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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

179. Three Lines

I heard on Passover Inter 2, Omer Count 2, April 23, 1951

There is the matter of the three lines, and the matter of Israel holding to the body of the King. There is the matter of the exile in Egypt, when the people of Israel had to descend to Egypt, and the matter of the exodus from Egypt. And there is the matter of “he who is about to sanctify a woman will bring along an uneducated man.” And there is the matter of Abraham’s question: “How shall I know that I will inherit it?” and the Creator’s reply: “Know of a surety that your seed will be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and they shall afflict them four hundred years, and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” There is the matter of Gar, the matter of Vak, and the matter of Vak de Gar.

The Thought of Creation was to delight His creatures, and the Tzimtzum (restriction) and the Masach (screen) were only to avoid the bread of shame. What extended from that is the place of work, and from that extended the three lines. The first line is considered right, regarded as Vak without a Rosh (head), considered “faith.” The second line is considered left, attainment. And then they are in dispute, since faith contradicts attainment, and attainment contradicts faith.

Then there is the discernment of the middle line, considered Vak de Gar, or Hochma and Hassadim, or the right and left lines, integrated in one another. This means that he receives attainment to the extent that he has faith. Thus, to the extent that he has faith, he receives the same measure of attainment. And where he has no faith, he does not draw attainment to complement it, but always stands and weighs the lines, so one will not overpower the other.

And Gar (that appears before him) is called “attainment without faith.” And this is called “the work of the gentiles.” And the work of Israel is considered faith, where attainment is included. This is called “the King’s body,” meaning faith and attainment.

Abraham is called “the patriarch of faith,” meaning Hassadim. Then he will know that anyone who wants to come near Him, must first assume the discernment of “right,” meaning faith.

But faith contradicts attainment. Thus, how can they draw attainment when they haven’t the tools for it? This is why He told him that “your seed will be a stranger in a land that is not theirs.” And this is the meaning of “mingled themselves with the nations, and learned their works,” that is, that they were dominated by the nations, that they, too, were under their dominion, and would draw Gar de Hochma.

And this is the meaning of the exile in Egypt, that Israel, too, extended Gar de Hochma. And this is their exile, when a discernment of darkness was extended.

The exodus from Egypt was through the plague of the firstborn. The firstborn means Gar de Hochma, that the Lord struck the firstborn of Egypt. This is the meaning of the Passover blood, and the circumcision blood, and this is what is written in The Zohar ( Amor, 43): “When the Creator was slaying the firstborn of Egypt, at that time Israel went into the covenant of the holy sign, they were circumcised and bonded in the assembly of Israel.”

The left line is called “foreskin,” as it blocks the Lights. Hence, when He killed the firstborn, meaning cancelled the Gar, Israel below were circumcised, meaning cut off their foreskins. This is called Dinim de Dechura (male judgments), which block the Lights. Thus, through circumcision with a chisel, which is iron, called Dinim de Nukva (female judgments), the Dinim de Dechura are canceled. And then Vak de Hochma extends to them.

This means that in the beginning, there must be drawing of perfection, meaning Gar de Hochma. It is impossible to draw half a degree. And this must be specifically through the Egyptians, and this is called “exile,” when the Jews, too, must be under their rule. Afterwards, through the exodus from Egypt, meaning correction of the Masach de Hirik, they exit their rule, meaning the Egyptians themselves shout, “Rise up, get you forth.”

And this is, “Me and not a messenger.” “Me” means Malchut, the lock, which cancels the Gar, by which there is the mingling of the left in the right and the right in the left.

And this is “He who wishes to sanctify a woman,” meaning Hochma, called “left.” “Will bring an uneducated man with him,” because he is in a state of “right,” which is faith. But he wants attainment. Thus, specifically through the uneducated man can he draw Hochma, since he has repentance, but for attainment, not for faith.

“I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with flowing myrrh, upon the handles of the bar.” Myrrh means “yet shall not thy Teacher hide Himself any more, but thine eyes shall see thy Teacher.” And “my hands” means attainment. And “fingers” mean seeing, as in, “each one pointing with his finger, saying, ‘this is our God.’” “On the bar” refers to the lock.

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