The Ari was the man who opened the path to heaven for us. He revealed the end of the thread for us, and if we grasp it, we can rise to the height of the Creator. We still do not have enough understanding and words to thank the Ari and appreciate what he has done.
We just need to believe the Kabbalists who highly appreciated the work of the Ari and thank the Creator for sending us such a messenger who passed knowledge about the upper force, about the way we can come closer to it and how to establish the connection with it.
From the legacy of the Ari, we can receive the reforming light, the most valuable thing in it. When we study the material, the reforming light hidden in these texts influences us.
Of course, its action depends on our desire and intention, on our yearning for connection and unity, and our desire to be similar to the upper system that controls us. The light acts around us, envelops us, purifies us, and brings us closer to the connection.
Therefore, all the texts of the Ari are holy. We can see with what awe the Kabbalists treated them as if they were the Torah from which not a single word can be removed. The death of the Ari became the starting point from which the wisdom of Kabbalah began to develop.
Although it took several hundred years until it came out into the world thanks to his spiritual followers who extracted it from the Ari’s grave and from another hiding place, from some chest. As a result, all the works of the Ari were revealed and served as the basis for the entire modern Kabbalah.
This is very similar to the story of The Book of Zohar, which was also hidden, and then was revealed a thousand years later. It was only in the time of Baal HaSulam that all the writings of the Ari were finally assembled together and he was able to study them, deeply understand them and write a commentary about it: The Study of the Ten Sefirot.
The works of the Ari are a life-saving rope dropped to us from heaven. The entirety of Kabbalah is based on The Book of Zohar and the writings of the Ari.
Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book Panim Meirot uMasbirot”: There are not enough words to measure his (ARI’s) holy work in our favor. The doors of attainment were locked and bolted, and he came and opened them for us…
You find a thirty-eight-year-old who subdued with his wisdom all his predecessors….
All the sages of the generations… have abandoned all the books and compositions that precede him…they have attached their spiritual life entirely and solely to his Holy Wisdom.
The point here is not in the height of attainment, but the fact that the Ari’s methodology was built and prepared for the final correction.
Therefore, the Ari symbolizes the Messiah Son of Joseph, that is, he gives us the basis of the correct world. As it is written, Joseph was a righteous man, and the righteous is the foundation of the world. It is only thanks to the teachings of the Ari that we begin our corrections.
Although there were great Kabbalists in the past who had even more knowledge than the Ari, such as Rabbi Akiva and Rashbi, they did not know how to express, explain, formulate, and convey the method of correction to us in the way that the Ari did. This is determined not by the height of the Kabbalist, but by his correspondence to his generation. That is why we value the texts of the Ari so much, with the help of which we can reach the final correction.
After the discoveries made by the Ari and his followers, the successors of his methodology who adapted it to modern generations, everyone can now study the wisdom of Kabbalah and use it to reveal their path to unity with others in order to attain the Creator within this unity. This is a great gift that allows us to rise from the animate degree to the degree of a man, Adam, “similar” to the Creator.
All the horror of egoism, egoistic desires and qualities must be revealed in our generation of the Messiah. But we can understand them correctly, resist them, and move toward correction.
Rav Chaim Vital, Shaar Gilgulim: My teacher cautioned me and all the friends who were with him in that society to take upon ourselves the commandment to-do of “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and to aim to love each one from Israel as his own soul, for by this his prayer would rise comprising all of Israel and will be able to ascend and make a correction above.
Love for others is the foundation of our work. By our studies, we attract the reforming light, but we must provide it with material for work and correction. It needs to correct the connection between us, which was broken during the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. The entire system, called Adam, has shattered. Now we want to use the light to connect all the parts together.
In each of us, there is a broken part, a record (Reshimo). We are the very parts that were once together in the system of Adam HaRishon. Today we need to return to the same connection again. To do this, we are given the teaching of the Ari, the order of work established by Baal HaSulam, and the order of building a group according to Rabash. We have everything we need, we just need to connect everything together and implement the correction.
Praises of the ARI: One day, on the eve of Shabbat [Sabbath], the ARI went with his disciples for Kabbalat Shabbat [service beginning the Sabbath] as was his custom. He said to the friends: “Let us go now to Jerusalem […] and build the Temple, and make an offering of Shabbat, for I see that this time is truly the time of redemption.
“Some of the friends said, ‘How will we go to Jerusalem at this time, It is more than thirty parsas away (approx. 115 km)?’ Others said, ‘Very well, we are willing to go with you, but first we will go let our wives know so they will not worry about us, and then we will go.’”
Then the Rav cried out and said to the friends, “How did the slandering of Satan succeed in revoking the redemption of Israel? I testify before Heaven and Earth that since the time of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai until today there has not been a better time for redemption than this time.
“Had you admitted this, we would have had the Temple, and the outcasts of Israel would have gathered into Jerusalem. Now the time had passed and Israel went into exile once again.” When the friends heard this, they regretted what they had done, but it did not help them.
There are special times. Let’s hope that we will have such an opportunity, and we will not miss our chance.
Before his death, the Ari told his students that if they deserved it, he would come and teach them. It is very difficult for us to understand this, but everything already exists, there is no life and death. There are only changes between the degrees, a change of states.
Therefore, the one who accepts the principles of the Ari’s methodology—connection in the ten and equivalence to the upper system of ABYA—begins to advance, practically integrates with the system, receives force and light from it, and thus, he learns.
It’s not about learning and understanding with your mind. Mental attainment comes many years later, after attainment with feelings. First of all, the sensations must come. As in our world, we first begin to live in it and feel it, and then we can explain some of the sensations in the language of reason.
It is the same in the spiritual world, first of all, we need to penetrate into the sensations, into love and connection, and then we will be able to understand according to what formulas these feelings work.
From KabTV’s “A Talk At the Meal In Honor Of Ari’s Memorial Day” 8/4/19