R’ Ashlag’s “Introduction To The Zohar”: Ch. 39

1.

     Now that it has been explained that God created everything in order to bestow pleasure upon His creatures…

See Ch’s 6-7.

     … so that they could know Him and His greatness, and accept all the goodness and delight He’d prepared for them to the extent enunciated in the verse, “Is Ephraim (not) My precious son? Is he (not) a darling child? For whenever I speak about him I earnestly remember him and my innards are moved by him” (Jeremiah 31:19)…

See 33:2.

     … It’s obvious, then, that this intention doesn’t apply to the mineral (realm), or (even) to the great heavenly bodies like the earth, the moon, or the sun, however effulgent or immense (they are). And (it likewise doesn’t apply) to the vegetable or animal (realms either), since they aren’t even aware of others of their own species, and thus can’t sense Godliness or God’s beneficence. (It) Only (applies to) humankind, since it (alone) is aware of others of its kind.

2.

     (But it’s mostly relevant to those who abide by God’s mitzvah-system, for it only comes to fruition) after delving in Torah and mitzvot which serves to overturn a ratzon l’kabel to a willingness to bestow and (thus) enables us to arrive at an affinity with God.

See 11:2, 14:3.

     (For when we) attain to all the stages that had been prepared for us in the upper worlds termed N.R.N.C.Y., we become qualified to satisfy God’s intention behind the creation of the world.

See 32:1.

     (It’s) thus (clear that) all of creation came about for mankind’s sake alone.

Here’s the gist of this vital chapter’s argument. We’re taught that “the only reason God created the world was to grant pleasure to His creations” (6:1). But He “had to have created a willingness to accept all the pleasure and goodness He’d planned for them” (7:1) — and in fact, “all of creation, from start to finish, is nothing other than (the creation of) the ratzon l’kabel” (7:3).

But since God derives satisfaction from granting His creatures pleasure to “the extent to which they sense that it’s He who’s bestowing it” to them (33:2), it stands to reason that there would have to be some entities that couldn’t sense that (minerals), others that could only sense it to a limited extent (vegetatives), others that could sense it fairly much (animals), and others yet that could truly sense God’s presence and benevolence (humankind).

Yet most of mankind obviously cannot sense God’s presence and benevolence, so what is it that enables us to indeed be aware of that? The mitzvah-system. Since it enables man to “refine his inborn ratzon l’kabel and … to draw a holy soul (i.e., a full N.R.N.C.Y.) downward from its root … (and to eventually) gain an essential affinity with his Creator” (11:2) and to thus satisfy God’s intention for creation.

(c) 2011 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org

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