A question I received: Why should we read about all the numerous details described by The Zohar if we aren’t able to identify them inside us?
My Answer: We have to be like a child who looks at the world around him and doesn’t understand anything, yet he gradually develops. He gets excited when he sees a bus passing by because it looks like something very big that’s moving. There’s another natural phenomenon where newborn geese take the first moving object they see to be their mother, and they follow it. This causes them to develop.
In the same way, when we are reading The Zohar, there is a part we don’t understand at all yet, and another part that we can already connect to. This develops us. We have to realize that we aren’t able to understand it yet, but one day we will surely understand everything in its entirety. When we desire and try to understand what we are hearing, we awaken the force that develops us. Otherwise, how else could we develop?
The more we advance, the more taste we will feel in the study.
1) That we don’t understand anything! This is a result of our opposition to this book. The Zohar shows us that our nature is opposite to the nature of the Kabbalists who wrote this book.
2) That we need to relate to this book as to a “miraculous tool,” the source of our correction and correction is the only thing we should demand from it.
You don’t need to demand understanding. Even if it seems that I understand what is being described in the book, such as when it is talking about Partzufim and Sefirot, or Moses, Abraham and Egypt, whether the words are familiar to me or not, the fact is that I don’t understand it. The words of The Zohar do not mean what I think they do.
There are two forms of nature: reception and bestowal, and both are described using the same words, symbols, and letters. But there is a huge difference between what is actually behind both of these worlds – the world of reception and the world of bestowal. There is nothing in common between them.
Thus, it’s useless to try to understand and interpret The Zohar’s text. In desiring to “understand” it, we shouldn’t aspire to a direct understanding (which is impossible), but to acquiring a second nature. We will then receive the Light that Reforms, which will influence and change our nature. Then, to the extent that our nature changes, we will understand what The Zohar talks about. It will suddenly become clear and the book will be revealed to us.
Therefore, we have to relate to the reading as a miraculous tool and understand that our lack of understanding is correct – it’s supposed to be so. We have to rely on the power hidden in this book, which influences the reader.
The more I desire to understand it through a change of my nature, the more this book will affect me. In order to understand what the holy Book of Zohar talks about, we must first acquire the same nature as that of the Kabbalists who wrote The Zohar. We have to attain the same form in which they expressed their thoughts.
A question I received: Can we make a leap upwards at the upcoming Zohar Convention 2010 ?
My Answer: Of course! Everything depends on us. Everything is already present in our souls, in the informational genes (Reshimot). This entire system is now starting to connect globally and all the Kabbalists of the past – all the souls that united together – are now coming to the surface.
It’s not a coincidence that our world is becoming so global. It’s happening because the common system of souls is now being revealed together with the connection between all the people in the whole world.
The events that are unfolding are not following linear laws, but are coming from the general, perfect system. Therefore, it isn’t just a sequence of actions, but an operation of the entire system which is starting to be revived. Every part influences everything else and the whole process develops along a geometrical progression.
We need to understand what kind of power is hidden in The Book of Zohar. It is a tool or a means of salvation given to us – the only instrument capable of making a spiritual and material revolution in the world. If we understand its importance, then with its help we’ll be able to change ourselves and reality. We will be able to affect our fate, both for every individual and for all of us together.
All of this is in our hands. This book is a special key given to mankind to unlock the system of the forces governing it. We just need to learn how to use this key to open the sacred door – the gate to the spiritual system. Then the key will open it up for us!
Every word in The Book of Zohar should be understood as existing inside each of us. The text talks only about our internal world. When I read the phrase, “Let’s go to the Pharaoh,” I have to imagine that the Creator, Moses, and I are all together inside me. I need to feel what it means “to go there” – what desire or quality I will be approaching, which is called “the Pharaoh” or “the evil inclination.” And the force that will help me do this is called the Creator.
I am incapable of going directly to the Pharaoh because I see how great he is and how much he governs me. It is only by holding on to the Creator (or to the right line, bestowal, the Torah, the Upper Light) that I can get closer to the left line (evil, egoism) inside me. And instead of destroying it, I can break free from its power and rise above it.
Then I will convert the evil force to the good force and the good will govern me instead of the evil. All of this is possible only by studying The Book of Zohar. Each word in it portrays some quality of mine, a force, the relations between them, and the processes I am going though.
I have to imagine all of this as parts of my soul; I am studying my own internal, spiritual anatomy. My efforts to do this will attract the Upper Light that Reforms and brings me closer to Goodness.
So, with these aspirations in mind and heart, let’s read The Book of Zohar.
The Zohar, Chapter “Miketz (At the End),” Item 101: “And all her paths are peace.” Her paths are the trails that emerge from Above, from Aba Ve Ima (AVI), the lock that serves in AVI, of which the writing says, “And Your path in the great waters.” They are called so because they are not open to every person but only to a few. And all are held by the covenant alone, meaning Yesod, who is called, “peace”—peace at home. And he brings them into the great sea, when he is in power, and then he gives him peace. This is the meaning of, “And all her paths are peace.” Joseph was the covenant of peace, he was rewarded with those paths, and he was a king in Egypt and the ruler of the land.
The goal is for all the qualities to unite with the help of Yesod and by virtue of the work of Malchut. There is no need Above for the correction and the unification of Sefirot. All of this is the work of Malchut, which tries to understand and do the same way a child does when he plays and learns. If he succeeds in putting together the Lego pieces, he thereby learns how to do it correctly. However, this does not mean that the game itself is broken. It is purposely made this way for a child so that he would learn how to put it together.
In the same way, there are no limitations or small states in the Upper Partzufim. Only Malchut, which is called a “photograph of the Creator,” feels all these phenomena and decides that Zeir Anpin treats it this way, judging it according to its own limitations.
Yesod is called “everything” because it includes all the qualities, states, and forces that exist above it. According to the law of equivalence of form, we need to become similar to it. This is possible only if we all desire to unite into one point that will be similar to Yesod – one against the other.
When the souls unite within Malchut and are willing to cancel themselves in order to merge into one point in relation to Yesod, which is also one point – one against another, then we can receive the Light of Correction and the Light of Fulfillment from Yesod. Therefore, the only thing we need to do in order to receive the Light from Yesod is to unite into one point, as one man with one heart. This is the condition for becoming similar to it.
That is when the first contact with the Light will occur, and this contact is called the reception of the Torah.
The Zohar, Chapter “Miketz (At the End),” Item 61: Nukva is called, “night,” and she is a mirror, which means illumination of Hochma. And since there is no illumination of Hochma in any Partzuf besides her, Nukva is called, “mirror” or “vision.” Accordingly, the name “night” is vision.
Nukva is the desire to be filled that is capable of becoming similar to the Creator, the desire to bestow, because it sees Him before it. All our desires rise to Nukva, to Malchut of the World of Atzilut.
If these desires are directed at bestowal and willing to unite with the other souls, they enter Malchut of the World of Atzilut and unite with each other. In this manner, they become similar to Zeir Anpin of the World of Atzilut and a connection emerges whereby Zeir Anpin and Malchut are in adhesion.
Nukva becomes similar to Zeir Anpin, or stated differently, the creature becomes similar to the Creator. When the creature prepares itself properly, the Creator is imprinted in it, and thus, creation becomes His “mirror.” For this reason, it is called a “photograph of the Creator.”
When our desire to receive pleasure takes on the same exact form as that of the Creator (in other words, when it becomes bestowing), it is called a “photograph of the Creator.”
When I explain The Zohar, I often draw formulas and graphs, and some people may want a more sensory explanation. Yet, when I look at these graphs, they represent feelings to me, such as Bina, Malchut, Yesod or Joseph in the middle, Jacob or Tifferet, Abraham, Isaak, and so on. These are incredibly powerful forces – a whole world with a multitude of details! You simply don’t understand it yet.
It’s similar to how a musician looks at some lines and circles drawn on a piece of paper and hears music, or how a doctor looks at an x-ray and is horrified by the malignant picture that he sees. Meanwhile, we don’t react to the same pictures in any way because we don’t know how to interpret this language. However, gradually, as we study, we come closer to feeling the spiritual world.
Baal HaSulam added an explanation to the original text of The Zohar using the language of Kabbalah. He explains it in terms of Partzufim and Sefirot, and gradually we will begin to feel that this is saying the same thing as The Zohar’s original text. We will begin to understand this language since we will become “specialists” in it, like musicians or doctors who understand their language. The language of Kabbalah will enable us to feel a clear sensation, and then we will be impressed by what we read.
For example, take the sentence, “And Joseph passed through the whole country of Egypt.” Do you know how much feeling is contained in this sentence? It should move you to tears! We have to learn to feel how the desire to bestow drowns in the desire to receive when it tunes into it, and how they work together, and so on. Eventually every word of The Zohar will resonate within you and cause great shifts inside.
We only need to expect for this to happen inside us.
My Answer: We can feel it by aspiring as much as possible to unite into one common desire – the vessel for the Light. The Light comes from one source, and we need to become similar to it.
On any given degree, when the Creator and the creature unite as one, a connection is made and a sensation arises. Therefore, we only need to wish to feel that we’re united together, and this will cause us to reveal the Light.
The Light does not change or shift; we, so to speak, “shift” it. We awaken the Light by heading toward it, and this causes its influence on us. We awaken ourselves in order to feel it, but nothing changes in the Light itself. Consequently, we reveal what has always existed. This constitutes our work.
For a person who aspires to the Creator, time does not exist. Such a person constantly reveals increasingly truer pictures in front of himself, while these pictures undoubtedly exist already. That is to say, first an inner informational gene (Reshimo) is revealed in a person, and then through his work he turns this Reshimo into a real picture.