Answer: A Kabbalistic book is a wondrous book, not the sheets of paper we see in our world. A book written by a Kabbalist looks like symbols on paper, like all other books, but these symbols are connected with the spiritual force of the one who wrote them and with his attainments.
Therefore, when reading this book, we want to attain what its author attained and to feel what he felt.
This is similar to reading some novel, but the difference is in the author. A novel is written by a person of this world, and the Kabbalistic book by a Kabbalist in his attainment in the spiritual world. This attainment in relation to us is called Surrounding Light.
We still don’t attain what he attained, but by connecting to him and by wanting to become like him, we attract the illumination to us that changes us and prepares us to also begin feeling the spiritual world.
Question: What if I just read the book without intention to attract the Light?
Answer: In that case, it hardly works. After all, there is no coercion in spirituality; if you want to move forward, the Light promotes you, and if you don’t want to advance, it doesn’t work. Advancement depends on our intention and desire to understand what is being read. In proportion to our desire to understand what the Kabbalist wrote, we awaken the influence of the Surrounding Light.
Question: Then why doesn’t the book work if I just read it since it has the power of the Kabbalist in it?
Answer: The Kabbalist gives you Light, but you don’t want it and so you don’t receive it. There is a desire to give from his side, but there is no desire to receive it from your side. Hence, we disseminate the wisdom of Kabbalah so widely and care that all the people will know about it. Otherwise, they will remain without spiritual attainment.
Moreover, you don’t even have to know the language. If you listen when people read a Kabbalistic text and you really want to understand it, then you will advance spiritually.
Question: Why do we need a book if desire is the most important thing?
Answer: We won’t have connection with the Kabbalist who is in the spiritual attainment without a book. Connection appears only through the text. If you listen when somebody reads this text, even without knowing the language, but you want very much to attain what the author attained, then you attract the Surrounding Light to yourself.
From the Virtual Lesson “The Time of Kabbalah” 6/13/17