18. What Is My Soul Shall Weep In Secret, in the Work
When concealment overpowers one and he comes to a state where the work becomes tasteless, and he cannot picture and feel any love and fear, and he cannot do anything in holiness, then his only counsel is to cry to the Creator to take pity on him and remove the screen from his eyes and heart.
The issue of crying is a very important one. It is as our sages write: “all the gates were locked except for the gates of tears.” The world asks about that: If the gates of tears are not locked, what is the need for the gates at all? He said that it is like a person who asks his friend for some necessary object. This object touches his heart, and he asks and begs of him in every manner of prayer and plea. Yet, his friend pays no heed to all that. And when one sees that there is no longer reason for prayers and pleas, he then raises his voice in weeping.
It is said about that: “All the gates were locked except for the gates of tears.” Thus, when were the gates of tears not locked? Precisely when all the gates were locked. It is then that there is room for the gates of tears and then one sees that they were not locked.
However, when the gates of prayer are open, the gates of tears and weeping are irrelevant. This is the meaning of the gates of tears being locked. Thus, when are the gates of tears not locked? Precisely when all the gates are locked, the gates of tears are open. This is because one still has the counsel of prayer and plea.
This is the meaning of “My soul shall weep in secret,” meaning when one comes to a state of concealment, then “My soul shall weep,” because one has no other option. This is the meaning of “Whatsoever thy hand attaineth to do by thy strength, that do.”