Shomer Emunim #52-53

5 Aug

Shomer Emunim #52-53


She’altiel: I’d like you to clarify whether the Creator could have created this world without all those procedures and different levels of existence, or could He not bring this world into existence without them? If you say that He could not have created it without those different levels that you mentioned, then you’re attributing a flaw to Hashem, Chas VeShalom. And if you say that He DID have the power to create this world without all those different levels, then the question comes back, why was it necessary to create all those different existences?

{Translator’s note: The following paragraph(s) are rearranged from the original Hebrew text to flow correctly in English.}

YehoyadaThere is no doubt that since The Infinite One has no limitations, there’s nothing that would hold Him back from creating this world without all of those higher preceding levels. But since a great part of Hashem’s completeness is the giving of good, for the nature of good is to benefit others, and as I already told you (in section 41); something that is finite would not be derived from that which is infinite, since only pure good would come forth from pure good. Therefore, we can understand why it was necessary for Hashem to withhold some goodness in order to produce an inferior and physical creation, which is this world, by going through all the tens of thousands of different steps, where each step progresses and interconnects to the next, until it reaches our world. Even if you would want to say that it would have been enough if Hashem emanated only the first step which we described before; the Emanation of Adam Kadmon in its purest simplicity, which was an action that was as complete as the one who caused it; and then after Adam Kadmon to create this physical world without all the other links in between Adam Kadmon and this world, you also can’t say that because of the very same reason that we said before. That since the world that comes after Adam Kadmon has the ability to receive a great part of the completeness of Hashem, and to be at the level of Atzilus as is the developmental process of creation, why would The Infinite, The Origin of good Who wishes to impart that good to others, hold back goodness and create this physical world at the level of Asiyah – Action? Therefore, since The Infinite, Y.S., would not hold back goodness from anything that CAN receive it, we’re compelled to say that there MUST be many other levels of existence that preceded this world. The reason is because He first emanated the highest level that is possible to exist which is Adam Kadmon, and after that the rest of the levels and existences that emerged and diminished in loftiness one after the other, through the process of cause and effect, until this physical world. And by this process, each and every level received as much of Hashem’s G-dliness that it could.

A 2nd reason why it was necessary and beneficial to use Sefiros as a description, is because had the world been created without the implementation of Adam Kadmon and the emanated Sefiros, besides what I said before that it’s unfeasible (to create this world without all those intermediate levels) because of the reason that the nature of good is to bestow good {as stated before; only pure good would come forth from pure good}, it would also conceal Hashem’s G-dliness. What we mean by this is that it is well known and accepted that it is beyond the capacity of anything existing in a lower or even higher level, to truly grasp the existence of The Infinite. However, by observing His actions we are compelled to believe in His existence. By merely observing the greatness of this physical world, the consistent reliability of the orbital movements {of the Earth, Moon, planets and myriad of stars and galaxies}, the mind-boggling laws of nature resulting from all those actions {where if one of them would change or stop, nothing could exist}, and the amazing number of things that occur throughout all of the multiple species of this world [the observation of nature]; all that compels us to say that there MUST be a Creator with unfathomable wisdom and unlimited powers.

Therefore, had He brought into existence only this world, we would believe that the Creator, Y.S., went from being concealed, to being known, and that there was only ONE cause and effect that occurred. We would therefore think and imagine that that was all there is to grasp, as Aristotle and his followers concluded. {Had Hashem brought into existence only this world, we would believe that He went from being the only entity in existence – thereby unknown, for there was nothing yet in existence to acknowledge His existence, to being known by His new creations, and that Hashem created only ONE existence; this physical finite universe, in one step. From nothing to finite, as in the theory of the “The Big Bang”. We could therefore have rationalized that since this physical world was the only thing created, therefore, the physical could define who He is, and therefore Hashem is comprehensible, as Aristotle and his followers concluded.} [If there was only The Infinite Creator and this world, with no levels in between them, we might think that we could comprehend Him. The creation of The Sefiros helps us to realize that we can’t.]

[In the following paragraph, R’ Yosef Irgis describes concepts that we’re taught through our Mesorah. He’s not merely describing what the worlds are, he’s describing what we were given as the ability to grasp. We’re taught to understand that there is a higher level, how to grasp that higher level, and then a higher level, and then to even grasp the highest level. So ultimately we were given the tools to theorize or even comprehend, even Adam Kadmon. Our Mesorah has given us these amazing tools, to enable us to grasp that which our intellect cannot.]

However, thanks to the illuminating teachings of our Mesorah, that we, Hashem’s people, have received, it is possible for us to go beyond the limitations of our intellect and begin to grasp the almost intangible level of Malachim known as the world of Yetzirah. (See Etz Chayim, Gate 47, Chapter 3). [We’re then taught, and can begin to understand, that] from the level of Malachim we continue upwards to the level of Kisay – The Throne, known as the world of Briyah – Creation. [And that] the world of Briyah is as abstract to Malachim, as Malachim are to humans. [We’re further taught, and can understand, that] above the level of Kisay – The Throne, we rise to the loftier level of Sefiros, known as the world of Atzilus – Emanation. [And that once again], the world of Atzilus is as abstract to the Kisay, as the Kisay is to Malachim. Even The Sefiros [within the level of Atzilus] are comprised of ten levels where each level is loftier than the next. [Our Mesorah then teaches us, and we can understand, that] all {the above levels} are as a garment to Adam Kadmon. [And that] even within Adam Kadmon there is a refinement of one aspect to the other, until we arrive at the Keser – the Crown of Adam Kadmon, which is called Keser Elyon – The Highest Crown. This is the ultimate purest simplicity that can exist, which is in itself as a Throne to the Infinite.

So therefore, even though it is not possible for us to grasp or to comprehend the Essence of Hashem, Y.S., never the less, there’s no doubt that it’s easier to appreciate His greatness and awesome capacity by one that acknowledges the aforementioned actions and completed effects [the many levels of existence], where one is loftier than the next, and that Hashem is even loftier and greater than all of them; than by one who believes in the existence of Hashem only through observation of this physical world. Therefore, Hashem’s pure wisdom concluded to bring into existence many levels, one loftier than the next, in order to reveal and proclaim His great power and His G-dliness. As is written in The Zohar, Parshas Bo, Page 42b, that The Infinite emanated all these emanations so that He can be comprehended, for one who comprehends that the Infinite is higher than all of the levels of Asiyah, Yetzirah, Briyah and Atzilus, is compelled to acknowledge His amazing existence. This is because we now know that He is not Adam Kadmon, nor is He one of His lights that are so amazing. He is not one of the Sefiros that are within the world of Atzilus, nor is He within the levels of Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. He is loftier and exalted above and beyond all of them and has no limitations whatsoever. So in order for mankind to acknowledge and understand the greatness of His unlimited powers and His awesomeness, He emanated these emanations and all the Sefiros, and all the other levels of existence.

A 3rd reason why Hashem deemed it necessary {and beneficial} to emanate the concept of the Sefiros was so that we can understand how Hashem manages, directs and controls this world, for it is well known and unanimously accepted that The Infinite is the purest simplicity that can be. We cannot attribute to Him nor imagine Him having personality traits such as justice, compassion, anger, rage, change, boundaries, nor any type of attribute. And even though the Torah is filled with all those descriptions and concepts that seem to attribute themselves to Hashem Yisborach, and even though all those concepts are really necessary to understand Hashem’s intervention and direction of everything that exists, if The Infinite would not have the aforementioned attributes contained within Him, the whole concept of Hashgacha would not apply. If we would attribute those attributes to Him, then we could describe changes within Him and He would no longer be the purest of all simplicities. [The attributes are contained within Him, but they’re not His.] That is why the Sefiros were necessary, for they are the attributes that are able to be described in personality terms and descriptions that we mentioned. And with those descriptions and attributes, Hashem’s infinite Oneness, Y.S., is able to direct and control all of the concepts that we discussed. {All of the various aspects and concepts of the spiritual and physical worlds, including Hashgacha, creation, etc.} And yet none of this really touches on our ability to conceive Him in any way that causes a change in Him at all, as was clarified before, with great wisdom. [The very concept of Hashgacha, that Hashem manages and directs and controls everything in the entire universe, compels us to use Sefiros to describe what’s happening. All of what we understand and we can grasp in the universe is all managed by His infinite wisdom.]

A 4th reason is so that we can understand how Tfilah (prayer) works. Since The Infinite has neither names nor descriptions, and He doesn’t change His actions from one action to another [He doesn’t change His mind], so how can we ever Daven to Him? And how do our Tfilos (prayers) get Him to change His will from one will to another or from one level of influence to another? Therefore, it compels us to say that there are Sefiros, because if so, then we can affect change without changing Him at all. Because any change that we see, is a change within the structure of the Sefiros [within the world that He created for us]. They are NOT changes that happen in Him at all. Therefore, through the means of the Sefiros we can use the attributes of Rachum VeChanun Erech Apayim (compassionate, considerate and patient) and all the other names and descriptions that we referred to; as in the introduction to the Sefer Otzros Chayim, [where Reb Chaim Vital teaches us] the teachings of the Ari, Z”LHH. Study also the Sefer Pardes [by Reb Moshe Cordevero], Gate of Kavannah, Chapter 2, for further research; as well as all the other Seform that delve into the depths of Kabbalah.

There’s really no need to expound on this any further. For one that is confused and has difficulties understanding the concepts of Kabbalah, why you need to have this or that (all of the different levels of creation), what I’ve said thus far is sufficient. For as I’ve enlightened you correctly, there is a reason and a need for all of them. It helps for the purpose of man’s need for analysis. Additionally, we need to acknowledge the existence of the Sefiros in order to understand the simple meaning of many sentences in our Holy Torah, because on one hand we DO have to read the Torah somewhat literally. Therefore, one who knows and comprehends the concept of The Infinite’s simple Oneness, certainly would never be able to learn and comprehend the Torah literally, unless you acknowledge the existence of the Sefiros and all of the different levels that there are. [The reason is because the Torah uses descriptions to describe Hashem. So if you say that Hashem is pure simplicity, how can you translate the Torah literally? The descriptions in the Torah can be understood even literally since it’s describing the actions that take place within the Sefiros.] The same applies to the whole concept of the Mishkan [which is a microcosm of creation], and all of the Karbanos – sacrifices [that are designed to create a relationship with Hashem]. Anyone that looks into the intricate details of those concepts (of the Mishkan and Karbanos) will realize that there’s no way to understand how they can make a difference, unless you have the concept of understanding the secrets that lie within the Sefiros, and how all of these things have an affect, one level after the other. [So if there’s one level after another coming down, there’s one level after another going up. We can therefore do a physical act and effect all of the levels of creation going back towards the infinite will of Hashem. That’s why we have a Mishkan and Karbanos and Tfilah. We can do the actions on a physical level, which then effect and effect and effect, etc. If we understand how it “comes down to us”, then we can understand how we can “go back up”.]

And if this is still not enough for you, I want you to understand the truth. The questions of why it was this way or why it needed to be that way, would only be asked by those who are searching philosophically. And through their inquiries and their doubts they manufacture distorted thoughts and then find satisfactory answers to their doubts. But for us, Hashem’s nation, they’re not questionable because we don’t enter into discussions of G-dliness nor do we attempt to understand the process due to doubts, which would therefore force us into the difficult process of circular reasoning in order to resolve those doubts. Rather, we begin the discussion with the premise that we received all of this, and a truthful Mesorah from what Moshe [and all of Bnei Yisrael] received at Har Sinai, along with the grasp and clarity of prophecy. Therefore, just because you don’t understand the reason for this concept, don’t let that contradict the truth of what we received from Sinai when Hashem revealed His G-dliness to us. The Torah was not given in order to reveal His G-dliness, just to satisfy the concept of those who believe that they’re wise through their doubts and their inquiries. It was given with a true understanding of Hashem’s G-dliness, of what Hashem has created, and His infinite interventions (Hashgacha), which is not within the human intellect to grasp at all. We have this because of clarity of prophecy.

[There’s a difference if you approach this topic with recognition that we have the clarity that was given to us through prophecy, versus searching for clarity through the doubts of the human mind. This clarity was GIVEN to us. Therefore, everything that we have satisfies our questions, rather than trying to find clarity through questions, doubts and inquiries.]

Copyright © 2015 Shaul Taub

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