Daily Zohar # 2242 – Nitzavim – God will gather you
The paragraphs above are from Zohar Ki Tisa #21,22
22. אָמַר רַבִּי חִיָּיא, וַדַּאי כָּךְ הוּא, וְהַכֹּל תָּלוּי בִּתְשׁוּבָה. וְאִם תֹּאמַר שֶׁיְּכוֹלִים עַכְשָׁו לְעוֹרֵר תְּשׁוּבָה כֻּלָּם כְּאֶחָד – לֹא יְכוֹלִים! מָה הַטַּעַם לֹא יְכוֹלִים? מִשּׁוּם שֶׁכָּתוּב, (דברים ל) וְהָיָה כִי יָבֹאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה. וְכָתוּב וַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ אֶל לְבָבֶךָ בְּכָל הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הִדִּיחֲךָ וְגוֹ’. וְכָתוּב וְשַׁבְתָּ עַד ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְגוֹ’. וְאָז (שם) אִם יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲךָ בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמָיִם מִשָּׁם יְקַבֶּצְךָ וְגוֹ’. וְעַד שֶׁכָּל אוֹתָם דְּבָרִים לֹא יִתְקַיְּמוּ, לֹא יְכוֹלִים לְעוֹרֵר תְּשׁוּבָה מֵהֶם.
The Zohar ‘complains’ about the length and suffering that the Israelites go through in the Exile. The Exile is a spiritual state that describes a great distance from the Shechina and that leads to suffering and a world of chaos. Even the ‘blesses’ people (money, fame or social status) cannot tell what kind of hardship will come their way the next day. They can lose money, health or relationships in an instance. Everyone worries about tomorrow and happy when the day passes without getting worse.
The Zohar puts the ‘blame’ on God and tells us that even though the system that He created for us brings us sufferings, He also gave us promises of future rewards. When we pray and study, we connect to them and the joy for the expected future sweetens the pain of the Exile.
The prophecy in the portion of Nitzavim is beautiful and promises a future of immortality for those who choose life.
“ וְשָׁב יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת-שְׁבוּתְךָ, וְרִחֲמֶךָ; וְשָׁב, וְקִבֶּצְךָ מִכָּל-הָעַמִּים, אֲשֶׁר הֱפִיצְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, שָׁמָּה”
“then YHVH your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where YHVH your God has scattered you.”
The gathering will have two aspects. The physical aspect is revealed in this verse with the promise that God made to gather us from all the nations of the world with mercy.
The second aspect is spiritual. Even if the Israelites are in different ‘parts of heaven’, which implies different spiritual beliefs, God will take us back into the Light of the Torah.
30:4 “ אִם-יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲךָ, בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמָיִם–מִשָּׁם, יְקַבֶּצְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, וּמִשָּׁם, יִקָּחֶךָ”
“If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there YHVH your God will gather you, and from there he will take you.”
The rest of the prophecy describes the rewards.
30:5 And the LORD your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers.
30:6 And YHVH your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love YHVH your God with all your heart and with all your soul that you may live.
30:7 And YHVH your God will put all these curses on your foes and enemies who persecuted you.
30:8 And you shall again obey the voice of YHVH and keep all his commandments that I command you today.
30:9 YHVH your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground. For YHVH will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers,
30:10 When you obey the voice of YHVH your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
And close to the end of the prophecy God reminds us that we need to make the choice and choose life, which is the Torah study (Zohar), so we can merit Immortality.
“הַעִדֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם, אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ–הַחַיִּים וְהַמָּוֶת נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ, הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה; וּבָחַרְתָּ, בַּחַיִּים–לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה, אַתָּה וְזַרְעֶךָ”
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live”
30:20 “לְאַהֲבָה אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקֹלוֹ וּלְדָבְקָה-בוֹ: כִּי הוּא חַיֶּיךָ, וְאֹרֶךְ יָמֶיךָ–לָשֶׁבֶת עַל-הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב, לָתֵת לָהֶם”
“loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”