Have you ever wondered why you can look at a piece of art and instantly feel like you’ve known the artist your entire life? Or why you can read a piece of poetry and immediately feel a soul connection to the author? Like someone has taken a deep look at your soul and somehow found the words, music, and colors to express it in the most personal way?
Rav Yehuda Ashlag writes that the answer to this question is also the answer to why it is fundamentally important to study the wisdom of the Ten Luminous Emanations (TLE).
Originally revealed by 16th century Kabbalist Rav Isaac Luria (the Ari) and expounded upon in the early 1900's with commentary by Rav Ashlag, Ten Luminous Emanations is an account of the Creation of the Universe, and all the Supernal Realms. The wisdom revealed to us by the Ari is so deep, that after Rav Ashlag finished writing his original commentary on the writings of the Ari, he realized that it was not clear enough in its ability to explain the wisdom properly. So, he wrote Ten Luminous Emanations as a comprehensive textbook clarifying the study of Kabbalah.
Why did kabbalists like the Ari and Rav Ashlag feel the study of this knowledge was so essential, and how can it benefit our lives today?
Anything that has ever been created contains within it the essence, thoughts, and mind of its creator. Two people can cook the same meal using the same recipe, and even though the result might look the same on the surface, each meal will be fundamentally different and even taste different. This is because the energy, thoughts and consciousness of the chef are injected into the meal, and will affect the final product.
The same is true of the Supernal Worlds and our soul. Studying the process of Creation is like diving into the Creator’s deepest thoughts. As such, it unifies one’s mind with the Creator’s mind, one’s thoughts with the Creator’s thoughts.
There is nothing more powerful that we can study to allow our soul access to all of its supernal secrets and create what is referred to as Devekut – a complete cleaving and unification of one’s soul with the Light of the Creator.
This is why I am so excited to bring you this new weekly column, where together we can delve into the study of Ten Luminous Emanations by Rav Ashlag, and through the help of Rav Ashlag’s explanations, begin to understand the Thought of Creation.