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July 23, 2024

Archive for November 7, 2013

3 Things You Need to Make Spiritual Progress

3 Things You Need to Make Spiritual Progress

1. A Teacher

The study of Kabbalah does not just include work in the books. Physical actions for the benefit of the group, organizing lectures and Kabbalah study groups are more beneficial than the study itself. Serving the teacher is also more beneficial than studying with him. In his “Speech for the Completion of The Zohar,” Rav Yehuda Ashlag quotes the following saying of ancient Kabbalist sages: “Make for yourself a rav and buy yourself a friend.”

In other words, choose a person whom you think is important and make that person your teacher. Then, try to please him or her. Your teacher is very important to you. By pleasing your teacher, you’ll get used to doing for others, and by the force of habit you’ll be able to do the same for the Creator. By being spiritually close to your teacher, you’ll receive the degree by which the teacher appreciates the Creator. That will give you a chance to do at least something for the Creator, and enter the spiritual world this way. At the same time, you will acquire the sensation of the greatness of the Creator and you’ll be able to advance to complete adhesion with Him.

Observing your teacher’s requests with the aim to fulfill them allows you to attain spiritual resemblance with them. You’ll be able to receive their thoughts and knowledge, and above all, attain their love and attraction for the Creator, which would give you the ability to develop and progress spiritually. However, studying with your teacher is always motivated by the desire to attain personal knowledge for yourself. As a result, the study does not bring with it spiritual nearness to the Creator. In other words, by doing things for the teacher, you attain their thoughts and by studying you will attain only their words.

You can only attain their thoughts if the motivation to serve the teacher stems from the desire to please the teacher, and not yourself. In the opposite situation, when our motivation is our desire to serve for self-gratification, studying is the goal and becomes more important than serving the teacher.

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