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Article "The Three Angels" - Lesson 1

Shamati, Article #112
Lesson by Rav Michael Laitman, Bnei Baruch, Israel
November 22, 2006
Lecturer: Michael Laitman, PhD

Reader: We are reading in the book Shamati, Article #112: The Three Angels.


1. The matter of the three angels that came to visit Abraham during the circumcision.

It is written that when Abraham the Patriarch did the circumcision, the first three days after the circumcision were very hard for him. So the Creator sent him angels that visit the sick. Of course, we should not consider this in the corporeal way, that those were winged angels or some images that came down from heaven. It is forbidden to even say that. We have to keep ourselves above all those images.

That’s the whole disaster that happened to the Torahand spirituality. But in any case, according to the language of branches in which the Torahwas written, we have to elevate the names and the appellations to the true level that they talk about. Otherwise, if instead of words we picture, God forbid, some worldly things, this is called “building an image or idolatry.”

So the three angels, i.e., the three forces, descend to the degree of Abraham after the circumcision, which is a special degree. The circumcision means that a person makes the scrutiny over his vessels of reception (also the future ones), after the birth, on the eighth day, which is Malchut.

Then he calculates, but it’s not he who calculates. He is now controlled by the Upper Partzuf, making from himself this kind of correct attitude towards the Upper Partzuf, and becoming canceled before it. The Upper One is then called “ Abba ve Ima (Father & Mother)” with respect to him, where the Upper Partzuf makes the correction over his Kelim (vessels) for him. It distinguishes for him the vessels that can be used in receiving in order to bestow and vessels that cannot be used in order to bestow until Gmar Tikkun (End of Correction). This means that he performs the Tzimtzum Bet (the second restriction) precisely in the vessels of reception, and this is called “circumcision.”

A person keeps this rule by climbing through all the 125 degrees from our world to the world of Ein Sof (Infinity), until Gmar Tikkun. The vessels that he must cut off and bring down to a state of dust are very important. But now, because he cannot use them in order to bestow, he thinks of them as something that is as dust. Once he’s made that correction, i.e., this kind of work on himself, that kind of scrutiny, and forced the Upper One to make that correction on him, called “circumcision,” then he’s in a state of helplessness. This is because if he no longer works with his desires, with the will to receive, then what can he complement himself with? How does he progress with his work?

Since his whole being, his whole power is in the will to receive, he is considered to be in a state of helplessness, until the three lines begin to be built in him, which are called “the first three days after the circumcision.” He is in a state of being sick, meaning, he cannot function against the Creator in his vessels of bestowal, which haven’t been made in him, haven’t been designed in him yet. He still doesn’t have the first middle line.

This is why a special force from Above comes to make these corrections in a person, which is called “an angel.” It is written allegorically. Abraham is the force, the soul that symbolizes Yesod (basic element/foundation). This force made the basic element of the work where the first, elementary correction occurred in it, namely, circumcision, meaning the limitation according to Tzimtzum Bet. Then the three lines were built there in the first work of the lower one in relation to the Upper. By this it already became Abraham. That’s what Baal HaSulam wants to explain to us.

2. The matter of the Creator coming to visit him and what He had told him during the visit.

It depends upon how we are speaking about the Creator. Either we say the Creator is Zeir Anpin deAtzilut or revelation called Rosh de Arich Anpin or the middle line. Obviously, we are not talking about the Creator or anything that’s outside of the person’s Kelim (vessels). As we learned about the perception of reality, what appears within a person is the only thing that one feels and not what is outside of him and perhaps, perhaps… We’re not talking about ‘perhaps.’ We don’t have the same faith as those who follow Torah—Landlords. We believe in faith, which is the attainment of the Creator through equivalence of form.

What does it mean that the Creator came to visit him? It means that within those Kelim now, after the circumcision, we discover the Upper Force, the Upper Partzuf that connects to it. What kind of connection are they in? They are in a connection where the Upper One teaches the lower one, tells the lower one. Telling is speech. As we learn, the Upper One conveys to the lower one the vessels to understand, the tools to attain. In the meantime, the lower one is in a state of not having these Kelim yet. Within those Kelim, the Upper One fills them with his Lights and thus, the lower one learns and receives an example from it, and the strength.

Why does it come to a lower one? Because he is canceled with respect to the Upper One, that’s why he can receive from the Upper One, even things that he does not deserve.

3. That our sages said that the visitor takes the sixtieth part of the sickness.

We understand why one out of sixty. It already tells about the Partzuf that has six ends and that something happens with one part of the sixty.

4. The separation from Lot.

This means that in a Partzuf, there are discernments called “Abraham” and “Lot” and maybe other things, i.e., all kinds of relatives and those who are not close. The whole world is in a Partzuf. But that discernment called “Lot” is now separated from Abraham. A person must distinguish between them and distance himself from the discernments or vessels called “Lot.”

They probably are the vessels that can’t be used in order to bestow, but only in the future. Of course, nothing is created in vain but those are the vessels that still can’t be used in bestowal. They should be cut off, thrown into the dust, i.e. not to consider them. They should be sustained under restriction and concealment, etc. Just stay away from them. To kill them, to slaughter them, it doesn’t matter how we talk about them. It’s about the correction of the vessels of reception, which in the meantime, cannot be used in order to bestow. So here, there are vessels called “Lot.”

5. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

There are certain discernments within the will to receive that are revealed, and they are called “Sodom and Gomorrah.” The appearance of the form in these Kelim is such that their correction is by being inverted. Inverting them means that the reception in them was seemingly stronger, more important than bestowal. So they should be inverted: making bestowal more important than reception.

That’s the whole work with the soil. When can you put the seeds in the ground and be certain that something good will come out of it? When we invert things, i.e., what was unimportant becomes important and that’s how we progress.

6. Abraham’s requests not to destroy Sodom.

When a person scrutinizes his Kelim, it probably seems to him that he can use these Kelim or he doesn’t see that he’ll be able to use them in the future. It’s hidden from him. He doesn’t understand how he will reach Gmar Tikkun without those vessels. How is it possible to cut them off and destroy them? How is that possible? That’s why he is bewildered. How will he remain without that strength, without these Kelim? That’s his argument, when he asked not ruin Sodom.

7. The matter of Lot’s wife looking back and becoming a pillar of salt.

There are the corrected Kelim and the uncorrected Kelim. Here, the corrected Kelim are Abraham and uncorrected Kelim are Lot, and in both we have man and woman or male and female. The male, in the Kedusha (sanctity) or Klipa (shell) is not so bad, because within it there is a part of bestowal and a part of reception. But the female part has only the will to receive; she receives and doesn’t give. And if it is in Sanctity, of course, it’s a huge power, a positive power. But if it’s in Klipa, then it’s a much worse power than the male of the Klipa. Female of the Klipa is the worst.

So, what happens then with Lot’s wife, meaning with the Nukva (female) part in Lot, in the desire that can’t be used? When it does something it’s considered that it looked behind.Then some correction happened to it called “becoming a pillar of salt.” Of course, when we are speaking about spirituality, we have no question of punishment here. But only of corrections that have to occur and that what should happen happens. Nothing happens without a reason.

In the Torah, we are talking about a sequence of actions that each of us has to experience. It is written that we have to write a Book of Torah on a man’s heart. We discern in all our actions where those desires are in us, those of Lot, and Lot’s wife. We see that those desires of Lot’s wife have an inclination or an action called “looking back.” The correction of those desires, which the Creator seemingly made, results in their becoming a pillar of salt. This means that that’s the only way they can be kept within the general Kli. We are talking only about corrections.

8. The matter of Shimon and Levi’s deceit of the people of Shechem concerning the circumcision, when they said, “for that were a reproach unto us.”

This also refers to the desires in a person’s body meaning in the body of the soul, i.e., the Partzuf of the soul. On one hand, we have qualities called “Shimon and Levi,” on the other, there are desires that need great corrections in the future, which are called “ Shechem (Nablus).” There is a lot written about Shechem in the Torah. Although on the one hand, they made corrections of Tzimtzum Bet over these desires, which are called “the circumcision,” but they could not do it with the intention to bestow. By that, these desires only wanted to join the Sanctity on their own accord.

That’s why the next correction that happened in them through the forces called “Shimon and Levi” is that they have to be killed. Meaning, precisely after the circumcision, you have to see (before what you could not see) that they cannot join the part that is in bestowal. Their correction is to be put to death, meaning, for the time being they are not to be used.

9. The matter of the two separations that came out of Lot, which were erased during the days of David and Solomon, which are opposite to one another. [That’s another correction by which Lot is corrected]

To understand the above, we should first say that we know that we discern Olam(world), Shanna (year) and Nefesh (soul).

Baal HaSulam explains this in several places. The whole of reality that we sense, i.e., ourselves and the world, that this whole sensation of ours is called “the sensation of reality, the perception of reality.” Our vessels are built in such a way that a person has no possibility to understand and see if what he feels exists and if the world he feels around him exists, i.e., if it is imaginary or not. This is because he cannot exit his own vessels and compare them to anything. What actually is that sensation? First of all, he feels himself. That’s what he considers being alive and that there is a world around him that exists.

We can’t understand and see ourselves from aside and how we are in that certain state. Thus it appears to us as kind of strange. Kabbalists explain all that happens to us in the vessels of the desires to enjoy, to receive. That is how they are impressed by the Creator. The Creator is within those vessels; the Upper Light fills the will to receive that it created. That’s what is felt in the will to receive for the time bein is that it exists and that it exists in some reality, i.e., that it is within some reality.

This reality, which we feel, is divided within us, in our perception. Our mind divides it this way according to the software in it. The brain scrutinizes the feelings and divides it into three elements called “ Olam (world), Shana (year) and Nefesh (soul).” Of course, we could feel otherwise, but we don’t and that’s why we don’t know how. But why the world, year and soul? Why are we built in such a way that the whole of reality appears that way to us? When we change ourselves from the intention to receive to the intention to bestow, by that are we changing this perception in the world, year and soul? Do we change these three elements? Then, perhaps, the whole of reality changes.

So, how do the world, year, and soul receive some other meaning? And what is the world, year, and soul anyway, when we feel ourselves within them? Let’s see what he explains here. And if we can’t, we’ll turn to where he explains it on page 70 in the Letters and in Histaklut Pnimit (Inner Reflection), Part I, and in several other places.

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