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PEARLS OF ZOHAR

Just as pearls shine with all their brilliance, the WORDS of the TORA and ZOHAR comfort the SOUL of those who receive its LIGHT, as it is written: "For this is not a trifling thing for you: it is your very LIFE..." (DEUTERONOMY 32, 47).

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CHOOSING BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL

Choosing

אָמַר רַבִּי חִזְקִיָּה, הָכִי הוּא וַדַּאי, זַכָּאָה אִיהוּ מַאן דְּחוּלָקֵיהּ אִתְקַיַּים בְּסִטְרָא טָבָא, וְלָא יַרְכִּין גַּרְמֵיהּ לְסִטְרָא אָחֳרָא, וְיִשְׁתְּזִיב מִנְהוֹן. אָמַר לֵיהּ רַבִּי יְהוּדָה, הָכִי הוּא וַדַּאי, וְזַכָּאָה מַאן דְּיָכִיל לְאִשְׁתְּזָבָא מִנֵּיהּ מֵהַהוּא סִטְרָא, וְזַכָּאִין אִינּוּן צַדִּיקַיָּא, דְּיָכְלֵי לְאִשְׁתְּזָבָא מִנַּיְיהוּ, וְלַאֲגָחָא קְרָבָא בְּהַהוּא סִטְרָא. אָמַר רַבִּי חִזְקִיָּה בְּמָּה, פָּתַח וְאָמַר, כִּי בְתַחְבּוּלוֹת תַּעֲשֶׂה־לְּךָ מִלְחָמָה וְגו׳, מַאן מִלְחָמָה דָּא, מִלְחָמָה דְּהַהוּא סִטְרָא בִּישָׁא, דְּאִצְטְרִיךְ בַּר נָשׁ לַאֲגָחָא בֵּיהּ קְרָבָא, וּלְשַׁלְטָאָה עֲלוֹי וּלְאִשְׁתְּזָבָא מִנֵּיהּ.

RABBIIZKIYA said: 'It is certainly so [Good and Evil were created only to put man to the test]! Blessed is he whose portion is [always] attached to the GOOD SIDE [of KEDUSHA], and who does not lean towards the OTHER SIDE [that of the Forces of Evil] but shuns it'. RABBI YEHUDA told [him]: 'It is certainly so [for everything depends on man's choice]. And happy is he who can preserve himself from this SIDE [if he is tempted to commit a fault]. And happy are the TZADDIKIM who can preserve themselves from it and who wage war on this SIDE'. RABBIIZKIYA said: 'How [does man fight his evil inclination]?' RABBI YEHUDA told [him]: '[It is written] "For by stratagems you will wage war..." (MISHLEI 24, 6). What is this war? It is the war against the evil SIDE [the evil inclination], because man must fight it [with force], overcome it and preserve himself from it [because, like the Snake, it is cunning]'.

ZOHAR VAYETSE  159b - 160a

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THE FIRST COMMANDMENT

First

וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם לִי לְעָם וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם לֵאלהי״ם וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי אֲנִי יהו״ה אֱלהיכ״ם וְגו׳, פִּקּוּדָא דָּא קַדְמָאָה דְּכָל פִּקּוּדִין, רֵאשִׁיתָא קַדְמָאָה דְּכָל פִּקּוּדִין, לְמִנְדַּע לֵיהּ לְקֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא בִּכְלָלָא, מַאי בִּכְלָלָא, לְמִנְדַּע דְּאִית שַׁלִּיטָא עִלָּאָה, דְּאִיהוּ רִבּוֹן עָלְמָא, וּבָרָא עָלְמִין כֻּלְּהוּ, שְׁמַיָּא וְאַרְעָא וְכָל חֵילֵיהוֹן, וְדָא אִיהוּ בִּכְלָלָא, וְסוֹפָא דְּכֹלָּא בִּפְרָט, לְמִנְדַּע לֵיהּ בִּפְרָט.

« And I will take you to be My People, and I will be your אלהי״ם. And you shall know that I, יהו״ה, am your אלהי״ם, WHO freed you from the labors of the Egyptians » (EXODUS 6, 7). This Commandment is the first of all Commandments, [for it is] the beginning that precedes all Commandments [i.e.]: to know the HOLY ONE, blessed be HE, in general. What is meant by ‘general’? To know that there is a SUPERNAL RULER, WHO is the MASTER OF THE WORLD. HE created all the WORLDS [ABOVE and BELOW], Heaven and Earth, and all their Hosts. This is in general. And at the end of it all [after having fulfilled all the Commandments], in particular, [i.e.]: to know HIM in particular.

ZOHAR VAERA 24b

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THE DIVINE BENEVOLENCE AND THE DIVINE RIGOR

Divine

יהו״ה בְּכָל אֲתַר רַחֲמֵי אִיהוּ, וַדַּאי קֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא, יהו״ה שְׁמֵיהּ אִיהוּ, דִּכְתִיב, אֲנִי יהו״ה הוּא שְׁמִי, וְחָמֵינָן דִּלְזִמְנִין אִתְקְרֵי שְׁמֵיהּ אלהי״ם, וְהוּא דִינָא בְּכָל אֲתַר, אֶלָּא בְּזִמְנָא דְאַסְגִיאוּ זַכָּאִין בְּעַלְמָא, יהו״ה שְׁמֵיהּ וְאִתְקְרֵי בִּשְׁמָא דְרַחֲמֵי, וּבְזִמְנָא דְאַסְגִיאוּ חַיָּיבִין בְּעַלְמָא, אלהי״ם שְׁמֵיהּ וְאִתְקְרֵי בִּשְׁמָא דֵאלהי״ם.

[The NAME] יהו״ה always expresses רַחֲמֵי 'DIVINE BENEVOLENCEIt is certain that the NAME of the LORD, praised be He, is יהו״ה, as it is written : « I am יהו״ה, that is My NAME » (ISAIAH 42, 8). And we sometimes see that His NAME is called אלהי״ם, and it always expresses דִּינָא ‘the DIVINE SEVERITY’. [It seems like a contradiction]. But when the number of זַכָּאִין ‘Righteous’ in the world increases, His NAME is יהו״ה, and He is called by the NAME that expresses BENEVOLENCE. But when the number of חַיָּיבִין ‘sinners’ in the world increases, His NAME is אלהי״ם, and He is called by the NAME אלהי״ם.

ZOHAR VAYISHLACH 173b-174a

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