Question: In a few days we will be celebrating Shavuot, the great day of the Giving of the Torah. All other Kabbalah sources are essentially just commentaries on the Torah, while all philosophies, religions, and wisdoms have also derived from it. How does Kabbalah view the Torah: as a book or as the method of correction?
Answer: The Torah is the Light that Reforms, that brings one back to the Creator. It is not a book but the Light, the force of bestowal that expands from the Creator, the source of bestowal, and reforms a person so he or she may also live to bestow. Then, a person becomes part of the Torah and is filled with its Light, the Light of Hassadim (Mercy) illuminated by the Light of Hochma (Wisdom). This is regarded as the Torah’s revelation, the revelation of the Light within man.
We have to align everything we hear about with the two notions: the Light and desire, and the measure of equivalence thereof, which is called the screen. There is nothing else in the whole of reality. In The Study of the Ten Sefirot, it is the “Light” instead of the “Creator,” “desire” instead of the “creature,” and the “screen” instead of the “correction of creation.” There is nothing else. All confusion starts with the fact that people can’t tie these three ideas altogether.
If you get too tangled in these three definitions, return to the four stages of the Direct Light. Only the Light and desire are there; start with that. All properties, perceptions, feelings, thoughts, all these confusing notions, the future worlds, and the perception of reality must always be brought to one point: the Light and desire since there is nothing else anywhere in all worlds.
And now, living in this reality and experiencing this big world, either frightening, good, or bad, you experience it all within the desire, which is in a certain state.
Question: But in my current state, I still see a book that somebody wrote.
Answer: Kabbalists have described for you the Light’s actions, its work on desire and they expressed them in various symbols so that you may connect with them in some way, thereby causing the Light to do work on your own desire.
This book is called the “Torah” (from the words “Oraa” or the instruction manual and “Ohr” or the Light”) since it describes the sequence of the Light’s actions over desire, how the Light moves desire. The book doesn’t offer anything other than that. After all, in the entire reality there is only the Light and desire.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/29/2011, Shamati #40
There is a special program in the upper Light that acts on the desire to enjoy created simply as starting material, completely lifeless like plasticine or clay. The very process of development by the four phases and the force ensuring this development are incorporated within the Light.
Namely, the Light creates desire “from absence.” The Light contains everything. It is the force of bestowal which develops the desire to enjoy thanks to its ability to give it more and more, both in quantity and quality.
The Light, that affects desire, creates new needs in it all the time. Phase 2 (Bet) becomes separated from Phase 1 (Aleph) precisely because it feels a lack. After the Light fills it, a void suddenly opens in it, and it understands that this fulfillment brings it nothing.
It thinks: “What happened? I have been flooded with the Light of Hochma (Wisdom), but do I feel fulfillment? No, I feel completely empty.” “But aren’t you full of the Light of Hochma?” “No, I don’t feel it.”
Phase Aleph seems to be saying: “What kind of fulfillment is this? This isn’t fulfillment, but emptiness! I want something else. I want to be filled with the Light of Hassadim (Mercy). You brought me a gift that You wanted, but I wanted something completely different. This is not what I asked for.” (Many, perhaps, have heard this from their wives.)
Essentially, the Light that fills the creature empties it for a higher degree. The Light satisfies desire at level 1, but because of it, the desire feels emptiness. Only the Light can perform such tricks. I wish we could learn such techniques for raising children.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/30/2011, Talmud Eser Sefirot
The entire wisdom of Kabbalah came to us from The Book of Zohar and the works of the Ari. If it were not for Baal HaSulam, we would not be able to study. The Book of Zohar is full of allegories and stories understandable only to a person who is on the same spiritual degree and can decipher these clues.
As for the Ari, he himself never wrote anything; he only talked. All his works are written by the Ari’s disciple Chaim Vital and the entire multi-volume collection of essays is based on what the Ari said over one and a half years. His group existed only for a short time; he taught it and then passed away.
By various ways, this material went to various people who compiled books from it. One part of the records was kept in some secret place; the other was buried in Chaim Vital’s grave and retrieved later, when the grave was opened. The third part was handed down the generations and passed through many people, and who knows what they have done with it.
The Ari talked about the whole system in general, and if a person doesn’t have the complete works and cannot understand the material well, he cannot compile it correctly. That’s why, although these records were collected by Kabbalists, much was missing, and the accurate sequence couldn’t be kept.
Therefore, Baal HaSulam added his commentaries to the Ari’s works so that we could follow a natural progression from simple to increasingly complex and, studying in the correct form, understand the Ari’s writings. We wouldn’t be able to comprehend anything without it. In Kabbalah, this is very dangerous because it you don’t understand what is being described, you fantasize about anything.
So, we have to appreciate the great work that Baal HaSulam has accomplished: We would have achieved nothing without it. Sometimes people ask me: “If there are so many other Kabbalists, why don’t we study their works?” But we don’t have anybody else to learn from because all of them wrote from their high degrees, for example, such Kabbalists as the Vilna Gaon or Ramchal. We can’t base our studies on their works because Kabbalists didn’t interpret them for ordinary people like us so that we could understand, use, and realize them on ourselves.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/27/2011, “General Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot”
Answer: I think that the “movers and shakers” of the world have understood that they’re not in control of the situation, and they’re trying to mitigate the blow. They are especially concerned with the sharp decline in oil production and the resulting sharp decline in the global economy.
This will undoubtedly impact global reconstruction. The automobile and aviation industries will be demolished, and a new public mode of transportation will need to be implemented. People will only be buying the bare essentials, which will crush many of the economy’s sectors.
Every tenth US citizen works in the auto industry. A string of bankruptcies will shatter the national economy and bring about the rise of extremist political parties, the kind that emerged under similar circumstances in the 1920s in Germany.
It is no accident that Kabbalah asserts that the next phase in the collective global development is either correction via the method of Kabbalah or fascism! I suspect that the US deliberately terminated their auto industry, correctly realizing that it would be the first to fall in the looming global crisis. This bought their other industries and their workers time to make a transition from the economy sectors so badly dependent upon oil, such as the automobile, to other modes of manufacture and consumption which are simpler, more natural, and direct. As for the media, they simply carry out orders from those who pay them.
In Kabbalah, we don’t talk about personal feelings. We do speak of love of friends, but only generally, without mentioning ourselves or any specific names.
It is necessary to speak about the greatness of the teacher, the Creator, the group, and the importance of the goal because without inspiring one another, we won’t advance. This gives us strength to work, and that’s why we need the group. But nobody speaks about it from the first person, revealing their inner feelings and desires (Kelim).
In fact, the others are not yet reformed to Bina’s degree (Hafetz Hesed), meaning not “to do to others what you don’t wish to be done to you” and therefore, may harm you with their thoughts. Hence, this ban exists.
You talk about how exalted the spiritual goal is, but not about how you or somebody else is inspired by spirituality. You should talk about the law that works in creation, the formula in the system of forces, without pointing at anyone specifically.
All our work is internal and humble. I must view the group not as individual people and faces, but as forces who yearn toward the Creator, bestowal, and who unify in order to reach this goal together. This bond of our desires, this internal connection is what we call the group.
Hence, when I speak about the group, I don’t mention people’s names. It is as if there are no people and only desires tied by the mutual guarantee! If these desires reach the level of connection when it truly becomes for bestowal in the first degree, they reveal it, along with the Light of Hassadim that fills it, meaning mutual bestowal.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/26/2011, Writings of Rabash
Answer: And how do we use letters in our world? Do we really have any connection to ZAT of Bina, ZA (Zeir Anpin), and Malchut of the world of Atzilut? It’s known that letters from Aleph to Tet descend from ZAT de Bina; Yod to Tzadik from Zeir Anpin, and Kuf-Resh-Shin-Tav from Malchut, while the final letters MaNTzePaCh stem from the Parsa.
Everything ends at the Parsa of the world of Atzilut, below which lie the worlds of BYA (Beria, Yetzira, Assiya). Below them we have this world, while we exist even lower than that, in our world. So how do we use letters?
The point is that in the world of Atzilut there is a pattern according to which every part of reality divides further more. Hence, no matter where I am, I can use letters according to my spiritual degree.
In France, for instance, in the International Bureau of Weights and Measurements, BIPM, there is a meter gauge made of platinum and iridium. (Incidentally, they decided to stop using the physical model, and from now, a meter is defined based on the consistency of the continuity of the speed of light, as the distance the light travels in a vacuum per 1/299,792,458th of a second.)
Therefore, in our world there are world standards of measurements with which to verify our measuring devices. This allows us to measure objects and distances between them in any place. Likewise, there is the world of Atzilut, where the key model or standard is. It governs how everything is divided and measured in all other worlds. Based on this standard, all other degrees in the world of BYA are built, each of which is a projection of the world of Atzilut, and that is why there are letters in them as well.
Our world is a projection of the upper worlds although its matter has a totally different nature, the egoistic one. Therefore, in our world, we also use letters. Besides, we use the words of our world to describe the spiritual worlds, the so-called “language of branches.”
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/26/2011, The Zohar
The Importance of the Intention during the Study
If he intends to study the Torah in order to receive the reward of the Torah, called “Light that Reforms,” then his study is beneficial. However, when he forgets the goal of studying the Torah, the Torah is not instrumental in completing the work of making a desire of bestowal …This is the meaning of the words, “Any Torah without work [on the intention to get corrected by the Light of the Torah] ends in annulment” [is void of its Light].
– Rabash, The Rungs of the Ladder, “What Is Torah and Work on the Path of the Creator”
One of the wonders of studying the secrets of Torah is that when a person studies its concepts out of love, even though he is not capable of perceiving the matters with intellect, they elevate his essence nonetheless, hence these matters shine their Light upon him.
– Rav Raiah Kook, Orot HaTorah [Lights of the Torah], Chapter 10, section 10
Answer: Of course! Only the connection between us! Without the connection between the souls, the authors of The Zohar could not have perceived anything. Everything is perceived in the network of connection between us.
What do we perceive? We perceive the forces of bestowal. The sum total of these forces is called the “Creator” (“Bo-Reh” or “come and see”), which we reveal in the connection between us, the property of bestowal and love.
If we perceive this in the form of forces, then it’s our desire, our vessel for the revelation of the Light. If we perceive an impression in it, the Light, this is the Creator, the Light, that is revealed in the vessel, the desire. There is nothing else.
All that we read in The Zohar or all the other books written by Kabbalists are merely man’s impressions, a Kabbalist’s perception of the force of bestowal within his desires, according to the similarity of properties. He tells us about his desires, his impressions, the force that he perceived, explaining this in an external form.
It’s possible to express this in music, songs, and beautiful words. It’s also possible to explain it in the language of Kabbalah, the Talmud, or the Legends. In the final analysis, Kabbalists explain their attainments.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/26/2011, The Zohar