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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

Sit and Do Nothing—Better

…I can no longer restrain myself with all that stands between us, so I will try the true, open admonition, for I need to know the true value of a word of truth in our land. This has always been my way—to meticulously delve into all of Creation’s actions, to know their value, precisely whether it is good or bad.

My fathers have left me with only this boundary, and I have already found treasures in these passing, idle images, for there is a reason why this lot was placed before my eyes. These are lovely letters for phrasing every wisdom and every knowledge, which were created only for combinations of wisdom.

First, let us judge the attribute of indolence in this world. In general, it is not at all a bad and contemptible attribute. The proof of that is that our sages have already said, “Sit and do nothing—better.” And although common sense and some texts deny this rule, to be properly accurate about it, I will show that “both are the words of the living God,” and all will be settled.

It is certainly clear that there are no actions in the world except His actions. And all other kinds of actions, besides His, even in souls, if they concern one’s own self, would be better off to not have been created. This is because it turns things upside-down, since one has not changed from receiving to bestowing. This is an unbreakable law, “and had he been there, he would not have been redeemed.”

Thus, we need not discuss an operator or an operation whose doer is in the form of receiving, as this is complete vanity, and there is no doubt it would be better off sitting and doing nothing, since with such an act, one either harms oneself or others. It cannot yield any benefit, as we have said above.

I do not mind at all if some of your 248 organs feel uncomfortable about this ruling, and even openly protest against my words, as this is the nature of every word of truth: it does not require the consent of any woman born, great or small. And whoever is rewarded with the knowledge of the Torah becomes most insistent.

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