What Is The Basis Of The Wisdom Of Kabbalah?
In this introduction, I would like to clarify matters that are seemingly simple [they appear to us as such]. Matters that everyone fumbles with, and for which much ink has been spilled [in every generation], attempting to clarify. Yet we have not reached a concrete and sufficient knowledge of them. And here are the questions:
- What is our essence?
- What is our role in the long chain of reality, of which we are but small links?
- When we examine ourselves, we find that we [the created beings] are as corrupted and as low as can be. And when we examine the operator who has made us [the Creator who is perfect and absolute as those who have revealed Him claim], we are compelled to be at the highest degree, for there is none so praiseworthy as Him. For it is necessary that only perfect operations will stem from a perfect operator.[For the action’s result and quality testify to its maker.]
- Our mind necessitates that He is utterly benevolent, beyond compare. [If He includes everything in Himself and is the basis of life, then He must be perfect] How, then, did He create so many creatures [all of them!] that suffer and agonize all through their lives? Is it not the way of the good to do good, or at least not to harm so [fill their existence with evil]?
- How is it possible that the infinite, that has neither beginning nor end, will produce finite, mortal, and transient creatures? [The creation of a finite creature suggests the existence of the quality of finiteness in the Creator].
– Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 1