Nehora School Safed
|Tzfat-based school for scholarly work, online classes and translations of Kabalistic works.|
Nehora is a Safed based organization that authors books and teaches Kabbalah online based on the teachings of Rabbi Yehuda Leib Ashlag. Tzfat has long carried a reputation as the 'City of Kabbalah' and many of its visitors are interested in learning about mysticism. Some people are satisfied with the short summary they learn as they buy a “Kabbalah necklace” or “Kabbalah ring” but others are looking for more serious and introspective insights into the discipline.
Yedidah Cohen established the Nehora online school to offer individuals an opportunity, to delve into the study of Kabbalah at both beginner and advance levels. This is done mostly through her translations of the works of Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag, known as the “Ba’al Sulam” -- Master of the Ladder.
Rabbi Yehudah Leib Ashlag was a great Kabbalah scholar who lived during the first half of the 20th century. Rabbi Ashlag was best known for his writings “The Sulam.” In the Sulam -- Ladder -- Rabbi Ashlag provided an extensive commentary on the “Zohar” the foundational work of Kabbalah. The Sulam is regarded as a central textbook for Kabbalah students. The writings systematically delineated the teachings of the Zohar, interpreting its wisdom and promoting Kabbalah study.
In 2003 Mark and Yedidah Cohen published their first work, “In the Shadow of the Ladder.” The book was a translation and commentary on Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag’s introductions to the Kabbalah, comprising the Introduction to the Zohar and the Introduction to the Study of the ten Sephirot. Mark and Yedidah felt that inaccurate translations and interpretations of Rabbi Ashlag’s works were distorting their meanings and creating inappropriate understandings of what Kabbalah really teaches. They believed that a scholarly work that provided accurate but readable translation, coupled with some explanatory chapters would provide an opportunity for students of Kabbalah to access the wisdom in an authentic manner.
Tapestry for the Soul
Mark died but Yedidah continued with the work, publishing a second work, Ma'arag le Neshamah in the Hebrew language in 2007 which was quickly followed by its translation, “A Tapestry for the Soul in 2010.” This is a study guide to Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag’s “Introduction to the Zohar” explained using excerpts from Rabbi Ashlag's many other writings. Thus it enables Rabbi Ashlag to teach his own work and allow students a direct contact with the texts themselves without an intermediary. Yedidah also added suggestions of inner work used to relate to the texts, primarily through journal writing. An innovative approach to the work of the Tzaddik.
“In the Shadow of the Ladder” and “Tapestry for the Soul” carry the endorsements of Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Tsfat and Rabbi Avraham Mordecai Gottlieb, student of Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag’s son, Rabbi Baruch Ashlag and present-day head of Beit HaMidrash Ohr Baruch Shalom in Kiryat Yearim, Israel.
Talks relating the Kabbalah to daily life
Yedidah writes short audio talks on Kabbalah and daily life, Kabbalah and festivals, and on learning the Kabbblah, all available on her website which is constantly updating and becoming a valuable resource for the work of the Rabbis Yehudah Lev Ashlag and his son, Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag.
In 2011 Yedidah Cohen opened the Nehora School. The school allows students to study the text of Rabbi Ashlag’s writings using virtual audio conferencing. Lessons take place weekly as each student sits in their own home with their own copy of the text. The class “meets” virtually. As Yedidah leads the textual study students can participate interactively, asking Yedidah questions and discussing the material with each other. Classes are kept to a minimum of eight participants to facilitate group discussions and questions.
The school invites beginner and advanced Kabbalah students who want to learn the works of Rabbi Yehudah Leib Ashlag in an authentic manner. The classes encourage students to explore the spiritual traditions that are embedded in Judaism and examine how the Kabbalah can help them to strengthen their own spiritual identity as well as their relationships with G-d and their fellow man.
The basic philosophy of the Nehora School is to teach that man is created with infinite potential, that each person is unique and plays a specific role in this world and that, with understanding, each person can connect to ourselves, to God and to each other.