Inapoi la pagina 1989 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Are Judges and Officers in the Work?
Article No. 38, Tav-Shin-Mem-Tet, 1988-89
It is written, “You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your gates.” We should understand what are “judges” and what are “officers” in the work. We should also understand what is “in all your gates” in the work. And we should also understand what is written, “You shall not plant for yourself an Asherah [tree for idol-worship], any tree beside the altar.” Our sages said, “Anyone who appoints an unworthy judge, it is as though he plants an Asherah in Israel.” We should also understand what is an unworthy judge in the work, and why is the prohibition so severe, as though he “plants an Asherah.”
In corporeality, we see that there is a courthouse, and the order there is that each one claims that justice is on his side, and the judges give the verdict and decide who is right. But even when the judges have already decided who is right, it is only in potential. We see the justice, but the one who was found guilty does not want to obey the justice of the judges, so the verdict is given to the police and the officers execute the verdict. That is, the officers overcome the guilty party and execute the verdict against his will. But as long as there is no court order to execute the verdict, the person says that the judges are fine, but he cannot obey the verdict although he does not dispute it.
The order is that when the officers come to execute the verdict, it is impossible to argue with the officers because they are only messengers of the courthouse. Therefore, there is no place to argue with the officers, since only in court is it possible to argue and say everything that is on one’s mind. When someone does want to argue, the officers laugh at him and say, “You are wasting your words; we must follow what the judges said.”
The same applies in the work. When a person wants to walk on the path of truth, a war begins between the good inclination and the evil inclination, where each one claims, “It is all mine.” That is, the evil inclination claims that the whole body belongs to it, meaning that the body should work only for one’s own sake. The good inclination argues that the whole body should work only for the sake of the Creator. And what should be done when two parties quarrel with one another? We go to a judge to give his verdict. The judge will say to whom the body belongs, meaning for whom the body should work.
Hence this judge in one’s heart—and a person wants to obey it, as he must say to whom the body belongs—this judge must be worthy. But how do we know if this judge is worthy? This depends only on the greatness of the judge. In other words, we must see to what extent the judge understands the greatness and importance of the work, meaning whether we serve a great or a small king.
“A worthy judge” means if he understands that he assumes in his heart that the King for whom we must work is a great and important King, worth relinquishing any pleasure that one can have in beastly lusts. He understands that the pleasure of serving the King is so important, more than all the pleasures of this world. This matter, that it is worthwhile to relinquish, can be only if the judge knows and has attained the greatness of the Creator.
Or, it can be otherwise: If he believes in the sages, who told us that we must believe in the greatness of the Creator above reason. That is, although he has not been rewarded with seeing the greatness of the Creator within reason, but on the contrary, each time a person wants to take upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven above reason, it resists. And then, what can one do if the body, meaning the judge in his heart, is not impressed with everything the person tells it? Although he listens and does not say to the person that he is not making sense, but it is similar to what is written, “Like a deaf viper that does not hear the sound of the whisperers.”
First, he must say that the fact that he has come to a resolution that the body does not want to obey the arbiter and the judge that it is worthwhile to work for the sake of the Creator, this is natural, since by nature, man is born with a will to receive for himself. Therefore, although the judge said that we should work for the sake of the Creator, he simply does not understand it, meaning how is it possible to do something that a person does not enjoy. But the judge told him that he should achieve a degree where all his concerns are the joy of the Creator. Although the judge brings him evidence from the Torah, which says, “Blessed is our God, who has created us for His glory,” and “All the works of the Lord are for His sake,” the body insists and says, “I see that I must do something against my mind and reason.”
Therefore, there are two manners to this state: 1) “I do not want to obey you, even though you are correct. Hence,” the body says, “I will not obey your order.” 2) It says, “Sometimes I do want to obey you, but I can’t because whenever I do something that is not according to nature, I suffer torments and I cannot tolerate such torments, meaning to work for the sake of the Creator. This is actual death, and how can I put myself to death?”
Therefore, a person must act coercively. That is, he must believe what our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided.” This means that a person must tell his body, “What you say—that you cannot do things that contradict nature—is true. However, we must know that the actions are mainly in the intention, meaning that the intention should be that the act he does will be for the sake of the Creator.”
Although the body cannot understand this, because it is against nature, meaning against the reason and the intellect, it does this only out of faith and not through its own intellect. This is why it is called “an act.” And when a person wants to observe Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] in action and not in the reason, if a person wants to achieve the truth, he must say—when he wants to execute what the judges said—that we must work for the sake of the Creator. This is called “officers,” and with officers, we see that there is no point arguing with them, that there is no arguing with the officers, meaning that they do not hear what is being said to them.
It is likewise in spirituality. A person must not argue with the body when he goes above reason. He should say to the body, “It does not matter to us if you are right or wrong.” Perhaps the body is one hundred percent correct, but the officers follow the judge’s order, and a person should pray to the Creator to give strength to the officers so they can overcome the guilty one. In spirituality, this means that a person should pray to the Creator to give the power and might to his overcoming, so he can prevail over the body and execute what the judges said.
By this we will understand what we asked, What are “judges and officers” in the work? It is that we must appoint judges who will determine whose is the body. That is, when this body works, who profits from its work? Does the profit go to one’s own benefit or to the benefit of the Creator? Afterward, one needs the power to overcome, to execute the judges’ verdict, and the power to overcome is called “officers.” This should be “in all your gates.”
We asked, What is “in all your gates”? Literally, it seems to mean that in each gate there must be judges and officers. We should interpret “your gates.” It is as The Zohar says about the verse, “Her husband is known at the gates.” It interprets that “in the gates” means “Each one according to what he assumes in his heart.” That is, in each measure that a person assumes in his heart the greatness and exaltedness of the Creator, a person should appoint there “judges and officers” in order to be able to carry out everything.
Now we can understand what we asked, What does “You shall not plant for yourself an Asherah, any tree beside the altar,” mean? Our sages said, “Anyone who appoints an unworthy judge, it is as though he plants an Asherah in Israel.” We asked, Why is the prohibition so severe that it is as though he plants idol-worship in Israel?
According to the above, since in the work, every person is a small world, it follows that when there is a feud between the evil inclination and the good inclination, each one claims, “It is all mine,” meaning “the body belongs to me.” The evil inclination claims that the body should work not for the sake of the Creator, but for one’s own sake, that working for the sake of the Creator is foreign work to us. And since we must obey the good inclination, which says that the body must work for the sake of the Creator, as a result, when a person appoints an unworthy judge, meaning who does not know to say that we must work for the sake of the Creator, but says that we must work for the sake of the body, it follows that he plants idol-worship in Israel, since the judge does not understand that we must work for the sake of the Creator but says that we must work for the sake of the body, which is foreign work to us.
This is why the prohibition on an “unworthy judge” is so severe, since the judge tells him to do idol-worship, called Asherah. Hence, if a person wants to know what to do and wants to trust the judge within a person, he must first see if this judge can give a judgment that is the whole truth, meaning to tell him to walk on the path of truth, meaning to work for the sake of the Creator.
According to the above, we should interpret what our sages said (Tanhuma 8), “Anyone who makes a judgment that is the whole truth is rewarded with the life of the next world.” This implies that one who wants to be rewarded with the life of the next world, there is a very easy way that does not require so much labor in Torah and work. Instead, if one tries to give a judgment that is the whole truth, he will be rewarded with the next world. According to the above, a “judge” in the order of the work is one who gives the verdict—to whom the body belongs, meaning whether the body should work for the sake of the Creator or for one’s own sake.
It follows that this judge, which a person establishes within one’s heart so as to give the verdict, to whom the body belongs, meaning for whose sake it should work, for the sake of the Creator or for one’s own sake and not for the sake of the Creator, if he is not a worthy judge and does not know to appreciate the greatness of the Creator, and he is still biased by the will to receive for himself, and the person says, “I will listen to what the judge decides and says about whom one should work for,” it follows that that judge seemingly plants an Asherah, meaning idol-worship.
That is, this judge, which a person wants to obey, tells him it is not worthwhile to work for the Creator. It follows that if he listens to this judge, he will have to commit idol-worship and not work for the sake of the Creator.
This is why our sages said, “Anyone who appoints an unworthy judge, it is as though he plants an Asherah.” We asked, What is the severity in the matter, that if the judge is not worthy, it is as though he commits idol-worship? The intimation is that in the work, it is truly idol-worship because he tells him that we need not work for the Creator. It says, “It is as though he plants an Asherah in Israel,” since every person should have the quality of “Israel,” meaning Yashar-El [straight to the Creator], namely that “all your works will be for the sake of the Creator.” Yet, the unworthy judge says that it is better to work for oneself. This is called “idol-worship.”
By this you will understand what we asked about what our sages said, “Anyone who makes a judgment that is the whole truth is rewarded with the life of the next world.” Thus, why should we work and toil so much in order to be rewarded with the life of the next world? After all, there is an easier way—to try to make a judgment that is the whole truth and thereby be rewarded with the life of the next world.
In the work, this means that there is the “truth,” and there is the “whole truth.” “Truth” means that the judge within his heart tells him he must observe Torah and Mitzvot, but in order to receive reward. That is, the Torah and Mitzvot that he performs should be with a reward and punishment of self-benefit. It follows that on one hand, this is called the “truth.” It is as Maimonides says, “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 wisdom, they are shown that secret bit by bit” (Hilchot Teshuva, Chapter 10).
This means that the judge gives a judgment of truth.
Conversely, the “whole truth” means that the judge tells him we must work for the sake of the Creator and not for our own sake. This is called the “whole truth,” meaning that the act is true and the intention is also true. This is called the “whole truth.”
However, we should interpret what is the meaning of the “whole truth.” It means that the truth is that it is true, that everyone admits that it is true, and not simply that he says that it is the truth. We can understand this according to what is written in The Study of the Ten Sefirot (Part 13), where he interprets the seventh correction of the thirteen qualities, which are 1) El [pronounced Kel], 2) Merciful, 3) Gracious, 4) Erech [long], 5) Apaim [face. Erech Apaim means “long face” or “patient”], 6) Great in Mercy, 7) And True.
He interprets what is “And True.” In his words, “Therefore, he calls this correction by the name, ‘And True,’ since by the revealing of the two Holy Apples below, the truth of His Providence over the lower ones is revealed. Therefore, the revelation of His Providence is called ‘And True,’ for it is the truth of His will, and all the concealments in the worlds come only to reveal this truth about His Providence, which is to do good to His creations. For this reason, this correction in ZA is called ‘And True.’”
According to the above, we can understand the meaning of “Anyone who makes a judgment that is the whole truth is rewarded with the life of the next world.” It means that then, all the nations of the world in his body see the truth—that they are rewarded with the delight and pleasure found in the will of the Creator, which is His will to do good to His creations. And this is called the “whole truth.”
Inapoi la pagina 1989 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link