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Letter No. 26

December 7, 1956, Manchester

Hello and all the best to my friend, the dearest of men, pursuing righteousness and mercy, and crowned with virtues.

This morning, I received your letter together with twenty gerah, which is a shekel. I will write you something concerning Hanukah according to what I heard from Baal HaSulam, an explanation about what our sages said, “What is Hanukah? Hanu Ko (parked thus far [here]).” He said about this that there are two degrees: 1) Ko, 2) “This.” Our sages said, “All the prophets prophesied in Ko, and Moses prophesied in “This.” Hanukah is regarded as Ko.

The explanation of the words of Baal HaSulam is with an allegory: When soldiers go to war and fight for some time, afterwards they are given a vacation in a retreat with plenty of good food and drink. The commander’s intention is to replenish their strength so they will not be tired and will be able to fight once more. But one who is unaware will think that they are given a vacation because the war is over. But the truth is that the war is not over, and this vacation is to give them strength and courage to go to the front once more.

So is the matter with Hanukah. This is the meaning of Hanu (parked), where the parking was not because of wholeness, meaning an illuminating mirror. Rather, the parking was Ko (here/thus far), meaning incomplete, which is a mirror that does not illuminate. In other words, the war of the inclination is still not over, but we have to come to the real completeness. This is the meaning of Hanu-Ko, parking as in Ko, meaning receiving the upper bestowal so they would have more strength to go forward in the war of the inclination.

What extends from this is that when one walks on the path of the Creator, he is given many awakenings from above—in the middle of the prayer or while studying Torah, or while performing a Mitzva (commandment). This awakening enters the heart and he begins to feel that flavor and grace of holiness.

However, one should know that he was given this abundance only so as to gain new strength and be able to grow stronger in the work, that he will engage in the battle of the war of the inclination. Then, each time he is given a temporary rest, meaning upper abundance, for when the awakening from above comes to a person, it seems to him that there is no longer any war, for at that time he begins to feel the beauty and glory of holiness, and the lowliness of corporeal matters, until he resolves to work only for the Creator.

But since a person did not really finish his work, the awakening that he was given is taken away from him, and he soon falls into his previous state, where he feels grace and beauty only in corporeal things, and regards matters of sanctity as redundant. At that time he engages in Torah and Mitzvot only out of compulsion and coercion, and not because of the desire and joy as when he had the awakening.

That awakening is the Hanukah candle. Therefore, if he is smart, he should always exert until he is helped from above to be rewarded with real wholeness.

Let us hope that the Creator will open our eyes and delight our hearts forever.

From your friend, who wishes you and your family all the best,

Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag

Son of Baal HaSulam

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