Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Is, “The Wicked Will Prepare and the Righteous Will Wear,” in the Work?
Article No. 03, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
The Zohar says (Emor, Item 232), “From good deeds that a person does in this world, a high, stately garment is made for him in that world, to clothe in. When a person has established good deeds but bad deeds overcame him, then he is wicked, since the faults are greater than the merits, and he ponders and regrets the good deeds he did before. At that time, he is completely doomed. He asks, ‘What does the Creator do with those good deeds that that sinner did before?’ And he replies, ‘Even though that wicked one, that sinner, was lost, those good deeds and the merits he had done are not lost, since there is a righteous who walks in the ways of the upper King and fashions garments from his good deeds, but before he completes his garments, he departs from the world. The Creator completes his garments for him out of those good deeds that that wicked sinner did. This is the meaning of the words, ‘The wicked will prepare and the righteous will wear.’ That sinner corrected and the righteous is covered with what he had corrected.’”
We should understand what it means when it says that we are speaking of a person who did good deeds, and why the bad deeds overcome him. After all, there is a rule, “A Mitzva[commandment/good deed] induces a Mitzva,” so why did the bad deeds overcome him to such an extent that he came to a state where he pondered the beginning, at which time he is completely lost, since he doubts the beginning? We should also understand why if the a righteous is deficient of garments made of good deeds, he should receive the deeds of a wicked. He says that this is the meaning of “The wicked will prepare and the righteous will wear.” From the literal meaning of “the wicked will prepare,” it seems as though the wicked can only do bad deeds, but here he says that the righteous will wear the good deeds of the wicked. This means that the righteous takes good deeds and not bad ones.
It is known that the order of the work divides into two kinds:
1) Actions: That is, one who engages in Torah and Mitzvot [plural of Mitzva] and observes the commandments of the King, will be rewarded in return both in this world and in the next world. These people are usually fine in terms of their qualities, as much as possible. Each of them tries to observe Torah and Mitzvot and each works according to the measure of faith that he has. This is called “partial faith,” as explained in the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot” (Item 14), “And each one feels that he is called ‘a servant of the Creator.’” Normally, each one always sees that the other one is wrong, where concerning himself, he always has excuses why he is fine. He feels that he has many merits, so naturally, that person can never come to such bad thoughts that he will doubt the beginning.
2) These are people who want to achieve Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, namely equivalence of form. They want to work only because of the greatness of the King, where to the extent that they believe in the greatness of the King, to that extent they have the strength to work for the sake of the King. And if they cannot depict to themselves the greatness and importance of the King, then they have no fuel to be able to work for the sake of the Creator.
At that time he sees that he is called “a sinner,” meaning that to the extent that he does good deeds, to the extent that he does things in order for it to cause him an “awakening from below,” although the body does not agree to work in order to bestow and resists with all its might, he hopes that through coercion, when he forces this work of bestowal on himself, he will be able to do everything for the sake of the Creator.
But in the meantime, he sees that according to the good deeds that he has done, he should have been adhered to the Creator, but in fact, he sees that the bad deeds have increased, meaning that he regressed and has come to a state of despair and he doubts the beginning. The Zohar says about this that he loses everything, and this is why he now feels that he is wicked. Thus, the question is, What good deeds does he have if he doubts the beginning, since he loses everything?! According to this, it is perplexing when he says, “There is a righteous who walks in the ways of the upper King and fashions garments from his good deeds, but before he completes his garments, he departs from the world. The Creator completes his garments for him from those good deeds that that wicked sinner had done.”
In the work, we should interpret this in one person, meaning when he begins to walk on the path toward achieving Dvekut, which is equivalence of form, meaning to bestow, and he did good deeds in the manner of 613 Eitin [Aramaic: counsels], by which to be rewarded with the desire to bestow. However, it is known that to the extent of one’s work, so it is revealed to him from above how he is immersed in self-love. At that time, he sees the truth—there is no way that he can emerge from the governance of the will to receive and that all his concerns will be only about bringing contentment to his Maker, and that in all that he does, he will want that through his actions, he will cause His great name to grow and be sanctified.
He sees that all this is far from him. Finally, he decides that there is no way that he will achieve this level. As a result, he says, “I worked in vain,” and he doubts the beginning. At that time, he is called “a sinner,” “wicked.”
At that time begins a procession of ascents, since each time, he is given an awakening from above and he begins to do good deeds once more. And then, once more, a descent. Such is the order until all the bad within the person surfaces. At that time, he prays to the Creator to help him because then, too, he must believe above reason that in the end, he will receive help from above, meaning the Creator will give him the desire to bestow, which is called “a second nature,” meaning he will emerge from the governance of the will to receive for himself and will want only to bestow contentment upon his Maker.
It follows that there are three stages here:
1) In the beginning of the work, when he begins to do good deeds, the bad deeds overcome him and then he is a “wicked.”
2) When he is rewarded with help from above, meaning the desire to bestow, and begins to do good deeds in order to bestow. At that time, he is called “righteous, who walks in the ways of the upper King.” But before he completes his garments, he departs from the world. He completes his garments for him out of the good deeds that that wicked sinner did. We should interpret that “Before he completes his garments, he departs from the world” means before he fashioned the garments from the time when he was wicked. “Departs from the world” means that he has departed from the world called “will to receive,” and ascended to the level of the “desire to bestow.”
It follows that although now when he does good deeds in order to bestow, those deeds are fine, he lacks the completion in order to correct the Kelim [vessels] that were in the form of “pondering the beginning.” He calls them “good deeds” because only those deeds that he did caused to make all the efforts so the Creator would bring him closer, meaning give him the desire to bestow.
It follows that the deeds on which there was the state of “pondering the beginning” were now corrected in that through them, the desire to bestow has now been revealed. This is why now the deeds—when he said he doubted the beginning—are now good deeds, since now their benefit is apparent, namely that they caused him to make efforts to ask the Creator to bring him closer; otherwise, he sees that he is lost. Through them, he ascended to Kedusha [holiness].
This is as it is written in the “Introduction of The Book of Zohar” (Item 140), “Yet, sometimes the thoughts prevail over a person until he wonders about all the good deeds he has done and says, ‘What profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the Lord of hosts?’ At that time, he becomes a complete wicked and loses all the good deeds he had done by this bad thought, for they will complete the correction of all the vessels of reception, so they will be only in order to bestow contentment upon the Creator. At that time, we will evidently see that all those punishments from the time of descents, which brought us into pondering the beginning, were purifying us since now they have been turned into merits. This is why those who speak those words are regarded as ‘Those who fear the Lord and esteem His name.’”
According to the above, we can see how the deeds when they were in a state where the bad deeds overcame them, when they said, “We served the Lord in vain,” and “we have walked in mourning before the Lord of hosts,” meaning in low spirit because of the Creator, and all those things that they experienced during the descent, all join the good deeds and become garments for the righteous who walks in the ways of the upper King. Once he has departed from this world, meaning from a state of reception, into the next world, called Bina, which is bestowal, now he has good deeds only from vessels of bestowal. Yet, he lacks the wholeness, meaning the deeds he did before he was rewarded with the next world. Those deeds should also come into Kedusha and should not remain without correction. This is the meaning of the deeds becoming garments.
3) It follows that the third state is when the good deeds that he regretted have already joined. That is, he came to a state of pondering the beginning. After he has departed from this world, meaning from the will to receive, and has received the next world, meaning Bina, which is the desire to bestow, and once he has the desire to bestow comes the third state, namely that the deeds that were lost for him because he doubted the beginning now join as good deeds.
According to the above, we can understand what is written, “The wicked will prepare and the righteous will wear.” This refers to the good deeds that the person did, and for which he was rewarded with a revelation from above that showed him the bad in him, but which was concealed because “He who is greater than his friend, his desire is greater than him.” In other words, a person is not shown more evil than he is able to correct. This means that the good and the bad should be balanced. Otherwise, if a person sees all the bad in him before he has good, that person will escape the campaign and will say that this work is not for him.
It follows that only according to his work and labor in doing good deeds, which he wants to do, called “all his works will be for the sake of the Creator,” this is called “good deeds.” But if a person works for his own benefit, this is called “bad deeds,” since self-benefit is called “receiving for oneself,” and is in disparity of form from the Creator.
It turns out that these deeds remove him from the Creator. The good deeds that a person does, wanting to achieve Dvekut with the Creator, cause him to see the truth each time, that in truth, he is far from the Creator in terms of disparity of form, to the point that sometimes he comes to a state where he says that it is impossible that he will have the strength to defeat the distance, that he is so far from the Creator, to the point that he doubts the beginning.
Our sages said about this in The Zohar, “When a person has established good deeds but bad deeds overcame him, then he is wicked.” This means that by doing good deeds, he was shown from above that there is evil in him and he is wicked. This is the meaning of the words “but bad deeds overcame him,” meaning that from above he was given additional bad deeds.
This is the meaning of the words, “The wicked will prepare and the righteous will wear.” In other words, the fact that the bad deeds grew, for which he is called “wicked,” this was a preparation so that he would know that no one can help him but the Creator Himself. It follows that those bad deeds became garments that the righteous wears once he has become righteous, meaning after he has corrected his deeds, meaning after he has been rewarded with Dvekut with the Creator. At that time, the causes, meaning those revelations of evil that he had, for which he is called “wicked,” now receive correction, too.
There are two things to discern here:
1) The good deeds that a person does, meaning the exertion to reach a state where all his works are for the sake of the Creator.
2) The bad deeds. He saw that because he did good deeds before, he was later notified from above that there are bad deeds within him, meaning that within him there is not a spark of desire to do everything for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake. This is regarded as “the good deeds that he did caused him bad deeds,” as was said, “When a person has established good deeds but bad deeds overcame him.” And since he has come to a state where the bad deeds caused him to come to a state of pondering the beginning, now both have become bad deeds, since he lost all the deeds and they were included in the bad deeds. Now that he has been rewarded with entering the Kedusha, meaning with the desire to bestow, they were all corrected and everything was made into garments of Kedusha.
This is the meaning of what he says, “The wicked will prepare.” That is, the state where everything becomes bad by coming to a state of pondering the beginning, but without the previous states, he would not be able to come into Kedusha. It follows that “The wicked will prepare,” meaning without the preparation of the two above-mentioned discernments, where everything became bad, which is called “wicked,” from this “the righteous will wear” is made.
By this we will understand what is written (in the concluding prayer), “And You desire the repentance of the wicked, and You have no wish for their death. ‘I do not want the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live.’” This means that when a person does good deeds, meaning wants to achieve Dvekut with the Creator, he is shown from above the evil within him, and he reaches the degree of wicked. At that time, a person wants to escape the campaign and says that this work is not for him, since he sees the truth each time, that by nature, the will to receive cannot agree that the person will cast it out and take instead the desire to bestow.
And who revealed to him this state, that he is wicked? It was the Creator who revealed it to him. The question is, Why did the Creator reveal it to him? Is it in order for him to die wicked? But the Creator does not want the death of the wicked. Thus, why did He reveal to him that he is wicked? It is only in order for him to repent, as it is written, “that the wicked turn back from his way and live.”
For this reason, a person should not be alarmed when foreign thoughts come to him, which are not in the spirit of Kedusha. A person should believe that the Creator has sent him the awareness that he is wicked so that he may repent, meaning return to the will of the Creator, called “desire to bestow.” In other words, the person, too, will ask the Creator to give him the desire to bestow, as we explained, “Annul your will before His will,” meaning that the person will annul his will to receive before the will of the Creator, which is the desire to bestow. In other words, a person should throw and revoke the will to receive before the will to bestow, meaning take the desire to bestow in its stead.
It therefore follows that during the descents, when a person often comes to a state of despair where he doubts the beginning, he should take upon himself faith and believe in the Creator, that the Creator sends him these thoughts so that through them he will repent. In other words, a person should try to take upon himself the kingdom of heaven whether at a time of ascent or at a time of descent.
This is as it is written in “Introduction of The Book of Zohar” (Item 202), “Rabbi Elazar replied, ‘Certainly, this fear must not be forgotten in all the Mitzvot, much less in the Mitzva of love—fear should be attached to it, since love is good on one side, when He gives him wealth and bounty, long life, sons, and nourishments.’ At that time, fear should be awakened, to fear lest he will cause the sin. It is written about this, ‘Happy is he who is always fearful.’Thus one should evoke the fear on the other side, of harsh judgment. It follows that fear clings to both sides, the side of good and love, and the side of harshjudgment.”
Here, too, we should interpret similarly, meaning that one should assume the kingdom of heaven whether he feels good about engaging in Torah and Mitzvot, meaning whether he is in a state of ascent, at which time it is called “The side of the good” (meaning a state where he is happy), or from the side of harsh judgment (meaning when he feels bad). A person should believe in the Creator, that He watches in a manner of good and doing good. That is, the state in which a person feels bad is also for his best. Hence, during the descents he should still take upon himself the matter of fear.
For this reason, a person should be careful during the descent, and think about who is giving him the descents. If he believes that the Creator has given him the descent, then he is already close to the Creator, according to the famous rule, “In the place where a person thinks, there he is.” Hence, when he thinks that the Creator has given him the descent, he already has contact with the Creator.
If he believes in this, this faith, when he thinks about the Creator, that connection can lift him from the state of descent. But if a person thinks about himself, that he is in a descent, then he is in a descent together with his body, since he is attached to the descending person and does not think of the Creator, and no longer has any connection with the Creator.
However, we must understand why the Creator gave him the descents. We can understand this through an allegory. Two students came to learn a trade from a craftsman. To one student, the teacher did not pay attention whether he was working well. To the other one, he kept commenting on his mistakes all day. That student went and said to his father, “Why does the teacher yell at me all day that I do not know how to work, and to the other one, who works worse than me, he says nothing? It must be that his father pays him more, and this is why he never criticizes him. Therefore, I am asking my father to also pay him more than other students pay, and then the teacher will not tell me my faults, just as he does not criticize other students.”
His father went to the teacher and said, “Why have you no mercy on my son? Is it because I am not paying as much as other people, so you are taking revenge on my son?” So the teacher said to him, “Know that of all the students, I enjoy only your son, since I see that he is gifted and can be a star in the world. This is why I make such efforts with him, since it is worth my while, since my work will not go to waste. As for other students, I teach them more generally, since they are not as gifted as your son. This is why I criticize him on every detail.
“Therefore, you are wrong when you think that I want to fail your son because I am angry with you because you pay me little money. Know that if I did not want to embarrass you by teaching your son for free, believe me, I would teach him for nothing, since I enjoy him and it is worth my while to make all the effort that I exert in him.”
The lesson is that all the descents that the Creator gives to those who want to walk on the path of bestowal for the sake of the Creator, specifically with them the Creator pays attention to how they work. Each time a person tries to do good deeds, the Creator shows him the faults—how immersed he is in self-love and cannot work for the sake of the Creator. It follows that the criticism that the Creator is showing him, that his actions are improper, is because the Creator sees that he is trying to work for the sake of the Creator, called “good deeds,” so the Creator shows him that they are not all right, as in the allegory.
Conversely, those who work in the manner of the general public, the Creator does not show them criticism, that their deeds are not in order, since they are still unfit for individual work. It follows that when the general public work and their faults are not revealed, it is because it is pointless.
Hence, a person should not complain when the Creator always gives him descents, which show him that he is wicked. It is not because he is worse than other people. On the contrary, he is given a personal treatment, called “special treatment,” since only he is fit to come into the holy work. Therefore, a person should not say that now he sees that he is not being looked after although he prays to the Creator to help him. On the contrary, he must believe that he is given a special treatment since he is worthy of this work of bestowal.
It therefore follows that he cannot receive the good from the Creator, called “desire to bestow,” before he has a real need for it. That is, when he sees that he is wicked, he cries out to the Creator, “Save my soul from the netherworld, for I see that I am totally and utterly lost.”
By this we can interpret what is written, “There is not a righteous man on earth who will do good and will not sin.” We should explain that “There is not a righteous man on earth” means that it is impossible to be righteous, and for the Creator to help him, unless he sins first. In other words, first he must come to a state of sin, meaning see, as it is written in The Zohar, that once he has done good deeds, the bad deeds overcome him. Then he cries out to the Creator to help him, he receives the help of the Creator, and the Creator delivers him from the hand of the wicked, and he becomes righteous. In other words, the Creator gives him the second nature, called “desire to bestow.”
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link