In the following selection, the
case that mystical meditations should be reserved for the spiritual elite is
sternly refuted. Generally speaking, Kabbalah speaks of five levels of the soul,
from the most base, namely Nefesh and Ruach, to the loftiest,
Neshama, Chaya and Yechida. It is particularly Nefesh
and Ruach which are most in need of repair and whose rectification is
dependant upon our efforts and experiences during our lifetimes.
Each person has a unique role in the rectification of Creation,
Each person has a unique role in the rectification of
Creation, greatly influenced by the general spiritual world in which their soul
is rooted. While the source of all souls is in what is called the world of
Atzilut, they only become manifest from the subsequent lower three worlds of
Beriya, Yetzira, and Asiya. The closer a lower world is to
Atzilut, the more associated it is to the ultimate unity embodied in
Atzilut. Thus, the world of Beriya is the most "unified" of the lower
three spiritual worlds, followed by Yetzira and Asiya,
respectively, and it could be said that a soul root from the world of Beriya
is the most lofty.
However, as Rebbe Yitzchak Yehuda Yechiel of Komarno
points out, the highest levels of every person’s soul are in no need of
fixing, permeated with the divine oneness which actually enables the less
refined levels of the soul reach completion. An instrumental vehicle for the
soul’s rectification is that of "yichudim", traditional Kabbalistic
techniques of contemplating the union of specific divine names of G‑d, referred
to below as "mystical meditations".
Know that [the highest three levels of the soul]
Neshama, Chaya, and Yechida are [those spiritual levels]
which have already been clarified to the point of being completely good [as
opposed to an admixture of good and bad], and they have returned to their
[original pre-Creation] levels [of holiness], to the aspects of G‑dliness and
Atzilut, which shines in all the worlds, Beriya, Yetzira, and
Asiya. And they [the highest levels of the soul] are the ones which
effect true Oneness within all the [lower three] worlds, to bind them and unite
them within the Infinite [Ein Sof], to draw down new [spiritual] influx.
There is no joy for the holy Divine Presence
other than holy [meditative] Unifications….
And what I saw in a particular text, that a person
whose soul [root] isn’t from the world of Beriya shouldn’t bring about
Unifications [via mystical meditations] because his [particular level of]
oneness isn’t [true] oneness – is a mistake and a complete lie, for even a soul
from the world of Asiya is an aspect of G‑dliness, a "piece of G‑d on
high", unique in its [own particular aspect of G‑d’s] oneness. And also we find
that our master, the Ari, gave over mystical meditations to those who
transgressed in particularly grave sins in order to rectify their souls – "and
that which is helpful for the sick is all the more so good for the healthy – and
there is no joy for the holy Divine Presence other than holy mystical
meditations, totally lighting up the soul.
This is the life-force of the soul of every Jew….
Therefore, my son, accustom yourself in order to
become an expert in holy names and in holy mystical meditations – that your soul
should be bound to the Life of All Life, every moment, for this is the
life-force of the soul of every Jew. And even a person who only has a soul [Nefesh]
from the world of Asiya (and all the more so a Ruach from Asiya)
can perform Unifications [via meditation on divine names] and connect himself
with the righteous, and his meditation will ascend with the righteous.
In conclusion, the idea written in that book is a
mistake and a complete lie, for every holy thing fitting for our teacher Moses
is fitting for the lowest of the lowest [souls], like me.
Translated and adapted by Baruch Emanuel Erdstein from Heichal HaBracha, parashat
Veyakhel, pg. 304a
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