Shaarei Yosher, sec. 2: Qedushah – part 3

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5 Responses

  1. Bob Miller says:

    “Speaking from a theological perspective for a moment, if Hashem separated Himself from something, would that thing continue to exist? For that matter, would the time itself in which He is supposedly separate from it exist either?”

    If so, how do any tzimtzum or creation events happen? If these are from our perspective, what is real about our perspective?

  2. micha says:

    I’m not sure we really want to go there, but… The Lubavitcher Rebbe writes that understandings of the concept of tzimtzum historically differentiated over two issues: First, on the verb: do we mean tzimtzum as literal contraction or figurative?
    Second, on the noun: is it the tzimtzum of G-d Himself, or of the creative “Light” of G-d?
    The Baal Shem Tov understood tzimtzum to be a figurative contraction of the Infinite Himself. The Vilna Gaon took it to be the literal contraction of the Infinite Light.

    Both sides consider the notion of a literal contraction of G-d Himself to be heretical, though.

  3. CA says:

    Well, doesn’t this mean that holy = separated from the material? Or, separated from every definition and limitation.

    While for us, holy = separating from that which, though technically permissible, is not necessary for our avoidas Hashem.

    Re: tzimtzum: in the famous letter, the Lubavitcher Rebbe differentiates the view of tzimtzum of Atzmus loi kipshuto al pi Rav Chayim Volozhiner vs. lack of tzimtzum of Atzmus al pi Chassidus Chabad. So, according to the Litvish view, there is still tzimtzum in Atzmus, only loi kipshuto. (While Rav Chayim disagrees with Vilna Gaon whether tzimtzum of Oir is kipshuto or not.)

  4. micha says:

    As we saw at length earlier in the series, and will see later (probably next week), Rav Shimon defines qedushah as commitment to Hashem’s goal in creation, which is to be good to others. I am developing the notion in my comments that “commitment”, in the case of human beings, entails separation from other concerns. But as we’ll see much further on, that doesn’t mean separation from the material; quite the contrary — it requires engaging and using the material.

    About tzimtzum:
    My description of the Gra’s position is that of Rav Dessler’s. Bemichilas kevod Toraso, the LR’s description of the Litvisher position forces us to conclude that two of his talmidim in machloqes with the Gra. REED’s peshat (aside from matching how I read the Gra) brings the Gra’s concept of tzimtzum in line with Nefesh haChaim (RCV) and . It also later is the Leshem’s position. And R’ Dessler is from the same line of mesorah, something that cannot be said of the LR.

    Aside from all that, it’s how I naturally read the Gra when I looked — the Gra distinguishes between the Ein Sof and His Ratzon, and then tells you tzimtzum was only of Divine Ratzon (Liqutim on Safra deTzeniusa).

  5. dovid says:

    Rabbi Berger,
    Every Jew is born for a specific tachlis. Of course, the taryag mitzvos are on each one’s job description, but each one of us comes to this world to perform a specific job within the framework of the taryag mitzvos. As Rabbi Efraim Wachsman says, each one of us is a gadol hador in a certain, well defined area. The mishna in Avos also alludes to it. How do we identify what our tachlis is? I suspect, most of us live and die without knowing why we were created for.

And your thoughts...?

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