Unraveling The Zohar – a Wakeup Call
We are born into a state of sleep, live in a dream, and we are not even aware of it. It is time to wake up.
“And on the first month, on the fourteenth day etc. Rabbi Chiya opened: ‘I sleep, but my heart waketh; Hark! my beloved knocketh.’”... “The assembly of Israel said, ‘I sleep in the exile in Egypt.’” It is because the exile was due to the domination of the left over the right. Also, the Mochin (Lights) of Malchut leave because of the domination of the left. This is the meaning of sleep. “My children were under the harsh enslavement,” but my heart is awake, to keep them from perishing in the exile. ... “My beloved knocketh, this is the Creator, who said, ‘and I have remembered My covenant’” (The Sulam Commentary on The Book of Zohar, Parashat Emor, item 128).
In this unique essay, Rabbi Chiya, one of Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai’s nine students, teaches us how to listen to the voice within our hearts. This is the voice of the Upper Force, which calls upon us to bond with each other. When we do, we will achieve a new life—truer and better.
Rabbi Chiya begins his words with a verse that speaks of the first month in the Hebrew calendar. This month is called “the head of the months,” as it is the precursor of the beginning of a new life of love and unity.
The Book of Zohar says that to live such a wonderful life, we must learn how to transcend our egos while we are still living in this world, and obtain the nature of the Creator, that of love and giving. When we learn how to love one another, we will rise to another level of existence and become similar to the Creator. This is when we will be called “Adam,” (man), from the verse, Adammeh la Elyon, “I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah, 14:14).
Rabbi Chiya explains the way to achieve this sublime state by using one of the most profound verses in the Song of Songs, “I sleep, but my heart waketh; Hark! my beloved knocketh.” This verse contains the entire spiritual path, the path that will lead us to perfection.
We Were Like Unto Those Who Dream
Until one knows the wisdom of Kabbalah, one does not understand why he or she comes into this world, or what the future holds. In Kabbalah, such a state is called “sleep.” Only those who awaken from their sleep achieve spiritual attainment and can view the past as though they have been dreaming.
A Spark from the Creator
The Assembly of Israel, of which Rabbi Chiya speaks, represents the collective of the souls of Israel—us. He explains that everyone from Israel has a spark from the Creator that wants to awaken into contact with Him. In moments when this spark awakens within us, we feel a need to search for something higher and more sublime in our lives, to understand what we are living for.
Echoes in Our Hearts
The voice of the Creator echoes in our hearts. Every person is awakened by this call, like a “clarion” from the Creator, who longs to be man’s “Loved One.” The Creator wants us to become similar to Him and to rise to His degree by uniting with Him through love among us.
The echoes resonate within our hearts to show us that we are in exile from the spiritual life, that we are asleep and that it’s time to wake up.
The Creator’s Voice
These days, we have been given a wonderful opportunity. Today, every person can listen to the voice of the Loved One, the Creator. The greatest Kabbalists have paved the way for us to understand that we are sleeping, to discover the dream, and to wake up. The wisdom of Kabbalah represents “the voice of the Creator,” which echoes in our hearts. It is like an alarm clock whose ring is loud enough to awaken us to the morning of a new life. Let’s bond with it and wake up to the good life, to the Light.