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Stage Two

The second stage in humanity’s spiritual evolution started about two thousand years ago, when The Book of Zohar, the most important book of Kabbalah, was written and then concealed. It was written shortly after the people of Israel were exiled for what was to be their last and longest exile.

Just like Abraham and Moses in Stage One, the second stage had two giants of its own: Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai (Rashbi) and The Holy Ari (Rabbi Isaac Luria). Rashbi’s Book of Zohar is, as the book itself states, a commentary on the Torah. Just as Moses explained Abraham's words to the entire nation, The Book of Zohar is intended to explain Moses’ words to the entire world. This is why one often reads that The Book of Zohar is destined to appear in the time of the Messiah, at the “end of days.” It is also why Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, the great twentieth-century Kabbalist, wrote that the rediscovery of The Book of Zohar is proof that the “days of the Messiah” are here.


“I have found it written that the above decree to not openly engage in the wisdom of truth was only for a time—until the end of 1490. From then on …the sentence has been lifted, and permission was given to engage in The Book of Zohar. And from the year 1540 it has become praiseworthy to engage in great numbers, since it is by this virtue that the Messiah King will come, and not by another virtue.”

–Rabbi Avraham Azulai

Introduction to the book, Ohr ha Chama (Light of the Sun)


As always, the only antidote to a rise in egoism is unity, and the greater the egoism, the more important it is for people to unite. At first, uniting Abraham's followers and family was enough. Then, when Moses fled from Egypt, he had to unite a whole nation in order to succeed. Today, we need to unite the whole of humanity. Egoism has reached such an intensity that unless the whole of humankind unites to overcome it, we will not succeed.

The second stage in the process of humanity’s bonding with the Creator was very different from the first. It was a time of subtle growth, when the tool to unite humanity—the wisdom of Kabbalah—was being refined and improved in dimly lit rooms and within small, inconspicuous groups. This is why the two most significant works of that period, Rashbi’s Book of Zohar and the Ari’s Tree of Life, were hidden by their own authors as soon as they were completed. They resurfaced many years later, and in the case of The Zohar, many centuries later.

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