Table of contents
Baruch Shalom Ha-Levi Ashlag (Rabash)/Articles
What Is Preparation for Selichot [Forgiveness]
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)
They Helped Every One 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)
What Is the Degree One Should 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)
Is It Possible Something Negative Comes 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)
Concerning Branch and Root. 2 (1985)
Concerning 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 by 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 Whose Heart Is Hardened. 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 Kelim [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 [Nursing] 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 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 the 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 Servant 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, which 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)

What Is Preparation for Selichot [Forgiveness]

Article No. 36, 1986

It is known that for anything we want, we must prepare the means to obtain it. Accordingly, what must one prepare in order to receive Selichot [forgiveness]? In corporeality we see that one does not say to another, “Sorry,” unless he has done something that harmed the other person in terms of money, honor, or bodily harm, by causing him some injury. In that case it can be said that one should ask for the other’s forgiveness, to forgive the wrong that he has done to him.

There are two things to discern here: 1) If he did not do anything to him, but he is asking him for forgiveness, the other person will look at him as though he is insane. If we saw someone walking on the street saying to everyone, “Sorry, sorry,” we would certainly think that he is mad. Forgiveness pertains only to some felony. 2) If another person causes a great loss to another person and apologizes as though he did something small, he will certainly not receive what he has asked for, since he has done a great offense, but he apologizes as though he did something small. It is inconceivable that he will forgive him. Rather, one measures the severity of the damage that he has done to his friend, and to that extent chooses the means that will make his friend forgive him.

We see in corporeal conducts how people behave concerning forgiveness among people, and from the conduct between man and man we should apply the same order between man and God. That is, when one comes to ask the Creator for forgiveness, to forgive his sins, the two above discernments apply, as well: 1) that you do not apologize for anything, but only for hurting another, or you will be perceived as insane, or that you are mocking the other by asking his forgiveness. 2) The request for forgiveness should match the measure of harm to the other.

Therefore, when one comes to ask the Creator to forgive his sin against Him, that he blemished His honor, one must think about his sin against the Creator. This is so because if a person does not feel any sin yet asks for forgiveness, it is as though he is joking. He is yelling and crying and asking the Creator’s forgiveness when he does not feel that he has damaged the King’s glory whatsoever.

The reason why a person does not feel his sins is as our sages said (Yoma, 86), “If a person commits a transgression and repeats it, it becomes to him as permitted.” This is the reason why a person does not feel his sins when he comes to ask the Creator for forgiveness.

It follows, according to the second discernment, meaning discerning the measure of the sin, that first one must acknowledge the measure of the flaw that he has flawed in the glory of the King. Otherwise you cannot speak of forgiveness. Thus, one should try as much as possible to be able to ask that He will forgive his sins according to his sins, meaning that they will be of equal weight.

Our sages also said (Sukkah, 52), that to the wicked, the sins seem like a hairsbreadth, and to the righteous they seem like a high mountain. The question is, what does this “seem” mean? That is, they said, “Seem to them,” but what is the truth?

The thing is that when one does not notice before whom he sins and does not feel the importance and greatness of the Creator, he is faithless. At that time, when he begins to think, “But I’m a Jew, as well,” and since now is the month of Elul, and it is customary in Israel throughout the generations that since it is a month of mercy, and anyone who is regarded as “Israel” knows that now is the time to ask the Creator for forgiveness for the sins of the house of Israel. Also, we blow the Shofar [festive horn] so man’s heart will begin to contemplate repentance for sins. At that time one believes that he, too, must have sinned and must ask the Creator for forgiveness.

However, what is the measure of the flaw that he has blemished in the King? A person cannot feel this feeling. Rather, to the extent of one’s faith in the greatness of the Creator he can assume the measure of the flaw that he has caused by his sins. Therefore, all those who come to ask for forgiveness without any preparation as to what they are forgiven for are as one who is asking forgiveness of someone although he did terrible things to him, which require true remorse for his actions, yet he is asking forgiveness as though he did something insignificant. Naturally, the request for forgiveness is also without real value as it should be for a real sin.

It follows that before one comes to ask forgiveness he must first reflect on the core of the sin. Afterward he can consider the sins that were caused by the core of the sin. One should know that the core of the sin with which one blemishes, and from which all the sins extend, is that one is not trying to have permanent faith. If he has partial faith, he settles for it.

It is as it is written in the “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot” (item 14), that if he had permanent faith, that faith would not let him sin. That is, he asks forgiveness from the Creator since he sees that the real reason for all the sins is that he lacks permanent faith. Therefore, he asks the Creator to give him that strength, meaning to have the ability to always have faith steadfast in his heart. Naturally, he will not come and commit sins and blemish the glory of the Creator because he has no feeling of the greatness of the Creator, and because he does not know how to appreciate the glory of heaven, and how not to harm it.

Therefore, he asks forgiveness from the Creator, to help him and give him the strength to take upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven above reason, meaning to have the power to overcome and strengthen in faith in the Creator, and to know how to behave between man and God, with some reverence.

This means that when one reflects, he will see that he needs only one thing—to reflect on the difference between Jew and gentile, for which we bless each day, “Blessed are You, O Lord, for not making me a gentile.” But one does not pay much attention to what he says, “For not making me a gentile.” That is, he does not consider himself: in what way he is Israel and not a gentile. We must know that the main distinction is in the faith—Israel believes in the Creator and a gentile has no faith in the Creator.

Once he knows that difference he must check his measure of faith in the Creator, meaning as it is written in the “Introduction to the Study of Ten Sefirot” (item 14), how much he is willing to make concessions for his faith in the Creator. Then he will be able to see the truth, meaning if he is willing to do things only for the sake of the Creator and not for his own sake, or is he willing to work for the Creator only to a small extent, meaning that, God forbid, he should blemish self-love, or else he will not be able to do anything.

It therefore follows that then is the time when he can see the truth: his true measure of faith in the Creator. From this he can see that all the sins stem only from this reason. By receiving preparation and qualification when he comes to ask the Creator to forgive his sins he can assume the true measure of the flaw, meaning in what way he has blemished the glory of the King and he will know what to ask of the Creator, meaning what sins he has sinned and which he must correct so as not to sin again.

Now we can understand what is written in the portion, Nitzavim [Standing] (Deuteronomy, 30:11): “For this commandment, which I command you today, is not beyond you, nor is it far. It is not in heaven, and not beyond the sea, for the matter is very near you—in your mouth and in your heart to do it.”

The words, “For this commandment,” to which commandment is he referring? We should also understand the meaning of “It is not beyond you.” The thing is that the core of the Mitzva [commandment] is the Mitzva of faith, meaning to believe in the Creator. Afterwards we can keep His Mitzvot [plural of Mitzva]. All the slanderers and all the obstructions come to the Mitzva of faith. The body begins to ask many questions—both questions that the body itself is asking, and questions about faith that the body hears other people.

They come to a person when he wants to take upon himself the burden of the kingdom of heaven “as an ox to the burden and as a donkey to the load,” meaning everything above reason. Suddenly, the body becomes smart and begins to investigate and ask “Who” and “What”? Under no circumstances does it let us take upon ourselves the Mitzva of faith. The body’s questions are so strong that one cannot answer its questions. Then a person becomes bewildered and does not have the strength to overcome its just arguments, according to the reason by which it is asking. The body’s questions are a true wonder.

The writing tells us about this: “For this commandment,” meaning the commandment of faith, “is not beyond you.” That is, you do not need to answer the body’s questions, which it asks within reason, since the Mitzva of faith is built specifically above the intellect. That is, the external mind, which was given to man, cannot attain it. This is why you do not need to answer its bewildering questions.

Instead, one must believe that all the questions that the body asks do not come in order for you to answer them. It is to the contrary: These questions come to a person so as to give him a place to believe above reason. Otherwise, if the body understood with its intellect that a person wants to work for the Creator, it would be within reason. This would be called “knowing,” not “believing,” for precisely where one’s mind does not grasp, there, if he does something, it is purely on the basis of faith.

It therefore follows that one does not need to be very talented in order to be able to answer the body’s questions, since all the answers are “Above reason,” called “faith.” This is regarded as “It is not in heaven, and not beyond the sea,” requiring great tactics. Rather, it is utterly simple, and it is called “It is in your mouth and in your heart to do it,” meaning if there is only a desire in the heart then we can overcome.

But the matter of “above reason” requires clarification, since there are many discernments to make there. Baal HaSulam said that above reason means that one should depict for oneself how he would keep Torah and Mitzvot if his reason determined that it is worthwhile to engage in Torah and Mitzvot. That is, if he felt the taste that is in each and every Mitzva.

One must believe that as there are corporeal pleasures, such as pleasures of eating, drinking, and respect, where each thing tastes differently, we must also believe that there is a special taste in each Mitzva. Accordingly, if he tasted the change of flavors during his engagement in Torah and Mitzvot, what excitement and vitality he would feel during his work? Reason would compel him to create for himself an image in the work that is suitable for a servant of the Creator. He would look at all the things that want to disrupt him from his work as inconsequential, unworthy of his attention.

According to the above-mentioned depiction, which he depicts to himself within reason, he should make the same depiction above reason. That is, although he does not feel that there will be something that reason supports, he still works precisely as if he has strong reason and feeling. When he does this, it is regarded as working above reason.

However, as long as he feels that if he had reason he would be serving the Creator more willingly and more consistently, then he is still working within reason, since there is still a difference between reason and above reason. Precisely when it makes no difference to him, it is regarded as “above reason.”