Weekly Torah Portion – 09.03.10

The Book of Zohar, Weekly Torah Portion “Nitzavim Vayelech,” Selected Excerpts
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Kabbalists On Kabbalists, Part 16

Dr. Michael LaitmanDear Friends, please ask questions about these passages from the great Kabbalists. The commentaries in brackets are mine.

Main Kabbalistic Sources: The Book Of Zohar

We did not find a single book in the wisdom of truth that precedes Rashbi’s The Book of Zohar since all the books in the wisdom prior to his [Book of Zohar] are not categorized as interpretations of the wisdom. Instead, they are mere intimations [short, incomplete explanations] without any order of cause and consequence, as it is known to those who find knowledge, thus far understanding his words [randomly and inaccurately].
– Baal HaSulam, “Disclosing a Portion, Covering Two

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We Can Circumvent All Of The Suffering

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: If everything in the world depends on the people who engage in spiritual development, does this mean that we are responsible for all the suffering that occurs in the world?

Answer: No, we do not cause the suffering in the world. On the contrary, we draw Light and transfer the suffering from a corporeal level to a level of spiritual suffering. As a result, instead of suffering due to wars, illnesses, and all other problems, we suffer from the fact that we lack spirituality. This is what the science of Kabbalah gives to a person. A person “suffers,” but it is not true suffering since it is the suffering of love.

If I were invited for a meal in a few hours, then I would avoid eating now in order to save my appetite for the meal. Similarly, the understanding that I need to prepare my spiritual Kelim is called the suffering of love. However, even when our Kelim are empty, we are able to feel a slight illumination in anticipation of our next meeting with the people we love. This is what we need to bring to humanity: We need to show them that there is a solution to the blows developing in nature.

Right now we are entering a period of ecological problems which can cause suffering and death for thousands of people. We are witnesses of natural disasters that break out all over the world, including China, Europe, Russia, and America. The only way to save ourselves from these disasters is to prepare our spiritual Kelim. We don’t need to prepare our Kelim in a corporeal sense, waiting for decades of suffering before finally realizing that there is a reason and purpose to the suffering, and that we have a choice. There are two paths leading to the same goal, the path of Light and the path of suffering.

Why should we suffer in vain? If we draw the Light, then it reveals how opposite we are to it and we suffer due to seeing a better state compared to the one we are in now. This is what the science of Kabbalah offers to a person: the path of Light instead of the path of suffering.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/1/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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Driven Onward By The Serpent’s Tongue

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Why do all pleasures immediately fade? I am so happy when I buy a new car, but a week later I get used to it and no longer care about it. What causes the pleasure to go away? If the Light and the vessel are all that exists, then shouldn’t the pleasure be eternal? Why does it fade?

Answer: It is because the Kli (vessel) changes. The car doesn’t disappear, but my desire becomes greater and the pleasure received from owning the car no longer fills it. The change in the desire is qualitative, not quantitative. In spirituality growth is qualitative rather than quantitative.

The car parked by my house is still beautiful and new, but it doesn’t excite me as before even though just a week has gone by. This occurs because an additional desire (the “tongue of the primordial snake“) has formed inside you, causing the human being in you to ask the question, “What did this purchase give me?” You don’t even realize that you have this question, but nonetheless it awakes in you and spoils all of your pleasure.

After the breaking or the fall of the Tree of Knowledge, a point of connection with the Creator emerged in every kind of pleasure When your desire is filled, that point asks whether you have achieved eternal pleasure. It forces you to immediately search for another way to fill yourself. We have been advancing in this manner throughout all of history, and we would not have developed if not for this. This is what distinguishes a person from an animal: the birth of new desires.

A subconscious need to become similar to the Creator has continuously driven us forward from the time we came out of caves to this very day, and this is a result of the primordial sin. Our desires (Adam and Eve) would have remained as animals if the human being in us did not constantly grow. We start to feel shame regarding the Creator because we realize how different we are from Him. Shame is what causes us to ask the question, “What did I gain from this?” Subconsciously we think to ourselves, “Why do I need a car if I’m trying to reach the Creator?” Even though we aren’t aware of our connection to the Creator, this emptiness gnawing inside of us comes from Him.

From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 9/2/10, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot

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Daily Kabbalah Lesson – 09.03.10

Shamati #50 Two States
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The Book of Zohar – Selections, Chapter “VaYechi (And Jacob Lived in the Land of Egypt), Item 177
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Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” Item 79
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Rav Yehuda Ashlag, Article “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence
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