Friday, July 01, 2005

R' Ashlag Ch. 26

Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar"

-- as translated and commented on by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman


Ch. 26.


"Now, as we've already said, the (existence of the) first era made it necessary for the third era to materialize itself in full and lacking for nothing, in order to fulfill the intent for creation (which was already manifest) in the first era (see Ch. 15). Thus, the (existence of the) first era necessitated the resurrection of the body, which is to say that it made it necessary for the body's comprehensive ratzon l’kabel which had (already) come to an end, been undone, and had decomposed in the course of the second era, to be resurrected anew, in full and comprehensive measure and lacking for nothing whatsoever -- i.e., *with all its defects (in place)*."

-- In answer to our question of the last chapter as to why we're to be resurrected, it comes to this. We -- better yet, our bodies along with our personality and sense of self -- are to be fully and roundly resurrected when the time comes simply because that, too, is part of the great unfurling of G-d's will that was already encased in the first era, by virtue of the fact that it will play a part in our drawing close to G-d.
-- But, why will we be brought back "with all (our) defects (in place)", which we also asked?


"But then the body's Divine service is to begin anew: (well start) to convert our comprehensive ratzon l’kabel to the point where it only takes-in so as to bestow. And we'd have thus doubled our gain: first, we'd have had the capacity to accept all the goodness, pleasantness, and gentleness (we were meant to) in the (original) intent of creation, since we'd already had a body with a comprehensive ratzon l’kabel, which goes hand in hand with all those pleasures, as we indicated."

"And secondly, since we received all the goodness, pleasantness, and gentleness we were meant to in that manner, that goodness would then only exist to the degree necessary to bestow contentment upon our Maker, and our ratzon l’kabel would be tantamount to an out-and-out bestowal (see 11:2). That would bring us to (the point of) essential affinity (with,) or adhesion (to G-d) -- which will be our tsurah in the third era (after all is said and done anyway). Thus we see that the (existence of the) first era did indeed make the resurrection of the dead an absolute necessity."

-- Things will be utterly different when we're resurrected, as would only be expected; and all our foci and insights will change accordingly. Rather than be self-absorbed, we'll be G-d-absorbed, if you will. For instead of being only willing to accept things that serve our own purposes, we'll only be willing to accept things that we could then bestow upon another (G-d, in this instance), like the guest who only ate to please his host (see the comments to 11:3).
-- That explains why we're to be brought back with all our defects. For, what "all our defects" refers to is all of our selfishness; and it will be there for all to see at the point of resurrection, all right. But we'll be so out-and-out flummoxed by the sight ourselves that we'll be moved to (somehow) transform it to selflessness.
-- Ironically, though, we'll have benefitted from our selflessness in the end to a *remarkable* degree (though we wouldn't have set out to). For aside from having enjoyed the wherewithal to take in "all the goodness, pleasantness, and gentleness (we were meant to) in the (original) intent of creation" by virtue of the fact that "we'd already had a body with a comprehensive ratzon l’kabel", we'd also be able to make the very best and purest use of that skill and turned it around to a means of adhering on to G-d's presence as we're meant to do.

(c) 2005 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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