Zohar and Rebbe Nachman on Learning Torah

Heavenly GPS

If even the worst sinner would take upon himself a set practice to study a fixed amount of Torah every day, he would be able to escape from the ensnarement of evil…

By: Yehoshua Goldstein Update date: 2/9/2016, 19:28

We all know that when you need to get around in this world, there are navigation software programs such as GPS and Waze where you can simply type in the address and be guided to your destination. But what will be in the next world, after the soul is separated from the body and you can’t use your little phone machine anymore to give you directions? How will you then know how to get around?

In the Zohar Parashat Vayishlach (175 b) we are given the answer…

Rebbe Yehuda opened and said, “For the ways of Hashem are straight (Hoshea 14)” – All the ways of The Holy on Blessed be He are all straight and ways of truth, and people do not know and do not pay attention to what they have available for themselves. This is the intent of the verse, “And the Tzaddikim go in them,” for the Tzaddikim know the ways of The Holy One Blessed be He and they toil in the Torah. For all those who toil in the Torah, they know how to go in those ways (of Hashem), and they do not err to the right or to the left. “And the sinners stumble in them,” these are the evil ones who do not toil in the Torah and do not look into the ways of the Holy One Blessed be He, and they do not know to which destinations these ways lead. And since they do not know to look into and toil in the Torah, they stumble in their ways in this world and also in the next world.

Come and see, each person who toiled in the Torah, when he leaves this world, his soul will be able to ascend along those very same ways and paths of the Torah. Those ways and paths of the Torah will be known to him. Those that know the ways of the Torah in this world will be able to travel along them also in the next world, after they leave this world.

And if one did not make efforts in the Torah in this world, and is unfamiliar with its ways and paths. When he leaves this world, he will not know how to travel on those ways and paths in the next world, and he will stumble in them. Then he will travel on other ways that are not the ways of the Torah and there will be aroused upon him many judgements and he will suffer on account of them.

And someone who does toil in the Torah, what is written in his regard?

“When you lie down it will guard you and when you awaken it will be your conversation (Mishlei 6).” When you lie down – In the grave, the Torah will guard you from judgements in the next world. When you wake up – When the Holy One Blessed be He will arouse the souls to revive the dead, the Torah will be the defending agent for your body, to ensure that your body who toiled in the Torah will also receive the merit to return from the dead. And these bodies will have priority in returning from the dead and will merit eternal life since they toiled in eternal life which is the Torah.

Let’s have a look now at a few short conversations of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev recorded by his follower Rebbe Natan in the book ‘Sichot HaRan’ which we can use to help us further understand this piece of Zohar.

Sichot #28: Attempt to go through all of our sacred books in the course of your lifetime. You will have then visited every place in the Torah.

The very rich constantly travel from land to land. They spend huge amounts just so that they should be able to boast that they have been to some faraway place… You should likewise travel everywhere in the Torah. In the Future Life you will then be able to boast that you have visited every place in our sacred literature. At that time, you will also remember everything that you have ever learned.

Sichot #26: In the future, G-d will make every person remember everything he ever learned, even if it was forgotten during his lifetime.

Sichot #23: If a person lacks clothing in this world, others can take up a collection and buy it for him. Such pity is impossible in the Future World. The clothing one needs in the Future World is Torah and good deeds, and these cannot be given as charity. (The Rebbe explains that people will try to offer food and clothing to those crying and suffering in the next world and how they will respond) No! No! We cannot use such food. What we need is the food of Torah and devotion. (And) No! Such clothing is absolutely useless to us. We need Mitzvot and good deeds to cover ourselves with.

The Rebbe then said, “Happy is he who is worthy of eating many chapters of Mishnah, drinking a number of Psalms, and clothing himself with some good deeds.”

Lastly for one who feels that he simply cannot learn Torah because of his great many sins and because of the improper way he has been leading his life up to now, the Rebbe had this to say, Sichot #19: I have a great longing to institute a rule that each person study a fixed amount in our sacred literature each day without fail.

He said that this should even apply to those who are very far from holiness, even those who are caught in the evil trap and sin habitually, heaven forbid. Still, the strength of the Torah is so great that it can free them from their habitual sins.

If even the worst sinner would take upon himself a set practice to study a fixed amount every day, he would be able to escape from the evil trap. The Torah’s strength is so great that it can accomplish everything.

Hashem, please help me merit to make the learning of Torah a fixed practice in my life. May I be consistent in it and never miss a day of my fixed amount of learning. May the power of the Torah that I learn help guide me along the right path in life and may it also help me free myself of all my bad character traits and desires to sin.

May it be my food and clothing in the next world and may it guide me along to all sorts of wonderful delights in the Future World, which no eye has ever seen.

(Leilui Nishmat Shmuel ben Baruch HaLevi A”H and all the other passed on souls of Am Yisrael)

From Breslev Israel, here.

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