Monday, October 23, 2006

A Synopsis of Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag's "Introduction to the Zohar": Part 1

Rabbi Ashlag asked five very valid questions at the outset: 1) What are we essentially? 2) What role do we play in the great course of events? 3) Shouldn’t a perfect Creator's creations be perfect themselves? 4) How could G-d have created so many people who suffer and are tried their whole lives long? 5) And, how could finite, mortal, and ephemeral creatures like us ever derive from an Infinite Being (Ch. 1)?

Then he offered that we’d first need to inquire into a six other things before we can solve all that, including:

1) How could there have been a completely original creation that hadn’t already been incorporated in G-d’s Being? 2) If you posit that He could certainly have created something out of sheer nothingness, then what is this thing? 3) The kabbalists say that the human soul is a “part of G-d” with the only difference being that G-d is the "whole" while the soul is a "part" of Him that had been hewn from His being. But could anyone ever imagine hewing a seperate “part” of G-d? 4) Since evil is completely removed from G-d’s being, how could He ever have created it, let alone allow it to go on? 5) Since the human body is so base that it's doomed to die and be buried from the outset, and since the soul can't ascend to Garden of Eden until the body decomposes, then why would the body be resurrected anyway? 6) And finally, our sages say that man is the focal point of reality; but why would G-d bother to create all of reality for man, who’s so insignificant. Why would G-d have troubled Himself to create all that for man’s sake, and what would man need all that for (Ch’s 2-3)?

(c) 2006 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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