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Article "The Fear of God is His Treasure" - Lesson 2

Shamati 38
Lesson by Rav Michael Laitman, Bnei Baruch, Israel
August 27, 2006
Lecturer: Michael Laitman, PhD

We are in the book Shamati, page 65, article [38]: The Fear of God is His Treasure.

Acquiring fear is through the power of Torah and Mitzvot. [We talked about fear being the Kli, that if a person has that Kli, he discovers within that fear the light of Dvekut (Adhesion) because the fear, the concern for being similar to the Creator is called “fear.”]

Acquiring fear is through the power of Torah and Mitzvot. It means that when one engages in Torah and Mitzvot with the intention to be awarded bringing contentment to one’s Maker, that aim that rests on the acts of Mitzvot and the study of Torah brings one to attain it.

It is written that Mitzvot do not need intentions. When a person begins to study he does not have an intention to bestow, to reach the “in order to bestow,” to want to bestow, to resemble the Creator, to cling to the Creator by clinging to His qualities. For sure one doesn’t have such intentions. These actions he performs, doesn’t need any intention. Even if one just thinks, “All right, let’s have it!” he actually calculates the profit for oneself and not for bestowal, not for love. Still, these actions by their nature, the way they’re arranged, bring a person a special power from Above that places in one the right intentions to bestow.

This is called “the power of the Torah” where performing actions or Mitzvot is “without the intention,” meaning without the desirable intention. While in spirituality an intention to receive isn't considered an intention , yet still these kinds of actions can bring a person to correction. He then gets a special Light that corrects him which is called “the Light of the Torah” because the Light in it reforms him.

Otherwise one might stay, although one keeps Torah and Mitzvot in every item and detail, one will still remain merely in the degree of Sacred Still.

If he doesn’t aim to some extent so that these actions will change him. Though he does not know how they will change him, but he wants something from them. Many people do many things, learn, and make great efforts, but at the same time don’t have the demand from all that to bring them some internal change, a correction. Therefore, what they do is useless. On the other hand, those who are perhaps worse in their attributes, in their preparation and not knowing anything, will engage themselves in Torah and intend by this to bring about change, then comes the change, because every penny is accumulated to a great amount and the change comes.

It follows that one should always remember the reason that obligates one to engage in Torah and Mitzvot. [The reason is the main thing: why I do it. Actions done out of habit without intentions, without reason are empty actions that bring no benefit.] This is what our sages meant by, “that your sanctity will be for My Name.” It means that I will be your cause, meaning that your entire work is in wanting to delight Me, meaning that all your deeds will be in order to bestow. [In the end, somehow, a person remembers, speaks superficially, not from his heart, about wanting to reach bestowal.]

Our sages said (Brachot 20), “Everything there is in keeping, there is in remembering,” meaning all those who engage in keeping Torah and Mitzvot with the aim to reach “remembering,” by way of, “When I remember Him, He will not suffer me to sleep.” [It means anyone who engages in what comes his way, in all that can bring him the Light that reforms and wants it to come and keep him, and elevate him a little higher than where he is in corporeality.] It follows, that the keeping is primarily in order to be awarded remembering.

Thus, one’s desire to remember the Creator is the cause for keeping Torah and Mitzvot. [“Remembering” means that the Creator is his goal. Bestowal upon Him will be his greatest reward.] This is so because it follows that the reason and the cause to keep the Torah and Mitzvot is the Creator, as without it one cannot cleave to the Creator, since “He and I can not dwell in the same abode,” due to the disparity of form.

In other words, the revelation of the difference between the person and the Creator, ‘bestowal,’ is recognition of evil and the understanding that only through the power from Above called “the Light that Reforms” a person can come to keeping. First he should persist in it and give the right amount of quality and quantity in his efforts which also bring him the Torah, the Light that Reforms and then he comes to remembering. He remembers the Creator to such an extent that he begins to appreciate Him, wants Him until “He will not suffer him to sleep.” Then he really comes to a state where he works only for that goal to reach Dvekut with Him.

The reason that the reward and punishment are not revealed, that we must only believe in reward and punishment, is because the Creator wants everyone to work for Himand not for themselves, [It means that a person truthfully reaches the attribute of bestowal and not for oneself. That’s why the Creator is hidden. When a person yearns for Him, wants to come closer to Him, it is not because of the reward but because of bestowal. That’s why the Creator is concealed. ] discerned as disparity of form from the Creator. If the reward and punishment were revealed, one would work because of self-love, [He would necessarily work this way. He would be not able to exit it.] meaning so that the Creator would love him, or because of self-hate, meaning for fear that the Creator would hate him. It follows that the reason for the work is only the person, not the Creator, and the Creator wants that He will be the compelling reason. [It means, the attribute, the principle of bestowal will be above everything; it’ll be the ideal, the value and the only thing for which a person will work.]

How then can a person appreciate such a thing as bestowal, if he is a will to receive? A person doesn’t feel bestowal at all, it can’t come to him in any form he can understand or be of any importance.

For that, there is a remedy. Acting in a group, during the study “without the intention,” meaning with the intention that he is still not corrected, gradually, according to one’s efforts, the Light comes. It operates gradually on him in such a way that a person slowly becomes more and more sensitive to discernments that are not in his nature. The point in the heart expands and shows its actions, and a person begins to feel the attribute of bestowal, appreciates it and somehow wants it. This is already the work that the Light should do on one. A person’s task is to exert oneself and accordingly this action will happen by itself.

It turns out that fear is precisely when one recognizes one’s lowness, and says that he is serving The King. It means that one’s wish to bestow upon Him, one considers it a great privilege, and it is more valuable than he can say. It is according to the rule that with an important personality, what is given to him is considered receiving from him.

Accordingly each and everyone can measure if he’s in bestowal or if he is coming closer to it. First of all, by the fact that he is giving to the Creator, he is sensing that he is giving to the Creator and when he gives, does he feel that he receives from Him? Then it is not considered by him as reception or bestowal, but as the revelation of the Creator is considered an opportunity to reach pure bestowal.

To the extent that one feels one’s lowness, to that extent one can begin to appreciate the greatness of the Creator, [His own lowness doesn’t mean that he is low compared to others or that everyone around him, like the man in the street, thinks him as despicable or low. Lowness is measured compared to the Creator, the extent to which one can subjugate oneself, his will to receive, to the principle of bestowal.] and the desire to serve Him will awaken. [“To serve Him” means to engage in bestowal. There is no service to the Creator except in reaching actions of bestowal.] However, if one is proud, the Creator says, “he and I can not dwell in the same abode.”

Pride too is tested with respect only to that and not with respect to others. It says, “And his heart was high in the ways of G-d.” So pride is needed. Where is it not needed? Where it stops a person from acquiring the attribute of bestowal. On the other hand, wherever pride helps to build a wall against the influence of externality, there it is beneficial.

The Creator Himself teaches a person how to be proud with respect to others and does all kinds of actions with respect to a person who wants to keep Him. So either the recognition of evil, or the recognition of good, all of our discernments should only be with respect to the attribute of bestowal.

This is the meaning of, “A fool, an evil, and a rude go together.” [What does it mean they go together? It means that one needs and uses all these attributes simultaneously and does not erase any of them or prefers one to the other. But in the right connection between them, among all his preparations, he comes to the full and right implementation only of the attribute of bestowal.]

The reason is that since one has no fear, meaning one cannot lower oneself before the Creator and say that it is a great honor for him to be able to serve Him without any reward, [So it is an honor, so let this be an honor. What kind of honor is it? That one is able to serve. So the person takes pride in being respected? Respected how? In the fact that he has being invited to serve, to bestowal.] one cannot receive any wisdom from the Creator, and remains a fool.

If he uses only the will to bestow, then he wants only bestowal. But kind of bestowal can there be without him receiving the Light of Wisdom and enjoying it, for this is the only way he can really bestow?

He begins to discover there is nothing to give to the Creator with only a will to bestow. It’s like Bina. Therefore he must develop his vessels of reception, enjoy in them, and the more pleasure he feels in them is what he is giving to the Creator. That’s the action of bestowal.

Then, he who is a fool, is evil, as our sages said, “One does not sin unless folly entered him.” [The fool is one who wants to receive in order to receive Light of Wisdom. Then the spirit of folly enters him because wisdom leaves him.]

Question: How can one explain pride with respect to the work and pride with respect to Creator?

All the attributes were given within a person so that he scrutinizes the right use for each and every one of them. We have to use all of them, sometimes zero percent while other times up to a hundred percent. The same goes when one prepares a meal using pepper, salt, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and sometimes he uses another combination and so on. The components are always the same. A person mustn't scorn any of his attributes or ability. He just has to understand every time he uses them, with respect to what he does, when the measure is to get closer to Dvekut. “As He is merciful so are you merciful,” meaning according to the attribute of bestowal.

So, if in order to acquire the attribute of bestowal one has to separate oneself from the public, then he activates pride with respect to them. What does it mean? He doesn’t take them into consideration. The opinion of the public doesn’t influence him. A person needs not be influenced by their opinion. So he uses artificial acts of pride: he disrespects them, he talks about them, about the public in such a way with others. He does this only with respect to their opinions that are against the Torah, against correction. On the other hand he shouldn’t start simply disrespecting everybody. These are very subtle, defined and sharp things.

In another way, when he relates to the public he has to relate to them like to babies. He has to attend to them. It doesn’t matter how they behave toward him, perhaps they want to beat him up, and perhaps they don’t appreciate him, this is not important. He understands that they are small. One has to come to them with love and by that the Creator gives him a chance to improve himself and become similar to Him. Then his pride while activated turns him the opposite way. He is not proud with respect to them, he is proud of being given an opportunity by the Creator to do this work and to be similar to Him in his tending to the public. So that’s a different use altogether and that’s how it is with every attribute.

The measurement is simple: the maximum of the attribute of bestowal which is outside one’s own body. If one doesn’t consider oneself but considers only the message, the principle that has to govern the world and does everything for that message, accordingly it is correct to check which of his attributes, of the elements in him to use.

Question: If a person cancels his pride himself which is the whole of man, with what Kelim does he receive and can he feel the message of the few?

If a person is brainwashed by his little society and is shown either verbally, through reading, or just by setting an example of how important it is for them to reach the purpose (regardless of how truthful they are in this respect), a person will be impressed by what they are told. This islike an advertising company that depicts some soft beverage as a really good tasting drink. The ad agency actually appreciates the money they are paid for the ad, but they act as if the subject of the ad is the most important thing. They might be completely lying, but what’s important is how it affects a person.

That’s why even in a small, lowly and deprived society, if its members act well, they can be impressed by them as if they are among the greatest people, as if in the company of Rabbi Shimon. The company of Rabbi Shimon certainly didn’t do anything in externality, for they were belittling everything. Being next to a Kabbalist is difficult. That’s why it is written “buy for yourself a friend” and then “to make for yourself a Rav.” It is very difficult. It's all work above the intellect.

Therefore, if society impresses a person to appreciate the Creator and as a result begins to work toward Him, they will relate to Him as important. A person has an inclination to give to an important personality because it gives them pleasure. So if a person is still not drawn to bestowal, it is a sign that society doesn't appreciate bestowal and doesn't present it correctly to every single one. The problem is in society.

The problem could also be in the study, because this is what a person should want from the study. In the study, a person wants to get the importance of the attribute of bestowal, that bestowal is above them, but they don't understand what it is and don't want it. But a person wants to get this importance. In the back of one’s mind they agree that being above it is probably something very good.

For the time being a person will measure this in their ego, in their will to receive. From this point one can begin the process, he finds it worthwhile. It's worthwhile for a person in order to exit trouble, cling to eternity and all kinds of egoistic calculations, but as a start it is enough to move them from that place.

Thus a person starts studying, he finds himself in a society. Then he demands from the society. Through the study and the society he builds for himself the advertising to have a permanent appreciation for bestowal, for the Creator. (Actually bestowal is a better expression, because the Creator is like an image, for who knows how a person pictures the Creator, “Bestowal.”)

Then the study and the society become the means for bestowal. Then again one works on it and every time one changes his use of society in the study according to what is needed again and again in every degree to use them, “What do I want it to bring me?” It means to see in the society and in the study a higher degree, a force from Above, by which a person can improve.

Question: What happens when the point where the person sees no fuel, awakens?

Are you talking about the situation when a person falls and doesn't feel anything except himself?

Question (cont’d): No, I am talking about when a person doesn't even see, as Baal HaSulam writes in Article #4: “He Makes Himself cancelled from the Work.”

This is a good situation; it's along the way. It’s with his effort, when he wants to cling to the attribute of bestowal, he sees that he vanishes, that he is lost, that everything his family and everything and the whole world vanishes, disappears, as if he doesn't exist. It's a right sensation because it's as if he cancels the vessels of reception when he still doesn’t have the vessels of bestowal. It's a correct sensation, but it is out of his own efforts, he wants to acquire them. It's very good.

Question: If he doesn't have the vessels of reception, how come he uses society the way you mentioned previously?

These are only discernments; it's not that he really disappears and he doesn't have it. It's just his sensation that he really only has the vessels of reception, only a will to receive. If he loses it, becomes detached from it and ignores it, he then has nothing, he is hanging in mid-air and does not know who to relate to. What's left in him?

That discernment is a very nice one. Through it a person begins to want to move forward to acquire the other half, the vessels of bestowal and live in them. It means that he wants to determine his self in something else, in different values.

Question: How do we arrange this, if now I am about to receive a message from society, toward bestowal. How should I operate the vessels of reception? Should I seemingly use the pride of the message, its greatness? How do I fix it up?

Why should the vessels of reception be used?

Question (cont’d): Otherwise what will give him livelihood?

It will come from Above.

Question (cont’d): From where will it come?

Why do you care where it comes from? The Light will come and give you Kelim. It willgive you such a sensation, first to appreciate bestowal and then add to yourself vessels of reception. First, let the vessels of bestowal come. Why are you worried about reception? You feel that you are detached? Be detached. Don't be afraid. What then? It all depends on the impression of the society and the study, of how much support you are getting from the Upper Light, how much It influences you, how much confidence It gives you that you canbe detached.

“No, I can't. What's left for me? It's as if I throw myself off the cliff. I’m hung up in the air now. I'll fall in a minute and then what?” No.

Now is the point of the Arvut, that you will lack nothing, that you'll need nothing. It’s when you are detached from your ego, from your will to receive, so only giving to others is your treasure, your asset. You have no reason to be afraid. You are in it. You are incorporated in them. It's a correction. That detachment can be done only through Arvut; society must provide it. Otherwise, a person will never be detached from oneself.

Question: You say that it's a correction that comes from Above. What does it mean? What do I do with my attitude toward the society?

Correction always comes from Above although we should perform actions, efforts to invite the Light to perform the correction. What is Arvut? We don't make Arvut. We want it to happen. We are ready for it, so to speak: “We shall do and we shall hear.”

By responding to our actions, our mere consent that comes with efforts (out of our sweat), there will come a point in time where we all will want to be detached and become hung in mid-air as if we’re losing the whole world. When we’re willing for that and want it to happen, it does, only on condition that supreme confidence will come. The supreme confidence is a sensation of the Upper common Kli, in which one sees oneself and his realization in others. And then a person becomes detached.

Question: And that's the fuel for a person? This revelation of the Upper state or the Higher state?

Yes. A person doesn’t want anything else. There are phases when he’s afraid, when he doesn't want, maybe yes, maybe no, when he is apparently brought to it, but he wants to... It’s like a game in which he tests himself and the Creator teaches him this way. But crossing is only by the support from society.

To previous generations it came from Above. They didn't have a society, but each received support from those souls that were already in correction. That's how a person feels and attains them when he enters the World of Truth.

I am sure today it has to happen differently.

Question: What is the difference between “remembering the Creator” in Kabbalah and “One Thought” in other techniques?

“Wanting to remember the Creator” means that the Creator will be before him as the highest value, the attribute of bestowal, and in this appreciation, in this awareness of this attribute he'll be able to add all his efforts to it. That's called “remembering.” For that he is willing to invest a lot of efforts so that he comes to a point where this remembering will bring him a perpetual intention of why he makes everyaction in his life. Later, you'll connect all of that together and you'll see that it's just a system of relationship, just like in our world between a person and everything around him. It's something alive. There is nothing artificial here.

Question: It’s unclear what it means “to give Him contentment?” I want adhesion, the attribute of bestowal or...?

“Giving Him contentment” means that if a person is in the attribute of bestowal, he will receive contentment out of it.

Question (cont’d): I give to the attribute of bestowal?

A person works in such a way with the attribute of bestowal that if he is incorporated in it, he gets contentment out of it. Then a person will not be the same ‘I’ as he has been. We call this attribute of bestowal that is in him the “Creator,” because this attribute really created him. Otherwise, a person is just building an image, something outside of one, some provider.

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