Wednesday, April 06, 2005

R' Ashlag Ch. 19 (sect. 3)

Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar"

-- as translated and commented on by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman


Ch. 19


"Understand (as well) that once all of humanity agrees to abolish and eradicate its ratzon l’kabel and to want nothing other than to bestow upon others (rather than just take from them) -- all our worldly worries and injuries will cease to exist, and everyone will be assured of a healthy and perfect life. For everyone would have an entire world concerned with him alone in with satisfying his (every) need".

"But there’ll always be (the sort of) worries, trials and tribulations, wars, and bloodshed that we can’t (yet) avoid that dispirit, afflict, and pain us as long as everyone only wants things for his own benefit".

-- This is a quite remarkable section that cries out for explanation. First off it’s important to know that this will all happen at the *beginning* of the third era, since it refers to both mundane and rarefied events that will only come about then -- when Heaven and Earth commingle as they wouldn’t have till then and wouldn’t need to any longer.
-- The point is that the essential nothingness and great harmfulness of the ratzon l’kabel pointed to above will become clear to “all of humanity”, Jew and Gentile, by that point; each and every person will decide that he or she had had enough of it, and would elect to express a ratzon l’hashpia instead.
-- Understand, of course, that this will be a massive and fulgent instance of pure, selfless knowing and revelation far out of our experience, and only comparable to the one our people achieved when they said Na’aseh v’Nishma -- “We’ll do (all that’s asked of us right here and now, as G-d speaks) and listen (to His explanations afterwards)” (Exodus 24:7), after having been given the Torah. After all, we’d be abandoning everything de rigueur and natural, and embracing a wholly new and unaccustomed perspective that would threaten us to the core!
-- But the shift will happen, we’re assured, and it will sit well with us after a time because we’d see the benefits. For by virtue of the fact that we’d all have chosen to bestow rather than take-in, whenever one of us wanted or needed something (for some unselfish and high-minded reason, of course), the rest of us would be ready to bestow it upon him. And no one would ever lack for anything again.
-- Parenthetically, R’ Ashlag says in many places that we humans actually don’t have the ability to assume a ratzon l’hashpia on our own, and that the only thing we’re expected to do realistically to realize one would be to pray to G-d that He grant it to us; so how could the above statement stand? Apparently R’ Ashlag’s point is that we will indeed have come to pray for it by that point -- every single one of us -- because it would have been the beginning of the third era by then; and that the force of that universal prayer will storm the gates of Heaven and allow for the possibility.

(c) 2005 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

(Feel free to contact me at )

AT LONG LAST! Rabbi Feldman's translation of "The Gates of Repentance" has been reissued at *at a discount*! You can order it right now by logging onto (or by going to and searching for it). 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 in bookstores and in various locations on the Web.
Rabbi Feldman also offers two free e-mail classes on entitled "Spiritual Excellence" and "Ramchal".