An Essential Bond – Hemshech Samech Vav 8 (4)

It is likewise this way with the drawing forth of the desire into the thing that he delights in, that the desire is commensurate to the pleasure, be it in action, speech, thought, emotions, intellect and so forth, until the aspect of the pleasure in highness, that the desire for this will be much deeper than all the other desires.

(It is possible, however, that he may derive more pleasure from the aspect of the pleasure in action, like the action of the building or beautiful objects or garments, even more than he delights in the pleasure of wisdom or even highness or other treasures.  This is because there is a stronger power in the pleasure of action than the loftier more spiritual pleasures.)

 

Now, we also observe that the very opposite is true.  Namely, that the desire is the internal aspect and the pleasure is the external aspect which garbs the desire, and that the pleasure is dependent upon the desire specifically.  For, do we not observe that anything that a person does not desire or want, he will not derive pleasure from.  Even if the thing itself is pleasurable, nevertheless, when he does not desire it he will not derive pleasure from it, and he will not desire to derive pleasure from it whatsoever.  For whatever is against his desire not only does not cause him pleasure, but may even be considered painful to him.  In contrast, to the extent that he draws forth and turns his desire to any given thing, to that extent he will derive pleasure and delight in it, even if it is not something essentially pleasurable.  For instance, with regards to pleasurable food, or beautiful objects and constructions, if he has no desire for them at all then he will not take pleasure in them whatsoever.  Similarly, with the pleasures in acquiring wealth or treasure, or even the acquisition of power and highness, if he has no desire in them he will not take pleasure in them whatsoever.

The converse is true as well, that in the things that he does indeed desire, he will take pleasure in.  For instance, with the love of a friend, because he has a desire towards him, he will take pleasure in his company and closeness.  It is not possible to say that this is because that [person] is essentially pleasurable, since someone else who does not love that person does not take pleasure in him.  Rather, it is only because he loves and desires that person that he therefore takes pleasure in him.  The opposite is the case with one whom he hates, he will not desire and therefore not take pleasure in him at all, nor will he desire in his goodness whatsoever, or even in any of his good and pleasurable qualities.  On the contrary, he will detest all of the pleasures [or good] of him who he hates.

Likewise, we observe that when a person is in a troublesome time, G-d forbid, he becomes constricted in his desires, and he will not desire to take pleasure in anything, even to take pleasure in his only son.  He will not desire this at all, and will not take pleasure in it.  In contrast, in a joyous time, he will be expansive in his desires and will derive pleasure even from one whom he normally despises and in whom he would never otherwise take pleasure.  For instance, we see that at a joyous occasion one will derive pleasure from shallow things that he would never otherwise take pleasure in, and it is only because he is essentially sated that therefore everything is good and he takes pleasure in everything.

We therefore observe that the arousal of pleasure is dependent upon the desire specifically.  If this is the case, then it is the desire which is internal to the pleasure and which sustains it, and it is the pleasure which is the external and which is apparent to the eye of the beholder.  Moreover, the pleasure will be commensurate to the desire, and if it is deep or internal or external, then the pleasure will be the same.  Likewise, regarding the matter of the gradations of the pleasure one higher than the other, this too is dependent upon the gradations of the desire in the aforementioned manner of gradations of action, speech and thought.

According to this, it is therefore necessary to say that there can be no pleasure without a prior desire to derive pleasure in it.  (For instance, the pleasure in the intellect only occurs when he has a desire for this pleasure in the intellect, or desires this intellectual matter generally or specifically.  This is as it states, “A person will always be drawn to study that which his heart desires,” and that is when he will derive pleasure in it specifically.)

There can also be a desire without any pleasure at all, for, there is no cause for the desire, and not solely an intellectual reason or cause, but even the reason of pleasure for the desire.  This is like what we observe in the service of G-d, for instance.  For it was previously explained that the great love is aroused due to the transcendence and wondrousness [of G-d] etc.  However, there is also an aspect of desire wherein he is drawn to G-dliness in the essence of his soul, not because of any sense of wondrousness or transcendence or the like, but simply because of his essence, with no cause or reason at all.

This is clearly observable during the times of Rosh HaShanah and the ten days of repentance, where all hearts are in a state of arousal to G-dliness, and it is for this reason that those times are suitable for repentance and bitterness of the soul over his distance from Hashem.  This is because it is during that time when he is in a state of arousal towards G-dliness, and therefore feels his distance and is embittered over the distance.  In other words, it is not due to his closeness to G-dliness, but rather during the time of Rosh HaShanah and the ten days of repentance, because he is in a state of arousal and drawn towards G-dliness, he therefore feels the distance and is greatly embittered by it.

Now, this general arousal and drawing towards G-dliness that occurs during the time of Rosh HaShanah and the ten days of repentance is not due to the fact that he feels the greatness or transcendence of G-dliness.  (The proof for this is from the fact that this arousal occurs with everyone during that time, even simple people who have no connection to the matter of sensing the greatness [of G-dliness].)  Rather, this is solely due to the fact that during that time there is an aspect of closeness between the luminary and the spark.  This causes all souls to automatically be drawn towards G-dliness, without any reason or feeling and without any cause at all.

Now, just as it is this way with each and every individual during those times due to the closeness of the luminary, we may similarly understand with regards to loftier souls, such as those who “serve G-d with their souls” in a manner of uplifting their souls to G-d as in the verse, “Unto you, Hashem, I lift my soul.”  That is, this is not due to the feeling of transcendence and wondrousness of the Infinite Light, but rather due to the essential desire of his soul in that it desires the Infinite Light in the inner essence of his soul.  Therefore, when the essence of his soul senses the Infinite Light, blessed is He, he is therefore drawn to Him with all of his being, but not because of a reason that he senses the pleasure in this at all.  For, there is desire without pleasure, like the son who is drawn to his father which is due to his essence which desires his father (because they are one essence).  For, as we previously explained, this is not due to the pleasure in that he delights in him, for we can clearly observe that even when he does not have pleasure in him, such as if the father is a simpleton and not of the same stature of the son, he nevertheless desires him essentially and is drawn to him.  So we see that this is not due to the pleasure, but rather because of the desire itself without any pleasure.  If so, then this is the very opposite of what we explained above in the first explanation, wherein we stated that the desire is dependent upon the pleasure, and that there can be no desire without the pleasure.

Rather, the explanation of the matter is that they are both true, since desire and pleasure are one.  Both of them are essential, and they are equal in their level.  Therefore, at times the pleasure is internal and the desire is external, and at times it is the opposite, that the desire is internal and the pleasure is external.  They exchange with one another, so that one garbs the other and vice versa.

Now, there is a distinction in that they only exchange with one another in the aspect of their spreading forth from the essence.  The manner of the exchange is dependent upon which is more essential and which is more in a state of spreading forth.  If the essential is pleasure, then there will be a spreading forth of the desire in an external aspect, which is the arousal of the desire toward anything that has an essential pleasure, and it will be commensurate to the pleasure as explained above.  If, in contrast, the essential is desire, where he has a simple essential desire in his heart for any given thing, then he will want to take pleasure in it, and in this case the pleasure is the aspect that spreads forth in an external fashion.  Nonetheless, this whole matter of how they enclothe one another is only with regards to the aspect of how they spread forth.  However, in the aspect of the essence of pleasure and the essence of desire, which are called the simple pleasure or the simple desire, the desire does not garb the pleasure and the pleasure does not garb the desire.  Therefore, it is possible for there to be a desire without a preceding pleasure, and a pleasure without a preceding desire.

Now, the analogue from all of the above can be applied to understand the root of the commandments which are called the Supernal desire.  For, it was explained above in the first manner of explanation that it is impossible for there to be a desire without a prior pleasure that precedes it, and that the pleasure is the internal while the desire is the external that spreads forth from it.  Similarly, with regards to Supernal desire within each commandment there is an aspect of Supernal pleasure that is within this desire.  It is because of this [pleasure] that the desire is drawn forth, and it is commensurate to the pleasure specifically.  In general this is called by the term Ta’amei HaMitzvot-the reasoning for the commandments.  However, the intention in this is not solely intellectual reasoning alone, but rather this refers to the pleasure of the desire which is called Ta’am which can also mean flavor and sweetness.  This is like the verseTuv Ta’am V’Daat” which has two interpretations, the ta’am-reason of knowledge (Da’at), or alternatively, ta’am as in flavor and pleasure.  [In the Zohar] this is called the aspect of the “thirteen white paths of the skull,” which refers to the aspect of the innerness of the Supernal desire in the commandments.  This is also called “the pathways of Hashem,” or the six hundred and thirteen paths which spread forth to be revealed externally until they manifest below in the action of the commandments, as well as in thought, speech, emotions and intellect.  For, the pleasure in the actual fulfillment of the commandments is the internal, and the desire in the action is external which garbs it, and above that there is the pleasure and desire in speech and in thought, like the speech and thought of Torah or the intention in the fulfillment of the commandments.

However, the opposite is also true, that the desire is the aspect of the internal and the pleasure is the external which garbs the desire.  This refers to the reasoning for the commandments which are below the essential desire.  For, there is no reasoning for the desire, except when the desire is a composite desire and is manifest in pleasure which gives it a reason and pleasure for the commandment.  We may say that this refers to the fact that each commandment has a revealed reasoning according to the intellect.  For instance, the commandments against theft and robbery or the like, regarding which the sages of blessed memory stated that even if the Torah had not commanded against these things we would still understand them, because they are necessitated by the intellect.  Nevertheless, their primary aspect is the desire (for one who is careful in these things is fulfilling the Supernal desire, and whomever sits and abstains from transgression still receives reward).  It is only that it is a composite desire that is composed of reasoning and intellect, as well as the “reasoning” of pleasure.

Both of the above aspects, however, only relate to the spreading forth of the pleasure or desire, wherein they interchange with one another.  For, in the essence of the aspect of the simple pleasure and desire, they do not garb one another, for there is a pleasure with no will.  We may say that this is like the matter of the verse, “Only that Hashem had delight in your forefathers” which refers to the essential delight and pleasure in the souls of the Jewish people even prior to the giving of the Torah and the commandments.  Similarly, there is desire without pleasure, like the statement, “Quiet, thus it arose in His will,” [meaning a will without reason] like the Chukim-statutes whose primary matter is a desire without any reason or cause.

From all of the above we may now understand the meaning of the verse “Go for you… and I will make your name great.”  This means to go and reach the root and source of the soul.  This is similar to the verse, “Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.”  The explanation of “my love” is the Torah, and “my beautiful one” refers to the fulfillment of the commandments, “and come away” refers to the root and source of the soul.  For it is not the entirety of the soul that manifests within the body, but only a glimmer and a ray, while its totality primarily is above.  

Thus, it is regarding this that the verse states, “Go for you – Lech Lecha,” meaning to go to the root and source of the soul. This refers to the aspect of the desires of the heart that come from the essential desire of the soul and its essential bond with the Infinite Light, as mentioned above.  It is through this that one can subsequently draw forth the aspect of the essential desire of the Essence of the Infinite Light in the fulfillment of the commandments, as discussed above.  This, then, is the meaning of “I will make your name great,” which refers to the aspect of “All that is called by My name,” meaning that there is an additional drawing forth of light into the name, as discussed previously.  This, then, is the matter of the expansion of the name to make it great, which is by means of the fulfillment of the commandments specifically, through which the name is called and drawn forth, as mentioned before.  This, then, explains the commentary of Rashi to the Midrash Rabba, that the matter of the making small or expansion of the name is by means of the Mitzvot.  For, through the fulfillment of the Mitzvot, the name is made great, i.e. through the fulfillment being preceded with the aspect of “Bechol Me’odecha-with all your being” which refers to the desires of the heart (Re’uta D’Leeba), which is the aspect of “Lech Lecha-Go for you.”

However, in order to achieve the aspect of the desires of the heart (Re’uta D’Leeba), there needs to be the aspect of “[Go for you,] from your land and from your birthplace.”  This is like the matter of the verse, “Forget your people and your father’s house etc,” which refers to leaving the animal soul.  Since, as long as the animal soul conceals and hides, it is impossible for there to be any of the aforementioned aspects, and it is therefore necessary for there to be an aspect of “forget your people,” and only afterwards can there be the aspect of “and the King shall desire your beauty.”  More specifically, we may say that the aspect of “from your land” refers to the coarseness of the animal soul, and “your birthplace and your father’s house” refer to the aspect of the emotions and intellect, respectively.

(We may also say that this is the matter of the blessings before the Shema recital, which relate to the subjugation of the animal soul at its root, while the Shema recital itself is the subjugation of the animal soul through contemplation, as discussed previously.)

Through the above we come to the aspect of the desires of the heart (Re’uta D’Leeba), which is the matter of “Lech Lecha – Go, for you.”  From all of the above we can understand the statement, “and I will make your name great,” that it is specifically through the aspect of “Go for you” that the making of the name great is accomplished.  For, Lech Lecha-Go for you means to go to the root of the soul, the aspect of the desire of the heart, subsequent to which the fulfillment of the commandments cause an expansion of the name etc.  

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