Wednesday, October 11, 2006

R' Ashlag Ch. 70 (Part 1)

Chapter Seventy:

Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar"

-- as translated and commented on by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman




"And the reason for that (i.e., for the Moshiach’s refusal to appear in our generation) as we've said is because those who do delve into Torah depreciate their own and Torah’s interior (aspect, by eschewing Kabbalah), and they regard the Torah’s interior as superfluous, only studying it when it’s neither 'day nor night'”.

"But they’re like blind people running their hands along a wall."
-- That’s to say, those laudable souls who study Torah in depth and dedicate their lives to the punctilious observance of mitzvot in the hopes of encouraging the Moshiach to arrive are barking up the wrong tree, if you will; they’re shortsightedly looking here (in the revealed Torah) for what’s actually there (in the concealed Torah).

"For they thus strengthen their own exterior (aspect), meaning the advantages of their body (over their soul), and they likewise bestow more importance to the Torah’s exterior (aspect) than to its interior (one) ... "
-- That is, they lend more credence to their bodies than to their souls by favoring the more practical, this-worldly aspects of the Torah over the Kabbalah-based ones.

" ... and thus allow the world’s exterior (aspects) to hold sway over its interior (ones), each according to its own makeup."
-- That is, they thus seem to advocate and grant more importance to externals, which is so much more destructive because they’re our greatest Torah scholars and leaders.

"For the exterior (aspect) of the Jewish Nation, meaning its less learned individuals, thus hold sway over and undo the Jewish Nation’s interior (aspect), her Torah Greats. And the exterior (aspect) of the Gentile nations, their destructive elements, likewise hold sway over and undo their interior (aspect), the righteous Gentiles. And the entire world’s exterior (aspect), the Gentile nations, holds sway over and undo the Jewish Nation, its interior (aspect)."
-- And so all externals overwhelm internals, leading to the more unlearned elements of the Jews to hold sway over the Torah greats, the more brutish elements of the Gentiles holding sway over its more righteous elements, and the Gentiles themselves to hold sway over the Jews in toto.

(c) 2006 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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