Baal HaSulam, “One Commandment”: I say that the first and only commandment that guarantees the achievement of the aspiration to attain the altruistic intention is to resolve to not work for oneself, apart for the necessary works—to merely provide for one’s sustenance. In the rest of the time, one will work for the public: save the oppressed, and every creature in the world that is in need of salvation and benefit.
In these stern but precise words, Baal HaSulam explains to us how the world should exist. We have entered this path already: The world is interconnected in all its parts and is experiencing a global crisis.
Almost a hundred years ago, Baal HaSulam wrote that humanity became one family in which all people depended on each other. We did not notice it then, but today, we clearly see it and, after many crises and with a great delay, become aware of the situation. Tremendous efforts will be demanded from us to correct the flaws and especially that terrible form of human relationships, natural for us today.
Until now, reading these words of Baal HaSulam, we perceived them as something fantastic and unreal. Why didn’t he disclose a half, a quarter so that it would not appear so nightmarish and unacceptable to us, so that it could be digested by adding a variety of spices? However, a very severe picture, opposite to our nature, is unfolding before us, and it sets its strict condition: “Whether you like it or not, here will be your place of burial or your eternal life. One or the other. The choice is yours.”
In our world, we have to implement the principle of “love your friend as yourself.” Everything that is entrusted to us is focused only on this action: to acquire practical, complete, perfect bestowal, flowing from each person to the entire world. And for himself, a person should get as much as he needs for his existence. According to his degree, he chooses the necessities and gives the rest to others.
In our time, we asked Rabash, how we could test ourselves in this calculation. He gave wonderful advice: If you were glad to get rid of the necessities, it means that is it. If you desire nothing for yourself, no water, food, or shelter; if you want only to perform bestowal, as an angel, as the force apart from the body, and you are happy about that, then you have come to the correct decision, and you can receive the necessities from the world.
In this case, you will not overdo it and will get only the vital things because you are not glad to receive them. On the contrary, you would get rid of them, but you cannot because you need them to perform bestowal. You do need food, water, clothes, a home, and things like that.
This is a very difficult condition, and of course, people immediately want to “push it aside.” We do not see life in this existence: It is better to die. How can I perform bestowal to everyone and take only the necessities? Where is life then? How can we satisfy our ego? After all, it did not disappear.
In reality, you are not required to live like an animal, grazing in the pasture and demanding nothing else. On the contrary, you must become a human, meaning to release your entire huge ego for the benefit of others, to put it in the service of others.
What will I get in return? How can I act to bestow? My egoistic desire is like a machine that can run only on fuel. I can make the whole world happy, but what is there for me? For a good reward, I will give people everything I have. But what is the payment?
We have to understand that Kabbalah is a science, physics of the spiritual world and does not deal with fantasies. Fuel has been prepared for us, and the reward is such that it is worth working for bestowal and fulfilling the entire world.
Our reward is the revelation of the Giver. There is nothing greater in the world, and this is what we will get. This means that we must work for the sake of the attainment of Him.
This is the highest reward of all: to be in the adhesion and perfection with Him, at His degree. As if He frees a place for me next to Him, and I look at others from the height of my degree: “Unhappy, how miserable and low they are. Of course, I help them, what can I do?”
This attitude is called Lo Lishma, and it is natural at the beginning. The key is to start and not to be lazy. But as a result, we become imbued with complete bestowal because this is the only law that we need to perform.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/29/2011, “One Commandment”