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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

Letter No. 14

1925, Warsaw

To... may his candle burn:

...and scrutinize well in a thousand weekdays, for they are the paths of the river of knowledge. It is as Samuel said, “The paths of the heaven are clear to me,” as the Sabbath, as the paths of the river of knowledge, the weekdays. That is, one who did not labor before the Sabbath, from where will he eat on the Sabbath?” Thus, all the lights of the Sabbath are set up in lights that are gained during the weekdays. This is the meaning of “a thousand weekdays.”

By that you can understand the verse, “Come to Pharaoh.” It is the holy Divinity in disclosure, from the words, “and let the hair of the woman's head go loose,” as it is written in The Zohar. The thing is that to the extent that the children of Israel thought that Egypt where enslaving them and impeding them from worshipping the Creator, to that extent they truly were in the exile in Egypt, and the redeemer’s only work was to reveal to them that there was no other force involved here, that “I and not a messenger,” for there is no other force but Him. This was indeed the light of redemption, as explained in the Passover Haggadah [story]

This is what the Creator gave to Moses in the verse, “Come to Pharaoh,” meaning unite the truth, for the entire approaching the king of Egypt is only to Pharaoh, to disclose the Holy Divinity. This is why He said, “For I have hardened his heart,” etc., “that I may place these signs of Mine within him.”

In spirituality, there are no letters, as I have already elaborated on before. All the multiplication in spirituality relies on the letters that are sucked from the materiality of this world, as in, “And creator of darkness.” There are no additions or novelties here, but the creation of darkness, the Merkava [chariot/structure] that is suited to disclose that the light is good. It follows that the Creator Himself hardened his heart. Why? Because I need letters.

This is the meaning of “that I may place these signs of Mine within him, and that you may tell ... that you may know that I am the Lord.” Explanation: once the letters were accepted, meaning when you understand that I gave and troubled for you, as in, do not move from “behind” me, for you will thoroughly keep the Achoraim [posterior side] for Me, for My name, then she will make her abundance and fill the letters. The qualities will become Sefirot, since before the filling, they are called “qualities,” and upon their fulfillment for the best, they are called Sefirot, sapphire, illuminating the world from one end to the other.

This is the meaning of “that you may tell.” I need all that for the explanation, meaning “And you shall know that I am the Lord” “and not a messenger.” This is the meaning of the fiftieth gate, which cannot appear unless the forty-nine faces of pure and impure appear, one opposite the other, in which the righteous falls [also forty-nine] before the wicked.

This is the meaning of the words, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might ... but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me.” That is, as it is written, “There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land.” Miscarrying or barren are the same thing, except “barren” means the deficiency and the letter itself, and “miscarrying” is the filling that the Sitra Achra gives to fill that deficiency, which is unsustainable, short-lived, and full of anger. At the time of correction, it becomes revealed that that miscarrying becomes understanding, and that barren becomes “Know Me.”

This is what the prophet instructs us, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might,” since all the being and presence that a person feels in himself holds no spirit, neither for the upper ones nor for the lower ones. It is so because there are no novelties in any being or lights. This is the meaning of “Maker of light,” meaning that there are no novelties in the light, but the making, when one can affect moves over those letters and disclose the shapes of the upper ones.

However, “And creator of darkness,” for created means elicitation existence from absence, as Nahmanides wrote. There is no novelty here, but darkness, like the ink for a book of Torah. By the exertion of the worshipper of the Creator to bring contentment to his Maker and to complement the Creator’s will, the miscarrying and the barren appear. By assuming the burden of the kingdom of heaven in full, which is the meaning of “this,” he is rewarded with seeing the real forms of “Maker of light, through questions and troubles. Then he is rewarded with boasting of the knowledge, and it is known that this is a true gain, praised and desirable in the initial thought.

By that we understand the verse, “And he said to them, ‘May it be so, the Lord is with you ... and he drove them out from Pharaoh’s presence.” The entire strengthening of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, was only in the “little ones,” who didn’t know Joseph, who fed them with bread according to the little ones.” The “little ones” means abundance that is restricted at the time of Katnut [smallness/infancy], as in what our sages said, “Why do infants come? To give reward to they who bring them.”

This is why he demonstrated his strength on the little ones and said, “See that evil is before your faces. Not so, go now, you who are men,” since one should thank for the sparks of Gevurot [pl. of Gevura] in the work of the Creator, and which come through the Creator. But for the sparks of evil before your faces, it cannot be said that it is coming from the Creator.

This is why he said, “For it is her that you seek,” meaning that your whole intention is to enhance the sparks of Gevura and enhance the sparks of evil, and how can you unite the evil sparks with the Creator? By that they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence [face].

By that we will understand the plague of the locust, as it was said, “and it covered the eye of the earth, etc., and ate that which remained.” That is, because the Creator saw that all the gripping of the king of Egypt (until he expelled them) was in sorting the men and repelling the infants (as in, for that is what you desire”), the plague robbed them of the men, as well, and they lost all the sparks of Gevura, as well.

By that you will understand the verse of redemption: “This month to you is the beginning of the months.” That is, in Egypt, the month was called Nissan, as they said about Mount Sinai, that Sinaa [hatred] came down from there, like the whole of the hard labor in Egypt being called Sivan, like Shanaan, meaning Sinaa Shelanu [our hate], as in “For it is her that you seek,” and all their efforts were only to delete the letters because they hated them.

And by the light of redemption, when they were rewarded with Alphey [thousands of] Shanaan, that Hidush [novelty (sounding similar to Hodesh—month)] was made the very first. Then, instead of Sivan, the letters joined to form Nissan, meaning Nissim she Imanu [miracles that are with us]. This is what RASHI interpreted about this verse, “‘This month’ indicates that the Creator showed to Moses the moon in its beginning,” and the words are ancient.

Yehuda Leib

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