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Michael Laitman, PhD

What is Sin?

Q: Ejaculation is a sin, and so is getting drunk. Is every act performed in order to please yourself a sin?

A: First, let me stress that anything that happens in our world has no bearing on the Upper World, because a person does not evoke any spiritual act by his physical actions.

When a person enters the Upper World, having acquired a screen, the person performs spiritual acts, using all of the 613 desires with the aim “for the Creator,” from the weakest desire, the first degree in the spiritual world, to the strongest, the highest desire of the spiritual world.

There are two types of pleasure:

  1. The Light of wisdom - felt in the desire for pleasure.

  2. The Light of mercy - felt in the desire to delight.

Both types can be received either with the intent “for me,” or with the intent “for the Creator.”

There are four actions that can be performed, depending on the measurement of the correction:

  1. Receive pleasure for myself.

  2. Give pleasure (delight) for myself.

  3. Give pleasure (delight) for the Creator.

  4. Receive pleasure for the Creator.

Ejaculation, in the Kabbalistic sense of the word, is an act of reception of pleasure, meaning Light of Wisdom, inside the uncorrected (lacking a screen) Malchut, while using the intent “for me.”

A correct use of the Light of Wisdom is attained only through a correct mating between a “man” and a “woman”: the mating between the desire to give and the will to receive, between Zeir Anpin and Malchut of Atzilut. The souls compel them to mate by raising desire for correction, called MAN.

Only at the end of correction, when there is a screen over all the desires, will it be possible to receive without limits. That is why in the holiday of Purim there is a Mitzva to drink until you cannot tell between good and bad, because it symbolizes the end of correction.

But there is a difference in severity between ejaculation and intoxication until one cannot tell good from bad, until the ability to correct is lost.

In the case of intoxication, a person descends from the level of “man” to that of a “beast,” where one is not considered a sinner, but simply detaches from consciousness, from correction. But the act of ejaculation without a screen is a sin. You might say that the intoxication in and of itself is not a sin, but the sin is the deviation from the purpose of creation caused by the intoxication.

Through the correspondence between root and branch, ejaculating semen instead of mating with the corrected female and multiplying is an act that goes directly against correction, and the intoxication goes only indirectly against correction. I would also add that spiritual ejaculation is a sin regarding both the first and second restrictions.

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