Tikkun Haolam: Repair and Restoration of the Soul and World by Dr. Sanford Drob
Volume 4 , Issue 1 (Sept, 1990 | Tishrei, 5751)
The kabbalistic concept of tikkun haolam, the repair of restoration of the world, has been reignited in the Jewish imagination in recent years. Jewish philosophers have adapted this concept for their own use and a major Jewish periodical, Tikkun, has emerged which explicitly adopts the concept of ?repair? and ?restoration? as its rasion d? etre, identifying tikkun haolam with a liberal but family and religiously oriented political stance which its editor provisionally refers to as ?neo-compassionism.? Given all the interest in tikkun haolam, it would seem worthwhile to examine this notion its original, kabbalistic context. In so doing we may be able to gain some insight into the connection, if any, between the recent versions of tikkun and the Jewish mystical tradition. In the process we may learn something of what this mystical tradition has to offer us in our own time.
The concept of tikkun haolam is implicit throughout the history of Jewish mysticism. Its origins are, in part, to be found in the biblical hope for a ?paradise restored,? and in the later belief that an exiled Jewish people would be returned to Eretz Yisroel. However, the concept of tikkun haolam reached its fullest development in 16th century Safed in the system of thought known as Lurianic Kabbalah.<![if !supportFootnotes]> The originator of this sytem, R. Isaac Luria (1534-1572) and his disciples, most notably Chayim Vital (1542-1620), dwelt upon tikkun at great length, reinterpreting old kabbalistic ideas and providing a grand symbolic scheme within which the ?repair of the universe? plays the most significant role. The kabbalists of Safed understood every event in the created universe, indeed the very act of creation itself, as a mere introduction to, or preparation for tikkun haolam.
It is only by placing the notion of tikkun in the context of kabbalistic and, particularly, the Lurianic symbolism that we can gain any genuine insight into the traditional Jewish understanding of this important idea. We will discover that each of the mystical symbols for tikkun haolam points to a philosophical or psychological insight which can readily be understood in our own time.
Light From Heaven, Sparks From Earth
The unification of God and His Shekhina
The unification of God and His Shekhina is an important kabbalistic symbol which predates the concept of tikkun haolam, but which is eventually incorporated within it. The Zohar (II: 41b, 216b; III: 77b) speaks of the ?exile of the shekhina,? the exile of God?s presence on earth, from God, Himself. It is explained that Adam, by eating from the tree of knowledge, placed a division between God?s shekhina (or ?presence?) and the other aspects or dimensions of Godliness, represented by the remaining nine sefirot<![if !supportFootnotes]>
The sefirot are, in essence, archetypes for the world?s intellectual, moral, aesthetic and natural qualities, a fact which can be surmised from their names, examples of which are chochmah (wisdom), chesed (loving kindness), tiferet (beauty) and yesod (foundation of the world.) in short, the sefirot are values or ?ideal types? which, like Plato?s ?forms,? are uncompromised and undiluted by a process of instantiation in the material world. However, the final sefirah, the shekhina (dwelling), or malchut (kingship), refers to God?s presence in space and time, and is the sefirah most closely identified with the material world. By worshipping the shekhina and failing to understand its unity with the other sefirot, one might say that Adam became attached to the material world as opposed to the values which that world instantiates or represents.
The fissure between God and His shekhina can only be healed, according to the kabbalists, through the observance of Torah, mitzvoth (commandments) and avodah (worship). This is the Zohars?s foundation for the later kabbalistic concept of tikkun haolam. In studying Torah, performing the mitzvot, and worshipping God (avodah), the Jew is able to reattach himself to the sefirot (Godly values) and hence effect a reunification of God and his shekhina. In so doing, mankind understakes the task of reuniting the source of all values with the world as it is experienced by man. In this way, man is able to ?draw the light of the blessed infinite God earthward? in order to mend the world (Tanya Ch. 37, referring to Vital?s Sefer Etz Chayim, 26). Tikkun is, thus, first and foremost the realization of spiritual, intellectual, ethical, aesthetic and natural values.
The raising of the sparks (netzotzim)
The kabbalists of Safed elaborated upon the unification metaphor, incorporating it into their own complex theosophical system, and ultimately transforming it into a new and, in many ways, more powerful metaphor, ?the raising of the sparks.? In order to grasp its significance, this metaphor must be placed in the context of the Lurianic system as a whole.
According to R. Isaac Luria and his disciples, the creation of the world originally involved a self-concealment or contraction on the part of the Infinite God, Ein Sof (literally, without end). This contraction or concealment, known as tzimtzum, gives rise to a metaphysical void (chalal) into which God?s infinite light is emanated. The light is ultimately structured into the series of concentric luminaried which the Zohar had spoken of as the ten sefirot. The sefirot, as we have seen, represent a series of divine traits or attributes (midot), but in Luria?s system they also serve as vessels (kelim) for containing the further emanation of God?s energy or light.
The sefirot, however, were not according to Luria, capable of containing the ?light? for which they were to serve as vessels. In the cosmic catastrophe known in the Lurianic literature as shevirat hakelim (the breaking of the vessels), the final seven of the sefirot were shattered. As a result of this event, much of the light which was destined for the now shattered sefirot returned to its origins in Ein Sof and was recognized into a series of five ?visages? (partzufim) which embody the sefiriotic qualities in ?character types? which reflect basic aspects of both God and mankind. This reorganization of divine light is the beginning of tikkun haolam, the restoration of the world. However, not all of the light contained by the sefirot was capable of returning to the Infinite God. Shards from the shattered vessels fell through the metaphysical void, trapping within themselves sparks (netzotzim) of divine light, in much the same manner as oil clings to the shards of a shattered veseel which had contained it. These shards are ?husks? (kellipot) came to rest in an alien, evil realm known as the sitra achra or ?other side.? The kellipot, sustained in their very life and existence by the divine light which they enclose, give rise to both matter and evil. It is the divinely appointed task of the Jewish people, through proper religious and ethical conduct, to free the holy light from the kellipot which contain them, thus permitting this light to return to its source in God. This ?raising of the sparks? is the curz and completion of tikkun haolam.
The doctrine of the ?raising of the sparks? brought an immediacy to the concept of tikkun haolam which had not hither to been present in the kabbalah. The kabbalists of Safed believed sparks of divine light to be contained in all things, and that the individual Jew had an opportunity to engage in tikkun haolam in each and every one of his activities, from the most mundane to the most spiritual. This doctrine had a tremendous appeal for the Chasidim who placed it at the forefront of their daily lives. Schneur Zalman, the first Lubavitcher Rebbe, held, for example, that in the case of one who eats and drinks ?in order to broaden his mind for the service of God and His Torah ?the vitality of the meat and wine?is distilled and ascends to God like a burnt offering and sacrifice? (Tanya, Ch. 7), that one must vocalize one?s prayers in order that the spirituality inherent in a physical form of expression can be realized as divine light (Tanya, Ch. 50), and that most of the positive mitzvoth (e.g., teffilin, tzitzit, lulav, sukkah, matzah) involve physical objects in order that matter can be infused with spirituality. There is, according to the Lurianic point of view, something of value, something Godly in all things, and it is incumbent upon the Jew, again through the observance of Torah and mitzvoth to discover, highlight and, as it were, bring out this value in the material world, thus transforming that world into a spiritual realm. Tikkun haolam, the restoration of the world, will be complete when all of the sparks have been raised and the entire world has been informed with spiritual meaning and value.
The transition from exile to redemption
The kabbalists of Safed transformed the biblical theme of galut (exile) and ge?ulah (redemption) into a mystical metaphor for tikkun haolam. The exile of Adam and
Even from the garden of Eden, the exile of the Jewish people in Egypt, and
subsequently in the galut of
Babylonia and throughout the world, were each understood as manifestations or
symbols of a cosmic process which resulted in ?the exile of the Shekhina? and the ?breaking of the
vessels.? At various points in history (the Sinaitic revelation being the most
prominent among them), tikkun haolam
was almost complete. However, on these occasions, the Jewish people failed in
their mission, choosing to align themselves with the forces of ?the other side?
(for example, in the incident of the golden calf), and world harmony was not
restored. Still, every Jew has within him/her the power to overcome the ?exile?
within his own soul (see Tanya, Ch.
47) and environment, and in the process, move the world closer to the
messianic, ?restored? age. Indeed, the purpose of the Jewish diaspora is to
have Jews collect sparks from all over the world. When this occurs, exile on
the historical as well as the cosmic levels will be overcome, the Jewish people
will return to and be redeemed in Eretz
The Development of the Human (and World) Personality
The process of tikkun haolam is, as we have seen, a process through which the observant Jew is able to bring values "down" from heaven (the unification metaphor) or bring out the spiritual values inherent in all things (the raising of the sparks). While the kabbalists felt that this valuation process was a by-product of the observance of Torah and mitzvot, they held that this observance, if it is to be fully efficacious, must be accompanied by an appropriate frame of mind. It is for this reason that the kabbalists devoted considerable energy to the process of framing appropriate intentions (kavvanot) and to the cultivation of those personal qualities which would be conducive to these intentions. As such, there developed a whole series of metaphors and symbols whose purpose was to express the psychological prerequisites for tikkun.
Discovering the roots of one's soul
According to the kabbalists of Safed, the breaking of the vessels resulted in the imprisonment of sparks not only from the shekhina (God's "presence"), but also the sparks of human souls. Indeed, it was their view that the souls of all men and women are comprised of sparks from Adam's soul, most of which have been imprisoned in the kellipot as a result of Adam's fall. It is the task of each Jew to discover these sparks or roots within himself and through a process known as birur (extrication or disemcumbrance), perform his or her own personal tikkun or restoration. a process, which, according to kabbalists such as Vital and Moses Zacuto, is essentially one of self-discovery.
It is important to distinguish the self- discovery of the kabbalists from self-discovery as it is understood today in the context of popular psychology. Discovering the roots of one's soul, performing the act of birur, and achieving one's personal tikkun is not a process which leads to the enhancement of one's ego and the fulfillment of one's personal desires. Rather, it is a process through which one discovers his unique spiritual task in life. The raising of the sparks of one's own soul leads to the realization of one's "Godly self" (see Tanya, Ch. 2) and to the transformation of the individual into a conduit for God's values and God's will. The individual who seeks guidance from a kabbalistic master or chasidic rebbe does not seek psychotherapy per se, but rather guidance in discovering the manner of serving God and his fellow man which is uniquely suited to his personality and life circumstance. If successful in this pursuit, he will, indeed, achieve a great sense of personal fulfillment, but this is hardly his goal. His goal is tikkun haolam through the actualization of God's values on earth.
Development in the womb of the celestial mother
Among the most difficult and seemingly opaque aspects of Lurianic Kabbalah is its treatment of partzufim (visages). The partzufim are aspects of God which are said to have emerged spontaneously as a result of the breaking of the vessels and the consequent shattering of the sefirot. They are spoken of as having reorganized within themselves some of the divine light which had originally been destined for each shattered sefirah. The creation of the partzufim is, as we have seen, the initial phase of tikkun haolam. One partzuf, Zeir Anpin (the "short-faced" or "impatient" one) is integrally connected with the phase of tikkun which involves the efforts of mankind. It is said to organize within itself qualities of the six moral or emotional sefirot, including chesed (kindness), din (justice) and rachamim (mercy).
Zeir Anpin is, itself, described as developing within the womb of another of the partzufim, Imma, the celestial mother, creating, according to Scholem, what appears to be a metaphor of "God giving birth to Himself."3 In its development, Zeir Anpin is said to progress through five distinct stages, ibur (conception), lidah (pregnancy), yenikah (birth), katanot (childhood) and gadolot (maturity). The final stage, gadolot, is reflective of mankind's own intellectual and moral maturity. Of great significance is the fact that the partzuf Imma,, within which this development takes place, embodies the sefirah binah. which is representative of intellectual understanding. Before the six moral or emotional sefirot (the six which are embodied in Zeir Anpin) can fully participate in tikkun haolam, they must undergo a developmental process whereby they come under the guidance of intellect and understanding. Similarly, before man can properly perform his own individual tikkun he, too, must undergo a developmental maturing process which leads not only to self-understanding, but also to the integration of his emotions and intellect.
The Integration of thought and emotion
Chabad (Lubavitch) Chasidism, which sees itself as embodying the spirit of the Lurianic Kabbalah, places a great emphasis on the modulation of the emotions by the intellect as the key to tikkun. The author of the classic chasidic work, Tanya, Schneur Zalman of Lyadi, (the first Lubavitcher rebbe), held that the reason why animals are rooted in tohu (the fragile imperfect world which existed prior to the breaking of the vessels), while humans are rooted in tikkun, is that only man's emotions are modulated by ChaBad [a Hebrew acronym for chochmah (thought) binah (wisdom) and da' at (understanding)].4
This doctrine, that in tikkun, the "lower" midot (traits, values, emotions) are mitigated by the influence of the "higher" or intellectual midot is important in any comparison between Lurianic Kabbalah or chasidism and contemporary psychology. Freud's famous dictim "where id was, there ego shall be" which refers to the process through which emotions and instincts come to serve the goals of .the rational self, comes close to the Jewish mystical formulation. However, a crucial distinction is that the rational goals of Judaism, unlike those which emerge in the psychoanalytic hour, derive from an authority which is ultimately higher and distinct from the personal "self."
The Unity of Opposites
It has sometimes been observed that kabbalistic thought is dialectical in nature, inasmuch as its basic conceptual categories are opposites, even apparent contradictories which give rise to one another or are blended together into new syntheses. For example, the 13th century kabbalist, Azriel, held that as a result of Adam's fall all things are imperfect, and in order for them to be perfected, they must draw upon and be reunited with their contraries.5 Indeed, as we shall see. the dialectical blending of opposites is an important part of the concept of tikkun haolam and informs several of its most powerful metaphors.
The Integration of the Sefirot
According to Luria and his followers. the original "flaw" in creation. which necessitated the breaking of the vessels, stemmed from the fact that the sefirot were completely separate and unrelated. In tohu, the sefirot opposed one another and thus were unable to assist each other in containing the light of the Infinite God. Similarly, on a psychological level, the individual's failure to integrate qualities within his own personality is the major impediment to his or her personal tikkun. For this impediment to be removed, not only must the "emotional" midot or values (kindness, judgment, beauty, endurance, foundation and splendour) be modulated by the intellectual (ChaBad) midot, but values must themselves be integrated with each other.
This point of view came to be embodied in the doctrine of the interpenetration of the sefirot, a doctrine which held that in the world as it develops toward tikkun haolam, each of the last seven sefirot contains within itself an element of each of the others, so that chesed, for example, is composed of the chesed of chesed (i.e., pure chesed), the din (judgment) of chesed, the tiferet (beauty) of chesed, the netzach (endurance) of chesed), etc. From a moral and psychological point of view, this doctrine implied that the development of an individual's character consisted of the blending of all 49 possible combinations of the seven moral/emotional sefirot. Only when an individual had developed each of these 49 midot (character traits) to their fullest potential could it be said that his personal tikkun was complete.
The wisdom of this particular tikkun metaphor can hardly be gainsaid. The singleminded, untempored pursuit of any value, however exalted it may be, is frequently the source of unmitigated perversity. One need only think of the "beauty" of Nazi Art, the "spirituality" of certain religious fanatics in the Middle East, or the "justice" of those who would always read the law by the letter without consideration for the individual case.
The Mitigation of Judgment by Kindness
One moral dichotomy, the conflict between chesed (kindness) and din (judgment), was singled out by the kabbalists for special consideration. Indeed, the significance of mitigating judgment by kindness is apparent throughout Jewish literature, even in sources that are quite distant from the kabbalah. For example, in his commentary on the mitzvah to reprove the unjust acts of one's neighbor, the Ram- barn warns:
A person who rebukes another, whether for offenses against the rebuker himself or for sins against God, should administer the rebuke in private, speak to the offender gently and tenderly and point out that he is speaking only for the wrongdoers own good. (Mishneh Torah 1, 6:7)6
Thus, even in our judgment (din) of another we must show the midah of chesed (kindness). This temperance of judgment by kindness (and vice versa) is the foundation of the character trait rachatnim (mercy, compassion) which Jewish tradition equates with the third moral sefirah, tiferet (beauty) because like beauty, mercy or compassion involves a harmonious blending of opposite currents and trends.
The Midrash (Genesis Rabbah 3:7, 9:2) teaches that worlds which God created and then destroyed were created through the principle of din or strict divine justice and could thereby not be sustained. The kabbalists felt, however, that a world created through unmitigated chesed or kindness would also self-destruct. This is because kindness which is distributed totally without regard to the receiver's merit would be overwhelming to mankind and, lead to intolerable injustice. Our present world is sustained by a balance between kindness and judgment and is, in a sense, dominated by the sefirah rachamim. It is the pursuit of a balance between kindness and judgment (a balance which according to the kabbalist Cordovero must be weighted slightly in the direction of kindness), which leads to the individual's personal tikkun and his contribution to the restoration of the world.
The Taming of The Evil Impulse
One of the most startling passages in all religious literature is to be found in the second book of the Zohar. "In fact," the Zohar tells us, "there is no worship of God except when it issues forth from darkness, and no good except when it proceeds from evil." (Zohar II:184a)8 How, we must ask, can evil, which by definition is diametrically opposed to good, be at the same time the latter's source and foundation?9 The answer to this question was of major concern to the later kabbalists and goes to the very essence of their conception of tikkun haolam, the restoration of the world.
Recall that, according to the kabbalists of Safed, if tikkun is to be achieved, the sparks of divine light (netzotzim) which had been alienated from their source in God by shevirat hakelim (the breaking of the vessels), must be liberated from the husks (kellipot) which entrap them in the dark world of the "other side." The extraction of the divine light, referred to in the kabbalah as the act of "birur," is, metaphysically speaking, the very process of tikkun haolam, and the very essence of the "the good" as it can be achieved by mankind. It should, however, be apparent that because the kellipot (which are sustained by the sparks of divine light which they contain) are the source and substance of both matter and evil, the process of extraction (and thus the very process of tikkun) requires a sojourn into the realm of evil, the realm of the sitra achra, the "other side;" tikkun, the "raising of the sparks," proceeds, as it were, out of the sitra achra and as such, in our material world, there is no goodness, i.e., no liberated light, except that which issues forth out of the evil realm.
We must, however, emphasize that for the kabbalists, this dialectic of evil and good was no mere play of words or metaphysical sophistry. What was true for them on the metaphysical level was true on the psychological and moral level as well, and the kabbalists held that the good that an individual is capable of in his personal life issues forth from his yetzer hara, his evil impulse. The kabbalists of Safed and, particularly, the chasidic masters who further adapted their philosophy to the concerns of psychology, held that the kellipot manifest themselves in the individual as drives for sex and power. Unmodified, these drives, embodied in the yetzer hara, lead to an exaltation of pleasure and self over all other earthly and Godly values. However, like the Freudian libido (to which it bears a remarkable resemblance), the energy of the yetzer hara can be modified and redirected in the service of good. In a process which is hinted at by the psychoanalytic term "sublimation," the evil impulse in man is put into the service of Torah and mitzvot, and is ultimately redirected in the service of tikkun haolani. However, unlike sublimation, which leaves the libido redirected but essentially unchanged, the redirection implied by the processes of birur and tikkun actually elevates and transforms the evil impulse into the yetzer hatov, the impulse for good. The individual whose energy is placed in the service of Torah and mitzvot does not act as an animal whose energy has been redirected and put to good use, but rather as a being created in God's image whose Godly soul can now act unencumbered by the forces of material desire. "The perfection of all things," our passage in the Zohar continues, "is attained when good and evil are intermingled and then become totally good, for there is no good except if it issues out of evil."
Freedom and Tikkun
One of the great mysteries of the kabbalah concerns the origins of the shevirah, the breaking of the vessels. Why did the shevirah occur at all? Was there some accidental flaw in creation as it was originally conceived, or was the breaking of the vessels somehow a part of God's plan, a necessary phase in the world's ultimate perfection?
In Chayim Vital's Sefer Etz Chayim, we find the doctrine that God created the original imperfect world of ten sefirot in order to allow for the possibility of evil.The breaking of the vessels, which resulted in the exile of divine light to the "other side," was part of a divine plan which brought evil into the world and made possible the process by which mankind could exercise its freedom to choose between evil and good.
Adam and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
It is for this reason that the predicament of Adam and the tree of knowledge of good and evil is an important, and perhaps the ultimate metaphor, for tikkun haolam. Adam's predicament and decision is not only a metaphor for the original shevirah, and hence for the crystallization of evil on earth, but it is also a metaphor for all subsequent human choice between the paths of Torah, tikkun and life on the one hand, and kellipah and wickedness on the other. Adam's sin was a catastrophic act precisely because it was an act of free choice. As such, and only as such, it increased the power of the sitra achra. Similarly, the sins of Israel, the worship of the Golden Calf, the "causeless hatred" which resulted in the destruction of the second temple, have each reversed previous rectifications and strengthened the power of the "other side," because they were freely chosen acts. In a sense, the dilemma presented to Adam, and the dilemma of every person since is the same: whether to follow the dictates of his immediate impulse and desire, or to curb and redirect that desire in the service of a higher, more permanent moral and spiritual end.
The "Inner" and the "Outer" Aspects of All Things
The doctrine of tikkun haolam is in many ways a surprisingly psychological doctrine,
surprising for a people who have traditionally placed enormous emphasis on concrete
historical acts, on the historical fate of their nation, and on this nation's relationship
to a particular land. Particularly in modern times, Jews have been a politically
conscious people and with the rise of? the modern state of
The kabbalists, themselves, addressed this very issue in their doctrine that everything in the universe has both an outer and an inner aspect. The outer aspects of things, the historical and national fortunes of the Jewish people, for example, are, according to Luria and his followers, dependent upon the deeds of mankind, upon the fulfillment of the commandments and the performanceof meritorious acts. However, theinner, spiritual aspects of things, uponwhich the meaning of the outer aspects ultimately depend, are a function of the inner life of man, and in the final analysis upon the confluence of human and divine forces which result from man's reaching up towards God through the "inner"act of prayer.10 In short, while the kabbalists recognized the overwhelming significance of meritorious deeds, one aspect of which constitutes political action, they saw the efficaciousness of these deeds as dependent, in large measure, upon the inner state of those who performed them. The restoration of the world could not be dependent upon a return of the Jewish people to Eretz Yisroel per se. but rather upon the alteration in the balance of (inner) "good" and "evil" for which this reform was merely a (very important) sign.
To put it in starker terms, what is truly valuable and good in this or any conceivable world cannot be something so "geopolitical" as the location of certain physical bodies collectively referred to as the Jewish people, but on the contrary, it can only be the making manifest of the Godly values of kindness, justice,mercy, righteousness, etc. with which these people have been entrusted. Man's true freedom consists not in his ability or lack of ability to be victorious in a particular war, or to achieve a given political end (however, important these may be), butrather in his capacity for choosing righteousness and acting with good intentions in all of his acts, however powerful or powerless these may be in their external manifestations. The Jews who cried Ani Maamin ("I believe") as they were marched to the chambers in Auschwitz were just as significant for tikkun haolam as the soldiers who were victorious in the Six Day War.
A Spiritual, Ethical Psychology
The metaphors and concepts which taken together comprise the concept of tikkun haolam provide the basis for what might be called a "spiritual" or "ethical" psychology. The essential message of tikkun haolam is that the individual's goal in life is to actualize his self in the singular service of spiritual and ethical ends. This message is particularly significant in the context of what has been described as the contemporary division of the soul. In our own time, the human soul has been divided into a series of separate spheres, one the province of psychology, another of religion, a third of ethics, a fourth of politics, etc. The theory of tikkun is a theory which encompasses all of these "disciplines" and integrates them into a total perspective on man. Like "psychology," it provides a theory of human development, emphasizes the resolution of intrapsychic conflict and the integration of conflicting personality trends, and attempts to enhance human freedom; like "religion," it offers an experience of spiritual union with God; like "ethics," its chief concern is with the realization and implementation of "values," and like "politics," the doctrine of tikkun haolant is, as its very name implies, concerned with the betterment of the world. For the kabbalah, each of these goals isdependent. upon and in a sense identical with the others. The "raising of the sparks" is at once a psychological, spiritual, ethical and political event. One cannot be "religious" from the standpoint of the kabbalah without at the same time devoting energies to one's psychological, ethical and political self. The individual who comes to think, feel and act through his Godly soul, who achieves his own personal tikkun, will be psychologically integrated, spiritually fulfilled,ethical in his conduct and will devote himself to the service of a better world?or rather it is the achievement of these things which taken together. from his unique standpoint in life, which constitutes his personal tikkun, task or goal.
1. A discussion of the basic concepts of Lurianic Kabbalah can be found in J. Schochet, "Mystical Concepts In Chasidism," which is appended to the Hebrew-English edition of S. Zalman. Likutei Amarim-Tanya (Brooklyn: Kehot, 1981). Translations which appear in this essay from Vital, and, particularly, from Schneur Zalman, are from this work. See also, G. Scholem, Kabbalah (Jerusalem: Keter, 1974) and Major Trends In Jewish Mysticism. rev. ed. (New York: Schocken, 1946).
2. G. Scholem, Major Trends, p. 232.
3. ibid. p. 271.
4. J. Schochet, "Mystical Concepts,' p. 885, note 3, referring to Likutei Torah H. 37c ff.
5. G. Scholem, The Origins of the Kabbalah (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987) p.449.
6. Translated by M. Hyamson, The Code of Mairnonides (Jerusalem: Baystown, 1965).
7. J. Schochet, "Mystical Concepts," p. 842.
8. ibid. p. 890
9. This is true only in our world. On a metaphysical level God is the source of both good and evil.
10. G. Scholem, Major Trends, pp. 274ff.
Dr. Drob holds doctorates in philosophy and clinical
psychology. He is Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at