The Book of Zohar. Chapter “Avraham”

The Book of ZoharThe Book of Zohar. Chapter “Avraham” (abridged)

45. Rabbi Yosi said: “I heard from the great source of Light, i.e., from Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai, that BARAH is a concealed word (the system of Light’s concealment), and the key to it locked it up and did not unlock it. And that is why there was no possibility for the world to exist, and nothingness enveloped all.

46. So when did this key unlock those gates, and everything became ready for the existence and evolution of the generations? When Avraham appeared, as he is the property of Hesed (mercy), of which it is written: “These are the generations of Heaven and earth Be-Hibar’am (with which He built).” However, one should pronounce the word not as Be-Hibar’am, but as Be-Avraham (in Hebrew, these two words have the same letters, which are positioned in a slightly different order). Then, all that was concealed in the word BARAH was revealed as letters, and there appears the Pillar of Procreation, Sefira Yesod, upon which the world’s existence is based, for the word BARAH consists of the same letters as the word AVAR – passed (the property of mercy, the Light of Hassadim, creates an opportunity for the Light of Hochma to be revealed in it).

Question: “When It (the Light of Hassadim) is revealed, can one act and produce generations? (Can one correct desires and fill them with the Light of life, Hochma?)” This question includes three questions:

1. When will It be revealed? It will be revealed when the Masach descends from Bina to Malchut, and the 49 gates of the Light of Hochma are revealed.
2. When can It be used? It can be used when Ohr Hochma clothes in Ohr Hassadim, so that It could be suitable for reception and used by the lower ones.
3. What does it mean to produce or multiply generations? It means to beget ZON of the World of Atzilut and develop souls in the Worlds of BYA.

47. When Yesod of ZA joins the word BARAH (Malchut), there occurs a division of the Creator’s name and greatness, MI and ELEH. Also, the sacred name MA comes from BARAH (Malchut). The concealed ELEH (Yesod) attains the properties of Yesod of Bina, the letter Hey, while ELEH attains the properties of the letter Yod (Hochma).

48. When the letters Hey and Yod wished to complement one another, the letter Mem emerged from them, the symbol of Bina, and the word ELOHIM = ELE + Hey + Yod + Mem was formed by the union of all properties. The word AVAR + Hey + Mem = Avraham originated from ELEH. One might say that the Creator took the properties (words) ELEH and MI, joined them and formed the property (word) ELOKIM, whereas the properties (words) MA and AVAR formed the property (word) Avraham, where the word MI designates the fifty gates of Bina, and the word MA refers to its filling (Gematria, numerical value). For HaVaYaH with the filling of the letter Aleph forms the Gematria of MA – 45. Both this world and the world to come exist in these two letters, Yod and Hey. Hence, the world to come was created with MI, and this world with MA.

It is therefore written in the Torah: “These are the created (Be-Hibar’am) generations of Heaven and earth,” where the letters Be-Hibar’am make up the word “Avraham,” for there was no perfection (the property of bestowal, Hassadim) until the letters formed this word. Therefore, the Creator’s name HaVaYaH is first mentioned in the Torah only after the name Avraham: Ohr Hassadim in MA and Ohr Hochma in MI complemented one another, and Malchut received the Light of Hochma in the Light of Hassadim – the Creator revealed Himself.

Avraham” – full commentary

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“A Day for Each Year”

A Day for Each YearA question I received: I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who creates Kabbalah Internet resources! I found Kabbalah on the Internet two years ago, and my life has made a 180 degree turnaround. I finally found my inner world, and all of the questions that haven’t given me a moment of rest since the day I was born have stopped bothering me. I started to understand the essence of things and the reasons behind the things that happen to me. Currently I work on disseminating video lectures and lessons on the Internet.

There is a question that has been bothering me for many years. What is the meaning of the Biblical verse, “A day for each year”? Does this have anything to do with corporeal time?

My Answer: This has absolutely no relation to corporeal time. When a person advances down the path of the Light’s influence on him, then he shortens his path, and this is like “A day for each year” (a day instead of a year). However, this isn’t a corporeal ratio.

There is only one way to ascend to a higher spiritual degree – through desire and love. (All of the Torah speaks only about this – one’s ascent up 125 degrees toward adhesion with the Creator.) However, when it comes to the first degree, one ascends to it from one’s absolutely egoistic properties (the degree called “our world” or “this world”). After the first degree, you no longer have to change yourself completely in order to ascend, but must only keep developing greater altruistic properties within you.

This is why the ascent to the first degree is the most difficult and takes the most time (although the higher you rise, the more difficult it gets; but experience and knowledge help you do this – see Baal HaSulam’s example about ascending up the Creator’s mountain). One’s development either happens through the path of suffering, or through the path of Light, which descends during Kabbalah study. So the verse “A day for each year” expresses the difference in the time it takes to attain the goal (the first degree) through suffering (without using Kabbalah) or through Light (using Kabbalah).

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Don’t Look for Fairy Tale Love

Don\'t Look for Fairy Tale LoveQuestions I received on pity, being judgmental, dreams, and the love of fairy tales:

Question: Why do we feel pity for puppies, kittens, elderly people, the crippled, and so on? What is pity?

My Answer: Always start at the beginning, from the initial premise – we are egoists. Therefore, our pity is egoistic. It’s one’s sensation of suffering, or the fear of suffering.

Question: I often get into the situation where the minute I’m judgmental of someone and say “I would never do what they did,” things suddenly take a turn so that I end up doing exactly what I thought I’d never do. When I’m judgmental of others, I end up in the same situation as them.

My Answer: It is written: “Don’t judge others until you are in their place.” You are being shown who you really are. You should learn about yourself from others, since you only notice all the negative things in them because you also have the same properties.

Question: Dear Rav, what happens to the thoughts, desires, and especially the will during the hours when the physical body rests?

My Answer: They are uploaded into the system in one’s brain that sorts them, and then into one’s memory. At this time one may experience them in the form of dreams, which are removed from reality and therefore the situations in them are fantastical.

Question: Are there people who meet and stay together forever? Does one have to realize something very important to deserve such happiness?

My Answer: We are becoming more and more egoistic. In our time people are realizing their inability to love and be faithful. This is happening so we will realize that it’s necessary to correct egoism, and then we will deserve happiness. Two people with a well developed egoism can meet and stay together forever only in our dreams.

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If You Want to Have an Epiphany, Make the Efforts

If You Want to Have an Epiphany, Make the EffortsTwo questions I received on how Kabbalah answers the question of life’s meaning:

Question: Why should Kabbalah be studied only by those who have lost their way in life, in their interests and goals? Why shouldn’t people who are successful and talented study it too? It sounds like you’re saying that not all people are equal when it comes to their aspiration to get rid of egoism.

My Answer: Kabbalah only answers the question about the meaning of life, which may be expressed by any of the following questions: “What is the purpose and meaning of life? What’s the purpose of so much this suffering? Who needs it, who receives pleasure from it? Who receives, and who can I give to?” Only people who persistently ask these questions need Kabbalah, because they won’t find the answers to them anywhere else!

Question: One of the forefathers of Kabbalah asked the question, “What’s the meaning of my life?” After this he had such a great epiphany that he was able to write down the method for having this epiphany, which he named Kabbalah. I think it’s highly unrealistic to say that he was the only one who asked this question – there must have been at least a few other individuals of the Homo sapien species who also asked this question before him.

My Answer: To ask the question “What’s the meaning of my life?” is still not enough to reveal the Upper World, its system of operation, and program of governance. One also needs to receive a special desire (a soul) and a mission (its realization). This is not given to a person according to his initial purpose only, but also depends on his efforts. You should try to have an “epiphany” like this happen to you as well!

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The Light Will Dispel the Darkness

The Light Will Dispel the DarknessA question I received: I first heard about The Book of Zohar from a Christian preacher, Billye Brim. This book helped me better understand myself and my relationship with the Creator. At the time I didn’t feel that it contradicted my faith as a Christian, but after listening to your lectures, I understood that you don’t recognize the existence of G-d as an individual. For you G-d is Nature or the Laws of Nature. But then who do we pray to when we pray for correction? I know that when I sincerely ask G-d for something and believe that He hears me, that He is always good to me, and that I will receive what I asked for – then He always gives it me.

I started studying in your on-line courses a week ago, and a month prior to that I began taking courses about stock market operations. Who should I ask for help in my studies? How do I formulate my prayer? I am studying “for myself,” so how can I change this to “for the Creator”? And why would He even care about my education? If I get sick, how should I ask Him for healing? My body will be in pain, but why would the Creator care about my body if He only cares about the soul? I’ve reached a dead end, and I beg you to help me!

My Answer: First you should study Baal HaSulam’s articles “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose” and others. You will have to be patient, because it will take you time to figure this out. You have to go through an initial period of confusion and misunderstanding, and it may even take you many months for the material to enter your memory, settle there, be grasped by you and connect correctly with your corporeal perception.

Once this happens, you will be able to understand the things that happen to you and to the world so well that you will be able to answer your own questions. The only way to accelerate this process of understanding reality is by adopting a “mechanical” attitude to the world: work, study, family, Kabbalah lessons, and rest. Don’t pay attention to your feelings and the confusion, but only let a lot of Baal HaSulam’s material pass through you, like through a meat grinder. Later this material will settle inside you and start working. This is a period that cannot be skipped.

It’s possible that you won’t be able to go back to religion. Everything is simpler there – all you have to do is observe rituals and not ask any questions, and then you’ll receive a reward in this world and the world to come. However, you will probably stop believing in this – the lie will become all too obvious!

So if you want to reveal the Truth, my advice to you is to live just like you did before, with the addition of Kabbalah studies. And then the Light of Correction, Ohr Makif, will dispel the darkness you’re in.

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It Takes Time, Effort and Experience to Reveal the Upper World

It Takes Time, Effort and Experience to Reveal the Upper WorldThree questions I received on dealing with fears and doubts on the path to revealing the Upper World:

Question: I have been drawn to Kabbalah for the last two years. My problem is that although I read the books you recommend and try to study, I seem to get no understanding. I worry that the Creator hasn’t opened my point in the heart. Also, when I feel as though something real might be taking place in me, some external influence takes my attention from my studies. Does this mean that this isn’t my time for drawing nearer to the Creator?

My Answer: No. You just need to:

  1. Accumulate inside you the desire for the correct goal.
  2. Realize that you cannot correct yourself – only the Light can correct you in accordance with the goal.

This is the only way to reveal the Upper World. It takes time and a certain amount of effort and experience. Concerning the efforts, it is written that you have to be “As an ox to the burden and as a donkey to the load,” and “Know that it’s not up to you to complete this work, but you are also not free to leave it.”

If you accept these conditions for changing your nature, then you will attain the goal. You will reveal the Upper World inside the property of bestowal, and then you’ll discover that our entire world is but a small, insignificant dimension.

Question: Is crossing the Machsom the most difficult part in the spiritual ascent? Once you cross over, is the process accelerated?

My Answer: Yes, it is accelerated by many times, and this happens clearly in your perception and awareness.

Question: Rav, I’ve read that as one studies Kabbalah, he is shown his egoistic side and that as the Creator wants someone to advance, His blows against him are harder and harder.

In the past few months, my “luck” (for lack of a better term) has gotten much worse. What is the Creator telling me? That I am not putting enough effort into Kabbalah? I feel beaten down. My only consolation is that maybe, just maybe, this is the precursor to the Creator correcting my egoism. But what if I’m wrong? I think we are all here studying Kabbalah because of the promise of the reward, but am I doing something wrong to be on such a path of pain while trying to reach the goal of correction?

My Answer: You must read the Shamati articles immediately. Precisely your current state will help you understand what the Creator wants from you.

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