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What Is a War Over Authority in the Work – 1

Article No. 30, Tav-Shin-Mem-Zayin, 1986-87

RASHI interprets the verse, “When you go to war against your enemies,” that the verse speaks of a War Over Authority. Afterward, it is written, “And the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive. And you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire her and take her as a wife for yourself, and she shall shave her head and do her nails.”

We should understand what all this comes to teach us in the work. Since the Torah is eternity, we should understand the following: 1) What is a War Over Authority? 2) What it means when he says, “And the Lord God delivers them into your hands.” Clearly, every Jew believes that any war can be won only with the help of the Creator. 3) What does a beautiful woman mean in the work? 4) What is the meaning of the corrections, what does it imply to us in the work that “she shall shave her head and do her nails”?

To understand all the above in the work, we first need to know what is work. That is, what discernment is called “work” when walking in the path of the Creator, and which reward we expect to receive in return for the work. It is known that no one can work without reward, for because our root is in a state of rest, we can exert only in return for a reward, which is pleasure that we obtain following the exertion.

Since we cannot live without pleasure, which is also because our root is the source of the pleasure, it follows that this is what makes us need pleasure. But there is another reason for our inability to live without pleasure: Since the Creator created the creatures because of His desire to do good to His creations, He has imprinted in the creatures a desire and craving to receive delight and pleasure.

For this reason, since labor is not in our root, if we want to do something that is not in our root, it is difficult for us to do it. And yet, we do the work because it is impossible to live without pleasure, so we relinquish the rest and make an effort in order to thereby obtain delight and pleasure.

It follows that labor is something in which there is no delight and pleasure. Therefore, since there is no pleasure in it, why do we do it? The answer is that thanks to the work, we will receive reward in return for it, and the reward is called “delight and pleasure.” We see that this is what is done in corporeality. But in spirituality, what is the work that we do not enjoy, which is called “work”? And, what is the reward in spirituality, from which we can derive delight and pleasure?

It is known that there are two discernments in the lights:

1) A light that is called “the purpose of creation.” This is the delight and pleasure that a person should receive, which the Creator wanted to give to the creatures, and for which He has created in the creatures a desire and craving to receive pleasure. However, in order to bring to light the perfection of His deeds, He has made a Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment, by which the matter of the “bread of shame” (shame) upon the reception of the pleasure will be corrected, as it comes because of the disparity of form between the giver and the receiver.

2) The light of the correction of creation. In other words, the correction is for the lower one to receive the lights in order to bestow, by which there will be equivalence of form, called “Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator.” At that time the shame will be cancelled.

It follows that this light, called “light of Hassadim” [mercies], is named so after his will to do Hesed[mercy] with the Creator, meaning to bestow upon the Creator. Conversely, the light of the purpose of creation is called “light of Hochma [wisdom]” or the “light of life.” This is the light that the Creator wants to do good to His creations.

It therefore follows that since there was a judgment that it is forbidden to use the Kli [vessel] called “desire to receive for oneself,” although the Creator created this desire in the creatures, still, indirectly, shame is poured upon the receiver. To correct this, a person must cancel this Kli, which comes to him by nature. This is called “work” because it is against nature, for nature is that we should receive delight and not relinquish it. When a person does not receive delight, it is labor, since it is against nature. So why does he do this work? It is because he wants Dvekut, called “equivalence of form.”

However, in this work, when he relinquishes the delight and does not receive it, he still does not become equal. That is, by not wanting to receive any delight, it is not regarded as achieving the degree of equivalence of form because as the Creator bestows, if man, too, wishes to achieve the degree of equivalence of form, he should be a giver, too, meaning come to want to bestow upon others, just as the Creator bestows.

We should also say that by engaging in love of others, in bestowal, he still does not achieve equivalence of form if he derives no pleasure from performing acts of bestowal and not receiving any reward in return. This is so because the Creator enjoys giving to the creatures, for His desire is to do good to His creations, as our sages said (The ZoharVaYera, Item 399), “Rabbi Yehuda said, ‘There has never been such joy to the Creator as the day when the world was created.’”

Therefore, if a person engages in bestowal but derives no pleasure, he certainly has no joy. Joy is only a result of a person’s enjoying something; this brings him joy. Therefore, if a person attempts to engage in bestowal but derives no pleasure from engaging in bestowal, then he is still lacking equivalence of form because when the Creator bestows He derives pleasure, whereas man does not derive pleasure. It therefore follows that when one wants to be rewarded with Dvekut, he needs to meet three conditions: 1) not to use the will to receive for his own sake, 2) engage in acts of bestowal, 3) enjoy while bestowing.

However, we should understand how one can enjoy giving everything to the Creator in a manner of coercion. It can be said that although the body does not agree to work only for the Creator, meaning that before he does anything, he will calculate if the Creator will enjoy the act he is going to perform, since this is against nature, and although we can understand that he is doing this compulsively, he is forcing and tormenting himself in order to do things that please the Creator.

Yet, there is no pleasure in what is done compulsively. For example, if a person goes to the hospital to undergo surgery, he is certainly doing this against his will, although he goes to the hospital by himself and no one is forcing him, and he also pays a lot of money to the surgeon. However, this, too, is regarded as coercion because he is not enjoying this. However, by having himself operated on, despite the suffering and the fear of danger, he knows that by this he can save his life. Yet, he would certainly be more pleased if he were healthy and did not need the operation.

It follows that although he is performing an act from which he is not pleased, by knowing that he will save his life, this awareness pleases him and he has the operation. Thus, we should note here that he is performing the act, and although he does not enjoy the act itself, but to the contrary, he suffers from it, yet because he is considering the reward of saving his life, he has the strength to do things he does not like.

It is likewise in corporeality. A person works and toils although he does not like the work, since he would prefer to rest. Still, when he considers the reward, he has the strength to work willingly, and this is not regarded as compulsory work, since he is not saying, “I relinquish this work and want to be paid for nothing.” Instead, because of the shame, he agrees to work on the condition that he will be paid. Conversely, a patient who admits himself into a hospital in order to be operated on would certainly be happier if he did not have to do this.

By this we see that we should discern three manners in man’s work in corporeality:

1) Work that a person does in order to receive reward, at which time he likes the work. In other words, he is not saying, “I would give up the work and I want only the pay,” since a person is ashamed to eat the bread of shame.

2) A person works in order to receive reward, though he does not like the work. In other words, he would be happier if he did not have to do the work, as in the allegory of the man who admitted himself to the hospital to have himself operated on. Although he does this work voluntarily and no one is forcing him, he does it because of the reward or the punishment. That is, he can either save his life, or avoid death, whereas if he avoids doing this, he will be punished with death.

3) He works for the sake of others. That is, he wants no reward at all, but only the benefit of others. It is as though he is going to work somewhere and gives his salary to charity. This brings up the question, From where does he take fuel for such a work? meaning to work without any reward. The simple reason is that there is the matter of honor. He is in an environment that respects those who work for the sake of others, and this gives him the strength to work.

In the essay “The Peace,” it says about it, “But when all the work of bestowal upon others is based solely on the benefit of society, it is a rickety foundation, for who and what would obligate the individual to toil for society?”

Not every person is fit to work for the sake of the society in order to receive respect. This is already a second degree to lust, and it is known that there are four discernments in man’s degrees, called “still, vegetative, animate, and speaking.”

It is said in the “Preface to The Book of Zohar” (Item 20): “Thus, in the first category—the necessary measure for one’s sustenance—and in the second category—the physical desires that exceed one’s measure for sustenance—one is nourished by things that are lower than the person: the still, vegetative, and animate. However, in the third category, the human desires such as power and respect, one receives and is nurtured by his own species, his equals. In the fourth category, knowledge, one receives and is nurtured by a higher category than one’s own—from the actual wisdom and intellect, which are spiritual.”

Thus, a person cannot work without any reward. Even for respect, not every person is able to work, but they are already regarded as a higher degree than mere ordinary people. Yet, sometimes a person can work for others because of jealousy. That is, although he relinquishes honor, meaning he cannot work and toil although by not working for the sake of others he will not gain respect. But because of jealousy, when he sees that those who work for respect, when he sees that they are respected and no one is looking at him, these torments—that another has respect—pain him. Because of these pains it is possible that he, too, will work for the sake of others.

However, when beginning to work in spirituality, meaning to observe Torah and Mitzvot, many things are complicated. The main reason is that in spirituality there is the matter of faith. That is, a person must believe in reward and punishment. And where one must believe, the body disagrees, since the will to receive for himself enjoys when it understands and sees the profitability in the matter. But when he is told that he should believe, the work in heaviness begins. This follows the rule, “Doubt does not precede certainty.” That is, he sees the labor, that he will certainly have to relinquish rest, but he is doubtful of the reward.

Therefore, then the Lo Lishma [not for Her sake] is also difficult to do because first he must take upon himself faith above reason and believe in reward and punishment. Once he has taken upon himself faith in the kingdom of heaven in general, comes the time to think about details. That is, he should discern between partial faith and complete faith, as he says in the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot” (Item 14), “It is like a person who trusts his friend and lends him money. He may trust him with a pound, and … he may trust him with all his possessions without a hint of fear. This last faith is considered ‘whole faith,’ and the previous forms are considered “incomplete faith.” Rather it is partial faith, whether more or less.”

In this there is a difference between spiritual work and corporeal work, since the reward is based on faith. Since the basis of Judaism is faith, we therefore have many discernments: 1) He has partial faith, and in addition, he adds a little bit of knowledge, meaning that the reward is in knowledge. This can happen while he is working Lo Lishma, but in order to receive money or respect. He does not need to believe in the money or the respect. Rather, he sees if he can receive money or respect, or avoid disgraces. That is, when he actually suffers disgraces, it causes him to work and toil. Or, when he is given honors and money, it is in actual fact. This is why there is no issue of faith in this.

It follows that in Lo Lishma, too, there are two discernments to make: 1) He does not like the work he does, as with the allegory of the person who is going to have himself operated on. In other words, one who works because of coercion does not like his work. He would be happier if he did not have to work. But this applies only to those who work and observe Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] because of punishment. That is, if his boss is religious and he tells him that if he does not observe Torah and Mitzvot he will fire him and he will remain without provision, then his need to observe Torah and Mitzvot is for fear of punishment. Hence, he awaits the day when he can be freed from observing Torah and Mitzvot.

It is likewise with one who observes because of disgrace. That is, assume he is used to learning the daily page [of Gemara] each night. And because of the commandment to learn Torah, how he is in a state where his faith is weak and he has no desire to come to the lesson on the daily page. However, because he is ashamed of the friends, who might despise and not respect him, he comes to study Torah. It follows that he does not like this work and would be happier if this reason, for which he must toil, did not exist.

2) The Lo Lishma that he learns in order to receive reward or respect or money and so forth—this work does please him. That is, he does not say, “I wish I did not have to work.” He cannot say this because a person does not want to lose gains.

However, there is a discernment called Lishma [for Her sake], meaning that he works because of faith and not because people are forcing him to work. Rather, the faith in the Creator is the reason why he observes Torah and Mitzvot. This is called “working for the Creator,” and not for people. This is a very important degree. Sometimes he wants to be certain that he has no thought of working because of people, so he does everything in concealment and no one in the world knows the measure of his work or how much effort he exerts in serving the Creator; only the Creator knows.

However, this degree, too, which is entirely for the Creator, is still not regarded as “work in completeness,” since the completeness of the work is to achieve Dvekut with the Creator, called “equivalence of form,” as our sages said, “As He is merciful, you are merciful.” That is, a person must work not in order to receive reward. Instead, he wants to completely annul his authority and wants there to be only one authority in the world, a singular authority, that only the authority of the Creator will be in the world, and wants his own authority annulled.

It therefore follows that the war of the inclination that a person has is done in several manners:

1) A War of Mitzva [commandment]—when he is at war with the evil inclination over controlling the evil inclination so it does not disrupt his observing of the Mitzvot. Or, the war is about having the power to overcome the evil inclination so he does not transgress. This is called “a war of Mitzva,” where his entire war concerns the observance of Torah and Mitzvot.

2) A War of Authority—when a person wages war with the evil inclination over the authority. That is, the evil inclination argues that there are two authorities: a) that of the Creator, b) that of man. His argument is that this was the purpose of creation, namely for the creatures to receive delight and pleasure from the Creator. It follows that the authority of the creatures should remain, so why do you want to revoke the authority of the creatures? The man, on the other hand, says the opposite.

In this work of the war of authority, a man is powerless to conquer the authority of the body and transfer it to the authority of the Creator. It was said about this, “He who comes to purify is aided.” Since annulling the authority contradicts nature, for as the body argues, the Creator created the world in order to do good to His creations, hence, it is imprinted within man to receive everything into his own authority.

It is written, “When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands.” We asked, what does the verse come to tell us? since it is known that all the wars where the people of Israel come to conquer is only with the help of the Creator. According to the above, the verse comes to teach us that we should know that we cannot win the War Over Authority. We should know that knowing this saves us from despair, since once a person has made efforts to conquer this authority so as to enter the Kedusha [sanctity/holiness], he sees that on the contrary, in his eyes, he has become worse than when he began the War Over Authority. In other words, while he was engaged in a War of Mitzva, he saw that he was advancing in the work, for each day he saw that he was conquering commandments and good deeds. But with the War Over Authority, he thinks he has regressed.

The verse tells us about this that specifically now that you have recognized that you are unable to win this war, do not escape the campaign. Rather, now is the time when a person can pray from the bottom of the heart because he sees that by himself, he cannot do a thing.

It follows that through the work that he has done thus far, he has gained the need for the salvation of the Creator. And since now he has a Kli [vessel], called a “need,” now is the time when the light can come and really clothe within that Kli, as it is written, “and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands,” for only the Creator can give you the conquest in the War Over Authority.

It follows that this knowledge is so important that it is difficult for a person to believe this, and he falls into despair. But if a person believes it—that specifically now is the time when the Creator will help him—he will certainly not escape the campaign and will now walk on the path of truth and will be rewarded with conquering this authority and taking the authority away from the Klipot [shells/peels] and admitting it into the Kedusha.

According to the above, we should interpret what our sages said (Sanhedrin 97), “Three come absentmindedly: the Messiah, finding, and a scorpion.” “Absentmindedly” means that in his eyes, he keeps falling into despair and has already stopped thinking about it. That is, many times he thought that this work of taking the authority away from the Klipot and giving it to the Kedusha, namely the War Over Authority, was not for him, for he saw that he was unfit for it.

The reason for this is very simple. He has already made great efforts, and in his view, he has regressed and not progressed. Each time he overcame above reason, yet nothing helps him. This is why it was said that one should know he must not regard what he sees, but say that the “Messiah,” which will redeem him from the exile of sitting among the nations, this authority of being enslaved to the seventy nations, the Messiah will redeem and take everything away from the authority of the Klipot, which are called “seventy nations of the world.” These correspond to the seven qualities of Kedusha, called HGT NHYM, and since each Sefira consists of ten, they are seventy.

Opposite them there are seven Klipot, and each consists of ten, hence they are seventy nations. The “Israel” is under their control and the Messiah will deliver us. Also, everything that exists in the general public, we learn within the individual. Thus, each and every individual must be rewarded with personal redemption.

According to the above, we should interpret what they said there: “Son of David does not come until all pennies are emptied from the pockets.” We should understand what “all the pennies are emptied from the pockets” means in the work. Money is something by which we buy good things that we need. Money is a substitute for labor. That is, a person works and labors, and in return receives money with which he buys for himself things that he needs.

Accordingly, when a person has done all that he could, and all the labor he thinks that he can do, he has already done, and he has no more labor to add, this is called “Ben David does not come,” meaning that redemption—when He redeems the authority from the Klipot and lets it into the authority of the Kedusha—will not happen before a person has made every effort he could make and he cannot make any more efforts. This is regarded that he has not a penny, meaning he has nothing more with which to buy Kedusha.

Then comes the time when he is pitied from above and is admitted into the Kedusha, called Ben David, referring to redemption. At that time, the verse “and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands” comes true, meaning that at that time comes help from above. The words, “and you take them away captive” mean that a person has conquered the authority of the body, which was under the control of the Sitra Achra [other side], and man is the ruler.

Now we will explain the third question we asked, What is a beautiful woman in the work? It is written, “And you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire her and take her as a wife for yourself.” It is written (Avot, Chapter 6), “Rabbi Meir says, ‘Anyone who engages in Torah Lishma is rewarded with many things, and the secrets of the Torah are revealed to him.” It is known that the Torah is called a “woman,” as it is written (Kidushin 30b), “To teach him a craft. From where is this? Hezekiah said, ‘Behold a life with a woman you love, if she is a real woman. As he must marry him a wife, so he must teach him a craft. If it is Torah, as he must teach him Torah, so he must teach him a craft.’” Thus, they interpret that a woman is the Torah.

The souls come from Malchut, who is regarded as Rachel, which is the revealed world. This means that Hochma is revealed in her and she is called “beautiful,” as it is written (Genesis 29:17), “And Rachel was of good looks and good appearance.”

Baal HaSulam said that where it is written, “beautiful,” it refers to Hochma, for Hochma [wisdom] is called “beauty,” as it is written, “of beautiful eyes,” for eyes are called Hochma, as it is written, “the eyes of the congregation,” who are the sages of the congregation. This means that Torah is called a “woman of good appearance,” and the souls that extend from Malchut in the form of the revealed world are also called a “woman of good appearance.”

By this we can interpret “And you see among the captives a beautiful woman” to mean “once the Creator has given you” this authority that was in the hands of the Klipot. Then, when you engage in the Torah, it will all be Lishma, and you will naturally be rewarded with the secrets of Torah. That is, the Torah is the soul of Israel, as it is written in The Zohar, “The Torah, the Creator, and Israel are one.” And you see among the captives the soul of the Torah, and you desire her, meaning that then begins the work of the Masachim [screens].

That is, this is when a person begins to work with the will to receive spirituality, for it is known that each degree that is higher than its predecessor requires that the work begins anew, to receive it in order to bestow. Thus, although he has already been rewarded with learning Lishma, when he receives a higher degree than he had had, new corrections are required in order to receive it not out of craving, called “will to receive.” Instead, he must perform corrections, which are called Masachimin Kabbalah. It is as we learn that there are five Behinot [discernments] in the Masach [screen], as it is written in the “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” (Item 17), “And these corrections, said the Torah, and shaved her head and did her nails.”

Now we will explain the fourth question we asked, What is “and shaved her head and did her nails in the work”? It is known that “hair” is called “judgments,” as it is written in The Zohar (Nasso, Item 78), “Rabbi Yehuda said, ‘A woman’s hair that is disclosed causes another hair to be disclosed, meaning the forces of the Sitra Achra, which grip to the hair and blemish her. For this reason, even the walls of her house should not see one hair of the woman’s hair, much less outside. Go and see how many flaws the woman’s hair causes—causes above and causes below.’”

But why does the hair blemish above and below? We should understand the meaning of hair in spirituality. We learned that “In the beginning, He created the world with the quality of judgment. He saw that the world could not exist, He associated with it the quality of mercy.” It is known that “judgment” means vessels of reception, for on them was the judgment that they must not be used unless one can place on them the intention to bestow. Yet, it is very difficult to go from one end to the other, meaning from the will to receive for himself, and do everything in order to bestow. For this reason, “He associated with it the quality of mercy,” which is Bina, bestowal. By this, through the power of Torah and Mitzvot, it will be possible to turn her into aiming to bestow.

It is written in the “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” (Item 58), “He saw that the world could not exist.” That is, in this way, it will be impossible for man, who must be created from this Behina Dalet[Fourth Phase], to be able to adjust his works to bestowal and by him the world will exist in the desired quality of correction. Hence, He first took the quality of mercy and associated it with the quality of judgment. Through this association, sparks of bestowal were included in Behina Dalet, which is the quality of judgment, making it possible for man’s body, which emerges from Behina Dalet, to do good deeds in order to bestow contentment upon his Maker. By this, the world will achieve the desirable correction from the creation of the world.

According to the above, we can understand the meaning of the hair. Hair is vessels of reception, which come from the quality of judgment and belong to the worlds before the correction, where they were still not regarded as hair. However, there, those Kelim received the lights, causing the breaking of the vessels. Hence, a correction was made not to use these Kelim any longer. For this reason, when the lights with these Kelim came to the world of correction, the lights departed, and these Kelim received the name Se’arot [hair], from the word se’ara [storm], since these Kelim lacked the lights they had had.

He says in The Study of the Ten Sefirot (Part 13, Reply No. 112): “They are called Se’arot from the verse, ‘For He bruises me with a hair,’ which means storm. They are called so because of the force of the judgments that is in them, since they come from Malchut of Tzimtzum Aleph [First Restriction].” In other words, Malchut of Tzimtzum Aleph is called the “quality of judgment” and is not used in the world of correction.

By this we should interpret what is written concerning the corrections of a beautiful woman, “And she shall shave her head,” meaning not use the vessels of reception, called “the quality of judgment,” when the light illuminated in Gadlut [adulthood/greatness], which is called “And she shall shave her head,” meaning the Se’arot, which are the Kelim that come from the quality of judgment, but rather use the Kelim that are corrected with the quality of mercy, which is a smaller degree. For this reason, it will be easier for him to aim to bestow the secrets of the Torah called Neshama [soul].

But if he receives it as he is, he will receive the pleasure of the light of Neshama because “you desire her” and not because of a desire to bestow, for he will not have the strength to aim over the Kelim of the quality of judgment and receive the light in order to bestow. It is as our sages said, “The Creator saw that the world could not exist, He stood and associated with it the quality of mercy.”

In this way we can interpret the second correction, where it says, “And did her nails.” The Unkelus Translation interprets “did her nails” to mean that she makes her nails bigger. Yonatan Ben Uziel interprets “and did her nails” to mean that she made her nails bigger. In the work, this means that she will take her Gadlut [adulthood/greatness] from the nails and not from the flesh of the fingers.

To understand the meaning of the fingers, we need to know what is written in The Zohar (Beresheet, Item 129, essay, “Illuminations of Light; Illuminations of Fire”): “A man’s fingers are the concealments in the degrees and are upper secrets. There are Panim [anterior] and Achoraim[posterior] in them.” By this you will understand the words of our sages, who said (Taanit 31), “The Creator is destined to pardon the righteous. He sits among them in the Garden of Eden, and each one points with his finger, ‘Behold, this is our God,’ for the fingers are Mochin de Hochma, and Mochin de Hochma are seeing and the light of the eyes. For this reason, they said, ‘points with his finger,’ as the Achoraim of the fingers are in their externality, which implies the fingernails. For this reason, a person is permitted to look at the nails at the end of Shabbat [Sabbath] because then they illuminate from the same candle and illuminate from the same fire, to govern the weekdays. This is the meaning of the words, ‘And you will see My back, but My face shall not be seen.’ That is, a person should not look at the inside of the fingers while blessing at the end of Shabbat, ‘creator of the illuminations of fire,’ as they are regarded as internal Panim, of which it was said, ‘and My face shall not be seen.’”

It therefore follows that in the work, nails imply that the light called “illuminations of fire” can be received as “seeing,” called Hochma, but only as Achoraim, called “nails,” which is Katnut[smallness/infancy], and not as Panim, which is Gadlut. The prohibition is that in a greater degree, in which there is greater light, the passion is greater because the pleasure is greater and harder to overcome.

It is written, “And you desired her.” Hence, the Neshama that he obtains after the conquest of the authority of the body, called “self-love,” and all he wants is to bestow contentment upon his Maker, still, there is a distinction of degrees in the reception of the abundance, to have the ability to do everything in order to bestow.

It is known that there are four degrees in general: 1) receiving in order to receive. This is regarded as how a person is born by nature. He cannot understand how it is possible to do something without benefit for himself. 2) Bestowing, but on condition that he receives reward. This is called Lo Lishma. 3) Bestowing in order to bestow, which is called Lishma [for Her sake]. 4) He can receive pleasure and his intention is to bestow.

It follows that after the conquest of the War Over Authority, it is considered the third degree, which is Lishma. It is as Rabbi Meir says, “He who learns Torah Lishma is rewarded with many things and the secrets of Torah are revealed to him.” At that time he should achieve the fourth degree—to receive the pleasure of the light of Neshama, called “a beautiful woman and you desire her.” The secrets of Torah clothe in vessels of reception, and Lishma is in vessels of bestowal, since that light dresses in the Kelim of the reception of the pleasure and not in vessels of bestowal, which are Kelim that give and do not receive. At that time begins the order of corrections by which he has the ability to receive in order to bestow.

This is the meaning of the words, “And you see among the captives,” for “seeing” refers to the disclosure of the light of Neshama. It is to this that the words, “and she did her nails,” imply, as the Targum interprets, she makes her nails bigger. This means that her Gadlut will be in the form of Achoraim, called Katnut, regarded as “nails,” as in the words of The Zohar.

Now we can understand what our sages said (Berachot 63), “Words of Torah can be only in one who puts himself to death over it.” The question is, If he puts himself to death over it, who is the one observing the Torah and Mitzvot? since it is written, “The dead are free.” Our sages said, “When a person dies, he becomes free from the Mitzvot” (Jerusalem Talmud, Kilaim 9:3). We should interpret “Puts himself to death over it” to mean he should revoke the authority. When he says that it is for himself, he should cancel this authority and transfer it to the authority of the Creator, meaning to say that there is no other authority in the world, but everything belongs to the Creator. This is called “annulment of the authority.”

This is the time when the Torah exists in him. That is, everything that the Torah promises to a person if he keeps the Torah, all those things cannot be in a person until he has the ability to receive in order to bestow, and this can happen only when a person annuls his authority, called “self-love.” At that time he becomes a servant of the Creator, meaning that he is what is regarded as “He who buys a servant buys his teacher.” This means that the slave has no authority in which to place the delight and pleasure that the Torah has promised. Instead, everything, meaning all the delight and pleasure he receives, he puts into the authority of the Creator and the person has no other authority in the world. This is called “The Torah exists only in one who puts himself to death over it.”

But “the view of landlords is opposite from the view of Torah,” and everything he sees as worth receiving, he wants it all to be on his name, meaning in his authority, where he is the owner of all things. That is, he wants to take away from the authority of the Creator and place it in his own authority. By this we will understand the meaning of the War Over Authority.

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