Tuesday, December 14, 2004

R' Ashlag Ch. 14 (sect. 3)

Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar"

-- as translated and commented on by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman


Ch. 14


"The third (and final) era will encompass the rectification of all souls (and it will come about) after the resurrection of the dead. Even the bodies will be fully rectified then. For the ratzon l’kabel for our own sake, which is the body’s (true) tsurah, will be overturned (by then), and a tsurah of pure bestowance will come upon it, when it will deserve (and experience) all the good, pleasure, and delight contained in the (original) intentions for the universe. And they’ll merit (experiencing) a surpassingly strong (degree of) attachment (onto His presence) as a consequence of their essential affinity with their Creator."

"But that won’t come about from their ratzon l’kabel but rather because of their (having fostered the) willingness to grant satisfaction to their Creator. And G-d will derive pleasure from their having received that from Him."

-- This is a loaded statement. What it's saying first is that the third era will only come about when the very thing that the souls had always sought -- all the good, pleasure, and delight of attaching itself onto G-d's presence -- will have been achieved. And secondly, that that can only be achieved selflessly, with G-d's wishes in mind alone. But the third era *will come about in any event*, we're taught; since it was always part of G-d's intentions for the universe (see 13:2).
-- So the point is that the souls are to achieve all that goodness on their own by following through on G-d's mitzvot, and that "G-d will derive pleasure from their having received it from Him" in recompense for that in the end.

"For brevity’s sake I’ll simply refer to the first era, second era, and third era from now on (when I discuss this phenomenon)."

(c) 2004 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

(Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org )

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Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has translated and commented upon "The Gates of Repentance", "The Path of the Just", and "The Duties of the Heart" (Jason Aronson Publishers). And his new work on Maimonides' "The Eight Chapters" will soon be available from Judaica Press.
His works are available at www.discounttextbooks.net
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