Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Are Holiness and Purity, in the Work?
Article No. 28, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
It is written in The Zohar (Kedoshim, Item 13), “The Torah is called ‘holy,’ for it is written, ‘for I the Lord am holy.’ This is the Torah, which is the upper, Holy Name. Hence, one who engages in it is purified and then sanctified, as it is written, ‘You will be holy.’ It does not say, ‘were holy,’ but ‘will be holy,’ will be indeed. That is, it is a promise that through the Torah, you will be holy.”
We should understand what it means when it says that through the Torah you will be holy, and then says, “Hence, one who engages in it is purified and then sanctified.” Therefore, we should understand why he begins by saying that through the Torah, he will be holy, and then says that through the Torah he will have purity, and only afterward will the Torah bring him Kedusha [holiness]. Also, we should understand what are the promises that he will certainly achieve Kedusha, meaning what is the cause and the reason for the certainty that it will bring him to Kedusha.
It is known that the purpose of creation is that His desire is to do good to His creations. Accordingly, the created beings should have received the delight and pleasure. Yet, we must understand that the delight and pleasure that the Creator wishes to give to the created beings is not the same delight and pleasure that is appropriate for beasts, but what is appropriate for humans. We must believe what the ARI says, that all the corporeal pleasures extend only from what fell through the breaking of the vessels (that were in the world of Nekudim), when holy sparks fell from there into the Klipot[shells/peels]. But the main pleasures are in Kedusha, and they are called “the holy names.”
In order for the creatures to be able to receive the delight and pleasure, and in order not to have shame while receiving the pleasure, a correction was placed on it. The correction was a Tzimtzum[restriction] and concealment on the upper light. That is, before one receives the correction on the will to receive, which is the aim to bestow, there is no disclosure of the upper light. The Mitzvot[commandments/good deeds] that we observe, where we should have tasted the flavor of delight and pleasure, we cannot feel this taste because of the above-mentioned reason, so there will not be shame while receiving the pleasure, for which there was a correction that when we receive the pleasure, we must aim to bestow. Otherwise, there are concealment and hiding on the actions.
Hence, we must observe the Torah and Mitzvot so it will bring us purity, where purity means purification of the Kelim from the will to receive for oneself, which is called “dirt,” since it is in disparity of form from the Creator, who is all to bestow. For this reason, before we clean the Kelim, it is impossible to place within them anything good, for anything we might place in a dirty Kli [vessel] will be spoiled.
Hence, we must receive good advice, things that will purify our Kelim [vessels], which is called “making kosher [fit to be eaten according to Jewish laws]” and “preparation” so we can receive the delight and pleasure. Because of this, we were given 613 Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds], which The Zohar calls “613 counsels,” namely counsels about how to purify ourselves from the filth of our vessels of reception.
This is as it is written in the “Introduction of The Book of Zohar” (“General Explanation for All Fourteen Commandments and How They Divide into the Seven Days of Creation,” Item 1): “The Mitzvot in the Torah are called Pekudin [Aramaic: deposits], as well as 613 Eitin [Aramaic: counsels]. The difference between them is that in all things there is Panim [anterior/face] and Achor[posterior/back]. The preparation for something is called Achor, and the attainment of the matter is called Panim. Similarly, in Torah and Mitzvot there are ‘We shall do’ and ‘We shall hear.’ When observing Torah and Mitzvot as ‘doers of His word,’ prior to being rewarded with hearing, the Mitzvot are called ‘613 Eitin,’ and are regarded as Achor. When rewarded with ‘hearing the voice of His word,’ the 613 Mitzvot become Pekudin, from the word Pikadon [Hebrew: deposit].”
We should interpret his words, that in order for one to be able to receive the delight and pleasure and that they will be in a manner of Dvekut, which is equivalence of form, since man was created with a desire to receive for oneself, man should cleanse himself from self-reception. But this is not within man’s power, as it is against nature. Hence, we need His help, to give us this power called “desire to bestow.” And how do we receive this desire? This is done through the Torah, as our sages said, “The Creator said, ‘I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.’”
It follows that the fact that we observe the Torah and Mitzvot is with the aim that the Torah and Mitzvot will bring us purity. This is called “613 counsels.” The 613 Eitin are counsels concerning two things—the light and the Kli, called a “need.” In other words, it is impossible to receive something unless there is a need for it.
Therefore, a person must learn the Torah so as to feel the bad and understand that the will to receive for oneself is bad. Put differently, he should ask the Creator to give him the need to obtain the desire to bestow, since the fact that one understands that he must obtain the desire to bestow is still not considered a need. Rather, first one must know why he needs the desire to bestow, meaning what he loses by not having the desire to bestow. If he does not see the great loss from not having this desire, he certainly cannot ask from the bottom of the heart that the Creator will give him the desire to bestow.
Moreover, sometimes a person does not want the Creator to give him that desire, and how can one pray for something that he is not certain that he needs? And the evidence that he does not need it so much is that many times he does not even want to be given that desire. It therefore follows that one should pray to the Creator to make him feel the need for this desire, meaning to yearn for the Creator to give him that desire, since he does not always understand the need for this desire.
By this we can interpret what is said in the supplementary prayer (for Rosh Hashanah [beginning of the year] and Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement]), “And be in the mouths of Your people, the house of Israel, who are standing up to ask. Inform them what to ask.” In other words, the Creator should give them, the messengers of Your people. That is, each person is a community in itself and has a messenger of the public, meaning a person who is going to pray for himself. It is known that man is called “a small world in and of itself.” Hence, first we must ask the Creator to send him what to ask, meaning that one should first ask to feel the need for the desire to bestow, and only the Creator can give him that need.
It follows that the beginning of his work is the recognition of evil, meaning that a person asks the Creator to feel how bad is the will to receive. This awareness that the will to receive is called “bad,” only the Creator can make him feel. This is considered that through the Torah, a person can achieve recognition of evil, meaning to understand how much his will to receive is bad, and then he can ask to replace the will to receive and give him instead the desire to bestow.
Yet, if he has no lack, meaning torments at the fact that he is dirty and immersed in the filth of the will to receive for himself, then he asks the Creator to satisfy other desires for him, which pain him, meaning whose absence of feels. He wants the Creator to satisfy all that his heart desires. Although a person does not say verbally to the Creator to satisfy all his wishes, it is as we said in the previous article, that the request is not that which one says with his mouth, for a request of the Creator is only a lack, and a lack is recognized in the heart, and not in the mouth. Thus, we should know that we do not need to say out loud what we are asking of the Creator, for only that which is in the heart is regarded as a request. Therefore, even if one does not say to the Creator, “Satisfy all my heart’s wishes,” the demand within the heart is already considered a request.
Therefore, one must know that the Creator takes into consideration only that which is in one’s heart. And since man cannot live without pleasure, because His desire is to do good, if a person cannot receive pleasure from Kedusha, the body must receive pleasure from corporeal lusts. And if a person is accustomed to sometimes receive pleasure from Torah and Mitzvot, then during the descent, when he does not feel the lack for spirituality, he should work in order to obtain that lack, so he will suffer at not having the need for spirituality. Then a person receives a greater need for corporeal lusts, to complement what he was used to occasionally receive from Torah and Mitzvot.
Hence, during the descent, one must be mindful that he engages in Torah and Mitzvot so that the light of the Torah will shine for him and he will feel its absence, meaning that he will suffer at not having love and fear of the Creator. In order for one to feel suffering in the heart from being far from Kedusha, we can receive this feeling by engaging in Torah and Mitzvot, so it brings us to feel the truth about what one needs. By this he will be able to achieve wholeness. At that time, a person receives through this the Torah, and this is called that he receives the need from above, meaning through the power of the Torah. Afterward, a person receives the filling, which is the light, meaning the power of the desire to bestow, which is a second nature. This is regarded as receiving purity, where by the desire to bestow that he received, he is now in a state of “purification of the Kelim.”
According to the above, we should interpret what we asked concerning what The Zohar says, that through the Torah you will be holy, and afterward it says, “Hence, one who engages in it is purified and then sanctified.” The answer is that the Torah does two things: 1) Purifies, meaning gives the Kli, namely the lack. 2) Afterward, the Torah gives him the light.
There is a rule that when a person is told, “I will give you something good,” first he is told what is the good thing, and then he is given details. This means that first, one is told, “You will be awarded Kedusha,” and then he is given details, meaning that you cannot enjoy from the Kedusha, for you should know that this is something very important. Hence, first the Torah must give you the Kli to receive the Kedusha.” Before a person has the Kli, he cannot receive the filling. It follows that the Torah gives the light, as well as the Kli. But at first, we do not speak of the Kli, but of the light, and then we also speak about the Kli. This is why it is written, “You will be holy.”
Now we can understand what we asked, “What is the guarantee that ‘You will be holy,’ for he says, ‘You will indeed be holy,’” meaning that through the Torah you will be holy. We should interpret that since His desire is to do good to His creations, but because of the disparity of form there was a correction of Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment, where the light does not shine to the lower ones before they have Kelim that are fit to receive, meaning that the Kelim have the correction of the aim to bestow, which is called “purity,” since through the Torah they will receive purification, as our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.” It follows that the Kelim can be purified by the Torah, since “the light in it reforms him.”
Hence, if they have pure Kelim, they will certainly be rewarded with the light, and the light is called Kedusha. There is no shortage of lights; only Kelim are missing. Thus, purity is called a Kli, meaning the correction of receiving in order to bestow, and the work of the Kelim is an order in and of itself, meaning that all the work that one must do is only Kelim that are fit to receive. This is as it is said, “More than the calf wants to eat, the cow wants to feed.” It follows that the most important is the purification of the Kelim.
For this reason, once a person engages in Torah and the Torah brings him to purity, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice,” he will certainly be rewarded with Kedusha, which is called “light,” which is the names of the Creator. This is why he says that the Torah is called Kedusha, as it is written, “for I the Lord am holy.”
This is the meaning of what he says, “It does not say, ‘were holy,’ but ‘will be holy,’ will be indeed. That is, it is a promise that through the Torah, you will be holy.” And at that time one is rewarded with wholeness and he can observe “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,” meaning with both your inclinations—the good inclination and the evil inclination, due to the Kedushathat he received from above. At that time, the whole body annuls before the Kedusha. It follows that the evil inclination, too, agrees to work for the sake of the Creator. By this we should interpret what our sages said (Berachot 35b), “When Israel do the Creator’s will, their work is done by others.”
That is, when one has been rewarded with doing the Creator’s will, meaning that as the Creator wants to bestow, so man wants to bestow upon the Creator. At that time, their work, meaning one who wants his work to be in wholeness, which comes to him from working with the good inclination, once he has been rewarded with the desire to bestow, the work of heaven is done by others. Who are the others? It is the evil inclination, who is the “other” of Kedusha, meaning the other side, which is against Kedusha. However, when one works for the desire of the Creator, which is the desire to bestow, the other, too, the evil inclination, also does the Creator’s work.
However, before one has been rewarded with being among the people who do the Creator’s will, the good inclination is also unable to work, since the evil inclination controls it. For this reason, the evil inclination is called “an old and foolish king.” It is called “a king” because it controls the person and each time, thoughts and desires of every kind in the world come to a person. Hence, when a good thought or desire comes to a person, he should believe that it came to him from above, and he should be thankful to the Creator for it, since by thanking the Creator for it, spirituality becomes more important to him each time.
A person should know that in spirituality, exile means that the importance of Kedusha has departed from him. This is called “Shechina [Divinity] in the dust.” It follows that by thanking the Creator for a small thing in Kedusha, regardless of the quantity, since this gives some assistance to spirituality, he should be thankful to the Creator. According to the above, we should interpret what our sages said (Avot, Chapter 1:15), “Welcome every person with a bright face.”
Therefore, since thoughts and desires always come to a person, whether beastly or human, meaning that a thought and desire that do not pertain to the beastly level, normally a person weighs its benefit, meaning that one weighs which is preferable to which. In other words, a person can repel beastly lusts in order to receive lusts that are suitable for the human level. But the person says, “I want to relinquish beastly lusts, but in return, receive the status of a great and important person. That is, if by conceding corporeality, I will feel a good taste in Torah and prayer, it is worthwhile for me to relinquish.” But on the level of a small person, meaning that he does not feel any flavor in Torah and Mitzvot, and for this, I must relinquish corporeal needs and be happier than with beastliness? About this, a person says that it is not worth relinquishing.
Our sages said about this, “Welcome every person with a bright face.” That is, when a thought and desire to be human comes to a person, which is considered that now he received the quality of “man,” one should not say, “First, I want to see the greatness of this person and what he promises me.” The answer to this is “every person,” meaning that he should not distinguish between a great and important person or a simple person. “Every” means every person, without distinctions, as long as he is in the quality of “man,” meaning if the thought and desire belong to being human, we should welcome it with a bright face, meaning be happy with it, with this thought and desire, as though he feels it as a great man.
He must be thankful to the Creator for sending him this desire, and by thanking the Creator, it is not because He needs gratitude. Rather, it is because by focusing one’s thought when he thanks the Creator, he has some Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, since it is impossible to thank someone unless we love that person.
Since we normally thank one who has done something good for us, by nature, the one who receives the benefit loves him. It follows that this causes love of the Creator when a person thinks about the gratitude he gives to the Creator; hence, the measure and importance of the quality of man that he received is not important (but we must remember that the quality of “man” means what our sages said, “You are called ‘man,’ and not the nations of the world”). Rather, “a bright face” expresses the joy he has when receiving the quality of man. This means that one should exert to be able to have the strength to broaden the importance of the matter. He must believe that the Creator sent him this desire, so he must depict in his mind as though the Creator speaks to him and tells him, “My son, behave as I am telling you.”
However, when a person wants to appreciate the thought and desire that came to him, and wants to execute it, the desires and thoughts about the seventy nations that are in his body come to him and laugh at him: “For such a small taste that you feel that there is something in spirituality, you want to betray corporeal needs?” They tell him, “Do you want to lose all importance for self-benefit for such a small and worthless thing?”
Then the person begins to say, “I hope and believe in the words of our sages, who said, “A Mitzva[commandment/good deed] induces a Mitzva.” Therefore, I am certain that by this, I will be rewarded with achieving wholeness, as this is what I hope.” The person should overcome and say as it is written (in the litany following the Eighteen Prayer), “Look from above and see that we have been the laughingstock of the nations.” “Nations” means the seventy nations within one’s body. They mock the person when he wants to do the holy work, and he must ask for the Creator’s help.
According to the above, we should interpret what our sages said, that one should not be ashamed of people who mock him in the work of the Creator. It means that man consists of the whole world. Hence, there are discernments within man that mock a person wanting to appreciate small words and actions that a person wants to do, and say about such small actions, meaning about a Mitzva on which he cannot make any intentions, that it is not worth exerting in order to do them. Therefore, the sages said that they should not be ashamed from those who mock. Rather, one should believe that anything pertaining to the work of the Creator is important, and certainly, if one can aim while performing the Mitzvot, it is even better. Nevertheless, even the smallest act is priceless and one cannot evaluate it.
We already said that Baal HaSulam said that one should believe that according to man’s view, who knows that an act Lishma [for Her sake] is a great thing above, he should believe that an act Lo Lishma [not for Her sake] is even greater and more important above than one thinks that the Lishmais great and important. Hence, we must exert and believe in the sages in everything we do, that we are rewarded with performing acts of Kedusha. Even without any intention, that, too, is a great and important thing, and we should thank the Creator for it.
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link