The ‘down’ is just for the ‘up’
Continuing the series of translations of Rabbi Eliezer Berland’s words from the You will succeed! book. Click HERE to buy the book in Hebrew.
Everything that a person goes through in his life, this is all just preparation to make him humble.
All the terrible ‘downs’, and all the awful pgmei habrit (spiritual blemishes), all this is just preparing him for humility. Because otherwise, a person couldn’t become humble.
If a person didn’t have issues with pgmei habrit, so then he would think that he’s a king, and he’d be in such a state of arrogance. This is how they sinned, with the sin of the Golden Calf.
Even though they’d broken their tumah (spiritual impurity), and were already at the stage of techiat hameitim (the revival of the dead), and every word [from Hashem] caused their souls to fly out [of their bodies] – a thought of arrogance entered in.
So Hashem said, it’s already preferable that you make the Golden Calf.
Because Hashem could have made it that the kishoof (black magic) of Micha wouldn’t have worked, and that the Calf wouldn’t have jumped out of the fire. Or even, that Moshe would have descended a day earlier – except that Hashem said that if they are already having thoughts of arrogance, then it’s preferable that they fall into other things, because Hashem loathes any hint of a haughty heart.
Whoever has a thought of arrogance, so he won’t rise at the time of techiat hameitim (the revival of the dead). And every [negative] thing that happens to a person, this is only in order to break his heart.
Of course, only if he does these things against his will, not if he does these things on purpose or maliciously. Because the person who says I will sin and then make teshuva afterwards – he won’t be enabled to make teshuva. If he thinks that in the end he’ll make teshuva, so he won’t merit to make teshuva.
Only if what he goes through is through compulsion, and against his will, so then, dafka, he’ll merit to achieve a level of humility through this that no tzaddik in the world could merit to achieve such a level.
Dafka, it’s at the extreme extremity of the fall – the more a person goes down, the further and further and further he falls down – now, he’s going to be able to make true teshuva.
Now, he’s going to make real teshuva! In the midst of the greatest fall, the steepest descent – now he’s going to make true teshuva.
All of the regressions, they are only to give us a broken heart.
All of the sins that a person does in his life, it’s only in order to give him the vessels to collect the light of ein sof, the infinite light.
Now he has a broken heart, which he acquired by way of the awful sins he did. By way of this, he received a truly broken heart, and this broken heart is what will enable him to enter all of the heichalot (spiritual palaces). And to split all the screens.
All the downs that a person goes through, everything is decreed from above.
But when [does this apply]? When he immediately does teshuva.
They give him the chance to make teshuva. Hashem carves out a tunnel for him, underneath the kisey hakavod (throne of glory).
Moshe created a path of subjugation, so that now it’s possible to make teshuva. But if he continues to descend further and further, who knows if he’ll ever get out of there? Maybe he’s going to experience universal disgrace and ignominy. Maybe, in the end, he’ll be the dust that’s under the feet of the Tzaddikim (in Heaven).
And maybe, he won’t even merit to be dust. It’s impossible to know, if he continues to fall.
But, the second that he makes teshuva, teshuva from love, then all of the ‘downs’ will turn into ‘ups’.