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Kabbalah, Morality, and Choice

September 30, 2013

This website has been developed as a platform to present a variety of topics from a Torah-based perspective.

Members of our editorial committee who oversee all of these projects bring diversity to a wide spectrum of subjects addressing the concealed purpose of creation of relevance to Jew and gentile alike.

By tradition, Judaism avoids proselytizing.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe cast his vision on the end of this current exile; a world which had become enveloped by moral darkness awaited the sum-total of our collective actions would determine not “what was already pre-destined to happen”, but rather how that would unfold.

It is from within that prism of total visibility that the Rebbe appealed to his emissaries to reach-out and educate all elements of society in the basic principles of morality.

From one side of the spectrum was our recognition that important esoteric essays need to be re-published with new typesetting with appropriately referenced footnotes.

While preserving the accuracy and format of old Biblical texts, the author has attempted to help the reader understand and thereby gain the opportunity to “internalize” these ancient teachings (written in brevity), by contextualizing and embedding primary source material together with matching commentaries made by the subsequent Rebbeim of Chabad Lubavitch culminating with Rabbi Menachem Schneursohn.

This clarity will allow the reader not only the opportunity to “internalize” new material, but the exposure to a shift in “process-thinking”.

Esoteric concepts found in the “Tikkunei Zohar” and “Pre-Eitz Chaim” originated in Aramaic. The language used by the Rebbeim to explain these lofty concepts are explained in chassidus using Hebrew text.

Kabbalistic systems of thought use the process of Gematria (numerology), trigonometry (visuo-spatial), and sentence reconstructure.

The guidelines for de-coding the latent meaning of Kabbalistic  texts was established in the early Mystical Schools of Abulafia, and feature prominently in the writings of Rabbi Menachem Schneursohn and his father Levi Yitzchak Schneursohn (of Blessed Memory).

Since this introduction was written on the 24th of Teves 5573; the 200th Anniversary of the Passing of the first Chabad Rebbe, Author of “Shulchan Aruch Harav”, and “Sefer Tanya”, Schneur Zalman of Liadi, it is apt to repeat the famous question by Reb Chaim Brysk, of the Soleveychik dynasty, in which he challenged the change in order in the Yeshiva curriculum introduced by the 5th Chabad Rebbe Sholom Ber Schneursohn.

The challenge was organized around the existential priority in how we come closer to fulfilling the desire of our Creator: “What takes priority, the unquestiong faith and service toward an “unknowable Super-Being”?  Or “enlightening” oneself through meditation and sanctification as a precursor to serving Him?

At another level, while I have posted an introductory article on the Seven Universal Laws, I will rely heavily on the authority of Maimonides for the presentation of much of the syllabus for the “Seven Noahide Laws”.

The authority of Maimonides in his rulings and explanations on subjects such as the definitions of the boundaries of the Holy Land is crucial to Halachic application of the respective roles between Jew and Gentile in the Holy Land and Diaspora.

The “Laws and Courts of Justice” pertains not only to criminal law but to civil laws of damages and compensation; legal contracts and documents; business ethics; labor-laws, and so on.

The “Seven Universal Laws”, (otherwise known as the “Shevah Mitzvahs Bnei Noah”) represents a previously inconceivable pioneering step at the urging of the Lubavitcher Rebbe  in recruiting gentiles (through raising their consciousness) in the educational  “call of the hour”  to ensure their reward through active participation in the redemption process.

Rabbi`s Moshe Feinstein and Reuben Margolioth are in agreement regarding “The Seven Universal Laws”, that a gentile can only qualify as righteous if he upholds his “moral Oath” within the context of recognition, love and fear of the Creator.

The recognition that morality is both Divine and immutable has to evolve from the personal evolution of the recognition and service of the Creator as the ultimate purpose of creation.

Acknowledging the existence of the Creator is a precursor to serving Him.

Any true relationship requires a mutual exchange of empathy, which in turn requires the acknowledgement of the other`s existence.

Deeper levels of sensitivity and intimacy arouse a commensurate level of emotion which in turn animate and “enliven” the level of devotion.

Esoteric knowledge alone illustrates the emptiness of mere acquisition of knowledge in the absence of a sensitivity to the property of its Creator.

Only when knowledge leads to a greater level of sensitivity for His creation, does it become a belief that is measurable.

Reward is the expression of that measurement and depends entirely on His Judgment.

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