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Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)

Letter No. 22

July 7, 1956, Manchester

To my friend,

I read your letter where you announce that you have dark times and bright times. Know, my friend, that such is the way of Torah, as it was said, “You will lead a life of sorrow.”

There are three kinds of life: 1) The life of the wicked is called “death.” 2) The life of those who follow the ways of the Creator is called “a life of sorrow.” 3) The life of the righteous, meaning those who have already been rewarded with Torah, who taste real life, as our sages said, “For one who learns Torah Lishma (for Her sake), the whole world is worthwhile.”

Therefore, if you are writing that you have a life of sorrow, it is a sign you are walking on the path of Torah. That is, you have darkness and brightness because such is the way of writing Torah—black on white. However, you need to strive to have black fire over white fire, meaning that everything you feel will be a burning flame.

As for asking that I will write you the order of the work, know that as soon as you begin to work you will remember everything that you have heard from me and from Baal HaSulam. The fact that you are forgetting is for your own good, and only during the work, the Torah that you need appears before you. Nevertheless, I will write a few things for you.

As soon as a person opens his eyes he is already used to take a book or say the blessings or say, “I thank…” Everything requires prior preparation, meaning not to go by rote. Rather, when beginning to say, “I thank,” we should know who obligates me to say this—is it habit or is there a reason why I should say, “I thank.” Thanking should be said where there is a dispute, as our sages said, “Rabbi Yehoshua Letan thanks” (Ketubot 16). Specifically when there is black can you speak of white. At that time you must see the real reason, who is the obligator.

It is better for you to know for certain that your obligator, meaning the reason for working wholeheartedly, is that you heard from Baal HaSulam that one must walk in the path of faith and believe that the Creator hears the prayer, and that the Creator longs for the prayer of the righteous, meaning those who want to be righteous but cannot, due to the evil within them, and ask of the Creator to send them help from above.

Our sages said, “If the Creator does not help him, he will not defeat it,” and “He who comes to purify is aided,” and as it is written in the holy Zohar, “With what? With a holy soul.”

The Creator wishes for us to receive the Torah. Therefore, we must feel a lack for the Torah, for luxuries are not given from above, only necessities, for one feels the need only for what is really necessary (because there is no [light] without a Kli (vessel), meaning desire). But with luxuries, a person does not feel a lack—that he needs the Creator.

The main benefit is for a person to need the Creator, meaning the giver of the Torah. Therefore, when a person feels his lowliness, it is a reason for him to need the Creator. But when he feels that he can help himself—that he does not need the Creator—he is separated.

The main thing to be rewarded is Dvekut (adhesion) with the Creator, for this is the essence of the correction on our part, when a person begins to believe in the Creator, for this is the main thing. This is only indication if a person is walking on the real path. When he sees his true state, then he should say, “I thank,” although commonsense gives no reason to say “I thank.”

And concerning the four hours we spoke of, you must keep them, meaning arrange the work. That is, 1) the exile of the Shechina (Divinity). It means that the Shechina is in the dust and everyone seeing that Providence is in concealment, and it is hidden that the Creator is the doer of good. The Creator is the one who makes that concealment, so that Torah and Mitzvot (commandments/good deeds/corrections) will taste like dust, to give a person room for choice.

This is so because only where there is choice there is faith. But where there is knowing, meaning open Providence, there is no room for choice, meaning faith. It follows that it is man who has caused all that, since before one is rewarded with faith, complete faith, the holy Shechina must seem to him as dust. One should regret this, and this is the meaning of “If he is rewarded, he sentences himself…”

2) If this is true. Man’s purpose is only to benefit the Creator, meaning, if not for this goal, he does not want to live in the world and exist only for himself. And to examine the real state, without any compromises, only to see the truth, if he sees that the body has considerations that it is worthwhile to exist for itself, meaning to please itself, then there is room for prayer to the Creator. That is, then he sees his lowliness.

3) Engage in words of Torah. This will be specifically in wholeness, as Baal HaSulam said, “The cursed does not cling to the blessed.” Therefore, while engaging in Torah, one should draw light, and then is the time for wholeness.

We must believe what our sages said, “From Mattanah to Nahaliel.” The Torah is called Mattanah (gift). That is, the fact that a person is permitted to learn and pray, and observe Mitzvot even one minute a day, that, too, is a gift from the Creator, for there are several billions in the world to whom the Creator did not give the chance to be able to think of the Creator for even one minute a year. Therefore, while engaging in the Torah, one must be glad, for only through joy is one rewarded with drawing the light of Torah.

The Torah is divided into two times: 1) Simple learning, as one learns in order to simply understand the matter. 2) Scrutinizing as much as possible, so the Creator will help you understand the internality of things. By scrutinizing the matter in order to understand, you make for yourself Kelim (vessels) in which you will be able to receive the internality. This is also how you should divide the prayer.

May the Creator open our eyes and we will be rewarded with the Creator’s teaching—how to come out from enslavement to redemption.

Your friend, Baruch Shalom HaLevi

Son of Baal HaSulam

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