What is Kabbalah?

An ancient body of wisdom that is useful to people from any background, religion or race

Kabbalah — a 4000 year old body of spiritual wisdom — holds all the secrets of the universe and acts as a map through the mysteries of the human mind, body and soul.

Through the teachings of Kabbalah one may begin to understand the relationship between the physical and metaphysical realities and how to live life in harmony with the universe and those around us.

Kabbalah is not a religion but an ancient body of wisdom that is open (and now accessible) to everyone regardless of race, religion, gender or any other defining factors. Predating religion Kabbalah was preserved through Judaism and intended to be used by all humanity to unify the world. Through this wisdom we learn the laws of the metaphysical universe which, just like gravity for example, affect every single one of us.

The cardinal text of Kabbalah is called the Zohar (revealed by Rav Shimon bar Yochai in 70CE) and it serves as a bridge between these two realities and also reveals all the secrets of Kabbalah.

At a glance the Zohar appears to be merely an esoteric and often difficult to understand commentary on the Bible, structured as conversations among 10 spiritual masters. However the Zohar is both informative and meditative and as the Kabbalists explain, simply possessing The Zohar brings power, protection, and fulfillment into our lives.

Throughout history some of the most influential minds have studied and debated over the contents of the Zohar, including Pythagoras in ancient Greece and Sir Isaac Newton in the 17th Century.

On a practical and personal level, the Zohar not only reveals spiritual principles that can assist us in our everyday lives, it also gives us the power to put those principles into action. This takes place in every area of our lives: our relationships, our spiritual work, and even our businesses and careers.

What does Kabbalah define as our “spiritual work”? This can be defined in one simple word – change.

Kabbalah teaches that our purpose on earth is to change and develop into the best versions of ourselves that we can be. Through striving to silence what Rav Yitzhak Luria defined as the Ego and cleave to our Light and soul aspect we unify with the Creator and thus elevate ourselves from the constraints of the physical world.

Rav Ashlag, the founder of the Kabbalah Centre, has forged a path of study for students of Kabbalah through the teaching of the Talmud Eser Sefirot (The 10 Luminous Emanations).

This study enables students to come a step closer to understanding the hidden creation process of the world around us, and our purpose within it, thus enabling us to evolve and develop into our perfected selves.

What is The Kabbalah Centre?

The Kabbalah Centre has a single mission which is to create simple happiness, permanent peace and lasting fulfillment for every person by continuing the Kabbalistic lineage and making the ancient wisdom accessible and available for the purpose of ending pain and suffering.

The Kabbalah Centre was founded in 1922 by Rav Yehuda Ashlag who is recognised to be one of the greatest Kabbalists of the 20th Century. Following Rav Ashlag was Rav Yehuda Brandwein who took the Deanship of the Kabbalah Centre following Rav Ashlag’s passing.

Before Rav Brandwein left our world, Rav Berg was designated to continue the lineage of Kabbalah as Director of The Kabbalah Centre. And today, some 30 years later, co-directs The Centre together with his wife, Karen.

Although the Kabbalah Centre was founded some 80 years ago the lineage extends back thousands of years to Rav Isaac Luria and the author of the Zohar Rav Shimon bar Yochai.

Across the world the Kabbalah Centre continues to teach this wisdom to anyone who wishes to learn, as well as spear heading many community projects such as Raising Malawi and the Correctional Outreach Initiative.

Recommended further reading. www.kabbalahcentre.co.uk

Marcus a student of Kabbalist Rav Berg is one of the leading teachers at the Kabbalah Centre London. He currently spearheads many European and African charitable projects, and coaches individuals and companies to achieve lasting success and balance.
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The problems with ending encryption to fight terrorism

Forcing tech firms to create a "backdoor" to access messages would be a gift to cyber-hackers.

The UK has endured its worst terrorist atrocity since 7 July 2005 and the threat level has been raised to "critical" for the first time in a decade. Though election campaigning has been suspended, the debate over potential new powers has already begun.

Today's Sun reports that the Conservatives will seek to force technology companies to hand over encrypted messages to the police and security services. The new Technical Capability Notices were proposed by Amber Rudd following the Westminster terrorist attack and a month-long consultation closed last week. A Tory minister told the Sun: "We will do this as soon as we can after the election, as long as we get back in. The level of threat clearly proves there is no more time to waste now. The social media companies have been laughing in our faces for too long."

Put that way, the plan sounds reasonable (orders would be approved by the home secretary and a senior judge). But there are irrefutable problems. Encryption means tech firms such as WhatsApp and Apple can't simply "hand over" suspect messages - they can't access them at all. The technology is designed precisely so that conversations are genuinely private (unless a suspect's device is obtained or hacked into). Were companies to create an encryption "backdoor", as the government proposes, they would also create new opportunities for criminals and cyberhackers (as in the case of the recent NHS attack).

Ian Levy, the technical director of the National Cyber Security, told the New Statesman's Will Dunn earlier this year: "Nobody in this organisation or our parent organisation will ever ask for a 'back door' in a large-scale encryption system, because it's dumb."

But there is a more profound problem: once created, a technology cannot be uninvented. Should large tech firms end encryption, terrorists will merely turn to other, lesser-known platforms. The only means of barring UK citizens from using the service would be a Chinese-style "great firewall", cutting Britain off from the rest of the internet. In 2015, before entering the cabinet, Brexit Secretary David Davis warned of ending encryption: "Such a move would have had devastating consequences for all financial transactions and online commerce, not to mention the security of all personal data. Its consequences for the City do not bear thinking about."

Labour's manifesto pledged to "provide our security agencies with the resources and the powers they need to protect our country and keep us all safe." But added: "We will also ensure that such powers do not weaken our individual rights or civil liberties". The Liberal Democrats have vowed to "oppose Conservative attempts to undermine encryption."

But with a large Conservative majority inevitable, according to polls, ministers will be confident of winning parliamentary support for the plan. Only a rebellion led by Davis-esque liberals is likely to stop them.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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