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The Need for an Act from Below

“‘They are to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households.’ The Creator said, ‘You do the deed below, and I will break their force above. And as you make them burn in fire, as it is written, ‘But roast with fire,’ I, too, will take them through fire above, in a river of fire’” (Bo, Item 162).

We need to understand why the Creator needs the work of below, and what is the meaning of breaking and burning the power of the Klipot [shells/peels] above, what is the power of the Sitra Achra [other side].

We should also understand what is written, “Israel did not come out of Egypt until the government of all their ministers was broken above, and Israel departed their domain and came to the domain of the upper holiness in the Creator, and tied to Him, as it is written, ‘For the children of Israel are Mine; they are My servants.’ What is the reason ‘they are My servants’? It is that, ‘I brought [them] out from the land of Egypt’; I have brought them out of the other authority and brought them into My authority.”

To understand all the above, it is known that the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations. For this purpose, a desire to receive pleasure has been imprinted within man, and this power controls a person. This is why the evil inclination is called “king,” since it controls with this power, meaning it gives man pleasures, and because of them a person becomes enslaved to it and is as a slave, while the evil inclination is the king.

This power of giving pleasure is the governance of the evil inclination, and man is in exile under its governance. But while it has nothing to give to a person, it has no control whatsoever over a person. Also, if man could relinquish his pleasures, he would also not be enslaved to it.

Hence, in the exile in Egypt, when Pharaoh bestowed his pleasures upon them, they were enslaved to Pharaoh and could not emerge from the exile. But after they acted, meaning awakened to emerge from the exile, since this act is regarded as choosing, the Creator broke his powers above, meaning took from him the pleasures with which he enslaved the people of Israel. When he has nothing to give, it is considered that the Creator breaks his power and burns him in the river of fire. That is, He took from him all of his influence.

It follows that the Sitra Achra [other side] has nothing with which to control a person. For this reason, they could emerge from the exile. At that time, they entered the domain of Kedusha[holiness], meaning began to feel a good taste in the power of bestowal. It follows that then they became servants of the Kedusha.

Thus, what controls a person is pleasure, and a slave is one who is enslaved to the pleasure. When people’s pleasure comes from reception, they are called “Pharaoh’s servants.” But if the pleasure comes from bestowal, they are called “the Creator’s servants.” But without pleasure, it is impossible to exist.

A person cannot break the pleasure. Only the Creator can break it by taking from it the abundance so he has nothing to give to the creatures. This is called “breaking the power of the Sitra Achra.” All that one needs is to discover that he wants the force of bestowal, and to ask the Creator to give him that force. This is called “choice” on the part of man, and only this is regarded as “awakening from below.”

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