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All of Israel Have a Part in the Next World

Article No. 03, Tav-Shin-Mem-Zayin, 1986-87

It is written in The Zohar, Noah (Item 2): “Come and see: ‘All of Israel have a part in the next world.’ It asks, ‘What is the reason?’ It says, ‘Because they keep the covenant on which the world stands, as it is written, ‘If My covenant is not day and night, I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth.’’ Therefore, Israel—who are keeping the covenant because they have taken it upon themselves—have a part in the next world.”

We should understand, since first he says, “All of Israel have a part,” meaning that anyone who is called by the name, “Israel,” without any preconditions, has a part in the next world. But afterwards he interprets that not all of Israel. Rather, he sets conditions, that only those who are keeping the covenant. He brings evidence from the verse, that it refers to the keepers of the covenant, by what is written, “If My covenant is not day and night, I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth.” We should also understand that the verse, “If My covenant is not day and night,” refers to the covenant.

It is written in Pesachim (p 68b): “Rabbi Elazar said, ‘Were it not for the Torah, heaven and earth would not exist,’ as it was said, ‘If My covenant is not day and night, I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth.’” RASHI interprets “If My covenant is not day and night” to mean the study of Torah, of which it is written, “And you shall contemplate it day and night.” Therefore, it means that the covenant is called ‘Torah.’ And here The Zohar interprets that a covenant is circumcision, which keeps the covenant.

Concerning Abraham’s making of the covenant, as it is written, “And made the covenant with him,” our sages explained that the Creator helped the making of the covenant for he could not make the covenant alone. Rather, the Creator helped him. We should understand what it means in the work that he could not make the covenant without the Creator’s help.

It is written concerning Abraham and Avimelech, “And the two of them made a covenant.” Baal HaSulam asked, “If two people understand that it is worthwhile for them to love each other, why should they make a covenant? How does an act of seemingly signing a contract help? What does it give us?” Then he said, “It gives us that when we make a covenant we mean that since it is possible that something might separate them, they are making a covenant now, so that just as now they understand that there is love and equivalence between them, this covenant will persist even if afterwards things will come that should separate them. Still, the connection they are establishing now will be permanent. Accordingly, we should say that if afterwards things will come that should separate them, we should say that each one should go above reason and say that they will not notice what they see within reason, but go above reason. Only in this way can the covenant hold and there will be no separation between them.

It therefore follows that whether we say that the covenant is the Torah or that the covenant is circumcision, it does not mean that only this gives the covenant with the Creator that his covenant with the Creator will not part, meaning that his heart will be whole with the Creator. Rather, both the Torah and circumcision come to keep the making of the covenant, where a person’s heart must be whole with the Creator, and cling to Him with a stake that will never fall, as it is written, “If My covenant is not day and night, I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth.” This is so because the matter of the creation of heaven and earth was with the intention to do good to His creations, and the creatures cannot receive the delight and pleasure without equivalence of form, meaning that all his actions will be in order to bestow. Otherwise there will be separation between the creatures and the Creator.

This is why we were given two covenants—the circumcision and the covenant of the Torah—by which we can come to make a covenant with the Creator with faith above reason and will be able to do everything in order to bestow.

This is the meaning of “If My covenant is not,” meaning If I did not create the counsels by which to achieve equivalence of form, it would not be possible to receive the delight and pleasure, which is the whole purpose of creation, to do good to His creations. And if I did not prepare the ways by which to achieve equivalence of form, I would not need to create heaven and earth for they would not be able to receive any benefit from creation, and the whole of creation would be pointless because there would not be anyone who could enjoy it. On this covenant—that he made the covenant of the stake that will never fall—Abraham needed His help. This is the meaning of the Creator having to help him. And this is the meaning of “And made a covenant with him,” meaning that the Creator helped him be able to go above reason.

There are three discernments to make in the work above reason:

  1. He does not feel any lack in his work, so as to have a need to go above reason.
  2. He feels his deficiency, but he is as a female, meaning as feeble as a female, having no strength to overcome and go above reason.
  3. He is regarded as a male. This means that he has the strength to overcome and go above reason.

1) For example, when a person wants to rise before dawn and is woken up, sometimes the person hears but does not pay attention and keeps sleeping. At that time there is no one who feels his deficiency because he immediately fell asleep and therefore had no time to think of his deficiency. For this reason, he is still not regarded as a human being, where it is possible to distinguish between male and female. Adam [man/human] comes from the words Ish Adama [man of the earth], meaning that he is tilling the land so as to yield crops and fruits to sustain people.

This can be said only of one who feels his deficiency, who begins to work and correct his deficiency. However, when one does not feel his deficiency, there is no one to speak of. That is, even if you tell him his deficiency he will not hear because he has many excuses for everything. Naturally, he has no room for prayer that the Creator will help him have the ability to come out of the obstructions coming to him.

2) When he is woken up he begins to think, “It’s true that I said to my friend to wake me up but when I said to my friend that I wanted to get up before dawn it was because I had some desire to get up and study; I craved the pleasure I would receive from the Torah. And even if I did not think that I would find great pleasure in studying Torah, I nevertheless did not have the suffering of having to get out of bed and give up the pleasure of rest. When I spoke to my friend about waking me up I was thinking only of the pleasure I could derive from studying Torah; this is why I asked him. But now that I am lying under the blanket, and if there is rain and wind outside, I certainly feel pleasure in the rest. But now I have to get up. How do I know that I will receive greater pleasure from learning Torah? For this reason, it is better for me to ‘Sit and do nothing,’ for certainty is preferable to doubt, since the rest certainly gives me pleasure, while studying Torah does not shine as pleasurable to me.”

However, afterward, thoughts come to him: “We learned that we have to go above reason, meaning not regard the amount of pleasure I will have and that this will be my gauge. Rather, we have to work for the Creator. So why am I calculating for myself, meaning how much I will gain from this? Instead, I should be calculating if the act I am doing is keeping the commandment of the Creator and He enjoys my heeding Him. And why do I have thoughts of self-love? But what can I do now, since I cannot overcome my thoughts?”

It follows that he is regarded as a servant of the Creator, who wants to overcome the alien thoughts, meaning that these thoughts are alien to the path of Torah. This is regarded as being a female, meaning that he is as feeble as a female, that he lacks the strength to overcome.

3) He is as a male, meaning has the strength to overcome. That is, when he is woken up, if thoughts come to him—“Why should you get up from the rest you are enjoying? You probably think that when you get out of bed and go study you will enjoy more than you are enjoying now, but how do you know that this is so?” It promptly advises him to test if this is so. But then it tells him: “What flavor are you now tasting in the study, that you are hoping to receive later?” and he immediately gets such flavors that the world grows dark on him, meaning that depictions of concealment come to him, which hide from him the vitality in the Torah. Then the body asks him: “Tell me, are these the states you long for?”

If he is a man, called “man of war,” he tells his body: “Everything you say is true. That is, according to your view, you are right. However, the foundation on which I am building the engagement in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] is above reason. This means that reason mandates that the will to receive delight and pleasure will determine whether or not it is worth working for, and above reason means that he is working in order to bestow. That is, the will to receive does not need to agree to it, but the desire to bestow determines.

This means that if he believes that the work he wants to do now will bring contentment to the Creator, he is promptly willing to do it, without any delays. And although the body claims the opposite, he still has the power to overcome it. This is called “male.”

However, after a person has completed these three discernments in the work—1) when he still does not feel his deficiency so as to ask the Creator to help him, 2) that he does feel his deficiency but has no strength to overcome, which is called “a female,” and 3) when he is a male, a man of war, meaning that he can overcome his deficiency—he comes to a state of Shabbat, meaning rest from his work. This is called “You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest.”

By this we can interpret, “These are the generations of Noah, a righteous man.” Noah is regarded as Naicha [Aramaic: “rest”], as it is written in The Zohar. This is why he is called “righteous,” since there is rest in him. The Zohar says, “Where there is work, there is Sitra Achra [other side]. Hence, naturally, one who is righteous cannot have work. It is as Baal HaSulam said, that where Kedusha[holiness] shines, a person is annulled as a candle before a torch, and it cannot be said there that the body has work because the Kedusha is the source of delight and pleasure.

However, when a person has some grip of the Sitra Achra, it clothes man with self-love, called “receiving in order to receive,” and on this there was a Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment and Kedusha cannot be revealed there. Only concealment is on this place, meaning that the delight and pleasure do not shine there, but to the contrary.

And saying, “For they are our lives and the length of our days, and we contemplate them day and night,” or when we say, “They are nicer than gold, than much fine gold, and sweeter than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb,” this is when a person has proper Kelim [vessels] for it, which are called “vessels of bestowal.” This gives us equivalence of form, at which time the reception of pleasures is in order to bestow. Otherwise, meaning if the light and abundance illuminated in vessels of reception, the receivers would become more remote from the Creator. The purpose is that we must cling to the Creator, as it is written, “And you who cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.”

It therefore follows that one who is righteous, there is no room there for the Sitra Achra, but there is a place of rest for the spirit [contentment]. This is the meaning of Shabbat, as it is written, “for in it He ceased and rested,” as due to the sanctity of Shabbat there is no room for work now.

However, our sages said (Avoda Zarah 3a), “The Creator said to them: ‘Fools, he who toiled on the eve of Shabbat shall eat on Shabbat. He who did not toil on the eve of Shabbat, from where will he eat on Shabbat?’”

This means that one who toiled, meaning had labor and toil with the Sitra Achra, who obstructed him from going on the path of Lishma, that is, during the work he felt that he could not overcome the evil in him, it is because he was still not rewarded with entering Kedusha. However, he believes that as soon as he enters Kedusha the Sitra Achra will be canceled as a candle before a torch and he will have no contact with the Sitra Achra. It follows that he knows he is missing one thing—for the Creator to help him and let him attain some Kedusha, and then everything will be fine.

For this reason, during the labor and the work he prays from the bottom of the heart that the Creator will help him. At that time he feels that without help from the Creator he will not attain a thing. This feeling that he has, that the Creator can help him, makes a Kli [vessel] in a person to receive the help from the Creator because a deficiency is called a Kli to receive filling. For this reason, the faith that he has in the Creator, that, as it is written, “You hear the prayer of every mouth,” makes the Klito receive the help.

By this we will understand the matter of “He who did not toil on the eve of Shabbat,” meaning who did not work with himself to work in order to bestow and see that he cannot win alone, without the Creator’s help, naturally, he has no room for prayer, which is the Kli to receive His help. Since the rule is that there is no light without a Kli, we need preparation so as to have what to eat on Shabbat, for the six workdays are the preparation to receive the light of Shabbat, and Shabbat is considered the abundance extended to fill the empty Kelim awaiting His help.

It is as it is written, “The light in it reforms him,” as it is written about Shabbat, “All the judgments are impregnated by her, and none other govern all the worlds but her” (Kegavna on the night of Shabbat). Thus, since after the labor with the Sitra Achra, when they feel the deficiency, called Kli, they can receive the Shabbat, called “ceasing” and “rest.”

Now we can understand what we asked. He says there, “All of Israel have a part in the next world,” without any conditions. Afterward, he says it is specifically those who kept the covenant, and not all of Israel.

We should interpret the world Ysrael [Israel] to mean Yashar-El [straight to the Creator]. This means that in everything he does, he wants his work to be directly to the Creator and not for his own benefit. It is as we explained about the verse, “And there shall be no foreign God in you, and you will not bow to a strange God.”

Our sages said (Shabbat 105b), “Which is the foreign God in man’s body? It is the evil inclination.”

We should understand this. After all, the good inclination is also in a man’s body, as it is written (ZoharLech Lecha, Item 86), “‘For we are brothers,’ meaning the evil inclination and the good inclination are close to each other. One stands to one’s right and the other stands to one’s left. The evil inclination on the left, and the good inclination on the right.”

Thus, we see that the good inclination is also in man’s body. Therefore, what does it mean that they said that the evil inclination is in man’s body? We should interpret this according to our way: The evil inclination is concerned with, and aspires for everything that it does to enter his body, that the intention will be entirely for his own benefit, which is regarded as “into his own body.” Conversely, the good inclination strives that all his actions will be outside his body. This is considered that his whole aspiration is to come to doing all his works for the Creator and not for his own benefit. By this we can interpret the word Israel to mean Yashar-El—that all his actions will be only for the Creator.

Similarly, it is presented in the interpretation of our sages (Yerushalmi 9a): “Rabbi Levi said, ‘The heart and the eye are two mediators of sin, as it is written, (Proverbs), ‘Give Me your heart, My son, And let your eyes delight in My ways,’ said the Creator. If you give Me your heart and eyes I will know that you are Mine.’”

This means that when we say, “Who chooses His people, Israel,” when is one regarded as belonging to the people of the Creator? It is when a person places his eyes and heart there, meaning that everything he looks at and what the heart craves, he tries to make it all in favor of the Creator and not for his own benefit. This is called “You are Mine,” meaning “You belong to Me.” Then he is included in His people Yashar-El.

Accordingly, we should interpret “All of Israel have a part in the next world,” and afterwards he interprets who is regarded as Israel and says that only one who keeps the covenant on which the world exists is called Israel. Otherwise, meaning who does not keep the covenant by which the world exists does not belong to Israel but to the nations of the world.

And what is the covenant by which the world exists? It is that he makes a covenant with the Creator that all his works will be only to benefit the Creator. This is called “in order to bestow,” for specifically by this there will be existence to the world. This means that the world was created in order to do good to His creations, and as long as there is no equivalence of form, the delight and pleasure cannot clothe in the creatures.

It follows that the whole creation of the world, which was in order to do good to His creations, was in vain because there is no one to receive the delight and pleasure. However, through the covenant with the Creator the creatures will be fit to receive the delight and pleasure.

In order to achieve the covenant, there is the Torah and the circumcision, meaning that in everything we do we must intend that by this we will be rewarded with making a covenant with the Creator forever. Especially, we must believe that the Creator hears the prayer of every mouth, and by this we will be saved.

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

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