Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Is “Man” and What Is “Beast” in the Work?
Article No. 07, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
It is written in The Zohar (VaYera, Items 1-2), “‘The buds appear on the earth.’ This means that when the Creator created the world, He placed in the earth all the power it deserves. Everything was in the earth, but it did not bear fruit until man was created. When man was created, everything appeared in the world and the land revealed its fruits. Similarly, the heaven did not endow the earth with force until man came, and the heavens halted and did not rain upon the earth since man was absent. When man appeared, the buds immediately appeared in the land.”
We should understand what this comes to teach us. We should know that the purpose of creation was because of His desire to do good to His creations. However, in order to bring to light the perfection of His deeds, there were Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment, where the good is not revealed to the created beings before they are rewarded with working for the sake of the Creator. Otherwise, there is the matter of shame because of the disparity of form in the vessels of reception of the created beings. Hence, a person cannot receive the purpose of creation, which is the delight and pleasure, due to shame. This is called “separation and remoteness from the Creator.” That is, we understand the matter of the bread of shame as separation from the Creator to such an extent that this disparity of form makes it as “The wicked in their lives are called ‘dead.’”
Therefore, man’s work emerges from the beastly state and acquires the quality of “man.” It is as our sages said (Yevamot 61), “Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai says, ‘You are My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are ‘man.’ You are called ‘man,’ and the idol-worshippers are not called ‘man.’’” We already explained the importance of “man,” that the nations of the world are not called “man.” It is as our sages said (Berachot 6), “‘In the end, all is heard, fear God and observe His commandments, for this is the whole of man.’ What is ‘for this is the whole of man’? Rabbi Elazar said, ‘The whole world was created only for this.’” In other words, one who has fear of God is called “man,” and one who does not have fear of God, it means he is a “beast” and not “man.”
It therefore follows that before a person is rewarded with having fear of God, with doing everything for the sake of the Creator, he is still not regarded as a human being but as a beast. In other words, everything they do is only for their own sake, like beasts. And since there were Tzimtzum and concealment on the will to receive for one’s own sake, although for His part, the delight and pleasure are already revealed in Kedusha [holiness], since there is equivalence of form there between the light and the Kli [vessel], the lower ones—which were created—still do not have the quality of man, as it is written, “Man is born a wild ass.” It follows that he is placed under the Tzimtzum and the concealment, where there is no disclosure of light.
Thus, although all the delight and pleasure in the purpose of creation has emerged and been revealed by Him, it is all concealed from the lower ones. They see no delight and pleasure, but only a tiny light from the Kedusha, which fell into the Klipot [shells/peels], and on this the whole of the corporal world is sustained.
By this we can interpret what we asked concerning the interpretation of The Zohar about the verse, “‘The buds appear on the earth.’ When the Creator created the world, He placed in the earth all the power it deserves. Everything was in the earth, but it did not bear fruit until man was created.” We should interpret that although from the perspective of the Creator, everything has emerged, but they were all under the Tzimtzum and the concealment, meaning that there was no one who could enjoy it, since the concealment blocks everything and they did not see that there are delight and pleasure in the world.
“When man was created, everything appeared in the world and the land revealed its fruits.” This means that once a person acquires the quality of “man,” when he has fear of God, meaning that everything he does is for the sake of the Creator, the concealment is removed from him and he sees all the fruits that there are in the world, which he did not see before he acquired the quality of “man.”
When it says, “Similarly, the heaven did not endow the earth with force until man came,” it means that before one is rewarded with the quality of “man,” a person cannot have permanent faith that powers are given to the earth. That is, from above they give powers below, to the created beings, so they can ascend on the rungs of holiness. But afterward, when he is rewarded with the quality of “man,” he sees that all that exists on earth, in the lower ones, comes from above, and then he does not need to believe this, since then he attains it.
This is regarded as when the quality of man comes, everything is revealed in the world. This means that all that has been renewed now, existed also before, except he did not see this. This is the meaning of the words, “and the heavens halted and did not rain upon the earth since man was absent.” That is, before the quality of man is revealed, he would say that he is praying to the Creator every time but he is not being answered from above. This is called, “and the heavens halted and did not rain,” meaning he received nothing for his prayers.
The reason he could not see if he is answered is that he still did not have the quality of man. Hence, everything was concealed from him, and he could only believe that the Creator does hear the prayer of every mouth. But afterward, when man appeared, promptly, “the buds appeared in the land.” In other words, all the things that were thus far concealed became visible. When the quality of man came, everything appeared. That is, then we see the delight and pleasure that were in the purpose of creation has already been revealed in the world.
For this reason, one should be careful not to escape the campaign and say that the Creator does not want to help him, since he sees that he has asked him many times to help him, and he thinks as though he is not being looked at from above. However, whether or not he is praying, it is all the same, unchanging. Therefore, he does not see anything that will help him. Instead, he sees that he is as an empty Kli [vessel] that has nothing, and whatever the Creator wants to do, He will do. But for man’s part, he is powerless to do anything.
There is a rule: Where one sees no progress, one cannot make any effort. At that time, the only way is to have faith in the sages, who tell us that we must believe that such is the order of the work, that a person must not see what he is doing. He should believe that this concealment is for his best, that it will lead him to be rewarded with Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator. If he overcomes and believes that it is all for his best and the Creator does hear the prayer of every mouth, but there should be an awakening from below, “and the salvation of the Lord is as the blink of an eye,” meaning when all the sparks gather, one should scrutinize and ask that they will enter the Kedusha, and then he receives the help at once.
However, when one feels that he is empty, meaning that he feels that he has neither Torah nor Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] or any good deeds, what can he do? At that time, he should ask the Creator to shine for him so he can obtain the greatness and exaltedness of the Creator above reason. In other words, although he is still unworthy of feeling the greatness and exaltedness of the Creator, since he has still not been rewarded with the quality of “man,” and the Tzimtzum and concealment of the Creator are still on him, as it is written, “Do not hide Your face from me,” he still asks the Creator to give him the strength to receive greatness and importance of the Creator above reason.
It is as Baal HaSulam says about what our sages said (Iruvin 19), “Even the empty ones among you are filled with Mitzvot like a pomegranate.” He said that Rimon [pomegranate] comes from the word Romemut [exaltedness], which is above reason. Hence, the meaning of “Even the empty ones among you are filled with Mitzvot like a pomegranate” is that the measure of the filling is according to his ability to go above reason, which is called “exaltedness.”
In other words, emptiness can be precisely where there is no presence and he feels that he is devoid of Torah, Mitzvot, and good deeds. When this continues over time when a person wants to work for the sake of the Creator and not for himself, then he sees that everything he does is not for the sake of the Creator but only for his own benefit. In that state, he feels that he has nothing and he is completely empty, and he can fill this place only with a pomegranate, meaning if he goes above reason, which is called “exaltedness of the Creator.” In other words, he should ask the Creator to give him the power to believe above reason in the greatness of the Creator. That is, the fact that he wants the exaltedness of the Creator does not mean that he says, “If You let me attain the exaltedness and greatness of the Creator, I will agree to work. Rather, he wants the Creator to give him the power to believe in the greatness of the Creator, and in this he fills the emptiness in which he is in right now.”
It follows that were it not for the emptiness, that is, if he did not work on the path toward achieving Dvekut, meaning in equivalence of form, called “in order to bestow,” but rather like the general public, who suffice for the practices they observe, these people do not feel themselves as empty, but as full of Mitzvot.
However, specifically those who want to achieve bestowal feel the emptiness within them, and they need the greatness of the Creator. They can fill this emptiness specifically with exaltedness, called “full of Mitzvot,” to the extent that they ask the Creator to give them the power to be able to go above reason, which is called “exaltedness.” In other words, they ask the Creator to give them power in exaltedness that is above reason in greatness and importance of the Creator. They do not want the Creator to let them attain this, since they want to subjugate themselves with unconditional surrender, but they ask for help from the Creator, and to that extent they can fill the empty place with Mitzvot. This is the meaning of “filled with Mitzvot like a pomegranate.”
According to the above, we should interpret the words of The Zohar (VaYera, Item 167), “When the Creator loves a person, He sends him a gift. What is the gift? A poor, so as to be rewarded by Him. And when he is rewarded by Him, the Creator draws upon him a string of grace that extends from the right side, spreads over his head, and registers him so that when the Din [judgment] comes to the world, that saboteur will be careful not to harm him. For this reason, the Creator first gives him something with which to be rewarded.”
We should understand what is poor in the work, and what is “a string of grace,” and what is the judgment that comes to the world. It is known that “poor” means poor in knowledge. What is poor in knowledge? There are two categories in the work:
1) The general public, who are primarily about practicing. Concerning the intention, to make everything for the sake of the Creator, they pay no attention to this. They engage in Torah and Mitzvot and are generally whole, feeling no deficiencies about themselves. But because our sages said that one should be humble, they search for deficiencies in themselves in order to observe, “Be very, very humble” (Avot 4:4).
2) Those who want to work in order to bestow and engage in Torah and Mitzvot so it will bring them to be able to do everything in order to bestow and not for their own sake. This is as our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.” Thus, these workers understand that each day they should advance, be rich in knowledge, meaning to understand each time that it is worthwhile to work only in order to bestow. Yet, in fact, they see that each day when they want to walk on the path where everything is only for the sake of the Creator, the body understands differently each time. It begins to understand that it is better to work for one’s own sake than to work for the sake of the Creator. At that time, they are baffled over why it turns out the opposite of what they thought. They pray to the Creator to send them the understanding and the knowledge so the body will understand that it is worthwhile to work for the sake of the Creator. Yet, they see otherwise, and many times they despair because the Creator does not hear the prayer, and sometimes they want to escape the campaign.
The answer, says The Zohar, is that “When the Creator loves a person, He sends him a gift. And what is the gift? A poor.” In other words, the fact that one sees that he is poor in knowledge, that the body does not understand why it needs to work for the sake of the Creator and not for its own sake, the Creator sends him the gift of the thought and the feeling that he is poor, since He loves him. But why does the Creator love him? It is because he wants to work for the sake of the Creator. For this reason, the Creator loves him.
However, he cannot, even though he wants to, since it is against nature. Man was born with a will to receive for his own benefit. Since there is a correction that as long as one is not ready to walk on the path of truth, he will not be able to see the truth because it will harm him, those people who do not intend to walk on the path of bestowal are not shown the truth, that they are incapable of going against the nature of the will to receive. They think that all they lack is some desire, meaning that if they agree to walk on the path of for the sake of the Creator, they can do everything for the sake of the Creator. For this reason, anything that a person thinks that he can do by himself, he does not suffer from not doing it, since it is easy. Therefore, it does not pain him that he is not working for the sake of the Creator although he knows that we should do everything for the sake of the Creator.
This stems from the rule that our sages said, “Anything that is about to be collected is deemed collected” (any debt that a person is going to receive back from the borrower, it is as though he already took his debt because it is certain, he knows he will receive). Hence, because he knows that whenever he wants, he will be able to do everything for the sake of the Creator, he does not feel a lack although he is still not doing it. This is the correction for those who work in the manner of the general public.
However, those who truly want to walk on the path of doing everything in order to bestow, the Creator loves those people, as it is written in The Zohar, the Creator sends them a gift. What is the gift? A poor, meaning poor in knowledge. In other words, the body does not understand how there can be such a thing that we will be able to work for the sake of the Creator, as it is against nature. At that time, he sees that he is poor even in actions. That is, he is not only poor in knowledge, but in practice, too. Put differently, he sees that he does not have even one deed that is for the sake of the Creator. Rather, everything is for his own benefit.
Then, a person becomes needy of the Creator to help him because he is the poorest of all, in mind as well as in heart. He sees then that he is truly wicked, meaning that he cannot justify how the Creator behaves with him, and he sees that even the prayers he prays to the Creator are as if the Creator does not hear his prayers, and many times he falls into despair. However, a person must believe that all those feelings that he feels come to him from above, that the Creator sends them to him, and that they are a gift from above.
This is the meaning of saying “And what is the gift? A poor, so as to be rewarded by him.” The question is, How can we say that poverty is a gift? He answers this, “so as to be rewarded by him.” In other words, by seeing that he is poor, that he has nothing, a person has a complete lack, meaning a complete desire for the Creator’s help, for in order to receive the filling from the Creator, one needs a complete desire—when one sees that no one can help but the Creator. Thus, through poverty, he acquires a need to make his vessels of reception worthy of the Creator giving him the desire to bestow instead of the will to receive.
This is the meaning of the words “And when he is rewarded by him,” meaning that through the poor he acquired a complete need and lack, then “the Creator draws upon him a string of grace that extends from the right side.” Put differently, the Creator gives him the desire to bestow, called Hesed, meaning a giver, which is called “right,” meaning he receives the second nature called “desire to bestow.”
This is the meaning of the words, “spreads over his head.” “Head” means knowledge. The Hesed that a person receives is on his head, meaning above his head, meaning above reason. Through the string of Hesed, he can walk above reason.
He says, “When the Din [judgment] comes to the world, that saboteur will be careful not to harm him.” This means that since the string of Hesed is on his head, meaning that he is in faith above reason, when the judgment comes—meaning the will to receive, on which there was a judgment that no light shines in it—and he wants to harm a person with its questions, since the string of Hesed, called “faith above reason,” is stretched over that person’s head, it can no longer harm him. The saboteur comes with the arguments of the will to receive, called “the quality of judgment,” meaning that he argues with his reason. Hence, once he has been rewarded with a string of Hesed in both mind and heart, and goes above reason in regard to everything, thanks to the string of Hesed, it cannot harm him any longer.
However, when a person feels that he is poor, meaning that he has no awe when he wants to work for the sake of the Creator, but to the contrary, at that time he sees that to him, the Shechina [Divinity] is in the dust. That is, to him, she has the form of dust. “Dust” is as it is written about the serpent, that the Creator said to the serpent, “You shall eat dust all your life.” Our sages explained that whatever the serpent eats, it tastes the taste of dust. In the work it means that as long as one has not corrected the sin of the tree of knowledge, he tastes the taste of dust. When one wants to do his deeds in order to bestow, which is called “Shechina in the dust,” he must not tell his body, called “will to receive.”
In other words, he must not tell the will to receive for oneself that he does not feel any awe with regard to spirituality. He should not even discuss work matters with his will to receive, since he must know that no arguments with the will to receive will help him. Therefore, when a person comes to a state of being poor, he must only ask the Creator to help him and give him the strength to overcome it.
This is as our sages said (Avot de Rabbi Natan, end of Chapter 7), “If a man comes to the seminary and is treated disrespectfully, he should not go and tell his wife.” We must understand what this teaches us in the work. Also, is one permitted to demand respect? After all, our sages said, “Be very, very humble.”
We should interpret that a person coming to the seminary to learn Torah, the Torah is as in “for they are our lives and the length of our days.” In other words, the Torah is respected because all the good things are in it. He came to the seminary but the Torah did not respect him. That is, the Torah was concealed from him and he was not shown any of the glory and importance that there are in the Torah. Instead, he tastes the taste of dust. For this reason, he wants to consult with his will to receive if he should continue. They say, “He should not go and tell his wife,” meaning the will to receive. Instead, he should tell everything to the Creator, meaning that the Creator will open his eyes and he will be rewarded with the glory of the Torah.
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link