Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Is the “Right Line,” in the Work?
Article No. 38, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
Our sages said (Avotde Rabbi Natan 11:2), “Anyone who extols himself with words of Torah is ultimately brought low, and anyone who lowers himself with words of Torah is ultimately raised high.”
We should understand why specifically with words of Torah, it is forbidden to take pride. After all, in general, it is forbidden to be proud, as it is written, “Be very, very humble” (Avot, Chapter 4:4). Also it was said, “Anyone who is proud, the Creator said, ‘I and he cannot dwell in the same abode.’” So, why did they speak specifically about words of Torah?
It is known that we have two discernments in observing Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds]: 1) 613 Eitin (counsels [Aramaic]), 2) 613 Pekudin [Aramaic: deposits]. These two discernments come to us from two discernments that exist in the world: 1) the purpose of creation, 2) the correction of creation.
In the matter of the purpose of creation, His desire to do good to His creations, for which He created in the creatures a desire and yearning to receive delight and pleasure, this Kli [vessel] for receiving pleasure comes from the Creator. Hence, this Kli is complete. In other words, a person does not need to work to make for himself a Kli, as this comes to him by nature, since wherever one sees that there is something to enjoy, he immediately yearns for it, as it is written, “The eye sees and the heart covets.”
However, afterward, a correction was done where in order to prevent the issue of shame when receiving the delight and pleasure a Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment were made, so we cannot see that there is pleasure. Naturally, a person does not see the delight and pleasure so as to yearn for this delight and pleasure that the Creator wants to give to the created beings. But once they have vessels of bestowal, by reception of pleasure in these Kelim [plural of Kli], the shame while receiving pleasure will be removed from them. At that time, the concealment is lifted and they see the delight and pleasure that the Creator wants to impart upon the creatures.
However, we must know that all of our work is in making the vessels of bestowal, since our Kli is against our nature. But how can one go against nature? This is why we begin to observe Torah and Mitzvot in order to receive, as The Zohar says, that we should observe Torah and Mitzvot out of fear.
This fear divides into two manners: 1) observing Torah and Mitzvot because of reward and punishment in this world, such as health and provision, and 2) observing Torah and Mitzvot because of reward and punishment in the next world, meaning to go to Heaven and not to Hell.
It follows that these two discernments do not contradict the will to receive, which is human nature. Afterward, he enters the work of the “still of Kedusha [holiness],” and the “still” is the first quality, where everyone begins. This pertains to the whole collective, meaning that as surrounding, the light shines to all of Israel, meaning to all those with a grip on Torah and Mitzvot, the Surrounding Light shines in them, since Surrounding Light means that the light illuminates outside the Kelim, since the light needs a Kli so as to have equivalence with the light.
In other words, since the light aims to bestow, likewise, the Kli should aim to bestow. As long as a person has not qualified his Kelim to work in order to bestow, the light remains outside the Kli. However, from there, it shines to the Kli, and by this, the Kli gradually acquires a need to equalize with the light, and seeks advice how to equalize with the light, meaning for the Kli, called “will to receive,” to have the power to work in order to bestow.
The Zohar says that there is a manner of observing Torah and Mitzvot out of fear: 3) He observes Torah and Mitzvot because “He is great and ruling.” This means that the fear that leads him to observe Torah and Mitzvot is not because the will to receive will enjoy it, meaning that by observing Torah and Mitzvot he will receive some reward that he will enjoy. Rather, the greatness and importance of the King obligate him, since he wants to serve the King, and he does not want any reward for his labor in Torah and Mitzvot. Rather, the things he does in order to bestow upon the King are his pleasure.
However, how can one acquire this feeling of the greatness and importance of the King, while there is concealment on the greatness and importance of the King, which was done by the Tzimtzum[restriction]? And if so, from where will he take the greatness of the Creator?
Here begins the work in the manner of “faith above reason,” where one must believe in the greatness and importance of the King. This work is considered that a person must ask the Creator that “His great name will grow and be sanctified,” meaning that the greatness and importance of the Creator will be revealed in the world. As long as one is immersed in the will to receive, we learned that there is a correction called “concealment on Providence,” that the Creator leads the world in a manner of good and doing good.
Otherwise, there will be no room for choice, that it will be possible to do something in order to bestow. It is known that smaller pleasures are easier to relinquish and say, “If not in order to bestow, I do not want to use them.” But with great pleasures, it is certainly difficult to relinquish them. This is why there had to be concealment on Providence.
However, in order for a person to exist in the world, and without pleasure, there is no existence to the creatures, since the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations, for this reason, the ARI says that through the breaking of the vessels that occurred in the world of Nekudim, sparks fell into the Klipot [shells/peels] and sustain the Klipot so they will not be cancelled. These are called “tiny light,” in the words of The Zohar, and from this tiny light extend all the corporeal pleasures.
Conversely, the real pleasure is clothed in the Torah. Hence, on corporeal pleasures, where the pleasures are not as great as the spiritual ones, we begin to practice on them how to receive them in order to bestow. To the extent that a person enters the work of bestowal, to that extent the concealment and hiding over the pleasure in Torah and Mitzvot depart from him.
However, how does one acquire the strength to work in order to bestow on small pleasures? After all, a person can work only for his own sake. Thus, in what manner can he begin, so he has something over which to relinquish his self-benefit? The answer is that our sages said about this, “The Creator said, ‘I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice, since the light in it reforms him.’” In other words, when a person engages in Torah, he must aim that the Torah will give him light, to want to work for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake. This discernment is called “613 Eitin (counsels [Aramaic]).” In other words, these are only counsels concerning how to achieve equivalence of form, called “Dvekut with the Creator.”
Once a person has been rewarded with the Kli called “desire to bestow,” he is then rewarded with the Torah, which is the names of the Creator. In the words of The Zohar, this discernment is called “613 Pekudin [Aramaic: deposits],” which means that in each Mitzva [singular of Mitzvot], a special light that pertains to that Mitzva is deposited. This Torah is discerned as “the names of the Creator.”
At that time, a person can obtain the delight and pleasure that exist in the thought of creation, called “His desire to do good to His creations,” and then he is rewarded with the discernment of “The Torah, and Israel, and the Creator are one.” This is the discernment that one should achieve, as it is written in the book A Sage’s Fruit (Vol. 1, p 118).
However, the heart of man’s work begins when a person wants to observe Torah and Mitzvot because of the greatness of the Creator, meaning that he wants to achieve a state where all his actions are in order to bestow. At that time, ascents and descents come to a person, since everything is built on faith above reason. Hence, sometimes the faith shines for him, and sometimes it does not shine. At that time, one must believe that “There is none else besides Him,” meaning that “There is no other force in the world but the power of the Creator.”
Baal HaSulam said that one must believe that the Creator gives the descents, as well, meaning that he should believe above reason that the Creator hears the prayer of every mouth. That is, both that of an important person, and that of an ordinary person. In other words, even if a person feels that he is an ordinary person, that he lacks Torah and is devoid of strength to work, nevertheless, through prayer, the Creator gives him everything, if he prays for the Creator to bring him closer and wants to serve the King without any reward.
However, what can he do if the body disagrees with this? For this reason, he asks the Creator to take him as a servant who will serve the Creator. And although he has no merits over others, he feels an inner drive that awakens him to be a servant of the King. Yet, he has no control over the body, so he asks of the Creator to help him. This is considered that he believes that the Creator hears the prayer of every mouth.
However, when a person feels a lack and feels his own lowliness, and there is a rule that one cannot live from deficiencies, but rather one can live only from fulfillment, for one can live only where one feels the taste of wholeness, therefore, he was given another way to work, called “right line.” In this way, one feels wholeness. But here, when one wants to shift from the “left line,” it is something that requires correction, which is called “left” in the work, and correction pertains specifically to when there is corruption. Then it is possible to speak of correction.
Therefore, when a person sees in the left line that he has no control over the body, and he does not want to do anything except for his own benefit, how can he then shift to the right line and be happy that he has wholeness and praise and thank the Creator for bringing him closer to His work? After all, they are two writings that deny one another.
The thing is, as Baal HaSulam said, that in the work of the Creator, there are always contradictions, which are called “right” and “left.” This is so in the upper worlds, and they are in contradiction to each other until the third line comes and decides between them, as it is written, “Until the third writing comes and decides between them.” He said that in the order of the work there are also contradictions, which extend from the upper roots. On one hand, we see that the writing says, “and his heart was high in the ways of the Lord.” On the other hand, our sages said, “Be very, very humble.” However, they apply to two times, one by one, and only at the end of the work are they applied at one time. In other words, once he comes to the middle line, it is as our sages said, “There are three partners in a person: the Creator, his father, and his mother. His father gives the white; his mother gives the red; and the Creator gives the soul,” for only in the middle line are all of them together.
Therefore, when a person walks on the left line, he should be with pride, as our sages said, “and his heart was high in the ways of the Lord.” In other words, he should say what our sages said (Sanhedrin 37), “Therefore, each one must say, ‘The world was created for me.’” That is, he should try to achieve the purpose of creation, which is His desire to do good to His creations.
Therefore, he should try that the purpose of creation will come true in him, and before he has achieved the goal, he should be deficient and regret that he has not achieved the wholeness that befits the creature that the Creator created. This is called “left,” meaning a lack.
However, what should one do before he has achieved wholeness and he is deficient, since a person cannot live on deficiencies and must receive vitality, and we can receive vitality only from wholeness, as from this a person derives delight and pleasure, from this he can exist. But from the left, it is impossible to live.
At that time, a person should shift to the right line, called “wholeness.” Yet, how can one receive wholeness when he sees that he is bare and destitute? From what can he receive wholeness? That is, from what can he receive delight and pleasure in this state?
The answer is that at that time, one should say that he does not see that he is more important than other people, who have no privilege to have desire and yearning for Torah and Mitzvot. That is, they do not even have a need for Lo Lishma [not for Her sake]. Yet, he sees that the Creator has given him a desire and yearning to do something in Torah and work. Although he does not feel any taste in the work, in terms of the work, he does have the privilege of doing something. The only thing is that his intentions are wrong, but he sees that some grip he does have, whereas to others, the Creator did not give the desire and yearning to do something in Torah and work, and he believes that this is a great thing. Although he still does not feel the importance of the matter, he still believes in this above reason.
Moreover, he sees that there are many people who are happy when they engage in Torah and Mitzvot. They are glad and regard secular people as mere beasts, but they have no thought at all about the intention. Therefore, why should he not be as happy as they are, who feel wholeness in their work? Why does he deserve greater wholeness? That is, if he sees that he cannot work in order to bestow, he feels deficient. Who says that he deserves a higher degree than theirs?
It follows that a person must lower himself and say that he does not deserve a higher degree than others, and from this a person can receive wholeness, meaning be happy with the little bit of grip on the work of the Creator that he has. From this he should be happy all day long.
According to the above, we should interpret what we asked, “Why is it written, ‘Anyone who extols himself with words of Torah is ultimately brought low, and anyone who lowers himself with words of Torah is ultimately raised high’?” We asked, Why is it forbidden specifically concerning words of Torah, since our sages said, “Be very, very humble,” and not necessarily concerning words of Torah?
The answer is that this discusses those who want to walk on the path of the Creator on the path of truth, meaning that all their work will be only in order to bestow. They observe what is written, “And his heart was high in the ways of the Lord,” and the “pride” is not that he wants something for his own benefit. Rather, he wants to annul before the Creator, and for himself, he wants to put this desire called “will to receive” to death. He wants to observe what our sages said, “The Torah exists only in one who puts himself to death over it.”
It follows that his pride is not for someone who is proud, of whom it was said, “Anyone who is proud, the Creator said, ‘I and he cannot dwell in the same abode.’” Rather, here his pride is that he wants to put to death his own will to receive and not be like the rest of the people, caring only for their own sake.
And still, they said that there is a time when he should be in lowliness, meaning be content with little. In other words, he does not need to be a servant of the Creator more than others. Rather, as the general public work in action and does not pay attention to the intention, they settle for this and do everything gladly, each according to the degree that he received by upbringing. Hence, at that time he says, “I, too, ‘dwell among my own people,’ and I do not need greatness.”
Indeed, we should understand this, since it is better that he works on the path toward achieving a state of Lishma! The answer is that there is a lot of work before we achieve the degree of Lishma. In the meantime, during the work, there are ascents and descents because this work is against nature. When a person sees that he is still not advancing in the path toward achieving the desire to bestow, then he is deficient, and a person cannot receive vitality and joy from deficiencies. Therefore, at that time he is without vitality.
This is called “the work of the left.” Hence, a person must shift to the work of the right, where “right” means wholeness. When a person feels that he is in a state of wholeness, from this he can derive joy and vitality and enjoy the work he does for the Creator, and praise and thank the Creator for rewarding him with a little bit of grip on the work of the Creator. Otherwise, one is unable to exist and must fall into a state of sadness.
In a state of sadness, a person cannot work. Rather, he can find all his pleasures in sleep, since when a person is asleep, he feels as though he has escaped from his suffering. Because of it, a person must enter the work of the general public. But afterward, a person enters the work of the left once more, but it should be limited and measured. For most of the time, a person should be in the work of the right until the Creator helps him and gives him the middle line, as was said, that there are three partners in a man: the Creator, his father, and his mother.
According to the above, we should interpret what is written (Numbers 24:7), “Water will flow from his buckets.” “Water” is called Torah. “His buckets” comes from the word “bucket,” meaning the bucket that is used to draw water. Dli [bucket] comes from the word Dal [poor], which is poverty, and “there is no poverty except in knowledge.”
The verse comes to tell us that one who wants to be rewarded with the Torah, meaning that the Creator will open his eyes in the Torah, should go through many, many states until he is rewarded with the opening of the eyes in the Torah. We should know that it is impossible to be rewarded with the Torah before one is rewarded with Kelim that are fit for the Torah.
This is why prior to being rewarded with the 613 Pekudin, we must first go through observance of 613 Eitin, which are counsels how to acquire the means to qualify oneself to achieve the degree of 613 Pekudin. At that time, there is the matter of left line and right line. It is known that the beginning should be in one line, after which we shift to the left line, and then the one line becomes the right line. Then, when the one line becomes the right line, it is hard to walk on one line, meaning to be in joy and vitality from engaging only in action and not reflecting on whether it is in order to bestow.
…Now that the time of work on the left has passed, meaning in a state of pride, as in “His heart was high in the ways of the Lord,” when he does not want to be like the general public, but wants to work in the manner of individuals, how can he later lower himself and walk on the path that was previously called “one line,” which means that he still did not know that there is another line, but now that he sees that there is the matter of left line, how can he lower himself and take back the way that he left and say, “I am returning to the way I said was suitable for ordinary people and not for me”? Thus, it is difficult for him to return to the way that is now called “right line.”
He comes to tell us about this, that a person must return to the state of “poor and meager,” as though he has no reason in that he is returning to the way of wholeness, which is now called “right.” However, each time, he must return to the left. It follows that by his returning to the state of “right” he becomes poor. And from many Dal [poor] and meager, a bucket is made, and the bucket becomes buckets, and from them water will flow, and water is called “Torah.”
In other words, through these buckets, he will later be rewarded with the Torah. This is the meaning of the words “Anyone who extols himself with words of Torah is ultimately brought low,” since he must lower himself and walk on the right, and anyone who lowers himself and walks on the right is raised and he is rewarded with the Torah.
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link