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What Is, “There Is None as Holy as the Lord, for There Is None Besides You,” in the Work?
Article No. 26, Tav-Shin-Nun, 1989-90
The Zohar says (Tazria, Item 37), “‘If a woman inseminates, she delivers a male child.’ Rabbi Yehuda started, ‘There is none as holy as the Lord, for there is none besides You, and there is no rock like our God.’ This verse is perplexing. It is written, ‘There is none as holy as the Lord.’ This implies that there is another one who is holy, though a little worse than the Creator. Also, ‘There is no rock like our God’ implies that there is another rock, but is a little worse than the Creator. He replies that there are many holy ones. There are holy ones above, meaning angels, and Israel are also holy, but there are none as holy as the Creator. And what is the reason? ‘For there is none besides You.’ Rather, the holiness of the Creator is without their holiness, of the angels and of Israel, for He does not need their holiness. However, they are not holy without You. ‘And there is no rock like our God’ means that the Creator forms a form within a form, meaning the form of the Ubar [embryo] within the form of its mother.”
We should understand the connection between “If a woman inseminates, she delivers a male child” and the verse, “There is none as holy as the Lord, and there is no rock like our God.” Also, how did you think of saying that the people of Israel impart Kedusha [holiness] upon the Creator, for which the text should tell us, “There is none as holy as the Lord”? And also, what is the meaning in the work, that he interprets “There is no rock like our God,” as the Creator forming a form within a form?
It is known that the order of the work is that we must achieve Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, as it is written, “You will be holy, for I am holy.” This means that as the Creator is holy and separated from reception, for the Creator only bestows and does not receive, we must also be holy and separated from reception, and all our actions must be only in order to bestow upon the Creator.
However, since we were born with a nature of self-reception, how can we be rewarded with Kedushaand be separated from self-love? This quality of the will to receive for oneself is called “evil inclination,” and our sages said about it, “The Creator said, ‘I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.’” In other words, by engaging in Torah and Mitzvot[commandments/good deeds] in order to achieve Lishma [for Her sake], the light in the Torah will reform him. This means that he will emerge from the governance of evil and will do good. That is, he will be able to do good deeds, which are called “acts of bestowal.”
It therefore follows that only man’s actions when he engages in Torah and Mitzvot cause him to be rewarded with Kedusha, meaning to be holy and separated from acts of self-reception, and will be in a state of “As He is merciful, so you are merciful,” regarded as equivalence of form. This is called “You will be holy, for I am holy.”
It therefore follows that a person has been rewarded with Kedusha by himself, as our sages said, “If I am not for me, who is for me?” That is, “According to the sorrow, so is the reward.” This means that according to the labor that one gives in order to be awarded with the reward, to that extent he is rewarded, as our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided.”
Therefore, this means that the Creator does not give assistance from above, meaning Kedusha from above, before a person gives Kedusha from below. That is, when a person sanctifies himself and comes to purify, the Creator can give him Kedusha from above. It therefore follows that the Creator cannot give Kedusha from above until the creatures give Kedusha from below.
Now we can interpret what we asked about how The Zohar answers the question, “There is none as holy as the Lord,” implying that there is another one who is holy, but is a little worse than the Creator. He replies that the fact that it is written, “There is none as holy as the Lord,” is because “There is none besides You.” However, the Kedusha of the Creator is without their Kedusha, for He does not need their Kedusha. “However, they are not holy without You.”
We asked, How can you think of saying that the Creator takes the Kedusha that He has from below, from Israel, can we say this? However, when it concerns the work, although it is implied in all the places in the words of our sages that the fact that the Creator gave Kedusha to the people of Israel, is because He needed them, hence, first there must be an awakening on the part of man, meaning that he should have a desire for Kedusha, then the Creator can give Kedusha.
It follows that the Creator needs the Kedusha from below, and then he can give them Kedusha. The Zohar tells us about this, “There is none as holy as the Lord.” This means that man has no Kedushaat all, meaning that the Kedusha that the Creator gives, He does not need man’s Kedusha. In other words, first a person should be in the form of “He who comes to purify,” and then the Creator can give him Kedusha.
He says about this, “For there is none besides You,” for there is no one to assist You, to give of their Kedusha, meaning that they will give You Kedusha from below, since “There is none besides You,” there is no other force in the world but the Creator. In other words, we must believe in private Providence, as it is written (in Thirteen Tenets, presented in the prayer book after “On us”), “I believe in complete faith, that the Creator, blessed be His name, creates and leads all creations, and He alone does, is doing, and will do all the deeds.”
This means that after a person has done good deeds, by which he will be rewarded with Kedusha, with being holy, meaning that all his actions will be only to bestow, it implies as though man helps the Creator. The Zohar says about this, “For there is none besides You.” Rather, the Creator does everything, and He does not need man’s Kedusha to help Him. Instead, “He alone does, is doing, and will do all the deeds,” and man has no part in this.
Thus, what is the meaning of “He who comes to purify is aided”? It seems as though man does do! We should interpret that this means that man must believe that now he has come to purify and not before. This action, when a person comes now to purify, comes from the assistance from above. In other words, previously, there was an awakening from above, which gave him a desire and yearning to come purify and sanctify himself. It follows that his coming to purify now is not by man’s power, but rather comes from above.
In this way, we should interpret what our sages said (Avot, Chapter 5:27), “Ben Heh Heh says, ‘The reward is according to the sorrow.’” This means that to the extent of the sorrow that a person suffers while observing Torah and Mitzvot, so will his reward increase. This implies that a person does do something, and for doing it, he is rewarded. However, this, too, we should interpret in the above manner, that man must believe that the sorrow and labor that a person has in feeling that he is far from Dvekut with the Creator and that he is immersed in self-love, this sorrow is called “reward.”
In other words, the Creator gave him an awakening not to want to remain in the state of the general public, who go with the flow of the world and do not reflect on what makes them higher in degree than any other animal. That is, they feed on the same things that animals feed, and do not feel that they were created in God’s image, meaning that they have any connection to Godliness and that they must receive nourishment from spirituality, which is suitable for the speaking level and not for the animate level.
This is a reward. That is, the labor and sorrow that they feel is that actual reward that the Creator gives them. We should not think that this is labor that comes by itself when a person exerts. Rather, this is a reward that the Creator calls them to the work of the Creator, whereas others, He does not call. Thus, along with the sorrow and suffering they feel, they should be happy that the Creator wants to connect with them.
According to the above, we should interpret “According to the sorrow, so is the reward,” meaning to what extent should one appreciate the Creator rewarding him? The answer is that according to the sorrow and labor he can feel from being far from the Creator, this is the measure of the reward.
This means that when we want to know how much was the profit of the reward, a person should evaluate how much suffering and sorrow he had had from being far from the work of the Creator. This is the measure of the reward. In other words, it is impossible to appreciate the lack of spirituality before one feels the importance of spirituality. To the extent of the importance of spirituality, to that extent a person can feel the need for it.
It follows that the sensation of the lack is already a reward. Hence, we should interpret the words of Ben Heh Heh, who says, “According to the sorrow.” When a person regrets being far from the Creator, it does not come from the person, but the Creator gave him this feeling, and not the person by himself.
This means that by the Creator illuminating for him the importance of spirituality, to that extent he is sorry that he is far from spirituality. For this reason, we must not say that what a person comes to purify is work that comes from a person. Rather, the Creator gave him a thought and desire to come and purify.
It follows that this is not out of man’s work that we can say that the Kedusha that the Creator has given him, Kedusha from above, the person helped Him, too. Rather, “There is none besides You.” As in the words of The Zohar, the Creator does not need any Kedusha of theirs, meaning of the lower ones, but He does everything.
In this manner, we should interpret the words of our sages about the verse (Exodus 32:10), “And now leave Me alone.” RASHI interpreted that “We still did not hear that Moses prayed for them, and He says, ‘And now leave Me alone.’ However, here He opened for him an opening and notified him that the matter was up to him, that if he prayed for them, He would not destroy them” (Gate of the Words of Our Sages).
We should interpret the words of our sages, who said, “Here He opened for him an opening and notified him that the matter was up to him, that if he prayed for them, He would not destroy them.” It means that the Creator notified him, meaning gave him a desire to pray for Israel that He will forgive them the sin of the calf. It follows that the fact that the Creator told him to pray means that He gave him the strength to pray. That is, unless the Creator gives the strength to pray, a person cannot pray.
It therefore follows that the fact that a person prays to the Creator to forgive his sins, that, too, comes from the Creator, for the Creator gives him the strength and desire to pray. It follows that the Creator does everything. In other words, even when a person prays to the Creator to forgive his sins, they implied about this too, “There is none as holy as the Lord,” since “There is none besides You,” to have power of Kedusha. Rather, everything comes from the Creator.
However, we must not forget that although we say, “Everything comes from the Creator,” a person should say, “If I am not for me, who is for me?” Rather, everything depends on the acts of people. Although this is in contradiction to the above-said, we must believe that so it is, as Maimonides says (as said in Article No. 25, Tav-Shin-Nun).
According to the above, we should interpret what is said on Shabbat [Sabbath] in the song, “Anyone who sanctifies the seventh properly, anyone who observes Shabbat according to the law, so as not to desecrates it, his reward is great, according to his work.” This is difficult to understand. What is the novelty in saying, “His reward is great, according to his work”? This is a straightforward matter; it is customary that one is paid according to the value of one’s work. So, what is he telling us by saying, “His reward is great, according to his work”? Can it be otherwise?
If he had said that one who observes Torah and Mitzvot, even though he transgresses a little, receives a great reward, if this were so then there would be a novelty to hear. But if he does not receive reward more than he works, this is natural and so it is in corporeality.
However, the novelty is that when Shabbat comes, when a person is rewarded with the quality of Shabbat, he feels the truth, that the work itself is the reward that the Creator gives to a person, meaning that He gives a person a thought and desire to observe Torah and Mitzvot and to come and purify himself, as it is written, “He who comes to purify.” The question is, Why did he come to purify now, at this time, and not before? When a person receives assistance from above, the person comes to purify and not before. It follows that the meaning of “His reward is great according to his work” is that the fact that a person works and labors in Torah and Mitzvot is his reward.
It turns out that if he works a lot, this is the reward that the Creator has given him. That is, He gave a thought and desire to do the holy work. Thus, this is not as it is in corporeality, where to the extent that a person works, any worker receives a salary, meaning a reward in return for his work. Rather, here the innovation is that the reward is the work.
Accordingly, the meaning of “His reward is great,” is that how much is the reward? There is no matter here of giving him more reward or less reward. This can be said when a person works in order to receive reward in return for his work, where there is the matter of surpluses and deficits. But if the reward is the work itself, there is no issue of being rewarded for the work. Therefore, to imply this, he says, “His reward is great,” specifically “according to his work,” since only the work is the reward.
By this we should interpret what is written (Deuteronomy 4:2), “You shall not add to the thing which I command you, nor will you take away from it, to keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.” In the work, we should interpret what he says. We understand “Nor will you take away,” but why is it forbidden to add?
In the work, we should interpret that if a person wants to receive more reward, his way can be by adding more Torah and Mitzvot. But rather, “Do not add and do not take away,” since the reward is the work itself that the Creator gives to a person a place to serve the King. And that power is the reward. Hence, there is the intimation, “Do not add and do not take away,” meaning that it is impossible to add more, to receive more reward, but that it is precise, meaning the work and the reward are as two drops in a pond.
This is so particularly in the work. That is, when a person wants to work on the path of truth, which is work in order to bestow, although the literal meaning pertains to practical Mitzvot, that in practice, it means you should not add or take away, but in terms of the intention, meaning when a person works in order to bestow, there is also the matter of “Do not add.” In other words, it is impossible to add to the reward more than he works, since what he wants to receive more from the work is that he wants a reward, meaning that besides the work, he will be given a reward. It follows that he is working Lo Lishma [not for Her sake]. But as said above, the reward and the work are equal, and it is impossible to receive more reward, but only according to the work.
According to the above, we should interpret what The Zohar explains about the verse, “There is no rock like our God.” It means that the Creator forms a form within a form, meaning the form of the Ubar [embryo] within the form of its mother. What is “forms a form within a form” in the work? It is that a person sanctifies himself, meaning wants to work in order to bestow. This Kedusha does not come from man, so that man helps the Creator in any way, for the Creator to impart Kedusha upon him, as it is written, “He who comes to purify is aided.” Rather, the Creator does everything, for “He alone does, is doing, and will do all the deeds.”
This is the meaning of what is written, “forms a form within a form,” meaning the form of the Ubarwithin the form of its mother. This means that the form of the mother is the basis, and with this form, the man is born. This is called “the form of its mother.” Afterward, when a person begins the work and wants to walk on the path of bestowal, he begins with the first degree of Kedusha.
It is known that there are three discernments called 1) Ibur, 2) Yenika, 3) Mochin.
The first beginning, when a person enters the Kedusha, is the Ubar. This is the meaning of the Creator forming a form of bestowal within the previous form, which is the mother, who is called “vessels of reception.” In the vessels of reception, the man is born. Afterward, the man shifts to Kedusha, which is that all his actions are for the sake of the Creator.
Thus, who gave him the vessels of bestowal? It is as we learn, that Aviut [thickness] deKeter is called Aviut de Shoresh, and is called Aviut of the Ubar. The Shoresh [root] is the Creator, whose desire is to do good to His creations. When a person receives the first quality of Kedusha, he receives vessels of bestowal, meaning he can aim to bestow in vessels of bestowal.
This is called that the Creator “forms a form,” meaning the form of bestowal, which is that He gives him the power to be able to bestow within the form of his mother, who is the previous state, before he came to connect with the Kedusha. The previous state is called “mother,” and the next state is called Ibur.
After the Ubar there is birth, until the newborn grows and through corrections becomes Gadol[big/grownup], regarded as having been rewarded with Mochin of Kedusha. We should interpret Ubarfrom the word Over [passing], which is the first state, when he passes from using the vessels of reception into the degree of Kedusha, where he uses only Kelim [vessels] that can aim to bestow. Otherwise, the Kelim are not used.
It follows that Ibur is the most important. As in corporeality, when a woman conceives, she is certain to also deliver. Thus, all the concern is for the woman to conceive. Afterward, the woman will usually deliver, too. However, sometimes there are exceptions and the woman aborts the fetus due to some corruption.
Likewise, in the work, the main thing that is hard for us is to enter the Ubar, meaning that the will to receive will receive within it a different desire called “desire to bestow.” When a person is rewarded with the state of Ubar, meaning that within the desire to receive enters a desire to bestow, this is considered that the Creator forms a form within a form.
We should understand this wonder of forming a form within a form. According to what we interpreted, this is a great novelty, a real miracle, since it is against nature, for only the Creator can change nature, and it is out of man’s hands. This is the novelty, that the Creator forms the form of bestowal within the form of the mother, which is the form of reception. This is called the Kedusha that the Creator gives.
It is said, “There is none as holy as the Lord, for there is none besides You,” as there is no one in the world who can change nature and make within the Kli [vessel] that comes to a person by nature, the desire to receive, that it will later have a different nature, called “desire to bestow.” This is all the innovation of forming a form within a form.
Now we should interpret the meaning of the proximity of “If a woman inseminates, she delivers a male child.” Rabbi Yehuda started with what is written, “There is none as holy as the Lord, for there is none besides You.” It is known that sowing is like, for instance, taking wheat or barley and so forth, and placing them in the ground until they decay. Afterward, the grain that we need comes out of them.
In the work, a woman is considered the one who works, the one who should deliver. For this reason, if the woman, who is a female, meaning a vessel of reception, if one sows the quality of a “woman,” meaning a female—which is the will to receive—in the ground, to decay, this will later yield a male. In other words, if a person sows his female in the ground, meaning the vessels of reception, it will yield vessels of bestowal, called “male.”
And if the man inseminates first, meaning that he wants the vessels of bestowal in him to decay in the earth, meaning that when he engages in Torah and Mitzvot, his intention is that by bestowing and engaging in Torah and Mitzvot, his aim is for the acts of bestowal to come into the earth and decay, then she delivers a female. That is, his will to receive grows. This is the meaning of delivering a female. In other words, the acts of bestowal will bring him self-benefit, called “female.”
Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link