Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Klach Section One -- Introduction

Klach Pitchei Chochma -- 138 Openings to Wisdom

By Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto

As adapted by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman


Section One -- Introduction

Let’s look at the petachim that comprise the first section and raise some broad questions about them.

Petach 1:

The Infinite One’s Yichud implies that only His will functions and no other will functions other than through it. Hence, He alone reigns (supreme) and no one else’s will does. And the entire structure is built on this foundation.

Petach 2:

The Emanator wants only [to do] good, so nothing but [manifestations of] His goodness will endure. All that’s initially wrongful does not emanate from another sphere of influence that could oppose Him, instead it will undoubtedly [prove to] be good instead in the end, thanks to which it will be known that there’s no sphere of influence apart from Him.

Petach 3:

Ultimately, the world was created so that G-d could be beneficent in accordance with His benevolent desire to bestow ultimate goodness [upon the universe].

Petach 4:

The Infinite One wanted to express utter and complete beneficence in such a way that its recipients wouldn’t be ashamed to accept it. So He set out to openly reveal His Yichud, [meaning to thus show] that He has neither deterrents nor defects. So He established the system of governance that He now uses, thanks to which wrongfulness will [eventually] revert to goodness. For while He initially granted wrongdoing a realm in which to do what it can, in the end all harm will be rectified and all wrong will revert to actual goodness. And G-d’s Yichud will thus be revealed, which will in fact be the delight of the souls.

Here are some questions to start with.

First, what is G-d’s “Yichud”? Why all this talk about G-d’s will, as opposed to G-d’s might for example, His wisdom, etc? What “entire structure is built” on the foundation established at the beginning? Why is G-d termed “The Emanator” sometimes and “The Infinite One” at others? Why all the talk about “other wills”? What are the implications of wrongdoing returning to goodness (and all harm being rectified), which seems contrary to our common understanding of good triumphing over evil? What’s the idea of G-d’s beneficence all about, and why would we be ashamed to enjoy it? What’s the meaning of G-d’s system of governance? And lastly, what has all this to do with Kabbalah which is the subject at hand, or so we’ve been told?

(c) 2007 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

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