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Things that Come from the Heart - Shamati Nr 25

“…things that come from the heart enter the heart.”

That’s what is written: what comes from the heart enters the heart.

“So why is it if things already entered the heart one still falls from his level.”

It is still not clear what he means.

“In any case when one hears words of Torah from his teacher…”

"Words of Torah" are the words about how to reach equivalence of form w ith the Creator which is the implementation of the purpose of creation. Only this is called "words of Torah", as it is written “I created the evil inclination and Torah as a spice against it.” Meaning that Torah was created to help one correct himself and bring him to equivalence of form with the Creator. Those who give counsel in this process are called teachers and the words they speak are called words of Torah.

If one hears, it means that one already has the senses to hear and understand advises, as it is written "words of Torah from his Rav". "His Rav" means, he feels that there is somebody higher than him, to whom he listens, and puts his opinion higher than his own.

“…he immediately agrees with his teacher, and resolves to observe the words of his teacher with his heart and soul."

Annulling oneself before the higher one is a special correction that comes after a lot of effort and exertion. One is willing to accept his words and perform these counsels even if they are not acceptable to him.

“Afterwards, when he comes out to the world…”

Meaning, when he is no longer under his Rav’s influence and is no longer a disciple who has a higher authority that advises him and councils him towards a certain path in life.

“…he sees, covets, and is infected by the multitude of desires roaming the world…"

Meaning, one is influenced by the many views of his environment.

"…and he and his mind, his heart and will annul before the majority."

This is how a human being is built. It stems from the fact that we all are parts of Adam HaRishon and therefore, our souls are all internally interconnected so whatever a person thinks or does influences all the others. However, one always determines for himself who is greater or lower than him. Thus one can screen the influences upon himself. If one goes out to the world it is considered as entering under the influence of the environment. One finds himself affected by the multitude. It is called that,

"…his mind, his heart and will annul before the majority.

As long as he has no power to judge the world to a scale of merit…"

Meaning, assuming that while they do not understand anything, they are still like babies, why would he be under their influence?

"…they subdue him. He mingles in their desires and is led like sheep for the slaughter."

Meaning one does not have any knowledge, thoughts, heart, decisions of his own, everything is being given by the society.

"He has no free choice and is compelled to think, want, crave and demand everything that the majority demands. He then chooses their alien thoughts and their loathsome lusts and desires, alien to the spirit of Torah. In that state he has no strength to subdue the majority."

The minute one does not determine that he has his own Rav, he falls into a situation of being connected to all at his navel according to his connection in the structure of Adam HaRishon and then every one influences him.

We see that each man on the street is a result of his environment. It controls one completely. Whenever one chooses to join, for example, a course to learn something this circle, media and everything is geared to purposely influence him. All that fit their mentality becomes part of his.

One then has to forcefully determine that there is one that is higher than him so he adheres and listens to him. If one does not determine who is a higher one for him, automatically his environment becomes his higher one and it determines everything that is in him.

"Instead, there is only one counsel then [when he is under the control of the multitude] to cling to his teacher [nevertheless, again] and to the books. This is called “From the mouth of books and from the mouth of authors” (Mi Pi Sfarim be Mi Pi Sofarim). Only by cleaving to them can he change his mind and will for the better.”

Meaning, one has no possibility of determining, or deciding anything alone. Anybody that thinks he could live in a society and still be independent is totally wrong. It’s impossible by the laws of nature: one is one of thousands of souls interconnected by fixed channels and he cannot change this unless one decides that there is something or one soul that is higher than his, or a group of souls that is higher than the others. If one doesn’t determine this, then one is fed by all. Then what is the solution? The only solution one has is to determine someone or something to be his teacher (Rav).

"Only by cleaving to them can he change his mind and will for the better."

But if one is under the control of the society, of the multitude, of the environment, and in arguments with them.

"However, witty arguments will not help him change his mind, but only the remedy of adhesion [with a higher that one picks himself], for this is the wondrous cure that reforms.

Only while one is inside Kedusha (lit. Sanctity) can one argue with oneself, and indulge in clever polemics, arguing that the mind necessitates that he should always walk in the path of God. However, one should know, that even when he is wise and certain that he can already use this wit to defeat the Sitra Achra (evil inclination) [meaning the thoughts of the public that pull one in different directions away from the Creator] one must bear in mind that this is worthless.

There is no armament that can defeat the war on desire, for all these concepts are but a consequence he has attained after the aforementioned adhesion."

We see this in Politics. How many politicians cry before the elections “I will change the world, I will do this or that.” It’s not as if they are lying, thinking that after the election they will do whatever they want, they truly believe in their heart that they will be able to make these changes. But all these cries before and after elections cannot help them for even if they do not admit it, they are under the influence of the environment. After they have been elected and they come to power they become like everybody else. And there is nothing that can be done about it. Only a chosen few, that have a connection with the Creator that directs them with its firm hand either for the good or the worse, arise above all and go against everybody else, maybe in a concealed way so that people will not realize it. But we have no more than these two choices, either to be under the influence of the society or under the control of an Upper force and we determine which it is.

“In other words, all the concepts upon which he builds his building, saying you must always follow in the path of God, is founded in the cohesion with his teacher.”

Meaning adherence to a teacher, a group, to books to something that is outside the public opinion in the street is the source from where one “drinks” his strength to have a different opinion than anybody else.

“Thus, he loses the foundation, then all the concepts are powerless…”

Meaning books or anything else will not help him, if he is not longer under the influence of his Rav.

“…they will now be baseless.

Hence, one must not rely on one’s own mind, but cleave once more to books and authors, for only that can help him, and no wit and intellect, as they are lifeless.”

Meaning, the Upper force is not in them. This choice is in the hands of man.

Regarding our matter, one has to remember at every moment, anywhere that if he is not under the influence of his group, books or his Rav, then he is under the influence of his environment. There is no in between and no third party either this or that.

Therefore one ought to hold himself accountable for this, remember internally, sense more sharply, hold very tight every second wondering under whose influence he is. Is one either under the influence of one’s group, one’s book, his Rav or not. And if not, a lot of other things surely influence him, pulling in different directions that one doesn’t know what kind of filling they bring him. For sure the filling is not with things that will help him toward his spirituality and drive him away to things the whole world is driven to.

It is very important for one to realize it and admit at every moment under whose influence one is so that he can catch and prevent himself from drifting away. Accordingly, we have to build around us a whole method which allows us to create the conditions that would hold us together and not give way with our thoughts and desires to all kinds of influences. We do not want to discover ourselves suddenly far from things that we were connected to, that we have determined there are of ultimate importance and the center of all. When one realizes suddenly – where is all that and where am I? - that a current has drifted him away far from books, from Rav, and from spirituality.

Then one has to find all kinds of ways and tricks that would bring him back under the influence of his Rav (Rav meaning something higher than him, some idea). There should be ways that would remind him of that a few times a day and gradually, if he persists, good things would get into his heart and build within him the right system to reach the purpose of creation.

Question: If even great Kabbalists were afraid of a strange environment, then how are we to behave?

It is true! We have a wonderful example for this. It is reported about Rabi Yosef ben Kisma that some people came to him asking him to be their Rav and they – some undeserving people - would be his students. He refused to go with them fearing their influence upon him. Although he was very poor and couldn’t earn his livelihood he refused a payment and did not follow them for fear to lose all his inner assets.

A few questions arise: first, how can he throw away these people. On the other hand, if he would follow them he would become like them and wouldn’t have anything to offer them. There really is no solution.

But we see from this that although they were little and decided that he would be their Rav, they could still influence him. If he doesn’t have a group of his own that would be his Rav, he will fall under their influence. Therefore wherever one is, he has to determine for himself something greater than him, otherwise he wouldn’t have a correct direction.

We will talk later about the relationship between a great Mekubal (Kabbalist) and simple people. It can be explained in different ways.

First, if he accepts their Kelim (vessels) they would become as his own children. He would direct them towards the purpose of creation and would start loving them and because of that would be under their influence. Such is the relationship that because of his caring for them, although they are small, they can hurt his greatness. They could abuse his love. This is a whole Torah however now it has no connection to us. This applies to a great Kabbalist and the way he relates to his students without allowing them to cling to him.

Thus a Kabbalist has to relate and behave harshly with his students, keeping them at the distance. This is specifically because he comes under their influence.

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