You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The Rabash) / Writings of Rabash / Shlavey HaSulam (Rungs of the Ladder) / 1991 / What Does It Mean that One Should Bear a Son and a Daughter, in the Work?
Baruch Shalom HaLevi Ashlag (The RABASH)

What Does It Mean that One Should Bear a Son and a Daughter, in the Work?

Article No. 24, Tav-Shin-Nun-Aleph, 1990/91

It is written in The Zohar (VaYikra, Items 94-95), “This is why He created him male and female, so he would be whole, such as above. And a son and daughter came out of him and his wife, and then he is a whole man, such as above, and completes below like the upper, Holy Name. This is so because Yod-Hey are AVI and Vav-Hey are son and daughter. At that time, he is called by the name of the upper, Holy Name. A man who does not wish to complete the Holy Name below, meaning to bear a son and a daughter, it would be better for him that he were not born, for he has no part at all in the Holy Name.”

We should understand what it implies to us in the work, that if he does not have a son and a daughter, it is better for him not to be born. It is known that we should discern two things in the world: 1) The purpose of creation, which is “to do good to His creations,” meaning for the creatures to receive delight and pleasure. This is why He created in the creatures a nature where they have a desire and yearning to receive delight and pleasure. If the creatures receive from Him the delight and pleasure, this brings contentment to the Creator that they are doing His will and are enjoying Him. 2) The correction of creation. In order for the creatures not to feel shame when receiving the pleasures, the creatures must receive the pleasures only in order to delight the Creator and not for their own sake. This means that the reason they want to enjoy life is that the Creator wants it, while for themselves, they would relinquish the pleasures, since they want to adhere to the Creator, which is called “equivalence of form.”

Therefore, we discern two kinds of Kelim [vessels] within us: 1) “Vessels of bestowal,” and the light that is drawn into them is called “light of Hassadim.” This light is called “male light,” since the Kli [vessel] in which the light dresses is a Kli of bestowal and a male is called “bestowing.”

The light that dresses in vessels of reception is called “light of Hochma” or “light of life,” and the Kli to receive the light of Hochma is called “female,” meaning a receiver. This means that since this light is called “the light of the purpose of creation,” which is “to do good to His creations,” meaning that the Creator is the Giver and wants the lower ones to receive, so the Kli for reception is called “female,” which receives from the Creator, and the Creator is the Giver.

It is the opposite in vessels of bestowal—the lower one bestows upon the upper one. This is why the lower one is called “male,” since he bestows and the upper one receives, as our sages said (VaYikra, Item 98), “Israel provide for their father in heaven.”

It therefore follows that the order of the work is that since man was created with a nature of a desire to receive for his own sake, the beginning of man’s work is to try to come to a state where everything he does is for the sake of the Creator. And here one begins to do all that he can, meaning he observes Torah and Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] in order to thereby achieve “recognition of evil,” meaning that he wants reward for the Torah and Mitzvot he is observing, and the reward is that he will have recognition of evil, meaning that he will know and feel that the will to receive for oneself is bad and harmful to his life, that because of it, he cannot be awarded spiritual life. This is his reward, which is called “recognition of evil,” that now he knows that the will to receive for himself is the harm-doer and his angel of death.

Hence, if a person says that he still does not feel that the will to receive is the angel of death, he should know that this stems from the fact that he needs more light, so as to see the truth, since in the dark, we cannot see. The light is called “Torah,” as it is written, “And the Torah is light.” Hence, he should exert in the Torah with the aim to receive light from the Torah, so as to show him the truth of who is his enemy and angel of death, who denies him real life which is spiritual life.

Therefore, when one sometimes comes to a state called “Days of no desire,” meaning that he has no energy to do anything, neither in thought nor in speech or in action, the reason is that the Creator created man in order to do, as it is written, “Which God has created to do.” Thus, when one sees that he is not advancing in the work, he loses the tools for work, meaning he has no motivation. At that time, the question is, What should one do when he is in such a state?

The answer is that at that time, one should believe “above reason” that this state, too—when he has no desire awakened within him, and which can be filled, but that now he wants to accept the situation he is in—this came from the Creator and was sent to him deliberately. And the reason is, “as the advantage of the light from within the darkness.”

In other words, when a person sees that he is in a decline, afterward, when he is rewarded with emerging from that state he will know how to appreciate the importance of the state of ascent. That is, at that time he will be able to discern between light and darkness and will be able to thank the Creator for bringing him closer to spirituality. Then, when he appreciates the importance of the matter, he will have the power to extend the light of Torah, since then, “the blessed clings to the Blessed.” To the extent that one appreciates one’s wholeness, how blessed he is with his lot, that the Creator has brought him closer, to that extent he can extend the blessing, as it is written, that “the blessed clings to the Blessed.”

Therefore, if one has no darkness, he cannot appreciate the light. Hence, one is not as delighted over being able to receive closeness to the Creator as he would be if he knew how to appreciate the state of ascent. Therefore, they are proportional: To the extent that he thanks and praises the Creator for bringing him closer to Him, and the person feels blessed by the Creator, to that same extent he can extend abundance from above. It follows that it seems as though the amount of abundance that one can draw is proportional to the level that one is in a state of “blessed.”

When a person prevails and asks for help from the Creator, after he has decided that he has a harm-doer in his heart, called “will to receive,” and that he cannot emerge from it, meaning after going through several ascents and descents, he finally sees that he has remained bare and destitute. At that time, his prayer is from the bottom of the heart. That is, he sees that if the Creator does not help him, he cannot overcome it.

Although one can say that he believes above reason that only the Creator helps him, within reason, he does not feel this, since he knows that he himself made the efforts and the labor to obtain something in spirituality. But when one sees that after all the exertions, he cannot emerge from the governance of the will to receive for himself, then he sees within reason that only the Creator can help him.

It follows that what our sages said, “Man’s inclination overcomes him every day, and were it not for the help of the Creator, he would not be able to overcome it,” he does not need to believe in this above reason, the way ordinary workers of the Creator who observe Torah and Mitzvot believe “above reason” that this is so, that the Creator helps them. Rather, those people who want to work in order to bestow, for them, it is within reason, to the point that they must believe above reason that the Creator can help them emerge from the governance of the will to receive.

This is as it is written in The Zohar about the spies, who said that the landlord cannot save his own vessels. Baal HaSulam said about this that it means that the spies, who slandered the land of Israel, refer to Eretz [land], which is Malchut. The spies said that the Creator, too, cannot help save His own Kelim [vessels], meaning the Kelim of Kedusha [holiness], meaning vessels of bestowal. It follows that everyone knew that it was not within man’s power to emerge from the control of self-reception, but that we must believe that the Creator can help.

At that time, a person falls into doubt whether it is true that the Creator can help in this, since he says that he has already asked the Creator several times to help him and give him the desire to bestow, and award him love of the Creator, but he received no answer to his prayers. At that time, it is difficult for him to believe that the Creator will help him. But after all the efforts he has done, without escaping the campaign, he is rewarded with obtaining the desire to bestow, and then he sees within reason, that “were it not for the help of the Creator, he would not be able to overcome it.”

It follows that now that the Creator has helped him and granted his prayers, when he asked the Creator to help him, it is as is said, “He will open our hearts with His law [Torah] and will place in our hearts the fear of Him and the love of Him, to do His will and to serve Him wholeheartedly.” How he praises the Creator for granting his prayers and how he values the blessing he has received from the Creator. Now a person is truly called “blessed.” And accordingly, we say, “The blessed clings to the Blessed,” and then he can receive a great illumination because his quality of “blessed” is great.

However, once a person has been rewarded with vessels of bestowal, he is considered to have borne a son, meaning a male. That is, he has obtained “vessels of bestowal,” which is considered that he has been rewarded with the correction of creation, which is Hesed [mercy/grace], meaning to serve the Creator with vessels of bestowal, which extends from above (from Zeir Anpin, from which the Hassadim are extended, for ZA is called “male,” who bestows Hassadim).

It follows that the preparation is called “father,” for the preparation for something is called “the reason,” and the result is called “offshoot.” This is considered that the person bore a male child, that he has now taken upon himself the desire to bestow, which is the correction of creation, by which he will be able to receive the delight and pleasure.

It follows that once he has a son called “correction of creation,” comes the time when one needs to try to obtain the purpose of creation, which is “His desire to do good to His creations.” This is considered that the abundance comes from above downward, meaning that the lower one is the receiver. This is considered that now the quality of a daughter was born, who receives the light of the purpose of creation. This is a female, who receives from the Giver, and this is called Malchut, the last Hey of the name HaVaYaH.

In other words, now that he has a son and a daughter, which imply the Vav-Hey of the name HaVaYaH (since the name HaVaYaH are the letters Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey, where Yod is Hochma, the first Hey is Bina, from which the quality of ZA is extended, called Hesed, which receives Hassadim. Malchut, too, is extended from the Yod-Hey, for she receives Hochma, called “daughter”). Hence, when one is rewarded with bearing the qualities of “son” and “daughter” through his work, that person is considered to have completed the holy name.

If he did not bear a son and a daughter through his work, it means that he has not completed the holy name. This is why The Zohar says it would be better for him if he were not born, since man is born in the world in order to perform corrections and complete the holy name, as our sages said about the verse (Exodus 17:16), “The Lord has sworn; the Lord will have war against Amalek.” They said, “The Creator has sworn that His name is not complete and His throne is not complete until He blots out the name of Amalek.”

We should interpret that the name Yod-Hey, called HB, should illuminate for the Vav-Hey. This comes through man’s work, who bears a son and a daughter, meaning a male, which are vessels of bestowal in which light of Hassadim shines, and also to extend to Malchut, called “daughter,” which are vessels of reception, in which light of Hochma illuminates. At that time, through one’s work, one complements the holy name, called Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey, and this comes by blotting out Amalek, meaning by engaging in Torah and Mitzvot in order to complete the holy name. And then he will reveal the wholeness called “He is one and His name, One.”

It follows that one who did not complete the holy name, who did not bear a son and a daughter, meaning did not correct the vessels of bestowal, in which light of Hassadim shines, which is considered a male, and even if he did bear a son, called a “male,” but has not completed his work of bearing a “female,” too, meaning vessels of reception, which will enter Kedusha, in which the light of Hochma shines, called “female,” which is the light that shines from above downward to the creatures, for the receivers of the abundance are called “female,” we are told that he still did not complete his work. Hence, it is better for him if he were not born because he has no part at all in the holy name.

This is as was said above, that he did not draw the Vav-Hey, for drawing the light into the Vav-Hey depends on the actions of the lower ones. This is the meaning of “Which God has created to do,” that the lower ones must draw through their good deeds. This is as the ARI says, that “All the works of the lower ones, whether good deeds or bad deeds, concern only the Vav-Hey, which are called ZA and Malchut.”

According to the above, we should interpret what is written, “This month is to you.” We should interpret in the work that “There is nothing new under the sun” [Hodesh (month) comes from the word Hidush (renewal)]. Thus, what is the meaning of renewal, of which it is written, “This month is to you”? The answer is “to you,” since all the novelties and changes are specifically “to you,” meaning for you. In other words, with regard to the Creator, it is written, “I the Lord do not change.” This means that with regard to the Creator there are no changes. Rather, all the many degrees and changes are only from the perspective of the receivers.

But why are there changes with respect to the receivers? After all, there are (no) changes in spirituality. The answer is that since it is impossible to receive any light, but only according to the size of the clothing, the clothing affects changes in the light, so that according to the value of the clothing, so is the attainment in the light.

And what is the clothing in which the light dresses? That clothing is Ohr Hozer [Reflected Light]. This means that since there was a correction where in order to avoid shame while receiving delight and pleasure, there was a Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment so we cannot see the light but only to the extent that one can receive in order to bestow. In other words, to the extent that one can aim to bestow, the light is revealed to him.

It follows that the Kli that can receive light is essentially the extent to which he can bestow upon the Creator and does not do anything unless for the sake of the Creator. Since the matter of working in order to bestow is against nature, this work is very slow. To the extent that he overcomes, that he prevails in order to work in order to bestow, to that extent he dresses and attains the light. Naturally, many degrees are made according to the value of the work of the receivers, though from the perspective of the Giver, there are no changes. This is the meaning of the words “This month is to you,” meaning all the changes are for you, meaning it is your work, for you, for the lower ones.

And the main work is that we need additional overcoming, which is “faith above reason,” meaning that any renewal in the work comes from “faith above reason.” Conversely, those who work with “faith within reason,” have no renewals. This is the meaning of the words “There is nothing new under the sun,” meaning specifically under the sun there are no renewals, but above the sun, there are renewals.

We should understand the meaning of “sun” in the work. The sun shines during the day. A “day” means as it is written (Pesachim 2), “‘The murderer arises at dawn; he kills the poor and the indigent.’ Does that mean that light is day?” The meaning is that if the matter is as clear as day to you, this is called “sun,” meaning knowing. Conversely, “night” means doubt. It follows that “There is nothing new under the sun” means that if the sun, which is knowledge, is of superior importance, meaning that one’s reason is the cause of the actions, in that respect, there is no renewal in the work, for when the work does not object to reason, there are no renewals there.

But if a person wants to work above the sun, meaning above reason, then he has renewals in the work, since each time, the wicked comes to him and asks Pharaoh’s question and the wicked’s question, which are called “Who” and “What,” and a person should answer them. This work belongs to you. Out of these questions and answers, novelties always emerge, as it is written, “There is nothing new under the sun,” but above the sun, meaning above reason, there are novelties.

The work above reason should be unconditional surrender. That is, one should take upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven above reason. A person should say, “I want to be a servant of the Creator even though I have no idea about the work and I feel no flavor in the work. Nevertheless, I am willing to work with all my might as though I have attainment and feeling and flavor in the work, and I am willing to work unconditionally.” At that time, a person can go forward, and then there is no place for him to fall from his state, since he takes upon himself to work even when he is placed right in the earth, since it is impossible to be lower than the earth.

This is as it is written (Ecclesiastes 1), “A generation goes and a generation comes, and the earth forever stands.” We should interpret that in the work, “A generation goes and a generation comes” means ascents and descents. The fact that one yearns for knowledge, meaning he does not want to work above reason, but specifically within reason, meaning that he says that if the body understands the benefits of working and observing the Mitzvot [commandments/good deeds] of the King, he is willing to labor and work. But to believe above reason, to this the body does not agree. Instead, he stands and waits for the body to understand it, but otherwise, he cannot do the holy work. Sometimes, he does overcome these thoughts and desires, and this causes him the ascents and descents.

Yet, if one decides that he wants to work as “dust,” meaning even if he tastes the taste of dust in the work, he says that it is very important for him to be able to do something for the sake of the Creator, and for himself, he does not care which taste he feels, and says that this work, in which one tastes the taste of dust, meaning that the body mocks this work, he says to the body that in his view, this work is regarded as “raising the Shechina [Divinity] from the dust.”

In other words, although the body tastes dust in this work, the person says that it is Kedusha and does not measure how much flavor he feels in the work. Rather, he believes that the Creator does enjoy this work, since there is no mixture of the will to receive here, since he has nothing to receive because there are no flavor or scent in this work, as there is only the taste of dust here. For this reason, he believes that this is the holy work, and he is delighted.

Accordingly, we should interpret that “A generation goes and a generation comes” means ascents and descents. “A generation goes” means that the state of ascent has parted from him, and “a generation comes” means that another ascent has come to him. This is endless. However, “the earth forever stands.” The earth is regarded as “dust,” when a person feels that he is placed in the earth, that there is no lower state than the one he is in. If a person works in the manner of “earth,” meaning that he agrees to work even in a state of “dust,” this is “forever stands,” when he has no falls because he is already placed in the earth, and sanctifies the earth.

Back to top
Site location tree