A question I received: It says in the treatise Brachot that one who dreams that he’s reciting Shema Israel (Hear, O Israel) should be awarded with the presence of the Shechina (the Divine Presence), yet his generation is not worthy. How does Kabbalah explain this text? What is the spiritual significance of dreams, and what is the spiritual state of a person who dreams this particular dream?
My Answer: A dream does not mean a regular dream of our animate bodies, but rather a particular state of the soul’s ascent. In this state, a person feels the Upper Level; however, he doesn’t feel It directly inside his desire, but in a manner that is concealed from him.
Then, after one makes efforts to attain greater self-correction, the dream becomes reality: the person rises to the next spiritual level. If one dreams of reciting the Shema, then the next level for him is to attain adhesion with the Creator. This is what the Shema represents, and is why one is awarded with the presence of the Shechina – the revelation of the Creator. However, his generation (his present state) is not yet worthy (not yet corrected enough) for the revelation of the Creator.
If you want to understand everything correctly, start by understanding that the entire universe is inside a person, and all the names and descriptions refer to his qualities and states. This is what we learn in “the perception of reality” section of Kabbalah. You will then see that a dream is one of the highest spiritual states of a wakeful Kabbalist.
Introduction to the Book of Zohar: “Item 18”
Shamati #103: “Whose Heart Maketh Him Willing”