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Spiritual Attainment

Divinity in Exile

It is written, “There is none else besides Him.” This means that there is no other force in the world that has the ability to do anything against Him. And what one sees, that there are things in the world that deny the Higher Household, the reason is that this is His will...

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The Reason for the Heaviness in the Work

We must know the reason for the heaviness felt when one wishes to work to annul one’s “self” before the Creator, and to not care for one’s own interest. One comes to a state as if the whole world stands still, and he alone is now seemingly absent from this world, and leaves his family and friends for the sake of annulling before the Creator...

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Lishma Is an Awakening from Above

It is not in one’s hands to understand how to be rewarded with Lishma (for Her Name). This is because the human mind cannot grasp how such a thing can be in the world. This is because one is only permitted to grasp that if one engages in Torah and Mitzvot, he will attain something. There must be self-gratification there, for otherwise, one is unable to do anything...

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Support in the Torah

When a person is studying Torah and wants all his actions to be in order to bestow, one needs to try to always have support in the Torah. Support is considered nourishments, which are love, fear, elation, and freshness. And one should extract all that from the Torah. In other words, the Torah should give one these results...

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Habit Becomes Second Nature

Through accustoming oneself to something, that thing becomes second nature for that person. Hence, there is nothing in the world that one cannot feel its existence. This means that although one has no sensation of the thing, by accustoming to that thing, one can still come to feel it...

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The Difference between a Shade of Kedusha and a Shade of Sitra Achra

It is written (Song of Songs, 2), “Until the day breathes, and the shadows flee away.” We must understand what are shadows in the work, and what is “two shadows.” The thing is that when one does not feel His Providence, that the Creator leads the world in a manner of “Good that doeth good,” it is regarded as a shadow hiding the sun...

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The Essence of One’s Work

The essence of one’s work should be how to come to feel taste in bestowing contentment upon one’s Maker, since all that one does for oneself distances him from the Creator due to disparity of form. However, if one performs an act for the benefit of the Creator, even the smallest act, it is still considered a Mitzva (commandment/good deed)...

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Lishma

In order for a person to obtain Lishma (for Her Name), one needs an awakening from Above because it is an illumination from Above, and it is not for the human mind to understand it. But he who tastes, knows. It is said about that, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”...

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The Time of Ascent

When one feels oneself in a state of ascent, that he is high-spirited, when he feels that he has no desire but only for spirituality, it is then good to delve into the secrets of the Torah, to attain its internality. Even if one sees that although one exerts oneself to understand anything, and still does not know anything, it is still worthwhile to delve in the secrets of the Torah, even a hundred times in a single thing, and not despair, meaning say that it is useless, since he does not understand anything...

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You Who Love the Lord Hate Evil

In the verse, “O ye that love the Lord, hate evil; He preserveth the souls of His followers; He delivered them out of the hand of the wicked,” he interprets that it is not enough to love the Creator and to want to be granted adhesion with the Creator. One should also hate evil...

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Raising the Slave through the Ministers

It is written, “for one higher than the high watcheth, and there are higher than they.” As a fierce answer is required, I shall answer you that everyone believes in Private Providence, but does not adhere to it at all...

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PARDESS

“Four entered a PARDESS,” etc. Before the world was created, there was He is One and His Name One, because the souls were not considered souls, since the whole issue of name refers to when one turns one’s face away from Him, He calls upon him to turn his face back...

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Sit and Do Nothing—Better

…I can no longer restrain myself with all that stands between us, so I will try the true, open admonition, for I need to know the true value of a word of truth in our land. This has always been my way—to meticulously delve into all of Creation’s actions, to know their value, precisely whether it is good or bad...

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If I Am Not for Me, Who Is for Me?

I have already said in the name of the Baal Shem Tov that prior to making a Mitzva, one must not consider Private Providence at all. Instead, one should say, “If I am not for me, who is for me?” But after the fact, one must reconsider and believe that it is not “by my power and the might of my hand” that I did this Mitzva, but only by the power of the Creator, who planned it for me in advance, and thus I was compelled to do it...

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Walking the Path of Truth

Let me write to you with regard to the middle pillar in the work of God, so as to always be a target for you between right and left. This is because there is one who walks who is worse than he who sits idly. It is he who deflects from the road, for the path of truth is a very thin line that one walks until one comes to the King’s palace...

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One Is Where One Thinks

Keep your feet from suffering a man’s jolt prematurely, since “one is where one thinks.” Hence, when one is certain that he will not lack anything, he can focus his efforts in words of Torah, for “blessed cleave to blessed.”...

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An Allegory about the Rich Man’s Son in the Cellar

It would seem that one should be precise with the word Teshuva (repentance/return); it should have been named “wholeness”—that everything is predetermined and each soul is already in its utmost Light, benefit, and eternity...

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The Lord Is Thy Shade

The Baal Shem Tov gave a clear sign by which to know how much the Creator is playing with one—to examine one’s own heart and see how much one is playing with the Creator. So are all the matters, by way of “the Lord is thy shade.”...

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The Labor Is the Most Important

My dear son, Baruch Shalom, I have received your letter and I congratulate you for the Semicha (rabbinical ordination) that you have obtained. This was the first wall that blocked your path from marching forward. I hope that from this day forth you will begin to succeed and go from strength to strength, until you enter the King’s Palace...

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Association of Mercy with Judgment

The essence of the work is the choice, meaning “therefore choose life,” which is Dvekut (adhesion), Lishma (for Her Name). Thus, one is rewarded with Dvekut with the Life of Lives...

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