A question I received: When I read The Book of Zohar I cannot connect to it. What should I do? We have looked forward for so long to this cherished moment when we would open The Book of Zohar, but now we feel disappointed.
My Answer: Baal HaSulam wrote that there is no better moment in a person’s life than when he senses complete disappointment in everything he has done up to this point. He sees that nothing has helped him, that there is no source of salvation, and no hope of spiritual ascent if everything continues as is.
Once he reaches this realization, he then reveals a new feeling of hope. However, he does not know who he should rely on. Eventually he realizes that only the Creator can help him, and that’s when he cries out: “Save me!” That is when he receives help.
Studying The Zohar is not like regular study where you receive knowledge immediately, by the principle, “You apply effort and receive.” In this case, another principle comes into force, “You apply effort and find.”
You probably hoped that as soon as you opened The Book of Zohar, miracles would start happening. But nothing can happen in the very beginning. My teacher Rabash gave an example of a man who bought a little gosling and wanted to turn it into a big, fat goose. So he started incessantly stuffing food down its throat. He would stuff the gosling and then immediately check whether it got fatter, which it didn’t. He kept stuffing more food into it, but the gosling still didn’t gain weight. Smart people told him: “You should wait a month or two to begin to see the difference.” The same applies to a child – the parents have to invest a lot of effort before the child can get up, walk, and become strong.
If we observe our soul we’ll see that it grows in the same way. When I want my point in the heart to grow into a soul, I have to treat it as a newborn baby within me that has just started to develop. It will take time for a soul to grow out of this point.