Or you could say, “At the moment when Israel put [we will do before we will listen, a heavenly voice] said: ‘Who revealed this secret to my children?’” (Shabbat 88a). And we must understand how it is possible to do before one hears what to do, as well as the basis for Blessed God’s praise, complimenting [Israel] so much because they put we will do before we will listen.
But the truth is that no person is able to stay at one level always, because the life-force ebbs and flows, it comes and goes, meaning that when he is attached to Blessed God he feels life-force and pleasure; and afterward he moves away and falls from his level. And contained in this are secrets of Torah, the reason why it is necessary to fall from his level; and one reason is so that he can arrive afterward at an even greater level, for in every thing there must be Absence before Presence. When we want to rise to an even greater level there must be absence beforehand, therefore one must fall from the level at which one currently stands.
So a person must, even in falling from his level, make an effort to rise up to God in the level at which he now stands; for one must believe that all the earth is full of God’s glory (Isaiah 6:3) and no place is void of Him, and even on the level at which he now stands, Blessed God is also there because no place is void of Him, only He is very contracted. And this is [the meaning of the verse] From the rising of the sun until it goes down [the LORD’s name is to be praised] (Psalm 113:3), for the tzaddik is called “the sun” as in the teaching, “Before Eli’s sun set, the sun of Samuel the Ramatite had risen etc.” (Yoma 38b), thus a tzaddik is called the sun. And this is [the meaning of] From the rising of the sun, which is when one’s mind is clear and pure and attached to Blessed God, until it goes down, which is when the clarity departs and he falls from his level. But one must always live by the LORD’s name is to be praised, and make an effort to rise up to Blessed God in the level at which he now stands.
And this is called we will do before we will listen – even in our falling from our level, to attach to Blessed God in that level as we have explained above; and afterwards we will listen, since the essence of listening is understanding, meaning that one will come to an even greater level as we have explained above. And this is the essence of receiving the Torah that Israel received, and therefore Blessed God greatly praised them for this: that they accepted the Torah in the fullness of Truth and comprehended Truth, that they would forever be attached to Blessed God and would not separate from God even when they fell from their level. This is the essence of the Jewish journey and conduct, and this is how a person must walk. And how can a person come to Blessed God once he has fallen from his level, since his mind-states and Awareness have been taken from him? But Blessed God, all the earth is full of God’s glory, that is, even in a place that is all the earth, which is entirely materialistic, which is only dense matter, nevertheless it is full of God’s Blessed Glory. So it is that Blessed God is called the Life of Living, meaning that all the living things in the world, animals, beasts, and birds, and the human species, their life-force is Blessed God. And this is “Life of Living,” that Blessed God is the life-force of all living things. And one should think, when one falls from one’s level, “Do I not live? And who is my life-force? It is the Blessed Creator!” And one will find that Blessed God is also here, even though God is very contracted.
And this is what the Holy Blessed One said: “‘Who’ revealed this secret to My children,” which is to say [the question] “Who.” That is, when they think, “Who is my life-force?” this [question] reveals to them the secret, to put we will do ahead of we will listen, as we have explained above.
And that is [the meaning of the verse] On this day they came into the wilderness of Sinai (Ex. 19:1), which our Sages of Blessed Memory interpreted as “[Torah] should be new for you as on the day when it was given” (Tanhuma, Yitro 13); but how is such a thing possible – was the Torah not given long ago, and how could [Torah] be new like the day it was given? But according to our words above it can be understood well, that in each and every day he puts we will do before we will listen, for this is the essence of receiving the Torah as we have clarified.
And that is [the meaning of the verse] you who are attached to the LORD your God, [you are all alive today] (Deut. 4:4), and we must understand why it is written with both names, to the LORD your God, when it should have said you who are attached to the LORD and no more. And according to our words above we can understand well that God [Elohim] in all contexts connotes judgment and contraction; and that is [the meaning of] you who are attached to the LORD your God, meaning even when He is contracted for you, when you have fallen from your level, nevertheless you are attached to Blessed God by means of [the question], “Is it not the case that you are all alive today? And who is your life-force? It is He, may His Name be Blessed and His Mention Elevated!”
And that is [the meaning of] King David’s statement, peace be upon him, I have set [shiviti] the LORD always opposite me (Psalm 16:8), which is to say that Existence was the same [shaveh] for me. That is, “When I am attached to Blessed God with clear mind-states” – opposite me connoting opposition – “then when I fall from my level it was all the same for me,” that he was attached to Blessed God even in the moment of his falling.
And that is [the meaning of] what King Solomon, peace be upon him, said, Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this (Ecclesiastes 7:10), which is to say that there are fools who in their falling from their level lie in the dust and do not rise again to Blessed God. And that is [the meaning of] Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these,” meaning that then I served Blessed God and now I have fallen from my level – Do not say such a thing, For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. For Wisdom gives life, and the life-force ebbs and flows, in which case it must be so. And in the Holy Zohar this is called “Arriving and not arriving,” meaning that when he is attached to Blessed God in clarity then it is called “arriving;” but when [the attachment] leaves it is called “not arriving.”
And the reason why he must fall from his level is this: because there are fallen souls; those that fell during the six days of Creation and those that fell in each and every generation. And they are reincarnated, and they are fugitive and wanderer (Gen. 4:12) and can not come to Blessed God because they have nothing through which to come; for in their life of life-force they engaged in this world’s vanities and achieved nothing. But when the tzaddik falls from his level and afterward rises as in the verse, seven times the tzaddik falls and stands (Proverbs 24:16), when he stands and rises up to Blessed God he lifts with him those souls we have mentioned. Now, he can only lift those souls who are from his root; and therefore every person must fall from his level in order to lift up the souls that are from his root, and understand this.