You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The Rabash) / Writings of Rabash / Igrot (Letters) / Letter No. 51
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)

Letter No. 51

March 27, 1960, Bnei Brak

Hello and all the best to my friend,

I hereby confirm that I received your congratulation telegram for my daughter’s wedding, along with the triple blessing. May your household always know joy, merriment, happiness, and contentment.

I am writing to you what I said on Shabbat, portion of the [new] month. RASHI says about the verse, “This month shall be for you the beginning of the months.” These are his words. “Moses was perplexed regarding the beginning of the moon, to what extent should she be seen and be worthy of sanctifying? He showed him with the finger the moon in the sky and said to him: ‘This see and sanctify.’” RASHI also interprets the verse, “In the beginning [God] created, and these are his words: “Rabbi Yitzhak said, ‘He should have begun the Torah from “This month shall be for you,” which is the first commandment that Israel were commanded. What is the reason it began with ‘In the beginning’? it is because He told His works to His people to give them the inheritance of the nations. Thus, should the nations say to Israel, ‘You are robbers, you have conquered the lands of seven nations,’ they will reply, ‘The whole earth belongs to the Creator; He created it and gave it to whom He pleases. Upon His wish he gave it to them, and upon His wish He took it from them and gave it to us.’”

We should understand, 1) why Moses found this more perplexing than other things? 2) had the Torah not begun with “In the beginning,” could it be said that it was not the Creator who created the world?

We should interpret this according to the ethics. The earth is called a “body.” The Creator created the body and gave it to the nations of the world, meaning to the evil inclination, for as soon as one is born, the evil inclination enters him, as it is written, “For the inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Hence, the evil inclination, which is the nations, say that the body belongs to them, meaning that they must govern it and do with it whatever they want.

Therefore, after thirteen years, when the good inclination comes and wishes to enter the body and govern it, and wishes to throw out the evil inclination, the evil inclination claims, “You are robbers,” for the good inclination is called Israel. It follows that the nations say that they want to steal the bodies, which belong to them, for they are arguing, “The Creator has given to us all the bodies, and after only thirteen years you, Israelis, meaning the good inclination, want to rob us of this body.”

Here comes the reply that the Torah begins with “In the beginning,” for Israel are called Resheet (beginning). That is, the Creator created the world only for Israel, and the fact that He had let the nations govern the body first is only so as to give room for choice and to be able to enjoy all of His bounty without any shame.

This is the meaning of what RASHI says, “and gave it to whom He pleases,” meaning to Israel. This is the beginning of the intention, to give the people of Israel the full dominion over the body, as the goal is that the evil inclination will control the body. This is the meaning of “Upon His wish he gave it to them,” meaning that His giving to the evil inclination in the beginning was according to His will so that this way the people of Israel would have room to work on choice. “…and upon His wish He took it from them,” meaning that it was all according to one desire, and the Creator did not change His mind. Thus, it cannot be said that in the beginning He gave power to the nations and then regretted it and gave it to Israel. Rather, it was all according to one desire, meaning one thought and intention. This is the precision that RASHI makes, “Upon His wish he gave it to them, and upon His wish He took it,” etc.

It follows that in order to have choice, he first gave the command to the evil inclination. This is why the world is in concealment, for concealing the face gives room for choice.

Also, it is known that the moon implies Shechina (Divinity), meaning faith, and one must constantly renew the faith. This is what bewildered Moses, since in its inception, the moon is in utter Katnut (smallness), meaning that it is the time of concealment. And then the Creator said to him: “This see and sanctify,” that the greatest holiness is precisely when a person can sanctify himself even during the greatest concealment, and then … with exile from Egypt.

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

Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag

Back to top
Site location tree