Thursday, June 23, 2011

User Friendly


" ... In the future the Jewish People will taste from the Tree of Life, which is this Book of the Zohar. They will then emerge from exile with love."   (Zohar III, 124b) 

When it comes to Kabbalah, I'm a big fan of being "user friendly". I'd much rather be among those who explain mystical ideas to the simple folk than be a celebrated Kabbalist kept on reserve to lead a disciplined life of purity, saintliness and spiritual perfection. Such a life feels to me beyond my reach, as I am concerned that might crack under the pressures of spiritual discipline.

However, because of the times we are in, I trust that the teachings of the Zohar are also available to regular Jews like myself. My trust springs my belief in what the Faithful Shepherd (our teacher Moses) related to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, " ... In the future the Jewish People will taste from the Tree of Life, which is this Book of the Zohar. They will then emerge from exile with love." 

It seems to me like this passage is referring to the average simple Jew. The great saintly giants of Torah were already familiar with the Zohar for at least 700 years and the Jews still have not exited exile with love. So obviously, the Faithful Shepherd must have been referring to another audience for the Zohar's teachings, namely, us regular Jews. If he's referring to us, then there must also be a way to present these teachings to us in a "user friendly" manner,  as there's no other way for us to understand them. Perhaps, we might not be able to access the levels attained by true Torah sages while studying Zohar on our own "user friendly" level. Yet, regardless of which level is accessed, we still taste sweet nectar gushing forth from ripe fruits decorating the "Tree of Life" like gleaming gems.  

This why I blog. I want to contribute to a sweeter world, to end the exile for all people with love. When the Jewish people emerge from exile so does the rest of humanity, as every part of the body and soul of humanity is a single integrated whole. Everyone is blocked in some way from reaching their sweetest potential. This is what exile looks like. With the Creator's help, it is my hope in the near future to occassionally use my blog to teach quotes from the Zohar itself and share my understanding of their meanings. This accords with my understanding of the Zohar's prediction, "In the future..."

While the intent of the prediction certainly includes studying Kabbalistic ideas, it probably includes the direct study of the Zohar as well, since the language actually specifies," this book". I am yearning and excited to integrate new features into my presentation of user friendly ideas from Kabbalah. 


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