Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link
What Are “A Layperson’s Vessels,” in the Work?
Article No. 34, Tav-Shin-Nun, 1989-90
The Midrash writes (BeHaalotcha 15:8), “‘Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day; darkness and light are alike.’ To us, it says, BeHaalotcha [when you mount] (the candles), what is this like? Like a king who had a man who loved him. The king said to him, ‘Know that I will be dining at your place; go and set it up for me.’ The man who loved him went and set up a layperson’s bed, a layperson’s lamp, and a layperson’s table. When the king came, his servants came with him, surrounding him from here and from here, and a lamp of gold in front of him. When the man who loved him saw all the glory, he was ashamed and hid everything he had prepared for him, for it was all of laypeople. The king said to him: ‘Did I not tell you that I would be dining at your place? Why have you not prepared anything for me?’ The man who loved him replied, ‘I saw all this glory that came with you and I was ashamed, so I hid everything that I had prepared for you, for they were laypeople’s vessels.’ The king said to him: ‘By your life, I suspend all the vessels I have brought, and because of your love, I use only yours. And He said to Israel, ‘Prepare for Me a lampstand and candles.’”
We should understand what the Midrash is saying, that it is an answer to what the Creator commanded about the lampstand and the candles. After all, He has everything, as it is written, “Even the darkness is not dark to You,” so the question is, Why does He need the lampstand and the candles?
The answer is that although the Creator has everything, He still wants the Kelim [vessels] of the lower one. He calls the Kelim of the lower one, “vessels of laypeople.” Hence, we should understand what are the vessels of laypeople that the Creator wants specifically them.
It is known that the desire is called Kli [vessel]. We should interpret that His desire was to do good to His creations. This is called “the Kli of the Creator,” meaning a desire to bestow. The Creator’s desire to bestow created a desire to receive delight and pleasure, everything that the Creator wants the creatures to enjoy. This is called “vessels of the lower one.”
This means that the will to receive is called “layperson and not Kedusha [holiness],” and the desire to bestow is called “a Kli of holiness.” It is as our sages said about the verse, “You will be holy.” “Can he be like Me?” This is why it is written, “For I am holy, for My holiness is above your holiness.” They asked, would anyone think of saying that man is as holy as the Creator, that you must bring evidence from the text that this is not so? Can this be? However, the meaning of “Can he be like Me?” is “As I use only the desire to bestow.”
For this reason, we can say that the people of Israel should also use only the desire to bestow, and not use the will to receive at all, as it is written, “Can he be like Me? Rather, My holiness is above your holiness,” and you cannot stay with only the desire to bestow, for you also need to use the vessels of reception, except you must place on the Kli an aim to bestow.
According to the above, we should interpret that the Kelim of the Creator are vessels of bestowal, and there is no reception there whatsoever. Rather, His only wish is to bestow. But in order not to have the bread of shame, a Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment were placed, by which the light shines only when there is the correction there that everything is in order to bestow. At that time, the Creator shines His light there.
By this we will understand the allegory that the king said that he wanted to dine at the place of the man who loved him and said to him, “Go and set it up for me,” meaning do the work of receiving in order to bestow, and he went and set it up. Afterward, when the light came as a desire to bestow upon the lower ones, and the receiving person, although it is in order to bestow, the Kli with which he works is the desire to receive and not to bestow. Hence, now he was ashamed that he was using the Kelim of a layperson. Although he had the intention, the act was of reception.
Therefore, the person is ashamed and does not want to engage then in receiving in order to bestow. Instead, he wants to work only with vessels of bestowal, which are the King’s Kelim. All the work that he did in order to make the intention to bestow, he concealed these Kelim, since now he was ashamed to use the Kelim of laypeople. The reason is that now he was awarded seeing the greatness and importance of the King, so he wants to work only because “He is great and ruling,” meaning that the greatness of the King makes serving a great king the most important thing.
This is the meaning of the words, “When the king came, his servants came with him. When the man who loved him saw all the glory, he was ashamed.” It follows that because of the greatness and importance of the King, he was ashamed to use laypeople’s Kelim, which are vessels of reception.
This is the meaning of the words, “The king said to him: ‘Did I not tell you that I would be dining at your place?’” We should understand what it means that the Creator dines at a person’s place. However, we should understand in general, what it means that a person should do everything for the sake of the Creator, which is in order to bring contentmentto his Maker. Our sages told us that we must believe in reward and punishment, as it is written, “You can trust your landlord to reward you for your work.” This means that since the Creator needs someone to observe the Torah and Mitzvot[commandments/good deeds], and they are observing the Torah and Mitzvot in order to please Him, in return, the Creator pays reward.
We can understand this among people, where one needs the other to give to him, since his friend is deficient. At that time, we can speak of giving. And when his friend gives him a gift that the recipient enjoys, the recipient pays him as he deserves.
Yet, how can we say this about the Creator? Is He deficient and the lower ones can give Him something? Therefore, what does it mean that the people of Israel give work, and in return for the work, He gives reward? Also, we should understand what our sages said, “Israel provide for their Father in heaven.” What provision do they give Him by which He is sustained?
It is known that that which gives a person joy, this sustains a person, giving him satisfaction in life. A person may be making a lot of money and has enough to eat and drink, but if he has no satisfaction in life, that person is considered as having nothing to sustain him, nothing to live on, meaning some pleasure for which it is worth living, for the joy he receives.
Therefore, there are people whose satisfaction in life is only from lust. They already have provision, meaning something to sustain them, that makes living worthwhile. That is, that which gives a person satisfaction, gives him meaning to life. For this reason, there are people in the world who are rich and have no lack of money, yet are fed up with life if they have nothing in life that satisfies them. It follows that “provision” does not necessarily mean food and drink. Rather, “provision” means that which sustains a person and from which he derives satisfaction in life.
According to the above, we should interpret what our sages said, “Israel provide for their Father in heaven.” That is, they give the Creator a place to carry out His will, which was to do good to His creations, a place where the Creator can give to the created beings delight and pleasure, and which the creatures enjoy and say, “We feel the delight and pleasure that He contemplated giving, that He wants to give; we are receiving the delight and pleasure.”
In other words, before we obtained the vessels of bestowal, so we can receive in order to bestow, the light of doing good to His creations could not come to the lower ones because the Tzimtzum and concealment were placed on the Kelim that were meant to receive the abundance. Hence, the thought of the Creator could not be realized. But when the people of Israel correct themselves with vessels of bestowal so they can receive in order to bestow, it is possible to carry out His will, meaning that the Creator enjoys His will having a place to be revealed.
This is called “Israel provide for their Father in heaven,” since the pleasure of the creatures from receiving delight and pleasure is the Creator’s provision. That is, the Creator enjoys His goal being carried out, and the realization of His desire to do good to His creations.
Now we can understand what we asked, What does it mean that the king said that he wants to dine and the place of the one who loves him? In corporeality, we can say that the king is dining at the place of a person who loves him, but how can we say that the Creator dines with the created beings?
The answer is that since the creatures enjoy the delight and pleasure that the Creator gives them, this is the Creator’s meal, meaning His provision, for the King’s meal, His provision, is only that the creatures receive from Him abundance. This is the meaning of “Israel provide for their Father in heaven.”
Now we will also understand the meaning of what the king told him, “I will be dining at your place; go and set it up for me. The man who loved him went and set up a layperson’s bed.” “Layperson” means vessels of reception. He corrected them so as to work in order to bestow, as it is written, “When the king came and he saw all the glory,” meaning he was rewarded with attaining the greatness of the king, he was ashamed to use the vessels of reception, even though they worked in order to bestow.
Now we will explain what the Midrash asks, “It is written, ‘Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day,’ etc. Thus, why did He say to Israel, ‘Prepare for me a lampstand and candles’”? He answers this with the allegory. But we should understand the question, and then we will be able to understand the answer that we gave with the allegory.
In the literal meaning, it is difficult to understand what is the question that the Creator said to Israel, “Prepare for Me a lampstand and candles.” Would anyone think that the lampstand and the candles are in order to illuminate for the Creator? So, what is the question that they answered with the allegory?
We should interpret that this is as it was at the time of the giving of the Torah. Our sages said (Shabbat 88), “When Moses went up to heaven, the ministering angels said to the Creator, ‘Master of the world, what is a woman-born doing among us?’ He replied to them, ‘He has come to receive the Torah.’ They said to Him: ‘Concealed delight, You wish to give it to a flesh and blood? What is man, that You should remember him? The Lord our Master, how great is Your name in all the earth, place Your majesty on the heavens.’ The Creator said to Moses, ‘Answer them.’ He said to them, ‘Did you go down to Egypt? Is there evil inclination within you?’ Promptly, they admitted to the Creator, as it was said (Psalms 8:10), “‘The Lord our Master, how great is Your name in all the earth.’ But it does not say, ‘Place Your majesty on the heavens.’ But before that (Psalms 8:2), it does write, ‘Place Your majesty on the heavens.’”
We see that the complaint of the angels was about the inferiority of the people of Israel because they have Kelim of the will to receive, called “evil inclination.” For this reason, the Torah belongs to those who are not so materialized, but to angels, who have only vessels of bestowal, as it is written (“Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” The Seventh Commandment, Item 225), “Elijah flew with four wings, whereas the angels with six wings.” He interprets there, in the Sulam [Ladder commentary on The Zohar] that the angels are discerned as above the Chazeh, namely that they are from the Chazeh and above, settling for covered Hassadim, since they have only vessels of bestowal.
Conversely, the souls come from Malchut, who is from the Chazeh and below, which is the place of revealed Hassadim, since there it is the place of the construction of Malchut, which is the collection of all the souls. They have Kelim of NHY, namely vessels of reception. Therefore, the souls need light of Hochma, which is poured only into vessels of reception.
Also, the ARI says that only the souls that ascend to MAN raise ZON to AVI to draw additional Mochin, since the souls require the light of Hochma because they have vessels of reception.
But the angels, who are regarded as from the Chazeh and above, vessels of bestowal, need only Hassadim. Therefore, when they rise to MAN to ZA to ask for fulfillment, which are only Hassadim, and ZA always has Hassadim, they do not induce any ascent in ZON. Only the souls, which need Hochma, which is drawn by the vessels of reception, and which ZA does not have permanently, therefore the souls cause the ascent of the worlds in order to draw the light of Hochma. Hence, when ZON ascend, all the worlds ascend up to Ein Sof [no end/infinity].
According to the above, we can interpret the complaint of the angels, who complained that the holy Torah, which is regarded as the names of the Creator, the internality of the Torah, which is clothed in corporeal dresses, that all of it is the revelation of Godliness to the created beings, so how can such a great thing be given to people, who are of inferior degree? Clearly, there must be equivalence with the light of the Creator in order to be able to receive it. And the light of the Creator, which is the abundance poured onto the lower ones, so the angels understood that only they have connection to the light, which is the giver, since they, too, have vessels of bestowal, and not a woman-born, where “woman” means Nukva [Aramaic: female], which means that Israel were born out of the quality of Nukva, meaning from vessels of reception, since the souls come from Malchut, who is called “the assembly of Israel.”
We should interpret what the angels asked, “What is a woman-born doing among us?” meaning after all, he comes from the quality of Malchut, which is a vessel of reception, in oppositeness of form from the Torah, which is the light of abundance. And what did Moses reply to them? “Is there evil inclination within you?” Promptly, the angels admitted to the Creator and said, “Lord, our Master, place Your majesty on the earth.”
That answer that Moses replied to the angels, “Is there evil inclination within you?” requires explanation. Did the angels not know that it speaks there about observing Mitzvot in corporeality? Do angels have bodies, that they demanded to be given, for example, a Talit [prayer shawl] and a Tzitzit[a fringed piece of garment worn under the clothes] to cover their bodies, until Moses came and told them that the Torah speaks of corporeal matters, and that the Torah can be only in those who have corporal bodies?
The angels certainly understood it, but they probably demanded that the internality of the Torah, which is the names of the Creator, be given to them. Indeed, this is difficult to understand. If the Torah is given to Israel, why can it not be given also to angels? Is it a material thing, that if you give it to one, you can no longer give it to another?
Here it is implied that the angels saw and understood that if the Torah is given to Israel, it means that the Torah can be given specifically to Israel, and not to them, meaning that they are unworthy of receiving the inner Torah, but only Israel. Otherwise, they would have to be given, too.
In other words, the revealed Torah certainly belongs only to those who have corporeal bodies. But when they heard that Moses went up to receive the Torah from the Creator, they asked, “What is a woman-born doing among us?” He told them, “He has come to receive the Torah,” and they did not know about the giving of the Torah at all, and were puzzled.
They said to Him: “‘Concealed delight, You wish to give it to a flesh and blood?’ And You did not notify us, so we, too, would receive the concealed delight.” They must have been thinking about the internality of the Torah, for “internality” means that which is concealed inside, which is considered a “concealed delight.”
This is why they complained, since they saw that the Torah, with regard to the internality of the Torah, belongs to them and not to a woman-born. In other words, they made correct arguments in their view. That is, the revealed Torah certainly belongs to Israel, but why can they not be given the inner Torah, too? And since they did not know about it, about the giving of the Torah, which shows that they have no relation, then they are right.
What did Moses reply to them? “Is there evil inclination within you?” And since you have no evil inclination, did you go down to Egypt? We should understand Moses’ reply, that if they demanded the internality of the Torah, what is the answer that Moses gave them?
The answer is that the internality of the Torah divides into two lights, called “light of Hassadim,” and “light of Hochma.” Light of Hassadim is poured in vessels of bestowal, since it extends from the Ohr Yashar [Direct Light], as we learned, Hochma at its end, after receiving the light of Hochma, which is the purpose of creation, to do good to His creations, since this delight and pleasure that He wants to impart must have someone to receive this abundance, but this did not exist yet. Therefore, He created this will to receive existence from absence, which is called Aviut [thickness] of Behina Aleph[first discernment]. That is, this is the first Behina [discernment/phase] that emerged and was revealed existence from absence, where there was no root of reception in reality.
It follows that the Kli of Hochma is a vessel of reception on the light of the purpose of creation, meaning that for this Kli, the heaven and earth were created. In other words, the whole purpose of the creation of the worlds was for this Kli to receive the delight and pleasure.
It follows that without this Kli, called “will to receive,” there is no room for the creation of the worlds. But afterward, meaning Hochma at its end, having received the light, felt that she was opposite in form from the Giver, and wanted equivalence of form. Hence, she overcame the will to receive in her and said, “I want to bestow.”
This is the root of the light of Hassadim that there is in the worlds, which is regarded as the light of the correction of creation. Afterward, Bina, at its end, saw that since the purpose of creation is for the lower ones to receive and not to give, she made a sort of compromise, to receive Hassadim with a little bit of Hochma, meaning to receive Hochma as Zeir Anpin [Aramaic: small face], called “light of Hassadim in illumination of Hochma.”
Afterward, we learn that at its end, ZA saw that the purpose of creation was not that the upper abundance, which is considered good and doing good, will illuminate in Zeir Anpin, but expansively. This is called the Sefira Malchut, which is the real Kli for reception of the abundance. In other words, the Kli of Malchut is the Kli in which the light of the purpose of creation can shine, and which the Creator wants to give to the created beings.
By this we can understand Moses’ reply when he said, “Did you go down to Egypt? Is there evil inclination within you?” Therefore, you cannot receive the inner Torah, which is the names of the Creator, since this light of the purpose of creation was only for a woman-born, meaning only for those who have a desire to receive, which is Malchut, called “female,” “a woman,” and not for angels, who have no vessels of reception, and who belong to the discernment of “from the Chazeh and above,” which are Kelim of Bina, vessels of bestowal, and not vessels of reception.
This is the meaning of the words, “Did you go down to Egypt?” That is, since there were Tzimtzum[restriction] and concealment on Malchut, a correction must be done on this Kli. As long as there is no correction, it is considered that the Klipa [shell/peel] of Egypt controls the will to receive. Since you do not have the will to receive, how can it be said that you need to make a correction to work in order to bestow? After all, you have no vessels of reception for the light of the purpose of creation!
By this we understand the allegory, that this is the answer, that although He has angels above, which are pure Kelim, without vessels of reception, called “vessels of a layperson,” but are all holy, all pure,” still the Creator chose specifically the lower ones, who have Kelim of laypeople, for only in those Kelim is it possible to receive the Torah with regard to the holy names, whereas angels pertain to the correction of creation. For this reason the angels are the servants of the soul, and this is why He said to the people of Israel, “Prepare for Me a lampstand.”
Inapoi la pagina 1990 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link