Thank The Creator For Disturbances

royal A question I received: During The Zohar part of the morning lessons, I feel that I don’t understand anything but, nonetheless, feel an aspiration and connection to the material.

However, during the evening lessons, I don’t know what to do with myself. I feel completely detached from the material, overwhelmed by thoughts of daily problems, and unable to concentrate on the lesson. What can I do to start focusing on the material? Is there some instant, automatic action that can be done in such a state?

My Answer: The automatic action to fight the disturbances is to thank the Creator that sends them. After all, “There is none else beside Him.” He creates these disturbances for you; He controls your heart and your mind. It stands to reason that He best knows what to send you at any given moment. He sends you all these things precisely to confuse you, to make you feel clueless, unable to focus, to distract you by compelling you to think about your day’s activities, problems, and concerns.

Why? If, in the midst of all this confusion, multitude of problems, and distractions, you are able to gather all your strength to grasp and connect with even a tiny fraction of the text for just a few moments, therein lay your profit. On the other hand, if you’re sitting at the lesson with a clear mind, feeling as if you are practically soaring in the spiritual worlds, you may not be in the right place at all. Indeed, your effort lies in trying to connect to the spiritual world, even a little, in spite of all your little “snakes” (egoistic desires). This is precisely what you need.

Later, all of a sudden, the great revelations will come. Precisely from the hardships and departures, the revelations are attained. As it is written, “The Torah shall come out of Zion (Light’s departure).”

Therefore, if your mind isn’t functioning or your mood is foul, don’t think that it’s useless to come to the lesson and listen to The Zohar. That calculation is absolutely incorrect; your clarity of mind or emotional state is not important. If you’re truly struggling with feeling detached, weary, and confused, but you still try to connect to the material as much as you can, even if you only make a small momentary connection, you gain much more than during the states of great inspiration. This is because inspiration is granted from Above and it just inflates you like air fills a balloon. However, the true benefit is produced by hard work and effort in spite of disturbances.

Using The Ladder To Build Our Soul

time A question I received: Since our objective is to attract the Surrounding Light when reading The Zohar, why do we read it with Baal HaSulam’s commentary instead of reading the original Zohar?

My Answer: First of all, since The Zohar is written in Aramaic, the ancient language of Babylon, modern readers cannot understand it. Furthermore, The Zohar is written in a style filled with allegories and images that appear corporeal to us. We would not be able to detach from these corporeal images when reading The Zohar without the Kabbalistic Sulam Commentary on The Zohar. This is why, by combining the original Zohar text with his Sulam Commentary, Baal HaSulam introduces us to the correct understanding of The Zohar and the proper structure. Through this we can begin to see the entire text through the three lines.

The three line approach is necessary. Even the Torah is approachable only through the three lines. It is written entirely by way of the three lines: We need to take the two lines given to us from Above, the right and the left lines, the desire and the Light, and connect them properly. We build our soul by properly combining these two lines.

It is impossible to study The Zohar without the Sulam Commentary. This method, called the Sulam (The Ladder) became revealed and added to The Zohar when our generation came to the point of being ready to study the wisdom of Kabbalah. This is the time of correction. As the global crisis becomes revealed amongst the souls, we can now use this method to its full extent.

In addition to including the Sulam Commentary, we slightly modified the text of The Zohar by abbreviating some technical details to make it more accessible to the modern reader. This is why we have named it Zohar for All.

On The Threshold Of Realization

out.jpg The Zohar, Chapter “Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah),” Item 155: …But the lower ones cannot receive the illumination of the left before it is clothed in Hassadim from the right line.

This is why Esau was weary. It is written, “Behold, I am at the point of death; and what profit shall the birthright have for me?”

Esau wanted to receive the Light of Hochma into the egoistic desires (Kelim of reception) and found that he was unable to do this. Similarly, we spend our whole lives chasing after pleasures, trying to find enjoyment in life, but as soon as we feel pleasure, it immediately disappears. This cycle recurs throughout our entire lives. Repeating this unending cycle is why Esau was weary and said, “I am unable to continue like this. It is hopeless; I am tired of it. I am ready to unite with Jacob.”

Today all of humanity is standing at the threshold of this same realization. For this reason, the science of Kabbalah, Jacob’s method, is being revealed. This science is precisely about how to build the middle line, how to implement Jacob’s method.

Before humanity reached this state of despair, there was no demand for the science of Kabbalah. Now the need is apparent; from here the Torah can be revealed since the Torah is revealed from the middle line – the correction of egoism.

Discovering The Need For A Solution

desires4 A question I received: What forces assist in the “rotting” of the desire to receive pleasure, called “body”?

My Answer: The despair is due to the inability to be filled, rather than despair from the desire for pleasure. One reaches a point where he no longer believes that it is possible to be happy in this life. The unsatisfied desires bring us to depression. This, of course, is for a purpose. It is so that all of humanity will reach this stage in order to discover a need to search for a solution and a need to rise to a higher level. Egoism will help us reach this point and will force us to make a decision. This is called “help against you.”

Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 03.12.10

Shamati #117 “You Labored and Did Not Find, Do Not Believe
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“Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 33
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The Book of Zohar — Selections, Chapter “Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah),” Item 220
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Imagine That Our Wish Has Come True!

Can We Control Our Thoughts A question I received: What should we imagine when we read the words of The Zohar, which we do not understand at all? Should we picture the souls in unity, the Light’s influence on us, or something else?
My Answer: You need to imagine that we are all together in one desire, and that what we read about in The Book of Zohar will be revealed as filling inside this desire. And together, this desire and its fulfillment will reveal the Creator.

We are waiting for and expecting results from our studies. We really need to correct our connection to others because this will become our vessel for the Light. Then, my desire will receive the quality of correction, the quality of oneness – the Creator. The Creator is my correct desire for bestowal.

I need to imagine a state that I want to exist in. I may not know what the Light is or how it enters me, but I still need to picture the correct state that I want to achieve. Just like in our everyday lives, when we wish for something, we don’t think about the actions we have to make in order to obtain it, but only about the end result, about our desire coming true. I am then able to understand what I am lacking in order to attain the object of my desire, and where I can obtain the right example of the future state, meaning, which books can give me that example.