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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

Letter No. 35

1927, London

To the honored disciples, may the Lord be upon them:

The surprise of ... at my zeal and devotion to The King’s Valley, which I wish to publish, is because he didn’t understand me. It is not The King’s Valley that I am zealous for, but its abbreviation, which is the study of Atzilut, which the copier maliciously attributed to the ARI.

In his abbreviation, he has done two harms: 1) He wasted the time of all who search their hearts for nothing and to cause fear, due to the far ones who are drawing nearer in his lines and cause bewilderment. 2) These are words of the wise rav, author of The King’s Valley, in the writings of the ARI. By that he caused immense confusion. So I am zealous because of my time, which was lost.

Concerning the abovementioned book, the author is undoubtedly a very high and holy man. However, his words are built on the foundations of MAHARI Sruk, who in my opinion didn’t understand the words of his teacher, the ARI, as well.

However, the words of Rav Sruk spread to all the holy ones that were in the land because the Rav Sruk nevertheless arranged the words he had heard from the ARI, hence they are understood by anyone with a degree in attainment, for the greatness of mind and attainment of MAHARI Sruk are immeasurable.

For this reason, the author of The King’s Valley relied entirely on his foundations, along with all the Kabbalists overseas to this day because of the questions in the words of Rav Chaim Vital, which are brief and disordered. This is also one of the reasons why I was moved to put my own words into a book in arranging the Kabbalah of the ARI, which came to us from Rav Chaim Vital, who understood, as the ARI himself testified, and as MAHARI Sruk admitted, too.

It is surprising that the HIDA did not resolve to save The King’s Valley from the quandary of the Makor Chaim [Source of Life], who did not lie at all in the Kabbalah of the ARI, God forbid, except that he relied himself on MAHARI Sruk. This is more or less the case with all the Kabbalists and authors from overseas, not one excluded.

In my view, MAHARI Tzemach, MHARAM Papash, MAHARAN Shapira, and MHARAM Di Lozano also relied extensively on MAHARI Sruk, so why was he not mad at them?

As for me, I hope to, God willing, purify the words of the ARI without admixtures of names and attainments from others that have mingled into his words to this day, so that in time will be accepted by all the greats, and they will not need to water the foundations of the ARI with other fountains but his.

It is interesting that ... was surprised that I didn’t mention the RASHASH? Why did he not reply to him that the RASHASH begins his book from the world of Nekudim, while I stand in the middle of Akudim? And other than some fragmented words in The Sun, which also belong to the five Partzufim of Atzilut, he did not say a word about these matters.

What he contended regarding the Keter commentaries in the second edition of Tree of Life, you can tell him on my behalf that he doesn’t understand the explanation there. There he speaks of the Sefira Keter, which includes the ten Sefirot of Ohr Yashar [Direct Light] and ten Sefirot of Ohr Hozer [Reflected Light], which is the inner AK, the middle between Ein Sof and AB-SAG-MA-BON, but which was revealed outside of it. Similarly, each Partzuf contains Keter, such as the inner AK, which includes twenty Sefirot, for which The Zohar calls them “twenty.” The Tree of Life says about it that it can be called Ein Sof and it can be called “emanated,” and both are words of the living God.

But I speak only of the Keter of the ten Sefirot of Ohr Yashar, which can only be called Ein Sof, and Emanator, and cannot be called “middle,” and much less by a formless name, and the root of the four Yesodot [foundations] of HBTM. It is so because prior to the disclosure of the Sefira of Bina of Ohr Yashar, there isn’t even a root to the Kli, as I have elaborated in Branch 1, that the Kli, the potential, and the execution are all from the emanated.

Concerning the Inner Light of Igulim, he confused my words once I divided them into two points—saying that the illumination of the Surrounding Light is from the surrounding Ein Sof, and the Inner Light is what the Igulim can receive by themselves, which are two discernments.

Near there, in the third Behina, I interpreted the Inner Light: The Light that comes to them is called Ohr Pnimi, meaning that it comes to them by themselves. It is called “the light of the Reshimo.” That is, the Reshimo still has the strength to draw and suckle from Ein Sof, except by a limited illumination, which is therefore called “a Reshimo that remains after the great light from prior to the Tzimtzum,” and I have elaborated there.

Conversely, those who imagine that the matter of the Reshimo in every place indicates that it is as though a part of the holy Light was carved and remained attached to a place after the departure of the Light, this is a gross mistake because each Light is attached to its root. It extends from its root incessantly, both a great light or a small light, which remains after the departure, called Reshimo.

In Behina Dalet I interpreted the Surrounding Light in the following way: “Now Ohr Ein Sof illuminates bestowal from its place.” What I mean is that that light does not come with the quality of the place of the Tzimtzum, which is limited and measured like the Ohr Pnimi [Inner Light]. Rather, it illuminates unboundedly and does not distinguish between great or small that the emanated has made for himself.

These matters are explained in many places in Preface to the Gates and in Gate to Introductions. There is no dispute at all between him and me, except in the meaning, but not in the phrasing whatsoever. I, too, say that the light of Reshimo is OhrPnimi, but I interpreted it so there will not be mistakes about it.

And what he wrote, that he was not set up toward the desired goal, which is the intention, tell him that this is my whole intention with the arrangement of the introductions, since many err in it, and each one builds a podium for himself because the ARI and Rav Chaim Vital did not arrange by themselves. For this reason I had to clarify my foundations in the explanation of the ten Sefirot, in which many grossly err, and in the explanation and order of the Partzufim of AK, in which most were grossly mistaken.

Once I explain the order of the Partzufim of Atzilut and the ascents of the degrees properly, I will explain the book, A River of Peace, printed with great contradictions because it was printed without the awareness of the RASHASH, and things he said in his childhood ... which he regretted as an adult, were put together. But if he had composed them himself, he would certainly proofread what was needed.

However, it was known that it was not his friend, but others stole and printed it while he was not at home, and he regretted it, as is known. I saw other commentaries explaining his words, but these commentaries testify that they did not even begin to understand the RASHASH, except for one book, The Teaching of a Sage, which attains partially, but not thoroughly. God willing, it will all be explained properly.

However, the method of the RASHASH goes against all the authors until today, for which I couldn’t negotiate with his real words before I demonstrated his real foundations in the studying of Tree of Life, which, God willing, I will disclose in the future.

I will also put together an index of all my words in Panim Meirot uMasbirot [Bright and Illuminating Face], for I did not add any interpretations to what is written and explained in Eight Gates, in Tree of Life, or in Preface to the Gates. I also accepted some things from the book, My Desire Is in Her, by Rav Chaim Vital, but I accepted nothing else into my foundations from the rest of the writings of the ARI, fearing for the purity of their compilers.

It is even more so with the Kabbalah of the First, the Genious, and all the others, which I hardly saw at all. My reference to Nahmanides in his interpretation to The Book of Creation was not to be as a foundation for the wisdom, but as a foundation for purification from corporeality. Rav Chaim Vital also quotes him on this matter, and so I quoted Maimonides on that matter.

I found it necessary to elaborate so you would be able to listen to the ones you should, attentively and open-mindedly, and the words of the wise are heard in peace. God willing, I will put together an index so you may see each and every phrase.

Currently, I am preoccupied with setting up the introduction of the book, after which I will set up the index, the glossary, and acronyms. My many troubles are delaying me, especially as these are works to which I am not accustomed, hence they are delayed from day to day.

Concerning the new synagogue, I’m very happy, and I wanted to hear how things are going with the other synagogue, which they were hoping to make in the Old City.

Regards to you,

Yehuda Leib

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