Complete love

The Second Commandment

198) The second commandment is a commandment to which the commandment of fear clings and which it never leaves: it is love—that one should love one’s Master with whole love. And what is whole love? It is great love, as it is written, “Walk before Me and be whole.” “Whole” means whole with love.

When it is written, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’” it is whole love, which is called “great love.” And here it is a commandment for one to love one’s Master properly.

This is so because there is conditioned love, which comes because of the good that the Creator has given to him, by which his soul clings to Him with heart and soul. And although he is completely adhered to the Creator, it is still considered incomplete love, as it is written, “Noah walked with God.” This means that Noah needed support to assist him because he was supported by all the good that the Creator had bestowed upon him.

Abraham, however, did not need support, as it is written, “Walk before Me and be whole.” “Walk before Me” means without support, but “Before Me,” even though you do not know if I will come after you to support you. This is whole love, great love, where although I am not giving you anything, your love will still be whole, to adhere to Me with all your heart and soul.

199) Rabbi Elazar said, “My father, I heard the meaning of complete love.” He replied, “My son, tell Rabbi Pinhas, for he is at the same degree.” Rabbi Elazar said, “Great love is whole love, for it is whole on both sides. And were it not complete on both sides, it would not be whole as it should be.

Commentary: He told him to interpret the great love before Rabbi Pinhas because he already obtained the measure of great love as it should be, and he will thoroughly understand what he would say. Whole love is whole on both sides, whether in Din or in Hesed. And even if He takes your soul, your love in the Creator is in complete wholeness, as when He gives you all the bounty in the world.

200) The love for the Creator is interpreted on both sides: There is one who loves Him so as to have wealth, long life, sons around him, rule over his enemies, his ways are firm, and thus, he loves Him. And if it were to the contrary, and the Creator would reverse the fortune upon him with harsh judgment, he would hate Him and not love Him at all. For this reason, this love is not love that has a foundation, for because the root of his love is based on something, if that something is revoked, the love will be revoked.

201) Complete love is love on both sides, whether in Din, or in Hesed and successful ways. He will love the Creator even if He takes His soul away from Him. This love is complete, for it is on both sides, in Hesed and in Din. Hence, the light of the act of creation came out, and was then concealed. When it became concealed, the harsh Din came out and the two sides, Hesed and Din, were included together, becoming whole.

This is proper love, for the light that was created in the six days of creation, in the verse, “Let there be light,” was concealed again, as it is written in The Zohar, “Let there be light for this world, and let there be light for the next world.” The light from this world was concealed, and appears only for the righteous in the next world.

Why was it concealed? It is because with the concealing of the light, harsh Din came out in this world, by which the two sides, Din and Rachamim, were integrated, becoming whole. This gave room for the inclusion of the two ends as one. This is so because now it became possible to disclose the wholeness of His love even while He takes one’s soul away from him. Thus, room was given to complement the love in a way that had it not been hidden and the harsh Din had not been revealed, this great love would have been devoid of the righteous, and it never would have been possible for it to become disclosed.

202) Rabbi Shimon took him and kissed him. Rabbi Pinhas came and kissed him and blessed him, and said, “It must be that the Creator has sent me here. This is the fine light that I was told was integrated in my house, and which afterwards will illuminate the entire world.” Rabbi Elazar replied, “Certainly, this fear must not be forgotten in all the Mitzvot, much less in the Mitzva of love—fear should be attached to it.”

And how is it attached? Love is good on one side, when He gives him wealth and bounty, long life, sons, and nourishments, and then fear should be evoked—to fear lest he will cause the sin and his fortune would turn on him. It is written about that, “Happy is he who is always fearful,” for fear is included in love.

203) And thus one should evoke the fear on the other side of harsh Din, for when one sees that he is under harsh Din, he should evoke the fear and fear his Master properly, and not harden his heart. It is written about that, “He who hardens his heart will fall into calamity,” meaning that he will fall to the other side, which is called “evil.” It follows that fear clings to both sides, the side of good and love, and the side of harsh Din, and she is included in them.

If fear is included in the side of goodness and love, it is complete love as it should be, since fear is a Mitzva that contains all the Mitzvot in the Torah, as it is the gate of the faith in the Creator. And according to the awakening of one’s fear, the faith in the Creator’s guidance is in him. Hence, the fear must not be forgotten in each and every Mitzva.

It is especially so with the Mitzva of love, meaning that fear must be evoked along with it, since the fear is actually united in the Mitzva of love. For this reason, one must evoke the fear on both sides of the love, on love during mercy and success of one’s ways, and on love during the harsh Din.

This is why he says that fear must adhere to love. And how does it adhere to it? He indicates so we will not err in his words, regarding what he said—that complete love is when one takes one’s soul during the harsh Din. And let us think that the meaning is that we should not be afraid of the harsh Din whatsoever but only cling to His love with devotion and without any fear. This is why he explains that the fear must adhere to love. And how does it adhere to it? Should fear also be evoked at that time, as one evokes the complete love?

Here he repeats the two sides of the love, whether in Din or in Hesed, and the success of his ways. He says that one must evoke the fear on both sides of love, that during the Hesed and success of one’s ways, fear of the Creator should be evoked, lest the sin will cause his love of the Creator to chill. By that, he includes fear in love.

Also, on the other side of the love, during the harsh Din, he should evoke fear of the Creator and not harden his heart or stray his mind from the Din. By that, he includes the fear in love, as well.

If he does so, he is always in complete love, as it should be. In regard to the integration of fear in love on the side of Hesed he brings the verse, “Happy is he who is always fearful.” He explains the word “always” to mean that even when the Creator treats him favorably he should fear Him lest he will cause the sin.

And about the integration of the love on the side of Din, he brings the verse, “He who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” It means that one should not harden one’s heart at a time of Din for any reason in the world, for then he will fall into the Sitra Achra, who is called “evil.” Rather, at that time one must evoke the fear even more, to fear Him and to include the fear in his complete love of that time, although both the first fear and the second fear are not for his own benefit, but only for fear that he will decline in bringing contentment to his Maker.

Thus, the first two Mitzvot have been clarified. The first Mitzva, fear, is the whole of Torah and Mitzvot. It is Beresheet, and it is explained in the first verse, “In the beginning [Beresheet] God created the heaven and the earth.” In other words, fear is the Resheet [first], and the heaven and the earth, which are ZON and their branches BYA, came out of it.

The second verse means its punishment: four deaths—Tohu—strangulation, Bohu—stoning, darkness—burning, and spirit—killing.

The second Mitzva is love. It is explained in the verse, “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’” There are two sides to it: The first side lives happily, with wealth, long lives, children, and nourishments. The second side is “With all your soul and with all your might,” when He takes your soul and your possessions, the love will be as complete as when He gives you wealth and long life.

To discover this love, the light of the act of creation was concealed. And when it was concealed, the harsh Din came out. Also, the love should be mingled with fear on both its sides: on the first side, one should fear that he will not cause the sin and his love will be diminished. On the second side, one should fear the concealing, which is the judgment to which the Creator sentences him, as it is according to the literal meaning of the words of The Zohar.

However, to continue the clarification with the rest of the Mitzvot, we must clarify the matters more deeply in the high degrees of Atzilut. The Zohar refers to the four letters HaVaYaH, HB TM, as fear, love, Torah, and Mitzva. Yod, Hochma, is fear; the first Hey, Bina, is love; Vav is the Torah; and the bottom Hey is a Mitzva.

It is written, “In the beginning God created.” This is the first among all the Mitzvot, and this fear is called “the fear of God,” the beginning [Resheet], since Partzuf AA is the whole of the world of Atzilut, which shines to all the worlds through its clothes, which are called AVI, YESHSUT, and ZON. It is also called HS [Aramaic: Hochma Stimaa (blocked Hochma)], since its Hochma was blocked in its Rosh and it does not give any of it to the worlds. Rather, only Bina de AA shines to the worlds.

Therefore, this Bina is called Resheet, as it is the beginning and the root of all the worlds. It is also called “the fear of the Creator,” fear of sublimity, since He is great and rules over everything, the essence, and the root of all the worlds, and everything is regarded as nothing compared to Him. And ZON, which are called “heaven and earth,” came out of it. This is the meaning of the verse, “Beresheet [In the beginning],” meaning with fear, “God created heaven and earth,” which are ZON.

It is written, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and it is written, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” since fear is called “beginning,” since the Mochin are HBD, although the Hochma of the Mochin is not the real Hochma de AA, but only Bina de AA. It is so because when Bina de AA rises to Rosh de AA, she returns to being Hochma there, giving Hochma to the Partzufim. It follows that the Bina, which is fear, is the beginning of Hochma, as it is written,The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

It is also the beginning of knowledge because the knowledge is the root of ZON, which elevate her to Rosh de AA to receive Hochma, hence the ZON, too, receive Hochma from her, as it is written, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”

It was said that this second Mitzva is a Mitzva to which the Mitzva of fear clings, and which never leaves it. It is love that one loves one’s Master complete love, since Hochma is called “love” because the Yod de HaVaYaH is the essence of Bina, GAR in her, upper AVI, pure air, and the light of Hochma is hidden in them. Also, the disclosure of light of Hochma from ZAT de Bina, which are called YESHSUT, is the first Hey de HaVaYaH, which is why they are called “love.”

This is the second Mitzva after fear because this Hochma is not received from Hochma de AA herself, but from Bina, who is fear. The Mitzva of fear clings to it and never departs from it, meaning that Bina is always united with Hochma and never parts from her. And in any place where there is Bina, Hochma is necessarily with her, too, since HB are always attached to one another, and you will never find Hochma without Bina or Bina without Hochma.

By that, he tells us that even though it was said that the first Mitzva is fear, Bina, do not be mistaken that it is Bina without Hochma. Similarly, in the second Mitzva, which is love, Hochma, do not be mistaken that it is Hochma without Bina. Rather, there is Hochma in the first Mitzva, and there is Bina in the second Mitzva, as well, since HB are mingled and come together; they never part.

However, we name them according to the domination. In the first Mitzva, upper AVI, GAR de Bina—the essence of BinaBina is the primary dominator, hence it is called “fear.” In the second Mitzva, Hochma is the primary dominator, hence we call it “love.”

And what is complete love? It is great love, as it is written, “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’” This means that Beresheet is an abstruse verse, and the disclosure of Beresheet begins primarily in the verse “Let there be light,” which is the ascent of Bina, Resheet, to Rosh de AA, where she returns to being Hochma. At that time HB together are called “great love.” This is “Let there be light,” since the Bina rose to AA and gives light to all the worlds with great love, which is HB.

It was said above that the love for the Creator is interpreted in two sides: There is one who loves the Creator because he has wealth, a long life, children around him, governance over his enemies, his ways are firm, and hence he loves Him. And complete love is love on both sides, whether in Din or in Hesed, and success of his ways. Meaning he should love the Creator even if He takes his soul away from him. This is complete love, on both sides, in Hesed and in Din. Hence, the light of the act of creation came out and then was concealed. And when it was concealed, the harsh Din came out.

This is why he said, “Let there be light” for this world, and “Let there be light” for the next world, for he saw that this world is unfit for use. He halted and concealed it in the next world, above Parsa, inside the intestines of AA, which is the next world, in the place where upper AVI stand, which are GAR de Bina that end at Chazeh de AA, the place of the Parsa, which separates the upper water, upper AVI, from the lower water, YESHSUT and ZON, since the light darkened from Chazeh de AA and below, and it no longer shines. And the light is hidden in YESHSUT, who stand from Chazeh to Tabur de AA, meaning in ZAT de Bina, and does not shine in them.

It follows that Bina divided into two sides, since the light is revealed in the GAR in her, upper AVI, standing above Chazeh de AA, upper water. And one who is rewarded with the degree of upper AVI has wealth, a long life, children as olive plants surrounding his table, and he governs his enemies, his ways are firm for him, and all that he does succeeds.

However, the light has already been concealed from ZAT de Bina, which stand below Chazeh de AA, lower water. Those who receive from it must love the Creator even if He takes their souls away from them.

This is the meaning of the two sides of love, which are GAR and ZAT de Bina with respect to the right in her, meaning love. This is done by concealing the light of the act of creation, and one who is rewarded with being whole in the love of the Creator, in love of upper AVI, and in the love of YESHSUT, this is proper love.

One must integrate the fear in those two sides of love, since on the side of Hesed, upper AVI, fear should be evoked, so he would not cause the sin. And also, on the side of the love of YESHSUT, one must evoke the fear on the side of harsh Din, YESHSUT, since when he sees that there is harsh Din on him, he should evoke the fear. Also, he should fear his Master properly and not harden his heart because HB, being love and fear, are always attached to one another, hence Bina, fear, must be included in both GAR de Bina, meaning AVI, and in ZAT de Bina, meaning YESHSUT.

Then fear clings to both sides, the side of good and love and the side of harsh Din, and she is included in them. If fear is included on the side of good and love, it is complete love, as it should be. There are two which are four here, since there is love only in two sides—GAR and ZAT de Bina—and love is incomplete on either of the two sides unless there is fear in each of them, since there cannot be Hochma without Bina, which is love without fear.

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