Letters Are Desires

The Soul Is the Property of Bestowal, and Until We Develop It, We Remain AnimalsPreface to the Book of Zohar,” Item 9: As it is written in The Zohar concerning the Second Restriction, The Zohar does not speak of the World of Atzilut in and of itself, since it is regarded as the white background in the book. Rather, it studies only its illumination in the three worlds of BYA, which are like to the ink, the letters, and their permutations in the book, on the background of the World of Atzilut.

Everything happens within the desire to enjoy. All the letters are vessels of perception (Kelim); they are various forms of the desire to enjoy, which it takes under the Light’s influence.

As the Light influences the desire, it leads it through all the stages of development – Shoresh (0), Alef (1), Bet (2), Gimel (3), and Dalet (4). The result is Malchut, which is called the “Kli” – the vessel of perception.

A different way to express this is that there is KeterRosh (head), and from there “Taamim” (tastes), “Nekudot” (the dots beneath the letters, signifying the vowels), “Tagin” (the crowns above the letters), and “Otiyot” (letters) expanding downward. The letters are the last Reshimot (recollections) of the “Nekudot” (the disappearance of the Light).

In any case, we are only talking about the desire; this is the only thing The Book of Zohar talks about. We have to attune ourselves to precisely this kind of perception – that we are only talking about the desire and everything that happens in it.

The Zohar does not discuss how the Light plans its actions, how it descends to us, controls us, and works “backstage.” This is not our concern, because we cannot comprehend the abstract form and the essence. We are in a space called “the desire to enjoy”; this is where we live. It is ours, and we are its.

This should help us understand the right approach to studying the whole science of Kabbalah, including The Books of Zohar. Kabbalah never talks about anything except the soul.

The only thing discussed in Kabbalah is how Kabbalists reveal the desire to enjoy, which was created by the Creator, and which is called a soul, as well as what happens in this desire. Our entire study is done expressly for this purpose: to reveal the Creator within the created being, within the soul.

However, a person who studies the Torah or Kabbalah for any other purpose besides revealing the quality of bestowal within the desire to enjoy, is not really studying the Torah; moreover, he turns it into the “potion of death” and draws further away from the truth.

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