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In Memory of the Kabbalist Rabbi Baruch Ashlag


Not only does the Creator act upon us through the people around us, but He uses everything that exists in our world. The structure of our world is such that the Creator can influence us and draw us nearer to the goal of creation.

We rarely feel the presence of the Creator in the daily situations we need to face. This is because our attributes place us opposite the Creator and make it impossible for us to feel Him. As soon as we acquire attributes similar to those of the Creator, we will begin to feel Him proportionately.

Therefore, when hardships befall us, we need to ask ourselves, "Why is this happening to me?" and "Why is the Creator doing this to me?" Punishments, as such, do not exist, although many are mentioned in the Bible (which includes the Five Books of Moses, the Writings and the Prophets).

There are only "incentives" that force us to progress towards our selfish desires. Our awareness of things is only an ancillary mechanism that helps us properly understand what we feel.

Whenever we picture our lives, we should think of a gigantic classroom with the omniscient Creator acting as a teacher and lavishing on us the knowledge we are prepared to receive. This progressively awakens in our newborn spiritual sensory organs the feeling of the Creator.

The Creator has made a ladder for our ascension. It is a moving ladder. This ladder appeared in Jacob’s dream and was described by Baal HaSulam Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag and his son Baruch Ashlag.

Often, we turn our backs on the source of knowledge symbolized by this ladder, and only through great effort will we manage to turn around and start moving towards the Creator. This is why He sends us teachers, books, and study companions.

Students who follow the teachings of Kabbalah live in the physical world, but are overburdened by their selfishness. This is why they cannot properly understand the sages who are physically close to them, but who also evolve in the spiritual worlds.

Those who can leave aside reason and opinions, and follow the ways of writers of authentic books of wisdom, will be able to bond unconsciously with the spiritual. It is because we do not see or feel the Creator in our world that we cannot selfishly surrender our consciousness to Him.

The thoughts of teachers or masters can penetrate their students and induce faith in them. This corresponds with the teacher’s spiritual AHP: Awzen (ear), Hotem (nose), Peh (mouth), representing the vessels of reception, coming down to the GE (Galgalta ve Einayim), representing the vessels of bestowal of the level below (i.e., the student’s level).

Rising to the level of the master’s AHP means bonding with the master’s wisdom and thoughts. Likewise, if students delve into the AHP of a text of wisdom, they rise temporarily and the spiritual is revealed to them.

Whenever we read the works of such Kabbalists as the Baal HaSulam, Shimon Bar Yochai, we bond directly with them through the surrounding Light. We are then enlightened, and our vessels of reception purified.

It is important when reading to bear in mind the stature of the author, whether alive or dead. We can always bond with the author through our feelings as we study the work.

There are many paths leading to the Creator, and He uses many means to act upon us. Any difficulty or obstacle on the student’s path, in particular the death of a master, may be considered an opportunity for transformation at an individual level.

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