12 05 2011
Bible and Kabbalah: The Hardening of Pharoah's Heart
There is continuous creation,
out of the new ideas discovered in the Torah.
Zohar, Genesis, Introduction, 52
OUR PURPOSE FOR THE STUDY
Students of Kabbalah understand the Torah (Hebrew Bible) as a mystical book wherein the Kabbalistic system is embodied in allegories and symbols. Thus, the Torah and the Kabbalah are dependent on and complete each other. . The illumination emanating from the study ignites the soul, setting it on fire with the awareness of a deeper and Higher Reality. Its study and insights are themselves mystical experiences.
INTRODUCTION – BIBLICAL TEXT:
“Come to Pharoah, for I have hardened his heart” (Exodus 10:1)
In this week’s Torah portion, we read that G-d hardens Pharoah’s heart. In Hebrew thought, the heart is the core of a person, the seat of emotions, intellect and will. Regarding the above Biblical verse several questions must be raised: If G-d was controlling Pharoah’s heart, then Pharoah had no choice to do what he did and was therefore not really making his own decisions. Why then
blame Pharoah for anything? Additionally, where is the Free Will in all this?
The following commentaries based on Judaism’s Hasidic tradition shed some very interesting insight into the entire Biblical account, and of course, into ourselves.
It will comprise of three sections, with each section introducing a Spiritual Law: