Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 59: Hence, when one is granted repentance from fear… now he evidently sees that there is Providence of reward and punishment. It is clear to him that all the suffering he had ever felt was a punishment from His Providence for the sins he had committed.
Why is Providence being revealed to us? It is because it cannot spoil us. Each time we get an adequate measure of concealment that prevents us from blaming the Creator and His Providence within our desires that were initially destroyed and by doing so, we descend even more.
The step that is good for us is being concealed from us for our own protection. Just like parents who “diminish” their love to their children and start demanding more from them. They demonstrate “cruelty, insolence and stubbornness” to the extent that the wellbeing of the child requires. They regret that they have to “limit” their love, but there is no other way. This is called “suffering of Shechina” which has to be concealed from the lower ones.
However, when a person reveals His Providence, which is based on reward and punishment, he rids himself of any limitations. Now, he can misbehave like a child who suddenly realizes that his parents love him unconditionally and endlessly and that’s why he drops all barriers.
Kabbalists wrote a lot about this situation. As it is said, “The one who spares the rod hates his offspring.” It is essential to use rigidness and perseverance while constantly balancing between judgment and mercy.
The Creator has to conceal Himself from those who have receiving desires. He can open Himself only to bestowing desires, although, it is true only in regards to His Providence rather than to the Lights. By all means, it is also the Light, but it deals with intelligence rather than with feelings.
This stage is the starting point of human development. It should be clear to us that we advance only while acquiring the correct screens and powers. Thanks to them, if the Creator manifests Himself as absolute goodness and is ready to fulfill all of our desires, we won’t lose our independence. At the time of concealment we protect ourselves, and even more so.
When we were in concealment, we had nothing to “steal”; now, we have something to steal and should hold back from doing so. While in concealment, we don’t regard the Creator as good and benevolent. Our duty is to prevent ourselves from being spoiled by this sensation. It’s prohibited to undermine one’s fear because of the Creator’s abundance and our attitude towards the Creator. On the contrary, our fear has to continue growing: “Will we be able to give to the Creator at such a high level? Are we capable of rising above everything that is being revealed to us?”
Revelation of the Creator weakens us greatly since it compliments desire. It’s as if the Creator tells us: “Do whatever you want. There are no restrictions. You are welcome to have half of the kingdom or the whole kingdom.” This is where the problem lies: Are we capable of avoiding such confusion?
The most important thing is not pleasure, but rather illusion and complete disarray. All of a sudden we soared into the skies: “Everything is fine; we can do whatever we want; it’s easy! Previously, we didn’t realize that everything came directly from the Creator and was permeated with love. Moreover, we are in complete agreement with Him and He indulges us in our caprices…” That’s where we can get into trouble.
That’s why we have to constantly work on our desires until we reach the level of bestowal. When the Creator reveals Himself to us, we still carry on our path. However, this completely wide-open revelation” is only a trick, an invitation to the wrong side to us to continue expanding the screen and using ingenuity against the evil inclination, against Pharaoh.
It’s as if the Creator and Pharaoh approached us together as in the “Scroll of Esther,” where it is even harder to tell who the Creator is and who the Ahasuerus (the king) is. The king supports Haman, while Mordechai sits at the gates in the street, and we don’t know for sure which of them is right.
At times like this, we cannot endure without the right environment that evokes us to life.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/26/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”