Evening Zohar Lesson – 03.11.10

The Book of Zohar — Selections, Chapter “Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah),” Item 194
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The Zohar Speaks In The Language Of Branches

public.jpg The Zohar, Chapter Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah),Item 12: …Hence, the wicked are wiped out of Dumah’s book because he takes into the calculation only from the middle line, where the wicked are not included. Therefore, who will desire them at the revival of the dead? During the revival of the dead, the angel Matat will receive the account in the graveyards from Dumah. But who will desire those wicked ones that are not counted by Dumah for the revival of the dead?

A question I received: This text can confuse and frighten a person with words like “dead” and “graveyards.” What is the right way to perceive these words?

My Answer: We must understand that The Zohar speaks in the language of branches, as do most other Kabbalistic books. The method imparts not only knowledge, but more importantly it conveys impressions to us. This is in order for us to attract the Light of correction from the spiritual world to attain our corrected state.

We’re not talking about physical bodies or our material world, and we mustn’t try to correct our “hands and feet;” we aren’t attempting to fix physical concerns that should be treated by a regular doctor. Rather, The Zohar speaks of the soul’s correction. Therefore, even though The Zohar uses words of this world, they all allude to spiritual notions, meaning that they relate to our inner forces and qualities.

It is these qualities that I now want to study. I do so in order to understand which part of me is “ailing,” which part must be corrected. I do so, so that I will need to desire to correct it. That is the purpose of The Book of Zohar.

Passing Through The Wilderness

glacier The Zohar, Chapter “Bamidbar (In The Wilderness),” Item 36: This explains the reason for the journeying of the banners, which were east first, which is the hidden Daat, the beginning of the light, the root of the light of Hesed that appears from AVI. This is why the south follows it, for it is its branch. And following it is the west, which is Malchut, whose face should turn to the south. And following it is the north, for the back of Malchut should turn to the north, as it is written, “Let his left hand be under my head, and his right hand embrace me,” and “under” always means Achoraim.

This passage of The Zohar speaks about the form in which the entire structure of a person develops and advances forward, and the order in which one’s qualities change. Every one of us is HaVaYaH, in addition to being divided into three lines, twelve tribes, four phases, and so on.

All of these qualities change in us during the period when we “wander through the wilderness.” So what is the form that is passing through our impure forces (desires), through our uncorrected qualities, which are called “wilderness”? Moreover, as we run into hardships, problems, and obstacles in this wilderness, how do we nonetheless continue clarifying our qualities so as to draw nearer to the “land of Israel” (desire for the Creator)?

“Banners” are our primary qualities with which we try to advance, changing them one at a time. Just as with an embryo, first the arms develop, and afterwards the legs, brain, heart, kidneys, and then the eyes are formed (there is a particular order by which a drop of semen develops into a human being); similarly, there is an established developmental order concerning spirituality. The Zohar explains the order by which we develop after being born from our egoistic desire.

All People Are Absolutely Equal

A New Year's Wish to the World During the process of correction it seems to us that everyone has a different degree of importance. However, this is only an illusion. It only seems this way because we are omitting a primary factor in our calculation: Every person has received everything from the Creator. Each person’s individual characteristics, education, and particular conditions are all given from Above. This means that nothing depends on a person except for his effort, which is evaluated against all the conditions given from Above.

If we exclude all those factors given from Above that don’t depend on a person, and observe only things which are within an individual’s power, we would see that all people are absolutely equal. Everyone has the same opportunity for discernment, freedom of choice, and correction relative to what they’ve been given and what they lack.

Growing Up Is A Regular Miracle

whyglobal A question I received: Why is the speed of the reading so important during The Zohar study and how does it differ from other Kabbalistic texts?

My Answer: While reading The Zohar we are trying to choose the right speed because we want to receive an impression from the general reading of the text. It’s similar to how we speak to a baby who doesn’t really understand what you are talking about. In contrast, suppose I were listening to a story in a language I don’t understand; I could still try to guess what every word means. However, a baby does not only lack knowledge of the words, but also lacks all knowledge of the actions that are being described.

In that case, what’s the point of talking to him about this at all? The fact is that if we don’t do this, he won’t grow up. When we talk to him in a language he doesn’t understand, about things he doesn’t understand, and tell him about a world that is completely concealed from him right now, but we explain it to him as if he understands, then it begins working inside the child, awakening the understanding and reactions.

It turns out that our actions with children during the earthly upbringing are completely equivalent to the influence of the Light upon us in the spiritual upbringing. In other words, upbringing by the Upper Light is completely natural.

When a baby begins to repeat the things we say and do, he says and does it all incorrectly. Yet, we understand that this is how it should be and in this manner, he grows. This is exactly how we develop in spirituality as well. Therefore, we have to let The Book of Zohar and the Light contained in it influence us and “mold” us, making us similar to the Creator.

This is the natural path of entering a new world. We aren’t aware of the process that took place when we were children because we were taught by adults through feelings and the mind in a language we understood, while assimilating and accumulating knowledge.

This is why we read The Zohar. Regardless of how much we understand or feel it, it works within us as a miraculous force (Segula). This is the same miraculous force that operates in our material lives when we raise our children. It seems like a miracle to us, but it is completely natural and regular.

In Spiritual Work, Preparation Determines Everything

chance A question I received: On March 16 there will be a preparation event for the mini-Congress devoted to Passover. Is this preparation really necessary considering that the Congress will only last four hours? Can’t we just attend and experience everything there?

My Answer: It’s actually the other way around: If I were getting ready for a three day long Convention such as the one that was held in February, then I wouldn’t need to go through a very big preparation because I would have enough time at the Convention to prepare. For example, I would spend the first half a day or a day on the preparation, and then I would have time to absorb everything over the next two days.

However, if I’m coming for just four hours and I haven’t prepared ahead of time, then those hours will fly by without bringing me any benefit. Therefore, the shorter the upcoming meeting is, the greater and more meticulously we have to prepare for it.

I strongly advise you to enter the mini-Congress site and familiarize yourself with what will happen there, as well as to start thinking about it ahead of time. Everything depends on the preparation; during the actual event it will no longer be possible to change anything. Therefore, the most important thing is how we prepare for it.

The same applies to all of our spiritual work. Before a person passes the Machsom and enters the spiritual world, all his work lies in preparing for that passage. It won’t happen until one completes the preparation.

All of the difficult and tiring work that causes us to suffer in the “Egyptian slavery” is necessary in order to prepare for the escape, and the escape takes place only once the preparation is fully complete.

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 03.11.10

The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah),” Item 155
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“Beit Shaar HaKavanot,” Item 27, Lesson 8
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Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” Item 69
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Education In The Light Of Kabbalah

Dr Michael LaitmanA question I received: Isn’t it time to open a school founded on the principles of the science of Kabbalah?

My Answer: Of course, it is necessary to create an educational system founded on the principles of the science of Kabbalah. Even general subjects can be taught in the light of Kabbalah. Physics, chemistry, mathematics, and all the other subjects can be taught not simply, as they are, based on the results of the research of our world, but also as explanations of the Upper Force’s descent into our world, which formed this world and its laws.

The principles of the science of Kabbalah could help clarify how everything stems from the Upper Roots. With biology, you could explain that everything comes from the desire to enjoy and that matter develops according to a program of the inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human levels. With physics, you could study the desires that manifest in the laws of elementary particles and solid bodies. With astronomy and geography, you could explain why the entire system of astronomy (that is the solar system, the Earth, and so on) was formed. All of humankind’s history could be explained from the development of man’s primordial desire, its egoistic development, up to its future correction. The science of Kabbalah grants a foundation for every aspect of our world view.