Monday, May 09, 2005

R' Ashlag Ch. 21 (sect.1)

Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar"

-- as translated and commented on by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman


Ch. 21


“Now, don’t be led astray by the opinion of the philosophers who state that we're essentially comprised of our reason; that our beings only exist and expand by dint of our ability to conceive of things; that our (continued) existence and after-life depend solely on the caliber of the concepts we'd acquired; and that if we don't conceive of things, we won’t survive after death (see Maimonides' "Guide for the Perplexed" 1:1,18,41, etc.). For that’s (simply untrue and) not a Torah perspective! And besides, it’s counter-intuitive, for as anyone who has ever tried to garner knowledge knows and senses, reason is something acquired rather than the acquirer himself.”

“For as we explained, the essential makeup of both spiritual and material phenomena is nothing other than the ratzon l’kabel. And while we pointed out that our essences are (likewise) comprised of a full ratzon l’hashpia, that only comes into play after (a series of) reparations brought on by the 'reverting light' that is granted it from the upper worlds from which it comes to us, as is discussed clearly in (Rabbi Ashlag’s own) Peticha L’Chochmat HaKaballah (Chs 14-16, 19).”

-- This last item is a rather arcane one, but suffice it to say that at one point in the creation process, the Celestial Light that shone downward upon creation came against a numinous screen which resisted it and forced it backward. It suddenly began to function as “Reverting Light” as well as to act as a receiver rather than an imparter, and to thus allow for the creation of the ratzon l’kabel. But the entire process will be reversed, as Rabbi Ashlag indicates, through a series of reparations, which will then lead to the emergence of the third era.

“The point is that our essential makeup is our ratzon l’kabel as well (as a ratzon l’hashpia), which you’ll understand by seeing (what’s written) there.”

(c) 2005 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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