Tuesday, January 18, 2005

R' Ashlag Ch. 15 (sect's 4 & 5)

Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar"

-- as translated and commented on by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman


Ch. 15


"It also follows that the (existence of the) first era itself made it necessary for the two antithetical systems (i.e., the four worlds of holy-A.B.Y.A. and their counterpart, the four worlds of defiled-A.B.Y.A.) to exist in the second era, which then allows the body with its corrupt ratzon l’kabel to come about by means of the impure system (i.e., the four worlds of defiled-A.B.Y.A.). For all that enables us to rectify it. In fact, if there hadn't been a system of impure worlds, we wouldn’t have a ratzon l’kabel to rectify (in the first place) and to thus arrive at the third era, since one can’t repair something he doesn’t already have."

-- That is, were it not for the first and third eras, reality as we know it now, including our selves, our overarching willingness to take-in without giving back, and the dilemmas of the spirit all that entails couldn’t come about either. And we couldn’t overcome all that and bask in triumph in the face of a hard-won battle as we inevitably will. For how dare crow in victory when you’d been handed the metal on the sneak?


"We needn’t ask, though, how the impure system could manage to exist (at all) in the first era (which is G-dly and utterly antithetical to it). For it’s the very existence of the first era that allows for the impure system, and for it to be sustained in that form in the course of the second era."

-- R’ Ashlag is now re-addressing the arcane question he’d touched on right before this of how evil could exist in G-d’s presence, which seems so contradictory (see Ch. 12). In short his answer is that evil only exists in the first era (albeit in an inchoate, latent state) because, again, it’s only thanks to the first era that the second one can exist, so if the first one didn’t contain that latent evil, we couldn’t expereince it -- and manage to overcome it -- in the second.

(c) 2005 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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

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