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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

Letter No. 28

1927, London

To my student ... may his candle burn:

...The above mentioned letter, which was not sent at the time of its writing, I will now reply to you about it. I will also reply to your latest letter from the beginning of the month, Adar Bet.

...Regarding your question about NHYM, that I did not explain the right, left, and middle about them, it is also because it belongs to the quality of the Ohr Hozer [Reflected Light], and I have already written to you that the qualities of the Ohr Hozer need all the clarifications in my book.

How many times have I commented to you that the spiritual qualities can never be better than the corporeal qualities, yet you insist that you do not feel the taste of servitude in cleanness.

In my view, any place where there is a desire for servitude is already lost there ... from the work, since delaying the contentment and the drawn-out abundance is called servitude, as our sages said, “A servant let loose feels comfortable.” Therefore, while being tied under the burden of his master’s enslavement, he is called “a servant” and “serving.”

See in the Peticha [Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah], that work and labor extend from the Masach that delays the Upper Light, which it covets very much, while the reward extends from the Ohr Hozer. Thus Malchut returns to being Keter and comes out from servitude to complete redemption with simple Rachamim [mercies], which is Keter.

This is why our sages said, “A servant who is not worth his belly’s bread [the bread that he eats],” since the Ohr Hozer is defined as NHYM NHY de ZA, and the Malchut that mate in Hakaa, as it is known.

If the servant were worth his belly’s bread up to Galgalta [his head], he would be redeemed. But he is worth only up to his belly itself, meaning that his intention to delay does not have the hardness of the Masach in Behina Dalet, but in order to receive. It follows that his delaying Masach will be a vessel of reception, too, and not a Kli that delays, for which the Keter will, God forbid, become Malchut. Thus, only the belly is added from the Keter, and the bread that he eats [his belly’s bread], hence he remains a slave.

All these discernments between the Masach de Keter and the Masach of the belly come to him by utter and complete loathing the vessels of reception into his own stomach, even the pleasure that extends to his belly by itself. It seems to him like the pleasure of one who itches and rubs boils (disease), which is a detestable pleasure to any person because the harm is obvious.

Through the detestable force in Nature, a second nature is imprinted in him, to truly loathe the pleasures of his guts. By that, his Masach is assisted by the delaying force as Behina Dalet that returns to being Keter.

But what shall we do to those who aren’t so meticulous about cleanness and detestable things, even in their first, corporeal nature? We should feel very sorry for them because from their perspective, they are already cleansed, having come to loathe what should be loathed. However, they cannot discern very well due to the nature of their corporeality that they are not fleeing as carefully as they should even with corporeal detestable things.

This answers your question about hypocrisy, for which you came up with the mistake that the world was created for work, and what is to me a reward, you inadvertently mistake for work. You should correct yourself before I come to Jerusalem, and even more so before Passover.

Yehuda Leib

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