The following story is from my oldest son, David Phillips. It took place this last Shabbat, May 7, 2011.
Something amazing happened to me this past week in Istanbul, Turkey. I went to visit my girlfriend, Deni Ben Ezra’s family in Turkey. It was my first time there. Actually my first time crossing the Atlantic. Her step father Zeki was very sick, in the late stages of lymphoma cancer. He was near the end. Zeki had never had a kabbalistic Shabbat before. He was the son of a COHEN and therefore a COHEN himself.
Seeing him was a little scary at first. He was extremely thin and couldn’t gain any weight. He was getting skinnier by the day. At night he would moan in pain and was unable to sleep. He hadn’t gone to work in about three months as he was bed ridden.
Deni’s family — her mom, grandmother, uncles and aunts — never liked religion. They said it was all dogma and it never explained the why behind anything. You do things only because the Bible says so and you don’t really know why. They knew before they met me that I was involved in Kabbalah and now I was meeting them for the first time.
Deni had explained that Kabbalah has nothing to do with dogmatic organized religion. In fact it was about removing the separation and conflict that religion causes. She explained to her mom that its about unifying all people. Still, they were uncomfortable before they met me as they thought I was religious. I explained to everyone that Kabbalah was not a religion and that there is a specific and detailed reason as to why we perform any ritual and why we would observe any precept.
Anyway, I arrived in Turkey just before Shabbat. On Saturday, seeing how much pain her step father Zeki was experiencing, along with Deni’s urging, I decided to explain to everyone the power of the 3rd meal and the kiddush (the blessing of the wine) and perform it with the family. I said we will be send healing energy to Zeki, and we will connect to the great righteous souls who left the world at this very time on Shabbat; Moses, Joseph, and King David. I explained we would have their support, as the Kabbalists and Zohar teach us.
In my mind I asked Rabbi Shimon, The Rav, and Karen Berg to please take care of his soul and connect Zeki to mercy, no matter what, so that he did not have to suffer so much. Then I performed the kiddush as I learned it at the Centre, with the meditations and consciousness, and that was that.
The 3rd meal of the Shabbat is a time of healing and strengthening of the immune system. As the Rav taught me, a specific Light is available at this time and it is the most important and elevated time of Shabbat. Third meal is simply the highest point, higher than the Torah reading of the morning.
Later that night we had dinner upstairs in Deni’s grandmother’s home. To everyone’s shock Zeki was able to make it up the stairs and join us for dinner. This was the first time he was out of bed in months and not moaning in pain. It was the first time that I saw him without pain since I arrived. It was an amazing thing to see.
I walked into the room as they were all eating and Zeki paused. He looked me dead in the eye, and said, “You are a miracle. This is a miracle. The pain that I was in and now at this moment I feel so much better, this is my miracle.” Then he said, “You can tell this story to anyone. Tell it to whoever you want, it’s a miracle the way I am feeling!”
Right away I was thinking in my head, Oh my god, Karen did it. The Rav, Rav Shimon bar Yochai, they did it. The next morning we drove over one hour to the sea side for breakfast. Zeki joined us! We were all together with cousins, and family. I was so surprised that he could make it so far. His children were so happy to see him feeling better. It was a very special moment.
I told Deni ahead of time that this miracle should not be forgotten. Sometimes the opponent (ego) will come and test us. But this miracle cannot and must not ever be doubted or forgotten.
Throughout the week Zeki became more ill and the pain started up again. One night he just couldn’t fall asleep. He was banging the walls in frustration because he was in so much pain. His suffering wouldn’t subside. So we read Zohar for him. We told him to search inside and find the cause. And to beg Rav Shimon bar Yochai, the author of the Holy Zohar, to help him find the cause of his pain as this will rid him of his current suffering and let him have some rest. And all of a sudden he was snoring, hugging Zohar, sleeping peacefully.
The next Shabbat things got worse. They had to take Zeki to the hospital as they could no longer care for him at home. The high dose of pain killers he was taking had made him very sleepy. I told everyone throughout the week, that no matter what happens, we infused his soul with Light and mercy through our efforts at last week’s 3rd meal, all the Zohar reading during the week, and the fact that he slept hugging the Zohar each night. The most important thing was that Zeki continued to remember and appreciate the miracle he had the entire time.
We went to visit him in the hospital on Thursday. When we walked in he looked directly at me, and said “I will be better.” I was shocked because I had only met this man a week before and he didn’t even look at his family until after he looked at me and said this. It was spooky. I was overwhelmed. I knew he felt the Zohar.
That night, I woke up in the middle of the night balling my eyes out for about 2 hours remembering how he looked at me. I was choking on my tears. I was shocked at myself as I didn’t know why I cared so much. I had just met him. Writing this now in Istanbul, I am tearing up again.
I mentioned before Shabbat to my girlfriend that if Zeki happens to leave on a Shabbat this would be an amazing miracle because his soul avoids all the after-death pain that one usually has to go through. According to the Zohar, one must have a merit to leave the world on Shabbat to avoid the purification process that happens to the soul after dying.
Shabbat came. I told the family I would be happy to do the 3rd meal again this time with everyone, (Zeki’s other family members had joined us as well). We would meditate and use the power of Third Meal to send Zeki Light and awaken mercy.
We were supposed to do Third Meal at 4pm. But Zeki’s daughter would not have been able to join so we pushed it to 1pm. I was late because of the Torah reading at a synagogue in Istanbul and only made it at about 2:30.
We were going to eat first and then do the 3rd meal. But Deni’s mother said no. She wanted to do it now and then eat. We did the 3rd meal, the blessing of the wine, and we sang the kabbalistic song Yedid Nefesh, which has the power of the 4 Letter Name of God, the Tetragrammaton. This is the most powerful Name of God. This connection and Name channels all the Light and mercy from the upper worlds into our world. We all meditated upon Zeki, who, as I said before, was a Cohen.
Again, I made sure to ask The Rav, Karen Berg, and Rav Shimon to assist and make happen what is supposed to happen in the most merciful way possible.
To be honest, even though I did not have complete certainty I didn’t care because I knew that Karen and The Rav do have 100% perfect certainty and that will get the job done!
The second we finished the connection the phone rang. My heart skipped a beat. I knew at that moment what was happening. The Rav and Karen came through. Kabbalah freaking worked again. I was shocked, because only the greatest souls leave the world on Shabbat. And only the highest of souls leave the world at the Third Meal of Shabbat.
Zeki had left this world as we were reciting the kiddush of the sacred 3rd meal of shabbat and meditating on him.
The family rushed to the hospital and it was confirmed that Zeki had left this world during the most elevated time of the Holy Shabbat, exactly when we were meditating on him. They returned home and Zeki’s brother, who I had only met for about 3 minutes before the kiddush, walked right up to me. He started to cry. He said, “My brother waited for you to say this prayer for him at Third Meal. You helped him leave this world the right way. I can never thank you.”
As it happened, Zeki’s heart had stopped in the morning but started back up again. Only as the kiddush was being recited did his heart stop a final time and was able to finally leave and end his pain.
To say I was taken aback is a big understatement. I couldn’t believe he left at this time. I had just explained how Moses, Joseph and King David left at that time. I had heard about the power of the Third Meal since I was a child, from the Rav at the Kabbalah Centre who explained it to us every Shabbat. So I had this deep appreciation for what had happened. But these people had no idea what Third Meal was. Yet they were overwhelmed by it.
And who was this man that he left at that exact moment? And, I didn’t even know Zeki’s brother at all. I just met him. How did he feel the energy of Kabbalah and Third Meal so vividly?
Deni’s mother grabbed me with tears thanking me for all the Light we brought her and she herself said it was a miracle.This shocked Deni. She was stunned that her mother opened up like that. Zeki’s daughter also hugged me and said it was a miracle. Zeki’s son was calling it a miracle. How did all these people feel the energy of a miracle, when they didn’t even know about Third Meal and the merit of a soul leaving at that time? Why were they grateful and thankful for this opportunity to experience third meal, the kiddush and have their father leave the world at that time, instead of experiencing the grief and shock that most people feel. It blows my mind to see what power Kabbalah can give a person.
The next morning I called my father to tell him the story and to let him know I would be returning two days later as the entire family was asking me to stay for the funeral. As I told him the story he cried himself. It was intense. He told me that Michael Berg had just explained in his lecture that day (Shabbat in Los Angeles), Two key points: The first point Michael Berg spoke about was the COHEN. The second point was about death; about how death isn’t real and other kabbalistic secrets concerning the Cohen, death and the forces of judgment. Michael also said that even though a person may seem gone they are still with us, in a reality more real than ours. We are the ones who suffer and who need to tear down the curtains to see and experience true reality. We are the ones who are limited. But the time is coming when the illusion of death will be over forever.
I was shaking when my Dad told me this. How did Michael Berg in Los Angeles decide to talk about exactly what was happening on this Shabbat to me, in Istanbul? Zeki, a Cohen, had experienced his first ever Kabbalistic 3rd meal and Shabbat connection and he experienced a miracle in his relief of pain. One week later, at the very same time of Third Meal, he leaves this world.
I was stunned.
Talk about the power of Kabbalah and The Light.