Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
These Candles Are Sacred
Article No. 12, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
Baal HaSulam said about what is written, “These candles are sacred and we have no permission to use them, but only to see them,” that we must know the difference between the miracle of Hanukkah and the miracle of Purim. On Hanukkah, the decree pertained only to spirituality, that the people of Israel were prevented from observing the Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds]. The miracle was that when they prevailed over the Hasmoneans, they could observe the Mitzvot. Since spirituality has no Kelim [vessels], since Kelim are called specifically “vessels of reception,” which is called “creation existence from absence,” which is the will to receive, this is why the intimation comes, “These candles are sacred and we have no permission to use them.”
This is not so with the miracle of Purim. Then the decree was over the bodies, too, as it is written, “To destroy, to kill, and to annihilate” (Esther 3:13). It follows that the miracle was on the bodies. “Bodies” are called “vessels of reception.” Hence, on Purim, it is written, “Joy, feast, and a good day,” where a feast pertains to the body. On Hanukkah, we were given the miracle, “no permission to use them, but only to see them.”
This is the meaning of what our sages said, that Hanukkah means Hanu-Koh [parked here]. He asked, What is the meaning of “parked”? He said that “parked” meaning parking, and he gave an allegory about it. Many times, in the middle of a war, soldiers are given a vacation and they go home so that afterward they will have the courage to be brave soldiers. After the parking they return to the battlefield. But some fools think that the soldiers were given a vacation because the war must be over so they are not needed anymore.
But the smarter ones among them understand that they were given a vacation in order to rest, so they would be re-energized to fight against the enemy. Therefore, they understand that the rest is in order to acquire strength to fight.
It is likewise here. On Hanukkah, the redemption was only on spirituality, since the decree was only on spirituality, as it is written (“About the Miracles”), “When the wicked kingdom of Greece arose over Your people, Israel, to make them forget Your law and remove them from the rules of Your will, You with Your great mercies stood by them in their time of trouble.”
It follows that the redemption was only about spirituality, and in the work, “spirituality” is called “vessels of bestowal,” called “light of Hassadim that dresses in vessels of bestowal.” But here, when we are rewarded with vessels of bestowal, it is only half the work, half a war. That is, a person must be rewarded with the vessels of reception also entering the Kedusha [holiness], meaning to use them with the aim to bestow.
Once the vessels of reception have also entered the Kedusha, this is considered that he has Kelim to receive, as well. At that time, this degree is called “sweetening of the Gevurot.” In other words, before he obtained the vessels of reception that work in order to bestow, he could not use the light that was revealed over vessels of bestowal, for vessels of bestowal means that a person gives something, and in return for the giving, he does not want anything, since he believes that he is serving a great King. Therefore, he is happy that he has been rewarded with serving a great King.
But when he uses the vessels of reception, meaning takes pleasures from the Creator, since through reception he becomes separated from the Creator because of the disparity of form, these vessels of reception are called “bitter Gevurot,” because it is bitter for him that he is far from the Creator. Gevurot means that a person has two kinds of Kelim: One is called Hesed, meaning he gives, and one is called Gevura, which is that he receives. It is called Gevura since there is the matter of Hitgabrut[to overcome] here, not to receive. If he does receive, he will be far from the Creator, and that state is bitter for him. Hence, when he can place the aim to bestow on the will to receive, then the previous Gevurot, where he used the vessels of reception, are bitter for him because of the disparity of form.
But now they have been sweetened, meaning that now that he is using the vessels of reception, he feels some sweetness because his intention is in order to bestow, and this is already regarded as equivalence of form. Hence, now he can enjoy them, since in reception in this manner, in order to bestow, there is no bitterness and all is good.
We say (in the song Mighty Rock of My Salvation), “Greeks have gathered over me, then in the days of the Hasmoneans, and broke the walls of my towers.” “Greeks” are those people who go within reason, who cannot do anything if it is against reason. At that time, there was the governance of the Greeks, meaning this dominion governed over the people of Israel.
This authority is called “the wicked kingship of Greece,” whose role was to make them “forget Your Torah and move them from the laws of Your will.” That is, the governance is to go specifically within reason. This is what causes the breaching of the wall that guards the tower. A “tower” means that within man, there is a certain measure of greatness of the Creator. This “wall” is called “faith above reason,” and specifically by faith above reason one can come to feel the greatness of the Creator, as well as depict to himself the greatness of the Creator.
When a person feels the greatness of the Creator, he is “like a candle before a torch,” annulled before Him. But the Greeks, meaning dominion of within reason, which did not let them go above reason, is regarded as “breaking the walls of my towers.” In other words, the faith above reason, which is a wall. Within this wall we can build towers, meaning obtain the greatness of the Creator, which is called “a tower.” That is, specifically through faith above reason we are rewarded with the “reason of Kedusha.”
It follows that man’s greatness, who is rewarded with feeling the greatness of the Creator, comes specifically by lowering himself, meaning lowering his reason. At that time he can be rewarded with the greatness of the Creator called “reason of Kedusha.”
By this we can interpret what is written (“And [the Lord] Will Give You,” for After Shabbat), “Rabbi Yochanan said, ‘Wherever you find the greatness of the Creator, there you find His humbleness.’” There is certainly a simpler explanation, but when we speak in terms of the work, we should understand what is written, that we find the Creator’s humbleness, that He is humble. We should understand how is there the quality of humbleness in the Creator, for it means lowliness, and how can we speak of this quality in the Creator. Normally, it is written, “The Lord is King, He wears pride.”
We should interpret that this refers to the person. That is, wherever a person is rewarded with His greatness, to attain something of the greatness of the Creator, “there you find the humbleness of a person.” According to the greatness of the Creator with which a person is rewarded, to that extent the person sees his lowliness.
In other words, precisely when a person goes above reason, the reason comes to him and wants to obstruct him, and begins to argue with him. At that time, the person sees that he has nothing to reply. Then a person sees the evil within him, that he needs more strengthening so he can be saved from the reason of the evil inclination, which is called “Greeks.” At that time, he sees according to the evil that is revealed in him, that no one is as low as he, since the evil in him is revealed more than in the rest of the people. As said above, this is according to the good that a person does, if he walks on the path of truth and wants to do everything in order to bestow.
It follows that when one is rewarded with even a little bit of the greatness of the Creator, he does not know why the Creator helped him more than other people, since he feels that he is worse than all the people in the world. He tells himself that if the rest of the people knew the path of truth the way he understands it, they would certainly be virtuous people, not like him. It follows that when one feels a little bit of the greatness of the Creator, he comes to a state of lowliness at the Creator helping someone as base as he. This is the meaning of the words “Wherever you find the greatness of the Creator, there you find His humbleness.”
Therefore, when one says to the Creator, “You lend a hand to criminals and Your right is stretched out to welcome the returning” (Conclusion prayer), this means that when one asks the Creator to bring him closer, it is regarded as stretching out the hand for reconciliation, “and Your right is stretched out to welcome the returning.” In other words, a person says to the Creator, “I feel my situation, that I am more wicked and more criminal than the rest of the world.” This comes to him because from above, he was shown the evil. As said above, a person is not shown more evil than what is in him.
As we interpreted what our sages said, “To the wicked, the evil inclination seems like a hairsbreadth, and to the righteous, like a high mountain.” It seems as though it should have been the opposite. The wicked, who cannot overcome the evil inclination, should say that the evil inclination is like a high mountain, and the righteous, who did have the power to overcome, the evil inclination should have been in their eyes like a hairsbreadth.
The answer is that a person is not shown the evil in him but only according to the good within him, so that the good and the bad will be balanced. Therefore, the righteous, who have many ups and downs, all the descents are from the evil inclination. As a result of the many descents, a “high mountain” is built. The word Har [mountain] means Hirhurim [reflections/thoughts]. This means that any reflection, where one doubts the quality of the Creator, when he does not believe in His Providence, that He is good and does good, this is called “a bad thought.”
Therefore, to the righteous, the evil inclination becomes a high mountain, whereas to the wicked, who have no ascents and descents, since it is impossible to descend before you ascend, as we explained concerning Jacob’s dream, where it is written, “Behold, angels of God were ascending and descending on it,” where it should have written first “descending” and then “ascending.”
But in the work, all the people came into this world to carry out the mission of the Creator, and an “angel” is called a “messenger.” Therefore, first one must ascend in the degree of the work, when feeling some nearness to the Creator, and afterward, there can be descents. For this reason, the wicked, who have no ascents, naturally have no descents. Indeed, why do they not ascend? It is because the evil inclination disrupts them from ascending. For this reason, they remain in the evil inclination that is only as a hairsbreadth.
Hence, the righteous, who have the real form of the evil, when the Creator helps them, they feel their lowliness, that the Creator brought them closer, and this is called as it is written, “He lifts the poor up from the trash.” That is, the person says, “I was in the trash, enjoying everything that animals take as their nourishments, meaning trash.” This is the meaning of “In the place where you find the greatness of the Creator, you find His humbleness.”
However, we should interpret this as said above, that one should not say, “Now that I have been rewarded with the greatness of the Creator, I no longer need faith above reason because I have what to build my work on—the basis that I have now been rewarded with the greatness of the Creator.”
Rather, as Baal HaSulam said, a person should be careful when he is rewarded with some nearness on the part of the Creator. He should not say that now he knows that it is worthwhile to do the holy work because now he feels a good taste in the work. Rather, he should say, “Now I see that it is worthwhile to work above reason because specifically by wanting to go above reason, the Creator is giving me some nearness to Him.”
Hence, he takes this nearing as a sign that he is walking on the path of truth. Therefore, he resolves that henceforth, he will not want to accept any work within reason. Rather, everything will be above reason. It follows that he does not take the nearing to the Creator as a basis on which he says that it is worthwhile to be a servant of the Creator, “since I already have a basis.” On the contrary, from now on he will work only above reason.
This is the meaning of what is written, “In the place of the greatness of the Creator, there you find His humbleness.” That is, “In the place of His greatness,” meaning in the place where one attains some greatness of the Creator, there you must find His humbleness. In other words, there, in the place where a person finds the greatness of the Creator, a person should find man’s humbleness, which is faith above reason, called “lowliness,” “humility.”
Since faith is regarded as being of inferior importance, faith is called “below.” That is, when one finds the greatness of the Creator, he should search and find a place to work in faith, and not in the sense that he has found a place of the greatness of the Creator.
Since one should say that the fact that he has been rewarded with finding some greatness of the Creator, it is because first he went with faith, which is called “low,” “lowly.” Hence, he continues on the path of faith above reason since he sees that this is the path of truth, and the proof of this is that specifically through this preparation, the Creator brings him closer to Him.
This is the meaning of what is written, “Greeks have gathered over me … and broke the walls of my towers.” This means that a person should guard this wall, called “faith in the Creator above reason.” In other words, a person must not wait until he understands that it is worthwhile to learn and to pray, etc. Rather, he should not consider what the reason advises him. Instead, he should follow the way that the Torah obligates a person. This is how one must behave. Only in this way, called “unconditional surrender,” can one be rewarded with the reason of Kedusha.
And the most important is the prayer. That is, one must pray to the Creator to help him go above reason, meaning that the work should be with gladness, as though he has already been rewarded with the reason of Kedusha, and what joy he would feel then. Likewise, he should ask the Creator to give him this power, so he can go above the reason of the body.
In other words, although the body does not agree to this work in order to bestow, he asks the Creator to be able to work with gladness, as is suitable for one who serves a great King. He does not ask the Creator to show the greatness of the Creator, and then he will work gladly. Rather, he wants the Creator to give him joy in the work of above reason, that it will be as important to a person as if he already has reason.
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link