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13.11.13

In terms of Kabalah

I wanted to mention a small point about Isaac Luria  [האריז''ל the Ari ]and the famous system of  the Reshash [Shalom Sharabi]. We know that the Reshash did base his interpretation of Isaac Luria on that essay called Derush Hadaat [דרוש הדעת essay concerning Intelligence] which does not show up in any of the writings of the Ari himself. And I have on occasion found things in the Ari concerning Daat that do not seem to go along with that Drush Hadaat. But on other occasions I find things in the Ari that seem to indicate clearly what the Reshash was saying.
 A good example of this concerns the pitcher (כד) of water that Rebbecca lowered into the well when she met Eliezer, the servant of the patriarch Abraham. In one place the Ari says the crown of "Girl" (כתר דנוקבא) has only two pitchers--the two lower thirds of the glory of Man (שני שלישי התפארת של זעיר אנפין). In that place the Ari is talking clearly about the vertical direction. In another place he says the two side pitchers are taken away and she is left only with the middle one. Unless you say like the Reshash you are stuck with an open contradiction.

But the main thing that I think Luria is trying to get at does not seem to come through learning Kabalah.

While  for me learning the Eitz Chaim עץ חיים gave me a good orientation, but still when I got to Israel, it seemed to me that the actual experiences of attachment with God came not through learning Kabalah, but rather by talking with God in  a forest. I was in Safed at the time, so there were lots of areas to wander around in those days.  Even I was hoping to spend more than one day --and make it an over nigher. But  I never did. My drive for serving God was I am sad to say highly limited. I saw the importance of Hitbodadut {conversation with God} but   and of fasting also. But never had the kind of drive that Bava Sali had when he did fasted for weeks  On one hand I felt a responsibility to come home to my wife at night so she would not feel alone. But that tuned out later to be  false reasoning. She would have done a lot better in life if I had gone all out towards the tzadik direction instead of my general lukewarm approach.