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The Way of G-d"

Part 1: "The Fundamental Principles of Reality"

Ch. 5: "The Different Realms and Their Specific Situations"

Paragraph 9

By Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

There are very many degrees of evil and what they bring about 1, but in general there are four and they're termed "impurity" 2, "darkness" 3, "filth" 4, "the profane" 5 and the like. Contrarily, what results from G-d's "face" shining onto something is generally termed "holiness" 6, "purity" 7, "light", "blessing", and the like 8.

When we take their subcategories into account we can then catch sight of G-d's governance of the world.


1. ... when G-d turns His "face" away.

2. See 4:2:6-7 and 4:6:2-3 below.

3. See Klallei Pitchei Chochma v'Da'at 9.

4. See Da'at Tevunot 118.

5. See Da'at Tevunot 78, Klallei Ma'amar HaChochma 14, and 4:4;5, 4:5:2, 4:7:2 below.

These terms allude to the four "shells" the Kabbalists say obstruct the pure "fruit" that is closeness to G-d. They're derived from the four terms cited in the verse that reads, "a tempest was coming from the north, a huge cloud and a flaming fire, with a brightness around it" (Ezekiel 1:4).

6. See Ma'amar HaChochma ("Mah M'lamedet Chochmat HaEmet"), Ma'amar HaIkurim {"B'Torah U'b'Mitzvot", and Messillat Yesharim Ch. 26.

7. See Messilat Yesharim Ch. 16 and 4:3:1 below.

8. Those are how such things are termed and function on the large scale; but it's hard to see their effects in the world as we experience it. On the other hand, ...

Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has translated and commented upon "The Gates of Repentance", "The Path of the Just", and "The Duties of the Heart" (Jason Aronson Publishers). His works are available in bookstores and in various locations on the Web.



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