You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) / Letters / Letter No. 22
Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

Letter No. 22

1927, London

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

I received your letter from the fourteenth of Tishrey [first month in the Hebrew calendar]. But my friend, why aren’t you pleased with the first order that I have set up for you, and ask for novelties? I have already told you that as long as you are not accustomed to the first order, you are not permitted to make for yourself other orders, both easy or strict. But here you are, pretending to forget, and you are knocking on my door seeking new orders. It must be the inciting of the inclination.

I must remind you the first order that I gave you, and may the Creator help you have no breaks with His work going forward, and only ascents ever upward until you are awarded with Dvekut [adhesion] with Him, as it should be:

  1. Be prepared for His work, approximately two hours after midnight, and no later (meaning from the eighth hour after Arvit [evening service]).

  2. On the first two hours, engage in “midnight Tikkun,” afflicting yourself about the exile of Israel and the affliction of the holy Divinity due to their iniquities. Afterwards pray and plead until the tenth hour.

  3. From the tenth hour until the prayer is the time of delving in the holy books, Beresheet Hochma, and the like, and in the writings of the ARI. See that you thoroughly understand and internalize everything you study. If you do not fully understand, give the Creator no rest until He opens your heart and you understand Him, for this is the most important—that the Creator gives wisdom.

  4. Set times for Torah, without any cessation for idle conversations, God forbid. See that you dedicate no less than five consecutive hours. You can set them for whatever time you wish during the day, as long as you do not stop for any conversation in between, they are consecutive, and specifically in the study of the revealed. Be careful not to forget anything from the study, so repeat it as you should. Also, it would be good for you to learn to be a teacher, it will be very helpful for you.

You can learn in a group with whomever you want during those five hours, but do not speak of things that do not concern the study, not even of manners of worship. If the partner wishes to study only two or three hours, you can finish afterward until you complete the five hours. During the rest of the day, succeed in negotiations.

Thus, you have what is yours, now hurry yourself and take the Creator with you, so you will succeed in behaving as I have written for you, and the words of Rashbi in Idra Zuta will come true in you: “‘I am for my beloved, etc., all the days when I was tied to this world, I was tied to it in one connection, in the Creator. For this reason, now upon me is ‘His passion.’”

After a few months, when you have grown thoroughly accustomed to this order, let me know and I will add to you in the ways of the Creator.

In truth, I am not far from you at all, for it is all up to you, since time or place do not pose any hindrance in spirituality. Why don’t you remember what I said on the festival of Shavuot about the verse, “My beloved is like a gazelle”? Our sages said, “As the gazelle looks back when he runs, when the Creator leaves Israel, He turns back His face.” I interpreted for you that then the face returns to being in the Achoraim [back/posterior], meaning craving and longing to cling to Israel once more. This begets in Israel longing and a craving to cling to the Creator, too, and the measure of the longing and craving is actually the face itself, as it is written in “Bless My Soul,” by Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi, “My face is to your prayer when you run to meet the Lord God.”

Therefore, the most powerful at this time is only to persist and increase the longing and the craving, for thus appears the face, Amen, may it be so.

Send me many letters, and this will be encouraging to you, as well.

Yehuda Leib, son of my teacher and Rabbi, Simcha Ashlag

Back to top
Site location tree