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The Importance of Faith that Is Always Present

Article No. 06, Tav-Shin-Mem-Zayin, 1986-87

The Zohar asks (Vayetze, Item 75), “Rabbi Yehuda said, ‘Since the Creator promised him, ‘Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go,’ why did he not believe, but said, ‘If God is with me’? He replies, ‘Jacob said, ‘I dreamt a dream.’ And as for dreams, some are true and some are not true. If it comes true, I will know that the dream was true.’ This is why he said, ‘If God is with me,’ as I dreamt, and ‘Then the Lord shall be a God unto me.’’”

We need to understand the above question, as well as the answer, in the work, as far as it concerns us. Also, what is a dream and what is the promise that the Creator made, and what is the condition that Jacob said, “If God is with me then the Lord shall be a God unto me,” then he will keep the vow.

To explain all this in the work, we should begin with the purpose of creation, which the Creator created in order to do good to His creations. It is considered that the Creator promised to give the creatures abundance. We should certainly understand this, that He promised abundance to the creatures—it certainly means that He would give to people only the abundance suitable for people.

For example, we see what is good for cats: When they catch mice and eat them, this is their abundance. We cannot say that this abundance, which He gives to vermin and insects, He should give to people. The same applies to the speaking, called “human.” In them, too, there are those who know nothing more than what the still, vegetative, and animate know as good. Certainly, animals, for example, were given the abundance that is good for them. And should we give them other abundance, it would be bad because they do not have the Kelim [vessels] to feel any taste in it. It is likewise with the vegetative and with the still. That is, within the speaking we should discern the still, vegetative, and animate.

This is as it is written in the “Introduction to the Book of Zohar” (Item 33): “And you must know that any contentment of our Maker from bestowing upon His creatures depends on the extent to which the creatures feel that He is the giver, and the one who delights them. Then He takes great pleasure in them, as a father playing with his beloved son, to the degree that the son feels and recognizes the greatness and exaltedness of his father, and his father shows him all the treasures he has prepared for him.”

Accordingly, we can see that the purpose of creation of doing good to His creations is that they will achieve the revelation of Godliness. There was no intent for corporeal pleasures because all the corporeal pleasures from which the creatures are nourished before they obtain vessels of bestowal are only, as it is written in The Zohar, a frail light of sparks of Kedusha [holiness] that fell among the Klipot [shells/peels]. This is all of their vitality. But the primary delight and pleasure are clothed in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds].

However, in order for the pleasure that the Creator wishes to impart upon the creatures to be complete, the correction of Tzimtzum [restriction] took place, namely the concealment on the delight and pleasure that exist in Torah and Mitzvot. (It is so that the world will exist, so they can receive the pleasure and enjoy, in the meantime, from the frail illumination that fell among the Klipot and on which the world feeds.)

Through the concealment there is room for man to accustom himself that everything he does will be for the Creator because he wants to serve the King without anything in return, since he is keeping Torah and Mitzvot without any appearance of light, which is called “the true delight and pleasure.”

Once he has become accustomed to keeping his intent only to bestow, then, when he receives the delight and pleasure, there will not be any bread of shame in it because he will not be receiving the delight and pleasure for his own benefit. For himself, he will be willing to give up the pleasures. But since he wants to please the Creator and sees that the Creator lacks only one thing—that He can carry out His goal, meaning that the creatures will receive from Him—for this reason he now receives the abundance, to please the Creator, for the Creator can receive only this from the lower ones: that they will receive from Him delight and pleasure. And since the Creator wants to delight the creatures, the creatures must delight the Creator, too. This is called “equivalence of form.”

However, it takes great labor to achieve equivalence of form, which means that all the actions are done for the Creator, since it is against nature. Since man is created with a will to receive pleasure for himself, called “will to receive for himself,” and a person is told that he must cancel this will to receive and acquire a new Kli [vessel], called “desire to bestow,” so not every person is rewarded with being able to acquire these Kelim, which are fit to contain the upper light.

In order for one to have a desire to bestow, our sages said (Kidushin 30), “I have created the evil inclination; I have created for it the spice of Torah.” Thus, precisely by the Torah he can achieve vessels of bestowal.

Also, there is a saying by our sages (Sukkah 52): “Rabbi Shimon Ben Levi said, ‘Man’s inclination overcomes him every day and seeks to put him to death, as it was said, ‘The wicked watches the righteous and seeks to put him to death.’ Were it not for the Creator’s help, he would not overcome it, as it was said, ‘The Lord will not leave him in its hand,’ referring to this will to receive, since it is separated from the Creator, as it is known that in spirituality, disparity of form separates the spiritual and divides it in two.’’”

It is explained in the “Introduction to the Book of Zohar” (Item 10) that “Indeed, first we must understand the meaning of the existence of Tuma’a [impurity] and Klipot. Know that this is the great will to receive, which we said, and which He placed (the will to receive) in the system of the impure worlds ABYA. Because of it, they have become separated from the Creator and from all the worlds of Kedusha [holiness]. For this reason, the Klipot are called ‘dead,’ as it is written, ‘sacrifices of the dead.’ And the wicked that follow them, as our sages said, ‘The wicked, in their lives, are called ‘dead,’’ since the will to receive imprinted in them in oppositeness of form to His Holiness separates them from the Life of Lives, and they are far from Him from one end to the other. It is so because He has no interest in reception, but only in bestowal, whereas the Klipot want none of bestowal, but only to receive for themselves, for their own delight, and there is no greater oppositeness than this.”

According to the above, in order for a person to have equivalence of form so he may receive the delight and pleasure from the Creator, one is required to great exertion and much help from above so he can defeat the evil in him, which is the will to receive, and to be able to use it with the aim to bestow. There are many people who are not rewarded with it, and for those who are rewarded with it, it is truly a miracle.

Now we should explain what we asked about what is written about Jacob, what it comes to teach us of the way of the Creator in that the Torah tells us his dream and the vow he made, and that the vow was on condition in that he said, “If God is with me.”

It is written, “And Jacob arose from his sleep… and took the stone he had placed under his head.” It is known that a stone is called Malchut, and Malchut is called “faith.” That is, when a person wants to understand, and understanding is called “head” [mind], he takes this understanding in his mind and places it under his head. This means that he places faith in the head and places his understanding and knowledge under his head. It follows that afterwards the order is that faith is above and reason is below.

This is called “faith above reason.” Accordingly, we can interpret what is written, “And he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head.” It is written, “and [Jacob] set it up as a headstone,” meaning that he had made faith above reason his state. Matzeva [headstone] comes from the word Matzav [state], meaning that the state that he wants to build the structure of Kedushawill be in faith above reason. This is the meaning of the words, “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God is with me… then the Lord will be a God unto me.’”

The Zohar asked about it: “Why did he not believe but said, “If God is with me”? It replies that Jacob said, “I dreamt a dream. And as for dreams, some are true and some are not true. If it comes true I will know that the dream was true.”

We should interpret the meaning of this world and the next world in the work. This world is like a dream. That is, however we solve it, so it exists. It is as our sages said (Berachot 55), “All the dreams follow the mouth,” as was said, “As he solved it for us, so it was.” In the literal meaning, this is difficult to understand that however people solve it, so it comes true. Accordingly, why should I torment myself over a bad dream? There is a simple advice: He can go to people who are his friends and they will certainly resolve the dream favorably, as our sages said, “All the dreams follow the mouth,” and there is no doubt that there are explanations in the literal.

We will interpret this in the work. The Creator created the world in order to do good to His creations. In order not to have shame in the delight and pleasure, man is in this world, which is a place of work where he can obtain vessels of bestowal by which to receive everything in order to bestow. By this there is no room for shame here because he is receiving everything because of a Mitzva[commandment].

This is the meaning of what The Zohar says, “The Creator promised Jacob abundance.” However, He spoke to him by way of a dream, meaning in this world, which is like a dream. That is, according to how a person solves it, meaning if a person goes according to the view of Torah (as it is written in Article No. 5, Tav-Shin-Mem-Zayin), it follows that he gives a good solution to what the Creator promised, in that He has created with the world with the intention to do good to His creations. But this promise is a dream, meaning that by a person solving the promise to do good, which is what the Creator wants to bestow, he will give the solution: As the Creator is the giver, likewise, man can work only in order to bestow.

This is regarded as the promise that the Creator promised, to do good, being if a person also provides the solution, namely to do good. This is as our sages said, “As He is merciful, so you are merciful.”

But if a person does not offer the solution to the dream, but what the Creator promised, which is to do good to His creations, and he wants the opposite, meaning he wants to receive in order to receive, it follows that he solves it negatively. That is, the good that the Creator wants to give cannot be upheld because he did not prepare the suitable Kelim for the delight and pleasure to able to enter them, meaning that there will not be separation between them, as it is known that disparity of form separates the spiritual in two.

Now we can understand why the dream follows the solution. The meaning is that the Creator’s promise to do good to His creations depends on man’s work in this world, where this world is like a dream, and everything depends on its solution, on how it is solved. That is, if the solution in this world is for the better, meaning if all of a person’s actions are to do good, meaning to bestow, then the promise that the Creator promised, to do good, will come true. If the solution follows the evil inclination then the dream, which is the work in this world—that the Creator will give the abundance—cannot come true.

Accordingly, we can understand what our sages said, “All the dreams follow the mouth.” It means that if a person speaks good things with his mouth, meaning that he always says that we should do good deeds, that everything is for the Creator and not for his own sake, then the good dream comes true. That is, he is rewarded, as our sages said (Berachot 17), with “You will see your world in your life, and your end in the life of the next world.”

But if his mouth solves badly and he says that he must care for his own benefit, it is a bad dream because he solved the dream negatively. It follows that the Creator gave His promise to give the delight and pleasure as a dream, meaning within this world, which is like a dream.

Now we can understand the condition and the vow, and the importance of the vow, what greatness there is in the vow, where he said, “If the Lord keeps everything that He has promised me,” what a great thing he will do then, as it is written, “This stone, which I have set up as a headstone, will be God’s house.”

Accordingly, the verse, “And he took from the stones of the place” means that he took the stones, meaning the understandings and concepts and views of the place, where each one has his own view. According to everyone’s understanding, he should walk in the path of the Creator only where the intellect dictates, and not go against reason, saying that this is why we were given reason—so we will understand what we are doing. However, he saw that although each one has a different intellect, he saw that the Creator, by creating the creatures with a nature of wanting to receive, there is really only one view here, namely self-love, except each one elicits his self-love with a special intellect. But they are equal in that they are only will to receive and nothing more. It is as it is written, “And he took the stone,” one stone.

That is, he placed reason, called “stone,” under his head, and took faith into his head, with reason being below faith. The vow was that “If God is with me,” meaning if he is rewarded with greeting the Shechina [Divinity], as it is written, “Then the Lord shall be a God unto me.” And still, I will not take this as the basis, but my whole structure of God’s house will be on faith above reason. This is the meaning of what is written, “This stone, which I have set up as a headstone, will be God’s house.”

Now we will understand the importance of the vow that he said, “If God helps me solve it positively,” meaning that he will acquire the appropriate vessels of bestowal where the upper abundance clothes, this is called “greeting the Shechina.” However, he still wants to use only the stone he had taken in the beginning and which he made into a headstone, meaning the stone that was below his head. And then the vow was that although he would be rewarded with “God is with me and the Lord shall be a God unto me,” that stone, which I have placed as a headstone, will be the house of God. That is, he wants to stay in faith even though he has all the revelations. It follows that faith applies both in Katnut [infancy/smallness] and in Gadlut [adulthood/greatness]. From here we see the importance of faith, for the vow was that even in Gadlut he would not move from faith.

Inapoi la pagina 1987 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

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