Zohar by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai
Genesis
Zohar Volume 1: Genesis
by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, translated by Harav Mordechai Leib Rothenberg and Wikisource

Genesis / בְּרֵאשִׁיתEdit

Bereisheet / בְּרֵאשִׁיתEdit

Zohar Volume I Pages 15a through 59a

[15a] With the beginning of the manifestation of the King's will, that is, when the King desired to emanate and create the world, a hard spark made an engraving upon the supernal light. This hard spark, which emanated from the most concealed of all concealed things from the secret of the Endlessness Light took a shapeless form. The spark was then inserted into the center of a circle that was neither white nor black nor red nor green, nor any color at all. When it began its measurements, it created colors that shone into the empty space and the engraving. From within the spark - This hard spark - a fountain spouted, from which the shades down below received their colors.

From the most concealed of all concealed things, from the secret of the Endlessness Light, emanated two faces: One cleaved and the other did not cleave. Its atmosphere was unknown until forceful blows split Atik, and a concealed supernal point shone. Beyond this point, nothing is knowable and, because of this, it is called by the name Beginning, which means the first of the sayings.

"And they who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and they who turn many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever" (Daniel 12:3). "And they who are wise" alludes to the souls of the righteous, "the brightness of the firmament" to the illumination of the upper three Sefirot, which are revealed when combined with the attribute of mercy. The atmosphere of the brightness that is most concealed of all concealed things merged with this point and shone into it. Then this Beginning which is Arich Anpin expanded into a head and body, and made a chamber for its honor and glory. There, inside the chamber, Arich Anpin planted a holy seed to bring forth souls for the benefit of the world. This is the secret of, "So the holy seed is its immovable stump" (Yeshayah 6:13).

The brightness that it sowed for its honor is similar to the purple seed of the silkworm, for the worm encases itself within its own silk. And from that seed, is prepares for itself a chamber for its own glory and for the benefit of all. With this Beginning, the concealed unknown One created the chamber, and this chamber is called by the name 'Elohim.'

This is the secret of the words: "In the beginning Elohim created" (Beresheet 1:1). This chamber is the brightness from which all ten sayings were created, according to the secret meaning of the expansion of the point from that hidden brightness. Thus, if the word "created" applies to it, no wonder it is written, "And Elohim created man in his own image" (Beresheet 1:27).

The brightness, which is Arich Anpin, is the secret of the Beginning, because its name is the first of all. The Holy Name Eheyeh is engraved upon the sides of Arich Anpin. The name Elohim is engraved on the crown. And this is the secret of Asher, which is a concealed chamber, and is the beginning of the revelation of the secret of the Beginning. The word Asher consists of the same letters as Rosh (Eng. 'head') but in reverse order, as the letter Resh which is the first letter in Rosh is the last letter in Asher. This shows that it is the Rosh that came out of resheet (Eng. 'beginning'), which is Arich Anpin. Therefore, it emerged from the aspect of the head and was formed as a headless body.

After the point [15b] and the chamber were established as one, Beresheet, which is Arich Anpin, includes a lofty beginning to the light of Chochmah. Later, the appearance of the chamber changed and it was called a house (Heb. bayit) and the supernal point was called the head (Heb. rosh). They were included in each other through the secret of the Beginning, because combining the words Bayit and Rosh forms the term Beresheet. This was so as long as Bayit and Rosh were as one, as long as there was no manner of habitation in the house; as long as Chochmah was not clothed with Chassadim, which reveals the four colors of the house. But it was sown for the purpose of habitation and, once it was inhabited, it was called by the name 'Elohim' hidden and concealed.

The brightness was concealed and hidden until the children came inside it in order to beget and the house stood expanded to contain what was established through the holy seed. As long as it had not conceived, the expansion of the house to make it habitable had not occurred, nor was it yet called by the name 'Elohim.' Rather, they both are still part of Beresheet ("In the beginning"). Therefore, everything is considered as if it is included within Arich Anpin; that is, the Beginning. After it became known by the name 'Elohim,' it gave birth to the generations that came from the seed sown within it. He asks, What is that seed and replies: The seed is the engraved letters, which are the secret of the Torah, referring to Zeir Anpin, which emanates from that point which is Arich Anpin.

That supernal point, which is Arich Anpin, sowed inside the chamber which is Yisrael-Saba and Tevunah the secret of the three vowels: Cholam, Shuruk and Chirik. So they are combined into one secret, a Voice that emerges from the joining of the three vowels. When the voice came forth, its female counterpart came with it. She included all the letters as it is written: "the heaven" (Beresheet 1:1); that is, the voice and its Female principle. This voice, which is the secret of the heaven, is the last name of Eheyeh, which is the brightness that contains all the letters and colors in this manner.

Until now, this is the secret of "Hashem our Elohim, Hashem" (Devarim 6:4). These three grades correspond to the supernal secret in the verse: "In the beginning Elohim created" And so the term "in the beginning" is an ancient secret, namely Chochmah that is called Beginning. The term "created" alludes to a concealed secret, from which everything else expands. Elohim's secret meaning is sustaining everything that exists below. The term "the heaven" alludes to the union of the male and female, and it is forbidden to separate them, but rather one should combine them, for they are the secret of the voice and the utterance Yud Hei Vav Hei - Adonai, which are united into one.

(The particle Et (the) is created by combining the letters Aleph and Tav, which are the first and last letters of the alphabet.) Thus, Et includes all the letters from beginning to end. Afterwards, the letter Hei was added to Et, so all the letters would be united with Hei. This formed the word Atah (Eng. 'you', Aleph-Tav-Hei.) Thus, the verse reads: "And you do preserve them all" (Nechemyah 9:6). Et is the secret of Adonai and is so called. Heaven is Yud Hei Vav Hei, which is superior to the name Adonai, for Zeir Anpin, called "the heavens" and also called "voice," is the secret of the name of Yud Hei Vav Hei. And his Female principle, called 'Et' and 'speech,' is the secret of the name Adonai.

The word Ve'et (Eng. 'and the') alludes to the establishment of the Male and Female Principles. Ve'et is the secret of Vav-Yud Hei Vav Hei, and both are as one. The earth is the name Elohim, equivalent to the supernal, which is fit to issue fruit and offspring. This name is included in three places and defined in many ways. Up until now, it is the secret of the most secret of mysteries, which was engraved, built, and established in a concealed manner according to the hidden meaning of one single verse.

Beresheet is formed of the segments BaraSheet (he created six), because from one end of the heaven to the other, there are six branches that extend from the secret of the sublime with the expansion of Bara (created). Bara expanded from within the first point, which is Arich Anpin. And here, on this first point, the secret of the name with the 42 letters was engraved.

"And they who are wise shall shine" (Daniel 12:3), like the cantillation marks that the letters and the vowels follow. They move along like soldiers following their king. The letters are the body and the vowels are the aspect of their spirit, and they all follow their intonations and attain their existence. When the tune of the cantillation marks travels along, the letters and vowels march in step with it. When the tune stops, they stop as well.

The words "And they who are wise shall shine" allude to the letters and the vowels that shine, and "the brightness" alludes to the tune of the cantillation marks. "The firmament" alludes to the expansion of the tune, namely all those intonations that flow and expand along as the tune flows. "And they who turn many to righteousness" alludes to the music of the cantillation marks that bring the journeying to a pause and enable the meaning of the words to be heard clearly. The words "shall shine" allude to the letters and the vowels that shine as one along the journeys through concealed paths. Everything expands from this. "And they who are wise (Heb. maskilim) shall shine like the brightness of the firmament" upon the pillars and sockets of that palanquin. "And they who are wise" are themselves the supernal pillars and sockets, who observe intelligently to bestow on that palanquin and its sockets all that is needed to sustain it. The pillars are Chesed, Gvurah and Tiferet; the sockets are Netzach, Hod and Yesod. This secret is hidden, as you say: "Blessed is he that considers (Heb. maskil) the poor" (Tehilim 41:2); maskil is Zeir Anpin and the poor is his Female principle. And He receives the brightness for the sake of the poor who needs it. The supernal six extremities of Zeir Anpin shall shine, for if they do not shine or illuminate, they will not be able to study the palanquin and determine what is necessary for its restoration. Were it not for the need of establishing that palanquin, they would not have received any of that light of brightness.

And they shine "like the brightness of the firmament" [16a] that rests upon they who are wise, of whom it is written: "And over the heads of the living creature was the likeness of a firmament, like the color of the terrible ice..." (Yechezkel 1:22). This is the brightness of the firmament, which shines upon the entire Zeir Anpin, which is called the Torah. The brightness shines upon the heads of that living creature that is called the palanquin. These heads, which are the pillars and sockets of Zeir Anpin, who are wise shine constantly and look on that firmament to receive the light that emanates from there. This also is the light of Zeir Anpin in its entirety, which is Called Torah. It shines forever and never stops.

"And the earth was without form and void..." The term "was" is exact in that it implies the earth's previous state, during which snow was mixed inside water. The act of the snow forming inside the water resulted in a foul substance. And afterward, a mighty fire beat upon it and refuse was formed inside it. It then conceived and became without form. The place where at first there was only filth, has become now a nest of refuse that is described as without form. It went through four stages until it became Tohu: (1) light turned into water; (2) water turned into snow; (3) snow turned into refuse with the infliction of the fire; and (4) the refuse, over time, became sufficiently distinguishable to be called without form. The words "and void" refer to the refined matter that emerged from the refuse and was set there. Darkness is the secret of the powerful fire and this darkness hovers above the formlessness, over that refuse, and is structured from it. In other words, darkness does not mean only the absence of light that is, emptiness but rather the aspect that produces emptiness, like a strong fire that burns and consumes everything it touches and leaves emptiness in its place. The reason why it is called darkness and not fire is that the burning force is not from the fire itself, but from the refuse, which is without form, over which it hovers, and from which it receives.

"And wind (also: 'spirit') from Elohim" (Ibid.) alludes to the spirit of holiness that proceeded from living Elohim and "moved over the surface of the waters" (Ibid.). This means that after this wind blew, a thin layer from the refuse was refined, just as the filth flies off and away. In this manner, it was refined, covered and purified over and over again until the foulness was left without any filth. When this formlessness was refined and purified, "a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke the rocks" (I Kings 19:11) Then it emerged like the wind that Elijah saw. The void was refined and purified and noise came from it, as it is written: "And after the wind an earthquake (also: 'noise')"(Ibid.). When the darkness was refined, fire was then included in its secret, as it is written: "And after the earthquake a fire"(Ibid. 12). The wind was refined and a "still small voice"was included within it.

Formlessness has neither color nor shape and is not included within the secret of shape at all. Although it may appear to have form, when we look closely it loses all form. Everything has a garment to wear except formlessness.

Void already has an image and a shape, the stones immersed inside the engraving of formlessness. When the stones emerge from within the engraving in which they were immersed, they draw down benefit to this world in the form of a garment. They draw goodness down to the world that is, straight light and force the returning light up, so that the straight light is enclothed. This is known as shaping. These stones are hollow and viscous because they are suspended in the air. At times, they are suspended in the air because they rise up and out of there, from within the engraving of formlessness. At other times, such as cloudy days, they hide and raise water from the abyss to replenish formlessness. This is when there is joy and folly, because formlessness has expanded all over the world.

Darkness is a black fire that is strong in color, because no other color can change black. It is also a red fire that is strong in its appearance, as red is the most noticeable color. It is a green fire, which is solid in form, as all forms reach perfection by the green color. And it is a white fire, which is the basis of all other colors. Darkness is strong, because it contains all kinds of fires and it attacks the formlessness. Darkness is a fire that consists of four colors, and it is usually not a dark fire except when it attacks the formlessness. This is the secret of the verse: "his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau..."(Genesis 27:1). The face of evil is darkness, so Isaac, who was kind to evil, to Esau, was then called 'darkness,' as he rested upon it so that it may attack it.

The wind that is mentioned in the verse: "And a wind from Elohim," is a voice that rests upon the void and guides it in all it needs. This is the secret of the verses: "The voice of Hashem is upon the waters" (Psalms 29:3) and "And a wind from Elohim moved over the surface of the waters." The stones are immersed deep inside the abyss from which waters flow. This is why they are called "the surface of the waters." The wind guided and strengthened the faces, called the surface of the deep, each according to its requirements. The name Shadai dwells upon formlessness, the name Tzva'ot dwells upon the void and the name Elohim dwells upon darkness. The name Yud Hei Vav Hei dwells upon wind.

"And a great and strong wind rent the mountains...but Hashem was not in the wind..."(I Kings 19:11). The name Yud Hei Vav Hei was not in the wind because this strong wind comes from formlessness, upon which the name Shadai rests. Hence it reads, "but Hashem was not in the wind." And it explains that the earthquake came from Void, as the verse continues: "And after the wind an earthquake; but Hashem was not in the earthquake," because only the name Tzva'ot rests upon it in the secret of the Void. Hence, it is called Void. As for the fire that comes out of darkness, the scripture reads, "And after the earthquake a fire; but Hashem was not in the fire" (Ibid. 12), because the name Elohim rests upon it from the aspect of darkness. "And after the fire a still small voice," which comes from the aspect of a wind from Elohim, upon which the name Yud Hei Vav Hei rests. The verse reads "And when Elijah heard it...and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice to him, and said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?" (Ibid. 13). He did not leave the cave at the first three aspects, only when he heard a still small voice, because the name Yud Hei Vav Hei was there. And he knew that Yud Hei Vav Hei was talking to him.

The name Yud Hei Vav Hei has four segments, namely four letters, that signify the parts of the human body and certain members namely, the limbs which are four that can become twelve. Here is the secret of the name that consists of twelve letters, which was given to Elijah while inside the cave. This alludes to the three names of Yud Hei Vav Hei. Each consists of four letters, which together add up to twelve. And this name, with its twelve letters, appears in the human body. The first appears in the head: Chochmah, Binah and Da'at; the second in the body from the top to the navel: Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet; the third from the navel downward: Netzach, Hod and Yesod. Each part of the body is divided into four other parts, which add up to twelve. [16b] (Genesis 1:3) "And Elohim said, 'Let there be light;' and there was light". From here, from this saying, we can begin to learn the secrets of how the world was created in details, because until now, the Creation was discussed only generally, in the verse "In the beginning Elohim created..."(Ibid. 1) After this, the description returns to the general, then the particular, and then the general again. Until now, everything was suspended in the air that was bestowed from the secret of the Endlessness Light. As soon as the force expanded inside the supernal chamber, which is the secret of Elohim, the word 'saying' is applied to it, as it is written: "And Elohim said." Before that, the word "said" is not written, because "said" means it is in detail. Although the word, "In the beginning" is also a saying, which completes the number of the sayings in the Creation to ten, "And Elohim said" is not written in it, as it is described in a general manner. The use of the word "said" means a detailed description. Therefore, the verse, "And Elohim said, 'Let there be light'" is the first of the details of the Creation of the world.

The words: "And...said" should be studied and questioned. The term "And...said (Heb. וַיֹּאמֶר)" consists of the Hebrew letters of Mi (Eng. 'who') and Or (Eng. 'light'), which is an inquiry. "And...said" alludes to a raised force, and the raising is done in silence. A light is drawn from the secret of the Endless Light; from the beginning of thought. "And Elohim said" means that now the chamber gave birth to a holy seed, with which it was pregnant, in secret. And he who was born, namely the Male and Female principles, was heard without. Whoever gave birth to him, to the Male and Female principles, did it secretly and was not heard at all. This refers to giving birth to the Mochin of the Male and Female principles while still in Binah. But as soon as he emerged from there, from Binah, a sound was heard without.

"Let there be (Heb. יְהִי) light," means that everything that comes forth and emanates in the world proceeds according to the secret of the words: "Let there be light." יְהִי alludes to the secret of Aba and Ima, which are Yud-Hei of יְהִי (Yud-Hei-Yud). The letter Yud alludes to Aba and the Hei to Ima. Afterward, the letters Yud- Hei return to the first point by adding another point, namely Yud, just like the first one as it is written: יְהִי (Yud-Hei-Yud) to institute a beginning for an expansion of something else. The terms "light" and "Let there be light," do not refer to the renewal of the light, but rather to the returning of the light that Aba and Ima already had. The expansion of this light that appears in the verse: "Let there be light (Heb. אוֹר, Aleph-Vav -Resh)" is a most hidden secret, because it was the expansion that split according to the secret of the concealment of the supernal and concealed air (Heb. אֲוִיר). The word אֲוִיר consists of the letters Aleph-Vav -Yud-Resh and is Arich Anpin. It was split in such a way that there is nothing really renewed in the name Yud Hei Vav Hei. Rather, the perfection that was there before the splitting is now revealed. It first split and produced one concealed point from within its own mystery. It revealed the point Yud. As a result of this removal of the Yud from Avir, what is left of the original word אֲוִיר is Or, which is from the secret of the concealed air.

When the first point, which is Yud, proceeded from Arich Anpin, its light shone upon it according to the sense of 'reaching yet not reaching'. Once the point expanded, the light was revealed, and this is the secret of the Or (light) that has remained from Avir (air). This refers to the light that has existed at first in Binah, when it was in the head of Arich Anpin. It then disappeared when it came out of the head. Now it has returned to it and remains there. The light has gone; it has disappeared and is now hidden. And one point remains in Binah, where the light of Chochmah always reaches in a hidden manner. The "reaching yet not reaching" shines in the manner of the first point that has emerged from it. As a result, they are all linked to one another and illuminate one another.

When it ascends to the head of Arich Anpin, they all rise up and cling to it. Then it is as if "reaching." It is treasured in the place of the Endless Light, which is Arich Anpin, and everything becomes one. The point that was in the light, and transformed it into air, is now completely light. It expanded, and from this expansion illuminated the seven letters of the alphabet, which were not yet solid but were still moist. Later darkness came forth and seven other letters of the alphabet came out. The firmament then came forth and stopped the dispute between the two sides. In it there issued eight other letters, which added up to 22 in all. Seven letters from the right side and seven letters from the left side jumped on the firmament and were all engraved on it, where they remained moist. As the firmament congealed, so did the letters. They were engraved and assumed their intended shapes. And there the Torah was inscribed, referring to Zeir Anpin which is called the Torah, to shine outward on the lower beings.

The phrase: "Let there be light" alludes to the name great El, according to the secret of he who issues from the primal air. Hence, it is written: "Let there be (Heb. yehi)," implying the Sefirah of Chesed of Zeir Anpin called 'great El.' The phrase: "And there was (Heb. וַיְהִי)" refers to the secret of the darkness that is called 'Elohim.' And it is called 'light' after the left was combined with the right because the name Elohim extends from the secret of the name El, which is Chesed. Thus, the name Elohim is the aspect of Chesed as well. And the right was included within the left, and the left within the right.

The verse: "And Elohim saw the light, that it was good" (Genesis 1:4) implies the central pillar of Zeir Anpin, which is the Sefirah of Tiferet in it. The phrase: "That it was good" said about Tiferet means that it shone up and down in all directions, namely to all the Sefirot: Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malchut. Tiferet of Zeir Anpin is the secret of the name Yud Hei Vav Hei, which includes all directions, right and left, front and back, up and down. The words, "And Elohim divided the light" mean that he prevented the dispute between right and left, so that everything may be perfect.

"And Elohim called...", etc. (Genesis 1:5). He asks: What is the meaning of "And Elohim called the light day"? He replies, This means that he called and invited it to bring forth from within that perfect light that stands in the middle, referring to Tiferet, one light. And this light is the foundation of the world, upon which all worlds are erected and from where all the souls are born. From this perfected light emerges the central pillar, the foundation of the life of the worlds, this being the day from the right side. The words: "And the darkness he called night" mean that He called and invited it, bringing forth one female from within the left side, the secret of darkness. This female principle is the secret of the moon that governs at night. For this reason, it is called night. And this is the secret of the name "Adonai" and the name "the Master of all the earth" (Joshua 3:11). The right enters into that perfected pillar in the middle, where it is included with the secret of the left; namely, Chesed of Zeir Anpin, which also includes [17a] His Gevurah and enters His Central Column, which is Tiferet. Then Zeir Anpin rises up to the primal point, which is Arich Anpin, and takes and possesses there, in Arich Anpin, Mochin, which are a thing based on the secret of the three vowels Cholam, Shuruk and Chirik which are called holy seed. For no seed can be sown for the purpose of the Mochin except according to this secret. All, referring to the illumination of the three vowels, were united in the central pillar, which is Tiferet, and it emanated the foundation (Yesod) of the world. Because of this, Yesod is called all, because it holds on to all, namely the illumination of all three Columns by the light of passion. In other words, because of the desire of the Left for the light of the Right, Yesod reconciles the Left with the Right and unites them. And because the Central Column acquires them, that Column attains both of them and bestows them both on Yesod.

The left is set ablaze by the force of might, and smells. It smelled throughout the grades, and from the glow of this fire it emanates the Female principle called moon. This blazing is considered to be darkness, because it extends from darkness. And these two sides, the right and the left, produce these two grades, one male and one female, because Yesod, which is male, emanated from the rule of the Right of Zeir Anpin. The Female principle emanates from the Left Column of Zeir Anpin. Yesod holds on to the central pillar and receives the additional light that was in it. This refers to the light of Chochmah, which is an additional light for Zeir Anpin. The central pillar, Zeir Anpin, is entirely complete by Chochmah and by Chassadim, because of the peace he brought to all sides. Thus, it has received additional light Mochin from above, namely from Arich Anpin which is Chochmah, and from all sides, namely from the right and left. From Its own Central Column, it has achieved Chassadim and Gvurot, and the joy of all the worlds is in It. This is the secret of the illumination of Chochmah that eliminates all the Klipot. And from this additional of gaiety, the foundation (Yesod) of the world issued and is called an addition. From here, Yesod, all the lower powers, spirits and holy souls of the righteous, come out according to the secret of the sacred names Yud Hei Vav Hei-Tzva'ot which means that He is a sign that appears in all his hosts. He is also called El the Elohim of the spirits, from whom all the spirits and souls of the righteous emanate.

The night, Master of all Earth, is the Female principle. She emanates from the left side, from that darkness. Because the entire desire of that darkness was to be included within the Right Column and receive light, its power was weakened. When night began to expand from the left before its structure was completed, the darkness namely the Left Column entered and merged with the Right Column, and the Right held on to it. Night then was left lacking at its end, because its source, which is the Left Column, disappeared in the Right Column and did not help it reach completion. So now there are two things lacking in the Female principle: (1) the aspect of the night, meaning darkness instead of light, and (2) her structure was not completed by the left. Just as darkness, which is the left, desires to be included within the light of the Right Column, so the Female principle, which is night, desires to be included within day. Darkness, which is the Left Column, abated its light because it had not yet completed the structure of the Female principle. Because of this, it produced the grade of the female with an incomplete structure and without light, namely with the two aforementioned defects. Therefore, the Female principle required two reforms: (1) to bring her light and free her from her darkness and (2) to complete her structure. Darkness, the Left Column, cannot illuminate unless it merges with the light of the right. And the same applies to the night, which is constructed in the left and emerges from it. It does not show any light unless it merges with the day, Yesod. The defect of the structure of the night is not completed until the Musaf (additional prayer), which is the additional light that Yesod has received from the Central Column namely, the excessive illumination of Chochmah in Zeir Anpin. And this additional light completes the structure of the Female principle. So what was added to one place is diminished in another. This means that what was added to the Sefirah of Yesod of Zeir Anpin by the Central Column, the Left Column of Zeir Anpin, has caused a diminution and lack in the Female principle. But Yesod fills up this lack with its additional light.

The Musaf, which is Yesod of Zeir Anpin, contains the secret of the supernal point, which is Arich Anpin, and the secret of the central pillar, which is Tiferet of Zeir Anpin that reconciles all sides. Because of this, two letters were added to Yesod, which are Vav and Yud, in the phrase: "And Elohim called (Heb. vayikra) the light day" (Genesis 1:5), in which the letter Vav alludes to the light of Chassadim that it received from the Central Column and the Yud to the light of Chochmah that it received from Arich Anpin. In the emanation on the Female principle, which is night, these two letters were missing. So of her it is written קָרָא, without the Vav and Yud. Of the Day, which is Yesod, it is written וַיִּקְרָא. He subtracted, in the Female principle, the letters Vav and Yud from vayikra, and so it is written of her only "he called (kara) night." Here lies the secret of the name with the 72 letters that are inscribed in the supernal crown - referring to the secret of the letters Vav and Yud.

"And Elohim said, 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters'" (Genesis 1:6). This phrase alludes to a detailed reform of the separation of the upper from the lower waters according to the secret of the left. Here, the dispute according to the secret of the left occurred. Until this point, referring to the first day, reference is made to the right. But on the second day, reference is to the secret of the governing of the left. Because of this, a great dispute broke out on the second day between the two sides. The left wanted to cancel the governing power of the right entirely, while the right wanted to cancel the governing power of the left entirely. The right, which is the secret of Chesed and the first day, is the perfection of all. Because of this, everything was written in the right on the first day. This means that all the seven days, which are the seven Sefirot, emerged in it and are hinted in it, because every perfection depends on the right side. When the rule of the left was aroused, its dispute with the right began and the fire of anger in that dispute became fierce. From this dispute, Gehenom was created. So Gehenom was awakened, and created by the left, and cleaved to it, which means that whoever wants to strengthen the left shall fall into Gehenom, which originates from it.

In his wisdom, Moses looked into this and learned about the work of Creation. In the work of Creation, there was a dispute between the left and the right. And in that dispute, which the left provoked, Gehenom was created and Gehenom held on to the left. The central pillar, which is Tiferet, entered between them on the third day, ending the dispute and bringing the two sides to an agreement. So Gehenom removed itself from the left and descended below. The left joined the right, and there was peace everywhere.

A similar dispute occurred between Korah and Aaron, the left against the right. Moses studied the Creation and said, 'I am one able to eliminate the dispute between right and left.' Moses tried his best to reconcile them, but the left did not want to be reconciled. So Korah become stronger and overcame Aaron. Moses said, assuredly, because of the power of the disagreement of the left, Gehenom should cling to it, just as it was in the works of Creation. Korah did not wish to be attached above, namely to the structure of holiness, and join the right, like the left on high. So assuredly, he shall descend below, down into Gehenom, because of the fierceness of his anger. As happened in the works of Creation, Gehenom came out and cleaved to the left. Moses knew that with the strength of Korah's anger, Korah would descend to Gehenom and be attached to it.

Because of this, Korah did not want Moses to settle this dispute, since it was not for heaven's sake (with pure intentions). He had no respect for the celestial glory, which is the Shechinah, and refused to acknowledge the work of Creation. This means that he denied the settlement of the Central Column. in the work of Creation. He wanted only the left to govern. As soon as Moses realized that he was denying the work of Creation and being rejected out of holiness, "Moses was much angered" (Numbers 16:15). "And Moses was much angered,"because Korah and his company refused to acknowledge him and did not allow him to settle the dispute. It is written "much," because they denied the acknowledgment of the work of Creation. So Korah denied [17b] everything above in Zeir Anpin and below in the souls, as it is written: "When they strove against Hashem" (Numbers 26:9) which is the secret of Zeir Anpin, for the damage that he did reached both above to Zeir Anpin and below to Moses. Therefore, Korah cleaved on to what he deserved; he reached Gehenom, as written, "They went down alive into Sheol" (Numbers 16:33).

Another dispute was settled like above. A dispute that rose and did not come down and was based on decency was that between Shammai and Hillel. Shammai was the aspect of the left on high, while Hillel was the aspect of the supernal right. And the Holy One, blessed be He, intervened between them and approved of them. This means that the differences and arguments between Shammai and Hillel reached them from the Central Column of above, which is the secret of the Holy One, blessed be He. This was a dispute for the sake (name) of heaven, and the heavens, Zeir Anpin, reconciled this dispute to establish both. Because of this, their illuminations continue to exist. This dispute is like the work of Creation. It is similar to what the Central Column achieved for the sake of establishing the work of Creation. But Korah denied the establishing of the work of Creation and the dispute was toward the heavens, namely Zeir Anpin, that is, the reconciling Column. And he wanted to deny the principles of the Torah, which is Zeir Anpin. Assuredly this dispute and denial was the result of the efforts of Gehenom, and its power of Judgment cleaved to Korah and he to it. Thus, he fell into Gehenom.

This secret appears in the Book of Adam. When darkness was aroused to take control, it emerged in all its might and created Gehenom within it, and Gehenom cleaved to it in that dispute. As the anger and the might of the Gevurot were calmed down, the dispute was aroused in a different manner, as a dispute of love. There were two kinds of disputes: One at the beginning and one at the end. This is the path of the righteous, which is hard in the beginning, because it is full of suffering, but ends in peace. Korah, being the left, was the beginning of the dispute between the right and the left, which was full of anger and fierceness. Each wanted to diminish the illumination of its neighbor. From this, Gehenom emerged and Korah cleaved to Gehenom. Shammai was also the aspect of the left, but at the end of the dispute between the right and the left, when anger was forgotten and the dispute of love was set in motion so as to receive approval from the heavens, which is the Column that settles the dispute.

This is the secret of the verse: "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide..." (Genesis 1:6) This is the first dispute, aroused by anger and force, in which each wanted to overcome and annul its neighbor. The Holy One, blessed be He, wished to nullify the dispute and Gehenom was aroused until the anger and aggressiveness cooled down. Then it is written: "And Elohim made the firmament and divided..." (Ibid. 7). This division is the dispute, carried with love and friendship, which supports the world. According to this secret, (namely through the dispute of love) is carried the dispute between Shammai and Hillel namely the dividing of "And Elohim made the firmament" at the end of the dispute. On the other hand, the dispute of Korah was one of anger which is the dividing of "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters" at the beginning of the dispute. So the dispute of Shammai and Hillel was for the sake of heaven, in which the Oral Torah, which is the secret of the Female principle, entered with love into the Written Torah, which is Zeir Anpin and called heaven. And they were in perfect union.

Division certainly applies to the left alone, as is written in relation to the second day: "And let it divide." (Ibid. 6) While of Korah, it is written: "Is it but a small thing to you, that the Elohim of Yisrael has separated you" (Numbers 16:9). It is also written: "At that time Hashem separated the tribe of Levi" (Deuteronomy 10:8). So, assuredly the separation appears only in the second day in the place of the left. You may ask: If division occurs definitely on the second day, why then is the separation mentioned about Levi, who is the third son of Jacob? It should have been associated with Simon, who is the second son of Jacob. The answer is that although Levi is the third son, according to Jacob's mind he is the second, because Reuben is not considered the first son of Leah, as at the time Jacob thought she was Rachel. So the separation is forever in the second, because after the division has occurred in the second, everything goes smoothly along the straight path in a perfect way, as it should be. This is because by the separation, the lights enclothe each other and are completed by each other.

The Havdalah (prayer of separation) that is performed at the end of Shabbat is for the purpose of separating those powers that are dominant during the days of the week from holiness that is dominant during Shabbat. With the ending of Shabbat, one aspect of Gehenom appears. It is the evil eye that desires to govern the world, just as Yisrael recite, "O Prosper it, the work of our hands" (Psalms 90:17). It emerges from that grade of the Other Side, which is called the left, and wishes to mingle with the seed of Yisrael by taking control over the holy covenant and having power to punish Yisrael.

While Yisrael perform an action, a precept, using the myrtle and the wine and recite the Havdalah, the Other Side departs from them. That side is lowered and enters into its place in Sheol, in the place where Korah and his company are, as it is written: "They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into Sheol" (Numbers 16:33). So Korah and his company did not go down to Gehenom until Yisrael separated from them, as it is written: "Separate yourselves from among this congregation" (Ibid. 21). Here as well, the Other Side does not go to Gehenom at the ending of Shabbat before Yisrael performs the Havdalah.

So the separation (Heb. הַבְדָּלָה) is always on the second day, which is the Left Column. This refers to what has already been explained, that even the Havdalah at the ending of Shabbat is intended to separate the Other Side that extends from the Left Column. It was at the beginning of the dispute, which was aroused by the aggressiveness and anger of the left before it was calmed down and quieted, that Gehenom was created. Then were created all these angels that denounce before the Holy One, blessed be He, their Master, above, the secret of the Central Column. They disagree with his reconciliation and deviate to the left. Therefore, fire burns them up and they are consumed. And the other angels, all those who are annulled and have no support, are burned in the fire. All these have come from the power of the fire of the dispute in the beginning, on the second day. Similarly, Korah fell down into Gehenom and burned, just like those angels who burned in the fire of Nahar Dinur (Eng. 'River of Fire'). And everything follows the same manner, extending from the beginning of this dispute with the fire of anger.

"Let there be a firmament" tells us that an expansion has occurred between the two. The lower waters expanded and were separated from the upper waters, and the upper waters expanded and were separated from the lower waters by the firmament. The letters El (Aleph-Lamed) in the name Elohim (Aleph-Lamed-Hei-Yud-Mem) from the firmament up are of the right part. In other words, El always alludes to the name of Chesed, which is the right side. The name great El has expanded from within the waters and is separated from them. This means that because of the firmament, the name great El has spread upward and has separated itself from the other waters, namely the three letters Hei-Yud-Mem. This was to complete the name El and to include the upper and lower waters within each other through that expansion. And the name El of Elohim expanded, leaving only the three letters Hei-Yud-Mem. Hei-Yud-Mem then expanded down below the firmament and became the lower waters, Yud-Mem-Hei. This is the expansion into the second one, that is, Hei- Yud-Mem into Yud-Mem-Hei. The upper waters are Hei-Yud -Mem, as written, "So is this great and wide sea (Heb. hayam, Hei-Yud-Mem)" (Tehilim 104:25). Thus, Hei Yud Mem are the upper waters. If the letters Hei-Yud-Mem are in reversed order, that is, Yud-Mem-Hei, this indicates they are lower waters. Once the letters Yud-Mem-Hei were restored, they ascended and rose above the firmament and joined the name Great El and returned to the combination of the great sea (Heb. hayam), which was Hei-Yud-Mem. Then everyone, El and Hei-Yud-Mem were united as one, resulting in one name Elohim. And this name Elohim reached into many places.

The upper waters are male; the lower waters are female. At first, before they were firmly established, they were mixed, but were later separated to distinguish the upper waters from the lower waters. And to differentiate them, one is called Elohim, which is Binah, and the other is called Adonai, which is Malchut. One is the upper Hei of the name Yud Hei Vav Hei, which is Binah, and the other is the lower Hei of the name Yud Hei Vav Hei, which is Malchut. It is then written about them: "And Elohim made the firmament" (Genesis 1:7). This expansion assumed the name Elohim, for the verse: "And Elohim made" indicates that the expansion of Hei-Yud-Mem returned back to El and merged into the name Elohim and the upper waters. For the name Elohim is the upper waters [18a] and the name Adonai, the Female principle of Zeir Anpin, is the female waters. Nevertheless, since the male waters, or the letters Hei-Yud-Mem, were completed only by the female waters {namely, the Female principle of Zeir Anpin} the name Elohim expanded everywhere, {including the female waters.}

Although on the second day, the upper and lower waters were divided, the dispute between the right and the left, {which are the letters Aleph-Lamed and Hei-Yud-Mem}, did not cease until the third day, {which is Tiferet}. The third day settled the dispute between the right and the left, as the two Columns Aleph-Lamed and Hei-Yud-Mem enclothed each other, and both were established properly in their places. Because of this dispute, even though the world exists upon it, it is not written: "it was good" about the second day, because the work was not yet completed on that day. So the upper and lower waters were mingled together as one, and there was no offspring in the world until they were divided in two and distinguished as separate from each other. Only then did they bring forth offspring.

Although the separation of the lower waters from the upper waters occurred on the second day, the dispute between El, which is the Right, and Hei-Yud-Mem, which is the Left, was unresolved. Only the third day reconciled between them. Both became equal and joined them into the one name Elohim. The third day, which is Zeir Anpin, is the name, upon which is engraved Hei-Vav-Hei, to make the upper waters, Binah, equal to the lower waters, Malchut. Because the letters Hei-Vav-Hei are the secret of the two Heis with Vav between them: the upper Hei is Binah, and the lower Hei is Malchut. The Vav in between is Zeir Anpin and it completes and illuminates both sides, above in Binah and below in Malchut. This was signified by the splitting of the waters of the Jordan, where the upper waters rose in a heap and did not flow down into the Dead Sea. This is the secret of the upper Hei of the name Yud Hei Vav Hei, namely Binah. On the other hand, the lower waters which are the secret of the lower Hei, Malchut flowed down into the Dead Sea which is the secret of the lower Hei, Malchut. And Yisrael, the secret of the letter Vav, went in the middle between the upper waters and the lower waters of the Jordan. Thus Yisrael, the secret of the Vav of Yud Hei Vav Hei, received the abundance from the upper Hei and bestowed it upon the lower Hei.

Firmament is mentioned five times on the second day, and the life of the worlds, which is Yesod of Zeir Anpin, passes through them and guides the worlds through them. They all are comprised of each other. Had the Central Column not settled the dispute, neither would have included the other nor be harmonized. These five firmaments are equivalent to the 500 years to which the Tree of Life, which is Zeir Anpin, is attached to produce offspring and fruits in the world. All the waters of Creation, namely the kinds of Mochin that flow out from Beresheet, which is Arich Anpin, are divided under it and through it into the upper waters and the lower waters. King David, who is the secret of the Female principle, receives everything from Zeir Anpin. He then distributes it down to the lower worlds of Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, as it is written: "And he distributed among all the people, among the whole multitude" (II Samuel 6:19). It is also written: "You give it to them; they gather it" (Psalms 104:28) and "She rises also while it is yet night, and gives food" (Proverbs 31:15).

When disagreement was aroused through the fierceness of the left, the mist of fire increased and became overpowering. The spirits produced from within that mist immediately congealed; they became dry and without any moisture. These spirits, which were male and female, produced a multitude of evil spirits. From this, all the might of the impure spirit appeared in all those strong spirits. This is the secret of the Kelipah of the foreskin. These spirits were strengthened in impurity through the violent demons. One is called a viper and the other a serpent, and these two kinds become one. The viper bears offspring every seventy years, while the serpent only every seven years. But as they are joined together, everything returned to the seven years of the serpent. Therefore, the viper begets every seven years like the serpent, and they become as if one species.

From here lies the secret of Gehenom, which has seven names, and the Evil Inclination, which also has seven names. From here, impurity expands and spreads out in many grades into the world. And everything comes from the principle of the left, which contains good and evil and thereby, makes the world habitable. From here is the secret of the Holy Name that is engraved by eighteen letters and is responsible for the bountiful rains that feed the earth, for human charity, for all our blessings, and for the general inhabitation of this world.

"And Elohim said, 'Let the waters...be gathered'" (Genesis 1:9). The words "be gathered (Heb. yikavu)" mean that the Mochin called the waters will travel in a straight line (Heb. קַו) on one level, without spreading to the right or left. Everything flows mysteriously from the secret of that primal point, which is Arich Anpin, until the light reaches and is gathered in the supernal chamber. From there it then flows in a straight line to the other grades, namely to Zeir Anpin, until it reaches that one place where everything is gathered according to the secret of male and female. He asks: And what is that place? He replied: This is the life of the worlds {namely Yesod of Zeir Anpin, which is the male who is united with Malchut, which is the Female principle. Thus, it comprises male and female together.}

The waters mentioned in the verse flow from above, {from the upper Hei of the Yud Hei Vav Hei, which is Yisrael Saba and Tevunah.} The words "under the heaven" allude to small Vav, which is Yesod of Zeir Anpin. Zeir Anpin is called great Vav, while his Yesod is called small Vav. Therefore, when the letter Vav is pronounced, two Vav's are heard. The first one is heaven, namely Zeir Anpin, and the second one is under the heaven, namely Yesod of Zeir Anpin. After the Mochin are drawn from the upper Hei which is Binah down under the heaven which is Yesod of Zeir Anpin it is written: "And let the dry land appear" (Ibid.). This is the lower Hei namely Malchut, the Female principle of Zeir Anpin because only she was revealed as dry land, while all the other grades were hidden. From within that last grade, referring to the lower Hei, Malchut, that light that was concealed was heard and revealed.

The phrase "to one place" is called Yesod because there is a connection to the union of the upper world through Yesod. The verse: "Hashem shall be one, and His Name One" (Zechariah 14:9) hints at two unions. One is the upper world that is unified in its own grades, which is the secret of: "Hashem is one" and the second is the lower world that is unified in its own grades, according to the secret: "And His Name One." The unification of the upper world by the secret of "Hashem is one" is up to Yesod. The life of the worlds, which is Yesod, is sweetened in Binah, and the upper world is connected to its unification. Because of this, it is called: "to one place," as all the grades and all the parts, gather there. And they become as one in it, without any separation at all. No grade unites there wholly save this grade, in which all the lights are mysteriously covered in one desire. Up to this point, referring to the words: "And let the dry land appear," the revealed world which is the secret of Rachel is unified with the concealed world which is Leah.

The revealed world, which is Rachel, the Female principle of Zeir Anpin who is located from his Chest downward, is similarly unified below. The revealed world is the lower world, as can be proven by reading the scriptures, where it is described in terms of seeing: "I saw Hashem" (Isaiah 6:1), "and they saw the Elohim of Yisrael" (Exodus 24:10), "and the glory of Hashem appeared (Numbers 14:10) and "As the appearance of the rainbow...so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Hashem" (Ezekiel 1:28). And it is known that the lower Female principle, who is called Rachel, is described by the words: "Glory of Hashem" and by the particle Et (the). This is the secret of the verse: "Let the dry land appear (lit. 'be seen')," because "seeing" applies only to the revealed world and not to the upper world. The verse: "As the appearance of the rainbow," which is written about the divine Chariot of Yechezkel, alludes to the life of the worlds, namely Yesod of Zeir Anpin. Therefore, it is written in the portion of Noah: "I have set My rainbow in the cloud" (Genesis 9:13), which also alludes to Yesod of Zeir Anpin, who is called the life of the worlds. The phrase "in the cloud" refers to Malchut; namely, the lower Female principle of Zeir Anpin, the revealed world of Rachel. The words "I have set" mean that he has set his rainbow in the cloud ever since the day of Creation.

[18b] That cloudy day, which is described in the verse: "And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud" (Ibid. 14) indicates that only then shall the rainbow be seen according to the secret of "the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Hashem," and not at any other time. Why is this so? As the left is aroused, Rachel emerges to her own aspect "and she had hard labor" (Genesis 35:16). Therefore it is said that three angels stay by her side: Michael at one side, {the right side}; Raphael at one side, {in the middle}; and Gabriel at one side, {the left side}. And from them she receives her strength to give birth. These three aspects are the colors seen in the form of the rainbow: white, red and green.

The phrase "so was the appearance of the brightness round about" alludes to the illumination that was concealed and has disappeared within the pupil of the eye. So the phrase: "This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Hashem" applies to the colors in the "appearance of the rainbow" and not to "the appearance of the brightness." This is because the lower union of the three colors of the rainbow corresponds with the upper union. The three names "Hashem our Elohim; Hashem," which appear in the verse: "Hear, O Yisrael" (Devarim 6:4) allude to the three colors, white, red, and green when they are concealed, invisible, and attached to one place. This is the secret of the first union in the upper world that is called one place. And the colors united in the rainbow below which are white, red and green correspond to the three concealed colors of the upper union: Hashem our Elohim Hashem. These colors of the rainbow belong to another union, which is the secret of: "And his Name One," the lower union. It is the secret of the verse: 'Blessed be the Name of the glory of His Kingdom for ever and ever (Heb. baruch shem kevod...),' that we respond after "Hear, O Yisrael," which is the lower union. The upper union indicated by the verse: "Hear, O Yisrael, Hashem our Elohim; Hashem is One" corresponds to the lower union: 'Blessed be the name of the Glory of his Kingdom for ever and ever.' Each verse contains six words.

The words "be gathered" suggest measurement by the line and the measuring; measuring is from the hard spark that is in Binah, as it is written: "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand" (Isaiah 40:12). In this verse, "who" alludes to Binah. This is what is meant by: "Let the waters...be gathered." Here in the verse: "Let the waters...be gathered" is the extent of the entire Mochin of He who forms the worlds, namely Zeir Anpin, and which is hinted at in the name Yud Hei Vav Hei, fully spelled with Aleph's, as Yud-Vav-Dalet, Hei-Aleph, Vav-Aleph-Vav, Hei-Aleph. "Holy, holy, holy" (Isaiah 6:3) is the secret of the Mochin of Binah, which is also the secret of the verse: "Let the waters...be gathered." The phrase "Hashem Tzva'ot" (Ibid.) is the secret of the verse: "to one place," Yesod of Zeir Anpin that is called the life of the worlds, to which the Mochin from Binah flow according to the secret of the phrase: "to one place." The phrase: "The whole earth is full of his glory" (Ibid.) is the secret of the verse: "and let the dry land appear." This verse is the secret of the lower Hei, called the revealed world when comprised within the union of the upper world. The words "and let the dry land appear"is the secret of the engraved name of the union of Caf -Vav-Zayin-Vav, Bet-Mem-Vav-Caf-Samech-Zayin and Caf-Vav-Zayin-Vav, because the dry land which is the revealed world is included in the union of the supernal world which is the secret of "Hashem our Elohim; Hashem."

The verse: "Let the earth bring forth grass" (Genesis 1:11) is the secret of the lower union, as it is now revealing its powers in these waters that have been gathered in one place. The Mochin are drawn down into it in a concealed and a hidden manner. And from within it come forth supernal and concealed souls and holy hosts. These are formed and drawn, using the edifices of Faith, by the righteous, the men of Faith - namely the female waters - by worshipping their Master.

This is the secret of the verse: "Who causes the grass to grow for the cattle" (Tehilim 104:14). This is the living creature that crouches on a thousand mountains and for whom grass is grown every day. This grass refers to those angels who govern only for a specific time, but then must vanish immediately; because they were created on the second day, their dominion draws upon the Left Column that was created on the second day. In their dominion they wish to annul the right. They are destined to be food for this living creature, which means that nothing of their illumination is drawn down to the lower beings. Only the Female principle enjoys it, and then she burns and annuls them with it as there is fire that consumes fire, which is the dominion of the Left, called 'fire.'

In the verse: "And plants for the service of man" (Ibid.), the word "plants" refers to wheels, holy living creatures and Cherubs. The wheels (Heb. Ofanim) are the angels of Asiyah, the holy living creatures are the angels of Yetzirah and the Cherubs are the angels of Briyah. All of these are made ready and clothed by the Creator Himself. However, they are further prepared when people worship their Master with sacrifices and prayer. This is what is meant by "the service of man." The plants were predestined and prepared for "the service of man" and will be further perfected by that service, as it should be. When they are made ready by "the service of man," sustenance and food come from them to the world, as it is written: "That he may bring forth food out of the earth" (Idid.). This is what is meant: "herb yielding seed" (Gen. 1:12), which is the secret of the Mochin. The grass (hay) does not yield any seed, but is intended to be consumed by the sacred fire of the Female principle, as explained above, whereas the herb, which yields seed, is intended for the improvement of the world.

All this is to "bring forth food out of the earth," because all the improvements given to people are only for the purpose of establishing this herb out of the earth, which is the Female principle. Thus, people's service to their Master is designed to supply sustenance and food from out of the earth to this world, so that people will be blessed from above. The verse: "And fruit tree yielding fruit" (Gen. 1:11) alludes to two grades: one grade above another, which represents male and female. This means that the fruit tree is the Female principle of Zeir Anpin; "yielding fruit" alludes to Yesod of Zeir Anpin, which is male. It is said to be "yielding fruit" because all the fruit that the female yields reaches her from the male. Just as the "fruit tree," which is the Female principle, reveals the potential power that it received from the "fruit tree yielding fruit," which is the male, so it reveals her own potential as well. What is revealed from the potential of the Female principle herself? The Cherubs and pillars are revealed from her own aspect. What are these pillars? They are those that rise up in the smoke of the sacrifice and become stronger because of the offering. They are called "columns of smoke." This is the secret of the verse: "Who is this coming out of the wilderness like columns of smoke" (Song of Songs 3:6). So the Cherubs are the secret of the "herb" that she receives from the male and the "columns of smoke" are the "grass." The Cherubs and pillars exist for "the service of men," but not the "grass," which is meant for food, as it is written: "Behold now animals (Heb. בְּהֵמוֹת), which I made with you; he eats grass like an ox" (Job 40:15).

"And fruit tree yielding fruit" alludes to the forms of the male and female, and "as for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man" (Ezekiel 1:10). The "fruit tree" is the Female principle of Zeir Anpin and "yielding fruit" is Yesod of Zeir Anpin, the male that puts the fruit inside her. The male and female are not like the Cherubs, which are hinted at in the phrase: "herb yielding seed." The male and female have large faces with beards, whereas the Cherubs have small faces like those of babies. The face of man contains all the images, including the lion, the ox and the eagle, since they have large faces. The engraved images are imprinted on this large face just as the engravings of the Holy Name are imprinted in the four directions of the world: East, West, North and South.

Michael made a mark on the South side. And all three other faces gaze toward the face of a man - the face of a lion, the face of an ox and the face of an eagle. Michael is one of the four angels who serve the Female principle of Zeir Anpin. Therefore, he prepares the place for the mating. Because since he is the angel of Chesed, he sketches the imprint to the south, which is to the right. Man is male and female, and he is not called man unless both are included. This means that Malchut on her own, when she is not mating with Zeir Anpin, is not called man; only when they are united are they called man. This is the secret of the verse: "male and female He created them; and blessed them, and called their name man" (Gen. 5:2). So accordingly, they were together called man, but each one alone is only half a body and cannot be called man. The figures of the Chariot of Elohim are formed according to His image, namely from the face of a man, united on the south side, as it is written: "The Chariots of Elohim are twice ten thousand, thousand upon thousands (Heb. שִׁנְאָן)" (Ps. 68:18). This is the secret of the lower Chariot that is called the Chariot of Elohim.

The word שִׁנְאָן consists of the letters Shin-Nun-Aleph-Nun. Written in the scriptural verse, it includes all the images all the living creatures, which include the ox (Heb. shor), the eagle (Heb. nesher) and the lion (Heb. aryeh). For the initials of these words form the Shin-Nun-Aleph of שִׁנְאָן, and the final Nun in the word שִׁנְאָן alludes to the face of a man [19a] that is included with them. This final Nun is the secret of the expansion of male and female that are united as one. Everyone in the worlds of Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, emerges from these living creatures, which are the secret of Shin'an. From them, the forms of Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah are born and separated, each befitting its aspect.

These living creatures are joined one to the other, so that each includes all the others. The ox, eagle, lion and man are directed by the secret of the four engraved names, which are "a great El, a mighty, and a terrible" (Devarim 10:17), to which they ascend to behold them.

The ox ascended to be guided by and gaze on the face of a man. With the ox rose one name that was crowned and engraved by the secret of the two colors, which represent the name El. After the ox was included in the name El, it turned back and the throne, which is the Female principle of Zeir Anpin, inscribed it, engraved it and received its imprint, so that it may be guided by the secret of the name El. Although the ox is of the left, it was nevertheless marked to be guided by the aspect of Chassadim in the name El.

The eagle ascended to be guided and gaze on the face of a man. Another name rose up with it to be crowned and engraved according to the secret of the two faces, the face of man and the face of the eagle, and the two colors the color of the right, which is white, and the color of the eagle, which is green so as to be guided and gaze on the crown above. The name of it is 'Great'. After this, the eagle returned and the throne, which is the Female principle, engraved and etched it. And the eagle was imprinted to be guided by the secret of this name; that is, for the attributes of the eagle are similar to those of the name Great.

The lion ascended to be guided and gaze on the face of a man above. Another name rose up with it to be crowned and engraved by the secret of the two faces and the two colors, and to be strengthened and attached to Gevurah. This is the name 'Mighty'. Then it returned and the throne, which is the secret of the Female principle of Zeir Anpin, engraved and etched it and it was imprinted so as to be guided by the secret of this name mighty. So that the attributes of the Lion, which is to the right, be like the attributes of the name mighty and the lion will be guided by the attribute of Gevurah.

The face of a man gazed on all of them, on all the faces of the living creatures, and they all rose up and gazed on it. All have risen to the face of a man above in the supernal Chariot, because it does not exist below. Then they were all depicted together in an engraving according to this drawing by the secret of a certain name, which is 'Terrible', נוֹרָא. It is written about the living creatures: "As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man" (Ezekiel 1:10), because they were all included within this image of man, and this image included them.

According to this secret, the Holy One, blessed be He, is called "a great El, mighty and terrible." - הָאֵל הַגָּדוֹל הַגִּבּוֹר וְהַנּוֹרָא. These names are engraved above by the secret of the upper Chariot, which comprises four letters of the name Yud Hei Vav Hei, which is a name that includes all the other names. The combining of the lower ox within the upper lion is equivalent to the letter Yud of Yud Hei Vav Hei, and is the secret of the name El. The combining of the lower lion within the upper ox is equivalent to the letter Hei and is the secret of the name Mighty. The combining of the lower eagle within the upper lion is equivalent to the letter Vav and is the secret of the name Great. And the face of a man of above, which includes all the living creatures from below that have ascended to it, is equivalent to the lower Hei of Yud Hei Vav Hei and is the secret of the name Terrible. These images, the ox, eagle, lion and man, are engraved and carved on the throne, which is the Female principle of Zeir Anpin, and the throne is carved and decorated by them. And these likenesses were embroidered on the throne: one on the right, one on the left, one on the front and one on the back, thus corresponding to the four directions of the world. The face of the lion is imprinted on the right, which is the south wind; the face of the ox on the left, which is the north wind; the face of the eagle on the front, which is the east wind; and the face of a man on the back, which is the west wind. This is the secret of the four letters of Yud Hei Vav Hei.

When the throne, which is the Female principle of Zeir Anpin, ascends to unite with Zeir Anpin, it is imprinted with these four images, ox, eagle. Lion and man. These four supernal names carry the throne up to unite with Zeir Anpin. And the throne, namely the Female principle, becomes included within them during the union. This means that she is completed by and with these names. The throne collects and gleans, by its union with Zeir Anpin, souls and delightful pleasures. When it has collected and gleaned these delights and pleasures, it descends full, like a tree with branches on all sides and laden with fruit.

As the throne descends from the place of union to its own place, the images of the four living creatures come forth, each shaped in its own form and engraving, illuminating, shining and radiating. They scatter seed over the world. Thus they are called the "herb yielding seed" and "herb" alludes to the living creatures that sow the world with seed.

When the image of a man, which includes all the other images, issues forth, it is described as "fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind" (Gen. 1:11). Because man is both male and female, "the fruit tree" is the female and "yielding fruit" applies to the male. The phrase: "Whose seed is in itself, upon the earth" (Ibid.) teaches us that he emitted his seed for the benefit of the earth alone. So the phrase: "Whose seed is in itself" is purposely said to teach us that man should not emit his seed in vain.

The "herb" which appears in the verse: "Let the earth bring forth grass, herb yielding seed" does not yield seed. Because of this, it has no permanency and does not last like the others. This is because it has no image to be shaped and engraved into any sort of likeness or form. Instead, they are seen and not seen. All those that have not been shaped into a form or an image have no permanency. They are created and last only for a certain time and are immediately consumed by the fire that devours fire, as already explained. Then they are again created and are immediately consumed by the fire that consumes fire. This is repeated again and again every day.

A human being below, in this world has an image and a form, but he does not last forever, as do those of the angels above. The form and image of the angels above are formed in their shape without any other covering. Because of this, they are everlasting. The image of man in this world below referring to the Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah is shaped into its form only by a covering. Because of this, man lasts only for a certain, limited, period.

Every night when a man sleeps, his spirit removes the covering and ascends. This fire that consumes fire, namely the Female principle of Zeir Anpin, consumes and burns this spirit. Later, the spirits are resurrected and reshaped in their coverings as before. Because of this, the spirits have no permanent existence, as do the images above, which is a reference to the angels of the "herb," but are burned and then renewed as before. About this, it is written: "They are new every morning" (Lam. 3:23), which refers to the spirits of human beings, which are renewed daily.

[19b] What is the purpose of this renewal? The verse concludes: "Great is Your faithfulness" (Ibid.), so it is great and not small.

The phrase: "Great is your faithfulness" means that it is for certain that the faithfulness or Faith, which is the Female principle, is great. She is able to receive all the souls of the world and include them, the upper and the lower souls, in herself. The Female principle is a great and large space that includes everything and is never full. This is the secret of the verse: "All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full" (Kohelet 1:7). The Female principle is called the "Sea" and the "rivers" are the souls. So the verse actually means that all the souls flow into the Female principle, yet she is not full. And the reason she is not yet full is because the souls run into the sea, which receives them and burns them inside it. Because of this, the sea is not yet full. Afterward, the sea restores the souls to their former state and they come into this world. This is why the verse reads: "Great is Your faithfulness."

On this day, the third day, it is written twice, "that it was good" (Gen. 1:10, 12). This day is associated with two sides, the Right Column and the Left Column. It told each side "that it was good," thereby reconciling the discord between them. This is why the phrase: "And...said" appears twice in it. Herein lies the secret of the name that is formed with the four letters, Yud Hei Vav Hei inscribed and engraved. These can add up to twelve letters that represent the four images on all four sides of the holy throne, which is the Female principle of Zeir Anpin.

"And Elohim said, 'Let there be luminaries (Heb. מְאוֹרוֹת)'" (Gen. 1:14). The word מְאוֹרוֹת is written here with defective spelling, without the letter Vav. This means that the children's disease, croup (diphtheria), was created. Because without Vav, מְאוֹרוֹת means curses, as in the verse: "The curse (Heb. me'erat) of Hashem is in the house of the wicked" (Prov. 3:33). For after the illumination of the primordial light was concealed, the skull (Heb. Kelipah) of the brain was created. This Kelipah expanded and brought forth another Kelipah. As soon as the Kelipah went forth, it ascended and descended until it reached the small face. It wanted to cleave to it and become part of its form; it refused completely to be separated from it. When the Holy One, blessed be He, created Adam, he separated it from there and the Kelipah descended below to the level of Malchut only, in order to fix it in this world, on the level of Malchut alone and not above it.

When the Kelipah saw Eve clinging to the side of Adam, who represented the beauty of above, and saw in them the complete form, it flew up from its place at the level of Malchut and wanted to cling to the small faces of Adam and Eve as before. However, the guards at the gates did not allow the Kelipah to cling to them. The Holy One, blessed be He, scolded it and cast it into the depths of the sea.

The Kelipah sat there in the depth of the sea until Adam and his wife sinned. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, took the Kelipah out from the depths of the sea. It took control over all those babies, who are the small faces of people, who deserve punishment for the sins of their fathers. It wandered around the world, approached the gates of the terrestrial Garden of Eden, saw the Cherubs guarding the gates of the garden and sat down near the bright blade of the sword from which it had originally emerged.

When the bright blade of the revolving sword changed to Judgment, the Kelipah fled and wandered around the world and found babies due to be punished. It is called the bright blade of a revolving sword, because it revolves and changes back and forth between Mercy and Judgment. The Kelipah laughed with the babies and then killed them. It did this during the waning of the moon, as its light diminished. This is why Me'orot (luminaries) is spelled without the letter Vav, which means curses. When Cain was born, the Kelipah was unable to cling to him, but later it approached him, cleaved to him and bore from him spirits and flying spirits.

Adam had intercourse with female spirits for 130 years until Na'amah came. Because of her beauty, she led the sons of Elohim, Aza and Azael astray. She bore them all sorts of new kinds of Kelipah. Evil spirits and demons spread out from her into the world. They wander around the world during the night, deriding human beings and causing nocturnal pollution. Wherever they find men sleeping alone in their own homes, they hover over them and cling to them, arousing lustful desires and having offspring by them.

When the moon is restored, the letters Mem-Aleph-Resh-Tav in the word Me'orot which means curses are turned into Aleph-Mem -Resh-Tav- אִמְרַת. This is according to the secret of the verse: "The word of (Heb. אִמְרַת) Hashem is tried. He is a shield to all those who trust in Him" (Ps. 18:31). He is a shield for all those who hold fast to their faith in the Holy One, blessed be He, against all those evil spirits and prosecutors who wander through the world at the time the light of the moon is diminishing.

King Solomon penetrated the depth of the secret of the nut, as it is written: "I went down into the garden of nuts" (Shir Hashirim 6:11). He took hold of the shell (Kelipah) of the nut and looked at all its layers. He came to realize that the main pleasure of the spirits in the shell of the nut was just to cling to human beings and defile them, as it is written: "And the delights of the sons of men, women very many (Heb. שִׁדּוֹת)" (Kohelet 2:8). This means that the demons (Heb. shedim) take pleasure only in human beings.

This verse also means that male and female demons are born from the pleasure human beings enjoy during their sleep at night. It was necessary for the Holy One, blessed be He, to create and supply the world with everything, including the Kelipot, so everything can be compared to the nut. Just as the inner part of the nut is surrounded by many layers of shells, the inner parts of all the worlds are similarly surrounded by many layers above and below in the supernal worlds and in this world, as will be explained.

From the beginning of the secret of the supernal point which is Arich Anpin to the end of all grades [20a] they are all intertwined, so each and everyone is a Kelipah to the other. A Kelipah is like a covering or an outer layer, just as a shell is a covering for a fruit. The primal point (which is Arich Anpin) is the internal light, whose purity, translucency and cleanness are beyond comprehension. When the expansion spreads beyond (Arich Anpin), which is the point, this expansion of that point becomes a chamber for the purpose of covering that point. The light of that point is incomprehensible because of its great purity.

The chamber (namely, Abba and Imma) which covers the concealed point, (which is Arich Anpin), is a light that has no limits. This means that the light of the chamber is also unknown and inconceivable. Nevertheless, it is not as pure and subtle as the light of the primal point, (Arich Anpin), which is hidden and concealed. This chamber issues forth an expansion of the primal light, as it is written: "And Elohim said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light" (Gen. 1:3). This expansion, Yisrael-Saba and Tevunah, is a covering for that pure and subtle chamber namely, Abba and Imma which is more internal than Yisrael-Saba and Tevunah.

From here (Yisrael-Saba and Tevunah) on, each one expanded within the other and became enclothed by one another until all the grades enclothed one another. One was the inner part and the other the outer layer. Though one is a garment in relation to what is above it, it has also become the inner aspect of another grade, a grade that is below it. (So Abba and Imma, which are considered a garment for Arich Anpin, became the inner part and internal aspect of Yisrael - Saba and Tevunah. Thus, Yisrael-Saba and Tevunah, which form a garment for Abba and Imma, became the inner part for Zeir Anpin. Thus, Zeir Anpin which is a garment for Yisrael-Saba and Tevunah became the inner part for his Female principle.) The same thing occurred below in the lower worlds (of Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah. The Female principle of Atzilut is enclothed within Briyah, and Briyah within Yetzirah and Yetzirah within Asiyah. Accordingly, the Neshamah in a man is enclothed within the Ruach and the Ruach within the Nefesh and the physical body. In this image, the human being exists in this world with an inner part and an outer shell, which correspond to a spirit and a body.) All this is for the perfection of the world.

When the moon was united with the sun, the moon had its own light. But after the moon was separated from the sun, it descended to the world of Briyah and was placed in charge of the hosts of Briyah, it belittled itself and diminished its own light. So Kelipot upon Kelipot were created, one above the other, to conceal the inner part. All this occurred to complete the light of the inner part, because without a shell no fruit can be had. This is the reason why it is written: "Let there be luminaries (מְאֹרֹת)," without Vav, which means a curse, because of the Kelipot that emerge due to the diminution of the light of the moon. All this was done for the perfection of the world. Therefore, it is written: "To give light upon the earth" (Gen. 1:15), as these Kelipot emerged in the secret of the shell that precedes the fruit.

"And Elohim made the two great luminaries" (Gen. 1:16). "And...made", וַיַּעַשׂ, signifies the greatness and the full establishment of everything, as it should be. The phrase: "The two great luminaries" indicates that the two great luminaries, (which are Zeir Anpin and his Female principle) were united at first. This is the secret of the full name Yud Hei Vav Hei - Elohim, which although not openly revealed can be surmised. So the "two great luminaries" appear in a full name, even though the name Elohim shines only in a concealed way.

"And Elohim made the two great luminaries" (Gen. 1:16). "And...made", וַיַּעַשׂ, signifies the greatness and the full establishment of everything, as it should be. The phrase: "The two great luminaries" indicates that the two great luminaries, (which are Zeir Anpin and his Female principle) were united at first. This is the secret of the full name Yud Hei Vav Hei - Elohim, which although not openly revealed can be surmised. So the "two great luminaries" appear in a full name, even though the name Elohim shines only in a concealed way. The word "great" means that Zeir Anpin and his Female principle grew in greatness by this name as equals, so much so that they were called by the name that unites everything together, which is Mem-Tzadi-Pe-Tzadi Mem-Tzadi-Pe-Tzadi. Zeir Anpin received his greatness from the right one, his Female principle from the left one. In such a way, they are referred to as "the two great luminaries." These are the most supernal names that precede the thirteen attributes of Mercy. The names Mem-Tzadi-Pe- Tzadi Mem-Tzadi-Pe-Tzadi are called "great," because they became great and ascended, since they are supernal and derive from the secret of above. They benefit the world, as the worlds' existence depends on them. Similarly, the two luminaries that appear in the verse, which are Zeir Anpin and his Female principle, both rose as one, in one greatness.

The moon was not at ease with the sun because she felt embarrassed before it. The moon said to the sun: "Where do you feed your flock? Why do you make your flock to rest at noon?" (Shir Hashirim 1:7). This is as if to say: How can a tiny candle shine in the middle of the day? "Why should I be like one who cloaks himself?" (Ibid.) That is: how can I remain in shame? Then she lowered herself to be head of the lower beings, as it is written: "Go your way forth by the footsteps of the flock" (Ibid. 8). Thus, the Holy One, blessed be He, said to her, 'Go and diminish yourself.'

From then on, she had no light of her own. She had only the light she received from the sun. At first, they were united as one on the same level, but she later lowered herself from all of its grades. This means that it lost all her grades and emerged from the world of Atzilut. Although she is the head of the lower worlds of Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah, she is nevertheless considered to have lost all her grades, as in principle a woman has no significance unless she is together with her husband. In other words, because the Female principle is separated from Zeir Anpin, her husband, and has left the world of Atzilut to go to that of Briyah, she has brought about the loss of all her grades. Even though she has become head in the world of Briyah, she does not consider this to be significant because she is separated from her husband, who is in the world of Atzilut. The phrase: "The greater luminary" (Gen. 1:16) alludes to Zeir Anpin, who is called by the name Yud Hei Vav Hei. "The lesser luminary" (Ibid.) alludes to the Female principle, who is called by the name Elohim, the last of the grades and an end to Thought namely, an end to the world of Atzilut that is called Thought. At first, the Female principle was inscribed above in Zeir Anpin in the fourth letter of the Holy Name Yud Hei Vav Hei, because the female is the lower Hei. In other words, when she was on the same level with Zeir Anpin, she was the lower Hei of the name Yud Hei Vav Hei. But afterward, she lowered herself to be called by the name Elohim.

In spite of all this, the Female principle ascended on all sides and shone in all directions from above; that is, before she diminished herself and when she was the lower Hei in the assembling of the letters of the Holy Name, Yud Hei Vav Hei. Later, when she belittled herself, the grades expanded out from all sides, which means that she shone from the aspect of being before the lower Hei of Yud Hei Vav Hei and also from the aspect of being now the name Elohim. The grades that expanded from the aspect of her being above, from the lower Hei of Yud Hei Vav Hei, are called the "rule (of) the day" (Ibid.). The grades that expanded from the aspect of her being below, from the name Elohim, are called the "rule (of) the night" (Ibid.). The words "the stars" (Gen. 1:16) allude to countless hosts and groups of angels, who are all suspended in that "firmament of heaven" that is Yesod of Zeir Anpin and is called life of the worlds, as it is written: "And Elohim set them in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth" (Ibid. 17).

The kingdom of the house of David was established on this day, the fourth day, which is the fourth leg that supports the throne. It happened on the fourth day because the letters were completed and fixed in their places properly. In spite of all this, Malchut (kingdom) was not fixed properly in its place before the sixth day, because only then was the image of man completed and properly established. On the sixth day, the upper throne and the lower throne were established and all the worlds settled in their places. All the letters were set in their spheres [20b] after untying and releasing the complicated tie that existed among the letters.

The fourth day, which is the kingdom of David, was rejected by the builders, as it is written: "The stone which the builders rejected..." (Tehilim 118:22) and also "my mother's children were angry with me" (Shir Hashirim 1:6). For this light, (referring to Malchut) lowered itself and diminished its own radiance while the Kelipot were established in their places. This gave place to the emerging of the Kelipot and their rule. Thus she seemed loathsome in the eyes of the righteous that built it. Only later, when she was completed and ready for union with Zeir Anpin, was it said she "has become the head stone of the corner" (Tehilim 118:22). All those lights that shone during the 6,000 year period were suspended in this firmament of heaven to establish with them the throne of David, namely, the kingdom (Malchut) of David.

These lights of the kingdom of David shape the form below in order to prepare the form of all those that pertain to the inner form of the face of a man, because every inner form is so called, namely, the face of a man. From this, you should realize that every shape included in this expansion of the letter final Nun is called man, even though they do not actually have the face of a man. Hence, it is written: "But you...are men" (Yechezkel 34:31). You are called men, but not the rest of the idolatrous nations.

Every spirit is called man, which means that only the aspect of the light of the spirit that is enclothed within the body is called man. So the body of the spirit of the holy side is only a garment; in other words, the spirit is the actual essence of man and the body is only its covering. But on the Other Side, the opposite applies. This is why it is written: "You have clothed me with skin and flesh..." (Iyov 10:11). The flesh of man is only a garment covering the essence of man, which is the spirit. Wherever it is written the flesh of man, it hints that the essence of man is inside. The flesh is only a vestment for man, a body for him, but the essence of man is the aspect of his spirit. For the lower aspects were melted with the melting of this spirit of the face of man, and other forms were fashioned, enclothed in a different kind of garment not by that of man, but of Kosher animals. These include: ox, sheep, goats, kids of the goats, rams, deer, fallow-deer and so on. They would have preferred to be included in the vestment of the face of a man, but were not. They became vestments for others; namely, garments for the face of an ox, the face of an eagle and the face of a lion. The inner spirit of the ox, sheep and goat, is called by the same name as the body of that spirit, because the body is a vestment for that name but does not own it. The body is the flesh of the ox and the ox is the inner spirit of that body; namely, its flesh is its garment. So it is with all animals; their bodies are named after the inner spirit that is enclothed within them.

It is similar with the Other Side, which is not holy. The spirit that spreads within the idolatrous nations issues from the side that is not holy and is not the aspect of man. Therefore, it is not called by this name, as has been written: "But you...are men." The name of this spirit is defiled. It is not called man and has no share in him because it extends from the wicked man (lit. 'man without elevation'), who does not want to ascend to the face of man above. So his body, the vestment of his spirit, is impure and his flesh is defiled. The impure part, which is the spirit, is on the inside and the flesh is his vestment. As long as the spirit dwells within that body, it is considered defiled. As the spirit leaves that vestment, namely the body, neither the body nor the vestment is called impure any longer, as the impure one, that is the spirit, has departed from it.

From the lower aspects referring to animals, beasts and birds that were molded into shape by that impure spirit forms, namely private spirits, were drawn out. These were enclothed by other vestments, such as the forms of impure animals, and the Torah said of them, "These shall be unclean to you" (Vayikra 11:29). These forms include pigs and the birds and animals that belong to the Other Side. The spirit is called by that name, that is, defiled, and the body is its vestment. The body is called the flesh of the pig, because it is a pig in its inner being, in its spirit, while the flesh is a garment covering that spirit. Therefore, both aspects, those included within the secret of man and those included with the secret of the impure, are separated from and oppose each other. On the side of holiness are the spirit of man in general, and the spirits of pure animals, beasts and fowl, which are the particular. From the side of wicked man is the impure wicked man, who is considered the general aspect, and the spirits of impure animals, beasts and fowl, that are the particulars. They oppose each other. Every kind of animal stays with its own kind and does not mix with the opposite kind. Even if it does, it eventually returns to its own kind.

All the upper shining lights shine within that firmament of heaven, so that proper forms may be drawn down below, as it is written: "And Elohim set them in the firmament of heaven...to rule over the day and over the night" (Gen. 1:17). For the dominion of the two lights is a proper dominion.

"The greater luminary," (namely Zeir Anpin) rules the day and "the lesser luminary," which is his Female principle, rules the night. The secret learned from here is that the male rules by day and fills up the house with all that is needed, such as food and sustenance. As soon as night falls and the female takes command, everything in the house falls under her control, because then it is time for her dominion. As it is written: "She rises also while it is yet night and gives food to her household" (Mishlei 31:15); "she" and not "he." So the Female principle, not Zeir anpin, gives at night, as the dominion over the day belongs to the male and the dominion over the night belongs to the female.

The "greater luminary" is the sun, which has twelve openings and twelve hours, as the sun rules over the day. The "lesser luminary" is the moon, which also has twelve openings, the moon rules over the night, which has twelve hours. For this reason, it is written: "On that day Hashem shall be one, and His Name One" (Zecharyah 14:9). "One" is mentioned twice: once for Yud Hei Vav Hei, who is Zeir Anpin, "the greater luminary," and once of His Name, which is the female, "the lesser luminary." The sun together with its twelve openings becomes the thirteen attributes of Mercy. The moon together with its twelve openings also adds up to thirteen. So the sun becomes one and the moon becomes one; then it says, "Hashem shall be one, and His Name One," because the numerical value of echad (one) adds up to thirteen. Thus, the sun and the moon become one and the day and night also become one. This is why it is written: "And there was evening and there was morning, one day" (Gen. 1:5). The secret of this union is only applicable on high.

The verse: "And the stars" means that after the female has attained order in her house and retired with her husband, the maidens are left in charge of the house. The maidens who serve the female are called the stars. And the secret of the phrase "And the stars" is that the feminine principle turns control of the house over to them to deal with all the requirements of the house. That is, to prepare her for mating with the sun and to bestow the abundance of the day. This is during the darkness before dawn, when the maidens, the stars, rule, which is an inferior rule. Then darkness is doubled in the world. This is the secret meaning of, "a portion to her maidens" (Mishlei 31:15). Afterward, that is, after the mating in the darkness of the morning (before dawn breaks), the household returns to the dominion of the male during the day and everything is set properly in place. This means that the female is included within the male, according to the secret of the mating and is under his control. She reveals the light of the morning to the world, as it should be.

"And Elohim made the two great lights" (Gen. 1:16). The sun is one and the moon is the other. Because of this, the lights that ascend are called the luminaries of the light whereas those that descend are called luminaries of the fire. These luminaries of the fire are the lower grades and rule over all the weekdays. Because of this, a blessing is recited over the candle when Shabbat ends because, at that point, the luminaries of the fire are given permission to rule again. The fingers of man represent the most hidden of all grades and secrets of the supernal world, and are divided into front and back. The back of the fingers represents the external part, an allusion to the fingernails. As such, [21a] man may look at his fingernails as Shabbat ends. As they shine by the candlelight and are bright from that fire, that rules over the days of the week. (The fingernails) are visible, but it is not permissible to see the inner part of the fingers by this candlelight, because they shine only from above. And (the inner part of the fingers) is called the inner face. This is the secret of the verse: "And you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen" (Shemot 33:23), which means that a person should not look at the inside of his fingers at the end of Shabbat, as he recites the blessing: 'Creator of the luminaries of the fire (Heb. bore me'orei ha'esh)'. The phrase: "And you shall see My back" refers to the external part (of the fingers) which is hinted at in the fingernails. "But My face shall not be seen" refers to the inside of the fingers (and which) rules on Shabbat. (The external part) rules during the weekdays.

On Shabbat day, the Holy One, blessed be He, rules alone over this inner face, sitting upon his Throne of Glory. All are included within him, and the dominion is his. This is why He transmits calmness to all the worlds, and the holy nation, which is called the one nation on earth, receives the inheritance of this day. The luminaries of the light (originate from) the side of the right, which is the primal light that was on the first day. On the day of Shabbat, the luminaries of the light shine alone and govern, illuminating all (the worlds) below (Atzilut).

When Shabbat is over, the luminaries of the light are hidden and the luminaries of the fire govern, each and everyone in its place. When do they rule? From the end of Shabbat until Shabbat eve. Thus, it is necessary to receive light from that candle, as Shabbat ends.

"And the living creatures ran and returned" (Yechezkel 1:1 4); the eye is not able to observe the revealed living creatures as they run to and fro. This is because the wheel that is stationed in their midst is Metatron, who is far greater and more important than the rest of (the living creatures), higher than they by 500 parasangs. The concealed living creatures are hidden beneath the upper concealed letters, Yud-Hei, which govern Vav-Hei. The ones are a Chariot for the others. And that which is most concealed, which is completely unknown (is the secret of the endless light). It controls everything and rides upon them all. The living creatures, which are revealed, are down below the upper and concealed living creatures. Their illumination comes from them, and they travel according to them.

The upper living creatures (who are concealed) are all included in the "firmament of heaven" as it is written of them: "Let there be luminaries in the firmament of heaven" (Gen. 1:14). The verse: "And let there be for luminaries in the firmament of heaven" (tells us) that all (the lights) are suspended from that "firmament of heaven." That is the firmament above the living creatures, about which it is written: "And over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of a firmament, as the color of the terrible ice" (Yechezkel 1:22). This is the primal (firmament).

From this point upward, no person can comprehend or grasp any thoughts because they are concealed within Thought. The thought of the Holy One, blessed be He, is hidden and concealed above; nobody can conceive and understand man's thought. Even more true is that nobody can understand anything originating in supernal Thought. The actual Thought itself is all the more (beyond our ability to grasp). More inner than thought (i.e., Binah) who may form any idea (of such a thing)? There is no understanding at all; not enough to even ask a question, not to mention comprehending the answer.


The Ein Sof has no mark on it to grasp; it is not subject to any question or mental formulation. From within this most concealed of all concealed things, with the beginning of the descent of the Ein Sof, a thin, almost imperceptible light shone. It was concealed by a fragile imprint, as delicate as a needlepoint. This is the secret of the concealed thought. It remained unknown until an illumination extended from it to the place on which the letters were imprinted. Everything emerges from there.

In the beginning, Aleph, which is the beginning and end of all the grades (was inscribed). Although it is the imprint on which the upper and lower grades were imprinted, it is still referred to in the singular as Echad (one), (teaching us) that, although it contains many forms it remains only one. Assuredly, Aleph is the letter upon which the upper and the lower beings depend. The upper tip (head) of the letter Aleph, (i.e., the shape of the upper Yud), represents the secret of the supernal thought. The expansion of the upper firmament (is still) entirely concealed within the upper tip (of the Aleph). So when the Aleph emerges from that firmament, it will be in the image of the secret of the beginning (head) of Thought. Within that Central (column) of Aleph, there are six grades (i.e., Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod and Yesod). These contain the secret of all the supernal and concealed living creatures that are connected to the inside of Thought, (which is Binah).

One light that shone and was concealed is the light of the letter Bet of Beresheet. "The heat of the day" (Beresheet 18:1), as Abraham was sitting "in the tent door..." This door leads from below upward (and those down below ascend through it). "The heat of the day" shines through that door (from below upward). From there, it also shines (downward).

The second is the light that gradually fades away before nightfall. (This is) the secret of the prayer of Isaac, to properly amend and establish this grade, as it is written: "And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at eventide" (Beresheet 24:63). The vision at "eventide" and all sorts of darkness are related to him. At this eventide, Jacob looked at the minister of Esau.

The third is the light that combines these two [21b] lights, that shines for healing. The secret of that which is written about Jacob: "And the sun rose upon him" (Ibid. 32) (This refers) assuredly to the time after (he) became included within that eventide, (i.e. the darkness of the lefthand column, and was thus in need of healing). From here onward - "And he limped upon his thigh." (Note that it) is written "upon his thigh" and not 'upon his thighs'. This is the fourth grade, (i.e. Netzach) from where no prophecies were issued until Samuel arrived. About it, it is written: "And also the Eternal One (Heb. Netzach) of Yisrael" (I Samuel 15:29). (Netzach) which had been weak ever since Jacob the patriarch was endangered by the minister of Esau, was thus firmly reestablished. "He touched the hollow of his thigh" (Beresheet 32:26). When the minister of Esau came upon Jacob, (Jacob) derived strength from that eventide by the power of Judgment. Thus, Jacob became included within it (the lefthand column) he was not able to overcome him. "And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh": hence, (Jacob) attained strength from there. Because the thigh is located outside the torso and because Jacob (is Sefirah, which is called) the torso, his body comprises the secret of two grades, (i.e. male and female), according to the secret that is called man. As soon as (Jacob) derived power, (located) outside of his body, Esau's ministering angel struck "and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint" (Ibid.).

No man prophesied from there until Samuel. Therefore, it is written: "And also the Eternal One of Yisrael...for He is not a man." Joshua received his prophecy from Hod of Moses, as it is written: "And you shall put some of your honor (Heb. Hod) upon him" (Bemidbar 27:20), which is the fifth grade. Netzach is the left thigh of Jacob. David came forth and combined it with the right, as it is written: "At Your right hand are pleasures for evermore (Heb. Netzach)" (Tehilim 16:11). It is not written: 'Your right,' but rather "at Your right," What weakened Jacob's thigh? The side of impurity approached him and derived strength from him. So (the fixing of it) was delayed until Samuel appeared. That is why (Samuel) came, to remind us that this is the thigh of Yisrael, as it is written: "And also the Eternal One (Heb. Netzach) of Yisrael" (I Samuel 15:29). This is also the reason why all his words were based on Judgment, both in the beginning and in the end.

Furthermore, the Holy One, blessed be He, included him with Hod. When? After he had anointed the kings (Saul and David). For this, Samuel is ranked as Moses and Aaron. Just as Moses and Aaron were (separated) on two sides above, (i.e. the right and the left) so was (Samuel) down below in the two aspects, . What are those? Netzach and Hod, the same as Moses and Aaron on high. All the grades were included within one another (by Samuel; this is how he became ranked as Moshe and Aharon together), as is written: "Moses and Aaron among His priests, and Samuel among them that call upon His name" (Tehilim 99:6). Thus, six aspects, (The six Sefirot of Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod and Yesod) were included within one another and combined.

In the same manner that Moses and Aaron - are connected (to Samuel) so are Jacob and Moses connected to Joseph. Jacob was the owner of the house. When Jacob passed away, Moses gained control over the house during his lifetime. Joseph was righteous because of Jacob and Moses.

Jacob took over the house through Joseph, as it is written: "These are the generations of Jacob Joseph" (Beresheet 37:2). Moses did not mate with her until he attained (the connection with) Joseph. When the Shechinah returned from the exile (Moshe) was able to unite with (the Shechinah) only through Joseph, as it is written: "And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him" (Shemot 13:19). Why is it written: "with him?" Because the body is not (fit) for mating with the female unless it unites with the covenant (i.e. Yesod). This is why Moses took Joseph with him. Because, since (Yosef) was (connected) with him, (Ze'er Anpin) could mate with this Female principle in the proper manner. Thus, Jacob, Moses and Joseph go together as one.

When Jacob died, his body was buried in the Holy Land; but when Joseph died, only his bones were buried in the Holy Land. For Moses, no part of his body was buried in the Holy Land. Because Jacob was the first husband of the Queen, but after Jacob died, (the female principle) mated with (the internal aspect of Ze'er Anpin, which is called) Moses. As long as Moses was in this world, he visited her, as was proper. He became the second husband. They carried Jacob to the Holy Land in his entire body, because he is the body. But for Joseph, only his bones and not his body. Why? Because the bones are the hosts and legions of above and they all emerge from that Righteousness. (Yosef) the Righteous was called by the name Tzva'ot (Eng. 'hosts'). Why? Because all the hosts and legions above emerge from him. Because of this, the bones, which are the hosts, were taken to the Holy Land.

Moses remained outside (the Holy Land). Neither his body nor his bones entered. Instead, the Shechinah entered the Holy Land after Moses had died and returned to her first husband, who was Jacob. From this, (we learn that if) a woman is married to two men (in this world), she shall return, after her demise, to her first husband in the World to Come. Because Jacob, her first husband, was in the Holy Land Moses was (buried) outside.

Moses merited during his lifetime what Jacob did not merit (because) Jacob mated - in the other world (only after his death). Moses (caused this mating to occur) in this world, (but not after his death). You might say that this was a disadvantage for Moses, but that is not so. Why? Because when The Children of Yisrael left Egypt, their redemption came from the aspect of Jubilee. All the 600,000 people came from the supernal world. In that image, they traveled through the wilderness and none of them entered the Holy Land. [22a] Only the children born (to the generation of the wilderness), as it should be, because they (belonged to) the completion of the moon. Hence, all the laborers of the land (affect) the building of the moon.

Moses mated with the moon while he was still enclothed in a body. He had full control over her. When he passed from this world, his sacred spirit ascended high and the spirit returned to the supernal Jubilee. There, (Moshe) cleaved to 600,000, which belonged to him. This is something that did not happen to Jacob; his spirit returned to the Sabbatical year. This did not happen as long as he was alive, because in his lifetime he had a different house.

The lowest grade in the Holy Land is completed by the power of the upper. Because of this, it is impossible for them all to be together. Because those from the supernal world all comprise the aspect of the spirit alone. And those from the lower world are the aspect of the body. It is not proper for all of these to be combined within the moon. So the former should be inside the moon and the latter outside, each receives illumination from the other. All those who entered the Land had only the image of the first ones but they did not reach that supernal level as the first ones did. Why? Because there will be no generation, and there never was, such as those first ones to whom the brilliance of the glory of their Master was revealed face to face.

Jacob mated with his wives in his lifetime with his body. After (his death), his spirit cleaved to the spirit. However, Moses separated himself from his wife and cleaved to the Holy Spirit while he was still enclothed in his body. After, his spirit cleaved to the concealed and supernal spirit, and all the grades were united and shone as one. The spirit of Moses came from the Jubilee and his body came from the Sabbatical year. The spirit of Jacob cleaved to the Sabbatical year, while his body belonged to his wives in this world. All those supernal lights exist in their images below on earth. They are all suspended from the firmament of heaven (and) contain the secret of the two names combined as one. After a third name is added, they become one again, one corresponding to the other. It is an inscribed and engraved name, in which they are included according to the secret of the Faith.

"And Elohim said, 'Let Us make man'" (Beresheet 1:26), "The secret of Hashem is with them that fear Him" (Tehilim 25:14). The most venerated old man opened the discussion saying, Shimon, Shimon, who is he who said, "Let Us make man" and "And Elohim said," Who is this Elohim? In the meantime, that most respected of old men flew away and he could not see him. When Rabbi Shimon heard that he called him Shimon and not Rabbi Shimon, he said to his friends: This is indeed the Holy One, blessed be He, of whom it is said "and an ancient of days (Aramaic, Atik Yomin) did sit" (Daniel 7:9). Now is the time to reveal this secret, which was previously forbidden to be revealed. However, permission has now been granted to reveal it.

(R' Shimon) started by saying: This is like a king who had many buildings to build and he had a craftsman. That craftsman (Heb. uman) did not do anything without the permission of the king, as it is written: "Then I was by Him, as a nursling (Heb. amon)" (Mishlei 8:30). The king is most certainly the supernal wisdom above, and the central pillar is the king down below. Elohim, the craftsman above, is the supernal Ima and Elohim, the craftsman below, is the Shechinah (Tikkunim 72 Page 97a) below.

A wife is not permitted to do anything without the permission of her husband. Of all the buildings that were in the way of Atzilut, Aba would say to Ima, Let it be so and so. And it was immediately done. It is written: "And Elohim said, 'Let there be light;' and there was light." "And...said" alludes to the owner of the building, who said to Elohim, "Let there be light." So (Aba) uttered the words and the craftsman, (Ima), completed the task immediately. And this was the same in every edifice - by way of Atzilut - where (Aba) would say, "Let there be a firmament," or "Let there be luminaries," and (Ima) would complete everything in an instant. When He reached the world of separation, which is the world of those divided, the craftsman then said to the owner of the building, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness." (Beresheet 1:26). The owner of the building said, It is indeed good that man is made, but he shall sin before you, because he is foolish, as it is written: "A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother" (Mishlei 10:1).

(Ima) said: Because his sins are related to Ima and not Aba, I wish to create him in my own image, as it is written: "So Elohim created man in His own image' (Beresheet 1:27) because she did not want Aba to have any share. When (Adam) sinned, it was written: [22b] "And for your transgressions was your mother put away" (Isaiah 50:1). The King, said to Ima: Did I not tell you that he was going to sin? In that instance, he exiled him and his Mother. Therefore, it is written: "A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish son is the grief of his mother." "A wise son" alludes to man in Atzilut, and "a foolish son" alludes to man in Briyah.

All the friends rose and said, Rabbi, Rabbi, could there be such separation between Aba and Ima, so much so that what (emanated) from the aspect of Aba shall be formed in the way of (man of) Atzilut and that which emanated from the aspect of Ima shall be (formed in the way of man) of Briyah? (R' Shimon) said to them, Friends, friends, this is not so, because man of Atzilut is male and female, from the side of Aba and from Ima. This is why, "And Elohim said, 'Let there be light;' and there was light." "Let there be light" is from the aspect of Aba and "and there was light" is from the aspect of Ima. So man was (created) double - faced.

But that (man of Briyah) has neither the image nor likeness (of Aba and Ima). The supernal mother had one appellation, "light and darkness" that adds to eighty-six, which is the numerical value of Elohim. So this appellation combines light and darkness. Because of the darkness in that appellation, Aba said that man of Briyah is destined to sin. Because he represents the light of the supernal garment.

That light is the light that the Holy One, blessed be He, created on the first day. (But later He) concealed it for the righteous alone. That darkness was created on the first day for the wicked. It is written: "And the wicked shall be silent in darkness" (I Samuel 2:9). On account of that darkness, which was destined to cause that light (in the soul of man) to sin, Aba did not wish to partake in his creation. Therefore, (Ima) said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness." The words "in our image", in that light; "after our likeness" in that darkness, which is a garment for the light. Just as the body is a garment for the soul, as it is written: "You have clothed me with skin and flesh" (Job 10:11). They all rejoiced and said: How happy is our lot that we had the privilege to hear words that were not to be heard until now.

Rabbi Shimon opened another discussion saying, "See now that I, even I am He, and there is no Elohim with Me" (Devarim 32:39). He said: Friends, listen to ancient words that I wish to reveal after permission from above has been granted for them to be said. Who is he who said, "See now that I, even I, am He?" The cause above all causes, the one that is called the 'Cause of Causes,' is a Cause among all the rest of the causes. So every single one of these causes shall not do anything unless it receives permission from the cause above it, as I have stated above in, "Let Us make man."

"Let Us make man..." (Beresheet 1:26), the use of "Us" assuredly alludes to two grades, as each said to the one above it, "Let Us make." (The lower grade) cannot do anything without permission from the one above it and the one above this one cannot do anything without permission from its higher neighbor. But the one that is called the Cause above all causes has no equal above nor below, as it is written: "'To whom then will you liken Me, that I should be his equal,' says the Holy One" (Isaiah 40:25). He said, "See now that I, I am He - and there is no Elohim with me..." (Devarim 32:39) from whom to take counsel - which is not like that about which it is written: "And Elohim said, Let Us make man...".

All the friends stood up and said, Rabbi, grant us permission to speak. Did you not state above that the Cause of Causes said to Keter, "Let Us make man." (R' Shimon) replied: May your ears listen to what your mouths say. Did I not just now say that there is one who is called the Causes of Causes and that it is not the one that is called the Cause above all causes, because the Cause above all causes has no equal from whom to take advice. It is unique, prior to all, and cannot be joined with another.

Because of this, he said, "See now that I, even I am He, and there is no Elohim with Me" from whom to take counsel because it has no equal or partner or number. However, there is one that designates a combination; for example, a combination of male and female, about whom it is written: "For he was but one when I called him" (Isaiah 51:2). But He is one without number and without combination. Therefore, it said, "And there is no Elohim with Me." They all rose, bowed before him and said, Happy is the man whose Master gives him consent to reveal hidden secrets that were not even revealed to the holy angels.

He said to them, Friends, we should complete this verse because it contains many secrets. "I kill, and make alive" (Devarim 32:39) - I kill and I make alive by the Sefirot. From the right side, life, and from the left side death. But if both do not agree by mediation of the central pillar - unless all three settle together - Judgment cannot be carried out. At times, [23a] all three agree to execute Judgment. Then an outstretched hand appears to accept those who repent (in the simple form of) Yud Hei Vav Hei, (and ten in the form of) Yud- Vav-Dalet, Hei-Aleph, Vav-Aleph-Vav, Hei-Aleph. This is the Shechinah, which is the right hand from the aspect of Chesed and the left hand from the aspect of Judgment. (The) hand of Yud Hei Vav Hei from the aspect of the central pillar, (the aspect of Mercy). When a person repents, these fourteen letters save him from judgment. But when the cause high above all causes passes judgment, "neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand" (Devarim 32:39).

Furthermore, three times it has been said: "I" (Heb. ani), spelled with the letters Aleph-Nun-Yud. "I's" in this verse have three times Aleph (in their beginning abd) three times Yud (in their ending). (The three Yud's) are hinted at in (the combination of the Name, which adds up to 63): Yud-Vav-Dalet, Hei-Yud, Vav-Aleph-Vav, Hei-Yud. (The three Alephs are hinted at in Yud Hei Vav Hei, which adds up to 45): Yud-Vav-Dalet, Hei-Aleph, Vav-Aleph-Vav, Hei-Aleph. The verse contains three Vav's ('and') - "and I make alive..." "and I heal..." and "...and neither is..." They are also hinted at by these names. Even with all (the majesty) in the verse, the friends have explained it concerning other Elohim, as it is written: "See now that I, even I, am He" applies to the Holy One, blessed be He, and his Shechinah. Of his Female principle, it is said, "I am (Aleph-Nun-Yud)," Vav-Hei-Vav. The phrase: "And there is no Elohim with Me" (alludes to) Samael and the serpent; "I kill, and I make alive" - kill with My Shechinah whoever is guilty and "I make alive" with Her whoever is righteous. The verse: "Neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand..." refers to the hand (Heb. yad), of Yud Hei Vav Hei, which has a numerical value of fourteen; Yud Hei Vav Hei, Yud-Vav-Dalet, Hei-Aleph, Vav-Aleph -Vav, Hei-Aleph; and it is also Caf- Vav-Zayin-Vav, Bet-Mem-Vav-Caf-Samech-Zayin, Caf-Vav-Zayin-Vav. All the explanations are true. [But what is said before is that it is the Cause of Causes - which is the Cause above all other . This secret was not even revealed to all the sages and prophets].

Come and behold how many causes, (i.e. grades) are concealed. They are enclothed and enveloped by the Sefirot, which are Chariots to them. These causes are hidden from the thoughts of man. Of them, it is written: "For there is a high one that watches over him that is high" (Kohelet 5:7). The lights become brighter. So the recipients are dimmer than those above them are because they are the recipients. No light can bear the presence of the Cause of Causes, because all lights are darkened before it.

Another explanation of "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness..." (Beresheet 1:26) was given by the friends as referring to the ministering angels who spoke this phrase (to Hashem). (R' Shimon) said to them: Since the angels already know the past and the future, they already knew that man was destined to sin. Why then did they want to make man? Not only that, but (the Angels) Aza and Azael also opposed (man's creation). When the Shechinah said to the Holy One, blessed be He, "Let Us make man," they responded, "What is man that You take knowledge of him?" (Tehilim 144:3). Why do you wish to create man when You know that he shall definitely sin before you, with his wife, who represents darkness, because the light is the male and darkness is the Female principle, the Left, darkness of Creation. At that moment, the Shechinah said to them: You will fall by the same reasoning that you denounce, as it is written: "That the sons of Elohim saw that the daughters of men were fair" (Beresheet 6:2), so they went astray after them. And the Shechinah caused them to fall from their holy state. The friends said, Rabbi, Rabbi, Aza and Azael did not lie, because Adam definitely was destined to sin by his wife. He replied: This is what the Shechinah said, You, (the aforementioned Angels), have laid accusations before me that go beyond those of all the hosts above. If you were better than man in your actions, you would have had a right to accuse him, but man will sin only with one woman while you are destined to sin with many women. Therefore, your sins are greater than those of human beings, as it is written: "The sons of Elohim saw the daughters of man." It is not written: 'the daughter of men,' but rather "the daughters of men". As man sinned, I prepared atonement for him to amend his sin. The friends asked, If so, why all this? Rabbi Shimon replied: If the Holy One, blessed be He, had not created the Evil and Good Inclinations, which are light and darkness, there would not have been any precepts or transgressions for the man of Briyah. So man was created with both, as it is written: "See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil" (Devarim 30:15). They asked him: why all this? Better He had not created darkness. Then man would have no reward or punishment as opposed to being created and having to sin, thereby causing much (damage and destruction).

He said to them: It was right to create him thus, because the Torah was created for the sake (of man), for it contains punishments for the sinful and rewards for the righteous. Thus, there can be no reward for the righteous or punishment for the sinful without the man of Briyah: "He did not create it a wasteland (lit. 'formless'), He created it to be inhabited" (Isaiah 45:18). (The friends) said, Indeed, we have certainly now heard what we had never heard before. It is now clear that the Holy One, blessed be He, did not create anything that he did not require. Furthermore, the Torah of Briyah [23b] is the clothing of the Shechinah. If man had not been created, the Shechinah would have remained without clothing, like a pauper. Therefore, whoever sins acts as if he is stripping the Shechinah of Her garments. This is the punishment for the man (who sins).

Whoever performs the precepts of the Torah acts as if he is dressing the Shechinah in Her garments. According to this, (what was said) about the garment of the Tzitzit reads, "For that is his only covering, it is his raiment for his skin; in what shall he sleep?" (Shemot 22:26). (This applies) in exile. Come and behold: Darkness is black in the Torah. Light is the white in the Torah.

Because Jacob saw through the Holy Spirit the oppression of the last exile, in the end of days, it is said of him, "Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed" (Beresheet 32:8). As a result, he divided the holy nation in exile into three parts, as it is written: "And he put the handmaids and their children foremost" (Beresheet 33:2). At first in the exile of Edom, "and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph last of all." Because he saw their eventual poverty and suffering, (he prayed for them): "So that I come back to my father's house in peace" (Beresheet 28:21). (He prayed): "And will give me bread to eat, and clothing to wear" (Ibid.)

Because of this exile, David described (the Shechinah as) "hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness" (II Samuel 17:29), because he saw the Shechinah desolate and withering and then joined in her sorrow. After he saw that the children of Yisrael repented with joy, he composed ten types of psalms. At the end of them all, he said, it is written: "A prayer of the afflicted (lit. 'poor'), when he faints..." (Tehilim 102:1). This prayer encompasses all other prayers. This is why (the prayer of)the poor comes before all the others.

Which is the prayer of the poor? It is the evening prayer. Since she is without her husband, she is poor and withered, and may be taken freely by anyone. The Righteous are withered and poor. This refers to the seed of Jacob, which is under the rule of all nations of the world. This is similar to the evening prayer, because it is the aspect of night in the exile.

The prayer of Shabbat is a charity given to the poor, as the sages of the Mishnah explained that the sun during Shabbat is charity given to the poor. Therefore, on all weekdays, a person should make himself a pauper at the gate of the King during the prayer of Amidah for the sake of the Shechinah. He should cover himself with the proper vestments (i.e. Tallit and Tzitzit) as a poor man stands at the gate to the temple (of the King), who is AdoSHEM, because (the gematria of this word) adds up to that of 'temple' (Heb. heichal). This is "AdoSHEM, open my lips..." (Tehilim 51:17).

When a person opens his lips during the weekdays at Arvit (the evening prayer), an eagle descends to carry the prayer of the night upon its wings. (This eagle is called) Nuriel. It is called Uriel from the aspect of Chesed and Nuriel from the aspect of Gevurah, which is a burning fire about which it is written: "A fiery stream issued and came forth" (Daniel 7:10).

During Shacharit (the morning prayer), the lion descends to receive the prayer with its arms and wings - every living creature has four wings. This is Michael. During Minchah (the afternoon prayer), the ox descends to receive the prayer with its horns and wings, and this is Gabriel. On Shabbat, the Holy One, blessed be He descends with the three patriarchs - (Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet) - to receive His only daughter through them. This is the secret of Shabbat - Shin and Bat (Eng. 'daughter'). At that time, the celestial living creatures that are called by the name Yud Hei Vav Hei say, as it is written: "Lift up your heads, O you gates; and lift them up, you everlasting doors; that the King of glory may come in" (Tehilim 24:9).

At this time, seven chambers are opened. The first chamber is the chamber of love, the second is the chamber of awe, the third is the chamber of mercy, the fourth is the chamber of prophecy of the shining mirror, the fifth is the chamber of prophecy of the opaque mirror [24a] About them, it is written: "Beresheet" which consists of bara sheet (Eng. 'created six'); and Elohim is in the seventh chamber. There are seven chambers below, and seven chambers above. The seven voices that correspond to them, "Ascribe to Hashem" (Tehilim 29), which includes eighteen mentions (of the Four Letter Name). By these mentions, the Holy One, blessed be He, glides through eighteen worlds: "The chariots of Elohim are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands..." (Tehilim 68:18) and there are 180,000 worlds. Many guardians of the gates stand before the chambers to receive the prayers and no prayer enters without being measured and weighed. No one can stand before the gate of prayers (and prevent a prayer from entering). Of such a one it is written: "They shall not be put to shame, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate" (Tehilim 127:5). This is the gate of the King (i.e. the Gate of the Chamber). Since the prayer is a precept and is the Shechinah, and the Torah is the Holy One, blessed be He, they must not be separated. The Torah and the precept should be elevated with love and awe.

All the precepts, positive and negative, derive from the name Yud Hei Vav Hei as this secret has been explained. The letters in "My name (Heb. shmi)" together with the letters Yud-Hei (equal the 365) negative precepts, and "My memorial (Heb. zichri)" (Shemot 3:15) together with the letters Vav-Hei (equal the 248) positive precepts. So here, (within the Four Letter Name, there are 365 and 248. These 248 are the letter of the Kriyat Shema. Therefore, 'He who chooses His nation Yisrael with love' is (recited before the reading of the Sh'ma to indicate we draw only from the aspect of love) These (248) are included within Abraham. It is written of him: "The seed of Abraham My friend" (Isaiah 41:8).

השלמה מההשמטות (סימן ו)

Israel, he rose by Yud-Vav-Dalet, Hei-Aleph, Vav-Aleph-Vav, Hei-Aleph. The secret of "Yisrael" was thought of to be created because thought (Heb. machshavah) consists of the letters Chashav-Mah (thought Mem-Hei). (Mem-Hei refers to the Four Letter Name) in which the Holy Name lies. Because of Jacob, who is called Israel, it is written: "So Elohim created man in His own image" (Beresheet 1:27) after the likeness of his Master.

Children, longevity and sustenance are (drawn down to the lower brings) through the aspect of the central pillar, about which it is written: "Yisrael is My son, My firstborn" (Shemot 4:22). This is the Tree of Life, It is a tree "with food for all" (Daniel 4:9). As for (the Shechinah), Yisrael below is considered Her life, the Torah Her sustenance, and prayer an offering, "Give me children, or else I die" (Beresheet 30:1). The Shechinah is an offering for the Holy One, blessed be He, which He receives with both the right and the left arm, and with the body. So when (prayer) ascends to (Zeir Anpin), she should be joined with him with all ten Sefirot, because there can be no holiness with fewer than ten people, which is his own holiness. Therefore, when a person wishes his prayer to ascend, he should raise it with all its movement (the notes and vowels). (If the Serpent plans on disrupting the prayer), one should prepare a slingshot against it, and the secret behind the issue lies in Zarka, Makaf, Shofar Holech, Segolta.

Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion saying: Listen, all you celestial beings. Gather, all you earthly beings, the masters of the Yeshivah above and below. Elijah, upon an oath, ask permission from the Holy One, blessed be He, to come down here because a great battle awaits you. Come down, Chanoch Metatron, you and all the masters of the Yeshivot under your supervision. I did not do this for my glory, but for the glory of the Shechinah.

R' Shimon) began again, saying: Assuredly by the cantillation mark, Zarka, the prayer should be elevated to that known place, just as one aims the stone in a slingshot, so should thought be elevated with concentration on prayer to that crown, which is the decorated and all-inclusive stone. Of this it is said that one should stand upright with the mention of the Name.

In that place, where he elevates her to her husband, one should not stop praying, even if a snake is wound around his feet, even though it is written of it: "And you shall bruise his heel" (Beresheet 3:15). Nevertheless, the stone is hinted at by the letter Yud of Jacob, as it is written: "From thence from the shepherd, the stone of Yisrael" (Beresheet 49:24). One should not stop (elevating it to its place). One should elevate her from the central pillar to the Ein Sof. When he brings her down (from Ein Sof), it is said of him: Whoever kneels, kneels with the mention of Baruch (blessed), because he should bring her down to the Infinite endlessly, and not cause any separation between her (and Ze'er Anpin) above or below.

Sometimes he is her husband (according to the secret of) the letter Vav (in that it alludes to Yesod), the Righteousness that includes six parts of the two legs, (Netzach and Hod). Then she descends toward him (according to the secret) of the two legs. But at other times, he is her husband (according to) the letter Vav (which alludes to Tiferet), which includes six parts of the two arms - (the beginning, middle and end of Chesed and Gevurah). Then it ascends to the two arms. At other times, he is her husband between Aba and Ima. (He is then called) the son of Yud-Hei, and she should be elevated there to him. At other times, (her husband is Keter with) the letter Vav inserted between the two letters Yud, thus: א Aleph. Then she should be elevated to him. When she ascends (to Keter), it is written of her, "The stone which the builders rejected has become the head stone of the corner" (Tehilim 118:22).

When she rises up to the Head of all Heads the angels ask, [24b] 'Where is the place of His Glory to admire Him?' And when she rises (to Ze'er Anpin), in the form of Aleph, she becomes Keter, a crown on the head of the Aleph, thus: When she descends, a point underneath (the letter Vav within Aleph). So when she rises, she is called a crown according to the secret of the intonations, and when she descends, she is called a point. When she mates with (Ze'er Anpin), she is in the form of the vowel Shuruk, thus וּ. When she is a crown on the head, she is named the letter Zayin. The sign of the covenant consists of this (letter Zayin), because it is the seventh letter in all.

Indeed, this stone is the construction for all the worlds. Because of this, "But you shall have a perfect and just weight (lit. 'stone')..." (Devarim 25:15). She is a measurement between each and every Sefirah, and every Sefirah amounts with her to ten (Sefirot). Her size is the letter Vav. Through her, every cubit between each and every Sefirah becomes ten cubits. This is the secret of the verse: "Ten cubits shall be the length of a board" (Shemot 26:16) and between them all, she (adds up to) 100 (Sefirot). She is ten between every Sefirah and ten multiplied by ten totals one hundred, and when me'ah (Eng. 'one hundred') is reversed, (it is) amah (Eng. 'a cubit').

Each and every measurement (that Malchut measures) is called a world (i.e. it is a grade of its own). Every one is a Yud and a Vav, a size and a measurement. The Vav is the weight (of light) and the Yud is the measurement of it. The size of the measurement is five cubits long and five cubits wide. This corresponds to the size of every firmament, which is five hundred parasangs long and five hundred parasangs wide. This is (the secret of) the two Hei's (in the Four Letter Name). So here you have the stature (of Ze'er Anpin) in the letters Yud Hei Vav Hei, because the letter Vav (is) Tiferet of the heavens, (i.e. Tiferet of Ze'er Anpin). Its five firmaments - (the last Heh of the Four Letter Name) - are called "the (Heb. Hei) heavens", the five firmaments included in 'the heavens.' The upper five are the 'heavens of the heavens'. These are Hei-Hei. The letter Vav is their sixth (firmament). (Malchut becomes) the seventh, and seven plus seven total fourteen. Here are those lands, seven upon seven lands that cover each other like onion rings. They are all alluded to in the two eyes. The Yud is called a small, or short, world. The Vav is the long world. Whomever wishes that his desires be fulfilled by the long world should pray at length, and whoever prays to the short world should pray quickly. Therefore, it has been explained that in a place where they are told to make it short, a person should not pray at length.

To pray quickly (is like the prayer of Moshe), "Heal her now, K-l, I pray You" (Bemidbar 12:13), (he addressed) the point of Yud. (Where) one should pray at length, as in 'to fall down' : "And I fell down (Heb. va'etnapal) before Hashem, as at the first..." (Devarim 9:18) (this is the letter Peh) "forty days and forty nights" (40 plus 40 equals 80, the letter Peh). Everything (is in the two) Mem's. (The) Yud as a point in the middle, which forms the word Mayim (Eng. 'water'). From the aspect of Chesed, one should pray at length. In the Holy Name, Yud Hei Vav Hei rises by the Revi'a (lit. 'fourth'). And one should prolong this intonation, which is the secret of the Tekiah . (The place) to make it short is at the aspect (of Gevurah) of Sh'varim (short blowings of the Shofar) (this is the Tevir). The middle, which is neither prolonged nor shortened, is Teruah. This is the central pillar and Shalshelet (lit. 'chain'), which chains both (according to the secret of) the Shekel of the sanctuary.

Corresponding to Revi'a, which rises, there is the Cholam. The Sh'varim, (Tevir), is equivalent to the Shva. In this (Revia), one should raise his voice and in (pronouncing) the other, one should lower his voice. Because of this, it is Sh'varim (from the word 'to break'). This is done in secret, as it is written of the lower Shechinah: "But her voice was not heard" (I Samuel 1:13). Teruah is Shalshelet. The Revi'i is for raising the voice, the Tevir of the cantillation marks is for lowering the pitch. Shalshelet holds to the two Columns like a chain (and joins them together). It is like the Revi'i, with which one prolongs the word. It is a vowel like the Cholam. There is no vowel that does not have a corresponding cantillation mark. For example, the vowel Segol corresponds to the Segolta intonation, the vowel Shva corresponds to the intonation Zakef Gadol. There is always a vowel corresponding to a cantillation mark for all those who know the hidden secrets. (R' Shimon) said: Zarka, Makaf, Shofar Holech, Segolta. The vowel to the right is 'Hashem reigns'. The vowel to the left is 'Hashem reigned.' The vowel in the middle is 'Hashem shall reign.' Rabbi Acha said: 'Hashem reigns' is the supernal world, 'Hashem reigned' is Tiferet and 'Hashem shall reign' is the Ark of the Covenant.

"These are the generations of the heaven and the earth" (Beresheet 2:4). It has been established that wherever it is written: "These (Heb. eleh)," it cancels that which was mentioned before. So the use of the word "These" (conceals) the generations of Formlessness hinted at in the verse: "And the earth was without form" (Beresheet 1:2). In reference to those (generations of formlessness), it is said that the Holy One, blessed be He, created worlds and destroyed them. Thus, it is written: "The earth was without form and void." Why did the Holy One, blessed be He, create the worlds if he intended to destroy them? It would have been better had he not created them at all. But there certainly must be a secret here. What is the meaning of, 'He destroyed them'? It cannot be that the Holy One, blessed be He, destroyed the makings of His own hands. Furthermore, these are the heavens about which it is said, "For the heavens shall vanish away like smoke..." (Isaiah 51:6). If it is so, then the Holy One, blessed be He, first created and then destroyed (what He created).

The secret is that the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world by the Torah, as it is written: "In the beginning" (Beresheet 1:1), (which is Torah) about which is written: "Hashem created me as the beginning of His way..." (Proverbs 8:22). (Therefore the Torah refers to itself as the beginning). And by this beginning, He created the heavens and the earth. He supported them by (the Torah), for the Covenant is included in "Beresheet (In the beginning)." As it is written: "If My covenant were not day and night, it is as if I have not established the ordinances of heaven and earth" (Jer. 33:25). (The Heavens and the Earth are supported by the Torah and their existence depends on the Torah). These (Heavens) are described: "The heavens are the heavens of Hashem" (Tehilim 115:16). And (the Earth is called) the land of the living. It comprises seven lands, about which King David said, "I will walk before Hashem in the lands of the living" (Tehilim 116:9).

After, He created the heavens and the earth [25a] with no form or any foundation (Yesod) - which is the covenant - to support them. Because of this situation, the Holy One, blessed be He, wanted to give the Torah, which represents the covenant of circumcision, to the nations of the world, but because they did not want to receive it, the land remained parched and dry.

This is why: "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear" (Beresheet 1:9). "...the waters" - the Torah, "to one place" means Yisrael, because the souls of Yisrael come from that place, about which it is written: "Blessed be the glory of Hashem from His place" (Yechezkel 3:12). "The glory of Hashem" - the lower Shechinah, "His place" - the upper Shechinah. And since their souls come from there (Binah) then certainly Yud Hei Vav Hei rests on them. It is written about them: "For Hashem's portion is His people" (Devarim 32:9). This is: "Let the waters be gathered together to one place."

And the Torah symbolizes the civilized world, (because the world was created by, and is sustained by it). The nations of the world who did not accept it have remained wasted and dry. This is that the Holy One, blessed be He, created worlds and destroyed them, (referring to) those who did not maintain the precepts of the Torah. It does not mean that he shattered His own makings, as people may presume. Why should He destroy His own children about whom it is written: "when they were created (Heb. Behibar'am)" (Beresheet 2:4). Behibar'am - they were created by the letter Hei (Heb. Be Hei Bera'am). Because of those among the nations of the world who converted to Judaism, the small letter Hei (= 5) of Abraham fell down during the fifth millennium, which is Hei. This is wasted and dried up. (See Isaiah 19:5). "Wasted" - the first Temple and "and dried up" to the second Temple.

And Moses wanted to bring the proselytes under the wings of the Shechinah and presumed that they also were drawn down from (Malchut, which is) the (small) Hei. Thus, he drew down (the Mochin of) this (small) Hei of Abraham. (The proselytes) brought upon him descent, as it is written: "Go, get you down, for your people...have become corrupt" (Shemot 32:7), (meaning, the caused Israel to sin with the Golden Calf). They did not receive (the Mochin of) the small Hei, with awe of the letter Yud and with love of the letter Hei. So he descended from his grade, which is the letter Vav.

So the letter Vav came down together with (Moshe to) guard him, so he does not perish among them, because according to the secret of reincarnation, he was destined to mingle among the mixed multitude in exile, whose souls originated from the aspect of those of whom it is written: "For the heavens shall vanish away like smoke" (Isaiah 51:6). These are the ones for whom Noah did not plea for mercy. About them, it is written: "They were destroyed from the earth" (Beresheet 7:23), because they came from those of whom it is said, "You shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek" (Devarim 25:19). Moses did not protect himself from them and dropped the (small) Hei among them. For this reason, he shall not enter the land of Yisrael until he brings the Hei back to its place. This is also why he fell from his grade, and the letter Vav descended with him. Because of this, the letter Hei fell down and the letter Vav of Moses shall raise it up.

It was through this small Hei, the Hei of Abraham, which is the letter Hei in BeHibar'am that Moses received assistance, and it is written of him: "That caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses" (Isaiah) 63:12). He took it from there (from among the kelipot) by the power of the letter Vav and brought it with him. Immediately, Yud-Hei rested on it and the vow was fulfilled: "For Yah has sworn by His throne (Heb. Kes, Caf-Samech) that Hashem will have war" (Shemot 17:16). What is "From generation to generation"? This is Moses, about whom it is written: "One generation passes away, and another generation comes..." (Kohelet 1:4). It has already been explained that one generation contains no fewer than 600,000. This refers to Moses, about whom it is said that one woman gave birth in Egypt to 600,000 in one belly (meaning Moshe, who equals 600,000 souls). There are five groups in the mixed multitude. These are the Nefilim (fallen), the Giborim (mighty), the Anakim (giants), the Refaim (shades) and the Amalekites. Because of them, the small Hei fell from its place (Binah). Bilaam and Balak come from the side of Amalek, because if you remove the letters Am from Bilaam and the letters Lak from Balak, you are left with Babylon (Heb. Bavel). "Therefore is the name of it called Babylon; because Hashem did there confound (Heb. balal) the language of all the earth" (Beresheet 11:9). These are the ones who remained of those of whom it was said at the time of the flood, "And He destroyed every living substance" (Beresheet 7:23). Those who survived, (the Kelipah of Amalek) from the time of the fourth exile - (Edom) - became the leaders (lit. heads) of the world, men of great power. They became a means of violence toward Yisrael and of them, it is written at the time of the flood, "For the earth is filled with violence through them" (Beresheet 6:13). These are the Amalekites.

About the Nefilim (the fallen ones), it is written: "That the sons of the Elohim saw that the daughters of men were fair" (Beresheet 6:2). These are the second group (of the erev rav, emanating from the Chochmah of the Kelipot) from those fallen from above, (from Aza and Azael, who were angels above. Hashem dropped them out of the heavens). When the Holy One, blessed be He, desired to create man, he said (to the angels) "Let us make man in our image..." (Beresheet 1:26). He wanted to make him a leader over all (the angels above), so that he might govern all (the angels) and they would be under his rule, as is written about Joseph: "And let him appoint officers over the land" (Beresheet 41:34). Those (Angels) wanted to denounce him. They asked (Hashem), "What is man, that You are mindful of him" (Tehilim 8:5), for he is bound to sin before You? The Holy One, blessed be He, replied, If you were down below like he, you would sin more than he does. Immediately, "The sons of the Elohim saw the daughters of men..." They were filled with passion for them, so the Holy One, blessed be He, dropped them down in chains.

These [25b] (i.e. the 'sons of Elohim') are Aza and Azael, from whom descended the souls of (the second group in) the mixed multitude, which are the Nefilim. They made themselves fall, and they fornicated with women who were fair. Because of this, the Holy One, blessed be He, also eliminated them from the World to Come, so that they may not have a portion there. And He gave them their reward in this world, as it is written: "...and repays them that hate Him to their face, to destroy them" (Devarim 7:10).

Of the Giborim, (mighty ones), the third group, it is written: "The same were mighty men of old, men of renown (lit. 'men with a name')" (Beresheet 6:4). These descend from the side of those, about whom it is said: "Let us build us a city and a tower...and let us make us a name..." (Beresheet 11:4). They, this group of the mixed multitude, build synagogues and Yeshivot, putting the scroll of the Torah and a crown upon its top, not in the name of Hashem. Instead, it is done to make themselves a name, as it is written: "And let us make us a name." (The children of) the Other Side, overcame Yisrael, who are (blessed to be) like the dust of the earth. They rob them, shattering their work. Of them, it is written: "And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth" (Beresheet 7:19)

The Refaim (shades) are the fourth group (of the erev rav). If they notice a time of distress coming upon Yisrael, they abandon them. Even if they have the power to save them, they do not want to do so. They abandon the Torah and those who study it. Instead, they do favors to those who worship idols. Of them, it is written: "The shades of the dead (Heb. refaim) shall not rise" (Isaiah 26:14), (i.e. at the resurrection of the dead). When The Children of Yisrael are visited (to be redeemed), it is written about them: "And made all their memory to perish" (Ibid.).

Anakim (giants) (are) the fifth group. They belittle the value of those about whom it is written: "And chains (Heb. anakim) about your neck" (Prov. 1:9). About them, it is written: "Who also were considered Refaim as the Anakim" (Devarim 2:11), so they are on a level with each other. These are the ones who bring the world back to a condition of "without form and void." The secret of this matter is the destruction of the Temple, which is described by the words: "And the earth was without form and void," because (the Temple) is the essence of the world and the settling thereof. As quickly as the light, which is the Holy One, blessed be He, appears (to the Jewish people), they shall be wiped out of the world and perish. Nevertheless, the redemption does not depend (on the destruction of the Refaim), but on Amalek, that is, until he who was referred to in the oath is destroyed, which has already been explained.

Another explanation for: "These are the generations of the heaven..." (Beresheet 2:4) - "These" refers to those about whom it is written: "These are your Elohim, O Yisrael" (Shemot 32:4). Thus, on the day when (Hashem), shall exterminate these, (meaning the sin of the calf) it will be as it was on the day the Holy One, blessed be He, created the heaven and the earth. As it is written, "In the day that Hashem Elohim made the earth and the heavens" (Beresheet 2:4). At that time, the Holy One, blessed be He, will be together with His Shechinah and the world will be renewed, as it is written: "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make..." (Isaiah 66:22). This is "In the day...made".

At that time, "out of the ground Hashem, Elohim made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight" (Beresheet 2:9). However, before that time and not until (the sin of the calf) is erased, the rain of the Torah does not come down (to water the souls of Israel). Therefore, The Children of Yisrael, who are similar to the herbs and trees, are not able to grow. The secret of this matter is as written: "And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet grown...and there was not a man to till the ground" (Beresheet 2:5). "A man" alludes to Yisrael, "the ground" is the Temple and "to till" is to offer sacrifices.

Another explanation of the phrase: "plant of the field" is the first Messiah, (Mashiach ben David) who was not yet on earth, whereas "herb of the field" is the second Messiah, (Mashiach ben Yosef) Why? Because Moses was not there with them to serve the Shechinah. Of him, it is written: "And there was not a man to till the ground." The secret is given in the verse: "The staff shall not depart from Judah..." (Beresheet 49:10), which refers to Messiah ben David, "nor the scepter from between his feet," which refers to Messiah ben Joseph. "Until Shiloh come" is an allusion to Moses, as the numerical value of (Moshe) is the same as that (Shiloh). "And the obedience of the people be his (Heb. velo yik'hat)"

Another explanation: "plant (Heb. siach) of the field" - (the souls of) the righteous, who come from (Yesod of Ze'er Anpin) the Righteous, the life (Heb. chai) of the worlds. Because Siach (Sin-Yud-Chet) - Chai (Chet- Yud) and Shin. Shin - the three branches of the tree, which symbolize the three patriarchs - from the life of the worlds. Another explanation: "And no herb (Esev) of the field - Esev is Ayin Bet and Shin. Shin alludes to the three leaves - Yud-Aleph-Heh=Daled-Vav-Nun-Heh-Yud (they have a numerical value of 72, which is) the Shechinah - the appearance of he who is called man, who is Yud-Vav-Dalet, Hei-Aleph, Vav-Aleph-Vav, Hei-Aleph. "And there was not a man (Aleph-Daled-Mem) to till the ground," (meaning Moshe had not yet corrected the Shechinah properly).

For this reason, it is written: "And no herb of the field had yet grown." This means that the righteous man was not yet grown - Moses, who validates, "Truth shall spring (grow) out of the earth" (Tehilim 85:12). As (the truth) is described: "And it cast down the truth to the ground" (Daniel 8:12), the students of the Torah, who are like the plants. But they do not grow in exile until "Truth shall spring out of the earth". This is Moses, about whom it is written: "The law of truth was in his mouth" (Malachi 2:6), because no man relates to the Shechinah as well as he. This is, "And there is not a man to till the ground". As soon as (Moshe) appears, "But there went up [26a]

[TRANSLATION IN PROGRESS]

Noah / נֹחַEdit

Zohar Volume 1, pages 59b through 76b

[59b] "These are the generations of Noah..." (Gen. 6:9). Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verses: "Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever; they shall be the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified" (Isaiah 60:21). Happy are Yisrael, who occupy themselves with the Torah and are familiar with its paths, through which they will merit the World to Come.

Come and behold! All Yisrael have a portion in the World to Come. Why is this so? Because they observe the covenant on which the world is established. This is as it is written in the verse: "If My covenant be not day and night, it were as if I had not appointed the ordinance of heaven and earth" (Jeremiah 33:25). Therefore, Yisrael, who has accepted the covenant (of Bris Milah and protecting the bris) and observe it, have a portion in the World to Come.

Not only this. As a result, they are called 'righteous.' We deduce from this that whoever observes the covenant upon which the world is established is called 'righteous.' How do we know this? We know this from Joseph, who observed the everlasting covenant (in the incident with Potiphar's wife), and was therefore called 'righteous.' And this is why it is written: "Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever." (Rabbi Chiya thus explained the verse, "Noah was a righteous man," as meaning that Noah observed the covenant).

Rabbi Elazar said that we have learned that whenever the term "These (Heb. אֵלֶּה)" appears, it always annuls something previously mentioned. Now, it is written in the portion of Beresheet, "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted" (Gen. 2:10). This river (corresponding to Yesod) is drawn and comes out of Eden, (which is Chochmah), and enters the garden, (Malchut), to water it from the supernal waters and bring it pleasure, making it produce fruit and seed. This gives satisfaction to everyone. The garden is pleased which brings pleasure to the river. As it is written: "Because in it He rested" (Ibid. 3). And it is also written: "And He rested on the seventh day" (Ibid. 2) (He rested in the Garden that is Malchut). This is the secret of the matter, for it produces offspring, and no other Sefirah can produce any fruit.

Come and behold: so it was with Noah below. Noah was the sacred covenant below, as (Yesod) is above. And he is called "Man of the earth". So now we have learned a secret, that Noah needed the ark so he could unite with it and preserve the seed of the whole world. As it is written: "to keep seed alive" (Gen. 7:3).

What is the ark? It is the ark (Malchut) of the covenant. And Noah and the ark below were like (Yesod and Malchut) above. The covenant is mentioned in relation to Noah, as it is written: "And I will establish My covenant with you" (Gen. 6:18). As long as the covenant was not established in Noah, he did not enter the ark, as it is written: "And I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark." Only then does the ark become the ark of the covenant, meaning that after the ark received and accepted Noah the righteous, who is the covenant, it became the ark of the covenant. So the ark and Noah are completely above. And because the covenant above brings forth offspring, so Noah begets generations. That is why "These are the generations of Noah." This is to teach us that like the covenant above, (which is Yesod of Atzilut) Noah bore everlasting generations, because he merited the holy covenant, and Yesod of Atzilut, which is called the covenant, rests upon him.

"Noah was a righteous man." This is assuredly so, for his righteousness corresponds to (Yesod) above. That is why it is written: "the righteous are the foundation (Heb. יְסוֹד) of the world" (Mishlei 10:25), and the earth is established upon him. He is the pillar that upholds the world. And what is (Yesod)? It is the Righteous. Thus, Noah is the righteous below, among the souls. And hence it is written: "Noah was a righteous man" to teach us that the world is maintained by him. And the secret of all this is revealed in the words, "And Noah walked with Elohim" (Gen. 6:9), which means to teach us that he never separated himself from Him. And he merited being called a righteous man on earth, as did the supernal Yesod, the foundation of the world. He is the covenant of peace and the peace of the world. Thus, he is called "man of the earth". And that is why the verse is written: "Noah found favor in the eyes of Hashem" (Ibid. 8).

What is the meaning of "his generations" in the verse "perfect in his generations?" They are his descendants, who issued from him, all of whom he perfected and by whom he was also perfected. Perfect, that he was born circumcised. As it is written: "Walk before Me and be perfect" (Gen. 17:1). "In his generations" includes only Noah's descendants and not the generations in the world in general because they descended from him. (In other words, even though the verse means that he was perfect in all the generations of the world, it says "his generations" to indicate that all the generations of the world are his, as they all descend from him.)

Come and behold: from the day the world was created, Noah was destined to be joined in union with and to enter the ark. And until they were joined as one, the world had not reached a fully stable condition. And as soon as this occurred, it is written: "From these was the whole earth overspread" (Gen. 9:19). What is meant by "overspread", נָפְצָה? These words are analogous to the verse: "and from thence the river parted" (Gen. 2:10) (meaning that spreading out is similar to the supernal ark, which is the secret of the Garden). For from that point in the text onward, we find the separation and diffusion of progeny into all quarters of the world. (After they were perfected in the ark, they were able to come forth and exist in the world of separation without being annihilated, as was the generation of the Great Flood). And all is one and one is like the other. Therefore "These are the generations of Noah." "These" specifically. Only Yesod (the foundation) of the world [60a] produced the fruit that still exists in the world. Rabbi Abba approached and kissed him (R' Elazar) saying, 'The lion in his might has pierced through the rock and broke it asunder,' (i.e. it was hard to understand this but now I am able to do so). All this is certainly true, Even the measurements of the ark correspond to their roots above.

Tosefta


Why is "Noah Noah" (Gen. 6:9) written twice? Each and every righteous person in the world has two spirits. One stays in this world, while the other is in the World to Come. And so we find that the Holy One, blessed be He, named all the righteous twice: "Moses, Moses" (Ex. 3:4), "Jacob, Jacob" (Gen. 46:2), "Abraham, Abraham" (Gen. 22:11), "Samuel, Samuel" (I Shmuel 3:10) with the exception of Isaac. He is not named twice because when he approached the altar to be sacrificed, the soul that was within him in this world left him. And because it is said of Abraham, "blessed are You who resurrect the dead", so only the soul of the World to Come was returned to him. And that is why you shall find that the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, was not unified (on any righteous person in his lifetime). It was unified only on Isaac, because he was already considered as dead. He was like those who pass away from this world. The verse therefore states: "Behold, He puts no trust in His holy ones" (Iyov 15:15) because He does not unify His name on the righteous during their lifetimes.

A different explanation given is that because he was righteous, He praised him twice (Noah Noah) perfect in his generations," but if he had lived in any other generation, such as that of Abraham or Moses or King David, then he would not have been considered righteous at all. Still another explanation is that if this is what he was able to perform in a generation in which all were wicked, how much more he could have done in a generation in which all were righteous.(End of the Tosefta).

Rabbi Elazar opened his discourse "Come, behold the works of Hashem, who has made desolations in the earth" (Tehilim 46:9). "Come, behold (Heb. חֲזוּ)": what is the meaning of "behold?" It is related to the verse, "a grievous vision (Heb. חָזוּת) has been declared to me (Yeshayah 21:2). Because by His deeds, the Holy One, blessed be He, reveals his prophecy to man. And when a prophecy is revealed by preceding grievous deeds, it is called 'a grievous vision.' "Who has made desolations (Heb. שַׁמּוֹת)" assuredly alludes to names (Heb. שֵׁמוֹת), for a name is the cause of everything that happens.

The verse states: "And he called his name Noah, saying: This..." (Gen. 5:29). Why does the verse read, "saying: This?" The word "saying" refers to the Female Principle (Malchut) while "This" refers to the Righteous. It is written here and elsewhere, "This one shall comfort us" (Ibid.), "This is Hashem; we have waited for Him" (Yeshayah 25:9). Blessed are the righteous who are marked with the imprints of the ring of the King, for they are marked with His name. And He has put "names on earth, so that everything can be called by its name correctly.

The verse states: "And he called his name (Heb. אֶת) Noah," and it is also written: "And he called his name Jacob" (Gen. 25:26). Why does it not say אֶת (regarding Jacob)? Because each one refers to a different level. As it is written in the verse: "I saw (אֶת) Hashem" (Yeshayah 6:1). It does not say 'I saw Hashem,' but "אֶת Hashem." (This indicates that the particle אֶת (the) has a specific meaning). Here too, it is written of Noah: "And he called his אֶת name Noah." As for, "And he called his name Jacob," in reality his level is that of the Holy One, blessed be He, and this is why the particle אֶת is not mentioned there. But with Noah, the particle אֶת is mentioned so as to connect him with the Shechinah.

"These are the generations of Noah" (Gen. 6:9). Rabbi Yehuda began his discourse on the verse: "A good man lends with a good grace; he conducts his affairs justly" (Tehilim 112:5). He said that "a good man" refers to the Holy One, blessed be He, who is called 'good', as it is written: "Hashem is good to all" (Tehilim 145:9). And it is also stated that "Hashem is a man of war" (Shemot 15:3). He is gracious and lends to "all" (which is Yesod), to the place that has nothing of its own. That place is nourished by it (Yesod). The words, "he conducts his affairs justly" refer to the fact that it is nourished only according to justice, as it is written: "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne" (Tehilim 89:15). S(o righteousness, which is the Female Principle, is nourished by justice.)

A different meaning is that "a good man" signifies the righteous. As it is written: "Say to the righteous, that it shall be well with him (or: that he is good), for they shall eat the fruit of their doings" (Yeshayah 3:10). Rabbi Yosi said that it alludes to Noah, as it is written: "Noah was a righteous man." Rabbi Yitzchak said that "a good man" alludes to the glory of the Shabbat, because the text begins with the words: "It is a good thing to give thanks to Hashem" (Tehilim 92:2).

Rabbi Chiya said: It all amounts to the same thing, and they all said one thing, that (the righteous) produces offspring in the world. Who are the offspring of the world? They are the souls of the righteous, as they are the fruit of the handiwork of the Holy One, blessed be He. Rabbi Shimon said: When the Holy One, blessed be He, puts on His diadems, He crowns himself from above and from below: above, by the region of absolute depth (corresponding to Abba and Imma) and below by the souls of the righteous. The result is that an increment of life from above and below embraces the place of sanctuary on all sides, causing the cistern to become full and the sea to be replenished, thereby providing life to all.

It is written: "Drink water out of your own cistern, and running water out of your own well" (Mishlei 5:15). Why does it say "your own cistern" first and then "your own well," since a cistern is an empty place without water, while a well is a fountain of running water? Both are the same. But when the poor are attached to that region is called 'a cistern', with nothing of its own except what is put inside it. This is the letter Dalet (or the Female Principle when she is not connected with Zeir Anpin). And later she becomes a well filled from all sides. And what do these signify? It is the letter Hei, when she is being filled from above [60b] and flowing from below from the souls of the righteous.

A different explanation for the verse, "Drink water out of your own cistern," is that it refers to King David, who wrote: "O that one would give me drink of the water of the cistern of Bethlehem" (II Shmuel 23:15). Here, the words, "running water," refer to Abraham, and "out of (lit. 'from the midst')" refer to Jacob, who is in the center. "Your own well" signifies Isaac, who is called "well of living water." Thus, in this verse, we find a reference to both the sacred Chariot of the Patriarchs, and of King David, who joined them.

The passion of the female toward the male is only aroused when he puts the spirit into her. And the flow of Mayin Nukvin (Female Waters) ascends to meet Mayin Duchrin (Male Waters) above. And the Congregation of Yisrael conceives a longing for the Holy One, blessed be He, only when the spirits of the righteous enter her. And then do waters flow from within her, toward the Male Waters. And so, all become one passion, one union, and one tie, and this appeases everyone. And it is then that the Holy One, blessed be He, walks among the righteous.

Come and behold: all the offspring (i.e. the souls) from the Garden of Eden do not issue from the Righteous until it enters the ark and becomes one with it. And all are hidden there after which they leave it. The same applies here. Noah the righteous man did not beget any offspring to populate the world until he entered the ark and all gathered and were concealed in it, after which they came out. They emerged from the ark to multiply in the world and to survive on earth. Had they not come from the ark, they would not have endured in the world. All this was according to the divine pattern. For, just as they left the ark above, so they left the ark below. Only now was the world able to exist permanently but not before. That is why the words, "And running waters out of your well" are related to, "And Noah begot three sons" (Gen. 6:10).

"And the earth was corrupt before Elohim" (Gen. 6:11). Rabbi Yehuda asked: If it says "And the earth was corrupt," why "before Elohim"? It is because they performed their sins openly, in front of everyone's eyes. And that is why the verse states, "before Elohim."

Rabbi Yosi said: I believe the opposite. "And the earth was corrupt before Elohim" means that they did not sin openly. They sinned only before Elohim and not before man. But eventually, they also sinned openly. As it is written: "And the earth was filled with violence" (Ibid.), which indicates that there was not a place on earth that did not witness their sins. Therefore, the verse declares that they sinned in two ways, that is, in hiding and in the open.

"These are the generations of Noah." Rabbi Abba said, From the day that Adam transgressed his Master's command, all succeeding generations were called "sons of Adam." But it was not said to praise him, as much as to say, 'These are the sons of the man who transgressed his Master's command.' But after Noah had appeared, all the descendants of mankind are named after him, "the generations of Noah." And this describes Noah's descendants in an honorable sense, because he secured for us permanent existence in the world, in contrast with "the generations of Adam," which describes us in a dishonorable sense, as he caused us to be driven out of this world by bringing death to all.

Rabbi Yosi said to him: If it is really so, we nevertheless see that in a later passage it is written: "Hashem came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men had built" (Gen. 11:5). The verse clearly states "the children of Adam" and not "the children of Noah,". Rabbi Abba replied that because Adam sinned before his Master (the verse uses his name). And it would have been better for him had he not been created than to be mentioned in the Torah in such a manner.

Rather, come and behold: it is written: "A wise son makes a glad father" (Mishlei 10:1). When a son is good, then all the people will mention his father's name with praise. But if a son is bad, they will mention his father with reproach. Now because Adam sinned and transgressed his Master's command, when (the builders of the Tower of Babel) came and rebelled against their Master, what was written about them? "That the children of Adam had built"! These are the children of Adam, the first man who had rebelled against his Master and transgressed His command. That is why the verse states that "These are the generations of Noah." These and not the former ones. Those who came out of the ark and emerged from it (are 'the generations'). They are not the generations of Adam, who came out of the Garden of Eden and did not beget there, and are therefore not destined to exist.

Come and behold: if Adam had brought generations with him from the Garden of Eden, they would have lived for generations. And the light of the moon would have never been darkened. And all would have lived forever; and not even the angels above could have stood before them and borne their light, brilliance and wisdom. As it is written: "In the image of Elohim He created him" (Gen. 1:27). But because he was [61a] the cause of the sin, he had to leave the Garden of Eden and bear children outside. So his generations did not last (because they were unfit). the cause of the sin, he had to leave the Garden of Eden and bear children outside. So his generations did not last (because they were unfit).

Rabbi Chizkiyah then asked: How could they have begotten offspring there (in Gan Eden)? Had the Evil Inclination not been drawn down on him and he sinned, he would have dwelled alone in the world and would have not begotten any offspring! The same applies to Yisrael; had they not sinned by the golden calf and drawn upon themselves the Evil Inclination they also would have never borne any offspring, and no new generations would have come into the world. The main point is that the power of mating derives mainly from the Evil Inclination. So without the Evil Inclination there can be no offspring.

He said to him: Had Adam not sinned, he would not have borne offspring from the side of the Evil Inclination, but he would have borne them from the side of the Holy Spirit. But because he produced offspring only from the side of the Evil Inclination, all the offspring of mankind are born from the side of the Evil Inclination. They have no permanent existence therefore, because the Other Side has been mixed with them....



But if Adam had not sinned and had not been driven out of the Garden of Eden, he would have begotten offspring from the side of the Spirit of the Holy of Holies. And they would have been as the supreme angels, and lived generations upon generations as angels do above. But because he sinned and begot children outside the Garden of Eden and he did not merit to beget them in the Garden of Eden, therefore they did not survive even only to take root in this world until Noah came and went into the ark. And from the ark all descending generations of mankind emerged and spread to all four corners of the earth.


"And Elohim looked on the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt" (Gen. 6:12). Why was the earth corrupt? Yes, "because all flesh had corrupted its way" (Ibid.), as has already been explained. Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion, saying, "And Elohim saw from their deeds that they had repented from their evil way" (Yonah 3:10).

Come and behold: when the people are righteous and observe the commandments of the Torah, the earth is invigorated and full of joy. And why is that? Because the Shechinah dwells upon the earth and everyone both above and below is joyous. But when people corrupt their ways, do not observe the commandments of the Torah, and sin before its Master, then it is as if they drive the Shechinah out of the world. Then the earth is left corrupt, for the Shechinah is repelled by it and does not dwell on it. Then, the earth is corrupt. And why should the earth be corrupt? Because a different spirit rests upon it, causing the corruption.

(The rest of this paragraph is a latter addition.)

Can the same be applied to the land of Yisrael as well? But we have learned that no other spirit rests upon the Land of Yisrael, and there is no other appointed angel beside the Holy One, blessed be He Himself. If so, then why was the Land of Yisrael corrupted? Come and behold: it is true that no other appointee or messenger dwells in the land of Yisrael, beside the Holy One, blessed be He, Himself, but there is one time that the evil spirit may govern the land in order to destroy people. How do we know about that? From David, as it is written: "And he saw the angel of Hashem standing between the earth and the heavens, with a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem" (I Divrei Hayamim 21:16) and then the land was destroyed.

Rabbi Elazar said: Even in that time it was the Holy One, blessed be He. Because what is written here, "the angel of Hashem," is analogous to "The angel who redeemed me" (Gen. 48:16) and also to "the angel of Elohim" (Shemot 14:19). For better or for worst, the Holy One, blessed be He, shall always govern this land. For the best - because the land of Yisrael was never passed on to any other supernal governor. And all the other inhabitants of the world should be ashamed of their deeds. For the worst - (Hashem rules in order) to prevent the other ministers from delighting in ruling over it. And if you will ask is it not written: "For she has seen that the heathen nations invaded her sanctuary" (Eichah 1:10) and destroyed the Temple, if really no other ministers ruled, then the Temple would not have been destroyed!

Come and behold: it is stated, "For you have done" (Ibid. 21) and "Hashem has done that which he devised" (Eichah 2:17). So you can see that it was done by the Holy One, Himself, blessed be He, and not by ministers. And furthermore, it is also stated: "And Elohim saw their deeds, in that they turned from their evil way" (Yonah 3:10). Because then the earth calls out to the higher (Zeir Anpin) and rises to an upper grade; it beautified its face, as though it were a woman beautifying herself for a man. In the same manner, the earth pleased the "King," (i.e. Zeir Anpin), for it raised righteous children for Him.

While here, what is written about the generation of the Flood that did not repent? "And Elohim looked on the earth, and, behold it was corrupt," like a wife who committed adultery and hides her face from her husband. When the sins of people multiply and they sin openly, the earth becomes brazen like a woman who has no shame. As it is written: "And the earth was defiled under its inhabitants" (Yeshayah 24:5). And so it is said, that He "looked" it was corrupt" assuredly. You may ask, why? Because "all flesh had [61b] corrupted its way upon the earth."

Rabbi Elazar went over to Rabbi Yosi, the son of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakunya, his father-in-law. As soon as he saw him, he spread carpets over planks of wood and prepared a canopy under which they both sat. His father-in-law asked him if, by any chance, he had learned from his father the meaning of the verse: "Hashem has done that which He devised; He has performed His word that He commanded in the days of old" (Eichah 2:17).

He answered: Our friends have already explained it. "He has performed His word (also: 'He tore His hem')" means that He ripped His precious cloak; "that He commanded in the days of old" means that this cloak He commanded from the supernal days of old. On the day the Temple was destroyed, He ripped His cloak, for it is His glory and perfection. And He ripped it, means that the first nine Sefirot left her and only the tenth remained.

He asks, "Hashem has done that which He devised:" Is this the way of a king to devise evil against his children even before they have sinned? And he answers him: It is like a king who had a precious vessel and was constantly afraid that it might one day break. So he used to watch it by keeping it under his eye. One day his son came along and made the king angry. So the king took his precious vessel and smashed it. That is why it says "that which He devised."

Come and behold: from the day the Temple was built, the Holy One, blessed be He, used to watch it, because it was very precious to Him. And He used to worry that Yisrael might sin and cause the Temple to be destroyed. So every time He came to the Temple, He wore a precious mantle. But when Yisrael sinned and made the King furious, the Temple was destroyed and He tore His cloak apart. That is the meaning of "Hashem has done that which He has devised..."

"His hem (Heb. אִמְרָתוֹ)" as mentioned here, (corresponds to Malchut) which was sitting before on the top of the tree (Heb. אמיר). And the King crowned Himself with it and had before Him a beautiful tree; (the tree of the souls before they came into this world). But now, after the destruction of the Temple, He tore her (meaning that the upper nine Sefirot left Malchut and only the light of Nefesh remained there). So now there is sadness before Him all over in the external houses. As the verse reads: "Behold, the valiant ones shall cry without" (Yeshayah 33:7), that is, only external ones. "And on that day Hashem Tzva'ot called to weeping, to mourning, to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth" (Yeshayah 22:12). This means that only on that day, when the Temple was destroyed (did He call). But aside from that day, there is no greater joy for the Holy One blessed be He, than when the wicked of the world, who provoke Him, are removed from this world. As it is written: "And when the wicked perish there is joy" (Mishlei 11:10). So in each generation, when judgment is executed on wicked people, there is joy and songs before the Holy one, blessed be He.

And if you claim that we learned that there is no joy before the Holy One, blessed be He, when He passes His judgment on the sinners, come and behold: when judgment is delivered on the wicked, there is joy and exultation before Him, because they are removed from this world. But, when is there joy? When the time that He has waited for them (to repent) is over, and they have not returned to Him from sinning. But if judgment is delivered on them before their time has come, and the measure of their sins has not yet been completed, it is, as it is written: "the iniquity of the Emorite is not yet full" (Gen. 15:16) (i.e. they can still repent); thus, there is no joy. And there is grief before Him because of their destruction.

But, you might ask: If their time has not come yet, then why should judgment be delivered on them? Because it is they who inflict the punishment on themselves, as the Holy One, blessed be He, would never punish them before their time has come. Because they associate with Yisrael in an effort to harm them, He passes His Judgment on them and entirely removes them from the world before their time is up. And now there is grief before Him (because He destroyed them before their time). This is also the reason why He drowned the Egyptians in the sea and destroyed the enemies of Yisrael in the days of Yehoshafat. They were all destroyed before their time because they harmed Yisrael.

So only when the time that He waits for them is completed, and they do not mend their ways, is their destruction a cause for joy and exaltation before Him. The only exception was the time when the Temple was destroyed, because even though their time for angering Him had expired, there was no joy before Him. From that time onward, there has been happiness neither above nor below.

"For in another seven days, I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights" (Gen. 7:4). Rabbi Yehuda said: What is the meaning of these forty days and forty nights? These forty days are to strike the wicked of the world, as is written: "forty strikes he may give him, and not exceed" (Devarim 25:3), corresponding to the four winds of the world. As each one has ten (there are thus 40). For man was created from the four winds of the world. So, the verse continues: "And every living substance that I have made will I destroy from the face of the earth." Forty strikes are needed to destroy the world.

Rabbi Yitzchak was visiting Rabbi Shimon, and he asked him about the verse that states: "And the earth was corrupt [62a] before the Elohim" (Gen. 6:11). Now, if it was man who sinned and was corrupt, what was the earth's sin? Rabbi Shimon answered, as it is written: "for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth" (Ibid.) and, also, "And the land was defiled, therefore I do punish its iniquity upon it" (Vayikra 18:25). So it is mankind that sins. But if you ask what is the sin of the earth, you should know that mankind constitutes the essence of the earth. If mankind corrupts it, it becomes corrupted. This is proven by the verse: "And Elohim looked on the earth, and, beheld it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth."

Come and behold: all of man's sins and corruption can be atoned for by repentance. But by the sin of spilling his seed on the earth, man corrupts himself and the earth as well. And of such a person, it is written: "The stain of your iniquity is before Me," (Yirmeyah 2:22) and "For You are not an El that has pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil sojourn with You" (Tehilim 5:5). (For the sin of spilling seed, He does not accept his repentance) except after great penitence. It is also written that "Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of Hashem; and Hashem slew him" (Gen. 38:7), as was already explained elsewhere.

He asked him: Why did the Holy One, blessed be He, bring His Judgment on the world, punishing them with water and not with fire or something else? Rabbi Shimon replied that there is a secret behind this. As they corrupted their ways, the upper waters and the lower waters were unable to join as the male and the female ought. Anyone who corrupts his ways also corrupts the male and female waters. So, they were punished by water, just as they had sinned. These waters were boiling and they skinned them alive, just like they corrupted their ways in boiling water, one Judgment for another. "All the fountains of the great deep broke open" (Gen. 7:11), refers to the lower waters, while "and the windows of heaven were opened" refers to the upper waters. (They were punished by) both upper and lower waters.

Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yehuda were walking on their way. Reaching some great mountains, they found human bones that belonged to the generation of the Flood. They walked alongside one of these bones, which measured three hundred steps. Astonished, they said to each other: This clarifies what our friends have said, that they did not fear the Judgment of the Holy One, blessed be He, as is written: "They said to El, depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of Your ways" (Iyov 21:14). So what did they do? They clogged the fountains of the deep with their feet. But the waters were too hot, and when they could no longer bear it, they slipped, fell on the ground, and eventually died.

"And Noah begot three sons" (Gen. 6:10): Rabbi Chiya said to Rabbi Yehuda: Come and let me tell you what I have heard about this. It resembles a situation in which a man mates with his wife once, and then two or three children are born. Each one is different from the other in his ways and character: one is virtuous, one is wicked, and one is average. So there are three strands of the spirit that stretch out, fly, and are included within three worlds (Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah).

Come and behold: the Neshamah emerges (from male and female of Atzilut), and it passes through mountains of separation (into Briyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah). There, the Ruach connects to the Neshamah. The Neshamah descends further down toward and the Nefesh, joins the Ruach, and they all connect with each other. Rabbi Yehuda said: The Nefesh and the Ruach are included one with the other (when someone is born). The Neshamah resides in a man's ways. The Neshamah resides in a secret compartment, whose location is unknown.

A person who comes to purify himself is aided with a holy Neshamah. He is then purified, sanctified, and called holy. But if he does not merit and does not come to purify himself, then only two grades - Nefesh and Ruach - are open to him; for him, there is no holy Neshamah. Not only that, but if a person comes to defile himself, then he is defiled and loses heavenly support. Therefore, each person is judged according to his ways. That is why if a person repents and comes to purify himself, he will get the support again.

Tosefta

We are the high ties of the greatest of fortresses. (Ties corresponds to Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah). Therefore, the eyes and the ears are open (Chochmah and Binah). A voice from the voices descends from above and smashes mountains and rocks. Those who see, yet do not see, and who have become hard of hearing and have difficulty seeing; who do not see, do not hear, and do not know how to understand the one located and included between the two, they are pushed out.

They cling to these two (Chochmah and Binah). While the one, the best of craftsmen, (on who all Mochin depend) does not reside among them, they do not enter among the holy books. Because all those who do not have [62b]

62b is not translated

[63a] 'The end of the right' is, as we have previously said, "at the end of the right." As the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Daniel: "But go your way till the end be; for you shall rest" (Daniel 12:13). Daniel asked Him: "in this world or in the World of Truth?" He answered him, In the World of Truth! As it is written: "Peace to them that rest in their graves" (Yeshayah 57:2). He asked Him, At the time when they shall rise from the earth - MEANING AT THE TIME OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD - "shall I rise and be among them or not?" He answered him: "And stand." Daniel continued, "I know that at the time of the resurrection they shall rise in groups. Some of them shall be the righteous, while the others shall be the wicked of the world. But I do not know with whom shall I rise!" He answered him, "for your allotted portion," (meaning, from the righteous). He continued, But You said "go your way till the end be." But there is the 'end of the right' and the 'end of the left,' and I do not know to which one I will go. He answered him, "at the end of the right" (Daniel 12:13).

Similarly, David said to the Holy One, blessed be He: (Psalms 39:5) "Hashem, make me know my end," what is the portion of my lot? And he had no rest until he was told, "Sit you at My right hand" (Psalms 110:1). Come and behold: the Holy One, blessed be He, told Noah as well: "The End of all Flesh is come before Me." Noah asked, "which end"? (Hashem answers:) It is the end that brought darkness upon the faces of the creatures, being the End of all Flesh. From the words "is come before Me" we learn that wicked people hasten to attract the Angel of Death upon themselves in order to bring darkness upon themselves. Therefore, because they give him permission, he grabs the soul. But he never takes the soul without permission. That is why (the Pasuk says), "Is come before Me." i.e. to get permission to bring darkness upon the faces of people of the world. And that is why it is written: "I will destroy them with the earth" (Gen. 6:13). Because (Hashem gave permission): "make an ark of Gopher wood" (Ibid. 14), on which to save yourself so that he should have no power over you.

Come and behold: We have learned that when there is a plague in a city or in the world, a person should not show himself in the marketplace, because the Angel of Destruction has received permission to destroy everything. This is why the Holy One, blessed be He, told Noah, 'It behooves you to take heed and not show yourself before the Angel of Destruction, so that he may not have power to rule over you.'

But, you might say, who mentioned an Angel of Destruction here? It was only the onrush of the waters (that became a flood). Now come and behold: Whether the world is stricken, or even when the world is only given over for judgment, the Angel of Destruction is in the middle of all punishment done in the world. Now, here as well, there was the Flood. The Angel of Destruction walked within the Flood, and, as a result, he was called 'The Flood.' Thus, he was included within it. So the Holy One, blessed be He, told Noah to hide himself (in the ark) and not to show himself to the world.

And you may wonder how the ark survived, even though it was seen in the world through which the Angel of Destruction walked? But, as long as the face of the person is not seen by the Angel of Destruction, he cannot rule over him. And how do we know this? From Egypt. Because the verse reads: "As none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning" (Shemot 12: 22). The reason is that the Angel of Destruction was present (outside) and could destroy anyone, and none should be seen before him. This is why Noah and all those who joined him hid within the ark. There, the Angel of Destruction had no power over them.

Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi were on their way, when they came upon the mountains of Ararat, where they observed some deep ravines which had been left from the days of the Great Flood. Rabbi Chiya told Rabbi Yosi: These ravines are from the days of the Great Flood, and the Holy One, blessed be He, has left them to stay on throughout all the generations to come, so that the sins of the wicked would not be erased before Him.

Because it is the way of the Holy One blessed be He. He desires that the righteous who fulfill His will be remembered above as well as below. He desires that their memories not be forgotten through the generations. Likewise, He also desires that the wicked who do not fulfill His will (be remembered), that their sins never be forgotten and their punishments and their wicked ways always remembered, as it is written: "The stain of your iniquity is before Me" (Jer. 2:22).

Rabbi Yosi quoted: "Lift up your voice, oh daughter of Gallim! hearken Laishah! O, poor Anatot!" (Isaiah 10:30). The friends have already explained this verse, which refers to the Congregation of Yisrael, (i.e. Malchut). So "Lift up your voice, O daughter of Gallim" refers to the daughter of Abraham the Patriarch, as it is written: "A spring (Heb. gal), shut up" (Shir Hashirim 4:12), 'springs' refer to the (upper) lights that gather, enter Malchut, and fill her. As has already been quoted: "Your shoots are a garden of pomegranates" (Ibid. 13).

"Hearken Laishah:" The word 'Laishah' also appears in the verse, "The lion (Heb. laish) perishes for lack of prey" (Job 4:11). 'Laish' is the masculine term; 'Laishah' is the feminine. "Why is she called 'laish'? Is it because it is written: 'a lion which is strongest among beasts?" (Proverbs 30:30). Or is it written to remind us that "the lion perishes for lack of prey"? All that is said refers to 'laish.' (Here, Malchut is called) the lower Gevurah, as she is drawn down from the upper Gevurah. But she is also "the lion [who] perishes for lack of prey." When these streams depart and do not enter her, then she is called the 'laishah' (lioness), which perishes for lack of prey. As is written: "The lion perishes [63b] for lack of prey, and the lion's whelps are scattered abroad" (Job 4:11).

for lack of prey, and the lion's whelps are scattered abroad" (Job 4:11).

And when the verse mentions "Laishah" or "poor Anatot" (the poorest of the poor), the meaning is the same as in, "of the priests that were in Anatot" (Jer. 1:1), and "Anatot, to your own fields" (I Kings 2:26). (These indicate poverty) What does (King Solomon) want to teach us? As long as King David was alive, Evyatar became wealthy and prosperous. But after that, (when King David died, he became poor). Solomon told him, "Anatot, to your own fields."

What is the true reason that Solomon called him (Anatot)? He wanted to tell him, during your days, my father lived in poverty, but now " go to your own fields." We should now explain why Evyatar was called Anatot. Should one assume that it was because he was from Anatot? We have already learned from the verse: "And one of the sons of Achimelech, the son of Achituv, named Evyatar, escaped" (I Sam. 22:20). And he came from Nov, the city of the priests. We have learned that Nov is also called Anatot and why is it called Anatot - because of the poverty and destitution to which it had been reduced by King Saul through the slaughter of all its priestly inhabitants. Nevertheless, Anatot was the name of a village and is not Nov. Rather, King Solomon called Evyatar Anatot, "because you were afflicted (Heb. hit'anita) in all that my father was afflicted" (I Kings 2:26) - and because he also came from the city of Nov. So the true reason is that, because King David lived in poverty in his days, he called him thus.

Rabbi Chiya said that the world was in a state of poverty from the time that Adam transgressed the command of the Holy One, blessed be He, until the time when Noah came forward and offered his sacrifice, thereby settling the world. Rabbi Yosi said that the world was not settled and the land was not pure from the pollution of the serpent until Yisrael stood at Mount Sinai and held onto the Tree of Life. Only then did the world settle properly.

And had Yisrael not sinned before the Holy One, blessed be He, they would have never died, for the pollution of the serpent had been purged from them. But because of their sin, the first tablets, which brought freedom from all sins, freedom from the serpent - who is "the End of all Flesh" - were broken. And when the Levites rose up to slay the guilty, (see Exodus 32:27), then the evil serpent walked in front of them. Nevertheless, he could not dominate them because all Yisrael were girt with a special armor that protected them against his attacks. Thus, the serpent could not have prevailed against them. However, when He said to Moses, "Therefore now put off your ornaments from yourself" (Exodus 33:5), permission to rule over Yisrael was given to the serpent.

Come and behold: it is written, "And the children of Yisrael were stripped of their ornaments by the mount Horeb" (Ibid. 6). "Were stripped?" It should have been written 'stripped themselves!' The words "were stripped" (show us) that they were actually stripped by another (power), as permission was given to the serpent to rule over them. "Their ornaments by the mount Horeb," - the ornament they received from mount Horeb when the Torah was given to Yisrael.

Rabbi Chiya asks: Why, if Noah was a righteous man, did he not cancel death over the world? Because the pollution of the serpent had not yet been removed from the world and because the people of the world had no faith in the Holy One, blessed be He. As a result, they clung to the 'leaves of the lower Tree,' and covered themselves with the spirit of defilement. Not only that, but (when they left the ark) they continued to sin and follow the Evil Inclination, as they had before. Also the holy Torah, which is the Tree of Life, had not yet been brought down to earth by the Holy One, blessed be He. In addition to all this, Noah himself brought death again upon the world. As it is written: "And he drank of the wine and was drunk, and was uncovered within his tent" (Gen. 9:21). This has already been explained.

As they were walking along, they saw a Israelite coming toward them. Rabbi Yosi said that this person is an Israelite, because he looks like an Israelite. When he reached them, they asked him (who he was). He told them that he was on a religious errand, as he lived in the village of Dramin and the time of Sukkot having arrived, they needed a Lulav and the other three kinds. He was on his way to cut them down for the purpose of the commandment. They walked together. The Israelite spoke to them and asked: Have you heard why we need the four kinds of the Lulav to appease the world during this holiday, (but not at any other time)? They told him: The friends have already explained this subject, but if you have a new explanation, then say it.

He said to them: The place where we live is indeed a small one, but all indulge in the study of the Torah. We have a rabbi, who is well known among the Rabbis, whose name is Rabbi Yitzchak and who is the son of Rabbi Yosi from Mechoza'a. He teaches us new explanations of the Torah each and every day. And he said that during this holiday, it is the time for domination, as it is written: "Then the proud waters have gone over our soul. Blessed be Hashem, who has not given us as a prey to their teeth" (Ps. 124:5-6). "Does water have teeth?" They (the proud waters) refer to the other nations, (and teeth to) the supernal ministers of these nations, who are worshippers of the planets and constellations. They are blessed through Yisrael, and they are called proud waters, as it says "the malicious waters." (Psalms 124)

To dominate (the ministers of the nations), we come with the Holy Name that is represented by those four kinds with the Lulav: Together they appease the Holy One, blessed be He, and rule [64a] over the proud waters by means of the Holy Name. They bring and arouse upon us the holy waters, for the water libation ceremony at the altar.

And he went on to say that on Rosh Hashanah, the first awakening recurs and appears in the world. What is this first awakening? It is the lower courthouse that is aroused in order to judge the world. It is when the Holy One, blessed be He, sits on the throne of Judgment and judges the world.

This courthouse rules and judges the world until Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), when her face, of the Female Principle, lights up. At this time, the slanderous serpent leaves the world alone, because he is busy with the scapegoat which has been offered to him. This offering is from the side of the spirit of defilement, which is appropriate. So while he is occupied with his scapegoat, he does not approach the Temple.

This scapegoat is like the sin offering of the he-goat on the first day of the month. Because he is occupied with it, the face of the Temple lights up. And this is how all Yisrael find mercy in the eyes of the Holy One, blessed be He, and He removes their sins. But there is one secret, he told them, that may not be revealed, except to exceedingly wise, saintly, and pious men. Rabbi Yosi asked him: And what is that secret? So he answered: I have not yet evaluated you.

They proceeded on their way, and after a while he said: When the moon approaches the sun, then the Holy One, blessed be He, stirs up the northern side and He grasps her lovingly and draws her toward Himself. And then the southern side is aroused from the other side. And eventually the moon rises and joins the east. Thus, She draws sustenance from both sides, and receives the blessing in silence. And now the moon is blessed and filled, as a woman approaches her husband.

Just as there is a secret pertaining to the shape of the parts of the body of man and its composition, so too there is a secret pertaining to the shape of the parts of the body of the Female Principle and its composition. And the only difference between them is their color: (Green for then male and red for the female). And as there is that above which joins her and rises to receive her with love, so below, beneath the moon, lies the secret of another, lower man.

Above, the left arm holds and rises lovingly toward her. Similarly below the serpent, which is the left arm of the spirit of defilement, is He who rides upon (the serpent). By this he approaches the moon, and draws her toward him from between those that are clinging - and thus, she is defiled.

Then, Yisrael below offers the scapegoat (on Rosh Chodesh). The serpent is drawn to it. Then the moon is purified. She then climbs up and clings above in order to be blessed. While before, when she was below she was dark, now her face lights up.

The same is true of Yom Kippur, another day on which the evil serpent is kept busy with the scapegoat, the moon is separated from it and may busy herself in protecting Yisrael as a mother protects her children. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, blesses Yisrael from above and forgives them for their sins.

Later, when Yisrael reach the holiday of (Sukkot), the Right (column) of above is aroused (See Song of Songs 2:6). This allows the moon to attach herself to him and then her face is fittingly illuminated. Then she shares her blessings with all the ministers below (of the seventy nations). By keeping them occupied with their blessings, they are distracted from approaching and sucking from Yisrael's portion.

The same applies below (in this world). When all the other nations are blessed, they all become occupied with their portion and do not meddle with Yisrael or covet their portion. Yisrael draw blessings down to all the supernal ministers (of the seventy nations), so they will be occupied with their portion and not meddle with Yisrael.

When the moon is full of blessings from above as she aught, Yisrael come and draw sustenance from her for themselves alone. That is why it is written: "On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly (Heb. Atzeret)" (Num. 29:35). What is this assembly? It indicates the assembling of the blessings from above, from which only Yisrael may draw sustenance. And that is why it is written: "There shall be a solemn assembly for you,", to 'you' and not to the other nations; to you and not to the other supernal ministers.

This is the reason why (Yisrael) appeases (Hashem) with water libations (on the Altar). This gives the supernal ministers (of the nations) part of the blessings, so that they are occupied with it and do not meddle with the joy of Yisrael when they come to draw the blessings from above. And of this day, it is written: "My beloved is mine and I am his" (Shir Hashirim 2:16), that there is no stranger interfering with us.

This day is like the day on which a king invites a close friend to a special feast, prepared on a special day, so that his friend will know his deep love. The king [64b] thinks to himself: Now I wish to feast and be merry with my beloved alone, but I fear that during my feast all the other ministers will come and join us at our table to be together and take part in the festive meal that I have prepared for my beloved and myself. So what does the king do? He first regales his governors and ministers with dishes of vegetables and beef. Only after they are satisfied can he sit in peace with his friend and enjoy the supernal banquet with the world's finest delicacies spread before them. And while alone with the king, his friend puts before him all his petitions and requests, which the king grants. So just as the king enjoys the company of his beloved alone, with no stranger disturbing them, the Holy One, blessed be He, enjoys Yisrael. Hence it is written: "On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly."

Rabbi Yosi and Rabbi Chiya said: The Holy One, blessed be He, established the right way for us; happy are those who delve into the Torah. They approached him and kissed him. Rabbi Yosi applied to him the verse: "And all your children shall be taught of Hashem, and great shall be the peace of your children" (Isaiah 54:13). When they reached a field, they all sat down. That man asked what changed when the verse says, "And Hashem rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah" (Gen. 19:24), (i.e. why was the term Elohim not used)? And what changed during the Great Flood, when the term 'Elohim' is used, while the term Hashem (is not used at all)?

We have learned that everywhere the term "and Hashem" is mentioned, (it indicates) Him and His courthouse. But when the term Elohim is mentioned alone, this indicates only the courthouse. In the case of Sodom, Judgment was passed not to destroy the world, and thus, (Zeir Anpin) was involved in carrying out Judgment. But in the case of the Great Flood, the whole world and all of its inhabitants were destroyed.

And although you may say that Noah and all who were with him (were saved and not destroyed, it is only because they) were hidden from sight and unseen (by the Angel of Destruction). Thus, everything that existed in the world was destroyed. That is why the term "And Hashem," indicates that He does not destroy all that is revealed to the eye. However, the term Elohim indicates that all should be carefully concealed, because He destroys everything. That is why the term Elohim alone.

And this is the secret of the verse, "Hashem sat at the Flood" (Ps. 29:10). What is "sat?" If it had not been written in the scriptures, we could not have said it, (because sat infers) that He sat alone, by Himself and was distinct from the Judgment; here it is written: "Hashem sat," while in another place it is written: "He shall sit alone".

Now because Noah was out of sight after the sentence was passed, the world was destroyed, and His temper was quiet. It is written: "And Elohim remembered Noah" (Gen. 8:1). For when He was destroying the world, Noah was not remembered, because he was out of sight. I have learned a secret that the Holy One, blessed be He, is revealed and concealed. He is revealed when presiding over the lower courthouse, and He is concealed when He is (at) the place from where come out all the blessings. This is why all the affairs of man that are hidden from sight are blessed from above, while all those exposed to view are under the influence of the court of justice, because this is the place that is revealed, The one who is called the 'Evil Eye' rules over it. Thus, all is according to the supernal secrets of above.

Rabbi Yosi wept and said: Happy is the generation who has Rabbi Shimon among it. His merit has brought us to these mountains, so that we could hear such supreme matters. He continued: This man has come for the purpose of revealing these matters to us. The Holy One, blessed be He, sent him to us. And when they came to Rabbi Shimon and repeated (everything they heard), he said: Definitely, all that he said is true.

Rabbi Elazar was sitting one day before his father, Rabbi Shimon, and asked him, If the 'End of all Flesh,' (the Sitra Achra), enjoys those sacrifices that Yisrael offered upon the altar or not. He answered that all derived their nourishment, both above and below.

Come and behold: the priests, the Levites and Yisrael are (the secret of the three columns and) called 'man', through the union of the holy desires that rise from them. And when a sheep, or a deer or any other animal is brought to be sacrificed, all sins and evil desires and intentions must be confessed over them. Then the sacrifice is called 'a beast,' as it is now burdened with all the sins and evil intentions.

This is similar to the sacrifice of the scapegoat, of which it is written: "and he shall confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Yisrael" (Lev. 16:21). So here as well, (one should confess sins over every sacrifice). Because when the sacrifice is raised upon the altar it bears a twofold burden, each of which is raised to its own place. The first is the secret of man; the latter is in the secret of the beast, as it is written: "Hashem, You preserve man and beast" (Ps. 36:7).

Fried meal offerings and all other meal offerings arouse the Holy Spirit through the desire of the priests, the singing of the Levites and the prayer of Yisrael, (who make up the three columns). And from the smoke, the oil and the flour that rise (upon the altar), all the prosecutors [65a] all the prosecutors replenish themselves, and are appeased. Once appeased, they become powerless to pursue the indictment that has been delivered into their hands, and both are drawn at the same time. Come and behold: everything is arranged in accordance with the secret of faith - both sides are replenished and sent above up to the Endless Light (Ein Sof).

Rabbi Shimon said: "I raise my hands in high to prayer,". When the supernal desire at the highest point above is established upon the forever unknown and ungraspable desire, (it) becomes the most concealed Head above. And that Head emanates something that is unknown. And He illuminates all that He illuminates in a concealed manner.

The desire of the supernal thought (which is Keter of Arich Anpin and called "the supernal Will". After it has been established as the head, t it called the supernal Will). But as it desires to run after a veil spreads and from within the veil the light reaches yet does not reach it. Something shines upward toward the veil. Therefore supernal Thought shines with unrevealed illumination and with light unknown But Thought itself (Keter) - is considered unknown. Then, the illumination of the Unknown Thought hits upon the illumination of the veil that stands and shines from what is unknown from what is not known and what is unrevealed. Thus, the illumination of the Thought that is not known hits upon the veil's illumination, and they shine together. And from them, nine chambers are made.

These chambers are not lights. And they are neither Ruchot nor Neshamot, and nobody can understand what they are. The desire of all nine lights which can be grasped by thought, that is also considered one of them. (The desire of all is) to pursue (the nine chambers), while (the nine lights) are located in Thought (Arich Anpin). Nevertheless, (the chambers) are not attained and not known (to the nine lights) because they are not established as either (an aspect of) desire or as supernal Thought. They grasp it yet do not grasp. All the secrets of Faith are present in (and based on these nine chambers). And all of these lights come from the secret of supernal Thought and all are called Ein Sof. Because the lights reach and do not reach this point, and are unknown, there is no desire or thought at this point. When Thought shines from an unknown source (it is enclothed in Binah). It shines upon whom it shines, and they enter each other until they are as one. Returning to the secret of the sacrifice: when it rises (on the Altar), all are enmeshed within one another and shine one upon the other. Now all the grades are in a state of rising and it is crowned by the Ein Sof. And (from Ein Sof) comes (Arich Anpin). It is established and shines upon whom It shines. All is based upon this. Happy are the righteous in this world and the World to Come.

Come and behold: this 'End of all Flesh,' means that the attachment takes place in joy above. The same applies below in happiness and in a desire to share fulfillment with everything above and below; and Ima (the Shechinah) dwells properly upon Yisrael.

Come and behold, every first day of the month, when the moon renews herself; then, the 'End of all Flesh' is given an extra portion which is added to the (regular) sacrifices. Thus, he is occupied by it and uses his portion. Hence, the (right) side of Yisrael remains for them alone so that they can unify with their King. This is why (they offer the scapegoat, also called) 'Hairy' (Heb. se'ir), because it belongs to the part of Esau, who is described as being hairy, as it is written: "Esau my brother is a hairy (Heb. sa'ir) man" (Gen. 27:11). Thus, (the 'end of all flesh') uses his part (of Esau, which is the left), while Yisrael uses their part, (which is the right). Thus, it is written: "For Kah has chosen Jacob to Himself, Yisrael for His peculiar possession" (Ps. 135:4).

Come and behold: the sole desire of this 'End of all Flesh' is flesh alone. All that is done with the flesh in any instance is only for his sake. That is why he is called the 'End of all Flesh.' And when he rules, he rules over the body but not over the soul. The soul returns to its place; the flesh, is given over to this place. It is the same with the offering, as the desire goes to one place and the flesh to another.

A person who is righteous is (himself) a sacrifice given for atonement (because he sacrifices his own desire, overcoming his will). But a person, who is not righteous, is not accepted as a sacrifice because he is blemished. As it is written: "For it shall not be acceptable for you" (Lev. 22:20). So the righteous alone atone for the world and are accepted as sacrifices in this world. (Until here) (parenthesis in the text).

Come and behold: "And Elohim said to Noah, the End of all Flesh is come before Me" (Gen. 6:13), And it came to receive permission to darken [65b] the faces of humankind. So that is why "I will destroy them with the earth" (Ibid.). the faces of humankind. So that is why "I will destroy them with the earth" (Ibid.)

From the day that the sins of the people were completed, the Holy One, blessed be He, still waited for them. He waited until Noah completed his 600 years and perfected himself as a righteous man. Only then did Noah enter the ark. And everything below is as above. "And Noah was 600 years old," and not 'approximately 600.' (He had to be exactly 600 years old).

If it has been already stated, "will bring the flood," do we not understand that He refers to water? Flood implies the presence of the Angel of Death, even though it was only water. The Angel of Destruction went in the world to destroy it with these waters. We have learned that the words, "I am Hashem," show that 'I am faithful to the recompense of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked.' So, here, in this verse, "I" means to promise to reward and repay the righteous well in the World to Come. Likewise, it describes the threat to the wicked, who will be punished in the World to Come, by the term "I."

As we previously explained, the words "To destroy all flesh" (Gen. 6:17) refer to the Angel of Destruction. This is why it is also written: "And He will not allow the Angel of Destruction to come into your house to smite you" (Exodus 12:23). (He does not give him permission to destroy). To "destroy all flesh" is from (the Angel of Destruction, hinted to in the verse), "The End of all Flesh is come before Me," (to ask permission). The time the Holy One, blessed be He had waited for them to repent had passed. That is, Noah had reached 600 years of age, (and He could reward him. The time had also come for the punishment of the wicked. That is why He gave permission to the Angel of Destruction) "to destroy all flesh." He said: This is what we learned in the name of Rabbi Yitzchak, who told us all this.

He began by saying, "I said, I shall not see Kah; Kah, in the land of the living; I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of cessation" (Isaiah 38:11). How obtuse, he said, are the people who do not know or pay heed to the words of the Torah, but look only upon worldly matters. The spirit of wisdom is forgotten from them.


When a person departs this world, that person gives an account to his Master of all his worldy actions. He does this while his body and spirit are still joined together and he can see all that he sees until he reaches the World of Truth, where he meets Adam, the first man, sitting at the gate of the Garden of Eden, waiting to see and rejoice with all who have observed the commandments of their Master.

And many are the righteous around Adam, who instead of walking along the path that leads to Gehenom followed the path to the Garden of Eden. These are the ones who are called "Inhabitants of the Cessation" (Heb. חָדֶל). Why is it not written: "Inhabitants of the world (Heb. חָלֶד)"? Because they are not like the mole (Heb. חוּלְדָה), a creature who is laboriously storing and hiding provisions, knowing not for whom. They are the inhabitants of cessation, as in "Cease (Heb. חִדְלוּ) from man, though his breath be in his nostrils" (Isaiah 2:22). They avoided walking the path of Gehenom and disciplined themselves to walk along the path leading to the Garden of Eden.

Another explanation is that "inhabitants of cessation" (refers to) all those who repented and ceased performing the sins of the wicked. Because Adam repented before his Master, he sits among others who also repented, ceased sinning, and are called "inhabitants of cessation." As it is written: "I will know how frail (Heb. חָדֶל) I am" (Ps. 39:5). And therefore, Adam sits at the gate of the Garden of Eden, and he is happy with the righteous who walk along the path and arrive at the Garden of Eden.


Come and behold: it is written, "I said, I shall not see Kah." Who can ever see Kah now? The end of the verse reveals the intention of the words, as it is written: "Kah, in the land of the living." Come and behold: when the souls ascend and reach the place of the Bundle of Life, they enjoy the illumination of the radiant mirror, which shines and brings forth light [66a] from the most elevated place of all. A soul not enclothed in the radiance of another garment could neither approach nor get close enough to see that light.

THIS PARSHA IS NOT COMPLETE YET

Lech Lecha / לֶךָ לְךָEdit

Corresponding to Zohar I pages 76b to 96b

"Get you, out of your country..." (Gen. 12:1). Rabbi Abba opened the discussion with this verse and to explain the reason why Abraham merited that the Holy One, blessed be He, would say this to him rather than to any other person of his time. "Hearken to me, you stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness" (Yeshayah 46:12), (i.e.) how hard are the hearts of the wicked, who see the paths and the ways of Torah, yet do not observe them. And the hearts of the wicked are stout, as they do not repent and turn back to their Master. (This is why) they are called stout-hearted. The verse, "that are far from righteousness," (means) they keep themselves far from Torah; this is why they remain "far from righteousness.".

Rabbi Chizkiyah commented "Since they draw themselves away from the Holy One, blessed be He, therefore they remain far away from Him. And because of this they are called stout-hearted. They "are far from righteousness." (because) they do not wish to come closer to the Holy One, blessed be He. And because of this, they "are far from righteousness." Because they are far from righteousness, they are also far from peace; they can have no peace. As it is written, "There is no peace, says Hashem, to the wicked" (Yeshayah 48:22). And why is that so? Because they "are far from righteousness," they have no peace!

Come and behold, Abraham indeed succeeded in his desire to get closer to the Holy One, blessed be He. As it is written, "You love righteousness and hate wickedness" (Tehilim 45:8). Because he loved righteousness and hated wickedness, he therefore came closer to righteousness. Therefore, it is written, "Abraham my beloved" (Yeshayah 41:8). Why "my beloved?" Because it has been said about him, "You love righteousness." This is the love toward the Holy One, blessed be He, whom Abraham loved [77a] more than anyone else of his generation, who were "stout-hearted" and "far from righteousness," as has already been explained.

Sitrei Torah

We have learned that because of the strong desire of the King (Binah) a great and strong tree (Zeir Anpin) was planted. Among the supernal plants (the Sefirot of Binah) this tree is planted. It turns between twelve borders, and its leg expands to the four winds of the world. Its journeys were measured at five hundred Persian miles. The desires of these Persian miles come on Him. So when He awakens, all awaken with Him, and no one is capable of diverting His will. After that, all are united and join His will. He arises from above and descends throughout His journeys to the sea. He fills the sea, as He is the source of all the lights of that spring. Underneath Him, all the waters of the Beginning of the Creation are divided. The watering of the Garden depends on Him.

All souls of the world come forth from Him. These souls enter the Garden and descend into this world. When a soul leaves it receives seven blessings so that it may be a father to the body being rightly elevated. Thus, it is written, "Now Hashem said to Abram" (Gen. 12:1). This is the divine supernal soul. It is considered the father of the body and elevates to the level of the divine image, by the Chassidim that are drawn as it elevates and reaches Abba and Imma.

When the soul is ready to descend to this world, the Holy One, blessed be He, makes it swear to perform the precepts of Torah and do His bidding. And He gives each soul one hundred keys of blessings for each and every day, so that it may complete the supernal grades, which reach the numerical value of Lech Lecha (lit. 'Get you out') (equaling 100). All of them are given to it so that it may cultivate the Garden, to till it and to keep it. "Your country" is the Garden of Eden. The verse, "and from your kindred" (means) from the body, that is called 'the Tree of Life'. And it includes the twelve supernal tribes, which are the secret of the twelve borders. The verse "and from your father's house" refers to the Shechinah. "Your father" means the Holy One, blessed be He. As it is written, "He who steals from his father or his mother, and says it is no transgression..." (Mishlei 28:24). "His father" is none other than the Holy One, blessed be He, and "his mother" is none other than the Congregation of Yisrael. The words, "to the land that I will show you," refer to this world, to which the soul is sent.(End of Sitrei Torah).

Rabbi Yosi opened the discussion by saying, "How lovely are Your dwelling places, Hashem Tzva'ot" (Tehilim 84:2). How important it is for people to observe the works of the Holy One, blessed be He! All people do not observe and are not aware of what keeps the world in existence. Nor are they aware of what keeps them in existence! When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world, He made the heaven from fire and water. At first, these elements mingled together without freezing. Only later, by means of the Supernal Spirit, did they freeze and solidify. Then (the Heavens), planted the world, (called "Nukvah"), to be established upon supports (these are the Three Columns of Nukvah). And the supports stand only by the help of the Spirit. When that Spirit is gone, the supports are loosened and they quake, and the world is shaken. This is the meaning of, "Who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble" (Job 9:6). And everything is established upon Torah, for when Yisrael are busy with Torah, they elevate (Mayin Nukvin (lit. 'Female Waters') to Zeir anpin and Nukva), and draw the Central Column, (which is Torah). Then the world is established, and the pillars and the supports are perfectly situated in their places.

Come and behold, When midnight is aroused, and the Holy One, blessed be He, enters the Garden of Eden to enjoy the company of the righteous, all the trees in the Garden of Eden sing and praise Him, as it is written, "Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy at the presence of Hashem" (I Chronicles 16:33).

A crier comes forth and forcefully calls, "You, mighty, holy men! To him among you who has allowed the spirit to enter, and his ears to hear, who has eyes open to see and who has a heart that is open to know! When the spirit, which is the source of all spirits, arouses the sweetness of the soul, a voice comes from there, which is the source of all voices, and disperses all forces to the four corners of the world. One goes up to one side, one descends to the other side. Another enters in between the two. Two are crowned by (becoming) three. And three enter the one. One produced colors. Six of them descended to one side and another six descended to the other side. All six become twelve. The twelve become twenty-two. The six are included within the ten. The ten exist as one.

Woe to those who slumber as sleep covers their eyes sockets. They do not know and are unable to observe how and in what condition they shall awaken on the Day of Judgment [77b] when they shall be visited upon to settle the account when the body is defiled and the soul floats on the afternoon air, going up and down, but the gates do not open for it. They are thrown around like the pebbles in the hollow of a sling. Woe to them. Who shall ask about them when they shall not arise to this place of pleasure? In the place where the righteous have pleasure, they shall be missing. They shall be passed on to the angel Dumah, go down and not rise. They are described by the words, "As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away, so he who goes down to Sheol shall come up no more" (Iyov 7:9).

when they shall be visited upon to settle the account when the body is defiled and the soul floats on the afternoon air, going up and down, but the gates do not open for it. They are thrown around like the pebbles in the hollow of a sling. Woe to them. Who shall ask about them when they shall not arise to this place of pleasure? In the place where the righteous have pleasure, they shall be missing. They shall be passed on to (the angel) Dumah, go down (to Gehenom) and not rise. They are described by the words, "As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away, so he who goes down to Sheol shall come up no more" (Iyov 7:9).

At that hour (midnight) a flame is awakened from the North and strikes the four corners of the world. It descends and touches the rooster between its wings. As the flame awakens it, it crows. But the only ones who awaken to the calling of the rooster are the truly righteous, who delve to the study of Torah. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, together with all the righteous in the Garden of Eden, listen attentively to their voice. As it is written, "You who dwell in the gardens, the companions hearken to your voice, cause me to hear it" (Shir Hashirim 8:13).

What is written before the verse, "Hashem said to Abram..."? The words, "And Haran died before his father Terah" (Gen. 11:28). What does he want to inform us? (During his father's lifetime) this cannot be, for had he no other person until that day died during his father's lifetime beside Haran? When Abraham was thrown to the fire, Charan was killed. Because of this, they left Ur of the Chaldeans...

Come and behold, It is written, "And Terach took Abram, his son, and Lot, the son of Haran...and they left with them from Ur of the Chaldeans" (Gen. 11:31). "And they left with them," when it should have been written, "with him," (i.e. Terach)? If, as it is written, "And Terach took..." why "with them"? Terach and Lot left with Abraham and Sarah, who really wanted to depart from among the wicked. Only after Terach saw that Abraham his son was saved from the fire did he return to follow Abraham's wishes. As a result, Terach and Lot "left with them."

And when they left "to go to the land of Canaan" it was because they desired to go there. From this we learn that whoever asks to be purified will be helped. Come and behold that this is so! Because the words, "to go to the land of Canaan," are immediately followed by the words, "Now Hashem said to Abram, 'Get you out'." So before his desire was awakened, it was not yet written, "Get you out." Therefore, he who asks and wakes on his own from below is helped from above, because without awakening from below there is no awakening from above.

Come and see, Nothing is aroused above before it is first aroused below, so that what is aroused above rests upon it. The secret is that the black flame does not hold on to the white flame before it is aroused. As soon as it is aroused first, the white flame immediately rests upon it. This is so because the lower one has to be aroused first.

Therefore it is written, "Do not keep silent, Elohim; do not hold your peace, and be still, El" (Tehilim 83:2), so that the white flame will never cease to exist in the world. "You who make mention of Hashem, take no rest" (Isaiah 62:6) so that there will always be awakening from below on which that from above should come and rest upon it. Therefore, when a person first arouses the awakening from below, the awakening from above is aroused. Come and behold, It is written, "and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans." Immediately, "Hashem said to Abram..." (meaning, he received help from above).

"Now Hashem said to Abram, Get you out (lit. 'go for you')..." According to Rabbi Elazar, the phrase "Go for you," means "for yourself." Go out for yourself, to fulfill yourself and complete your grade. "Get you out," for you must not stay here among the wicked. The secret (behind the words) "Get you out" [78a] is that the Holy One, blessed be He, inspired Abraham with the spirit of wisdom. He knew how to judge the spirits (also winds) of the civilized world. He observed them, weighed them in the scales, and knew how to connect them to the powers entrusted to govern the inhabited places on earth.

is that the Holy One, blessed be He, inspired Abraham with the spirit of wisdom. He knew how to judge the spirits (also winds) of the civilized world. He observed them, weighed them in the scales, and knew how to connect them to the powers entrusted to govern the inhabited places on earth.

When he reached the middle point of civilization, he weighed it in the scales, but could not reach any conclusion. He tried to see and to know what sort of power governed that place, but could not conceive it. He weighed a few more times before realizing that the whole world sprouts from that place and is established upon it. He observed carefully, and measured, so as to understand the subject, and concluded that the supernal force above it could not be measured, that it is deep and hidden, and that it does not resemble the different parts of the inhabited land.

He watched attentively, weighed, and realized that the middle point of the inhabited world is the point from which the whole world moves out to all its corners. Similarly, he knew the power that now prevails over the point. All other powers that govern the corners of the world originate from that point and all (the Sefirot) hold to it. Then "they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans, to go to the land of Canaan." (Gen. 11:31).

He continued to observe, weigh, and examine in an effort to determine the nature of that place, but he was unable to understand it so as to cleave to it. He saw the strength of that place and realized that he could not understand it, and therefore immediately, "they came to Charan, and dwelt there" (Gen. 11:31).

Why did Abraham (delay in Charan and not leave there immediately, "to go to the land of Canaan," as it is written, "And they dwelt there"?) Abraham knew and checked all the governors and rulers of the world that had dominion over the entire civilized world. And he was examining all those who govern and rule over the directions of the world's inhabited land, all those that have dominion over the stars and the constellations. He learned how they exercise their power over one another. In considering all the inhabited places in the world, he did well. But when he reached that place (the point of Malchut) he saw the force of the depths. And he could not withstand it. As soon as the Holy One, blessed be He, noticed his awakening and his passion, He immediately revealed Himself to Abraham and said, "Get you out" in order to learn about and perfect yourself.

The words "Your country" referred to that side of the inhabited world to which he was attached. "and from your kindred", from that Wisdom with which you study your horoscope, determined by watching and examining the moment, hour, and time of your birth, and the planet and the sign under which you were born. All of this is related to the illumination of the left side and is not included within the right. The verse, "And from your father's house," (means) and never look upon your father's house again (and never seek to discover) if the root of your success in the world is from your father's house. Therefore, "Get you out" of this wisdom and this observance.

Come and behold, It is indeed so! Because they had already left Ur of the Chaldeans and were in Charan, why should He say to him, "Get you out of your country, and from your kindred?" For he has already left Ur of the Chaldeans, which is his country and family. Therefore, the main point has to be, as previously stated. "To the land that I will show you" - "I will show you" what you were not able to conceive and were not able to know about the power of that land, which is deep and hidden.

"And I will make of you a great nation..." (Gen. 12:2). "And I will make of you" is related to the verse, "Get you out." "And I will bless you" is related to the verse, "from your country." "And make your name great" is related to the verse, "and from your kindred." "And you shall be a blessing" is related to the verse, "and from your father's house."

Sitrei Torah

(There are seven blessings in this passage) One, "And I will make of you a great nation"; two, "and I will bless you"; three, "and make your name great"; four, "and you shall be a blessing"; five, "And I will bless them that bless you"; six, "and curse him that curses you"; and seven, "and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed." And after he received these seven blessings, it is written, "So Abram departed, as Hashem had spoken to him." (Meaning he went) down to the world, as he was commanded to do. Immediately, "Lot went with him." This is the serpent that was cursed and caused the world to be cursed. The scriptures call the serpent by the name Lot, because Lot means 'a curse' in Aramaic. The serpent was cursed and brought curses on the world. So he accompanies the soul during its stay in this world. And the serpent stands at the opening, in order to mislead the body. And this is why the soul will not start fulfilling the mission it was commanded to perform until it has completed thirteen years in this world. Because from the twelfth year onward, the soul is aroused to fulfill its task. Therefore, it is written, "and Abram was seventy five years old" (Gen. 12:4) and seven and five equals twelve.

And then the soul can be seen in this world, because it comes from the "five years," which are the five hundred parasangs of the Tree of Life. "And seventy years" refers to the same tree, which is the seventh among the grades, namely, the Nukva, which is the seventh Sefirah among the seven Sefirot: Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malchut. And then the soul is acknowledged as the offspring of Zeir Anpin and the Nukva. Then the soul departs from the filth of the serpent and enters to the holy work. And so it is written, "when he departed out of Charan" from the wrath and aggression of the Satan, who until now had ruled over the body by deceiving it.

The Orlah (lit. 'foreskin') rules over the tree for three years. In the human being, the first thirteen years are called the "Orlah years." After the body has lived these years, the soul is aroused to fulfill its holy task. It then receives full control over the body and inspires the goodwill necessary to overcome the serpent. And then the serpent will not be able to control the body as it did before. As it is written, "And Abram took Sarai his wife..." (Gen. 12:5). This refers to the body, which in comparison to the soul is like the female toward the male. "And Lot his brother's son" refers to the serpent that does not completely leave the body because the clinging of the body is not entirely gone from it. Nevertheless, the arousal of the soul strikes it always, warns and reproves it, and forces it to obey so that it cannot take control any more.

"And all their substance that they had gathered..." refers to the good deeds that a person performs in this world because of the awakening of the soul. "And the souls (Nefesh) that they had made in Charan...", that Nefesh, which at first was attached to the foreskin of the body and clung to it and which later was amended (by the Neshamah). So after thirteen years, when the Neshamah is aroused to amend the body, both amend that Nefesh that participated in the harsh (judgments) of the serpent and its evil desires. As it is written, "and the Nefesh that they had made in Charan..." the reason this is written in the plural is because it refers to the Neshamah and the body, which together amend the Nefesh, the Neshamah by awakening the body, and the body by its good deeds. With all of this, the Neshamah continues to attack the serpent in order to break it, so that it will surrender and be enslaved under the influence of repentance. Therefore, it is written, "And Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem" (Gen. 12:6), because Shechem is the dwelling place of the Shechinah. And that is because the power of the serpent has already been completely broken by the Neshamah.

(End of Sitrei Torah)

Rabbi Shimon says that the verse, "And I will make of you a great nation," is (the illumination of the right side; that "and I will bless you" is the left side; that "and I will make your name great" is the Central Column; and that "and you shall be a blessing" is from the side of the land of Yisrael. So here is a throne that has four legs, all of which were included in Abraham. From here onward, the blessings are for the others who are replenished from here, as it is written, "And I will bless them that bless you [78b] and curse them that curse you, and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed."

Rabbi Elazar was sitting before his father, Rabbi Shimon, together with Rabbi Yehuda, Rabbi Yitzchak, and Rabbi Chizkiyah. Rabbi Elazar asked Rabbi Shimon why is it written, "Get you out of your country, and from your kindred" in the singular? Since they all left (Ur Casdim) to go to (Canaan), why was Abraham not told that they all should go? Terach was an idol worshipper, but since his desire to leave with Abraham was truly aroused, and, as we have seen, the Holy One, blessed be He, desires that the wicked repent, as Terach started to leave with Abraham, why does it not say, "Go for yourself" in plural? Why does it say "Go for yourself" to Abraham alone?

Rabbi Shimon replied that Terach did not leave Ur of the Chaldeans because he wanted to repent and mend his ways, but only to save himself from all the people of his land, who wanted to kill him. Particularly after they saw that Abraham was saved (from the furnace of fire) they said to Terach, 'You were the one who misled us with these idols. Because he feared them, Terach left. When he reached Charan, he stayed, as it is written, "So Abram departed, as Hashem had spoken to him, and Lot went with him" (Gen. 12:4). Terach is not mentioned in the verse!

He opened the discussion by saying, "And from the wicked their light is withheld, and the high arm shall be broken" (Iyov 38:16). This passage has already been explained. Nevertheless, "And from the wicked their light is withheld" applies to Nimrod and the people of his generation, whom Abraham left, since he was "their light"; "the high arm shall be broken" alludes to Nimrod.

Another explanation of the verse, "And from the wicked their light is withheld," is that it applies to Terach and his household, and "their light" is Abraham. The verse does not say 'the light,' but "their light," that was among them. "And the high arm shall be broken" applies to Nimrod, who misled the whole world into following him. And this is why it is written, "Get you out," so that the light may shine for you and for all who will descend from now and henceforth.

Furthermore, (Rashbi) then discussed the verse, "And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds; but the wind passes, and cleanses them" (Iyov 37:21). "And now men see not the bright light": when? At the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Abraham, "Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house." "The bright light which is in the clouds" (this is Abraham) because the Holy One, blessed be He, wished to attach Abraham to the supernal Light and have him shine there. "And the wind passes, and cleanses them" refers to Terach and all the people of his town, all of whom afterwards repented. As it is written, "and the souls that they had made in Charan" (Gen. 12:5). The verse, "And you shall come to your fathers in peace" (Gen, 15:15) - Terach had repented, for the Holy One, blessed be He, would not have said this to Abraham otherwise.

Rabbi Elazar said, Come and behold, It is not written, "So Abram left, as Hashem had spoken to him," but rather that Abram "departed (lit. 'went') (Heb. וַיֵּלֶךָ)," as it is written, "Get you out" (Heb. לֶךְ לְךָ). This is so written because they had already left, as it is written, "and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan." Therefore, it is written, "departed" rather than "left."

"As Hashem had spoken to him..." - according to all the promises He gave him. The words, "and Lot went with him," mean that Lot accompanied Abraham to learn from his behavior. Even so, Lot did not learn much. Rabbi Elazar said, Happy are the righteous who study the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, in order to follow them and be in awe of Him, in awe of that day of judgment when man will have to account for his deeds before the Holy one, blessed be He.

He opened the discussion, saying, "He seals up the hand of every man; that all men whom He has made may know His work." (Iyov 37:7). This passage has already been explained. But [79a] come and behold, When the days of man are over and he is about to leave this world, on that day when the body is broken and the soul has to leave it, then that person is permitted to see what he has not been able to see when the body was in control, and he understands things completely.

come and behold, When the days of man are over and he is about to leave this world, on that day when the body is broken and the soul has to leave it, then that person is permitted to see what he has not been able to see when the body was in control, and he understands things completely.

Three messengers stand over him and take an account of his days and his sins and all that he has done in this world. And he openly admits everything, and after that he signs it with his hand. As it is written, "He seals up the hand of every man...". And all (both deeds and sins) are signed with his hand, so a man can be judged for all of his actions in this world, the early and the recent, the old and the new - not even one of them is forgotten. Therefore, it is written, "that all men whom He has made may know His work." Just as all of the actions he committed in this world were together in body and in spirit, so he must account for them together in body and spirit, before he leaves this world.

Come and behold, just as the sinners are stiff-necked in this world, so are they stiff-necked when they are about to leave this world. Therefore, blessed is that person who studies the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, while in this world, so that he may follow them. But the wicked person, even though he sees these righteous people, stiffens his neck and refuses to learn from them. This is why the righteous man must hold on to him and not let go, even though the wicked person "stiffens his neck." The righteous man should hold him tight by the hand and not leave him alone, because if he lets him go, the wicked person will go and destroy the world.

Come and behold, We see examples in the case of Elisha who thrust away Gehazi, and in the case of Abraham and Lot. As long as Lot was with Abraham, Lot did not associate with the wicked. But as soon as he left him, it is written, "Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan...and pitched his tent toward Sodom" (Gen. 13:11-12), followed by "And the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before Hashem exceedingly" (Ibid. 13).

Rabbi Abba said 'You noted that it is written, "Abram went," rather than 'Abram left,'. This is well; but at the end of the verse, it is written, "when he departed out of Charan..."' Rabbi Elazar responded that it is written "out of Charan", but the main departure was that from the land of his birthplace, which had already occurred. This is not the same as the departure from Charan that is mentioned together with "Get you out." So we may say here "when he left Charan."

"And Avram took Sarai his wife" (Gen. 12:5). Here, "took" means that Abraham persuaded her to come with soft words, because a man cannot take his wife to another country without her agreement. Similarly, it is written, "Take Aaron" (Num. 20:25) and "Take the Levites" (Num. 3:45). This is why "And Abram took"; he persuaded her with words, telling her how evil were the ways of their generation. Therefore it is written, "And Abram took Sarai his wife."

"And Lot his brother's son," What did Abraham see that made him take Lot with him? He foresaw through the Holy Spirit that David shall issue from him in the future. The words, "and the souls that they had made in Charan," refer to the male and female converts whose souls they amended. Abraham converted the men, while Sarah converted the women. Therefore, the verse is written as if they had "made" them.

Rabbi Abba said, If so, then there were a lot of people (i.e. alot of converts). Can we say that they all left with him? Rabbi Elazar responded, Indeed so! And because of this, all the people who went with him are called [79b] "the people of the Elohim of Abraham" (Tehilim 47:10). And he traveled through the country with no fear, as it is written, "And Abram passed through the land."

"the people of the Elohim of Abraham" (Tehilim 47:10). And he traveled through the country with no fear, as it is written, "And Abram passed through the land."

Rabbi Abba said to him, If it had been written, 'and souls that they had made in Charan,' then he would have agreed. But, he said, it is written, "and the (Heb. אֶת) souls," in which the particle אֶת serves as an addition to the merits of those souls that went along with him. Because he who leads his friend to meritorious conduct benefits always from that conduct and the benefit never leaves him. How do we know this? Because it is written, "And the souls that they had made in Charan." The merit of these souls accompanied Abraham.

Rabbi Shimon asked, when the Holy One, blessed be He, first revealed himself to Abraham, why did He start with 'Get you out'? Until that time, the Holy One, blessed be He, had not spoken with Abraham. Therefore, why did He start with "Go for yourself"? Because the Hebrew words for "Go for yourself," which are לֶךְ לְךָ, have a numerical value of 100. By using these words, the Holy One, blessed by He, gave Abraham a hint that he would have a son in his hundredth year.

But come and behold, All that the Holy One, blessed be He, performs on earth is done according to Wisdom. Because Abraham was not yet attached to the Holy One, blessed be He, properly, He said to him "Go for yourself." This is a hint for that place and position that Abraham was expected to reach and that would bring him closer to the Holy One, blessed be He. This is why it is written, "Go for yourself." And that is the first grade that Abraham was to attain in coming to the Holy One, blessed be He.

But Abraham could not reach that grade and hold on to it until he entered the land of Yisrael, because that is where this level is achieved. It was similar with David, about whom it is written, "David inquired of Hashem, saying, Shall I go up to any of the cities of Yehuda? And Hashem said to him, 'Go up.' And David said, Where shall I go up? And Hashem said, 'to Hevron'" (II Shmuel 2:1). Since Saul had died, and David was fit to receive the kingship, why then did he not receive the kingship over Yisrael immediately?

Everything, however, occurs by the secret of Wisdom. David was not ready to receive the kingship until he had connected himself to the Patriarchs buried in Hebron, through whom he was to receive the kingship. Therefore, he remained in Hevron for seven years, until he was fit to receive the kingship properly. Thus, everything occurred by the secret of Wisdom so that his kingship would be properly established! The same applies to Abraham; he did not achieve complete fulfillment with the Holy One, blessed be He, until he entered the land of Yisrael.

See, it is written, "And Abram passed through the land." Why "passed through (Heb. וַיַּעֲבֹר)" instead of 'went'! This is an allusion to the Holy Name by which the world is sealed that contains 72 engraved letters, all of which are within that name. (וַיַּעֲבֹר (Vav-Yud-Ayin-Bet-Resh) consists of two parts Resh-Yud-Vav (numerically=216) and Ayin-Bet (=72) that refer to the 216 letters and 72 names). Thus, it is written in one place, "And...passed through," while it is written in another, "And Hashem passed by (Heb. וַיַּעֲבֹר) before him and proclaimed..." (Shemot 34:6) [just as there it is speaking of the Holy Name of Ayin-Bet (72), so too vaya'avor here is a reference to the Holy Name of Ayin-Bet (72)].

In the book of Rabbi Yesa Saba (the elder), it states, It is written, "And Abram passed through the land," while elsewhere it is written, "I will make all My goodness pass before you" (Shemot 33:19). It gives a hint about the holiness of the land, which emanates from a supernal place in all its proper goodness. "To the place of Shchem to the plain of Moreh" - from one side to the other side, as was befitting. "And the Canaanite were then in the land,". It has been explained that at that time the curse of the evil serpent dominated the land, and the world was cursed. As it is written, "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren" (Gen. 9:25), and also "you are cursed above all cattle" (Gen. 3:14). When Abraham came close to the Holy One, blessed be He, it is written, "And Hashem appeared to Abram" (Gen. 12:7), now was revealed to him that which he did not know, because of the profound force that governed the land. Thus appeared to him what [80a] had been concealed from him, and he was able to understand it.

what had been concealed from him, and he was able to understand it....

Then "he built an altar to Hashem, who had appeared to him." Why were the words "who had appeared to him" added? Because here the grade, which was in dominion over the land, appeared to him. He entered it, rose through it, and was established in it.

"And he moved from there to the mountain" (Gen. 12:8), where he recognized the mountain of Hashem and all the grades planted on that place. "And pitched his tent" (Heb. אָהֳלה) which alludes to the Nukva, as 'אָהֳלה' is not spelled with a Vav but with a Hei. Thus he spread a curtain and received the kingdom of heaven, along with all the grades that come from it. He then knew that the Holy One, blessed be He, rules over all, and he built an altar. There were actually two altars, because here the Holy One, blessed be He, appeared to him as the ruler over all. He now acquired knowledge of the supernal wisdom, which he had not previously attained. He therefore built two altars one for the grade that appeared and one to the grade still hidden.

Come and behold, It is written first, "and there he built an altar to Hashem, who had appeared to him," and later just "and there he built an altar to Hashem," without adding "who appeared to him." And all this is according to the secret of Wisdom. Abraham was then crowned from grade to grade, until he ascended to his own grade. This is the meaning of "And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the Negev." This is the south, Abraham's portion. "Going on still," grade after grade, until he reached the south, where he was properly attached. He then ascended to the south's grade, that is, he deserved to be a Chariot of Chesed of Zeir Anpin called 'south.' After Abraham was crowned with his grades in the Holy Land and entered the holy grade, that is, the grade of Chesed, and the aspect of the hidden world, then it is written, "And there was famine in the land" (Gen. 12:10), they were not sure how to approach the Holy One, blessed be He, as in the secret of the verse "not a famine for bread, nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the words of Hashem" (Amos 8:11).

"And there was famine in the land" because until then the power ruling over the land did not supply the land with strength and nourishment. This occurred because (the Nukvah) was not completely built and not established. When Abraham saw that the power appointed over the land did not supply it with might and holy strength as it merited, then "Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there" (Gen. 12:10). How did Abraham know (that the land still needed correction)? From the verse, "To your seed I will give this land." Abraham then knew that the only way to amend the land was through the holy grades of his descendants. Abraham then understood the secret of Wisdom - the land will not be properly mended in holiness, except as we have said. He therefore went down to Egypt, from there to correct that which was lacking.

Sitrei Torah

The Holy One, blessed be He, alluded to the supernal Wisdom through Abraham and Isaac; Abraham is the Neshamah of Neshamah, (referred to as 'the light of Chayah'). Sarah is the Neshamah, and Lot is the serpent, the spouse of Samael. The holy Ruach is Isaac; the Holy Nefesh is Rivkah. The Evil Inclination is the bestial Nefesh. And concerning this King Solomon said in his wisdom, "Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upwards, and the spirit of the beast goes downwards" (Kohelet 3:21). The bestial Nefesh is the Nefesh that comes from the side of the Evil Inclination.

And this is what they meant by saying that the Neshamah of Neshamah rests upon a person who feels awe and has Wisdom. The Neshamah reaches a person in Binah, as it is written, "And to man He said, Behold the fear of Hashem, that is wisdom (Heb. חָכְמָה)" (Iyov 28:28). The Neshamah comes to a person through repentance, which is called 'Binah' and 'Sarah'. The Ruach is called 'the voice', and is also called 'Da'at.' And this is drawn down to a person who raises his voice in Torah. (The Ruach is) also called the written Torah, and all the positive deeds come from the mental Nefesh.

In a similar way, the Holy One, blessed be He, created the body from the four elements namely, Fire, Air, Earth and Water, which correspond to the Neshamah of Neshamah, the Neshamah, the Ruach, and the Nefesh. Water which is the aspect of the male refers to the sweet waters of holiness. The contrasting bitter waters represent the Evil Inclination. The holy fire which is the aspect of the female. There is the foreign fire, to which the words "that he come not at all times to the holy place" (Vayikra 16:2) apply. And this is the female of the Evil Inclination. The holy Ruach is the aspect of the Male, similar to the Ruach that comes from the Sefirah of Da'at. The unholy Ruach, which is the Evil Inclination. As it is written, "for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a viper" (Isaiah 14:29). There is holy Earth, similar to the Nefesh that comes from the left side of Da'at. And in contrast, there is an Unholy Earth.

Therefore, the Neshamah, which is repentance, (Binah) attacks and overcomes the serpent by the power of enslavement that belongs to repentance. And it drags the serpent to the synagogue and the learning academies. And the four elements expand to 22 letters, Aleph-Chet-Hei-Ayin (throat); Bet-Vav-Mem-Pe (lips); Gimel-Yud-Caf-Kof (palate); Dalet-Tet-Lamed-Nun-Tav (tounge); Zayin-Samech-Shin-Resh-Tzadik from the teeth. [These five vowels of articulation of the mouth are equivalent to Keter, Chochmah, Binah, Tiferet, and Malchut, which are the four elements of Water, Fire, Air and Earth. This is why he says that the four elements, which are the secret of the five vowels of articulation of the mouth, expand to 22 letters]. (End of the Gilayon)

The verse, "And Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem," alludes to the synagogue, the place where the Shechinah resides. As it is written, "Moreover I have given to you one portion (Heb. שְׁ'כֶ'ם')" (Gen. 48:22), (Shechem) is the Shechinah, which is fit for (Yosef), as he is called 'righteous.' Because righteousness (i.e. the Shechinah) does not reside anywhere else but in the righteous (Yosef). This is the meaning of "to the place of Shechem," (i.e. the shul). "To the plain of Moreh" alludes to Torah-learning academies, where they teach and instruct Torah to the public.

"And the Canaanite was then in the land" means that the Evil Inclination was sweetened and amended in spite of itself, in the body because it has many names. "Was then in the land" is certainly against its will. The serpent is not yet completely removed from the body. Therefore, because the body is still attached (to the serpent), the "Canaanite was then in the land." The soul is properly established in this world, so that we can merit receiving it after it leaves the world. If a soul has merit, it returns to the place from whence it came. As it is written, "To the place of the altar, which he had made there in the beginning" (Gen. 13:4), and "to the place where his tent (Heb. אָהֳלה) had been at the beginning..." (Ibid. 3). אָהֳלה is spelled with an additional Hei (representing the Shechinah).

Now, (in this world) it is (in the middle) between rising upward and descending downward, between Bethel, (Up) and Ay (Down). If it has merit, it will rise up "to the place of the altar, which he had made..." Who is 'he' who 'had made,' and what is 'the altar'? "He had made there" applies to the Holy One, blessed be He, who had made that altar and established it upon twelve stones, "according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of Hashem came, saying, Yisrael shall be your name" (I Kings 18:31), for sure.

And this altar, "he had made there at first," when the upper world, which is concealed from all other worlds, was created. And Michael the High Priest stands high and sacrifices upon it the offerings of the souls (of the righteous). And since [80b] the soul ascends there and rises up, it is written, "and there Abram called in the name of Hashem" (Gen. 13:4). The soul calls there and is attached to the bundle of life.

All this happens if (the soul) merited to amend the body in this world and overcome the power of that cursed being, (the Evil Inclination, which is Lot) until it is separated from it. As it is written, "And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle (the soul) and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle, (the Evil Inclination)" (Gen. 13:7). Because in this world, on each and every day, those camps and rulers from the side of the soul are in strife with the camps and rulers from the side of the body, and they fight with each other while all the parts of the body are trapped in agony between them, between the soul and the serpent, between those forces that fight each other every day. Thus it is written, "And Abram said to Lot" (Gen. 13:8) that the soul answered the Evil Inclination, "Let there be no strife, I pray you, between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen." Between my camps and your camps "for we are brethren"; because the Good Inclination and the Evil Inclination are close to each other, the one to man's right and the other to his left.

"Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself, pray you, from me..." (Ibid. 9). There are a lot of wicked men in the world; go and chase after them and leave me alone. "If you will go to the left, then I will go to the right..."; it reproves and annoys it with many fights and arguments every day, until, as it is written, "and they separated themselves the one from the other" (Ibid. 11).

Since they have separated themselves from each other, it is written, "Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan" (Gen. 13:12), the soul has settled among the righteous in a good and peaceful settlement. "And Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain", the cursed adversary went to prosecute and join the wicked in their dwellings. As it is written, "and pitched his tent toward Sodom," followed by, "And the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinners before Hashem exceedingly" (Gen. 13:13). There he dwelt and set his residence among them; he joined them, so that he could deceive them and destroy them by evil deeds.


As the adversary leaves the soul and the body is purified from that defilement, the Holy One, blessed be He, immediately takes up residence beside him, and he inherits the upper and lower portion and is delighted among the righteous. While that cursed one, referring to Lot, is among the wicked and they sin together with him until finally they cannot be redeemed from their sins. It is then written, "And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive..." (Gen. 14:14). "And when Abram heard" refers to the soul which remained purified in the body. "That his brother was taken captive" refers to the Evil Inclination, which was taken captive among the wicked by their innumerable sins. "And he armed his trained servants, born in his own house," means the righteous men who learn Torah and are the limbs of the body, armed to join him. They number three hundred and eighteen - 248 limbs of the body and seventy that belong to the secret of the soul. The soul comes from (the Seven Sefirot of Zeir Anpin). He was armed with all these to confront those sinners to make them repent and atone for their sins.

Then, it is written, "and pursued them to Dan (also, judge)." This means he pursued them and told them about the judgment of the World of Truth and the punishment of Gehenom. And he did not allow his eyes to sleep, neither during the day nor at night, until he reproved the sinners and brought them to atone and ask for forgiveness from the Holy One, blessed be He. It is written, "And he brought back all the goods..." (Gen. 13:16), because he brought them to atone completely for their sins!

The words "And also brought again his brother Lot" mean that he even attacked that Evil Inclination until he overcame it by force against its will and weakened it, as should be. He brought them all to wholeheartedly atone for their sins, as should properly be. He reproved and reprimanded them day and night for every single sin they performed, until they repented completely.

Let us return to the first subject of this passage, where it is written, "The watchmen that go about the city found me..." (Shir Hashirim 5:7).

[Here my text is missing a few paragraphs]

[81a]...have guards stationed upon them. As it is written, "I have set watchmen upon your walls, Jerusalem..." (Yeshayah 62:6). And Michael, the High Priest, is the highest of the gate watchmen. When the soul leaves this world, if that person has merit, the soul enters the earthly Garden of Eden, which the Holy One, blessed be He, planted for the spirits of the righteous. Similarly, He created the Garden of Eden on high, where all the righteous people of the world dwell.

So when the soul leaves this world, it (first) enters the cave of Machpelah, where the opening leading to the Garden of Eden is located. Then it meets Adam and the Patriarchs who are there. If the soul is meritorious, they rejoice with it and open all the openings so the soul can enter them. If not, it is pushed outside. If it has merit it enters the Garden and sits there, it clothes itself with a garment in the image of this world and enjoys itself. [The rest of this paragraph is missing to me]

When the soul leaves this world, if that person has merit, the soul enters the earthly Garden of Eden, which the Holy One, blessed be He, planted for the spirits of the righteous. Similarly, He created the Garden of Eden on high, where all the righteous people of the world dwell.

So when the soul leaves this world, it (first) enters the cave of Machpelah, where the opening leading to the Garden of Eden is located. Then it meets Adam and the Patriarchs who are there. If the soul is meritorious, they rejoice with it and open all the openings so the soul can enter them. If not, it is pushed outside. If it has merit it enters the Garden and sits there, it clothes itself with a garment in the image of this world and enjoys itself.

4. Not translated.

The secret of all secrets is passed on to those who are wise in their hearts. There are three levels that are attached to each other, and they are Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshamah. Nefesh is the force from which the body is built. When a man is aroused in this world to mate with his wife, all parts of the body agree on this and are prepared to receive enjoyment from it. Then the Nefesh and the desire of the person indulge willingly in that act. The Nefesh is drawn down and enters the sperm that comes forth....

From the combination of that desire and the Nefesh, another power is drawn from the levels of the angels, who are called Ishim (people). They all enter as the sperm flows, and the body is then built and constructed of them. This is the first and lowest power of the three levels....

And because the Nefesh offers a sacrifice by attaching itself to the foundation of the body, which is offered as a sacrifice to atone for the Neshamah, then part of it is offered to those grades that are considered as Ishim. Because part of the Nefesh, (the Ruach of the Nefesh) is drawn down from them. As it is written, "My offering and my bread for my fire (Heb. אִשַׁי)..." (Num. 28:2), which means to the Ishim. So, because it is an offering of the Nefesh, the Ishim take their part as well. And when one leaves this world, that Nefesh never leaves the grave. And because of the power, the dead know and talk with each other.

Ruach gives existence to the Nefesh in this world. It is drawn by the arousal of the Nukvah toward the male, when they are in a state of united passion. The female is aroused toward the male because of her passion to receive from him the Ruach, just like a woman in this world who is inseminated by the power of her passion to (receive from) the man. And this is the secret of the words, "and the spirit (Ruach) shall return to the Elohim who gave it" (Kohelet 12:7). And this Ruach leaves this world and is separated from the Nefesh, (which remains hovering at the grave), and it enters the Garden of Eden of this world. There, it clothes itself with the air of the Garden of Eden, just as the supernal angels do when they come down to this world. Then, they clothe and cover themselves with the air of this world, because they were created from that spirit (Ruach), as it is written, "Who makes the winds (also: spirits) his angels" (Tehilim 104:4).

And in the midst of the Garden, there stands a pillar embroidered with many colors. And when that Ruach wishes to rise up, it disrobes from that clothing, enters to the pillar, and ascends until it reaches the place from where it came. As it is written, "and the spirit (Ruach) shall return".

And then, Michael, the High Priest, takes (the Ruach) and offers it as a sacrifice of sweet savor to the Holy One, blessed be He. And it remains there and enjoys the delicacies of the bundle of Life, "no eye had ever seen an Elohim, beside You..." (Isaiah 64:3). Afterwards, [81b] it goes down from there and returns to the earthly Garden of Eden. There, it enjoys all the delicacies, clothes itself again with that same clothing, and dwells there crowned with a crown twice as big as the one that it had possessed before.

The Neshamah is a supernal power high above the other two. It originates from the power of the male, which is the Tree of Life and ascends immediately. And these three levels are attached to one another. When they leave (the body), they all rise up and return to the places from which they came. When the Ruach leaves this world and enters the cave of Adam and the Patriarchs, they give it a letter as a sign. Then it goes to the Garden of Eden. When it arrives there, it meets the Cherubs and the flame of the revolving sword. If it is meritorious, then they see the letter, which is the sign, and open the gate for it to enter. If they do not see the letter, they reject it and do not allow it to enter.

And it dwells there some time, sitting and clothing itself in the image of this world. And on the first day of the month and on Shabbat, when it wants to rise, the righteous men who are in the Garden of Eden give it a letter as a sign. And it ascends through that same pillar, where it meets the watchmen of the walls of Jerusalem. If it is meritorious, they open the gate and it enters. If not, they take the letter away and throw it out. As it is written, "The watchmen that go about the city found me...the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me" (Shir Hashirim 5:7). (The veil) is the letter given as a sign, which has been taken away from it, by the watchmen of the walls of Jerusalem. End of Sitrei Torah.

"And Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there" (Gen. 12:10). Why did he go down to Egypt? Because it looked like the garden of Hashem (Gan Eden). As it is written, "like the garden of Hashem, like the land of Egypt..." (Gen. 13:10). Because a river flows down on the right, as it is written, "The name of the first is Pishon; that is it which encompasses the whole land of Chavilah, where there is gold" (Gen. 2:11). So Abraham achieved knowledge and complete faith. Abraham then wanted to become familiar with all the grades that are attached below. And Egypt came from the right; from the aspect of the River of Pishon, which is the secret of Chochmah of the Right Column. Come and behold, famine only comes to the land when Mercy leaves Judgment. "And it came to pass, when he came (lit. 'caused to come') near to enter to Egypt..." (Gen. 12:11). Rabbi Elazar said that the verse says, "when he caused to come near," whereas it should have stated, 'When he came near.' Why does it say, "when he caused to come near?" This is similar to the verse, "And Pharaoh caused to come close..." (Shemot 14:10), that he brought Yisrael to come near to repentance. The same applies here, so "caused to come near" means he brought himself to come near to the Holy One, blessed be He, as should properly be. "To enter to Egypt,", to observe those grades, and keep his distance from them, as well as to keep his distance from the worshipers of Egypt.

Rabbi Yehuda said, Come and behold, Since he went down to Egypt without consent, his offspring were enslaved in Egypt for four hundred years. As it is written, "and Abram went down to Egypt. It does not say (that Hashem told him) 'Go down to Egypt!' Therefore, he was in misery all that night because of Sarah.

And he said to Sarah his wife, 'Behold now, I know that you are a fair woman to look upon'" (Gen. 12:11). Could it be that until then Abraham did not know that she was a "fair woman to look upon"? This has already been explained that until then he did not look upon the image of Sarah, because of their excessive modesty with each other. But when he "came near to enter to Egypt," she revealed herself, and he saw her.

Another explanation for why he knew is that most people are affected by the hardship of the journey, but Sarah remained beautiful and her appearance did not change. Another explanation of the words, "Behold, now I know..." is that Abraham saw the Shechinah accompanying Sarah. For this reason, Abraham felt confident and said, "She is my sister." The phrase, "my sister," has two meanings. The first is literal. The second is figurative, as in the verse, "Say to wisdom; You are my sister." (Mishlei 7:4). It also is written, "Say, I pray you, you are my sister" (Gen. 12:13). ('You' alludes here to the Shechinah). And it is also written, "speak you to us" (Devarim 5:24). In addressing the Shechinah, he said, "That it may be well with me for your sake," (for the sake of the Shechinah) and also "my soul shall live because of you," because, as a result of this, a person is elevated up to the path of life. "Say, I pray you, you are my sister..." Rabbi Yesa said, Abraham knew that all the Egyptians are lecherous. Since he knew this, [82a] how come he was not afraid for his wife and did not return back from this journey and refrain from entering there? Because he saw that she was accompanied by the Shechinah; therefore he had confidence in her and had no fear!

[THE REST OF THIS PARSHAH HAS NOT YET BEEN TRANSLATED]

Vayera / וַיֵּרָאEdit

Corresponding to Volume 1 Pages 97a through 120a of the Zohar:

[97a] Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion, "The flowers appeared on the earth, the time of the singing of the birds has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land" (Shir Hashirim 2:12). "The flowers appeared on the earth," - when the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world, He endowed the earth with appropriate powers, so that everything was in the earth but it did not produce any fruit until Adam was created. As soon as Adam was created, everything in the earth became visible, that is, the earth began to reveal the powers and products that were implanted within it. And then it was said, "The flowers appear on the earth."

Similarly, the heavens did not give any powers to the earth until humankind appeared, as it is written, "And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet grown, for Hashem Elohim had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground" (Gen. 2:5). All the offspring and products were concealed in the earth. They did not appear, and the heavens were prevented from pouring rain on the earth because humankind did not yet exist. Because it had not yet been created, the revelation of all things was delayed. As soon as humankind appeared, however, "The flowers appeared on the earth," and all the hidden and concealed powers were now revealed.

"...the time of the singing of the birds has come" - a recital was composed of songs and praises to the Holy One, blessed be He. This was not done before humankind was created, "...and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land." This is the word of the Holy One, blessed be He, which did not [97b] exist in the world before humankind was created. But as soon as humankind appeared, everything appeared!

After (Adam) sinned, everything disappeared from the world, and the earth was cursed, as it is written, "cursed is the earth for your sake" (Gen. 3:17), "When you till the ground, it shall not henceforth give its strength to you..." (Gen. 4:12) and "thorns also and thistles it shall bring forth to you" (Gen. 3:18).

When Noah appeared in the world, he prepared spades and hoes. Afterwards, however, "he drank of the wine, and was drunk; and he was uncovered within his tent" (Gen. 9:21). And later, the people of the world sinned before the Holy One, blessed be He. And the powers of the earth disappeared again. And so it remained until Abraham appeared.

As soon as Abraham appeared, "the flowers appeared on the earth." The powers of the earth were amended and revealed. "The time of the singing of the birds (also: 'pruning') has come," the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, told him to circumcise himself. Thus, the time was ripe for the covenant to appear in Abraham, - when he was circumcised. Only then was the verse fulfilled through him, and the word of the Holy One, blessed be He, was revealed openly to him. As it is written, "And Hashem appeared to him," after he was circumcised

Rabbi Elazar opened; this verse refers to events after the circumcision of Abraham. Before the circumcision, the Holy One, blessed be He, spoke to him only through the lower grade (i.e. a vision). The upper grades were not attached to this grade. As soon as Abraham was circumcised, "the flowers appeared on the earth." These are the lower grades, brought forth and established by the lower grade so that they may be united with all the upper grades. "The time of the singing of the birds (also: 'pruning') has come...", "...and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land." This is the voice that comes from [98a] the innermost aspect of all. So that voice (Zeir Anpin) is heard in our land. And this is the voice that cuts the word into an utterance, thereby achieving its perfection.

Come and behold, as long as Abraham was not circumcised, only that grade dwelt upon him, as we explained. But after he was circumcised, it is written, "And Hashem appeared to him!" But it is not mentioned to whom, because it is not written, 'And Hashem appeared to Abram'! (If it were written 'to Abram,') then what greater sort of praise would there be than that which existed before he was circumcised? Because even then it was written, "And Hashem appeared to Abram" (Gen. 12:7). The words, "And Hashem appeared to him" contain a secret. (He appeared to) that grade that spoke to him. This had not happened before he was circumcised. And now the voice was revealed and was associated with speech when He spoke with him. The verse, "and he sat in the tent door" (Gen. 18:1) says "and he," but does not identify "him." The verse reveals the wisdom that all the grades rested upon that lower grade after Abraham was circumcised.

Come and behold, "And Hashem appeared to him." This is the secret of the voice that is heard and attached to the utterance (speech), and revealed through it. In the verse, "and he sat in the tent door," - alludes to the upper world, that stands over him to shine upon him. "In the heat of the day," - the right side shone. This is the grade to which Abraham cleaved. Another explanation of "in the heat of the day" - the time when one grade approached another with great passion, as Zeir Anpin approached the Nukva. Then they were described by the words, "in the heat of the day."

In explaining the words, "appeared to him," Rabbi Abba said that before Abraham was circumcised, he was blocked (from receiving the Supernal Lights). As soon as he was circumcised, everything appeared. And the Shechinah rested upon him in full perfection, as should properly be. Come and behold, "And he sat in the tent door." "He" refers to the upper world (Binah) that rests upon the lower world, (the Nukvah). When? "in the heat of the day" when the passion of a certain righteous person is aroused to rest in the lower world.

Immediately - "And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him..." (Gen. 18: 2) Who are these three men? They are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (i.e. Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet of Zeir Anpin). (He saw them) standing over that grade (Nukvha) and from them [98b] the Nukvah draws sustenance and nourishment. And then, "when he saw them, he ran to meet them," because the passionate desire of the lower grade is to cleave to (Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet). And Her joy is to be drawn toward them. "and bowed himself toward the ground," to become and be formed into a throne for them.

Come and behold, The Holy One, blessed be He, made King David one of the legs of the supernal throne, like the patriarchs. Even though She is a throne for (the Patriarchs, how can she compete with the fourth leg of the throne?) This is so only when She is united with them for the purpose of being a leg of the supernal throne. King David received the kingdom of Yisrael in Hebron for seven years for this reason to be united with (Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet). This has already been explained.

Tosefta


Of the verse, "And Hashem appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre" (Gen. 18:1), why by the terebinths of Mamre and not in any other place? Because Mamre gave him good advice about being circumcised. When the Holy One, blessed be He, told Abraham to circumcise himself, Abraham consulted his friends. Aner told him, You are more than ninety years old, and you shall pain yourself.



Mamre said to him, Do not forget the day when the Chaldeans threw you into the furnace of fire and famine took over the world, as it is written, "And there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down into Egypt" (Gen. 12: 10). And you smote all those kings that your men pursued. And the Holy One, blessed be He, saved you from them all, so that nobody could do you any harm. So rise and fulfill the precept of your Master. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to (Mamre), You advised him to perform the circumcision. By your life! I shall reveal Myself to him only in your chamber. This is why it is written, "by the terebinths of Mamre." (Until here the Tosefta)

Midrash Ha'Ne'elam


The sages began their interpretation of this passage "Your oils are fragrant. For your flowing oil you are renowned" (Shir Hashirim 1:3). Our sages have taught that when the soul of a human being rises from earth to heaven, it stands in the Divine Illumination. The Holy One, blessed be He, visits it. Come and listen, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai said, When the soul of a righteous person stands in the place where the Shechinah of His blessed Glory rests and is worthy of sitting by Her, the Holy One, blessed be He, calls upon the patriarchs. And He says to them, Go and visit so-and-so, the righteous person who has come, and welcome him in peace in My Name. And they claim it is not proper for a father to go and visit his child, but rather the child should seek after his father to see him.


The Holy One, blessed be He, then calls upon Jacob and says to him, You, who suffered the sorrow of (raising) children, go and welcome so-and-so, the righteous person who has come here, and I shall go along with you, as it is written, "those who seek your face Jacob, Selah" (Tehilim 24:6). It does not say "seek" in the singular, but in the plural. Rabbi Chiya said, This we understand from the first part of the verse. As it is written, "This is the generation of them that seek him," which teaches us that the intention of the verse alludes to the souls of the righteous, the seekers, namely, the leaders of the generation.

Rabbi Ya'akov said in the name of Rabbi Chiya, Jacob, the Patriarch, is the Throne of Glory. And the teachings of Elijah also state, Jacob the Patriarch is a Throne by himself, as it is written, "Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob" (Vayikra 26:42). The Holy One, blessed be He, established a covenant with Jacob alone, more than (the one He established) with all his fathers. He made him a Throne of Glory distinguishing him from his predecessors. And the reason is that his forefathers, who are Abraham and Isaac, are not able to shine without him. Therefore, he in himself includes their Lights as well as his own, and thus becomes a Throne to himself.

Rabbi Eliezer was sitting and studying Torah when Rabbi Akiva arrived. He said to him, Master, what are you studying? He replies, The passage where it is written, "and to make them inherit the Throne of Glory" (I Shmuel 2:8) what does "and to make them inherit the Throne of Glory" mean? This is Jacob, the Patriarch for whom he made a Throne of Glory by himself that would receive Torah for the souls of the righteous. And the Holy One, blessed be He, goes with (Jacob) on the first day of every month. And when the soul sees the glory of the mirror, which is the Shechinah of the Master, (the soul then) praises Him and bows down in front of the Holy One, blessed be He. This is "Bless Hashem, my soul..." (Tehilim 104:1).

Rabbi Akiva said, The Holy One, blessed be He, stands over the Soul. And the soul begins by saying, "Hashem my Elohim, You are very great...", continuing with all the verses to the end, as the passage reads, "Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth..." (Ibid. 35). Rabbi Akiva continued, As well as this, it praises the Holy One, blessed be He, thanks Him for the body that is left in this world, and says, "Bless Hashem, my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name" (Tehilim 103:1). The words, "all that is within me," allude to the body. At first, the soul praises and thanks the Holy One, blessed be He, for its own achievements. Then it says, "Bless Hashem, my soul! Hashem my Elohim, You are very great." And then it praises and thanks Him for the body. And then it says, "Bless Hashem, my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name."

And the Holy One, blessed by He, goes (with Jacob). How do we know this? From the passage where it is written, "And Hashem appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre." This is Jacob, (who is referred to as Mamre). Why is the name Mamre? Because Jacob inherited two hundred worlds in Eden, and he is the Throne. And Rabbi Yitzchak explains, The numerical value of Mamre is 281. So there are the two hundred of Eden, as it is written, "and those that guard the fruit thereof two hundred" (Shir Hashirim 8:12), and 81 is the numerical value of Kise ('throne'). For this reason, "And Hashem appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre." And for this reason, (Jacob) is called Mamre. [He includes the aspect of Eden and the aspect of the Throne together, which are the secret of Mamre. Hence "and Hashem appeared to him."]

Rabbi Yehuda asks, What is the meaning of, "by the terebinths" (Heb. אֵלוֹנֵי)? It meant to say 'his might,' as it is written, "by the hands of the mighty one of Jacob" (Gen. 49:24). The verse, "and he sat in the tent door" is as it is written, "Hashem, who (Heb. מִי) shall abide in Your tabernacle (or: 'tent') (Tehilim 15:1). The verse, "in the heat of the day" is as written, "But to you that fear My name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings" (Malachi 3:20).

Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai said, At that time, the Holy One, blessed be He (shares His abundance with the soul). And when the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, heard the Holy One, blessed be He move towards (the soul) they ask Jacob to go with them and welcome the soul in peace. And (Abraham and Yitzchak) stand over the soul. As it is written, "And he lifted up his eyes and looked" (the soul) "and lo, three men stood over him." The "three men" are the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who stood by him, observing the soul and the good deeds it has performed. "...and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground," because he saw the Shechinah of His Blessed Glory with them. Hence, it is written, "...therefore do the young maidens love you" (Shir Hashirim 1:3). (These are the Patriarchs).

Another explanation of, "And Hashem appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre." The Sages began with this verse that speaks of the time of one's demise. We learned that Rabbi Yehuda said that at the time of a person's death, which is the day of the Great Judgment when the soul is separated from the body, no one leaves the world before he sees the Shechinah, as it is written, "...for no man shall see me and live" (Ex. 33: 20). And three ministering angels accompany the Shechinah to welcome the soul of the righteous, as it is written, "And Hashem appeared to him...in the heat of the day." This is the Day of Judgment that burns like a furnace in order to separate the soul from the body.

The verse, "and he lifted up his eyes, and looked, and lo, three men stood by him," refers to those who criticize his behavior and examine his deeds as he confesses them with his mouth. And because the soul sees all this, it leaves the body and reaches the gullet (pharynx), where it remains until it confesses and retells all that the body did together with it in this world. Then the soul of the righteous is happy with what it has done, and is happy with its deposit. We have learned that Rabbi Yitzchak said, The soul of the righteous feels great desire for the moment when it shall leave this world, which is worthless, so that it may enjoy itself in the World to Come!

The sages discussed the time when the great Rabbi Eliezer became ill. The day was Shabbat Eve, and Rabbi Eliezer made his son, Horkenoos, sit to his right. He then revealed great and deep secrets to him. But his mind was not ready to hear him, because he thought that his father's mind was not sufficiently clear. Only after he saw that his father's mind was completely clear did he receive 189 sublime secrets from him.

When he reached the marble stones that are mixed with the supernal Waters, Rabbi Eliezer wept and stopped talking. He said, Get up and go over there, my son! He asks him why. He replies, I see that I am soon to pass from the world. Go along and tell your mother that my Tefilin shall disappear and reach a higher place. And after I have departed from this world, I shall come to see them (my family) but they should not cry. Because those above are near, not those below, though the human mind cannot grasp this.

As they were still sitting, the wise men of the generation came by to visit him. However, he cursed them for not coming to serve him. As we have learned, it is greater to serve the Torah than study it. In the meantime, Rabbi Akiva arrived. He asks, Akiva, Akiva, why have you not come to attend to me? He responded, Rabbi, I had no spare time. He was angry and said, Indeed, I wonder whether you shall die naturally. On that account, he placed a curse on him so that his death would be the worst of them all; they also would not die naturally. And he said that the death of Rabbi Akiva shall be the cruelest of them all.

Rabbi Akiva wept and said to him, Rabbi, teach Torah to me! Rabbi Eliezer opened his mouth about the works of the divine Chariot, a fire surrounded them both. The wise men said, From this we learn that we are not worthy; nor do we have the privilege. So they sat outside the gate. After everything was over, the fire disappeared.

And he taught of impure white spots (macula) as bright as the snow, 300 halachic rules, and 216 explanations of the verses of Shir Hashirim. Rabbi Akiva's eyes poured with tears like water. Then the fire reappeared again. When he reached the verse "stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples, for I am sick with love" (Shir Hashirim 2:5), Rabbi Akiva could not bear any more. He raised his voice and burst out bellowing (like a bull). And he could not speak out of fear of the Shechinah that was there.

And he taught him all of the deep and sublime secrets that exist in Shir Hashirim, and made him solemnly swear that he would never use any of these verses. If he did, then Holy One, blessed be He, would destroy the world because of him, as it is not His desire that people use it because of its supreme holiness. Afterward, Rabbi Akiva left and burst out crying, his eyes pouring with tears, and said, Woe my teacher, woe my teacher, for the world is to remain an orphan without you. All the other wise men entered and stood by him. They asked him questions about Torah and he answered

Rabbi Eliezer felt confined. He raised both his arms and laid them on his heart. He said, Woe to the world. The upper world has again concealed and hidden all light and illumination from the lower. Woe to my two arms. Woe to the two parts of the Torah, as you shall be forgotten by the world on this day. Rabbi Yitzchak said, During the entire lifetime of Rabbi Eliezer, the Halachah would 'shine from his mouth' as on the day it was given on mount Sinai.

He said, I have learned so much Torah (Talmud), gaining wisdom and serving, that even if all the people of the world were to be writers, there would not be enough to write of it. And my pupils have no lack of my wisdom; only as a kohl-pencil (mascara) in the eye. And I lack very little of the wisdom of my teachers, perhaps only as much as a person can drink from the sea. He said this only to show gratitude to his teachers and to hold them in more favor than himself.

And they were asking him the law of footwear of Yibum (the levirate rite) (if it becomes defiled). As his soul left him, he announced, It is pure. Rabbi Akiva was not there when he died. As the day of Shabbat ended, Rabbi Akiva found him dead. As he ripped his clothes and tore his flesh, the blood started to roll over his beard. He wept and shouted as he stepped outside, and said, Heavens, O heavens, tell the sun and the moon that the light that shone more than they is darkened.

Rabbi Yehuda said, when the soul of a righteous person wishes to leave, it feels happy, because the righteous is confident that he shall receive his reward as he dies. Therefore, it is written, "when he saw them, he ran to meet them,"- with happiness, as he welcomed (the Angels). Where? As we have learned, at "the tent door," where he "bowed himself toward the ground," toward the Shechinah.

Rabbi Yochanan then opened the discussion by quoting, "...until the day breaks, and the shadows flee away, Turn, my beloved, and be you like a roe or a young hart" (Shir Hashirim 2:17). "Until the day break" is a warning for a person who is still in this world; it is like the "blink of the eye." Come and behold, what does it say? "Even if he lived a thousand years twice" (Kohelet 6:6), on the day of his death, it all seems as one day to him.

Rabbi Shimon said, The soul of a person warns him and says, "Until the day break". And it shall seem to you as the blink of the eye while you are still in this world. The words, "and the shadows flee away" are equivalent to the verse that reads, "Because our days upon earth are a shadow" (Iyov 8:9); so I beg of you, "Turn, my beloved, and be you like a roe or a young hart."

There is another explanation for, "Until the day break..." According to Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi, this is a warning for humankind, while still in this world, which is like the blink of the eye. Just as the roe is swift of leg, so you should be as swift as a "roe or a young hart" in performing your Master's wishes, so that you may inherit the World to Come which is mountains of spices, called "the mountain of Hashem," the mountain of Pleasure, the mountain of Delight. (End of Midrash Hane'elam)

Sitrei Torah is Missing Here

Rabbi Abba opened the discussion with the text, "Who shall ascend into the mountain of Hashem? Or who shall stand in His holy place?" (Tehilim 24:3). Come and behold, no man is aware of the reason for his existence in the world. As the days pass by they rise up and stand before the Holy One, blessed be He, as they were all created. How do we know that they were created? Because it is written, "The days were created" (Tehilim 139:16).

And when the days depart from this world, they all approach the Supernal King, as it is written, "And the days drew close for David to die" (I Kings 2:1), "and the days drew close for Jacob to die" (Beresheet 47:29). When a person is in this world, he is not aware of nor does he look for the reason he was created. For him, every day is considered as if it passes by in emptiness. And when the soul leaves this world, it does not recognize the path through which it is elevated, because the path that leads up, to the place where the luminous sublime souls shine, (Gan Eden), is not [99a] shown to all souls. After it departs from him the soul follows the same way that person followed while in this world.

[THE REST OF THIS PARSHAH HAS NOT YET BEEN TRANSLATED]

Chayei Sara / חַיִּי שָׂרָהEdit

Corresponding to Zohar Volume I Pages 121a-134a

"And Sarah's life was a hundred years and twenty years and seven years" (Gen. 23:1). Rabbi Yosi opened the discussion with the verse, "So they took up Jonah, and cast him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging" (Yonah 1:15). We have to examine this text carefully. Why did the sea rage upon Jonah and not the earth? He was leaving the land, so that the Shechinah would not hover above him. If so, why did the sea seize him when he went away, and not the land from which he ran?

The verse was accurate, for the sea resembles the firmament, and the firmament resembles the Throne of Glory. For that reason, the sea grabbed him and received him in its midst. Thus, the sea raged upon him, not the land. He was cast into the sea to return him to the prophecy from which he was fleeing.

"So they took up Jonah, and cast him into the sea." We learned that when they cast him into the sea and immersed him to his knees, the sea calmed. When they lifted him, the sea raged. The deeper they immersed him, the calmer the sea became, until he said, "Take me up, and cast me into the sea" (Yonah 1:12). Immediately, "they took up Jonah, and cast him into the sea."

When he was thrown into the sea, his soul soared and ascended to the King's throne to be judged. When his soul was returned to him, he entered the mouth of that fish, which died and later came back to life.

[121b] Come and behold, When a man goes to sleep each night, his soul leaves him to be judged before the King's court. If it merits life, his soul is returned to this world.

The judgement is twofold, for man is not judged for the evil he is destined to commit. "For Elohim has heard the voice of the lad where he is" (Gen. 21:17) is written (i.e. not written in the future tense). You should not say that man is judged only for the good he has already done, rather he is rewarded for his present good as was said above, and he is also judged for the good he will do in the future. He is saved for their sake, as they said, even though he is now wicked. The Holy One, blessed be He, does good with all people and does everything to benefit all, therefore He does not sentence man for the evil he is about to do. Hence, man is judged before the Holy One, blessed be He.

Come and behold. Once they cast Jonah into the sea, it is written, "And the sea ceased (lit. 'stood') from its raging." (This is) the supernal sea (i.e. the Nukvah). It stood where it was, for when anger calms down, it stands. When judgement is passed upon the world, that court (i.e. the Nukvah) is like a pregnant woman experiencing severe labor pains. When she gives birth, the panic ceases. Similarly, when judgement is passed upon the world, it does not calm or rest until justice is administered to the wicked. Then it rests, wholly standing in its place and perfectly maintained. This is what the verse meant by the words, "But when the wicked perish, there is jubilation" (Mishlei 11:10). This has already been explained.

"But when the wicked perish, there is jubilation." Is it not written, "Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die" (Ezekiel 18:23)? This would mean that there is no pleasure for the Holy One, blessed be He, when judgement is administered to the wicked. Before their measure was filled (He did not have pleasure). But now, after the measure is full, "when the wicked perish, there is jubilation."

Tosefta is missing.

"And Sarah's life was" Of all the women in the world, why is Sarah the only one whose death is mentioned in Torah? Rabbi Chiya answered, This is not so, for it is written, "And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Efrat" (Gen. 35:19), "and Miriam died there" (Num. 20:1), "and Deborah, Rivkah's nurse, died" (Gen. 35:8) [122a] and "the daughter of Shua, Judah's wife died" (Gen. 38:12).

Rabbi Yosi responded, But it is not written of them as it is written of Sarah, of whom it is said, "And Sarah's life was a hundred and twenty seven years old, these were the years of Sarah's life" (Gen. 23:1). No other woman's days and years were specified as they were for Sarah. Furthermore, none of them has a portion of the scriptures devoted to them, as does Sarah. There is an esoteric reason for this. (The Torah tells us the amount of years she lived) but the secret is that the days and years of all men depend on this grade. From this, the life span of man is also drawn.

He opened with the verse, "Moreover, land has an advantage for everyone, he who tills a field is a king" (Kohelet 5:8). "Moreover, land has an advantage" (is the Nukvah) "for everyone." Certainly, "All" (Heb. כֹּל). Because (from Yesod) emanate spirits and souls and goods to the world. Of the verse, "He who tills a field is a king," who is the king? He is the Holy One, blessed be He, who "tills a field" when it is properly cultivated. The King is the supernal King (Zeir Anpin) who is joined to the field when it is tilled. What is the field? This is a field which Hashem has blessed (Nukvah), "Like the smell of a field which Hashem has blessed" (Gen. 27:27). For when it is tilled and cultivated properly, the supernal King unites with it.

Rabbi Elazar asks, How many mysteries are alluded to in the verse, "He who tills a field is a king"! A king is the Shechinah, which only dwells in a man's house when he is married and mates with his wife to beget children and bear fruit. And she (the Shechinah) brings out souls to dwell in her, which is why (the Shechinah is connected) only to a tilled field.

Another explanation, A king is "a woman who fears Hashem," as it is written, "A woman who fears Hashem, she shall be praised" (Mishlei 31:30). A tilled field is a strange woman, (the Sitra Achra) as it is written, "That they may keep you from the strange woman" (Mishlei 7:5). For there is a field, and there is a field. There is a field in which all blessings and holiness dwell, as it is written, "Like the smell of a field which Hashem has blessed". And there is a field in which destruction and defilement, extinction, killings and war reside. This king sometimes tills the second field, as it is written, "For three things the earth [122b] the earth is disquieted...and a handmaid that is heir to her mistress" (Mishlei 30:21) is covered and darkened until it is purified and joins (Zeir Anpin) above.

This is the purpose of offering the goat on the first day of the month, when no blessings dwell upon the second field, as it is separated from the Holy King. When that field is tilled, then it is written, "For he found her in the field (Devarim 22:27), the field is (the Sitra Achra) as has been explained.

Come and behold: Eve came into the world and clung to the serpent. He injected impurities into her, and she brought death to the world and to her husband. Sarah then came and went down (into the place of the Sitra Achra but) she rose again without any kelipot clinging to her, as it is written, "And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had" (Gen. 13:1). When Noah came to the world, it is written that "he drank of the wine, and was drunk, and he was uncovered within his tent" (Gen. 9:21).

Because Abraham and Sarah did not cling to the Sitra Achra, Sarah earned supernal life for herself, her husband, and her son after her. This is the meaning of the verse: "Look at the rock whence you are hewn [Abraham], and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug out [Sarah]" (Isaiah 51:1). Therefore, it is written, "And Sarah's life was...", for she merited all the years. It is not so for the rest of the women,"And Chavah's life was..." and so on. Sarah clung to life. Therefore, her life was her own.

Tosefta

Happy is he who makes less of himself in this world. How great and high he is in the eternal world. The head of the Yeshivah spoke to that effect, saying that whoever is small in this world is great in the Eternal World.

He who is great in this world is small in the Eternal World, as it is written, "And Sarah's life was a hundred years..." A hundred, which is a large number, is followed by the word "year". Seven, (a small number) was greatly increased, for it is followed by the word "years."

Come and behold: The Holy One, blessed be He, only makes greater the person who lessens himself. He diminishes only the person who makes himself great. Happy is he who diminishes himself in this world. How great he is above in the eternal world. End of Tosefta. [The remainder of paragraph does not belong here. It belongs to another portion, where it is explained]

"And Sarah's life was..." All this life is above (in Binah). A hundred years (refers to Keter) above. "Twenty years" (Chochmah and Binah) above. The seven years (are the seven lower Sefirot) above.

Rabbi Shimon said [123a] Come and look at the secret of all this. Why is the number seven followed by the word "years", while all other numbers are followed by the word "year"? The "hundred year" includes everything. For there is included the highest and most secret place of all (Arich Anpin) with the hundred daily benedictions. Also, the "twenty year,", the most concealed of all. For that reason, it is written "year" which is the secret of unison, for a thought and a Jubilee. (Chochmah and Binah) never separate from each other.

But the seven years are separated from each other and from that which is hidden above, (Arich Anpin). Although everything is united and all are equal, (the lower seven) pertain to Judgement and Mercy in many aspects and paths. This is not so (in the first three). For that reason, it is 'year'; (The whole Ten Sefirot) are called life. Therefore it is written, "And Sarah's life was...", for it existed. It was created substantively and existed above.

Rabbi Chiya said that it has been explained (why the death of Sarah was written). Isaac was 37 years old when he was bound, and because he was bound, Sarah died, as is written, "And Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her" (Gen. 23:2). From where did he come? From mount Moriyah, where he was binding Isaac. The 37 years from the time that Isaac was born until the time he was bound were the life of Sarah, for "וַיִּהְיוּ (was)" is 37 years in numerical value, the years from Isaac's birth to his binding. (In order to mention this, Sarah's death is mentioned in the Torah).

Rabbi Yosi began with the verse, "A psalm, O sing (Heb. שִׁירוּ) to Hashem a new song; for He has done marvelous things, His right hand, and His holy arm have gained Him the victory" (Tehilim 98:1). The friends explained that this was said by cows, as it is written, "And the cows took the straight way (Heb. וַיִּשַּׁרְנָה)" (I Samuel 6:12). The word "וַיִּשַּׁרְנָה" also means that they sang (Heb. sharu) a new song. What new song? "A psalm. O sing to Hashem a new song."

We should examine this verse carefully. Everything that the Holy One, blessed be He, created in the world offers praises and songs to Him, either above or below. If you thus say that the cows sang this song, it is assuredly so, for there is a deep secret here. When they carried the Ark, they sang, but once the Ark was taken from them, they again behaved like other cows in the world and did not sing. [123b] ...

"A psalm" unlike other places, where it is written, 'A psalm of David' or 'David's psalm.' Here David is not mentioned at all, just "a psalm." This is because the Holy Spirit is destined to sing it, when the Holy One, blessed be He, raises Yisrael from the dust. Then "O sing to Hashem a new song", for this is a new song that has not been sung since the world was created.

Rabbi Chiya said that it is written, "There is nothing new under the sun" (Kohelet 1:9), but lo, this song is new and under the sun, for it will be under the sun. What is this new song? It is the moon (corresponding to Nukvah). For then the moon will be new under the sun. What is meant by the phrase, "For He has done marvelous things." What are these marvelous things? They are "His right hand, and His holy arm have gained Him the victory." "have gained Him the victory." For whom [124a] did they gain victory? For the grade that sang this song (i.e. the Holy Spirit). (The Nukvah) was supported by right and left, Therefore "His right hand...gained Him victory," the grade called psalm. When will that be? When the dead of the world rise from the dust, then what has not yet been done in the world will be new.

Rabbi Yosi said, When the Holy One, blessed be He, takes revenge on the world for Yisrael, He will sing this new song. For after (the coming of Mashiach) the dead of the world will rise from the dust and the world will be completely renewed. It will be different in that death will not rule the world, as it had since the serpent brought death to all, defiled the world, and darkened the faces of men.

Come and behold, It is written, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman..." (Gen. 3:15). What is enmity (Heb. אֵיבָה)? It is as written, "They pass away with swift (Heb. אֵבֶה) ships" (Iyov 9:26), for among the ships sailing in the great sea, some, called enemy ships, are the ships of the serpent sailing amongst them.

The phrase "between you and the woman" refers to "the woman who fears Hashem" (Mishlei 31:30), (i.e. Malchut). The words "and between your seed" refer to the rest of the heathen nations; "and her seed", namely Yisrael. "He shall bruise your head" is a reference to the Holy One, blessed be He, who will remove the serpent from the world, as it is written, "He will destroy death forever" (Isaiah 25:8) and "also I will cause...the unclean spirit to pass out of the land" (Zecharyah 13:2).

The word "head" means in the future when the dead will live, for then the world will be maintained by the head. "And you shall bruise his heel" means now in this world, before all is perfected. The world is not whole as long as the serpent bites the world and darkens the faces of the people.

Come and behold, The days of man were created and sustained by the supernal grades. Once they do not exist by these grades, as it is written, "The days of our years are seventy" (Tehilim 90:10), there is no other grade by which to be maintained. For this reason, "their pride is but trouble and wretchedness (Zecharyah 13:2.), and then it is as if they never existed.

But the days of the righteous [124b] are eternal. This is as written, "And Sarah's life was..." and "these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived" (Gen. 25:7). If you say it is also written of Ishmael, "And these are the years of the life of Ishmael" (Zecharyah 13:17), (even though he was not righteous) this is only because he repented. Therefore, it is written "these are" of his days as of Abraham.

"And Sarah died in Kiryat Arba" (Gen. 23:2). Rabbi Abba noted that, of all the women in the world, only for Sarah are the number of her days and years and the time of her life in the world mentioned, as well as the place in which she was buried. This shows that there was no other woman in the world like Sarah.

If you say that it is written of Miriam, "And Miriam died there, and was buried there" (Num. 20:1) (This was written) only to show that Yisrael sinned. Yisrael had no water there without Miriam, and (her days and years) were not specified when describing her death, as was done for Sarah.

Rabbi Yehuda opened the discussion saying, "Happy are you, O land, that your king is a man of freedom, and your princes eat in due season" (Kohelet 10:17). This verse was explained by the friends. Nevertheless, we have studied that the children of Yisrael are happy because the Holy One, blessed be He, gave them Torah with which to know the hidden ways and reveal the supreme mysteries. And this is...

"Happy are you, O land" refers to the land of the living, because her king, prepared for her all the blessings he had received from the supernal fathers. This is the secret of the letter Vav, which is always in readiness to pour blessing over her. He is called "a man of freedom", the son of a Jubilee, who liberates slaves and gives them freedom. He is also a son of the supernal world the supernal Abba and Imma who gives generously all life and illumination, the oil of greatness, and honor. Thus it is written, "Yisrael is my son, my firstborn" (Shemot 4:22). Therefore, "Happy are you, O land."

The verse "Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child" (Kohelet 10:16) is explained as follows. This is the nether land, and the nether world draws nourishment from the uncircumcised foreskin alone. All is drawn down only from the king called child (referring to Metatron) as was explained. Woe to the world that must nourish this way.

Come and behold this child [125a] who has nothing of himself, but the blessings he receives (from the Nukvah) at appointed times. Each time these blessings are withheld when the moon, is rendered defective and becomes dark. Woe to the world that depends on him for survival. Moreover, the world suffers many judgments before it draws nourishment from him (from the kelipot) for all is established and maintained through judgments, as has been explained.

The verse, "And Sarah died..." also contains a secret, which is that she did not die by the tortuous serpent, (i.e. the Angel of Death). It had no power over her, as it has over the people of the world. As a result of Adam's sin, all the people in the world die by the serpent except Moses, Aaron, and Miriam (who died by a kiss) as is written, "Upon the mouth of Hashem" (Num. 33:38). In honor of the Shechinah, it is not mentioned of Miriam, "upon the mouth of Hashem," (even though she too died by the kiss).

Yet of Sarah it is written, "And Sarah died in Kiryat Arba" because she died in and by the hands of Kiryat Arba, and not by the serpent. She died by the hands of Kiryat Arba that is Hebron, where David was united with the patriarchs. Therefore she died not by another, but in Kiryat Arba.

Come and behold, When man's days are maintained by the supernal grades, (namely the seven lower Sefirot: Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malchut) man thrives in the world. If he is not sustained by the supernal grades his days come out of and beneath (the Sefirot) until they approach the level where death dwells. Then the Angel of Death receives permission to take out the man's soul. He flies through the world in one flight, takes the soul and defiles the body, which remains defiled. Happy are the righteous who were not defiled by him, for no defilement remained in their bodies.

Come and behold, In the middle of the firmament is a glowing trail. This is the serpent of the firmament (known in astronomy as the Milky Way). All the small stars are attached to it in groups. They are in charge of the secret deeds of the inhabitants of the world.

Similarly, there are bunches of lights (of Kelipot) that come into the world from the supernal primordial serpent that seduced Adam. They are appointed to learn the secret deeds of the world. [125b] Therefore when a man wishes to be purified, he receives help from above, and the help of his Master encircles and protects him. He is then called 'holy'....

If a man wishes to be defiled, several groups (of lights of Kelipot) are waiting for him. They all hover about and around him. They defile him, so he is called unholy. They go before him and proclaim, Unholy, unholy, as it is written, "And shall cry, 'Unclean, unclean'" (Vayikra 17:45). They are all connected to the primordial serpent and are hidden in the deeds of the people of the world.

Rabbi Yitzchak and Rabbi Yosi were walking from Tiberias to Lod. Rabbi Yitzchak said, I wonder about the evil man Bilaam. All he did was from the side of defilement. Here we learn a secret, which is that all kinds of sorcery and witchcraft of the world are connected and derive from the primordial serpent, which is the impure spirit of defilement. Therefore all enchantment (Heb. נְחָשִׁים) is named after the primordial serpent (Heb. nachash). They all derive from that side, and anyone who is drawn to that is defiled.

Moreover, one should be impure to cast a spell. One has to draw upon oneself that side of the unholy spirit. As man is aroused from below, he draws upon himself from above. If he is aroused below on the side of holiness, he draws upon himself the supernal holiness and is sanctified. If he is aroused below on the side of defilement, he draws upon himself the spirit of defilement and becomes unholy. Upon this, they said that whoever wishes to be defiled is defiled.

For that purpose, the wicked Bilaam defiled himself nightly by mating with his donkey in order to draw upon himself the unholy spirit from the supernal serpent, thereby drawing on himself the spirit of unholiness. Then he cast his spells and enchantments.

First he took one of the serpents, tied it in front of him, split [126a] his head, and removed its tongue. Then he took certain herbs and burned them to incense. He took the serpent's head, cut it into four pieces, and made from it another incense offering.

He drew a circle round himself, uttered words, and performed other deeds until he drew to himself the spirits of defilement, who told him what he needed to know. He acted according to their information, which they knew from the side of that serpent in the firmament.

This is how he acquired his knowledge, enchantments, and spells. For that reason, it is written, "He went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments" (Num. 24:1), which alludes to real snakes. As has already been explained, the essence and origin of defilement begins with the serpent.

Rabbi Yosi asks why all kinds of witchcraft and sorcery abide only in women. He said that when the serpent came upon Eve, he injected impurities only into her and not into her husband. He said, Assuredly this is so. Rabbi Yosi kissed Rabbi Yitzchak and said, Many times have I asked upon this matter, but never deserved to understand it until now.

He said to him, Where did Bilaam learn everything that he did and all that he knew? He said to him, He learned it from his father. But in "the mountains of the east" (Num. 23:7), in the land of the east, he learned the enchantments and kinds of magic, for in these mountains abide the angels Aza and Azael, whom the Holy One, blessed be He, caused to fall from heaven (because they denounced the creation of man). They are tied in chains of iron there and reveal spells to men. This is where Bilaam gained knowledge, as it is written, "Balak the king of Moab has led me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east" (Ibid.) (where Aza and Azael are).

He said to him, It is written, "He went not, as at other time, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness" (Num. 24:1). Rabbi Yitzchak said that the lower side, which comes from the unholy spirit above, is the unholy spirit that ruled over the wilderness at the time when the children of Yisrael defiled themselves by committing the sin of the golden calf. He cast his spells to all directions in order to uproot the children of Yisrael, [126b] but could not do so.

Rabbi Yosi said, When you earlier explained why witchcraft abides in women, you said that the serpent came upon Eve and injected impurity into her. This is well, but we have learned that when Yisrael stood by Mount Sinai and received Torah, their impurities were cleansed. But the heathens who did not receive Torah remained impure, (so my question remains) unanswered, why is witchcraft mostly in women?

He said to him, You spoke well. Nevertheless, come and behold, Torah was given to males only, as it is written, "And this is the Torah which Moses set before the children (lit. 'sons') of Yisrael" (Devarim 4:44). As women were exempt from the commandments of Torah.

Moreover, everyone became defiled again after the sin. It is more difficult for women to cleanse impurities from themselves than for men. Thus, women practice sorcery and abide in defilement more so than men. Women come from the left side and are attached to the strict Judgment. This side cleaves to them more than to men, because they come from strict Judgment. Everything is attached to and follows its own kind.

Come and behold, As I have said, for Bilaam used to defile himself first to draw upon him the unholy spirit. Similarly, it behooves man to stay away from a woman during menstruation, because she is attached to the spirit of defilement. If she practices sorcery at that time, she will be more successful that at other times. Whatever she touches is therefore defiled, and all the more so whomever approaches her. Happy are the children of Yisrael, for the Holy One, blessed be He, gave them Torah, and told them, "Also you shall not approach to a woman in the impurity of her menstrual flow, to uncover her nakedness... I am Hashem" (Vayikra 18:19-21).

He asks, Why is it called sorcery if someone uses the chirping of birds (to tell the future)? It is because the unholy spirit abides in that bird, which is drawn from this side . That unholy spirit foretells events. [127a] Every defiled spirit, is attached to and comes to the world from the serpent and no one in this world is safe from it, because it is everywhere, until the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, will remove it from the world, as it is written, "He will destroy death for ever" (Isaiah 25:8) and "I will also cause...the unclean spirit to pass out of the land" (Zecharyah 13:2).

Rabbi Yehuda said, Abraham recognized a sign in that cave and his heart and desire were there. For he had entered it before and seen Adam and Eve interred there. How did he know it was they? He saw the shape (of Adam) and looked at it. Then a door to the Garden of Eden opened before him (and he knew) that this was the shape of Adam before him. (He understood that he deserved to be buried in the gate of the Garden of Eden because he had been in the Garden of Eden during his lifetime).

Come and behold, Whoever beholds the shape of Adam cannot escape death, for man sees Adam the moment that he dies and passes from the world. But Abraham looked at him, saw his shape, and lived. He saw a light shining from within the cave and a candle burning. Then he wanted to dwell in that cave, and his heart and desire were always there.

Come and behold, Abraham behaved wisely when he asks for a grave for Sarah, for he did not ask for the cave immediately or say that he wanted to be separated from them. Instead, he said, "Give me a possession of a burying place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight" (Gen. 23:3). If you say that Efron was not there, he was present, as it is written, "And Efron dwelt among the children of Chet" (Ibid. 9). Abraham said nothing to him for the time being.

He spoke with them further, as it is written, "And spoke to the sons of Chet" (Ibid. 3). Could you conceive that Abraham wanted to be buried among the defiled or that he wanted to join them, when he said, "Give me a possession of a burying place with you"? But he behaved wisely.

And we learn [127b] proper conduct from the way Abraham acted, because he desired and wished for that cave. Although Efron was there, he did not want to ask him immediately. He did not ask for the cave but rather for what he did not want, and asks another, not Efron.

Once the sons of Chet said to him in the presence of Efron, "Hear us, my lord, you are a mighty prince among us" (Gen. 23:5), it is written, "And Efron dwelt (lit. 'dwells') among the children of Chet." 'Dwells' is written without vowels and can be conjugated as 'dwelt', which would mean that Efron was already there as they started talking. Then Abraham said, "Hear me, and entreat for me to Efron, the son of Tzochar, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he has" (Ibid. 8). If you say that since my honor is greater than yours (and that is why I ask for Machpelah) because I do not want to dwell among you (this is not true). But "with you", to be interred among you, because I want you, so that I shall not be separated from you.

Rabbi Elazar asks, How did Abraham enter the cave? He was running after a calf, about which it is written, "And Abraham ran to the herd..." (Gen. 18:7). This calf ran to the cave. Abraham ran after it and saw what he saw.

Another reason was that Abraham prayed every day. He came out to the field that was fragrant with heavenly perfumes, saw light coming out of the cave, and entered there to pray. There the Holy One, blessed be He, spoke with him. As a result, Abraham wanted the cave and always harbored a desire for it.

You may ask, why did he not seek to buy it until then? Because he had no need for it, he was afraid that they would check it. Now that he needed it, the time had come to ask for it.

Come and behold, If Efron had seen in the cave what Abraham saw, he would never have sold it. But because Efron saw nothing in it, as nothing is revealed except to its owner, it was revealed to Abraham only and not to Efron. It was revealed to Abraham because it was [128a]

[THE REST OF THIS PARSHAH HAS NOT YET BEEN TRANSLATED]

Toldot / תּוֹלְדוֹתEdit

Comprising Zohar I 134a through 146b

[134a] "And these are the generations of Isaac..." (Gen. 25:19). Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse, "Who can utter the mighty acts of Hashem? Who can declare all His praise?" (Tehilim 106:2). Come and behold, when the Holy One, blessed be He, wished to create the world, He did so according to the Torah. And every act that the Holy One, blessed be He, used to create the world was done according to the Torah. This is the meaning of, "then I was by him, as a nursling, and I was daily his delight" (Mishlei 8:30). [134b] Do not pronounce it as "a nursling," (Heb. אָמוֹן) but rather 'a craftsman' (Heb. אוּמָן),

When He wanted to create man, the Torah said to him, 'If man is created, he will sin, and you will punish him. Would not Your handwork then be in vain? After all, he will not be able to endure the punishment.' The Holy One, blessed be He, replied, 'I created repentance before I created the world.' When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world and created Adam, He said to it, 'World, world, you and your nature are based solely upon the Torah, and for that reason I created man in you, to be occupied with the study of the Torah. And if he does not study the Torah, I will return you to chaos. Everything is for man.' This is the meaning of the verse, "I have made the earth, and created man upon it" (Isaiah 45:12). The Torah proclaims to men to be occupied with and endeavor in the study of the Torah, but no one lends an ear.

Come and behold, whoever studies the Torah sustains the world and properly sustains every act in the world. There is no part within man that does not have a counterpart creature in the world. Just as the body of man is composed of levels of parts that act together to form a unified body, so is the world. All the creatures in the world are hierarchical parts that act on and react with each other, so they will actually be as one body. Everything resembles the Torah, because the Torah is made of different parts and sections that support each other. When they are all correct, they will become as one body. When David looked at this work, he said, "Hashem, how manifold are your works! In wisdom You have made them all, the earth is full of Your creatures" (Tehilim 104:24).

The Torah contains supernal, sealed mysteries, that man cannot grasp; it contains all supernal matters, those revealed and those not revealed. The Torah contains all the matters above and below. Everything in this world and everything in the World to Come is in the Torah, but [135a] there is no one to observe and understand them. Thus, it is written, "Who can utter the mighty acts of Hashem? Who can declare all His praise?" (Tehilim 106:2).

Come and behold, when Solomon unsuccessfully tried to understand the words and subtleties of the Torah, he said, "I said, 'I will be wise'; but it was far from me" (Kohelet 7:23). David said, "Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Your Torah" (Tehilim 119:18).

Come and behold, it is written of Solomon that he "spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his poems were 1,005" (I Kings 5:12). This is because there were 5,000 interpretations of each proverb he told. If this is true of the words of Solomon, who was flesh and blood, how many proverbs, chants, praises, mysteries, and wise thoughts are contained in the words of the Torah, as spoken by the Holy One, blessed be He? Therefore, it is written, "Who can utter the mighty acts of Hashem."

Come and behold, it is written, "Now these are the generations of Ishmael" (Gen. 25:12), and they are twelve princes. Then it is written, "And these are the generations of Isaac" (Ibid. 19). Is it possible that because it is written that Ishmael sired twelve princes and Isaac sired two, he (Ishmael) is more righteous? It is therefore written, "Who can utter the mighty (Heb. גְּבוּרוֹת) acts of Hashem." This refers to Isaac for Isaac sired Jacob, who alone is more important than all of them, for he fathered the twelve tribes, and sustained the upper and the lower, while Isaac supported the higher in supernal holiness and Ishmael only below. Therefore the verse, "Who can utter the mighty acts of Hashem," refers to Isaac, as explained above. The words, "declare all His praises," refers to Jacob. When the sun connects with the moon, many stars shine from them. "And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son." Rabbi Yosi asks, What has changed? It did not say, "Abraham's son" previously. For although it is written, "Elohim blessed his son Isaac," (Gen. 25:11) Abraham is now dead; the image of Abraham was upon Isaac and stayed with him so that whoever saw Isaac said, "this is surely Abraham," and pronounced that Abraham begat Isaac.

Rabbi Yitzchak rose one night [135b] to study Torah, while Rabbi Yehuda, who was in the city of Caesarea, also rose at the same hour to study Torah. Rabbi Yehuda said, I will walk to Rabbi Yitzchak and study Torah together with him. He went with his son, Hezekiah, who was then a boy. When he approached the door, he heard Rabbi Yitzchak say, "And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that Elohim blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by Be'er Lachai Ro'i" (Gen. 25:11). In this verse, the beginning does not fit the end and the end does not fit the beginning; Why this change? Why should the Holy One, blessed be He, bless Isaac (and not Abraham)? Since Abraham did not bless Isaac (Hashem did). Why did Abraham not bless him? So that Esau would not be blessed with him. Therefore these blessings passed to the Holy One, blessed be He. Of the verse, "and Isaac dwelt at Be'er Lachai Ro'i," What is the meaning of "Lachai Ro'I,"?; that he was united with the Shechinah, as the Aramaic translation reads, "the well where the angel of the covenant was seen." Therefore He blessed him. By this we may understand the connection of the three parts of this verse, "And it came to pass after the death of Abraham," who did not bless Isaac, "that Elohim blessed his son Isaac." Why did He bless him? Because "Isaac dwelt at Be'er Lachai Ro'i," for he joined the Shechinah.

In the meantime, Rabbi Yehuda knocked on the door, entered, and joined him. Rabbi Yitzchak said, Now the Shechinah is with us. Rabbi Yehuda said that this explanation concerning "Be'er Lachai Ro'i" is good, but there is more to be understood from the words. He began with the verse, "a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon" (Shir Hashirim 4:15). This verse was already explained, "a fountain of gardens" is Abraham; "a well of living waters" is Isaac; and "streams from the Lebanon" is Jacob. "A well of living waters" is Isaac, as it is written, "and Isaac dwelt at Be'er Lachai Ro'i" (lit. 'a well of living and seeing'). What is 'a well'? It is the Shechinah, while 'living' is he who is the Life of the Worlds, namely, the Righteous who is the Life of the Worlds and they are not to be separated. He lives in both worlds - he lives above, in the higher world, (Binah) and he lives in the lower world (Malchut). The lower world lives and shines from his strength.

Come and behold, the moon shines only when she sees the sun. When she sees him, she shines. Therefore this is called 'Be'er Lachai Ro'i,' for assuredly then she shines and stands filled with living water, "Lachai Ro'i," 'living and seeing', so as to be filled and illuminated by that which lives, Yesod of Zeir Anpin, as mentioned.

Come and behold, it is written [136a] "And Benaiah the son of Jehoida, the son of a valiant (lit. 'living') man" (II Shmuel 23:20). This means that he was righteous and illuminated his generation as the living one above illuminates the world. Thus, the well constantly looks to the living one in order to be illuminated. "And Isaac dwelt by Be'er Lachai Ro'i. "It is written, "When he took Rivkah," FOR and as he united with her, the joining of darkness and night, as it is written, "his left hand is under my head" (Shir Hashirim 2:6) And Come and behold, Isaac was in Kiryat Arba after Abraham died. What about the verse that reads, "And Isaac dwelt by Be'er Lachai Ro'i?" That with which he joined and was united in that well, to stir up love, as we said.

Rabbi Yitzchak began the discussion with the verse, "The sun also rises and the sun goes down and hastens to its place where it rises again" (Kohelet 1:5). "The sun also rises," refers to the sun, which shines on the moon. For when the sun is seen by her, she shines, illuminates and shines from the supreme place that is above it, from where it always rises. "And the sun goes down," means that when it comes to mate with the moon it "goes towards the south" (Ibid. 6), which is the Right and there reposes its strength, because its strength is in the right. As a result, all the strength of a man's body is in the right side, from which stems the strength of the body. Later, "and veers to the north," and shines upon this side and shines upon that side. "Round and round goes the wind" (Ibid.). Why is it first written, "sun," and now "wind." All is one secret. And all this happens so that the moon will illuminate by its light and the two will join.

Come and behold, when Abraham came into the world, he embraced the moon and brought her near. When Isaac came, he took her and held her and drew her lovingly, as it is written, "his left hand is under my head" (Shir Hashirim 2:6). When Jacob came, he united the sun, with the moon and it shone. So Jacob became whole in every aspect, and the moon shone, and was perfected by the twelve tribes.

Rabbi Yehuda opened the discussion with the verse, "Behold, bless Hashem, all you servants of Hashem..." (Tehilim 134:1). This verse was explained, yet come and behold, it is written, "Behold, bless Hashem." Who are those worthy of blessing the Holy One, blessed be He? "All you servants of Hashem." Although anyone [136b] from Yisrael is worthy of blessing the Holy One, blessed be He, who gives the blessings for the sake of the supernal and lower beings? "All you servants of Hashem," yet not everyone. Whose blessing is considered a blessing? Those "who stand by night in the house of Hashem" (Ibid.); those who wake up at midnight to study Torah. These are those "who stand by night in the house of Hashem." For then the Holy One, blessed be He, comes to delight with the righteous in the Garden of Eden. And we are here awakened by the words of the Torah. Let us discuss Isaac, for we are on his level.

"And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rivkah for a wife" (Gen. 25:20). Why is Yitzchak's age given here? Isaac was included within north and south, which are fire and water, and was then forty years old when he took Rivkah. Further, the text, "As the appearance of the bow" (Ezekiel 1:28), means green, white, and red. She (the Nukva) was three years old when he seized it, when he took Rivkah. And he sired a son when he was sixty so that he would properly sire Jacob who, as the issue of a man of sixty years, held on to all and became a whole man.

Why are we told, "The daughter of Betu'el the Arammian of Paddan-aram, the sister to Laban the Arammian?" Why should we care to know all this? It had already been written, "And Betu'el sired Rivkah" (Gen. 22:23), and now she is described as "of Paddan-aram, the sister to Laban the Arammian." This is to teach us that she was born among the misled, she did not follow their ways. Therefore it is written that she was the daughter of Betu'el, of Paddan-aram, and the sister of Laban, who were all wicked and evil doers; but she did good deeds and did not behave as they did.

Now we should study this further. If Rivkah was twenty years old, or at least thirteen, it would be considered praiseworthy that she did not do as they did. But since she was only three years old, how can she be praised for her actions? Rabbi Yehuda replied that although she was only three years old, she can be judged by how she behaved toward the servant. This must mean that she had the wisdom of a twenty year old, and therefore she may be praised for not learning from what they did....

Rabbi Yitzchak said, Though she acted wisely toward the servant, I do not yet know if her behavior was right or not. [137a] Rather, Come and behold, it is written, "Like the rose among thorns, so is my love among the daughters" (Shir Hashirim 2:2). The rose is the congregation of Yisrael which is among the legions as a rose among the thorns. The hidden meaning is that Isaac came from the side of Abraham, supernal Chesed, who is kind to all creatures. And although he represented Severe Judgment, (he draws Chesed from Abraham). Rivkah also came from the side of Harsh Judgment (of Bethuel and Laban). Although she was herself of Weak Judgment and a thread of Chesed was attached to her, nevertheless she came from Severe Judgment. Thus, because Isaac was severe in his judgment and Rivkah was softer in her Judgment, she was as a rose among the thorns. If she were not of Weak Judgment, the world would not have been able to bear the Harsh Judgment of Isaac. In this manner, the Holy One, blessed be He, joins couples in the world, the severe with the weak, so as to balance everything, and the world would be sweetened.

Rabbi Yehuda continued with the verse, "And Isaac entreated Hashem for his wife" (Gen. 25:21). What is the meaning of "entreated?" That he offered a sacrifice and prayed for her. What offering did he sacrifice? A burnt offering. He sacrificed by studying the verses "and Hashem was entreated of him" (Ibid.), and "So Hashem was entreated for the land" (II Shmuel 24:25). There it means that a sacrifice has been offered, here too it means, a sacrifice has been offered. It is written, "And Isaac entreated," "and Hashem was entreated", a celestial fire that came to meet the lower fire.

Another explanation for, "And Isaac entreated," is that by his prayer he hollowed out a passage that reached above to Mazal that bestows children. It is upon that place that giving birth to children depends, as it is written, "and she prayed to (lit. 'above') Hashem" (I Shmuel 1:10). Then, "Hashem was entreated of him." Do not pronounce it "entreated" (Heb. וַיֵּעָתֶר), but "hollowed out" (Heb. וַיֵּחָתֶר). For the Holy One, blessed be He, cleared the way and accepted the prayer. Then, "Rivkah his wife conceived."

Come and behold, Isaac was with his wife for twenty years, but she did not give birth until he had said his prayer. This is because the Holy One, blessed be He, desires the prayer of the righteous, when they ask Him in prayer for their needs. Why? Because the anointing oil will be increased by the prayer of [137b] the righteous for all those in need of it.

Come and behold, Abraham did not pray before the Holy One, blessed be He, so that He would give him sons, even though Sarah was barren. And although it may be said that he prayed, saying, "Behold, to me You gave no seed," (Gen. 15:3) it is not a prayer, but simply a statement to his Master. But Isaac prayed for his wife because he knew that his wife, and not he, was sterile. And although Isaac knew by the inner meaning of wisdom that Jacob was bound to come from him and produce the twelve tribes, he did not know whether this would be from this wife or from another. Therefore the scripture reads, "for his wife" (Gen. 25:21), and not specifically "for Rivkah."

Rabbi Yehuda's son asks, Why then did not Isaac love Jacob as he loved Esau, if he knew that he would sire the twelve tribes? He replied, Well said. He loved Esau better because everyone loves and is attracted to his own kind.

Come and behold, Esau was born all red, as it is written, "And the first came out red all over" (Gen. 25:25). Thus, he is the same as Isaac, who is of Harsh Judgment above, (in Holiness) and Esau, who issued from him, is the Harsh Judgment below. He resembled Isaac. And because each is drawn to his own kind, Isaac loved Esau more than Jacob, as it is written, "And Isaac loved Esau, he relished his venison" (Ibid. 28). Here it is written, "For he relished his venison," which is similar to, "wherefore it is said, 'like Nimrod the mighty hunter before Hashem'" (Gen. 10:9). [In both places, hunting refers to Harsh Judgment, and the scriptures tell us that he loved him because they were both of Severe Judgment.]

Rabbi Yitzchak said, It is written, "And the children struggled together within her; and she said, 'if it be so, why am I thus?' And she went to inquire of Hashem" (Gen. 25:22). Where did she go? To the academy of Shem and Ever. "the children struggled together within her," because the wicked Esau was warring against Jacob there. The term 'struggle' (Heb. וַיִּתְרֹצֲצוּ) is similar to the expression 'to break' (Heb. רָצַץ) one's head, for they struggled and were divided. Come and behold, Esau was of the side of he who rides the serpent, (Samael) while JACOB was of the side who rides the perfect Holy Throne, [138a] of the side of the sun, that is united with the moon.

Come and behold, since Esau followed on the serpent, Jacob dealt with him slyly, as the serpent was cunning and had crooked ways. As it is written, "the serpent was craftier" (Gen. 3:1), which means that he was cunning (and sly). What Jacob did with Esau was serpent-like. This was as it ought to have been; by making Esau go after that serpent, so that he would be separated from Jacob, and thus share nothing with him in this world or in the World to Come. Thus we learn, "he who comes to kill you, hasten to kill him first." It is written, "in the womb he took his brother" (Hoshea 12:4), which means that he lowered him down by the heel. This is the meaning of, "and his hand took hold of Esau's heel" (Gen. 25:26), for he put his hands on the heel to subjugate him.

Another explanation of the verse, "and his hand took hold" is that Jacob could not be separated from him entirely, so his hand held the heel of Esau. His hand is the moon whose light was darkened because he held Esau's heel. Therefore, Jacob needed to be clever with him, to push him down, so he would cleave to his place. "And he called his name Jacob," the Holy One, blessed be He, assuredly called him 'Jacob'. Come and behold, it is written, "and he called his name 'Jacob'" (Gen. 27:36), and not, 'and his name was called Jacob'. But "Did he not rightly call him "Jacob?' for he has supplanted me (Heb. יַּעַקְבֵנִי)?" (Ibid.). Surely the Holy One, blessed be He, saw that the primordial serpent was wise in an evil way. When Jacob came, (Hashem) said that he must be wiser than the serpent. Therefore He called him 'Jacob',

We have already explained that wherever it is written, "He called," (without saying to whom), it is the lower grade, (the Nukvah) as it is written, "And called Moses" (Vayikra 1:1). (the Nukvah called Moses). And here it is written, "and he called his name 'Jacob'" (Gen. 25:26). For no man even named Jacob, as it is written elsewhere, "And called it (lit. 'him') El the Elohim Yisrael" (Gen. 33:20). This is the Holy One, blessed be He, who called Jacob 'El'. He said to him: 'I am El among the upper, and you are El among the lower.'

Come and behold, Jacob knew that Esau had to cleave to the tortuous serpent. As a result, in all that Esau did, he acted as slyly and crookedly, just like another [138b] just like another tortuous serpent. This is as it ought to be. This agrees with the words of Rabbi Shimon, "And Elohim created the great crocodiles," which refer to Jacob and Esau, "and every living creature that moves" (Gen. 1:21), refers to the levels between them. By necessity, Jacob needed to behave wisely against the other serpent. This is as it must be.

For that reason, one he goat is sacrificed monthly, to draw the serpent to his place so that he will be separated from the moon. In addition, a he goat should be sacrificed on Yom Kippur. This is done with wisdom, so as to control the serpent, so that he can not do evil. This is the meaning of the verse: "and the goat (Heb. שָּׂעִיר) shall bear upon it all their iniquities" (Vayikra 16:22). This refers to Esau, who is hairy (Heb. שָּׂעִיר). All of this was done wisely and cleverly. Why? Because it is written, "and with the perverse you will show yourself subtle" (Tehilim 18:27). This is the evil serpent, the tortuous spirit, wise in wickedness, who accuses above and incites below.

For this reason, Yisrael hasten to treat him with sly wisdom, so he will not be able to cause evil and rule. Therefore Jacob, who is imbued with the true Faith, treated Esau in all that he did so that there would be no place for that serpent to defile the Temple, or approach it and thereby rule the world. Thus, Abraham did not need to behave slyly, and neither did Isaac. For Esau, who was on the side of the serpent, had not yet come into the world. But Jacob, the landlord, had to stand against that serpent to prevent him from ruling and defiling the Temple of Jacob. Therefore, Jacob had to (fight him) more (cleverly) than the rest of the people in the world. Hence Holy Yisrael were chosen to be the part and portion of the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written, "For Hashem's portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance" (Devarim 32:9).

"And the boys grew..." (Gen. 25:27). This refers to the side of Abraham which caused them to grow. His merit supported them, for he was teaching them the precepts, as it is written, "For I know him, that he will command (Et) his children" (Gen. 18:19). The particle Et means that Jacob and Esau are included (among his sons). Therefore, the explanation of, "And the boys grew". Rabbi Elazar disagreed. Each went his own way [139a] one towards faith, and the other towards idolatry.

So it was. While still in Rivkah's womb, each went toward his own side. When she was performing good deeds or passing near a place that is favorable to the precepts of Torah, Jacob was glad and struggled to come out. And when she walked past a place of idolatry, the wicked one struggled to come out. This has already been explained. For that reason, when they were born into the world, each was drawn to the place he deserved. Therefore it is written, "And the boys grew, and Esau was a cunning hunter...". "And Isaac loved Esau, for he relished his venison" (Gen. 24:28). This verse has been explained. Here, it is written, "a cunning hunter, a man of the field," while elsewhere it is written, "he was a mighty hunter" (Gen. 10:9). "A man of the field" is one who robbed and murdered people. And Esau said (he went to the field) to pray. He hunted (and cheated Isaac) through his mouth, as it is written, "He relished his venison (lit. there was venison in his mouth)." He was called "a man of the field," because his lot was not in a populated place, but in a desolate place, in the open wilderness, in the field. Thus, he was called "a man of the field."

You may ask why Isaac did not know of all the wicked deeds of Esau, as the Shechinah was with him. For without the Shechinah, how could he have blessed Jacob when he did? Assuredly, the Shechinah dwelt in his house and was with him always. But the Shechinah did not inform him of that, because Jacob was to be blessed only with the knowledge of the Holy One, blessed be He. And so it had to be. For when Jacob came before his father, the Shechinah came with him, and then Isaac saw in his mind that Jacob was worthy of being blessed and that he would be blessed by the approval of the Shechinah.

Come and behold, Rabbi Shimon was sitting with the other friends, when his son, Rabbi Elazar, appeared. The friend said to Rabbi Shimon, We have an important question to ask you concerning Jacob and Esau. Why was Jacob unwilling to give Esau a pottage of lentils unless he sold him his birthright? In addition, Esau said to Isaac, his father, "For he has supplanted me these two times" (Gen. 27:36). How can Jacob deceive Esau? He responded, Now you deserve a whipping, because you believed Esau and lied about Ya'akov's words. The scripture bears witness that "Jacob was a plain man" (Gen. 25:27), (i.e. he was unable to cheat). Also, it is written, "You will show truth to Jacob" (Michah 7:20). This was the situation concerning Jacob and Esau. Even before, Esau detested his birthright, and he asked Jacob to take the birthright without payment! Thus, it is as written, "and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way, thus Esau despised the birthright" (Gen. 25:34). Of the verse, "And Jacob cooked a pottage, and Esau came from the field, and he was faint," Rabbi Elazar explained that, "And Jacob cooked," refers to the mourning for Abraham. But should not it have been written, 'And Isaac cooked a pottage,'? "Jacob cooked a pottage," because Jacob knew the origin [139b] of Esau and the side he cleaved to. Therefore, he cooked red dishes, namely, red lentils, for this dish breaks the power and might of the red blood, and can break the power and might of Esau, who is the secret of the red blood, as it is written, "And the first came out red" (Gen. 25:25).

For that dish, by selling Jacob his birthright, Esau became a slave. Instantly, Jacob knew that for the one goat that the children of Yisrael sacrificed on Yom Kippur to his level he becomes a slave to his descendants and will not accuse them. And because of the level of wisdom of Esau, Jacob dealt wisely with Esau everywhere, so that Esau was unable to rule and was submissive. Jacob was not defiled by him, but ruled over him. (The rest of this paragraph is not translated, as it does not appear to be appropriate to be located here).

Rabbi Yehuda said that this should have been true of Laban as well, because he was also a sorcerer, as it is written, "I have learned by signs that Hashem has blessed me for your sake" (Gen. 30:27). And although Jacob was a plain and whole man, he was merciful with whomever he had to be merciful with. He was strict in judgment and deceitful when necessary. For he consisted of two parts. It is written of him, "With the merciful you will show yourself merciful; and with the perverse you will show yourself subtle" (Tehilim 18:26), which means that with the merciful on the side of Chesed, and with the perverse on the side of Strict Judgment, all as it ought to be.

"And there was a famine in the land..." (Gen. 26:1). Rabbi Yehuda opened the discussion with the verse, "Hashem tries the righteous, but the wicked and him who loves violence His soul hates" (Tehilim 11:5). How orderly and right are the deeds of the Holy One, blessed be He, and all He does is according to justice and truth, as it is written, "He is the Rock, His work is perfect" (Devarim 32:4).

Come and behold, the Holy One, blessed be He, did not judge Adam before He commanded him for his own good not to let his heart and will stray in another direction so that he would not be defiled. But he was not careful, and transgressed the precepts of his Master. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, judged him. [140a] Even then, the Holy One, blessed be He, did not judge him as harshly as he deserved. He refrained from wrath and let him be among the living for one day, which is one thousand years, minus the seventy years that he gave to king David, who had no life of his own.

Similarly, (Hashem) does not judge man according to his evil deeds, which he continually does, for if He did so, the world would not have survived. But the Holy One, blessed be He, refrains from wrath with the Righteous and the wicked. With the wicked more than with the righteous, so that they may repent completely and exist in this world and in the World to Come. As it is written, "'As I live,' says Adonai Elohim. 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live'" (Ezekiel 33:11), to live in this world and in the World to Come. For that reason, He is always forbearing. Another reason is that good stock may issue from them, as Abraham was begotten of Terah, who issued good stock and good origin and portion in the world.

But the Holy One, blessed be He, is always strict with the Righteous in every deed they do. Because He knows they will not turn away, neither to the right nor the left, He constantly tests them. Not for His own sake, as He knows their desire and the firmness of their faith and has no need of trying them. He tries them only to lift up their heads, to give them confidence as they earn their merits through these (experiences).

Hashem behaved similarly toward Abraham, as it is written, "that the Elohim did test Abraham" (Gen. 22:1). What is meant by "test (Heb. נִסָּה)?" It means the raising of the banner (Heb. נֵס), as it is written, "lift up a standard" (Isaiah 62:10), and "set up the standard" (Jer. 4:6). He raised his standard over the whole world. And for this, the Holy One, blessed be He, raised the banner of Abraham before everybody's eyes, as it is written, "Did test Abraham." Thus the Holy One, blessed be He, in order to lift the standard of the righteous, tries them, so they will lift up their heads throughout the world.

"Tries the Righteous" (Tehilim 11:5): What is the reason thereof? According to Rabbi Shimon, it is because the Holy One, blessed be He, wishes for the Righteous. As it is written, "But it pleased Hashem to crush him by disease" (Isaiah 53:10). This has already been explained. The Holy One, blessed be He, wishes for the soul and not the body, because the soul resembles the supernal soul (i.e. the Shechinah) and the body is not worthy of being united above. Thus, although the shape of the body is in the image of the supernal secret, [140b] And Come and behold, when the Holy One, blessed be He, wishes to illuminate the soul of a man, He crushes the body so that the soul will govern. As long as the soul is with the body, (they are equal and) the soul can not rule. After the body is crushed, the soul becomes powerful. What is the meaning of the verse, "tries the righteous" (Tehilim 11:5)? It is as is written, "a tried stone" (Isaiah 28:16); in the same way He "tries the righteous," which means that He strengthens him by this "tried stone," which is a precious cornerstone. So does He try the righteous!

"...but the wicked and him who loves violence his soul hates" (Tehilim 11:5). What is the meaning of "his soul (lit. Nefesh) hates"? Could it possibly be that it alludes to the Holy One, blessed be He, whose Nefesh hates the wicked? For the word Nefesh is not appropriate for the Holy One, blessed be He. The explanation is that the very level upon which all souls depend (Malchut) hates the Nefesh of that wicked man. For it does not want it [this soul] in this world or in the World to Come. For that reason, it is written, "but the wicked and him who loves violence his soul hates." Another explanation of, "His soul hates," is as it is written, "Adonai Elohim has sworn by His Nefesh" (Amos 6:8), which means that the word Nefesh is used in relation to Hashem.

Come and behold, when the Holy One, blessed be He, created Adam, He commanded him (not to eat of the tree of knowledge), in order to benefit him. He gave him wisdom, so he would ascend through the grades. When he descended, he saw the desires of the Evil Inclination and clung to it, thereby forgetting all that he beheld of the Supernal Glory of his Master.

Of Noah, it is first written, "Noah was a just man and perfect" (Gen. 6:9). Then he descended and saw strong wine that was one day old and not clear. He drank from it, became drunk, and was uncovered, as it is written, "and he drank of the wine, and was drunk; and he was uncovered within his tent" (Gen. 9:21).

Then Abraham was elevated with wisdom and beheld the glory of his Master. Subsequently, it is written, "And there was famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt" (Gen. 12:10), and "And Abram went up out of Egypt" (Gen. 13:1) and was elevated to the grade he had at the beginning. He came in peace and went in peace.

And then Isaac, of whom it is written, "And there was a famine in the land..." (Gen. 26:1). And Isaac went to Gerar. From there, he later ascended peacefully. And so all the Righteous are tested by the Holy One, blessed be He, to raise their heads in this world and in the World to Come.

Midrash Ha'Ne'elam

"And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son, Abraham begot Isaac" (Gen. 25:19). Rabbi Yitzchak began the discussion with the verse: "The mandrakes give a fragrance..." (Shir Hashirim 7:14). The sages taught that in the future, the Holy One, blessed be He, will raise the dead and shake the dust off them. As a result, they will no longer be made of dust, as they were when first created from dust, which does not endure, as it is written, "And Hashem Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7).

The instant they shake the dust from their bodily frames, they will have enduring frames, as it is written, "Shake yourself from the dust; arise, and sit down, Jerusalem" (Isaiah 52:2). They will endure and rise from beneath the ground to receive their souls in the land of Yisrael. At that time, the Holy One, blessed be He, will pour upon them all the kinds of fragrances that are in the Garden of Eden, as it is written, "The mandrakes give a fragrance."

Rabbi Yitzchak said, Do not pronounce it dudaim ('mandrakes'), but rather dodim ('lovers'). They are the body and the soul, who are lovers and friends to each other. Rav Nachman said, They are real mandrakes. As the mandrakes bring love into the world, so they create love in the world. And they give off a fragrance, which is how they know and recognize their Creator.

The verse: "And at our gates" (Shir Hashirim 7:14) refers to the gates of heaven, which are open to bring down souls for cadavers. "all manner of choice fruits" refers to the souls; "new and old" refers to those whose souls left them years ago and those whose souls left them only a few days ago. They merited, by their skillful deeds, to enter the World to Come. All of them are destined to descend simultaneously to enter the bodies that are prepared for them.

Rabbi Acha bar Jacob, said that a divine voice resounded, saying: "new and old, which I have laid up for you, O my beloved" (Shir Hashirim 7:14). "I have laid up for you" in these same worlds. "for you" means because of you, because you are a holy and clean body. Another explanation is that these mandrakes are the Angels of Peace. "give a fragrance" refers to souls, the fragrance of the world; "give" means to allow, as it is written, "and Sichon would not allow Yisrael" (Num. 21:23).

Rabbi Yehuda said that three classes of ministering angels appear at the beginning of every month and on every Shabbat to escort the soul to its place of ascension. What does the verse, "And at our gates are all manner of choice fruits," refer to? Rabbi Yehuda said, These are bodies standing at the openings of the graves to receive their souls. And Dumah offers a note of reckoning, and proclaims, Master of the Universe, "old and new," those who were buried long ago, and those buried not so long ago, all these "I have laid up for you," to take them into account.

In the name of the Rav, Rabbi Yehuda said that in the future, the Holy One, blessed be He, will rejoice with the righteous, and will let His Shechinah dwell among them. Everybody will rejoice in that joy, as it is written, "let Hashem rejoice in His works" (Tehilim 104:31). Rabbi Yehuda said that at that time the righteous will create worlds and raise the dead.

Rabbi Yosi said to him: We have learned that "there is nothing new under the sun" (Kohelet 1:9). Rabbi Yehuda responded, Come and hearken. While the wicked are in the world and multiply, the whole world does not endure, but when the Righteous are in the world, it does endure. And in the future they will raise the dead, as it is written, "Old men and old women shall yet again dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for every age" (Zecharyah 8:4).

At that time, the Righteous will attain complete knowledge, for as Rabbi Yosi said, When "Hashem rejoices in His works," then the Righteous are destined to grasp the Holy One, blessed be He, in their hearts. And wisdom will abound in their hearts, as if they are seeing Him with their eyes. This is the meaning of the verse: "And it shall be said on that day, this is our Elohim" (Isaiah 25:9).

And for their existence together, the soul shall delight in the body more than anything, and that they shall have knowledge and perception of their Master, and shall have the enjoyment of the splendor of the Shechinah. This is the goodness hidden for the Righteous in the future to come. Thus, "And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son," refers to the generations of gladness and laughter that will exist at that time. Abraham's son is the soul worthy of it and is perfect in its ascent; "Abraham begot Isaac," means that the soul sires joy and laughter in the world.

Rabbi Yehuda said to Rabbi Chiya: We have learned that the Holy One, blessed be He, will prepare a feast for the righteous in the future. What is this feast? He replied, Before you went before these holy angels, the sages of the Mishnah, I heard what Rabbi Elazar said. It set my heart at peace. For Rabbi Elazar said that the feast of the Righteous in the future is as it is written, "and they beheld the Elohim, and did eat and drink" (Shemot 24:11). Here it is written, "eat," but Rabbi Elazar noted that in one place it is explained as, "enjoy" and in another, "eat." What is the difference? He responded, Woe to the Righteous who do not have as much merit; they enjoy the splendor, though they do not understand everything. However, the Righteous who merit the divine splendor eat until they grasp it fully. Food and drink refers to this feast and eating alone. From whom do we know this? From Moses, as it is written, "he did neither eat bread, nor drink water" (Shemot 34:28). Why so? Because he ate another meal, which is the supernal splendor. The meal of the Righteous in the future will be in that manner.

Rabbi Yehuda said that the feast of the Righteous in the future is to partake of His joy, according to the verse: "the humble shall hear of it, and be glad" (Tehilim 34:3). Rav Huna said that it is understood from the verse: "But let all those that put their trust in You rejoice: let them ever shout for joy" (Tehilim 5:12). Rabbi Yitzchak said, Both will occur in the future. We were taught by Rabbi Yosi that cellared wine with its grapes, from the six days of Creation, contains the ancient matters that were not revealed to man from the day the world was created. These are destined to be revealed to the Righteous in the future; this is assuredly their food and drink.

In the name of Rabbi Shalom, Rabbi Yehuda said that if that is true, what about the Leviathan and the bull, as it is written, "Surely the mountains bring him forth food" (Iyov 40:20). Rabbi Yosi said that it is also written, "On that day, Hashem with His sore and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the flying serpent, and the Leviathan that crooked serpent; and He will slay the crocodile that is in the sea" (Isaiah 27:1). This was said thrice, to hint at the kingdom. Rabbi Tanchum added that there is nothing to reveal in addition to what the wise men said. This is assuredly so.

Rabbi Yitzchak said, I was present before Rabbi Yehoshua and asked him about this. I said that this feast of the Righteous that will be held in the future (was supposed to be of the Leviathan and the bull). If this is so, there is a contradiction, because Rabbi Elazar said that the feast of the Righteous in the future will be as it is written in the verse: "and they beheld the Elohim, and did eat and drink." Rabbi Yehoshua said that Rabbi Elazar was correct. And so it was.

Rabbi Yehoshua further stated the belief that the sages communicated to most of the people: that they are invited to this meal of the Leviathan and the wild bull, where they will drink of the good wine preserved from the time of the Creation. They came upon this verse: "and you shall eat your bread to the full" (Vayikra 26:5), and interpreted it thus.

Rabbi Zeira said, The Holy One, blessed be He, used all kinds of enticements to encourage the children of Yisrael to return to the good path. The greatest of them all was when He said to them, "and you shall eat your bread to the full," or among the curses, the worst is, "and you shall eat, and not be satisfied" (Ibid. 26). Why so? Because it is written, "Would we had died by the hand of Hashem in the land of Egypt" (Shemot 16:3).

Rabbi Zeira said, This teaches us that for the sake of eating, they sacrificed their lives to die by their hands. When the Holy One, blessed be He, noticed their lust, He said to them: "If you will hearken to keep the commandments, you shall eat your bread to the full', (Lev. 26:5) in order to appease their minds. In this manner, the wise men saw that the exile would continue. They relied on the verses in the Torah, and said that they would eat and be merry at the great feast that the Holy One, blessed be He, will hold for them. Therefore, most of the people in the world suffer this exile for the sake of that feast.

Rabbi Yochanan said that we should not contradict this belief, but support the idea, because the Torah bears witness to it (Lev. 26:5). We already know the Faith of the Righteous and their desire from the verses, "we will be glad and rejoice in You" (Shir Hashirim 1:4), and not in eating, and "we will praise your love more than wine" (Vayikra 26:5). That feast, that they are destined for, we will partake of it too. This is the part of joy and laughter. "And these are the generations of Isaac (lit. 'will laugh')," for the righteous will laugh in the future. "Abraham begot Isaac," as it is the virtue of the soul that begets that laughter and joy in the world.

"And Isaac was forty years old." Rabbi Bo began in the name of Rabbi Yosi with the verse: "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth" (Shir Hashirim 1:2). With how many good qualities was the world created? We have learned that Rabbi Acha bar Jacob said that everything the Holy One, blessed be He, created in His worlds, outside of Himself, was in collaboration. Rabbi Acha asks, Is that so? Heaven forbid, for this will add dissension in the world. For if you say that it means that the angels, created as the Holy Spirit itself, have a blend in them, then their faces and ours are the same.

Rabbi Abba said (this is true), and through this, dissension will increase in the world. For we learned in the Mishnah that all that the Holy One, blessed be He, did, He made as body and soul. One may argue that the angels have no bodies and cannot perform actions until the Holy Soul joins them, which is help from above.

Rabbi Yosi said that the instant the Holy One blessed be He, resurrects the dead, all troubles will end, on the fortieth year (after the gathering of the exiles). It has been resolved by law "Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed" (Devarim 25:3). The journey of Yisrael in the desert (was finished) in the fortieth year. Forty years before the body is resurrected, the soul awaits it in the land of Yisrael. In the fortieth year, the bodies will rise from the dust. After forty days the rain stopped, this is the meaning of the verses "And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights" (Gen. 7:12), and "it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened" (Gen. 8:6).

Also, the time of the Redemption of Yisrael is during the fortieth year. During the fiftieth year, the world, which is Jubilee, will be populated. The return of the soul to the body occurs after forty years of waiting in the land of Yisrael. This is the meaning of, "and Isaac was forty years old." That is, he was waiting for the body.

"When he took Rivkah," who was put in the body prepared for him. Their passion and longing at that moment was for the splendor of the Shechinah only and to nourish of Her splendor. This is the meaning of the verse, "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth." Rabbi Abba said, "Let him kiss me" means let him nourish me. Their sole nourishment is the enjoyment and sustenance of the supernal splendor. Rabbi Yosi said that this is proven by the end of the verse, which reads, "for your love is better than wine" (Shir Hashirim 1:2).

"The daughter of Betu'el" means the daughter (Heb. bat) of El. Rav Huna disagreed with this. He said that Betu'el is not (one of Malchut's name). I have been to distant lands, and heard there that this is the name of the bone of the spine. Of all the bones this one remains in the grave. It is called 'Betu'el the deceitful'. I asked about it, and they said that its shape resembles a head of a serpent, which is deceitful. And that more than any other bone in the body, this bone is deceitful.

For we have learned that Rabbi Shimon asks, Why does this bone endure longer than the other bones? This is because it is deceitful and does not bear the taste of human food like the other bones. For that reason, it is stronger than all the other bones. And at the resurrection of the dead, the body will be built on this root. This is the meaning of the verse, "the daughter of Betu'el the Arammian."

We learned that Rabbi Shimon said, It is deceitful, and from a deceitful world, namely, from Paddan-Aram. Also, deceitful is the Evil Inclination. This is the meaning of the verse, "the daughter of Betu'el the Arammian," who is the deceitful bone of the spine. The words, "of Paddan-Aram," which means that he came from a deceitful (Heb. ramai) world, represent two deceivers, as we have learned that Paddana means a 'couple'. The two deceivers are "the sister of Laban," the sister of the deceitful Evil Inclination. At first, when it was corrupted by sins in this world, it was called 'Lot'. In the future, when it will no longer be as corrupted, as someone who has washed and was cleansed of his impurities, and it will be called 'Laban' (lit. 'white'). Nevertheless, the Evil Inclination is not eliminated from the world.

Come and hearken, we learned from the Mishnah that the two daughters of Lot symbolize the two forces of the body that arouse the Evil Inclination. Because it has bathed and is no longer so impure, it is called 'Laban'. And the two daughters are not completely negated, as it is written, "And Laban had two daughters" (Gen. 29:16).

Rabbi Yosi asks, Why are they there referred to as the firstborn and the younger, and here the elder and the younger? Rabbi Yosi said that they no longer have the power to do evil or arouse the Evil Inclination. This is understood from the verse, "the name of the elder (lit. 'bigger') was Leah" (Gen. 29:16), for she was weary (Heb. leah) from her wickedness and evil, while Rachel, "the younger (lit. 'smaller')," did not have the power to incite. As it is written, "and as a sheep (lit. 'Rachel') before her shearers is dumb" (Isaiah 53:7).

Rav Huna said, This is the Evil Inclination. Its two daughters are different than they were at first. First it was Lot, cursed and corrupted; now it is Laban (lit. 'white'), who has been cleansed, not as cursed and corrupted as it was before. First its two daughters were strong; each had her individual strength. Now the name of the elder was Leah weary ('Leah') without power; weary without strength; Leah, fatigued from her former deeds. And the name of the younger was Rachel, as we have said, not as they were at first.

Rabbi Acha bar Jacob, said, Come and behold. It is written, "And Isaac entreated Hashem for his wife, because she was barren" (Gen. 25:21). Rabbi Acha asks, Why is she barren? Because the Evil Inclination does not have its full strength in the world, the only fruition and multiplying comes through prayer. It is then written, "and Hashem was entreated by him, and Rivkah his wife conceived." Once the Evil Inclination is aroused, there is procreation!

Rabbi Yosi asks, What then is the difference between this world and the world at that time? The scripture also says that the Holy One, blessed be He, does it Himself. Rabbi Acha said, It is so. The Holy One, blessed be He, arouses (the Evil Inclination) for the specific purpose of mating, but not all the time, so that the Evil Inclination may be with men always, and they sin because of it. But it is aroused only for mating, and the arousal at the time of union will be caused by the Holy One, blessed be He. This is the meaning of the verse, "and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26). What is a heart of flesh? Rabbi Yehuda replies, It is a heart that would issue flesh and nothing else.

Rabbi Yitzchak, the son of Rabbi Yosi, traveled from Cappadocia to Lod, where he met Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Yitzchak asks him, Why are the companions, the sages of the Mishnah, not aroused in this matter of removing the Evil Inclination from the world, except at the time of mating? He replied, Upon your life! The world needs the Evil Inclination as much as it needs rain, because without the Evil Inclination there would not be the joy of study in the world. But it also would not be as corrupted as it was before, which caused sinning. This is the meaning of the verse, "They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain" (Isaih 11:9).

Rabbi Shimon said, "My holy mountain" is the heart," the dwelling place of the Evil Inclination. Rabbi Eliezer said, A good heart is the foundation of the body and soul. For that reason, it is written, "And you shall love Hashem your Elohim with all your heart" (Devarim 6:5), for the heart is the essence of all!

When Rav Kahana arrived, he said that this was said in the name of those versed in the Mishnah. The body is built upon the liver and the heart. As Rabbi Yehuda said, the heart and the liver are the leaders of the various organs of the body. The leader of the head is the brain, but there are two leaders in the body. The first is the liver and the second is the heart. This is the meaning of the verse, "And the children struggled together within her." These are the two foundations of the body: the brain and the heart.

Why did they struggle? Because the Evil Inclination was abolished from the heart. "Struggled." It should have been written, 'And they were at peace'. Rav Huna explained that "struggled" means that the strength and vigor were broken. Rabbi Yehuda asks, What does the body say then? The body asks, 'If it be so, why am I thus?' and 'Why was I created?' Immediately, "she went to inquire of Hashem" (Gen. 25:22).

"And Hashem said to her, 'Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples'" (Gen. 25:23). These are the two proud ones, the liver and the heart. Rabbi Yosi said that these are the brain and the heart, but Rabbi Yehuda said, The brain is not included in this, for it is written, "in your womb (lit. 'belly')," and the brain is not in the belly, but in the head. "And two peoples from your bowels and the elder (lit. 'great') shall serve the younger." This is the liver, which is great and big, and which serves the heart, as Rabbi Yehuda said, The liver receives the blood, and serves it to the heart!

"And the first came out red" (Gen. 25:21). Rav Kahana explained that the liver is the first and is red. Why is it red? Because it is first to swallow the blood. Rabbi Eliezer asks, Why is it called 'first'? Because it is the first to swallow the blood from all the food; the first in blood but not in creation. And why is it that "the great shall serve the younger?" Because despite its being greater and bigger in size than the heart, it serves the heart.

Rabbi Abba then asks, What is the purpose of this text if not to teach the people in the world that though there will be perfection upon earth, the path and nature of the world will not change? Rabbi Yisa said, Come and behold. The liver hunts and has venison in its mouth, while the heart contemplates and is "dwelling in tents" (Ibid. 27). As it is written, "And Jacob cooked pottage" (Ibid. 29), while thinking deep thoughts and occupying himself with the Torah.

"And Jacob cooked pottage." In the name of Rabbi Acha, Rabbi Ba said that the nature of the world never changes. Come and behold, it is written, "And Jacob cooked pottage (Heb. נָזִיד)," as in the verse "they dealt (Heb. זָדוּ)" (Shemot 18:11), which was translated into Aramaic as "they thought." It means that the heart thinks of and contemplates Torah, which represents the knowledge of its Creator. Thus, it is written, "and Esau came from the field, and he was faint" (Beresheet 25:29). It is the nature of the liver to go out hunting and swallow with its mouth. If it does not find any prey, it becomes tired and says to the heart, 'Before you think of the words of Torah, think of eating and drinking to nourish your body.' This is the meaning of the verse, "and Esau said to Jacob 'Give me to swallow, I pray you, of that red pottage,'" for it is my way to swallow the blood and transmit it to the other parts; "for I am faint," without food and drink.

And the heart replies, 'Give me the first and choicest of whatever you swallow, give me your birthright,' this is the meaning of "Sell me this day your birthright" (Ibid. 31). That is, swear by your desire. As the heart contemplates food, the liver swallows. If it were not for the heart, longing and thinking about food, the liver and other organs would not be able to swallow. As Rabbi Yosi said, This is the way of slaves, who do not to eat before their master. Rabbi Yosi said, It is later written, "Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils" (Beresheet 25:34). What are these lentils? They are round as a circle, and as the circle which revolves around the world does not deviate from its path, so man in that time will never deviate from his. Although there will yet be all that is good and precious and perfect, with all that, the worldly habit of eating and drinking will not change.

We learned in the Mishnah that four winds blow in the world, and the Holy One, blessed be He, will raise one spirit to establish the body to include four spirits, as it is written, "Come from the four winds, O breath" (or: spirit) (Yechezkel 37:9). It is not written, 'in the four,' but, "from the four winds," for it will be composed of the four of them. We learned that this spirit (or: wind) is the wind that procreates, the wind that eats and drinks. And there is no difference between this world and the days of Messiah's coming, save the delivery from servitude to the empires alone, and there is no difference between this world and the resurrection of the dead, save cleanliness and the attainment of knowledge. Rav Nachman added longevity.

Rav Yosef asks if the days of Messiah's coming and the resurrection of the dead are the same. He responded, No, as we have learned that the building of the Temple precedes the gathering of the exiles, which precedes the resurrection of the dead. The resurrection of the dead is the last act of all. We know this from the verse, "Hashem builds Jerusalem, He gathers together the outcasts of Yisrael. He heals the broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds" (Tehilim 147:2-3). This refers to the resurrection of the dead, which is the healing of the brokenhearted and their dead. First He builds Jerusalem; then He gathers the outcasts of Yisrael; last of all, He heals the brokenhearted.

We have learned that the gathering of the exiles preceded the raising of the dead by forty years, as it is written, "And Isaac was forty years old." What is to be made of these forty years? According to Rav Kahana, Rabbi Broka said, How many troubles, how many wars waged against the children of Yisrael will there be from the gathering of the exiles until the resurrection of the dead. He who escapes them is happy, as it is written, "And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who shall be found written in the book" (Daniel 12:1). Rabbi Yehuda said that this teaches us, "Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be tried" (Ibid. 10). Rabbi Yitzchak added, "and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried" (Zecharyah. 13:9). During these very days, there will be days when people will say, "I have no pleasure in them" (Kohelet 12:1). And from the time the troubles disappear until the resurrection of the dead there will be forty years.

Rav Huna said, Come and behold, "For the children of Yisrael walked forty years in the wilderness because they obeyed not the voice of Hashem" (Joshua 5:6). In this verse, it is the same. Rabbi Yosef said, Everything that was said is the same, but for one thing. At the end of forty years, when the troubles pass away and the wicked are exterminated, the dead, the dwellers of the dust, shall live. Why? Because it is written, "affliction shall not rise up the second time" (Nehemiah 1:9). They had their fill with what they had. After the resurrection of the dead, the world will be settled, as it is written, "on that day Hashem shall be One and His Name One" (Zecharyah 14:9).

Rabbi Elazar ben Arach was sitting and was exceedingly sad. Rabbi Yehoshua came before him and asks why the appearance of the candlelight of the world had become dark. He said, Great fear entered me, for I see how the companions versed in the Mishnah have responded on whom the spirit of saints dwells. They said that redemption will be in the sixth millennium. This was well said, but I see a longer time for the dwellers of the dust, who shall wait until the four hundred and eighth year of the sixth millennium, when they will rise. For this reason, the companions were stimulated by the verse that referred to the dwellers of the dust as the children of Chet, for Chet alludes to their rising after four hundred and eight (Heb. Chet Tav) years. As it is written, "In the year of this Jubilee you shall return every man to his possession" (Vayikra 25:13), when this (Heb. hazot) shall be finished. [The numerical value of Hazot is 5,408, as the Hei of Hazot alludes to the Hei (= 5) thousands; and Zot is 408 in numerical value]. Then, "you shall return every man to his possession," means that the body will return to its soul, which is its possession and lot.

(Further) Rabbi Yehoshua said, This time should not be difficult for you, as we have learned that there are three classes, the Completely Righteous, the Completely Wicked, and the Average. The completely righteous will rise with the resurrection of the dead of the land of Yisrael a few years earlier, namely, at the fortieth year after the gathering of the exiles. In the end, everybody will rise at the four hundred and eighth year of the sixth millennium. Who will merit this length of time? He who will keep the precepts at that time. For that reason, I am sad.

He said to him, Rabbi, we have studied the verse, "Let there be light," (Beresheet 1:2) which means let there be secret, because Light is the secret of redemption. [And the numerical value of Or ('light') is Raz ('secret'). Thus, the verse, "let there be light," hints that the time of redemption will be a secret unknown to all men. Again, he said that through repentance everyone will rise from the dead early]. Rabbi Yehoshua said, Unless you said so, we would not have left an opening for those waiting daily for redemption, as it is written, "a store of salvation" (Isaiah 33:6). What is this "salvation"? It alludes to those who seek salvation daily.

What is the opinion of Rabbi Elazar? From the verse, "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake" (Daniel 12:2). It is understood by, "those who sleep," (only some will rise); these are the Righteous (who repented) while they were alive, who will rise early. By how many years do they precede other people? Rabbi Yehuda replied, By two hundred and ten years. Rabbi Yitzchak said, Resh Dalet Yud ('210') years, as it is written, "Out of Jacob shall come (Heb. Yerd, Yud Resh Dalet) a ruler" (Num. 24:19). This indicates that the Righteous precede other men by two hundred and ten years. Rav Nachman said, Precedence depends on how much the body is worn in the dust. Rabbi Yosi said to him, If this be true, then there are many resurrections. All revivals will occur at the same time, as was said in the vision, "and the word was true, and for a long period ahead" (Daniel 10:1). "And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham" (Gen. 26:1). Rabbi Abahu opened the discussion with the verse, "While the king was reclining at his board, my spikenard sent forth its fragrance" (Shir Hashirim 1:12). We learned that the righteous will pass through four eras and four times, each different from the other. During the first, knowledge will increase in the world, and the righteous will conceive what they have not conceived in this world. As we have learned from Rabbi Pinchas, in the future, the perception of the righteous will be greater than that of the ministering angels, as it is written, "as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9). During the second time, you shall be occupied. (End of Midrash Hane'elam)

"And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, 'She is my sister" (Gen. 26:7), that is, just like Abraham said. For the Shechinah was with Isaac and his wife, and he said of the Shechinah, as it is written, "Say to wisdom, 'you are my sister'" (Mishlei 7:4). Thus, he was strengthened and said, "She is my sister." Abraham and Isaac deserved (to say this). This is assuredly so because of the verse "My sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled" (Shir Hashirim 5:2). (They) were therefore worthy of saying "She is my sister." Thus, the Righteous were strengthened by the Holy One, blessed be He. "And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time with Rivkah his wife" (Beresheet 26:8): "with (Heb. et) Rivkah his wife," precisely, which alludes to the Shechinah that was with Rivkah, because Et ('with'), as we know, is the name of the Shechinah. Another explanation asks if we could possibly conceive of Isaac performing his marital duties during the daytime. We have learned that the children of Yisrael are holy and abstain from cohabitation in the daytime. Therefore, how could Isaac, who was holy, cohabit during the day?

Assuredly Abimelech was wise and looked at the wisdom of the stars, that is called a 'window', as it is written here, "out at a window" (Beresheet 26:8), and elsewhere, "The mother of Sisra looked out at a window" (Shoftim 5:28). As there (refers to) astrology, so here to astrology. And he saw there that it was not as Isaac said, but that he surely was sporting with her, and she was his wife. Then, "Abimelech called Isaac" (Beresheet 26:9) Rabbi Yosi said that it would have befitted Abimelech to do this to Isaac, as he did to Abraham, were it not for the Holy One, blessed be He, who reproved him earlier.

Come and behold, it is written, "Because I thought, 'Surely the fear of Elohim is not in this place'" (Beresheet 20:11). According to Rabbi Abba, this is the reason why he said, "She is my sister." He wanted to cleave to the Shechinah, as it is written, "Say to wisdom, you are my sister."Why? Because they had no faith in them, for if they had faith, he would not have needed that. He therefore said, "Because I thought, 'Surely the fear of Elohim is not [141a] on the face of this place." The fear of Elohim is Faith.

Rabbi Elazar said that this is because the Shechinah does not live outside the Holy Land. Therefore, there is no fear of Elohim in this place. This is not Her place, and She does not dwell here. And Isaac was strengthened by the faith when he saw the Shechinah dwelling in his wife. "And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, 'He that touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death'" (Beresheet 26:11). Come and behold, how long had the Holy One, blessed be He, refrained from avenging the wicked, for as a result of the good Abimelech did with the first Patriarchs, the children of Yisrael did not rule over the Philistines until generations later. Abimelech did well to act properly toward Isaac, as he said (to Abraham), "Behold, my land is before you, dwell where it pleases you" (Beresheet 20:15).

Rabbi Yehuda said, Woe to the wicked, whose generosity is not complete. Come and behold, Efron first said, "my lord, hear me, the field I give you, and the cave that is in it" (Beresheet 23:11). Later he said, "four hundred shekels" (Ibid. 14), and then, "and Abraham weighed to Efron current money with the merchant" (Ibid. 16). Here too, it is written at first "Behold, my land is before you,". Then he said (to Isaac), "Go from us; for you are much mightier than we" (Beresheet 26:16). Rabbi Elazar said to him, This is the benevolence Abimelech had for Isaac. He took nothing from him and sent him away with his money and possessions. Then, he went after him to make a covenant with him.

And Rabbi Elazar said that Isaac did well because he knew the secret of wisdom. He strove and dug a well of water, so as to be properly invigorated by Faith. Abraham also strove and dug a well of water. Jacob found it completed and settled by it. Everybody went after it and strove by it, so as to be strengthened by the true Faith, as is proper.

Presently, the children of Yisrael are strengthened by it, according to the secret of keeping the commandments of the Torah; every day a man is strengthened and enveloped by the commandment of the Tzitzit ('fringes'), as he also is by the Tefilin he puts on his head and arm. This is as it should be, for they are the supernal mystery. For the Holy One, blessed be He, dwells with the man who is crowned by Tefilin and clothed with the fringes. All is in the secret of high Faith.

Therefore, whoever does not wear the fringes and is not invigorated by the Tefilin daily, appears as if faith does not dwell with him. The fear of his Master is removed from him, and his prayer is no proper prayer. For this reason, the fathers were strengthened by the supreme faith, since within the supernal well dwells whole faith. "And he removed from there, and dug another well..." (Beresheet 26:22). Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse, "and Hashem shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and make strong your bones" (Yeshayah 58:11). This verse had already been explained, but by this verse the faithful were strengthened, for it promises them the World to Come. "And Hashem shall guide you continually" in this world and the World to Come. "And Hashem shall guide you." Because he said, "And Hashem shall guide you," why add the word "continually (Heb. תָּמִיד)?" For this hints at the daily offering (lit. 'continue') made at dusk that receives its strength from underneath Yitzchak's arm. How do we know that? From David, as it is written, "He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake" (Tehilim 23:3). Just as the word "leads," spoken by David, means the illumination of the left, as it is written, "in the paths of Righteousness," which is a name of the Nukva when she shines from the left, here too when it says "guide," it alludes to the illumination of the left. "And satisfy your soul in drought (also: brightness)" (Yeshayah 58:11) refers to the shining lamp that all the souls delight in and take pleasure in beholding. The verses ends, "and make strong your bones" (Ibid.). The end does not suit the beginning, for if the soul of the righteous (is satisfied), why does it now say "and make strong your bones,"? This has already been explained. It refers to the resurrection of the dead, the fact that the Holy One blessed be He, will revive the dead and fix man's bones as they were at first, in a whole body. And Light will be added from the shining lamp so the soul will be illuminated together with the body in a complete whole. This way, it refers to the soul of the Righteous, to which the Holy One, blessed be He, will give a whole body in which to be clothed for eternity.

For this reason, it is written, "you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water" (Yeshayah 58:11). What is this watered garden? Its supernal water never ceases its eternal flow. His garden always slakes its thirst from it. [141b] refers to that river, which emerges and flows out of Eden, which waters never cease flowing.

Come and behold, A well of living water is the supreme secret (Binah) within the faith (Malchut). A cistern, from where the spring of water, and a cistern that is filled by that spring of water. These two grades are one, namely, male and female properly as one.

Come and behold, This spring of water and the cistern are one. Together they are called 'a well'. For the spring is derives from Aleph, and Malchut is a cistern (Heb. bor). Together they form the well (Heb. be'er). For this spring flows and never ceases, so the cistern is always filled. And whoever looks at the well looks on the supernal mystery of faith. And this is the reasoning behind (the labor of) the Patriarchs, who strove to dig a well of water in the supernal secret (Binah). There must be no division between the source and the cistern itself, for all is one. "And he called the name of it Rechovot" (Beresheet 26:22). For this reason, its springs will spread on all sides, as it is written, "So will your spring be dispersed abroad, and streams of water will flow in the broad places (Heb. רְחֹבֹת)" (Mishlei 5:16). For this reason, "he called the name of it Rechovot."

Rabbi Shimon began with the verse, "Wisdoms cry aloud in the streets; she utters her voice in the squares (Heb. רְחוֹבוֹת)" (Mishlei 1:20). This verse contains a deep mystery. Why "wisdoms"? They are the upper wisdom, and the lower wisdom that is included and dwells within the upper one, the lower Chochmah.

"Cry aloud in the streets", Come and behold, The upper Chochmah is the most concealed of all. It is not to be known or revealed, as it is written, "Man cannot know its price" (Iyov 28:13), for when it was diffused in order to illuminate, it shone on the secret of the World to Come. This World to Come was created from it, as we learned, that the World to Come was created by the Yud, in which Chochmah was covered. And they became one, when everything was adorned with the secret of the World to Come. Everything then is joyfully luminous, everything is silent, never heard outside.

It wanted to illuminate further. Thus, from this place came fire, water, and wind, as we have learned. And they became one voice that went out and was heard. From then on, it assumed the aspect of "out." For inside it is silent, never to be heard. Now that the secret is heard, it is called "out." From here on, it behooves a man to improve his deeds and ask.

"In the squares (Heb. rechovot)." What is the meaning of squares? This is the firmament where all the stars are shining. It is a spring "whose waters fail not" (Yeshayah 58:11), as it is written, "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden" (Beresheet 2:10). It is called 'Rechovot'. There "she utters her voice," the upper and the lower. And all is one.

For that reason Solomon said, "Prepare your work outside, and make it fit for yourself in the field" (Mishlei 24: 27). "Prepare...outside", as it is written, "cry aloud in the streets,". For here, work can be corrected. And this may be sought, as it is written, "For ask now of the days that are past...and from the one side of heaven to the other" (Devarim 4:32).

"And make it fit for yourself in the field." This is "a field which Hashem has blessed" (Beresheet 27: 27). After learning the mystery of wisdom and perfecting himself therein, it is then written, "and afterwards build your house" (Mishlei 24: 27). (A house is) a man's soul, that he will then fix within his body, to become a whole man. Therefore, when Isaac dug and formed the well peacefully, he called that "peace", Rechovot. And all was properly done. Happy are the Righteous, whose deeds before the Holy One, blessed be He, are to preserve the world, as it is written, "For the upright shall dwell in the land" (Mishlei 2:21), which should be read as, 'cause to dwell', as was already explained. "And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old" (Beresheet 27:1). Rabbi Shimon said, It is written, "And Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night" (Beresheet 1:5). This verse had already been explained; nevertheless come and behold, All the actions that the Holy One, blessed be He, performs, are true, and in the secret of the upper world. And all the words of the Torah are words of faith and supernal mysteries, as they should.

And Come and behold, Isaac did not have the merit of Abraham, whose eyes were not blinded or dimmed. Here, however, is a supernal secret, the secret of faith. For we have learned that "And Elohim called the light Day" refers to Abraham, the light of day, whose light grows stronger as the day advances. [142a] Thus, it is written, "And Abraham was old, advanced in age" (Beresheet 24:1), that is, in the shining lights (of benevolences). And he is old, as it is written, "that shines ever more brightly until the height of noonday" (Mishlei 4:18). Therefore, "And Elohim called the light Day." "And the darkness he called Night." This is Isaac, who is dark, and gets to receive the night within him. Therefore, when he grew older, it is written, "And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see" (Beresheet 27:1). (he had become completely dark). Assuredly he had to be (totally) dark to cleave well to his grade.

Rabbi Elazar, his son, kissed his hands and said, This is well. Abraham shines on the side of his grade, and Isaac is darkened on the side of his grade. But why did Jacob (grow darker), as it is written, "Now the eyes of Yisrael were dim (lit. 'heavy') from age" (Beresheet 48:10). He answers, Assuredly it is, for it is written, "heavy," and not dim; It is written "from age", not 'his age.' "From age" is to be interpreted as the age of Isaac, on the side (of Isaac) his eyes "were heavy so that he could not see" (Ibid.), not properly, but he was not absolutely blind. But Yitzchak's eyes were completely dim, and it became darkness, for night clove to him and it was fulfilled, "and the darkness he called Night." "He called Esau his eldest son..." This means that he was included within strict Judgment. "And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death." Rabbi Elazar opened the discussion with the verse, "Happy is the man, whose strength is in You..." (Tehilim 84:6), happy is the man who is strengthened by the Holy One, blessed be He, and puts his trust in Him.

This trust could be interpreted as the trust that Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah put in Him when they said, "Behold, our Elohim whom we serve is able to deliver us; He can deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and out of your hand, king..." (Daniel 3:17). Come and see, if He would not save them and be with them, it would come to pass that the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, would not be sanctified before the eyes of everyone, as they said. But when they realized they did not speak properly, they spoke again, saying "But if He does not, be it known to you, king..." (Ibid. 18), whether He will save them or not, let it be known to you that we will not worship an image. It was made known to them by Ezekiel, whom they heard and believed that the Holy One, blessed be He, would not be with them, so that they would be rewarded. Then they spoke again, saying, "be it known to you, King..."

A man should not assume and think, the Holy One, blessed be He, will save us, or, that the Holy One, blessed be He, will do such and such for me. However, it behooves man to place his trust in the Holy One, blessed be He, to help him, as long as he strives to keep the precepts of Torah and to walk the path of truth. When a man wishes to be purified, he is surely helped, and he should trust the Holy One, blessed be He, to help him in this. And he should put his trust in Him, and not in another. Therefore, it is written, "Whose strength is in you." "In whose heart are your highways" (Tehilim 84:6), that it behooves him to prepare his heart as fit, so that no strange thoughts will come into it, but to be as a mended way to pass through, wherever one needs to, either right or left. Thus whether the Holy One, blessed be He, does good for him or not, his heart should be ready and prepared, and not harbor strange thoughts in any case whatsoever.

Another explanation for, "Happy is the man, whose strength is in You." Strength as in "Hashem gives strength to His people" (Tehilim 29:11), that it is incumbent on a man to be occupied in studying Torah for the name (sake) of the Holy One, blessed be He. For whoever is occupied in the Torah, but does not care for its name, would have been better never born. What is meant by the verse, "in whose heart are Your highways (Heb. מְסִלּוֹת)?" It is as in the verse, "extol (Heb. סוֹלוּ) Him who rides upon the clouds; Yah is His name" (Tehilim 68:5), that when he studies the Torah, extolling the Holy One, blessed be He, and glorifying and extolling Him throughout the world.

Come and behold, Jacob, all that he did was for the sake of the Holy One, blessed be He, and for that reason the Holy One, blessed be He, was with him always, by that the Shechinah never moved from him. For when Isaac called for Esau, his son, Jacob was not there. The Shechinah told this to Rivkah, who informed Jacob.

Rabbi Yosi said, come and behold, If, heaven forbid, Esau would have been blessed at that time, Jacob would not have ruled over the world. But it was decreed by the Holy One, blessed be He, and everything happened as it should. Come and behold, It is written, "but Rivkah loved Jacob" (Beresheet 25:28), as has been explained. Therefore, she sent for Jacob and said to him "Behold, I heard your father speak to Esau your brother" (Beresheet 27:6).

"Now therefore, my son, obey my voice..." (Beresheet 27:8): It was then Pesach (Passover) eve, and the Evil Inclination had to be exterminated from the world, and the moon, the secret [142b] of faith had to govern. Therefore, Rivkah cooked two dishes.

Rabbi Yehuda said that this alludes to the descendants of Jacob, who in the future offered two goats on Yom Kippur, one for Hashem and one to Azazel. For this reason, Rivkah offered "two kids of the goats," one for the supernal grade and one to subjugate the grade of Esau, so he would not rule over Jacob. Thus, there were two kids of the goats. From both, Isaac tasted and ate. It is written, "and he brought him wine, and he drank" (Beresheet 27: 25), (not 'he served him'). By this he hints that he served him wine from afar. According to Rabbi Elazar, this means that he brought him wine in which there is complete joy, to gladden Isaac, for he needed cheering, as the side of the Levites needs cheering, Therefore, "he brought him wine, and he drank." "And Rivkah took the best clothes of her eldest son Esau" (Beresheet 27:15). These are the garments Esau took from Nimrod. They are the precious garments from Adam, which came to the hands of Nimrod, who used them when he hunted, as it is written, "He was a mighty hunter before Hashem" (Beresheet 10:9). And Esau went into the field, where he fought with and killed Nimrod, removing the garments from him. This is the meaning of "and Esau came from the field, and he was faint" (Beresheet 25:29). It has already been explained why it is here written, "And he was faint," and elsewhere, "for my soul faints before the slayers" (Yirmeyah 4:31). These are analogous. There it is written "faint" to refer to killing. Here too, there is killing, because Esau murdered Nimrod.

Esau hid these garments with Rivkah and wore them when he went hunting. On the day, he did not take them to the field and was therefore late. When Esau wore them, they put forth no scent at all, but when Jacob wore them, the lost object was restored. For the beauty of Jacob was the beauty of Adam. They therefore returned to their place and emitted fragrance.

Rabbi Yosi said, Jacob's beauty was the beauty of Adam. How could this be? We learned that the apple of Adam's heel eclipsed the orb of the sun. Could you say that for Jacob? Rabbi Elazar replied, assuredly before Adam sinned no creature could behold his beauty. But after he sinned, his beauty changed, his stature diminished, and he was a hundred cubits high. Come and behold, Adam's beauty is a mystery on which supernal faith stems. Of this, the scripture says "And let the beauty of Adonai our Elohim be upon us" (Tehilim 90:17). It is also written, "to behold the beauty of Hashem" (Tehilim 27:4). This is, assuredly, the beauty of Jacob. And all is in the supernal mystery.

And he smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him" (Beresheet 27:27). Come and behold, It is not written, "and he smelled the smell of the garments" but "the smell of his garments." This is according to the verse, "Who covers Himself with light as with a garment, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain" (Tehilim 104:2). Another explanation is that once Jacob wore them, they emitted an aroma. As long as Isaac did not smell the aroma of the garments, he did not bless him. But then, he knew that the wearer was worthy of being blessed. For if he did not deserve to be blessed, no holy aroma would be put forth. This is the meaning of the verse "and he smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him." "And said, See, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which Hashem has blessed" (Beresheet 27:27). The meaning of "and said" is not clear. Some say it is the Shechinah; some say it was Isaac who said "like the smell of a field which Hashem has blessed." What is this field? This is a field of apple trees (referred to as 'the field of Holy apples' which the supernal Patriarchs support and cultivate.

"Therefore the Elohim give you of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine" (Beresheet 27:28). Rabbi Abba said, This verse has already been explained. Nevertheless, come and look at the verse, "A song of ascent. In my distress I cried to Hashem, and He heard me" (Tehilim 120:1). How many songs and praises did David say before the Holy One, blessed be He, all in order to fix his grade and to make himself a name, as it is written, "And David got him a name" (II Shmuel 8:13). This song he said when he saw what Jacob accomplished, that he was answered and received the blessings. He said, "In my distress I cried to Hashem, and He heard me." [If it were not for Jacob, who received the blessings, the secret of the whole Mochin to construct the Nukva, David could not have made Her a name.]

Rabbi Elazar said, It was Jacob who sang this song, when his father said to him, "Come near, I pray you, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not" (Beresheet 27:21). Then [143a] was Jacob in great distress, for he feared that his father will recognize and know him. Then it is written, "and he recognized him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands, so he blessed him" (Beresheet 27: 23). So he said, "In my distress I cried to Hashem, and He heard me." Deliver my soul, Hashem, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue" (Tehilim 120:2). This is the portion where Esau is, who has lying lips. What are the lying lips? When the serpent brought curses upon the world, he brought them deceitfully and crookedly.

Come and behold, When Isaac said to Esau "and go out to the field, and catch me some venison (Heb. צָיִדה)" (Beresheet 27:3), with a Hei, instead of using tzayid, without a Hei. This has already been explained. And Esau went (hunting) to be blessed by Isaac, who said to him "and bless you before Hashem" (Ibid. 7). It would have been well to say just "and I will bless you," but since he added "before Hashem," the Throne of Glory of the Holy One, blessed be He, then trembled and said, Could it be, that the serpent is freed from these curses, and Jacob remains subject to them?

At that time Michael came before Jacob with the Shechinah. Isaac knew that and saw that the Garden of Eden is with Jacob, so he blessed him. When Esau entered, Gehenom entered with him. Therefore, "And Isaac trembled very much" (Beresheet 27:33), because he had previously thought that Esau was not of that side. Therefore he said "Moreover, he shall be blessed."

For that reason Jacob behaved with cunning and guile, and brought blessings on Jacob, who resembled Adam, that were taken from the serpent of the lying lips, who talked and acted deceitfully, in order to incite and bring curses upon the world. For that reason, Jacob behaved with cunning and misled his father, so as to bring blessings upon the world and snatch from the serpent what he withheld from the world. This was measure for measure, of which it is written, "For he loved cursing, and it came to him, and he delighted not in blessings, and it was far from him" (Tehilim 109:17). About him, the verse reads, "you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field" (Beresheet 3:14). He stayed accursed forever more, and Jacob came and took the blessings from him.

From the time of Adam, Jacob was destined to take from the serpent all these blessings, and the serpent was to remain accursed, never to be released from them. And David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, asked, "What shall be given to you? Or what shall be done to you, you false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty" (Tehilim 120:3-4). What causes this evil serpent to bring curses upon the world, when he is, as they said, a serpent that bites and kills, but draws no pleasure from it?

"...False tongue." For the serpent deceived Adam and his wife and brought evil on him and the world. Then came Jacob, who took the blessings that were his own. "Sharp arrows of the mighty" refers to Esau, who harbored hatred toward Jacob on account of the blessings, as it is written, "and Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing" (Beresheet 27:41).

"Therefore the Elohim gives you of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth" (Beresheet 27:28), from above and below, joined together. "...and plenty of corn and wine" (Ibid.) has already been explained. It is similar to the verse, "yet I have not seen a just man forsaken, and his seed begging bread" (Tehilim 37:25). Come and behold, "I have been young, and now am old" (Ibid.). This verse was said by the minister of the world (Metatron). And therefore he said "and plenty of corn and wine."

"Let peoples serve you" (Beresheet 27:29), when king Solomon reigned in Jerusalem, as it is written, "And all the kings of the earth...brought every man his present" (II Chronicles 9:23-24). "...and nations bow down to you" at the advent of Messiah, according to the verse, "And may all Kings fall down before him." Rabbi Yehuda said, all this will occur with the coming of the King Messiah, as written, "And may all kings fall down before him; all nations serve him" (Tehilim 72:11).

"Be lord over your brethren" (Beresheet 27:29). Why Heveh (be), instead of the more accepted Heyeh or Tih'yeh? This is a supernal mystery of faith, for these letters, HEI-VAV-HEI are mysteries of faith. The upper Hei above (Binah), Vav in the middle (Tiferet), and the last Hei (Malchut). Therefore he said "Heveh (be) a lord over your brethren," rule over them, and govern them, when king David will appear. Rabbi Yosi said that all that will happen when Messiah will come. For (as long as) Yisrael transgress the words of the Torah, then, "you shall break his yoke from off your neck"

"Therefore the Elohim give you" (Beresheet 27:28). Rabbi Yosi said that all these [143b] blessings on the side of Jacob's portion were his, and he took his own. And Isaac wanted to bestow the blessings upon Esau. Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, caused them to revert to Jacob, that he may take that which is his own.

Come and behold, Of the time when the serpent brought curses upon the world, and the land was accursed, it is written, "And to the man he said, Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife...cursed is the ground for your sake" (Beresheet 3:17), for it will not produce fruit nor vegetation in a proper measure. Correspondingly, "...and the fatness of the earth", "in sorrow shall you eat of it" (Ibid.). "of the dew of heaven"; "thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you,"He was blessed accordingly with "plenty of corn and wine." In opposition to, "in the sweat of your face shall you eat bread."; "let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you," as they will cultivate the land and till the field, as it is written, "and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers" (Isaiah 61:5). Jacob took it all measure for measure, and of his own he took. The Holy One, blessed be He, caused Jacob to receive these blessings and cleave to his place and portion, while Esau cleaved to his own place and portion.

Rabbi Chizkiyah said, We see that the fatness of the earth and the dew of heaven were the blessings Esau later received, as it is written, "of the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above" (Beresheet 27:39).

Rabbi Shimon said, The one is not like the other, and this does not resemble that. How different are the grades! of Jacob, it is written, "Therefore the Elohim give you." And of Esau, it is written, "shall be." It is written of Jacob, "of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth," and of Esau, "of the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven," for there is no resemblance between them.

Their grades differ considerably from each other. It is written of Jacob, "Therefore the Elohim give you of the dew of heaven" (Beresheet 27:28). This is the supernal dew drawn from Atik Yomin, which is called 'the dew of heaven', drawn from the grade called 'heaven', from which it flows into the field of holy apple trees; "of the fatness of the earth." The earth refers to the land of the living above, that is, Malchut, while attiring the Sefirah Binah called 'living Elohim', is then called 'the land of the living'. And Jacob inherited in the upper earth and upper heaven. Esau was in the lower land here and in the lower heaven here. Jacob high above, and Esau down below.

Also, Jacob (was blessed) above and below. And Esau only below. And though it is written, "and it shall come to pass when you shall have the dominion, that you shall break his yoke from off your neck" (Beresheet 27:40), here, but up above, nothing (is cancelled), as it is written, "For Hashem's portion is his people, Jacob is the lot of His inheritance" (Devarim 32:9). Come and behold, When Jacob and Esau started to avail themselves of the blessings, Jacob received his share from above, and Esau took his share below.

Rabbi Yosi, the son of Rabbi Shimon, son of Lakunia, asked Rabbi Elazar, has your father explained why the blessings with which Isaac blessed Jacob did not prevail, while the blessings Isaac bestowed on Esau all did?

He replied that all these blessings prevailed, along with other blessings that the Holy One, blessed be He, gave to Jacob. But at first, Jacob received above only. And Esau received below. After King Messiah will arise, Jacob will receive above and below, and Esau will lose everything. He will have no portion and inheritance or remembrance in the world. This is the meaning of the verse, "And the house of Jacob shall be fire, and the house of Joseph flame, and the house of Esau for stubble" (Ovadyah 1:8), for Esau will lose everything, and Jacob will inherit both worlds, this world and the World to Come, namely, the upper heaven and earth. It goes without saying that even before the advent of Messiah, Jacob receives blessings from the lower heaven and earth, that is, when the Temple existed, on Shabbatot and holidays and also through prayers. But because they are not constant, it is not considered receiving. But in the future it shall be permanent.

At that point, it is written, "And liberators shall ascend upon mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esau; and the kingdom shall be Hashem's" (Ibid.). The kingdom that Esau received in this world shall be for the Holy One, blessed be He, alone. Did this kingdom not already belong to the Holy One, blessed be He? Although the Holy One, blessed be He, rules above and below, He lets other peoples rule, giving each a part and inheritance in this world for their use. At that time He will take the kingdom from them all, and it will be solely His, as it is written, "And Hashem shall be king over all the earth, on that day Hashem shall be One, and His name One" (Zecharyah 14:9). "And Jacob was scarce gone out (lit. 'went out going')" (Beresheet 27:30): Rabbi Shimon said, "went out, going" refers to two goings out. Why? Because [144a] one is of the Shechinah and one of Jacob. For when Jacob entered, the Shechinah came in with him, and he was blessed before the Shechinah. Isaac said the blessings and the Shechinah approved. Therefore, when Jacob went out, the Shechinah went out with him. This is the hidden meaning of the phrase "and Jacob went out going," which mentions two goings out together. "Esau his brother came in from his hunting" (Ibid.). Why is it written "his hunting", and not "the hunting." It is Esau's hunting that contains no blessing. And the Holy Spirit cried out, "Do not eat the bread of him who has an evil eye" (Mishlei 23:6).

"And he also had made savory food...Let my father arise" (Beresheet 27:31). His speech was impertinent, rough, and impolite. Come and behold the difference between Jacob and Esau. Jacob talked to his father humbly, with humility. It is written, "And he came to his father, and said, My father" (Ibid. 18). The difference between the language of Esau and Jacob is that Jacob did not want to frighten him. Thus, he spoke humbly, saying "arise, I pray you, sit and eat of my venison." Esau, however, said "Let my father arise," as if he was not speaking to him.

Come and behold, When Esau entered, Gehenom came with him, and Isaac trembled with fear, as it is written, "And Isaac trembled very much" (Beresheet 27:33). Why is "very much" used to describe "trembled."? Isaac never felt such fear and terror during his life. Even when he was strapped upon the altar and saw the knife, he did not tremble as when Esau entered and brought Gehenom with him. Then he said, "Before you came, and have blessed him? Moreover, he shall be blessed." For I saw the Shechinah approving those blessings.

There is another explanation, Isaac said, "And has blessed him." A voice came forth, saying "moreover, he shall be blessed." Isaac wanted to curse Jacob, but the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, Isaac, it is you whom you curse, for you have said to him "cursed be those that curse you, and blessed be those that bless you" (Beresheet 27:29).

Come and behold, Everyone acknowledged these blessings, the upper and lower, and even he, (Samael, the angel-minister of Esau) the part and portion of Esau, acknowledged them. And he blessed him and approved of the blessings, and raised him above his head. From where do we know this? From the verse, "And he said, Let me go, for the day breaks. And he said, I will not let you go, unless you bless me" (Beresheet 32:27). It is written, "And he said, Let me go" because Jacob had seized him. How can a man, flesh and blood, take hold of an angel, which is pure spirit, as it is written, "who makes the winds His messengers; the flames of fire His ministers" (Tehilim 104:4)?

It is understood from this that when angels, the messengers of the Holy One, blessed be He, descend into this world, they are clothed in a body in the likeness of this world, for it is not seemly to deviate from the custom of the place one visits.

We have learned that when Moses went up, "he was there with Hashem forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water" (Shemot 34:28) in order not to deviate from the custom of the place he went to. And of the angels, when they descended, it is written, "and he stood by them under the tree, and they ate" (Beresheet 18:8). Here also, the descending angel could not struggle with Jacob unless clothed in a body, as is done in this world. Therefore Jacob wrestled with him the whole night. But if he were not clothed (in human form), Jacob could not have wrestled with him.

Come and behold, Because of this those (of the Other Side) dominate only during the night, assuredly this is why Esau rules only in exile, which is night. Hence, he wrestled and struggled with Jacob during the night. But when morning came, the strength of the angel failed, and he did not prevail. Then Jacob got stronger, as the dominion of Jacob is during the day.

Therefore, it is written, "The burden of Dumah. One calls to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?" (Isaiah 21:11), for the dominion of Esau, who is called 'Se'ir', is during the night. Therefore the angel weakened when morning came, and then "he said, Let me go, for the day breaks."

"And he said, I will not let you go, unless you bless me" (Beresheet 32:27). "Unless you bless me," but it should have been [144b] "unless you will bless me" (future tense). Why, therefore, is it written literally, "unless you have blessed me"> (He told him) if you will acknowledge the blessings my father gave to me and not denounce me for them. It is also written, "And he said, Your name shall be called no more 'Jacob', but Yisrael" (Beresheet 32:29). Why did he call him Yisrael? He told him, we are compelled to serve you, for through your exceeding might, you have been crowned above, in the highest grade. Therefore your name shall surely be Yisrael.

"For you have striven with Elohim." What is the meaning of the phrase "with Elohim?" Could it be that he referred to himself? "Have striven" to be joined and united "with Elohim," as the union of the sun and moon. Hence it is not written "against Elohim," but rather "with Elohim," in a union.

Another explanation of "And he said" has the same meaning as "and He said, If you will diligently hearken to the voice of Hashem your Elohim" (Shemot 15:26). Here too "And he said" (means) "Your name shall be called no more 'Jacob', but Israel." Then was Jacob crowned by his grade, by which he will include all the Patriarchs. It is written, "And he blessed him there" (Beresheet 32:30). It means that he acknowledged all the blessings with which his father blessed him.

Rabbi Shimon began the discourse with the verse, "When a man's ways please Hashem, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him" (Mishlei 16:7). Come and behold, Man has much to do if he wants to improve his behavior toward the Holy One, blessed be He, by keeping the precepts of the Torah. For we have learned that assuredly man has two angels, who are messengers that join him from above. One is on his right and the other on his left. They observe man in everything he does. They are called 'the Good Inclination' and 'the Evil Inclination'.

When a man wishes to be purified and strives to observe the precepts of the Torah, the Good Inclination that joined him overpowers the Evil Inclination and makes peace with it. As a result, the Evil Inclination becomes a slave to the Good Inclination. When a man wishes to be defiled, the Evil Inclination is strengthened and overpowers the Good Inclination. This has already been explained. Assuredly, when man wishes to be purified, he has much to overcome. When the Good Inclination is strengthened, then "He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." For the Evil Inclination is submissive to the Good Inclination. Of this Solomon said, "Better is he that is lightly esteemed, and has a servant" (Mishlei 12:9). The servant is the Evil Inclination. Then, when a man walks by the precepts of the Torah, "he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him," including the Evil Inclination and its escorts.

Come and behold, Because Jacob put his trust in the Holy One, blessed be He, and all that he did was for His sake, his enemies made peace with him, specifically Samael, who is the strength and might of Esau, made peace with Jacob. Because Samael made peace with Jacob and acknowledged all his blessings, Esau made peace with Jacob. Yet, as long as Jacob did not make peace with him, the minister in charge of Esau, then Esau did not make peace with him. This is because strength below always depends on strength above. As long as the strength of the ministers in charge over them is not weakened above, it is not possible to weaken the strength in this world.

"And Isaac trembled very much, and said, Who then (Heb. אֵיפֹה) is he" (Beresheet 27:33). What is the meaning of "Who then?" It should have been "Who is it?" for 'eifoh' literally means where. He answers, "Who then" is correct because the Shechinah stood there when Isaac blessed Jacob! Thus he said "Who then,", where is he who stood here and approved the blessings, whom I blessed. Assuredly "he shall be blessed," for the Holy One, blessed be He, approved these blessings.

Rabbi Yehuda said that for this trembling that Jacob brought upon Isaac his father, Jacob was punished by Joseph, and he trembled when they said to him "This we have found" (Beresheet 37:32). Isaac said "Who then (Heb. אֵיפֹה)." And by "אֵיפֹה," Jacob was punished. And although the Holy One, blessed be He, approved all the blessings, nevertheless he was punished by "eifoh" as it is written, "Where (אֵיפֹה) they feed their flock" (Beresheet 37:6), where Joseph was lost to him, and he was thereby punished. "...and Isaac trembled very much (lit. 'trembled very great trembling')." What is the meaning of the word "great" as used in the scripture? It is written "great" here and elsewhere, as in "and this great fire" (Devarim 18:16). (Meaning) that Gehenom entered with him. What does "very" mean? It is written "very" here and elsewhere, as in "and, behold, it was very good" (Beresheet 1:31), referring to the Angel of Death. He then said "Who then..." (Beresheet 27:33), when he understood that the blessings belonged to Jacob and not Esau.

[145a] "And when Esau heard the words of his father..." (Beresheet 27:34).

Rabbi Chiya said, These tears brought so much evil (upon Israel), that Esau cried to be blessed before his father, whose words were very important to him. "Is not he rightly named Jacob" (Ibid. 36) means, So He named him, He who did so". He uttered this as if spitting, to degrade (Hashem). It is not written, "Is not he rightly named," but literally "Did not He rightly named him. "For he has supplanted these (Heb. zeh; lit. 'this') two times." Why Zeh to modify "supplanted two times?" It means two matters are contained in one. The word bechorati (my birthright) became at another time birchati (my blessing). In the same manner, the verse "surely now we had returned this (Heb. zeh) second time" (Beresheet 43:10), that two matters are in one: 1) we would have returned (Heb. shavnu) by now and not be put to shame (Heb. boshnu) by that man, and 2) we would have been back already. [The Hebrew letters of shavnu are the same as of boshnu].

Similarly, Job said, "and hold me for Your enemy" (Iyov 13:24). Job turned into oyev (enemy). This was explained according to the verse, "For He crushes me with a tempest" (Iyov 9:17). He said before Him, Master of the universe, "perhaps a tempest stormed at You". Here also, "he took away my birthright" (Heb. bechorati), and the combination turned into "my blessing (Heb. birchati), as in "he has taken away my blessing." "Behold, I have made him your lord...and what shall I do now for you, my son" (Beresheet 27:37). This means that there is no one present who gives consent, "What shall I do now for you, my son." He then blessed him in this world. He looked at his grade and said to him "and by your sword shall you live," for it is fitting of you to shed blood and wage wars. Therefore he said, "What shall I do now for you, my son".

Rabbi Elazar discussed the verse, "what shall I do now for you." Why add "my son?" This is because he asked him "what shall I do now for you?" I have seen you in judgment, sword, and blood. And I have seen your brother walking the path of peace. He added "my son," for surely I brought all this upon you, as you are my son. Therefore "by your sword shall you live, and you shall serve your brother." This has not yet happened, for Esau is not yet a servant of Jacob. This is because Jacob has no need for him now. And he repeatedly called Esau "my master," because Jacob looked far ahead and saved it to the end of days, as we said above.

As Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi were walking together, they noticed that Rabbi Yosi Saba was behind them. They sat down until he caught up to them. When he did, he said, 'now the path is readied before us,' and they went on. Rabbi Chiya quoted the verse, "It is time to act for Hashem" (Tehilim 119:126), while Rabbi Yosi began with the verse, "She opened her mouth with wisdom; and on her tongue is a Torah of steadfast love" (Prov. 31:6). "She opened her mouth with wisdom" alludes to the Congregation of Yisrael; "and on her tongue is a Torah of steadfast love" refers to Yisrael, who are the tongue of the Torah, which is on their lips day and night. "She opened her mouth with wisdom." This is the letter Bet of Beresheet (Eng. 'In the beginning'). It is the secret of the Nukva, called 'house' (Heb. bayit). "And on her tongue is a Torah of steadfast love (lit. 'Chesed')" refers to Abraham, with which He created the world, and he speaks always. The letter Bet is closed on one side and open on the other. It is closed on one side, as it is written, "and you shall see My back" (Shemot 33:23). On the other side Bet is open, so that its face will shine upward. It is also open to receive from above, as a foyer to receive. For that reason, the letter Bet stands at the beginning of the Torah. Another explanation for the verse, "She opened her mouth with wisdom," which assuredly opens with wisdom, as it is written, "In the beginning Elohim created" (Beresheet 1:1), in the Aramaic translation. Of the verse, "And on her tongue is a Torah of steadfast love (lit. 'Chesed')," the Torah later reads, "And Elohim said, Let there be light, and there was light" (Ibid. 3).

"She opened her mouth with wisdom," is that it is the first Hei of the holy name Yud Hei Vav Hei, which is Binah, in which everything is contained. It is concealed and revealed, comprising both what is above and below. "She opened her mouth with wisdom"because it is concealed and utterly unrevealed, as it is written, "Seeing it is hidden from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the birds of the sky" (Iyov 28:21). When (Binah) started to spread together with Chochmah that cleaved to it and was clothed in it, it issued a sound, which is "a Torah of Chesed."

"She opened her mouth with wisdom" is that the last Hei (and) refers to speech, which depends on wisdom. "and on her tongue is a Torah of Chesed" alludes to the voice, which controls and conducts speech, "A Torah of Chesed love" is Jacob, [145b] He is "on her tongue," to guide the word and be united with it, for there is no speech without sound.

Rabbi Chiya then quoted the verse, "I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find knowledge in crafty schemes" (Mishlei 8:12). "I, wisdom" refers to the Congregation of Yisrael; "dwell with prudence" is Jacob, who is prudent; "find knowledge in crafty schemes" alludes to Isaac, who used knowledge and stratagems to bless Esau. Wisdom was joined with Jacob, who dealt with prudence. Therefore Jacob (was to) "find knowledge in crafty devices," by which he was blessed by his father, , and all the blessings rested upon him and prevailed upon him and his descendants forever.

Some have prevailed in this world, and all will prevail at the advent of King Messiah, when Yisrael will be "one nation in the land" (Ezekiel 37:22), one nation before the Holy One, blessed be He. This is the meaning of the verse "and I will make them one nation in the land," and they will reign above and below, as it is written, "and, behold, one like a son of man came with the clouds of heaven" (Daniel 7:13). This is King Messiah, as it is written, "And in the days of these kings shall the Elohim of heaven set up a kingdom..." (Daniel 2:44). Therefore, Jacob wanted his blessings to be postponed and did not take them at once.

Rabbi Yosi then quoted the verse, "But fear not, O My servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, Yisrael" (Jer. 46:27). This verse has already been explained. Nevertheless, after Jacob had received his father's blessings, he searched himself and said, I want these very blessings to be postponed for the time, so they will last. He was frightened. A voice resounded, saying "Fear not, O Jacob My servant, says Hashem, for I am with you" (Ibid. 28), and I will never leave you, for, "behold, I will save you from afar" (Ibid. 27) at the time for which the blessings were reserved. The verse, "and your seed from the land of their captivity," means that although Esau now took the blessings and (his children) will enslave your children, I will free them from his hands. Then, your children will enslave him. Then, "Jacob shall return," - to these blessings. "And Jacob will return" assuredly "and be quiet and at ease," as has been explained from the kingdoms of Babylon, Media, Greece, and Edom, which were enslaving Yisrael." And none shall make him afraid" for ever and ever.

As they continued walking, Rabbi Yosi said, Assuredly, whatever the Holy One, blessed be He, does in the world is in the secret of wisdom. It is intended to teach the greatest wisdom to mankind, so man will learn from those acts the secrets of wisdom. And everything is as it should be. His works are all the ways of Torah, since the ways of Torah are the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He. And even in the smallest thing, there are ways and paths and secrets of high wisdom.

Come and behold, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai used to say that 300 legal decisions are derived from the verse, "and his wife's name was Mehetabel, daughter of Matred, daughter of Mezehab" (Beresheet 36:39). This he revealed only to Rabbi Eliezer, who was with him. That shows how many secrets of the Torah are in every deed in the Torah. In each word, there is wisdom and true doctrine. Therefore the words of the Torah are holy words, by which to conceive wondrous things, as it is written, "Open you my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Your Torah" (Tehilim 119:18).

Come and behold, When the serpent deceived Adam and his wife, when he approached her and injected impurity into her, Adam succumbed to temptation. Then the world was defiled and the land became accursed because of him. He brought death to the world. And the world was punished because of him, until the Tree of Life came, atoned for Adam, and subjugated the serpent, so that his seed will never rule the seed of Jacob.

For when Yisrael offered a goat, the serpent was subdued and became a slave as we learned. Therefore, Jacob served his father two goats (Heb. se'irim), one with which to subjugate Esau, who is hairy (Heb. sa'ir), and the other for the grade upon which Esau depended and to which he cleaved. (i.e., Samael).

Therefore the world is accursed until a woman comes, who resembles Eve, and a man, who resembles Adam. They will deceive and beguile [146a] the serpent and the one ruling him, (meaning Samael). We have already learned this.

He opened the discussion with the verse, "and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field, and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents" (Beresheet 25:27). The phrase "a plain man" means a whole man, according to the Aramaic translation, (for he was) "dwelling in tents." He was plain because he dwelt in tents, he held fast the two sides, Abraham and Isaac. Because Jacob came to Esau from the side of Isaac. As we learned from the verse, "With the merciful you will show yourself merciful...and with the perverse you will show yourself subtle" (Tehilim 18:26-27). When he came to receive the blessings, he came with support of Abraham and Isaac from above, and so all was done wisely.

Come and behold, When Jacob arose against Samael, the grade of Esau, Samael fought and wrestled with him, but Jacob overpowered him in several ways. He conquered the serpent with cunning and subtlety, but he was only overpowered by the goat (the two goats he served to his father Isaac). And though all is one, (meaning the serpent and Samael) nevertheless he also conquered and overpowered Samael in another battle. This is derived from the verse, "and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he did not prevail against him" (Beresheet 32:25-26).

Come and behold, The merit of Jacob was such, that he (Samael) wanted to exterminate Jacob from the world. That night was the night when the moon was created (it was Wednesday evening). And Jacob stayed alone, and no one was with him, as we have learned that a man must not venture out alone at night. This is even more true on the night when the luminaries were created, for then the moon is defective, as it is written, "Let there be lights (Heb. מְאֹרֹת)" (Beresheet 1:14), and the word מְאֹרֹת is spelled without the letter Vav, which is a sign of a curse. Because Jacob remained alone that night (he was in great danger) because when the moon is defective, the evil serpent is strengthened and rules. Then Samael came and denounced Jacob and wanted him to perish from the world.

But Jacob was strong on all sides, on the side of Isaac and the side of Abraham. (Samael) came to the right and saw Abraham, strong with the vigor of day, namely, the right side, which is Chesed. He came to the left, and saw Isaac, powerful with the strength of rigorous judgment. He came to the body and saw Jacob strong on these two sides. They surrounded him, one from here and one from there. Then "when he saw that he did not prevail against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh" (Beresheet 32:26), a place outside the body, the one pillar of the body. Then "and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was put out of joint, as he wrestled with him...".

Once day broke and night departed, Jacob was strengthened, and the power of Samael diminished. Then he said, "Let me go" (Ibid. 27), for it was his time to say the morning hymns and he had to leave. He confirmed his blessings and added a blessing of his own, as it is written, "And he blessed him there" (Ibid. 30).

Come and behold how many were the blessings Jacob received. The one from his father he earned through cunning, and that gained him all these many blessings; the one of the Shechinah he received from the Holy One, blessed be He, when he returned from Laban, as it is written, "And Elohim...blessed him" (Beresheet 35:9). He was given one by the minister of Esau and one from his father when he went to Paddan-Aram, as it is written, "And El Shadai bless you..." (Beresheet 28:3).

At the time when Jacob saw himself with all these blessings, he said, Which shall I use now? He decided to use the weakest blessing of all. And which is that? It is the last blessing from his father. And although this too is a powerful blessing, it is not as strong for having power over the world as the first ones.

Jacob said, I will avail myself of this blessing and use it. The others I will reserve until the time when I and my children after me will need them. When (will this be)? At the time the nations gather to exterminate my children from the world, as it is written, "All nations compassed me about, but in the name of Hashem I cut them off. They compassed me about; indeed, they compassed me...They compassed me about like bees..." (Tehilim 118:10-12). There are three verses that correspond to the three blessings that he did not use. The one is the blessing from his father; the second is the blessing from the Holy One, blessed be He; and the third is the blessing he was given by the angel.

Jacob said, At that time, I will need (all of the blessings to protect me) from the kings and all the nations in the world. I will reserve these blessings for that time. And now, for Esau, this blessing should suffice. This is like a king, who had several battalions of mighty warriors and several qualified ministers of war capable of engaging in warfare against mighty kings. [146b] In the meantime, when he learned about a great robber, he sent his gatekeepers. When (his servants) asked him, why did you choose to send the gatekeepers when you have such strong battalions available, the king replied, these will suffice to cope with this robber. I will reserve the battalions and ministers for war against the mighty kings, so they will be available when I need them.

Jacob said the same, To cope with Esau, these blessings will suffice. But I shall reserve for that time when my children will need them to fight the kings and rulers in the world, who will rise against them. When that time arrives, all the blessings will be aroused on all sides and the world will be properly established. From that day on, this kingdom shall rise, above all the other kingdoms, as was explained when discoursing on the verse, "but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Daniel 2:44). This is the stone that was cut out of the mountain and not by man, as it is written, "from thence from the shepherd, the Stone of Yisrael" (Beresheet 49:24). What is this stone? It is the congregation of Yisrael, as written, "and this stone, which I have set for a pillar..." (Beresheet 28:22).

Rabbi Chiya said from here, as it is written, "A remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob" (Isaiah 10:21). About these remaining blessings, it is also written, "And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples" (Michah 5:6), among all the nations, not Esau alone, as it is written, "And the remnant...like dew from Hashem."

Rabbi Yeisa quoted the verse, "A son honors his father, and a servant his master" (Malachi 1:6). "A son" refers to Esau, for in the whole world there was no man who respected his father as Esau did; the homage he paid him made him ruler of the world. "...and a servant his master" refers to Eliezer, the servant of Abraham. This has been explained. The man came to Charan with great wealth and camels loaded with many gifts to lavish, yet he did not say to Betu'el and Laban, that he is Abraham's friend, or any other man, who came at Abraham's request, but when he started his speech, it is written, "And he said, I am Abraham's servant" (Beresheet 24:34). Later, he repeated 'my master' (several times). Because he respected Abraham with honor and kindness, they were patient with him for some time.

Such is Esau; By right of that honor that he showed to his father, the Holy One, blessed be He, was forbearing with him when he ruled this world. And these are the tears that Yisrael shed under his yoke, until Yisrael will return to the Holy One, blessed be He, with crying in tears and weeping, as it is written, "They shall come with weeping..." (Jer. 31:8) and then, "And liberators shall ascend upon mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esau; and the kingdom shall be Hashem's" (Ovadyah 1:21). Blessed be Hashem for ever and ever. Amen and Amen. [This is the end of Parshat Toldot].

Vayetzei / וַיֵּצֵאEdit

Corresponding to Zohar Vol. I pages 146b through 165b

"And Jacob went out from Beer-Sheva, and went toward Charan" (Gen. 28:10). Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse, "The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to its place where it rises again" (Kohelet 1:5). This verse has been explained. But the phrase, "the sun also rises," refers to Jacob when he was in Beer-Sheva. The phrase, "and the sun goes down," refers to Jacob when he went to Charan, as it is written, "And tarried there all night, for the sun was set" (Beresheet 28:11). The passage, "and hastens to its place [147a] where it rises again," is similar to the verse, "and lay down in that place to sleep" (Ibid. 11).

And come and behold, although the sun illuminates the whole world, it travels in only two directions, as it is written, "goes towards the south, and veers to the north" (Kohelet 1:6), for south is the Right and north is the Left. And the sun rises every day from the east side, and travels toward the south side. It then veers to the north side. And from the north it veers toward the west. Then the sun moves to the west, where it sets. The sun rises in the east, as it is written, "And Jacob went out from Beer-Sheva,". The sun goes west as it is written, "And went toward Charan." This teaches us that the illumination alluded to in the text, "And Jacob went out," is a complete illumination comprising the two Columns, Right and Left, which is the secret of Chochmah and Chassadim combined.

Rabbi Shimon said that Jacob went out of the ambit of the Land of Yisrael, as it is written, "And Jacob went out from Beer-Sheva," which is the Nukva in its entirety, called 'Beer-Sheva', and called the 'Land of Yisrael'. And he went to another domain, as it is written, "And went toward Charan," (outside the) Land of Yisrael, (where the Other Side rules). Jacob came from the east, as it is written, "And Jacob went out from Beer-Sheva." This means that during the Sabbatical year, Jacob took the shining light from the supernal depth (Binah) and traveled west. "and went toward Charan," a place of Judgment and wrath (Heb. charon). According to Rabbi Yosi, this verse refers to the exile. For at first, the light descended from the supernal depth, and Jacob took it with him and went to (pour it) on Beer-Sheva. This is, "the well that the princes dug out" (Num. 21:18), here Jacob received his illumination, and perfected the well (Heb. beer) in all its wholeness. During the days of exile, he wanders from Beer-Sheva to Charan, as written, "and went toward Charan that is, to fierce indignation (Heb. Charon). What is the fierce indignation of the Holy One, blessed be He? It is the evil grade, the land of the dominion of another.

Rabbi Chiya said that when the sun, goes west the west represents the throne of the sun, the place upon which the sun dwells. This is the meaning of the verse, "and hastens to its place where it rises again," for it goes to that place to shine upon it. It takes all the lights and gathers them to itself.

So we have learned that the Holy One, blessed be He puts on Tefilin which means He takes all the supernal crowns. What are they? They are the secret of the supernal Abba and supernal Imma; they are the Mochin of Chochmah and Binah, the secret of the two passages, "Kadesh (sanctify to me)" (Devarim 11:13) and "Vehayah Ki Yeviacha (and it shall be when Hashem shall bring you)" (Shmot 13:11-16). Kadesh is the Mochin of the supernal Abba, which is Chochmah. Vehayah Ki Yeviacha is the Mochin of the Supernal Imma, Binah. They are the head Tefilin, the first three Sefirot of the Tefilin, the secret of Yud-Hei, called 'head'. Thus, we have learned that the High Priest takes the first (lit. 'in the head'). After he took Abba and Imma, he received from the right and left. So it is found that he took all the Mochin, the Chochmah, Binah, Chesed, and Gevurah, the secret of the four passages called the 'Tefilin of the Holy One, blessed be He.'

Rabbi Elazar says, The "splendor (Tiferet) of Yisrael," takes all. And when the Congregation of Yisrael is drawn upward, it too takes them all, the male world of the Holy One, blessed be He, and the female world [147b]

THE REMAINDER OF THIS PARSHAH HAS NOT YET BEEN TRANSLATED

Vayishlach / וַיִּשְׁלַחEdit

Corresponding to Volume 1 Pages 165b through 179a of the Zohar:

"And Jacob sent messengers..." (Beresheet 32:4). Rabbi Yehuda began the discussion with the verse, "For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways" (Tehilim 91:11). This verse has already been explained by the friends. When man is born, the Evil Inclination enters with him and constantly denounces him, as it is written, "sin crouches at the door" (Beresheet 4:7). What is meant by "sin crouches"? It refers to the Evil Inclination. "at the door" means at the opening of the womb at a person's birth.

David also called the Evil Inclination by the name 'sin', as it is written, "and my sin is ever before me" (Tehilim 51:5). This is because it tempts man every day to sin before his Master. The Evil Inclination never leaves man, from the day of his birth. The Good Inclination comes to man only when he seeks purity.

And when does man seek purity? On his thirteenth birthday, man joins with the Good Inclination on the right and the Evil Inclination on the left. They are literally two appointed angels found constantly with man.

When man seeks to be purified, the Evil Inclination is humbled before him, and the right rules over the left. And both the Good Inclination and the Evil Inclination watch over man whichever way he travels. This is the essence of the verse, "For He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you all your ways" (Tehilim 91:11).

Rabbi Elazar applies this verse to Jacob. As the Holy One, blessed be He, surrounded Jacob with legions of angels, because he came complete with the supernal tribes, who were in a state of perfection. As it is written, "And Jacob continued on his way, and angels of Elohim met him" (Beresheet 32:2). It has been explained that after being saved from Laban, and departing from him, the Shechinah joined Jacob, and legions of saintly angels surrounded him. At that point [166a] "Jacob said when he saw them" (Ibid. 3). From these angels, he sent a group to Esau. This is the meaning of the verse, "And Jacob sent messengers (also: angels)." Surely these were real angels.

Rabbi Yitzchak said, It is written, "The angel of Hashem encamps round about those who fear Him, and he delivers them" (Tehilim 34:8). This verse has already been explained. But in another place, it is written, "For He shall give His angels charge over you," namely, many angels, whereas here only one is mentioned, as it is written, "The angel of Hashem encamps." The verse, "For He shall give His angels charge over you," refers to angels in general, but the verse, "The angel of Hashem," refers to the Shechinah, as it is written, "And the angel of Hashem appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush" (Shemot 3:2). just as it refers to the Shechinah in the first verse, so The angel mentioned here also points to the Shechinah. And so, "the angel of Hashem encamps round about those who fear Him," to encircle them in every direction so as to deliver them. And when the Shechinah resides inside man, all the holy hosts come there.

Come and behold, When King David was saved from Achish, King of Gat, he said, "The angel of Hashem encamps..." For the Shechinah surrounded him and saved him from Achish, his people, and those who attacked him. As it is written, "וַיִּתְהוֹלֵל (Eng. 'feigned himself mad') in their hands" (I Samuel 21:14). He asks, Why is it written "Vayitholel" rather than 'וַיִּשְׁתַּגֵּעַ', as it is written, "you have brought this fellow to play the mad man (Heb. וַיִּשְׁתַּגֵּעַ) in my presence?" (I Sam. 21:16).

Rather, this verse refers to what David said earlier. As it is written, "For I was envious of the Holelim ('madmen')" (Tehilim 73:3). So the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: Upon your life, you shall be in need of that yet. And when he came to the house of Achish and was attacked, it is written, "He feigned himself mad in their hands," like those Holelim ('madmen') he first envied when he said, "for I was envious of the madmen." Only then did the Shechinah come and protect him. She dwelt there, around David.

You may ask, if the Shechinah resides only in Her own place, which is the Holy Land, why was the Shechinah upon him in Gat, which is outside the Holy Land? She certainly does not dwell outside the land of Yisrael for people to draw plenty from Her, but can dwell outside to rescue men. Thus, when Jacob arrived from the house of Laban, all the holy camps encircled him and did not leave him alone.

Rabbi Chizkiyah asks, If this is so, why is it written, "And Jacob remained alone" (Beresheet 32:35)? where were the legions of angels who encircled him and came with him? Rabbi Yehuda replies, Because he led himself into danger by remaining alone at night and saw clearly the danger he was in, the angels deserted him, for they came to guard him only from unseen dangers. Then, before entering into danger, he stated, "I am unworthy of the least of all the mercies and all the truth, which You have shown Your servant" (Ibid. 11). With this, he referred to the holy camps of angels who usually encircled him, but had left him because he had led himself to a visible danger.

Rabbi Yitzchak said, therefore, the angels left him alone with the officer appointed for Esau, who arrived with heavenly approval. At just that time, the others left to sing before the Holy One, blessed be He, as was required at that precise moment. Later, they returned to him. This is the meaning of the verse, "I am unworthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth and now I have become two camps." The camp of the Shechinah and his own household, however, consist of one camp, as it is written, "This is Elohim's camp" (Ibid. 3). Therefore, why is it written "two camps"? It is to teach that he was perfect in both aspects; from the white and red, denoting Chassadim and Chochmah, from right and left.

Rabbi Elazar said, We have learned, night was under the control of Esau, meaning the left side without the right. At that time, it is written, "Let there be lights (Heb. מְאֹרֹת)" (Beresheet 1:14), written without the letter Vav, being Wednesday eve, which could not give light without Chassadim. For this reason, "Jacob remained alone," as Jacob, representing the sun, denoting Zeir Anpin, remained alone without the Nukva, as the moon, the Nukva was concealed from the sun, namely zeir anpin, called 'Jacob'. Yet, the Holy One, blessed be He, continued to guard Jacob enough so that Esau's officer could not overcome him, as it is written, "He saw that he did not prevail against him" (Beresheet 32:25).

The angel looked to the right of Jacob and saw Abraham, the perfection of the Right Column; he looked to the left of Jacob and saw Isaac, the perfection of the Left Column. He looked at the body of Jacob and saw it was comprised of parts of both the right and left sides, being the perfection of the Central Column. Since the Other Side can have no hold on perfection, only on imperfection, he could not overcome him. Then, "he touched the hollow of his thigh," the one pillar nearest to the body, but somewhat removed from it. Thus, it possesses an aspect of imperfection and the angel seized it, and "the hollow of Jacob's thigh was put out of joint."

For this reason it is written, "The angel of Hashem encamps round about those who fear Him, and he delivers them." He circled him on all sides in order to save him from the officer of Esau. And when the Shechinah resided with him, numerous camps of angels accompanied him. From these angels, Jacob sent some to Esau.

"And Jacob sent messengers." Rabbi Abba asks, What motivated Jacob to send messengers to Esau? Would it not have been better to refrain from sending any to him? Jacob said, I know that Esau reveres the father's honor and has never troubled him. As long as I know that my father is alive, so I do not fear Esau. So as long as my father is alive I wish to appease him. Thus, he immediately hastened, "and Jacob sent messengers before him."

"And Jacob sent messengers." Rabbi Shimon began the discussion with the verse, "Better is one lightly esteemed who owns a servant, than one who pranks himself but lacks bread" (Prov. 12:9). This verse refers to the Evil Inclination, [166b] who constantly accuses man. The Evil Inclination causes man to become haughty and proud, encouraging man to curl his hair until the Evil Inclination towers over him and drags him to Gehenom.

"Better is one lightly esteemed" means one who does not follow the Evil Inclination, and does not act haughtily but humbles his spirit, heart, and will before the Holy One, blessed be He. Then the Evil Inclination becomes his servant, as it cannot control him. On the contrary, the person controls it, as it is written, "Yet you may rule over him" (Beresheet 4:7).

"than one who pranks himself" is as we said, that he puts on airs, curls his hair, and acts haughtily, "but lacks bread." This means a lack of faith, as it is written, "to offer the bread of his Elohim" (Vayikra 21:17), and "the bread of their Elohim they do offer" (Ibid. 6). Bread is the Shechinah in both verses. Faith is the Shechinah, so lacking bread means lacking faith.

Another interpretation of, "Better is one lightly esteemed" is that it refers to Jacob, who humbled himself before Esau so that Esau should later become his servant. By controlling him, he fulfilled the meaning of the verse, "Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you" (Beresheet 27:29). It was not yet time for Jacob to rule over Esau. Jacob left this to happen at a later time, for he was lowly then. Later, however, the one who pranks himself will become his servant, and then he will "lack bread." This refers to Esau, who will become Jacob's servant, who was given "plenty of corn and wine" (Ibid. 28).

Come and behold, Jacob knew that he needed him now. Therefore, he appeared as if he was lightly esteemed. By doing so, he showed more wisdom and guile than he had ever shown against Esau. Had Esau been aware of this wisdom, he would have killed himself rather then coming to this. However, Jacob did all this with wisdom, and about him Hannah said, "The adversaries of Hashem shall be broken in pieces and He shall give strength to his king" (I Shmuel 2:10).

"And he commanded them, saying: 'Thus shall you speak to my lord Esau. Your servant Jacob says thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now'" (Beresheet 32:5). At once Jacob introduced himself as Esau's servant, so that Esau would not take heed of the blessings that his father bestowed on him. Jacob put them aside for the end of days.

Rabbi Yehuda asks, What did Jacob have in mind when he sent Esau a message reading, "I have sojourned with Laban?" Did this message accomplish anything regarding his mission to Esau? A rumor circulated that no one had ever escaped the clutches of Laban of Aram, as he was well versed in sorcery and wizardry. He was also the father of Beor, who in turn was the father of Bilaam. As it is written, "Bilaam the son of Beor the sorcerer" (Joshua 13:22). Yet although Laban was the greatest practitioner of sorcery and wizardry, he could not overcome Jacob, whom he attempted to annihilate in several ways, as it is written, "An Aramian wanted to destroy my father" (Devarim 26:5). And so he sent him the message, "I have sojourned with Laban," to make him aware of his power.

Rabbi Abba said, Everyone was aware that Laban was the best at sorcery and wizardry, and he could use sorcery to do away with anyone he wished. All that Bilaam knew came from Laban. Regarding Bilaam, it is written, "for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed" (Num. 22:6). Because everyone feared Laban and his sorcery, the first words that Jacob sent Esau were, "I have sojourned with Laban." In case Esau thought it was for a short period, perhaps a month or a year, Jacob advised, "and stayed there until now" twenty years did I stay with him.

You may say that he gained nothing, but he said to him, "and I have oxen and donkeys" (Beresheet 32:6). These are sentences of judgment, that is, demons. When these two collaborate, they cooperate to harm the world, meaning it is not their nature to inflict damage except when they are joined. For this reason, it is written, "You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together" (Devarim 22:10). (For this causes these two demons, namely the ox and the donkey, to be joined, and to inflict damage on the world).

The verse, "flocks, and menservants, and women servants," refers to lower crowns of the Kelipot, which the Holy One, blessed be He, slew in Egypt. They are called "the firstborn of cattle" (Shemot 12:29), "the firstborn of the captive" (Ibid.), and "the firstborn of the maidservant" (Shemot 11:5). Esau took fright and came toward him; he feared Jacob as much as Jacob feared him.

This is like the story of a man who was walking along the road when he heard a robber was lurking along the way. When another man approached him, he asks, Where are you from? The man replied that he was from an army brigade. He said, Stay away from me. I have a snake that will kill anyone who approaches me. That man returned to the chief of the brigade, and said, There is a man coming who has a snake that bites and kills anyone [167a] who approaches him.

The chief heard and was frightened. He said, It is best to go meet and appease him. When the traveler saw the chief, he was afraid. He said, Woe is me. Now the chief will kill me. He began to bow and kneel before him. The chief then said, If he really had a snake that kills, he would not have bowed before me. Thus the chief regained his composure, and said, Since he bows so much before me, I shall spare him.

This is why Jacob said, "I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now." I lingered with him these twenty years, and I bring with me a snake, which kills people.' Esau heard this and said, 'Woe to me, who shall stand before him, for now Jacob shall kill me with his mouth.' He thought that because he overpowered Laban, Bilaam's grandfather, his strength was surely as great as that of Bilaam. He then came out to meet him, to appease him.

Once he saw him, it is written, "Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed" (Beresheet 32:8). When he approached him, he began to bow and prostrate himself before him, as it is written, "and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother" (Beresheet 33:3). Esau said, 'If he had so much power, he would not have bowed before me.' He then began to become haughty again.

Come and behold, it is written of Bilaam, "And Elohim came to Bilaam at night" (Bemidbar 22:20). Of Laban, the verse says, "And Elohim came to Laban the Aramian in a dream by night, and said to him, Take heed that you speak not to Jacob..." (Beresheet 31:24). This shows us that Laban was as great as Bilaam. He asks, Why is it written, "that you speak not," rather than 'that you harm not?' He answers, Laban did not chase Jacob with an army of men to wage war against him, for the power of Jacob and his sons is greater than that of Laban. But he chased him to kill him with his mouth and destroy everything, as it is written, "An Aramian wanted to destroy my father." This is why it says, "that you speak not," and not, 'that you harm not'. It is also written, "It is in the power of my hand to do." How did he know he had the power? From that which "Elohim of your father spoke to me last night"

This is the testimony that the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded to pronounce, as it is written, "And you shall speak and say before Hashem your Elohim, an Aramian wanted to destroy my father." "And you shall speak" is similar to the verses, "You shall not bear false witness" (Shemot 20:13), and also, "and has testified...against his brother" (Devarim 19:18).

It is written of Bilaam that "he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments" (Bemidbar 24:1), as was his wont, being a diviner. Of Laban too, the scripture says, "I have learnt by signs" (Beresheet 30:27), which means that he consulted magic and sorcery to learn of Jacob's plans. When he wanted to destroy Jacob, he planned to do it by enchantment and sorcery, but the Holy One, blessed be He, did not permit him to do so. Rather, He said to him: "that you speak not."

This is the meaning of what Bilaam, Laban's grandson, said, "Surely there is no enchantment in Jacob, nor divination in Yisrael" (Num. 23:23). For who could prevail against them when my grandfather wished to destroy their father with divination and enchantment but could not, not having obtained permission to curse from the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written, "Surely there is no enchantment in Jacob, nor divination in Yisrael."

Laban used ten kinds of divination and enchantments from the illumination of the lower crowns, but could not prevail against Jacob. In connection with this, it is written, "and you have changed my wages ten times" (Beresheet 31:41). Laban used all these tools against him, but could not harm him, as it is written, "and changed my wages ten times; but Elohim did not allow him to hurt me" (Ibid. 7). What is the meaning of "times (Heb. מוֹנִים)?" It was translated into "kinds (Heb. מִינִים)." It is also written, "the demons, after whom they have gone astray (Heb. זוֹנִים)" (Vayikra 17:7). "Times" are literally 'kinds' (Aramaic זִינִין), the ten kinds of sorcery and divination of the lower crowns of the Klipot. Laban employed all of these against him.

These ten kinds are, "a diviner, that uses divinations, a soothsayer, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer" (Devarim 18:10-11). There are ten in all.

Rabbi Yosi said, Enchantment and divination are two kinds with the same level of strength. When Bilaam came to hurt Yisrael, he used divination, as it is written, "with divinations in their hand" (Num. 22:7). Laban used enchantment against Jacob, but neither succeeded. This is the meaning of the verse, "Surely there is no enchantment in Jacob, nor divination in Yisrael." The words, "there is no enchantment in Jacob," refer to the days of Laban, and "divination in Yisrael" refers to the latter days of Bilaam.

Bilaam said to Balak: Come and behold. Who can prevail over them, seeing that all the divination and witchcraft in our crowns are adorned by the illumination of the upper Malchut, and he, Zeir Anpin, is bound to them, Yisrael, as it is written, "Hashem his Elohim is with him, and the trumpet blast of a king is among them" (Num. 23:21). Therefore, we can not use our witchcraft to harm them.

Rabbi Yehuda said, Heaven forbid that Bilaam would have any knowledge of the upper holiness. [167b] This is because the Holy One, blessed be He, desires no other people or tongue to make use of His glory, but His holy children alone, that is, Yisrael, who are called 'children to Hashem'. He said, "you shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy" (Vayikra 11:44), which means that those who are holy shall use holy things. And only Yisrael are holy, as it is written, "For you are a holy people" (Devarim 14:2); you, and no other people, are holy.

Those who are unholy find that defilement awaits them. Of them, the scripture says, "he is unclean, he shall dwell alone; outside the camp shall his habitation be" (Vayikra 13:46), that is, away from holiness. The impure touches on the impure, as it is written, "and shall cry, unclean, unclean" (Ibid. 45), which means that whoever is unclean cries to the unclean; one seeks out one's own kind.

Rabbi Yitzchak said, Is it becoming for Jacob, who was holy, to say that he was defiled by Laban and his magic? Could it possibly be considered a credit to him to say, "I have sojourned with Laban?" Despite what Rabbi Yehuda said, that everything follows its own kind, Rabbi Yosi gave another explanation for the difficulty in that verse. It is written, "I am Esau your firstborn" (Beresheet 27:19). Here, we should ask, is it becoming to a righteous man such as Jacob to change his name to that of an impure one? The explanation is that under the "I," there is a tonal pause. Below the "I" is written the (tone) Pashta, whereas below "Esau, your firstborn," is found the (tone) Zakef Katon, whose tone separates the word "I" from "Esau your firstborn." What he actually said was "I am who I am, though Esau is your firstborn," as has already been explained.

Here also it is written, "I have oxen and donkeys," that is, do not pay attention to the blessing my father bestowed on me, to think that it was fulfilled in me. He blessed me, "be lord over your brethren, and let your mother's sons bow down to you" (Beresheet 27:29). Hence, I say to you, "to my master Esau; Your servant Jacob." He blessed me with "plenty of corn and wine," yet I have no stock of these; "I have oxen, and donkeys, flocks and menservants," as a shepherd in the field. He blessed me with "the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth," yet instead I "have sojourned with Laban," a sojourner without even a house, let alone "the fatness of the earth." The last was not fulfilled in me, as I have no land. I have only sojourned with Laban. He said all this so that Esau would not be jealous of him, on account of the blessings he received, and bring accusations against him.

Rabbi Abba said, It is written that Jacob was "a plain man, dwelling in tents" (Beresheet 25:27). He was called "a plain man," because his abode was in two supernal temples, Binah and Malchut, the secret of the tent of Rachel and the tent of Leah. He reconciles both sides, which meant that he balanced and perfected the Right and Left Columns. Do not conclude from the verse, "I have sojourned with Laban," that he was contaminated by the divination of Laban. But in light of Rabbi Yehuda's observation that one seeks out one's own kind, according to the question of Rabbi Yitzchak, the explanation for, "I have sojourned with Laban," is that he was wholeheartedly thankful for the grace and truth shown him by the Holy One, blessed be He. For everybody knows that although no one can be saved from Laban's accusations, the Holy One, blessed be He, rescued me from his hands when Laban wanted to destroy me. This is what he meant by the verse, "I have sojourned with Laban." Furthermore, he said all this so that Esau would not envy him his blessings, but rather think that they were not fulfilled in him. Thus, Esau would not harbor any hate for him as Rabbi Yosi explained. Of this, the scripture says, "for the ways of Hashem are right" (Hoshea 14:10), and, "You shall be perfect with Hashem your Elohim"(Devarim 18:13).

"And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying: 'We came to your brother Esau, and he is also coming to meet you, and four hundred men with him'" (Beresheet 32:7). He asks, After saying, "We came to your brother," do we not know they referred to Esau, as he had no other brothers? He answers, "We came to your brother" means that he did not repent and walk the path of righteousness, as may be thought, but remained the evil Esau as before. "and he is also coming to meet you..." does not mean, as you may say, by himself, but rather he has "four hundred men with him."

Why was all this specified? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, always longs for the prayers of the righteous and adorns Himself with them. As we have already said, the angel in charge of the prayers of Yisrael, whose name is Sandalphon, receives all their prayers and weaves them into a crown for the Life of the Worlds. The Holy One, blessed be He, desires the prayers of the righteous all the more; they become a crown with which to adorn the Holy One, blessed be He. You may wonder why Jacob was fearful, since camps of holy angels accompanied him. He was fearful because the righteous do not rely on their merit, but on their prayers and supplications before their Master.

Come and behold, Rabbi Shimon said that the prayer of the congregation rises before the Holy One, blessed be He, and He is adorned by that prayer because it ascends in several ways, One asking for Chassadim, another for Gevurot, and the third for Mercy. It consists of several sides, the right side, the left, and the middle, as Chassadim are drawn from the right, Gevurot from the left, and Mercy from the middle. Because it comprises several aspects, it is woven into a wreath and put on the head of the righteous One, the Life of the Worlds that is, Yesod, which gives salvation to the Nukva and from Her, to the whole congregation. But a solitary prayer does not include all the sides; rather, it contains only one aspect. One can only ask for Chassadim, Gevurot, or Mercy. Therefore, the solitary prayer is not prepared and accepted as is that of the congregation; It is not included within all the three Columns as is the prayer of the congregation. Come and behold, Jacob included all three Columns, being the Chariot of the Central Column, which includes both. Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, desired his prayer perfected by all three Columns. It is therefore written, "Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed." The Holy One, blessed be He, did all that to encourage Jacob to pray, for He craved his prayer.

Rabbi Yehuda began the discussion with the verse, "Happy is the man who fears always, but he who hardens his heart shall fall into evil" (Mishlei 28:14).

THE REST OF THIS PARSHA HAS NOT YET BEEN TRANSLATED

Vayeshev / וַיֵּשֶׁבEdit

Corresponding to Volume 1 Pages 179a through 193b of the Zohar:

"And Jacob dwelt in the land in which his father sojourned, in the land of Canaan" (Beresheet 37:1). Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, and Hashem delivers him out of them all" (Tehilim 34:20). Come and behold, how many enemies a man must face from the day that the Holy One, blessed be He, gives him a soul in this world. As soon as man comes into the world, the Evil Inclination is immediately ready to join him, as it is written, "sin crouches at the door" (Beresheet 4:7), because that is when the Evil Inclination associates with him.

Come and behold, this is true. From the day of birth, beasts protect themselves by fleeing from fire and evil places. Man immediately flings himself into the fire because the Evil Inclination dwells within him and immediately prompts him to follow the path of evil.

For we have learned that it says, "Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king who knows not how to take care of himself" (Kohelet 4:13). "Better is a child," because a child represents the Good Inclination; it has been with man for only a short time. Since the age of thirteen years and onward, as we have already learned.

In the verse, "...than an old and foolish king" (Kohelet 4:13), "king" refers to the Evil Inclination which is called a 'king' and 'ruler of people in the world'. It is certainly "old," and "foolish," because as soon as man is born and comes into the world, it [179b] lives with him. Hence, it is an "old and foolish king."

Further it reads, "who knows not how to take care of himself." It is not written, 'to take care of others', but, "to take care of himself." Why? Because it is foolish. About it, Solomon said, "and the fool walks in darkness" (Kohelet 2:14), because it comes from the refuse of darkness and will never have light.

Rabbi Shimon said, Come and behold. It is written, "Better is a poor and wise child." Who is a poor child? It has been explained, and we learned he is the Good Inclination. But "better is a child," as it is written, "I have been young, and now am old" (Tehilim 37:25). This is the lad who is a poor child and owns nothing. Why is he called a lad? Because he is constantly renewed, like the moon. He is also "a wise child," because wisdom dwells within him.

"Than an old king" refers to the Evil Inclination. As we have learned, it never departed from its impure ways from the day it was created. It is foolish, as all its ways lead to evil. It deludes people and does not know how to take care of itself. It accuses people falsely and misleads them from the path of good to the path of wickedness.

Come and behold, this is why (the evil inclination) comes early (to join) with man, from the day he is born, so that man will believe in it. Later, when the Good Inclination arrives, man will find it difficult to believe in it, and it will seem burdensome. Similarly, we have learned that he who is a subtle evil monger hastens to plead his case in front of a judge before the arrival of his colleague, the litigant, as written, "The one who pleads first seems to be in the right" (Mishlei 18:17).

This evil monger (is the evil inclination). As written, "The serpent was craftier" (Beresheet 3:2). He, too, hurries to dwell in man before his colleague comes to dwell in him. And because he arrived early to plead his case, when, his colleague, who is the Good Inclination, comes later, it is difficult for man to unite with it! And he cannot raise his head, as if he carried on his shoulders all the burdens of the world. All this is because the Evil One came first. Of this, Solomon said, "The Poor man's wisdom is despised and his words are not heard" (Kohelet 9:16), because the other one arrived earlier.

Subsequently, for any judge who accepts the words of a litigant before his colleague arrives, it is as if he accepts another deity to believe in. But, "his neighbor comes forward, and sifts his case" (Mishlei 18:17). This is the way of a righteous man because a righteous man does not believe the subtle evil monger, who is the Evil Inclination, even if he hastens to plead his case before the arrival of his colleague, the Good Inclination. And with this act, people fail to merit the World to Come.

But the righteous man who fears his Master suffers many afflictions in this world in order not to believe in and join the Evil Inclination. And the Holy One, blessed be He, saves him from them all. As it is written, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, and Hashem delivers him out of them all" (Tehilim 34:20). Note that it is literally written, "Many afflictions to the righteous," and not 'of the righteous', because the Holy One, blessed be He, cares for him. For this reason, the Holy One, blessed be He, cares for this man and delivers him from all in this world and the World to Come. Happy is his lot.

Come and behold, how many afflictions befell Jacob to keep him from becoming infected by the Evil Inclination and to keep it distant from his lot. That is why he suffered punishments and afflictions, and had no quiet repose. He said, "I had no repose, nor had I rest, nor was I quiet; yet trouble came" (Iyov 3:26). Come and behold, how many afflictions do the righteous suffer in this world. Trouble after trouble, pain after pain, so that they can merit the World to Come.

How many afflictions did Jacob have to suffer! As it is written, "I had no repose" in Laban's house, and I could not escape from him. "Nor had I rest" because of that suffering that Esau's minister inflicted on me. And after that, there was the fear of Esau. "Nor was I quiet," on account of Dinah and Shechem.

"Yet trouble came." It was the trouble and confusion about Joseph, which was the hardest affliction of all. Why? Because Jacob loved Joseph, who is the secret of the Covenant through which Jacob entered Egypt. After this, it is written, "I remembered my covenant" (Beresheet 9:15), because the Shechinah was there with him, with the Covenant, who is Joseph. Thus, the confusion about Joseph was harder on him than all other afflictions that befell him.

"And Jacob dwelt in the land in which his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan." [180a] Rabbi Yosi opened the discussion with the verse, "The righteous perish, and no man lays it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come" (Yeshayah 57:1). "The righteous perish" when the Holy One, blessed be He, looks on the world and it is not as it should be, and Judgment falls on the world. Then the righteous among them is taken away so that the Judgment will fall only on the others, who will have no protection.

As long as the righteous dwell in this world, Judgment can not be handed down on it. What is the origin of this principle? Moses, as it is written, "He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach" (Tehilim 106:23). Thus, the Holy One, blessed be He, takes the righteous from among them and elevates them from this world. Only then does He receive His due retribution from the others as the last part of the passage reads, "The righteous is taken away from the evil to come"; before evil comes to rule the world, the righteous are taken away. Another explanation is that "from the evil" refers to the Evil Inclination.

Come and behold, Jacob was the perfection of the Fathers. He was about to be sent into exile, but he was righteous, so Judgment was withheld and did not control the world. Thus, Judgment did not befall the world through all of Jacob's days, and the famine ended.

Similarly, in the days of Joseph, who had his father's image, exile was avoided because he protected them throughout his life. But when he died, exile immediately befell them, as it is written, "And Joseph died" (Shemot 1:6) which is followed by, "Come, let us deal wisely with them" (Ibid. 10), and "they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick..." (Ibid. 14). Similarly, wherever a righteous person dwells in the world, the Holy One, blessed be He, protects the world for his sake. And as long as he is alive, Judgment cannot befall the world, as we have learned.

Come and behold, it is written, "And Jacob dwelt in the land in which his father sojourned" (Beresheet 37:1). HE ASKS, What is meant by "his father sojourned (Heb. מְגוּרֵי)"? Terror (Heb. מָגוֹר) from every side, because he was anxious and afraid all his days. Rabbi Elazar said, "And Jacob dwelt" in this place that was unified with darkness. "The land in which his father sojourned" means precisely. "In the land of Canaan" alludes to a place connected to its proper location, which means that the Nukva is called 'land.' When She is connected to the Left Column, who was the father of Jacob, She is called the 'Land of Canaan'. As it was said, a place attached to its proper location, which means that the land of Canaan is connected to the land of his father's sojourning, which is the Left Column. "His father sojourned" is Harsh Judgment. The "land in which his father sojourned" is Weak Judgment, as we have learned. This is land that is joined with and emerges from Harsh Judgment. Jacob dwelt in, and held on to, this land.

"These are the generations of Jacob: Joseph" (Beresheet 37:2). After Joseph settled in Jacob, and the sun mated with the moon he began to produce generations. And who is he that brings forth offspring? The scripture continues saying, "Joseph." For the river that flows and comes out (of Eden is Yesod, which is Joseph). It is he who is the progenitor of the offspring because his waters never cease to flow.

The sun unites with the moon, the Nukva, but can only bear fruit on the grade that is called 'Righteous', and on no other grade. Joseph, who is the grade of Jacob, who can bear fruit and bring forth generations to the world. Thus, it is written, "These are the generations of Jacob: Joseph..."

"These are the generations of Jacob: Joseph" Anyone who gazed at the facial image of Joseph thought it was the facial image of Jacob. Come and behold, it is not written when referring to any other children of Jacob. (It is not written) 'These are the generations of Jacob: Reuben'. Only in reference to Joseph, the facial image of Joseph was the same as his father's image.

"Joseph being seventeen years old" (Beresheet 37:2). Rabbi Abba said that the Holy One, blessed be He, indicated to Jacob that Joseph was seventeen years old at the time he was lost. All the days that remained, during which time he did not see Joseph, Jacob was crying over him. Because he was crying during those years, the Holy One, blessed be He, gave him another seventeen years, during which he lived in the land of Egypt with happiness, honor, and fulfillment. His son, Joseph, was king and all his sons were there before him. Those seventeen years were considered as life for him. Hence, the text informs us that Joseph was seventeen years of age when he lost him.

Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse, "Therefore listen to me you men of understanding: Far be it from El to do wickedness and from Shadai to commit iniquity. For the work [180b] of a man shall He pay back to him, and according to his ways will He cause to befall every man" (Iyov 34:10). Come and behold, when the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world, He created it by Judgment, and it exists upon Judgment. All worldly affairs exist according to the principles of Judgment. Nevertheless, to support the world and prevent its destruction, the Holy One, blessed be He, spreads Mercy over it. This Mercy tempers Judgment, so that it does not put an end to the world. Thus, the world acts according to Mercy, and endures due to it.

And if you say that the Holy One, blessed be He, judges man without justice, we have learned that when Judgment prevails on man and he is righteous, it is because of the love of the Holy One, blessed be He. As we have learned, when the Holy One, blessed be He, feels pity for a man, it is to bring the man closer to Him. The Holy One, blessed be He, breaks the body so as to give the soul total control. Then man can come closer to Him with love, as is fitting, and the soul controls man while his body is weakened. A man needs to have a weak body and a strong soul that shall grow stronger still. Then he is beloved by the Holy One, blessed be He. According to the friends, the Holy One, blessed be He, causes sorrow to the righteous in this world so that the righteous may merit the World to Come.

When the soul is weak and the body strong, man is hated by the Holy One, blessed be He, who does not care for him. Therefore, He inflicts no suffering on him in this world. His life runs smoothly and perfectly, for if this man gives alms or performs a kindness, the Holy One, blessed be He, rewards him in this world so that he will have no portion in the World to Come. This is why Unkelos translated the verse, "And He repays them that hate Him to their face" (Devarim 7:10) as 'And He repays them that Hate him in this world.' Thus, the righteous person, who always experiences pain, is beloved by the Holy One, blessed be He. This is true only if he is found to have committed no sin that merits punishment.

There are several aspects to this matter. First, we see that the Shechinah does not dwell in a place of sorrow, but only in a place of joy. If a place has no joy, the Shechinah will not abide there. This is echoed in the verse, "But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of Hashem came upon him" (II Kings 3:15); for assuredly the Shechinah does not dwell in a place of sadness. From where do we derive this principle? We learn this from Jacob, from whom the Shechinah departed during the time he mourned Joseph. When joy came upon him with the good news about Joseph, immediately, "the spirit of Jacob their father revived" (Beresheet 45:27). (There is a mystery here), for where is joy in a Righteous man who is broken by troubles and is weak and suffering? Surely he must be saddened with no joy at all.

(We must look) into another matter, for many just men who are beloved of the Holy One, blessed be He, do not suffer bodily pain or diseases; their bodies never weaken. Why are they not as the other righteous men? Those who were physically broken and those who were healthy?

It is said that those who live well are righteous, the children of righteous men, as has already been explained, while the others, are righteous, but are not children of righteous men. Yet we see Righteous men whose fathers are righteous, whose fathers were of righteous men, (and they suffer pain). Why do they suffer bodily pain and spend their days in grief?

There is a mystery here, for all the works of the Holy One, blessed be He, are according to Truth and Justice. "For the work of a man shall he pay back to him, and according to his ways will he cause to befall every man" (Iyov 34:11). I found in ancient books a mystery, and another mystery within it thus, one mystery which is two. There are times when the moon is defective and under Judgment, and the sun is hidden from her. She releases souls to give to men, which she first gathered, she releases, when she is under Judgment. Whoever receives such a soul will always be in want and poverty, ever broken under Judgment and throughout all his life be he just or wicked. Only prayer annuls all judgmental sentences. One can avert them through prayer.

When that grade is complete, out (from Eden), unites with her, the soul that she releases cleaves to man. He is complete in all in riches, children and a healthy body.

All this depends [181a] upon mazal ('constellation, luck'), (Yesod) which is drawn to and attached to that grade, for Her to be perfected and blessed by it. Therefore, all depends upon Mazal. We have learned that "children, life and livelihood do not depend upon merit but upon mazal." There is no merit until the Nukva is filled and shines from mazal.

Therefore, all those who are sentenced according to justice and crushed in this world, yet are also truly righteous, suffer by reason of the soul (Nefesh). Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, has compassion for them in the World to Come.

Rabbi Elazar said that the Holy One, blessed be He, does everything according to Justice. (If He brings suffering it is) to purify that soul (Nefesh) and bring it to the World to Come, for all the deeds of the Holy One, blessed be He, are true and just. To remove from the soul the filth it accumulated in this world, the body is crushed and the soul cleansed. Therefore the Holy One, blessed be He, brings pain to the just man, so that he will be cleansed from all sins and thereby merit life in the World to Come. As it is written, "Hashem tries the righteous" (Tehilim 11:5), as we have already learned.

Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion with the verse, "Only he shall not go in to the veil, nor come near to the altar, because he has a blemish; that he profane not My holy places, for I, Hashem, do sanctify them" (Vayikra 21:23). "He shall not go in to the veil." Come and behold, at the time the river is flowing and comes out (from Eden) and issues the souls, the Nukva conceives. And they all abide in a room within a room, where the walls are covered with wallpaper or carpets.

When the moon is rendered defective by the same aspect of the evil serpent, all the souls that are issued, although they were all pure and sacred, since they emerged at a defective time, (the bodies with which) the Souls came are crushed, and suffer pains and afflictions. The Holy One, blessed be He, cares for (and loves) those who are broken, although their souls are sad instead of joyous.

The secret is that they remain as above (in the Nukva). When the body is flawed, the soul inside remains the same. The one state resembles the other. Therefore, they are renewed like the moon, as it is written, "And it shall come to pass, that every new moon, and every Shabbat, shall all flesh come to bow down to the ground before Me, says Hashem" (Isaiah 66:23). "All flesh" assuredly, for they are in need of renewal along with the moon.

The righteous are the constant companions of the moon, and have the identical defects. She therefore dwells always within them and never leaves them, as it is written, "him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit" (Isaiah 57:15) and, "Hashem is near to them who are of a broken heart" (Tehilim 34:19), to those who suffered from the same defect as the moon, those who are always near her. "And He saves such as are of a contrite spirit" (Ibid.), by giving them a portion of the life flowing for renewal, because they who suffered with her shall also be renewed with her.

Those (defects from which the righteous suffer) are called 'sufferings of love', because they are caused by love and not by the man himself. They are of love because the light of the smaller love was impaired when rejected by the greater love. Therefore, the righteous are her companions and share her flaw. Happy is their portion in this world and in the World to Come, for they merited to be her friends, as it is written of them: "For my brethren and companions' sakes" (Tehilim 122:8).

He opened the discussion with the verse, "Behold, My servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high" (Isaiah 52:13). Happy is the portion of the righteous, to whom the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed the ways of the Torah, so they may follow them. Come and behold, the verse, "Behold, my servant shall prosper," contains a supernal mystery, which has already been explained. Yet come and behold, when the Holy One, blessed be He, created the universe He made the moon and He decreased her lights in such a way that she had nothing of her own. Because she made herself small, she shone from the sun, by the power of the Supernal Lights.

While the Temple existed, Yisrael diligently proceeded with sacrifices, offerings and rituals performed by the priests, Levites and the children of Yisrael, creating unification and causing the lights to shine. After the Temple was destroyed, the light darkened and the moon no longer shone from the sun. The sun [181b] withdrew from her and did not shine. Therefore, as we have learned, no day passes without curses, sorrow, and pain.

When the time comes for the moon to shine, then it is written, "Behold, My servant shall prosper," which is an allusion to the moon. "Behold, My servant shall prosper," refers to the secret of the faith. The words, "shall prosper," refer to the Supernal Awakening (which will be like) a man who smells an odor and becomes alert and attentive.

"He shall be exalted," means that (the Nukva shall be filled) from that facet of the light that is superior to all the lights, (i.e. Keter). "He shall be exalted" as in, "and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you" (Isaiah 30:18); "and extolled," on the side of Abraham, i.e. Chesed. "And be high," on the side of Isaac, i.e. Gevurah, while "very," on the side of Jacob, (is Tiferet). And although this has already been explained, all is one in the secret of wisdom.

At that time, the Holy One, blessed be He, will intensify energy above so as to shine well upon the moon. As it is written, "Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days" (Isaiah 30:26). Thus will Supernal Light be added to her own. Then all the dead, in the dust, will be stirred. He calls him "servant" (masculine form), for the secret path to his Master's keys is in his hand. The same applies to the verse, "And Abraham said to the...servant," (Beresheet 24:2) who is the moon, as we have learned. (This is revealed through) Metatron, the servant messenger of his Master.

"The eldest of his house" (Beresheet 24:2), (means Metatron), as in "I have been young, and now am old" (Tehilim 37:25). The Minister of the world 'who is Metatron?' said this phrase. "That ruled over all that he had" (Beresheet 24:2), as all the colors, green, white, and red, are reflected in him.

"Put, I pray you, your hand under my thigh" (Ibid.) refers to the Righteous. Since he is the existence of the world, this servant is appointed to bring life to the dwellers of the dust. And he becomes perfected through the supernal spirit to return spirits and souls to their places, in the decayed and putrefied cadavers underneath the ground.

"And I will make you swear by Hashem, the Elohim of heaven" (Beresheet 24:3). "And I will make you swear." What is the meaning of, "I will make you swear"? He will be clothed in the secret of the seven Supernal Lights, they are the secret of supernal perfection. "That you shall not take a wife," refers to the body underneath the ground, which now rises from the dust. All those who were buried and deserved to be interred in the land of Yisrael shall be the first to rise to life, as has been explained in relation to the verse, "The dead men of your people shall live" (Isaiah 26:19), referring to the dead in the land of Yisrael. Then "my dead body shall arise" (Ibid.), meaning the dead outside Yisrael. For all that, only the bodies of Yisrael, buried (in Yisrael), shall rise, but not bodies from other nations, which defile the land.

Therefore, in the verse, "That you shall not take a wife to my son," what is meant by "my son"? All the souls in the world that come from the river which flows out from Eden, Which is Yesod, are the children of the Holy One, blessed be He. Therefore, "that you shall not take a wife," means a body; "to my son" refers to the soul; "of the daughters of the Canaan," are the bodies of the heathen nations, which the Holy One, blessed be He, will shake out of the Holy Land. As it is written, "That the wicked might be shaken out of it" (Iyov 38:13), as dirt is shaken out of a garment.

"But you shall go to my country, and to my kindred" (Beresheet 24:4). In this verse, "my country" is the Holy Land, which precedes all other countries, as we have learned. Of the verse, "But you shall go to my country, and to my kindred," Why "my kindred" after saying, "my country?" "My country" is the holy land, as we said and "my kindred" are Yisrael!

Come and behold, It is written, "And the servant took" (Beresheet 24:10). As we have learned, (this refers to Metatron); "ten camels" are the ten grades, which the servant governs. They are a likeness to the above. "Of the camels of his master" means they bear a likeness to his master's camels as we have learned. And this servant rules over them and is established through them.

"For all the goods of his master were in his hand" (Beresheet 24:10), refers to the goodness and the lofty fragrance issued from the Supernal Lights and candles; "for all the goods of his master were in his hand," is that it refers to the union of the sun, which is attracted to the moon. For through him occurs the union of male and female.

"And he arose, and went to Aram-naharayim" (Beresheet 24:10), the place in the Holy Land where Rachel wept when the Temple was destroyed. "And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water" (Beresheet 24:11), for he wanted to add to her strength before raising and reviving the bodies.

In the verse, "At the time of evening" (Beresheet 24:11), what time is referred to? It is Shabbat eve [182a]

THE REST OF THIS PARSHA HAS NOT YET BEEN TRANSLATED

Miketz / מִקֵּץEdit

Corresponding to Volume 1 Pages 193a through 205a of the Zohar:

"And it came to pass at the end of two years" (Beresheet 41:1). Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse, "He puts an end to darkness, and searches out all perfection, the stone of darkness and the shadow of death" (Iyov 28:3). "He puts an end to darkness" is the end of the left. He hovers about the world; he hovers above and stands before the Holy One, blessed be He, and blames and accuses the world. As it is written, he "searches out all perfection (Heb. תַּכְלִית)," for his deeds are not intended to achieve good, but rather to exterminate (Heb. lechalot) and bring extinction to the world.

"... the stone of darkness and the shadow of death" refers to a stumbling stone (the Satan, because) the wicked stumble and sin on it. It abides in that which is called "a land of gloom, as darkness itself" (Iyov 10:22). Come and behold, There is the land of the living above, which is the land of Yisrael. And there is a land below called "darkness and the shadow of death," namely the darkness that is issued from the land of gloom. What are "the stone of darkness and the shadow of death?" They are the end, on the side of darkness. They are (the Satan), the dross of gold, as we have already learned.

Come and behold how much it behooves men to look into the worship of the Holy One, blessed be He, and strive to study the Torah day and night, so they will know and behold His worship. For the Torah proclaims every day before men, saying, "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here, as for him that lacks understanding, she says to him" (Mishlei 9:4). We have already explained this matter.

When a man studies the Torah and cleaves to it, he is strengthened in the Tree of Life, as it is written, "a Tree of Life..." (Mishlei 3:18). Come and behold, When a man is strengthened in the Tree of Life in this world, he is strengthened in it for the World to Come. And when the souls leave this world, grades are prepared for them in the World to Come.

Come and behold, The Tree of Life is divided into several grades, but they are all unified into one. For in the Tree of Life there are grades upon grades - branches, leaves, husks, the trunk, and the roots. All of them are the tree. In the same manner, whoever strives to study the Torah is strengthened and improved by the Tree of Life.

All those of the faith, Yisrael, are strengthened by the Tree of Life. They all hold onto the tree, but some of them hold on to the trunk, some to the branches, some to the leaves, and some to the roots. It seems, therefore, that they hold onto the Tree of Life. All of those who are occupied in the study of the Torah [193b] hold to the trunk of the tree, and for that reason, he who studies the Torah holds onto the whole tree. This has already been explained. "And it came to pass at the end." What is the meaning of "the end?" Rabbi Shimon replied that this is a place in which there is no remembrance, the end of the left. What does this mean? For it is written, "But think of me (lit. 'remember') when it shall be well with you" (Beresheet 40:14). Is it proper for Joseph the righteous to say, "But remember me."? When Joseph looked at the dream, he said, 'This is assuredly a dream of remembrance' but he was wrong, because it all came from the Holy One, blessed be He.

Therefore, the place of forgetfulness rose against him. It is written, "Nevertheless the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him". If it is said "the chief butler did not remember," why then add "but forgot him"? (Because) "but forgot him" indicates the place in which there is forgetfulness, which is the end on the side of darkness. What are the two years? The grade of forgetfulness returned after that time to the grade in which there is remembrance.

"...that Pharaoh dreamed, and behold, he stood by the river" concerns the dream of Joseph, because every river is part of Joseph the Righteous. This is the hidden meaning of the thought that whoever sees a river in his dream sees peace, as it is written, "I will extend peace to her like a river" (Isaiah 66:12), so "river" alludes to Joseph. "And it came to pass at the end of two years." Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse, "The king, by justice establishes the land, but he who exacts gifts overthrows it" (Mishlei 29:4). Come and behold, When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the upper world, He made everything properly and created bright lights that shone in all directions. These represent the three Columns, and all is united into one. He created heaven above, and the earth below, to combine as one Binah, Zeir Anpin, and Nukva to benefit the lower beings.

Come and behold, In the verse, "The king by justice establishes the land", who is the king? He is the Holy One, blessed be He. The words "by justice" refer to Jacob, that is, Zeir Anpin, who forms the foundation of the land. Therefore the letter Vav in the name Yud Hei Vav Hei, which is Zeir Anpin, is sustained by the upper Hei. The lower Hei is sustained by the Vav, because "justice establishes the land" with all its needs and nourishes it.

Another explanation of "the king" is that it refers to the Holy One, blessed be He, while justice refers to Joseph, "who established the land" as it is written, "And all countries (lit. 'and all the land') came to Egypt to Joseph to buy provisions" (Beresheet 41:57). Because the Holy One, blessed be He, favored Jacob, He made him governor of all the land.

Rabbi Yosi said, "The king" is Joseph and "by justice" is Jacob, because as long as Jacob did not come to Egypt, the land was beset by famine. After Jacob came to Egypt by his merit, the famine was gone and the land was established.

Another explanation is that "The king by justice establishes the land" refers to King David, as it is written, "And David reigned over all Yisrael; and David executed judgment and righteousness to all his people" (II Shmuel 8:15). He established the land, and by his merit, it stood, "but he who exacts gifts overthrows it" refers to Rechav'am.

Come and behold, For the sake of the righteous, the Holy One, blessed be He, did not impose punishment that had been decreed on the world, so it will not have sway over the world. All the days of King David, the land was established for his sake. After he died, it continued because of his merit, as it is written, "And I will defend this city for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake" (II Kings 20:6). Similarly, no punishment was inflicted on the world during all the days of Jacob and all the days of Joseph, the famine ceased for their sake and the enslaving by Egypt was delayed.

Come and behold, The verse, "The king by justice establishes the land" refers to Joseph, "but he who exacts gifts overthrows it" refers to Pharaoh. Because Pharaoh hardened his heart against the Holy One, blessed be He, the land of Egypt was destroyed. Before that, the land was thriving through Joseph, in accordance with Pharaoh's dream, as it is written, "And it came to pass at the end of two years...". Rabbi Elazar opened the discussion with the verse, "Hashem lives; and blessed is my Rock; and let the Elohim (Heb. Elohai) of my salvation be exalted" (Tehilim 18:47). "Elohai" is spelled with a Vav. This verse requires careful study. The phrase, "Hashem lives" refers to the Righteous, the foundation of the world, who is referred to as the life of the worlds. The phrase "and blessed is my Rock" is the meaning of "Blessed be Hashem my Rock" (Tehilim 144:1). The world is sustained by the generosity of the Righteous, "Let the Elohim of my salvation be exalted": "exalted" refers to the upper world, and "Elohai" with a Vav is heaven, as it is written, "The heavens are the heavens of Hashem" (Tehilim 115:16).

Come and behold, "Blessed be Adonai who day by day bears our burden" (Tehilim 68:20). The name Adonai is spelled Aleph-Dalet-Nun-Yud, (this alludes to the Nukva). This verse contains the mystery of wisdom. "Day by day" is the secret of "two years (lit. 'two years' days')". This is as it is written, [194a] "And it came to pass at the end of two years that Pharaoh dreamed, and behold, he stood by the river." We have already learned this secret; it means Joseph, because the words, "a river" refer to Joseph the Righteous. The verse, "And, behold, there came up out of the river seven cows, well favored, and fat of flesh, and they fed in the reed grass" reads "out of the river" because from this river, (Yesod) all the grades below are blessed, because the river that flows from Eden, (Binah) waters and sustains everything. And Joseph is a river, and the whole land of Egypt is blessed for his sake.

And Come and behold, From that river, the seven grades are watered and blessed by it. These are "well favored, and fat of flesh", who "fed in the reed grass." (That is), they fed together in friendship, and there was no separation among them. All of them stand to be praised, for these seven grades are the mystery of the verse, "and the seven maids chosen to be given her, out of the king's house" (Esther 2:9). And so are the "seven cows well favored," all to be praised. In contrast, "the seven chamberlains who served in the presence of the king" (Tehilim 1:10) are not to be wholly praised, for they include a portion of the powers of defilement, which is the secret of the seven lean cows.

Rabbi Yitzchak said, The seven good cows are grades, superior to other grades, whereas the seven ill-favored cows are the grades below. (The Upper ones) are on the side of holiness, and (The Lower ones) on the side of defilement.

"...the seven ears of grains," Rabbi Yehuda said that the first are good, because they are of the right side, about which it is written, "it was good." The ill and thin are beneath them. The seven (good) ears are on the side of purity, and the (ill) ones are on the side of impurity. These grades all stand on top of each other against each other. Pharaoh saw all of them in his dream.

Rabbi Yesa asks, How could they have shown the evil Pharaoh all these grades? Rabbi Yehuda answers, He only saw their likeness. For there are grades upon grades, all stand on top of each other, of which Pharaoh saw only their images.

We have already learned that a man is shown things in his dreams according to his character. As his soul ascends, he will perceive that which he deserves according to his grade. Pharaoh, therefore, saw what he was worthy of seeing and no more.

"And it came to pass in the end." Rabbi Chizkiah began with the verse, "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" (Kohelet 3:1). Come and behold what the Holy One, blessed be He, did below: He set a time for everything, and fixed a term for it. He fixed a term for light and darkness. He set a time for light for all nations (except Israel), which now have mastery over the world, and He set time for darkness, when Yisrael are in exile and under the dominion of other nations. The Holy One, blessed be He, appointed a season for all and, therefore, "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose." What is the meaning of, "and a time to every purpose?" It means a time and season for everything that is below, that is, all the goodness found below has a set time and season.

Another explanation for "...and a time to every purpose." What is "time?" It is the same as mentioned in the verses, "It is time to act for Hashem: they have made void Your Torah" (Tehilim 119:126) and "that he come not at all times into the holy place" (Vayikra 16:2). This is the grade appointed (to lead the world), and has already been explained. Therefore, the scriptures explain that "time" is appointed over "every purpose under the heaven." "And it came to pass at the end of two years" refers to the side of the end of darkness, that Pharaoh had seen in his dream. This is where he derived his knowledge from, and the dream was revealed to him. "And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled (Heb. וַתִּפָּעֶם)." What does וַתִּפָּעֶם mean? Rabbi Yosi said, It has already been explained. Of Pharaoh, it is written, וַתִּפָּעֶם, and of Nebuchadnezzar, it is written, "his spirit was troubled (Heb. וַתִּתְפָּעֶם)" (Daniel 2:1). Pharaoh is described as vatipaem because he comprehended the dream but not its interpretation. Nebuchadnezzar, on the other hand, saw the dream and its interpretation, but forgot everything. It is therefore written vatitpaem (with an extra Tet).

But come and behold, "and his spirit was troubled (Heb. וַתִּפָּעֶם)" corresponds to "And the spirit of Hashem began to move him (Heb. לְפַעֲמוֹ)" (Judges 13:25), for the spirit would appear and disappear, come and go, yet not settle upon him properly. It is therefore written, "And the spirit of Hashem began to move him," when (the spirit) just began (to inspire him). Here also the spirit would appear and leave, then appear, but would not settle upon him, so that he could understand. Of Nebuchadnezzar it is written, "and his spirit was troubled (Heb. וַתִּתְפָּעֶם)," for the inspiration was twice as strong. It would come and go, as it is written, "as on previous occasions (Heb. כְּפַעַם בְּפַעַם, lit. 'as time to time')" (I Shmuel 3:10), now upon this [194b] and now upon that, but his mind was not settled.

"And he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt," refers to the sorcerers; "and all her wise men" refers to the astrologers. They all tried to understand, but could not.

Rabbi Yitzchak said, Although we have learned that a man is shown only what is appropriate to his grade, this is not true for kings. They are shown supernal things that are different from those that other people are shown. Because a king is of a superior grade than other men, that which he is shown is of a higher grade than the rest, as it is written, "what the Elohim are about to do He has declared to Pharaoh" (Beresheet 41:25). But to other men, the Holy One, blessed be He, does not reveal His works. He reveals them only to the prophets, the pious, and the wise men of the ages, as has already been explained.

Come and behold, It is written, "me he restored to my office, and him he hanged" (Beresheet 41:13). From this, we understand that a dream follows its interpretation. Who is referred to in the phrase, "me he restored to my office?" It is Joseph. Also (Joseph) hanged him because of his interpretation of the dream, and so it is written, "And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was" (Ibid.).

"Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon." Rabbi Abba opened the discussion with the verse, "Hashem takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope for His mercy" (Tehilim 147:11). How much the Holy One, blessed be He, delights in the righteous, for they make peace above, they make peace below, and they bring the bride to her husband. The Holy One, blessed be He, is therefore pleased with those who fear Him and abide by His wish.

"Those who hope for His mercy." Who are "those who hope for His mercy?" They are the ones who study the Torah at night and join the Shechinah. When morning comes, they hope for His mercy. It has already been explained that when a man studies the Torah at night, a thread of grace is drawn upon him during the day, as it is written, "Yet Hashem will command His grace in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me" (Tehilim 42:9). Why is it said that "Hashem will command His grace in the daytime?" Because "in the night His song shall be with me." Hence the verse, "Hashem takes pleasure (in) those who fear Him," uses the particle Et instead of "in," as one who pleases another and wishes to be at peace with him. It is therefore written, "Hashem takes pleasure (in) those who fear him", rather than "Hashem takes pleasure in those who fear Him,"

Similarly, Joseph was sad in mind and spirit; he was imprisoned. Once Pharaoh had sent for him, it is written, "and they brought him hastily," which means that he appeased him and addressed him with joyful words that gladden the heart. Why? Because he was dejected in the dungeon (lit. 'pit'). Come and behold, First he fell into a pit, and from the pit he later rose to greatness.

Rabbi Shimon said, Before the incident happened, Joseph was not called righteous. After he guarded the Holy Covenant, he was called Righteous and the grade of the Holy Covenant decorated him. He who was first in the dungeon rose from it. It is written, "and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon," for he had ascended from (the Kelipah) and was adorned with a well of living water.

"Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph." It should have been written "to call Joseph". It was the Holy One, blessed be He, (who called) as it is written, "until the time that His word came to pass, the word of Hashem had tested him" (Tehilim 105:19). The verse, "until the time that His word came to pass" is similar to the phrase, "and called Joseph". It is written here "and called Joseph" and elsewhere "And He called to Moses" (Vayikra 1:1). "And he shaved himself, and changed his garments" out of respect for the king.

Rabbi Elazar opened the discussion with the verse, "So Yisrael came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham" (Vayikra 1:23). Come and behold, The Holy One, blessed be He, directs events and fulfills vows and oaths in order to fulfill the vow and edict He decreed.

We have learned that were it not for the fondness and affection the Holy One, blessed be He, bore for the Patriarchs, Jacob would have had to go down to Egypt in iron chains. In His love for them, He made Joseph, His son, ruler and governor over the whole land. The tribes then went to Egypt honored, and Jacob was as a king.

Come and behold, It is written, "So Yisrael came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham." Because it is written, "So Yisrael came into Egypt," it is understood that Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. Why should he have added it? "so Yisrael came into Egypt" refers to the Holy One, blessed be He, "and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham" refers to Jacob, because it was for the sake of Jacob, and his sons that the Shechinah came down to Egypt. The Holy One, blessed be He, planned events [195a]

Vayigash / וַיִּגַּשׁEdit

This Parshah has not yet been translated

Vayechi / וַיְחִיEdit

Corresponding to Volume 1 Pages 211b through 251a of the Zohar:

"And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years" (Beresheet 47:28). Rabbi Yosi said, Jacob's heart saw through prophecy in Egypt that his descendants would suffer many exiles - from then until now, until the End, and the time of the Coming of Messiah. Jacob arrived at the prophecy of "and...lived" only in Egypt. It was an excellent prophecy, the like of which was never prophesied before. None of the prophets was worthy of it except for him and Moses. It is written of Moses, "For no man shall see Me, and live" (Shemot 33:20). Of Jacob, it is written, "And Jacob lived", the prophecy which descends from the shining mirror.

Jacob wanted to prophesy concerning the exiles of his children in the land of Canaan and in any land wherein they dwelt which came from the land of Egypt; to wit, all exiles are included within Egypt. His heart broke, as it is written, "Now Jacob saw that there was corn (also: 'breaking') in Egypt" (Beresheet 42:1).

Hence, when it came to pass that "Jacob lived in Egypt," he did not rejoice, because this land [212a]