Chapter 34: Rejoicing over Making a dwelling place for G-d within one’s Day
1. The unity of the divine presence within the forefathers, prophets, and ancestors:
- The forefathers: Our forefathers were a chariot for G-d. All of their days, they never ceased connecting their minds and souls to G-d.
- The prophets: Likewise, all the prophets that followed after Them, each one connected their mind and souls to G-d according to their level.
- Moshe: However, the level of the connection of Moses was the highest of all, as the divine presence would speak through his mouth.
- The Jewish people on Mount Sinai: On Mount Sinai, the Jewish people also merited a glimmer of such an experience, however, due to their inability to handle it their souls left their bodies and they became nullified in their existence.
- The residing of the divine presence in the Temple:
- Being that the Jewish people were not able to handle the revelation of G-d within them, therefore G-d immediately commanded them to build a tabernacle with a holy of holies in order for the divine presence to reside.
- The residing of the divine presence in the teachings of Halacha:
- From when the temple was destroyed, G-d now only resides with His full unity within the four cubits of Jewish law.
- The reason for this is because Jewish law represents the will and wisdom of G-d.
- Intending to make a dwelling place for G-d within one’s Torah learning:
- Contemplating the above: A person should contemplate the above idea of the nullification of our ancestors to G-d and G-d resided in the temple and how now G-d only resides within the teachings of Halacha, and should then tell himself the following, in order so he too merit to make a dwelling place for G-d below:
- Personally, my mind is too limited, and the root of my soul is too low to merit to become a true abode for the revelation of G-d and his unity. This is due to the fact that my mind cannot comprehend regarding G-d even one iota of what the forefathers and prophets were able to comprehend.
- Accordingly, instead, I will make for G-d a dwelling place below within my Torah learning according to my time and ability by both day and night, in accordance to my requirements of Torah learning brought in Jewish law, which at minimum is one chapter in the morning and one chapter in the evening.
- Rejoicing in one’s making for G-d a dwelling place below within one’s Torah learning:
- Using the above contemplation and resolve, a person should rejoice in his Torah learning and over the fact that he married it to become a host for G-d twice a day, and in accordance to the amount of time he has two set aside for learning Torah.
- Resolving to study more Torah when the opportunity arrives:
- In addition to the above joy within the current time available that one has for Torah study, one should also resolve that if G-d gives him more time, he will dedicate that time for Torah study.
- This resolution itself has the power to make it as if he is already fulfilling it, as a good intent G-d considers like actual deed.
- Making an abode for G-d during one’s business dealings through giving charity:
- Even during times that one is not studying Torah, but is rather dealing with business one can become an abode for G-d by giving charity from his income.
- Making an abode for G-d by being merciful just like G-d: [Giving charity accomplishes making for G-d a dwelling place below being that] it follows His character traits, as just as He is merciful so too a person should be merciful.
- Giving 20% of one’s earnings to charity elevates all of one’s time invested in business: Although one only gives 20% of his earnings to charity, nevertheless, as a result of this distribution all of the hours he invested to earn an income become a dwelling place below for G-d.
- A similar ruling regarding sacrifices: Our sages teach us that the mitzvah of charity is equivalent to all the offerings. Now, just like by sacrifices the entire animal kingdom became elevated through the office, and the entire vegetative kingdom became elevated through one flour offering with olive oil, so too by charity, it has the power to elevate all of one’s earnings and the time invested in making the income.
- During prayer and Torah learning all of one’s bodily necessities are elevated: Furthermore, [aside for the elevation of all of one’s earnings through charity] when a person studies Torah and prays, everything that he has eaten and drank and benefited from for the sake of his bodily needs and health, also become elevated to Hashem.
- Retaining a feeling of disgust of one’s spiritual state despite all the above joys:
- All the above different experiences of joy that one can have with G-d, does not contradict the feeling of broken heartedness and humility over one’s low spiritual state.
- It is possible to experience this broken heartedness even during the actual joy, as the broken heartedness is a result of the body and animal soul while the joy is a result of the G-dly soul and the spark of G-d that is within it.
- On this the Zohar states that one can experience weeping on one side of the heart and joy on the other.
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