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9. What Are Three Things that Broaden One’s Mind in the Work

I heard on Elul, August 1942

The Holy Zohar interprets what our sages had written: “Three things broaden one’s mind. These are, a handsome woman, a handsome abode, and handsome Kelim (Vessels).” It says, “A handsome woman, this is the Holy Shechina (Divinity). A handsome abode, this is one’s heart; and handsome Kelim, these are one’s organs.”

We must explain that the Holy Shechina cannot appear in its true form, which is a state of grace and beauty, except when one has handsome Kelim, which are the organs, elicited from the heart. This means that one must first purify one’s heart to be a handsome abode by annulling the will to receive for oneself and accustoming oneself to work where all one’s actions will be only in order to bestow.

From this extend handsome Kelim, meaning one’s desires, called Kelim, will be clean from reception for oneself. Rather, they will be pure, discerned as bestowal.

However, if the abode is not handsome, the Creator says, “he and I cannot dwell in the same abode.” This is because there must be equivalence of form between the Light and the Kli (Vessel). Hence, when one takes upon oneself faith in purity, both in mind and in heart, one is imparted with a handsome woman, meaning the Holy Shechina appears to him in a form of grace and beauty, and this broadens one’s mind.

In other words, through the pleasure and gladness that one feels, the Holy Shechina appears within the organs, filling the outer and inner Kelim. This is called “broadening the mind.”

Obtaining that is through envy, lust, and honor, which bring one out of the world. Envy means through envy in the Holy Shechina, regarded as zeal in “The zeal of the Lord of hosts.” Honor means that one wants to increase the glory of heaven, and lust is by way of “Thou hast heard the desire of the humble.”

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