THE RAV AND THE RABAD
REPRINT FROM NOVEMBER, 2012
A few months ago, I received a question on my Facebook page from Brazil from Hannah Bendavid. She asked me if I knew anything about the 12th century Rabbi and Kabbalist Abraham Ben David, also known as The Rabad.
I asked her why she wanted to know, because not many people know about him.
Hannah told me that her family were direct descendants of this great Rabbi who lived around one thousand years ago.
Well, as it happens, I knew something very special about this medieval Kabbalist. About 12-13 years ago, Rav Berg told me privately that he was The Rabad, the Rav was Abraham ben David in a previous life. The details and significance of that connection is a whole other story that I will share another time.
Anyway, that happened a few months ago.
Today, I received a call from Meir Yeshurun, one of the teachers at the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles. He asked me what I knew about The Rabad.
Because tonight we were going to learn all about The Rabad with Kabbalist Rav Berg at the Rav’s house. I shared a few amazing things with Meir that connected Rav Berg and The Rabad (I will tell this another time) and then I hung up the phone.
Literally, one minute before I was about to shut down my computer to go to the Rav’s house I received a message on Facebook.
It was from Hannah Bendavid in Brazil.
She asked me if there was any chance that I was going to see the Rav in the near future. I was going to see the Rav in about thirty seconds! In her text she asked me if I could ask the Rav for a new Hebrew name for her mother, Marie Ben David, because Hannah thought it would be amazing to get a new name “from The Rabad directly.”
Hannah was lovingly referring to Rav Berg in his previous incarnation as The Rabad. This was a nice comment from Hannah but she had no idea whatsoever that tonight I was going to have a class at the Rav’s house ALL ABOUT the Rabad, Abraham Ben David!
That was an amazing connection.
So, I went to the Rav’s house and told Meir Yeshurun the story. We were all amazed by the coincidence and the Rav had a sly smile on the Rav’s face the whole time.
I then asked the Rav if the Rav would give a new Hebrew name for Hannah’s mother. Then we began to study.
As we learned about The Rabad, we found out that Rabbi Isaac Luria, Chaim Vital and other great Kabbalists throughout history all said The Rabad was the absolute greatest of them all. He was responsible for opening up the doors of Kabbalah in the Middle Ages. He was the first!
Anyway, Meir Yeshurun was reading a document about The Rabad and then it gave the date of his death.
The Rabad, Abraham ben David died in the year 1198 on November 27.
We all looked at our iPhones and watches.
Our eyes widened in shock!
Today was November 27th!
We were learning all about the Rabad on his English death anniversary without even knowing it, on the very same day his direct descendent Hannah Bendavid texted me after many months to ask the “Rabad”, Rav Berg, to give a new Hebrew name for her mother.
We were thrilled with all of these connections and the energy in the Rav’s house was captivating. The Rav sat their with the most amazing knowing smile and a twinkle in the Rav’s eye.
When the learning was over, no one wanted to leave. We sat there basking in the glow of the Rav’s smile. Meir said he was tingling with energy.
Truly, an amazing, enlightening and magical evening.