Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Is the Meaning of “Spies,” in the Work?
Article No. 35, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
It is written in The Zohar (Shlach, Item 82), “Rabbi Yosi said, ‘They took upon themselves a counsel, to slander everything. What is ‘everything’? It is the earth and the Creator. Rabbi Yitzhak said, ‘The earth, this is true. But the Creator? How do we know?’ He told him, ‘This is the meaning of the verse, ‘Nevertheless, strong is the people,’ meaning Who can overcome them, for ‘strong is the people’? In other words, even the Creator cannot overcome them. Thus, they slandered the Creator.”
We should understand how such a thing can be said in the work, about the Creator, since we are speaking of people who want to draw near to the Creator. How can it be said that they do not believe that the Creator is almighty? It is written in The Zohar (Item 63), “‘And they returned from touring the land.’ ‘Returned’ means that they returned to the side of evil, and returned from the path of truth, saying, ‘What did we get out of it? To this day we have not seen good in the world. We have toiled in Torah and the house is empty. Who will be awarded that world? It would have been better had we not toiled so. We labored and learned in order to know the part of that world. That upper world is good, as we know in the Torah, but who can be rewarded with it?’”
We should understand what is the sin of the spies, if they said that everything is true, “but who can be rewarded with it?” In other words, they were saying that they are unworthy of the good, as it is written, “That upper world is good, as we know in the Torah, but who can be rewarded with it?” Thus, why is the sin so grave?
In Midrash Rabbah (Shlach 15:7), he says, “Rabbi Yehoshua says, ‘What were they (spies) like? Like a king who arranged for his son a fair woman, from a good and wealthy family. The king told his son, ‘She is a fair looking woman and she is from a good and wealthy family.’ The son replied, ‘I will go and see her,’ for he did not believe his father. Promptly, the matter perplexed and irritated his father. His father said, ‘What should I do? If I tell him, ‘I will not show her to you now,’ he will say that she is ugly, and this is why he does not want to show her.’ In the end, he said to him, ‘See her, but because you did not believe in me, I swear that you will not see her in your house, for I will rather give her to your son.’’”
This is perplexing, for it implies that the Creator showed that the land is good, but the spies did not see the good land, since they said that they did not see there any good. Instead, they said that they saw there only bad things, for they said, “It is a land that devours its inhabitants.” Thus, what is the allegory about the king’s son?
To understand the above, we must understand what we learn, that we have two things before us: 1) to receive delight and pleasure, which is the purpose of creation, 2) how to obtain the delight and pleasure.
Because we see that although everyone agrees that we should receive delight and pleasure, without labor, one does not attain anything. The labor is that we must offer some payment to the landlord so he will want to give us what we want. In the work, this is called “desire to bestow,” for only in vessels of bestowal can we receive abundance of Kedusha [holiness], which is as we learned, “You will be holy for I am holy,” meaning that everything must be in order to bestow.
Before one obtains the vessels of bestowal, he is placed under the Tzimtzum [restriction] and the concealment that were placed on the upper guidance, so that man is unable to see the truth. That is, a person is unable to see His guidance, the way He behaves with the creatures in a guidance of good and doing good, as Baal HaSulam said (in the book Shamati, essay, “Faith in the Rav”) about what is written, “They have eyes but they will not see,” that one must believe in his rav [teacher] about what the rav arranged for us—an order of work on the “right.” At that time, a person should depict to himself as though he has already been rewarded with complete faith in the Creator, and he already feels in his organs that the Creator leads the whole world in a manner of good and doing good, meaning that the whole world receives from Him only good.
And even though when he looks at himself, he sees that he is bare and destitute, he should say about this, “They have eyes but they will not see,” where “they” means that as long as one is under multiple authorities, called “they,” “they will not see” the truth. And what is multiple authorities? It is two desires.
This means that man has a will to receive for his own sake, which is a different desire from that of the Creator, whose desire is to bestow, and a person wants only to receive for his own sake. Hence, when one is going to criticize what the Creator gave him, he sees only suffering and pain, since there are two desires in the world.
Therefore, when one must thank the Creator and say, “Blessed is He who said, ‘Let there be the world,’” to praise and be thankful that the Creator gave us a world filled with abundance, yet, now he sees the opposite, then one must exert and go above reason and say that everything he sees is not the truth, and believe what is written, “They have eyes but they will not see” the truth.
It follows that every work and labor that one must give is in order to obtain the desire to bestow, for only then can one see how the Creator created a world so filled with abundance that our sages said, “There has never been joy before Him as on the day when heaven and earth were created.” This is so because to the Creator, there is no issue of time. Hence, He immediately saw the wholeness of creation at the end of its correction, since the purpose of creation was as it is written, “His desire to do good to His creations,” and to Him, past and future are all the same. Naturally, at that time He saw the delight and pleasure that the creatures are receiving.
However, when one begins to work in order to obtain the desire to bestow, begins the order of ascents and descents, since in everything there are things that are good for one and bad for the other. However, everything must be balanced. For this reason, often, a person does not keep to the middle road between them, but leans to one side more than to the other, and spoils everything.
It is known that in the work of bestowal, a person must walk on two lines, called “right and left.” “Right” means wholeness, and “left” is called in the work, “a path that requires correction.” Because of it, we have two orders in the work:
1) Songs and praises, which pertain to the state of wholeness. That is, when one is satisfied with the guidance of the Creator, with how He behaves with him, he thanks the Creator for the good that the Creator has given him.
2) Prayer and litany, which pertains to when one sees that he has deficiencies and wants the Creator to satisfy his needs. At that time, a person asks the Creator to grant him his wish. However, since they are opposite from one another, meaning when a person thanks the Creator, and certainly when a man is thankful, one should try to give to the Creator many thanks, for the gratitude should be evaluated according to the measure of the good that the Creator has given him. Thus, it is upon man to depict to himself the greatness and importance of the matter.
In other words, a person says that he does not deserve this good that the Creator has given him. Thus, how can he then say that he is deficient? Certainly, a prayer must be from the bottom of the heart, meaning to feel his need in all his organs or the prayer will not be from the bottom of the heart. Thus, how is it possible can it be said, once he has thanked the Creator for all the good that he has received, that he is deficient, and pray and cry to the Creator to grant him his wishes?
Therefore, those two things cause descents and ascents, since each one cancels the other. Yet, we should understand why we need both, and why prayer or gratitude is not enough, but rather both are required, but since they cannot be in the same carrier at the same time, we arrange them consecutively.
In other words, first we thank the Creator because He chose us from among all the nations, although we are lowly and inferior compared to His greatness, yet He chose us out of every nation. This is as our sages said, “One should always establish the praise of the Creator and then pray.” Thus, when one thanks the Creator because He has been good to him, meaning certainly when the Creator gave him all that is needed, how is there a place to then pray for the things he is missing, and for the prayer to be from the bottom of the heart?
The answer is that on one hand, one should receive vitality during the work. When one does not have anything from which to live, he is distraught and cannot observe the Torah and Mitzvot properly, as it is written, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your sons and you shall speak of them when you sit in your home, and when you walk on the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Thus, there is a complete order in observing Torah and Mitzvot. If one’s mind is not settled, his work cannot be done in the order that it should. Hence, when one praises the Creator and depicts to himself the greatness and importance of the Creator as much as he can, from this one can derive vitality and feel the importance of the Creator, that the Creator gave him a thought and desire to speak with Him. From this, one should derive contentment.
One should imagine what mood he would be in if the greatest in the generation, whom the whole world praises, if that great man gave him permission to speak with him, how elated he would be, since when he feels this pleasure of being able to speak with him, he would not feel that he needs anything in the world. The pleasure that one feels more than usual makes him forget all his worries and his whole body gives itself up to the pleasure he is receiving now. That is, if during the reception of the pleasure, he can think about anything other than the pleasure he is receiving now, it is a sign that the pleasure he is receiving now is incomplete.
Hence, when one depicts to himself that the Creator permitted him to speak with Him, it does not matter what he says, but the importance that he has an opportunity to speak to the Creator, from this one should derive delight and pleasure that he has such a privilege. It follows that the work of the right is that one should believe that he is speaking with the Creator and that he does not need anything right now.
However, one should know that anything that depends on faith, the body does not agree to this work, especially because this work is considered a correction, and anything that pertains to correction invokes the body’s resistance. This extends from the breaking of the vessels that occurred in the world of Nekudim. Therefore, there is much work on this.
Baal HaSulam said about the work of the right, when a person begins to slight it because he begins to work on a line that is contradictory to the right, which is the left line—that the work of the right is work in wholeness and truth, meaning that one must believe that the Creator is great and important, and man is utterly base. It follows that both are true. It is hard to walk on this line, and the body objects. He said that in the state of the right, a person is considered “blessed,” since he is happy with his share and does not need anything. At that time, a person is fit to receive abundance from above by way of “The blessed clings to the Blessed.” In this quality, he has Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator. Hence, precisely in that state, a person can rise in degree.
However, we must also walk on the left line, which is the way to see how one sees the faults that need correcting. In other words, in the right, the work is only to depict the greatness of the Creator and believe in His greatness and importance. But the quality of the left is specifically to look at oneself and see the faults in him, in order to correct himself so there is no flaw in him. But the main flaw that one should see is the bad within him, meaning what is the essence of the evil that we must find, meaning that we must search and find.
Certainly, each person knows that there is evil in him. The thing is that we must know the root of evil, which is what prevents one from being able to receive the good that there is in the world.
The world was created for a purpose, and it was said that the purpose of the creation of the world was His desire to do good to His creations. Since man suffers torments in the world, and asks, “Why does it seem to us in this way?” For this reason, one must believe in the sages, who said that one should know that there was a correction on the purpose of creation, so as not to have the matter of shame upon the reception of the pleasure. This can be only if during the reception of the abundance, it will be in order to bestow. In that state, there is no place for shame.
Hence, only then, when he believes in the sages that we must obtain vessels of bestowal, otherwise it is impossible to obtain the good that the creatures should receive, then one realizes that all the bad is only the will to receive for one’s own sake, and man should do everything to root it out and receive in its stead the desire to bestow, called a “second nature.” At that time, he will be rewarded with the delight and pleasure that was in the thought of creation.
According to the above, we should work in two manners:
1) On the path of the right, which is the time when one works so as to feel that he has wholeness and he is content with his situation, and he can thank the Creator for it. This is the time when he can receive from above abundance and advance in the rungs of Kedusha [holiness]. However, although this is time to receive abundance from above, he does not lack anything, meaning he has no Kelim[vessels] to receive the abundance, so he must shift to the other line, called “left.”
2) This is the path of the “left,” by means of criticism that one passes on himself. The right line means that one looks only at the Creator, meaning to understand and to learn about the measure of the greatness of the Creator, and not about himself, to see what he is missing. Rather, he wants to look at what he has, meaning what the Creator gave him, and be thankful to the Creator for this.
However, the path of the left is to examine oneself, how much bad he has and what is the bad within him, and to try to correct it. At that time begins the matter of the spies who slandered the earth. “Earth” means the kingdom of heaven, as they said, that this matter of the kingdom of heaven is not for them.
According to the above, we should interpret what is written, “Rabbi Yosi said, ‘They took upon themselves a counsel, to slander everything. What is ‘everything’? It is the earth and the Creator. ‘This is the meaning of the verse, ‘Nevertheless, strong is the people,’ meaning who can overcome them?’ In other words, even the Creator cannot overcome them. Thus, they slandered the Creator.”
They said that “We were born with a nature of doing everything for ourselves, so how can we accept the burden of the kingdom of heaven with the aim to benefit the Creator, meaning to do everything in order to bestow? After all, we began the work many times and in our view, we have done all that we could. But not only did the Creator not help us advance at all toward the aim to bestow, but we have even gone backwards. Thus, we must determine that even the Creator cannot help us emerge from the control of the will to receive. Otherwise, we would have moved a little bit forward. But after all the labor we have given in order to obtain the desire to bestow, in our view, it has all been in vain. Therefore, we are in a state where we have neither the corporeal world nor the spiritual world.”
This is why it is written, “What did we get out of it? To this day we have not seen good in the world. We have toiled in Torah and the house is empty. Who will be awarded that world?” That is, they saw that they were not advancing in the work. But what was the sin? It was that they should have had faith in the Creator that all those descents that they felt in the work were not because they did not go forward, but that each time a person sees that he is far from the goal, it is in order for him to find a real need for His salvation. And the need is called “a Kli [vessel] to receive the filling.” Yet, what was missing there and for which they could not continue and wanted to escape from the campaign was the lack of the right line.
The meaning of “right” is that one must have vitality during the work, and we receive vitality specifically from wholeness, which we can obtain precisely when we are not looking at ourselves, but at the Creator, and all the effort is to think about the greatness of the Creator and not about ourselves, meaning what we acquired, some progress in the work. Rather, we should think what a privilege we have that we have some contact with the Creator.
This means that when he performs a commandment or says a blessing, he should say, “I am happy that I believe that I am doing the Creator’s will by observing His commandments. Although I understand that we must observe the commandments of the King with more importance than I ascribe to observing the Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds], I cannot appreciate the importance of the act, even though the act is incomplete. Still, I am happy that the Creator has given me a desire and yearning to do something in observing Torah and Mitzvot, even if these actions are not so important. Yet, it is important to me, since now I can say that I am doing the Creator’s will.”
From this, one should derive vitality and joy because it is the truth that the Creator is great. Hence, when one has a desire to do something in the work, this is very important. A person should believe that even when a person does things by coercion, it is still important, since in terms of the action, there is nothing to add and the act does its thing.
Therefore, since the spies did not go on the right, as well, they wanted to escape the campaign and said that even the Creator cannot help them. That is, they understood that the Creator should bring them closer in the way that they understood, not in the way that the Torah obligates us, as it is written, that there are two writings that deny one another until the third wiring comes and decides between them. For this reason, the spies, who strayed to walk on the left line and abandoned the right, saw that they could not come and inherit the land. It was all because they went by the wrong path, as Moses had arranged for them.
This is the meaning of what is written about a king who arranged for his son a wife and said, “I will show her to you (but) I swear that you will not see her in your house, for I will rather give her to your son.” We asked, But the spies did not see her, that she is fair and comes from a good and wealthy family?! We should interpret that in the work “father and son” are “cause and consequence.” The present is called “father,” and the future is called “son.” In spirituality, “seeing” means attainment. Since they took the wrong path, they could not see it “in your house,” meaning in the state they were in, in vessels of reception. Rather, “to your son,” meaning after you repent, when you are rewarded with vessels of bestowal, you will be able to see all the merits that there are in the inheritance of the land that the Creator promised to our forefathers.
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link