|The Path of Kabbalah|
|Part Three: The Structure of the Upper Worlds|
This course is based on the article, Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah, Twritten by Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag. Rabbi Ashlag wrote this article as one of his introductions to the Sulam commentary that he wrote on the Zohar. According to the method of the Kabbalah, one learns about the extension of existence from Above downward, from the Creator down to this world.
Consequently, students acquire the means for spiritual elevation from below upward, exactly like those degrees of progression from Above downward that they learn about. This is in accordance with the definition of Kabbalah: “This wisdom is no more and no less than a sequence of roots that hang down by way of cause and consequence, with fixed, determined rules interweaving to a single, exalted goal described as the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world” (Rabbi Y. Ashlag, The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah).
THE NECESSITY FOR LEARNING KABBALAH
“It is also evident that it is impossible for the whole of Israel to attain this great purity, except by the study of the wisdom of Kabbalah, the easiest way suitable for those without knowledge as well. But through the study of the literal Torah alone, it is impossible to attain purity but for singled out individuals, and with great efforts, but not for the majority of the people.” (Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, Introduction to Talmud Eser Sefirot).
“The attainment begins from the hidden Torah, and only afterwards does one attain the remaining portions of the Torah, and only in the end does one attain the revealed Torah.” (The Vilna Gaon, The Siddur).
“I have seen it written that the prohibition from Above to refrain from open study in the wisdom of truth was only for a limited period, until the end of 1490, but from then on the prohibition has been lifted and permission was granted to study the Zohar. Since 1540 it has been a great Mitzva (commandment) for the masses to study in public, old and young… and that is because the Messiah will come because of that and not because of any other reason. Therefore, we must not be negligent.” (Rabbi Azulai, Introduction to Ohr Hochma).
“Woe unto them who make the spirit of Messiah vanish from the world, so as never to return, make the Torah dry, without the moistness of mind and knowledge, for they confine themselves to the practical part of the Torah, and do not wish to try to understand the wisdom of the Kabbalah, to know and educate themselves in the secrets and the reason behind the Torah and the Mitzvot (commandments). Alas, they cause by their deeds the poverty, the ruin and the robbery, the looting, the killings and destruction in the world.” (Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun 30).
“The Study of the book of Zohar is preferable and above all other studies.” (The Chidah).
“Redemption depends primarily on the study of the Kabbalah.” (The Vilna Gaon, Even Shlema 11,13).
“On the learning of the Zohar there are no restrictions...” (The Hafetz Chaim).
“If my generation had listened to my voice, they would have started to study the book of Zohar at the age of nine.” (Rabbi Isaac from Kamarna, Notzer Hesed).
“When one as much as reads the words… what is it like? It is like a sick person who drinks a therapeutic potion that helps, although one is not proficient in the wisdom of medicine.” (Remez, part 3, page 2).
“In the future only with the help of the book of Zohar will the children of Israel go out from the exile.” (The Book of Zohar, Parashat Naso).