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Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)

Letter No. 32

April 12, 1957

To the friends, may they live forever,

It has been awhile since I have received letters from you. Although I’ve known the excuses for some time, it is also clear to you that the biggest problem is that you have excuses. Let us hope that the Creator will help us.

Since the festival of Passover is approaching, let us talk a little bit about the matter of blood of Pesach (Passover) and the blood of circumcision. Dam (blood) means Demama (silence/stillness), as in, “And Aaron kept silent,” and “Be silent for the Lord.” That is, he does not ask why he has questions.

To understand the above we should precede with the words of our sages. “Our sages said, ‘Those who are offended but do not offend, degraded but do not respond, work out of love and delight in pain, the verse says about them, ‘And those who love Him will be like the rising of the sun in its might.’’” RASHI interprets that they perform Mitzvot (commandments) out of love for the Creator to not take reward, and not because of fear of calamity (Gitin 36b).

This means that when a person begins to work with great exertion, more than he has received by upbringing, a demand forms in his heart. Finally, he asks and says that according to the measure of his work and toil in Torah and Mitzvot beyond his contemporaries the Creator should have been revealed to him a long time ago, and should have revealed to him the flavors (also reasons) of Torah and Mitzvot, and should have played with him, as it is written, “Israel, in whom I glorify Myself,” meaning that the Creator plays with the servants of the Creator.

Yet, he sees the opposite—that through all his labor and toil, he went backwards compared to his contemporaries. Thus, instead of hearing the voice of the Creator speaking to him, he hears his own disgrace, as it is written, “With which Your enemies have cursed” (Psalms 89). That is, his is not being treated properly (it follows that all his toil and labor in Torah and work is at risk).

At that time he feels offended, insulted, for he is at a higher degree than his contemporaries. And although at such a time he cannot see any sign of greatness about his contemporaries, he still says to himself, “If others had the work schedule and knowledge in Torah that I have, the Creator would certainly listen to their words and their labor would not be in vain (I mixed two things together here: mind, for those who understand, and also despair, for those who understand).

It is known that truth is the most important, meaning that “All that a judge has is what his eyes see.” Therefore, if he sees his true state, with all the thoughts that trouble his mind, he receives from this two things: 1) he feels insulted—that he is not taken into account; 2) subsequently, he comes to the 2nd state, where he hears his offence. For this reason, at that time he feels great torments when he tries to hang on in that state.

This is the meaning of, “Who are offended,” who feel offended, meaning that he is not being noticed. “…but do not offend” means that it is as in operator and operation. The operation is that he feels offended. The operator, who works, is called “offend.” He says that the Creator’s intention is not to insult him, but on the contrary, it is the conduct of the Creator to do good.

Also, he is “degraded but does not respond,” meaning that he does not make excuses, as in “Ethiopia quickly stretches out her hands to God” (Psalms 68).

The question is “What is the truth?” That is, why did the Creator make him feel such a lowly and painful state? The thing is that when a person begins to work Lishma (for Her sake), meaning not for any reward for his labor, and takes upon himself in both mind and heart to be clean, without any self-interest, he is allowed from above to see his state—if his aim is truly Lishma. Then, if he survives the test, he is let into the Creator’s palace and sits in the shadow of the King.

It follows that only here, in this state, can he discover his true measure of love of the Creator, and not take reward because now he has nothing but pain. This is regarded as the way of the Torah being, “You will lead a life of sorrow.” In other words, before one passes the state of “a life of sorrow,” when the labor is sufficient to find the Creator, his only grip is the grace of holiness.

It is as Baal HaSulam explained about the words of our sages, “A woman with a bottle full of feces, and everyone is running after her.” It is as I have explained to you the explanation that cannot be put in writing. This is regarded as “Ester was greenish, and a thread of grace was drawn upon her,” as in, “Her father indeed spat in her face.”

Here is where we need help from above, and this is the meaning of the Passover blood and the blood of the circumcision. That is, when we can hang on and keep quiet at the time of Torah, called Peh-Sach (Pesach [speaking mouth]), and during the performance of the Mitzvot implied in the commandment to circumcise, then we are rewarded with coming out of exile and entering redemption, which is the flavors (and reasons) of Torah and Mitzvot.

The letter stayed with me and I did not sent it. Now, tomorrow I am going to America, meaning on the first of Iyar TaShYaZ (May 2, 1957), so I am sending you the letter.

Your friend, Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag

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