28 Kislev 5782 / Thursday, December 02, 2021 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
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The Other Side    

The Other Side

The many different levels of the Other Side correspond to all the many different kinds of damage and destruction that can exist when there is deficiency in the world.


Part 50 of "138 Openings of Wisdom" by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato

Opening 30, part 8
...that would involve every kind of defect and lack of goodness... This is what is meant by the verse, "God made also this one against this one". The intention was to make the good and to make everything that can possibly be the opposite of good: every kind of damage and destruction. The many different levels of the Other Side correspond to all the many different kinds of damage and destruction that can exist when there is deficiency in the world.
This is called the Other Side. This is the name of this opposite realm. It is justly called Sitra Achra - the Other Side - inasmuch as it is literally the opposite of the whole first extension we have discussed. Thus the creation was made with both intentions -- that there should be a realm of existence and a realm of destruction, and we call them two sides.
Part 3: . The intention is that the power to bestow good should gain sway, until every flaw returns to a state of repair. This is the whole purpose of the Line that governs the Residue, as we have explained earlier. .and then the true essence of God's unity will be known. The governmental order itself ensures that this is how everything will end -- with total rectification. This is because of the superiority of good over evil, for good is primordial whereas evil is a new creation. The good is from the one and only Master, while evil is the Other Side, the angel of death, a created slave. This is why, given that there is a war between the Holy Side and the Other Side -- good and evil -- good must necessarily be victorious. But its victory will come about only because of the intrinsic superiority of good over evil. Through this, the truth of God's unity will be known, because it is only in virtue of the fact there is only one domain that in the end everything will be rectified. For we see how the Supreme Will has allowed all the different kinds of damage found in the world to exist. And afterwards, at the end of everything, we know that His unity will be aroused and will rectify everything, as it says, "And I will remove the sin of that land on one day" (Zechariah 3:9).
The objection could immediately be raised that either the Holy One, blessed be He, wants to rectify everything through man's free will or through His own power. If you say He wanted to rectify everything through man's free will, does He not "tell from the the end" (Isaiah 46:10)? Surely, He knows the future, and since He knows that in the end they will need Him, should He not have rectified everything from the very outset?
The point is that Eyn Sof, blessed be He, wanted to remove from the hearts of His creatures the mistake of believing that there are two domains, one of which brings about good and the other evil. Accordingly He first laid down the Sefirot, in which He does not use His unity and perfect power. On the contrary, the power of the Sefirot is like the power of a strong man who submits himself to a test against a rival power -- the Other Side -- which the strong man himself put in possession of a power that is contrary to his own.
God has already shown how all kinds of power in the world, as long as they remain in the category of power alone without having ultimate control, cannot conquer the Other Side. On the contrary, the challenge of the Other Side is so great that it is impossible to escape from it without coming to God's unity. However, when His unity will be aroused and He asserts His ultimate control, it will immediately become apparent that there is no more place whatever for the Other Side. From this we will understand immediately that the Other Side does not possess eternal power in any way, and we will see God's control and unity. Why? Because the Other Side contains every other power except for this. But in order to be a domain, it would have to have complete control. The Other Side is therefore not a domain but a subject slave possessing no power except what is given to it. While the power it is given is great, it does not have any control at all. For there is only one controlling Master, blessed be He and blessed be His Name forever and ever.
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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