Daily Zohar # 1938 – Beresheet – The Zohar and the Tselem
The beginning of Zohar Beresheet (Genesis) is full of secrets, and it would be very hard to translate the commentary of Rabbi Ashlag without branching to additional explanations on every word and term he used. The study of deep Kabbalah requires deep knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic. Nevertheless, I will focus on paragraph 5 above.
The Zohar explains that ‘Zohar’ is the secret of בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, which means ‘In The Beginning God Created…’. The word ‘Zohar’ means radiation of light and it is related to the concealed point where the world was created with the 10 sayings of “And God said … let there…”. The Zohar also reveals that the word ‘Created’ that came from the secret of the Zohar point explains Genesis 1:27 “וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ”
“So God created man in his own image (צלם, Tselem)”
Rabbi Ashlag explains that the ‘Tselem’ (Image) came from Binah, which is the spiritual mother.
The numerical value of צלם is 160, which is equal to עץ, ‘Tree’. In this relation the Tselem is the aspect of the Tree of Life that holds the soul in the body. You may see it as the spiritual ‘skeleton’ for the soul. If the Tselem is strong so is the soul. If the Tselem of a person leaves him it is an indication that the person will die soon.
All our connections to Binah, Like Shabbat, Zohar study and holidays, strengthen our Tselem and give us spiritual strength that may also benefit us on the physical/material level.
The Zohar in Mishpatim (562-570) helps us understand the importance of following the laws of kosher food/eating. It strengthens the Tselem and brings protection on the person.
Vegetarians have greater ability to connect spiritually and build a strong Tselem. Meat has strong energy and if the meat is not 100% Kosher then it could hurt the Tselem significantly. Read Zohar Mishpatim (562-570) and Daniel Chapter 1.
I received on Hoshana Rabbah several questions about Tselem from DZ students. I hope this study will make it clear for them. Even though on the night of Hashanah Rabbah the light of the moon (Malchut) allows us to see the Tselem, only righteous and pure people can see it.