There is another point concerning which a person must "take counsel within his soul."1, 2 It is possible that a person may carry out his Divine service in a desirable manner, both with regard to his intellectual achievements and his emotional development and therefore his spiritual feelings are consciously expressed. Moreover, they are not mere fantasy, but genuine love and fear that impact his observance of the Torah and its mitzvos.3 He knows the mystic intent (kavanah) associated with the mitzvos and is aware of the spiritual energies drawn down through the observance of the mitzvos. For example, his Divine service of tzedakah draws down the vector of Divine kindness. His Divine service of might, [acting according to the dictates of judgment]4 as reflected in the verse,5 "You brought about judgment… in Yaakov," draws down the vector of Divine might. And his study of the Torah, which reflects the middle vector of Divine service, draws down the middle vector6 from Above. In carrying out all the above, his Divine service fulfills the charge: "And you shall serve G‑d your L‑rd."

The expression "G‑d your L‑rd," Havayah Elokeichem, implies that Havayah, the aspect of G‑d that is past, present, and future as onerecycle 26 — and on a higher level, the aspect of Havayah that transcends Seder HaHishtalshelus, the chainlike progression of spiritual existence — becomes Elokecheichem (your L‑rd), i.e., your strength and your vitality.7 Nevertheless, even on such a level, one must be careful not to feel satisfied with his Divine service. For then, he will remain stationary; he will not proceed any further in his Divine service.

Such feelings of self-satisfaction can cause the love and fear that had already been spawned and expressed to cease thriving (the concept of one who loses her young mentioned above). Moreover, even when he is carrying out his Divine service with love and fear, his Divine service will be constrained, restricted by the limits of his self-satisfaction.

This is the implication of the phrase: "There will not be a woman who loses her young or who is barren in your land." "Your land" (ארצך) refers to the concept of will (רצון).8 A person should not feel any self-satisfaction from his Divine service. (Obviously, such an individual should not feel his own personal desires, forthen he would be, as mentioned above, a full vessel that cannot hold anything else. He would not have a receptacle at all, i.e., in the analogy, the barren woman described above.) [However, to fulfill the charge, "There will not be a woman who loses her young," he must also rise above feelings of self-satisfaction.]


The quality that could prevent one's spiritual emotions from thriving is self-satisfaction. This trait will hold a person back from advancing in his Divine service and, indeed, inhibit the love and fear that he has already attained.