The night of the Bride: when God’s light is concealed.

The Night of the Bride : Zohar, taught by Rabbi Ashlag

In the beautiful imagery of the Zohar , the Bride and the Bridegroom, the Knesset Yisrael, and the Holy Blessed One, come to the wedding canopy on the day of Shavuot, the day of the Giving of the Torah. The previous night  is spent by the companions of the Bride in studying and practicing the Torah, all through the night.

However, Rabbi Ashlag, in his tremendous teaching, the Perush haSulam on the Zohar, teaches that the essence of Shavuot and the essence of the redemption are the same. Likewise the night in which the Bride joins with Her Creator, not only refers to the night before Shavuot, but refers to the long days of exile when the forces of separation rule over us, turning us away from our Maker. Yet the Zohar teaches that  it is precisely in this time of the concealment of God’s light that the souls join with the Holy Blessed One.

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From the Ma’amar Leilah de Kalah, Perush haSulam, vol 1 Zohar,

With grateful thanks to Dvorah Hoffman and the chevrutas in Tsfat for enabling this learning. 

When God is hidden

Prayer of the girls of Neveh Dekalim, before the expulsion from their homes in Gush Katif

Prayer of the girls of Neveh Dekalim, before the expulsion from their homes in Gush Katif

There are times in our lives, when God’s light is hidden form us. Where is He? King David, the sweet singer of Israel understood and experienced this, as is evident in the psalms. Nevertheless, David still praised God.
How? On what basis was he able to find it within himself to praise God in the midst of his suffering? The Zohar asks these questions, and by looking closely into the inner meanings of one of David’s psalms, Psalm 63, shows us the way when we too are in sorrow.

1.A song of David when he was in the Judaean desert.

2. O God, My God, You, I seek You. My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You, in an arid and thirsty land without water.
3. Yes I saw You in holiness, seeing Your strength and Your glory.

4. For Your kindness is better than life; my lips will praise You.

Psalm 63

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From Rabbi Ashlag’s commentary on the Zohar, Terumah, Perush HaSulam paragraphs 253-259

With grateful thanks to my chevruta Meirah Rachel , who inspired and joined me in this learning.

Photo credit: Efrat Weiss

Keeping in contact with the soul, through thick and thin

faith at all times

faith at all times

The soul is, by and large, not well known to us. We all have moments when we feel connected, and plenty when we don’t. But there is a solution. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai taught it in the Zohar, 2000 years ago, but its message is still good for us today.
The link between the Torah, the soul and faith is one that is unbreakable, and it is a link which gives us a way to say in contact, even when we can’t.

In this podcast we learn along with Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in the Zohar with the aid of Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag’s commentary, the Perush haSulam

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From the article Mamar Oraita veTzaluta, from the Hakdamah leSefer HaZohar

Learning the Zohar : the Night of the Bride

The upcoming festival of Shavuot , the time of the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, is described in the Zohar as the “wedding” between the Bride, the souls, and the Holy Blessed One.
Learn this beautiful piece of Zohar together with Yedidah. 
Listen now http://www.nehorapress.com/115470/Audio-Classes

Shema Yisrael: Declaring God’s Unity

The third root mitzvah that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai brings in the Zohar is that of declaring God’s unity in the six words that make up the Shema. This declaration of the unity of the Creator is the first thing we learn as little children and the last thing we say when we die. In the morning and in the evening, as the day begins and ends, we affirm with our words this fundamental unity. Why?

Life itself is not uniform. It seems chaotic. We experience all extremes from dreadful to tremendous. Yet we affirm the unity of the Creator and the underlying unity of the acts of the One. These six words transform our lives from meaningless into purposeful. 

Listen now to the whole talk (nine minutes)http://www.nehorapress.com/115470/Audio-Classes

Loving God 3: In good times and in bad

Loving God isn’t an easy thing for most of us. We tend to take the good times as our due or for granted , and in bad we just feel miserable and angry. How can we remain open to love? Is it important to do so? Interestingly enough it isn’t impossible and our Sages from the Zohar and our friends can show us the way and give us the opportunity to give to the One unconditionally. For the full talk listen on

http://www.nehorapress.com/115470/Audio-Classes

Loving God: the second root mitzvah

Is it possible to love God? Why is this a mitzvah, surely it  isn’t possible to command a feeling let alone a feeling of Love? Can we define love and how can we learn what this mitzvah involves. Join Yedidah in her search for answers. Listen to the full talk  (13 minutes)http://www.nehorapress.com/115470/Audio-Classes 

loving God, blessing, mitzvah, Zohar,

priestly blessing at the Kotel