18 Nisan 5769; April 12, 2009

Shalom to one and all...

Thank you all who have been showing your support for KOSHERTORAH. Please keep your support coming...

I Have managed to complete and post the KAVANOT OF THE OMER CHART FOR 5769. You can access it as a JPEG from our KosherTorah.com front page or as a PDF by clicking here...

KosherTorah Omer Sale
Everything* from Now Until June 1, 2009 is 40% Off!
What can I say? The economy has hit me as hard as it has hit you!

As the old saying goes, "when the going gets tough, the tough get going."

So, I am left with no other choice. In order to raise funds for some very serious projects (book publications and a possible move back east, way way east), I am offering you everything that I have at a discount that I do not believe I have ever offered before.

Hey, what can I say? Tough times require tough sacrifices, for all of us. I never ask anything of my students that I do not myself offer first...

I have also activate PAYPAL. Therefore, anyone can now make online purchases and pay for them using this new format. I will also soon have GOOGLE checkout as well.

Everything is discounted, there is no minimum amount to purchase, nor is there a maximum. The only items not covered are donations and class tuitions.

To get the discount, simply type in the word OMER is the DISCOUNT CODE box on the check out... it's that simple...

Thank you all again for your continuing support. I pray that I will have some very good and big announcements soon, but as with all things this is in the Hands of Heaven... Lishuateykha Kiviti HaShem!

* this offer excludes donations and class tuitions.


The Tikunei Zohar - Original Translations & Commentary
By HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok. Copyright (C) 2009 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.
Lesson One

"Place me as a seal upon your heart." (S.S.8:6).

What is the seal placed upon this place? This is the sign of the Shabat and the Yom Tov holidays. These are considered equal to the covenant of circumcision.

Like this is Shabat, the Shin thereof corresponds to the Shin of Shadai. This includes within it the three supernal Hayot and the three Fathers.

Bet is four, the fourth of the Fathers and fourth to the three Hayot. This is the Image of Man, but not [the] Man [himself]. This is what is written, "and the image of their faces ... the face of man" (Ez. 1:10). Rather what Man? Yod Vav Dalet - Hey Alef - Vav Alef Vav - Hey Alef.

Shabat is Shadai. YKVK is the private domain; it is 4 wide by 10 high. Yod Vav Dalet - Hey Alef - Vav Alef Vav - Hey Alef.

Yod of Shadai corresponds to the sign of Shabat and the Yom Tov holidays. Yod hints to the ten sefirot.

This seal is for the son of the King. However, for the servant of the King his seal is Shadai, from the side of that which is said, "all who are called by My Name, for my Glory I created them, I formed them, I even made them" (Is. 32:7). And what is this? This is Metatron whose numerical value equals that of Shadai. He is the Small Man, in the Image of Above. This is [the meaning] of "if like sons, or if like servants."

One who is of the image of the Lion, his seal will be the white face. One whose seal is the Bull will be the red face. One whose seal is the Eagle he will be green of face. One whose seal is the Image of Man, he will be the black face, like the Torah says, "I am black and pleasant" (S.S.1:5)." Tikunei Zohar 22


This is one of many poetic, metaphorical, archetypal teachings in this the most sublime of Zoharic teachings, the Tikunim. The Tikunei Zohar is a work independent from the body of the greater Zohar. It stands on its own as a separate and unique system of teachings. It is formatted into seventy sections called Tikunim. A Tikun is literally translated as "rectifications," but here such a translation does not apply. Here, the term Tikun is best translated simply as a "section."

The seventy Tikunim of this work all begin as unique interpretations of the first pasuk of Torah, Bereshit Bara Elokim Et HaShamayim V'et HaAretz (In the beginning G-d created the Heavens and the Earth). Although each section begins with a unique understanding of the pasuk or a part of it, the text never stays so focused to limit discussion to this one area.

The discussions in the Tikunei Zohar take us into some of the deepest and least known of Kabbalistic traditions. No study of Kabbalah and especially the Zohar can ever be complete without mastery of the Tikunim. Although the Tikunim, like the other bodies of Zoharic literature, place emphasis on what we call the Kabbalah Iyunit (mystical philosophy), nonetheless, there are elements revealed in the Tikunim which very much so take us in some other more lesser explored directions (nevuit-prophetic, ma'asit-practical).

Introductory material explaining more about the Tikunim can take up volumes. I am sure that scholars of the Kabbalah Iyunit have already successfully made ventures into such endeavors. My approach to this material is not now, has never been, and I pray never will be focused on philosophy. I desire to extract from the text its rich poetic, archetypal meanings that, in my opinion, are the crux of its entire system.

I believe that Kabbalah in general and the Tikunim in particular offer us many profound lessons about the truths of human nature, spiritual reality and how these two must combined into one greater vision for each individual. It is in this light that I will offer my running commentary to the words of the Tikunim. I have no intentions of translating the entire book or writing a commentary on it all. Such a project is well beyond my limited abilities. Yet, with whatever abilities I do have, I pray to bring to you lessons that you will find inspirational, educational, and maybe with the help of G-d, transformational.

I believe less with depth is better than more without depth. Therefore, I plan to only include small sections at a time with a running commentary that I pray will encourage you to not only think, but also to wonder and to dream. There is so much more to life and reality that any of us can possibly imagine. I only wish to share with you some small glimpses that I myself sometimes manage to see.

So, please take off your "thinking cap" and endeavor to place these words in your hearts and not just your minds. Take the time to contemplate and allow the holy words to sink in, to take root, and to bear their precious, life-giving fruit.

May Heaven be with us all to teach us how to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life and to experience from it our healing and all other blessings and benefits, Amen.

In our next lesson, I will begin explaining the beautiful passage I translated above...


Shalom, HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok

phone: 818-345-0888

Stop! Take a moment, and say a sincere "thank you" to HaShem for all the the good things you have right now.

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