Question: Why does the Creator afflict pain unto the righteous, and how can I justify Him?
Answer: It is so the righteous can justify Him. You “harness the cart before the horses.” However, the truth is that the Creator afflicts pain unto the righteous so that they will have a chance to bless and justify Him. How can they justify Him without the pain, on what grounds?
An independent person must be opposite to the Creator internally and similar to Him externally. This means that you must be made of two opposite forces, two opposite forms, two opposite attributes.
It is written, “I have created the evil inclination, I have created the Torah as a spice.” This refers to the Light in it, since the Light in it reforms it. The evil inclination, the matter of the desire to receive, remains the way it is, and we must dress the intention of in order to bestow above it. Thus, we reform it with the help of the Light and change it to the good and right form.
When we work that way, we first curse the Creator on every level and disagree with Him. This is the reason that the level of Ibur (Conception) is called “rage and wrath.” Then we reach the blessing and the justification of the Creator, until we reach self-sacrifice.
My self-sacrifice, however, is not a result of pleasure the way it is in our world when I am ready to totally sacrifice myself if it is worth it. In that case, I don’t connect to the Creator but to the pleasure that stems from Him, and, if it stops, my ego will not allow me to connect to Him anymore. We totally depend on the pleasure in this world, whereas, in spirituality, we add another dimension, another level, and reach adhesion with the Creator and not with the pleasure and the benefits that stem from Him.
Now, I begin to value my status as the one who bestows and gives. The Creator doesn’t give to me. I don’t need His bestowal. I don’t want to receive it. I don’t want to adhere to Him because of this goodness. I don’t want to be addicted to it. I want to respect the attribute of bestowal, which has no form or image. I yearn for it.
As a result, I must be made of two forms, of an internal form that is the desire to receive and the external form that is the intention of in order to bestow. Otherwise, I cannot be adhered to Him since “For our heart will rejoice in Him” and not in the Lights that stem from Him, which only confuse and bribe me, and which I must resist.
The Lights are measured from above and awaken me—which means my ego—so that I will be turned on and become addicted to the pleasure that drives me crazy and dominates my mind and my heart. Eventually, I am left with only one point that doesn’t attract me to pleasures that come from the Light, and, at that point, I can keep myself constantly outside of the pleasure, refuse the tempting offers. Not that! Not to be addicted to the pleasure!
The temptations make our head spin, and the body is confused by the excitement. Here, we need to prepare the mutual guarantee between us since, without it, I cannot be independent. The pleasure comes in order to cover the shame and to make me independent. Baal HaSulam speaks about it in the Talmud Eser Sefirot, “Histaklut Pnimit,” part 1 item 7:
… They said that there is a great flaw in free gifts, namely the shame that encounters every receiver of a free gift. To mend this, the Creator has prepared this world, where there is work and labor, so as to be rewarded in the next world for their labor and work.
But that excuse is very strange. It is like a person who says to his friend, “Work with me for just a minute, and in return I will give you every pleasure and treasure in the world for the rest of your life. There is indeed no greater free gift than that, because the reward is incomparable with the work. The work is in this transient, worthless world compared to the reward and the pleasure in the eternal world.
What value is there to the passing world compared to the eternal world? It is even more so with regards to the quality of the labor, which is worthless compared to the quality of the reward.
Our sages said: “The Creator is destined to inherit each and every righteous person 310 worlds, etc.” We cannot say that some of the reward is given in return for their work, and the rest is a free gift, for then what good would that do? The blemish of shame would still remain! Indeed, their words are not to be taken literally, for there is a profound meaning in their words.
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 2/16/14, The Book of Zohar