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Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)

Foreword

Rav Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (Rabash) played a remarkable role in the history of Kabbalah. He provided us with the necessary final link connecting the wisdom of Kabbalah to our human experience. Because of his special qualities, he was able to annul himself before his father and teacher, the great Kabbalist, Rav Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag, known as Baal HaSulam for his Sulam (Ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar.

Yet, if not for the essays of Rabash, his father’s efforts to disclose the wisdom of Kabbalah to all would have been in vain. Without those essays, few would be able to achieve the spiritual attainment that Baal HaSulam so desperately wanted us to obtain.

In his day-to-day life, Rabash was the epitome of humility and self-restraint. Even so, his essays reveal a profound understanding of human nature. What on first glance might appear as a formality of language is actually the precise emotional path to the depths of the human heart. His writings show us the inner turning point where we must place our ladder and begin to climb. He accompanies us on this spiritual journey with astounding sensitivity to the trials and confusion that students may experience as they advance toward attainment. His words will enable readers to come to terms with their own nature, and to shift the emotions of fear and anger into liberation, joy, and confidence far more quickly than they would without his warmth and support.

Without his essays, particularly those about one’s work within a group, we would never know how to grow from Kabbalah enthusiasts into full-grown Kabbalists. Rabash is the only Kabbalist ever to offer a clear working method that can be used by anyone in the world—from the moment their point in the heart awakens until they accomplish their spiritual goal through their work in groups.

In his essays, the adventures typically begin with a quote or two from sources such as The Zohar or the Pentateuch. Then, Rabash moves from a didactic tone to a more personal and endearing approach. And when he says, “We learn everything in one person,” it is always the beginning of the revelation of the depths of the soul, where readers discover hidden treasures they never dreamed existed.

The writings in this book aren’t just for reading. They are more like an experiential user’s guide. It is very important to work with them in order to see what they truly contain. The reader should try to put them into practice by living out the emotions Rabash so masterfully describes.

In fact, he always advised me to summarize the articles and to work with the texts. And to this day, I do, and I am always astonished by the insights they reveal. Today, I recommend the same to all my students: work with the texts, summarize them, translate them, implement them in the group, and you will discover the power in the writings of Rabash.

Michael Laitman

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