Yehudah, the teacher of prayer

Called to prayer from the teachings of Rabbi Baruch Ashlag

Called to Prayer

The Midrash states: “When Judah met Joseph, two Kings met.”

The story of the dramatic encounter between Yehudah and Yoseph, is one that reverberates in our hearts and prayers every single day. Yehudah (Judah) taught prayer, whereas Yoseph ( Joseph) represents bounty and redemption.

Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag teaches :

We need to believe before we pray that 1) the Divine hears our voice, whoever we may be. 2) that the Creator can help us 3) that He wants to help us.

Yet the fact that we even want to pray to God is a sign that the Creator is calling out to us. Calling to us to connect with Him and His call is in itself a redemption.

Listen to full podcast

Podcast inspired from the Zohar and the work Bircat Shalom, articles  by Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag

With grateful thanks to Mordecai (Yoel) Shoot whose questions sparked this study.

 

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

The gate of tears is never locked

the gate of tears is never locked, from the Kabbalah of Rabbi AshlagYom kippur is a day of prayer and coming back to our true selves. But this isn’t easy, as we very often aren’t very conscious of where we have gone wrong or what our truest and deepest desires really are. In a remarkable essay, Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag teaches us how to begin to distinguish a real need from one that may seem real but is in fact extraneous. The Sages of the Talmud said,

“Rabbi Elazar said that when the Temple was destroyed all the gates of prayer were closed; but even though the gates of prayer were closed the gate of tears is never locked.”

Through this discussion we learn the inner meaning of the prayer” And all believe that He answers the whisper, Who open the gate to those who knock in Tehuvah,” wanting to return to their Source.

Listen to podcast now
From the Sefer HaMamarim of Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag, with grateful thanks to Shmuel Igar Kinyan who studied it with me.

Other talks on Yom Kippur
“The Inner Essence of Yom Kippur”, “From the depths I call on You”, “Yom Kippur : A chance to reclaim our true identity”

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

Raising up our voice in prayer

prayer is from the heart

prayer is from the heart

When we heard the news of the three boys kidnapped last week, all our hearts in Israel seemed to stop for a moment.  Spontaneously people throughout the country, secular as well as religious began to gather, in holy sites and in town squares, to pray together for the safety and will being of Ayal Yiftach, Naftali Frankel and GilAd Scheur

When we are in trouble we all turn instinctively to pray. But why do we pray? How does prayer work? When we say the words ascend what does that mean?

In this podcast we learn how prayer affects the higher worlds and provides a vessel for the light  of God to come into this world.

May our learning  be counted in the merit of Ayal ben Iris Teshurah, Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah and Gil-Ad Michael ben BatGalim for their safety, their well being, and their speedy release.

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Blessing God’s Name: Changing the challenge into an opportunity

When we say the first six words of the Shema, Shema Yisrael HaShem Eloheinu HaShem Ehad, Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God the Lord is One, tradition has it that we respond with a whisper, “Blessed be His glorious Name for ever and ever.The Zohar teaches us that this whisper has profound significance, changing a potential for unconditional love into actuality, converting a desert land into a place of human habitation.

To listen http://nehorapress.com/115470/Audio-Classes

The joy of expecting Purim

We are now in the beginning of the month of Adar, the month in which Purim takes place. This is the month in which we increase our joy. But people don’t feel happy or feel sad without a reason. Happiness is not a feeling one can fake or force. We tend to feel happy or sad depending on events. We can’t feel feelings just because we are told to! So it’s clear that the Sages of the Talmud intended the increase in our simchah, in our joy, to relate to an inner joy, something more connected with our inner being. . .

To listen to full talk(9 mins) click on link http://www.nehorapress.com/115470/Audio-Classes