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ANULARE ŞI ÎNGENUNCHIERE
4.01 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.
4.02 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 203, “Man’s Pride Shall Bring Him Low”
“Man’s pride shall bring him low.” It is known that a man is born in utter lowliness. However, if the lowly one knows his place then he does not suffer for being low, as this is his place. For example, the legs are not at all degraded because they are always walking in the litter and must carry the full weight of the body, whereas the head is always above, since because they know their place. Hence, the legs are not at all degraded and do not suffer for being on a low degree.
Yet, if they had wanted to be on top but were forced to be below, they would feel the suffering. This is the meaning of “Man’s pride shall bring him low.” If one wants to remain in one’s lowliness, he does not feel any lowliness, meaning no suffering that “Man is born a wild ass’s colt.” But when they want to be proud they feel the lowliness, and then they suffer.
Suffering and lowliness go hand in hand. If one feels no suffering, it is considered that he has no lowliness. It is precisely according to the measure of one’s pride, or that he wants to be but is not, so he feels the lowliness. This lowliness later becomes a Kli [vessel] for pride, as it is written, “The Lord reigns; He wears pride.” If they adhere to the Creator, they have a clothing of pride, as it is written, “Pride and glory are to the One who lives forever.” Those who adhere to the One who lives forever have much pride. And to the extent that he feels the lowliness, and according to the measure of his suffering, so he is rewarded with the clothing of the Creator.
4.03 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 42, “What Is the Acronym Elul in the Work?”
Is written, “Annul your will before His will,” meaning annul the will to receive in you before the desire to bestow, which is the will of the Creator. This means that one will revoke self-love before the love of the Creator. This is called “annulling oneself before the Creator,” and it is called Dvekut [adhesion]. Subsequently, the Creator can shine inside your will to receive because it is now cor- rected in the form of receiving in order to bestow.
This is the meaning of “so that He will annul His will before your will.” It means that the Creator annuls His will, meaning the Tzimtzum that was because of the disparity of form. Now, however, when there is already equivalence of form, hence now there is expansion of the light into the desire of the lower one, which has been corrected in order to bestow, for this is the purpose of creation, to do good to His creations, and now it can be carried out.
Now we can interpret the verse, “I am my beloved’s.” It means that by the “I” annulling my will to receive before the Creator in the form of all to bestow, it obtains “and my beloved is mine.” It means that My beloved, who is the Creator, “is mine,” He imparts me the delight and pleasure found in the thought of creation.
4.04 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 19, “What Is ‘The Creator Hates the Bodies,’ in the Work?”
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.
4.05 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 17, What Does It Mean that the Sitra Achra Is Called “Malchut without a Crown”?
It is known that calculation is implemented only in Malchut, who calculates the height of the degree (through the Ohr Hozer [reflected light] in her). Also, it is known that Malchut is called “the will to receive for oneself.”
When she annuls her will to receive before the Root, and does not want to receive but only to give to the Root, like the Root, which is a desire to bestow, then Malchut, called Ani [I], becomes Ein [nothing], with an Aleph. Only then does she extend the light of Keter to build her Partzuf and becomes twelve Partzufim of Kedusha.
However, when she wants to receive for herself, she becomes the evil Ayin [eye]. In other words, where there was a combination of Ein, meaning annulment before the root, which is Keter, it has become Ayin (meaning seeing and knowing within reason).
This is called “adding.” It means that one wants to add knowing to faith, and work within reason. In other words, she says that it is more worthwhile to work within reason, and then the will to receive will not object to the work.
This causes a flaw, meaning that they were separated from the Keter, called “the desire to bestow,” which is the Root. There is no longer the matter of equivalence of form with the Root, called Keter. For this reason, the Sitra Achra is called “Malchut without a Crown.” It means that Malchut of the Sitra Achra does not have Dvekut [adhesion] with the Keter. For this reason, they have only eleven Partzufim, without Partzuf Keter.
This is the meaning of what our sages said, “ninety nine died of evil eye,” meaning because they have no quality of Keter. It means that the Malchut in them, being the will to receive, does not want to annul before the Root, called Keter. This means that they do not want to make of the Ani [I], called “the will to receive,” a quality of Ein [nothing], which is the annulment of the will to receive. Instead, they want to add. And this is called “the evil Ayin” [eye]. That is, where there should be Ein with Aleph [the first letter in the word Ein], they insert the evil Ayin [eye, the first letter in the word]. Thus, they fall from their degree due to lack of Dvekut with the Root.
This is the meaning of what 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.”
4.06 Baal HaSulam, Shamati, Article No. 27,
“What Is ‘The Lord Is High and the Low Will See’? – 1”
How can there be equivalence with the Creator when man is the receiver and the Creator is the Giver? The verse says about this, “The Lord is high and the low…”
If one annuls oneself, then one has no authority that separates him from the Creator. In that state, one “will see,” meaning he is imparted Mochin de Hochma, “and the high will know from afar.” However, someone with pride, meaning one who has his own authority, is distanced, since he lacks the equivalence.
Lowliness is not considered one’s lowering oneself before others. This is humbleness, and one feels wholeness in this work. Rather, lowliness means that the world despises him. Precisely when people despise, it is considered lowliness, for then he does not feel any wholeness, for it is a law that what people think influences a person.
Therefore, if people respect him, he feels whole; and those whom people despise think of them- selves as low.
4.07 Baal HaSulam,
Letter No. 21
Your letter from the thirteenth of Tishrey [the first Hebrew month]. What you write me about, “I recognize how much I need external mortifications to correct my externality,” thus far your words, I say that you neither need mortifications nor to correct the externality. Who taught you this new law? It must be that you are not as attached to me as before, and are therefore learning other ways. Know that you have no other trusted friend in your whole life, and I advise you not to correct your externality at all, but only your internality, for only your internality is destined to be corrected. And the main reason why the internality is corrupted due to the proliferation of sins is the filth, whose sign is pride and self-importance. That filth fears no mortification in the world. On the contrary, it relishes them because the self-importance and pride increase and strengthen by the mortification. But if you do wish to cleanse the sins off you, you should engage in annulment of self-importance instead of the mortifications, meaning to feel that you are the lowest and the worst of all the people in the world. It requires much learning and education to understand this, and each time you should test yourself to see if you are not fooling and deceiving yourself. It also helps to lower yourself before your friend in practice.
However, you should be mindful that you lower yourself only before the right people. So if you wish to engage in it in practice, you can annul yourself before our group, and not before strangers, God forbid. However, you must know for certain that you are the worst and the lowest of all the people in the world, as this is the truth.
Indeed, my advice is straightforward and easy, and even a weak person can keep it to the fullest, for it does not wear out the strength of the body, and it is the complete purity. Although I have not spoken to you about it, it was because you did not need it so, since while you were with me in the same place, you would gradually recognize your lowliness anyway, without any learning or actions. But now that you are not with me in my place, you must engage in annulment of the self-importance in the manner just mentioned.
4.08 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 83, “Concerning the Right Vav and the Left Vav”
In any state one is in, he can be a servant of the Creator since he does not need anything, but does everything above reason. It turns out that one does not need any Mochin with which to be the servant of the Creator.
Now we can interpret what is written, “Set up a table before me, against my enemies.” A table means, as it is written, “and sent her out of his house, and she departed his house, and went” (Deuteronomy 24:1-2). A Shulchan [table] is like VeShlacha [and sent her], meaning exit from the work.
We should interpret that even during the exits from the work, meaning in a state of decline, one still has a place to work. This means that when one prevails above reason during the declines, and says that the descents, too, were given to him from above, by this the enemies are canceled. This is so because the enemies thought that through the declines the person will reach utter lowliness and escape the campaign, but in the end the opposite occurred—the enemies were canceled.
This is the meaning of what is written, “the table that is before the Lord,” that precisely in this manner does he receive the face of the Creator. This is the meaning of subduing all the judgments, even the harshest judgments, since he assumes the burden of the kingdom of heaven at all times. That is, he always finds a place for work, as it is written that Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai said, “There is no place to hide from You.”
4.09 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 40, “What Is the Measure of Faith in the Rav?”
It is known that there is a right path and a left path. Right comes from the words “to the right,” referring to the verse, “And he believed in the Lord.” The Targum says, “To the right, when the rav says to the disciple to take the right path.”
Right is normally called “wholeness,” and left, “incompleteness,” that corrections are missing there. In that state the disciple must believe the words of his rav, who tells him to walk in the right line, called “wholeness.”
And what is the “wholeness” by which the disciple should walk? It is that one should depict to oneself as if he has already been rewarded with whole faith in the Creator, and already feels in his organs that the Creator leads the whole world in the form of “The Good Who Does Good,” meaning that the whole world receives only good from Him.
Yet, when one looks at oneself, he sees that he is poor and indigent. In addition, when he observes the world, he sees that the entire world is tormented, each according to his degree.
One should say about that, “They have eyes but they see not.” “They” means that as long as one is in multiple authorities, called “they,” they do not see the truth. What are the multiple authorities? As long as one has two desires, even though he believes that the entire world belongs to the Creator, but something belongs to man, too.
But in truth, one must annul one’s authority before the authority of the Creator and say that one does not want to live for oneself, and the only reason that he wants to exist is in order to bring contentment to the Creator. Thus, by this one annuls his own authority completely, and then he is in the singular authority, the authority of the Creator. Only then can he see the truth, how the Creator leads the world by the quality of good and doing good.
As long as he is in multiple authorities, meaning when he still has two desires in both mind and heart, he is unable to see the truth. Instead, he must go above reason and say, “they have eyes,” but they do not see the truth.
4.10 Baal HaSulam,
Letter No. 45
A student should be in true annulment before the teacher, in the full sense of the word, for then he unites with him and he can perform salvations in his favor.
4.11 Baal HaSulam, Shamati,
Article No. 96, “What Is Waste of Barn and Winery, in the Work?”
The purpose of the work is in the literal and nature, since in this work he no longer has room to fall lower down, since he is already placed on the ground. This is so because he does not need great- ness because to him it is always like something new. That is, he always works as though he had just begun to work. And he works in the form of accepting the burden of the kingdom of heaven above reason. The basis, upon which he built the order of the work, was in the lowest manner, and all of it was truly above reason. Only one who is truly naïve can be so low as to proceed without any basis on which to establish his faith, literally with no support.
Additionally, he accepts this work with great joy, as though he had had real knowledge and vision on which to establish the certainty of faith. And to that exact measure of above reason, to that very measure as though he had reason. Hence, if he persists in this way, he can never fall. Rather, he can always be in gladness, by believing that he is serving a great King.
This is the meaning of the verse, “The one lamb you shall offer in the morning; and the other lamb you shall offer at dusk. … according to the meal-offering of the morning, and according to the drink-offering thereof.” This means that that gladness that he had while he was sacrificing his sacrifice, when it was a morning for him, as morning is called “light,” meaning that the light of the Torah was shining for him in utter clarity. In that same gladness, he was making his sacrifice, meaning his work, even though for him it was like evening.
This means that even though he did not have any clarity in the Torah and the work, he still did everything gladly, since he worked above reason. Hence, he could not measure from which state the Creator derives more contentment.
4.12 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 19, “What Is ‘The Creator Hates the Bodies,’ in the Work?”
Sometimes one despises this work of assuming the burden of the kingdom of heaven, which is a time of a sensation of darkness, when one sees that no one can save him from the state he is in but the Creator. Then he takes upon himself the kingdom of heaven above reason, as an ox to the burden and as a donkey to the load. One should be glad that now he has something to give to the Creator, and the Creator enjoys him having something to give to the Creator. But one does not always have the strength to say that this is beautiful work, called “adornment,” but he despises this work. This is a harsh condition for one to be able to say that he chooses this work over the work of whiteness, meaning that he does not sense a taste of darkness during the work, but then one feels a taste in the work. It means that then he does not have to work with the will to receive to agree to take upon himself the kingdom of heaven above reason. If he does over- come himself and can say that this work is pleasant to him that now he is observing the Mitzva [commandment] of faith above reason, and he accepts this work as beauty and adornment, this is called “A joy of Mitzva.”
4.13 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 19, What Is “The Creator Hates the Bodies,” in the Work?
The farther the thing is from clothing, the higher it is. One can feel in the most abstract thing, called “the absolute zero,” since there man’s hand does not reach.
This means that the will to receive can grip only in a place where there is some expansion of light. Before one purifies one’s Kelim [vessels] so as to not blemish the light, he is unable for the light to come to him in a form of expansion in the Kelim. Only when one marches on the path of bestowal, in a place where the will to receive is not present, whether in mind or in heart, there the light can come in utter completeness. Then the light comes to him in a sensation that he can feel the exaltedness of the upper light.
However, when one has not corrected the Kelim to work in order to bestow, when the light expands, it must be restricted and shine only according to the purity of the Kelim. Hence, at that time, the light appears to be in utter smallness. Therefore, when the light is abstracted from clothing in the Kelim, the light can shine in utter completeness and clarity without any restrictions for the sake of the lower one. It follows that the importance of the work is precisely when one comes to a state of zero, when one sees that he annuls his whole existence and being, for then the will to receive has no power.
Only then does one enter the Kedusha.
4.14 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 118, “To Understand the Matter of the Knees that Have Bowed to Baal”
There is the discernment of a wife, and there is the discernment of a husband. A wife is considered that “she has nothing but what her husband gives her,” and a husband is considered extending abundance into his own aspect. Knees are considered “bowing,” as it is written, “unto You every knee shall bow.”
There are two discernments in bowing:
- One who bows before one who is greater, and although he does not know his merit, but believes that he is great, he therefore bows before him;
- When he knows his greatness and merit in utter clarity.
There are also two discernments considering the faith in the greatness of the upper one:
- He believes that he is great because he has no other choice, that is, he has no way to know his greatness.
- He has a way to know his greatness in utter certainty, but he still chooses the path of faith because “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing.” This means that although there are sparks in his body that want specifically to know His greatness, and not be as a beast, he still chooses faith for the above reason.
It follows that one who has no other choice, and chooses faith, is considered a woman, female— ”he grew as weak as a female”—and she only receives from her husband. But one who has a choice yet struggles to go by the path of faith is called “a man of war.” Hence, those who choose faith when they had the option of walking by the way of knowing, called Baal [husband/Canaanite god], are called “which have not bowed to Baal.” This means that they did not surrender to the work of Baal, considered “knowing,” but chose the path of faith.
4.15 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 121, “She Is Like Merchant-Ships”
“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on what proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.” This means that the life of Kedusha [holiness] in a person does not come specifically from drawing closer, from entries, meaning admissions into Kedusha, but also from the exits, from the removals. This is so because through the dressing of the Sitra Achra in one’s body, and its claims, “She is all mine,” with a just argument, one is awarded permanent faith by overcoming these states.
This means that one should dedicate everything to the Creator, that is, that even the exits stem from Him. When he is rewarded, he sees that both the exits and the entries were all from Him. This forces him to be humble, since he sees that the Creator does everything, the exits as well as the entries.
This is the meaning of what is said about Moses, that he was humble and patient—that one must tolerate the lowliness, meaning that in each degree one should keep the lowliness. The minute he leaves the lowliness, he immediately loses all the degrees of Moses he had already achieved.
This is the meaning of patience. Lowliness exists in everyone, but not every person feels that lowliness is a good thing. It turns out that we do not want to suffer. However, Moses tolerated the humbleness, which is why he was called “humble,” since the lowliness made him glad.
4.16 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 5, “Lishma Is an Awakening from Above, and Why Do We Need an Awakening from Below?”
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 contentment 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.
4.17 Baal HaSulam,
Shamati, Article No. 143, “Only Good to Israel”
“Only good to Israel, God is to the pure in heart.” It is known that “only” and “just” are diminutives. This means that in every place the Torah writes “only” and “just,” it comes to diminish.
Therefore, in work matters we should interpret it as when one diminishes oneself and lowers himself. Lowering applies when one wants to be proud, meaning wants to be in Gadlut [greatness/ adulthood]. This means that he wants to understand every single thing, that his soul craves seeing and hearing in everything, but he still lowers himself and agrees to go with his eyes shut and keep Torah and Mitzvot in utter simplicity. This is “good to Israel.” The word Yashar El [Israel] is the letters of Li Rosh [the head (mind) is mine].
This means that he believes he has a mind of Kedusha [holiness] although he is only discerned as “just,” meaning that he is in a state of diminution and lowliness. And he says about this “just” that it is absolute good. Then the verse, “God is to the pure in heart” comes true in him, meaning that he is awarded a pure heart. And this is the meaning of “and I will take away the stony heart from your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” The heart of flesh is Mochin de VAK, called Mochin of clothing, which comes from the upper one. Mochin de GAR, however, should come from the lower one, through the scrutinies of the lower one.
The issue of VAK de Mochin and GAR de Mochin requires explanation: There are many dis- cernments of VAK and GAR in each degree. And perhaps he is referring to what he wrote in several places, that the Katnut, called “GE of the lower one,” rise to MAN through the Kli that raises MAN, called “AHP of the upper one.” It therefore follows that the upper one raises the lower one. And then, to receive the GAR of the lights and the AHP of the Kelim, the lower one should rise by itself.
Article No. 1 (1984),”Purpose of Society – 2”
We need a society that will form a great force so we can work together on annulling the will to receive, called “evil,” as it hinders the achievement of the goal for which man was created.
For this reason, society must consist of individuals who unanimously agree that they must achieve it. Then, all the individuals become one great force that can fight against itself, since everyone is integrated in everyone else. Thus, each person is founded on a great desire to achieve the goal.
To be integrated in one another, each person should annul himself before the others. This is done by each seeing the friends’ merits and not their faults. But one who thinks that he is a little higher than his friends can no longer unite with them.
Article No. 128, “Exalt the Lord Our God”
“Exalt the Lord our God and bow before His holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.” “Exalt” means that if one wants to know the exaltedness and greatness of the Creator, we can obtain this only through Dvekut [adhesion] and equivalence of form. Thus, what is “equivalence of form” and how does one achieve equivalence of form?
“Bow before His holy mountain.” Bowing means surrendering. It is when one lowers his reason and says that what the reason understands or does not understand, I annul and subjugate it. Before which quality do I subjugate it? Before “His holy mountain.”
Har [mountain] means Hirhurim [reflections], meaning thoughts. “His holy,” for “holy” means separated from the matter. This means that he removes himself from the desire of reception. “Bow” means submitting the body, even though it disagrees, and taking upon oneself only thoughts of Kedusha [holiness]. This is the meaning “Bow before His holy mountain.”
Why must we submit ourselves to thoughts of Kedusha, meaning retire from receiving in order to receive? It is because “The Lord our God is holy,” for the Creator only bestows. For this reason, one must be in equivalence of form with the Creator, and by this we can obtain the exaltedness of the Creator. Afterward, we can achieve the attainment of the exaltedness of the Lord our God.
Article No. 19 (1984), “You Stand Today, All of You”
One should walk on the path of truth—to say, “My current state, being in utter lowliness, means that I was deliberately thrown out from above to know if I truly wish to do the holy work in order to bestow, or if I wish to be God’s servant because I find it more rewarding than other things.”
Then, if one can say, “Now I want to work in order to bestow and I do not want to do the holy work to receive some gratification in the work. Instead, I will settle for doing the work of holiness like any man of Israel—praying or taking a lesson on the daily portion. And I don’t have time to think with which intent I study or pray, but I will simply observe the actions without any special intent.” At that time, he will reenter the holy work because now he wishes to be God’s servant without any preconditions.
This is the meaning of what is written, “You stand today, all of you,” meaning everything you went through, all the states you have experienced—whether states of Gadlut or states of less than Gadlut, which were considered intermediate or so. You take all those details and you do not compare one degree to another because you do not care for any reward, but only for doing the Creator’s will. He has commanded us to observe Mitzvot [commandments] and to study Torah, and this is what we do, like any common man of Israel. In other words, the state he is in right now is as important to him as when he thought he was in a state of Gadlut. At that time, “The Lord your God makes with you this day.”
This means that then the Creator makes a covenant with him. In other words, precisely when one accepts His work without any conditions and agrees to do the holy work without any reward, which is called “unconditional surrender,” this is the time when the Creator makes a covenant with him.
Article No. 12 (1989), “What Is a Groom’s Meal?”
A person should accept faith above reason even though he has no feeling and no excitement about taking upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven. Nevertheless, he should agree with that state and say that this must be the will of the Creator that he will work and serve Him in this low- liness, so he does not mind what elation he feels about this faith because about himself, meaning his own benefit, he has no concern, but only about the benefit of the Creator. If He wants him to remain in that state, he accepts this unconditionally. This is called “unconditional surrender.”
Article No. 6 (1984), “Love of Friends – 2”
If several individuals come together with the force that it is worthwhile to abandon self-love, but without the sufficient power and importance of bestowal to become independent, without outside help, if these individuals annul before one another and all have at least potential love of the Creator, though they cannot keep it in practice, then by each joining the society and annulling oneself before it, they become one body.
For example, if there are ten people in that body, it has ten times more power than a single person does. However, there is a condition: When they gather, each of them should think that he has now come for the purpose of annulling self-love. It means that he will not consider how to satisfy his will to receive now, but will think as much as possible only of the love of others. This is the only way to acquire the desire and the need to acquire a new quality, called “the will to bestow.”
And from love of friends one can reach love of the Creator, meaning wanting to give contentment to the Creator.
Article No. 1 (1984), “Purpose of Society – 1”
We gather here—to establish a society where each of us follows the spirit of bestowing upon the Creator. And to achieve bestowal upon the Creator, we must begin with bestowal upon man, which is called “love of others.”
And love of others can only be through revoking of one’s self. Thus, on the one hand, each per- son should feel lowly, and on the other hand, be proud that the Creator has given us the chance to be in a society where each of us has but a single goal: for The Shechina [Divinity] to be among us.
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 cancels 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.
4.25 RABASH, Article No. 38 (1990),
“What Is, ‘A Cup of Blessing Must Be Full,’ in the Work?”
We should discern between speech and mute in the work. Speech means revealing, when a person already has Yenika in spirituality, and he feels that he is suckling from Kedusha, for Nursing on milk indicates Hassadim, for the quality of Hesed [mercy] is bestowal, when a person is rewarded with vessels of bestowal and all his actions are for the sake of the Creator and he has no concerns for his own benefit. This is regarded as the quality of Hesed.
However, before the Yenika there is Ibur, meaning that the upper one corrects him. This can be when a person is like an embryo in its mother’s womb, where the embryo annuls before the mother and has no view of its own, but as our sages said, “An embryo is its mother’s thigh, eats what its mother eats,” and has no authority of its own to ask any questions. Rather, it does not merit a name. This is called “mute,” when he has no mouth to ask questions.
This is so when a person can go with his eyes shut, above reason, and believe in the sages and go all the way. This is called Ibur, when he has no mouth. Ibur means as it is written (The Study of the Ten Sefirot, Part 8, Item 17), “The level of Malchut, which is the most restricted Katnut [smallness/ infancy] possible, is called Ibur. It comes from the words Evra [anger] and Dinin [Aramaic: judg- ments], as it is written, ‘And the Lord was impregnated in me for your sake.’”
We should interpret the meaning of “anger and judgments.” When a person must go with this eyes shut, above reason, the body resists this work. Hence, the fact that a person always has to over- come, this is called “anger, wrath, and trouble,” since it is hard work to always overcome and annul before the upper one, for the upper one to do with him what the upper one wants. This is called Ibur, which is the most restricted Katnut possible.
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.
Letter No. 65
The main thing in the work is that there is no giving of half a thing from heaven. Otherwise, it could happen that if a person repented half way he would receive assistance from above for half the work.
But since there is no giving of half a thing from heaven, a person must pray to the Creator to give him complete help. This means that during his prayer, a person sets what is in his heart in order, since prayer is work in the heart, so a person must decide that he wants the Creator to give him a desire to completely annul before Him, meaning not leave any desire under his own authority, but that all the desires in him will be only to give glory to the Creator.
Once he decides on complete annulment, he asks the Creator to help him execute it. This means that although in the mind and the desire he sees that the body disagrees with him annulling all his desires before the Creator instead of for his own sake, he should pray to the Creator to help him want to annul before Him with all the desires, leaving no desire for himself. This is called a “com- plete prayer,” meaning that he wishes that the Creator will give him a complete desire without any compromises to himself, and he asks of the Creator to help him always be with his righteousness.
Article No. 821, “We Will Do and We Will Hear – 2”
How can an intelligent and knowledgeable person say that his mind will be annulled before each and every one, while he knows and feels that he is a hundred times higher than his friend?
However, there is a discernment of “part,” and there is a discernment of “all.” The collective is higher than the individual, and one must annul before each and every part, in that he is part of the “all.” In other words, the whole of Israel, although they do not have such great importance individually, with respect to the collective, each one is very important from the perspective of the whole collective. One must annul his personal needs before the needs of the collective, and since man must annul his view and thought before the Creator, he must accustom himself in externality, called “doing.”
This is called “We will do.” All those annulments will influence him so he can annul his mind and thought before the Creator.
Letter No. 42
It is written, “And the people encamped, as one man with one heart.” This means that they all had one goal, which is to benefit the Creator. It follows…
We should understand how they could be as one man with one heart, since we know what our sages said, “As their faces are not similar to one another, their views are not similar to one another,” so how could they be as one man with one heart?
Answer: If we are saying that each one cares for himself, it is impossible to be as one man, since they are not similar to one another. However, if they all annul their selves and worry only about the benefit of the Creator, they have no individual views, since the individuals have all been canceled and have entered the single authority.
This is the meaning of what is written, “The view of landlords is opposite from the view of Torah.” It is so because the view of Torah is cancelling the authority, as our sages said, “‘If a man dies in a tent,’ the Torah exists only in one who puts himself to death,” meaning he puts himself to death, namely his self-gratification, and does everything only for the Creator.
This is called “preparation for reception of the Torah.”
Article No. 223, “Entry into the Work”
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 calcu- lations 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. 44 (1990), “What Is an Optional War, in the work – 2?”
A person should work on having a desire and yearning to want to annul his authority, as our sages said about the verse “If a man dies in a tent,” since the Torah exists only in one who puts himself to death over it.” This means that he wants to annul his self, meaning he must achieve a state where he has but one authority—the authority of the Creator. In other words, a person does not do anything for his own benefit, but sees only to the benefit of the Creator. This is called “singular authority,” and it is called “optional war.” In other words, he is fighting against himself to obtain this singular authority, and this is called “optional war” in the work.
Article No. 587, “The Upper One Scrutinizes for the Purpose of the Lower One”
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 clothing 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. 2 (1984), “Concerning Love of Friends”
We must remember that the society was established on the basis of love of others, so each member would receive from the group the love of others and hatred of himself. And seeing that his friend is straining to annul his self and to love others would cause everyone to be integrated in their friends’ intentions.
Thus, if the society is made of ten members, for example, each will have ten forces practicing self-annulment, hatred of self, and love of others.
Article No. 31 (1986), “Concerning Yenika [Suckling] and Ibur [Impregnation]”
There are two forces in the Ibur: 1) A depicting force, where the depiction of the fetus is Katnut [infancy/smallness], for in order to obtain Katnut there is an order, since Katnut is preparation for Gadlut [adulthood/greatness], and without Katnut in the degree there is no Gadlut. And as long as he is in Katnut he is still incomplete, and wherever there is a deficiency in Kedusha there is a grip to the Sitra Achra, who might spoil the Ibur so it cannot be completed. By this he is aborted, meaning that he is born before the state of Ibur has been completed.
It is so because there are twenty-five Partzufim [plural of Partzuf] in the Ibur, meaning NRNHY, and in each of them there is also NRNHY. Therefore, there must be a detaining force, meaning that even in Katnut there should be wholeness there. He receives this through his mother, although the fetus in itself has no Kelim [vessels] in which to receive Gadlut in order to bestow. Still, by annulling before the mother it can receive Gadlut from the Kelim of its mother. This is regarded as “An embryo is its mother’s thigh; it eats what its mother eats.”
That is, since it has no choice of its own but rather eats what its mother eats, meaning that what its mother knows is permitted to eat, it eats, as well, it means that he has shifted the choice of what is good and what is bad from himself. Rather, it is all attributed to the mother. This is called “its mother’s thigh,” meaning that he himself does not merit a name.
Article No. 31 (1986), “Concerning Yenika [Suckling] and Ibur [Impregnation]”
It follows that when a person can annul himself a little bit and at that time says, “Now I want to annul myself before the Kedusha,” meaning not to think about self-love. Rather, now he wants to bring contentment to the Creator, and believes above reason that although he still does not feel anything, he believes above reason, that the Creator hears the prayer of every mouth, and before Him, small and great are equal, and as He can deliver the greatest of the greatest, He can also help the smallest of the small.
This is called Ibur, meaning that he passes from his own domain into the domain of the Creator. However, it is temporary. That is, he truly wants to annul himself forever, but cannot believe that there will be annulling forever now since he has already thought many times that it would be so but then descended from his degree and fell to the place of garbage.
However, he does not need to worry about what to eat tomorrow, as was said above, that later he will probably fall from his degree, as this is for lack of faith. Rather, he must believe that the salvation of the Lord is as the blink of an eye. It follows that since he annuls himself for the time being and wants to remain this way forever, it follows that he has the value of Ibur.
4.36 Baal HaSulam,
Article No. 821, “We Will Do and We Will Hear – 2”
That person annuls himself before the other, not necessarily in external annulment, but also inter- nally. Externality means that which is revealed outside, which is regarded as “revealed,” when it is visible to everyone that he does not consider himself as anything, but that he regards his friend as being at a higher degree than his own. This is shown by the things he does before his friend.
But there is also internality, called “hidden.” These are the thought and the mind, which he must also annul before his friend. This is the meaning of “My soul shall be as dust to all.”
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.”
Article No. 4 (1989), “What Is a Flood of Water in the Work?”
When a person does not feel the greatness of the Creator, the body cannot annul before Him “with all your heart and with all your soul.” However, in truth, by presenting a condition that says, “I agree to work for You only on condition that I see Your importance and greatness,” he already wants to receive from the Creator—the greatness of the Creator—or he will not want to work with all his heart. Thus, a person is already limited and placed under the governance of concealment, and he is not free to say that he wants nothing but to bestow. This is not true since he does want something before he observes “that all your works will be for the sake of the Creator.” That is, he first wants to receive the greatness of the Creator, and then say that he will annul before the Creator. Certainly, this is not regarded as Bina because Bina desires mercy and wants nothing, for she does want.
Article No. 30 (1988), “What to Look for in the Assembly of Friends”
When a person makes the effort and judges him to the side of merit, it is a Segula [remedy/power/ virtue], where by the toil that a person makes, which is called “an awakening from below,” he is given strength from above to be able to love all the friends without exception.
This is called “Buy yourself a friend,” that a person should make an effort to obtain love of others. And this is called “labor,” since he must exert above reason. Reasonably thinking, “How is it possible to judge another person to the side of merit when his reason shows him his friend’s true face, that he hates him?” What can he tell the body about that? Why should he submit himself before his friend? The answer is that he wishes to achieve Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, called “equivalence of form,” meaning not to think of his own benefit. Thus, why is subduing a difficult thing? The reason is that he must revoke his own worth, and the whole of the life that he wishes to live will be only with the consideration of his ability to work for others’ benefit, beginning with love of others, between man and man, through the love of the Creator.
Hence, here is a place where he can say that anything he does is without any self-interest, since by reason, the friends are the ones who should love him, but he overcomes his reason, goes above reason, and says, “It is not worth living for myself.” And although one is not always at a degree where he is able to say so, this is nonetheless the purpose of the work. Thus, he already has something to reply to the body.
Article No. 4 (1991), “What Is, ‘The Saboteur Was in the Flood, and Was Putting to Death,’ in the Work?”
When a person lowers himself, the question is, What is lowliness? How is it expressed that a person is in lowliness? The literal meaning is that lowliness is when one subdues oneself and works above reason. This is called “lowliness,” when he lowers his reason and says that his reason is worthless.
In other words, man’s reason dictates that if the Creator gives him all his needs, which the will to receive understands that it deserves, then he can love the Creator. That is, he loves Him because he satisfies all his needs. If He did not, he would not be able to lower himself and say that his reason is worthless. Rather, at that time he would depart from the Creator and say that it is not worthwhile to serve the Creator if He does not grant him his wishes. It follows that this is called “proud,” since he wants to understand the ways of the Creator, in what is He regarded as good and doing good, if the body does not get what it demands. About such a proud person the Creator says, “He and I cannot dwell in the same abode.”
But if he lowers himself and says, “I cannot understand the ways of the Creator,” and he says that what his reason dictates is worthless, but he is going above reason, this is called “lowliness,” and it was about him that the verse, “The Lord is high and the low will see” was said. He is rewarded with the Creator bringing him near Him.
Article No. 21, “Sanctification of the Month”
A person must take upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven on the lowest quality, and say about it that to him, even that state, the lowest that can be, meaning one that is entirely above reason, when he has no support from the mind or the feeling, so he can build its foundations on it, and at that time, he is seemingly standing between heaven and earth and has no support, for then everything is above reason, then a person says that the Creator sent him this state, where he is in utter lowliness, since the Creator wants him to take upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven in this manner of lowliness.
At that time, because he believes above reason, he takes upon himself that the situation he is in now comes to him from the Creator, meaning that the Creator wants him to see the lowest possible state that can be in the world.
And yet, he must say that he believes in the Creator in all manners. This is considered that he has made an unconditional surrender. That is, a person does not say to the Creator, “If You give me a good feeling, to feel that ‘The whole earth is full of His glory,’ I will be willing to believe.”
Rather, when he has no knowledge or sensation of spirituality, he cannot accept the burden of the kingdom of heaven and observe the Torah and Mitzvot [commandments]. Rather, he must accept the kingdom of heaven unconditionally.
This is what perplexed Moses: How could he come to the people of Israel with such lowliness? It is about this that the Creator showed him with the finger and said, “This you shall see and sanctify,” meaning the moon at the time of its birth, when its merit is still not apparent.
Precisely accepting the kingdom of heaven in lowliness will reveal what our sages said, “Rabbi Elazar said, ‘The Creator is destined to pardon the righteous and dwell among them in the Garden of Eden, and each one will point with his finger, as was said, ‘And he said on that day, ‘Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited and He will save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation’’’” (Taanit 31).
It follows that the hint that the Creator points to the moon with the finger and says, “This,” by this we are rewarded with each one pointing with his finger, “Behold, this is our God.”
Article No. 680, “Annulment—the Baal Shem Tov Way”
The way to annul the body used to be through abstention. But there is another way, which is annul- ment before the rav [great one, teacher]. This is the meaning of “Make for yourself a rav.” “Making” is clarified by force, without any intellect.
As abstention revokes the body only through action and not through the mind. Likewise, annul- ment before the rav is by force and not through intellect. That is, even in a place where one does not understand the view of one’s rav, he annuls himself and the Torah and the work, and comes to the rav so he will guide him.
There is guidance in the manner of the general public, called Ohr Makif [surrounding light], which is light that shines only from outside, and is without words, but only by coming to the rav and sitting in front of him, sitting at his table during the meal or during the service. Yet, there is another way, which is internal, and this is specifically through “mouth-to-mouth.”
Article No. 824, “Internality and Externality”
Humility means that in any manner, in action or in intellect, he annuls himself before the other, meaning that even his view he should annul before his friend.
There is “internality,” and there is “externality.” These are called “revealed” and “concealed,” and “action” and “thought.” Something that is revealed to all pertains to action, whereas a thought is not revealed; therefore, a thought is regarded as internal, meaning it is in man’s internality. An act is called “externality,” and within it there is an internal thought.
Therefore, when one must annul himself before his friend, it is not regarded as true annulment unless it is in two manners: in thought and in action.
It is not necessarily the action, but he should also annul his view and say that his friend’s view is more important than his own. Otherwise, this is (not) regarded as “annulment.” When he shows his friend an act of annulment, this is nothing but fawning, where on the outside he shows that his friend is more important, but deep inside he knows that his friend is not half as good as he is.
Article No. 7 (1984), “According to What Is Explained Concerning ‘Love Your Friend as Yourself’”
The advice for one to be able to increase his strength in the rule, “Love your friend,” is by love of friends. If everyone is nullified before his friend and mingles with him, they become one mass where all the little parts that want the love of others unite in a collective force that consists of many parts. And when one has great strength, he can execute the love of others.
And then he can achieve the love of God. But the condition is that each will annul before the other. However, when he is separated from his friend, he cannot receive the share he should receive from his friend.
Thus, everyone should say that he is nothing compared to his friend. It is like writing numbers: If you first write “1” and then “0,” it is ten times more. And when you write “00” it is a hundred times more. In other words, if his friend is number one, and the zero follows it, it is considered that one receives from his friend ten (10) times more. And if he says that he is double zero compared to his friend, he receives from his friend a hundred (100) times more.
However, if it is to the contrary, and he says that his friend is zero and he is one, then he is ten times less than his friend 0.1. And if he can say that he is one and he has two friends who are both zeros compared to him, then he is considered a hundred times less than them, meaning he is 0.01. Thus, his degree lessens according to the number of zeros he has from his friends.
Yet, even once he acquires that strength and can keep the love of others in actual fact, and feels his own gratification as bad for him, still, do not believe in yourself. There must be fear of falling into self-love in the middle of the work. In other words, should one be given a greater pleasure than he is used to receiving, although he can already work in order to bestow with small pleasures and is willing to relinquish them, he lives in fear of great pleasures.
This is called “fear,” and this is the gate to receive the Light of faith, called “The inspiration of the Shechina [Divinity],” as it is written in The Sulam Commentary, “By the measure of fear is the measure of faith.”
Hence, we must remember that the matter of “Love your friend as yourself” should be kept because it is a Mitzva, since the Creator commanded to engage in love of friends. And Rabbi Akiva only interprets this Mitzva that the Creator commanded. He intended to make this Mitzva into a rule by which to be able to keep all the Mitzvot because of the commandment of the Creator, and not because of self-benefit.
In other words, it is not that the Mitzvot should expand our will to receive, meaning that by keeping the Mitzvot we would be generously rewarded. Quite the contrary; by keeping the Mitzvot we will reach the reward of being able to annul our self-love and achieve the love of others, and subsequently the love of God.
Article No. 3 (1985), “The Meaning of Truth and Faith”
There are two discernments in the Ibur:
- The shape of the Ibur, which is the degree of Katnut [smallness/infancy], which is its real shape. However, since it only has Katnut, it is regarded as a deficiency, and wherever there is a deficiency in holiness, there is a grip to the Klipot [shells/peels]. At that time the Klipot can cause a miscarriage—for the spiritual fetus to fall out before its stage of Ibur has been completed. For this reason, there should be a detaining element, which is that it is given wholeness, meaning Gadlut [adulthood/greatness].
- However, we should understand how the newborn can be given Gadlut while it is still unfit to receive even Katnut sufficiently, since it still does not have the Kelim [vessels] in which to receive them in order to bestow. To that there is an answer there: Our sages said, “An embryo in its mother’s abdomen eats what its mother eats.” He also said, “A fetus is its mother’s thigh.” This means that since a fetus is its mother’s thigh, the Ibur does not merit its own name. For this reason, the fetus eats what its mother eats. That is, the fetus receives everything that it receives in the mother’s Kelim. For this reason, although the fetus has no Kelim that are fit to receive Gadlut, but in the Kelim of the upper one, which is its mother, it can receive because it is completely annulled before the mother and has no authority of its own. This is called Ibur, when it is completely annulled before the Upper One.
Article No. 654, “Who Despises the Day of Smallness”
“Who despises the day of smallness?” This means that one should be happy about work in Katnut [smallness/infancy] more than about work in Gadlut [greatness/adulthood] because the bigger the light, the more there is fear that the external ones will blemish it. Hence, it is covered so as to be seen, but only in the form of Katnut. Conversely, a smaller light can be revealed because there is less concern.
One should believe that there is more contentment from servitude in the time of Katnut than in the time of Gadlut.
Article No. 31, “Concerning Yenika [Suckling] and Ibur [Impregnation]”
The beginning of the entrance into the work of the Creator is regarded as Ibur [impregnation], when he cancels his self and becomes impregnated in the mother’s womb, as it is written, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” This comes from the verse, “For if you call the mother, ‘understanding [Bina],’” meaning that he cancels self-love, called Malchut, whose original essence is called “will to receive in order to receive,” and enters the vessels of bestowal, called Bina.
One should believe that before he was born, meaning before the soul descended into the body, the soul was adhered to Him, and now he longs to adhere to Him as prior to her descent. This is called Ibur, when he completely annuls his self.
Article No. 24 (1991) “What Does It Mean that One Should Bear a Son and a Daughter, in the Work?”
The work above reason should be unconditional surrender. That is, one should take upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven above reason. A person should say, “I want to be a servant of the Creator even though I have no idea about the work and I feel no flavor in the work. Nevertheless, I am willing to work with all my might as though I have attainment and feeling and flavor in the work, and I am willing to work unconditionally.” At that time, a person can go forward, and then there is no place for him to fall from his state, since he takes upon himself to work even when he is placed right in the earth, since it is impossible to be lower than the earth.
Article No. 40 (1990), “What Is, ‘For You Are the Least of All the Peoples,’ in the Work?”
How can one muster the strength to overcome the body when he feels that the Shechina is in the dust? What joy can he receive from this work? Even more perplexing, how can one need and want to work when he feels no taste in it? This would be understandable if he had no choice; we can understand when a person is forced to work. But how is it possible to want such a work, which feels tasteless? And since he does not have the strength to overcome and feel joy in such a work, how can he serve the King in such a lowly state, when he feels the taste of dust while serving the King?
Hence, in this regard, he does not ask the Creator to give him the revelation of His greatness, so he will feel a good taste in it. Rather, he asks the Creator to give him strength to be able to overcome the body and work gladly because now he can work only for the Creator, since the will to receive does not enjoy work that tastes like dust.
Article No. 7 (1991), “What Is ‘Man’ and What Is ‘Beast’ in the Work?”
Specifically those who want to achieve bestowal feel the emptiness within them and need the greatness of the Creator. They can fill this emptiness specifically with exaltedness, called “full of Mitzvot,” to the extent that they ask the Creator to give them the power to be able to go above reason, which is called “exaltedness.” In other words, they ask the Creator to give them power in exaltedness that is above reason in greatness and importance of the Creator. They do not want the Creator to let them attain this, since they want to subjugate themselves with unconditional surrender, but they ask for help from the Creator, and to that extent they can fill the empty place with Mitzvot. This is the meaning of “filled with Mitzvot like a pomegranate.”
Article No. 4 (1989), “What Is a Flood of Water in the Work?”
We must know that it is a lot of work before we attain the quality of Bina. That is, to be content with little with his feeling and his mind, and be happy with his share, with what he has. That person can always be in wholeness because he is happy with his share.
But what can one do if he has not yet obtained this quality, and he sees that he cannot overcome his will to receive. At that time, he must pray to the Creator to help him so he can go in the work with his eyes shut, and will not need anything, and will be able to do everything for the sake of the Creator despite the resistance of the body to this.
That is, he does not tell the Creator how He should help him. Rather, he must subjugate himself and annul before the Creator unconditionally. But since he cannot overcome his body, he asks the Creator to help him win the war against the inclination, since he understands his lowliness.
For this reason, he asks the Creator to have mercy on him because he is worse than other people, who can be servants of the Creator, whereas he is worse than them. He sees that he has a desire to receive in self-love more than all of them. Therefore, he is ashamed of himself that he can be so lowly. For this reason, he asks the Creator to have mercy on him and deliver him from the gover- nance of the evil inclination.
Yet, he does not ask for help because he is more important than other people. Rather, he is worse than the rest of the people because his will to receive is more developed and works within him more vigorously.
However, he is not asking to be given more knowledge about the greatness of the Creator, and then he will be able to emerge from the governance of evil. Although this is true, he does not want to tell the Creator that he wants to present Him with conditions and only then he will annul before the Creator. Rather, he agrees to remain with little understanding and little feeling, not more than he has now. But since he does not have the power to overcome, he asks the Creator to give him the power to overcome, and not brains, mind, or feeling.
Any advice that a person gives to the Creator seems as though he is setting conditions, as though he has a status and a view. But this is insolence of a person to present the Creator with conditions and say, “If You give me, for example, good taste in the work, I will be able to work for You. Otherwise, I cannot.” Instead, one should say, “I want to annul myself and surrender unconditionally, just give me the strength to really be able to emerge from self-love and love the Lord ‘with all your heart.’”
Article No. 696, “Your Strength to the Torah”
A strong person is one who has a strong desire, and not one who has strong limbs, as in “Who is mighty? He who conquers his inclination,” as is done with the powers of strong limbs.
For example, when one wants to go somewhere, but there are people who interfere with his walking on the path he wants to go, and each one pulls him to the place he wants, if he is drawn, he does not have the strength to subdue them, and then he is pulled away from the place where he wants to go to the place that the strongest one among them wants, since he subdues all the others because he is more powerful.
It is likewise with emotional strength. Man consists of many desires, and each of the desires wants to subdue the other desires and draw the body to go to its side. Here, too, the strongest among the desires prevails. And if there is a person whose desires are all equal, and none is more powerful than the others, he can be in a state of complete rest because he has no desire that overcomes the others, so they all stand and pull the body, and the body stands in the middle and does not move an inch, not here and not there, for all are pulling equally strong.
Then he naturally stays put without any movement. Even if he has great strength, they are all equally mighty forces, so no one can submit the other. Only when one desire is strong, that force can act, and the rest of the desires annul before it.
It therefore follows that if a person wants to succeed in the Torah, he must see that the desire to engage in Torah is stronger than the rest of the desires in him, and then they will surrender to it because the strong has the power to subdue the weak. Hence, the strong desire subdues the desire for idleness, for honor, and the rest of the lusts.
Article No. 12, (1988), “What Are Torah and Work in the Way of the Creator?”
The Torah in order to subdue the evil inclination, meaning to achieve Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, so that all our actions will be only in order to bestow. That is, by ourselves, we will never be able to go against nature, since the mind and heart that we must acquire require assistance, and the assistance is through the Torah. It is as our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the Torah as a spice. By engaging in it, the light in it reforms them.”
Article No. 18
When we hear the voice of the Creator speaking to the heart, as in “He who comes to purify is aided,” and it was interpreted in the holy Zohar that he is aided by a holy soul, meaning that the heart hears the voice of the Creator and then specifically the voice of holiness receives the governance over all the desires, meaning the desire to bestow. And naturally, they will not turn back to folly, meaning he will not sin again because all the desires of reception have surrendered under the desire to bestow.
At that time all the good pleasantness appears on the heart, for then there is room in the heart for the instilling of the Shechina (Divinity), and the gentleness and pleasantness, and flavor and friendship spread, and fill up all of man’s organs.
This applies specifically when hearing the voice of the Creator. At that time the whole body surrenders and enslaves itself to holiness.
4.55 Baal HaSulam,
“The Dispute between Korah and Moses”
The matter of lowliness becomes revealed primarily when one must do something that his friend obligates him to do, while his own view indicates the opposite of his friend’s view, and yet he subjugates himself. This is called “lowliness,” when he lowers his own view.
Article No. 3 (1985), “The Meaning of Truth and Faith”
We were given the path of faith, which is above reason, namely not to take our sensations and reason into account, but say, as it is written, “They have eyes and see not. They have ears and hear not.” Rather, we should believe that the Creator is certainly the Overseer, and He knows what is good for me and what is not good for me. Therefore, He wants me to feel my state as I do, and for myself, I do not care how I feel myself because I want to work in order to bestow.
Therefore, the main thing is that I need to work for the Creator. And although I feel that there is no wholeness in my work, still, in the Kelim of the upper one, meaning from the perspective of the upper one, I am utterly complete, as it is written, “The cast out will not be cast out from Him.” Hence, I am satisfied with my work—that I have the privilege of serving the King even at the lowest degree. That, too, I regard as a great privilege that the Creator has allowed me to come closer to Him at least to some degree.
Letter No. 8
Once I have acquired this above-mentioned clothing, sparks of love promptly begin to shine within me. The heart begins to long to unite with my friends, and it seems to me that my eyes see my friends, my ears hear their voices, my mouth speaks to them, the hands embrace, the feet dance in a circle, in love and joy together with them, and I transcend my corporeal boundaries. I forget the vast distance between my friends and me, and the outstretched land for many miles will not stand between us.
It is as though my friends are standing right within my heart and see all that is happening there, and I become ashamed of my petty acts against my friends. Then, I simply exit the corporeal vessels and it seems to me that there is no reality in the world except my friends and I. After that, even the “I” is cancelled and is immersed, mingled in my friends, until I stand and declare that there is no reality in the world—only the friends.
4.58 Zohar for All, Chayei Sarah [The Life of Sarah],
“One Who Diminishes Himself Is Great”
Happy is he who diminishes himself in this world; he is great and superior in the eternal world. One who is small in this world is great in the eternal world, and one who is great in this world is small in the eternal world, as it is written, “And the life of Sarah was…” 100, which is a great number, a year [in singular form] is written about it. This means that he diminished it into one year. And seven, which is a small number, he augmented it and increased it, for it writes “years” in regards to it.
The Creator augments only one who diminishes himself, and diminishes only one who magni- fies himself. Happy is one who diminishes himself in this world; how great is he in the eternal world.
4.59 Zohar for All, VaYishlach [And Jacob Sent],
“And Jacob Sent Messengers”
“Better is he that is ignoble and has a servant, than he that plays the man of rank and lacks bread.” This verse is said about the evil inclination because it always complains against people. And the evil inclination raises man’s heart and desire with pride, and man follows it, curling his hair and his head, until the evil inclination takes pride over him and pulls him to Hell.
One who does not follow the evil inclination and is not proud at all, who lowers his spirit, his heart, and his will toward the Creator, the evil inclination overturns and becomes his slave, since it cannot control him. On the contrary, that man controls it, as it is written, “and thou may rule over it.”
4.60 Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Halevi Epstein,
Maor VaShemesh, Ekev
When the children of Israel join together, it is a very great thing, but the most important is for each and every one to annul himself completely and not think of himself as righteous or that he counts at all among the friends. He should only see that his actions do not blemish the society. Although it seems as though he is a great person, he should nonetheless look into his actions and think, “What make me great?” and annul himself completely. It is known that in every ten there is Shechina [Divinity], and this is a complete level. In a complete level, there are head, hands, legs, and heels. It follows that when every person regards himself as nothing in society, then he regards himself as a heel compared to the society, while they are the head, the body, and the higher organs. When each one thinks of himself in this way, they make the gates of abundance and every lushness in the world open up to them, and it is drawn the most through the person who is more regarded as “nothing” and as “a heel.”
4.61 Likutei Tefilot,
Part 1, Prayer No. 65
Help and save with Your great and plentiful mercies, so that each one from Israel who is far from the goal will be brought to his real purpose. May each one shut his eyes and mind completely to the imagination of this world until he is always included in utter annulment, back and forth, within the real purpose, which is all one, all good, so that each one in Israel is rewarded with including his prayer in the One. Give good help to all, so we merit annulling all our corporeality until we are rewarded with annulling ourselves completely, to truly be included in Your oneness, which is all good, always, until our prayer is utterly complete, included together from beginning to end with the complete unity.
4.62 Shem MiShmuel,
Yom Kippur Tav-Reish-Ayin-Gimel (September 1912)
Creating unity in the collective is only through pulverizing, when each one pulverizes himself and removes from himself the shell of crassness. Through the battering and pulverizing, the light of the soul shines, and there is really all of Israel; all is one.
4.63 From the book,
Praises of the ARI
One day, on the eve of Shabbat [Sabbath], the ARI went with his disciples for Kabbalat Shabbat [service beginning the Sabbath] as was his custom. He said to the friends: “Let us go now to Jerusalem … and build the Temple, and make an offering of Shabbat, for I see that this time is truly the time of redemption. Some of the friends said, ‘How will we go to Jerusalem at this time, It is more than thirty parsas away (approx. 115 km)?’ Others said, ‘Very well, we are willing to go with you, but first we will go let our wives know so they will not worry about us, and then we will go.’” Then the Rav cried out and said to the friends, “How did the slandering of Satan succeed in revoking the redemption of Israel? I testify before Heaven and Earth that since the time of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai until today there has not been a better time for redemption than this time. Had you admitted this, we would have had the Temple, and the outcasts of Israel would have gathered into Jerusalem. Now the time had passed and Israel went into exile once again.” When the friends heard this, they regretted what they had done, but it did not help them.
4.64 Avodat Israel [The Work of Israel],
Our sages said, “Dispersion is good for the wicked and gathering is good for the righteous.” This is according to what the ARI said, that in the worlds of Igulim [circles], one Igul [circle] does not touch another, and there the breaking happened until it was corrected in the world of Yosher [straightness]. The meaning of the matter and the allegory is that the mind of the Igulim is that it is as one who surrounds and encircles himself, and becomes separated from his Maker. It seems to him that he will lead himself by his own will, and he is haughty and says, “I will rule,” and this was the shattering. Likewise, among the wicked, the heart of each one is haughty, saying “I will rule,” which is why they are in the world of separation and cannot connect, like the circles, as we can evidently see, for they cannot sit together. To them, dispersion is good.
Conversely, although each of the righteous serves his Creator in a different style, they all aim at the same thing—their father in Heaven. They gather and assemble one by one, as one man with one heart, and each one diminishes himself and glorifies the work for the sake of the Creator, who gives him the strength and intelligence by which to serve Him. Hence, one will not be arrogant toward his friend, and they are in the world of straightness and unite with one another.
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