An Essay by Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag
“It is not the time for the livestock to be gathered. Water the sheep, and go, pasture them” (Genesis, 29:7). It is known that all the words of the righteous turn upwards, as it was said to him, “And it was revealed by the shepherds of Haran.” It is so because it was impossible to roll the stone from the mouth of the well of the revealing of Rachel before all the herds were gathered and the stone was rolled off from the well’s mouth.
chanoch adds: This verse is among the story of Jacob's arrival and meeting Rachel in Haran, the home of Rivka - Jacob and Esav mother.
In my humble opinion, it can be said that before each revelation, there must be covering, as in the darkness of the morning. For this reason, since Jacob arrived at the well of Rachel’s revealing to Jacob, he did not feel Rachel’s love as during the entire way, as he followed her with his cane through the Jordan.
chanoch adds: The darkness of the morning refers to the fact that the sky gets darker just before the dawn. This is a spiritual law that prior to something being revealed - like the Mashiach - it must seem to be darker. This called concealing prior to revealing. This is the reason that people wear clothing. It is not to keep warm. We wear clothing to conceal what will be revealed during the sexual act. That is also why people wear clothing to bed which serves no intrinsic physical purpose.
This is why he set out for the upper well, for the well was blocked by the rock, and Jacob means elevating the externality. Hence, he set out to the externality. (This is the meaning of “And he sat on the well,” meaning sitting.)
chanoch adds: In the verse Genesis 29:8 and verse10 there is a hint in the Hebrew that is not clear in the English translation that implies that Jacob sat on the well as part of the actions to open the well.
He promptly stood in prayer, and a man set out to the shepherds of the flock. (Why, etc.,) “It is not the time for the livestock to be gathered. Water the sheep, and go, pasture them,” as in (Song of Song, 1:7), “Where do you pasture,” and “Where do you make it lie down.” And the reply came to him, “We cannot, until all the flocks have gathered.” That is, until Jacob achieves a coupling in externality, the whole of Israel, including the four mothers, are dependent on him alone. This is why his work was thus far alone, not in public, for he did not need any assistance from others and was the strongest in the work without ever being tired.
But at that moment, when it was his time to mate with Rachel to elicit seventy souls, he promptly felt weariness, and this is what he spoke and prayed about. (Indeed he knew) and this is the meaning of Jacob not rolling the stone from the well’s mouth prior to the disclosure of Rachel. However, upon Rachel’s disclosure before him, the Zivug Eynaim (coupling of the eyes) was completed. Therefore, at that time all of Israel were included in him. Thus, all the herds of that time had already gathered, and therefore, “[he] rolled the stone from the well's mouth.”
chanoch adds: We learn something amazing in the above paragraph. Concealment can be a diminishment of energy or even something like a lessening of power or other perceptions of lessening. This is like the darkness before the dawn.
But from then on, when the seventy souls of Jacob expanded into 600,000 souls, the matter returned to its initial state, requiring the gathering of all the herds in order to roll off the stone from the well’s mouth. And when the power of one part is missing, it causes weakness in the whole level. This is the meaning of (Braita de Rabbi Ishmael) an individual that requires a collective, and anything that was in the collective and has departed the collective, does not testify to itself, but departed in order to testify to the entire collective, since (Psalms, 103:15) “As for man ... as a bud of the field, so he will bud.”
The whole point of the buds rise into a single flower, the collective of Jacob and the tribes, a complete bed. This places a unique boundary for each and every soul, as in receiving light from above in this world, in the work, and one is greater than the other, one is higher than the other, and no face is like another.
The depiction of those boundaries is identical to the image of the lines and dots of the flower, where the boundaries in each part and dot on the flower form the beauty of the flower. But when the dot or the part in the flower extends its boundary, whether a little or a lot, it makes the whole flower unsightly. It is impossible to take only part of the flower and examine it alone, for then that part has neither beauty nor glory.
This is the meaning of the allegory in The Zohar (The Sulam commentary, Nasso, item 19) about two who boarded a boat, and one was drilling under him. His friend admonished him, “Why are you drilling?” And that fool replied, “Why should you care? I am drilling under me!” But indeed, the individual spoils the beauty of the entire image.
From this we understand that in the ruin of the First Temple, the craftsman and the locksmith did not save the Temple from ruin because the majority of their contemporaries spoiled the beauty, though in them there was no flaw, for prophecy is not present in a flawed place, not even in the slightest.
chanoch adds: This is also a significant spiritual law. Perfection can only exist in a complete vessel. This is true even while in the middle of the process.
This is the meaning of a prayer in public, that one must not exclude oneself from the public and ask for oneself, not even to bring contentment to one’s maker, but only for the entire public. It is so because one cannot extend one’s boundary while the boundaries of the rest of the buds of the flower remain where they are, for as smallness blemishes the beauty, so does greatness, since the boundaries of all the lines and circles of the flower must be related.
This is the meaning of (Psalms, 22:21) “Save my soul from the sword, my only one from the dog.” One who departs from the public to ask specifically for one’s own soul does not build. On the contrary, he inflicts ruin upon his soul, as in (Midrash Rabah, Ch 7, item 6), “All who is proud,” etc., for there cannot be one who retires from the public unless with an attire of pride. Woe unto him, for he inflicts ruin on his soul, for one who takes from the flower, not only does he condemn the beauty of the flower in general, that there is a flaw in their value, but even that specific part has no glory or beauty whatsoever, and no color in the eye will regard him.
chanoch adds: the eye represents wisdom - Chochmah. no color is referring to levels of wisdom.
For this reason, he ruins his soul, and also causes the giving of his Yechida (only one) to a dog, meaning BON, the parting of the points, while MA is the connection into a single flower, and Yechida is the one who receives the light of MA, and every person has a Yechida, meaning his own expansion.
This is what causes every boundary, meaning man’s sensation of himself as a unique self, meaning an only one. Indeed, at the root, he is called Yechida (only one) because there, all the souls of Israel are only one, one collective, as in “counting a number and there is no number,” and as in “collective and individual,” as in choice. And all that is required of one’s work is to extend upon himself the light of Yechida, which will be completed only when all the herds have gathered.
chanoch adds: If only people would learn from Rabbi Ashlag and the deep teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. herds means all of the individuals of all of the nations becoming unified which means unity within the diversity of Creation.
Even during work, when one prays alone, against his will he departs from the public and ruins his soul, which is from the Chazeh and below, as in the revealing and particularizing of the souls. Moreover, Yechida passes to the dog even at the root, as in the expanding of the name, BON, into (Isaiah, 56:10) “Dumb dogs cannot bark.” That is, their cry will not rise to the heaven whatsoever, to the Zivug of MA and BON, meaning to unite, but is rather given to a dog, meaning the separation, as in Hav! Hav! (bark, but also “give” in Hebrew) of the daughters of Hell.
chanoch adds: Ma we know is Zeir Anpin while Ben is Malchut. For some reason the word BON is actually usually said as Ben.
This is the meaning of (Exodus, 10:23) “And all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings,” meaning their dwelling on the throne, which is from the Chazeh and below. It is a place where Hassadim are revealed and expand (for in NHY, the internality does not disappear and there are no intestines there), and also, “a dog will not bark” (Exodus, 11:7). That is, there was not even an awakening of anyone from the children of Israel to demand anything personal, as in Hav! Hav!, for no one needed anything because they did not feel as separate selves, and this was their power to come out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
chanoch adds: This is describing the unity of the Children of Israel when they left Egypt.
Thus, every one must gather with all of one’s strength into the whole of Israel with every plea to the Creator in the prayer and in the work, for it is insolence and great disgrace to disclose one’s nakedness before, etc.
This is the meaning of (Exodus 20:23) “And you shall not go up by steps to My altar,” meaning as an individual, where one is above the other. And especially that he desires to boast over the seed of holiness, and a holy nation does not need him. He marches on the heads of the holy nation and demands greatness over them. This is a disgrace we must not mention henceforth.
Instead, he should include himself in the only one, the root of all of Israel, as in (Isaiah, 44:6) “I am the first and I am the last.” And then his strength is just as Jacob’s strength. At that time he will be able to roll the stone from over the well’s mouth with a mighty hand, and will water all the herds from a well of water, for the previous boundary will be lifted from all the souls of Israel, both below him and above him.
Moreover, the depictions of the boundaries of the flower that render glory and beauty will not change at all, for they will remain in their former depiction. But the boundary of the holiness in general will be expanded greatly, causing light to all the children of Israel in their dwellings. And then, even his own personal dog will remain dumb, for the light of beauty will appear, as in his dwelling place, meaning from the Chazeh and below, for so is the nature of the light of the collective that is on the individual who has been annulled with regard to his own individuality, and he does not feel himself.
This essay is describing the idea that the individual will find that the light that is generated by the community will overwhelm the individual and by doing so will absorb the individual into the community.
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