Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Does It Mean that the Creator Favors Someone, in the Work?
Article No. 33, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
Our sages said (Midrash Rabbah, Chapter 11:7) about the verse, “The Lord will turn His face to you [favor you]”: “One verse says, ‘The Lord will favor you,’ and another verse says, ‘who does not turn His face [favor].’ How can these two verses be reconciled? When Israel do the Creator’s will, ‘The Lord will favor you.’ When they do not do the Creator’s will, ‘who does not favor.’”
We should understand this. If Israel do the Creator’s will, why is being favored needed? To understand what they explained, we first need to understand what is the “will of the Creator” and what is the “face of the Creator.” We learn that the Creator’s will is to bestow, as it is written, that the purpose of creation is His desire to do good to His creations, meaning to bestow upon them delight and pleasure. The face of the Creator is called “revelation of the face,” when one is rewarded with attaining open Providence, that the Creator leads the world as The Good Who Does Good.
It is written (“Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 83), “The first degree of the revelation of the face is the attainment of the Providence of reward and punishment in utter clarity. This comes to a person only through His salvation, when one is awarded the opening of eyes in the Holy Torah in wonderful attainment, and becomes ‘a flowing spring.’ In any Mitzva[commandment/good deed] in the Holy Torah that one has kept of his own labor and choice, one is granted seeing the reward of the Mitzva intended for him in the next world, as well as the great loss in the transgression.”
According to the above, we should interpret what we asked about what is written here, that “Those who do the Creator’s will, He favors them,” if they are doing the Creator’s will, why do they need “The Lord will favor you”?
The thing is that the face of the Creator is revelation of His guidance as a guidance of good and doing good. Since there was a correction that before one corrects the will to receive so as to work in order to bestow, there will be concealment and hiding on His Providence. Hence, before one achieves the state of “doers of His will,” meaning that as the Creator’s will is to bestow, so man should come to want to bestow.
When there is equivalence of form, the Creator can give him the revelation of His face, which is the opening of the eyes in the Torah, and he is rewarded with the attainment that the Creator leads the world in a manner of good and doing good. But this can be only after one does the will of the Creator, meaning that one has been rewarded with desire to bestow, for specifically then the Tzimtzum[restriction] and concealment are lifted.
Before Israel do the Creator’s will, when they rather want the Creator to give them everything in vessels of reception, which is the opposite of the Creator’s will, whose desire is to bestow, there must be guidance in a manner of “who will not favor,” but in the manner of Achoraim [posterior], called “the concealment of the face of the Creator.” This is regarded as “who will not favor,” and it is because of the correction that there will not be the matter of shame.
Likewise, we should interpret the above verse in relation to the time of the beginning of the work, before one has been rewarded with being among those who have been rewarded with “doing the Creator’s will.” We should interpret “doers of His will” to mean those who are walking on the path to achieve being among those who do the Creator’s will, since when they walk on this path, they are already named after the road on which they walk. This is as Baal HaSulam said about what is written, “will give wisdom to the wise.” He asked, “It should have said, ‘will give wisdom to the fools.’” And he said that this refers to those who already want wisdom; they are already called “wise” because they are walking on the path toward obtaining wisdom. And since they are giving an awakening from below, they are given wisdom from above.
It is likewise here: When they want to achieve the power of the desire to bestow, this is regarded as doing the Creator’s will. According to the rule, “He who comes to purify is aided,” they are given help from the Creator. For this reason, the writing tells them “The Lord will favor you,” meaning the Creator shines His face to them, namely helps them.
And what is the help? This is as it is written in The Zohar, “He who comes to purify is aided.” He asks, “With what?” The reply is “with a holy soul,” which is called “the face of the Creator,” as it is written, “For by the light of Your face you have given us the law [Torah] of life and the love of mercy [Hesed].” In other words, through the light of the face, they receive the love of Hesed, which is bestowal. That is, the Creator gives them the strength to love Hesed, meaning to love being a giver.
This is called “The Lord will turn His face to you [favor you] and will give you peace.” Peace means as it is written (Psalms 85), “I will hear what the Lord God shall speak, for He shall speak peace unto His people, and let them not turn back to folly.” It follows that “peace” means that the Creator says “peace,” that he will not sin again, and he is rewarded with being at peace with the Creator. This is the meaning of “When they do the Creator’s will,” they receive the assistance of the Creator, as it says, “The Lord will favor you.”
But “when they do not do the Creator’s will,” when they are not walking on the path toward achieving the desire of the Creator, which is the desire to bestow, it is said about them, “who does not favor.” That is, He cannot help them by satisfying their wish, since their wish is the opposite of Kedusha[holiness], so how can He give them something that contradicts the Creator’s will, since all that one should do in the work is correct his actions so they are in order to bestow? If the Creator favors them, meaning that they receive help so they work for the will to receive for themselves, it is as though the Creator is failing them. Hence, the Creator helps them by not favoring them, so they do not remain in self-love. It was said about this, “He who comes to defile, it is opened for him,” but he is not helped, unlike when he comes to purify, who is assisted.
Now we can understand the meaning of repentance. What should one reply, since Teshuva[repentance/answer/returning] means that he received something and must (return) what he received? The thing is that since man is born with a nature that is the will to receive for his own benefit, when he wants to work only for man’s sake, meaning that he wants the Creator to fill his vessels of reception, a person should repent on this, meaning do everything for the sake of the Creator. In other words, what he receives, he does not want to receive for his own sake, but rather all that he receives is in order to bring contentment to the Creator. Since the Creator wants man to receive, as it is written, “His desire is to do good to His creations,” it follows that all that he receives is only in order to return. Otherwise, he does not want to receive. This is Teshuva [to return], meaning he returns everything that he receives.
This is as it is written in The Zohar (Nasso, Item 28), “Anyone who repents, it is as though he returned the letter Hey, which is Malchut, to the letter Vav, which is ZA, who is the son of Yod-Hey, completing the HaVaYaH. This is certainly repentance, for it is the letters of ‘The Hey shall return to the Vav.’”
And in The Zohar (Nasso, Item 31), it says, “This repentance, which is Malchut and the Hey of HaVaYaH, is called ‘life,’ as it is written, ‘for from it is the offshoot of life,’ which are the soul of Israel, the offshoot of Malchut, who is called ‘life.’ She is a Hevel [mouth/breath] that goes out and into a person’s mouth without toil and without labor, which is the Hey of BeHibaram [when they were created], for the letter Hey is expressed by the mouth more easily than all the letters, and it was said about it, ‘And the image of the Lord does he behold,’ since Malchut is called ‘the image of the Lord.’ Also, ‘Only in the shadow shall one walk,’ and because it is on the man’s head, he must not walk four cubits bareheaded, since if it departs from over man’s head, life immediately departs from him.”
We should interpret the words of The Zohar when it says that repentance means the return of the Hey to the Vav. The thing is that all of our work is to take upon ourselves the burden of the kingdom of heaven although it is concealed and hidden. That is, although the thought of creation is to do good to His creations, there was a Tzimtzum and concealment on the kingdom of heaven so there would be room for choice, meaning that man would be able to say that he does not accept the burden of the kingdom of heaven out of self-love, but in order to bring contentment to his Maker. If the King were revealed, man would accept the revelation of the King because of self-love, since we must believe that there is no greater pleasure in the world than to see the King’s face. It follows that at the time of the acceptance of the kingdom of heaven, man was compelled to be separated due to disparity of form, as it is known that disparity causes separation in spirituality.
It follows that this concealment causes that it is difficult for us to assume the burden of the kingdom of heaven and believe that His guidance is in a manner of good and doing good. Only when one walks on the path toward achieving equivalence of form, meaning that all his actions will be for the sake of the Creator, to the extent that his aim is to bestow, to that extent the concealment and Tzimtzum [restriction] are removed from him. At that time, a person can obtain the delight and pleasure, since then he receives in the manner of Ohr Hozer [Reflected Light], meaning that he enjoys only because he wants to bring contentment to his Maker. Hence, the reception of pleasure does not inflict separation. In that state, a person receives the abundance, according to the rule, “More than the calf wants to eat, the cow wants to feed.” Then, a person has no more work to obtain anything because the upper one can already give because he already has the Kelim [vessels] of equivalence of form. It follows that the heart of man’s work is to obtain vessels of bestowal.
According to the above, we should interpret what is repentance, when he says, “the Hey, which is Malchut, shall return,” as she is separated from the name HaVaYaH. That is, Malchut, which is the totality of the souls and should provide for all the souls. If the created beings work (as) they must, meaning doing everything in order to bestow, each of them causes a desire to bestow at the root of his soul. At that time, Malchut receives equivalence of form with the Creator, who is the Giver.
It follows that the abundance pours down to the creatures without any toil and labor, as in the words of The Zohar, since the giving of the abundance belongs to the Creator. He will give, and man will have no work to obtain it. Rather, all of man’s work is on the Kelim, so they will have equivalence of form. This is called “the work of the earth,” meaning that the work is for their kingdom of heaven to work in order to bestow.
This is as it is written (Berachot 33), “Everything is in the hands of heaven but the fear of heaven.” We should interpret that “everything” means the filling that the Creator gives. There are many kinds in the abundance, but in general, they are called NRNHY, or Hochma, or Hassadim. The Creator gives all those without any labor on the part of man, other than fear of heaven, where fear means that one must work to have fear that he might not be able to work in order to bestow. This pertains to man’s work.
In other words, a person is afraid he might not be able to aim in order to bestow. We attribute the matter of not receiving to man, and the matter of giving, we attribute to the Creator. It follows that fear of heaven means he is afraid to receive, since he might thereby come to separation from the Creator. This work, (we) attribute to man. That is, all of man’s work is to obtain vessels of bestowal, but it is not upon man to seek advice how to obtain abundance, since we need not worry about this. Rather, all our worries should be how to obtain the desire to bestow, since Malchut, who is called “life,” from her are the offshoot of life.
This is after one has obtained the vessels of bestowal, by returning the Malchut, called “the receiving Kli,” to now be as a “giving Kli,” meaning that the created beings have corrected at the root of their souls, which is Malchut, that she will work in order to bestow and not to receive. At that time, Malchut bestows upon them life, as it is written, “for from it is the offshoot of life.” This, one receives without toil and without labor, which is the meaning of the Hey of BeHibraam [when they were created]. In other words, once a person has corrected the Malchut, which is the final Hey, into equivalence of form with the Yod-Hey-Vav, the abundance extends to the man who has corrected her without toil or labor.
This is the meaning of saying “It was said about her, ‘and the image of the Lord does he behold,’” since Malchut is called “the image of the Lord.” We should interpret that he wants to tell us that all the work is only on “fear,” meaning not to receive the abundance, lest he will not be able to aim in order to bestow. This is as it is written about Moses (Berachot 7), “‘And Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look.’ They said, in return for ‘Moses hid his face,’ he was rewarded with ‘the image of the Lord does he behold.’”
In other words, the labor is on the fear, as it is written, “for he was afraid to look,” after which came the reward without toil or labor, when he was rewarded with seeing the image of the Lord, which is Malchut, as it says, “for Malchut is called ‘the image of the Lord.’” It follows that all of life came from Malchut, as he says, “Vav-Hey of HaVaYaH is called ‘life,’” which comes without toil or labor.
This is the meaning of “Only in the shadow shall one walk.” Baal HaSulam said that “shadow” means “shade,” and shadow is where the sun does not shine, which is concealment. In other words, once a person accepts the kingdom of heaven as concealment above reason, he is rewarded with knowledge of Kedusha [holiness]. This is the meaning of what is written, “Only in the shadow shall one walk,” precisely when one takes upon himself the kingdom of heaven as a “shadow” by which one can ascend the rungs of holiness. This is the meaning of “shall one walk.”
Also, we should interpret what is written, “One must not walk four cubits bareheaded.” “Head” means knowledge and intellect. Covering the head means that he covers the intellect and does not look at it, but goes above reason. “Four cubits” are the man; this is his height. It means that one is forbidden to walk without faith above reason. If he does walk within reason, meaning “bareheaded,” “Life immediately departs from him.” Rather, specifically by covering the head, he will be rewarded with the knowledge of Kedusha.
However, this work of faith above reason should be with a sound mind, for only then can one understand what is above reason. Otherwise, a person is mistaken with the meaning of above reason. This is as our sages said (Avot, Chapter 4:23), “Do not appease your neighbor while he is angry.” Hence, when one is angry, when he is dissatisfied with the situation he is in and begins to introspect, he falls into mistakes and cannot calculate truthfully, as our sages said (Sifrei Matot), “Once he comes by anger, he comes by every mistake.”
Man’s main anger at himself is expressed in work in sadness at the state he is in. Hence, all the calculations he does are wrong, since he himself is in a state where there is no peace of mind in him. In that state, he should not make any calculations but take upon himself the kingdom of heaven without any calculations. Only once he has taken upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven by force, and when his anger has subsided, can he calculate, to know what is above reason and what is below reason, and what is within reason.
We should know that when a person is angry at something, he feels that he is in an uncomfortable situation. At such a time, it is impossible to believe in private Providence, that the Creator leads the world in a manner of good and doing good. Hence, in that state he slanders the guidance of the Creator, and naturally becomes separated from faith, since there is a correction from above, which our sages called “One does not sin unless a spirit of folly has entered him.” This means that the spirit of Kedusha that he had has departed from him. This is done in man’s favor, since when he does not have the spirit of Kedusha, he cannot blemish what he does not have.
Hence, when one falls into a state of sadness, meaning he has nothing from which to derive joy, he becomes separated from the Kedusha. At that time, there is only one advice, to take upon himself, by force, the burden of the kingdom of heaven, and pray to the Creator to help him so that this coercion that he has taken upon himself, the Creator will help him make it with joy, as it is written, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” Since now this work is compulsory for him, from where will he take joy?
For this reason, one must pray to the Creator to help him be able to observe what is written, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” Also, at that time, one should overcome in the manner of “an awakening from below,” and believe that it is a great privilege that he was able to overcome his situation and be able to do something against the intellect, which is called “above reason.”
Also, he should believe, once he has overcome above reason, this is regarded that he is a servant of the Creator. That is, this overcoming that he is now doing is called “work of the Creator,” since now he is working with faith above reason. In other words, only now is he considered “working,” since the body does not agree to this work.
It therefore follows that when one comes to a state where the body does not want to do the holy work, and a person is in a state where he has no spirit of life, this is the time when a person is regarded as having no faith in the Creator, since faith in the Creator brings joy. Hence, when he is irritated and angry with himself to the point that he cannot stand anything around him, he is considered to be an “idol-worshipper.”
This is as our sages said, “Anyone who is angry, it is as though he is committing idol-worship.” This is so because he has no faith. Hence, a person should try to be thankful to the Creator for every contact that he has with spirituality, and then he unifies the connection with the Creator. In other words, even if he is in a state where the body rejects anything of Kedusha, he can maintain contact with the Creator even over this, meaning that a person must say at that time, “the fact that I feel that I have no desire for work, this, too, is called ‘contact.’”
That is, a person sees that he does not always think about work, whether or not he wants to work. Rather, he should think and worry about other matters, which have no connection to spirituality. Hence, now that he has contact, he is thankful for it, and by this he can reenter the work and begin to live a life of Kedusha.
Although there are many discernments in the connection that one connects oneself to the Creator, any contact is a great thing. It is written about it (Psalms 48:11), “As Your name, God, so is Your glory.” This means that as much as one can appreciate the greatness and importance of the Creator, to that extent he can thank and praise the Creator. Clearly, the more one can depict to oneself the greatness and importance of the Creator, he will be able to give greater praises to the Creator. However, by overcoming and praising the Creator over something, regardless what it is for which he thanks the Creator, this act already gives connection to the Creator, and by this he can come to do the holy work in truth. Hence, in every situation, only prayer helps.
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link