The above text is from Zohar Yitro paragrpah #39-40 connecting to Deuteronomy 1:17
The Shabbat that we read the portion of Devarim is called ” שבת־חזון ” , ‘Shabbat of Vision’, because of the Haftarah that we read after the Torah. It comes from Isaiah 1. Isaiah brings the words of God scolding the people on their behavior. He uses harsh words to describe the people who left the ways of God.
Isaiah 1:4 ” הוֹי גּוֹי חֹטֵא, עַם כֶּבֶד עָוֹן–זֶרַע מְרֵעִים, בָּנִים מַשְׁחִיתִים; עָזְבוּ אֶת-יקוָק, נִאֲצוּ אֶת-קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל–נָזֹרוּ אָחוֹר. ”
“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly; they have forsaken YHVH, they have contemned the Holy One of Israel, they are turned away backward “.
Isaiah compares the nation’s ways to the ways of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. (See Isaiah 1:9, 10).
Isaiah 1:11 ” לָמָּה-לִּי רֹב-זִבְחֵיכֶם יֹאמַר יְהוָה, שָׂבַעְתִּי עֹלוֹת אֵילִים וְחֵלֶב מְרִיאִים; וְדַם פָּרִים וּכְבָשִׂים וְעַתּוּדִים, לֹא חָפָצְתִּי ” ” כִּי תָבֹאוּ, לֵרָאוֹת פָּנָי–מִי-בִקֵּשׁ זֹאת מִיֶּדְכֶם, רְמֹס חֲצֵרָי ”
“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? saith YHVH; I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. ”
“When ye come to appear before Me, who hath required this at your hand, to trample My courts?”
What does God really want from us?
Isaiah 1:16,17 ” רַחֲצוּ, הִזַּכּוּ–הָסִירוּ רֹעַ מַעַלְלֵיכֶם, מִנֶּגֶד עֵינָי: חִדְלוּ, הָרֵעַ. ” ” לִמְדוּ הֵיטֵב דִּרְשׁוּ מִשְׁפָּט, אַשְּׁרוּ חָמוֹץ; שִׁפְטוּ יָתוֹם, רִיבוּ אַלְמָנָה ”
“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil,” ” learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”
In simple words, if we are not pure in hearts and actions, God doesn’t want our prayers and sacrifices. If we are not good to each other, then no matter how much we pray, God will ignore and won’t listen to us.
To have our prayers answered we need to be pure in heart and actions, otherwise our prayers may bring judgments on us. God recommends “Learn well, seek justice” and Moses repeats these important principals to the Isarelites before he leaves the world.
“ לֹא-תַכִּירוּ פָנִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּט, כַּקָּטֹן כַּגָּדֹל תִּשְׁמָעוּן–לֹא תָגוּרוּ מִפְּנֵי-אִישׁ, כִּי הַמִּשְׁפָּט לֵאלֹהִים הוּא; וְהַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר יִקְשֶׁה מִכֶּם, תַּקְרִבוּן אֵלַי וּשְׁמַעְתִּיו”
“You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God’s. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’”
Many people have good hearts but they don’t have the proper prayers. Many people have the proper prayers but they don’t have the purity in their hearts. Those who read the Zohar expecting fulfillment of their selfish desires may get a little light because they appreciate the Zohar as a spiritual tool. If they start including others in their meditations and prayers then they’ll get more light and expand their vessel to get even more.
Justice, ‘משפט’, is the aspect of the central column, Tiferet and we can achieve it by treating each other with honesty and without personal agenda.
The study of the Zohar helps us find the righteous path to purity, connects us to the central column and allows our prayers to ascend and accepted.