My Teachers

Introduction here ……

Rabbi Israel Shlomo Eliyahu Muller

Rabbi Muller was long time disciple of Rabbi Barhuch Shalom Ashlag. He learned as well as taught Talmud Eser Ha Sefirot as well as Zohar numerous times. Rabbi Muller is continuing his indepth learning with Rebbe of Jirke who has small beit midrash in Brooklyn New York, where the teachings of Baal HaSulam and holy Zohar are studied. Grand children of RABASH study there as well.

Rabbi Muller was kind enough to accept me as his student and we have been learning Talmud Eser HaSefirot for over a year now, one-on-one on daily bases (except Sabbath due to distance). In this picture the Rabbi explains the basics of Kabbalah – kli (vessel) and Ohr (Light).


Rabbi Fievel Okowita

Rabbi Fievel Okowita studied for many years by HaRav Baruch Shalom Ahslag (RABASH) – the firstborn son of Rav Yehuda Ashlag – the author of famous commentary on Zohar known as HaSulam (the ladder). Rav Okowita also studied in Yeshiva Kol Torah in Jerusalem headed by HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach z”l and in Yeshiva Beis Meir in Bnei Brak headed by Rav Zalman Rothberg z”l and received Rabbinical ordination from Rav Chaim Shaul Kareletz (nephew of the Chazon Ish). At present Rav Okowita lives in NY Tri-State Area, maintains continuous contact with many students of Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag and teaches in person the wisdom of Kabbalah as it was passed to him by his great teacher – HaRav Baruch Shalom Ashlag.

 

14 Responses to My Teachers

  1. Pingback: Ohr Makif » Authentic Kabbalah Lessons in Tri-State Area

  2. Seeker says:

    Hello,

    I have been studying Kabbalah for one year with Bnei Baruch. While I am convinced that Kabbalah and the Sulam method are authentic ways to cleave to G-d as He wants us to, I have been disturbed by some aspects of BB, such as the fact that if one does not pay maaser (10% of income to be paid to BB) one can not reach spirituality (I don’t think spirituality is for sale), their claim to be the only way to salvation and dismissal of any other methods, etc
    I am still a strong believer in Kabbalah and the Baal HaSulam method though, but I have decided to look at alternative teachings. I have few questions:

    1. Is anywhere in the original sources (ARI, Baal HaSulam, Rabash, etc.) written that without paying maaser one cannot reach correction?

    2. As I do not speak Hebrew, I can only read English. I am currently reading Rabash and Baal HaSulam articles and books translated and edited by BB. Are those good enough approximation of the original Hebrew sources? If not, can you recommend any others as I can’t find anything online?

    3. I have a very strong desire to study but I do not have teachers nor student near me. Would it be possible to get in touch with someone who studies with Rabash and understand how can I move from here? I am currently very confused, as I thought I had found something in BB, but I am back searching now.

    4. Is it true that Rabash passed his notebook “Shamati” to Dr. Laitman and he is the one who published it?

    Thanks,
    Seeker

  3. Hello, Seeker

    Paying Ma’aser is one out of the 613 Mitzvot the jews have, and so it is clear that without other 612 Mitzvot there is no way anybody may reach any spiritual level, the point that the Ma’aser is so attractive to BB is that it is “real money ” and it is what they need from their students.

    Spiritual root of the Money is Ohr Hassadim, and of course it is Ohr Hosser, which is the vessel for the Ohr Hokhma, as you may have learned already, and that is why it is so problematic for us to part with some amount of the money, which we think are ours, when actually, all the money we get are given to us by the Creator and it is His Will for us to pay a 10th part as Ma’aser( there are some Hallakhot=laws to know how we pay it, but the point is that you may pay it to any place you wish, and it shouldn’t be BB).

    The way to spirituality is through studying Torah and performing Mitzvot only, and paying Ma’aser and studying the works of Baal haSulam and Rabash are not enough at all. The works of Baal HaSulam and Rabash may not be completely understood and used for the spiritual ascend if taken out of the context of Judaism and Torah study in general.

    As for the places to study, there is HaBa”D organizations in nearly and every place, which allow any jew to come to the jewish way of life and if you wish to study the works of Baal haSulam and Rabash you MUST start studing Hebrew and to learn them in original version , as published by Rav Gottlieb , our site gives connections to his school and bookshop, meantime you may use the translations of Yeddida Kohen.

    You may study Hebrew on the aish.com, they have free lesson in Hebrew there, and if you are really interested in Kabbalah, in three years, the Hebrew won’t be a problem, three years are also good enough to learn to observe all the Jewish laws, and to decide if spiritual way of development is what you are looking for.

    The school of Kabbalah based on Ari-Baal haSualm-Rabash teaching of Rav Gotlieb is most reliable today, but he teaches in Hebrew only and it is the language the Kabbalah should be taught in. All the information on our site is given in English just to help the people to understand what the Kabbalah and the works of the most prominent Kabbalists are about, BUT if one means to study it seriously, one should know Hebrew himself, because there may not be a correct translation of the text from Hebrew into any other language, because the Hebrew is the language of roots, which are so multi- leveled, that no other language may give the equal translation.

    As for the book of “Shammati” being passed to Laitman, so he says, but it doesn’t mean anything, as it is well known principle of the kabbalists, that from time to time the ego should be thrown a “bone”, and the fact the Rabash gave the “Shammati” to Laitman fits the above saying perfectly well.

    The textbook of Kabbalah is and will be Zohar and TES, and the articles of Baal haSulam and Rabash are learned to understand how the kabbalah principles work on the level of each and every person in his individual inner spiritual work, and “Shammati” is one of them, there are a lot of other Baal haSulam and Rabash’s articles, which are of no less value, than the book of “Shammati” and have a lot of practical recommendations for those who study Kabbalah.

    BB and KC are two giants who try to make money out of the Holy Teaching of Kabbalah, each trying to deny the other the legacy of the kabbalah tradition, while the truth is that Baal haSulam knew it was going to happen, and that is why he had written his comments to the Ari and Zohar in such a way, that without studying Torah and performing Mitzvot LeSHMA=for the sake of bestowing and personal correction, there is no point in reading his comments, and it doesn’t matter what translation they are given, their meaning will be consealed from the reader, because the words are only the “backside”=Akhora’im of the spiritual vessels which conceal the Wisdom and do not turn their Face=Panim to those who neglect the commandments of the Creator!

    Hag Pesach Same’akh veKasher,
    Yehudith Shraga.

  4. Seeker says:

    Many thanks Yehudith,

    would you say the main difference between BB and authentic teachings is their detachment from Jewish religion?

    Are mitzvot physical actions and is there a list of them?

    Seeker

  5. Seeker says:

    Can I also ask what are the Hallakhot regarding how to pay maaser?

  6. Seeker says:

    Sorry one more questions regarding faith above reason. This is a concept discussed at length in the sources, but I was wondering whether it is an accurate translation from Hebrew or not.

    I am always struggling to understand it. I do understand we cannot perceive spirituality until we attain it and therefore we have to go “above” our reason (reason being part of our egoistic view of the world).

    However it is also a very thin line to completely annul any rational argument, in other words as we have only reason, anything that goes against it could be above (holy) or below (evil) reason.

    I am not sure it makes sense…very confusing.

    Thanks,
    Seeker.

  7. To Seeker

    We are in the time of Pesach Holiday now, so I will try to answer your questions with the help of copy-paste:

    1. You have understood the BB’s “problem” perfectly well, the Kabbalah is the integral part of the Judaism and oral Torah, and may not be separated from the Jewish religion, and may not be understood without Practical implementation of the jewish way of Life, see:

    http://www.chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/380317/jewish/Uniqueness-of-Jewish-Mysticism.htm

    Baal haSulam and Rabash are both outstanding kabbalists of the contemporary times, BUT one may not make his spiritual ascend on the basis of their works only, there are a lot more to learn, including the teachings of the other Kabbalaists, and we try to put on our site their works on kabbalah in translation for the people to see, that the things Baal haSulam and Rabash speak about belong to the old jewish Kabbalah tradition and are based on the jewish spiritual Knowledge.

    Baal haSulam did an outstanding work by commenting the Zohar and organizing the teaching of Ari in the form of TES and writing his comments to it too, BUT trying to make something separate out of his works from the works of the other Kabbalaists and Judaism, brought the BB and KC to the level they are on today.

    2.Mitzvot consists of both physical and mental parts, the physical part consists of the two main categories which are DO and DO NOT DO, mental part deals with Kavanna=intention, what makes this or that person to perform these Mitzvot – fear, the wish for the Honour, some social benefits or the wish to get corrected and to be in harmony with the Creator and the world around, the last motivation is called leShma for the sake of bestowing, and all the rest are called LoLeShma, for any other egoistic reason, for the List of Mitzvot use :

    http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm

    and for their practical IMPLEMENTATION see:

    http://www.torah.org.il/advanced/shulchan-aruch/

    for the bettering your intention see The Introduction to the TES by Baal HaSulam on
    Additional Site with Lessons of Sulam:

    http://kabbalistnyc.com/?p=122&cpage=1#comments

    3. The laws of paying Ma’aser are quite numerous, here some information which may help :

    http://halachafortoday.com/archives-2/archives-hilchos-maaser-kesofim/

    http://www.torah.org/advanced/business-halacha/5757/

    As for the principle of Imunna Mi’al haDa’at= the Faith( or belief) above the Knowledge ( or understanding), the Hebrew word for reason is Sibba, effect is Mesuvvav, so the translation of Faith above the reason is not correct at all.

    As for the Kabbalah principle of Faith above the Knowledge, it is one of the most important principle to understand, because the spiritual as well as material growth is based on it.

    You have to know that Kabbalah is the scope of spiritual laws which are the REASON for the material ones, we call the spiritual laws MODELS on the bases of which all the worlds, including our material one are based, and if you wish to understand spiritual model, you have to know to find its material equivalent.

    What the Kabbalah principle of Faith above the Knowledge comes to teach us?, it comes to tell us that EVERYTHING we do in our life is based on this principle, for ex., when I decide to study math, I do it by the Faith above the Knowledge principle, if I need to study math it means that I still don’t know it, and so I HAVE to BELIEVE that it is good for me to study it, or that it will be interesting to me, or though no matter, that I hate it, BUT without it I may not graduate the school, so whatever you do in the life you do it by Faith above the knowledge principle, even buying a new pair of shoes are based of it, because you try them on and you BELIVE they will be good, but you may tell if it is really good, only when you wear them for at list three years and come to buy of that sort again.

    The same is with the spiritual way of development, we have to believe that the Teaching of the jewish sages including the Kabbalists is True, and we have to believe that the spiritual development may not be achieved without studying Torah and performing Mitzvot for the sake of bestowing, and only when we DO it, after some 3-5 years we OURSELF already know that the Sages are right, BUT all these 3-5 years we have to believe their Teaching of spiritual growth.

    What the jewish sages teach us is that NOBODY asks us to believe ONLY, the Knowledge will BE given to us too, BUT we may not get the Knowledge FIRST and for FREE, and then decide if we need it or not, we have to work to receive the Knowledge be it material or spiritual one, because, there is a very basic spiritual principle on work, which is called the Restriction on getting for the sake of getting and the permission to receive for the sake of bestowing only, for more understanding see:

    http://kabbalistnyc.com/?p=700

    Shabbat Shalom and Hug Pesach Kasser veSame’ach
    Yehudith Shraga

  8. Baruch says:

    Dear Yehudith Shraga.
    Came upon this website (I study with Rav Gottlieb) just wanted to mention that there is a typo in the word concealed (you have it spelled consealed). It is in the March 24, 2013 6:46AM reply to “seeker”.

  9. Grazia says:

    I”ve been studying Kabbalah with BB for about one year, as Seeker.

    Some months ago I begin to follow Dr. Laitman matinal classes too.

    But I’m feeling that is not enough for me since I’m only delighting myself with the texts they read, and the fact of doing nothing for nobody has began to make me feel almost sick.

    Now I’m looking for a way of going on, for something to do to feel I’m really working to find the way of contacting G-d, of working for Him since I realize He has done so much for me.

    I’d arrived to the conclusion that I should study hebrew, I suspected that working on the Torah and the Mitzvot was not only to study Kabbalah texts as I was told… BUT how can I be sure I’m on the right place now? I thought I was on the right place when I found BB and now…

    Thanks,

    Grazia

  10. Yehudith_Shraga says:

    Hello, dear Grazia

    You shouldn’t be disappointed and afraid of the fact, that yet several months ago, you felt yourself comfortable with the BB, and now, you feel emptiness and the need for the more meaningful activity in the field of your spiritual development.

    It is how the real process goes, and you should be really happy to experience these changes, without them there is no spiritual development at all.

    Even when you study Torah and perform all the Mitzvot, you do experience ups and downs, BUT constant Torah study and performing Mitzvot ensures that you hold the Middle Line most of the time and it is what gives you the opportunity to make a real progress in your spiritual development.

    Without Torah study and performing Mitzvot, there is no chance for ANYBODY to move ahead, it will be always running after “the tail”.

    The real delight comes only from the original texts, because there is no translation or interpretation which may transmit the original power of the Text, so your decision to learn Hebrew is the right one, it is the way to freedom from the dependency in your spiritual ability to work with the original texts, and it is qualitatively different level.

    If “something” within you, have told you to look for the more authentic ways of connecting with the G-d, than the lessons on BB, be sure, that this very “something” within you will continue to show you the right pass according to your sincere wish to serve the G-d and not the ambitions of a human being, be it yourself, or somebody else.

    As for not doing anything for anybody, sometimes it is also for good, because, before we may really do something for somebody, we should learn first, what is Good and what is Evil in their Eternal Spiritual Meaning, and this Greatest Knowledge ever presented by the Creator to His creation is called Kabbalah and that is why it is so attractive to us and so concealed from us, because It opens only to those whose intention is the correction of their getting nature, and if somebody can help others on this Honorable way, it is Great, but if somebody “puts a stone before a blind” in general and on the spiritual way especially, he/she transgresses one of the Mitzvot of the Torah, which is most damageable to his/her soul first of all.

    Yehudith.

  11. Yehudith_Shraga says:

    The Link to the first article of the Blog:

    http://kabbalistnyc.com/?p=3

  12. Parshat Re’eh(Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17)

    Moshe tells the Sons of Israel on behalf of the Almighty (11:26), “Look! I place before you this day a blessing and a curse.” Commentaries agree that there is no point to a “look” unless there is something that’s physically there for them to look at. …So whatever this is that all B’Y are looking at is symbolic of the blessing and the curse placed before them as well. Furthermore, the word ‘hayom’, ‘this day’ is explained all through Tanach to mean literally this day, today! Whatever was then is as good as now! Or is that now is as good as then? Now is then and then is now?…So what are they looking at that trancends time?…The next verses (11:27-28) say, “The blessing; when you listen to the commandments of Hashem, your G-d, that I command you today. And the curse if you do not listen to the commandments of Hashem, your G-d, and you stray from the path that I command you today.”…A point of interest is the difference between the use of the word ‘ahsher’, ‘when’ and the word ‘eem’, ‘now’. The blessing is ‘when you listen’ and the curse is ‘if you do not listen’. Whats the difference? The former has a matter-of-factness to it “You will receive the bracha when…” It follows naturally. How natural it is for the Jew to follow in the ways of Hashem. And when we do, bracha naturally follows. Perhaps it also reflects the nature of the bracha itself. A natural bracha. The rains will come, the crops will grow, business will boom, all will be healthy and we’ll have peace from our enemies. Now we’ll be free to engage in even more of H’s ways. But IF we turn away, if it’s possible, if it can be done, the unnatural, the unimaginable- then the curses will come! Perhaps the nature of the curse will also be unnatural and unimaginable?:

    http://www.shemayisrael.co.il/parsha/orchards/archives/017r'ay.htm

  13. Jesse says:

    But it is written that the knowledge of G-d will fill the entire world. If we Jews keep it only to ourselves then how will the rest of the world be filled with the knowledge?We are supposed to be a light to the nations of the world but we keep our light hidden behind our own Jewish walls always keeping others out. Surely the Moshiach will be a teacher to all people. I’d like to know your thoughts. Thanks

  14. Hello, dear Jesse,

    the fact that this website and many other Jewish websites are open for everybody speaks for itself, nobody hides anything from anybody and nobody tries to separate oneself from others, but if one wish to understand what Jewish Holy Texts speak about, it is no enough JUST TO WISH, you have to study and implement the Jewish way of life.

    Anybody can come to the lecture of any professor in most Universities be it genetics, physics, mathematics, history, the question is what one may understand without previous training in this or that field!?

    The Sages say: Come and See that The G-d is Good, we teach anybody who comes, but we do not responsible if they “see” as spiritual seeing comes through studying and performing Mitzvot for the sake of correction and not for any other reasons, 613 and 7 for Jews and 7 for Non-Jews, each and every soul on its way to eternal reunion with the Creator, all the ways are open for everybody and the choice is up to us.

    Wish you Sha’na Tova uMetuka
    Good and Blessed New Year for all the Creation

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