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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

15. What is Other Gods in the Work

I heard on Av 24, August 3, 1945

It is written, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” The Holy Zohar interprets that there should be stones to weigh with. It asks about it, how is the work weighed in stones, by which one knows one’s state in the ways of God? It replies that it is known that when one begins to work more than one is used to, the body begins to kick and reject this work with all its might.

This is because, regarding bestowal, it is a load and a burden for the body. It cannot tolerate this work, and the resistance of the body appears in one in the form of alien thoughts. It comes and asks the questions of “who” and “what,” and through these questions one says that all these questions are certainly sent to him by the Sitra Achra (other side), to obstruct him in the work.

It says that if at that time one says that they come from the Sitra Achra, one breaches what is written, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” The reason is that one should believe that it comes to him from the Holy Shechina, since “There is none else besides Him.” Instead, the Holy Shechina shows one his true state, how one is walking in the ways of God.

This means that by sending him these questions, called “alien thoughts,” that is, through these alien thoughts she sees how he answers the questions regarded as “alien thoughts.” And all this, one should know one’s true state in the work so he will know what to do.

It is like a parable: A friend wanted to know how much his friend loved him. Certainly, when face-to-face, his friend hides himself because of the shame. Thus, one sends a person to speak badly about his friend. Then he sees his friend’s reaction while he is away from his friend, and then one can know the true measure of his friend’s love.

The lesson is that when the Holy Shechina shows her face to a person, meaning when the Creator gives one liveliness and joy, in that state one is ashamed to say what he thinks about the work of bestowal and of not receiving anything for oneself. However, when not facing it, meaning when the liveliness and gladness cool down, which is considered not facing it, then one can see one’s true state regarding in order to bestow.

If one believes that it is written that there is none else besides Him, and that the Creator sends all the alien thoughts, meaning that He is the operator, one certainly knows what to do, and how to answer all the questions. It seems as though she sends him messengers to see how he speaks slander of her, of his Kingdom of Heaven, and this is how we can interpret the above matter.

One can understand that, that everything comes from the Creator. This is because it is known that the beatings that the body beats a person with its alien thoughts, since they do not come to a person when he does not engage in the work, but these beatings that come to a person in a complete sensation, to the point that these thoughts smash his mind, they come specifically after preceding Torah and work more than the usual. This is called stones to weigh with.

It means that these stones fall in one’s mind when one wants to understand these questions. Afterwards, when one goes to weigh the purpose of one’s work, if it is really worthwhile to work in order to bestow, work with all his might and soul, and that all his desires will be only to hope that what there is to acquire in this world is only in the purpose of his work to bring contentment to his Maker, and not in any corporal matter.

At that time there begins a bitter argument, since one sees that there are arguments both ways. The writings warn about that, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Do not say that another god gave you the stones to weigh your work with, but “before Me.”

Instead, one should know that this is considered “before Me.” This is so that one will see the true form of the basis and the foundation upon which the structure of the work is built.

The heaviness in the work is primarily because they are two texts that deny one another. On the one had, one should try that all his work will be to reach Dvekut (Adhesion) with the Creator, that all his desire will be only to bestow contentment to his Maker, and not at all to himself.

On the other hand, we see that this is not the primary goal, since the purpose of creation was not that the creatures would give to the Creator, since He has no deficiency in Him that the creatures will give Him anything. On the contrary, the purpose of creation was due to His desire to do good to His creatures, meaning that the creatures would receive delight and pleasure from Him.

These two matters contradict one another from one end to the other. On the one hand one should bestow, and on the other hand, one should receive. In other words, there is the discernment of the correction of creation, being to achieve Dvekut, discerned as equivalence of form, being that all his actions will be only to bestow. Afterwards it is possible to achieve the purpose of creation, which is to receive delight and pleasure from the Creator.

Hence, when one has accustomed oneself to walk in ways of bestowal, one has no vessels of reception anyhow. When one walks in ways of reception, he has no vessels of bestowal.

Thus, through the “stones to weigh with” one acquires both. This is because after the negotiation he had during the work, when he overcomes and assumes the burden of the Kingdom of Heaven in the form of bestowal in mind and heart, it causes that when one is about to draw the Sublime Abundance, since he already has a solid foundation that everything should be in the form of bestowal, hence, even when one receives some luminescence, one already receives in order to bestow. This is because the whole foundation of his work is built solely on bestowal. This is considered that he “receives in order to bestow.”

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