Monday, May 23, 2005

R' Ashlag Ch. 22

Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar"

-- as translated and commented on by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman


Ch. 22


“All three of these desires-types are present in everyone, for the most part. It’s just that they’re within us in varying degrees and in combination, which explains the difference between people.”

-- R’ Ashlag’s point is that since we’re ratzon l’kabel- and pleasure-driven, it follows that even the best of us (with the exception of the scant few souls who have indeed achieved a ratzon l’hashpia in the here and now) have some base and small desires, and also that even the lowliest among us are drawn to higher ideals since all three desires-types are human archetypes.
-- The difference between us thus lies in the intensity with which we express those desires; in whether we express them in thought, speech, or action, or in combination; and in the degree to which we express them in each of those realms.
-- For while the more-righteous want nothing better than to draw close to G-d (which is still-and-all a personal desire, don't forget) and they think, talk about, and do things that will help them do that, they also harbor a thought or more, say something or another, or do a thing or two that thwarts that; most of us think and talk about, and do more things to thwart it, and think and talk about, and do a number of base and meaner things; and the lowliest among us think and talk about, and do a great deal of base and coarse things, and few lofty things.

"(Know that) we can deduce things about the makeup of spiritual phenomena -- depending on their spiritual stature -- from the makeup of physical phenomena."

-- We’ll begin to discuss this in detail in the next chapter.

(c) 2005 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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