|Keter Shem Tov-51-51A|
|Escrito por Bentzion of Medziboz|
“Although these [the academy of Shamai] forbid, and these [the academy of Hillel] permit, both opinions are the Words of the Living G•d.”1 The Baal Shem Tov taught: The different opinions are only in the lower worlds of duality, but in the upper world of Binah, which is referred to as “the Living G•d,” everything is Unity.2
If G•d’s presence fills the universe, if there is no place where He is absent, and if He can be found wherever a person is, then why are angels required to bring a person’s prayers up to G•d from chamber to chamber?
The answer is that G•d arranged things this way so that it would seem to a person that he is extremely distant, and would strive to get closer. This can be understood with of the parable the Baal Shem Tov:3
There was once a great and wise king who used optical illusions to give the impression that he had built walls, towers and gates around his palace. He then gave the order that whoever comes to him must go through the gates, and that treasures be scattered at all the gates. Thus, some people who came to see king found treasures at the first gate, took it and immediately turned around and went home, while others continued going through more gates until they could not carry anymore treasures, at which point they too turned around and went home. However, the king’s only son was not interested in the treasures, but only in reaching his father. He then realized that in reality, there were no walls at all separating him from his father, and that it was all an optical illusion.4
The analogy of the story is that G•d hides Himself in various veils and walls. However, His glory fills the universe, and every single movement or thought is only Him. Thus, even all the angels and heavenly chambers were all created from His very essence, like the shell of an insect is an integral part of its body. Hence, there is absolutely no separation between man and G•d, and with this knowledge, all evildoers are dispersed.
1 Tractates Yevamoth 13b; Eruvin 13b
2 The Toldoth Yaakov Yoseph in VaYechi #3 and in Mishpatim #9 quote this in the name of an anonymous sage, but in VaYakhel #3, the Toldoth writes that he thinks he heard this from the Baal Shem Tov.
3 Ben Porath Yoseph 111a
4 This graphic parable portrays life as one great treasure hunt for the ultimate treasure – that of finding the One Who is hidden within all the little treasures and pleasures of life. The “treasures” at the gates are thus all the material and even spiritual pleasures that one can enjoy in this world, but none of these, on their own, can be considered “having found G•d,” which is the goal of the entire scheme. G•d, indeed, created the world to afford pleasure to His creatures, but the ultimate treasure can be nothing else and nothing less than He Himself, and anything else and anything less is nothing but a decoy for the “Real Thing.” The object of the game, though, is to find G•d hidden within all of those decoys, to reveal that, in essence, they are actually a part of the “Nothing Less.”
Translation and Commentary by Rabbi Yehoshua Starrett and reprinted with the kind permission of the Baal Shem Tov Foundation. Please visit www.baalshemtov.com
Publicize the Teachings of the Baal Shem Tov To Help Bring Moshiach Right NOW!
Bentzion Ziskind Meltzer