Sunday, April 03, 2005

R' Ashlag Ch. 19 (sect. 2)

Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar"

-- as translated and commented on by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman


Ch. 19


"What that all comes to teach us is that our ratzon l’kabel was only created to (eventually) be annihilated and removed from the world, and to be transformed into a ratzon l’hashpia. And that all the trials and tribulations we suffer are (at bottom only meant) to serve as means of disclosing the ratzon l’kabel’s essential nothingness and great harmfulness".

-- Some wiser, more fortunate souls learn from adversity. They come to learn from poverty, for example, how to make do with what they have, use it to the maximum, and enjoy it. (Everything they own becomes even more luscious and rich as a result, if they become prosperous).

-- We ourselves are expected to be more thoughtful and insightful about our trials and tribulations in this second era (which will inevitably lead to the third era, at the beginning of which the following will all take place).

-- For while trials and tribulations are dreadful, before they vanish (which they inevitably will) we can learn from them that the ultimate purpose they served was to have us realize just how harmful their cause -- our self-absorption -- (ratzon l’kabel) had been all along, and how much pain it had caused us.

-- Indeed, once we do that we can purposefully adopt the alternative, selflessness (a ratzon l’hashpia), and immediately realize its benefits. Or we can have suffered trials and tribulations, and have learned nothing from them (as most people do), and inherit a ratzon l’hashpia despite ourselves. But what benefits are there to becoming selfless? As we’ll see, ......

(c) 2005 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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