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9.01 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 219, “Devotion”
The servitude that should primarily be in devotion is on the discernment of fear. At that time, the whole body disagrees with one’s work, since it does not feel any taste in the servitude. And with each thing that he does, the body calculates that this servitude is not in completeness. Thus, what will you get out of working?
Then, because there is no validity or taste in this servitude, overcoming is only through devotion. This means that the servitude feels bitter, and each act causes him horrendous suffering, since the body is not accustomed to work in vain: either the work should benefit oneself, or others.
But during the Katnut [smallness/infancy], one does not feel any benefit for oneself, since he does not presently feel any pleasure in the servitude. And also, he does not believe that there will be benefit to others since it is not important to him, so what pleasure would others have from it? Then the suffering is harsh. And the more he works, the suffering increases proportionally. Finally, the suffering and the labor accumulate to a certain amount where the Creator has mercy on him and gives him a taste in the servitude of the Creator, as it is written, “Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high.”
9.02 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 208, “Labor”
The efforts that one makes are but preparations for achieving devotion. Hence, one should grow accustomed to devotion, since no degree can be achieved without devotion, as this is the only tool that qualifies one to be rewarded with all the degrees.
9.03 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 201, “Spirituality and Corporeality”
Why do we see that there are many people who work so diligently for corporeality, even in life-threatening places, but in spirituality, each and every one examines one’s soul very carefully? Moreover, one can exert in corporeality even when he is not given a great reward for his work. But in spirituality, one cannot agree to work unless he knows for certain that he will receive a good reward for his work.
The thing is that it is known that the body is worthless. After all, everyone sees that it is passing and leaves without a trace, so it is easy to abandon it, as it is worthless anyway.
But in spirituality, there are Klipot [shells] which guard the body and sustain it. This is why it is hard to abandon it. This is why we see that it is easier for secular people to abandon their body and they do not find heaviness in their body.
But this is not so in spirituality. This is the Achoraim [posterior] of Kedusha [holiness], called “devotion.” It is specifically through this that one is awarded the light. And before one is completely devoted, he cannot achieve any degree.
Article No. 12 (1985), “Jacob Dwelled in the Land Where His Father Had Lived”
With love of the Creator, we say that a person should work only for the Creator, meaning without any reward. This means that he is ready for complete devotion without any reward, without any return being born out of his devotion. Rather, this is the core—his purpose, that he wants to annul his self before the Creator, meaning (cancel) his will to receive, which is the existence of the creature. This is what he wants to annul before the Creator. It follows that this is his goal, meaning his goal is to give his soul to the Creator.
Article No. 136, “The Binding of Isaac”
The binding of Isaac, when Abraham, who is the right line, which is above reason, tied the left line, which is the mind that criticizes everything, it gave him a general picture of the situation he was in. He left all the “left” and took upon himself the quality of “right,” which is above reason. By this he was later rewarded with the middle line.
That is, there is a difference between receiving the right line before he sees the left line, to a state where he renews the right line after he has seen the state of the left. “Right,” which is above reason, is called “devotion,” since he cancels all the reason he acquired from the left line and goes above reason, and then he is rewarded with the middle line.
Article No. 37 (1991), “What Is the Torah and What Is The Statute of the Torah, in the Work?”
When he wants to do everything for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake. Here the body resists with all its might, since it argues, “Why do you want to put me and my domain to death? You come to me with having to work only for the sake of the Creator and not for one’s own sake, which is truly annulment of the will to receive from everything. You tell me that our sages said, ‘The Torah exists only in one who puts himself to death over it,’ meaning to put to death all the domain of self-benefit and care only for the benefit of the Creator, and before this, a person cannot be rewarded with the Torah.” Yet, a person sees that it is unrealistic that he will have the strength to go against nature.
At that time, one has no choice but to turn to the Creator and say, “Now I have come to a state where I see that unless You help me, I am lost. I will never have the strength to overcome the will to receive, as this is my nature. Rather, only the Creator can give another nature.”
A person says that he believes that this was the exodus from Egypt, that the Creator delivered the people of Israel from under the governance of Egypt, as our sages said (in the Passover Haggadah [story/narrative]), “And the Lord brought us out from Egypt, not by an angel, and not by a messenger, but the Creator Himself; I am the Lord, it is I and not another.”
Now, he, too, sees that only the Creator can deliver him from the governance of the will to receive and give him a second nature. In other words, just as the Creator gave the first nature, there is no one who can give the second nature but the Creator Himself. Therefore, at that time a person prays wholeheartedly, from the bottom of the heart, and this is the time for the reception of the prayer.
Article No. 19 (1985), “Come unto Pharaoh – 1”
Our sages said (Berachot, 10), “Even if a sharp sword is placed on his neck he should not deny him- self of mercy,” as it was said (Job, 13), “Though He slay me, I will hope for Him.”
We should interpret the “sharp sword placed on his neck” to mean that even though one’s evil, called “self-love,” is placed on his neck and wants to separate him from Kedusha by showing him that it is impossible to exit this authority, he should say that the picture he sees is the truth.
However, “He should not deny himself of mercy,” for at that time he must believe that the Creator can give him the mercy, meaning the quality of bestowal. That is, by himself, it is true that one cannot exit the authority of self-reception. But from the perspective of the Creator, when the Creator helps him, of course He can bring him out. This is the meaning of what is written, “I am the Lord your God, who took you out from the land of Egypt to be your God.”
9.08 Zohar for All, VaYakhel [And Moses Assembled],
“The Intention of the Prayer,” Items 112-117
Now that the upper King and Malchut are in bonding and joy in those kisses, he who needs to ask questions and make requests shall make them because then is a time of good will. Once the person has made his requests before the King and queen in the 12 middle blessings, he will set himself up in his will and heart for the last three blessings, to evoke joy in concealment. It is so because from these three blessings, he is blessed with another Dvekut, with a Zivug. And the man should correct himself to come out from before them and place them in hidden joy in those three blessings. For this reason, his desire should be that the lower ones will be blessed by these blessings of the hidden joy. At that time he should fall on his face and give his soul when Malchut grips the souls and the spirits. That is the time for dedicating his soul among all those souls that she grips, for then the bundle of life, Malchut, is as it should be.
I heard this matter among the secrets of Rabbi Shimon and I was not given permission to disclose, except to you, the high pious ones. When Malchut grips people’s souls and spirits in one desire for Dvekut [adhesion], the man places his heart and will on that and gives his soul in Dvekut with that desire, to include his soul in that Dvekut. If at that time his dedicating of his soul is accepted in the will of the souls [Nefashot, pl. of Nefesh] and spirits [Ruchot, pl. of Ruach] and souls [Neshamot, pl. of Neshama] that she grips, it is a man who was bundled in the bundle of life in this world and in the next world.
And while the King and queen, Torah and Mitzvot, must include all the sides above and below, and be crowned with Neshamot on all the sides, she is crowned in the Neshamot from above, and crowned in the Neshamot from below, of those who give her their souls [Neshamot]. If a person aims his heart and will to all that, and gives her his Nefesh from below willingly and in Dvekut, the Creator calls upon him peace below, such as the peace above, Yesod, who blesses the queen, and includes her and crowns her on all sides.
Likewise, the Creator calls this man Peace, as it is written, “And the Lord called him Shalom [peace].” All his days, this is what he is called above, “peace,” because he included and crowned the queen from below, such as this peace above, Yesod.
When that person departs from this world, his soul rises and breaches all those firmaments and there is no one to stop her. The Creator calls her and says, “Let Peace come.” And Divinity says, “Let them rest in their beds,” and 13 mountains of pure persimmon shall open before her, and there will be no one to stop her. This is why happy is he who dedicates his heart and mind to that. And this is why it is written, “Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring it as the Lord’s donation” to the upper King.
9.09 Rabbi Nachman of Breslov,
Likutey Tefillot [Assorted Prayers], Part 1, Prayer No. 16
Grant me with Your mercies, to pray with devotion and sincerity, that I may be awarded annulling all my being and my corporeality and will not pray for my own benefit at all, but rather be rewarded with complete annulment during the prayer as though I don’t not exist in the world at all, and my whole intention in the prayer will be truly only for Your sake, to raise the Shechina [Divinity] from exile, to reveal Your Godliness in the world.
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