Thursday, December 02, 2004

R' Ashlag Ch. 13 (sect's 2 &3)

Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar"

-- as translated and commented on by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman


Ch. 13


"The point is that as soon as it occurred to G-d to create the cosmos *that very thought alone* brought it about in its entirety. Since G-d doesn't need to resort to action per se the way we do (to bring anything about; for the reality of it just has to occur to Him and it's fulfilled)."

-- Know that G-d's methods, scopes, and domains are utterly unlike our own. For while things physical demand time, place, and person, the ethereal stuff of His formless and primal dominion doesn't. His considerations make things so; His Self immerses itself in its Self and something other than Himself appears in coat and hat. And that was true of the whole of reality as well.

"So, as soon as (He decided to create them,) all the souls and worlds that were to have been created, *were* created -- full of all the goodness, delight, and tranquility planned for them. And they were also already in the ultimately perfect state they're destined to be in when everything is rectified in the end -- which is to say, when the soul's ratzon l’kabel is fully rectified and is transformed into pure bestowance, in complete affinity with the Emanator."

"For past, present, and future are one and the same to the Eternal, (so) the future functions as the present for Him, and all the impediments of time are irrelevant to Him."

-- For not only was the whole of past and present reality already in G-d's mind (i.e., His intentions), all of what seems to us to be a gathering, impending reality was there, too, at that point -- including the furthermost, ultimate end. And that's the point at which there'll no longer be the appearance of a ratzon l’kabel in the face of a bestowing G-d; when there'll no longer be the contradistinction between beginning and end we now imagine there to be because we don't understand how above cause and effect G-d is.


"Hence, the matter of the corrupt ratzon l’kabel -- which is a tsurah (that's diametrically opposite to G-d's own, since it's the embodiment) of separation from the Infinite -- was never at issue. In fact, the opposite is true. For the essential affinity (between our souls and G-d) that's to be revealed when all is fully rectified came about automatically, thanks to G-d's Infinite nature. Our sages depicted this mystical phenomenon with the expression, 'Before the world was created, He and His name were one' (Pirke D'Rebbe Eliezer, Ch. 3)."

"For the tsurah of separation (from the Infinite) found in the ratzon l’kabel never actually manifests itself in the souls that emanated from (G-d's) intent to create (the cosmos). Instead, they (have always) enjoyed the d'vekut with Him that is essential affinity, in keeping with the stated mystical phenomenon of 'He and His name (being) one'."

-- R' Ashlag's point is that beginning and end are one and the same in G-d's Being. Thus, while we certainly experience a ratzon l’kabel, the irony of its existence is outside of G-d's consideration, and might as well not exist as far as His experience goes. For both, “before the world was created” *and subsequent to its being created and then being undone*, “He (His being) and His Name (what He's known for; i.e., creation en toto)”, will prove to have always been conjoined, with nothing actually interposing between them -- even the ratzon l’kabel.
-- For as we'll start to examine in the next chapter, there will prove to be three cosmic "eras": the first, which concerns itself with the period of "time" before the cosmos were created; the second, which concerns itself with the period of (actual) time the cosmos exist; and the third, which concerns itself with the period of "time" the cosmos no longer exist. And R' Ashlag's point is that the three have already played themselves out in full in G-d's Being, though not in ours.
-- So, yes, there is a ratzon l’kabel as far as we're concerned, which is no small matter; but, no, the ratzon l’kabel hasn't a place in G-d's Being, so it doesn't contradict His being the Ultimate Benefactor.

(c) 2004 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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