Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Is True Hesed in the Work?
Article No. 14, Tav-Shin-Nun, 1989-90
RASHI interprets the verse that Jacob said to Joseph, “Do for me mercy and truth.” Hesed[mercy/grace] that is done with the dead is true Hesed, for one does not expect a reward in return. This means that when he asked him the favor, “Please do not bury me in Egypt,” he asked that he will perform true Hesed, without reward. We should understand this, since common sense dictates that if he paid him for the trouble, he would certainly be more certain that he would do this for him, as it is customary that when we want something done to the fullest, we pay a higher fee. Thus, why did he choose the other way, to do the work without any payment?
Even more perplexing, according to the words of RASHI about the verse, “And I give you one Shechem more than to your brothers” (Genesis 48:22), RASHI interprets “‘I give you,’ since you trouble yourself with my burial, ‘one Shechem more than to your brothers.’ The actual Shechem will be to you one portion more than to your brothers.” Thus, this contradicts a true Hesed, which means without any payment, while here he pays him “one Shechem,” meaning one portion more than to his brothers.
We should interpret all this in the work, that Jacob implied to Joseph the order of the work. We see that the order of the work that was given to us in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] also seems contradictory. On one hand, we see that our sages said that the reason for the creation of the worlds was His desire to do good to His creations, meaning for the creatures to receive from Him delight and pleasure, since the Creator is in utter wholeness and the only reason He created creation is in order to give abundance to the created beings, as it is written (Midrash Rabbah, Beresheet), “The Creator replied to the angels when He wanted to create the man. He said that it is like a king who has a tower filled with abundance but he has no guests. What pleasure does it give?” It follows that all that He created was for the creatures to receive delight and pleasure and to feel His guidance as good and doing good.
On the other hand, we see something that is the complete opposite from the purpose of creation, meaning that a Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment were placed, that it is forbidden to receive for one’s own benefit. Rather, everything we receive should be for the sake of the Creator. This means that our main work is to work for Him. This is the meaning of the words, “Blessed is our God, who created us for His glory.” That is, all of creation is only for His glory and not for the created beings. This is why we were given 613 Mitzvot to observe.
As our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice,” said the Creator. In other words, a person cannot work for the sake of the Creator because the evil inclination obstructs him. Hence, the Creator has given us 613 Mitzvot, which The Zohar calls “613 Eitin” (meaning counsels), by which we will be able to work for the sake of the Creator.
Ostensibly, this is the complete opposite of the purpose of creation—to do good to His creations. The thing is that we must believe what the ARI says, “When it came up in His simple will to create the worlds, emanate the emanations, and bring to light the perfection of His deeds.” In The Study of the Ten Sefirot, at the beginning of the Ohr Pnimi commentary, he explains there that “perfection of His deeds” means that the delight and pleasure that He contemplated giving to the creatures, so there would be wholeness in them, so they would not feel shame while receiving the delight and pleasure, this is called “the perfection of His deeds.”
It follows that the Tzimtzum that took place, where the light shines only when the creatures do everything for the sake of heaven, to benefit the Creator, and then they will receive the delight and pleasure and there will be no shame, this is the correction of the Tzimtzum, where we must do everything for the sake of the Creator and not for our own sake. It therefore follows that the only reason we must work for the sake of the Creator is only for our own benefit. By this we will receive the complete delight and pleasure without any unpleasantness of the bread of shame. This is called “to bring to light the perfection of His deeds,” meaning the deed that He wants to do good to His creations will be complete when the creatures receive the delight and pleasure.
Hence, there is no contradiction between the purpose of creation, to do good to His creations, meaning that the goal is to benefit the created beings, and not that the Creator wants to be served. Rather, it is all for the created beings and not at all for the sake of the Creator, since He has no deficiency. Moreover, He would like the created beings to be so happy that they will feel good and not feel any unpleasantness upon receiving the delight and pleasure.
The rule is that anyone who eats the bread of shame is ashamed. The Creator would like to save them from this shame; hence, He made a correction called “Tzimtzum and concealment,” where as long as they do not have the correction of doing everything for the sake of the Creator, they cannot receive the delight and pleasure because this concealment was placed, so that afterward, when they do everything for the sake of the Creator, the delight and pleasure that they want to receive and enjoy is only for the sake of the Creator, they will be saved from the shame that is present in one who receives sustenance from others as a free gift.
It follows from the above said, that there is no contradiction between the purpose of creation to do good to His creations, meaning for the sake of the created being, and the correction of creation, that we must do everything for the sake of the Creator and not for our own sake, which is also for the sake of the created beings and not that the Creator needs to be served or given anything. Rather, everything is for the sake of the created beings.
Now we can explain what we asked, Why did Jacob say to Joseph to do for him “true mercy.” This refers to the matter that Jacob established the order of the work that we must do here. He implied to him the order of the correction of creation and the matter of the purpose of creation, which are both one aim—to benefit the creatures.
This is why he began to tell him that we must begin the work in a manner of “true mercy,” meaning without any reward, but everything not for his own sake but for the sake of the Creator, as it is written in the book Matan Torah (in the beginning), that when a person works for the sake of others, it should also be because of the commandment of the Creator, meaning that everything a person does should be for the sake of the Creator, and then he will naturally be adhered to the Creator in everything he does.
Afterward, he implied to him that the fact that we must work for the sake of the Creator is in order to yield benefit for himself, meaning that if a person truly works for the sake of the Creator and does not want anything for his own benefit, he comes to a degree where he wants to give something to the Creator so He will enjoy. At that time, he sees that there is only one thing by which he can please the Creator—by receiving from Him the delight and pleasure because this is why He created creation. Hence, he wants to delight the Creator. And certainly, the more a person enjoys the King’s gift, the more pleasure the King has.
This is similar to someone giving a gift to his friend. Usually, if the receiver of the gift praises the gift he received from his friend, his friend enjoys more. But if the receiver of the gift tells him, “I don’t really need the gift you gave me,” his friend does not enjoy this. On the contrary, the more the recipient needs the gift, the more the giver enjoys. This is expressed in the measure of the gratitude that the recipient gives to the giver. Therefore, the more a person tries to enjoy the delight and pleasure that the Creator has given him, the more contentment there is above from the lower one enjoying more.
Therefore, once Joseph took upon himself the work in order to bestow without any reward, he should receive the delight and pleasure for what he did in order to bestow. This is why it is written that Jacob told him, “And I give you one Shechem more than to your brothers.” “Shechem” means one portion more than to your brothers, according to RASHI’s interpretation, since you trouble yourself with my burial, meaning that because then you took upon yourself to work without any reward, now comes the time for you to receive the payment, meaning the part of the light and abundance that should be revealed on the work in order to bestow, since the work in order to bestow is primarily for this purpose—to be able to receive the delight and pleasure without shame, as one who receives free gifts.
Concerning the words “one Shechem,” we should interpret the way Baal HaSulam interpreted what is written about King Saul, who was “from his Shechem [shoulder] and up, higher than all the people” (1 Samuel 9). The corporeal meaning is that he was taller by a head than the rest of the people, meaning that his head was higher than all the people. He said that in spirituality, the degrees divide into Rosh [head] and Guf [body]. Guf means that there is still no wholeness in him, and Rosh means that he already has wholeness.
We should interpret that wholeness means that he has already been rewarded with the correction of creation, called “vessels of bestowal.” This means that with the actions of the vessels of bestowal, he can already aim to bestow. This is considered that he has been rewarded with the light of Hassadim[mercies], which dresses in vessels of bestowal. Also, he has been rewarded with the purpose of creation, meaning that he can use the vessels reception in order to bestow. This is considered that he has been rewarded with the light of Hochma.
It follows that “from his shoulder and up” means that he has been rewarded with wholeness, called Rosh. Similarly, we should interpret what Jacob said to Joseph, “And I give you one Shechem more than to your brothers.” That is, by accepting his work as true mercy, meaning without payment, he was later rewarded with the wholeness of using the vessels of reception in order to bestow. In other words, he was awarded two things together: 1) the correction of creation, 2) the purpose of creation.
According to the above, we should interpret what is written in the Shabbat [Sabbath] song, “Anyone who sanctifies the Seventh, his reward is great, according to his work.” We should understand what is the novelty in saying, “his reward is great, according to his work.” Yet, this applies in the corporeal world, too, that any worker receives a salary according to the time he worked. Thus, where is the novelty that he comes to tell us, that he receives reward according to his work? Even more perplexing, we should work not in order to receive reward, but for the sake of heaven, meaning to benefit the Creator, and not to benefit ourselves, so what does it mean, “his reward is great”?
As said above, after a person worked in the correction of creation during the six workdays, in order to bestow and not for his own benefit, it follows that he has worked not in order to receive any reward. Rather, it was all for the sake of the Creator. It follows that to the extent that he worked not in order to receive reward, when Shabbat comes—which is a “similitude of the next world,” the conclusion of heaven and earth—he receives reward. That is, he uses the vessels of reception and enjoys the delight and pleasure that is the purpose of creation, since now he can receive everything in order to bestow.
It follows that if he does not enjoy, it is as though the host gives food to a guest and tries to make for the guest a tower filled with abundance. But if the guest says to the host, “I did not take any pleasure in your meal,” what contentment does the host have? Thus, the more the guest enjoys the meal, the happier is the host.
This is as our sages said (Berachot 58), “A good guest, what does he say? ‘What troubles has the host troubled himself for me?! And all that he troubled himself, he troubled himself only for me.’ But a bad guest, what does he say? ‘What trouble the host troubles himself is only for his wife and children.’”
We should interpret what are a good guest and a bad guest in the work. When a person has not corrected his evil, meaning his will to receive for his own sake, he is under the governance of evil. Hence, he says, “The fact that the Creator gave us the Torah and Mitzvot to observe is because He needs our work. Therefore, He commanded us to observe Torah and Mitzvot. In return, He will pay us.” That is, He did not create the world in order to do good to His creations. Rather, they say that He created the world for His own sake.
However, He wants us to work for Him, and in return He will pay us. Therefore, sometimes, the bad guest says, “I do not want to work for Him, meaning to observe His Torah and Mitzvot, and I relinquish the reward.” He says, “Neither they,” meaning the work in Torah and Mitzvot, “nor their reward,” of Torah and Mitzvot. In other words, this work that the Creator commanded us, this reward for the work is not worthwhile.
A good guest in the work is one who has already corrected the bad and has vessels of bestowal. Afterward, he is rewarded with the purpose of creation, meaning he receives the delight and pleasure because he already corrected the bad. Then he says, “All that the host has troubled Himself with was for me,” and not that the Creator is the needy one, that we should work for Him. Rather, working for Him is to our benefit, so we can receive the delight and pleasure and not feel shame when receiving the pleasure.
But a bad guest, one who is still under the governance of his evil, which is the receiver in order to receive, says the complete opposite, that (the Creator) did everything for Him, and not for the sake of the created beings.
According to the above, we should interpret mercy and truth as two things: 1) Hesed means to do everything not for one’s own sake, but only for the sake of the Creator. 2) “Truth” means that then we are rewarded with seeing the truth, that the reason for the creation of the worlds with all the corrections is only for the sake of the creatures, so they will receive delight and pleasure. But before they are rewarded with Hesed, the truth is not revealed—that the creation of the world was in order to do good to His creations.
Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link