Inapoi la pagina 1985 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
The Lord Is Near to All Who Call upon Him
Article No. 29, Tav-Shin-Mem-Hey, 1984-195
It is written in The Zohar, Hukat (item 78): “From this we learn that anyone who wishes to evoke things above—in an act or in a word—if that act or that word is not done properly, nothing is evoked. All the people in the world go to the synagogue to evoke a matter above, but few are the ones who know how to evoke. The Creator is near to all those who know how to call upon Him and to evoke a matter properly. But if they do not know how to call upon Him, He is not close, as it is written, ‘The Lord is near to all those who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.’ What is ‘in truth’? ‘In truth’ means that they know how to properly evoke a true matter. So it is in everything.”
This means that one who does not know how to call upon Him should not go to the synagogue because if he does not know how to call upon Him, it means that his prayer is not accepted. Thus, there is an excuse here, so he explained that it is not enough to not go to the synagogue because he does not know how to call upon Him. Therefore, one should know what to do in order to know how to call upon Him and be close to the Creator.
The Zohar comes and explains to us about that what we should know, and then we should exert to come to know it. It says that knowing is only truth, that one who calls upon Him in truth is close to the Creator. Accordingly, if knowing means that he called upon Him in truth, what is new here when he says that with the Creator it means that there must be special knowledge in order to call upon the Creator? The meaning of the verse that says, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,” is that it is without exceptions, meaning that He is close to everyone, without exceptions. Afterwards the verse ends with a condition, which appears to be a major stipulation. What is the condition? He should call upon Him in truth! This is the principal condition required of man.
Regarding this principal condition required of man, which is called “truth,” usually, when someone calls another person, if the other person knows that he is calling him falsely, he is bound to ignore his calling him because he knows that he is calling him falsely, so he pretends not to hear him, since he is calling him falsely.
Thus, what is the principal condition required of man? Certainly, when it comes to the Creator there must be special requirements that do not apply to people, but this condition, that we must call upon Him in truth, is the smallest requirement that can be. Indeed, there is a special intention here in the stipulation of truth, and this intention is called “in truth.”
To understand the meaning of truth we should precede with the words of our sages: “Anyone who is proud, the Creator says, ‘He and I cannot dwell in the same abode.’” We should ask, “Why should the Creator care if he is proud?” If a person walks into a hen house and sees that one rooster is showing vanity over another, is the person impressed by that? Baal HaSulam said that the Creator loves the truth and cannot tolerate falsehood, as it is written, “He who speaks lies will not be established before My eyes.”
Indeed, the Creator created man with a desire to receive, which is the self-love that there is in him. This is the source of all the evil lusts that exist in the world, namely thefts, murders, and wars, they all stem from man’s will to receive. It follows that the Creator created man in utter lowliness, and he takes pride, meaning says that he is not like others. It follows that he is lying, and truth does not tolerate lies.
According to the above, if a person comes to the synagogue to ask the Creator to hear his prayer because he deserves to be heard by the Creator—to be given because he deserves, to be given by the Creator more than He gives to others, even when this concerns spirituality—then he is far from the Creator, since falsehood is far from the truth. This is why it is considered that he does not know how to call upon Him, since he is calling the Creator with a lie, and this is called “far” and not “near,” according to the spiritual law that “nearness means equivalence of form, and remoteness means disparity of form.”
Since there is no greater disparity of form than between truth and falsehood, it is regarded that he does not know how to call upon Him. The Creator is not close to him because when he is asking during the prayer, he is in falsehood for he feels that he is more virtuous than others because he sees all his faults in others. For this reason, he wants the Creator to help him.
But in truth, it is as our sages said (Kidushin, p 70), “Anyone who flaws is flawed and does not speak in praise of the world. And Shmuel said, ‘faults in his own fault.’” Because there are people who always look at others. If the other is learning as he understands or prays as he understands, then the other is fine. If he is not fine then he has found a flaw in the other.
This is similar to what Baal HaSulam said, that among the jealous there is a custom where if someone is more meticulous than him [in observing commandments], he is called “frumer” [derogatory term: overly pious], meaning too extreme. There is no point mentioning this person and it’s a waste to even think about him. But if he is less devout than him he says that the other person is far too lenient and should be persecuted to the point of banning, so he does not defile others.
That person, who comes to pray to the Creator to bring him closer because he is virtuous, is remote from the Creator, meaning in disparity of form from the Creator, since the Creator’s quality is truth, and that man’s quality is all falsehood. Therefore, it is regarded as the Creator being far from him, and therefore does not hear him.
We should ask, “If ‘the whole earth is full of His glory,’ what does it mean that the Creator is far from him?” It is as one who is standing far from another, and does not hear his voice. Therefore, in spirituality, it is known that the measure of remoteness and nearness depends on the equivalence or disparity of form.
But if a person comes to pray to the Creator and says to Him, “You must help me more than to others, since others do not need Your help that much because they are more qualified than me, and are not as immersed in self-love as I am, and have better self-discipline than me, and I see that I need Your help more than the rest of the people, since I feel my lowliness, that I am farther from You than everyone and I have come to feel as it is written, “We have no redeeming and delivering King but You.”
It follows that his argument is true, and such arguments the Creator tolerates because they are true. It was said about this, “I am the Lord, who dwells with them in the midst of their impurity.” That is, although they are immersed in self-love, which is the source of impurity, since he is making a true argument, the Creator is close to him because truth with truth means equivalence of form, and equivalence of form is called “near.”
By this we will understand the question of the holy Zohar, which implies that one who does not know how to call upon Him has no reason to go to the synagogue because the Creator will not hear his voice because he is far from the Creator if he does not know how to call upon Him. And another perplexity is that this contradicts the verse, “The Lord is high and the low will see” (Psalms 138). And what is the meaning of “low”? It is one who knows nothing, not even know how to call upon Him; he, too, will see.
With the above we will thoroughly understand that he does not need to know anything, but only his true spiritual state—that he does not know any wisdom and any moral word that will help him, and he is in the worst possible state that can be in the world. And if the Creator does not help him, he is lost. This is the only thing he needs to know—that he does not know anything and that he is the lowest of everyone. If he does not feel it, but thinks that there are worse people, then he is already in falsehood and already in remoteness from the Creator.
By this will understand the second question we asked, “What can he do in order to know how to call upon Him and be closer to Him? What should he learn in order to know? In that state, he is told that he does not need to learn anything special but simply try to walk on the path of truth, and then he will have what to pray for, meaning for necessity and not for luxuries, as it is written (Psalms, 33), “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His mercy, to deliver their souls from death and to keep them alive in famine,” or simply, the he needs spiritual life.
By this we will interpret the verse, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,” without exception. And the condition he states, “to all who call upon Him in truth,” is not regarded as a special condition. But among children, if one calls another, and he knows that he is lying, he will not mind him. But here, with the Creator, we should know to what the matter of truth pertains. It is difficult for one to know for himself what is a state of truth and what is a state of falsehood, since one cannot see the truth. Hence, he needs a guide to guide him and tell him what he lacks, and what he has, and even redundancies that interfere with his reaching the truth.
This is the meaning of “Seek the Lord while He is present; call upon Him while He is near.” Certainly, we find him when He is near. But where is the place called “near”? It is as was said above, “to all who call upon Him in truth.” If a person calls upon Him from his real state, one finds Him.
Inapoi la pagina 1985 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link