Monday, December 13, 2004

R' Ashlag Ch. 14 (sects. 1&2)

Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar"

-- as translated and commented on by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman


Ch. 14


“Thus, souls experience three distinct 'eras', all told. The first encompasses the 'time' they're lodged within the Infinite’s intentions for creation and when they already have the tsurah they'll assume when the final rectification comes about.”

-- The first occult, sweeping era precedes everything else in time -- including time itself. And it’s the embodiment of the esoteric notion expressed variously as “Their conclusion is embedded in their beginning, and their beginning in their conclusion (Sefer Yetzirah 1:7), “The final act was in the original thought” (Lecha Dodi), “Before the world was created, He and His Name were (already) one” (Pirke D’Rebbe Eliezer, Ch. 3), “What will be seen in the end is what was already there at the beginning” (Klach Pitxhei Chochma, 49), and “(you’ll) reach the point you’d started from” (Ibid.).


“The second one encompasses the six thousand years (“of creation”, i.e., of life as we know it), in the course of which the souls are separated by (passing through) the two previously cited systems (i.e., the four worlds of holy-A.B.Y.A. and their counterpart, the four worlds of defiled-A.B.Y.A [see 10:2]) into a body and a soul. It’s when the observance of Torah and Mitzvot is granted them so they might convert their ratzon l’kabel to a ratzon l’hashpia and grant satisfaction to their Maker rather than to themselves.”

-- The second era, our own, is the one in which everything needs to be done and will be given the means to.
-- It’s life as we know it: bifurcated in every way but flush with the great and consummate communal row homeward -- toward the broad and sweeping, epochal and selfless admixture of the mixed.

“Only souls could be rectified in the course of that era, not bodies. For (in order for the body to be rectified) it would need to undo its ratzon l’kabel -- which is the (essence of the) 'body'-- and to set in its place a ratzon l’hashpia, which is the soul's (true) tsurah of willingness.”

-- Only souls can be rectfied in this era (and only after death at that), because the entirety of our being, body with soul, is still cleft apart, and the body part won’t be rectified (and reunited with the soul part) until the third era. That is, when the ”ratzon l’hashpia ... which is the soul's (true) tsurah of will” is restored, and everyone and everything’s original and true will to only give-out will be reestablished.

“In fact, even the souls of the righteous won’t be able to rejoice in the Garden of Eden after their death (then, and not) until their body would have decomposed into dust.”

-- But that too will reversed in the third era, when body and soul will bypass the system of holy-A.B.Y.A. and defiled-A.B.Y.A.

(c) 2004 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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