Vayetze: Chapter 21

"Now I will praise...And she called his name Judah"


Here the Zohar relates a discussion between Rabbi Shimon, Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi concerning the secrets of the name "Judah." Once again, the unity of all things is stressed in the verse, "I will praise the Creator with my whole heart." Both the good and evil in one's soul must be brought to God in prayer - that is, with total honesty. "Judah embraces all sides."


Kabbalah's unique perspective on the evil that men do is revealed in this section. The ultimate objective of spirituality is not to remove the existence of evil or humanity's negative traits. Instead, we must confront and transform these dark forces, for it is only through the struggle of transformation that we ignite the spark of divinity within us. The name "Judah" expresses this profound Kabbalistic notion, and our connection to this name invokes in us the courage to confront and triumph over our evil tendencies.