You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The Rabash) / Writings of Rabash / Igrot (Letters) / Letter No. 3
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)

Letter No. 3

Vayechi Yaakov (And Jacob Lived), January 2, 1955, Tel-Aviv

To my Dear and Faithful friends,

I read the letter signed by … and I thoroughly enjoyed your taking upon yourself the work in love of friends. Concerning your first question, I cannot answer it in writing because they are matters for oral discussion and it is not advisable to write them down.

Concerning the second question, I am writing you an article about what I heard from my father, Baal HaSulam: “You preserve man and beast, O Lord.” Our sages explained that “these are cunning people who pretend to be as beasts,” and you are writing me that it is good to actually be a beast! Instead, you must walk in the ways of Torah and wisdom, and draw from the brightness of the upper pleasantness the sweetness of the palatable pleasure of the upper light. However, it must be as “The shepherds of Abraham’s cattle,” and not as “The shepherds of Let’s cattle.”

You should understand these matters with what I said yesterday at the third meal before our friends concerning the verse, “I will go down to Egypt with you and also bring you up” … as well as the verse, “And he said, ‘For EKYEH (I will be) with you, and this shall be a sign unto you that Anochi (I) have sent you. When I shall bring the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this Har (mountain).’” What is the connection between EKYEH (I will), Anochi (I am) and the Har (mountain)?

In the book, Letters of Rabbi Akiva, item 5, it is written, EKYEH Asher EKYEH (I will be what I will be), said the Creator. I have created the world with the quality of goodness, with the quality of goodness I lead it, and with the quality of goodness I will make it new.” Another thing, EKYEH Asher EKYEH, said the Creator. With the quality of faith I have created the world, with the quality of faith I guide it, and with the quality of faith I will make it new.” We should understand the meaning of the verse “I will be what I will be (EKYEH Asher EKYEH)” with respect to the quality of goodness and the quality of faith. Our sages interpreted the verse, EKYEH Asher EKYEH, to mean, “I will be in this trouble, for I will be with them in their enslavement to the other kingdoms.”

To understand the above we need to know that when a person begins to observe Torah and Mitzvot on the line of Lishma, he feels that he is in trouble, called “Egypt,” meaning that the king of Egypt constantly asks, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” This is when the labors of the mind arrive, when his thoughts begin with Zivugim de Hakaa that batter his mind. At times one thinks that all these foreign thoughts are only spies who come “to see the nakedness of the land,” meaning to look through the chimneys and not more, and there is no connection between these thoughts and the work of the Creator. Other times one thinks, “We are honest, the sons of one father,” namely that all our thoughts are only to cling to the one Creator, and we are strengthened and prevail over all the thoughts of “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” and “What is this work for you?” which is called the “exile in Egypt.”

The matter of EKYEH is the state of “from you onward,” which is the state of above reason. This time is called, “I will go down to Egypt with you,” for “I am the Lord your God,” which is the burden of faith, regarded for him as having descended by the exile in Egypt. When we want to calm the body and make for it promises of reward, in the form of the will to receive, we tell it: “and I will also bring you up,” meaning that afterwards you will also remain in the state of Anochi (“I am,” or “selfish”), which is the state of faith.

And this is Asher EKYEH (what I will be), meaning afterwards, too, he will remain in the state of EKYEH, meaning that even “When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain. Har (mountain) comes from the word Hirhurim (reflections), namely that afterwards, too, he will be built on the foundation of the mountain, which is “as mountains hanging by a thread,” as in “He hangs up the earth on nothing.”

But afterwards, when we achieve Dvekut (adhesion) with the Creator, the “nothing” becomes “without what,” where there is no place for the “what” to awaken. Instead, the EKYEHA sher becomes, “I have created it by the quality of goodness.” And when we feel that He is all the goodness, we understand, “I created the world by the quality of faith.”

This is the meaning of “My heart overflows with a good thing.” Baal HaSulam explained that feeling is only in the heart, that it is not revealed from the heart to the mouth. The mouth refers to knowledge, meaning that the mouth reveals one’s mind and thoughts, whereas the heart is only the reception in the heart, only a potential. Then, when one takes upon himself this potential, he is rewarded with a good thing, a feeling that there is nothing better in the world than faith. At that point he can say, “My works are for the king,” namely to bestow and not to receive. From this one is rewarded with the state of “My tongue is the pen of a quick writer,” which is the state of Moses.

This is the meaning of, “I will go down to Egypt with you,” namely that during the exile one sees that nothing is worse or lower than the state of Anochi” (“I Am” or “selfish”). But when rewarded, they see that it is also the state of “I will also bring you up,” that all the ascents are the state of Anochi. This is EKYEHA sher EKYEH, meaning that first it was as trouble but now he regards it as good. This is “And it is time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved from it,” for all the salvations are regarded as Anochi.

I conclude my letter with a wish that we may merit receiving the burden of the kingdom heaven in the state of Anochi.

Back to top
Site location tree