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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

Letter No. 33

1927, London

To the honorable students ... may the Lord be upon them:

Two nights ago a wonderful thing happened to me: a man asked me to come over to his house to see his books, among which there were also Kabbalah books ...

I saw there a large book, about 180 pages, two printer sheets, titled, The King’s Valley, by one of the wondrous ascended ones, Rav Naphtali Ashkenazi, printed in Amsterdam in 1648. The author established a complete order to the wisdom of truth, as in the book, Tree of Life, beginning with the Tzimtzum [restriction], and ending with the lower worlds BYA. It is based on the foundations of the ARI with his own explanations, and he is also assisted by the Kabbalah of the Geonim and the Rishonim, similar to Rav Yaakov Kafil.

When I opened the book I saw in it many issues and foundations that were not introduced in any of the books of the ARI or the Rishonim, except in the book, Studies of Atzilut, presented in his book, letter by letter.

This surprised me. I went over the book meticulously until I realized that the book, Studies of Atzilut, attributed to the ARI, is completely false and fabricated. Instead, a copier abbreviated this book, The King’s Valley, and turned into a short composition, which is the book, Studies of Atzilut, that we have.

And not only that, that copier was completely ignorant and didn’t understand anything about Kabbalah, so he confused the pages of the book in a terrifying manner. Out of every ten pages, he took half or a third of a page, and copied them verbatim, then put them together into a single issue.

In consequence, one issue in the book, Studies of Atzilut, consists of ten thirds of pages from ten separate issues in the book, The King’s Valley. This is why it is so perplexing. I cannot put in writing my anger at this wicked fool, since it took me a long time to sort matters out for myself. But because of the sublime holiness of the issues presented there, I was fond of them, and so I spent a great deal of time—above and beyond—on this book.

I understand that the same thing happened to all the great ones, therefore I wish to make it known that 1) it is not from the writings of the ARI, 2) it is distorted and confused to the point that it is forbidden to look at it, and must be put away so as to remove obstacles from future generations. One who wishes to understand the holiness of the matters will look into the book, The King’s Valley, where the matters are presented in their full sublime glory. I am contemplating interpreting the matter in the introduction that I will write.

That book is precious. It must have been printed only once, approximately 300 years ago, and this was my first time to see it. It must have been an act of Providence because I took with me the book, Studies of Atzilut, but when I wanted to read in it I couldn’t find it. I looked for a place where I could borrow it but couldn’t find it anywhere. In the end, I did find it, in my bag, to my surprise.

Regarding the personal questions, I pray that he will succeed wherever he turns, for I cannot settle private affairs these days, as my own troubles surround me. Hence, in His light we will see light.

Yehuda Leib

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