Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Is the “Torah” and What Is “The Statute of the Torah,” in the Work?
Article No. 37, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
It is written in The Zohar (Hukat, Item 2), “It is written here, ‘This is the statute of the Torah.’ It is also written, ‘This is the Torah,’ and it is not written, ‘The statute of.’ ‘This is the Torah’ is to show that all is in one unification. For this reason, it is written, ‘And this is the Torah,’ indicating ZA and Nukvain one unification. But ‘this’ without the added Vav is the statute of the Torah, Malchut, which is called ‘statute,’ coming from ZA, who is called ‘Torah.’ Yet, not the Torah herself, which is ZA, but only the Din [judgment] of Torah, the decree of Torah, which is Malchut.”
We should understand the difference in the work between the “statute of the Torah” and the Torah herself. The statute of the Torah relates to Malchut, and the Torah relates to ZA. Also, we should understand what is written about a red cow “on which a yoke has never been placed.” We see what our sages said (Avoda Zarah 5b), “Tana de Bei Eliyahu, ‘One should always take upon himself the words of Torah as an ox to the burden and as a donkey to the load.’” This means that one who takes upon himself a burden, it is a good thing. Certainly, this pertains to the burden of Torah, as our sages said (Avot, Chapter 3, 6), “Anyone who takes upon himself the burden of Torah, the burden of Malchut [kingship] is removed from him.” Therefore, concerning a red cow, of which it says, “on which a yoke has never been placed,” and which comes to purify the impure, why is it written, “on which a yoke has never been placed”?
We should understand what is a burden [in Hebrew, Ol means both “yoke” and “burden”], of which they said, “One should always make himself as an ox to the burden and as a donkey to the load.” We see that a “burden” means “coercion,” which is work above reason. This ox, on which the owner places the yoke so it will till the land, does not understand why it needs to work for the owner. Also, we cannot say that the ox works for him because he loves the owner since he lets it eat and drink. If this is because the owner has a kind heart, and this is why he gives the ox all its needs, the ox probably knows that if the owner could work with the ox without having to provide for its needs, he would certainly do so. But the owner knows that if he does not provide the ox with all its needs, the ox will not have the strength to work. Therefore, he gives everything to the ox so he can work with the ox, and not because he wants to delight the ox. In other words, he knows that if he does not give the ox everything that the ox needs in order to have the strength to work, the owner will not be able to yield crops and produce from the land. It follows that he draws all the wealth from the strength of the ox. Therefore, when the owner feeds the ox, it is not because he loves the ox, but in order for the ox to have the strength to work. Likewise, the reason why the ox works for the owner is compulsory, and when the ox sees that the owner is not looking at it, it immediately stops working. This is called coercion.
Now we can understand what is the burden of the kingdom of heaven and the burden of the Torah that one should assume, which is coercion. A person’s body is like an ox or a donkey, and we must work with the body as one works with an ox or a donkey. By working with his body, through the work of the body, the person will be rewarded with wealth and spiritual properties. Also, a person must be considerate with the body as with an ox, as we place on the ox the yoke to work in coercion although the ox and the donkey do not want to work. No one takes into consideration the ox’s view; whether it wants to or not, it is used for work.
However, we should also be considerate with the body, meaning to give it what it needs, what the body demands. But when we give to the body what it needs, it should not be because he loves the body, meaning his will to receive. Rather, it is because otherwise the body will not be able to work. It follows that the only reason a person examines the body so as to satisfy its needs is not because of love, but like an owner who provides for the needs of the ox, only because of the benefit of the owner, and not for the love of the ox.
Also, a person should aim while satisfying the desires of the body, that it will not be because he loves it, but that by this he will then be able to make his body till the land and yield fruit, as it is written, “much produce by the strength of the ox.” This means that one should be careful while working with the body as while working with the ox. That is, the reason why he satisfies the needs of the ox, he would certainly be happier if he could work with the ox without having to provide for the ox’s needs.
Likewise, a person must come to understand that he would be happier if he did not have to do something for the needs of the body, and satisfy the needs of the body, but would dedicate all his time to holy work and would devote all his time to increase the glory of heaven, and the body would work without any disturbances. Yet, what can one do if the Creator wants man to see and to tend to the needs of the body?
According to the above, we already know the meaning of “the burden of the kingdom of heaven” and “the burden of Torah,” meaning to work with the body coercively, even if it disagrees with the work. It should all follow the example of the ox to the burden and the donkey to the load. However, it is a lot of work for a person to have the strength to overcome the body and work with the body coercively, as with an ox. From what source can one derive this strength? Our sages said about this, “The Creator said, ‘I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.’” That is, only through the Torah that a person engages in, even if Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], and he aims that he wants to engage in the Torah so as to thereby receive the light of the Torah, which will give him the strength to force the body when it disagrees with the work.
The resistance of the body appears primarily when he wants to do everything for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake. Here the body resists with all its might, since it argues, “Why do you want to put me and my domain to death? You come to me with having to work only for the sake of the Creator and not for one’s own sake, which is truly annulment of the will to receive from everything. You tell me that our sages said, ‘The Torah exists only in one who puts himself to death over it,’ meaning to put to death all the domain of self-benefit and care only for the benefit of the Creator, and before this, a person is unable to be rewarded with the Torah.” Yet, a person sees that it is unrealistic that he will have the strength to go against nature.
At that time, one has no choice but to turn to the Creator and say, “Now I have come to a state where I see that unless You help me, I am lost. I will never have the strength to overcome the will to receive, as this is my nature. Rather, only the Creator can give another nature.”
A person says that he believes that this was the exodus from Egypt, that the Creator delivered the people of Israel from under the governance of Egypt, as our sages said (in the Passover Haggadah[story/narrative]), “And the Lord brought us out from Egypt, not by an angel, and not by a messenger, but the Creator Himself; I am the Lord, it is I and not another.”
Now, he, too, sees that only the Creator can deliver him from the governance of the will to receive and give him a second nature. In other words, just as the Creator gave the first nature, there is no one who can give the second nature but the Creator Himself. Therefore, at that time a person prays wholeheartedly, from the bottom of the heart, and this is the time for the reception of the prayer.
However, we should ask, Why does one need to work coercively, against the will to receive? The answer is that it is because there was a correction so there would not be shame when receiving the delight and pleasure. Therefore, two things are needed here: 1) On one hand, a person yearns to receive delight and pleasure. Otherwise, if there is no passion for the pleasures, a person is unable to enjoy. 2) He should receive delight and pleasure with the aim to bestow.
It follows that we need both. That is, first we begin to work with the will to receive, which is called Lo Lishma, and then a person is taught to work in order to bestow. In other words, by observing Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds], a person wants to come to be a giver, meaning to thereby be rewarded with a second nature, that the Creator will give him this power, as it is written, “The light in it reforms him,” and afterward, he is rewarded with “receiving in order to bestow.”
This is as it is written (Avot, Chapter 6), “Rabbi Meir says, ‘Anyone who engages in Torah Lishma [for Her sake] is rewarded with many things. Moreover, the whole world is worthwhile for him, and the secrets of Torah are revealed to him.’”
It follows that later, a person comes to a state where he receives the delight and pleasure, and then there is no more need for coercion because the period of coercion was only in order to obtain the vessels of bestowal, by which there would be reception of the pleasure without any unpleasantness, since by this, the issue of shame would be corrected, so he can do everything for the sake of the Creator.
According to the above, we should interpret what we asked, Why is it written about the red cow, “on which a yoke has never been placed”? We asked, what does it imply that the red cow should be without a yoke? According to the above, we should interpret that the meaning of the red cow is that it purifies the impure. And what do they obtain through purification? It is known that the whole matter of Tuma’a [impurity] implies the will to receive. We must work with the will to receive, called “body,” coercively, “as an ox to the burden and as a donkey to the load.” This coercive work is only before one is rewarded with purity. After one has been rewarded with purity, which implies to us the matter of the red cow, he is rewarded with work, “on which a yoke has never been placed.” At that time, his work is no longer coercive, and he serves the Creator from love.
Therefore, we should discern two times:
1) Before one is rewarded with purification of the Kelim [vessels], so they work in order to bestow. At that time, his work is compulsory, and this is called “a law.” That is, if the body comes and asks, “What is this work for you?” we tell it, “You ask questions according to the mind of the will to receive. I have no answer to this, and you are right. Yet, I do not want to answer within reason,” meaning so that the will to receive will also understand it. It would mean that I am working for the will to receive, or it would never agree to work.
Therefore, at that time, a person says, “You are right when you ask, ‘What will I have,’ meaning the will to receive, ‘from this work?’ So I am telling you that I do not want to work for you. Why? It is because I believe in the sages that we must work for the sake of the Creator above reason although the body does not understand, and I accept this work ‘as an ox to the burden and as a donkey to the load,’ meaning by coercion.”
2) A person says, “But once I am rewarded with purity, my work will be by way of love, and not by way of coercion. However, I do not mean that now I am working coercively so that afterward I will work out of love.” That would be as though it is also for the will to receive, since afterward he will receive the delight and pleasure. Rather, when he says that afterward he will be rewarded with love, it is for a different reason: It will only be a sign for him by which to know whether he is truly working for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake.
This is so for because the Creator wants to give delight and pleasure, but we still have no Kelim to receive, since we are not working in order to bestow. Hence, this is a sign whether he is working in order to bestow. That is, if he still did not receive delight and pleasure, it is a sign that he is still under the governance of the will to receive. However, his aim is not to receive the delight and pleasure, but to know whether he is truly working in order to bestow.
The Sayer of Duvna said about the verse, “You did not call upon Me Jacob, for you labored in Me, Israel.” He said that if you labor while observing Torah and Mitzvot, it is a sign that you are not working for Me, meaning for the sake of the Creator, for one who works for the sake of the Creator has no labor in Torah and Mitzvot. On the contrary, he feels pleasure when he knows that he is serving the King. It follows that he wants to work out of love and not by coercion not because he wants to please the will to receive, but in order to know for certain that he is working for the sake of the Creator.
By this we should interpret the words, “on which a yoke has never been placed.” It means that before he took her, there was no yoke on her. We should interpret that in the work, this implies to us why it has to be one “on which a yoke has never been placed,” implying that through the red cow, by which one is purified, by receiving purification from a red cow, he will be rewarded with working in a state of love, and not by coercion. In other words, the body, which resisted working for the sake of the Creator, by being purified, the body agrees to work for the sake of the Creator, for at that time he will observe, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,” with both your inclinations. This means that the evil inclination, too, agrees to serve the Creator, meaning to work in order to bestow.
According to the above, we should interpret why he says that Malchut is called “the statute of the Torah” and not “the Torah,” and ZA is called “the Torah.” Because assuming the kingdom of heaven should be above reason, like a law, this is why Malchut is called “statute.” But afterward, we are rewarded with the Torah, called ZA, and they are united. This is called “the unification of the Creator with His Shechina [Divinity].” In other words, by accepting the kingdom of heaven as a law, completely mindlessly, above reason, as our sages said, “Because Satan and the nations of the world taunt Israel, to say, ‘What is this Mitzva [commandment/good deed] and what is its reason,’ therefore, it is written about it, ‘It is a statute, a decree before Me; you have no permission to doubt it.’”
Hence, when a person takes upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven, he is rewarded with the Torah. This is the meaning of saying, “‘This is the law’ is to show that all is in one unification.” This means that in the end, everything becomes united, and then it is evident that the thought of creation, which is to do good to His creations, becomes revealed, since the will to receive has united with the desire to bestow, and equivalence of form is achieved. Then, there are no longer two desires, but one: the desire to bestow of the Creator to the creatures. And the will to receive of the created beings is annulled and included in the Creator’s desire to bestow, and this is considered that there is only one authority in the world. This is called “singular authority,” and then the delight and pleasure are apparent in the world.
However, the work should be done in two lines—right and left. “Right” means “completeness,” and “left” means “incompleteness,” and a correction is needed there. When one engages in the manner of “the statute of the Torah,” meaning he wants to assume the burden of the kingdom of heaven but the body objects to it and fights him, that state is called “left line,” since then a person feels his deficiency, how far he is from the love of the Creator. This is when the body comes with the “Who” and “What” questions. At that time, he has nothing from which to derive vitality, since a person cannot live on a lack.
This work is called “depart from evil,” meaning that a person should depart from the bad that is within man, called “will to receive,” whether in mind or in heart. Although this work is necessary, since this is the first foundation, that one should assume the burden of the kingdom of heaven, but at the same time, the writing says, “There is more to do, meaning the work of the right, called “completeness.”
The work of the right is called in the verse, “and do good.” We should interpret that a person should engage in the good, and good is called “completeness.” In other words, a person should calculate how much good he has, which is called “and do,” meaning work and calculate how much good he has. That is, a person should regard everything of Kedusha [holiness] as a great fortune and believe that any grip he has on Kedusha, although it is a small grip, he should believe that the Creator has given him some desire and yearning to have a grip on Kedusha, and even if it is Lo Lishma, it is still a very important matter. He should thank the Creator for the little bit of good that he has, and from this, a person can derive vitality and be in high spirits. From this, a person can receive what is written, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” It follows that a person should maintain the right and the left, and this is the meaning of the verse, “Part from evil and do good.”
However, a question arises in a person. For example, he has been busy all day and did not have time to remember that there is a reality of the work of the Creator in the world. Afterward, he remembers that he went through the whole day in matters that have no connection to the work. What should he do now? Should he be sorry for not engaging in the work the whole time, or should he introspect and say, “Who reminded me now that there is the matter of a spiritual reality in the world, and that we must do something for the Kedusha? It must be the Creator who gave me this thought now. Therefore, I must thank the Creator and be happy that the Creator is calling me to Him.” Should he be happy about this and thank and praise the Creator, or regret that all day long he was removed from the work altogether? It is true that he was removed from the Creator the whole day, and it is also true that now the Creator has given him an awakening so he will know the state he is in. So the question is, “What should he do?”
According to what Baal HaSulam said, “Where a person thinks, there he is.” Thus, if a person thinks about the time when he was removed from the Creator and regrets it, then he is attached to the state of remoteness from the Creator, when he thought about trivial matters that he was engaged in all day long. It follows that the Dvekut of his thought is in matters that are immaterial. Therefore, it is better to think about the good that he has now, meaning the fact that now he can think what do for the Kedusha. It does not matter what he does, but only that he wants to engage in Torah and Mitzvot. Now he already has connection with the Torah and Mitzvot, according to the above rule, “Where one thinks, there he is.”
Now we should interpret the verse differently: Now he should be “Part from evil,” meaning not to think about his bad state, when he was separated, but rather “do good,” so everything he wants to do now will concern the good that he should do now.
According to the above, we should ask, How does one go to work in the manner of the left, since then he is in the state of “left,” and thinks only about deficiencies, so he is attached to the deficiencies?
The answer is that a person should work on the left line only if first he is in the right line. Only when he is in a state of completeness and feels a good taste in the work, which is called “an ascent,” should he dedicate time to the left, as well, to see whether his mind and heart are fine. After this, he will be rewarded with “the Creator gives the soul,” called “the soul of life.”
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link