Daily Kabbalah Lesson


Which Acts of Torah and Mitzvot Purify the Heart

Dr. Laitman's summary of Rabash's article "Which Acts of Torah and Mitzvot Purify the Heart", Essay 8, 1984


Question: If Torah and Mitzvot are performed in order to be rewarded, does that purify the heart as well, as our sages said, "I created the evil inclination, I created Torah as a spice." Meaning, does it purify the heart particularly when one does not intend on being rewarded, or if it were in order to be rewarded, would it purify the heart as well?

Answer: It says (Introduction to the Book of Zohar, 44): "When he begins to delve in Torah and Mitzvot, even without any intention, meaning without any love and fear, as is fitting when serving the king, even in Lo Lishma, the point in one's heart begins to grow and disclose its action. As Mitzvot do not need intent, and even acts without intent are capable of purifying his will to desire, but only in the first degree, called "still." And to the extent that he purifies the still part of the will to receive, one builds the six hundred and thirteen organs of the point in the heart, which is the still of the "Nefesh of Kedusha." We see that engaging in Torah and Mitzvot, even Lo Lishma, purifies the heart.

Question: Is the way of engaging in Torah and Mitzvot without the intent of being rewarded, only for chosen ones, or has the possibility been given to everyone to perform it all with the intent of not being rewarded, by which they will merit adhesion to the Creator?

Answer: The desire to receive for oneself (in order to receive) emerged from the Thought of Creation. However, the souls can correct it (turn it around) by engaging in Torah and Mitzvot in order to bestow. That has been given to all, not necessarily to chosen ones. Rather it is a choice, and there are those who advance more quickly, but as it is written (Introduction to the Book of Zohar, 13, 14), all will attain the final perfection.

Everyone begins practicing Torah and Mitzvot Lo Lishma, since each individual was created with the will to receive and only understands what is to his own benefit. As it is written (Rambam, Laws of Repentance, 90), one should always engage in Torah, even Lo Lishma, for out of Lo Lishma stems Lishma. Accordingly, women, children and all of the simple people are taught to work out of fear and in order to be rewarded. When their wisdom has increased and they have become greatly knowledgeable, then the secrets are revealed to them gradually and calmly, until they have attained it and work out of love. We see that everyone must reach Lishma, the difference being in the element of time.

Question: If one sees and feels that he is on the path of reaching Lishma, should he try to influence others to get on the right track, or not?

Answer: One should tell his friend of the right way, but without preaching ethics for him to take the direct path.


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