|Morning Blessings-Shabbat HaGadol-Reaching for Greatness|
An important rule in serving God, a secret that is known, is that one must “come in and leave.” Man contains both good and evil, and it is impossible for him to remain constantly on one level. This is true even of themost holy individuals; a person sometimes goes up and at other times he goes down.
Man is also a microcosm. Therefore, just as levels of “greatness” and “smallness” exist on high, these levels also exist in man. When a person is wise, he has “his eyes in his head (Ecclesiastes 2:14).” Before he descends from his original level, he binds himself there with an attachment to God. He may then descend for the above reasons since it is impossible to remain on one level. Similarly, he may descend to a lower level in order to elevate it and lift up the holy Sparks and people who may be trapped there. When he does this, he is like the king's servant who went down into the mud and dirtied himself in order to rescue the Royal Prince.
Before he descends in any manner, the wise man first binds himself with a bond of desire and longing for God. This bond will not be broken no matter how low he descends, and he is therefore able to raise himself up again.
This is like the wise man who must descend into a pit. Before he goes down, he ties himself to the top with a rope. He can then climb his rope and lift himself out of the pit.
The Root of Israel is, "Jacob, the rope of His heritage (Deuteronomy 32:9)." This 'rope" is bound to God, and one can grasp hold of it and use it to elevate himself. This is the mystery of "coming in and leaving." (Toledot Yaakov Yosef; B'ha'alotecha)
This is the theme of Shabbat HaGadol: The first commandments given to the Children of Israel were the means by which they created the "Rope" that would allow them to, "Come in and leave," hold on to God and their highest level even if they sinned. The Morning Blessings, our first Mitzvot of the day, are the means to create the rope we will use during the day to hold on to God at our highest level.