Hok L'Yisrael is a compiled daily study guide on the Weekly Torah Portion, including sections of Torah, Prophets, Scriptures, Mishna, Talmud, Zohar, Jewish law, and Jewish thought. It is said that the Holy Ari of Tzefat designated most of the selections of Hok. The custom nowadays amongst many Jews is to study the Hok L'Yisrael every day after the morning prayers. It permits one to study, in a short time, all the different sections of both the written and oral Torah. It is said that the Ari used to say it while still wearing his Talit and Tefillin. (Mishna Berura 155: 1, 3. Kaf Hachayim ibid, Ot 3.) There is also a tradition that the Chida (Rabbi Chayim-Yosef-David Azulai) helped to edit the Hok to make it more user-friendly.
Here is my recurring dream.
I am seated at a long table filled with tomes and sacred scrolls.
Those in attendance must be Sages and students of the highest calibre.
Two men at the end of the table indicate the Midnight Yeshiva will commence.
I do not know why, but I know for sure that one teacher is the Holy Ari, and the other the Holy Chida.
The Chida hands the Ari a large volume, and says, "My Master, My Teacher, Here is Hok LeYisrael. The Ari opens and says, "Today we learn..." And what follows is his reading from the Holy Zohar selection he edited for that day. In this recurring dream, somehow the Chida chimes in with the commentary Metok MeDevash (found in the most comprehensive version of the Hok)
So, my intent is to provide English translation of these Zohar selections including the Metok MeDevash where relevant, plus a short commentary BeRahamim LeHayyim focusing on the essential question: why, out of the entire corpus of the Zohar on the Parshat HaShavua, was this short piece included? What do the Ari primarily, and Chida as later editor, want us to learn? And more importantly: what does this mean for you? Why are you reading this right now?
This material is best for nighttime learning, when the linear-thought of the day dissipates. Read it after midnight prayers for sacred connection, or before you go to sleep for lucid dreaming, or before morning prayers according to the Ba'al Shem Tov.
Editor's note: For the slightly expanded version of one of the daily Zohar portions, as featured in our Weekly Reading section, click here.