Kabbalistic Astrology is the oldest and most profound application of astronomy and astrology known to mankind. It serves as a guide to our personal transformation, deepening our connection to ourselves and others. The purpose of kabbalistic astrology is to give us the ability to rise above the influences of the cosmos and take control over our own lives.
In mid-March of 2013, world renowned kabbalistic astrologer, Yael Yardeni, visited South Africa to give a series of seminars. Yael’s trip marked the first ever visit to South Africa by a kabbalistic astrologer. Currently, there is a study group in the country’s largest city, Johannesburg, as well as a small study group in Cape Town. Both are composed of a group of dedicated Kabbalah students.
Yael joined Kabbalah Centre teacher, David Zakin, who is the main instructor in South Africa, in Johannesburg for a special seminar on relationships from a kabbalistic point of view. Nearly 200 people attended this seminar at the Crowne Plaza Hotel near Johannesburg’s business district. “I was actually very surprised by the warm welcome of the South Africans!” says Yael, “The eagerness of these people to learn about their tikun, about the way to change themselves and work towards true fulfillment – I found this to be really nice.”
In her seminar, Yael illustrated how kabbalistic astrology can help people find and maintain a relationship – personal, business, family – by having a better understanding of the astrological sign they were born under, and then relating this understanding to the kind of relationship they are looking for. Those who attended the event relayed that they learned much and enjoyed themselves: “Right away Yael put everyone at ease with her friendly smile and her jokes and made everyone laugh while staying focused and involved,” says Kabbalah Centre student Leigh, “It was a truly informative and engaging event.”
After wrapping up her activities in Johannesburg, Yael headed across the country to picturesque Cape Town. “Cape Town is mellower than Johannesburg, which seemed more focused,” says Yael. Her lecture here was also well-attended, with over 100 guests, and well-received. “It was a fantastic experience meeting Yael,” says Sylvia, an attendee of the event. “Her vibrant energy made listening to her lecture on kabbalistic astrology a very enriching experience. She is very clear on the subject and made it fun for all of the audience to have all her attention. I look forward to seeing her again in Cape Town.”
More and more people in South Africa are becoming conscious of Kabbalah and its power to transform lives. Yael’s visit energized the local Kabbalah community, and brought awareness of the ancient wisdom to many. “The people that came to both seminars weren’t actually all students, and there was a whole palette of completely different people!” recalls Yael. “I was told there that there are 11 official languages in South Africa – it totally felt like it! Overall, it was a great experience!”
“We had a great turn out, with many people coming to listen that had never studied any Kabbalah courses before. Everyone left feeling inspired and uplifted and wanting to know more. I hope this is the start of more exciting lectures to come from the Kabbalah Centre teachers and we hope to host Yael again soon.” – Kabbalah Centre student, Leigh.
Those moments in history that come to us as catastrophic shocks often shape the decisions we make into the future – as we did yesterday in response to the devastation and pain that took place in Boston. We move through a range of feelings: empathy for the victims and their families, gratitude about our own lives, a decision to be better, a vow that it will never happen again, and a desire to change the world. We feel it all. We seek to find the perpetrator and bring them to justice. And yet it happens again somewhere by someone else.
What is our lesson here? What can we really learn from such sadness and suffering? What was the moment that turned a compassionate human being into a bomber who wants to cause hurt and death? We cannot retrace the steps, but what we can do is examine our own lives and future choices. We can learn to apply human dignity and respect to every person we meet and every person we work with. At every opportunity, we can choose kindness over intolerance.
If we want a better world, we need to have better people in it. The only ones we can really affect are ourselves. It is such hard work, but we can look deep into our souls and find the strength that the Creator imbued in us and in every person. Let’s take this moment to face our own demons and put them in their rightful place – in the back seat of the car. Let’s empower our Godlike spirit to drive our decisions and actions.
Our prayers are with all of those souls who are suffering today in Boston and around the world.
Spiritual Leader of the Kabbalah Centre
The Kabbalah Centre is excited to announce the release of the digital online version of the latest SPARK Magazine! Available now in English (with Spanish and Portuguese coming soon), the online edition can be viewed on your home computers, tablets and smart phones.
SPARK Magazine provides current news, in-depth insights into happenings within The Kabbalah Centre community, and updates on ongoing projects.
In this edition, we focus on caring: what it means to care, why we care, what caring for others can do for us and the world as a whole. Inside you will find interviews with Karen, Michael and Yehuda Berg, updates on Zohar Project activities in Mexico and Israel, and much more. Please join us as we inform, update and celebrate our amazing Kabbalah Centre community!
We welcome you to (digitally) flip through our pages with the hope that you will come away feeling more knowledgeable about, and ultimately more connected to, The Kabbalah Centre.
SPARK Issue 7 (Spring 2013)
1. Letter to our Donors
2. Consciousness from the Rav
3. Karen Berg on True Caring
4. Interview with Yehuda Berg
5. Interview with Michael Berg
6. Web Update
7. Student Perspective
8. New Publishing Releases
9. ZP: Plants Seeds of Protection & Peace in Israel
10. Ciudad Juarez: Zohar Project Update
11. The Kabbalah Centre Responds to Superstorm Sandy
12. A Common Language at Kabbalah Children’s Academy
13. Reaching Out for the Holidays
14. Volunteering Testimonials
The Zohar Project in Venezuela kicked off 2013 with an adventurous outing to the border between Venezuela and Colombia. The intention was to distribute Zohars (Sacred, Sulam and Pinchas) along the border to provide Light and protection to the area. Relations between the two countries haven’t always been rosy in recent years as the nations’ governments have marked political differences.
In March of 2008, a diplomatic conflict arose between the governments of Colombia and Venezuela. Within days thousands of troops from each side had amassed in the border region. Students at the Caracas Kabbalah Centre, concerned that this encounter could escalate into a full-blown war, took action. Armed with a certainty that they would disseminate a consciousness that would diffuse the situation, the students organized and carried out a Zohar Project outing along the border. Some 4,500 Zohars were given to soldiers and officers alike; less than a month later, the presidents of each nation hugged in public, having resolved the problem diplomatically.
Though relations between Colombia and Venezuela have improved, the border region separating the two countries is known as a very violent, dangerous area. The smuggling of contraband, especially petroleum, is prevalent and often leads to violence between groups of criminals and both Colombian and Venezuelan police forces. In addition to smugglers, hired assassins called sicarios are prevalent, charging $100 on average for their services. A heavy guerrilla presence on the Colombian side adds yet another chaotic element to the region. To counter all of this chaos, Kabbalah Centre students organized another Zohar distribution trip to the border.
In the early hours of January 1st, seven teams of Kabbalah Centre volunteers from the Venezuela Kabbalah Centre in Caracas, as well as the Valencia and Maracaibo study groups, piled into seven cars headed for the Colombian border. The group boasted 23 enthusiastic members, with each team consisting of at least one experienced volunteer and one new student. The teams were given specific tasks and areas to work in around the border, including finishing a previous Zohar Project goal of placing a Zohar every five kilometers along Venezuela’s main highway for protection.
Yaakov Goetz, a Kabbalah Centre student and experienced Zohar Project leader who helped organize the outing, injected consciousness into the trip by organizing ‘consciousness tune-ups’ in the evenings. During these ‘tune-ups’, students came together to discuss the most beneficial ways to disseminate Zohars – per Michael Berg’s new vision for the Zohar Project. “Michael says that if a person gives the Zohar to someone and explains it properly, the true power of the Zohar is activated,” says Yaakov, “When a Zohar is given with a high level of consciousness, results come faster and are more profound. We want to make sure people appreciate the book when receiving it, because appreciation unlocks more of its power. Therefore, we have to think positively when disseminating Zohars; about the way the Light will affect people, about what the Zohar will achieve in their lives.”
When the teams arrived near the border, they split up to distribute Zohars in various small towns in the region. Hospitals, policemen and firemen were sought out, as well as citizens. Recalling their evening consciousness meetings, each volunteer focused on disseminating their Zohars with as much consciousness as possible. One team went to Machiques and Villa del Rosario, two villages in an indigenous part of Venezuela, where they were well-received by locals and gave five Sacred Zohar sets to the police and fire stations, as well as the hospitals and medical clinics, of each town.
Another team was tasked with crossing the border into Colombia to distribute Zohars in and around the city of Maicao. This team experienced a litany of chaotic delays, from issues getting gasoline to a mild case of food poisoning and everything in between, and arrived at the border crossing after 4 PM. Unbeknownst to them, authorities strongly discourage travel on that stretch of road after 4 PM because of a much higher risk of running into thieves and/or kidnappers. The team turned back, but decided they would try again the next day.
“Of course, when the opponent doesn’t want you to do something, it puts obstacle after obstacle in your way,” says Yaakov, “You just have to push through.” Yaakov and a newly formed group of four Kabbalah Centre volunteers (teams were reorganized from day to day to foster relationships and provide different avenues of learning) were up bright and early the next day with the intention of going to Colombia. However, they too encountered a series of delays, so that they didn’t make it to the border until the unofficial deadline of 4 PM.
Despite the misgivings and warnings expressed to them by border agents, the Zohar Project team of volunteers decided to go anyway. In support of their decision, and with the purpose of protecting them during the dangerous hour-long drive to Maicao, the other teams coordinated with the Caracas Kabbalah Centre and study groups to scan the Pinchas portion of the Zohar. Yaakov and his team arrived safely in Maicao and immediately began disseminating Zohars.
The people of Maicao graciously received the Kabbalah Centre volunteers. “It was beautiful,” says Yaakov, “We were received in an exemplary fashion.” Zohars were given to Maicao’s two hospitals, its biggest hotel, police stations, as well as people out and about on the streets.
After four hours of distributing Zohars in Maicao and its surrounding neighborhoods, the team started packing up to go back to Venezuela. First, however, they stopped at a police station on the outskirts of Maicao. The policemen here were extremely happy to receive Zohars and asked the Kabbalah Centre volunteers to stay and talk about Kabbalah some more. Several personal stories were exchanged, some drawing tears and others laughter. When the policemen discovered that Yaakov and his team were going to drive back to Maracaibo that night, they tried to dissuade them, saying it was far too dangerous. The Kabbalah Centre students were not to be dissuaded, as according to Yaakov, “We were full of certainty and trusted the Light.” Still, the policemen generously insisted that the travelers accept their own money. This money was meant for them to give to criminals in case they encountered any, because oftentimes they will kidnap their mugging victims if they have no cash.
When the Kabbalah Centre volunteers left the police station, the rest of the teams still in Venezuela began scanning the Zohar for their protection. Once again, the study groups and Caracas Kabbalah Centre communities joined in the scanning, and all of the teams made it to their destinations without any problems.
The dedicated efforts of these Kabbalah Centre students brought the power of the Zohar to an area full of chaos and negativity. The dedication is illustrated in the fact that during the interview for this story, Yaakov could be overheard giving Zohars to a group of firemen. “Revealing Light is incredibly fulfilling,” Yaakov shares, “I am very happy to do this work!”
The Latin America Zohar Project will embark on a special mission to disseminate 15,000 Zohars in Peru in May 2013. Volunteers in Latin America interested in joining this effort can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Team Kabbalah, The Kabbalah Centre’s Volunteer Program, participated in the Random Acts of Kindness Week from February 11th-17th. Initiated by the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation, this special week-long event gets participants to activate their awareness of others through kind actions.
Team Kabbalah volunteers were presented with The Kindness Challenge. Volunteers were asked to submit one photo and caption per day of their random act of kindness to the Team Kabbalah Facebook page, with a winner being chosen at the end of the week. The winner would demonstrate creativity, sincerity and genuine interest in the cause to create kindness and awareness.
As the week kicked off, entries from Team Kabbalah volunteers started coming in. Here are a few submissions:
“I gave everyone a free wash by putting quarters in every [washing] machine in our building’s laundry room (with a ‘random acts of kindness note’ so that people would know they weren’t simply left behind).” – Team Kabbalah volunteer Tanya, Chicago
“I’m a Kabbalah student who lives in the New York area where we had a big snow storm last weekend. As I cleaned my car I decided to do the same to other random car. And then my friend Romulo got inspired and did the same!” – Team Kabbalah volunteer Claudia, New York
“My family and I were in an ice cream store when these two kids came in to buy ice cream, but they had only enough money between the two of them to buy one ice cream. My wife and I overheard the disappointment when one of them said for the other to go ahead and buy it, so we bought the other kid the ice cream. Needless to say they were happy, though we were happier as they gave us the opportunity to share and teach our kids the importance to always be on the lookout for opportunities to give…” – Team Kabbalah volunteer Manuel, Panama City
“One of our volunteers surprised several people. She went out got some orange juices in the supermarket and gave them away to people driving by.” – Team Kabbalah volunteer Elsie, Panama City
“As I was filling the parking meter for my space, I noticed the space next to mine was expiring, so I filled it back up.” – Team Kabbalah volunteer Cristee, Oklahoma
At the end of the Random Acts of Kindness Week, Annabella from Mexico City was selected as the winner of The Kindness Challenge. Annabella engaged in a variety of kind acts each day of the week, including giving out hugs and smiles to people on the streets and subways. To see Annabella in action, please check out the video below:
Team Kabbalah volunteers give with the goal of building a better world for all of its inhabitants. Currently Team Kabbalah is looking for volunteers to assist with The Centre’s annual Pesach event with the Rav and Karen in Anaheim – if you would like to volunteer with Team Kabbalah for the Pesach event, please click here or email: email@example.com, or contact your local Kabbalah Centre’s volunteer coordinator. If you like this story and the general efforts of Team Kabbalah volunteers, please visit the official Team Kabbalah Facebook page and give it a ‘Like’!