Purpose of Society - 1. 1-1 (1984)
Purpose of Society - 2. 1-2 (1984)
Concerning Love of Friends. 2 (1984)
Love of Friends - 1. 3 (1984)
Each One Shall Help His Friend. 4 (1984)
What Does the Rule "Love Thy Friend as Thyself" Give Us. 5 (1984)
Love of Friends - 2. 6 (1984)
According to What Is Explained Concerning “Love Thy Friend as Thyself”. 7 (1984)
Which Keeping of Torah and Mitzvot Purifies the Heart. 8 (1984)
One Should Always Sell the Beams of His House. 9 (1984)
Achieve in Order Not to Have to Reincarnate?. 10 (1984)
Concerning Ancestral Merit. 11 (1984)
Concerning the Importance of Society. 12 (1984)
Sometimes Spirituality Is Called “a Soul”. 13 (1984)
Forevermore One Sells All That Is His and Marries a Wise Disciple's Daughter. 14 (1984)
Can Something Negative Come Down from Above. 15 (1984)
Concerning Bestowal. 16 (1984)
Concerning the Importance of Friends. 17-1 (1984)
The Agenda of the Assembly - 1. 17-2 (1984)
And It Shall Come to Pass When You Come to the Land that the Lord Your God Gives You. 18 (1984)
You Stand Today, All of You. 19 (1984)
Make for Yourself a Rav and Buy Yourself a Friend - 1. 1 (1985)
The Meaning of Branch and Root. 2 (1985)
The Meaning of Truth and Faith. 3 (1985)
These Are the Generations of Noah. 4 (1985)
Go Forth From Your Land. 5 (1985)
And the Lord Appeared to Him at the Oaks of Mamre. 6 (1985)
The Life of Sarah. 7 (1985)
Make for Yourself a Rav and Buy Yourself a Friend - 2. 8 (1985)
Jacob Went Out. 9 (1985)
And Jacob Went Out. 10 (1985)
Concerning the Debate between Jacob and Laban. 11 (1985)
Jacob Dwelled in the Land Where His Father Had Lived. 12 (1985)
Mighty Rock of My Salvation. 13 (1985)
I Am the First and I Am the Last. 14 (1985)
And Hezekiah Turned His Face to the Wall. 15 (1985)
But the More They Afflicted Them. 16 (1985)
Know Today and Reply to Your Heart. 17 (1985)
Concerning the Slanderers. 18 (1985)
Come unto Pharaoh - 1. 19 (1985)
He who Hardens His Heart. 20 (1985)
We Should Always Discern between Torah and Work. 21 (1985)
The Whole of the Torah Is One Holy Name. 22 (1985)
On My Bed at Night. 23 (1985)
Three Times in the Work. 24 (1985)
In Every Thing We Must Discern between Light and Kli. 25 (1985)
Show Me Your Glory. 26 (1985)
Repentance. 27 (1985)
The Spies. 28 (1985)
The Lord Is Near to All Who Call upon Him. 29 (1985)
Three Prayers. 30 (1985)
One Does Not Regard Oneself as Wicked. 31 (1985)
Concerning the Reward of the Receivers. 32 (1985)
The Felons of Israel. 33 (1985)
And I Pleaded with the Lord. 34 (1985)
When a Person Knows What Is Fear of the Creator. 35 (1985)
And There Was Evening and There Was Morning. 36 (1985)
Who Testifies to a Person. 37 (1985)
A Righteous Who Is Happy, a Righteous Who Is Suffering. 38 (1985)
Hear Our Voice. 39 (1985)
Moses Went. 1 (1986)
Lend Ear, O Heaven. 2 (1986)
Man Is Rewarded with Righteousness and Peace through the Torah. 3 (1986)
Concerning Hesed [Mercy]. 4 (1986)
Concerning Respecting the Father. 5 (1986)
Confidence. 6 (1986)
The Importance of a Prayer of Many. 7 (1986)
Concerning Help that Comes from Above. 8 (1986)
Concerning the Hanukkah Candle. 9 (1986)
Concerning Prayer. 10 (1986)
A Real Prayer Is over a Real Deficiency. 11 (1986)
What Is the Main Deficiency for which One Should Pray?. 12 (1986)
Come unto Pharaoh – 2. 13 (1986)
What Is the Need to Borrow Vessels from the Egyptians?. 14 (1986)
A Prayer of Many. 15 (1986)
The Lord Has Chosen Jacob for Himself. 16 (1986)
The Agenda of the Assembly - 2. 17 (1986)
Who Causes the Prayer. 18 (1986)
Concerning Joy. 19 (1986)
Should One Sin and Be Guilty. 20 (1986)
Concerning Above Reason. 21 (1986)
If a Woman Inseminates. 22 (1986)
Concerning Fear and Joy. 23 (1986)
The Difference between Charity and Gift. 24 (1986)
The Measure of Practicing Mitzvot [Commandments]. 25 (1986)
A Near Way and a Far Way. 26 (1986)
The Creator and Israel Went into Exile. 27 (1986)
A Congregation Is No Less than Ten. 28 (1986)
Lishma and Lo Lishma. 29 (1986)
The Klipa [Shell/Peel] that Precedes the Fruit. 30 (1986)
Concerning Yenika [Suckling] and Ibur [Impregnation]. 31 (1986)
The Reason for Straightening the Legs and Covering the Head During the Prayer. 32 (1986)
What Are Commandments that a Person Tramples with His Feet. 33 (1986)
Judges and Officers. 34 (1986)
The Fifteenth of Av. 35 (1986)
What Is Preparation for the Selichot [Forgiveness]. 36 (1986)
The Good Who Does Good, to the Bad and to the Good. 1 (1987)
The Importance of Recognition of Evil. 2 (1987)
All of Israel Have a Part in the Next World. 3 (1987)
It is Forbidden to Hear a Good Thing From a Bad Person. 4 (1987)
What Is the Advantage in the Work More than in the Reward?. 5 (1987)
The Importance of Faith that Is Always Present. 6 (1987)
The Miracle of Hanukkah. 7 (1987)
The Difference between Mercy and Truth and Untrue Mercy. 8 (1987)
One’s Greatness Depends on the Measure of One’s Faith in the Future. 9 (1987)
What Is the Substance of Slander and Against Whom Is It?. 10 (1987)
Purim, and the Commandment: Until He until He Does Not Know. 11 (1987)
What Is Half a Shekel in the Work - 1. 12 (1987)
Why the Festival of Matzot Is Called Passover. 13 (1987)
The Connection between Passover, Matza, and Maror. 14 (1987)
Two Discernments in Holiness. 15 (1987)
The Difference between the Work of the General Public and the Work of the Individual . 16 (1987)
The Severity of Teaching Idol Worshippers the Torah. 17 (1987)
What Is Preparation for Reception of the Torah - 1. 18 (1987)
What Are Revealed and Concealed in the Work of the Creator?. 19 (1987)
What Is Man’s Private Possession?. 20 (1987)
What Are Dirty Hands in the Work of the Creator?. 21 (1987)
What Is the Gift that a Person Asks of the Creator?. 22 (1987)
Peace After a Dispute Is More Important than Having No Disputes At All. 23 (1987)
What is Unfounded Hatred in the Work. 24 (1987)
What Is Heaviness of the Head in the Work?. 25 (1987)
What Is a Light Commandment. 26 (1987)
What Are “Blessing” and “Curse” in the Work?. 27 (1987)
What Is Do Not Add and Do Not Take Away in the Work?. 28 (1987)
What Is “According to the Sorrow, So Is the Reward”?. 29 (1987)
What Is a War Over Authority in the Work – 1. 30 (1987)
What Is Making a Covenant in the Work. 31 (1987)
Why Life Is Divided into Two Discernments. 1 (1988)
What Is the Extent of Teshuva [Repentance]?. 2 (1988)
What It Means that the Name of the Creator is “Truth”. 3 (1988)
What Is the Prayer for Help and for Forgiveness in the Work?. 4 (1988)
What Is, “When Israel Are in Exile, the Shechina Is with Them,” in the Work?. 5 (1988)
What Is the Difference between a Field and a Man of the Field, in the Work?. 6 (1988)
What Is the Importance of the Groom, that His Iniquities Are Forgiven?. 7 (1988)
What Does It Mean that One Who Prays Should Explain His Words Properly?. 8 (1988)
What Does It Mean that the Righteous Suffers Afflictions?. 9 (1988)
What Are the Four Qualities of Those Who Go to the Seminary, in the Work?. 10 (1988)
What Are the Two Discernments before Lishma?. 11 (1988)
What Are Torah and Work in the Way of the Creator?. 12 (1988)
What Is “the People’s Shepherd Is the Whole People” in the Work?. 13 (1988)
The Need for Love of Friends. 14 (1988)
What Is “There Is No Blessing in an Empty Place” in the Work?. 15 (1988)
What Is the Foundation on which Kedusha [Holiness] Is Built?. 16 (1988)
The Main Difference between a Beastly Soul and a Godly Soul. 17 (1988)
When Is One Considered “A Worker of the Creator” in the Work?. 18 (1988)
What Are Silver, Gold, Israel, Rest of Nations, in the Work?. 19 (1988)
What Is the Reward in the Work of Bestowal?. 20 (1988)
What Does It Mean that the Torah Was Given Out of the Darkness in the Work?. 21 (1988)
What Are Merits and Iniquities of a Righteous in the Work?. 22 (1988)
What Beginning in Lo Lishma Means in the Work. 23 (1988)
What Is “The Concealed Things Belong to the Lord, and the Revealed Things Belong to Us,” in the Work?. 24 (1988)
What Is the Preparation on the Eve of Shabbat, in the Work?. 25 (1988)
What Is the Difference between Law and Judgment in the Work?. 26 (1988)
What Is, “The Creator Does Not Tolerate the Proud,” in the Work?. 27 (1988)
What Is, His Guidance Is Concealed and Revealed?. 28 (1988)
How to Recognize One Who Serves God from One Who Does Not Serve Him. 29 (1988)
What to Look for in the Assembly of Friends. 30 (1988)
What Is the Work of Man, in the Work that Is Attributed to the Creator?. 31 (1988)
What Are the Two Actions During a Descent?. 32 (1988)
What Is the Difference between General and Individual in the Work of the Creator?. 33 (1988)
What Are Day and Night in the Work?. 34 (1988)
What Is the Help in the Work that One Should Ask of the Creator?. 35 (1988)
What Is the Measure of Repentance?. 1 (1989)
What Is a Great or a Small Sin in the Work?. 2 (1989)
What Is the Difference between the Gate of Tears and the Rest of the Gates?. 3 (1989)
What Is a Flood of Water in the Work?. 4 (1989)
What Does It Mean that the Creation of the World Was by Largess?. 5 (1989)
What Is Above Reason in the Work?. 6 (1989)
What Is “He Who Did Not Toil on the Eve of Shabbat, What Will He Eat on Shabbat” in the Work?. 7 (1989)
What It Means, in the Work, that If the Good Grows, So Grows the Bad. 8 (1989)
What Is, “Calamity that Comes upon the Wicked Begins with the Righteous,” in the Work?. 9 (1989)
What Does It Mean that the Ladder Is Diagonal, in the Work?. 10 (1989)
What Are the Forces Required in the Work?. 11 (1989)
What Is a Groom’s Meal?. 12 (1989)
What Is the “Bread of an Evil-Eyed Man” in the Work?. 13 (1989)
What Is the Meaning of “Reply unto Your Heart”?. 14 (1989)
What Is, “The Righteous Become Apparent through the Wicked,” in the Work?. 15 (1989)
What Is the Prohibition to Bless on an Empty Table, in the Work?. 16 (1989)
What Is the Prohibition to Greet Before Blessing the Creator, in the Work?. 17 (1989)
What Is, “There Is No Blessing in That Which Is Counted,” in the Work?. 18 (1989)
Why Is Shabbat Called Shin-Bat in the Work?. 19 (1989)
What Does It Mean that the Evil Inclination Ascends and Slanders, in the Work?. 20 (1989)
What Is, “A Drunken Man Must Not Pray, in the Work?. 21 (1989)
Why Are Four Questions Asked Specifically on Passover Night?. 22 (1989)
What Is, If He Swallows the Bitter Herb, He Will Not Come Out, in the Work?. 23 (1989)
What Is “Do Not Slight the Blessing of a Layperson” in the Work?. 24 (1989)
What Is “He Who Has a Flaw Shall Not Offer [Sacrifice]” in the Work?. 25 (1989)
What Is “He Who Defiles Himself Is Defiled from Above” in the Work?. 26 (1989)
What Is the Meaning of Suffering in the Work?. 27 (1989)
Who Needs to Know that a Person Withstood the Test?. 28 (1989)
What Is the Preparation to Receive the Torah in the Work?-2. 29 (1989)
What Is the Meaning of Lighting the Menorah in the Work?. 30 (1989)
What Is the Prohibition to Teach Torah to Idol-Worshippers in the Work?. 31 (1989)
What Does It Mean that Oil Is Called “Good Deeds” in the Work?. 32 (1989)
What Are Spies in the Work?. 33 (1989)
What Is Peace in the Work?. 34 (1989)
What Is, “He Who Is Without Sons,” in the Work?. 35 (1989)
What Is “For It Is Your Wisdom and Understanding in the Eyes of the Nations,” in the Work?. 36 (1989)
What Is “A Road Whose Beginning Is Thorns and Its End Is a Plain” in the Work?. 37 (1989)
What Are Judges and Officers in the Work?. 38 (1989)
What Is, “The Torah Speaks Only Against the Evil Inclination,” in the Work?. 39 (1989)
What Is, “Every Day They Will Be as New in Your Eyes,” in the Work?. 40 (1989)
The Daily Schedule. 41 (1989)
What Does “May We Be the Head and Not the Tail” Mean in the Work?. 1 (1990)
What Is the Meaning of Failure in the Work?. 2 (1990)
What It Means that the World Was Created for the Torah. 3 (1990)
What It Means that the Generations of the Righteous are Good Deeds, in the Work. 4 (1990)
What It Means that the Land Did Not Bear Fruit before Man Was Created, in the Work. 5 (1990)
When Should One Use Pride in the Work?. 6 (1990)
What Are the Times of Prayer and Gratitude in the Work?. 7 (1990)
What It Means that Esau Was Called “A Man of the Field,” in the Work. 8 (1990)
What Is, “A Ladder Is Set on the Earth, and Its Top Reaches Heaven,” in the Work?. 9 (1990)
What Does It Mean that Our Sages Said, “King David Did Not Have a Life,” in the Work?. 10 (1990)
What Placing the Hanukkah Candle on the Left Means in the Work. 11 (1990)
Why Is the Torah Called “Middle Line” in the Work? - 1. 12 (1990)
What Does It Mean that by the Unification of the Creator and the Shechina, All Iniquities Are Atoned?. 13 (1990)
What Is True Hesed in the Work?. 14 (1990)
What Does It Mean that Before the Egyptian Minister Fell, Their Outcry Was Not Answered, in the Work?. 15 (1990)
What Is “For Lack of Spirit and for Hard Work,” in the Work?. 16 (1990)
What Is the Assistance that He who Comes to Purify Receives in the Work?. 17 (1990)
Why the Speech of Shabbat Must Not Be as the Speech of a Weekday, in the Work. 18 (1990)
Why Is the Torah Called “Middle Line” in the Work?-2. 19 (1990)
What Is Half a Shekel in the Work? - 2. 20 (1990)
What Is, “As I Am for Nothing, so You Are for Nothing,” in the Work?. 21 (1990)
What Is the Order in Blotting Out Amalek?. 22 (1990)
What Does It Mean that Moses Was Perplexed about the Birth of the Moon, in the Work?. 23 (1990)
What Does, “Everything that Comes to Be a Burnt Offering Is Male,” Mean in the Work?. 24 (1990)
What Is, “Praise the Lord, All Nations,” in the Work?. 25 (1990)
What Is, “There Is None as Holy as the Lord, for There Is None Besides You,” in the Work?. 26 (1990)
What Is, “Every Blade of Grass Has an Appointee Above, Who Strikes It and Tells It, Grow!” in the Work?. 27 (1990)
What Is, “Warn the Great about the Small,” in the Work?. 28 (1990)
What Is, “The Torah Exhausts a Person’s Strength,” in the Work?. 29 (1990)
What It Means that “Law and Ordinance” Is the Name of the Creator in the Work. 30 (1990)
What “There Is No Blessing in That Which Is Counted” Means in the Work. 31 (1990)
What “Israel Do the Creator’s Will” Means in the Work. 32 (1990)
What Is “The Earth Feared and Was Still,” in the Work?. 33 (1990)
What Are “A Layperson’s Vessels,” in the Work?. 34 (1990)
What Is “He Who Enjoys at a Groom’s Meal,” in the Work?. 35 (1990)
What Is, “The Children of Esau and Ishmael Did Not Want to Receive the Torah,” in the Work?. 36 (1990)
What Is, “The Shechina Is a Testimony to Israel,” in the Work?. 37 (1990)
What Is, “A Cup of Blessing Must Be Full,” in the Work?. 38 (1990)
What Is, “Anyone Who Mourns forJerusalem Is Rewarded with Seeing Its Joy,” in the Work?. 39 (1990)
What Is, “For You Are the Least of All the Peoples,” in the Work?. 40 (1990)
What Are the Light Mitzvot that a Person Tramples with His Heels, in the Work?. 41 (1990)
What Are a Blessing and a Curse, in the Work?. 42 (1990)
What Is, “You Shall Not Plant for Yourself an Asherah by the Altar,” in the Work?. 43 (1990)
What Is an Optional War, in the work? - 2. 44 (1990)
What Is, “The Concealed Things Belong to the Lord Our God,” in the work?. 45 (1990)
The Order of the Work, from Baal HaSulam. 46 (1990)
What Is, “We Have No Other King But You,” in the Work?. 1 (1991)
What Is, “Return, O Israel, Unto the Lord Your God,” in the Work?. 2 (1991)
What Is, “The Wicked Will Prepare and the Righteous Will Wear,” in the Work?. 3 (1991)
What Is, “The Saboteur Was in the Flood, and Was Putting to Death,” in the Work?. 4 (1991)
What Is, “The Good Deeds of the Righteous Are the Generations,” in the Work?. 5 (1991)
What Is, “The Herdsmen of Abram’s Cattle and the Herdsmen of Lot’s Cattle,” in the Work?. 6 (1991)
What Is “Man” and What Is “Beast” in the Work?. 7 (1991)
What Is, “And Abraham Was Old, of Many Days,” in the Work?. 8 (1991)
What Is, “The Smell of His Garments,” in the Work?. 9 (1991)
What Does “The King Stands on His Field When the Crop Is Ripe” Mean in the Work?. 10 (1991)
What It Means that the Good Inclination and the Evil Inclination Guard a Person in the Work. 11 (1991)
These Candles Are Sacred. 12 (1991)
What “You Have Given the Strong to the Hands of the Weak” Means in the Work. 13 (1991)
What Does It Mean that Man’s Blessing Is the Blessing of the Sons, in the Work?. 14 (1991)
What Is the Blessing, “Who Made a Miracle for Me in This Place,” in the Work?. 15 (1991)
Why We Need “Reply unto Your Heart,” to Know that the Lord, He Is God, in the Work. 16 (1991)
What Is, “For I Have Hardened His Heart,” in the work?. 17 (1991)
What It Means that We Should Raise the Right Hand over the Left Hand, in the Work. 18 (1991)
What Is, “Rise Up, O Lord, and Let Your Enemies Be Scattered,” in the Work?. 19 (1991)
What Is, “There Is Nothing that Has No Place,” in the Work?. 20 (1991)
What Does It Mean that We Read the Portion, Zachor [Remember], Before Purim, in the Work?. 21 (1991)
What Is “A Lily Among the Thorns,” in the Work?. 22 (1991)
What Is the Meaning of the Purification of a Cow’s Ashes, in the Work?. 23 (1991)
What Does It Mean that One Should Bear a Son and a Daughter, in the Work?. 24 (1991)
What Does It Mean that One Who Repents Should Be in Happiness?. 25 (1991)
What Is Revealing a Portion and Covering Two Portions in the Work?. 26 (1991)
What Is, “If a Woman Inseminates First, She Delivers a Male Child,” in the Work?. 27 (1991)
What Are Holiness and Purity, in the Work?. 28 (1991)
What Does It Mean that a High Priest Should Take a Virgin Wife, in the Work?. 29 (1991)
What Does It Mean that One Who Was On a Far Off Way Is Postponed to a Second Passover, in the Work?. 30 (1991)
What Does It Mean that Charity to the Poor Makes the Holy Name, in the Work?. 31 (1991)
What Are Banners in the Work?. 32 (1991)
What Does It Mean that the Creator Favors Someone, in the Work?. 33 (1991)
What Is Eating Their Fruits in This World and Keeping the Principal for the Next World, in the Work?. 34 (1991)
What Is the Meaning of “Spies,” in the Work?. 35 (1991)
What Is, “Peace, Peace, to the Far and to the Near,” in the Work?. 36 (1991)
What Is the “Torah” and What Is “The Statute of the Torah,” in the Work?. 37 (1991)
What Is the “Right Line,” in the Work?. 38 (1991)
What Does It Mean that the Right Must Be Greater than the Left, in the Work?. 39 (1991)
What Are Truth and Falsehood in the Work?. 40 (1991)
What Should One Do If He Was Born With Bad Qualities?. 41 (1991)
What Is, “An Ox Knows Its Owner, etc., Israel Does Not Know,” in the Work?. 42 (1991)
What Is, “You Will See My Back, But My Face Shall Not Be Seen,” in the Work?. 43 (1991)
What Is the Reason for which Israel Were Rewarded with Inheritance of the Land, in the Work?. 44 (1991)
What Does It Mean that a Judge Must Judge Absolutely Truthfully, in the Work?. 45 (1991)
What Is the Son of the Beloved and the Son of the Hated in the Work?. 46 (1991)
What Does It Mean that the Right and the Left Are in Contrast, in the Work?. 47 (1991)
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Why Are Four Questions Asked Specifically on Passover Night?
 
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Why Are Four Questions Asked Specifically on Passover Night?

Article No. 22, 1989

As we see, when does one ask questions? When he is lacking. He is asking, “Why do I need to suffer from not having what I think I need?” He comes to the Creator with complaints and demands and asks, “Why do I need to suffer?” But when a person has abundance, what questions are there to ask when he feels that he is free, that he is not enslaved by anything, or feels that what he does not have pains him, giving him room to ask, “Why”?

Therefore, we should understand why we ask questions specifically on Passover night, which is the festival of freedom. Also, they are called “four questions,” meaning four times “Why,” precisely when he is not lacking anything.

According to what the ARI says, Passover night is more complete than the eve of Shabbat [Sabbath]. He says that on the eve of Shabbat there is an ascent of Malchut to Mochin de Neshama, but on Passover night, there is an ascent of Malchut to Mochin de Haya, such as on the day of Shabbat (see Shaar HaKavanot). Thus, we should understand why we ask questions specifically at a time of wholeness. Certainly, there are many answers to this, and we will interpret this in the work.

It is known that the work we were given in Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] is so that through them we will correct ourselves to be worthy of receiving delight and pleasure, since for this man was created, as it is known that the purpose of creation is to do good to His creations. However, to avoid the shame upon reception of the pleasures, since every branch wishes to resemble its root, and since the root bestows upon the creatures, there is disparity of form between the giver and the receiver, which causes us shame.

Therefore, to correct it, a Tzimtzum [restriction] and concealment were placed on the upper Providence. Thus, through the Tzimtzum and concealment, a place was made in which we are so far from the Creator that it causes us to have very little understanding of His guidance over His creations. It is written about it in the “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot” (Items 42-43), where he says that if Providence were revealed, and for instance, one who ate something forbidden instantly choked, and one who performed a Mitzva [commandment/good deed] immediately discovered a wonderful delight in it, similar to the greatest pleasures in our corporeal world, what fool would even contemplate tasting something forbidden when he knew he would immediately lose his life for it, or wait to receive a great corporeal pleasure when it came into his hand? Thus, the Tzimtzum and concealment, which were made to correct the shame, cause us all the labor and remoteness from the Creator.

It follows that the Tzimtzum and concealment were made to benefit the lower one. Thus, there is no point in asking about Providence, “Why is the Creator treating us as it seems to us, for we do not see the good and we suffer in exile, poverty, and so on?” In other words, everyone complains about why the Creator behaves with undisclosed guidance toward us, that it is only good.

For this reason, it is forbidden to slander His guidance—the way He behaves with the creatures. Instead, we must believe with faith above reason that it should be precisely as we see it. And concerning what we feel, we should walk in the ways of Torah, as the sages have instructed us how to behave with all these feelings that we feel, and to say about them with faith above reason, “They have eyes and see not,” as is written in the article from 1943.

It is known that there is a prohibition on slander. However, it is commonly thought that slander, which is so bad, is between man and man. But in truth, slander is primarily between man and the Creator, as it is written (Shemot Rabbah, Chapter 3, 12), “Moses caught the act of the serpent, who slandered his Creator, as it is said, ‘For God knows that in the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be as God, knowing good and evil.’”

With the above-said, we can see why slander is worse than other things. It is because slander is primarily from the serpent, who slandered the Creator and told him, “The Creator commanded you not to eat from the tree of knowledge, but to keep it in concealment and in hiding.” The serpent told him about that, “You shouldn’t obey what He told you, that the tree of knowledge should remain hidden from the lower ones.” Instead, his argument was that everything should be open.

That was the serpent’s slander. It follows that he spoke about Providence, that the Creator’s conduct with the creatures of undisclosed guidance was wrong. But in truth, the concealment is only so that the creatures will be able to receive the delight and pleasure without shame. This can only be when the creatures receive everything for the sake of the Creator, meaning that all the reception will be only in order to bestow.

It follows that the serpent’s slander is not a part. Rather, he spoke about the entire correction that was executed on Malchut so that the lower ones, who extend from her, would be able to achieve Dvekut [adhesion], called “equivalence of form,” by which there would be the correction that enables them to receive the delight and pleasure without any unpleasantness, called “shame.”

Because of this correction, we were given the Torah and Mitzvot by which to be able to emerge from self-love, which is separation from the Creator, and achieve equivalence of form, as our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination; I have created the spice of Torah.” According to the serpent’s slander, there will be open Providence, meaning everything will be disclosed, even though the Creator explicitly told Adam, “But of the tree of knowledge you shall not eat.” Instead, this discernment must be covered and only at the end of correction will it be possible to illuminate this discernment.

About that, too, the serpent told him not to obey the Creator. In other words, the Creator did not do this in Adam’s favor, that the Creator’s guidance over the creatures—the Good who does good—will be undisclosed, but for other reasons. It turns out that the serpent’s slander was a general thing, meaning he said that all the corrections we should do by the power of Torah and Mitzvot are not for the man’s purpose.

This is the reason why slander is the most severe of all prohibitions, since it encompasses the whole of the Torah. In other words, with this slander, all the corrections that were made should not be made. Thus, since it is so grave between man and the Creator, the prohibition between man and man is a grave matter, too, as we said about “love your friend as yourself,” which Rabbi Akiva said was the great rule of the Torah.

It follows that one who slanders acts the opposite of the rule, “Love your friend as yourself.” Hence, slander between man and man is also a rule. This is why it is such a grave prohibition.

With the above, we can interpret what our sages said (Sanhedrin 38), “Rav Yehuda said, ‘Rav said, ‘Adam HaRishon was heretical.’ And RASHI explains, ‘‘Was heretical’ means that he leaned toward idolatry.’’”

This is very difficult to understand. Adam HaRishon spoke to the Creator. How can one who speaks to the Creator be heretical—that his heart will lean toward idolatry? After all, the Creator spoke to him, so how can he be mistaken to the point that his heart leaned toward idol worship?

As we said above, the Creator told him that the tree of knowledge should be in concealment and must not be disclosed before the end of correction. When the serpent came to him and told him not to obey the Creator, that this great pleasure was found in the tree of knowledge, which the Creator hid from him, he took to heart the serpent’s slander. This is called that he “was heretical.”

RASHI interpreted that his heart leaned toward idolatry, meaning that his heart leaned toward what the serpent told him—that it would be better if there were open Providence in the world, as the serpent advised him. This is called “heretic,” one who does not like His governance. This means that he thought, according to the serpent’s advice, that if the tree of knowledge were revealed and there were open Providence, many would engage in the holy work, for the above reason that everyone would observe Torah and Mitzvot because it would all be clothed in the intellect, within reason, and not that everything must be above reason.

In other words, the tree of knowledge means that everything is revealed within reason, and on that was the commandment to refrain from eating. That is, our work toward the Creator should be above reason and not within reason, although it is reasonable to think that if everything were clothed within reason, the servants of the Creator would proliferate.

This is the meaning of the serpent’s slander, who spoke badly about Providence. Since the Creator made the work of the Creator above reason, it does not mean that the Creator could make everything within reason. Instead, we must believe, although we do not understand, that this guidance is the best.

And so did Baal HaSulam say—that the Creator chose the way of faith above reason because the Creator knows it is the most successful way for the lower ones to reach the goal called “Dvekut with the Creator,” which is equivalence of form, called “receiving in order to bestow.”

Although the sin of the tree of knowledge relates to high degrees—the light of the end of correction—as explained in the “Introduction to the Book, Panim Meirot uMasbirot,” with regard to our work—we should interpret that one who slanders Providence, saying that he does not want to believe that His guidance over the creatures is benevolent, and that it is so to believe above reason.

However, a person says, “If there were open Providence, if I could see with my mind that the Creator bestows benevolently upon all creations, and if it were within reason, only in this way would I be able to observe Torah and Mitzvot.” This comes because of the sin of the tree of knowledge—that a man wants to go specifically within reason and not believe above reason. Hence, when he does not believe that He is good and does good, he is slandering the Creator. This is rooted in the time when the serpent slandered the Creator to Adam HaRishon.

A person wanting to go within reason is called “the sin of the tree of knowledge.” This sin appears in two ways, in two questions that extend from it: 1) Pharaoh’s question, who asked, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” meaning it is hard for him to believe anything that contradicts reason. And another thing extends from it, a second question, “Why should one work to benefit the Creator and not himself?” In other words, he is asking, “What will I gain by working for the sake of the Creator and not for my own sake?”

With the above-said, we can understand what we see, that even after one has overcome and said that he is taking upon himself to walk on the path of truth, and begins to believe in faith in the sages, reason dictates that each day he should advance and move forward. Yet, he sees that it is actually the complete opposite—each day he is regressing. Thus, reason makes him say, “This work of going in bestowal is not for me. Rather, it is work for a chosen few.” He understands that he would be better off escaping the campaign.

And what is he told? That he should once again go with faith above reason and disregard what reason compels him to do. As it is written in the essay “Faith in His Rav” (1943), one cannot see his true state. Instead, he should go above reason, and only in this way can we reach the goal and be rewarded with Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator.

However, we should understand what it gives us to feel within reason that we are regressing instead of progressing. In other words, for what purpose does one need to feel that he is in decline? What is the benefit in that? We see that in a state of ascent, when one has a desire for spirituality and regards mundane pleasures—which the whole world chases so as to obtain these pleasures—as though they were created needlessly, meaning that it would be better if the Creator created all creations enjoying spiritual things.

Thus, regarding thoughts of declines, what does one gain by the fact that after each ascent he comes to a descent? As a result, a person always asks, “How many are the ascents and descents and why are they needed anyway? It would be better if I could stay in the state of ascent.”

But the answer is that it is impossible to appreciate anything without knowing its importance. In other words, there is a rule that the joy that a person takes in something depends on the importance of the matter. Sometimes a person is given something important, and if he could appreciate it, he could receive great pleasure from it. But since he does not know the value of the thing, that person cannot enjoy it, except to the extent that he understands its importance.

For example, a person buys an object, a book, which is not so beautiful on the outside, and later that book is reprinted and costs more, but since he did not have much money, he bought this book. The seller, too, was not aware of the importance of the book and sold it to him for a low price. But sometime later, a man comes to his house, sees the book, and says, “Since this book was printed 300 years ago, this book is worth a fortune, as there are only three such books in the world.” Now that he hears about the great value of the book, he begins to take pleasure in the book.

The lesson is that we do not know how to appreciate the ascent. That is, we do not understand the value of a single moment of having the power to believe in the Creator, and to have some sensation of the greatness of the Creator. In a state of ascent, we desire to annul before Him without any rhyme and reason, like a candle before a torch. Naturally, we cannot enjoy the fact that the Creator has brought us closer and has given us some nearness, from which we should derive the joy and elation that it should bring us. But since we haven’t the importance to appreciate it, we can only enjoy according to the importance, as explained in the allegory.

This is why we were given descents: to be able to learn the importance of the ascents, as it is written, “as the advantage of the light from the darkness.” Specifically through descents, one can come to know and appreciate ascents, and then he can enjoy the ascents and come to feel that “They are our lives and the length of our days.” But when one does not know the need for faith because he thinks that engaging in Torah and observing Mitzvot is enough for him to be considered a servant of the Creator, he is not given descents from above so as to appreciate the ascents.

Their work is on the outside. They have no intention of entering the inside. That is, they have no intention to completely annul before the Kedusha [holiness/sanctity]—and holy means “retired and separated from himself,” as it is written, “You will be holy for I am holy,”—at which time there is only the authority of the Creator because the lower one wishes to annul before the root, and all he sees is that it is worthwhile to live only to benefit the Creator.

For a person to be in a state where he wants to live only in order to give contentment to the Creator, he must provide himself with great faith in the greatness of the Creator, to make it worthwhile to annul himself for the sake of the Creator. The faith he has acquired during his upbringing is not enough for him. With the faith that he has acquired during the upbringing, he can already work and observe the Torah and Mitzvot in all its details and precisions. This is because he does not have to annul himself before the Creator. Instead, he asks of the Creator that in return for his observing the Torah and Mitzvot that the Creator commanded us through Moses, the Creator will grant all his wishes.

He believes in reward and punishment, and certainly, as our sages said (Avot, Chapter 2, 21), “If you studied much Torah, trust your landlord to pay the reward for your work.” Hence, since the basis obligating him to observe Torah and Mitzvot depends on the reward, not on the giver of the reward, he does not have to engage in the greatness of the faith in the Creator, but in the greatness or smallness of the reward. Hence, there is no question of ascents and descents, believing in the greatness and importance of the Creator. Rather, the only thing that is pertinent there is that he engages in Torah and Mitzvot or that he grows weaker in observance because he does not always believe in the reward.

This causes those who engage in Torah and Mitzvot in order to receive reward—who are sometimes among people who do not believe in reward and punishment—to be able to influence a person with their thoughts. This might cause him even to stray completely from Judaism. Hence, they must not come in contact with people who are free in their views, since they bring them foreign thoughts about faith in reward and punishment. But on the whole, those who engage Lo Lishma [not for Her sake] do not experience ups and downs, meaning there is no need for the presence of descents.

But those who wish to work because of the importance of the Creator, who always need to increase the faith in the importance and the greatness of the Creator, that only the importance and the greatness of the Creator obligates them to observe Torah and Mitzvot in order to achieve Dvekut with the Creator, those people must always assume and value the greatness of the Creator. They must always assess that if they have some grip on spirituality, it is because the Creator is bringing them closer, while they themselves are completely powerless unless they see that they will derive from it some benefit for themselves. It follows that the main work is to annul himself. Yet, this is against nature; only by His salvation can they achieve it.

Thus, during the ascent, a person thinks that it is natural and that he does not need the Creator’s help at all. Hence, a correction was made, called “descents,” where one is always shown the measure of his strength—what he can do by himself and how he sees it. But when he is tossed off from his state, where he thought he was already human and not like the beasts that work for themselves, suddenly he cannot even feel that they wish to throw him down into this baseness, in which he discovers himself afterwards.

And yet, during the descent, he does not see that he is beginning to decline. Rather, when he descends, he remains unconscious. After being down for some time, he also gets help from above and he is told, “Know that now you are in decline.” Before he is told that he is unconscious, he does not know a thing. However, one should believe that this, too, is so, since knowing does not come by itself. Instead, one should know that these descents were given to him to learn how it is possible to appreciate the state of ascent. But during the descent, one cannot learn anything from it.

However, during the ascent he can make a true judgment and say, “Now I am in a state of faith, and this came to me from the Creator. Otherwise, I would immediately fall into a state of self-love.” If he does not make this calculation and thank the Creator for bringing him closer, he is immediately thrown. It turns out that it is impossible to obtain real pleasure from nearing the Creator unless he can appreciate it, as said above, “As the advantage of the light from the darkness.”

It follows that for the creatures to receive the delight and pleasure and feel it, those descents were all necessary. They are called “exile,” and this is called “Shechina [Divinity] in exile” or “Shechina in the dust.” Only by this will one have the Kelim [vessels] to feel the delight and pleasure.

With the above-said, we can understand why specifically at the time of freedom, which is Passover night, the complete wholeness, as the ARI says, that Malchut has the same Gadlut, since Malchut has Mochin de Haya, and so it is on Passover night.

The answer is that precisely during an ascent, when one thinks of descents they had the power to elicit the importance of ascents. Otherwise, it is akin to one who is given something that is worth a fortune and he uses and enjoys it as though its worth was a few pennies.

Thus, specifically at the time of freedom, it is possible to ask the questions. That is, it is not about the questions, but we need the questions in order to understand the answers, as Baal HaSulam said about what is written, “Speak now in the ears of the people, and let them borrow every man of his neighbor.” RASHI interprets that he warned them that that righteous will say, “He kept, ‘And they shall serve them and they shall afflict them,’ and He did not keep, ‘Afterward they will come out with great possessions.’” There is a question: “If the Creator wished to give great possessions to the people of Israel, could the Creator not give them? Did he have to tell the people of Israel to be fraudulent and borrow vessels of silver and vessels of gold from the Egyptians?”

The answer is that when the Creator told Abraham, “To give this land unto you to inherit it,” Abraham asked, “By what will I know that I shall inherit it?” “And he said unto Abram, ‘Know for certain that your seed will be a stranger in a land that is not theirs ... and afterwards they will come out with great possessions.’” He asked, “What do we see in the Creator’s reply to Abram's question, ‘By what will I know…,’ that by being in a land that is not theirs, meaning in exile, Abram could be certain that they would inherit the land?”

He said that since there is no light without a Kli [vessel]—meaning no filling without a lack, and Abram said to the Creator that he did not see that they would need such great lights, called “the land of Israel”—the Creator told him that by being in exile and by asking the Creator to deliver them from exile, how will He deliver them? Only with great lights, since “The light in it reforms him.” Thus, then they will have the need for the great lights.

He explained about this that this is why the Creator said to borrow Kelim [vessels] from the Egyptians—meaning take the hardness of the Egyptians, but as a loan—to receive the lights, and then return the Kelim to them. In other words, they took the questions in order to understand the answers. It is as was said above, it is impossible to understand the light if not from within the darkness. This is why all the questions come specifically at the time of freedom.