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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

Letter No. 18


To my soul mate, may his candle burn:

...However, keep away from suffering a man’s jolt prematurely, for “where one thinks is where one is.” Therefore, when a person is certain that he will not lack abundance, he can focus his efforts on words of Torah because “the blessed cling to the blessed.”

But lack of confidence behooves labor, and any labor is from the Sitra Achra, and “the cursed does not cling to the blessed,” for he will not be able to focus all his efforts only on words of Torah. And yet, if he wishes to travel overseas, he shouldn’t contemplate these things at all, but just as quickly as he can, as though he is haunted, and will return to normalcy, so as not to scatter his sparks in times and places that apart from that are still not sufficiently united.

Know that no flaw comes from the lower ones except in the permitted time and place, as it is now. I wish to say that whether helpful or regretful, or God forbid despairs at the present moment, it is “rushing the endin all the times andin all the placesin the world.” This is the meaning of “A moment of His fury” and “How much is His fury? A moment.”

Therefore, one has no choice but to direct all the present and future moments to be offered and presented to His great name. One who rejects a moment before Him, for it is difficult, displays his folly openly, for all the worlds and all the times are not worthwhile for him because the light of His countenance is not clothed in the changing times and occasions, although a person’s work certainly changes because of them. This is why the faith and confidence above reason have been prepared for us by our holy fathers, and one can use them in the tougher times effortlessly and tirelessly.

This is the meaning of “By this comes lightly, ready for all His works on those six days.” The letter Hey, which is the root of Creation, is a light letter, and laboring to enhance its level does not help at all, for it is thrown as in “no reason and no end.” Therefore, one who assumes the complete burden of the kingdom of heaven finds no labor in worshipping the Creator, and can therefore be attached to the Creator day and night, in light and in darkness. The rain—which is created in coming and going, changes and exchanges—will not stop him because the Keter, which is Ein Sof, illuminates to all completely equally. The fool—who walks under a flood of preventions that pour on him from before and from behind—says to all that he doesn’t feel the cessation and the lack of Dvekut [adhesion] as a corruption or iniquity on his part.

Had he sensed it, he would certainly have strained to find some tactic to at least be saved from the cessation of Dvekut, whether more or less. This tactic has never been prevented from anyone who sought it, either as in “the thought of faith” or as in “confidence,” or as in “pleas of his prayer,” which are suitable for a person specifically in the narrow and stressed places, for even a thief in hiding calls upon the Creator. For this reason, it does not require Mochin de Gadlut to keep the branch from cutting from its root.

“If he does not do these three for her,” she shall “go out” into the public domain, under the enslavement of people, “free, without money,” to this master, because he will not be given anything for his labor in idle things. It is as it is written, “They that make them shall be like them,” etc., and what will one who was created by the worshipped—who bows to his own work—ask of them? Therefore, anyone who says he has preventions from above, I say about him that he lies in the name of his Maker. He maliciously pretends to be unable because he doesn’t have the real desire to be adhered to the Creator due to his strong ties to the Ketarim of Tuma’a [crowns of impurity]. That is, he doesn’t wish wholeheartedly to part from them forever.

This is the meaning of the words, “And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” In other words, our only prayer to the Creator to give us of His wisdom and splendor is because He desires us to adorn ourselves before Him with these desires, as in “Spirit draws spirit and brings spirit.”

For example, because it is impolite to come before the king without some request ... but in truth, we have no business with the gift itself, but in being granted with Dvekut with Him, whether less or more.

And for example, a slave who wants to cling to the king out of the craving in his heart begins to practice royal manners, and sets up for him some request. But the king rejects him. If he is clever, he will say to the king the sincerity of the point in his heart—that he desires no gifts, but for the king to set up for him any service, the least of the least, in whatever way, as long as he is attached to some degree to the king, in a connection that will not be stopped. Instantaneously, the king has revealed it to us in the form of Dvekut [adhesion], which is contemptible in the eyes of the lowly, and its value is always according to the measure of desire of the point in the heart, meaning the prayer, faith, and confidence, which will never run dry, even for a moment during the twenty-four hours of the day.

But the lowly—in their point in the heart—do not crave Dvekut with the King Himself, with the King’s body, but with His numerous gifts, who distributes property and strength with wonderful delights, sparks flow from the bottom of the heart toward His immense gifts. For this reason, they find Dvekut with Him laborious, for what will they get out of it, and other forms of “so what.”

However, “apples of gold...” for which anyone who understands will laugh at those worshippers whose heart is deficient, who are saying to all that they are fools because they say they have preventions.

But “The covenant of the fathers did not end,” and “he who comes to purify is aided.” First thing in the morning, when he rises from his sleep, he should sanctify the first moment with Dvekut with Him, pour out his heart to the Creator to keep him throughout the twenty-four hours of the day so that no idle thought will come into his mind, and he will not consider it impossible or above nature.

Indeed, it is the image of nature that makes an iron partition, and one should cancel nature’s partitions that he feels, and must first believe that nature’s partitions do not cut off from Him. Afterwards he should pray from the bottom of his heart, even for something that is above his natural will.

Understand that always, even when forms that are not of Kedusha [holiness] traverse you, and they will instantly stop when you remember. See that you pour out your heart with all your might that henceforth the Creator will save you from cessations in Dvekut with Him. Gradually, your heart will grow accustomed to the Creator and will crave to adhere to Him in truth, and the Lord’s desire will succeed by you.

Yehuda Leib

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