A man from Bogota once came to me and said, “You know, I was a high-ranking member of the cartel, and I have done a lot of terrible things. I have hurt a lot of people and done things I cannot even imagine a person could do. But five years ago, I found the wisdom of Kabbalah. Five years ago, I finally left the cartel. And if you let me, I would love to come to learn and be part of The Kabbalah Centre because I understand now that if I don’t turn my life around, no one will.”
It is said that when the people came to make a sacrifice in the time of the Holy Temple, they entered through one door but were required to leave through a different one—they were not able to leave the same way that they entered. Now this small detail may perhaps seem insignificant or even senseless to us. Was there really a need for a whole other doorway? I mean, couldn't the people go out where they had come in?
This week, we enter the month of Cancer, a month that brings us special opportunities to grow spirituality and to transform our lives. Kabbalistically, we know that each of us is influenced by the energy of every month, even if we are not the born in that month.
Kabbalistically the body is like the earth, and the soul is the part that has to be cultivated and nurtured to be fruitful. The only way that our soul can bear fruit in this world is if we give ourselves an opportunity to listen to it. In other words we need to make a proactive decision to connect with that part of ourselves that is beyond physicality—our soul.
There is a story about a great kabbalist named Rav Akiva who would meet his students every day to learn. On one occasion, however, one of his students didn’t show up, so later that evening, Rav Akiva went to the student’s house where he found the young man alone and very ill.
My husband, Rav Berg, once told me a story about two great friends. There was a man who was sentenced to death. Before he was taken away, the condemned man begged the king, “Please allow me three days’ time to put my affairs in order and to make sure that my family is taken care of.”
“How will I know that you will come back?” asked the king. Almost immediately, the condemned man’s best friend raised his hand and said, “I will take his place. If he doesn’t come back, you can hang me instead.”
There is a story about a great kabbalist named the Baal Shem Tov. Each time he walked into the place of prayer, he’d go over to a group of people there and greet them with a special greeting, one that was used to address someone who had been away for three or more days.
After weeks and weeks of hearing this unique salutation, one of the men asked, “Teacher, I haven’t left the city. I see you every day. Why is it that every time you see me, you always greet me like this?”
There is a kabbalist named the Ben Ish Chai who said that our purpose is not only to correct our negativity, but also to check our positive attributes and make sure we are using them for the common good. Let’s say, for example, that someone is a good salesperson; he’s good at making a profit for himself. The point for him would be perhaps to find a way to use his selling skills to explain a concept that can help others. Each and every one of us has specific strengths and talents. The question is: What are we doing with them?
Kabbalah teaches how each month of the year has a unique energy, and the influence of the month pertains to each of us regardless of our birth sign. Learn about the opportunities and challenges of the month of Taurus with this special message from Karen Berg, spiritual leader of The Kabbalah Centre.
The Bible tells us a story about a man named Naaman, the chief military officer to a king who was stricken with leprosy. Naaman was advised to go and see a prophet named Elisha who would tell him the cure. When Naaman went to meet Elisha, he was greeted not by the prophet himself, but rather by one of Elisha's messengers who told him the simple remedy: Connect to the power of water and submerge in the Jordan River.
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