The Zohar, Chapter “VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out),” Item 250: But he did not go on his way immediately. Rather, he was detained and worked six years in Laban’s flock, since as long as Rachel was not conceived with Benjamin, he was detained there. When the time came that she was impregnated with Benjamin, he fled and did not ask Laban for permission so he would not be detained there, and so that Jacob would unite with all the tribes in the required place, in the land of holiness.
The science of Kabbalah utilizes a special language called “the language of branches.” If in all our feelings, thoughts, and properties our intention remains “for our own sake,” we sense only the reality of this world. Even the words of the Torah signify to us something that is happening in this material world.
But if we keep the intention “for the sake of bestowal,” each word of the Torah naturally transforms within us into descriptions of spiritual roots and forces. It becomes clear to us that the Torah isn’t saying a word about material objects (like herd, Leah, Rachel, Jacob, and so on) or their physical actions. Rather, it is all about the forces (desires and the Light) with which we sense and interact.
We feel this very clearly without any doubts since the upper sensations and thoughts are much stronger than lower ones. That is why when we read the Torah it never occurs to us that it describes this material world. We perceive everything to the degree of our inner level of correction.
At this point in time, we sense only the lower material world. That is why everything we read or hear about triggers images of this world like sheep, a well, women, men, and various actions that we are familiar with and that are part of this world.
Our efforts while reading The Zohar have to include the following thoughts:
- The Zohar talks exclusively about the measures of connection among us;
- We aspire to differentiate between the spiritual forces (desires to bestow) within ourselves, which are named using the words of this world.
We have to imagine them and try to search for them as a little child who tries to grasp the rules of a new game that allows him to grow. By doing so, we rise from the branches of this reality to the roots of the Upper World. Step by step, we try to distinguish the Upper roots; these efforts develop us like children.
That’s why we don’t merely listen to the sound of the words while reading The Zohar. Rather, as Baal HaSulam writes in Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot, Item 155, “Although they do not understand what they are learning, through the yearning and the great desire to understand what they are learning, they awaken upon themselves the Lights that surround their souls.”
The effort we make brings us understanding and attracts the Light that Reforms which corrects us. Within our corrected desires we begin to understand and sense what The Zohar is telling us.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/1/10, The Zohar