Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Are Truth and Falsehood in the Work?
Article No. 40, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91
We should understand how truth and falsehood pertain to the work of the Creator. This implies that one can be a servant of the Creator even though it is a lie. How can such a thing be said?
It is written in The Zohar (“Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Item 175), “The share of the Creator is to delight the poor, for on these days, the holidays, the Creator comes to see His broken Kelim[vessels], and sees that they have nothing with which to rejoice. He weeps for them.”
He interprets these words in the Sulam [Ladder commentary on The Zohar] as follows: First we need to understand the interpretation of our sages (Midrash Rabbah, Portion 6), that at the time of the creation of the world, when He said to the angels, “Let us make man in our image,” Hesed [mercy] said, “Let him be created, for he does Hassadim [mercies]; Truth said, “Let him not be created, for he is all lies”; Tzedek [justice] said, “Let him be created, for he does righteousness”; Peace said, “Let him not be created, for he is all strife.” What did the Creator do? He took Truth, and cast it to the earth.
We know the words of our sages, “One should always engage in Torah and Mitzvot[commandments/good deeds], even if Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], since from Lo Lishma he comes to Lishma [for Her sake].” Because of his lowliness, a person cannot engage in His Mitzvot right away in order to bring contentment to his Maker. By nature, he cannot make a move if not for his own sake. Hence, first he must engage in Mitzvot Lo Lishma, meaning out of self-benefit. However, he still draws abundance of Kedusha [holiness] while performing the Mitzvot, and through the abundance that he draws, he will eventually come to engage in Mitzvot Lishma.
Truth complained about the creation of man, saying “He is all lies,” etc., how can such a man be created, who from the beginning engages in Torah and Mitzvot in complete falsehood, meaning Lo Lishma? But Hesed said, “Let him be created, for he does mercies,” etc., by which he will gradually be corrected until he can engage in all the Mitzvot in order to bestow. Likewise, Peace complained that “He is all strife,” but Tzedek said, “Let him be created” because through the Mitzva [singular of Mitzvot] of charity to the poor that he does, he will gradually approach the quality of bestowal until he comes to engage Lishma. Once all of their arguments were heard, the Creator agreed with the angels Hesed and Tzedakah, and threw Truth to the ground, meaning permitted engaging in Mitzvotinitially in Lo Lishma, for even though it is a lie, it will eventually become Lishma, and then Truth will rise up from the earth.
Maimonides says there (Hilchot Teshuva, Chapter 5), “Therefore, when teaching little ones, women, and uneducated people, they are taught to work only out of fear and in order to receive reward. Until they gain much knowledge and acquire much wisdom, they are taught that secret little-by-little.”
From the words of Maimonides, we see that we must begin the work of the Creator in Lo Lishma, and we must not even reveal that there is such a matter as Lishma to them. Rather, they must know that they’re observing Torah and Mitzvot in order to receive reward is real wholeness, and there is nothing to add to this, other than in quantity, meaning to dedicate more time and effort to observe Torah and Mitzvot. They should be happy that by observing Torah and Mitzvot they will have plentiful reward.
It follows that in order for them to be complete servants of the Creator, they must not know that there is the matter of Lishma, since they are still not ready to begin to work Lishma. Hence, should they be told that the main work is Lishma, they will say, “How can we observe Torah and Mitzvot Lo Lishma if this is not the real work?” And since they still cannot work Lishma, they will remain empty handed both ways.
In other words, Lo Lishma will not be important to them, and they will see that they cannot work Lishma. For this reason, it is forbidden to reveal to them that there is a matter that we must work in order to bestow. But when they do not know, they think that they are true servants of the Creator and that they are righteous. Hence, from this they will have strength to work, since they are happy that they are servants of the Creator, and they consider other people, who do not observe Torah and Mitzvot as they do, as beasts and animals, and that they have no more brains than that of beasts and animals.
Concerning the scrutinies, he wrote in Tree of Life (presented in Beit Shaar HaKavanot, Item 107): “The Creator gave the Torah and Mitzvot to Israel only in order to sort, cleanse, and remove the dross from the silver, which is the dressing for the soul. Through man’s intention in Torah and Mitzvot, the clothing of the soul is completed. Through the Torah, Noga of Yetzira is cleansed, a clothing of Ruach, and through practical Mitzvot, Noga of Assiya is cleansed, and becomes a clothing of Nefesh.”
This means that we cannot say that the performance of Mitzvot and Torah without an intention are not true. Rather, it is implied from the words of the ARI that through all of man’s actions, the scrutinies of Kedusha are sorted out of the Klipot [shells/peels], to which they descended at the time of the breaking of the vessels. However, we should distinguish between Mitzvot without an intention and Torah without an intention, and between Torah and Mitzvot with an intention, as was said, “and through the practical Mitzvot, Noga of Assiya is cleansed and becomes a clothing for the Nefesh.”
Concerning Lo Lishma, which is called “a lie,” we should interpret that since the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations, and in order for man to obtain this in practice, meaning to see that the delight and pleasure are revealed in the world, the creatures cannot see this before they have the real Kelim by which to see the delight and pleasure revealed in the world.
Therefore, to the creatures, it is still not revealed that the purpose of creation is really to do good to His creations, since they see that they are suffering torments in the world, each in his own way. Thus, we can interpret that as long as the creatures observe Torah and Mitzvot not with the aim to bestow, they are unable to see the truth that there is in the purpose of creation—to do good.
Therefore, this means that concerning those who observe Torah and Mitzvot and have not been rewarded with aiming to bestow, although in truth scrutinies were made for the Kedusha by observing Torah and Mitzvot even if without the intention, meaning that the Kedusha increases through their actions, this is only with respect to the existence of Kedusha. Nevertheless, the creatures are still unable to see what happens through their actions, meaning what corrections are done by their work even if Lo Lishma.
It follows that when we speak of falsehood, that we say that Lo Lishma is called “a lie,” it is with respect to the creatures. That is, they are still unable to see the truth about observing Torah and Mitzvot without the intention. But in truth, corrections and scrutinies are made in Kedusha.
We must believe the words of the ARI that each and every act in Torah and Mitzvot makes corrections to such an extent that we should ask, concerning what we see, that the rule is that if a person can make his neighbor not desecrate the Shabbat [Sabbath], if for example, the neighbor needs his help, and because of it the neighbor will observe Shabbat, then a person must act so he will not desecrate the Shabbat.
We should ask, But if there is no intention here to observe the Shabbat, and he observes the commandment that his friend imposes on him, so what good can emerge from such work? However, every single act we do, even without an intention, does its thing. That is, it makes scrutinies for Kedusha, except the creatures still cannot see the corrections because they might blemish, since they are still under the governance of the will to receive.
For this reason, before he sees the corrections that are done by him, he still cannot receive from the abundance that is revealed through his actions. Hence, when they do not see the abundance that is revealed, they cannot blemish since they do not see that there is something to receive. However, one must believe that each and every act in Torah and work is important, and so he must believe.
Only after one is rewarded with receiving the second nature, called “desire to bestow,” he will be rewarded with seeing the truth, that the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations. It follows that when we say that Lo Lishma is called “a lie,” it is from man’s perspective, for man still does not see that the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations.
Accordingly, we can understand why Lishma is called “truth,” since by being rewarded with Lishma, a person should achieve the degree of “love of the Creator,” by His behavior with the person himself. That is, when a person receives abundance from the Creator, he sees the truth, that the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations. Moreover, a person should be rewarded with seeing that Providence behaves with all creations in a manner of good and doing good.
This is a great degree, when a person sees how the Creator behaves with him in person in a manner of good and doing good. However, a person must see that the Creator behaves this way with all creations—in a manner of good and doing good. Because of this, Lishma is called “truth,” for by work in the state of Lishma, a person is rewarded with seeing the truth, that the Creator behaves with all creations in a manner of good and doing good.
This is as it is written in the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot” (Item 97): “For this reason, our sages warned us concerning the necessary condition in the practice of Torah, that it will be specifically Lishma, in a way that one will be awarded life through it, for it is a Torah of life, and set his mind and heart to find ‘the light of the King’s face’ in it, that is, the attainment of open Providence, called ‘light of the face.’”
In other words, as long as one has not been rewarded with Lishma, he is in concealment of the face, meaning that he still does not see how the Creator leads the world as The Good Who Does Good. It follows that he is in a state of falsehood. That is, when he says what they said, that the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations, it is a lie, since we see the opposite.
But one who learns Torah Lishma is rewarded with seeing the truth because he himself has been rewarded with seeing the delight and pleasure he is receiving from the Creator. Moreover, he must come to a state of wholeness and see how the Creator behaves with the whole world with the purpose of doing good to His creations. It follows that truth and falsehood pertain to the attainment of the person himself. Accordingly, it follows that one who learns Torah Lo Lishma, which is considered a lie, is only because he is unfit to see the truth, that the Creator leads the world in a manner of good and doing good.
This is as the ARI says, that all of man’s actions in Kedusha make corrections, but a person still cannot see what is done with the Torah and Mitzvot that the creatures do even without the intention, meaning even in Lo Lishma, but for their own sake. For this reason, Maimonides says that we must begin the order of the work with children and women in order to receive reward, since the performance of Mitzvot in themselves make corrections.
Baal HaSulam said about what our sages said (Avot, Chapter 3:18), “Israel are beloved, for they are called ‘The children of the Creator.’ They are greatly favored, for they are called ‘The children of the Creator,’ as was said, ‘You are the children of the Lord your God.’ He said that being called ‘The children of the Creator’ is in general, but being greatly favored is in person. He asks, what is being ‘greatly favored’? He replied, ‘The great favor is in that it is known to them, meaning that they know and feel that they are called ‘The children of the Creator.’”
Here we can interpret similarly. That is, in terms of the action without the intention to bestow, called Lo Lishma, the people of Israel are called “children of the Creator,” because they engage in Torah and Mitzvot in practice, this, too, makes great corrections, as the ARI said. However, it is not known to them. In other words, they cannot see what corrections are done by their work.
Conversely, after they are rewarded with Lishma, it becomes known to them what they are doing. This is as it is written, “Rabbi Meir says, ‘Anyone who engages in Torah Lishma is rewarded with many things. Moreover, the whole world is worthwhile for him, and the secrets of Torah are revealed to him.’”
We should interpret that “the whole world is worthwhile for him” means that he already see the truth about the purpose of creation, that it is to do good to His creations. The evidence of this is that at that time, he sees that “the whole world is worthwhile for him,” since he feels the delight and pleasure.
Also, we should interpret the meaning of “the secrets of Torah are revealed to him.” This means that he is rewarded with seeing how through his work in Torah and Mitzvot, corrections are done above. But before he is rewarded with engaging in Torah and Mitzvot Lishma, although corrections are done through his work in Torah and Mitzvot, he cannot see it before he is rewarded with vessels of bestowal.
Accordingly, we should interpret what our sages said (Avot 1:17), “It is not the learning that is the most important, but the work.” Here before us are two things: 1) actions, 2) intentions.
On one hand, we understand that the intention matters most. In other words, when a person does something, good or bad, we should regard the intention, not the act. For example, in a conflict between two people, one took a knife and stabbed the other. Of course, this is a bad deed. The victim sued him and the offender was fined for it.
The offender claimed, “I only stabbed this man in the hand, and I only scratched him, but I have to pay him a fine. And yet, I saw that not long ago, this man went into a hospital and a doctor cut open his stomach and took something out, and he paid the doctor a lot of money. And I, for the tiny cut I caused him, I have to pay him, the opposite of what happened with that doctor?!”
“The answer is simple,” said the judge. “We follow the intention. Since you stabbed him because you wanted to enjoy, you have to pay for the pleasure you had. But when the surgeon cut his flesh with a knife, he wanted the patient to enjoy. Therefore, the patient should pay the doctor.” We therefore see that what counts is the aim and not the act. Thus, why did our sages say, “It is not the learning that matters most, but the action”?
In spirituality, concerning Torah and Mitzvot, the work matters most, as in the words of the ARI, that through performance of Mitzvot, scrutinies of holy sparks are sorted out of the Klipot [shells/peels]. However, a person cannot see this before he has vessels of bestowal, or he will see what is done with his work and it will go to his vessels of reception, and he will send it all back to the Klipot. It follows that the work is what matters most.
But if he can make the intention in order to bestow, as well, then through the intention that lies over the action he ascends to a higher degree, as was said above, “Through man’s intention in Torah and Mitzvot, the clothing of the soul is completed.Through the Torah, Noga of Yetzira is cleansed, a clothing of Ruach, and through practical Mitzvot, Noga of Assiya is cleansed, and becomes a clothing of Nefesh.”
For this reason, the act is what matters most, and to the act, we must also add the intention. We must believe that as far as branch and root go, all the corporeal things that happen here derive from upper roots. That is, as corporeal actions correct the body, and without them the body cannot exist, it is likewise in matters of the soul: Without performance of Torah and Mitzvot, there is no nourishment to the soul so it can exist.
This is as presented in the book Beit Shaar HaKavanot (Item 83), “Know that in Adam HaRishon, all the scrutinies of all the worlds and all the souls were sorted, and all the beasts were sorted. But the still and vegetative were not fully sorted; this is why they eat, in order to sort them. When they sinned, the souls and beasts returned to the depth of the Klipot, and only the pure beasts are sorted through our eating, and likewise the still and vegetative.”
It therefore follows that specifically through our eating in practice, the still, vegetative, and animate are sorted, and all we need is to add to it the aim. But without the act, the aim does not help. Therefore, we should not say, “Why put Tefillin if the intention is what matters? He can aim the intention of the Tefillin and does not need to observe in practice.” However, the act is the main thing, and the aim is the addition.
Therefore, as in corporeality, if a person makes the aim of eating or the aim of drinking, but does not eat or drink in practice, he will die. Likewise, if a person does not observe Torah and Mitzvot in practice, his soul, which receives its nourishment from the work in Torah and Mitzvot, will have nothing on which to live.
This is the meaning of “It is not the learning that matters most, but the action,” meaning an actual act, in practice. Afterward, as an addition, we also need an aim over the actions that a person does. This is regarded as “still of Kedusha [holiness].” From the still, we can arrive at the state of vegetative, animate, and speaking.
According to the above, we can understand what is said above concerning the Creator coming to see His broken Kelim, for in the end, he will achieve Lishma and Truth will rise up from the earth. He says there (p 173 [in Hebrew]), “This is the meaning of the breaking of the vessels that occurred prior to the creation of the world. Through the breaking of the vessels of Kedusha and their fall to the separated BYA, sparks of Kedusha fell with them to the Klipot, and from them come the pleasures and all sorts of penchants into the domain of the Klipot, which they pass on for man to receive and enjoy, and thereby cause every kind of transgression. However, along with it, He gave us Torah and Mitzvot, so that even if one begins to engage in them while still in Lo Lishma, meaning for one’s own pleasure, to satisfy his lowly lusts, in the end, through them he will achieve Lishma and will be rewarded with the purpose of creation, to receive all the pleasantness and good in the thought of creation, in order to bestow contentment upon Him.”
We should remember the rule in the order of the work, that one need not examine himself to see if he is fine or not. That is, if a person sees that he is not alright, this is the time when he should pray to the Creator to help him be fine. This is specifically when one feels that he has some closeness to the Creator. At that time, he is permitted to regard his situation with criticism. But when a person feels that he is removed from the work, meaning that he does not have a desire for the work, at that time he must not examine himself and pray. Rather, he must pay attention and say, “Whatever grip I have on the work, I am happy with it, and I thank the Creator for it.” But at that time, he should not pray to the Creator to bring him closer. And concerning the prayer that he should pray to the Creator to bring him closer, this should be specifically when he has some ascent in the work.
This is as it is written in The Zohar (VaEra, Item 102), “Come and see, in the day, he engaged in Torah to complement the judgments, and at night he engaged in singing and praising until the day came because all through the day he engaged in complementing and scrutinizing the judgments, which are ‘left.’ At night, he engaged in praises, which are Hassadim.”
Hence, the above explanation is that specifically during the “day,” meaning during an ascent, he engaged in the left, to sort the judgments. But at “night,” when it does not illuminate, he engages in praises.
Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link