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The Greatness of Baal HaSulam

And God said unto me: “Get thee out of thy country, to the pleasant land, the land of the Holy Fathers, where I will make you a great sage and all the sages of the land shall be blessed in you, for I have chosen you for a righteous sage in all this generation, to heal the human suffering with lasting salvation. Take this sword in your hand, and guard it with thy heart and soul, for it is a sign between Me and you, that all those good things will happen through you, for until now, I had no such faithful man as you, to give him this sword.

Baal HaSulam, “The Prophecy of Baal HaSulam”


For a long time now, my conscience has burdened me with a demand to come out and create a fundamental composition regarding the essence of Judaism, religion, and the wisdom of Kabbalah, and spread it among the nation, so people will come to know and properly understand these exalted matters in their true meaning.

Baal HaSulam, “Time to Act”


Know for sure that since time of the Ari to this day, there has not been anyone to understand the heart of the method of Ari. It was easier to acquire a mind twice as holy and great as the Ari's than to comprehend his method, which has been held by many, from the first one who heard and documented it, to the latest compilers, while they did not attain the matters fully, at their Highest source, and each one confused the matters and mixed them up.

And yet, by a High Will, I have been rewarded with an impregnation of the soul of The Ari, not for my own good deeds, but by a High Will. It is beyond my grasp, as well, why I have been chosen for this wonderful soul, which no man has been rewarded with since his demise until today. I can not expand on this issue, as it is not my way to speak of the wondrous.

Baal HaSulam, “Letter no. 39”


And after all these days, I listened attentively to all the promises and destinies I have been chosen for by the Creator. Yet, I found in them neither satisfaction nor the words by which to speak to the dwellers of this world and to lead them to God’s will, as He had told me to. I could not stride among the people, who are vain and slandering the Creator and His creation, while I was satiated and praising, merrily walking, as though mocking those wretched ones.

Matters have touched me to the bottom of my heart, and I resolved that come what may, even if I descend from my sublime degree, I must make a heartfelt plea to the Creator, to grant me attainment and knowledge of the prophecy and wisdom, and the words by which to help the forlorn people of the world, to raise them to the same degree of wisdom and pleasantness as mine. And although I knew that I must not sadden my spirit, I could not stand by, and I poured my heart out in prayer.

Baal HaSulam, “The Prophecy of Baal HaSulam”


The Creator has found me favorable in His Eyes to reveal to me all the lowliness of the generation, and all sorts of easy and reliable corrections, to bring each soul to its root at the utmost speed.

Baal HaSulam, A Sage’s Fruit, Vol. 1, “Letter no. 9”


I am glad that I have been born in such a generation when it is permitted to disclose the wisdom of truth. And should you ask, “How do I know that it is permitted?” I will reply that I have been given permission to disclose. Until now, the ways by which it is possible to publicly engage and to fully explain each word have not been revealed to any sage. And I, too, have sworn by my teacher not to disclose, as did all the students before me. However, this oath and this prohibition apply only to those manners that are given orally from generation to generation, back to the prophets and before. Had these ways been revealed to the public, they would cause much harm, for reasons known only to us.

Yet, the way in which I engage in my books is a permitted way. Moreover, I have been instructed by my teacher to expand it as much as I can. We call it “the manner of clothing the matters.” You will see in the writings of Rashbi that he calls this way, “giving permission,” and this is what the Creator has given me to the fullest extent. We deem it as dependent not on the greatness of the sage, but on the state of the generation, as our sages said, “Little Samuel was worthy, etc., but his generation was unworthy.” This is why I said that my being rewarded with the manner of disclosing the wisdom is because of my generation.

Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”


And who better than I knows that I am not at all worthy of being even a messenger and a scribe for disclosing such secrets, and much less to thoroughly understand them. And why has the Creator done so to me? It is only because the generation is worthy of it, as it is the last generation, which stands at the threshold of complete redemption. And for this reason, it is worthy of beginning to hear the voice of Messiah’s Shofar, which is the revealing of the secrets, as has been explained.

Baal HaSulam, “Messiah's Shofar [horn]”


I am the first interpreter by root and branch, and cause and consequence. Hence, if one were to understand some matter through my commentary, one can be certain that everywhere this matter appears in The Zohar and in the Tikkunim, he can be assisted by it, as with the commentaries on the literal, where you can be assisted by one place for all the other places.

Baal HaSulam, “The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”


Because faith has generally diminished, specifically faith in the holy men, the wise men of all generations. And the books of Kabbalah and The Zohar are filled with corporeal parables. Therefore, people are afraid lest they will lose more than they will gain, since they could easily fail with materializing. And this is what prompted me to compose a sufficient interpretation to the writings of the Ari, and now to the Holy Zohar. And I have completely removed that concern, for I have evidently explained and proven the spiritual meaning of everything, that it is abstract and devoid of any corporeal image, above space and above time, as the readers will see, to allow the whole of Israel to study The Book of Zohar and be warmed by its sacred Light.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 58


All the interpretations of The Book of Zohar before ours did not clarify as much as ten percent of the difficult places in The Zohar. And in the little they did clarify, their words are almost as abstruse as the words of The Zohar itself.

But in our generation we have been rewarded with the Sulam (Ladder) commentary, which is a complete interpretation of all the words of The Zohar. Moreover, not only does it not leave an unclear matter in the whole of The Zohar without interpreting it, but the clarifications are based on a straightforward analysis, which any intermediate student can understand. And since The Zohar appeared in our generation, it is a clear proof that we are already in the days of the Messiah, at the outset of that generation upon which it was said, “for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.”

Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”


And here I come to praise my father and teacher, whose holy words shine in our generation, the generation of darkness and concealment. And concerning the concealment and revelation, I heard from him, the holy one, on the eve of Sukkot, 1942, in Jerusalem, when he entered the Sukkah to see if it was properly built.

... And if one corrects the discernment of waste of barn and winery, the discernment of Malchut, MANdeNukva, considered the seventh millennium, one is rewarded with the tenth millennium, considered GAR. Such a soul comes down to the world once every ten generations. Thus far the content of his holy words.

From these holy words we can understand the greatness of the soul of my father and teacher, and his degree while saying them. He had told me several times that he had never said words of Torah without first attaining the words of Torah from inside the degree.

Rabash, introduction to the book, A Sage’s Fruit, Vol. 2


Baal HaSulam promised us that by walking in his path and keeping his instructions, we will be rewarded with His eternity, cleaving to Him and entering the hall of the King.

Rabash, “Letter no. 29”


Even if we were rewarded with hearing the words of the living God directly from Baal HaSulam, we would still have a place for choice. Thus, even though he disclosed many revelations to us, it was only to guide us, so we may walk unassisted.

Rabash, “Letter no. 28”


Baal HaSulam made it so that if a simple person walked in his path, he could achieve the same Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator as that of an outstanding wise disciple. Before him, one had to be an outstanding wise disciple to be rewarded with Dvekut with the Creator. And before the Baal Shem Tov, one had to be among the greatest in the world. Otherwise, they would not be able to attain Godliness.

Rabash, Steps of the Ladder, “The Deeds of the Nation’s Greatest”


This is what I have troubled to do in this interpretation, to explain the ten Sefirot as the Godly sage the Ari had instructed us, in their spiritual purity, devoid of any tangible terms. Thus, any beginner may approach the wisdom without failing in any materialization and mistake. With the understanding of these ten Sefirot, one will also come to examine and know how to comprehend the other issues in this wisdom.

Baal HaSulam, The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 1,

“Inner Reflection”


With these words I unbind myself from a considerable complaint, that I have dared more than all my predecessors in disclosing the ordinarily covered rudiments of the wisdom in my book, which was thus far unexplored. This refers to the essence of the ten Sefirot and all that concerns them, Yashar and Hozer, Pnimi and Makif, the meaning of the Hakaa and the meaning of the Hizdakchut.

The authors that preceded me deliberately scattered the words here and there, and in subtle intimations, so one’s hand would fail to gather them. I, through His Light, which appeared upon me, and with the help of my teachers, have gathered them and disclosed the matters clearly enough and in their spiritual form, above place and above time.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 5


The depth of wisdom in the holy Book of Zohar is enclosed and caged behind a thousand locks, and our human tongue too poor to provide us with sufficient, reliable expressions to interpret one thing in this book to its end. Also, the interpretation I have made is but a ladder to help the examiner rise to the height of the matters and examine the words of the book itself. Hence, I have found it necessary to prepare the reader and give him a route and an inlet in reliable definitions concerning how one should contemplate and study the book.

Baal HaSulam, “Preface to the Book of Zohar,” Item 1


There is a strict condition during the engagement in this wisdom – to not materialize the matters with imaginary and corporeal issues. This is because thus they breach, “Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness.”

In that event, one is rather harmed instead of receiving benefit. Therefore, our sages cautioned to study the wisdom only after forty years, or from a Rav, and other such cautions. All of that is for the above reason.

To rescue the readers from any materialization, I compose the book Talmud Eser Sefirot(The Study of the Ten Sefirot) by the Ari.

Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 156


Here I would briefly say that in this general preface, I wish to give the student a true and general knowledge of the majority of this expansive wisdom, and true orientation in the style of study in the book, The Tree of Life. Most students fail to understand the matters, since the spiritual concepts are above time and above place, but they are expressed in corporeal terms, pictured and set in times and places.

Additionally, in the writings of the Ari, no order for beginners is arranged in this wisdom. The books were composed by the holy words that he would say before his students day-by-day, and the students themselves were proficient in the wisdom of truth. Hence, there is no text—long or short—in all the books that were written, which does not require true proficiency in the wisdom in general. For this reason, the students grow weary and cannot connect matters altogether.

Thus, I have come out with this preface, to connect the matters and the foundations of the wisdom in a concise manner, so it will be readily available to the student with every text he may wish to study in the writings of the Ari.

Baal HaSulam, “General Preface to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 1

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