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Article "Thou Hast Hemmed Me In Behind and Before" - Talk 1

Lesson by Rav Michael Laitman, Bnei Baruch, Israel
January 27, 2006
Lecturer: Michael Laitman, PhD

We are studying Baal HaSulam’s article, called " Thou Hast Hemmed Me In Behind and Before," from the book Pri Hacham ( Fruit of Wisdom), page 101. You can find it on the Internet as well.

It’s a very special article; it’s actually made of several pieces. Sometimes there is a connection between them, sometimes there isn’t so much. We’ll just read it.

I remember myself when I came to Rabash. We had a habit of going every morning to a park for a walk. That was after a few months of being with him. I started requesting "All right, so when, what, how does it appear? What happens? Why is it getting darker instead of brighter?" I remember it was about 1980, when this book Pri Hacham, ( Fruit of Wisdom) was being prepared. It was a few years before it finally came out, which I think happened in 1984 or even 1985 as it is written here.

I remember that he took out pages that he used to prepare for this book and he read this article without interpreting it. I was only with him for a few months, maybe six months, and I remember I didn’t understand anything. It’s a very powerful and profound article, a special one from among Baal HaSulam’s articles.

Thou Hast Hemmed Me In Behind and Before. [It’s written this way in Psalms.]

Thou hast hemmed me in behind and before, meaning the revelation and concealment of the face of the Creator...

This means that a person is in a situation where the Creator appears and doesn’t appear before him. Actually this is what happens to each and everyone in his life, because there is nothing more than the individual and the Creator before him. But some understand, some don’t understand; some feel, some don’t feel; or admit it or don’t admit it; look for it or not. However, man's, the creation's, the creature's situation is always opposite the Creator.

When one begins to notice it and yearns for the connection, then he begins to see that his stance before the Creator is done through concealment and revelation. Concealment and revelation of what? Of the face of the Creator. What is the face of the Creator? Bestowal.

When a person begins to examine himself to the extent to which he wants the attribute of bestowal toward the Creator to be with the face, then he begins to see that the Creator is sometimes with his face towards him, in bestowal, and at other times it seems that He is otherwise, in concealment. That’s called either "the concealment of the face" or "the posterior."

That’s why it’s called "Thou Hast Hemmed Me in Behind and Before." Baal HaSulam says it’s "in the revelation or concealment of the face." When there is revelation it’s called "face." That’s "from before" and there is "a face in concealment," which is called "from behind."

For indeed "His kingdom ruleth over all"…

Because there is no such thing as the Creator being concealed or revealed, operating or not operating on a person, hiding himself or not hiding himself. There is only the way it seems to a person.

…and everything will return to its root…..

That is the goal of concealment and revelation. Why is it certain like that?

…because there is no place vacant of Him.

This is so because even now you are not in a different process but you are always in it whether you like it or not. You are always progressing through defined states through cause and consequence toward the complete revelation.

But the difference is, [That might be in your situation.] in present tense or future tense…

What does it mean present and future? There is no time in spirituality. Today and tomorrow? The next minute?

…because he who connects the two worlds...

In other words what he feels and what appears to him, the situation of his Kelim (vessels) and what he wants to be in them, since what appears in our Kelim is called "man's Olam" (world).

…discovers in the present [Even now in his present uncorrected Kelim.] His clothing…

This means not the Creator himself but His clothing, a certain superficial attitude to a person, from the perspective of the Creator. Why clothing? Because through the clothing He wants, on the one hand, to draw a person. On the other, through the clothing He can connect to a person because a person will not understand otherwise. There has to be an adapter because there is a difference in degrees. But through the clothing, the Creator gradually reveals Himself. In this adapter, that there are many discernments and functions.

…that everything that is done is a clothing for the revelation of divinity.

Everything between the self of a person and Atzmuto (His Essence), all of that is called "clothing." This includes Olamot (worlds), Sefirot, Partzufim, angels, demons or ghosts. Whatever a person might say there is besides his "I" and the Creator, everything in between them is the clothing. These forces, and different, contradicting influences, are all there in order to eventually disclose the Creator in a complete manner without any concealment.

Thus, if a person now tries to see the Creator through this clothing, this is considered that he tries to find Him in the present. He is in the present.

And this is deemed present tense, meaning that now he too comes out in royal clothes and evidently shows that ….

Even now he discovers all His clothing, all the discernments that appear as the world, his surroundings, people around him, enemies, friends, those close or far, forces, his fate, his luck, everything that happens to him. If he relates everything to the Creator’s attitude towards him, because There is No One Else Besides Him, then his sensation through the clothing can slowly disclose the Creator who is in the clothing. Then this clothing begins to purify, and a person comes closer and closer, until he begins to have a direct contact with the Creator without any clothing.

This means that in the beginning, when a person felt himself in this world, the concealment between them was five Olamot. This concealment begins to purify and this is called "ascending the ladder of degrees." One as if comes closer to the Creator in the worlds Assiya, Yetzira, Beria,Atzilut, Adam Kadmon,Ein Sof. It’s called the "removal of clothing between himself and the Creator." He thus rises in the worlds and comes closer. But that is on condition that even now he makes great efforts to understand and feel...

…that the rider is not subordinate to the horse.

This means that there are no forces outside of the Creator; that all of creation is like a horse compared to the Creator who is riding on it; that the Upper Force, who created the will to receive in his bestowal and brings it to him in bestowal to be like Him, to His goal. That is what makes the rider the Creator. It’s not that the horse seemingly behaves the opposite, at first he doesn’t want it and then he does and the Creator deliberately created him opposite from Him. It’s not that the horse determines anything, but the rider determines everything with respect tothe horse.

But although it seemingly appears that the horse leads the rider...

This is how it appears to a person, that there are many forces, people, surroundings, society around him that seemingly behave as they decide. It’s not that it comes from one Force, from the rider over all of this big horse which is called the "entire creation."

…the truth is that the horse is provoked to any movement, only by the sensation of the bridle and headstall of the rider.

It’s not that anyone has any say. Matter cannot move without the spark of Light, that luminescence, the various lights that influence it; in itself it’s dead. Actually you might say that it doesn’t even exist in and of itself. What is in it, is that spark of Light that revives it, in and of itself it is nothing. We have to understand that to begin with, there cannot be any free choice or any motion or any desire for matter other than the Light that shines on it, as it determines what you would want and with what strength you would want.

Also, within matter there is the Light and also outside of matter there is the Light; and that is how the Light operates from both sides. From within, it sustains the existence of matter, and from outside, it seemingly awakens it toward something, to want something.

In other words, the Creator is within a person and awakens him. He is also outside a person through various clothing that He builds around a person so that there is seemingly this world with people and everything there, and other worlds. And a person has to live in all that. He has to see in them the behavior of one single Force. If he discovers it this way…

…this is called the construction of the stature of Divinity.

One builds in one's own eyes, one discovers the stature of Divinity. Meaning that all of his Kelim, his awareness, his vision is such that the Creator is in the Kelim, the Light is in the Kelim, appears in the Kelim as the One who fills them and controls them.

…and this is also called face-to-face. [Where there is complete disclosure of the Creator within the creature.]

The Creator clothes inside a creature. And to the extent to which He can or cannot clothe, this is called "being revealed in the creature or concealed in the creature." Then the state of the creature is called "he is in concealment ( Ha'alama) or in the worlds ( Olamot)"—in a certain measure of concealment or disclosure. This is called being in a certain degree of whatever world one is in.

This means that we always speak of the inner state of a person. The inner state of a person is divided into interior, which is the state of the person himself, and the exterior, which is called the " Olamot (worlds)." The worlds too are ones' own perception, which just feels this way to the person.

[Rav drawing] Within us there are five Kelim: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin and Malchut. As the result of Tzimtzum Bet (the second restriction) , we can correct the first three Kelim: Keter, Hochma, and Bina with a Masach (screen), in order to bestow. Meanwhile, we cannot correct completely the Kelim of Zeir Anpin and Malchut—AviutGimel and Dalet—that are called Levush (clothing) and Heichal (hall). Keter, Hochma, Bina have Aviut (coarseness) Shoresh, Aleph,Bet, and are called, correspondingly, Shoresh, Neshama, and Guf.

drawing No. 1

Our perception is this: there is "I," Soresh, Neshama, and Guf and there are the exterior things, Levush and Heichal. That’s how I perceive the world and reality in general: I exist with respect to reality, which is close or connected to me, and that which is more exterior, which is also divided into all kinds of degrees. This is my world.

drawing No. 2

When a person corrects his Kelim, the Light that clothes him comes first of all in the inner Kelim—Keter, Hochma and Bina—and then in the outer Kelim.A person should try and exert to see especially in Levush and Heichal the conduct of the Creator, and not something opposite from Him or something belonging to alien forces, which is called "idolatry." If a person relates what happens to him to anything but the Creator, to so-called "alien," it is called idolatry.

Then, correspondingly, should see there is only one correction for that, to ascribe everything to the Creator whether behind it or before, and to see that everything that happens belongs to one Force that rides over the entire horse.

drawing No. 3

He then removes the concealments from Levush and Heichal and they too go into the inner Kelim. This is considered that a person who ascends from this world rises in degrees of Assiya,Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, Adam Kadmon, Ein Sof;that he ascends the degrees of the Olamot. What does that mean, Olamot? It means that Shoresh, Aleph, Bet, Gimel and Dalet, his Kelim, begin to connect as one. All of these Olamot, are one's inner KelimKelim of the soul.

drawing No. 4

If he corrects them, then everything that was hidden in them appears. All the concealments disappear and become disclosed and then Ein Sof appears, no limit, no concealment. That is what we have to want. This is called "being in the state of face-to-face" where the entire Light of Ein Sof enters the whole Kli that He created—existence from absence—without any limitations. When? When there is a correction within the Kli to be exactly in equivalence of form with the Light.

Question: Baal HaSulam says that "the rider is not subordinate to the horse" and then he says that "although it seemingly appears that the horse leads the rider." It seems that one contradicts the other.

There are several things here. First of all, if you want to say anything that is seemingly not nice or Sagina Or, meaning if I want to say something that is not good, then I use a different terminology. I clean my language. When you say about a blind person, Sagina Or, that he sees better than anyone else, in order to say that he’s got a deficiency in his vision, you use this term. Here too, that kind of a language is used. You are right .

Question: How do we maintain the right attitude to something that is hidden from us and not fall into fantasy?

How can one be careful from falling into fantasies and be certain that he is evolving correctly? There are no rules of measurement. How can you say? I'm asking you logically.

Now you are seated here. You think you are in a world where you are awake and this is not a dream that you are sitting before me and asking me questions, and I am seemingly answering you. First of all, it might all be an illusion. How do you measure? What are you going to do, pinch yourself? You might wake up? Maybe in the next minute you’ll be shaken and someone will tell you, “get up, why are you sleeping?” Maybe we’ll wait for the next moment and see.

How do you measure it? Even now you can’t know if you are in a dream or not. We have no way. To measure you have to be in two different states simultaneously, you have to clearly attain both of them and then when you measure them, say, light and darkness or Kli and Light. In between them you measure.

Then too with respect to what do you measure? If you are at the animate degree, you have no problem—you measure everything with respect to your body. But if you want to start living beyond the body, how do you measure it, with respect to what? What does it mean, “beyond the body?” What is that spirit that I measure against? Some cloud, air or what?

Let’s say you throw a person into outer space. How can you measure yourself? How do you orient yourself? You have no up, or down, no left or right no east, or west. You're thrown into a new space, something that you have no Kelim for and you want measurement? To begin with it’s just impossible; it's not possible!

Even in our world, I’m giving you an example. Now that you are in space, say “thank God there are stars in space." So I take a star, one, two or three stars and according to them I can measure myself, "So this is up, this is down, this is right, this is left." Now I determine for myself a new framework. Meaning, everything is only relative and you yourself determine in each state, all the discernments. There is no voice from Above that tells you “this and this is better, this and this is worse” or "this belongs here or there." It’s only you.

In order to give a person, in any case, the ability to progress but not to rob him of his free choice, special souls come to this world and write books, thereby giving us by that a chance to determine freely. We still don’t know how it all works, how they seemingly complement things in Creation. That’s why they know how to write in a very special way. These loyal emissaries give you the exact direction to the extent that you can be connected to it with your free choice.

There's the complementing the concealment on the Creator in such a way in which you exactly realize your free choice. This puzzle is made of several parts. Each of them must be closed through some special way: the society, the guide, the Rav, the books, the Creator in general, and you, who realizes all of these things. You use them and you take them into yourself and within yourself. That’s where you connect and realize them correctly. It’s not simple. We’ll learn how this thing is realized.

Of course, it is not clear and can never be clear about what you are headed for. Thus, our way is called "faith above reason." It is not necessary that you are forbidden to know, but even rationally you can never know something that’s above you, that's greater that you.

Explain to a one-year-old child what it means to be ten years old. That's on the same level of the animate. He doesn’t know what it is. He’ll judge according to his Kelim what it means to be ten years old; he’s a big boy, he can do this, he can do that. He doesn't have the intelligence; he doesn’t have the sensation. He judges according to his own Kelim but at least he’s got some example of an older child. We don’t even see that example. We have to imagine it and build that example by ourselves and be attracted to it.

The Creator is unknown. You, yourself, picture that image. You—out of this world, in what happens to you, what you go through—have to connect His attitude toward you to yourself, to discover it as the right thing according to the recommendation of Kabbalists and the guide. You have to see that it is the Creator relating to you, how he is relating to you and accordingly to that build your own attitude to Him.

You build the picture within you. Meaning, with all of the information within you, in this world—me, the world the forces, everything that happens around me—you have to build the picture of Ein Sof (Infinity) out of all that. It’s very simple, the picture of Ein Sof. It all depends on how you put it together. Put it together right now, and that’s it, that’s all you need. It’s all there. Everything is in you; all the data is there within you.

Question: On one hand we say that Kabbalah doesn't engage in abstract form, on the other, we say that the way is to go above reason. What is the difference between 'abstract form' and 'above reason'?

The abstract form relates to something that is outside of me. Let’s say, when I see a good person or a bad person, then I take from his attributes the good or bad thing that he did, and I say: “This action is good or bad.” This is called "abstract form." Meaning, it’s a form that was once clothed in a person, in a certain situation. I take it out of that state and from that person and say: “It’s good or bad,” A person killed another person. Is it good or bad? You say that it’s bad, like people who are moral people who say it is forbidden. But in the Torah you have the commandment to kill. This is the first thing.

The second thing, what we call the abstract, is abstract for me. I abstract a form from the matter and speak about the form itself, philosophize. Faith above reason is ''me'' within me, when I have my own understanding, my own perception, my own opinion, and everything in me because it’s my Kli. If I want to fill myself in some other way above my Kelim, transcend above my own Kli, then I acquire an additional force that elevates me above my present desire, above my reason and perception to a higher level. This is called ''above reason."

I am not talking about anything or anyone outside of me. It’s all my inner work within my Kli, and it’s in order to ascend to a higher level. The mind and the heart which are called "my reason," at present, are not enough, no longer suffice for me and I find additional force to transcend above them. It’s called "faith above reason," the force of Bina. Why is it the force of Bina? Because through this force I correct my desire to bestow more, and I rise to a higher level. That’s it.

There is nothing imaginary here. I want forces of bestowal, forces of Bina, to override my will to receive, and thus transcend to another degree. It’s called "faith above reason." It’s a very tangible force. These are corrections of Sefirot, Partzufim, Reshimot (reminiscences). It’s all well defined in the Kli. Where is the abstract form? It’s illusive; I don’t know exactly what I am talking about. I cannot see what it belongs to. It’s good for this, it’s bad for that. If it‘s not connected to matter, I can't give it any kind of characteristic.

Question: On one hand, in this world I have my five senses. I am influenced by them, and I have no choice in them: good draws me and I run away from suffering. On the other, I have the Reshimo, I have no memory for it, I am unaware of it because I don't have the Masachim (screens). They say that the Creator puts one’s hand on the good state and says: “Take this.” Where is our true choice?

Read this at the beginning of the Introduction to the Talmud of Eser Sefirot. It explains in items 4, 5 and 6 how the Creator puts one’s hand on the good fortune. He gives you a direction, and you have to choose that direction.

When you were a little child you were told by your mom and your daddy: “Son, be a good boy, learn, compromise, don’t run around, and don’t make a mess.” Right? Did you always listen to them? No. You had a choice of listening to them more and receiving less punishment, but you chose to be more independent, to go your own way, and you were punished for it. In the end it came out the way it came out; what can you do?

What do I want to say? Choice is not in what to be. In any case you can't escape it, as Baal HaSulam says, and you will find that everything comes from the Rider on the horse, and He leads all of creation and you through all the situations. But Baal HaSulam says: the difference is between present and future.

Do you want to go along with the recommendation? That’s your choice. You are told: “Be nice.” Why? You will discover more quickly what is worth discovering. Don’t get entangled in the superficial things, in things that seems to you that the horse does what it wants, or that certain people or yourself are running the world.

They give you recommendations: it’s worthwhile for you to focus your vision in a very precise way, and you will see, what happens correctly. You will have the right discernments more quickly. That’s what they teach you. If you go with these recommendations, you save time. Past and present come together. If not, then you have the present, and perhaps it will get better. But when?

We are standing in the same place like a donkey. We are beaten until we are convinced through the suffering, or through a little learning of the Torah and by listening to the advice that it is worthwhile to connect present and future. With us it is not connected. How do we connect these things? By discovering that there is one Force that operates even now and you annul all the "clothing," and then everything comes together as one. Even now you are in it, you are in Ein Sof, with one Ruler, and that’s it.

But one who has not yet come to dedicate all these movements to the Creator alone...

This means that through the concealment you don’t try to always be in congruence with the Giver, as a giver opposite to the Giver, like the Creator. The Creator is entirely as the Giver to the creature, but hides it behind various clothing. The person, only by equivalence of form with his bestowal to the Creator, can discover that the Creator is there as a Giver. This is when he still hasn't been awarded, hasn’t cleansed his Kelim yet, to make all his movements toward the Creator alone in order to bestow.

...and the horse does not equalize with its movements to the bridle and headstall of the rider...

That is what still seems to him, that neither he nor the world is governed by one Force, the Creator. It’s one thing to talk about the world, to say that everything comes from Above. But how to say it about myself, that I am operated upon, that my thoughts also come from the Creator, even those about the Creator, and my desires and my sensations—everything is Him. So where am "I?"

…but appears to do the opposite…

That there is something in me which is not Him, but me, detached from Him, where I can label as “me,” not Him? Where is that point from which I determine?

…and the handmaid appears to rule the mistress, this is called "behind" [That a person is not revealed with the Creator, not face to face.] --meaning that you should not think that you are drawing away from holiness…

A person thinks that although he is in his own authority, the whole world behaves this or that way, that the Creator sometimes turns the world or in some part of it He is found, and in another part of it there is no Creator. He thinks the world behaves according to the acts that it always does, and a person too is not in it. But that’s just the way it seems to a person.

...for "that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all." Thus sayeth the Lord, "Surely with a mighty hand" etc.

This means that all of this is in order to compel a person, in a free way, to discover the face of the Giver.

"For he that is banished be not an outcast from him." [We don’t understand how this happens.] And every wheel turns to come to holiness, its root.

This is so in thousands of ways which we don’t even know, since there are five concealments over five Kelim and connections between them. We cannot help but be in our own independent point. I cannot think when I am totally lost within the Creator in that thought. Then I have no thought, no sensation, I have nothing. That’s how it is in my present state for the time being. The minute I think outside of Him, this is called “from the breaking point,” and then my decisions are already incorrect.

Therefore, although it seems that the horse leads the rider by his despicable desire, [It seems to us that we can somehow turn the world and everything in it, within us, around us.] the truth is not so. It is the rider who leads the horse to his destination.

The Creator gives us also bad thoughts, as well as bad deeds, and also leads us through it, and teaches us through it, and beats us up, and gives us a place for correction. Everything is done in us, from Above, through Him.

Where is there free choice here? Is there reward and punishment? Can a person determine anything at all of his destiny? This appears only out of experience, we can't even explain it because even what we hear now is what we hear in our corrupted Kelim, detached from the Creator, divided into several parts, Him, and me, and something in between, another someone or something, a whole world.

…the truth is not so. It is the rider leads us to his destination. However, it is not apparent in the present, but in the future.

There is no present and future in spirituality, but if we connect the two Olamot, as Baal HaSulam says, then it appears. There cannot be a disclosure if it's not through the connection of present and future. Any disclosure, if the present and the future are not connected together in a person, is called "hidden." There is a concealment between them. The fact is that he doesn't know what “will be” is. If he annuls the difference between the present and the future, between the two degrees or levels, elevates himself seemingly, from the present to the future, (because there is no time in spirituality, it’s all questions of degrees), then there is disclosure.

Hence, that way there is also contact [Even though he is in these two states—the present, imagining what might be in the future...] but it is "back to back..."

Why "back to back?" Maybe "face to back?" No, Baal HaSulam says "back to back." Why is this so?

…meaning, not by the desire of the dresser or that of the dressee.

Neither the individual wants it or is satisfied with that state, and certainly not the Creator.

Question: If there is no time in spirituality, what does the Creator care how long it will take me?

Ask Him, what do you want from me? [Laughter in the audience] What does the Creator care? What do you mean? How long it will take us to reach Gmar Tikkun, or what? Ask how many degrees! It depends on your present degree compared to Ein Sof.

Question (cont.): The pains come to push us if we don’t do it fast enough?


Question (cont.): What does He care? So I'll do it slower. There is no time in spirituality, so what does He care if I do it slow?

But there is no slow. [Rav is laughing as he answers] I don’t understand your question. "There is no time in spirituality, so why shouldn’t it be slower?" How do you ask that? Think about it, after some time you will get wiser.

Question: If in the lesson the thoughts run, can I choose to be more focused, better concentrated? Is this my effort, or the Creator gives that to me?

You can choose whatever you want. Maybe you are asking this: “What does it mean, what is an effort, what is a good effort during the study that brings me to progress?” There are many kinds of efforts. A good effort in a lesson means that you try to connect into one with what you are learning.

A Kabbalist describes situations to you. He might describe the state of heaven, or hell, or whatever, good states, bad states, doesn't matter. If you want to succeed, you have to be connected to the writer. This is a holy man; he is a great man; he is in high degrees. When he wrote what he wrote, he felt it, he was in it. If you attach yourself to him like a child grabs a grown up and follow him, then you always want to be along with what he writes. Be inside the text, feel as much as you can, try and be in it, without any partitions. That’s a good effort.

Question: Do we have any choice in the intention?

Are you are asking whether there is choice at least in the intention? In spirituality, an intention is the act. Spirituality means that it doesn't belong to 'the hands or legs.' A spirit is a spirit. Even if I'm gone now, you can't see me, there are some vibrations in the air, a so-called "voice from Above." From Above, meaning undefined. That’s called spirit. A spirit is a force, an intention. The desire is the matter. The matter is given from Above, and this desire or matter appears to us according to our ability to work with it.

My present ability to work with my desire is such that it puts me in the framework of this world. What is this world? I am given a very tiny desire, to just live in it. When I want to control my present desire in order to reach something special, higher and unique, in order to reach that “something higher,” I need a stronger desire. If I now prepare myself to control the desire that I have been given, to reach the goal with it, then I will get greater strength (i.e. an intention), and a greater desire (i.e. matter). And then together with them in the correct combination, I will come a little closer to the goal.

Once more, if I make great efforts, I will be given both desire and an intention: both come from Above, right and left. I just try as much as I can with what is given, to be drawn to the goal. The way it is realized is also given from Above: how to combine intention with matter.

But those who follow His will discover for themselves the royal dresses in the present, [The future is hidden.] connected face to face, with the good will of the dresser, and the good will of the dresser. [This is called "face-to-face." They are both satisfied, open, disclosed; they are both adhered.] for that is precisely His desire.

There is only present. There is no past; there is no future, nothing; only present. This is what we have to reach.

What is only present? There is nothing more to correct. All of the desires are under the intention in order to bestow, and that’s all there is: Gmar Tikkun. This is called that there is no future, only present.

And this is the meaning of "Because thou hast not served the Lord thy God with joyfulness." For you will serve Him anyhow, [There is no choice; you cannot escape the Rider who rides the entire horse, the whole creation.] but the difference is that this way is "in the siege and in the straitness," [Neither receiving affliction.] meaning, unwillingly, [Neither one nor the other: it’s called "back to back."] and the other way is by reason of the abundance of all things, meaning willingly.

It all depends on the individual, if he yearns to annul the future and experience the present now.

It is written in the Midrash: “The Creator looks upon the action of the righteous and the actions of the wicked, and it is not known which the Creator wants: the actions of the righteous or the actions of the wicked.

This is a miracle: the Creator looks at both and doesn’t choose which is better, which is worse. This is not known. Is it that we don’t know, or He does not know? But it is not known, meaning, both are given choice, both have the same strength, and both are desirable in the eyes of the Creator, because one without the other cannot lead a person to the goal.

When he says that “you will see that the Creator is good,” he then says “the actions of the righteous.” [Meaning, separates through the Light. When a person chooses between good and bad through the Light, then he becomes as good.] Meaning, in all the actions and conducts the Creator observes [This means, connects, to the good and to the bad. The Creator is everywhere; the Upper Light builds everything in complete rest and fills everything.] and everything turns and returns to its root. [Of course, it operates according to the Reshimot that operates him toward the goal.] Hence, there is a question: “Which way is more desirable in His eyes?”

What does it mean, “in His eyes?” It is the way in which one can reach the goal. The path of pain is not the goal. It is like a child who has to do homework. He is beaten, and beaten, and beaten until he wants to do the homework, and does it. Or, he immediately feels he doesn't have a choice, sits and does his homework, or maybe he does it because of a desire acquired somewhere. He saves affliction. You have to do everything anyhow, but this way he saves afflictions.

And this is why the writing says: “And God saw the Light, that it was good,” meaning, disclosure. This is the act of the righteous, and this is what our sages meant by “short and long, long and short.”

There are two ways, long and short. When you save pain, it’s called short. When you don’t look at the pain, it’s called long. This is called Thou Hast Hemmed Me in Behind and Before, where in every situation the Creator leads us. But the choice is still in our hands, to choose between the short and the long.

There is also a very beautiful article by Rabash, A Short Way and a Long Way. You might want to look at it and reread There is None Else Besides Him, which is also very pertinent, to this part of Thou Hast Hemmed Me In Behind and Before.In all of them, the uniqueness of the Creator in leading the world is spoken about.

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