The Nut Garden

לקוטים מזוהר (Gleanings of Zohar)

Tag: דְבֵקוּת

Writings for the Last Generation a Draft by Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag (Ba’al ha-Sullam)

The basis of my entire commentary is the רָצוֹן לְקַבֵּל (ratson le-qabbel), desire to receive, that is embedded in every creature, and which is in שִׁנוּי הַצּוּרָה (shinui ha-tsurah), disparity of form, with the Creator. Thus, the soul has separated from Him as a limb is separated from the body, since disparity of form in spirituality is like a cutting axe in material reality. Thus what the Creator wants from us is שִׁוּוּי הַצּוּרָה (shiuui ha-tsurah), parity of form—when we cleave to Him once more, as before we were created.

Our Sages said: Cling to His qualities, as He is merciful and so forth [see BT Shabbat 133b; Sotah 14a]. Meaning that we must transform our nature, which is the desire to receive, and adopt the quality of the Creator, which is only [a desire] to give, so that all our deeds will be only to give to our fellow and benefit him as best we can. Through this we come to the goal of דְבֵקוּת (devequt), cleaving, to Him, which is parity of form. What one is compelled to do for himself, namely the necessary minimum for himself and for his family’s sustenance, is not considered disparity of form, as “Necessity is neither to be condemned nor praised” (Rabbi Shelomoh ibn Adret, Ḥiddushei Aggadot ha-Shas on BT Niddah 16b). This is the great revelation that will only be revealed entirely in the days of the Messiah. When this teaching is accepted, we will be rewarded with complete redemption.

I have already said that there are two ways to find perfection: The path of Torah and the path of suffering. Hence, the Creator has bestowed technology on humanity, until we have invented the atom and the hydrogen bombs. If the total ruin that we are destined to bring upon the world is still not evident to the world, we can wait for a third world war, or a fourth. The bombs will perform their function and those remaining will have no choice but to take this work upon themselves, in which both individuals and nations do not serve themselves more than is necessary for their sustenance, while everything else they do is for the good of others. If all the nations of the world agree, there will be war no more, since no individual will be concerned with his own welfare whatsoever, but only with the welfare of others.

This law of parity of form is the Messiah’s teaching. Of this is said And it shall happen in future days… many nations shall go and say: Come, let us go up… for from Zion shall תוֹרָה (torah), teaching, come forth.… And He shall judge among many peoples (Micah 4:1–2)—the Messiah will teach them the service of the blessed Holy One through parity of form, which is the תּוֹרָה וּמִשְׁפָּט (torah u-mishpat), teaching and law, of the Messiah. And be arbiter to vast nations (ibid., 3)—he will teach them that if they do not take this service of the blessed Holy One upon themselves, all nations will be eradicated by war. However, if they do accept his teaching, it is said, And they shall grind their swords into plowshares [and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not raise sword against nation, nor shall they learn war anymore] (ibid.). If you take the path of Torah, and accept the antidote, very well. And if you do not, you will tread the path of suffering [see BT Shabbat 88a]. Wars will break out with atom and hydrogen bombs, and the entire world will seek counsel to escape war. Then they shall come to the Messiah, to Jerusalem [see BT Bava Batra 75b], and he will teach them this law.

Before I treat this matter, I will present a short introduction concerning human qualities, and say that people are divided into two categories: egoists and altruists. “Egoists”—meaning that all that they do they do for themselves [see BT Bava Batra 10b]. And if they ever do something for another, they must have a fine reward in return for their service, be it money, respect, and so forth. “Altruists”—meaning that all their days they sacrifice for the welfare of others, without any reward. Rather, they always neglect their own needs to help others. Furthermore, among them there are those who give their very self for the benefit of others, such as those we find among volunteers who go out to war for their fellow countrymen.

More generally, we also find altruists among those who give their heart and soul to aid the primitive of every nation of the world. For example, communists who fight for the benefit of the oppressed among every nation. They are willing to pay for it with their very life. Egoism is embedded in the nature of every person, as in any animal. Altruism, however, goes against human nature. And yet, there are a select few imparted this nature, I call them “idealists.” Yet, the majority of any society or state is made up of simple flesh and blood folk, meaning egoists. Only a few, ten percent at most, are altruists.

Now, I shall get to the point: For that reason—altruists being so few in every society—the first communists, before Karl Marx’s day, were unsuccessful in spreading communism to the world, as is said, “One swallow does not a spring make.” In addition, some of them even established communal settlements like the kibbutzim in our country [Israel], but they failed because they could not subsist. This was because each member of a communal society must be an altruistic idealist, like the founders themselves. Since ninety percent of any society, even the most developed, are egoists, they could not maintain the conduct of a cooperative society, which is purely altruistic by nature. This continued until the time of Karl Marx, when a very successful plan for the expansion of communism was devised, namely to incorporate the oppressed themselves in the war of communism so that shoulder to shoulder they would fight against the capitalist bourgeois government. Since the oppressed are interested in this war only for their own good, namely egoistic reasons, they immediately accepted the plan, and thus communism spread to every strata of the primitive and the oppressed.

Now, since the primitive are the majority in [any] society, it is no surprise that today communism has succeeded in encircling a third of the world. However, this coupling of the altruist communists with the egoistic proletariat, though it was successful in overthrowing the bourgeois government, hateful to both, that coupling still fails to maintain a cooperative government with just division. The reason is very simple: A person does not budge unless there is some reason which necessitates that movement, like fuel for a machine. For example, one does not move his hand an inch unless he thinks that he will be more comfortable. That seeking of a more comfortable place for his hand is the fuel, as it were, pushing his hand from one place to another.

Needless to say, a worker who works all day must have fuel for his exertion. Reward for his work is the fuel that motivates him in his hard labor. Thus, if no reward is given, or if he has no need for that reward, he will not be able to work [cf. Rabbi Ya’aqov Emden, Birat Migdal Oz, 138b]. He is like a machine without fuel—even the most gullible person in the world does not believe this machine will ever move. Hence, in a purely communistic regime, where the worker knows that he will not be given more if he works more, or receive less if he works less, and all the more so in light of the absolute slogan, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” (Critique of the Gotha Program)—the worker is neither to be rewarded for his diligence, nor fear his own negligence. Thus, he has no fuel propelling him in his work. The workers’ productivity then drops to zero, until they ruin the entire regime. No schooling in the world will help in inverting human nature to be able to work without fuel—without reward. The exception to this rule is the natural born altruistic idealist for whom the best reward is the benefit of another. This altruistic fuel is entirely sufficient in propelling him in his work, like the egoistic reward for all other people. However, idealists are few. Their number is a weak foundation for society. Thus, you see that communism and altruism are one and the same.

I know there are ways to compel workers to complete their share of the work their supervisors give them. This is the conduct of a bourgeois government in which each is rewarded according to his productivity. In addition, harsh punishment can be imposed on the negligent, as in Soviet countries. However, in no way is this communism. Needless to say, it is not the paradise that the communist regime hoped to bring about, one worthy of giving one’s life to. Furthermore, a government such as this is far worse than the bourgeois government for obvious reasons that I will soon give. Had that coercive government been a step toward a perfect communism, it would still be acceptable and tolerable. However, that is not the case: no schooling in the world will invert human nature from egoism to altruism.

Therefore, the oppressive regimes in Soviet countries are eternal regimes that can never be changed. And should they wish to change it into a truly cooperative regime, the workers run out of fuel. They are unable to work and destroy the government. Thus, egoism and anti-communism are one and the same—identical. Furthermore, a coercive communist government is completely unsustainable, since a government which relies on the bayonet cannot persist, the majority will ultimately rise up against it and abolish it. The idealist ten percent will not be able to rule over the egoistic anti-communist ninety percent forever. This is what we find in Soviet and eastern countries.

Even that handful of communist idealists which lead these countries today are not guaranteed to remain that way for generations, because ideals are not hereditary [see M Avot 2:17: “Prepare yourself to study the Law, for it does not come to you as an inheritance”]. Although the fathers are idealists, there is no guarantee that their sons will do the same. Thus, how can we be certain that the leadership of the second or third generation will be in the hands of communist idealists as it is today? You may say that a majority will always elect them from the public, but this is a grave error. The majority of the egoistic public will only elect those who are close to them in spirit, not their opponents. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that today’s leaders were not elected by the public whatsoever. Who can make sure that the elected representatives of the public will always be idealists? When the egoists are in power, they are sure to abandon that government immediately, or at least turn it into a kind of national communism—הערען פעלקער (herren folker), Herrenvolk [i.e., “a nation of masters,” a locution of Max Weber (see for example Political Writings, 129, 269), later to be misappropriated by Hitler in his notion of a “master race”].

All that I have said—when I proved that communism and altruism are the same, and that egoism and anti-communism are the same—is my own view. Since if you ask the communists themselves, they will vehemently deny it. They will claim the opposite: We are far from any bourgeois ethics, we possess no sentimentalism. It is only justice that we seek, that no man exploit another. In other words, it is according to the quality, “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours” (M Avot 5:10), which, in fact, is the quality of egoists. Hence, I must see things from their perspective, and review now this justice that they seek and to which they devote their lives.

First, according to the development of communist regimes, I find that “bourgeois” and “proletariat” are no longer sufficient terms to explain economic history, we need more general terms. It is more accurate to divide society into a class of “industrious” and a class of “primitive.” In bourgeois regimes, the industrious are capitalists and the middle class. The primitive are the workers who labor for them. In communist regimes, the industrious are managers, supervisors, and intelligentsia, and the primitive are the workers who labor for them. The majority in any society is always primitive. The industrious are no more than thirty percent of society. It is a law of nature that the industrious class exploits the primitive class as best they can, like fish of the sea where the strong swallow up the weak [cf. BT Avodah Zarah 4a: “Just as big fish swallow up small fish, so people would swallow each other up alive if not for fear of the rulers”]. It is of no consequence whether the industrious are capitalists and merchants, as in bourgeois regimes, or whether the industrious are managers, supervisors, intelligentsia, and administrators, as in communist regimes.

Eventually, the industrious exploit the primitive workers to the best of their ability, taking no pity on them; the industrious always extract the butter and the cream, leaving the workers meager whey. The only question is what remains for the workers after the ruthless exploitation by the industrious—the degree of enslavement the industrious impose on them—and the degree of freedom and human liberty the industrious allow them. It is only by these scraps, which the industrious leave for the primitive, that we can evaluate any regime and choose which one is preferable.

Let us mention once again what we have already said: Like a machine, one cannot work without a reward serving as fuel. In a non-altruistic communist regime, the workers must be rewarded for their work, and be heavily punished for their negligence. Yet, many supervisors are required to watch over them, for without sufficient supervision, the rewards and punishments are certain to be insufficient. However, there is no more arduous work than standing over people and tormenting them, since “nobody wants to be a hangman.” Therefore, even if you place inspectors, appointees over the inspectors, and still higher appointees to watch them, they will all be negligent in their supervision, they will not sufficiently torment the workers [cf. Ecclesiastes 5:7]. There is no remedy for this except to provide plenty of fuel to the functionaries, enough to reward such hard labor—work of the “hangman.”

In other words, they must be paid several times more than a simple worker. Thus, do not be surprised if functionaries in Russia are paid ten to fifty times more than a simple worker. Their work is ten to fifty times more difficult than that of a simple worker. If they are not sufficiently rewarded, they are compelled to neglect their office and the state is ruined. Now try to calculate in our country’s currency. Let us say that a simple worker earns a hundred Israeli pounds a month. This means that the lowest functionaries would receive a thousand pounds a month, ten times more. Thus, over one year, he earns 12,000 pounds, and over ten years 120,000 pounds. If we deduct ten percent from that for his sustenance, he is left with 108,000 pounds. Evidently we must call him a respectable capitalist. All the more so with higher functionaries. Thus, within a few decades, the functionaries become millionaires, at no risk, and only through exploitation of the workers.

As I have said, contemporary society should no longer be divided into “bourgeois” and “proletariat,” but rather into “industrious” and “primitive.” You might say that this is but a phase toward pure communism, meaning that through education and public opinion, the public may be trained until [they accept upon themselves:] “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Then there will be no need for inspectors and supervisors. This is a grave error because this slogan is a strictly altruistic slogan. Wherever one can work for the benefit of society without any “fuel,” it is unnatural, unless altruism is the reason and the “fuel” for the work, as I have shown. Thus, we must not expect any change for the better. Quite the contrary, we must fear that that handful of idealist communists who lead today will not bequeath their leadership to other idealists. The egotism of the people will gradually prevail and they will choose leadership according to their egotistic spirit—reinstating capitalism. At the very least, they will turn communism into a kind of national Communism, a “Herrenvolk,” as Hitler did. They have no inhibitions about exploiting other nations to benefit themselves, if they have the power.

You might say that through education and public opinion the nature of the masses can be transformed into altruism, but this is also a grave error. Education can achieve no more than public opinion, meaning that public opinion respect altruists and despise egoists. As long as public opinion upholds altruism by means of honor and shame, education will be effective. However, if a time comes when a skilled speaker gives a daily speech that is contrary to public opinion he can undoubtedly succeed in changing public opinion as he wishes. We already have such a bitter example from history in that villain who turned a well-mannered people like the Germans into wild animals through his daily “sermons.” Several hundred years of education vanished like a soap bubble, since public opinion had been changed, and education had nothing more to rely on, as education cannot exist without the public’s support.

Evidently there is no hope to transform this coercive government. Also, there is no hope that the masses will ever achieve true communism, according to the slogan, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Rather, the workers must remain perpetually under the dreaded rod of the managers and supervisors, while the managers and supervisors inevitably suck the blood of the workers, like bourgeois capitalists do, if not much worse than them. After all, in the coercive regime of the communists, the workers do not even have the right to strike. Famine and destruction will always hang over their heads, as the Soviet case teaches. Moreover, if coercive government is ever abandoned, the society is certainly ruined immediately, since the workers run out of fuel.

Indeed […] it is said that in a communist regime it is worthwhile for the proletariat to suffer [nobly], since they suffer for themselves, as they are the owners of the means of production, the property, and the surplus, and no one can exploit them. While in a capitalist regime they only have their daily bread, with all the surplus going to the capitalists. How lovely these words are on the surface. Nevertheless, if there is an ounce of truth in them they apply to the industrious—the functionaries and managers who, in any case, take all the pleasures of the coercive regime. Indeed, regarding the proletariat, namely the workers and the “primitive,” these words are worthless.

Let us take our own railroads, for example. They are state property, meaning that the ownership of the railroad is in the hands of all the citizens of the state. I ask, do any of us citizens feel our right to ownership of the railroad? Do we have any greater benefit when traveling on a nationalized railway compared to traveling on a private, capitalist railway? We can also take a cooperative owned entirely by the proletariat, such as Solel Boneh which is owned entirely by the workers. Do the workers who work on their own property have any additional benefit than when working for a foreign capitalist property? I fear that one who works for the foreign entrepreneur will feel much more at home than one working for Solel Boneh, even though he is seemingly a co-owner. Only a handful of managers has the entire ownership, and they do with the national property as they see fit. A private citizen is forbidden to even inquire what they are doing and for what. Thus, the proletariat takes no delight in the property of the state and the means of production that is under the hands of the executives and the functionaries, who always oppress and humiliate them like dust of the earth (2 Samuel 22:43). What then is the surplus that they have in a coercive communist regime, what more than their daily bread?

I do not envy the proletariat whatsoever. In a coercive communist regime, they are, and always will be, under the harsh burden of the functionaries and inspectors who torture them with every kind of atrocity. The world and public opinion is oblivious, since all the means of advertising are in possession of the clerks. No one is able to expose their wicked deeds in public. Furthermore, everyone is under their thumb, unable to escape the country, just as our ancestors were imprisoned in Egypt, where no slave could leave for freedom. Because all the workers leave the surplus of produce for the state, how can they let them leave, when the state loses their surplus? In a word, a non-altruistic communist regime must always consist of two classes: The “industrious,” who are the managers, functionaries, and intelligentsia, and the “primitive” class, who are the productive workers, the majority of society.

For the functioning of the state, the class of the industrious must, willingly or unwillingly, enslave, tantalize, and humiliate the working class mercilessly and shamelessly. They exploit them ten times more than the bourgeois exploit them, for they are utterly defenseless, as they do not have the right to strike. They are unable to expose the wicked deeds of the employers in public, and they derive no pleasure whatsoever in the ownership of the means of production that the functionaries have acquired.

One more thing, and this is the most important: communism must fix more than just the economic order. It must also ensure the subsistence of the people of the world. In other words, it must prevent wars so that nation not destroy nation. I have already screamed like a banshee over this back in 1933 in my pamphlet Peace, warning that wars today have reached such drastic proportions that they endanger the life of the entire world. The only counsel to prevent this is by all the nations adopting the regime of perfect communism, meaning altruistic. Needless to say, today, after the discovery and use of atom bombs, and the discovery of hydrogen bombs, it is no longer doubtful that after one, two, or three wars, human civilization will be totally ruined, leaving no trace.

Modern egoism cannot secure peace in the world. For even if all nations of the world adopt this communist regime, there will still not be a compelling reason for nations rich in means of production, raw materials, and civilization, to share the raw materials and means of production equally with poor nations. For example, the nations in [North] America will not want to equalize their standard of living with the Asian or African nations, or even with the European nations. A single nation might have the power to equalize the standard of living of the rich and middle class—the owners of the means of production—with the proletariat, by inciting the poor masses, the majority of society, to destroy the rich and middle class and take their property.

However, this counsel will be to no avail in compelling a wealthy nation to share its property and means of production with a poor nation, as the rich nation has already prepared arms and bombs to safeguard itself from its poor neighbors. Thus, what good has the communistic regime done in the world? It leaves a state of envy among the nations intact just as with a capitalistic regime, without any relief. A just division within each nation for itself will not assist to just division among the nations whatsoever. Hence, while basic sustenance is under such immediate risk it is a waste of time to improve the economic government. They would be better off using that time seeking counsel to save the very life of all humankind.

You see that the whole problem with today’s communistic regime is the lack of adequate reward, which is fuel for the workers. Hence, it is impossible to employ them successfully except with the fuel of reward and punishment. Hence, we require inspectors, supervisors, and managers to take upon themselves the hard task of supervising the workers, and ruthlessly suck their blood and sweat, making their lives endlessly bitter with hardship and enslavement. In return for this hard task they must also be given adequate reward, which is no less than to make them millionaires, for they will not want to live the life of “hangmen” by their own free choice for anything less than that, as we see in the Soviet country.

In addition, we must not hope for this reign of terror to ever end, as the optimists promise. Neither bayonets, nor education, nor public opinion will be able to transform human nature to work willingly without adequate fuel. Hence, it is a curse for generations [cf. Genesis 3:19]. When the coercive government is abandoned, the workers no longer yield a produce that suffices for the sustenance of the state. There is no remedy for this except to place faith in spiritual reward and punishment from above into the hearts of the workers, from He who knows all mysteries.

Thus, through the right education and promotion spiritual reward and punishment will be sufficient fuel for their work. They will no longer need managers or supervisors over their shoulders, but each and every one will work willingly and wholeheartedly for society, to merit his reward from Heaven.

The positive Communism is an ideal, meaning moral. The goal “to work according to one’s ability and receive according to one’s needs” testifies to that. Every moral must have a basis that necessitates it; education and public opinion are a very unsound basis, and the proof of this is Hitler. Because any concept of the majority is sure to triumph, it is needless to say that the implementation of a corrected communism is by the majority of the public. Thus, it is necessary to establish the moral level of the majority of the public on a basis that will necessitate and guarantee that the corrected communism will never be corrupted. A preordained ideal in humans is insufficient, as too few possess it, and they are insignificant compared to the majority of the public.

Religion is the only basis sure to raise the level of the collective to the moral level of “working according to the ability and receiving according to the need.” Communism must be turned away from, “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours” (M Avot 5:10), which is the quality of Sodom, to “what’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is yours” (ibid.), meaning absolute altruism. When the majority of the public accepts this rule de facto, it will be time to “work according to the ability and receive according to the need.” The sign would be that everyone would work like a contract-worker.

It is forbidden to nationalize property before the public reaches this moral level. Before there is a reliable moral element in the public, the collective will not have “fuel” for work. The entire world is one family. The framework of communism should ultimately encircle the entire world in an equal standard of living for all. However, the actual process is a gradual one. Each nation whose majority accepts these basic elements practically, and has guaranteed “fuel,” may enter the framework of communism right away.

The economic and religious form that guarantees communism will be the same for all nations. Except for religious customs, which do not concern the economy, each will have one’s own custom, which must not be changed whatsoever. The world must not be corrected in religious matters before economic correction is guaranteed for the entire world.

There should be a detailed program from all the aforementioned rules and the rest of the necessary rules in this regard. Anyone who comes under the framework of communism must take a solemn oath. First, there must be a small establishment whose majority are altruists to the aforementioned extent. It means that they will work as hard as contract-workers, ten to twelve hours a day and more. Each and every one working according to his strength and receiving according to his needs. It will have all the forms of the government of a state. In this manner, even if the framework of this foundation comprises the entire world, and the brute-force regime is abandoned completely, nothing will need to be changed in governance or work. This foundation will be like a global focal point with nations and states surrounding it to the farthest corners of the earth [see Isaiah 49:6: It is too little a thing that you are My servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob and bring back Israel’s survivors. I shall make you a light for the nations, that My rescue reach then end of the earth]. All who enter this framework of communism will have the same agenda and the same leadership as its center. They will be as one nation in profits, losses and results.

It is absolutely forbidden for anyone from the foundation to turn to any of the judicial establishments, etc., or any of the forms existing in a brute-force regime [i.e., Mesirah, see for example BT Bava Qamma 58a, 117a. Cf. BT Gittin 88b in the name of Rabbi Tarfon]. All conflicts are to be resolved among themselves, meaning between the concerned parties. Public opinion, which condemns egoism, will condemn the guilty party for exploiting the righteousness of his fellow.

It is a fact that the Jews are hated by most nations and are made fewer by them [see Sifrei, Numbers 59: “Rabbi Shim’on son of Yoḥai taught: ‘הֲלָכָה (Halakhah), the behavior, is well-known: Esau hates Jacob”]. It is true for the religious, the secular, and the communists. There is no tactic to fight against it except to bring true altruistic morale into the heart of the nations, to the point of cosmopolitanism.

If one is forbidden to exploit one’s fellow, why should a nation be allowed to exploit its fellow nations? What justifies one nation enjoying the land more than other nations? Therefore, international communism must be established. As there are individuals who have been privileged by diligence, chance, or ancestral inheritance to a greater share than the negligent, quite so is it among the nations. Hence, why should war on individuals be greater than against nations?

If you lived on an island of savages that you could not bring to law and order except through religion, would you doubt it and let them destroy one another? Similarly, with regard to altruism, they are all savages, and there is no tactic they will accept unless through religion. Who would hesitate to abandon them to destroy each other with hydrogen bombs?

There are three bases to the expansion of faith: First: satisfaction of desires; second: proofs; third: propaganda. Satisfaction of desires: is like the perpetuation of the soul, reward, as well as national reward, which is the glorification of the nation; Proofs: the world cannot exist without it, much less in the days of the atom [bomb…]; propaganda: this may also be used instead of proof, if it is done with diligence.

Because of the craving for possessions, it is impossible to build altruistic communism unless egoistic communism comes first, as demonstrated by all the societies that wished to establish altruistic Communism prior to Marxism. However, now that a third of the world has already laid down the rudiments on an egoistic communist regime, it is possible to begin to establish a durable altruistic Communism on a religious foundation.

Altruistic communism will ultimately completely nullify the power of government. Rather, Every man will do that which is right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25) [cf. 1 Samuel 8:5–11. For an appraisal of anarchism, see Rav Avraham Yitsḥak Kook, Shemonah Kevatsim 1:89–90: “Anarchism stems from a foundation more exalted than socialism”]. This should not be surprising, as it was inconceivable that children could be trained through explanation, but rather, only by the rod [see Proverbs 23:13: Do not hold back reproof from a lad, when you strike him with the rod, he won’t die]. However, today most people have accepted [not to do] this and minimize the forceful rule over children. [Now,] this concerns children who are without patience or knowledge.

All the more so with people, a kibbutz of educated, knowledgeable people brought up in altruism. They certainly will not require a brute-force regime. Indeed, there is nothing more degrading and humiliating for a person than being subjugated to naked power. Even courthouses will not be necessary, unless some unusual incident occurs, in which the companions are unable to influence an exceptionally [ornery] individual. In that case, special teachers will be needed to turn that individual around through argumentation and explanation of the benefit of society, until that individual is brought back in line.

If one is stubborn, and it is all to no avail, then the public will turn away from that person as though from an outcast, until that individual turns back to the conduct of society. It turns out that after there is a kibbutz established on altruistic communism, with a majority of people who have actively taken these rules upon themselves, they will immediately decide not to bring each other to any court, governmental agency, or any other kind of power [i.e., Mesirah, see for example BT Bava Qamma 58a, 117a. Cf. BT Gittin 88b in the name of Rabbi Tarfon]. Rather, everything will be done by gentle persuasion. Hence, no individual is to be accepted into the society until he is tested to see if he is so crude that he cannot be trained in altruism.

It is important to make such a correction that no person will demand his needs from society. Instead, there will be selected people who will examine the needs of every person and provide for every single person. Public opinion will denounce one who claims something for oneself, such as today’s thief and scoundrel. Thus, everyone’s thoughts will be devoted to giving to his fellow, as is the nature of any edification that calculates it, even before one feels his own needs. If we want to jump on a table, we must prepare ourselves to jump much higher than the table, and then we will land on the table. However, if we want to jump only as high as the table, we will fall down.

Admittedly, egoistic communism is but a step on the way to justice, a sort of “Not for its own sake… to for its own sake” (BT Pesaḥim 50b). But I say that the time for the second phase, namely altruistic communism, has arrived. First, it must be established in one country, as a model. After that the countries in the first phase will certainly accept it. Time is of the essence, since the shortcomings and brute-force used in egoistic communism deter the majority of the cultured world from this method altogether. Thus, the world must be introduced to the perfect communism, and then most civilized countries in the world will undoubtedly accept it. It is of great concern that imperialism will abolish communism from the world, but if our perfect method will actually be publicized, imperialism will certainly be left as a king with no armies.

Clearly, no stable and proper social life is possible except when controversies among members of society are resolved by the majority. It therefore follows that there cannot be a good regime in a society unless the majority is good. A good society means that the majority in it is good, and a bad society means that the majority of it is bad. As I have said above (3), that communism must not be established before the majority of the people in society operate with a desire to give.

No circulation can secure a coercive rule over future generations, and neither public opinion nor education will help in this case, for they naturally tend to grow weaker. The exception is religion, which naturally grows stronger. We see from experience that nations that have accepted religion first coercively and compulsively, observe them willingly in the following generation. Moreover, they are dedicated and devoted to it. We must understand that although the fathers took upon themselves altruistic communism because they were idealists, there is no guarantee that their children will follow them in this regime. Needless to say, if the fathers adopted communism by coercion, as is the manner in egoistic communism, it will not endure for generations, but will ultimately be overpowered and abandoned. A regime cannot be imposed except through religion.

When I say that a communistic regime must not be instated before there is an altruistic majority, I do not mean that they will be willingly idealistic. Rather, it means that they will keep it for religious reasons, in addition to public opinion. This coercion is one that will last for generations, for religion is the primary motivation.

We must remember all the suffering, poverty, corruption and war, and widows and orphans in the world, seeking rescue from altruistic communism. At that time, it will not be difficult for one to dedicate his entire life to rescue them from ruin and dreadful pain. It is even more so with a young person, whose heart has not been confounded by their own shortcomings. That person will certainly support it with his heart and soul.

The negative If there is nationalization before the public is ready for it, meaning before each one has a sound basis, and secured cause for “fuel” to work, it is as though one ruins his small house before he has the means to build another house.

Public equality does not mean flattening the level of the talented and successful to the level of the negligent and oppressed [i.e., Equality of Outcome]. This would completely ruin the public. Rather, it means allowing each person in the public a middle class standard of living. Thus, the negligent, too, will enjoy their lives as much the middle class. The freedom of the individual must be protected if it is not harmful to the majority of the public. The detrimental ones must not be pitied, and must be made harmless.

Currently communism endures because of the idealists who lead it. They were idealists before they became communists. However, the second generation, when leaders are elected by the majority of the public, will gradually be repealed, taking on the form of Nazism or turning back to domination. This is because nothing will stop them from exploiting other, negligent nations.

Egoistic communism holds no war-preventing element, since the basis of all the wars is living territory, in which each wants to build on the ruin of the other, whether justly, or because of envy that the other has more. Communism based on “mine is mine” in a framework of equal division does nothing to remove the envy of the nations with each other, much less the nations’ lack of living space. It is also hopeless that the rich nations will give from their share to be level with the poor since “mine is mine, and yours is yours” does not necessitate it. Only communism of “mine is yours, and yours is yours” will resolve it.

Even today we see that there is a global power which has overthrown and conquered all the communist countries, behaving there as in its own home, just as ancient Greece and Rome. There is no doubt that this power will subdivide in the future, and we already have Tito. When they split, they are certain to fight each other, for how does Russia govern Czechoslovakia, or the others, if not by the sword and the spear?

With communism, employers strive to decrease the consumption of the workers and increase their productivity. In imperialism, the employers want, and act to increase the consumption of the workers, and to equalize his productivity to consumption. The rulers’ and supervisors’ class will ultimately create a sort of exile in Egypt over the working class since all the workers leave their surplus in the hands of the rulers, who take the greater part from them. Hence, they will not let a single worker get away from under their hands to another country. Thus, the workers will be caged, guarded like Israel in Pharaoh’s Egypt.

The ruling class is destined finally to put all the old and handicapped in the working class to death, arguing that they eat more than they produce and they are parasites on the country. No one will die a natural death. If communism spreads throughout the world, it will put to death every nation that eats more than it produces. If the profiteers and the merchants become allotters, the buyers will become receivers of charity from the allotters, and the allotters will do with them as they see fit, or as much as they are afraid of the inspectors.

A regime cannot exist on spears forever
Communism does not exist over an anti-communist society because a regime supported on bayonets and spears is unsustainable. Eventually, the majority in society will prevail and overthrow that government. Hence, an altruistic majority must be established first, and the government will be supported on will.

The habit of waves of hatred and envy will later turn against the primitive Communism that is built on waves of hatred and envy will only succeed in overthrowing the bourgeois, not in benefiting the primitive. On the contrary, the same ones that have grown accustomed to hatred and envy will turn the arrows of hatred against the primitive once the bourgeois are gone [cf. Hannah Arendt, The New Yorker (12 September 1970): “The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution”].

Egoistic Communism will always be at war with the public
The communist regime will be compelled always to be at war with the anti-communists by its very nature. This is because each person naturally tends to be possessive. People naturally tend to take the cream and leave the meager whey for others. Nature does not change by education or public opinion. It is unimaginable that one will ever willingly agree to just division, and army bayonets cannot invert our nature, much less education and public opinion. Natural born idealists are few. If you should say that theft and robbery are well guarded in the capitalistic regime, I shall tell you that it is because the law permits legal competition. It is comparable to a person who gathers an association where the majority is murderers and robbers, and wants to rule over them and compel them to keep the law. But regarding the annulment of property, everyone is a robber.

Israel is qualified to set an example to all nations
Altruistic communism is seldom found in the human spirit; hence, the nobler nation must take upon itself to set an example for the entire world.

The country is at risk: altruistic communism will bolster the ingathering of the exiles The nation is at risk because each will flee to a different place before the economy is stabilized. This is because not every person can endure the test while there is a way to live comfortably. With altruistic communism the ideal will shine upon all people, giving them satisfaction that will make the suffering worthwhile. Moreover, it will draw the ingathering of the exiles from all the countries because the worries and survival wars everyone experiences overseas will motivate them to return to their land and live peacefully and justly.

The philosophy is ready—Kabbalah based on religion Each practical method also requires a renewed idealistic nourishment to contemplate, meaning a philosophy. As far as this is concerned, there is already a complete and ready-made philosophy, meaning Kabbalah, though it is intended only for the leaders.

Why are we the chosen people for it? We must set a good example to the world because we are better qualified than all other nations. It is not because we are more idealistic, but because we have suffered from tyranny more than all other nations [cf. Nietzsche, Daybreak, 3:205]. For this reason, we are more prepared to seek counsel that will end tyranny from the land.

Ownership and control are not identical. For example, the owners of the railway are the shareholders, and the control is in the hands of the managers, though they have only a single share, or nothing whatsoever. The same applies to the shipping company, whose shareholders have no right to control or advise. Take warships for example. They are owned by the state, yet no civilian is permitted aboard them. In addition, if the state should be in the hands of the proletariat by way of ownership, the management will ultimately be in the hands of the same managers as now, or others of likewise temper. The proletariat will have no greater foothold or benefit than they do now, unless the rulers are idealists, caring for the good of every single individual. In a word, with respect to the government, it makes no difference whether the ownership is given to capitalists or to the state. In the end, it is the managers who will control them, not the owners. Hence, the correction of society should relate primarily to the executives [Bertrand Russell, Power: A New Social Analysis, The Taming of Power, 214].

And likewise, said Avniel in the Knesset. In Israel, the gap between the lowest functionary to the highest one is times 1.7. In England, it is times ten, and in the rest of the countries it is more or less the same. But in Russia it is times fifty. Thus, in a proletarian state the functionaries and the managers waste their energy much more than in capitalistic countries. This is because the government is oligarchic, and not democratic. In simple words, it is because the communists control anti-communists. There must be oligarchy. This will never change since communism means idealism, which is not in the majority.

Such a state, where the communists rule over anti-communists is obliged to be in the hands of a group of autocratic executives in absolute dictatorship. All the people in the country will be in their hands as though they are nothing. They must always keep the sword in their hands for killing, incarceration, concealed and revealed punishments, food deprivation, and all sorts of punishments, according to each executive’s arbitrary decision. All this is in order to keep the anti-communists in dreadful terror and fear, so they work for the state and not ruin it inadvertently or maliciously. In such a state, the executives must make sure the citizens cannot choose a democratic management, since the majority of the country is anti-communistic.

In such a state, where the communists rule over the anti-communists, the managers must see that the citizens have no possibility for advertisement, or to disclose the dreadful injustice that is done to the people of the state or to the minorities in the state. In other words, the printers are not to print and the administrators of the lecture halls must watch over the speakers so they do not criticize their deeds. They must punish harshly anyone who plans, or even thinks of criticizing their acts. Thus, the government will have full control to deal with them arbitrarily, and there will be no one to detain them (Power, … 21).

Ethics cannot rely solely on education and public opinion, because public opinion necessitates only what is in the public’s favor. Hence, if one comes and proves that morality is harmful to the public and vulgarity is more beneficial, they will immediately discard morality and choose vulgarity, as Hitler testifies. The egoistic communism based on waves of envy and hate will never be rid of them. Rather, when there are no bourgeois, they will cast their hate on Israel. We must not be mistaken that communism will cure the loathing of Israel from the nations. Only altruistic communism can be expected to bring that remedy.

Debate

Clearly, the slogan, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” is absolute altruism. When this is applied, the majority of the public, or all of it, will be armed with the quality “mine is yours.” Hence, do tell, which are the elements that can bring the public to this desire? Today’s elements, namely the hatred of the capitalists and every sort of animosity extending from it, will only bring one the opposite. It will instill the quality of “mine is mine, and yours is yours” in people, which is the quality of Sodom, the opposite of love of man. I have nothing to say to those who go with the flow, only with those who have their own mind and the strength to criticize [cf. Rabbi Avraham Yesha‘yahu Karelits, Ḥazon Ish, Emunah u-Bitaḥon 4:5: “(Man’s fundamental evil trait is) allowing his natural life to flow along its natural course”].

Engels’ fundamental concept, in the name of Marx, states, “The oppressed and exploited class cannot be liberated from the oppressive and exploitative class without also liberating all of society from exploitation, oppression and class struggle once and for all.” This is in contrast to contemporary communist conduct to slaughter and degenerate all the bourgeois parts of society. This powerful hostility will never be effaced from their children. It is also in contrast with the fact that they are establishing a sovereign, governing class, monitoring the working class. There is no more painful and regrettable class struggle than this. They suck the fat from the workers’ marrow and leave them the residue, along with constant fear of death, or of being sent to Siberia. Where is the salvation here? They have replaced the bourgeois class, which was not so terrible—in fact, its shadow has been lifted from them since the workers have the power to strike against them—and they have substituted it with a sovereign class, governing and ruling a class of exploited slaves who are constantly terrorized by a punishment far worse than they had in their war against the bourgeois.

The country is divided into two classes: the industrious, and the primitive. The industrious are the employers and the leaders; the primitive are the workers and those led. It is a law of nature that the industrious will exploit the primitive. The only question is how much freedom, equality, and standard of living do they leave for the primitive. Also, how much labor the industrious will demand of them. The primitive are always the vast majority in society. The industrious are but ten percent of it, which is the exact amount needed to operate society. If the percentage is increased or decreased, there is a crisis. These are the crises in the bourgeois society. Crises in the communist society take on a different form, but with the same degree of pain. The name “industrious” also includes their heirs and those who bribe the industrious. The name “primitive” relates also to industrious who for some reason have been thrown into the primitive class.

Regarding religion: “The permanent moral state does not stem from religion, but from science” (Lenin, Empirio Criticism, 324). Morality based on public benefit exists in social animals, too. However, this is not enough since it becomes vulgar and is harmful to society, such as the great patriotic murderer, carried on the shoulders of the nationalists. Thus, only religion-based morality is enduring, valid, and indispensable. We find the same among “savage nations,” whose level of morality is far greater than civilized nations.

A society cannot be good unless its majority is good. However, some stun or entice the wicked majority with all sorts of marketing until they are compelled to choose good leadership. This is what all democracies do. Alas, the majority finally learns, or others teach them, and they choose an wicked leadership that matches their ill will. We must understand why Marx and Engels decided that perfection of communism means working according to ability and receiving according to needs. Who forced it upon them? Why was it not enough to receive according to one’s productivity, and not to equalize one with a negligent, or with one who has no sons? The thing is that communism will not endure by way of egoism, but by the way of altruism, for the aforementioned reasons.

News
In the very same way they exterminated the capitalists, they were also compelled to exterminate the farmers. In addition, in the sense of the joy of life, they will always be forced to destroy the proletariat. Although Marx and Engels were the first to place the correction of the world on the proletariat, it did not occur to them to do it coercively, but rather democratically. For this reason, the workers had to be the majority, and then establish a proletarian government where the leaders of the regime would gradually reform until they come to abstract altruism—each according to his deeds, and each according to his needs. Lenin added to it the establishment of the communist regime through forcing the minority opinion over the majority, hoping that afterwards, altruism would be conducted among them too. All that was needed for this was an armed camp of proletariat. Since the property owners are scattered, the government could take it by force, and then come and defeat the weak and unorganized property owners. In that, he disagreed with Marx and said that it is quite the contrary: In the primitive countries it is easier to defeat them, as all that is needed was to turn the soldiers into communists and destroyers of the property owners, and to seize their property. It is easier to incite soldiers to kill and loot the property owners in a primitive country.

That is why he understood that he would not find a cruder multitude than in his own country, and therefore said that his country would be first. However, when he saw that in fact, it was not enough to destroy the capitalistic ten percent, but that millions of farmers must also be destroyed, he grew tired, because it is impossible to destroy half a nation. Then came Stalin, who said that the end justifies the means, and took upon himself the task of destroying the farmers, too. He was successful. However, not one of them also considered that in the end, they need the goodwill of the proletariat, so that they would work, and to instill the conduct of altruism in them, which would bring them to this slogan. This is utterly impossible. Nature cannot be changed so that not only would one work for his needs, but for his fellow’s needs. This is utterly impossible without coercion and enforcement. Ultimately, the majority rises up and abandons the regime. Liars are those who say that idealism is either natural or a result of education. Rather, it is a direct result of religion! As long as religion was not sufficiently spread throughout the world, the entire world was barbaric without inhibition. Only after servants of the Creator spread, did the offspring of the agnostics become idealists. Thus, the idealist is only so due to his ancestral imperative. However, it is an orphaned imperative, meaning without one to necessitate.

If religion were to be annulled altogether, all governments would then become like Hitler. Nothing would restrain them from increasing the country’s benefits incessantly. Even today, governments know no sensitivity. However, there is still a limit to their deeds between the still and the idealists in the country. When religion is annulled, it will not be difficult for rulers to uproot the remaining idealists, as it was not hard for Hitler and Stalin. The difference between the idealist and religious is that the idealist’s deeds are baseless. He cannot convince anyone of his preference for justice, and who so necessitates it. Perhaps it is but faintness of heart as Nietzsche said [see Daybreak: Thoughts 3:163. Cf. Plato, Gorgias, 483b–d]. He will not have a single intelligent word to utter, which is why Hitler and Stalin overpowered them. However, the religious will boldly counter that it is so commanded by the LORD, and would give his life for it […].

If my words yield benefit, good. If not, the last generations will know why communism was annulled, that it was not because it could not be sustained, as capitalists say, but because the leaders did not understand how to establish that regime. They erected a regime of egoism where they should have established a regime of altruism.
If anyone should disagree with me and say that education will suffice for that, I permit him to establish for himself a society based solely on education, but I will not partake in it. I know all too well that these are idle things. Thus, might he assist me in establishing a religious society?

Appendices and drafts

Section One
“Critical communism has never refused, or refuses now, to welcome the abundance of ideological, ethical, psychological, and educational ideas that may be reached by studying the various forms of Communism” (Antonio Labriola).

“Were we to wish to think today as Marx and Engels did, at a time when if they themselves were here today, they would be thinking otherwise… defending the dead letter of the latter,” etc. (Georgy Plekhanov, Introductions to the Communist Manifesto).

The positive
Evidence for altruistic communism
For the rules of a altruistic communist society
For an international communism
For a beneficial religion
Promoting the expansion of religion
Egoistic communism precedes altruistic communism
For the keeping of Judaism.

The negative [….]

Section two (for the Introduction)

I already conveyed my basic outlook in 1933. I have also spoken to the leaders of the generation, but at the time, my words were not accepted, though I was screaming like a banshee, warning about the destruction of the world. Alas, it made no impression. Now, however, after the atom and hydrogen bombs, I think the world will believe me that the end of the world is coming rapidly, and Israel will be the first nation to be burned, as in the previous war. Thus, today it is good to awaken the world to accept the only remedy, and they will live and exist.

We must understand why Marx and Engels necessitated the ultimate communism, where each works according to his ability and receives according to his needs. Why do we need this strict condition, being the quality of “mine is yours, and yours is yours,” the absolute altruism?
In that regard, I have come to prove in this article that there is no hope for communism to exist, if it is not brought to this end, which is complete altruism. Until then, it is nothing but phases in communism. Once I have proven the correctness of the slogan, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” we must see if these phases can yield this outcome.

Today, the definitions, “bourgeois” and “proletariat,” no longer suffice to explain the history of economy. Rather, we need more general terms: the “industrious” class and the “primitive” class (above in the section Debate, item 4). After twenty-five years of experience, we are baffled regarding the complete happiness that the communist regime had promised us. Its opponents say it is absolutely evil, and its supporters say that it is heaven on earth. Indeed, we must not cast off the words of the opponents at a stroke, because when one wants to know another’s properties, he must ask both his friends and his enemies. It is a rule that the friends know only the virtues and not a single flaw, for Love covers up all misdeeds (Proverbs 10:12). The enemies are the opposite: They know only of the faults, for “hate covers up all virtues” [paraphrasing Proverbs 10:12: Hatred foments strife].

Thus, one knows the truth when hearing the words of both. I wish to examine communism thoroughly, and explain its advantages and disadvantages. Mostly, I wish to explain the corrections, how all its shortcomings can be corrected so that everyone will see and admit that this regime is indeed the regime that brings both justice and happiness. How happy we were when communism came to practical experimentation in a nation as big as Russia. It was clear to us that after a few years the government of justice and happiness would appear before the entire world, and thus the capitalist government would vanish from the world in the wink of an eye. Yet, that was not the case. Quite the contrary, all the civilized nations speak of the Soviet communist regime as a terrible aberration. Hence, not only was the bourgeois regime not annulled, it rather grew twice as strong as before the Soviet experiment.

Section three
Why did communism have to assume the form of “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs?” A communist government cannot endure over an anti-communist society, since a government supported on bayonets is unsustainable. Communism built on waves of envy can only overthrow and ruin the bourgeois, but not benefit the primitive proletariat. Conversely, when the bourgeois are annihilated, the arrows of contempt will aim at the primitive. Nothing can guarantee a powerful government over the future generations except religion. Even if the fathers are idealists, and have assumed the communism, it is not certain that their sons will pursue it. All the more so, if their fathers had taken it on it by force and coercion, as is the manner of egoistic communism, they ultimately rise up and demolish it. A communist regime cannot exist atop an anti-communist society. It would have to fight the anti-communists throughout its existence. This is because every person is naturally possessive—one cannot work without motivation. The army’s bayonets will not turn man’s nature around, and the idealists are few. Several thousand years of penalties rest on the heads of the thieves, the robbers, and the fraudulent, yet they have not changed their nature even though they can obtain everything legally. It is much the same as one coming upon a society of thieves and murderers, wanting to lead them and restrict them to legal ways by force. It must explode.

Double, double, double
Because the majority opinion is guaranteed to prevail, it is all the more so with the implementation of communism. It will not persist except through the majority of the public. Hence, we must perpetuate the moral level of the majority of the public in such a way that it will never be corrupted. Religion is the only sound basis that will persist for generations. Communism must be transposed to the register of “mine is yours, and yours is yours,” meaning absolute altruism. After the majority of the public attains it, they will observe, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Before the majority of the public attains this level of morality, it is forbidden to nationalize the property for the aforementioned reasons.

Section four
Nationalization before the public is ready for it is similar to tearing down one’s dilapidated house before one has the means to build a solid one. Just division does not mean lowering the industrious to the primitive. This would be disastrous for the public. Rather, it means raising the primitive to the industrious. Egoistic communism exists now through a group of idealists that lead it. Yet, in future generations, the public will not elect idealists, but only the most capable, who are not limited by the ideal, and then communism will take on the form of Nazism. With egoistic communism, the employers wish to decrease the consumption of the worker, and increase productivity, which will always be questionable if sufficient. Imperialism is better than that, since the employers want to increase the consumption of the worker and level productivity to consumption.

Section five
The definitions, “bourgeois” and “proletariat,” are no longer sufficient to explain history. Instead, it should be divided into a “industrious” class and “primitive” class. It is a law of nature that the industrious class will exploit the primitive class, like fish in the sea, where the strong swallow up the weak. It makes no difference if the industrious are bourgeois, or the functionaries of the communistic government. Rather, the question is how much freedom and enjoyment do they leave for the primitive. The industrious class is ten percent, and the primitive class led by them is ninety percent of society. There is no reformation of the primitive unless they themselves elect the industrious to govern them. If they do not have this power, they end up being exploited by the industrious without inhibition.

Section six
The industrious class—the rulers and inspectors—are bound to create an exile such as in Egypt over the primitive class, who are the workers. This is because the rulers accumulate all the surplus of the workers in their hands, and take the lion’s share. Moreover, for purposes of the benefit of the public, they will not let any worker escape from under their grip to a different country, they will guard them like Israel in Egypt. No slave leaves them to be free. Ultimately, the industrious class will put to death all the elderly and handicapped who eat and do not labor, or even if they eat more than they can labor, as it is detrimental to society, as is known that they have no inhibition. When merchants and brokers become administrators, the consumers become recipients of charity from their hands. Their fate is determined by the mercy of the administrators, or as much as they fear the inspectors, should they take interest in that.

Since ownership and control are not the same, for example, with a ship that belongs to the state, every citizen has ownership over it, yet no right of entry, but only as the administration that controls it sees fit. Also, even if there is a proletariat government, they will have no preference in government property than they have now in the bourgeois property. This is because all the control will be held by the executives alone, which are today’s bourgeois, or those like them. Such a state, where communists govern anti-communists, must be in the hands of oligarchy, in complete dictatorship, in which all the citizens are regarded as nothing, subject to brutal punishment according to the whim of each and every executive. Otherwise, they will not secure the sustenance of the needs of the state. In such a regime, the government must ensure that there are no democratic elections since the majority of the public are anti-communists.

Egoistic communism does not liberate the proletariat whatsoever. On the contrary, instead of bourgeois employers, who are lenient with the workers, they will establish a class of executives and supervisors who will enslave the proletariat by coercion and harsh and bitter punishments. The oppression and the exploitation is doubled, and it is not easier on them in any way, if the exploitation is for the good of the country, because in the end, the employers and the oppressors take the cream, and the workers get the meager whey. In return, they are placed under constant fear of death, or punishment harsher than death. In such a state, where communists rule over anti-communists, the executives must see that the citizens cannot discover the burden and oppression they are under. Thus, after all the works are in their hands, they will forbid the printers from printing, and the speakers from speaking, so they do not criticize their deeds whatsoever. Instead, they will be compelled to lie and cover up for them, and depict a heaven on earth, and their plight will never become known.

It will be even more so with minorities who are not favored by the executives for whatever reason. They will be able to annihilate them without shame or fear that it will become known outside. And what will become of the Jews, whom the majority of the world hates? Indeed, it is the absolute truth that there cannot be a good and complete society unless its majority is good because the management depicts the quality of society, and the society is elected by the majority. If the majority is bad, the management will necessarily be bad, as well, for the wicked will not place over them rulers of whom they do not approve [i.e., majority tyranny].

We need not deduce from the modern democracies, as they use various tactics to deceive the constituency. When they grow wiser and understand their cunningness, the majority will certainly elect a management according to their spirit. And their main tactic is that they first sanctify people with good reputation, and promote them either as wise or as righteous, and then the masses believe and elect them. But a lie does not persist forever. This explains Hitlerism. What happened to the Germans is one of nature’s wonders. They were considered among the most civilized nations, and all of a sudden, overnight, they became savages, worse than even the most primitive nations in history. Moreover, Hitler was elected by the majority’s vote. In light of the above, it is very simple: Indeed, the majority of the public, which is essentially evil, possess no [meaningful] opinions, even among the most civilized nations. Rather, they deceive the majority of the public. Hence, even though the majority of the public is evil, there can be a good leadership.

However, should an evil person, capable of uncovering the deceit that the managers employ with the famous people they create, come and present the people that should be elected according to their spirit and desire, as did Hitler (and Lenin, and Trotsky), it is no wonder that they overthrow the fraudulent, and elect evil leaders according with their spirit. Thus, Hitler was indeed elected democratically, and the majority of the public united behind him. Afterward, he subdued and uprooted all the idealistic people, and did with nations as he wished, and as the people wished [in the final two free elections before Hitler’s rise to power, in July and November 1932, the Nazis received 38% and 33% of the vote, respectively—a plurality but not enough to bring them into government. In the 1932 presidential election, Hitler lost to Hindenburg by a wide margin. Hitler came to power not through elections, but because Hindenburg and the circle around Hindenburg ultimately decided to appoint him chancellor in January 1933. This was the result of backroom dealing and power politics, not any kind of popular vote. It is true that after Hitler was already ensconced as chancellor, the Nazis subsequently won the March 1933 elections. But this was in the wake of the Reichstag fire, when the government had passed an emergency law that sharply restricted the activities of left-of-center parties (including the arrest of many Communist leaders). Thus, it is difficult to claim that these were “free and fair” elections]. This is the whole novelty. Since the dawn of time, it has never happened that the majority of the public governed a state. Either the autocrats did, who, at the end of the day, do have some measure of morality, or the oligarchy, or the deceitful democrats. The majority of the simple folk ruled only in the days of Hitler, who, in addition, promoted turpitude toward other nations. He elevated public benefit to the level of devotion since he understood the frame of mind of sadists. When given room to discharge their sadism, they would pay for it with the lives.

Section seven
Egoistic communism cannot prevent wars, since the industrious nations, or the ones rich in raw materials, will not want to share equally with the poor and primitive nations. Hence, once again we must not hope for peace, except by means of the prevention of wars, meaning by preparing arms to guard against the envy and odium of the poor and primitive nations, just as today. Even more so, there will be even more wars due to changes in ideals, such as Titoism and Zionism. I have already spoken and wrote about it in 1933, and I have screamed like a banshee that today’s wars will destroy the world, but they did not believe it. But now, after the atom and hydrogen bombs, I think that everyone will believe me that if we are not saved from wars, it will be the end of the world.

Section eight
If communism is just toward each nation, then it is just toward all the nations. What prerogative and ownership over raw materials in the soil has one nation over others? Who legislated this property law? All the more so when they have acquired it by means of swords and bayonets! Also, why should one nation exploit another if it is unjust to every individual? In a word: As abolition of property is just for the individual, so it is just for every nation. Only then will there be peace on earth. Consider this: If property laws and rules of inheritance do not permit possession rights to individuals, why would they permit an entire nation? As just division is applied among individuals within the nation, there should also be internationally just division in raw materials, means of production, and accumulated property for all the nations equally [cf. BT Sanhedrin 98a on Ezekiel 36:8]. There should be no difference between white and black, civilized and primitive, just as among individuals within a single nation. There should be no division whatsoever among individuals, a single nation, or all the nations in the world. While there is still discrimination wars will not end. There is no hope of reaching international communism through egoistic communism. Even if America, India, and China should adopt a communistic regime, there is still nothing that will compel Americans to make their standard of living equal to the savage and primitive Africans and Indians. All the “cures” of Marx and Lenin will be to no avail here, inciting the poor class to rob the wealthy class, since the wealthy have already made arms to guard themselves. Thus, if it is to no avail, then the entire egoistic communism was in vain, for it will not prevent wars whatsoever.

Section nine
It is a fact that Israel is hated by all nations, whether for religious, racial, capitalist, communist, or for cosmopolitan reasons and so forth [see Sifrei Bemidbar, 59: “Rabbi Shim’on son of Yoḥai taught: It is a well-known halakhah: Esau hates Jacob”]. It is so because the hatred precedes all reason, each merely resolves his loathing according to his own psychology. No counsel will help here, except to initiate international, moral, and altruistic communism among all nations. Israel must be the first among the nations to assume international altruistic communism. It must be a model demonstrating the good and beauty of this government. Because they suffer, indeed will suffer, from the tyranny of the nations more than all other nations, they are like the heart that burns before all the other organs [see Rabbi Yehudah ha-Levi, Kuzari 2:36, cf. Zohar 3:221b]. Hence, they are better suited to adopt the proper, ideal government first. Our very existence in the state of Israel is in danger since according to the present economic order, it will take a long time before our economy is stabilized. Very few will be able to endure the experience of the ordeal in our country while they can immigrate to other, wealthy countries. Bit by bit, they will escape the discomfort until too few remain to merit the name “State,” and they will be swallowed among the Arabs. But if they accept the international altruistic communist regime, not only will they have the satisfaction of being the avant-garde for the delivery, rescue, of the world, for which they will know that it is worth the suffering, but they will also be able to control their souls and lower the standard of living when needed. They will be able to work hard enough to secure a solid economy for the state. It is even more so with kibbutzim, whose very existence is built on idealism, which will naturally wane in future generations, as ideals are not hereditary. Undoubtedly, they will be the first to ruin.

Section ten
Religion is the only sound basis to raise the moral level of society until each person works according to his ability and receives according to his needs.

[…]
If you lived on an isle of savages, whose lives you could not save, preventing them from ferociously exterminating themselves, except by means of religion, would you then doubt ordering their lives with a religion that would suffice to save this nation from eradication from the world?
With respect to altruistic communism, everyone is savage. There is no ploy to impose such a regime on the world, except by means of religion, for religious compulsion becomes agreeable in the progeny, as we have seen happen in nations that have accepted religion by force and coercion.
However, in coercion through education and public opinion, which is not hereditary in the progeny, it only diminishes in time. Hence, would you say that it is better that the entire world destroys each other than to impose on them a certain cause to lead them to life and happiness? It is hard to believe that any sane person would hesitate here. It is impossible to have a stable democratic society except by means of a society whose majority is good and honest, since society is led by the majority, for better or for worse. Hence, the Altruistic Communist regime must not be established unless the majority of the public is ready to commit to it for generations. That can only be secured through religion because the nature of religion is that even though it begins coercively, it ends voluntarily.

Religion and idealism complement each other. Where the ideal cannot be in the majority, religion forcefully rules the primitive majority, incapable of ideals due to its possessiveness, and its desire to work less than his friend and receive more. It is impossible to erect the altruistic communism before the egoistic communism expands. However, now that a third of the world has assumed the egoistic communism, the power of religion can be used to establish altruistic communism. Humankind will not suffice with dry decrees without accompanying them with reasonable explanations that support and strengthen such conduct, meaning a philosophic method. In that regard, there is already an entire philosophy concerning the desire to give, which is the altruistic communism, sufficient to contemplate for one’s entire life, and thus strengthen oneself through acts of giving.

Section eleven
Egoistic communism will ultimately adopt the form of pure Nazism, but in the appearance of national communism. However, this difference of names does not inhibit anyone from the satanic acts of Hitler. Thus, the Russians will be the “Master Nation,” and the entire world their submissive servants as in Hitler’s way. In the bourgeois regime, free competition is the primary fuel for success. The industrialists and the merchants play in it; the winners are very happy, and those who do not win suffer a bitter end. In between them is the proletariat, having no share in this game. It is seemingly neutral, neither rising nor falling. However, because of its ability to strike, its standard of living is secured. Ultimately, in both the communist and the bourgeois governments, the primitive are unfit for leadership, although they are the majority of the public. Rather, they must elect leaders from among the industrious. However, because they are elected by them, they can be hopeful of not being exploited so much. Conversely, in the egoistic communist government, the managers are not elected by the majority of the public, since they are anti-communists, as in Russia and the others, where the elected are only from among the communists.

Hence, they face a bitter end indeed, since the proletariat does not have a single representative in the leadership. All the above adheres to the rule that the proletariat are anti-communists by nature. The proletariats are not idealists; they are the primitive majority of society, and think that “just division” means that they receive an equal share with the industrious. The industrious will never want that. My words relate only to the proletariat, meaning to the primitive, who are the majority of society. The industrious and the intelligentsia will always suck the cream, either in a communist government, or in a bourgeois government. It is reasonable to think that many of them will be better off in a communist regime, since they will not fear criticism, as is written in item […].

Only you, the primitive proletariat, will be the worst off in a communist regime. However, the industrious class will have a different name: managers and supervisors. They will be better off because they will be rid of the competition, which takes its toll on the bourgeois, and will receive their share persistently and abundantly. The primitive have no counsel and contrivance to terminate the fear, unemployment, and ignominy, except for altruistic communism. Hence, my words are not aimed at the industrious and the intelligentsia, as they will certainly not accept my words, but only at the proletariat and the primitive . They will be able to understand me, and to them I speak, as well as to those who spare the lives of the primitive and sympathize with their anguish. It is one of man’s freedoms not to be tied to one place, like plants, which cannot leave their habitat. Hence, each country must ensure that it does not inhibit citizens from moving to another country. It must also be ensured that no country closes its gates before strangers and immigrants. A government of altruistic Communism must not be instigated before the majority of the public is prepared for giving to one another.

Ultimately, altruistic communism will encircle the entire world, and the entire world will have the same standard of living. However, the actual process is slow and gradual. Each nation, whose majority of the public has been educated in giving to one another, will enter the international communistic framework first. All the nations that have already entered the international communistic framework will have an equal standard of living. Thus, the surplus of a rich or industrious nation will improve the standard of living of a primitive or poor nation in raw materials and means of production. The religious form of all the nations should first obligate its members to giving to each other to the extent that the life of one’s companion will come before one’s own life, as in love your fellow as yourself (Leviticus 19:18) [cf. BT Bava Metsi’a 62a: “Your life takes precedence over the life of your companion”; Naḥmanides on Leviticus 19:18]. One will not take pleasure in society more than a primitive companion. This will be the collective religion of all the nations that will come within the framework of communism. However, besides that, each nation may follow its own religion and tradition, and one must not interfere in the other. The rules of the equal religion for the entire world are as follows:

One should work for the wellbeing of people as much as one can and even more than one’s ability, if needed, until there is no hunger or thirst in the entire world. One may be industrious, but no person shall enjoy the society more than the primitive. There will be an equal standard of living for all. Though there is religion, tokens of due honors should be imparted according to the religion; the greater the benefit one contributes to society, the higher the decoration one shall receive.

Refraining from showing one’s diligence toward the benefit of society will induce punishment according to the laws of society. Each and every one is committed to the labor of raising ever higher the living standard of the world society, so all the people in the world will enjoy their lives and will feel more and more happiness. The same applies for spirituality, though not everyone is obligated to engage in spirituality, but only unique people, depending on the need.

There will be a sort of high-court. Those who will want to dedicate their service to spiritual life will have to be granted permission by this court [see Maimonides, Mishneh Torah]. Elaborating on the other necessary laws: Anyone, individual, or a group, who comes under the framework of the altruistic communism, must take a solemn oath to keep all that because the LORD has so commanded [see Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Melakhim u-Milḥamot, 8:14 (11): “Anyone who accepts upon himself and carefully observes the Seven Commandments is of the righteous of the nations of the world and has a portion in the World to Come. This is as long as he accepts and performs them because it was the blessed Holy One who commanded them in the Torah, and that is was through Moses our teacher we were informed that the sons of Noah had already been commanded to observe them. But if he observes them because he convinced himself logically, then he is not considered a resident convert and is not of the righteous of the nations of the world, but (or: nor) one of their wise”].

At the very least one must pledge to teach one’s children that the LORD has so commanded. Those who say that the ideal is enough for them should be accepted and tested. If it is so, they may be accepted. However, they must still promise not to pass their heretical ways to their children, but hand them over to be educated by the state. If one accepts neither, he should not be accepted whatsoever. He would corrupt his friends and he would lose more than he would gain. First, there must be a small establishment, whose majority of the public is willing to work as much as it can and receive as much as it needs for religious reasons. It will work as hard as contract-workers, even more than the eight-hour workday. It will contain all the forms of government of a complete state. In a word, the order of that small society will be sufficient for all the nations in the world, without adding or subtracting. This foundation will be like a global focal point for nations and states surrounding it to the farthest corners of the world [see Isaiah 49:6]. All who enter this framework shall assume the same leadership and the same agenda as the foundation. Thus, the entire world will be a single nation, in profits, losses, and results.

Judgments relying on force will be completely abandoned in this foundation. Rather, all conflicts among the members of society shall be resolved among the concerned parties. General public opinion shall condemn anyone who exploits the righteousness of his friend for his own good. There will still be a courthouse, but it will only serve to sort out doubts that will come between people, but it will not rely on any force. One who rejects the court’s decision will be condemned by public opinion, and that is all. We should not doubt its sufficiency, as it was unbelievable that children could be educated only by explanation, but only through the cane. However, today, the greater part of civilization has taken upon itself to refrain from beating children, and this upbringing is more successful than the previous method. If there is one who is exceptional in society, he must not be brought before a court relying on force, but must be reformed through argumentation and explanation. If all the counsels are to no avail, the public will turn away from that person as though from an outcast. Thus, he will not be able to corrupt others in society.

It is important to make such a correction that no person will demand his needs from society. Instead, there will be appointees who will go from door to door, examining the needs of everyone, and they will provide for him by themselves. Thus, everyone’s thoughts will be devoted to giving to his fellow, and he will never have to think of his own needs. It is based on the observation that in consumption we are like any other animal. In addition, every loathsome act in the world stems from consumption. Conversely, we see that every joyous deed in the world comes from the quality of giving to his fellow. Thus, we should economize and reject thoughts of consumption for the self, and fill our minds only with thoughts of giving to our fellow. This is possible in the above manner. The freedom of the individual must be kept as long as it is not harmful to society. However, one who wishes to leave the society in favor of another must not be detained in any way, even if it is harmful to society, and even that, in a way that the society is not ruined altogether.

Section twelve

Circulation
There are three rudiments to the expansion of religion: satisfaction of desires, proof, and circulation.

Satisfaction of desires
In every person there is an unknown spark which seeks—indeed, demands—to unite with God. And occasionally they are roused and thirst to know God, or deny God which is the same thing. If someone generates the satisfaction of this desire in that person, they will agree to anything. To that we must add the matter of immortality of the soul, reward in the next world, כָּבוֹד הַפֵרָט (kavod ha-perat), dignity of the individual, and כָּבוֹד הַאֻמָּה (kavod ha-ummah), glory of the people [of Israel].

Proof
There is no existence to the world without it, all the more so in the days of the atom and the hydrogen bombs.

Circulation
People must be hired to circulate the above words in public. Egoistic communism precedes altruistic communism, for once it has control so as to abolish property, it is possible to educate that abolishment of property will be due to the love of others.

The second phase of communism, being altruistic communism, must be hurried, since the shortcomings and force used in egoistic communism, deter the world from this method altogether. Hence, it is time to uncover the final stage of altruistic communism, which possesses all the pleasantness, and has no blemish. We must also fear, lest the third war breaks out first, and communism will vanish from the world. In a word, there is no harder blow to the capitalist government than this above-mentioned perfect form of communism.

We are already witnessing that the capitalist regime is strong and the proletariat of the capitalist countries loath the communist regime. This is happening because of the coercion and the force necessitated in it because of the control of a small group of communists over an anti-communist society. Hence, we are not to expect that the regime will be nullified by itself. Quite the contrary, time works in their favor. As long as communist governments will surround the world, coercion and subjection entailed in it will be revealed, and which every ordinary person utterly loathes, since one will sacrifice everything for one’s freedom.

There is another thing: Since communism is not spreading in civilized countries, but in primitive ones, eventually, there will be a society of rich countries with high living standard and capitalistic government, and a society of poor countries with a low standard of living and a communist government. That will be the end of communism. Not a single free person will want to hear of it; it will be abhorred as the concept of slaves sold for life is abhorred today. For expansion and circulation: We must remember that all the agony, poverty and slaying, etc., cannot be corrected except through altruistic communism. In that event, it will not be hard for a person to give his life for it.

Judaism must present something new to the nations. This is what they expect from the return of Israel to the Land. It is not in other teachings, for in that we never innovated. We have always been their disciples. Rather, it is the wisdom of religion, justice, and peace. In this, most nations are our disciples, and this wisdom is attributed to us alone. If this return is annulled, Zionism will be annulled altogether. This country is very poor, and its residents are destined to endure much suffering. Undoubtedly, either they or their children will gradually leave the country, and only an insignificant number will remain, which will ultimately be swallowed among the Arabs.

The solution for it is only altruistic communism. Not only does it unite all the nations to be as one, helping one another, it also endows each with tolerance to one another. Most importantly: communism produces great power to work; hence, productivity will compensate for the disadvantages of poverty. If they assume this religion, the Temple can be built and the ancient glory restored. This would certainly prove to the nations the propriety of Israel’s return to their Land, even to the Arabs [cf. Qur’an 5:20–21 (6)]. However, a secular return such as today’s does not impress the nations whatsoever, and we must fear lest they will sell Israel’s independence for their needs, needless to mention returning Jerusalem—this would even frighten the Catholics.

Section thirteen
Thus far, I have shown that communism and altruism are one and the same, and also, that egoism and anti-communism are the same. However, all this is my own doctrine. If you ask the communist leaders themselves, they will deny it unreservedly. Instead, they would maintain that they are far from any sentimentality and bourgeois morality, and seek only justice by way of “mine is mine and yours is yours” (all this has come to them because of their connection with the proletariat). Thus, let us examine things according to their perception, and scrutinize this justice that they seek. According to the development of today’s governments, the definitions “bourgeois” and “proletariat” are no longer sufficient to explain history. We need more general definitions. They should be determined by the names “industrious” (which in the second regime are the capitalist, and in the communist regime), and “primitive.”

Any society is divided into industrious and primitive. Some twenty percent are industrious, and eighty percent are primitive. It is a law of nature that the industrious class exploits the primitive class, like fish at sea, where the strong swallow up the weak. In that regard, it makes no difference whether the industrious are bourgeois capitalists, or managers, supervisors, and intelligentsia. In the end, the same industrious twenty percent will always suck the cream, and leave the meager whey to the primitive. But the question is how much they exploit the primitive, and which kind exploit the primitive more—the bourgeois, or the managers and supervisors.

Section fourteen
The basis of this entire explanation is the manifestation of the substance of creation, spiritual and material, being nothing but the desire to receive, which is existence from absence. However, what this substance receives extends existence from existence. Thus, it is clearly known what is good, and what the LORD demands of us, namely, parity of form. By the nature of its creation, our body is but a desire to receive, and not [a desire] to give whatsoever. This is opposite to the Creator, who is all giving, and [having] no [desire] to receive whatsoever, because from whom would He receive? It is in this disparity of form that creation has become separated from the Creator. Hence, we are obligated in Torah and mitsvot which satisfy our Maker, and to give to one’s fellow. All this in order to acquire the form of giving, and to cleave once more to the Creator as before creation.

The difference between me and Schopenhauer He perceives it as an essence on its own, while I perceive it as a type and a predicate. Its essence may be unknown, but whatever it may be, it extends existence from existence. He perceives the desire itself as an ambition that no goal can end, but is rather a constant ascent and perpetual drive. With me, however, it is limited to receiving certain things, and can be satiated, meaning directed. However, attaining the goal increases the desire to receive, as in, “He who has one hundred wants two hundred…” [see Ecclesiastes 5:9; Qohelet Rabbah on 1:13 and 3:10: “None leave the world with (even) half of his desires in his hand”]. Prior to that, the desire to receive was limited to obtaining only one hundred; it did not want two hundred. In this manner, the perpetual desire is expansion of the desire; it is the desire to receive itself.

He does not differentiate between the desire to give and the desire to receive. With me, only the desire to receive is the essence of the creature, while the desire to give in it is a divine light, ascribed to the Creator, not to the creature. He perceives the desire itself as an object, considering it a form and an occurrence in the object. With me, the emphasis is rather on the form of the desire, meaning the desire to receive, but the carrier of the form of the desire to receive is an unknown essence.
1) […] since he considers the desire the subject, he must define some general, formless desire. Thus, he chooses the endless aspiration for materials, and what it wants is the form. Yet, in truth, there is no endless yearning here, but a growing desire, which grows according to the direction, and it is a form and a case in the desire.
A. In his method, it is an essence; in mine, a form.
B. In his method it is a never-ending desire; in mine, it is limited in its direction.
C. In his method, there is no difference between giving and receiving; in mine, the desire to give is a spark of the Creator.
D. In his method, the yearning is a substance, and the quality of the reception, the form; in mine, the quality of reception is the substance of creation and the subject of the quality is unknown. Whatever it is, it is existence from existence.

Leaders of the generation
The masses tend to believe that the leader has no personal commitments and interests, but that he has dedicated and abandoned his private life for the common good. Indeed, this is how it should be. If the leader harms a member of the public due to personal interest, he is a traitor and a liar. Once the public learns of it, they will immediately trample him to the ground. There are two kinds of personal interests: Material interests and abstract interests. There is not a leader in the world who will not fail the public for abstract interests. For example, if one is merciful, and hence refrains from uprooting evildoers or warning about them, then he ruins the public in favor of a personal interest. He might also fear vengeance, even the vengeance of the Creator, and thus deter from making necessary corrections. Thus, if he wishes to annul material interests, he will not wish to annul the idealistic or religious interests in favor of the public, though they may be only his own personal feelings. The general public may have no dealings with them, for they notice only the word “interest,” since even the most idealistic thing does not stand in the way of “interest.”

Action before thought
As in desire and love, the exertion over an object creates love and appreciation toward the object. In much the same way, good deeds beget love for the Creator, love begets cleaving, and cleaving begets intelligence and knowledge.

Three axioms
Seemingly free, seemingly immortal, seemingly […]. They are relative to the practical reason (ethics), to the most sublime good.

Truth and falsehood
It is known that thought and matter, [i.e.,] desire, are two modifications [differences of form] of the same thing. Thus, the psychological counterpart of material absence and existence is truth and falsehood. In this manner, truth, like existence, is the thesis, and falsehood, like absence, is the antithesis. The desired synthesis is the offspring of both [see Hegel].

Personal opinion and public opinion
The opinion of the individual is like a mirror where all the pictures of the beneficial and detrimental acts are gathered. One looks at those experiences, sorts out the good and beneficial ones, and rejects the acts that have harmed him. This is called the “memory brain.” For example, the merchant follows in his mind all kinds of merchandise where he suffered losses, and why. It is likewise with merchandise that profited him, and the reasons. They are arranged like a mirror of experiences in his mind. Subsequently, he sorts out the good, and rejects the bad. Finally, he becomes a good and successful merchant. One deals in much the same way with every experience in life. In much the same way, the public has a collective mind—a memory brain, and collective imagination—where all the acts related to the general public are embedded with regard to every person, the beneficial ones and the detrimental ones. And they also choose the beneficial acts and doers, and want those who do them to persist. In addition, all the doers of bad deeds that harm the public are embedded in the imagining and remembering brain, and they loathe them and seek tactics to be rid of them. Hence, they praise and glorify the doers of the beneficial acts, to motivate them increasingly to these acts. This is where ideals, idealism, and every good attribute come from, as well as the wisdom of ethics. Conversely, they will vehemently condemn the doers of detrimental actions, so as to stop and be rid of them. This is provenance of every evil trait, sin, and ignobility in the human species. Thus, individual opinion operates just like public opinion. Yet, this is true only with regard to benefit and harm.

The corruption in public opinion
The corruption in public opinion is that the public is not arranged according to its majority, but only according to the powerful, meaning the ambitious. It is as they say, that twenty people rule all of France. In most cases, they are the rich, which are but ten percent of the public, and they are always the ignorant among the people (even in the eyes of the public). They harm the public and exploit them. Hence, the public opinion is not in control of the world whatsoever. Rather, it is the opinion of the detrimental that controls the public. Thus, even the idealists that were sanctified in the world are but demons and evildoers regarding the majority of the public. Not only religion, but justice, too, is favoring the rich alone, all the more so ethics and ideals.

The origin of democracy and socialism
This is where the idea of democracy stems from, so the majority of the public will take the judicial system and politics into their own hands. socialism also, calls for the proletariat to take their destiny into their own hands. In short, the majority wants to determine public opinion, decide between beneficial and detrimental for them, and determine all the laws and ideals accordingly.

The contradiction between democracy and socialism
The contradiction between democracy and socialism, as seen in Russia, is that ten percent control the entire public in absolute dictatorship. The reason is simple: Just division requires idealism. This is not found among the majority of the public. Hence, ultimately, there is no cure for this except through religion, from above. This will turn the entire public into idealists.

Contact with Him
People imagine that a person who has contact with the Creator is a person […] Nature, and that they should fear speaking to him, much less be in His immediate vicinity. It is human nature to fear anything outside the nature of creation. People are also afraid of uncommon phenomena, such as thunder and loud noises. However, He is not so. This is because in fact, there is nothing more natural than coming into contact with one’s Maker, for He has made Nature. In fact, every creature has contact with his Maker, as is written, The fullness of all the earth is His glory (Isaiah 6:3), except we do not know or feel it. Actually, one who is awarded contact with Him attains only the awareness. It is as though one has a treasure in his pocket, and he does not know it. Along comes another and lets him know what is in his pocket. Now he really has become rich. Yet, there is nothing new here, no cause for excitement. In fact, nothing has been added in actuality. The same is true with one who has been granted the gift of knowing that he is the blessed Holy One’s son: nothing has changed in his actual reality, except the awareness he had not had before. Consequently, the person who attains this becomes even more natural, simple, and exceedingly humble. It might even be said that before the endowment, that person and all the people were outside of the simple nature. This is because now he is equal, simple and understands all people, and is very much involved with them. There is no one closer to folk than him, and only he that they should love, for they have no closer brother than him.

Rebuilding the world (see Personal opinion and public opinion, and The contradiction between democracy and socialism)
It has been clarified there that until now public opinion evolved and was built according to the powerful ones in society, meaning the ambitious. It is only recently that the masses have evolved through religion, through schools, and revolutions, and have perceived the method of democracy and socialism. However, according to the law of nature that a wild ass is born a man (Job 11:12) and man is the descendant of a wild beast, or an ape, like Darwin’s theory and [that of] the Sages [too]. After the [primordial] sin, the human species devolved into monkeys, for “All compared to Eve are like a monkey compared to a human being” [see BT Bava Batra 58a: “Compared with Sarah, all other people are like a monkey to a human being, and compared with Eve Sarah was like a monkey to a human being, and compared with Adam Eve was like a monkey to a human being, and compared with the Shekhinah Adam was like a monkey to a human being. The beauty of Rabbi Kahana was a reflection of the beauty of Rabbi Abbahu; the beauty of Rabbi Abbahu was a reflection of the beauty of our father Jacob, and the beauty of Jacob was a reflection of the beauty of Adam”]. Indeed, according to the virtue of man, which consists of intellectual preparation, he continued to evolve through incidents and suffering, and adopted religion and the rule of law and order until he managed to finally become civilized. However, this entire evolution was laid on the shoulders of the greater part of society, and the masses followed them since the world is a shapeless mass [lit., כֵּיוָן שֶׁעוֹלָם גּוֹלֶם (keiyan she-olam golem), since the world is a golem].

When the masses opened their eyes to take their fate into their own hands, they were forced to abolish all the corrections and statutes of the powerful, being religion, law, order, and diplomacy [cf. Proverbs 12:1: Who loves reproof loves knowledge, but who hates rebuke is a brute]. All of which was only according to the spirit of the powerful, according to their evolution and for their own benefit (see Personal opinion and public opinion, and The contradiction between democracy and socialism). Thus, they were obligated to build the world anew. In other words, they are like primitive man, the Darwinian ape, since they are not the ones who undergo these experiences which bring their measure of development. Until today, the march of progress was solely on the shoulders of the powerful and not on the masses, who until now, were virgin soil. Thus, the world is now in a state of total ruin. It is very primitive in the sense of political affairs, as in the age of cavemen […]. They have not undergone the experiences and actions that brought the powerful to take upon themselves religion, etiquette, law and order. Hence, if we let the world develop naturally, today’s world must undergo all the ruin and suffering that primitive man experienced, until they are forced to accept a permanent and beneficial state law. The first fruit of the ruin came upon us in the form of Nazism, which is ultimately merely a direct offshoot of democracy and socialism, meaning of the leadership of the majority, once the restraints of religion, manners, and justice have been removed.

Nazism is not an offshoot of Germany
It turns out that the world erroneously believes Nazism a unique offshoot of Germany. In truth, it is the offshoot of a democracy and socialism that were left without religion, manners, and justice. Thus, all the nations are equal in that; there is no hope whatsoever that Nazism will perish with the victory of the allies, for tomorrow the Anglo-Saxons will adopt Nazism, since they, too, live in a world of democracy and Nazism. Remember, democrats too, must renounce religion, manners, and justice like the Marxists, because all these are loyal servants of only the ambitious in the public. They always place obstacles before the democrats, or the better part of the public. It is true that the thoughtful among the democrats keep a watchful eye that religion and manners are not destroyed at once, for they know that the world will be ruined. However, to that extent they also interfere with the government of the majority. Once the majority grows smart and understands them, it will certainly elect other leaders, such as Hitler, since he is a genuine representative of the majority of the public, be it German, Anglo-Saxon, or Polish.

The one counsel Unlike the democrats, who wish to nullify religion and manners gradually, and adopt a new politics in a manner that will not ruin the world, the masses will not wait for them at all. Rather, as is said, “A synagogue should not be demolished before another has been built to take its place” (BT Bava Batra 3b). In other words, we are forbidden to let the powerful ones take hold of the leadership before we build religion, conduct, and politics suitable for them, because in the meantime the world will be ruined, and there will be none to speak to.

Nihilism
Not complete nihilism, but nihilism of values (such as Nietzsche with regards to the values of Christianity), meaning all the values in religious conduct, ethics, and politics that have been thus far accepted in the perception of humanism. All these are compromises in the qualities of egoism of the individual, the state, or God’s servant. And I say that any measure of egoism is fallible, indeed detrimental, and there is no other arrangement except altruism, in the individual, the public, and the LORD.

Materialistic Monism
Substance fathers everything, and thought is the result of behavior and the senses, much like a mirror. There is no free will, only freedom of choice. However, not by itself, for wicked deeds induce wicked deeds [see BT Shabbat 104a: “If one comes to defile himself, they open for him; if one comes to purify himself, he is assisted”], and the freedom of deeds is perceived by looking (in the mirror of called upon actions) through another person’s mind. Then one has the freedom to obey it. And he will not be able to choose from his own mirror, or mind, since every man’s way seems right in his own eyes, and his mind always consents.

Beyond this world
Beyond this world we must research and examine only subjectively and pragmatically (practically). This is the conduct of research in this world, though it is [really] beyond it, since it apprehends by means of measurements clothed in the nature of this world, and also according the practical benefit (pragmatically).

What is beyond this world?
Only the Omnipresent is necessary, since “He is the Place of the world, the world is not His place” (Bereshit Rabbah 68:10 on Genesis 28:11). It is He alone that we apprehend, yet He is also beyond this world and nothing else [i.e., transcendent], unlike pantheism. This world is an objective term, which can be comprehended objectively as well. Its first principles are “time” and “space.” Outside of this world, which are the worlds of אָדָם הַקַדְמוֹן (adam ha-qadmon), the Primordial Human, and ABiYA, only subjective comprehension is possible, without touching the object whatsoever. The essence of the objects we define by the names ABiYA follow the assumption that since everyone perceives so without exception (meaning a chosen few in each generation, which are the tens of thousands and the millions that were, and are destined to come). Thus, we have objective attainment there, though we do not touch the objects whatsoever. From here come the four worlds above this world, though by nature they are only subjective, clothing the natures of this world in the two ways—expansion and thought, namely abstract/material correspondence. This is so because we experience any object according to two forms: first material, and next abstract, and they always go together, in a parallel manner. It is known that many in this world, too, perceive the method of “expressionism,” meaning solely by subjective perception. However, I also conform to “impressionism” to explain concepts of this world as objectively as possible, minimizing the interference of subjective reinforcement.

The essence of religion
The essence of religion is only understood pragmatically, as written by James [see William James, The Will to Believe]. The origin of faith is in the need for the truth in it, inasmuch as it satisfies this need. There are two kinds of needs: An abstract need—without it, life would become sickeningly detestable—and a material need. This need appears primarily in the social order, such as in ethics and politics, as Kant had written, “Faith is the basis of morality, and guards it” [see Kant’s “moral faith” in Critique of Pure Reason]. Naturally, sages will come solely from among those with the abstract need, for they also need it objectively. However, the second part will derive satisfaction, namely truth, also subjectively. However, from “Not for its own sake… to for its own sake” (BT Pesaḥim 50b) The need comes before the reason that necessitates faith.

The leaders of the public
For oneself, one may choose between expressionism and impressionism. However, the leaders are not permitted to lead the public in any other way but a positive and pragmatic one, meaning according to expressionism. This is because they cannot harm the public for their personal interest.
For example, they cannot instruct a certain faith to the public in order to understand their own impressionism, thus denying moral conduct and ethics from the public. If one cannot control oneself, he had better resign and not harm the public with his ideals.

Perception of the world
The world was created through הִתפַּתְחוּת בְּסִבָּתִיוּת (hitpatḥut be-sibbatiyut), evolutionary causation, by way of historical materialism, and according to the dialectics of Hegel—thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Indeed, the purpose is to sense the blessed Holy One, from mineral, vegetable, animal, and human, up until prophecy—the knowledge of Him [see Rabbi Yehudah Halevi, Kuzari, 1:31–43. Cf. Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag, Panim Meirot u-MasbirotHaqdamah, 3: ‘Mineral, vegetable, animal, human, corresponding to the masses, the affluent, heroes, and sages’]. Pleasure is the thesis, suffering the antithesis, and sensing what is outside of one’s own skin is the synthesis.

The essence of corruption and correction is in public opinion
As private opinion determines one’s own gains and losses and brings one to the most successful business, so public opinion determines the policy, and chooses the most successful. However, there is quantity and there is quality.

Quantity versus quality
Until now, the qualitative (who are the ambitious), determined and made the views of the entire public, and therefore all the justice and morality. Religion was used to harm the majority, which are 80% of society.

The majority is as primitive as pre-historic man
The majority is as primitive as prehistoric man. This is so because they have not tried to utilize justice, religion, and morality, which were used by others until today. However, of course, all these came to the present state only through great pains in the path of causality and dialectics. The majority paid no heed to it, and at any rate, cannot grasp it.

The quickest action is religion
In order to activate public opinion anew in the majority in an effective manner, there is no faster way than religion, the loathing of any measure of desire to receive, and elevating the beauty of the desire to give to a great extent. This must be done specifically through action. Although the abstract and material are counterparts, still, the material precedes the abstract.

Prodigies
A prodigy is a product of the generation. He has a strong drive to give, and does not need a thing for himself. As such, he is in parity of form with the Creator, and naturally cleaves to Him. He emanates wisdom and pleasure from Him and bestows upon humankind. There are two types of prodigy: One who serves his Maker consciously, and therefore bestows upon humanity, and one who serves unconsciously, meaning that he does not feel and does not know that he is cleaving to the Creator—he cleaves to Him unconsciously. He only bestows upon humanity, thus there is no progress for humanity, except to instill in them the desire to give, and to increase prodigies in the world.

Teleology
Teleology is necessary in Kabbalah, according to the method of anthropocentricity, that the worlds were created for Israel, and they are the purpose. Moreover, the Creator consulted with the souls of the righteous. Their purpose is also brought in the prophecy For the earth shall be filled with knowledge of YHWH (Isaiah 11:9). There is no more specific purpose than this. Maimonides takes after the method of dysteleology, and says that the blessed Holy One has for creation other purposes besides man. It is difficult for him to comprehend that the blessed Holy One created a great creation such as this, with planetary systems in which our planet is as trivial in its existence as a mustard seed, and all this was only for the purpose of the perfection of man. Purpose is imperative for any intelligent person, and the agent without a purpose lacks a mind. By His acts we know Him. He has created the world in mineral, vegetable, animal, and human. The human is the apex of Creation, since he senses others and bestows upon them. Above the human is the prophet, who feels the blessed Holy One and knows Him [see Rabbi Yehudah Halevi, Kuzari, 1:31–43. Cf. Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag, Panim Meirot u-MasbirotHaqdamah, 3]. This is perceived as satisfying Him and His purpose in the entirety of Creation.

Hegel’s question is that necessarily, there are purposeless creatures in Nature, like many things on our planet, and the countless planets that mankind does not make use of whatsoever. The answer is in accordance with the law that, “the unknown does not contradict the known,” and that “the judge has only what his eyes see” (BT Sanhedrin 6b). Perhaps there is mineral, vegetable, animal, and human [lit., speaking] on each and every planet but its purpose is [the category called] “speaking.” So too with the unknown. And how can that contradict the known and familiar in the way of prophecy? This is simple: It is pleasurable for the Creator to create an object that will be qualified for negotiation with Him, and exchange opinions, etc. There is also pleasure in having something that is not of the same kind, and we trust the prophecy completely.

Causality and choice
There is a path of suffering, by which one repays unconsciously according to dialecticism, where each state conceals the absence within. The state exists as long as the absence in it has not appeared. When the antithesis manifests and develops, it destroys the thesis, and brings in its place a more complete state than the first, as it contains the correction of the previous antithesis (this is so because any absence precedes presence). Hence, the second state is called “synthesis,” meaning that it includes and is an upshot of both, the presence and the absence, which preceded this new state. Likewise, truth always follows and is perfected by the path of suffering, which is presence and absence, thesis and antithesis, and always yields truer syntheses until the appearance of the perfect synthesis. But what is perfection? In historical materialism [cf. dialectical materialism], the aforementioned path of suffering is clarified only with relation to economic desires, where each thesis means just governance for its time, each antithesis means unjust division in the economy, and each synthesis is governance that settles the antithesis that has been revealed, and nothing more. For this reason, absence is concealed in it as well. When the absence develops, it destroys that synthesis too, and so forth, until just division manifests.

Path of Torah
The path of Torah is placing fate in the hands of the oppressed. This accelerates the End to the extent that the oppressed watch over it. This is called “choice,” since now the choice is in the hands of the concerned parties. Thus, the path of suffering is an objective act, the path of Torah is a subjective act, and fate is in the hands of the concerned parties. The principle: Giving to others. The governance—a regime that mandates a minimum for life, and good deeds toward society’s standard of living. The purpose and the goal: Cleaving to Him. In my opinion, this is the final synthesis where absence is no longer concealed.

Good deeds and mitsvot
Locke said that there is nothing in the mind that does not come in the senses first. In addition, Spinoza said, “I do not want something because it is good, but it is good because I want it” [see idem. Ethics 3:9: “It is clear that we neither strive for, nor will, neither want, nor desire anything because we judge it to be good; on the contrary, we judge something to be good because we strive for it, will it, want it, and desire it.” Cf. Maimonides, Guide of the Perplexed 3:13]. We must add to this there is nothing in the senses that is not present in actions first. Thus, actions beget sensation, and sensation begets understanding. For example, it is impossible for the senses to take pleasure in giving before they actually giving. Moreover, it is impossible to understand and perceive the great importance of giving before it is experienced [lit., tasted] by the senses. Likewise, it is impossible to taste pleasure in cleaving before one performs many good deeds can affect it, meaning by strict observance of this condition to please Him, or in other words, delight in the pleasure given to the Creator by performing the mitsvah. After one feels the great pleasure in the act, it is possible to understand Him, to the extent of that pleasure. And if […] for eternal and perpetual pleasure from bringing contentment to Him, then he will be rewarded with knowing […].

As seen above, there are two modes to religion: 1) “not for its own sake,” which is pure utilitarianism, meaning aiming to establish morality for one’s own good. One is satisfied when attaining this tendency. And there is a second tendency to religion, being an abstract need to cleave to Him. This is called “for its own sake.” One can be rewarded with the above through actions, and from “Not for its own sake… to for its own sake” (BT Pesaḥim 50b).

Life’s tendency
There are three views in books and in research: either ideas about how to attain cleaving to Him; or to acquire progress, called utilitarianism, or carnal pleasure, called Hedonism. I only wish Hedonism were true. The trouble is that the pains are greater than the little carnal pleasure that one can delight in. Besides the flaw of the day of death, and the method of utilitarianism to bring progress to the world, there is a big question here: Who enjoys this complete progress that I pay so heavily for with pains and torments? It seems that only ideals whose tendency is man’s happiness, thereby improving all the abstract forces, impart to one respect in life and a good name after his death. Kant mocked this method of establishing a moral thesis on an egoistic tendency and instructed doing in order to not receive reward. Modern science has chosen for itself utilitarianism, but only for the common good, meaning to give. This is also similar to “in order not to receive reward,” and who would want it? There is also the question: What will this progress bring to the generations, for which I work with so much pain to give this? At the very least, I have the right to know what is required of progress, and who one will enjoy it. Who would be so gullible as to pay so heavily without knowing its effect? The whole trouble is that pleasure is brief, and the suffering, long.

Life’s purpose
From all that was said you will find that life’s purpose is to attain cleaving to Him, strictly in order to benefit the Creator, or to merit the public to attain cleaving to Him.

Two enslavements in the world
There are two enslavements in the world, either enslavement to the Creator, or enslavement to His creatures. One of them is a must. Even a king and a president necessarily serve the people. Indeed, the taste of complete freedom is only to one who is enslaved to the Creator alone, and not to any being in the world. Enslavement is necessary, for reception is obscene; it is beastliness. And giving, the question is “to whom?”

Section One

Pragmatic communism
Accepting the religion of love your fellow as yourself (Leviticus 19:18)—literally. Just division of the profits, where each will work according to his ability, and receive according to his needs. Property is kept, but its owner is forbidden to receive from the profits more than he actually needed. One type of property owners will be kept under public supervisors, another type by self-fiduciary, or books. The unemployed will receive their needs equally with the employed. Those who live in communes will earn the same wages as workers who are property owners, and the profits made by the communal life will be made into public property belonging to the members of that collective. There must also be an effort to build communal life for workers in towns.

Advantages
The workers, and even more so those who are afraid of being unemployed, will certainly assume the religion, thus acquiring security in their lives. The idealistic property owners will also assume the religion by indoctrination on a religious basis. Public opinion must be such that one who takes more than one needs is like a murderer. Because of him, the world will have to continue with the slaughter, Hitlerian conduct, and terrible wars. Thus, communism will be promoted. It is possible to make the life of property owners miserable by contracts and strikes, so they assume the religion since they do not touch their property, only the profits. Since the religion will be international, it will be possible to win the hearts of the Arab Sheiks with money and religious influence—so they assume the religion together with us as one unit, and promote it among the Arab workers and property owners. That, in turn, will benefit Zionism. Because they will assume the religion that necessitates love and giving to all of humanity equally, they will not be envious of the “robbing” of the Land, since they will understand that the Land is the LORD’s. The standard of living of the Arabs will be equal to the standard of living of the Jews. This will be a great incentive in winning their hearts.

Section Two

Private opinion and public opinion
As there is private opinion, which is one’s judgmental force where all the good and bad actions are copied, and as one chooses the good and rejects the bad as though looking in a mirror, so is there a collective intellect to the public, where the good actions for society and bad ones are copied. Public opinion sorts out the ones that are good for it, praises their doers, and condemns those who do otherwise. From here emerge ideals, leaders, rules, and preferences.

The corruption in public opinion: the powerful ones
Until today, only the ambitious had the judgment and the force to lead, being the better part, as it is said, that twenty people lead all of France, and they make public opinion. They have arranged justice, morality, and religion to their benefit. Since they exploit the majority of the public, the religion, law, and ethics are hence detrimental to the public, meaning to the majority. Bear in mind that the current government of the ambitious was quite sufficient until today because the masses did not have any force of judgment. Thus, all the ruins preceding today’s political order were only among the ambitious. However, they did not come to the present order within one generation’s time, but through terrible ruins, until they have conceived the religion, ethics, and law that have brought order to the world.

The new structure
In recent generations, due to pressure and necessity, and through democracy and socialism, the masses have begun to open their eyes and assume responsibility for the management of society by the majority. Thus, they have concluded that religion, manners, governance, and justice are all to their detriment, as it is true that it serves the ambitious ten percent of the public, and harms all the others. Thus, two images of collective government emerged: either as the Nazis, who have rebelled against religion, manners, and justice, and do as the primitive man, prior to the conduct of life of the ambitious, or as the Soviets, where ten percent of the public controls the entire public by dictatorship. This will certainly not last long, in light of the historical dialectic. If manners are abandoned, Israel’s enemies will wipe out everyone. In short, we will necessarily and undoubtedly return to being cave dwellers (the masses, too), until the majority learn the dialectics on their own flesh and bones (as did the powerful ones before them), and finally agree to order.

Thus, Nazism is not a German patent
If we bear in mind that the masses are not idealists, then there is no counsel but religion, from which manners and justice naturally emanate. However, now they only serve the majority. How so? Through the religion of giving. The principle of giving to one’s fellow. The leadership: commitment to a certain minimum, and commandment for a standard of living.

The goal: cleaving to the Creator

Nazism is the fruit of socialism
Idealists are few, and the true carriers, the workers and the farmers, are egoists. If a preacher such as Hitler were to arise in any nation, saying that national socialism is more convenient and beneficial to them than cosmopolitanism, why would they not listen to him?

1) If Nazism and its ruin had been conceived some years back, and if some wise men were to devise a plan to save them through devout religion that would suffice for protection, would it have been forbidden in the name of falsehood?

2) If, after the war, the nations come to an understanding that Israel must be dispersed to the four corners, and drive us out of our land, and a certain person would come and reinstate religion (so as to stand devotedly) between us and the nations, thus making them agree to the opposite, that even the Diaspora would come to Israel, would that have been forbidden?

3) If the Nazis, perish the thought, prevail and rule the world, and wish to destroy the remnant of Jacob, is it permissible to establish religion among all nations in order to save the nation?

Pragmatism
Faith stems from a need; it is true as long as it satisfies that need (William James). Thus, the need is the reason for faith, and the satisfaction of the need is its truthfulness. Two needs: First, a material need to establish social life; this is its trueness. Second, an abstract need, without which life is loathsome; this is “for its own sake.” Of course, the sages of religion come from the abstract need, but from “Not for its own sake… to for its own sake” (BT Pesaḥim 50b) (see Pragmatic truth).

Life’s direction:
1) To bring progress and happiness to society through modern science.
2) By perfecting all of one’s mental powers, one will attain dignity in life and a good name after death. Kant mocks it as egoism, and indicated that only not in order to receive reward. We must understand: If it is not worthwhile to live for myself, is it worthwhile to live for a thousand others like me, or a billion? Thus, the direction must be to benefit the Creator, whether for oneself, or for the entire world, to award them cleaving to Him.

Truth and falsehood
Truth and falsehood are a psychic replica of existence and absence, which are thesis and antithesis, from which stem the “ephemeral truth,” which is a synthesis. This is a pragmatic truth, lasting until the “absolute truth” appears, where there will be no falsehood in one’s conscience.
Example no. 4 (see above): Would ancient, primitive humanity, which slaughtered and killed each other like wild animals, permit the establishment of a religious government?
Example no. 5 (see above): In my childhood I did not want to read novels so as not to deal with lies. I read only history. When I grew up and understood the value of them, that they develop the imagination, they became truth for me.

Necessity
From the perspective of “for its own sake” (BT Pesaḥim 50b) it is an emotional need. Admittedly, they are few, as is written, “saw that the righteous are few… and planted them in every generation,” that they may have demand from birth [cf. BT Ḥagigah 13b]. However, some abhor material life. If they do not accomplish the goal of cleaving, they will commit suicide.

The religious principle: from “not for its own sake… to for its own sake”
Providence has prepared the guidance of people in an egoistic manner, which will necessarily bring about the world’s destruction unless we accept the religion of giving. Hence, there is a pragmatic need for it, and from this one comes to “for its own sake.”

What is an emotional need?
As a blind person cannot perceive color, nor a eunuch the joy of sex, it is impossible to depict this need to one who lacks the emotional need. And yet, it is a must.

Performing mitsvot
Performing mitsvot can become for one an emotional need.

Morality of manners
Morality of manners means good qualities, virtues, not in order to be rewarded, and without external necessity, but based solely on altruism and a sense of responsibility for human society. It is achieved by education. However, education requires public approval to keep and sustain it after one departs from under the authority of the education. But public opinion does not stem from the education, but only from the benefit of the public. The benefit of the public is evaluated only according to the specific state of that public, which is necessarily in contrast with other states and countries. Hence, how will education help in that? The proof is that the manner, and even the religion, sufficient for internationality, has not been created, as killing and looting rule everywhere, without any manners whatsoever. Moreover, the greater murderer one is, the more patriotic and well mannered he is considered. And today, it is international manner that we need.

Public egoism can be corrected only by religion
Public egoism can be corrected only by religion because education that is based on nothing can be easily ruined by any wicked person, and Germany is the evidence. If Hitler appeared in a religious Germany, he would not have done a thing [cf. Heinrich Heine].

Natural egoism
You will not break natural egoism with artificial means such as public opinion and education. There is no cure for that but a natural religion.

Double benefit
The religion of giving is beneficial to both body and mind. Hence, it is necessitated and agreed upon more than any method in the world (see below at length).

Motive power
There are two discernments in it: The attracting force, from before, or the repelling force, from behind. How can education help when one is free, without any motivation for the duties he was brought up on? After all, there is no attracting force in them, and they are also devoid of the compelling force.

The remaining of the soul
This is a given, as it is a part of the blessed Holy One above. However, it is not included in the wisdom of Kabbalah because no object is attainable. Indeed, the soul appears to the person who carries it only through actions, and its actions are only attainments of Him. It is therefore clear that the maxim, “Know yourself and know all,” is from […] philosophical because in Kabbalah the opposite should be said, “Know everything and, attain yourself.” An object is not attained whatsoever, only actions, which are attainments of His names, meaning only subjective.

Five senses
The power in commandments is similar to corporeality, where the actions stimulate the senses. And when the senses remain […] in the memory brain, they become there images of beneficial, detrimental, and property. And when the mind or the will or the guard […] looks in the image of the memory, one gradually scrutinizes the images and brings the truths closer, meaning the beneficial or the property, and rejects the falsehoods, which are the detrimental. Man’s knowledge grows according to the clarity of the scrutiny. And if in mathematics, he should attach to it images that are beneficial for clarity and validity. They also save time because these help him, as in existing property. The same goes for playing music, healing, and an attribute. It is similar with spiritual acts, which […] the mitsvot that cultivate man’s spiritual senses. There are two kinds of senses here: either sight, hearing, smell, and speech, which are ord[inary…] and also Ḥesed, Gevurah, Tifferet and Netsaḥ, Hod of the body. It is so because perpetuation of good deeds from […] in one who serves with the spirit of “love,” and when it accumulates into a sizable amount […] in him the sense of “fear” of sinning and losing the love. And when he is certain […] of himself that he has a sense of love and fear, a sense of boasting […] over his companions who were not rewarded with it is born in him (and this is property).

And following the three senses […] the “eternity” is born in him as a mighty one who directs his spirit. And according to all the sensations of these four senses, “glory” is born in him, as he admits the existence of the Creator. And with each commandment that he adds, the five above mentioned lower senses and the flavors of the commandments intensify in him. When they accumulate to the required amount, the five higher senses, sight-hearing-smell-speech, are born in him, to actually see His glory and hear the voice of the Creator, smell the fear of Him, and speak before Him. And when one is rewarded further, images of the impressions of the five lower senses and the five upper senses remain with him, and he looks as though through the mirror of the brain at these impressions, and sorts out the beneficial and the […] and rejects the detrimental. And according to the clarity of the scrutinies, the knowledge of the Creator will increase.

Luxury and accumulated property
As in corporeality, so in learning […]. In external teachings there is economics […]. And medicine is regarded as scrutinies that help the standard of living for […] as luxury. This is the first degree of property. The second degree is accumulating property, which is not as useful as wealth. This is the science of […] and an attribute, and playing music. Likewise, in spirituality, the scrutinies that can be used […] are for a spiritual standard of living, and a non-accumulating property. There are also higher scrutinies that do not serve for the standard of living, but only as accumulating property and for important possessions such as wealth and the attribute, and philosophy. However, both come from spiritual images that were once absorbed in the senses. And choosing the beneficial for oneself or for others is called “the knowledge of the Creator.” Know that the Wisdom of Kabbalah also contains these three kinds of property.

Abstract/material correspondence
These are two manifestations of the same entity, like thunder and lightning. This is the meaning of “good deeds and Torah.” However, a person first responds to the abstract explanation, and then the material one. It is similar to love, where the giver of the present first feels in his heart-mind that the giver loves him, and then sparks of love flow and spread through him […]. A revealing head is abstract, and inside it clothes […].

The root cause of every error in the world The root cause of every error in the world is an idea—when taking an idea or an image that was once clothed in a body, and presenting it as an abstract object that has never been in a body. That is, it is when it is praised or condemned according to that abstract value. The problem is that once the concept has been stripped of a body, it loses significant parts of its initial meaning while it was clothed in a body. Those who discuss it according to its remaining meaning must necessarily misunderstand. For example, when truth and falsehood work in the body, we praise the truth according to its benefit to the individual or to the […] and we condemn the lie according to its harm to the collective or to the individual. However, once truth and falsehood have been stripped of the bodies and become abstract concepts, they lose the heart of their meaning […] and acquire sanctity or impurity in their abstract form. And according to […] it is possible for the evaluator to praise the truth even when it does great harm to the collective or to the individual, and to condemn […] the lie even when it is extremely beneficial to the individual or to the collective. This is a grave error that harms the […] and one is not free to ask oneself who sanctified this truth, or […] defiled and forbade this lie.

Benefit, in fact, everyone admits it
Those who dispute it, it is […] that they benefit […] and a moral conduct that at times contradicts the material benefit. However, essentially, moral and religion are also utilitarian […] everything, except spiritual happiness, and what is the difference? There is not a fool who will exert without benefit for the body or the mind.

Double benefit
Accordingly, the law of giving to others is necessary for all people in the world […] as it is beneficial for both the body and the soul according to the Wisdom of Kabbalah.

A vague complex that must be resolved one at a time The main problem is that here there is a […] complicated made of several interwoven doubts: First: Even when not taking into account the validity, the question remains whether it is actually beneficial. Second: Even if it is beneficial, is it feasible? Third: Who are the people to be qualified for training the generation to such a sublime matter? Fourth: Perhaps this operation will evoke the public’s contempt and mockery?

Knowledge
Knowledge comes in one of three ways: Empirical—physical observation (i.e., actual experiments); Historical—documentary or mathematical evidence […]. And the Wisdom of Kabbalah is demonstrated more than all three of these ways. There is also a fourth way to knowledge: Philosophical—either by way of deductions or inductions, meaning from the general to the particular, or from the particular to the general. This is strictly forbidden by the Wisdom of Kabbalah, since all that we do not attain, we do not know […].

Section One First, the scrutiny that now, too, we are giving and are not receiving both because we are not taking the surplus we produce to the grave, and second, because if a day’s exertion awards half a day’s pleasure, it is giving. And since by and large there is very little pleasure from the exertions people make, we are all only giving and not receiving. This is a mathematical calculation. Third, The clarification that we exert today due to the enslavement of society at least fourteen hours a day with pain and sorrow, since all our customs come from enslavement to the public.… The clarification that if we use the “governance of the earth,” we can hasten the “last [or: future] generation” in our generation, too. Fourth, this matter of competition out of uniqueness, in giving to others is not an abstract fantasy, as it is used in practical life, such as those who give away all their possessions to the public, or the most idealistic members of parties, who neglect and lose their lives for the public’s benefit, etc.

What is this like? It is like a wealthy man who had an old father whom he did not wish to support. He was tried and the verdict was that he would support him at least as respectfully as he supports his own kin, or he would face a harsh punishment. Naturally, he took him into his home and had to support him generously, but his heart was grieving. The old man said to him, “Since you are already giving me every delight that you have on your table, what would you lose if you also had a good intention, which is reasonable in the eyes of every sensible person, to be happy with having the opportunity to honor your father, who had spent all his energy for you and made you a respectable man? Why are you so stubborn that you afflict yourself? Can you rid yourself even slightly because of it?” So it is. At the end of the day, we give to society, and only society gains from our lives, since every person, great or small, adds and enriches the treasury of society. But the individual, when weighing the sorrow and pain that one receives, one is in great deficit. Hence, you are giving to your fellow person, but painfully and with great and bitter suffering. So why do you mind the good intention?

Section Two Each one of them fills his or her role in service of the public in the best way, albeit without seeing it, since public opinion presses a person even secretly, to the point where one feels that deceiving society by mistake is as grave as killing a human being by mistake. Each country is divided into societies where a certain number of people with sufficient means to provide for all their needs connect into a single society. Each society has a budget and work-hours according to the local conditions. Half of the budget is filled by mandatory hours, where each member commits to work a certain number of hours according to one’s strength, and the other half by voluntary hours.
A person who has faltered with self-gain, that person’s entire social status vanishes into the thin air of society as clouds in the wind, due to the profound antagonism that such a person receives from the entire nation.
*
For then each person
1) Each individual makes him or herself willingly available for the service of the public whenever one is needed.
2) Free competition for every individual, but in giving to others.
3) Disclosing any form of desire to receive for oneself is dishonorable and such a great flaw that such a person is regarded as being among the lowest, most inferior people in society.
4) Each person is medium.
*
1) They have many methodical books of wisdom and morals that prove the glory and sublimity of excellence in giving to others, to a point where the entire nation, from small to great, engage in them wholeheartedly.
2) Each person who is appointed to an important position must first graduate a special training in the above-mentioned teaching.
3) Their courts are busy primarily with awarding accolades marking the level of each person’s distinction in giving to others. There is not a person without a medal on the sleeve, and it is a great offence to call a person not by one’s title of honor. It is also a great offence for a person to forgive such an insult to one’s title.
4) There is such fierce competition in the field of giving to others that most people risk their lives, since public opinion tremendously appreciates and respects the accolades of the highest rank in giving to others.
5) If a person is recognized as having done for oneself a little more than what was decided for him by society, society condemns it so much that it becomes a disgrace to speak with him, and he also severely blemishes his family name. The only remedy for this is to ask for the court’s help, which has certain ways by which to help such miserable people who have lost their position in society. But for the most part, they relocate him because of prejudice, since public opinion cannot be changed.
6) There is no such word as “punishment” in the laws of the court, for according to their rules, the guilty ones are always the ones who gain the most. Thus, if one is guilty of not giving all his work hours, then his time is either reduced or made easier, or the way he provides it is made easier for him. Sometimes he is given time to spend at school, to teach him the great merit of “giving to others.” It all depends on the view of the judges.
*
1) The state is divided into societies. A certain number of people, who can fully provide for themselves, may separate themselves and maintain a special society.
2) That society has a quota of work hours according to the conditions in which they live, meaning according to the local conditions and the preferences of the members.

This quota is filled by mandatory hours and voluntary hours. For the most part, voluntary hours are approximately half of the mandatory hours. The work hours come from four types and are divided into works according to strength: The first type is the weak; the second type is the medium; the third type is the strong; and the fourth type is the quick. For the work of one hour of type one, type two works two hours, type three four hours, and type four six hours. Each person is trusted with finding their appropriate type of work which suits his strength.

Section Three
1) Introduction: Humanity’s progress is a direct result of religion.
2) The process of religion in circles comes when at a low point comes the destruction of humanism to the extent of the ruin of religiousness. For this reason, they accept religion against their will, the upward movement begins anew, and a new circle is formed.
3) The size of the circle corresponds to the genuineness of the religion that is regarded as the “basis” at the time of the ascent.

Plan A
Just as we expect actors in the theatre to do their best to make our imagination think that their acting is real, we expect our interpreters of religion to be able to touch our hearts so deeply that we perceive the faith of religion as actual reality. The shackles of religion are not heavy for those who do not believe, since the demand in mitsvot between man and man is accepted anyhow, and between man and God, a few mitsvot observed in public—such as those at one’s disposal—are enough [see Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag, A Single Mitsvah].

Plan B
הַטֶבַע (Ha-teva), Nature, is numerically equivalent to אֱלֹהִים (Elohim), God [and this serves as a mnemonic, see Rabbi Avraham Abulafia, Get ha-Shemot, 101b (MS Oxford, 1682); Rabbi Ḥayyim Luzzatto, Da’at ha-Tevunot]. Therefore, everything that Nature mandates… [is] the word of the Creator. The benefit of society is the reward and the damage to society is the punishment. Accordingly, there is no point turning God into Nature, meaning […] a blind Creator who does not see or understand the work of His hands. We are better off, and it makes sense to every healthy person, that He sees and knows everything, for He punishes and rewards, since everyone sees that Nature punishes and rewards. And Hitler will prove it.

Plan C
All of the anticipated reward from the Creator, and the purpose of the entire creation, is cleaving to the Creator, like a tower filled abundantly, but no guests [see Bereshit Rabbah 8:6]. This is what they who cleave to Him in love receive. Naturally, first, one emerges from imprisonment, which is emerging from the skin of one’s body by giving others. Subsequently, one comes to the king’s palace, which is cleaving to Him through the intention to satisfy the Creator. Naturally, first one emerges from imprisonment, which is emerging from under their own skin by giving to others. Therefore, the bulk of mitsvot are between man and man. One who gives preference to the mitsvot between man and the Creator is as one who climbs to the second degree before he has climbed to the first. Clearly, he will break his legs.

Faith among the masses
It is said, “The voice of the people is the voice of God” (vox populi, vox Dei). Indeed, this means that according to reality, they have chosen the least of all evils, and to that extent they always follow the good path. However, of course we must change reality so they can accept the utterly complete path. And it is true that the power of keeping in the masses in general chooses for them a way according to the situation. For this reason, once they have corrupted the interpretation of Torah and mitsvot, they have become rebellious. However, it is a sacred duty to find a true interpretation in society, and then it will be to the contrary: The power of keeping in the masses will coerce the keeping of Torah and mitsvot.
*

[…] public of the first degree
To prepare the way he tried (its reason)
1) Nazism: egoism; the international: altruism
2) It is possible to destabilize the Nazis only through a religion of altruism.
3) Only the workers are ready for this religion, as it is a revolution in religious perception.
4) This religious perception has three roles:
a) To undermine the Nazis.
b) To qualify the masses to assume collective governance so they do not fail as the Russians have (this follows the term: The progress of humanity comes only through religion). It is so because the more the worker needs reward for the work, the regime cannot survive, as Marx said.
c) To take religion from the possessors and turn it into an instrument in the hands of the workers.
e) First, it will be accepted by the workers, and through them by the whole of Israel, and the same goes for the international of all the nations, and through them to all the classes among the nations.
f) Revolution in religious perception means that instead of the monks being thus far the destructors of the world, when they assume altruism, the monks will be the builders of the world, since the measure of anxiety can be measured only by the measure of help to society, in order to satisfy his Maker.
g) This concept is clarified over nearly two thousand pages that explain all the secrets of Torah that the human eye cannot see. It will make every person believe in its truthfulness, as they will see that they are the words of the LORD, for secrets of a glorious wisdom attributed to prophecy testifies to their truthfulness.
h) The distributor of religion must be capable of Plan A, to bring as much faith as possible to the people.
In addition, he must bring total sufficiency to the mineral, vegetable, animal, and human [lit., speaking]. Without it, religion is unsustainable. It is as Maimonides said, that it is like a line of blind people headed by one person who sees [see Guide of the Perplexed]. That is, the human must stand at the front of the line in every place and in every generation. Hence, any religion that does not guarantee to inspire one man out of a thousand to become human [lit., speaking], that religion is unsustainable.
i) Spreading the religion of love is done by Torah and prayer that can intensify one’s quality of giving to others. At that time, the Torah and prayer are like he who sharpens his knife, so it can cut and finish his work quickly. Conversely, he who works with a blunt knife believes it is better to not waste time sharpening the knife, and he is misled because his work becomes much longer (it is also clear with the regard to the term that there is no progress for humanity unless through religion).
j) (belongs to item 9) The fourth role is in favor of Zionism, for during the truce, when fates of countries are decided, we will not have those enemies from among the conservatives who think we have no religion, as we learn from Weizmann’s words, and the mediators are bound to be from among those conservatives.

Do not destroy
The frivolous have already grasped that it is possible to be built, but only on the ruin of one’s fellow. This method is what roasts humanity on a fire to this day, since before one finds a vulnerable place in his fellow, he cannot even conceive of building anything. But the minute he finds a weakness in his fellow’s way, he seizes there with his claws and venom until he destroys him entirely, and there he builds his palace of wisdom. Thus, all the palaces of science are built in a place of ruin. And for this reason, every researcher is interested only in destroying, and the more one destroys, the more one is famous and praised. Indeed, this is the way that science develops, and it cannot be denied [cf. Rabbi Pinḥas Horowitz, Sefer ha-Berit, “All the scholars of this last generation arose and contradicted the opinion of recent scholars, since it is their foolish way that one builds while the other demolishes; one dreams while the other solves”]. However, what is this like? It is similar to the struggle that ruled with its terrible destructions for eons before the land had formed over the sea. This, too, was certainly a kind of development. And yet, there is no reason to envy those people who witnessed those upheavals. Rather, we should be more envious of those who came to the world after the making of the peace, after the materials that struggled made peace, and each found its resting place on earth as it is today. And although the struggle continues until today, it is nonetheless a minor struggle, and there are no upheavals in which each one destroys its predecessor who has become entirely exhausted. Rather, they have already understood that it is forbidden to destroy, since “Because you drowned others, they drowned you, and those who drowned you will themselves eventually be drowned” (M Avot 2:6) [cf. BT Megillah 31b]. Rather, the struggle is more about weakening and restricting, while preserving the life of the weak and avoiding its destruction, for he knows full well that the tide will later turn “and those who drowned you will themselves eventually be drowned.” It is similar to a war that the fighters will keep fighting, which is also for the same reason.

Now, if we really do learn from practical history, we must not overlook the aforementioned principle, and we must take reality into consideration, as in a status quo, and punish one who murders a view just as we punish one who murders a somebody. It is so because a mind without a view is not in the type of emotion of pity, for they are more numerous than all the dunghills and the lakes, and all the air, and because of it they are given to Providence, and we have no tactics by which to assist them. For this reason, we should presume that the land before us is vast, and there is room for all the views to dwell in it, the good as well as the bad. Indeed, one who kills and destroys a bad view is like one who destroys a corrected view, as there is no such thing as an “evil view” in the world. Rather, an unripe view is bad. Therefore, we should judge it as one who kills a bad person, where “the voice of the blood of his descendants, and his descendants’ descendants, we are redeemed from the evildoer. Likewise, a bad view is a seed that is still unripe for eating, but that will eventually grow and develop. We should search for a new place for the palace of wisdom that we want to build, a place vacant of others’ buildings, meaning without hurting any existing method. The mind is deep and broad, and the words of the wise are heard with pleasure, and the method of the abusive and of the abused is regarded by everyone to be bad. Hence, this alone should be uprooted because it is obsolete and loathsome, according to everyone. At the same time, we should keep all the manners of life in status quo, and maintain the freedom of the individual, since they are not required for our new building because in the end, it is merely an economic structure. It is similar to a merchant who wanted to open his own grocery store but feared the competition, so he burned all the stores in town along with the gold, jewels, gemstones, and clothes. He is too foolish because he will not grow any richer by burning the jewelry stores. Rather, grocery stores only would have been enough for his ruin, and let the keepers keep, and they who vacation, let them vacation. At most, one should establish a law that all who keep must add work so as to pacify the examiners.

I know what Marx wrote, that once the sufferings and wounds of the body have been bandaged we will begin, and we will have a suitable place for studying ideals. Besides, arguing that this is fundamentally untrue, since we know from experience that a tortured and afflicted body finds knowledge and truth better than a satiated body that knows no lack. But even if we leave his words be, we should still say, “Do not destroy.” In the very least, it is similar to a person chopping fruit trees because he wants to examine them so they will grow more fruitful. It is foolishness, for if he chops them off they will die and there will be no one picking fruits. It is likewise in views, which have come to us by inheritance from our fathers over hundreds of generations of development. He chops them off, dries them up, and ruins them, promising us that later, when he is at rest, he will examine them and will improve them, if possible. It is complete folly. He assumes that religion harms the commune (but how can he be certain of this assumption? After all, it is a view that is spreading among people of positivity and negativity, and many are the supporters). He can only dispute the form of understanding that the abusers use to their own benefit. Therefore, we should fight for the understanding, so it does not harm, but sentence it a death sentence. And yet, his whole theory is built only on religious hatred, similar to structures of contemporary scholars concerning hatred of religion, without any motive of economic damage. For this reason, we have permission to demand of the real sages, whose intention is only the economic side, to remove this item from their books. Only then will they have hope of winning a lasting victory that does not slip on its own vomit. In a word, there is no joy without calamity, no good without bad. Even the wisest person cannot be saved from a range of errors, and this is the weaker side in him, which leaves room for those who come to dispute him and finish him off. This is the weak side of Marxism, and it is why the occupation is difficult for them, and hundred fold so the right to exist.
Therefore, if you are true to your method and desire its persistence, hurry up and erase the aforementioned item from your laws, and then your road will be safely paved.

Has Marx’s prophecy come true?
On the one hand, his prophecy can be regarded as having been fully realized. The powerful have been sitting for a while on the fear of impending doom, on wondrous arms [such as atomic and nuclear bombs] that have been amassed, and of which there is not a shred of hope to be rid of, or to balance. Also, economists see doom in their eyes, and any chance for salvation has been snuffed out from reality. The hungry multitudes are proliferating terribly each day; the working class has nearly overripened, and so on and so forth.

Why were they cast to the Right?
On the other hand, we find the opposite. Fascism is growing daily, first Italy, now Germany, tomorrow Poland, and America is also on the verge, and so forth. It must be that that prophet had missed a point, which caused his grave error.

Buried in his own theory
But he is buried in his own theory, for he has added redundancies in the theory of participation, and these are the hard seeds that history cannot process whatsoever (i.e., religion and nationalism), and they were pushed to the Right.

Faulty policy
The guard need not sit and guard the surpluses that do not concern him, nor need the searcher of freedom pursue freedom for luxuries of the body, nor need the collaborator destroy the views that do not contradict his socialism. All of these three methods are real and are equally respected by their proponents. If the forces let one sect destroy another for a time, it is an incarnation, and in the end, there must be laws that limit the types of arms, so one will not destroy the other to a greater extent. It is circle, and one does not know what one’s tomorrow will bring. Therefore, before the day of struggle comes, there is time for the mind to protect from a complete ruin of one of the sides. The current power is not to be relied upon, but rather the certain future.

Considering the truth between the methods, I define this word according to the law of evolution, since each view and each method prepares and makes way for a better method. And as long as it is not made, it must be kept and persisted, since by destroying it you destroy the view and the method whose role is to yield its fruition. Marx himself had pointed it out […] because he says that from the great bourgeoisie emerges the working class. Therefore, you see that if there had been a redeemer for the working class at the time, to destroy the great bourgeoisie, he would certainly demolish the foundations of the commune at its root, for this firm law, “do not destroy,” is telling you—until the time comes on its own. In that regard, I disagree with him since he says that we must force the issue at any cost, while I say: except for the ruining of [disparate] views, which is not required whatsoever.

[Everything has a season,] and a time for every matter (Ecclesiastes 3:1), and the time of socialism has arrived. Woe for the fools who miss the hour and place before them completely redundant obstacles and boundaries, which are as smoke in their eyes. For this reason, before they turn one way or the other, the world will have already revolved and Relief and rescue will come [to the Jews] from elsewhere (Esther 4:14), and they along with their method will be lost for a long time. The war over the definition of nationality is completely redundant and is nothing like private property. There is no private property in the spiritual, only in the material. One who does not desire the development of wisdom does not know that “The jealousy of scribes increases wisdom” (BT Bava Batra 21a). Therefore, no one disputes it even among the extreme leftist Marxists. Rather, the war concerns only material property, for which envy yields nothing but fear and unnecessary misery. Hence, why should you fight spiritual property and nationality?

Let us assume that all the nations have reached economic parity, and have abolished private property to such an extent that the existence of abusers is unthinkable. Instead of the nations competing with one another for material assets, henceforth the competition will be over spiritual assets. That competition is bound to emerge in individuals, just as in the public. But here, no one speaks of it, even the most extreme, but would it be so? Therefore, our debate revolves solely around spiritual assets from the past. You say that we permit the acquisition of such assets in the future with all the desirable and fitting freedom, but the past you take out of your houses. Is this not sick and twisted? After all, what will be permitted in the future, why should we destroy the great bulk that has been ready from the past? It is like that famous Egyptian king who inherited a library of precious books the size of three streets, and he commanded they be burned because they are not necessary for the existence of religion or for fear of harm. And besides, no nation will obey your order to destroy all the belongings of its past. They will fight over it with devotion (but you are absolutely permitted because you have no need for it whatsoever). Indeed, even if a spirit of madness takes over the land to obey them to do this, they must spare this giant structure of several generations being lost for no reason at all.

Thus, you must leave the “You have chosen us” of each nation in tact, to the extent that they want it. Only the material basis of each nation should be abolished, since that basis has now reached its term, and it is in crisis by itself. For this reason, it might take correction from whichever hand reaches out to it. However, along with it we must give full and complete confidence to each and every nation that their spiritual assets will be kept in full. We cannot argue about statements that oppose socialism as we do with religion, since both legislators and religious authorities admit that “renunciation of a court is renunciation, and the law of the land is the binding law.” For this reason, all those laws that fundamentally oppose the socialism will remain as obsolete history, for now, too, there is already a large majority concealed and unused. Before us are three forces in reality, fighting one another. And although it contradicts the view of Marxists, who take into account only two forces into consideration—abusers and abused—it is an abstract theory that has no more merit than all its preceding theories. However, according to the basis of Marxism itself, we should take into account only what is practical, not endless theories. This is why I have chosen to detect three forces as though they were set before our eyes in reality.

New class division: quick and idle
Let us assume that one nation is idle, and another nation is naturally more nimble. And what one does in two hours, the other does in an hour. Naturally, there will be complaints: One will say that all the nations should work the same number of hours, and the other will say that what counts is the amount they produce. And as it is with those who argue, each will insist. What is the foundation by which the court will decide? If it is according to the principle, “give as much as you can and receive as much as you need,” it still does not necessitate an equal amount of time. And if we judge the nations according to the amount of work, then individuals, too, have a similar argument, and the industrious will work half as much as the weak. Thus, you have prepared for yourself a new class of quick, and a class of idle. You could say that there is power in the idle majority to force the quick minority in the nation, but there is certainly no such power between the nations. Thus, you will create classes among the nations, and abusers and abused among individuals.

The arrival of the redeemer
This is not new, for the founders themselves knew it, as he says […] that in the beginning they will see how this is possible through compromise, and will finally come to true ideals, to the highest degree of socialism, where each gives as much as he can, then takes only as much as he needs, meaning the same as the idle. This can be done only by the arrival of the redeemer, when the earth is full of knowledge. Then the giver will understand that he is serving his God, giving satisfaction to his Maker.

The idealistic instincts have already struck numerous roots in the human race. They have also come and become antiquated and have gained a foothold in a place where no one can reach, namely the subconscious in the elongated brain, which moves man’s nerves by itself, without the person’s awareness. This is why they have experimented in Russia, as it is known that they did not do a thing in all their wars. These warriors should know that the human heart will give them anything if they only leave it with its own ideals, which have come to it by inheritance from past generations in one’s subconscious. If they insist on destroying this legacy, too, they themselves will suffer the consequences, for the heat and the sulfur is accumulating bit by bit until it is filled to the brim and begins to explode. And besides all that, a new generation is growing, who know not Joseph (Exodus 1:8) [see BT Sotah 11a]. They do not understand the need and necessity to abandon private property from their flesh and blood whatsoever, but only according to a dry theory. For this reason, the devotion to private property that is buried deep in their subconscious from past generations, after all the learning, one fine day they will establish camps of young people from all sides, and they themselves will put the elderly to death with all their property and wisdom. It is so because an ideology does not come to a person from the intellect, but only from life’s experiences, out of affection and a combination of good and bad, like automated machines. The mind has no control over the body, as it is completely foreign to us. Hence, those young socialists who have acquired knowledge through their own wit cannot be trusted whatsoever, and they will pop like a soap bubble.

One last word of policy
At that time, three forces will sit on the throne in the councils—right, left, and middle. They will argue and strife with one another: the right opposing the liberty in the left, and the left opposing the reactionism of the right, and the neutral will give room to both, and the majority will solve and determine. Indeed, in one, they have already come to a solution, namely sharing all necessary and positive needs of life, meaning equal sharing of all the needs of the economy: one land to all who are living on it, and one division in its material pleasures. All the trials and arguments they will load on the suffering of spiritual predicates, along with the three degrees—envy, lust, and honor—they will turn and restrict themselves only to the spiritual boundaries.

This version will indeed be the final word on policy because it will forever remain an inexorable law. This is so since according to the development of the human species, so will views separate and intensify, and each one will be far more stubborn than it is currently regarding its fortune. There is no hope to come out from this strait unless people start to regress into fools—being emptied of all reason. Hence, there will be almost as many parties as there are people, and there is no solution to it other than the fixed law, “follow the majority.” At that time people will make among them various compromises until they gather into groups. And in the groups, there will be competition with the oppositions until the opposition itself will separate. Thus, the big groups will split into small ones, and the small ones into tiny ones, as well as trade among themselves, as is customary nowadays. However, this negotiation must acquire a more acrid form each time, precisely according to the measure of development of views without compromise forever, for so it should be forever. However, in one—in private property—they have already arrived at an agreed upon solution: Each will give as much as a successful one can give, and receive as much as an unsuccessful one, without adding even as much as a hairsbreadth. And the work hours will be equal to all, by order. And besides the obligation, there will be additional time to the veterans, who will give compared to the weak, to completely exempt them and not afflict them. This is similar to today’s charity. Also, in each city and community, the weak will be distributed equally. And if there are many volunteers in the community, then all the weak will be exempted. If there are few, then only some of them, the weakest, will be exempted. One who breaks these rules will be punished either by giving his portion, or by criminal punishment.

The anterior of an idea
The truthfulness of the spirit of pleasure of one who expresses it is evident. I have become a c[…] although […] many years prior, while I did not pay attention until I saw them speaking and arguing. Then I recognized the truth as it is. It is a law that one who is completely untroubled will not be satisfied by material possessions. Even when engaged in an ideal, one must feel pleasure during the engagement. The measure of spirit and delight that one feels depends on the truthfulness of the ideal with which he is engaged. Thus, we have found for truth an anterior face by which to know it, meaning by merely looking at the person who expresses it, whether he is enjoying or not. And the amount of pleasure is the amount of truth. This is what has brought me to believe in this idea, for until then I have never seen anyone to express any idea with such contentment and delight as they.

The absolute truth
If there are no absolute truths, but temporary ones, then I say that each truth in itself is the absolute truth for its time. It is just since it cannot be said about some reality that is about to die that it is regarded as dead, since while it is alive, it is an absolute reality. Everything is operated either voluntarily or by coercion, and the mind does not force. Therefore, we have a question: Who will move the socialist when he acts? What source will spur his desire to move, or by what force will coercion come upon him? It is so because at that time, movement will become to him a kind of private property, and every person is meticulous about his energy, to not disperse it uselessly even more than for his fortune. And if the socialism is not because he is deficient, due to saving of energy, then he will certainly not squander the energy in vain. Thus, from where will justice or compassion come?

Hastening its ripening through religion
The socialist ideal requires ripening in one’s heart for at least three entire generations, and peace and general agreement [cf. Zohar 3:14a–b: “It is difficult to remove filth from (the nations), even up to three generations. Therefore we have learned: ‘The best among the Gentiles…’ (MekhiltaBeshallaḥ 1)”]. Therefore, the world will undergo many more attempts and cycles before it comes to fruition, but there is no easier way to ripen the idea than through religion.

The Active Intellect by Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag (Ba’al ha-Sullam)

Ba'al ha-Sullam PortraitIt is written, “Every man is obligated to grasp the root of his soul.” Meaning the ultimate desire and hope of those created is דְבֵקוּת (devequt), cleaving, to His qualities, may His great Name be exalted: “[Abba Shaul said:] Just as He is [gracious and] compassionate, so you [be gracious and compassionate]” (BT Shabbat 133b). And His qualities are the holy sefirot as is known, and this is the mystery of שֶׂכֶל הַפּוֹעֵל (sekhel ha-poel), the Active Intellect, that guides His world and gauges His effluence and goodness for them, blessed be He.

But we must understand why this is called, “cleaving to the Creator,” for behold: seemingly this is merely לִמּוּד (limmud), study. I shall explain by way of parable: Within any action in the world, the actor’s intellect inheres in that action. Just as in a table one can grasp a facet of the intellect of the carpenter, his dexterity and the deftness in his craft, whether great or small, since in the course of his work he assessed it in terms of the qualities of his intellect. And he who looks at the result, apprehending the intellect that is “buried” there, cleaves to that very intellect which acted upon it—they literally unite—because there is no distance or separation between הַרוּחָנִיּם (ha-ruḥanim), what is immaterial, even with separate bodies; the intellect inhering there cannot be separated, for what knife can cut the immaterial off? Rather, the essential difference between immaterial things [or: spiritual matters] lies in their qualities, praiseworthy or blameworthy, but also in diversity. For the intellect reckoning astrology will not cleave to the natural sciences. And even in science itself great diversity is discovered. Since one [branch] rises over another even in a single [field of] science, and only through this does the immaterial separate. But when two sages contemplate a single science and bear the same stature of intellect, then they are united, literally, for what separates them?

So when one is found contemplating another’s action, grasping the intellect of the sage who performed it, both are gauged by one power and intellect. Now they are actually united, like a man who bumps into his beloved friend in the market: he embraces him and kisses him, and it is impossible to severe the bond between them. Hence, the general principal is that on the human [rung of existence], the power of the intellect is best suited to mediate between the Creator and His creatures. That is, He emanated a single spark from this [mediating] power. Through that spark, all returns to Him.

[How many are Your works, O YHWH!] All of them You made in wisdom; [the earth is filled with Your creatures] (Psalms 104:24)He created the whole world in His wisdom. Hence, he who is rewarded with attaining the אוֹפַנִּים (ofannim), circuits, by which He created the world and its order, behold: he cleaves to the Intellect that acts upon them, he cleaves to the Creator. And this is the mystery of “The Torah is all names of the blessed Holy One,” which belong to the creatures. And through their merit, the creatures grasp the Intellect that acts upon all, since the Creator gazed upon the Torah when He created the world, as is known [see Zohar 2:161b]. He who attains enlightenment by way of Creation forever cleaves to that Intellect. Thus, he cleaves to the Creator, blessed be He.

In this sense the blessed Holy One has shown us His artisan’s tool—[however] must we create worlds? Yet from what has been said here, [we understand] the Creator has shown us His order that we may know how to cleave to Him, which is cleaving to His qualities.

A Welcoming and Shining Face, Introduction, by Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag (Ba’al ha-Sullam)

Ba'al ha-Sullam Portrait

1) It is written at the end of the six orders [of Mishnah]: “[Rabbi Shim’on son of Ḥalafta said:] The blessed Holy One found no vessel to hold blessing for Israel but peace, as it says: May YHWH give strength to His people. May YHWH bless His people with peace (Psalms 29:11)” (M Uqtsin 3:12). There is a lot to learn here: First, how did they prove that nothing is better for Israel than peace? Second, the verse states explicitly that peace is the blessing itself, as is written, give strength… bless… with peace. According to them, it should have said, giving in peace. Third, why was this written toward the end of the Mishnah? Moreover, we must understand the meaning of the words peace and strength.

In order to interpret this according to its true meaning we must traverse a long way, for the heart of sayers is too deep to probe. This means that all matters of Torah and mitsvot bear revealed and concealed meaning, as is written, golden apples in silver carvings, a word spoken in its own right way (Proverbs 25:11). Indeed, the ḥalakhot are like silver flasks of wine. When one gives his friend a gift, a flask of wine, then both the inside and the outside are valuable. This is because the flask has its own value, as does the wine inside it.

The aggadot, however, are as apples. Their inside is eaten but their outside is discarded, since the outside is totally worthless. All the worth and importance you find only with the interior. So is the matter with aggadot. The apparent superficiality seems meaningless and worthless, however, the inner content concealed in the words is built solely on the bedrock of the Wisdom of Truth, given to the virtuous few. Who would dare extract it from the heart of the masses and scrutinize their ways, when their attainment is incomplete in both aspects of Torah called פְּשָׁט (peshat), plain, and דְּרַשׁ (derash), enquiry? In their view, the פַּרדֵס (pardes), Orchard, begins with the plain, then the enquiry, then a רֶמֶז (remez), hint, and in the end the סוֹד (sod), secret, is understood.

However, it is written in the prayer book of the Gaon Rabbi Eliyyahu [of Vilna, edited by Rabbi Naftali Hertz ha-Levi] that attainment begins with the secret. After the secret of Torah is attained it is possible to attain the enquiry, and then a hint. When one is granted perfect knowledge of these three layers of Torah, one is awarded the attainment of the plain Torah [cf. BT Shabbat 63a: “(Rav Kahana said:) A verse cannot depart from its plain meaning”].

It is written: “If he has merit it becomes for him a סַם (sam), medicine, of life, if not, a סַם (sam), poison, of death” (BT Ta’anit 7a). Great merit is required in order to understand the plain meaning of these texts, since first we must attain the three inner layers of Torah, which are clothed by the simple, and the simple will not be parsed [cf. BT Avodah Zarah 19a in the name of Rabbi Yehudah ha-Nasi]. If one has not been rewarded with it, one needs great mercy, so it will not become poison for him.

It is the opposite of the argument of the negligent in attaining the interior, who say to themselves: “We settle for attaining the simple. If we attain that, we will be content.” Their words can be compared to one who wishes to step on the fourth rung without first stepping on the first three rungs [of a ladder].

2) However, accordingly, we need to understand the great concealing applied in the interior of Torah, as is said in tractate Ḥagigah, one does not study the Account of Creation in pairs, nor the Account of the Chariot alone. Moreover, all the books at our disposal in these matters are sealed and blocked before the eyes of the masses. Only the few who are summoned by the blessed Holy One shall understand them, as they already understand the roots by themselves and received “mouth to mouth.”

It is indeed alarming how the ways of wisdom and the intellect are denied people for whom it is life and the length of their days. It is seemingly a criminal offence, as our Sages said in Bereshit Rabbah of Ahaz, that he was called אָחָז (Aḥaz), Ahaz, for he had אָחוּז (aḥuz), seized, synagogues and schools, and this was his great crime [see Bereshit Rabbah 42:3]. Also, it is a natural law that one is possessive concerning dispensing his money and property to others. However, is there anyone who is possessive about sharing his wisdom and understanding with others? On the contrary, “More than the calf wants to suck, the cow wants to suckle” (BT Pesaḥim 112a).

Indeed, we find such mysteries in the wisdom, even with secular sages in previous generations. In Rav Botarel’s introduction to his commentary on Sefer Yetsirah, there is a text ascribed to Plato who warns his disciples as follows, “Do not convey the wisdom unto one who knows not its merit.” Aristotle, too, warned, “Do not convey the wisdom to the unworthy, lest it be robbed.” He interprets that if a sage teaches wisdom to the unworthy, they rob the wisdom and destroy it. The secular sages of our time do not do so. On the contrary, they labor in widening the gates of their wisdom to all without any boundaries and conditions. Seemingly, they strongly disagree with the first sages, who opened the gates of their wisdom to only a handful of the virtuous few, who they found worthy, leaving the rest of the people fumbling the walls.

3) Let me explain the matter: We make four distinctions in humanity, arranged in a hierarchy. These are: the masses, heroes, the affluent, and sages. They are equal to the four species, called: דוֹמֵם צוֹמֵחַ חַי מִדָּבָר (domem, tsomeaḥ, ḥai, midavar), mineral, vegetable, animal, human [lit., mute, growing, living, speaking, see Rabbi Yosef Albo, Sefer ha-Iqqarim 3:1–6]. The mineral may give rise to the vegetable, animal and human, and from the beneficial and detrimental in them we discern three degrees in the quantity of the [life] force. Of these the vegetable has a minimal amount of the force. Flora attract what is beneficial to them and reject the harmful in much the same way as humans and animals do. However, there is no individual sensation in them, but rather a general force common to all plants in the world which acts on them.

Atop them is the animal. Each creature senses itself, attracting what is beneficial to it and rejecting the harmful. It follows that a single animal is equal in degree to all plants in existence. This is so because the force that distinguishes the beneficial from the harmful among the entire vegetable species is found within a single creature of the animal species—it is under its own authority. The animal’s capacity for sensing is quite limited in time and space, since its sensation does not act at even the shortest distance outside of its body. Also, it does not sense anything outside its own time-frame, meaning neither in the past nor in the future, but only at the present moment.

Atop them is the human, comprising both emotional and intellectual power together. For this reason, its power is not limited by time and space in attracting what is good for it and rejecting what is harmful, like the animal. This is so because of its wisdom, which is an immaterial matter, not limited by time and space—one can teach others wherever they are in the whole of reality, in the past and the future, throughout the generations. It follows that the value of a single human being is equal to the value of the entire force inhering in the vegetable and the animal species, in all past and present generations. This is so because his power encompasses them and contains them within his own self, along with their entire [life] force. This rule also applies to the four divisions of the human species, namely the masses, the heroes, the affluent, and the sages. Certainly, they all come from the masses, which are the first degree, as is written, everything was from the dust (Ecclesiastes 3:20).

It is certain that value of the mineral, and its very right to exist, is in accordance with the value of the three virtues it gives rise to: vegetable, animal, and human. Also, the value of the masses corresponds to the properties they give rise to. Thus, they too form the shape of a visage. For that purpose, the blessed Holy One embedded three drives in the masses, called “jealousy,” “lust,” and “honor.” It is due to them that the masses develop rung by rung in order to form a perfect human visage.

The drive for lust gives rise to the affluent. The select among them have an [exceedingly] strong desire and lust. They excel at amassing wealth, which is the first rung in the evolution of the masses. Like the vegetable species, they are governed by an external force that drives them, as lust is an external force in the human species borrowed from the animal. The drive for honor gives rise to the renowned heroes among them. They govern the synagogues, the town, and so forth. The most strong-willed among them excel in reaching government. These are the second rung in the evolution of the masses, similar to the animal species, whose active [life] force inheres within their essence, as we have said above. This is because the drive for honor is unique to the human species and along with it the desire to rule [cf. Zohar 1:25a (TZ): “They are the גִּבֹּרִים (gibborim), heroes, of yore, the men of הַשֵּׁם (ha-shem), renown (Genesis 6:4). These descend from the side of those, of whom is written: let us build us a city and a tower… that we may make us a name (Genesis 11:4). They build synagogues and academies. (They are like a) scroll of Torah, with a crown upon רֵישׁוֹי (reshoi), its head {corresponding to: and a tower with its רֹאשׁוֹ (rosho), top, in the heavens (ibid.)}”].

The jealous drive gives rise to the sages from among them, as our Sages said, “The jealousy of scribes increases wisdom” [scribes were responsible for keeping a precise tally of the letters, words, and verses of the Tanakh] (BT Bava Batra 21a). The strong-willed, with a zealous drive, excel in acquiring wisdom and knowledge. It is like the human species in which their active [life] force is not limited by time and space but encompasses every object in the world, throughout the ages.

Also, it is the nature of the fire of jealousy to be universal, encompassing all ages and the whole of reality. This is because it is the way of jealousy that if one had not seen the object in his fellow’s possession, the desire for it would not have been aroused in one at all [cf. Nietzsche, Genealogy Treatise 1]. You find that the sensation of a lack is not for what one does not have, but for what his fellow has, who are the entire progeny of Adam and Eve throughout the generations. Thus, this [life] force is unlimited and it is therefore fit for its sublime and exalted role.

Yet, those who remain without any merit, it is because they do not have a strong desire. Hence, all three aforementioned drives act in them together, in compound. Sometimes they are lustful, sometimes jealous, and sometimes they crave honor. Their desire breaks to pieces and they are like children who crave everything they see but cannot attain anything. Hence, their worth is like straw and bran that remain after the flour.

It is known that the beneficial force and the detrimental force go hand in hand. In other words, as much as something can benefit, so it can harm. Hence, since the force of one person is greater than all the beasts and the animals of every age, one’s harmful force supersedes them all, as well. Thus, as long as one does not merit his standing such that he uses his ability only to do good, he must keep careful watch that he not acquire profuse amounts of science and the humanities. For this reason, the first Sages hid the wisdom from the masses for fear of accepting unworthy disciples who would use the force of wisdom to harm and damage. Such as these would shatter and destroy the entire population with their great brute lust.

As the generations have declined and sages themselves began to crave [to eat] from both tables, meaning a good life for their body too, their views drew near to the masses [on ירִידַת הַדוֹרוֹת (yiridat ha-dorot), decline of the generations, see here]. They traded with them and sold the wisdom as prostitutes, for the price of a dog (Deuteronomy 23:18). Since then, the fortified wall that the first ones had exerted on has been ruined and the masses have looted it. The brutes have filled their hands with the force of men, seized the wisdom and torn it asunder. Half was inherited by adulterers and half by murderers, and they have put it in eternal disgrace to this day.

4) From this you may infer concerning the Wisdom of Truth, which contains all the secular teachings within it, its seven handmaids. This is the entirety of the human species and the purpose for which all the worlds were created, as is written, Were it not for My covenant day and night, I would not have set out the laws of the heavens and earth (Jeremiah 33:25). Hence, our Sages have said, “One who makes worldly use of the crown shall fade away” (M Avot 4:7). This is because they have prohibited us from using it for any sort of worldly pleasure.

This is what has sustained us thus far in maintaining the armies and the wall around the Wisdom of Truth, that no stranger or foreigner break in, put it in their vessels and go trade it in the market, as with the secular sages. This was so because all who entered have already been tested by seven tests until it was certain beyond any concern and suspicion.

After these words and truth we find what appears to be a great contradiction, from one extreme to the other, in the words of our Sages. It is written in the Zohar that in the time of the footsteps of the Messiah this wisdom will be revealed even to the young [see Zohar 1:93a, 118a]. However, according to the aforementioned we learned the generation of the footsteps of the Messiah will be at the highest peak. We will need no guard at all and the wellsprings of wisdom will open and water the whole nation.

Yet, in Sotah [49a–b] and Sanhedrin [97a], they said, “In the heels of Messiah impudence will increase… the wisdom of scribes will stink… sin-fearing people will be detested.” Meaning there is none so evil as that generation. Thus, how do we reconcile the two statements? Certainly, “these and those are the words of the Living God.”

The thing is that this careful watch and lock on the chamber of wisdom is for fear of people in whom the spirit of “scribe’s jealousy” is mixed with a drive for lust and honor. Their jealousy is not limited to wanting only wisdom and knowledge. Hence, both texts are correct, and one comes and teaches of the other. “The face of the generation is as the face of a dog” (BT Sotah 49b)—they bark as dogs: הַב הַב (hav hav), ‘give, give’ (Proverbs 30:15). The righteous are castaway and the scribe’s wisdom went astray with them.

It follows that it is permitted to open the gates of wisdom and remove the careful guard, since it is naturally safe from theft and exploitation. There is no longer fear lest unworthy disciples take it and sell it in the market to materialistic plebs, since they will find no buyers for this merchandise, as it is loathsome in their eyes.

And since they have no hope of acquiring lust and honor through it, it has become safe and guarded by itself. No stranger will draw near, except lovers of Wisdom and her inhabitants. Hence, any examination shall be removed from those who enter, until even the very young will be able to attain it.

Now you can understand their words: “The son of David will come only in a generation that is either altogether righteous or altogether wicked” (BT Sanhedrin 98a). This is very perplexing. Seemingly, as long as there are a few righteous in the generation, they detain the redemption! When the righteous perish from the land the coming of the Messiah will be possible, I wonder.

Indeed, we should thoroughly understand that this matter of redemption and the coming of Messiah that we hope will be speedily in our days, amen, is the supernal perfection of attainment and knowledge, as is written, And they shall no longer teach each to his fellow man and each to his brother, saying, ‘Know YHWH.’ For they shall all know Me from the least of them to their greatest (Jeremiah 31:33). And with the perfection of the mind, the body is perfected too, as is written, For like a lad he shall die at a hundred (Isaiah 65:20).

When the Children of Israel attain perfect knowledge, wellsprings of wisdom shall flow beyond the boundaries of Israel and water all the nations of the world, as is written: For the earth shall be filled with knowledge of YHWH [as water covers the sea] (Isaiah 11:9); and seek YHWH… and His bounty [in the latter days] (Hosea 3:5).

The proliferation of this knowledge is the matter of the expansion of King Messiah to all the nations. Yet, it is the opposite with the crude, materialistic plebs. Since their minds are attached to the power of the fist, the matter of the expansion of the Kingdom of Israel is etched in their imagination only as a sort of dominion of polis over polis, to take their fee from the lot with great pride, and to be haughty over all peoples of the world.

And what can I do for them if our Sages have already rejected them, and the likes of them, from among the assembly of the LORD, saying, “‘All who is proud, he and I cannot dwell in the same abode,’ says the blessed Holy One” (BT Sotah 5a).

Conversely, some err and determine that as the body must exist prior to the existence of the soul and an expanded consciousness, the perfection of the body and its needs precede in time the attainment of the soul and expanded consciousness. Hence, expanded consciousness is denied of a weak body.

This is a grave mistake, harder than death, since a perfect body is inconceivable whatsoever before attainment of an expanded consciousness. This is because, by itself, it is a punctured bag, a broken cistern (Jeremiah 2:13). It cannot contain anything beneficial, either for itself or for others, except with the attainment of total knowledge. At that time the body, too, ascends to its perfection with it, literally hand in hand. This rule applies both with individuals and in the whole.

5) Now you will understand what is written in the Zohar: “Because [the people of] Israel are destined to taste of this Tree of Life, namely this סֵפֶר הַזֹּהַר (Sefer ha-Zohar), Book of Radiance, they will thereby come forth from exile through [divine] compassion” (Zohar 3:124b [RM]). Also, in many other places: Only through the spreading of the wisdom of Kabbalah to the masses will we attain complete redemption.

They also said, “The light in it returns [them] to good” (JT Ḥagigah 5:7, 80a; Eikhah Rabbah 2) [cf. Pesiqta de-Rav Kahana 15:5: “Rav Huna, Rabbi Yirmeyahu in the name of Rabbi Ḥiyya son of Abba: ‘It is written, Me did they forsake (Jeremiah 16:11).’ Is it possible that they have kept My Torah? Would that they would forsake Me and keep My Torah. For if they had forsaken Me but kept My Torah, then in the course of their Torah study, the yeast that is in it would have brought them back to Me’”]. They were intentionally meticulous about this, to show us that only the light clothed in it—golden apples in silver carvings (Proverbs 25:11)—holds the cure to restore a person. Both the individual and the nation will not fulfill the purpose for which they were created except by attaining the inner Torah and its mysteries. And although we hope for perfect attainment with the coming of Messiah, it is written, Gives wisdom to the wise (Daniel 2:21), and, In the heart of every wise-hearted man I have set wisdom (Exodus 31:6).

Hence, it is great expansion of the Wisdom of Truth among the nation that we need first, so we may merit receiving the benefit from our Messiah. Consequently, the expansion of the wisdom and the coming of our Messiah are interdependent. Therefore, we must establish schools and compose books to hasten the dissemination of the wisdom throughout the nation. And this was not the case before, for fear lest unworthy disciples mingle, as we have elaborated on above. This became the primary reason for the prolonging of the exile for our many transgressions, to this day.

Our Sages said, “The son of David will come only in a generation that is either altogether righteous…” (BT Sanhedrin 98a)—when everyone retires from pursuit of honor and lust. At that time, it will be possible to establish many schools to prepare them for the coming of Messiah Son of David. “Or altogether wicked” (ibid.)—such a generation when “The face of the generation is as the face of a dog… the wisdom of scribes will stink… sin-fearing people will be detested” (BT Sotah 49b). At such a time, it will be possible to remove the careful guard and all who remain in the House of Jacob with their hearts pounding to attain the wisdom and the purpose, “Holy” will be their names, and they shall come and learn.

This is so because there will no longer be fear lest one lose his merit and trade the wisdom in the market, as no one in the throng will buy it. The wisdom will be so loathsome in their eyes that neither glory nor lust will be obtainable in return for it. Hence, all who wish to enter may come and enter. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased (Daniel 12:4)—among those worthy of it. And by that we will soon be rewarded with the coming of Messiah, and the redemption of our souls soon in our days, amen.

With these words I release myself from a considerable complaint, that I have dared more than all my predecessors in disclosing the ordinarily protected rudiments of the wisdom in my book, which was thus far unexplored. This refers to the essence of the ten sefirot and all that concerns them: יָשָׁר (yashar), direct, and חוֹזֵר (ḥozer), reflected, פְּנִימִי (penimi), inner, and מַקִּיף (maqqif), surrounding, the meaning of the הָכָּהַ (haka’ah), striking, and the meaning of the הִזדַכְּכוּת (hizdakkhut), clarification.

The authors that preceded me deliberately scattered the words here and there, and with subtle intimations, so one’s hand would fail to gather them. I, with His light which shone upon me, and with the help of my masters, have gathered them and disclosed matters clearly enough and in their spiritual form, above space and above time. They could have come to me with a great argument: If there are no supplements to my masters here, then the Ari and Rav Ḥayyim Vital themselves together with the genuine authors, i.e., their commentators, could have disclosed and explained the matters as openly as I. And if you wish to say that it was revealed to them, then who is this writer, for whom it is certainly a great privilege to be dust and ashes under their feet, who says that his lot, given by the blessed Holy One is more than their lot?

However, as you will see among the approbations, I neither added to my masters nor innovated with this composition. All my words are already written in Shemonah Sha’arim, Ets Ḥayyim, and Mavo She’arim by the Ari. I did not add a single word to them; but they sought to conceal matters; hence, they scattered them one here and one there. This was so because their generation was not yet completely unworthy and required great care. We, however, for our many transgressions, all the words of our Sages are already fulfilled with us. They were spoken for the time of Messiah to begin with, for in such a generation there is no longer fear of revealing the wisdom, as we have elaborated above; hence, my words are concise and in order.

6) And now sons, do hear me: Wisdom cries out in the streets, in the squares she lifts her voice (Proverbs 1:20); Whoever is for YHWH, to me! (Exodus 32:26); For it is not an empty thing for you, but it is your life, and through this thing you will long endure (Deuteronomy 32:47). For you were not created to follow after the act of grain and potato, you and your donkeys in one trough. And just as the purpose of the donkey is not to serve its fellow donkeys, man’s purpose is not to serve the public, contemporaries of his [mere] physical body. Rather, the purpose of the donkey is to serve and be of use to man, who is superior to it. The purpose of man is to serve the blessed Holy One and fulfill His intention. As Son of Zoma says, “He has created all these to serve me” (BT Berakhot 58a)—and I, to serve my Maker. He says, Each act of YHWH has its own end (Proverbs 16:4), since the blessed Holy One desires and yearns for our perfection, as is written:

The ministering angels said to the blessed Holy One: “Master of the Universe! What is man that You should note him, and the human creature, that You pay him heed? (Psalms 8:5). This trouble, for what has it been created?” He said to them, “If so sheep and oxen all together (ibid., 8), why were they created; why were birds of the heavens and fish of the sea (ibid., 9) created? A tower full of good things and no guests—what pleasure has its owner in having filled it?” They said to Him: “Master of the Universe! YHWH our Master, how majestic Your name in all the earth! (ibid., 10). Do what pleases You!” (Bereshit Rabbah 8:6).

Seemingly, we should doubt this allegory since where does that tower filled abundantly stand? In our time, we really would pack it full of guests. Indeed, the words are earnest, since you see that the angels made no complaint about any of the creatures that were created during the six days of Creation, except about man. This is because he was created in the image of God and comprises the upper and lower together.

When the angels saw it, they were startled and bewildered. How would the pure, spiritual soul descend from its sublime rung to come and dwell in the same abode with this filthy, beastly body? In other words, they wondered, “Why do You need this trouble?” The answer that came to them is that there is already a tower filled abundantly but empty of guests. To fill it with guests, the existence of man, formed of upper and lower together, is necessary. Accordingly, this pure soul must clothe in the form of a sordid body. They immediately understood, saying, “Do what pleases You!”

Know that this tower, filled abundantly, implies all the delight and the goodness for which He has created the creatures, as they, of blessed memory, said, “It is the way of the Good to [do] good.” Hence, He created the worlds to delight His creatures. And since there is no matter of past or future with Him, may He be blessed, we must realize that as soon as He thought to create creatures and delight them they appeared instantly and came into being before Him, may He be blessed, they and all their fulfillments of delight and pleasure—as it arose in thought.

It is written in Ḥeftsi Bah of the Ari [and his disciple Rabbi Yosef ibn Tabul] that all the worlds, upper and lower, are contained in Ein Sof even before the צִמצוּם (tsimtsum), contraction [or: withdrawal], in the mystery of He is One and His Name One (Zechariah 14:9). And the occasion of the tsimtsum—the root of the worlds of ABiYA—confined to this world, occurred because the roots of the souls themselves yearn to resemble the Emanator, as is apparent in the word דְבֵקוּת (devequt), “cleaving.”

Attachment and separation in anything spiritual is possible only in terms of שִׁוּוּי הַצּוּרָה (shiuui ha-tsurah), parity of form, or שִׁנוּי הַצּוּרָה (shinui ha-tsurah), disparity of form. Since He wished to delight them, a desire to receive pleasure was necessarily embedded in the recipients. Thus, their form was inverted from His, since this form does not inhere in the Emanator, perish the thought, since from whom would He receive? And to correct this, the צִמצוּם (tsimtsum), contraction [or: withdrawal], and the גְבוּל (gevul), boundary, was actualized until the emanation of this world to existence, enclothing of soul in a material body.

When one labors in Torah in order to satisfy his Maker this form of reception reverts to “in order to give.” This is the meaning of [For if you indeed keep all this command which I charge you to do it, to love YHWH your God to walk in all His ways,] and to cleave to Him (Deuteronomy 11:22), since then one resembles his Maker in form, and as we have said, cleaving in spirituality is parity of form. When the matter of cleaving is attained in all aspects of the soul the worlds will return to the state of Ein Sof, as prior to the tsimtsum.

Therefore they shall possess their land twice over (Isaiah 61:7). This is because then they will be able to receive once more all the delight and goodness, prepared for them in advance in the world of Ein Sof. Moreover, now they are prepared for genuine cleaving without any disparity of form since their receiving is no longer for themselves, but rather, to give satisfaction to their Maker. And it is known that they resemble the Emanator, blessed is He, through giving and these matters have been expanded with good reason in Panim MasbirotAssiyah, 1.

7) And with this discern their words: “אֲשֶׁר הַשְׁכִינָה בַתַּחְתּוֹנִים צֹרֶךְ גְּבֹהַּ (Asher ha-Shekhinah va-taḥtonim tsorekh gevoah), Shekhinah in the lower realms—a need on high” [צֹרֶךְ גְּבֹהַּ (tsorekh gevoah), a need on high, refers to necessities of the service in the Temple, see BT Shabbat 131b; Mo’ed Qatan 9a; Yevamot 5b; Menaḥot 64a]. This is a most perplexing statement, though it does go hand in hand with what was learned above. They have compared the matter to a king who has a tower filled abundantly and no guests. It is certain that he sits and waits for guests, or his whole preparation will be in vain. It is like a great king who had a son when he was already old and he was very fond of him. Hence, from the day of his birth he thought favorable thoughts about him, collected all the books and the finest scholars in the land, and built schools for him. He gathered the finest builders in the land and built palaces of pleasure for him, gathered all the musicians and the singers and built him concert halls. He assembled the best chefs and bakers in the land and served him every delicacy in the world, and so on and so forth. Alas, the boy grew up to be a fool with no wish for knowledge. He was also blind and could not see or appreciate the beauty of the buildings; and he was deaf and could not hear the singers. Sadly, he was diabetic, and was permitted to eat only coarse-flour bread, arising contempt and wrath.

Now you can understand their words, of blessed memory, on the verse I, YHWH, in its due time I will hasten it (Isaiah 60:22). “If they are worthy, I will hasten it; if not, in its due time” (BT Sanhedrin 98a) [cf. Zohar 1:116a–18b]. Thus, there are two ways to attain the aforementioned goal: through their own attention, called “the way of repentance.” If they are awarded that, then I will hasten it will apply to them. This means that there is no appointed time for it, but when they are awarded, the תִּקּוּן (tiqqun), correction, ends, of course. If they are not awarded the attention, there is another way, called “the way of suffering,” as is written, “The blessed Holy One will set up a king over them, whose decrees shall be as cruel as Haman’s, whereby Israel shall engage in repentance” (BT Sanhedrin 97b), meaning in its time, for in this there is an appointed time. By that, they wanted to show us that His ways are not our ways. For this reason, the case of the flesh-and-blood king who had troubled so to prepare those great things for his beloved son and was finally tormented in every way, and all his trouble was in vain, bringing contempt and wrath, will not happen with Him. Instead, all the deeds of the blessed Holy One are guaranteed and true, and there is no fraud in Him, perish the thought. This is what our Sages said, “If not [rewarded]: in its time.” What the wish [of the blessed Holy One], does not do, the appointed time will, as is written, in Panim Masbirot (end of 72): Can you send lightning bolts on their way, and they will say to you, “Here we are!”? (Job 38:35). There is “the way of suffering” that can remove any defect of materialism until one realizes how to raise his head out of the beastly crib, to soar and climb the rungs of the ladder of happiness and human success, for one will cleave to one’s root and fulfill the purpose of Creation.

8) Therefore, come and see how grateful we should be to our masters, who impart their holy lights to us and dedicate their souls to do good to our souls. They stand between “the way of suffering” and “the way of repentance.” They save us from Sheol, which is harder than death, and accustom us to reach the delight, the sublime gentleness and the pleasantness that is our share, ready and waiting for us from the very beginning, as we have already said. Each of them acts in his generation, according to the power of the light of his Torah and holiness.

Our Sages have already said, “You do not have a generation without such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in it” [see Bereshit Rabbah 56:7]. Indeed, the divine Rabbi Yitsḥaq Luria, troubled and provided us the fullest measure. He did wondrously more than his predecessors, and if I had a tongue that praises, I would praise that day when his wisdom appeared almost as much as the day when the Torah was given to Israel!

There are not enough words to measure his holy work in our favor. The doors of attainment were locked and bolted, and he came and opened them for us. Thus, all who wish to enter the King’s palace need only holiness and purity, to go bathe and shave their hair and dress in clean garments, to stand before the supernal Malkhut.

You find a thirty-eight-year-old who outweighed in his wisdom all his predecessors from the holy Ge’onim and on, in all times. All the elders of the land, the courageous shepherds, companions and disciples of the divine sage, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, stood before him as disciples before the Rav. All the sages of the generations following them to this day, none missing, have abandoned all the books and compositions that precede him, the Kabbalah of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, the Kabbalah of the Rishonim and the Kabbalah of the Ge’onim, blessed be the memory of them all. They have cleaved their spiritual life entirely and solely to his holy wisdom. It is understood that not without merit is total victory [awarded] to this stream of wisdom, though it be young in years.

Alas, the adversary’s work succeeded, and obstacles were placed along the path of expansion of his wisdom to the holy people, and only very few have begun to conquer them. This was so primarily because the words were written by hearsay, as he had interpreted the wisdom day-by-day before his disciples, who were already elderly and with great proficiency in Zohar and the Tiqqunim. In most cases, his holy sayings were arranged according to the profound questions that they asked him, each according to his own interest. For this reason, he did not convey the wisdom in a useful order, as with compositions that preceded him. We find textual accounts that the Ari himself had wished to present the matters in order. In that regard, see the beginning of the sayings of Rabbi Shim’on bar Yoḥai in the interpretation of the Idra Zuta, in a short introduction by Rav Ḥayyim Vital.

There is also the short time of his teaching, since the entire time of his school was some seventeen months, as is said in Sha’ar ha-Gilgulim 8:49a–b, since he arrived in Safed from Egypt soon before Passover in the year 1571, and at that time, Rav Ḥayyim Vital was twenty-nine years of age. And in July 1572, on the eve of the Sabbath, portion Matot-Massei, the beginning of the month of Av, he fell ill, and on Tuesday, fifth of Av, on the following week, he passed away.

It is also written in Sha’ar ha-Gilgulim 8:71a, that upon his demise, he ordered Rav Ḥayyim Vital not to teach the wisdom to others, and permitted him to study only by himself and in a whisper. The rest of the companions were forbidden to engage in it altogether because he said that they did not understand the wisdom properly. This is the reason why Rav Ḥayyim Vital did not arrange the texts at all and left them unorganized. Naturally, he did not explain the connections between the matters, so that it would not serve as teaching others. This is the reason we find such great caution on his part, as is known to those proficient in the writings of the Ari. The arrangements found in the writings of the Ari were arranged and organized by a third generation, in three times, and by three compilers. The first compiler was the sage Mahari Tsemaḥ. He lived in the time of Mahara Azulai, who passed away in the year 1644.

A large portion of the texts came by him, and he arranged many books from them. The most important among them is the book Adam Yashar, in which he collected the root and the essential teachings that were at his disposal. However, some of the books that this Rav had complied were lost. In the introduction to his book, Kol ba-Ramah, he presents all the books that he had compiled.

The second compiler is his disciple, Maharam Paprish [Poppers]. He did more than his Rav, since some of the books that were held by the sage Maharash Vital came by his hands, and he compiled many books. The most important among them are the books, Ets Ḥayyim and Pri Ets ha-Ḥayyim. They contain the entire scope of the wisdom in its fullest sense. The third compiler was the sage Maharash Vital, the son of Moharar Ḥayyim Vital. He was a great and renowned sage. He compiled the famous Shemonah Sha’arim from the inheritance his father had left him. Thus we see that each of the compilers did not have the complete writings. It heavily burdened the [proper] arrangement of matters, which are unsuitable for those without true proficiency in Zohar and the Tiqqunim. Hence, few are those who ascend.

9) We are privileged by Him to have been rewarded with the spirit of the Ba’al Shem Tov, of blessed memory, whose greatness and sanctity are beyond any word and any utterance. He was not gazed upon and will not be gazed upon, except by those worthy that had served under his light, and they, too, only intermittently, each according to what he received in his heart. It is true that the light of his Torah and holy wisdom are built primarily on the holy foundations of the Ari. However, they are not at all similar. I shall explain with a parable: Like a man drowning in the river, rising and sinking as drowning people do. Sometimes only his hair is visible, and then counsel is sought to grab him by the head. Other times his body appears as well, and then counsel is sought to grab him from opposite his heart.

So is the matter before us. After Israel has drowned in the evil waters of the exile among the nations, from then until now they rise and fall, and not all times are the same. At the time of the Ari, only the head was visible. Hence, the Ari endeavored in our favor to rescue us through the mind. At the time of the Ba’al Shem Tov, of blessed memory, there was relief. Hence, it was a blessing to rescue us from opposite our heart, and, indeed, it was a great and true rescue.

But for our many transgressions, the wheel has been turned over again in our generation and we have declined tremendously, as though from the zenith to the nadir. In addition, there is the collision of the nations, which has confused the entire world. Needs have increased and the mind grown short and corrupt in the filth of materialism. Servants ride horses and princes walk on the earth (Ecclesiastes 10:7), and everything that is said in our study of Sotah has come true with us, for our many transgressions [see BT Sotah 49b].

Again, the iron wall has been erected, even on this great light of the Ba’al Shem Tov, of blessed memory, which we have said illuminated as far as the establishment of our complete redemption. And the wise-at-heart did not believe in the possibility that a generation would come when they could not see by his light. Now, our eyes have darkened; we have been robbed of good, and when I saw this I said, It is time to act! (Psalms 119:126) [cf. BT Berakhot 54a, 63a ad loc.]. Thus, I have come to open wide the gates of light of the Ari, for he is indeed capable and fit for our generation as well, and two are better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10) [cf. BT Ta’anit 23a].

We should not be blamed for the brevity in my composition, since it corresponds and adapts to any lover of wisdom, as too much wine wears off the flavour and attainment becomes more difficult for the disciple. Also, we are not responsible for those fat-at-heart, since the language to assist them has yet to be created. Wherever they lay their eyes they find folly, and there is a rule that from the same source from which the wise draws his wisdom, the fool draws his folly [see Zohar 3:47b].

Thus, I stand at the outset of my book and warn that I have not troubled at all for all those who love to stare out the window. Rather, it is for those who care for the words of the blessed Holy One and long for Him and His goodness, to fulfill the purpose for which they were created, for with the will of God those that seek Me early shall find Me (Proverbs 8:17) shall come true with them.

10) Come and see the words of the sage Ibn Ezra: “And now note and know that all the mitsvot that are written in the Torah or the conventions that the forefathers have established, although they are mostly in action or in speech, they are all in order to correct the heart, for YHWH searches all hearts and discerns every devising of schemes (1 Chronicles 28:9)” (Yesod Morah 1:1, 8b).

It is written, To the upright in their hearts (Psalms 125:4). Opposite this is, A heart plotting wicked designs (Proverbs 6:18). I have found one verse that contains all the mitsvot: YHWH your God you shall fear, and Him shall you serve (Deuteronomy 6:13)fear contains all the negative mitsvot in speech, in heart and in action, it is the first rung from which one ascends to the service of the blessed Holy One, which contains all the positive mitsvot. These will accustom one’s heart and guide one until one cleaves to the blessed Holy One, since for that was man created. He was not created for acquiring fortunes or for erecting buildings. Hence, one should seek everything that will bring one to love Him, to learn wisdom and to seek faith. And the blessed Holy One will open the eyes of his heart and will renew a different spirit in him. Then he will be loved by his Maker in his life.

Know that the Torah was given only to men of heart. Words are as bodies and the טַעַמֵי (ta’amei), reasons [lit., flavors], as souls. If one does not understand the reasons, one’s whole effort is in vain, labor wasted away. It is as though one exerts oneself to count the letters and the words in a medicine book. No healing will come from this effort. “Like a camel carrying silk; he does nothing for the silk, nor does the silk benefit him” (Ibn Ezra, Yesod Mora, 1:1, 9a).

We draw only this from his words: hold on to the purpose for which man was created. He says this is the matter of דְבֵקוּת (devequt), cleaving, to the blessed Holy One. Hence, one must search every means to bring one to love Him, to learn wisdom and to seek faith, until the blessed Holy One rewards one with opening his eyes and renewing a different spirit within him. At that time, he shall be loved by his Maker.

His precision is intentional: to be loved by his Maker in his life. It indicates that while he has not acquired that, his work is incomplete, and the work that was necessarily given to us to do today. It is as he ends, the Torah was only given to men of heart, meaning ones who have acquired the heart to love and covet Him. The Sages call them “wise-hearted,” since there is no longer a descending, beastly spirit there, for the evil impulse is present only in a heart bereft of wisdom.

He interprets and says that the words are as bodies and the reasons, as souls. If one does not understand the טַעַמֵי (ta’amei), reasons, it is similar to exerting oneself counting pages and words in a medicine book. This exertion will not yield any cure. He wishes to say that one is compelled to find the means to acquire the aforementioned possession. It is because then one can taste the טַעַמֵי (ta’amei), flavors, of Torah, which are the inner wisdom and its mysteries, and the flavor of a mitsvah, which are the inner love and desire for Him.

Without it, one has only the words and the actions—dead bodies without souls. It is like one who labors counting pages and words in a medicine book and so forth. Certainly, he will not perfect himself in medicine before he understands the meaning of the written medicine. Even after one purchases it, for whatever price is asked, if the conduct of the study and the actions are not arranged to bring him to it, it is “like a camel carrying silk; he does nothing for the silk, nor does the silk benefit him,” to cause it to fulfill the purpose for which it was created.

11) Accordingly our eyes have been opened with regard to the words of Rabbi Shim’on on Let us make a human (Genesis 1:26):

Rabbi Shim’on said, When the blessed Holy One came to create the human, the ministering angels formed themselves into factions, some of them saying, “Let him be created,” whilst others urged, “Let him not be created.” Thus it is written, Kindness and truth have met, justice and peace have kissed (Psalms 85:10). Kindness said, “Let him be created, because he will render acts of kindness”; Truth said, “Let him not be created, because he is compounded of falsehood”; Justice said, “Let him be created, because he will perform just deeds”; Peace said, “Let him not be created, because he is full of strife.” What did the blessed Holy One do? He took Truth and cast it to the earth. Said the ministering angels before the blessed Holy One “Master of the Universe! Why do You despise Your seal [see BT Shabbat 55a: ‘Truth is the seal of the blessed Holy One’]? Let Truth arise from the earth!” As is written, Truth from the earth will spring up (Psalms 85:12) (Bereshit Rabbah 8:6).

This text is difficult from all perspectives. First: It does not explain the matter of Let us make a human. Is this a counsel that He needs, perish the thought, as is written, rescue through many counselors (Proverbs 11:14). Second: Regarding Truth, how can it be said of humanity that it is all lies, when there is not a generation without such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Third: If the words of Truth are earnest, how did the angels of Kindness and Justice agree to a world that is all lies? Fourth: Why is Truth called Seal, which comes at the edge of a letter? Certainly, the reality exists primarily outside the seal. Is there no reality at all outside the borders of Truth? Fifth: Can messengers of Truth think the true Mover’s act is untrue? Sixth: Why did Truth deserve such a harsh punishment to be thrown to the ground, even into the ground? Seventh: Why is the angels’ reply not recorded in Torah, as their question is brought?

We must understand these two conducts set before our eyes, which are completely opposite. These are the conducts of the existence of the entire reality of this world and the conducts of the manners of existence for the sustenance of each and every one in the reality before us. From this end, we find a reliable conduct in utterly affirmed guidance, which governs the making of each and every creature in reality.

Let us take the making of a human being as an example. The love and delight of its parents are the first incentive bound to perform its function. As soon as the foundational drop is taken from the father’s brain, הַשְׁגָּחָה (hashgaḥah), providence, provides it a safe guarded place among the bedding of the mother’s womb, so no stranger may harm it.

There providence sustains it with its daily bread in precise measure. It tends to its every need without forgetting it for even a moment, until it gains strength to emerge into the atmosphere of our world, full of obstacles. Then providence gives it power within itself and like an experienced warrior it opens gates and pounds on its walls until it comes to such people it can trust to help it through its days of weakness with love and great compassion to sustain its existence, as they are the most precious for it in the whole world.

Thus, providence embraces it until it qualifies it to exist and to continue its existence onward. As is with the human, so it is with animal and vegetable. All are wondrously watched over, their existence secured, and every student of nature knows this. From the other perspective, when we regard the vast array of existence, large and small, we find orders confused, as if an army were fleeing the battlefield, sick, beaten, and beset by the blessed Holy One. Their whole life is as death, having no sustenance unless by tormenting first, risking their lives for their bread. Even a tiny louse breaks its teeth when it sets off for a meal. How much frisking about it does to obtain enough food to sustain itself? So too great and small alike. All the more so with humans, the pinnacle of creation, engaged with everything.

12) We discern two opposites in the ten sefirot of holiness. The first nine sefirot have the form of giving, and Malkhut for the purpose of receiving. Also, the first nine are filled with light but Malkhut has nothing of Her own [see Zohar 1:181a: “She has no light of Her own”].

This is the meaning of our discernment of two aspects of light in each פַּרצוּף (partsuf), configuration: אוֹר פְּנִימִי (or penimi), inner light, and אוֹר מַקִּיף (or maqqif), surrounding light, and two aspects in the כְּלִים (kelim), vessels, which are the inner vessel for inner light and an outer vessel for surrounding light. This is so because of the two aforementioned opposites, as it is impossible for two opposites to inhere in the same subject [cf. Bereshit Rabbah 50:2]. Thus, a single subject is required for inner light and a single subject for surrounding light.

However, they are not really opposite in holiness, since Malkhut couples with the upper nine [sefirot], and Her quality is giving as well in the form of אוֹר חֹזֵר (or ḥozer), reflected light. The סִיטְרָא אַחְרָא (sitra aḥra), Other Side [or: Shadow Side], however, has nothing of the upper nine. Its עִקָּר (iqqar), essence, is חָלָל פָּנוּי (ḥalal panui), empty space, which is the expanded form of receiving, the first צִמצוּם (tsimtsum), contraction [or: withdrawal]. That שׁוֹרֶשׁ (shoresh), root, remained without light even after the illumination of the קָו (qav), cord, reached within the רְשִׁימוּ (reshimu), trace [or: residue]. For this reason, they are complete opposites, compared to life and holiness, as is written, One against the other God has set (Ecclesiastes 7:14); hence they are called “dead.”

It has been explained above (see 6) that the whole matter of the צִמצוּם (tsimtsum), contraction [or: withdrawal], was only for the adornment of the souls, regarding resemblance to their Maker, i.e., the inversion of vessels of receiving to the form of giving. Yet, you find that this is denied from the perspective of the פַּרצוּפִים (partsufim), visages, of holiness. This is because there is nothing there of the vacuum, which is the expanded form of receiving, over which was the tsimtsum, hence, no correction can apply to it since it does not exist in reality [cf. Rabbi Immanuel Ricchi, Yosher Levav, 15, 10a: “Therefore, לְגַבַּי דִידַן (le-gabbai didan), relative to us, it is as if there was no tsimtsum and we can say that the tsimtsum is not literal”]. Moreover, there is certainly no correction here מצִידוֹ (mitsido), from the perspective, of the Other Side, although it does have a vacuum, because its interest is totally opposite, everything it receives dies. Hence, it is only a human being in this world that we need. In infancy, he is sustained and supported by the Other Side, inheriting the vessels of the vacuum from it. When he matures he connects to the מַעֲרָך (ma’arakh), structure, of holiness through the power of Torah and mitsvot in order to give satisfaction to his Maker. Thereby one inverts the capacity of receiving he has already acquired to be positioned solely for giving. With this he resembles his Maker and the purpose [of creation] is realized in him. This is the meaning of the existence of time in this world. You find that first these two opposites were divided into Holiness and the Other Side: One against the other God has set (Ecclesiastes 7:14). They are still devoid of the aforementioned correction, for they must inhere in the same subject, which is man. Therefore, the existence of an order of time is necessary for us, since then the two opposites will appear in a person one-by-one, meaning at a time of קַטנוּת (qatnut), smallness [constricted consciousness], and at a time of גַדלוּת (gadlut), greatness [expanded consciousness] [cf. BT Ḥullin 60b on Amos 7:2; Genesis 32:10].

13) Now you can understand the need for the שְׁבִירָתּ הַכְּלִים (shevirat ha-kelim), shattering of the vessels, and their properties, as is written in the Zohar and in the writings of the Ari, that two kinds of light are present in each of the ten sefirot, running and returning [like the appearance of lighting] (Ezekiel 1:14) [see Zohar 3:255b, 256b, 258a (all RM); TZ 6a–b].

The first light is אוֹר אֵין סוֹף (or ein sof), Light Without End, which journeys from above downward. It is called אוֹר יָשָׁר (or yashar), direct light. The second light is a result of the vessel of Malkhut, returning from below upward, called אוֹר חֹזֵר (or ḥozer), reflected light. Both unite into one. Know that from the tsimtsum downward, the point of tsimtsum is devoid of any light and remains a vacuum. The supernal light can no longer appear in the last בְּחִינָה (beḥina), aspect, before the end of correction, this is said of Or Ein Sof, called direct light. However, the second light, called אוֹר חֹזֵר (or ḥozer), reflected light, can appear in the last aspect, since the tsimtsum does not apply to it at all.

Now we have learned that the structure of the Other Side and the קְלִפּוֹת (qelipot), husks, is a necessity for the purpose of the tsimtsum, in order to instill in a person the great vessels of receiving while in קַטנוּת (qatnut), smallness [constriction], when one is dependent on her.

Thus, the Other Side needs שֶׁפַע (shefa), efflux, too. Where would she take it if she is made solely of the last aspect which is a space empty of any light, since from the tsimtsum downward the supernal light is isolated from her? Hence, the matter of the shattering of the vessels had been prepared. The shattering indicates that a part of the אוֹר חֹזֵר (or ḥozer), reflected light, of the world of נִקּוּדִים (niqqudim), punctiform lights, descended from [the world of] אֲצִילוּת (atsilut), Emanation, out to the חָלָל פָּנוּי (ḥalal panui), vacuum. And you already know that reflected light can appear in the vacuum, as well. That part, the reflected light that emanated from Atsilut, contains thirty-two unique aspects of each and every sefirah of the ten sefirot of neqqudim. Ten times thirty-two is 320. These 320 בְּחִינָת (beḥinat), aspects, that emanated, were prepared for sustaining the lower ones, which come to them in two מַעֲרָכוֹת (ma’arakhot), structures, as is written, One against the other God has set (Ecclesiastes 7:14)—worlds of ABiYA of holiness opposite worlds of ABiYA of the Other Side.

People over people shall prevail, [the elder, the younger’s slave] (Genesis 25:23). Our sages said that when one rises, the other falls, and Tyre is built only over the ruins of Jerusalem. This is so because all these 320 aspects can appear for the סִיטְרָא אַחְרָא (sitra aḥra), Other Side, at which time the building of the structure of holiness, with respect to the lower ones, is totally destroyed. Also, these 320 aspects connect solely to holiness. Then the structure of the Other Side is eradicated from the land and they divide more or less evenly between them, according to human actions. And so they are bound up with the two structures until the גְמָר תִּקּוּן (gemar tiqqun), final correction.

After the shattering of the vessels, of the 320 aspects—cascading sparks of light from Atsilut—288 were arrayed and elevated, meaning all that fell from the first nine of the ten sefirot of נִקּוּדִים (neqqudim), punctiform lights. Nine times thirty-two is the 288 aspects and they reconnect to build the structure of holiness.

You find that only thirty-two aspects remained for the Other Side of what fell from Malkhut of the world of points. This was the beginning of the structure of the Other Side, in its utter smallness, when she is as yet unfit for her task. The completion of her building ended later with the sin of אָדָם הַרִאשׁוֹן (adam ha-rishon), primordial man, with the Tree of Knowledge. Thus we find that there are two structures, one opposite the other, acting in the persistence and maintenance of reality. The allocation of light needed for existence is 320 sparks and these were prepared and measured at the breaking of the vessels. This allocation oscillates between the two structures, and this is what the persistence and maintenance of reality depends on. You should know that the structure of holiness must have a share of at least 288 sparks to complete her nine upper sefirot and continue to maintain the existence of the lower ones. This is what it possessed prior to the sin of primordial man and for that reason the whole of existence was conducted by the structure of holiness, since it had the full 288 sparks.

14) Now we find the opening to Midrash ha-Ne’lam (Zohar 1:134b–140a) the above study regarding the four factions, Kindness, Justice, Truth, and Peace, which negotiated with the blessed Holy One regarding man’s creation. These angels are servants of man’s soul. He negotiated with them since the entire act of creation was according to them, as each and every soul consists of ten sefirot in אוֹר פְּנִימִי (or penimi), inner light, and אוֹר מַקִּיף (or maqqif), surrounding light. Kindness is the inner light of the first nine of the soul. Justice is the inner light of the Malkhut of the soul. Truth is the surrounding light of the soul. We have already said that inner light and surrounding light are opposites, since the inner light is drawn by the law of the illumination of the קָו (qav), cord, withheld from the point of the צִמצוּם (tsimtsum), contraction [or: withdrawal], which is the גַדלוּת (gadlut), expanded, form of receiving.

Surrounding light emanates from אוֹר אֵין סוֹף (or ein sof), Light without end, which surrounds all the worlds, since there, in Ein Sof, great and small are equal. For this reason, surrounding light shines and bestows upon the point of צִמצוּם (tsimtsum), contraction [or: withdrawal], as well, much less for Malkhut. Since they are opposites, two vessels are needed. This is because inner light illuminates in the upper nine [sefirot]. Even to Malkhut it shines but only according to the law of the upper nine and not at all for Herself. However, surrounding light shines in the vessels that emanate specifically from the point of tsimtsum, which is called כְּלִי הַחִיצוֹן (keli ha-ḥitson), outer vessel.

Now you can understand why Truth is called חוֹתָם (otam), Seal. It is a borrowed name from a seal at the edge of a letter. While it is fixed at the end of matters it supports and validates them. Without the seal they are worthless and the whole text is wasted. It is the same with surrounding light which bestows upon the point of tsimtsum, the גַדלוּת (gadlut), expanded, measure of reception, until it resembles its Maker in giving. Indeed, this is the purpose of all the limited worlds, upper and lower.

The protest of Truth regarding man’s creation is its claim that he is all lies. This is so because, from the perspective of the blessed Holy One, man does not have an outer vessel, which he needs to draw from the point of tsimtsum, as she has already been isolated from His light. Thus, the angels of Truth could not help man obtain the surrounding light.

All the limited worlds, upper and lower, were created solely for that completion and man must be its only subject. But since man is unfit for his purpose they are all welter and falsehood and the labor in them useless. It is the opposite with the angels of Kindness and Justice, which belong specifically to inner light of the soul. Because he has nothing of the vacuum they bestow upon him all the lights of נְשָׁמָה (neshamah), soul, abundantly, in the most sublime perfection.

Thus, they were happy to benefit him and wholeheartedly agreed to man’s creation. Because they are Netsaḥ, Hod, Yesod that enter by זִוּוּג דְהַכָּאָה (zivug de haka’a), coupling in striking, they belong half to the surrounding light from the perspective of the reflected light in it. The angels of Peace claimed that he is all strife. In other words, how would he receive surrounding light? In the end, they cannot inhere in the same subject with inner light as they are opposite from each other, meaning all strife.

Surrounding light is discerned by two: the future reflected light and the future surrounding light. The outer vessel for reflected light is the מָסָך (masakh), screen, and the outer vessel for surrounding light is the עָבִיוּת (aviut), coarseness, of the fourth aspect itself, namely the לֵב הָאֶבֶן (lev ha-even), heart of stone (Ezekiel 36:26). You find that primordial man lacked only an outer vessel, which belongs to the angels of Truth. He did not lack an outer vessel, belonging to the angels of Peace. Hence, they agreed to creation, but claimed that he is all strife, meaning that direct light cannot enter the inner vessel since they are opposites.

15) Now we have been granted the understanding of the rest of the verses in the sin of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, which are most profound. Our sages, who disclosed a portion, concealed ten portions with their words. As a foreword, it is written, And the two of them were naked, the human and his woman, [and they were not ashamed] (Genesis 2:25). Know that clothing means outer vessel. Hence, the text precedes to demonstrate the reason for the sin of the Tree of Knowledge, as is written, Awesome in works over humankind (Psalms 66:5)—works with which to ascend. This means that his sin had been prepared in advance [see Zohar Ḥadash 18c: “Rabbi Shim’on said, ‘A decree was ordained beforehand that Adam should die…’”], and this is the meaning of the words that the human and his wife did not have an outer vessel at the time of creation but only inner vessels emanated from the structure of holiness, hence they were not ashamed. This is why they did not feel their lack, as shame refers to a sensation of lacking.

It is known that the sensation of a lack is the first reason for the fulfillment of deficiency. It is like a person who feels one’s illness and is willing to receive medication. However, when one does not feel that he is ill he will certainly avoid all medications. Indeed, this task is for the outer vessel to do. Since it is in the construction of the body and is empty of light, as it comes from the vacuum, it begets the sensation of emptiness and death in it by which one becomes ashamed.

Hence, one is compelled to return to fill the lack and draw the absent surrounding light which is about to fill that vessel. This is the meaning of the verse, And the two of them were naked, the human and his woman—outer vessel. For this reason, they were not ashamed, since they did not feel their lack. In that manner, they are devoid of the purpose for which they were created.

Yet, we must thoroughly understand the sublimity of this man, made by the hands of the blessed Holy One. Also, his wife, to whom the blessed Holy One has administered greater understanding than him, as they have written in Niddah in the interpretation of And YHWH God built the rib (Genesis 2:21) [see BT Niddah 45b: “And YHWH God יִּבֶן (yi-ven), built, the rib He had taken from the human into a woman (Genesis 2:21)—the blessed Holy One placed more בִּינָה (binah), understanding, in women than in men”].

Thus, how did they fail and became as fools, not knowing to beware of the serpent’s cunning? On the other hand, that serpent, of which the text testifies that it was more cunning than all animals of the field, how did it utter such folly and emptiness that should they eat off the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, they would become God? Moreover, how did that folly settle in their hearts? Also, it is said below that they did not eat because of their desire to become God, but simply because the tree is good to eat. This is seemingly a beastly desire!

16) We must know the nature of two aspects customary for us: The first is called “aspect of good and bad.” The second is called “aspect of true and false.” This means that the blessed Holy One has embedded a discerning force in each creature that acts on everything that is good for it and brings it to its desired perfection. The first aspect is the active, physical force. It employs the sensation of bitter and sweet, which loathes and repels the bitter, since it is bad for it, and loves and attracts the sweet because it is good for it. This force is sufficient for the mineral, vegetable, and animal existence, in bringing them to their desired perfection.

Atop them is the human species in which the blessed Holy One put an active rational force. It discerns the above second aspect, rejecting falsehood and emptiness with loathing to the point of nausea, and attracts true matters and every benefit with great love.

This is called “aspect of true and false.” It is implemented solely in the human species, each according to his own measure. Know that this second active force was created and came to man because of the serpent. At creation, he had only the first active force, from the aspects of good and bad, which was sufficient for him at that time.

Let me explain it to you with an allegory: If the righteous were rewarded according to their good deeds, and the wicked punished according their bad deeds in this world, holiness would be determined for us with the existence of sweet and good, and the Other Side would be apprehended with the existence of bad and bitter. In that state the decree of [free] choice would reach us, as is written, See, I have set before you today life and good and death and evil… choose life (Deuteronomy 30:15, 20). Thus, all the people would be guaranteed to achieve perfection, for they would certainly flee from transgression, as it is bad for them. They would be occupied in His mitsvot day in and day out, ceaselessly, like today’s fools regarding bodily matters and its filth, since it is good and sweet to them. So it was with primordial man when He created him.

[And YHWH God took the human] and set him down in the garden of Eden to till it and watch it (Genesis 2:15). Our sages interpreted: to till it—positive mitsvot; and watch it—negative mitsvot. His positive mitsvot were to eat and delight with all the trees of the Garden, and his negative mitsvot were to not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. Positive mitsvot were sweet and nice, and negative mitsvot were withdrawing from the bitter fruit that is as hard as death.

Not surprisingly, these cannot be called mitsvot and labor. We find the likes of that in our present chores, where through the pleasures of the Sabbath and good days we are rewarded with sublime holiness. And we are also rewarded for retiring from reptiles and insects and everything that one finds loathsome. You find that the choice in the labor of primordial man was by way of “therefore choose sweet.” It follows that the physical palate alone was sufficient for all he needed, to know what the blessed Holy One commanded and what He did not command.

17) Now we can understand the serpent’s cunning, which our sages have informed us was Samael, because its words were very lofty. It started with, Though God said, you shall not eat from any tree of the garden (Genesis 3:1). Meaning, it began to speak with her since the woman was not commanded by the blessed Holy One. Hence, it asked her about the manner of interpretation, meaning how do you know that the Tree of Knowledge has been prohibited? Perhaps all the fruits of the garden were forbidden to you as well? And the woman said… ‘From the fruit of the garden’s trees we may eat… You shall not eat from it and you shall not touch it, lest you die’ (Genesis 3:2–3).

There are two great precisions here: Touching was never forbidden; hence, why did she add to the prohibition? Did she doubt the words of the blessed Holy One? The blessed Holy One said, you will be doomed to die and the woman said, lest you die. Could it be that she did not believe the words of the blessed Holy One even prior to the sin? Yet, the woman answered according to the serpent’s question. She knew what the blessed Holy One had prohibited, that all the trees of the garden are sweet and nice and good to eat. However, she was already close to touching that tree inside the garden, and tasted in it a taste that is as hard as death. She herself had proven that by her own observation, there is fear of death, even from mere touching. For this reason, she understood the prohibition further than she had heard from her husband, as there is none so wise as the experienced.

Lest you die concerns the touching. The answer must have been quite sufficient, for who would interfere and deny another’s taste? However, the serpent contradicted her and said, You will not be doomed to die. For God knows that on the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened (Genesis 3:5). We must be exacting concerning the matter of the opening of the eyes to this place. Indeed, it informed her of a new thing, beyond her. It proved to them that it is folly to think that the blessed Holy One created something harmful and detrimental in His world. Thus, with respect to the blessed Holy One, it is certainly not a bad or harmful thing.

Instead, that bitterness that you will taste in it, when even close to touching, is only on your part, since this eating is to notify you of the stature of your merit. Thus, it is additional holiness that you need during the act, so your sole aim will be to bring satisfaction to your Maker, to keep the purpose for which you were created. For this reason, it seems evil to you, so you will understand the additional holiness required of you.

For on the day you eat from it (Genesis 2:17), meaning if the act is with holiness and purity as clear as day, then “ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.” This means that as it is certainly sweet to the blessed Holy One and completely equal, so the good and bad will be to you, in perfect equivalence, sweet and gentle.

It is still possible to doubt the credibility of the serpent, since the blessed Holy One did not tell it that Himself. Therefore, the serpent first said, for God knows that on the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened (Genesis 3:5). This means that it is not necessary for the blessed Holy One to notify you of that, since He knows that if you pay attention to that, to eat on the side of holiness, your eyes shall be opened by themselves, to understand the measure of His greatness. You will feel wondrous sweetness and gentleness in Him; hence, He does not need to let you know, as for that He instilled in you the scrutinizing force, elucidating capacity, that you may know what is to your benefit by yourselves.

It is written right after that: And the woman saw that the tree was good for eating and that it was lust to the eyes (ibid., 6). This means that she did not rely on His words, but went and examined with her own mind and understanding and sanctified herself with additional holiness, to bring contentment to the blessed Holy One in order to complete the aim desired of her, and not at all for herself. At that time, her eyes were opened, as the serpent had said, And the woman saw that the tree was good for eating.

In other words, by seeing that it was lust to the eyes before she even touched it, she felt great sweetness and lust, when her eyes saw by themselves that she had not seen such a desirable thing in all the trees of the garden. She also learned that the tree is good for knowledge, meaning that there is far more to lust and desire in this tree than in all the trees of the garden. This refers to knowing that they were created for this act of eating, and that this is the whole intention, as the serpent had told her.

After all these certain observations and she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave to her man with her, and he ate (Genesis 3:6). The text writes, precisely, with her, meaning with the pure intention only to give and not for her own need. This is the meaning of the words and she also gave to her man with her in holiness.

18) Now we come to the heart of the matter and the mistake that concerned his leg. This Tree of Knowledge of good and evil was mixed with the vacuum, meaning with the expanded form of reception upon, which the tsimtsum was implemented, and from which אוֹר הַעֶלִיוֹן (or ha-elyon), the supernal Light, departed. It has also been explained that primordial man did not posses any of the expanded form of reception in his structure which emanates from the vacuum. Instead, he emanated solely from the structure of holiness, concerned only with giving.

It is written in Zohar Qedoshim [3:83a (RM)], that primordial man had nothing from this world. For this reason, the Tree of Knowledge was forbidden to him, as his root and the whole structure of holiness are separated from the Other Side, because of their disparity of form which is the separation. Thus, he, too, was commanded and warned about attaching to it, as thus he would be separated from his holy root and die like the Other Side and the קְלִיפּוֹת (qelipot), husks, which die due to their isolation, separated from holiness and חַי הַחַיִים (Ḥai ha-Ḥayyim), the Life of Lives.

However, the adversary, which is Samael, the Angel of Death that was clothed in the serpent, came down and enticed Eve with deceit in its mouth: You will not be doomed to die. It is known that any lie does not stand if it is not preceded by words of truth [see BT Shabbat 104a]. Hence, it started with a true word and revealed the purpose of creation to her, which came only to repair that Tree, meaning to invert the great vessels of receiving to the side of giving.

It said to her that God had eaten from this tree and created the world, meaning looked at that matter in the form of “Last in deed, first in thought” (Rabbi Shelomoh Alkabetz, Lekha Dodi) and for this reason He has created the world. As we have seen above, the whole matter of the first tsimtsum was only for man, destined to invert the form of receiving to giving. This was the truth, which is why it succeeded and the woman believed it when she prepared herself to receive and enjoy solely in order to bestow. You find that at any rate, evil vanished from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, and the Tree of Knowledge of good remained.

This is because the evil there is only the disparity of form of receiving for “self,” which was embedded in him. Yet, with receiving in order to give, he is brought to his complete perfection, and thus you find that she has made the great unification, as it should be at the end of the act.

However, that sublime holiness was still untimely. She was only fit to endure it in the first eating but not in the second eating. I will explain to you that one who abstains oneself from pleasure before one has tasted and grown accustomed is not like one who abstains from pleasure after having tasted and become connected to it. The first can certainly abstain once and for all, but the other must exert to retire from one’s craving bit-by-bit until the matter is completed.

So it is here, since the woman had not yet tasted from the Tree of Knowledge, and was entirely with [a desire for] giving. For this reason, it was easy for her to perform the first eating in order to give satisfaction to the blessed Holy One in absolute holiness. However, after she had tasted it, a great desire and coveting for the Tree of Knowledge was made in her, until she could not retire from her craving, since matters had gone out of her control.

This is why our sages say that she ate prematurely, meaning before it was ripe, before they acquired strength and power to rule over their desire. It is similar to what Abba Shaul said in Yevamot, “I have eaten and I will eat more” [cf. Proverbs 30:20]. This means that even when he had explicitly heard that the blessed Holy One was enraged with him he still could not retire from it since the lust had already attached to him. You find that the first taste was from the side of holiness but the second taste was in utter filth.

Now we can understand the severity of the punishment of the Tree of Knowledge, for which all humanity are put to death. This death extends from eating it, as the blessed Holy One had warned him, for on the day you eat from it, you are doomed to die (Genesis 2:17). The thing is that the expanded form of receiving emanates into his limbs from the vacuum, and from the tsimtsum onward it is no longer possible for it to be under the same roof with the supernal Light. Hence, that eternal breath of life, expressed in the verse, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7), had to depart and depend on a slice of bread for its transient sustenance.

This life is not an eternal life as before, when it was for himself. It is rather similar to a sweat of life, a life that has been divided into tiny drops, where each drop is a fragment of his previous life. And this is the meaning of the sparks of souls that were spread throughout his descendants. Thus, in all his descendants, all the people in the world in all the generations, until the last generation, which concludes the purpose of creation, are one long chain.

It follows that the actions of the blessed Holy One did not change at all with the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. Rather, this light of life that came at once with primordial man were drawn out into a long chain, revolving on the wheel of change until the end of correction. There is no rest, even for a moment, since the actions of the blessed Holy One must be alive and enduring; “Increase in holiness and do not decrease” (BT Shabbat 21b). As is the case of man, so is the case with all the creatures in the world because they all descended from an eternal and general form on the wheel of change, as did man.

Both man and the world have an inner value and an outer value. The external always ascends and descends according to the internal, and this is the meaning of By the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread (Genesis 3:19). Instead of the previous breath of life that the blessed Holy One had breathed in his nostrils, there is now a sweat of life in his nostrils.

19) Our sages said “Satan, the evil impulse, and the Angel of Death are all one; He descends and seduces, ascends and arouses wrath, obtains authorization and seizes the soul” (BT Bava Batra 16a) [cf. Zohar 1:190a; 2:33b, 196a]. This is because two general corruptions occurred because of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. The first corruption is the matter of “ascends and arouses.” He had been tempted to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and acquired a vessel of reception of the vacuum in the composition of his body. That, in turn, caused hatred and remoteness between the eternal light of life that the blessed Holy One had breathed in Adam’s nostrils and Adam’s body.

It is similar to what they said, “‘All who is proud,’ says the blessed Holy One, ‘he and I cannot dwell in the same abode’” (BT Sotah 5a). This is so because pride emanates from the vessels of reception of the vacuum, from which the supernal Light had already departed from the time, of the tsimtsum onward. It is written in the Zohar that the blessed Holy One hates the bodies that are established only for themselves. For this reason, the light of life fled from him, and this is the first קִלקוּל (qilqul), corruption.

The second corruption is the descent of the 288 sparks that were already connected in the structure of holiness. They were given over and descended to the structure of the Other Side and the קְלִפּוֹת (qelipot), husks, so the world would not be destroyed. This is so because the structure of holiness cannot sustain and nourish people and the world, due to the hatred that had been made between the holiness and the vessels of the vacuum. This follows the law of opposites, “he and I cannot dwell in the same abode.” Hence, the 288 נִיצוֹצִין (nitsotsin), sparks, were given over to the structure of the Other Side so they would sustain man and the world all through the cycling of souls into bodies for myriad generations, as is written, to a thousand generations (Deuteronomy 7:9) until the end of correction.

Now you can see why they are called קְלִפּוֹת (qelipot), husks [or: shells]. It is because they are like the peel of a fruit. The hard peel envelops and covers the fruit to keep it from any filth and harm until the fruit is eaten. Without it, the fruit would be damaged and would not fulfill its purpose. Thus you find that the 288 sparks were given over to the husks in order to sustain reality until they connect and attain their desired goal.

The aforementioned second corruption is the matter of “and seizes the soul.” I wish to say that even that tiny part of the soul that remains for a person, as “sweat of the previous life,” is also robbed by the Other Side, through that same giving that she gives him from the 288 sparks that have fallen into her.

To understand this, you must have a clear picture of the Other Side as she really is. Thus, you will be able to examine all her ways. All the parts of reality of the lower world are branches, extending from their roots like an the imprint of a seal from the upper world, and the upper from the one above it and that upper from its own upper one.

Know that any discernment in branches of the roots is only on the basis of their substance. This means that the substances in this world are corporeal bases, and the substances in the world of יְצִירָה (yetsirah), Formation, are spiritual bases, relating to the spirituality in Formation. So it is in each and every world. However, the occurrences and the comportment in them have the same value from each branch to its root, like two drops in a pond, and like the imprint whose form is identical to the seal from which it was imprinted. And once you know that, we can seek that branch that the supernal Other Side has in this world, and through it, we will also know the root of the supernal Other Side.

We find in the Zohar [3:50a–b] that the afflictions in man’s bodies are branches of the supernal Other Side. Hence, let us take the animal species and learn from that. We find that the rush that occurs in its body through attainment of pleasure is what increases its life. For this reason providence has embedded in little creatures that every place they rest their eyes on gives them pleasure and gratification, even the most trifling things. This is so because the level of the small must increase sufficiently to proliferate, and this is why their pleasure is great. Thus, you find that the light of pleasure is the cause of life.

However, this law applies only with pleasures that influence the level in general. With an isolated gratification, however, when the pleasure is concentrated and received only by a certain part of the animal species, we find the opposite rule. If there is a defective place in its flesh, which demands scratching and rubbing, the act of scratching carries its reward with it, as one feels great pleasure pursuing it. However, that pleasure is saturated with a drop of the potion of death: if one does not manage his desire and pays the haunting demand, the payment will increase the debt.

In other words, according to the gratification from scratching, so will the affliction increase and the pleasure will turn to pain. When it begins to heal again a new demand for scratching appears, and to a greater extent than before. And if one still cannot manage his desire and pays to saturate the demand, the affliction will grow as well.

Finally, it brings a fetid drop, entirely poisoning the blood in that animal. You find that it died by receiving gratification since it is a pleasure of separation received only by an isolated part of the level. Hence, death acts in the level contrary to the pleasure allotted to the entire level.

Here we see before us the form of the supernal Other Side from head to toe. Her head is the desire to receive for herself alone, and to not give outside of herself, as is the property of the demand in the afflicted flesh with respect to the entire animal. The body of the Other Side is a certain form of demand that is not going to be paid. The repayment one makes increases the debt and the affliction even more, as with the example of receiving pleasure by scratching [cf. BT Sukkot 52b: “Rav Yoḥanan said: Man has a small member—when he starves it, it is satisfied, and when he satisfies it, it is starving”].

The toe of the Other Side is the drop of the potion of death, which robs it and separates it from the last spark of life it had left, like the drop of the potion of death that intoxicates all the blood in the animal. This is the meaning of what our sages said, “For in the end it obtains authorization and seizes the soul.” In other words, they said that the Angel of Death comes with a drawn sword and a drop of poison at its tip. The man opens his mouth, he flings the drop inside, and he dies [see BT Avodah Zarah 20b].

The sword of the Angel of Death is the influence of the Other Side, called חֶרֶב (ḥerev), Sword, because of the distance that increases according to the measure of reception, and the isolation destroys him. He is forced to open his mouth, since he must receive sustenance from her hands, until the fetid drop at the tip of the sword comes, completing the isolation till the last spark of his life-breath.

20) As a result of these two corruptions man’s body was corrupted too, as it is precisely adapted by the Formation to receive the abundance of existence from the structure of holiness. This is so because in any viable act its parts are guarded from any excess or lack. An act is not viable if its parts are imbalanced and there is some lack or excess in them. As he says: “Of all Your work not a thing have You forgotten; You did not exceed and You did not omit” (Shir ha-Yiḥud, attributed to Rabbi Yehudah he-Ḥasid).

It is an axiom that perfect actions extend from the perfect Mover. Since man [went] from the structure of holiness to the structure of the Other Side, indeed, due to the blemish in his worship by the Tree of Knowledge many parts of his body are in excess and without need. This is because they do not receive anything from the abundance of existence doled out under the authority of the Other Side, as we find with the Luz bone and also in a certain part of each and every organ.

Hence, one must receive sustenance into one’s body more than is necessary, since the surplus joins every demand that rises from the body. Hence, the body receives for them. However, the surplus itself cannot receive its share; thus, its share remains in the body as surplus and litter that the body must later eject.
In consequence, the feeding and digesting tools exert in vain. They diminish and lessen to extinction because their sentence is predetermined, as that of any imbalanced act, destined to disintegrate. Thus you find that from the perspective of the construction of the body, too, its death depends on cause and effect from the Tree of Knowledge.

Now we have been awarded learning and knowing the two contradicting, opposite conducts (see 11). The sustenance and keeping of the created beings has already passed from the structure of holiness to the structure of the Other Side. This is so because of the barnacle of the great will to receive for oneself, connected to the created beings by the eating from the Tree of Knowledge. It induced division, disparity, and hatred between the structure of holiness and the structure of the bodies of the creatures in this world.

And when the holiness can no longer sustain and nurture them from the high table, to not destroy reality and to induce an act of correction for them, it gives the collective abundance of the sustenance of reality—her 288 sparks—to the structure of the Other Side, so they will provide for all creations in the world during the correction period. For this reason the conducts of existence are very confused, since evil sprouts from the wicked and if the abundance is reduced for the creatures it certainly brings ruin and destruction. If abundance is increased, however, it brings excessive force of separation to the recipients, as our sages said, “He who has one hundred wants two hundred; he who has two hundred wants four hundred” (Qohelet Rabbah 1:34).

It is similar to the pleasure that finite and lowly flesh senses, in which greater gratification increases isolation and deficiency [cf. Sefer Yetsirah 2:2: “There is nothing good higher than עֹנֶג (oneg), delight, there is nothing evil lower than נֶגַע (nega), affliction”]. Thus, self-gratification greatly increases in the receivers and one swallows one’s fellow alive. Also, vitality of the body dwindles because the accumulated reception causes the final fetid drop to come sooner and wherever they turn they only condemn.

Now you can understand what is written in Tosafot: “When one prays that Torah will enter his body, he should pray that delicacies do not enter his body” (Tosafot, BT Ketubbot 104). This is because the form of self-love, which is the opposite of holiness, increases and multiplies by the measure of gratification that one’s body acquires. Thus, how can one obtain the light of Torah within one’s body, when he is isolated and totally opposite in form to holiness and there is great strife between them. As with all opposites: they detest each other and cannot be under the same roof.

Therefore, one must first pray that no delights or pleasures will enter his body and, as the deeds in Torah and mitsvot accumulate, he slowly purifies and inverts the form of receiving to [receiving] in order to give. You find that one resembles the structure of holiness and the resemblance and love between them returns as prior to the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. Thus, one is awarded the light of Torah since he has entered the presence of the blessed Holy One.

21) Now it is thoroughly understood why the answer of the angels regarding man’s creation, which we learned in the Midrash (see 11) is not presented. It is because even the angels of Kindness and Justice did not agree to the present man, since he has gone completely out of their influence and has become totally dependent on the Other Side. The Midrash ends: He took Truth and cast it to the earth. Said the ministering angels before the blessed Holy One “… Let Truth arise from the earth!” This means that even the angels of Kindness and Justice regretted their consent, as they never agreed that Truth would be disgraced.

This occurred at the time of the eating from the Tree of Knowledge when Truth was absent from the maintenance of reality, since the power of elucidation embedded in man by the Formation, acting by means of the sensation of bitter or sweet, was weakened and failed (see 17). This is so because the abundance of existence, which are 288 sundry aspects, were already as clear as day, connected with the structure of holiness. And as the palate tastes in eating (Job 34:3) to attract in full all that is loved and sweet, and to reject all that is bitter and bad for him, so no man shall fail with them.

However, after the first taste of the Tree of Knowledge the גַדלוּת (gadlut), expanded, form of self-reception clung to them and their body and holiness became two opposites. Then the abundance of existence, the 288 aspects, went to the clutches of the Other Side.

You find that the 288 sparks that had already been arrayed were confused again by the Other Side. Thus, a new form was actualized—a form whose beginning is sweet and whose end is bitter. This was because the form of the 288 sparks was changed by the Other Side, where the light of gratification brings isolation and bitterness. This is the form of falsehood; the first and foremost progenitor of every destruction and confusion. It is written, “He took Truth and cast it to the earth.” Thus, because of the serpent, a new aspect was added to man—the active cognitive power. It functions by discernments of true and false and one must use it throughout the period of correction, for without it benefit is impossible (see 17).

Come and see: All the confusion caused by the fall of the 288 sparks into the clutches of the Other Side. Before they tasted from the Tree of Knowledge, the woman could not even touch the forbidden thing (see 17). By mere nearness to the Tree of Knowledge, she tasted bitterness that tasted like death. For this reason, she understood and added the prohibition on touching. And after the first eating, when the Other Side and falsehood already controlled the sustenance of reality, the prohibition became so sweet in its beginning that they could no longer retire from it. This is why he said, “I have eaten and I shall eat more.”

Now you understand why the reward in Torah is intended only for ripe bodies. It is because the whole purpose of Torah is to repair the sin of the Tree of Knowledge which confused the orders of existence. It is for this repair that Torah was given, to elevate the 288 sparks to holiness once more. Then order and holiness will return and chaos will cease and humanity will attain the desired perfection solely by the discernment of bitter and sweet which was the first mode of existence prior to the sin of the Tree of Knowledge.

The prophets, too, speak only of this restoration, as is said, “All the prophets prophesied only for the days of Messiah” (BT Sanhedrin 99a). This is the matter of the cessation of the modes of existence of the world in manifest providence, as it was prior to the sin. “But as for the world to come” (ibid.) implies the realization of the matter, which is to resemble the Maker, “No eye has seen, God besides You (Isaiah 64:3)” (BT Sanhedrin 99a) [cf. Zohar 3:239b]. It is also written that in the days of the Messiah, If the family of Egypt does not go up, and comes not, they will have no rain… (Zechariah 14:18)—by means of the elucidation of good and evil as we said.

22) Now we understand the words of our sages that the blessed Holy One did not find a vessel that holds a blessing for Israel but Peace. We asked, “Why was this statement chosen to end the six orders [of Mishnah]?” According to the above we understand that the eternal breath of life which the blessed Holy One blew into primordial man’s nostrils, only for his needs, has left him since the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. It acquired a new form called Sweat of Life, meaning the universal has been divided into a great many particulars, tiny beads [of sweat] measured out among primordial man and his descendents until the end of time [see Genesis 3:19: By the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread till you return to the soil…].

It follows that there are no changes in the actions of the blessed Holy One, but rather, there is an additional form here. The universal Light of Life breathed into the nose of primordial man, which expanded into a long chain revolving on the wheel of change, body after body until the final of correction.

It turns out that he died the very day he ate from the Tree of Knowledge and eternal life left him. Instead, he was linked to a long chain by the organ of procreation (which is the meaning of coupling, called Peace [see BT Shabbat 152a]. You find that one does not live for himself, only for the entire chain. Thus, each and every link in the chain does not receive the Light of Life into itself but only conducts the Light of Life to the entire chain. This is also what you find with one’s days of life: at twenty, he is fit to marry a woman; and ten years he may wait to bear sons; thus, he must certainly father by thirty. Then he sits and waits for his son until he is forty years of age, the age of Understanding, so he may pass onto him the fortune and knowledge he has acquired by himself, and everything he had learned and inherited from his forefathers, and he will trust him to not lose it for an any reason. Then he promptly passes away and his son grasps the link of the chain in his father’s stead.

It has been explained (see 15) that the experience of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge was necessary for primordial man, as is written, Awesome in works over humankind (Psalms 66:5). This is so because one must add to his structure an outer vessel to receive surrounding light, so that two opposites will inhere in one subject sequentially. During the period of קַטנוּת (qatnut), constriction, he will be dependent on the Other Side. From the vacuum his vessels of reception will expand to their desired measure by the distinct pleasures that one receives because of them. Then, when he reaches גַדלוּת (gadlut), expansiveness, and engages in Torah and mitsvot, the potential to invert the great vessels of reception in order to give will be found. This is the main objective, called light of Truth and Seal (see 14).

However, it is known that before one clings to holiness he must retire once more from any form of receiving that he took from the table of the Other Side, as the mitsvah of love came to us, with all your heart and with all your being (Deuteronomy 6:5). Hence, what have the sages achieved with this correction if one loses everything he has acquired from the Other Side? For this reason His providence ensured the proliferation of the bodies in each generation, as our sages said, seeing that the righteous were few “The blessed Holy One stood up and planted them in every generation” (BT Ḥagigah 13b). This means that He saw that in the end the righteous would be repulsed altogether by the matter of self-gratification and thus their surrounding light would dwindle, since the outer vessel that is fit for it would be shunned by them.

For this reason He planted them in every generation because in all generations a great many people are created primarily for the righteous to bear vessels of the vacuum for them [cf. Zohar 2:212a; 3:218a; TZ 1a–b]. Thus, the outer vessel necessarily acts in the righteous involuntarily. This is so because all the people in the world are attached to one another. They affect one another, both in bodily drives and in opinions. Therefore, they necessarily bring the drive for self-gratification to the righteous, and in this manner they can receive the desired surrounding light. However, accordingly, the righteous and the wicked should have been of equal weight in each generation. Yet, this is not so and for each righteous, we find many thousands of vain ones. Yet, you must know that there are two kinds of governance in creation: a qualitative force and a quantitative force.

The force of those that hang about the feet of the Other Side is meager, contemptible, low, undesirable, purposeless, and they are blown like chaff in the wind. Thus, how can such as these do anything to wise-hearted people whose way is clear with desire and purpose, and a pillar of supernal light shines before them by day and by night (Exodus 13:21) sufficiently to bring the tiny impulses in their hearts?

Hence, He provided the quantitative force in creation, as this force does not need any quality. I will explain it to you by the way we find the qualitative force in strength, such as in lions and tigers, where because of the great quality of their strength no man will fight them. Opposite them we find strength and power without any quality as with flies. But because of their numbers no man will fight them. These transients rove through a man’s house and set table freely and it is man who feels weak against them. However, with wild flies, insects, and other such uninvited guests, although the quality of their strength is greater than domestic flies, man will not rest until he entirely banishes them from his domain. This is so because nature did not allot them the reproductive ability of flies.

Accordingly, you can see that there must necessarily be a great multitude for every single righteous one. They instill their crude drives in him by virtue of their numbers, as they have no quality whatsoever. This is the meaning of YHWH will give strength to His people (Psalms 29:11). It means that the eternal light of life, attained by the whole chain of creation, is called עֹז (oz), Strength. The verse guarantees that the blessed Holy One will surely give us that strength.

Yet, we should ask, How so? Since no one is perfect in and of himself, as our sages have written, “It is better for man not to have been created than to have been created” (BT Eruvin 13b)—why then are we sure of His eternity? And the verse ends, May YHWH bless His people with peace (Psalms 29:11)—the blessing of the children. It is as our sages said, “The peacemaker of the home has ceased” (BT Shabbat 152a)]. It is so because through children this chain is fastened and linked until the end of correction. At that time all the links will be in eternity. For this reason, our sages said, “The blessed Holy One found no vessel to hold blessing for Israel but peace, as it says: May YHWH give strength to His people. May YHWH His people with peace (Psalms 29:11)” (M Uqtsin 3:12). Since His blessing is eternal so too the recipients should be eternal.

Hence, you find that fathers link to children, making the chain of eternity fit to secure the blessing for eternity. It follows that it is peace that holds and channels the entire blessing. Therefore, our sages ended the six orders [of Mishnah] with this verse, since peace is the vessel that contains the blessing of Torah and all the mitsvot for us until the complete and eternal redemption, soon in our days, amen, and everything will come to its place in peace.

How can a Person Grasp His own Way?

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From YHWH are the steps of a man, and how can a person grasp his own way? (Proverbs 20:24).

“Come and see: All events of the world depend on numerous suzerains, yet all inhabitants of the world neither know nor consider the foundation of their existence. Even Solomon, who was wiser than anyone in the world, could not comprehend them.

He opened saying, ‘He has made everything right in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Come and see: Happy are those who engage in Torah and know how to contemplate with the spirit of wisdom! He has made everything right in its time. Every action performed by the blessed Holy One in the world, each and every one, has a rung appointed over it, whether for good or for evil, some rungs to the right, some to the left. If a person goes to the right, performing an action, there is a rung appointed to that side, offering him assistance; how many assist him! If a person goes to the left and commits his acts, the act he commits is appointed to that side, accusing him, conducting him to that side, leading him astray.

So, an act performed fittingly by a person is facilitated by the power appointed on the right. This is in its timeright in its time, for that action links with its time fittingly.

He has also set the world in their heart. The entire world and all its activity depend solely upon the desire of the heart, as it arises in the will of a human being. Happy are the righteous who attract good deeds, benefiting themselves and the whole world [cf. BT Qiddushin 40b; Sotah 3b]! Woe to those who do not know the time of that action and do not care about performing their actions in the world according to the remedy needed by the world, aligning the action with its appropriate rung. Why? Because they do not know.

So, all is given to human רְעוּתְהוֹן (re’uthon), will, as is written: yet a human cannot discover what God has done… (Ecclesiastes 3:11). And since those actions are not performed to be aligned fittingly with their rungs—that this act might be integrated in this rung, perfectly arranged—but rather according to human desire, what is written next? I know that there is nothing good in them but to be happy and do good in their life (ibid., 12). I know that there is nothing good in them—in those actions performed improperly. But to be happy with whatever befalls him and to offer thanks to the blessed Holy One and do good in his life. For look, if that action brings evil upon him through the rung appointed over it, he should rejoice in this and offer thanks since he brought it upon himself, going unknowingly like a bird into a snare.

How do we know all this? As is written: For a human does not know his time. Like fish caught in a cruel net, like birds seized in a snare, so humans are trapped in a time of calamity, when it falls upon them suddenly (ibid. 9:12). For a human does not know his time. What is his time? The time of that action that he performs, as has been said: He has made everything right in its time. So they are like birds seized in a snare. So, happy are those engaged in Torah, who know its ways and paths, so as to walk the way of truth” (Zohar 1:195b, cf. ibid. 2:134b).

“Rabbi Yehudah opened, ‘Happy is the people who know the shout of joy; O YHWH, they walk in the light of Your presence (Psalms 89:16). How essential for people to walk in the ways of the blessed Holy One and observe the commandments of Torah, so that thereby they may attain the world that is coming and be delivered from all accusations above and below! For just as there are accusers in the world below, so there are accusers above, looming over human beings [cf. M Avot 4:11].

Those who enact the commandments of Torah and walk a straight path, revering their Lord, how many advocates stand poised above them [cf. BT Shabbat 32a; ZḤ 14c (MhN)]! As is said: If he has an angel over him, one advocate among a thousand, to vouch for his uprightness, then He is gracious to him and says, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom’ (Job 33:23–24). So, happy is one who observes the commandments of Torah.

Rabbi Ḥiyya said, ‘If so, why is an angel required to be an advocate for that person? Look at what is written: For YHWH will be your confidence; He will keep your foot from the snare (Proverbs 3:26), and similarly: YHWH will guard you from all evil (Psalms 121:7)!

For the blessed Holy One sees everything that a person does in this world, whether good or evil, as is said: ‘If one hides in secret places, do I not see him? declares YHWH (Jeremiah 23:24). Rabbi Yehudah replied, ‘All is certainly so, but see what is written: Stretch out Your hand and touch his bone and his flesh…. YHWH said to Satan, [‘Here, he is in your hand, but spare his life’] (Job 2:5–6), and similarly: You incited Me against him to destroy him without cause (ibid., 3)—demonstrating that authorization is granted to the Other Side, authorization over matters of the world being given to one who, it should not be given. All these ways are concealed before the blessed Holy One, and we must not pursue them, for they are laws of the blessed Holy One, and human beings are not permitted to scrutinize them—except for the truly virtuous who know the secrets of Torah and walk in the way of wisdom, discovering those hidden elements of Torah’” (Zohar 2:32b).

“Come and see: By YHWH, a man’s steps are set, and He favors his way (Psalms 37:23). When the blessed Holy One is pleased with someone, all his steps and all his ways—all of them—are prepared for him, and He rectifies each and every one, fittingly. He favors his way—even in worldly matters.

Further, By YHWH, a man’s steps are set, and He favors his way. If a person directs his mind, רְעוּתֵיהּ (re’uteih), will, and heart toward the Holy King, following His way—the blessed Holy One favors it, the one that he paves, as if it were His own, actually! [cf. M Avot 2:4]” (Zohar Ḥadash 74a).

“Rabbi Levi said: Six things serve man—three are under his control, and three are not under his control. The eyes, the ears and the nostrils are not under his control, since he sees what is not wanted, hears what is not wanted, and smells what is not wanted. The mouth, the hand, and the foot are under his control. If he wants to, he learns Torah, while if he wants to he speaks badly, and if he wants to he blasphemes and reviles. Regarding the hand, if he wants to he can offer charity, while if he wants to he can rob, and if he wants to he can murder. Regarding the feet, if he wants to he can go to houses of theatre and houses of circus, while if he wants to he can go to houses of assembly and houses of study. But when he is worthy the blessed Holy One makes those which he controls no longer in his control. The hand: And the hand he reached out against him withered (1 Kings 13:4); the mouth: Now blessed he stays (Genesis 27:33); the foot: My son, do not go on a road with them… for their feet hurry to shed blood (Proverbs 1:15–16)” (Bereshit Rabbah 67:3, cf. Sefer Yetsirah §62; Zohar 1:195a).

“Rabbi Ḥama son of Rabbi Ḥanina said: Had it not been for these three verses, the legs of ‘the enemies of Israel’ would have collapsed. One verse: [On that day, said YHWH: I will gather the lame one, and the outcast I will take in] and to whom I did harm (Micah 4:6); and one verse: Look, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand, house of Israel (Jeremiah 18:6); and one verse: [And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit will I put within you,] and I will take away the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Rav Pappa said: From here: And My spirit I will put within you, and I will act so that you go by My statutes (ibid., 27)” (BT Berakhot 32a).

Let go, and know that I am God (Psalms 46:11).

A Jealous Fire

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“Rabbi El’azar said,… ‘You, cleaving to YHWH your God, are alive everyone of you today (Deuteronomy 4:4). Now is it possible to cleave to Shekhinah, of whom it is written: YHWH your God is a devouring fire (ibid., 24)? Rather the meaning is: whoever marries his daughter to a disciple of the Sages, conducts business on their behalf, or benefits them from his assets is regarded by Scripture as if he cleaves to Shekhinah [cf. BT Sotah 14a, where Rabbi Ḥama son of Ḥanina explains that one can approach and withstand the consuming fire of Shekhinah by imitating the divine, e.g., by clothing the naked, visiting the sick, comforting mourners, and burying the dead]” (BT Ketubbot 111b).

“The General Agrippa asked Rabban Gamaliel, ‘It is written in your Torah, For YHWH your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24). Is a wise man jealous of any but a wise man, a warrior of any but a warrior, a rich man of any but a rich man?’ He replied, ‘I will give you a parable: To what can the matter be compared? A man who marries an additional wife. If the second wife is her superior, the first will not be jealous of her, but if she is her inferior, the first wife will be jealous of her’” (BT Avodah Zarah 55a).

“Rabbi Shim’on said, ‘A word lingers here with us.’ He opened, saying, ‘Two verses are written: YHWH your God is a devouring fire (Deuteronomy 4:24), and You, cleaving to YHWH your God, are alive every one of you today (ibid., 4). We have established these verses in various places, and the Companions have been aroused by them.

Come and see: For YHWH your God is a devouring fire. The word has been discussed among the Companions: There is a fire devouring fire, devouring and consuming it, for there is fire fiercer than fire, as they have established [see BT Yoma 21b]. But come and see: Whoever desires to penetrate the wisdom of holy unification should contemplate the flame ascending from a glowing ember or a burning candle. For flame ascends only when grasped by course substance” (Zohar 1:50b–51a).

“The blue [light of a flame corresponds to] Shekhinah, the Judgment that devours sacrifices and burnt offerings. If She finds men to be as dry wood, like dry wicks without oil, which is Torah and Compassion, [She] is a fire to them and burns them” (Zohar 3:33a, Ra’aya Meheimna Tsav, cf. Zohar 2:166a).

“Rabbi Abba son of Rabbi Ḥiyya son of Abba said in the name of Rabbi Yoḥanan [son of Nappaḥa]: One who writes down הֲלַכוֹת (halakhot), ways of conduct, is as one who burns the Torah, and he who learns from them does not receive reward…. Rabbi Yehudah son of Naḥmani, the translator of Resh Laqish expounded: One may not recite oral teachings from a written document and one may not recite written teachings from memory. The house of Rabbi Yishma’el taught: ‘Write for yourself these words’ (Exodus 34:27). These words [i.e., the Written Torah] you may write, but you may not write halakhot” (BT Temurah 14b, cf. Gittin 60a–b; Maimonides, Guide of the Perplexed 1:71).

“The Companions saw the face of Shekhinah and were encompassed by fire. Rabbi Abba’s face blazed in fire from rapture of Torah. It has been taught: All that day, none of them left the house, and the house was swathed in smoke. Words among them were fresh and ecstatic as if they were receiving Torah that very day from Mount Sinai! When they departed they did not know if it was day or night” (Zohar 1:94b, cf. Vayiqra Rabbah 16:4; Avot de-Rabbi Natan B, 13).

“As to what the Rabbis have said: ‘Now is it possible for one to cleave to Shekhinah?—it certainly is!… Know and believe that there is a special quality to the essence of the purity of limbs that allows for man to hold fast to the Shekhinah even if She is a consuming fire” (Rabbi Yosef Gikatilla, Sha’arei Orah 166).