Shamati – The Most Valuable Book In the World


In a recent blog entry, I wrote that we have just published a new edition of the collected works of Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag – the Rabash. Here I would like to offer some insight and history on the most precious text that Rabash left behind – the book Shamati:

Shamati is the most valuable book in the world, because it has the power to bring a person to the purpose of his life. Shamati is the main Kabbalistic source text. It contains all the foundations of man’s spiritual work. The articles contained in this book summarize everything one needs to enter the Upper World. They encompass the infinite depth of all 125 degrees that a person can and must go through in his spiritual path, whose summit is the goal of creation. This book is the most special book in the world, because no book in the entire history of mankind has gone deeper into man’s spiritual work.

Where did the book Shamati come from? Here’s a brief history. Among all the books and manuscripts that my teacher, Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag, used for study, there was one special, personal notebook, whose cover held the inscription “Shamati” – Hebrew for “what I heard.” He never parted with this notebook and always made sure to take it along anywhere he went. He never stopped studying it, and used to read it over and over again.

One day, late at night, he suddenly gave it to me and said: “Take this notebook and use it.” I immediately understood that his path was soon to reach an end. And indeed, he passed away the very next morning. His pure soul ascended into the unknown heights as soon as the night was gone.

The notebook he gave me was rather thick, and its contents revealed lessons by my teacher’s father, the great Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag – Baal HaSulam.

Baal HaSulam integrated all of the Kabbalistic knowledge that was previously passed down in secret, from teacher to student, from generation to generation, and thus for millennia. In doing so, Baal HaSulam prepared for us a method of mass spiritual ascension.

Rav Baruch Ashlag recorded his father’s lessons word for word, because he heard them directly from his father and Teacher. Hence, we have to follow these words just as they appear, and abide by the exact form that Baal HaSulam chose for his words. One should strive for his thoughts to go through the very same path as the text lays out, following Baal HaSulam’s thought. It’s more important to adhere to a great Kabbalist than to pay attention to the beauty of the linguistic nuances in the text. One should strive to see the inner beauty of the text, and then, as one will continue reading it, his understanding of the articles will undergo constant transformation, penetrating deeper and deeper.

In these articles Baal HaSulam often relies on quotes by other Kabbalists, written from the heights of their attainment. These quotes should give us an understanding of how profound the topic at hand is. They should also help us realize that we are receiving the method of adhesion with the Creator from the entire lineage of Kabbalists, and this method is being passed to us by the very last Kabbalist in this lineage – the great Baal HaSulam.

All of these texts should be regarded as one article, because they all speak about the same thing. They describe how the creature searches for its Creator and grows closer to Him, until it attains adhesion with Him. Essentially, these articles describe all the work that a person has to do in order to attain equivalence of form, adhesion and union with the Creator. In all of reality, there is no other reason for existence besides this one goal. According to this goal, man enables the entire reality, all the worlds and everything that inhabits them, to rise and incorporate in the Creator.

Hence, we have to understand that the entire universe, all the creatures, and all the worlds, are inside one person. Every person has to imagine that he is that person, and that he has freedom of choice and freedom of action. He, and only he, is standing opposite the Creator, and he has the responsibility and the privilege of doing the work necessary to attain equivalence of form, unification and adhesion with the Creator.

This is what all the articles in the book Shamati are about.

The clock has started ticking and time is flying by. In every part of the world there are people who are starting to feel an interest in spiritual ascent and to ask the question, “What is the meaning of my life?” In light of this, I understood the uniqueness and importance of the Shamati articles, and this is why I decided to publish this book and to reveal it to the world.

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Shamati Articles
Purchase the book – Shamati

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How Can We Stop Being Slaves of the Advertisement Industry?

How Can We Stop Being Slaves of the Advertisement Industry?The advertisement industry determines our entire life. Baal HaSulam writes in the article“The Freedom” that we are always being influenced by our society – whether it’s our family, our relatives, our coworkers, the radio, the television, or countless other things. This is especially true for children, who are influenced by their school, the kids in their classes, the material being taught to them, and so on. Our entire lives are spent carrying out what society wants from us.

How can a person become free from “foreign” desires? How can a person stop turning others’ desires into his own? How can a person stop being a robot, a slave, or a zombie whose entire life is spent satisfying other people’s desires, and working so that someone else can make a buck? In fact, there is only one solution – to rise above egoism.

Our egoism is what gets impressed by advertisements, turning us into mindless servants who carry out others’ desires. When the person recognizes the trap that egoism and society have set for him, he then discovers the need to exit egoism. And then he reveals Kabbalah.

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The Book of Zohar, Chapter “The Mother Lends Her Clothes To Her Daughter”

The Book of Zohar.The Book of Zohar. Chapter, “The Mother Lends Her Clothes To Her Daughter” (abridged)

16. The heavens, the earth and their hosts were created by MA, which is Malchut, as it is written: “When I behold your heavens, the work of Your hands.” Before this, it is written, “MA, i.e. HOW glorious is Your name in all the earth, which You set above the heavens!” After all, the heavens were created by the name (property) of MA (Malchut). “Written in the heavens” refers to Bina, which is called MI, the heavens that are above ZA. The explanation of this lies in the name of Elokim. MA (Malchut) rises up, incorporates itself into Bina, and receives its properties. Bina is called Elokim. After He CREATED A LIGHT FOR THE LIGHT, meaning the Light of Hassadim, called “precious garment,” for Ohr Hochma, Ohr Hassadim dresses Ohr Hochma, and this is the meaning of the phrase, “He created a Light for the Light.” With the help of the supernal name Elokim, called Bina, Malchut rises, joins Bina, and receives all of its properties. That is why the phrase, “BERESHEET BARAH ELOKIM” (IN THE BEGINNING THE CREATOR CREATED) refers to the upper Elokim, which is Bina and not Malchut. This is because MA (Malchut) is not created by MI and ELEH.

17. But when the letters ELEH descend from above, from Bina, downward to Malchut, because a mother lends her clothes to her daughter (Bina gives Malchut the force of bestowal, the Light of Hassadim), the name of Elokim descends from Bina (mother) to Malchut (daughter). And when does she adorn her? When the male essence appears before her. It is then written about her, “Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the face of the Creator” (Elokim, Bina). This because then Malchut is called by the name “Lord” in the male gender, because it received the properties called “clothes” and the Light called “adornments” from its mother Bina. The letter Hey (A) then leaves MA (Mem + Hey) and is replaced by the letter Yud (I), and, just like Bina, Malchut assumes the name MI. And then she is adorned with male clothes, namely the clothes of Bina (the Light of Hassadim, the presence of a Screen), to accept all the males of Israel (IsraEl – those who strive to similarity to the Creator).

18. ELEH is received from above, from Bina, in Malchut, which is now called MI, just like Bina. I utter the letters ELEH (reveal these properties within myself) and shed tears of my soul (enter “Katnut” – the small state) to receive these letters ELEH from Bina in the house of the Creator (Elokim, Malchut). So that MalchutElokim would be called , just as Bina is called Elokim (it would equalize with the Creator through the properties of bestowal, and then be able to correct its desires to “receive for the sake of bestowal”). How can I receive these properties of Bina? With the voice of joy and praise – by raising MAN (and receiving from above the correcting Light of Ohr Makif, called the “Light of the Torah”).

19. Rabbi Shimon said (opened), “These are two levels (governance from above and attainment from below), and each one has to be recorded: MA is the lower one and MI is the upper one. The upper level registers (Reshimot) and speaks (reveals) of MI. And of MA. For they are both Malchut (Malchut at its own place and Malchut that rose to Bina). But the upper one is MI of Malchut and the lower one is MA of Malchut. They bring out the number 600,000 – the number of stars that stand together and bring forth the innumerable hosts (the original number of souls in the whole system of souls of Adam).

20. All 600,000 (primary souls) and all their innumerable hosts (other souls) shall be called (by Bina) by the name (defining their form and degree) – because the letters ELEH (the lower part of Bina that corrects the souls) were created and dressed in the precious garment of the Light of Hassadim (bestowal), due to which ELEH (lower part of Bina) join MI (the upper part of Bina), and are called Elokim (together they are called by the Creator’s name). And by the power of this name (by the full force of the property of Bina) He brings them forth (reveals them) in all perfection (in the property of bestowal, above our world), i.e. CALLS THEM BY THE NAME (of the souls), by the name Elokim (of the Creator).

21. The head of the level (concealed from the lower souls, the system of Arich Anpin of the world of Atzilut, which governs all creation, and is upper with regard to Bina of the world of Atzilut) – is where all desires rise up to, and all remain there, concealed. The strong one rose up in the name ELOKIM – this is the secret of the Upper World, called MI. No man (soul) is missing of the 600,000 that were created by the power of this name. And as no one is missing from these 600,000 above, so no one was ever missing from this number below (all the souls will attain their corrected state).

The Mother Lends Her Clothes To Her Daughter” – full commentary

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