Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Are the Times of Prayer and Gratitude in the Work?
Article No. 7, Tav-Shin-Nun, 1989-90
Our sages said (Berachot 32), “One should always establish the praise of the Creator, and then pray.” They also said (Rosh Hashanah 35), “Rabbi Elazar said, ‘One should always establish one’s prayer, and then pray.’”
We should understand why we must first establish the praise of the Creator. When a person is in a state of deficiency and wants to pray to the Creator to satiate his lack, then he needs His help. Thus, why should one first establish the praise of the Creator?
With a flesh and blood king, we can understand that first we must show our respect for the king so the king will see that we are among those who love him, and for this reason the king will grant our wish. But how can this be said with regard to the Creator? Does the Creator need a person to show Him that he is among those who love the Creator, and then He will help him, and otherwise He will not?
After all, the Creator is merciful and gracious. Although one is unworthy, the Creator helps those who pray to Him, as Baal HaSulam explained what we say in the Eighteen Prayer, “For You hear the prayer of every mouth,” meaning that it does not matter what mouth prays, but the prayer of any mouth, even if this mouth is unimportant, still, the Creator hears it. Thus, why must we first establish the praise of the Creator?
In order to interpret this, we should first present the words of The Zohar (Chayei Sarah, Item 224), “Come and see, ‘And it came to pass, before he concluded speaking, that, behold, Rebecca came out.’ He asks, it should have said, ‘Came,’ as it is written, ‘Rachel his daughter comes.’ Why does it say, ‘came out’? He says that this indicates that the Creator took her out from among the town’s people, who were all wicked, and Rebecca came out and parted from the rest of the people in the city because she was righteous.”
RASHI interprets the verse (Genesis 24:39), “Suppose the woman does not walk.” He writes, “It says, ‘to me’ [in Hebrew, “suppose” and “to me” are spelled the same]. Eliezer had a daughter. He was looking for a reason that Abraham would turn to him to marry his daughter. Abraham said to him: ‘My son is blessed and you are cursed, and the cursed does not cling to the blessed.’”
We should interpret the meaning of Isaac and Rebecca, as well as the meaning of the matter of the daughter of Eliezer in the work. The Zohar writes (Chayei Sarah, Item 94), “He said to him, ‘My master shall say if he heard how the authors of the Mishnah said this portion, which they interpreted concerning the soul, that Abraham is the soul and Sarah is the body.’”
In this manner, we should interpret the matter of Isaac and Rebecca, as it is written in The Zohar (Chayei Sarah, Item 249), “Rabbi Yehuda said, ‘His mother Sarah,’ since as the form of Isaac was as the form of Abraham, similarly, Rebecca’s form was just as Sarah’s. This is why it is written, ‘His mother Sarah.’”
By this we should also interpret that Isaac was the soul and Rebecca the body. In the order of man’s work, when he wants to achieve Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, he should always walk on two lines—right and left. “Right” means wholeness, when a person feels satisfaction in the work and praises and thanks the Creator for rewarding him with being among the King’s servants. He sees that he has achieved a degree in spirituality, which is not so among the rest of the workers of the Creator. Yet, he recognizes his lowliness and does not know why the Creator chose him over other people, who have not reached this degree. For this reason, he thanks and praises the King and can observe what is written, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” At that time he has nothing for which to pray to the Creator to help him, since he feels no lack in his situation.
However, later, when a person goes to work on the left line, when he criticizes the state he is in and sees that he is flawed in mind and in heart, and even worse, he sometimes sees that he is immersed in self-love more than usual, sometimes he comes to such lowliness that he does not want the Creator to help him out of his lowliness. On the contrary, he is angry that he is not receiving delight and pleasure from the corporeal life. It follows that sometimes the left does not let him even pray and ask of the Creator. Thus, how can he feel himself as a whole person and thank the Creator?
However, we must know that the work is mainly during the ascent, for only during an ascent can we speak of man’s work in two lines—right and left. Conversely, during a descent, a person is considered dead. Can we say that we are speaking to the dead, or that we want something from the dead, that he will do something?
For this reason, when a person is in a state of work, it can be said that a person should work in two ways: 1) right, 2) left. “Right” means primarily that the wholeness in him is built on above reason, while the left in him is built on the reason and intellect. That is, at that time he sentences himself as he sees, as our sages said, “A judge has only what his eyes see” (Baba Batra 131).
It turns out that when he engages in the left and sees the truth, how lowly and immersed in self-love he is, how can he then say that he is in a state of wholeness and be grateful to the Creator for giving him such a great gift that he is in Kedusha [holiness]? This is the complete opposite of the truth he sees, and how can one be happy when he sees the truth?
The answer is in two ways: 1) It is written in the essay from Tav-Shin-Gimel (Shamati, Article No. 40, 1943) concerning faith in his teacher, that Baal HaSulam said that a person should go with faith in the sages, as they have arranged for us. These are his words, slightly changed: The student must believe as his teacher tells him, to walk on the path of “right” and wholeness. The student should depict to himself that he has already been rewarded with complete faith in the Creator, and already feels in his organs that the Creator leads the whole world as The Good Who Does Good. This means that the whole world receives from Him only good, and although when he looks at himself, he sees that he is bare and destitute, and when he looks at the world, he also sees that the world suffers torments—each suffering according to his own degree—he should say about this what is written, “They have eyes and see not.” That is, as long as a person is in a state of “they,” that “they” have two authorities, “they” cannot see the truth. For this reason, a person must believe above reason that he is in wholeness, and so is the whole world.
It follows that in this way he can and should thank the Creator for giving us abundance. This is called the “right line,” which is the complete opposite of the left line. That is, in the left line, we walk within reason, as was said, that “A judge has only what his eyes see.” In other words, it is specifically with the intellect and not above the intellect. But when shifting to work with the “right,” the left is the cause that the right is built on the basis of above reason.
This is as our sages said, “The left pushes away and the right pulls near.” In other words, the state of “left” shows a person how he is rejected and separated from the work of the Creator. “The right pulls near” means that it shows him that he is close to the work of the Creator. This means that when he engages in the left, the left should bring him to see a state of rejection, that he is rejected and separated from the work. When he engages in the right, he should come to a state where he sees that he is close to the Creator. He should thank the Creator for the “right,” and pray to the Creator for the “left,” for only on two legs can a person walk in corporeality. This extends from spirituality, which shows that a person should walk on two lines.
Concerning the wholeness, there is another manner. If a person comes to a state where he sees that he is bare and destitute, since he is behind both in mind and in heart, meaning sees that he is immersed in self-love and that he has not a single organ that has any desire to work for the sake of the Creator, now he sees that he has come to his true state called “recognition of evil.”
He says that the fact that now he sees the recognition of evil is a gift from above that he was shown the truth. Otherwise, he would deceive himself and think that he need not change his way, since he is certainly walking on the path of truth. Thus, he could remain with his evil forever. But now, a revelation from above came to him, to see the truth.
This is as it is written in The Zohar about the verse, “Or make his sin known to him.” It interprets that the Creator notified him that he sinned, meaning he was informed from above that he sinned. In other words, recognition of evil is a revelation from above. For this reason, he rejoices at the fact that the Creator tends to him and guides him, and shows him his true state. This gives him wholeness from being rewarded with the revelation of the truth at the hands of the Creator. This discernment, that he receives wholeness, means that he says that the Creator is bringing him closer and shows him the truth.
It follows that now he is not in a state where he says that the Creator has rejected him from Kedushabecause he feels the bad. On the contrary, this makes him feel that the Creator is pulling him closer. This is called “the right pulls near.” Naturally, in that state, when he sees that he is all bad, he can overcome and seek advice how to emerge from this bad. Hence, he thanks and praises the Creator.
It follows that now he is regarded as blessed, in that he sees that he has received awareness from above about the recognition of evil. When he thanks the Creator, he is certainly called “blessed,” since he received a blessing from the Creator, and then he can come to Dvekut with the Creator since “the blessed clings to the blessed.”
This is as Baal HaSulam interpreted what our sages said, “The world was created either for the complete wicked or for the complete righteous” (Berachot 61). He asked, “We can understand that it is for the complete righteous, but can it be said, ‘for the complete wicked’?”
He explained that when a person knows about himself that he is wicked, he will certainly do all that he can to repent. We should interpret his words, “For the complete righteous,” who then enjoy the world in that they are rewarded with the delight and pleasure that the Creator wanted to give at the time of the creation of the world, since they already have Kelim [vessels] to receive the light of the Creator in order to bestow, for in these Kelim, the purpose of creation is revealed, which is called “His desire to do good to His creations.”
Likewise, when he has already been rewarded with the recognition of evil, it is Kelim, for he has an inner drive to do what he can to emerge from the state of wicked. But when he does not feel the bad, he has no one to awaken him to emerge from that bad state, since he does not feel so bad that he must do all that he can in order to emerge from it.
It follows that the fact that he has come to a state where he sees that he is all bad, already has a great merit to it. The evidence is that he can already say that the world was created for him, as was said, “The world was created either for the complete wicked.” But before he discovered the bad state, he had no right to exist in the world, as was said, “The world was created either for the complete wicked or for the complete righteous.” It follows that prior to the recognition of evil, he has no right to exist in the world.
It therefore follows that if he has achieved the recognition of evil, it is regarded that he already has a grip in the world. In that respect, it is considered that he has wholeness and he can already praise and thank the Creator for this, and he already has connection with the Creator and it can already be said that he is called “blessed,” and “the blessed clings to the blessed.”
At that time, he can be, and this is the time when he can ascend in degree, meaning that at the time of gladness, he can receive all the prayers he has given over his deficiencies. It is as our sages said, “The Shechina [Divinity] is present only out of joy,” as it is written, “And he will be as a musician playing, and the spirit of the Lord shall be upon him.” It follows that the primary time when one is rewarded with instilling the Shechina is specifically the time of wholeness, for specifically at the time of wholeness is the time when he can receive his soul.
According to the above, we can interpret what our sages said, “Eliezer had a daughter. He wanted her to be a wife for Isaac.” Literally, this is difficult to understand. After all, Eliezer’s daughter was the daughter of a sage, as our sages said (Yoma 28b), “And Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that was his. Rabbi Eliezer said that the governor of the teaching of his master is of the household of Eliezer.” They also said there, “Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, was old and sat in a seminary.”
Abraham did not agree to this match and replied, “The cursed does not cling to the blessed.” This was not so about the match with Rebecca, who was the daughter of Betuel and the sister of wicked Lavan. Our sages said that Betuel sought to feed Eliezer the potion of death so they would be left with the wealth. In other words, he was not merely wicked; he was also a murderer. Yet, Gabriel came and replaced the bowl and gave it to Betuel, and he died.
Rebecca, too, came from an environment of wicked, yet, this match is a good match, as it is written, “And Rebecca came out.” In other words, the Creator brought her out from among all the town’s people, who were wicked. “Rebecca came out” because she was righteous. In the literal, if a person is offered two matches, where one is a daughter of a sage, and the other comes from the house of wicked people and a city of wicked people, of course he would choose the daughter of the sage.
But in the work, we should interpret that the state of Eliezer is a state of “left,” for he was yelling all the time, “Eli [My God], Ezer [help!], since I am under the governance of the evil.” It follows that this woman, the daughter of the left, who prayed to be given the quality of Isaac, who is called Neshama[soul] as a “wife,” which is the body, in order to receive the soul, Abraham did not agree because when a person is in the left and cries out, “Lord, help me emerge from the evil,” that body is in a state of “cursed.” He told him that Isaac, meaning the soul, was “blessed,” and “the cursed does not cling to the blessed.”
It is written in The Zohar (Toldot, Item 49), Therefore, although Eliezer was a sage, he felt that he lacked the quality of truth. He was always in the state of “the left,” and always had grievances, why the Creator would not hear him and give him a soul, since “the light in it reforms him.” Although the left “speaks to the point,” since everything is built on reason, as was said, that “the judge has only what his eyes see,” but in truth, he is cursed.
This is why Abraham told him, “The cursed,” meaning the body in a state of “cursed,” cannot receive the instilling of the Shechina, regarded as one’s personal soul. This is so because the Shechina is called Malchut, which is the collection of the souls. For this reason, Malchut is called “the assembly of Israel.” Hence, in this state, the body is unfit to receive the quality of Isaac, who is called a “soul,” as was said that the body is called “wife,” and the soul is called “husband.”
However, Rebecca, means in the work that the body sees everything that the left shows it, its true state, that all its organs are wicked, that it understands only that which concerns self-love, but with regard to the benefit of the Creator, it cannot do a thing, just as the “left” shows it.
This is the meaning of “all the town’s people were wicked,” since the body is called “city,” as it is written (Ecclesiastes 9:14), “A small city with few people in it. A great king came to it and found in it a poor wise man, who saved the city with his wisdom.” Rebecca, who was a single righteous woman, came out from among all the town’s people.
Why does it say “came out”? He says that “It indicates that the Creator took her out from among all the town’s people.” This means that this body felt itself as whole, meaning as righteous, because the Creator notified it the truth. From this, it is glad, and this in itself is regarded as wholeness, that the Creator notified it, or, for the second above-mentioned reason, that he believes above reason that he has wholeness because he believes in faith in his teacher that we must go above reason and say, “They have eyes and see not.”
In a state of wholeness, we can be rewarded with the state of Isaac, who is called a “soul.” This means that the two opposites are in one body but in two times. We are told that the most important is to walk on the right line, once he has a little bit of the left line. This is the meaning of “One should always establish the praise of the Creator,” which is called “right,” “and then pray,” regarded as “left,” and then he returns to the right.
Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link