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Concerning the Reward of the Receivers

Article No. 32, Tav-Shin-Mem-Hey, 1984-195

It is known that man cannot work without reward. This means that if one were not given reward, he would not make a move. This stems from the root of the creatures, which is utterly motionless, as it is written in The Study of the Ten Sefirot (Part 1, item 19): “We love rest and vehemently hate movement, to the point that we do not make even a single move if not to find rest. This is because our Root is motionless and restful; there is no movement in Him whatsoever. For this reason, it is also against our nature and hated by us.”

Accordingly, we must know what is the reward for which it is worth our while to work. To explain this we must look into what we know—that there is the purpose of creation and the correction of creation.

That purpose of creation is from the perspective of the Creator. That is, we say that the Creator created creation because of His desire to do good to His creations. This brings up the famous questions, “Why are the creatures not receiving delight and pleasure, for who can go against Him and say that he does not want delight and pleasure, if He has installed in the creatures a nature where each one wants to receive?”

We learn that only the will to receive is called “creation,” and “creation” means something new, which is called “existence from absence.” Therefore, He has created this nature in the creatures, which means that everyone wants to receive and He wants to give. So who is delaying?

The answer to this is presented in the words of the ARI (in the beginning of the book, Tree of Life): “To bring to light the perfection of His deeds, He has restricted Himself.” He explains there, in “Inner Reflection,” that it means that since there is a difference between giver and receiver, it causes disparity of form, meaning unpleasantness to the receivers. To correct this there was a correction that the abundance shines only to a place where there is an aim to bestow, for this is called “equivalence of form,” and “ Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator.”

Then, when he receives the delight and pleasure, he does not feel unpleasantness, and the abundance can come to the receiver because the receiver will not feel any deficiency upon the reception of the abundance. That is, he will not feel deficient because he is a receiver, since his aim is to bestow contentment upon the Creator, and not because he wants to receive pleasure for himself.

It therefore follows that if we introspect into what we must do in order to receive the delight and pleasure, it is only to obtain the Kelim [vessels], which is a second nature, called “vessels of bestowal.” This is called the “correction of creation.” Therefore, we should know what reward we should demand of the Creator to give us in return for our labor in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments]: it is that He will give us vessels of bestowal.

It is written in the introduction to the book, Panim Masbirot [Welcoming Face], the root of the reward is the Masach [screen] and the Ohr Hozer [Reflected Light]. Therefore, we need not demand pleasure and abundance in return for work, but vessels of bestowal, for this is all we need in order to receive the delight and pleasure. Before one obtains the vessels of bestowal, he suffers in his life, for he hasn’t the suitable Kelim to receive delight and pleasure.

We see that we should make three discernments in our actions in the order of our work: 1) forbidden things, 2) permitted things, 3) Mitzvot. With forbidden things it is impossible to speak of intentions for the Creator, that I can do something forbidden even Lishma [for Her sake]. We cannot even speak of doing them. Our sages call this a “Mitzva [commandment] that comes by transgression.” Only with the permitted things can it be said that we should aim for the Creator, or that he cannot aim, and then he has no Mitzva. However, when he can aim to bestow, this act is regarded as a Mitzva.

With acts of Mitzva, such as eating a Matza [Passover bread], eating in a Sukkah [Sukkot hut], etc., even when one does not aim to bestow with them, it is still regarded as a Mitzva, since Lo Lishma[not for Her sake] is also a Mitzva. But when he does aim with it in order to bestow, that Mitzvacauses him to be rewarded with the light in the Mitzva.

When he can no longer aim, but does the Mitzva Lo Lishma, our sages said, “One should always engage in Torah and Mitzvot Lo Lishma, and from Lo Lishma he will come to Lishma.” It follows that even when he does not aim, he is observing the Mitzvot of the Creator. But when he does permitted things, it is called “optional,” and this cannot be added to the count of Mitzvot.

However, when he commits forbidden things the transgression is written in his account. At that time he regresses from the path of Torah, becoming farther from the Creator. When he observes Mitzvot Lo Lishma he also becomes close to the Creator, but this is a slow path, meaning that by that he is nearing the Creator by a long route until he can cling to the Creator.

But when he performs the Mitzvot Lishma, by this he becomes more adhered to the Creator each and every time, until he is rewarded with the flavors of Torah and Mitzvot.

We can also discern from this if he enjoys the Mitzva or not. That is, when he eats a tiny piece of Matza, he cannot observe the Mitzva if he is not enjoying, for one who eats a tiny piece of Matza, below the threshold of pleasure, does not do his due. Rather, he must enjoy, or else he cannot bless.

Also, the delight of Shabbat [Sabbath] is a Mitzva. If he does not enjoy eating a Shabbat meal, he also did not do his due. Therefore, the rule is that on the Eve of Shabbat, close to the afternoon prayer, one should not eat until it is dark, so he will enjoy the meal. Our sages said about it (Pesachim, p 99): “‘One should not eat on the eve of Shabbat and good day from the afternoon prayer onward, so he will come into Shabbat hungry,’ the words of Rabbi Yehuda.”

Still, even if he cannot aim in order to bestow, he is still observing the Mitzva of eating a Matza etc. Also, in permitted things, even if he cannot aim in order to bestow, it is still regarded as not being more materialized by eating permitted things when they are necessary, meaning that without them a person cannot live. It is permitted to receive these things in any case, meaning even when he cannot aim to bestow with them.

But with permitted things that are not necessary, when one uses them he becomes more materialized even if he commits no transgression by eating them. On the one hand we can say that necessities stand one degree below Mitzvot when they are done Lo Lishma.

I therefore follows that we should discern from below upward:

  1. forbidden things,
  2. permitted things with which he cannot aim to bestow,
  3. permitted, but necessary things,
  4. Mitzvot with which he does not aim in order to bestow,
  5. permitted things with which he aims in order to bestow. (However, a Mitzva without the aim and permitted things in order to bestow require scrutiny, which of them is more important because there is room for mistakes here. This is why I do not want to scrutinize it),
  6. Mitzvot with which he aims in order to bestow.

It follows that the reward is only to obtain vessels of bestowal. When one attains these vessels he has everything.

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