Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Is, “The Good Deeds of the Righteous Are the Generations,” in the Work?
Article No. 05, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
RASHI brings the words our sages about “These are the generations [offspring] of Noah; Noah was a righteous man.” Why does it not mention the names of the sons, Shem, Ham, and Yaphet, but rather “These are the generations [offspring] of Noah; Noah was a righteous man”? It is to teach you that the offspring of the righteous are primarily good deeds.
We should understand if saying that the offspring of the righteous are good deeds, is this information for other people to know or is it something that the righteous themselves should know? It is known that in the work, we learn everything within one person. It follows that the rest of the people having to know that the offspring of the righteous are good deeds is also in the same body. That is, the righteous himself should know that his offspring should be good deeds. We should know this with relation to the righteous himself, what this information adds to him in the work.
To understand this, we first need to know what are good deeds or bad deeds in the work. Good deeds means that it is known that in observing Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds], we should discern the practice, when a person observes Torah and Mitzvot in practice, meaning that he believes in the Creator, observes His Mitzvot, and allocates times for the Torah. However, he does not pay attention to the intention, meaning for whose sake he is working, whether it is for himself, so that he will be rewarded for observing Torah and Mitzvot, which is called “self-benefit,” or is he working for the sake of the Creator, which is not in order to receive reward.
The difference between them is that when a person still works for his own benefit and is still immersed in self-reception, on this reception there were Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment. That is, concerning the purpose of creation, which is to do good to His creations, he cannot receive the delight and pleasure. It follows that the deeds where the aim is for one’s own benefit are called “bad deeds,” since these actions move him away from receiving the delight and pleasure. It follows that when a person does deeds, he should gain, but here he is losing because he is separated from the Creator.
But if a person does everything for the sake of the Creator, so the Creator will enjoy it, then he is walking on a line and a path leading to Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, which is called “equivalence of form.” When there is equivalence of form, the Tzimtzum and concealment are removed from him, and a person is rewarded with the delight and pleasure that were in the thought of creation, which is to do good to His creations. For this reason, what a person does for the sake of the Creator is called “good deeds,” since these actions lead him to be rewarded with the good.
According to the above, we should interpret that the righteous should know that the offspring of the righteous are good deeds. Offspring are called “fruits,” which are the results of the previous state. This is called “cause and consequence,” or “father and offspring.” It follows that when a person observes Torah and Mitzvot and wants to be righteous, how can he know whether or not he is righteous, as our sages said (Berachot 61), “Rabba said, ‘One should know in one’s heart whether he is righteous or wicked’”? Yet, how can one know this?
For this reason, they said, “the generations [offspring] of righteous are good deeds.” If a person sees that his engagement in Torah and Mitzvot yields for him good deeds, meaning that the Torah and Mitzvot he does causes him to do everything in order to bestow, which is for the sake of the Creator, it is a sign that he is righteous.
However, if the Torah and Mitzvot he performs do not yield for him the offspring of good deeds, but rather bad deeds, meaning that he works only for his own benefit and does not bring him the ability to do good deeds, which is for the sake of the Creator, then he does not fall into the category of “righteous,” even if he observes Torah and Mitzvot in all their details and precisions. However, this is so only in the work. For the general public, one who observes Torah and Mitzvot with all the precisions is considered righteous.
This is why concerning the verse, “Noah was a righteous man, complete in his generations,” RASHI brings the words of our sages, “Some praise him and some condemn him.” We should interpret why they praise and why they condemn, meaning which is the truth.
In the work, when relating everything to one person, the offspring, too, do not pertain to several bodies but to one body at several times. Therefore, what is the meaning of praising and condemning? It is written in the “Introduction of The Book of Zohar” (Item 140), “‘Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.’ Often, the guidance of good and evil causes us ascents and descents. You should know that for this reason, each ascent is regarded as a separate day because due to the great descent that he had, pondering the beginning, during the ascent he is as a newly born child. This is why each ascent is considered a specific day, and similarly, each descent is considered a specific night. At the end of correction they will be rewarded with repentance from love, for they will complete the correction of the vessels of reception, so they will work only in order to bestow contentment upon the Creator, and all of the great delight and pleasure of the thought of creation will appear to us. At that time, we will evidently see that all those punishments from the time of descents, these sins will be inverted into actual merits. And this is ‘Day to day pours forth speech.’”
According to the above, we should interpret “Noah was a righteous man, complete in his generations,” that there should be praise here, as well as condemnation, and both are true. In other words, if it is written, “in his generations,” in plural form, it means that the generation divided into several intervals. Hence, there are many generations. This is possible when during the work he had ups and downs; hence, they divided into several generations.
It follows that the time of descent is considered a condemnation, as he says in the Sulam [Ladder commentary on The Zohar], that sometimes we come to a state of “pondering the beginning.” There is no worse condemnation than this. It follows that condemnations pertain to the descents. Also, there are praises, meaning the time of ascents. It is praise because then he has connection with the Kedusha [holiness].
“Complete” means that all the generations have become wholeness, which is called “complete.” In other words, he has been rewarded with the end of correction, meaning that they have completed the correction of the vessels of reception to receive in order to bestow. It follows that the proliferation of generations, where there were intervals in between, meaning descents, have been corrected and he became complete in his generation. This is the meaning of condemning and praising, and both are true, and both become one matter, called “complete in his generations.”
However, for the most part, those who engage in Torah and Mitzvot in practice have no ascents or descents to the point that they can come to a state of pondering the beginning, since as long as they do not want to blemish the will to receive, the body does not object to the work so much. Hence, these people regard themselves as complete. When they look in the Torah, they see themselves as not so bad, more or less fine.
This is called “Ayin [eye/seventy] faces to the Torah,” meaning that there are two discernments to make here:
1) Narrow-eyed turns his face to the Torah. That is, he interprets the Torah in the manner of a narrow-eyed, called “narrow in Hassadim [mercies].” In other words, he does not understand how there can anything more than self-benefit. For this reason, he interprets the Torah in a manner that no harm will come to his self-benefit. This is as our sages said (Avoda Zara 19), “One learns only where one’s heart desires.” That is, if he is narrow-eyed, the Ayin faces of the Torah are in a manner that will yield self-love.
2) There is the blessed Ayin, as it is written, “The good-eyed, he will be blessed.” This means that one who has a good eye, who likes to bestow, which is the opposite of the narrow-eyed, since he wants to work in order to bestow, when he looks in the Torah, he sees that in all the places in the Torah, a person must work in order to bestow. This is regarded as learning from the place where he is. In other words, he sees that we must work only in order to bestow. It follows that the good-eyed is rewarded with the blessings called Hesed [mercy/grace], namely with Dvekut [adhesion]. By this, he is later rewarded with the delight and pleasure that were in the thought of creation.
It follows that a person must work in order to obtain the need that the Creator will help him and give him the second nature, called “desire to bestow.” However, each person wants the reward first, and to work next. That is, each one wants to first be given the desire to bestow, although he still does not understand that he needs the desire, but he heard that the reward one receives for the work is that from above he is given the desire to bestow. Hence, he wants to be given that desire, but his intention is only that he will not have to work in order to obtain it.
However, there is no light without a Kli [vessel]. That is, a person must first toil in order to have a desire and a need for it, since there is no filling without a lack. Therefore, a person must accept descents each time, since through the descents he acquires a need that the Creator will help him and give him the strength to be able to defeat the will to receive in him so he is rewarded with the desire to bestow.
Therefore, we ask the Creator to give us the desire to bestow in order to have Dvekut with the Creator, while for our part, we are unable to overcome our will to receive and subdue it so it will cancel itself and give its place so that the desire to bestow will govern the body.
The order of the prayer is as it is written, “Our Father, our King, do for Your sake if not for our sake.” This phrasing is perplexing. Normally, when we ask a person for a favor, we tell him, “Do me a favor for you, meaning for your sake. If you do not want to do me a favor because it will be to your benefit, do it only for my benefit.”
But it is certain that if he does not want to help him although it will be for his own benefit, too, and he still does not want to, then if he does not derive any benefit from this, he will not do him the favor. So what does it mean “Do for Your sake,” and if not, meaning if not for Your sake, then “Do for our sake,” meaning only for our benefit? Can this be?
We should interpret this: We say, “Our Father, our King, do for Your sake.” We ask the Creator to give us the strength so we can perform all our actions for You, meaning for the sake of the Creator. Otherwise, meaning if You do not help us, all our actions will be only for our own benefit. That is, “If not,” meaning “If You do not help us, all our actions will be only for ourselves, for our own benefit, for we are powerless to overcome our will to receive. Therefore, help us be able to work for You. Hence, You must help us.” This is called “Do for Your sake,” meaning do this, give us the power of the desire to bestow. Otherwise, we are doomed; we will remain in the will to receive for our own sake.
However, a person must know that there is no light without a Kli, no filling without a lack. For this reason, he must first feel that he lacks the desire to bestow. In other words, he does not regard wanting the desire to bestow as an accessory, that he is actually fine but he would like to be more complete. We should know that this is not regarded as a lack with respect to spirituality. In spirituality, everything must be complete, meaning a complete light, complete lack. Accessories are not regarded as complete lacks, and therefore the complete light cannot enter.
Hence, the light, regarded as the Creator giving a person the desire to bestow, is called “light of repentance,” since before a person receives the desire to bestow, he is placed under the governance of the will to receive, which is the opposite of Kedusha [holiness], called desire to bestow, as the will to receive belongs to the Klipot [shells/peels]. This is why our sages said, “The wicked in their lives are called ‘dead.’”
This is the meaning of what is written in The Study of the Ten Sefirot (Part 1, Histaklut Pnimit, Item 17), “For that reason, the Klipot are called ‘dead,’ since their oppositeness of form from the Life of Lives cuts them off from Him and they have nothing of His Abundance. Hence, the body, too, which feeds on the leavings of the Klipot, is also severed from the Life of Lives. All this is because of the will only to receive. Thus, ‘The wicked in their lives are called ‘dead.’”
Accordingly, a person cannot acquire the desire to bestow, which the Creator will bestow upon him, before he has a complete lack, meaning that he feels that he is wicked because he is under the governance of the will to receive and is separated from the Creator, and he wants to repent, to adhere once more to the Creator so as not to be separated, since separation causes death, as was said, “The wicked in their lives are called ‘dead.’”
It follows that unless a person feels himself as wicked, he does not have a complete lack for the Creator to give him the help, the power of the desire to bestow, which Baal HaSulam calls “a second nature.” Hence, in terms of the work, it is not considered that he has repented before he first feels that he is wicked.
Afterward, he asks the Creator to help him because he wants to repent. Yet, he sees that he is powerless to repent without the Creator’s help. In such a state he has a complete lack, called “a complete Kli,” and then he is fit to receive the complete help from the Creator, namely the desire to bestow.
However, our sages said, “A person does not regard himself as wicked” (Ketubot 18). The reason is that in the work, “transgressing and repeating,” our sages said “becomes to him as permitted.” Thus, a person does not view himself as wicked and can say that he has a complete Kli, that he is so truly remote from the Creator that he feels himself as dead. That is, we should interpret that “The wicked in their lives are called ‘dead’” is when a person can say that he feels that he is wicked before the Creator. That is, when he feels himself as dead—that has no vitality of Kedusha—he feels himself as wicked.
But from where does one take such a feeling? The answer is as we said in previous articles: Such awareness and feeling come from above, as it is written in The Zohar about the verse, “Or, make it known to him that he has sinned.” He asks, “Who made it known?” And he replies, “The Creator made it known to him.” It follows that the awareness and feeling that he has sinned also comes from above. In other words, both lack and filling, both light and Kli, come from above.
However, it is known that everything requires an awakening from below. The answer is that first a person must do good deeds. That is, the work begins when a person wants to do good deeds, which is considered that he wants to work for the benefit of the Creator, regarded as working for the sake of the Creator. Then, by wanting to come closer to the Creator and thinking that he needs only a little bit of wholeness, but in fact, he is fine, since it is seen above that he wants to approach the Creator, he is given each time the deficiency that is in him—that he is actually completely removed from the Creator.
It is not as he thought before, that he lacked a little bit of wholeness. Rather, he is shown from above that he is remote from the Creator to the point of oppositeness of form, to the point that the person feels that he is wicked toward the Creator and cannot do anything in order to bring contentment to his Maker.
At that time, he achieves the degree of “wicked” and sees that he has no vitality of Kedusha, and that he is truly “dead.” Then, he has a complete lack, called a “complete Kli,” and then the Creator can give him a complete light, meaning complete help, which is the desire to bestow. This is considered that he has repented.
However, we should know that in the work, we should discern that there is faith, which is above reason, called “law,” and there is the Torah, called “sentence” [verdict]. Baal HaSulam said that “Law means faith above reason, and sentence means the Torah,” where it is specifically within reason. He said that “One who does not know the commandment of the upper one, how will he serve Him?” Hence, a person must try to understand the words of Torah, called “sentence.”
By this we should interpret what is written (Genesis 4:19), “Lemech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Tzillah.” We should understand what it teaches us in the work, how many wives he had, as well as their names. The thing is that Lemech has the letters of Melech [king], which implies that a person should make good conjunctions, meaning to be rewarded with feeling that there is a King to the world, and it is a great privilege for a person if he is rewarded with serving the King of the world.
“Wives” means assistants, as it is written, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make for him a help made against him,” so a woman means an assistant. That is, how does she help? She is called “wife” in her assistance to him, meaning she completes his work by his using her quality. This is why it is considered that she helps him achieve his completion.
We should know that the completion of the work is in two discernments: 1) Mitzva [singular of Mitzvot], 2) Torah. It is known that Mitzva is called “faith above reason,” and “reason” is considered “sun,” as it is written, “If the matter is as clear to you as day.” It follows that “above reason” is the opposite of the sun. This is called “a shadow.”
By this we should interpret that if a person wants to feel that there is a king, he must take a shadow, meaning faith above reason. This is the meaning of the words, “and the name of the other, Tzillah [Hebrew: shade].” In other words, he receives help to be rewarded with serving the King through faith. However, this is still not considered wholeness because the shade on the sun, meaning the above reason, which should be on the faith, is still not regarded as complete work.
The Torah is also required, which is called “sentence” and knowing, since what we do not understand does not fall into the category of Torah but into the category of faith. Torah, on the other hand, is called “testimony.” It is known that there is no testimony by hearing, but by seeing, since seeing is considered knowing.
This is the meaning of the words “The name of the one was Adah,” from the word Edut [testimony], where a person should receive help from the assistant, called “wife,” who helps him in a manner of Torah, which is light and not shadow. Precisely when he has Torah and Mitzva, he is considered a complete human being.
Adah = Ed [witness] of the Creator about the Creator is the Torah, called Edut.
Tzillah = Tzel [shade] of the Creator is a shadow on the Creator, meaning faith.
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link