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10.01 Baal HaSulam,
“Introduction to the Book Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 3
The Creator installed three inclinations in the masses, called “envy,” “lust,” and “honor.” Due to them, the masses develop degree by degree to educe a face of a whole man.
The inclination for lust educes the wealthy. The selected among them have a strong desire, and also lust. They excel in acquiring wealth, which is the first degree in the evolution of the masses. Like the vegetative degree in reality, they are governed by an alien force that deviates them to their inclination, as lust is an alien force in the human species borrowed from the animate.
The inclination for honor educes the famous heroes from among them, who govern the syna- gogues, the town, etc. The most firm-willed among them, which also have an inclination for honor, excel in obtaining dominion. These are the second degree in the evolution of the masses, similar to the animate degree in reality, whose operating force is present in their own essence, as we have said above. This is because the inclination for honor is unique to the human species, and along with it the craving for governance, as it is written, “You have put all things under his feet” (Psalms 8:7). The inclination for envy elicits the sages from among them, as our sages said, “Author’s envy increases wisdom.” The strong-willed, with an inclination for envy, excel in acquiring wisdom and knowledge. It is like the speaking degree in reality, in which the operating force is not limited by time or place, but is collective and encompasses every item in the world, throughout all times.
Also, it is the nature of the fire of envy to be general, encompassing all times and the whole reality. This is because it is the conduct of envy: If one had not seen the object in one’s friend’s possession, the desire for it would not have awakened in one at all.
You find that the sensation of absence is not for what one does not have, but for what one’s friends have, who are the entire progeny of Adam and Eve throughout the generations. Thus, this force is unlimited and therefore fit for its sublime and elated role.
10.02 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 9,” What Are Three Things that Broaden One’s Mind in the Work?”
When one takes upon himself faith in purity, in mind or in heart, he is imparted with a sightly woman, meaning that the Shechina appears to him in a form of grace and beauty, which broadens his mind.
In other words, through the pleasure and gladness he feels at that time, the Shechina appears within the organs, filling the outer and inner Kelim. This is called “broadening the mind.”
This is obtained through envy, lust, and honor, which bring a person out of the world. Envy means through envy in the Shechina, regarded as zeal in “The zeal of the Lord of hosts.” Honor means that he wants to increase the glory of heaven. Lust is by way of “You have heard the lust of the humble.”
10.03 Baal HaSulam,
“Introduction to the Book Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 4
The thing is that this careful watch and door-locking on the hall of wisdom is for fear of people in whom the spirit of writers’ envy is mixed with the force of lust and honor. Their envy is not limited to wanting only wisdom and knowledge.
Hence, both texts are correct, and one comes and teaches of the other. The face of the generation is as the face of the dog, meaning they bark as dogs Hav, Hav [give, give] righteous are cast away and authors’ wisdom went astray in them.
It follows that it is permitted to open the gates of the wisdom and remove the careful guard, since it is naturally safe from theft and exploitation. There is no longer fear lest indecent disciples might take it and sell it in the market to the materialistic plebs, since they will find no buyers for this merchandise, as it is loathsome in their eyes.
Since they have no hope of acquiring lust or honor through it, it has become safe and guarded by itself. No stranger will approach except for lovers of wisdom and counsel. Hence, any examination shall be removed from those who enter, until even the very young will be able to attain it.
10.04 Baal HaSulam,
“Introduction to the Book Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 5
Our sages said, “Messiah, Son of David comes only in a generation that is all worthy…” meaning when everyone retires from pursuit of honor and lust. At that time, it will be possible to establish seminaries among the masses to prepare them for the coming of the Messiah Son of David. “…or in a generation that is all unworthy,” meaning in such a generation when “the face of the generation is as the face of the dog, and righteous shall be cast away, and authors’ wisdom shall go astray in them.” At such a time, it will be possible to remove the careful guard and all who remain in the house of Jacob with their hearts pounding to attain the wisdom and the purpose, “Holy” will be said to them and they shall come and learn.
This is so because there will no longer be fear lest one might not sustain one’s merit and trade the wisdom in the market, as no one in the mob will buy it. The wisdom will be so loathsome in their eyes that neither glory nor lust will be obtainable in return for it.
Hence, all who wish to enter may come and enter. Many will roam, and the knowledge will increase among the worthy of it. And by this we will soon be rewarded with the coming of the Messiah, and the redemption of our souls.
10.05 Baal HaSulam,
“Introduction to the Book Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 15
We must thoroughly understand the sublimity of that man, the creation of the Creator, and also his wife, to whom the Creator administered greater intelligence than him, as they have written (Nidah 45) in the interpretation to the verse, “And the Lord made the rib.”
Thus, how did they fail and became as fools, not knowing to beware of the serpent’s cunning- ness? On the other hand, that serpent, of which the text testifies that it was more cunning than all the animals of the field, how did it utter such folly and emptiness that should they eat from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, they would be turned to God? Moreover, how did that folly settle in their hearts?
Also, it is said below that they did not eat because of their desire to become God, but simply because the tree is good to eat. This is seemingly a beastly desire!
10.06 Baal HaSulam,
“Introduction to the Book Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” Item 17
And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat and that it was a delight to the eyes.” This means that she did not rely on His words, but went and examined with her own mind and understanding and sanctified herself with additional Kedusha, to bring contentment to the Creator in order to complete the aim desired of her, and not at all for herself. At that time, her eyes were opened, as the serpent had said, “And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat.”
In other words, by seeing that “it was a delight to the eyes,” before she even touched it, she felt great sweetness and lust, when her eyes saw by themselves that she had not seen such a desirable thing in all the trees of the garden.
She also learned that the tree is good for knowledge, meaning that there is far more to crave and covet in this tree than in all the trees of the garden. This refers to knowing that they were created for this act of eating, and that this is the whole purpose, as the serpent had revealed to her.
After all these absolute scrutinies, “she took of its fruit and ate, and gave also to her man with her, and he ate.” The text accurately writes “with her,” meaning with the pure intention only to bestow and not for her own sake. This is the meaning of the words “and gave to her man with her,” with her in Kedusha.
Assorted Notes, “From Lo Lishma to Lishma,” No. 119
There must always be a beginning; otherwise, it is impossible to achieve Lishma [for Her sake]. That is, one must believe that in all the corporeal lusts, meaning eating, drinking, and the rest of the lusts, as well as in pleasures found in learning external teachings, control, vengeance, and so forth, as it is written in general, “Envy, lust, and honor take a person out of the world,” in those pleasures there is nothing more than a thin light, as The Zohar says.
Conversely, great lights are deposited in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments], unlike corporeal pleasures, in which only sparks of the light of Kedusha fell.
Hence, Klipot [shells/peels] give one an awakening to enter Kedusha because they want to be rewarded with great lights. This is called Lo Lishma [not for Her sake]. Afterward, from this Lo Lishma, he can be rewarded with Lishma.
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. 21 (1986), “Concerning Above Reason”
Our sages said, “Counters’ envy increases wisdom.” In other words, when all the friends look at the society as being at a high level, both in thoughts and in actions, it is natural that each and every one must raise his degree to a higher level than he has by the qualities of his own body.
This means that even if innately he has no craving for great desires or is not intensely attracted to honor, still, through envy, he can acquire additional powers that he doesn’t have in his own nature. Instead, the force of the quality of envy in him has procreated new powers within him, which exist in the society. And through them, he has received those new qualities, meaning powers that were not installed in him by his progenitors. Thus, now he has new qualities that society has procreated in him.
It turns out that a person has qualities that his parents bequeathed to their children, and he has qualities that he acquired from the society, which is a new possession. And this comes to him only through bonding with the society and the envy that he feels toward the friends when he sees that they have better qualities than his own. It motivates him to acquire their good qualities, which he doesn’t have and of which he is jealous.
Thus, through the society, he gains new qualities that he adopts by seeing that they are at a higher degree than his, and he is envious of them. This is the reason why now he can be greater than when he didn’t have a society, since he acquires new powers through the society.
Article No. 450, “Forces that Induce the Development of the Heart and the Mind”
“If a wise disciple gets into a rage, it is because the Torah inflames him.” RASHI interpreted, that he has a big heart due to his Torah, and he becomes more attentive than other people. This means that we must sentence him to the side of merit” (Taanit 4a).
We should interpret that because of his big heart, he is moved by everything and he is sensitive to everything.
“Lust” is a demand from his own internality. “Envy” means that for himself he has no demand, but his externality invokes in him a demand. This is why it is considered a demand from his externality. Therefore, there are two forces in man that cause him to develop: the mind and the heart.
Article No. 21 (1986), “Concerning Above Reason”
A person should feel that he is worse than others because this is indeed the truth. And we should also understand what our sages said, “Counters’ envy increases wisdom.” This is precisely within reason. But above reason, his friend’s merit is not evident enough to say that he is envious of his friend, so it would cause him to work and toil because his friend compels him, due to envy.
Baal HaSulam interpreted a phrase by Rabbi Yohanan, “The Creator saw that righteous were few. He stood and planted them in each and every generation,” as it is said, “For the pillars of the Earth are the Lord’s, and He has set the world upon them.” RASHI interprets, “Spread them through all the generations,” to be a basis, sustenance, and a foundation for the existence of the world (Yoma 78b). “Few” means that they were growing fewer. Hence, what did He do? “He stood and planted them in each and every generation.” Thus, by planting them in each generation, they would multiply.
We should understand how they would multiply if He planted them in each and every genera- tion. We should understand the difference between all the righteous being in a single generation, and being scattered through all the generations, as is understood from the words of RASHI’s com- mentary, that by spreading them throughout the generations the righteous would increase.
He, Baal HaSulam, said, “By having righteous in each generation, there will be room for people who do not have the innate qualities to achieve Dvekut with the Creator. However, by bonding with the righteous that will be in each generation, through adhering to them, they will learn from their actions and will be able to acquire new qualities through the righteous that will be in each generation. This is why He spread the righteous in each generation, so that in this way the righteous will increase.”
Article No. 21 (1986), “Concerning Above Reason”
When the evil inclination comes and shows him the lowliness of the friends, he should go above reason. But certainly, it would be better and more successful if he could see within reason that the friends are at a higher degree than his own. With that we can understand the prayer that Rabbi Elimelech had written for us, “Let our hearts see the virtues of our friends, and not their faults.”
Article No. 21 (1986), “Concerning Above Reason”
If he sees that the friends are at a higher degree than his own, he sees within reason how he is in utter lowliness compared to the friends, that all the friends keep the schedule of arriving at the seminary, and take greater interest in all that is happening among the friends, to help anyone in any way they can, and immediately implement every advice for the work from the teachers in actual fact, etc., it certainly affects him and gives him strength to overcome his laziness, both when he needs to wake up before dawn and when he is awakened.
Also, during the lesson, his body is more interested in the lessons, since otherwise he will lag behind his friends. Also, with anything that concerns Kedusha [holiness/sanctity], he must take it more seriously because the body cannot tolerate lowliness. Moreover, when his body looks at the friends, it sees within reason that they are all working for the Creator, and then his body, too, lets him work for the Creator.
And the reason why the body helps him shift to in order to bestow is as mentioned—the body is unwilling to tolerate lowliness. Instead, everybody has pride, and he is unwilling to accept a situation where his friend is greater than him. Thus, when he sees that his friends are at a higher level than his own, this causes him to ascend in every way.
10.14 Elimelech of Lizhensk,
Noam Elimelech [The Pleasantness of Elimelech]
Do save us from envy of one another, and let no envy of others come into our hearts, nor our envy of others. On the contrary, let our hearts see the virtues of our friends and not their faults, and let us speak to each other in a way that is seemly and worthy before You, and let no hatred rise in one towards another. 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. 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.
10.15 Maor VaShemesh,
Intimations of Song of Songs
The heart and root of the work of the Creator is love of friends. Through it, one can come to the true work of the Creator. When one sees that his friends aspire and yearn to serve the Creator in Torah and prayer, it will excite his heart to connect with them, and all his friends’ actions will seem to him as greater than his own actions.
10.16 Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Halevi Epstein,
You will find the tenet and the wedge on which everything depends, and the content of the paths of correct repentance, through love of friends and adhesion of friends, and drawing near to the righteous of the generation. By this he will come to complete surrender since he will see the work of his friends, the great burning in their hearts, and excitement to serve the Creator, and by this he will learn to do as they do. He will recognize his blemishes and will repent in complete repentance.
10.17 Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Halevi Epstein,
One should depict his friend as serving the Creator more than him, and by this he strengthens himself more in the work of the Creator, for one should always say, “When will my work reach the work of my fathers?” This is the meaning of what they said in the Gemara, “In the future, each and every righteous will be burned by his friend’s canopy.” This seems perplexing, for is this the pleasure that will be in the future, to be burned by his friend’s canopy? The thing is that as we said that in this world, it seems to each one that he is serving the Creator more than his friend, but in the future, when the Creator gives the righteous reward for their good deeds, He will give each one according to his actions. So He will give attainments of His Godliness, and he will see that his friend attained more than he, and he will understand that his friend intended by his good deeds in this world for the sake of the Creator more than he, which is why he attained more than he. Then “authors’ [also counters’] envy will increase wisdom,” by which he will grow increasingly stronger in the work of the Creator and will thereby attain more attainments of the Creator. This is the meaning of “Each one is burned by his friend’s canopy,” from the word “fervor.” By seeing that his friend’s canopy is bigger than his, a fire will burn in him and his soul will further ignite toward the work of the Creator, and he will attain more attainments of Godliness.
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