KabbalahPublishing Ancient Wisdom for Modern Minds The Official Publishing Arm of the Kabbalah Centre


image description

Rav Brandwein

Rav Yehuda Tzvi Brandwein (the Rabbi of Stretten) was born in 1904 in Safad, Israel—the town of kabbalists. His lineage includes a connection to some of the greatest Hassidic masters; among them are the Maggid of Mezritsch, Elimelech of Lizhensk, Levy Yitzchak of Berditshev and Rav Dov Baer.

Rav Brandwein was a beloved student of Rav Ashlag and became the director of The Kabbalah Centre in 1956 after Rav Ashlag passed from this world. Before his death, Rav Ashlag told Rav Brandwein that he would merit his own students and that one of them would help bring this wisdom to the world, although it would be amid great protest and scorn.

Rav Brandwein decoded and edited the writings of the Rabbi Issac Luria (The Ari), and he continued the responsibility of translation and commentary on the works not completed by Rav Ashlag, namely Hashmatot HaZohar and Tikkunei HaZohar.

Rav Brandwein urged and upheld the precept “love your neighbor as yourself” as the foundation of the whole Torah. There’s a story about Rav Brandwein having lunch with the Mayor of Haifa whom he didn’t know very well. The Mayor told Rav Brandwein that he has had a strong influence on his life and said, “Do you remember when we met last month? If you recall I was smoking, and now I have given it up.”

Rav Brandwein didn’t say, “Good, I’m glad you’ve stopped smoking.” He only asked why.The Mayor said that he noticed the pain on Rav Brandwein’s face when he saw him smoking, and he felt the Rabbi’s concern.

This story represents the essence of his being and the root of his soul; People felt his deep compassion. Before Rav Brandwein left this world in 1969 he in turn passed on his spiritual legacy to Rav Berg.