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Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag (Baal HaSulam)

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.

This is so for two reasons:

A) When one examines some issue and yearns to understand it, that yearning is called “a prayer.” This is because a prayer is a lack, meaning that one is craving what he lacks, that the Creator will fill his lack.

The extent of the prayer is measured by the desire, since the greater desire is for the thing one needs most. According to the measure of the need, so is the measure of the yearning.

There is a rule that in the thing that one makes the most effort, the exertion increases the desire, and one wants to receive fulfillment for one’s deficiency. Also, a lack is called “a prayer,” or “the work in the heart,” since “the Merciful One wants the hearts.”

It turns out that then one can offer a true prayer. And when one studies the words of the Torah, the heart must be freed from other desires and give the mind the strength to be able to think and scrutinize. If there is no desire in the heart, the mind cannot scrutinize, as it is written, “One should always learn where one’s heart desires.”

For one’s prayer to be accepted, it must be a complete prayer. Hence, when scrutinizing in a whole measure, one elicits a whole prayer from it, and then one’s prayer can be accepted, because the Creator hears a prayer. But there is a condition: the prayer must be a whole prayer, and not have other things mixed in the middle of the prayer.

B) The second reason is that since one has separated from corporeality, and is somewhat closer to the quality of bestowal, it is a better time to connect with the internality of the Torah, which appears to those who have equivalence with the Creator. This is because the Torah, the Creator, and Israel are one. However, when one is in a state of self-reception, he belongs to the externality and not to the internality.

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