A question I received: How should a person who is beginning to study Kabbalah behave when he encounters a person whose desire to receive wants to harm their neighbor, taking the following into consideration:
1. There is none else but Him
2. The desire to bestow is good
3. Teach by example
4. If I don’t do it for myself, then who will?
My Answer: He needs to understand that the person standing before him probably isn’t a Kabbalist or a beginning student like himself, and that it’s likely that he’s misunderstood this person. These four conditions can be misunderstood to such an extent that they will allow absolutely anything to take place:
1. There is none else besides Him: anything is allowed since everything comes from the Creator;
2. Bestowing is good: I can pressure others to bestow and accuse them of stinginess when they don’t bestow;
3. I demand examples of good behavior from everyone: continue nurturing and educating me, while in the meantime, I haven’t been fully taught, so I can do anything I wish;
4. If I don’t do it for myself, then who will?: this is why I only care for myself. I know that I also need to care for others, but I don’t have enough time, etc. Instead, it should be read in the following manner: “If I don’t force myself to become corrected, then no one, even the Creator, will be able to do it,” because this is where one has free will.