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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

64. From Lo Lishma to Lishma

I heard on Vayechi, Tevet 14, December 27, 1947

From Lo Lishma one comes to Lishma. If we pay close attention, we can say that the period of Lo Lishma is the more important time, since it is easier to unite the act with the Creator.

This is so because in Lishma one says that he did this good deed because he serves the Creator in wholeness, and all his actions are for the Creator. It follows that he is the owner of the act.

However, when one engages in Lo Lishma, one does not do the good deed for the Creator. It turns out that one cannot come to Him with a complaint that he deserves a reward. Thus, for him the Creator is not in debt.

Hence, why did he do that good deed? Only because the Creator provided him an opportunity that this SAM would compel him and force him to do it.

For example, if people come to one’s house, and one is ashamed of being idle, one takes a book and studies Torah. Thus, who is one studying Torah for? It is not for the Mitzva of the Creator, to be favored in the eyes of the Creator, but for the guests who have come into his authority, to find grace in the eyes of man. Thus, how then can one seek reward from the Creator for this Torah, which he engaged in for the guests?

It follows that for him, the Creator did not become debited, and instead, he can charge the guests, that they would pay him a reward, meaning honor him for studying Torah. However, one cannot debit the Creator in any way.

When one performs self-examination, and says that finally, I engage in the Torah, and tosses off the cause, meaning the guests, and says that now he is working only for the Creator, then one should immediately say that everything is conducted from Above. It means that the Creator wanted to grant him engagement in the Torah, and he is not worthy of receiving an element of truth. He is unworthy of receiving the truth, hence the Creator provided him a false cause, and through this cause one engages in the Torah.

It follows that the Creator is the operator, and not the individual. Then, moreover, one should praise the Creator that even in a state of lowness that he is in, the Creator does not leave him and gives him power, meaning fuel to want to engage in words of Torah.

You find that if one pays attention to this act, one notices that the Creator is the operator, in the form of, “He alone does and will do all the deeds.” Yet, one does not put any action in the good deed. Although one makes that Mitzva, he does not do it for a Mitzva, but for another cause (man), and the cause extended from the separation.

The truth is that the Creator is the cause and He is the reason that compels him. But the Creator is robed in him in another clothing, and not in a clothing of a Mitzva, but for another fear or another love. It follows that during the Lo Lishma, it is easier to attribute the good deed and say that the Creator is the doer of the good deed, and not man.

This is simple, because one does not want to do the thing for a Mitzva, but for another cause. However, in Lishma, one knows in oneself that he is working because of the Mitzva.

This means that he himself was the cause, meaning because of a Mitzva, but not because the Creator did not place the idea and the desire to make the Mitzva in his heart, but he himself chose it. The truth is that it was all done by the Creator, but private Providence cannot be attained by a person prior to attaining the matter of reward and punishment.

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