Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

What Is the Blessing, “Who Made a Miracle for Me in This Place,” in the Work?

Article No. 15, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91

Our sages said (Berachot 54), “A person had a miracle and was saved from a lion. Raba told him, ‘Whenever you come there, bless, ‘Blessed is He, who made a miracle for me in this place.’’” We should understand what this comes to teach us in the work.

It is known that the purpose of creation was because his desire is to do good to His creations. For this purpose, He created in the creatures a desire and yearning to receive delight and pleasure. Otherwise, if there is no desire for the pleasure, a person cannot enjoy, as we see in nature that if a person has no desire for something, he cannot enjoy. For example, if a person is not hungry, he cannot enjoy eating, etc. Therefore, we see and say that the Creator created within our nature a desire to receive delight and pleasure.

We should not ask, Why did the Creator create such a nature? Since our sages said (Hagigah 11), “If one asks about before the world was created, the writing tells us, ‘since the day when God created man on the earth.’” This means that we cannot ask anything about why when He created the world, He created it specifically with this nature that we see. After all, He could have created with a different nature. We cannot ask about this, but we learn everything by way of “By Your actions, we know You.” That is, we begin to learn from the actions we see and not before.

Also, we see another nature, that the branch wants to resemble its root. That is, as the quality of the root of the creatures, which is the Creator, is to bestow and not receive, likewise, when one must eat the bread of shame, he is ashamed. In the words of The Zohar, this is called “the bread of shame.” According to this nature, it follows that when a person receives from the Creator into one’s vessels of reception, which contradict the quality of the Creator, who is the Giver, he feels unpleasantness. Because of this, there was a correction called “Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment,” where as long as the lower one has no equivalence of form, called “desire to bestow,” a person is placed under concealment and hiding of the Kedusha [holiness]. We also should not ask about this, Why did the Creator create a nature of shame? And why did He make the branch want to resemble its root? It is all for the above reason, that we cannot ask about prior to creation.

The Kli of the created beings is the desire to receive pleasure. Before the will to receive was created, we have nothing to speak of. We attribute this Kli [vessel] to the Creator, meaning that we need not work with this Kli, but every person who is created, if he did not corrupt the Kli, that Kli is perfect. That is wherever the will to receive sees that there is a place from which it is possible to derive pleasure, it immediately runs there.

This is not so with the Kli called “desire to bestow,” since a person wants equivalence of form. Since we attribute this Kli to the created being, meaning a person has to make this Kli, since the creature wants equivalence of form, for this reason, it is up to a person to do this.

This is as Baal HaSulam said about the verse, “which God has created to do.” “Has created” refers to the Kli, called “will to receive,” and “to do” pertains to the creatures, who must make the Kli called “desire to bestow.” This is not from the nature that the Creator created. Rather, He began creation from the will to receive, and you, the created beings, must make the desire to bestow. Therefore, when a person must begin to work in order to bestow, it is a different nature than the one with which man was created.

For this reason, all that one should do in the work of the Creator is to make the Kli, which is the opposite action to the Kli with which man was created. When one begins to come into the work of bestowal, he still does not feel how much his will to receive interrupts his work of bestowal. This is a correction so that man will not see the truth about the measure of evil within him, since when he sees the evil within him he will certainly run from the work and will not even want to begin this work. This is why Maimonides says that we must first accustom a person in Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], “until they gain knowledge and acquire much wisdom,” and then they are shown the matter of Lishma[for Her sake], called “in order to bestow.”

We should know that a person being governed by the will to receive for oneself is called “exile in Egypt,” since when we begin this work, we are gradually shown from above the measure of governance of evil on us, as it is written, “And the children of Israel sighed from the work.” That is, they saw that they could not perform the work of bestowal that they started to do, since the Egyptians controlled them. At that time, they saw that they could not emerge from the exile in Egypt, but the Creator can deliver them. This is called “a miracle,” for anything that one cannot do by himself, but by help from above, is called “a miracle.” This is the miracle of the exodus from Egypt

We should know that when a person wants to achieve Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, he has ascents and descents. The order is that during the descent, when a person comes into a state of despair, he sometimes comes to a state of wondering about all the labor he has done in vain. This is called “pondering the beginning,” when he wants to escape from the work of the Creator altogether. But suddenly, he receives an awakening from above and receives vitality and passion for the work, and completely forgets that he ever had a descent. Rather, he is content with the ascent. At that time, a person cannot enjoy the ascent more than when he was placed under the governance of evil during the descent.

We should know that the exile he feels, that he is in exile, is measured not by the exile, but by the sensation of bad and suffering that he suffers because he is in exile. Then, when he is tormented because he is under the rule of oppressors and he must do all that they demand of him, and he has no right to do what he wants, but he must serve and carry out all that the nations of the world in his body demand, and he is powerless to betray them, to the extent of the pain he feels and his desire to escape them, to that extent he can enjoy the redemption.

As we see, it is written about a Hebrew slave (Exodus 21:2), “If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years, and on the seventh he shall go free for free.” Certainly, the slave should be happy that he has been liberated and is in his own right, and that he has no master over him. Yet, we see what the Torah says, “And if the slave says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children, I will not go free.’” We see that it is possible that a person will want to remain a slave. And yet, it is written (Deuteronomy 16:12), “Remember that you were a slave in Egypt.”

This means that being a slave is a bad thing, yet sometimes a person wants to remain a slave. Thus, what does it mean that it is written, “Remember that you were a slave in Egypt”? And who says that being a slave is so bad? After all, there are people who want to be slaves, as was said, that the slave said, “I love my master.” The thing is that exile is according to the level of suffering and pain that one feels in the exile. To that extent, it is possible to be happy about the redemption. This is like light and Kli [vessel], meaning that the suffering we suffer from something is the Kli that can receive light if it liberates itself from the suffering.

For this reason, in the exile in Egypt, where it is written, “Remember that you were a slave in Egypt,” it means that being a slave is so bad because there, in Egypt, the people of Israel suffered. This is why the writing says “Remember,” meaning that we must remember the suffering we suffered there, and then it is possible to be happy about the redemption from Egypt.

There, in Egypt, the writing says, “I also heard the groaning of the children of Israel because the Egyptians are enslaving them, and I remembered My covenant.” It follows that in Egypt, when they were slaves, it is written, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt,” because they suffered. He also says, “And the children of Israel sighed from the work.” Therefore, we were given the commandment to remember Egypt, as it is written, “so that you remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.”

It follows that according to the rule, “There is no light without a Kli, no filling without a lack,” although we have already come out of Egypt, we should rejoice at the redemption from Egypt. For this reason, we must remember the exile in Egypt, meaning remember and imagine how the people of Israel suffered in the exile in Egypt. Then we can enjoy the redemption from Egypt even today.

Otherwise, we cannot rejoice over the redemption from Egypt because the suffering are called “the Kelim [vessels] to receive the joy.” This is why we see about the Hebrew slave that he did not want to go free. We could ask, How can someone not want to go free? The answer is that because he did not suffer while being a slave, he does not want to go free, as is explained when he says, “I love my master, my wife and my children, I will not go free.” But concerning the exile in Egypt, it is written, “so that you remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt,” since there they suffered, as it is written, “And the children of Israel sighed from the work.”

Accordingly, we can understand what we asked, What does it mean in the work when a person should bless in the place where a miracle was done to him. The thing is that when a person begins the work of bestowal, he comes to states of ascents and descents. An ascent is that after a person has been under the governance of the will to receive, enslaved to fulfill all its wishes, and he wanted to overcome it and not obey it, but the will to receive was stronger than him, that person suffered from being removed from the Creator.

Afterward, he received an awakening from above and began once more to feel some elation of Kedusha. At that time, the person wants to annul before Him “like a candle before a torch,” and then a person enjoys the state of ascent. However, one cannot elicit from the ascent, progress in the work because he does not appreciate the nearing he has now received from the Creator, since he does not have the Kelim [vessels]. In other words, during the ascent, he forgets that he once had a descent. Thus, although he feels that now he is close to the Creator and he appreciates it, he soon forgets. Naturally, he no longer has a Kli, meaning a lack, so he can appreciate, as it is written, “as the advantage of the light from within the darkness.” For this reason, he makes no progress as he should be making through the ascent.

Hence, during an ascent, he must remember and say, “In this place, where I now have an ascent, I had a descent and the Creator saved me and raised me from the netherworld, and I emerged from death, called ‘removal from the Creator,’ and I have been rewarded with some measure of nearing to the Creator, which is called ‘some measure of Dvekut with the Life of Lives.’”

For this, a person should be thankful, for by this he has now come to a state where there he suffered, and now he is in a mood of delight and pleasure because the Creator bringing him closer has given him new Kelim of a lack that he can fill with the state of ascent that he is in now.

It follows that he extends a light of joy in new Kelim that he has obtained now by looking at the miracle that he has had, where the Creator saved him. Therefore, when he considers the suffering, it is as though now he is the recipient of the suffering, and now he fills them up with pleasure.

It follows that depicting to himself the state of descent causes him that the ascent he has received now will spread in new Kelim according to the rule “There is no light without a Kli.” Hence, during the ascent, when he begins to contemplate the state of descent that he had, the suffering of the descent are regarded as Kelim in which the light of the ascent may spread.

This is similar to what was said above concerning exile and redemption, that according to the suffering he feels during the exile, so he can enjoy the redemption. That is, the exile is the Kelim of the redemption. This means that the redemption cannot fill more than the Kelim it has from the exile. This is why in the work, when a person depicts to himself the state of descent, this is considered what our sages said, that a person should make a blessing, “Blessed is He who made a miracle for me in this place.”

There are many ways to depict the suffering. Let us take as an example, a person who wants to rise before dawn, and he set the alarm clock. But when the alarm goes off, the body does not want to get up. The body feels suffering if he should rise out of bed now. Nevertheless, he sluggishly overcomes and comes to the seminary. When he sees that there are many people sitting and learning, he receives a desire and yearning to participate in the lessons, and he becomes happy and high-spirited, and forgets in what way he got out of bed and came to the seminary. And if a person wants to receive new Kelim in which there will be joy, he must depict to himself in what way he got out of bed, meaning what level of desire he had then, and what mood he is in now. Then he can also say, “Blessed is He who made a miracle for me in this place,” meaning how the Creator now gave him nearness to Him. From this he acquires new Kelim where the joy over the Creator bringing him closer to Him can spread.

Likewise, a person should accustom himself with anything to compare between the time of suffering and the time of pleasure, and to bless for the miracle of delivering him from suffering to a state of pleasure. By this, he will be able to thank the Creator and enjoy in the new Kelim that have been added to him now when he compares the two times to one another. From this, a person can advance in the work.

This is as Baal HaSulam said, that it does not matter whether a person receives from the Creator something great or small. What matters is how much a person thanks the Creator. To the extent of his gratitude, so grows the giving that the Creator gives. Therefore, we must take note to be grateful, to appreciate His gift, so we can approach the Creator. Hence, when a person always looks during the ascent at the state he was in while in descent, meaning how he felt during the descent, he can make a distinction as in, “as the advantage of the light from within the darkness,” and he already has new Kelim in which to receive joy and be thankful to the Creator. This is the meaning of what is written, that a person should bless, “Blessed is He who made a miracle for me in this place,” meaning in the place where he is now, during the ascent, since there cannot be an ascent if there was no prior state of descent.

However, how can there be a descent if a person was not previously in an ascent and descended from it? The answer is that usually, every person thinks that he is fine the way he is. That is, a person does not see that he is worse than other people in his surroundings. Therefore, he goes with the flow of the rest of the world—a little bit of learning, a little bit of praying, a little bit of charity and good deeds and so forth. But his main concern is to earn well and have a nice apartment and furniture, etc.

This is so because he feels that if he has made an arrangement for himself with the Creator concerning how much he should work for Him, once he has done all his spiritual chores, he feels complete and is free to worry about improving his material state. That person always sees that as much as he may try to make his corporeality complete, he always sees that he is in deficit compared to others. This is regarded as a person being in a state of wholeness.

However, when he begins the work of bestowal, he comes to a state of descent, since he sees how far he is from the intention to bestow. It follows that now that he has descended from the previous period, when he understood that all he needed was to observe Torah and Mitzvot[commandments/good deeds], and did not pay attention to the intention to bestow, but then he received an awakening from above and began to annul before Him like a candle before a torch, and forgot the state of descent that he had. Then, when he is now in a state of ascent, he can say, “Blessed is He who made a miracle for me in this place.” In other words, previously he was in a state where he had a road accident and he became unconscious about spiritual life. That is, he completely forgot about the need to work in order to bestow. Afterward, the Creator helped him and he came to, meaning regained contact with the Creator. By this depiction, he can receive new Kelim so he can receive abundance of joy at the Creator helping him.

However, we must know that when a person asks the Creator to bring him closer to His work, meaning to do the holy work for the sake of the Creator, and a person thinks that the Creator does not hear his prayer, and he has already prayed many times, but it is as though the Creator does not hear his prayer, Baal HaSulam said about that that one should believe that the fact that now he is praying to the Creator, he should not say that this was by his own awakening, to pray to the Creator to bring him closer. Rather, even before he came to pray, the Creator already answered his prayer. That is, a person should appreciate the fact that now he can pray to the Creator; this is regarded as having contact with the Creator. This is a very important thing, and he must be delighted at the fact that the Creator has given him a desire and yearning to pray to Him.

Accordingly, we should interpret what our sages said (Megillah 29), “Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai says, ‘Come and see how fond is the Creator of Israel, for wherever they exile, the Shechina [Divinity] is with them.’” We should interpret that “the exile of Israel” means that the quality of Israel in a person has drifted from the Creator, meaning that a person suffers because the quality of Israel in him, meaning the desire Yashar-El [straight to the Creator], where one should do everything for the sake of the Creator, that desire is in exile under the rule of desires of the nations of the world, and he regrets it.

We should ask, Why specifically now is he feeling removed from the Creator, while prior to this state, he felt that he was far from buying a bigger flat or nicer furniture? All of a sudden, he received suffering from a different remoteness—that he is far from the Creator! The answer is that “the Shechina is with them,” meaning that the Shechina gave him this feeling that he is far from the Creator. This is the meaning of, “Before one prays to the Creator, the Creator gives him a desire and yearning to pray.”

Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

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