Sunday, June 17, 2007

Kitzur Ashlag 1

I set up a while back to offer a translation with comments to Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag’s “Introduction to the Zohar”. I completed it a few months ago but I wanted to go back to it to see what needed to be changed, since I’d like to have it published. Rather than do that off on the side without reference to it here, though, I thought I’d offer a synopsis -- a kitzur -- of the original work here in the process. So here goes.

From paragraph 1.

Ashlag starts off by saying that he’d “clarify certain ostensibly simple things that everyone contends with and which a lot of ink has been spilt over trying to explain, that still-and-all haven’t been spelled out clearly or adequately enough”.

And he begins by raising five succinct and cogent questions:

1) “What are we essentially?”

2) “What role do we play in the great course of events which we’re such minor players in?”

3) “When we consider ourselves closely we find ourselves to be as tainted and lowly as can be, and yet (conversely) when we look at our Creator we can’t help but praise Him for how utterly exalted He is! But wouldn’t a perfect Creator's creations be expected to be perfect?”

4) “Logic would suggest that G-d is all-good and utterly benevolent. So, how could He have purposefully created so many people who suffer and are tried their whole lives long? Wouldn’t an all-good Creator be expected to be benevolent -- if not at least less malevolent?”, and

5) “How could finite, mortal, and ephemeral creatures (like us) ever derive from an Infinite Being who is without beginning or end?”

(c) 2007 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

(Feel free to contact me at )

AT LONG LAST! Rabbi Feldman's translation of "The Gates of Repentance" has been reissued at *at a discount*!
You can order it right now from here
Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon "The Path of the Just", and "The Duties of the Heart" (Jason Aronson Publishers). His new work on Maimonides' "The Eight Chapters" will soon be available.
Rabbi Feldman also offers two free e-mail classes on entitled
"Spiritual Excellence" and "Ramchal"