The “Rabbi Shimon” System
This book shall be called The Zohar [“The Radiance”]
because of the impact of that light
from the upper radiance.
The Ramak, Know the God of Your Father
The Zohar is a gift that humanity has received from the Creator through the great Kabbalist, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Rabbi Shimon was a special soul. He combined within him all the souls that preceded him. This is why he succeeded in leading the group that authored The Zohar to such unprecedented and never-repeated attainment—the end of correction.
The authors of The Zohar lived at a special time, which incorporated two completely opposite points: the end of their correction, on the one hand, and the spiritual ruin of the entire people, on the other hand. This is the reason why they succeeded in connecting the great light, called “upper radiance,” with our world. We can learn about their greatness from the following words:
Happy are you in this world and in the next world. You are all holy; you are all sons of the Holy God. It is written about you, “One shall say, ‘I am the Lord’s’; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob.” Each of you is tied and connected to the High and Holy King, and you are appointed ministers with a shield from that land, called “the land of the living,” the Nukva [female] that clothes upper Ima [mother], whose ministers eat from the MAN of the Holy dew.
Zohar for All, Lech Lecha [Go Forth], Item 445
The Book of Zohar, which they granted us, is the primary source that we have for the correction of the soul. Among all the holy scriptures ever written, beginning with the book, Angel Raziel, through the Bible and to the present day, there has not been a single book that compares to The Zohar in its spiritual power. All the Kabbalists wrote that there is a very powerful light in this book, a special “powerhouse,” and when they say that the Kabbalah is “the interior of the Torah” or “the true Torah,” they are referring first and foremost to The Book of Zohar.
One who reads in it, even without understanding a word of it but by simply wishing to know what the book says, will arouse an immense force that initiates internal changes within him. This is the reason why people who join Zohar lessons often feel that there is something very powerful about these lessons. They cannot always tell what it is, but something happens to them from within.
The authors of The Zohar have prepared for us a system of development. In our world, we see it as a book. But in truth, it is a complete system that they have prepared for us.
It is like a newborn baby. It doesn’t know that everything has already been prepared for it—diapers, a cradle, special food, and toys for each stage in its development. The world has worked and is working for it all the time. Every generation, we prepare more things for newborns; it is a compulsion of our love for them.
The work that the authors of The Zohar did was enormous. They did not compose a technical science book, but transferred all the upper light through each of them, as though through a special mechanism, and prepared it to be received within our souls.
If you look at The Book of Zohar, you will see only paper and letters. But our desire to grow unconsciously activates the spiritual mechanism they prepared for us, and the light reaches us through it. This is why we are so influenced by these writings.
Why did the Kabbalists obligate each person to study the wisdom of Kabbalah? Indeed, there is a great thing within it, worthy of being publicized: There is a wonderful, invaluable remedy for those who engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah. Although they do not understand what they are learning, through the yearning and the great desire to understand what they are learning, they awaken upon themselves the Lights that surround their souls … which bring one much closer to achieving perfection.
Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 155
A Spiritual Support System
While reading in The Zohar, we should want to connect to all the people in the world whose point in the heart has awakened, and who wish to receive from The Zohar the strength to develop, too. Thus, even if we are just beginners, we receive in return for our desire an enormous power that will push us forward.
This is a huge force that can invoke a significant change in the world. All we need is to approach The Zohar with a desire to bond with everyone.
There is none to begin and say songs, and there is none to complete his singing. That is, those who stand in the middle of the singing do not complete their song because they all become attentive to the voice of Rabbi Shimon until an utterance of a mouth is heard through all the firmaments above and below.
When Rabbi Shimon concludes engaging in the Torah, who saw songs? Who saw the joy of those who praise their Master? Who saw the voices that walk in all the firmaments? It is for Rabbi Shimon that all the souls and angels come and kneel and bow before their Master, and raise the fragrances of the perfumes in Eden—illumination of Hochma—all the way to AtikYomin. All this is for Rabbi Shimon.
Zohar for All, Shemot [Exodus], Item 242
Rabbi Shimon is not a flesh and blood person being praised here, but a spiritual system called “Rabbi Shimon.” What does that mean? The general soul consists of many parts with many different functions, like organs in a human body such as a brain, a heart, kidneys, and so forth. The soul of Rabbi Shimon, discussed in this chapter, is a very important part of the general soul because it leads the correction of the rest of the souls.
The great souls that preceded him led the correction in regard to Israel. But the soul of Rabbi Shimon is a system that passes the correction onto the entire world. Unlike Moses’ Torah, whose purpose was only to correct the people of Israel, The Zohar is intended to correct the whole of humanity. The degree that continues the soul of Rabbi Shimon is the soul of Rabbi Elazar, his son, and it already aims at the end of the general correction . This is the structure of the system of the souls through which the light that corrects our souls comes down and fills them.
The fathers came—Moses, Aaron, David, and Solomon—and blessed Rabbi Shimon. They said, “You are a holy light, and your friends, …which shine from you. And in each of it, it is said, ‘The candle of the Lord is man’s soul.’ Moses shines in you and you in your friends, and you are all one, without any separation. And from there onward all these illuminations spread to all who attain the wisdom.”
Zohar for All, Pinhas, Item 824
In the current state of the world, it is vital that we cling to the system of Rabbi Shimon because it leads us toward the corrections. This is also the reason why The Book of Zohar is now becoming so well known throughout the world.
Until recently, while everyone knew that there was something special about The Zohar, very few actually felt a need to open it. Today, when the world is in a global crisis, The Zohar must be revealed. It is the only means for the correction of the world. Through it, we can and should obtain the power to reach the highest level of Nature, the upper world.
Happy are those who sit before Rabbi Shimon and are rewarded with hearing the secrets of the Torah from his mouth. …Rabbi Shimon said, “Happy are you, friends, for no secret is hidden from you.”
Zohar for All, Yitro [Jethro], Item 170
Anyone who wishes to receive strength from this system is regarded as “sitting before Rabbi Shimon.” Even a person who slightly touches the system of Rabbi Shimon is already under its influence.
If you were not Rabbi Shimon, it would not be conveyed to be revealed. The Zivug [coupling] in that world bears fruit more than a Zivug that is done in this world. With their Zivug, the Zivug of that world, with their desire as one, when the souls cling to one another, they bear fruit and lights come out of them and become candles. …All those souls that are born out of these Zivugim [couplings] enter the same hall.
Zohar for All, Shlach Lecha [Send Out], Item 202
When speaking of Rabbi Shimon as a system, it may be a bit confusing. Therefore, let’s put some order into our words. Some 1,800 years ago, there indeed lived a man whose name was Shimon, and he did write the book known as The Book of Zohar along with friends-students. However, besides living in our world and writing the book physically, their souls actually experienced all the impressions that they described in the book.
If the authors of The Zohar had not lived in our world, they would not have been able to write the book. But if they had not lived in the upper world, they would not have been able to correct anything and the book would give us no spiritual value. In other words, along with the writing, they performed internal corrections at the level of the souls in the upper world. Writing is just a superficial expression of a corrected connection of love and bonding among souls, which allows the light to come down from the world of Ein Sof through their system, almost all the way to us.
Why almost? Because the light is standing right above us, and what is required of us is only for us to want to receive it.
One who parts from Rabbi Shimon,
it is as though he parted from everything.
Zohar for All, Yitro [Jethro], Item 411
 For more on this, see “The Giving of the Torah” and “The Arvut [Mutual Guarantee]” by Baal HaSulam