Question: From Baal HaSulam’s article from the book Shamati, “What Is the Day of the Lord and the Night of the Lord in the Work,” please clarify what are “the day of the Lord and the night of the Lord” as opposed to our days and nights?
Answer: It is said, wherefore would ye have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light. The question is: What is the day of the Lord? If one strives to achieve similarity of properties with the Creator, then the day of the Lord is a state in which one is able to bestow. It’s not about fulfilling one’s desires, but rather a state that is contrary to a fulfilled desire when one demands only one thing: to obtain the quality of bestowal, the property of faith above reason.
In other words, within constantly changing desires, one senses darkness and doesn’t want the Light to shine in them because it would mean that one is in a state called “within reason.” The Creator wants us to obtain a new nature, which will allow us to feel that only when we rise above the sensation of the darkness can we actually learn to bestow to Him.
What can we bestow? Only our aspiration! This is the point at which we start to thank the Creator for making us egoists by granting us huge individual desires that we can play with and in doing so, learn to go against them. It’s as if the Creator wants to fill our egoistic desires and we are afraid to receive from Him. This is how we rise above our desires; this process gives us a chance to get a “gift,” help, from the Creator, which in its turn enables us to realize that the power of our counteraction plays the role of actual help. It’s our tangible bestowal to the Creator.
Our plea is never genuine, since the desires that emerge in us are completely egoistic. Therefore, even if we pray to acquire the quality of bestowal, our actions still originate in the corrupt desire to receive, the desire that we bear inside of ourselves, the desire to get “for our own sake.” That’s why our demands are not authentic and are called “miskhak,” a game.
On the other hand, the Creator also plays with us, as it is said He sports (plays) with Leviathan. It means that the purpose, which is the connection of the Creator with the creatures, is only in sport (game); it is not a matter of a desire and a need. Consequently, it becomes possible to plead and demand for Him to grant us the quality of bestowal in a “non-serious” manner, thus bringing His and our seriousness into equivalence. It promotes our similarity with Him, equivalence of form.
All we have to ask is, that in the constant Light of the Creator, to flow above our internal conditions that occur because of the Reshimot. There is nothing to ask for except “drifting” above the Reshimot as if we were floating on waves, above any desires that emerge in us and all the properties that we have. We should strive to rise above them in order to be able to bestow to the Creator.
This is the only thing we can give to Him; there is nothing else that we can bestow. If we don’t receive the power of bestowal from Him, we won’t be able to generate this property on our own.
If one were to be told that formal knowledge would be his profit from engaging in Torah and Mitzvot, (instead of self-gratification) one would say, “I consider it darkness, not light,” since this knowledge brings one to darkness.