Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Is, “You Will See My Back, But My Face Shall Not Be Seen,” in the Work?
Article No. 43, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
It is known that the order of the work in order to achieve the purpose of creation, which is to do good to His creations, is in two manners:
1) The manner of the “mind,” which is faith above reason, is a manner that is called “against reason.” That is, the reason of a person determines whether something is worth doing or not. According to the rule that one cannot go against reason, it follows that a person takes upon himself to serve the Creator even if the mind does not understand that it is worthwhile. And yet, a person takes upon himself faith in the sages, who determined for us how to serve the Creator.
They said that we must follow the rules of the Torah and not according to the intellect, and this is called “mind.”
2) The manner of the “heart,” meaning the will to receive, and he must work against the desire, meaning work and do things in order to obtain the desire to bestow. This is called “heart.”
Since man, by nature, is born with a will to receive for himself, when he wants to work in order to bestow, he is shown so he will know that the will to receive is bad. However, he must not see right away how much the will to receive controls him, meaning to know how bad it is and that it controls us to the point that one is unable to emerge from its control by himself.
If one were to see the power of the evil within him, and how far he is from the Creator because of this evil, he would say, “The control of the evil in me is bigger than in the rest of the people, so how can I defeat it? I am wasting my effort since it will all go to waste, for I see no way out of the control of the will to receive, and the will to receive is all the bad, meaning the only obstructor from achieving Dvekut [adhesion] and equivalence of form. Therefore, it is better for me to escape this campaign.
But since the bad is not shown at once, but bit by bit, by giving him an ascent, so he thinks he no longer has any bad, since during the ascent he feels that he is close to the Creator and no longer needs the Creator to help him anymore because he thinks that he will remain in this accent forever, for now he sees that everything is folly and all that matters is nearing the Creator, but since a person should see all the bad within him, so he can pray with all his heart, for only then does he have a complete Kli [vessel], meaning a real lack, he therefore receives a descent from above. In other words, he is shown some more of the evil that is found in the will to receive, and which he did not think about. This continues repeatedly and each time, a little more evil is revealed to him. If he does not escape the campaign, when he reaches the bottom of his evil, the Creator gives him the required help, which comes to him in order to save him from the control of the evil within him. At that time, a person is rewarded with the desire to bestow, called “second nature,” and then he receives the “opening of the eyes in the Torah.”
It therefore follows that it is not as one thinks about how the order of the work should be according to his view. Rather, the Creator has a different order. It should be said about this, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways” (Isaiah 55). In other words, a person understands that the order of the world is that a person learns some science or profession, and each day he advances and understands more and more until he grasps his field of expertise in full. Therefore, once he is accustomed to the work, as he received while learning, meaning that all that we should work on is the practice. In other words, one is taught to take upon himself faith, to believe in the Creator, and believe in the sages who set up for us the way by which to observe Torah and Mitzvot[commandments/good deeds], and all that one needs to remember while engaging in Torah and Mitzvot is that he is observing the Mitzvot of the Creator, who commanded us through Moses and sages that followed him, and by this we will be rewarded in this world and in the next world. This is the manner of the beginning of man’s work in Torah and Mitzvot.
This is called “work in practice,” meaning that one should remember while observing Torah and Mitzvot, that he is observing the commandment of the Creator. This is called “work of the general public.” This is also called “still of Kedusha [holiness].”
Afterward, when he is accustomed to work in practice and gladly observes it, since he was rewarded with observing the Mitzvot of the Creator, we can speak of the intention. However, before one observes the Torah and Mitzvot like the general public, meaning in practice, we cannot speak to that person about the intention. This is as Maimonides said, that the intention, which is called Lishma [for Her sake], is not revealed to any person. Rather, “Until they gain knowledge and acquire much wisdom, they are shown that secret bit by bit.”
This means that Israel in general, which are called “still of Kedusha,” faith shines for them as “Surrounding Light,” and from this, a person can observe Torah and Mitzvot in practice. However, those who are still not observing Torah and Mitzvot even in the manner of the general public, it is certainly impossible to speak with them about the intention.
Conversely, those who are fine in terms of the general public, yet feel an inner drive that there is also the matter of intention, since they heard that there is also the matter of having to do all the deeds for the sake of the Creator, called Lishma, a desire awakens in their hearts to be among the people who engage in Torah and Mitzvot for the sake of the Creator.
There are several interpretations concerning “for the sake of the Creator.” 1) He engages in Torah and Mitzvot for the sake of the Creator, meaning he is not observing Torah and Mitzvot for respect or for money, but only because the Creator commanded us through Moses, that we must observe His Mitzvot. This is why we observe and not for respect or for money. It follows that this is called “for the sake of the Creator,” meaning because the Creator commanded us to observe the Torah and Mitzvot.
However, in return for this, a person wants the Creator to reward him, as our sages said, “You can trust your landlord to reward you for your work” (Avot, Chapter 2:21).
There is a second meaning to the matter of “for the sake of the Creator.” Self-benefit is not the reason that obligates him to observe Torah and Mitzvot, but the importance and greatness of the Creator obligates him to engage in Torah and Mitzvot. In other words, the reason he wants to engage in Torah and Mitzvot is to serve the King and observe His commandments.
It follows that the reward is not the reason, as we explained about the first manner of “for the sake of the Creator,” where the reason why he observes Torah and Mitzvot is his desire that the Creator will reward him, since he does not observe Torah and Mitzvot for people, but he works in concealment so that no one knows of his work in Torah and Mitzvot but the Creator, so he wants the Creator to reward him. It follows that self-benefit is the reason.
But when he wants to work only because of the greatness of the King, this is called “for the sake of the Creator,” meaning that the intention of the reward is that he is serving the Creator. This is as it is written in the Sulam [Ladder commentary on The Zohar] (“Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Item 191), “that he should fear the Creator (which is why he observes Torah and Mitzvot) because He is great and rules over everything.”
It therefore follows that precisely when one works not in order to receive reward, but his intention is for the sake of the Creator, namely that the greatness of the Creator obligates him to observe Torah and Mitzvot, this is called Lishma. That is, it is not the reward but the greatness of the Creator that is the reason why he observes Torah and Mitzvot. Therefore, we should ask, What does it mean that they said, “You can trust your landlord to reward you for your work” if the person is not working for a reward?
We should interpret that those who work not in order to receive reward, it means that they want to work in order to bestow. However, the body objects to this and they cannot overcome the will to receive for themselves. Yet, they desire this and pray to the Creator to help them be able to work without any reward. At that time, the Creator hears their prayer and gives them a second nature, called “desire to bestow,” and this is their reward, that they are rewarded with working only for the sake of the Creator.
However, we should know that precisely when one begins to work in order to bestow, when he wants to achieve this degree, since it is against nature and one cannot come to this by himself, but the Creator must give him the desire to bestow, since there is a rule that there is no filling without a lack, for it is impossible to fill something where there is no receptacle, called “lack,” and since the lack over inability to perform acts of bestowal is also not in one’s hands to feel, but this feeling, that a person must work in order to bestow, a person asks, “For what purpose do I want to perform acts of bestowal?” So one must first feel that without the desire to bestow he is deficient, meaning separated from the Creator due to disparity of form. Yet, this, too, one cannot feel, but rather this, too, meaning the feeling of the evil that exists in the will to receive for oneself, that by this he becomes separated from the Creator, this, too, he cannot understand, since he asks, “What will you get out of doing everything in order to bestow?” With these questions, he loses the desire and the need to do everything in order to bestow.
Thus, precisely through the light in the Torah, which shines for a person even when he learns Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], this light gives a person the ability to feel the lack and the need to obtain the desire to bestow. However, one is not shown all the bad that is in the will to receive, but is shown a little bit each time. After each descent, when he sees that he is separated and has no desire to work, he is given an ascent. And after each ascent he gets another descent until all the bad is revealed to him. Then, once he has a complete lack, he receives from above the desire to bestow. But in the middle of the work, when a person suffers a descent, he wants to escape from the campaign. This state is called Achoraim [posterior/back], meaning that the faith he draws in the work does not illuminate for him, and he understands that the Creator should behave with him as he understands, yet the Creator does what He wants, and not what the person wants—who thinks that the order in the work should be similar to every profession that a person learns, and that each day he advances. Here, however, a person sees that each day he is regressing, meaning each day, he sees that he is in a state of Achoraim. But in truth, the Creator behaves with him as He thinks, and not as the person thinks.
Accordingly, we see that the order of the work is opposite from man’s view, for man understands that by having an ascent in degree each time, he will achieve the completion of the goal, but the Creator thinks to the contrary—since if a person were to remain in a state of ascent, he would think of himself as complete. That is, he would not see any deficiency in his work, and then he would remain in a state of still. He would not feel that the bad in him due to the will to receive is bad, since he would not see that it obstructs him from engaging in Torah and Mitzvot, and he would not know what is Achoraim, meaning what it means that the Torah and Mitzvot do not shine. Rather, he would always be happy that he is serving the Creator and observing His commandments. There is a rule that from above, no redundancies are given, meaning that when one does not feel that he is missing the essence, it is forbidden to give him extras.
There is a rule that when a person is deficient on life’s necessities, meaning when he is deficient of the breath of life, called “Dvekut with the Creator,” called “whole faith,” it cannot be said that he should be given extras, namely things that a person does not feel he needs, and without which he cannot live. In spirituality, this is called “extras.” That is, precisely when a person asks the Creator to give him something that he needs so much, to the point that without it, his life is worthless, this is called “necessity,” and this is called “a real desire,” meaning a lack that is worthy of being satisfied. But if his desire is not as great, it is regarded as “redundancies.”
Therefore, when one is satisfied with Torah and Mitzvot in practice, it cannot be said that he should be given a greater degree, since he is not so needy of salvation. It follows that one cannot ascend the rungs of holiness unless he feels that he is in utter lowliness. This is called “a state of Achoraim.” Thus, when he is in a state of Achoraim, he can receive a Kli [vessel], called “desire to receive help from above.” And the help that comes from above is called “a soul,” as it is written in The Zohar, “He who comes to purify is aided.” He asks, “With what?” and the answer is “with a holy soul.”
Each time he asks for help, he receives a greater degree until he is rewarded with attaining the NRNHY in his soul.
By this we should interpret what we asked, What is, “And you will see My back, but My face shall not be seen”? We should interpret “And you shall see.” It means that if a person wants to be rewarded with “seeing,” meaning with opening the eyes in the Torah, namely the Torah that is the names of the Creator, a person cannot be rewarded with this during an ascent, when he sees that the Torah and Mitzvot shine for him and give him satisfaction, and he wants to have a higher degree each time, as is done in corporeal matters, where each time a person sees that he is adding in obtaining what he wants, both when he learns some profession or some science. It follows that the person is always in ascent, called Panim [face/anterior].
In spirituality, it is to the contrary. Specifically from the state of Achoraim, from states that do not illuminate, meaning specifically from descents, when more bad appears in him each time, meaning the measure of the bad in the will to receive, how it obstructs one from achieving the goal for which he was created. This is so because a person cannot receive help from the Creator unless in a state where he feels the real deficiency. It follows that a person cannot say that the Creator is not looking at him when he sees that he is regressing. Rather, this Achoraim that a person feels comes from above. That is, the Creator has given him help by his seeing the bad that is in the will to receive.
It follows that the person is advancing, but not according to the person’s view, but according to the Creator’s view, as it is written, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts.” This means that the Creator first helps him by making him feel each time more of the measure of evil that is in the will to receive, for as said above, it is impossible to reveal to him all the bad at once, but each time, a small amount is revealed in him, since if a person sees all the bad at once, he will escape the campaign. Therefore, it is revealed to him little by little until he sees its real measure. At that time he has a real need for His help, and then he is rewarded with extending the NRNHY in his soul.
This is the meaning of what is written, “And you will see My back.” Precisely through the states of Achoraim can one be rewarded with the goal.
By this we can interpret what is written (Deuteronomy 7:7), “The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you because you were more in number than any people, for you were the least of all peoples.”
We should ask, What does this come to teach us? Does anyone think that the people of Israel are more numerous than all the nations, so the verse comes to tell us so we will not be mistaken that the Creator chose us because the people of Israel are more numerous than all the nations? Rather, we should interpret that when we speak of the work, whether we speak of Israel, or whether we speak of the nations of the world, we are speaking within the same person, as it is written in The Zohar, “Every person is a small world in and of itself.”
Therefore, we should interpret that sometimes, a person is in a state where the quality of Israel within him is greater than the quality of the nations of the world in him. In other words, he is in a state of ascent. This is so when he feels that he is complete in Torah and Mitzvot. Therefore, by this one can be rewarded with the love of the Creator, since it makes sense that when one feels that he is walking in the right path, according to one’s view, when he is working in the manner of the general public, and because of this the Creator should love him, to this comes the answer, “The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you because you were more in number than any people.”
The question is, Why does the Creator not favor a person when he feels that he is serving the Creator in completeness? The answer is as said above, that the person does not need the Creator’s help in order to be rewarded with the Creator’s love, since he feels that he is complete in terms of the practice, that he is a “still of Kedusha.”
But the verse says, I favor you “for you were the least of all peoples.” In other words, specifically from the state where you feel that you are the least of all the peoples, that all the desires of the nations of the world govern you, and the Israel in you does not merit a name, and you see the bad within you to its true extent, then you pray that I will help you. And since now you have a real need, since you feel how far you are from doing anything in order to bestow, then comes the right time to help you, since then you are asking for necessity and not for extras.
In a state of ascent, a person does not need the Creator to help him, except for extras, as it is written, “The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you because you were more in number than any people,” for then you do not need Me for necessities, since your state is “more in number than any people,” and you feel that you are governing the evil in you in the quality of the general public, which is the practice. So why did the Creator want you? It is precisely from the states where you are “the least of all peoples,” when the nations of the world govern the quality of Israel in you, and you cry out to Me, “Help!” with all your hearts.
Then I love you, and only then can I keep all that I promised the forefathers concerning the inheritance of the land, for now you have the Kelim [vessels] to receive My blessing, meaning vessels of bestowal, for when one has vessels of bestowal, he can receive the blessing from above.
It follows from all the above, that a person does not need to be impressed when during the descent, the bad comes to him to argue with him, and makes him think, “You see that you are not advancing in the work, so I advise you to run from this path, which is work of bestowal, and go work in the manner that the general public work, meaning only in practice.” This is the time of choice—to overcome and say, “Now I see the truth, how far I am from the Creator and only He can help,” and to believe what is written, “For You hear the prayer of every mouth,” meaning even though he is not worthy of being helped, the Creator still helps. Therefore, he says, “I will certainly get help from above, since I feel that the help that the Creator will give me now is truly “reviving the dead.” But if a person is not rewarded, he escapes from the campaign and says that this work belongs to those who are gifted, but he is unfit for it. Yet, our sages said about this, “The ways of the Lord are straight; the righteous walk in it, and the wicked fail in it.” Therefore, do not run away!
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link