Talmud Eser Sefirot, Part 1, “Histaklut Pnimit,” 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.
Usually the religious stop with this saying and do not advance further. They claim that in this world one needs to work in order to receive the reward in the next world, meaning, after death. As if we work today and tomorrow receive the reward.
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 have 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.
Shame is a creation by itself. It is a feeling in the souls of the difference between them and the Creator, a feeling of disconnection from Him that was created by the Creator Himself. Therefore, as much as man rises higher in the level of the degrees, the feeling of shame grows in him and becomes more refined and clarified. Therefore, it is said that shame is intended only for higher souls.
If I feel disconnected from the Creator, then the feeling of the “I” is awakened, the feeling of a separated existence. I understand that I must annul this separation, close it, do something with it. And therefore I work. This feeling of the gap between me and the Creator, between the guest and the host, the feeling shame, forced me to work. To the degree I feel this shame, I am willing to work until I remove the separation between us and I reach an equivalence of form with the Creator, meaning adhesion.
It is clear that it does not talk about the 70 years of man’s life in this world and in the next world after this life. When I work for myself, it is called Olam Haze (this world) and I must work in it and correct myself. When sometimes I succeed in correcting myself compared to each amount of shame, the difference that I reveal between me and the Creator, by that I perform my work in this world, and as a result I reach equivalence of form and adhesion, which is called reward in the next world.
Therefore, in my life in this world I must feel this world and also the next world. The difference between them is that state in which a person feels shame and works in order to remove it, to correct his lack of equivalence with the landlord, called this world. This is the world and these are the efforts in this world. And the attainment of equivalence and adhesion is called the next world. According to this principle, the two worlds are separated.