And You Shall Choose Life

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Preceding the time this essay 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. Like a revolutionary, fighting the status quo, Rav Ashlag fought for people to unlock their consciousness.

He dedicated himself to revealing concealed aspects of the Bible and decoding the messages within. This essay was originally written as an introduction to The Study of the Ten Luminous Emanations —one of the most difficult and yet profound kabbalistic texts. Edited by Michael Berg, 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.

This book gives insight into one of the greatest kabbalistic thought leaders of all time. The text is deep and complex. One of the most challenging aspects is the tone of urgency. As people were swept up in pain and suffering, Rav Ashlag tried to explain that despite outer events, the Creator is good. “Choosing life” means challenging the sleepy way most people live. It means forming a connection to God, removing ego and pursuing the spiritual path of Kabbalah. Although written many decades ago, the essays are timeless. The thoughts and messages within this text are what led to the formation of The Kabbalah Centre.