Judgment and Mercy

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: What is “Judgment and Mercy” in spirituality? What does it have in common with regular morality?

Answer: Baal HaSulam writes that many people think that the Torah speaks about morality, but in fact it is a huge and unfortunate misinterpretation.

Morality is based on life experience. A person accumulates essential knowledge from various life situations. But the science of Kabbalah is not associated with our bodily life experiences. We follow the advice of Kabbalists who pull us “by the ear” into the upper reality, where ear refers to the level of Bina (bestowal). In other words, I don’t learn from my ordinary life; on the contrary, I rise above its experience!

In this world, all I deal with is my egoism. I give advice that is based on my ego and serves to benefit it. We warn a child not to get close to an angry dog or he’ll bite. All I am capable of is differentiating things that are good or bad for me; and that’s all that morality does.

But the wisdom of Kabbalah doesn’t operate out of fright and punishment. It teaches us to change our desires and expose them to the Light.

In other words, it teaches us how to internally correct ourselves, rather than reprimanding or scaring us.It doesn’t threaten us with an “angry dog” or an “abusive” Creator.

Kabbalah doesn’t intimidate us, nor does it guarantee any reward in the future worlds. It doesn’t manipulate our egoism; rather it corrects it with the Light that Reforms.

The combination of judgment and mercy in spirituality is a mix of Bina (bestowal) and Malchut (reception), a degree of inclusion of Bina into Malchut and vice versa, as well as their ability to support each other.

Malchut enters Bina and a drop of judgment penetrates mercy and lessens it. In other words, Malchut’s inability to match Bina triggers a contraction of the latter, but at the same time it discloses Bina to a degree of Malchut’s adequacy to it.

Hence, inclusion of Bina into Malchut occurs and Bina brings a portion of mercy into Malchut. At this point, Malchut enters Bina and contributes a portion of judgment into the latter thus defining how much Bina allows Malchut to bestow and receive and identifies the degree of their connection.

It means that when a measure of mercy connects with a portion of judgment, they start working together from both ends. The upper part contracts and utilizes a portion of judgment, although it would prefer to reveal itself through exposing mercy.

The lower part strives to attain a measure of mercy, which is why it contributes a property of judgment to the upper part and pronounces: “Don’t bestow to me! I will shut you down!”

Or it says: “You can reveal yourself completely! I won’t receive anything from you anyway. I will use my screen and will receive from you only to the extent of my similarity to you!”

This has nothing to do with threats or morality. On the contrary, it is about absolute liberty of exploration and the only freedom of will there is.
From the lesson on Beit Shaar a Kavanot” 10/21/10

Related Material:
The World Is Created With Mercy
Primordial Perfection
Between Mercy And Judgment

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