21. When One Feels Oneself in a State of Ascent
When one feels oneself in a state of ascent, that he is high-spirited, when he feels that he has no desire but only for spirituality, it is then good to delve in the secrets of the Torah, to attain its internality. Even if one sees that although one exerts oneself to understand anything, and still does not know anything, it is still worthwhile to delve in the secrets of the Torah, even a hundred times in a single thing.
One should not despair, meaning say that it is useless since he does not understand anything. This is so for two reasons:
A) When one studies some issue and yearns to understand it, that yearning is called “a prayer.” This is because a prayer is a lack, meaning that one is craving what he lacks, that the Creator will satisfy his desire.
The extent of the prayer is measured by the desire, since the thing that one needs most, the desire for it is greater. For according to the measure of the need, so is the measure of the yearning.
There is a rule that in the thing that one makes the most effort, the exertion increases the desire, and one wants to receive fulfillment for one’s deficiency. Also, a desire is called “a prayer,” “the work in the heart,” since “the Merciful One wants the hearts.”
It turns out that then one can give a true prayer because when one studies the words of the Torah, the heart must be freed from other desires and give the mind the strength to be able to think and scrutinize. If there is no desire in the heart, the mind cannot scrutinize, as our sages said, “One always learns where one’s heart desires.”
In order for one’s prayer to be accepted, it must be a whole prayer. Hence, when scrutinizing in a whole measure, one educes from it a whole prayer, and then one’s prayer can be accepted, because the Creator hears a prayer. But there is a condition: the prayer must be a whole prayer, and not have other things mixed in the middle of the prayer.
B) The second reason is that at that time, since one is separated from corporeality to some extent, and is closer to the attribute of bestowal, the time is better suited to connect with the interior of the Torah, which appears to those who have equivalence with the Creator. This is because the Torah, the Creator, and Israel are one. However, when one is in a state of self-reception he belongs to the externality, and not to the internality.