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Come unto Pharaoh – 1
Article No. 18, Tav-Shin-Mem-Hey, 1984-195
“Come unto Pharaoh.” This is perplexing. Should it not have said, “Go unto Pharaoh”? The Zoharexplains (Bo, item 36), “But He allowed Moses into rooms within rooms, to one high sea monster. …When the Creator saw that Moses was afraid … the Creator said, ‘Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh King of Egypt, the great monster that lies in the midst of his rivers.’ The Creator had to wage war against him, and no other, as you say, ‘I the Lord,’ and they explained, ‘I, and no emissary.’” It follows that “Come” means both of us together.
To interpret this in the work of the Creator, we first have to know what is our demand for engaging in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments]. That is, what are we asking in return for it. The reward should be clear—to understand that it is worthwhile for us to relinquish bodily pleasures if we understand that this is what interferes with our achieving the goal, which is our reward—to achieve the sublime goal through our engagement in Torah and Mitzvot, meaning that the goal is a reward for relinquishing corporeal pleasures.
Therefore, we should know that the main reward we want for keeping Torah and Mitzvot is Dvekut[adhesion] with the Creator, which is equivalence of form, as in “and to cleave unto Him.” It is as our sages said (Baba Batra, 16), “The Creator has created the evil inclination, He has created for it the Torah as a spice.” This is the Kli [vessel] in which we can receive the purpose of creation, called “doing good to His creations,” which is called “the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world,” as it is written in the essay, Matan Torah [“The Giving of the Torah”].
It is known that the heart of the work is in making the Kli. But the filling, which is the abundance poured into the Kli, comes from the upper one, which is His desire to benefit His creations. Certainly, from His perspective, nothing prevents Him from giving to us, and all the deficiencies we feel are because we haven’t the Kelim [vessels] to receive the abundance, since our Kelim come from the shattering. This is so because due to the breaking of the vessels that occurred in the world of Nekudim, the Klipot [shells/peels] emerged, which receive in order to receive, for in spirituality, breaking is similar to breaking a vessel in corporeality. With a physical vessel, if it is broken and you pour into it some liquid, the liquid pour out. Likewise, in spirituality, if a thought of will to receive for oneself enters the Kli, the abundance pours out to the external ones, meaning outside of Kedusha[holiness].
Kedusha means “for the Creator.” Anything outside of “for the Creator” is called Sitra Achra [other side], namely the other side of Kedusha. This is why we say that Kedusha means to bestow, and Tuma’a [impurity] means to receive.
For this reason, we, who were born after the breaking, desire only to receive. Therefore we cannot be given abundance, for it will all certainly go to the side of the Sitra Achra.
This is the only reason why we are far from receiving the delight and pleasure that the Creator has prepared for us, for everything that He may give us will not stay with us, but will be lost, as our sages said, “Who is a fool? He who loses what he is given.” This means that the root of the reason we lose it is that we are fools.
But why must a fool lose it and a wise keeps what he is given? We should interpret that a fool is one who remains with his nature, which is self-love, and does not work on tactics to be able to exit the will to receive. Although there are many ways and tactics to exit one’s nature, he remains as naked as on the day he was born, without another clothing, a clothing known as “the will to bestow,” for with a clothing of bestowal he can dress the delight and pleasure he should receive.
However, sometimes a person begins the work of bestowal and explains to the body that this is the whole purpose of the work—to receive vessels of bestowal. However, after all his arguments with the body, the body tells him, “You cannot change the nature that the Creator has created. And since creation is regarded as ‘existence from absence,’ it is only in the form of desire to receive, so how dare you say that you can change the nature that the Creator has created?”
It was said about this, “Come unto Pharaoh,” meaning we will go together. I will go with you so that I will change the nature, and all I want is that you will ask Me to help you change your nature from a desire to receive into a desire to bestow, as our sages said (Sukkah, 52), “Man’s inclination overpowers him every day, and were it not for the Creator’s help, he would not have overcome it.”
However, we should understand why the Creator needs him to ask of Him. This is understandable with flesh and blood, who want the honor of being asked, so as to know that he has helped him. But how can such a thing be said about the Creator? However, the rule, “there is no light without a Kli,” means that it is impossible to give to someone a filling if he has no desire. As long as there is no desire for something, if you give him, he will have no taste for it. Therefore, he will not be able to appreciate it and will not keep it from being stolen.
That is, there are people who do understand the importance of the matter and will take it from him. This is why a person should ask for the Creator’s help, so that if he is given some illumination from above he will know how to keep it from the external ones stealing it from him, for they do know the value of any illumination of Kedusha.
For this reason, when a person asks of the Creator to help him—and a true request begins precisely when one sees that a person is unable to help himself—then he knows for certain that there is no other choice but to ask the Creator to help him. Otherwise, he will remain separated from Kedushaand will have no way out of the state of self-love. Therefore, when the Creator helps him, he already knows it is a valuable asset that must be guarded carefully so the external ones do no take it.
Likewise, the ARI says (The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 7, p 495), “This is the meaning of the pursuit of the evil inclination and Sitra Achra to make the righteous sin and to cling to Kedusha. It is because they have no vitality other than through them. When the good and Kedusha increase, their lives proliferate. Hence, from now on do not wonder why the evil inclination chases man so as to make him sin.”
Thus, to keep from losing what he is given, one must first make great efforts, for something that comes to a person through labor causes him to keep the thing and not lose it. But during the exertion, when a person sees that the work is still far from finished, he sometimes escapes the campaign and falls into despair. At that time he needs great strengthening, to believe that the Creator will help him, and the fact that help has not arrived is because he has not given the required quantity and quality of labor for preparing the deficiency in order to receive the filing, as it is said (“Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” item 18), “And if one practices Torah and fails to remove the evil inclination from himself, it is either that he has been negligent in giving the necessary labor and exertion in the practice of Torah, as it is written, ‘I have not labored but found, do not believe,’ or perhaps one did put in the necessary amount of labor, but has been negligent in the quality.”
Therefore, we should pay attention to “Come unto Pharaoh” and believe through the worst possible states, and not escape the campaign, but rather always trust that the Creator can help a person and give him, whether one needs a little help or a lot of help.
In truth, one who understands that he needs the Creator to give him a lot of help, because he is worse than the rest of the people, is more suitable for his prayer to be answered, as it is written, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Therefore, one should not say that he is unfit for the Creator to bring him closer, but that the reason is that he is idle in his work. Instead, one should always overcome and not let thoughts of despair enter his mind, as our sages said (Berachot, 10), “Even if a sharp sword is placed on his neck he should not deny himself of mercy,” as it was said (Job, 13), “Though He slay me, I will hope for Him.”
We should interpret the “sharp sword placed on his neck” to mean that even though one’s evil, called “self-love,” is placed on his neck and wants to separate him from Kedusha by showing him that it is impossible to exist this authority, he should say that the picture he sees is the truth.
However, “He should not deny himself of mercy,” for at that time he must believe that the Creator can give him the mercy, meaning the quality of bestowal. That is, by himself, it is true that one cannot exit the authority of self-reception. But from the perspective of the Creator, when the Creator helps him, of course He can bring him out. This is the meaning of what is written, “I am the Lord your God, who took you out from the land of Egypt to be your God.”
This is what we say in the Shema reading—which is assuming of the burden of the kingdom of heaven—that we must know that the Creator is the one who brings one out of the authority of reception, called “separation,” and admits one into Kedusha. At that time, “to be your God” is kept true, for then one is regarded as “people of Israel,” and not as “people of the earth.”
Our sages said about it (Pesachim, 118): “Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi said, ‘When the Creator said to Adam HaRishon, ‘Thorns and thistles it shall grow for you,’ his eyes teared. He said to Him, ‘Master of the world, will I and my donkey eat from the same trough?’ Because He had told him, ‘By the sweat of your brow you will eat bread,’ his mind was promptly eased.’”
However, we should understand Adam HaRishon’s argument, who inquired about the Creator’s action, why he deserved to eat from the same trough as the donkey. This is a just complaint. The evidence of this is that the Creator advised him to eat bread. Were this not a just complaint, the Creator would not have accepted his argument. This argument, saying, “Will I and my donkey eat from the same trough,” is difficult to understand. What is his advantage? After all, our sages said (Sanhedrin, 38), “Our sages said, ‘The man was born on the eve of Shabbat [Sabbath] so that should he become arrogant, he will be told, ‘the mosquito came before you in the work of creation.’’”
Accordingly, if a mosquito came before him, then what is the complaint about eating from the same trough as the donkey? However, we should interpret that after the sin he fell into self-love. It follows that he has become similar to a donkey, who understands nothing but self-love. This is the meaning of “His eyes teared and he said, ‘Will I and my donkey eat from the same trough,” meaning from the same discernment of self love?
This is why he was given the advice, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat bread.” Bread is regarded as man’s food. That is, through labor in “By the sweat of your brow you will eat bread,” which is mean’s food, he emerges from being “the people of the earth,” and is then called “the people of Israel,” which is Yashar-El [straight to the Creator].
But Egypt—which was the people of Israel in exile, for Egypt is called “a nation that is akin to a donkey”—means that the aim is only for self-love. For this reason, at that time the salvation to Israel was that the Creator took them out of Egypt. This is the meaning of needing to intend upon the acceptance of the burden of the kingdom of heaven, “I am the Lord your God, who took you out from the land of Egypt, to be your God,” for precisely by the force of God can we come out of Egypt and be rewarded with “to be your God.”
Inapoi la pagina 1985 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link