Question: In his article “The Matter of the Slanders,” Rabash writes that the state of Lo Lishma (not for Her Sake) leads to death. However, we also know that Lo Lishma is a necessary and very important degree from which we transition to altruistic intention. What is going on here?
Answer: In the state of Lo Lishma, my intentions are still aimed at personal gain, material or spiritual. This, as such, is death indeed. I am not moving toward death; I am in it, in the will to receive for myself. Below this state, I reside at the animate level and don’t exist in the spiritual sense. On the other hand, Lo Lishma is a new state which is my relation to spirituality: I want to take advantage of it.
We are talking about the stages of development: this world, preparation (Lo Lishma), altruistic intention (Lishma) in the category of Hafetz Hesed (not wanting anything for oneself), and finally, the level of love.
The intention of Lishma during the stage of preparation is already good. We acquire it starting from zero and end at 100% where we have fully prepared ourselves. At this point, I have to understand that to the extent that I make myself depend upon the group determines how well I progress toward Lishma.
A person by himself will receive nothing that might lead him directly to the correct request, not from the books, nor from Above. After all, Lishma is a request for unity. And only in unity, from the equivalence of properties, a person asks for the contact with the Light, the bestowal, the Giver.
Herein lies an opportunity for precise and specific examination: If we view things through the prism of the group, unity, and Arvut (mutual guarantee), we find in them the Torah, the Light that Reforms. That is the exact place where everyone receives the gift of the Torah, and then a person penetrates deeper and deeper, becoming closer in his properties to the Creator.
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/20/10, “The Matter of Slanders”