The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Night of the Bride,” Part 2

The Book of Zohar.The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Night of the Bride,” Part 2 (abridged)

139. Thus, “the Heavens declare the work of His hands.” These are the friends who have united in the bride (Malchut) by studying the Torah on the night of the holiday of Shavuot. They are all participants of the covenant with her, and are called “the work of His hands.” And she praises and notes each and every one of them. What is Heaven, firmament? It is the firmament, where the sun, the moon, the stars, and the signs of fortune (zodiac) are located. This firmament is called the Book of Remembrance, and it declares and records them, so they shall become the sons of His palace, and He will fulfill all their desires.

140. Day after day brings Omer – a sheaf. The holy day out of those days (Sefirot) of the King (Zeir Anpin) praises the friends, who study the Torah on the night of Shavuot. They say to each other, “Day after day shall bring a sheaf,” and praise it. And the words “night after night” refer to all the degrees, Sefirot of Malchut, that reign in the night, praise one another by each receiving from a friend, from another Sefira. And the state of complete perfection makes them beloved friends.

141. Does he speak of the others in the world who do not obey the Creator, and whom He does not wish to hear? But they made lines through all the earth, that is, these things make a line out of those that reside Above and out of those that reside below. From the first – firmaments are made, and from the second, from their return – earth. And should you say that they revolve around the earth in one place, it is said that they are also at the end of the world.

142. And since out of them Heavens were created, who resides there? He returned and said, “There is a shelter for the sun in them. This is the holy sun, called Zeir Anpin, and it dwells and resides there, and adorns itself with them.”

143. Since Zeir Anpin resides in those firmaments and clothes in them, he emerges like a bridegroom out of his wedding canopy, and rejoices and races along these firmaments, and exits them and enters, and races toward a tower in a different place. He emerges from one end of Heaven, from the Upper World, from the Highest place, from Bina. And his season – where is it? It is the opposite place below, i.e., Malchut, which is the year’s season that forms all the ends and binds everything – from Heaven to this firmament.

144. There is nothing hidden on account of the year’s season and the phase of the sun that revolves in all directions. And there is no concealment, i.e., not a single Supernal Degree is hidden from him, for all were bound together and everyone appeared before him, and none could be concealed from him. Thanks to him and thanks to them he returned to them, to the friends, in the phase of complete return and correction. All this year and all this time is for the Torah (to study it), as it is written: “The Creator’s Torah is perfect.”

145. The word HaVaYaH is written six times, and there are six verses from “the Heavens declare” and until “The Creator’s Torah is perfect.” And this is the secret of the word BERESHEET, which consists of six letters: “THE CREATOR CREATED ET (THE) HEAVENS AND THE EARTH,” six words in all. The other sources of the verse from “The Creator’s Torah is perfect” and until “they are better than gold” correspond to the six utterances of the name HaVaYaH in them. The sources from “the Heavens declare” through “The Creator’s Torah is perfect” are for the six letters in the word BERESHEET, whereas the six names are for the six words from “the Creator created” through “the Heavens and the earth.”

146. As they were sitting and talking, Rabbi Elazar, the son of Rabbi Shimon, entered. He said to them: “Certainly, the face of the Shechina has come, hence I called you Pniel (Pnei–face + El–Creator = the Creator’s face),” for you have seen the Shechina face to face. And now that you have attained Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada, it certainly refers to Atik, the Sefira of Keter, just as everything else that occurred afterwards, as it is written in the Torah: “And he slew the Egyptian.” And he who is concealed from all – is Atik.

147. The words, “He slew the Egyptian” are explained in another place, i.e., at a different degree, in a different way. He opened and said, “He slew the Egyptian, a man of good stature, five cubits high.” All of this refers to the same secret. This Egyptian is the one who is well-known and is described as “very great in the land of Egypt in the eyes of the Jew,” for he is great and honored, as that old man had already explained.

148. This case was examined at the Divine Assembly. “A prominent man” and “a man of good stature” are the same, as they constitute Shabbat and the bounds of Shabbat. As it is written: “You shall measure it from outside the city.” It is also written, “You shall not impede limitations in measure.” Hence, he was a man of good stature. Precisely such, from one end of the world to the other. Such is he, Adam, the first man. And should you disagree, referring to the written “five cubits,” know that these five cubits extend from one end of the world to the other.

149. It is, as is written, “like a weaver’s beam,” as the Divine staff that was in his hand, which reveals by the secret name, confirmed in it by the light of the letter combinations that Betzalel and his disciples engraved, called “weaving,” as is written, “He filled them and others, and BOUND them.” And that staff – within it shone a secret name, inscribed on all its sides by the Light of the sages, who confirmed the secret name in forty-two properties. And the rest of what is written from here onward is similar to what the old man had already explained. Happy is his lot!

150. Be seated, dear friends. Be seated and let us renew the correction of the Bride on this night, for whomever joins her on this night shall be guarded Above and below in the coming year. And this year shall pass over him in peace. Such people are described in the verse: “The angel of the Lord stands round those that fear Him, and delivers them. O taste and see that the Creator is good.”

The Night of the Bride” – full commentary

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When Will Suffering Disappear?

When Will Suffering Disappear?

Three questions I received on suffering:

Question: It is said that there is no punishment in spirituality. Yet there is the curse of egoism which we fell into from spirituality. Does that mean that women only suffer in this corporeality as a result of our egoism?

My Answer: Yes, just like men!

Question: Will suffering disappear after we become fully corrected?

My Answer: Of course, because suffering is the sensation of empty desires.

Question: Kabbalah says that a person could choose either the path of Kabbalah or the path of suffering. But people who study Kabbalah still suffer, don’t they?

My Answer: An egoist feels one kind of suffering – bitter suffering, because he doesn’t get what he wants. But those who study Kabbalah feel the suffering of love – sweet suffering, because they yearn for their beloved.

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Immerse Into the Waters of Bestowal, and You Will Become Pure

Immerse Into the Waters of Bestowal, and You Will Become PureA question I received: I read that Rabbi Nachman said the following about a Mikveh (ritual immersion): “When a man immerses in a Mikveh (a basin filled with rain or spring water, or in an ocean or river), his enemies are destroyed, and all his troubles and disturbances disappear, which prevented him from serving the Creator.” Is this talking about a combination of a Kabbalist’s inner work with the corresponding mechanical actions of his biological body?

My Answer: It means the following: “When a man immerses all his desires into the property of bestowal, then all his egoistic intentions disappear and nothing prevents him from being similar to the Creator.” There is no need for any physical actions of the body, because when a Kabbalist’s body dies, his soul still continues to feel its existence through similarity to the Creator.

The soul exists outside of the body, independently of it. It does not incarnate into the body, and it cannot be affected by any physical actions performed with the body. The soul is a part of the Creator from above, whereas the body is a form of existence of protein matter.

Everything that Judaism advises one to do with the body is a tradition, a framework that helps one remain externally similar to the Upper World. But unfortunately, today – when it’s necessary to come out of the spiritual exile, the same framework that helped the Jewish people survive through the exile is holding them back from the correction they must perform today.

It is written, “As the Mikveh purifies the impure, the Creator purifies Israel.” Immerse into the Creator, the property of Bina, the waters of bestowal and mercy – and you will become pure!

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An Invitation to an Event of Unity and Dissemination

An Invitation to an Event of Unity and DisseminationDear friends,

We are very pleased to invite you to join us in support of our friends at the international Congress in Odessa called Unity and Dissemination, from the 12th through the 14th of September.

We invite you to come to one of three North American locations for lessons, meals, cultural events, and inspiring gatherings of friends. During the congress we will also conduct a regional gathering of friends in North America to strengthen the connection between us and support our friends in Odessa. For more details and to register please write to the group where you will be attending. Approximate cost of the event is $75 (which includes food and accommodations).

Click here to view the schedule of the congress.

We encourage you to contact the closest and most convenient location for you, and look forward to seeing you soon!

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Why Didn’t The Monkeys Come Down From The Trees?

Why Didn't the Monkeys Come Down from the Trees?A question I received: Where did monkeys come from? If monkeys and apes are the closest species to us, then why do they still live on trees? Why not live like we do, in houses?

My Answer: Just like all species in nature, monkeys came from Reshimot (informational data), which manifest in all the species along a sequence, starting from the lowest Reshimo, the most remote one from the spiritual level, and until the last Reshimo, which brings its species to total equivalence with the Creator.

Hence, the sequential manifestations of the Reshimo bring about the development of man from an ape. It wasn’t the ape’s development that caused man to emerge, as Darwin believed, but the realization of the sequence of Reshimo.

However, on the surface it appears as if man really did evolve from animals. Physiologically or bodily, man was born from an ape. However, this happened because a human Reshimo surfaced in the ape – a Reshimo that is completely foreign to the ape.

Today, all of us are still animals in the physical sense, but we have a Reshimo called “Ahoraim De Nefesh de Kdusha” – a point in the heart, which we can develop to become human – Adam, meaning “similar to the Creator.”

Apes don’t have this Reshimo, and this is why they have remained the same and still live on trees. However, I must point out that in order for a person to be different from an ape, it isn’t enough to merely look different…

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