The Golden Middle That Opens The Path Forward
A question I received: At the last
Convention I saw some long-time students who were irritated and in a bad mood.
Why? Is this is a sign of one's advancement if they feel hate instead of love?
Answer: The Zohar says that when the
students of Rabbi Shimon were getting ready to study, they would conceal their
hatred for each other and would look for ways to feel love above the hatred.
This love is the result they demanded from the study (See The Zohar,
Chapters "Ki Tissa (When You Take)," Item 54 and "Aharei
Mot (After the Death)," Item 65.) And indeed, the miraculous force
contained inside the Kabbalistic texts brought them that love and they rose
above their initial, natural hatred. Moreover, the hatred was not revealed to
them accidentally, but as a result of their study and great efforts.
a Kabbalah Convention takes place, it is a very significant event that causes a
person to go through many states. One cannot always be in a state of ascent
where he deems bestowal and spiritual ascent above all the earthly things.
large assembly of people attracts a powerful Light by virtue of their common
desire, and this Light begins to "shake them up." This is why the people there
go through many contradictory states: love and hate, understanding and
confusion, joy about how fortunate you are to be there, and the next moment, finding
yourself wondering what you are doing there at all. This is the manner in which
spiritual states are quickly processed within us. You go through more states in
one day of the Convention than in half a year of study during regular life.
in order to use the time of the Convention most effectively, one must go
through these states consciously and be ready for them. Thus, everything
depends on one's preparation to the Convention.
How To Make Heavenly Food From Unpleasant Ingredients
Regardless of whether we understand The Zohar or not, we have to desire the Light
of Correction to shine upon us during the study and expect a miracle to occur
as a result of it. A miracle means there is no connection between the
result of the reading and what I am now reading, understanding, and feeling.
There is no logical connection between my action and the result because this
connection is concealed.
We can speak to no end about the fact that The
Zohar is an Upper System that conducts Light to us, and that we activate
this system by tuning into it with our desire, similar to how a baby in this
world makes efforts and grows without understanding how he grows. Nevertheless,
he gradually matures and becomes a person. Yet, no matter how much we talk
about this, it still doesn't explain the essence of the miracle that is
I might be imagining that I am in the spiritual world
already and just don't feel it. I can imagine that reality is unified and I
cause it to influence me like a baby who doesn't understand what he is doing.
Yet, there are connections and influences upon me that are impossible to convey
in words. All that remains is for us to take this like medicine.
It is written that the Creator created an egoistic
desire in a person and created the Torah as a "spice" (Tavlin) for it.
The Torah is the means to correct the egoistic desire because the Light
contained inside it reforms. Spices such as salt, pepper, and mustard are
unpleasant to the taste on their own, but when combined with our egoistic
desire, our nature, they create pleasant fulfillment.
Similarly, it's impossible to use our egoistic nature
because instead of pleasant fulfillment it brings us bitterness. This is why we
have to connect the desire with the intention; then our life will become
eternal and perfect, in the Light of the Torah.
As long as we cannot use these two ingredients
together correctly, we will suffer from our egoism and the "spice" to it. This
state is called Lo Lishma (not
for the sake of giving); it is the time of preparation, before the food
and the spices connect inside us correctly, pleasantly, and sufficiently. We
constantly add more spice to the food and then taste it to see how pleasant it
is; thus, in the middle line we can eat and enjoy.
However, as long as we haven't attained this wonderful
result yet, we have to patiently wait for the "food" to cook and be mixed with
the "spice." Then we will feel a pleasant taste from the study. Thus, The
Book of Zohar is all about truly delicious and healthy "food."