You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The Rabash) / Writings of Rabash / Igrot (Letters) / Letter No. 71
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)

Letter No. 71

January 22, 1965

To my friend,

I do long to know how you are doing.

“Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel.” RASHI interpreted “to the house of Jacob” to be the women—speak to them with a soft tongue. “And tell the sons of Israel”—punishments and precisions—he interpreted it to be to the men, words that are as hard as tendons (Mechilta).

It is said in The Zohar (Jethro, item 161): “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob,” meaning by saying, from the side of judgment. “And tell the sons of Israel,” the sons of Israel means the men, who come from the side of Rachamim [mercy].”

It seems from the words of The Zohar that to the women it is in saying, which is from the side of judgment, since women are from the quality of judgment, and to the men, “tell,” with the quality of mercy, for they come from mercy.

But the words of RASHI imply the opposite, that with the men you will speak words as hard as tendons, and to the women you should speak with a soft tongue.

We should interpret that they are saying the same thing, but first we need to understand what is judgment and what is mercy. Judgment is when two people go to court, one says, “It is all mine,” and the other says, “It is all mine.” That is, one who argues, “It is all mine,” is regarded as judgment. Mercy means giving, which is as our sages said, “As He is merciful, so you are merciful.” It follows from the above that the quality of judgment means one who is receiving, and mercy is one who is giving.

A female is one who is deficient, meaning receiving, and a male is one who is in a state of giving.

Accordingly, it follows that a female is judgment, meaning receiving. If one who is receiving is told to engage in bestowal, he cannot do it because it is against his nature. Therefore, when we want him to engage in work of the Creator, we must speak to him with a soft tongue, meaning with a language he understands, namely the langue of reception. This is so because one who is in a state of Nukva [female], which is judgment, agrees to work only in order to receive reward. This is called “with a soft tongue.”

To the men, who are regarded as “giving,” it is possible to speak with a tongue “as hard as tendons,” for bestowal is difficult for the body to hear, since the body wants specifically to receive. And since he is regarded as a male, meaning has the power to overcome—that he overcome his qualities—we speak to him from the side of mercy, for mercy means bestowal.

By that we will understand the words of RASHI: “to the house of Jacob” is the women; speak to them with a soft tongue.” That is, one who is in a state of female, who cannot prevail over the power of the body, and he is called “female,” as in “He was as faint as a female,” we must speak to him with a soft tongue, namely in order to receive reward. To this the body agrees.

To the men, it is with a harsh tongue, namely bestowal, with which it is difficult for the body to agree. However, he has the power to overcome, so we can speak to him with a tongue of mercy, which means bestowal.

May the Creator help us overcome the evil within us and may we be rewarded with the reception of the Torah.

From your friend who awaits hearing good news from you,

Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag

Back to top
Site location tree