You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) / Shamati Articles / 161. The Matter of the Giving of the Torah

161. The Matter of the Giving of the Torah

I heard during a Shavuot meal

Concerning the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai: it does not mean that the Torah was given then, and that now it is not. Rather, the giving of the Torah is an eternal thing—the Creator always gives. However, we are unfit to receive. But then, on Mount Sinai, we were the receivers of the Torah. And the only merit that we had then was that we were as “one man in one heart.” This means that we all had but one thought—the reception of the Torah.

However, from the Creator’s perspective, He always gives, as it is written in the name of the Ribash, “Man must hear the ten commandments on Mount Sinai every day.”

The Torah is called “the potion of life” and “the potion of death.” We should ask, “How can two opposites be in one subject?” Everything we see with our eyes is nothing more than sensations, but reality itself does not interest us. Hence, when one studies Torah and the Torah removes him from the love of God, this Torah is certainly called “the potion of death.” And if the Torah brings him closer to the Creator, it is certainly called “the potion of life.”

But the Torah itself, meaning reality in itself, is not taken into account. Rather, the sensations determine the reality here below. And the Torah itself, without the receivers, it seems we should interpret the Torah in and of itself as Light without a Kli, where we have no attainment. This is considered “essence without matter.” And we have no attainment in the essence, even in a corporeal essence; all the more so with a spiritual one.

And when one works for oneself, it is considered Lo Lishma (not for Her Name), and from Lo Lishma we come to Lishma (for Her Name). Hence, if one has not been awarded the reception of the Torah, he hopes that he will receive it next year. And when he receives the complete Lishma, he has nothing more to do in this world.

This is why each year there is a time of reception of the Torah, since the time is ripe for an awakening from below, since then it is the awakening of the time when the Light of the giving of the Torah is revealed in the lower ones.

This is why there is always an awakening from Above, so the lower ones can act as they did then, at that time. Thus, if one continues on the path that the Lo Lishma will bring him Lishma, he is progressing correctly and hopes that he will eventually be rewarded with the reception of the Torah Lishma. But if the goal is not always before his eyes, he is moving in an opposite line from the Torah, called “the tree of life,” which is why it is considered “the potion of death,” as he is constantly drifting away from the line of life.

“I labored and did not find, do not believe.” We must understand the meaning of “I found.” What is there to find? Find concerns finding grace in the eyes of the Creator.

“I did not labor and found, do not believe.” We must understand; after all, he is not lying; this is not about the person himself, as an individual. Rather, it is the same rule with the whole. And if one sees that he is favored by the Creator, why “not believe”? The thing is that sometimes a person is favored by the Creator as it is in prayer. It is because this is the power of the prayer—it can act like labor. (We also see in corporeality that there are some who provide by exertion, and some who provide for themselves through prayer. And by asking for provision, one is allowed to provide for himself.)

But in spirituality, although he is rewarded with being favored, he must still pay the full price later—the measure of the labor that everyone gives. If not, he will lose the Kli. This is why he said, “I did not labor and found, do not believe,” since he will lose everything. Thus, one should subsequently repay one’s full labor.

Back to top