The Zohar, Chapter “BeHaalotcha (When You Mount the Candles),” Item 10: This is so in action, meaning in sacrifices.
Item 11: When the priest intended to light candles below and bring the incense closer, the upper candles, the Sefirot, would shine at that time, everything was connected, and joy and jubilation were in all the worlds, as it is written, “Ointment and perfume delight the heart.”
The main spiritual work is sacrifice, where the word “sacrifice” (Kurban in Hebrew) means “closer” (Karov). This means that we take our desire to enjoy, measure it, and check to see which part can be the “sacrifice.” By “slaughtering it,” we bring it closer to the quality of bestowal, releasing it from its egoistic form of “an animal” that lives only for its own sake.
We want to raise it to the level where it can be used by man, elevating it from the animate to the human level. This is the essence of all sacrifices from the still level (salt and water), the vegetative level (grains), and the animate level (birds and animals), which are the levels that are brought to the Temple. It is the corrected Malchut, where Malchut is connected to Zeir Anpin.
All of this is talking only about desires inside a person, which are corrected from egoistic to altruistic. It seems like it is talking about hard, dirty, and cruel work, such as sacrificing or killing with blood and water. And indeed it is – the correction of our egoistic desire is dirty work. It is written, “Mother (Bina) will come and cleanse the son.” This is why we need to attract the Upper Light so that it works on us. Then, the work is done by forces of Cohen, Levi, and Israel: singing, blowing the horn and lighting the candles – the Sefirot that shine from Zeir Anpin into Malchut. A person does not have to know all the details of this work; once he receives these qualities corrected by the Surrounding Light, he will see how it all works. We only need to observe the Creator; He will wage this war with Pharaoh, while we simply have to want it.
First Lesson: Intention Reveals the Upper World (10:00am)
Second Lesson: Unity is the Kli for the Revelation of the Creator (16:00pm)
Third Lesson: Freedom – Only by Uniting with Others (21:00pm)
The Zohar, Chapter “Tazria (When A Woman Delivers),” Item 150: When one begins to build a house, he should mention in his mouth that he is building it for the work of God.
The Zohar speaks about our spiritual work. Not a single word of it pertains to the realm of this world with its material objects, such as houses, rocks, animals, or plants. The Zohar explains the inner work of a person needed to reach the revelation of the Creator in the part of the soul called “human,” the “point in the heart.”
It is a new sense that we need to reveal and build, replacing senses of reception with a bestowing sense, called a “soul,” “home,” or “collection of the souls of Israel” (Malchut). This sense has many names depending on what property we want to discern and highlight.
The Zohar explains this through the example of building a house, that very sense in which we reveal spiritually. A spiritual sense (a vessel, Kli) that we need to build should be flawless. If there is a flaw inside this Kli, meaning, there is an intention for the sake of reception rather than for the sake of bestowal, the Light vanishes immediately.
Such a state is called an “afflicted house” (Nega). Then we need to correct this Kli by burning, destroying, or, in case it is possible to cleanse it and make it fit for use, by correcting it. As a result, Nega (curse) turns into Oneg (delight).
A person that built his Kli improperly, by mistake or negligence, needs to understand where it comes from. In this manner, one advances through corrections.
The Zohar, Chapter “BeHaalotcha (When You Mount the Candles),” Item 43: There are seven ties to the seventy-two names, by which they are tied in each and every connection: the tree patriarchs, HGT, and four others, NHYM. The Rosh [head] of the AB [Gematria: 72] names is the three Sefirot HBD, which are called Rosh. They are in one connection with their middle, the Malchut, since these Hochma and Bina are the ones who dug the well of water, Malchut, as it is written, “The well, which the princes dug,” meaning Hochma and Bina. Hence, the Hochma, Bina, Daat, are in one connection with the Malchut. The second tie is to each other, meaning the two lines Hesed and Gevura, of whom it was said, “The one did not come near the other.” These are in one connection, which begins with three Yods.
When a person begins building his soul’s connection with other souls it means that he starts forming his own image. It’s because our structure is not present in any of us. The structure of each person, his soul is built around his “point in the heart” by connecting to it the desires of others as his own. That is to say, by connecting with other points in the hearts that aspire toward the same goal.
Every person remains a point; that’s his personality, like a drop of semen. Everything else that he acquired appears out of connection with other souls. As a result, a system of connections between the souls is formed in which every soul is comprised of itself and others. This system that a person reveals is called “Merkava” (Creation).
This is the very same “Act of Creation” (Maase Merkava) that is considered to be a great secret. But it is a secret only for those who haven’t attained, haven’t revealed it yet. Namely, it is a very high spiritual level; when one reaches it, one becomes the Creator. Then one knows how to create a connection with other souls, for one attains the structure of the common soul of Adam HaRishon (The First Man) and acts within it constructively, in three lines and the 72 names of the Creator.
The letters are the properties in which we reveal the connection among us and different parts of the system of Adam, the groups of souls or individual souls. As in our body, the cells connect into organs and organs – into a common system, with many parallel systems being connected with each other.
It is only by virtue of The Book of Zohar that we will be able to come out of exile to redemption, and there is no doubt that we are now in a special state. We have to thank the Creator for choosing us for this mission; and on the other hand, it is a great responsibility. Let us have faith that the Creator will lead us through all the obstacles and they will only make us stronger.
I am fearful and inspired, and at the same time worried and anxious. We have to be aware of our great responsibility. All the generations of Kabbalists, the people who attained the goal of creation and the Creator’s desire, are inside the same system that we want to belong to. They have already corrected themselves in this broken system of the common soul (Adam HaRishon) and have prepared it for us, enabling us to accept it as a global system where it is no longer separate, corrected souls that are revealed, as was the case during the times preceding Rabash. He was the last in the lineage of Kabbalists who transmitted Kabbalah, the method of correction, to us. These special souls were instilled in all the generations like drops in an ocean.
Now, for the first time in history since the times of the last exile, we want to attain the last, final redemption. This is the real exodus from Egypt. Moreover, it’s happening at a special time – right before the holiday of Purim, which symbolizes the End of Correction. These conditions are completely extraordinary.
A question I received: The Zohar Convention 2010 is getting closer and it feels like a holiday or festival is approaching. In what state should we strive to be during this period?
My Answer: The most important thing now is to focus on the intention. It’s wonderful to feel like you are going to a holiday or a festival, but in truth, we are coming together to do serious inner work. Therefore, our primary concern should be our intention; this is more important than anything else.
There is only one thing that’s of importance: During these three days, will I be able to have the right intention together with thousands of other people who are together with me in one hall, and with millions more people around the whole world who are also joining us internally. Only the right intention will deliver us to the goal because it draws the force that corrects and unites us, establishing the connection that broke.
This connection was broken only in our perception. We are therefore correcting the “original sin,” and it can only be done through our intention, the raising of MAN, a plea, the “gate of tears.”
I feel that we are at an historic point and I am really concerned about its success. We have to be fearful regarding whether we will be able to attain what we have planned, because it is written that everything depends on the heavens besides fear of the Creator. If we are being given the opportunity to carry out this event, and we have been sent this idea, it means we really have reached the state of being able to study The Zohar and to reveal it to the nation. We can see how it opens people up and draws them toward the spiritual goal.
We want to give people The Zohar with care and love, the way we would treat our friends, loved ones, or outstanding individuals. This is an historic event because The Book of Zohar itself says that it is intended for the time of the End of Correction, the days of the Messiah, in order to lead Israel (meaning those who aspire “straight to the Creator”) from exile to freedom.
A question I received: How can I remain in the inner work and in the correct intention during the Zohar Convention 2010 when we will be in over our heads with various work like taking care of kids and other things?
My Answer: One has to understand that all the obstacles are for his own good. This includes obstacles like one’s spouse, kids, work, finances, debt, health problems, close or distant people who are against him, his own doubts, and not annulling himself completely in his heart and soul. This is the very oil which can’t light up on its own, but only when a person is constantly overcoming obstacles under continuous tension.
The spiritual world becomes revealed only by overcoming. If one abandons these efforts, the fire immediately dies. You have to be above the ego. You have to sense that you are in the right and left lines simultaneously in order to find the middle line. This is the very wick that ignites. It seems that the Creator ignites it, but this isn’t so. You have to rise in order to ignite it. It is written, “You will kindle the candles.”
The left line comes to give you the opportunity to exert the force of overcoming and reveal the Light. It isn’t revealed to humiliate you and throw you down. You always should be confident that the left line exists in you to the same extent as the right line in order for you to aim yourself toward goodness, Light.
If a person is put in a situation where he fails, this only happens in case he has a special role and the calculation in relation to him is being made from special levels. However, this shouldn’t happen to us. It is only possible during the preparation stages, which we already have passed and which include our previous life cycles.
Currently, we exist in the period of revelation. If we try as we are supposed to during everything we encounter, then there shouldn’t be any failure. Any possible failure can happen only if we fail to realize our free choice. It’s written that we should always see ourselves as half-sinner and half-righteous. We always have an opportunity to aim ourselves and the entire world toward the good. A person isn’t given obstacles that exceed his capabilities to aim the world toward the good.
Therefore, it’s not important what kind of work you’ll be doing during the Convention. It doesn’t even matter if you’ll attend the lectures. What’s important is how you’ll sense all the desires which come to unite and how you’ll “kindle yourself” from the connection. All our work is internal. It also doesn’t matter how many people will unite there and for how many days. With as many as are there, you should say, “If we unite as we have to, we will kindle the candle.” Therefore, everyone who can, should participate. It’s not realistic for one person to accomplish this fear, but together, it’s easy.
There are no individual details; it only seems that way to us because we’re unable to comprehend the whole system with all its qualities and interactions, phenomena, states, and times. In our world, we choose an individual phenomenon and study it on its own, but it’s impossible to study the spiritual world this way. We’ll never learn the truth in this manner.
In the spiritual world, we always study the entirety because every degree is perfection consisting of all ten Sefirot. We study it all, but only to a small extent. In order to do this, we need to possess a ready and full spiritual vessel (Kli) because only something that’s perfect will be able to take in perfection. A person won’t be able to feel the spiritual world while his Kli isn’t ready to perceive some minor part of perfection with even minimal resolution.
Therefore, we should always strive to something perfect and whole rather than being satisfied by studies or sensations alone. We shouldn’t stop and wait, getting stuck on the inanimate level of development. We need to head toward perfection. We need to prepare our spiritual Kli to perceive, feel, and attain the whole spiritual universe. Only then will we become worthy of a spiritual revelation. The spiritual world is perfection and it can only be revealed in this general and perfect form.
Therefore, our work doesn’t consist of limiting ourselves but of opening ourselves up as much as possible. We need to head toward the maximum revelation in the right line and, in accordance with it, the limitations of the left line will be revealed as an addition to the right line. However, that revelation doesn’t depend on us. The Upper Light knows what needs to be revealed to us according to our advancement. In regard to this, we evaluate to what extent we can attain the full picture.
The science of Kabbalah is a method of correction based on the two forces of attraction and repulsion. These two forces are intended to bring a person closer to correction through aiming him at the goal. Obstacles are set before him all the time that he has to overcome; these obstacles supply him with the building material that he needs to edify himself.
For that reason, the text is composed in such a way that a person enters it as if it’s a jungle. He doesn’t know what is happening there; he doesn’t understand how it’s organized or why. He enters the jungle and gets lost there. He doesn’t know where the path is and he’s scared of every tree. Gradually, however, he enters the text between the words and begins to see depth within. The text begins working on him and he begins working on it. Every word and notion comes to have a dimension and this is how a person advances.
He encounters many obstacles on the path that clearly are directed against his animate mind and feelings. These obstacles help him to disconnect from his material feelings and “break” his material mind. Suddenly, he acquires an ability to feel and understand something new. The “jungle” of the text becomes more understandable and he begins to feel that there is a pattern to it. For example, the monkeys that jump around in the jungle understand what is going on there because this scary place is their home. In a similar way, a person comes to feel at home in the text.