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Michael Laitman, PhD

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).

The Wisdom of Kabbalah—the True, Inner Meaning of the Torah

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.

Redemption Depends on the Study of Kabbalah

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.

Disclosing the Wisdom to All

The Book of Zohar, VaYera [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.

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