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24. Faith

It is told in the Bible that Abraham declared that Sarah was his sister, and not his wife, because he feared that he would be killed so that she could become available to others. Since Kabbalah equates the entire world to one person, because the soul was divided into 600,000 parts only in order to simplify the attainment of the ultimate goal, Abraham is regarded as the personification of the faith within us.

A wife is permitted only to the husband, as opposed to the sister forbidden only to the brother, but not to others. Abraham saw that he himself (faith) was the only one (the only quality of human beings) capable of making Sarah the basis of life.

He also realized that other men (other qualities of a person) could harm him (faith) because they were enthralled by Sarah’s beauty and wished to possess her eternally for their own ego’s sake. For this reason, Abraham declared Sarah (the goal of creation) as his sister, thus not making her forbidden to other men (the qualities of a person). Consequently, until one’s correction is complete, one can employ the Kabbalah to one’s own advantage.

The difference between all the spiritual realms and our world is that everything belonging to the spiritual realms is a part of the Creator, and has assumed the shape of a spiritual ladder to make the spiritual ascent of human beings easier.

Our egoistical world, on the other hand, was never part of the Creator, but was generated from nonexistence and will disappear after the ascent of the last soul from our world into the spiritual realm. For this reason, all types of human activity passed on from generation to generation, as well as all that is produced from the materials of this world, are doomed to vanish.

Question: The first creation received the whole Light and rejected it, so as not to feel ashamed; how can such a state be considered close to the Creator, since an unpleasant sensation is supposed to mean a distancing from the Creator?

Answer: In such a spiritual state, the past, present, and future merge into one entirety. The creation did not experience the feeling of shame because it decided to reach such a state of unity with the Creator by its own desires, and so it experienced the decision and its consequences at the same time.

Confidence and the feeling of lack of danger both result from the effect of the surrounding Light (Ohr Makif), and the sensing of the Creator in the present. But since an individual has not yet generated appropriate corrected qualities, the Creator is not sensed as the inner Light (Ohr Pnimi), but as the surrounding Light.

Confidence and faith are similar concepts. Faith is “the psychological readiness to suffer for a goal.”

There are no obstacles to one’s desire other than the lack of patience to exert the needed effort and weariness. Thus, a strong person is the one who possesses the confidence, the patience and the strength to suffer. A weak person is the one who feels a lack of tolerance to suffering and gives up at the very onset of pressure exerted by suffering.

To be able to perceive the Creator, one requires intellect and strength. It is known that to attain something highly valuable one needs to put in great effort and to undergo tremendous suffering. The amount of effort we invest determines in our eyes the worth of the object that we seek to attain.

The degree of our patience signifies our life strength. Until the age of forty, we are at the peak of our strength, whereas after that, the life force wanes along with our capacity to believe in ourselves, until our self-confidence and faith disappear completely at the moment of our exit from this life.

Since Kabbalah is the highest wisdom and an eternal acquisition, in contrast to all the other acquisitions of this world, it naturally demands the greatest efforts because it "buys" us the world, rather than something temporary and transitory. Having grasped the Kabbalah, we can grasp the source of all sciences in their true, completely revealed state. This in itself shows what kind of effort is needed, since we know how much effort is required to grasp a single science, even in the paltry framework within which we understand it.

We receive the truly supernatural strengths needed to grasp the Kabbalah from Above, and are thus able to bear the suffering on the path to grasping the Kabbalah. At this time, we receive the self-confidence and life strength necessary to comprehend the Kabbalah by ourselves.

But we cannot overcome all the obstacles without the clear help of the Creator (obscured help of the Creator is evident in the fact that the Creator upholds life in every creation). Faith is the strength that determines how ready we are to take action.

At the beginning of our paths, we lack the capacity to perceive the Creator, since we have no altruistic qualities. Nonetheless, we begin to feel the existence of a supreme, omnipotent force governing the world, and we turn to this force in moments of utter despair. We do this instinctively

We are given this special quality by the Creator so that, even in the face of anti-religious upbringing and outlook, we could begin to discover Him even from the state of absolute concealment.

While we observe generations of scientists uncovering the mysteries of nature, if we undertook a similar effort to discover the Creator, He would reveal Himself to us to the same degree as do the mysteries of nature. In fact, all paths of mankind’s search lead us through the revelation of the mysteries of nature.

But where are the scientists examining the goal of creation? On the contrary, scientists are usually the ones who deny the existence of the Highest Domain.

The reason for their denial rests with the fact that the Creator has bestowed on them only the ability to reason and to engage only in material research and innovation.

But precisely for this reason, in spite of all sciences, the Creator instills in us an instinctive faith. Nature and the universe appear to us to deny the existence of the Higher Domain; thus, scientists do not possess the natural power of faith.

In addition, society expects material results from the labors of scientists, who instinctively obey this expectation. Since the most precious things in this world exist in the smallest quantities and are found only through great effort, and the revelation of the Creator is the most difficult of all discoveries, a scientist naturally tries to avoid failure and does not embark on the task of revealing the Creator.

Thus, the only way to bring ourselves closer to perceiving the Creator is to cultivate within the feeling of faith, regardless of the opinion of the multitude. The power of faith is not greater than all the other powers inherent to human nature – all of them result from the Light of the Creator. The particular quality that sets the power of faith apart from all the others is that the power of faith has the potential to bring us into contact with the Creator.

The process of perceiving the Creator is comparable to the process of attaining knowledge. At first, we learn and comprehend.

Then, having achieved that, we begin to use what we have learned.

As always, it is difficult at first, but the fruits are reaped only by those who achieve the final goal: entrance into the spiritual world. At that point, we gain the boundless pleasure of perceiving the Creator, and consequently acquiring an absolute knowledge of all the worlds and those that inhabit them, and the circulation of souls in all time-states from the beginning of creation to its end.

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