Part II: The World Was Created for Me. Chapter 5: The Actual Reality

Found in the book “Unlocking The Zohar



We were as those who dream

– Psalms, 126:1


The most complicated, yet fascinating topic connected to The Book of Zohar, and indeed to life, is “the perception of reality.”

It is known that around us are numerous waves that we do not perceive. However, there is also a field of higher information called “the upper nature” or “the Creator.” We can come in contact with that field and receive everything from it—emotions, understanding, information, love, sensation of eternal life, and the sensation of wholeness that exists in that field, which fills everything around us.

The very purpose of the wisdom of Kabbalah is to teach us how to develop our own tools so we can perceive that field of higher information. This can be done only if we change within; hence, when we change, we ourselves become like that field, and thus like the Creator.

There is nothing simpler than that. The field is here, around us, yet we are blocked; we are not receiving it.

There is nothing more natural than coming into contact with one’s Maker… In fact, every creature has contact with his Maker, as it is written, “The whole earth is full of His glory,” except that one does not know and does not feel it. Actually, one who attains contact with Him attains only the awareness. It is as though one has a treasure in his pocket, and he does not know it. Along comes another who tells him what is in his pocket, and now he really has become rich.

Baal HaSulam, “Writings of the Last Generation,” Part 2

We are unaware of the Creator, of the actual reality, just as a person is dreaming, experiencing all sorts of events, believing oneself to be awake. This is how we are in this world.

In his “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Baal HaSulam compares this situation to a worm that hatched into a radish, believing that the entire world was the radish it was born in. This is how we are, living in our world, oblivious to the fact that there is a vast world around us, enlightened, expansive, and beautiful. This is where Kabbalists — those who have already awakened from the dream to reality—are found. According to them, what we now sense is called “an imaginary world,” and only when we rise above it will we be able to truly understand that previously, “We were as those who dream.”


Experience over time and the advancement of science has greatly distilled the human spirit.

The Raiah Kook, Lights of Faith, p 67


The Book of Zohar is being revealed to explain to us how to perceive reality correctly, and it is not at all a coincidence that science is also signaling that reality is far broader and richer than we can currently perceive. Scientists are saying that there is a kind of “dark energy,” that there are all kinds of white or black spots in the universe, that there are other dimensions that we cannot perceive in our senses or develop tools to perceive.

Also, when we examine other animals, we see that their perception of reality is different from ours. Bees, flies, bears, frogs, snakes, and even cats and dogs, which live near us, perceive reality differently. A dog, for instance, perceives the world primarily as patches of scent. The world image of the bee is the sum of visions received by each of the numerous units that compose its eyes

Different creatures perceive reality differently, but in the end, they are all perceiving the same reality. What reality? This is a good question. And here is another good question: If a person were to miss one of the senses, would that person perceive less of reality? And what if that person did not miss any senses, but instead had another, additional sense? Would he or she see a broader reality? Perhaps the only question is, “Which sense is that?”

With the world we perceive now, we can say that we need glasses or a hearing aid because we know what it means to see well or to hear well. However, if we did not know which additional sense we lacked, how could we acquire it? Just as we do not feel that we need a sixth finger, we cannot feel that we need a sixth sense. As a result, we are living in our world without a need to sense true reality.

Let us examine ourselves from the side for a moment. We exist in the world for several decades, yet we have no idea what happened before us or what will happen after we are gone. In truth, we have no idea what is happening during our lives. For example, do we know where our desires come from? Where our thoughts come from? It could be said that we are living in the dark, except that while we are in it, we have a false sensation that we understand and control our lives.

In previous generations, people’s lives were simple. They were concerned with food, tried to lead their lives as comfortably as they could, had children, and left for them the rewards of their work. Their children continued on the same route, generation after generation. When we lived in this way, there really was no need to know what was happening around us.

But today we are beginning to ask questions about life. These questions move us from within until we cannot be calm and continue with the flow of life as before. We are beginning to feel that without knowing what we are living for, life simply makes no sense. This is what requires us to discover the actual reality.


To move a step forward in a scientific manner here, all we need is the wisdom of Kabbalah, for all the teachings in the world are included in the wisdom of Kabbalah.

Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom”


To better understand the news that Kabbalah introduces in regard to the perception of reality, let us briefly review how science has approached this topic over the years.

The classical approach, represented by Newton, said that the world exists independently, regardless of man, and that the shape of the world is fixed. Then came Einstein, who discovered that our perception is relative and depends on our senses. In consequence, we cannot say precisely what comprises the world outside of us, as it all depends on the observer’s perception of reality.

The contemporary approach to our perception of reality is based on quantum physics, and holds that the observer affects the world, and thus affects the picture one perceives. The picture of reality is a kind of “average” between the qualities of the observer and the qualities of the object or phenomenon being observed.

To better understand the matter, let us look at a familiar example. A speaker stands in a spacious hall and lectures to an audience. They listen to his words through waves that come from the speakers into their ears, and through them to the eardrum. Then the waves traverse an electrochemical mechanism, followed by the brain’s examination to see if there is something similar in the memory, and accordingly, it decodes this electrochemical phenomenon.

Thus, according to the contemporary scientific approach, the picture of reality is depicted within us. We cannot say anything about what exists outside of us, since we never perceive what is outside of us. The wisdom of Kabbalah takes us one step forward. Thousands of years ago, Kabbalists discovered that the world actually has no picture whatsoever!

In his “Preface to The Book of Zohar, ”Baal HaSulam writes, “Take our sense of sight, for example: we see a wide world before us, wondrously filled. But in fact, we see all that only in our own interior. In other words, there is a sort of a photographic machine in our hindbrain, which portrays everything that appears to us and nothing outside of us.” Baal HaSulam explains that in our brain, there is “a kind of polished mirror that inverts everything seen there, so we will see it outside our brain, in front of our face.” [2]

To illustrate the issue, think of a human being as a closed box with five inlets: eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and hands. These organs represent the five senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, through which we perceive that there is seemingly something outside of us.

All kinds of stimuli come in through those five inlets in the box, which are all processed in relation to the existing information in that person’s memory, and in relation to one’s will. The result is some picture of reality, which is then projected onto “a sc reen” in the back of the brain.

We were deliberately made in a way that our senses create for us an illusory image of a world that seems to exist outside of us. This allows us to gradually study what is the real picture on the outside.


I was looking at that eternal world, and the world stood only on those righteous that reign their hearts’ desire.

Zohar for All, VaYera [The Lord Appeared], Item 239


If we wish to advance from our present state, to expand our reality, and to know where we truly are and what for, we need only to tend to what is within us—our will. Deep inside there is the will, and it is what operates all our tools of perception, as well as our minds and our thoughts.

Sometimes, we seemingly don’t see the world. We shut ourselves within and do not pay attention to what is happening around us. But what actually happens is that our desire becomes detached, as though unconscious. Sometimes, our desire is so intense that it causes us to “devour” the whole world. And sometimes, it just quenches like a candle.

Why do people grow old? It is because they no longer want to perceive the world. It is hard for them, and as a result, their bodies stop functioning. In truth, we begin to decline, to gradually die in the middle of our lives. And yet, it is not the body, but our will that dies, losing its motivation to move onward. People who begin to evolve spiritually receive energy and the desire to advance. They are like children, always full of wishes, waking up each day with renewed vigor.

The desire is what evokes needs in us, and what determines what we see or don’t see around us. For example, a person who becomes a parent begins to notice the presence of stores for baby products around each corner. The stores were there before, but because he or she had no need for them, their existence went unnoticed.

Our will is self-centered and hence directs us to perceive only what is good for us or what is bad for us, so we can stay away from it. The more the ego develops, and with it the mind, the more we understand, perceive, and control. Accordingly, our perception of reality expands.

Yet, however expansive, in the end our perception is very limited because it depends on the five senses that give us the sensation of physical life. Our body is no different than that of any other animal; hence, this kind of perception is defined as “perception of reality on the animate level.” Perceiving the broader reality, the one that is not limited by our egos, is precisely the subject matter of The Book of Zohar—the perception of reality on the human level.

What we perceive through our will, our memory, and our five senses is called “this world.” Because our will and our memory are only our own, we are as limited as individual cells. To feel the entire reality, the higher realm of information, we must connect to the desires of others—those who are seemingly outside of us but who are actually parts of us. In other words, to perceive the true reality we must replace our will and shift from the inner, egoistic will, to the outer one.

The rule, “Love thy friend as thyself” is not a moral law that aims to force us to love other people. It is rather a means by which we connect the whole of reality to ourselves.

Usually, we love some people, are indifferent to others, and dislike others. This type of approach stems from the sensation that others are outside of us. However, when we can join those parts to us, we become whole and feel the actual reality.

Why were we created this way, detached from the true reality? It is so that we ourselves would gradually connect all these parts of ourselves. In this process, we study laws and phenomena that exist within the actual reality, and thus become equal to the Creator.

Baal HaSulam describes this in the following way:

All you need is to collect all of those limp organs that have fallen out of your soul, and join them into a single body. In that complete body, the Creator will instill His Divinity permanently, incessantly, and the fountain of great understanding and high streams of light shall be as a never ending spring. Then, each place upon which you cast your eyes shall be blessed.

Baal HaSulam, Letter no. 4

The correct perception of reality is of paramount importance to us. It is not merely another theoretical topic for sophisticated discussions. What we see is only a projection of our inner qualities. The Baal Shem Tov spoke a lot about the world being a mirror of the person:

One who sees any fault in one’s friend, it is as though one is looking in the mirror. If one’s face is dirty, this is what one sees in the mirror. If one’s face is clean, one sees no faults in the mirror. As one is, so one sees. This is “Love thy friend as thyself.” [3]


It is an unbending rule for all Kabbalists that, “Anything we do not attain, we do not define by a name and a word.”

Baal HaSulam, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”


The perception of reality is a topic that clearly distinguishes the wisdom of Kabbalah from philosophy, religion, and science. Kabbalah is a practical study method that leads a person stage by stage through one’s personal development. Like any other scientific method, Kabbalah instructs the researcher what to do, identifies which results can be expected, and explains the reasons for them. It does not offer descriptions of theoretical states whatsoever—states that one cannot perform de factoand in complete awareness.

The “Preface to The Book of Zohar” [4] divides the recognition of reality into four levels: matter, form in matter, abstract form, and essence. Also, it defines the boundaries within which correct perception of reality is possible: in matter and in form in matter.

Abstract form and essence cannot be perceived clearly or in a way that can be monitored, hence The Zohar does not deal with them at all. Conversely, philosophy does discuss abstract form, and religion deals with the essence. Thus, the wisdom of Kabbalah completely differs from philosophy and religion in that it deals only with what can be realistically, scientifically perceived [1].

And what about the wisdom of Kabbalah compared to science? There are similarities and there are differences. The similarity is that a person does not imagine what comes into the desire, but studies it. The difference is the type of desire. Worldly science, the science of the corporeal world, studies what comes into the internal, egoistic desire. The wisdom of Kabbalah studies what comes into the outer desire.

In Kabbalah, research begins only after a person has bonded with the other desires. The wisdom of Kabbalah is called “the wisdom of truth” because it studies the true reality, not the imaginary one, which depends upon and is limited by our will.

In corporeal science, a person might be a cruel and mean individual, yet a great scientist. In Kabbalah, the research depends on the extent to which we change. The more we can depart from self-love toward love of others, the more we will succeed in studying what is found outside of us.

Our personal correction and the attainment of wisdom are inseparable. Only if one corrects oneself does one perceive the whole of reality. The 125 degrees of spiritual attainment are actually 125 degrees of correcting the connection between the attaining individual and all the others.

Whether one is a person who cannot read or write, or a brilliant scientist, a complete fool or a great scholar, is completely irrelevant. Only when one corrects oneself in relation to others does one actually become wise. This does not mean that Kabbalah does not require intellect. However, it is a different kind of intellect, one that comes as a result of correcting the desire.

To perceive the actual reality, the world of truth, we must come out of ourselves and begin to know what really exists. Then we will discover that life does not depend on one’s body, one’s senses, one’s inner, egoistic will, or one’s memory. Rather, life depends only on the extent to which one is connected to all that exists outside—to others’ desires.

Using The Book of Zohar, which provides us with the powers to realize the law of Nature called “love thy friend as thyself,” we transcend this fictitious reality and move towards perception of the real world. Although our corporeal body may die, it will not interrupt our ability to live in the real world. Our spiritual life continues because we will already be living in a great will, a higher one, and there is where our true self is found.


Through the secrets of Torah, the value of the power of man’s will is yet to be revealed in the world, and how crucial is its level in reality. This revelation will be the crown of the whole of science.

The Rav Raiah Kook, Sacred Lights, 3, p 80





[1] One of the Kabbalists who stressed the differences between the wisdom of Kabbalah and religion was Ramchal [Rav Mohse Chaim Luzzato]: “There is a great need for the wisdom of truth. First, I shall tell you that we must know it because so we are commanded, as it is written, “And know today and reply to your heart that the Lord He is the God.” Thus, we must know it by knowing, not merely by believing, but by things that the heart agrees with, as it is written explicitly, “And reply to your heart.” …Thus, there are two things we must know: that the only Master is the one who watches over and leads everything, whether above or below, and two—that there is none other, meaning to know the truth of His uniqueness. Those two things that we must know, you tell me, whence shall we know them? Which wisdom shall teach them to us?

We cannot understand it from the literal Torah, for what does the literal Torah revolve around? Only the commandments, how they should be done, and all their ordinances, or the narration of tales that took place, which are mentioned in it… and if you do not draw this knowledge from all those, you must still keep this commandment, and you must find a way to keep it. Thus, it is only found in this wisdom of truth” (Ramchal, Rules of the Book Moses’ Wars, “First Rule”).

[2] Baal HaSulam, “Preface to The Book of Zohar,” Item 34

[3] Presented in the name of the Baal Shem Tov in the book Light of the Eyes, beginning of the portion Hukot [ordinances]

[4] For more on this topic, see Baal HaSulam’s “Preface to The Book of Zohar”

Part 1: The Wisdom of the Zohar. Chapter 1: Time to Act

Found in the book “Unlocking The Zohar


Time to Act


“The whole of the wisdom of Kabbalah is only to know the guidance of the Higher Will, why It has created all these creatures, what It wants with them, and what the end of all the cycles of the world will be.”

Ramchal, Pitchei Hochma (Doors of Wisdom), Door no. 30


Humanity is ever developing. In ancient times, people’s needs were very basic: food, shelter, and procreation. These are natural desires, as well as existential needs. In time, greater needs and greater desires have arisen in us: for wealth, domination, respect, and knowledge.The Zohar is THE book of the wisdom of Kabbalah, the wisdom of truth. It is surfacing today to lead us forward to a higher dimension. Yet, what is so special about The Zohar and about the Kabbalah? Why is this wisdom taking center stage specifically for those living today?

Throughout history, we have been trying to satisfy the needs that emerged in us. We have been trying to find within these changes happiness, love, and a good life. Today, we see that this chase was futile. While each generation is more advanced materialistically, each also suffers more. The ubiquitous use of drugs and antidepressants as an escape are symptoms of our generation’s internal emptiness.

At each given moment, the media is presenting us with more and more temptations, which we then rush to satisfy. It may be a new piece of clothing, a car, a house, a better job, an academic title, a trip overseas, or even a good restaurant. But each time we obtain something, the pleasure dissipates shortly afterwards and we are left wondering, “What’s next?” Then the chase begins anew.

For how long? Today, more and more people are asking this question. And not only, “For how long?” but also, “Why?”

Why are our lives unfolding as they are? Why are we in a constant race, never actually finding any rest? Why does everything become dull and tasteless once we have obtained it? And in general, if this is what life is about and there is nothing we can do about it, why do we need it anyway?

There has never been such a state where questions about the purpose and meaning of life have arisen in so many people. In the past, we simply didn’t ask. We lived because we were born. But today, such questions that suddenly arise within us leave us restless, prodding us forward, and after years of searching we come to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the wisdom that teaches us how to receive much more from life.

Previously, we had no need for Kabbalah, hence its concealment. But today, our need for it is the primary reason for its appearance in our generation.

The second reason is the special situation we are in today. The development of technology and media has turned the world into a small village in which we are completely interdependent. Yet, at the same time, our egos and our hatred of one another are increasing.

It is becoming barely possible for us to tolerate others, beginning on the most personal level, where each member of a family needs a personal room, a personal car, and virtually a personal home. People find it very difficult to maintain relationships, and divorce rates are soaring. The family unit is falling apart the world over.

We are living together, cramped on a tiny planet, antagonistic towards each other and unable to get along. The amount of weapons of mass destruction accumulated worldwide have brought us to a perilous state where everything around us is unstable and unpredictable. It is safe to say that we have lost our ability to govern the world.

Looking forward, if we continue on our present path, it is unclear how we will survive. What kind of world are we leaving for our children? Today’s generation is the first in which people have stopped believing that their children will have a better life than their own!

With all this in the background, The Book of Zohar and the other sources of Kabbalah are appearing. They explain that the situation we now face has long been predicted.

The first time such a state occurred was thousands of years ago in ancient Babylon. The Biblical story about the Tower of Babel described people gathered in one place, wishing to build a tower whose top reached the sky. This was an expression of the great egoism that appeared among them, and the hatred combined with interdependence. It was precisely in that place and in that state that the wisdom of Kabbalah appeared.

The wisdom offers a very simple thing. It says that in addition to the reality we currently sense, there is another, more expansive reality, a higher one. From this higher reality, forces extend to our world and govern it. The development we have achieved over the generations was intended to bring us into recognizing the forces that operate on us and govern us.

When we discover this higher reality, we will understand that our development over thousands of years has taken place only to bring us to acquire and experience a more expansive sensation of reality. Thus, we will not remain in the confined state in which we live and die, live and die. Instead, we will know life in its eternal, broad, and boundless form.


Man was made to raise the heavens

Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Kotzk


In ancient Babylon, it was Abraham the Patriarch, a resident of Ur of the Chaldeans, who discovered that humankind’s program of development was prodding it toward discovering a new reality. Abraham realized that in the end, the material evolution of man on earth would exhaust itself, and humanity would discover that something beyond satisfying corporeal desires was required, and that without it, life on earth would be futile and meaningless.

Abraham discovered that at the end of the material evolution begins the spiritual evolution. Once he himself exhausted the desires we all possess, a new desire appeared in him—to understand the purpose of his life.

In Kabbalah, all of one’s earthly desires are regarded as “the heart,” while the desire to discover the meaning of life is described as “the point in the heart.” The point in the heart is a desire that awakens in our hearts and pulls us “upward.” That new desire led Abraham to discover the complete reality, the spiritual reality.


Abraham’s wisdom is called “the wisdom of Kabbalah,” and it describes the network of Nature’s forces and how we can study the program by which they affect us. The wisdom of Kabbalah describes rules, forces, and work formulae of the upper worlds.

Kabbalah explains how reality began to expand from the world of Ein Sof[infinity], through the worlds of Adam Kadmon [ancient man], Atzilut[Emanation], Beria [Creation], Yetzira [Formation], and Assiya [Action], down to our world. It speaks of how souls come down and “dress” in bodies in this world, and how we can cause our souls to rise from here back to the world of Ein Sof.

Abraham was the first Kabbalist to teach people how to discover the soul and gradually experience a higher world through it. There are five higher worlds, each with five degrees, each of which are then divided into five additional degrees. If we multiply 5x5x5, we will arrive at the 125 degrees by which we ascend in our feeling, understanding, and attainment until we discover the whole of reality.

That process takes place while we are here in our material bodies. When we achieve these higher worlds, reality becomes much broader and we feel the forces that operate on the world we are in. It is like a picture of embroidery. In the front is a picture, while the back displays all the connections among the threads that create the picture on the front.

When we observe our world and what is happening in it, we are merely observing the superficial picture. The wisdom of Kabbalah helps us see the depth of the picture. This is how we begin to understand the connections between things—why things happen and how we can affect one element through another element.

In other words, we not only see the image of this world, but we also begin to see the operating system. Only then can we control our lives and our fates, and arrive at the perfect state.

The wisdom of Kabbalah explains that our lives are built in such a way that troubles of all kinds present themselves before us, leaving us no other alternative but to know the operating system. If we do not achieve the higher dimension, discover the forces that affect us, and begin to manage our lives through them, we will not be able to cope in life. This is why this wisdom is manifesting itself—so we can know the upper worlds.

Kabbalah explains everything that has happened in human history: why we have developed one way and not another, and why all the wars and changes we have undergone took place. It also relates to the future and describes how we can evolve from this point on.

There are two paths before us:

  1. To escape from the bad—to evolve through a negative force that prods us from behind, as we have been doing throughout history: We would discover that something was missing and that we had no other choice but to exit the negative state and make a change.
  2. To be drawn toward the good—to evolve through a positive force that pulls us forward. This is what Kabbalah offers us: to evolve by discovering the good life and then understand how to achieve it through a wondrous adventure.

The sages of the Kabbalah have predicted our state in advance. They knew that without the Kabbalah we would not be abele to survive. They pointed to the end of the 20th century as the time when its wisdom would appear to all. They explained that if we did not shift from negative advancement to positive, we would be goaded into it mercilessly [1].

But we are faced with problems not only on the social level, but also on the ecological level, including volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, fires, intense heat waves, and cold spells. All these will come only to compel us to continue our development. Nature is shaking us up through a negative force so we will take the positive force into our hands.

To advance, we must first discover the forces that come down to here and affect us. We must learn how to penetrate Nature’s higher system if we are to govern these forces. Even when we wish to develop technologies to improve our lives, we must first study Nature and discover which hidden laws exist in it and how it governs. But because Kabbalah speaks of even higher forces, more concealed, the process of discovering them is far more complex. It is truly a fascinating process, and we will expand on it in the next chapter.


This wisdom is no more and no less than a sequence of roots, which hang down by way of cause and consequence, by fixed, determined rules, interweaving to a single, exalted goal described as “The revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world.”

Baal HaSulam, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”


Since Abraham’s time some 3,800 years ago, until approximately 2,000 years ago, the wisdom of Kabbalah was known only to the people of Israel. Since the ruin of the Temple approximately 2,000 years ago, through our generation, Kabbalah has been hidden from the public and has been secretly passed on from generation to generation among Kabbalists.

During the period when Kabbalah was concealed, various stigmas were attributed to it. It was considered mysticism, witchcraft, magic, etc., but no one knew what it was really about, hence the false notions. Also, the thriving present-day industry that uses the name “Kabbalah” to market services and products has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual essence of the wisdom of Kabbalah.

But the time of concealment has ended. Today, the original wisdom of Kabbalah is resurfacing for all people, regardless of age, sex, religion or race. Kabbalah is a higher science. It does not belong to any religion or faith, nor does it pose any boundaries or limitations to one who wishes to study it. Any person who wishes to understand the world he or she lives in, to know the soul, to know one’s fate and to learn how to govern it is welcome to study Kabbalah.

“If my people heeded me … they would delve in the study of The Book of Zohar … with nine-year-old infants” [2], said Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzhak Yehuda of Komarno as early as the 19th century. Following him, other Kabbalists recommended teaching this knowledge to children from a young age, giving them an explanation of the world that surrounds them, the connections among its parts, and the forces that affect it. Through such education grows a confident human being connected to the source of abundance, feeling in control of one’s life. Such a person knows how to best use these forces, and understands that life is unlimited.


The holy Zohar connects to Ein Sof [infinity].

Rabbi Moshe Israel Bar Elijahu, The Residue of Israel. [3]


The Book of Zohar is the seminal book of Kabbalah. It was written precisely when Kabbalah shifted from being an open doctrine to becoming a hidden one. The authors of The Zohar knew that the world would need this book thousands of years later, hence they concealed it immediately after writing it.

The Book of Zohar was actually written for this generation, to deliver us from a state of “spiritual exile,” the inability to perceive the upper force and the expansiveness of reality. If we wish to improve our situation, we must make The Book of Zohar the keynote book of our world, since The Zohar is more than a book, it is a means to connect us to the upper force.

When we learn how to read The Zohar correctly, we will discover that it is a means of receiving abundance, and we will see how, with its help, everything changes. Gradually, we will begin to feel that another force is present, a higher and good one, engulfing us, and the air is “imbued” with that force.

In conclusion: Nature has brought us to a special point in human development, a step before a new degree of existence. We are about to make a qualitative leap to the spiritual degree, and this is why the springboard—the wisdom of Kabbalah and primarily The Book of Zohar—is appearing before us.


In the depths of the human soul, the voice of the Lord is ever calling. The commotion of life may daze the soul so it does not hear that calling voice for the majority of one’s life, but it can never uproot the basis, the root, and the essence of that voice, which is indeed the very heart of human life … Even in those who strain to escape it and to silence it, the fleeing and the silencing only further disclose the inherent connection of the soul to that mighty voice, which never ceases to hum and to crave in their hearts, too. Indeed, all efforts to escape it and all tactics to silence it are in vain.

Rav Raiah Kook, Treasures of the Raiah, p 113


A Hidden Treasure


 The greatest Kabbalist of our time was Rav Yehuda Ashlag (1884-1954). Thanks to his work, The Book of Zohar began to become known. Rav Ashlag is known as Baal HaSulam [Hebrew: Owner of the Ladder] for his Sulam [Ladder] commentary on The Book of Zohar. In his latter years, Baal HaSulam wrote what is known as “Writings of the Last Generation,” which begin with the following words:

“There is an allegory about friends who were lost in the desert, hungry and thirsty. One of them had found a settlement filled abundantly with every delight. He remembered his poor brothers, but he had already drawn far off from them and did not know their place. What did he do? He began to shout out loud and blow the horn; perhaps his poor hungry friends would hear his voice, approach and come to that abundant settlement filled with every delight.

“So is the matter before us: we have been lost in the terrible desert along with all mankind, and now we have found a great, abundant treasure, namely the books of Kabbalah in the treasure. …

… “Now, distinguished readers, this book lies here before you in a closet. It states explicitly all the wisdom of statesmanship and the behavior of private and public life that will exist at the end of days, meaning the books of Kabbalah…

“Open these books and you will find all the good comportment that will appear and the end of days, and you will find within them the good lesson by which to arrange mundane matters today, as well.”


[1] Kabbalists refer to the two paths toward knowing the upper worlds as the “path of Torah” [path of light] and the “path of suffering.” In his “Writings of the Last Generation,” Baal HaSulam explains it in the following way: “There are two ways to discover the completeness: the path of Torah and the path of suffering. Hence, the Creator eventuated and gave humanity technology, until they have invented the atom and the hydrogen bombs. If the total ruin that they are destined to bring is still not evident to the world, they can wait for a third world war, or a fourth one and so on. The bombs will do their thing and the relics after the ruin will have no other choice but to take upon themselves this work … If you take the path of Torah, all will be well. And if you do not, then you will tread the path of suffering.”

For more on this topic, see Baal HaSulam’s “Introduction to The Book of Zohar” (item 16), “Introduction to the book, The Tree of Life” (item 7), and the essay, “The Peace.”

[2] Rav Yitzhak Yehuda Yehiel Safrin of Komarno, Notzer Hesed [Keeping Mercy], Chapter 4, Teaching 20

[3] Rabbi Moseh Bar Elijahu, Gate of Connection, Gate 1, Preaching 5, Article no. 2


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