Without Being Kabbalists

He studied and taught Kabbalah, but what is the relevance of these mystic teachings to us? HaAri HaKadosh, Rabbi Yitzchak ben Shlomo Luria, passed away 447 years ago, today. Here are just a few of the sublime matters that he studied and taught in Jewish Mysticism: exile and redemption, sanctity and impurity, this world and the world to come. He taught his students about the sorrow of the Shechinah, improvement of the soul and G-dly revelation (sefirot). He left a treasure of writings with special _
kavanot (intentions to have in mind) during the prayer, and liturgical poems in Aramaic with hidden meanings. He also left a very  simple and obvious teaching that can be learned  and practiced by all. He added to the Siddur one phrase, and asked that we should say it every morning, before Shacharit: “I accept upon myself the Mitzvah of ‘And you shall love your fellow as yourself'”. During the pre-elections time, perhaps we should say this phrase even a few times a day…
The Mitzvah of Ahavat-Israel, HaAri explained, is the entrance gate to start praying. One who loves the Creator, loves His creatures. One does not have to be a kabbalist to do that.

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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