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The Plague Will Not Enter Your Tent
You can profoundly rectify your mis‑spent sexuality by sanctifying your will and illuminating it clearly, until the light of holiness will stream through even your strongest physical drive. That drive is rooted in holiness that is incredibly strong, because it contains the expression of life: the sexual drive. The light of holiness will stream within it to such a degree that its holy aspect will rule your life and direct its action and expression. Then sexuality’s secular aspect, and certainly its unclean aspect, will be totally nullified before its holy aspect. Then, in truth, the plague will not enter your tent; you shall be righteous and guarded from stumbling.
Orot Hakodesh III, p. 298
Holiness in Action and Holiness in Thought
Holiness in action and holiness in thought anchor the holiness of nature and will in its very foundation. The sexual act is sanctified in the strength of a pure and holy nature. This was the human experience before the sin. This all-encompassing holiness and, even higher than that, the longing for this holiness refine your entire connection to your soul. Familial relations are bound with the threads of the holy of holies, so strong and powerful, bringing a flow of long life to your descendants.
From this saintly basis flow life and refinement, power and strength, the greatness of life. All of your life is filled with strength: for those who are with you, for the generation, for the entire world.
Strength adds to strength, life draws forth life. Honor and beauty cause beauty and the glory of holiness to shine upon all.
Orot Hakodesh III, p. 299
The Sexual Drive Streams Into the Future
The sexual drive streams into the future, to the perfection of life that time will bring: the life of the world-to-come within this world. That future life is filled with complete beauty and pleasure; thus, great is the yearning and the strength of desire of the sexual drive, which is all-encompassing; only upon this drive does ultimate holiness rest its light.
The pure soul leads the sexual drive to its goal within the boundary of Torah, wisdom, rectitude and modesty: the sources of righteousness. “Whoever guards the covenant is called righteous.”
The basis of the holiness of Israel is tied to the world of the future. A holy spirit continuously embraces the entirety of the nation and its individuals. “Your people are all righteous.”
Orot Hakodesh III, p. 296
The Precious Reason for Circumcision
The precious reason for circumcision, which decreases sexual desire, encompasses broad principles of wisdom. The covenant—”to be a God to you and to your children after you”—offers knowledge of God’s oneness, which is connected to circumcision. The covenant and circumcision are intimately intertwined.
“From his flesh does a man see God.” If you have the power to harness all the abilities of your soul and all your drives to an enlightened and ethical goal, you will see unity in your internal world. The unity of the outer world will become increasingly clear to you. But if your abilities are splintered, if you cannot conceive of overall control of your drives and desires, you will conclude that the entire world, like you, is splintered, and that no unity can be found in existence.
Sexual desire in its essence—and in related expressions, physical, imaginative and spiritual—comprises the basis of all drives. If you experience sexuality in a way that your exalted spirit can rise to it and surround it, can unify it with all the wealth of human abilities (physical and spiritual), leading it to one integrated ethical and supernal goal, then that unity, in its power, is revealed. the revelation of Godly unity will appear in your flesh.
The total immersion of the human spirit in sexual desire to such a degree that the ideals and ethics in its realm are silenced has brought about the substance of the foreskin. This pathological state expresses itself physically as a powerful sexual drive that has left the realm of ideals and the transmission of the ultimate ethics.
Pessimism corresponds to ethical decline. It gives urgency to the divorce of sexual desire from idealism: since existence in general is such a great evil, how can the procreation of miserable creatures be ideal? This doctrine teaches that the sexual drive is not rooted in idealism, but merely demonstrates the eruption of desire.
How different is the outlook of general goodness, of optimism: “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” This view permits idealism to extend even over the sexual drive.
The nature of flesh and the inclination of one’s heart can descend to the degraded state of the foreskin. But with circumcision, you rectify the holy covenant and stride on an exalted path. All your abilities are directed toward a goal that is all-inclusive, ideal and holy. From your flesh will you see God. You will sanctify the Holy One of Israel, the one God.
Orot Hakodesh III, p. 300
Whatever is Positive and Ideal
What is the basic nature of the [sexual] covenant, of how that covenant is made—in the ethical sense?
Whatever is positive and ideal, whatever wells from the essence of the most elevated and exalted morality: that must be planted in us, deeply and strongly. It must exist within the entire nature of our heart and soul, to such a degree that it does not require encouragement, strengthening or protective boundaries. It must be palpable and permanent.
We must experience it as strongly as a decent individual experiences a repugnance to the possibility of murder or any other evil, negative activity that the power of general ethics has already addressed successfully.
When we reach that state, we will be happy in its exalted being. We will rejoice in the name of God and always trust His kindness.
But when the [sexual] covenant is flawed, the natural power within ethics is weakened. In consequence, the flaw brings about trembling and weakness in the depth of our soul. That inner trembling results from a tendency to turn from the path of good. At that time, we need constant guarding and encouragement: intelligent and in-depth.
With an arousal of supernal repentance motivated by love of God, this flaw is transformed into goodness. Instead of engaging in a variety of activities with the energy of nature, which lacks intelligence, now we act with the force of intelligence (see Orot Hateshuvah, Chapter One).
Then we also experience, with goodness and joy, some of that pleasurable feeling that naturally comes from the path of goodness and the service of God in general.
At the same time, we experience fears and states of bitterness. These come about because we are now strengthening ourselves to walk upon the right path. Actually, if the trait of the covenant were not weak in ourselves, we would already be doing everything with confidence and a joyous heart.
[When we experience all these feelings,] we become accustomed in our depths to do good for the sake of the essence of what is truly good: the desire of God (see Musar Avichah 2, 4.) In particular, it is typical that tranquility will then characterize our every mitzvah, our every path of service and every good trait.
It might be that from the emotional aspect within ourselves, we do not recognize that tranquility entirely in its full glory, in a manner that will cause our soul to draw us to it. It might be that from our individual aspect, we do not feel our ethical elevation, which results from good deeds, this discipline, and the like.
However, in the framework of the totality, in the context of the Congregation of Israel, it is certain that every spiritual and moral improvement, every aspect of approaching God, will bring positive influence.
In general, the balance of spirituality is without a doubt lacking in the world. We are massively immersed in physicality.
At times, in our individual lives, we may have turned appropriately to spirituality, which perhaps has subdued our physicality. [Still, because spirituality is so much outweighed in the world,] we do not experience, as would have been appropriate, that sweet feeling that holiness places upon the heart of those who go in its ways.
But when the balance of our spirituality is joined to the treasury of the entirety [(the Congregation of Israel)], we will find that the place of aridity [within us] has been watered with the emanation of holiness. It will soak us with its influence.
Then we will pluck its true fruit. It will be fit for us to rejoice with it.
“There are people who act out of love and rejoice in sufferings. Of them the verse states, ‘Those who love Him are like the coming forth of the sun in its strength’ (Shoftim 5:31)” (Shabbos 88b).
Midot Harayah, p. 66
When Your Will Rises
When your will rises to that supernal level of holiness, it is cleared of all bad traits and all bad actions that exist in the world—even of the most inconsequential matters that most people ignore.
One might desire illicit relations more than life itself, because sexual relations are embedded in one’s drive to give life to all generations. But through sexual holiness, you can rise to the level and archetype of the righteous man of all generations.
Similarly, one might experience the desire to steal: for what one possesses can support generations to come as an inheritance. the love of evil acquisition exceedingly degrades one’s care for future generations. But the goodness within holiness can rise to the heights of life and elevate it.
Orot Hakodesh III, p. 298
The Power of Basic Goodness
A flaw in our sexual being—when it is actually degraded in relationship to the most elevated morality and wisdom, the life-force of the world, the life of future days—causes us to experience inner darkness. We remain unable to truly recognize the worth of anything valuable or to truly connect with anything ultimate and moral. (These abilities are branches of that basic morality that leads to the life-force of the world of the greatest future.)
When such a flaw exists, all concepts of morality remain weak within ourselves, and require great support. The slightest imposition prevents us from progressing to wholeness.
But after we strengthen ourselves in repentance inspired by the love of God, with profound study of Aggadah, we recognize “He Who spoke and brought the world into being.” Then the power of basic goodness shines upon us.
And then we rise. At first, we rise because of the very essence of faith—even though we do not yet clearly perceive an inner conception. Afterwards, the inner light grows whole within us.
At that point, the very fact of our having been distanced becomes the means of our coming close. Because the normative light of justice [?] has not yet acted upon us to revive us, we find within ourselves a mighty thirst to raise our conceptions to a greater height. As a result, our sins are transformed into merits (cf. Yoma 88a).
Midot Harayah, p. 67
The Perfection of Life That Time Will Bring
Thought is the eternal revelation of each human being. It is disclosed in speech. Thought pours forth, flowing directly from the eternal aspect of sexuality into the procreative faculty colored by the context of one’s life.
In accordance with how your elevated thought, in its purity, shines upon your power of speech, the essential strength of life in your sexuality will be elevated and enveloped in supernal holiness. The inner light of life in all its strength will shine through your power of speech: “You shall command and it will come about; light shall shine upon your path” (Job 22:28)
Orot Hakodesh III, p.296
The World of Humanity
A supernal ethical gaze flows from supernal consciousness of the divine. It places its seal on the nexus where God’s will and the ultimate purpose of sexuality join. That seal is the eternal and infinite aspect of sexuality concealed in one’s human character. In this invaluable point, all supernal pleasures are concealed.
There exists a precious strategy whose goal is to rectify this holy foundation, to turn sexuality and its essential offshoots to the holy goal of life. That strategy is the cornerstone of all ethical values. It establishes the world of humanity, both internal and external.
Days will come when the general culture will gaze with exalted appreciation at the divine glory pervading those thoughts that now appear benighted to those who are sexually gross, who have an unrefined consciousness, who remain outside the camp of Israel. Those thoughts are connected, in the mystic aspect of ethics, to sexual rectification, to all the fast‑day prayers and outcries of those who have strayed. “Light is sown for the righteous, and to those who have an honest heart, joy.”
Orot Hakodesh III, p. 296