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What Is, “The Creator Does Not Tolerate the Proud,” in the Work?
Article No. 27, Tav-Shin-Mem-Het, 1987-88
Our sages said (Sotah 5), “Any person in whom there is crassness, the Creator said, ‘He and I cannot dwell in the world,’ as was said, ‘Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; one who has haughty eyes and a broad heart, him I cannot.’ Do not read, ‘him I cannot,’ but rather ‘with him I cannot.’” And about the words, “one who has haughty eyes and an arrogant heart,” the Metzudat David interprets, “‘Haughty eyes’ means proud, and ‘a broad heart’ means one who covets and craves everything.”
We should understand why the Creator did not say about the rest of the transgressions that He could not dwell with him in the world, and about pride, He cannot dwell with him. Also, we should understand what he said there, “Rabbi Yohanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, ‘Any person in whom there is crassness, it is as though he is idol-worshipping.’ And Rabbi Yohanan himself said, ‘as though he has become a heretic.’”
Thus, we should understand why pride is so grave. Also, we should understand what is written, “The Lord is high and the low will see,” which means that a person should see the greatness of the Creator and his own lowliness. We can understand that a person should try to obtain the greatness of the Creator, since the purpose of man’s work should be because “He is great and ruling.” For this reason, to the extent that he appreciates the Creator, his work can be with his heart and soul. But for what purpose does he need to try to see his own lowliness? What will this add to him in the work?
First, we must know the purpose of creation, meaning what is the purpose for which we were born, so we may know what is the goal we must achieve, which will be our completion, and that before we have achieved this goal, we are incomplete. We learned that the purpose of creation is “His desire to do good to His creations.” It follows that before the creatures come to a state where they feel happy in the world, they are regarded as incomplete because they have not found peace and quiet.
Yet, the question is, since the Creator created the creatures in order to give them delight and pleasure, and because of this, He has created a desire and yearning in the created beings to receive delight and pleasure, it follows that the Giver has a desire to give, and the receivers have a desire to receive. Thus, who is withholding them from achieving immediate wholeness? However, we were given work in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] by which we will be able to receive the delight and pleasure. Otherwise, we remain bare and denied of all the good that the Creator wants to give.
Even after a person engages in Torah and Mitzvot, not everyone is rewarded with receiving the good, as our sages said (VaYikra Rabbah 2:1), “A thousand people enter the Bible, a hundred of them emerge to the Mishnah, ten to the Talmud, and one to teach.” It therefore follows that only one in a thousand can be rewarded with teaching, and “teaching” means wholeness. Otherwise, he is regarded as a “disciple who did not achieve teaching and instruction” (Avoda Zarah 19b). This is regarded as an “indecent judge.” Our sages said about this (Sanhedrin 7b): “Rish Lakish said, ‘Anyone who positions an indecent judge is as one who plants Ashera [tree used for idolatry] in Israel.’”
We see that it is not so easy to be rewarded with the delight and pleasure. Thus, the question is, Who is the obstructor? Here it seems as though there is no obstruction on the part of the Giver or on the part of the receiver. Clearly, the Creator, who created the creatures, has given them a desire to receive pleasure. This desire, which yearns to receive pleasures, cannot be revoked. Thus, what is the reason that we can receive it only through labor?
The answer is that it is known that in order to have equivalence of form, called Dvekut [adhesion], and to thereby prevent the issue of shame, a novelty was made—that the Kelim [vessels] that the Creator created in the creatures, which are desires to receive for oneself, are disqualified for the above-mentioned reason. Instead, a person must work to correct the vessels of reception so they work in order to bestow. This is the only prevention.
That is, no changes took place from the perspective of the Creator. However, from the perspective of the correction of creation, it is regarded as though he has no Kelim that are fit to receive the abundance. This matter was established in the upper worlds, and it is called Tzimtzum [restriction]. It is placed on the lower ones, so they cannot receive the delight and pleasure before they are rewarded with vessels of bestowal. It follows that what delays us from being able to receive the delight and pleasure is the will to receive for ourselves.
This means that there are two authorities: 1) the Creator, 2) the creatures, who must elicit from the authority of the Creator into their authority.
It follows that we should speak of two subjects here: Creator and creature. The difference between them is that the Creator is the giver, and the creature is the receiver. This means that the abundance imparted from the Creator must seemingly part from the Creator in order to enter the authority of the receiver, and this is considered separation. Yet, the Tzimtzum and concealment were primarily so the upper light would not part from the Creator. Rather, as we learned, the Tzimtzum was because Malchut wanted to adhere to the root, which is called “annulling her own authority,” and to cling to the Creator, which is called “singular authority.” This means that the authority of the receiver would be annulled and only the authority of the Creator would remain.
We see that what detains us from receiving the good is only our own authority—that we are unwilling to annul our authority, called “will to receive for ourselves.” That is, everything that a person wants to receive is only into his own authority, as it is written, “Everything that a person has, he will give for his soul.” A person is willing to give anything if only to keep his soul, meaning to feel his existence, but not the other way around.
That is, a person is told, “I will give you anything you want, and everything your soul desires, but first give me your soul.” Then, the person asks, “To whom are you giving if not to his own authority?” meaning to his will to receive, meaning that he will have an authority of his own and he will receive everything into his own authority, otherwise a person cannot work. This derives from the nature that the Creator has imprinted in the creatures a desire to enjoy, which will befit the goal, which was the intention to do good to His creations.
Our sages said (Masechet Berachot 17), “Rabbi Alexandry said after he prayed, ‘Lord of the world, it is revealed and known to You that our wish is to do Your will, and who detains? The leaven in the dough and the enslavement of Malchuts [plural of Malchut].’” RASHI interprets that “the leaven in the dough” is the evil inclination in our hearts, which makes us sour.
We should understand “after he prayed,” as it is written, “said after he prayed.” It means that after the prayer, he prayed another prayer. What did he pray for? that he must pray another prayer on top of the prayer he has already prayed. We should interpret that before he prayed, it was still not apparent to a person what he was missing. But after he has prayed, he is shown from above what is the real lack. That is, the prayer that a person prays for what he thinks he needs is only a Segula[remedy/power] where through this prayer, the Creator will send him from above an answer, to know what he needs and what to ask for.
This is as it is written (in the Musaf [supplement] prayer on Rosh Hashanah), “Be with the mouths of the messengers of Your people, the house of Israel, who are rising up to seek prayer and litany before You for Your people, the house of Israel. Teach them what to say; make them understand what they will speak; answer what they will ask.” We see that there is a special prayer when we pray—that the Creator will send us knowledge to understand what we need, and for which to pray from the bottom of the hearts.
It is known that in the work, man is called “a whole world.” Thus, when a person prays, that state is called “messenger of the public,” for he is praying for the whole of Israel, of which one is a part. For this reason, there is a special prayer that one should pray, a prayer that the Creator will give him help form above to know the truth about what man is missing, and for this, ask the Creator’s help.
By this we can interpret the words of Rabbi Alexandry, that after the prayer he would pray the main prayer, saying that he wants the Creator to help him with our obstructor, who does not let us come and receive the delight and pleasure the way the Creator wants it. This obstructor is called “the leaven in the dough and the enslavement of Malchuts,” meaning the will to receive for oneself, which is man’s authority, which is separated from the authority of the Creator, and comes from Malchut, who is regarded as the root of the will to receive for oneself and controls a person and does not let him out of her authority.
Malchut of Kedusha [holiness/sanctity] means (The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 2, “Answers,” “Answer No. 39”), “The last discernment is called Malchut, since from her extends assertive governance and in complete control, such as ‘the fear of Malchut [kingship].’” As we learned, Malchutis called “the will to receive.” She received the delight and pleasure and then that Malchut made a Tzimtzum, not to receive unless with a correction called “in order to bestow.” Under this control, all the Partzufim of Kedusha emerged.
It follows that it is only in this Malchut, who gave control so that no Kedusha would pour onto the vessels of reception except those who can aim to bestow and cancel their own authority. It follows that all the actions are only for the sake of the Creator, and for himself, he says that it is not worth living. By this he makes a singular authority in the world.
It follows that when he extends some pleasure, the intention in receiving the pleasure is not that it will enter his own authority, but the Creator’s authority. That is, the pleasure he receives is for the sake of the Creator, and not for his own sake. Thus, there is only one authority here. This is called “singular authority.” This awareness, to know what he really needs, comes after the prayer, once he has prayed to be notified what he really needs. At that time he prays an honest prayer that Malchut, meaning the enslavement of Malchuts, which is the opposite of Kedusha, namely the will to receive for himself, is the only obstructor from achieving the goal that a person should achieve.
But why do we need to pray for this and a person cannot overcome the vessels of reception for himself by himself? Our sages said about this, “Man’s inclination overcomes him every day. Were it not for the Creator’s help, he would not overcome it.” It is not within man’s power to exit the control of Malchut, for man was born in this nature and only the Creator Himself can deliver man from this control.
This is called “the exodus from Egypt,” where only the Creator Himself delivered the people of Israel from Egypt, as it is written (in the Passover Haggadah [story]), “And the Lord took us out of Egypt with a mighty hand, not by an angel, not by a seraph [type of angel], and not by an emissary, but the Creator Himself.” This means that since the Creator created man with a nature of wanting to receive for himself, only He can give man a second nature, which is the desire to bestow.
Accordingly, we see that we should make three discernments in man, since he was born after the cascading of the worlds, when Klipot [shells/peels] came out due to the breaking of the vessels that took place in the world of Nekudim. For this reason, in the work, we find in man himself, 1) People who have no connection to Torah and Mitzvot. These are called “a nation similar to an ass.” They are simply asses, who have no notion of anything beyond beastly passions. 2) Those who do observe Torah and Mitzvot, but Lo Lishma [not for Her sake]. These are called “the nations of the world,” as it is written in The Zohar about the verse, “The mercy of nations is a sin, for any good that they do, they do for themselves.” This means that they do everything only for their own benefit. That is, all the good, called “acts of bestowal,” is for their own benefit. This is called a “beast,” which is a female, receiving. Conversely, “man” is called “male,” as it is known that ZA, who is the giver, is called Adam [man]. In Gematria, Adam is the name MA, whereas Malchut, which is the receiver, is called BON, which in Gematria is Behema [beast], called “receiving.”
As he writes in the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot” (Item 31): “All flesh is hay, they are all as hay eating beasts, and all their mercy is as the bud of the field. Every mercy they do, they do for themselves, and even when they exert in Torah, every mercy they do, they do for themselves.” From the words of The Zohar, we see that those who engage in Torah for their own benefit and not in order to bestow are as beasts, as it is written, “as hay eating beasts.” We can call this, “the beast in man,” since they already engage in Torah and Mitzvot, except it is Lo Lishma.
3) This is the “man in man,” meaning those who work Lishma [for Her sake], which is because of the fear of the Creator and not for their own benefit. They are called “man,” which is a male, as said above, that Adam [man] in Gematria is MA, who is ZA, the giver. This is as it is written (Yevamot61a), “Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai says, ‘The graves of idol-worshippers are not defiled in a tent, as was said, ‘And you, you are My flock, the flock of My pasture, you are man. You are called ‘man,’ and the idol-worshippers are not called ‘man.’’”
However, we should understand what is the quality of “man” that specifically Israel are called “man.” We should interpret this as we explained about what our sages said (Berachot 6b) about the verse, “In the end, all his heard, fear God.” The Gemara asks, “What is, ‘for this is the whole of man?’ Rabbi Elazar said, ‘The whole world was created only for this.’”
This means that “fear God” is “the whole of man.” In other words, “man” is one who has fear of the Creator, as Rabbi Elazar said, that the whole world was created only for this, for fear of heaven. However, we should understand why he says about “for this is the whole of man,” that “the whole world was created only for this.”
Our sages said (Iruvin 13), “It is better for man not to be created than to be created. But now that he is created, he should look into his actions.” We should understand how it can be said that the Creator created man seemingly needlessly, meaning that it would be better if the Creator did not create him. Can it be said that when the Creator came to create man, He did not see through the end of time, and still created him? If so, how can it be said, “It is better for man not to be created than to be created”? Also, what is the advice that they gave, “Now that he is created, he should look into his actions”?
According to what Baal HaSulam interprets, we should interpret “it is better for man” to mean that “for man” means for him. That is, if a person wants to work only for his own benefit, it would be better if he were not created than if he were created. This is as our sages said (Berachot 17a), “Anyone who works Lo Lishma, it is better if he were not created.”
However, we should understand the reason why in Lo Lishma, it is better if he were not created. The reason is the correction that took place, where even if the creatures receive delight and pleasure from the Creator, it will not be regarded as disparity of form and separation. For this reason, there was a correction that it is impossible to receive delight and pleasure unless in vessels of bestowal. That is, specifically when a person works only in order to bestow, His thought comes true, which is to do good to His creations—when he thinks only about the benefit of the Creator.
This means that when all of man’s thoughts are about how he can bring contentment to the Creator, he comes to feel that by receiving the delight and pleasure he will be bringing contentment to his Maker, for this was the purpose of creation, and because of this, now he wants to receive delight and pleasure. And by this, the purpose of creation will come true.
Conversely, if he works Lo Lishma, but for his own sake, on this Kli, called “receiving for himself,” there was a Tzimtzum and concealment. Naturally, he will never achieve the goal for which man was created. For this reason, if a person does not work Lishma then he was created in vain, meaning pointlessly. This is why our sages said, “He who learns Lo Lishma, it is better that he were not created than if he were created.” This is the meaning of what our sages said, “It is better for man not to be created than to be created,” meaning that if a person works for himself, it is better if he were not created.
By this we should interpret what we asked, “Can it be said about the work of the Creator that it would be better if He did not do the deed, meaning the creation of man, than if He did the deed of the creation of man? Do we have permission to slander the work of the Creator? And also, what does it mean that “now that he was created, he should look into his actions”?
Indeed, our sages come to open our eyes so we will see what we must do, meaning the purpose for which we were given the work in Torah and Mitzvot. For this reason, first they make us see that the fact that man was created and yearns to receive pleasures for his will to receive—which the Creator placed in our nature, meaning for ourselves—it would be better if it were not created. However, the Creator created man to do, and “doing” refers to the correction of the Kelim [vessels]—where we must place the aim to bestow over the will to receive. By this, man will be able to receive the delight and pleasure. This is the meaning of the words, “now that he was created.” Hence, what should he do? “Look into his actions” and see that each and every thing he does is in order to bestow.
By this we will understand what we asked, why the Creator cannot dwell in one abode with one who is proud. It is known that equivalence of form connects one to the other, and disparity of form separates one from the other. Therefore, one who does not have equivalence of form becomes separated from Him. Hence, one who is proud means that he cannot annul his own authority and being. The “existence from absence” that was created is the authority of oneself, and the desire that the Creator will give him all the delight and pleasure into his own authority. This is called “will to receive for oneself.”
It follows that anyone who is proud, the Creator says, “Know that this causes separation and remoteness. It follows that he and I cannot dwell in the world. Why? Because there is separation and remoteness.” For this reason, they cannot be in the same world.
This is why Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai says that any person in whom there is crassness, it is as though he is idol-worshipping. That is, a person must work for the sake of the Creator, yet he works for himself. This is called “idol-worship.”
Rabbi Yohanan says that it is as though he has become a heretic. That is, it is as though he has denied the purpose of creation, which is to do good to His creations. One who has crassness can never achieve Dvekut [adhesion], which is equivalence of form. If he has no vessels of bestowal, he will never be able to receive the delight and pleasure. It follows that he has denied the purpose of creation, which is to do good to His creations, for without vessels of bestowal, man is in the dark. For this reason, they advise man to lower himself and annul his authority and give everything to the Creator.
By this will understand the question, Why we need to know our own lowliness, why is it not enough to know the greatness of the Creator, and what does it give us to know our own lowliness? The answer is that our lowliness means that we are powerless to annul ourselves before the Creator. Therefore, before we achieve the recognition of evil, we have no need to ask the Creator to help us because we think that we ourselves have knowledge and understanding, and what we understand, we have the power to do. We are unafraid of any force that can stop our spirit and purpose in life, and if we understand with our intellect that the Creator is important, we promptly do what befits intelligent people.
In the end, we see that when some small passion comes along, we surrender before it. Especially, when the work of dedicating ourselves to the benefit of the Creator comes along, and the body does not see what it will gain by this, a person immediately sees what weak heart he has, and he immediately wants to escape the campaign. Therefore, when he sees his own lowliness, this gives him the need for heaven’s mercy, to be helped 1) not escape the campaign and have the ability to at least pray to the Creator, 2) that the Creator will truly help him emerge from the control of the body.
It follows that when a person is proud and has no desire to annul his authority before the Creator, and says that he has no lowliness in him, but he rather does what he wants, from this come to him all the bad qualities. The light of pleasure, which comes from above, illuminates as a slim light in order to sustain the world. As is known, it dresses in three qualities, called “envy,” “lust,” and “honor,” and all three qualities are included in the quality of pride.
But seemingly, what is the connection between lust and pride? After all, lust is a beastly quality, so how is pride connected here? The thing is that pride is not necessarily between man and man. Primarily, it is between man and God. For this reason, when a person is proud with regard to the Creator and does not want to annul his own authority, this is the reason for the control of the will to receive for himself. But when a person annuls his authority before the singular authority, he is rewarded with eternal life.
Inapoi la pagina 1988 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link