The Light of the Zohar and the Candle of the Soul

We celebrated Lag B’Omer this week, marking, among other events, the transmission of Kabbalistic teachings by Rav Shimon bar Yochai to his students.  The Zohar, written by Rav Shimon and his students is the central text of Kabbalah and is a vast, wide ranging work arranged around the Chumash, Five Books of Moses and the Five Megilot, the five scrolls. The language of the Zohar is a poetic, Aramaic,  much ...

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Lag B’Omer – The 33rd Day of the Omer (5779)

In the first century of the Common Era, the Jewish people experienced a major tragedy during the period of counting the Omer.  The greatest sage of the generation was Rabbi Akivah, who had taught vast numbers of people.  The Talmud relates that 24,000 (!) of Rabbi Akivah’s students, who constituted the primary chain of Torah transmission, died as a result of an epidemic between Passover and Shavuot. The Talmud states ...

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Bonfire

The Best of Times; The Worst of Times

For the Jewish people who came out of Egypt, the period between the Exodus and the Revelation at Mt. Sinai was one of continuous spiritual awakening. Their relationship with God grew stronger and closer. Miraculous events occurred daily. For the Jewish people in subsequent generations, this period continues to be one of the greatest of times of the year, in which we prepare ourselves for a renewal of our commitment ...

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The Best of Times; The Worst of Times – Bechukotai 5774

For the Jewish people who came out of Egypt, the period between the Exodus and the Revelation at Mt. Sinai was one of continuous spiritual awakening. Their relationship with God grew stronger and closer. Miraculous events occurred daily. For the Jewish people in subsequent generations, this period continues to be one of the greatest of times of the year, in which we prepare ourselves for a renewal of our commitment ...

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