Kabbalah and New Life Wisdom – The Influence of the Enironment on Man

“All [of man’s] merit and spirit depends on the choice of the environment.”
-Rav Ashlag, “The Freedom

“Only in the matter of the choice of environment is man’s reign over himself measured, and for this, he should receive either reward or punishment.”
-Rav Ashlag, “The Freedom

“Obtaining the importance and exaltedness depends entirely on the environment.”-Rav Ashlag, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”

“Only in that is one rebuked or praised—in his choice of environment. But once he has chosen the environment, he is at its hands as clay in the hands of the potter.”
-Rav Ashlag, “The Freedom”

“There is freedom for the will to initially choose such an environment, such books, and such guides that impart to him good concepts. If one does not do that, but is willing to enter any environment that appears to him and read any book that falls into his hands, he is bound to fall into a bad environment or waste his time on worthless books, which are abundant and easier to come by. In consequence, he will be forced into foul concepts that make him sin and condemn. He will certainly be punished, not because of his evil thoughts or deeds, in which he has no choice, but because he did not choose to be in a good environment, for in that there is definitely a choice.”
-Rav Ashlag, “The Freedom

“He who strives to continually choose a better environment is worthy of praise and reward. But here, too, it is not because of his good thoughts and deeds, which come to him without his choice, but because of his effort to acquire a good environment, which brings him these good thoughts and deeds. It is as Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Perachya said, “Make for yourself, a Rav, and buy for yourself a friend.””
-Rav Ashlag, “The Freedom

“The measure of the greatness does not depend on the individual, but on the environment. For example, even if one is filled with virtues but the environment does not appreciate one as such, one will always be low-spirited and will not be able to take pride in his virtues, although he has no doubt that they are true. And conversely, a person with no merit at all, whom the environment respects as though he is virtuous, that person will be filled with pride, since the measure of importance and greatness is given entirely to the environment.”
-Rav Ashlag, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar

“A person has qualities that his parents bequeathed to their children, and he has qualities that he acquired from the society, which is a new possession. And this comes to him only through bonding with the society and the envy that he feels toward the friends when he sees that they have better qualities than his own. It motivates him to acquire their good qualities, which he doesn’t have and of which he is jealous.Thus, through the society, he gains new qualities that he adopts by seeing that they are at a higher degree than his, and he is envious of them. This is the reason why now he can be greater than when he didn’t have a society, since he acquires new powers through the society.”
-Rabash, Rabash—the Social Writings, “Concerning Above Reason


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