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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

Letter No. 54


To my soul mate, may his candle burn:

Today I received your letter with all the adventures that happened to you, and what you wrote from the night of fourth of [the Torah portion] YaYehi: “If the light had surrounded your entire body you would have been saved from all your troubles.”

It seems that you haven’t fully what I said to you before your journey: “There is no other salvation but the attainment of the Torah. The whole Merkava [chariot/structure] of the Sitra Achra is only to fool people in other business, to deny this truth from them. This is the meaning of the exile in Egypt in mortar and bricks, and the boasting of their king, “My Nile is mine and I have made it.”

See what is written in that portion: “This shall be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” That is, when the Creator wished to verify for him the sacred situation with which he has been rewarded then (as explained in the writings), He verified it with that sign, that he doubtlessly be once again be rewarded with the reception of the Torah in that place.

Understand that thoroughly: Even though the face of the Creator appeared to Moses in complete clarity, so much so that he was afraid to look at God, he still needed the guarantee of the Torah, for otherwise the Creator would certainly not make him look.

It is written, “Seek the Lord while He is found, call upon Him while He is near.” “Seek the Lord while He is found” means where He is present, and you will not fail with the Sitra Achra, who always deflects a person to seek Him where He isn’t present. Thus, one scatters one’s labor in vain. Hence the prophet warns, “Seek the Lord where He is found,” meaning in a place of Torah, and not in a place where there is no Torah, for He is not present there at all.

He also says, “Call upon Him while He is near.” When the Creator shows you a bright face, it is the time to call Him—to contemplate and reflect on the secrets and the reasons [also flavors] of Torah, which is the reading—perhaps the Creator will open man’s heart to be rewarded with the blessing of the Torah.

This is the meaning of “The Creator, the Torah, and Israel are one.” By that you can also observe the need that the Creator had at the event of the first prophecy to Moses to pledge to him with this sign of acceptance of the Torah.

This is the meaning of the words, “Who will ascend into the mountain of the Lord, and who will stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully.”

It is said that prior to a person’s exit from the mother’s womb, he is sworn: “Even if the whole world tells you that you are righteous, be as wicked in your eyes.” This matter requires explanation: Our sages have already said, “do not be wicked in your own eyes,” much less when the whole world testifies that he is righteous, should he regard himself as wicked? I wonder. We should also understand the words, “Be as wicked in your eyes,” which implies that in his own heart he can know the truth—that he is righteous.

The thing is that there are two works: one is in the heart, and one is in the mind. That is, to turn the vessels of reception in both of them to being in order to bestow. At the time and moment when a person purifies the vessels of reception of the heart, he immediately becomes worthy of His light, which pours out incessantly. That light is called Nefesh [soul], after the disclosure of the Nefisha [rest] in all the organs.

This is the meaning of the words, “Who will ascend into the mountain of the Lord, and who will stand...” meaning gain an eternal level and will not fall again. It is precisely “He ... who has not lifted up his soul.” In other words, once the Creator has turned to him and brought him a little closer, he needs to strengthen himself immensely and take that light for the scrutiny of Torah, to find its secrets and increase his knowledge of the Creator. This is the meaning of raising the eyes of the Holy Divinity, as it is written, “A bride whose eyes are beautiful, the rest of her body does not require examination.”

And if a person does not mind raising the eyes then he carries the light of Nefesh futilely. Even worse, he swears deceitfully because at the time of birth, he was sworn, “Even if the whole world tells you that you are righteous.” That is, even if he is rewarded with the light of Nefesh, where all the organs and tendons of his small world feel that he is a complete righteous, placed in the Garden of Eden, he still must not believe it whatsoever until he raises up the eyes of Kedusha [holiness].

This is the meaning of “Who will ascend” and “Who will stand”—precisely “He who has clean hands,” who has been rewarded with cleaning both his forms of reception—of mind and of heart. “And a pure heart” means that he has already been rewarded with attaining the flavors [also “reasons”] of Torah and all its secrets, as it is written, “And you will know this day and reply to your heart that the Lord, He is the God ... there is none else.”

“Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood” means that he understood how to work and use the light of Nefesh that the Creator illuminated for him. “And has not sworn deceitfully,” but raised the eyes, as said above. Delve deeply into all that is said here for it is a true and sincere counsel to avoid being trapped by the counsel of the Sitra Achra, who always fools into seeking the Creator where He isn’t found. Hence, each day one should remind oneself of that.

But what can I do for you if you do not appreciate my words properly, and therefore scatter your energy futilely? I wish you would hear me from now on because my words are always in “neither add nor subtract,” and are therefore still standing and waiting for a listening heart.

My words are being said in due time because the above mentioned precise work is very capable in these days, which are called in the books, “ Tikkun Shovavim TaT [correction of the naughty, Tav- Tav (acronym)].”

Let me disclose to you that the books offer only intimations that are completely abstruse to the masses. Indeed, they marked Shovavim TaT as an acronym for Talmud Torah [Torah study], and there is no other correction but TaT, and “One who does not know the commandment of the Upper One, how will he serve Him?”

The thing is that the upper light that approaches a person to direct him toward revival is called Nefesh, due to the reception of Nefisha [rest] in the organs, each according to its measure in its time. However, it cannot exist without Ruach [spirit], meaning attainment of the Torah.

This is why that person is called “naughty,” like a little boy who places both hands in a bag full of money, jumping and dancing about, not knowing what to do with the money because he doesn’t know the shape of the money or how to negotiate. It turns out that one who gives a gift of a bag of money to a little boy doesn’t do him any good. On the contrary, he makes him naughty and drives him crazy.

This is the meaning of the words, “He will make my soul naughty.” In other words, if the Creator does not give the Ruach, but only the Nefesh, He makes a person naughty and crazy. However, from Lo Lishma [not for the Torah] one comes to Lishma [for the Torah],” meaning as he ends, “for His name,” meaning that through that he will be rewarded with Lishma.

This is why he said, “Return, oh naughty boys,” meaning those who have not yet been granted with Ruach. This is the meaning of attainment of the Torah. Also, as I spoke to you prior to your journey, this is the meaning of the Klipa [shell] of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, which was such a hard Klipa that no slave could escape Egypt because the lights that they had to give to all those who fell into their hands, until they couldn’t retire from them.

It is as is written, “My Nile is mine and I have made it,” as I interpreted for you while you sere still here ... This is why the enslavement in the [Torah] portion, Shemot [Exodus] begins with the exile in Egypt, and does not end before the portion Yitro [Jethro], at the time of the reception of the Torah, as in “This shall be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain,” as I have explained above.

Therefore, it is very possible for any person who wishes to complete what is desired of him, for in these sequences— Shovavim, Teruma [donation/contribution], Tetzaveh [command (verb, imperative form)]—he will examine his works and correct his ways for the reception of Torah. ... He will gather all the sparks of light of his soul that were captured by the Klipa of Egypt into a place of Torah with great longing and yearning. Through studying with the external mind, as in “Whatever you find that you are able to do, that do,” we will be rewarded with our hearts’ opening in His law and the depths of His secrets, and we will be granted the reception of Torah as explained in the portion, Yitro. The rest of the sequences, Mishpatim [ordinances], Teruma [donation/contribution], Tetzaveh [command] are the teaching from the making of the calf and the breaking of the tablets.

The Tikkun Shovavim is implied in the books in relation to ejaculation in vain, called “night ejaculation.” However, they are the same issue, as I have explained that one who did not purify the vessels of reception of the heart, the vessels of reception of the mind are necessarily filthy, too, and his faith is flawed because he cannot believe what his eyes do not see.

Just so, one whose vessels of reception of the heart are flawed necessarily contemplates once a day or so, and will come to night ejaculation.

At the same time, it is necessary that he will come by a thought of heresy, called “a bag of ejaculation,” since the vessels of reception of the heart and the vessels of reception of the mind go hand in hand, and then “The righteousness of the righteous will not save him on the day of his transgression.”

It follows that all the lights that he received fall into the hands of the Sitra Achra, and delve in it, for I have been brief. All this continues until one is rewarded with extending Ruach along with the Nefesh, meaning reception of the Torah.

I cannot continue with this any longer and it is time that you will take my words to heart, perhaps the Creator will resolve to pour upon us spirit from on high until the will of the Creator succeeds by you ...

Yehuda Leib

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