12 Cheshvan 5782 / Monday, October 18, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
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Sustaining the World    

Sustaining the World

Hashem’s existence and the existence of His perfection are what sustains the world and prevents it from being destroyed, for any other existence besides Him is inconceivable…


Part 46 of "138 Openings of Wisdom" by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato

Opening 30, part 4
It could be objected: How can we say that the concealment itself contains some aspect of unity? Surely the purpose of the concealment was to manifest all possible deficiencies, and to show how they can all be completely rectified only through His perfection, in order that His perfection may be known in actuality rather than merely in potential. But if He wants to be revealed in some aspect within the concealment, this means that He does not allow the imperfections complete rein, with the result that in the final repair His perfection is not completely known.
The answer is that the concealment cannot make what certainly exists cease to exist. No matter how many flaws and defects you can think of, His existence, blessed be His Name, is intrinsically necessary. If so, it is impossible to conceive of any deficiencies except after the initial axiom that God certainly exists. You have to say that He is concealed and this is why the defects emerged, but His existence is a certainty. If so, even within the concealment itself, one thing remains enduring. That is His existence and the existence of His perfection -- for they are one and the same. This is what sustains the world in being and prevents it from being destroyed, for any other existence besides Him is inconceivable. But God is perfect goodness. If so, it is inconceivable that there is any evil that is not in some way subject to perfect good.
This can be clearly proved. For if evil were in complete control without being subject to any other power, it would have to be called a domain in itself. However, since we know that the existence of Eyn Sof, blessed be He, is intrinsically necessary, there is no place at all for complete evil to be in control. Even if you think of all the evil in the world, it is impossible not to postulate the existence of a domain of goodness that exists necessarily and therefore holds sway over this evil. It follows that evil cannot gain total power so as to destroy the entire world. However, this necessary existence can be concealed just as much as God wants. Yet His existence cannot be nullified, and it is therefore impossible for the world to be destroyed. Even within the concealment itself, His unity cannot be negated.
A further objection could be raised: If the Torah derives from the unity revealed even within the concealment, why was the Torah not given immediately as soon as the world was created. The answer to this is that the Torah which derives from the unity that exists necessarily even within the concealment is the Seven Commandments of the Children of Noah, which were given to Adam (Sanhedrin 56b). As for the knowledge of the Torah itself, there were Tzaddikim in every generation who had knowledge of the Torah (see Yoma 28b). However, this revelation of unity clearly does nothing more than prevent the world from being destroyed, but it allows the Other Side to perpetrate all the evil in its power. However, there is a way in which this revelation can become even stronger, and therefore initially there were only seven commandments, for it is impossible for there to be less than this, but afterwards the revelation became stronger and the Torah was given.
In sum: Everything that has happened until now derives from the turning of the wheel of reward and punishment under the government of the Sefirot, where either Kindness is dominant while Judgment is inactive, or the opposite, God forbid. Therefore either the Side of Holiness prevails and the Other Side is subdued but still remains evil, or God forbid the opposite. This is what Eyn Sof, blessed be He, wanted for the sole purpose of showing all the flaws and deficiencies that can exist -- in order to show afterwards how they are all rectified. However, the final redemption -- may it come quickly in our days -- is brought about through the operation of perfection at the end of everything. The revelation of this perfection will rectify all the flaws and deficiencies that He wanted to be seen. For this reason, the perfection will be complete and there will be no more flaws and deficiencies afterwards. This is the meaning of the words of the Tikkuney Zohar (Tikkun 70, 127a): "At the time when HaVaYaH rises up from the Throne of Judgement and from the Throne of Compassion, there will be no punishment or reward." This will be when His unity will be roused into action, but this is not the place to discuss this at length.
...when the true essence of God's unity will be seen. As discussed already, the purpose of all this is to show clearly in actuality all that lies within the power of the supreme unity.
To be continued
(Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum is the director of Azamra (http://www.azamra.org/). The 138 Openings of Wisdom is available for purchase online at http://www.azamra.org/Product_pages/openings.htm)

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