Inapoi la pagina 1989 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Are the Forces Required in the Work?
Article No. 11, Tav-Shin-Mem-Tet, 1988-89
Our sages said (Megillah 6b), “Rabbi Yitzhak said, ‘Should one tell you, ‘I labored but did not find,’ do not believe; ‘I did not labor but did find,’ do not believe; ‘I labored and found,’ believe.’” We should understand the meaning of “believe.” Are we speaking of people telling lies? We are speaking here of people who engage in Torah; certainly, they are decent people. Why should we think that they are lying? Thus, why does he say, “believe” or “do not believe”?
To understand this, we must first know the meaning of labor. We already said many times that labor is when a person has to do things against nature. That is, since we are born with a desire to receive for ourselves, in order to have Dvekut [adhesion] and equivalence of form—since specifically by this it is possible to receive delight and pleasure without shame—there was a correction that we must do everything in order to bestow. Otherwise, we are left in a vacant space devoid of light, which is called “concealment and hiding,” where we do not feel any Kedusha [holiness] while engaging in self-love.
For this reason, when beginning to work in order to bestow, which is against nature, it is called “labor” because the body resists it. The body resists with all its might to any movement that it sees that it will not be for its own benefit, and it requires great strength to overcome it. This is where the main work begins, of which it was said, “I labored” or “I did not labor.”
We asked about this, How can it be said that if people come and say, “I did not labor but found, do not believe”? After all, we are speaking of people who have already “found.” Certainly, these are decent people. It cannot be said that they are lying! So, why does it say, “Do not believe” them, as though they are lying? But in truth, they did labor, so why are they saying that they did not labor when they say, “I did not labor but found”?
The answer is that when a person begins the work of bestowal, the body begins to resist. Then, a person begins to use the Segula [remedy/power] of Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] in order to have the strength to overcome the evil in him. With the assistance he should receive from the Torah and Mitzvot, he sees the opposite. He thought that each time, he would march forward and feel that it is not worthwhile to work for self-love and that it is time for the evil to surrender before, him and he believed that he was given this feeling from above and henceforth he would no longer have any contact with the evil. But suddenly, he sees that he is once again in utter lowliness, immersed in self-love and feeling the concealment and hiding from the purpose of creation, which is to do good to His creations. Although he believes that in order to be rewarded with it we must first be rewarded with the love of the Creator, he sees that he only loves himself and cannot accept that he will annul before the Creator and say that there is no other authority in the world, everything belongs to the Creator, and the lower one does not merit a name.
Therefore, when a thought about annulling before the Creator comes to him, the body stands against him and makes him think, “How do you want to annul yourself before the Creator and have no reality of your own, so there is only the single authority of the Creator and you do not want to merit a name?” This is against nature, since as long as one is alive, he wants to exist and feel his being. So how is he told that he must annul before the Creator and lose his being?
At that time the body says that it does not agree to this. This is called “exile,” meaning that the “nations of the world” in a person control the “Israel” in him. It is known that “Israel” means Yashar-El [straight to the Creator]. That is, a person does not want to have a reality of his own, but wants to annul directly before the Creator. As it was in the exile in Egypt, the Egyptians controlled the people of Israel and they could not emerge from their governance. Rather, as it is written, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt.” This means that a person cannot have the power to overcome and emerge from the control of the body by himself. Rather, the Creator Himself can redeem them from this exile.
Now there is a question: A person made great efforts and went through many states of ascents and descents, and many times despaired, meaning came to the conclusion that the verse “All your works will be for the sake of heaven” is not for him, but belongs to people with exceptional skills, and who are strong and brave. But he himself cannot achieve this, and he has already decided that he must leave this campaign. But then he received another awakening from above, to the point that he has forgotten his decision prior to the current state. He says, “Now I see that I am back on the horse and I, too, can achieve a state of bestowal and emerge from self-love.” But then, he suddenly declines from his degree once more.
Also, there is the matter of forgetfulness. That is, he forgets what he said earlier, that he could come to work in order to bestow, and it did not occur to him that there could be a time when he would fall from his degree once more. Rather, he was certain that now he would move forward. But now he sees that it is not as he thought. Such thoughts and states come upon him ceaselessly.
It therefore follows that when the Creator Himself helps him and delivers him from exile, he does not know what to say, but sees that on one hand, all the efforts he had made bore no fruit. He sees within reason that had the Creator not helped him, he would have left the campaign, since many times he had such thoughts. Thus, he cannot say, “I labored and found”? since he sees that the labor earned him nothing. The fact that he was rewarded with finding was only by the Creator’s salvation, which is why he comes and says, “I did not labor but found.” That is, the labor he had given made no difference.
Now we will understand the question, How can we suspect that he is lying? According to the above, this is simple: He says what he sees, and he sees that all his labor did not help him whatsoever. Therefore, he makes an honest statement: “I did not labor.” That is, with regard to attaining the goal, he did nothing. That is, for all the labor he had given, he remained in a state of lowliness that is even lower than he felt in the beginning of the work, since when he started the work of bestowal, he thought he had a little bit of evil, and he would certainly have the power to overcome it and be able to work in bestowal and not receive for himself.
But what did he earn from the work and the labor he had put? It is that he has reached the worst lowliness. Thus, how can he say, “I labored and found,” since the labor caused him to perceive more evil, and not to find the Kedusha and enter it. Therefore, he knows that he is making a true statement, meaning that the labor is worthless. Thus, he is certain that the labor is not the reason for the finding. This is why he says, “I did not labor but found.” In his eyes, he is not lying.
Now we should ask, Why do they say, “Do not believe”? since he is telling the truth. Thus, what do we find in his words that is untrue, for which our sages said, “Do not believe”?
The thing is that there is a rule: “There is no light without a Kli [vessel].” That is, there cannot be a filling without a lack. Therefore, when a person makes an effort to come to bestow upon the Creator, the more he exerts, the more the need for the filling awakens in him. That is, to the extent of his effort to achieve the degree of bestowing, so he sees that he is far from it.
And who makes him see that he is far from being a giver? It is the work itself. It is like a person who catches a thief, and the thief wants to run away from him. Therefore, if the person is holding the thief and the thief does not show much resistance, the person does not need to make great efforts to hold the thief. But if the thief begins to show more resistance, the person, too, must make greater efforts to prevent the thief from escaping him. And if the thief is more powerful than the person, and he sees that soon he will escape from him, the person begins to yell for help and cries, “Help!”
Thus, when does one yell for help? Precisely when he cannot save himself by himself. Then he begins to yell, “Help!” But if the thief is but a small child and the person caught him in his hands, he would not normally yell, “Help me keep the boy from running away because I haven’t the strength to keep him, since he wants to run away from me!”
Certainly, everyone would laugh at him because we do not normally ask for help where we can do what needs to be done without anyone’s assistance. This is because the conduct is that “there is no filling without a lack.” Therefore, since he has no need for help, when he asks for help needlessly, everyone laughs at him because this does not match the order of correction of creation.
It follows from this that when a person does not need people and has sustenance, yet asks for help and support for his sustenance, those who see him laugh at him, even though he is standing and asking for help. We see that to the extent that he pleads for mercy, people who know him—that he is not in need—laugh at him and do not give him anything.
Now we can understand why when he says, “I did not labor but found,” our sages say, “Do not believe.” As we explained, he makes an honest statement. But as we explained, a filling is not given without a lack. Therefore, a person must work and exert and do all that is required to achieve the degree that “all your works will be for the sake of heaven.” To the extent of the labor he put into the work, so he becomes more needy of the Creator’s help. Then, when he has a Kli, meaning a need for the Creator’s help, when he sees no way that he can achieve the degree of bestowal, this is when he receives help from above.
It therefore follows that both are true. He must say, “I did not labor,” meaning that his labor was worthless, since he sees that he did not gain from the effort he had made. Quite the contrary, through his efforts, he came to realize that the labor is worthless, meaning that nothing can be obtained through the labor. He sees this within reason, and there is no issue of believing above reason here that the labor did not help him and only the Creator helped him, since he sees it with his own eyes.
Then he can say, “I did not labor but found.” This is why he says to everyone that the labor is worthless. In his opinion, he is telling the truth. But our sages said about him, “Do not believe” that he did not toil, since “There is no light without a Kli, no filling without a lack.” This is why we need the labor, as it increases his lack so as to need the Creator’s help more each time, until he acquires a real lack. The Creator knows when is the completion of the lack so it fits the filling, and then the Creator gives him the filling.
It follows that if a person does not labor, there is no place for the Creator to give him the filling. Thus, we see that the labor does have value, so much so that without labor there is no finding, as said above, “There is no filling without a lack.” This is why they said, “I did not labor but found, do not believe.” Indeed, there must be labor, as this gives us the need for the salvation of the Creator.
Therefore, when a person comes and says, “I labored but did not find,” they say, “Do not believe.” That is, if a person truly did exert, and received the need for the Creator to give him the filling, the Creator would certainly give him the filling. Rather, it must be that he did not labor sufficiently to receive the filling. But when is the need completed? This, the Creator knows. Therefore, a person must increase the efforts and not escape the campaign until the Creator helps him.
By this we will understand the question we asked, Which forces does one need in order to be able to achieve the degree that “All your works will be for the sake of heaven”? Does one need great skills, a strong desire, and a brave heart and so forth? That is, does it require having great powers in all those things we find among people, which make them be considered superior to others? Because it is written, “I labored and found, believe,” it implies that we need great powers.
They said about this, “I did not labor but found, do not believe.” That is, it does not require great strength or great skills, but only a desire—to want to adhere to the Creator. Then the Creator brings him closer without any labor or great powers. As said above, when a person is granted with “finding,” he says, “I did not labor,” as he sees that all the labor does not merit a name, for even if one had the greatest powers in the world, it would not help him.
In order to achieve Dvekut with the Creator and emerge from the control of self-love, only the Creator can deliver him from the control of man’s vessels of reception. It is as it is written, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt, to be your God.” No powers within a person will help in this.
By this we can explain what is written (in the [Hanukkah] song, Mighty Rock of My Salvation), “Greeks gathered around me, then in the days of the Hasmoneans, and broke the walls of my towers and defiled all the oils.” Since we need the labor in order to reveal the lack in us, and only then is it possible to satisfy the lack, in order to know exactly what we need, we can see this specifically when a person wants to approach Kedusha, meaning to do everything for the sake of heaven. This is regarded as the quality of “Hasmoneans,” whose role was to bring out the Kedusha from the governance of the Klipot, which are called “Greeks.”
Precisely when a person wants to draw near the Kedusha, which is done through faith above reason, the “views of the Greeks” appear in a person. This is a Klipa [singular of Klipot] against faith. At that time we see that before he began the work of bestowal, the Greeks were not revealed in the person, and he thought that he had sufficient faith in the Creator and had the strength to observe Torah and Mitzvot, and all that he needed was to do more Torah and Mitzvot.
But when one wants to be a Hasmonean, meaning that only Kedusha will govern the world, the “Greeks,” which is the Klipa opposite faith, appears more vigorously every time and wants specifically to break “the walls of my towers.” Faith is the “wall,” and all the greatness depends on the measure of faith that a person has in the Creator, as it is written in The Zohar about the verse “Her husband is known at the gates,” that each one according to what he assumes in his heart. That is, each person has a different measure of faith in the Creator, as it is written in the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot” (Item 14).
Now we can understand when the walls of my towers were broken, meaning that they saw they had no faith, that they could not go above reason. It is precisely when they wanted to come into the work that is all to bestow upon the Creator; this is when the “Greeks gathered around me” and the thoughts of the Greeks began to come, which let us go only where the intellect asserts that it was worth doing.
But that which is against the intellect, they insist on resisting and do not let one move one bit. This is when the labor begins. That is, precisely when we begin to walk in the work of bestowal, only then do we see that a person cannot do anything against his nature, which is the will to receive for oneself.
Therefore, when the Creator made a miracle for them, meaning helped them, everyone saw that all the work did nothing for them, meaning that all the work was in vain, since they could not conquer them, as it is written (in “For the Miracles”), “You delivered mighty in the hands of the weak, and many in the hands of the few.”
That is, naturally, there was no way for them to win because they were weak and few there. Thus, they saw within reason that the Creator helped them. This comes to teach us that when the Creator helps, it cannot be said that He can help specifically a mighty man, and cannot help a weak person.
Now we can see what great forces and good qualities must be in a person so the Creator will help him approach Him. In the work, we should interpret “You delivered mighty in the hands of the weak,” meaning the strong thoughts and the strong desires of the Greeks in a person, in the hands of the “Israel” in a person, who are weak in thoughts and are not skillful. They do not have the strong desire and the ability to overcome the desires of the nations of the world in a person. And yet, You delivered these mighty ones in the hands of the weak. This is called a “miracle” because it is not natural that a person will be able to overcome them.
This teaches us that one cannot say that he is unfit to be a worker for the Creator in order to bestow, since he sees that he does not meet the requirements that make him capable of this. Therefore, we are shown that a person cannot overcome nature, even if a person is the mightiest of the mighty. Rather, the Creator is the one who helps, as our sages said, “I did not labor but found, do not believe.” That is, finding means finding the vessels of bestowal, and this the Creator gives.
This is as it is written (Psalms 33), “The king is not saved by a mighty army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, who hope for His mercy [Hesed], to deliver their souls from death.” The meaning of “Behold, the eye of the Lord” is that the Creator looks at those people “who hope for His Hesed,” who await the Creator to give them the quality of Hesed, meaning give them the vessels of bestowal.
Inapoi la pagina 1989 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link