of Direct Light

Four Phases of Direct Light (Dalet Behinot de Ohr Yashar, Heb.) n.

Quote from Baal HaSulam
First, the Ohr (Light) expands from the Maatzil (Emanator) as Ohr Hochma (Light of Wisdom), containing only the “will to receive.” This is Behina Aleph (Phase 1).

Then, the will to bestow intensifies in that Ohr, and it extends Ohr de Hassadim (Light of Mercy). This Hitgabrut (overcoming) is regarded as Behina Bet (Phase 2). Then this Ohr de Hassadim expands intensively … and this is Behina Gimel (Phase 3).

After the above three Behinot (phases, discernments) fully emerge, the force of the will to receive incorporated in Hitpashtut Aleph (the first expansion) reawakens and draws Ohr Hochma once more. This completes the permanent will to receive in the Partzuf (spiritual entity) that appears as yearning, when there weren’t Ohr Hochma in the Partzuf but Ohr de Hassadim, after Behina Gimel, when the Ne’etzal (creature) could yearn for Ohr Hochma.

It is this yearning that determines the will to receive in him, and completes his vessels of reception, which was absent in Behina Aleph. For that reason the vessels of reception are completed only in this Behina Dalet (Phase 4), also called Hitgabrut Bet (the second overcoming).

Once Behina Dalet was completed in Ein Sof (Infinity), the Tzimtzum (Restriction) occurred in her, meaning the departure of the will to receive from Behina Dalet, causing the departure of Ohr Ein Sof (the Light of Infinity) from there.

This completes the explanations of the four Behinot that must exist in every Ne’etzal.
Baal HaSulam, in Talmud Eser Sefirot (The Study of the Ten Sefirot), Part 1: Tzimtzum and Kav.

Susan from New York asks: Why do we have to learn about these different phases/discernments? What can they bring us?

Answer by Bnei Baruch Instructor Chaim Ratz: They’re you. That’s what they are. They are you; they are me; they are everybody. It’s like saying you don’t want to learn about yourself. Right now, it feels abstract, but in time, it will not. You will feel it as something more and more … as a part of you.

Chaim Ratz, Introduction to the Four Behinot. 7th lesson in the 2004 English Virtual Lesson Kabbalah Education Series. (wmv video – 60min)

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MUSIC: Chasal Seder Pesach

Listen to the acid jazz version performed by the band “Bnei Baruch” by clicking on the Flash player’s button below:

Chasal Seder Pesach
a song by Baal HaSulam
Chasal Seder Pesach

1. Download Instrumental version
2. Download Acid jazz version performed by the band “Bnei Baruch”
3. Download Version sung by Rav Baruch Ashlag

Chasal Seder Pesach expresses the state of a person in the beginning of his path: full of energy, ready for this journey, and knows that the process of correction lies ahead, until he corrects himself to receive the Light, the Torah. But in exodus from Egypt, rising above his nature, he already sees a full guarantee that, with the help from above, he has the power and he is able to, in all that is prepared for him, pass these 49 gates, corrections, the so called Lag Ba Omer (the 33rd day of Omer), in the middle and all the days of Omer in order to come to the reception of the Torah, to Shavuot (Pentecost), for then the entire Kli (vessel/tool/receptacle) of man will be ready for the 50th gate, and he will be worthy of receiving the Light.

This is a fairly simple song. It particularly symbolizes one’s readiness to go and pass all Sefirot of Omer – the entire correction of the Kelim (plural for Kli)that we must perform in each Sefira, in each of these 49 states.

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World Peace and the Knowledge of God are the Same

Quote from Baal HaSulam:
And he reasons all that “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11, 9)”. Thus we see that the prophet conditions peace in the whole world with the filling of the whole world with the knowledge of God, just as we have said that the tough, egoistic resistance between people, along with deterioration in the international relationships, all these will not cease from the world by any human counsel under any conditions.

Our eyes can see how the poor sick turn over in dreadful pain, and humanity has already thrown itself to the extreme right as with Germany or to the extreme left, as with Russia, and not only did they not ease the pain, they have worsened the malady and agony and the voices rise up to the sky as we all know.

Therefore they have no counsel but to come to the acceptance of His burden, meaning that they aim their acts to the will of the Lord and to His purpose, as He had planned prior to creation. And when they do that, it is plain to see that with His work all envy and hatred will be abolished from mankind as I have shown above thus far, because then all members of humanity will unite into one body with one heart full of the knowledge of the Lord. Thus, world peace and the knowledge of God are one and the same thing.

Baal HaSulam, “The Peace.”

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