After such a powerful congress, we want to measure our ascents and descents according to new values. Previously the state depended only on me, on my good or bad feeling from which I concluded that I was in ascent or descent. But now I want to connect my states to the Creator: If I yearn for Him, it means I am in an ascent, and if I do not yearn for Him no matter how well my ordinary life is arranged, I consider this to be a descent.
We then move to a new state where ascents and descents are determined according to the direction: toward the Creator or toward ourselves. This is a big advancement because I can already analyze: am I thinking of the Creator or of myself? And if I yearn for the Creator, then why—to bring contentment to Him or to myself? Here begins a calculation through an additional discernment: me or the Creator, me or the friends?
On these scales, I give increasing weight to the side opposite to me: the group or the Creator, and use it to evaluate the ascent and descent. Ascents are when I think more about the good of the ten and the Creator and descents are the other way around: when they disappear from my horizon and I do not think about them but only about myself. These are clear cause-and-effect steps that should lead me to Lishma.
The main thing is to disconnect from myself a little and to start thinking in the direction of the Creator. I want to yearn for Him and bring Him contentment. And only if I place myself in the ten, will it bring Him contentment. Therefore, the ten gains new weight for me: it is not just ten people but Shechinah (Divinity), a place for the revelation of the Creator where I can bestow to Him. Everything is already directed toward the state of bestowal, Lishma.1
The Creator is dancing a tango with us: He comes closer, then steps back, and demands a response from me. After He illuminated me, then moved away and disappeared, I must come closer to the previous state. It is like breathing: exhaling and inhaling. So, the Creator teaches me that through actions in the group I will give Him a place where He can be revealed, where I invite Him, and demand revelation. When this place is opened, the Creator fills this place and again disappears, leaving it empty. And then I have to draw Him back again.
I need to add my passion, my aspiration, to this tango. Every time the Creator disappears, I must examine myself: What am I really yearning for? And I try to improve the quality of my aspiration for Him so that not my filling, but the one I yearn for, is important to me.2
We have nothing to give to the Creator except our connection. The Creator is perfect and needs nothing, feeling no lack. All we can offer Him is a vessel, a Kli, in which He can reveal Himself and enjoy fulfilling our desire. Therefore, each of us has the opportunity to bring contentment to the Creator by preparing the first nine Sefirot, the nine friends, for the revelation of the Creator in them.
Each of us becomes Malchut in relation to the rest and prepares them to be fulfilled by the Creator. One gives one’s desire and the Creator is revealed in the first nine Sefirot, in the friends. This is our work and this is all we can present to the Creator: a spiritual vessel.3
The desire for the Creator is developed through a long path, from our egoistic desire. I receive various blows and then I feel that they are rigged by the Creator to make me understand that everything comes from Him, both bad and good, any situation in life. Inside all life’s problems and “punishments,” the hand of the Creator is revealed.
At first, I felt only punishments, but because of that I felt pain, fear, despair, and shame. But suddenly, it turns out that the punishments come from the Creator, and this is a relief. After all, there is a justification and explanation for what is happening: this is how the Creator leads me to the final correction. It already sweetens the punishments.
I felt bad when punishments came, but from their sweetening, I feel good. It is impossible to get this pleasant feeling without prior suffering. Therefore, I agree: let there be fears, anxieties, confusion, only so that I receive mercy and sweetening. That is how we learn that the connection with the Creator justifies any condition.
This is how the yearning for the Creator is built because I see that love covers all crimes and I want to feel the Creator, to understand, to love. I feel good to be longing for Him—this is still an egoistic form. I feel good from the fact that I have thoughts about the Creator, that I strive for Him, because I know that the connection with Him gives sweetness. And not only because He sweetens the judgement I receive, but even without the threat of judgement, I want to think about Him. This is the second stage.
If I do not think about the Creator for even a moment, I feel bad. And if I do not feel bad about it, then I regret why is this so? Indeed, this means separation from the Creator. Here a person can check how terrible it feels to break away from the Creator even for a moment.
My definition of good and evil changes. Evil is when I do not think about the Creator and good is when I do. I still evaluate through the fact that I feel pleased or displeased, but the very thought of the Creator is already becoming a reward. I no longer need preliminary punishment in this world in order to wait for the Creator as my savior. It turns out that I am already moving from this world toward the Creator and saying that thinking about Him is a reward and not thinking is a punishment.
The Kli that the Creator can fill is the ten. Good is when the Creator is revealed to the whole ten as one: He unites all and is revealed to all. Let Him work, He loves this job! But He will not do anything until we demand Him to work. We are the masters who order the work of the Creator: we identify places where we are not connected and we demand from the Creator to connect us and fill us. This is the raising of MAN, the prayer.4
You must work by faith above reason, ignoring your feelings, “like an ox to the burden and a donkey to the load.” Once upon a time, domestic animals, oxen and donkeys were free and lived their lives in nature, in their family, in the herd. Now their whole life is to fulfill the owner’s demand. They sold themselves for food and are ready to do all the work that the owner requires.
We also need to agree to do all the work at the Creator’s request “like an ox to the burden and a donkey to the load.” And for what reward? For none, only the bare necessities to exist. I want nothing, only to exist, and why? To fulfill the master’s desire so that He loves me as his ox or donkey.
Why do owners feed and clean their animals? Because they work. So, I want the same and nothing more. I need to lower myself to the state of pure intention.5
From the 1st part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/13/19, Hardening of the Heart – An Invitation to Build a Yearning for the Creator”
1 Minute 4:50
2 Minute 27:50
3 Minute 31:56
4 Minute 51:50
5 Minute 1:24:15