Entries in the 'Baal HaSulam' Category

Why We Need To Understand The Greatness And Uniqueness Of Baal HaSulam

Baal HaSulamToday is a special day, the Yahrzeit, the day commemorating the death of Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag, Baal HaSulam.  

Who is Baal HaSulam? He is the soul that connects us to the Creator. He was a person who opened all the gates of the wisdom of Kabbalah to the last generation we’re now in.

Without Baal HaSulam’s teaching, we would be unable to be awarded with what we have already received. Moreover, without Baal HaSulam’s teaching, we would be unable to progress to what is ahead of us, both in terms of the knowledge and the method of Kabbalah, and also its stages of attainment.

No matter what will happen as we head forth, we will reach a need for the Creator. However, such a need will have to pass through this great soul.

“A person has the choice of going to a place where there are righteous. One can accept their authority, and then he will receive all the powers that he lacks by the nature of his own qualities. He will receive it from the righteous. This is the benefit in ‘planted them in each generation,’ so that each generation would have someone to turn to, adhere to, and from whom to receive the strength required to rise to the degree of a righteous.”

Baal Hasulam. Shamati article 99. “He Did Not Say Wicked or Righteous.”

One of the reasons why the wisdom of Kabbalah is called “the wisdom of Kabbalah (reception)” is because it passes through each generation, and every generation needs a teacher, a Kabbalist, one with spiritual attainment, in the world. That is a necessity in the wisdom of Kabbalah. Only extremely rare and unique individuals can reach attainment of the Creator by receiving special treatment from above. As such, we need to always be connected to great sages who are in spiritual attainment, so that in each generation, we can make spiritual progress.

Since the wisdom of Kabbalah discusses phenomena that a person can only attain through the teacher, then he learns sources, through the teacher, which pass through all generations. The key to the student’s attainment of what passes through his teacher is subjugation, through which the small can receive from the great. Accordingly, there are degrees of the student’s subjugation to the teacher.

Therefore, we need to understand how great and unique Baal HaSulam was, and how much we need to subjugate to what he left us, his writings, with the hope that to the extent of such subjugation, we will be able to connect to his spirit, through which we can receive the upper force from the Creator.
Kabbalah Lesson on the Topic “Baal HaSulam Memorial Day” on October 10, 2019.

Breaking The Iron Wall In The Heart

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam opened his “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot” with these 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 to this generation. It lies heavily on us and arouses fear of being forgotten from Israel.”

According to its definition, the wisdom of Kabbalah is a means of revealing the Creator to the created beings. The Creator is the only upper force that exists and rules over creation. The created being is completely detached from Him and doesn’t know why, for what purpose, and how he exists. And here appears the means called “the wisdom of Kabbalah,” designed to connect the Creator and the created being.

This connection is called “revelation of the Creator to the created being,” and it is carried out according to the development of the created being. The Creator is concealed not because He hides Himself from us on purpose, but because the attributes of the created being do not allow him to attain the Creator and discover Him.

Thus, it is necessary to change the attributes of the created being, given to him from the beginning, to other attributes. Then the created being will discover the Creator and become similar to Him. This means that he will arrive at the same form of existence.

Up until the destruction of the Second Temple, the wisdom of Kabbalah was revealed. This means that the Creator was revealed to the created beings who were in contact with Him and were called the “nation of Israel.” But afterwards, after the fall, the attributes of those who were in connection with the Creator were damaged. This is called “the destruction of the Temple.”

And then the wisdom of Kabbalah disappeared. The connection between the Creator and the created being came to naught, and it hasn’t existed since then. And now Baal HaSulam wants to restore it, which means to restore it in the same form that existed previously, before the destruction. Now we need to restore this connection for the broken desires that were completely severed and distanced from the revelation of the Creator and from equivalence to Him.

Thus, the wisdom of Kabbalah that Baal HaSulam reveals for us is different from the one that existed in the past. In the past it belonged to the already existing system of connections and forms. But in our days people don’t know what the Creator is. The created being is broken and scattered. It is no longer a small group that is more or less corrected, but is a huge humanity in which these broken desires are scattered.

Thus, we must awaken them and make a long journey until humanity begins to discover the Creator. Until then we will need to go through a great number of stages of correction.

These stages of correction aren’t similar to those that the small group that was once shattered has gone through. Now a large group of people are involved, including “the stony heart (Lev ha Even)” and all the attributes of the AHP (the receiving desires). Thus it is not just revealing the wisdom of Kabbalah. We also must pass it on correctly to our generation.

Baal HaSulam calls this separation, the barrier, that exists within us and doesn’t allow us to discover the Creator and the spiritual world “the iron wall.” It is named so since it is indeed so great and strong! And he doesn’t expect it to go away and disappear by itself; he intends to break it.

This barrier exists in the heart of each person. And Baal HaSulam wants to reach the heart of each and everyone and perform this work in it. This means that he, being sure that he has enough strength and one could even say “impudence” to declare that he is able to do this, takes the responsibility upon himself to penetrate the created being.

Indeed this iron wall is the existing separation between the Light that rose to the world of Atzilut after the scattering and between the broken desires that fell to the worlds BYA (Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya) and were separated from the Light. The difference between them is that very wall that grew as egoism developed and added to it all our stigmas, traditions, religions, and beliefs about Kabbalah, and slander against this wisdom and Kabbalists.

Baal HaSulam will need to break all of these barriers in his introduction. But also we must take part in this breakthrough. After all, we receive from it only the means with which we must continue working on our own, for the sake of breaking this partition.

This declaration is the headline for all of Baal HaSulam’s teaching. It explains why he disclosed Kabbalah and offers it to us, which is specifically for the above mentioned purpose.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/18/2011, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot”

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Dr. Michael LaitmanWe began to study Baal HaSulam’s article “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” which appears to me as his most important introduction among all the others. Partly, it includes the excerpts from The Book of Oracles by the ARI, written by his disciple Chaim Vital. In fact, this introduction contains the entire path that we need to go through in order to reach the goal.

Although we have plenty of other materials, nothing explains the path along which we should advance and change as consistently, step by step, methodically, and deliberately. Other articles and introductions give us a general view of the wisdom of Kabbalah or view it from some particular angles.

But this introduction selects a very narrow, aimed line to show the person, either religious or secular, who starts with the question about the meaning of his life, how to achieve his ultimate realization with all the difficulties and scrutinies on this path.

This is why this introduction is unusually deep and not easy for beginners. It takes years to begin to assimilate, understand, and find oneself in it. It needs to be studied in small portions, carefully, until a person grows and might be able to reveal more. We must understand that this introduction was written by the man who stood at the head of a new era, the last stage of human development, which was to go from unconscious to conscious development.

Now we need to rise to a new level from the stage at which we could not even be called human beings but only highly developed animals acting in accordance with instincts and fully managed by the forces of nature. Something designed to be similar to the Creator begins to develop inside this creature.

We need to understand the man who was at the beginning of this process, his approach and view, and try to emulate him.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/18/11, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot

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The Books Carry The Light Of The Truth

Dr. Michael LaitmanNo one before Baal HaSulam ever discovered the true meaning of love of others. This idea appears quite frequently in all the sources, many great novels and other masterpieces praise the love of others, brotherly love, love among friends, and the need to concede. Who hasn’t talked about it! Every politician who wants to be elected speaks about how much he loves everyone. Every thief thinks that he is fighting for justice.

Baal HaSulam sets a criterion for the true test; he puts everything on the right scales and bases everything on an analysis by which one cannot be mistaken. When we read his compositions, we can be sure that we cannot keep our previous views. You can either close your eyes and try to forget everything he writes about and then somehow continue to exist like before, living your beastly life for your ego, or you must change!

He created the entire method of clarification so that it is impossible to stand up against its revelations. After reading all his articles, you begin to feel that you must clarify everything to the end. He writes in such a way that only if you know all of them and reread them again and again, examine them from every angle, read them thoroughly, only then do you finally begin to understand the whole picture.

You can’t just read some small part and then relax, feeling that you have understood everything. The understanding comes only by reading and rereading, from the beginning to the end and from the end to the beginning. Only after reviewing it several times, are you able to tie the concepts together and to analyze yourself. Then you won’t be able to escape anymore.

A person who doesn’t study Baal HaSulam usually thinks that he is a perfect righteous and believes that there is nothing to ask for, there is nothing to regret. Only when a person begins to study according to Baal HaSulam’s method, does he begin to understand how opposite he is from bestowal, how corrupt he is, and that the Torah was written for him because the Light in it reforms.

If we read Baal HaSulam’s writings in order to clarify our evil inclination by them and thus draw the Light that Reforms, they operate upon us and help us advance, according to the Creator’s plan: “I created the evil inclination, and I created the Torah as a spice.” We fulfill all these stages thanks to our work with the compositions of Baal HaSulam.
From a talk at the meal devoted to Baal HaSulam’s memorial day, 10/8/11

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Closing The Chain Of Great Souls

Dr. Michael LaitmanSo many people all over the world are truly anxious and totally helpless. They can’t find any justification for their suffering, and they don’t know what to do, how to make a living tomorrow or in the near future. Some are worried about what will happen to their billions, and others don’t know how they to survive when they run out of their last few pennies.

Each one suffers differently, but no one knows how to carry on. We, on the other hand, have suddenly received such a gift from Above that enables us to see the world differently. This is all thanks to the revelations of Baal HaSulam that came to us through his soul, as well as Rabash who was a transitional adaptor between us and Baal HaSulam.

Baal HaSulam has passed on to us Light from the world of Infinity through his perfect soul that attained its final correction. But he asked to be lowered because otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to come into contact with people. Only after he was lowered by many degrees, was he able to write The Study of Ten Sefirot and the Sulam commentary to The Book of Zohar. We don’t understand the level he was on before that, the enormous height from which he couldn’t even tell us anything in words.

This was the level of GAR of the world of Atzilut and above, where there is the Light not clothed in the vessels. From there he couldn’t approach people and be heard, so he asked to be lowered. In fact, he fulfilled the mission the Creator had appointed him for, knowing that he would ask for and perform it.

We are on the intermediate degree between Rabash and Baal HaSulam and humanity. On one hand, we have to rise in order to understand what Baal HaSulam said. On the other, we have to descend to people’s level and understand what they need from us and how they will be able to accept our message. We have to attain these two poles, both above and below.

Baal HaSulam and Rabash spoke from above. We are below, under the Parsa, so that we will have the opportunity to touch and to awaken the world and then together with all of humanity ascend through the Machsom (the barrier) and become included into the upper Malchut. This is our mission.

Let’s hope we will manage to realize what Baal HaSulam, Rabash, and all the Kabbalists that preceded them didn’t. They only prepared themselves for it. We draw their teaching, their Light and actually realize it in practice.

Let us hope that we will be worthy and will be able to fulfill what Baal HaSulam wrote about. There is no other group that is following his path and is ready to fulfill his method. This is why we call ourselves “Bnei Baruch” (the sons of Baruch Ashlag), and we can say that Baal HaSulam, this great soul, is living among us, and we are bringing it to realization.
From a talk at the meal devoted to Baal HaSulam’s memorial day, 10/8/11

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Baal HaSulam’s Memorial Day

Dr. Michael LaitmanBaal HaSulam, Letter #39: “… Know that since the times of the Ari and to this day there was no one who could understand the Ari’s method to its very roots. And behold, by the upper will I have merited the reincarnation of the Ari’s soul, and it wasn’t for my good deeds, but by the desire of the upper one.

“It is concealed even from myself why I was chosen for this wondrous soul, which not one man has merited since the time of the Ari’s death and to this day. But I cannot say any more about this because it is not my custom to talk about miraculous secrets….”

Baal HaSulam did not reveal the upper secrets not because it was against his rules, but because we simply don’t have that possibility…. Nevertheless, from his compositions we see how special this person was, that he was sent to us from the heavens. This soul was destined to unite us within the upper system. I don’t even know what to call him. This is not a “person” and not a human force. It’s not the kind of soul that might be present among us and that we might be able to become similar to or come closer to.

I remember this from the time when I was next to my teacher Rabash during his life in this world. You are next to a physical body: You take it to the sauna, to the sea, take a walk next to it, take care of it in a hospital after surgery, but all of that is just a body. Yet the soul that is inside is something completely separate from you and you cannot touch it in any way no matter what you do. It is in a different dimension and there is no connection between it and the body.

If I felt this way next to Rabash, then it’s impossible to even imagine how he felt being next to his great father, the man who wrote Talmud Eser Sefirot, the Commentary to the Book of Zohar, and who was able to explain any word written in the holy books in the language of hints or legends through the language of spiritual attainment. This simply wasn’t a person!

We have been granted a great honor in that we can be at least slightly related to his revelations and to the extent of our limited understanding, uncorrected desires, and lack of spiritual attainment, to nevertheless start realizing his method. We have to be infinitely grateful for that and be aware that a special privilege has been given to us which we do not even understand yet—a connection with such a great soul.

It’s like a baby who is born a prince by inheritance and who does not seem to deserve such an honor by any measure. That is how we have now been born and have merited to belong to the special souls who were chosen out of all humanity, who at least know what is happening to them, who understand the cause and the effects, the entire process, and everything taking place in the world. And thanks to them, we do not remain miserable blind men.
From a talk at the meal devoted to Baal HaSulam’s memorial day, 10/8/11

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Like A Caring Mother Unnoticeably Watching Us

Dr. Michael LaitmanAfter Baal HaSulam made his great discernments: what is the Creator’s desire, the goal of creation, and the ways to attain it, he descended to us and explained it, and all that remains for us is to tune into his method. We have to try to understand it with our mind and feel it with our heart so the Light would pass through us and fill us, allowing us to understand the inner essence of his words.

Let every word he wrote start to come alive in us like an inner mechanism, a means, a vessel that will start working in us in a way that we won’t have to think. We don’t have to plan anything. This teaching will just start to live in us and carry out actions through us, by virtue of us annulling ourselves. This is the work of Galgalta ve Eynaim, which annul themselves for the sake of AHP, absorb its desires, and on the other hand, they unite with the Light and it begins to act through us.

We are not aware of what we are doing and we do not know what we have to do. But the Light aims us and carries out everything. It is written, “I am the first and I am the last” and “There is none else beside Him.”

The whole world annuls itself in this way. But if we annul ourselves relative the Light’s actions with our own efforts instead of simply being governed by the hand that drives us from the inside, like a puppet into which a puppeteer’s hand is dressed, then this is a very big difference. By annulling ourselves out of our own free choice, we come to feel this hand, which controls the whole world through us. From this hand we learn all of its customs, the whole game, the whole program. We begin to recognize Him, the one who governs, the upper force.

The whole world annuls itself, having no other choice. But we have to annul ourselves by our own desire, and if we do so, we will be able to become similar to Baal HaSulam, who did the same, and to other Kabbalists. By virtue of that, he went from being a simple slave of the Creator to a loyal servant through whom the entire wisdom flows, allowing him to attain Malchut of the world of infinity and become included in it in order to feel the entire universe and the entire Light filling it.

We have to be grateful to the Creator for sending us such a great soul. Baal HaSulam writes that he could not stand to watch people’s suffering any longer. But this does not mean the small egoistic suffering. After all, we are not looking for a better fulfillment for our body, like a greener meadow for our cow, but we want to know the one who governs us and makes everything move.

We want to understand, meet, and reveal Him so His mind and feelings would dress in us, to unite with Him so our heart and mind would merge with Him. Then all of creation, its goal, all the worlds that the Kabbalists tell us about, and even what is even higher than them and what we don’t even have a name for—all of this will become our real sensation and fulfillment. This is the state that this person prepared for us.

In all of our history there is no one who is dearer and more significant for us. Obviously, we are unable to measure the true height of every Kabbalist. They are all holy for us. But Baal HaSulam did for us what no person has done throughout all of history. And therefore we are proud of having a spiritual father of this stature who cares about us. We have to feel how with each passing day, as we advance further, he follows us and rejoices at every step we take, one step after another.
From a talk at the meal devoted to Baal HaSulam’s memorial day, 10/8/11

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Again About The Crisis…

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: You once wrote that the word “crisis” has an opposite meaning, but how does it correlate with Kabbalah? After all, we do not see that the crisis itself corrects, and we need, as you write, to reveal the wisdom of Kabbalah for it?

Answer: Look at what Baal HaSulam writes about it in the article “The Peace”: “This means that the corrupt conducts in the states of humanity are the very ones that generate the good states. And each good state is nothing but the fruit of the work in the bad state that preceded it.”

Indeed, good and evil must not be evaluated according to the evaluation of the state as is, but it must be done according to the general purpose of creation, where every state that brings humanity closer to the goal is considered to be good, and the states that distance humanity from the goal are considered to be bad. The “law of development” is based only on this. According to this law, the lack of correction and the sin that are contained in the state cause and build a good state.

The period of existence of every state is strictly predetermined; it is the time required for the growth of the amount of evil contained in the state until it becomes big enough that people will no longer be able to be in it. And then the society will need to unite, break it, and move into a better state from the perspective of correction of the given generation.

The period of existence of the new state also lasts until the sparks of evil in it rise and mature so much that it will be no longer be possible to tolerate it. And then once again humanity will need to break this state and build a more comfortable one instead. It is in this way that states alternate and are evaluated one after another, one degree at a time, until we reach a state that will be so corrected that it won’t have even a spark of evil in it.

Thus it follows that the essence of all the seeds and grains, which grow into and are the origin of the good states, is nothing but the actual uncorrected states. This means that all the evil deeds, which are revealed and done by the sinners of the generation, are put together and weighed until they become so heavy that the society can no longer tolerate them. And then people rise, break this state, and create a more desired one. Thus, every separate evil becomes the condition for the appearance of the force of rejection, which enables the development of the righteous state.

Now compare this to the original post about the crisis.

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Rabash’s Successors

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt so happened that Baal HaSulam conveyed his entire method to his oldest son, Rabash (Rav Baruch Ashlag) by virtue of the son annulling himself before his father. But it wasn’t easy to carry out this self-nullification because the father did not make any concessions to his son.

Otherwise, Rabash would not have been able to make enough efforts, or to express firmness and decisiveness in attaining the goal. Baal HaSulam carried himself very harshly, but his son was nevertheless able to give up everything and annul himself. However, this was not easy, and that was precisely for the reason that he was Baal HaSulam’s son.

That is why Rabash was able to realize the hopes his father put upon him. There were only singular and outstanding examples of this in history: Abraham, Rashbi, and Baal HaSulam.

Today we are celebrating Rabash’s memorial day—the anniversary of his death, and let us hope that we will merit fulfilling the same conditions and cleaving to his teaching. It’s not an accident that our organization calls itself “Bnei Baruch,” which means the sons of Baruch.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/2/11, Writings of Baal HaSulam

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Why Is The Creator Concealed?

Dr. Michael LaitmanWhy did the Creator create the soul in a perfect and eternal state, but later had to “empty the vessel,” leaving it without the Light and concealing Himself?

If the purpose of the creation of the worlds is to delight His creatures, then why did He create this corporeal, turbid, and tormented world? Without it, He could certainly delight the souls as much as He wanted; why did He bring the soul into such a foul and filthy body?

The sages explained it with the verse, “One who eats that which is not one’s own, is afraid to look upon one’s face.” It means there is a flaw of shame in any free gift. In order to spare the souls this blemish, He has created this world, where there is work. They will therefore enjoy their labor for they take their pay from the Whole, in return for their work, and are thus spared the blemish of shame.
– Baal HaSulam, The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 1, “Inner Reflection,” Chapter 1, Item 6

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