KABBALAH & MYSTICISM
These are our most popular courses in this area:
Ana B'Khoach is an ancient mystical chant, used by many great Kabbalists, that encodes the mysterious 42-letter name of God.
In this online course, taught by Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan, we will explore the power of this chant like spiritual detectives, discovering a new layer of meaning in each class.
As we study and chant Ana B’Khoach together, we will encounter deep insights into the nature of reality and a wealth of mystical and kabbalistic practices, ranging from simple ones for everyday use, to advanced ones for those who are further on along the mystical path.
How can the primary system of Kabbalah help us to understand and refine our inner selves, our creativity and our relationships?
The Sefirot of the Tree of Life are often described as attributes of the Divine, or gateways, through which the Divine brings existence into being.
The Sefirot can also be understood as archetypes or character traits, which we can identify and refine in our own selves. By learning about each Sefirah and how they may manifest in our internal and external lives, we will grow intellectually and experientially, internalizing the Kabbalists' potent wisdom to enrich every aspect of our day-to-day existence.
From the Bible through the Talmud, Midrash, Zohar and other mystical texts, the amazing smell of the ketoret (incense) and its symbolic and mythical powers have never ceased to fascinate our ancestors.
Our ancestors have already explored and understood this ancient, earth-based ritual on every level of our being: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
In addition, the ketoret was connected to battling plagues since Biblical times, which adds a timely dimension.
In each session, we will explore a specific aspect of the ketoret, which we will seek to experience on each of the four levels mentioned above.
OF THE BESHT
Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan
The Ba'al Shem Tov (also known as the Besht) founded the spiritual revolution that became the Chasidic movement, in the mid-1700s.
The oral teachings of this Jewish shaman/medicine man (this is what it means to be a "ba'al shem"), are gems of transformative wisdom, and are often full of surprises.
Of the many ideas which the Besht originated, Rabbi Ruth has chosen some of her most beloved teachings which are linked to spiritual practices. You are invited to practice them between classes or keep the teachings in your hearts to use when the right time arrives...
Classes will incorporate the four worlds (levels of consciousness) of the holistic Chasidic system: Stories, Niggun, Torah and Prayer/Silence.
R' Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook, sometimes referred to as the Rav, was the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel. He is revered as a scholar, thinker, legal authority, kabbalist, poet, and a modern day prophet.
He writes, "On the holy night of the festival, we are full of redemption, full of a higher freedom. Our freedom liberates our spirit...Our redemption is universal - the redemption of all worlds."
In this online course with Yiscah Smith, we will explore, through Rav Kook’s commentaries on the Passover Haggadah, the spiritual practice of cultivating mindfulness to our innermost selves, which will then birth the consciousness of remaining faithful to that sense of deeper being.
"The courses offered through Applied Jewish Spirituality not only provide a window into the vast world of Chasidic and mystical teachings, but translate the esoteric into practices that can be integrated into ones daily spiritual life. The source sheets for every class are a remarkable resource full of deep and powerful Torah to make the teachings accessible to learners of all backgrounds."
- Rabbi Adam Gindea
"In so many ways the AJS course I followed redefined 'learning' for me. This is because of the unique way our course leader synthesised rigorous scholarship with practical spiritual practice. Through his personal skills he also created a sense of a community amongst us all - no mean feat for online learning! I ended the course feeling transformed and inspired." - Jyll Bradley
"Not only does AJS provide access to an incredibly vast and rich well of Jewish material, but the faculty are really all masters at distilling and effectively transmitting information that ordinarily would remain hidden and inaccessible to curious beginning students. That said, faculty at AJS enthusiastically welcome and cater to the beginners mind who might otherwise feel too intimidated, or perhaps a bit too shy wandering into a traditional beit midrash of learned scholars and other big-time ball players. One really does get the sense that there is a larger learning taking place that the course as a single entity - material, teachers, and students all - participates in. And the importance of this really can’t be understated because its the facilitation of that mutual transmission of mind, body, and spirit that underlies and upholds the integrity of the great worldly wisdom traditions. I don’t know if I would have a Jewish practice if it weren’t for AJS."
- Gabe Gould
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Appreciation for use of images:
Hebrew Calligraphy by Michel d'Anastasio
Ram image by Federico Parolo from Deuteronomy Press
Prayer photo (Shemoneh Esrei) by Mazhar Zandsalimi
Tree of Life image by David Friedman from Kosmic Kabbalah
Calendar image by Federico Parolo from Deuteronomy Press