Entries in the 'Baal HaSulam' Category

Present From Baal HaSulam To The Last Generation

961.2It is a great honor to speak about Baal HaSulam on his memorial day. This is a special soul that on the one hand is connected with the Creator and on the other hand is connected with us, which allows us to be nourished by spirituality through it. The spiritual stream flows through Baal HaSulam and Rabash to us. Therefore there are no words to express gratitude to the Creator for sending such a messenger to us.

Baal HaSulam said that he never talked about spiritual phenomena prior to attaining them himself. From this we can understand at what extraordinary height this soul was.

Before Baal HaSulam, only great experts of the Torah could be awarded the revelation of the Creator. But Baal HaSulam through his actions brought us that an ordinary person who wished to follow the spiritual path can be awarded adhesion with the Creator.

The time has come when all souls are coming so close to correction that the upper light influences them more and more. The most important thing for us who are at the foot of the spiritual ladder is to receive the correct guidance and the correct direction, which is what Baal HaSulam did with his articles, letters, the book Study of the Ten Sefirot, and the Sulam Commentary to The Book of Zohar.

If we combine all these sources and the methodology composed by Baal HaSulam on the basis of the teachings of the Ari and the Baal Shem Tov, we will begin to reveal the upper force to our entire generation until we bring all of it to the end of correction.

Then what is written will come true: “They shall all know Me from their smallest to their greatest, and My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” There will not be a single person of any nationality and race who would not know the Creator. Everyone will come to adhesion with the upper force.

That is why I am so happy to see among my students representatives of all the nations, of all parts of humanity. All of us, by connecting together, will reveal the Creator who resides within us.

The Creator gave this great soul an immense spiritual attainment. Then Baal HaSulam was able to share this gift received from the Creator with all the inhabitants of this world.

Baal HaSulam said that he was awarded a high spiritual attainment only because the generation was ready for it. It all depends on the generation. This was the beginning of the period of the so-called “last generation,” and therefore Baal HaSulam received permission to reveal the wisdom of Kabbalah, spiritual knowledge, and gave us a complete method of spiritual revelation. Now we can use it, and we will certainly reach the sublime purpose of creation.

Baal HaSulam writes that we have received everything we need and all that is left for us is to study this methodology, disseminate it in all forms, and implement it. Through the love of friends we can climb all the degrees of the spiritual ladder. When we reach the love of friends we begin to understand what love of the Creator is. Before that it will be just an abstract fantasy with no basis.

Only by connecting together from our unity do we understand what we need to do in relation to the Creator. After all, we already have a Kli in which we attain who the Creator is, what it means to bestow to Him, and in general, what bestowal is. Therefore the most urgent task is to try to come to the love of friends, through which we will be awarded all spiritual degrees.
[287553]
From the meal for the anniversary of the memory of Baal HaSulam 9/19/21

Related Material:
What Baal HaSulam Contributed To The Spiritual System
Why We Need To Understand The Greatness And Uniqueness Of Baal HaSulam
Who Are The Articles By Baal HaSulam For?

“The Legacy Of A Spiritual Giant” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “The Legacy of a Spiritual Giant

He knew the clock was ticking; he knew they had to move to Israel; he told the Israeli Prime Minister how Israel can truly be independent; and he dedicated his life to helping the Jewish people and all of humanity. This week, 67 years ago, Yehuda Ashlag, known as Baal HaSulam, the greatest kabbalist in modern times, and among the greatest of all time, passed away and left us with a legacy of unconditional love for his people, for all people, and for all of creation. He also left us with books and a road map that can help us become like him.

It was 1921. Ashlag, a brilliant Dayan [judge in Jewish Orthodox court] in Warsaw, the “capital” of Diaspora Judaism, who was appointed to this venerable position when he was only 19 years old, had now been excommunicated for several years. But he didn’t mind the extreme hardship he and his family endured because of it. His only focus was the fate of his people and the fate of the world.

A few years back, he realized that Europe was headed for extreme and lethal antisemitism. He tried to warn his fellow Warsaw Jews, but the Orthodox leadership prevented his voice from being heard. When he insisted, they terminated his position as a Dayan, severed their connections with him, and instructed the entire Jewish community to ignore him. In those days, a boycott was a life threatening situation since one had to rely on the community for work, housing, education, and provision. Without them, one was at the mercy of the Poles, and they were no Jew-lovers.

But Ashlag kept on trying. He struck a deal to purchase 300 wooden shacks from Sweden and a place for them to be erected in Palestine. He even managed to secretly convince 300 Jewish families to move there and escape a bitter fate in Europe. Alas, the Orthodox leadership discovered his plan and convinced all 300 families to remain in Poland. We will never know how many of them, if any, survived the Holocaust.

But in 1921, something happened. Ashlag realized that it was time to go. By then, he had been studying Kabbalah for many years, and he has reached a level where he transcended his own teacher. In such a state, there was nothing more to keep him in Poland. That same year, he and his family moved to Jerusalem and he began to write profusely.

Ashlag’s writings testify that he was not only a great kabbalist, but revolutionary global thinker who understood the intricacies of human nature. Using his keen insights, he was able to predict what would happen in Israel and in the world, and tried his best to change things for the better. He was an avid Zionist not for the sake of conquering the land, but in order for the Jewish people to carry out its duty to the world: to set an example of unity and love of others that he knew the world would desperately need.

He did not settle for writing. He met with every influential person in the county at the time and tried to convince them that sovereignty in and of itself is not enough, that if Israel is to thrive, it must set an example of unity and mutual responsibility. He begged those leaders to establish education toward unity above all differences, and establish the society based on people’s care for one another, and not expect matters to work themselves out.

He spoke several times with David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, Moshe Sharett, Israel’s second Prime Minister, Haim Arlosoroff, head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, Member of Knesset (Israel’s parliament) Moshe Erem, and with many others. He spared no effort. In the 1930s, he wrote a series of essays that detailed his views as a global thinker. In his essays, “Mutual Responsibility,” “The Freedom,” and especially in “The Peace” and “Peace in the World,” Ashlag detailed how humanity can thrive in prosperity and peace.

But Ashlag was first and foremost a kabbalist. It was through his profound understanding of creation, acquired through his study of Kabbalah, that he became such an astute thinker. His dream was for everyone to be as wise as he was, and that everyone would care about humankind as much as he did.

To achieve this, he wrote two monumental commentaries on the most seminal compositions in the wisdom of Kabbalah. His first feat was a six-volume commentary on the writings of the ARI, particularly Tree of Life and Eight Gates. In his commentary, which he titled The Study of the Ten Sefirot, he interpreted the writings of this great 16th century kabbalist so that contemporary people could relate to them and understand them.

His second, and most illustrious achievement, was the writing of an elaborate commentary on The Book of Zohar, complete with four introductions that tell the reader how to understand this vital text. In his commentary, which he titled the Sulam [Ladder], he translated the Aramaic text of The Zohar into Hebrew, and interpreted the meaning of the words so that readers could see how the book speaks not about the physical world, but about spiritual processes that all Kabbalah students go through. As a token of respect, Rav Ashlag later became known as Baal HaSulam [Author of The Ladder] after the name he had given to his commentary.

Humanity has yet to discover what this greatest of men has given us. He begins his introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot with the following words: “At the outset of my words, I find a great need to break an iron wall that has been separating us from the wisdom of Kabbalah since the ruin of the Temple [2,000 years ago] to this generation.”

But why should we study Kabbalah? A few paragraphs later, Baal HaSulam answers this question himself: to find the meaning of life. In his words, “If we set our hearts to answer but one very famous question, I am certain that all these questions and doubts will vanish from the horizon, and you will look unto their place to find them gone, meaning this indignant question that the whole world asks, namely, ‘What is the meaning of my life?’ In other words, these numbered years of our life that cost us so heavily, and the numerous pains and torments that we suffer for them, to complete them to the fullest, who is it who enjoys them?”

In his treatise, “Time to Act,” Baal HaSulam shares his great yearning for everyone to know what Kabbalah is truly about. “For a long time now,” he writes, “my conscience has burdened me with a demand to come out and create a fundamental composition regarding the essence of … the authentic wisdom of Kabbalah, and spread it among the nation, so people will come to know and properly understand these exalted matters in their true meaning.”

Thankfully, today his writings, and the writings of all the kabbalists, are only a click away. At Kabbalah.info, we have made all the material available for free so everyone can study.

But Baal HaSulam’s work is not done. Humanity is suffering and more divided than ever. We, who value his sacred legacy, must pick up where he left off and pass on the wisdom of truth, love, and unity to all.

Baal HaSulam—The Teacher We Follow

216.02Today is a special day—the anniversary of the passing of Baal HaSulam, our teacher, from this world. This is the soul that connects us with the Creator, the person who opened the gates of the wisdom of Kabbalah for the last generation in which we live.

Without his teachings, we would not be able to receive what we have already received and are yet to receive in the future. The knowledge, the whole approach and methodology, the degrees of attainment—all this is prepared for us by Baal HaSulam. Of course, everything comes to us from the Creator and through this great soul.

One of the reasons that the science of Kabbalah (reception) has such a name is that it is passed down from generation to generation. Every student must have a teacher.

Only exceptional individuals can, with special help from above, directly reach the revelation of the Creator themselves. Therefore, we should always be connected with the sages who have attained spirituality, the great Kabbalists, and thus move forward generation after generation.

Everything depends on how much a person is able to follow the teacher. Everyone has their own difficulties in this, and it is natural because this is how the degrees are arranged from above down. It is difficult for the lower ones to overcome their egoism and connect with the upper.

In our world, at the animate level, there is no such problem because nature obliges a child to be dependent on adults. But at the human degree at which it is necessary to study the science of Kabbalah, it is no longer easy to do so. We need to bend down and raise the greatness of the teacher to the maximum in order to learn from him.

Of course, this is not to honor the teacher but only for the benefit of the student. If the student feels less than the teacher, he will be able to lower himself more and receive from the teacher. In the sciences of this world, this requirement is not so strict because the student must be critical of the teacher and check him out.

But in the science of Kabbalah, a person cannot attain anything if he does not bow down before the Creator. And therefore, to the extent that he bows to what he receives from the teacher who teaches him according to the sources that came from teachers of all generations, he receives attainment. Only in this form is the little one able to receive from the big one.

Therefore, we need to understand what an exceptional and great person Baal HaSulam was. We are obliged to accept all his works, all his heritage without any criticism, and then we can hope that we will begin to connect with his soul and receive the upper force from the Creator through him.
[253792]
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/10/19, “Baal HaSulam Memorial Day”

Related Material:
Gratitude To Baal HaSulam
Melodies Of Baal HaSulam
New Life 624 – Baal HaSulam – Rav Yehuda Levi Ashlag

Destruction And Restoration

962.3Baal HaSulam, “The Prophecy“: Take this sword in your hand and guard it with your heart and soul, for it is a token between Me and you, that all those good things will happen through you…

The Creator, in a way, gives Baal HaSulam a higher power as a pledge: “As long as you keep the sword (that is, that which can be damaged with a sword, you will correct with the help of the same power), know that I am with you, in your soul, and my strength is with you.”

The sword is the power that cuts, chops. It can chop off heads, cut off unnecessary parts from you, and leave only healthy ones. Spiritual healing boils down to several processes.

The same is true in our world: medicinal treatment and surgical treatment.

In both treatments, there are two effects on humans. Either the unnecessary, harmful part is cut out or is destroyed chemically with the help of drugs. Or vice versa, either some part is sewn, bypasses are made, shunts put in the human body, or the functioning of the body is restored with the help of drugs.

In principle, there is only one approach. Both are called treatment. One by destructing, the other by restoring. Both are necessary.

Therefore, it cannot be said that the sword does harm when it chops off heads. It has to chop them off because they are egoistic heads.

But when a period of war passes, a period of recovery is needed. That is, people need to be given a different methodology, a different paradigm of life, and they must recover.
[278241]
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #5

Related Material:
The End Of “The Prophecy Of Baal HaSulam”
Shield And Sword: Work On Desires
The Siege Upon Egoism

Contact With Great Kabbalists

962.6Throughout the history of human development, the same souls descend into our world and spread the methodology of Kabbalah. The soul of the great Kabbalist Baal HaSulam was, as he himself said, a consequence of the soul of Ari. And the soul of Ari was a consequence of the soul of RASHBI.

The followers of Baal HaSulam were his students, and especially his oldest son Baruch Ashlag (Rabash), and I, as a student of Rabash, continue this work.

Question: Do you feel your teacher Baal HaSulam?

Answer: Baal HaSulam to a certain extent, but my teacher Rabash I feel very close; I am in contact with him.

I’m not talking about a physical sensation, that I remember his smell, voice, habits, and communication with him for hours and years. Although these are also sensations that remain and are very much alive because they still are conveyed at the same time and are reinforced by the desire to be with him and feel his inner world. Such constant contact on the spiritual level sometimes also provokes purely earthly memories.

I can keep millions of earthly memories, but I don’t need them. I have a more internal contact with Rabash so there is no point to any earthly feelings and memories. This is not to say that I miss his words or image, because there is internal information that flows between us.

And I wouldn’t say that about Baal HaSulam. I have a sensation; there is an understanding of him on an internal level. But this is more related to understanding the soul, not about uniting with it; the contact is more at the level of the mind than the feelings. And with my teacher, it’s more on the level of feelings.
[284339]
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #21

Related Material:
A Teacher Who Is Always With You
Contact With The Teacher
Transmitting Spirituality From One Person To Another

“On Spaghetti, Faith, And Love Of Others” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “On Spaghetti, Faith, and Love of Others

Today, many people tend to think that religion is a thing of the past. Many believe that science is the cure for all our troubles, and that if we only listen to scientists and follow their instructions, all will be well in our world. Others believe in ethical living and root for social justice and equality. The problem is that all believers, religious and otherwise, do so with religious zeal. Many of them regard anyone who disagrees with them as an enemy and will go to great lengths to “defeat” the enemy. The end result of all that is not that religion has ended, but that it has taken on countless new forms, some of which are markedly “unholy.”

Years ago, while I was working on my PhD, I learned that there are approximately 3,800 different religions and belief systems worldwide. Today, there are probably many more than that, as human imagination knows no boundaries. In fact, some people even take the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster seriously!

It is not a problem that people believe in different things. On the contrary, kabbalists relish diversity, since the more diverse we are, the richer our society becomes, as long as we maintain its cohesion. But when we shun social cohesion, when we maintain that our belief is the only legitimate faith, we have a problem. The current belief in science, in Western philosophy, or in other social dogmas, is as religious as the belief in this or that deity.

In the 1940s, the religious belief of the Germans in the superiority of their race led to the most horrendous consequences the world has ever seen. Their belief was purportedly based on science, not on a deity, yet led to worse consequences than any religion has caused so far.

Shortly after the end of World War II, Baal HaSulam, a great kabbalist and thinker who wrote extensively about world affairs and foresaw many of the processes that we are living through today, wrote a collection of “notes” to himself. They were thoughts he had had about the world and its future. After his passing, they were collected under the title The Writings of the Last Generation. Baal HaSulam used that term, but he did not mean that his generation would be the last generation of humanity, but that humanity has reached the final stages of its development and that it is moving toward a new level of existence. His aspiration in jotting his “notes” was to formulate his thoughts on how humanity could spare itself the recurrence of the atrocities of World War II.

Baal HaSulam realized that people are inherently religious. Therefore, he saw no point in trying to abolish religion. Instead, he wanted to add another layer to existing beliefs, which would enable all of humanity to unite above their differences. He called that layer a “religion of bestowal.” With its help, he hoped to avoid what had happened with Germany. In a note titled “Nazism Is Not a German Patent,” he jotted: “If we remember that most people are not idealists, then there is no choice but religion, from which manners and justice naturally emanate.” However, he did not refer to religions as we know them, but to a “religion of bestowal.” Elsewhere, he wrote that since human nature is inherently egoistic, it will “necessarily induce the destruction of the world unless they accept the religion of bestowal.”

As stated earlier, Baal HaSulam did not oppose diversity. On the contrary, he relished it. Moreover, he warned against limiting diversity among people since interactions between views is the engine of growth and development. According to Baal HaSulam, while nations should embrace a “religion of bestowal,” each nation should maintain “its own religion and tradition, and one must not interfere in the other.”

Moreover, in his essay “The Freedom,” Baal HaSulam speaks with reverence about preserving people’s basic tendencies and ideas. In his words, “Anyone who eradicates a tendency from an individual and uproots it from him causes the loss of that sublime and wondrous concept … for that tendency will never again emerge. … From the above-said,” he continues, “we learn what a terrible wrong those nations that force their reign on minorities inflict, depriving them of freedom without allowing them to lead their lives according to the tendencies they have inherited from their ancestors.” In conclusion, he adds, anyone “can understand the necessity to preserve the freedom of the individual … for we can see how all the nations that ever fell, throughout the generations, came to it only due to their oppression of minorities and individuals, which had therefore rebelled against them and ruined them. Hence, it is clear to all that peace cannot exist in the world unless we take into consideration the freedom of the individual.” But because we all inherently believe that only we are right, and everyone else is wrong, even if our deity is spaghetti, for this sublime goal to succeed, we should place the value of love of others above all, or as Baal HaSulam calls it, establish a “religion of bestowal,” as the overarching value.
[284702]

A Difficult Path Of Disseminating The Wisdom Of Kabbalah

214Comment: Baal HaSulam went beyond the framework of the generally recognized Kabbalist by engaging in wide public activities. He met with public figures and wrote articles that no Kabbalist had written before.

My Response: Baal HaSulam tried to advertise, disseminate, and spread the wisdom of Kabbalah in any way possible. He met with many other Kabbalists, scientists, statesmen, and ordinary people. He traveled to Poland during the May Day demonstrations to somehow use the enthusiasm of the Polish workers and to tell them what they could bring to our world and how to change their lives with the help of the wisdom of Kabbalah. Generally speaking, he did everything in his power to disseminate the wisdom of Kabbalah.

Rabash was much more modest and on a much lower level. He lived in a time when there was already a great force of resistance and so, to put it bluntly, he did not really go wild. I grew up by his side, and I saw how limited his actions were.

When he passed away I continued his legacy and have set for myself the goal to disseminate the idea of the wisdom of Kabbalah as much as possible in every language and all over the world, on the Internet and wherever possible, without paying attention to any opposition I might encounter. Even if the whole world curses me, I will still do it. Thus, despite the world’s resistance, I am still here.

Comment: But on the other hand, Rabash was still a great revolutionary like his father. He accepted forty totally non-religious students.

My Response: Yes, yet he did gently, not so harshly. It was a great leap forward.
[248666]
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 3/10/19

Related Material:
The Last In The Group Of Great Kabbalists
Gratitude To Baal HaSulam
Melodies Of Baal HaSulam

The Last In The Group Of Great Kabbalists

209Comment: In lessons, we mainly study the writings of Baal HaSulam and his oldest son, Rabash. It seems we have apparently constricted the entire chain of great Kabbalists.

My Response: The writings of the rest of the Kabbalists are concentrated in both of them. Therefore, by studying the writings of Baal HaSulam and Rabash, we are not missing anything. First, they are the last and closest to us. Second, they are truly the modern Kabbalists of the twentieth century.

Third, all the previous Kabbalists throughout many generations are somehow gathered and concentrated in the writings of Baal HaSulam and Rabash, and so we have not lost anything.

In their writings, Baal HaSulam and Rabash relied upon the more ancient Kabbalistic sources, such as The Book of Zohar, the Sefer Yetsirah, and so forth. There are also articles that they themselves wrote. It is easier for us to read and study them.

In principle, we have no need for more than this. Also, without going beyond the framework of their writings, we can fully acquire the wisdom of Kabbalah and apply it in a way that is necessary for our correction.

Question:  Baal HaSulam and Rabash are like a lens that concentrates the rays of the sun?

Answer: Yes, Baal HaSulam gathered everything that was before him for us. He explained The Book of Zohar and the writings of Ari. There was no important subject in the wisdom of Kabbalah, the wisdom of managing the world through a system of higher behavior, which he has not clarified.

Baal HaSulam explained everything, he brought the wisdom closer to us and expressed it in a language that is understandable to us. If we do not study his writings, we will actually be incapable of understanding anything in the world, its behavior, and its purpose.
[247581]
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 3/10/19

Related Material:
Development Of The Method Of Correction
Gratitude To Baal HaSulam
Melodies Of Baal HaSulam

Baal HaSulam—A Revolutionary Scientist

531.02Comment: Baal HaSulam was a revolutionary who performed a dramatic change in the wisdom of Kabbalah. He was strongly hated by some and strongly loved by others, and there was no average attitude toward him.

My Response: Yes, this is true. People who understood him loved him, and those who did not understand him naturally hated him very much. There were even people who used to come to his grave and step on it after he passed away.

Question: Do you think that Baal HaSulam was a revolutionary?

Answer: When I first began to read texts by Baal HaSulam it opened my eyes. I read a lot before that, including the writings of Ramhal, Ramak, the Gaon from Vilnius, and other serious Kabbalists who were popular. They were really great Kabbalists, but I didn’t feel that I received anything from them.

I did not enter their flow and did not understand their language. They did not tell me anything, although I seemingly listened and read books, but it was not the same system of expression that was supposed to clothe unto me.

When I discovered Baal HaSulam, however, I was very impressed by the way he expressed the text, by his system, his revelation, and how he guides the reader by telling him “Look here, look there, now you see the difference, this way or that way,” although I cannot say that I understood everything. It was a feeling of a teacher who studies with you and guides you, plays with you, and answers your questions.

Baal HaSulam’s writings are based mainly on questions and answers. In his articles he first asks questions and then answers them. This is the right thing to do methodically.

Question: You were looking for not a mystical or emotional, but actually for a scientific presentation.

Answer: Yes, of course, only scientific. Everything else was wrong and not true for me, and I thought that I had no need for it and that it was totally unimportant.

Question: How is Baal HaSulam’s modern language expressed scientifically?

Answer: At least in what he said, “In this article I would like to scrutinize these and those questions,” and then listed about 20 questions. Then he gradually clarifies one question after another and arrives at a clear and accurate outcome, and then sums it all up, “to sum up, what we have is this and that.”

As a university graduate and a beginning researcher, this approach was certainly the closest to me and best understood. I understood that he is a serious person and not just some religious person who believes in something and wants to impose his views on me by confusing me. As a methodologist, Baal HaSulam accurately builds a logical chain and a scientific approach.
[247601]
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 3/10/19

Related Material:
The End Of “The Prophecy Of Baal HaSulam”
Baal HaSulam’s Mission
Attaining The Greatness Of Baal HaSulam

The End Of “The Prophecy Of Baal HaSulam”

258Baal HaSulam, “The Prophecy of Baal HaSulam“:  Afterwards, the Lord spoke unto me with a vista, saying, “Lay down on your right-hand side.” And I laid down on the ground. And He said unto me: “What do you see?”

And I said, “I see many peoples and nations, rising and falling, and their faces are deformed humans.” And the Lord said unto me: “If you can grant form to all these nations and blow into them the spirit of life, then I shall bring you to the land that I have sworn unto your fathers, to give unto you, and all my goals will have been fulfilled by you.”

The fact is that we are simply making the translation easier so that people would really understand the idea of correction. But in general, of course, the strength of Baal HaSulam lives in his works.

It is through his connection with the Creator, with the upper force, and through his commentaries on The Zohar and all other works that we can approach the completion of this goal.

Everything that practically corrects us is that double-edged sword that he received from the Creator and with which we raise ourselves, correct ourselves, and shift from our egoistic attitude to the world to love and bestowal.

Question: What does it mean “a face of a man”?

Answer: “A face of a man” means “similar to the Creator” because “man – Adam,” comes from the word “similar- Domeh” to the Creator.

That is, the Creator says to Baal HaSulam “Make people become similar to Me. That is why I give you the sword.”
[278447]
From KabTV’s “The Power of The Book of Zohar” #5

Related Material:
Gratitude To Baal HaSulam
Melodies Of Baal HaSulam
Who Are The Articles By Baal HaSulam For?