Zohar - III 202a - Tree of Life
Type of Spiritual Experience
What a wonderful challenge - plenty of symbols to get your teeth into
A description of the experience
Happy is the lot of he who always strives in the Torah.
It is written about whoever strives in the Torah: "But his delight is in the Torah of G-d; and in His Torah he meditates day and night. And he shall be like a tree." (Psalms 1:2) Why is it [like a tree] mentioned close to this? because whoever toils in the Torah day and night will not be like a dry tree, but rather "he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water".
Just like a tree contains roots, has outer bark, has a core, and branches, and leaves, and produces flowers and fruit, these seven components amount to seven times ten is seventy.
Torah words include also the literal meaning of the text, homiletic discourses, hints that allude to wisdom, numerical values, hidden secrets and concealed secrets, one on top of the other, proper and improper, pure and impure, forbidden and permissible.
From here on, the branches extend to every direction. "And he shall be like a tree" truly, but if not, he is not a man of wisdom.
Come and see how beloved before G-d are those who study the Torah. Even at a time when judgment impends upon the world and the permission is given for the destroyer to destroy, G-d commands him concerning those occupied with Torah.
Thus speaks G-d, '"When You shall besiege a city" (Deut. 20:19) because of their many sins and iniquities to Me and because they were found guilty in judgment.
"Many days": What is many? It is three consecutive days when the plague is known throughout the city. How do we know that "many days" are three days? Because it is written: "And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days." (Lev. 15:25) Are they, then, many? Only three days in a row is it called "many days." Here too, "when you shall besiege a city many days" means three consecutive days, by which the plague is established to exist in the city.
'Come and I will instruct you regarding the members of My household. "You shall not destroy its tree:"' (Deut. 20:19) that is the scholarly student of Torah that resides in the city, who is the Tree of Life, a tree that provides fruit.
Another explanation: "Its tree" is the one who gives counsel to the inhabitants of the city on how to avoid the harsh judgment and teaches them the lawful way to follow. Hence, "you shall not destroy its tree by forcing an ax against it" meaning to force sentence upon him and not to draw upon him the fiery sword, a sharp sword. That sword that kills the rest of the people in the world, "for you may eat of it". Does the saboteur then eat ?
No, but rather "for you may eat of it" is that hard rock [malchut], the one from where all the holy, strong and mighty spirits emerge. Because the Divine Spirit has no pleasure or desire in this world, except for the Torah words of the righteous who sustain her, so to speak, and provide for Her [for malchut] food in this world more than all the sacrificial offerings in the world.
The source of the experienceZohar
Concepts, symbols and science items
ConceptsCreation and destruction
Great Work, the
Intelligences and their synonyms
Rivers and streams
Tree of life