Jacob, the man of truth

Yizhak blessing Yaakov, as every father blesses his son. From the Zohar

A father blessing his son

So many people have difficulty relating to Jacob, our father, yet he is called the “Chosen” of the Fathers. This difficulty stems from the bare reading of the Biblical recounting of the selling of the birthright, and the taking of Isaac’s blessings. it appears that Jacob is acting deceitfully— certainly, not as a holy man should act.

This question was asked of the great Sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai by his companions. He rebuked them saying:

The real truth is, Jacob never deceived anyone. He was incapable of deceiving anyone.  The Scripture testifies that he was Ish Tam a man of innocence, and thus we say in Micah 7, “Give us the truth of Jacob.” Zohar Toledot

The Zohar goes on to explain what the natures and potentials of Jacob and Esau were. It transpires that in many ways they complemented each other, and if things had turned out differently, they could have worked together and made a whole. But Esau rebelled against the teaching of Abraham and Isaac, and in the end Jacob had to shoulder, not only his role but Esau’s also.

From the Zohar we discover the inner intentions of Jacob’s acts and discover how he saved the Jewish people and  changed the course of mankind for the better.

We, also, have elements of both Jacob and Esau within us. This archetypal story of the blessings of Isaac is also a story of ourselves and gives us a clue of how to deal with conflicting aspects of our own characters.

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From the Zohar Toledot and Rabbi Ashlag’s commentary the Sulam on the Zohar

Photo Shmulik G.


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

The Inner Essence of Yom Kippur

What does atonement really mean?
Forgiving the hurts that others have done us somehow contradicts our sense of natural justice.
Equally, what do I have to do make amends when I feel guilty and ashamed of mistakes I have made?
Learn how the service of Yom Kippur itself give us valuable clues on these important issues and actually cleanses us for the New Year. Listen to audio talk (ten minutes) http://www.nehorapress.com/115470/audio-on-festivals

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


Loving God 2: Like Abraham or like Noah?

In this talk we continue our learning of the fourteen root commandments (mitzvot ) whichwe started on before the holiday season took over. The commandment of loving God still seems to be beyond reach. In our last talk we learnt that it is the 613  commnadment that comes as a grace when we have attained all the rest. However, the Zohar opens up to a different possiblity which it hints at by looking at Noah , the father of all humanity, and Abraham our father. How did they come to love God?  Can we learn from their approach?

Listen now (talk 11 minutes) 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

Yirat HaShem:3 True Yirah vs. false fears

Opposing the true Yirat HaShem, which is the desire not to do anything that will harm our relationship with the Divine, lies the potential space in consciousness for our false fears. Those fears that are self-serving. When we act out of these fears we feel physical symptoms. Fascinatingly, these are described in the Zohar and even hinted at in the first chapter of Genesis…
Listen to full talk http://www.nehorapress.com/115470/Audio-Classes

Yirat HaShem: not doing anything that will cause separation between myself and the Divine

always connected with the Divine

Yirat HaShem- the fear of being separated from the Divine

Yirat HaShem, fear of being separated from the Divine, the first essential mitzvah

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai the author/compiler of the Zohar the central book of the Kabbalah, teaches that there are 14 root mitzvot or prescribed commandments, pieces of advice if you like, which enable us to come closer to the Divine. Of them all, the first and most basic one is Yirat HaShem, erroneously translated as fear of God. In fact it is the beginning of wisdom, knowledge and faith…

Listen here for full talk ( eleven minutes)