Shomer Emunim #B12-B13

9 Feb

Shomer Emunim #B12-B13


She’altiel: My soul is happy and rejoices in what you’ve said, for it enlightens the imperativeness of the existence of the Creator like the light of the sun, and that the entire world hangs upon His infiniteness. As well as the remaining principals that all radiate from those ideas, which are really the cornerstones of Torah and Wisdom. Now I’d like to ask you to explain to me what His ultimate purpose was for the creation of all the worlds, because there’s no doubt that it’s impossible to say that the Infinite created ALL of existence for nothing and without a purpose. And even though I already read how the Ari, Z”LHH, in the Sefer Adam Yashar, Section 1, delved into this discussion; I, with my limited understanding, could not descend into the depths of his mind. He wrote that the reason for all the worlds was because Hashem needs to be complete in all of His actions and in the use of all the names [terms] of His greatness, loftiness and glory. And had He not brought all of His actions and potential to fruition, then He would not be, so to speak, recognized as complete, etc. The Ari’s explanations are vague and I did not understand them, because it appears to me from what he’s saying, that the Infinite is more complete because of the world, than He would have been had He remained alone, without it. And THAT, one cannot say, because Hashem is self-complete and doesn’t need anything else besides Himself at all. For He does not acquire any sort of completeness or benefit from anything that exists, as you said in the 4th principal. So therefore, please explain to me what the Ari meant.

YehoyadaWhat the Ari, Z”LHH, meant to say was that the whole purpose of creation was to give benefit to something other than Himself. Because since He is the absolute good, and goodness is part of His essence; therefore, He created the worlds in order to bestow goodness, and benefit something other than Himself. And even though you might still question this reasoning, because you might say that if He benefits by benefiting something else, then He’s helping Himself by benefiting something other than Himself, and that would somewhat indicate that He’s missing something, and that through creation He’s completing Himself, which would imply multiplicity. And if He DIDN’T have a benefit by giving benefit to something else, it brings us back to the same question all over again, that why did He make the effort to create all those different worlds? That’s what the Ari, Z”LHH, meant when he said that the purpose of Creation was so that He would be recognized, so to speak, as being complete, through the action of Creation. And what he meant by that, was that the act of Creation was not to receive any benefit or completeness that He was missing, but rather to bring His completeness into action.

[It’s still a little bit of a paradox,] So the idea behind this is that the ultimate purpose of action has two different aspects. The first approach would be to benefit an ultimate purpose for something other than Himself, such as a person who makes the effort to acquire wealth or wisdom or some sort of completeness that he was missing before. Using that approach, it’s impossible to say that that’s the purpose for Creation, because the Infinite is not missing any completeness because all completeness is within Him. And as we know, He has no multiplicity. So you cannot say that He acted in order to acquire completeness that was missing in Him.

The 2nd approach is that the action that took place, occurred because it’s the ultimate expression of His own nature of completeness to do so, such as one that is a good and generous person, who gives to others as is his nature to do good, and not for personal gain or praise. And THAT’S the approach that the Ari, Z”LHH, said was the intent of Creation. That is, that the Infinite is goodness in its entirety, that every completeness is gathered and concealed within His simple essence before Creation and after Creation. His power then, is the same as His power now. And He wanted to create the worlds not in order to add completeness to Himself; not because by giving a benefit to other existences that would benefit from Him, that He becomes any more complete Himself; but rather because that’s the way of good and completeness; to bestow goodness and instill completeness and existence. So the same thing can be said about Hashem, [that since He is complete good,] He therefore wanted to create worlds for the ultimate purpose of bestowing goodness and kindness, so that those existences will be able to benefit from Him. For by their receiving His goodness, and understanding His great completeness, they will ascribe to Him such attributes as “compassionate” and “kind”. The same would then apply to all the other names and titles that we attribute to Him, and then He would be recognized, so to speak, as complete.

So now that I explained to you the Ari, Z”LHH’s perspective on the purpose of creation, that it was so that Hashem could bestow goodness on something other than Himself, we can understand what our task is, and how we relate to the Infinite. For our intentions are to complete and to unify the Sefiros through our actions and Mitzvos or through prayers, so that they {the Sefiros} will be prepared to receive His light and His influence. THAT’S what’s called serving the Infinite. Because even though He, Y.S., receives no benefit from our efforts, never the less, since His entire objective is to bestow goodness upon something other than Himself, therefore, by connecting and unifying all of His attributes, and all of the Sefiros through Torah, Mitzvos and prayer, we cause all of those levels to become complete and prepared to receive His influence and His goodness. And THAT’S called serving Hashem because Hashem is not served by our Tfilos and Mitzvos, but by bringing close all of the attributes, and all of the Sefiros to Him. In other words, through this {our Tfilos and Mitzvos}, all of the higher levels become prepared to receive His influence, and then share that influence with the lower levels. THAT is the ultimate purpose of creation, which is to benefit, as we discussed earlier. R’ [Moshe Cordevero] already wrote about this in length, in his Sefer Alimah, in the section called Ayin Kol – The All-Seeing Eye, Tamar 2, Chapters 2 and 18. Refer there for more research.

[So he’s adding another dimension to the discussion which is quite fascinating, because he’s saying that our Tfilah doesn’t change Hashem. Our Tfilos and our Avodah changes the Sefiros, which can receive the infinite benefit from Hashem, and then pass that benefit along to us.]

Copyright © 2016 Shaul Taub

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