Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Is Revealing a Portion and Covering Two Portions in the Work?
Article No. 26, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
We should understand this matter of “revealing a portion.” This means that previously, a portion was covered here, and then one came and revealed a portion but concealed two portions. Thus, now it became more concealed than before he revealed. This means that he came and made a greater concealment now than before. Would it not be better if he did not reveal the portion?
We should interpret that when he comes and says, “I revealed a portion and I covered two portions,” he comes and tells us that there is a place of scrutiny here, to examine what he revealed, since the matter should not be revealed to all, but only to those who need to know. For this reason, he had to cover two portions so that people who have no need to know would not exert in order to understand the matters, while those who feel that they are lacking this knowledge in order to complete themselves will exert in order to reveal the matter that he concealed.
By this we should interpret in matters of work, which is man’s engagement in Torah and Mitzvot[commandments/good deeds] in order to achieve completion, and for which man was created. We should make two discernments here:
1) The purpose of creation. The purpose of creation is for the creatures to come to a state where they receive delight and pleasure from the Creator.
2) The correction of creation. The correction of creation is to achieve Dvekut [adhesion], called “equivalence of form,” meaning that all their actions will be only in order to bestow contentment upon the Creator. Therefore, when there is some revelation and a person cannot receive it in order to bestow, he blemishes it. For this reason, everything must be in concealment until a person can receive it in order to bestow.
Hence, when he says, “I revealed a portion and I concealed two portions,” it means that those who have no need for the matter will not exert to work and reveal, while those who do have a need, when they are told, “I revealed a portion and I concealed two portions,” they are willing to work until they attain the portion he revealed, since the Creator helps them. When a person gives the awakening from below, he receives help from above.
It follows that He did reveal the matter to those worthy of them. Who is worthy? Those who make an effort. To them, the portion they revealed is revealed to them. That is, those who do not have the quality of the correction of creation cannot receive anything from the purpose of creation, which is to do good to His creations.
Yet, this matter of revealing a portion and covering two portions applies also during the preparation for the work. In other words, it applies even in the beginning, when a person wants to begin the work, since those who have been rewarded from above are shown some illumination that shines for them, and they begin to work with great enthusiasm and power.
This is so because they received a revelation from above and they see that the most important thing in life in this world is spirituality and not corporeality. They feel confident that soon they will be rewarded with entering the King’s palace and will be rewarded with Dvekut with the Creator and the flavors and secrets of the Torah. A person feels all this by the revelation of the portion that has been revealed to him from above.
However, after some time, when it is seen above that the person has begun the work of bestowal, in order for him to grow on his own toward nearing the Creator, and also to feel what it is like to be remote from Kedusha [holiness], so he will discern “the advantage of the light from within the darkness,” subsequently, a person comes into a state of “covering two portions.”
One cannot understand why at first, when he did not know what the work of bestowal was like, spirituality illuminated for him as a revelation, and in his mind, he understood that after this revelation he should advance and go forward, but in the end he sees that now he is worse than before he began the work of bestowal. A person cannot provide answers to these states.
But the answer is that in order for him to begin to work, he had to be given from above the revelation, to give him the strength to emerge from the state he was in before he began the work. This is called “an awakening from above.” Afterward, this revelation was taken from him so that now he would be able to give the awakening from below.
This is the meaning of what the ARI says, that on Passover night, when the Creator had to deliver the people of Israel from Egypt, a great light appeared upon them in a manner of an awakening from above. For this reason, at that time Mochin of Haya illuminated, and all by the power of the awakening from above. But afterward, they all fell once more to their places, meaning that afterward, the people of Israel had to work in a manner of an awakening from below in order to continue in the manner of Gadlut [greatness/adulthood] of the Mochin.
Similarly, here we should interpret that when a person begins the work, he is shown a portion. Namely, he is shown from above some illumination, and that illumination gives him the power to serve the Creator. He begins to feel that this is the goal for which man was created in this world, and that feeling comes to him as a revelation from above in order to give him momentum for the holy work.
Therefore, afterward, when a person sees that he is not advancing but regressing, and now he is even far from the state he was in before he revealed to him a portion of the holy work, that person thinks that it is because he was thrown out from the work.
Therefore, a person must know that such is the work, that in order to admit a person into the work, there is such a correction called “awakening from above,” which is given to a person who is capable of entering the holy work, meaning that afterward he will be able to work by an awakening from below, since a person obtains the real Kelim [vessels] specifically through the awakening from below. This is why afterward he loses the light of confidence he had in the beginning of his work.
Accordingly, we should discern concerning the words “revealing a portion and covering two portions”:
1) In the beginning of his work, he is in a state of “still of Kedusha,” meaning he only acts and does not contemplate the thought.
2) He is shown a portion from above. At that time, he begins to feel that there is a new world, meaning that he feels that if he makes an effort, he will be rewarded with entering the King’s palace and will be granted attainment of Godliness. At that time, he will see that his confidence is so strong that he will achieve real wholeness. When he looks at other people, how they engage in Torah and Mitzvot in the “still” manner, he says about them that they are acting as beasts—doing without reason, and that they have no feeling of what is within the Torah and Mitzvot. All this is built in him on the basis that he was rewarded with revealing a portion.
3) Afterward, meaning after the work, when he begins to advance in the intention, through the power of the awakening from above, he comes to a state of “covering two portions.” That is, he falls into a descent. This is on purpose, so that now he will give the awakening from below, since specifically from this work he receives Kelim for the light.
In other words, it is impossible to discern any flavors in the light before we taste the taste of darkness, as it is written, “as the advantage of the light from within the darkness.” This means that although anyone can tell between light and darkness, to enjoy the light as it is possible to enjoy, this is impossible, as we see in corporeality.
We must believe that all this extends from spirituality as a “branch and root,” as we can see for ourselves. We walk on our legs and use our hands. Although we are glad that we are well, at the same time, we cannot rejoice over the fact that we are healthy. However, if we visit a hospital where there are patients with paralyses, some in their legs, some in their hands, if someone went in there and gave them a cure so they would regain their health and would be able to use their hands and legs, what joy would they have at being healthy?
It follows that the darkness they are suffering from not being able to use their hands and legs is the cause of their joy. This is the meaning of “as the advantage of the light from within the darkness.” In spirituality, the light does not only add joy to them. We must know that in spirituality, the joy is used only to obtain the light. Put differently, the joy is a dressing for the spirit of the Creator.
In other words, attainment of Godliness dresses in many names. In general, this is called “Torah” or Hochma [wisdom]. That is, spiritual pleasure is not merely pleasure; it is the revelation of the names of the Creator. We are awarded this through the lack, called Kelim and “a need.” This is why we need an awakening from below, for specifically by our work in Torah and Mitzvot we obtain those Kelimcalled “the need for the light of Torah.”
Therefore, a person must be careful not to be alarmed by the descents he suffers, since from this he learns how to appreciate the importance of nearing the Creator, as in “the advantage of the light from within the darkness.” It follows that the meaning of “revealing a portion and covering two portions” in the work is that we must make three discernments in the work until we achieve Dvekut with the Creator: 1) When he is in a state of “still of Kedusha,” working only in action. This is called one line. 2) When he is shown one portion, meaning he is shown from above, as Surrounding Light, what there is to attain in Godliness. By this he gains confidence that he will achieve great attainments and understand that this is worth living for, and his life will not be like those of the rest of the people, who are living aimlessly. 3) Afterward he comes to the third state, which is a descent. This is when he is required to show an awakening from below. That state is called “covering two portions.” In other words, not only has the state of revelation been concealed from him, but now even the “still” state has been concealed from him and it is difficult for him to engage in Torah and Mitzvot even in actions without the intention.
It follows that now he has two covers: 1) the state of revealing the portion, 2) the state of the still, when he engaged in Torah and Mitzvot with enthusiasm. That state has also disappeared from him.
Why is all of this? Why is there is a need for it to be more covered now than even in the first state, called “still of Kedusha”? The answer is that it is so that now he will not be content with less and will remain in a state of “still.” It follows that the whole revelation of the portion was for nothing, meaning he did not do any action of nearing the Creator. But now that he cannot do anything unless by coercion, so he must think and find ways to be able to do the holy work once more. For this reason, now he must be twice as covered.
However, a person must be careful not to look down on the forced work, although during the coercion the body finds no taste in this work. We can learn about the importance of work in coercion from what we understand and see in the way the world behaves in corporeal matters.
Let us take eating, for example, which is something that applies to both grownups and children. There is love in this, and there is fear, meaning fear of punishment. We see that there are little children who do not want to eat. What do the parents do? Sometimes the parents tell the children nice stories to make the children eat. Because the children want to hear nice stories, they eat. And sometimes, when the parents have no patience, they hit the children to make them eat. And sometimes, when a person has no appetite, he forces himself to eat, also because of fear, since he is afraid that if he does not eat for several days he will grow weak, and if he does not eat for a long time he might even die.
It follows that he is eating by coercion, out of fear. No one will say that it is not good that he is eating by coercion, although it would certainly be better if he ate from love. But it is good if he can at least eat by coercion. However, sometimes, a healthy man must eat later for some reason. In that state, he eats with love. It is so much so that sometimes he regrets that when he begins to eat, the love departs from him. In other words, to the extent that he begins to eat, after every bite he eats the love for eating wanes in him because the satiation drives out the love of eating. Still, it is clear to all that a person must eat whether from love or from fear.
The same applies to the work of the Creator. In the things a person does when he observes Torah and Mitzvot there is also the matter of love and fear. That is, sometimes he enjoys engaging in Torah and Mitzvot and is high spirited, and the reasons do not matter. This means that a person has a good mood from observing Torah and Mitzvot, since by this he will later be rewarded, called Lo Lishma [not for Her sake].
Or, another reason, he is happy that he is serving the King. We should separate the reasons from the actions. In other words, we take into consideration what a person feels and not the reason that caused him the feeling.
That is, the fact that a person is happy is regarded as “working from love.” That is, he is happy because he will later be rewarded, or because he is serving the King, but first of all, he is happy. This is called “working from love.”
Sometimes a person works out of fear. That is, he is afraid that he will suffer punishments in this world, or that he will suffer punishments in the next world. At that time, a person is not happy with this, since he does everything by coercion. “Coercion” means that a person would be happier if this did not exist, and he would not be punished for it.
We therefore see that actions work on the body in corporeality even when we do them out of fear, meaning compulsively. We should learn from this and believe that so it is in the work, as well, meaning even by coercion. This means that even when a person does not find any flavor in Torah and prayer, he should do this by coercion because the act does its thing. As in the corporeal act, when he acts compulsively, it works whether for better or for worse even when he works out of coercion. So it is in the work. Even though he observes Torah and Mitzvot by coercion, it works within the person.
However, there is certainly a difference in the work whether he does it from love or from fear. Yet, we should know that even in work he does out of love, there is a difference between working from love and saying “The Creator needs me to observe Torah and Mitzvot, but I have no need that I can say that I am observing the Torah and Mitzvot for myself.” He says that he does not see for what purpose he must observe them, since he says, “What will it give me if I observe Torah and Mitzvot?”
However, a person believes in the reward he will receive for this, and this is why he observes Torah and Mitzvot. This follows the rule that one who needs to be given something for his needs should pay. Therefore, he works from love because the Creator will certainly pay him for his work.
But if a person observes Torah and Mitzvot because the Torah and Mitzvot will correct him, meaning that he feels that he needs correction, this is as our sages said, “The Creator said, ‘I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.’” It follows that one should observe Torah and Mitzvot for oneself. He certainly cannot ask the Creator to pay him for observing Torah and Mitzvot, since he is not observing Torah and Mitzvot in order to benefit the Creator, since the Creator does not need the lower ones to observe Torah and Mitzvot for the Creator. Rather, this is for the sake of man. It follows that he is working out of love, for by this he will be a complete person, a corrected person. In that case, it cannot be said that the Creator should reward him for his work in observing Torah and Mitzvot.
It follows that his observing Torah and Mitzvot out of love is not because he will later be rewarded. Rather, he thanks and praises the Creator for giving him a cure to correct the body. As in corporeality, one who gives someone a cure, the recipient of the medicine pays the doctor, and the doctor does not pay the patient for taking the medicine.
However, we should ask, What evil is there in man that should be corrected by observing Torah and Mitzvot? meaning that without Torah and Mitzvot he will remain with his evil and will suffer. Otherwise, why should he mind if he remains with the bad within him? This means that he must remove the bad in him, or he will suffer from the bad and will not be able to live in the world and will have to die. But through the merit of Torah and Mitzvot, the evil will depart from him and he will have a good life and peace at home.
The answer is the will to receive with which man was created. This desire cares for its own benefit, and has no feeling or perception of the benefit of others. A person can understand working for the sake of others only when the will to receive for his own sake gains from this. This is called “bestowing in order to receive.”
For this reason, people go to work, Jews for gentiles and gentiles for Jews, all according to the reward that the will to receive for himself will receive. But actually for the sake of others? A person has no feeling that there can be such a thing in reality. A person can only believe that there is such a thing as working for the sake of others, but we should ask why indeed should one work for the sake of others.
To this comes the answer that there is the matter of the purpose of creation and the correction of creation. The purpose of creation is that His desire is to do good to His creations, meaning for the creatures to receive delight and pleasure. Hence, the general name of the Creator is The Good Who Does Good. However, there was a correction so there would be no shame while receiving that good, that a person must receive in order to bestow. Since man was created with a nature of reception and not with a nature of bestowal, he must correct himself so as to be able to work in order to bestow.
Before he has this desire, he is left bare and destitute due to the disparity of form between the Creator and the created beings. This is called “evil,” meaning the will to receive for himself. If he does not correct it to work in order to bestow, he will remain in the dark. For this reason, a person must observe Torah and Mitzvot in order to correct his evil and acquire a second nature, which is in order to bestow.
It follows that a person observes Torah and Mitzvot for his own sake. That is, by observing Torah and Mitzvot, which is the spice, he will achieve the purpose of creation: to do good to His creations.
By this, man will be rewarded with “peace at home.” “Home” is man’s heart, as it is written in The Zohar, which says, “A handsome abode is his heart.” Man’s heart is not at peace with the Creator, since he has complaints to the Creator that He is not satisfying all his wishes. But the reason is “disparity of form.” Therefore, when a person corrects himself to work in order to bestow, he receives the delight and pleasure from the Creator, and then peace is made. This is called “peace at home.”
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link