Lag B’Omer – The day Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai left the world
The Ramak, Rabbi Moshe Kordovero, in his commentary to the Zohar said that after the destruction of the Second Temple, The Holy One, Blessed be He, sent a holy angel, the souls of Rabbi Shimon and his friends to create support to the Shechinah by their writings of The Zohar.
Any one that connects to the Zohar reads and studies from it, even without understanding, reveals the Light the Zohar is dealing with.
The Zohar is written by Rabbi Shimon as a tool us, for the last generations before the coming of Mashiach to reveal the Light and help bring the final redemption. The Zohar in the commentary to parashat Naso, quoting Raaya Meheimnah (in Aramaic the Faithful Sheppard, which is Moshe Rabeinu) says that by the Merit of the Zohar Yisrael will come out of exile.
What is the support of the Shechinah? Why Rabbi Shimon needed to do that? How the Zohar supports that?
Before my explanation please remember the commandment of You shall not make for yourself an idol or Image to worship, which means that we should not imagine G-d in any way physicaly. Images of G-d create limitation that can not apply to the G-d.
In the process of creating the world, as the Ari Hakadosh explains in the Tree of Life writings, the Light of the creator created a space to create the physical existence for us and removed himself from it. There was a separation of Light and Vessel. Before Creation the Light and the Vessel were one. The Shechinah is the female aspect of the Light that is close to us (spiritually) and gives us the ability to connect to the supernal Light.
To understand this spiritual system I use the example of electrical circuit. A circuit has ground, consumers (components like a light bulb etc…) and a power source. When a desire to connect aroused (turn on the switch), the power source (Power of electricity) provides the electromagnetic wave of photons (light units) at the speed of light.
The Shechinah is like the ground part of the circuit, without it nothing could happen, no flow of Light. We are the consumers and without the Light force, we are nothing but darkness (death). The light force is always there waiting for us to desire it and connect. The Light provides its energy without questioning the consumer why they want it.
After the destruction of the second Temple, we lost the main power outlet to the world (the Holy Temple) and the operator (Kohen) could not use it to draw the Light for us. (See my commentary to parashat Emor on the work of the Kohen).
G-d gave us Rabbi Shimon to create alternative system to sustain the world and to allow flow of Light.
Rabbi Shimon and his friends were ten special souls that had the ability to connect the spiritual to the physical. The Zohar is written in codes and concealment to cover its high energy in order to protect the people that deal and study from it. The most important work is Tikunei HaZohar, which is 70 ways to look at the first word of the Torah, Bereshit “בראשית”. Tikkun means correction and those 70 corrections establish a connection between the Light and the vessel through the 7 sefirot (with ten levels in each of them). In other words, The Holy One and the Shechinah can connect without the Holy Temple.
With the Zohar tool we can connect and create the unification of upper and lower to draw the light.
Now about the 33rd day of the Omer. Rabbi Shimon had the power to control reality and death could not touch him. The Angel of death complained to G-d that Rabbi Shimon doesn’t let him do his work. There is a story in the Zohar that shows how Rabbi Shimon stopped the angel of Death from taking the soul of Rabbi Yitzchak, one of his students and promised to bring his soul when he himself would leave the world.
Rabbi Shimon chose the 33 day of the Omer to leave the world because it was at the level of sefirat Hod of Hod.
There are seven weeks in the counting and each week represents a different Sefira, beginning with Chessed to Malchut. The sefira of Hod represents the completing of the vessel. After Hod comes Yesod, which is the funnel to the Light to the last Sefira of Malchut.
At the Level of Hod of Hod the vessel is complete and the opening of the sefirah of Yesod (to channel the Light) is formed.
The counting of the Omer is completed a day before the Holiday of Shavuot, when the Torah is given to us. The counting process builds our vessel to receive the Light of Torah in Shavout. On the 33rd day, the Ari explains judgments stops and the light of mercy reveals and begins to flow. That is why the plague that killed 24000 of Rabbi Akiva’s students stopped on that day.
When a tzaddik leaves the world his energy and all his revelation of light remains in this world. Rabbi Shimon selected this day so we can have the support of his work, the Zohar and draw its light to our life.
In the Zohar, Idra Zuta is a description of the last teaching of Rabbi Shimon and how he left the world.
Click here to read the Idra Zuta with commentary
B”H and by the Merit of Rabbi Shimon and the Zohar, we will see the Final Redemption today. Amen.