A question I received: I cannot focus on studying The Book of Zohar, even though it is my greatest desire to understand this book. The most prevalent commandment in Christianity is, “Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people; but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am Jehovah” (Leviticus 19:18). Jesus taught that we have to love those who hate us and pray for those who haunt us. Isn’t this also a principle in Kabbalah?
My Answer: Every religion puts itself above other religions and teachings, and this is because all religions emerged from man’s egoism. This is the reason for the hatred between different religions and nations. Even within one religion, there is hatred between its different branches.
The commandment “Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people; but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” is incomplete. Kabbalah teaches us to love not only our own people, but all the people in the world. Looking back at history, we won’t find anyone who loved those who hated and haunted them. On the contrary, history is full of hatred and violence, which are spawned by religion to this day. Religion has always divided and separated different nations from each other, instigating them one against the other and imposing itself on the people by fire and sword.
All religions will die out because they arose from egoism after the destruction of the Temple. This was when the people of Israel fell from the level of “love for one’s neighbor” to the level of “unfounded hatred for one’s neighbor” – and they are still on this level, along with everyone else. Kabbalah is above religion; it appeals to everyone in the world because it teaches that we are all part of the common soul of Adam, without any difference between us. Every person is equally necessary in order for everyone to attain the full correction. If even one person is missing, then it is less than perfect!
Kabbalah appeared in ancient Babylon when the whole civilization was falling apart from the growing egoism. Kabbalah, represented by Abraham, pleaded with people to unite. And now, after our entire bitter history, Kabbalah is telling all of us the same thing again: “Unite, otherwise you’ll destroy yourselves!” And to this day, the religions are still preaching separation – and that is because they were produced by egoism. The religions appeared when the nation of Israel fell from love for one’s neighbor to hatred, from the spiritual level to the corporeal, egoistic one. That is when Judaism appeared, then Christianity, and then Islam.
Baal HaSulam writes that religions will remain as the cultural traditions of the nations. The religions will have to take their proper place and stop engaging in something that is beyond them – the soul and its correction. They don’t have a connection with the Light and the Creator in order to engage in this, and this is what we are witnessing today by the results of religion’s impact on people.
The period of the Light’s concealment from man is over, and hence the period of religious domination over people is also over. The Light is becoming revealed, and religion is becoming substituted by Kabbalah. Religion will then remain as a cultural tradition.
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Introduction to the Book of Zohar. Items 60-71