Two questions I received on the notions of “righteous” and “wicked”:
Question: You explained in one of the morning lessons that a “holy man” is defined by the amount of efforts he made. On the other hand, you explained that a “holy man” (Tzaddik) is one who justifies (Matzdik) the Creator on the level of his spiritual attainment, and that to justify is not to talk about it, but to discover it for yourself and to value the Creator’s actions as a result. So holiness is defined by one’s equivalence of form with the Creator. But what difference does it make how many efforts you made if holiness is measured by the result, by how much one justifies the Creator?
My Answer: It’s because in order to attain the level of a “righteous man” – in order to reveal and justify the Creator’s actions, every person has to make the same amount of efforts, although the efforts are specific for every person and are “counted” relative one’s abilities and strength.
Question: In Shamati #86, “And They Built Store-Cities,” it says: It follows that the righteous receive the strength to go from strength to strength through the wicked, and the wicked have become dust under the feet of the righteous, and the righteous walk on the discernments that remain as wicked.
Hence, in retrospect, this work specifically is important. And it is not because of necessity, as they first thought, while there was evil inclination. Now they see that even without the evil inclination it is worthwhile to work in bestowal and faith.
In this excerpt, what is meant by “the righteous” and “the wicked?”
My Answer: The righteous and the wicked are the past and present states in one person.