Baal HaSulam, Article, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”: We can see that all the interpretations of The Book of Zohar before ours did not clarify as much as ten percent of the difficult places in The Zohar. And in the little they did clarify, their words are almost as vague as the words of The Zohar itself.
As Baal HaSulam writes in “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot” in paragraph 155, the books of Kabbalah were written for those who already had spiritual attainment or wanted to acquire attainment. For these people, these books are like a means for advancement; it is possible to attract the Light that Reforms with them.
So why do the interpretations and explanations matter to us? Why did Baal HaSulam write the Sulam commentary to The Book of Zohar?
The Sulam commentary helps us to rise to the text of The Book of Zohar in order to use it and get the Light that Reforms from there. First it is necessary to approach, to come close, to rise to this book, and then you derive benefit from it and enjoyment from it and receive the correcting Light that Reforms from it. After that I rise again, come close to it, and again receive the Light that Reforms from it. And that is how it is throughout the 125 levels.
This is to say, there are 125 levels in The Book of Zohar, and the Sulam commentary also has 125 levels that make it possible for me to rise to the level of The Book of Zohar and to use it according to its mission, to attract the Light that Reforms and correct myself. It is as if I am climbing up a ladder in a library to going from tier to tier getting a new edition of the same book each time.
Consequently, the Sulam commentary is not just an explanation for the book. Hence the name because “Sulam” means ladder. Therefore by involvement with The Book of Zohar and this commentary together, I can use the language of Kabbalah and the language of Midrash, “the language of the branches,” that make it possible for me to come close to the text and to yearn to activate what he describes there and attain what is latent there.
I don’t imagine a Garden of Eden with souls floating there, rather I know that it is talking about my inner world, about how I am linked to a group, how I describe to myself the picture of the spiritual state that comes into being within my desire to receive through rejection and reduction of the reflected Light.
Therefore the book must prepare us for the correct comprehension of what they wrote. And from the start it was clear that The Book of Zohar not only had to be hidden until our day but also it had to receive an addition that would make it possible for our generation to use it in order to take the Light that Reforms out from it.
Without the Sulam commentary we would not have the possibility of taking the Light that Reforms out from this book. And in fact, for a thousand years after the discovery of The Book of Zohar, we could not truly use it until the time arrived to submit it to the people. And so Baal HaSulam came and gave his commentary to it, which is used as a “ladder” through which we have the possibility of rising to every level of the 125 levels of spiritual attainment.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/23/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam