Thursday, April 06, 2006

Question & Answer With Rabbi Lazer Brody - "A Small Shtickel Of Zohar"

A Simple Jew asks:

In my learning of Degel Machaneh Ephraim, I came across a teaching in the Likkutim section where the Degel wrote that it is beneficial for the neshoma to recite the words of the Holy Zohar even if one does not understand the words. This seems to be right in line with what you told me about the Melitzer Rebbe who said that a small shtickel of Zohar - even simply said in girsa - serves to purify the soul and is wonderful for kedusha and yiras shamayim.

Additionally, in Parshas Ki Sissa, the Degel recommended learning immediately after one finishes davening. Given these two teachings, would you recommend that I try to learn a small shtickel of Zohar after I daven each day? Or would this be problematic since even though I am married and have children, I am not 40 years-old and have not mastered all of Shas?

If you believe that I should take on this practice, perhaps I could use the volume of Zohar with the Sulam's commentary that I bought on Lag B'Omer in Meron in 1994. What do you think?

Rabbi Lazer Brody answers:

It's best to learn Zohar after midnight, but if you can't, try learning it in the morning early before davening. If that's not possible, do it after davening. The more you immerse in a mikva, the better. You don't need to be 40 for Zohar; Rabbi Raphael Abu Chatzira shlit'a told me that his memorable father - Baba Meir zatza'l - taught him and his brothers Zohar from age 8. Indeed, the Melitzer says in the name of his great grandfathers the Degel and the Baal Shem Tov that even simple recitation of the Zohar is conducive to purifying the soul. The Zohar with the Sulam is superb, SJ. With blessings for a wonderful Pesach, LB


At April 6, 2006 at 1:01:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chasidim definetly don't hold of 40 years limitation about nistar. Reb Tzvi Hirsh Zhiditchoyver ztz"l, for example, says in his seyfer "Sur Meyra Veasey Toyv" (which is his introduction to a beginner of limud hanistar) that in our time even balabatim have to learn Kobolo. Of course there is a way how to do it, it doesn't mean to learn without any system or order at all.

Look also about girso of Zohar in introduction to Mosuk miDvash from Rabbi Daniel Frish ztz"l. The teaching that it is mesugol leneshomo is old, and Degel is bringing it according to his mesoyro.

Baal Shem Tov for example told to learn a section of Zohar haKodoysh before tfilo. (Look in Likutey Toyro of Reb Mordechay Chernobiler ztz"l, Hadrocho).

At April 6, 2006 at 1:02:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today such pirushim like Mosuk miDvash make Zohar available even for beginners.

At April 6, 2006 at 1:04:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

About relation of Chasidic masters to Pirush hoSulam requires a big topic, because it is a long and complicated issue.

At April 6, 2006 at 1:08:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

A Yid: Thank you very much for the information. I greatly appreciate it!

At April 7, 2006 at 6:57:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

For centuries, many Chassidic, Sefardic and other Jews have been learning the sefer Chok L'Yisrael. This is a daily portion of Torah, Nevi'im, Kesuvim, Mishna, Gemara, Zohar and Halacha. A piece of Mussar was later added as well. It's arranged on a daily basis, and according to the parsha of the week. The Navi part usually matches up with that week's Haftara, and the Zohar is usually on the parsha of the week, with some exceptions such as Shovavim and the Three Weeks. You might want to look into that.

At April 7, 2006 at 7:03:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Yitz. I will certainly look into it.

At May 30, 2007 at 11:42:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

asj, bs"d, you are a chasid.
not only a chasid, but you make a tzedaka yafa with your blog.
rav avraham greenbaum shlita said to work on more and more kindness in every aspect of one's life...this is "chasid" an embodiment of chesed, or one who strives for this, has this as their deep inner kavanah.
she'koach b'ezrat H'

At May 31, 2007 at 6:18:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thank you!


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