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What It Means that “Law and Ordinance” Is the Name of the Creator in the Work
Article No. 30, Tav-Shin-Nun, 1989-90
The Zohar says (BeHukotai, Items 16-18), “Malchut is called ‘law.’ The decrees of the Torah are included in her. ‘My ordinances shall you keep.’ An ordinance, which is ZA, to which that statute, which is Malchut, grips. Thus, upper and lower conjoin, meaning the statutes in Malchut are in the ordinances in ZA. And this is the rule of the holy name, since ‘law and ordinance’ is the name of the Creator. ‘And do them.’ He asks, ‘Since he already said ‘walk’ and ‘keep,’ why the ‘do,’ as well?’ He answers that one who performs the Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] of the Torah and walks in His ways, it is as though he made Him above. The Creator said, ‘as if he made Me.’ And they determined it. Hence, ‘And do them,’ as a law and ordinance, which are ZA and Malchut.”
We should understand what it means when he says, “One who performs the Mitzvot of the Torah and walks in His ways, it is as though he made Him.” We should also understand the difference between saying, “one who performs the Mitzvot of the Torah” and what he adds, “and walks in His ways,” for it seems like they are two things. That is, it seems as though although he observes the Mitzvot of the Torah, if he does not walk in His ways, it is not said that he made the Creator. Thus, what is the meaning of “and walks in His ways”?
We should also understand what is written (Item 19), “Similarly, Rabbi Shimon said, ‘And David made Him a name.’ But did David make it for Him? He replies, ‘Rather, because David went in the ways of Torah and kept the Mitzvot of the Torah, it is as though he actually made a name there.’ For this reason, it was said, ‘And do them.’ That is, if you try to do them, to correct the holy name as it should be, all those blessings above will be properly corrected in you.”
We should also ask, What does it mean that David made a name for the Creator? With respect to whom did he make the name? Does the Creator need someone to make for Him a good name among the created beings, so that by the Creator having a good name, they will respect Him? This would befit the creatures, where one person can respect another person like him, but how can we say that the Creator needs to have a good name among the creatures? Also, we should understand how is it that when a person walks in the ways of Torah and performs the commandments of the Torah, the Creator gets a good name.
To understand all this, we must first present the whole matter of creation, meaning for what purpose did the Creator create creation. The answer is, it is known that His desire is to do good to His creations. It follows that the Creator received the name of “a Giver,” who gives delight and pleasure to creation, where creation is called “receiver,” and the receiver must be deficient; otherwise, it is impossible to receive. For this reason, the will to receive delight and pleasure is called “lacking.”
There is no lack in the Creator, for the Creator is perfectly complete. Hence, creation is called “existence from absence,” after this lack when something was created, which did not exist before He created it. And since there is no lack in the Creator, when a person feels lacking, he is already in disparity of form from the Creator. When he satisfies the lack, although he has some measure of equivalence, for now he is not deficient, but by being the receiver while the Creator is the giver, it follows that there is no equivalence of form, since by this disparity of form he becomes separated from the Creator.
In order to correct this, meaning where a person is called “created being,” who is deficient, in order to have equivalence, he must be in wholeness, meaning receive from the Creator abundance. When he receives from the Creator, he is once again in disparity of form, and then this correction called “receiving in order to bestow” is done. That is, although by nature, he has a desire and yearning to receive from something that he can enjoy, he overcomes and does not want to receive the pleasure, unless because he wants to bestow contentment upon his Maker.
Any pleasure that he can say that the Creator enjoys, meaning by observing His thought and will, which is to do good to His creations, meaning that all the pleasures we can say that the Creator enjoys when we receive from Him, only in this manner do we receive. Hence, when a person achieves this degree, which is to bring contentment to his Maker, he can delight Him by receiving from Him delight and pleasure.
Thus, now we have equivalence of form from two sides: 1) There is no longer a lack in the lower one, since he receives delight and pleasure from the Creator. 2) Now he bestows like the Creator. That is, the fact that he receives pleasure now is not for his own benefit, but only for the sake of the Creator. But for his own sake, he is willing to relinquish any pleasure. It follows that now there are two things together—the correction of creation and the purpose of creation.
This is called Zivug de Hakaa [coupling by striking], where by the Hakaa [striking], a unification occurs. In spirituality, Hakaa means two conflicting things, where everything that one rejects, the other wants. In other words, the Creator wants the lower one to receive delight and pleasure, meaning to bestow upon the lower one, and the lower one wants equivalence of form, meaning to bestow upon the upper one.
It follows that they are in conflict. Yet, by this they come to unification. In other words, each one takes the view of the other, meaning that the upper one wants the lower one to receive. The lower one receives only to the extent that he knows that everything that he receives is only because the upper one wants. It follows that now he receives like the upper one wants, and he gives as he wants, and there is no separation here. Rather, now, both are of the same view.
By the creature having vessels of bestowal, he receives in them delight and pleasure, and then it is evident to all that the name of the Creator is The Good Who Does Good. Before the delight and pleasure were revealed, He was called “Shechina [Divinity] in the dust,” meaning that everyone suffers in the world because there are no Kelim [vessels] suitable to receive the delight and pleasure.
Hence, the lower ones must believe that the Creator leads the world as The Good Who Does Good, which is why the name of the Creator, The Good Who Does Good, is not revealed. But when the lower ones receive the vessels of bestowal, the name of the Creator, The Good Who Does Good, can be revealed.
But here comes the toughest question: How can a person receive these Kelim? By nature, he is completely opposite, for man is born only with vessels of reception, meaning that a person cannot do anything unless it yields benefit to himself. So how can he do something that is against nature, meaning to bestow and not receive anything for his own benefit?
Our sages said about this, that the Creator said, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.” There are two things to note about observing Torah and Mitzvot: 1) the practice of Torah and Mitzvot, 2) the intention, meaning what he wants for observing Torah and Mitzvot.
The reward that one should ask of the Creator is to walk in His ways, meaning in the ways of the Creator. And what is the way of the Creator? We should say that His way is to bestow upon the creatures delight and pleasure. Also, all of one’s concerns should be about bestowal upon the Creator, that He will enjoy, and not to be concerned with his own benefit, but only with the benefit of the Creator, like the Creator, whose wish is to do good to His creations.
Since man was born with a nature of receiving for himself, it is known that by the Creator wanting to delight His creatures, the receiver must have a desire and yearning for the matter. Otherwise, it is impossible to enjoy. Hence, the Creator created the creatures with a yearning to satisfy their lack. But how can the creatures walk in His ways, so that the creatures will bestow like the Creator, which is called “cling to His attributes”?
To correct this, the Creator said, “I have created the evil inclination,” meaning the will to receive only for oneself, “I have created the Torah as a spice.” That is, through the merit of the Torah, we will receive the power to overcome the bad, and we will be able to work only in order to bestow pleasure upon the Creator.
It therefore follows that it is not enough to observe Torah and Mitzvot. Rather, one must also direct the aim, why is he observing Torah and Mitzvot. That is, what is the reward he wants the Creator to pay him for observing Torah and Mitzvot? There are many intentions in this regard. It is written in The Zohar about it, that some want, in return for observing Torah and Mitzvot, reward in this world, and some want reward in the next world. But the main thing a person needs is to receive a reason to compel him to observe Torah and Mitzvot, which is “because He is great and ruling.” That is, he engages in Torah and Mitzvot because he has great pleasure in that he is serving a great King.
This implies that the reason why a person observes Torah and Mitzvot is in order for the Creator to give him the power to bestow, which he does not have by nature. The Torah and Mitzvot are a Segula [remedy/virtue/quality] to obtain this, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination.” Thus, what is the advice so we can go against nature? The answer is that for this, we were given the Torah as a spice. That is, through the Torah we will obtain the power of bestowal. It follows that a person should aim while engaging in Torah and Mitzvot for only one thing: to walk in His ways. That is, as the Creator’s way is to bestow, likewise, in return for his work, man wants the Creator to give him this force.
By this we should interpret what we asked about the words of The Zohar, “One who performs the Mitzvot of the Torah and walks in His ways.” We asked, What does it add to us that it says, “walks in His ways,” since a person is already observing the commandments of the Torah? According to the above, it means that it is not enough to observe the Mitzvot of the Torah; he must also aim that he wants reward in return for observing the Mitzvot of the Torah. And what type of reward does he want? to be able to walk in the way of the Creator. Just as the way of the Creator is to bestow upon the creatures so the creatures will enjoy, likewise, man wants to have a desire and yearning to bestow contentment upon his Maker and to ask the Creator to reward him for his work. This should be as in corporeality, where a person works and looks, during the work, at when he will receive his salary. Likewise, in the work of the Creator in observing Torah and Mitzvot, one should look forward to the time when he receives the salary for his labor, meaning when he is rewarded with vessels of bestowal.
According to the above, we can interpret what we asked about what The Zohar says about the verse, “And David made Him a name.” It says that because David went in the ways of the Torah, it is as though he actually worked there. This is why it was said, “And do them,” to properly correct the holy name. We asked, Does the Creator need to make for Himself a name with the created beings? This is appropriate for a person. With respect to a person, you can say that he wants to have a good name, but not when it comes to the Creator with regard to the creatures. Can it be said that a person who walks into a henhouse wants to have a good name among the roosters, so they will respect him because of his importance? It is even more so with regard to the Creator and the creatures. What value do the creatures have compared to the Creator, that we can say that the Creator wants to have a good name so they will respect Him? Thus, what is the meaning of “And David made Him a name” by walking in the ways of Torah, meaning that man should make a good name for the Creator?
But since the Creator wants to give delight and pleasure to the creatures, so they will enjoy, if the creatures enjoy the Creator giving them abundance, then the creatures give Him a good name, meaning they say that the Creator is good and does good. This means that the name that the Creator will receive from the creatures, that He is good and does good, He does not need this name so they will respect Him by this. Rather, He wants them to feel this name, meaning that this name is not for the Creator, since He needs this name, but rather for the creatures. That is, the Creator wants the creatures to perceive Him in this way. In other words, it is a sign that they are enjoying their lives, and the evidence of this is that they are saying that the Creator is called The Good Who Does Good.
Therefore, there is a difference between man and the rest of the created beings. Man wants to have a name in order to be rewarded for it. His reward is that 1) The created beings respect him for doing good to others, 2) Sometimes a person does good to others in return for a reward in the next world.
But the name that the Creator wants to be given, The Good Who Does Good, is for the sake of the creatures. That is, when the creatures call Him The Good Who Does Good, the creatures are enjoying Him. Otherwise, they would not call Him The Good Who Does Good.
However, from the perspective of the correction of creation, in order for the creatures to have Dvekut [adhesion] when they receive the delight and pleasure, a person must receive everything in order to bestow. But since man is born by nature with a desire only to receive, we were given the Torah and Mitzvot by which we can emerge from the control of the will to receive for ourselves and do everything in order to bestow.
This is the meaning of what he says, “Because David walked in the ways of the Torah,” meaning that through the Torah, he corrected himself and was rewarded with vessels of bestowal. In these vessels, the abundance is poured from above and a person is rewarded with The Good Who Does Good, meaning that then he attains the real name of the Creator—The Good Who Does Good—because he received the good by correcting himself through the ways of the Torah. This is the meaning of “And David made Him a name,” meaning that David was rewarded with attaining the name of the Creator, called The Good Who Does Good.
However, concerning what it says, “Law is Malchut, ordinance is ZA,” this is the rule of the holy name, since “law and ordinance” is the name of the Creator. This is the meaning of “And do them.” We should understand this, since he says that law is regarded as Malchut, and ordinance is regarded as ZA. Therefore, they are two separate names, so how does he say that law and ordinance is the name of the Creator? They are two names! ZA is called “The Creator,” and Malchut is called Shechina [Divinity]. Thus, what does it mean that he says, “Law and order is the name of the Creator”?
It is known that there is no light without a Kli [vessel]. That is, the purpose of creation, to do good to His creations, created in the creatures a desire to receive delight. This desire is called Malchut, as he writes in The Study of the Ten Sefirot (Part 2, Answer 39), “She is called Malchut because from her extend a guidance of assertiveness and utter control,” like the fear of the kingship. It follows that the abundance that the Creator wants to give to the created beings is called Malchut, and the Sefira Malchut is the Kli that receives the light in each and every degree.
Baal HaSulam said that in general, the light is called “the Creator,” and the Kli that receives the light is called Malchut, or Shechina. This Kli is called Shechina because the light dwells inside the Kli. He said that this is the meaning of what The Zohar says, “He is Shochen [dweller]; she is Shechina [dwelling place],” meaning that they are one thing: light and Kli.
However, there is disparity of form between the light and the Kli, between the giver and the receiver, and disparity of form is called “separation.” Since all the creatures extend from Malchut, and Malchutis called “the assembly of Israel,” which is the collection of all the souls, in order for Malchutto be able to receive abundance for the creatures, Malchut must be united so as to be in equivalence of form with the light.
Because of this, we were given Torah and Mitzvot by which we can achieve equivalence of form with the Creator. That is, all those who engage in Torah and Mitzvot and intend to thereby receive desire and yearning to do everything with the intention to bestow contentment upon the Maker, meaning that as the Creator bestows upon the creatures, the creatures want to bestow upon the Creator, and by this each one corrects the root of his soul, which is Malchut, to work in order to bestow, which is called “unification,” meaning uniting the light and the Kli to be in equivalence of form, at that time the abundance pours out to the creatures, namely the delight and pleasure.
According to the above, we should interpret what we asked, Why does The Zohar say that law and ordinance is the name of the Creator? After all, they are two names, ZA and Malchut, which is “law” and “ordinance.” But as said above, ZA, who is called “ordinance,” is the light that is revealed. This is the abundance. Malchut is the receiver who should receive everything in order to bestow. This is called “law,” meaning that although man sees that he was born with a desire to receive for himself, and was born with mind and reason, and a person should weigh everything he wants to do with his reason, but here, in the work of the Creator, he is told that he should not look at what his mind tells him. Rather, he must accept this as a law, above reason.
Thus, although he was created by nature with a desire to receive, he should nonetheless believe in the words of our sages, who said that man should cling to the attributes of the Creator, as it is written, “As He is merciful, so you are merciful.” It follows that by accepting the Torah and Mitzvot as a law, although it is above reason, meaning that the body does not understand it, through faith above reason, a person can achieve equivalence of form.
That is, each person who engages in Torah and Mitzvot with the aim to bestow, by doing so, he unites ZA, who is called “ordinance,” meaning the light and abundance, with Malchut, who is the Kli that must receive the light, so its intention will also be to bestow, like the light. This is called “the unification of the Creator and His Shechina.” At that time, the name “One” is made, meaning that the two names, ZA, called “ordinance,” meaning HaVaYaH, and His Name, called Malchut, become one.
According to this, we should interpret what is written, “One who performs the Mitzvot of the Torah and walks in His ways, it is as though he made Him above. The Creator said, ‘as if he made Me.’ And they determined it. Hence, ‘And do them,’ as a law and ordinance, which are ZA and Malchut.” This means that by performing the Mitzvot of the Torah and walking in His ways, a person causes at the root of his soul that Malchut above will work in order to bestow, like ZA. This is called “unification.” It follows that the meaning of “and do them,” is the intention to make this unification of ZA and Malchut, called “law” and “ordinance.” And that, too, is called “the unification of the Creator and His Shechina.” This is the work that the created beings should do.
It follows that the meaning is that since they are two names, the creatures must make the unification, so it becomes one. When all creations achieve their wholeness, meaning when all are corrected at the root of their souls, the verse “On that day will be the Lord is one and His name, One,” will come true. This is the work of which it is written, “And do them.”
Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link