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Baal HaSulam/Letters
Letter 25

Letter 25

14 Kislev, Tav-Reish-Peh-Zayin, November 20, 1926, London

To my soul mate, may his candle burn forever:

... What you wrote, that you do not understand the innovations in the Torah that I wrote to you, they should have been clear to you. When you straighten out the way you work, you will understand them for certain. This is why I wrote them to you.

You explained regarding “sins becoming as merits to him,” that when one repents before the Creator, he evidently sees that the Creator forced him into his iniquities, and yet he willingly gives his soul to correct them as though they were his own iniquities. By this, the sins become as merits. But that still does not hit the target, as in the end you turn coercions into merits but not sins.

You also strayed further from the way by interpreting the sin of Adam HaRishon, condemning his soul to forced exile, and making the coercion a mistake. And what you explained, that it makes no difference whether the baby makes himself dirty or is made so by his father’s deeds, for in the end he is dirty and must wash, I wonder, how did dirt come out of purity?

Your last words are sincere, that because you went into a place that is not yours, and due to your habit to cloak yourself with clothes that are not your own, you did not understand my words, which are aiming precisely and only for you. I wish these words were enough for you to stop wandering in vineyards that are not your own, as it is written in The Zohar, “One must not look where he should not.”

Regarding what you wrote—that I seem to speak in riddles—it is written, “The needs of Your people, Israel, are many.” There is no time that is like another, much less those who go from door to door, to and fro, but the doors won’t open. There is an end to the changes in their states. While I write words of Torah, or verbally, I say them so they will furnish for at least a few months, so they will be understood in the good times over time. But what can I do if the good times are few, or the broken is more than the corrected and my words are forgotten?

Of course, the human intellectual mind will not examine my words at all, for they are said and are constructed from the letters of the heart.

And concerning your imagination that you entered and did not know how to come out because you grew tired of examining the matter, I will tell you that in general, one who repents from love is rewarded with complete Dvekut [adhesion], meaning the highest degree, and one who is ready for sins is in the netherworld. These are the farthest two points in this entire reality.

It would seem that we should be meticulous with the word “repentance,” which should have been called “wholeness,” except it is to show that everything is preordained, and each and every soul is already established in all its light, goodness, and eternity. But for the bread of shame, the soul went out in restrictions until it clothed in the murky body, and only through it does it return to its root prior to the Tzimtzum [restriction], with its reward in its hand from all the terrible move it had made. The overall reward is the real Dvekut, meaning that she [the soul] got rid of the bread of shame because her vessel of reception has become a vessel of bestowal and her form is equal to her Maker, and I have often spoken to you about that.

By this you will see that if the descent is for the purpose of ascending, it is regarded as an ascent and not as a descent. Indeed, the descent itself is the ascent as the letters of the prayer themselves are filled with abundance, and with a short prayer, the abundance is small for lack of letters. Our sages said, “Had Israel not sinned, only the Five Books of Moses and the book of Joshua would have been given to them.”

The Zohar also spoke about it, saying that one who is rewarded with repentance, the Shechina [Divinity] appears to him like a soft-hearted mother who has not seen her son for many days, and they made great efforts and experienced ordeals in order to see each other, because of which they both were in great dangers. But in the end, they came to that longed-for freedom and were rewarded with seeing one another. Then the mother fell on him, kissed him, comforted him, and spoke softly to him all day and all night. She told him of the longing and the dangers on the roads she has experienced until today, how she had always been with him, and that the Shechina never moved, but suffered with him in all the places, but he could not see it.

These are the words of The Zohar: “She says to him, ‘Here we slept; here we were attacked by robbers and were saved from them; here we hid in a deep pit,’ and so forth. What fool would not understand the great love and pleasantness and delight that burst from these comforting stories?”

In truth, before we met face to face it felt as suffering that is harder than death. But as the word Nega [affliction] is because the Ayin [the letter] comes at the end of the word, but during the telling of comfort-stories, the Ayin is in the beginning of the word, making it Oneg [delight/pleasure]. However, they are two points that illuminate only once they are in the same world. Now imagine a father and son who have been anxiously waiting for each other for days and years. When they finally see each other, the son is deaf and mute, and they cannot enjoy one another at all. It follows that the essence of the love is in royal delights.

Yehuda Leib