You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Textbooks / Kabbalah for the Student / Stages of Attainment / Concealment and Disclosure of the Face of the Creator
Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

Concealment and Disclosure of the Face of the Creator

The second concealment, which the books refer to as “concealment within concealment,” means that one cannot see even the back of the Creator. Instead, one says that the Creator has left him and no longer watches over him. He ascribes all the sufferings he feels to blind fate and to nature, since the ways of Providence become so complex in one’s eyes that they lead one to denial.

This means (depiction) that one prays and gives charity for one’s troubles but is not answered whatsoever. And precisely when one stops praying for one’s troubles, one is answered. Whenever he overcomes, believes in Providence, and betters his deeds, luck turns away from him and he mercilessly falls back. And when he denies and begins to worsen his deeds, he becomes very successful and is greatly relieved.

One does not find one’s sustenance in proper manners, but through deceit or through desecration of Shabbat. Or, all of one’s acquaintances who keep Torah and Mitzvot (commandments) suffer poverty, illness, and are despised by people. These observers of Mitzvot seem impolite to him, innately brainless, and so hypocritical that he cannot bear to be among them for even a minute.

Conversely, all his wicked acquaintances, who mock his faith, are very successful, well to do, and healthy. They know no sickness; they are clever, virtuous, and good-tempered. They are carefree, confident, and tranquil all day, every day.

When Providence arranges things in this manner for a person, it is called “concealment within concealment.” This is because then one collapses under one’s weight and cannot continue to strengthen the belief that one’s pains come from the Creator for some hidden reason. Finally, one fails, becomes heretic, and says that the Creator is not watching over His creations whatsoever, and all that transpires, transpires by fate and by blind nature. This is not seeing even the back.

Depiction of Concealment of the Face

  1. Suffering torments such as deficient income, poor health, degradations, failing to accomplish one’s plans, and emotional dissatisfaction such as keeping oneself from tormenting one’s friend.

  2. Praying without being answered. Declining when bettering one’s actions, and succeeding when worsening them. Obtaining one’s sustenance in improper manners: deception, stealing, or by desecrating the Shabbat.

  3. All of one’s honest acquaintances suffer poverty, ill health, and degradations of all kinds, and one’s wicked acquaintances mock him every day and succeed in health, wealth, and lead carefree lives.

  4. All of his righteous acquaintances who keep Torah and Mitzvot seem cruel, egotistical, odd or innately stupid and impolite, as well as hypocritical. He finds it repulsive to be with them, even in the Garden of Eden, and he cannot bear to be with them for even a moment.

One concealment (depiction): His Face is not revealed; that is, the Creator does not behave towards a person according to His Name—The Good who Does Good. Rather, it is to the contrary—one is afflicted by Him or suffers from poor income, and many people wish to collect their debts from him and make his life bitter. His whole day is filled with troubles and worries. Or, one suffers from poor health and disrespect from people. Every plan he begins he fails to complete, and he is constantly frustrated.

In this manner, of course one does not see the Creator’s Good Face, that is, if he believes that the Creator is the one who does these things to him, either as punishment for transgressions or to reward him in the end. This follows the verse, “whom the Lord loves, He corrects,” and also, “the righteous begin with suffering, since the Creator wishes to eventually impart them great peace.”

Yet, one does not fail in saying that all this came to him by blind fate and by nature without any reason and consideration. Rather, one strengthens in believing that the Creator, with His Guidance, caused him all that. This is nonetheless considered seeing the Creator’s back.

Depiction of Disclosure of the Face

But once he has completely discovered the spice—the Light that one inhales into one’s body—through strengthening in faith in the Creator, one becomes worthy of Guidance with His Face revealed. This means that the Creator behaves with him as is fitting to His Name, “The Good who Does Good.”

Thus (depiction), he receives abundant good and great peace from the Creator and is always satisfied. This is because one obtains one’s livelihood with ease and to the fullest, never experiencing trouble or pressure, knows no illness, is highly respected by people, effortlessly completes any plan that comes to his mind, and succeeds wherever he turns.

And when he wishes upon something, he prays and he is instantaneously answered, as He always answers anything that one demands of Him, and not a single prayer is denied. When one strengthens with good deeds, one succeeds even more, and when one is negligent, one’s success proportionally decreases.

All of one’s acquaintances are honest, of good income and health. They are highly respected in the eyes of people and have no worries at all. They are at peace all day and every day. They are smart, truthful, and so comely that one feels blessed to be among them.

Conversely, all of one’s acquaintances who do not follow the path of Torah are of poor livelihood, troubled by heavy debts, and fail to find even a single moment’s rest. They are sick, in pain, and despicable in the eyes of people. They seem to him mindless, ill-mannered, wicked and cruel towards people, deceitful and such sycophants that it is intolerable to be with them.

His Name shows us that He is benevolent to all His creations in all the forms of benefit, sufficient for every kind of receiver from among Israel. Certainly, the pleasure of one is not like the pleasure of another. For example, one who engages in wisdom will not enjoy honor and wealth, and one who does not engage in wisdom will not enjoy great achievements and inventions in the wisdom. Thus, He gives wealth and honor to one, and wondrous achievements in the wisdom to another.

One’s request to become stronger in believing in His Guidance over the world during the concealment period brings one to contemplate the books, the Torah, and to draw from there the Light and the understanding how to strengthen one’s faith in His Guidance. These illuminations and observations that one receives through the Torah are called “the spice of Torah.” When they are collected to a certain amount, the Creator has mercy on him and pours upon him the spirit from Above, that is, the Higher Abundance.

Depiction of Disclosure of the Face

  1. Reception of abundant good and peace, and obtainment of one’s livelihood with ease and to the fullest. One never feels paucity or ill health, he is respected wherever he turns, and successfully and easily accomplishes any plan that comes to his mind.

  2. When one prays, he is immediately answered. When he betters his ways, he is very successful, and when he worsens his ways, he loses his success.

  3. All one’s acquaintances who walk on the right path are wealthy, healthy, know no sickness, are highly respected by people, and dwell in peace and tranquility. And acquaintances who do not follow the right path are of poor income, filled with troubles and pains, are ill, and are loathsome in the eyes of the people.

  4. One considers all the righteous acquaintances as clever, reasonable, well-mannered, truthful, and so comely that it is most pleasurable to be among them.

Back to top
Site location tree