November 26, 2013
Originally recorded: April 10, 2011
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And You Shall Choose Life...
It is with immense joy that we present to you, And You Shall Choose Life, based on the writings of the great kabbalist and Kabbalah Centre founder, Rav Yehuda Ashlag. Originally written as an introduction to his historic work, The Study of the Ten Luminous Emanations, a 16 part explanation of the spiritual creation of our world. It can be said that without this remarkable study, one cannot truly come to understand our world, where we came from and where we need to go.
Rav Ashlag's Study of the Ten Luminous Emanations is a monumental work that takes years to learn and decades to truly master. It is one of the deepest and most complex of all kabbalistic studies. When we realize how difficult it is to come to a true understanding of this beautiful work, it gives us a greater appreciation of a statement my father's teacher (and closest student of Rav Ashlag), Rav Yehuda Brandwein made. In one of his many letters written to his beloved student, my father, he writes: " You can only completely understand the introduction to the study written by Rav Ashlag after you have completely understood the actual study (all 16 chapters!)."
I share this not to discourage you, but to awaken an appreciation for these teachings. You might ask: "If this is true, then what is the purpose of reading this introduction when we have not begun or completed the entire study, which will take years?" The answer is that while it is true that it will take many years and many readings to understand completely the great secrets and Light in this work, the little that we do pick up- even in our first reading- will awaken within us great understanding and Light.
As is true with all of Rav Ashlag's writings, the revelations in this work are obtuse and concealed for the one who does not desire wisdom and connection with the Light of the Creator. But for a person who has a true desire for wisdom, a true desire to cleave to the Light of the Creator, this work will be a wellspring of great awakening and wisdom. I have read And You Shall Choose Life countless times over the past twenty five years, and every time I find a new Light and inspiration in these words of Light. It is my hope that you will take the time and invest the effort to extract from this powerful book the endless wisdom and Light that it contains for you.
While viewing these classes by Meir Yeshurun and reading and meditating on this book, there is one verse that we should keep in mind, and it is a verse whose secret Rav Ashlag explains in this book: "Those who desire and truly seek Me shall find Me."
Preceding the time And You Shall Choose Life (also known as the Introduction to the Ten Luminous Emanations) was written in 1933-34, Kabbalah was considered taboo. But Rav Ashlag, the founder of The Kabbalah Centre, was a visionary pioneer. He stood in the face of opposition and made it his mission to plead the case of studying this wisdom. In advance of World War II, he foresaw that darkness would fall upon the world. He believed that learning Kabbalah was the only way for people to reveal Light and that gathering people together in study and writing kabbalistic text would generate enough Light to transform darkness. The goal of this essay was to implore the study of Kabbalah. It was Rav Ashlag's belief that walking a kabbalistic path enabled people to find their true purpose and subsequently enjoy a life of fulfillment.Join Senior Instructor Meir Yeshurun for this in-depth study of one of the most difficult, yet profound kabbalistic texts.