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YEDID NEFESH

Excerpts from the book 'Introduction to Kabbalah' from Rabbi Y. Bar-Lev PH-D

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THE DIVINE WILL

SIMPLE WILL (EIN SOF), LIMITED WILL (SEFIROT)

The world in which we live, constructed in six Days of Creation, passed different stages. First came WILL, The DIVINE WILL to create the world. Will, like thought, is something hidden, known only to its master. The CREATION of the world is a revelation of the CREATOR'S WILL; with the CREATION of the world, it was revealed that the WILL came before HIM to create it.

Also, from G-D's CREATIONS we can draw no conclusions about the extent of HIS ABILITY. On the contrary, because we believe that the CREATOR'S ABILITY and HIS WILL are INFINITE, nothing prevents HIM from creating another world, more perfect. If, despite this, HE created the world as it is, it is because the CREATOR limited HIS WILL due to a specific PURPOSE HE set for HIMSELF. Therefore, the CREATOR, may HE be blessed, determined HIS PURPOSE to create the world, and through this goal limiter HIS WILL, fashioning the world not with HIS OMNIPOTENCE but with defined ABILITY.

There are two aspects here: 1) The INFINITE DIVINE WILL; 2) The LIMITED DIVINE WILL. Sages of the KABBALAH call the first 'SIMPLE WILL' or 'EIN SOF' (INFINITE). The second aspect is called the 'SEFIROT' (SPHERES), meaning that the CREATOR created the finite world through HIS FINITE WILL or through the SEFIROT.

The subject of the SEFIROT is fundamental to the teaching of KABBALAH. At this stage, let us state that the SEFIROT are SEGMENTS of the LIMITED WILL. The CREATOR wished to create an imperfect world, so that men with free will, through their Service of the CREATOR, can complete that which is lacking.

 

Where HE to create the universe with HIS OMNIPOTENCE, it would be perfect and there would be no room for worshiping G-D. Therefore, the CREATOR revealed only part of HIS ABILITY. In other words, the CREATOR revealed only HIS LIMITED WILL and ABILITY. HE wished to reveal HIS WILL in stages, REVELATION after REVELATION, and the SEFIROT are FORCES through which the CREATOR fashioned worlds. We will summerize by saying that the TEN SEFIROT are SEGMENTS of the LIMITED WILL, through which G-D created a limited ans imperfect universe.

We must stress that all our discussions center around the LIMITED WILL only, whereas we can in no way grasp or understand the SIMPLE WILL (EIN SOF). Further, it is forbidden to us to investigate or probe these subjects of which it is said: "Do not investigate that which is unconceivable for you".

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LIGHT AND ILLUMINATION

THE WILL OF THE CREATOR
REVEALS ITSELF THROUGH SPIRITUAL ILLUMINATION

The Purpose of the Creation is to perfect the world under the Reign of the Almighty. This perfection is accomplished by men of free will serving God. When a man wishes to reveal his will, he may speak, write, etc. How will the creatures know what they must do, how they must behave? The answer is that the Creators's Will is revealed through Illumination which He sends to the creatures. The simplest explanation of the term 'Illumination' is an inner feeling, a kind of impulse to perform a certain action. 'Illumination' is like a guideline coming from a lofty Spiritual Source.

The great Sages of Kabbalah explain that the Creator's Will reaches creatures through flashes, like rays of light shining from the sun. They use the terms 'Light' or 'Illumination' as the Will of God sent from its Source to His Creations.

Just as in the physical world the term light refers to the source of the light while illumination refers to what emanates from that source, so it is in Kabbalah. We call the Self of the Creator 'Light', while we call the Will sent forth 'Illumination'.

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