You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Michael Laitman / Talks / Talks About Spirituality / A Talk at the Dinner of the Holiday of Sukkot, 1995

A Talk at the Dinner of the Holiday of Sukkot, 1995

All corrections taking place within the Partzuf ZA of the world of Atzilut, man's prototype in our world, are included in a spiritual process named "Sukkot". Man, the spiritual vessel, the soul, is similar to the state of ZA in the world of Atzilut.The light that the soul receives comes from the interaction of Bina, ZA and Malkhut in the world of Atzilut. Yehuda Ashlag said: "The Sukkah reunites two concepts: the covering roof made up of small branches and vegetal residues. Similarly if man can build a protection against pleasures from above he will discover the Creator and His glory."

When man builds the roof of the Sukkah he symbolises the construction of the screen, the Masach which enables to reflect the pleasure procured by the perception of the Creator.This work is called "Man de Ima", it is like a prayer to receive the strength to oppose selfishness. If man's prayer is sincere, the strength is sent to him and he can receive the divine light with the help of a screen. This light is the light of wisdom and understanding, the "Ohr Hochma." This light carries all information about man's present spiritual level and the degree reached as well as the "hows and whys" of events occuring to him. Once man has understood the attributes of this spiritual degree he bears the name of this degree. Each new higher degree he reaches will correspond to more perfection and new names as he moves up. During this process new attributes are acquired.

The mission of souls incarnating our world is to reach the level they stood on before descending and entering the flesh of the body. It is man's task during one of his lives, in spite of the opposition of his body, to return to the root of his soul, the spiritual level he dwelled on before his soul's incarnation. Some souls only need to rise back to their former level. In this case their path, the one along which they rise, is composed of 6000 degrees called "years" hence the notion of the world's 6000 years of existence. There are also some special souls who not only need to return to their former level but carry on their progression through the worlds of ABYA and reach the level of the Partzuf of SAG in the world of Adam Kadmon. This level is named "7000 degrees" or "7000" years . They may also reach the level of the Partzuf of AB in the world of Adam Kadmon named "8000 years". Or even higher the level of the Partzuf of Galgalta named "9000 years." Finally some souls reach the level "10000 degrees" or "10000 years" and their knowledge and perception enable them to penetrate the World of Infinity - the Einsof. Such souls will incarnate only once in tens of generations. Mankind has witnessed very few of these souls. The great kabbalists possess such a soul.

Observing the commandement of the building of the Souka symbolises the fusion at the highest level between the Creator and creation.

How does this all happen ?

ZA which comprises 6 Sefirot provides the orientation according to the origin of the light: North, South, East, West, Above and Below. Malchut receives the light from the sefirot of ZA, from its 6 attributes. This is why the etrog is first applied to the loulav opening the door for the blessing to be pronounced. This concerns the observance of the commandement of the Sukkah and the Loulav. A person performing a commandement must not believe that with mechanical gestures, she will accomplish spiritual actions. This is never the case. Man cannot accomplish anything spiritual with he help of his hands, feet and lips! A true spiritual action only takes place when man draws a screen against his selfish desires, opening himself to the divine light and dedicating this pleasure to the Creator.

The feast of Sukkot lasts 7 days, in the image of the light entering the 7 Sefirot of ZA of Bina. Each day corresponds to a spiritual degree-level, a new light in a new Sefira.The 7th day, when light is transferred from ZA to Malshut, is called "Simshat Torah" also "The Joy of the Torah." This phase corresponds to the gathering of all the light received by Malshut and which descends into the souls and the general light called "Torah."

This light does not enter the Sukkah, it corresponds to a separate feast. The Sukkah corresponds to the light passing through ZA with the help of a screen during the celebration of the seven days of Sukkot. Simkhat Torah corresponds to the passing of the light of the Torah, ZA into Malchut and their complete union.

The night preceding Simchat Torah is called "Leil Hashana Raba." It is a special night during which all the surrounding light gathers around ZA. As this light is all around ZA this degree is called "night" before its transformation into inner light, "Ohr Pnimi", that will subsequently enter Malchut.

Any deed performed with an intention "dedicated to the Creator " is spiritual, the same deed performed with a "self-aimed intention" is material and selfish. The beginner Kabbalist finds it very difficult to physically observe the commandements, something easy for religious people, however he must strive to observe them. One of the difficulties for the Kabbalist is that he analyses all his thoughts, actions and events according to their impact on his spiritual path. He gauges the importance of these factors in his progression, in his relation with the Creator. As the connection with the Creator fosters higher concentration and inner efforts against selfishness, man meets difficulties in performing physical deeds supposedly linked to the spiritual. No physical deed can have an influence on the spiritual world, the Creator. The relation between man and the Creator is woven in the heart of man. The mechanical observance of the commandements remains necessary because it corresponds to the Creator's desire.

All efforts on himself help man progress spiritually. These efforts help him focus on the existence of the Creator while studying Kabbalah so he can understand His deeds and achieve the goal of creation. Selfishness enables us to do something only when it is sure to benefit and derive pleasure from it. One must ask the Creator for help during prayer to contain the forces of selfishness.This is the only direct path to Him and as time goes by the connection between man and the Creator will clarify itself and become more sustained. Thanks to this process man begins to understand what happens to him, why he experiences certain feelings and what he needs to do. These new induced states are used as a springboard which propels man to the next spiritual degree-level.

What is a secret or a secret teaching? A secret will continue to exist unless man penetrates it. The same occurs in everyday life which can be obscure and incomprehensible one day, obvious and self-evident the next. Only an individual person can open the doors of a secret and make strenuous efforts to understand what was not clear before.

It is not possible to measure the efforts in our study because they pertain to the sphere of feelings and are therefore difficult to express. It is hard to grasp what other people feel.

Generally speaking all efforts made in our world correspond to some selfish activity. A man who transforms his pleasures by seeking small fragments of light usually strives to reach them using the objects of our world. This stems from the fact that he is motivated by selfish needs. In Kabbalah an effort is what man cannot accomplish without hurting his own ego. After having tested out all sort of possibilities to no avail man turns to the Creator to send Him his demands. This is a true prayer following a genuine effort.

Only the Creator can lift us out of our selfishness, there is nothing man can do about it. If man still lives under the impression that he can improve spiritually or that there are still some options left, his selfishness will prevent him from genuinely crying out for the Creator. Selfsihness will not give in to the benevolence of Creator as long as man is not convinced that if he refuses to follow the path of spirituality he is dead, and that the journey can only be undertaken with the help of the Creator. This path is similar to no other one as it is impossible to perceive the next move. Each new move takes place in total darkness and past experience is useless in understanding one's future progression. If it weren't the case man would use his reason instead of placing his faith in the Creator above his own knowledge and understanding.

The authenticity of one's efforts and the proper direction can be verified if one constantly redirects his thoughts toward the Creator. One must know that every new sensation is sent by the Creator because it corresponds to His desire. The Creator give us what we can understand at the present moment. This process is private and cannot be compared to any other. All we can do is become aware of our selfishness, our ennemy and face it rather then tilting at the windwills. This stage is shared by all men albeit perceived differently by each of them.

There is no direct link between the intensity of our selfishness and the duration of our spiritual journey. Nothing happens from outside all is based on the energy man invests in his request for help to the Creator. This request is difficult to formulate because selfishness feels humiliated in this battle.

Without the help of the Creator and the spreading of His light inside the kli, the kli will not become altruistic.Without the attributes of the light the kli will remain totally selfish and unable to move toward spirituality. There is no other way to reach spirituality.

After having explored all options, man is convinced there is no way out and his selfishness is ready to accept help. In order to reach this degree man must permanently put the spiritual plane above the physical even if he chooses a completly selfish goal in the beginning ie the desire to gain something from spirituality.

We need to use all the means available in the world today. As selfish desires diminish we need to select means to keep up with our desire to study Kabbalah. Gaining respectability and honors, power are driving factors followed by the true desire to feel the Creator.Afterwards it becomes important to man's eyes to do something to please the Creator.

We should never discard the means at our disposal and at the same time never forget that the Creator acts upon us by using the various elements of our world.

Back to top
Site location tree