Table of contents
Yehuda Leib Ha-Levi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)/Prefaces
Introduction to The Book of Zohar
Introduction to the Book Panim Meirot uMasbirot
Foreword to The Book of Zohar
General preface
Introduction to A Sage’s Fruit, Vol. 4 (Three Partners)
Introduction to The Book of Zohar
Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot
Introduction to the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah
Introduction to “From the Mouth of a Sage”
Preface to the Sulam Commentary
Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah

Introduction to The Book of Zohar

1) In this introduction, I would like to clarify matters that are seemingly simple, matters that everyone fumbles with and for which much ink has been spilled attempting to clarify. Yet we have not reached a concrete and sufficient knowledge of them.

Question No. 1: What is our essence?

Question No. 2: What is our role in the long chain of reality, of which we are but small links?

Question No. 3: When we examine ourselves, we find that we are so corrupted and low and there is nothing more contemptible than us. And when we examine the Operator who has made us, we are compelled to be at the highest degree, for there is none so praiseworthy as Him, for it is necessary that only perfect operations will stem from a perfect operator.

4. Our mind asserts that He is The Good Who Does Good, and there is nothing higher than Him. How, then, did He create so many creatures that suffer and agonize all through their lives? Is it not the way of the good to do good, or at least not to do so much harm?

5. How is it possible that the infinite, who has neither beginning nor end, will produce finite, mortal, and flawed creatures?

2) In order to fully clarify all this, we need to make some preliminary inquiries, and not, God forbid, where it is forbidden, in the Creator’s essence, of which we have no thought or perception whatsoever, and thus have no thought or utterance of Him, but where we are commanded to inquire, meaning the inquiry of His deeds. It is as the Torah commands us: “Know the God of your father and serve Him,” and as it says in the poem of unification, “By Your actions we know You.”

Thus, inquiry No. 1 is, How can we picture a new creation, something new that is not included in Him before He creates it, when it is obvious to any observer that there is nothing that is not included in Him? Common sense also dictates it, for how can one give what one does not have?

Inquiry No. 2: If you say that from the aspect of His almightiness, of course He can create existence from absence, something new that is not in Him, there arises the question—what is this reality which can be determined as having no place in Him at all, but is completely new?

Inquiry No. 3: Kabbalists have said that man’s soul is a part of God above, so there is no difference between Him and the soul, except He is the “whole” and the soul is a “part.” They compared it to a rock carved from a mountain. There is no difference between the rock and the mountain, except that one is the “whole” and the other is a “part.” Thus, we must ask: It is one thing that a stone carved from the mountain is separated from it by an ax made for that purpose, causing the separation of the “part” from the “whole.” But how can you picture this about Him, that He will separate a part of His self until it departs His self and becomes separated from Him, meaning a soul, to the point that it can be understood only as part of His self?

3) Inquiry No. 4: Since the chariot of the Sitra Achra [other side] and the Klipot [shells] is so far, at the other end from His holiness, until such remoteness is inconceivable, how can it be extracted and made from holiness, much less that His holiness will sustain it?

Inquiry No. 5: The matter of the revival of the dead: Since the body is so contemptible that immediately at birth it is doomed to death and burial, and moreover, The Zohar said that before the body rots entirely, the soul cannot ascend to its place in the Garden of Eden, while there are still remnants of it. Therefore, why must it return and rise at the revival of the dead? Could the Creator not delight the souls without it?

Even more bewildering is what our sages said, that the dead are destined to rise with their flaws, so they will not be mistaken for another, and after that He will cure their flaws. We must understand why the Creator should mind that they would not be mistaken for another, to the point that for this He would recreate their flaws and then would have to cure it.

Inquiry No. 6: Regarding what our sages said, that man is the center of reality, that the upper worlds, this corporeal world, and everything in them, were created only for him (The Zohar, Tazria, 40), and obliged man to believe that the world had been created for him (Sanhedrin 37). It is seemingly hard to grasp that for this trifling human—whose value is no more than a wisp compared to the reality of this world, much less compared to all the upper worlds, whose height and sublimity is immeasurable—the Creator had troubled Himself to create all these for him. And also, why does man need all this?

4) To understand these questions and inquiries, the only tactic is to examine the end of the act, that is, the purpose of creation, for nothing can be understood in the middle of the process, but only at its end. And it is clear that there is no act without a purpose, for only the insane can act purposelessly.

I know that there are those who cast over their backs the burden of Torah and Mitzvot [pl. of Mitzva], saying the Creator has created the whole of reality, then left it alone, that because of the worthlessness of the creatures, it is not fitting for the exalted Creator to watch over their mean little ways. Indeed, without knowledge they have spoken, for it is impossible to decide on our lowliness and nothingness before we decide that we have created ourselves with all our corrupted and loathsome natures.

But while we decide that the Creator, who is utterly perfect, is the one who created and designed our bodies, with all their admirable and contemptible attributes, surely, there can never emerge an imperfect act under the hand of the perfect worker, as each act testifies to its performer. What fault is it of a bad garment if some no-good tailor made it?

Such as this we find in (Masechet Taanit 20): A tale about Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, who came across a very ugly man. He said to him: “How ugly is that man.” The man replied: “Go and tell the craftsman who made me, ‘How ugly is this instrument that you have made.’” Thus, those who claim that because of our lowliness and nothingness, it is not beneath Him to watch over us, and so He has left us, do nothing but display their ignorance.

Try to imagine if you were to meet a person who would create creatures precisely so they would suffer and agonize their whole lives as we do, and not only that, but cast them behind his back without even to look after them to help them a little. How contemptible and low you would regard him! Can such a thing be thought of Him?

5) Therefore, common sense dictates that we grasp the opposite of what appears to be on the surface, and decide that we are truly noble and worthy creatures, of immeasurable importance, meaning truly worthy of the worker who had made us. For any fault you wish to perceive in our bodies, behind all the excuses that you give to yourself, falls only on the Creator, who created us and the nature within us, for it is clear that He created us and not we.

He also knows all the ways that stem from the evil nature and attributes He has installed in us. It is as we have said, that we must contemplate the end of the act, and then we will be able to understand everything. It is as the saying goes, “Do not show a fool a job half done.”

6) Our sages have already said (Tree of Life, Shaar HaKlalim, beginning of Chapter 1) that the Creator created the world for no other reason but to delight His creatures. And here is where we must place our minds and all our thoughts, for it is the ultimate aim of the act of the creation of the world.

We must bear in mind that since the thought of creation was to bestow upon His creatures, He had to create in the souls a great measure of desire to receive what He had thought to give them. For the measure of each pleasure and delight depends on the measure of the will to receive it. The greater the will to receive, the greater the pleasure; and the lesser the will to receive, to that extent, the pleasure from reception decreases. Thus, the thought of creation itself necessarily dictates the creation of an excessive will to receive in the souls, to fit the immense pleasure that His almightiness thought to bestow upon the souls, for the great delight and the great desire to receive go hand in hand.

7) Once we have learned this, we come to a full understanding of the second inquiry in complete clarity. We have learned what is the reality that can be clearly determined, which is not a part of His essence, to the extent that we can say that it is a new creation, existence from absence. Now that we know for certain that the thought of creation, to delight His creatures, necessarily created a quality of a desire to receive from Him all the goodness and pleasantness that He had planned for them, that will to receive was clearly not included in His essence before He created it in the souls, as from whom could He receive? It follows that He created something new that is not in Him.

And yet, we understand that according to the thought of creation, there was no need to create anything more than that will to receive since this new creation is sufficient for Him to fulfill the entire thought of creation, which He had thought to bestow upon us. But all the filling in the thought of creation, all the benefits He had planned to render us, stem directly from His self, and He has no reason to recreate them since they are already extended existence from existence to the great will to receive in the souls. Thus, we evidently see that all the substance in the generated creation, from beginning to end, is only the will to receive.

8) Now we have come to understand the words of the Kabbalists in the third inquiry. We wondered how it was possible to say about souls that they were a part of God above, like a stone that is carved from a mountain, that there is no difference between them except that one is a “part” and the other is the “whole.” And we wondered: It is one thing to say that the stone that is carved from the mountain becomes separated by an ax made for that purpose, but how can you say this about His essence? And also, what was it that separated the souls from His essence and excluded them from the Creator to become creatures?

From the above, we clearly understand that as the ax cuts and splits a physical object in two, the disparity of form divides the spiritual into two. For example, when two people love one another, you say that they are attached to one another as one body. And when they hate one another, you say that they are as far from one another as the east from the west. But there is no issue of nearness or remoteness of location here. Rather, it implies equivalence of form: When they are equal in form, and one loves what the other loves and hates what the other hates, they love one another and are attached to one another.

And if there is some disparity of form between them, and one of them likes something that the other hates, to the extent that they differ in form, they become distant and hateful of one another. And if, for example, they are opposite in form, where everything that one likes, the other hates, and everything the other hates is liked by the first, they are regarded as remote as the east from the west, meaning from one end to the other.

9) You therefore find that in spirituality, the disparity of form acts like the axe that separates in the corporeal world, and the distance between them is proportional to the oppositeness of form. From this we learn that since the will to receive His delight has been imprinted in the souls, and we have shown that this form is absent in the Creator, as from whom would He receive, that disparity of form that the souls acquired separates them from His essence like the axe that carves a stone from the mountain. Because of that disparity of form, the souls were separated from the Creator and became creatures. However, everything the souls acquire of His light extends from His essence, existence from existence.

It follows that with respect to His light, which they receive in their Kli [vessel], which is the will to receive, there is no difference whatsoever between them and His essence, since they receive it existence from existence, directly from His essence. The only difference between the souls and His essence is that the souls are a part of His essence, meaning that the amount of light that they received in their Kli, being the will to receive, is already separated from the Creator, as it is predicated in the disparity of form of the will to receive. This disparity of form made it a part by which they were separated from the “whole” and became a “part.” Thus, the only difference between them is that one is the “whole” and the other is a “part,” as a stone that is carved from a mountain. Scrutinize this carefully for it is impossible to elaborate further in such an exalted place.

10) Now we can begin to understand the fourth inquiry: How is it possible that the chariot of the Tuma’a [impurity] and Klipot would emerge from His holiness, since it is at the other end of His holiness? Also, how can it be that He supports and sustains it? Indeed, first we must understand the meaning of the existence of the Tuma’a and the Klipot.

Know that this great will to receive, which we determined was the very essence of the souls by creation—for which they are fit to receive the entire filling in the thought of creation—does not remain in this form within the souls. Had it remained in them, they would have to remain eternally separated from Him since the disparity of form in them would separate them from Him.

In order to mend this separation, which lies on the Kli of the souls, He created all the worlds and separated them into two systems, as in the verse, “God has made them one opposite the other.” These are the four worlds ABYA of Kedusha [holiness], and opposite them the four worlds ABYA of Tuma’a. And He imprinted the desire to bestow in the system of ABYA of Kedusha, removed from them the will to receive for themselves, and placed it in the system of the worlds ABYA of Tuma’a. Because of this, they have become separated from the Creator and from all the worlds of Kedusha.

For this reason, the Klipot are called “dead,” as in the verse, “sacrifices of the dead.” And the wicked that follow them, as our sages said, “The wicked, in their lives, are called ‘dead,’” since the will to receive imprinted in them in oppositeness of form to His holiness separates them from the Life of Lives, and they are far from Him from one end to the other. It is so because He has no interest in reception, only in bestowal, whereas the Klipot have no interest in bestowing, but only to receive for themselves, for their own delight, and there is no greater oppositeness than this. You already know that spiritual remoteness begins with some disparity of form and ends in oppositeness of form, which is the farthest possible distance in the last degree.

11) The worlds cascaded onto the reality of this corporeal world to a place where there are a body and a soul, and a time of corruption and a time of correction. For the body, which is the will to receive for oneself, extends from its root in the thought of creation through the system of the worlds of Tuma’a, as it is written, “Man is born a wild ass’s colt.” He remains under the authority of that system for the first thirteen years, and this is the time of corruption.

By engaging in Mitzvot from thirteen years of age onward, in order to bestow contentment upon his Maker, he begins to purify the will to receive for himself, imprinted in him, and slowly turns it to the aim to bestow. By this he extends a holy soul from its root in the thought of creation. It passes through the system of the worlds of Kedusha and dresses in the body. This is the time of correction.

So he accumulates degrees of holiness from the thought of creation in Ein Sof [infinity], until they aid him in turning the will to receive for himself in him, to be entirely in the form of reception in order to bestow contentment upon his Maker, and not at all for his own benefit. By this, one acquires equivalence of form with his Maker, for reception in order to bestow is regarded as pure bestowal.

It is written in Masechet Kidushin, p 7, that with an important man, she gives and he says—by this you are sanctified. Because when his reception is in order to delight the one who gives him, it is deemed absolute bestowal and giving. Thus, one buys complete Dvekut [adhesion] with Him, for spiritual Dvekut is but equivalence of form, as our sages said, “How is it possible to adhere unto Him? Rather, adhere on to His qualities.” By this, one becomes worthy of receiving all the delight, pleasure, and gentleness in the thought of creation.

12) Thus we have clearly explained the correction of the will to receive, imprinted in the souls by the thought of creation. For the Creator has prepared for them two systems, one opposite the other, through which the souls pass and divide into two discernments, body and soul, which dress in one another.

Through Torah and Mitzvot, they finally turn the form of the will to receive to be as the form of the desire to bestow, and then they can receive all the goodness in the thought of creation. And along with it, they are rewarded with a solid adhesion with Him, because through the work in Torah and Mitzvot, they have been rewarded with equivalence of form with their Maker. This is regarded as the end of correction.

Then, since there will no longer be any need for the foul Sitra Achra [other side], it will be eliminated from the earth and death will be swallowed up forever. And all the work in Torah and Mitzvot that was given to the world during the six thousand years of the existence of the world, and to each person during one’s seventy years of life, are to bring them to the end of correction—the above-mentioned equivalence of form.

The issue of the formation and extension of the system of Klipot and Tuma’a from His holiness has also been thoroughly clarified now: It had to be in order to extend by it the creation of the bodies, which would then be corrected through Torah and Mitzvot. If our bodies, with their corrupted will to receive, were not extended through the system of Tuma’a, we would never be able to correct it, for one does not correct that which is not in him.

13) Indeed, we still need to understand how the will to receive for oneself, which is so flawed and corrupted, could extend from, and be in the thought of creation in Ein Sof, whose unity is beyond words and beyond description. The thing is that by the very thought to create the souls, His thought completed everything, for He does not need an act, as do we. Instantaneously, all the souls and worlds that were destined to be created emerged filled with all the delight and pleasure and the gentleness that He had planned for them, in the final perfection that the souls were destined to receive at the end of correction, after the will to receive in the souls has been fully corrected and has turned into pure bestowal, in complete equivalence of form with the Emanator.

This is so because in His eternalness, past, present, and future are as one. The future is as the present, and there is no such thing as time in Him (The Zohar, Mishpatim, Item 51, New Zohar, Beresheet, Item 243). Hence, there was never an issue of a corrupted will to receive in its separated state in Ein Sof.

On the contrary, that equivalence of form, destined to be revealed at the end of correction, appeared instantly in His eternalness. Our sages said about this (Pirkei de Rabbi Eliezer): “Before the world was created, there were He is one and His name One,” for the separated form in the will to receive had not been revealed in the reality of the souls that emerged in the thought of creation. Rather, they were adhered to Him in equivalence of form by way of “He is one and His name One.”

14) Thus you necessarily find that on the whole, there are three states to the soul:

The First State is their presence in Ein Sof, in the thought of creation, where they already have the future form of the end of correction.

The Second State is their existence during the six thousand years, which were divided by the above two systems into a body and a soul. They were given the work in Torah and Mitzvot in order to invert their will to receive and turn it into a desire to bestow contentment upon their Maker, and not at all for themselves.

During the time of that state, no correction will come to the bodies, only to the souls. This means that they must eliminate from within them any form of self-reception, which is considered the body, and remain with but a desire to bestow, which is the form of the desire in the souls. Even the souls of the righteous will not be able to rejoice in the Garden of Eden after their demise, but only after their bodies have completely rotted in the dust.

The Third State is the end of the correction of the souls after the revival of the dead. At that time, the complete correction will come to the bodies, too, for then they will turn reception for themselves, which is the form of the body, to take on the form of pure bestowal, and they will become worthy of receiving for themselves all the delight, pleasure, and pleasantness in the thought of creation.

And with all that, they will attain strong Dvekut by the force of their equivalence of form with their Maker, since they will not receive all this because of their desire to receive, but because of their desire to bestow contentment upon their Maker, since He derives pleasure when they receive from Him. For purposes of brevity, from now on I will use the names of these three states, namely “first state,” “second state,” and “third state,” and you will remember all that is explained here in every state.

15) When you examine the above three states, you will find that one completely necessitates the other, in a way that if one were to be canceled, the others would be canceled, too.

If, for example, the third state—the inversion of the form of reception to the form of bestowal—had not materialized, it is certain that the first state in Ein Sof would never have been able to emerge, since the wholeness materialized there only because the future third state was already there, as though it is the present. All the wholeness that was depicted there in that state is like a reflection from the future into the present. But if the future could be canceled, there would not be any present. Thus, the third state necessitates the existence of the first state.

It is all the more so when something is canceled in the second state, where there is all the work that is destined to be completed in the third state, the work in corruptions and corrections and the extensions of the degrees of the souls. Thus, how will the third state come to be? Hence, the second state necessitates the third state.

And so it is with the existence of the first state in Ein Sof, where the wholeness of the third state already exists. It necessitates that it will be adapted, meaning that the second and third states will be revealed in the complete wholeness that is there, no less and no more in any way.

Thus, the first state itself necessitates the expansion of two corresponding systems in the second state, to allow the existence of a body in the will to receive corrupted by the system of Tuma’a, and then we can correct it. Had there not been a system of worlds of Tuma’a, we would not have that will to receive and we would not be able to correct it and achieve the third state, for one cannot correct that which is not in him. Thus, we need not ask how the system of Tuma’a came to be from the first state, for it is the first state that necessitates its existence in the form of the second state.

16) Therefore, one might wonder if perhaps choice had been taken from us, since we must be completed and come to the third state, since it is already present in the first. The thing is that the Creator has prepared for us two ways in the second state in order to bring us to the third state:

The first is the path of observing Torah and Mitzvot [commandments], as has been explained above.

The second is the path of suffering, since the pain itself purifies the body and will eventually compel us to invert our will to receive into the form of a desire to bestow, and cling to Him. It is as our sages said (Sanhedrin 97b), “If you repent, good; and if not, I will place over you a king such as Haman who will force you to repent.” Our sages said about the verse, “will hasten it in its time”: “If they are rewarded, I will hasten it; and if not, in its time.”

This means that if we are granted through the first path, by observing Torah and Mitzvot, we thus hasten our correction, and we do not need the harsh and bitter agony and the long time needed to experience them, so they will compel us to reform. And if not, “in its time,” meaning only when the suffering completes our correction and the time of correction is forced upon us. On the whole, the path of suffering is also the punishments of the souls in Hell.

But one way or the other, the end of correction, namely the third state, is mandatory because of the first state. Our choice is only between the path of suffering and the path of Torah and Mitzvot. Thus we have thoroughly clarified how the three states of the souls are interconnected and necessitate one another.

17) From all the above, we thoroughly understand the third inquiry we asked, that when we examine ourselves, we find ourselves to be as corrupted and as contemptible as can be. But when we examine the Operator who created us, we must be exalted, for there is none so praiseworthy as He, as becoming of the Operator who created us, because the nature of the perfect Operator is to perform perfect operations.

Now we can understand that our body, with all its trifle incidents and possessions, is not at all our real body. Our real, eternal, and complete body already exists in Ein Sof, in the first state, where it receives its complete form from the future third state, that is, receiving in the form of bestowal, in equivalence of form with Ein Sof.

And if our first state necessitates that we receive the Klipa [shell] of our body in the second state, in its corrupted and loathsome form, which is the will to receive for oneself alone, which is the force that separates us from Ein Sof, so as to correct it and allow us to receive our eternal body in practice, in the third state, we need not protest it. Our work can only be done in this transitory and wasteful body, for “one does not correct that which is not in him.”

Thus, we are already in that measure of wholeness worthy and fitting of the perfect Operator who has made us, even in our current, second state. This body does not blemish us in any way since it is destined to expire and die, and is only here for the time necessary for its cancellation and acquisition of our eternal form.

18) This settles our fifth inquiry: How could it be that transitory, wasteful actions would extend from the eternal? According to the above, we see that, indeed, we have already been extended as is fitting for His eternalness—eternal and perfect beings. Our eternalness requires that the Klipa of the body, which was given to us only for work, be transitory and wasteful. If it remained in eternity, we would remain forever separated from the Life of Lives.

We have said before, in Item 13, that this form of our body, which is the will to receive for ourselves alone, is not at all present in the eternal thought of creation, for there we are in the form of the third state. Yet, it is mandatory in the second state, in order to allow us to correct it.

We must not ponder the state of rest of the beings in the world besides man, since man is the center of creation, as will be written below in Item 39. All other creatures do not have any value in themselves, but to the extent that they help man achieve his wholeness. Hence, they rise and fall with him without any consideration of themselves.

19) With this we settle our fourth inquiry: Since the nature of the good is to do good, how did He create beings that would be tormented and agonized throughout their lives? As we have said, all this agony is necessitated from our first state, where our complete eternity, which comes from the future third state, compels us to go either by the path of Torah or by the path of suffering, and reach our eternal state in the third state (as said in Item 15).

And all this agony is felt only by the Klipa of our body, created only to be perished and buried. This teaches us that the will to receive for oneself in us was created only to be eradicated, abolished from the world, and be turned into a desire to bestow. The pains we suffer are but revelations of its nothingness and the harm in it. Indeed, when all human beings agree to abolish and eradicate their will to receive for themselves and have no other desire but to bestow upon their friends, all worries and jeopardy in the world would cease to exist. We would all be assured of a whole and wholesome life, since each of us would have a whole world caring for us, ready to satisfy our needs.

Yet, while each of us has only a desire to receive for oneself, this is the source of all the worries, suffering, wars, and slaughter we cannot escape. They weaken our bodies with all sorts of sores and maladies, and you find that all the agonies in our world are but manifestations offered to our eyes, to prompt us to revoke the evil Klipa of the body and assume the complete form of the desire to bestow. It is as we have said, that the path of suffering itself can bring us to the desired form. Bear in mind that the Mitzvot between man and man come before the Mitzvot between man and the Creator since bestowing upon one’s friend brings one to bestow upon the Creator.

20) After all that we have said, we come to the resolution of our first inquiry: What is our essence? Our essence is as the essence of all the details in reality, which is no more and no less than the will to receive, as written in Item 7. But it is not as it is now, in the second state, which is the will to receive only for oneself, but as it stands in the first state, in Ein Sof, in its eternal form, which is reception in order to bestow contentment upon his Maker, as written in Item 13.

Although we have not yet reached the third state in actual fact, and we still need time, it does not blemish our essence whatsoever, since our third state is necessitated from the first. Thus, “all that is bound to be collected is deemed collected.” And the need for time is regarded a deficiency only where there is doubt whether one will complete what needs to be completed in time.

But since we have no doubt about it, it is as though we have already reached the third state. And that body, too, given to us in its present, corrupted form, does not blemish our essence, since it and all its possessions are to be completely eradicated along with the whole system of Tuma’a, which is their source, and all that is bound to be burned is deemed burned, regarded as though it never existed.

But the soul that is dressed in that body, whose essence is also purely a desire—but a desire to bestow, which extends to us from the system of the four worlds of ABYA of Kedusha—exists forever, as written in Item 11. This is because this form of a desire to bestow is in equivalence of form with the Life of Lives and is not in any way exchangeable. This matter will be completed below, from Item 32 onward.

21) Do not be led astray by the philosophers who say that the very essence of the soul is an intellectual substance, and that it only exists through the concepts it learns, that it grows through them and that they are its very essence. And the question of the remaining of the soul after the departure of the body depends entirely on the extent of concepts it has acquired, until in the absence of the concepts, there remains nothing to continue. This is not the view of Torah. It is also unacceptable, and anyone who ever tried to acquire knowledge knows and feels that the mind is a possession and not the actual possessor.

But as we have said, the whole substance of creation, both the substance of the spiritual objects and the substance of the corporeal objects, is no more and no less than a desire to receive. Although we said that the soul is entirely a desire to bestow, it is only through corrections of reflected light that it receives from the upper worlds, from which it comes to us. The meaning of this clothing is thoroughly explained in “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Items 14, 15, 16, and 19.

Yet, the very essence of the soul is a will to receive, as well. And the only difference we can tell between one object and another is only by its desire, for the desire in any essence creates needs, and the needs create thoughts and concepts so as to obtain those needs, which the will to receive demands.

As human desires differ from one another, so do their needs, thoughts, and ideas. For instance, those whose will to receive is limited to beastly desires, their needs, thoughts, and ideas are dedicated to satisfying that will to receive in its entire beastliness. Although they use the mind and reason as humans do, it is, however, enough for the slave to be as his master. And it is like the beastly mind, since the mind is enslaved and serves the beastly desire.

And those whose will to receive is strong mainly in human desires—such as respect and control over others—which are absent in the beast, the majority of their needs, thoughts, and ideas revolve solely around satisfying that desire as much as they can. And those whose will to receive is intensified mainly for acquisition of knowledge, the majority of their needs, thoughts, and ideas are to satisfy that desire as much as they can.

22) These three desires are present in most every person, but mingle in different quantities, hence the difference from one person to another. And from the corporeal attributes we can deduce about the spiritual objects according to their spiritual value.

23) Thus, spiritual human souls—through the clothing of reflected light that they receive from the upper worlds from which they come—have only a desire to bestow contentment upon their Maker. That desire is their essence and the core of the soul. It turns out that once dressed in a human body, it generates needs and desires and ideas to satisfy its desire to bestow to the fullest, meaning to bestow contentment upon its Maker, according to the size of its desire.

24) The essence of the body is but a desire to receive for itself, and all its manifestations and possessions are fulfillments of that corrupted will to receive, which had initially been created only to be eradicated from the world in order to achieve the complete third state at the end of correction. For this reason, it is mortal, transitory, and contemptible, along with all its possessions, like a fleeting shadow that leaves nothing in its wake.

Since the essence of the soul is but a desire to bestow, and all its manifestations and possessions are fulfillments of that desire to bestow, which already exists in the eternal first state, as well as in the future third state, it is immortal and irreplaceable. Rather, it and all its possessions are eternal and exist forever. Absence does not affect them whatsoever at the departure of the body. On the contrary, the absence of the form of the corrupted body greatly strengthens it and enables it to rise to the Garden of Eden.

Thus we have clearly shown that the persistence of the soul in no way depends upon the concepts it has acquired, as philosophers claim. Rather, its eternity is in its very essence, in its desire to bestow, which is its essence. And the concepts it acquires are its reward, not its essence.

25) From here emerges the full resolution of the fifth inquiry: Since the body is so corrupted that the soul cannot be fully purified before the body rots in the ground, why does it return at the revival of the dead? And also, the question about the words of our sages: “The dead are destined to be revived with their flaws, so it will not be said, ‘It is another’” (The Zohar, Emor, 17).

And you will clearly understand this matter from the thought of creation itself, from the first state. We have said that since the thought was to delight His creatures, He had to create an overwhelmingly excessive will to receive all that bounty, which is in the thought of creation, for “the great delight and the great will to receive go hand in hand,” as said in Items 6-7. We stated there that this excessive will to receive is all the new substance He had created, for He needs nothing more than that in order to carry out the thought of creation. And it is the nature of the perfect Operator not to perform redundant operations, as written in the Poem of Unification: “Of all Your work, not a thing did You forget, omit, or add.”

We also said there that this excessive will to receive has been completely removed from the system of Kedusha and was given entirely to the system of the worlds of Tuma’a, from which extend the bodies, their sustenance, and all their possessions in this world. When one reaches thirteen years of age, he begins to attain a holy soul through engaging in the Torah. At that time, he is nourished by the system of the worlds of Kedusha according to the greatness of the soul of Kedusha he has attained.

We also said above that during the six thousand years that are given to us for work in Torah and Mitzvot, no corrections from this come to the body—to excessive will to receive in it. All the corrections that come through our work relate only to the soul, which climbs through them on the degrees of Kedusha and purity, meaning only enhancement of the desire to bestow that extends with the soul.

For this reason, the body will ultimately die, be buried, and rot since it did not undergo any correction. Yet, it cannot remain that way, for if the excessive will to receive perished from the world, the thought of creation would not be realized—meaning the reception of all the great pleasures that He intended to bestow upon His creatures, for “the great will to receive and the great pleasure go hand in hand.” And to the extent that the desire to receive it diminishes, so diminish the delight and pleasure from reception.

26) We have already stated that the first state necessitates the third state, to fully materialize as was in the thought of creation—in the first state—not omitting a single thing, as said in Item 15. Therefore, the first state necessitates the revival of the dead bodies. That means that their excessive will to receive, which had already been eradicated and rotted in the second state, must now be revived in all its exaggerated measure, without any restraints, meaning with all its past flaws.

Then begins the work anew, to invert that excessive will to receive to work only to bestow. And then we will have doubled our gain:

  1. We would have a place to receive all the delight and pleasure and gentleness in the thought of creation, since we would already have a body with its greatly excessive will to receive, which goes hand in hand with these pleasures.

  2. Since our reception in that manner would be only in order to bestow contentment upon our Maker, that reception would be regarded as complete bestowal, as said in Item 11. That would bring us to equivalence of form, which is Dvekut, which is our form in the third state. Thus, the first state absolutely necessitates the revival of the dead.

27) Indeed, there cannot be revival for the dead, but only near the end of correction, toward the end of the second state. For once we have been rewarded with denying our excessive will to receive, and have been granted the will to only bestow, and once we have been endowed with all the wonderful degrees of the soul, called Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, Yechida, through our work at negating this will to receive, we have come to the greatest perfection, until the body could be revived with all its excessive will to receive, and we are no longer harmed by it by being separated from our Dvekut.

On the contrary, we overcome it and give it the form of bestowal. Indeed, this is done with every corrupt quality that we wish to remove from it. 1) We must completely remove it until there is nothing left of it. 2) Next, we can receive it again and conduct it in the middle way. But as long as we have not fully removed it, it is impossible to conduct it in the desired, medium way.

28) Our sages said, “The dead are destined to be revived with their flaws, and then be healed.” This means that in the beginning, the same body is revived, which is the excessive will to receive, without any restraints, just as it grew under the Merkava [structure] of the worlds of Tuma’a, before the Torah and Mitzvot have purified it in any way. This is the meaning of “in all their flaws.”

Next, we embark on a new kind of labor—to insert all that excessive will to receive in the form of bestowal. Then it is healed, because now it obtained equivalence of form. And they said that the reason is “so it will not be said, ‘It is another,’” meaning so it will not be said about it that it is in a different form than the one it had in the thought of creation. This is so because that excessive will to receive stands there, aiming to receive all the bounty in the thought of creation.

It is only that in the meantime it has been given to the Klipot for purification. But in the end, it must not be a different body, for if it were diminished in any way, it would be deemed entirely different, and thus unworthy of receiving all the bounty in the thought of creation, as it receives there in the manner of the first state.

29) Now we can resolve the above second inquiry: What is our role in the long chain of reality, of which we are but tiny links, during the short span of our days? Know that our work during the seventy years of our days is divided in four.

The first division is to obtain the excessive will to receive without restraints in its full, corrupted measure from under the hands of the four impure worlds ABYA. If we do not have that corrupted will to receive, we will not be able to correct it, for “one cannot correct that which is not in him.”

Thus, the will to receive imprinted in the body at birth is insufficient. Rather, it must also be a vehicle for the impure Klipot for no less than thirteen years. This means that the Klipot must control it and give it of their lights, for their lights increase its will to receive. That is because the fulfillments that the Klipot grant the will to receive only expand and enhance the demands of the will to receive.

For example, at birth, he has a desire for only a hundred, and not more. But when the Sitra Achra provides the one hundred, the will to receive immediately grows and wants two hundred. Then, when the Sitra Achra provides fulfillment for the two hundred, the desire immediately expands and wants four hundred. If one does not overcome it through Torah and Mitzvot, and purifies the will to receive to turn it into bestowal, one’s will to receive expands throughout one’s life until eventually he dies without obtaining half his wishes. This is regarded as being under the authority of the Sitra Achra and the Klipot, whose role is to expand and enhance his will to receive and make it exaggerated and completely unrestrained, to provide one with all the material he needs to work with and correct.

30) The second division is from thirteen years and on. At that point, the point in his heart, which is the posterior of the soul of Kedusha, is given strength. Although it is dressed in his will to receive at birth, it only begins to awaken after thirteen years, for the above-said reason, and then one begins to enter the system of the worlds of Kedusha to the extent that one engages in Torah and Mitzvot.

The primary aim of that time is to obtain and intensify the spiritual will to receive, since at birth, one has only a will to receive for corporeality. Therefore, although one has obtained the excessive will to receive before he turned thirteen, it is still not the completion of the growth of the will to receive, for the primary intensification of the will to receive is only to spirituality.

This is because, for example, prior to turning thirteen, one’s will to receive wishes to devour all the wealth and respect in this corporeal world. This is evidently not an eternal world, and for all of us it is but a fleeting shadow. But when one obtains the excessive spiritual will to receive, one wishes to devour, for one’s own delight, all the wealth and delights in the next, eternal world, which is an eternal possession for him. Thus, the majority of the excessive will to receive is completed only with the desire to receive spirituality.

31) It is written (in New Tikkunim 97b) about the verse (Proverbs 30), “The leech has two daughters: ‘Give, give.’”: “A leech means Hell. And the evil caught in that Hell cry as dogs ‘Hav, Hav [Give, give],’” meaning “give us the wealth of this world, give us the wealth of the next world.”

Yet it is a much more important degree than the first, since aside from obtaining the full measure of the will to receive, giving one all the material one needs for one’s work, this is the degree that brings one to Lishma [for Her sake]. It is as our sages said (Pesachim 50b): “One should always engage in Torah and Mitzvot Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], as from Lo Lishma, one comes to Lishma.”

Hence, this degree, which comes past the thirteen years, is deemed Kedusha. This is considered the holy maid that serves her mistress, which is the Holy Shechina [Divinity], since the maid brings one to Lishma and he is rewarded with the installing of the Shechina. Yet, one should take every measure suited to come to Lishma, for if one does not strain for this and does not achieve Lishma, he will fall into the pit of the impure maid, which is the opposite of the holy maid, whose role is to confuse a person, so the Lo Lishma will not bring him to Lishma. It is said about her: “A handmaid that is heir to her mistress” (Proverbs 30), for she will not let one near the mistress, who is the Holy Shechina.

And the final degree in this division is that he will fall passionately in love with the Creator, as one becomes infatuated in a corporeal love, until the object of passion remains before one’s eyes all day and all night, as the poet says, “When I remember Him, He does not let me sleep.” Then it is said of him: “A desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13). This is because the five degrees of the soul are the Tree of Life, which stretches over five hundred years. Each degree lasts a hundred years, meaning it will bring him to receive all five Behinot [qualities] NRNHY [Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, Yechida] explained in the third division.

32) The third division is the work in Torah and Mitzvot Lishma, in order to bestow and not receive reward. This work cleanses the will to receive for oneself in him and inverts into a desire to bestow. To the extent that one purifies the will to receive, he becomes worthy of receiving the five parts of the soul called NRNHY (below Item 42). This is because they stand in the desire to bestow (see Item 23) and cannot clothe one’s body as long as the will to receive—which is opposite, or even different in form from the soul—controls it.

That is because the matter of clothing and equivalence of form go hand in hand, as said in Item 11. When one is rewarded with being entirely in the desire to bestow and not at all for oneself, he will be rewarded with obtaining equivalence of form with his upper NRNHY, which extend from their origin in Ein Sof in the first state, through the ABYA of Kedusha, and will immediately extend to him and clothe him in a gradual manner.

The fourth division is the work conducted after the revival of the dead. This means that the will to receive, which had already been completely absent through death and burial, is now revived in its excessive, worst will to receive, as our sages said: “The dead will be revived in their flaws,” as written in Item 28. At that time, it is turned into reception in the form of bestowal. However, there are a chosen few who were given this work while still alive in this world.

33) Now remains the clarification of the sixth inquiry, which is the words of our sages who said that all the worlds, upper and lower, were created only for man. It seems very peculiar that for man, whose worth is but a wisp compared to the reality before us in this world, much less compared to the upper, spiritual worlds, the Creator would go to all the trouble of creating all these for him. And even more peculiar is what would man need all these vast spiritual worlds for?

You should know that any contentment of our Maker from bestowing upon His creatures depends on the extent that the creatures feel Him—that He is the giver, and He is the one who delights them. Then He takes great pleasure in them, as a father playing with his beloved son, to the extent that the son feels and recognizes the greatness and exaltedness of his father, and his father shows him all the treasures he had prepared for him, as it is written (Jeremiah 31): “Ephraim, my darling son, is he a child of joy? For whenever I speak of him, I do remember him still. Hence, My heart yearns for him, I will surely have mercy on him, says the Lord.”

Observe these words carefully and you can come to know the great delights of the Lord with those whole ones who have been granted feeling Him and recognizing His greatness in all those manners He has prepared for them, until they are like a father with his darling son, like a father with his child of joy. We need not continue about this, for it is enough for us to know that for this contentment and delight with those whole ones, it was worth His while to create all the worlds, higher and lower alike.

34) To prepare His creatures to attain the aforementioned exalted degree, the Creator wanted to do it by an order of four degrees that evolve from one another, called “still,” “vegetative,” “animate,” and “speaking.” These are, in fact, the four phases of the will to receive, by which the upper worlds are divided. For although the majority of the desire is in the fourth phase of the will to receive, it is impossible for the fourth phase to appear at once, but by its preceding three phases, in which, and through which, it gradually develops and appears until it is fully completed in the form of Phase Four, as explained in The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Item 50.

35) In Phase One of the will to receive, called “still,” which is the initial manifestation of the will to receive in this corporeal world, there is but a collective force of movement for the whole of the still category. But no motion is apparent in its particular items. This is because the will to receive generates needs, and the needs generate sufficient movements to satisfy the need. Since there is only a small will to receive, it dominates only the whole of the category at once, but its power over the particular items is indistinguishable.

36) The vegetative is added to it, which is Phase Two of the will to receive. Its measure is greater than in the still, and its will to receive dominates each and every one of its items, since each item has its own movement, expanding to the length and to the width, and moving toward the sun. Also, the matter of eating, drinking, and secretion of waste is also apparent in each item. However, the sensation of freedom and individuality is still absent in them.

37) Atop that comes the animate category, which is Phase Three of the will to receive. Its measure is already completed to a great extent, for this will to receive already generates in each item a sensation of freedom and individuality, which is the life that is unique to each unit separately. Yet, they still lack the sensation of others, meaning they have no preparation to share others’ pains or joys.

38) Above all comes the human species, which is Phase Four of the will to receive. It is the complete and final measure, and its will to receive includes the sensation of others, as well. And if you wish to know the precise difference between Phase Three of the will to receive, which is in the animate, and the fourth phase of the will to receive in man, I will tell you that it is as the value of a single creature compared to the whole of reality.

This is because the will to receive in the animate, which lacks the sensation of others, can only generate needs and desires to the extent that they are imprinted in that creature alone. But man, who can feel others, too, becomes needy of everything that others have, too, and is thus filled with envy to acquire everything that others have. If he has a hundred, he wants two hundred, and so his needs forever multiply until he wishes to devour all that there is in the whole world.

39) Now we have shown that the Creator’s desired goal for the creation He had created is to bestow upon His creatures, so they would know His truthfulness and greatness, and receive all the delight and pleasure He had prepared for them, in the measure described in the verse: “Ephraim my darling son, is he a child of joy?” Thus, you clearly find that this purpose does not apply to the still and the great spheres, such as the earth, the moon, or the sun, however luminous they may be, and not to the vegetative or the animate, for they lack the sensation of others, even from among their own species. Therefore, how can the sensation of the Godly and His bestowal apply to them?

Humankind alone, having been prepared with the sensation of others of the same species, who are similar to them, after working in Torah and Mitzvot, when they invert their will to receive to a desire to bestow and achieve equivalence of form with their Maker, they receive all the degrees that have been prepared for them in the upper worlds, called NRNHY. By this they become qualified to receive the purpose of the thought of creation. After all, the purpose of the creation of all the worlds was for man alone.

40) And I know that it is completely unacceptable in the eyes of some philosophers. They cannot agree that man, who they regard as low and worthless, is the center of the magnificent creation. But they are like a worm that was born inside a radish. It lives there and thinks that the world of the Creator is as bitter, dark, and small as the radish in which it was born. But as soon as it breaks the peel of the radish and peeps out, it says in bewilderment: “I thought the whole world was like the radish I was born in, and now I see a grand, beautiful, and wondrous world before me!”

So, too, are those who are immersed in the Klipa [sing. of Klipot] of the will to receive they were born with, and did not try to take the unique spice, which are the practical Torah and Mitzvot, which can break this hard Klipa and turn it into a desire to bestow contentment upon the Maker. It is certain that they must determine according to their worthlessness and emptiness, as they truly are. They cannot comprehend that this magnificent reality had been created only for them.

Indeed, had they delved in Torah and Mitzvot to bestow contentment upon their Maker, with all the required purity, and would try to break the Klipa of the will to receive in which they were born, and would assume the desire to bestow, their eyes would promptly open to see and attain for themselves all the degrees of wisdom, intelligence, and clear mind that have been prepared for them in the spiritual worlds. Then they would say for themselves what our sages said, “What does a good guest say? ‘Everything the host has done, he has done only for me.’”

41) But there still remains to clarify why man needs all the upper worlds the Creator had created for him? What use has he of them? Bear in mind that the reality of all the worlds is generally divided into five worlds, called a) Adam Kadmon, b) Atzilut, c) Beria, d) Yetzira, and e) Assiya. In each of them are innumerable details, which are the five Sefirot KHBTM [Keter, Hochma, Bina, Tifferet, and Malchut]. The world of AK [Adam Kadmon] is Keter, the world of Atzilut is Hochma, the world of Beria is Bina, the world of Yetzira is Tifferet, and the world Assiya is Malchut.

The lights clothed in those five worlds are called YHNRN. The light of Yechida shines in the world of Adam Kadmon, the light of Haya in the world of Atzilut, the light of Neshama in the world of Beria, the light of Ruach in the world of Yetzira, and the light of Nefesh in the world of Assiya.

All these worlds and everything in them are included in the holy name, Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey, and the tip of the Yod. We have no perception in the first world, AK. Hence, it is only implied in the tip of the Yod of the name. This is why we do not speak of it and always mention only the four worlds ABYA. Yod is the world of Atzilut, Hey—the world of Beria, Vav—the world of Yetzira, and the bottom Hey is the world of Assiya.

42) We have now explained the five worlds that include the entire spiritual reality that extends from Ein Sof to this world. However, they are included in one the other, and in each of the worlds there are the five worlds, the five Sefirot KHBTM, in which the five lights NRNHY are dressed, corresponding to the five worlds.

And besides the five Sefirot KHBTM in each world, there are the four spiritual categories—still, vegetative, animate, and speaking. In it, man’s soul is regarded as the speaking, the animate is regarded as the angels in that world, the vegetative category is called “dresses,” and the still category is called “halls.” Also, they all robe one another: The speaking category, which is the souls of people, clothes the five Sefirot KHBTM, which is the Godliness in that world (the matter of the ten Sefirot, which are Godliness, will be explained in the “Preface to The Book of Zohar”). The animate category, which is the angels, clothes over the souls; the vegetative, which is the dresses, clothe the angels; and the still, which is halls, surround them all.

This clothing means that they serve one another and evolve from one another, as we have explained concerning the corporeal still, vegetative, animate, and speaking in this world (Items 35-38). As we said there, the three categories—still, vegetative, and animate—did not emerge for themselves, but only so the fourth category, which is man, might develop and rise by them. Therefore, their role is only to serve man and be useful to him.

So it is in all the spiritual worlds. The three categories—still, vegetative, and animate—appeared there only to serve and be useful to the speaking category there, which is man’s soul. Therefore, it is considered that they all clothe man’s soul, meaning to serve him.

43) When man is born, he immediately has Nefesh of Kedusha [holiness]. Yet, not actually Nefesh, but the posterior of it, its final discernment, which, due to its smallness, is called a “dot.” It clothes man’s heart in one’s will to receive, which is found primarily in man’s heart.

Know this rule, that all that applies to the whole of reality applies to each world, even in the smallest particle that can be found in that world. Thus, as there are five worlds in the whole of reality, which are the five Sefirot KHBTM, there are five Sefirot KHBTM in each and every world, and there are five Sefirot in every little item in that world.

We have said that this world is divided into still, vegetative, animate, and speaking, corresponding to the four Sefirot HBTM: 1) Still corresponds to Malchut, 2) vegetative corresponds to Tifferet, 3) animate to Bina, and 4) speaking to Hochma. 5) And the root of them all corresponds to Keter. But as we have said, even in the smallest item in each species in the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking there are four discernments of still, vegetative, animate, and speaking. Hence, even in a single item of the speaking category, meaning even in one person, there are also still, vegetative, animate, and speaking, which are the four parts of his will to receive, where the dot from the Nefesh of Kedusha is clothed.

44) Prior to thirteen years of age, there cannot be any emergence of the point in one’s heart. But after thirteen years, when he begins to engage in Torah and Mitzvot, even without any intention, meaning without love and fear, as is fitting when serving the King, even in Lo Lishma, the point in one’s heart begins to grow and show its action.

This is so because Mitzvot do not need an intention. Even actions without intentions can purify one’s will to receive, but only in the first degree, called “still.” To the extent that he purifies the still part of the will to receive, he builds the 613 organs of the point in the heart, which is the still of the Nefesh of Kedusha.

And when one completes all six hundred and thirteen Mitzvot in action, it completes the six hundred and thirteen organs in the point in the heart, which is the still of the Nefesh of Kedusha, whose 248 spiritual organs are built by observing the 248 Mitzvot “to do,” and its 365 spiritual tendons are built through observing the 365 Mitzvot “not to do,” until it becomes a complete Partzuf of Nefesh of Kedusha. Then the Nefesh rises and clothes the Sefira [sing. of Sefirot] of Malchut in the spiritual world of Assiya.

And all the spiritual elements of still, vegetative, and animate in that world, which correspond to that Sefira of Malchut of Assiya, serve and aid that Partzuf of Nefesh of one who has risen there, to the extent that the soul perceives them. Those concepts become its spiritual nourishment, giving it strength to grow and multiply until it can extend the light of the Sefira of Malchut of Assiya in all the desired completeness to light man’s body. And that complete light helps one add exertion in Torah and Mitzvot and receive the remaining degrees.

And we have stated that immediately at the birth of man’s body, a point of the light of Nefesh is born and dresses in him. So it is here: When his Partzuf of Nefesh of Kedusha is born, a point from its adjacent higher degree is born with it, meaning the last degree of the light of Ruach of Assiya, and dresses inside the Partzuf of Nefesh.

So it is in all the degrees. With each degree that is born, the last discernment in the degree above it instantaneously appears within it. This is because this is the whole connection between higher and lower through the top of the degrees. Thus, through this point, which exists in it from the upper one, it becomes able to rise to the next higher degree.

45) And that light of Nefesh is called “the light of the still of Kedusha in the world Assiya,” since it corresponds to the purity of the still part of the will to receive in man’s body. It shines in spirituality like the still category in corporeality. It has been explained above, in Item 35, that its particles have no individual motion, but only a collective motion, common to all the items equally. So it is with the light of Partzuf Nefesh of Assiya: Although there are 613 organs in it, which are 613 forms of receiving the abundance, these changes are not apparent in it, but only a general light, whose action enfolds all of them equally, without distinction of details.

46) Bear in mind that although the Sefirot are Godliness, and there is no difference in them from the top of Keter in the world of AK through the bottom of the Sefira of Malchut in the world of Assiya, there is still a great difference with respect to the receivers, since the Sefirot are considered lights and Kelim [vessels], and the light in the Sefirot is pure Godliness. But the Kelim, called KHBTM in each of the lower worlds—Beria, Yetzira, Assiya—are not considered Godliness. Rather, they are covers that conceal the light of Ein Sof within them and ration a certain amount of its light to the receivers, so each of them will receive only according to the level of its purity.

In this respect, although the light itself is one, we name the lights in the Sefirot NRNHY because the light divides according to the qualities of the Kelim. Malchut is the thickest cover, hiding the light of Ein Sof. The light it passes from Him to the receivers is only a small portion, related to the purification of the still body of man. This is why it is called Nefesh.

The Kli of Tifferet is purer than the Kli of Malchut. The light it transfers from Ein Sof relates to the purification of the vegetative part of man’s body, since it acts in it more than the light of Nefesh. This is called “the light of Ruach.”

The Kli of Bina is purer still than Tifferet, and the light it transfers from Ein Sof relates to the purification of the animate part of man’s body, and it is called “the light of Neshama.”

The purest of all is the Kli of Hochma. The light it transfers from Ein Sof relates to the purification of the speaking part of man’s body. It is called “the light of Haya,” and its action is beyond measurement.

47) In Partzuf Nefesh, which one attains through engaging in Torah and Mitzvot without the intention, there is already a point from the light of Ruach clothed in there. And when one strengthens and observes Torah and Mitzvot with the desired aim, he purifies the vegetative part of his will to receive in him, and to that extent builds the dot of Ruach into a Partzuf. And by performing the 248 Mitzvot “to do” with intention, the dot expands through its 248 spiritual organs. And by observing the 365 Mitzvot “not to do,” the dot expands through its 365 tendons.

When it is completed with all 613 organs, it rises and clothes the Sefira of Tifferet in the spiritual world of Assiya, which extends to him a greater light from Ein Sof, called “the light of Ruach,” which corresponds to the purification of the vegetative part in man’s body. And all the items of the still, vegetative, and animate in the world of Assiya, related to the level of Tifferet, aid one’s Partzuf of Ruach to receive the lights from the Sefira Tifferet in all its entirety, as was explained above concerning the light of Nefesh. Because of this, it is called “vegetative of Kedusha.”

The nature of its light is like the corporeal vegetative: There are distinct differences in motion in each of its elements. Likewise, the spiritual light of vegetative already has enough strength to shine in unique ways for each and every organ of the 613 organs in Partzuf Ruach. Each of them manifests the power of action related to that organ. Also, with the emergence of Partzuf Ruach, the dot of the degree above it emerged from it, a dot of the light of Neshama, which dresses in its internality.

48) And by engaging in the secrets of Torah and the flavors of the Mitzvot, he purifies the animate part of his will to receive, and to that extent builds the point of the soul, dressed in him in its 248 organs and 365 tendons. When its construction is completed and it becomes a Partzuf, it rises and dresses the Sefira Bina in the spiritual world of Assiya. This Kli is much purer than the first Kelim, TM [Tifferet and Malchut]. Hence, it transfers to it a great light from Ein Sof, called “light of Neshama.”

All the items of still, vegetative, and animate in the world of Assiya, related to the level of Bina, aid and serve one’s Partzuf of Neshama to receive all its lights from the Sefira Bina, as has been explained about the light of Nefesh. It is also called “animate of Kedusha” because it corresponds to the purification of the animate part of man’s body. So is the nature of its light, as has been explained about the corporeal animate, Item 37, which gives a sensation of individuality to each of the 613 organs of the Partzuf, so each of them feels alive and free, without any dependency on the rest of the Partzuf.

At last, it is discerned that its 613 organs are 613 Partzufim [pl. of Partzuf], unique in their light, each in its own way. The advantage of this light over the light of Ruach, in spirituality, is as the advantage of the animate over the still and the vegetative in corporeality. And there also extends a dot from the light of Haya of Kedusha, which is the light of the Sefira of Hochma, with the emergence of Partzuf Neshama, and dresses in its internality.

49) Once he has been rewarded with the great light called “the light of Neshama,” each of the 613 organs in that Partzuf fully shine in their own unique way, each as an independent Partzuf. Then there opens before him the possibility to engage in each Mitzva according to its true intention, for each organ in the Partzuf of the soul lights the path of each Mitzva related to that organ.

Through the great power of those lights, he purifies the speaking part of his will to receive and inverts it into a desire to bestow. And to that extent, the point of the light of Haya, dressed within him, is built in its spiritual 248 organs and 365 tendons.

When it is completed into a complete Partzuf, it rises and dresses the Sefira of Hochma in the spiritual world of Assiya, which is an immeasurably pure Kli. Therefore, it extends a tremendous light to him from Ein Sof, called “the light of Haya” or Neshama to Neshama, and all the elements in the world of Assiya, which are the still, vegetative, and animate related to the Sefira of Hochma, aid him in receiving the light of the Sefira of Hochma to the fullest.

It is also called “speaking of Kedusha” since it corresponds to the purification of the speaking part in man’s body. The value of that light in Godliness is as the value of the speaking in the corporeal still, vegetative, animate, and speaking. This means that one obtains the sensation of others in a way that the measure of that light over the measure of the spiritual still, vegetative, and animate is as the advantage of the corporeal speaking over the corporeal still, vegetative, and animate. And the light of Ein Sof, dressed in this Partzuf, is called “the light of Yechida.”

50) Indeed, you should know that these five lights, NRNHY, received from the world of Assiya, are but NRNHY of the light of Nefesh and have nothing of the light of Ruach. This is because the light of Ruach is only in the world of Yetzira, the light of Neshama is only in the world of Beria, the light of Haya is only in the world of Atzilut, and the light of Yechida, only in the world of AK.

But as we said above, everything that exists in the whole appears in all the items, too, down to the smallest possible item. Thus, all five qualities, NRNHY, exist in the world of Assiya, as well, although they are only NRNHY of Nefesh. Similarly, all five qualities, NRNHY, exist in the world of Yetzira, which are the five parts of Ruach. Also, there are all five qualities, NRNHY, in the world of Beria, which are the five parts of Neshama. So it is in the world of Atzilut, which are the five parts of the light of Haya; and so it is in the world of AK, which are the five parts of the light of Yechida. The difference between the worlds is as we have explained in the distinctions between each of the NRNHY of Assiya.

51) Know that repentance and purification are not accepted unless they are totally permanent, so he will not return to folly, as it is written, “When is there Teshuva [repentance]? When He who knows the mysteries will testify that he will not return to folly.” Thus, as we have said, if one purifies the still part of his will to receive, he is rewarded with a Partzuf of Nefesh of Assiya and ascends and clothes the Sefira of Malchut of Assiya.

This means that he will certainly be granted the permanent purification of the still part, in a way that he will not return to folly. Then he will be able to rise to the spiritual world of Assiya, for he will have definite purity and equivalence of form with that world.

But as for the rest of the degrees, which we have said are Ruach, Neshama, Haya, and Yechida of Assiya, corresponding to them, one should purify the vegetative, animate, and speaking parts of one’s will to receive, so they will clothe and receive those lights. Yet, the purity does not need to be permanent, “until He who knows the mysteries will testify that he will not return to folly.”

That is so because the whole of the world of Assiya, with all its five Sefirot KHBTM, are actually only Malchut, which relates only to the purification of the still. And the five Sefirot are but the five parts of Malchut.

Therefore, since he has already been rewarded with purifying the still part of the will to receive, he already has equivalence of form with the whole of the world of Assiya. However, each Sefira in the world of Assiya receives from its corresponding discernment in the worlds above it. For example, the Sefira Tifferet of Assiya receives from the world of Yetzira, which is all Tifferet and the light of Ruach; the Sefira Bina of Assiya receives from the world of Beria, which is all Neshama; and the Sefira Hochma of Assiya receives from the world of Atzilut, which is all Hochma and the light of Haya.

For this reason, although he has permanently purified only the still part, if he has purified the remaining three parts of his will to receive, even if not permanently, he can receive Ruach, Neshama, and Haya from Tifferet, Bina, and Hochma of Assiya, though not permanently, since when one of the three parts of his will to receive awakens, he immediately loses these lights.

52) After he permanently purifies the vegetative part of his will to receive, he permanently rises to the world of Yetzira, where he attains the permanent degree of Ruach. There he can also attain the lights of Neshama and Haya from the Sefirot Bina and Hochma that are there, which are considered Neshama of Ruach and Haya of Ruach, even before he has been granted with purifying the animate and speaking parts permanently, as we have seen regarding the world of Assiya. Yet, this is not permanent, for after he has permanently purified the vegetative part of his will to receive, he is already in equivalence of form with the whole of the world of Yetzira, to its highest degree, as written about the world of Assiya.

53) After he purifies the animate part of his will to receive, and turns it into a desire to bestow, “until He who knows all mysteries will testify that he will not return to folly,” he is already in equivalence of form with the world of Beria. He rises there and receives the permanent light of Neshama. And through the purification of the speaking part of his body, he can rise up to the Sefira Hochma and receive the light of Haya that is there, although he has not purified it permanently, as with Yetzira and Assiya. But the light, too, does not shine for him permanently.

54) When one is rewarded with permanent purification of the speaking part in his will to receive, he is granted equivalence of form with the world of Atzilut, and he rises there and permanently receives the light of Haya. When he is rewarded further, he receives the light of Ein Sof, and the light of Yechida dresses in the light of Haya, and there is nothing more to add here.

55) Thus, we have clarified what we asked in Item 1, “Why does man need all the upper worlds, which the Creator created for him? What need has man of them?” Now you will see that one cannot bring contentment to one’s Maker if not with the help of all these worlds. This is because he attains the lights and degrees of his soul, called NRNHY, according to the measure of the purity of his will to receive. And with each degree he attains, the lights of that degree assist him in his purification.

Thus, he rises in degrees until he achieves the amusements of the final aim in the thought of creation, see Item 33. It is written in The Zohar, Noah, Item 63, about the verse, “He who comes to purify is aided.” It asks, “With what is he aided?” And it replies that he is aided with a holy soul, for it is impossible to achieve the desired purification, the thought of creation, except through the assistance of all the NRNHY degrees of the soul.

56) You should know that all the NRNHY we have spoken of thus far are the five parts by which the whole of reality is divided. Indeed, all that is in the whole exists even in the smallest item in reality. For example, even in the still part of the spiritual Assiya alone, there are five qualities of NRNHY to attain, which are related to the five general qualities of NRNHY.

Thus, it is impossible to attain even the light of still of Assiya except through the four parts of the work. Therefore, there is not a person from Israel who can excuse himself from engaging in all of them according to his stature. 1) One should engage in Torah and Mitzvot with intent, in order to receive the level of Ruach according to his stature. 2) He should engage in the secrets of the Torah according to his stature, in order to receive the level of Neshama according to his stature. 3) And the same applies to the Taamim [flavors] of the Mitzvot, for it is impossible to complete even the smallest light in Kedusha without them.

57) Now you can understand the aridity and the darkness that have befallen us in this generation, such as we have never seen in all the generations preceding us. It is so because even the servants of the Creator have abandoned the engagement in the secrets of the Torah.

Maimonides has already given a true allegory about that. He said that if a line of a thousand blind people walks along the way and there is at least one leader amongst them who can see, they are guaranteed to walk on the right path and not fall in pits and obstacles since they follow the sighted one who leads them. But if that person is missing, they are certain to stumble over every hurdle on the way and will all fall into the pit.

So is the matter before us. If the servants of the Creator had, at least, engaged in the internality of the Torah and extended a complete light from Ein Sof, the whole generation would have followed them, and everyone would be certain of their way, that they would not fall. But if even the servants of the Creator have distanced themselves from this wisdom, it is no wonder the whole generation is failing because of them. And because of my great sorrow, I cannot elaborate on that!

58) However, I do know the reason: It is mainly because 1) faith has diminished in general, 2) faith in the holy ones, the sages of the generations in particular, and 3) the books of Kabbalah and The Zohar are full of corporeal parables. Hence, people are afraid lest they will lose more than they will gain since they could easily fail with materializing. This is what prompted me to compose a sufficient interpretation on the writings of the Ari, and now on The Zohar. And I have completely removed that concern, for I have evidently explained and proven the spiritual meaning of every thing, that it is abstract and devoid of any corporeal image, above space and above time, as the readers will see, to allow the whole of Israel to study The Book of Zohar and be warmed by its sacred light.

I have named that commentary The Sulam (Ladder) to show that the purpose of my commentary is as the role of any ladder: If you have an attic filled abundantly, all you need is a ladder to climb. And then, all the bounty in the world is in your hands. But the ladder is not a purpose in and of itself, for if you pause on the rungs of the ladder and do not enter the attic, your goal will not be achieved.

So it is with my commentary on The Zohar, for the way to fully clarify these most profound of words has not yet been created. Nonetheless, with my commentary, I have constructed a path and an entrance for any person by which to rise and delve and scrutinize The Book of Zohar itself, for only then will my aim with this commentary be completed.

59) All those who know the ins and outs of The Book of Zohar, meaning understand what is written in it, unanimously agree that The Zohar was written by the Godly Tanna [a sage from the time of the Mishnah] Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Only some of those who are far from this wisdom doubt this pedigree and tend to say, relying on fabricated tales of opposers of this wisdom, that its author is the Kabbalist Rabbi Moshe De Leon, or others of his time.

60) As for me, since the day I have been endowed, by the light of the Creator, with a glance into this holy book, it has not crossed my mind to question its origin, for the simple reason that the content of the book brings to my heart the merit of the Tanna Rashbi [Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai] far more than all other Tannaim [pl. of Tanna]. And if I were to clearly see that its author is some other name, such as Rabbi Moshe De Leon, then I would praise the merit of Rabbi Moshe De Leon more than all the Tannaim, including Rashbi.

Indeed, judging by the depth of the wisdom in the book, if I were to clearly find that its composer is one of the forty-eight prophets, I would consider it much more acceptable than to relate it to one of the Tannaim. Moreover, if I were to find that Moses himself received it from the Creator Himself on Mount Sinai, then my mind would really be at peace, for such a composition is worthy of him. Hence, since I have been blessed with compiling a sufficient commentary that enables every examiner to acquire some understanding of what is written in the book, I think I am completely excused from further toil in this examination, for any person who is knowledgeable in The Zohar will now settle for no less than the Tanna Rashbi as its composer.

61) Accordingly, the question arises, “Why was The Zohar not revealed to the early generations, whose merit was undoubtedly greater than the latter ones and who were more worthy of it?” We must also ask, “Why was the commentary on The Book of Zohar not revealed before the time of the ARI, and not to the Kabbalists that preceded him?” And the most perplexing question, “Why were the commentaries on the words of the ARI and on the words of The Zohar not revealed since the days of the ARI through our generation?” (See my introduction to the book Panim Masbirot on Tree of Life, Item 8).

The question is, Is the generation worthy? The answer is that during the six thousand years of its existence, the world is like one Partzuf divided into three thirds: Rosh [head], Toch [interior], Sof [end], meaning HBD [Hochma, Bina, Daat], HGT [Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet], NHY [Netzah, Hod, Yesod]. This is what our sages wrote, “Two millennia of Tohu [chaos], two millennia of Torah, and two millennia of the days of the Messiah” (Sanhedrin 97a).

In the first two millennia, considered Rosh and HBD, the lights were very small. They were regarded as Rosh without a Guf [body], having only lights of Nefesh. This is because there is an inverse relation between lights and Kelim [vessels]: In the Kelim, the rule is that the first Kelim grow first in each Partzuf, and in the lights it is the opposite: The smaller lights dress in the Partzuf first.

Thus, as long as only the upper parts are in the Kelim, the Kelim of HBD, only lights of Nefesh dress there, which are the smallest lights. This is why it is written about the first two millennia that they are regarded as Tohu. And in the second two millennia of the world, which are Kelim of HGT, the light of Ruach descends and clothes in the world, which is considered the Torah. This is why it is said about the two middle millennia that they are Torah. And the last two millennia are Kelim of NHYM [Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut]. Therefore, at that time the light of Neshama dresses in the world, which is the greater light; hence, they are the days of the Messiah.

This is also the conduct in each particular Partzuf. In its Kelim of HBD, HGT through its Chazeh [chest], the lights are covered and do not begin to shine, disclosed Hassadim, meaning the revelation of the illumination of the upper Hochma occurs only from the Chazeh down, in its NHYM. This is the reason that before the Kelim of NHYM began to show in the Partzuf of the world, which are the last two millennia, the wisdom of The Zohar in general, and the wisdom of Kabbalah in particular, were hidden from the world.

But during the time of the ARI, when the time of the completion of the Kelim below the Chazeh had drawn closer, the light of the upper Hochma was revealed in the world through the soul of the Godly Rabbi Isaac Luria [the ARI], who was ready to receive that great light. Hence, he revealed the essentials in The Book of Zohar and in the wisdom of Kabbalah until he overshadowed all his predecessors.

Yet, since these Kelim were not yet completed, since he passed away in 1572, the world was not yet worthy of discovering his words, and his words were known only to a chosen few who were not permitted to tell them to the world.

Now, in our generation, since we are nearing the end of the last two millennia, we were given permission to reveal his words and the words of The Zohar in the world to a great extent. Thus, from our generation onward, the words of The Zohar will become increasingly revealed in the world until the full measure is revealed, by the will of the Creator.

[Item 62 is missing in the original manuscript]

63) Now you can understand that there really is no end to the merit of the first generations over the last, as this is the rule in all the Partzufim [pl. of Partzuf] of the worlds and of the souls, the purer one is the first to be selected into the Partzuf. Therefore, the Kelim HBD were selected first in the world and in the souls.

Thus, the souls in the first two millennia were much higher. Yet, they could not receive the full measure of the light due to the absence of the lower parts in the world and in themselves, namely the HGT NHYM.

Likewise, afterward, in the two middle millennia, when the Kelim HGT were selected into the world and in the souls, the souls were indeed very pure, in and of themselves, since the merit of the Kelim of HGT is close to that of HBD, as it is written in the “Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” p 6. Yet, the lights were still concealed in the world due to the absence of the Kelim from the Chazeh down in the world and in the souls.

Thus, in our generation, although the essence of the souls is the worst, which is why they could not be selected for Kedusha until today, they are the ones that complete the Partzuf of the world and the Partzuf of the souls with respect to the Kelim, and the work is completed only through them. Now, when the Kelim of NHY are being completed, and all the KelimRosh, Toch, Sof—are in the Partzuf, full measures of light, meaning complete NRN in Rosh, Toch, Sof, are being extended to all those who are worthy. Hence, only after the completion of these lowly souls can the highest lights manifest, and not before.

64) Indeed, even our sages asked this question, in Masechet Berachot, p 20: “Rav Papa said to Abayei: ‘How were the first different, that a miracle happened to them, and how are we different, that a miracle is not happening to us?’ Is it because of the study? During the years of Rav Yehuda, the whole study was in Nezikin, whereas we are learning the six volumes [of the Mishnah]. And when Rav Yehuda delved in Okatzin, he said, ‘I saw Rav and Shmuel here, whereas we are learning thirteen Yeshivot in Okatzin. And when Rav Yehuda took off one shoe, the rain came, whereas we torment our souls and cry out, and no one notices us.’ He replied, ‘The first gave their souls to the sanctity of the Lord.’”

Thus, although it was obvious, both to the one who asked and to the one who answered, that the first were more important than they were, with respect to the Torah and the wisdom, Rav Papa and Abayei were more important than the first. Thus, although the first generations were more important than the latter generations in the essence of their souls, because the purer is selected to come to the world first, nevertheless, with respect to the wisdom of the Torah, it is increasingly revealed in the latter generations. This is so for the reason we have mentioned, that the overall level is completed specifically by the latter ones. This is why more complete lights are drawn to them although their own essence is far worse.

65) Hence, we could ask, Why, then, is it forbidden to disagree with the first in the revealed Torah? It is because, as far as the practical part of the Mitzvot is concerned, it is to the contrary, the first were more complete in them than the last, since the act extends from the holy Kelim of the Sefirot, and the secrets of the Torah and the Taamim [flavors] of the Mitzva extend from the lights in the Sefirot.

You already know that there is an inverse relation between lights and Kelim: in the Kelim, the higher ones grow first, see Item 62, which is why the earlier ones were more complete in the practical part than the latter ones. But with the lights, the lower ones enter first, so the last are more complete than the first.

66) Bear in mind that in everything there is internality and externality. In the world in general, Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are regarded as the internality of the world, and the seventy nations are regarded as the externality of the world. Also, there is internality within Israel themselves, which are the complete servants of the Creator, and there is externality—those who do not devote themselves to the work of the Creator. Among the nations of the world, there is internality, as well, which are the righteous of the nations of the world, and there is externality, which are the crass and the harmful among them.

Additionally, among the servants of the Creator among the children of Israel, there is internality, being those rewarded with comprehension of the soul of the internality of the Torah and its secrets, and externality, who merely observe the practical part of the Torah.

Also, there is internality in every person from Israel—the Israel within—which is the point in the heart, and externality—which is the inner of the world within him, which is the body itself. But even the nations of the world in him are regarded as proselytes, since by adhering to the internality, they become like proselytes from among the nations of the world who came and adhered to the whole of Israel.

67) When a person from Israel enhances and dignifies his internality, which is the Israel in him, over the externality, which are the nations of the world in him, that is, he dedicates the majority of his efforts to enhance and exalt his internality, to benefit his soul, and gives little efforts, the mere necessity, to sustain the nations of the world in him, meaning the bodily needs, as it is written (Avot 1), “Make your Torah permanent and your work temporary,” by so doing, he makes the children of Israel soar upward in the internality and externality of the world, as well, and the nations of the world, which are the externality, to recognize and acknowledge the value of the children of Israel.

And if, God forbid, it is to the contrary, and an individual from Israel enhances and appreciates his externality, which is the nations of the world in him, more than the quality of Israel in him, as it is written (Deuteronomy 28), “The stranger that is in the midst of you,” meaning the externality in him rises and soars, and you yourself, the internality, the Israel in you, plunges down. With these actions, he causes the externality of the world in general—the nations of the world—to soar ever higher, overcome Israel, degrade them to the ground, and the children of Israel—the internality in the world—will plunge deep down.

68) Do not be surprised that one person’s actions bring elevation or decline to the whole world, for it is an unbreakable law that the general and the particular are equal as two peas in a pod. Hence, all that applies to the general applies also to the particular. Moreover, the parts make what is found in the whole, for the general can appear only after the appearance of the parts in it, and according to the quantity and quality of the parts. Evidently, the value of an act of an individual elevates or declines the entire collective.

That will clarify to you what is written in The Zohar, that by engagement in The Book of Zohar and the wisdom of truth they will be rewarded with emerging from exile to complete redemption from exile (Tikkunim, end of Tikkun No. 6). We might ask, What has the study of The Zohar to do with the redemption of Israel from among the nations?

69) From the above-said we can thoroughly understand that the Torah, too, contains internality and externality, as does the entire world. Therefore, one who engages in the Torah has these two degrees, as well. When one increases one’s toil in the internality of the Torah and its secrets, to that extent, one makes the virtue of the internality of the world—which are Israel—soar high above the externality of the world, which are the nations of the world. And all the nations will acknowledge and recognize Israel’s merit over them, until the realization of the words, “And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the land of the Lord” (Isaiah 14), and also “Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and set up my standard to the peoples, and they will bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders” (Isaiah 49).

But if, God forbid, it is to the contrary, and a person from Israel degrades the merit of the internality of the Torah and its secrets, which deals with the conducts of our souls and their degrees, and the intellectual part and the reasons for the Mitzvot compared to the advantage of the externality of the Torah, which deals only with the practical part, and even if one does occasionally engage in the internality of the Torah, and dedicates a little of one’s time to it, when it is neither day nor night, as though it were redundant, by this one disgraces and degrades the internality of the world, which are the children of Israel, and raises the externality of the world over them, meaning the nations of the world. They will humiliate and disgrace the children of Israel, and will regard Israel as redundant, as though the world has no need for them.

Furthermore, by this they make even the externality in the nations of the world overpower their own internality, for the worst among the nations of the world, the harmful and the destructors of the world, rise above their internality, who are the righteous of the nations of the world. Then they make all the ruin and the heinous slaughter that our generation had witnessed, may the Creator protect us from here on.

Thus you see that the redemption of Israel and the whole of Israel’s merit depend on the study of The Zohar and the internality of the Torah. And vice-versa, all the destructions and the decline of the children of Israel are because they have abandoned the internality of the Torah, degraded its merit, and made it seemingly redundant.

70) This is what is written in the Tikkunim [corrections] of The Zohar (Tikkun 30, “Second Path”): “Awaken and rise for the Shechina, for you have an empty heart, without the understanding to know and to attain it, although it is within you.” The meaning of the matter is, a voice says, “Call!” as in “Call! Is there anyone who answers you?” To which of the saints will you turn? And she says, “What can I call, all that is flesh is hay; they are all as beasts that eat hay, and all their mercies are as the flower of the field; every mercy that they do, they do for themselves.”

The meaning of this is, as it is written (Isaiah 40), that a voice pounds in the heart of each and every one of Israel, to cry and to pray for the raising the Shechina, which is the collection of all the souls of Israel. He brings evidence from the text, “Call! Is there anyone who answers you?” for calling means praying.

But the Shechina says, “What can I call?” That is, I have no strength to raise myself from the dust, for “All that is flesh is hay; they are all like beasts, eating grass and hay.” This means that they observe the Mitzvot mindlessly, like beasts, “and every mercy that they do, they do for themselves.”

That means that in the Mitzvot they perform, they have no intention to do them in order to bring contentment to their Maker. Rather, they observe the Mitzvot only for their own benefit, and even all those who exert in Torah, every mercy that they do, they do for themselves. Even the best among them, who dedicate all their time to engagement in the Torah, do it only to benefit their own bodies, without the desirable aim—to bring contentment to their Maker.

At that time, the spirit leaves and will not return to the world. It is said about the generation of that time: “A spirit leaves and will not return to the world.” This is the spirit of the Messiah, meaning the spirit of the Messiah, who must deliver Israel from all their troubles until the complete redemption, to keep the words, “The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord.” That spirit had left and does not shine in the world.

Woe unto them who cause him to leave the world and not return to the world, for they are the ones who make the Torah dry, and do not want to engage in the wisdom of Kabbalah. Woe unto those people who make the spirit of Messiah leave and depart from the world, and not be able to return to the world. They are the ones who make the Torah dry, without any moisture of sense and reason. They confine themselves to the practical part of the Torah and do not want to try to understand the wisdom of Kabbalah, to know and to understand the secrets of the Torah and the flavors of Mitzva. Woe unto them, for they cause poverty and ruin, looting and killing, and destruction in the world. Woe unto them, for with these actions they bring about the existence of poverty, ruin, and robbery, looting, killing, and destructions in the world.

71) The reason for their words is, as we have explained, that when all those who engage in the Torah degrade their own internality and the internality of the Torah, leaving it as though it were redundant in the world, and engage in it only at a time that is neither day nor night, and they are in it like blind people searching the wall, by this they intensify their own externality, the benefit of their own bodies. Also, they regard the externality of the Torah as higher than the internality of the Torah. By these actions, they make all the forms of externality in the world overpower all the parts of internality in the world, each according to its essence.

This is so because 1) the externality in the whole of Israel, meaning the nations of the world in them, overpowers and revokes the internality in the whole of Israel, who are those who are great in the Torah. 2) Also, the externality in the nations of the world—the destructors among them—intensify and revoke the internality among them, who are the righteous of the nations of the world. 3) Additionally, the externality of the entire world, being the nations of the world, intensify and revoke the children of Israel, who are the internality of the world.

In such a generation, all the destructors among the nations of the world raise their heads and wish primarily to destroy and to kill the children of Israel, as it is written (Yevamot 63), “No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.” This means, as it is written in the above Tikkunim, that they cause poverty, ruin, robbery, killing, and destructions in the whole world.

After, through our many faults, we have witnessed all that is said in the above-mentioned Tikkunim, and moreover, the judgment struck the very best of us, as our sages said (Baba Kama 60), “And it begins with the righteous first,” and of all the glory Israel had had in the countries of Poland and Lithuania, etc., there remains but the relics in our holy land, now it is upon us, relics, to correct that dreadful wrong. Each of us remainders should take upon himself, heart and soul, to henceforth intensify the internality of the Torah and give it its rightful place according to its merit over the externality of the Torah.

Then, each and every one of us will be rewarded with intensifying his own internality, meaning the Israel within him, which is the needs of the soul over his own externality, which is the nations of the world within him, being the needs of the body. And that force will come to the whole of Israel until the nations of the world within us recognize and acknowledge the merit of the great sages of Israel over them and will listen to them and obey them.

And the internality of the nations of the world, the righteous of the nations of the world, will overpower and submit their externality, who are the destructors. The internality of the world, too, who are Israel, will rise in all their merit and virtue over the externality of the world, who are the nations.

Then, all the nations of the world will recognize and acknowledge Israel’s merit over them, and they will follow the words (Isaiah 14), “And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the land of the Lord.” And also (Isaiah 49), “And they will bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.” This is the meaning of what is written in The Zohar (Nasso, p 124b), “Through your composition, which is The Book of Zohar, they will be redeemed from exile with mercy.” Amen, would that be so.