“If he performs one Mitzva (commandment), he is happy, for he has sentenced himself and the whole world to a scale of merit.”
There is no serving the Creator and keeping the Mitzvot (commandments) except in Lishma (for Her Name)—bringing contentment to One’s Maker. Yet, our sages have already introduced the practice of engaging in Torah and Mitzvot even in Lo Lishma (not for Her Name), since “from Lo Lishma he will come to Lishma”… I say that the first, and only Mitzva (commandment) that guarantees the achievement of the aspiration to attain Lishma, is to resolve to not work for oneself, apart for the necessary works—to merely provide for one’s sustenance. In the rest of the time, one will work for the public: save the oppressed, and every creature in the world that is in need of salvation and benefit.
Serving People by God’s Commandment
There are two advantages to this Mitzva:
Everyone will understand that they are working because this work is approved and agreeable to all the people in the world.
This Mitzva may better qualify one to keep Torah and Mitzvot Lishma, since the preparation is part of the goal. This is so because by accustoming oneself to serving people, one benefits others and not oneself. Thus, one becomes gradually fit to keep the Mitzvot of the Creator with the required condition—benefitting the Creator and not oneself. Naturally, the intention should be to keep the Mitzvot of the Creator.
The Part of the Torah Concerning Relations between Man and Man
There are two parts to the Torah: one concerns man and God; the other concerns man and man. And I call upon you to, at any rate, engage and assume that which concerns man and man, since thus you will also learn the part that concerns man and God.
Speech, Thought, and Action
Work, of any kind, should include thought, speech, and action.
We have already explained the “practical” part of the one Mitzva: one should agree to dedicate all of one’s free time to benefit the people in the world. The aspect of “thought” is more essential in this Mitzva than in Mitzvot relating to man and God. This is because in Mitzvot between man and God, the “act” in itself testifies that the intention is to benefit one’s Maker, as there is no other room for such an action but Him.
Yet, with what concerns man and man, they are justified in and of themselves, since human conscience necessitates them. However, if one performs them from this perspective, he has not done a thing. In others words, these actions will not bring him closer to the Creator and to actual work Lishma.
Thus, each person should think that one is doing all that only to bring contentment to one’s Maker, and to resemble His ways: as He is merciful, I am merciful, and as He always imparts good, so do I. This image, coupled with good deeds, will bring one closer to the Creator in a way that will equalize one’s form to spirituality and to Kedusha (holiness). In this manner, one becomes like a seal, fit to receive the true Higher Abundance.
The “speech” refers to the prayer in the mouth—during the work and in fixed times—for the Creator to turn one’s heart from “reception to bestowal.” Also, it is contemplating the Torah and matters that promote achieving it.
Unintentionally Bringing Contentment to One’s Maker
It is hopeless to wait for a time when a solution is found for allowing one to begin the work of the Creator in Lishma. As in the past, so in the future—every servant of the Creator must begin the work in Lo Lishma, and from that achieve Lishma.
And the way to achieving this degree is not limited by time, but by its qualifiers, and by the measure of one’s control over one’s heart. Hence, many have fallen, and will fall, in the field of working Lo Lishma, and die without wisdom. Yet, their reward is nevertheless great, since one’s mind cannot appreciate the true merit and value of bringing contentment to one’s Maker. Even if one works not under this condition, since one is not worthy of another way, one still brings contentment to one’s Maker. And this is called “unintentionally.”
Prophetic Truth in Physical Measurement
Since it is an absolute certainty, the prophetic abundance must be received in those combinations of letters completely suitable for the spirit of beginners, that is, to benefit them and to be open to the self-interest of the generation. This is so because only then is it guaranteed that God’s word is accepted by the generation in the form of Lo Lishma, since the Creator did not prepare them in any other way.
Hence, this is the sign of a true prophet: his prophecy is best suited for the physical success of his contemporaries, as it is written, “And what great nation is there, that hath statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” It is so because the nearness of the physical success will confirm their truthfulness, that, in the end, it is indeed the inlet.
The Necessity to Keep the 613 Commandments
The 613 names, considered the Holy Names, concern Private Providence for all who approach the reception of the Godly Abundance. One must experience all these orders without missing even one. Hence, the complete crave them with their hearts and souls, to keep them down to their corporeal branches, as it is written, “in every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come unto thee and bless thee.”
The Wisdom of Truth
Earlier sages chose a private way for themselves, and I chose a general way, since, in my view, it better suits the Godly matter to be clothed in eternal letter-combinations that will never change. I wish to say that with physical success, they will not change in any place and in any time. For this reason my words are limited.
Because of the above reason, I was compelled to express spirituality in a general manner. Yet, instead, I chose to explain all the details and spiritual combinations down to very small details, which have no other source and origin other than this collective, that is, the purity of Kabbalah. And since I clarify the spiritual details without clothing in corporeal combinations, it will do much good to the development of attainment. And this wisdom is called “the wisdom of truth.”
There cannot be mistakes or lies in prophecy, as how can there be a mistake in the Light of Truth that stems from the Creator? Rather, it is as certain as the rain and the snow that fall from the sky and do not return there until their mission is successfully accomplished. Yet, there is a difference in the receiver, in the earth: soil that has been prepared by stone-removal and by plowing is more suited to receive than unprepared soil. Everything depends on the preparation.
Also, there are certainly differences among the receiving prophets. One is not the same degree as the other. Greatness and smallness are measured by the preparation in that prophet: one in a lower degree, due to absence of superb preparation, will necessarily miss some inclination in the course of the Light that pours upon him, of which it could be said that the Light of prophecy does not suffer any mistakes. Yet, one’s smallness causes him multiplication in letter-combinations, which is multiplication of hoses and vessels until he attains prophecy.
Prophetic Success Is Speed
Although the truth in the prophecy ultimately appears in the desirable success, a prophet of a smaller degree still compels a longer way upon the people to whom he has been sent. Conversely, one of a greater degree, whose preparation is more complete, will suffer no deflection upon receiving one’s prophecy from the Creator. Hence, he will not multiply the vessels and hoses, for which his prophecy will be clear, concise, and easily accepted by those to whom he has been sent.
The Smaller May Succeed More than the Greater
But besides the above words, it is possible for the smallest of prophets to succeed in his prophecy even more than the greatest prophet—concerning the above-mentioned speed—since he relies on revelations of prior prophets, who paved his way for him. Obviously, it also depends on the development of his listeners, since clear and concise words require a more developed generation, so they can understand him. And if these two additions join one of small degree, he can succeed far more than a great one.
Prophecy through the Generations
Although Moses received the Torah and the laws for all the generations, to such an extent that the prophet is not entitled to any innovations, his prophecy was only given for a time. This is supported by the verse, “A prophet will the Lord thy God raise up unto thee, from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” If Moses’ prophecy were enough for all eternity, why would the Creator erect any other prophets such as him? Clearly, his prophecy was effective only for its time. And when that time is through, the Creator sends another prophet to continue and complement His will.
Yet, the prophet is not permitted to renew or subtract anything, for this would mean that there were a deficiency in the prior prophet. Rather, the words of God are always perfect, as it is written, “I am the first, and I am the last,” and his only task is to extend that same prophecy to those generations that are no longer worthy of receiving from the first.
And the last prophet is the Messiah, who completes them all. He, too, is certainly not permitted to add or subtract, but his success will be greater, since the whole generation will be fit to accept his words and be completed through him. This is so for two reasons: either because of their greatness, or because of his contemporaries, or because of both.
The Essence of Prophetic Success
The essence of prophetic success is to extend the Upper Light to the dwellers below. The one who brings it lowest is the most successful. Above and below are measured in spirit and in physical benefit, since the physical obtained by prophecy is the point that gives people footing, and it is known that the focal point in the work of God is the first footing.
A General Force and a Particular Force
Their uniqueness is the unity of the Creator and the Shechina (Divinity). A particular force is the prohibition on reception down to the lowest degree, and the general force is multiplication of bestowal to complete dedication with all of one’s heart.