Inapoi la pagina 1987 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
The Connection between Passover, Matza, and Maror
Article No. 14, Tav-Shin-Mem-Zayin, 1986-87
It is written in the Haggadah [Passover story]: “Thus did Hillel in the time of the Temple: He would bind together Passover [lamb], Matza, and Maror [bitter herb] and eat them together, to observe what was said, ‘They shall eat it with Matza and bitter herbs.’”
We should understand this in the work. What does the connection between those three things that he would eat together imply?
To understand the meaning of the Passover offering at the time of the exodus from Egypt, when they came out from the enslavement they were under in Egypt, we should first understand the meaning of the exile in Egypt—from what did they suffer there.
Concerning the Maror, it is written in the Haggadah, “This Maror we are eating, what is it for? For the lives of our fathers in Egypt were made bitter by the Egyptians, as it was said, ‘And they made their lives bitter with hard work … which they made them do hard labor.’”
We should understand what “And they made their lives bitter with hard work” means. What is it in the work of the Creator? It is known that the work of the Creator is when we work for the sake of the Creator, when we are rewarded with adhering to the Life of Lives. Precisely when we work in order to bestow, this is the time to receive the delight and pleasure that the Creator created in order to do good to His creations. This means that the salvation of the Lord comes into the vessels of bestowal.
We should make two discernments concerning the entrance of the abundance into the vessels of bestowal: 1) The abundance comes in order to create vessels of bestowal. 2) The light that comes once he has vessels of bestowal.
This means that when one wants to walk on the path of bestowing contentment upon one’s Maker and not for one’s own sake, the body resists with all its might and does not let him make any movement. It takes away from him all the motivation and strength that he had in order to do things for the Creator.
When a person sees the truth as it really is, when he sees how immersed he is in self-love and there is not a spark in his body that will let him do anything in order to bestow, in that state a person has already achieved the truth, meaning he has come to the recognition of evil. At that time he has no way to help himself, and there is only one advice: to cry out to the Creator to help him, as it is written, “And the children of Israel sighed from the work, and they cried out, and their cry rose up to God from the work.”
This is the meaning of what was said, “He who comes to purify is aided.” The Zohar asks, “With what?” It replies, “With a holy soul.”
It follows that the meaning of “And they made their lives bitter” means that they did not let them work in order to bestow, which yields Dvekut [adhesion] with the Life of Lives. Instead, the Klipa[shell/peel] of Egypt and Pharaoh governed the children of Israel with their governance of self-love so they could not do anything against the Egyptians’ will. This was the exile—that they wanted to come out of this exile but could not.
Accordingly, the meaning of what is written, “And the children of Israel sighed from the work,” which work are we speaking of? It means that it is from the work of the Creator, that this is called “hard work,” since it was difficult for them to work in order to bestow because the Egyptians and Pharaoh, King of Egypt, installed in them their thoughts and wishes.
In other words, since the Klipa of Egypt is primarily self-love, the Egyptians ruled over the people of Israel so that the people of Israel, too, would walk in their way, called “self-love.” It was difficult for Israel to overcome these thoughts. This is the meaning of what is written, “And the children of Israel sighed from the work.”
That is, while they were walking on the path of the Egyptians, which is in order to receive, the body gave them fuel and it was not hard for them to do the work of the Creator. It is known that the Egyptians were servants of the Creator, as our sages wrote about what is written (Tanchuma, Beshalach), “And he took six hundred carriages”: “(And should you ask) From where did Egypt have livestock, for it was said, ‘And all the livestock of Egypt died,’ it was from those who fear the word of the Lord, as it is written, ‘The one among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord made his servants and his livestock flee into the houses.’” From here they said, “He who fears the word of the Lord will cause Israel’s failure.”
RASHI concludes from this: “Rabbi Shimon would say, ‘The purest among the Egyptians, kill; the best among the snakes, smash its brains.’” It therefore follows that the hard work that they had was work in the field, for a field is the holy Shechina [Divinity], as it is known that Malchut is called a “field.”
It was difficult for them to take upon themselves the burden of the kingdom of heaven in order to bestow, but the Egyptians wanted them to do the holy work in order to receive. They let them think that this is called “He who fears the word of the Lord.”
However, from here, from this discernment, came Israel’s failure, meaning to those who are Yashar-El[straight to the Creator]. They wanted all their work to be only for their own sake, and from this emerged the failure.
That is, the failure was primarily when the Egyptians spoke to Israel in the language of fearing the Creator. From this language emerge all of Israel’s failures. Had the Egyptians spoke the language of the secular, the people of Israel would have fled from their influence for sure if they had come to them with their thoughts and wishes.
Now we can interpret what is written (Exodus), “And the Egyptians enslaved Israel BaPerech [with hard work].” Our sages said, bePeh Rach [with a soft mouth]. We should understand the meaning of “soft mouth” in the work of the Creator.
As was said above, the Egyptians spoke with thoughts and desires that we must serve the Creator, but in order to receive. This is called a “soft mouth.” That is, the body agrees more to do the holy work with the intention to receive, and there is no need to aim to bestow.
It follows that with these words they caused Israel to have hard work while assuming the burden of the kingdom of heaven, and for this reason, everyone in Israel said that the holy work, in order to bestow, is very difficult.
For this reason, the Egyptians imparted upon them thoughts that it is better to work in order to receive, that in this way they would see that each day they are progressing in good deeds. But in the work in the form of Israel, they see for themselves that it is difficult. And the evidence of this is that they see no progress in the work.
It follows that a “soft mouth” means that they make Israel think that if they follow their way it is easier work. This is called “soft,” meaning that it is easier to advance in the holy work.
With these complaints, the Egyptians made their lives bitter with hard work, for they would always explain to Israel that the work of Israel is called “hard work” and it is not for them.
“With Homer [mortar]” means that the Egyptians explained to Israel the Humra [severity] of bestowal, whereas in the work of Egypt, they will always be white, meaning they will feel no darkness in the work and the body will agree to this work. This is called “Levenim [bricks],” meaning that the work of Egypt is always regarded as Levanim [white], without any stains or dirt, but they will always be perfect. By this they made it really difficult for Israel to work for the Creator.
In other words, the hard work extended from the Egyptians always telling them about the Homer[severity] in the work of bestowal, and the Levanim [whiteness] that there is in this work and the fear of the Egyptians.
It was said that from the one who feared the Lord extended Israel’s failure. This means that from this extended to them the hard work in the field, meaning in the kingdom of heaven that they wanted to take upon themselves but could not.
It is from here that Rabbi Shimon says of “He who fears the word of the Lord”: “The purest among the Egyptians, kill; the best among the snakes, smash its brains.” We should interpret the words of Rabbi Shimon, “The purest among the Egyptians, kill.”
That is, what the Egyptians say is pure, kill, since our sages said, “He who comes to kill you, kill him first.” In other words, that which the Egyptians tell you is pure, that this path is fit to walk in, know that he wishes to kill you from spiritual life. Therefore, kill these thoughts.
“The best among the snakes, smash its brains” means that if the snake, which is the evil in man, advises you that this path is good for you, and makes you clearly see in the way that the serpent came to Eve, do not argue with it, but smash its brains. That is, all the intellect that it explains, smash that intellect. In other words, we must go above reason.
Now we will explain the meaning of the Matza [Passover’s unleavened bread]. In the work, we should interpret the word Matza from the word Meriva [strife], for the “Massah and Meriva, and for the quarrel of the children of Israel, and for their trying the Lord, saying, ‘Is the Lord among us, or not’” (Exodus 17:7).
The translation [into Aramaic] says about Meriva, “The Matza [strife] is because the children of Israel strove.” It follows that Matza comes from the word “strife,” meaning that the people of Israel had a quarrel with the Creator over why He made it so difficult to work in order to bestow, and why, even though they try to come out of Egypt’s governance, not only are they not advancing, they see that they are even regressing.
In other words, they were tasting bitterness in the work, which caused them to quarrel with the Creator, and a strife is called Matza. We see that over such a complaint, the people of Israel quarreled with Moses, meaning when they saw that when they began to work for the sake of the Creator they had become worse, as it is written (Exodus 5:21), “And they said to them, ‘May the Lord look upon you and judge, for you have made our scent odious in Pharaoh’s eyes.’”
These complaints that they said to Moses, Moses said to the Creator, as it is written, “And Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done harm to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all.’”
We should interpret their complaints to Moses. When they said, “Will see and judge,” it means that they quarreled with Moses, since Moses told them to believe in the Creator, so they went out of the body’s control. Pharaoh King of Egypt controls the body, and he afflicts the Kedusha[sanctity/holiness]. They began to work in mind and heart and saw that the body, which is Pharaoh, began to govern them. That is, everything they wanted to do in the work of the Creator, the body resists it vigorously.
Before they began to walk in Moses’ way, they had strength in the work. But now, everything they do, the body loathes. This is the meaning of what is written about Moses, “for you have made our scent odious in Pharaoh’s eyes.” In other words, our body loathes our spirit in the work of the Creator once we begin the path of bestowal.
Afterward, Moses went to the Creator with the complaints of Israel, who quarreled with Moses over bringing them the message from the Creator. It is written about it, “And Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You send me’” (meaning what are the complaints)? He said, “Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done harm to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all.”
“Ever since I came to the children of Israel” means to their bodies, which are called “Pharaoh.” “To speak in Your name” means that everyone will begin to work for the sake of the Creator. This is the meaning of “in Your name.” It stands to reason that since everyone wants only the truth, for is there anyone who is a fool and wants to walk on the path of falsehood? Rather, indeed everyone wants the truth, as always when knowing that someone is lying, no one wants to listen to him.
But here they said, “Why is it that when Moses came and told them to walk on the path of truth, the body, which is called ‘Pharaoh,’ makes our scent odious when we begin this work?”
For this reason, they had grievances against the Creator over becoming worse now than before Moses came to them as the Creator’s messenger. He wanted to deliver them from exile, so why are they seeing now that they are going deeper into exile, that Pharaoh controls the body more forcefully and with more intellect, making them understand each time with a different argument? It follows that Israel’s situation prior to Moses’ coming to them as a messenger of the Creator was better in the work. Now, however, they see that their bodies, which are regarded as “Pharaoh,” have complete control over the children of Israel.
That is, where there should have been high spirits from knowing that they are walking on the path of truth, the opposite occurred. In the eyes of the body, which is called “Pharaoh,” what spirit did they have? It is written about it, “for you have made our scent odious in Pharaoh’s eyes.” The body was telling them, “What spirit is there in the work of bestowal?”
Making the scent odious means a bad smell that is impossible to tolerate. This means that they could not stand this mindset and wanted to escape the way one runs from stench. That is, instead of the work on the path of truth bringing high spirits so that a person will want to stay forever in that mindset, the opposite occurred here. From the work of bestowal, they received a mindset of stench, meaning that they wanted to escape that mindset and could not stand it for even a minute. It is as was said to Moses, “for you have made our scent odious.”
Moses brought Israel’s grievances to the Creator and asked Him, “Why have You sent me?” The Creator replied to Moses, as it is written, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you will see that which I will do to Pharaoh, for with a mighty hand he will send them.’” The answer to why He has made the work of bestowal so hard was that He wanted the mighty hand to be revealed, as it is written, “for with a mighty hand he will send them, and with a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.”
In which way is a mighty hand necessary? It is precisely when the other party resists with all its might. Then it can be said that we must use a mighty hand. But if the other party is weak, it cannot be said that it requires a mighty hand to deal with it. It is as the allegory that Baal HaSulam said, that normally, when two people are disputed, sometimes they move into a fist fight. The one who sees that he cannot overcome the other takes a knife against him. When the other one sees that he has a knife, he takes a pistol, and when that one sees he has a pistol, he takes a rifle, and so forth, until the other one takes a machine gun, and if he has a machine gun, the other one takes a tank. However, we have never heard that if someone takes a stick and wants to hit with it, the other one takes a tank to fight the one who took the stick.
It is likewise in the work. It cannot be said that we must go against Pharaoh with a mighty hand if Pharaoh does not resist very strongly. And since the Creator wanted to show him a mighty hand here, the Creator had to harden Pharaoh’s heart, as it is written, “for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I may set these tokens of Mine within him.”
However, we should understand why it is written that the Creator hardened Pharaoh’s heart because the Creator wanted to set those tokens so that the name of the Creator would become known. Is the Creator deficient? Does he need others to know that He can set tokens and signs? Also, what does it imply to us in the work that we should know this for generations?
According to what Baal HaSulam said about the question that Abraham asked after the Creator promised him (Genesis 15:7), “And He said to him, ‘to give you the land to inherit it.’” He asked, “How will I know that I will inherit it?” “And He said to Abram: ‘Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and afflicted four hundred years. …And afterward they will come out with many possessions.’”
He asked, What is the answer to Abram’s question, “How will I know that I will inherit it,” meaning what is the meaning of what the Creator replied to him?
Answer: “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers … and they will be afflicted. …And afterward they will come out with many possessions.” He asked, “The text implies that the answer was satisfactory, since Abram did not ask further, and we see that Abram’s way was to argue with the Creator, as in the case of the people of Sodom when the Creator said to Abram, ‘The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great.’”
But here, when He told him, “Know for certain,” he was pleased with the reply.
He said that since Abraham saw the magnitude of the inheritance that He had promised to his sons, Abraham thought according to the rule that there is no light without a Kli [vessel], meaning there is no lack without a filling. He did not see that the children of Israel would need such high degrees and attainments in the upper worlds, which is why he asked the Creator, “How will I know that I will inherit it,” since they haven’t the Kelim [vessels] or the need for the great inheritance that You are showing me that You will give to my sons; they haven’t the need.
To this, the Creator replied to him, “I will give them a need for the lights, just as I will give them the lights.” In other words, the Creator will give them both the lights and the Kelim. Do not think that I bestow only the abundance. Rather, I bestow upon them both the need, which is called Kli, and the abundance. This is called “lack and filling.”
By the people of Israel being in exile in Egypt four hundred years, which is a complete degree of four Behinot [discernments], by being in exile in a land that is not theirs, meaning that the Egyptians will impart Israel with a desire for self-reception, a desire that does not belong to Kedusha, which is called Eretz [land], from the word Ratzon [desire], and their wanting to escape that desire, when I make them unable to come out of that governance by themselves and see that only the Creator can help them, and they will have no other choice but to ask Me for help, it is as our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided.” And The Zohar says that the help is that they are given a holy soul. By the many prayers when they seek the Creator’s assistance, they will receive a higher degree each time, and by this they will have a need to ask of the Creator. This will cause them to ask of the Creator and receive a higher degree, after which I will be able to give them the inheritance.
Thus, the Creator deliberately made them unable to overcome, so they would have Kelim.
It follows that the hardening of the heart was done to Pharaoh in order to make room for a need for the upper lights. If they did not have hard work, they would not have the need for the great lights.
One who is going to fight against someone, with the hand or with a stick, the other has no need to use a tank or a cannon against him. For this reason, in order for the lower ones to have a need to receive great lights, they must be faced with strong Klipot [shells/peels], which a person must draw great lights in order to break. Otherwise, he would be content with little. It follows that Pharaoh’s hardening of the heart causes them to draw great lights.
By this we will understand what we asked, “Did He set the tokens in order for the nations to know that the Creator can do miracles and wonders? That is, did He make the hardening of the heart in order to be respected? Does the Creator have grievances against His creations, meaning does something against the will of the creatures? After all, the whole purpose of creation is to do good to His creations, and here it turns out the opposite, that He made the hardening of the heart to the creatures so everyone would see His greatness, that He is almighty.
Now we can understand this simply. Pharaoh and Egypt refer to the governance of the will to receive that is in the creatures. In order for the creatures to need to receive the high degrees that the Creator has prepared for them, and our sages said that by their being unable to overcome their will to receive, they will awaken to Dvekut with the Creator, which came to them by merit of the patriarchs, to whom the Creator promised that their children would be rewarded with the delight and pleasure that He has prepared for the creatures, for this reason, He made the hardening of the heart, so that they would need to ask the Creator to help them. His help comes, as The Zohar says, by bestowing upon them a holy soul.
It follows that all the overcoming is that they draw a little bit of illumination from above. By this they will eventually have Kelim, meaning a need for the inheritance that the Creator promised to the forefathers. It therefore follows that the verse, “that I may set these tokens of Mine” is not for the sake of the Creator, but for the sake of the creatures. It means that through the hardening of the heart that He does to Pharaoh, where the body becomes more assertive each time and does not let a person work in order to bestow, but since man yearns for Dvekut with the Creator, he must try to make greater efforts each time or he will not be able to defeat it. And in order to receive greater powers, the only counsel is to pray to the Creator, for only He can give him the required forces.
The forces of the Creator are as said above: The spiritual force that the Creator gives him each time is called a “soul,” the “light of Torah.” This means that each time, he receives the “letters of the Torah” according to the overcoming that he needs to perform. This is called “that I may set these tokens of Mine.” Meaning, in order for the letters of the Torah to reveal to Israel, He must create in them a need. This is the meaning of the Creator giving the hardening of the heart for the sake of the creatures.
Accordingly, we can understand what we said above, that we need upper abundance for the making of the Kelim, meaning to have Kelim fit to receive the upper light. This assistance is regarded as the light coming to make Kelim of Kedusha, which will want to work in order to bestow, as in, “He who comes to purify is aided.”
Once he has obtained the Kelim that want to bestow upon the Creator, the abundance comes as abundance and not in order to make Kelim.
In that respect, when he has a desire for the Creator, he no longer needs the hardening of the heart in order to receive the light of the Torah, since according to the rule, when a person works for his own sake, a different thought comes to him—that from here, too, from this pleasure, called “the pleasure of rest,” you should not deny yourself. It follows that the pleasure of rest causes him not to have a need for higher degrees. Instead, he is content with less. This is why the Creator had to give the hardening of the heart, meaning that he sees that he cannot do anything for the Creator, that as long as he has not qualified his Kelim to work in order to bestow and he is still in self-love, they give him satisfaction in the little bit of work for the sake of the Creator with which he was rewarded. Since he feels that he is working for the Creator, he is satisfied and cannot yearn for higher degrees. It follows that there was no room for the revealing of the letters of the Torah.
For this reason, each time he receives some help from above and then descends from his degree once more and wants to enter the Kedusha, he must receive help once more. It is as it is written about Pharaoh in the plague of the hail: “And Pharaoh sent and called for Moses, ‘The Lord is the righteous one, and I and my people are the wicked.’” Afterward, it is written, “Come unto Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart that I may set these tokens of Mine within him.”
That order continues until he corrects his Kelim that belong to his degree, and then begins the order of the coming of the lights.
However, when he has been rewarded with Kelim of Kedusha and wants only to bestow upon his Maker, he does not say, “Now I am saying that I have already given you a lot and now I want to rest a little bit because I need to receive for my own sake, too.” Instead, one who has only the desire to bestow does not need to be given hardening of the heart, as when he is making the vessels of bestowal, since he has no interest in this. One who has been rewarded with the desire to bestow wants only to bestow upon the Creator.
It therefore follows that when a person has only the desire to bestow and he wants to bring contentment to the Creator, he begins to think what the Creator needs that he can give to the Creator, which He does not have. Therefore, he decides that the Creator has no lacks except that He has created the world with the intention to do good to His creations, for the creatures to receive from Him the delight and pleasure. For this reason, he asks the Creator to give him the delight and pleasure because this can be said that He needs—for the lower ones to receive from Him the great lights that have been prepared for the creatures. From this we can say that the Creator enjoys.
But if the lower ones are unable to receive the light of Torah, called “letters of the Torah,” it is as though there is a lack above. This is the meaning of what our sages said (Sanhedrin 46), “When a person regrets, what does the Shechina [Divinity] say? ‘My head is heavy; my arm is heavy.’” Thus, when is there contentment above? Only when the creatures have delight and pleasure.
For this reason, at that time there is no room for hardening of the heart. Rather, the time when hardening of the heart must be given from above is only for the purpose of making vessels of bestowal so that one can receive delight and pleasure, which is in order to “set these tokens of Mine.” We should interpret that this refers to letters, for letters are called Kelim. That is, in order for a person to have a need, called Kelim, there needs to be a hardening of the heart, as it is written, “that I may set these tokens of Mine.” But once he has the Kelim, there is no more a need for the hardening of the heart.
Now we can understand what we asked about the connection between Passover, Matza, and Maror[bitter herb], as Hillel did at the time when the Temple stood, and said it was to keep what was said, “they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.”
We asked what this implies in the work of the Creator. According to the above, it follows that the essence of the purpose of the work is to achieve Dvekut with the Creator. Because of the disparity of form within us due to the will to receive that was imprinted in us, the creatures became removed from the Creator. This is mainly what we must correct.
However, the question is, “How do we correct this, since equivalence of form is about bestowing and not receiving, and how can we go against nature, since the body has its own nature?” The answer is through the power of Torah and Mitzvot.
If the creatures were to receive the force of bestowal easily, they would settle for this, since they would feel that they are already giving and they would have no need to reveal the letters of the Torah, as was said, “that I may set these tokens of Mine,” for the Creator wants to reveal to them the Torah as the names of the Creator.
But from where will they take the need for this? After all, once they have prevailed over the will to receive and want only to bestow upon the Creator, they already have Dvekut. What else do they need? Also, it is known that there is no light without a Kli, and no filling without a lack. So, what did the Creator do? He gave the hardening of the heart so that a person will not be able to overcome the evil in him by himself, but will need help from the Creator, as was said, “He who comes to purify is aided with a holy soul.”
Concerning the soul, it is written in the book A Sage’s Fruit: Letters of Baal HaSulam: “There are five discernments in the soul, and they are called NRNHY. In the NRNHY, we make two discernments: 1) lights, 2) Kelim. We obtain the Kelim of the NRNHY by observing the 613 Mitzvot [commandments] of the Torah, and the seven Mitzvot of our great sages. The lights of NRNHY are the essence of the Torah, and the light clothed in the Torah is Ein Sof [infinity]. It follows that the Torah and the soul are one, but the Creator is Ein Sof who is clothed in the light of the Torah that exists in the above-mentioned 620 Mitzvot. This is the meaning of what our sages said, ‘The whole of the Torah is the names of the Creator.’ This means that the Creator is the whole, and the 620 names are pieces and parts. These parts are according to the steps and degrees of the soul, which does not receive its light at once, but gradually, one at a time.”
From this we see that the Creator has made it so that man will not be able to overcome the evil by himself, but will need the Creator’s help. But there is a state of in-between, meaning that this causes one to taste bitterness in the work because the body does not let him work in order to bestow. This causes him to quarrel with the Creator over why He has created a body that is so bad that he is utterly incapable of exiting the governance of evil, called “will to receive for himself.” When all the Kelim that a person needs to complement himself are completed, so as to have a Kli in which to hold the blessing, he begins to feel the salvation of the Creator, meaning that he feels on himself the nearing of the Creator.
By this we will understand the connection between Matza, Maror, and the Passover offering. Through Matza and Maror he obtains the real need for the letters of the Torah. That is, only through Matza and Maror does a need for the Creator’s help form within him, and His help is through the soul, regarded as “The Torah and the Creator are one,” as was said in the book A Sage’s Fruit.
When he has the need, the Creator brings a person closer, and this is called “the Passover offering,” when the Creator passes over all of his flaws and brings him closer to be rewarded with the purpose of creation.
Inapoi la pagina 1987 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link