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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

84. What Is “So He Drove the Man Out of the Garden of Eden lest He Would Take of the Tree of Life”

I heard on Adar 24, March 19, 1944

It is written, “and said unto him: ‘Where art thou?’ And he said: ‘I heard Thy voice,’” etc., “‘and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’…lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life,” etc.. “So He drove out the man.”

We should understand Adam’s fear, which was so much that he had to hide because he saw himself being naked. The thing is that before he ate from the tree of knowledge, his nourishment came from Bina, which is the world of freedom. Afterwards, when he ate from the tree of knowledge, he saw that he was naked. This means that he was afraid lest he would take the Light of Torah and use it in the form of “the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle.”

“The herdsmen of Lot’s cattle” means that there is faith above reason, called “the herdsmen of Abraham’s cattle.” In other words, one who has been rewarded with attainment of the Light of Torah does not take it as the basis of one’s work, saying that now he no longer needs strengthening in faith in the Creator, since he already has the foundation of the Light of the Torah. This is called “the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle,” considered “the cursed world,” which is considered a curse. This is the opposite of faith, which is a blessing.

Rather, he said, he says that now he sees that if he goes with faith above reason, he is given the Light of the Torah from Above, to show him that he is marching on the path of truth. And it is not that he takes it as support, that his work will be within reason, from which one comes into the discernment of the vessels of reception, on which there was the Tzimtzum (restriction). This is why it is called “the place of the curse,” since Lot means the cursed world.

And in that regard the Creator told him, “Why are you afraid to take these Lights for fear that you will blemish them? Who told thee that thou was naked? It must be because you have eaten off the tree of knowledge, and this brought you the fear. When you were previously eating off every tree in the garden, meaning when you were using the Lights by way of ‘herdsmen of Abraham’s cattle,’ you had no fear at all.” Hence he drove him out, “lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life.”

The fear was that he would repent and enter the tree of life. But what is the fear? Since he had sinned in the tree of knowledge, he must now correct the tree of knowledge.

This is the meaning of “He drove him out of the garden of Eden,” to correct the sin of the tree of knowledge. And afterwards he will have the ability to enter the garden of Eden.

The garden of Eden means the ascent of Malchut into Bina, where she receives Hochma, as Eden means Hochma. And then Malchut, called “garden,” receives Hochma in the form of “Eden,” and this is “the garden of Eden.”

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