Inapoi la pagina 1989 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Is Above Reason in the Work?
Article No. 06, Tav-Shin-Mem-Tet, 1988-89
It is written in the Musaf [supplemental] prayer of Rosh Hashanah [Hebrew New Year], “Thus said the Lord, King of Israel and his redeemer, the Lord of Hosts: ‘I am the first, and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.’” We should understand the words “King of Israel.” Is He not the king of the nations of the world? After all, He is the king of the world.
The thing is that we should know that all that we say about the Creator is not about the Creator Himself, as was said about this, “There is no thought or perception in Him whatsoever.” Rather, all the appellations we attribute to the Creator are how the creatures attained Him according to these names, as it is written, “By Your actions, we know You.”
Therefore, although the Creator is the king of the world, even if the created beings do not want to recognize His kingship, He does not need their consent in order to be king over them. He rules without asking them and does what He wants. No one has any say in the world, but He does what He wants and He does not need the consent of the created beings, as it is written, “I believe in whole faith, and He alone does, is doing, and will do all the deeds.”
Yet, we could ask, If He is king over us without asking us, why must we take upon ourselves the burden of His kingship, if He rules over us in any case? The answer is that we must know that He rules over us, and before a person takes upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven above reason, meaning that we cannot understand this within reason, and a person cannot see that His guidance is in the form of good and doing good. Instead, every person feels lack in pleasure, in enjoyment in his life. Each one thinks that if he could see that he immediately receives what he prays for and asks of the Creator, which is called “within reason,” he would not have to believe that the Creator hears the prayer, since he would see with his own eyes that the Creator helped him.
But when he prays to the Creator several times and thinks that the Creator does not grant his prayer, as evidenced by the fact that he did not receive anything he prayed for, then a person must strengthen himself and say that he believes what is written, “For You hear the prayer of every mouth.” Since this is against reason, because reason shows him that the Creator does not answer him, when he overcomes and says that what the intellect and reason oblige him to believe, he says, “I am not looking, but I believe in the sages who told us that the Creator does hear the prayer of every mouth,” this is called “faith above reason.”
By assuming the burden of the kingdom of heaven in this way, we are later rewarded with “And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart,” and with equivalence of form, called “vessels of bestowal,” the Kelim [vessels] in which the Creator bestows the delight and pleasure that He wanted to give.
Now we understand what we must attain by crowning the Creator over us, since by this we acquire Kelim with which we can enjoy the Creator. Therefore, while we have no connection with the Creator, He does not give us anything, meaning that we cannot enjoy something that is not in us, meaning we cannot enjoy the Creator.
Only to the extent that a person believes in the Creator, he can say that he is receiving from the Creator. However, one who does not believe in the Creator cannot receive from Him. Only to the extent of the faith in Him can one receive from Him what He wants to give to the created beings.
However, it takes a lot of work to achieve the degree of assuming the burden of the kingdom of heaven. 1) A person must know that if he has no faith in the Creator, how can he ask anything of Him? 2) What will it give him if he has fear of heaven? That is, for whose sake should he assume the burden of the kingdom of heaven? Is it for his own sake or for the Creator’s sake? If we say that it is for the sake of the Creator, the question is, What will this give to the Creator if we believe that He is the king? What does this add to Him? We can understand that a flesh and blood king needs respect, but does the Creator need the creatures to respect Him? Is He needy of His created beings?
This is as it is written in the “Introduction of the Book of Zohar” (Item 191): “Fear, which is the most important, is when one fears the Creator because He is great and rules over everything. He is great because He is the root from which all the worlds expand, and His greatness is seen by His actions. And He rules over everything because all the worlds He has created, upper and lower, are regarded as nothing compared to Him for they add nothing to His essence.” In other words, all the creatures do not add anything to Him.
Thus, why do we need to work for the sake of the Creator, as it is written, “All your works will be for the sake of heaven, and not for your own sake”? After all, the Creator does not get anything from our work for Him because He has no lacks. Why then do we need to work in order to bestow?
Indeed, this is only for the sake of the created beings, for by this they will be saved from disparity of form from the Creator and will be rewarded with equivalence of form, called “As He is merciful, so you are merciful.” It is not that He needs them to work for Him, as though He needs the respect of the creatures. Rather, by working for the sake of the Creator, called “only for the sake of heaven,” the creatures will benefit from this and will enjoy. This is called that the Tzimtzum [restriction] and the concealment were in order to bring to light the perfection of His deeds, meaning for the creatures to be able to enjoy without feeling any shame. This is the meaning of equivalence of form and Dvekut[adhesion] with the Creator.
By this we will understand what we asked about the words, “King of Israel.” Is He not the king of the nations of the world? The answer is that in the work, every person is a whole world, as it is written in The Zohar. For this reason, man consists of the nations of the world, and of Israel. Therefore, the meaning of “king of Israel” is that when a person takes upon himself the kingdom of heaven, He is called “king of Israel.”
In other words, “Israel” means Yashar-El [straight to the Creator], when a person says that He is his king. In other words, he does not say that the Creator is the king of the world from His perspective, meaning without the created beings accepting His kingship over them of their own volition. Rather, “king of Israel” means that the person consciously takes upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven.
The “nations of the world” means that He rules over them unconsciously. That is, the Creator is the king of the world although they have no idea about faith in the Creator, and do not even want to think about the matter of the kingdom of heaven. This is considered that the Creator is the king of the nations of the world, meaning rules over them and does what He wants without their awareness that He is doing and will do all the deeds. This is why when it says, “king of Israel,” it refers to those who have taken upon themselves the kingdom of heaven consciously and willingly. This is called “king of Israel.”
This is as it is written (Avot 3:20), “A person repays consciously and unconsciously.” “Consciously” means “king of Israel,” and “unconsciously” means the nations of the world, whom He rules although a person is unconscious, and does not even give one thought to faith. This aspect of man is called “the nations of the world within a person.”
Accordingly, “Thus said the Lord, King of Israel” means that to those who have taken upon themselves the burden of His kingship, it says, “his redeemer, the Lord of hosts.” That is, they feel that the Creator has redeemed them from the nations of the world, whose control is in the mind and heart. “In the mind” means that the nations of the world say that only what reason confirms is true, and they do not give a person permission to go by the way of believing above reason. “In the heart” means that they do not let a person emerge from self-love. Rather, they say that what the heart wants and feels that it is for one’s own sake, these actions they permit. But if a person wants to work in order to bestow, they resist with all their might and a person cannot emerge from their control. Instead, the Creator Himself redeems him from their governance.
This is the meaning of the words, “king of Israel and his redeemer.” That is, once they have taken upon themselves the kingdom of heaven, called “king of Israel,” they attain that the Creator is his redeemer, meaning that only the Creator redeemed them from the control of the evil, and they themselves were powerless to do so.
In this way, we should interpret the words “Lord of hosts.” This name means, as Baal HaSulam interpreted, that as he said, Tzevaot [hosts] are two words: Tze [leave/go out] and Ba [comes]. That is, Tzava [army] are men of war. These are people who go each day to fight the evil inclination. They are called “army.” Therefore, after they have been rewarded with redemption, meaning after they conquer the evil inclination and emerge from the control of the evil, their conduct in the work is by way of ascents and descents, which is called Tzevaot [plural of Tzava (army)]. Meaning, at times they emerge from their control, and then are under their control again. Thus, the name for ascents and descents is Tzevaot.
During the work, a person should say, “If I am not for me, who is for me?” At that time in the work, they think that they themselves are doing the ascents and descents, that they are men of war, called Tzava, “mighty men.” Afterward, when they are redeemed, they attain that the Lord is of hosts [Tzevaot], meaning that the Creator made all the ups and downs they had.
In other words, even the descents come from the Creator. A person does not get so many ups and downs for no reason. Rather, the Creator caused all those exits. We can interpret “exit” as “exit from Kedusha [holiness],” and Ba [comes] as “coming to Kedusha. The Creator does everything. Hence, after the redemption, the Creator is called “Lord of Hosts.” And who is He? “The king of Israel and his redeemer.”
Accordingly, we should interpret what is written, “The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esau.” Har [mountain] means Hirhurim [thoughts/contemplations], which are thoughts that lead to the state of Zion, from the word Yetziot [exits]. Mount Zion means contemplations and thoughts that bring descents upon a person, meaning that he ejects himself from Kedusha. These thoughts—it will later be revealed—are where the deliverers ascended from, “to judge the mountain of Esau.”
The “mountain of Esau” means thoughts and contemplations pertaining to wicked Esau. “To judge” means to conquer and subdue the contemplations of wicked Esau. And what is the meaning of “The deliverers will ascend”? Who delivered them to conquer the mountain of Esau? It is Mount Zion. That is, the thoughts that caused them to exit the Kedusha, meaning the descents, are themselves what helped them conquer the mountain of Esau.
This is as it is written, “From the blow itself he makes a bandage.” The fact that they had descents, which is called “a blow,” since at that time he fell from the Kedusha into the authority of the Sitra Achra [other side], from this itself came only good. This is also called as it is written, “He brings down to the netherworld, and He lifts us.” By seeing that one is worse than everyone else, it makes him do what he can, and not rest until he sees that the Creator took him out and delivered him from the control of wicked Esau. This is the meaning of the words, “The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esau.”
It is written, “And the kingship will be the Lord’s.” This means that specifically then, the kingship will be the Creator’s, meaning during the redemption, as it is written, “The king of Israel and his redeemer.”
And before this, is the kingship not the Lord’s? Who else governs the world? We should interpret that Malchut has two names: 1) Zion, 2) Jerusalem. In the work, we should say that Zion is when she is still not revealed in and of herself. This is called Malchut that is inside, meaning it is still not evident to the creatures that Malchut is the ruler of the world, and there is no other force in the world, and only the Creator is the king. This discernment is still hidden from the creatures. This aspect of Malchut is called “Zion,” meaning Yetziot [exits] from Kedusha.
At that time, a person thinks that the Sitra Achra governs him because he feels that he has no need for spirituality. This means that faith in the greatness of the Creator is in concealment. Sometimes, he exits the work to such an extent that he forgets altogether about the existence of the work of the Creator. This is regarded as having fallen from his state, when he worked enthusiastically and thought that from this day forward he will remain permanently in the holy work.
Yet, after some time, he suddenly sees that he has been completely ejected from Kedusha. That is, he does not remember the zero point, meaning he cannot recall the moment he was ejected from Kedusha and fell to the corporeal world, since during the fall, a person is unconscious and remembers nothing. As in corporeality, when a person falls from a high place, he does not remember having fallen. Only when he comes to, he sees that he is in the hospital. So it is in the work.
This is regarded as “Zion.” That is, at the time of redemption, when he sees the kingdom of heaven openly, he attains that the Creator has delivered him from wicked Esau. Then Malchut is called “Jerusalem,” whose governance is revealed. This is the time to see that all those descents came from the king, as well. That is, all the foreign contemplations and thoughts they had, no other force was there, but the Creator sent them. In other words, the Creator sent them the descents, as well, so that through them they would need the help of the Creator.
It follows that Mount Zion—as was said, that “The deliverers will ascend to judge the mountain of Esau”—now they say that Mount Zion was also Malchut, called “Zion.” In other words, her power was concealed, and she helped judge the mountain of Esau. That is, they conquered the quality of wicked Esau, meaning corrected the quality of Esau, and now they attain that there is no other force in the world.
This is the meaning of “And the kingship will be the Lord’s,” meaning that now they see that the kingship was the Lord’s then, too, and not only now, but before, as well, since there is none else besides Him. Now that they have been redeemed, they attain that this was so before, as well.
However, during the concealment, we also must believe that the Creator does everything. But this is above reason. Conversely, now they attain that this is so. However, afterward, they will need to come to the end of correction, which is called “in the future,” and at that time, “The Lord will be king over all the earth,” meaning even over the nations of the world. This means that the Creator will be revealed among the nations of the world, as well, as it is written, “For they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them.”
This is called, “The Lord is king over all the earth.” That is, even before the end of correction, the Creator is the king over all the earth, but this is called “unconsciously.” That is, they do not know that the Creator is the leader of the world, as it is written (in the Morning Prayer, in the Shema de Korbanot section), “Who in all Your works in the upper ones and in the lower ones will tell You what to do and what to work?” Only He does everything, and there is no other force in the world but Him.
However, this pertains to the people of Israel, who believe in the Creator. With respect to them, it can be said that the Creator is the king. That is, consciously, meaning that they, too, know that the Creator rules over them. It is not necessarily that the Creator Himself knows that He is the king, which is called “unconsciously.” Rather, they took upon themselves the burden of the kingdom of heaven as faith above reason, and they regard it as though it were within reason.
This is called “consciously,” meaning that in the work, “faith above reason” means we must believe although the mind does not see that this is so, and it has several proofs that it is not as he wants to believe. This is called “faith above reason,” meaning he says that he believes as though he sees it within reason. This is called “faith above reason” in the work.
In other words, it is a lot of work for a person to take this upon himself; it is against reason. This means that the body does not agree to this, yet he accepts it nonetheless as though it were within reason. Such faith requires help from the Creator. For this reason, for such faith, a person needs to pray that He will give him the power to be similar to Him as though he had attained it within reason.
In other words, a person should not pray to the Creator to help him understand everything within reason. Instead, he should pray to the Creator to give him the strength to assume faith above reason as though it were within reason.
But before this, he must have faith in the sages that such is the will of the Creator—that we will take upon ourselves faith in the Creator above reason. And here, in this order, begins the ascents and descents. Sometimes he grows stronger in faith, and sometimes he falls from his degree and must believe, while he is praying to the Creator, that He will help him. Yet, he does not see that he received the help he needs.
Then, too, he must believe above reason that everything comes from the Creator, and at the same time say “If I am not for me, who is for me?” Then he comes to the state of “Mount Zion,” and then to the state of the “mountain of Esau,” for all the work at that time—before we are rewarded with redemption—to emerge from their control.
At that time, we come to know the work, as it is written, “Thus said the Lord, King of Israel and his redeemer, the Lord of Hosts: ‘I am the first, and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me,’ and the kingship will be the Lord’s, and the Lord will be king over all the earth.” It is as it is written, “All who are of flesh shall call in Your name, to turn to you all the wicked of the earth; all the dwellers of the world will know and recognize.” That is, at that time, everyone will know that the Creator is the king, and before this, only the people of Israel know that He is the king.
Inapoi la pagina 1989 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link