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

Related Material:
Unraveling the Zohar

“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).

Related Material: Post: Conscious Acceleration Toward Life’s Purpose Post: The Solution – Excerpts from the Writings of the Last Generation by Baal HaSulam
Basic Concepts in Kabbalah: Chapter 7, “From the Afterword to the Zohar”

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.

Related Material: Post: A Woman Can Love Others – Egoistically Post: What Is Pain, and How Can We Stop Feeling It All the Time? Post: Are Dreams the Life of the Soul?
Talk: Perception of Reality
Chapter from the Booklet “Relationships”: Concerning Love

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!

Related Material: Post: We Are So Close to Revelation
Kabbalah Today Article: Making Room for the Creator
Kabbalah Today Article: Rising Above the Ego to a New Level of Consciousness

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.

Related Material: Post: Kabbalah Leaves No Room for Faith Post: What Is a True Prayer?
Kabbalah Books for our Generation
Baal HaSulam’s Articles
Buy the Book: The Zohar: Annotations to the Ashlag Commentary

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.

Related Material: Post: Redemption Will Come At the Hands of the Creator Post: There Are No Speeding Tickets In Spirituality Post: What Is the Upper Light?
Shamati #128: “Dew Drips from that Galgalta to Zeir Anpin”
Baal HaSulam Article: “Matan Torah (The Giving of the Torah)”

The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Lock and the Key”

The Book of Zohar.The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Lock and the Key” (abridged)

41. Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi were walking along a road (of spiritual ascent). As they reached a field (a state that’s ready for correction), Rabbi Chiya said to Rabbi Yosi, “The words BARAH SHEET (created six) certainly allude to BERESHEET, for the six Supernal Days (the six Lights), VAK de Bina, shine on the Torah (ZA), while the others (above them), i.e. GAR de Bina, are concealed.”

42. However, it is said in the secrets of creation of BERESHEET that He who is Holy and Concealed established the laws in Bina, in the secret and concealed, meaning Malchut of Partzuf Atik, which is a Partzuf with Malchut of Tzimtzum Aleph (the First Restriction). And He concealed all (the Lights) within the law that He established in Bina (a lower degree), and everything is locked under one key (condition). And He hid this key in a hall (the desire of Malchut). And although everything is hidden in that hall, the most important thing is in that key, for it locks and unlocks everything – in Sefira Yesod (instead of Malchut), the place of the covenant (unification of the souls with the Creator), permissible (for reception of the Light) after Tzimtzum Bet (the Second Restriction). This Screen allows for the reception of Light (in the souls), and is hence called the “point of population,” Tzimtzum Bet, and not the “central point” (of all creation), Tzimtzum Aleph.

43. That hall (Malchut) conceals tremendous treasures (Light). And there are tightly closed gates in that hall, which are meant to block access to the Light. There are fifty of them. They were divided into four sides and became forty-nine gates, for one gate has no side, and it is unknown whether it exists above or below. Hence, it remained closed.

A gate signifies the desire to receive the Light. If man can use a desire for the Creator’s sake, this is called a Commandment. The received Light is called the Torah. It is written about this: “Fifty gates of Bina, and all are given to Moshe, except for one, the last secret of the absence of the Upper Light” – for this key will open Malchut of primordial egoism, which will occur at the end of all the corrections, at the completion of the 6,000 years.

44. Those gates have one lock with a narrow space inside for inserting the key. It is unmarked (a rule of revelation), and recognized only by the impress of the key, which is unknown in that narrow space, but (information about it is concealed) only in the key itself. And it is written of this secret: BERESHEET BARAH ELOKIM (IN THE BEGINNING THE CREATOR CREATED). “In the beginning” is the key, and all is concealed within it, as it unlocks and locks. And six gates are contained in this key, which locks and unlocks. When it locks those gates, encloses them within itself, it is written IN THE BEGINNING (BERESHEET): a revealed word, though it is usually concealed. BARAH (CREATED) is a concealed word everywhere, implying that the key unlocks it and locks it up.

Malchut that stands in NE is called a “lock,” for it prevents Ohr Hochma from entering the soul, and Ateret Yesod is called a “key.” But there is a special recording, a prohibition in AVI on the Zivug in Malchut until the end of correction of all desires. The corrections are done on Yesod, all 49 Sefirot, while Malchut, the 50th gate, blocks the Light to Malchut.
And the word BERESHEET – IN THE BEGINNING – incorporates only the key, only 49 Sefirot, excluding Malchut, the 50th gate. However, the Light of Hassadim shines in all the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut. Therefore, the words IN THE BEGINNING THE CREATOR CREATED refer to the CONCEALED HOCHMA, because the word “created” – BARA, stems from BAR – outside, which means that He brought them outside the bounds of reception of the Light of Hochma, locked them.

The Lock and the Key” – full commentary

Related Material:
Download the Zohar

Science Is Waking Up to Kabbalah’s Possibilities of Perception

I had a meeting that was recorded with Avi Blizovsky, the editor of Israel’s popular-science website Erudite.

Avi is a well known popular science writer. Like many scientists I speak to, for the first half an hour or so he had a hard time envisioning the possibility that the world can be perceived somehow other than through the five senses. This perception is much too habitual and obvious to all, even scientists.

But as we kept talking, he began to understand what kind of science Kabbalah is – one that perceives the world in a different manner, not “within oneself” – egoistically, but “outside of oneself” – altruistically.

He is an avid follower of Darwin and a lover of all sciences. Since we in Bnei Baruch believe that Kabbalah dissemination is the only method of correcting the world, we have to continue having such meetings and patiently explaining to people that Kabbalah is a science about perceiving reality without the limitations of one’s animate body and the five senses.

Related Material: Post: The Physics of the Upper Light Post: Creation and Evolution
Article: “The Purpose of Studying Kabbalah”

The Soul Is the Property of Bestowal, and Without It We Are Animals

The Soul Is the Property of Bestowal, and Until We Develop It, We Remain AnimalsTwo questions I received on the soul:

Question: After everything that has been said, I still don’t understand – does the soul exist? You said that we don’t have a soul and that we need to develop the point in the heart, which will evolve into a soul. On the other hand, you said that the soul incarnates into a body. So do we have a soul or not? Are we the soul? If not, then what are we?

My Answer: We are the animate level of the will to be filled by pleasure, or the will to receive pleasure. Inside this will to receive arises the will to bestow pleasure, or in other words – the will to be filled with the property of bestowal. This desire is called “the point in the heart.” As its name indicates, the point in the heart is small and does not have room in which it can feel fulfillment from bestowal. It is clothed by the “heart” – desires of the animate (bodily) and social levels, desires for the pleasures of our world.

If we develop this point through the influence of the Upper Light (which descends during Kabbalah study by the authentic sources, especially when studying in the group) until the smallest necessary size – the first ten Sefirot, then inside these Sefirot we will discover the property of bestowal, Ohr Hozer, and pleasure from bestowal, Ohr Hassadim.

Hence, the soul is the property of bestowal, according to the definition: “The soul is a part of the Creator from above.” It is the degree of one’s similarity to the Creator. But as long as we haven’t acquired the smallest property of bestowal, we remain animals.

Question: My husband is Jewish and I am not, and he tries to practice his belief. But from him and many rabbis I have been told that we cannot belong together because my soul is not pure. I tend to disagree – I have a soul and I think I am here to repair and prepare my soul for the Upper World.

My Answer: Tell him that neither of you have a soul. However, you already have the rudiment of the soul coming through – the point in the heart, but he still doesn’t have anything. And even if the point in the heart will also emerge in him, it will be much worse than yours because his point once fell from the spiritual level into the egoistic level, which makes it impure (Klipa), whereas yours is better in comparison to his because it has never been in the spiritual world and hence it did not fall from it. It is written, “When Israel falls (from the spiritual level of love and bestowal, which happened during the fall of the Temple), it is worse than everyone (its egoism is worse than the egoism of all the nations of the world), and when it rises (becomes corrected), it becomes higher than everyone.”

In addition, your husband is obligated to correct himself quickly, and then to help you and the entire world to correction (this is the meaning of Ohr Le Goim – being a Light onto the nations). See “The Preface to the Book of Zohar,” items 70 and 71. Hence, before he is corrected, you are better than him. And after the correction, everyone is equal.

My Comment: Religion believes that a person does not have to correct himself through the commandments, but just observe them. It says that one does not have to change from being an egoist to loving his neighbor.

The reason for this is that religion does not have the instrument of correction, the Upper Light, the Light of the Torah. It is written: “I created egoism and I created the Torah for its correction” – and only Kabbalah engages in this. This is why religion does not urge people to observe the main condition of the Torah – “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” but instead tells everyone to egoistically follow as many prescriptions as possible.

The deception of it is that there is actually no reward for following them! The only possible reward one can have is to come closer to the Creator – to attain adhesion (Dvekut) with Him. And this is only possible through similarity to Him, and cannot be attained through any action other than Kabbalah study!

Related Material: Post: What Is the Soul? Post: Building the Third Temple
Baal HaSulam Article: “The Revelation of Godliness (Matan Torah)”

The Book of Zohar. Chapter “Supernal Wisdom”

The Book of Zohar.The Book of Zohar. Chapter “Supernal Wisdom” (abridged)

40. Rabbi Yudai asked, “What does the word BERESHEET (“In the beginning” – the first word of the Torah) mean?” It is the wisdom, upon which the world, Partzuf ZA of the world of Atzilut, is established to enter the concealed supernal secrets, namely the Light of Bina of Partzuf AVI of the world of Atzilut. Here are the six Supernal and great properties, VAK de Bina, from which everything emerges (from which the entire Light descends and constructs, governs, corrects and fulfills all the souls throughout their entire path from the beginning of creation to its end). The six river mouths, VAK de ZA, that flow into the Great Sea (Malchut of the world of Atzilut) were formed from them. The word BERESHEET consists of the words BARAH (created) and SHEET (Aramaic for six), meaning that in the beginning the Creator CREATED SIX properties. Who created them? He who is unmentioned, concealed, and unknown: Partzuf Arich Anpin (AA) of the world of Atzilut.

My Comment: In the world of Atzilut there is the concealed Light of Hochma in AA, and there is the Light that descends from Bina to ZA. That is why the word Beresheet means Be-resheet, from Hochma, but not concealed in AA, rather descending from Bina to ZA.

The word BARA is contained within the word BERE-SHEET, which alludes to the fact that everything is created by the concealed Light of Hochma of AA. His action is BARA (created), from the word BAR – brought Bina down, outside, so that its lower part fell to ZA, and through ZA facilitated the correction of Malchut, in which all human souls are incorporated.

Supernal Wisdom” – full commentary

Related Material:
Study the Zohar