The Zohar asks the question why “Jacob lived” and not “Israel lived”. “lived’. We studied previously the ‘Israel’ is a higher level connection because this name was given to Jacob when he won over the angel of the negative side (Portion of Vayishlach).
The verses below quoted by the Zohar show the high state of the name Israel.
“קֹדֶשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל לַיהוָה, רֵאשִׁית תְּבוּאָתֹה”
“Israel was holy to YHVH, the firstfruits of his harvest.”
“כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה, בְּנִי בְכֹרִי יִשְׂרָאֵל”
“Thus says YHVH, “Israel is My son, My firstborn.”
The Zohar explains that when Esau ‘sold’ his first born rights to Jacob (Genesis 25:33), Jacob received an elevation together with the blessings of his father, Isaac.
Rabbi Shimon teaches us that in the lower state of Jacob there is fear. It is expressed out when Jacob prayed to God before meeting with Esau’s army.
“הַצִּילֵנִי נָא מִיַּד אָחִי, מִיַּד עֵשָׂו: כִּי-יָרֵא אָנֹכִי, אֹתוֹ–פֶּן-יָבוֹא וְהִכַּנִי, אֵם עַל-בָּנִים”
“Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children.”
Rabbi Shimon reveals that when the Israelites connect to the Central Column, follow the righteous path and do Tzedaka, they are elevated to a higher state. They don’t have reason to fear because the light of Chassadim surrounds them.
Lesson: As Israelites we are initially at the lower state of Jacob. When we make spiritual connections through study, prayers, tithing, Tzedaka and sharing actions we are elevated to the state of ‘Israel’ and receive the light of chassadim. It gives us the protection we need in our lives.
Example of this situation. A famous Israeli singer, his father (Gad and Dani Elbaz) and their band were on a tour in Australia. They follow the ways of the Torah and their repertoire includes many songs from the prayer book. On their way to the airport they stopped at the Lindt Cafe in Martin place in Sydney Australia (Dec 14th, 2014). They stayed there over an hour but 10 minutes after they left the place a terrorist came in, held hostages and killed some of them. Some of those who survived the event or even just got a bullet in the leg, may call it a miracle but the true miracle is avoiding it all. The light that protects us will keep us from getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Those of us who are strongly connected to the Zohar and follow the ways of the spiritual system don’t see all the miracles happening in our lives. Missing a train or a bus, delays in traffic or even things that looks terrible in our lives could be just a way of protecting us from worse situations.