Lech Lecha: Chapter 28
Rabbi Chiya went to visit Rabbi Elazar
Synopsis

The Zohar offers a story about the travels of Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Chagai to visit Rabbi Elazar, the son of Kabbalist Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar. Kabbalistically, the concept of traveling really concerns a spiritual journey of the mind and soul between two sages. As the two mystics embark on their excursion, their discussion of various spiritual matters is intended to attract particular levels of energy into their lives, and ultimately, to raise them to the very spiritual levels they are discussing.

Rabbi Chiya is concerned that his colleague Rabbi Chagai may not be worthy to enter this higher realm, which is symbolized by the mention of Rabbi Elazar. As they begin to approach Rabbi Elazar, who represents the next dimension, Rabbi Chiya suddenly realizes that Rabbi Chagai is actually more worthy than himself. When the two sages reach Rabbi Elazar's home, he does not immediately let them in. He wants to appraise their level of spiritualconsciousness. The sages, therefore, wait and sit in silence. After a while, Rabbi Elazar gets up and enters his room. While in his quarters, he hears a voice telling him that the sages are ready and that he should reveal to them all the mysteries and spiritual Light they seek. A study session ensues, and suddenly a great fire encircles Rabbi Elazar. The sages then leave, realizing they are not yet ready to receive the full revelation of spiritual energy that occupies the next realm.

Relevance

Each of us must prepare our own internal vessel in order to continue our growth and spiritual work. The words of this story assist in expanding our vessel and furthering our preparation.