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The Meaning of Branch and Root

Article No. 2, Tav-Shin-Mem-Dalet, 1984-195

The meaning of root and branch. The land of Israel is a branch from the Sefira Malchut. Malchut is called the Kli [vessel] that was emanated by the Emanator to become a Kli for the reception of the abundance that the Emanator wanted to bestow upon His creations. That Kli is called Malchut.

The order was that first was the vessel of reception in order to receive, and then there was a correction that it is forbidden to receive in that Kli, unless we can aim in order to bestow, and then the abundance is drawn into that Kli. That correction was made so that when the abundance comes to the creatures, there will not be any deficiency in them, called “bread of shame.”

Instead, they will be able to receive the abundance unboundedly because there will be no shame in them upon the reception of the abundance. Rather, they will aim all the delight and pleasure they receive only to the benefit of the Creator. Then they will continually extend abundance because they will not be able to say they have given the Creator enough and they do not need to bestow upon Him anymore. Therefore, they will always have a reason to extend abundance.

This is not so if they receive the abundance for themselves, meaning because of self-love. At that time they must be limited because of the shame. They will have to say that the delight and pleasure that He has given us is enough. Because of it there was the correction called restriction so as not to receive light into the Kli of Malchut unless we can receive in order to bestow.

From the root of Malchut extends downward into the corporeal branch the Eretz [land] which is a branch of Malchut of above. That land is called the Holy Land. For this reason, here in the Holy Land there are special corrections, meaning Mitzvot [commandments] that are dependent upon the earth, such as donations and tithing. This is not so in the rest of the lands.

And also there is a special root to Jordan, a special root to Syria, a special root to Babylon, and a special root to the rest of the lands (See Talmud Eser Sefirot, Part 16, p 1930). For this reason, with respect to the branch and root, the place of the Temple is precisely the Holy Land, which is the land of Israel. This is so after it was sanctified.

But before the people of Israel came into this land, it was a place of seven nations, which correspond to the seven holy Sefirot. They were the opposite of holiness, extending from Malchut, where there is no correction of the Masach [screen] which is the intention to bestow. For this reason, first the nations of the world came there, for so was the order in spirituality: 1) the coming of the will to receive came, 2) the correction of making it in order to bestow. For this reason for the Holy Land: 1) The nations of the world had to come first, for they belong to Malchut before it was corrected with a Masach so that everything will be in order to bestow. 2) Afterwards, Israel will come and conquer them.

It turns out that the Holy Land extends from Malchut and the will to receive in a person also extends from Malchut. For this reason there were 1) the nations of the world in the land first, 2) then the people of Israel came.

It is likewise in man’s heart: 1) First comes the evil inclination; 2) and then comes the good inclination. Everything extends from the upper roots.

However, there’s a difference between man’s heart, which extends from Malchut, and the land of Israel, which extends from Malchut, since we should discern between internality and externality. In the externality, there should be the place of the branch that corresponds to the root. But in internality, it is not necessarily the place of the branch that corresponds to it.

In the land of Israel, which aims to a person’s heart, which extends from the root of Malchut, a person does not need to be specifically in the land of Israel to be awarded with the kingdom of heaven, called the “land of Israel.” Internally, a person can be rewarded with the instilling of the Shechina [divinity] and with the greatest attainments overseas as well, just like all of our great sages who were overseas.

Also, people who live in the land of Israel can be the worst criminals. The land of Israel, called the “Holy Land,” does not obligate them in any way to keep Torah and Mitzvot, since what concerns the internality, the externality does not obligate them at all, as internality is the work in the heart and it is completely unrelated to the externality.

However, at the same time there is the matter of externality. That is, there is a rule that it is forbidden to say Kaddish unless ten men are present. And we do not check if these ten men are with complete fear, but rather when ten simple men come together they can say Kaddish, and “Bless,” and read in the Torah, etc. However, if there are nine righteous sages, they are forbidden to say Kaddish, and “Bless” because the revealed law is according to the externality and not according to the quality of the internality.

65) Hence, we could ask, “Why, then, is it forbidden to disagree with the first in the revealed Torah?” It is because, as far as the practical part of the Mitzvot [commandments] is concerned, it is to the contrary: the first were more complete in them than the last. This is because the act extends from the holy Kelim [vessels] of the Sefirot (called ‘externality’ because Kelim are called ‘externality’ with respect to the lights, and the lights are called ‘internality’). And the secrets of the Torah and the Taamim [flavors] of the Mitzva [commandment] extend from the Lights in the Sefirot. You already know that there is an inverse relation between Lights and vessels.”

It turns out that with respect to the revealed, meaning the practical part, belongs to the externality. Therefore, with respect to the practical part, there are things that can be done only in the land of Israel, such as the prohibition on building the Temple abroad.

But in the internality, which concerns man’s heart, it does not have to be specifically in the land of Israel, although the branch of Malchut is specifically the land of Israel. Yet, there are unifications that if one wants to make a unification on the outside, as well, they have to make that unification specifically in the external land.

It is as we find, that there is a unification of ASHAN, which is an acronym for Olam, Shanah, Nefesh[world, year, soul respectively], meaning that that unification should be specifically according to these three conditions which are: Olam [world]—specifically the place of the Holy of Holies; Shanah—with respect to time, it should be specifically on Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement], which is regarded as Shanah [year]; Nefesh [soul]—with respect to Nefesh, it should be specifically through the high priest.

Therefore, with respect to internality, when we speak of man’s heart, where he begins to serve the Creator, meaning the work of exiting self-love, which is called the “land of the peoples,” and instill the people of Israel instead of them, meaning that his intention will be only to love the Creator, then there is the matter of day and night.

“Day” means that he has high spirts without any need for corrections, such as when the sun shines and a person does not need to make any correction to make the sun shine. However, one needs to be careful not to put interferences so that the sun will not be able to shine where it should shine, such as not entering a house with no windows, for this interrupts the shining of the sun.

Conversely, “night” is the time when a person should make corrections so it will illuminate for him. For example, in corporeality, night is the time when it is dark in the house. Through corrections, meaning by placing a candle or a lamp there, there is light. Without corrections, even if one does not pose any interferences, still, without effort, which is called corrections, nothing will shine for him. Instead, wherever he looks it is as though he is looking through black glasses: everything is dark.

This is a time when one should reflect on one’s current state, how remote he is from spirituality and immersed in self-love, and that he has no chance of exiting his situation by himself. At that time he must see his real situation—how by nature a person cannot do anything. Rather, as our sages said, “Were it not for the Creator’s help, he would not have overcome it.”

However, we should know that the Creator created the night, and He certainly created it for a purpose, which is to do good to His creations. Therefore, each one is asking: Why did He create darkness which is night? After all, according to the purpose of creation, He should have created only day and not night. The verse says, “And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” That is, specifically through both, which are night and day, comes one day.

However, the night was created deliberately as not illuminating without corrections, in order to perform the corrections that the night reveals to a person. This is so because the Kelim are founded over the sensation of darkness. These are needed in order for them to have a need for the Creator to help them. Otherwise, there is no need for the Creator’s salvation. That is, at that time there is no need for the Torah, which is regarded as “the light in it reforms him.”

For this come corrections called “Torah and Mitzvot.” Torah is what is revealed to us in the part that is called revealed, which is rules and stories of the fathers, etc. All of this is called Torah. This part is called the revealed Torah, and the Torah teaches us to perform Mitzvot, and how to do them. It also tells us the stories of the fathers.

However, we should know that there is a hidden part in the Torah, meaning that that Torah is hidden from us. We should know that the whole Torah is the names of the Creator, meaning the revelation of Godliness, called the “secrets of Torah,” which a person begins to attain specifically after he has been rewarded with Torah Lishma [for Her sake].

In the words of Rabbi Meir (Avot, Chapter 6), “Rabbi Meir says, ‘Anyone who engages in Torah Lishmais rewarded with many things, the secrets of Torah are revealed to him, and he becomes like an ever-flowing fountain.’” It turns out that the revealed part in the Torah is to bring us, by its merit, into Lishma, meaning to have the ability to aim every thought, word, and action to be in order to bestow.

Afterwards, once he has been rewarded with Lishma, begins the engagement in the hidden Torah and the flavors of the Mitzvot. By doing them, he extends upper abundance downward. And we have already spoken about the 613 Mitzvot being called “613 counsels,” as well as “613 deposits.”

It is written in the “Introduction of the Book of Zohar,” “The Zohar calls the Mitzvot in the Torah by the name “deposits.” However, they are also called “613 counsels.” The difference between them is that in everything there is anterior and posterior. The preparation for something is called the “posterior” and attainment of that thing is called the “anterior.” With that respect of the anterior of the Mitzvot, which are then called “deposits,” Rabbi Shimon explains the fourteen above-mentioned deposits.

We see from above that the hidden part is called “anterior,” and one is rewarded with the anterior after one is rewarded with attaining Lishma.

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