You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The Rabash) / Writings of Rabash / Igrot (Letters) / Letter No. 47
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)

Letter No. 47

March 11, 1959, Tel-Aviv

Hello and all the best to my friend,

I will hereby write you the entire talk that I gave on Shabbat, portion Shekalim [March 7, 1959]. “On the first of Adar we speak of the Shekalim.” We should understand the meaning of Shekalim [pl. of Shekel], which is one of the things that Moses found perplexing. RASHI interprets the verse, “This … will give.” He showed him what seemed like a coin of fire weighing half a shekel and told him: “This … will give.” We should understand why Moses found it perplexing.

We should interpret this in ethics: Half a shekel is called a “fissure per head.” It is written in the holy Zohar (Nasso, Idra Raba, item 20): “Each Galgalta [head/skull] brings a reward of whiteness to AtikYomin... To accept it, he split the head downward. Thus it was calculated.” Baal HaSulam interpreted that Galgalta means beginning, as the head begin with the skull. “Whiteness” means “white,” which is faith and Dvekut (adhesion) “Fissure” means splitting and breaking.

To interpret his words we should precede with the meaning of the Torah being written with “black fire over white fire.” We should interpret that to be rewarded with the light of Torah we need two states: a state of “black” and a state of “white.” Black means a time when the faith and Dvekut (adhesion) in the Creator do not shine. This comes to a person by having a nature that burns as fire, and wishes to satisfy the lust of the will to receive only for oneself, and one cannot do anything … will not see in advance that by this he will later receive delight and pleasure.

At that time, when a person begins to look at the whole world and wishes to believe that the Creator leads the world with benevolent guidance, he falls into foreign thoughts, and these thoughts cause him a fissure and a breakage in the work that he took upon himself—to believe above reason. This fissure creates in him darkness because then the faith departs from him and he lacks the Dvekut with Him. This is called “a fissure in the skull, half a shekel,” meaning a state of darkness.

This is what Moses found perplexing: Why do we need this darkness, since it would better if there were always a state of open providence, where the light of faith would illuminate clearly? And why is it necessary to fissure the skull, which is splitting and breaking, in order to keep “Take the head … of the children of Israel”? This is what Moses found perplexing.

The Creator replied to Moses: “This … will give,” meaning the nature of fire, which is what the will to receive compels them; this they will give as a donation to the Creator.

The necessity to overcome that black state obligates His help, as our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided.” The holy Zohar interprets that he is aided by the Creator giving him a holy soul so he can overcome his situation. Subsequently, He can help him by giving him a higher degree. And he must always extend “white,” which is the upper whiteness, as explained in the book Tree of Life, Gate Akudim (Chapter 1), and this whiteness is called “white.”

This is the meaning of “black fire over white fire.” This is also the meaning of “Each Galgalta (skull/head),” meaning each beginning, namely that one must always make new choices, causing him to draw each time the upper whiteness, which is a new Neshama and degree, by having to overcome his state, which is called “black fire.” When the help comes from above, there is “white fire,” until a person is rewarded with the complete purpose for which he was created.

May the Creator help us be rewarded with the revelation of the light of Torah and the coming of the Redeemer soon in our days, Amen.

Your friend who sends you regards and wishes you all the best,

Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag

Back to top
Site location tree