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Pri Hacham. Igrot (Letters) P. 25


"A Parable about a King"

  • Bold and in quotes: Original text of Baal HaSulam

  • Regular: Commentaries of Rav Laitman

  • lowercase italics: emphasized words

  • Capitalized italics: transliteration from Hebrew

Baal HaSulam writes:

"A parable about a king who grew fond of his servant..." In other words, the Creator chooses a person or servant. Why a servant? Because this person is completely under the influence of the Creator, or under the influence of his own nature. A person's natural internal conditions as well as all of the outer conditions are obviously created by the Creator.

And so, "A parable about a king who grew fond of his servant until he wanted to raise him above all the ministers." That is, above all of the forces with which the Creator controls this servant.

A person in this world is controlled by various forces from the side of the Creator. They arouse specific properties inside of the person and form specific conditions around him in such a way that the person is a servant of his inner and outer conditions.

A person is made from the one and only material called "the desire to delight" or egoism. Because of this he makes a calculation every time, how to use this egoism to suffer less and fulfill himself more.

He constantly does a very simple calculation: how to achieve the maximum fulfillment with the minimum efforts. Inside of us there exists one very interesting program. This is the program of the maximization of pleasure with minimization of efforts.

And so, the Creator chooses a person and wishes to elevate him above all of the conditions which are called his ministers.

"A parable about a king who grew fond of his servant until he wanted to raise him above all the ministers, for he had recognized true and unwavering love in his heart." Of course, the servant does not understand this. The Creator sees this because it was specifically He who placed the point in the heart into this servant or this person. It is called a part of the Creator, and is given from above. However, this point in the heart is only a point. Moreover, it is not there owing to the person, rather, it was done by the Creator.

So what can be done for the person to ascend above his own nature to the level of the King, or the level of the Creator? If the Creator Himself does this then He will create a puppet, the same that is in our world right now on a smaller level. He will simply elevate it and make a big puppet out of it, but this will not be an independent individual who is similar and equal to Him in his freedom, power, attainment and possibilities.

That is why he says: "However, it is not royal comportment to raise one to the highest level all at once without an apparent reason", meaning, without a person having preconditions for it.

"Rather, the royal comportment is to reveal the reasons for all with great wisdom." What does "compels the King to reveal to everyone" mean? Who does the King have an obligation to? He does not have an obligation to anyone.

"To reveal to everyone" means to reveal to all the properties inside a person that control him. That is, to reveal to all the ministers that the person is above them. In addition, to do this in a way that all the efforts would be done by the person himself, so that the person will take any one of the properties that the Creator sends him and correct in such a way that he will become the boss of this minister, or the boss of this property.

"What did he do?" in order to elevate a person to his level, but so that the person would independently walk this path and become equal to the King in this way? "He appointed the servant a guard at the city gate..." He takes this person and appoints him as a guard. A guard of what? His own egoism! To make sure that he does not use it for his own sake.

This means: "He appointed the servant a guard at the city gate, and told a minister who was a clever joker to pretend to rebel against the kingship, and wage war to conquer the house while the guard is unprepared."

The minister did what the King commanded: very thought-out and cleverly he pretended to want to capture the King's castle. And the servant who was guarding the treasury fought to the death, defending his King, fighting against the disguised minister with great courage, without sparing any strength, without sparing his life, and his love to the Creator was revealed to everyone.

Obviously, the servant did not understand that the Creator Himself sent this minister to him who was disguised as a culprit who wanted to capture the King's castle, to kill the King and to take his place. That is, the Creator grants a person the chance to be a guard of His chambers.

After the servant fought to the death, not sparing and completely not thinking about himself, his whole love for the King was revealed. "Then the minister took off his cloths and there was great laughter for he had fought so fiercely, and now realized that there was only fiction here, not reality. They laughed most when the minister told of the depth of the imaginations of his cruelty and the fear he had envisioned. Every single item in this terrible war became a round of laughter and great joy."

This is exactly what happens with us when we try to remain connected with the Creator and at the same time receive all kinds of obstacles. We do not suspect that these obstacles also come to us from the Creator.

The Creator confuses us so much that there is no way for us to know that this is really coming from Him. However, our devotion to Him and our readiness to connect with Him is tested specifically in the concealment of the Creator. This is when the readiness to battle against our own egoism is tested. Wherever the fears, uncertainty, disillusions, and sufferings are perceived, that is where the real merriment can be revealed.

"However, he is still a servant, he is not scholarly. How can he be raised..." to be equal to the King; he has only proven his devotion to the King and his readiness to defend him. He proved that he can be a real guard of the King, that is, his egoism is not an obstacle to him in this area.

As we say, a person performed a Tzimtzum on himself, acquired the Kelim de-Hashpa'a, or the desire to give his whole self to the Creator. In the servant, this property was created by the first fight with the culprit.

However, he is still completely not trained to be above the ministers, meaning to act and govern in their place. He is only trained to defend against his own egoism, to defend against enemies, but not yet to preside and to be equivalent in actions to the Creator. He only has the Kelim de-Hashpa'a. He is protected from his own egoism, he is ready to give everything to the Creator, but he is still not ready to work with bestowal for Him.

"How can he be raised above all the ministers and the king's servants? Then the king thought in his heart (the King thought in his heart!) and said to that minister that he must disguise himself as a robber and a murderer, and wage fierce war against him. The king new that in the second war he would display wondrous wisdom, and merit standing at the head of all the ministers."

And who governs all of the ministers? The King himself. That is, in the second war the servant will acquire the wisdom of the Creator and the possibility of acting the same way as the Creator.

"Hence, he appointed the servant in charge of the kingdom's treasure." The first time he placed him to protect only his treasury. What does "treasury" mean? This is the desire to receive. He would have to stand in front of these desires to receive in such a way so that his own egoism would not penetrate there. The second time the servant becomes the keeper not only of the treasury, but of all the treasures of the King in general. In other words, the King bestowed the servant with the rule over the whole kingdom.

"The minister now dressed as a ruthless killer and came to loot the king's treasures. The poor appointee fought fearlessly and devotedly, until the cup was filled. Then the minister took of his cloths (that is, the ruthless killer took off the disguise and revealed himself, revealing that he was only an ambassador sent by the King) and there was great joy and laughter in the king's palace, even more than before.

"The details of the minister's tricks (the whole game that he played with the poor guard) aroused great laughter, since now the minister had to be smarter than before because now it is evidently known that no one is cruel in the king's domain, (that everything is under the control of the King himself) and all the cruel ones are but jokers."

The first time the servant already learned this and the clear knowledge remained in him. "Therefore, the minister used great craftiness to acquire clothes of evil."

So on the second time the poor servant believed that there is really a culprit in front of him, and not a minister in disguise. He fought to the death and was ready for anything to defend his King.

" Yet, in the meantime, the servant inherited "wisdom" from after-knowledge, and "love" from fore-knowledge..." As a result of the very battles, and of everything that happened to him as a result of the battles and in the process of the battle (the attack on him and his rebuke) he attains intelligence.

When he reaches the end result and it becomes revealed that it came from the Creator, then together with the acquired intelligence and understanding that this was a game, a great love for the Creator also emerged in the servant, because he understands why this game was necessary. He sees what he has acquired as a result of these fake battles. " ...and then has been erected for eternity."

Baal HaSulam says: "The thing you most want to hear me speak of is one to which I cannot answer anything. I have also told you a parable about this face to face, for "the kingdom of the earth is as the kingdom of the firmament," and the true guidance is given to the ministers. Yet, everything is done according to the king's counsel and his signature."

That is, on one hand we see a huge world in front of us, in which there exist forces that seem to be absolutely isolated from the Creator, in no way connected to Him and opposite to Him. On the other hand, they necessarily come only from the direct order and command of the Creator.

"The king himself does no more than sign the plan that the ministers devised." That is, stemming from whatever a person needs for further development, stemming from the Root of a person's soul, the ministers (or the law of nature) prepare our next state, they determine the way in which obstacles will come to us right now and the way in which they will influence us.

"If he finds a flaw in the plan, he does not correct it.." that is, cancels a specific influence on a person "...but places another minister in his place, and the first resigns from office."

I want you to think about what this means, that instead of one minister the King appoints another one, if the plan of the previous minister is not good and not befitting in the eyes of the King. In what way can it be bad? The King can see a flaw in the plan of influence of a force on a person? Does this mean that these forces can work out their own plans? They have some freedom of will? Why does Baal HaSulam write this way?

Look at what he says:

"The king himself does no more than sign the plan (he only affirms the plan) that the ministers devised." The ministers work out a plan, that is, the forces of nature that influence us get together and cause an influence on a person.

But before they begin to influence a person, the plan in a manner of speaking, undergoes the Creator's review. And if the Creator sees that there is a flaw in it, that it is incorrectly prepared by the laws of nature or the ministers, then He annuls this plan and appoints another minister who presents a different plan to Him.

"So is man, a small world, behaving according to the letters imprinted in him, since kings rule the seventy nations (our 70 properties) in him (inside of us)."

Or we can say that there are 620 desires in a person, sometimes we call them 613 desires. Sometimes we can call them the seven main desires: Hesed, Gvurah, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod and Malchut. Sometimes instead of 7 desires we say 70 because each one, in turn, consists of 10 sub-parts and 7 times 10 makes 70 desires, including the particular ones called the 70 nations of the world inside a person.

"This is the meaning of what is written in the Sefer Yetzira (Book of Creation): "He crowned a certain letter." Each letter is a minister for the time being, making evaluations, and the King of the world sings them. When the letter errs in some plan, it immediately resigns from office, and He crowns another letter in its place.

This is the meaning of, "Each generation and its judges."" In Hebrew it sounds like this: Dor Dor ve Dorshav - each generation and its judges. "At the end of correction the letter called "Messiah" (Redeemer) will rule.." that is, such a force, such a minister, who is called the liberator "...and will tie all the generations to a crown of glory in the hand of the Creator."

However, all of this will be only under the influence of the ministers who are appointed by the Creator and who come to the person and confuse him in every possible way, in order to give him the opportunity to battle against himself for the sake of the Creator.

Right now you and I have found mercy in the eyes of the Creator, which is evidenced by the fact that He allowed us and He helped us to have this Congress where a mutual merging of all the Kelim, a mutual communication and a mutual yearning towards the Creator became possible.

We have to understand that all of this has been created by Him and it's a sign of the fact that He desires us. That is, right now we are on the level that is described in this parable as: "A parable about a king who grew fond of his servant."

Right now you and I are in a state when the Creator took a liking to us. And after this there will follow a state when He will direct all kinds of obstacles towards us; He will send his ministers against who we will have to battle, because they wish to separate, divide and move us further from the Creator.

If we will yearn to see the disguised ministers of the Creator in all of our problems and obstacles then they will immediately become annulled and we will immediately connect with the Creator again. If we will not be able to do this then we will fall into the battle and the state of unknowing.

We must try with all our strengths to battle the misfortunes, questions, disappointments, and confusion in us, which separate us from the Creator. This is the culprit that is attacking us.

I advise you to reread this letter one more time, it tells us about many things.

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