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The Meaning of Truth and Faith

Article No. 3, Tav-Shin-Mem-Hey, 1984-195

Truth and faith are two contradicting things. We see that in our prayer, which was established by the members of the Great Assembly, we also have two things that contradict one another. On the one hand, they have arranged for us the procession of the prayer, and prayer should be said specifically when a person is deficient. Moreover, our sages said, “A prayer should be from the bottom of the heart,” meaning that the prayer that we pray to the Creator should be from the bottom of the heart, meaning that we will feel the deficiency throughout the heart.

This means that within the heart there should be no place that is whole, but rather only deficiencies. And the greater the deficiency, the more the prayer is accepted compared to other prayers. It is written in The Zohar about the verse, “A prayer for the poor when he is weak and pours out his words before the Lord” (Balak, items 187-88): “But there are three that are called a ‘prayer’: a prayer for Moses, man of God—there is none like this prayer in another man. A prayer for David—there is none like it in another king. A prayer for the poor. Of the three prayers, which is the most important? It is a prayer for the poor. This prayer comes before the prayer of Moses, before the prayer of David, and before all other prayers in the world. What is the reason? The poor is brokenhearted. It is written, ‘The Lord is near to the brokenhearted.’ And the poor always quarrels with the Creator, and the Creator listens and hears his words.” Thus far its words.

It turns out, according to the words of the holy Zohar, that the prayer is precisely when a person is broken, when he has nothing with which to revive his soul. Then it is called a “prayer from the bottom of the heart.” This prayer is more important than all the prayers in the world because he has no merit with which to say, “I am not like my friends because I have some merit that my friends do not have.” It turns out that he is full of deficiencies, and then there is room for an honest prayer from the bottom of the heart. That is, the bigger the deficiency, the more important is the prayer.

And corresponding to the prayer that they have arranged for us in the order of the prayers, they have arranged for us an order of praise and gratitude. This contradicts the prayer in litany that exists in the order of the prayers, since normally, when one does something good to another, he is grateful for it. But the measure of the gratitude is always according to the measure of the benefit that he does for him. This is how he expresses the gratitude to the receiver of the benefit.

For example, if one person helps another for half his sustenance, meaning that if he has obtained through him provision that suffices to provide only half his household needs, the gratitude he gives him is incomplete. But if he has tried to find someone full provision, and even with luxuries, meaning that he has no deficiency that he did not fulfill, he certainly thanks and praises such a person with his heart and soul.

It therefore turns out that when a person thanks and praises the Creator, and wants to praise and thank the Creator from the bottom of his heart, he should see that the Creator has given him all of his wishes and he is not lacking anything. Otherwise, his gratitude cannot be complete.

Therefore, a person should try to see that he is not lacking anything, but the Creator complimented all of his deficiencies, and he is left with no deficiencies. Only then can he give thanks to the Creator, and this is the meaning of the songs and praises which they have arranged for us in the prayer.

For this reason, they, meaning the prayer and litany, and songs and praises, are opposites, since if he has no completeness during the prayer and litany, and he is full of deficiencies, his prayer is complete. But with songs and praises it is the opposite: if he has no place of deficiency that is not completely filled, specifically then he can give true thanks.

We should understand why they have arranged for us those two opposites, for what purpose, and what this order gives to us. Also, we should understand how it is possible to maintain those two opposites, since they contradict one another.

The holy Ari says (Talmud Esser Sefirot, P 788, item 83), “There should be two doors in a woman, so as to close them and hold the fetus inside, so it does not come out until it is completely fashioned. There should also be in her a force that fashions the shape of the fetus.”

It explains there the reason: “As in corporeality, if there is a malfunction in the mother’s abdomen, the mother aborts the fetus. That is, if the fetus comes out of the mother’s abdomen before the shape of the fetus has been sufficiently fashioned in the degree of Ibur [impregnation], that birth is not regarded as birth because the Ibur cannot exist in the world. Rather, it is called “abortion,” meaning that it was not born, but fell out of the mother’s abdomen and cannot live.”

Likewise, in spirituality, there are two discernments in the Ibur:

1. The shape of the Ibur, which is the degree of Katnut [smallness/infancy], which is its real shape. However, since it only has Katnut, it is regarded as a deficiency, and wherever there is a deficiency in holiness, there is a grip to the Klipot [shells/peels]. At that time the Klipot can cause abortion—that the spiritual fetus will fall out before its stage of Ibur has been completed. For this reason, there should be a detaining element, which is that it is given wholeness, meaning Gadlut[adulthood/greatness].

2. However, we should understand how the newborn can be given Gadlut while it is still unfit to receive even Katnut sufficiently, since it still does not have the Kelim [vessels] in which to receive them in order to bestow. To that there is an answer there: Our sages said, “An embryo in its mother’s abdomen eats what its mother eats.” He also said, “A fetus is its mother’s thigh.” This means that since a fetus is its mother’s thigh, the Ibur does not merit its own name. For this reason, the fetus eats what its mother eats. That is, the fetus receives everything that it receives in the mother’s Kelim. For this reason, although the fetus has no Kelim that are fit to receive Gadlut, but in the Kelimof the upper one, which is its mother, it can receive because it is completely annulled before the mother and has no authority of its own. This is called Ibur, when it is completely annulled before the Upper One.

Then, when it receives Gadlut, it is in wholeness. This is why there is no grip to the Klipot there, and this is why it is called the “detaining force.” This keeps the fetus from falling in spirituality, like an abortion in a corporeal fetus, from, where the mother must watch over her fetus so there will not be any malfunction there. It is likewise in spirituality.

It turns out from all of the above that we should discern two states in man’s work:

1. One’s true state, meaning one’s Katnut, when everything he does and thinks is Katnut. The sensation of Katnut begins when it wants to walk on the path of truth, which is to work in order to bestow. At that time he begins to see his Katnut, how remote he is from matters of bestowal, and he cannot do anything in order to bestow. This is called “truth,” meaning his true state.

Then, because it is Katnut, there can be a grip to the Sitra Achra, and he can come to despair. It turns out that his entering the work is regarded as Ibur, and he can come into abortion, meaning to fall from his degree, similar to the corporeal fetus that falls out from the mother’s abdomen and cannot stay alive. Likewise in spirituality, he falls from his degree and needs a new Ibur. That is, he needs to start his work anew as though he never served the Creator.

For this reason, there should be a detaining force so that the fetus will not fall out. This means that at that time he should be in wholeness, meaning to feel that he is not lacking anything in the work, but that now he is close to the Creator in complete Dvekut [adhesion], and no one can tell him, “But you see that you have no progress in the work of the Creator. Therefore, you’re exerting in vain, and you are unfit to serve in holiness. Therefore, you need to be like everyone else. Why are you making such a noise that you want to be at a higher degree than everyone else, although you derive no satisfaction from the work of the general public? This is what gave you the push so as to be able to have thoughts and desires that you must come out of the work of ordinary people, and go further ahead toward the truth. It is true that this is the truth, but you see that although you want to walk on the path of truth, you are unfit for it, either because you lack talent or because you lack the strength to overcome, as you are unable to overcome the nature of self-love with which you were born. Therefore, drop this work. Don’t dwell in lowliness like the rest of the people, and do not raise your heart above your brother, to be haughty. Rather, it is better for you to retire from this path.”

For this reason, in order not to fall into such thoughts, he needs the detaining force. That is, he must believe above reason that the grip he has on the path of truth is great and very important, and he cannot even appreciate the importance of touching the path of truth for this is the entire Kli in which the Light of the Creator will be. However, this is in the Kelim of the upper one. That is, the Creator knows when a person should feel his Dvekut with the Creator.

In his own Kelim he feels the opposite—that now he is worse than when he walked on the path of the general public, where he felt that each day he was adding good deeds and Torah and Mitzvot. But now, since he has started walking on the path of the individual, to always keep the intention how much he can work in order to bestow and how much he can relinquish self-love, at that time he usually sees how much he is nearing the truth. At that time, he always sees more of the truth, that he is unable to exit self-love.

Still, in the Kelim of the upper one, meaning above reason, he can raise himself and say, “I don’t care how I am bestowing upon the Creator. I want the Creator to bring me closer to Him, and the Creator certainly knows when the time will come when I feel that the Creator has brought me closer to Him. In the meantime, I believe that the Creator knows what is best for me, and this is why He makes me feel the feelings that I am feeling. But what is the reason that the Creator wants to guide me on this path, meaning that I must believe in the path of faith that He is behaving with me benevolently? And if I believe it, He has given me a sign: the amount of joy I have the amount of gratitude that I can give to Him for this, and how much I can thank and praise His name. Surely, we must say that it is to our benefit, that specifically through faith we can achieve the goal, which is called “receiving in order to bestow.” Otherwise, the Creator could certainly lead us by the path of knowledge and not by the path of faith.

By that you will understand what we asked, “Why we need two things that deny one another?” That is, on the one hand, we should walk by the path of truth, meaning to feel our situation, that we feel that we are moving farther from self-love and toward love of others, and how much we would like the world to be in, “May His blessed name grow and be sanctified.”

And when we see that spirituality is still not important, we feel ourselves in great deficiency, and also to see how much we regret it, and how it pains us that we are removed from Him. This is called “truth,” meaning the state we feel in our Kelim according to our sensation.

Also, we were given the path of faith, which is above reason, namely not to take our sensations and reason into account, but say, as it is written, “They have eyes and see not. They have ears and hear not.” Rather, we should believe that the Creator is certainly the Overseer, and He knows what is good for me and what is not good for me. Therefore, He wants me to feel my state as I do, and for myself, I do not care how I feel myself because I want to work in order to bestow.

Therefore, the main thing is that I need to work for the Creator. And although I feel that there is no wholeness in my work, still, in the Kelim of the upper one, meaning from the perspective of the upper one, I am utterly complete, as it is written, “The cast out will not be cast out from Him.” Hence, I am satisfied with my work—that I have the privilege of serving the King even at the lowest degree. That, too, I regard as a great privilege that the Creator has allowed me come closer to Him at least to some degree.

This gives us two things: 1) With respect to the truth, he sees his true state—that he has room for prayer, and then he has room for deficiency. At that time he can pray that the Creator will complement his deficiency, and then he can rise by the degrees of holiness. 2) The path of faith, which is wholeness—that from here he can praise and thank the Creator, and then he can be in joy.

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

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