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What Is, “Every Day They Will Be as New in Your Eyes,” in the Work?

Article No. 40, Tav-Shin-Mem-Tet, 1988-89

Our sages (RASHI, Tavo 3 (Deuteronomy 26:16), in Yitro 13:10) said about the verse, “This day the Lord your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul,” “Each day, they will be as new in your eyes, as though you received them today from Mt. Sinai, as though on this day you were commanded them.”

We should understand what “as though on this day you were commanded” adds to us. Why is simply, “as you received the Torah then, on Mt. Sinai,” not enough, and we need to take them upon ourselves “as though today you were commanded them”? What does this add to us in the work?

He says in Shaar HaKavanot [Gate of Intentions] (Part 2) that “The Shema reading [section in every prayer] and the prayer we pray every day always three times, evening, morning, and noon, on weekdays and on Shabbat [Sabbath] and good days, know that there is a big difference between the prayers on weekdays to those on Shabbat and beginnings of months, and the prayer on a good day or the weekdays of the festival. Moreover, even among the good days themselves, the prayer on Passover is not the same as the prayer on Shavuot [Feast of Weeks]. Also, during the weekdays, there is a big difference between the prayer on one day and the prayer of the next. There is not a single prayer since the world was created until the end of the world that is like another, and there is not a person who is like another, and one corrects what the other does not correct, since the purpose of the commandment of the prayer is to make the sorting of the seven kings of Edom who died. Each day, each and every prayer sorts out new sparks.”

In order to understand the matter of the shattering of the seven kings of Edom—which we must sort through the Torah, Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds], and prayer—we must remember the two known things: 1) the purpose of creation, 2) the correction of creation. The purpose of creation is to do good to His creations, meaning for the created beings to receive delight and pleasure. The correction of creation is that when they receive the delight and pleasure, they will not feel the shame due to the disparity of form between the receiver and the Giver. The way is that there was a correction that the light no longer shines on receiving in order to receive for oneself. Therefore, when a person is immersed in vessels of self-reception, concealment and hiding are on him and he cannot feel the importance of Kedusha [holiness], since there is Kedusha precisely where one wants to bestow contentment upon one’s Maker.

Prior to this, as long as one has not been rewarded with vessels of bestowal—for the upper light is present only in those Kelim [vessels]—a person must accept everything on faith, to believe that the Creator leads the world by way of good and doing good, and believe in the greatness of the Creator “because He is great and ruling.” He should believe that it is a great privilege to serve a great King.

But saying that it is a great privilege does not mean verbally. Rather, a person must feel great delight in serving a great King. That is, when can one say that he is serving a great King? It is when he feels great delight. If he is still not delighted when serving the King, it is a sign that he has not achieved a degree where he believes that he is serving a great King.

We must believe what is written, “His kingship rules over all.” Baal HaSulam said that there is no other force in the world, but that He alone does and will do all the deeds. Also, the Kedusha sustains the Klipot [shells/peels], and the Klipot have no vitality but that which the Kedusha gives them. This is the meaning of the words, “You sustain them all.” The meaning of “His kingship rules over all” is that Malchut de Atzilut gives them life, or they would not be able to exist.

It therefore follows that what we learn, that the Creator created the will to receive in order to receive pleasure, it must receive pleasure and delight or it cannot exist in the world. That is, although a Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment were placed on the will to receive for oneself, so delight and pleasure do not reach there, in order for this desire to exist—for if it were revoked, there would be nothing to correct—hence, in order for it to exist, it receives minute vitality so it will not be revoked. This vitality that they receive comes from the breaking of the vessels, when holy sparks fell into the Klipot so they would receive vitality and would not be canceled.

It follows that without pleasure, we cannot live. However, as long as one has not taken upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven, that person receives vitality only from the Creator. But the person does not have faith in the Creator, to say that the Creator gives him his life. For this reason, he says that his life comes from nature.

But we must say that in truth, the Creator hides himself in those dresses from the secular ones. Yet, they do not believe this, meaning that the Creator hides Himself from this person, for that he will not be able to believe that the Creator is the bestower. The Creator hides Himself in a clothing of separation, so the pleasure of the Creator comes to a person clothed in dresses, and the pleasure is clothed in these dresses.

Similarly, we see that there is food for man, who sits and eats a meal of meat, fish, and so forth. From this a man enjoys. The leftovers that remain from the food, he throws in the trash for the cats to eat this waste. But the cats enjoy the waste. We see that they are completely satisfied with the food they find in the trash. Therefore, we see that dogs, chickens, and so forth, all enjoy the food, but there is a difference in that man’s pleasure is not from the waste, whereas for them, the leftover waste is satisfactory.

It is likewise with the work of the Creator. Some people enjoy the waste, meaning the Klipot—the slim light that the Kedusha gives them—and derive complete satisfaction from this. Then there are people whose pleasure is what they receive like the rest of the people. These are regarded as “waste of Kedusha.” However, that food does not satisfy them because they have an inner drive where they feel that it is not worthwhile to be born to derive pleasure from waste.

In other words, they feel that it cannot be that the same food given to animals, meaning to beasts, animals, and poultry and so forth, will be food for man, who is regarded as “speaking,” that he will be similar to animals, meaning that the same thing that sustains animals will sustain the speaking. That sensation does not let them rest and they begin to search for another source of sustenance that they will be able to say that it is worth being born for and enjoying life.

This causes them to search for spirituality, and causes them to take upon themselves the burden of the kingdom of heaven and the burden of Torah and Mitzvot. But here, too, once they have taken upon themselves the burden of Torah and Mitzvot, some of them derive satisfaction from Lo Lishma[not for Her sake]. It is as Maimonides says, that first they are taught to engage in Torah and Mitzvotin order to receive reward. And so it should be, so they will not change the order of their work. However, “Until they gain knowledge and acquire much wisdom, they are taught that secret bit by bit.”

The question is, How do we know that they are in the form of “until they gain knowledge”? The answer is that he receives an inner drive and feels that it cannot be said that this is the meaning of what is written, “For He is your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the nations.” At that time it is evident that his knowledge has increased, and it is for him as Maimonides says, they “acquire much wisdom.” In other words, he has become wise and begins to feel that there is also internality in the Torah and Mitzvot.

Then “they are taught that secret,” that we must work on the intention, too, meaning that one should try to do all his works in order to bestow. At that time a person achieves Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator and is rewarded with the delight and pleasure of the purpose of creation. Then, the person feeds on the food suitable for man, and not on waste that the Kedusha throws to the Klipot so as to sustain them.

However, this is only a slim light, enough to sustain them so they will not be canceled from the world. If the will to receive is canceled in the world, there will be no one to correct. But as we learn, the heart of creation is the will to receive; it is all the substance of creation, except there is the matter of the correction of creation, meaning that creation is called “will to receive,” and this quality was created because of the purpose of creation. In other words, the desire to do good to His creations created the will to receive existence from absence.

The correction of creation is that the intention to bestow is placed on it, and then a person is fit to receive the delight and pleasure. At that time, by being rewarded with Dvekut, which is equivalence of form, we achieve the degree, “For He is your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the nations.” That is, only when we emerge from the governance of the nations, called “multiple authorities,” and achieve the single authority, when a person has only the authority of the Creator, then we are rewarded with the light of Hochma [wisdom] and Bina [understanding].

However, although a person has already received an inner drive and wants to work in order to bestow, and not merely in an act in order to receive reward, the mind asserts that man must go forward and each day he should grow stronger than the day before. In fact, a new order begins here, which is completely irrational. That is, a procession of ascents and descents begins here, where sometimes a person says, “The first days were better than these.”

There can be several ascents and descents in one day or several ascents and descents in a single week, to the extent that a person often falls into despair and says that he does not see that he will ever be able to emerge from the control of the bad, and he must surrender under the will to receive.

But since he has already realized that the majority of the work in Torah and Mitzvot is not so important because the primary importance in observing Torah and Mitzvot should be in observing it for the sake of the Creator, this means that he realizes that the most important is to work for the sake of the Creator. This awareness causes him to feel lack of importance, meaning that it is not important to work in action without an aim.

Although he knows what our sages said, “One should always learn Lo Lishma, and from Lo Lishma he will come to Lishma [for Her sake],” at that time the evil in a person makes him think that it is true that it is important since from Lo Lishma we come to Lishma, but—says the evil in a person— you see that you cannot achieve Lishma. You can see this for yourself.

That is, first the evil in him makes him think that he must give up on achieving a degree where he can work for the sake of the Creator. After it has given him thoughts of despair, it tells him, “You, who have already come to know that the main point is for the Creator, you understand that not for the sake of the Creator is worthless.” Therefore, it makes him think that he does not need to make such efforts in order to sustain all the actions, since you already know from experience that the Lo Lishmais not so important. Hence, you can make allowances in the Torah and the prayer and so forth.

It follows that during the descent, a person declines and follows what his mind makes him think. When the person is in a state of descent with all his lowliness, he prides himself and says he sees those people who observe the Torah and Mitzvot with all the details, but although he sees that they are not working for the sake of the Creator, he cannot be like them.

He excuses himself with an excuse of pride. That is, they have not yet come to this important knowledge that what matters is to do everything for the sake of the Creator, whereas I am at a higher degree than they are, and I do know that for the sake of the Creator is what matters. For this reason, I do not see in observing only in action, without the aim for the Creator, much use, that it is worth exerting to observe with all the details.

This is called “transgression induces a transgression.” That is, the transgression of despair causes him to degrade the work Lo Lishma. Once he has degraded the work Lo Lishma, it causes him to come to the degree of pride, meaning to consider himself superior to others, that he knows better than the rest of the people, who do not understand the truth as he does.

If a person nonetheless does not escape the campaign, meaning he does not disclose his sins in public, after some time, he is pitied from above and is given another awakening, and he receives an ascent once more. Then, the evil comes to him once more to argue with him and the same sequence repeats itself. The advice is not to run from actions he was accustomed to do, but on the contrary, do more actions.

Yet, he can do this only above reason. A person must believe that this work he does during the descent, when he adds actions in externality on the basis of above reason, by this he takes big strides toward the goal, called “Dvekut with the Creator.” Baal HaSulam said about this issue, that this is the meaning of what is written, “For the ways of the Lord are straight; the righteous walk in it, and the transgressors fail in them.”

If he can add actions on the basis of going above reason in that state of descent, since his reason shows him a procession of “transgression induces a transgression,” and he grows stronger above the intellect, he brings the time of his work closer and can achieve the goal sooner.

Therefore, during the ascent, a person must put in order the actions and the intentions. That is, when he feels that the aim is what counts, he must think that the act is also very important, since he is observing the King’s commandments and we cannot grasp how important is the act to Him. As Baal HaSulam said, as much as we can appreciate the importance of Lishma, to the Creator, the Lo Lishmais far more important, and we cannot even fathom the importance of Lishma. Hence, during the ascent, a person must remember not to belittle the action he is doing.

But at the same time, a person must try to do his work only for the sake of the Creator. There is a rule: Anything to which a person is accustomed becomes to him like a conduct, meaning something he does not need to know why he is doing it. This is called “by rote,” meaning he is used to them.

But since the Torah and Mitzvot were given in order to cleanse people, it follows that while performing the Mitzvot, he must aim that this work will yield for him a state of Dvekut with the Creator. It follows that the person must know what he wants from this work.

Therefore, if a person works out of habit, he does not need any reward. Thus, on one hand, observing Torah and Mitzvot out of habit is also a sublime thing, as our sages said, “The Creator adds a good thought to an action.” That is, when a person is rewarded with a good thought, meaning he is rewarded with being able to aim his actions in order to bestow, then all the things he did, which were still not with the intention for the sake of the Creator, the Creator adds to all the actions that were done before and all of them enter Kedusha. It follows that the more actions he has, the more the thought for the sake of the Creator is on them later.

Now we will understand what our sages said, “Each day, they will be as new in your eyes, as though today you received them from Mt. Sinai, as though on this day you were commanded them.”

There are two meanings here: 1) As then they had preparation to receive the Torah, likewise, each day, a person must prepare to receive the Torah and Mitzvot. Through the preparation, we can attain it. But if a person works without preparation, but out of habit, by this, a person is not rewarded with the purpose of creation. Although this is a big thing, too, in a place where he can thereby achieve the degree, “know the God of your father,” which is certainly directly to the goal, for this reason, they said, “they will be as new in your eyes,” for by this they will achieve Dvekut with the Creator.

2) If they are not “as new in your eyes,” it will be to him as going “by rote,” meaning out of habit. At that time, he will not be able to observe the Torah and Mitzvot above reason because by working above reason, he later merits being rewarded with the knowledge of Kedusha. It follows that when he works out of habit, meaning feels that he should observe Torah and Mitzvot as a custom that is fixed into his schedule, he cannot advance. This is why they said, “Each day, they will be as new in your eyes,” for by this, the person will be rewarded with the purpose of creation, which is for the creatures to be rewarded with receiving the delight and pleasure.

According to what is written in the book Shaar Hakavanot [Gate of Intentions], “the meaning of “Each day, they will be as new in your eyes” is that because this is the truth. That is, each day a person corrects new discernments from those that have fallen during the breaking of the vessels, as explained there in the book. It follows that a person does not repeat the Torah he had received on Mt. Sinai, he does not repeat the same things. Rather, with the Torah that was given on Mt. Sinai he must correct new discernments each day. It follows that it is “as though on this day you were commanded,” meaning that each day there are other discernments to correct with the Torah.

From this we learn why a person needs to eat each day, and it is not enough to eat once a year so it suffices for the rest of the year. According to the words of the ARI, in each eating, new discernments from the shattering are sorted, although not each one feels it. However, this is given to the whole of Israel, and all the individuals in the collective should come to this degree, as it is written, “For they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them.”

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