Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

What Is, “Anyone Who Mourns for Jerusalem Is Rewarded with Seeing Its Joy,” in the Work?

Article No. 39, Tav-Shin-Nun, 1989-90

Our sages said (Taanit, p 30b), “Anyone who mourns for Jerusalem is rewarded with seeing its joy.” Taken literally, this is hard to understand. Certainly, there were many righteous who mourned for Jerusalem, yet Jerusalem was still not built, so how were they rewarded with seeing its joy? In the literal explanation, there are probably many answers to this, but we should interpret it in the work.

It is known that Malchut is called “Jerusalem.” Hence, when we say, “the ruin of the Jerusalem,” it refers to the ruin of the Temple. This is called “Shechina [Divinity] in the dust” or “Shechina in exile.” In other words, a person should take upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven and believe that the Creator leads the world with a guidance of The Good Who Does Good, since it is hidden from us.

Malchut is the one who gives to the souls and to BYA. Everything that comes from above to the creatures is considered Malchut. Thus, Malchut is not respected by the creatures because they do not see her importance, meaning what she gives to us. This is called “Jerusalem in its ruin.” In other words, where she should have been giving delight and pleasure to the creatures, and where everyone should have seen her merit, they see that everything is ruined in her and she has nothing to give, instead. It is said about it (in the Nachem [comfort] prayer on the 9th of Av), “The mourners for Jerusalem, and the lamenting, ruined, degraded, and desolate city.” In other words, everything is ruined and destroyed, and this is called “Shechina in the dust.” Hence, when a person should take upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven, the body resists vigorously.

Thus, if a person overcomes and takes upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven although he sees no importance, and mourns for the importance of Jerusalem being so hidden from us, and prays about why Malchut has no importance, and asks of the Creator to raise Jerusalem from the dust it is in, to the extent that one regrets its ruin, he is rewarded with the Creator hearing his prayer.

And that man is rewarded with seeing its joy, meaning that it does bestow upon him delight and pleasure. It follows that the meaning will be that he who regrets and mourns for Jerusalem, for the Shechina being in the dust, that person is rewarded with seeing its joy, since there is no light without a Kli [vessel]. Since he has the Kli, meaning the lack—his regret that Shechina is in the dust—he is therefore rewarded with seeing the comfort of Jerusalem.

According to the above-said, we should interpret what is written (Isaiah 1), “The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib; Israel does not know; My people does not understand.” We should understand the difference between an ox and a donkey in the work, as well as the difference between Israel and My people in the work. Baal HaSulam said that the difference between an ox and a donkey is that an ox is considered “mind,” which is faith above reason. This is the meaning of “The ox knows its owner.” A donkey is considered “heart,” meaning the will to receive, which is “And the donkey, its master’s crib.”

Thus, there are two discernments to make here:

1) Those who work for a reward, who observe Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] in order to receive reward. Their question is primarily “How much reward will I receive, and what will be the reward, meaning is this reward worth the labor in Torah and Mitzvot?”

2) Those who want to work in order to bestow because, as it is written in The Zohar, “He is great and ruling.” In other words, they work only because of the greatness of the Creator. That is, they feel very privileged serving a great King. It follows that those who work in order to bestow need to know who they are serving, that He is truly a great and important King, worth serving.

However, when they begin to work in order to bestow, and the whole reason that they have the strength to work is the importance of the Creator, then begins the work in the form of “Shechina in the dust.” In other words, where spirituality, meaning working to benefit the Creator, should have been more important each time, a person gets such thoughts that demonstrate the opposite. And instead of a person going forward and working more gladly because he is serving a great and important King, he gets pictures of insignificance. In other words, he does not feel His greatness, and this causes him constant descents.

This means that even when he overcomes the descents he cannot always endure and fight against these thoughts. And what these thoughts show him is that the Shechinais in the dust. He wishes to work with joy for serving a great and important King, and this should bring him joy, but he feels the complete opposite—rejection. It is as though he is being repelled from the work.

This is called “Shechina in the dust”—this feeling that he is being pushed outside. In other words, he feels that while wishing to take upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven, Pharaoh’s questions come to him, asking “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” This is considered that Malchut, meaning the Shechina, is in exile with Pharaoh, King of Egypt, who shows the lowliness of the kingdom of heaven.

At that time, one can only ask for Malchut [kingdom] to be built, meaning that Malchut will not remain in a form of lowliness, since one cannot receive joy from this lowliness when he sees that it has no importance. This is considered that one should pray for the ruin of the Temple, for the world not being able to see the receiving of the kingdom of heaven as a good thing, meaning consider working for the Creator a respectable, dignified work.

Hence, when one prays for the exile of the Shechina, he should not pray that it is in the dust only for him. Rather, one should pray about its lowliness in the whole world, that the whole world gives no thought to spirituality. And he prays for the whole world, as we pray, “And build Jerusalem soon in our days,” so it will be glorified in the whole world, as it is said in the Rosh Hashanah [the beginning of the year] prayer, “Be King over all the whole world with Your glory.” But since the general public does not feel the lack, how can they pray?

However, such a person, who was rewarded with obtaining the need, who has attained the exile, he can ask for redemption. But those who do not feel that there is an exile, how can they ask that He will deliver them from exile? It follows that a person’s feeling of being in exile is already considered an ascent in degree, and he must ask for fulfillment for the general public.

As was mentioned above, “Anyone who mourns for Jerusalem is rewarded with seeing its joy.” In other words, the one who feels the exile of the Shechina and mourns is the one who is rewarded with seeing its joy, since in terms of Kelim [vessels], only he has Kelim that are ready for redemption because Kelim are a desire for fulfillment.

Hence, he mourns when he feels how the Shechina is in exile and her greatness is not seen. But one who wishes to take upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven because He is great and ruling gets thoughts and imaginations, and these thoughts repel him outside of Kedusha [holiness], and only by overcoming and coercion above reason can he endure.

And each time he wishes to believe that His Providence is in the manner of good and doing good, he gets thoughts that slander the Creator and it pains him that he must hear slander. He believes that it is only because the nations of the world rule over the Kedusha, meaning that there is concealment, and for those who wish to enter the holy work, the Sitra Achra [other side] hides the importance of Kedusha. It follows that it is precisely the one who mourns who needs heaven’s mercy, to be able to overcome the evil in him, and he mourns and cries for the Creator to help him.

But he should certainly pray for the whole public, or it is considered that he is praying only for his own sake, that is, that only he will be delivered from exile. And if one truly asks for the sake of the Creator, to have the glory of heaven revealed in the world, how can he ask only for himself? Thus, one should ask for the glory of heaven to be revealed to the whole world, as our sages said (Baba Kamah 92), “Anyone who pleads mercy for his friend, and needs the same, is granted first.”

In the work, we should understand why a person is answered first if he pleads mercy for his friend. It seems as though the mercy he is asking is not because he wishes to evoke mercy on his friend. It seems like deceit. Because our sages said that he will be answered first, he is pleading mercy for his friend.

And yet, we should understand why he is answered first. Can’t the prayer be granted for both of them together? Must it be one at a time and not both at once? We should understand what is it about him being answered first.

We should interpret that when a person asks for mercy for his friend in the work—when one begins to walk on the path of achieving Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator through observing Torah and Mitzvot, considered that all his actions will be for the Creator and not for himself—the body begins to resist this work. It brings him thoughts of how this work is not for him, since the nature of the body is for its own sake, while he wishes to work for the sake of the Creator. Thus, the body, called “will to receive,” always shows him that it is not worthwhile to work for the Creator. And since one cannot make a single move without pleasure—for this is the nature of creation, since He wishes to delight His creatures, which is the reason for creation—hence, one cannot work unless he receives pleasure from the work.

Thus, everything that a man does is only to enjoy, meaning receive reward for the exertion he is making. Therefore, in Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], when one believes in reward and punishment, one has fuel for work during the labor because he is looking at the reward he will receive. But when one works in order to bestow, meaning he does not wish to receive any reward for the labor, how can he work without pleasure?

The Zohar says about this that we must work because the Creator is great and ruling, meaning because of the greatness of the Creator. This is so because we see that in nature, the smaller one receives pleasure when serving the greater one, since naturally, one has strength to work in service of an important person. Especially, it is a great pleasure to serve a great king. One does not need to work on it; it is in the nature of creation. What one shouldwork on is to know and to feel that he is an important person, and then he will be able to serve him.

Therefore, particularly when one wishes to work because of the greatness of the Creator, bad thoughts come to him and do not let him feel the greatness of the Creator, but actually show him the opposite. Indeed, this concealment governs the whole public. But for those who do not work because of the greatness of the Creator, the body does not need to hide the greatness of the Creator from them, since as long as they do not make the greatness of the Creator the reason for the work, the body is not working for free because it considers the reward, not the giver of the reward.

It follows that particularly for people who wish to work only because of the greatness of the Creator, there is resistance and the nations of the world cover and hide the Israel in man. Thus, naturally, the majority of slander against the greatness of the Creator is in those who wish to achieve Dvekut with the Creator. Those who feel that discernment called “Shechina in the dust” are the ones who feel the need to ask of the Creator to deliver her from exile, from being among the nations, meaning that the nations rule over her and hide the greatness and importance of the holy Shechina.

Therefore, those who feel that the Shechina is in the dust should pray for the glory of heaven to be revealed throughout the world. However, it is not the whole world that needs it—to raise the Shechinafrom the dust—and so he is answered first, since he needs the same thing. But afterward this brings disclosure to the whole generation. And yet, as long as they do not have the proper Kelim for it, it cannot be so disclosed in them. It is as our sages said, “If he performs one Mitzva[commandment/good deed], happy is he, for he has sentenced himself and the entire world to the side of merit.”

Thus, only that person—who feels the concealment over spirituality, over the desire to bestow because of the greatness of the Creator—must ask for mercy for the whole generation. And since he needs the same thing, he will be answered first. This is why it is said about him, “Anyone who mourns for Jerusalem is rewarded with seeing its joy.” And the reason is, as we said above, that he needs the same thing, and not the public. This is why he who pleads mercy for his friend, they cannot both receive the granting of the prayer at once because only he needs that thing, meaning that salvation—to feel the greatness of Kedusha [holiness] called “raising the Shechina from the dust.”

But those who work in the first above-mentioned manner, who work for a reward, they consider the reward. There is a rule: The one who gives is important. It follows that if they believe that they will receive reward, that the Creator will pay their reward, then He is already important to them. But those who are not working for a reward should now feel His greatness, and on that there is the concealment that is placed on the Kedusha—its greatness is unseen. For that, we were given the request from the Creator to remove the concealment, as it is written, “Hide not Your face from me.”

Now we can understand what we asked about what is “Israel does not know,” and what is “My people does not understand.” Israel are those who work with the aim to achieve Dvekut with the Creator, to be rewarded with achieving the degree Yashar-El [straight to the Creator], and not for their own benefit. They belong to the intention called “knowing,” since they need to come to clear knowledge that they must achieve the greatness of the Creator. This knowledge comes specifically through faith above reason, since the reason is dominated by the nations of the world, who hide the greatness of the Kedusha and degrade the kingdom of heaven to the dust.

And particularly by overcoming with faith above reason, when one carries out his actions by coercion, when bad thoughts of the Sitra Achra come to him, which slander and say that it is not worthwhile to work for the sake of the Creator, that the reason for this work is only the greatness of the Creator, then there is nothing one can do except believe in the sages, who tell us that it is specifically this work that a person does above reason that the Creator enjoys. It is as Baal HaSulam said, that the majority of the work is when a person gives something to the Creator precisely when he goes above reason.

This means that reason tells him that it is not worth it to do things in order to bestow. But one overcomes it and works above reason. This is considered that a person gave something to the Creator. But when the Creator gives him an awakening from above, there is nothing that one can do, about which he can say that he is giving something to the Creator, since then a man is annulled before the Creator as a candle before a torch, without any choice.

In that state, one is giving nothing because he has no choice. But when he must go above reason, since reason states otherwise, he can say that he is giving something to the Creator. And he said that we must believe that this work is more important to the Creator than the rest of the works.

The prophet said, “The ox knows its owner.” This belongs to the quality of Israel, who are considered the heads of the people. Israel means Li Rosh [The head is mine]. Knowledge belongs to them, and this is why he said, “Israel does not know,” since they were not engaging in labor in order to come to know the Creator, as it is written, “Know this day, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God.”

And the prophet said that they were not engaged in this. Also, the prophet spoke to the public, meaning to the populace, whose work is only to receive reward and this is why they engage in Torah and Mitzvot. They did not consider the matter of “And the donkey, its master’s crib.” The donkey, as we said above, is the will to receive called “only self-love.” And then the prophet told them that the donkey, meaning he who looks at his master’s crib—the reward—did not consider that the Creator is giving them the reward, meaning that by considering, they will receive the love of the Creator, just as there is love for one who gives presents to people. But they did not notice the Giver; they only thought that they would have reward.

It follows that what they did, they did for reward were without love and fear, meaning they did not give any thought to “His master’s crib,” meaning to the landlord—that the Creator is the Giver. Instead, they cut the Mitzvot from the giver of Torah and Mitzvot and did not think of the Giver of the work during the work. Also, when they thought about the reward, they were not thinking of who was the Giver of the reward.

This means that the prophet stands and warns both Israel—who work on the intention but do not give sufficient heed to achieving Dvekut with the Creator—and those who work only in action and their aim is only to receive reward, and they do not consider who it is who gives the reward. This is why “My people does not understand.” And naturally, they lack the love of the Creator.

It follows that a man should reflect on what to pray for before he comes to pray. This is why Baal HaSulam said that one should pray for only one thing, and this includes many things: It is that he asks of the Creator to give him a desire to work in order to bestow and not for his own sake. This is so because to have a desire to bestow, he must have faith in the Creator and believe in the greatness of the Creator. But the prayer that he wishes for the Creator to give him the desire to bestow means that a person tells the Creator, “I want that while I engage in Torah and Mitzvot, the intention will be that I will believe that the Creator takes pleasure in my actions.”

In other words, even though one does not taste or feel anything during his labor, he will have the strength to say to his body—while the body argues, “You see that the study of Torah and the prayer are tasteless to you,” a person wishes to have the strength to tell the body, “since I am working only for the Creator’s pleasure, why should I care if it feels tasteless to me or not? If I were working for my own benefit, you would be right in what you are telling me, that you are tasting nothing in your work. Likewise, a person who does not enjoy his food does not eat. I, however, am working to benefit the Creator, so it makes no difference to me what flavor I am tasting.” This is what he asks of the Creator, and this is called unconditional surrender.

Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

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