Prologue: Chapter 20

Rabbi Shimon's departure from the cave


The Zohar recounts the final day that Rabbi Shimon and his son Rabbi Elazar spent in the cave where Rabbi Shimon had buried himself neck deep in the ground for thirteen years, during the revelation (isn't that more accurate?) of the Zohar. Rabbi Shimon at last emerges from the cave, battered and decomposed. He credits his total disregard for the comforts and desires of his body as the secret behind the revelation of the wisdom of the Zohar. By relating this passage to our own lives, we too can arouse the will and self-control for overcoming destructive tendencies, which are rooted in the Desire to receive for the self alone.