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Kabbalah for the Nation Introductory Series, “Where Is Our Relationship Going”
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Writings of Rabash, Igrot, Letter 66: So, even if a person deals with the Torah and Mitzvot, if it is not for Heaven’s sake, it is like a person who has no God because, if he did have a feeling of Godliness, he would surely do it for Heaven’s sake. So, a person should do his best to find the power to overcome his attributes in order to turn them in favor of others.
When a person is in trouble, he tries to find a way out. There are different kinds of troubles, both corporeal and spiritual. One way or another, a person feels pain and sorrow.
However, if, at the same time, he begins to study the Torah and even the wisdom of Kabbalah, he is in great danger because the Torah can be the “potion of life” or the “potion of death.” The snake reveals this tool to us, which eventually will either destroy the person or help him escape it and control it.
Baal HaSulam says that it is possible to catch the snake by the head or by the tail. When we study, we encounter several dangers.
First, we can be satisfied in studying the text technically and dryly in order to understand all the detail about the spiritual worlds that Kabbalists describe. This is very appealing because while you read the book you seem to understand and feel these details. You come to know the material; you have a “map” and a list of definitions. This false feeling of control is the first danger. There are those who are satisfied in the study itself, even without any real understanding.
Later, if we study in order to reach correction, there are more dangers along the way. I may want to acquire the power of bestowal to adhere to the Creator. There are other options, but a wrong direction may divert a person. If we go off the track of “Israel, the Torah, and the Creator,” we will draw further away from the goal with every step we take.
Therefore, the principle of “first think, then act” is very important here. I feel the entire world as part of me, and I lead it toward adhesion with the Creator.
Our world cannot be perfect if we do not want to include all of humanity, all of reality, within us. It is only then that we will attain the true attribute of bestowal in the correct intention of in order to bestow, and not in any other manner.
In contrast to the ten discernments of holiness, there are ten discernments of the “shell,” and they are very different. In every form of bestowal and in every form of receiving there is a special method, a special philosophy.
There is an entire world concealed in every attribute of holiness and in every attribute of the shell that is opposite to it. This is the origin of all religions and beliefs, all confusions, and all the justifications that a person finds in life,
We should understand that the love of others should be based on the principle of unity: Israel, the Torah, and the Creator. There are no separate “others.” Everything is one; everything is part of the upper force.
We must pay attention to everything, including dissemination and the necessity to reach the most remote parts of humanity. If we implement selection, the general vessel will not be whole, and we will lack the intention of “in order to bestow.”
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/16/12, Writings of Rabash
Question: Why does the Light need me? Am I really that important?
Answer: We lack the deficiency, the desire, to discover the upper, whole, spiritual world. The Light doesn’t need you; it is you who needs the Light so that it will build the right deficiency within you. When you really want bestowal, you will discover it.
We are in a sea of Light right now, but we don’t feel anything because we don’t have a deficiency. However, if I were to summon upon me the influence of the Light, it would build this deficiency within me. Then, I finally would feel what I lack.
As a simple example, let us say that I don’t want anything in life. I am indifferent. However, a friend comes over and invites me to go on a trip.
I agree reluctantly, and on the way, we go by a restaurant. I smell the scents and become a little hungry. We go inside the restaurant, and, as we eat, as it usually happens, the appetite comes with the meal. Then, I really have a true appetite.
So, we must open the curtain gradually. First, we only “smell” the Light by summoning it from a distance. Then, we taste it. Thus, the vessel is created within us.
I say to a child, “Taste this, you will like it.” The child asserts, “No, I don’t want to! I won’t taste it!” I respond, “Do it for me.”
This is how the Light creates the vessel.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/16/12, Writings of Rabash
Question: The more I study the Creator, His nature, and the principles of unity, the stronger I feel that I am opposite to all of this and that I am confused. Why does this happen and what does it mean?
Answer:Imagine: there is a person, who is hospitalized. If we were to speak with a physician observing this patient, he would tell us about a rare disease, different methods of treatment for this disease, and about his assumptions regarding this case. Now let us question the nurse: She knows all the illnesses and all the medicines, in general and in particular. And finally, talk to the hospital janitor: She knows all the illnesses and all medications, in general and in particular.
The moral: the deeper a person penetrates the essence of things, the greater the complications he finds in them. For him, every detail goes to extremes and divides into a multitude of components. Things are difficult for a person like this, he always hesitates; many things are questionable to him. The same way sages have doubts where things are clear as day to regular people.
As we work on attaining the upper force and we constantly encounter confusion and analyze things; we must enjoy one and the other. There are two sides of the same process, which leads to the realization, understanding, and attainment. It is written that there is no greater joy than elimination of doubts. Many contradictions overtake you, you are not able to tie anything together—and suddenly everything becomes clear, thus greatly pleasing you.
When the Light of wisdom, the Light of Hochma, enters the Light of Hasadim and fills the desire, you experience a state of perfection, which comes from our Source. The following is always just: “And there was evening, and there was morning, one day.” Again and again Light dispels the darkness. Thus we advance.
The feeling of night usually weighs upon new students, and unable to control themselves, they capitulate. I remember myself lying, unable to rise; I did not see a gleam of light before me. But then the next stage comes: You begin to understand where this comes from and why, you gather experience by opposing these waves, you gain feeling and reason: You first gain feeling, and then you transition to the stage of understanding.
This is the journey, and the main thing is to continue it. Changes will come. Naturally, it is hard for a person in the beginning: He is subject to his state and is not yet able to rise above it. This is why we must be delicate with new students, when they lose it under the pressure of circumstances or become lost as in a fog. This is the way a new additional realization affects a person once he gains it. We are made of desire and sensations are our life. There are different states, and time heals us when the mind is powerless. This is the period of preparation.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/12/12, Shamati #190
Question: The convention in Brazil is approaching. What can it give those who will physically participate in it?
Answer: If a person has already taken part in our conventions and cannot make it this time, it may not be so critical. On the other hand, these people already understand that the convention is worth the effort. As for people who have never been to a convention, they should do their best to be there.
Today our conventions are first and foremost about connection. People don’t just come to hear me lecture. The convention springs me into action so that I form a vessel, a desire, together with everyone. Then I feel the difference between my private thoughts and the thoughts of the general circle. These are two totally different levels of thinking and feeling.
The convention enables a person to feel the taste of unity a bit, which is essentially the “posterior” of the Creator. When unity takes hold of a person a little, he discovers that there is a special hidden sensation here, the “point of unity” that Baal HaSulam talks about. If a person discovers charm in the unity with the group, he reaches the path that leads to the Creator.
Thus, the convention is a rare opportunity thanks to which a person can continue marching safely onwards because he already has the right impressions. I don’t think it is possible to attain this without an actual, physical connection.
Therefore, it is very important to arrive in person. A person who has already been to a convention generally understands that he should go—at any reasonable price. But if you’ve never felt that, then listen to some advice: Come and that’s all. In a country like Brazil, the next convention will probably be in another two or three years. It is even worthwhile to take a loan and to repay it later in several monthly payments. By this you are buying yourselves a true asset, and if you miss it, you will regret it later. A reasonable debt isn’t so bad. Don’t postpone the main thing in life for later. I strongly recommend that you come.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/16/2012, Writings of Rabash
Question: We need to become imbued with desire from the group, but also to take desire from the masses. What is the difference?
Answer: There is our group, Bnei Baruch (BB), and there are the nations of the world. Even if a unity (∑) of the nations will arise in the future, it will only be able to beget a cry aimed upward. Their unity is good for joining into our unity. And our unity, in turn, will join with the One (1).
Thus, there is unification of the nations, there is unification among us, and there is unification of the nations with us, where masses become included in us like the seven lower Sefirot of Bina. It is necessary to have internal unity below and internal unity above, and then we all unite and merge with the Creator into a single whole.
In this manner, we, as the three upper Sefirot of Bina (GAR de Bina), should provide the correction of its seven lower Sefirot (ZAT de Bina).
Answer: We don’t correct anything there among the nations. We connect to people and take their desire, which helps us band together even tighter and to establish a connection with the upper force, with the Light. And the Light acts on them through us.
Ultimately, we are the ones who are performing the work, and not the masses. Without being capable of doing it themselves, they give us the strength for correction, and no more than that. It’s true that they also need to try to unite; however, nobody is capable of real unity, not even us. Only the Light realizes it. And this is why the most important thing is for them to understand that without unity between them, there won’t be a good life. And we will take this demand, we’ll penetrate and absorb the depth of its bitter grief and transform it into a prayer.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/8/12, Writings of Rabash
Question: If the Torah is the book of instructions telling us about the spiritual path, how can we follow them if we don’t feel anything but this world?
Answer: First we have to rise. The Torah wasn’t written for people who are below the Machsom (the barrier separating us from spirituality). Even when it tells us about different events such as the Egyptian exile, the forefathers, or Babel, the real meaning of what is said there can only be revealed by those who are already engaged in the spiritual work, beyond the Machsom.
Everything depends on the level of revelation of the spiritual concepts. The Book of Zohar, for example, explains the word Beresheet (Genesis) in a way that includes the whole path, from the beginning to the end.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/15/2012, Writings of Rabash
Question: What if the group work and studying bring me egoistic pleasure? How should I relate to this?
Answer: A person cannot make a single move without pleasure. We don’t pull anyone into a monastery; we don’t call anyone to live in a barrel like Diogenes, sleeping on the bare ground, limiting our diet to bread and water. We are talking about internal changes, which we can realize in our nature solely by the external force, the Light that sustains the life of the entire universe. Together, through our collective efforts and with correct organization, we can influence this force so that it changes the inclination in us.
Today we are approaching the moment in human development when we do this ourselves, having formed a request, prayer, intention, in advance; otherwise, the Light will do this without our request. Here we have a choice. Having realized it, we will go ahead of the wave of change, desire it, and ask the Creator to give us the force of bestowal. If we do not realize our choice, disasters will come and take it away, systematically sending us series of suffering. Then there again will be a period when we will have to understand that it’s better to head towards bestowal than to remain in reception because here we get blows, and there there will be no blows.
Thus, we begin this path with a very primitive, “cheap” degree: with the calculation of gain. After all, a person lives by egoistic feelings. Later, however, when the second force is added to egoism, something new starts gleaming between them.
Our problem is that we don’t understand the nature of the spiritual vessel, don’t see its brilliance and uniqueness. It sounds as if we just move from one power to another. “It was bad there, and I have chosen something better,” is this a choice? And what is so special if earlier, when I suffered, I cursed the Creator, and now, when I feel good, I praise Him?
We don’t feel the point of freedom hidden in the middle of Tifferet, where we can act based on understanding (Daat). After all, “Man” is the Sefira Daat. We build it on two authorities, and then we begin to understand that the Creator has given us the highest “supernatural” gift that does not relate either to the nature of the receiving desire or to the nature of the bestowing desire.
After all, bestowal, too, is the power that obliges us to obey. But knowledge (Daat), which we form between the two authorities, cancels everything. It cancels the origin of the creature, inherent in the giving desire, and the necessity to go through the receiving desire in order to choose bestowal again and then to use both of these forces….
Daat raises a person to Keter, and thus we seem to soar above the point of creation. It’s true that we act within the parameters oriinally specified by the Light. But in the point of Daat we rise even above them as well.
Thus, a person who strives to the goal discovers that the Creator has created a special opportunity for him to rise above His own creation, ascend above the parameters, conditions, and laws acting between the two desires, between reception and bestowal, between good and evil, which leave him no choice. We rise above all this to a certain point, preceding the Creator’s decision about creation.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 4/15/2012, Writings of Rabash
Rabash, Dargot HaSulam (The Steps of the Ladder), Article 921, “The Need for the Action from Below”: The power of the influence of pleasure upon us is the rule of the evil inclination that keeps a person in exile. … If a person could give up these pleasures, he wouldn’t be enslaved to it. Therefore, when Pharaoh bestowed his pleasures upon the sons of Israel, they were enslaved to Pharaoh and could not come out of exile.
The more a person advances towards spirituality, the weaker he becomes. This is called being enslaved to Pharaoh—a person becomes weaker in resisting pleasures. He used to be a hero and could overcome his desires, control and oblige himself. But as he advances, he seems to grow weaker and can no longer oblige himself to overcome, to “step on himself.”
The whole point is that previously he worked on himself egoistically, in order to gain more and to succeed. He responded to the calls of receiving and his efforts justified it. But now, when the spiritual work deprives him of the egoistic bait in the form of a clear, “burning” fulfillment, when there is nothing attractive ahead anymore, a person loses strength, runs out of fuel, and becomes a “wimp.”
This is sign of advancement. We look at other people who are strong and self confident, but they receive fulfillment in the vessels they are working with. For us the filling should come in the vessels that are opposite our “working” vessels. How can it be: I exert myself and someone else gets the pay? Try to offer this to any man in the world and you will have to oblige him to work the way it used to be in the USSR, where it was necessary to put supervisors and policemen next to every worker so that the productivity would not decline….