Letter No. 5


To my soul mate, may his candle burn forever:

...What you implied in your last letter, that I hide my face from you and regard you as an enemy, your intention is as one who hears his disgrace but keeps silent, and that I am not sharing the burden with my friends, nor care at all for my friends’ pains. I admit that you are right about that, I do not feel those pains that you feel whatsoever. On the contrary, I rejoice in those revealed corruptions and the ones that are being revealed.

I do regret though, and complain, about the corruptions that still haven’t appeared, but which are destined to appear, for a hidden corruption is hopeless, and its surfacing is a great salvation from heaven. The rule is that one does not give what he doesn’t have. So if it appears now, there is no doubt that it was here to begin with, but was hidden. This is why I’m happy when they come out of their holes because when you cast your eye on them, they become a pile of bones.

But I do not settle for it even for a moment because I know that those who are with us are more than those who are with them. But weakness stretches time, and those contemptible ants are hidden and their place is unknown. The sage says about it, “The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.” Moses let down his hands, but when Moses lifts his hands of faith, all that should appear promptly appears, and then Israel triumphs, “in all the mighty hand, and in all the great terror.”

This is the meaning of “Whatsoever you find that you can do by your strength, that do.” When the cup is full, the verse, “The wicked are overthrown” comes true. And when the wicked are lost, light and gladness come to the world, and then they are gone.

I remember discussing similarly with you on the first day of Rosh Hashanah [the first day of the Jewish year], TARPA [September 13, 1920], upon our return from the house of A.M. You shared with me very sad things that you saw that morning during the morning service [prayer]. I was filled with joy before you and you asked me, “Why the joy?” I replied to you the same then, that when buried wicked appear, although they haven’t been fully conquered, their very appearance is regarded as a great salvation, and causes the sanctity of the day.

And what you wrote me, that you cannot prefer the son of the loved one over the firstborn son of the hated one, I spoke to you about it often face to face, that the place of faith is called Bor [pit/hole], and the filling of faith is called Be’er [well] of living waters, or succinctly, “life.” It is not as the nature of ordinary water, that when some water is missing, the well still stands. Rather, this well has the nature of animals, and moreover, all its parts are organs on which the soul depends. Puncturing them in any way causes the entire animate level to die and disappear. This is the meaning of “They have forsaken Me, the source of living waters, to hew them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

Although there is no deficiency in the water, there is some deficiency in the well, so it is completely broken, certainly, beyond any doubt that it will not hold the water in it. This is what the prophet implies in the name of the Creator, and this is true Kabbalah for anyone who is wise and understands with his own mind. If you do not understand, go forth and examine, and then you, too, will be wise and understanding with your own mind.

What you wrote me at the end of your letter, that you’d like me to voice my pleasant voice to you, because for me it is no labor at all to delight a bitter soul from its hardships, for a heart full of love sweetens them at their root, the root of all pleasantness.

I will reply to you in brief, that there is a time for everything. You evidently saw that in my first letter, I wrote you and inscribed a very nice thing for its time, rejoicing the heart of God and men, interpreting the true meaning of “They will be satiated and delighted by Your kindness,” for it is true, and its end will be pleasant for every palate that longs for true words.

You see how I can exert and delight you with words of truth at this time. God forbid that I should sin in delighting you with falsehood, like the false prophets during the time of the ruin, for there is no falsehood in my domain at all. You already know what I say about those who draw their students to the truth with a network of falsehood and lies, or with luxuries. I have never been defiled by their idols, and not in those is Jacob’s lot. Therefore, all my words are said in truth, and where I can’t disclose the truth, I keep completely silent.

Do not think that if I were close to you I would be saying more than in writing. If I knew that this was so, I wouldn’t have left you in the first place. What I said to you is the complete truth, that judging by our preparation, you don’t need me, and so it is. Do not suspect me that I fabricated untrustworthy words for my own pleasure. When the Creator helps to be rewarded with the end of correction, you will need me very much, and may the Creator grant us this within twelve months, because the day is still long and you are not as fast as I am. Still, I hope that within twelve months from this day forth you will finish the work and then you’ll see with all your efforts that we will be together for some years, because the depth of the work begins primarily at its end.

I have elaborated on all that for you because of thoughts that I detected between the lines of your letter. You have forgotten the pure truth that is always in my heart and mouth. But let me promise you that more than you have witnessed the truthfulness of my words thus far, you will witness evidently that all my words are forever true, and will not change even as a hairsbreadth. Also, all the words I wrote you carry a true meaning that will not suffer change, but require attention because the time is a time for brevity.

Believe that I could not write to you until now the words that are revealed in this letter, for reasons that I keep to myself. My gaze is fixed on the goal, to make it succeed the most, and this is what surrounds me with the finest guarding for every single word. I know that in time, all my words and conducts toward you will become clear, as it is written, “Happy are you, vessels, who entered in impurity and came out in purity,” for this is the path of Torah.

I have grown tired of asking you to write more, and to promise you that in return I’ll write you often. Each day I sit and wait, perhaps a word about you—either from your spiritual life, or from your corporeal life—will come my way. But there is not a sound. What can you say to justify it? There are no answers here with strong words or with faint words, only answers with dry words uttered in a florid style, as though for being overburdened, but you probably don’t even understand yourself.

...and yet, I know that times will be better, and then, to the extent that they improve, their open love will grow, as well. We have yet to be satiated with eternal love together, as a never-ending fountain, satiated and delighted together, for the pleasantness of the Lord is for the complete receiver, who feels no satiation. This is why He is called “Almighty,” since for those who do His will appears an old light and a new light in one unification.

This is acquired by keeping Sabbaths and remissions for the world of Yovel [fifty-year anniversary, as well as jubilee]. This is also the meaning of “They left it until morning,” etc., “And it did not rot, nor was there any worm in it.” It is written, “They will be satiated and delighted by Your kindness,” as corporeal eating fills the belly by the corporeal measure. Moreover, it lifts up smoke to the brain due to the cooking in the stomach, and one grows tired and falls asleep.

This is the meaning of Pinhas stabbing the spear into her belly while they were attached. “Then Pinhas stood and prayed, and the plague stopped.” This is why he was rewarded with the anointing oil although he wasn’t from Aaron’s sons, since Moses himself told him, “Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace.” First it was with a cut Vav, but through the light of Torah, it grew long, and “My covenant was with him, the life and the peace” together, and “by the light of the king’s face is life.”

Yehuda Leib

Back to top