18 Iyar 5779 / Thursday, May 23, 2019 | Torah Reading: Bechukotai
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Nothing New Under the Sun    

Nothing New Under the Sun

Ultimately, Hashem will reveal His unity and bring the evil back into the good. Don’t think this is new, for there’s nothing new under the sun, for this is inherent in creation…


Part 44 of "138 Openings of Wisdom" by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato

Opening 30, part 2
2. The second thing we have to know derives from the first. This is that the degree of the actual Tzimtzum itself is what made the Place the way it is. What this means is that, even following the pathway of limitation, the world could have been made differently. For the All-Powerful certainly includes everything, and thus a variety of different possible kinds of places could have been brought into existence for the lower realms, all included in the All-Powerful. If so, only that which the All-Powerful wanted to leave from among all the different hypothetical possibilities actually remained as the Place made for the lower realms and beings. And how was it that this remained? That which He did not want to exist departed, including all these possible places that He did not actualize. If so, we may say that the Place that remained was determined by the measure of that which He removed. Had He removed more, the place would have been less than it is, yet the worlds still would have existed. Had He removed less, the worlds would have been greater, but they still would have existed. If so, it is the degree of the Tzimtzum that makes things go they way they go now.
If we seek a reason for this degree of Tzimtzum, we could answer: "And God saw all that He made, and behold it was very good" (Genesis 1:31) -- we cannot speculate about this, for it is outside the bounds of our knowledge, as explained earlier (see Openings 14-15). Nevertheless, it is possible to give a satisfactory answer even to this, namely that the Supreme Will knew that turning evil back to good would only be applicable under a graded, measured order and not under some other kind of order.
...that the government of the universe should follow its course until the end. For under the present order, everything is based on choice, reward and punishment, with all the associated flaws and defects. This is certainly the result of the Tzimtzum, where the origins of strict judgment lie rooted. Afterwards Eyn Sof, blessed be He, will want to bring the evil back to good through the revelation of His unity. However you should not think that the latter is a new path that will come into existence only later. The underlying principle here is: "There is nothing at all new under the sun" (Kohelet 1:9). From the very outset everything was prepared in this way. Eyn Sof, blessed be He, calculated the entire governmental order the way it would truly be from beginning to end. Even though the repair itself appears to be the very opposite of the Tzimtzum and what resulted from it, the truth is that He calculated it this way from the very outset and produced the Tzimtzum accordingly.
This means that flaws can exist... This is bound up with the concealment of perfection that I have mentioned. Since Eyn Sof, blessed be He, is the ultimate perfection, it is quite impossible to ascribe any deficiency whatever to Him, for if there were any possible deficiency in Him, His perfection is sufficient to negate it. The negation of any possible deficiency is intrinsic to Him because of His axiomatic perfection.
However, His ability to negate any possible deficiency remained potential as long as there was never an actual deficiency that His perfection would have to negate. Until an actual deficiency came into existence, we would have had no clear knowledge at all of how that perfection operates to negate all deficiencies, for the light is only discernible out of darkness. As long as we do not know what deficiencies the darkness causes, it is impossible to know the good and perfection caused by the light. In order to demonstrate this clearly in actuality, it was necessary to produce a work in which perfection is invisible. Then all the deficiencies found within this concealment would become visible, so that with hindsight we can know the deficiencies which the primordial perfection negated.
This is the key to understanding the Sefirot as they appear within the Residue. The Sefirot constitute the governmental order of reward and punishment, and were made in accordance with the concealment of perfection. It is because of this that the flaws and defects exist in actuality, since they are contingent on the fact that the government is subject to the rule of strict judgment, and the bestowal of good hangs in the balance because there is a barrier which impedes it. This is not so in the case of perfection, which has no impediment whatever.
...but in the end, everything will return to the final state of repair. For the existence of flaws and defects when perfection is concealed is clear and complete proof that perfection must be their remedy, since without the concealment of perfection, they did not exist. Even now in the encompassing Eyn Sof -- the place of perfection -- they do not exist, while in the place from which He is concealed, they do exist. However, we must say that the knowledge of His perfection is still not complete. For although we have actually seen the flaws and defects and proved that His perfection is what rectifies them -- since they do not exist in Him -- we have not seen the actual repair and how it proceeds. Thus the intention is that flaws and defects should exist, as explained above, but that at the end of everything they should be brought back to a state of complete repair. In retrospect His perfection will then be known completely.
To be continued.
(Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum is the director of Azamra (http://www.azamra.org/). The 138 Openings of Wisdom is available for purchase online at http://www.azamra.org/Product_pages/openings.htm)

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