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Anyone Who Sanctifies the Seventh – 2
Bo, Tav-Shin-Mem-Gimel, January 1983
“Anyone who sanctifies the seventh as he should … his reward is great, according to his work.” We should understand the meaning of “according to his work.” Also, what is the novelty, since in corporeality we also receive reward only according to our work, and one who works overtime receives a higher salary than one who does not work overtime. Hence, what is the novelty in saying “his reward is great,” and then saying that he will be rewarded only according to his work?
Our sages said, “He who walks and does not do, the reward for walking is in his hand.” We should understand the meaning of doing. Our sages said, “Great is the learning that yields action, and it is not the learning that is most important, but the action” (Kidushin 40b).
Baal HaSulam interpreted that “an act” is when a person turns his vessels of reception into vessels of bestowal, as our sages said, “Let all your actions be for the sake of the Creator.” The Midrash says that this doing is the meaning of “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice,” that this is the doing to which one should come.
Our sages said, “Man’s inclination overcomes him every day. If the Creator did not help him, he would not overcome it.” We should understand why the Creator did not give us the power to defeat the evil inclination. But if this is not within man’s hands, why does the Creator not do everything?
In other words, why must one fight with the evil inclination while the Creator only helps him, but if the person does not begin the war, the Creator does not help him? Also, why does the Creator need man to make the war and then He will come and help him, as our sages said, “One should always vex the good inclination over the evil inclination,” and RASHI interpreted, “make war with it” (Berachot5a)? This implies that first, one must begin the war and then the Creator helps him.
Baal HaSulam explained what Abraham asked the Creator, “How will I know that I will inherit it?” “And He said unto Abraham, ‘Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and tortured four hundred years … and afterward they will come out with great possessions.”
Baal HaSulam explained that when he saw the promise that the Creator had given him, saying, “to give this land to you to inherit it,” he said, “How will I know?” since there is no light without a Kli[vessel], and he did not see that his sons would have a need for these attainments, but that they would be content with little.
Therefore, He said to him, “Know for certain” that they will be in exile and will want to emerge from the exile. Then, without the help, they will not be able to come out from the exile in Egypt. Therefore, by this they will have to receive His help. Also, each time, they will need more bestowals, and by this they will come to need the light of Torah, for only the Torah is the spice.
This is as was said in The Zohar, “He who comes to purify is aided.” It asks, “With what?” and it answers, “With a holy soul. When one is born, he is given Nefesh [soul] from the side of a pure beast. If he is rewarded more, he is given Ruach [spirit].” It follows that by this they will come to need the Creator’s help and will thereby have the Kelim [vessels] to receive the inheritance of the land.
By this we can interpret what we asked, What does it mean that he walks and does not do? It is one who begins to walk on the path of the Creator to achieve “action.” This is the meaning of “Anyone who sanctifies the Shevi’i [seventh],” and Baal HaSulam interpreted that Shevi’i means Shebi-Hu [He is in me].
Accordingly, it means that when one properly sanctifies the point in the heart within him, he begins to enter the exile in Egypt. At that time, he begins to see each time how far he is from the act of bestowal. Then, Kelim form within him, meaning deficiencies, which the Creator will later be able to fill.
It follows that a person must begin the war so as to have Kelim and a need for salvation and the help of the Creator, as was said, “If the Creator did not help him, he would not overcome it.” It follows that He did not give man the ability to win the war on purpose, since through the war one obtains the Kelim and need for the abundance.
Hence, we need both: to enter the war so as to obtain Kelim, and the help that is required is that specifically the Creator will help him, since through the help he obtains the inheritance of the land that the Creator promised to Abraham.
Accordingly, “according to his work” means the opposite of corporeality. In corporeality, each time we do a good job, we are paid according to the quality of the work. But here it is the complete opposite: The more one sees that he is incapable of anything in Kedusha [holiness], the more help he needs. Hence, each time he must be given more help from above, meaning greater attainment.
It follows that “his reward is great according to his work, meaning that when he sees his flaw, he can receive a greater filling. This is the meaning of “going and not doing.” He went to war but did not do, meaning that he could not make all his actions be for the sake of the Creator. He is told, “The reward for walking is in his hand,” meaning that specifically one who walks but does not do needs the help of the Creator, and specifically by this he receives the inheritance of the fathers.
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