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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

40. Faith in the Rav, What is the Measure

I heard in 1943

It is known that there is a right path and a left path. Right comes from the word the right, referring to the verse, “And he believed in the Lord.” The Targum says, right, when the Rav says to the disciple to take the right path.

Right is normally called “wholeness,” and left, “incompleteness,” that corrections are missing there. In that state the disciple must believe the words of his Rav, who tells him to walk in the right line, called “wholeness.”

And what is the “wholeness” by which the disciple should walk? It is that one should depict to oneself as if one has already been rewarded with whole faith in the Creator, and already feels in his organs that the Creator leads the whole world in the form of “Good that Doeth Good,” meaning that the whole world receives only good from Him.

Yet, when one looks at oneself, he sees that he is poor and indigent. In addition, when he observes the world, he sees that the entire world is tormented, each according to his degree.

One should say to that, “They have eyes and see not.” It means that as long as one is in multiple authorities, called they, they do not see the truth. What are the multiple authorities? As long as one has two desires, even though one believes that the entire world belongs to the Creator, but something belongs to man, too.

In fact, one must annul one’s authority before the authority of the Creator, and say that one does not want to live for oneself, and the only reason that one does want to exist is in order to bring contentment to the Creator. Thus, by that one annuls one’s own authority completely, and then one is found in the single authority, being the authority of the Creator. Only then can one see the truth, how the Creator leads the world by the quality of benevolence.

But as long as one is in multiple authorities, meaning when he still has two desires in both mind and heart, one is unable to see the truth. Instead, one must go above reason and say, “they have eyes,” but they do not see the truth.

It follows that when one regards oneself, and wants to know if one is now in a time of descent or a time of ascent, one cannot know that either. It means that one thinks that he is in a state of descent, and that too is incorrect, because he might be in a state of ascent now, meaning seeing his true state, how far he is from the Holy Work. Thus, one has now come closer to the truth.

And it might be to the contrary, that now one feels that one is in a state of elation, when in fact one is now controlled by receiving for self, called “a descent.”

Only one who is already in single authority can discern and know the truth. Hence, one must trust the opinion of one’s Rav and believe what his Rav tells him. It means that one should go as his Rav told him to do.

And although one sees many arguments, and sees many teachings that do not go hand in hand with the opinion of his Rav, one should nevertheless trust the opinion of one’s Rav and say that what he understands and what he sees in other books that do not cohere with his Rav’s opinion, one should say that as long as he is in multiple authorities, he cannot understand the truth. One cannot see what is written in other books, the truth that they say.

It is known that when one is still not purified, one’s Torah becomes a potion of death to him. And why does it say, “Not rewarded, his Torah becomes a potion of death to him”? This is because all the teachings that one learns or hears will not bring him any benefit to make one able to be imparted the discernment of life, which is Dvekut (Adhesion) with the Life of Lives. On the contrary, one is drawn constantly farther from the Life of Lives, since all that one does is only for the needs of the body, called “receiving for oneself,” which is considered separation.

This means that through one’s deeds, one becomes more separated from the life of lives, and this is called “the potion of death,” since it brings him death and not life. It means that one becomes ever farther from bestowal, called “equivalence of form with the Creator,” by way of, “As He is Merciful, so are you merciful.”

We must also know that when one is engaged in the right, the time is right to extend Upper Bounty, because “the blessed adheres to the blessed.” In other words, since one is in a state of completeness, called “blessed,” in that respect one presently has equivalence of form, since the sign of completeness is if one is in gladness. Otherwise, there is no completeness.

It is as our sages said, “Divinity does not stay but only out of gladness of a Mitzva.” The meaning is that the reason that it brings one joy is the Mitzva, meaning that the Rav had commanded him to take the right line.

It follows that one keeps the commandments of the Rav, that he was allotted a special time to walk on the right and a special time to walk on the left. Left contradicts the right, since left means when one calculates for oneself and begins to examine what he has already acquired in the work of God, and he sees that he is poor and indigent. Thus, how can one be in wholeness?

Still, one goes above reason because of the commandment of the Rav. It follows that one’s entire wholeness was built on above reason, and this is called “faith.” This is the meaning of, “in every place where I cause My Name to be mentioned I will come unto thee and bless thee.” “In every place” means although one is still not worthy of a blessing, nonetheless, I gave My blessing, because you make a place, meaning a place of gladness, in which the Upper Light can be.

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