Daily Zohar # 3649 – Naso – The lips of a priest
137. לָמַדְנוּ, כָּל אָדָם שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ חֲסִידוּת, נִקְרָא מַלְאַךְ ה’ צְבָאוֹת. זֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב (מלאכי ב) כִּי שִׂפְתֵי כֹהֵן יִשְׁמְרוּ דַעַת וְתוֹרָה יְבַקְשׁוּ מִפִּיהוּ כִּי מַלְאַךְ ה’ צְבָאוֹת הוּא. מִפְּנֵי מָה זָכָה כֹּהֵן לְהִקָּרֵא מַלְאַךְ ה’ צְבָאוֹת? אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה, מַה מַּלְאַךְ ה’ צְבָאוֹת כֹּהֵן לְמַעְלָה, אַף כֹּהֵן מַלְאַךְ ה’ צְבָאוֹת לְמַטָּה.
A person that comes out from fear and dressed in humility is in a better state because humility includes all other qualities as it is written in Proverbs 22:4
“עֵקֶב עֲנָוָה יִרְאַת יְהוָה עֹשֶׁר וְכָבוֹד וְחַיִּים.”
“By humility, the fear of YHVH, Are wealth, and honor, and life.”
He who has a fear of YHVH reaches a level of humility, and he who has humility reaches a level of righteousness. He who has fear and awe of the heavens achieves all levels as it is written “and the mercy (Chessed) of YHVH is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him” (Psalms 103:17)
We learned that a person that reaches the level of piety (חסידות, Chassidus) is called ‘מלאך ה׳ צבאות,’ ‘Angel of YHVH of Hosts (צבאות, Tzevaot).’
“כִּי שִׂפְתֵי כֹהֵן יִשְׁמְרוּ דַעַת וְתוֹרָה יְבַקְשׁוּ מִפִּיהוּ כִּי מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת הוּא.”
“For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge (Da’at), And people should seek the law (Torah) from his mouth; For he is the angel of YHVH of hosts.”
Rabbi Yehuda explains that as the angel of YHVH of hosts above is a priest, so is the priest below is an angel of YHVH of hosts.
Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written:
“For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek Torah from his mouth; for he is an angel of the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 2:7)?
The verse teaches: If the rabbi is similar to an angel of the Lord of hosts, perfect in his ways, they should seek Torah from his mouth; but if not, they should not seek Torah from his mouth.
A teacher should be like a priest, act with unconditional chessed to all. Only with Chessed, the Light and wisdom of the Torah can come out of his lips.