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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Magical Moments of Mesorah VII - Rav Ashlag

"I will tell him the story that happened with me, from the beginning to the end,  due to which I merited the wisdom [of Kabbalah], in His great mercy:

“On the Twelfth of the month of Cheshvan, on Friday morning, a man came to me. I discovered that he was a great and wondrous scholar of Kabbalah and of other branches of knowledge. Immediately as he began speaking I sensed and felt the wisdom of God in him, and all of his words were spoken with great amazement and splendor. With this I believed very much with my entire being. He promised to tell me the wisdom of Truth comprehensively. I learned with him for three months after midnight in his home. Mostly we focused on the [practical] ways to holiness and purity. Yet every time I begged him to tell me a secret of Kabbalah, he began to say the basic points but would not completely reveal it to me. Clearly I had this intense longing, and after intensely pleading with him again he revealed one secret. I was boundlessly joyful.

“As this continued to happen I began to acquire some egotism, and the more egotism I acquired the further my holy Master distanced himself from me. Unbeknownst to me this continued for three months, until the last few days I did not find him at home at all. 'I searched for him and did not find him.' Then I realized he was distancing himself from me, and I was deeply pained. I began to better my ways. On the ninth of the month of Nisan, in the morning, I found him and I sought to pacify him and then we were reconciled as before. He told me a big secret regarding “a mikvah measured and was found lacking,” and of course I was ecstatic. Yet I saw that he was becoming physically weak, and I did not leave his house. The next day, on the tenth of Nissan, the year of 1919, he left this world, may his memory protect us and all of Israel.

“The magnitude of my pain cannot be written, for my heart was full of hope to gain wisdom and knowledge. And now I was left naked and destitute, and even what I received from him was forgotten because of the great sorrow. From then on my eyes looked heavenward with limitless longing and desire.  I did not give rest for even a single moment, until I found favor in the eyes of my Creator and Rock, Blessed and Exalted. The merit of my holy Master stood for me, and my heart was increasingly opened to the supernal wisdom, like a flowing river. I even remembered all of the secrets that I received from my Master, in Hashem’s compassion. 'Blessed is Hashem who gave me life and sustained me!' How am I able, a destitute person like myself, to thank God – even from the beginning He knew that I was lacking in intellect and understanding to even give thanks and praise for his tremendous beneficence. But who can tell Him what to do?  My holy Master was a business man and he was well-known in the city as a trustworthy merchant. But no one recognized his knowledge of Kabbalah, and he did not give me permission to reveal his name."

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