The Light Of The Zohar

Kabbalists On The Book Of Zohar

One who has not seen the Light of the wisdom of Kabbalah has never seen Light
—Rav Isaiah Horowitz (Holy Shlah), “First Article,” p 30

Everyone can enter into study of The Book Of Zohar; even if one is the worst sinner; let him enter and receive his correction of soul.
—Rav Moshe Cordovero (Ramak), Ohr Yakar (Precious Light), Gate 1, Item 5

The Baal Shem Tov ordered his people to study the words of The Zohar prior to praying.
—Rav Yitzhak Bar Yishaiah Atia, Doresh Tov (Seeking Good), “Concerning The Zohar

…Will not achieve life but only through the study of The Zohar…And in this generation it is impossible to draw the Higher Shechina (Divinity) but through The Zohar and the writings of Rav Chaim Vital.
Heichal HaBracha (Hall of Blessing), Devarim (Deuteronomy), 58

On this day, when the holy book, The Zohar was written, which is from the illumination of the hidden, good Light…it shines for us in the exile until, by its merit, the Messiah will appear.
—Rav Tzvi Elimelech Shapira (MAHARTZA),
Bnei Issachar (The Children of Issachar),
“Articles for the Month of Iyar,” Article 3, Item 4

The Light of The Zohar is the light of the future in appearance of the Messiah.
—Rav Tzvi Elimelech Shapira (MAHARTZA), Bnei Issachar (The Children of Issachar),
“Articles for the Month of Iyar,” Article 3, Item 3

The great Kabbalists studied secretly and did not write books, although they could write books like The Book Of Zohar. And the lack of this knowledge can be felt in the world. Only in the time of Rashbi, after his 13 year concealment in the cave, the Light of wisdom was revealed until the end of time.
—The Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (The Ramchal),
Adir BaMarom (The Mighty One on High)
, p 13

Thus you see that the redemption of Israel and the rise of Israel depend on the study of The Zohar and the internality of the Torah.
—Rav Yehudah Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), Introduction to The Book of Zohar, Item 69

Our Preparation Readies The Entire World For The Zohar

club.jpg The Ari was the first Kabbalist whose soul revealed reality in a form that was directed at correction. However, this was merely a revelation of the method, rather than the implementation of connecting souls and the realization of the unity of souls. In other words, the Ari revealed the entire method of correction, in potential, but the implementation and realization of the method needed to occur in due time. People needed to be ready to receive it and many years were required to reach this readiness.

If our main group has already achieved a state where we are ready to accept The Zohar, then the rest of the world will also embrace it because they will simply absorb the entire preparation that we have already gone through.

The Gatehouse Of Intentions

Connecting Through the Worlds A question I received: What kind of book is Beit Shaar Ha-Kavanot which we started studying today? What is the correct attitude I should have while studying it?

My Answer: Everything is already expressed in its title, “Beit Shaar Ha-Kavanot” (The Gatehouse of Intentions), which implies the foundation, the basis of intentions. While studying this book, you should have the same intention directed to the development of the soul as you do with other Kabbalistic books.

Everything a person reads affects the corporeal mind and heart in a certain way, and it depends on the style of the content at every level of PARDES (hint, parable, secret). In other words, one book has greater influence on feelings, another on the mind, while a third book is completely unclear.

Nevertheless, a person must aspire to extract just one thing from this book: the force of bestowal. It is the “Light that Returns to the Source.” At the same time, we should try to understand this book and connect with it as much as possible. However, this should be secondary to maintaining the proper intention of drawing the maximum power of Bestowal from it. Our primary aspiration should be directed to correction, rather than knowledge. Otherwise “one outsmarts his actions.”

Patience Is Key To The Healing Process

power balance.jpg We are being influenced by the Upper Light, which raises us above our egoistic desire. However, later on we will have to continue coming out of that desire on our own. When the Light elevates us, it makes it seem like we are escaping Egypt. Yet, can we really escape Egypt if it is inside us, if it is our very nature?

This brings us to the question: What does it mean that we are in the desert? It’s when Egypt returns to me and I have to come out of every part of it. This is referred to as the 40-year journey through the desert. It’s when I sequentially increase and discern my desires, like a human embryo whose organs develop in a sequence, one after another. First one part develops, then another; and the development moves in one direction followed by another, while overcoming various obstacles and problems. The process of the soul’s growth and development is similar to that of the embryo in a mother’s womb.

We have to appreciate the fact that we have The Book of Zohar because it is the means of salvation that changes us from one day to the next. However, we won’t feel the result until this means starts to act in the full measure. It works gradually, like medicine that has been prescribed to a sick person who has to take it take every day, but will only start to feel better several weeks later.

In the meantime, he continues taking the medicine every day, but feels even sicker. The same happens with our spiritual development. Therefore, we must be patient and constantly add more efforts, even though it seems like the medicine isn’t working – until our cup overflows.

Egoism Causes Its Own Suffering

Israel Is All the People Who Aspire Toward the Creator The Creator does not send me suffering. The desire that is not similar to the Upper Light awakens within me and I feel this dissimilarity as suffering with respect to health, money, honor, power, security, spouse, children, and the whole world. I feel pressure, hardship, and various problems.

Who or what is at fault? My desire that is opposite to the Light. It arouses the sensation of suffering within me. This sensation does not come from the Light. The Light is at absolute rest; it is good and brings goodness both to the wicked and to the righteous. It is me that is not similar to the Light, my qualities that are different from the Light.

For example, if a desire of 10kg awakens in me,  I have to become equivalent to the Light in those 10kg. That is, I have to build the “intention for the sake of bestowal” upon that desire and then I will find myself in my “little” World of Infinity. Afterwards, the desire will increase to 12kg, and I will have to correct my intention for bestowal for the additional 2kg, and then I will feel myself in a greater World of Infinity, and so on.

My egoistic desire increases day after day. However, if I only want to use the increased desire more  by exploiting others for my own benefit instead of connecting with them and bestowing to the Creator with other parts of the common soul,  then I feel suffering in that desire. Egoism suffers from its own opposition to the Light that surrounds it. We create suffering for ourselves; it is not the Creator. He is perfect, so how can He change?

I’m immersed in the sea of Light now. Yet if I don’t try to become similar to Him, to the degree of the thoughts and desires revealed to me now, I will feel bad, and tomorrow, I will feel even worse than today.

Try to become similar to the Light every single moment. The Light is bestowal and love for the other; it is universal unification. All private desires, individual souls, will unite and this single big desire will become similar to the Light.

How can I accomplish it? How can I help in this process? Start thinking about it and you will see that your suffering will cease. Suddenly you will realize that your desire that is aspiring toward the Light is actually similar to it. In this part, you will feel yourself as the Light, as the Creator. You have the method and all the means for it.

What Brings Us Daylight

bio The Zohar, Chapter Ve’Eleh Toldot Itzhak (These Are the Generations of Isaac),” Item 165: Because the domination of the Sitra Achra is only at night, Esau’s ruling is only in the exile, which is night, meaning when it is as dark as night for us. This is why the angel fought with Jacob and struggled with him at night, and when the morning came, the strength of the angel waned and he could not overcome him. And then Jacob prevailed because Jacob’s dominion is in the day.

We think that the presence of the Light of Hochma during the day brings us daylight. But that is not the case. Rather, the Light of Hassadim is present during the day; therefore, the Light of Hochma becomes revealed. At night, the Light of Hochma shines without being clothed into the Light of Hassadim; while during the day, it is clothed in the Light of Hassadim. Day is the addition of Hassadim, and that’s why there is light. There is no Hassadim at night, hence there is darkness. The Light of Hassadim reveals (manifests) the presence of the Light of Hochma around us.

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 03.07.10

The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “WMV Video|MP3 Audio

“Beit Shaar HaKavanot,” Item 16, Lesson 4
Download: WMV Video|MP3 Audio

WMV Video|MP3 Audio

Sensible And Sensitive Intentions

prince.jpg A question I received: If The Zohar and the Talmud Eser Sefirot describe the same system and both of them are attained not through the mind, then why are questions acceptable regarding the Talmud Eser Sefirot, but not for The Zohar?

My Answer: The Zohar is mainly intended for building intentions. I have to read and perceive it as a remedy (Segula). It is written in such a way that a person, himself, gradually reveals its inner logic, the relations between things, and explanations. After all, he constantly returns to the same thing within it. It’s always talking about the three lines (right line, left line, and middle line) and nothing else.

Therefore, our attitude toward The Zohar should have a singular focus, the desire that I want it to influence me. The Light of Infinity comes to me through this grid, this stencil, and builds within my matter (simple desire) a system similar to itself, meaning the system of the spiritual worlds.

In the Talmud Eser Sefirot and in The Zohar, I have the same intention, to receive the Light that Reforms; however, in the Talmud Eser Sefirot, I attach more reason, while in The Zohar I strive for more feelings. It is as though one intention is sensible and the other one is sensitive. This is how these two great books work. However, I have to demand from both of them only the Light which will transform and correct me.

Give And You Will Receive Even More

laitman_2009-08-09_7153 A question I received: Since attending the Zohar Convention 2010, I have been unable to concentrate on the daily Kabbalah lessons. I forget the meaning of the words and am able to grasp just some of the sentences. What should I do?

My Answer: A person who studies Kabbalah is always advancing. At every moment, a new depth of desire (Aviut), new desires, and new Reshimot are revealed in him. This pertains to everyone, especially to those who participated in the Zohar Convention 2010. They achieved great advancement. And I feel sorry for those who did not participate.

What you are now feeling are the forces that are pushing you to advance further ahead. Because you participated in the Convention, you received a great force from other people, as well as from the lectures, the songs, the dancing, and from everything else that took place there. You devoted three whole days to spirituality and disconnected from everything else in the world. Thus, you put yourself under the influence of a tremendous force that was present there. As a result, your desire is now being increased and you need to work with it.

What should you do? The only way you will be able to handle the power you received while connecting to others at the Convention is if you use everything you received there for the sake of dissemination, instead of simply studying. Studies alone will not help you advance. During the Convention, you received additional forces from outside, and now you, too, must bring them outside. You have received a great force, but unless you use it correctly, it will turn to poison and harm you. This force needs to go through you to others, but if you try to hold on to it, it will turn into poison.

A human being is like a cell in the body where all the substances need to keep flowing through in order to help spread everything further. Thus, in addition to studying, we need to disseminate the materials and the explanations of the wisdom of Kabbalah. You, too, received this awakening from the outside, and therefore, it is not enough to just sit and listen to the lessons. Studying alone is not enough; you have to bestow to others as well.

The science of Kabbalah has been revealed and there is no longer any need to hide this wisdom. You are receiving it together with masses of people and you must continue to spread it in the same manner. In order for a spiritual body to be healthy, you are required to return the enormous forces that you have received.

A Group’s Spiritual Guidance

pick A question I received: How much longer will you remain our guide?

My Answer: At any given moment, a student needs to be prepared to be without a teacher, and know that he will have all that he needs. He who advances is one who constantly demands and is independent, in and of, himself. He has the Creator, the method, and the group. All that is necessary has been provided.

However, does one rise to the next level without a leader? The next state is a closer connection among the friends. Therefore, a collective decision is necessary. There could be no recognized leader appointed by the former teacher, or someone declaring himself to be the leader. No one can take the leadership by force, intelligence, or guile.

It’s safer if the group jointly continues on the path and carries out collective decisions by a “spiritual board.” This board doesn’t consist of great minds or recognized experts; it consists of the people who are able to make joint, collective decisions.

Anyone unable to be responsive to the process of the group’s development has no place on this spiritual leadership board. This includes: those that are still blinded by personal interests, those who are unable to subjugate themselves to the group, those who haven’t yet been imbued by the spirit of the path to a sufficient degree, those who make mistakes because they haven’t grasped or tuned into the common direction, those who are subject to outside influence, or those who might be unsuitable for other reasons.

The spiritual governing board needs to consist of people who don’t make mistakes with collective decisions, who aren’t subject to pressure from others in the group, and, more importantly, who aren’t influenced by anyone on the outside. The group has the right and the obligation to immediately expel anyone who interferes with the work or who asserts his own superiority. These are the spiritual laws according to which we need to grow.