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1.01 Baal HaSulam,

“The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

What the Wisdom Is About?

This question comes to the mind of every right-minded person. To properly address it, I will pro- vide a reliable and lasting definition: This wisdom is no more and no less than a sequence of roots that hang down by way of cause and consequence, following fixed, determined laws that interweave into a single, exalted goal described as “the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world.”

1.02 Baal HaSulam,

“The Teaching of the Kabbalah and Its Essence”

What is the wisdom of Kabbalah? As a whole, the wisdom of Kabbalah concerns the revelation of Godliness, arranged on its paths in all its aspects—those that have been revealed in the worlds and those that are destined to be revealed, and in all the manners that can ever be revealed in the worlds, to the end of time.

1.03 Baal HaSulam,

The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 1, Chapter 1, Ohr Pnimi, Item 1

Bear in mind, that the entire wisdom of Kabbalah is founded on spiritual matters that do not take up time or space.

1.04 Baal HaSulam,

“The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah”

There is no other wisdom in the world where matters are so fused and intertwined by way of cause and effect, primary and consequential, as is the wisdom of Kabbalah, connected from top to bottom just like a long chain. Therefore, upon the temporary loss of but a small cognizance, the entire wisdom darkens before our eyes, for all its matters are tightly connected to one another, literally fusing into one.

1.05 Baal HaSulam,

“The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”

Many are mistaken and compare our holy Torah to ethics. But this has come to them because they have never tasted religion in their lives. I call upon them: “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” It is true that ethics and religion both aim at the same thing—to raise man above the filth of the narrow self-love and bring him to the apex of love of others.

But still, they are as far one from the other as the distance between the thought of the Creator and the thought of people. For religion extends from the thoughts of the Creator, and ethics comes from thoughts of flesh and blood and from their life’s experiences. Hence, there is an evident difference between them, both in practical aspects and in the final aim.

1.06 Baal HaSulam,

“Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 8

This explains the great difference between the wisdom of the Torah and the rest of the teach- ings in the world: Acquiring the other teachings in the world does not improve life in this world whatsoever, since they do not even render mere gratification for the torments and suffering one experiences during one’s life. Hence, one need not correct one’s body, and the labor that he gives in return for them is quite sufficient, as with all other worldly possessions acquired in return for labor and toil.

However, the sole purpose of engagement in Torah and Mitzvot is to make a person worthy of receiving all the goodness in the intention of creation, “to do good to His creations.”

1.07 Baal HaSulam,

“The Wisdom of Israel Compared to External Wisdoms”

The value of any wisdom in the world is according to the purpose that it yields. This is the goal to which all the scrutinies aim. Therefore, a wisdom without some purpose is inconceivable except for infants playing games, since to pass the time they come and this is their purpose, according to their value. For this reason, a wisdom is not evaluated by keenness and proficiency, but according to the merit of the purpose that it yields.

You therefore find that any external wisdom is only for the purpose of corporeality, which is sure to be gone today or tomorrow. In that case, it is sufficient for the subject to be as the predicate.

Although the wisdom has many advantages over these subjects, for wherever it is, it is nonetheless a spiritual object, but we have already said that it is evaluated by the purpose, which is its persistence for eternity. If the purpose is transitory and fleeting, it is lost along with it.

Now we have a standard by which to gauge the significance of the wisdom of Israel compared to an external wisdom. It concerns only the understanding of the ways of the Creator over His creations and adhering to Him. It follows that the very essence of this wisdom relies on the Creator. And because the importance of the Creator compared to His creations, which He has created, is inconceivable, the merit of the wisdom of Israel compared over external wisdoms is also inconceivable.

Because the very essence of our wisdom is ever valid and eternal, our entire wisdom will also remain eternal. And because it concerns being favored and approaching the Creator, which is the finest goal that can be perceived, one who engages in it, and certainly one who is rewarded with it, is the finest among the speaking species.

1.08 Zohar for All, Toldot [Generations],

“These Are the Generations of Isaac,” Item 190

There are several secrets of the Torah in each and every action that is written in the Torah, and there is wisdom and true law in every single word. Hence, the words of the Torah are holy words,

to show wonders from them, as it is written, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.”

1.09 Zohar for All, BeHaalotcha [When You Mount the Candles],

Passover in Its Time and Second Passover, Item 58

Woe unto one who says that the Torah comes to tell literal tales and the uneducated words of such as Esau and Laban. If this is so, even today we can turn the words of an uneducated person into a law, and even nicer than theirs. And if the Torah indicates to mundane matters, even the rulers of the world have among them better things, so let us follow them and turn them into a law in the same way. However, all the words of the Torah have the uppermost meaning.

1.10 Zohar for All, VaEtchanan,

“Leather Gowns,” Item 35

The Creator is destined to open eyes that were not wise to gaze in the upper wisdom and attain what they did not attain in this world so they would know their Master. Happy are the righteous who will be rewarded with that wisdom, for there is no wisdom like that wisdom, and no knowledge like that knowledge, and no Dvekut [adhesion] like that Dvekut.

1.11 Ramchal,

138 Doors to Wisdom

Only this is the wisdom of Kabbalah: to know the guidance of the Upper Desire, why It created all those creations, what It wants from them, and what the end of all the cycles of the world will be.

1.12 RAMAK,

Know the God of Your Father

There is one who look at the Torah and the matters only literally, but those are in disgrace for the next world for the matters there are not the literal, but their meaning.

1.13 RAMAK,

Know the God of Your Father

The secrets of the Torah clothe in allegories and riddles in the Torah because of the expansion of the Torah and their descent from the highest degrees down to this corporeal world.

1.14 Raaiah Kook,

Orot HaKodesh

The wisdom of truth teaches us the global unity, the equal side that must be found in all of cre- ation to the very top, to similarity of the form to its Maker, and how to walk by its light without failing.

 1.15 Ramchal,

Zeal for the Lord of Hosts

The true and genuine definition of the wisdom of truth is the wisdom of the procession of the operations of the Emanator, who acted to create His world and operates by sustaining it. The thing is that the Emanator wanted to arrange His actions according to one intention that came up in His thought to follow it in His work. The collection of all those processions and their ordinances is called “the wisdom of truth.”

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