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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

The Difference between a Shade of Kedusha and a Shade of Sitra Achra

It is written (Song of Songs, 2), “Until the day breathes, and the shadows flee away.” We must understand what are shadows in the work, and what is “two shadows.” The thing is that when one does not feel His Providence, that the Creator leads the world in a manner of “Good that doeth good,” it is regarded as a shadow hiding the sun.

In other words, as the corporeal shadow that hides the sun does not change the sun in any way, and the sun shines in its fullest power, so one who does not feel the existence of His Providence does not induce any change Above, as it is written, “I the Lord do not change.”

Instead, all the changes are in the receivers. We must observe two discernments in this shade, in this concealment:

1. When one still has the ability to overcome the darkness and the concealments that one feels, justify the Creator, and pray to the Creator, that the Creator will open his eyes to see that all the concealments that one is feeling come from the Creator, that the Creator is doing all that to him so he would reveal his prayer and yearn to cleave unto Him.

This is so because only through the suffering that one receives from Him, wishing to break free from one’s trouble and escape the torments, then one does everything he can. Hence, when receiving the concealments and the afflictions, one is certain to make the known remedy: to do much praying for the Creator to help him and deliver him from the state he is in. In that state, one still believes in His Providence.

2. When one comes to a state where he can no longer prevail and say that all the suffering and pains one feels are because the Creator had sent them to him so as to have a reason to ascend in degree. Then one comes to a state of heresy, since one cannot believe in His Providence, and naturally, then one cannot pray.

It follows that there are two kinds of shades. And this is the meaning of, “and the shadows flee away,” meaning that the shadows will flee from the world.

The shade of Klipa (Shell) is called “Another god is sterile and does not bear fruit.” However, a shade of Kedusha (holiness) is called, “Under its shadow I delighted to sit, and its fruit was sweet to my palate.” In other words, one says that all the concealments and the afflictions one feels are because the Creator has sent him these states, to have a place to work above reason.

And when one has the strength to say that, that is, that the Creator causes him all that, it is to one’s benefit. This means that through it, one can come to work in order to bestow and not to benefit oneself. At that time, one comes to realize, meaning believe that the Creator enjoys specifically this work, which is built entirely above reason.

It follows that one does not pray to the Creator that the shadows will flee from the world. Rather, one says, “I see that the Creator wants me to serve Him in this manner, entirely above reason.” Thus, in everything that one does, he says, “The Creator certainly enjoys this work, so why should I care if I work in a state of concealment of the face? After all, I want to work in order to bestow, that the Creator will enjoy. Hence, I have no abasement from this work, meaning a sensation of being in a state of concealment of the Face, that the Creator does not enjoy this work.” Instead, one agrees to the leadership of the Creator, and one wholeheartedly agrees to however the Creator wants one to feel the existence of the Creator during the work. This is so because one does not consider what he can enjoy, but considers what the Creator can enjoy. Thus, this shade brings him life.

This is called, “Under its shadow I delighted,” meaning one covets such a state where one can make some overcoming above reason. Thus, if one does not exert in a state of concealment, when there is still room to pray that the Creator will bring him closer, but he is negligent in that, hence one is sent a second concealment in which one cannot even pray. This is so because of the sin—that he did not exert with all his might to pray to the Creator. For this reason, one comes to such lowliness.

But after one has arrived at this state, one is pitied from Above, and he is given an awakening from Above once more. And the same order begins, until finally one strengthens in prayer, and the Creator hears his prayer and brings him closer and reforms it.

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