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What Is “The Concealed Things Belong to the Lord, and the Revealed Things Belong to Us,” in the Work?

Article No. 24, Tav-Shin-Mem-Het, 1987-88

It is written (Deuteronomy 29:28), “The concealed things belong to Lord our God, and the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever, to do all the words of this Torah [law].” We should understand what knowing this gives us. Would anyone consider that man can know the concealed? And if we can know the concealed, why did the Creator hide it from us? And we should also understand what are the concealed things. What does this imply that we must not look into, but it rather belongs to the Lord our God?

It is written about the verse, “When you raise the candles,” RASHI interprets that “‘When you raise’ means that the flame goes up, meaning we must light up until the flame rises by itself.” We should understand what it implies to us that we must “light up until the flame rises by itself.” Certainly, if the candle does not burn properly, but burns only as long as the person is lighting it, we certainly have to wait until it burns by itself. Thus, what novelty is it to say, “until the flame rises by itself”?

Concerning the making of the menorah, it is written, “This was the making of the menorah [lamp], a hammered work of gold.” RASHI interprets “hammered”: “It was one talent [piece] of gold. He would strike with a hammer and cut with scissors to spread its pieces properly. It was not made by separate pieces connected. Likewise, He made the menorah.” RASHI interprets, “It was done by itself by the Creator.”

We should understand this: If the menorah was made by itself, why did they have to strike with a hammer and cut with scissors? Certainly, if the Creator makes the menorah, it should have been enough to take a talent of gold and it would be made by itself. Why was there a need to strike?

It is known that human nature is to want only to receive for one’s own benefit. A person cannot do anything unless he sees that it will yield some benefit for himself. It is written about it in The Zohar: “The leech has two daughters: Hav, Hav” (Proverbs 30:15). The Zohar interprets, “The leech has two daughters that howl as dogs: HavHav [Hebrew: give, give]. Gives us the wealth of this world, and give us the wealth of the next world.” In other words, everything a person sees, from which he can derive some pleasure, he yells about it, HavHav, which means “Give, give, I accept this with my heart and soul.”

We were given the commandment to love the Creator, as it is written, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” But how can this be observed if this is against our nature? Our sages said about the verse, “And dawned on them from Seir,” that “He opened to children of Esau so they would receive the Torah, but they did not want it. ‘He appeared from Mount Pharan,’ He walked there and opened to the children of Ishmael to accept it.” Yet, they did not want it, meaning they all asked, “What is written in it?” Esau did not want it because it is written, “You shall not commit murder,” and it is written about Esau, “You shall live by your sword.” It is likewise with the children of Ishmael: What does it write? “Do not commit adultery.” They did not want it. But when he came to the people of Israel, they said, “We will do and we will hear.”

We should understand, does the evil inclination in the people of Israel agree to relinquish the bad qualities? If so, what does it mean that they said, “We will do and we will hear”? We should interpret that when the people of Israel saw that their evil objected to the Torah, meaning that they did not want to observe the commandments of the Torah, they said, “We will do it against its will,” meaning by coercion, although our evil disagrees.

However, we should understand the merit of one who gives something to another by force. Can we say that he has given to him out of love? Since he does not love him, so this is not the reason for giving. Love is acquired by giving to each other good things. Then, it is natural that the receiver of the gift comes to love the giver. Yet, the giving does not make the giver love the receiver by the giving, so what is the reason that Israel said, “We will do against its will,” although the evil disagrees? And also, how will this fulfill, “And you shall love the Lord your God”?

Our sages said that when Israel said, “We will do and we will hear,” the Creator said, “Who revealed to My children this secret, the tool that the ministering angels use,” as it was said, “Mighty in strength, doers of His word, and then hearing the voice of His word.” This means that “doing” is regarded as “mighty in strength,” meaning overcoming, though the body, which has the nature of self-reception, disagrees. Later, by doing through overcoming, although the evil inclination does not want, we are later rewarded with “hearing the voice of His word.” The meaning of “I hear” is “I think,” as our sages said, “I did not hear means I do not think” (Iruvin 102).

Accordingly, the literal meaning is that by saying “we will do,” in overcoming by coercion, we will then be rewarded with “we will hear.” That is, the matter will be reasonable and acceptable. This means that when we find it reasonable and acceptable, we will certainly be able to do everything with love and joy, and then everything will be voluntary and not compulsory.

According to the above said, we can interpret the words, “Who revealed to My children this secret,” where we must understand what is the secret in saying, “We will do and we will hear,” of which asks, “Who disclosed this secret?” However, we must understand what is a “secret” in the work. A “secret” means that it is not revealed, but we must believe that it is here. That is, there is a matter here that we want and need to know, and if we have no need to know it, we do not consider it a “secret.”

This is similar to someone seeing two people whispering to one another. Clearly, they do not want him to hear. But if they are not speaking about him, he does not want to know what they are saying. In that case, what they are saying is not considered a secret that he wants to know. Even if he were told, he would still not want to hear, since every person has his own business that interest him. But if he thought that they were speaking of him, he would want to know what they are saying, for it is a secret that they do not want him to know.

The same orders that applies in corporeality, also applies in the work. For example, when a person learns Torah. When a person is learning rules, it can be said that the Torah does not speak in secret, things he does not know. On the contrary, the Torah tells him the rules by which to observe the Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds]. However, when he learns the stories in the Torah, or even the legends of our sages, if he believes that the Torah speaks of him but does not know the connection between the Torah he is learning and himself, and he wants to know what is written there, this is considered that now he is learning a secret.

That is, two things are required in order for something to be considered a secret: 1) He must believe that they are speaking of him. 2) He must want to know what the Torah says about him, meaning what the Torah speaks of that pertains to him. Only in this way is it regarded as a secret in the work.

Now we can understand what the Creator said, “Who revealed to My children this secret”? It means “Who revealed to My children the secret” of believing that by working in coercion, they will be rewarded with “Hearing Me,” and that which was previously compulsory will then become voluntary.

It follows that “doing” is called “faith.” That is, by believing that after the doing they would be rewarded with hearing, they were certain also during the coercion to do the things with joy and love, since they could be rewarded with hearing.

This is not so with the nations of the world. In the work, they are parts of man that do not pertain to the quality of “Israel.” Rather, they want to do everything with the external mind, as it understands what they can achieve. That which the intellect deems worth doing, for this they are willing to work, but not for what concerns faith above reason.

In other words, they see with their reason that a person cannot revoke the will to receive by himself. Instead, we must believe that if the Creator gave us this work of working in order to bestow, He must have known that it was possible to do this, but we, with our tiny mind, do not understand how such a thing can be, that it is truly a miracle from heaven. But the Creator certainly knew that we can achieve this degree.

They do not know how there are such things; they cannot believe. This is called “the nations of the world.” But “Israel” means that they can overcome and believe above reason. Hence, those who belong to the quality of Israel believe that bestowing is a secret to people, meaning that they do not know how to achieve the power of bestowal, but they do believe.

Conversely, the nations of the world in a person say that this is difficult and not for us. Hence, when we see that we are required to walk by way of faith above reason, they have no interest in this and escape the campaign saying that this is difficult for them.

This is why the “nations of the world” in man did not want to receive the Torah, for as we learn, receiving the Torah is regarded as “Should a man die in the tent.” Our sages said, “The Torah exists only in one who puts himself to death over it.” This means that a person should revoke his self-benefit, and make all his concerns only for the benefit of the Creator. Because the body does not agree to cancel the self-benefit and to walk by way of coercion and believe that by “We will do,” we will achieve “We will hear,” this faith is unacceptable to the reason of the self-receiver. This is the whole difference between the nations of the world and Israel.

Now we can understand what we asked, What does it imply that they said we must “light up goes up until the flame rises by itself”? The thing is that lighting pertains to man, who must perform an act. To what extent must he perform the act? In coercion, it is “until the flame rises by itself.”

“By itself” means without the work of the lower one. This is called “by coercion.” However, he is rewarded with the Creator giving him hearing. Naturally, at that time a person does everything gladly, with love, and willingly, not as when he engaged in doing, which was compulsory and the body resisted when he wanted to bestow upon the Creator.

Now, however, it is by way of “And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart,” with both your inclination. That is, the evil inclination loves the Creator, too, since he is annulled before the Creator as a candle before a torch. This is the meaning of a person having to “light up,” to do things “until the flame rises by itself,” and not by a person’s own strength. Thus, “by itself” means by the power of the Creator.

Likewise, we should interpret what we asked about what our sages said about the making of the menorah: “This was the making of the menorah [lamp], a hammered work of gold. It was one talent [piece] of gold. He would strike with a hammer and cut with scissors to spread it properly. It was not made by separate talents connected.” We asked, Since they said a literal commentary “This is how He made the menorah: It was done by itself by the Creator.” If the Creator made the menorah, which is called “by itself,” why did they have to strike with a hammer? Why must man do something, too?

However, a person should say, “We will do and we will hear.” That is, a person should begin in coercion and believe that he will be rewarded with hearing. Since there is no light without a Kli[vessel], meaning that the Creator does not give a filling to a person unless he has a need for the Creator to fill it. Hence, the person must begin and see that it is difficult, then pray to the Creator to help him. At that time, a person sees that everything is done by itself, without man’s help. Thus, what does the person do in the making of the menorah if the Creator does everything?

Answer: Man’s work is required, for without it we would not have the knowledge that the Creator does everything. Rather, we would say that we can achieve wholeness by ourselves, as well, without the Creator’s help, and “My power and the might of my hand have gotten me success.” Conversely, after a person toils and labors and does all that he can do, yet did not move even one bit, he must say that the Creator has given him this strength—to be able to work in order to bestow—as a gift. This means that the Creator has given man permission to serve Him. This permission is called that He has given him pleasure when he bestows upon the Creator.

By this we will understand the words, “It was one talent [piece] of gold.” The body is called “a talent of gold,” as it is written in The Zohar, “The leech has two daughters that howl as dogs, Hav, Hav[Give, give]. Give us the wealth of this world and give us the wealth of the next world. That body, which is called “a talent of Ze-Hav [Hebrew: Give this. English: “gold”], was striking with a hammer.”

Explanation: Any work that the body does coercively is regarded as striking with a hammer and cutting with scissors. That is, every coercion that a person does is as though he has cut off a part of Ze-Hav [Give this], meaning part of the will to receive for himself. This is the meaning of what is written, “To spread her organs properly,” meaning to strip off from the organs the will to receive for oneself, and correct them to work in order to bestow. This is called “to spread her organs properly.”

However, it was not so. That is, it was not done as one complete organ, one organ opposite one quality, in wholeness, and then another complete quality. Rather, one wholeness was made for all, which is in order to bestow, then all the organs were connected into one complete quality. However, it was not so, but on the contrary: Each organ that he wanted to correct, the bad appeared in its place, and not the good. Therefore, he had many organs that were spoiled until he came to a state where he saw that there was not a single organ in his receiver that was willing to work to bestow.

At that time, he saw that it was all a hammered work of Ze-Hav [gold]. That is, he saw that gold, meaning the receiver, is difficult to invert to working in order to bestow. At that time the Kli is completed, meaning the act on the part of the lower one. He sees that he cannot prevail over it, as it is written, “and the children of Israel sighed from the work, and their cry went up to God, from the work.” Then the help from the Creator arrives, as it is written, “Likewise, He made the menorah,” and RASHI interpreted that “It was done by itself by the Creator.”

Thus, who made the menorah? The Creator Himself. But if so, what is Israel’s work for?

The answer is, “In order to reveal the need, that only the Creator can change the nature He has created—that the creatures should have a desire to receive for themselves. Otherwise, a person thinks that he himself could turn the receiver into a giver.”

However, we should also understand why the Creator should care if the creatures do not know the truth and think that they themselves can do this work of turning the vessels of reception into bestowal. Or, we can ask the question differently: Why did the Creator not give strength to man to be able to invert the vessels of reception into bestowal by himself?

Baal HaSulam said that the answer to this is that it is a correction. Otherwise, a person would remain in his lowly degree. That is, he would not need the light of Torah, but the Creator wanted to give them the Torah. Hence, by not being able to obtain vessels of bestowal by themselves, they will ask the Creator to help them. The help He will give them is specifically through the Torah, since “the light in it reforms him.”

It follows that a man must receive the Torah, since the second phase after being reformed and receiving the vessels of bestowal—which is Phase 1—is that he receives the Torah as “the names of the Creator.” This quality is called “His desire to do good to His creations,” clothed in “the names of the Creator,” and it is called “The Torah and Israel and the Creator are one.”

Now we can interpret what is written, “The concealed things belong to Lord our God, and the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever, to do all the words of this Torah [law].” We asked, What does this come to teach us? The answer is that when a person begins the work of bestowal, he sees that he is not moving forward toward obtaining vessels of bestowal, but to the contrary. At that time, a person begins to see his bad state, how immersed he is in self-love, since according to the rule, the more a person wants his garment to be clean of any dirt, the more he sees the dirt.

There is a rule: “Anything which does not rest upon a man, he will do absentmindedly.” It means that when a person does not pay attention to something, he does not see what is missing there. For this reason, when he begins to work in order to bestow and pays attention to the extent to which he is willing to work in order to bestow, he sees how far he is from bestowal and that he cannot do anything without reward.

Hence, what can a person do when he sees that he has no progress in the work of bestowal, but rather always sees that he cannot exit self-love? That is, in the beginning of the work, he thought that if he only decided to walk on the path of bestowal, he would promptly be able to. That is, he thought that he was his own landlord, for who would tell him what to do? You can say that on things he wants to do there can be interferences from people on the outside. But here, in work of bestowal, which is only the intention to bestow, meaning that he does not need to observe more than the 613 Mitzvot if he wants to aim to bestow. Thus, superficially, he is engaging like everyone else, like the general public, and he is not unusual so it can be said that the general public objects to his way, for who knows that which is in one’s neighbor’s heart? Thus, he thought that after a short time of work, he would begin the work of bestowal.

Yet, suddenly he sees that each day, the more he works and wants to acquire vessels of bestowal, the more he sees that they are far away from him, and he is utterly unable to ever exit self-love.

The verse tells us about this: “The concealed things belong to the Lord our God.” That is, the aim to bestow, which is called “the concealed part,” for one does not know one’s neighbor’s thoughts, this a person should know—that in truth, it is out of our hands. Rather, the hidden part, called “intention,” belongs “to the Lord our God.” He must give us this power and we are powerless to help Him. Yet, we can help Him by beginning to engage in this work of bestowal and seeing that we cannot exit the self-love in us. By this we help Him, by knowing that only He helps us. Had we not begun, we would have been unable to continue further. This is the correction—to know that He alone does everything.

It would be the opposite if we could exit self-love by ourselves. That is, we would think so, but we would be devoid of the awareness that “He alone does, is doing, and will do all the deeds.” But when we see for ourselves that we cannot exit self-love, we do not need to believe that He has given us this power, for we evidently see it.

It follows that the text tells us not to be alarmed by the fact that we cannot prevail and exit self-love, which is called “the concealed part.” This is in the hands of the Creator, as it is written, “The concealed things belong to the Lord our God, and the revealed things belong to us and to our children.” That is, “revealed” means the part of the action, which we can do by coercion. This is why the verse tells us that the fact that we see that this is difficult for us is true. However, this, meaning the intention, was not given for us to do, but rather only the work. Yet, by seeing that we cannot do this by ourselves, this is called a “prayer,” meaning a need for the Creator to give us this Kli.

Now we can interpret what our sages said (Minchot 29), “Making the menorah was difficult for Moses until the Creator showed him with His finger, as it is written, ‘This is the work of the menorah.’” We should interpret this in the work: The “work of the menorah” means that the light of the Creator will shine. Yet, this requires vessels of bestowal. From where will they take the vessels of bestowal? This is difficult, as it is against nature. But the Creator showed him with His finger and said to him: “This is the work.” That is, “You will do the work, and I will give the intention.” This is considered that “You will do the revealed part, and I will give the concealed part.” This is the meaning of the words, “Likewise, He made the menorah,” meaning by itself.

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

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