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Purim, and the Commandment: Until He Does Not Know

Article No. 11, Tav-Shin-Mem-Zayin, 1986-87

Our sages said (Megillah 7), “On Purim, one must drink until he does not know the cursed Haman from the blessed Mordechai.” However, it is impossible to come to a state of not knowing before one is in a state of knowing. Afterward, it is possible to say that we should achieve a higher degree, called “not knowing.” Certainly, this is a higher degree than knowing, since we are instructed to observe this only on Purim and not all year long, as our sages said, “On Purim, one must,” and not throughout the year.

Accordingly, we should understand the meaning of knowing and not knowing. We should also understand the commandment in the Torah to read the portion, Zachor [Remember]. The Magen Avraham wrote (Orach Chaim, Mark 685), “I should explain the custom, for because of whom is it written in the Torah that they should read specifically on this Shabbat [Saturday]? The sages determined that it is this Shabbat because many people come to the synagogue. And it is close to Purim in order to attach the story of Amalek with the story of Haman.”

This means that “Remember that which Amalek had done to you” always applies. However, they determined that it should be read on Shabbat before Purim in order to attach the story about Amalek to the story of Haman. Also, what does the attachment of “Remember” to Purim teach us in the work?

In order to understand all the above, we should first understand the purpose of creation. From this we will know what is “between the cursed Haman and the blessed Mordechai,” and what is “cannot tell between the cursed Haman and the blessed Mordechai.”

It is known that the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations. In order for the good that the Creator gives to be complete, that upon reception they will not feel any unpleasantness, since there is a rule that every branch wants to resemble its root, and the root of the creatures is His desire to give to the creatures, when the creatures receive from Him, they feel shame, as it is opposite from the root.

For this reason, there was a correction called “restriction and concealment” on the original vessel of reception, which is—as it was initially created—receiving in order to receive. It was done by correction, meaning that in this Kli [vessel], there is already control over her through the establishing of the restriction so the upper abundance does not come to the Kli called “will to receive.” The Kelim[vessels] of this kind remained in a state called “vacant space without light,” and she remained in the dark.

Only when they can place an intention to bestow on this Kli, which is called “receiving,” meaning although he has a great desire and craving to receive the abundance, still, if he is not sure if what he receives from the Creator will be due to Mitzva [good deed], which is because the Creator wants to give, as it was said, He wants to do good to His creations, he is willing to relinquish the delight that he receives from the Creator. Instead, he wants to receive delight and pleasure only because of the purpose of creation.

Now we can know the difference between the cursed Haman and the blessed Mordechai. The way of Righteous Mordechai is to work only in order to bestow upon the Creator, which is called “bestowing.” By this we can later come to the degree of wholeness, when he comes to a degree where he can already say to the Creator, “I want You to give me delight and pleasure because I want to observe Your desire: to give to the creatures delight and pleasure. Now I am ready to receive the delight and pleasure because I know that I do not want this due to self-love, but in order to bestow.”

Now, with the aim to bestow, reception of the King’s gift is in wholeness. That is, there is no shame there because the reception is because of his desire to assist the Creator, for the purpose of creation to be revealed, so everyone will know that the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations.

Since our sages said (Kiddushin 40b), “If he performs one Mitzva [good deed/correction], happy is he, for he has sentenced himself and the entire world to the side of merit.” Therefore, since he is in a state where he has no concern for self-love but rather for love of others, it follows that by wanting to receive delight and pleasure from the Creator, he wants to keep the love of others between man and God, and between man and man.

This is as it is written in The Zohar (“Introduction of the Book of Zohar,” Item 67): “‘And to say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’’ …Do not pronounce ‘You are My people [ Ami]’ with a Patach in the Ayin, but “You are with Me [ Imi],” with a Hirik in the Ayin, which means partnering with Me. …Happy are they who exert in the Torah.”

Although there it speaks of between man and the Creator, but the matter of interpretation of a partner can also be applied between man and man, since this implies that later, the whole world will receive the side of merit. It follows that he did good between man and man by causing the entire world to receive the delight and pleasure that exist in the purpose of creation.

It follows that he has become a partner of the Creator in that through him will come the assistance by which everyone will achieve the purpose of creation. Thus, he has become a partner of the Creator, as it is written, “I started creation by wanting to give delight and pleasure, and Israel exert to realize the goal by making Kelim [vessels] that are fit to receive the upper abundance without any flaw, called ‘bread of shame.’ Rather, even when they receive the delight and pleasure, they will not lose the Dvekut [adhesion], called ‘equivalence of form,’ for this was the reason for the Tzimtzum[restriction].”

This is regarded as knowing the path of Mordechai, which is a path that brings blessing to the entire world, as it was said above, “If he merits, he sentences himself and the entire world to the side of merit.” This is called “the blessed Mordechai.”

Conversely, Haman’s way is not to look at the correction of the Tzimtzum that was placed on the vessels of reception. Rather, he says, “Since the Creator created the world in order to do good to His creations, and we see that in our nature there is a desire to receive delight and pleasure, then why did the Creator create this desire if not to use it? Did He instead create in us a desire and craving to receive pleasure and said not to use it but be tormented by it?”

It therefore follows that this is the opposite way. It is said that He created the world in order to do good to His creations. By Righteous Mordechai saying not to use this desire, it means that He has created the world in order to do bad to His creations. So, it would probably be better not to create the will to receive delight and pleasure altogether then to create a desire and craving to receive delight, and then say not to use it but to torment oneself and remain devoid of pleasure.

Therefore, how is it possible to agree with Mordechai’s way and say that it is forbidden to use the Kelim that want to enjoy? After all, this is the real Kli [vessel] that the Creator created. Even Mordechai admits that the Creator created the desire to receive delight and pleasure in the world. Therefore, Haman argues that Mordechai’s way is not the path of truth.

Especially, he has many supporters for his way. The whole world says that the real way in the world is as Haman says. It is as it is written (Esther 3): “All the king’s servants, who are at the king’s gate, kneel and bow to Haman, for so the king commanded for him.”

This means that Haman made them see that thus the king commanded. That is, Haman claimed that since the king, meaning the Creator, created the will to receive, He must want us to receive and enjoy. And all the king’s servants kneeled, meaning surrendered to Haman’s view because he argued that this will to receive—which Mordechai says not to use—is incorrect because the Creator did not create it in vain, but rather to be used. And Mordechai says “No,” as it is written, “And Mordechai did not kneel and did not bow.” This is the meaning of what is written, “And the king’s servants, who are at the king’s gate, said to Mordechai: ‘Why are you defying the king’s commandment?’”

Baal HaSulam said about this that it means that the king’s servants said to Mordechai: “Haman is telling us that his going in his way and not in Mordechai’s way is because this is the path of truth.” This is the meaning of their asking Mordechai, “Why are you defying the king’s commandment?” meaning the Creator, for Haman said that so the king had commanded him, meaning the King of Kings.

This means that since the will to receive and to crave for self-love is the King of all Kings, He has created this force in the creatures. This is why the whole world supports Haman’s view and mind.

Also, Haman’s view was written in the Torah, as our sages said (Hulin 139b), “Haman (manna) [in Hebrew: “from” is spelled the same as Haman] from the Torah, where is it from? Have you eaten off the tree from which I have commanded you not to eat?”

Eating from the tree of knowledge is explained in the introduction to the book Panim Meirot. It explains there (Item 18) that Adam HaRishon was completely separated from the Sitra Achra, “And it has already been explained that Adam HaRishon did not have the Gadlut of reception in his structure whatsoever, which extends from the vacant space. Rather, he extended entirely from the system of Kedusha [sanctity], which is about bestowal.” It is written in The Zohar (Kedoshim) that “Adam HaRishon did not have anything from this world. This is why the tree of knowledge was forbidden for him, like his root and the entire system of Kedusha, which are separated from the Sitra Achra due to their disparity of form.” It follows that Haman means using the big will to receive in order to receive, for this was the whole of the serpent’s advice.

It is also written there that he said to the serpent, “God had eaten from this tree and created the world. That is, He looked at this in the form of ‘The end of the act is in the preliminary thought,’ and this is why He created the world.” This is the meaning of the serpent’s argument that eating from the tree of knowledge is God’s commandment.

So why did the Creator command Adam HaRishon not to eat? To this, the serpent gave Adam and Eve a good answer. Essentially, he means to observe the Creator’s commandment by advising them to eat from the tree of knowledge. This is also the issue here in the Book of Esther, where it is written, “And all the king’s servants who are at the king’s gate kneel and bow to Haman.” It is so because so the king had commanded him.

By this we will understand that “cursed Haman” means that Haman’s way is a cursed path, meaning a path of a curse. This is as it is written (Genesis 3), “And the Lord God said unto the serpent: ‘Because you did this, cursed are you more than all beasts.’ …To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply Your sadness.’ …And to the man He said, ‘Because you have … eaten from the tree … Cursed is the earth because of you.’”

According to the above, we understand that the man should reach the degree of “knowing.” Meaning, what is the big difference between “cursed Haman” and “blessed Mordechai”? It is the difference between life and death, since Mordechai’s way brings life, and one is rewarded with adhering to the Life of Lives, but Haman’s way, he already knows, brings curse to the world, for all the death in the world is caused by “Have you eaten off the tree from which I have commanded you not to eat?”

It is about this that the writing says “cursed.” This matter applies until the end of correction, that one should be careful not to fall into the path of Haman. At the end of correction, all the will to receive will be corrected in order to bestow, and then death will be swallowed up forever. It is as The Zoharsays, “At the end of correction, SAM will be a holy angel.”

Now we can understand the attachment of blotting out Amalek when we read, “Remember what Amalek had done to you.” Specifically, when we know everything that Amalek had done to us, which is the death that he caused to the world by his control—not to walk in the path of bestowal, to adhere to the Life of Lives—then we try to obliterate him from the face of the earth. Otherwise, before a person achieves the degree of knowing what Haman and Amalek did to us, a person does not crave to obliterate him.

It follows that specifically when one has reached the degree of knowing the cursed Haman from the blessed Mordechai, it is possible to blot out Amalek. For this reason, before Purim, which is the time when we should reach the degree, “until he does not know,” we must reach the degree of knowing, and only then can we blot out Amalek.

In other words, when a person wants to observe, “Blot out the memory of Amalek,” it is a sign that he has already been rewarded with knowing. Otherwise, a person cannot blot out Amalek. Rather, he is still immersed in the Klipa [shell/peel] of Amalek and does not want to keep, “Blot out the memory of Amalek.”

Now we will explain what our sages said, “On Purim, one must drink until he does not know the cursed Haman from the blessed Mordechai.” We asked, “What is the Gadlut [greatness/adulthood] that only on Purim can we do such a thing, meaning until “he does not know”? The holy ARI says (The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 16, Item 220), “Therefore, in the future, all the special days will be canceled except for the Book of Esther. The reason is that there has never been such a great miracle, not on Shabbats and not on good days, when there was such illumination even after the departure of the Mochin from the female, except in the days of Purim. In this respect, there is a great advantage to Purim over the rest of the days, even over Shabbats and good days.”

In the commentary Ohr Pnimi, he interprets there that before the end of correction it is impossible to correct all the sparks and Kelim that broke, but only the 288 sparks from the 320 sparks can be sorted and brought into Kedusha [sanctity]. Yet, this, too, will be sorted gradually, leaving 32 sparks out of all the sparks which must not be sorted. This is called the “stony heart.” Only by sorting the 288 sparks, when they are completely sorted, the stony heart will be sorted by itself, as well, as in, “And I will remove the stony heart from your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. At that time, death will be swallowed up forever, all the bad will be corrected into good, and darkness will shine as light.”

Since these lights of Purim are a similitude of the end of correction, for they illuminated only thanks to the miracle, for this reason, all the special days are cancelled besides Purim, for it belongs to the end of correction. Then, when all the bad is corrected, there will be no difference between “the cursed Haman and the blessed Mordechai,” and Haman, too, will be corrected into good.

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

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