Sunday, 25 March 2012

Holy fire of the Zohar

by GYE (See all authors)

Wherever we may be in the world, we can daven for salvation in the honor of Rav Shimon. As the Ariza"l writes, Lag Ba'omer is the day of Rav Shimon's simcha in Heaven. And as the Beis Ahron of Karlin writes: "Just as Hakadosh Baruch Hu is for everyone, so is Rav Shimon for everyone, even for the very lowest".

I know someone who accepted upon himself once on Lag Ba'omer to read 10 minutes of Zohar every Shabbos for one year so that he should be saved from the Yetzer Hara, and he truly saw tremendous progress that year in his struggle... (Maybe we should all try that! :-)

The holy fire of the Zohar has a power to instill in us a tremendous AWE for Hashem and for his Torah. When we read the Zohar, we start to see - and feel, how infinitely deep the Torah is and how FAR we are from any inkling of understanding of Chazal's true greatness. And this puts us in awe of even the minutiae of every-day Halacha as well. Because after all, this same Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai who revealed the secrets of creation in every word of the Torah, and to whom all the Malachim came to hear him speak while he revealed the deepest secrets of kabbalah, he is the same Tanna that also taught us so many basic Halachos in the Mishna, such as Tuma & Tahara, Issur & Heter,Chayev & Patur, etc..

We see from this how Chazal were truly one with the Torah and one with Hashem. They were on a whole different plane of perception. The Zohar says in the hakdama, that the written Torah is like a garment to the secrets of the King that lie hidden within its words. When Chazal learned a Halacha out from pesukim, they were able to tie words of the Torah and to cut and paste pieces of the King's garment together as they perceived. Chazal were the MASTER TAILORS of the King's clothes (the Zohar gives this parable on the words "Beyom Kalos Moshe"). Today, we are so far from understanding Chazal. We are literally like ants trying to understand a human being! And when we read the Zohar, we truly begin to feel this, and through these feelings we attain a whole new appreciation for Torah and for Chazal.