24. Out of the Hand of the Wicked
It is written, “O ye that love the Lord, hate evil; He preserveth the souls of His saints; He delivered them out of the hand of the wicked.” He asks, what is the connection between “hate evil” and “He delivered them out of the hand of the wicked?”
In order to understand that, we must first bring the words of our sages, “The world was not created, but either for complete righteous, or for complete evil.” He asks, is it worthwhile creating the world for complete evil, but not worthwhile for incomplete righteous?
He replies: from the perspective of the Creator, nothing has two meanings in the world. It is only from the perspective of the receivers, meaning according to the sensation of the receivers. This means that either the receivers feel a good taste in the world, or they feel a terribly bitter taste in the world.
This is because with every act that they do, they calculate it in advance when they do it, since no act is done purposelessly. Either they want to better their present state or to harm someone. But small things are not worthy of a purposeful operator.
Hence, those who accept the modes of conduct of the Creator in the world, determine it as good or bad depending on how they feel: whether it is good or bad. Because of that “you that love the Lord,” who understand that the purpose of creation was to do good to His creatures, in order for them to come to feel it, they understand that it is received precisely by Dvekut (Adhesion) and nearing the Creator.
Thus, if they feel any remoteness from the Creator, they call it “bad.” In that state, one considers oneself evil, since an intermediary state is unreal. In other words, either one feels the existence of the Creator and His Providence, or one imagines that “The earth is given into the hand of the wicked.”
Since one feels about oneself that he is a man of truth, meaning that he cannot deceive himself and say that he feels when he does not feel, hence, he immediately begins to cry to the Creator to have mercy on him and deliver him from the net of the Sitra Achra and all the alien thoughts. Because one is crying earnestly, the Creator hears his prayer. (And perhaps this is the meaning of “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him in truth.”) At that time “He delivered them out of the hand of the wicked.”
As long as one does not feel one’s true self, meaning the measure of one’s evil to a sufficient amount to awaken one to cry to the Creator out of the affliction that one feels with one’s recognition of evil, one is still unworthy of redemption. This is because one has not yet found the Kli (Vessel) to the hearing of the prayer, called “from the bottom of the heart.”
This is so because one still thinks that there is some good in him, meaning he does not descend to the bottom of the heart. In the bottom of the heart one thinks that he still has some good, and he does not notice with what love and fear he relates to the Torah and the Mitzvot, and this is why he does not see the truth.