There are blessings in the Siddur, for example: “Blessed are You Lord, the giver of the Torah.” But what is the Torah? It is a means for correcting the evil inclination. It says: “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.”
How is it possible to bless the Torah? Only if there is such a deficiency when my initial inclination is revealed as evil. I feel that my desires are evil; I have to correct them, I can’t bear them. This is called the revelation of the true evil, when I cannot agree to it, when I have to get rid of it, to get it out of me as something that is very harmful.
Then I discover the means that can get these evil desires out of me, a special instrument that is called the Torah. It turns out that there is a special method for studying, a special book, special conditions, and all this is called the Torah. It isn’t the title of the book that says “Torah,” not the number of people, and not the place of study, but simply the fact that in answer to all my actions there comes a special force that changes the force that is inside me. It is because the desire to receive is actually the force by which I identify the evil and I want it to become good, as it says: “Since the Light in it reforms.”
So I determine that my desire to receive is the evil inclination and decide that I must make it good. What is “good?” It can only be the opposite of my current desire; there are no other options. Thus the concept of the Torah symbolizes my efforts, the group I work in, the books I study from, the teacher who teaches me this method. On the whole they are the ones who summon that force from Above that corrects me. “From Above,” since the force of correction is higher than me and stronger than the current force. Thus I acquire it and heal myself from the evil, which becomes good.
But if I study without this preparation, the Torah becomes the “potion of death” for me. In this case, I reach self-fulfillment by a long and difficult path. Along this path the Light also operates on me, but from its posterior and not in the desire that dresses and not in the desire that is dressed. I reach the recognition that I don’t discover evil the way I should, I don’t recognize the poison in it. This, of course, also leads me in the right direction, but along a long indirect path of sufferings.
So if a person is not in the direction of recognizing the evil, he is in “exile.” And when he recognizes the need to correct the evil in him, which means the desire to receive, he feels that he is under the domination of Pharaoh. The deeper this feeling is, the more he wants to get rid of the evil, which means to get out of “exile.” Then he uses the Torah correctly in order to draw the Light that changes the desire in him, which enables him to use the desire not for his own good but for the good of others. Thus the Light reforms him and changes him to the good.
As long as we don’t want to exit our desire to receive and enter the desire to bestow, from evil to the good, it isn’t considered exile. We don’t even feel that it is exile. Only the need for a means to turn the desire to receive into a desire to bestow indicates that we are ready to leave the exile. The exodus itself is that we begin to use the Torah correctly.
This is what we have to aim at while reading The Book of Zohar: Do we open it with the right deficiency? If not, then we don’t bless this action, but simply follow a timetable. This is a wrong and undesirable approach. We have to think about it the whole day before the lesson, to add the discernments that stem from different states, from the desire to receive that dominates us, into one picture. We want to ascend above it towards the friends, towards the Creator.
Then we will have something to bless in the morning lesson since we want to receive “the water of life” from the study, the healing force, and this means that we are truly studying the Torah.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/01/12, The Zohar