Chaya Lester is a Jewish immigrant to Israel. She believes that we are rapidly approaching the time when prophecy will return to the world. “One of the requirements for the dawning of the Messianic era is the return of prophecy,” she explained.
Lester quoted Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, a prolific and important contemporary American rabbi who passed away in 1983, “The Rambam (a highly influential medieval Torah scholar) writes… that one of the conditions of the pre-Messianic era will be the restoration of prophecy…Elijah the prophet will have to come before the Messiah’s arrival…meaning that prophecy will be reinstated…
“Before prophecy can exist in the Land of Israel, it must be settled and inhabited by the majority of Jews in the world…It is through the concentrated spiritual energy of the entire Jewish people that prophecy exists and such concentration is only effective in the Land of Israel…”
Born and raised in a non-observant home in Memphis, TN, today Lester is a rabbi’s wife, living in the heart of Jerusalem, working as a trained psychotherapist, sharing her passion for experiential Torah learning
She spoke with Breaking Israel News about her newest online course, designed to help her students work with their dreams, in preparation for the return of prophecy.
“According to the Jewish tradition, a new age of prophecy is waiting to be born. It has been a long time coming. In ancient Israel, there were a million prophets. There were known schools for prophecy. With the exile of the Jews, prophecy was lost to the masses, but its tradition was maintained in secret Kabbalistic [mystical] teachings over the past 2,000 years,” she explained.
Basing herself on Jewish tradition, Lester connects dreams to prophecy. She believes, and teaches her students, that there are specific skills that can be cultivated today that will enhance an individual’s ability to plug into prophecy when it reemerges.
“The Rambam teaches that dreams are, ‘the buds of prophecy’ because they contain all of the ingredients for the full flowering of the prophetic experience,” she elaborated.
Lester further explained that corona time, when the world is quieter than usual, presents an ideal time to look deeply within and focus on our personal “visions and dreams.”
Her own childhood experiences of premonitions in dreams were part of her turning to Torah. In particular, she recalled, “I had dreams about the Lockerbie plane crash. I dreamed of a plane flying from London to NY. I jumped up and ran down to the television, turned on the TV and there was my dream. I was just a kid. I didn’t have any way of understanding what it was.”
Over time, other premonitions in dreams were part of her spiritual journey. “I had enough of these experiences in my own life that brought me to the spiritual practices in Judaism,” she noted.
Convinced from her personal experiences that “dreams are such a potent place,” Lester wants to help others value their dreams and work with them, in preparation for the return of prophecy. Until now, she explained, “Dream work was not taught from a Jewish
The significance of dreams as a tool for emotional and spiritual growth is deeply embedded in Torah, but not commonly taught. Lester knew that “someone had to go find it and bring it all together. I needed to do that for myself, to know that my work was kosher and true to the sources. What I found was so magnificent, I had to share it.”
The unfolding of dream work in a Torah context parallels the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. “When the Jewish people left the Land of Israel, the Shechina [the feminine presence of God) left the Land of Israel. Our exile meant a certain exile of consciousness, a loss of Divine connection.
“Since everything is from God, why did God make it happen that we would be exiled and have loss of Divine consciousness?” she asked.
“We needed to mature in our own way, just like a child becomes self-sustaining.” Exile, according to Lester, offered the Jewish people an opportunity to develop our capacity to see God working in the world and to develop our own consciousness. That, she claimed, is what God really wants – “someone to be in a relationship with.”
Before the Jewish people were exiled from Israel, Lester taught, we were connected to God. We had the urim v’tumim, a tool the Jewish people could rely on to discern God’s will.
“Inside the breastpiece of decision you shall place the Urim and Thummim, so that they are over Aharon‘s heart when he comes before Hashem. Thus Aharon shall carry the instrument of decision for the Israelites over his heart before Hashem at all times.” Exodus 28:30
Once we were sent into exile, we lost the immediacy of that connection. According to Lester, we had to labor “to bring God into the darkness of the exile.” Now, as the Jews are returning to the Land, we are at the precipice of what Lester called “miraculous sweetness. The next stage is when the prophetic experience will be returned to us. And the sweetness will be so much more, because we earned it [through the tribulations of exile].
“One of the prerequisites for the prophetic experience is being happy. This is a joyous process of spiritual pleasure,” she added.
Lester’s dreamwork course began Sunday, April 26 and runs for five weekly sessions. Although created primarily for a Jewish audience, there are some non-Jewish students enrolled.
Lester has a special message for prospective Christian students. “We are approaching an era when the ability to be in direct communion with the Divine is not a rarity but will become commonplace and available to all. That is what this work is about – developing a direct line of communication with God, particularly via messages in our dreams.
“Developing one’s consciousness in the direction of prophecy is work that Christians can readily do to help hasten the Messianic process. It is not just ‘Jewish work’. The techniques and teachings we use are all drawn directly from the Bible, the Prophets and the mystical tradition of Kabbalah – and they are universally applicable.
“This work offers Christians deeper engagement with the mystical teachings embedded in the Bible and a guide in how to turn those teachings into practical, experiential techniques that will enhance and sanctify their lives.”
She is offering a significant discount ($99 instead of $250) to Breaking Israel News readers who join the dream course already in progress. She is also open to creating a version of the course exclusively for non-Jews, if she gets enough interest. Those who are interested in learning more about Torah dreamwork and how it connects to prophecy should contact her through her website.
“Let’s start creating consciousness needed for prophetic experiences,” she concluded.