Dreaming of Moshiach

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Participating in the Resurrection - A Zohar Guide

Rabbi Mekubal Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag, zs'l (1884-1954) is known as Baal HaSulam (Owner of the Ladder) for his Sulam (ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar.

In his sefer, 'Preamble of the Sefer HaZohar', Rav Ashlag explains, in accordance of the Zohar, the matter of Tchiat HaMetim, resurrection, and reveals to us the real meaning of this matter.

Rav Ashlag draws for us a fascinating process, describing the development of human's souls - from the moment of its creation, descent to our world, and return to heaven to an infinite world. Rav Ashlag, as ways of Mekubalim, chooses to begin his sefer as follows:

"One must remember that the Kabbala wisdom is established on spritual matters that has no position or time" (בעל הסולם, תלמוד עשר הספירות, חלק א' אות א'). This means that the Kabbalah does not speak about our physical bodies but rather, spirituality.

Many bodies are in annihilation conditions, and it is not anticipated they will break their marble tombs, stand on their legs, and invade our lives. According to Kabbalah wisdom, the process of Tchiat HaMetim is something totally different than what we think - its essence deals with the human souls and not the bodies.

So why does it say in Ezekiel Chapter 37;12
" כֹּה-אָמַר אֲדֹנָי, הִנֵּה אֲנִי פֹתֵחַ אֶת-קִבְרוֹתֵיכֶם וְהַעֲלֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם מִקִּבְרוֹתֵיכֶם, עַמִּי; וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם, אֶל-אַדְמַת יִשְׂרָאֵל. בּפִתְחִי
אֶת-קִבְרוֹתֵיכֶם, וּבְהַעֲלוֹתִי אֶתְכֶם מִקִּבְרוֹתֵיכֶם--עַמִּי. וְנָתַתִּי רוּחִי בָכֶם וִחְיִיתֶם, וְהִנַּחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם עַל-אַדְמַתְכֶם; (יחזקאל, לז, א-יד,
"Thus saith HaShem: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. When I have opened your graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves, O My people. And I will put My spirit in you."

Kabbalah explains that concepts such as "bones", "brain", "tendons", "flesh", "skin" is not about the physical body. All as one constitute spiritual tools that belong to our Neshama (souls). They were given to humans in order to correct one's spirituality. In other words, Techiat HaMetim is a spiritual process, and during its process, we give life to our spiritual 'bodies', meaning our neshama, and not our physical body.

This spiritual process is given to each one of us during our life time, in our world. In order to understand the process, we must introduce ourselves to the sequence positions that our Neshamot went thru before they became into the present situation.

Arizal HaKadosh in Etz HaChaim
"דע, כי טרם שנאצלו הנאצלים ונבראו הנבראים, היה אור עליון פשוט ממלא את כל המציאות ", (האר"י הקדוש, "עץ חיים"
"Know, prior to creating humans, there was Heavenly Light that filled the existence"

The Arizal explains the first stage of creating our existence. The "Heavenly Light" is the Creator of the World, and His desire is to provide us His infinite abundance. From His thought, "להיטיב לנבראיו", to better His creations, the Creator created a soul source from a great body, that is made up of infinite amount of cells (souls), that constantly have mutual communications with one another. This great body, the Mekubalim name it also the Neshama of Adam HaRishon (zs'l).

In order for the created to be able to receive all the abundance that the Creator designated for them, He created them with total opposite nature than His, the desire to want pleasures and satisfactions - in other words, EGO.

As soon as a soul is conceived, it receives warmth and food from his mother, the necessary items to develop and survive. But the soul is not aware of the sequences it's passing thru.

In similar way, the pleasure that the soul feels in the first creation was limited because it was not aware of the sequences it's going thru. The soul received all the pleasures without ever making an effort or developing a need to achieve it. Therefore, the soul was never able to feel the reality of all the infinite abundance the Creator gave it.

In order to advance from this situation and feel the pleasure of the connection with the Creator, the soul must go thru several developments in order to develop the awareness to the situation she is in. In order to do so, it is imperative to cut the soul from the pleasure source, the Creator. In this way, the soul will strengthen itself and independently choose to glue itself to the Creator. The soul will acquire for itself awareness to the spiritual developments that it goes thru. Only then can the soul feel the "Heavenly Light" wrapping it with infinite love and warmth.

In order for this to occur, the Creator decided to change the arrangement of the world and creates contrary in the reality.

Just like any proud father that wishes his son to grow and walk in his footsteps and be like him, so does the Creator. HaShem severed the soul of Adam HaRishon from the Heavenly Light and distanced him - from the source of life, in order to give him the ability to grow and independently achieve by himself the perfect status.

But the separation from the Creator does not occur at once. It is done thru gradual progression. During the process when the 'great body' was broken into infinite cells, it was scattered to "private souls", inside human's body - this is us.

Mekubalim do not use the word WORLD עולם, rather they use the source word for world which is עלמה (hidden).

This world is called our world and we operate in it totally cut off from the spiritual world, from the Creator. Although now He is hidden from us, it is only temporary, because the whole goal is for us to independently find our way back to be aware of the spiritual reality - the Creator. This can only be accomplished thru the freedom of choice.

The severing of acknowledging the spiritual world, Rav Ashlag names it "Death". When we independently recognize the Creator, Rav Ashlag names is "Living". Understanding the concept as explained above, can help each one of us to measure his present situation and decide if, according to the Kabbalah, if he is now "ALIVE" or "DEAD".

The Arizal explains in his sefarim that the main responsible source for severing the soul to the Creator is the EGO. The EGO captures the center stage. We have turned into egostical creatures and its outcome severes us from "LIVING".

We have distanced ourselves to far that our nature became total opposite of spiritual nature to a point that we don't even feel its exsistance. The human ego is the engine that pushes us to take advantage of others and use them. When we finish receiving from them any benefit, we get rid of them.

But this is also an important and blessed process and if we study how do use it properly, we can spiritually acsent to high spiritual levels awaiting us. And then, we can merit to experience Tchiat HaMetim, resurrection. If each will use his ego in the correct manner, he can achieve reaching the Creator's abundance of love and warmth.

Awakening is the central point in the person's heart. When one awakens, he will feel an inner push to recognize the spiritual reality. The Awakening will invite the person to awaken and to let him know that his spiritual life is awaiting him.

The more a person is diligent in his path, he will discover to spiritual inclination will not leave him and only strengths. The Mekubalim describe this desire that when a person achieves this, the spiritual inclination doesn't let the person to physically sleep.

Simultaneously to this powerful feelings, additional perceptions develop in the person that shake him. The nature of the ego pulls him downwards, down to this world. The person finds himself coping with 2 opposite powers. One side is the power to receive and on the other side, the power to give. During this war, the person looks for strength to assist him to subdue one of the powers.

The ego that till yesterday was the only power the person recognized is now recognized an ugly force. Slowly, the person begins to hate this nature that controls his life and desires. The person now understands that the ego nature is the one responsible for blocking the spirituality.

In this situation, when the person feels disgust with ego desires, and on the other hand, the emotion of great yearning to ascend spiritually and experience the spiritual world, the person turns to the Creator with prayers and HaShem helps him. The desperate plea of the person to the Creator saves the person from his own nature. The Kabbalah calls this, only this, Tefilla.

When a person is released from the power of the ego, he enters the spiritual world and begins ascending higher on the spiritual ladder. Slowly, he returns to the level of "LIVING", but this time it's spiritual "LIVING", Tchiat HaMetim.

ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו