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When a Person Knows What Is Fear of the Creator

Article No. 36, Tav-Shin-Mem-Hey, 1984-195

In the portion, Vaetchanan (item 68), the holy Zohar writes, “Afterwards in particular, meaning that when a person knows what is fear of the Creator, when he attains the quality of Malchut herself, which is fear out of love, the essence and the basis of love of the Creator, this fear makes him keep all the Mitzvot [commandments] of the Torah, so a person is a loyal servant of the Creator, as it should be.”

We should understand what it means when he says, “when he attains the quality of Malchut herself, which is fear out of love.” It means that since he has been rewarded with Malchut herself, she is regarded as love, and that love causes him fear. But why does love cause him fear? And also, we should understand what is fear once he has been rewarded with love?

We should interpret this according to what I heard that Baal HaSulam interpreted about the verse, “And there was a quarrel between the herdsmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle” (Genesis, 13:7). Abraham is called “father of faith,” whose work was based entirely on faith above reason without any support, meaning something to support the entire building that he was going to build in his life. He went wholeheartedly, and precisely through faith above reason he could approach the Creator, when he saw only this as life’s purpose.

To be rewarded with Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator within reason, he saw that his mind mandated otherwise, for wherever he turned he saw contradictions in Providence, in how the Creator behaves with the creatures. Then he understood that the Creator wants him to serve Him precisely above reason. He understood that if the way of within reason was better suited for bringing man to Dvekut with the Creator, the Creator would certainly behave differently, “for who will tell You what to do?”

Rather, he believed that he has no other way but to go above reason, and that the Creator did so deliberately because precisely this way is to man’s benefit. Therefore, he decided that he wanted to serve the Creator specifically above reason. This means that if he can attain His guidance within reason, he will oppose it because he regarded his work above reason, that this was more certain that his aim would be only to bestow contentment upon the Creator. But what could he do if he saw that His guidance dressed in him within reason, and he no longer had the option of going above reason because everything was revealed to him?

Baal HaSulam explained that when he saw some disclosure of light and abundance appearing to him he did not say about it that now he was happy that he will no longer have to go above reason because this is work to which the body does not agree, for the body enjoys more if it has some support on which to rely. That is, on which basis is his entire effort built? All the buildings that man builds are founded on the intellect, meaning that the intellect compels him that he must do so. For this reason, where the intellect cannot say that everything he does is fine, it is certainly difficult for him to walk in this way.

Therefore, where he has a chance to attain something within reason, he promptly throws his foundation of above reason and begins to work on a new basis, built on the intellect. Then he has support on which his labor can rely and he no longer needs the help of the Creator. Because it is difficult to go above reason, he always needs the help of the Creator, to have the strength to go above reason.

But now that the mind is telling him, “Now that you have the support of the mind and reason, you can advance alone, without the help of the Creator, and attain what there is to attain. Then his advice, when he said, “Now I see that the real way is to go specifically above reason because precisely by going above reason, a way that pleases the Creator, I was now rewarded with nearing the Creator. The evidence of this is that now he feels a taste for the work of the Creator both in Torah and in prayer.

It follows that he does not take being rewarded with nearing the Creator and feeling the love of the Creator as a basis for the work, meaning support for the work of the Creator, since the intellect necessitates that it is worthwhile to keep Torah and Mitzvot and he no longer needs to go with faith above reason. Rather, he is careful not to flaw the faith, meaning to accept the way of within reason and throw away the faith.

Faith is called Malchut. Therefore, it is considered that he has degraded and blemished the faith, for now it is evident that to begin with, he had no choice and therefore took to faith, but otherwise he would not have taken it. And as soon as he sees that he can get rid of it he promptly degrades it and throws it, and takes knowing in its stead. It was said about this, “I will honor those who honor Me, and those who despise Me will be disgraced.” It is also written, “The ways of the Lord are straight; the righteous walk in it, and the wicked fail in it.”

Accordingly, we can understand what we asked, since he has already been rewarded with Malchut, it is regarded as fear out of love. We asked, “If he already has love, how can we still speak of fear, and how can we speak of fear when he has already been rewarded with love?”

According to the interpretation of Baal HaSulam, who explained concerning the herdsmen of Abraham’s cattle, we can easily understand this. He said that the herdsmen of Abraham’s cattle means that Abraham was pasturing the faith. Mikneh [cattle] comes from the word Kinyan[possessions], meaning that all the possessions he has been rewarded with were pasturing his faith. That is, he said, “Now I see that the path of faith is the real path because I was rewarded with nearing the Creator. For this reason, I take upon myself to henceforth go only by the way of faith above reason.

This was not so with the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle. He took the possessions he acquired into the discernment of Lot. The holy Zohar calls Lot by the name of “land of the curse,” meaning that it is not a place of blessing, called a “field that the Lord has blessed.” Rather, it is a place of curse, which is within reason, meaning that he does what the mind mandates. However, when he began to walk on the path of the Creator, he also began with faith above reason, but he always waited for a time when he could be rid of this work of above reason.

The body always demands some basis on which to base his exertion in Torah and Mitzvot, since when the work is built on the intellect, and the intellect lets him understand that the work is worthwhile, the body makes great efforts and very persistently because the intellect compels it.

For example, a person went to bed at midnight, he is very tired, with fever, and is forbidden to get out of bed because he is shivering. But a fire breaks out in nearby rooms and he is told to quickly get out of bed because soon he won’t be able to get out of the house and he might burn. At that time, the intellect mandates without any doubt, if he regards his situation, that it is inconvenient for him to get out of bed for several reasons, then he might burn. Surely, he jumps out of bed without any arguments because the basis on which he has to exert, the intellect, mandates its profitability. Therefore he is certain to make every effort.

It follows that where the intellect binds the effort, one does not regard the effort, but only the profit, meaning what one can obtain through the effort. However, when working above reason one is always under the body’s pressure, which is asking, “What makes you certain that you’re on the right path? Is the effort you are making in order to achieve the goal really worthwhile? Is this even doable? Can you achieve the goal you’re seeking?”

Therefore, he is always going through ups and downs, where once the intellect prevails and once above reason prevails. He always thinks, “When will I be able to establish my work within reason and have a sound basis, since I will be able to build everything on the intellect? Surely, at that time I will not have any descents in the work of the Creator, as is with everything that is built on common sense.” However, he does not know what he hopes to attain will not give him a blessing, but a curse, since within reason is the place of the grip of the Sitra Achra [other side], and the Creator has chosen that those who want to achieve Dvekut with the Creator, specifically above reason is the real way to approach the Creator.

This is the degree of Lot, the cursed land, a land where there is a curse, and not a blessing. This is called the “herdsmen of Lot’s cattle,” who was always searching possessions for within reason, called Lot, meaning a curse. This is the meaning of the verse, “And there was a quarrel between the herdsmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle.” That is, the quarrel was that each one said that he was right.

Those who were in the state of herdsmen of Lot’s cattle were saying, “If we can build our basis on the intellect, called ‘within reason,’ we will not have ups and downs because we will always be in a state of ascent.” This is so because where the intellect binds doing the actions there is no one to interrupt them. Therefore, when we have no choice we must go above reason. But when we can choose to go within reason, it is to the contrary: we must say that there is contentment above in that from this day forth we will have no descents in the work. Therefore, our way is certainly better.

But the herdsmen of Abram’s cattle are people whose basis was precisely on faith above reason. They said, “If the Creator wanted us to work on the basis of the intellect, He would not be concealed from us to begin with. Rather, this must be the best way. Therefore, we need not look for opportunities to be rid of faith above reason. Rather, if we receive some intellect and nearing to the Creator we will not take it as a basis for casting away faith, but to say, ‘Now I see that this is the real way because by this I was rewarded with nearing.’” Therefore, he should brace himself and accept that henceforth he will not search for any opportunities to be rid of the faith, but on the contrary, grow stronger with faith above reason.

By this we will understand the words of the holy Zohar, that once he was rewarded with Malchutherself, which is love, being fear out of love, we asked, “How can you speak of fear if there is already love there?” And also, “What is fear?”

According to the above said, it turns out that once he was rewarded with love, there is nothing greater that mandates the work because it is a basis within reason, for now the intellect mandates the work for him. This is so because naturally, we want to serve the one we love. Therefore, there is no more room for faith because at that time how can we speak of faith above reason then?

Therefore, he is afraid that he might blemish the faith because now the body will enjoy the work more since he has a basis of within reason. And if he blemishes faith, then it becomes revealed that the faith above reason that he had had was out of necessity to begin with, not out of respect, but that he constantly longed for a time when he could be rid of it and work with knowledge instead of faith.

Then, because he has blemished faith, he promptly falls from his degree and soon parts from the Creator, since knowing is receiving. It is known that we understand receiving, which is self-love, in two ways: 1) with the mind, 2) with the heart.

It turns out that when he has been rewarded with love, the love itself causes him fear. He is afraid that he will not be drawn to knowledge. Therefore, at that time he needs great care that he will not fall into the will to receive. At that time we understand that love itself causes the fear. Now we already know what is fear, which love causes, meaning that he is afraid that through this love he will fall into self-love.

With this we can understand the great rule that Baal HaSulam said, that although it makes sense that sin induces punishment, in internality, it is a very different meaning, which is a little difficult to grasp. He said that we must know that the sin is the punishment, and the punishment is already the correction!

We should ask about this: If the sin is the punishment, what is the sin? Through the above said we can interpret that the sin was actually during the ascent, that precisely when he was rewarded with love, he had a desire to take love as the basis, and cast away the faith, as is the view of the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle.

At that time he suffered a descent and fell once more into self-love, from which every kind of sin is derived. It follows that he failed precisely during the ascent, when he thought that by taking love as a basis and support on which to exert, and thought that by this he would not have any more descents, since where the intellect mandates is a healthy path and he will never fall, this was the actual sin. This is called “All who add subtract.” It follows that his fall into self-love is the punishment for flawing the faith, and the punishment he has received is a correction so he will rise once more on the degree of the straight path.

Inapoi la pagina 1985 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

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