Inapoi la pagina 1988 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Is the Prayer for Help and for Forgiveness in the Work?
Article No. 04, Tav-Shin-Mem-Het, 1987-88
Our sages said (Kidushin 30b), “Man’s inclination overcomes him every day and seeks to put him to death. Were it not for the help of the Creator, he would not overcome it.” This means that when the Creator helps him, he can overcome it. Hence, the question is, Why should a person ask the Creator for forgiveness for the sin, since our sages said that a person himself cannot overcome it unless with the help of the Creator? It follows that if a person sins, it is not his fault, for what could he do if the Creator did not help him?
To understand this, we first need to understand the root of sins. That is, what is the source and the reason that causes all the sins? Although the answer is simple and known to all, that the reason for all the sins is the evil inclination, we should know the source and the root of the evil inclination, which incites the creatures to sin. In other words, why does He want the creatures to sin in the world? We should also understand what is the good inclination, which wants specifically that the creatures will engage in Torah and Mitzvot [good deeds/commandments].
As we learned, the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations. For this reason, the Creator created creatures that want to receive delight and pleasure, meaning to have a desire and craving for pleasures, or they feel that they have no point in living. They must receive pleasure or they feel torments. That will to receive, imprinted in the creatures, is the root of all the evil inclination, which incites the creatures to sin.
However, we need to understand, if the Creator created this will to receive in the creatures, and it is the reason why the creatures are called “creatures,” which is as it is written, that the creatures are called “existence from absence,” which is something new that did not exist before He created it, then why is it the root of the evil inclination?
The answer to this is presented in The Study of the Ten Sefirot. Since every branch wants to resemble its root, had this will to receive remained in its form, which is in order to receive, that desire, which is opposite from the Creator, would feel unpleasantness upon reception of the pleasures. For this reason, there was a correction on this, called Tzimtzum [restriction]. This means that it will not receive the light in this Kli [vessel] called “receiving for oneself,” but will receive the abundance specifically when it has the intention to bestow.
This means that all that a person wants to receive for himself became forbidden because any desire in the upper one becomes a binding law in the lower one, meaning that the lower makes a prohibition if he receives for himself, and not with the aim to bestow contentment upon his Maker.
It follows that all the sins extend from a person wanting to receive for his own sake. It is as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.” It follows that the Torah and Mitzvot that we were given to observe are with the aim to bring us to the intention to be able to aim our hearts to do everything in order to bestow. This is called Kedusha [holiness/sanctity]. From this extends that the Klipa [shell/peel] and the Sitra Achra [other side], which want to receive for their own sake, are in this, opposite from Kedusha.
For this reason, we call the will to receive for one’s own sake by a new name, “evil inclination,” since by wanting to satisfy its own wish and enjoy for itself, it prevents us from observing Torah and Mitzvot. By observing Torah and Mitzvot, even if Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], we come to Lishma[for Her sake]. Hence, even in Lo Lishma, the evil inclination prevents us from observing Torah and Mitzvot, since from Lo Lishma we come to Lishma. For this reason, for the mere doubt that “it may come,” it already disrupts.
Lishma means that a person does everything for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake. It follows that when a person engages in Torah and Mitzvot, the evil inclination loses so much that it disappears from the world. In other words, by observing Torah and Mitzvot, the person kills it. It is as our sages said (Berachot 61b), “Tania Rabbi Yosi from the Galilee says, ‘The righteous, the good inclination judges them, as it was said, ‘My heart is slain within me.’’” RASHI interprets, “‘My heart is slain within me’ is the evil inclination. It is as though dead within me, meaning that he can force it.”
Accordingly, everything that the evil inclination does, which obstructs him from engaging in Torah and Mitzvot, it does justly, since the person wants to put it to death through the Torah and Mitzvot. For this reason, the will to receive is called “evil,” since it harms a person, for the evil inclination prevents a person from achieving Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, which is called “life,” as it is written, “And you, who cling unto the Lord your God, are alive every single one of you this day.”
When a person realizes that the will to receive for himself prevents him from reaching the world of the living and wants the person to remain in the world of darkness and death, is there anything worse in the world than obstructing him from reaching life? At that time a person names the will to receive for himself, “evil inclination.” This means that when a person feels the troubles it causes him, he names it “evil.” Before a person comes to feel that the will to receive for himself prevents him from reaching the delight and pleasure, the person does not refer to the will to receive for himself by the name “evil inclination.”
From this we see that the will to receive for oneself is right when it prevents a person from observing Torah and Mitzvot, since the will to receive for oneself sees that the person wants to put it to death, as in the words of our sages about the verse, “My heart is slain within me,” that in the righteous, who observe Torah and Mitzvot, the evil inclination becomes as though dead. It is as our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.”
It follows that this will to receive, which is imprinted in the creatures, is the root of all the sins. It does not let the creatures observe the commandments of the Creator because it sees that they want to remove it from the world. It is as is written in the essay “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” (Item 1): “Rabbi Hanania Ben Akashia says, ‘The Creator wanted to cleanse Israel; hence, He gave them plentiful Torah and Mitzvot.’” It explains there that by observing Torah and Mitzvot, they are rewarded with cleansing from the will to receive for themselves. Hence, we understand very well why the will to receive is what prevents us from observing Torah and Mitzvot, and is the root and the cause for all the sins.
It therefore follows that those who want to work on the path of bestowal, the war against the evil inclination is more difficult for them, since these people really want to kill and put to death the will to receive for themselves. That is, they want to walk in the path of Torah, which is opposite from the view of landlords. The view of landlords is that they are not doing anything unless it is for their own good. Hence, when they engage in Torah and Mitzvot, their whole intention is to thereby gain reward for their own sake.
That is, they will stay in their will to receive. Before they began to engage in Torah and Mitzvot, they wanted reward in this world, while engaging only in corporeal matters, for one who works for the landlord wants the landlord to pay his salary. But now that they have begun to work and observe Torah and Mitzvot that the Creator has commanded us, they want the Creator to pay their reward. It follows that it is all by way of self-gain. But afterward, when they begin to observe Torah and Mitzvot, it is with the intention to receive reward for their will to receive—the next world.
Thus, the evil inclination, called “will to receive,” did not resist them so much, since the will to receive objected to them only over doubt, meaning since from Lo Lishma we come to Lishma. That is, he began to engage in Torah and Mitzvot in order to reward himself, but by this he could later come to Lishma, meaning to work only for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake.
Conversely, one who wants, from the beginning, to work not in order to receive reward, meaning he does not want to work for his own sake, the evil inclination certainly resists him every step of the way. The evil inclination wants to keep “He who comes to kill you, kill him first.” Hence, their work is much harder than those who work in order to receive reward, since from the beginning, they say that they want to observe Torah and Mitzvot as a remedy by which to kill the evil inclination, as was said, “And my heart is slain within me.”
Now we can understand the question we asked according to what our sages said, “Man’s inclination overcomes him every day. Were it not for the help of the Creator, he would not overcome it.” Thus, why is it man’s fault if he did not receive the required help from the Creator? And accordingly, why should one ask forgiveness from the Creator? The answer is simple: It is because he did not ask for help. Our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided.” It follows that the help comes from the Creator after he asks for help.
Thus, man’s sin is that he did not ask the Creator for help. Had he asked for help, he would certainly get help from the Creator. But if a person says that he asked for help and the Creator did not help him, to this comes the answer that a person should believe that the Creator hears the prayers, as it is written, “For You hear the prayer of every mouth.” If he truly believed, his prayer would be complete, and the Creator hears a complete prayer when a person yearns with all his heart that the Creator will help him.
But if his prayer is not constantly on his lips, it means that he does not have the real faith that the Creator can help him and that the Creator hears everyone who asks Him, and that small and great are equal before Him, meaning that He answers everyone. It follows that the prayer is incomplete. This is why he should ask forgiveness for his sins, for not asking for the required help from the Creator.
And although there are other answers in the literal, in the work, when a person wants to walk on the path of bestowal and not by way of reception, the sin is mainly that a person did not ask the Creator to help him overcome the evil. For this, he asks forgiveness, and from here on he will ask for help.
Inapoi la pagina 1988 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link