Shemot: Chapter 38

Yisrael corresponds to all the other nations of the world


Continuing the discussion of the previous section, Rabbi Yitzchak explains that the single nation of Yisrael is equivalent to all of the seventy other nations, and therefore whoever rules over Yisrael dominates the whole world. Because of this powerful status, the children of Yisrael are subjected to the rule of other nations in order that the world may be elevated through them. Rabbi Yitzchak also explains the great symbolic significance of the numbers one and seventy in this context. Seventy is the number of nations, the number of Yisrael who came into Egypt, and the number of Names for God, while God is One and Yisrael is one, on a par with the rest of the world.


When we are born into this world, our Evil Inclination (the body) is given dominion over our soul. Our purpose in life is to gradually conquer all of the various aspects of our Evil Inclination. This effort allows us to perfect our soul and, in turn, correct our physical body. Heaven on Earth will materialize for all mankind when a significant amount of people achieve this ultimate transformation. Reading these passages of the Zohar is equivalent to attaining that transformation - such is the power of these divine verses.

Yisrael can be likened to the heart of the human body, whereas the other nations of the world correspond to all the organs. If the heart cannot deliver sufficient blood to each area of the body, illness and disease inevitably set in. In our personal lives, each time we resist a reactive urge, a powerful heartbeat propels Light through the spiritual arteries that interconnect all nations. The Light that is generated becomes the "blood" that nourishes the body, the soul, and all the nations of the world.

If we do not undertake this spiritual path, the other nations experience malnutrition. This is the underlying cause behind hatred towards Yisrael and, on a personal level, the reason for the chaos and darkness in our own lives. Hence, each of our actions simultaneously contributes to or subtracts from our personal welfare and the global state of the world. All is interconnected.

Here, the readers of the Zohar play the role of the heart, nourishing all the world with spiritual Light, healing the wounds between the nations, and healing personal ailments. The entire body of mankind is unified by this effort. Love becomes the blood that courses through our spiritual veins - which are the relationships that connect one man to another, and one nation to a another.