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In Search of Jewish Nature
The six ways of service of God discussed in our previous chapters seem to shed no light on our quest for service of God with Jewish nature. Even the level of gevurah the "intermediate type" of the book of Tanya, seems incomplete. His Divine service is performed with unnatural effort -- seemingly antithetical to the Jewish nature that we seek. The final sefirah in which we can seek Jewish nature is the sefirah of malchut ("kingdom").
Integrating the Upper Sefirot
the source of Malchut is loftier than the sefirot that precede
it, it is the lowest sefirah and has "nothing of itself." Malchut
is like an empty vessel, waiting to be filled by the attributes and powers
above it. We must understand how six sefirot that are
incomplete in their Jewish nature can come together in the sefirah of
malchut to create a new and comprehensive path of Divine service
from which Jewish nature shines.
The incompleteness of the six previous types stems from the fact that each is only a fraction of the entire picture. This partialness becomes an essential flaw in each of the types. However, when the three axes are integrated in the vessel of malchut in the proper order, a unique and complete Jewish nature is created.
The Left Axis in Malchut: Creating a Receptacle
Kabbalah explains that a strong kingdom (malchut) is contingent on input, first and foremost, from the left axis. The main goal of the left axis in building malchut is to form it into a true receptacle. The effort to overcome one's primary, negative nature builds openness and a true will to receive Divine light from a source higher than what was originally possible. The left axis -- effort and exertion to overcome one's nature and to walk in God's path -- creates a receptacle that is open and equipped to receive true Divine light.
The Right Axis in Malchut:
Filling the Receptacle
The vessel of malchut, initially created by the effort of the left to override nature can now be filled with the light of the right axis -- natural flow. Without the strength and effort of the left axis, the nature of the right is blemished and immature -- incapable of nonconformance and aspiration to achieve new heights. After the introduction of the left axis into the soul, though, the light of the right axis naturally flows in the way of God and fulfillment of His commandments. The right axis refocuses the person on the fact that his service of God is his true nature. Furthermore, this had always been his nature and it had always suited him. Until now, his true nature had simply been obscured by a thick shell of exile. The effort and exertion of the left axis was simply the method of removing the shell to reveal and redeem his true Jewish nature.
The Middle Axis in Malchut:
Discovering Jewish Nature
Until now we have explained how the left and right axes unify in the vessel of malchut to create rectified Jewish nature. The most sought after unification, though, is the unification of the two male components of the middle axis – tiferet and yesod -- the sefirot of self-consciousness, with the female sefirah of malchut. In the process of his rectified, natural service of God a person is fairly unaware of himself. The unification with the middle axis -- the axis of self-consciousness -- gives one a rectified and balanced awareness of his actions. On the surface it would seem that this awareness could once again thrust him into the depths of pompousness, as described in the previous chapters. However, after proper construction of Jewish nature this consciousness is no longer negative and harmful. On the contrary, it perfects ones actions, revealing their complete and unique Jewish nature.
All is from God
When Jewish nature is properly constructed, its underlying awareness is that of the left axis: Walking in the path of God is not natural, and one must exert effort in order to do so. With this awareness in place and with the natural flow of the right axis filling the vessel of malchut, one understands that the very nature for which he strived is a gift of God. For this reason, his self-consciousness will not cause him to feel pride. Rather, it will be a consciousness of God's goodness that flows through him, arousing in him sincere and heartfelt thanks to Him.
In Chronicles A 29:14 King David, who exemplifies rectified malchut says:
from You is all,
King David gave full expression to his awareness that his actions were not his at all -- but rather, a gift of God. The rectified self-consciousness of Jewish nature disregards all awareness of "myself" and "my" good deeds, instead relating them completely to God.
sefirah of malchut unifies and integrates all the paths of
Divine service, rectifying and elevating them to crystallize into true
Jewish nature. May we have the merit to achieve this nature and reconstruct
Rachel on both a national and personal level.