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What Is the Main Deficiency for which One Should Pray?

Article No. 12, Tav-Shin-Mem-Vav, 1985-86

It is known that Creation is called “deficiency.” This is why it is called “existence from absence.” Man was created full of deficiencies. Therefore, for man to succeed in the work when he is going to satisfy his deficiencies he must first know what is the main deficiency to which he should give preference over all his deficiencies. Since there are spiritual deficiencies and corporeal deficiencies we must first clarify which we defined as “spiritual” and which we defined as “corporeal.”

In the essay, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” (item 11) it is written, “Now you can understand the real difference between spirituality and corporeality: anything that contains a complete desire to receive, in all its Behinot [discernments], which is Behina Dalet, is considered ‘corporeal.’ This is what exists in all the elements of reality before us in this world. Conversely, anything above this great measure of desire to receive is considered ‘spirituality.’”

It follows that corporeality means that which relates to satisfying our will to receive. Thus, everything that one does for one’s own benefit is called “corporeality,” and what he does to benefit the Creator is called “spirituality.”

It is therefore clear that we do not need to create the Kli [vessel] for corporeality, meaning the desire to satisfy the self-gratification, a Kli of wanting to receive in order to receive, since the Creator gave us such Kelim [vessels] at the onset of Creation, as it is known that the thought of creation, called “His desire to do good to His creations,” created the will to receive existence from absence, that we should want to crave to receive delight and pleasure. Also, the Creator satisfies that Kli as He wishes. Thus, we do not need to ask for vessels of reception.

Therefore, the prayer we give for corporeality is only for the filling, meaning that the Creator will satisfy everything we feel we need since the sensation of lack is what makes us suffer. And the suffering we feel are the reason that we do everything we can to satisfy our wishes.

This is not so when we need to pray for spirituality, that the Creator will satisfy our deficiencies, since the lack for spirituality was the reason for the prayer that the Creator will grant our wishes since we are suffering because our deficiency has not been fulfilled, as this deficiency has yet to be born in us, meaning the lack to satisfy the Kli called “vessel of bestowal,” which is the difference between spirituality and corporeality. The corporeal Kli is called “vessel of reception,” and wants to satisfy its self-gratification. A spiritual Kli is called “a Kli that wants to satisfy the benefit of the Creator,” contrary to one’s own benefit.

This Kli is absent in the nature of creation since by nature, man is born with only a Kli for self gratification. The reason we say to our bodies that we must work to benefit the Creator is that it does not understand what is being said to it, as it cannot grasp not considering its own benefit and thinking all day about benefitting the Creator. It is especially so when it hears that we should relinquish pleasures that pertain to self-love in favor of benefitting the Creator.

This thing is so foreign to the body when it hears that one should work only in order to bestow that it immediately becomes a smart aleck and asks, “I would like to know if you see other people walking in this line for whom you, too, want to do the same? True, I would agree with you, but see for yourself how many people you see whose every thought in life is only to see to the benefit of the Creator and not their own? If we assume that you know that there are people who are walking on this line, how much time and effort did they put into having the ability to do everything only to bestow? And especially, how long should this take, a month, two months, a year, two years?” And it becomes even more of a smart aleck and asks, “Did all those who invest time and effort achieve this degree of being above to aim all their works to bestow?” With these words they can divert a person from the work pertaining to the path of bestowal. It follows from all the above that concerning spirituality, called “bringing contentment to one’s Maker,” a person has no such deficiency. On the contrary, if he does get a thought that we should do something to bestow upon the Creator without any reward, all the body’s thoughts and desires immediately protest and cry out, “Do not be a fool and an exception to go against the majority, who know that the reason that compels one to work is self-benefit.

Only with this force he can engage in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments]. Although he knows that he should engage Lishma [for Her sake], but there is a general answer to this, that he is keeping what our sages said, “One should always engage in Torah and Mitzvot Lo Lishma [not for Her sake] because from Lo Lishma he will be rewarded with Lishma.” However, he should not be concerned with this, meaning to test if he has really come closer to Lishma. Rather, he knows that the good is bound to come, meaning that he will certainly achieve Lishma, so he does not need to think about the meaning of Lishma because he need not scrutinize the details of things he is not supposed to do. Rather, he lives like the majority.

Therefore, there is a big difference between the prayer that one prays for corporality and the prayer one prays for spirituality. For spirituality, one must first pray for the Kli, meaning for a deficiency, to feel pain and sorrow at not having this Kli, called “desire,” meaning to crave to bring contentment to one’s Maker.

It therefore follows that he need not pray for satisfying the deficiency, as in corporality when he has a need and asks for the satisfaction of the need, since he still has no Kli of spirituality. Hence, when one comes to pray for spirituality he must pray for the Kli—that the Creator will give him a Kli of wanting to bestow upon the Creator. Afterwards, when he has a Kli that pertains to spirituality he will be able to pray for the abundance to enter the spiritual Kli.

It follows from the above that the real deficiency for which one must pray to the Creator should be the Kli. This follows the rule, “There is no light without a Kli.” When he prays for a real deficiency that he is lacking comes the granting of the prayer when the Creator gives him a new Kli, as it is written, “And I will remove the stony heart from you flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”

I heard about this deficiency from Baal HaSulam, who said in the name of his teacher, the ADMOR of Pursov, about the verse, “Command Aaron (Leviticus, 6:2). “RASHI interprets, ‘‘Command’ means rushing promptly and for posterity. Rabbi Shimon said, ‘the writing should rush primarily where the pockets are empty.’’” He interpreted it to mean that “pocket” is a Kli in which to put money. Usually, we exert and worry about getting money. And he said, “One should be most concerned where the pockets are empty, meaning where there is no Kli

It is as we explained that in spirituality one need not pray that the Creator will give him abundance and lights. Rather, first he must see that he has a Kli, meaning a desire and craving to bestow upon the Creator, since by nature we want only to receive and not to give.

It follows that when one enters the holy work and wants to achieve completion, he must exert with all his might to obtain the desire to want to bring contentment to one’s Maker. This is where one should focus all one’s prayers—that the Creator will help him and give him this new Kli. He must say before Him: “Lord of the world, as You have given me when I first came into this world a Kli to only receive for my own sake, I now ask that You will give me a new Kli, to have a desire to only bestow contentment upon You.”

We might ask, “How can one pray to be given a Kli called ‘desire to bestow,’ when we say that he does not need this Kli because he does not feel that he will lack it?” How, then, can one ask for something that one does not need?

Although he sees that he does not have the Kli called “desire to bestow,” it does not mean that one needs everything that he does not have. It is written about the upper Sefirot that the Sefira [sin. of SefirotBina desires mercy although we learned that through Tzimtzum Bet [second restriction] she departed from Rosh de AA. Still it is regarded as though she did not depart, for although she has no Hochma, it is not considered a deficiency because she does not need it.

We see that something that one does not have is regarded as a lack precisely when he needs it. Moreover, one must feel pain at not having. That is, even when he feels he needs it but is not tormented at not having it, it is still not considered a deficiency. Hence, how can one pray for something for which he has no deficiency?

This is why one must think about the purpose of creation, which we know is to do good to His creations. When one begins to criticize that good, which is among the creatures, meaning their delight in the world from the delight and pleasure that the Creator wants to give to them, yet he cannot find it among the creatures, it makes him realize that there must be a reason that denies the delight and pleasure from the creatures, and for which the upper abundance cannot be revealed, and why the purpose of creation cannot be completed.

When he looks at himself he says that everything he sees—that the creatures did not receive the abundance—must be because they are not observing Torah and Mitzvot as one should observe the commandments of the King. It is as our sages said, “The Creator wished to reward Israel, therefore He gave them plentiful Torah and Mitzvot [commandments].” This means that through Torah and Mitzvot we can be rewarded with the delight and pleasure.

However, the question is, “Why are we not observing the Torah and Mitzvot as is appropriate when serving the King? He says that it is because we lack the sensation of the importance of Torah and Mitzvot, and that we lack the importance of the Mitzva [commandment] that He has commanded us to keep His Torah and Mitzvot.

At that time a person comes to a resolution that only the Creator can correct this. That is, if He reveals to us a little bit of light of Torah and Mitzvot so we may feel the pleasure in them we will certainly be able to serve the King with our hearts and souls, as it should be with those who feel the greatness of the King. Hence, for what should we pray to the Creator? To give some upper abundance. Then everyone will engage in Torah and Mitzvot properly, without any negligence.

However, we see what the holy ARI says, that the Nukva was improper there, hence there was the breaking. The Ohr Pnimi [“Inner Reflection,” commentary inside The Study of the Ten Sefirot] interprets the words of the ARI that since the upper abundance should come into the Kli to receive the abundance in order to bestow, since the light was greater than the Kli was ready to receive—meaning that the Kli should receive light precisely according to its ability to aim in order to bestow, and it could not aim to bestow with such a great light—the light had to enter Kelim [vessels] whose desire is in order to receive.

This is called Klipa [shell/peel]. It follows that the Kelim broke. Thus, should abundance come into these Kelim it will all go to the outer ones, to the Klipot [pl. of Klipa]. This is similar to saying that the Kli was broken so we do not place anything in it because it will all spill out.

Therefore, one must not pray to be given abundance from above, since it will all go to the outer ones. Instead, he should pray to the Creator to give him a Kli, which is a desire and craving to bestow upon the Creator. When he has that Kli, the upper abundance will appear to man and he will feel the delight and pleasure that were in the thought of creation to do good to His creations. Therefore, we should ask the Creator for what we really need, which is a vessel of bestowal, and we need not pray for anything else.

Inapoi la pagina 1986 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

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