Monday, April 18, 2005

R' Ashlag Ch. 20 (sect. 2)

Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar"

-- as translated and commented on by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman


Ch. 20


“And even though we haven’t yet actually arrived at the third era and won’t for some time, that doesn’t blemish (or alter) our essence, for the third era is an inevitable consequence of the first (as we learned)."

"For (there's an axiom to the effect that) 'everything due to be repaid is considered repaid already' (see Ketubot 81A); so our not having yet arrived at the third era would only be a problem if there were a question about our fulfilling what we'd have to in order to arrive at it. But since there's no question, it’s as though we’d indeed arrived at it already.”
-- "Everything due to be repaid is considered repaid already" means to say that every debt is considered to have already been repaid since it will be, in the process of time ... absent some sort of mitigating circumstance. So, since absolutely nothing will thwart the arrival of the third era, it has already come for all intents and purposes.

“As such, the body (i.e., person) that has been granted us in its present corrupted tsurah doesn’t blemish our essence, since it and all its effects stand ready to be annihilated along with the whole impure system from which it originates (and it's thus of little ultimate consequence). That's also (true) because (there's another, equivalent axiom to the effect that) ‘everything due to be burned is considered burned already’ (Menachot 102B) and is regarded as never having existed.”
-- "Everything due to be burned is considered burned already" means much the same as the above axiom to the effect that "everything due to be repaid is considered repaid already". The difference lies in the fact that while "everything due to be repaid ... " allows us to assume the third era is here for all intents and purposes, "everything due to be burned ... " allows us to assume as well that nothing but the third era has ever existed for all intents and purposes.

(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".