Wednesday, March 15, 2006

R' Ashlag Ch. 51 (Part 1)

Chapter Fifty-One:

Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar"

-- as translated and commented on by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman




"Know that you’re only credited with having repented and purified yourself when your efforts are permanent and when (it’s clear that) you won’t ever lapse. As it’s said, "What is (true) penitence? When He who knows all secrets would testify that (you) won’t ever lapse" (see Hilchot Teshuvah 2:2)."
-- Rambam indicates that true repentance -- true spiritual ascent and expiation after having sinned and lowered one’s stature -- comes down to “no longer committing the sin one once committed, not thinking of committing it anymore, and affixing to his heart the commitment to never do it again” (ibid.), and doing that so distinctly that even He who knows your heart would affirm your effort.
-- Rabbi Ashlag will now make the point that the source of our sinning -- our stark willingness to only take-in -- also calls for penitence.

"Hence it follows that what we'd said ... that if you purify the mineralness of your ratzon l’kabel that you’ll merit a partzuf of the Nephesh of Asiyah, and that you’ll ascend upward and don the sephira of Malchut of Asiyah ... means that you’ll certainly be rewarded when you permanently purify your mineralness to the degree that you’ll never lapse. And that you’ll then be able to ascend to the spiritual world of Asiyah, since you’ll have realized purity and (will have achieved) an utter affinity of form with that world."
-- That means to say that if you repent for your willingness to only take-in on a *mineral*, a most basic level, then you’ll have achieved a degree of purity and penitence that would enable you to draw closer to G-d than you could have before. For you will have attained an “affinity of form with that world” at least, and thus begun the process of attaining an essential affinity with G-d Himself (see 11: 2), which is the greatest act of repentance and of drawing close to Him.

(c) 2006 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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