The Final Redemption

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A191 FinalRedemtion

September 2009

Soon the time came for my first Rosh Hashanah at the Centre which was far different from eating apples dipped in honey at my best friend’s parents home. I also fasted for the first time at Yom Kippur. Both events were considered energy windows where we were judged for all that we had done the year before and our blessings for the year ahead were decided. Part of me felt slightly crazy attending, but odd as it was, it felt right.

I started dating again, and whilst I wasn’t taking things too seriously, I enjoyed being back out on the scene as it were with a new found spiritual attitude. I became busier than ever with work, and things on the whole were looking up. But then came the big dip. Through studying one on one with a teacher I found I became too introspective – something I definitely had a predilection for, but it had gotten worse. The Kabbalistic concept is that ‘everything is about the ego’ and I found myself over analysing everything that happened to see where my ego had gotten involved, to identify the ego and to try and break it.

I got way too into my own head and found having a ‘teacher’ more stressful than I did helpful. I analysed enough by myself, to then be doing it with a teacher too just pushed me over the edge. Friends and family were concerned for me – they felt I should take the good lessons I had learnt and walk away from the centre with my sanity intact. But I still felt drawn to the wisdom and the mysticism and despite my discomfort, felt there was definitely something to be gained for me from it all, and that my journey with the Kabbalah was far from over. Nonetheless I felt in a slight rut teacher-wise, and decided that the regular meetings and analysis of my life needed to stop – it was hindering rather than helping me which couldn’t be a good thing.

Instead I was curious about utilising other ‘tools’ from Kabbalah like finding out what my karma, or rather ‘tikune’ as it is referred to by the Kabbalists, was in this lifetime. I wanted to understand my purpose in this life better. So I booked for a Kabbalistic astrology reading. But it was more than just an astrology reading. It was an intuitive, almost psychic, reading too. There was no way that Ruthie could have known what she picked up on, things from my current life that literally no-one knew which she then connected to my past lives. It was as though a light went on in my head as I realised that this mystical past life stuff was the real deal and there was more to my present life than I had realised. I came away with a renewed sense of faith in everything I had been learning although I still felt cautious.

September 2010

Before I knew it Rosh Hashanah had come back around and I was encouraged by the centre to attend Rosh Hashanah with the ‘family’ at an International Kabbalah event. The ‘family’ was the Berg family, who were the spiritual leaders of the Centre and were doted on by the hundreds of thousands of Kabbalah students across the world. Philip Berg known as the Rav Berg had been a student of Rav Brandwein who in turn had been a student of Rav Ashlag who had formed the Kabbalah centre in Israel in the 1920s.

The lineage and continuation of the centre and the teachings of Kabbalah on a mainstream level came through the Berg family, and hence they were feted and idolised by many of their students. I had heard many miracle stories about the Rav and was extremely curious to see him in person. I was convinced that by looking him in the eye I would know if he was the real deal or not – well the real deal to me, anyway. And by that I meant if this man really did have angelic-like super powers or not. G-d only knows where I got the arrogance from to think that I was capable of knowing this, but this was my gut instinct.

When I saw the Rav at the pre Rosh Hashanah dinners, I saw an elderly man who seemed quite sweet as well as frail. He seemed to have a stream of people clamouring to talk to him whilst he ate his dinner, and his helpers kept shooing people away so he could eat in peace. It seemed every moment I got a chance to go and say hello to him was foiled. Rosh Hashanah came and went, and I didn’t know whether it was being with thousands of other people and the energy from them, or the Family, or the shofar, but it was an incredibly powerful experience and I literally felt like a different person as I prepared to leave to return to London.

But I still wanted to check out the Rav. I was due to leave for the airport in fifteen minutes and saw the Rav sitting eating his lunch surrounded by his minders. I went over and was dismissed away. But then the Rav looked right up at me directly in the eye. This wasn’t the sweet, frail, elderly man that I had spotted before who had smiled sweetly at me – this was someone altogether different. We must have locked eyes for a couple of minutes with his powerful gaze almost sternly penetrating my soul. I had no idea what was going on – all I knew is that my heart was racing and I felt an enormous amount of energy surge through my body. Those two minutes went by so slowly it seemed like a lifetime, or as I have realised since, the Rav seeing my several lifetimes. Finally after what seemed like an eternity I managed to stutter, ‘I just wanted to say shana tova.’ He nodded at me and I scurried off, literally bouncing off the hotel walls with energy. As I got on the plane to return to London I thought to myself, ‘this man is the real deal, almost other worldly’. I didn’t understand it but I knew he was a very special soul.

Shortly after the Rosh Hashanah trip, I went to Israel with friends on holiday. It was my first time there and I felt a strange sense of familiarity when I landed. It was almost as though I had finally come home. The first night in Tel Aviv I slept fitfully with strange dreams of flying all around the world, swooping down like an eagle and seeing myself in many different lifetimes, at different points in time. It was the most bizarre series of dreams and I awoke drenched in sweat feeling like I had just relived my soul’s journey. I loved my time in Israel, and whilst I of course engaged in the usual touristy activities and enjoyed the nightlife, I also made a midnight trip to visit the graves of Rav Brandwein and Rav Ashlag, where I lit candles and said my prayers. When the time came to leave it was bittersweet; I felt so happy for having had the opportunity to be there but so sad to be leaving. I knew I would return.

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Ambi is a lawyer, expert commentator and author living in Los Angeles.
  • Ayo Oppenheimer

    Wow, what a story! Well worth the read to the end.

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Ambi!

  • A mystical journey indeed!