Shomer Emunim #40-41

22 Jun

Shomer Emunim #40-41 


Reminder: the translation is by;
 The Horonsteipler Rav; Rabbi Mordechai Twerski, Shlita,
Edited & transcribed by his talmid, Shaul Taub.
Brackets are notes by Rabbi Twerski, Braces are editors’ notes.

She’altiel: If so, then let me ask you how we’re going to do this. Why is it necessary to believe that there is such a thing as Sefiros? I would say that it’s enough if I have just a simple concept of Hashem, and that when He wanted to, He created Heaven and Earth and all the oceans, and everything that there is in the world.

Yehoyada: Anyone [of our Chachamim] that understands the concept of an Infinite Oneness, and that Hashem is void of any descriptions or any physical attributes or changes, will understand without any doubt that there is really no way to describe or to understand Torah and Mitzvos, or Davening and Korbonos, without the existence of Sefiros (unless he’s stubborn and would attempt to explain Torah philosophically instead of using Chazal’s explanations in the Talmud). So there is a definite proof that the Sefiros exist if we examine it from the perspective of Torah. For a number of reasons it’s compelling even logically. Firstly, how is it possible that any intelligent person would believe that Hashem, Y.S., created this universe only, since from the core of the purpose of creation until the highest level of existence, Hashem is outside all of those {created} levels of existence, and is constantly keeping all those levels in motion {physically or spiritually}. Even though this world, the universe as we understand it, is very great in our eyes; compared to Hashem’s infinite Oneness that has no beginning or end, it is insignificant.

Additionally, without the concept of Sefiros, Hashem’s actions would seem to define Hashem, and if something were missing in the actions, that would seem to indicate that something is missing in Hashem. So since we say that He is infinite, and has no shortcomings, it doesn’t make sense to say that He concealed His strengths and lowered Himself (referred to as “Tzimtzum”), to create this finite world only. What DOES make sense is that He first created and used the concept of the Sefiros. Another reason why we need the concept of Sefiros is that since we understand Hashem’s Oneness as a simple Oneness, then how is it possible that this fragmented world that we see is sustained by that simple Oneness? The two are opposites. [The perceived complexities of this finite world, versus His simple Oneness.] We can’t even imagine how it could be sustained by a simple Oneness without the development through the Sefiros. She’altiel, my brother, study all of this carefully, and you’ll see that one is compelled to say that beyond our universe, there must be other levels of existence, as I will soon describe.

[Logically speaking, we’re compelled to say that there ARE Sefiros because when we talk about Hashem’s infinite Oneness, it would be either impossible to describe that there should exist a physical universe or that it would be possible for the physical universe to relate to His infinite Oneness. The concept of Sefiros makes it possible to understand how His infinite Oneness (Ein Sof) could create a physical universe, and because there are Sefiros, it therefore makes it possible for us to grasp and to receive a relationship with Hashem. Hashem’s Oneness is in itself a paradox. It’s the opposite of a physical universe existing, or to be able to relate to Him. If there’s nothing in between, then it’s conceptually illogical.]

And even more so, we would need to differentiate the following thought: Is it possible for Hashem to create levels of existence that are more spiritual and loftier than our world, or does He not have the power to do that? If you say that Hashem has the power to create THIS universe only, then you’re limiting His wholeness and His infinite capacity, because you’re limiting His functioning to a very lowly physical action. No reasonable person would say that. However, if you say that He CAN create levels of existence that are more spiritual and loftier than this universe, but He just didn’t want to create anything other than this physical world, if so, then you’re admitting that He CAN create a better world that is more spiritual and loftier than this universe. You would therefore have to say that since He CAN, then He must have created a higher level of existence, since all our Chachamim [and philosophers] agreed that the reason for creation was to impart good to others something other than Himself, for He is the ultimate good, and the definition and nature of good is to give good to something else. If so, if you say that Hashem COULD create and give greater benefit than that which we have in the physical world, and He doesn’t do it, then He’s not really complete good, because He’s not giving good in its entirety. Because then He’s holding back from giving that which He could give. Chas Veshalom one should say that Hashem has that flaw.

I have presented to you a very clear proof that beyond this physical world, there exists a level of existence that is much loftier and more spiritual than our world. Beyond that exists a level of existence that is even loftier. So we go up levels through the process of cause and effect, from the lowest level {our universe} to the highest level, and ultimately arrive at the first cause {level} that the Creator conceived of, and that’s what we call “Keser Elyon” (“The Highest Crown”). We’re therefore compelled to understand that Keser Elyon IS the highest existence that’s complete, because since Hashem is complete and a simple Oneness, and He is the ultimate good, and it is His will and His desire to benefit others, therefore Hashem would have emanated that first effect with the most complete aspect that could be, until ultimately there would be nothing that could be higher or more complete than that first cause. This is what the Ra’avad writes in his introduction to the Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Creation): “The cause of all causes compels one to say that there is a Keser Elyon (The Highest Crown), which is a concept that is simple in the ultimate completeness and the ultimate simplicity, until we say that there is no difference between Him and this first cause except that He is the cause and this is the effect.” Therefore we find that this term called Keser Elyon is the very first generated step which is the ultimate simplicity that can be conceived with the one exception that it’s not equal to Hashem because the infinite is its cause.

Now, since the ultimate first cause that the Infinite brought and emanated, was the most simple and complete as it could be for us to understand, and between that first cause and this physical world there is really a great spiritual distance and a tremendous difference, therefore we are compelled to use the following terms of the steps that are between that first cause and our world. These are the four levels of creation: Atzilus (Emanation), Briyah (Creation), Yetzirah (Formation), and Asiyah (Action). Through the power of the Infinite, these four descend and interconnect one from the other, one level following the next, each level of existence lower than the previous one, until we ultimately arrive at OUR physical universe with its physical foundations, which is the very purpose of creation. We find therefore that the very structure of the world and the various levels of existence are completely developed and are missing nothing. The knowledge of all these levels of existence, how they are all connected one to another, what keeps them going and how they’re structured, is what the wisdom of Kabbalah defines.

[Summary: Since we recognize that Hashem’s infinite Oneness and our finite existence are somewhat paradoxical one to the other, you must say that there are many levels that Hashem would have created in order to go from infinite to finite. Kabbalah is there to teach us how that process works. {Hashem’s blueprints of creation}]

Copyright © 2015 Shaul Taub

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