Shomer Emunim #54-55

12 Aug

Shomer Emunim #54-55


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: To be honest, I never thought that the Mekubalim would philosophically analyze those really delicate subjects, stand them up {for examination} and then resolve them with good reasoning and sensible answers. Because the way I see it, your explanations are certainly convincing to an intelligent person, and they do adequately prove the existence of the Sefiros and the higher levels, as per your Kabbalah.

And now, I’d like to request from you to also clarify an awesome contradiction that I’ve seen among the writings of the Mekubalim. They all write that Hashem’s infiniteness is pure and simple in the ultimate simplicity, and they also write that before the Sefiros were emanated, they were all hidden and contained within the Infinite, which is a very obvious contradiction. Because if those Sefiros were contained within the Infinite, Y.S., then He was not “simple”. Rather, {this would seem to indicate that} His essence was composed of parts which include His own essence AND the Sefiros, which compels one to think about Hashem in complex terms AND implies change, Chas Veshalom.

Yehoyada: You need to understand that there are many things written in the Seforim of the Mekubalim, that one who studies them without first receiving the prerequisites of Kabbalah from a wise {and experienced} Mekubal, will make many mistakes in some of the essential basics of Emunah (belief). This may lead him to misquote and/or attribute statements to the Mekubalim that they never would have even thought about. The Mekubalim did not elaborate enough in their Seforim for one who is ignorant and void of this wisdom, to begin studying this by himself. And you are now asking the same type of question that a person like that would ask. When the Mekubalim started to describe the beginning of all existences and how Hashem emanated the Sefiros, they always preceded that subject with an introduction. They said that before any action occurred, the Sefiros were hidden in His essence, and afterwards He emanated them into existence. These very brief words that they used are insufficient to satisfy the fool that’s missing this wisdom. He will not understand what they meant, and neither would you.

I will, however, explain to you what they meant, by first giving you a down-to-earth example that’s given in the Sefer Pardes [written by R’ Moshe Cordevero], in chapter 4 of the fifth gate. In his discussion of this subject, he writes: “Let’s take the example of a flint stone, that produces fire when striking it with metal. You cannot say that the fire was actually inside the stone, and that therefore, the stone is composed of as many particles as the number of sparks that can be produced by it. No rational thinker would justify that thought process. However, the power to produce fire is hidden within the composition of the stone and it is unique to that stone. So understand that there’s no separation between the stone and the capacity for the stone to produce fire, within the stone itself. This metaphor can be used to explain the concept of Hashem’s simplicity. Prior to His expansion of the lower levels, the Sefiros were all unified and were all as one within the essence of Hashem, etc.” Study there for further research. So by using this comprehensible metaphor which is logical, we can understand that when we say that the Sefiros were hidden within Hashem, it’s only because He IS the cause for everything else that would come into existence. {Without Hashem, nothing would exist nor could exist.}

The point is that you need to approach this idea with the understanding that only Hashem can comprehend His own essence and no other entity can. “Hu Yediaso, veYediaso Hu.” His essence is that which He comprehends of Himself, which only Hashem can comprehend. {“Eheyeh Asher Eheyeh” (Shmos 3:14)}. And since He knows and comprehends His own essence, He knows everything that CAN come into existence, because His essence was the true source of all that exists. {The only way that anything besides Hashem could come into existence, is only due to the fact that Hashem, THE INFINITE, has always been in existence.} However, when referring to the creations themselves, the understanding that Hashem Has of His creations is unlike our understanding of them. For if the comprehension of them were the same, then that would mean that His understanding (of those creations) is fragmented according to the various different things that are created, and are dependent on them. {Mankind sees different creations as completely different and dependant on previously created creations, which is contrary to Hashem’s understanding.} That is a dishonest premise when referring to the nature of Hashem’s completeness. Rather, He knows and understands them {as He knows and comprehends His own essence} because their origin IS His own essence. And it’s not as though He learns some new concept or idea upon creating something new. He fully understands and comprehends His new creations before He even brings them into existence, the same as He comprehends them AFTER they’re created. The uniqueness and newness of the new creation is in the creation itself. No new knowledge or idea was acquired or realized by the Creator after He created them. {From Man’s perspective, the new creation was original. From Hashem’s perspective, it’s nothing new since its origin was from His own essence.}

[This is one of the interesting deep premises in Kabbalah for what we know about the simple Oneness of Hashem. Nothing has changed in Hashem just because He made us, even though we see ourselves as changed. Our knowledge is always changing by knowing that we can make something else happen. For Hashem, it’s not something else, and His knowing of all of the process has never changed. This is one of the most difficult deep concepts within Kabbalah, to comprehend. “Hu Yediaso, veYediaso Hu.” – His essence is that which He comprehends of Himself, which only Hashem can comprehend. There is no change that occurs in Hashem, even though we see change sequentially in our world. The reality doesn’t change in Hashem even though our reality appears to change. Even though we are changing the world that Hashem gave us to change, we’re not changing Hashem. In order for man to be recipients of this world, Hashem created process. However, the process is not a change in Hashem. Hashem has no process. Hashem created process. Adam Kadmon and then all the levels afterwards.]

Now, once you understand this, then you can understand what the Mekubalim meant when they said that the Sefiros were contained within the Infinite, because since the Infinite can grasp His own essence, He can obviously grasp everything that will come into existence by Him. And since everything that exists and will come to exist is already understood {and contained} within His knowledge, they were compelled to describe the Sefiros as being contained and hidden within Him, because everything else that will come into existence is contained within THEM. The Sefiros were the blueprints and the cause of everything. But within Hashem there are no Sefiros, Chas Veshalom, because they don’t have the capacity to cause anything to happen, although they were the essence of the Creator. He is the one who knows and is the one who is known, with no complexity or implied change whatsoever, Chas Veshalom. Study the lengthy discourse in the Sefer Alima in the section called Ayin Habdulach (The Clear Vision), Section 1, Chapter 1. Also see the section called Ayin Kol (The all-seeing eye), Section 2, Chapter 10, and Section 3, Chapter 14.

Copyright © 2015 Shaul Taub

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