Chapter 35: The life purpose of the Beinoni-Drawing the Shechina onto himself
16th Adar/(LY)4th Adar 21. The theme and questions of this chapter:
- Meaning of Lasoso: What does the word “Lasoso” in the verse [“and it is very close onto you… To do”] mean? This will be further elucidated in this chapter.
- The purpose of the Beinoni: What is the purpose of the creation of the Beinoni, and what is the purpose of the descent of their soul below into the animal soul and side of evil?
- Will always have forbidden thoughts enter the head: The main difficulty expressed in the question above regarding the life purpose of the Beinoni is that they will never be successful in completely banishing the evil that is within their left side of the heart, and will forever be troubled by [forbidden] thoughts that enter their mind.
- The essence of evil doesn’t change: The reason for this is because the essence of the animal soul which comes from the side of evil retains its full strength in the Beinoni just like it was when it was first born.
- Control of the garments: It is only the garments of the animal soul that the Beinoni is able to control, and limit the expression of his evil that is contained within him.
- The question: Accordingly, the above question is rightly raised, as to what is the purpose of the descent of their soul below to battle their entire lives with the evil inclination if they will never be successful in their battle to conquer and destroy the evil. It is as if they were sent into battle for nothing G-d forbid, without any possibility of gaining any ground in overcoming their inclination, as they will be in battle with their inclination for their entire lives. [Why would G-d do this?]
- The following message can comfort the Beinoni in a double measure and can help rejoice their hearts in their recognition that G-d dwells within them, during their times of Torah learning and service of G-d.
(LY)5th Adar 2
4. The words of the Yanuka in the Zohar-Fuling the Shechina on one’s head:
- The Yanuka expounds on the verse “and the wise man contains eyes in his head” the following teaching., as at first glance, the message of this verse does not make any sense as where else would a person’s eyes be other than his head. Rather, the intent of the verse is certainly as follows:
- Focusing on the divine presence that rests on one’s head: We have been taught that a person should not walk four cubits without a head covering, being that the divine presence rests upon his head. Hence, the above verse comes to tell us that a wise man should always focus on that which resides on his head. This should lead to him being concerned over how he can fuel the continuity of the divine presence upon him.
- Fueling the divine presence so it continues to rest on one’s head: You see, a flame requires oil, and so too the flame of the divine presence needs oil to remain on the head. The body of man is the wick onto which the flame of G-d is lit. Now, King Solomon shouted in the verse “do not allow the oil on your head to be lacking,” as the flame that is on top of one’s head requires oil.
- The oil is one’s good deeds: Now, what is the oil that fuels the flame of G-d on one’s head? These are good deeds. [On this it says that the wise man focuses his eyes on his head, as he is always conscious to provide the oil of good deeds to fuel the flame of G-d that rests on him.]
- This ends the teaching from the Yanuka, as brought in the Zohar.
17th Adar/(LY)6th Adar 25. The G-dly soul alone does not suffice to fuel the divine presence:
- Only good deeds serve as the oil for the wick: From the parable in which the divine presence is compared to a candle it is understood that just as a flame cannot stick onto the wick without oil, so too it is not possible for the divine presence to remain on the body of man, which is considered the wick, without good deeds.
- The G-dly soul cannot serve as the oil: The G-dly soul alone does not suffice to provide the fuel for the divine presence to remain on the body even though it is a portion of G-d above. The reason for this is because a person’s G-dly soul retains a separate entity and existence from G-d. [Thus, it does not contain the component necessary to be completely nullified in its existence to the flame as is found in oil. This component is only found in the will of G-d, which are the mitzvahs.]
- Even a complete Tzadik is a separate existence and entity from G-d: Even the G-dly soul of a complete Tzadik who serves G-d with fear and a pleasurable love of the highest level, is nevertheless not completely nullified in its existence within the light of G-d to become completely united with G-d in a complete unity. It rather retains a separate existence to love and fear G-d.
- The separate existence of the G-dly soul even of a tzaddik is in contrast to the mitzvah’s and good deeds which are the will of G-d and are completely united with Him and nullified to Him [and hence contain the component necessary within oil to be consumed by the flame of G-d].
- The mitzvah’s are the internal will of G-d: While the will of G-d is the source of life for all the worlds and creations [nonetheless, this will does not suffice to attract the divine presence being that it is only the external will of G-d which] descends below through many contractions and concealments until separate existences are created which do not nullify themselves before G-d. This is in contrast to the mitzvah’s which are the inner will of G-d.
- The mitzvahs are not separate from G-d: Being that the mitzvahs are the inner will of G-d, they therefore do not contain any concealment of G-d’s will at all. The inner vitality and energy of the mitzvah’s is not considered separate at all from G-d, and is rather included and united with the will of G-d, to the point of an absolute unity to the point that they are actually one.
18th Adar7. The meaning of the divine presence residing in a certain item:
- A revelation of G-d in the item: The meaning of that the divine presence resides on a certain matter means that there is a revelation of G-dliness and infinite light of G-d within that item.
- The item is completely nullified to G-d: For this to occur, the item must be completely incorporated and nullified in its existence to G-d, only then can the oneness of G-d reside within it and reveal Himself within it.
- Lack of nullification of the G-d prevents revelation of G-dliness: However, whatever is not completely nullified in its existence to G-d, it is not possible for the light of G-d to shine and be revealed within it.
8. The reason the divine presence cannot intrinsically reside on even a complete tzaddik:
- Even a complete tzaddik feels himself separate from G-d: Even a complete tzaddik who attaches to G-d with great love cannot truly grasp G-d who is beyond comprehension, which refers to His complete unity and that nothing but Him exists. Accordingly, it is not possible for the tzaddik who is a separate existence who loves G-d, and is not a complete nothing, to properly grasp G-d at all.
- Even a tzaddik needs mitzvahs to draw the divine presence below: Thus, the light of G-d does not dwell even on the complete tzaddik unless he fulfills the Mitzvos, which is the will and wisdom of G-d that does not contain any concealment of Him at all.
9. Gloss-G-d resides in the world of Atzilus through the level of Chochmah which is an abode for His unity:
- It is explained in the works of Kabbalah, that the infinite light of G-d only unites within the world of Atzilus through first investing itself in the attribute of Chochmah.
- I heard from my teacher the Maggid of Mezritch that the reason for this is because the true oneness of G-d is that He is the only existence and nothing else exists but Him which is the level of Chochmah.
19th Adar10. Torah learning draws the divine presence onto one’s G-dly soul:
- The thought and speech of the G-dly soul are incorporated within G-d: When a person learns the Torah of Hashem, then his soul, which refers to his G-dly soul together with only the two inner garments, which are speech and thought, are incorporated within the infinite light of G-d and unite with it in a complete unity.
- The divine presence rests on the person when he learns Torah: This experience that occurs upon studying Torah is the residing of the divine presence upon one’s G-dly soul, as the sages state that if even one person sits and learns Torah the divine presence is with him. [Thus, we see that the learning of Torah is one of the ways of fueling the divine presence to remain residing on one’s G-dly soul.]
11. The mitzvah’s draw the divine presence onto one’s body and animal soul:
- The study of Torah only draws the divine presence onto the G-dly soul, however, to draw down the divine light and revelation of the divine presence also onto the body and animal soul which is actually invested within the body to enliven it, one needs to fulfill the practical mitzvah’s which are done with the physical body.
- The reason it has this effect: During the fulfillment of a mitzvah, the energy of the body is involved in the action which causes it to be incorporated within the light of G-d and His will, and it thus becomes united with G-d in a complete unity.
- The third garment of the G-dly soul: This is the third garment of the G-dly soul [which becomes incorporated within G-d through the fulfillment of the physical mitzvahs.]
- When one fulfills the physical commands, then also the animal soul that is in the actual body which comes from Kelipas Nogah becomes transformed from evil to good and becomes incorporated in actual holiness, just like the G-dly soul itself, being that it is the animal soul that is doing the action of the mitzvah.
13. The G-dly soul alone cannot affect the divine presence to rest on the body:
- Without the animal soul, the G-dly soul would be completely ineffective of doing anything to the body or with the body, being that it is spiritual while the body is physical and corporeal.
- Animal soul is medium to connect the G-dly soul to the body: The animal soul which enlivens the body and is invested within the blood of the person and within his body, serves as the medium to connect the G-dly soul to the body and allow it to affect the body.
20th Adar14. The essence of the animal soul still retains its evil characteristics:
- Despite the above, the core and essence of the animal soul which is in the heart still retains its bad character traits and is not incorporated within holiness.
15. The evil of the animal soul does not prevent the divine presence from resting on the body:
- This essential evil of the animal soul does not prevent the divine presence from residing on the body, being that at the time of the fulfillment of the mitzvah the animal soul is completely subjugated to holiness, being forced to answer amen and agree with the fulfillment of the mitzvah due to the G-dly soul that is in the mind who which overcomes and controls the heart.
- The evil is in a state of sleep in exile: During the time that the person performs the mitzvah, the essential evil of the animal soul is in a state of sleep and exile [as explained above in chapter 12], and hence this evil does not prevent the residence of the divine presence upon the body of the person at this time.
- The energy of the animal soul is incorporated in g-dliness: The energy of the G-dly soul which is invested within the fulfillment of the mitzvah becomes completely incorporated in the light of G-d and becomes completely united with it.
- Encompassing ray surrounds the body: This then draws down an encompassing ray of G-dliness onto the animal soul that is found within the entire body, as well as onto the body itself, from his head to his toe.
- Resting on the head: On this it states that the divine presence rests on the head of the person, emphasizing the term on [as opposed to within]. This is because the divine revelation surrounds the person in an encompassing manner.
- Resting on the form of 10 Jews: Likewise, it is due to this reason that it states the divine presence resides on any group of 10 Jews, [as opposed to within]. [This is because the divine revelation surrounds the Minyan in an encompassing manner.]
17. Why this dwelling of G-d on man does not cause a change in G-d:
- Anytime the light of the divine presence resides on an item, which is a revelation of the infinite light of G-d on a certain item, this is not considered a change or polarity within G-d, heaven forbid, and is similar to the sun which can shine through many windows simultaneously without it causing any change in the sun itself. This indeed is recorded in the Talmud regarding a certain heretic who questioned Rabbi Gamliel regarding how the divine presence can rest on every quorum of 10 men, without concluding that there are many divine presences. Rabbi Gamliel responded to him with the above parable of the light of the sun which enters through many windows, and those who are wise will understand.