Zohar Behar Section 3 - The Yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven

It is recommended that one reads/studies the section prior to reading the Synopsis.

Zohar Commentary Section 3 on the Parasha BEHAR


Rabbi Elazar tells us that man must accept the yoke of the kingdom of Heaven before he can do any work. This yoke can not rest on anyone who is attached to another, so slaves are exempt from the commandments and from the yoke, as were Yisrael while they were in exile.

Pasook 9. from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Behar

אֶלָּא דָּא רָזָא, הָכָא אוֹלִיפְנָא, כְּתִיב זָכַרְנוּ אֶת הַדָּגָה אֲשֶׁר נֹאכַל בְּמִצְרַיִם חִנָּם, בְּלָא בְּרָכָה. דְּלָא הֲוָה עֲלָנָא בְּמִצְרַיִם עוֹל דִּלְעֵילָּא. ת"ח, עֲבָדִין פְּטוּרִין מֵעוֹל מַלְכוּתָא דִּלְעֵילָּא, וְעַ"ד פְּטוּרִין מִן הַמִּצְוֹת. מַאי עוֹל מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם. אֶלָּא, כְּהַאי תּוֹרָא דְּיָהֲבִין עָלֵיהּ עוֹל בְּקַדְמֵיתָא, בְּגִין לְאַפָּקָא מִנֵּיהּ טַב לְעָלְמָא. וְאִי לָא קַבִּיל עָלֵיהּ הַהוּא עוֹל, לָא עָבֵיד מִדִי. ה"נ אִצְטְרִיךְ לֵיהּ לב"נ לְקַבְּלָא עָלֵיהּ עוֹל בְּקַדְמֵיתָא, וּלְבָתַר דְּיִפְלַח בֵּיהּ בְּכָל מַה דְּאִצְטְרִיךְ. וְאִי לָא קַבִּיל עָלֵיהּ הַאי בְּקַדְמֵיתָא, לָא יֵיכוּל לְמִפְלַח.

In truth, this is the secret. We learned that it is written: "We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt for nothing" (Bemidbar 11:5), MEANING "FOR NOTHING," without a blessing, as we did not have a heavenly yoke in Egypt. Come and behold: slaves are exempt from the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven, and so they are exempt from the commandments. What is this the yoke of the Heavenly Kingdom? It is like an ox upon which they first place a yoke in order to work with him and draw benefit from him for the world. If he does not accept that yoke he does no work at all. So man must accept upon himself the yoke OF THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM first, and then he will toil with it all that he needs. However, if he does not accept this yoke upon himself first, he cannot work.

chanoch's Commentary

Man's work is spiritual work. This Zohar is teaching us a spiritual law. One is always connected to something spiritual. In essence one is connected to HaShem or something else. What that something else is always called an Idol. Man connects to an idol or to HaShem. No spiritual work can be done unless one is connecting to HaShem. What about people who connect to an idol that they think is HaShem. There is no spiritual work being done by that efffort. What a waste when we see so much human effort going into this process. Yet HaShem values free choice and so must we.

Pasook 10. of the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Behar

הה"ד עִבְדוּ אֶת יְיָ' בְּיִרְאָה. מַהוּ בְּיִרְאָה. כד"א רֵאשִׁית חָכְמָה יִרְאַת יְיָ'. וְדָא מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם. וּבְגִין כַּךְ עוֹל מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם. וְעַ"ד הַאי בְּקַדְמֵיתָא הוּא דְּכֹלָּא. מַאן אוֹכַח. תְּפִלָּה, בְּקַדְמֵיתָא שֶׁל יַד. בְּגִין דִּבְהַאי עָיֵיל לִשְׁאָר קְדוּשָּׁה. וְאִי הַאי לָא אִשְׁתְּכַח לְגַבֵּיהּ, לָא שַׁרְיָא בֵּיהּ קְדוּשָּׁה לְעֵילָּא, בְּג"כ בְּזֹאת יָבֹא אַהֲרֹן אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְגוֹ' כְּתִיב.

It is written: "Serve Hashem with fear" (Tehilim 2:11). What is meant by "fear"? It is as it is written: "The fear of Hashem is the beginning of wisdom" (Tehilim 111:10). This refers to the Kingdom of Heaven, AS MALCHUT IS CALLED 'FEAR,' and for this reason, it becomes the yoke of the Heavenly Kingdom. And so this is where it all starts, SINCE MALCHUT IS THE FIRST SFIRAH GOING FROM BELOW UPWARD. What proves this? THAT WE DON the hand Tfilin first, BEING THE SECRET OF MALCHUT, AND AFTERWARDS THE HEAD TFILIN, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF ZEIR ANPIN. This is because THROUGH MALCHUT, one enters the rest of holiness. If this is not found with him, the celestial holiness cannot rest upon him. For this it writes, "Thus (lit. 'with this') did Aaron come into the holy place" (Vayikra 16:3).

chanoch's Commentary

A yoke is something used to control an animal. What does it mean for a man to accept the Yoke of the Kingdom - Malchut of Heaven? It means that he has accepted that he is not the most important thing in the universe. Our ego's want us to think that we are the most important thing in the universe. Until we recognize that this is untrue there can be no spiritual work done since there is o room for anything but that persons consciousness of importance.

Pasook 11. from the Zohar Commentary on the Parasha Behar

וְהַאי עוֹל לָא שַׁרְיָא, בְּמַאן דְּאִיהוּ כָּפִית בְּאָחֳרָא. וְעַ"ד עֲבָדִין פְּטוּרִין מֵעוֹל מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם. וְאִי מֵהַאי עוֹל פְּטוּרִין, מִכָּל שְׁאָר פְּטוּרִין. דְּהָא שְׁאָר לָא שַׁרְיָא עָלֵיהּ דְּב"נ, עַד דְּאִשְׁתְּכַח גַּבֵּיהּ בְּהַאי עוֹל. ובג"כ הֲווֹ אָכְלֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּמִצְרַיִם חִנָּם. אוֹף הָכָא יֵצֵא לַחָפְשִׁי חִנָּם. דְּהָא עַבְדָּא הֲוָה, וְכָל מַה דְּעָבֵיד, חִנָּם הוּא, בְּלָא עוֹל מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם. ואע"ג דְּחִנָּם הֲווֹ עוֹבָדוֹהִי יֵצֵא לַחָפְשִׁי, וִיהֵא לֵיהּ נַיְיחָא.

And this yoke can not rest upon one who is attached to another, and so slaves are exempt from the yoke of the Heavenly Kingdom, BECAUSE THEY ARE TIED TO THEIR MASTERS. If they are exempt from this yoke, they are exempt from all other COMMANDMENTS, since other COMMANDMENTS are not placed upon one until this yoke is with him. Therefore, Yisrael in Egypt ate without cost. Here too, "he shall go out free" (Shemot 21:2), since he was a slave and whatever he did was without cost, without the yoke of the Heavenly Kingdom. So even though his deeds were for nothing, "he shall go out," and find rest. THE EXPLANATION OF THE VERSE IS AS IF IT SAID, 'FOR FREE YET HE SHALL GO OUT'.

chanoch's Commentary

This is the meaning of "hardening Pharoh's Heart". This brings the person to the level where he goes out and makes his own decisions based on what his heart wants him to do. Learn this well. when we say i don't feel like it. The feelings are an illusion yet this is the yoke that a person attaches himself to. Start doing what is the right thing to do based on the Torah not on your feelings. When you feel that you made a good connection in your prayers you are actually attaching yourself to a yoke that is not HaShem. That is one of the reasons that the Halachically Jewish Soul struggles so much in this world. Since he thinks he is connected to HaShem he makes no effort to actually connect to HaShem.