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


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Rav Ashlag

Rav Yehuda Ashlag was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1884. From early childhood he showed unusual ability and commitment in the study of the Talmud, The Zohar, and other sacred works. By the age of 19, his knowledge of the Torah was so advanced that the rabbis of Warsaw gave him the title of rabbi.

While still in Poland in his thirties, Rav Ashlag made the acquaintance of a merchant whose identity has never been revealed. Secretly this merchant was a great kabbalist who became Rav Ashlag’s teacher — until, as Rav Ashlag expressed, “My arrogance caused a separation between us,” and his teacher disappeared. Several months later, Rav Ashlag met with his teacher again and, after much pleading, convinced him to reveal an important kabbalistic secret. The next day, the teacher died. His name, as well as the details of the secret he disclosed to Rav Ashlag, have since remained hidden.

Shortly thereafter, Rav Ashlag moved to Israel where he spent most of his life. There he began evolving and disseminating Kabbalah from an obscure and coded wisdom to a systematic body of teachings for the masses.

He wrote and published two great works:Talmud Eser Sefirot (The Study of the Ten Sefirot) and his Sulam Commentary on The Zohar, part of which makes up the present volume. This work, which took from 1943 to 1953 to complete, comprises a translation of The Zohar from Aramaic to Hebrew, as well as a detailed commentary and interpretation.

With a first-hand experience of Kabbalah as a means to personal transformation, he led a group of disciples in nightly study of the wisdom. He also openly promoted Kabbalah through writing letter articles and letters, and spear-headed a newsletter, “HaUma” (“The Nation”). In this publication he presented his analytical and predictive skills for the causes of political and social unrest, and offered solutions on how positive global change could be achieved by taming the ego through the study and application of Kabbalah.

It is upon these roots that Rav Ashlag founded The Kabbalah Centre in 1922 in Israel.

There he was the teacher and spiritual master of Rav Yehuda Brandwein, to whom leadership of the Centre was passed when Rav Ashlag left this world in 1956. Rav Brandwein, in turn, designated Rav Berg to lead the Centre when he passed on.