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4.01 Baal HaSulam,

“Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 20

Our essence is as the essence of all the details in reality, which is no more and no less than the will to receive.

4.02 Baal HaSulam,

“The Writings of the Last Generation”

Egoism is embedded in the nature of every person, as in any animal.

4.03 Baal HaSulam,

“A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”

One cannot make a single movement without any benefit for himself.

4.04 Baal HaSulam,

“The Freedom”

The primary innovation, from the perspective of creation, which He has created existence from absence, applies to one and only aspect, defined as the “will to receive.”

 4.05 Baal HaSulam,

“The Freedom”

All the corporeal entities in our world, that is, everything within that space, be it still, vegetative, animate, a spiritual object or a corporeal object, if we want to distinguish the unique self of each of them, how they differ from one another, even in the smallest particle, it amounts to no more than that “desire to receive.”

4.06 Baal HaSulam,

Shamati, Article No. 241. “Call Upon Him When He Is Near”

Adam (people), as in Adame LaElyon [I will be like the Most High]

4.07 Baal HaSulam,

“The Freedom”

All the vessels and the bodies, from spiritual worlds and from physical worlds, are deemed spiritual or corporeal substance whose nature is to want to receive.

 4.08 Baal HaSulam,

“Introduction to the preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Items 2-3.

The Creator’s intention in creation was to delight His creatures. Certainly, as soon as He contemplated creating the souls and delighting them abundantly, they immediately emerged from before Him, complete in form and with all the delights He had planned to bestow upon them. This is because in Him, the thought alone completes, and He does not need actions as we do. Accordingly, we should ask, “Why did He create the worlds restriction after restriction down to this murky world, and clothed the souls in the murky bodies of this world?

The answer to this is written in The Tree of Life—“to bring to light the perfection of His deeds” (The Tree of Life, Branch 1). Yet, we must understand how it is possible that incomplete operations would stem from a complete Operator, to the point that they would require completion through an act in this world.

The thing is that we should distinguish between light and Kli [vessel] in the souls. The essence of the souls that were created is the Kli in them, and all the bounty that He had planned to impart them with and delight them is the light in them. This is because since He had planned to delight them, He necessarily made them as a desire to receive His pleasure, since the pleasure and delight increase according to the measure of desire to receive the abundance.

Know that that will to receive is the very self of the soul with regard to the generation and elicita- tion existence from absence. This is considered the Kli of the soul, while the joy and the abundance are considered the light of the soul, extending existence from existence from His self.

4.09 Baal HaSulam,

“Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 21

The very essence of the soul is a will to receive, as well. And the only difference we can tell between one object and another is only by its desire, for the desire in any essence creates needs, and the needs create thoughts and concepts so as to obtain those needs, which the will to receive demands.

4.10 Baal HaSulam,

“A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”

Man’s very essence is only to receive for oneself. By nature, we are unable to do even the smallest thing to benefit others. Instead, when we give to others, we are compelled to expect that in the end, we will receive a worthwhile reward

4.11 Baal HaSulam,

“Introduction to the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 4

Creation refers to appearance of something that did not exist before. This is considered existence from absence. Yet, how do we picture something that is not included in Him, since He is almighty and includes all of them together? Also, one does not give what is not in Him.

As we have said, the whole creation that He created is only the Kelim [plural for Kli] of the souls, which is the will to receive. This is clear, since He necessarily does not have a will to receive, as from whom would He receive? Hence, this is truly a new creation, not a trace of which existed previously, and is therefore considered existence from absence.

4.12 Baal HaSulam,

“Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 18

We must not ponder the state of rest of the beings in the world besides man, since man is the center of creation. All other creatures do not have any value in themselves, but to the extent that they help man achieve his wholeness. Hence, they rise and fall with him without any consideration of themselves.

4.13 Baal HaSulam,

Shamati, Article No. 153, “A Thought Is a Result of the Desire”

A thought is a result of the desire. A person thinks of what he wants. He will not think of what he does not want. For example, a person never thinks of his day of death. On the contrary, he will always contemplate his eternity, since this is what he wants. Thus, one always thinks of what is desirable for him.

However, there is a special role to the thought: It intensifies the desire. The desire remains in its place; it does not have the strength to expand and perform its action. Yet, because one thinks and contemplates a matter, and the desire asks the thought to provide some counsel and advice to carry out the desire, the desire grows, expands, and performs work in actual practice.

It turns out that the thought serves the desire, and the desire is the “self” of the person. Now, there is a big self or a small self. A big self controls the small selves.

He who is a small self and has no control at all, the advice to magnify the self is through the persistent thought of the desire, since the thought grows to the extent that one thinks of it.

And so, “His law will he contemplate day and night,” for by persisting in it, it grows into a big self until it becomes the actual ruler.

4.14 Baal HaSulam,

“The Nation”

The measure of egoism inherent in every creature is a necessary condition in the actual existence of the creature. Without it, it would not be a separate and distinct being in itself. Yet, this should not at all deny the measure of altruism in a person. The only thing required is to set distinct boundaries between them: The law of egoism must be kept in all its might, to the extent that it concerns the minimum existence. And with any surplus of that measure, permission is granted to waive it for the well-being of one’s fellow person.

Naturally, anyone who acts in this manner is to be considered exceptionally altruistic. However, one who relinquishes one’s minimal share, too, for the benefit of others, and thus risks one’s life, this is completely unnatural.

4.15 Baal HaSulam,

“Matan Torah [The Giving of the Torah],” Item 12

“A wild ass will be turned into man,” since when one emerges out of the bosom of creation, one is in utter filth and lowliness, meaning a multitude of self-love that is imprinted in him, and his every movement revolves solely around himself without a shred of bestowal upon others.

Thus, then one is at the farthest distance from the Root, on the other end, 1) since the root is all bestowal without a hint of reception, 2) whereas the newborn is in a state of complete self-reception without a hint of bestowal. Therefore, his situation is regarded as being at the lowest point of low- liness and filth in our human world.

4.16 Baal HaSulam,

“This Is for Judah”

The absence that precedes man’s existence is the form of the beast. This is why it is written, “a wild ass’s colt is born a man,” as it is necessary for every person to begin in the state of a beast. The writing says, “Man and beast You save, O Lord.” As a beast is given all that it needs for its sustenance and the fulfillment of its purpose, He also provides man with all that is necessary for his substance and the fulfillment of his purpose.

Therefore, we should understand where is the advantage of man’s form over the beast, from the perspective of their own preparation. Indeed, this is discerned in their wishes, since man’s wishes are certainly different from those of a beast. And to that extent, God’s salvation of man differs from God’s salvation of a beast.

4.17 Baal HaSulam,

“Introduction to the Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,” Item 9

All the worlds, upper and lower and everything within them, were created only for man. This is so because all these degrees and worlds came only to complement the souls in the measure of Dvekut they lacked with respect to the thought of creation.

In the beginning, they were restricted and hung down degree by degree and world after world, down to our material world, to bring the soul into a body of this world, which is entirely to receive and not to bestow, like animals and beasts. It is written, “A wild ass’ colt is born a man.” This is considered the complete will to receive, which has nothing in terms of bestowal. In that state, one is regarded as the complete opposite of Him, and there is no greater remoteness than this.

Afterward, through the soul that clothes within one, he engages in Torah and Mitzvot. Gradually and slowly, from below upward, he obtains the same form of bestowal as his Maker, through all those qualities that hung down from above downward, which are but degrees and measures in the form of the desire to bestow.

Each higher degree means that it is farther from the will to receive and closer to being only to bestow. In the end, one is awarded being entirely to bestow and not to receive anything for himself. At that time, one is completed with true Dvekut with Him, for man was created only for this. Thus, all the worlds and everything in them were created only for man.

4.18 Baal HaSulam,

“This Is for Judah”

We find that the only need in man’s wishes, which does not exist in the whole of the animate spe- cies, is the awakening toward Godly Dvekut [adhesion]. Only the human species is ready for it, and none other.

It follows that the whole issue of presence in the human species is in that preparation imprinted in him to crave His work, and in this he is superior to the beast.

4.19 Baal HaSulam,

“Introduction to the Book Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 6

And now sons do hear me: The wisdom cries aloud outside; she calls you from the streets, “Whoso is on the Lord’s side, let him come to me,” “For it is no vain thing for you; because it is your life, and the length of your days.”

“You were not created to follow the act of the grain and the potato, you and your asses in one trough.” And as the purpose of the ass is not to serve all its contemporary asses, man’s purpose is not to serve all the bodies of the people of his time, the contemporaries of his physical body. Rather, the purpose of the ass is to serve and be of use to man, who is superior to it, and the purpose of man is to serve the Creator and complete His aim.

4.20 Baal HaSulam,

“Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Items 68-69

All the inclinations, tendencies, and properties instilled in man, with which to serve one’s friends, all these tendencies and natural properties are required for the work of the Creator.

To begin with, they were created and imprinted in man only because of their final role—the ultimate purpose of man, as it is written, “No outcast shall be cast out from Him.” One needs them all so as to complement oneself in the ways of reception of the abundance and to complete the will of the Creator.

This is the meaning of “Everyone who is called by My name, I have created him for My glory” (Isaiah 43:7), and also “All that the Lord has worked was for His sake” (Proverbs 16:4). However, in the meantime, man has been given a whole world to develop and complete all these natural inclinations and qualities in him by engaging in them with people, thus yielding them suitable for their purpose. It is as our sages said, “One must say, ‘The world was created for me,’” for all the people in the world are required for a person, as they develop and qualify the attributes and inclinations of every individual to become a fit tool for His work.

Thus, we must understand the essence of the love of the Creator from the properties of love by which one person relates to another. The love of the Creator is necessarily given through these qualities, since they were only imprinted in man for His sake to begin with.

4.21 Baal HaSulam,

“The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”

The crass, undeveloped person does not recognize egoism as bad at all. Therefore, he uses it openly, without any shame or restraint, stealing and murdering in broad daylight wherever he can. The somewhat more developed sense some measure of their egoism as bad and are at least ashamed to use it in public, stealing and killing openly. But in secret, they still commit their crimes, but are careful that no one will see them.

The even more developed sense egoism as so loathsome that they cannot tolerate it in them and reject it completely, as much as they detect of it, until they cannot, and do not want to enjoy the labor of others. Then begin to emerge in them sparks of love of others, called “altruism,” which is the general attribute of goodness.

But that, too, evolves gradually. First develops love and desire to bestow upon one’s family and kin, as in the verse, “Do not ignore your own flesh.” When one develops further, one’s attribute of bestowal expands to all the people around him, being one’s townspeople or one’s nation. And so one adds until he finally develops love for the whole of humanity.

4.22 Baal HaSulam,

“Matan Torah [The Giving of the Torah],” Item 13

It is a natural law for any being that anything outside one’s own body is regarded as unreal and empty. And any movement that a person makes to love another is performed with a reflected light and some reward that will eventually return to him and serve him for his own benefit. Thus, such an act cannot be considered “love of others” because it is judged by its end. It is like rent that pays off only in the end. However, the act of renting is not considered love of another.

But making any movement only as a result of love for others, without any spark of reflected light or hope for any kind of reward in return is completely impossible by nature.

4.23 Baal HaSulam,

“Peace in the World”

The nature of each and every person is to exploit the lives of all other people in the world for his own benefit, and all that he gives to another is only out of necessity. Even then, there is exploitation of others in it, but it is done cunningly, so his friend will not notice it and concede willingly.

The reason for this is that the nature of every branch is close to its root. Because man’s soul extends from the Creator, who is one and unique, and everything is His, likewise, man, who extends from Him, feels that all the people in the world should be under his own governance and for his own private benefit. This is an unbreakable law. The only difference is in people’s choices: One chooses to exploit people by obtaining lowly lusts, and one by obtaining governance, while the third by obtaining respect. Furthermore, if one could do it without much effort, he would agree to exploit the world with all three together—wealth, governance, and respect. However, he is forced to choose according to his possibilities and capabilities.

This law can be called “the law of singularity in man’s heart.” No person escapes it (rather each and every one takes his share in that law), the great according to his size, and the small according to his size.

Thus, the above law of singularity in the nature of every person is neither condemned nor praised, as it is a natural reality and has a right to exist like all parts of reality. And there is no hope to eradicate it from the world or even slightly blur its form, just as there is no hope to eradicate the entire human race from Earth. Therefore, we will not be lying at all if we said about this law that it is the absolute truth.

Since it is undoubtedly so, how can we even try to ease one’s mind by promising him equality with all the people in the collective? Nothing is further from human nature than this, while one’s sole inclination is to soar higher, above the whole collective.

 4.24 Baal HaSulam,

“Peace in the World”

Attribute of singularity, which exists in each of us, whether less or more.

Although we have clarified that it comes from a sublime reason, that this attribute extends to us directly from the Creator, who is singular in the world and the Root of all creations, still, since the sensation of singularity has settled in our narrow egoism, it affects ruin and destruction until it became the source of all the ruins that were and will be in the world.

Indeed, there is not a single person in the world who is free from it, and all the differences are only in the ways it is used—for the desires of the heart, for governance, or for honor—and this is what separates people from one another.

But the equal side in all the people of the world is that each of us stands ready to exploit all the people for his own private benefit with every means at one’s disposal without taking into any con- sideration that he is going to build himself on the ruin of his friend.

4.25 Baal HaSulam,

“The Nation”

By the term, “egoism,” I am not referring to the original egoism. Rather, I am referring to “narrow ego- ism.” That is, the original egoism is nothing but self-love, which is all of one’s positive, individualistic power of existence. In that respect, it is not at odds with the altruistic force, although it does not serve it. However, it is the nature of egoism that the manner of using it makes it very narrow, since it is more or less compelled to acquire a nature of hatred and exploitation of others in order to make one’s own existence easier. Also, it is not abstract hatred, but one that appears in acts of abusing one’s friend for one’s own benefit, growing murkier according to its degrees, such as deceiving, stealing, robbing, and murdering. This is called “narrow egoism,” and in that respect it is at odds with—and the complete opposite from—love of others. It is a negative force that destroys the society.

Its opposite is the altruistic force. This is society’s constructive force, since all that one does for another is done only by the altruistic force.

4.26 RABASH,

Article No. 14 (1991), “What Does It Mean that Man’s Blessing Is the Blessing of the Sons, in the Work?”

Man’s main purpose is to cling to “I am the Lord your God.” In other words, wanting to be rewarded with “I” being as “the Lord your God,”

4.27 RABASH,

Article No. 18 (1987), ”What Is Preparation for Reception of the Torah? – 1”

After all the work that a person has put into awakening to achieve the truth, meaning to really know why he was born and what goal he should achieve, so now the Creator disclosed to him that the inclination of a man’s heart, which is the receiver, is evil from his youth. That is, it cannot be said that now he sees that the inclination has become bad. Rather, it is evil from his youth. However, until now he could not determine that it was really evil; therefore, the person was in states of ascent and descent. In other words, at times he would listen to the inclination and say that from now on I will know that this is my enemy and everything it advises me to do is to my detriment.

But afterwards, the esteem of the inclination rises again and once again he listens to it and works for it wholeheartedly, and so on and so forth. He feels that he is as “a dog returning to its vomit.” That is, he has already determined that it was unfit for him to listen to it because all the nourishments that the inclination gives him are but food fit for beasts and not for man. But all of a sudden, he returns to animal food and forgets all the decisions and views he had before.

Afterward, when he regrets, he sees that he has no other way but for the Creator to make him see that the inclination that is called “evil” really is evil. Then, once the Creator has given him this knowledge, he does not go astray again but asks the Creator to give him the strength to overcome it each and every time the inclination wants to fail him, so he will have the strength to overcome it. It therefore follows that the Creator should give him both the Kli [vessel] and the light, meaning both the awareness that the inclination is evil and there is a need to emerge from under its reign, and the correction for this is the Torah, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination, I have created the Torah as a spice.” Accordingly, the Creator gave him both the need for the Torah, as well as the Torah. This is regarded as the Creator giving him the light, as well as the Kli.

4.28 RABASH, Article No. 268,

Article No. 268, “One Learns Only Where One’s Heart Desires”

Man was created with a nature that he wants to delight only himself.

4.29 RABASH,

Article No. 760, ”The Material of the Soul”

Concerning the soul, which is a part of God above, the kabbalists compared it to a stone that is carved from a mountain. The question is, How can it be said that it is the same material as the mountain, for it is from His essence?

We should interpret that they mean that it is discerned as existence from existence. This is why they made a comparison to a stone from a mountain. The difference is that it is a part of the matter, which He divided, to be called a “soul.” This is the will to receive, meaning that this part is called “Creation,” meaning existence from absence.

4.30 RABASH,

Article No. 487, “Concerning the Will to Receive”

The will to receive is man’s essence, which is called something innovated existence from absence. However, the rest of the things, meaning all the fillings, extend existence from existence. Every kind of fulfillment in the world extends existence from existence since the Creator contains them. But the negative things, meaning deficiencies and suffering, are something new.

4.31 Zohar for All, VaYera [The Lord Appeared],

“A Calculation of the Time of the Messiah,” Item 453

Man is created in utter wickedness and lowliness, as it is written, “When a wild ass’s foal is born a man.” And all the vessels in one’s body, meaning the senses and the qualities, and especially the thought serve him only wickedness and nothingness all day. And for one who is rewarded with adhering unto Him, the Creator does not create other tools instead, to be worthy and suitable for reception of the eternal spiritual abundance intended for him. Rather, the same lowly vessels that have thus far been used in a filthy and loathsome way are inverted to become vessels of reception of all the pleasantness and eternal gentleness.

Moreover, each Kli whose deficiencies had been the greatest has now become the most import- ant. In other words, the measure that they reveal is the greatest.

4.32 Zohar for All, Zohar Hadash,

Song of Songs, “The Wisdom One Must Know, 482-483.

The wisdom that one should know: to know and to observe the secret of his Master, know himself, know who he is, how he was created, where he comes from and where he is going, how the body is corrected, and how he will be judged by the King of all.

To know and to observe the secret of the soul. What is this soul within him? Where does it come from, and why does it come into this body, which is a foul drop that is here today, and in the grave tomorrow? To know the world one is in, and for what will the world be corrected. Afterward, one should observe the sublime secrets of the upper world, to know one’s Master. And one observes all that from within the secrets of the Torah.

4.33 Zohar for All, BeHaalotcha [When You Mount the Candles],

“God Has Not Empowered Him to Eat From Them,” Item 140

How hard-hearted are people, for they do not watch over the words of that world at all. The evil in the heart, which clings to all organs of the body, does that to them. “There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is heavy upon men.” This evil is the force of the evil in the heart that wishes to dominate the worldly matters and does not watch over the matters of that world at all.

4.33 Zohar for All, Toldot [Generations],

Association of the Quality of Rachamim with Din

The evil inclination is needed in the world like the rain is needed in the world. Without the evil inclination there would be no joy of studying in the world. But then it will not be defiling as before, to sin by it. “My holy mountain” is the heart, the place where the evil inclination dwells.

A good heart is the structure of the body and the soul. This is why it is written, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,” for the heart is the core of everything.

4.34 Zohar for All, VaYishlach [And Jacob Sent],

“And Jacob Sent Messengers,” Item 1-4

When a person arrives in the world, the evil inclination immediately comes along with him and always complains about him, as it is written, “sin crouches at the door.” Sin crouches—this is the evil inclination. “At the door”—the door of the womb, meaning as soon as one is born.

David called the evil inclination by the name, “sin,” as it is written, “and my sin is ever before me,” because it makes man sin before his Master every day. And this evil inclination does not leave man from the day he is born and for all time. And the good inclination comes to a person from the time he comes to be purified.

And when does one come to be purified? When he is thirteen years of age. At that time, a man connects in both the good inclination on the right, and the evil inclination on the left. And these are really two appointed angels, and they are always with man.

If a man comes to be purified, the evil inclination surrenders before him and the right governs the left. And both the good inclination and the evil inclination join to keep man in all the roads he travels, as it is written, “For He will give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”

4.35 Zohar for All, VaYeshev (And Jacob Sat),

“And Jacob Sat,” Items 1-2

How many slanderers are there to a person from the day the Creator gives him a soul in this world? And because he came into the world, the evil inclination immediately appears to partake with him, as it is written, “Sin crouches at the door,” for then the evil inclination partakes with him.

A beast watches over itself from the day it is born, and runs from fire and from any bad place. When man is born, he immediately comes to throw himself into the fire, since the evil inclination is within him and promptly incites him to the evil way.

4.36 Maimonides,

Commentary on Mishnah

Man’s purpose to eat, drink, and have intercourse, or to build a wall, all those recurring happenings do not add to his inner strength. And also, in that, he partakes with most created beings. But the wisdom is what adds to his inner strength and shifts him from the level of contempt to the level of glory. Before one learns and knows, he is regarded as a beast, no different from the rest of the animals except in logic, that he is an animal with logic. He wants to say with logic that he depicts to himself the concepts. And the most distinguished concept is to depict to himself the oneness of the Creator and all that accompanies that matter from the Creator, that the rest of the teachings are only in order to grow accustomed through them until they achieve Godly knowledge.

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