R’ Ashlag’s “Introduction To The Zohar”: Ch. 35

             The first or “mineral” stage of the ratzon l’kabel is its initial appearance in the physical world. It only has only one potential: that of movement, the one that all inanimate beings have. And (aside from that it’s also true that) by all appearances (it seems that) none of its details move.

On a surface level, inanimate entities don’t move. They’re said to have a “potential” for movement here because in classical terms everything that exists is said to be a combination of actualizations and potentials (even when those potentials aren’t actualized).

We now know that inanimate entities do in fact move on a microscopic level at least, so Ashlag says that their “details” or smallest components don’t move “by all appearances” only.

Still-and-all the argument is that while the ratzon l’kabel is stiff and inchoate at this point it nevertheless does exist, and that it will grow more and more dynamic as it passes from here to the “vegetative”, “animate”, and “verbal” stages.

            For what the ratzon l’kabel does (at bottom) is create needs which then generate enough movement for those needs to be met.

As we’d explained, a ratzon l’kabel is a “willingness, wish, or intent to (only) accept, receive, or take things” (see 7:2). As Ashlag explains here, its modus operandi is to demonstrate a “need” for something or another (which is really only a desire, but becomes a “need” by growing louder and louder), which then sets off a vague, blunt, and blind spontaneous “itch” that brings about the motions needed to have itself “scratched”.

            But since the ratzon l’kabel is minimal (at this point) it only prevails over the whole (inanimate) thing while seemingly not prevailing over its details.

That is, since the ratzon l’kabel is indeed minimal by this point, it has little effect.

(c) 2011 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org

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