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Concerning Yenika [Nursing] and Ibur [Impregnation]
Article No. 31, Tav-Shin-Mem-Vav, 1985-86
Ibur [conception/impregnation], Yenika [nursing], Mochin [adulthood/greatness] are three degrees. Once a person has been rewarded with entering Kedusha [holiness/sanctity], he begins to attain them. They are called Nefesh in Ibur, Ruach in Yenika, and Neshama in Mochin.
However, even during the preparation for the work, before one has been rewarded with permanent admission into Kedusha, these matters still apply. Ibur means that a person temporarily Maavir [shifts/removes] his selfness and says, “Now I do not want to think of my own benefit whatsoever, and I also do not want to use my intellect, although to me it is the most important thing. That is, since I cannot do something that I do not understand—meaning I can do anything but I must understand the benefit of it—he still says, “Now I can temporarily say that I am taking upon myself at this time that I determine not to use my intellect. Rather, I believe above reason, believe in faith in the sages, believing that there is an overseer who is watching each and every one in the world in Private Providence.”
But why should I believe it and I cannot feel that this is so? It makes sense that if I could feel the existence of the Creator I could certainly work for Him and would desire to serve Him. Why then is this concealment? What does the Creator gain by hiding Himself from the creatures? Also, he does not provide any answer to this, but rather answers that with this question, too, he goes above reason and says that if the Creator knew that not making the concealment would be better for the creatures, He would not create concealment.
It turns out that to all the questions that come up in his mind he says that he is going above reason, and that now he is going with eyes shut and only with faith. It is as Baal HaSulam said about the verse (Psalms, 68:32): “Cush shall run to stretch out her hands to God.” He said that if one can say, “Cush,” meaning that his Kushiot [questions] are answers, it means that he does not need answers, but the question itself gives him the answer. That is, he says that now that he has a question he can go above reason. Then, “his hands are to God,” meaning that then his hands, namely his vessels of reception—from the words, “Should a hand attain”—then a person is regarded as whole, with God.
Therefore, the beginning of the entrance into the work of the Creator is regarded as Ibur[impregnation], when he cancels his self and becomes impregnated in the mother’s womb, as it is written, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” This comes from the verse, “For if you call the mother, ‘understanding [Bina],’” meaning that he cancels self-love, called Malchut, whose original essence is called “will to receive in order to receive,” and enters the vessels of bestowal, called Bina.
One should believe that before he was born, meaning before the soul descended into the body, the soul was adhered to Him, and now he longs to adhere to Him as prior to her descent. This is called Ibur, when he completely annuls his self. However, although his heart tells him that only now he agrees to the annulment but later he will regret, we can say about this, “Do not worry about tomorrow.”
Also, tomorrow may not be the next day. Rather, tomorrow can be the present or the future. The difference in time can be even an hour later.
It is as our sages said, “Anyone who has what to eat today and says, ‘What shall I eat tomorrow?’ it is for lack of faith” (Sutah, 48). We should interpret that this means that if he has what to eat today, meaning he is willing to take upon himself faith above reason and only thinks, “What will happen later,” meaning he already has Reshimot [recollections] from states when he thought that he would remain in that state of ascent forever, but then descended once more to a place of lowliness, which is a place of garbage, where garbage means where all the waste is thrown.
That is, during the ascent he thought that the whole matter of self-love is nothing but waste that should be thrown to the garbage. That is, he felt that the will to receive is garbage. But now, during the descent, he himself is descending into the place of garbage so as to receive nourishments from there, like cats poking through trash to find something to eat to sustain themselves. Likewise, during the descent he is like a cat, and not like spoiled people who always select what they should eat and what they shouldn’t.
This is the meaning of what we say in the Hallel [Praise]: “He raises the poor from the dust, lifts the poor from the trash.” Accordingly, it follows that when a person can annul himself a little bit and at that time says, “Now I want to annul myself before the Kedusha,” meaning not to think about self-love. Rather, now he wants to bring contentment to the Creator, and believes above reason that although he still does not feel anything, he believes above reason, that the Creator hears the prayer of every mouth, and before Him, small and great are equal, and as He can deliver the greatest of the greatest, He can also help the smallest of the small.
This is called Ibur, meaning that he passes from his own domain into the domain of the Creator. However, it is temporary. That is, he truly wants to annul himself forever, but cannot believe that there will be annulling forever now since he has already thought many times that it would be so but then descended from his degree and fell to the place of garbage.
However, he does not need to worry about what to eat tomorrow, as was said above, that later he will probably fall from his degree, as this is for lack of faith. Rather, he must believe that the salvation of the Lord is as the blink of an eye. It follows that since he annuls himself for the time being and wants to remain this way forever, it follows that he has the value of Ibur.
However, in truth, one must believe that his desire to begin to work the Creator in annulling his self is a call from above, for it is not within man’s wisdom. The evidence of this is that during this call, all the questions he had before he was called from above—he had many questions, and each time he wanted to do something in order to bestow the body resisted and could not understand if there is a person in the world who could annul his self before the Creator and not worry at all about his own benefit. He was always under some fear whether he could annul himself to the Creator.
But now he sees that all the thoughts and doubts have been completely burned and he would feel great pleasure if he could annul himself before the Creator. Now he sees that all his reason is worthless, although previously he thought that no one in the world could convince him to annul himself before the Creator, and he would say that this is hard work that not just anyone can come into. But now he sees that there is nothing that interferes with his adhering and annulling before the Creator. Rather, as was said above, since it is an illumination from above, all the obstructers who came and told him the argument of the spies have surrendered to him and vanished from sight.
It is as it is written (Psalms, 103:16), “For the wind has passed over him and he is no more, and his place will no longer know him.” It is as it is written, “For the wind has passed over him.” When a person receives Ruach [spirit/wind] from above, all the obstructers disappear and even his place is not apparent. That is, during the ascent, when he receives spirit from above, at that time he does not understand how can there be a place where the wicked can do something with their arguments.
It follows that during the Ibur, when we see that there is a time of abortion, meaning that if the fetus is born before the time of corrections of the Ibur has been completed, as some weakness in the impregnation causes an abortion, when the fetus emerges prematurely and cannot exist and dies, it is the same in spirituality. If there is a weakness then a person comes out of the Ibur and comes into the air of this world, and all the thoughts that exist in this world fall into his mind, and all the desires of this world cling to him. This is considered that the Ibur has died.
In The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 9 (p 788, item 83), the ARI writes, “There should be doors in a woman, to close them and hold the fetus within so it does not come out until it is completely fashioned. And there should also be in her a force that depicts the form of the fetus.”
He explains there in “Inner Light” that there are two forces in the Ibur: 1) A depicting force, where the depiction of the fetus is Katnut [infancy/smallness], for in order to obtain Katnut there is an order, since Katnut is preparation for Gadlut [adulthood/ greatness], and without Katnut in the degree there is no Gadlut. And as long as he is in Katnut he is still incomplete, and wherever there is a deficiency in Kedusha there is a grip to the Sitra Achra, who might spoil the Ibur so it cannot be completed. By this he is aborted, meaning that he is born before the state of Ibur has been completed.
It is so because there are twenty-five Partzufim [plural of Partzuf] in the Ibur, meaning NRNHY, and in each of them there is also NRNHY. Therefore, there must be a detaining force, meaning that even in Katnut there should be wholeness there. He receives this through his mother, although the fetus in itself has no Kelim [vessels] in which to receive Gadlut in order to bestow. Still, by annulling before the mother it can receive Gadlut from the Kelim of its mother. This is regarded as “An embryo is its mother’s thigh; it eats what its mother eats.”
That is, since it has no choice of its own but rather eats what its mother eats, meaning that what its mother knows is permitted to eat, it eats, as well, it means that he has shifted the choice of what is good and what is bad from himself. Rather, it is all attributed to the mother. This is called “its mother’s thigh,” meaning that he himself does not merit a name.
There it speaks of upper lights, but the same thing applies during the preparation, when wanting to enter the King’s palace—the same orders apply. As there are many discernments there and the Iburis not completed all at once, and it is said that there are nine months of pregnancy until he obtains twenty-five Partzufim, in the preparation, too, there are many discernments until he obtains the complete Ibur during the preparation. Therefore, there are many ups and downs, and sometimes the Ibur becomes corrupted, which is also called “abortion,” and we must begin the order of the work anew.
Let us explain the depicting force that exists during the preparation period. The depiction of the Iburis Katnut, which means that only in vessels of bestowal, when he engages in Torah and work, he can aim to do everything with the intention to bestow.
That is, the reason why he engages now in Torah and Mitzvot is because he believes in the Creator and in His greatness. He takes upon himself that henceforth, all his pleasure will be in that he has a desire to serve the King, and he will regard this as though he has made a fortune, and as though the whole world is looking at him and envies him that he has been privileged with rising to the highest degrees, with which none other has been rewarded. Naturally, he is delighted and does not feel anything bad in the world, but rather that he is living in a world that is all good.
However, all the importance and joy is in that he gives, meaning that he wants to give to the Creator. That is, throughout the day he has one thought: “What should I do that will please the Creator?” That is, on the one hand we say that a person needs to work not in order to receive reward, but only for the Creator. On the other hand, we say that he must enjoy and picture how he can enjoy.
This means that he must depict pictures of greatness and importance of how we appreciate flesh and blood kings or other world leaders, and see how the public appreciates them. Afterwards he should learn from the world how they enjoy serving world leaders and use this for the greatness of the Creator, that when he is serving the Creator he must feel the same pleasure as they enjoy serving world leaders.
Otherwise, if he does not derive great pleasure from engaging in Torah and Mitzvot, it is a sign that he does not appreciate the Creator as they appreciate and receive delight and pleasure from serving world leaders.
Therefore, when he speaks to the Creator, he must first depict to whom he is speaking, meaning His greatness and importance. That is, in what manner and what reverence I speak to Him, and He listens and looks at me when I speak to Him.
For example, when a person eats a cake or some fruit, we know we must believe that the Creator has created all these, and now we are enjoying what has been prepared for us to enjoy. We turn to Him for this and thank Him for this, and we say, “We thank and praise You for this pleasure and say, ‘Blessed are You, O Lord, creator of the fruit of the tree.’”
At that time a person can monitor what he has just said to the Creator, what reverence he felt while speaking to Him, and what he feels after he has spoken to Him, meaning what impression it has left in him, what elation, since if he truly believes that he spoke to the King, where are the excitement and elation? It is written about it: “If I am a father, where is My honor? If I am a master, where is the fear of Me?”
If we look more closely we can detect two discernments in this act: 1) he enjoys the fruit he is eating. This joy he has from the fruit pertains to the animate will to receive. That is, animals also enjoy eating and drinking. There is no need for man to receive such a pleasure, and this is why this pleasure is called “beastly pleasure.”
But the blessing and gratitude he gives to the Creator for it, in this we should make several discernments. In the second discernment in the above action, meaning the joy of thanking the Creator, this pertains specifically to man and is absent in animals. There are many discernments here because in this act, which belongs to man, there are many degrees to discern.
For example, in man we should discern the measure of faith—how much he believes that the Creator has given him all the pleasures to enjoy. Afterwards we should discern—in the speaking that he speaks to the Creator—to what extent he believes that he is speaking to the Creator. Afterwards we should discern to what extent he believes in the greatness and importance of the Creator. In that, it is certain that every person is different. And in a person himself we should discern according to his current state, for because a person is walking, he could be ascending or descending. Thus, in one person we can discern several states, as it is written, “And I will give you moves among these who are standing.”
It turns out that in the will to receive pleasure, which by and large pertains to the beast, there is nothing to discern, since it is general pleasure. This is not so with pleasure pertaining to man. There we should already make many discernments. It follows that the foundation of the joy that pertains to man is not attributed to the vessels of reception. Rather, it pertains to bestowal because all his pleasure is built on the Creator. That is, all the fuel from which he has Kelim [vessels] for work depends on the greatness of the Creator and not on the measure of man’s pleasure. This means that the measure of pleasure depends on the extent to which he assumes the greatness of the Creator.
This is called “pleasure that comes to a person indirectly.” He wants to bestow upon the King directly, and to the extent that he depicts the greatness of the King, to that extent he is happier that he is delighting a great king. He receives indirect pleasure from this. It follows that pleasure is permitted only in this manner, for he does not intend for self-pleasure when he is serving the King, but the importance of the King commits him to serve the King.
It turns out that his intention is to delight the King, to make the King happy, so it naturally follows that he enjoys, as well. Such pleasure is permitted because when he receives this pleasure there is no matter of shame here, called “bread of shame,” as his pleasure is from giving and not from something he receives directly from the Creator.
When he enjoys something that the Creator gives him it is regarded as pleasure that comes directly from the Giver, as lights. This is called Ohr Hochma [Light of Wisdom], which comes to the receiver directly. That is, the receiver enjoys the reception, and this requires a correction called “aiming to bestow.” But if his pleasure is because he is giving to the Creator, and he enjoys serving Him, this pleasure is regarded as coming indirectly because his intention is for the King to enjoy and he does not think about enjoying this.
It was said about this: “Serve the Lord with gladness.” That is, the joy should come to a person from serving the Creator. However, if he is serving without joy it is for lack of faith in the greatness and importance of the King. Otherwise, there must be joy and elation without any preparation for it, meaning he does not need to see that he will enjoy the work but needs to see that he prepares himself to know Whom he is serving and what is His importance. The joy is the result. Thus, if he has no joy in the work it is a sign that he has no idea about the importance of the Creator, and then he must correct himself in matters of faith.
Thus, he does not need to work on having gladness in serving the Creator. Rather, he must labor to obtain the importance and greatness of the Creator. That is, in everything he does, learns, and engages in Mitzvot [commandments], he wants reward for his labor—to be rewarded with the greatness and importance of the Creator. To the extent that he receives the importance of the Creator he will be naturally drawn to annul before Him and will want and crave to serve Him.
Everything we said thus far is regarded as Ibur because he must believe that everything comes from the Creator, giving him the thought and desire to annul before Him. At such a time he must find a place for depiction, meaning how he is inspired by this awakening, and criticize, and he will certainly find deficiencies to correct there. But when he sees what is missing there, he cannot be happy because every deficiency causes him suffering, so how can he be happy? On the other hand, it is not good to be so deficient, according to the rule that where there is a deficiency in the Kedusha [holiness/sanctity] there is a grip to the Klipot [shells/peels], and he might fall from his degree and receive from this weakness in the work.
Therefore, a person must see himself in wholeness, that he has no deficiency. He sees himself as happy with his life and as having where to find pleasure from seeing that there are many people like him who do not enjoy the life that he does, and if they had the pleasure that he has, they would all envy him.
Let us say, for example, that there are prisoners, and no one is allowed to come out of the prison to breathe some air. But one man wins the warden’s favor, and no one knows it but he lets him out free one hour a day. He goes home to visit and then returns to the prison. How happy is that man? 1) He is happy because he visits his home. 2) When he looks at the rest of the prisoners, who are not given this freedom, he derives immense delight and pleasure from looking at the others, who are sitting in the prison without seeing any of the light that there is outside.
This means that besides his own pleasure, meaning the pleasure he himself enjoys, he can take pleasure from what is outside of him. He enjoys seeing what he has and what others do not have. It follows that this pleasure comes from outside, meaning from looking outside and seeing how they suffer from not having any leaves, while he enjoys his leaves.
It follows that we should discern two pleasures here: 1) the pleasure he receives from enjoying, 2) the pleasure he receives from having what others do not have, which is called “receiving joy from outside.” The lesson is that since we are incarcerated, it is as we say (in the Kaparot [atonements] on the eve of Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement]), “Dwellers of darkness and the shadow of death, prisoners of poverty and iron, He will deliver them from darkness and the shadow of death.”
We have sinned and were placed in prison, where all the prisoners who sinned before the King are placed, where they do not see light their whole life, meaning they were given a life-sentence in prison. They are disconnected from the parents, called “fathers of the world,” as our sages said (Tana de Bei Eliyahu Rabah, Chapter 25), “When will my deeds reach the deeds of my fathers?”
That is, where there is connection with the fathers, when one knows the good deeds of the fathers, it can be said that he is asking, “When will my deeds reach the deeds of my fathers?” That is, that he, too, will have the ability to do good deeds like the fathers. But because of the sin—as it is said, “For our sins we have been exiled from our land”—we have been placed in prison, completely disconnected from the fathers, meaning we do not know that we had fathers who were adhered to the Creator and we have no idea that it also pertains to us to say of every spiritual matter that we want to do things by which we can adhere to the Creator.
It follows that the people who were sentenced to life imprisonment do not see light their whole lives and accept their situation. They accustom themselves to enjoy only what the warden thinks he should give them for nourishment, and habit causes them to forget what they once had—a life outside the prison, where they enjoyed the life they chose for themselves and did not have to accept the nourishments according to the terms of the prison. However, they have forgotten everything.
The lesson is that one should be happy that the warden loves him and has therefore given him some freedom each day to walk out of jail and enjoy what innocent people enjoy, meaning as though he had never sinned against the King. He walks home and partakes with everyone in his family and the rest of his friends and loved ones, but then he must go back to jail.
This happens every day. That is, when a desire comes to a person to enter the synagogue and pray, and learn a little and feel a little that there is spiritual life, that he finally believes it, meaning that he has faith, it is called “diminutive feeling about all the things in Kedusha,” that he receives illumination from afar. That is, although he is still far from equivalence of form, for because he sinned with self-love, called “disparity of form,” he was sentenced to life in prison. Jail is where there is no spiritual life but a place for the wicked who have sinned against the King.
But he was favored by the warden, who gives him a thought and desire to enjoy the life of humans, as in, “You are called ‘man,’ and the nations of the world are not called ‘man,’” since they enjoy man’s food, called a “spiritual life,” when they are connected to the King of Kings, meaning that they temporarily feel that they are speaking to the King.
When a person pictures that he is favored by the warden, who has given him a temporary leave, although he knows that later he will have a descent and will have to return to prison, even while in prison he can still be happy because he knows from past experience that there are ups and downs. Hence, even when he is returned to prison he knows that sometimes he is favored by the warden who will give him another temporary leave, and in that short while he will be able to see and plead with friends to set him free completely.
This means that even during a descent he sometimes gets thoughts that he is already used to being ejected from the thoughts and desires of sinners who are immersed in self-love. Later, when he receives a call from above, for so he believes, the thoughts and desires he has during the descent, he feels that it is impossible that he will ever be able to come out of self-love, for he sees the body’s resistance. Each time the resistance takes on different forms, and each argument is different from the other, but they are all the same in making him see that it is difficult and that there is no such thing in reality that a person can come out of them.
Still, he sees that when an awakening from above comes to him, he forgets all their arguments and they all burn as though they never existed. Now he wants only one thing—to annul before the Creator, and now he feels pleasure specifically in this.
Because of this, when one has some grip in spirituality, even if it is the smallest of the small, he can already feel happy and complete, for two reasons:
1) He has been given a leave. He enjoys being temporarily out of prison, meaning out of Torah and Mitzvot.
2) He enjoys seeing that everyone else is in prison. He looks at them with pity and sometimes wants to ask for mercy for them, that the Creator will permit them to come out of prison.
Now we can understand that during the Ibur, when his force of depiction is only Katnut, when he can barely observe Torah and Mitzvot with any intention, he must believe that it is very important that the Creator has given him a place to depart from the rest of the people in the world, who have no connection to Judaism, and whose aspirations are clothed only in beastly pleasures, meaning they settle for that which nourishes and sustains beasts. As for spirituality, they pride themselves in not being stupid like the religious, who say that there is a matter of spiritual life. Instead, they have a strong and clear sense that they are right. They tell themselves, “We are the smartest in the generation in that we don’t believe in spirituality, and our life’s purpose is only corporeal life.”
They know for certain that there is no spirituality in the world, to such an extent that they want to make the religious also know that common sense dictates that there is nothing in the world but corporeal life, just like animals. There are even bigger smart alecks who—because they live like animals—have come to the conclusion that we should not eat animals because the speaking does not have a higher purpose than an animal, so why should we eat them if we are all on the same degree and have the same purpose?
It follows that on the one hand, one should appreciate the thought and desire to do simple things without any understanding or intellect, but completely above reason, and believe that even the small desire to observe Torah and Mitzvot was also given to him by the Creator as He favors him. However, he does not know what merit he has over other people whom the Creator has left in the corporeal life while picking him out from among all the people, as in the prison allegory. This matter should bring him joy and wholeness, and because he feels wholeness he can thank the Creator for it. It is as Baal HaSulam said, “To the extent that a person thanks the Creator for having brought him a little closer, to that extent he always receives help from above.”
We can interpret that the reason is that if a person understands that he must thank the Creator, it does not mean that the Creator should thank him like flesh and blood. Rather, the question is the measure to which he understands that he must thank Him. At that time he begins to think how much gratitude I should give Him.
There is a rule that to the extent of giving is the extent of the gratitude. For example, if someone helps another person, who did not have a job so as to make a living, and he went and toiled for him and found him a job, naturally, he feels deep gratitude.
But if, for example, a person commits a crime against the government and the judge sentences him to twenty years in prison, and he must leave his family, and he already has sons and daughters that he should marry, and he just started a business, meaning started a company with one hundred workers, but in the meantime he only has fifty workers, and now according to the crime for which he was caught he must be incarcerated for twenty years, he is worried about the outcome of his plans and about his family while he is separated from the world. He says that now he would prefer to die than to live in prison and worry about everything.
And along comes a man who gives him tips by which he is acquitted from all the charges and he is freed. Then the person certainly begins to think what he can give to this man who saved his life. Undoubtedly, now this man has but one concern: “With what can I show this man my heart, that my every bone thanks and praises him.” It is as it is written, “All my bones shall say” songs and praises for this man.
It follows that by having to thank him he begins to contemplate the measure of salvation he has given him so as to know what kind of gratitude he should give him. Because of it, when a person thanks the Creator it depends on the extent to which he appreciates the importance of the Creator delivering him from prison for one moment to breathe some more of the air of the world of Kedusha.
It therefore follows that a person suffers a descent because he did not appreciate drawing near to the Creator, and not appreciating it caused its loss. It is as our sages said, “Who is a fool? He who loses what he is given.” This means that he does not have the intellect to appreciate the measure of nearing Torah and Mitzvot, meaning that a person should believe that even the smallest thing in Torah and Mitzvot is also very important although he still does not feel its importance.
It follows that faith is in things that man still cannot feel or attain. At that time he must believe in the sages, what our sages told us to believe that it is so, meaning as our sages told us and not as we feel. It is so because our feelings are still not developed in us so as to feel those feelings that extend when knowing we are speaking to the King. This is simple: If one knows that he is speaking to the King, he does not need to prepare himself to feel the importance of the King for it is a natural thing and he does not need to work on it needlessly.
Accordingly, what is the reason that a person is not excited while saying words of gratitude and words of Torah when he believes it is the Torah of the Creator? The reason is that his faith is still not complete faith, meaning that his faith will be as clear knowledge, but rather that his faith is still deficient.
Instead, he must work on believing that he is speaking to an important King, and feeling is something that comes without work, since feeling is only a result of something new that inspires a person. It follows that the main work is the work on faith, to believe that He is a great King.
This is the matter presented in several places in the holy Zohar, that one should pray over the exile of the Shechina [Divinity], or in other words, the “Shechina in exile” or “Shechina in the dust.” That is, we do not have the importance of the one to whom we pray or speak, or thank for both pleasures and Mitzvot. Also, we do not contemplate the value of whose Mitzvot we are keeping. All this is called “Shechina in exile.”
Naturally, we cannot have a feeling for observing Torah and Mitzvot because there is a rule that a person is not inspired by something small, to an extent that some excitement will come to him.
It therefore follows that one should serve the Creator with gladness, meaning that in whatever state he is, even if he is in a lowly state and feels completely lifeless while engaging in Torah and Mitzvot, he should picture to himself that now he is observing the Mitzva [singular of Mitzvot] of faith above reason. That is, although the body shows him his lowliness, he can still strengthen himself and say, “My observing Torah and Mitzvot without any intention is very important” because in fact, he is observing everything in practice, but lacks the aim. That is, if he also had the right intention, the body would be satisfied and he would feel like a complete human being.
But now the body cannot enjoy Torah and Mitzvot, so all that is missing here is the pleasure of the body. But since he wants to work for the Creator, it follows that specifically now, when the body has no pleasure, he can work more in order to bestow. If he believes above reason that this is so, this overcoming is called “awakening from below.” Afterwards he must receive sustenance because now he really is adhered to the Creator and wants to serve the Creator with nothing in return.
However, if he cannot go above reason then two officers come to him and put him in prison along with all the sinners against the King. Those two officers are “mind” and “heart.” At that time he is sentenced to however long he is sentenced, and then he is given a short leave to examine his behavior. This continues until he is pitied from above and is freed from the prison.
It follows that we need two things: the first is the depicting force, which is Katnut, and the second is the detaining force to prevent abortion, meaning not to spoil the Ibur. We need the depicting force because there is a rule that there is no light without a Kli, meaning no filling without a lack, so if there is no Katnut, there will never be Gadlut.
However, we need strength to hold on while feeling deficient because deficiency means that it pains him that he is still incomplete. It is known that it is hard to tolerate suffering. If he sees no end to the suffering, he escapes the campaign. It follows that we must give him wholeness so he can hold on and not escape the war of the inclination. However, he must not be given a lie, meaning to deceive himself and say that he is whole, since it is written, “He who speaks falsehood shall not be established before Me.”
Therefore, when we say to a person, “You see that everyone is incarcerated,” as in the above allegory, “and forget that they even have parents and friends,” who are people who engage in Torah and Mitzvot and who are friends with their souls. They forget everything and think that all that there is in the world are incarcerated people and a warden who controls them, meaning that they are under the judgment of the evil inclination, and they consider one who goes against their view as insane, meaning that they leave the corporeal life of enjoying the prison and seeks something above reason, meaning to believe that there is greater pleasure than the joys of corporeal life.
But he calculates to himself that he is very privileged that he has been favored by the Creator and that He has delivered him even momentarily from the corporeal life to breathe some air of Kedusha. He should be so happy when he considers them and himself. Certainly, this wholeness is considered true wholeness because in corporeality we [see] that a temporary leave, from the above allegory of the prison, gives so much joy to a person when he sees that he has been favored by the warden and all the prisoners have not been privileged with it.
Besides this wholeness being true, a person must make great efforts to appreciate it, since this work lifts the importance of the work by appreciating a small service in spirituality. By this we are later rewarded with enhancing the importance to a point where one can say that he has no way to appreciate the importance of serving the King. This is called Ibur.
Ibur means that the awakening comes from the upper one. But during the preparation, which is before one is rewarded admission into the King’s palace, where Ibur is when he is rewarded with NRNHY de Nefesh, there are many ups and down. However, it all enters the Ibur since everything comes from the awakening of the upper one.
From the perspective of the preparation, Yenika means that he awakens by himself and wants to suckle something from Kedusha through authors and books, so he can revive the spirit with spiritual life. For this reason, when he engages in Torah and Mitzvot he craves to elicit from them the light of Torah that reforms him, as our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.”
However, in order to elicit the light of Torah we must have faith, as it is written in the “Introduction to the Book of Zohar.” The reason is that he believes in the Creator and in His Torah and wants to adhere to Him, but sees that he cannot due to the evil in him, which is the will to receive, and this form causes him to be removed from the Creator. For this reason, his faith is also inconsistent, as it is written in the Sulam [commentary on The Zohar], that faith cannot be in a person permanently because as long as one does not have fear—which is regarded as constantly fearing that he might not be able to aim to bestow but will crave to receive in order to receive, which is disparity of form—the light of faith cannot be in him permanently.
It therefore follows that there cannot be permanent faith if he has no Dvekut [adhesion], called “equivalence of form.” But how does one take this force so he can overcome his nature, which is only in oppositeness of form? It was said about this, “One should always engage in Torah and Mitzvot, even Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], and from Lo Lishma he comes to Lishma [for Her sake] because the light in it reforms him” (Pesachim, 50). It follows that the light in the Torah is what reforms him, but this was said specifically when he wants the light in the Torah in order to reform him, meaning to aim all his actions to bestow upon his Maker.
Then, by reforming him, which means that he has Dvekut, then he will be rewarded with permanent faith. But a person who is not concerned with having only partial faith, and learns Torah only where he can derive pleasure that will enter the vessels of reception, and is not concerned with vessels of bestowal, he has no need for the light of Torah to give him the remedy of reforming him. That is, to give him the strength to correct his works so they are only to bestow contentment upon his Maker, which is called Dvekut, and by which he will be rewarded with permanent faith.
This is not so if he does not need permanent faith and does not need Dvekut, and he expects the light because the light in the Torah comes from the upper one and there is delight and pleasure in this light. It follows that he craves the light not in order to help him turn his vessels of reception into vessels of bestowal. Rather, he wants the light to do the opposite of what it is meant to do.
The purpose of the light is to reform him. “Good” is as it is written, “My heart overflows with a good thing; I say, ‘My work is for the King’” (Psalms, 45). That is, “good” means that which awards man with vessels of bestowal. But he wants the light in order to enjoy it, meaning that this light will increase his vessels of reception. This is the exact opposite of what the light should give. He wants to receive from it, and therefore the light will not come to him.
In the “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot” (item 15), he writes that one should not expect the engagement in Torah and Mitzvot Lo Lishma to bring him to Lishma, unless he knows in his heart that he has been rewarded with faith in the Creator and His Torah properly, for then the light in it reforms him and he will be rewarded with the day of the Lord, which is all light, since the Kedusha of faith purifies man’s eyes so they enjoy His light until the light in the Torah reforms him. Likewise, the eyes of the faithless are blinded toward the light of the Creator.
We should interpret what he says, that the light of faith appears to those who have faith. According to what we explained, those who have been rewarded with permanent faith already have abundance. However, it is as Baal HaSulam said about what is written, “Will bring wisdom to the wise.” People ask, “It should have said, ‘Will bring wisdom to the fools.’” And he said that since there is no light without a Kli [vessel], wisdom cannot be given to the fools, since they have no need. Accordingly, what does “Will give wisdom to the wise” mean? It is for one who has a desire to be wise, who has a Kli. He can receive the filling, since there is no filling without a lack.
We should therefore interpret in this way regarding matters of faith, as well. That is, one who has a need for faith because he sees that he has only partial faith, as said above (In the “Introduction,” item 14)—and craves to have complete faith—is called “faithful.” It means that he has a desire and need for the light of faith. Those people who seek faith, to them the light of Torah appears. This is why it is written that the Kedusha of faith purifies man’s eyes so they enjoy His light until the light in the Torah reforms him.
It therefore follows that Ibur means the awakening from above that a person receives. As the corporeal Ibur depends on the parents, here, too, it is upon the calling that comes from above, when one is called upon to repent, and he begins to think other thoughts. Then, all the desires he had prior to the herald he had received from above are burned and do not merit a name.
Conversely, Yenika means that he begins to search by himself which Yenika [nursing] he will receive from books or authors. He wants to suckle the light of Torah from them in order to have the ability to cling to the Creator and be rewarded with complete faith.
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