Ramchal on all not being right with the world (3)

He goes on from there to describe the various elements of the sitra achra, including the fact that it has four levels, the highest of which is a very weak and nearly-good degree of rah, and the other three of which are deeper and darker degrees of rah — all in contradistinction to the four holy worlds of Atzilut, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiyah.

As such there are two mirror-opposite but otherwise analogous systems.  And when some wrongdoers saw these two systems “they assumed there were two domains, God forbid”, since “they saw an unclean tree (i.e., system or configuration) spreading out like the holy tree, and they thought it had a lord just as the former does, God forbid. All instances of idol worship stemmed from that (misperception).”

This alludes to the idea we’d covered earlier on and which we’ll touch upon again here about the revelation of God’s Yichud undoing all rah. The implication here is that while there are in fact two systems — right and wrong — which might lead one to think that God somehow shares His sovereignty with a lord of wrong, that’s simply not so. And in fact we’ll see just how wrong an assumption that is when God’s utter sovereignty is made manifest (“when rah is subsumed into its source” as Ramchal puts it here), and it then becomes clear that rah is also under God’s control and likewise plays a part in His intentions for the universe.

(c) 2012 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org


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Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).

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