Question: If I don’t understand some of the words written in The Zohar, should I look them up in the dictionary?
My Answer: Absolutely not! What for? What could the dictionary possibly tell you?
Question: Should I listen to The Zohar in the language I’m used to speaking?
My Answer: Yes, it’s best to listen to The Zohar in a language you understand. This makes it more difficult. If you are hearing a stream of unknown words, it’s no problem at all – you immediately think about the spiritual world. But this requires no effort on your part.
Suppose you read about the Pharaoh passing through a field of cows, meeting with Moses, and then walking together with him. Is it better to understand this story or not?
If you don’t understand it, you will immediately begin to try and delve into its inner meaning – what does it mean in the spiritual sense, which desires, Lights, screens, and Partzufim are being described, what is happening to them, and is it talking about actions of reception or bestowal?
On the other hand, if you understand the story, it confuses you, making you think you’re reading about occurrences in this world, whereas our task is to read about these occurrences and through them to try to see the spiritual picture. Overcoming the gap between these two pictures is the effort that brings us to spirituality.
A baby doesn’t know what his mother is saying or why the world looks the way it does. A baby doesn’t know what is expected of him, but his efforts to understand help him to grow and become an adult.