Topic: Master Kabbalists & Their Writings | Posted:April 23, 2014
The Zohar says that the Shabbat of Kedoshim is very important because although we gain understanding when we study and make connections, it is through the connection we make on this Shabbat that we can truly open ourselves up to receive its unique Light.
In the Zohar, Rav Aba teaches that the portion of Kedoshim includes the entire Light of the Torah, and it is compared to the Seal of Truth of the Creator; all the truth in our world comes from the portion of Kedoshim and from the Shabbat when it is read. The Supernal secrets of the Torah, along with the revealed Light of Rav Shimon bar Yochai and his students, are renewed.
The Zohar states that when the students of Rav Shimon bar Yochai came to the Shabbat of Kedoshim, they were filled with joy, like on no other Shabbat of the year. Therefore, we need to be aware that there is something absolutely exceptional that takes place on this Shabbat. The students of Rav Shimon bar Yochai were filled with joy on this Shabbat, because there is an overwhelming amount of Light revealed at this time; the kabbalists teach that if we are connected to Rav Shimon bar Yochai and to the wisdom and Light of the Zohar, we, too, are automatically filled with joy on this Shabbat.
For those of us who are trying, through our spiritual work and our connection to the Zohar, to be connected to Rav Shimon, this is one of the Shabbats where we can truly test ourselves. If we are naturally filled with an overwhelming amount of joy on the Shabbat of Kedoshim it means that we are students of Rav Shimon bar Yochai; this is one way for us to truly see where we are at spiritually. When the Zohar says that the students of Rav Shimon were full of joy when they came to this Shabbat, it means that if they were a student of Rav Shimon bar Yochai, making their connection to the Zohar and Rav Shimon, they would automatically feel the Light of this Shabbat without needing to have any understanding of it at all.
Rav Aba explains that it is no coincidence that the Shabbat of Kedoshim precedes Lag B’Omer, the death anniversary of Rav Shimon bar Yochai, because this is the Shabbat where we assess ourselves spiritually and see how connected we are to the Light of the Zohar. This revelation from Rav Aba gives us clarity as to how overwhelmed with joy this Shabbat is and about the overwhelming Light that is revealed on it.
The basis of the Zohar, the basis of the teachings of Rav Shimon bar Yochai, is love. This is why in the Zohar there is a tremendous emotional awakening of love. Each time the students of Rav Shimon would meet one another, they gave each other a hug. When Rav Shimon would meet another sage, he would hug and kiss him. There is a tremendous amount of emotion and love expressed in the Zohar, because as the Zohar says, its Light, the Light of the Zohar, was only revealed because of the love that existed amongst Rav Shimon bar Yochai and his students. And on Shabbat Kedoshim, if we can connect to that love, connect to Rav Shimon and the wisdom and Light of the Zohar, we are automatically filled with joy.