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Studying the Concealed Torah Is Preferable to the Revealed Torah

It is impossible for the whole of Israel to come to that great purity except through the study of Kabbalah, which is the easiest way, adequate even for commoners. However, while engaging only in the revealed Torah, it is impossible to be rewarded through it, except for a chosen few and after great efforts, but not for the majority of the people.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study

of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 36


It is easier to draw the light in the Torah while practicing and laboring in the wisdom of truth than in laboring in the literal Torah. The reason is very simple: the wisdom of the revealed is clothed in external, corporeal clothes, such as stealing, plundering, torts, etc. For this reason, it is difficult and heavy for any person to aim his mind and heart to the Creator while studying, so as to draw the Light in the Torah.

It is even more so for a person for whom the study in the Talmud itself is heavy and arduous. How can he remember the Creator during the study, since the scrutiny concerns corporeal matters, and cannot come in him simultaneously with the intention for the Creator?

Therefore, he advises him to practice the wisdom of Kabbalah, as this wisdom is entirely clothed in the names of the Creator. Then he will certainly be able to easily aim his mind and heart to the Creator during the study, even if he is the slowest learner. This is so because the study of the issues of the wisdom and the Creator are one and the same.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study

of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 22


Even though they do not succeed through the practice in the revealed Torah, since there is no Light in it, and it is dry due to the smallness of their minds, they could still succeed by engaging in the study of Kabbalah. This is because the Light in it is clothed in the clothing of the Creator – the Holy Names and the Sefirot. They could easily come to that form of Lo Lishma, which brings them to Lishma.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study

of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 35


Previously, the revealed Torah sufficed. But now, in the days of the Messiah, there is a need for the hidden Torah, as well. It is as we see with a burning candle: before it quenches, its flame grows much stronger and higher. Also, 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


The Braita warns us (Hulin 24) to not wait longer than five years. Moreover, Rabbi Yosi says that only three years are quite sufficient to be granted the wisdom of the Torah.

If one does not see a good sign within that length of time, one should not fool himself with false hopes and deceit, but know that he will never see a good sign. Hence, one must immediately find himself a good tactic by which to succeed in achieving Lishma and to be granted the wisdom of the Torah...

This is the meaning of the Rav’s words, that the surest and most successful tactic is the engagement in the wisdom of Kabbalah. One should leave one’s hand entirely from engagement in the wisdom of the revealed Torah, since he has already tested his luck in it and did not succeed. And he should dedicate all his time to the wisdom of Kabbalah, where his success is certain.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study

of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 23


If we examine his words they will clarify before us as pure heavenly stars. The text, “he is better off leaving his hand off it, once he has tested his luck in this [revealed] wisdom,” does not refer to luck of wit and erudition. Rather, it is as we have explained above in the explanation, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created for it the spice of Torah.” It means that one has delved and exerted in the revealed Torah, and still the evil inclination is in power and has not melted at all. This is because he is still not saved from thoughts of transgression ... Hence, he advises him to leave his hands off it and engage in the wisdom of truth.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study

of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 22


I answered a scholar who asked about the writings of the students of the Ari, that the study of The Zohar is a great correction with which to illuminate the soul and to sanctify it. The Ari gave this correction to one who was repenting to study five pages of The Zohar each day, even though he did not know what it said, for that reading illuminates the soul and corrects it. It seems that the study of The Zohar specifically has that power, more than the study of Mishnah, Talmud and Bible, and it is a wonder, the way its power is greater than the entire Torah, whether it is the Bible or the Mishnah, etc., those are his words.

And I told him that undoubtedly, any study of the Torah is exalted and uplifting, particularly if it is truly Lishma [for Her name]. Surely, it builds its ascensions in heaven and corrects the worlds and unites the beloved. Still, the greatness of the study of The Zohar is that the Bible, the Mishnah, and the Talmud are excessively clothed, and the concealed is completely indiscernible in them. The Zohar, however, speaks explicitly of the secrets of Torah, and even the most illiterate reader will realize that its words stem from the depths of the secrets of Torah. Thus, as the secrets of the Torah are revealed and unclothed, they illuminate and radiate the soul.

The Chida, HaGedolim [The Great Ones], Set of Books, 2

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