Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Does It Mean that Our Sages Said, “King David Did Not Have a Life,” in the Work?
Article No. 10, Tav-Shin-Nun, 1989-90
The Zohar says (VaYishlach, Items 52-54), “Rabbi Shimon says, ‘We learned that before King David came to the world, he did not have a life at all, except for the seventy years that Adam HaRishon gave him of his own.’ Another interpretation: The patriarchs gave him of their lives, each and every one. Abraham gave him of his life, and so did Jacob and Joseph. Isaac did not leave him anything, since King David came from his side.”
Interpretation: “Because King David is the Nukva from the left side, when it is darkness and not light, hence, he did not have a life, since there is life only from the right side, which is ZA, called ‘The Tree of Life.’ Isaac, too, was from the left side, but he was included in Abraham, as it is written, ‘Abraham begot Isaac,’ and also because of the tying [of Isaac]. This is why he had life. And this was only to himself, but he could not give life to David, since he is essentially from the left line.”
We should understand what is “right,” where he says that “there is life only from the right side,” and what is left, where “it is darkness and not light.” We should also understand why Isaac, who is left, had life, but needed Hitkalelut [merging/mingling] with the right, which is Abraham, whereas David had no life at all, but each one had to give to David of his own life.
To understand this in the work, we must remember what we learned, that there are two things before us: 1) The purpose of creation, which is to do good to His creations. This means that all creations must achieve the goal and be rewarded with the delight and pleasure that there is in the purpose of the Creator, who created it. 2) The correction of creation, which is that there will not be the bread of shame. For this purpose, a correction called Ohr Hozer [Reflected Light] was established, which means that the lower ones return bestowal upon the Creator. That is, they do not want to receive the delight and pleasure for their own sake, but in order to bestow.
Those two things are opposite to one another because the Creator created in the creatures a desire to receive for themselves, meaning that the creatures will enjoy, as this was His entire purpose, as we learn. The correction is the complete opposite from the quality of the creatures, who were created with a desire to receive for themselves, so now the creatures must do something that contradicts nature, namely to bestow.
In other words, the work begins with the lower ones having to perform acts of bestowal and with the intention to bestow. Afterward begins the work where they can receive delight and pleasure with the intention to bestow.
In order to have room for work and to choose, so they can aim to bestow, a Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment were made. This means that as long as one cannot aim to bestow, he is placed under the concealment. In other words, besides the fact that he is unable to aim in order to bestow and wants only to work for his own sake, through this concealment, another thing took place, and this is the hardest—that man has to do hard work in order to be rewarded with faith above reason, since because of the concealment, he cannot see within reason the delight and pleasure that the creatures receive from the Creator, though the whole purpose of creation was because of His desire to do good to His creations. Yet, he cannot see this good neither with regard to himself nor with regard to other people.
It turns out that in addition to having to work and obtain the equivalence of form, which is to have vessels of bestowal, a person has to work to be rewarded with faith that the Creator leads His world in the form of good and doing good. And who caused all this? It was all done by the Tzimtzum and concealment that were placed because of the correction of creation.
However, here, a serious question arises: We say that the concealment took place for the purpose of correcting creation, but as a result of this concealment, two discernments arise: 1) the matter of lack of faith, 2) the prohibition to use the will to receive for oneself, which are generally called “mind and heart.” The question is, Who comes first? That is, should one first be awarded faith, and then he can be rewarded with working for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake, or is it the other way around?
It stands to reason that first one must be awarded faith, and then it can be said that he annuls his self and does not work for his own benefit, but only for the benefit of the Creator. This matter, that a person should do everything only for the sake of the Creator, depends on the extent to which one believes in the greatness of the Creator. To that extent it can be said that he is working for Him. This means that it is impossible to make great efforts for something that is not important because it is natural that for something that is more important we make greater efforts.
This means that the labor that one can give depends on the importance of the object. Naturally, in order for one to relinquish the will to receive for himself and work only for the Creator, the more important the Creator is for a person, the easier it is to work for Him. It follows that in order for one to be able to relinquish self-pleasure and rise and work for the sake of the Creator, a person must be awarded faith in the Creator. Afterward, a person will be able to annul himself before the Creator and do everything for the sake of the Creator. This is what common sense dictates, that such should be the order of the work.
However, from is written in the Sulam [Ladder commentary on The Zohar] (“Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Item 138), it seems the opposite: Before a person is rewarded with correcting his Kelim[vessels] to work in order to bestow, called “equivalence of form,” a person cannot have faith. He says there that since as long as one does not have vessels of bestowal, he cannot receive the delight and pleasure from the Creator and cannot believe that the Creator leads the world as The Good Who Does Good. It follows that he is slandering the Creator. Therefore, at that time he no longer believes that the Creator leads the world as The Good Who Does Good.
Worse yet, he is in denial of His Providence, as it is written, “Prior to the correction, Malchut is called ‘the tree of knowledge of good and evil,’ since Malchut is His guidance in this world. As long as the receivers have not been completed so they can receive His whole benevolence, which He had contemplated in our favor in the thought of creation, the guidance must be in the form of good and bad.
…“It is written, ‘The Lord has made everything for His own purpose,’ yet we say the complete opposite. For this reason, we taste His guidance of good and evil as guidance of reward and punishment, for they are interdependent, since because we are using the vessels of reception, we necessarily sense that the operations of Providence are bad for us. It is a law that the creature cannot receive disclosed evil from the Creator, for it is a flaw in the glory of the Creator for the creature to perceive Him as an evildoer, for this is unbecoming of the complete Operator. Hence, when one feels bad, denial of the Creator’s guidance lies upon him and the superior Operator is concealed from him to that same extent. This is the greatest punishment in the world.
“Thus, the sensation of good and evil in relation to His guidance brings with it the sensation of reward and punishment, for one who exerts not to part from faith in the Creator is rewarded even when he tastes a bad taste in Providence. And if he does not exert, he will get a punishment because he has parted from faith in Him. It follows that although He alone does, is doing, and will do all the deeds, it still remains hidden from those who sense good and evil, since at the time of evil, the Sitra Achra[other side]is given the strength to conceal His guidance and faith. Thus, one comes to the great punishment of separation and becomes filled with heretical thoughts. And upon repentance, one receives the corresponding reward and can adhere to the Creator once again.”
Thus, we see that it is impossible to have faith in the Creator before one is rewarded with vessels of bestowal, for only then does one have complete faith. So, the question is, If one has no faith, how can one do everything for the sake of the Creator before one has faith in the Creator?
The answer is that man has partial faith, meaning from what he believes from the general public. In the general public in Israel, there is faith in the form of Surrounding Light. This is the light of faith that illuminates in general in the whole of Israel, and each one receives from this faith. This is called “partial faith,” and it is called “still of Kedusha [holiness].” Everyone begins their work in the manner of the “still.”
This is as it is written (“Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 14), “I once interpreted the saying of our sages, ‘He whose Torah is his trade.’ The measure of his faith is apparent in his practice of Torah because the letters of the word, Emunato [his faith]. It is like a person who trusts his friend and lends him money. He may trust him with a pound, and if he asks for two pounds he will refuse to lend him. But he may trust him with all his property without a shadow of a doubt. This last faith is considered ‘whole faith,’ and the previous forms are considered ‘incomplete faith,’ but rather as ‘partial faith.’”
For this reason, a person begins his work with faith of the whole of Israel, who have faith that is as Surrounding Light. From this faith, each one receives a part of faith that is sufficient for him to begin his work, to want to begin the work of the individual, meaning that a person will be rewarded with faith in the form of Inner Light, which is called “And you shall love the Lord your God.” “Your God” is an individual discernment, when his faith is not built on the general public, that he receives from this only the part called “partial faith.” However, he is rewarded with individual faith, and this is called “complete faith,” when he does not need the general public.
To be rewarded with complete faith, a person must first work in the form of equivalence of form, which is that all his work will be in order to bestow. Only once he has been rewarded with obtaining vessels of bestowal, he can be rewarded with complete faith, for then he can keep what is written, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart.”
However, when a person begins to work in the form of equivalence of form in order to be rewarded with complete faith, the work goes in two directions, called “mind” and “heart.” That is, it is impossible to work in order to bestow unless we want to bestow upon a great and important person. Therefore, a person must work part of his time in the “mind” and part of his time in the “heart.”
Here is where the real work begins, when he wants to work in faith in the individual manner, since here there are ups and downs, since the basis of this work is to work for the sake of the Creator, which is opposite from human nature, who was created with a desire to receive for his own sake. Hence, here begins the real war against the inclination. For this reason, there must be order in the work, or he will not be able to continue on this path, meaning achieve Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator.
When a person sees that the work is hard because he must always go above reason, meaning that his reason always makes him think that it is not worthwhile to work unless it is for his own sake, and each time, his reason lets him see, “You see that you were born with a desire to receive for yourself, so how do you want to annul yourself and not think at all about your own benefit, but of the benefit of the Creator? What will you get out of working for the sake of the Creator?” Our reason can understand a person doing the holy work in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] in order to receive reward. This is the normal way, that we work for someone, and it does not matter who is the boss, but we always think about how much we are getting paid for the work, since the reward is what determines. This is the work of the general public.
However, when a person wants to work in order to bestow and by this to be granted with complete faith, here begin the ascents and descents, since it is impossible to work without reward. Rather, when can one work without reward? Only when he wants to bestow upon an important person. This, he regards as a reward. This is as our sages said about “the pleasure he receives from him,” meaning that a person enjoys the important person accepting his gift.
This means that it is within nature that the smaller one enjoys if he can serve the King. It follows that when he wants to work in order to bestow, a person must appreciate the Creator, so as to be able to bestow upon Him, and to have the strength to work for the sake of the Creator. Therefore, when he loses the importance of the Creator—which The Zohar calls “ Shechina [Divinity] in the dust,” when he does not feel the importance of Kedusha but regards it as dust—then he is powerless to work in order to bestow. This is why the work is in both mind and heart.
However, during the work, when a person works in order to achieve the goal, which is to be rewarded with Dvekut with the Creator, the order is as it is in corporeality, when a person does not walk forward unless he uses both legs, right and left. This is as our sages said (Sotah 47), “The left should always push away, and the right should pull near.” “Right” means that which brings closer to the Creator, meaning when one feels close to the Creator. Even if he still does not have this feeling, he should go above reason, as though he feels completely whole, as is said (Article No. 9, Tav-Shin-Nun), “And he is happy with his lot and is called ‘blessed.’”
At that time, “The blessed clings to the Blessed,” and from this he receives vitality, since he is close to the Creator. This is called “adhering to the tree of life,” when he uses the vessels of bestowal, on which there is no Tzimtzum or judgment. Hence, from the right side, called “wholeness,” a person extends life from the Life of Lives.
Conversely, the “left” is something that requires correction. When a person criticizes his work, he (sees) his faults. Since he has nothing in which he has wholeness, he sees that he is rejected from Kedusha. Naturally, he sees that he is cursed, and “the cursed does not cling to the Blessed.” It follows that then he is separated from the Creator, and naturally, he has no life. It follows that in the left, when a person makes his calculation within reason, he sees that he is bare and destitute. Hence, when a person walks on the left line, he has no life.
According to the above, we can interpret what we asked about the words of The Zohar, that King David had no life before he came to the world. The reason is that since King David is Malchut, on whom there was a Tzimtzum, and David is regarded as “the whole of Malchut,” which requires correction, that the whole of the will to receive that there is in the vessels of reception should be corrected, for this reason, he needed to be included with Kelim [vessels] in which there are vessels of bestowal. By this, the general Malchut will also be corrected.
This is called “the end of correction,” meaning that the Messiah King is called “the end of correction.” This means that the general Malchut will be corrected to work in order to bestow. This is why The Zohar said that only Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph, who are not from the quality of judgment, gave of their qualities to David so he would have life. That is, by them he would have vessels of bestowal, which belong to the “right,” which is Hesed [mercy], the opposite of the quality of judgment, which are vessels of reception. This is why he did not receive from Isaac, who is the left, the quality of judgment, which are vessels of reception.
This is the meaning of “there is no life on the left,” since when a person walks in the manner of the “left,” meaning sees what he is lacking, and a deficiency is called “the quality of judgment,” hence, on the left there is no life. Rather, it is on the right, when he engages in the form of “For he desires mercy” and is not lacking anything; this is when a person feels alive. But when a person is in a state where he is bare and destitute, it is considered that he has no life. When a person feels his faults and the future does not shine for him—that he will ever be able to satisfy his wants—then the person says, “I would rather die than live.”
By this we should interpret what is written, “King David had no life.” It means that the whole matter of the creation of the world was for the creatures to receive the delight and pleasure. Therefore, the order of the work is that first, a person must believe in the purpose of creation, that it is the Creator’s will for the creatures to receive delight and pleasure. If he believes this, he should think, “What is the reason that I do not have the delight and pleasure that the Creator wants me to take?”
It follows that if he believes that he should receive, to that extent he feels the absence. When he feels the absence, he goes to search for the reason why he cannot correct his lack. At that time, we must believe in the words of our sages, who said that what we lack is Dvekut, which is equivalence of form, as it is written, “As He is merciful, so you are merciful.”
It follows that to the extent that he believes that the Creator bestows abundance to the whole world, to that extent he should also bestow upon the Creator. Then, when one believes that the Creator gives to the entire world, from this a person should derive the importance and greatness of the Creator, like an important person in corporeality, where we see that it is a great privilege to serve important people, and from this service itself, a person derives delight and pleasure and he does not need any other reward. It follows that to the extent of the faith in the “mind,” to that extent he can also work with faith.
However, since man is born as a will to receive for himself, in this manner there is no life. It follows that the quality of King David, which is the point in the heart, has no life. In other words, the light of life cannot shine there.
For this reason, “the association of the quality of mercy with judgment” took place, as it is written that Malchut, which is the quality of judgment, will receive life from the quality of the “right,” which is bestowal, when it is associated with the quality of King David. Hence, the quality of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph, who are the quality of Hesed and mercy, was placed in the quality of King David, and not from Isaac, who is the quality of the “left,” which is vessels of reception.
Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link