Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Does It Mean that Charity to the Poor Makes the Holy Name, in the Work?
Article No. 31, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
It says (BeHukotai, Item 20), “‘I will give your rains in their season.’ Each one will give his strength over you. Who are they? It is that correction that you made, unifying that Holy Name. That unification of law and ordinance will bestow upon you. It is written, ‘Keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice.’ Since it is written, ‘Keep the way of the Lord,’ why does it need to write, ‘To do righteousness and justice’? He replies, ‘Since one who keeps the ways of Torah, it is as though he does righteousness and justice. And what are righteousness and justice? It is the Creator.’ Rabbi Shimon wept and said, ‘Woe unto people who do not know and do not consider the glory of their Master, for who makes the Holy Name every day? One who gives alms to the poor. One who makes this awakening from below, meaning gives alms, it is as though he made the Holy Name in completeness: As one does below, so it awakens above.’”
We should understand the connection between alms and the unification of righteousness and justice. Also, what is the connection between righteousness and justice and making the Holy Name? We should also understand what it means that a person makes the Holy Name, since we understand that the Holy Name makes man and not that man makes the Holy Name.
We should interpret this in the work, what this comes to teach us. It is known that the essence of our work in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] is to be able to receive the delight and pleasure that He contemplated giving to the created beings. The whole delay is in that we haven’t the Kelim [vessels] to receive the abundance that comes from the Giver to the creatures, meaning for the creatures to have equivalence of form, called “As He is merciful, so you are merciful,” meaning for the creatures to also have vessels of bestowal like the Giver.
Therefore, when a person takes upon himself the kingdom of heaven, the body asks, “What will you get out of this work of accepting the kingdom of heaven?” Our sages said about this (Pesachim 50), “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].” This is as it is written in The Zohar, that there is the matter of fear when he observes Torah and Mitzvot in order to be rewarded in this world and in the next world. But the fear that is important is “because He is great and ruling,” meaning not in order to be rewarded, but because he says that he has the privilege of serving a great King, and this is why he wants to observe the Torah and Mitzvot.
Although a person understands that there is the matter of serving the King, man’s body is created with a nature of a desire to receive delight only from things that benefit itself. The body cannot understand serving someone else, so that the other will enjoy, meaning that he will enjoy someone else enjoying his work. That is, it is unnatural for an employee, who works for the owner, and the owner really benefits from the work of the employee, that the employee will tell the owner, “I don’t want you to pay me; it is enough for me that you enjoy the things I fixed for you because you regretted the broken tools you had. But now that I fixed them, you are enjoying this and I don’t want any payment for my work.” This is against nature. On the contrary, if you are enjoying my work, you should pay me more than I requested for my work.
Accordingly, we can understand how it is possible fora person to have the strength to work for the sake of the Creator without any reward. The first state is when a person wants to observe Torah and Mitzvot so it will bring him the cure, which is “the light in the Torah reforms him.” That is, through them, he will obtain the second nature called “desire to bestow.” Then, he will be able to serve the King without any reward, and his only reward will be that he is delighting the King. The Zohar calls this time, when he observes Torah and Mitzvot in order to obtain the desire to bestow, “613 Eitin[Aramaic: counsels].”
The second state is after he has acquired the desire to bestow. This is the state of receiving the delight and pleasure that are in the 613 Mitzvot, which The Zohar calls “613 Pekudin [Aramaic: deposits].” This means as it is written in the Sulam [Ladder commentary on The Zohar], that the delight and pleasure are there as a deposit.
For this reason, man’s work when he takes upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven is to make it as a “charity for the poor.” It is known that The Zohar calls Malchut “poor and meager.” We should interpret this as not wanting to receive any return. This is similar to giving charity to a poor person and not asking him for anything in return. That is, we do not even want the poor person’s gratitude, since real charity is called “concealed giving,” which means that he does not see to whom he gives. Therefore, giving the charity was devoid of any gratitude from the poor.
It follows that when a person accepts the burden of the kingdom of heaven above reason, he does not hope for the Creator to thank him for it. Thus, the body asks, “Why are you taking upon yourself the burden of Torah and Mitzvot?” In that state, when he wants to take upon himself to observe Torah and Mitzvot without any reward, a person needs the Creator to give him the strength to overcome the body’s question, and have the strength to do the holy work gladly.
It follows that precisely when one works in order to come to work that is purely holy, without any mixture of waste in there, he becomes needy of the Creator’s help. Each time he wants to reassume the burden of the kingdom of heaven, he must work anew. A person must believe the words of the ARI, who says, “Each and every day, new discernments that have fallen into the Klipot [shells/peels] are corrected, and one day is not like the next, or one moment like its following.”
Therefore, assuming the burden of the kingdom of heaven anew corrects new discernments into Kedusha [holiness]. For this reason, when a person wants to take upon himself the kingdom of heaven anew, the body asks, “What will you get out of working for the sake of the Creator?” And there is no other way but to ask the Creator to give him the power of faith above the reason of the body. In the words of our sages, this is called “Had the Creator not helped him, he would not overcome it.”
According to the above, we should interpret what we asked about the relation that The Zoharexplains about the verse, “Keep the way of the Lord,” why it had to be written, “to do righteousness and justice.” He replies that “one who keeps the ways of Torah, it is as though he does righteousness and justice.” As said above, since man does not have the strength to assume the kingdom of heaven above the reason of the body, but only by the Segula [merit/quality/power] of Torah and Mitzvot, which is the way of the Creator, the ways of Torah, by which a person is rewarded with giving alms to the poor, since “the light in the Torah reforms him,” then he will be rewarded with doing “righteousness and justice.”
This is the meaning of what he says, that by keeping the way of the Lord, they will achieve the degree of doing “righteousness and justice.” Yet, what are “righteousness and justice”? That is, what is this unification that The Zohar says is called “making the Holy Name?” In other words, what does it mean that by giving alms, he makes the Holy Name?
As said above, “righteousness and justice” mean that the Creator is called “justice” and Malchut is called “righteousness,” which is the quality of judgment, on which there was a judgment, since Malchut is called a Kli [sing. of Kelim] that receives the abundance from the Creator. There were Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment on the vessels of reception in order to receive, meaning a judgment that it is forbidden to use the vessels of reception as they are due to disparity of form between the receiver, who is called Malchut, and the Giver, who is called “the Creator.” It follows that there is separation above where the abundance cannot spread to the creatures because of the disparity of form.
For this reason, there was a correction for the lower ones to give “alms to the poor.” In terms of the work, when they take upon themselves the burden of the kingdom of heaven without anything in return, but rather as one gives charity to the poor and does not want to receive anything in return for this, each one causes at the root of his soul, above in Malchut, that it will also work only in order to bestow. It follows that they cause the unification of the Creator and His Shechina [Divinity]. This means that by a person doing everything in order to bestow, alms, called “justice,” extend from the Creator to Malchut. In other words, through the abundance that Malchut, called “righteousness,” receives, she is now called “charity,” due to what she receives from the Creator.
In other words, by the lower ones giving alms to Malchut, the Creator, too, gives alms to Malchut. At that time, Malchut receives the name “charity.” This is the meaning of the words “One who gives alms to the poor, it is as though he made the Holy Name complete, as it should be,” meaning connects her with the Creator, who gives her everything, as though he made the Holy Name in completeness, “As one does below, so it awakens above.”
This means that the kingdom of heaven is called “poor” because she has nothing to give to the creatures. If the creatures come to her with vessels of reception, then she is poor and meager, since the creatures cause in Malchut the reception that exists in the quality of Malchut, and this causes separation between Malchut and the Creator, who is the Giver. Hence, the name is not complete because in terms of the name, the Creator is called The Good Who Does Good. Since they cause the reception that there is in Malchut, at the root of their souls, and there was a Tzimtzum of the abundance on the quality of reception, by this they prevent the abundance from spreading to the lower ones.
But if the creatures give alms, meaning do their actions in order to bestow, they cause a desire to bestow at the root of their soul, and then they cause equivalence of form above, and the abundance flows to the created beings. Then, the name The Good Who Does Good is revealed to the lower ones and this is considered that they make “the Holy Name in completeness.” In other words, everything comes by directing their actions to be in order to bestow.
It follows that there are two states to man: 1) At the beginning of the work, we must begin in Lo Lishma. That is, everything he does is in order to receive reward in this world and in the next world. At that time, the Creator is called for him “King of the Nations,” as it is written, “Who will not fear You, King of the Nations.”
In the work, we should interpret that when one works for one’s own benefit, he is regarded as “gentiles.” He has still not achieved the quality of “Israel,” where his actions are Yashar-El [straight to the Creator]. It follows that the person is serving a king who is called “King of the Nations.” Thus, what sort of greatness of the King can there be in a person who is in a state of “gentile,” although he has fear, as it is written, “Who will not fear You, King of the Nations”?
We should know that this is very important. That is, a person must know that any contact he has with the Creator is very important. Therefore, when a person works for a reward, we must not slight these works, although there is certainly a greater degree than the degree of “King of the Nations.” This means that when a person is rewarded with the quality of “Israel,” certainly in his current attainment, when he is at the degree of “Israel,” he has a better understanding of the greatness of the Creator, to the point that he is delighted that he is serving a great King and he has no need to receive anything in return for his work.
Concerning work for the sake of the Creator, we should interpret what our sages said (Midrash Tanchuma, p 235b), “‘If your brother becomes poor and stretches out his hand,’ the writing says, ‘Do not rob a poor, for he is poor.’ What is ‘Do not rob a poor’? Is there a person who robs the poor? What does one rob of someone who has nothing? However, if you were accustomed, if you were used to sustain him and you retracted and said, ‘How long will I provide for this one?’ and you refrain from giving him, if you did so, know that you are robbing him. This is ‘Do not rob the poor, for he is poor.’”
According to the above, we should interpret that charity to the poor refers to Malchut, who is called “poor and meager” because she has nothing to give back to man. If a person works for the sake of the Creator and wants nothing in return, but works only for the sake of the Creator, but sometimes, in the middle of the work, thoughts come to him that he is always working for the sake of the Creator and wants nothing in return, he will certainly be rewarded for this with a higher degree, meaning feel more flavor in Torah and work, since he has already done his part, meaning he says that he is assuming the kingdom of heaven without any reward, meaning he is not even receiving a flavor in Torah and Mitzvot in return for his work, so if his intention is already for the sake of the Creator, called “Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator,” he should have felt vitality in his work. Yet, he does not see any progress in the work; therefore, he wishes to stop this work of bestowal and work like the rest of the people—in order to receive reward.
The text says about this: “Do not rob a poor, for he is poor.” The Midrash asks, “Is there a person who robs the poor? What does one rob of someone who has nothing? However, if you were accustomed to sustain him and you retracted and said, ‘How long will I provide for this one?’ and you refrain from giving him, know that you are robbing him.”
It follows that the text warns us that one should not say, “I have already worked a lot on achieving the aim to bestow, and I did not obtain the delight and pleasure one should obtain when working with the intention to bestow, called “alms to the poor.” Also, I was promised that I will nonetheless obtain the light, called “power,” to be able to do everything in order to bestow, which is the light that is revealed when a person observes Torah and Mitzvot in the manner of “613 counsels,” in order to obtain vessels of bestowal, called “the light for the completion of the Kelim,” so they can work with the Kelim in order to bestow.” He did not obtain that force, either, although the whole time he engaged in Torah and Mitzvot it was with this intention. “Therefore,” says the person, “I have given You many exertions but I have acquired nothing, so I want to stop this work.”
This is the meaning of saying, “How long will I provide for this one?” In other words, I have given You much, but I have received no spiritual progress in return. “Therefore,” says the person, “How long will I have to work in a manner of ‘alms to the poor’?” At that point, a person wants to escape the campaign and return to working like the general public, when he was working in the manner of “Who will not fear You, King of the Nations?” As said above, when a person works in observing Torah and Mitzvot for the purpose of self-love, there is no place for working for the sake of the Creator. This is regarded as the king whose Torah and Mitzvot a person observes is called “King of the Nations” and not “King of Israel,” since then a person is not regarded as “Israel” but as a “gentile.”
The text warns about this, “Do not escape the campaign; do not rob the poor, for he is poor.” We should interpret “Do not rob the poor.” It means that you should not stop the alms that you are giving him, meaning the acceptance of the kingdom of heaven without any reward, for although you claim that you have already given him many alms, know that this is incorrect. The meaning of “for he is poor” is that as long as you think that Malchut, who is poor, should give you anything, you are not saying she is poor. That is, if a person demands of Malchut to reward him, he blemishes the name of Malchut, who is called “poor and meager,” since you are demanding something of her.
Rather, a person should pray to the Creator to give him the strength to be content and happy from being able to work for Malchut even when she hides herself and does not show him any nearing, and his taste in the work is as if he has now begun anew, meaning that he cannot say that he feels any flavor of which he can say that for this flavor he is working and laboring in assuming the kingdom of heaven.
That is, he has no support or basis that he can say, “This is why I engage in Torah and Mitzvot.” This is called “hanging the earth on nothing,” and it is called “completely above reason.” Although it is completely against the body’s nature, he prays to the Creator for this, to give him this power. This is the meaning of what is written, “Do not rob the poor, for he is poor.” One should always want to stay, take upon himself the kingdom of heaven, and his basis is “for he is poor.”
This is as Baal HaSulam said about what is written (in the poem, “A Woman of Valor”), “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain; a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” He said that when one assumes the burden of the kingdom of heaven, sometimes the kingdom of heaven is graceful, and sometimes he feels that there is beauty in the kingdom of heaven. The writing says about this: “It is all a lie.” That is, this whole basis on which he builds his kingdom of heaven is a lie.
However, a “woman,” who is the kingdom of heaven, that a person takes upon himself, should be because of the fear of the Creator, meaning that his fear will be as it is written in The Zohar, “The essence of fear should be because he is great and ruling” (“Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Item 191), as it is said, “Fear, which is the most important, is when one fears one’s Master because He is great and ruling, the essence and the root of all the worlds, and everything is considered nothing compared to Him, and he will place his will in that place.”
It therefore follows that prayer is the most important. A person should pray to the Creator to give him the required force for anything that concerns the work, both in Torah and in prayer. Hence, one should ask of the Creator to give him the need, meaning a desire for the work. Sometimes, a person comes to a state where he has no desire for anything, meaning that he does not see anything good before him that he should want, that will bring him vitality, that will give him a need to exert in order to obtain something. Rather, the person stays without any desire of which he can say that it is worth laboring in order to obtain it. He does not see this.
At that time, he must ask the Creator to give him some desire for something, meaning that this thing will give him desire to work. According to a person’s understanding, the request will be that the Creator will let him see something that will bring him delight and pleasure. This is as our sages said, “The eye sees and the heart covets.” That is, if the Creator lets him see something for which it is worthwhile to work, the coveting in the heart will make him seek ways by which to obtain the matter. It follows that the prayer that a person prays now is only for the purpose of desire, called a Kli[vessel].
This means that the first prayer that a person should pray is for a desire and lack that the Creator will give him to ask for a deficiency, so that if he obtains the satisfaction of the deficiency, that satisfaction will fill man in completeness. That is, the Creator will notify him what is the wholeness he should achieve, so as to know what it is he truly needs. And in order to know what he truly needs, this is done through the Torah, where by the Segula of the Torah, the light in it reforms him, meaning that the Torah lets him know what he is missing.
However, a person should demand this of the Torah, meaning for the Torah to guide him toward attaining the truth. Also, a person should find the connection between him and the Torah, for his desire to know his connection with the Torah is already regarded as a prayer. This means that by this he already connects himself to the Creator when he learns Torah, since he is asking the Creator—when he engages in Torah—to understand the connection between the Torah and the person who is learning the Torah. And once he has prayed for the Creator to give him the deficiency, he must ask the Creator to give him the satisfaction of the deficiency, meaning to be rewarded with achieving the degree of man’s completeness.
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link