You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Textbooks / Kabbalah for the Student / Time for Spiritual Attainment / Kabbalists Write about the Wisdom of Kabbalah

Kabbalists Write about the Wisdom of Kabbalah

Even if we find people who are great in the Torah, in fear, and in wisdom, yet who are not interested in the secrets of the Torah because of the sublimity of their degree, because they have many possessions with which to occupy their spirit in the treasures of the revealed Torah and wisdom, let it not droop the heart of one who feels an inner sensation, a pressure of the soul’s craving for the way of secrets. For even if we decide that this yearning came to him due to his lack of skills in the revealed matters, so what? In the end, this is one’s share, and one should be happy with one’s lot, for the Lord is near to all them that call upon Him in honest truth.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Orot HaTorah (Lights of the Torah), Chapter 10, Item 4

 

Concerning the rule to not roam in the PARDESS, unless one has filled one’s stomach with meat and wine, it should be said to one who comes to do only what the Torah commands by law. But one who craves and yearns to learn the inner things, to know His truthfulness, is under the rule, “one should always learn Torah in the place one’s heart wishes.” And one should be very strong in one’s way and know that he will learn and succeed… and make one’s soul’s craving to adhere to knowing His Name permanently. And if one should see that the majority of the students are not so, he should know that this is right for them, so they will not destroy the sanctity until they walk by gradations. This has nothing to do with ostentation and boasting, only divisions in the soul’s nobility.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Orot HaTorah (Lights of the Torah), Chapter 9, Item 12

 

Let not the eunuch say, “For I am a dry tree, and who am I to approach the holiness within, in the books of Kabbalah?” This is because all the righteous have already agreed that today this is the counsel of the inclination and a lie. And although he does not understand everything, still, the words of the Holy Zohar have power for the soul, and are approachable for every soul of Israel, small or great, each according to one’s understanding and the root of one’s soul.

–Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Horovitz of Backshwitz,

Hanhagot Yesharot (Upright Guidance), Item 5

 

Had my people heeded me in this generation, when heresy is increasing, they would have studied The Book of Zohar and the Tikkunim (corrections), and contemplated them with nine-year-old children, his fear of wisdom would precede his wisdom and he would persist.

–Rav Yitzhak Yehudah Yehiel of Komarno,

Notzer Hesed (Keeping Mercy), Chapter 4, Teaching 20

 

There are no limitations on studying The Zohar because it is mostly Midrash (commentaries). The Hafetz Chaim used to evoke everyone to study The Zohar of that Parasha (weekly portion of the Torah) every Shabbat, even unmarried men.

–Rabbi Yosef Ben Shlomo of Pojin,

Hosafot Binian Yosef (Yosef’s Building Supplements)

 

Without knowing the wisdom of Kabbalah, one is like a beast, since one is following the Mitzva without flavor, only going through the motions. This is similar to hay-eating beasts, without the taste of human food. And even if one is an important businessperson, occupied with much negotiations, he is not exempted from engaging in this wisdom.

–The Holy Rav of Ziditshov,

Sur MeRa VeAseh Tov (Depart from Evil, and Do Good)

 

The Torah is but a means. Engaging in it should be with a desire and profound desire for Dvekut (adhesion) with the Creator. No other intention is permitted in the Hall of God. Clearly, if students of Torah had engaged in it with burning love of God in their hearts, and the desire to cleave unto Him would be filling their whole being, there would be no argument concerning the internality of the Torah. All would flock to the King’s Hall to engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah and the Holy Zohar for the greater part of their day, and even most of their time.

–The Path of the PARDESS, vol. 11,

Parashat VaYishlach, November 1996, Issue 515/3

 

Kabbalah deals with achieving the knowledge of the Creator, which is His uniqueness… because besides engaging in it and achieving it, one knows The Name and attains the secrets of the Torah and the flavors of the Mitzvot, which, in themselves revive the soul. This is so since through them, the soul is fortified and adheres to its Maker. Also extending from it are the proper keeping of the Mitzvot, as it excites the heart of those who know it, to do it wholly.

–Avodat HaKodesh (Holy Work),

“The Purpose,” Chapter 70

 

At the time of the Messiah, evil increases and impudence and vice will be led by the heads of the mixed multitude. Then the Hidden Light will appear from the Heaven – The Book of Zohar, followed by the writings of the Holy Ari. And this learning will root out the evil in his soul. He will be rewarded with cleaving to the Upper Light, and he will be rewarded all the virtues in the world. It is for this reason that this Light appeared.

And the essence of your study in the internality of the Torah will be to attain illumination and Godly liveliness in your soul during your study and through the rest of the day. The Ari said that at that time the hidden will become revealed, and learning the secrets of the Torah and revealing the secrets to everyone from Israel gives joy to the Creator.

–Heichal HaBrahch (The Hall of Blessing),

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 208

 

The study of The Book of Zohar is above all studies and is a great correction to the soul. Since the whole of the Torah is the Names of the Creator, it is nevertheless clothed in stories, and one who reads the stories thinks of the literal. However, in The Book of Zohar, the secrets themselves are revealed, and the reader knows that they are the secrets of the Torah, although it is not understood because of the smallness of the attaining, and the depth of the attained.

–Pointing with the Finger, item 44

 

Why then did the Kabbalists obligate each person to study the wisdom of Kabbalah? Indeed, there is a great thing in it, worthy of being publicized: There is a wonderful, invaluable remedy to 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.

This means that every person from Israel is guaranteed to finally attain all the wonderful attainments that the Creator has calculated in the Thought of Creation to delight every creature. One who has not been rewarded in this life will be rewarded in the next life, etc. until one completes the Creator’s Thought of him.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam),

“Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 155

 

The merit of contemplating the words of the Living God in The Book of Zohar and all that accompany it, and the words of the wisdom of truth, is immeasurable and priceless. It is especially so with the clear words of the Ari.

And even if one has not yet come to understand the heart of the matter through in-depth scrutiny, through constant engagement, the gates of Light and doors of wisdom will appear to all who walk on the path of God in wholeness, whose soul craves nearing the King’s Hall. Hence, blessed will be all who volunteer to engage in the wisdom for even an hour or two a day, every day. The Creator adds an act to a good thought, and it will be regarded as standing, always and everyday, in the Lord’s Court and His Abode, in the secrets of the Torah.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Who Love Israel with Holiness, 232

 

Those who engage solely in the dresses of the Torah are gravely mistaken, may God have mercy on them. And when the Lord’s demand is abandoned and the majority of the multitude of the sages of the Torah do not know its purpose, and they consider the wisdom of the Torah with its purpose as mere addition of some quip to the laws – which, though truly sacred and precious – they will not illuminate our souls.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Igrot (Letters), Vol. 2, 8

 

I write only to evoke the hearts of disciples of sages to engage in the study of the internality of the Torah and to study the Holy Zohar as diligently as the Mishnah and the Gemarah. Yet, not all are ready for it by the nature of their souls. Hence, one who is not capable, and whose heart is keen, should certainly prolong the quip in Mishnah and Gemarah. But one who is capable of delving in the wisdom of Kabbalah, should dedicate the greater part of his study to know his Maker.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Igrot (Letters), Vol. 1, 41-42

 

The young, or those who find themselves heavy and of little desire for the Inner Light, must, at the very least, make it a rule to dedicate one or two hours a day to the wisdom of truth. In time, their minds will broaden and abundant success will unfold on their study of the essence of the Torah, as well, and their strength in scrutiny will mount and grow with pure ideas and broadening of the mind.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Igrot (Letters), Vol. 1, 82

 

As long as orthodoxy insists on saying, “No! Only Gemarah and Mishnah, no legends, no ethics, no Kabbalah, and no research,” it dwindles itself. All the means it uses to protect itself, without taking the true potion of life, the Light of the Torah in its internals, beyond the tangible and obvious – the revealed in the Torah and Mitzvot – are utterly incapable of leading to its goal in all the generations, and especially in our generation, unless accompanied by expanding the many spiritual roots.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Igrot (Letters), Vol. 2, 232-233

 

We did not heed the voice of the true prophets, the voice of the best of the sages of all the generations, the voice of the righteous and the Hassidim, the sages of morals, the sages of study and secrets, who were crying out loudly that the river of the practical study alone will ultimately run dry, unless we constantly draw into it the water of the wisdom of Kabbalah.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Orot (Lights), 101

 

Redemption will only come by means of studying the Torah, and redemption is primarily in the study of Kabbalah.

–The Vilna Gaon (GRA),

Even Shlemah (A Perfect and Just Weight), Chapter 11, Item 3

 

When engaging in this composition, one evokes the power of the souls and the power of those righteous with the force of Moses. This is so because while engaging in it, they renew the generated Light, which was created during its composition. And 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.

–Ohr Yakar (Precious Light), Gate 1, Item 5

 

Studying the Holy Zohar purifies the body and the soul and is capable of bringing redemption soon in our days.

–Rabbi Efraim Ben Avraham Ardot,

Mateh Efraim (Efraim’s Wand), The Tip of the Mateh (wand), Item 23

 

By the power of this holy study will we be redeemed from exile, and with nothing but that study. The reward of this study is greater than the whole of the Torah and all the Mitzvot. If one has engaged in this wisdom after one’s soul has departed one’s body, he is exempted from all the judgments. One who engages in the wisdom of Kabbalah, to know the secrets of the Torah and the flavors of the Mitzvot according to the secret, is called “a son to the Creator.”

–Sefer HaBrit (The Book of the Covenant), Part 2, Article 12, Chapter 5

 

One who is not studying this wisdom is as one who lives abroad. It is similar to one who has no other God, whose desire increases and the inclination deflects and brings doubt in the faith. But one who is bold and engages in the wisdom of Kabbalah will have no doubt in the ways of God.

–The Holy Rav of Ziditshov,

Sur MeRa (Depart from Evil), 69

 

And you shall return and distinguish between a righteous... a servant of God, and one who serves Him not: A servant of God is one who engages in the Talmud and The Zohar. One who does not serve Him engages only in Talmud, and does not engage in The Zohar.

–Maayan Ganim (Fountain of Gardens), Chapter 1, Item 2

 

Let fear of studying not come into your heart, for by studying, the 248 organs and 365 tendons will be sanctified and purified. You will be able to sanctify and purify each organ, be a chariot to the Shechina (Divinity), and hasten the end of the exile.

–Heichal HaBracha (Hall of Blessing), Beresheet, p 32

 

It is known that the study of The Zohar is capable indeed. Know that the study of The Zohar creates desire, and the holy words of The Zohar strongly evoke to the work of God.

–Rabbi Nachman of Breslev,

Talks of Rabbi Nachman, 108

 

The whole of the wisdom of Kabbalah is only to know the guidance of the Higher Will, why It has created all these creatures, what It wants of them, what will be the end of all the cycles of the world, and how all these cycles in the world, which are so foreign, are interpreted. This is because the Higher Will had already calculated the cycle of this Guidance, which ends in utter completeness. And these measures are what we interpret as Sefirot and worlds.

–The Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (The Ramchal),

Daat Tvunot, p 21

 

Studying Kabbalah, I know that you yourself would not want to study, except from one greater than you. And you will not find it except in studying The Book of Zohar. However, prior to each study, resolve within yourself to not make it a habit, but only for the Creator. And not all times are the same: at times you will be able to study for the Creator fervently, if you are rewarded with praying with a pure thought; and sometimes with a small thought, but all with a thought to benefit the Creator.

–The Rav Meshulam Feibush,

Yosehr Divrey Emet (Sincerity, Words of Truth), p 25

 

If he studies in truth, and with fear of sinning, the more he studies, the more he will surrender and see himself far from the truth, and he is certain to come to fear sin. But when he studies to be a quip scholar, savvy in rules to judge and to instruct, the more arguments and opinions he adds, the more he will ache and the greater will the heart become. Indeed, for this reason, the fool walks in the dark, in all sorts of lusts and lies; and he will waste his years with a wanting heart.

–The Rav Meshulam Feibush,

Yosehr Divrey Emet (Sincerity, Words of Truth), p 39

 

All of the sages of the nations do not know in Yetzira what the smallest in Israel knows. And the benefit of the rest of the teachings is in being a ladder to the wisdom of knowing the Creator.

–The Rav Moshe Ben Nachman,

The Writings of the Ramban, Essay Torat H’ Temima (The Law of the Lord Is Perfect), p 155

 

When one engages in this wisdom, mentioning the names of the Lights and the vessels related to one’s soul, they immediately shine upon him to a certain degree. However, they shine for him without clothing the interior of his soul, for lack of the vessels able to receive them. Yet, the illumination one receives time after time during the engagement draws upon one grace from above, imparting one with abundance of sanctity and purity, which bring one much closer to reaching perfection.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam),

“Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 155

 

It follows, that all the rejections he had experienced had all come from the Creator. They all came to prompt him to develop in spirituality, so he would not settle for his state. These rejections were not punishments for bad deeds, which he did because he could not overcome the obstructions. Rather, only those that the Creator wishes to bring near, the Creator Himself sends them help from above, using these rejections. This help is sent only to one with a true desire to rise above this world. Such a person receives help from above, being constantly shown how he is at fault, that he is not advancing in spirituality, and he is sent thoughts and views against the uniqueness of the Creator’s actions.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam),

Shamati (I Heard), Article no. 1, “There Is None Else besides Him”

 

One must know that he will never come to know the true measure of the importance of the connection between man and the Creator because one cannot assess its true value. Instead, as much as one appreciates it, so he attains its merit and importance. There is a power in that, since thus one can be permanently imparted this illumination.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam),

Shamati (I Heard), Article no. 4, “The Reason for the Heaviness”

 

There is no need for asceticism, and there is no need to correct the external. Do not correct your externality, but only your internality, since only your internality is about to be corrected. The primary cause for the corruption of the internality is pride and self-centeredness. If you wish to cleanse your sins, you should engage in annulling self-centeredness instead of asceticism, to feel that you are the lowest and the worst of all the people in the world. Yet, one should take note and lower oneself only before opportune people, before our society, and not before strangers.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam),

Pri Hacham (A Sage’s Fruit), p 75

 

Study in a book of Kabbalah, and even if you do not understand them, say the words of The Zohar, for they can purify the soul.

–The Rav Yaakov Kapil Prayer Book, Section “The Intention in the Study”

 

The internality of the Torah is life to the internality of the body, which is the soul and the externality to the externality of the body. And those who engage in intimations and secrets, the evil inclination cannot provoke them.

–The Vilna Gaon (GRA),

Even Shlemah (A Perfect and Just Weight), Chapter 8, Item 27

 

One who does ample studying will study mostly in The Zohar, even if he does not understand. After all, why should he care that he does not understand, since it is a cure nonetheless?

–Short Articles of the Old Admor, p 571

 

One who has not been granted with understanding will read the words nonetheless, since the words can cleanse the soul and illuminate it with wondrous radiance.

–Rav Chaim HaCohen,

Good Conducts, Item 45

 

Hear me my brothers and friends, who are craving and seeking the truth, the truth of the work of the heart – to behold the pleasantness of the Lord and to visit His Hall: My soul shall bend and cling unto The Book of Zohar, as the power of engaging in the holy book is known from our ancient sages.

–The Holy Rav of Ziditshov,

Sur MeRa (Depart from Evil), p 4

 

It is true that we accept that even for one who knows nothing, the words of The Zohar can still cleanse the soul.

–Rav Tzvi Elimelech Shapira (MAHARTZA),

The MAHARTZA Additions, Item 9

 

A new Light is renewed every moment, until it actually becomes a new creation, through The Zohar and our teacher the Ari.

–Heichal HaBracha (Hall of Blessing),

Devarim (Deuteronomy), p 11

 

Each and every letter in The Book of Zohar and the writings of our great teacher, by Rav Chaim Vital… are great corrections for the soul, to correct all the incarnations.

–Rav Yitzhak Yehudah Yehiel of Komarno,

Notzer Hesed (Keeping Mercy), Chapter 4, Teaching 20

 

He said, “Prior to the coming of the Messiah, heresy and Epicureanism will increase in the world.” The advice for it is to meticulously say The Zohar every day, even if one does not understand what one is saying, since saying The Zohar can cleanse the heart.

–The Light of the Upright, Clear Myrrh

 

One hour of studying The Zohar will correct Above what a whole year of studying the literal will not.

–Rav Shalom Ben Moshe Buzzaglo,

The King’s Throne, Tikkun 43, Item 60

 

The Creator feels no contentment in His world except when engaging in this wisdom. Moreover, man was created only to study the wisdom of Kabbalah.

–The Rav Chaim Vital,

Preface to the Gate to Introductions

 

Should you say, “What benefit is there in these corrections?” Know that there is a great benefit. First, they are no longer lost, but are kept through the end of days. Second, when these great actions unfold within, even though the actions themselves do not come out, an illumination from them does come out, to yield great corrections in the general redemption. But to bring out that small illumination, all these great actions are required, since they are closed within.

–The Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (The Ramchal),

Adir BaMarom (The Mighty One on High), p 17

 

All the Mitzvot that are written in the Torah or the accepted ones, which the Patriarchs established, although they are mostly actions or words, they are all to correct the heart, “for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands all the inclinations of the thoughts.”

–Rav Avraham Eben Ezra,

Yesod Morah, p 8b

 

If one wishes to know, and asks of the Creator to understand the connection, this is called “a prayer.” And this is a great and very important thing, since one has connection with the Creator, and wishes something of Him.

–Rav Baruch Ashlag,

Dargot HaSulam (Steps of the Ladder), Vol. 2, Article no. 561, “Prayer”

 

The prayer is called “the work in the heart,” since the heart is Malchut, and the heart leads all the organs.

–The Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (The Ramchal),

Adir BaMarom (The Mighty One on High), p 234

 

But prayer is more particular to the heart. It touches it first, and prepares it to properly understand the organs. And the whole correction force is that the heart, in all its aspects, will cling to the Name HaVaYaH, meaning ZA, and be included in it.

–The Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (The Ramchal),

Adir BaMarom (The Mighty One on High), p 242

 

You can therefore see the utter necessity for anyone from Israel… to engage in the internality of the Torah and its secrets. Without it, the intention of creation will not be completed in man. This is the reason why we reincarnate, generation-by-generation, through our current generation, the remainder of the souls upon which the intention of creation has not been completed, as they have not attained the secrets of the Torah in previous generations.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag,

“Introduction to the Book, From the Mouth of a Sage”

 

Being favored by the Creator, or the opposite, does not depend on the person himself. Rather, it all depends on the Creator. And one who has not acquired a spiritual mind cannot understand why the Lord has favored him now and hence brought him closer, and subsequently left him, since one understands it only past one’s entrance to spirituality.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam),

Shamati (I Heard), Article no. 1, “There Is None Else besides Him”

 

A real place in spirituality is called the place of reality, since anyone who comes to that place sees the same form as the other. However, an imaginary thing is not called a real place, since it is imaginary, and then everyone imagines it differently.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam),

Shamati (I Heard), Article no. 98, “Spirituality Is Called That Which Will Never Be Lost”

 

Angels do not know the secrets of the Torah. Also, they do not attain their Maker as the souls attain – demanding the Torah and, through it, attaining the Creator, the greatness of the Maker, and rise. The whole Torah speaks of nothing but the existence of the Maker and His merit in His Sefirot and His operations in them. And the more one studies its secrets, the better, since one utters His merit and does wonders in the Sefirot.

–Rav Moshe Cordovero (RAMAK),

Know the God of Thy Father, 40

 

We do not know the Creator from the world and through the world, but from within our soul, from His Godly quality.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Igrot (Letters), Vol. 1, 45

 

The Wisdom of the secret is not given to one person, since everyone has a part in the Torah, as the aim is only to know the Creator. Also, it is impossible for one person to attain the whole wisdom if not all the people in the world. Indeed, “Her husband is known in the She’arim (gates).” In Shi’urim (measures), each has a Shi’ur (measure) in the Torah, to know one’s Maker.

–Rav Moshe Cordovero (RAMAK),

Know the God of Thy Father, 93

 

There are those who only examine the literal Torah and the literal issues. These are in shame for the Next World, since there are no literal matters there, but their secrets, so he can negotiate among the rest of the righteous, the students of the secrets of the Torah that are there. Otherwise, he will be rejected from them, out to the place of students of the literal.

And those who delve in the secret have a part in Bina, so they will shine and radiate from there, from the secret of the internality of the Torah, and measuring a level, that is, as the brightness of the firmament. There is no reward as the reward of the disciples of the Torah and knowing its secrets, to the glory of its Creator.

–Rav Moshe Cordovero (RAMAK),

Know the God of Thy Father, 148

 

Happy are those who engage in the Torah to know the wisdom of their Lord. They know and observe the Higher Secrets. When a person who has repented leaves this world, and is left with only transgressions for which death atones, through it, meaning death, all the judgments in the world depart from him. Moreover, they open before him thirteen gates from the secrets of the Pure Persimmon, upon which Sublime Wisdom depends.

–The Book of Zohar (with the Sulam commentary), Song of Songs, p 148

 

It is not without reason – according to their will – did they determine impure, pure, forbidden, permitted, kosher, and banned. They rather judged from the internality of the Torah, as it is known to those who know the wisdom of the hidden.

–Rav Chaim Vital,

The Writings of the Ari, The Tree of Life, Part 1, “Introduction of Rav Chaim Vital,” 3

 

One who has not seen the Light of the wisdom of Kabbalah, has never seen Lights. This is because then he understands and learns the secret of His Uniqueness and His Guidance. And all who retire from the wisdom of Kabbalah retire from the eternal, spiritual life.

–Rav Isaiah Horowitz (the Holy Shlah),

“First Article,” p 30

 

Who has not seen the Light of The Book of Zohar has never seen Light.

–The Rav Tzvi Hirsh of Ziditshov,

Ateret Tzvi (A Crown of Glory) Parashat BeHaalotcha

 

It must be known because we are commanded, “know this day, and lay it to thy heart, that the Lord, He is God.” Thus, we must know, and not only believe, but matters should make sense.

–The Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (The Ramchal),

Moses’ War, “Rules,” p 349

 

There shall be no strange god in thee – God will not be a stranger to you, within you.

–There Is None More Complete than a Broken Heart

(Sayings of the Rav of Kotzk), p 42

 

The soul spreads in the parts of the body and is included in a single whole in the heart, by understanding. This is the meaning of “the heart understands” (Berachot 61), since the understanding of the heart is actual seeing, since as the eyes see, so is the understanding of the soul, which is only observing.

–The Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (The Ramchal),

Adir BaMarom (The Mighty One on High), p 274

 

Each attains individual attainment, according to one’s own degree and according to the time.

–The Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (The Ramchal),

Adir BaMarom (The Mighty One on High), p 279

 

In truth, one who achieves true knowledge can see three things: the real, hidden Guidance, the superficial appearance of the Guidance, which is not the truth, where this appearance originates, and how it connects to the actual Guidance.

–The Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (The Ramchal),

Adir BaMarom (The Mighty One on High), p 459

 

The Baal Shem Tov ordered his people to study the words of The Zohar prior to praying.

–Rav Yitzhak Bar Yishaiah Atia,

Doresh Tov (Seeking Good), “Concerning The Zohar”

 

Will not achieve life but only through the study of The Zohar… And in this generation it is impossible to draw the Higher Shechina (Divinity) but through The Zohar and the writings of Rav Chaim Vital.

–Heichal HaBracha (Hall of Blessing), Devarim (Deuteronomy), 58

 

On this day, when the holy book – The Zohar – was written, which is from the illumination of the hidden, good Light … it shines for us in the exile until, by its merit, the Messiah will appear. Let this Light be the Light of the Messiah King.

–Rav Tzvi Elimelech Shapira (MAHARTZA),

Bnei Isaschar (The Children of Issachar), “Articles for the Month of Iyar,” Article no. 3, Item 4

 

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 even if one has learned the whole Torah and has memorized the Mishnah and the Gemarah; 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.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag,

“Introduction to the Book, From the Mouth of a Sage”

 

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. This means that until now, the ways by which it is possible to publicly engage, before every nation and denomination, and to fully and correctly explain each word, have not been revealed to any sage.

I, too, have sworn by my teacher to not disclose, as did all the students before me. But this oath and this prohibition apply only to those manners given orally from generation to generation, back to the prophets and before. Had these ways been revealed to the public, they would have caused much harm, for reasons known only to us.

Yet, the way in which I engage in my books is a permitted way. Moreover, I have been instructed by my teacher to expand it as much as I can. We call it “the manner of clothing the matters.” This does not depend on the genius of the sage himself, but on the state of the generation, as our sages said, “Little Samuel was worthy, etc., but his generation was unworthy.” This is why I said that my being rewarded with the manner of disclosing the wisdom is because of my generation.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag,

Pri Hacham (A Sage’s Fruit), Articles, “The Teaching of Kabbalah and Its Essence,” p 165

 

We must establish seminaries and compose books, to hasten the dissemination of the wisdom throughout the nation. That was not so before, for fear lest unworthy disciples would mingle. And this became the primary reason for the prolonging of the exile, for our many sins, to this day. …Many will roam, and knowledge will increase among all those worthy of it. By that, we will soon be rewarded with the coming of the Messiah and the redemption of our souls soon in our days, Amen.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag,

The Book of Introductions, “Introduction to the Book, The Tree of Life,” Item 5, p 205

 

Due to the comprehensive prevention on the spiritual study of Godly matters, the concept of Godliness is dimming, for lack of purified work in mind and heart. This is the heresy of the days of the Messiah, when Godly wisdom is exhausted in Israel and in the world over.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Orot (Lights), p 126

 

Turning the hearts and occupying the minds with noble thoughts, whose origin is the secrets of the Torah, has become an utter necessity in the last generation.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Mist of Purity, p 65

 

Indeed, we will never be able to ignore the general, comprehensive cure, whose abandonment caused our fall. This is the thing that I, in my misery and discontent, am used to calling… Precisely at a time of great peril and crisis, we should take the best of cures in all the Torah, with all its spiritual interpretations. … At such a time, we must protest for the greatest of deficiencies.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Igrot (Letters), Vol. 2, pp 123, 125

 

All the great Kabbalists unanimously cry out like cranes that as long as we deny the Torah of its secrets and do not engage in its secrets, we are destroying the world.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Igrot (Letters), Vol. 2, p 231

 

I have already said on several occasions that precisely this generation, which seems so vain and unruly, is the best suited for the Light of true repentance.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Igrot (Letters), Vol. 2, p 34

 

When knowledge diminishes in Israel, as the exile continues, and the Godly introductions are gone and forgotten, many will fall in the pit of materialization, and make a God that has a place and image. This is because the secrets of the Torah will be hidden from them. And not many will be wise and know the secret, but one out of a city, and many will be in the pit of error.

–Rav Moshe Cordovero (RAMAK),

Know the God of Thy Father, 139-140

 

Studying the Holy Zohar at this time is much needed to save and protect us from all evil, since the disclosure of this wisdom now is in flawed generations, to now be a shield for us to wholeheartedly cling to our Father in Heaven. Previous generations were men of action and pious, and the good deeds saved them from the accusers. Now we are remote from the Higher Root, like the yeast in the barrel. Who will protect us if not our study of this wisdom?

–The Sage Yaakov Tzemach in his introduction to The Tree of Life

 

And he will know the secrets of the Torah and the flavors of the Mitzvot… because the soul is strengthened by them and unites with its Maker… And besides the hidden good, the next world, for one who delves and grows wise in it, one tastes the flavors of the next world in this world, too. … And by the merit of those who engage, the Messiah will come; for then the earth shall be full of knowledge, because of it, and this will be a reason for His arrival.

–Rav Isaiah Horowitz (the Holy Shlah),

“First Article,” p 30

 

All who will be rewarded with Him, will be rewarded with redemption. This is because this lesser work, at this time, is more important than all the rams of Nebaioth that were during the time when the Temple existed.

–Rav Avraham Katz of Kalisk,

Mercy to Abraham, “First Fountain,” 24

 

I have seen it written that the prohibition from Above to refrain from open study in the wisdom of truth was only for a limited period, until the end of 1490. But from then on the prohibition has been lifted and permission was granted to engage in The Book of Zohar. And from the year 1540, it has been a great Mitzva (commandment, good deed) for the masses to study, old and young… And because the Messiah will come because of that, for no other reason, we must not be negligent.

–Avraham Ben Mordechai Azulai,

Ohr HaChama (Light of the Sun), Introduction

 

Through Israel’s engagement in the secrets of the Torah, the Messiah will come soon in our days, Amen.

– The Congregation of Jacob, Headword Secret

 

Redemption will come only through the study of Kabbalah.

– The Vilna Gaon (GRA),

Even Shlemah (A Perfect and Just Weight), Chapter 11, Item 3

 

May they begin to teach the holy Book of Zohar to children when they are still small, ages nine or ten, as it was written by the great Kabbalist… and redemption would certainly come soon, without any labor pains of the Messiah. And Rabbi Shem Tov had already written in The Book of Faiths that Judah and Israel will be redeemed forever only by the wisdom of Kabbalah, since only this is a Godly wisdom, given to the sages of Israel since days and years of old. And by its merit will the glory of God and the glory of His Sacred Law be revealed.

–The Rav Shabtai Ben Yaakov Yitzhak Lifshitz,

Segulot Israel (The Virtue of Israel), Set no. 7, Item 5

 

Listen to my advice and God will be with you: Do not avoid engagement in the wisdom because of fear. After all, what is your life’s soul in the world? If, God forbid, there is no wisdom and knowledge in you, your life is not life. The writing says, “See, I have set before thee this day life; therefore choose life.” Imagine that a person came upon you to deny you of life; would you wage war against him… or reign him, or would it be to the contrary? “All that a man has will he give for his life,” and he will slight all actions and justifications in the world, to cross the sea, to rise up to the Heaven, until he surrenders the one who stands against him and wishes to rob him of life. This is even more so with the Eternal Life, called “life.”

–The Holy Rav of Ziditshov,

Sur MeRa (Depart from Evil), 8

 

Why has God sent for us to reveal in our generation, what He did not reveal except in the generation of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai and his friends. … For this is the rudiment of the Torah and the tenet of faith on which the axes of the doors of the Torah and the work revolve. Without it, you will not know what is Torah Lishma (for Her Name), since you will not know the root of the images of His Names, blessed is He and blessed is His Name. … And you are not exempted from the internality of the Torah, for without it, man is like a beast, a hay-eating ox.

–The Holy Rav of Ziditshov,

Sur MeRa (Depart from Evil), 29

 

I say, I wish the greatest of the generations had not eased the study of the holy wisdom, and I wish they had taught their students a way to engage in this wisdom. Then there would certainly be no pride in external teachings, and all the teachings would be rejected by it, as darkness is rejected by the light. Yet, our sins have caused quite a few of the righteous of the generation to shut the doors of wisdom before the novices and say that they will not teach until they have a degree and the spirit of holiness. For this reason, we have remained bare of the sacred wisdom, and through our many sins, the darkness of the external teachings has increased. The fool walks in the dark and soon in our days the Lord will say, “Let there be light,” and we will be enlightened.

–Rav Tzvi Elimelech Shapira (MAHARTZA),

Maayan Ganim (A Fountain of Gardens), Chapter 1, Item 5

 

Due to the intensification of the Klipot (shells), the heresy, impudence, and unholy mixture in this generation, permission has been given from Above to disclose the Light of this wisdom, to tie the souls to the life of the Light of Godliness, to truly cleave unto Him… This is because this wisdom has been revealed in this generation only to sanctify, purify, and to remove the vices.

– Heichal HaBracha (Hall of Blessing), Devarim (Deuteronomy), p 27

 

Because Israel are destined to taste from the Tree of Life, which is the holy Book of Zohar, through it, they will be redeemed from exile.

– The Book of Zohar, Naso, Item 90

 

When we repent and engage in this wisdom with love, Israel will be redeemed soon in our days, Amen.

–Rav Chaim Vital, “Preface to the Gate to Introductions”

 

Redemption depends on the study of Kabbalah.

–The Vilna Gaon (GRA),

Even Shlemah (A Perfect and Just Weight), Chapter 11, Item 3

 

I have news about the city of Prague, which is a place of study: Judaism is declining there, retreating day-by-day. Indeed, the thing is that previously, the revealed Torah sufficed. But now, in the days of the Messiah, there is a need for the hidden Torah, as well. Previously, the evil inclination was not so strong, and the revealed Torah was sufficient as a spice against it. But now, prior to the redemption, the evil inclination is intensifying and requires strengthening through the hidden, too.

–Rav Simcha Bonim of Pshischa,

A Torah of Joy, p 57

 

Know that the previous generations and the early days, those of the fifth millennium, are not as these generations and these days. In those days, the gates of the wisdom were closed and locked. Hence, then Kabbalists were only a few. This is not so in this sixth millennium, when the gates of Lights, the gates of Mercy have been opened, since it is near the end of days. Now it is a joy of Mitzva (good deed) and great contentment in the eyes of the Creator to make the glory of His Eternal Kingdom known, and especially now, when the holy writings of the Ari Luria have been printed. This opened for us the gates of Light, which were sealed and locked. Now there is no obstacle or peril, just as with the revealed.

Sefer HaBrit (The Book of the Covenant), Part 2, Article 12, Chapter 5

 

Only through the expansion of the wisdom of Kabbalah in the masses will we obtain complete redemption. … Both the individual and the nation will not complete the aim for which they were created, except by attaining the inner part of the Torah and its secrets. Hence, it is the great expansion of the wisdom within the nation that we need first, to merit receiving the benefit from our Messiah. Thus, the expansion of the wisdom and the coming of our Messiah are interdependent. For this reason, we must establish seminaries and compose books, to hasten the dissemination of the wisdom throughout the nation.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag,

The Book of Introductions, “Introduction to the Book, The Tree of Life,” Item 5, pp 204-205

 

Now the time dictates acquiring much possessions in the inner Torah. The Book of Zohar breaks new paths, sets lanes, makes a highway in the desert, it, and all its crops are ready to open the doors of redemption.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Orot (Lights), 57

 

Many thought that too much engagement in the secret is not good, since the practical Torah would be forgotten from Israel, the forbidden, the permitted, the non-kosher, and the kosher. And what shall become of this Torah had we all delved in the secrets of the Torah? …Yet, those who despise it are not servants of the Creator whatsoever.

–Rav Moshe Cordovero (RAMAK),

Know the God of Thy Father, 132

 

But if …a person from Israel degrades the virtue of the internality of the Torah and its secrets, …with regard to the virtue of the externality of the Torah, which discusses only the practical part… one causes degradation and decline of the internality of the world, which are the Children of Israel, and intensifies the domination of the externality of the world – the Nations of the World – over them. They will humiliate and disgrace the Children of Israel. … Then they make all the ruin and the heinous slaughter… and the whole decline of the Children of Israel is because they had abandoned the internality of the Torah, degraded its merit, and made it seemingly redundant.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag,

The Book of Introductions, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 69, p 91

 

Woe unto them that make the spirit of the Messiah leave and depart from the world, and will not be able to return to the world. They are the ones who make the Torah dry, without the moist of understanding and knowledge, since they confine themselves to the practical part of the Torah, and do not wish to try to understand the wisdom of Kabbalah, to know and to learn the secrets of the Torah and the flavors of the Mitzvot. Woe unto them, for with these acts they make poverty, ruin, robbery, looting, killing, and destruction exist in the world.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag,

The Book of Introductions, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 70, p 91

 

The people of Israel are divided into three sects:

1. Populace servants of the Creator, who know Me not. These bring the world back to chaos, sustaining their bodies, and destroying their souls.

2. Wise disciples, who engage in the literal Torah, the sages of the literal. They despise engagement in the wisdom of truth and say that all there is in the Torah is the literal. These are sapient in doing harm, and do not know how to do good. And many a downfall come from them; they have no Light in their Torah.

3. Possessors of the wisdom of truth. These are called “sons.”

–Rav Chaim Vital,

The Writings of the Ari, The Tree of Life, Part One, “Rav Chaim Vital’s Introduction,” 9-10

 

There is no doubt that those who engage only in Babylonian Talmud are like blind scraping the wall, in the dresses of the Torah. They have no eyes to see the secrets of the Torah that are hidden in it.

–Rav Chaim Vital,

The Writings of the Ari, The Tree of Life, Part One, “Rav Chaim Vital’s Introduction,” 9-10

 

Woe unto people from the affront of the Torah. For undoubtedly, when they engage only in the literal and in its stories, it wears its widow-garments, and covered with a bag. And all the nations shall say unto Israel: “What is thy Beloved more than another beloved? Why is your law more than our law? After all, your law, too, is stories of the mundane.” There is no greater affront to the Torah than that.

Hence, woe unto the people from the affront of the Torah. They do not engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah, which honors the Torah, for they prolong the exile and all the afflictions that are about to come to the world… And what will the fools of our time do, as they are clever, and happy with their lot, rejoicing in their work? … They do not know that it is for their fear of entering it that they avoid engaging in it.

Hence, these hills have been corrupted; their heart is a root that bears gall and wormwood, and the rust of mud has come upon them, to deny the wisdom of truth. They say that all there is in the Torah is but the literal and its clothes. … Undoubtedly, they will have no share of the next world. … And it is said about them, “My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry.”

–Rav Chaim Vital,

The Writings of the Ari, The Tree of Life, Part One, “Rav Chaim Vital’s Introduction,” 11-12

 

We have learned how many virtues a whole man has over all that exists. And the opposite of that shall become clear, since when man sins, he has already violated the intention in his creation. Not only will he not be considered whole, he is the least of all creatures, even more than beasts and predators. As the RAMBAM wrote, “Any person who did not achieve the complete human form is not considered human, but a beast with a human form.” This is because such a person has the ability to harm and create evil, which other animals do not, since the mind and the thought that were prepared for attaining perfection will be used for all sorts of trickery to inflict harm. Thus, he is lower than a beast.

–Rav Shimon Lavi, author of Ketem Paz (Fine Gold),

“Man – Creation’s Final Purpose”

 

This is the answer to the wiseacre fools, with vain wisdom, who speak against those who engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah and say about them that they hear the voice of words, yet see no image. Woe unto them and to their misfortune for their foolishness and wantonness, for they will not profit from it; they only move God’s people from rising unto His Holy Mountain, since even the angels Above are weary and do not attain the actual glory.

And from all their craving, they strain to rise above their level, and they shout along the way saying, “with her love be thou ravished always,” and it will not be considered a mistake for them. Even dwellers of clay houses, whose foundation is in the dust, their lust will not be considered a mistake, but only praise and glory and greatness. Because for one who strays seeking the King’s house, and returns to know which way He is, it is considered righteousness, and he will be rewarded for his trouble by the King.

This is the truth, beyond any doubt. And them that proudly and scornfully prattle about those who engage in the books of Kabbalah are destined to pay the price: their lips shall be sealed in this and in the next. For the mouth of liars, who praise themselves on manmade gods with tangible proofs, as it appears to their blind eyes, without gazing at God’s spiritual work, shall be blocked. This is so because He is a soul to the sensed, and their folly is punishment enough for their souls.

–Rav Shimon Lavi, author of Ketem Paz (Fine Gold),

“Good and Evil Are Contained in Man”

 

The crown of the Torah is the wisdom of Kabbalah, from which the majority of the world retires, saying that you should observe what is permitted and that you have no dealings in the hidden. You, if you are fit for this teaching, reach out your hand, hold it, and do not move from it. This is because one who did not taste the flavor of this wisdom, has never seen Lights in his life, and he is walking in the dark. And woe unto the people from the affront of this Torah.

To explain the measure of the wrongdoing of those people who prevent those who want to from studying the wisdom of Kabbalah with their false arguments… this stumbling-block is not in the hands of the masses alone. Rather, the hand of the assistants and the wiseacres scheme with mutiny and embezzlement. And they not only loathe the knowledge of Godliness, they even began to scorn and condemn this wisdom. They walk in the dark and their name will be covered in darkness for gaping and saying, “Our hand is high in the revealed. Why do we need this wisdom? We settle for the literal Torah.”

Sefer HaBrit (The Book of the Covenant), Part 2, Article 12, Chapter 5

 

One who did not engage in the wisdom of truth, who did not want to learn it when his soul wanted to rise to the Garden of Eden, is rejected from there with disgrace. … And do not follow the example of the greatest in the Torah in the revealed who do not want to engage in this wisdom, since the words of our sages in the Midrash and in The Zohar are truer than the greatest in this generation.

Sefer HaBrit (The Book of the Covenant), Part 2, Article 12, Chapter 5

 

All who refrain from studying Kabbalah is rejected from among the righteous, and loses his world, and is not rewarded with seeing the Light of Life’s King’s countenance.

–Rav Yair Chayim Bacharach,

Havvot Yair (Villages of Yair)

 

Many fools escape from studying the secrets of the Ari and The Book of Zohar, which are our lives. If my people heeded me in the time of the Messiah, when evil and heresy increase, they would delve in the study of The Book of Zohar and the Tikkunim and the writings of the Ari all their days. They would revoke all the harsh sentences and would extend abundance and Light. … The life of the Israeli man depends on The Book of Zohar and the writings of the Ari, to study with sanctity, joy, and pleasantness, with fear and with love, each according to his attainment and holiness, and all of Israel are holy.

–Rav Yitzhak Yehudah Yehiel of Komarno,

Notzer Hesed (Keeping Mercy), Chapter 4, Teaching 4

 

He would say about those Hassidim that make much noise, but without depth and feeling, that they are chimneys without houses – emitting smoke without fire.

–There Is None More Complete than a Broken Heart (Sayings of the Rav of Kotzk), p 38

 

This is the panacea, and leaving it caused our fall. This is the thing that I, with my deficiency and bitterness of soul, am accustomed to repeating hundreds and thousands of times. We have left the internality of the Torah. … Small and narrow people come and heal us with cold medicines of all kinds, but leave aside the principal potion of life.

–The Rav Raiah Kook,

Igrot (Letters), Vol. 2, 123

 

They are the ones who make the Torah dry, for they do not wish to delve in the wisdom of Kabbalah. Woe unto them, for thus they cause wretchedness, ruin, looting, killing, and destruction to the world.

The Book of Zohar, Tikkuney Zohar (The Zohar Corrections), Tikkun no. 30

 

Anyone can attain what he is taught in his mother’s womb. And one who could attain the secrets of the Torah and did not try to attain them is judged harshly, God forbid.

–The Vilna Gaon (GRA),

Even Shlemah (A Perfect and Just Weight), Chapter 24

 

Now you can understand the aridity and the darkness that have befallen us in this generation, such as we have never seen before. It is because even the workers of the Creator have abandoned the study of the secrets of the Torah.

–Rav Yehuda Ashlag, The Book of Introductions,

“Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 57, p 88

 

The fool has no wish for wisdom, but for what appears in his heart, who follows the intoxication of the sordid world. He does little in studying the Torah and in delving into its hidden secrets, since this requires “wisdom,” to deduce one thing from another. And the fool has no wish for laboring to understand, but for what appears in his heart, meaning for things that are seen by all, which require no effort to obtain. In his little mind, he thinks that he will understand them, although in truth, he does not even attain that.

Kabbalists’ Interpretations of the Literal, Part 2,

p 459, RAMAK, Dimmed Light, Chapter 1

 

Indeed, when the wisdom is left bare, abstruse words without understanding, another evil is born from that: Great sages leave it aside, since it is the nature of the wise to seek sober understanding and to know the depth of the issues, and not consent to mere words. And when they saw that there was nothing in the words to fill their desire, they said, “Why should we waste our time with the unattainable?”

Others have harmed even more: They not only loathed it, but defamed it, considering it gullibility that people have assumed, to encounter obscene and unacceptable things. Moreover, they have come to deny its essence and negate the Holy Zohar being composed by Rashbi (Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai) and his friends. And all this was because the words of the sages were alien in their eyes, until they considered the Tanaaim, the foundations of the land, unworthy of attention.

–The Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (The Ramchal),

Shaarey Ramchal (Gates of the Ramchal), Introduction to the Article, “The Debate,” p 37

 

But there is one darkness, which darkens the eyes of people, to immerse them in nature. Then, they no longer know that the Creator is the Higher Leader, who moves everything, but attribute it all to luck. This is the meaning of “that prepare a table for Fortune” (Isaiah 65:11). Despite that, they build all their thoughts and decisions according to nature.

Also, there are several external teachings following this nature, and they all immerse the people of the world in these notions. This removes them from knowing the Inner Guidance.

In the last generations, matters have come to the Torah being forgotten from Israel, and no one truly understands the Guidance, but all follow greed. I wish to say that even if they do not commit actual sins, they are like beasts carrying their load. And this rule is the darkness that does not permit seeing where is the root of Guidance.

–The Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (The Ramchal),

Adir BaMarom(The Mighty One on High), p 459

 

This is the reason why Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai so cried over it, and called upon those who engage in the literal Torah that they are asleep, for they do not open their eyes to see the love that the Creator loves them, as though they were, God forbid, ungrateful to Him. Moreover, they do not see and do not know the path of holiness and the Dvekut (adhesion) with Him at all.

But the Torah commands and says, “Cleave unto Him” (Deuteronomy 10:20). And even though they interpret it concerning one cleaving to a wise disciple, in the end, a text does not extend its literal meaning.

In truth, Israel must cleave unto Him with complete Dvekut (adhesion), to know His special ways according to His holiness, and to walk in them. Hence, they said, “The Song of Songs, the Holy of Holies” (Midrash Rabba, Song of Songs). This is because it is founded on this very matter, and he interprets this love and all the efforts the Creator is making to cling with His holiness with Israel, while Israel should correspond with a craving for Him, to genuinely cleave.

And this, unfortunately, is the product of the exile – Israel have forgotten this path, and they remain asleep, immersed in their slumber, oblivious to that. But the Torah is dressed in mourning for its plight, and we are in the dark, like the dead, virtually as blind scraping the wall. Praise is not comely for the just to walk in this way. Rather, it is to the contrary, to open blind eyes and to see the love of God, and to know Holiness and its ways, and be truly sanctified in it.

–The Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato (The Ramchal),

Shaarey Ramchal (Gates of the Ramchal), “The Debate,” p 97

Back to top
Site location tree