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The Whole of the Torah Is One Holy Name

Article No. 22, Tav-Shin-Mem-Hey, 1984-195

It is written in The Zohar (Shmini, item 1): “Rabbi Yitzhak started, ‘The whole Torah is one holy name of the Creator, and the world was created in the Torah,’ which was His tool of craftsmanship for creating the world.” It is written there in item two: “Man was created in the Torah, as it is written, ‘And God said, ‘Let us make man…’ It is written in plural form. He said to her, ‘You and I will establish him in the world.’ Rabbi Hiya said, ‘The written Torah, which is ZA, and the oral Torah, which is Malchut, established man.’’”

We see three things here:

1) the whole Torah is one holy name;

2) the world was created with the Torah;

3) man was created with the Torah.

Our sages said about Beresheet [in the beginning] that it is because the Torah is called Resheet[beginning], and because Israel were called Resheet, for the creation of the worlds was in order to do good to His creations, meaning for the souls, so the souls would receive the delight and pleasure. It follows that from the perspective of the Creator it is to bestow, and all that the creatures need is to receive. We already learned that to have equivalence of form the creatures must obtain the Kli[vessel] called “desire to bestow.”

But since we do not have the desire to bestow by nature, we need something to give us that force called “desire to bestow.” That force, which the lower one receives, so as to be able to bestow, is through the Torah, since “the light in it reforms him.” It follows that as Resheet is Israel, we also need the Torah so we can receive the delight and pleasure. Therefore, the Torah is also called Resheet because one does not work without the other.

We know the words of The Zohar that “the Torah and Israel and the Creator are one.” Accordingly, by Israel’s exertion in Torah they are rewarded with the Creator, meaning with the “names of the Creator.”

It follows that we should discern two things in the Torah: 1) the light of Torah, which comes in order to reform him. This is the correction of the Kelim [vessels]. 2) Obtaining the light of Torah, which is the “holy names,” called the “revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world” (see in the essay Matan Torah [“The Giving of Torah]).

It therefore follows that when we study Torah we should discern the two above matters: 1) to extend light so it will create for us vessels of bestowal. It is impossible to obtain these Kelim [vessels] without the light of Torah. Therefore, what does he expect? To be rewarded for studying Torah. His only desire is to obtain that Kli, called “vessel of bestowal.” This is precisely once he has begun the work of bestowal and has made great efforts to be able to do things only with the intention to bestow.

Only then can he come to know that the will to receive that was installed in him by nature cannot be cancelled. At that time he begins to understand that he needs “heaven’s mercy,” and only the Creator can help him be rewarded with vessels of bestowal, and this help comes from the light of Torah.

For this reason, during the study we must always pay attention to the purpose of the study of Torah, meaning what we should demand from the study of Torah. At that time we are told that first we must ask for Kelim, meaning to have vessels of bestowal, called “equivalence of form,” by which the restriction and concealment that were placed on the creatures are removed. To the extent that this is so he begins to feel the holiness and begins to have a taste for the work of the Creator. At that time he can be happy because Kedusha [holiness] yields joy, for the light of doing good to His creations shines there.

But if he has not yet decided that we should always walk on the path of bestowal, as our sages said, “all your works will be for the Creator,” this is regarded as “preparation of the Kelim” to be fit for reception of the upper abundance. He wants to be rewarded with vessels of bestowal thorough the study, as our sages said, “The light in it reforms him.”

And once he has been rewarded with vessels of bestowal, he comes to a degree called “attainment of the Torah,” which is the “names of the Creator,” as The Zohar calls it: “The Torah, the Creator, and Israel are one.”

By this we will understand what is written there in The Zohar, item 2: “Man was created in the Torah.” We should understand the connection between the Torah and man, that we can say that man was created from the Torah.

First, we must bring the words of our sages (Yevamot, 61): “Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai would say, ‘The graves of idol-worshippers are not defiled in the tent, as it was said, ‘And you, you are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are man; you are called ‘man,’ and the idol-worshippers are not called ‘man.’’’”

We need to know what is the discernment of “man,” meaning what is the degree of “man” that idol-worshippers cannot be called “man.” Our sages said about the verse (Berachot 212b): “‘In the end of the matter, all having been heard, fear God,’ what is ‘for this is the whole man’? Rabbi Elazar said, ‘The Creator said, ‘The whole world was created only for this.’’”

It follows that man is someone in whom there is fear of heaven. Since man was created with the evil inclination, which removes him from fear of heaven, what is the advice that we can say that by this he will be awarded fear of heaven? To this comes the answer that through Torah he will be able to defeat the evil inclination, as our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice, for the light in it reforms him.” Accordingly, we can interpret that “Man was created by the Torah,” since the reason why the discernment of “man” can emerge is specifically through the Torah. This is the meaning of “Man was created in the Torah.”

In this way we can interpret what he wrote there in the holy Zohar, “The world was created in the Torah.” This, too, is difficult to understand. What is the connection between the Torah, which is a spiritual thing, and the Torah is called the “names of the Creator,” so how does the corporeal world extend from it? According to the above we can resolve that it means that “the world was created” refers to the whole world, meaning a world in which there are souls, for the purpose of creation was to do good to His creations, to the souls, for the creatures to receive delight and pleasure. Since the creation of the world refers to the will to receive, in order to have equivalence of form between branch and root, there was the Tzimtzum [restriction], meaning concealment, so the upper light, which is delight and pleasure, will not be revealed.

Thus, how can the world exist, so they can receive and not die, as it occurred in the breaking of the vessels, which broke and died because they could not aim to bestow? Through the Torah, whose light reforms him, they will receive vessels of bestowal, and with these Kelim they will be able to receive abundance and pleasure and exist because they will be able to receive in order to bestow.

This is the meaning of “The world was created with the Torah.” The creation of the world, which was in order to “do good to His creations,” was immediately with the intention to bestow, and this was done by the Torah. It follows from all the above that we must always consider the goal, which is to “do good to His creations.” If the evil inclination comes to a person and asks him all of Pharaoh’s questions, he should not reply with lame excuses, but say, “Now, with your questions, I can begin with the work of bestowal.”

This means that we should not say about the questions of the evil inclination that it came to us in order to lower us from our degree. On the contrary, now it is giving us a place to work, by which we will ascend on the degrees of wholeness. That is, any overcoming in the work is called “walking in the work of the Creator,” since each penny joins into a great amount.” That is, all the times we overcome accumulate to a certain measure required to become a Kli for the reception of the abundance.

Overcoming means taking a part of a vessel of reception and adding it to the vessels of bestowal. It is like the Masach [screen], which we must put on the Aviut [thickness/will to receive]. It follows that if one has no will to receive, one has nothing on which to place a Masach. For this reason, when the evil inclination brings us foreign thoughts, this is the time to take these thoughts and raise them above reason.

This is something one can do with everything one’s soul desires. He should not say that now he has received rejection from the work. Rather, he should say that he was given thoughts and desires from above so as to have room to admit them into Kedusha [holiness]. It therefore follows that it is to the contrary: because he is brought closer from above, he was sent work.

It was said about this: “The ways of the Lord are straight; righteous walk in it and transgressors fail in it.” That is, if he is rewarded, he receives an ascent by it. If he is not (rewarded), he receives by it a descent in spirituality. The order of descents is gradual, each according to his order. Normally, a person forgets, meaning he forgets that there is the matter of work at all, that he must yearn for Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator.” Instead, all the energy he had goes into corporeal things, meaning that at that time he finds more flavor in corporeal things.

That is, while he was connected to the work of the Creator, he was slightly removed from corporeal things. This means that he did not appreciate (corporeal things) as something to consider. But when he begins to veer off from the work, every corporeal thing, which he regarded as unimportant, becomes so important to him that the smallest thing becomes a great disturbance to him, and blocks him in the middle of the way, and he cannot move forward.

Sometimes, during the descent he has received, he remembers that there is such a thing as spiritual work. When he remembers it he is saddened, and this sadness makes him want only to sleep. That is, he wants to remove himself from the situation he is in, and he thinks that through sleep he will forget about his situations. Sometimes he gives up altogether, meaning he says, “I don’t see any progress in me. On the contrary, as much as I exert—and I should have made some progress, according to the efforts I have made in order to obtain something in spirituality—I see that I keep going backwards. It must be that this work, meaning work of bestowing, is not for me because I am unfit for it.”

Usually, people say, “I have a weak character so I haven’t the strength to overcome my desires.” Sometimes they become smarter and say, “I don’t see anyone who was awarded anything in spirituality.” So after all his arguments with his body, the body makes him see that he is one hundred percent right, which brings him into a state where he wants to escape the campaign, reenter the corporeal world like everyone else, and not be smarter than everyone, but go with the flow. And most of all, he is certain it cannot be any different from what he has decided.

What does the Creator do? Once (one) has forgotten everything, he suddenly receives some awakening from the Creator and a longing for spirituality begins to seep into his heart again. He begins to work persistently once more, and the force of confidence works within him, as though he is certain to be rewarded with nearing the Creator. He forgets all the promises he has made with a clear mind and precise calculation to the point that he regretted the beginning, meaning that his heart regretted ever getting into this mess called “work of bestowal.” He was one hundred percent certain that his calculation was one hundred percent right, but the awakening from above he has received now makes him forget it all.

The reason is that so is the order of the real work: from above they want to show him that man is nothing, with all of his intellect, unless he asks the Creator to help him. If this happens, meaning that he knows for certain that it is impossible that he will be able to come out of the state he is in, under the rule of self-love, called “exile in Egypt,” which applies both in mind and in heart.

However, if a person only says and does not feel one hundred percent that he cannot do anything, then the real nearing does not come from above. Rather, then what happened before repeats itself, namely that thoughts and desires from the body come to him once more, and he begins the old arguments once more, and falls into those states again, and decides once more to escape the campaign, and makes the above decisions once again. Later, an awakening from above comes to him once more, which is called a “call,” when he is being called upon, and there is a desire to bring him closer to the Creator once again. But then, if he does not exert in the opportunity he is given, the same order as before repeats itself.

This is similar to what we find in The Zohar (Tazriah, item 6): “‘Her price is far above pearls.’ It should have said ‘worth,’ that it is harder to buy her than pearls. Why does it say ‘price’? He replies that she sells and turns over to other nations all those who do not fully cling to her and are not whole with her, as you say, ‘And the children of Israel abandoned the Lord, and He sold them to the hand of Sisera.’ And then they are all far from those high and holy pearls, which are the secrets and the internality of the Torah, for they will have no share in them. This is why it is written, ‘For her price is far above pearls.’”

Therefore, we must not be frightened at the body sometimes showing us dark colors. Rather, we must always be strengthened above reason and not heed the body’s advice, which tells us about separation from Kedusha. Rather, we must overcome with true prayer and we are certain to be saved and come out from the slavery of the rule of Egypt and be rewarded with redemption.

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

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