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Lishma and Lo Lishma

Article No. 29, Tav-Shin-Mem-Vav, 1985-86

We find four kinds of keepers of Torah and Mitzvot [commandments]:

The first kind: Sometimes a person observes Shabbat because his boss forces him. That is, the rule is that if a person has an employee who is desecrating the Shabbat, if he tells the employee, “If you don’t stop desecrating the Shabbat I will fire you,” the rule is that he has to say that he will observe the Shabbat or he will fire him from his job. And where there are no other jobs, he promises the boss to observe the Shabbat. It follows that he is observing Shabbat because the boss has forced him.

This brings up the question, “Whose Shabbat is he observing? Is it the Shabbat that the Creator has commanded to observe?” Accordingly, is he keeping the Mitzvot of the Creator or the Mitzvot of the boss, since the boss commanded him to observe the Shabbat or he will have no provision? Nevertheless, according to the Halacha [Jewish law], he is regarded as “observing Shabbat.”

The same rule applies to the rest of the Mitzvot. We can put it differently: If a father knows that if he tells is son that he must observe Torah and Mitzvot or he will not support him, since the father knows that if he does not support him he will have no provision, and according to the Halacha, the father must see that the son observes Torah and Mitzvot, here, too, there is the question, “Whose Torah is he observing? Is it the Creator’s who has commanded us to observe Torah and Mitzvot, or is he observing his father’s Torah and Mitzvot?”

Whatever the case may be, he belongs to people who observe Torah and Mitzvot. These are the words of Maimonides (Hilchot De’ot, Chapter 6): “He who admonishes his friend first, will not speak harshly to him.” What is this about? It is about matters that concern man and man. However, with Godly matters, if he does not secretly repent, he is shamed in public and his sin is made known. He is cursed to his face, and he is disparaged and cursed until he reforms.”

Here, too, there is the question, “Whose Mitzvot is he observing, those of the Creator or those of the people who are cursing him?” However, here, too, we see that at the end of the day he is regarded as “observing Torah and Mitzvot.” That is, when we consider the act he is performing, we find that there is nothing to add to the action. The only question pertains to the intention, meaning to the reason that compels him to observe the Torah and Mitzvot. This is the first kind of observing Torah and Mitzvot.

The second kind: He observes Torah and Mitzvot because of upbringing, since he was born into an orthodox environment, or he was not born into an orthodox environment but later came into one and they influenced him into observing Torah and Mitzvot. The reason for which he observes Torah and Mitzvot is that he was told that by this he will have both the life of this world and the life of the next world. Afterwards he began to see that people who are meticulous about Torah and Mitzvot are respected and appreciated, and saw how others speak to such people who pray more enthusiastically and dedicate more time to studying Torah. The respect they receive gives him a thrust, it is a fuel for him, and he, too, begins to pray more enthusiastically, and is more meticulous with each commandment and gesture. By this he has strength to add time in studying Torah.

This is already the second kind of observing Torah and Mitzvot, since he wants to observe Torah and Mitzvot out of choice, since he understands that by this the Creator will reward him for keeping His commandments. However, he adds another name to the reason that commits him to observe Torah and Mitzvot. That is, the respect that he sees that those who observe Torah and Mitzvot more diligently than others receive. And besides the respect, those who are meticulous about Torah and Mitzvot have other things that the public commit them to work more. It can be money or anything, but there is another reason for which he must observe Torah and Mitzvot.

It follows that on the one hand he is higher than the first kind, since here he is observing the Torah and Mitzvot of the Creator, since he believes in the Creator. It is unlike the first kind, which does not believe in the Creator and observes Torah and Mitzvot out of knowing, meaning the punishment—that the boss might fire him—and this is why he has taken upon himself to observe Torah and Mitzvot.

However, the second kind was educated into believing in the Creator and observing Torah and Mitzvot because the Creator has commanded us to observe Torah and Mitzvot. The reward and punishment are not in knowing. Rather, he must believe in reward in punishment, that the Creator is the one who pays the reward, as our sages said (Avot, Chapter 2, 21), “You can trust your landlord to pay you for your work, and known that the reward of the righteous is in the future.”

Thus, he must believe in reward and punishment. This is not so in the first kind. They do not have to believe in reward and punishment, but the reward and the punishment are rather revealed. This means that if he does not obey the boss and observe Torah and Mitzvot, he will certain be punished, meaning he will be fired and will be left jobless.

Also, according to the abovementioned words of Maimonides that he must be degraded, etc., here, too, he does not need to believe in reward and punishment because he feels the suffering of being chased into taking upon himself to observe Torah and Mitzvot. This is something else because he is actually observing the commandment of the boss and not because of the commandment of the Creator, so it is regarded as only the first kind of the work of the Creator.

In the second kind he observes the commandments of the Creator but adds another thing, meaning adds another reason so as to have fuel to observe Torah and Mitzvot, such as honor or money, or other things. That is, he has other reasons for which he observes Torah and Mitzvot. In the words of our sages (Sukkah 45b), this is called “Anyone who joins working for the Creator with another thing is uprooted from the world, as it is said, ‘For the Lord alone.’”

We should interpret what it means to join the Creator with something else. According to our way, we should interpret that if he receives another reason that compels him to observe Torah and Mitzvot, it is regarded as being uprooted from the world, since the reason that the cause for observing Torah and Mitzvot should be “for the Lord alone,” meaning that he observes Torah and Mitzvot because it is the Creator’s commandment, without an addition of another reason.

It therefore follows that the main flaw with the act is that he blemishes Lishma [for Her sake], since observing Mitzvot should be because he works and observes the commandments of the Creator, and because he is working and serving the Creator, and this is why he later comes to ask that the Creator will reward him for his work. At that time he is told, “But you also worked for others, so you had others who obliged you to work for them. Go to them so they will pay you the reward for the work you did for them.”

This is similar to someone working for Dan [Israeli bus company], and asking for a salary from EGED [a different bus company]. They do not want to pay his salary since he did not work for them. It is likewise here. When a person demands of the Creator to reward him for his work, he is told, “You worked for people, so they will give you honor or money. Go to them so they will pay you.” And indeed, they pay him. To the extent of his work, he is respected.

It turns out that by joining the Creator another thing, meaning that people, too, commit him to work, by that he blemishes the Lishma. This is why this is regarded as only the second kind, and his work is still not complete, perfect, and clean.

The third kind: he works only for the Creator and not for people. He works humbly and no one knows how much he prays and how much he learns. Therefore, we cannot say that he is working for outside people at all, so they will give him something for his work. Rather, he is working only for the Creator, meaning that the only reason that compels him to observe Torah and Mitzvot is that he wants to keep the Creator’s will.

However, he works only for a reward. It is as Maimonides said, “So that no calamities will come to him, and to receive reward in this world,” meaning so the Creator will give him health, provision, and contentment from the children, etc., or so that He will give him the next world. This is the reason that gives him fuel so he can do the holy work. For this reason, this work is regarded as Lishma, since the reason that causes him to observe Torah and Mitzvot is only the Creator, meaning that he is working only for the Creator and does not add other things to it.

That is, he has no other reason that causes him to observe Torah and Mitzvot. This is regarded as the third kind because he has no desire to work for anyone; only for the Creator. But the reason that obliges him to observe the commandments of the Creator is fear of punishment, or love, meaning the love of the reward.

This is as it is written in the Sulam [commentary on The Zohar] (“Introduction of the Book of Zohar,” item 190): “There is a person who fears the Creator so that his sons will live and not die, or fears a bodily punishment, or a punishment to one’s money, hence he always fears Him. It follows that the fear he fears of the Creator is not placed as the root, for his own benefit is the root, and the fear is the result of it. And there is a person who fears the Creator because he fears the punishment of that world and the punishment of Hell. Those two kinds of fear—fear of punishment in this world and fear of punishment in the next world—are not the essence of fear and its root.”

For this reason, since they are not primarily for fear of heaven, we discern this as the third kind. It follows that this work is called Lishma, since he is working for the Creator and not for others, too. That is, he did not take anyone else for whom to work, meaning for others, so others will respect him. Rather, he comes to the Creator with the complaint that “Since I have been working only for You, and no one knows what I did in observing Torah and Mitzvot because I have been working humbly, then it is only right that You should reward me for my work.”

In this way we should interpret what our sages said, “He who gives a rock to charity so that his sons will live is a complete righteous.” The reason is that he is observing the commandments of the Creator. Because the Creator has commanded us to give charity, we give. It turns out that with respect to giving there are no deficiencies here, since he is observing the Mitzva [commandment] Lishma, meaning for the Creator, and there is no one else obliging him to give charity.

Rather, he is asking reward from the Creator, that He will pay for the Mitzva that he is observing, and pay him for the labor he has given only for the Creator and for none other. That is, it is not like the second kind, where he combined something else, as well, meaning people from the outside who also caused him to observe and be meticulous with observing Torah and Mitzvot.

It is as they said (Pesachim, 8a), “The Tania, who says, ‘This rock is for charity, so that his sons will live, or that I will go to the next world,’ then he is a complete righteous.” RASHI interprets “he is a complete righteous” in this. They did not say that he is working Lo Lishma, but that he has kept the commandment of his Creator, who commanded to give charity, and even if he intends for his own pleasure, to be rewarded with the next world or that his sons will live.

This means that although he is asking for reward for observing the Mitzva, meaning so that his sons will live or because he wants the reward of the next world for this Mitzva, he is a righteous. The fact that he wants the next world is also regarded as wanting reward, such as so that his sons will live. It is like the above words of the holy Zohar, “Whether he wants a reward in this world or in the next world in return for the Mitzvot, it is not regarded as the essential fear,” since his own benefit is the cause for observing the Mitzvot, and not the Creator. Still our sages said here, “He is a complete righteous.” It is as RASHI interprets, that “since he is observing the Mitzvot of his Creator, who has commanded him to give charity, and also intends for his own pleasure, therefore he is called ‘complete righteous.’”

This is as we explained, that because he is working because the Creator has commanded him to observe Torah and Mitzvot, and he has no one else who obliges him to observe Torah and Mitzvot, this is called Lishma, as RASHI interpreted above. It is like the abovementioned allegory, meaning that he works for Reuven but he asks for the salary from Shimon. This is certainly called Lo Lishma, for he was working for others at the same time, which is called Lo Lishma, and also “the second kind.”

(I heard that there are those who try to explain our sages, who said, “One who says, ‘this rock is for charity, so that my sons will live,’ he is a complete righteous.” After all, he meets the conditions of observing the Mitzva. Therefore, they try to say that it was written in initials, “he is a CR.” Afterwards, when they wrote it in explicit words, they turned the CR into Complete Righteous. However, they were mistaken in interpreting the initials, since Tzadi-Gimel [Tzadik Gamur (Complete Righteous)] means Tzedakah Gedolah [Great Righteousness/Charity], and not Tzadik Gamur [Complete Righteous]. However, this is probably not the case, since they cannot explain the other verse, which says, “Or that I will have the next world,” since by “next world” he also aims to please himself, the same as “so my sons will live,” as the above words of the holy Zohar.)

However, the third kind means that he is working for the Creator, as the Creator commanded us through Moses to observe Torah and Mitzvot, and we are asking for reward from Him, since we worked only for Him, because of the commandment of the Creator, and not for anyone else. This is why it is called Lishma. However, it is only the third kind.

The fourth kind observes Torah and Mitzvot not in order to receive reward. It is as our sages said (Avot, Chapter 1, 3), “Antiganos, Man of Socho, received from Shimon the Righteous. He would say, ‘Be not as servants serving the master in order to receive reward, but be as servants serving the master not in order to receive reward, and let the fear of heaven be upon you.’”

This means that it is specifically not in order to receive reward that is regarded as “for the Creator,” as he concludes and says, “and let the fear of heaven be upon you.” This means that real fear of heaven is specifically in Lishma [for Her sake] without any reward. That is, he does not intend for self-gratification, but his only intention is to bring contentment to the Creator. This is regarded as “clean Lishma,” without any mixture of self-gratification. This is called the “fourth kind.”

However, we know the question, “Is the Creator deficient that He needs the creatures to work only for Him and not at all for themselves, but only for the Creator without a shred of self-gratification? And if they want to enjoy their work, as well, is this work disqualified and not accepted above as Mitzva that is worthy of being received by the King? Why should the Creator mind that man also has some pleasure in the work?”

The answer is that it is because there needs to be equivalence of form so there will not be bread of shame. The rule is that the branch wants to resemble its root, and as the Creator is the giver, when a person must receive from someone he feels it as unpleasant. It follows that the restriction and concealment on our vessels of reception so we do not work in order to receive reward were made in our favor.

Otherwise, it would not be possible to have choice. That is, man would never be able to do and to keep the Torah and Mitzvot in order to bestow, since man would not be able to overcome the pleasure that he tasted in Torah and Mitzvot, were it not for the restriction and concealment, as it is known that the greater the pleasure, the harder it is to relinquish it.

For this reason, we were given corporeal pleasures where there is only very thin light, which the holy Zohar calls “thin light,” which fell into the Klipot at the time of the breaking of the vessels. Also, sparks of holiness were added to them after the sin of the tree of knowledge when Adam HaRishon sinned. These are the pleasures that all created beings pursue. All the wars, murders, thefts, and so forth, that exist in the world are because each one aspires to receive pleasure.

We are meant to overcome these pleasures and receive everything for the Creator. But a person sees how hard it is to exit self-love and relinquish little pleasures. For this reason, were it not for the Tzimtzum [restriction], had the real pleasure that exists in Torah and Mitzvot been revealed, there is no doubt that they would not be able to relinquish the pleasures and say that he is observing Torah and Mitzvot because he wants to bring contentment to the Creator.

However, man cannot agree to observe Torah and Mitzvot without any pleasure because of our nature—that we were born with a Kli [vessel] called “desire to receive delight and pleasure,” so how can we work without any reward?

However, we were given one place on which we can work without any reward. That is, even when we still do not have a taste for Torah and Mitzvot due to the Tzimtzum, there is one advice, which is to work in greatness of the Creator, how privileged we are to be serving the King.

This, we do have in our nature, that the little one annuls before the great one. We have the strength and motivation to work for the great one, whom the generation regards as the most important and venerable in the world. To the extent of his importance, we enjoy serving him. This pleasure is permitted to receive because enjoying giving is not regarded as bestowing in order to receive, for bestowing in order to receive means that he desires specifically a reward for the service he is giving him.

Conversely, if he works at a factory and knows that the owner enjoys everyone being productive, and anyone who produces more than the usual gives the owner great joy. Therefore, he tries to produce more than other workers do so as to delight the owner. However, afterwards he wants the owner to reward him for trying to please him. This is considered that on the one hand he gives, but on the other hand he wants reward. This is called “bestowing in order to receive reward.”

This is not so if a person is serving the king, and says to the king, “I do not want anything in return for the service because I enjoy the service alone, and I do not need to receive any reward, since I feel that anything you give me for the service I am doing for you will blemish my service. All I want is the service. Do not give me any reward, and this is my pleasure, for it is a great honor for me to be rewarded with serving the king.”

Of course, he cannot say that he is bestowing in order to receive, since he does not want to receive anything in return. And why does he not want? It is because he derives great pleasure from serving the king. It follows that this is regarded as “bestowing in order to bestow upon an important person,” and a person measures the importance of the king according to the extent of his joy of serving the king, since the more the king is important, the more he enjoys, for he is not as one who serves the greatest in the city, or the greatest in the country, or the greatest in the world.

This is regarded as true bestowal. That is, he enjoys the giving itself, since the main point of bestowing was for the purpose of equivalence of form. That is, as the Creator is the giver, so the creatures want to be givers, and we should certainly say that the Creator enjoys His giving.

It follows that if the creatures bestow upon the Creator and He derives no joy, there is still no equivalence of form here, since the Creator enjoys when He gives to the lower ones. This means that the joy results from the act of bestowal, and if we must receive something in return for the act, then we are blemishing the act and saying that there is no wholeness in the act. Rather, to have wholeness we must add something, meaning something in return for the act, while the act itself is not so important.

But the truth is that if we want to do an act of bestowal upon the Creator we must try to enjoy because the joy of an act of bestowal regards the action. This is so because every single thing that a person wants to do and which is important to him, he gives it a priority to do it first. And the meter by which a person chooses what is most important is that which he enjoys the most.

It therefore follows that if one wants to appreciate the work he is doing for the Creator, he can appreciate it only by receiving great joy. That is, if one can try to derive great joy then he can know that now he is giving great contentment to the Creator by giving to the Creator when he observes His commandments.

That is, a man desires to bestow contentment upon the Creator but does not know what he can give to the Creator that will delight Him. For this reason, when it is revealed to us that He has given us Torah and Mitzvot, and if we observe them He will enjoy, we are certainly happy that now we know what to do for Him. We therefore see that we were given the blessing to do while observing Torah and Mitzvot, since we say, “Blessed are You the Lord, Giver of the Torah.”

It is written in the Mitzvot that we thank Him for giving to us, for example, the Mitzva of the Sukkah[the hut on Tabernacle Feast]. For example, we are all happy that He instructs us what to do that will delight Him, and we do not need to search for things that will delight the Creator. But he question is, how can we increase our pleasure while performing the Mitzvot?

Answer: There is only one way—to try to attain the greatness of the Creator. That is, in all that we do in Torah and Mitzvot, we want our reward to be the feeling of the greatness of the Creator, and all our prayers should be to “raise the Shechina [Divinity] from the dust,” since the Creator is hidden from us due to the Tzimtzum that took place and we cannot appreciate His importance and greatness.

Therefore, we pray to the Creator to remove His concealment from us and to raise the merit of Torah. As we say in the Eighteen Prayer of Rosh Hashanah [New Year service], “Indeed, give glory to Your people.” That is, “Give the glory of the Lord to Your people,” so they will feel the glory of the King.

For this reason, one must try to remember the goal while studying Torah, so it will always be before his eyes what he wants to receive from the study, that the study will impart greatness and importance of the Creator. Also, while observing the Mitzvot, not to forget the intention by which he keeps the Mitzvot. Thanks to this the Creator will lift the concealment on spirituality from him and he will receive a feeling of the greatness of the Creator.

However, it is hard work observing Torah and Mitzvot with the intention to thereby be rewarded with approaching the Creator—to obtain the greatness of the Creator so he can bring Him contentment because of the importance of the Creator, that this will be his reward and he has no desire for any other reward for his work. The body does not agree to work with this intention.

The holy Zohar (Nasso, items 102-104) says, “Mighty men roam from city to city and are not pardoned. The mixed-multitude ban them among them, and in many places they are given only rations. Thus, they were will be no rise to their fall, not even momentarily. And all the sages and mighty men who fear sin are afflicted, pressed and in grief. They are regarded as dogs, children weighed against fine gold, how they are regarded as clay jars out on every street, etc. These mixed-multitude are rich, peaceful, joyous, without sorrow or affliction whatsoever, robbers and bribers, and are the judges, the heads of the people.”

We see in these words of The Zohar that it distinguishes between sages and mighty men who fear sin, and judges and the heads of the people, who are regarded as the mixed multitude. He says that the sages and the mighty men who fear sin are afflicted and stressed, while the judges and the heads of the people are rich, peaceful, and joyous. Why? Because they are the mixed-multitude.

We should understand the meaning of mixed-multitude, that because they are the mixed-multitude they have joy and peace. We see that in the argument that Jacob had with Esau, Esau said to Jacob, I have enough, and Jacob replied, “I have everything.” We need to understand the difference between enough and everything.

It is known that the Sefira Yesod is called “everything,” that it is regarded as Yesod Tzadik [righteous], as we say in the prayer, “To You, Lord, is the greatness, the might, the grandeur, eternity, and splendor.” It is so because “everything” is Yesod, and righteous, called Yesod, only gives. The Sefira Yesod gives to Malchut, as it is known, and as it is written in the holy Zohar. This means that the degree of Yesod is Tzadik, who takes nothing for himself, but all his works are in order to bestow.

Certainly, when a person begins to work on being righteous, meaning not to receive any reward for himself and to work only in order to bestow contentment upon his Maker, the body disagrees and gives him obstructions. It does everything it can to interfere with his work. At that time a person is constantly afflicted and has no peace with the situation he is in because he sees that he has not yet come to be a giver upon the Creator. Rather, everything he does is still without the ability to direct them in order to bestow.

He is always afflicted over it because of the sorrow of the Shechina, called “Shechina in exile.” He is in pain that for self-love he has the strength to work, but where he sees that his will to receive will not have anything he negligent in the work.

It follows after some time of exerting in the work and wanting to see some closeness to the Creator, he feels each time more of the truth about him: that he is truly remote from the Creator. That is, with respect to equivalence of form, as in, “As He is merciful, you, too, are merciful,” he is the opposite. Previously he thought that he wanted to bring contentment to the Creator and that there will be some joy in this. He hoped that he would receive for his work the reward of this world, as well as the reward of the next world. But now he sees that he is powerless to work for the Creator, but it is all in order to receive for himself, and not at all to bestow.

What he sees now is that he is worse than when he started the work. When he began to work in the third kind, he had joy and peace because he knew and believed that each day his possessions were accumulating into a great amount, since each day when he does good deeds, the reward of each Mitzva is registered to his account. That faith caused him joy and peace because he saw that he was advancing in the work, meaning that his possessions were growing each and every day.

But now that he has moved from the third kind and has begun the work of the fourth kind, which is work not in order to receive reward, he is afflicted and pressed because he is examining himself with vessels of bestowal how much he has already acquired of this Kli.

At that time he sees the opposite, that each day as he exerts and wants to achieve closeness with the Creator, meaning to have a desire to bestow, he sees the truth, that each day he has become more and more remote. According to what Baal HaSulam said, why does one see that he is becoming more remote, since each day he is doing good deeds, and accordingly, the deeds should have brought him closer?

Our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination, I have created the Torah as a spice.” Therefore, why does one who begin to work in bestowal sees that he is growing worse each day? He says that it is not so, that in truth, he is not regressing each day as he thinks. Rather, each day he is going forward. The reason he sees that he has become worse is that first one needs to see the falsehood and the evil, and then they can be corrected.

But when a person simply wants to block a holy or a crack in a building, and thinks that the hole and the crack are twenty centimeters long, and he works and toils, and finally sees that there are twenty more centimeters to clog. It follows that as long as he does not see the real deficiency he is working in vain, meaning he is not correcting anything.

The lesson is that one thinks he has, for example, one kilogram of evil, and he wants to fix it. He begins to fix, but then he sees that there is another kilogram of evil. It follows that he has not corrected anything. But if he sees the full measure of evil in him, and then he fixes it, this is called “complete correction.”

This is why Baal HaSulam said that each day when he engages in work in order to bestow he draws closer to the truth, meaning to see the size of evil in him. In a dark house it is impossible to see that there are dirt and garbage there. But if you bring some light inside then you can see that there are dirt and garbage.

Similarly, when a person begins to engage in Torah and Mitzvot in bestowal, the Torah and Mitzvotilluminate for him more each time, to see the truth about the size of evil in him. It therefore follows that each day he is moving forward until he reaches the complete evil within him. Then, when we begin to correct, a complete correction is made, so that afterwards he can put in his Kelim [vessels] the delight and pleasure that the Creator contemplated giving to the creatures, as it is written that the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations.

We find this matter in the exodus from Egypt. The holy ARI said that at the time of the exodus from Egypt, Israel were in 49 gates of Tuma’a [impurity], until the King of Kings appeared to them and redeemed them. Everyone asks about this: Can it be that the people of Israel, who heard of the mission of the Creator from Moses and Aaron, whom He sent to deliver from the exile in Egypt, as the holy ARI interprets, that the exile in Egypt means that the view of Kedusha [holiness] was in exile. Moses and Aaron promised the people of Israel that they would come out of exile and enter the Kedusha. It is as we say in the Shema [Hear] reading, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God.”

Accordingly, it stands to reason that each day they should have risen from degree to degree in Kedusha, especially that they saw the ten plagues that occurred in Egypt. Still, the holy ARI says that at the time of the exodus from Egypt the people of Israel were in 49 gates of Tuma’a.

However, each day they ascended in the degree of truth and came closer to seeing the measure of evil that they had in the vessels of reception. That is, before Moses and Aaron came to tell them that they must come out of the exile in Egypt, which is the Klipa [shell/peel] that suckles from the Kedusha, as the holy ARI says, the people of Israel began to move away from them. At that time the Klipa of Egypt began to fight them with powerful forces.

That is, the Klipa of Egypt let the people of Israel see that it was not worth it to exit self-reception. And concerning work of bestowal, they let them see that it is difficult and not worth it to work for nothing, that they would not be rewarded with it anyway, since it requires special forces. And the more the people of Israel received strengthening from Moses and Aaron, the more the Klipa of Egypt came and weakened them.

It was so much so that each time they overcame the argument of the Egyptians that came into their minds, so they would see that it was not the argument of Egypt, but that the people of Israel would think that these thoughts are Israel’s themselves. This is called “Anyone who is greater than his friend, his desire is greater than him.”

It means that to the extent of their strengthening in Kedusha, to that extent the Klipot strengthened against them. To the extent of the power of the desire to escape, to that extent the other side must show more power so as to keep him in his domain, so they will not escape.

It turns out that in fact, the people of Israel drew closer to Kedusha each day, and the evidence of this is that if it is said that they were in 49 gates of Tuma’a, it is because that they have already ascended through 49 gates of Kedusha, hence there had to be the opposite of Kedusha, the 49 gates of Tuma’a.

However, before a person completes the work and comes out of the domain of the Klipot[shells/peels], he does not see the measure of his entrance into Kedusha. All he sees is that each time he is farther away because the opposite of Kedusha reveals the evil in him, and before there is light of Kedusha, a person cannot see the real form of evil in him. As said above, precisely where there is light we can see the dirt that is in the house.

It follows that one cannot know what he can regard as a good state. That is, it might be that a person feels that he is in descent, meaning that he sees that he has no desire for Torah and Mitzvot. He sees that now he has more passion for self-love than, for example, yesterday. Thus, a person should probably say that yesterday he was in a state where he regarded people who were concerned with corporeal means, with satisfying their will to receive, he stayed away from them and could not see intelligent grownups degrading themselves into being in such a lowly state.

But now he sees that he is one of them and he has no shame in feeling his lowliness. Rather, it is an ordinary thing for him, as tough he never thought about spirituality. To understand it better, let us take for example, when a person must get up before dawn. When he is awakened by the alarm clock or by a person, he feels that he must rise to serve the Creator. He begins to feel the importance of the matter, and therefore rises quickly because the sensation of the importance of serving the Creator gives him strength to get up quickly.

Undoubtedly, at that time he is in a state of ascent. That is, it is not corporeality that gives him strength to work, but to him the spirituality, his feeling that now he will have contact with the Creator, in whatever manner, is enough to give him strength to work, and he does not think of anything but the Creator. He feels that now he is regarded as alive, but without spirituality he is regarded as dead. Naturally, he feels that he is in a state of ascent.

In truth, a person cannot determine his state, that he feels he is remote. That is, if he is a person who wishes to walk on the path of bestowal, he must understand that from above he is given a special treatment, that he was lowered from the previous state so he would begin to really contemplate the goal, meaning what is required of man and what man wants the Creator to give him. But when he is in a state of ascent, when he has desire for Torah and Mitzvot, he has no need to worry about spirituality. Instead, he sees that he will stay this way his whole life because he is happy this way.

It therefore follows that the descent he has received is for his own good, meaning that he is receiving special treatment, that he was lowered from his state where he thought that he had some wholeness. This is apparent in his agreeing to remain in the current state his whole life.

But now that he sees that he is far from spirituality, he begins to think, “What is really required of me? What should I do? What is the purpose I should achieve?” He sees that he has no power to work, and he finds himself in a state of “between heaven and earth.” Then, man’s only strengthening is that only the Creator can help, but by himself, he is doomed.

It was said about this (Isaiah, 4:31): “Yet those who hope for the Lord will gain new strength,” meaning those people who hope for the Creator. This means that they see that there is no one else in the world who can help them regain strength each time. It follows that this descent is actually an ascent, meaning that this descent that they feel allows them to rise in degree, since “there is no light without a Kli.”

It follows that when he thought that he was in a state of ascent, he had no desire in which the Creator to place anything, since his Kli was full and there was no room there to put anything inside. But now that he is feeling in a state of descent, he begins to see his deficiencies and the main reasons that interrupt his achieving Dvekut with the Creator. At that time he knows what help to ask of the Creator because he sees the truth, the real obstructer.

According to the above, it follows that one cannot say that the Creator has driven him away from the work of the Creator, and the proof of this is that he is in a state of descent, meaning that the Creator has thrown him out from the work and does not him to work for Him. This is not so. On the contrary, because the Creator wants to bring him closer, when he felt that he was in ascent, He could not bring him closer because he had no Kelim.

In order to give him Kelim, the Creator had to bring him out of his state, and admit him into a state where he feels deficient. Then the Creator can give him help from above, as our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided. The holy Zohar asks, ‘With what?’ And he replies, ‘With a holy soul.’” That is, he is being made to feel that the soul is a part of God above, and then he enters the Kedusha. At that time he can go from degree to degree until he completes his soul with respect to what she needs to correct.

It therefore follows that in the first kind. the reason and the cause for observing Torah and Mitzvot is people from the outside. In the second kind, the Creator along with people from the outside commit him to Torah and Mitzvot. In the third kind, only the Creator commits to observing Torah and Mitzvot. People on the outside do not commit him, but he himself also causes Torah and Mitzvot. In the fourth kind, only the Creator is the cause for observing Torah and Mitzvot, and there is no other partner who partakes in committing him to Torah and Mitzvot. this is called “for the Lord alone,” and this is called “mixed-multitude inside the Kedusha.”

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

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