In The Footsteps Of The Great Kabbalists

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When you speak about our intention before reading The Zohar, you do not use the language of The Zohar or of the Sefirot. You speak about feelings, but the text that was written by Rabbi Aba in a concealed form doesn’t help us feel it.

Answer: On one hand, this is true. On the other hand, when we study about how Malchut rises to Bina and descends from there, and how AHP rises and descends, and how the souls rise, you can feel that although it is about the attributes on spiritual degrees. We already have some emotional response to words like the rising of Malchut to Bina, restriction, the small state (Katnut), the great state (Gadlut), Yenika, or Ibur. Although it is about the Sefirot, you still can add some feeling to it, even without having these attributes yet.

All these feelings are not real until we cross the Machsom (barrier). There is nothing we can do about that.

However, the writing styles and the descriptions of spirituality are very different. See how Ramchal and AGRA wrote, and how different they are from one another. Look at Baal HaSulam and Rambam. Rashi, who wrote commentary for the entire Tanakh, Peshat (simple) commentary, was a great Kabbalist. See how he expresses himself in ordinary, everyday language that is clearly understood by everyone. How he concealed himself!

You are asking why Rabbi Aba wrote The Zohar in such a concealed way, but he didn’t conceal anything. It says that Rabbi Aba knew how to reveal in secret. This is the revelation in the concealment (Megillat Esther). This doesn’t mean that he wrote anything. It is said that Rabbi Shimon spoke about what he attained, Rabbi Yossi and the other disciples heard and discussed the revelations, and Rabbi Aba heard everyone and wrote.

It isn’t a matter of manual writing. It is about how much each of them dressed himself in the collective revelation that they attained as a group, about how much each of them added clarifications since each one revealed the general attainment in his own personal attribute. And that’s how they eventually composed for us the steps of the ladder which we climb and advance. In fact, this is what the authors of The Zohar did.

There is the world of Infinity, and we have to start from our point of shattering, from the center of the sphere, from the dark. So, where are all the steps of the ladder that we have to climb? It is true that the Light descended from top down, along with the creation of the worlds and the steps of the ladder, and it is the Creator who did all that.

However, the authors of The Zohar fulfilled this process from the bottom up. This means that they wrote The Zohar, as it is written: “Write on the tablets of your heart.” Therefore, they also belong to the level of the forefathers, which extends from Adam to Abraham.

It is as if they paved a path through the forest for you. They have walked it ahead of you and cleared the way for you. They put up signs and carved steps on the steep slopes. They left the means for you to ease your way. This is what the authors of The Zohar actually did.

Then you are following their footsteps—and suddenly a thought from Rabbi Yossi, Rabbi Chiya, or Rabbi Aba crosses your mind. You feel that they were there before you and what they did at every point. This is what it called to write a book.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/12/2012, The Zohar

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