Questions I received on the commandments, the Hassidut, prayer and the Creator:
Question: Why do you teach that the 613 commandments are actually 613 desires?
My Answer: Because the only thing that was created is the desire, which was then separated into 613 parts. Our task is to correct the aim of this desire from “for one’s own sake” to “for the sake of others.” It is written, “I created evil (egoism) and created the Torah for its correction, because its Light returns one to the Source, to Goodness.”
Question: While you omit some commandments, you don’t reject others: you and your students wear Kippahs (skullcaps) and some of you have beards. Incidentally, wearing the Kippah is a relatively late commandment – given in approximately 1700.
My Answer: One’s appearance bears absolutely no relation to the commandments or the correction of one’s desire from egoistic to “love your neighbor as yourself” (the general commandment of the whole Torah).
Question: Why don’t you view the point in the heart in the same way as the Hassidut, which defines it as an awakening of the intelligent soul, which exists in the right part of the heart?
My Answer: The point in the heart is an aspiration to the Creator, which pertains to the quality of bestowal – “the right portion of the desires,” and the “heart” refers to the collection of all of a person’s desires. However, the physical heart lacks any desires whatsoever. What if a heart transplant was performed and a righteous man received the heart of a wicked person? Is this forbidden by the Torah?
Hassidut (the authentic one) comes from the word Hesed – goodness, which develops only in a person who studies Kabbalah. That’s because the study of Kabbalah is the only way to draw the Light of Correction to yourself.
Today the only thing remaining of Hasidut is the externality. It consists of rituals and the literal interpretation of the texts. This is why they interpret the statement, “Goodness lies in the right part of the heart,” literally. Kabbalah, on the other hand, explains the true meaning of these words.
Question: Why don’t you view a group of students as a Minian (traditional group of at least ten men) of those who pray?
My Answer: Prayer occurs during the studies, when a student asks the Creator for correction, and to help him attain the degree that he is learning about. Then, over the course of the day, he aspires for this transformation to take place, as it is written, “And he prays the entire day.”
Question: Some of the people who pray reach Lishma, even though they start out in Lo Lishma. This is exactly the same as your students! I am convinced that “all roads lead to Rome,” but apparently, you don’t think so?
My Answer: I don’t think, but I know, that no one reaches Lishma without studying Kabbalah thoroughly and correctly. And in order to understand my answers, you have to study it as well.
Question: If the Creator or the Upper Light is constant and does not change, then how could He have restricted Himself? And how is it possible that the Creator created anything?
My Answer: Constant and unchanging means that He does not change His intentions and actions – He is always “Good and does Goodness,” despite the fact that His actions seem contradictory to us.
Laitman.com Post: Why Does a Kabbalist Wear a Skullcap?
Wondrous Wisdom: “A Point in the Heart – the Soul”
Shamati #20: LISHMA (for Her Name)
Baal HaSulam Article: “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”