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The Creator and Israel Went into Exile

Article No. 27, Tav-Shin-Mem-Vav, 1985-86

It is written in The ZoharBeHukotai [In My Statutes] (item 49), about the verse, “And I, too, will torment you seven tiems for your sins”: “Come and see, the Creator’s sublime love for Israel is like a king who had an only son who sinned before the king. One day, he sinned before the king. The king said, ‘All those days I have been striking you but you did not receive. Henceforth, see what I will do to you. If I expel you from the land, bears might charge you in the field, or wild wolves or murderers could obliterate you from the world. What should I do? Instead, you and I will go out of the land.’ Thus, I, too, for what is written means that you and I will leave the land, meaning go into exile, ‘And I will chastise you,’ to go into exile. And if you say that I will leave you, I, too, am with you.”

We should understand the meaning of the exit of the people of Israel from the land abroad, which is called “exile among the nations.” What does it mean in the work? That is, what is “land” and what is “exit from the land”? Also, what does it mean when sinners punish a person and give him exile among the nations of the world? How does it help, and what benefit does it yield in the ways of the work? That is, what is the correction in going out to exile to be under the rule of the nations of the world?

We should also understand how it can be said that the Creator, too, leaves the land with the people of Israel into exile, since “the whole earth is full of His glory,” and it is written, “His kingship rules over everything.” He even sustains the Klipot [shells/peels], so how can it be said that He will go out to exile with the people of Israel as though He is not in the land?

To understand the above in the work we first need to know what is the land of Israel and what is abroad, and why exiting from the land abroad is regarded as exile among the nations. We should understand that exile is a correction for sins. That is, by suffering the exile, the torments of the exile will make them repent, and then it will be possible to bring them back to the land. But it is written, “And they mingled with the nations and learned their works,” so what torments of exile are they feeling, which can be a cause for them to repent and return to the land? That is, what can he know about what is good in the land of Israel so as to crave it, and this land will be a reason that will compel him to repent for the love of the land?

It is known that land is called Malchut and the “holy Shechina [Divinity]. It is also called “the assembly of Israel,” which is the inclusion of all the souls. This means that she must receive the delight and pleasure that was in the thought of creation to do good to His creations, meaning that the souls will receive delight and pleasure.

The order of cascading was from the world of Ein Sof [no end/infinity] to the world of Tzimtzum[restriction], and then to the line on which the five Partzufim [pl. of Partzuf] of AK are clothed, then the five Partzufim of Atzilut. Afterwards, Malchut de Atzilut emanated the three worlds BYA, and then Adam HaRishon was created, and the externality of his body, which is similar to the current material body, was made from Bina de Malchut de Assiya, as it is written in The Study of the Ten Sefirot (Part 16, p 1912, item 43), “Afterwards he had NRN from BYA and then NRN from Atzilut.

It therefore follows that the land is called Malchut de [of] Atzilut, and it is written about the world of Atzilut, “Evil will not dwell with you,” meaning that there is no evil there at all, but only in BYA are there scrutinies of good and evil. Rather, there the delight and pleasure that He contemplated giving to the souls is revealed. It is as our sages said about the verse, “‘In the beginning God created’: there is no beginning but Israel, for everything is for Israel, meaning for the souls of Israel.”

After Adam HaRishon sinned with the tree of knowledge he was expelled from Atzilut and descended into BYA. Then he began to repent and correct what he had sinned. By this he reentered the Garden of Eden, meaning Atzilut. The correction was that he was expelled from the Garden of Eden, as it is written (Genesis, 3:22), “And the Lord said, ‘And now, he might stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.’ And the Lord God sent him out from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.”

Baal HaSulam explained the fear for which he was expelled from the Garden of Eden, for it is written, “He might stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” He said that since the man sinned with the tree of knowledge, if a person is punished, meaning suffers from the punishment that he was given, this suffering causes him to repent and correct the flaw that he had caused.

But if he is not punished and does not feel suffering from the sin he had committed, he will certainly not understand that he should repent for it. It is as The Zohar writes (“Introduction of the Book of Zohar,” item 192), “Rabbi Shimon wept and said, ‘Woe if I say, woe if I do not say. If I say, the wicked will know how to serve their master.’”

He interprets in the Sulam [commentary on The Zohar] as follows, “By this he implies that he could not reveal his words in full in this place so as not to harm the wicked. This is because here he came to disclose how to cling to the tree of life, and never touch the tree of death, and only those who have already corrected the discernment of the tree of knowledge of good and evil are worthy of it. But the wicked, who have yet to correct the sin of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, must not know it, for they first need to toil in all the labors until they correct the sin of the tree of knowledge. You will also find this in the verse, ‘Lest he reached out his hand and took also from the tree of life and ate, and lived forever’ Genesis, 3). After Adam sinned with the tree of knowledge, he was expelled from the Garden of Eden for fear that he would cling to the tree of life and live forever, and the flaw he had caused in the tree of knowledge would forever remain uncorrected.”

It therefore follows that when taking a person out from the land, meaning from the kingdom of heaven he had, since he cannot feel the importance of spirituality that he had prior to being taken out from the kingdom of heaven, and he goes to exile, as it is written “And they mingled with the nations and learned their works,” this is regarded as falling under the enslavement of idol worshippers. That is, all the lusts that exist in the nations of the world also govern Israel who have been exiled. At that time they have no connection to spirituality, except what they are used to keep by habit, this is what they observe, but beyond them, it does not occur to them that they have anything to correct.

It follows that we should make two discernments concerning the exile: 1) They are exiled under the governance of the nations. The mind and intellect that they had while in the land, when they were in the kingdom of heaven and thought all day about how to exit self-love and achieve the love of the Creator, when they sinned and went to exile, we can interpret this in the work of the individual, as it is known that the general and the particular are the same. This means that if a person sins while being in the land, meaning if he receives some illumination from above and uses it for his own benefit, meaning says, “Now that I have some flavor in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments], I don’t need faith above reason,” this is called a “sin” because he has blemished the faith above reason.

For this reason, he is expelled from the land and falls under the governance of the lusts of the nations of the world. Once he is in exile, he promptly suffers over forgetfulness, and does not remember that he was ever in the land, that he was in a state of “kingdom of heaven” and thought only about how to  achieve Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator. He wants to continue this way his whole life, meaning to care only about satisfying the needs that the body demands for its own benefit, and does not care about anything.

After some time, and each one has a different calculation with Him (meaning that when a person is judged above, each one has his own calculation as to how long he should be kept in exile until he receives an awakening from above), and he receives an awakening from above and begins to feel that he is in exile, and begins to remind himself that he has fallen from a high roof to a deep pit.

That is, when he was in the land, he remembers that he looked at the whole world as redundant and always thought, “Why did the Creator create the wicked in the world? What joy or benefit can these wicked bring to the Creator?” Instead, now he looks at himself, that he is in exile, and what can he give to the Creator so as to bring contentment above? He begins to feel the suffering that he has descended from man to beast, meaning sees that now he desires beastly lusts, which he did not have prior to being expelled from the land.

Now he begins to crave the Creator, that He will bring him closer and admit him once again into the land, and out of beastly lusts, and give him pleasures from nourishments fit for man, meaning from acts of bestowal, and not that his nourishment will be of food for beast. It is as our sages said (Peshachim, 118), “When the Creator told Adam HaRishon, ‘Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you,’ his eyes teared. He said, ‘Will I and my ass eat off the same crib?’ Once He had told him, ‘By the sweat of your brow you will eat bread,’ his mind was immediately eased.”

This sounds as though the Creator gave him the knowledge when He said, “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you.” Before the Creator had told him that, he did not see that his nourishment was only thorns and thistles, which is only animal food. We can interpret that the awakening from above came to him and reminded him what he had had before the sin, what high degrees he had had, and with the exit from the Garden of Eden it is as though he has forgotten everything.

This is regarded as the Creator speaking to him, meaning that he received an awakening from above from the Creator, and then he remembered what he had had. At that time he began to feel the suffering from being expelled from the Garden of Eden, and began to cry about being on the same degree of a beast. That is, his nourishment is only that which pertains to self-love, which is called “food for beast.” This is the meaning of “His eyes teared and he said, “Will I and my ass eat off the same crib?” That is, eating, which nourishes him, will be similar to that of a beast, and he will not be able to elicit joy out of it, except for mattes that pertain to self-love.

However, when he was told, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat bread,’ his mind was immediately eased.” RASHI interprets “By the sweat of your brow” to mean after you have had much trouble in it. We should interpret the meaning of “trouble.” According to what we learn, if one has already come to feel that he is at a degree that is similar to a beast, it means that the sensation should also be to the extent that brings to suffering, that he will shed tears over his lowly and poor state, as our sages said, “His eyes teared.”

Therefore, the suffering he feels at being similar to a beast gives him the strength to want to make great efforts to exit self-love, which is regarded as a best, and be rewarded with man’s food. That is, that now he can enjoy acts of bestowal.

It therefore follows that we should make two discernments regarding the above exile:

1) He is in exile but does not know he is in exile. Rather he is happy as he is. Instead, he is searching for quantity—more money, more respect, etc. However, he has already forgotten that he was once at a human degree, called “land,” which is the kingdom of heaven. It does not even occur to him that he should change his sustenance. Rather, he does not think that the nourishments he receives in vessels of self-love, called “animal food,” need replacing, meaning to have thoughts of giving.

It follows that he does not want to change the source of provision, where he is being fed with only that which comes into vessels of self-love. Rather, he wants to replace the matters that come in vessels of self-love. For example, he would like to change his apartment because he no longer enjoys the flat he lives in and wants a different apartment, since a new apartment is something he can enjoy. Also, changes the furniture because he cannot enjoy the ones he has. By having new furniture, his will to receive will have something to enjoy.

2) However, he does not want to change his source of provision, meaning to say that his provision should come from a source that gives only to the vessels of bestowal. This he God forbids does not contemplate, as it is known that the receivers cannot understand how can there be provision from him giving. The giver is to the contrary. When he sees that he is engaging in reception he is ashamed of himself for doing something he regards as lowly. But in truth, we must change the source of nourishment, since there is nourishment that pours into vessels of self-love, and this nourishment comes from the Klipot. However, there is nourishment that comes into the vessels of bestowal, and this one comes from the worlds of Kedusha [holiness].

Therefore, according to the two above discernments in exile, the question is, “Who causes one to feel that he is in exile, by feeling suffering because he wants to exit the exile, as was said about the exile in Egypt, ‘And the children of Israel sighed from the work, and they cried out, and their cry rose up to God from the work’”? We have to say that this awakening came from the Creator, meaning so they will not stay in exile, meaning from a state of oblivion, the Creator sends the awakening.

It therefore follows that they feel that there is spirituality, but that the spirituality is in a state of lowliness and their heart aches over the fact that the Shechina is in exile, and why spirituality has the taste of dust. That is, when they want to work in order to bestow, they cannot appreciate this work as they should feel that now he is doing the holy work, and not the work of people who are similar to beasts.

But the matter is to the contrary, that when he works to man’s benefit, he feels good taste in the work. But when he does the work of the Creator, he does not feel any taste. That is, the same act that he does, if he sees that his will to receive has something to receive, that the reward illuminates for him during the work, and this is why he feels good taste, if he replaces the intention during the work and says that he is doing this work not in order to receive reward, he promptly feels his weakness, that he cannot make an effort, and the work begins to slow down right away.

According to the above, it follows that the Creator seemingly comes to him and tells him, “Look at the lowly state you are in. You are just like a beast.” Then he begins to suffer that he does not have any feelings of human beings. It pains him and he feels the suffering and pain of being in exile under the rule of the nations of the world. That is, now he feels that he has evil lusts, suitable for the seventy nations.

But before this revelation came to him, so as to feel his lowliness, he lived in a world that was all God, meaning that it did not cause him any deficiency that he was in a state of lowliness. He did not feel that it was lowliness, but rather that he was behaving like everyone else, whose only aspirations are lust, respect, and money. But now that the revelation has come to him from the Creator, that he will see that he is like a beast and not like a man, he suffers, since he would be happy if he could come out of the exile.

But since he is in exile, he sees that that he does not see a way out of the exile. It follows that these torments are causing him instability. That is, he does not know what to do. On the one hand, now he sees that he is feeling the truth, meaning the kind of people to whom he belongs, since there are people who belong to beastliness, and there are people who belong to people. And if we want to be more precise, we should discern three kinds: 1) people who have nothing to do with Judaism, 2) people who engage in Torah and Mitzvot, but in order to receive reward, 3) people who work not in order to receive reward.

It follows that on the one hand, now he can be very happy that he sees the truth, meaning which type of people he is with, and which degree he should strive to achieve. But at the same time he is feeling pain and suffering at seeing how far he is from Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator. That is, he sees that he cannot do anything for the Creator, and that all that he does is because he wants to receive reward for his actions, but with respect to the desire to bestow, he does not see that he will be able to come out of them by himself.

It follows that he is craving for the state when he belonged to the second type, when he had strength to work because the reward illuminated for him, and in his mind he was in a state that is close to the Creator. He would always speak to the Creator and ask Him for reward for his work, and he felt complete and that he did not need a thing because he was certain of the reward, meaning that he was keeping the commandments of the Creator. And the Creator certainly sees that not many people desire to keep His commandments, but he is exerting to keep His commandments, so the Creator will certainly favor him and give him a great reward for it.

Naturally, after such a calculation, a person feels that he is high in the sky among the clouds, and that they are looking at the whole world, for undoubtedly, the world exists through their Torah, as our sages said, “The world cannot stand without Torah” (Tavo). It follows that then he was truly among the happiest people in the world.

But now that he has emerged from the second state, the Creator has illuminated the truth for him, that the work of the Creator is primarily to bestow contentment upon the Creator and not for one’s own benefit, and he sees how far he is from the truth, and feels the opposite. That is, where he thought that if instead of Lo Lishma [not for Her sake] I had Lishma [for Her sake], it would feel good, that I am fine with the Creator, meaning that I am trying to obey Him as much as possible, and I am regarded as a “servant of the Creator.” And certainly, all the reward that the Creator has promised us is ready for me, so what else do I need?

It is even more so when I begin to advance in order to bestow. I will promptly be elevated. However, this is not so. Rather, now that he has comes to feel the truth, that the main thing is to work for the benefit of the Creator, and he should certainly be happy that, thank God, he has gotten on the real track that leads to nearness to the Creator, so I should have been constantly elated and say, “Thank God, I see that the Creator has had mercy me and did not let me labor in vain. Rather, all my labor will now be in order to achieve the goal, called “Dvekut with the Creator.”

However, he feels that his state is the opposite, meaning that he does not have the same joy he had while working in order to receive reward. It is so because he sees that now he has no support from this body, since now he is telling his body, “Know that from this day forth I will not give you any profits in the work, for now I am not working for my own benefit. Rather, I want to work only to benefit the Creator. Then the body does not agree to give strength to work. It follows that now he is in a state of lowliness.

However, before the revelation of the truth has come to him, he was always elated, seeing how each day he was adding in deeds and the reward was guaranteed. But now is the real time, when he can give and honest prayer to the Creator to take him out of exile, since before he has received the revelation from above—that he is in exile, controlled by the nations of the world, called “will to receive in order to receive. Thus, he had no deficiency that the Creator could fill, meaning to lead him out of exile. It therefore follows that the Creator has given him the Kli [vessel], meaning the deficiency, and then He has given him the light, and both the light and the Kli come from above.

By this we can interpret what we asked about what the holy Zohar says to Israel when they have sinned, the Creator said, “And I will chastise you, to go into exile. And if you say that I will leave you, I, too, am with you.” We asked how it was possible that the Creator come out from the land abroad, to exile, since “the whole earth is full of His glory,” and how can it be said that He is going out? We also asked what the punishment of going to exile adds to us, meaning that certainly, everything the Creator does, He does only for man’s favor, so what does man gain by going to exile under the rule of the nations of the world?

According to what we explained above, it follows that saying “The whole earth is full of His glory” comes to teach us that from the perspective of the Creator there are no changes in the world. Rather, it is as it is written, “You are before the world was created, and You are after the world was created.” Thus, all the changes are from the perspective of the qualification of the receivers. That is, to the extent that they can attribute their work only to bestow upon the Creator, to that extent the Tzimtzum [restriction] is removed, and the light that is hidden for the lower ones is revealed, and by this the lower ones receive the delight and pleasure.

This is regarded as the people of Israel being in the land, meaning feeling that the Creator is the land of Israel. That is, since the people of Israel is in the land of Israel, the Creator is named after the action of providing Himself to the creatures so they will recognize and know Him when they are fit for it. If they sin and may blemish, meaning receive upper abundance to the upper one and pass it on to the Klipot, which are self-love, then He must be “taken out” from the land of Israel, meaning that the Tzimtzum rises once more and the light departs.

This is regarded as having left the land, which is the place of the kingdom of heaven, called Shechina, and went out to exile under the rule of the nations of the world.

The correction of going out to exile is

  1. that first, they will not spoil the abundance.
  2. that by being in exile, the Creator does not leave them in exile, as we explained above that sometimes a person is in exile but does not know that it is exile, that one must run from that place, meaning from the state he is in and receives nourishment from that place called “self-love.” Rather, it is to the contrary, that he suffers only because he cannot satisfy what the nations of the world require of him, since they control him, meaning he cannot satisfy all the pleasures that pertain to self-love.

This is why the holy Zohar says, “If I expel you from the land, bears might charge you in the field, or wild wolves or murderers could obliterate you from the world.” That is, they will remove you completely from the spiritual world and will remain only in the corporeal world, called “self-love.”

Therefore, in order not to be lost in the exile, the Creator, too, goes out to exile with them. That is, He appears to them in an exile form. That is, the Creator is called “His name,” after the work that He does. Since now He gives them exile, meaning that they feel they are in exile, this is regarded as the Creator having gone out to exile with them. He gives them the sensation of exile so they will not be lost in the exile altogether in that they do not feel that they have been expelled from the land and that now they are under the rule of the nations of the world.

Now we will understand what we asked, “What is the correction of being expelled from the land?” 1) That they will not spoil what they have attained. This is regarded as knowing his Master and intending to rebel. It means that he knows his Master but cannot be in a state of only to bestow. 2) By being in exile they will feel the need to be only in a state of bestowal, by which they will be rewarded with Dvekut with the Creator. Thus, the suffering of exile will reform them. And we should interpret what we asked, “What does it mean that the Creator went out to exile?” that since the Creator is giving them the taste of exile, it is considered that the Creator has come out from the good and pleasant land,” giving them, which is to their benefit.

Inapoi la pagina 1986 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

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