Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

What Is the Meaning of Failure in the Work?

Article No. 2, Tav-Shin-Nun, 1989-90

It is written (Hosea 14), “Return, O Israel unto the Lord your God, for you have failed in your iniquity.” The RADAK interprets “You have failed in your iniquity,” that you see that you failed in your iniquity because nothing raises you from your fall but your repentance [return] to Him. It says “unto” as in “to.” Our sages said, “Great is repentance, for it reaches unto the throne, as was said, ‘unto the Lord your God.’”

We should understand what is “for you have failed in your iniquity.” It seems as though he did something and there was a failure, some blunder that he did not see in advance. But if a person commits iniquities, what failure is there here? From the start, he intended to do something inappropriate, for he committed something that is forbidden to do.

A failure means that it is not really the person’s fault, but that he failed in it. And we should also understand the meaning of the words “unto the Lord your God,” in singular form, “your God.” Also, we should understand the meaning of “unto the throne.”

We should interpret that “for you have failed in your iniquity” means the first iniquity that Adam HaRishon sinned with the tree of knowledge, where the blunder was that he heeded the serpent’s advice. The Creator told him not to eat from the tree of knowledge but he listened to the advice of the serpent, that if he worked in order to bestow he was permitted to eat.

The serpent said that the Creator commanded not to eat from the tree of knowledge because in the state he was in, he was unfit to eat it. But if he mended his ways, certainly, in such a manner the Creator did not forbid him to eat from the tree of knowledge.

It follows that with Adam HaRishon there was a blunder and a failure. That is, he did not intend to act against His will. On the contrary, following the serpent’s advice, he intended to perform a great correction, as the serpent advised him, that it was to the contrary and the Creator would enjoy this action (see “Introduction to Panim Masbirot,” where he interprets the matter of the sin of the tree of knowledge).

This was the failure of Adam HaRishon, that he heeded the serpent’s advice, who told him that this work of eating from the tree of knowledge is considered a Mitzva [commandment/good deed], and not a transgression. But in the end, he saw that he had sinned, as it is written, “And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked.”

RASHI interpreted “and they knew that they were naked”: “Even a blind person knows that he is naked. So what is the meaning of ‘and they knew that they were naked’? They had one Mitzva in their hands, and they were stripped off of it” (stripped off means naked, bare, undressed).

That is, he saw that he should not have heeded the serpent’s advice, although the serpent made him think that everything he said to him was for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake, as he told him that if he prepared to purify himself and aim for the sake of the Creator, on this, there was no commandment of the Creator (see “Introduction to Panim Masbirot,” Item 17).

By this we should interpret what our sages said (Sanhedrin 38), “Adam HaRishon was a thief.” RASHI interprets that he “leaned toward idolatry.” We should understand how such a thing can be said of Adam HaRishon, who spoke to the Creator, that we can say he was an idolater.

According to what we learn, faith means that he believes above reason. Therefore, although he himself heard from the Creator that he must not eat from the tree of knowledge, and it cannot be said that he had to believe in the commandment of the Creator, but it means that after the serpent came to him and made him understand within reason why the Creator told him not to eat, Adam HaRishon should have told the serpent, “Although within reason you are correct, meaning that if I eat from the tree of knowledge with the aim to bestow, the Creator will have contentment from this eating, and I see that you are one hundred percent correct, still, I am going above reason. I want to observe the commandment of the Creator without any intellect or reason, since what you add to faith is already called ‘leaning toward idol-worship.’”

But Adam HaRishon added to what the Creator had commanded him. It is about this that they said, “Adam HaRishon was an idolater.” From this sin extends to us the concealment in the work, for it is hard for us to move away from self-love. Naturally, it is difficult for us to believe in His guidance in the form of good and doing good, so we will have the power to praise and thank Him for all the things that a person feels—that it is only good.

This lack of faith in His guidance, that He leads His world as the good who does good, causes us to be so far from the Creator. A person can serve and do things that are even beyond his power, if he feels for whom he is working. But as long as one is in self-love, he cannot feel His existence as is required for having permanent faith.

This is as it is written (“Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Item 138), “When one feels bad, denial … lies upon him,” meaning he cannot have faith before he has equivalence of form. “It is a law that the creature cannot receive disclosed evil from the Creator, for it is a flaw in the glory of the Creator for the creature to perceive Him as an evildoer, for this is unbecoming of the complete Operator.”

By this we should interpret his expulsion from the Garden of Eden into concealment and hiding, and for which all the generations following him have much work in that they must believe that there is a leader in the world, and that He also watches over with a guidance of the good who does good. When a person does not have such faith, it causes him all the sins that he commits, since it extends from the first iniquity of Adam HaRishon that man has the quality of self-love, and naturally, he is incapable of taking upon himself the burden of faith.

It follows that everything extends from the first failure, when Adam HaRishon fell into self-love. This caused the following generations to have work of simple faith, since when a person is in self-love, the Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment are on him, and the upper light cannot shine for him. For this reason, a person can believe in the Creator only above reason, since the will to receive causes him denial.

Thus, the failure that Adam HaRishon had with the tree of knowledge caused us absence of faith. Naturally, from this we come into all the sins. Therefore, the only counsel is to be rewarded with faith, for man to feel Godliness personally, so he will not need the general public, to have faith from the whole of Israel. Instead, a person must repent to the extent that it is “unto the Lord your God.” That is, he should feel that “the Lord is your God” personally, and then the flaw of the tree of knowledge will be corrected.

By this we can interpret what is “unto the Lord your God.” Because the failure was that he heeded the serpent’s advice—who told him what was His intention according to the intellect—a person must repent until he is rewarded with “the Lord is your God” personally, and not be taken after anyone.

That is, he should not follow the general public when he sees in what ways, meaning with what intentions the order of the work should be, as well as the manner of the work. In other words, he should not consider the goal that a person from the general public aspires for. Rather, he must repent until he is personally rewarded with “The Lord is your God.”

This is as it is written (“Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 54), “When the Creator sees that one has completed one’s measure of exertion and strengthening in faith in the Creator, the Creator helps him. Then, one attains open Providence, meaning the revelation of the face. Then, he is rewarded with complete repentance, meaning he clings to the Creator once more with his heart, soul, and might, as though naturally drawn to Him by the attainment of the open Providence. …It is written, ‘What is repentance like?’ … ‘when He who knows all mysteries testifies that he will not turn back to folly.’” That is, when can one be certain that he has been rewarded with complete repentance? “When He who knows all mysteries testifies” to him. “This means that he will attain the revelation of the face, at which time one’s own salvation will testify that he will not turn back to folly.”

Accordingly, we should interpret what we asked, What is “unto the Lord your God”? It means that a person should repent, meaning do all that he can until the Creator helps him and he is rewarded with open Providence, meaning the revelation of the face. Then it is regarded as “the Lord your God,” meaning that he has obtained the revelation of the face of the Creator personally. This is called “unto the Lord your God,” meaning that he was rewarded personally, and this is called “the Lord your God.”

Now we will explain what we asked about the meaning of what our sages said, “Great is repentance, for it reaches unto the throne” (Yoma 86). It is known that it is impossible to correct anything unless we see the corruption. For this reason, it is impossible to repent if he does not see the sin. In other words, the evil cannot be corrected if one does not see the evil in its true form.

As in corporeality, if one does not see the weight of something, one cannot lift it. Hence, when a person does not see the real form of evil within him, he cannot ask for complete help so he can overcome the evil. It is known that “Man’s inclination overcomes him every day, and were it not for the help of the Creator, he would not be able to overcome it.” For this reason, if a person does not see the measure of the evil, his prayer is incomplete.

If, for example, a person asks the Creator to help him with a little bit of evil, so that by this he will be rewarded with repentance, as a result, the help that comes from above is only in order to revoke a little bit of evil and not all the evil within him. This is akin to a person coming to the doctor and telling him that he has a fever and asking the doctor to give him a pill to lower his temperature. The doctor asks, “What is your temperature?” and he says, “38°(centigrade)” [100.4°F]. The doctor gives him a pill but the pill does not help. So the doctor says to him, “You must have a higher temperature.” So what does the doctor do? He takes his temperature himself and sees that his temperature is more than 40°(centigrade) [104°F]. Then the doctor gives him a medicine suitable for someone with 40°(centigrade) temperature.

The lesson is that since a person must pray, which is the tool to receive salvation, and if a person does not pray for the real evil within him, but thinks that he has a little bit of evil, his prayer does not draw help from above, but only for someone who has a little bit of evil. Therefore, when a person begins to walk on the path of truth and asks for the Creator’s help, the Creator shows him each time a little bit of the evil within him. Consequently, the person begins to think that each time he overcomes in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds], he grows worse than before he began the work of truth.

At that time he comes to a state of “pondering the beginning.” That is, he regrets having started this work. The whole reason why he started this work was in order to thereby draw closer to the Creator. But now he sees the opposite, that he is going backward instead of forward.

However, a person should believe that he is making progress in the work, except he sees that each time he is getting worse. As in the above allegory, where the doctor takes the temperature and not the patient, the Creator “takes his temperature,” meaning shows him each time how he is immersed in evil to such an extent that he cannot believe that such a thing can be.

That is, a person does not understand how there can be such a state where a person begins to increase his labor in Torah and Mitzvot, and should have seen that each day he becomes better. But in reality, he sees that he is getting worse.

The answer is that when a person begins to walk on the path of truth, to the extent that he overcomes in the work, to that extent he is sown the evil in him, so he can ask the Creator for help over the actual evil. That is, at that time a person sees that unless the Creator helps him, it will be utterly impossible for him to emerge from the control of the evil, as the control of the evil within him grows more powerful each day. But all this is in order for him to need the salvation of the Creator, for specifically then he receives a desire and need for the Creator’s help.

This is as it is written in the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot” (Item 138): “The concealment is the reason for the revelation. After its correction, at the time of revelation, the concealment becomes revelation like a wick to the light that grips it. And the greater the concealment, the greater the light that will cling to it and be revealed when it is corrected.”

Accordingly, we should interpret the meaning of “Great is repentance, for it reaches unto the throne.” Baal HaSulam said that we should interpret Kisse [Throne] in two ways: 1) from the word Kissui[cover], that it covers, 2) from the word Kisse [chair] that is fit for the King to sit on.

It follows that by a person achieving the recognition of evil, where he sees how far he is both in mind and in heart, that everything is blocked and covered, that he sees no inlet making it possible to be rewarded with Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, this is called the “covering throne.”

This degree is regarded as a Kli [vessel] and a real need for the salvation of the Creator. On this throne, the help of the Creator is later revealed, as in “He who comes to purify is aided.” It follows that this throne, that was in such lowliness, meaning that he felt a state of lowliness and degradation, has been rewarded with the glory of the King being on it. It follows that that same lowliness has become the throne.

By this we can interpret, “Great is repentance, for it reaches unto the throne.” That is, when does one know that he has repented? The sign is if the previous throne has been rewarded with the revelation of light. This is until the King of Glory, who sits on the throne, becomes revealed.


Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

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