Part III: Unlocking The Zohar. Chapter 8: Being Like The Creator

Found in the book “Unlocking The Zohar


Being Like the Creator

When we equalize in every conduct with our root, we sense delight.

Baal HaSulam, “The Giving of the Torah”


We are standing at a crucial point in history. Tens of thousands of years of human development, and billions of years of evolution have all occurred only to bring us to these moments of transformation, to the birth of the new humanity.

If we examine Nature, we will see that it is constantly evolving. First, the inanimate evolved, then the vegetative, and finally the animate. Each such evolution is based on the evolution of the desire in the creature.

The desire that wishes only to sustain itself without change takes the form of inanimate. When the desire wishes to evolve, to move toward what is good for it and away from what harms it, the vegetative form appears. An even greater desire, which approaches the benefiting and turns away from the harmful by its own movement, takes on the animate form. All the forms we see before us in reality are only external envelopes that express the evolution of the only force that was created, “the will to receive delight and pleasure” or in short, “the will to receive.”

The most developed creature in the animate degree is the human species. However, as we said earlier, a little over 5,770 years ago a new evolution began in Nature: One of the creatures evolved into the speaking degree, to the degree of Adam, who is Domeh [similar] to the Creator. Within the desire of that person appeared a craving that was not of this world—the point in the heart, a spark that pushed him to discover the Creator.

We find that the only need in man’s wishes, which does not exist in the whole of the animate species, is the awakening towards Godly Dvekut (adhesion). Only the human species is ready for it, and none other.

Baal HaSulam, “This Is for Judah”

Unlike lower degrees, evolution to the speaking degree does not happen by itself. It occurs only when we have a desire, a craving to rise to it. That craving is called “intention.” To develop within us an intention to be similar to the Creator, we need a means to help us. This is why The Book of Zohar was written.

The Zohar is a very special book. Throughout history, Kabbalists have used it to attain the recognition of the highest level of the overall Nature. This is why it is considered such an important book. In fact, when Kabbalists refer to a book without mentioning its name, they are always referring to The Book of Zohar.

In a generation that would be the start of a 2,000 year exile, ten Kabbalists gathered to compose The Book of Zohar. They were special souls who represented the ten Sefirot [from the word “sapphires”], the ten foundations in the general system of Creation, and they were able to express the entire structure of reality. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was their leader, and he was considered the Sefira[singular of SefirotKeter [crown]. The others corresponded to the rest of the Sefirot— HochmaBinaHesedGevuraTifferetNetzahHodYesod, and Malchut.

To describe the shape of the system, the authors of The Zohar used signs that we call “letters.” When we read the letters and the words, if we desire to be connected to this system, it begins to affect us.

The Zohar makes us grow and evolve in the spiritual sense. It gradually provides us with the right intention and the special power of development called “the light that reforms.” To be reformed means to achieve the degree of the Benevolent One—the Creator.


From Darkness to Light

In our world, day and night interchange by themselves as a result of the turning of the earth. In spirituality, it works differently: I myself turn the night into day because by reading in The Zohar and the work in the group, I invert the direction of the operation of my will to receive from inward to outward. That is, darkness and light depend on the way in which the desire operates.

Let us explain the above statement: The will to receive may operate in one of two ways—in order to receive or in order to give (also known as “in order to bestow”). When the desire operates in order to receive, it cannot contain anything. The pleasure cannot permeate the desire; it only touches the desire and we feel as though we are enjoying it, but it only seems so. In truth, the sense of pleasure disappears promptly after we receive it. This is so because the will to receive and the pleasure are opposites—the desire is like minus and the pleasure is like plus—neutralizing each other.

We can never keep pleasure within. If, for example, we buy something that we’ve been craving for a long time, something really special, a week later the sense of satisfaction disappears. There are pleasures, like the pleasure of sex, which disappear immediately, at the very moment we obtain them because of the oppositeness between the nature of the desire and the nature of the pleasure. This is how Baal HaSulam summarizes this futile pursuit:

This world is created with a want and emptiness of all the good abundance, and to acquire possessions we need movement. …Hence, we choose the torment of movement in order to acquire the fulfillment of possessions. However, because all their possessions are for themselves alone, and “One who has a hundred wants two hundred,” one finally dies with less than “half one’s desire in one’s hand.” In the end, they suffer from both sides: from the pain of increased motion, and from the pain of deficiency of possessions, half of which they lack.

Baal HaSulam, Talmud Eser Sefirot [The Study of the Ten Sefirot],

Part 1, “Inner Reflection,” Chapter 4

This darkness, which is felt in the will to receive, can be turned to light only if we change the modus operandi of the will to receive into “in order to bestow.” In other words, if we use the will to receive in order to give to others, and enjoy the giving, we will become unbounded in our actions because one can give indefinitely.

If we enjoy loving and giving to others as much as the Creator enjoys it, we will become similar to Him and we will feel life as eternal and whole. What do we need in order to realize it? We need to acquire love of others and find abundance that we can give to others.

Love of others can be obtained from the Creator through the light that reforms. Once love for others is created within us and we have become similar to the Creator, the abundance of the Creator appears in us. When we act out of love for others, we realize the thought of Creation and become the Creator’s “partners” with respect to the creatures. This is the correction process of how the will to receive operates.

A corrected act of the will follows the formula: “Israel, the Creator, and the Torah are one.” Israel means the desire in me to reach straight to the Creator, Yashar El [Straight to God], meaning to become similar to the Creator. The Creator is the Creator, the goal to which I aspire, and the Torah is the entire corrected mechanism, the ties of love that connect the souls together.

To illustrate the above, think of the human body. In the body, different parts work in unison and with mutual guarantee. Each part helps the others and there is bonding and unity among them. Our souls must function similarly—unite in a bond of loving and giving. This is the Torah. The Torah contains 613 correct connections between each soul and all the other souls.

If the connection between the souls is one of hatred and not one of love, there is no Torah and it is hidden. The souls that do not feel the ties of love among them are in exile from the Torah and from the Creator, meaning detached from the right connection (Torah) and from the light that fills the right connection (the Creator). We can compare it to the difference between a healthy body and a body whose systems are dysfunctional.

The corrections we perform on our desire—to shift from the corrupted form to the corrected one—are called Mitzvot [commandments] [1]. This is why it is said that “Love thy friend as thyself” is the great rule of the Torah, for it contains the entire system of correct relations among the souls [2].



[1] “When one can aim in order to bestow, this act is called a Mitzva [commandment]” (Rabash, The Writings of Rabash, “Regarding the Received Reward”).

[2] For more on the topic, see Letter no. 17 and “Introduction to the Book, From the Mouth of a Sage” by Baal HaSulam.


The Middle Line

One should believe that one has a point in the heart, which is a shining spark. Sometimes, it is only a black point and does not shine. That spark must always be awakened … for it can light up one’s deeds so they will shine.

Rabash, The Writings of Rabash, “What Is ‘The Herdsmen of Abram’s Cattle and the Herdsmen of Lot’s Cattle’ in the Work”

Let us now approach an excerpt from The Book of Zohar. The excerpt is taken from the portion Lech Lecha [Go Forth], and talks about the middle line, the MAN of the righteous. MAN is one’s intention to develop into being similar to the Creator, and righteous are those who wish to be right. They wish to say that the Creator was right to create them, to justify Him, and justification is possible only by truly seeing and sensing what is happening in reality, out of the highest degree to which a person rises. This is what we wish to achieve through The Zohar.

He even plays with the souls in this world, since at midnight, all those true righteous awaken to read in the Torah and to sound the praises of the Torah. And the Creator and all those righteous in the Garden of Eden listen to their voices. And a thread of grace stretches over them during the day, meaning that by the MAN that they raise through the Torah and the praises, the middle line—the light of Hassadim [mercy]—extends to the Nukva [Aramaic: female]. And since they caused that light, they are rewarded with the same amount they have induced in the Nukva. This is the meaning of, “By day the Lord will command His mercy, and in the night His song shall be with me,” for because of the singing at night, one is rewarded with His mercy during the day.

Zohar for AllLech Lecha [Go Forth], Item 132

Within the overall system, some souls are already corrected. If we wish to discover the Creator but feel that He is hidden from us, then we are in spiritual darkness, a state called “night.” In that state, we should make efforts and evoke our pleas, and then those high souls will affect us as we read in The Book of Zohar.

The Book of Zohar was written specifically to connect us with those souls. When reading The Zohar, we create that connection and they send us the light that reforms.

That light still does not permeate and fill our souls, since the equivalence of form between our souls and the light is still absent. But it does affect us as though we were in a womb, surrounding us, caressing us, embracing us.

Thus, the light gradually corrects us until we begin to feel it, meaning those corrected souls to which we have connected, and the Creator, Who is in the system of the souls.

That light surrounding us is called “surrounding light.” To the extent that we become corrected, it permeates us and fills us, and becomes the “inner light” of the soul, our spiritual life.

Within the womb, which is the light that surrounds us, grows the middle line. The middle line is my own precise calculation, which best combines Nature’s two forces—the power of the will and the power of the light—so that the light will correct the will.

The part of the desire that has been corrected in this process and has become Creator-like is the middle line. In other words, the extent to which I have become similar to the Creator is called “my middle line.” It is the image of the Creator that I have built within me, in a process that began with a request that I made during the state of “night.”



If my people heeded me … they would delve all their lives in the study of The Book of Zohar … and would extend abundance and Light.

Rav Yitzhak Yehuda Yehiel of Komarno [1]

In reading The Zohar, we must intend for the upper force to affect us. The Zohar is built in such a way that it oozes into us bit by bit. Time and time again, with the same intention to grow, we should let The Zohar affect us. Then we will feel how it leads us from darkness to light.

The following excerpt from The Zohar discusses tears:

When this prayer in tears rises through those gates, that angel comes … whose name is Yerachmiel. He takes a prayer in tears, the prayer enters and becomes connected above, and the tears remain here, inscribed in the door that the Creator opens. The prayer in tears raises MAN for the correction of the Miftacha [Aramaic: key], to raise the Malchut to Bina, and therefore the prayer is answered and the tears remain inscribed on the door, causing there the mitigation of Malchut in Bina. Tearing comes from the word “mixing” because he drips and mingles the Malchut in Bina.

Zohar for AllPekudei [Accounts], Item 490

What Are Tears?

In this world, a person cries because he is sad, in pain, has no control over a situation, or feels small and weak. We cry when we are in a situation that we don’t know how to cope with—fate, chance, force majeure.

In the spiritual world, however, the state of “tears” is the most active of states. Throughout that state, we activate the entire mechanism of our correction and ascension.

“The prayer in tears raises MAN for the correction of the Miftacha [Aramaic: key], to raise the Malchut to Bina,” says The Zohar in the above excerpt. Miftacha, in Aramaic, means “key.” The tears open the gate to the spiritual world, through which we enter in order to correct our will, Malchut, to become a giver like the Creator, Bina. Although our desire is a desire to receive, and hence opposite from the Creator, we mitigate it with the intention to bestow, making it similar to the Creator.

The above excerpt also writes, “Therefore the prayer is answered and the tears remain inscribed on the door.” A prayer is a request to become similar to the Creator, and the tears are what keeps the door open. It follows that tears are an act that enables us to be similar to the Creator.


Being allowed to study the sublime matters, called “the wisdom of Kabbalah,” is only as a remedy, for they can bring one to desire and crave adhesion with the Creator … When one studies the sublime matters so they will bring one closer to sanctity, it causes the nearing of the lights. This means that this study causes one that through it, one will come to aim all one’s actions to be in order to bestow.

Rabash, The Writings of Rabash, “Three Lines”


When we engage in The Zohar, all the lights and power hidden within it traverse us. Even if we still cannot detect or sense those things, they do travel through us, affect us, and change us. There is no other way to grow. It is like a baby who still does not understand how it grows and develops, but has an inner drive to run around from corner to corner to search, examine, and know everything.

It makes no difference what emotions our reading in The Zohar may evoke in us. At times it will be pleasant and at other times less so; at times we will laugh, and at times we will cry; at times we will be excited, and at times indifferent. Yet, in the end, only perseverance will yield results. We must let the power of The Zohar affect us so we may grow and thrive in spirituality.



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


Eternal Pleasure

Even if one lived a thousand years, on the day he departs from the world, it will seem to him as though he lived only one day.

Zohar for AllVaYechi [Jacob Lived], Item 293

After the demise of the body, if we did not rise from the animate level to the human level during our lives, if we did not achieve equivalence of form—acquired the quality of love and giving and became similar to the Creator, and thus revealed the Creator—nothing remains of us. The spiritual point that was in us, and which we did not develop, reincarnates into our world, acquires a new clothing (additional egoistic desire), and a new cycle of life begins. Only by studying the wisdom of Kabbalah can we rise to the degree of man.

It is known from books and from authors that the study of the wisdom of Kabbalah is an absolute must for any person from Israel. And if one studies the whole Torah and knows the Mishnah and the Gemarah by heart, and if one is also filled with virtues and good deeds more than all his contemporaries, but has not learned the wisdom of Kabbalah, he must reincarnate into this world to study the secrets of Torah and wisdom of truth. This is brought in several places in the writing of our sages.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Mouth of a Sage”

In the spiritual sense, only our efforts to evolve beyond the animate degree are written for all eternity. When our animate degree ceases to exist, meaning when our bodies die, we remain only with what we have acquired from the degree above it. Thus, it is clear that engagement in The Zoharis the greatest thing we can do in our lives, far above and beyond anything that can be attained in this world.

And considering profits, it is important to understand that the source of all pleasures is in the world of Ein Sof. The pleasures come as upper light and travel through a system of five worlds in which the light diminishes from 100 to zero percent. Then, through the boundary that separates the spiritual world from ours, a tiny spark breaks in.

Incidentally, science has also discovered that our universe began with a spark of special energy. That spark, explains The Zohar, is all the pleasure that exists in our world, and there is nothing else.

In our world, the pleasure that exists in that spark divides into two primary kinds: physical pleasures—food, sex, family, and so on, and human pleasures—wealth, respect, domination, and knowledge.

What is the difference between those pleasures and the pleasures in the spiritual world? First, all the pleasures in our world, of all the people and at all times, add up to a tiny spark of light. The gap between that spark and the pleasure that is sensed in the spiritual world is unfathomable. The Zoharcompares that gap to the gap between a tiny candle and a huge light, or between a tiny grain of sand and the entire world.

Second, in our world, pleasures come and pleasures go. They are inconstant, as eventually we disappear, we die. But in the spiritual world, pleasure is eternal; we experience our existence above time, motion, and place.

To summarize, we are standing at the threshold of a wondrous development to the highest level of reality. The Book of Zohar has been revealed today to bring us the light that will help us get there.


A wisdom that one must know: to know and to observe the meaning of his Master, to know himself, know who he is, how he was created, where he comes from, and where he is going … and one should see all that from the secrets of the Torah.

New ZoharSong of Songs, Items 482-483



Part II: The World Was Created for Me. Chapter 7: As One Man in One Heart

Found in the book “Unlocking The Zohar


As One Man in One Heart

The Creator created one Kli [vessel] called Adam HaRishon, and shattered it into numerous tiny fragments, so that they would learn together what it means to love, and together reach all the way to Him.

From the book, The Wise Heart


One of the necessary means for spiritual development is the group.

To be prepared for spiritual development, the Creator evokes two sensations within us. The first is one of emptiness with regard to this world, and the second is a longing to attain the source of life. This is the awakening of the “point in the heart.”

The point in the heart connects us to the place where we can feed and nourish it—the group. Indeed, you can see that those whose point in the heart has awakened are naturally drawn toward one another. This always happens in human society: birds of a feather flock together.

The group allows for true bonding to others according to the new principles of love and giving, as opposed to hatred and separation. Hence, group work is a necessary means for achieving the revelation of the Creator. It allows one to measure one’s true relationship with others, and prevents one from falsely believing that one has already obtained personal contact with the Creator because after all, the Creator is the quality of love and giving that exists within the corrected connection between us.

Such groups have always existed throughout history. By changing relationships among group members into one of bonding and mutual love, they created the necessary conditions for us to sense the actual reality. From the vast experience they have acquired, they wrote about the world that opened before them. The books they left behind them allow us to reach this new life in the shortest and most efficient way.

A group of this kind is called a “group of Kabbalists,” and its only purpose is to unite them, as it is written, “As one man in one heart,” “That which you hate, do not do to your friend,” and “Love thy friend as thyself.”

The atmosphere created in a group of Kabbalists is very special. To somewhat sense it, let us examine a few examples of bonds among the members of known groups from the past:

We have all taken it upon ourselves to behave with love and brotherhood, and to spare one’s friend’s honor as one’s own.

The group of the sages of Egypt, among which was the Ari, 1558 [1]

Tie a strong and unfailing tie of love, brotherhood, and peace among us … as though we were a single body, as though we were brothers to the same father and mother from conception and from birth, all the days of our lives.

The group of the sages of Egypt, 1564 [2]

Let each think of one’s friend as though he is truly a part of him with all his might and soul.

Let us unite as one man, friends in every which way, to help and to assist, to strengthen and to support one another.

The Rashash group, Kabbalists of Beit El, Jerusalem, 1757 [3]

They have taken it upon themselves to love one another … and to all try to come to the study of The Zohar each day.

The Ramchal group, Padua, Italy, 1731 [4]

Correcting the relations in the group from self-love to love of others can only be done by that same higher force that created our egoism. It is the only thing that can transform the evil inclination into a good inclination. The Creator says, “I have created the evil inclination, I have created for it the Torah as a spice, for the light in it reforms it” [5], changing it to bonding and love [6].

Even now, we are within the corrected reality—tightly connected among us as parts of a single organism, but we haven’t awakened to the recognition of that state. This awakening, that reviving power, the light that reforms, can be obtained when we come together.

In the group, we read together in The Book of ZoharThe Zohar speaks of our connected state; hence, reading together with the aim of achieving unity and love evokes the light that reforms [7]. Gradually, we begin to rise above our natural self-centered feelings and feel the connection of love that is among us. And within that, we feel the Creator. This is the way to realize the essence of the wisdom of Kabbalah, the revelation of the Creator to the creature.



They Helped Every Man His Friend

Each of them had a spark of love of others, but the spark could not ignite the light of love to shine in each, so they agreed that by uniting, the sparks would become a big flame.

Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag, Rabash—the Social Writings [1]

In our generation, the whole of humanity must become a single, large group, and correct itself. For this reason, Rav Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (the Rabash), the firstborn son and successor of Baal HaSulam, wrote dozens of articles on the work in the group. He bequeathed to the world a detailed method for bonding, with instructions related to each of the states that arise in the relationship within the group. By his writings, we study and evolve in the spiritual.

Since man is created with a Kli [vessel] called “self-love” … and without annulling self-love, it is impossible to achieve … equivalence of form. And since it is against our nature, we need a society that will form a great force so we can work together on annulling the will to receive.

Rabash, Rabash—the Social Writings, “Purpose of Society (2)”

It is impossible to advance in spirituality without a group. Today’s advanced technology allows us to convey the correction method through the Internet to any place in the world. Lessons in the wisdom of Kabbalah about The Book of Zohar and essays of Rabash are broadcast daily at, and through them, thousands of people join the study group. Some of them gather in local groups around the world, and some connect online from their homes.

Today’s ability to connect to the group from anywhere in the world opens the possibility for spiritual development to any person who is interested. Even the physical distance between people is no longer an obstacle. Since we are dealing with internal bonding with people, we can connect through the media, since it is not the bodies that need to bond, but the hearts. Within this global group, people may be very different in appearance, yet are very similar inside.


When humankind achieves its goal … bringing them to the degree of complete love of others, all the bodies in the world will unite into a single body and a single heart. Only then will all the happiness intended for humanity become revealed in all its glory.

Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom”


A Prayer of Many


A prayer of many rises before the Creator and the Creator crowns Himself with that prayer, since it rises in several ways. This is because one asks for Hassadim, the other for Gevurot, and a third for Rachamim. And it consists of several sides: the right side, the left, and the middle. This is so because Hassadim extend from the right side, Gevurot from the left side, and Rachamim from the middle side. And because it consists of several ways and sides, it becomes a crown over the head of the Righteous One That Lives Forever, Yesod, which imparts all the salvations to the Nukva, and from her to the whole public.

But a prayer of one does not comprise all the sides; it is only on one way. Either one asks for Hassadim or Gevurot or Rachamim. Hence, a prayer of one is not erected to be received like the prayer of many, as it does not include all three lines like the prayer of many.

Zohar for AllVaYishlach [Jacob Sent], Item 45


A prayer of many does not depend on the number of people, but on the content of the prayer. Billions of people may cry out but if the cry is an egoistic one, the prayer is not answered.

A prayer of many is a request to reconnect the numerous pieces of the broken soul. This is the only prayer that the Creator answers.



As One Man in One Heart:

[1] From the magazine, Collections, a yearbook for Jewish studies, ninth book, Jerusalem, 1995, Editor: Meir Benayahu, pp 152-154

[2] From the magazine, Collections, a yearbook for Jewish studies, ninth book, Jerusalem, 1995, Editor: Meir Benayahu, pp 152-154

[3] From the magazine, Collections, a yearbook for Jewish studies, ninth book, Jerusalem, 1995, Editor: Meir Benayahu, pp 152-154

[4] From the book, Let Moses Raise, pp 11-15

[5] Babylonian Talmud, Kidushin, 30b

[6] One can never have the strength to go against nature alone, since regarding the mind and heart, in which one must be complemented, one must be assisted in that, and the assistance is through the Torah, as our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination, I have created the spice of Torah.” By engaging in it, the light in it reforms them. (Rav Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag, the Rabash, The Writings of Rabash, essay, ‘What Are Torah and Work in the Way of the Lord”)

[7] When engaging in this composition … Divinity shines and illuminates from that Light as when it was first created. And all who engage in it reawaken that same benefit and that first Light, which Rashbi and his friends had revealed while composing.

Ramak, Ohr Yakar [Precious Light], Gate 1, Item 5


They Helped Every Man His Friend:

[1]Rabash—the Social Writings, “One Should Always Sell the Beams of His House”

Part 1: The Wisdom of the Zohar. Chapter 4: A Ladder to the Zohar

Found in the book “Unlocking The Zohar


A Ladder to The Zohar


To understand the words of the Holy Zohar, one should first … be cleaned of self love. …Otherwise, there are Klipot that hide and block the truth in the words of the Holy Zohar.

Baal HaSulam, Shamati [I Heard], Article No. 89 [1]


The story of The Book of Zohar begins some 1,800 years ago in a tiny, dimly lit cave in Peki’in, in the Western Galilee, Israel, where Rashbi and his son, Rabbi Elazar, hid from the Roman emperor. For thirteen years they prepared themselves for the writing of the book that would change the face of history.

The years passed and Rabbi Shimon and his son completed the correction that they had to complete and came out of the cave. Eight other Kabbalists joined Rabbi Shimon and his son and together they studied and wrote The Book of Zohar.

This is how I am arranging you: Rabbi Aba will write, Rabbi Elazar will learn verbally, and the rest of the friends will speak in their hearts.

The Book of ZoharHaazinu [Give Ear], Idra Zuta, Item 27

Among Rashbi’s students was Rabbi Aba, a Kabbalist with a special gift. He was the only one who knew how to write the words of his teacher in such a way that they would be both revealed and concealed. The Book of Zohar refers to that gift as “Disclosing in secret.” [2]

Legend has it that the manuscript of The Zohar was hidden in a cave near Zephath, and after a few centuries was discovered by Arabs living in the area, who were delighted to find paper—which was a rare commodity in those days. When one of the Kabbalists of Zephath bought some fish in the market, he was astounded to discover the contents of the text of The Zohar on the wrapping paper of the fish. As soon as he discovered it, he bought all the “wrapping paper” that was still available and compiled the pieces into a book.

The Book of Zohar that we have today is only a small part of the original because much of it was never retrieved. The pieces that were found and compiled into The Book of Zohar that we have today were passed on secretly among Kabbalists from generation to generation until early in the 14th century. At that time, the widow of Rabbi Moshe De Leon inherited the manuscript from her husband. “He probably told her nothing of the prohibition to disclose, and she, by chance, put it up for sale.” [3]

Some mistakenly attribute the writing of The Zohar to Rabbi Moshe De Leon himself, but the Kabbalists explain that this is a mistake: “All those who know the ins and outs of the holy Book of Zohar, that is, who understand what is written in it, unanimously agree that the holy Book of Zoharwas written by the Godly Tanna (sage) Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Only some of those who are far from this wisdom doubt this pedigree and tend to say, relying on fabricated tales of opponents of this wisdom, that its author is the Kabbalist Rabbi Moshe De Leon, or others of his time” (Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 59).

Since then, The Book of Zohar has been present, but only in our generation is it truly being revealed, thanks to Baal HaSulam’s commentary. Baal HaSulam explains that the generation of the authors of The Zohar was the only generation in which the desired wholeness had been attained, that is, all 125 spiritual degrees. And because our generation should achieve the same perfection, it has been given the chance to unlock The Zohar.

Prior to the days of the Messiah, it is impossible to be granted all 125 degrees. …An exception is Rashbi and his generation, the authors of The Zohar, who were granted all 125 degrees in completeness, even though it was prior to the days of the Messiah. It was said about him and his disciples: “A sage is preferable to a prophet.”

Hence, we often find in The Zohar that there will be none like the generation of Rashbi until the generation of the Messiah King. This is why his composition made such a great impact in the world, since the secrets of the Torah in it occupy the level of all 125 degrees.

Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”



The Sulam [Ladder] Commentary


And I have named that commentary The Sulam (The Ladder) to show that the purpose of my commentary is as the role of any ladder: if you have an attic filled abundantly, then all you need is a ladder to reach it. And then, all the bounty in the world will be in your hands.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 58


There is no point opening The Book of Zohar without the Sulam commentary. Other commentaries have been written on The Zohar, but the Sulam commentary is the only one that is complete. The Sulam, as its name (Ladder) implies, is the only one that can lead us to perfection because Baal HaSulam attained all 125 degrees from which the authors of The Zohar wrote the book. He connected to them and interpreted The Zohar for us from that level.

The Sulam commentary adapts The Zohar to the souls that are appearing in the world today. Thus, our souls can face the Zohar, the brightness, the upper light, so that it reforms us and brings our souls back to bonding, a bonding in which the Creator appears.

The Sulam helps us build ourselves in the “middle line” so that our form is best suited to the form in which the upper light comes to us [1] so we may receive it.

The middle line is the formula by which we should properly combine the two forces that exist in Nature: the Creator’s force—giving, abundance, light—and the creature’s (humans’) force—the will to receive. Building the middle line is our whole world, and this is where our free choice lies.

Baal HaSulam directs our vision, our approach, and our sensations so that the words of The Zoharwill pass through us in the middle line, the golden path.

The language of The Zohar is filled with seemingly corporeal allegories, which the Sulam commentary interprets. [2] The Sulam helps us perceive The Zohar more elaborately so that we feel that the text is close to us.

Baal HaSulam also translated The Zohar from Aramaic into Hebrew, divided The Zohar into paragraphs and essays, and added interpretations, introductions, and introductory explanations. [3] All that is left for us to do is to climb the rungs of the ladder from our world to the world of Ein Sof.



Acknowledgement of Spiritual Leaders of the Writings of Baal HaSulam

Baal HaSulam made it so that if an ordinary person were to walk in his path, he would be able to discover the Creator.

Rav Baruch Ashlag, “The Works of the Greatest in the Nation”

When Baal HaSulam began to publish his writings, he was greeted with enthusiasm by the spiritual leaders of his time:

A Godly sage of great understanding has come, a sacred treasure … and the spirit of the Lord was upon him to compose the sacred book … to the truth of the Torah and in true foundations … happy is the woman who bore him.

The Rav Kook


The great priest of the study of Kabbalah, whose name is renowned.

Rav Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld

How glorified is the day when the bright light has appeared before us, the Sulam commentary on the Holy Zohar … and with the hand of the Lord upon him, the great Kabbalist … the minister of the house of Zohar.

Rav Yaakov Moshe HARLAP


He illuminated the eyes of sages with the words of the Holy Zohar … which is a ladder placed on the earth, and its top reaches the heaven.

Rav Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel


It was possible to obtain The Book of Zohar even before Baal HaSulam wrote the Sulam commentary, but people did not understand what it said. The role of The Book of Zohar as a means to reveal the Creator is the thing that was hidden, and that is now revealed. The Sulam commentary opens before us the ability to correct ourselves and to discover the Creator. This is why Baal HaSulam disclosed The Zohar. And because he concluded thousands of years of concealment of The Book of Zohar, these and other acknowledgements35 soon appeared.

The following words, which were found among his writings, give us a clue into the spiritual level of Baal HaSulam:

And God said unto me: “Get thee out of thy country, [1] to the pleasant land, the land of the Holy Fathers, where I will make you a great sage and all the sages of the land shall be blessed in you, for I have chosen you for a righteous sage in all this generation, to heal the human suffering with lasting salvation.”

Baal HaSulam, “The Prophecy of Baal HaSulam”


And by a Higher Will, I have been awarded the impregnation of the soul of the Ari … and I cannot elaborate on this matter, as it is not my way to speak of the incomprehensible.

Baal HaSulam, Letter no. 39


Zohar for All


The wisdom of truth, …like secular teachings, must be passed on from generation to generation. Each generation adds a link to its former, and thus the wisdom evolves. Moreover, it becomes more suitable for expansion in the public.

Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”


Bnei Baruch—Kabbalah Education and Research Institute is an organization with vast experience in studying and teaching The Book of Zohar. The experience accumulated through teaching different people in different countries, and through different mediums, has brought us to a decision that was not easy to take—to slightly change the typesetting of the text for the contemporary reader. We learned that in its original setting, The Zohar was approachable only to very few, due to an archaic structure and the unfamiliar use of bold letters or different fonts. As a result, The Zohar remained inaccessible to most people.

The difficulties in reading made many readers leave the book and thus deny themselves the correction of their souls. After much hesitation, we have come to the decision that because of the necessity to bring The Zohar closer to all, we must rearrange the original text of Baal HaSulam.

We did this with the greatest care, without removing anything substantial, changing only the appearance of the text, not its content.

At times, Baal HaSulam wrote his commentaries in between the words of The Zohar, and at times he added broader explanations after the words of The Zohar. Our experience has shown that while reading in The Zohar, it is best to include the text of The Zohar, the Sulam commentary that is in The Zohar itself, as well as the Sulam commentary after the words of The Zohar. Hence, to make it easier on the reader to read the text smoothly, we unified the texts.

To illustrate what we did, below is an example of text from The Zohar (in Hebrew) from the portion, Aharei Mot [After the Death]. First comes the original text of The Zohar, which is almost entirely in Aramaic [and hence will be left without translation], followed by The Zohar with the Sulamcommentary, and finally, Zohar for All, which is what we did to make the source—the light that reforms—closer to you.

The Original Zohar:

The Book of Zohar with the Sulam commentary:

94) Rabbi Hiya started, etc.: Rabbi Hiya started and said, “That which is has been already, and that which will be…” “That which is has been already,” meaning before the Creator created this world, He created worlds and destroyed them, which is the breaking of the vessels, until the Creator desired to create this world, and He consulted with the Torah, which is the middle line. Then He was corrected in His corrections, decorated in His decorations, and created this world. And then, everything that exists in this world was before Him, at the time of creation, and was established before Him.

95) VeTaana Kol Inun [Aramaic], etc.: We learned that all the leaders of the world in every generation stand before the Creator in their forms, before they come into the world. Even all the souls of people, before they come to the world, are engraved before Him in the heaven, in the very same form they have in this world. And all that they learn in this world, they know before they come into the world…

Commentary. Upon the creation of the souls, while they are still above, before they come down to this world under time, they are in the eternity, above time, where past, present, and future exist as one, as is the nature of eternity. It follows that all the deeds that the souls do one at a time, when they come into this world, they will be there at the same time. This is the meaning of what is written (Item 95), Kol inun nishmatin, etc., behahu dyokna mamash de inun behai alma, that is, according to their actions in this world.

Zohar for All:

94) “That which is has been already, and that which will be…” “That which is has been already…” Before the Creator created this world, He created worlds and destroyed them. This is the breaking of the vessels. Finally, the Creator desired to create this world, and consulted with the Torah, the middle line. Then He was corrected in His corrections, decorated in His decorations, and created this world. And then, everything that exists in this world was before Him at the time of creation, and was established before Him.

95) All the leaders of the world in every generation stand before the Creator in their forms, before they come into the world. Even all the souls of people, before they come to the world, are engraved before Him in the heavens, in the very same form they have in this world. And all that they learn in this world, they know before they come into the world…

Upon the creation of the souls, while they are still above, before they come down to this world under time, they are in eternity, above time, where past, present, and future exist as one, as is the nature of eternity. It follows that all the deeds that the souls do one at a time, when they come into this world, will be there at the same time. This is the meaning of the words, “All the souls of people, before they come to the world, are engraved before Him in the heaven, in the very same form they have in this world,” that is, according to their actions in this world.

As you can see, we tried to break down as many of the barriers that separate The Zohar from the people and offer a slightly briefer and easier version to read. If you can be assisted by Zoharfor All to grow accustomed to The Book of Zohar, and then move to the Sulam commentary itself, our work will have been like a ladder to the Ladder commentary.


The great spiritual questions, which used to be solved only by the great and the excellent, must now be solved on different degrees for the entire nation, to lower exalted and sublime matters from the height of their tower to the depth of the common and ordinary. This requires tremendous and great richness of spirit along with constant, regular engagement, for only then the mind will expand and the language will be made clearer, to the point of expressing the deeper matters in a light and popular style to revive thirsty souls.

Rav Raiah Kook, Ikvei Ha’Tzon[By the Footsteps of the Flock], 54



The Necessity to Engage in The Zohar

Below is a quote from the Ari’s The Tree of Life, written in the 16th century. These are the words of Rav Chaim Vital in his introduction to the book, Gate of Introductions.

I am sitting here, bewildered, with my thoughts confused, for no cure has been found to the ruin of our Temple, which has been in ruin for 1,504 years now. We have come to the end of our rope, yet the Messiah has not come. It is known that in each generation when the Temple is not built, it is as though it was ruined in that generation.

I have looked into the reason for the length of our exile, and I have found an answer in The Book of Zohar (in the corrections, “Correction no. 30”): “Those who do not wish to exert in the wisdom of Kabbalah, who make the Torah dry, woe unto them, for thus they inflict poverty, ruin, looting, killing, and destruction in the world. And the spirit of the Messiah departs, the holy spirit, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

“Any grace that they do, they do for themselves. They engage in Torah to receive many rewards, as well as to be heads of seminaries. In their actions, they are similar to the people of the generation of Babel who built a tower whose top was in heaven, as it is written, ‘And let us make us a name.’ The Zohar calls them ‘Mixed multitude’” (Ex, 12:38).


Each day, a voice comes out of Mount Horev and calls out, “Woe unto the people from the affront of Torah,” for when they engage only in its literal part and its stories, it robes in its widow garments and all the nations shall say unto Israel, “How is your law better than our law? After all, your law, too, is but stories of worldly vanities.” Indeed, there is no greater affront to the Torah than that. Thus, woe unto them from the affront of Torah. They do not engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah, which gives glory to the Torah, and they extend the exile and all the evils that are about to come upon the world.

In The Book of Zohar, Rabbi Shimon says about it, “Woe unto one who says that the Torah comes to tell literal tales. This tale in the Torah is the clothing of the Torah, and one who thinks that that garment is the actual Torah, and there is nothing else within it, his spirit will be cursed and he will have no part in the next world.”

This is so because in the literal Torah, when its tales and judgments are treated literally, there is no recognition or information in them to know their Maker. Moreover, there are commandments and laws within them that reason cannot tolerate.


Had we engaged in the wisdom of Kabbalah, redemption would have drawn closer, for everything depends on the study of this wisdom, and avoiding to engage in it delays and hinders the building of our Temple. …It explicitly explains that one does not do one’s share by merely reading in the Bible, the Mishnah, the legends, and the Talmud. Rather, one must engage as much as one can in the secrets of Torah and the wisdom of Kabbalah, for there is no pleasure to the Creator in all that He has created, except when His children engage in the secrets of Torah, to know His greatness, beauty, and virtue.


The Book of ZoharVaYera [The Lord Appeared]: “When it is near the days of the Messiah, even infants in the world will find the secrets of the wisdom.” It is explained that thus far the words of the wisdom of The Zohar have been concealed. But in the last generation, this wisdom will be revealed and become known, and they will understand and perceive the secrets of Torah that our predecessors did not attain.



A Ladder to The Zohar:

[1] Baal HaSulam, Shamati [I Heard], Article No. 89, “To Understand the Words of the Holy Zohar.”

[2] And we also find in The Book of Zohar, that Rashbi (Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai) instructed Rabbi Aba to write the secrets, because he knew how to reveal with intimation. …For each secret that Rashbi disclosed in the wisdom, he would cry and say, “Woe if I tell; woe if I do not tell.” …This means that he was in distress from both angles: if he did not reveal the secrets of the Torah, the secrets would be lost from the true sages… And if he did reveal the secrets, unworthy people would fail in them for they would not understand the root of the matters and would eat unripe fruit.

Hence, Rashbi chose Rabbi Aba to write because of his wisdom in allegories, arranging matters in such a way that it would be sufficiently revealed to those worthy of understanding them, and hidden and blocked from those unworthy of understanding them. This is why he said that Rabbi Aba knew how to disclose in secret. In other words, although he revealed, it still remained a secret to the unworthy. (Baal HaSulam, “General Preface,” Item 1)

[3] Baal HaSulam, “Messiah’s Shofar


The Sulam [Ladder] Commentary:

[1] In the language of Kabbalah, the form in which the light comes to us is called “association of the quality of mercy in judgment.” For more details, see “Preface to The Book of Zohar,” Items 36-38 by Baal HaSulam.

[2] And the books of Kabbalah and The Zohar are filled with corporeal parables. Therefore, people are afraid lest they will lose more than they will gain … And this is what prompted me to compose a sufficient interpretation to the writings of the Ari, and now to the Holy Zohar. And I have completely removed that concern, for I have evidently explained and proven the spiritual meaning of everything, that it is abstract and devoid of any corporeal image, above space and above time, as the readers will see, to allow the whole of Israel to study The Book of Zohar and be warmed by its sacred Light. (Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 58)

[3] 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 abstruse as the words of The Zohar itself. But in our generation we have been rewarded with the Sulam (Ladder) commentary, which is a complete interpretation of all the words of The Zohar. Moreover, not only does it not leave an unclear matter in the whole of The Zohar without interpreting it, but the clarifications are based on a straightforward analysis, which any intermediate student can understand. (Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”)


Acknowledgement of Spiritual Leaders of the Writings of Baal HaSulam

[1] At the time, Baal HaSulam was still in Poland, prior to his immigration to Israel in 1921.


Part 1: The Wisdom of the Zohar. Chapter 3: The Zohar Returns to All

Found in the book “Unlocking The Zohar


The Zohar Returns to All


When Israel come out of exile… the world will know the sublime and precious wisdom that they have never known before.

The Book of Zohar, VaYera [The Lord Appeared], Items 157-158.


Anything that people need spreads naturally in the world. But when it comes to The Zohar and the Kabbalah, matters are not that straightforward.

The disclosure of the writings of Kabbalah has been accompanied by intriguing stories. The Book of Zohar has undergone many hardships, and only a small portion of the original manuscript remains today. The writings of the Ari [Rav Isaac Luria, author of The Tree of Life], were dug out of his grave only three generations after his demise. Indeed, there is a special integration of revealed and concealed, and painful labor pangs when it comes to expanding the wisdom of Kabbalah.

Baal HaSulam made great efforts to publish his interpretation on The Zohar, the Sulam [Ladder] commentary, and wrote as much as 20 hours a day. When he fell asleep on his desk, it was hard to pull the pen out of his hand because his fingers were cramped around it.

For lack of funds to print the manuscripts, he had to wait until he could find the resources. And once he found them, he arranged the lead letters in the printing press by himself, although he was already ill and very weak. Yet, volume by volume, his life’s work was completed.

Still, people were afraid to open The Zohar and preferred to stay clear of it. As early as 1933, Baal HaSulam began to disseminate the wisdom of Kabbalah in an effort to prevent the looming holocaust. “Time to Act” was the title of his opening essay in the first tract that he printed—out of fifty that he had planned to publish. However, his work was frowned upon by certain orthodox circles, and within a few weeks they managed to apprehend the printing of the tracts to prevent the expansion of the wisdom.

In 1940, Baal HaSulam published a paper, The Nation, in which he called upon the Israeli nation to unite. His wish was to establish a by-weekly paper, but the paper initiative, too, was thwarted after the publication of the first issue.

In the 1950s, Baal HaSulam described the situation with a mixture of great sadness and hopes for the future:

I have already conveyed the rudiments of my perception in 1933. I have also spoken to the leaders of the generation, but at the time, my words were not accepted, though I was screaming like a banshee, warning about the destruction of the world. Alas, it made no impression. Now, however, after the atom and hydrogen bombs, I think that the world will believe me that the end of the world is coming rapidly, and Israel will be the first nation to burn, as in the previous war. Thus, today it is good to awaken the world to accept the only remedy, and they will live and exist.

Baal HaSulam, “Writings of the Last Generation,” Part 1, Section 2

The question that arises out of all that is “Why does everything that concerns the disclosure of the wisdom of Kabbalah happens in such an odd way and evokes so much resistance?” After all, it is a wisdom that discusses human psychology, our inner makeup, family values, education and culture, conducts of Nature and the foundation of Creation. Don’t we need this information?

Whatever the case may be, within each of us is a special feeling, a kind of internal recoil from The Book of Zohar and the wisdom of Kabbalah, which originates in our very nature. What separates Kabbalah from any other teaching is the issue of correction. Kabbalah talks about how we should correct ourselves, change our attitude toward ourselves and toward those around us, so it is only natural that our egos wince at that dictate.

The sages of Kabbalah certainly knew all that, which is why they hid the wisdom for millennia until the moment was ripe and people would really need it. They themselves were the ones who stirred the public away from it, declaring strict limitations on studying it: age 40 or above, men only, married, and only after having been filled with all the other parts of the Torah. The sages also spread rumors that Kabbalah could make you lose your sanity!

In previous generations, the desire to discover the spiritual world still did not awaken in the hearts of most people; hence, the wisdom of Kabbalah was kept hidden. However, if the desire did awaken in anyone, the wisdom was opened to that person. The Ari [Isaac Luria], Chaim Vital, the Baal Shem Tov, the Vilna Gaon, the Ramchal, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, and many others studied and taught the wisdom of Kabbalah long before they reached the age of 40. In our generation, this desire is awakening in millions of people the world over, hence the wisdom is being shared openly with the public.

As we mentioned earlier, the process of revealing and concealing the wisdom is not new. It actually began over 5,770 years ago. This is when the first human discovered the spiritual world. Many generations of humans lived before his time, but he was the first in whom the desire for what lies beyond the boundaries of this world appeared. His name was Adam, from the words Adame la Elyon[I will be like the most high] [1], and he was the first Kabbalist, the first person to ascend in qualities and discover the upper force.

Adam ha Rishon [The First Man] was the first to receive a sequence of sufficient knowledge by which to understand and to successfully maximize everything he saw and attained with his eyes. And this understanding is called “the wisdom of truth.”

Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”

The day that Adam began to discover the upper force is called “the day of the creation of the world.” On that day, humanity first touched the spiritual world. This is why Adam’s existence is the point from which the Hebrew count of years begins.

According to Nature’s plan, the whole of humanity will discover the upper force within 6000 years [2]. During those years, the human ego is to gradually grow and bring humanity to the realization that it must be corrected, as well as to the ability to understand the correction method and to implement it.

The first Kabbalah book, Angel Raziel—meaning the “hidden force,” the force of Nature, which governs us but is hidden from us—is attributed to Adam. According to Kabbalah, angels are not winged heavenly entities, but forces acting in Nature.

Adam did not rush to the announce his discoveries to the world. For ten generations, the knowledge was quietly passed on from Kabbalist to Kabbalist until the generation of Noah. From there it was passed on through ten more generations until the generation of Abraham.

During the twenty generations that had passed between Adam and Abraham, conditions had changed. In Abraham’s time, humanity was centered in Babylon and lived as a big family, as it is written, “And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech” [3]. People sensed each other, lived in harmony among themselves and with Nature, until the first substantial burst of the ego occurred. In the Bible, it is described as the story of the tower of Babel:

Nimrod said to his people, “Let us build us a great city and dwell within it, lest we become scattered across the earth like the first ones, and let us build a great tower within it, rising upward to the heaven … and let us make us a great name in the land…”

They built it high … those who would bring up the bricks came from its eastern side, and those who would come down, would come down from its western side. And if a person fell and died, they would not mind him. But if a brick fell, they would sit and cry and say, “When will another rise in its stead.”

Chapters of Rabbi Eliezar, Chapter 24

The tower of Babel symbolizes the tower of human egoism. Nimrod, who leads the building of the tower, symbolizes the desire to rebel, to disobey Nature’s comprehensive law of balance and giving.

Because he wished to understand what was happening to his people, Abraham began to look into the nature of Creation. He discovered that the leap in egoism was not coincidental, but a preordained move in Nature’s development plan. Abraham found that the ego did not intensify to separate people, but to make them unite at a higher level and discover the upper force that was causing this shift. He tried to prevent the destruction and to explain to people how to rise above the hatred and the separation.

Abraham, son of Terach, went by and saw them building the city and the tower … but they loathed his words … They wished to speak each other’s language but they did not know each other’s language. What did they do? They each took his sword and fought one another to death. Indeed, half the world died there by the sword.

Chapters of Rabbi Eliezar, Chapter 24

Yet, Abraham did not give up. He continued to circulate the wisdom he had discovered with all his might because he knew that among his contemporaries were people who were already ripe for development. This is how Maimonides describes it:

At forty years of age, Abraham came to know his Maker. …He was calling out, wandering from town to town and from kingdom to kingdom … Finally, tens of thousands assembled around him, and they are the people of the house of Abraham. …This continued and expanded in the children of Jacob and in those accompanying them, and a nation that knows the Lord was made in the world.

Maimonides, Mishneh Torah (Repetition of the Torah), Idolatry Rules, Chapter 1, 11-16

The Book of Creation, attributed to Abraham, explains the system that governs reality. The book speaks not only of a single, comprehensive force, but about its entire system and subsystems, about primary and secondary forces through which that single force affects us.

The Book of Creation describes the 32 paths towards affecting the whole of reality—how these systems work, and how they cascade in hierarchy from degree to degree until they reach us and operate on us.

Abraham and his wife, Sarah, made great efforts to explain and circulate this new information. They gathered around them people who felt as they did—that this life was given to us only so that during it, we will reach a higher dimension of existence. In so doing, we can attain spirituality and wholeness and exist forever at the “human” degree, similar to the upper force.

To those who were still not ready to perceive the wisdom of Kabbalah, Abraham gave “gifts,” as it is written, “But to the sons of his concubines, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them … to the land of the east” [4]. Those gifts are the foundations of all the belief systems that people would follow for millennia until they ripen and grow.

The group of Kabbalists, Abraham’s successors, used the correction method that it learned from him over several generations until another burst of egoism took place. Then, a need arose to disclose the correction method at a higher level, over the new ego. That new method was given to the group of Kabbalists by Moses, the great Kabbalist who lived at that time. Moses led them to the exodus from the exile in Egypt—out of the domination of the new ego—and taught them how to exist “as one man in one heart” (RASHI, Exodus, Chapter 19), as parts of a single organism.

Because of its size, the group was now named “a people.” Its name, “Israel,” points to the desire within them to reach Yashar El [straight to God], directly to the upper force, through attainment of Its quality of love and giving.

Moses’ correction method is called “the Torah,” and is an adaptation of Abraham’s method to Moses’ generation. The Torah is not a history book or an ethics book, as it is often treated today. Rather, it is a method, a guide, a manual for correcting the ego.

“Torah” [5] comes from the word Horaa [instruction] and Ohr [light]. Kabbalah uses the term “light” in two ways:

1) as a force that corrects a person, as it is written, “The Light in it reforms him” [6].

2) as the pleasure that fills a person who has corrected the ego.

The group of Kabbalists continued to evolve, correcting all the egoistic desires that appeared in them using Moses’ method. The light that they received into the corrected desires was called “The House of Holiness” [The Temple]. That is, their corrected desires formed “a house” filled with “holiness”—the quality of love and giving.

Children were born and raised by the correction method and reached spiritual attainment, too. The education of the nation was a spiritual one, and there was not a child who did not know the spiritual laws.

They checked from Dan to Beer Sheba … and did not find a baby boy or a baby girl, a man or a woman who were not proficient in laws of impurity and purity.

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 97b

The wisdom of Kabbalah explains that the term, Tuma’a [impurity], refers to the egoism in a person, and the term, Tahara [purity], refers to the power of love and giving. Thus, the people lived in sensation of the upper force, in bonding and brotherly love until the ego leaped once more to a new degree, causing the loss of that sensation. The act of detaching from the sensation of the upper force was called “the ruin of the Temple,” and the domination of the new ego was called “the exile in Babylon.”

The return from the exile in Babylon and the construction of the Second Temple symbolized the correction of the ego that caused the ruin of the First Temple. This time, however, the nation was divided into two: Some succeeded in correcting the ego, but others whose intensity of egoism was greater could not. Gradually the ego intensified even among those who succeeded in correcting it, eventually causing the entire nation to lose its ability to sense the upper force.

Thus, everyone went into a concealment of spirituality. The domination of the ego this time was called “the ruin of the Second Temple,” and this was the beginning of the last exile.

The ruin of the quality of love and giving, and the eruption of unfounded hatred, made the entire people lose the sensation of the upper force. Yet, what actually happened to Israel in that ruin was a fall from brotherly love to unfounded hatred. From a life of harmony and the sensing of the upper world, Israel has declined into the narrowest, most turbid sensation in reality, otherwise known as “this world.”

Ever since, for nearly 2,000 years, Israel has been living in a state of total oblivion to the fact that there is something far better.

And yet, in each generation, there were a chosen few Kabbalists who continued to sense the Creator. In hiding, far from the public eye, which was unaware of their engagement, the Kabbalists continued to develop the correction method for human nature to match humanity’s growing egoism. Their role was to prepare the method for the time when the whole of humanity would need it—our time.


Throughout history, the wisdom of Kabbalah has reached beyond just the people of Israel. Thinkers from around the world have always come to study with the Kabbalists. In his essay, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy,” Baal HaSulam explains that philosophy originated in contact between students of the prophets and the first philosophers. The philosophers took fragments of the concepts of Kabbalah, and without correcting themselves developed different theories out of them.

Johannes Reuchlin (1455-1522), a German humanist, political counselor to the Chancellor, and an expert in ancient languages and traditions, was affiliated with the heads of the Platonic Academia. In his book, De Arte Cabbalistica, he describes the process we just mentioned:

“My teacher, Pythagoras, who is the father of philosophy, did not receive those teachings from the Greeks. Rather he received them from the Jews. …And he was the first to convert the name ‘Kabbalah,’ unknown to the Greeks, into the Greek name ‘philosophy.’”

“Pythagoras’ philosophy emanated from the infinite sea of the Kabbalah.”

“The Kabbalah does not let us spend our lives on the ground, but rather raises our intellect to the highest goal of understanding.” [7]

Let us return to those people who could not perceive Abraham’s notion in ancient Babylon. When they departed Babel, they scattered across the globe as seventy nations and developed materially.

Alone, they would never have been able to perceive the notion of the spiritual. Yet, if they could not perceive it, it would contradict the purpose of Creation: to bring all the people to the level of the Creator. Hence, the contact point between Israel and the rest of the nations had to be recreated.

That process unfolded by intensifying the ego within Israel, after which the people declined from their degree and scattered among the nations. The idea was to mingle the souls of Israel with the souls of the nations of the world, to “sow” seeds of spirituality within the other nations.

How was this done? The people of Israel sank into egoism and corporeality similar to the other nations, so now there was common ground between them. However, we must keep in mind that within the souls of Israel, the spiritual seed had already been sown. While they were in exile, Israel avoided physically assimilating with other nations; yet internally, the mingling did indeed occur.

Thus, the desired spiritual result was achieved and sparks of the souls of Israel now permeate the nations, allowing them to join Israel in the process of general correction. In total, Israel experienced four exiles in which such mingling between Israel and other nations occurred.

Prior to the exit to the last exile, in the 2nd century CE, The Book of Zohar was written by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi) and his group of students. It was written in Aramaic and contains depictions of all the states that humanity is destined to experience until the end of the general correction.

Although The Zohar was written prior to the departure of Israel into exile, The Zohar states that the book will be discovered only at the end of the spiritual exile and in fact, facilitate its end. It also states that toward the end of the 6,000 year period of the correction of human nature, the book will be revealed to the whole of humanity: “At that time, it will be revealed to all.” [8]

Immediately after its completion, The Book of Zohar was concealed. In the 16th century, some 1,400 years later, the Ari appeared in Zephath [9]. The Ari used a scientific, systematic approach to detail the correction method that The Zohar presents through intimations and allegories. The writings of the Ari include descriptions of the structure of the upper world, and explain how one should enter that realm of reality.

However, because during the Ari’s time the ego had not yet been revealed in its full intensity, very few could understand his words. A more developed ego yields a keener perception, and there were few such egos at that time.

Following the Ari, Kabbalists craved that the wisdom of Kabbalah be known, as is evident from their words:

The wisdom of Kabbalah makes the fool wise. Also, one who did not see the light of this wisdom has never seen lights in his life, for then he will understand and learn the meaning of His uniqueness, blessed be He, and the meaning of His governance … and all who retire from it, retire from the spiritual, eternal life.

Rav Isaiah Ben Abraham HeLevi Horowitz (the Holy Shlah), “First Article,” p 30

Redemption depends primarily on the study of Kabbalah.

The Gaon, Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna (GRA) [10]


Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai so cried over it, and called upon those who engage in the literal Torah that they are asleep …Indeed, this the fruit of the exile, that Israel have forgotten this path and remained asleep, immersed in their slumber, not paying attention to it… And we are here in the dark, as the dead, verily as blind searching the wall. It is unbecoming for the upright to walk on this path, but on the contrary to open blind eyes.

Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (Ramchal) [11]

The study of The Book of Zohar is higher than any other study.

Rabbi Yosef David Azulai, HaChida [12]

The language of The Zohar is good for the soul … young and old are there, each according to one’s understanding and the root of one’s soul.

Rav Tzvi Hirsh Ben Yaakov Horowitz, Upright Conducts, Item 5


Yet, despite the yearning of these great Kabbalists to circulate the wisdom of Kabbalah, they had to be discreet, to reveal, yet to conceal. The generation was not fully ripe. Only today are people gradually beginning to rid themselves of the stigmas and realize that Kabbalah is not mysticism, magic, charms, magic cures, or blessings for a good life in this world.

The emptiness and the gap that has appeared in our generation toward corporeal life and the cravings for something new and fulfilling have brought us to a point where we are finally able to understand the value of Kabbalah. Here lies a method that elevates one to another level of existence—the level of the upper force. That ripeness proves that our souls have awakened, that they have reached an entirely new level of development. This degree allows for, or better put, necessitates the revelation of the wisdom of Kabbalah to the entire world.

If we examine matters from the perspective of Nature’s program of development, the approaching end of the allotted time for correction has brought human egoism to its final degree. Humanity has come into a comprehensive, existential crisis and deadlock. From this state, the need for a method to correct the ego becomes clear, and many people wish to perceive what in the past was perceived by only a few.

This is the reason why the correction method is being exposed today in full. Baal HaSulam interpreted The Book of Zohar and the writings of the Ari so that each of us could connect to them. This is why he said, “I am glad that I have been born in such a generation when it is already permitted to publicize the wisdom of truth. And should you ask, ‘How do I know that it is permitted?’ I will reply that I have been given permission to disclose” [13]. And also, “My being rewarded with the manner of disclosing the wisdom is because of my generation.” [14]

We are in a generation that is standing at the very threshold of redemption, if we only know how to spread the wisdom of the hidden to the masses. … And the dissemination of the wisdom in the masses is called “a Shofar” [special horn]. Like the Shofar, whose voice travels a great distance, the echo of the wisdom will spread all over the world.

Baal HaSulam “Messiah’s Shofar

It is important to remember that the Jewish nation was not formed on a racial or a national basis. Jews today are incarnations of the same souls that gathered around Abraham in ancient Babylon to realize the spiritual idea of “Love thy friend as thyself,” which leads to the discovery of the Creator.

Kabbalists explain that initially, the correction method was offered to every nation, for “The purpose of Creation lies on the shoulders of the whole of the human race, black, white or yellow, without any essential difference” (Baal HaSulam, “The Arvut” [Mutual Guarantee], Item 23). However, at the time, not a single nation was willing to take it because humanity still did not need it. This is why the method was given to the people of Israel, “By which the sparks of purity would shine upon the whole of the human race the world over … to such an extent that they can understand the pleasantness and tranquility that are found in … love of others” (“The Arvut” [Mutual Guarantee], Item 24).

The Jews must begin to reuse the wisdom of Kabbalah to shift from unfounded hatred to brotherly love, return to their spiritual roots, and to bring the light to the world—to be “a light to the nations.” [15]

By that, the two paths that parted ways in ancient Babylon—the people of Israel and the rest of humanity—will come together and the thought of Creation will be complemented: all creations will unite with the upper force, the power of love and giving.


Now the days are near when all will know and recognize that the salvation of Israel and the salvation of the entire world depend only on the appearance of the wisdom of the hidden Light of the internality of the secrets of Torah in a clear language.

Rav Raiah Kook, Letters 1, Item 92


The study of The Zohar and the wisdom of Kabbalah connect people from all over the globe, regardless of race, sex, nationality or religion. This wisdom bridges over mentalities, character, age, and socioeconomic differences. From all over the world, tens of thousands of people gather each year in many different places in the world for conventions of Kabbalah studies. There is hardly a country in the world without a representative. In these conventions, everyone bonds with brotherly love for the purpose of discovering the Creator, proving defacto the truth in the words of the prophets and Kabbalists of all generations.


When the Children of Israel [those who aspire Yashar El (straight to God)] are complemented with the complete knowledge, the fountains of intelligence and knowledge shall flow … and water all the nations of the world.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 4



The Allegory about the King and the Queen

In all of Israel’s exiles, He set a time and an end to all of them. And in all of them, Israel return to the Creator, and the virgin of Israel, Malchut, returns to her place at the set time. But now, in the last exile, it is not so. She will not return as in the other exiles. This verse teaches, “She has fallen; she will not rise again—the virgin of Israel,” and it does not say, “She has fallen and I will not raise her again.”

It is like a king who was angry with the queen and expelled her from her palace for a certain period of time. When that time was through, the queen would immediately come and return before the king. This was so once, twice, and thrice. But on the last time, she became remote from the king’s palace and the king expelled her from his palace for a long time. The king said, “This time is not as like the other times, when she came before me. Instead, I and all my household will go and seek her.”

When he reached her, he saw that she was lying in the dust. Who saw the glory of the queen at that time, and the king’s requests of her? Finally, the king held her in his arms, raised her, and brought her to his palace. And he swore to her that he would never part from her again and will never be far from her.

It is similar with the Creator: every time the assembly of Israel were in exile, she would come and return before the King. But now, in this exile, it is not so. Rather, the Creator will hold her by the hand and will raise her, appease her, and bring her back to His palace.

Zohar for All, VaYikra [The Lord Called], Items 78-81

In all the previous exiles, Israel wished to come out of exile and return to its native land. They wished to return to the spiritual degree that was held while still in exile. Today, however, everything is ready for redemption, yet Israel has no desire to rise.

Why is it so? In the last exile, there was such intense egoism in Israel that they had neither a way nor a will to come out of it. Like the queen, Israel now lies in the dust, immersed in corporeality as though hypnotized, living like zombies. In truth, the world is filled with light. If Israel only opened its eyes a little, they and the world would discover it. But for now, dust fills their eyes.

In the spiritual sense, the word “exile” is an advanced state, a moment before redemption, when one feels that all that’s needed is the revelation of the upper force. This feeling can generally be described as such: “I may have everything in the corporeal sense, but I feel that it is all worthless, that I am completely dissatisfied. Why? I haven’t a clue but it is what I feel. I have a home, I make a good living, I can afford to travel, to enjoy myself, I have friends, yet something is missing.”

In previous generations, people lived far worse than we do. Compared to them, our lives are lives of kings, yet they are tasteless. The emptiness experienced today is leading us to discover what lies behind the verse, “Taste and see that the Lord is good,” which Kabbalists offer to us as the remedy.

We must discover the upper force that creates us, that takes us through this process, and that is now pulling us back to it through the question, “What am I living for?” This question is really like a door handle. If we open that door we will discover heaven.

In truth, the King has already come to the Queen, The Book of Zohar has already been revealed, the King is here and He already wishes to raise the Queen out of the dust. All that is needed now is getting the Queen’s attention.



[1] Isaiah, 14:14

[2] “The world exists for six thousand years.” Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 97a

[3] Genesis, 11:1

[4] Genesis, 25:6

[5] “Torah means the light that is clothed in the Torah. That is, what our sages said, ‘I have created the evil inclination; I have created the spice of Torah,’ refers to the light in it, since the light in the Torah reforms him” (Baal HaSulam, Shamati [I Heard], Article No. 6). “The Torah is the only spice to annul and subdue the evil inclination” (Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence). “the Torah is Simple Light that expands from His Essence, whose sublimity is endless” (Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Mouth of a Sage”). “The word ‘Torah’ comes from the word Horaa [instruction]” (Baal HaSulam, Letter No. 11).

[6] Based on Midrash Rabah, Eicha Rabah, Introduction, Paragraph 2

[7] Johannes Reuchlin, De Arte Cabbalistica

[8]The Book of Zohar, VaYera [The Lord Appeared], Item 460

[9] A town in the upper Galilee, Israel, known for the Kabbalists that lived in it around the Ari’s time.

[10] The Gaon, Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna (GRA), Even Shlemah [A Perfect and Just Weight], Part 11, 3

[11] Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (Ramchal), Shaarey Ramchal [Gates of the Ramchal], “The Debate,” p 97

[12] Rabbi Shalom Sharabi, (The Rashash), Light of the Rashash, p 159

[13] Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”

[14] Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”

[15] “I am the Lord, I have called You in righteousness, and I will hold You by the hand and watch over You, and I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations” (Isaiah, 42:6).


Part 1: The Wisdom of the Zohar. Chapter 2: Nature and Us

Found in the book “Unlocking The Zohar


Nature and Us


It is best for us to accept the words of Kabbalist, that HaTeva [the nature] is equal [in Gematria] to Elokim [God].

Baal HaSulam, “The Peace”

The Book of Zohar 
explains that we exist in a single, vast system, called “Nature” or Elokim [God], yet we sense only a fraction of that system, a fraction called “this world.”

The purpose of our existence is to rise above the boundaries of this world and feel the entirety of the system known as “Nature,” the upper force. When we achieve this degree, we will be filled with abundance, infinite pleasure and light, with sublime perception and understanding, a sense of balance, wholeness, and harmony as they exist in the overall Nature.

To understand what we must do to arrive at all this bounty, The Zohar recommends that we examine Nature’s conduct from a slightly broader angle than usual.

Our world is a closed world. We exist in a single, general system whose every part is interconnected. We cannot consider ourselves above Nature and omnipotent; it is a sure way of destroying ourselves. We also cannot escape Nature because we are an integral part of it. Hence, we must study the general law of Nature and go hand in hand with it.

Our urge to evolve is wonderful, but we must do it in the right way, towards a healthy connection between us and the rest of Creation in a way that does not violate the harmony and the overall balance of Nature. This, in fact, is the basis of the wisdom of Kabbalah.

Observing Nature teaches us that all living organisms are built on the basis of caring for others. Cells in an organism connect to each other by mutual giving for the purpose of sustaining the whole organism. Each cell in the body receives what it needs for its existence and spends the rest of its efforts caring for the entirety of the organism. An inconsiderate cell that does not take its environment into consideration and harnesses it for its own good is a cancerous cell. Such a selfish act eventually leads to the death of the entire organism.

At the levels of inanimate, vegetative, and animate, the specific acts for the good of the general and finds its completeness in that. Without such harmonious activity, existence would not be possible. The only exception is human society. Why? Because unlike the other degrees, where Nature’s law enforces balance and harmony, Nature has given human beings free choice, a place for their conscious participation in the overall harmony of Nature.

If we take part in the system incorrectly, the corruption we inflict reflects on us and we experience it as suffering. Thus, gradually, over thousands of generations, Nature is leading us to understand that we must study its overall law and eventually act accordingly.

The problem is that we do not feel Nature’s comprehensive force affecting us—the force of love and giving—also known as the “Creator.” However, today science is advancing toward discovering that Nature has a “mind,” “emotion,” and the power of great wisdom that sustains and governs everything. And yet, our egos do not wish us to see it.

The current state of the world proves that such blindness and unawareness of Nature’s system cannot last. Baal HaSulam wrote about it in the 1930s:

“Now it is vitally important for us to examine Nature’s commandments, to know what it demands of us, lest it would mercilessly punish us.”

(Baal HaSulam, “The Peace”)


Discovering Nature’s Overall Law


The will to receive is the whole substance of Creation from beginning to end.

Baal HaSulam, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 1


When we want to be impressed by something, whether emotionally, intellectually, or otherwise, we must be on the same “wavelength” with it and thus possess the same quality. For example, to detect radio waves, the receiver must produce the same wavelength, and only then can we detect the wave on the outside.

Nature’s overall force is a “desire to give,” to bestow, to impart abundance. Conversely, our nature is one of “desire to receive delight and pleasure,” a desire to enjoy for ourselves alone. Our nature is self-centered; it is how we were made, as Kabbalah tells us. In other words, we are in contrast with the upper force, opposite from it, and hence we cannot sense it.

Is there anything we can do to sense it? We cannot destroy our nature and our will to receive, nor do we need to. We should continue with our lives as usual, and at the same time acquire new tools of perception.

But where can we find such an instrument that will supplement us with the new nature—to give—in addition to our original nature—to receive? Here, the wisdom of Kabbalah comes to our aid. At the moment, we are receivers. We absorb. And if we do give something to someone, it is only after we have calculated that it is worthwhile for us to do so. Our nature prevents us from giving without receiving something in return. It simply denies us the energy to perform an act that does not yield profit.

We are willing to give $50 if we receive $100 in return. We might also give $80 in return for $100. But if we try to give $101 in return for $100 it is impossible. This modus operandi is true not only with money or an act toward others, but for anything, as Baal HaSulam explained it:


It is well known to researchers of Nature that one cannot perform even the slightest movement without motivation, without somehow benefiting oneself. When, for example, one moves one’s hand from the chair to the table, it is because one thinks that by putting the hand on the table will be more enjoyable. If he did not think so, he would leave his hand on the chair for the rest of his life without moving it at all. It is all the more so with greater efforts.

Baal HaSulam, “The Peace”


Even people who assist other people more than most, such as volunteers at hospitals or elsewhere, do it only because, at the end of the day, it gives them pleasure.

Baal HaSulam explains that within humanity, there are always up to ten percent “natural born altruists.” Such people respond to others a little differently than most. They sympathize with others and feel their pain as though it were their own, and this feeling compels them to try to help others. Naturally, this altruistic inclination rests on a self-centered basis that requires correction, too, but it is hidden from the eye, as studies in behavioral genetics demonstrate. [1]


Man’s very essence is only to receive for oneself. By nature, we are unable to do even the smallest thing to benefit others. Instead, when we give to others, we are compelled to expect that in the end, we will receive a worthwhile reward.

Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”


When a baby is born, it begins to hear, to see, and to react. It learns and develops from examples that we present to it.

If we left the baby to grow in the woods, it would imitate the animals and grow like an animal. With the exception of a few instincts and reflexes, everything about us comes from learning.

Can we learn the upper system in the same way if we do not feel it? How can we be like that baby, or even a drop of semen that only wishes to be born into a new quality called “giving”?

In other words, a human infant evolves out of a drop of corporeal semen. It learns from examples and eventually becomes a grownup. And now, a drop of spiritual seed, called “the point in the heart,” appears in that person, a new desire—to know what he or she is living for, to reach what exists beyond life, the force that affects us and operates us. In corporeal growth, the ego develops and the quality of reception for oneself becomes improved. In the process of spiritual growth, the quality of giving develops in us.

So what do we need in order to commence the process? We need examples—spiritual teachers. This is why The Book of Zohar was written. Just as children stare with eyes wide open and jaws dropped, craving to devour the world and learn all about it, we should approach The Book of Zohar, which provides us with examples of the quality of giving.

The more we learn how to give, the more we will resemble Nature’s comprehensive power, the power of love and giving. In Kabbalah terminology, it is called “equivalence of form,” which is a gradual process that leads to our sensing Nature’s overall force to the extent that we become similar to it.



[1] Changing certain gene sequences affects a person’s ability to be good to others, Prof. Ebstein and a team of researchers in behavioral genetics discovered. The researchers assume that there is an immediate reward for altruistic behavior in the form of a chemical called “dopamine,” released in the benefactor’s brain and prompting a pleasant feeling.

  1. R. Bachner, I. Gritsenko, L. Nemanov, A. H. Zohar, C. Dina & R. P. Ebstein, “Dopaminergic Polymorphisms Associated with Self-Report Measures of Human Altruism: A Fresh Phenotype for the Dopamine D4 Receptor”, Molecular Psychiatry10 (4), April 2005, pp. 333-335


The Zohar—a Book of Many Layers


Studying The Zohar builds worlds.

Rabbi Shalom Ben Moshe Buzzaglo, The King’s Throne [1]


Ten Kabbalists, headed by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi), joined together at the highest spiritual degree. From their union, they wrote The Zohar for us. The Zohar is not merely a book. It is a closed system, from our level to the highest level of reality. It is a system designed to launch us into experiencing unbounded existence, both in understanding and feeling the whole of Nature.

The book is built in a very special way. It speaks of things that seemingly happen in our world: stories about people, animals, trees and flowers, mountains and hills. However, in truth, it tells us about the soul and the higher forces.

Thousands of years after the writing of The Zohar, the greatest Kabbalist of the 20th century, Baal HaSulam, wrote the Sulam [Ladder] commentary on The Zohar, where he explained The Zohar in the language of Kabbalah. The language of Kabbalah helps us put the pieces together and understand what is really being said in The Zohar.

When you read The Zohar with the Sulam commentary, even without first understanding how everything unfolds, The Zohar begins to change our perception into an opposite perception. It changes our attitude toward the world. The Zohar provides examples that connect us to our next state, a more evolved state in giving.

It is similar to the way we rear our children. We continue to show them examples of a slightly more advanced state in order to develop them. Thus, we gradually bring them to more evolved states. The Zohar affects us similarly, unveiling the next degree that awaits us.

The world we currently experience is the lowest and worst state that exists in reality. We have been deliberately brought down to it through 125 degrees from the highest state of the overall power of reality.

In our initial state, our current one, the next degree is right before us: me+1. Then comes the next degree: me+2, then me+3, and so forth. There are 125 before us, each containing a piece of information that defines the way we should be. In the language of Kabbalah, this piece is called Reshimo [recollection]. We will elaborate on it further in the book because it has a crucial impact on our lives.

The connection between our current selves and the self of our next degree is formed using The Book of Zohar. Just like a parent, The Zohar elevates us from one world to another. A “world” means the current state we are in, and a “higher world” or “upper world” means our higher state.

It is important to understand that in the course of our spiritual development, we do not “vanish” from this world. We do not stop working or functioning as usual. Rather, a sensation of the force that actually operates in reality is added to our lives. We come to a state where the whole of reality appears as a single entity, a single system. We feel that there is one force operating here—eternal, whole, beyond time, space, and motion. This is what The Book of Zohar helps us to discover.


All the conducts of Creation, in its every corner, inlet, and outlet, are completely prearranged for the purpose of nurturing the human species from its midst, to improve its qualities until we can sense Godliness as one feels one’s friend.

Baal HaSulam “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”




[1] Rabbi Shalom Ben Moshe Buzzaglo, The King’s ThroneTikkun [Correction] 43, Item 60


Letters and Words


Let us now approach the first reading of The Book of Zohar. The excerpt below is taken from the portion VaYikra [The Lord Called], and discusses letters.

“Ask for a letter from the Lord your God; ask either in the depth, or raise it above. What is the difference between the first generations and the last generations? The first generations knew and observed the high wisdom; they knew how to put together the letters that Moses was given in Sinai. …And we know that in the upper letters that extend from Bina, and in the lower letters that extend from Malchut, it is wise to conduct actions in this world.” [1]

Where do letters come from? They come from the upper force. I must demand of the upper force to give me letters.

What are “letters”? Letters are forms by which I turn my substance—the will to receive, the ego—into being similar to the upper force—the power of love and giving. Each letter is a new form of giving that I have built within me, and in which I am somewhat similar to the upper force.

I must put the letters that I receive together into “words,” which are spiritual operations of transforming from one form to another, from the form of one letter to the form of another letter. When I perform such actions, it is as though I am “speaking” with the upper force, and it is speaking with me. Thus, we have a common language.

When such a “conversation” between me and the upper force takes place and I become capable of “listening” to its words, I become its partner and I acquire all of the high wisdom. This is how Baal HaSulam explains it in his essay, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence.”



[1] Zohar for All, VaYikra [The Lord Called], Item



“And the wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament”…

They are the ones who exert in this brightness, called The Book of Zohar.

The Book of Zohar, Behaalotcha

[When You Raise], Item 88

The Book of Zohar 
contains a very special force that can bring us to perfect, utter bliss. It is thrilling, exciting, and mesmerizing to the point that those who read it crave never to stop reading. For those delving into it, The Zohar is a source of energy and vitality. With The Zohar, we can begin a new life and bond with the good and pleasurable that exists in the world.

Unlocking the Zohar is the introductory volume in a series of books titled Zohar for All, which is a reader-friendly edition of The Book of Zohar. To make the best of the series, it is recommended to first read this book, which will usher the reader into the right approach when reading The Zohar, thus maximizing the benefits of engaging in it.

No prior knowledge is required when reading this book. Part 1 explains the essence of the wisdom of The Zohar, the reasons for its concealment for so many years, and how it can benefit us today. Part 2 talks about the way we perceive reality and the plan of Creation, and finally, how we will unlock The Zohar together to hopefully decode its secret.

As a special treat for the curious among the readers, Appendix 3 contains selected excerpts from Zohar for All. After reading this book, you will be able to feel the power of The Zohar and enjoy its benefits.


The Zohar is to be concealed … until the arrival of the last generation at the end of days, and then it will appear.

Rav Isaiah Horowitz (the Holy Shlah)



One who has never seen the light of The Book of Zohar has never seen light in his life.

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Eichenstein of Ziditshov [1]


The prohibition from Above to refrain from open study of the wisdom of truth was for a limited period, until the end of 1490. Thereafter, it is considered the last generation, in which the prohibition was lifted and permission has been granted to engage in The Book of Zohar. And since the year 1540, it has been a great Mitzva (commandment) for the masses to study, old and young.

Abraham Ben Mordechai Azulai [2]


And because Israel are destined to taste from the tree of life, which is The Book of Zohar, through it, they will be delivered from exile with mercy.

The Book of ZoharNasso [Take], Item 90


Now the time requires accelerated acquisition of the inner Torah. The Book of Zohar breaks new paths, makes a highway in the desert. The Zohar and all its yield are ready to open the doors of redemption.

The Rav Raiah Kook [3]


The livelihood of the person of Israel depends on The Book of Zohar.

Rav Yitzhak Yehuda Yehiel Safrin of Komarno [4]


[1] Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Eichenstein of Ziditshov, Ateret TzviBehaalotcha [When You Raise]

[2] Abraham Ben Mordechai Azulai, Introduction to the book, Ohr HaChama (Light of the Sun), p 81

[3] The Rav Raiah Kook, Orot [Lights], 57

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

From Publisher


The Zohar



Michael Laitman


Copyright © 2011 by MICHAEL LAITMAN

All rights reserved

Published by Laitman Kabbalah Publishers

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ISBN 978-1-897448-59-5

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Copy Editor: C. Gerus

Associate Editors: N. Burnot, D. Rudder, G. Shadmon, D. Aharoni, A. Sofer, L. Gur, L. Navon, M. Admoni, A. Ohayon, D. Nahari, P. Yahod Netanel, S. Mimon, T. Yichia, M. Visel

Zohar for All Editors: B. Girtz, M. Cohen, A. Cherniavsky, T. Yfhar, H. Rozenwasser, L. Vigdor, L. Peles Chen, A. Mula, L. Shema Pinhas, M. Yichia, D. Akerman, N. Doyev, Y. Wolfman, G. Baumfeld, M. Sinklair, S. Havani, H. Levi, G. Izhakov, K. Gabay, T. Refaeli, N. Levi, N. Hassid, A. Rozenwasser, Y. Gruver, B. Farjoon, M. Bar, V. Dvash

Translation: C. Ratz

Cover and Layout Design: Studio Yaniv, B. Khovov

Executive Editor: O. Levi

Publishing and Post Production: Uri Laitman



About Bnei Baruch

Bnei Baruch is a group of Kabbalists in Israel, sharing the wisdom of Kabbalah with the entire world. Study materials in over 30 languages are based on authentic Kabbalah texts that were passed down from generation to generation.


In 1991, following the passing of his teacher, Rav Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The Rabash), Rav Michael Laitman, Professor of Ontology and the Theory of Knowledge, PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah, and MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics, established a Kabbalah study group called “Bnei Baruch.” He called it Bnei Baruch (Sons of Baruch) to commemorate his mentor, whose side he never left in the final twelve years of his life, from 1979 to 1991. Rav Laitman had been Ashlag’s prime student and personal assistant, and is recognized as the successor to Rabash’s teaching method.

The Rabash was the firstborn son and successor of Rav Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag, the greatest Kabbalist of the 20th century. Rabbi Ashlag authored the most authoritative and comprehensive commentary on The Book of Zohar, titled The Sulam (Ladder) Commentary. He was the first to reveal the complete method for spiritual ascent, and thus was known as Baal HaSulam (Owner of the Ladder).

Today, Bnei Baruch bases its entire study method on the path paved by these two great spiritual leaders.


The unique study method developed by Baal HaSulam and his son, the Rabash, is taught and applied on a daily basis by Bnei Baruch. This method relies on authentic Kabbalah sources such as The Book of Zohar, by Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai, The Tree of Life, by the Holy Ari, and The Study of the Ten Sefirot, by Baal HaSulam.

While the study relies on authentic Kabbalah sources, it is carried out in simple language and uses a scientific, contemporary approach. Developing this approach has made Bnei Baruch an internationally respected organization, both in Israel and in the world at large.

The unique combination of an academic study method and personal experiences broadens the students’ perspective and awards them a new perception of the reality they live in. Those on the spiritual path are thus given the necessary tools to study themselves and their surrounding reality.


Bnei Baruch is a diverse movement of tens of thousands of students worldwide. Students can choose their own paths and the personal intensity of their studies, according to their unique conditions and abilities. The essence of the message disseminated by Bnei Baruch is universal: unity of the people, unity of nations and love of man.

For millennia, Kabbalists have been teaching that love of man should be the foundation of all human relations. This love prevailed in the days of Abraham, Moses, and the group of Kabbalists that they established. If we make room for these seasoned, yet contemporary values, we will discover that we possess the power to put differences aside and unite.

The wisdom of Kabbalah, hidden for millennia, has been waiting for the time when we would be sufficiently developed and ready to implement its message. Now, it is emerging as a solution that can unite diverse factions everywhere, enabling us, as individuals and as a society, to meet today’s challenges.


Bnei Baruch was established on the premise that “only by expansion of the wisdom of Kabbalah to the public can we be awarded complete redemption” (Baal HaSulam).

Therefore, Bnei Baruch offers a variety of ways for people to explore and discover the purpose of their lives, providing careful guidance for beginners and advanced students alike.


Bnei Baruch established a production company, ARI Films ( specializing in production of educational TV programs throughout the world, and in many languages.

In Israel, Bnei Baruch established its own channel, aired through cable and satellite Sunday through Friday. The channel is also aired on the Internet at All broadcasts on the channel are free of charge. Programs are adapted for all levels, from complete beginners to the most advanced.

Additionally, ARI Films produces educational series and documentaries.


Bnei Baruch’s international website,, presents the authentic wisdom of Kabbalah using essays, books, and original texts. It is by far the most expansive source of authentic Kabbalah material on the net, containing a unique, extensive library for readers to thoroughly explore the wisdom of Kabbalah. Additionally, the media archive,, contains more than 5,000 media items, downloadable books, and a vast reservoir of texts, video and audio files in many languages.

Bnei Baruch’s online Learning Center offers unique, free Kabbalah lessons for beginners, initiating students into this profound body of knowledge in the comfort of their own homes.

Rav Laitman’s daily lessons are also aired live on, along with complementary texts and diagrams.

All these services are provided free of charge.


Kabbalah Today is a free monthly paper produced and disseminated by Bnei Baruch in many languages, including English, Hebrew, Spanish, and Russian. It is apolitical, non-commercial, and written in a clear, contemporary style. The purpose of Kabbalah Today is to expose the vast knowledge hidden in the wisdom of Kabbalah at no cost and in a clear, engaging format and style for readers everywhere.

Kabbalah Today is distributed free in every major U.S. city, as well as in Toronto, Canada, London, England, and Sydney, Australia. It is printed in English, Hebrew, and Russian, and is also available on the Internet, at

Additionally, a hard copy of the paper is sent to subscribers at delivery cost only.


Bnei Baruch publishes authentic books, written by Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), his son, Rav Baruch Ashlag (the Rabash), and Rav Michael Laitman. The books of Rav Ashlag and Rabash are essential for complete understanding of the teachings of authentic Kabbalah, explained in Rav Laitman’s lessons.

Rav Laitman writes his books in a clear, contemporary style based on the key concepts of Baal HaSulam. These books are a vital link between today’s readers and the original texts. All the books are available for sale, as well as for free download.


As Kabbalists have been doing for centuries, Rav Laitman gives a daily lesson at the Bnei Baruch center in Israel between 3:15-6:00 a.m. Israel time. The lessons are given in Hebrew and are simultaneously translated into seven languages: English, Russian, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Turkish. As with everything else, the live broadcast is provided gratis to thousands of students worldwide.


Bnei Baruch is a non-profit organization for teaching and sharing the wisdom of Kabbalah. To maintain its independence and purity of intentions, Bnei Baruch is not supported, funded, or otherwise tied to any government or political organization.

Since the bulk of its activity is provided free of charge, the prime sources of funding for the group’s activities are donations and tithing – contributed by students on a voluntary basis – and Rav Laitman’s books, which are sold at cost.

Appendix C: Diagrams of the Spiritual Worlds

In order of the “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

Appendix B: Acronyms and Abbreviations

(Because the acronyms are of Hebrew words, the letters in English may not match the words they represent)

AA Arich Anpin
AB HaVaYaH filled with Yod
Aba Achor be Achor
ABYA AtzilutBeriaYetziraAssiya
AHP Awzen, Hotem, Peh
AN Atik and Nukva
ARI The Godly, Rabbi, Isaac
AVI Aba ve Ima
BON HaVaYaH filled with Hey
BYA BeriaYetziraAssiya
GE Galgalta Eynaim
HB HochmaBina
HBD HochmaBinaDaat
HHN HochmaHesedNetzah
KH KeterHochma
KHB KeterHochmaBina
KHBTM KeterHochmaBinaTifferetMalchut
KHBD KeterHochmaBinaDaat
Lamed Bet number (32)
MA HaVaYaH filled with Aleph
MAD Mayin Duchrin
MAN Mayin Nukvin
Matatron Name of an angel
MI Two letters from the Name E-L-O-H-I-M
NE Nikvey Eynaim
NHY NetzahHodYesod
NHYM NetzahHodYesodMalchut
NR NefeshRuach
NRN NefeshRuachNeshama
NRNHY NefeshRuachNeshamaHayaYechida
OBDAM OrBassarGidinAtzamotMocha
OH Ohr Hozer
OM Ohr Makif
OP Ohr Pnimi
OY Ohr Yashar
PARDESS PshatRemezDrushSod
PBA Panim be Achor
PBP Panim be Panim
RADLA Reisha de Lo Etyada
Ramak Rabbi Moshe Kordovero
Ramchal Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato
RAPACH number (288)
Rashbi Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai
RIU number (216)
RTS RoshTochSof
SAG HaVaYaH filled with Yod, and Aleph in the Vav
SNGLH ShoreshNeshamaGufLevushHeichal
SVAT Still, Vegetative, Animate, and Speaking
TANTA TaamimNekudotTaginOtiot
TD Tikkuney Dikna
VAK Six Edges (Ends)
VAT Bottom Six
YESHSUT Ysrael Saba ve Tevuna
YHNRN YechidaHayaNeshamaRuachNefesh
ZA Zeir Anpin
ZAT Bottom Seven
ZON Zeir and Nukva