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Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)

Go Forth From Your Land

Article No. 5, Tav-Shin-Mem-Hey, 1984-85

Go forth from your land, and from your homeland, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”

This is perplexing, for it is not according to the order of reality. This is so because first one comes out of one’s father’s house, then from one’s homeland, and then from one’s land. This is what the interpreters ask.

In the work, we should interpret that “your land” comes from the word Ratzon [desire] as our sages said about, “Let the earth put forth grass,” it was delighted to do its Maker’s will. Accordingly, “Go forth from your land” means from your desire, which is the desire with which one is created, called “desire to receive delight and pleasure,” which is regarded as self-love. This is why he was told to go out of self-love.

“From your homeland” means that father and offspring are cause and consequence, reason and result. This is so because the result comes from the drop in the father’s brain. By that, the result later emerges, as we explained in previous articles. In other words, the labor, when a person is going to work, is in order to receive reward. It turns out that the labor gives him reward. Were it not for the reward, he would not have made any effort. It therefore follows that a person keeps Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] in order to beget a son, which is called the reward.

Considering the reward, we’ve already said that there are two kinds of reward: 1. reward in this world; 2. reward in the next world.

It is written in The Zohar (“Introduction of the Book of Zohar,” item 190), “And those two, says the Holy Zohar are not the essence.” It is explained there in the Sulam [Ladder (commentary on The Zohar)], that it is because they were built on a foundation of self-love, called “desire to receive in order to receive.”

It therefore follows that if a person exerts in Torah and Mitzvot in order to receive reward for his will to receive, then both the father, meaning the labor, and the offspring, which was born out of that labor, and which is called “reward,” were all on the basis of self-love. This means that the drop in the father’s brain, called “labor,” from the beginning of his work his thought only of self-love. Naturally the offspring that was born, meaning the reward he expects to receive, is also a reward of self-love.

He was told “Go forth from your land,” meaning from your will to receive, “and from your homeland,” meaning the offspring that were born. “From your father’s land” means the reward that was born out of your father’s house, which is the labor that begets a reward of self-love. From all these he should depart.

“To the land that I will show you.” That land means desire to bestow. On that land, meaning on the desire to bestow, on that land, that is, on the desire to bestow, he will be rewarded with the Creator revealing to him.

“That I will show you” means that the Creator will reveal Himself to him. Conversely, on the will to receive there were restriction and concealment, and it became dark there and separated from the life of lives, which causes darkness.

Therefore, I cannot be revealed to you on your desire, but only on the desire to bestow, called “equivalence of form.” At that time, the restriction and concealment are removed and the Creator is revealed to him.

“And I will make you a great nation.” In Midrash Raba (Chapter 39) “Rabbi Levi said, ‘When Abraham our father was walking in Aram Naharaim and saw them reckless and eating and drinking, he said, ‘I wish that I will not have a portion in this land.’ When he came to Sulam Tzor, and saw them weeding at the time of weeding, and hoeing at the time of hoeing, he said, ‘I wish that I might have a portion in this land.’ The Creator told him, ‘To your descendants I have given this land.’’”

To understand his words in the work, we should interpret that Eretz [land] means Ratzon [desire]. Be-Aram [in Aram] has the letters of Avram. When Abraham walked from Naharaim—Naharaim comes from the word Nahor [illuminated]—then he saw that there are people who desire only the lights. This is called “eating and drinking,” when the aim is for the reward. This is why he said “that I will not have a portion in this land,” meaning I will not have a portion in this desire, when the intention is only on the reward, and the work is not appreciated, only the reward is appreciated. This is why he said, “I will not have a portion in this desire.”

“When he came to Sulam Tzor,” Tzor comes from the word Tzar [narrow], meaning that they felt Tzarut [narrowness] in the work. “He saw that they were in the Sulam [ladder], which is as a ladder set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven. “He saw them weeding at the time of weeding, and hoeing at the time of hoeing,” meaning that all their thoughts were about man’s work, and they were focusing their intentions on the correctness of their work. That is, the Kelim [vessels] where the abundance should come should be proper. And they did not pay attention to the fruits, which is the reward. Instead, they were looking at the order of the work, and this is the meaning of what he said, they were weeding at the time of weeding, and hoeing at the time of hoeing.

Then he said, “I wish I will have a part in this land,” in this desire, which is aiming for the work to be proper. And the reward, which is the fruits, is not their business. It was said about this, “The concealed things are to the Lord our God.” In other words, the reward is the Creator’s business, and we need not look at the reward, but in any situation we are in, we are satisfied that we have been privileged with having any contact with the work. This, to him, is a great privilege. And only the revealed things are to us, which is the actions.

By this we should interpret, “and I will make you a great nation.” Gadlut [adulthood/greatness] is precisely the action. Among those who work, greatness is only work above reason. Only there they feel its importance, but they do not take into account the lights that they receive through their work, since the lights have to do with “the concealed things are to the Lord our God.” This is the work of the Creator—who does what He wants.

Theydid not ask of Him to give them because this was not their purpose. They have only one purpose: to bring contentment to the Creator without any reward, for all the reward is in that they have the privilege of serving the King. They do not care what service they do for the King, whether an important role or an unimportant role, since all they think of is how they can delight the King.

This means that, for example, not many people want to take upon themselves unimportant roles. They immediately jump on them because here they can delight the King, since not many people want it.

The lesson is that since not many people want to go in the direction of work above reason, as everyone thinks it is regarded as a lowly work and regard such work as exile. Therefore, those who want to look at that—at their ability to delight the King—want specifically that role. This work of theirs is called, “Raising the Shechina [Divinity] from the dust.” This work is also called Shechina in Exile,” and this is the only work they want. But work in order to receive lights and abundance from above is something many people want.

By that, we should interpret what our sages said (Shabbat 127), “Rav Yehuda said, ‘Rav said, ‘Welcoming guests is greater than welcoming the face of the Shechina, as it is written, ‘And he said, ‘My lord, if you have found favor with me, please do not pass.’’’ RASHI interprets, please do not pass, and he left Him alone and went to greet the guests.’” We can say that he learned this matter from what the Creator had told him, “And I will make you a great nation,” meaning that the main thing is the act and not the lights. That is, the essence of their work is love of others, and he has no consideration of himself.

Therefore, although welcoming the Shechina certainly delights the body more than work on love of others, here, after the Creator had told him, “And I will make you a great nation,” it means that you will have the greatness primarily in actions. Therefore, here he had a place where he could show himself, meaning that he would be certain that he does not want to look at the profits, as it is a great profit to be rewarded with welcoming the Shechina. Still, he chose the act, meaning he did not intend for any reward for his work, but the main thing was the work.

Here he found the place of scrutiny—for this certainly a great thing to relinquish the reward and receive the reward of work. Normally, it is to the contrary: one labors in order to receive reward. But he did the opposite—giving the reward in order to receive labor. He learned this from what the Creator had told him, “I will make you a great nation,” as was said, that the greatness is primarily the action.

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