Shavuot, Megilat Ruth & The 10 Sefirot Part Seven
Transcribed by Daniel Goldman from a lecture recorded on 4 May 1999: Shavuot was time when the Jews finally broke the hold of the Evil Inclination, and made it external. Forty days from then would have been the coming of the Messiah. You had the Resurrection, and forty days later would have been the spreading of the Or Haganuz, the restoration of the original light, as on the first day of creation.
Since the Jews missed their opportunity to restore the 49 levels of the lower seven Sefirot, it was now up to Ruth to complete them. If she is to be the mother of the king, then she has to prepare for a world that is ready for Malchut. She has to restore as much as she can of the positive side of the Divine Influences, and she has to break the hold of the negative side.
Q: Is this Kabbalah?
RSW: Kabbalah is beyond this. This is basic Jewish Philosophy. In some new texts it is referred to as Kabbalah, but really isn’t. The whole purpose of Jewish Philosophy is to provide us with an infrastructure. Once you have this basic infrastructure, absolutely everything that you learn can fit into it one way or the other. But until you understand what the infrastructure is, you’ll find yourself in a place where you’re being bombarded (if you’re learning) with all sorts of ideas and concepts, laws, rules, and directions, and hints and stories. But you won’t know how it all fits together. And if so, you’re not going to have the instruments necessary to uncovering God’s Oneness in the world. God’s Oneness is your mission. We don’t say, “Hear O Israel, God is our Lord, God is compassionate.” Or, “…God is patient.” Or, “…God is kind.” We say God is One. If God is One, the world that God created has to be unified. And if it is unified, everything has to fit together. To fit together, you must have a basic infrastructure. Jewish Philosophy is that infrastructure. Then, everything you learn and every mitzvah you perform will make sense to you, and you will understand how it is connected to everything else.
Knowing the basic story of Megilat Ruth, there’s hardly any question that she restores the influence of Chesed, of kindness. What about Malchut? – She becomes the ancestor to David. Yesod? Is there any question about her loyalty? In fact, when she has a baby, it is Naomi’s breasts that fill with milk to feed the child. Even though she is an older woman she can nurse the baby. Everybody says, “Noami had a son.” What happened to Ruth? Ruth isn’t there. She understands that whatever she was doing was for Naomi’s benefit, not herself. I believe we discussed last week that when Naomi instructs Ruth to “go down, bathe, dress up and perfume herself,” we read it as though Naomi says these things to Ruth. But the way we read it is not the way it is written in the scroll. In the scroll, it is written as, “I will go down, I will bathe, I will dress up,” etc. When Ruth goes down she is not going as Ruth, but as Naomi. That is Yesod.