Let’s Inspire Each Other With Spirituality

Is There Anything Spiritual About Great Works of Art A question I received: In a few days we will be getting together for an international virtual Kabbalah Congress, where we will try to feel the desire of all the millions of people that aspire to attain spirituality. But how is it possible to feel the pain of others from lack of spirituality if we are incapable of even sharing another person’s material pain?

My Answer: We will try to achieve this together. Each of us feels a slight pain caused by the desire for spirituality, but it is constantly subdued by the fact that our desire to receive pleasure is perpetually growing.

The solution is that we need to increase our desire for unity rather than our desire for spirituality. Although it is the same thing, our egoism presents spirituality as a personal acquisition, while unity is presented as a corporeal action.

Question cont’d: Is this how we return to the state in which we existed as one soul, the World of Infinity?

My Answer: Yes, we can reach that state only by uniting with each other. However, it has to be a unification of souls rather than of bodies or corporeal goals.

Question cont’d: But we are incapable of achieving this state.

My Answer: We only need to ask for it, to raise MAN for the Light to give us the force of unification.

On one hand, we all need to reveal the egoism in us, our mutual aversion and indifference to one another. However, on the other hand, we have to understand that only the Light can correct all of this, and to cry out to it to correct us.

Question cont’d: But I don’t even have a desire to correct myself.

My Answer: This is why it is called “a prayer that precedes the prayer,” or a desire that precedes the desire. We begin with simple things: let’s dance, sing, and do everything together. Consequently, these simple, primitive, physical actions of our world will give us a taste of unity. They will awaken our material heart more and more until we reach the highest degree of spirituality.

There is a story about a Kabbalist who use to pay street musicians (Klezmers) to play for him. He would listen to their music and be inspired by spirituality. His wife scolded him: “There is nothing to eat in the house, and you are giving our last pennies to these drunkards! They’ll just drink it all away!”

However, he replied, “That’s irrelevant. I cannot live without their music. They could be drunkards who don’t understand anything else, but I need to awaken myself now and I cannot come out of this state on my own.”

This is a story about a great Kabbalist who would give his last money to street musicians just to hear them play a little. Otherwise, he was unable to continue his corrections.

And now we will do the same thing.

Desires And Qualities: A Definition

clip_image001A question I received: What is the difference between desires and qualities? What is a desire, and what is a quality?

My Answer: Desire is the matter of creation, which always receives. There is nothing else to say about it. A quality is the form that the matter (the desire) takes; it determines how the desire works, what it expects from its work (meaning its intention), and its goal – whether for oneself or for the sake of someone outside of it (others and the Creator). Although this matter is the desire to receive pleasure, it can carry out various forms of work and be in different states, depending on the circumstances and the surroundings.

Despite the fact that I am, for example, the quality of “Abraham,” which is a completely bestowing quality, I have no opportunity to bestow because I am under someone’s control. Maybe my circumstances are such that I have no one to bestow to, or the people surrounding me don’t want me to bestow to them.

This is called a quality. A quality means that the desire to receive pleasure works in some specific external form, being clothed in it. There are ten main Sefirot, and all other spiritual “objects” are forms or qualities that are clothed within them.

When reading The Zohar, we recognize different qualities in us, such as Job, Pharaoh, and the Creator. All of these are qualities, clothed in our desire to receive. Anything we can imagine is merely the desire to receive pleasure. Therefore, from our point of view the Creator is also a particular form of the desire to receive pleasure – illuminating, elevated, high, wonderful, and bestowing to everyone. We are unable to imagine Him any differently because we cannot have any other matter except the desire to receive.

Gradually, to the extent that we try to distinguish all these qualities within us, we are influenced by the Surrounding Light. As a result, the spiritual system begins to be clarified within more and more and we begin to perceive these qualities the right way. We only need patience.

A Wall Is The Only Place To Find A Door

clip_image001The Zohar, Chapter “Bo (Come Unto Pharaoh),” Item 41: This monstrous crocodile comes into the source (Keter) of the Nile River and gradually strengthens in it. It swims and enters the sea, Malchut de Atzilut, where it swallows several species of fish, which are degrees within the sea that are inferior to it. He rules over them and swallows them. They are completed within him, and he returns to the still Nile.

It is so difficult for us to imagine this inside us! Where is the desire called “Nile,” and where is the “crocodile” inside me – where is all of this? We don’t know what to think of these qualities and what picture to imagine as we read about the ten Sefirot, the ten rivers (one of which is Keter, and the others are below it), and all kinds of monsters…

Yet, it doesn’t matter that we can’t put our finger on them. It’s even better that we cannot draw any picture of The Zohar. It’s better than if we were trying to imagine something we knew, things that we have some conception of already. When we read about Moses, the Ark of the Covenant, the Temple, Pharaoh, sheep, cows, and so on, we don’t know what all of it really is, and therefore we only imagine qualities.

All of these names are not important since there are spiritual qualities standing behind them of which we still have no understanding. We are trying to learn something that is impossible to cognize!

Therefore, we need to understand that our efforts will never end up successful. We should have no delusions about this. Rather, our success will come when we find ourselves facing an impenetrable wall and understanding that we don’t know what the spiritual qualities mean, even after all the efforts we have made to reveal them.

When we complete the necessary measure of effort (called “Se’a”), our cup will overflow and the spiritual world will be revealed to us, according to the rule, “I labored and found” (Higati ve Matzati).

Individual Work With The Book of Zohar

ego Inside of me I wish to see the Creator and all the parts of my soul: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Daat, Hesed, Gevurah, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut, and their connections with each other. These qualities can also be called Abraham, Isaac, Esau, Ishmael, Jacob and the 12 brothers (Jacob’s sons), Josef, David, and Solomon. And from all sides, they are clothed by good and evil forces such as Job, Pharaoh, and so on.

small world

We need to imagine this spiritual body not just as three lines, but as multidimensional. It’s similar to how the human body contains a multitude of various systems: the lymphatic system, the nervous system, the circulatory system, and many others which we don’t even know about. And in addition, there are energies, liquids, and chemical substances flowing through them. The spiritual body contains even more components and connections because each of its sections has different qualities, different kinds of connections, and different forms on all the various levels.

We are incapable of learning this until we actually feel it. Anyone who thinks he can learn it is a fool. We only need to desire to exist inside this integral system, all of which works for the sake of bestowal. In that system, we will find the Creator and the creation; in fact, everything is within it. We must look at it according to the principle, “A human being is a small world.”

However, we are not talking about our world and the physical bodies. A “human being” is me, and “a small world” is The Book of Zohar and its story.

Work In A Kabbalistic Group


I connect the points in the heart wishing to create a Kabbalistic group out of them, or the unification of the souls of Isra-el (“directly to the Creator”). Meanwhile, besides the point in the heart, each person also has a part of the egoistic desire. We are willing to cancel this ego of ours in order to unite. And to the extent that we unite in this common desire, according to its quality of unity and mutual guarantee, we feel the Upper Light, the Creator, the quality of bestowal, which governs within us.

The Duality And The Unity Of Spiritual Work

clip_image001I am told that everything exists within me, including all people and the whole of reality. However, on the other hand I am told that I need to unite with other souls which exist somewhere outside of me. There is obviously some duality by which we are currently challenged. However, by reading and trying to permeate The Book of Zohar, it will fix everything and resolve this inner confusion we have.

As we strive to reveal our soul and to imagine that the whole world is within it, we begin to understand the need for a connection between souls. Therefore, we start to search for people like us who also aspire to the spiritual goal. We then try to create a system of connection between us where we will reveal the Creator. And when spirituality is finally revealed to us, even in its very first degree, we begin to understand how we are each connected to the other.

Right now, we perceive reality only from one side, which is worthless and false. We cannot imagine the second side or the connections between the two sides. Therefore, the more we study, the more confused we become, but this is good because it is the path to understanding. We need to get confused in order to later understand. From a lack of correction, we come to correction.

For the time being, we need to imagine that the studies develop an individual soul in each person, and in our practical work with each other, we are trying to unite the points in the heart for the sake of one goal: the revelation of the Creator. Along with the point in the heart, each person has his own part of egoism, but we cancel it for the sake of reaching the spiritual goal.

Caution: Stay Away From Hungry Crocodiles When Reading The Zohar!

A Little Secret to Financial Success, and More... A question I received: Is everything we are now reading in The Book of Zohar describing my present state or my future state?

My Answer: That doesn’t matter. There is no present or future; everything takes place here and now. If I am reading a novel, then I experience everything its heroes do. I feel as if I am really together with them on a ship amidst a raging storm. I am overtaken by worry and fear, when I suddenly see a beautiful, enigmatic island…

Am I really there or not? No – it’s just my imagination. When I close the book, I go back to the “real” reality.

However, when I read a book about the spiritual world and identify with its characters, forces, and qualities, then I am really there in my desire and I reveal my true self more and more through the reading. I reveal a new world where I really live.

The Zohar describes everything that takes place in your desire. If you unite with this book, you really go through the phases it describes. You are really living inside that spiritual reality, and you just might be swallowed by a hungry crocodile

Don’t Show A Fool A Job Half Done

chess I receive many responses regarding how people feel about reading The Book of Zohar. In the science of Kabbalah a person teaches himself; he is the child and the teacher at the same time.

We have to discover a whole new world where our development starts from scratch, from a total absence of perception. We gain an increasingly greater perception of it until we attain all of it, and in the process, we go through the same stages of development as children: we experience confusion, look at the world childishly, and perceive it strangely or incompletely compared to adults. We don’t really understand what we are doing and what’s the use of it all. But meanwhile, we develop.

We have to go through the phases of development labeled 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4; when we reach the fourth level (Behina Dalet), we attain our root, the primary cause. Then we understand “why and how.” We understand the path we went through and how we have to react to it. But this attainment comes only at the end.

That’s why you don’t show a fool a job half done, since halfway through it looks even worse than in the beginning. It’s similar to how pieces of material appear before they are sown together into a suit, or a car that has been disassembled into parts, or a patient’s body in the middle of an operation. We are unable to understand the final result since we must first develop the desires and qualities necessary for seeing this. It says in Item 137 of “Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot” that heroes are those who are patient, and they are the only ones who will reach the King’s castle and enter through its gates.

We have to accept all the stages of this path where we start out like small children, having no understanding of what we are doing and what is happening to us. Sometimes we feel new qualities emerging within us, and sometimes we feel completely empty. Throughout it all, we must remain patient and aim for inner development.

The science of Kabbalah is called the inner part of the Torah because it talks about a person who develops his own desires. When one’s desires go through the four levels of development, then on the fourth level one reveals the spiritual world. Therefore, all our attention and focus must be aimed inside ourselves. We must develop inner sensations along the four phases of desire, together with the mind that develops alongside.

Everything The Zohar speaks about is intended for developing our inner sensation. All our work lies in developing the sensation of the spiritual reality from the point in the heart. This point does not feel any spirituality yet, which is why we don’t understand the words and notions we read in this book. We are just trying, with the help of the “Sulam Commentary,” to imagine what we read in the form of three lines: the right, left and middle lines, and to discern whether something is higher or lower in the ten main Sefirot, whether it’s external or internal, Galgalta ve Eynaim or AHP, Tzimtzum Bet or Parsa.

If I don’t understand what these names mean, then I must at least try to see the geometrical relationships between them so that some kind of picture will emerge. In this way I gradually reveal the true perception of reality and understand that it exists only inside of me. I understand the significance of the material existence in relation to the spiritual one and find out which one of them is the true reality and which is just a dream.

Break Through Into A New World

clip_image001The four prefaces to The Book of Zohar help tune us to correctly perceive this book. These prefaces are: “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” “Preface to The Book of Zohar,” “Preface to the Sulam Commentary,” and “Introduction to the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah.” They are intended to teach us the language of The Book of Zohar so that we can understand as well as expect changes within ourselves as a result of its influence.

This is how we begin to understand that everything happens within our desire, and that there is nothing except our desire and the Light. Everything happens within our soul as we start to develop. Therefore, the prefaces are important because they direct us to the correct approach. Reversely, if we open The Book of Zohar unprepared, we won’t understand anything!

We should work together to understand The Book of Zohar. If we learn how to approach it correctly, continue to read it, and go deeper into this book, then we’ll travel through it like a wonderland; it will become our world because we’ll live in it. As we read and sense these adventures, we grow, gaining knowledge of the spiritual world and our soul which exists within it.

But first we have to enter that world. The most important thing is to break through and be born inside it. When we find our orientation within The Book of Zohar, we begin recognizing its language, such as father and mother, relatives and strangers, friends, enemies, and so on. We start to understand who they are by the forces they represent. There is nothing but forces which we learn to visualize correctly by finding the right approach.

The Orchestra Of The Common Soul

clip_image001The wider I reach out to collect all parts of the broken common soul into a single unified whole, the stronger the force that I acquire which enables me to attain the system that The Zohar describes. It tells us how to attain unity and to build our common spiritual body out of all souls and desires. When all those separate and contradictory desires unite together, they form a new, living system of life because despite their differences, they start working in harmony for the sake of achieving one goal. This is when they attain spiritual life.

Each one works in opposition to others – one moves this way, the other moves that way. It’s just like an orchestra where each violin player moves his bow in a different direction and each drummer hits the drums with the sticks moving up and down at different times, but the whole orchestra performs in harmony.

We have to understand that we can attain spirituality only by connecting different, opposite parts for the sake of reaching one ultimate goal, the Creator. When they connect for the sake of this goal, they thereby attain spiritual life.

It turns out that everyone has their own place and a right to exist; all we need is correction!