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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

175. And If the Way Be Too Long for Thee

I heard during a Shevat meal, Parashat Behar-Bechukotai, Iyar 22, May 21, 1949

“And if the way be too far for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it.”

He interpreted, why is the way so far? Because “thou art not able to carry it.” This is because he cannot carry the burden of Torah and Mitzvot, and hence he regards the way as far. The counsel for it, as the verse says, “bind up the money in thy hand.” Kesef (money) is Kisufin (longing), that he will draw longing in the work. Thus, through the desire, the craving for the Creator, he will be able to carry the burden of Torah and Mitzvot. Kesef also concerns shame. This is because one is created for the goal of glorifying heaven, as it is written, “Blessed is… who created us in His honor.”

In general, Torah and Mitzvot are things that one does in order to be favored by Him. This is because it is the slave’s nature to want to be liked by his master, since then his master’s heart is for him. So it is here: the many actions and meticulousness that one becomes proficient in are but a means by which to be favored in His eyes, and then he will have the desired goal of Him.

And a person observes Torah and Mitzvot to be favored in the eyes of people. And he turns the needs of heaven into a means. Meaning, through them he will obtain favor in the eyes of people. And as long as one has not been awarded the Torah Lishma (for Her Name), he works for people.

And although one has no other choice but to work for people, he should still be ashamed of such servitude. Then, through this Kesef, he will be awarded the Kesef of Kedusha (Sanctity), meaning to want Kedusha.

“And bind up the money in thy hand.” This means that even though the craving is not up to man, if he has no desire for it, he cannot do a thing. Nevertheless, he should show the desire for the Kisufin, the desire to want (and perhaps VeTzarta (bind) comes from the word Ratzita (wanted)). One needs to show a desire for it, to show the desire and the craving to want the Creator, meaning to want to increase the glory of heaven, to bestow contentment upon Him, to be favored by Him.

There is a discernment of Zahav (gold), and there is a discernment of Kesef (silver/money). Kesef means having Kisufin (longing) in general; and Zahav (gold, made of the words “give this”) means that he wants only one thing, and all the longing and the craving that he had for several things are cancelled in this desire. And he says “give this” only, meaning he does not want anything except to raise Divinity from the dust. This is all that he wants.

It follows that even though one sees that he has not the proper desire, he should still see and exert in deeds and thoughts to obtain the desire. And this is called “And bind up the money in thy hand.” One should not think that if it is in the hands of man, it is a small thing. Rather, “for oxen (with grace), or for sheep,” etc., for only by this will he be rewarded with the most sublime Lights.

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