Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Kitzur Ashlag 2

From paragraphs 2 and 3:

Before answering the questions he’d raised, Ashlag thought it important to pose others.

1) “How could anyone imagine a completely original creation -- something utterly new-sprung that hadn’t already been incorporated in G-d's Being from the first -- when it’s obvious to any thinking person that everything was originally incorporated in His Being? After all, isn’t it apparent that whoever means to give something can only give it if he himself already has it?”

2) “If you contend that He’s omnipotent so He could certainly have created something out of sheer nothingness, which is to say, something that didn’t already exist in His Being -- then what is this ‘thing’ that we’d determine wasn’t found in Him originally but was created out of sheer nothingness?”

3) “The kabbalists say that the human soul is a ‘part of G-d’, the only difference between them being that G-d is the ‘whole’ while the soul is a ‘part’. And they equate the two to a rock hewn from a mountain, with the only difference between them being that one is the ‘whole’ and the other is a ‘piece’.”

4) But that raises another point: “a stone that’s hewn from a mountain had to have been hewn by an axe made for the express purpose of separating the ‘piece’ from the ‘whole’. But could anyone ever imagine hewing a separate ‘part’ of G-d, i.e., a soul, which would then be considered a part of His very Essence?”

5) That then suggests another inquiry: since “the chariot of the other side and the husks” -- the side of wrong and evil -- “are utterly and completely removed from G-d’s holiness -- then how could they ever have been culled from and created by Him, let alone allowed to go on?”

6) Yet another question is suggested: “since the human body is … doomed to die and be buried from the outset, and since the Zohar says that the soul can't ascend to its place in the Garden of Eden until the body decomposes and disintegrates, then why would the body need to be resurrected” anyway in the End of Days? “Couldn't the Creator have delighted our souls without (our having to go through) resurrection?” he asks.

7) Along the same lines he then adds, “even more baffling is our sages’ statement that the dead are destined to be resurrected with all of their defects (in place) in order not to be mistaken for anyone else, and that all those defects will be cured afterwards. For why would G-d care enough to first bring back someone’s defects and then cure him simply because he’d be mistaken for someone else?”

8) Lastly he then raises the point that, “our sages say that man is the focal point of reality, that all the upper worlds as well as this corporeal one along with everything in it were created for him alone (Zohar, Tazriah 40), and they even obliged us to believe that the world was created for our sake (Sanhedrin 37A). But, isn’t that strange? After all, why would G-d bother to create all that for man, who’s so insignificant and only occupies a hair’s-breadth worth of space in the universe -- to say nothing of (his insignificance when it comes to) the upper worlds, whose reaches are immeasurable! Why would G-d have troubled Himself to create all that for man’s sake? And besides -- what would man need all that for?”

(c) 2007 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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