The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Second Commandment”

The Book of Zohar.The Book of Zohar. Chapter “The Second Commandment” (abridged)

198. The second Commandment is inseparably connected with the Commandment of fear, and it is the Commandment of love – for man to love his Creator with absolute (perfect) love. What is perfect love? It is a great love, as it is written, “He walks before the Creator in complete sincerity and perfection.” And this signifies perfection in love. Thus, it is written, “And the Creator said, ‘Let there be Light’” – this is perfect love, called “great love.” This is precisely how man should love his Creator.

200. Therefore, there is he who loves the Creator in order to gain riches, live a long life, have many healthy children, and rule over his enemies – he receives everything he wants, and this is why he loves the Creator. However, should he receive the opposite, should the Creator lead him through a wheel of suffering, he will come to hate the Creator, and will feel no love toward Him whatsoever. Therefore, such (egoistic) love lacks the necessary foundation (for spiritual adhesion).

201. Love is considered perfect if it exists on both sides – on the side of judgment (suffering) and the side of mercy (success in life). As we already mentioned, when one loves the Creator, even if He were to take away his soul, this love would remain perfect on both sides: mercy and judgment.

Therefore, the Light of the First Act of Creation was revealed and then concealed. And because of this concealment, strict judgment appeared in the world, and both sides, mercy and judgment, united to form perfection. And this is the desired love.

202. Rabbi Shimon kissed (united with) him. Rabbi Pinchas approached (his degree), kissed (united with) and blessed him. He said, “It is clear that the Creator has sent me here. This is the tiny ray of Light that was said to be shining in my house, and would later light up the whole world.” Rabbi Elazar said, “Certainly, fear must not be forgotten from all the Commandments; especially in this Commandment, the Commandment of love, fear must be attached to this Commandment at all times. How is it attached? Love is good when it brings goodness, health, sustenance, and life from the Beloved One. And it is here that fear of sinning must be revived, so that the wheel does not turn against him, as it is written, “Happy is the man who always fears,” for his fear is contained in his love.

203. This is how fear should be evoked from the perspective of strict judgment (restriction of egoism), for once man realizes that strict judgment hovers over him, he must evoke within him fear of his Master. Thus, his heart will not be hardened, of which it is written, “He that hardens his heart shall fall into evil,” into the other side (his egoism). This is called evil. Therefore, fear unites with both sides – with goodness and love, as well as with strict judgment, and consists of both. And if fear is united with the good side and love, as well as with the strictness of judgment, such a love is perfect.

Related Material:
Introduction to the Book of Zohar

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