Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

Why We Need “Reply unto Your Heart,” to Know that the Lord, He Is God, in the Work

Article No. 16, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1989-91

The Zohar asks (VaEra, Items 89-90), “‘Know this day and reply unto your heart that the Lord, He is God.’ He asks, ‘This verse should have said, ‘Know this day that the Lord, He is God,’ and in the end, ‘And reply unto your heart,’ since knowing that the Lord is God qualifies him to reply so to the heart. And if he already replied to his heart, it is especially so if he already has knowledge. Also, it should have said, ‘reply unto your heart’ [with one Bet] instead of ‘heart’ [with a double Bet].’ He replies, ‘Moses said that if you want to insist on this and to know that the Lord, He is God, then ‘reply unto your heart.’ Know that heart [with a double Bet] means that the good inclination and the evil inclination, which reside in the heart, have mingled in one another and are one, so the bad qualities of the evil inclination will become good, meaning he will serve the Lord with them and will not sin through them. Then you will find that the Lord [HaVaYaH] is God, that the quality of judgment, called ‘God,’ is included in HaVaYaH, which is the quality of mercy.”

We should understand what it comes to teach us when The Zohar says that it is impossible to know that “The Lord, He is God,” before a person achieves the degree of “Reply unto your heart.” We should know what is the quality of “God” in the work, and what is the quality of mercy in the work, which is called HaVaYaH. We should also understand what is the evil inclination in the work, and what is the good inclination in the work. That is, in the work, when a person wants to achieve Dvekut[adhesion] with the Creator, what is the evil inclination and what is the good inclination?

For the general public, this is simple: Those who observe Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] are regarded as following the way of the good inclination. If they transgress the Torah and Mitzvot, this is regarded as following the advice of the evil inclination. But what is it in the work, when walking on the path toward achieving Dvekut with the Creator?

It is known that the creatures were born with a nature called will to receive for one’s own sake. For this reason, man cannot do anything that does not yield some benefit for oneself. Hence, the Torah tells us, “If you observe Torah and Mitzvot, I will reward you, as it is written, ‘If you indeed obey My commandments, I will give the rain for your land in its season, and you will eat and be satiated.’”

Maimonides says (Hilchot Teshuva, Chapter 5), “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.” It follows that for the general public, the evil inclination and the good inclination pertain only to the observance of Torah and Mitzvot, but they do not speak at all about the prohibition to work in order to receive reward.

However, when speaking about the work of bestowal, the evil inclination and the good inclination have completely different meanings. The good inclination means that it leads a person to obtain the delight and pleasure that He wished to impart upon His creations, as it is written, that the purpose of creation is because of His desire to do good to His creations. But in order to avoid the shame, there were Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment where the creatures cannot receive the good before they have equivalence of form, called Dvekut. This is obtained by doing everything for the sake of the Creator. At that time, the Tzimtzum is lifted and there is room for the good to spread within it. This is called the “good inclination.”

The evil inclination is when the inclination advises a person to work only for self-benefit, meaning only to receive. Since this is disparity of form from the Creator, whose desire is only to bestow, and that disparity of form causes man never to be able to receive the delight and pleasure, therefore, this inclination is called “bad” because it harms a person by not letting him work in order to bestow, which causes him not to be able to receive delight and pleasure.

According to the above, we can interpret what it means that a person should work with himself to love the Creator with both inclinations. The thing is that as long as one has two inclinations, they are disputed. Sometimes the good prevails, and sometimes the bad prevails. It follows that two forces work within man in a mixture. This is called “light and darkness working together.” As long as the bad has not surrendered, the Tzimtzum and concealment that were on the Kelim [vessels] of the evil inclination—called “will to receive for oneself”—control it, and he cannot receive the delight and pleasure.

It follows that then a person does not obtain the good. For this reason, he is in a state of “judgment,” meaning he says that he does not see the Creator’s mercy, so he will be able to say that the Creator leads the world with the quality of mercy, but rather with the quality of judgment, since the person cannot see His guidance as delight and pleasure.

Thus, as long as one has no vessels of bestowal, a person does not have Kelim in which to be able to receive delight and pleasure. Naturally, he remains devoid of delight and pleasure.

The person says, “Who is to blame for this? Only the Creator, for not giving the creatures what He should give.” That is, since creation was in order to delight His creatures, because of the correction so that there would not be the bread of shame, the creatures are unfit to see it because of the inherent evil in man, which is called in the work, “evil inclination.”

Accordingly, we can understand what we asked, “What is judgment and what is mercy in the work? Also what is the good inclination and what is the evil inclination in the work?” “Judgment” means that a judgment was passed over the vessels of reception, called “will to receive for oneself,” that the light does not shine within it. It follows that when we say that there is judgment in the world, it means that there are no vessels of bestowal that can receive delight and pleasure in the world. For this reason, suffering and lack reign in the world.

But when there are vessels of bestowal in the world called “mercy,” as our sages said about the verse, “And to cleave unto Him, as He is merciful, so you are merciful,” meaning that as the Creator is the giver, so man should see that he has vessels of bestowal. When man has vessels of bestowal, the Creator’s quality of mercy becomes apparent, meaning that the Creator bestows delight and pleasure to the creatures in the Kelim of mercy that the creatures have.

Thus, once a person obtains the vessels of bestowal, meaning that the evil inclination has surrendered to the good, it means that the evil inclination already wants to work in order to bestow. This is called “Reply unto your heart,” meaning both hearts. Then he realizes that “the Lord [HaVaYaH], He is God.” In other words, until now, it was only mercy and not judgment. That is, what he saw, that His guidance was judgment, now he sees that this was a reason to come to the quality of mercy. Therefore, now they see that “the Lord, He is God,” that the quality of judgment is included in the HaVaYaH, which is all mercy. But before he achieved the state of “Reply unto your heart,” His guidance seemed to him as good and bad.

By this we can interpret the meaning of the verse, “And God made it that He would be feared.” That is, the Creator deliberately made it so there would be governance to the Klipot [shells/peels], so “He would be feared,” meaning to create a need to obtain the greatness of the Creator. Otherwise, everyone would remain still, without knowledge of Kedusha [holiness], and would settle for the work of observing Torah and Mitzvot without any need to work to be rewarded with the greatness of the Creator. They would remain with the same mind they had when they were little children and would have no need for the Creator’s help.

We must know and understand what our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.” This means that only when a person has evil inclination, he needs the spice that is found in the Torah. Otherwise, he does not need the Torah, since he can observe Mitzvotwithout the Torah. But when he has the evil inclination and he comes and asks “What is this work for you?” or when he asks Pharaoh’s question, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” and he must overcome him, then he needs His help.

The Zohar says that the help of the Creator is the light of Torah. That is, it is considered that he is given a soul from above, by which he can overcome the bad within him. It follows that if there were no Klipot, man would have no need to receive the help of Torah from above. This is called “And God made it that He would be feared.”

There are many issues concerning the help that comes from above:

1) The help is simple: The Creator gives him the kingdom of heaven called “permanent faith.” Since before a person is rewarded with vessels of bestowal, it is impossible to have faith because there is disparity of form between the creature and the Creator, a person is still unfit to receive the good. Therefore, when he receives bad, he must lose the measure of faith that he had, since this is a correction so he would not slander the Creator. For this reason, before one is rewarded with faith, he must have vessels of bestowal, since when he has equivalence of form, the Tzimtzum that was on the vessels of reception is lifted from him and he receives delight and pleasure. Only then can he be at the degree of permanent faith. It follows that the Creator must give the first assistance, giving him vessels of bestowal, which are called “second nature.”

2) By having constant disturbances from the Klipot, he always needs the help of the Creator. By this, a person needs the Creator’s help, and through the help that he receives from above each time, it is possible that the NRNHY that he has in his soul will be revealed to him. It is known that there is no filling without a need. Hence, the Klipot are the cause of the revelation of the Kedusha, as it is written, “And God made it that He would be feared.”

According to the above, it follows that the thoughts that the Klipot send to a person cause deficiencies in a person, and deficiencies are called “Kelim to receive fillings to fill the lack in the Kelim.” In other words, the questions that the Klipot ask, which are the wicked’s questions and Pharaoh’s questions, called “Who” and “What,” cause a deficiency in a person, which pushes him to ask the Creator to help him overcome those questions. It follows that these Klipot keep a person walking on the right path that leads to Dvekut with the Creator. At that time, we see that the Klipotwere not enemies of the Kedusha, as it seemed during the work. Rather, now we see that they are the ones that caused being rewarded with the Kedusha.

The like of this is presented in The Zohar (Beresheet, Item 175), “‘And there is no God with Me’ refers to other gods, which are SAM and the serpent, for then it will be revealed that SAM and the serpent never separated between the Creator and His Shechina [Divinity], and was but a servant to hurry the redemption of our souls. The Creator’s guidance from the beginning will appear throughout the world, and then, ‘Sinners will cease from the earth, and the wicked shall be no more.’ That is, unlike what it seems to us during the 6,000 years, that there is a governance that objects to Kedusha, which are SAM and the serpent.”

We see from this that the matter of Klipot that the Kedusha must sustain as in “God has made one opposite the other,” is that we need the Klipot to be a servant helping the Kedusha. This becomes revealed only at the end of correction in the general public, and to individuals, at the end of the work. At that time, the matter becomes revealed in retrospect, as it says, “and was but a servant to hurry the redemption of our souls.”

It is said in The Zohar (Tazria, Item 6), “‘Her price is far above pearls.’ He asks, ‘It should have said ‘worth,’ meaning that it is harder to buy her than pearls; why does it say ‘her price’’? He replies, ‘She sells and turns over to other nations all those who do not fully cling to her and are not whole with her. And then they are all far from those high and holy pearls, which are the secrets and the internality of the Torah, for they will have no part in them. This is the meaning of ‘Her price is far above pearls.’”

It therefore follows that the Klipot, which are other nations, she sells them. That is, since there is the quality of “other nations,” when person begins to walk on the path toward achieving Dvekut, and in the middle of the work he becomes negligent in the work, meaning falls into the governance of the nations, who control him, he cannot emerge from their control and achieve Dvekut with the Creator, called “equivalence of form.” At that time, he thinks that it is because he is incapable of this work, and this is why he is under their governance.

At that time, the writing tells us that the fact that he has fallen under the control of other nations is for his own good, so he will not fool himself and think that he is walking on the right path and can continue in this state without feeling that he is marching on the wrong way. For this reason, there are Klipot called “other nations,” outside of Kedusha, and then a person sees that he is in a state of descent, and he has no connection to the Kedusha. At that time, he should seek advice how to be saved from them and march on the right path that leads to Dvekut with the Creator. It follows that the Klipa [singular of Klipot] keeps the Kedusha.

This means that if there were no Klipa that the Shechina could sell him there to be under their governance, man would remain in his lowliness and he would think that he is advancing on the path toward Dvekut. But when he is shown from above the deficiencies that he is in, he can feel that he must correct his way. This is the meaning of the words “Her price is far above pearls,” meaning that the Shechina gives the man to the authority of the Klipa.

In other words, at that time he sees how immersed he is in self-love and that he has no desire to be a giver. That is, he is so immersed in self-love that he never thought that he was such a sordid person, the worst. It follows that we should interpret that the words “And God made it that He would be feared,” mean that specifically through this Klipa, when he sees that it governs him, this pushes him to do all that he can to achieve Dvekut with the Creator.

However, whena person sees that he is under the governance of the Klipot, since he sees that they are the ones who sent him the known questions of “Who” and “What,” and he cannot provide them with the right answers that will settle in the heart, he thinks that he must be so ignoble that he cannot answer them these simple questions. At that time, one should know that this is not as he thinks, that these questions really are tough.

This is so because the Creator gave power to the Klipot to ask tough questions, so that a person will know his real situation, that he was created in disparity of form from the Creator, and that he should achieve equivalence of form. It was done on purpose that man would not be able to answer these questions, so he would need the Creator, meaning that only the Creator can answer him because man’s entire intellect is built on a basis of doing everything within reason, and man’s reason understands only that which concerns one’s own benefit. Therefore, they are correct.

However, one must know that we were given the path of observing Torah and Mitzvot above our reason, since our entire reason understands nothing but that which concerns self-benefit. This is called “faith above reason.” Before a person can go above reason, anyone who comes to him and asks questions that are built on the reason of the body, it is impossible to answer them in a manner that the reason will understand.

Therefore, why did the Klipa come and ask these questions, which a person certainly cannot answer? The Klipot know that they are correct and that they will not get answers for them. But the question is according to the rule that is known in the work, that the fact that the Klipa comes and asks those questions comes from the side of Kedusha, as was said, “And God made it that He would be feared.”

Thus, why do these questions come to him? The answer is that he is sent these questions from above, for specifically through these questions, he can observe the Mitzva of faith above reason. This is the meaning of “God made it that He would be feared.” This means that the questions came to him in order to give him an opportunity to be able to reveal the matter of faith above reason. If he has no questions, he cannot know that he is going above reason. But when he sees the questions and does not want to provide answers, which reason mandates doing, he says, “Now that these questions came to me, I can observe the commandment of faith, which is above reason, and I want to take the opportunity.”

Accordingly, we can understand why if the Creator knows that these are tough questions, which a person cannot answer with reason, why does He send them? The answer is as it is written, “And God made it that He would be feared.” That is, specifically through these questions, a person can observe the commandment of faith, called “fear of the Creator.” That is, specifically now he has an opportunity to observe the Mitzva of faith above reason.

Our sages said, “A Mitzva that falls into your lap, do not miss out on it.” We should interpret that “A Mitzva that falls into your lap” is the Mitzva of faith, which “comes into your lap” through the “Who” and “What” questions. “Do not miss out on it,” but rather accept it right away and do not argue with these questions and think about answering the questions. Rather, take the questions as they are, since now you have an opportunity to observe the Mitzva of faith, so “Do not miss out” accepting it as is, with all the toughness of the questions.

This is so because anything that conflicts with the intellect, with what the intellect argues, that it is not worthwhile to walk on this path, faith above reason and intellect is greater. This is why they said, “Do not miss out on it,” do not miss out on the opportunity that you received through their questions.

Therefore, through the “What” question, which is the question of the wicked, who says, “What is this work for you,” that you want to work only in order to bestow? He asks, “What will you gain from this? You should work only for your own benefit.” This is a Kli [vessel], meaning a deficiency for the Creator to give him in the place of deficiency, since the wicked’s question interrupts him from having the power to work in order to bestow, which is called “being rewarded with a second nature,” called “in order to bestow.” This is the meaning of “Reply unto your heart,” meaning that the evil inclination, too, will work in order to bestow.

Through Pharaoh’s questions, who said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” when he overcomes this question, he is rewarded with permanent faith, which is called what The Zohar says, meaning after he has been rewarded with “Reply unto your heart.” At that time, he comes to the degree of “The Lord, He is God.”

Inapoi la pagina 1991 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link

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