The Zohar reveals that the prophet Jonah came from the force of Elijah. He received from the soul level Nefesh of Elijah. In Jonah’s case he went down into the depths of the ocean, not ascended like Elijah. Both of them asked God for death. Moses also asked God to remove his name from the Torah, which is also the aspect of death.
Those who serve God have no fear of death and in general would rather die than not be able to fulfil their life’s mission in this world.
The sages teach us that
‘אין דברי תורה מתקיימין אלא במי שממית עצמו עליה’,
‘the Light of the Torah won’t manifest, unless the person is ready to die for it.’
Great kabbalists dedicated their lives to Torah study and to the revelation of its secrets. Many of them die young but their teachings are alive among us. For them, life was a temporary state of existence. They used every moment to study the secrets or the Torah, revealing its light for the world and in their lives. Their soul became purified and expanded, giving them the ability to work miracles and even resurrect the dead.
On different levels each one of us benefit from dedication to the study of Zohar, which is the highest level of Torah study that elevates our souls higher and higher.
One of the most elevated prayers is the Shema Israel prayer and the Holy Ari and other kabbalists teach us that when we cover our eyes and say the word ‘אחד’ (means ‘one’ and pronounced ‘Echad’), to meditate on accepting the four types of death, bridging or fusing the four worlds of Emanation, Creation, Formation and Action into our souls. Similar meditation is made during the first blessings of the silent prayers(Amida) in the word ‘באהבה’, ‘with love’.
The Shema Israel prayer has four paragraphs (YHVH) and 1000 letters. it’s a prayer that elevates our souls to a greater affinity with the Light. When we are ready to accept all forms of death we nullify the body and ‘release’ the soul from its heavy physical garments, allowing a unification of light and vessel.
What is elevation?
Elevation is a state of purity, not altitude. God is everything and everywhere. Getting closer to the Light is the process of elevation and it can be done by removing all of our Klipot that separate us from the Light or in other words, keeping us down. Looking up to heavens as God’s place is incorrect. Even if we live in an underground basement or in a tent or a cave in the darkest place on earth, we can still achieve greater elevation.
Rabbi Shimon studies in a cave with his son for 12 years. They gave up on everything physical and removed the barriers between them and the Light. They merited to have the support of Moses and Elijah, giants that were ready to give up their lives for the Light.
Don’t lookup the classified for a distant cave or let go of the physical. We are not in the time that we can achieve a spiritual state of Moses or rabbi Shimon. No need to skip meals and pleasures of this life. Every pleasure we draw in this life is a gift of light and we should bless it and appreciate it and at the same time we shouldn’t give it priority over study and spiritual elevation.
Shema Israel – MS Word format
Meditation on ‘Echad’