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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

Letter No. 6

1921, Warsaw

To my soul mate ... may his candle burn forever:

I have already written you two letters but didn’t have the time to send them to you. In truth, I would like to see you prior to my leaving on the 22nd of Av. Now I would like to offer you a taste of the honey from my honeycomb.

It is written, “You destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.” There is an allegory about a king who took it on himself to teach his son tactics of kingship. He showed him the land, his enemies, and his friends.

The king also gave his son a sword from his hidden treasures. The sword possessed a wonderful power: when he showed it to the enemies they would promptly fall before him as dung on the earth.

The king’s son went ahead and conquered many countries, took much spoil and succeeded greatly.

In time, the king said to his son, “Now I will go up to the tower and hide myself there. You sit in my place and lead the whole earth with wisdom and might. And here is also this shield, which until now has been hidden in the treasury of the kingdom. No enemy or harm-doer will be able to hurt you when you have this shield with you.

The king took the sword, tied it to the shield, gave them to his son, and the king himself went up to the tower and hid there.

The king’s son did not know that the sword and the shield were tied to each other, and since he had no regard at all for the shield, he didn’t watch it. Thus, the shield was stolen from him, and with it, the sword.

When the news spread through the land that the sword and the shield have been stolen from the king’s son, the ruler of the earth, they immediately became impudent, and his enemies waged war on him until they took him captive, he and all his many possessions. With their enemy in their hands, they poured out their vengeance on him, and avenged him for all his abuse of them in the days of his father’s leadership. Each day they would beat him ferociously.

The son was embarrassed before his father because his father’s plight hurt him more than his own, so he resolved to make a sword and a shield just like the first ones so as to appease his father and to show him his wisdom and might.

With tactics, he made a sword that was similar to the first, and made a shield similar to the first shield.

With his arms in hand, he called on his father at the top of the tower: “Be proud of me, for a wise son makes a father glad...” And while he was calling his father, his enemies were bruising his brain and liver. And the more they beat him, the more he overcame, in order to appease his father, yelling, “I am afraid of nothing, now, and who can fight me when I have my sword and shield in hand?”

And the more he boasted, the more his enemies beat and hurt him, stones and sticks landing on his head, and blood running down his face. And all the while he tried to keep upright, proudly, like a hero, to show his father that now he is afraid of nothing, that compared to his might they are as the dust on the balance, since the sword helps him, or the shield helped him.

This is what the poet implied, “You destroy those who speak falsehood,” meaning those whose faces are as the face of a monkey before the face of a man, who make by their own strength a sword such as the Creator has made. And moreover, they wish to boast of their work as the Creator boasts. It is said about them, “The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit,” for he makes a manmade shield and boasts that he feels no pain, etc., and this, too, the Creator abhorrers—one who shows false pretence because he says that he is wise and strong and fearless, yet he is full of deceit and seeks cunning tactics. This the Creator abhors.

However, all the wholeness is in the holy name, God of my righteousness, whose every organ and tendon knows that the place of instilling of Divinity is in the place of justice, meaning in the absolute knowledge that all His thoughts are just, and never has a man anywhere in the world taken a bad step, just as one will not make a good step by himself.

And although everyone believes it, it is knowing that they need, in order for it to sink in the heart. It is like a first concept, where the pouring out of a truly faithful heart to the Creator can disclose this concept in the world, like any simple and acceptable thing settles in the heart sufficiently.

This is the meaning of “And you will seek ‘from there’ the Lord your God and you shall find.” This is also the meaning of the blessing, “Good and does good,” who does good to others, for His attainment is truly on the good, as this is why He is called “good.” This name is easily attainable by any person, and it is also called “God of my mercy.” But because it is so easily acceptable, due to the ease of accepting it, the individual does not remain over all the people.

This is why the work in exile and keeping Torah in poverty is evidently revealed to the eye of all the organs of a servant of the Creator—the holy name, “God of my righteousness—meaning that it was not at all bad in reality even for the slightest moment, which is the meaning of “and does good,” meaning that it does not appear on the “good,” but only on the “good to others,” as in, that, too, is for the best. This is a very deep and important matter, and that unification leaves no room even for ... at that time, other than him.

This is also the meaning of “The Lord is one and His name is ‘One,’” which is attained as simple to the ones who are whole.

Yehuda Leib

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