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What Is the Difference between Law and Judgment in the Work?

Article No. 26, Tav-Shin-Mem-Het, 1987-88

It is known that “law” means without intellect, meaning above reason. That is, there is no reasonable way to answer why this was done this way, or why it should be done this way, in the way and manner that the Torah requires of us.

For example, our sages said (Minchot 29b), “Rav Yehuda said, ‘Rav said, ‘When Moses went to heaven, he found the Creator sitting and tying crowns to the letters. He said to Him: ‘Master of the world, who is holding You back?’ (RASHI interprets that ‘crowns’ are like the tags [markings] in a book of Torah. ‘Who is holding You back?’ refers to what You wrote, that You must add tags to them). He told him, ‘In a few generations time, there will be a man whose name is Akiva Ben Yosef. He will interpret myriad laws over each and every dot.’ He said to Him: ‘Master of the world, you have such a person, yet You are giving the Torah through me?’ He replied, ‘Be quiet! Such was My thought.’ He said to Him: ‘Master of the world, You showed me his Torah [law], show me his reward.’ He saw that his flesh was being weighed in a slaughterhouse. (RASHI interprets that this is the place where butchers weigh meat, as said in Berachot, p 61, that his flesh was combed with iron combs.) He said to Him: ‘Master of the world, this is the Torah, and is this its reward?’ He replied, ‘Be quiet! Such was My thought.’’’”

We see Moses’ above reason in two ways: 1) Above reason that the Creator gave to Moses, as it is written, “Moses will delight with the gift of his lot, the gift of the Torah that will come through him, which is certainly only the salvation of the Lord.” A person does not know why he deserves such a great gift. That is, Moses saw that this was not according to his actions. In his view, the Torah should have been given through Rabbi Akiva and not through him. 2) Above reason in the opposite way: Moses asked, “This is the Torah, and is this its reward?” It seems to be a punishment. Above reason, he had to say that this was a reward and not a punishment, as Moses thought. This is called “the law of above reason,” which the mind cannot attain.

It follows that when a person takes upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven, the body asks, “What will you get out of it?” There should be two answers to this: 1) Lo Lishma [not for Her sake]. That is, a person should make up for himself some answer that the body will understand with its reason that the goal is worthwhile. This is called Lo Lishma and it is called “within reason.” As we explained (Essay No. 23, Tav-Shin-Mem-Het), we should discern five manners in Lo Lishma, and a person should sort out the Lo Lishma in the state that he is in, so the body will understand that it is worthwhile to work because of the Lo Lishma, that now it understands that it is worthwhile. In this manner, he will have fuel for work and he will always have a place to work.

However, a person should also try to begin to work and seek tactics by which to get to Lishma [for Her sake], since a person does not know what is Lishma. Its literal meaning is “to work for the sake of the Creator,” and who does not know what is to work for the sake of the Creator? Still, before a person begins to engage in work in order to achieve this “for the sake of the Creator,” he cannot know what “for the sake of the Creator” means, since in the work, what counts is the feeling, not the intellect.

For this reason, any person who wants to achieve Lishma must take time, part of his workday, meaning his Lo Lishma, and begin to work on Lishma. Then he will understand the meaning of “above reason,” meaning that the body does not understand why it needs to work for the sake of the Creator. At that time, he also begins to understand what it means that a person must believe above reason. Conversely, in Lo Lishma, it is not so difficult to believe in the Creator since the body understands that it is worthwhile to observe Torah and Mitzvot, as it is written (Essay No. 23, Tav-Shin-Mem-Het) that there are five manners of Lo Lishma, and when the body finds something for which it is worthwhile to observe Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds], it is regarded as “working within reason.” Since the body understands within reason that the matter is worthwhile, that he will gain more by being secular, meaning that his body will enjoy more than one who does not observe Torah and Mitzvot, for this reason, the Lo Lishma is called “within reason,” meaning that the need for it makes sense.

But if he takes some of the time he has dedicated to Torah and work on the basis of Lo Lishma, for example half an hour a day, and begins to ponder whether it is worthwhile to work for the sake of the Creator, meaning not for his own benefit. Then, the body begins to ask the person Pharaoh’s question, who said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?”

We should ask, How come before he began to think of working Lishma, he was content with faith in the Creator and the body did not ask those questions, whereas now that he is thinking only about walking on the path of bestowal, the body begins to ask such questions? The answer is that we see that when a person works for an employer, we should consider who is the employer and what is the salary that the employer pays. However, although he wants to know the employer, it does not matter. That is, even if he never sees the employer, but he is confident about the reward, a person agrees to work. Moreover, even if he is told that he will never see the employer, it will still not matter. Rather, what matters is the salary. This determines if the work is worthwhile.

But if a person is told, “There is an important person here who needs people to work for him. However, he does not pay anything for the work.” In this case, he needs to see for whom he needs to work. That is, he wants to know if he is really an important person worth working for without any reward. However, if there are people who respect him and he sees that he will be honored, meaning that people who know the important person will respect him for his work because he is serving an important person, he can work even if he himself will never see him and will never be able to see if what they say is true so that he will grasp his greatness and importance.

This is also because this honor is not that the important person respects him, but he derives pleasure from people’s respect for him because he is serving an important person. It follows that here it is enough that he sees the people who respect him, and therefore does not have such a great need to see the employer. Rather, he is content with knowing the people who pay his salary through their respect for him. That is, it is enough for him to see the people who pay his reward, which is called “respect.”

Conversely, if he is in a place where there are no people who respect that important person, meaning he sees that according to the service that people give him, he sees that they appreciate him as one who is a little bit important, and only a handful of people regard him an important person, but those people are not important in the eyes of those who have little regard for him. In that state, a person faces a dilemma: Should he listen to those people who are not appreciated among the respected people?

That is, people of influence in the general public say that that person should be appreciated because of his importance, but only to a degree, not simply admire him above reason, meaning more than seems reasonable. But a person sees that the influential people are the majority and the most valued, and if he listens to them, meaning serve him according to their appreciation of him, these people will respect him.

Or, he should slightly obey those who are not influential, or even worse, that it is a disgrace to openly say that he has connected to these lowly people who say that he is an important person and worth serving devotedly. Since the rule is that the majority rule over the individual with their views, when a person begins to work in order to bestow and not accept any return, each time, the majority view awakens—perhaps it is not worthwhile to work and serve him with his heart and soul.

For this reason, Pharaoh’s question awakens each time: “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?”

It follows that the reason that the “who” question appeared is the “what” question, which is the wicked’s question. It is written about it, “A Wicked, what does he say? ‘What is this work for you?’” That is, when a person wants to go against the general public, who say that they settle for working Lo Lishma because Lishma is for people who can go above reason, and we, the majority of Israel, settle for being able to observe Torah and Mitzvot with the aim to benefit ourselves, and doing everything with the aim to benefit the Creator is no business for us.

Yet, he does want to work in order to bestow and not receive at all. At that time the body asks, “Who is the Lord?” That is, are you sure that He is so important that it is worthwhile to work for Him? In other words, working for respect, meaning to work in order to be respected, does not apply here because the general public does not appreciate him because he is working in order to bestow. On the contrary, they degrade him and say about him that he is a fool.

For this reason, he must establish the importance of the Creator by himself. Here is where man’s ascents and descents begin. Those two—the “who” and “what”—come to together and ask him their questions, and a person cannot always overcome them.

It follows that the main reason why a person begins to ask questions, and he is seemingly asking because he is ready to do the holy work and has no lowliness in himself, except it is hard for him to go with faith above reason, this is why he asks the “who” question. But in truth, the questions arise out of man’s lowliness, since he is immersed in self-love and cannot overcome his self-love.

It is human nature that it is difficult for him to say that he is wrong, that he does not have a view about himself, but that he follows his heart, as our sages said, “A wicked is in the hands of his heart,” as it is written, “And Haman said in his heart.”

For this reason, it is better for him to say that if he knew the Creator, he would certainly serve the Creator. But since the mind does not understand the whole matter of faith above reason, it argues, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” But in truth, his will to receive claims that it only wants to understand if this is true, and wants an answer to the question, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” That is, when we say to the body that we need to work for the sake of the Creator and not for our own sake, this is why he asks the “Who is the Lord” question.

But when he worked with the intention Lo Lishma, he did not need to ask the “Who is the Lord” question, since the work Lo Lishma is within reason. Hence, the acceptance of faith is also within reason for him. That is, both the mind and the heart are built above reason, and both need the Creator’s help in order to be rewarded with mind and heart.

It follows that “law” means that it is above reason, and the intention pertains to faith, and by faith above reason he becomes Israel. Conversely, before he was rewarded with faith above reason, he is regarded only as “sacred still,” called “dust.” That is, he still tastes in the spirituality that he attains the taste of dust. This is called “Shechina [Divinity] in the dust.” This is so as long as he does not accept above reason. This is as we said above, that we must ask the Creator to give us the strength to be able to go above reason and not be enslaved to our reason.

Conversely, the Torah is called “judgment,” which is specifically within reason. In other words, he must understand the Torah, called “the names of the Creator.” However, it is impossible to attain the Torah, called “within reason,” before he is rewarded with “Israel,” as it is written (Hagigah 13a), “Rabbi Ami said, ‘One does not deliver words of Torah to idol-worshippers, as it was said, ‘He did not do so to any nation, and they do not know the ordinances.’’”

From this we see two things: 1) The Torah is called “judgment,” as it is written, “and they do not know the ordinances.” 2) It is forbidden to teach judgments, meaning Torah, to idol-worshippers.

The question is, Why is it forbidden to teach an idol-worshipper Torah if he wants to learn? It stands to reason that it should be to the contrary: By learning, there will be sanctification of the Creator. That is, even the idol-worshipper will acknowledge the importance of the Torah, so why the prohibition?

We should interpret this in the work. It means that idol-worshippers and Israel are in the same person. Before one is rewarded with the law, called “faith above reason,” he is still not called “Israel,” who can attain the Torah as “the names of the Creator,” regarded as “within reason.”

In the work, there is a rule that Baal HaSulam said, that where it is written “forbidden,” it means “impossible.” This is the meaning of the Torah being given specifically to Israel, since Israel is the quality of Yashar-El [straight to the Creator], which means that all his actions are for the sake of the Creator. This is called Dvekut [adhesion], “equivalence of form.” When a person is rewarded with this law, then comes the time when he can be rewarded with the judgment called Torah. This is the meaning of the Torah being given only to Israel.

It therefore follows that “judgment” is the first nine Sefirot, which is regarded as the Torah. This is received within reason. It is as our sages said (Baba Metzia 59b), “Rabbi Yehoshua stood on his feet and said, ‘She is not in heaven.’ Rabbi Yirmiah said, ‘For the Torah has already been given on Mount Sinai.’”

By this we will understand the side-locks, which are like the edges of the field. We must leave a side-lock, as the ARI wrote (The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 13), “Malchut de Galgalta is called Pe’ah[side-lock]. This is known from the words, ‘You shall not reap the sides of your field. Leave them for the poor and for the stranger.’ Malchut is the last of them, like the edge of the field that remains after the harvest. Likewise, after one shaves the hair of the head, which is like the harvesting of the field, one should leave the side-lock, which is as the Malchut of the hair. It follows that the Pe’ah [side-lock] is forever Malchut.”

Accordingly, we see in the words of the ARI that he likens the reaping of the field to the shaving of the hair of the head. A person must not receive for himself the Pe’ah, which implies Malchut. Rather, both on the field and on the hair of the head, the Pe’ah must be kept, implying Malchut.

The meaning is that Malchut is regarded as faith above reason, when a person has no clue. This is the intimation that a person has no permission to receive into his reason, but that he must leave this to the Creator. That is, a person’s hand does not reach there, and “hand” means “attainment,” from the word “If a hand attains.”

This is called “law.” Conversely, the Torah, which pertains to the upper nine, is regarded as “judgment,” which pertains specifically to man. That is, he must attain this within reason, as was said about the Torah, “She is not in heaven.” This means that the field, except for the Pe’ah of the field, is called “the upper nine,” regarded as the Torah, which pertains to man. But the Pe’ah of the field and the Pe’ah of the head imply Malchut and pertain only to the Creator, meaning above human reason. This is called “entirely for the Creator, and man’s hand does not attain there at all.”

The Torah is the opposite. It pertains specifically to people, to accept it within reason. This is the difference between Torah and Mitzva [commandment/good deed]. Concerning the Mitzva, we were not given the reasons for the Mitzvot. Rather, we accept the Mitzvot without any rhyme or reason, but as a constitution.

But the Torah, our sages said, is named after man. That is, the Torah pertains to man. The question is that once it is written, “He desires the Torah of the Lord,” and another time, it is written, “He will contemplate His Torah day and night.” They interpret, first it is called “the Torah of the Lord,” and once he has learned it and has internalized it, it is called “his Torah.” This is why Raba said, “The Torah is not his, for it is written, and he will contemplate His Torah day and night” (Kidushin 32b).

We see that the Torah is named after man. That is, it must come within reason. This is called “judgment,” the opposite of “law,” which is faith. However, this work of faith, which is regarded as Tzedakah [righteousness/charity] and not Torah, should be with joy, as it is written, “Serve the Lord with joy.”

In other words, a person taking on himself the kingdom of heaven should be with joy. He must not look at the nature of humans, that it is hard for him to go against the intellect, and that instead, he wants to understand and to know what he wants. And since a person cannot immediately assume this work of acceptance of faith above reason, so it will give him joy, we must begin this work coercively, even though the body disagrees. This is regarded as a person having to “take upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven as an ox to the burden and as a donkey to the load.”

However, one must know that he must achieve the degree of joy upon assumption of the kingdom of heaven. It is as we say after reading Shema Israel [Hear, O Israel], “And you will love the Lord.” This means that although a person begins coercively, he must come to a state of joy, and then he will not feel “like an ox to the burden,” which always wants to throw away the burden because it cannot stand it. Conversely, when he is glad about it, it cannot be said that he regards it as a burden.

Now we can interpret the meaning of the “red cow on which no burden has been placed.” Since a red cow is called a “law,” which is Malchut, it is written, “on which no burden has been placed.” A “burden” means that he is still not in gladness and still cannot observe, “And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Inapoi la pagina 1988 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

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