Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What “Israel Do the Creator’s Will” Means in the Work
Article No. 32, Tav-Shin-Nun, 1989-90
Our sages said (Midrash Rabbah, Nasso, Portion 11:7), One verse says, “The Lord will favor you,” and another verse says, “who will not be biased.” How do these two verses coexist? When Israel do the Creator’s will, He favors them. When they do not do the Creator’s will, He “will not be biased.”
This is perplexing: 1) If they do the Creator’s will, why do they need partiality? After all, they are fine, so what else do they need to do in order to be fine? 2) The verse says (Deuteronomy 10), “who will not be biased and will not take a bribe.” But if we do the Creator’s will, there is no greater bribe than this. It is the same as among people, when someone wants the judge to be on his side in a trial, he does what the judge wants and in return the judge leans toward him in the trial and acquits him. So what is the answer that if they do the Creator’s will, He will be biased, as though He would take a bribe?
To understand these two questions, we need to understand the following:
1) What is “the face of the Creator” [in Hebrew, “turning the face to someone” means being biased toward him], and what is “will not turn lift up the face [be biased]”?
2) What is doing the Creator’s will and what is not doing the Creator’s will?
3) Our sages said, “The Creator said, ‘I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.’” We should understand what is the evil inclination and what is the spice.
4) Our sages also said, “I labored and found, believe; I did not labor but found; do not believe.” We should understand what is the meaning of labor. That is, why did they say that there is labor specifically in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds], and without labor, nothing is given. Where is the novelty here? After all, in the corporeal world, where there is no connection to the work of the Creator, nothing is given without work and labor, too. As we can see, the custom is that a person goes to work, as it is written, “One should leave for one’s toil and labor until evening.” Thus, where is the novelty in that Torah and Mitzvot require labor, and without labor no reward is given, to the point that they say, “I found but did not labor, do not believe”? After all, in corporeality, too, there is no such thing as a person obtaining something without labor. Therefore, we should understand why they said, “I did not labor but found, do not believe.”
We know that there are two matters before us: 1) the purpose of creation, 2) the correction of creation.
The purpose of creation is for the creatures to receive delight, to feel contentment. The correction of creation is for the Creator to have contentment. That is, there must be equivalence of form, where as the Creator wants the creatures to enjoy, as it is written, that the creation of the world was because of His desire to do good to His creations, and since the Creator is the giver and the creatures the receivers, the creatures should also bestow contentment upon the Creator. Then it is considered that the creatures seemingly give and the Creator receives, as our sages said, “Israel furnish their father in heaven.” This is called “correction.” That is, in order to have equivalence of form with the Creator, there must be “Cling unto His attributes.”
However, how does one achieve a state where he wants to do everything for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake, while man is born with a desire to receive for his own sake? As we learned, this desire—that the Creator wants to delight the creatures—the Creator created in the creatures this desire, a desire to receive, to want and to yearn to satisfy their deficiencies. That is, the Creator created in the creatures a lack. This lack demands its satisfaction, or this lack yields in us suffering, which forces a person to do everything he can to satisfy his lack.
Thus, when a person has a desire and a yearning to satisfy his lack, how can he relinquish the satisfaction of his lack and say that he receives the filling because he wants to satisfy the Creator’s will? That is, since the Creator wants the creatures to enjoy abundance, therefore, he receives only for this reason. This is against the way that the Creator created nature!
To this comes the answer, “The Creator said, ‘I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.’” This means that the will to receive for oneself is called the “evil inclination,” since it obstructs us from achieving Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, called “equivalence of form.” Through the Torah, there is the light of Torah that reforms him so as to have the power to overcome the will to receive for himself and do everything for the sake of the Creator.
It therefore follows that the reason that should compel a person to engage in Torah and Mitzvot is in order to obtain vessels of bestowal, which is called the “correction of creation.” When a person engages in Torah and Mitzvot with this intention, it is regarded as “working Lishma [for Her sake].” That is, he works and labors in order to obtain something that does not exist in nature. For this reason, he needs the Segula [remedy/virtue] of Torah and Mitzvot to make him obtain these Kelim[vessels], which he cannot obtain by himself unless with the help of the Creator. This Segula is found in Torah and Mitzvot, and this is called the “light of Torah,” as was said, “the light in it reforms him.”
However, our sages said, “One should always engage in Torah and Mitzvot, even if Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], since from Lo Lishma he comes to Lishma [for Her sake].” That is, the beginning of man’s work is Lo Lishma, meaning to receive reward, as it is written in The Zohar, “either for a reward in this world, or a reward in the next world.” When a person works for a reward, he must believe in reward and punishment. If he believes in this, his work is regarded as “according to nature,” meaning that the body does not resist his work in Torah and Mitzvot because at that time he is working for his own sake.
This is called “the natural way,” as in corporeal affairs, when we work we get reward. Yet, in corporeality, he sees the reward in the same place, so the reward mandates the work, while in Torah and Mitzvot he must believe in the reward, so there is work to believe in reward and punishment. But when he believes in reward and punishment, the body can do the holy work.
However, when a person wants to engage in Torah and Mitzvot not in order to receive reward, the body objects to this, as it is against nature. By nature, a person can work only for his own sake. Therefore, when he wants to work for the sake of the Creator, the body objects to this.
Here begins the labor, as our sages said, “I labored but did not find, do not believe; I did not labor but found, do not believe.” Indeed, it is difficult to understand how a person can deceive himself and say, “I did not labor but found.” After all, in corporeality, we do not see that a person finds provision without labor. And here, in the work, where our sages said, “A thousand walk into a room and one comes out to teach,” we see that acquiring Torah is harder than obtaining corporeality. And in corporeality, we do not obtain anything without labor, so how can a person say that he has obtained something without labor?
We should also understand what they said, “I labored but did not find.” Does one lie when he says, “I did not find,” of which they said, “do not believe”? After all, we are speaking of a person who wants to obtain something in the Torah, would he lie?
The thing is that when a person wants to work and achieve the degree of Dvekut, which is equivalence of form, as the Creator wants to bestow upon the creatures, man, too, wants to come to be able to do the Creator’s will. That is, as the Creator wants to bestow, so man wants to do everything in order to bestow. But since bestowing is against nature, man cannot obtain this desire, as it contradicts human nature, for the Creator created man with a desire to receive, so how can man go against the nature with which the Creator created him? Only the Creator can change nature, but not man, as our sages said (Taanit 25), “He who said to the oil, ‘Burn!’ will say to the vinegar, ‘Burn!’”
Therefore, here, too, in work matters, we must say, “He who created in the creatures the desire to receive for oneself will give the creatures the desire to bestow.” That is, only the Creator can change nature, and not man. This is why it is called “a miracle from above,” as it is above nature. This is called “the miracle of the exodus from Egypt,” when the Creator delivered them from control of the Egyptians, which is the control of the will to receive.
Accordingly, “I labored but did not find” means that I have made great efforts to be rewarded with the desire to bestow, meaning I have done everything I could but did not find within me the desire to bestow and I remained with the will to receive for myself even more than when I began the work on obtaining the desire to bestow, which is the Creator’s will, whose desire is only to bestow. When I began to labor, I saw that each time I found myself immersed deeper in the will to receive for myself. Then, I decided that it is true that I labored but did not find, but the Creator helped me find in me the desire to bestow. This is as The Zohar says, “He who comes to purify is aided.” And it asks, “With what?” It replies, “With a holy soul. When he is born, he is given a soul. He is rewarded more…”
It follows that the Creator gives him the soul, each time a higher degree, and this is called the “face of the Creator,” meaning the light of the Creator, called when it is a complete degree by the name NRNHY. This is the assistance he receives from above.
It therefore follows that when a person says, “I did not labor,” it means that the labor did not help him at all, so as to be able to say that through the labor he has found within him the desire to bestow. If the Creator had not given him the light of His face, called a “holy soul,” he would remain in the will to receive for himself, and nothing more. It follows that when he says, “I labored but did not find,” he is telling the truth, meaning that his labor did not help him whatsoever.
Here we should ask, If he is right when he says “I did not labor,” why did they say, “Do not believe”? The answer is that one is not given something for which he has no need, since one who has a need and asks the Creator to satisfy his need receives from above a filling for his need. Therefore, the person’s labor and desire to be rewarded with vessels of bestowal, and his labor and toil for this, for obtaining the desire of the Creator, called “desire to bestow,” this is the Kli [vessel], and the light is called “The desire to bestow.” Only the Creator can give this desire. That is, just as He has given to man the desire to receive when he was born, He can later give him the desire to bestow. But if a person does not labor in order to obtain the desire to bestow, then he has no need. And the evidence that it is not worth his while to exert and toil in order to be rewarded with it is that he cannot receive from above this desire that will change the workings of nature.
By this we can interpret what our sages said (Avot, Chapter 2:21), “It is not for you to finish the work, nor are you free to idle away from it.” We should interpret that if a person knows that he cannot obtain the desire to bestow, but only the Creator can give it to him, then why does he need to labor in vain, since he cannot obtain it? Therefore, we should ask, Why do I need this work? since in any case, he cannot obtain this by himself.
Our sages said about this, “You are not free to rid yourself of it.” This is so because man’s labor is required not because man can obtain the desire to bestow, since the desire to bestow is called “light,” as it is written, “He who comes to purify is aided,” and the aid, says The Zohar, is the light of Neshama, as it is written that he is assisted by giving him a holy Neshama [soul]. Rather, we need the labor for the Kli, meaning to obtain the lack—how much he needs the Creator’s help, to help him and give him the light of Neshama.
However, when a person begins to work in order to obtain the desire of the Creator, which is the desire to bestow, just as the Creator wants to bestow, and a person thinks that he must obtain this by himself, during the work, he sees that each time he becomes more immersed in self-love. At that time, a person escapes the campaign because he sees that he is not advancing. Then the person tells himself that this work of obtaining the desire of the Creator is not for him. Why? Because he sees that each time he becomes worse.
Yet, if a person believes that only the Creator gives the desire to bestow, then why should he escape the campaign and say that it is for more gifted people? After all, the Creator helps with this, so why is it important to the Creator to differentiate one person from other people?
It is known that to the Creator, small and great are equal. Hence, when a person says that working only to bestow is only for a chosen few and not for ordinary people, it is a sign that he thinks that it is within man’s hands to obtain the desire to bestow. For this reason, a person must be strong-minded and believe that he is not required to achieve this desire. Rather, he is required to have a need to achieve the desire to bestow. And when he has a true desire and need to achieve this, the Creator will help him, as it is written, “He who comes to purify is aided.” All the labor that one should give is only to obtain the need and desire to bestow, and nothing else.
Yet, there is a question: When a person feels the bad, to the extent that the will to receive obstructs him from achieving Dvekut, and he prays to the Creator to help him and give him the desire to bestow, why after several efforts that a person has given in order to obtain the desire to bestow, it makes sense that the Creator should give him the desire to bestow? But in the end, what does one receive? Not only did he not get help by the Creator giving him the desire to bestow, but instead, in return for the effort he made, he receives an even stronger desire. That is, each time, he sees that his will to receive has grown more excessive. Therefore, he sees here the opposite work of what should have happened.
The answer is that a person cannot be shown how much evil there is in him, meaning the full measure of evil with which one is born, as it is written in The Zohar about the verse “Sin crouches at the door,” that as soon as one comes out of the womb, the evil, called “sin,” comes along with it. If one were to see all the evil in him, he would immediately say that this work of doing everything for the sake of the Creator is not for him, and he would not even want to begin the work. He would give up in advance.
For this reason, only a little bit of evil is shown to a person, and for the little bit of evil, a person begins to ask the Creator to help him. At that time, some more evil is revealed to a person and he begins to ask the Creator for help once more. Therefore, after every request for help, he can be shown a little more evil, and so he adds requests, and more revelation of evil within him is added to him. Finally, a person gives all the prayers about all the evil that is in him, and then he receives the good he asks for, meaning the desire to bestow, for which he begins to work in order to obtain this desire, which is the will of the Creator, whose desire is only to bestow.
It follows that if a person receives the desire to bestow on a little bit of evil, he will think that this is enough for him. If he is satisfied in the work, then all the evil that is left in him, for which he did not receive the correction of a desire to bestow, this bad will stay within him uncorrected. Conversely, when they see above that each time he asks for help over the bad that is revealed in him each day, then all the bad within him, meaning which was revealed to him, he asks for help from above, and the help he receives through his prayers now is that evil is revealed to him so that in this way, all the evil will be revealed in him.
Afterward, when he receives the help from above, all the bad will be corrected into work in order to bestow. Because he did not receive the desire to bestow in the middle of the work, he does not have anything from which to derive satisfaction. For this reason, he prays each time to be given the desire to bestow. Then, through his prayers, when he asks the Creator to give him the help, there is room for the evil to be revealed in him because he is standing and crying out to be given the help he needs.
This is similar to an expert physician who comes to the country, who heals all of man’s sicknesses in the world. However, a person can only see him once. Any patient who comes to him, whatever illnesses the patient tells him, he heals. One patient came to him with stomach problems, and the doctor healed him. Afterward, the patient learned he had a heart disease, for example, and wanted to go see the doctor. But since he has already been to the doctor and the doctor does not see patients twice, then he was left with a heart disease for the rest of his life. Another patient went in and said, “I have a heart disease and arthritis, and my gallbladder is also troubling me,” since other doctors told him he was suffering from this illness, too. He went to the expert doctor, who healed everything at once. But other patients, who did not know their illnesses, remained with the illnesses they had.
Then, all the patients who did not know their illnesses came to consult with the doctor about how they might know all their illnesses when he gives them the medicine, so it will cure all their sicknesses. Then, the doctor said that anyone who wants to see him, while he makes an appointment, he will give him a pill, and this pill that the doctor gives them will show them all their illnesses. Afterward, when they come to him, he will cure them. Thus, all the illnesses that each one has will be cured at once.
But the patients did not understand what the doctor told them. When they took the pill that the doctor gave them when they made an appointment with him. Therefore, each one saw that he was a little sick, and the doctor gave them a cure and they were healed. Now he sees the doctor’s expertise, that now he has become sicker than before. Previously, he suffered from one disease, and now he sees that each time his situation worsens. That is, sometimes he had headaches, but now he has heartaches, or stomachaches, and so on. Everyone yells at the mediators for advising them to go to this doctor, since they have become worse since they went to the doctor, and still the doctor himself did not treat them, only the doctor’s secretary when he made an appointment to see the doctor. She gave him a pill and his situation has worsened each day.
The lesson is that when a person signs up to do the holy work, which is to achieve the desire of the Creator, the desire to bestow, he is told that the doctor heals all the illnesses at once, and our illness is called “will to receive for ourselves.” In order for the desire to receive to be revealed within man to its full meanness, otherwise, if he asks the Creator to be given help to be able to overcome the will to receive and perform actions in order to bestow, then that person will be satisfied with the work of the desire to bestow.
Thus, the bad will remain in him but will not be revealed, as in corporeality when a person is sick but does not know his illness and must take tests to know the illness. Likewise, a person who wants to work and labor in order to be able to do the Creator’s will, the person does not know his illness, and only through Torah and work can we know his illness.
This is as our sages said, “If his head aches, let him engage in Torah.” Baal HaSulam interpreted that it means he has foreign thoughts. “If his stomach aches,” this means that the will to receive in his guts controls him, and so forth. Hence, first, all the evil in a person must be revealed, and he does not receive the desire to bestow immediately after he has labored. Rather, it is until all the evil in him is revealed. Then, when he receives the desire to bestow, it is over all the evil in him.
It follows that the fact that one sees that he is growing worse each time is a sign that he is walking on the path of truth. The evidence is that the way he is walking on is doing its thing. It is like a person giving a medicine to the sick person once, and he comes to the doctor and tells him, “Now, through your medicine, the illness has become worse.” Then the doctor tells him, “On the contrary, now I see that my medicine has begun to work. It is simply that first it works in one way, and then it works in another way until he regains his health.”
According to the above, we will understand what we asked, What is “doing the Creator’s will”? We should interpret, a desire to bestow, meaning that His will is to do good to His creations, and He wants the created beings to enjoy. Likewise, man wants to obtain that desire because he wants adhesion with the Creator, which is the meaning of equivalence of form. Since man was created with an opposite desire—a desire only to receive and not to bestow—he therefore has much labor to obtain it.
Conversely, when a person works and receives reward in corporeality, it is not regarded as “labor,” since it is not against nature, since everything he does is for his own benefit.
This is not so in the work to obtain the will of the Creator, namely the desire to bestow, where one does only that which yields benefit to the Creator and not to himself. This is labor, since it is against nature. Such a person cannot obtain this desire by himself, but needs the Creator to give it to him. This is called the Creator “favoring him,” since it is impossible to obtain this unless miraculously, above nature.
It follows that there is no other way to obtain this desire unless by being favored. This is the meaning of the words, “The Lord will favor you.” The Midrash explains that when they do the Creator’s will, when they work on obtaining this desire, the Creator must give man the Panim [face/anterior] of the Creator, called a Neshama [soul]. That is, he is assisted by giving him a holy soul, which is the face of the Creator, as there is no other way to be rewarded with the will of the Creator unless through the Creator’s face [favor]. This is the meaning of “The Lord will favor you.”
This is not so with people who do not engage in Torah and Mitzvot in order to be rewarded with the will of the Creator, but engage in Torah and Mitzvot for a reward. They do not need the face of the Creator, called a “soul,” since they are not going against nature. Hence, to the extent that they believe in reward and punishment, they can engage in Torah and Mitzvot, since the reward awakens them to work. It follows that when they do not do the Creator’s will, meaning engage in Torah and Mitzvot, they do not want reward for their work—that the Creator will give them the desire to bestow, but rather a reward for the will to receive. It is written about them that He “will not be biased,” since they do not need a soul, that He would give them, for the face of the Creator is the light of the Creator, called a “holy soul,” which a person receives in order to reform him, and which is called “help from above.”
It therefore follows that what they said, that when they do not do the Creator’s will, the Creator will not favor them, it is because they do not need the Creator to give them the soul that will reform them, since they feel that they are good, that they are observing Torah and Mitzvot in all its details and intricacies. And what is the reason for which they engage in Torah and Mitzvot? It is the reward. To the extent that they believe in reward and punishment, they can do the holy work, since this does not contradict the desire to receive.
Therefore, precisely when they do the Creator’s will, meaning when their work in Torah and Mitzvot is because “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice,” then they are learning Torah in order to emerge from the control of the will to receive, which is called the “evil inclination.” They need the light of Torah, for by this they will be rewarded with the desire of the Creator, which is the desire to bestow. By this we will understand what we asked, What is the “face of the Creator”? The answer is that it is a light, the holy soul that the Creator gives to a person in order to reform him.
Now we can also understand what we asked, What is “who … will not take a bribe”? After all, doing the Creator’s will seems to be a bribery in itself. The answer is that he wants the Creator to favor him, meaning give him a holy soul, not for his own sake. On the contrary, he wants the Creator to favor him so he can emerge from self-benefit and be able to work only for the sake of the Creator, and not for his own sake.
Thus, he does not want the Creator to give him something for his own sake, that we can say that the person is bribing the Creator the way one bribes by giving someone a gift with the aim that the receiver of the gift will give the giver of the gift something for his own sake. Conversely, here, a person doing the Creator’s will means that he wants to be able to do the Creator’s will and asks Him to favor him so he can do all that he does for the sake of the Creator.
By this we understand that the “evil inclination” is the will to receive, and the “spice” is the power to emerge from the control of the will to receive, and the Torah is called “the light of Torah,” which is the interior of the Torah, the soul of the Torah.
Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link