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Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)

Letter No. 48

April 13, 1959, Tel-Aviv

Hello and all the best to my friend,

I read the book you wrote me about and enjoyed it because it is just as you said.

Concerning the approaching Passover, it is written, “The Torah spoke in relation to four sons,” etc., “and the one who does not know how to ask, to him you shall open.” We should interpret the word, “ask,” from the words, “asking about the rains,” which means prayer. That is, one who does not know how to pray, the reason is that he does not have a deficiency, for prayer pertains specifically to a place of deficiency. Then, “to him you shall open,” meaning that a place of deficiency shall open to him, he will have what to pray for, and the Creator will be able to bestow upon him the light of Torah. This is why the Torah spoke specifically in relation to him, for one who has no deficiency, it means that he has no Kli (vessel) in which to receive, so it is impossible to give him.

“The Torah spoke” means that it teaches us how to qualify ourselves to be rewarded with the light of the Creator, which is all that is valuable that was given to us, as it is written, “For it is your wisdom and intelligence before the eyes of the nations … for what great nation has a God near to it as the Lord our God whenever we call upon Him?” This means that the Creator is close to us in that He wishes to bestow upon us all of His goodness. All that is lacking is the call, the deficiency, for only where there is a lack there room for asking, which is the prayer, namely the Kli for reception of the abundance. This is the meaning of “and the one who does not know how to ask, to him you shall open,” open a place of deficiency.

When he has the lack and he asks and requests the Creator to satisfy it, it is said, “He who has one hundred wants two hundred.” It follows that by satisfying the lack that one has for spirituality, a greater lack appears. That is, afterwards he obtains bigger Kelim (vessels), and through these Kelim he receives bigger lights because he can already call upon the Creator, as our sages said, “Open for me one cleft in repentance, as the tip of a needle, and I will open for you gates for wagons and carts enter.” That is, a person should keep the “to him you shall open” even if it is only as the tip of a needle.

There are two meanings to it:

1) It is as small as the tip of a needle. This means that if there is a deficiency to spirituality, even if the deficiency is small, it is already possible to call upon the Creator to help him satisfy the lack. When the Creator satisfies the lack, then “He who has one hundred wants two hundred” anyway, and this is why the light itself creates the Kli, meaning the place of deficiency until the Creator promises him that He—the light itself—will open to him gates through which wagons and carts enter.

2) Another meaning in the words, “as a tip of a needle,” is that the small lack will sting and pain him like the tip of a needle that pricks with. One who has a lack but does not feel it, this still does not help him. But if his lack pains him then he asks and requests of the Creator to satisfy his lack.

May the Creator satisfy our lack favorably in corporeality and spirituality, and may we have a happy and kosher festival.

From your friend who wishes you and your family the very best,

Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag

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