Explanation of the Article, Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah

Found in the book “Kabbalah for the student
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)



The learning begins with a discernment called “The connection between the Creator and the creatures,” since we do not speak of the Creator Himself and we cannot attain Him. Instead, “By Your actions we know You,” meaning the attainment is only in the operations extending from Him.

This connection is also called “the purpose of Creation.” Our sages perceived that His wish and goal were to benefit His creations. Hence, the order of evolution begins from this discernment until it reaches the souls, whose root is the soul of Adam ha Rishon, which extends from the internality of the worlds BYA.

Allegorically speaking, when the Creator wished to benefit His creatures, He wanted to give them 100 kilograms of pleasure. Hence, He had to create such creations that would want to receive it. We learned that the desire to receive delight and pleasure is the very essence of the creature and the reason why Creation is called “existence from absence.” And He created it so His Thought of delighting His creations would be realized.

And for the will to receive to be born, there had to be an order of four discernments, since one can enjoy something only according to one’s desire for it. This is why we call the Kli (vessel) by the name, “will to receive” or “craving.” Thus, according to the measure of the need is the measure of the craving to satisfy the need.

There are two conditions for the making of a craving:

  1. One should know what to crave. One cannot crave something one has never seen or heard of.
  2. One will not have the desired thing, since if he has already obtained his wish, he loses the craving.

To realize these two conditions, four phases/discernments emerged in the will to receive, which are actually five, along with their root. The fifth discernment is called a Kli, suitable for reception of delight and pleasure.

They follow this order:

1) Keter: His desire to benefit His creations.

2) Hochma: His desire to benefit His creations created a deficiency—existence from absence—and along with it, created the Light. Thus, the abundance and the desire to receive the abundance came together. This is so because the desire still did not know what to want; hence, it was born along with its filling. But if it has its filling, it loses the desire for filling, as the second condition requires. This discernment is called Behina Aleph (first discernment) de Aviut (of the desire).

3) Bina: Since the Light comes from the Giver, the force of bestowal is included in it. Hence, at its end, Hochma wishes to equalize its form, meaning to not be a receiver, but a giver. There is a rule in spirituality: “Any generation of a form is considered a new discernment.” Hence, this discernment is given its own name— Bina, and this is Behina Bet (second discernment) de Aviut. We also learned that the Light that spreads while the lower one wishes to equalize its form is Ohr Hassadim (Light of Mercy), and this is the Light that shines in Bina.

Question: If Bina craves to bestow, why is it considered Aviut Bet (second degree of Aviut)? On the contrary, it seems like it should have been purer than Behina Aleph de Aviut (first degree of Aviut).

Answer: I explain it with an allegory: A person gives his friend a present and the friend receives it. Afterwards, he reconsiders and decides that it is not in his interest to receive, and returns the gift. In the beginning, he was under the influence and domination of the giver; hence, he received. But once he received, he felt that he was the receiver, and that sensation caused him to return the gift.

Lesson: in Behina Aleph, he received due to the domination of the giver, but he still did not feel like a receiver. And when he saw and felt that he was the receiver, he stopped receiving, and this is Behina Bet. In other words, in that state, he felt that he was the receiver, and hence wanted to bestow upon the giver. This is why Behina Bet is called Bina, for it Hitbonena (examined/observed) herself being a receiver and hence wanted to bestow. This is also why we learn that the beginning of the learning is from Bina down.

4) ZA: At its end, Bina received a kind of drive that stems from the purpose of Creation, which she must receive because the purpose of Creation was not for the creatures to engage in bestowal. On the other hand, she also wanted equivalence of form, bestowal. Therefore, she compromised: she would receive Hassadim (mercy) and illumination of the Ohr Hochma (Light of Wisdom).

This is called Behina Gimel de Aviut, since she already extends Hochma, but there are still Hassadim in her. This is the reason for the name Zeir Anpin (small face). Hochma is called Panim (face), as in, “A man’s wisdom makes his face shine,” but it receives this Ohr Hochma in a Zeir, meaning very small extent. But this discernment is still not considered a Kli (vessel), since if it can bestow and receive only an illumination of the Ohr Hochma, it is a sign that its craving to receive is incomplete, since it still has the strength to engage in bestowal, too.

5) Malchut: At its end, Behina Gimel is prompted from Above to receive abundantly because of His desire to benefit His creations. After all, the purpose of Creation was not for the lower ones to receive in Zeir Anpin. Hence, this awakening causes Malchut to have a desire and craving to receive the Ohr Hochma as it shone in Behina Aleph, when she had all the Ohr Hochma.

But the difference between Behina Aleph and Behina Dalet is that in Behina Aleph, it could not be said that she was enjoying the Ohr Hochma, since she still did not possess the craving and deficiency, since the Kli and the abundance came together. But Behina Dalet craves the Ohr Hochma when she does not have it; hence, when she receives, she feels the delight and pleasure that come with fulfilling her wish.

Only this Behina is called a Kli, since it wishes only to receive. All the Behinot (plural for Behina) prior to it are considered “Light without a Kli.” And when this Behina Dalet receives the Light, it is a state called “the world of Ein Sof,” and also “filling the whole of reality.”

Question: If we are dealing with spirituality, where there is no time and no place, what does “filling the whole of reality” mean?

Answer: Let us return to our allegory from the beginning of this explanation, the allegory that He wanted to give His creatures 100 kg of pleasure and therefore had to create 100 kg of deficiency and desire to receive in the creatures, corresponding to the pleasure. When the 100 kg of desire receive the 100 kg of filling, this is called “filling the whole of reality,” meaning no deficiency is left unfulfilled.

And now we will explain the meaning of the name Malchut de Ein Sof: This Malchut, which craves to receive abundance to fill her deficiency, is called “receiving in order to receive.” This means that she receives in order to satisfy her lack. At a later stage, she put an end and Tzimtzum (restriction) on using this Kli. But in the initial stage, which we are dealing with, she still did not make that Sof(end) and Sium (conclusion); hence, this state is still called Ein Sof (no end).

We learned that, at its end, after receiving the abundance, a desire to bestow awakened in Hochma, fitting the Emanator’s wish to bestow. Also, once Malchut received the Light, it evoked within her a desire to bestow, since this Light possesses the power of bestowal. Bina wished to bestow, but failed because in Bina’s way, the purpose of Creation is missing. Even her subsequent reception of illumination in ZA was not enough, since the Creator’s desire to benefit His creations was for abundance, not for ZA. Hence, how could Malchut achieve equivalence of form and obtain the purpose of Creation,too?

It is said about that that she invented something new: Malchut was to receive everything, but unlikeEin Sof, where it was all in order to receive, she would do it in order to bestow. Thus, on the one hand she would be realizing the purpose of Creation of benefiting His creations, since she would be receiving, and on the other hand her aim would be to bestow, which is equivalence of form.


Malchut’s decision that she did not want to receive in order to receive is considered that she repelled the Light. This state is called Tzimtzum (restriction). There is a rule in spirituality that any appearance of a new form is considered a new discernment. Therefore, we should discern two states:

  1. When Behina Dalet received all the Light with a Kli called “craving.” This is called “filling the whole of reality.” It is also called “the world of Ein Sof.”
  2. After she wanted equivalence of form, this state is considered a different world, called “the world of Tzimtzum,” from which the Light departed.

Hence, as we discerned that Hochma received and Bina reflected the Light, Malchut remained as she was, in the state of the world of Ein Sof, receiving all the Light. And now we discern a new Malchut, which reflects the Light.

We should know that in the first state, called Ein Sof, it was “He is One and His Name One,” meaning the Light and the Kli were one discernment. Only after the Tzimtzum was there a distinction of the four phases, or the ten Sefirot, since the Light departed from them.

Question: With this Tzimtzum, the Light departed from all ten Sefirot. This is perplexing, since theTzimtzum was on reception in order to receive, which is Behina Dalet, and not on the other Behinot!

Answer: The first three Behinot are not considered Kelim, they only prompt an order of development, at the end of which the Kli, called receiving in order to receive, is born and becomes separated from the Giver. But the first three Behinot are still not separated from the Giver.

After Malchut was born, she obtained her causes. Hence, it cannot be said that after the Tzimtzum, the Light remained in the Upper Nine, since they are not Kelim. The only Kli is Malchut, and if she does not want to receive, all the Light departs and she does not receive a thing.

The Ari also says, “The Tzimtzum was equal,” without distinction of degrees.

Question: If this is so, why did we say that the four Behinot became distinct after the Tzimtzum?

Answer: The distinction was made with respect to cause and consequence, but there was no distinction of Above and below.

Question: What do Above and below mean in spirituality?

Answer: Importance—whereas cause and consequence do not imply importance. For example, the Vilna Gaon was a consequence of his father, but who was more important, the cause or the consequence?

We need to understand why there was no distinction of Above and below. Malchut received the Light that “fills the whole of reality,” and this is not considered a deficiency or inferiority in importance. Hence, she could have remained in that state, had she not chosen to make the Tzimtzum.

This is what the Ari wishes to imply when he says that the Tzimtzum was equal, that Malchut was not of inferior importance, but that the Tzimtzum was made through her own choice. But afterwards, when Malchut does not receive due to the prohibition, she becomes inferior in importance. Then, what is farther from Malchut becomes of Higher importance, and what is nearer to Malchut becomes of lower importance.


After the Tzimtzum, the Kelim were left empty, and within them Reshimot (recollections/memories) of the Light that they’d had. They are called “the ten Sefirot de Igulim in the world of Tzimtzum.” They are called Igulim to imply that the issue of Above and below does not apply to them, as it is in a corporeal circle.

And since Malchut is the operator, since she is the actual KliMalchut de Igulim returned and extended the Light to receive it in order to bestow. And here we learn a new rule: “A desire in the Upper One becomes a binding law in the lower one.” Hence, now she is forbidden to receive.

I once offered an allegory about that: The eve of a new month is a time for saying the small Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) prayer and for awakening to repent. Sometimes, a person debates whether or not to fast on that day. It is not mandatory to fast and there is no prohibition on the food, as well. Hence, the choice is in one’s own hands.

If, in the end, a person decides to fast, and later regrets and wishes to eat, the rule is that the food is now forbidden, so “he shall not break his word” concerning the oath. Thus, we see that initially, there was no prohibition on the food, but after he had chosen to avoid eating, the food became forbidden.

Lesson: In the beginning, Malchut did not want to receive through her own choice. But now that she extends the Light again, it is prohibited to receive the Light. And if there is prohibition, there is Above and below in importance. Hence, this extension is called “a line that extends from Ein Sof from Above downwards.”

We also learned that even though the Igulim extended the Light, they received it only from the line. We must understand why this is so: Any new form in spirituality is a new discernment. Hence, there are two kinds of Kelim (plural for Kli):

  1. Kelim in which there is no prohibition on reception.
  2. Kelim that extend now, with the extension of the Light, and whose Malchut is called Malchut de Yosher (directness), on which there is a prohibition to receive, due to the rule: A desire in the Upper One becomes a binding law in the lower one.

We also learn that the Igulim should receive Light from what they had drawn anew. This Light is called “a line.” It contains Above and below in importance, and there is no other Light. This is the meaning of the Igulim having no Light but from the line.

Yet, there is a great difference between Malchut de Igulim and Malchut of the line. Malchut de Igulim had the Light in the form of “filling the whole of reality,” while Malchut de Yosher never had any Light, nor will it ever have Light in its Kli, called “receiving in order to receive.”


Thus far, we have discussed three states:

  1. The will to receive that was created in the world of Ein Sof, and which received all the Light.
  2. In the world of Tzimtzum, it became apparent that the will to receive must be corrected for the purpose of decoration.
  3. In the line, it is apparent that the Kli must be corrected due to the deficiency. Otherwise, the Light does not expand to it.

And now we shall speak of the line. We have already learned that the line has Above and below in importance, since Malchut of the line was forbidden to receive because she is regarded as receiving in order to receive. The rule is that in all the degrees, Malchut’s name was not changed, which is “receiving in order to receive.” And her Light is Ohr Hozer, meaning she wishes to bestow upon the Upper One.

And when the Light extends to Malchut, she made a Zivug de Hakaa, a Masach, which implies ending the Light and making calculations. For example, she assumed that she could receive only twenty percent of the Light in order to bestow. Hence, she decided to clothe only that much Light.

However, she felt that there was too much pleasure in the remaining eighty percent, and if she were to receive it, it would be in order to receive. Hence, she decided to not receive that part of the Light. So what is the difference between a Tzimtzum and a Masach (screen)?

  • Tzimtzum occurs through choice, as we learned that Malchut had all the Light and she chose to not receive it.
  • Masach is the domination of the Upper One on it. Thus, even if the lower one wished to receive, the Upper One would not let it.

The meaning of the term Zivug de Hakaa (coupling of striking) is as follows: In corporeality, it sometimes happens that when people disagree, they strike each other. In spirituality, when two things contradict each other, it is considered that they strike each other.

And what is the dispute? The Upper One, who wishes to benefit His creations, evokes in the lower ones a desire to receive all the Light. But the lower one wishes the contrary, to equalize its form, and hence does not wish to receive at all. This is the striking that unfolds between the Upper One and the lower one.

In the end, they equalize with one another and create a union and Zivug between them. In other words, the lower one receives the Light as the Upper One wishes, but only as much of it as it can receive in order to bestow, as the lower one wishes. Thus, there are two things here: 1) equivalence of form, and 2) reception of the Light.

However, the Zivug is possible only if a striking preceded it, since without the striking, and with the lower one’s desire to receive the Light, this would be oppositeness and separation from the Creator. This process of Zivug de Hakaa is called Rosh (head). A Rosh means root, a potential, which needs a process of realization. The Rosh exists because of the existence of the Sof, the prohibition on reception. Hence, Malchut is compelled to calculate, and this is called a Rosh, preceding the actual reception.

Accordingly, we can understand the Ari’s words in the beginning of Talmud Eser Sefirot(The Study of the Ten Sefirot): “Behold that before the emanations were emanated and the creatures were created, etc., and there was no such part as head, or end,” etc. This is so because in Ein Sof, there was still no prohibition on receiving; hence, it immediately received it. But now that there was an end, we should distinguish between the Rosh, which is the potential, and the Guf (body), which is the realization.

And afterwards it actually receives, meaning the twenty percent that it receives in order to bestow are called the Toch (interior) of the degree, and the place of the expansion of the Light is calledfrom Peh (mouth) to Tabur (navel). And Malchut de (of) Toch stands at the Tabur, saying, “What I receive from here on, meaning the eighty percent, will be in order to receive. Hence, I do not want to receive, so I will not be separated.” Thus, the Light departs, and this discernment is called the Sofof the degree.


Everything discussed here concerning the RTS(RoshTochSof) concerns the first Partzuf, calledGalgalta, which uses the Aviut of Behina Dalet. And we learned that Galgalta received the maximum it could receive in order to bestow. It could not receive more. Yet, we learned that in the Thought of Creation, the Kli received everything. This is so because the Kli of reception in order to receive was created by the Creator, while in the Kli that the lower one makes, called “in order to bestow,” there is a limit to the amount it can receive. It follows that there is no Kli that can receive the eighty percent of Light that remained outside the Partzuf.

So what shall become of them? To correct that, a Bitush of Internal and External was created. These are the Ari’s words concerning this issue (Talmud Eser Sefirot, Part 4, Chapter 1, Item 4): “When the Inner Lights connect to the Surrounding Lights, they connect inside the Peh. Hence, when they emerge together outside the Peh, tied together, they strike and beat on each other, and their beatings beget the Kelim.” Thus, it is through the beatings that the Kelim are made.

And we need to understand why 1) the Ohr Pnimi (Inner Light) and Ohr Makif (Surrounding Light) beat on each other, and 2) why this beating creates the Kelim.

Answer: We have already said that in spirituality, a beating occurs when two things are in opposition to one another. But we also need to understand why the beating occurs “when they emerge together outside the Peh.”

At the Rosh of the degree, 100 percent of the Light expands without a distinction of Internal and Surrounding. This is because His desire to benefit His creations is complete. But the lower one, who is limited, calculates and decides, for example, that it can only receive twenty percent in order to bestow. This occurs in the Rosh, in potential. “When they emerge together outside the Peh”: Emergence, in spirituality, is called “revelation,” when what was in potential is revealed in actuality. At that time, it receives a part and repels a part, to become Ohr Makif.

This Ohr Makif seemingly comes to the Masach and argues, “Your conduct, meaning the fact that you have erected the Masach, is not good, since how will the purpose of Creation of benefiting His creations be implemented? Who will receive the Light?”

On the other hand, the Ohr Pnimi agrees with the Masach, since the very expansion of the Light within is through the Masach and the Ohr Hozer (Reflected Light). This dispute is called Bitush of Ohr Makif and Ohr Pnimi, or Bitush of Ohr Makif in the Masach.

In truth, the Ohr Makif is on the right; hence, the Masach agrees with it. And since it agrees, it can no longer repel and raise Ohr Hozer, and hence can no longer receive in order to bestow. Thus, the Light departs and the Masach is purified, meaning stops receiving. This state is called Din (judgment) and Achoraim (posterior).

And since each Behina (discernment) consists of four Behinot, the Masach departs gradually, beginning with Behina Dalet in Behina Dalet, then from Behina Gimel in Behina Dalet, etc., until it rises to Peh de Rosh, the source from which the Masach de Guf arrived. In other words, it stops receiving altogether.

As it rises, it uses a smaller Aviut each time, and thus receives smaller Lights in order to bestow. For example, when it ascends to Behina Aleph, it can only receive the Light of Ruach. When it rises toBehinat Shoresh (root), it can only receive the Light of Nefesh in order to bestow. Finally, it cannot receive anything in order to bestow and thus stops receiving altogether.

Question: What is the benefit of the Ohr Makif, which wants to shine because of the purpose of Creation, and therefore wishes for the Masach to receive more? After all, things are unfolding in contrast to its will, meaning the Masach loses even what it had!

Answer: All the degrees that appeared during the departure are not residue of what it had in the beginning, since there is a rule: “There is no generation of Light that does not extend from Ein Sof.” This means that each discernment that appears is a new discernment. Thus, in the beginning, it could not receive anything more. But now that Behina Dalet has departed, it can receive more from Behina Gimel.

This is the meaning of the Kelim were made through the Bitush, that is, prior to the Bitush, it did not have any more Kelim for reception, since it received all it could with the aim to bestow. But after the Bitush, when the Masach of Behina Dalet was purified, there was room to receive on Behina Gimel, since it departed from Behina Dalet and had nothing. And when it departed Behina Gimel, it could receive on Behina Bet.

But this still leaves the question: What is the benefit, if it receives less each time?

Answer: There is no absence in spirituality. This means that anything that appears remains, except he does not see it, and cannot currently enjoy it, but only from the present. But when the work is done, all the Lights will appear at once. Thus, in the end, it is benefitting.

Baal HaSulam once said an allegory about it: Two people who were childhood friends separated as adults. One of them became a king, and the other, indigent. After many years, the poor one heard that his friend became a king and decided to go to his friend’s country and ask for help. He packed his few belongings and went.

When they met, he told the king that he was destitute, and this touched the king’s heart. The king said to his friend: “I will give you a letter to my treasurer to allow you into the treasury for two hours. In those two hours, whatever you manage to collect is yours.” The poor man went to the treasurer, armed with his letter, and received the longed for permit. He walked into the treasury with the box he was used to using for his beggary, and within five minutes, he filled his box to the rim and merrily stepped out of the treasury.

But the treasurer took his box from him and spilled its entire contents. Then the treasurer told the sobbing indigent, “Take your box and fill it up again.” The poor man walked into the treasury once more and filled his box. But when he stepped outside, the treasurer spilled its contents as before.

This cycle repeated itself, until the two hours were through. The last time the beggar came out, he told the treasurer: “I beg you, leave me what I have collected. My time is through and I can no longer enter the treasury.” Then the treasurer told him: “The contents of this box is yours, and so is everything that I have spilled out of your box for the past two hours. I have been spilling your money every time because I wanted to benefit you, since each time, you were coming with your tiny box full and you had no room for anything more.”

Lesson: Each reception of Light in order to bestow remains. But if the Light remained, we would not want to receive anymore, since we would not be able to receive in order to bestow on more than we had received. Hence, each degree must depart, and each time we correct a Kli of will to receive with the aim to bestow, until all is corrected. Then, all the Lights will shine at once.

And now let us return the purification of the Masach. The first expansion that emerged from the Pehdown is called Taamim (flavors), from the verse, “as the palate tastes its food.” After the Bitush ofOhr Makif, the Masach began to purify, and on its way, produced a new degree each time. These degrees are called Nekudot (points).

I have already explained the Ari’s words, that the Kelim were made through the Bitush, since now it has the ability to receive more Light. But Baal HaSulam interprets the making of the Kelim (plural forKli) differently: While the Light was in the Kli, the Light and the Kli were mingled in each other. Through the Bitush, the Light departed, and then the Kli became apparent.

Interpretation: While the Light shines in the Kli the deficiency of the Kli is indistinguishable; hence, it does not merit the name Kli. This is because without the Kli, the Light cannot shine. Hence, they are of equal importance. But once the Light departs, the Kli is distinguished as a Kli, and the Light, as Light.

The Nekuda (point) of Tzimtzum is the reason why the degrees emerging during the purification are called Nekudot.

And what is the Nekuda of the Tzimtzum? TheHoly Zohar says that Malchut is called “a black point without any white in it.” This means that during the darkness, Malchut is called “a point.” And when there is Tzimtzum, and it is forbidden to receive in order to receive, it becomes dark. In other words,the point of Tzimtzum is present wherever it is impossible to receive in order to bestow and there is a desire to receive in order to receive.

To return to our subject, when the Masach was purified from Behina DaletBehina Dalet was forbidden to receive. This is the meaning of the point of Tzimtzum being over her. But Behina Gimel could still receive, and when the Masach was purified from Behina Gimel, too, this became the point of Tzimtzum.

We should also explain the difference between RoshToch, and SofRosh is considered “potential,” meaning there is no reception there. Two parts spread from the Rosh:

  • One part can receive the Light, and it is called ten Sefirot de Toch. The Light is the abundance that enters the Kelim, and it is called Ohr Pnimi, which is Ohr Hochma—the Light of His desire to benefit His creations.
  • The second part that spreads from the Rosh is the part of the desire to receive in order to receive, which it does not want to use. It says that it does not want to receive there, meaning it ends it. Hence, this part is called ten Sefirot de Sof.

Question: We learned that the word Sefirot comes from the word ‘sapphire,’ meaning it shines. But ifMalchut de Guf, called Malchut de Tabur, does not want to receive and puts a Sof over the Light, why is this part called Sefirot?

Answer: They are called ten Sefirot because, in truth, the Light did shine for them. An explanation of that can be found in Part 4, Chapter 5, Item 1, where he explains the difference between Toch andSof: “From Peh de AK emerged ten internal Sefirot and ten surrounding Sefirot. They extend from opposite the Panim through opposite the Tabur de AK. This is the essential Light, but it also shines through the sides and all around that Adam,” meaning not necessarily opposite the Panim,but also from the sides.

In Item 2, he interprets the Ari’s words as follows: “In short, we will explain that from Tabur up it is called Panim. This is because the Light of Hochma, considered the essential Light,spreads there,and from Tabur down it is called Achor (posterior), since it is considered receiving in order to receive. Hence, the Light of Hochma does not spread there, but comes through the sides.”

Further down that page, it continues, “…because through the Ohr Hozer that Behina Dalet brings to the Partzuf, which is Ohr Hassadim.” This means that Malchut de Tabur does not want to receive there, since there it is a will to receive in order to receive. Instead, it wants equivalence of form, called Hassadim. “Thus, she receives illumination of Hochma, as well, though in the form of ‘female Light,’ meaning only receiving and not bestowing.” “Receiving and not bestowing” means that she does not want to bestow the Light upon herself, but, to the contrary, she says that she does not want to receive.

And through this Dvekut (adhesion), an illumination of the Light of Hochma shines upon her, and this is called “illumination of Hochma.” Accordingly, the difference between Toch and Sof is that the Ohr Hochma shines in the Toch and in the Sof as long as she does not want to receive, for the purpose of equivalence of form, the Light that shines is Ohr Hassadim in illumination of Hochma.

And we still need to explain why the names in Ohr Hassadim are “right” and “left,” and in the Ohr Hochma they are called “long” and “short.” When the Light shines, in Hassadim,it is called “right,” and in Hochma, “long.” And when it does not shine, in Hassadim,it is called “left,” and in Hochma, “short.” What do these names mean?

Answer: We learned that Ohr Hochma shines in the vessels of reception in order to bestow, of course. Hence, the measure of illumination depends on its measure of Aviut. This is called “Above” and “below,” and this is why the names in Ohr Hochma are “long” and “short.” But Ohr Hassadim is not extended through Aviut and is not dependent on it. Hence, the names in Ohr Hassadim relate to width: “right” and “left,” implying that they shine in the same level, and it does not matter to them if there is more Aviut or less Aviut.


Thus far we have discussed the first Partzuf of AK, called Galgalta or the Inner Partzuf de AK. Now we will explain the inner Partzuf. There is a rule that in all the worlds, there are inner Partzufim (plural for Partzuf), with four clothes. We will explain it in AKPartzuf Galgalta has complete HaVaYaH within its degree, and a complete degree emerges from each letter in this HaVaYaH.

  • Its Rosh, called Keter or “the tip of the Yod,” is unattainable.
  • From Peh to Chazeh, it is called Yod de HaVaYaH, and from there emerges Partzuf AB de AK, which clothes it.
  • From its first Hey, called Bina, emerges Partzuf SAG, from the Chazeh down.

Thus, the Yod-Hey, which are AB and SAG, clothe it from Tabur up. And below Tabur, it is Vav-Heyde HaVaYaH.

  • The Vav is called the Upper third of NHY, called Partzuf MA, and from it, emerges the world of Nekudim, which clothes there.
  • From its last Hey, called Malchut, which are the two lower thirds of NHY de AK, emerged Partzuf BON, called “the world of Atzilut,” which uses Aviut Shoresh.


When the Light departs Partzuf Galgalta, empty Kelim remain, and in them are Reshimot from the Lights that shone within the Kelim. The meaning of Reshimot is as we see in corporeality: when a person eats a delightful dish or hears of something pleasant, a taste remains of what he had experienced, evoking him to re-extend what he had had. Similarly, a Reshimo (singular for Reshimot) is a desire for what he had had.

There are two discernments in the Reshimot: 1) the pure Light in the Reshimo, and 2) the coarse Light in the Reshimo.

This means that as the general Ohr Yashar shone in Kelim called “general Ohr Hozer,” when the Ohr Yashar departs, it leaves a Reshimo that is a part of the Ohr Yashar. This Reshimo clothes in part of the Ohr Hozer that was there, meaning it leaves a recollection of the fact that it worked with the aim to bestow. This is called Reshimo from the Ohr Hozer.

  • What remains of the Ohr Yashar is called “the pure Light in the Reshimo”;
  • And what remains of the Ohr Hozer is called “the coarse Light in the Reshimo

Both are clothed in the general Ohr Hozer, called Kli, and both are one discernment.

Explanation: When the Light shines in the Kelim, we say that the Light and the Kli are mixed in one another until the Light and the Kli become indistinguishable. This means that they are performing the same action, and one cannot be without the other. It is like meal and appetite: they both perform the same action, since it is impossible to eat if there is appetite but no meal, and it is also impossible to eat if there is a meal but no appetite. But afterwards, when the Light departs, we discern the Kli, meaning the Ohr Hozer receives a Kli there.

So it is concerning the Reshimot: when the pure Light and the coarse Light are together, they are both called Light and they are mingled in one another. And when the pure Light is separated from the coarse Light, the coarse Light receives a new name: Nitzotzin(sparks).

We should understand why it is that when the general Ohr Yashar departs, the general Ohr Hozer is called Kli, but when the Ohr Yashar in the Reshimo departs, the coarse Light in the Reshimo is calledNitzotz (spark), meaning a spark of Light.

Answer: We should say that when the general Ohr Yashar departs, it does not shine at all. But when the Ohr Yashar in the Reshimo departs, it shines from afar.

Now we can understand the matter of the root of the Kelim and the root of the Lights: there is a rule that all the worlds emerge in the form of seal and imprint. This means that as the discernment emerged the first time, the worlds expand from Above downwards by that same order. The first time that Kelim emerged was in Partzuf Galgalta. This is why it is considered “the root of the Kelim.”

This means that when the Light shines in the Kelim, they are mixed. For this reason, it is impossible to distinguish the Light from the Kli. But after the departure of the Light, the Kelim appear. Also,Reshimot from the Light remain in the Kelim: a Reshimo of the Light of Keter in the Kli of Keter, aReshimo of the Light of Hochma in the Kli of Hochma, etc. Hence, when we speak of the Kelim, we begin with KHB.

And when the second Partzuf emerged, called AB, where the Light of Hochma shines, following the rule that each Light that comes shines in the purest Kli, called Keter, now the Light of Hochma shines in the Kli of Keter. This is called “the root of the Lights,” which are arranged in this order, the order ofHBD. Thus we can understand why he sometimes starts the ten Sefirot with KHB and sometimes withHBD.


Now we shall explain the matter of Tagin and Otiot. We learned that the Reshimot that remained from the Taamim are called Tagin. Sometimes it calls the Reshimot that remain of the Nekudot by the name Otiot. The reason for it is that when the whole of Partzuf Galgalta purifies, which is Behina Dalet de Aviut, the Masach was included with the Reshimot of all the levels that departed. This level rose to the Rosh of the degree and asked for the powers it had lost. And since the last Behina is lost, due to the Bitush de Ohr Makif that weakened the force of the Masach, it could not overcome Behina Dalet, but only Behina Gimel, which is similar to Nekudot.

And we learned that two kinds of Reshimot remained—a Reshimo from the Light of Keter that was clothed in the Kelim, called Dalet de Hitlabshut (clothing). However, it lost the Reshimo from the powers and intensifications. It is said about that, “the last Behina is lost,” and what remains is only the Gimel de Aviut.

It follows that when the Masach de Guf de Galgalta rose to the Rosh de Galgalta, it asked for the power of the Masach for both kinds of Reshimot:

  1. On Dalet, the Reshimo from the level of Taamim.
  2. On the Aviut of the level of Nekudot.

Hence, two Zivugim were made at the Rosh of the degree:

  1. On the Dalet de Hitlabshut at the level of Keter.
  2. On the Gimel de Aviut at the level of Hochma.

We also learned that Dalet de Hitlabshut shines only at the Rosh of the degree of the lower one, theRosh de AB. But Gimel de Aviut has Hitpashtut in the Guf, as well. And since the Guf is called Kelimand Otiotthe Reshimo de Aviut, meaning the Reshimo de Nekudotis called Otiot. This is so because afterwards, Kelim spread from this Reshimo, while the Reshimo de Hitlabshut remains as Tagin, shining only at the Rosh of the degree.

Orally, he explained it in this manner: Gimel de Aviut de AB, and Gimel de Galgalta are not identical, since Gimel de AB is the Gimel of the general Aviut, while Gimel de Galgalta is the Gimel of Dalet de Aviut. But even so, Gimel de AB still extends from Gimel de Galgalta. Hence, here he ascribes theReshimo de Aviut on which Partzuf AB emerged to Reshimo de Nekudot, whose Highest Behina isGimel.


Let us return to clarifying the rest of the sequence. Once the Ohr Makif cancelled the Masach de Guf de Galgalta, the Masach de Guf rose to the Rosh. And since the last Behina was lost, there was aZivug at the Rosh de Galgalta on Reshimot Dalet Gimel only, spreading from Peh to Chazeh.

And since the Masach de Tabur is included in the Aviut de Rosh, while it is at the Rosh, there are two discernments to make in it:

  1. Its own Behina—Masach de Tabur;
  2. Aviut de Rosh.

Once this Masach descended from Peh to Chazeh, which is Behina Gimel, it is considered that the Light of AB shines in the internality of Kelim de Galgalta. This means that the inner AB made a Zivugon what was included in the Aviut de Rosh. From Chazeh to Peh de Galgalta, a new degree emerged, called “Rosh of the outer AB,” and from Chazeh to Tabur emerged the Guf de AB.

Question: This is perplexing. After all, there is a rule that the next degree should fill the empty Kelimof the previous degree. So why does AB not expand below Tabur de Galgalta?

Answer: It is because it does not have a Masach on Behina Dalet. Hence, were it to expand below and see the will to receive that is present there, it would not be able to overcome it. This is why it remained above the Tabur.

In Partzuf AB, too, there was a Bitush of Ohr Makif, and Partzuf SAG emerged from the Reshimot ofPartzuf AB. These are still the Reshimot from above Tabur de AK, but the Reshimot from below Tabur de AK have not yet been fulfilled.

And this Partzuf SAG emerged on Reshimot Gimel de Hitlabshut and Bet de Aviut, and filled the empty Kelim of Partzuf AB, as well. However, it could not descend below Tabur de Galgalta and fill the empty Kelim there, since it has Gimel de Hitlabshut, which are Kelim for extension of Hochma. It follows that this discernment, called Taamim de SAG, expanded through Tabur de AK.

But Nekudot de SAG, considered merely Hassadim, since they do not have the above-mentionedBehina Gimel, could expand below Tabur de Galgalta, although there is Behina Dalet de Aviut there, which is a vessel of reception on which it is impossible to put a Masach. Still, because Nekudot de SAG are vessels of bestowal, they have no interest in vessels of reception. Hence, they expanded below Tabur de Galgalta and filled the empty Kelim that were there.

Yet, since they saw the will to receive that was there, they wanted to receive in order to receive, as they did not have a Masach on Behina Dalet. And since we learned that there was a Tzimtzum on receiving in order to receive, the Light immediately departed them.

Question: We learned that Nekudot de SAG are vessels of bestowal. Thus, how were they restricted?

Answer: There is a difference between GAR de Bina and ZAT de Bina, since we learned that ZAT de Bina should receive Hochma in order to bestow upon ZA, but GAR de Bina engage solely in bestowal.

Now we can understand why GAR de Bina, which are GE, were not mixed, which left GE in the degree, unrestricted, while ZAT de Bina, called AHP, departed the degree because they wanted to receive in order to receive. This is called Tzimtzum Bet (second restriction).

It follows that in HBDHGT de Nekudot de SAG, which are GE, there is no mixture of Behina Dalet. Hence, their place is still considered the place of Atzilut. And below Tabur de Nekudot de SAG, clothing the two bottom thirds of NHY de AK, the reception in order to receive governs.

And when Partzuf SAG rose to Peh de Rosh, two Zivugim were made there at Rosh de SAG:

  1. Zivug on Reshimot de Taamim de SAG that did not descend below Tabur de AK, and from which the Partzuf of the Upper MA emerged.
  2. Zivug on Reshimot de Nekudot de SAG that were restricted and mingled with Behina Dalet below Tabur de AK, from which MA emerged—the world of Nekudim. This Zivug unfolded on half a degree of Aleph de Aviut and on Bet de Hitlabshut.

Therefore, we must understand that Malchut does not extend Light on her own vessels of reception, but only on vessels of bestowal, due to the Tzimtzum. Because of it, were she to use the vessels of reception, it would be in order to receive.

And here, too, we learn that the Light expands in both the inner Kelim de SAG, and in the outerKelim de SAG. And we should know that as a rule, he does not speak of the Upper MA, since we are speaking primarily about the association of Midat ha Rachamim (quality of mercy)in the Din(judgment), which begins in Partzuf MA, which is the world of Nekudim.

We learned that there are two Roshim (plural for Rosh) in the world of Nekudim: 1) from the Aviut, and 2) from the Hitlabshut (clothing). Keter is called Bet de Hitlabshut, and AVI are Aleph de Aviut. And since Bet de Hitlabshut cannot extend Light, since there is no deficiency there, it needs the association with the Aviut, which has the power to extend Light. We also learned that the level of Light that shines there is VAK de Bina, in the form of “for He delights in Mercy,” which liberates the degree from the need for Hochma.

This Light is also called Tikkun Kavim (correction of lines). Hence, we learned that the Tikkun Kavimshines only at the Rosh, since the Hitlabshut does not have Hitpashtut (expansion) in the Guf. But the Guf had only a small illumination, and it was not satisfied with the state of Katnut. Hence, when the Light achieved Gadlut, the vessels of bestowal of the Guf broke, as well.

The Agenda of the Assembly

Found in the book “Kabbalah for the student
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)


In the beginning of the assembly, there should be an agenda. Everyone should speak of the importance of the society as much as he can, describing the profits that society will give him and the important things he hopes society will bring him, which he cannot obtain by himself, and how he appreciates the society accordingly.

It is as our sages wrote (Berachot 32), “Rabbi Shamlai said, ‘One should always praise the Creator, and then pray.’ Where did we get that? From Moses, as it is written, ‘And I besought the Lord at that time.’ It is also written, ‘O Lord God, Thou hast begun,’ and it is written, ‘Let me go over, I pray Thee, and see the good land.’”

And the reason we need to begin with praising the Creator is that it is natural that there are two conditions when one asks for something of another:

  1. That he has what I ask of him, such as wealth, power, and repute as being wealthy and affluent.
  2. That he will have a kind heart, meaning a desire to do good to others.

From such a person you can ask for a favor. This is why they said, “One should always praise the Creator, and then pray.” This means that after one believes in the greatness of the Creator, that He has all sorts of pleasures to give to the creatures and He wishes to do good, then it is pertinent to say that he is praying to the Creator, who will certainly help him, since He wishes to bestow. And then the Creator can give him what he wishes. Then, also, the prayer can be with confidence that the Creator will grant it.

Similarly, with love of friends, at the very beginning of the assembly, when gathering, we should praise the friends, the importance of each of the friends. To the extent that we assume the greatness of the society, one can appreciate the society.

“And then pray,” meaning that everyone should examine himself and see how much effort he is giving to the society. Then, when they see that you are powerless to do anything for the society, there is room for prayer to the Creator to help him, and give him strength and desire to engage in love of others.

And afterwards, everyone should behave the same as in the last three of the “Eighteen Prayer.” In other words, after having pleaded before the Creator, the Holy Zohar says that in the last three of the “Eighteen Prayer,” one should think as though the Creator has already granted his request, and he has departed.

In love of friends we should behave the same: After examining ourselves and following the known advice of praying, we should think as though our prayer has been answered and rejoice with our friends, as though all the friends are one body. And as the body wishes for all its organs to enjoy, we, too, want all our friends to enjoy themselves now.

Hence, after all the calculations comes the time of joy and love of friends. At that time, everyone should feel that he is happy, as though he had just sealed a very good deal that will earn him lots of money. And it is customary that at such a time he gives drinks to the friends.

Similarly, here everyone needs his friends to drink and eat cakes, etc. Because now he is happy, he wishes his friends to feel good, too. Hence, the dispersion of the assembly should be in a state of joy and elation.

This follows the way of “a time of Torah” and “a time of prayer.” “A time of Torah” means wholeness, when there are no deficiencies. This is called “right,” as it is written, “at His right hand was a fiery law.”

But “a time of prayer” is called “left,” since a place of deficiency is a place that needs correction. This is called “the correction of the Kelim (vessels).” But in the state of Torah, called “right,” there is no room for correction, and this is why Torah is called a “gift.”

It is customary to give presents to a person you love. And it is also customary to not love one who is deficient. Hence, at a “time of Torah,” there is no room for thoughts of correction. Thus, when leaving the assembly, it should be as in the last three of the “Eighteen Prayer.” And for this reason, everyone will feel wholeness.

Concerning the Importance of Friends

Found in the book “Kabbalah for the student
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)


Concerning the importance of the friends in the society and how to appreciate them, meaning with which kind of importance everyone should regard his friend. Common sense dictates that if one regards one’s friend as being at a lower degree than one’s own, then he will want to teach him how to behave more virtuously than the qualities he has. Hence, he cannot be his friend; he can take the friend as a student, but not as a friend.

And if one sees one’s friend as being at a higher degree than his own, and sees that he can acquire good qualities from him, then he can be his Rav, but not his friend.

This means that precisely when one sees one’s friend as being at an equal degree to one’s own, one can accept the other as a friend and bond with him. This is so because a friend means that they are both in the same state. This is what common sense dictates. In other words, they have the same views and thus decide to bond. Then, both of them act towards the goal that they both wish to achieve.

It is like two like-minded friends who are doing some business together, so this business will bring them profits. In that state, they feel that they have equal powers. But should one of them feel that he is more competent than the other, he will not want to accept him as an equal partner. Instead, they would create a proportional partnership according to the strength and qualities that one has over the other. In that state, the partnership is a thirty-three or twenty-five percent partnership, and it cannot be said that they are equal in the business.

But with love of friends, when friends bond to create unity among themselves, it explicitly means that they are equals. This is called “unity.” For example, if they do business together and say that the profits will not be distributed equally, is this called “unity”? Clearly, a business of love of friends should be when all the profits and possessions that the love of friends yields will be equally controlled by them. They should not hide or conceal from one another, but everything will be with love, friendship, truthfulness, and peace.

But in the essay, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar,” it is written, “The measure of the greatness comes under two conditions: 1) to always listen and receive the appreciation of society, to the extent of their greatness; 2) the environment should be great, as it is written, ‘In the multitude of people is the king’s glory.’”

To accept the first condition, each student must feel that he is the smallest among all the friends, and then he will be able to receive the appreciation of the greatness from everyone. This is so because the greater one cannot receive from the smaller one, much less be impressed by his words. Only the lower one is impressed by the appreciation of the greater one.

And for the second condition, each student must extol each friend’s merit as though he were the greatest in the generation. Then the environment will affect him as a great environment should, since quality is more important than quantity.

It follows that in the matter of love of friends, they help each other, meaning it is enough for everyone to regard his friend as being of the same degree as his own. But because everyone should learn from his friends, there is the issue of Rav and disciple. For this reason, he should consider the friend as greater than himself.

But how can one consider one’s friend as greater than himself, when he can see that his own merits are greater than his friend’s, that he is more talented and has better natural qualities? There are two ways to understand this:

  1. He is going with faith above reason: once he has chosen him as a friend, he appreciates him above reason.
  2. This is more natural—within reason. If he has decided to accept the other as a friend, and works on himself to love him, than it is natural with love to see only good things. And even though there are bad things in one’s friend, he cannot see them, as it is written, “love covers all transgressions.”

We can see that a person may see faults in his neighbor’s children, but not in his own children. And when someone mentions some faults in his children, he immediately resists his friend and begins to declare his children’s merits.

And the question is, which is the truth? After all, there are merits to his children, and hence he is upset when others speak of his children. The thing is this, as I had heard it from my father: Indeed, each person has advantages and disadvantages. And both the neighbor and the father are saying the truth. But the neighbor does not treat the other’s children like a father to his children, since he does not have the same love for the children as the father does.

Hence, when he considers the other’s children, he sees only the children’s faults, since this gives him more pleasure. This is because he can show that he is more virtuous than the other because his own children are better. For this reason, he sees only the other’s faults. What he is seeing is true, but he sees only things he enjoys.

But the father, too, sees only the truth, except he regards only the good things that his children have. He does not see his children’s faults, since it gives him no pleasure. Hence, he is saying the truth about what he sees in his children. And because he regards only the things that can please him, he sees only the virtues.

It turns out that if one has love of friends, the law in love is that you want to see the friends’ merits and not their faults. Hence, if one sees some fault in one’s friend, it is not a sign that his friend is at fault, but that the fault is in him, meaning that because he flawed the love of friends, he sees faults in his friend.

Therefore, now he should not see to his friend’s correction. Rather, he himself needs correction. It follows from all the above that he should not care for the correction of his friend’s faults, which he sees in his friend, but he himself needs to correct the flaw he has created in the love of friends. And when he corrects himself, he will see only his friend’s merits and not his faults.

Concerning the Importance of Society

Found in the book “Kabbalah for the student
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)


It is known that since man is always among people who have no connection to the work on the path of truth, but to the contrary, always resist those who walk on the path of truth, and since people’s thoughts mingle, the views of those who oppose the path of truth permeate those with some desire to walk on the path of truth.

Hence, there is no other counsel but to establish a separate society for themselves, to be their framework, meaning a separate community that does not mingle with other people whose views differ from that society. And they should constantly evoke in themselves the issue of the purpose of society, so they will not follow the majority, because following the majority is our nature.

If the society isolates itself from the rest of the people, if they have no connection with other people in regard to spiritual matters, and their contact with them is only on corporeal matters, they do not mingle with their views, since they have no connection in matters of religion.

But when a person is among religious people, and begins to converse and argue with them, he immediately mingles with their views. Their views penetrate his mind below the threshold of his consciousness to such an extent that he will not be able to discern that these are not his own views, but what he received from the people he connected with.

Therefore, in matters of work on the path of truth, one should isolate oneself from other people. This is because the path of truth requires constant strengthening, since it is against the view of the world. The view of the world is knowing and receiving, whereas the view of Torah is faith and bestowal. If one strays from that, he immediately forgets all the work of the path of truth and falls into a world of self-love. Only from a society in the form of “They helped every man his friend” does each person in the society receives the strength to fight against the view of the world.

Also, we find the following in the words of The Zohar (Pinechas, p 31, Item 91, and in the Sulam): “When a person dwells in a city inhabited by evil people, and he cannot keep the Mitzvot of the Torah, and does not succeed in the Torah, he relocates and uproots himself from there and plants himself in a place inhabited by good people, with Torah and with Mitzvot. This is because the Torah is called ‘Tree,’ as it is written, ‘She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her.’ And man is a tree, as it is written, ‘for is the tree of the field man.’ And the Mitzvot in the Torah are likened unto fruits. And what does it say? ‘Only the trees of which thou knows that they are not trees for food, them thou may destroy and cut down,’ destroy from this world and cut down from the next world.”

For this reason, he must uproot himself from the place where there are wicked, for he will not be able to succeed there in Torah and Mitzvot, and plant himself elsewhere, among righteous, and he will succeed in Torah and Mitzvot.

And man, whom The Zohar likens unto the tree of the field, like the tree of the field suffers from bad neighbors. In other words, we must always cut down the bad weeds around us that affect us, and we must also keep away from bad environments, from people who do not favor the path of truth. We need a careful watch so as to not be drawn to follow them.

This is called “isolation,” when one has thoughts of the “single authority,” called “bestowal,” and not “public authority,” which is self-love. This is called “two authorities”—the Creator’s authority and one’s own authority.

Now we can understand what our sages said (Sanhedrin, p 38), “Rav Yehuda said, ‘Rav said, ‘Adam ha Rishon was heretic,’ as it is written, ‘And the Lord God called unto the man, and said unto him: ‘Where art thou?’’ Where has thine heart gone?’”

In Rashi’s interpretation, “heretic” refers to a tendency for idol worshiping. And in the commentary, Etz Yosef (Joseph’s Tree), it is written, “When it writes, ‘Where, where has thine heart gone?’ it is heresy, as it is written, ‘that ye go not about after your own heart,’ this is heresy, when his heart leans towards the other side.”

But all this is very perplexing: How can it be said that Adam ha Rishon was inclined to idolatry? Or according to the Etz Yosef commentary, that he was in the form of “that ye go not about after your own heart,” is it heresy? According to what we learn about the work of God, that it is solely about the aim to bestow, if a person works in order to receive, this work is foreign to us, for we need to work only to bestow, and he took everything in order to receive.

This is the meaning of what he said, that he failed in “go not about after your own heart.” In other words, he could not take the eating from the Tree of Knowledge in order to bestow, but received the eating from the Tree of Knowledge in order to receive. This is called “heart,” meaning the heart wishes only to receive for self-gratification. And this was the sin of the Tree of Knowledge.

To understand this matter, see the introduction to the book Panim Masbirot. And from this we can understand the benefits of the society—it can introduce a different atmosphere—working only in order to bestow.

The First Degree When One Is Born

Found in the book “Kabbalah for the student
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)


In The ZoharMishpatim (p 4, Item 11 in the Sulam commentary), it is written, “Come and see, when a person is born, he is given Nefesh from the side of the beast, the side of purity, from the side of those called ‘Holy Angels,’ meaning the world of Assiya. If he is rewarded further, he is given Ruach from the side of the ‘Holy Animals,’ meaning from the side of Yetzira. If further rewarded, he is given Neshama from the side of the Kisse (throne), meaning from the world of Beria. If rewarded further, he is given Nefesh, in the way of Atzilut. If rewarded further, he is given Ruach de Atzilut from the side of the middle pillar, and he is considered a son to the Creator, as it is written, ‘Ye are the children of the Lord your God.’ If further rewarded, he is given Neshama from the side of Aba ve Ima, which are Bina, about which it was said, ‘Let the whole soul praise the Lord,’ and with them, the name HaVaYaH is completed.”

Thus, the perfection of the soul is having NRN from BYA and NRN from Atzilut. This is the perfection that Adam ha Rishon had prior to the sin. Only after the sin did he decline from his degree and his soul was divided into 600,000 souls.

This is the reason why man’s spirituality is called Neshama (soul) even when one has only Nefesh de Nefesh, since there is a rule that when discussing anything, we always refer to its highest level. And since man’s highest level is the degree of Neshama, man’s spirituality is generally referred to as Neshama.

And although each person is born with the smallest degree, they said (Shaar HaGilgulim p 11b), “every person can be as Moses if he wishes to cleanse his actions. This is so because he can take another spirit, a higher one, with the height of Yetzira, as well as Neshama from the height of Beria.”

Now you can also understand our sages’ famous words: “The spirit of the righteous or their souls come and are impregnated in what is called Ibur (impregnation), to assist Him with work of God.”

It is also presented in the Sulam (Introduction of the Book of Zohar, p 93): “The thing is that the donkey driver is the assistance to the souls of the righteous, sent to them from Above in order to elevate them from one degree to the next. Had it not been for this assistance, which the Creator sends to the righteous, they would have been unable to exit their degree and rise Higher. Hence, the Creator sends each righteous a High soul from Above, each according to his merit and degree, which helps him on his way. This is called ‘the impregnation of the soul of a righteous,’ and it is called ‘disclosure of the soul of the righteous.’”

It follows that when it is said that there is no generation without the likes of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it does not mean that they were born this way and do not have a choice in the matter. Rather, these are people who are trying to walk in the path of truth and make the necessary efforts. These people always receive help from Above through impregnation of the souls of the righteous, and they receive strength to climb the Higher degrees.

It turns out that everything that is given from Above is considered assistance, but not without any labor and choice. And the persistence of the world is through these righteous, who extend abundance from Above, and thus there is sustenance Above.

Which Degree Should One Achieve?

Found in the book “Kabbalah for the student
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)


Question: What is the degree one should achieve, so he will not have to reincarnate?

It is written in the book Sha’ar Hagilgulim (Gate to Reincarnations) that “All the children of Israel must reincarnate until they are complete with all the NRNHY. However, most people do not have all five parts called NRNHY, only Nefesh, which is from Assiya.”

This means that each person must correct only one’s own part and the root of one’s own soul, and nothing more, and this completes what that person should correct.

The thing is that we must know that all the souls come from the soul of Adam Ha Rishon. After the sin of the Tree of Knowledge, Adam’s soul broke into 600,000 souls. This means that the single Light that Adam Ha Rishon had in the Garden of Eden, which the Holy Zohar calls, “Zihara Ilaa” (Upper Light), has dispersed into many pieces.

In the book, Panim Masbirot (p 56), Baal HaSulam writes, “After the good mixed with the bad (after the sin), a great structure of Klipot was established, with the power to cling to Kedusha (Holiness).” In order to beware of them, the Light of the seven days of Creation was divided into very small pieces, which are too small for the Klipot to suck from.

This can be compared to a king who wished to deliver a great sum of money to his son who lived across the sea. Alas, all the people in the king’s country were conniving thieves, and he could not find one loyal emissary. What did he do? He divided the money into pennies and sent them with a great number of emissaries. Thus, they found that the pleasure of theft was not worth dishonoring the kingship.

In this manner, over time and in many souls, through illumination of the days, it was possible to sort out all the holy sparks that were robbed by the Klipot, by the sin of the Tree of Knowledge.

“Many souls” refers to the division into Inner Lights, and many days is a division into many outer Lights. And the bits accumulate into the great amount of Light that Adam ha Rishon sinned in and then will bring the end of correction.

This leads to the conclusion that everyone is born with but a small piece of the soul ofAdam Ha Rishon. When one corrects that piece, he no longer needs to reincarnate. This is why one can only correct that which belongs to one’s own share.

It is written about it in the Ari’s The Tree of Life, “There is not a day like another day, a moment like another moment, or a person like another person. And the Helbona (part of the sacred incense) will correct what the Levona (another part of the sacred incense) will not. Each must correct one’s own part.”

However, we must know that every person has a choice, for one is not born righteous. Our sages said (Nida 16b), “Rabbi Hanina Bar Pappa said, ‘The angel appointed on conception is named Laila (Night). It takes a drop and places it before the Creator, and says, ‘Dear Lord, this drop, what shall become of it—a hero or a weakling, a sage or a fool, rich or poor?’ But it does not ask, ‘righteous or wicked.’’”

This means that one is not born righteous, for “it does not ask, ‘righteous or wicked.’” This is left to our choice, each according to his labor in Torah and Mitzvot. Accordingly, one is rewarded with cleansing one’s heart, with correcting what he must, according to the root of his soul, and then he is complete.

Which Keeping of Torah and Mitzvot Purifies the Heart

Found in the book “Kabbalah for the student
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)


Question: Does keeping Torah and Mitzvot in order to receive reward purify the heart, too? Our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination, I have created the spice of Torah.” This means that it does purify the heart. But is it so when one aims specifically at not receiving reward, or does it also purify the heart if one works in order to receive reward?

Answer: In the “Introduction to the Book of Zohar” (Item 44), it is written, “When one begins to engage in Torah and Mitzvot, even without any intention, meaning without love and fear, as is appropriate when serving the King, even in Lo Lishma (not for Her Name), the point in one’s heart begins to grow and show its activity. This is so because Mitzvot do not require intention, and even actions without intention can purify one’s will to receive, but in its first degree, called ‘still.’ And to the extent that one purifies the still part of the will to receive, one gradually builds the 613 organs of the point in the heart, which is the still of Nefesh de Kedusha (holiness).” Thus, we see that observing Torah and Mitzvot, even Lo Lishma purifies the heart.

Question: Is the path of observing Torah and Mitzvot in order to not be rewarded meant only for a chosen few, or can anyone walk this path of observing everything in order to not be rewarded, by which they will be rewarded with Dvekut (adhesion) with the Creator?

Answer: Although the will to receive for oneself alone emerged and came to be at the Thought of Creation, being given a correction that the souls will correct it to being in order to bestow, meaning observing Torah and Mitzvot, will turn our will to receive to be in order to bestow. This is given to everyone, without exception, for everyone was given this remedy, and not necessarily a chosen few.

But since this is a matter of choice, some advance more quickly and others more slowly. But as it is written in the “Introduction to the Books of Zohar” (Items 13, 14), in the end, everyone will achieve their complete perfection, as it is written, “He that is banished be not an outcast from him.”

Still, when beginning to learn to observe Torah and Mitzvot, one begins in Lo Lishma. This is because man is created with a will to receive; hence, he does not understand anything that does not yield him self-benefit and he will never want to begin to observe Torah and Mitzvot.

It is as the Rambam wrote (Hilchot Teshuva, Chapter 10), “Sages said, ‘one should always engage in Torah, even Lo Lishma, because from Lo Lishma, one comes to Lishma.’ Hence, when teaching children and women and the populace, they are only taught to work out of fear and to receive reward. And when they gain knowledge and acquire wisdom, that secret is revealed to them bit by bit. They are accustomed to it calmly until they attain Him and serve Him with love.” Thus, we see from the Rambam’s words that everyone should achieve Lishma, but the difference is in the timing.

Question: If a person sees and feels that he is treading a path that leads to Lishma, should he try to influence others so others would tread the right path, too, or not?

Answer: This is a general question. It is like a religious person examining a secular person. If he knows that he can reform him, then he is must reform him, due to the Mitzva, “Thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor.” Similarly, in this case it can be said that you should tell your friend about the better way that one can go, provided your intention is only the Mitzva. But there are many times when a person rebukes another only for the purpose of dominating, and not in order to “rebuke thy neighbor.”

And we learn from the above that everyone’s desire that the other will tread the path of truth has created disputes between orthodox and secular, between Litaim [17] and Hassidim, and among the Hassidim themselves. This is because everyone thinks that he is in the right, and everyone is trying to persuade the other to tread the right path.



[17] A faction of orthodox Judaism that started with the Vilna Gaon (GRA) in Vilna, Lithuania

According to What Is Explained Concerning “Love Thy Friend”

Found in the book “Kabbalah for the student
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)


According to what is explained concerning “Love thy friend as thyself,” all the details of the 612 Mitzvot are contained in this rule. It is as our sages say, “The rest is its commentary; go study.” This means that by keeping the 612 Mitzvot we will be rewarded with the rule, “Love thy friend,” and following, the love of God.

Thus, what does love of friends give us? It is written that by gathering a few friends together, since they each have but a small force of love of others, meaning they can carry out the love of others only in potential, when they implement it they remember that they have decided to relinquish self-love in favor of the love of others. But in fact, he sees that he cannot relinquish any pleasure of the will to receive in favor of another, not even a bit.

However, by assembling a few people who agree that they have to achieve love of others, when they annul themselves before one another, they are all intermingled. Thus, in each person there accumulates a great force, according to the size of the society. And then they can execute the love of others in actual fact.

Hence, what do the details of the 612 Mitzvot add to us, which we said are in order to keep the rule, since the rule is kept by love of friends? And we see that in reality there is love of friends among secular, too. They, too, gather in various circles in order to have love of friends. What then is the difference between religious and secular?

The verse says (Psalms 1), “nor sat in the seat of the scornful.” We must understand the prohibition on “seat of the scornful.” Is it due to slander or idle words? So the prohibition is not because of a “seat of scornful.” What then does the “seat of scornful” add to us?

The meaning is that when a few people come together for the purpose of love of friends, with the intention that each and every one will help his friend improve his corporeal state, each anticipates that by having more meetings they will profit from society and improve their corporeal state.

However, after all the meetings, everyone calculates and sees how much he has received from society for the self-love, what the will to receive has gained by that, since he invested time and effort to benefit society, so what has he gained by it? He could probably succeed more if he had been occupied with self-benefit, at least the part of his own efforts. But “I entered the society because I thought that through the society, I would be able to gain more than I could gain alone. But now I see that I have gained nothing.”

Then he regrets it and says, “I would be better off using my own little strength instead of giving my time to society. However, now that I have given my time to society, in order to gain more properties through help from the society, I finally realized that not only did I not gain anything from society, I even lost what I could have gained alone.”

When there is someone who wishes to say that love of friends should be engaged in for the purpose of bestowal, that everyone will work to benefit others, everyone laughs and mocks it. It seems to them like a kind of joke, and this is a seat of seculars. It is said about it, “but sin is a reproach to any people, and every grace that they do, they do for themselves.” Such a society detaches one from holiness. It casts one into the world of mockery, and this is the prohibition of the seat of the scornful.

Our sages said about such societies, “Disperse the wicked; better for them and better for the world.” In other words, it is better that they do not exist. However, it is the opposite with the righteous: “Assemble the righteous; better for them and better for the world.”

What is the meaning of “righteous”? It is those who want to keep the rule, “Love thy friend as thyself,” whose sole intention is to exit self-love and assume a different nature of love of others. And although it is a Mitzva that should be kept, and one can force oneself to keep it, love is nonetheless something that is given to the heart, and the heart disagrees with it by nature. What then can one do to make love of others touch the heart?

This is why we were given the 612 Mitzvot: they have the power to induce a sensation in the heart. However, since it is against nature, that sensation is too small to have the ability to keep love of friends de facto, even though he has a need for it. Hence, now he must seek advice regarding how to actually implement it.

The advice for one to be able to increase his strength in the rule, “Love thy friend,” is love of friends. If every one is nullified before his friend and mingles with him, they become one mass, where all the little parts that want the love of others unite in a collective force that consists of many parts. And when he has great strength, he can execute the love of others.

And then he can achieve the love of God. But the condition is that each will annul before the other. However, when he is separated from his friend, he cannot receive the share he should receive from his friend.

Thus, everyone should say that he is nothing compared to his friend. It is like writing numbers: If you first write “1” and then “0” it is ten times more. And when you write “00” it is a hundred times more. In other words, if his friend is number one, and the zero follows it, it is considered that he receives from his friend ten (10) times more. And if he says that he is double zero compared to his friend, he receives from his friend a hundred (100) times more.

However, if it is to the contrary, and he says that his friend is zero and he is one, then he is ten times less than his friend 0.1. And if he can say that he is one and he has two friends who are both zeros compared to him, then he is considered a hundred times less than them, meaning he is 0.01. Thus, his degree lessens according to the number of zeros he has from his friends.

Yet, even once he acquires that strength and can keep the love of others in actual fact, and feels his own gratification as bad for him, still, do not believe in yourself. There must be fear of falling into self-love in the middle of the work. In other words, should he be given a greater pleasure than he is used to receiving, although he can already work in order to bestow with small pleasures, and is willing to relinquish them, he lives in fear of great pleasures.

This is called “fear,” and this is the gate to receive the Light of faith, called “The inspiration of Divinity,” as it is written in The Sulam [15], “by the measure of fear is the measure of faith.”

Hence, we must remember that the matter of “Love thy friend as thyself” should be kept because it is a Mitzva, since the Creator commanded to engage in love of friends. And Rabbi Akiva only interprets this Mitzva that the Creator commanded. He intended to make this Mitzva into a rule by which all the Mitzvot would be kept because of the commandment of the Creator, and for self-gratification.

In other words, it is not that the Mitzvot should expand our will to receive, meaning that by keeping the Mitzvot we would be generously rewarded. Quite the contrary, by keeping the Mitzvot we will reach the reward of being able to annul our self-love and achieve the love of others, and subsequently the love of God.

Now we can understand what our sages said about the verse, “place them.” It comes from the word, “potion [16].” “If granted, it is a potion of life; if not granted, it is a potion of death.” Not granted means that one engages in Torah and Mitzvot to multiply self-love, so the body would acquire possessions in return for its work. If granted, one’s self-love is nullified and he aims to receive a reward that is the strength for love of others, by which he will reach the love of the Creator – that his only wish will be to give contentment to the Creator.



[15] Translator’s note: The Sulam (Ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar.

[16] Translator’s note: In Hebrew the verb “to place” (Ve Samtem) is phonetically similar to the noun “potion” (Sam).

Love of Friends

Found in the book “Kabbalah for the student
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)


“And a certain man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying: ‘What seekest thou?’ And he said: ‘I seek my brethren. Tell me, I pray thee, where they are feeding the flock’” (Genesis, 37).

A man “wandering in the field” refers to a place from which the crop of the field to sustain the world should spring. And the works of the field are plowing, sowing, and reaping. It is said about that: “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy,” and this is called “a field which the Lord has blessed.”

Baal HaTurim explained that a person wandering in the field refers to one who strays from the path of reason, who does not know the real way, which leads to the place he should reach, as in “an ass wandering in the field.” And he comes to a state where he thinks that he will never achieve the goal he should achieve.

“And the man asked him, saying: ‘What seekest thou?’” meaning, “How can I help you?” “And he said: ‘I seek my brethren.’” By being together with my brothers, that is, by being in a group where there is love of friends, I will be able to mount the trail that leads to the house of God.

This trail is called “a path of bestowal,” and this way is against our nature. To be able to achieve it, there is no other way but love of friends, by which everyone can help his friend.

“And the man said: ‘They are departed hence.’” And Rashi interpreted that they had departed themselves from the brotherhood, meaning they do not want to bond with you. This, in the end, caused Israel’s exile in Egypt. And to be redeemed from Egypt, we must take it upon ourselves to enter a group that wants to be in love of friends, and by that we will be rewarded with exodus from Egypt and the reception of the Torah.

What Does “Love Thy Friend as Thyself” Give Us?

Found in the book “Kabbalah for the student
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)


What does the law (Klal [14]), “love thy friend as thyself” give us? Through this law, we can come to love the Creator. If this is so, what does keeping the 612 Mitzvot give us?

First, we need to know what a law is. It is known that a collective (Klal) consists of many individuals. Without individuals, there cannot be a collective. For example, when we refer to an audience as “a sacred audience,” we are referring to a number of individuals who have gathered and formed a unit. Afterwards, a head is appointed to the audience, etc., and this is called a Minian (ten/quorum) or a “congregation.” At least ten people must be present, and then it is possible to say Kedusha (specific part of a Jewish prayer) at the service.

The Holy Zohar says about it: “Wherever there are ten, Divinity dwells.” This means that in a place where there are ten men, there is a place for the dwelling of Divinity.

It therefore follows that the law, “Love thy friend as thyself,” is built on 612 Mitzvot. In other words, if we keep the 612 Mitzvot, we will be able to achieve the law, “Love thy friend as thyself.” It turns out that the particular elements allow us to achieve the collective, and when we have the collective, we will be able to achieve the love of the Creator, as it is written, “My soul yearns for the Lord.”

However, one cannot keep all 612 Mitzvot alone. Take, for example, the redemption of the first-born. If one’s first-born is a girl, he cannot keep the Mitzva of redemption of the first-born. Also, women are exempted from observing time-dependent Mitzvot, such as Tzitzit and Tefillin. But because “all of Israel are responsible for one another,” through everyone, they are all kept. It is as though everyone keeps all the Mitzvot together. Hence, through the 612 Mitzvot, we can achieve the law, “Love thy friend as thyself.”



[14] Translator’s note: In Hebrew, the word Klal means both “law” and “collective.” The author alternates between the two meanings.