Thursday, September 8, 2022

Corruption of Chesed and Din


All of the Creation on all of its levels, this in three-dimensional reality, this in the area of intellect and spirituality, and those levels which are above our grasp are channeled to us through different channels or Emanations – Sefirois or Midois, which were revealed to Moishe, the Prophets and the Sages of blessed memory.

Those Emanations of Divine energies are generally presented to us in the form of two columns, of which on one side there is Chesed – Lovingkindness, and the other column is called Gevura (Strength) or Din (Judgment/Justice).

There are other Divine energies within this framework, each of which can coexist within other energies in some amount. For example, there may be some amount of Hoid – Glory, or Netzach  – Eternity, Perseverance in Chesed or Gevura.

Everything we experience in our existence is made up of a combination of these energies or Emanations.

There is no other source of existence or other channels causing reality than those Emanating from The Source.

If so, how evil is possible?

We will not enter the discussion about the originality of Evil as it is a difficult and broad topic and if someone is interested, I suggest going straight to the writings and shiurim of Rabbi Akiva Tatz.

Without deeper explanation we will say that source of the evil is man himself.

It is a man in whose power is to use and develop those energies in accordance with the will of the One who provides us with those tools, but it is also a man who by corrupting the powers provided to him through the channels of Chesed and Din, restricts the flow of Divine energies, causing evil to appear.

The history of mankind begins with the description of the act of Creation, followed by certain rules for the created in two forms of man. Creation is quickly followed by the rebellion of man.

Libraries of books were written on this topic, as it is the most potent one and every touch of the quill on the scroll of Toira often contains coded meanings understood by Carriers of the Toira Shbealpe – the oral tradition.

Since most of those teachings are in the area of Kabalistic tradition, I have no expertise in the character of the first sin beyond the general idea that it was sin within the area of promiscuity.

Michtav mi Eliachu explains topic of promiscuity in his comment on parsha Lech Lechu. Rav Dessler based this idea on Seifer Baal Shem Toiv and the verse from the Chumash itself (Vaikru 20:17).

“A person whose main quality is Chesed is in danger that, he may spend more money than he can afford. Then, he will borrow from others and spend it in turn. Eventually it will be found that his excessive desire to do Chesed was counterproductive, for it led him to cause others loss because he could not repay his debts. There is also the possibility that he will eventually "be merciful to the cruel," leading to "cruelty to the merciful," as we find in the example of Shaul Ha-melech. There is also another more insidious danger that, by becoming accustomed to acceding to everyone's requests, he may then come to accede to the demands of the yetzer hara. This is why certain forbidden marriages are referred to as Chesed (The whole institution of marriage is, of course, a great Chesed. Through it, people bestow a great bounty on mankind by allowing a new generation to emerge. But when this deviates from the bounds set down by Creator, by a person acting simply to gratify his desires or by way of sin, God forbid, then it is called "the Chesed of defilement.") Such is the lot of Chesed, which is not limited by the quality of Gevura.” (Strive for Truth)

The aveira – sin in the pusik, one of many aveiros in category of Giluy Arayos, as well as other possible aveiros of which Rav Dessler provides examples, are defiled or corrupted forms of Middas Chesed.

The very second aveira in the history of man, is act of violence resulting in death of Hevel, one of the first two sons.

Vilna Gaon in his Saifer(…) says that even anger is a corrupted form of Din. It is needless to say that violence is nothing, but anger brought to its extreme level.

Violence on individual level is expressed as anger, stealing, harm, jealousy, physical and verbal abuse and many many other forms.

Then there is social violence, in which personal anger coming from the overgrown egos of political maniacs throws groups or entire nations into violence. “Hunters of tongue,” as Nimrod and Eisav are described, can manipulate societies to conquer, to suppress, to humiliate, to control by force, surveillance, or social engineering; to kill and to be killed.

Violence is corrupted form of Gevura/Din, and that action of violence is always presented by them as Din - justice. There is action and presentation which perhaps could be considered corruption of Truth – (Emes/Tiferes/Rachamim).

It is true that Justice itself may sometimes appear as an act of violence…sometimes. But even the greatest acts of violence committed by the man in his history are always presented as an act of Justice.

B-H, this corrupted form of Din was, and I-H will be a topic of many of my essays.

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