The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Vision of Rabbi Chiya”

The Book of Zohar.The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Vision of Rabbi Chiya” (abridged)

49. Rabbi Chiya prostrated himself on the ground and wept: “Dust, how hard and heartless you are, how many you have consumed, even the great one, Rabbi Shimon, the Light of the entire world, is also consumed by you, and yet you govern the world?” But then he collected himself at once and said: “Do not be proud, dust, for the pillars of the world will not be betrayed to you, and Rabbi Shimon will not be consumed by you!”

At first, Rabbi Chiya thought that Rabbi Shimon himself was also consumed by dust, i.e., did not achieve complete correction, for the upper gates are closed for all. Yet, if Rabbi Shimon revives the worlds through his soul, how can it possibly be that he has not reached perfection? Therefore, he concludes that Rabbi Shimon was not consumed by the dust, that he did achieve complete correction. The thing that Rabbi Chiya could not understand, however, is how any individual soul could achieve the end of correction prior to (without) the complete correction of all the others. This, Rabbi Chiya could not explain to himself.

50. Rabbi Chiya fasted for forty days so that he might see Rabbi Shimon, but was told he still was not worthy of seeing him. He wept and fasted for another forty days. He was then shown a vision (not his degree, but a higher one): Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Elazar were discussing him, the words of Rabbi Chiya.

51. In that same vision, Rabbi Chiya saw how Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Elazar mounted great celestial wings and soared to the Assembly of Heaven. Afterwards, they both returned to their place and shone brighter than ever before, brighter than the light of the sun. The term Supernal Assembly (of corrected souls) refers to the Assembly of the Creator Himself, while the Heavenly Assembly refers to the Assembly of Matat. The wings are angels (spiritual forces, similar to robots or draft animals in our world), whose task is to help the souls ascend from one spiritual degree to another.

52. Further Rabbi Chiya saw that Rabbi Shimon said: “Let Rabbi Chiya enter and see how much the Creator renews the faces of the righteous in the world to come. Happy is he who comes here without shame. Happy is he who stands in the other world against all obstacles. And Rabbi Chiya saw himself entering, and Rabbi Elazar and all the others stood up before him. And he, Rabbi Chiya, was ashamed; he entered, bending, and sat at the feet of Rabbi Shimon. Rabbi Shimon opened the way for the Light and said: “Happy is he who enters here without shame.” And all that were present there felt no shame. Only Rabbi Chiya was ashamed. This is because they had the strength to withstand the power of the dust, and Rabbi Chiya did not. They were all perfect, whereas Rabbi Chiya had a flaw – the desire to attain. And this is what he was ashamed of.

53. A voice sounded: “Lower your eyes, do not raise your head.” Rabbi Chiya lowered his eyes and saw Light that shone from afar. The voice returned and said: “The Supernal Ones, concealed and enclosed, who have eyes that watch over the entire world, look and see: the lower ones are sleeping, and the Light of their eyes is concealed in their pupils. Wake them!”

After he followed the instruction to lower his eyes and not raise his head (not to receive the Light, but only to bestow), he heard (the Light of Hassadim) the appeal, in which he attained everything. The voice divides all souls into two groups: the first is a group of Supernal Ones who merited their eyes to be opened to behold the entire world, and the second group of souls have the Light of their eyes concealed. This is why the voice called upon the souls of the first group to behold, i.e., to use the reception of the Upper Light, to draw the Upper Light together with the second group.

54. Who among you turns darkness into Light (love towards one’s friend) and savors bitter (bestowal) as sweet even before he came here, that is, while still living in the other (egoistic) world? Who among you hopes and waits each day for the Light (of correction) that shines when He distances (from him in a sensation of a descent)? For he who does not wait for this each day while living in this world, has no place in the Upper World.

55. In his vision, Rabbi Chiya saw many of his friends, some are elevated by the wings, while others are lowered. And above them all, he saw the wings of the approaching Matat. This way the two groups help one another. Rabbi Chiya saw also that due to the aspiration of both groups, Matat descended from the Heavenly Assembly to the assembly of Rabbi Shimon and swore an oath.

56. The angel Matat swore that he heard from behind the curtain how each day the Creator remembers and grieves over Malchut, cast into the dust. And when He remembers her, He strikes 390 firmaments, and they all tremble with terrible fear before Him. And the Creator sheds tears for the ShechinaMalchut that has fallen to the dust. And those tears simmer like fire, and fall into the Great Sea. And by the power of these tears, the Ruler of the Sea, called Rachav, is revived, blesses the Creator, and vows to swallow up everything, from the first days of creation, and to absorb all within himself, when all the nations gather against Israel, the sea ruler will rise back to life and swallow up all the primeval waters, for Malchut will receive the lacking correction, for each day the Creator cares for her until she, His only creation, reaches her final correction – the waters will dry, and Israel will walk through dry land. And here Rabbi Chiya’s delusion was revealed to him: he understood that nothing disappears in the dust, but, on the contrary, each day Malchut undergoes corrections, just as Matat swore.

57. Through all this, he heard a voice: “Clear this place, clear this place! The Mashiach (Messiah), the King-Redeemer is coming to the assembly of Rabbi Shimon,” for all the righteous gathered there ascend from this assembly to the Assembly of Heaven. And the Mashiach visits all these assemblies and seals the Torah that stems from the mouths of the righteous.

As a result of the revelation of the end of correction, concealed in the oath of Matat, all of the righteous present at Rabbi Shimon’s Assembly attained Upper Degrees and reached the levels of “heads of assemblies” and merited ascending to the Assembly of Heaven and revealing the Mashiach.

And now all the members merited becoming the heads of the Assemblies, wherefrom they merited an ascent to the Heavenly Assembly. Moreover, thanks to their corrections, they merited the Mashiach himself coming to all these assemblies to be adorned with their deeds in the Torah. And now all the members have merited reaching the level of the assemblies’ heads.

58. The members stood up. Rabbi Shimon stood up too, and his Light rose to the firmament. The Mashiach said unto him: “Happy are you, Rabbi, for your Torah has risen in 370 beams of Light, and each beam divides into 613 beams (properties) that ascend and bathe in the rivers of the holy Apharsemon. And the Creator confirms and signs the Torah of your assembly.”

59. “I have come here not to confirm the Torah of your assembly, but only because the ‘owner of wings’ is on his way here. For I know that he shall not enter any other assembly, but only yours.” Meanwhile, Rabbi Shimon told him of the oath taken by the “owner of wings.” Right then the Mashiach trembled in awe – and the Heavens shook, and the Great Sea boiled, and the Leviathan stirred, and the entire world threatened to overturn – and left.

60. Rabbi Chiya trembled in awe when the Mashiach left, and his eyes were filled with tears. For the Mashiach left Rabbi Shimon’s Assembly weeping from the great desire for the final correction. And Rabbi Chiya was also anguished from the fervent desire to reach the end of correction. Rabbi Chiya cried and said: “Happy is the lot of the righteous in the other world, and happy is the lot of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who has merited all of this.”

The Vision of Rabbi Chiya” – full commentary

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The Creator Cannot Be Attained Anywhere Besides Kabbalah

The Creator Cannot Be Attained Anywhere Besides KabbalahA question I received: I feel drawn to Kabbalah study. I feel great changes. I feel like I am hearing answers that speak to me for the first time in my life. I want to learn, grow and change.

I was unobservant for many years and then returned to observance, mostly to try and make my life make sense and because of guilt. My father is a Rabbi and is a wonderful, pious, accepting man. I thought that I was doing something for my father by returning, and this is how my actions were also perceived by my orthodox family.

I only found Kabbalah because I returned to observance and went into a Chabad house. From there my interests were peaked and I found you online.

I feel conflicted now when I learn from you about the difference between religion and Kabbalah. I understand what you are saying and want to continue to learn, but I feel like if I move toward you, I am being selfish and disloyal to my father. So to move toward Kabbalah might be a selfish act for me considering my circumstance. Is this just part of my work?

My Answer: The difference between religion and Kabbalah is man’s correction. The study of Kabbalah (when it’s done correctly and by the correct source texts) evokes the Upper Light, which corrects one’s egoism according to the rule, “I have created egoism and I have created the Torah for its correction, because the Light that’s in it returns one to the Source.”

We develop to the degree that the broken, egoistic desires are revealed us. When one’s desire for correction becomes revealed, one then begins to sense that our world and everything in it – even faith – are false and empty. However, people who don’t realize this yet are satisfied with faith – whether faith in themselves, the world, or God.

Only you can tell which desires are being revealed in you. At the end of our development all of us will feel the need to unite with the Creator. In our time, people’s desires for Him are beginning to surface. This is why Kabbalah – the method of revealing the Creator, is becoming more and more popular and necessary. Even religions are beginning to “dress” in it and to say that Kabbalah is part of them. This also benefits Kabbalah, because it will accelerate people’s realization that the Creator cannot be attained anywhere besides Kabbalah!

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Is Pride a Form of Egoism?

Is Pride a Form of Egoism?A question I received: Is pride a form of egoism? I am reminded of the situation where a man who is very hungry turns down the meal prepared by the giver because of shame. The giver, aware of the shame, asks, “Why are you acting so proud and refusing to eat? Humble yourself and eat!”

My Answer: In this situation the giver is an even bigger egoist and has more pride than the receiver. Therefore, the receiver can accept the food without being ashamed, since he will enable the giver to enjoy his power over the receiver’s unwilling desire.

The situation is different in Kabbalah. When a person desires to escape his egoism, he feels how different he is from the Creator and is ashamed of it. Otherwise the Creator won’t be revealed to him. However, in our world both the giver and the receiver are on the level of our world, inside their compulsory egoism. This is why one of them advises (helps) the other to compensate his shame in some way and be fulfilled.

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A Question Is the Sensation of an Empty Desire

A Question Is the Sensation of an Empty DesireTwo questions I received on how to tell whether Kabbalah is the right method:

Question: My question has two parts:

1. Besides Kabbalah there are many methods of revealing the Creator. I can agree that they don’t explain the structure of the Upper Worlds or the rules of governance, but why would a person who is united with the Creator need this anyway? And if the goal of creation is adhesion with Him, then why does Kabbalah deny all other methods of attaining this? Besides, someone studying Kabbalah is not guaranteed to attain the goal of creation – it doesn’t have the “guarantees” that other sciences provide.

2. Physically you look a lot like Osho (or Osho looks like you). Both of you interest me and have my respect. Forgetting the terminology for a minute, you bring Light to the people through the power of logic (physics), and Osho did it through the beauty of poetry (lyrics), but your content is the same. How can I know whether you have really tested your path? Without this verification, Kabbalah is no different than any other religion and requires blind faith.

My Answer: The answer is inside you. A question is the sensation of an empty desire, and its fulfillment is the proof.

Question: In a previous blog entry, you wrote: “The problem with amulets, spells, and mysticism is that they distract us, and we start being late with correcting ourselves. This causes an accumulation of evil that’s expressed as suffering.” But what if it’s too late by the time a person understands this?

My Answer: Nature treats us according to our similarity to it, and to the extent we realize how similar or dissimilar we are to it. It’s the same as how in this world, our judgment of someone who made a wrong action changes depending on whether the action was intentional or not. Suffering that comes from unintended dissimilarity to nature forces us to discover this dissimilarity, and hence it is a correcting signal of an “illness.”

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How Does a Kabbalist Feel About the Current Events?

How Does a Kabbalist Feel About the Current Events?Every day the mass media brings us more news and information about the worldwide socio-political crisis, the threatening global climate changes, and scientific discoveries. All of this is determined by humanity’s general movement toward its final state – similarity to the Creator by the principle “through the thorns to the stars,” or in other words, “forced to happiness.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to go through these stages smoothly and pleasantly? Yet human stupidity and stubbornness lead us like Pharaoh in the Torah – from blow to blow. When a Kabbalist observes this, he suffers for everyone and with everyone. The only consolation is seeing that every blow nevertheless brings us closer to the goal – even though the medicine is right under our noses!

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War Means War

War Means WarA question I received: How do you remain true to the principle “love thy neighbor as thyself” when there’s a war going on and you have to fire a gun at your neighbor, who became your enemy for some reason and now wants to kill you?

My Answer: There are precise laws of behavior for this situation and they are described in the Torah. When the law states that you have to kill someone in a specific situation, then you have to do this, and you don’t have the right to avoid doing it. The reverse is also true.

There are states when the death of a person’s body is his correction. The principle “love thy neighbor as thyself” has to be understood in regard to the relationship between the souls, rather than the bodies.

[In the above photo: I am walking next to soldiers of the Chilean junta. By the way, “junta” means “group” – and it’s what our Chilean friends call themselves.]

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