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Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)

Man as a Whole

As a whole, man consists of two discernments: 1) his own existence; 2) the existence of reality.

The existence of reality is divided into three parts:

1) Necessity, without which reality would cease to be. For this, it is enough to eat a small slice of dry bread and one cup of cold water a day, to sleep on a bench for a few hours with one’s clothes still on, and not even in a house, but in a field or in some cave during the rains to keep from getting wet. His clothes, too, can be nothing but rags.

2) Behaving as ordinary bourgeois, but not wanting to resemble the rich, who have many rooms, handsome furniture, fine paraphernalia, and nice clothes, and not wanting to eat and drink everything the way the rich are accustomed to eating and drinking.

3) Craving and demanding in his body to resemble the rich. And although he cannot obtain what he wants, his eyes and heart are dedicated to it, and he waits and labors to obtain that—to be admitted into the class of the rich.

4) This one exists in all of the three previous discernments: if he has made enough for the day, he does not worry about tomorrow. Rather, each day is regarded by him as his entire life span.

Usually, people are concerned with satisfying their needs for only seventy years. But past one hundred and twenty years, a man is not concerned with his provision. Also, sometimes a person thinks that each day should be in his eyes as new, meaning as a new creation.

It is like a reincarnation—that yesterday’s person has incarnated into today’s person and he must correct everything he did the day before, both in good debts or in merits, meaning whether he did Mitzvot [good deeds] or transgressions.

For example, if he took something from his friend, he must return it. And if he lent something to his friend, he should receive it from him, since collecting a debt is a Mitzva [singular of Mitzvot], so he must collect from his friend.

And now we will speak of love for the Creator. First, one must know that love is bought by actions. By giving his friends gifts, each gift that he gives to his friend is like an arrow and a bullet, making a hole in his friend’s heart. And although his friend’s heart is like a rock, still, each bullet makes a hole. And the many holes join into a hollow into which the love of the giver of presents enters.

And the warmth of the love draws to him his friend’s sparks of love, and then the two loves weave into a garment of love that covers both of them. This means that one love surrounds and envelops the two, and they naturally become one person because the clothing that covers them both is a single garment. Hence, both are annulled.

It is a rule that anything new is exciting and entertaining. Hence, after one receives the garment of love from another, he enjoys only the love of the other and forgets about self-love. At that time, each of them begins to receive pleasure only from caring for his friend, and cannot worry about himself because every person can labor only where he receives pleasure.

And since he is enjoying the love of others and receives pleasure specifically from that, he will take no pleasure in caring for himself. And if there is no pleasure, there is no concern and he cannot labor.

This is why you sometimes find in nature that during love of others that is exceptionally strong, one might commit suicide. Also, in love for the Creator, sometimes a person is willing to give up the above-mentioned third discernment. Afterwards, he is willing to concede the second discernment and then the first discernment, meaning all three discernments in the existence of reality.

But how can he cancel his own existence? The question is, “If his existence is revoked, who will be receiving the love?” But the Creator grants love with power to divert a person from the right path. In other words, he stops being rational and wants to be cancelled out from reality by the power of the love, and his rational mind has no strength to detain him.

This is why if we ask, “How is it possible for one to come to such a state?” There is one answer to that: “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” This is why nature necessitates annulment, even though one doesn’t understand it rationally.

Now we can understand the verse, “And you shall love ... with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” “Your might” means the existence of reality, “Your soul” means his own existence,” and “Your heart” is already a high degree, meaning with both your inclinations—the good inclination and the evil inclination.

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