inapoi la EXTRASE DIN SURSE (link)
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2.01 Baal HaSulam,
“Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 11
We find and see in the words of the sages of the Talmud that they have made the path of Torah easier for us than the sages of the Mishnah. This is because they said, “One should always practice the Torah and Mitzvot, even Lo Lishma, and from Lo Lishma he will come to Lishma, since the light in it reforms him.”
Thus, they have provided us with a new means instead of the penance presented in the above- mentioned Mishnah, Avot: the “light in the Torah.” It bears sufficient power to reform one and bring him to practice Torah and Mitzvot Lishma.
They did not mention penance here, but only that engagement in Torah and Mitzvot alone provides one with that light that reforms, so one may engage in Torah and Mitzvot in order to bring contentment to his Maker and not at all for his own pleasure. And this is called Lishma.
2.02 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 20, “Lishma [for Her sake]”
Do not be surprised that when one assumes the burden of the kingdom of heaven, when he wants to work in order to bestow upon the Creator, he still feels no vitality at all, and that this vitality would compel one to assume the burden of the kingdom of heaven. Rather, one should accept it coercively, against his better judgment. That is, the body does not agree to this enslavement, why the Creator does not shower him with vitality and pleasure.
The reason is that this is a great correction. Were it not for this, if the will to receive had agreed to this work, one would never have been able to achieve Lishma. Rather, he would always work for his own benefit, to satisfy his own desires. It is as people say, that the thief himself yells, “Catch the thief!” and then you cannot tell which is the real thief in order to catch him and reclaim the theft from him.
But when the thief, meaning the will to receive, does not find the work of accepting the burden of the kingdom of heaven tasteful, since the body accustoms itself to work against its will, one has the means by which to come to work only in order to bring contentment to his Maker, since his sole intention should be only for the Creator, as it is written, “Then shall you delight yourself in the Lord.” Thus, when he served the Creator in the past, he did not sense any pleasure in the work. Rather his work was compulsory.
But now that he has accustomed himself to work in order to bestow, he is rewarded with delight- ing in the Creator, and the work itself renders him pleasure and vitality. This is considered that the pleasure, too, is specifically for the Creator.
2.03 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 20, “Lishma [for Her sake]”
In order for a person to obtain Lishma, one needs an awakening from above, as it is an illumination from above and it is not for the human mind to understand. Rather, he who tastes, knows. It is said about this, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Because of this, upon assuming the burden of the kingdom of heaven, one needs it to be in utter completeness, meaning only to bestow and not at all to receive. If a person sees that the organs do not agree with this view, he has no other choice but prayer—to pour out his heart to the Creator to help him make his body consent to enslaving itself to the Creator.
Do not say that if Lishma [for Her sake] is a gift from above, what good is one’s overcoming and efforts, and all the remedies and corrections that he does in order to achieve Lishma, if it depends on the Creator? Our sages said about it, “You are not free to rid yourself of it.” Rather, one must give the awakening from below, and this is considered “prayer.” Yet, there cannot be a real prayer if he does not know first that without prayer it cannot be obtained.
Therefore, the acts and remedies he does in order to obtain Lishma create the corrected Kelim [vessels] in him that want to receive the Lishma. Then, after all the actions and the remedies he can pray in earnest since he saw that all his actions did not help him whatsoever. Only then can he make an honest prayer from the bottom of his heart, and then the Creator hears his prayer and gives him the gift of Lishma.
2.04 Baal HaSulam,
“Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 12
Practicing Torah and Mitzvot Lo Lishma means that one believes in the Creator, in the Torah, and in reward and punishment, and engages in the Torah because the Creator commanded the engage- ment, but associates his own pleasure with bringing contentment to his Maker.
2.05 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 79, “Atzilut and BYA”
Atzilut is considered from the Chazeh and above, which is only vessels of bestowal. BYA means reception in order to bestow, the ascent of the lower Hey to the place of Bina.
Because man is immersed in the will to receive in order to receive, he cannot do a thing with- out having reception for oneself there. This is why our sages said, “From Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], we come to Lishma [for Her sake].” This means that we begin the engagement in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] in order to “Give us the wealth of this world,” and afterward, “Give us the wealth of the next world.”
When learning in this way, one should come to learn Lishma, for the sake of the Torah, meaning that the Torah will teach him the ways of the Creator. And then he should first make the sweetening of Malchut in Bina, which means that he elevates Malchut, called “will to receive,” to Bina, which is considered bestowal. That is, that all his work will be only in order to bestow.
And then it becomes dark for him. He feels that the world has grown dark on him since the body gives strength to work only in the form of reception, and not in the form of bestowal. In that state, he has but one choice: to pray to the Creator to open his eyes so he can work in the manner of bestowal. This is the meaning of “Who stands for the question?” It refers to Bina, called Mi [water] and the question comes from the verse, “asking about the rains,” meaning prayer. Since they arrive to the state of “water of Bina,” there is room to pray for it.
2.06 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.”
2.07 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 5, “Lishma Is an Awakening from Above, and Why Do We Need an Awakening from Below?”
In order to attain Lishma [for Her sake], it is not within one’s hands to understand, as it is not for the human mind to grasp how such a thing can be in the world. This is so because one is only permitted to grasp that if he engages in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] he will attain something. There must be self-benefit there for otherwise, one is unable to do anything. Rather, it is an illumination that comes from above, and only one who tastes it can know and understand. It is written about it, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Thus, we must understand why one should seek advice and counsels regarding how to achieve Lishma. After all, no counsels will help him, and if the Creator does not give him the second nature, called “the desire to bestow,” no labor will help him to attain the matter of Lishma.
The answer is, as our sages said (Avot, Chapter 2, 21), “It is not for you to complete the work, and you are not free to idle away from it.” This means that one must give the awakening from below, since this is regarded as a prayer.
A prayer is considered a deficiency, and without a deficiency there is no filling. Hence, when one has a need for Lishma, the filling comes from above, and the answer to the prayer comes from above, meaning he receives fulfillment for his lack. It follows, that the need for man’s work in order to receive the Lishma from the Creator is only in the form of a lack and a Kli [vessel]. Yet, one can never obtain the filling by himself; it is rather a gift from the Creator.
However, the prayer must be a complete prayer, from the bottom of the heart. This means that one knows one hundred percent that there is no one in the world who can help him but the Creator Himself.
Yet, how does one know this, that no one will help him but the Creator Himself? One can acquire that awareness precisely if he has exerted all the powers at his disposal and it did not help him. Thus, one must do every possible thing in the world to attain “for the sake of the Creator.” Then one can pray from the bottom of the heart, and then the Creator hears his prayer.
However, one must know, when exerting to attain the Lishma, to take upon himself to want to work entirely to bestow, completely, meaning only to bestow and not to receive anything. Only then does one begin to see that the organs do not agree to this view.
From this one can come to clear awareness that he has no other choice but to pour out his heart to the Creator to help him so the body will agree to enslave itself to the Creator unconditionally, as he sees that he cannot persuade his body to annul itself completely. It turns out that precisely when one sees that there is no hope that his body will agree to work for the Creator by itself, one’s prayer can be from the bottom of the heart, and then his prayer is accepted.
We must know that by attaining Lishma, one puts the evil inclination to death. The evil inclina- tion is the will to receive, and acquiring the desire to bestow cancels the will to receive from being able to do anything. This is considered putting it to death. Since it has been removed from its office, and it has nothing more to do since it is no longer in use, when it is revoked from its function, this is considered putting it to death.
2.08 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 28, “I Shall Not Die but Live”
In the verse, “I shall not die but live,” in order for one to achieve the truth, there must be a sensation that if one does not obtain the truth, he feels himself as dead, since he wants to live. This means that the verse, “I shall not die but live” is said about one who wants to obtain the truth.
This is the meaning of “Jonah Ben [the son of] Amitai.” Jonah comes from the [Hebrew] word Honaa [fraud], and Ben [son] comes from the word Mevin [understands]. One understands because one always examines the situation he is in and sees that he has deceived himself, and he is not walking on the path of truth.
Truth means to bestow, meaning Lishma [for Her sake], and the opposite of this is fraud and deceit, meaning only to receive, which is Lo Lishma [not for Her sake]. By this, one is later imparted the “Amitai,” meaning Emet [truth].
2.09 RABASH, Article No. 12 (1988),
“What Are Torah and Work in the Way of the Creator?”
Feeling the vitality in the Torah requires great preparation to prepare his body to be able to feel the life in the Torah. This is why our sages said we must begin in Lo Lishma, and through the light of Torah he obtains while still in Lo Lishma, it will bring him to Lishma, since the light in it reforms him. Then, he will be able to learn Lishma, meaning for the sake of the Torah, which is called “Torah [law] of life,” as he has already attained the life in the Torah, for the light in the Torah will have given such qualification to a person as to be able to feel the life that is in the Torah.
2.10 RABASH, Article No. 12 (1988),
“What Are Torah and Work in the Way of the Creator?”
Our sages said, that the Creator said to Israel, ‘I have sold you My Torah. It is as though I have been sold with it.’ This is the meaning of having a merchandise that one who sells it is sold with it.”
This means that the Creator wants that when a person takes the Torah, he will seemingly take the Creator with him. Yet, a person does not feel he needs this. Primarily, a person takes after the majority. And since when beginning to teach women, children, and the general public, Maimonides says we should begin in Lo Lishma, and normally, everyone takes after the beginning, meaning that the reason they were given for why we need the Torah are reasons of Lo Lishma, and not because “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice.” Naturally, the majority of the world does not even understand that there is a reward called “Dvekut with the Creator.”
For this reason, the view of the majority controls a person—that he does not need to study Torah so that by this he will be able to achieve the real intention. That is, that through the Torah he will be able to aim in order to bestow and not for his own benefit, that it will bring him Dvekut, to adhere to the Creator.
Article No. 17 (1989), “What Is the Prohibition to Greet Before Blessing the Creator, in the Work?”
A person must walk on the right line, regarded as wholeness, and pray to the Creator and thank Him, even if he does not find within him anything that desires spirituality. But accordingly, how can he thank the Creator and say that the Creator hears what he says to Him, which is the meaning of attributing the work to the Creator, and He accepts his work regardless of how the work seems?
However, if he relates only to the Creator and says, “I am turning to the Creator and I believe that He can answer my wishes,” by this a person becomes happy and feels superior. That is, the rest of the people have no connection to spirituality, and he believes that the Creator has given him [a feeling] that he has no spirituality, in whatever way, but the fact that he has an interest in thinking about spirituality, it makes no difference if he has or hasn’t, or that he is now in utter lowliness, meaning that he sees that now he has no desire to ascend in degree and emerge from the lowliness, but he thanks the Creator because at least he is thinking about spirituality, while the rest of the people do not have any thoughts of spirituality.
If he can thank the Creator, it gives him joy, and from Lo Lishma [not for Her sake] he comes to Lishma [for Her sake].
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.”
Article No. 4 (1990), “What It Means that the Generations of the Righteous are Good Deeds, in the Work”
How can a person emerge from the tendencies that he is used to since birth? Intellectually, it is impossible to understand how it is possible that a person will think other than his inclinations. And there (in the introduction, Item 3) he says, “Because of this, we were given corrections, by which man must toil and labor. Otherwise, all creations would have been in a state of rest, since the root of the creatures, which is the Creator, is in a state of complete rest, and every branch wants to resemble its root.”
These corrections, called “envy,” “lust,” and “honor,” bring man out of the world (Avot, Chapter 4:28). He says there that through the envy and respect, it is possible to change the inclinations to lust into the degree of vegetative, where he begins to work for the sake of others for the purpose of Lo Lishma [not for Her sake]. Likewise, through envy, he can shift to the level of knowledge, as our sages said, “Authors’ envy increases knowledge.” And likewise, through Lo Lishma they can also shift from the animate level to the speaking.
Yet, how does the Lo Lishma help if one does not have the real inclination to the degree to which he enters? Our sages said about this, with respect to the Torah, “The light in it reforms him.” It turns out that through Lo Lishma, we come to Lishma [for Her sake]. This is why they said, “One should always learn Lo Lishma, as from Lo Lishma we come to Lishma.”
Article No. 3 (1990), “What It Means that the World Was Created for the Torah”
The order of the work is that since we were born after the sin of the tree of knowledge, we are already immersed in the will to receive for our own sake, on which there were the Tzimtzum and concealment. For this reason, the order of our work begins in work Lo Lishma [not for Her sake]. That is, when we begin to observe Torah and Mitzvot, we must believe even if Lo Lishma, since without faith, even if Lo Lishma, we cannot work.
Wherever the work is on the basis of faith, it is hard work. That is, only where the reward and punishment are revealed, the work is called “within reason” because we immediately see the results. But when the reward and punishment are covered and we must only believe in reward and pun- ishment, even Lo Lishma is a great effort. However, this is still not so bad because it is not against the nature of the will to receive for oneself. But if we want to achieve Dvekut, called “in order to bestow,” the body begins to resist with all its might, and it is impossible to emerge from the control of the will to receive without help from above.
It was said about this, “Were it not for the help of the Creator, he would not overcome it.” The advice for this is Torah, since “the light in it reforms him.”
Article No. 23 (1987), “Peace After a Dispute Is More Important than Having No Disputes At All”
We should know that the degree of Lo Lishma is a very important degree, and we haven’t the intellect to appreciate the importance of Torah and Mitzvot Lo Lishma. Baal HaSulam said that “as much as one may appreciate the work Lishma, which is important work, he should know that Lo Lishma is more important than the importance that a person attributes to Lishma, since one cannot properly assess the importance of observing Torah and Mitzvot even Lo Lishma, although observing Torah and Mitzvot should be Lishma.
Article No. 269, “One Does Not Toil Over a Meal and Misses It”
Since one can only work Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], since his nature is the will to receive for himself, if one dedicates much time and effort over the intention Lo Lishma, in the end he will wonder what will he get out of all the work that he had done throughout his life. If the intention is not Lishma [for Her sake], then it will all go to waste, since Lo Lishma is a lie, and a lie can exist only in this world. Conversely, in the world of truth there is no room for lies.
It follows that all the efforts he has given throughout his life for Torah and work, who will take it, since there is no room for this in the world of truth, and there is a rule that one does not toil over a meal and misses it.
According to the above, it follows that he will lose at once all the efforts he had made in this world, for the moment one must go to the world of truth, he leaves all his toil in this world. It follows that this calculation causes him to repent in order to correct all his work so it is Lishma, since he does not want his work in this world to be in vain.
Therefore, the advice is that if a person sees that he still cannot work Lishma, he should increase his actions in Lo Lishma, since when he sees that he has done many actions in Lo Lishma, he will have no other choice but to repent and work Lishma, or his entire work will be in vain.
The rule is that a person does not toil over a meal and misses it. Hence, if one has done many actions in Lo Lishma, he will not want to lose all his trouble, so he will need to correct all his work so it enters the Kedusha.
But one who works Lo Lishma and did not do many works, meaning he did not dedicate much time to the Torah and work in Lo Lishma, he will not have such a need to repent, since he will not have that many actions to lose. For this reason, we must try to do many good deeds even in Lo Lishma because this is the reason he will have a need to repent and work Lishma.
Article No. 587, “The Upper One Scrutinizes for the Purpose of the Lower One”
The upper one scrutinizes the GE for the purpose of the lower one (because “a prisoner does not free himself”). The upper one makes a Masach [screen] on the MAN of the lower one, meaning the rejecting force, until it is in the form of receiving in order to bestow, and only then is the light gripped in the MAN.
That is, MAN is a desire to receive. This is expressed through prayer, where prayer is regarded as raising MAN, and the answering of the prayer is called MAD, Ohr Yashar [direct light], upper abundance, bestowal. This prayer called MAN requires conditions, meaning that there will be the correction of a Masach in the prayer, namely that his intention will be for the sake of the Creator, called Lishma [for Her sake].
One must receive the power to work Lishma from the upper one, since the lower one is powerless to begin the work, but only in the form of Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], called “will to receive,” for only the Lo Lishma gives the first moving force of the lower one, for when a person does not find sufficient flavor in corporeal pleasures, he begins to search for spiritual pleasures.
It follows that the root of the work of the lower one is the will to receive, and the prayer, called MAN, rises up, and then the upper one corrects this MAN and places on it the power of the Masach, which is a desire to delay the abundance before the lower one knows about himself that his aim is to bestow.
That is, the upper one bestows upon the lower one good taste and pleasure in the desire to bestow, by which the lower one feels His exaltedness. At that time, he begins to understand that it is worthwhile to annul before Him and cancel his existence before Him. Then, he feels that all that there is in reality is only because such is His will, that the Creator wants the lower one to exist, but for himself, he wants to annul his existence. It follows that then, all the vitality he feels is regarded as Lishma and not for himself.
When he feels this, it is considered that he already has the correction of the MAN, and then he is also fit to receive the MAD, as well, for there is no contradiction between them anymore, since the lower one, too, wants the benefit of the upper one and not his own benefit.
It is considered that when the upper one gives the lower one Mochin, he also gives him the cloth- ing of the Mochin, meaning that he gives the lower one the abundance, as well as the power of the Masach, which is the desire to bestow. This is the meaning of “from Lo Lishma, we come to Lishma.”
Article No. 218, “Israel Are the Sons of Kings”
Wherever one retires from enjoying and causes unification, you find in it Kedusha [holiness], since the upper light can be there because the Kelim [vessels] can receive the light of the Creator called Kedusha, for the Kedusha is present only in a place of purity. “Purity” means purity of qualities, and then the Kedusha is present in a place of purity.
However, sometimes, “I the Lord, who dwells with them in the midst of their Tuma’a [impurity],” meaning that even when they still do not have Kelim that are ready to be in equivalence, in order to assist a person in achieving this, he must be aided from above. This is the meaning of Lo Lishma, that the light in it reforms him. That light is called “The Lord, who dwells with them in the midst of their Tuma’a.”
This pertains specifically to one who wants to achieve Lishma but cannot overcome his body. Hence, he is given that light so he can defeat the will to receive and walk in the way of the Creator, which is bestowal.
Letter No. 16
It is known that it is impossible to see a small object and it is easier to see a large object. Hence, when a person commits few lies, he cannot see the truth—that he is walking on a false path. Rather, he says that he is walking on the path of truth. But there is no greater lie than that. And the reason is that he does not have enough lies to see his true state.
But when a person has acquired many lies, the lies grow in him to the extent that he can see them if he wishes. Thus, now that he sees the lies—that he is walking on a false path—he sees his true state. In other words, he sees the truth in his soul and how to turn to the right path. It follows that this point, which is a point of truth—that he is treading a false path—is the medium between truth and falsehood. This is the bridge that connects truth and falsehood. This point is also the end of the lie, and from here on begins the path of truth.
Thus, we can see that to be rewarded with Lishma (for Her Name), we first need to prepare the biggest Lo Lishma (not for Her Name), and then we can achieve Lishma. And similarly, Lo Lishma is called a “lie” and Lishma is called “truth.”
When the lie is small and the Mitzvot and good deeds are few, he has a small Lo Lishma, and then he cannot see the truth. Hence, in that state, he says that he is walking on the good and true path, meaning working Lishma.
But when he engages in Torah all day and all night in Lo Lishma, then he can see the truth, since by the accumulation of lies, his lie increases and he sees that he is indeed walking on a false path.
And then he begins to correct his actions. In other words, he feels that everything he does is only Lo Lishma. From this point, one passes to the path of truth, to Lishma. Only here, at this point, does the issue of “from Lo Lishma one comes to Lishma” begins. But prior to that, he argues that he is working Lishma, and how can he change his state and his ways?
Hence, if a person is idle in the work, he cannot see the truth, that he is immersed in falsehood. But by increasing Torah in order to bestow contentment upon his Maker, one can then see the truth: that he is walking on a false path, called Lo Lishma. And this is the middle point between truth and falsehood. Hence, we must be strong and confident on our way, so every day will be as new to us, as we need to always renew our foundations, and then we shall march forward.
Article No. 279, “Why Israel Are Compared to an Olive Tree”
“Rabbi Yochanan said, ‘Why are Israel compared to an olive tree? It is to tell you that as the olive oozes its oil only by grinding, so Israel are reformed only by suffering’” (Minchot 53b).
Concerning the suffering that reforms a person, first one must know the meaning of being reformed. It is known that “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth.” This means that by nature, man cares only for his own sake. Naturally, it is impossible that he will be able to observe Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake.
However, through suffering, when he does not feel a good taste in corporeal things, meaning when they do not give him satisfaction in his life, since man was created with the aim to do good to His creations, he does not receive sufficient pleasure that will make it worthwhile to live in the world and tolerate everything in order to obtain the little pleasure that corporeality gives him.
To the extent that one feels torments in his life, when he has nothing from which to receive vitality, he is necessarily cancelled into working in the manner of bestowal. In other words, when he sees that he will not obtain vitality through acts of reception, he begins to perform acts of bestowal so that the acts of bestowal will give him pleasure.
It follows that the suffering reforms him, meaning the suffering he feels when he has nothing from which to derive pleasure makes him become reformed, meaning perform acts of bestowal, since “being reformed” means bestowal, as it is written, “My heart overflows with a good thing, I say, ‘My work is for the King,’” meaning to bestow.
It follows that through the suffering he suffers from having no vitality, he chooses for himself a new way and begins to engage in bestowal.
Although this, too, is with the aim to receive, it is called Lo Lishma [not for Her sake] that is close to Lishma [for Her sake]. This is the meaning of “From Lo Lishma we come to Lishma,” since “the light in it reforms him.” Since he acts in order to bestow, by this he begins to feel light in the acts of bestowal, and that light can then make him bestow.
Article No. 15 (1989), “What Is, ‘The Righteous Become Apparent through the Wicked,’ in the Work?”
It is known that there is the practice of Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds], and the intention of Mitzvot, meaning what one wants for one’s work when exerting in Torah and Mitzvot. We learned that there are two manners of reward in this: 1) Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], 2) Lishma [for Her sake].
Lo Lishma means that one should be rewarded for his work both in this world and in the next world. As The Zohar says, this work is not considered the essence, as 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. 27 (1985), “Repentance”
Our sages said, “One should always engage in Torah and Mitzvot, even if Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], since from Lo Lishma he comes to Lishma [for Her sake]” (Pesachim, 50b). Thus, in the act of Mitzvot and in the study of Torah there is a big difference between the revealed part, meaning the act, and the concealed part, meaning the intention, since no person can look at the intention, for the act that one does between man and God does not have a person in the middle who can criticize his intention. Normally, each one is busy with himself and does not have time to think of his friend’s calculations. It follows that only he thinks of the intention.
That is, when he engages in Lo Lishma, meaning expects reward, the work and the reward are not in the same place and in the same time. But here, when we are speaking of punishments, the trans- gression and the punishment are not in the same place and in the same time, since he receives the punishment after he commits the transgression, and afterwards he suffers the punishment—a pun- ishment in this world or a punishment in the next world. This applies only to the part of Lo Lishma. However, in those who work on the intention—to be able to aim their actions only to bestow— the reward and the punishment are in the same place and the same time, since his inability to aim the act of bestowing contentment upon the Creator is his punishment, and he does not need to be given any other punishments, for nothing torments him more than seeing that he is still far from
The evidence is that he does not have the love of the Creator, that he wants to respect Him. All this is because he is in a state of Achoraim [posterior] and concealment from the Creator. This is what pains him, and this is his punishment. But here is his reward—if he has love for the Creator and wants to bestow contentment upon him. However, all this concerns specifically those who want come to work only for the Creator, and not in Lo Lishma. It can be said about them that the punishment and the reward are in the same place and in the same time.
Article No. 31 (1987), “What Is Making a Covenant in the Work?”
The work in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] is primarily when beginning to walk on the path that leads to Lishma [for Her sake]. That is, when a person begins the work, he begins in Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], as our sages said, “One should always engage in Torah Lo Lishma, and from Lo Lishma we come to Lishma.”
For this reason, the beginning of his work was with enthusiasm because he saw that by observing Torah and Mitzvot he would achieve happiness in life. Otherwise, he would not begin. Therefore, in the beginning of his work, when he is still working Lo Lishma, meaning that when he works, he constantly looks at the reward he will receive after his work, he has the strength to work.
As in corporeality, a person is used to working in a place where he knows he will be rewarded for his work. Otherwise, a person cannot work for free, if not for his own benefit. Only when he sees that self-benefit will come from this work does he have the strength to work enthusiastically and willingly, since he is looking at the reward and not at the work.
The work does not matter if a person understands that here he will receive from this employer twice as much as he would receive from working for the previous employer, before he came to the job where they pay twice as much. This means that according to the salary, so the work becomes easier and smaller.
Accordingly, we should interpret in the work that making a covenant means that when a person takes upon himself the work, even if in Lo Lishma, he must make a covenant with the Creator to serve Him whether he wants to or not.
Yet, we should understand on what the enthusiasm depends. It depends only on the reward. That is, when there is a big reward, the desire for the work does not stop. But when the reward is doubtful, the desire for the work vanishes and he shifts to rest. That is, at that time he feels more pleasantness in rest.
It is so much so that he says, “I relinquish the work, and anyone who wants can do this work because it is not for me.” But making a covenant is when he begins to work even in Lo Lishma. And since now he wants the work, for who would force him to come into the work of the Creator, now he must make the covenant and say, “Even if there comes a time of descent,” meaning that he will have no desire for the work, “I still take upon myself not to consider my desire but work as though I have a desire.” This is called “making a covenant.”
Article No. 14 (1985), “I Am the First and I Am the Last”
When a person wants to walk on the way to the goal of Dvekut with the Creator, which means to aim that everything will be in order to bestow, he must first have a deficiency, meaning dissatisfaction with the work in Lo Lishma.
At that time he begins to search for another order in the work, since the engagement in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] he was used to was on the basis of the will to receive, called Lo Lishma. But now that he needs to replace his entire basis on which he built his entire life’s order, it depends on the extent to which he sees that the state of Lo Lishma is the wrong way, does not let him rest, and he will not be at peace until he comes out of that state into a state of Lishma.
However, who is making him feel, while he is in the state of Lo Lishma, that this is still not the right way and he is still far from Dvekut with the Creator? When he looks at the rest of the people, they go by this path, so why does he need to be different? Another difficulty is that when he looks at the rest of the people he sees people who are more talented and more capable in the work than him. But they settle for the order of the work they had received when they were little, when the instructors taught them to work only in Lo Lishma, as in the above words of Maimonides. And then he sees about himself that although “a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved,” he cannot accept the state of Lo Lishma. At that time comes the question: “If I am really less talented and less capable in the work, where did I get this restlessness in the state of Lo Lishma?”
To this comes the answer: “I am the first.” That is, the Creator has given him this deficiency so he will not be able to continue on this path. One should not think that he has obtained this by his own wisdom. Rather, the Creator says, “I am the first,” meaning “I have given you the first push, so you will begin to walk on the path of truth. By giving you a deficiency of feeling that with the respect to the truth, you are deficient.”
Then begins the work that he begins to wait for a state where he repels self-love, and all his works are only in order to bestow. At that time he must dedicate to it all the thoughts and resources at his disposal, as in “Everything that you find within your power to do, that do.”
Afterwards, when he is rewarded with Dvekut with the Creator, he thinks that it is through his labor in Torah and Mitzvot, and by overcoming his self-love. He thinks that he has been rewarded with it only through his work, that he was very persistent, and only he had the strength to make the most of his opportunities, which gave him this riches and he was rewarded what he was rewarded. The verse says about that: “And I am the last. That is, as I was the first, giving you the deficiency,
I am also the last, meaning I have given you the filling of the deficiency.” The deficiency is called the Kli [vessel], and the filling is called “the light.” Since there is no light without a Kli, the Kli is made first, and then the abundance is poured into the Kli. This is why the Creator first gives the Kli, which is called “I am the first,” and then He gave the abundance, called “I am the last.”
“Our sages said: ‘One should always engage in Torah, even if Lo Lishma [not for Her sake], since from Lo Lishma he comes to Lishma [for Her sake].’ Therefore, when teaching the young, the women, and the uneducated, they are taught to work only out of fear and to receive reward. Until they accumulate knowledge and gain wisdom, they are told that secret bit by bit, and are accustomed to that matter with ease until they attain Him and know Him and serve Him out of love.”
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