Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Does It Mean that One Who Repents Should Be in Happiness?
Article No. 25, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
It is written in The Zohar (VaYikra, Items 109-113), “Rabbi Yehuda started and said, ‘Serve the Lord with gladness.’ We learned that any work that a person wishes to do for the Creator should be done with gladness, willingly, so that his work will be whole. If you say that this is not possible, since that man has breached his Master’s commandment, and repented before his Master, with what face will he rise before Him? Certainly, with a broken spirit, meaning he should be with a sad spirit. Thus, where is the joy? These joy and singing are absent. Indeed, by what are they corrected? It is by those priests and Levites. Joy exists in the priest because he is always far from the judgment, and singing is in the Levites. Now that no offering has been found (since the Temple was ruined), how does one sustain the joy and singing? We learned that the praising that one praises one’s Master and the joy of the Torah, as well as the singing of the Torah, this is joy and singing. Thus, we learned (Berachot 8), ‘One should always enter the measure of two openings and pray his prayer.’ Can you imagine, actually two openings? Rather, say, the measure of two openings, called Hesed and fear, meaning Gevura, and they are everlasting openings.”
We should understand what it tells us in the work that the priest is in gladness and the Levites are in singing, and also what is written, that the joy is in the heart and the singing is in the mouth, and that specifically by those two, the offering is corrected. The thing is that it is known that the order of the work is that we begin to work in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] in order to receive reward, and the reward is always what a person wants to receive but there is no desire to give him, but he rather pays what is required of him, and this is the reward for which man works.
Naturally, every person has a passion for that which his body demands. This is why there are differences among people, among children, and between children and grownups. For example, we see that sometimes, when little children do not want to eat, they are told, “If you eat you will get a prize,” such as buying them toys. It follows that by eating, they make concessions in order to receive toys. They make an effort by eating in order to obtain toys. Grownups are told, “If you work, we will let you eat.” That is, each one has a special thing that he calls “a reward.”
Therefore, when coming to speak of the work of the Creator, that the Creator commanded us to observe Torah and Mitzvot, this is certainly regarded as exertion, since by nature, a person loves rest, and if he is requested to do something and give up the rest, he promptly asks, “What will I gain more?” meaning “What greater pleasure will I have than the pleasure I get now from resting?” When he hears that the pleasure he can receive from the labor is less than the pleasure he enjoys from the rest, he will certainly not do it.
Therefore, when a person begins to do the holy work, he has no idea what is pleasure, except that which the will to receive for himself understands that it will receive pleasure from this work more than the will to receive for himself enjoys the rest. Therefore, he is promised a reward that he will receive for his work, as it is written in The Zohar, that he is promised that he will have “abundant pleasures of this world,” as well as a reward in the next world. To the extent that he believes in this, to that extent he is willing to work, meaning to the extent that he believes in reward and punishment.
This is regarded as “working on one line,” which is in order to receive reward for his own benefit. This is called “work in practice.” That is, he must believe in the Creator, that He has commanded us through Moses to observe Torah and Mitzvot, in return for which we will be rewarded, and if not, we will be punished. Those two compel us to observe Torah and Mitzvot.
In the words of our sages, this is called “fear and love,” as our sages said, “Fear is needed because one who fears does not kick, and love is needed because one who loves does not hate.” However, understanding the term “in order to bestow” is impossible while one is still in Katnut [smallness] of the mind. He cannot understand that there is a matter of bestowal. Rather, one can understand that we must bestow only in order to receive reward in return for the bestowal he is giving.
However, this, too, is considered a high degree, although it is in order to receive. This is called the degree of Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], about which our sages said, “From Lo Lishma we come to Lishma [for Her sake] because the light in it reforms him.” Therefore, a person must be careful while serving the Creator even Lo Lishma to appreciate the work. One must be grateful to the Creator for giving him a desire and yearning to observe the Torah and Mitzvot. And the first state of entering the real work, by which he is called “a servant of the Creator,” is to work without any reward but only for the sake of the Creator.
Conversely, when a person works in order to receive reward, he is regarded as “working for himself,” meaning for his own benefit, and not for the sake of the Creator. However, a person should see that he appreciates the work and does not slight it, but thank the Creator for rewarding him with observing Torah and Mitzvot in practice.
However, afterward a person must work for reward and punishment in a different manner, as in the allegory about the grownups and children, where the reward should be that he has been rewarded with bestowing upon the Creator, meaning that now he can aim in order to bestow, by which he achieves Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator. This is the reward that one should demand for his labor in Torah and Mitzvot.
However, since a person is accustomed to do everything for his own sake, although he believes what is written, that one should do everything “for the sake of the Creator,” since the body resists this, as this is against nature, a person cannot determine that this is truly a great thing, meaning to bestow, and that it is so important that it is worthwhile for a person to observe Torah and Mitzvot, that this thing, meaning in order to bestow, will be his entire reward for his work in Torah and Mitzvot.
Since the matter of bestowal is not so important to a person, he has no need to pray to the Creator from the bottom of the heart to give him a desire to bestow as a gift from the Creator. It follows that although one understands that it is worthwhile to work in order to bestow, for a person to feel the necessity of it, he does not have this. This is why a person must work so the Creator will illuminate for him the necessity of the matter, how the desire to bestow will bring a person to the purpose of creation, which is the obtainment of the delight and pleasure that are found in the purpose of creation. For this reason, a person must ask the Creator to let him feel the need, meaning that he needs the desire, to ask the Creator from the bottom of the heart to give him the desire to bestow, since there is no filling without a lack.
Afterward, he should ask the Creator to give him the filling, since many times a person comes to a state where he has no desire whatsoever for the Creator to help him make the will to receive loathsome in his eyes and to feel the lowliness in the will to receive. Rather, he wants the opposite, that the Creator will satisfy all that the will to receive demands. Therefore, when one comes to a state of lowliness, he must ask the Creator to give him the necessity for the need for the desire to bestow, and for the prayer to be from the bottom of the heart. At that time, the awakening from above comes to him.
However, when one comes to a state where he sees that he is in utter lowliness, when one sees one’s lowliness, he is broken and shattered, so how can he be in gladness, as The Zohar says, “If you say that this is not possible, since that man has breached his Master’s commandment, and repented before his Master.Certainly, with a broken spirit, where is the joy?”
We should ask about this, If it makes sense that when a person sees that he is in lowliness, he should be sad, why must he be in gladness? The reason is that it is written, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” This, too, we should understand, why a person is demanded something that is impossible, since they are two opposites in one subject.
Baal HaSulam said that when a person is in a state of “bare and destitute,” he is considered “cursed,” and “The cursed does not cling to the Blessed,” as it is written in the article “Faith in His Rav.” Therefore, a person cannot receive a blessing from the Creator because there is no blessing on an empty thing. For this reason, The Zohar replies that the offering is corrected by those priests and Levites, for joy is present in the priest, and singing is present in the Levites. And the reason is that “priest” is Hesed [mercy], and he is far from judgment.
We should know what it means in the work that the priest is Hesed. The thing is that Hesed is bestowal, meaning that he does not need anything for himself, but only to bestow upon others, and one who is in a state of Hesed is content with his share does not need anything. It follows that he has no lack, so he can be in gladness, since “judgment” indicates a lack because the whole matter of deficiency that there is in the creatures is because there was a judgment that it is forbidden to use the vessels of reception, but only the vessels of bestowal, for only there is the place where the abundance may be received.
Therefore, when we say that there are judgments in the world, it means that the delight and pleasure has no place in the world where it can expand, since the world is immersed in vessels of reception on which there were Tzimtzum [restriction] and judgment. For this reason, a priest, who is Hesed, which is vessels of bestowal, has no connection to judgment. This is the meaning of what is written, that joy is present in the priest because he is ever far from judgment. That is, the vessels of bestowal are far from the vessels of reception, which are judgment.
Conversely, a Levite is considered judgment, where there is singing, meaning a song. This is as our sage said (Berachot 35), “One does not chant except over wine.” It is explained in The Zohar that wine means “the wine of Torah,” which is illumination of Hochma, called “left line.” Singing means “sweetening of the judgments,” since judgments are as said above, vessels of reception, on which there was a judgment that it is forbidden to use them because they are in disparity of form, which causes separation. For this reason, that place of judgment remains without abundance.
Conversely, when correcting the vessels of reception to work in order to bestow, the abundance comes and fills the vessels of reception. It follows that the judgments, meaning the vessels of reception that previously worked in order to receive, was a state of bitterness, since they were without light, whereas now that they have received the correction of working in order to bestow, the light of Hochma shines there, which is the light of the purpose of creation, and the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations. Thus, that which was bitter has now become sweet, as it is written, “One does not chant except over wine,” which is Hochma.
This is the meaning of the words “Singing is in the Levites.” And so it is because the Levites are ever on the song, and those priests and Levites stand on it and in them, the work of the Creator is completed. That is, through them, the work of the Creator is completed, which is the correction of the three lines: Hesed [mercy/grace], Din [judgment], and Rachamim [mercy]. In other words, through the right and the left, the person is completed by the offering, meaning that by this a person draws near to the Creator.
Also, we should interpret what is written, that now that the Temple is ruined, how are there joy and singing? He replies that the praises he praises his Master and the joy of Torah and singing of the Torah are joy and singing. We should interpret that “a priest” implies the work of the right line, where “right” means wholeness, and wholeness engenders gladness.
We should understand the answer that “right” means wholeness, and for which he will take the wholeness of the right when he wants to make an offering, meaning when he wants to draw near to the Creator because he feels how remote he is from the Creator in mind and in heart, and he is broken and sad.
The Zohar replies that the praises he praises his Master bring him joy. We should ask, What praise and gratitude can he give to the Creator when he feels that he is a sinner? However, the thing is that we must know that we should discern two sides in everything: 1) On one hand, a person is now broken and shattered because he sinned against the Creator and he is sad because he feels that he is bare and destitute in Kedusha [holiness]. 2) There is the other side of the coin here, which is that until now, he did not think at all about spiritual matters. Rather, he was immersed in worldly matters and did not remember at all whether there is the matter of spirituality in the world. But now he has come to another world, where he does not think at all about worldly matters, but all his concerns are over why he is so materialistic. Hence, in that respect, he has now risen in degree, meaning that his reward and punishment are not in corporeal matters, but in spiritual ones.
It follows that according to the rule that if a person ascends in degree, he must be glad because now he has been endowed with a desire to serve the Creator, so even when he sees how far he is from the Creator and it pains him that although he was born “Jewish,” he is not using it to do things that befit a Jew, meaning to have faith in the Creator as is fitting for a Jew, but all his concerns are to satisfy the needs that the body demands, like all other bodies, meaning the needs of the created beings. He even demands what Jews do not demand, as it is written, “And they mingled with the nations and learned from their actions,” meaning his body demands all the needs of the gentiles.
Hence, now that he has attained and feels a little bit that there is spirituality in the world, called “Dvekut with the Creator,” and he is far from it and it breaks his heart and he wants to make an offering, meaning he wants to draw near to the Creator, which is called “making an offering,” on one hand he should be broken because he feels far from the Creator. On the other hand, he should be happy that now he wants to come closer to the Creator.
Therefore, in that respect, a person can observe “Serve the Lord with gladness.” But why should he be glad? It is in order to praise the Creator for bringing him closer. But how does one know that the Creator has brought him closer? The answer is that a person should know that the Creator has brought him closer by feeling that he is far from the Creator.
This is similar to what happens in the corporal world, when one does not know that he is far from something unless he sees it from afar. That is, if he sees something, he can say that this is far from him or near him. But if the thing is so far from him that he does not see it whatsoever, how can he say whether it is far or near? Likewise, here in the work, when one feels that he is far from the work of the Creator, and thereby comes to the breaking of the heart because of the remoteness from the Creator, and he wants the Creator to bring him closer, this is called “wanting to make an offering,” meaning to bring himself closer to the Creator, and it is certain that the Creator has come near him.
The evidence of this is that he sees Him from afar, meaning he feels that he is far from the Creator. In that sense, a person should receive “joy” from the fact that the Creator has come near him and he sees the Creator from afar. This joy causes a person importance from the work of the Creator. That is, even though he feels remoteness from the Creator, he says that the Creator is somewhat close to Him, and in that respect, when a person says that he has wholeness from this, he is already considered “blessed.” At that time, he can truly be rewarded with the Creator bringing him closer, meaning that he will be rewarded with feeling that he is close to the Creator, since “the blessed clings to the Blessed.”
However, when one has no need to emerge from his state of Katnut [smallness/infancy], then even though the Creator wants to give him a higher degree, so he will emerge from his Katnut, when he is in a state of wholeness because he engages in the state of “right” and he is content with his lot, how can he be given something, since he has no Kelim [vessels] for it, meaning no need to emerge from his Katnut, since he is happy with his lot.
For this reason, he must walk on the “left,” as well, which is the quality of “Levites,” Gevura, fear. That is, he criticizes his actions and sees that he lacks the quality of “mind” and the quality of “heart,” and he is afraid that he will remain forever in the state of Katnut, and will remain in disparity of form from the Creator, since the Creator is the Giver, while man is completely immersed in self-reception. And each time he wants to overcome, he sees that it is not within man’s power. Hence, by this he become needy of the Creator to help him.
This is the meaning of the words, that the praises he praises his Master, and the signing of the Torah, are joy and singing. That is, the offering comes from the quality of “right” and “left,” meaning that by both, the person approaches the Creator because a person receives the Kelim and the need from the left, for then he needs the Creator to help him and give him the strength from above, called “a soul,” where each time he wants to overcome he receives help.
But the answering of the prayer is when a person is in a state of joy, when he is content with his share and has no need to receive a higher degree. Rather, in the state he is in, he is content and feels that he is blessed by the Creator. At that time, “The blessed clings to the Blessed,” and then is the time when he can be rewarded with Dvekut, since he already has Kelim for it from the left.
Then, when he can say that he is content with his share, although he is deficient to the point that he feels deficiency and pain at being removed from the Creator, this is considered that he is “happy with his lot.” And since only in the manner that he is deficient can we say that he is “happy with his lot,” whereas when he has no lack, it is not regarded as “happy with his lot,” since “happy with his lot” means that he settles for little, and if he has no deficiency then he is not regarded as “settling for little,” since he has no need for more than he has.
This is as Baal HaSulam interpreted what our sages said (Megillah 12), “The drinking is according to law, no coercion.” What is “according to the law”? It is according to the law of Torah. What is the law of Torah? It is eating more than drinking.
He said that the “law of Torah” is “no coercion,” meaning he has no necessity for it. Rather, he may eat also without drinking, for drinking means “faith above reason,” where he believes that the Creator leads the world in a manner of good and doing good. Although he does not see this, meaning that although reason denies it, he still believes it. At that time, he is rewarded with “drinking,” called “wine of Torah,” which is Hochma, the light of the purpose of creation, which is His desire to do good to His creations.
We can understand this by what our sages said, “One should always enter the measure of two openings and pray his prayer.” That is, in order for his prayer to be granted, meaning to be rewarded with an “offering,” considered nearing the Creator, it is known that a prayer is in the place of the offering, meaning that in order to be rewarded with nearing the Creator, he must walk on the right and on the left. The two openings mean that we need two things: 1) To know what he is missing, and by this he receives a lack and a need, called Kelim, that the Creator can fill his lack. But if he has no lack, it is impossible to fill. 2) A time to receive the filling. When a person is deficient, this is not the time to fill him, since “the cursed does not cling to the Blessed.” Hence, we need a time of wholeness, for then is the time to receive the filling. For this reason, we need two legs—right and left.
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link