Rabash, Shlavei HaSulam (The Rungs of the Ladder), Volume I, Article 12, “What is Torah and the Work in the Way of the Creator”: It turns out that a person has to make great efforts before he begins to study, so that his study will bear fruit and good results, this means that the study should bring him the Light of the Torah, that can reform him.
First we must develop the right desire, in fact, it is indispensible. A person reaches the wisdom of Kabbalah only with a “point in the heart,” which has no direction yet. He doesn’t know where he has arrived or where he is, like a drop of semen in the womb. In this case, it is the group that plays the role of the womb, and it has to “format” a person, to give him a form, and to exert influence. We shouldn’t wait for him to act correctly. We should be careful if he “shows off,” since the show should be the group’s show.
There are those who come full of energy and begin to work, for them it is really a positive approach, but it is definitely not in the right direction. And were can he find it? From his egoistic actions? A person hasn’t even had the chance to discover the evil inclination yet and is still on a lower degree.
So the group should gently control a new student in order to give him the right form, the right direction And when a person feels that “reins and a bridle” are placed on him, he is obliged to accept it since he has no other choice. The group must control everyone.
The friends must look for the evil inclination and the lack of connection. We yearn for connection; we clarify to what extent our qualitative and quantitative parameters are correct; whether it suits our requirements and satisfies us, until we discover the Creator’s form in the connection.
We go through the levels of Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya and Yechida on each of the 125 degrees. In search for connection, we discover a deficiency and draw the Light that Reforms during the study. Thus the study becomes purposeful and I constantly check myself not according to how much I understand or not, or how interesting it is or not. This has nothing to do with what we do, the study is a time of healing, a time of clarification, a time of drawing the Light of correction. All this is in accordance with our deficiency, which we discover during the preparation for the lesson, we discover it during the friends’ meetings and in our collective actions and then we come to the lesson with the demand for the Light that Reforms.
In this demand we are different from the rest of the world. People feel that they are righteous; they don’t demand the Light that Reforms; they are satisfied with what they do, like all those who don’t even think about it. We need to constantly assess ourselves according to the deficiency for the Light and the Light itself.
When I first came to Rabash, I asked him after a couple of months: “What is the main thing about working with the book? Where is the essence of our world during the morning lesson described?” Then he showed me item 17 in the “Introduction to TES,” where it says: “And so a person who studies is committed before he studies to strengthen his faith in the Creator and His Providence in reward and punishment” since this is important. Our only work is to prepare the desire for change through the exertion in the group. On the whole we discover that we cannot do that and it is only there that we should perform the correction. With this recognition, we reach the study again.
Thus while we study we discover a deficiency and on the other hand we are corrected and healed.
So accordingly “a person should make great efforts before he begins to study.” And if in the meantime we don’t attain the right results, then we should check whether we come to study with the right intention. Otherwise we study in order to acquire knowledge from a certain book instead of drawing the Light as is required from the Torah.
So there is “wisdom” and there is “Torah.” And a person who simply wants to know what is written in the book deals with wisdom, and a person who looks for correction and who wants to change himself deals with the Torah, with the true method. This is the whole difference…
From the Preparation to the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/4/12