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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

95. Concerning Removing the Foreskin

I heard during a meal celebrating a circumcision, 1943, Jerusalem

Malchut in itself is called “lower Hochma,” and with respect to its connection to Yesod, it is called “faith.” And there is a foreskin over the Yesod, whose task is to separate Malchut from Yesod, and not let it connect to Yesod. The foreskin’s power is in picturing faith as dust. This is the meaning of Shechina (Divinity) in the dust.

When that depicting force is removed, and instead, saying that the depicting force is dust, this is called “circumcision,” when the foreskin is cut off and the foreskin is thrown to the dust.

In that state, the Holy Shechina comes out of the dust, and the merit of faith becomes apparent. This is called “redemption,” being rewarded with raising Divinity from the dust. Hence, we must force all the work on removing the depicting force, and only faith is considered whole.

“They are meticulous with themselves as much an olive and as much as an egg.” An “olive” is as the dove said, “I prefer my food as bitter as an olive from Above.” And the “egg” means that it is lifeless, although a living animal emerges from it. But in the meantime, no life is seen in it. And they are meticulous with themselves and prefer to work even though the situation is like an olive.

Also, when they see that there is no vitality in the work, and all their strength to work is only because their aim is only to raise Divinity from the dust, then, through this work, they are awarded redemption. And then they see that this meal, which was previously like an olive and an egg, has now become lively and sweet and sublimely pleasant.

This is the meaning of “a converted proselyte is similar to a newly born infant.” He must then keep the discernment of the covenant, too, and then he will be glad.

It follows that when the infant is circumcised, although the child is suffering, the guests and the parents are nonetheless happy, since they believe that the boy’s soul is happy. Similarly, in the work of the covenant, we must be happy even though we feel a state of suffering. Nevertheless, we should believe that our soul is happy.

Our whole work should be in gladness. And the evidence to that is from the first commandment man was given. The Mitzva is done by the parents, and the parents and the guests are in gladness. This is how all the Mitzvot that one performs should be – only in gladness.

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