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1.01 Baal HaSulam,

Shamati, Article No. 204, “The Purpose of the Work – 2”

During the preparation period, all the work is in the nos, that is, in the “no,” as it is written, “and they shall be afflicted in a land that is not.” However, with matters of the tongue, which is considered “me,” one must first be awarded the discernment of love.

Yet, during the preparation, there is only work in the form of no’s, regarded as “You shall not have,” and by the profusion of no’s, we come to the point of God1 of Hesed [mercy]. But prior to that, there are many no’s, which is other gods, many no’s. This is so because from Lo Lishma [not for Her sake] we come to Lishma [for Her sake].

Since the Sitra Achra [other side] provides support, even afterwards, when we work and extend Kedusha [holiness], still, when she takes the support, we fall from the degree, and then she takes all the abundance that they extended. By this, the Sitra Achra has the power to control a person so he will be compelled to satisfy their wish. And he has no other choice but to raise himself to a higher degree.

Then the sequence begins anew, as before, with the forty-nine gates of Tuma’a [impurity]. This means that one walks in the degrees of Kedusha until the forty-nine gates. But there she has control to take all the vitality and abundance until a person falls each time into a higher gate of Tuma’a, since “God has made them one opposite the other.”

When one comes into the 49th gate, he can no longer raise himself until the Creator comes and redeems him. And then “He has swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again; God shall cast them out of his belly.” This means that now one takes all the abundance and vitality that the Klipa [shell] was taking from all of the forty-nine gates of Kedusha. This is the meaning of “the looting of the sea.”

Yet, it is impossible to be redeemed before we feel the exile. And when we walk on the forty-nine, we feel the exile, and the Creator redeems on the 50th gate. The only difference between Gola [exile] and Ge’ula [redemption] is in the Aleph, which is Alupho Shel Olam [Champion of the world]. Hence, if one does not properly attain the exile, too, he is deficient in the degree.

1.02 Baal HaSulam,

Letter No. 19

“Grace is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” This means that during the preparation, beauty and grace appear as the essence of perfection for which one yearns and longs. However, at the time of correction, when the earth is “full of the knowledge of the Lord,” “I shall see an opposite world,” as only fear and longing are the desired perfection. Then one feels that during the time of preparation they were lying to themselves.

1.03 Baal HaSulam,

Letter No. 17

The purpose of the soul when it comes in the body is to be rewarded with returning to its root and with Dvekut [adhesion] with Him while clothed in the body, as it is written, “To love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, and to adhere to Him.” You see that the matter ends with “to adhere to Him,” meaning as it was prior to clothing in the body.

However, great preparation is required, which is to walk in all His ways. Yet, who knows the ways of the Creator? Indeed, this is the meaning of “Torah that has 613 ways.” He who walks on them will finally be purified until his body no longer forms an iron partition between him and his Maker, as it is written, “And I will take away the stony heart from your flesh.” Then he shall adhere to his Maker just as he was before the clothing of the soul in the body.

It turns out that there are three discernments: 1) Israel is one who exerts to return to his root; 2) The Creator, namely the root he longs for; 3) The 613 ways of the Torah by which one purifies one’s soul and body. This is the spice, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created for it the Torah as a spice.”

However, these three are actually one and the same. In the end, any servant of the Creator attains them as one, unique, and unified discernment, and they only appear to be divided into three because of one’s incompleteness in the work of the Creator.

1.04 RABASH,  Article No. 28 (1991),

“What Are Holiness and Purity, in the Work?”

We must observe the Torah and Mitzvot so it will bring us purity, where purity means purification of the Kelim from the will to receive for oneself, which is called “dirt,” since it is in disparity of form from the Creator, who is all to bestow. For this reason, before we clean the Kelim, it is impossible to place within them anything good, for anything we might place in a dirty Kli [vessel] will be spoiled. Hence, we must receive good advice, things that will purify our Kelim [vessels], which is called “making kosher [fit to be eaten according to Jewish laws]” and “preparation” so we can receive the delight and pleasure. Because of this, we were given 613 Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds], which The Zohar calls “613 counsels”.

1.05 RABASH,

Article No. 2 (1987), “The Importance of Recognition of Evil”

The work that is the preparation to enter true spirituality. That is, when he takes upon himself to believe in the importance of the Creator above reason, he must take upon himself that he wants to go specifically with faith above reason. Even though he was given the reason to see the greatness of the Creator within reason, he prefers faith above reason due to “because of the honor of the Creator, conceal the matter.”

This is regarded as wanting to go above reason. Precisely then he becomes a Kli [vessel] that is fit to receive spirituality, since he has no concern at all for himself, but all his intentions are only to bestow upon the Creator. For this reason there is no longer fear that should he be given some illumination it will go into the vessels of reception, since he is always trying to exit self-love.

Baal HaSulam said that as the will to receive wants only to receive and not bestow, even where it is told to work above reason it is only regarded as bestowing and not receiving because a person suffers where he has to go above reason. The evidence of this is that since the body is always con- cerned with receiving delight and pleasure in everything it does, and since if a person must work above reason, the body is dissatisfied with it, therefore, when a person is taught to go above reason he begins the work of bestowal. It therefore follows that when one prefers to go by way of above reason it is safeguarding that he will walk on the right path, which is the route for achieving Dvekut with the Creator.

 1.06 RABASH,

Article No. 875, “Three Lines – 4”

Even during the preparation, there is a place where he can receive illumination from above. Although this illumination cannot be permanent in him, even some connection with spirituality is a great profit because one cannot evaluate even the slightest contact with spirituality.

This right line is called “truth” because wholeness is built on the basis of truth. That is, he does not say that he has great possessions in Torah and Mitzvot, meaning feeling, attainment, and under- standing. Rather, he says that whatever he has, whatever he is given from above, even if he feels that he is in a worse state than what he received by education, he still regards it above reason as having great importance to him that he has been rewarded with having some contact with spirituality.

1.07 RABASH, Article No. 5 (1987),

“What Is the Advantage in the Work More than in the Reward?”

It is written in The Zohar, “For the whole of the Torah is the names of the Creator.” Also, a complete man is one who has been rewarded with “The Torah and the Creator and Israel are one.” Therefore, indeed, greeting the Shechina is very important because the purpose is for man to achieve this degree.

But to come to greet the Shechina requires prior preparation, for one to be fit for it. In the words of our sages, this is called “As He is merciful, so you are merciful.” This is the interpretation of the verse, “and to cleave unto Him, cleave unto His attributes.” It means, as explained in the book Matan Torah [The Giving of the Torah], that only by a person working in love of others can he achieve Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator. There are many names to this: “Instilling of the Shechina,” “attainment the Torah,” “greeting the Shechina,” etc.

The main preparation, which is called “labor,” is that one must prepare oneself to annul one’s authority, meaning one’s self. We can call this hospitality [greeting guests], meaning that he can- cels the view of landlords and craves the view of Torah, which is called “annulling of authority.” Naturally, he becomes the guest of the Creator, who is the Host of the entire world.

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