Question: How can I think about the correction that The Book of Zohar brings us if I feel negative emotions such as hatred?
Answer: Prayer is whatever the heart feels. If there is hatred in my heart now, then this is my prayer, “I want to hurt my enemy.”
In order to correctly use the force that’s hidden in The Book of Zohar while reading it together in a group, I must first prepare my heart so it will desire the same thing the Creator desires. In reality, the Creator responds to every prayer, meaning the desires in our heart. That is why our world is so bad!
However, on the other hand, it is written that He responds only to the prayer that has gone through “the gate of tears.” So does He really respond to every desire, even the whim of a baby or the machinations of a villain?
Yes, say the Kabbalists who have revealed the system of our relationships with Him. A thief who has set his sights on some object, or a criminal who goes out “on the prowl” and is ready to kill someone, also desire to succeed and their prayer is also accepted. After all, we are talking about the desire of Malchut of the World of Atzilut, and everything beneath it, including our world, belongs to it.
Why, then, do we say that the desire can ascend into Malchut, or it can not ascend? The matter is that we draw a division into two types of desires:
– Some aspire in the same direction as the Creator’s will. Then they unite with the upper desire and are perceived as abundance from Above.
– Some do not match the Creator’s will. They also evoke the same response from Above as the positive desires, but are perceived by the negative desires negatively, as a negative reaction. This corrects a person, leading him down a lengthy, difficult path of suffering instead of the short, easy path where his desires coincide with the Creator’s desires.
That is why it is best for us to prepare for the right prayer and to use it when turning to The Book of Zohar. A person cannot sit at the lesson without any desires. One way or another, he desires something, and if his desire has been prepared ahead of time and aspires in the right direction, then he advances easily and quickly while reading The Zohar.
Besides, we have to remember that we are in the group, which helps us to strengthen our prayer. Thus, if a person’s thoughts are not aimed at the goal, then he takes an adversarial position in relation to the group and feels what seems like a negative reaction from Above even more.
Therefore, our entire work amounts to preparing for the lesson, that is, for reading The Zohar and other Kabbalistic books. Once we are at the lesson, it is difficult to change anything because a person’s heart is already tuned to a specific desire.
That’s why it is so important what thoughts I have when going to sleep and how I prepare for the lesson in the morning. These minutes play the decisive role. And we shouldn’t forget about the physical preparation so the body won’t fall into slumber.
Rabash writes the following in Article 36 in Writings of Rabash:
It is written, “He who hears the prayer.” Why does it say “the prayer” in the singular tense? Doesn’t the Creator hear all prayers? The matter is that we have to raise just one prayer: to restore the Shechina from the dust.
To pray for the restoration of the Shechina from the dust means to desire the revelation of the Creator, the quality of bestowal and love for the neighbor inside me in order to become similar to the Creator in this regard. If we all aim our efforts in one direction, then we are knocking on the gate that will definitely open.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/7/10, The Zohar