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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

33. The Lots on Yom Kippurim and with Haman

I heard on Terumah 6, February 12, 1943

It is written (Leviticus 16:8), “And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats: one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for Azazel.” With Haman it is written (Esther 3:7), “they cast Pur, that is, the lot.”

A lot applies where there cannot be a scrutiny in the mind because the mind does not reach there to be able to sort out which is good and which is evil. In that state a Pur is cast, when they rely not on their mind, but on what the lot tells them. It follows that when using the word “lot,” it comes to tell us that now we are going above reason.

Regarding the seventh of Adar (sixth day of the Hebrew calendar), on which Moses was born and on which Moses died, we must understand what Adar means. It comes from the word Aderet (mantle), as it is written about Elijah (Kings 1 19:19) “and cast his mantle upon him.” Aderet comes from the word Aderet Se’ar (hair), which are discerned as Se’arot (hair) and Dinim (judgments), which are alien thoughts and ideas in the work, distancing one from the Creator.

Here there is a matter of overcoming them. And although one sees many contradictions found in His Providence, one should still overcome them through faith above reason, and say that they are benevolent Providence. This is the meaning of what is written about Moses, “And Moses hid his face.” It means that he saw all the contradictions and held them through exertion by the power of faith above reason.

It is as our sages said, “In return for ‘and Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look’ he was rewarded with, ‘and the similitude of the Lord doth he behold.’” This is the meaning of, “Who is blind, but My servant? Or deaf, as My messenger?”

It is known that Eynaim (eyes) are called “reason,” “mind,” meaning the mind’s eyes. This is because with something that we perceive in the mind, we say, “but we see that the mind and the reason necessitate that we say so.”

Hence, one who goes above reason is as one who has no eyes, and he is called “blind,” meaning pretends to be blind. Also, one who does not want to hear what the spies tell him and pretends to be deaf is called “deaf.” This is the meaning of “Who is blind, but My servant? Or deaf, as My messenger?”

However, when one says, “that have eyes, and see not, that have ears, and hear not,” it means that he does not want to obey what the reason necessitates, and what the ears hear, as it is written about Joshua the son of Nun, that a bad thing never entered his ears. This is the meaning of Aderet Se’ar, that he had many contradictions and judgments. Each contradiction is called Se’ar (hair), and under each Se’ar there is a dent.

It means that one makes a dent in the head, meaning the alien thought fissures and punctures one’s head. When one has many alien thoughts it is considered having many Se’arot, and this is called Aderet Se’ar.

This is the meaning of what is written about Elisha: “So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth; and Elijah passed over unto him, and cast his mantle upon him” (Kings 1, 19). (Yoke means a pair of Bakar (oxen), since they were plowing with pairs of oxen together that were tightened. This is called a yoke.) Baker means Bikoret (criticism), and twelve refers to the completeness of the degree (like twelve months and twelve hours).

It means that one already has all the discernments of the Se’arot that can be in the world, and then form the Se’arot, the Aderet Se’ar is made. However, with Elisha, it was in the form of the morning of Josef, as it is written, “As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.”

It means that one has already been awarded the Light that rests over these contradictions, since through the contradictions, called criticism, when wanting to overpower them, it is by drawing Light on them. It is as it is written, “He that comes to purify is aided.”

Because one has already drawn the Light on all the criticism, and has nothing more to add, since all the criticism has been completed in him, then the criticism and the contradictions in him end by themselves. This follows the rule that there is no purposeless operation, since there is no purposeless operator.

We must know that what appears to one as things that contradict the guidance of “Good that Doeth Good,” is only to compel one to draw the Upper Light on the contradictions, when wanting to prevail over the contradictions. Otherwise one cannot prevail. This is called “the greatness of the Creator,” which one extends when having the contradictions, called Dinim (judgments).

It means that the contradictions can be annulled if one wants to overcome them, only if one extends the greatness of the Creator. You find that these Dinim cause the drawing of the greatness of the Creator. This is the meaning of what is written, “and cast his mantle upon him.”

It means that afterwards he attributed the whole mantle of hair to Him, meaning to the Creator. It means that now one sees that the Creator gave him this mantle deliberately in order to draw the Upper Light on them.

However, one can only see that later, meaning after one has already been granted the Light that rests on these contradictions and Dinim that he had had in the beginning. This is so because he sees that without the hair, meaning the descents, there would not be a place for the Upper Light to be there, as there is no Light without a Kli (vessel).

Hence, one sees that all the greatness of the Creator that he had obtained was because of the Se’arot and the contradictions he had had. This is the meaning of, “the Lord on high is mighty.” It means that the greatness of the Creator is awarded through the Aderet, and this is the meaning of, “let the high praises of God be in their mouth.”

This means that through the faults in the work of God, it causes one to elevate oneself upward, as without a push one is idle to make a movement. One consents to remain in the state one is in, whereas if one descends to a lower degree than one understands, that gives one the power to prevail, for one cannot stay in such a bad situation, since one cannot consent to remain like that, in the state one has descended to.

For this reason one must always prevail and come out of the state of descent. In that state one must draw upon himself the greatness of the Creator. That, in turn, causes one to extend higher forces from Above, or he will remain in utter lowness. It follows that through the Se’arot one gradually discovers the greatness of the Creator, until one finds the Names of the Creator, called “the thirteen attributes of Mercy.” This is the meaning of “and the elder shall serve the younger,” and “the wicked shall prepare it, but the just shall wear it,” and also, “and thou shalt serve thy brother.”

It means that the whole enslavement, meaning the contradictions that were, appeared to be obstructing the Holy Work, and were working against Kedusha (Sanctity). Now, when granted the Light of God, which is placed over these contradictions, one sees the opposite, that they were serving Kedusha. This means that through them, there was a place for Kedusha to clothe in their dresses. And this is called “the wicked shall prepare it, but the just shall wear it,” meaning that they gave the Kelim (vessels) and the place for the Kedusha.

Now we can interpret what our sages wrote (Hagiga 15a), “Rewarded – a righteous. He takes his share and his friend’s share in heaven. Convicted – a wicked. He takes his share and his friend’s share in hell.” It means that one takes the Dinim and the alien thoughts of one’s friend, which we should interpret over the whole world, meaning that this is why the world was created filled with so many people, each with his own thoughts and opinions, and all are present in a single world.

It is so deliberately, so that each and every one will be incorporated in all of one’s friend’s thoughts. Thus, when one repents, the profit from it will be Hitkalelut (mingling/ incorporation/integration).

It is so because when one wants to repent, one must sentence oneself and the entire world to a scale of merit, since he himself is incorporated in all the alien notions and thoughts of the entire world. This is the meaning of, “Convicted – a wicked. He takes his share and his friend’s share in hell.”

It follows that when one was still wicked, called “Convicted,” one’s own share was of Se’arot, contradictions, and alien thoughts. One was also mingled with one’s friend’s share in hell, meaning he was incorporated in all the notions of all the people in the world.

Therefore, when later one becomes “Rewarded – a righteous”, meaning after one repents, he sentences himself and the entire world “to a scale of merit, he takes his share and his friend’s share in heaven.” This is because one must draw Upper Light for the alien thoughts of all the people in the world, too, since he is mingled with them, and he must sentence them to a scale of merit.

This is precisely through extending the Upper Light over these Dinim of the public. Although they themselves cannot receive this Light that he had drawn on their behalf because they do not have the prepared Kelim for that, but he drew it for them as well.

Yet, we must understand according to the famous rule that one who causes extension of Lights in Upper Degrees, they say that to the extent that one induces Light in the Upper One, one receives from these Lights, too, since he was the cause. Accordingly, the wicked, too, should have received a part of the Lights that they induced in the righteous.

To understand that, we must precede with the matter of the lots. There were two lots, as it is written, “one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for Azazel.” It is known that a lot is a matter of above reason. Hence, when the lot is above reason it causes the other to be for Azazel.

This is the meaning of “it shall whirl upon the head of the wicked.” It is so because he extended the Upper Light through these contradictions. You find that in this manner the greatness of the Creator increases, and for the righteous it is a drawback, since their whole desire is only within reason. And when the Light that comes based on above reason increases, they wither away and become annulled.

Hence, all the wicked have is their help to the righteous to extend the greatness of the Creator, and afterwards, when they are annulled. This is called “Rewarded – he takes his share and his friend’s share in heaven.” (This implies that only one who helped make the correction of creating the reality of appearance of the Light through good deeds, hence this act remains in Kedusha. One receives what one induces Above, to make a place for the expansion of the Light. In that state the lower one receives what it causes to the Upper One. However, the contradictions and the Dinim are cancelled, since they are replaced by the greatness of the Creator, which appears over the above reason, while they want it to appear specifically on Kelim of within reason; and this is why they are annulled. This is how it can be interpreted).

However, the alien thoughts, too, which the public caused to draw greatness over them, that Light remains for them. When they are worthy of receiving, they will receive what each causes the drawing of the Upper Light on them, too.

This is the meaning of “A path that runs through the split of the hair,” brought in the Holy Zohar (Part 15, and in The Sulam Commentary item 33 p. 56), which distinguishes between right and left. The two lots that were on Yom Kippurim, which is repentance out of fear. Also, there was a lot on Purim, which is repentance out of love.

This is so because it was then prior to the building of the Temple, and at that time they needed repentance out of love. But first, there had to be a need for them to repent. This need causes Dinim and Se’arot (plural for hair). And this is the meaning that Haman was given authority from Above, by way of, I place government over you, that he will rule over you.

This is why it was written that Haman “had cast pur, that is, the lot,” on the month of Adar, which is the twelfth, as it is written “twelve oxen,” written with regard to Elisha. It is written, “two rows, six in a row,” which is the month of Adar, meaning Aderet Se’ar, which are the greatest Dinim.

By that, Haman knew that he would defeat Israel, since Moses had died on the month of Adar. However, he did not know that Moses was born on it, by way of “and they saw that it was good.” It is so because when one strengthens in the toughest situation, one is granted the greatest Lights, called “the greatness of the Creator.”

This is the meaning of “fine twined linen. In other words, because they have been granted “the path that runs in the split of the hair,” “two rows, six in a row,” then twined, from the words a stranger removed. It means that the Sitra Achra, meaning the stranger, is annulled and gone because he has already completed his task.

You find that all the Dinim and the contradictions came only to show the greatness of the Creator. Hence, with Jacob, who was a smooth man, without Se’arot, it was impossible to disclose the greatness of the Creator, since he had no cause and need to extend them. For this reason Jacob was unable to receive the blessings from Issac, as he had no Kelim (Vessels), and there is no Light without a Kli (Vessel). This is why Rebecca advised him to take Esau’s clothes.

And this is the meaning of “and his hand had hold on Esau’s heel.” This means that although he did not have any hair, he took it from Esau. This is what Isaac saw and said, “the hands are the hands of Esau, but the voice was the voice of Jacob.” In other words, Isaac liked the correction that Jacob did and by that his Kelim for the blessings were made.

This is the reason that we need such a big world with so many people. It is so that each will be incorporated in his friend. It follows that each individual is incorporated in thoughts and desires of an entire world.

This is why a person is called “a small world” in itself, for the above reason. This is also the meaning of “Not rewarded.” This means that when one has still not been purified, “He takes his share and his friend’s share in hell.” It means that he is incorporated with his friend’s hell.

Moreover, even when one has already corrected one’s own part of hell, if he has not corrected his friend’s share, meaning he has not corrected his part that is incorporated with the world, one is still not considered whole.

Now we understand that although Jacob himself was smooth, without Se’arot, he still held the heel of Esau. It means that he takes the Se’arot by being incorporated with Esau.

Hence, when one is rewarded with correcting them, he takes his friend’s share in Heaven, referring to the measure of the greatness of the Upper Light that he had extended over the Se’arot of the public. He is awarded that, although the public still cannot receive because their qualification for it is missing.

Now we can understand the argument of Jacob and Esau. Esau said, “I have enough,” and Jacob said, “I have everything,” meaning “two rows, six in a row,” meaning within reason and above reason, which is the will to receive and the Light of Dvekut (Adhesion).

Esau said, “I have enough,” which is a Light that comes in vessels of reception, within reason. Jacob said that he had everything, meaning both discernments. In other words, he was using the vessels of reception, and also had the Light of Dvekut.

This is the meaning of the mixed multitude that made the calf and said, “this is thy god oh Israel,” meaning Ele (These) without the Mi ( who), meaning that they wanted to connect only to the Ele, and not to the Mi. It means that they did not want both, which is the Mi and the Ele, which together make up the name Elokim (God), meaning enough and everything. This they did not want.

This is the meaning of the Cherubim, which are Kravia and Patia. One Cherub on the one end, which is the discernment of enough, and one Cherub on the other end, which is the discernment of everything. This is also the meaning of “the Voice speaking unto him from between the two cherubim.”

But how can that be? After all they are ends, opposite from one another. Still, he still had to make a Patia (fool) and thus receive. And this is called above reason: one does what one is told although he does not understand anything that he is told.

Regarding the “everything,” called above reason, one should try to work with gladness since through gladness the true measure of the everything appears. If one has no gladness, then one should afflict oneself at having no gladness, since this is the primary place of the work, to discover the gladness by working above reason.

Hence, when one has no gladness from this work, one should afflict oneself for it. And this is the meaning of the text, “whose heart maketh him willing,” which means being sick and tormented at not having gladness from this work.

This is also the meaning of “because thou didst not serve the Lord thy God with gladness by reason of the abundance of all things.” Instead, you left the everything and took only the enough. Hence, in the end you will be far below and without anything, meaning you will lose the enough too. However, to the extent that one has the “everything,” and is in gladness, to that extent one is imparted the “enough.”

Accordingly, we should interpret “the women weeping for Tammuz” (Ezekiel 8). Rashi interprets that they had idolatry, that he had lead inside his eyes, and they were heating it to melt the lead out of the eyes.

We should interpret the matter of crying, meaning that they have no gladness because there is dust in the eyes. Dust is Behina Dalet, meaning the Kingdom of Heaven, which is faith above reason.

This discernment bears the form of dust, meaning it is unimportant. And this work has the taste of dust, that is, it is as unimportant as is dust. The allegory about the women weeping for Tammuz is that they burn this idolatry so that through the heating, the dust will come out from the lead.

It implies that they are crying for the work that they were given to believe in His benevolent guidance above reason, while within reason they see only contradictions in His guidance. This work is the work of Kedusha, and they want to remove the dust, meaning the work of above reason, called “dust.” However, the eyes, called “sight,” imply seeing His guidance, being within reason. And this is called “idolatry.”

This resembles a person whose trade is to make pots and vessels from earth, whose work is to make clay pots. The order is that first of all, he makes round balls of clay, and then cuts and makes holes in the balls. And when the young son sees what his father is doing he cries, “Father, why are you ruining the balls?” The son does not understand that the father’s primary goal is the holes, since only the holes can become receptacles, and the son wants to block the holes that the father made in the balls.

So it is here. This dust inside the eyes, which blocks his vision, so wherever he looks he finds contradictions in Providence. Yet, this is the whole Kli by which he can discover the sparks of unconditional love, called “a joy of Mitzva.” It is said about that, “had the Creator not helped him, he would not have prevailed.” It means that if the Creator had not given him these thoughts, he would have been unable to receive any ascension.

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