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6.01 Baal HaSulam,
“The Love of God and the Love of Man”
When one completes one’s work in love of others and bestowal upon others through the final point, one also completes one’s love for the Creator and bestowal upon the Creator. And there is no differ- ence between the two, for anything that is outside one’s body, meaning outside one’s self-interest, is judged equally—either to bestow upon one’s friend or to bestow contentment upon one’s Maker.
6.02 Baal HaSulam,
From the perspective of empirical reason—out of the practical history unfolding before our very eyes—that there is no other cure for humanity but to assume the commandment of Providence to bestow upon others in order to bring contentment to the Creator in the measure of the two verses. The first is “love your friend as yourself,” which is the attribute of the work itself. This means that the measure of work to bestow upon others for the happiness of society should be no less than the measure imprinted in man to care for his own needs. Moreover, he should put his fellow person’s needs before his own, as it written in the article, “Matan Torah,” Item 4.
The other verse is, “And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” This is the goal that must be before everyone’s eyes when laboring for one’s friend’s needs. This means that he labors and toils only to be liked by the Creator, as He said, “and they do His will.”
“And if you wish to listen, you will feed on the fruit of the land,” for poverty and torment and exploitation will be no more in the land, and the happiness of each and every one will rise ever higher, beyond measure. But as long as you refuse to assume the covenant of the work for the sake of the Creator in the fullest measure, nature and its laws will stand ready to take revenge on you. And as we have shown, it will not let go until it defeats us and we accept its authority in whatever it commands.
6.03 Baal HaSulam,
“Introduction to The Book of Zohar,” Item 33
You should know that any contentment of our Maker from bestowing upon His creatures depends on the extent that the creatures feel Him—that He is the giver, and He is the one who delights them.
Then He takes great pleasure in them, as a father playing with his beloved son, to the extent that the son feels and recognizes the greatness and exaltedness of his father, and his father shows him all the treasures he had prepared for him, as it is written (Jeremiah 31): “Ephraim, my darling son, is he a child of joy? For whenever I speak of him, I do remember him still. Hence, My heart yearns for him, I will surely have mercy on him, says the Lord.”
Observe these words carefully and you can come to know the great delights of the Lord with those whole ones who have been granted feeling Him and recognizing His greatness in all those manners He has prepared for them, until they are like a father with his darling son, like a father with his child of joy. We need not continue about this, for it is enough for us to know that for this contentment and delight with those whole ones, it was worth His while to create all the worlds, higher and lower alike.
6.04 Baal HaSulam,
We have already explained the “practical” part of the one Mitzva: One should agree to dedicate all of one’s free time to benefit the people in the world. The aspect of “thought” is more imperative in this Mitzva than in Mitzvot relating to man and the Creator since in Mitzvot between man and the Creator, the “act” in itself testifies that the intention is to benefit one’s Maker, as there is no other room for such an action but Him.
Yet, with what concerns man and man, they are justified in and of themselves, since human conscience necessitates them. However, if one performs them from this perspective, he has not done a thing. In others words, these actions will not bring him closer to the Creator and to actual work Lishma.
Thus, each person should think that he is doing all this only to bring contentment to his Maker and to resemble His ways: As He is merciful, so I am merciful, and as He always imparts good, so do I. This image, coupled with good deeds, will bring him closer to the Creator in a way that will equalize his form with spirituality and with Kedusha [holiness], and he will become like a seal, fit to receive the true Higher Abundance.
6.05 Baal HaSulam,
The first restriction is the ascent of the desire of Ein Sof not to receive anymore in Phase Four. It is the great reception that is implemented in the world of Ein Sof, where there is disparity from His Self. This was in order to do good to His creations.
In other words, it is so that in the end, souls that are clothed in a body in this world will emerge from the ascent of this desire, so they will turn all of the great reception to be in order to bestow. At that time, they will have equivalence of form with His self and will be worthy of adhesion with Him. This is the meaning of doing good to His creations, since they will be able to receive the great lights that are received in Phase Four, who is called “His mate in Ein Sof.” And yet, they will not be separated from Him because of it due to the disparity of form of reception, which does not occur in Him, since their whole intention in receiving from Him will be only because He wants it, and their sole aim is to bring contentment to their Maker. This is the meaning of “Ein Sof does not bring down his unification on her until He is given his mate.”
6.06 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 81, “Concerning Raising MAN”
It is known that because of the breaking, sparks of Kedusha [holiness] fell into BYA. But there, in BYA, they cannot be corrected. Therefore, they must be raised to Atzilut. By doing Mitzvot [com- mandments] and good deeds with the aim to bring contentment to his Maker and not to himself, these sparks rise to Atzilut. Then they are included in the Masach [screen] of the upper one, at the Rosh [head/top] of the degree, where the Masach remains in its eternity. At that time, there is a Zivug [coupling] on the Masach by the Hitkalelut [mixture/integration] of the sparks, and the upper light spreads through all the worlds according to the measure of the sparks that they have raised.
6.07 Baal HaSulam,
“The Meaning of Conception and Birth”
Know that the Creator needed the work of creation only to the extent that man was not given the strength to work there. Similar to digestion, the Creator created everything in such a way that the digestion of the food in our stomach happens without effort on our part.
However, from the point where one can work—as this is all the flavor and contentment of the Creator who wanted to enjoy His work, meaning to fashion creations that can add, delight, and create like Him, but has no wish whatsoever to cook our food which is on the stove for us without our awareness, since we can do this by ourselves.
This is similar to a teacher and a student where the whole intention of the teacher is to give the student the strength to be like him, and to teach other students, like him. Likewise, the Creator is pleased when His creations create and innovate like Him. Yet, our whole power to innovate and develop is not real innovation. Rather, it is a type of emulation. And the more the emulation matches the work of nature, to that extent is our level of development measured.
From this we know that we have the power to correct ourselves, the existence of reality, like nature’s pleasant example of reality. The proof of this is that had the Creator not worked His full Providence in that discernment, too, for “Is the Lord’s hand short?” Rather, it is necessary that in this place, which is our own correction, we are able to correct ourselves.
6.08 Baal HaSulam,
“Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Items 80-82
The reason for the concealment of the face from people has been explained: It is deliberately to give people room to labor and engage in His work in Torah and Mitzvot voluntarily, for then the contentment of the Creator from their work in His Torah and Mitzvot increases more than His contentment from the angels above, who have no choice and whose mission is compulsory. There are also other reasons, but this is not the place to elaborate on them.
Despite the above praise for concealment of face, it is still not considered wholeness, but only a “transition,” as this is the place from which the longed-for wholeness is attained. This means that any reward for a Mitzva that is prepared for a person is acquired only through one’s labor in Torah and good deeds during the concealment of the face, when he engages voluntarily. This is so because then one feels sorrow out of his strengthening in His faith in keeping His will. And one’s whole reward is measured only according to the pain he suffers from keeping the Torah and the Mitzva, as in the words of Ben He He, “The reward is according to the pain.”
Hence, every person must experience that transition period of concealment of the face. When he completes it, he is rewarded with open Providence, meaning the revelation of the face.
6.09 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 12, “The Essence of Man’s Work”
The essence of man’s work should be how to come to feel taste in bestowing contentment to one’s Maker, since all that one does for oneself removes him from the Creator due to the disparity of form. Conversely, if one acts in order to benefit the Creator, even if it is the smallest act, it is still considered a Mitzva [commandment].
Therefore, one’s primary exertion should be to acquire the strength to feel taste in bestowing, which is through lessening the force that feels taste in self-reception. Then one slowly acquires the taste in bestowing.
6.10 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 19, “What Is “The Creator Hates the Bodies,” in the Work?”
One must always examine oneself, the purpose of one’s work, meaning if the Creator receives con- tentment in every act that one performs, because he wants equivalence of form with the Creator. This is called “All your actions will be for the sake of the Creator,” meaning that one wants the Creator to enjoy everything he does, as it is written, “to bring contentment to his Maker.”
Also, one needs to conduct oneself with the will to receive and say to it, “I have already decided that I do not want to receive any pleasure because you want to enjoy, since with your desire I am forced to be separated from the Creator, for disparity of form causes separation and distance from the Creator.”
One’s hope should be that since he cannot break free from the power of the will to receive, he is therefore in perpetual ascents and descents. Hence, he awaits the Creator, to be rewarded with the Creator opening his eyes, and to have the strength to overcome and work only for the sake of the Creator. It is as it is written, “One have I asked of the Lord; her will I seek.” “Her” means the Shechina [Divinity]. And one asks “that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”
6.11 Baal HaSulam,
“The Writings of the Last Generation”
All of the anticipated reward from the Creator, and the purpose of the entire creation, are Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, as in, “A tower filled abundantly, but no guests.” This is what they who cling to Him with love receive.
Naturally, first, one emerges from imprisonment, which is emerging from the skin of one’s body by bestowal upon others. Subsequently, one comes to the king’s palace, which is Dvekut with Him through the intention to bestow contentment upon one’s maker.
Therefore, the bulk of commandments are between man and man. One who gives preference to the commandments between man and God is as one who climbs to the second step before he has climbed to the first step. Clearly, he will break his legs.
6.12 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 38, “The Fear of God Is His Treasure”
Our sages said, “Everything is in the hands of heaven but the fear of heaven,” is because He can give everything but fear. This is because what the Creator gives is more love, not fear.
Acquiring fear is through the Segula [power/remedy] of Torah and Mitzvot. It means that when one engages in Torah and Mitzvot with the intention to be rewarded with bringing contentment to one’s Maker, that aim that rests on the acts of Mitzvot and the study of Torah brings one to attain it. Otherwise, one might remain—although he observes Torah and Mitzvot in every item and detail— he will still remain merely in the degree of still of Kedusha [holiness].
6.13 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 19, What Is “The Creator Hates the Bodies,” in the Work?
One must not be angry when he has work with the will to receive, that it obstructs him in the work. One would certainly be more satisfied if the will to receive were absent from the body, meaning that it would not bring its questions to a person, obstructing him in the work of observing Torah and Mitzvot [commandments].
However, one should believe that the obstructions of the will to receive in the work come to him from above. One is given the force to discover the will to receive from above because there is room for work precisely when the will to receive awakens.
Then one has close contact with the Creator to help him turn the will to receive to work in order to bestow. One must believe that from this extends contentment to the Creator, from his praying to Him to draw him near in the manner of Dvekut [adhesion], called “equivalence of form,” discerned as the annulment of the will to receive, so it is in order to bestow. The Creator says about this, “My sons defeated Me.” That is, I gave you the will to receive, and you ask Me to give you a desire to bestow instead.
6.14 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 8, “What Is the Difference between a Shade of Kedusha and a Shade of Sitra Achra?”
The shade of Klipa [shell] is called “Another god is sterile and does not bear fruit.” In Kedusha [holi- ness], however, it is called “Under its shadow I coveted to sit, and its fruit was sweet to my palate.” In other words, he says that all the concealments and afflictions he feels are because the Creator has sent him these states so he would have a place for work above reason.
When one has the strength to say this—that the Creator causes him all this—it is to one’s benefit. This means that through this he can come to work in order to bestow and not for his own sake. At that time, one realizes, meaning believes that the Creator enjoys specifically this work, which is built entirely on above reason.
It follows that at that time, one does not pray to the Creator that the shadows will flee from the world. Rather, he says, “I see that the Creator wants me to serve Him in this manner, entirely above reason.” Thus, in everything he does he says, “The Creator certainly enjoys this work, so why should I care if I am working in a state of concealment of the face?”
Because one wants to work in order to bestow, meaning that the Creator will enjoy, he feels no humiliation in this work, meaning a sensation that he is in a state of concealment of the face, that the Creator does not enjoy this work. Instead, one agrees to the leadership of the Creator, meaning however the Creator wants him to feel the existence of the Creator during the work, he agrees wholeheartedly. This is so because one does not consider what can please him, but what can please the Creator. Thus, this shade brings him life.
This is called “Under its shadow I coveted,” meaning one covets such a state where he can make some overcoming above reason.
6.15 Baal HaSulam,
The children of Israel were rewarded with complete Dvekut on that holy occasion, their vessels of reception were completely emptied of any worldly possession and they were adhered to Him in equivalence of form. This means that they had no desire for any self-possession, but only to the extent that they could bestow contentment, so their Maker would delight in them.
And since their will to receive had clothed in an image of that object, it had clothed in it and bonded with it into complete oneness. Therefore, they were certainly liberated from the angel of death, for death is necessarily an absence and negation of the existence of something. But only while there is a spark that wishes to exist for its own pleasure is it possible to say about it that that spark does not exist because it has become absent and died.
However, if there is no such spark in man, but all the sparks of his selfness clothe in bestowal of contentment upon their Maker, then he neither becomes absent nor dies. For even when the body is annulled, it is only annulled with respect to self-reception, in which the will to receive is dressed and can only exist in it.
However, when he achieves the aim of creation and the Creator receives pleasure from him, since His will is done, man’s essence, which clothes in His contentment, is granted complete eternity, like Him. Thus, he has been rewarded with freedom from the angel of death.
6.16 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 5, Lishma Is an Awakening from Above, and Why Do We Need an Awakening from Below?
When the thief, meaning the will to receive, does not feel any flavor or vitality in the work of accepting the burden of the kingdom of heaven, in that state, if one works with faith above reason, coercively, and the body becomes accustomed to this work against the desire of his will to receive, then he has the means by which to come to work that will be with the purpose of bringing content- ment to his Maker, since the primary requirement from a person is to come to Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator through his work, which is discerned as equivalence of form, where all his actions are in order to bestow.
This is as it is written, “Then shall you delight in the Lord.” The meaning of “Then” is that first, in the beginning of his work, he did not have pleasure. Instead, his work was coercive.
But afterward, when he has already accustomed himself to work in order to bestow and not examine himself—if he is feeling a good taste in the work—but believes that he is working to bring contentment to his Maker through his work, he should believe that the Creator accepts the work of the lower ones regardless of how and how much is the form of their work. In everything, the Creator examines the intention, and this brings contentment to the Creator. Then one is rewarded with “delight in the Lord.”
Even during the work of the Creator he will feel delight and pleasure since now he really does work for the Creator because the effort he made during the coercive work qualifies him to be able to truly work for the Creator. You find that then, too, the pleasure he receives relates to the Creator, meaning specifically for the Creator.
6.17 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 3, “The Matter of Spiritual Attainment”
May we merit receiving His light and following the ways of the Creator, and to serve Him not in order to receive reward but to give contentment to the Creator and raise the Shechina [Divinity] from the dust. May we be rewarded with Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator and the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures.
6.18 Baal HaSulam,
“The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”
Through the subtle pleasantness we feel when working solely for Him, to bring Him contentment, there develops within us a relative recognition of the lowliness of these sparks of self-love—that they are obstacles on our way to receiving that subtle taste of bestowal upon the Creator.
6.19 Baal HaSulam,
Letter No. 9
I know the great advantage with which the Creator has granted me over my contemporaries, for I have searched a long, long time why I have been chosen by God’s will. And after all the lowliness emitted from that son of a wicked one, which is the Klipa [shell] that rules in my time, and after I have witnessed its true measure, I realize the Creator’s kindness with me, to distract my heart today and always from hearing the above-mentioned question of the wicked.
I find myself committed and obligated, as today and as always, to be as an ox to the burden and as a donkey to the load, all day and all night. I will not rest from searching some place where I can bring some contentment to my Maker. Even in this day that I am in, I am happy to work under a great burden even seventy years, without any knowledge of its success (even my whole life), except that it is certainly the way that I have been commanded to walk in all His ways and to adhere to Him, which I have heard initially.
At the same time, I cannot excuse myself at all by any notion or contemplation from doing any work for His sake because of my lowliness. I crave and think all day about the sublimity of the work of God, in such sublimity that I cannot even write about it.
6.20 Baal HaSulam,
“A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”
The engagement in Torah and Mitzvot in order to bestow contentment upon one’s Maker is equiv- alence of form in the mind. This is because the Creator does not think of Himself—whether He exists or whether He watches over His creations, and other such doubts. Similarly, one who wishes to achieve equivalence of form must not think of these things, as well, when it is clear to him that the Creator does not think of them, since there is no greater disparity of form than that. Hence, anyone who thinks of such matters is certainly separated from Him and will never achieve equiv- alence of form.
This is what our sages said, “Let all your actions be for the sake of the Creator,” that is, Dvekut with the Creator. Do not do anything that does not yield this goal of Dvekut. This means that all your actions will be to bestow and to benefit your fellow person. At that time, you will achieve equivalence of form with the Creator—as all His actions are to bestow and to benefit others, so you, all your actions will be only to bestow and to benefit others. This is the complete Dvekut.
6.21 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 17, “What Does It Mean that the Sitra Achra Is Called ‘Malchut without a Crown’?”
Our sages said, “Anyone who is proud, the Creator says, ‘He and I cannot dwell in the same abode,’” as he makes two authorities. However, when one is in a state of Ein, and annuls himself before the Root, meaning that one’s sole intention is only to bestow, like the Root, you find that there is only one authority here—the authority of the Creator. Then, all that one receives in the world is only in order to bestow upon the Creator.
This is the meaning of what he had said, “The whole world was created only for me, and I, to serve my Maker.” For this reason, I must receive all the degrees in the world so that I can give everything to the Creator, which is called “to serve my Maker.”
6.22 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 175, “And If the Way Be Too Far for You”
Even though the craving is not up to man, if he has no desire for it, he cannot do a thing. Nevertheless, he should show the desire for the Kisufin, the desire to want (and perhaps VeTzarta [bind] comes from the word Ratzita [wanted]). One needs to show a desire for it, to show the desire and the craving to want the Creator, meaning to want to increase the glory of heaven, to bestow contentment upon Him, to be favored by Him.
6.23 Baal HaSulam,
“Anyone Who Is Sorry for the Public”
“To the extent that one appreciates, so one is allotted” (Megillah 12, Sotah 8). That is, according to the size of the hole in the Kli [vessel], meaning the receptacle and its insides, that lack will always be filled, not less and not more. Therefore, a servant of the Creator who is not sorry for the public but feels only his own personal lack, his receptacle for abundance is also not greater. As a result, he will not be able to receive the collective revelation of Godliness in the form of the comfort of the public, since he did not prepare a Kli to receive this collective discernment, but only his individual discernment.
Conversely, one who is sorry for the public and feels the troubles of the public as his own trouble is rewarded with seeing the complete revelation of the Shechina, meaning the comfort of the whole of Israel. Because his lack is a collective lack, the abundance of Kedusha [holiness] is also collective.
By this you will understand the matter of “The righteous have no rest” (end of Berachot, end of Moed Katan). Interpretation: Since the abundance is blessed according to the level of the lack and longing of the righteous, to that extent, not less and not more, they always exert to deepen and expand their receptacle, for the Giver has no measure, only the receiver. “More than the calf wants to nurse,” etc., (Pesachim 112) so their entire intention in life is to strengthen their yearning and make for themselves a receptacle in order to bring contentment by expanding the boundaries of Kedusha in the blessing of the Creator.
6.24 Baal HaSulam,
It is hopeless to wait for a time when a solution is found that enables one to begin the work of the Creator in Lishma. As in the past, so is now, and so will it be: Every servant of the Creator must begin the work in Lo Lishma, and from that achieve Lishma.
The way to achieve this degree is not limited by time, but by his qualifiers, and by the measure of one’s control over one’s heart. Hence, many have fallen and will fall in the field of working Lo Lishma, and will die without wisdom. Yet, their reward is nevertheless great, since one’s mind cannot appreciate the true merit and value of bringing contentment to one’s Maker. Even if one works not under this condition, since one is not worthy of another way, one still brings contentment to one’s Maker. This is called “unintentionally.”
Article No. 6 (1986), “Confidence”
Those who want to enter the path of truth, to achieve Dvekut, must accustom themselves to make every thought, word, and action have the aim to bring contentment to the Creator through the Mitzvot that they do and the Torah in which they engage. They must not consider what they can receive from the Creator for wanting to please Him. That is, they must not think, “What will the Creator give me?” meaning that they can extract from the Creator’s authority into their own. This would cause them to create two authorities: an authority of the Creator and an authority of the creatures, which is the opposite of Dvekut.
Letter No. 77
The whole foundation is that one should ask that all of one’s thoughts and desires will be only to benefit the Creator, a depiction of lowliness, called Shechina in the dust, immediately appears. Hence, we must not be impressed by the descent, since many pennies join into a great amount.
This is as we learned, “there is no absence in spirituality,” rather that it has temporarily departed in order to have room for work to advance. This is so because every moment that we scrutinize into holiness enters the domain of holiness, and a person descends only in order to sort out more sparks of holiness.
However, there is an advice that one should not wait until his degree is lowered for him, and when he feels his lowliness he goes up again, and that ascent is regarded as sorting a part into holiness. Instead, he himself descends and elevates other sparks, and raises them into the domain of holiness.
It is as our sages said, “Before I lose, I search” (Shabbat, 152), meaning before I lose the situation I am in, I start searching. It is as Baal HaSulam said about King David, who said, “I awaken the dawn.” Our sages said, “I awaken the dawn and the dawn does not awaken me.”
Article No. 13 (1986), “Come unto Pharaoh – 2”
We should know that we were given love of friends to learn how to avoid blemishing the King’s honor. In other words, if he has no other desire except to give contentment to the King, he will certainly blemish the King’s honor, which is called “Passing on Kedusha [holiness/sanctity] to the external ones.” For this reason, we mustn’t underestimate the importance of the work in love of friends, for by that he will learn how to exit self-love and enter the path of love of others. And when he completes the work of love of friends, he will be able to be rewarded with love of the Creator.
Article No. 283, “Be Mindful with a Minor Commandment as with a Major One 3”
“Be mindful with a minor Mitzva [commandment] as with a major one, for you do not know the reward given for Mitzvot [commandments].”
A person thinks that receiving the reward is from something that gives contentment above. Hence, when he learns and finds success in his learning, meaning that he has vitality and can present innovations in the Torah, or feels while he prays that he has love and fear and Dvekut [adhesion] and excitement during the prayer, at that time he is mindful about the matter and wants to continue his work.
Although he sees that he has no time and he is preoccupied, he still has the strength to give even to the point of devotion so as not to rest from Torah and from prayer, since he feels in this knowledge, meaning he knows and feels on himself that these Torah and prayer give contentment above. Hence, at such a time he is mindful to do his work however he can.
This is not so with a minor Mitzva, which is only by acceptance of the burden of the kingdom of heaven, where he does not feel a flavor in the Torah, and where he has no vitality in the prayer. At such a time, it is regarded as “minor.”
When he has no importance for such work, he does not want to be mindful and overcome the disturbances he has because he says that in any case, the engagement in Torah and Mitzvot is not so important above when he has no vitality. He wants to stop over a small disturbance because above it is also unimportant and he will not receive a great reward.
Therefore, they said, “You do not know the reward given for Mitzvot.” In other words, the Creator derives contentment from his state of Katnut [smallness/infancy], which is only by acceptance of the burden of the kingdom of heaven without any knowledge, intellect, or other feeling from the time of Gadlut [greatness/adulthood], as his importance above is mainly the work during the Katnut, and not the Gadlut.
Because a person does not know which state gives more contentment above, “Be mindful with a minor Mitzva,” meaning in the state of Katnut, “as with a major one,” namely in the state of Gadlut.
Article No. 24 (1991), “What Does It Mean that One Should Bear a Son and a Daughter, in the Work?”
If one decides that he wants to work as “dust,” meaning even if he tastes the taste of dust in the work, he says that it is very important for him to be able to do something for the sake of the Creator, and for himself, he does not care which taste he feels, and says that this work, in which one tastes the taste of dust, meaning that the body mocks this work, he says to the body that in his view, this work is regarded as “raising the Shechina [Divinity] from the dust.”
In other words, although the body tastes dust in this work, the person says that it is Kedusha and does not measure how much flavor he feels in the work. Rather, he believes that the Creator does enjoy this work, since there is no mixture of the will to receive here, since he has nothing to receive because there are no flavor or scent in this work, as there is only the taste of dust here. For this reason, he believes that this is the holy work, and he is delighted.
Article No. 13 (1989), “What Is the ‘Bread of an Evil-Eyed Man’ in the Work?”
All our work in Torah and Mitzvot is in order to emerge from the exile of the will to receive for ourselves. In other words, we must aim—while engaging in Torah and Mitzvot—that our reward will be that by this we will be rewarded with emerging from the exile and enslavement in the will to receive for ourselves, and we will be able to work only in order to bring contentment to the Creator, and we will not demand any other reward for our work in Torah and Mitzvot.
In other words, we want to be rewarded with feeling—while engaging in Torah and Mitzvot—that we are serving a great and important king, and that by this there will be love of the Creator within us, from feeling His exaltedness. However, all of our pleasure will come from serving the Creator; this will be our reward, and not that He will somehow reward us for the work. Instead, we will feel that the work itself is the reward, and there is no greater reward in the world than the privilege of serving the Creator.
Article No. 24 (1986), “The Difference between Charity and Gift”
When the cup of labor has been filled sufficiently, it is called a Kli. Then the filling of it comes from the Creator, since now he has a real Kli.
It follows that his seeing that now—after several years of work—he has retreated, this happens deliberately so he will ache at not having Dvekut with the Creator. It turns out that each time he must see that he is approaching the making of the Kli, called “real deficiency.” That is, his gauge of Katnut [infancy/smallness] and Gadlut [adulthood/greatness] of the deficiency is to the extent of the suffering he feels at not having the filling, which is called here “Dvekut with the Creator,” where all he wants is only to bring contentment to the Creator.
Article No. 502, “If Man Wins, the Creator Is Happy”
If a person wants to receive the Torah with the Creator’s intention—to do good to His creations—so the creatures will enjoy, it is called “the Torah of the Creator,” when the Torah follows the line of the Creator. If a person takes the Torah so as to have the power to bestow, this is regarded as man’s intention, where man wants to bestow contentment upon his Maker, and then it is regarded as his Torah.
Article No. 5 (1990), “What It Means that the Land Did Not Bear Fruit before Man Was Created, in the Work”
In the work, man is regarded as one who has emerged from the control of the quality of a beast. A “beast” means one who is immersed in self-benefit, like a beast, and man means one in whom there is fear of heaven and works because of fear, which The Zohar calls “Because He is great and ruling,” where he works only because of the greatness of the Creator and does not care for his own benefit, but for the benefit of the Creator. It is as our sages said about the verse, “In the end of the matter, fear God and observe His commandments, for this is the whole of man. What is ‘for this is the whole of man’? Rabbi Elazar said, ‘The whole world was created only for this’” (Berachot 6).
It follows that man is regarded as one in whom there is the fear of heaven. And what is the fear of heaven? That is, what is fear? It is as he says (“Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Item 191), “Both the first fear and the second fear are not for his own benefit, but only for fear that he will decline in bringing contentment to his Maker.”
According to the above, we already know the meaning of Adam. It is one who has fear of heaven, who is afraid that perhaps he will not be able to do everything in order to bestow. This is called “man.” A “beast” is the opposite: one who cares only for one’s own benefit, as it is written (Ecclesiastes 3), “Who knows the spirit of man, whether it goes upward, and the spirit of the beast, whether it goes downward to the earth?” We should interpret that “spirit of man” goes upward means that everything he does is for the sake of the Creator. This is called “upward,” when his intention is that everything will be only in order to bestow. From this man derives contentment.
Article No. 15 (1989), “What Is, ‘The Righteous Become Apparent through the Wicked,’ in the Work?”
The Zohar says (“Introduction of The Book of Zohar,” Item 190): “Fear that is Lo Lishma is not the main fear.” (In Item 191) It says, “The main fear is that one should fear one’s Master because He is great and ruling, and all is regarded as nothing before Him, and he should place his will in that place, which is called ‘fear.’”
From this it follows that there are two kinds of intentions while performing actions, both in learn- ing Torah and in performing Mitzvot. The work of the general public is in order to receive reward, and the work of individuals is for the sake of the Creator, and their reward is if they can serve the King. That is, their whole pleasure, which gives them fuel so they can work in order to bestow, is to feel that they are bringing contentment to the King and are praising and thanking the King for giv- ing them the thought and desire to work for Him and not to receive any other reward for their work. They say that in order to receive reward, “We do not need to feel the greatness of the King.
Rather, we need to consider the greatness and importance of the reward we will receive if we observe the Torah and Mitzvot.” But the Creator can stay for them at the same level of greatness and importance as He was for them at the beginning of their work.
However, if their intention is to bring contentment to the Creator, then if they want to increase the work, they must increase the greatness of the Creator, since to the extent of His greatness, to that extent they can annul before Him and do everything they do only for the sake of the Creator. It is as The Zohar says about the verse, “Her husband is known at the gates,” each according to “what he assumes in his heart.”
Therefore, in order to have fuel to work, those who want to work for the sake of the Creator must try each day to exert to obtain faith in the greatness of the Creator, since the greatness of the Creator is what compels them to work for Him, and this is all the pleasure they derive from their work.
Article No. 18 (1989), “What Is, ‘There Is No Blessing in That Which Is Counted,’ in the Work?”
There are two discernments to make in this: 1) to have a desire to bestow contentment upon his Maker, that this will be his only aspiration, 2) to do things with the aim that the actions will bring him a desire to do things in order to please the Creator. In other words, he must work and toil extensively to obtain light and Kli [vessel]. Light means that he received from the Creator a desire where he craves all day to bring contentment to the Creator. A Kli is a desire, meaning that he wants to bestow upon the Creator. Those two, he should receive from the Creator, meaning both the light and the Kli.
However, a person should demand this, and it is written about this, “Zion, no one requires her.” Our sages said, “This means that she ought to be sought,” meaning that there must be a demand on the part of the lower ones that the Creator will give them both the light and the Kli.
Article No. 295, “Anyone Who Sanctifies the Seventh – 1”
When one comes to a degree where he wants to bestow upon the Creator, meaning give content- ment to his Maker, he begins to contemplate what the Creator needs so he can give it to Him, since all his concerns are to please the Creator. At that time, he realizes that the only reason He created the world was to receive pleasures from Him, and that more than this, the Creator does not need. Hence, he follows the Creator’s will and receives the pleasures.
At that time, there is no issue of bread of shame because he is not receiving the pleasures because he wants to enjoy, but because he wants to bestow upon the Creator, for when one achieves the degree of wanting only to bestow upon the Creator, the Tzimtzum is lifted from him and he sees the world as full of His glory.
Then he sees that all this was revealed to him so he would enjoy it. Hence, once he has obtained the degree of bestowal, meaning obtained the degree where all he wants is only to bestow contentment upon the Creator, he fills himself with all the pleasures that his eyes see, as in the explanation, “The whole earth is full of His glory.”
It follows that all that one needs to obtain that he can define as a reward after he has toiled several years is only one thing: the desire to bestow, meaning the degree of wanting to serve the rav not in order to receive reward.
All the labor where one needs to exert himself in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] is only to obtain this. This is called “fear of heaven,” as it is written, “What does the Lord your God ask of you? Only to fear Me.”
6.37 RABASH, Article No. 300,
“A Land Where You Will Eat Bread without Scarcity”
One must engage in Torah day and night, that the night and the day should be equal for him, as written in The Zohar (BeShalach). In other words, the state of completeness called “day,” and the state of incompleteness called “night,” should be equal. That is, if his aim is for the sake of the Creator then he agrees that he wants to bring contentment to his Maker, and if the Creator wants him to remain in the state of incompleteness, he agrees to this, as well. The consent is expressed by doing his work as if he were rewarded with wholeness. This is regarded as “agreeing,” when the day and the night are equal to him.
But if there is a difference, to the extent of the difference, there is separation, and on that sepa- ration there is a grip to the outer ones. Hence, if a person feels that to him there is a difference, he must pray to the Creator to help him so there will not be a difference for him, and then he will be rewarded with completeness.
Article No. 15 (1986), “A Prayer of Many”
The advice is to ask for the whole collective. In other words, everything that one feels that he is lacking and asks fulfillment for, he should not say that he is an exception or deserves more than what the collective has. Rather, “I dwell among my own people,” meaning I am asking for the entire collective because I wish to come to a state where I will have no care for myself whatsoever, but only for the Creator to have contentment. Therefore, it makes no difference to me if the Creator takes pleasure in me or can receive the pleasure from others.
In other words, he asks the Creator to give us such an understanding, which is called, “entirely for the Creator.” It means that he will be certain that he is not deceiving himself that he wants to bestow upon the Creator, that perhaps he is really thinking only of his own self-love, meaning that he will feel the delight and pleasure.
Therefore, he prays for the collective. This means that if there are a few people in the collective who can reach the goal of Dvekut with the Creator, and this will bring the Creator more content- ment than if he himself were rewarded with nearing the Creator, he excludes himself. Instead, he wishes for the Creator to help them because this will bring more contentment above than from his own work. For this reason, he prays for the collective, that the Creator will help the entire collective and will give them that feeling—that they receive satisfaction from being able to bestow upon the Creator, to bring Him contentment.
Article No. 502, “If Man Wins, the Creator Is Happy”
The intention of the Emanator is for the lower ones to receive pleasure. Yet, man uses the Torah in the opposite manner, wanting the Creator to receive pleasure. He receives this power from the Torah, from that spice. It follows that he is fighting with the Creator, meaning that the Creator wants man to receive pleasure, and man wants the Creator to receive pleasure.
Thus, he uses the Torah in the opposite direction from the seller. It was said about this that the Creator says, “My sons defeated Me.” That is, they fight against the will to receive that the Creator imprinted in their hearts, where if the man wins, the Creator is happy.
6.40 RABASH, Article No. 16 (1989),
“What Is the Prohibition to Bless on an Empty Table, in the Work?”
“Right line,” meaning wholeness, in which there are no deficiencies. And what should one do when he engages in a manner of “right”? He should praise and thank the Creator, and engage in the Torah, for then is the time to receive the light of Torah, since he is in a state of wholeness, regarded as being a person who has blessing and no lacks. Naturally, this is the time for the blessing to be on him, as said above, “The blessed clings to The Blessed.”
However, it is impossible to walk on one leg. That is, a person cannot progress on one leg. Since there is a rule, “There is no light without a Kli,” meaning “No filling without a lack,” and since on the right line he is in wholeness, it follows that he has nowhere to progress, no need for the Creator to satisfy his needs, since he has no needs at all.
For this reason, at that time a person must try to see his faults, so as to have room for prayer that the Creator will satisfy his needs. This is regarded as a person having to provide empty Kelim that the Creator may fill with upper abundance, which is called “a blessing.” If there are no empty Kelim, meaning deficiencies, with what can he fill them?
This is regarded as a person walking on the “left line.” In spirituality, “left” means something that requires correction. This means that a person should dedicate a small portion of his time to criticize himself and see how much effort he can put into working solely for the sake of the Creator, and not for his own sake, and if he can say that if he does not work in order to bring contentment to his Maker, he does not want to live, and so forth.
At that time he realizes that he cannot do this on his own, but only the Creator can help. It follows that now is the time when he can pray from the bottom of the heart. That is, he sees and feels that he is powerless to change the nature with which he was created, called “will to receive for himself and not to bestow.”
Article No. 5 (1991), “What Is, ‘The Good Deeds of the Righteous Are the Generations,’ in the Work?”
We ask the Creator to give us the strength so we can perform all our actions for You, meaning for the sake of the Creator. Otherwise, meaning if You do not help us, all our actions will be only for our own benefit. That is, “If not,” meaning “If You do not help us, all our actions will be only for ourselves, for our own benefit, for we are powerless to overcome our will to receive. Therefore, help us be able to work for You. Hence, You must help us.” This is called “Do for Your sake,” meaning do this, give us the power of the desire to bestow. Otherwise, we are doomed; we will remain in the will to receive for our own sake.
Article No. 16 (1984), “Concerning Bestowal”
It is said about that (Kidushin, 30), “Man’s inclination overcomes him each day and seeks to kill him, as it is said, ‘The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him.’ And if the Creator did not help him, he would not overcome it, as it is said, ‘The Lord will not leave him in his hand.’”
This means that first, one must see if he has the strength to come to be able to act with the aim to bestow contentment upon the Creator. Then, when he has already come to realize that he cannot achieve it by himself, that person focuses his Torah and Mitzvot on a single point, which is that “the light in it reforms him,” that this will be the only reward that he wants from the Torah and Mitzvot. In other words, the reward for his labor will be for the Creator to give him this strength called “the power of bestowal.”
Article No. 223, “Entry into the Work”
The entry into the work must be in Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], meaning that by believing in the Creator he will have a life of pleasure. This means that if he does this action called “faith,” it will give him elation and superior mental forces than when he does not perform this action.
It follows that this is a Segula [remedy/quality/power] by which he can taste greater flavors in quantity and quality than what he tastes while he is doing other things in order to receive pleasure. This means that there are many ways to obtain pleasure, such as eating, drinking, and sleeping, or impressive clothes, or by doing things that make people respect him. Such actions are means by which he obtains pleasure.
Yet, the pleasures that these actions yield for him are limited in quantity and quality. Conversely, the Segula of faith brings him greater pleasure in quantity and quality.
All this is called Lo Lishma because his intention is only to obtain a greater pleasure.
Only after he achieves this degree called Lo Lishma, he is rewarded with other phenomena, when he comes to a higher state. That is, at that time he has no consideration of himself, and all his calculations and thoughts are the truth.
In other words, his aim is only to annul himself before the true reality, where he feels that he must only serve the King because he feels the exaltedness and greatness and importance of the King. At that time, he forgets, meaning he has no need to worry about himself, as his own self is annulled as a candle before a torch before the existence of the Creator that he feels. Then he is in a state of Lishma [for Her sake], meaning contentment to the Creator, and his concerns and yearnings are only about how he can delight the Creator, while his own existence, meaning the will to receive, does not merit a name whatsoever. Then he is regarded as “bestowing in order to bestow.”
6.44 Zohar for All, Aharei Mot [After the Death],
“Behold, How Good and How Pleasant,” Items 65-66
How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to also sit together.” These are the friends as they sit together, and are not separated from each other. At first, they seem like people at war, wishing to kill one another. Then they return to being in brotherly love.
The Creator says about them, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to also sit together” The word, “also,” comes to include the Shechina with them. Moreover, the Creator listens to their words and He has contentment and delights with them, as it is written, “Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remem- brance was written before Him.”
And you, the friends who are here, as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will also not part until the Creator rejoices with you and summons peace upon you. And by your merit there will be peace in the world, as it is written, “For the sake of my brothers and my friends let me say, ‘Let peace be in you.’”
6.45 Zohar for All, Beresheet Bet [Genesis 2],
“Seven Palaces in the Garden of Eden,” Item 103
The world was created only in bestowal, to engage in Torah and good deeds in order to bestow con- tentment to one’s Maker, and not for one’s own pleasure. It is written, “All the works of the Creator are for Him,” so that people would bestow contentment upon Him.
But in the beginning, it is written, “A man is born a wild ass’ colt,” whose sole interest is his own delight and who has none of the desire to bestow. He argues, “All the works of the Creator are for me, for my own delight,” since he wishes to devour the entire world for his own good and benefit. Hence, the Creator has imprinted bitter and harsh afflictions in self-reception, instilled in man from the moment of his birth—bodily pains and pains of the soul—so that if he engages in Torah and Mitzvot even for his own pleasure, through the light in it he will still feel the lowliness and the terrible corruptness in the nature of receiving for oneself.
At that time he will resolve to retire from that nature of reception and completely devote himself to working only in order to bestow contentment upon his Maker, as it is written, “All the works of the Creator are for Him.” Then the Creator will open his eyes to see before him a world filled with utter perfection without any deficiencies whatsoever.
Then he partakes in the joy as at the time of the creation of the world. Because he was rewarded, he has sentenced himself and the entire world to a scale of merit,” for wherever he casts his eyes he sees only good and perfection. He sees no faults at all in the works of the Creator, only merits.
6.46 Elimelech of Lizhensk,
Noam Elimelech [The Pleasantness of Elimelech]
Brace our ties of love to You, as it is known to You that all will be for bringing contentment to You, and this is our main intention. And should we not have the wit to aim our hearts to You, You will teach us, so we may truly know the aim of Your good will.
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