When we speak to each other we use words to indicate to the other person what we are talking about. That the other person understands us depends on a mutually agreed use of language. But if this mutual agreement was not there, misunderstandings would arise. That is precisely what may happen when we read Kabbalah texts.
The Sages of Kabbalah used ordinary everyday language to express states of consciousness. They relied on the perception of physical reality as having its roots in the higher worlds. . However, these connections between physical branch and spiritual root are not obvious to ordinary people and so we needed a great Sage, Rabbi Yehudah Leib Ashlag to act as translator and teach us the difference between what we think the Zohar is saying and what it really means. Only thus is its unfathomable wisdom open to us.
Root and branch. It is comforting to know that we all have spiritual roots with which we are connected at all time.
This shiur, is dedicated in loving memory of Feiga bat Shmuel and Rvikah and for the elevation of her soul.
The material for this shiur is taken from the forthcoming book, “ The Master of the Ladder, the Life and teachings of the Baal haSulam, Rabbi Yehudah Leib Ashlag, by Rabbi Avraham Mordecai Gottlieb, translated and edited by Yedidah Cohen, Nehora Press
We all know how to give something in order to get something in exchange. We do this all the time. But try giving completely freely, without looking for any benefit whatsoever, not even an emotional compensation. We might think we could do this in theory, but just try it in actual practice and we find that the whole idea seems somehow unreal, surrealistic even. In fact, when we start trying to come into affinity of form with the Creator by giving unconditionally, it feels like learning a new language. We act as if we are emotionally tongue-tied. Our whole organisms feels as if we don’t understand ourselves , and we lack the vocabulary in this new language of giving.
Although we may know that giving unconditionally is a good thing in theory, we require motivation to carry it though in practice. It is through the study of the Kabbalah that we get the tools and the inner fuel to keep going.
From the teachings of Rabbi Ashlag and the Zohar Bereishit. Listen now
Is halachah a lifestyle? Many of my non-observant friends may think so, but in fact its essence is far more than that. It may be said to be a language, a language of actions as precise as those we speak in a sentence.