100. חָזְרוּ לִפְנֵי אוֹתָם בַּעֲלֵי מִקְרָא, וּמָצְאוּ שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹמְרִים, (שם פב) אֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי אֱלֹהִים אַתֶּם וּבְנֵי עֶלְיוֹן כֻּלְּכֶם. אֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי, בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהִקְדַּמְתֶּם עֲשִׂיָּה לַשְּׁמִיעָה, שֶׁהֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אַתֶּם וְגוֹ’. כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּמְשַׁכְתֶּם אַחַר יֵצֶר הָרָע – אָכֵן כְּאָדָם תְּמוּתוּן וְגוֹ’. מַה מִּיתָתוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם מוֹרִידָתוֹ לֶעָפָר כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּמָּחֶה אוֹתוֹ יֵצֶר הָרָע שֶׁבְּתוֹכוֹ, וְאוֹתוֹ יֵצֶר הָרָע הוּא שֶׁמֵּת וְנִתְעַכֵּל בְּתוֹכוֹ.
Zohar Shelach Lecha
They continued with the ‘Eagle’ to another ‘Orchard’, which is a different spiritual level. When they arrived at the place where Torah scholars were studying, the ‘Eagle’ took back the shape of humans like them with precious and glowing garments.
They sat together and the ‘Eagle’ asked the scholars of that place to honor the two rabbis that just came because their ‘Master’ opened their wisdom to reveal great wonders. They agreed and one of the scholars asked the two to show that they are worthy of that level of study. To prove that they are worthy, they took out two roses and smelled them.
The scholars in that Yeshiva realized that they are truly righteous and they sat together to study 30 Torah laws and other secrets that they never knew.
“אֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי אֱלֹהִים אַתֶּם וּבְנֵי עֶלְיוֹן כֻּלְּכֶם.” “אָכֵן כְּאָדָם תְּמוּתוּן וּכְאַחַד הַשָּׂרִים תִּפֹּלוּ.”
“I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Highest.” “But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.””
They studied that the words “I said, ‘You are gods’” were said by God when they accepted the Torah on Mount Sinai before hearing the commands.
“you shall die like men” is when the people follow the evil inclination. Death brings the person to the ground where the evil inclination is wiped as the body is decayed and breaks down to nothing.
The ‘Orchard’ in Hebrew is ‘פרדס’, a word that represents the four levels of Torah study, from the literal to the secrets behind words and letters of the Torah. Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yitzchak took a spiritual trip and ascended high where they can join high souls with deeper studies. They proved themselves by ‘smelling’ the roses that represent Malchut and Binah, which is the ‘bridge’ they created to elevate their souls higher.
The tzadikim of old times lived in a world with fewer temptations when compared to what we are exposed to in this lifetime. They could achieve purity and ability to elevate their souls to higher levels with great awareness and interactions in the higher levels.
Nowadays the ‘gravity’ of the negative side is so strong that only a few righteous people can reach a high spiritual level. They disconnect themselves from this world and dwell only in the Torah studies and are able to ascend with awareness.
When we study Zohar with focus, we can elevate our souls a few levels higher but without awareness. Some may feel sensations of out of body experience, sleepiness, and or teary eyes.
Even if we fall asleep while studying we draw great benefits because when the soul goes higher it achieves cleansing and greater purity.