Bo (Come Unto Pharaoh)
Bo (Come unto Pharaoh)
If There Is an Angel as Mediator for Him
1) See how people must follow the path of the Creator and keep the commandments of the Torah so that through it, they will be rewarded with the next world, and be saved from all the accusers above and below. This is so because as there are accusers in the world below, there are accusers above who are ready to slander people.
2) Those who keep the commandments of the Torah and walk on the straight path fearing their Master, how many advocates do they have above, as it is written, “If there is an angel as mediator for him”? It is also written, “Then let him be gracious to him, and say, ‘Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom.’” For this reason, happy is he who keeps the commandments of the Torah.
3) And why the need for an angel to advocate a person? After all, it is written, “For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” It is also written, “The Lord will keep you from all evil,” that the Creator sees all that a man does in the world, both good and bad, and He says, “‘Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?’ declares the Lord.” Hence, why do I need an angel to recommend or reprimand?
4) The Creator certainly sees everything. Yet, it is written, “However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh.” It is also written, “You incited Me against him to ruin him without cause,” to show that he was given to the hands of the other side, to slander the things in the world and to have them given to him. And those things are hidden from the Creator and you are not fit to follow them and study them, since they are the laws of the Creator and people are not permitted to scrutinize them, except those true righteous who know the secrets of the Torah and walk by the path of wisdom, to know those things that are hidden in the Torah.
It is written, “Happy is the people that know the joyful shout,” who know the ways of the Creator—that He shouts for joy and benefits through messengers although He can do it Himself. And here in the words, “Come unto Pharaoh,” the Creator wanted Pharaoh to send the children of Israel even though He could have delivered them against his will.
There Was a Day When… Satan Also Came among Them
5) “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord.” “Now there was a day” is Rosh Hashanah [Hebrew, New Year’s Eve], when the Creator rises to judge the world. Thus, “Now there was a day when he came there.” That day is the day of Rosh Hashanah.
6) “When the sons of God came.” These are the appointed ministers, the emissaries in the world, watching over people’s deeds. “To present themselves before the Lord,” as it is written, “And all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left.” But in this text, “To present themselves before the Lord,” I have found the Creator’s love for Israel. Because these are emissaries appointed over watching over people’s actions, they wander and roam the world, gathering all the deeds, and in the coming judgment day, when the world is judged, they will become accusers, standing and accusing people. And of all the nations in the world, the appointees will not watch actions but only those of Israel, since they are the sons of the Creator.
7) And when Israel’s deeds are deemed improper, when these appointed emissaries wish to present Israel’s deeds, they present themselves before the Creator. This is so because when Israel do things that are not good, they seemingly diminish the force of the Creator. And when they do good deeds they give strength and power to the Creator. It is written about that, “Give strength to God.”
With what do they give strength? With good deeds. This is why on that day, all the appointed ministers present themselves before the Creator. Certainly, “Before the Creator,” for because they have gathered to accuse Israel, they present themselves before the Creator, seemingly, to diminish His strength.
8) “And Satan came among them, too.” The word, “too,” implies the inclusion of the sons of God, since they all come to slander Israel. And Satan joins them because he is the biggest slanderer of all. Because the Creator saw that they all came to slander, the Creator immediately told Satan, since he was the biggest, “From where do you come?” Did the Creator not know where he was coming from that He needed to ask him? The answer is that He wished to please Satan, that by these words He gave him room to accuse as he wished.
9) “And the Lord said unto Satan… Then Satan answered the Lord.” “From roaming about on the earth.” Thus, inhabiting the land was given to the side of the others, to the seventy nations, except for the land of Israel, which is sanctified to Israel. Hence, when he said, “From roaming about on the earth,” which is the land of Israel, the Creator saw that he wanted to slander Israel, and not Job or others whom the nations—dwellers of the rest of the nations—appreciate. He promptly said unto Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job?”
10) He saw that now was the time to give Satan a piece to deal with and to stay away from Israel. It is like a shepherd who wished to take his sheep across a river, and a wolf came to prowl on the sheep. The experienced shepherd took a big he-goat and gave it to the wolf, saying, “Let it struggle with the goat until I take my sheep across the river, and then I will come back and take this one, too.” This is what the Creator did, giving Job to Satan, to deal with him and to not slander Israel. And Satan promptly dealt with him and did not slander Israel.
11) “Then Satan answered the Lord.” It is not surprising with a servant whose master does his will, that he fears him. Remove Your providence from him and You will see if he fears You or not.
12) In a time of trouble, when a piece is given to this side to deal with, it then completely moves away. Similarly, when sacrificing a scapegoat on the beginning of a month and on the Day of Atonement, a piece is given to the Sitra Achra to deal with, so it will leave Israel in their kingdom. But here came the time to take this share for the Sitra Achra from the whole of Abraham’s seed, as it is written, “Behold, Milcah, too, has borne children…Uz his firstborn.” And Job was in the land of Uz, meaning he was from Abraham’s family.
13) When Satan said to the Creator, “From roaming in the earth,” he asked of the Creator to pass judgment on Israel. This is because just a land is the land of Israel, and he had the judgment over Abraham and he collected from the Creator, since the judgment was not carried out on Isaac when he was sacrificed at the altar because he did not have a substitute for the sacrifice he had prepared on the altar with the ram. But here Isaac was already on the altar and was fully made into a sacrifice, but the judgment was not executed in him. And he asked the Creator for this, as he asked for judgment on selling Joseph for several generations, and all that Satan asks for, he asks justly.
14) And from the time Isaac was saved and was replaced in the sacrifice, the Creator has been preparing Job—who lived in the land of Uz—for that slanderer. This is said immediately after the binding of Isaac. But here, in the birth of Uz, Satan came to take his share from all of Abraham’s seed, and he will not come near to harm Israel.
15) It is all in just judgment. As Job sentenced, so he was sentenced. Job was among Pharaoh’s counselors. And when Pharaoh rose against Israel and wanted to kill them, Job told him, “No, take their money and rule their bodies with hard work, and don’t kill them.” The Creator told him, “You will be sentenced to the same sentence that you passed over Israel.” What does it say? “However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone.” As he sentenced Israel, so he himself will be sentenced, even though in all other things he feared the Creator.
16) “But spare his soul.” He was given dominion over his flesh, as it is written, “The end of all flesh has come before Me.” “The end of all flesh” is the destroying Satan. “Come before Me,” to receive permission, which is the meaning of, “The end of all flesh.”
It is not called, “The end of all spirit,” which is an end that comes from the side of darkness—male judgments. “And to the farthest limit” is like, “to all flesh,” since there is another end, the end of the right, in holiness. And the one here is another end, which comes from the left—darkness. This is why he was given permission to hurt his bone and his flesh.
17) Was he not punished justly, but rather due to the words of the slanderer, who incited and diverted Him? Indeed, it was all justly done: he was sentenced as he sentenced Israel with Pharaoh.
18) The words, “Although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause” do not mean, “you incited Me to swallow him,” but “you incited Me against him.” “Against him” is in His mind—what He thinks. “Although you incited Me,” as Job said, “and shine upon the counsel of the wicked.”
Similarly, “But they deceived Him with their mouth and lied to Him with their tongue.” This is difficult, as well, for can the Creator be seduced? However, it did not say, “But they deceived Him and lied to Him,” but only, “But they deceived Him with their mouth.” It is with their mouths that He was seduced, that they think so, when it is really not so.
19) But can he slander before the Creator, who knows everything? Yes, because he is an old and foolish king, as it is written, “A poor… lad is better than an old and foolish king.” And because he is king over people, he can slander man, since he is the people’s trustee. That is, being king over them, he is their trustee.
20) This concerns only the sentence of an individual. But concerning the sentence of the world, it is written, “And the Lord came down to see.” “I will go down and see,” so he was not given faith, but he is in the hands of the Creator alone, since He did not wish to destroy the world according to the words of the slanderer, whose desire is always to destroy. How do we know this? It is written, “Man puts an end to darkness and to the farthest limit he searches out.” He searches to destroy everything, which is, “The end of all flesh has come before Me,” that Satan, called, “The end of all flesh,” has certainly come to destroy.
21) It has been explained that in the beginning of the year, two sides stand opposite the world. All those who come before the Creator with repentance and good deeds are rewarded with being written on the side of life, which produces results of life. And those who are from that side are written to life. And all those who come with bad deeds, to put people to death, are written on the other side, which is death, called “death,” and where death lies.
22) And on that day, these two sides—life and death—stand. There are those who are written to the side of life, and those who are written to the side of death, and sometimes the world is in between, half sinner and half righteous. If a righteous is found, he sentences the world and all stand and are written to life. But if a sinner sentences the world, all are written to death.
23) At that time, the world was in between, half sinner and half righteous. And the slanderer wished to accuse the world and sentence the world to a scale of sin. Promptly, it says, “Have thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth.” Since he was set apart, the slanderer instantly attacked him. Hence, one should not exclude oneself from the public so he will not be noted specifically and will not be slandered above.
24) It is written about the Shunammite that she said, “I dwell among my own people.” This means that if one does not wish to exclude oneself from the public, “I dwell among my own people,” to this day. “Among my own people” means I will be known above in one collective. And here, with Job, since he was known and noted above, the slanderer immediately charged him and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” He does not fear You and strengthens in good deeds for nothing, as it is written, “Have You not made a hedge about him?” But take away that goodness that You have given him and you will immediately see, “he will surely curse You to Your face,” will leave You and cling to the other side. Now there is food on Your table. Remove Your table from him and we will see from whom he is and to which side he clings.
25) He immediately said unto Satan, “All that he has is in your hands,” to show that Job’s fear of the Creator was to maintain his wealth. We learn from this that all those who fear the Creator for their wealth or for their sons, it is not proper fear. This is why the slanderer said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” as it is written, “Have You not made a hedge about him?” You blessed his deeds and this is why he fears You. And then he was given permission to accuse him and to show that Job was not serving the Creator out of love.
26) Because he was tested, he departed the way and did not maintain his firmness. What does it say? “Through all this Job did not sin” with his lips, though he did sin in his will. Later, he sinned in all, as it is written, “the earth is given into the hand of the wicked.”
27) And should you say that no other man but Job was tested, it is written, “The Lord tries the righteous.” For this reason, Job, too, was tested. And even though he did not remain properly firm, he did not exit the domain of his Master to adhere unto the other side.
28) How long was his trial? The government of the other side is twelve months, as it is written, “the sentence of the wicked in hell is twelve months. And because he did not cling unto the other side, it is written, “The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.”
29) Job’s is not a trial from the Creator, as are the trials of the rest of the righteous, since it is not written, “And God tried Job,” as it is written, “God tested Abraham.” Abraham sacrificed his only son to the Creator with his own hand, whereas Job gave nothing and passed nothing unto the Creator.
30) And he was not told of the test, as was Abraham, since it was evident to him that he would not be able to properly endure it. Instead, he was given to the hands of the accuser. Moreover, it was done by the Creator’s sentence, for having inflicted Israel with hard labor in Egypt. Thus, the Creator drew the attention of the slanderer to this sentence, as it is written, “Have you noticed My servant Job?”
31) “So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought.” It writes, “in the course of time,” not “in the course of right” [in Hebrew the difference is only one letter], since “in the course of time” is the Sitra Achra and “in the course of right” is holiness. This is so because he rejected “in the course of right” and moved closer to “in the course of time.” It is written, “But go thy way till the end.” And Daniel said, “To which end, the end of right or the end of time?” And the Creator answered him, “The end of right,” which is in holiness.
This is also what David feared, when he said, “Lord, make me know my end,” the end of time or the end of right? And what does it say here? “So it came about in the course of time,” which is in the Sitra Achra, and not in the course of right, which is in holiness. Hence, his offering was not accepted, since it was from the Sitra Achra.
32) “And Abel, too, brought.” What is “too”? “Too” is including, for he, too, brought a little to the Sitra Achra, as did Cain, but his offering was all for the Creator, for the offering was essentially to the Creator, and he gave a piece to the other side, as it is written, “And from their fat.” This means that he offered the majority of the sacrifice, the fat, to the Creator, and gave the bad part to the Sitra Achra. But Cain gave the majority of the offering to the course of time, which is the Sitra Achra, and gave a share to the Creator; hence, it was not accepted.
33) It is written about Job, “And his sons used to go and hold a feast… When the days of feasting had completed their cycle.” The slanderer was at the feast every day, and he could not prevail over him, because it is written, “Have You not made a hedge about him, and about his house?” Thus, he never gave a share to the Sitra Achra, because it is written, “And offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all.” And the offering rose up and he did not give a share to the Sitra Achra. Had he given him a share, Satan would have been unable to prevail over him later. All that Satan took from him was of his own, since he did not give him a share of his offerings.
34) Why did the Creator harm him because he did not give a share to Satan? Had he given his share to the Sitra Achra, he would have cleared the way for holiness, since the Sitra Achra would depart from the Temple and the holy side would soar upwards. But he did not do so, and this is why the Creator sought to have judgment over him.
35) Just as he separated and did not include good and bad when he did not give a share to the Sitra Achra, in order to purify the holiness, He sentenced him similarly—first giving him good, then bad, and subsequently bringing him back to the good. And so it should be; man should know the good and know the bad, and to bring himself back to the good. This is the secret of faith, Nukva. Job was of Pharaoh’s servants, which is why it is written about him, “He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh.”
The Sea Monsters
36) “Come unto Pharaoh.” It should have said, “Go unto Pharaoh.” But He allowed Moses into rooms within rooms, to one high sea monster, from which several degrees descend.
37) And Moses feared and did not approach, except to those Niles that are his degrees. But he feared the monster itself and did not come near because he saw it rooted in the upper roots.
38) Since the Creator saw that Moses was afraid and no other appointed emissaries above could approach it, the Creator said, “Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great monster that lies in the midst of his rivers.” The Creator needed to wage war against him, and no other, as it is written, “I, and no emissary.” And they explained the wisdom of the monster that lies in the midst of his Niles to those “who travel on the road,” who know the secret of their Master.
39) “And God created the great sea-monsters,” which is the whale and its female partner. The word “monster” [in Hebrew] is written without a Yod, since he killed the female, and the Creator elevated her to the righteous. Hence, only one great monster remained. Also, know that a whale is a pure fish.
The whale and his female partner are of a very high root. This is because the sea is Malchut from the discernment of Hochma, and the most important of all sea creatures is the whale. Thus, he is the whole of the Hochma in the sea, although he does not extend from Hochma herself, but from Bina that returned to Hochma, the left line in her, called, “the point of Shuruk.” This is why it is written about them, “And God created the great sea-monsters,” since Bina is called Beria.
And yet, his place was not determined as the sea itself, which is Malchut de [of] Atzilut. Rather, a place was prepared in the world of Beria, outside of Atzilut, below Malchut de Atzilut, which are the ten Niles. But if they are from degrees of holiness, why were they killed, since the Nukva was killed instantly and the male was killed later, too, as it is written, “And He will slay the monster that is in the sea”? It is so because killing means annulment of his degree and return to Atzilut. And at the end of correction, all three worlds BYA will be cancelled and will return to Atzilut.
But if it were necessary to kill the female so the world would not be ruined, why did He create her to begin with? After all, this killing refers only to her service of the whale, but she was not altogether revoked, as the souls of the righteous feed off her.
40) The great sea-monster, which is the male whale, survived and was lying within the nine Niles, which correspond to the nine Sefirot HBD, HGT, NHY. And one Nile, whose waters are still, is Keter.
The blessings of the waters of the garden, which is Malchut de Atzilut, fall in it three times a year. Those are the three lines, of which it is said, “Three times a year all your males shall appear.” And if only twice occur—only two lines, right and left—the Nile is blessed but not as much because the middle line is missing. And if only one occurs, either right or left, it is not blessed by it. And the nine Niles that are the bottom nine Sefirot receive from the Nile that is Keter.
41) And this monster which comes in the Keter of the Niles gradually strengthens in it, and swims and enters the sea—Malchut de Atzilut—where it rules and swallows several species of fish, which are degrees within the sea that are inferior to it. It swallows them, they are completed within him, and he returns to the still Nile. And these nine Niles come up toward him to receive their abundance, since they receive their abundance from the still Nile, their Keter. And around the Nile are several types of trees and grass. And this is the first among the Niles, Keter.
42) The order of elicitation of the ten Niles is that three drops, from the three lines included in the left line, emerge from the left side, from one tube, being Yesod de ZA, which stretches and comes out. And each drop expands into three drops, making it nine drops, and each drop becomes one Nile. These are the nine Niles that gradually intensify, and swim and surround all the firmaments—the boundaries of the second restriction.
43) After these drops complete their elicitation, what remains of them—all the discernments of Keter and Hochma above Bina—which does not extend with the three lines, is a single drop that stays and quietly falls among the Niles and becomes a Nile. This is the silent Nile, the still Nile.
44) The Nile that comes out, Yesod de ZA, which stretches and comes out, educes other drops of blessings from the right side. When it bestows upon Malchut from the three lines included in the right line, what remains of these drops and did not come out with them, from the Sefirot above Bina, too, which do not extend with the three lines, is one drop that remains of these blessings, which emerges quietly and falls in the still Nile. Thus, the still Nile has illumination of the right and is the most important Nile.
45) When these four rivers that emerge from the Garden of Eden exit and separate, that river, called Pishon, falls into the still Nile and is included in it. Hence, the kingdom of Babel is included in that river, for Pishon is the kingdom of Babel. Pishon is the first Rosh [head] of the four rivers, and Babel is the Rosh of the four Malchuts; hence, Pishon is Babel. And all other Niles are nourished and filled by this still Nile.
46) Within each Nile there walks and swims one monster. There are nine monsters, and each punctures a hole in its head, as it is written, “You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters.” Even this great monster is so because they all blow wind upwards and not down.
They receive from the middle line, which determines that the illumination of the right will spread from above downwards and the illumination of the left will shine only from below upwards, and the monsters are all from the illumination of the left. Hence, they blow wind only upwards and not downwards. This is why they have a hole in their heads, an orifice that came to them from the Masach de Hirik of the middle line, which diminished the GAR de GAR in them. This is the meaning of, “You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters.” And even at the time of Gadlut [adulthood], when the Masach descends from Bina to its place, the hole remains in their heads, since the Gadlut does not shine from above downwards, since it lacks GAR de GAR, which is why the hole remains in their heads, even in the great monster.
47) “In the beginning God created.” “And God created the great sea-monsters.” Both use the term “creation.” This shows that opposite every act in the ten utterances in the act of creation stand these ten Niles, where one monster flutters in the wind opposite each of them. This means that one monster out of each of the ten Niles flutters in its spirit opposite its corresponding action in the ten utterances of the act of creation.
48) This is why the world is shocked once every seventy years, since when this great monster shakes and brings up its fins, all those who are in the Niles shake with it. Also, the whole world shakes, and the land is shocked, for all are included in this great monster.
You already know that the degree of a whale, which is the great monster, is the Hochma that stretches from the left line. This Hochma appears only on the Sefira of Malchut in each degree, called “the fin” in the whale. Also, it is implied in the number, once-every-seventy-years, that seventy years are the seven Sefirot HGT NHYM, one of which is Malchut. You also know that the extension of Hochma comes in judgments, as it is written, “The world is shocked once every seventy years,” in the illumination of Malchut, which elevates them in order to extend Hochma. And it is shocked since it is the way of Hochma to be drawn through judgments; hence, it is shaken when drawing them. And because all are included in it and receive their abundance from it, they are all shaken with it.
49) “And the earth was unformed.” Few are the ones who know how to imply the act of creation through the great sea monster. And since the whole world extends and cascades from the fin of that great monster, we should understand how it is implied in the whole act of creation. Since the whole of the act of creation is in Hochma [wisdom], as it is written, “In wisdom have You made them all,” and the great monster is the whole of the Hochma, it is therefore necessary that everything extends from it. Moreover, it is specifically from the fins, which are his Malchut, since the illumination of Hochma appears only from the Malchut.
50) “And the earth was unformed and void.” “Was,” previously, means that it was unformed before the correction began. This is so because in that first, still Nile, when the great monster entered it, it was filled with illumination of Hochma, and it swims and puts out the sparks that were gathered from the worlds that were ruined in the beginning, during the breaking of the vessels. At that time, sparks, which are judgments, came out to all sides. But now, the great monster puts out and revokes these judgments, since Hochma quenches all the judgments.
51) Those other monsters were and were not. Because their illumination is not apparent in them, it is as though they did not exist. Their power is weakened so they will not destroy the world, except once every seventy years when they intensify by the strength of that great monster, and he alone intensifies. But if his Nukva had been living with him, the world would not be able to withstand them.
Hochma appears only in the Sefira of Malchut. This is so because once the two lines—right and left—emerge, a dispute occurs between them, hell came out of this dispute, and the world was ruined, until the middle line came out and diminished the left line so it would shine only from below upwards. And the illumination from below upwards is regarded as light of Malchut, female light. Hence, Hochma that comes from the left cannot shine in the upper nine, in the male light, which imparts from above downwards, but only in Malchut, which imparts from below upwards, considered VAK de GAR. And Malchut is implied in the once every seventy years.
Even though they were created, it is as though they never were. This is so because their illumination, Hochma, never appears in them because Hochma does not appear in the upper nine, whose force was weakened by the middle line, which reduced the male light from the illumination of Hochma to stop the dispute and to subdue the left before the right so the world would not be ruined by the dispute. But once every seventy years they intensify (only in their Malchut), since the light appears in their Malchut, which receives from the great monster and shines from below upwards. This is so because the great monster—the whole of the light of Hochma—shines only in its Malchut, only from below upwards, discerned as VAK de GAR.
The male can impart from above downwards only if it is in unity of male and female. But without a Nukva [female], it is considered VAK without a GAR. Hence, since the middle line diminished the GAR de GAR of the left line through the Masach de Hirik, it killed the Nukva of the whale, which is the great monster. Thus, the male whale remained without a female, which is VAK de GAR that shines only from below upwards.
This diminution is necessary because by that, the middle line made peace between the right and the left. Thus, it was necessary to kill her. It turns out that the nine monsters receive from the great monster, which is a female light. Thus, the Nukva of the whale was killed by the Masach de Hirik of the middle line, called “the Creator.”
52) Until the Creator killed the whale’s Nukva, the land was unformed. It was unformed, but after He killed her, the land was void, meaning the land began to exist. “And darkness was upon the face of the deep,” since the act He had done had not yet shone. Four actions unfold in the middle line when it comes to make peace between the two lines and to connect them to one another:
1. The first restriction;
2. The Masach of the first restriction;
3. The second restriction;
4. The Masach of the second restriction, where the level of Hassadim emerges to unite the two lines in one another.
Two things are said here about the great monster. The first is that He killed his Nukva. The second is that He crushed the head of the male himself and punctured a hole in his head, as it is written, “You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters.” This is so because there are two kinds of Masachim [screens]: of the first restriction, and of the second restriction, which come with the Masach de Hirik in the middle line. With the Masach of the first restriction, He killed the Nukva of the great monster; and with the Masach of the second restriction, He crushed the head of the male.
And as it was written, the land was unformed until the Creator revoked the Nukva, when the force of the first restriction was extended upon her, which is the preparation to the coming of the Masach of the first restriction through the middle line. And once the middle line exposed the Masach of the first restriction, which kills the monster’s Nukva, and a Zivug at the level of Ruach emerged on it, the land was mitigated by this Masach, and it is called, “void.” It exists through this level of Ruach that emerged on the Masach of the first restriction, since the light disappeared again and did not shine, and it became dark. Then, this darkness moved to the discernment of the second restriction, which reached all the way to Bina, and thus prepared the Masach of the second restriction.
53) What did the Creator do? He crushed the head of the male great monster through the Masach of the second restriction, which is the ascension of the Masach of Malchut to the place of Bina. Thus, GAR de Bina disappeared, as well as all the degrees below Bina, among which are the great monster. The concealment of the monster’s GAR through Bina’s judgments made a hole in his head, which is his GAR, and the monster surrendered, since the deep below, meaning Malchut in her place, did not shine. But now, through Malchut’s ascension to Bina, the illuminating level of Ruach emerged on it, as it is written, “And the spirit of God hovered.” Hence, the serpent surrendered and received the Masach of the second restriction, which is the hole that was punctured in his head.
Why did the Masach of the first restriction not shine? It is because this great monster was blowing wind [Ruach] on the deep and darkened it. Also, it was not hovering below because the level of Ruach that emerges over the Masach of the first restriction is unfit to receive GAR, ever. It is written that this great monster was blowing the level of wind [Ruach] of the first restriction on the deep and darkened it so it would never be fit for reception of light.
When the Ruach is below in the Malchut that is not mitigated in Bina, he does not hover. This is so because hovering means that the wind [Ruach] blows to and fro, meaning there is no consistency of level in it, and it is still worthy of a higher level. And this Ruach of the first restriction was not hovering, but was permanently set at this level of Ruach, since the Ruach of the first restriction is unfit to rise any higher.
54) And another Ruach passed, of above, meaning Ruach that emerges over a Masach of the second restriction. It struck and blew on that wind [Ruach], which emerged on the Masach of the first restriction, and quieted it, that is, annulled it, as it is written, “And the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.” This is so because this level of Ruach of the Masach of the second restriction is never still, but hovers to and fro. It is as we learned, that the Creator struck wind against wind [Ruach against Ruach] and created the world, for as long as the Ruach of the first restriction ruled, He could not create the world. Hence, the Ruach of the second restriction struck it and created the world.
55) “And God said: ‘Let there be light,’” since the light of above, the GAR, had shone. This is so because the Yod departed the Avir [air] and became Ohr [light], since He struck the blowing wind and departed from over the deep and did not cover it. By cancelling the level of Ruach, He covered the deep from receiving the illumination of GAR. And since the deep illuminated and the Ruach departed, there was light, as it is written, “Let there be light.”
56) This light shone upon the head of the great monster, since after Bina had attained his GAR, the monster, too, regained his GAR. Thus, water came out of its nostrils to bestow upon the rest of the degrees, and the wind was blowing upwards.
To bestow upon the rest of the degrees, the light descended into water because his GAR de GAR diminished and remained only in VAK de GAR, called “water.” This happened by the decision of the middle line, from the Masach of Behina Gimel, called Hotem, which serves the level of Hochma, the level of AB. It follows that with respect to GAR de GAR, it has only the level of Ruach. Also, it is known that even though it shines only in VAK de GAR, it must still receive complete GAR first, and subsequently the GAR de GAR depart it and it remains with VAK de GAR, which are VAK of the level of AB. This is why he first says that it shines in the form of light, but that afterwards, when the GAR de GAR disappear and the light returns to the discernment of water, he says that water was coming out of its nostrils.
Previously, this perfect light had shone until the light descended from Bina and it sparkled the lights of the sun to AB. This refers to ZA that obtained the level of AB, called seventy-two lights, which is the level of Hochma.
Since these lights were written in the sun below, the wicked in the world knew them and worshipped the sun. They worked to extend the light from it from above downwards. When the Creator looked at those wicked ones who wanted to draw the light from above downwards, He raised the light and concealed it from the acts of the wicked ones. And since this monster was rising and falling, and he, too, extended the light from above downwards, due to the deeds of the wicked ones, He struck these Niles and destroyed them by the force of the judgments that extend with the illumination from above downwards, until He concealed the light and it did not appear.
57) And He planted that seed in one righteous, which is Yesod de ZA, the garden’s gardener. And the seed in the garden, which is Malchut, is the concealment and hiding of that light. This means that the concealment is not absence, on the contrary, it is a seed of blessing, that the concealment itself will become light once more, like a plant that buds from the seed.
58) When this great monster saw that the seed of this light grew in the garden, which is Malchut, meaning that the monster was once again receiving the Ohr Hochma [light of Hochma] that grew in Malchut, it awakened to bestow upon the other side, the other river from among the four rivers, whose name was Gihon. At that time, the waters of the Gihon were divided through one trail of the monster. The monster went to the seed that grew and became light within the garden, Malchut, received it, and illuminated in the river with this seed’s light of Gadlut, and it was called Gihon.
59) And King Solomon rose to greatness from the Gadlut of that seed, when he rose to kingship, as it is written, “And bring him down to Gihon.” It is also written, “Anoint him there.” There, and nowhere else, since King David knew that other waters rise to another Malchut, and this Malchut, from Gihon, was a strong Malchut.
60) And that great monster was awakened to bestow upon the river of Gihon, and the fins of that whale—his Malchut—rose up in the river Gihon to strengthen in it. And all the other Niles rise and fall by the force of this great monster. And once the river Gihon illuminated, it reentered that quiet Nile and was stilled in it, meaning it did not actively impart Hochma.
61) Then, when that light was concealed above, to that gardener, the first darkness came out, prior to the emission of the light. It struck the monster’s head in that hole that was made in it, and a thread was spread between the illumination that remained of the hidden light and that darkness of this dark, as it is written, “and God separated the light from the darkness.”
It explains the order of concealment that was made by Malchut’s return to Bina. You already know that Malchut’s ascent to Bina causes the division of each degree into two. Yet, there are two actions here: first, Malchut’s Tzimtzum [restriction] rises to Bina, as it is written, “And darkness was upon the face of the deep.” Then, the Masach of Malchut rose and was corrected in Bina, as it is written, “And the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.”
Then, when the Masach in Bina was erected, too, and completed the degree there, the Keter and Hochma were considered to have stayed in the degree in the form of light. This is the light of Katnut [smallness] of Nefesh and Ruach that dresses the two Kelim, Keter and Hochma, which is the illumination that remained after the light was hidden. And Bina and TM below the ending Masach are considered to have departed that degree, and are considered darkness.
Two actions took place when the light was concealed: 1) He created darkness through the ascent of the Tzimtzum in Malchut to Bina, as it is written, “And darkness was upon the face of the deep.” 2) The darkness struck, meaning connected to the orifice that was stretched in his head through the ascent of Malchut’s Masach to Bina, as it is written, “And the spirit of God hovered.” Then, one string was stretched, being the Masach that ends the degree below Keter and Hochma, between the illumination that remained of the light that was concealed—Keter and Hochma that remained in the degree—and that darkness of that dark, Bina and TM that departed the degree because they were below the Masach that ends the degree.
62) By this separation of the string that separated, this monster separated those Niles from the darkness, too. In other words, in them, too, Malchut rose to their Bina in a Tzimtzum and Masach in her. And the Masach in Bina’s place separated their Keter and Hochma, which remained in the degree, from their Bina and TM, which departed the degree and were in the dark. And the fish were separated to their kinds, those from these, with that separation that was made in the Niles.
63) When the holy, upper water were separated. During the Gadlut, Malchut departed Bina once more and Bina and TM returned to the degree. And since she already had five Kelim, KHB TM, the GAR returned to them and she had five lights, NRNHY. At that time, the upper water is called “holy.” This is when all the Niles were separated and rose into the still Nile that was separated from them all.
Also, they enter and exit it three times a day, since during the Katnut—when the ending Malchut is in Bina and Bina and TM departed the degree—all of Bina and TM of the upper degree fell into Keter and Hochma of the one below it. And at the time of Gadlut—when Bina and TM of the degree return to it—they elevate Keter and Hochma of the lower degree with them, too. Thus, Keter and Hochma of the bottom degree receive the GAR in the upper one, since the lower that rises to the upper becomes like it.
Accordingly, Bina and TM of the still Nile, too, fell into Keter and Hochma of the Niles during the Katnut. During Gadlut, the still Nile, too, elevates its Bina and TM to it, and with them rise the Keter and Hochma of the Niles, which receive GAR from him. And their Keter and Hochma remain in the degree and rise during the Gadlut, since when he brings his Bina and TM back, the Keter and Hochma of the Niles rise along with them and receive GAR, called “three times a day,” since the lower that rises to the upper becomes like it.
64) And all those fish, which are the degrees and the souls that grow inside these Niles, are separated from one another, since the ending Masach separates the Keter and Hochma in each one from the Bina and TM in each. And they are called, “nights,” since the degrees of the left are called, “night.”
Those from the degrees of Keter and Hochma in them are the heads of all those from the degrees of Bina and TM in them, which departed the degree. And those from within rule over all of them, and they are called, “the firstborn of Egypt.” From here, the firstborn spread outside, from the degrees that belong to Bina and TM. And all are fed by the waters of these Niles, and this great monster rules over all of them.
65) It is all by separation of upper and lower water, as it is written, “and let it separate the waters from the waters.” The holy, upper waters, Keter and Hochma, excelled and were separated to be above. And the lower waters, Bina and TM, were all separated from one another to be below. And the holy were separated from the unholy; hence, the angels above are called “separated,” since they are separated from one another—the Keter and Hochma in them from the Bina and TM in them, according to their kinds.
66) “And God said: ‘Let the earth put forth grass.’” The earth is Malchut. And the “herb yielding seeds” are the light that grows out of the sowing of the hidden light. When the great monster was blowing wind through that orifice in his head, and hovered upwards, when he wanted to draw the GAR from there from above downwards, he dried all these herbs.
Finally, another wind [Ruach], which comes from Malchut’s ascent to Bina, blows in the wind of that monster and quiets it below, that is, diminishes his GAR, from which emerges a new sowing. Later, in Gadlut, a new budding emerges and the grass grows as before, and they rule and praise and thank the Creator.
67) From the left side, and out of the still Nile, emerge various beasts and approach these herbs. But they cannot, and they return to their place. All these Niles walk and swim with that monster that governs them, and surround those herbs, but cannot enjoy them except on times when the high wind does not blow and the monster hovers wind in that hole in his head. At that time, that wind governs those herbs and dries them.
68) It has another way of approaching the herbs: When the quiet Nile returns from Malchut to its place, when it rises and falls. Since its waters are still, it walks quietly and the great monster climbs unto those Niles and is not there in the still Nile. And all the herbs grow around that still Nile on either side. Then, that monster climbs unto the herbs and grows among them, and then returns to all these Niles.
The herbs are the light that grew out of the dark. And each time the lower ones wish to extend Hochma from above downwards, these herbs in Malchut dry out. And although they themselves are Hochma, they still reject Hochma and shine only to the right side, to the illumination of Hassadim. Hence, all who extend from the left side, who lean toward Hochma, cannot approach these herbs because they take after the Hochma, and the herbs reject illumination of Hochma from the left and shine only to the right with illumination of Hassadim, except when the quiet Nile rises to Malchut, receives the illumination of the herbs, and returns to its place. At that time, those who extend from the left can enjoy their illumination, too, since it is discerned as Keter, there is no fear from the judgments in the herbs, and they do not reject Hochma, as there is no judgment in them.
Also, the herbs around it shine for each side, even to the left, for they do not reject Hochma. At that time, the whale can grow among the herbs, since there they shine to the left side, too, and it once again bestows of them to all the Niles.
69) “And God said: ‘Let there be lights.’” This is the Bariach [Boa] serpent. It is called Bariach [bar] because it bars both sides, both lines, right and left, and does not let the third line that decides between them extend. It never goes out to harm the world, but only once every fifty years.
This is so because the Klipa [shell, singular for Klipot] opposite the pure Tifferet, which is the middle line, called, “and the middle bar in the midst of the boards, which shall pass through from end to end”—from the right to the left, is called a “Boa [Bariach] serpent.” It blemishes the middle line and does not let it determine between the two lines since it closes the two lines. Hence, it is the opposite of the middle line, called Bariach. This is why it, too, is called Bariach.
And he interprets how it harms the middle line. The Mochin de Bina are called, “fifty years.” The three lines within them are called, “three times.” And he says that he does not go out to harm, except by clinging onto the left line of the fifty years, called, “once,” not letting it connect with the right side.
70) Concerning the verse, “Let there be light,” it is written in the books of The First that it is the Slant Serpent, who always moves in curves and brings curses to the world because he seduced Eve with the tree of knowledge. When he rises, the power of the great monster breaks, for it cannot rise until it loses its body. This is so because the Creator bent him into the sea when he approached it, since he was stepping on the power of the sea, which is the great monster, as it is written, “And tramples down the waves of the sea.”
71) And when this serpent rises, it is written, “and He will slay the dragon that is in the sea.” This is why it is written, “I am against thee… the great monster that lies in the midst of his Niles.” And this serpent is lights without Vav, which indicates curse, as it is written, “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked, which curses everything.” And he overcomes the monster with the strength of the great river, called Euphrates.
The four rivers correspond to the three lines and the Malchut that receives them: The river Pishon is the right, the river Gihon is the left, and the river Euphrates is from the middle line. It is known that hidden in the Masach de Hirik in the middle line is the discernment of Malchut of the lock, that wherever she touches, the lights disappear. And this discernment of judgment of the lock is included in the primordial serpent, as well, and with it, it puts every living thing to death. It is mingled in that Gevura that is hidden in the river Euphrates, and in this lies its power to put every living thing to death.
72) That serpent is on land. When they go out to fight each other, the one on land always prevails because all his ways and strength are on land, the Malchut, where there are all the judgments. And it always eats earth and dust, as it is written, “And dust will you eat all the days of your life.” One grew in the dust and one grew in the water. A serpent that grows in the water is not as strong as one that grows on land. This is why it is written about the serpent without the letter Vav, that its strength is great enough to kill all.
73) That serpent was intended for that monster in the water. And although it was intended for it, it did not fight it, but only the Creator, who killed it in the sea, because of the coarseness of its spirit, as it is written, “That said, ‘My Nile is mine, and I myself have made it.’”
The great monster is the left line. In the beginning of the elicitation of the left line, it emerged only to serve the right, to bring it closer to the Egyptians. But later, he dared to dispute with the right and wanted to revoke it. Therefore, although it later surrendered to the right by the force of the middle line, it still maintained the coarseness over the right line, since it surrendered only by force. This is why the Creator killed it, meaning revoked it and reestablished it completely subdued to the right, willingly and voluntarily, as it was with the approaching towards Egypt. It is written, “That said, ‘My Nile is mine.’” This means that the light of Hochma belongs to me and not to the right, since in, “my Nile,” there is the word, “light” [in Hebrew]. “And I myself have made it” means I have made myself for unique governance.
And Pass Over the Lintel and the Two Mezuzahs [Doorposts]
74) “For the Lord will pass through to smite.” Yet, everything is revealed before the Creator, so why did He need to have the blood over the lintel and the two Mezuzahs?
75) It is written, “And the Lord saw, and spurned.” It is also written, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth.” Providence is not seen above, except when an act of it is seen below. And before an act is done below, Providence does not punish, except for a thought of idol worshipping, which is punished without an act. And once an act is done, the higher Providence awakens. This is why everything depends on the act, for better or for worse.
76) All the streets of Egypt were filled with idols, and in each house were all sorts of sorcerers, who connect the lower crowns below with their charms and evoke the spirit of impurity among them.
77) “And you shall take a bundle of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin.” The bundle of hyssop is to purify the spirit of impurity from among them and to show the complete faith on their homes, in these three places—one from here and one from here—on the two Mezuzahs, which imply the two lines, right and left. And the one between them, on the lintel, implies the middle line. And this is why the Creator passed over the door and did not let the destroyer come into your homes to smite, since He sees the holy name written on the door, which is the three lines.
78) If they imply to the three lines, why was it done in blood? It is because the color of the three lines is white and red, and the inclusive is green. There were two bloods: one of Passover, and the other of the circumcision when they circumcised themselves. The blood of circumcision is Rachamim [mercy], even though it is red, and the Passover blood is judgment; hence, colors are irrelevant here.
79) He says, “It is not so.” I thought that the Creator brought that blood back to Rachamim, as though it was the white among the colors, as it is written, “When I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said unto thee: ‘In thy blood, live.’” And although it was red, it was brought back to Rachamim, for it is written, “In thy blood, live.” Hence, it is not dependent upon colors. And this is why he wrote on the door on three sides, one here and one here and one in between them, implying the three lines.
80) Two bloods were seen: the Passover blood and the circumcision blood. Those correspond to two Keters, Sefirot, which were seen above at that time, which are the two lines, Hesed and Gevura. They are opposite one Keter, included in the two hidden sides, in Rachamim and Din [judgment]. This is so because the middle line itself, Tifferet, consists of two lines, corresponding the two bloods: the circumcision blood—the Rachamim in Tifferet—and the Passover blood—the Din in Tifferet.
81) There are several places where the Creator has pity over His children: A man made a house, and the Creator told him, “Write My name and put it on your doorstep. And you will sit within the house while I sit outside, at your door and watch over you.” But here, in Passover, He said, “Write the secret of My faith on the door,” the three lines on the two Mezuzahs and the lintel, “and you will sit inside your home while I watch over you from the outside,” as it is written, “And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.” It is also written, “And when He sees the blood upon the lintel… and will not allow the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.” Thus, the Creator was watching over them from the outside.
82) Such as the holy name, Hey , they did at that time, meaning three lines—two on the Mezuzahs and one on the lintel from above. This is similar to the shape of the Hey, which is Malchut. Hence, as the holy name returned to being Din over the Egyptians at that time, the blood returned to being Din at that time, as it is written, “And when He sees the blood upon the lintel and on the two Mezuzahs.” They were all marked in red, implying Din, to show that although it is Rachamim for Israel, it was Din once again, to avenge the Egyptians.
83) As she is above, so it should be seen below at that time. If it is Rachamim, then Rachamim, if Din, then Din. And since there was Din above over the Egyptians, it is written, “Dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel.” The blood implies Din. And it is written about the future, “Who is this who comes from Edom, with crimsoned garments from Bozrah?” meaning He will show everyone Din, perform vengeance, and then His clothes will be as red as blood.
84) What is the reason that they were not allowed outside their doorsteps? It is that a person should not be on the street when Din is applied to the city because when the destroyer is given permission, those who hurt him are harmed. Hence, here, when the Din was over Egypt, they did not need to be outside.
85) In that same one where you find Din for Egypt, you find Rachamim for Israel, as it is written, “And when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” We also learned, regarding all those holy Keters above, that as there is Din in them, there is Rachamim in them. It is all at the same time. It is written, “And the Lord will smite Egypt, smiting and healing,” meaning afflict Egypt and heal Israel. What is, “And healing”? They needed healing from their circumcision.
86) When the Egyptians were being afflicted, Israel were being healed. It is written, “The Lord will pass over the door.” Should it not have said, “Will pass over you”? However, the door is the door of the body, which is the circumcision that He healed.
87) When midnight passes, the upper Hesed (de ZA) awakens in the holy Keter, Malchut, for one does not rise without the other, even though the night is only Malchut. Still, it never happens that Malchut is without ZA, her husband. For this reason, one smites and the other heals—Malchut smites and ZA heals, and all at the same time.
88) “The Lord will pass over the door,” the door to the body, since it is the opening to extension of Ruach, from which they were born. Until Abraham was circumcised, he was blocked from all sides; he could not beget in holiness. When he was circumcised, everything was opened in him and he was not blocked, like before.
89) “He was sitting at the tent door,” since the Yod has been revealed. In this disclosure of the Yod, he placed Hesed in Tzedek [justice]. The Yod in the name Shadday appeared through the circumcision, indicating that the Hesed is extended into Malchut, called Tzedek. This is the door of the high, holy Tabernacle, Malchut. And this is the meaning of what is written about the tent, that it is Malchut.
Before he was circumcised, Malchut was receiving only from the left side, in the form of Hochma without Hassadim, at which time she is blocked from all sides because Hochma cannot shine without Hassadim. And when he was circumcised, the Hassadim appeared in her, the Hochma in her clothed in Hassadim, and illuminated in both Hochma and Hassadim. It is therefore discerned that a door was opened in Malchut through the circumcision, so she could shine, and this is the meaning of, “He was sitting at the tent door.”
90) When this Yod appeared, Abraham was told and blessed at the tent door, which is Tzedek, Malchut that was mitigated in Hesed, meaning that Hochma in Malchut had been dressed with Hassadim, as it is written, “In the heat of the day.” The day is when Hesed, Abraham’s share, governs, since Abraham is a chariot for Hesed de ZA. The tent door is Malchut, which was mitigated by the Hesed from Abraham, since it is written, “And the Lord had blessed Abraham in everything.” Everything is Malchut that was mitigated by Hesed through Abraham, after the Yod appeared in him through the circumcision.
91) “While he was sitting at the tent door,” as it is written, “And the Lord had blessed Abraham in everything.” The tent door is Malchut, called, “everything,” the tenth Keter. Keter means a Sefira, and, “In the heat of the day” means that just as he was given the Sefira Hesed, called, “day,” he was rewarded with the tent door. This is because Hesed opens the Malchut, called, “tent,” so it may shine. And as he sits in Hesed, called, “day,” he sits in Malchut, called, “the tent foot.” This is because Malchut cannot shine in the Hochma in her without Hesed, and Hesed without the illumination of Hochma in Malchut is VAK without a Rosh.
92) “For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians.” Pass through means that He was passing over the sentence of the Keters that were connected to other Keters above, and released them from their existence. The lower Keters, to which the Egyptians were attached, were connected to the higher Keters, of Kedusha [holiness], from which they received their vitality. And the Creator released those ties and the existence of the lower Keters was revoked. This is when the firstborn of Egypt were killed.
It turns out that the Creator breached His own ways when He corrupted the cascading of the Keters in order to pass the judgment on Egypt and keep Israel. This is how it is: wherever it is written, “pass,” “have passed, or “will pass,” it indicates that the Creator had breached His own ways in the order of the cascading of the Sefirot either to carry out judgment or for mercy. And here “passed” means to pass judgment. And when it is written, “And the Lord passed by before him,” it is to do mercy.
And It Came to Pass at Midnight
93) One should always be careful with the midday prayer, since this is the time when Din hangs in the world and one should focus one’s mind.
94) The world exists only by the heads of the people. If the heads of the people are righteous, it is good for the world and good for the people. And if they are not righteous, woe unto the world and woe unto the people.
95) It is certainly so because it is written, “I saw all of Israel being scattered…These have no master; let them return every man to his house in peace.” He asks, “Should it not have said, “will sit”? Also, it should have said “In his house,” since the people were in their place; hence, to where were they to return?
96) If the head of the people is not pure in his actions, the people are caught for his sin, since it is written, “And David spoke… I have sinned, and I have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done?” Thus, David sinned but Israel suffered. And if the head of the people is caught in his iniquity, the people are saved, since the judgment is removed from them, as it is written, “And the Lord said: ‘These have no master,’” meaning if they are not the head of the people, they may return from the path, each to his own home in peace. And even though the judgment was already over them on this path, since their head was caught in his iniquity and put to death, they may return in peace. Thus, they are all saved if their head is caught.
98) At midnight, Rabbi Hiya and Rabbi Yosi saw a deer walking past them yelling and raising her voice. They heard one voice declaring and saying, “Rise you youth, awaken those who are asleep. Worlds, prepare before your masters because your master is going to the Garden of Eden, Malchut, which is His palace, to entertain with the righteous.”
99) Rabbi Hiya said, “It is precisely midnight now, and this voice that we heard comes out and shudders the deer above, which is Malchut, and below, as it is written, ‘The voice of the Lord makes the deer to shudder,’ blessed are we for hearing it.”
100) When the Creator appears over the garden, the whole garden gathers, all the righteous in the garden, and it does not separate from Eden, Hochma. And springs, illumination of Hochma, come out of this Eden toward several ways and trails for the attainment of the righteous. And this garden is called, “The bundle of life,” where the righteous are refined by the illumination of the next world. And it is at that time that the Creator appears to them.
101) Rabbi Yosi said, “I have asked several times, why this was not on the day when the open miracle will be revealed to all? Also, why did all the weak ones die after the grindstone and the lambs in the sheep, and why did kings, ministers, and warmongers not die, as it was with Sennacherib, who were all kings, sons of kings, ministers, and officers, but the strength of one emissary of the Creator appeared there? Indeed, it was greater than this miracle, for here it was done by himself; thus, his miracle was worthy of being greater.
102) Since we have been rewarded with all that, and the road before us has been established, I heard that Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai is purifying the streets of the city of Tiberius; let us go to him. They sat until the day rose, and when the light came up they rose to their feet and left. When they reached him, they found him sitting with a book of Haggadah [Talmudic literature] in his hand.
103) “All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.” Question: Since he said, “All the nations are as nothing before Him,” why does it also say, “they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless”? I learned the view of all the peoples in the world, whose faith is as nothing, who attain neither the high degrees nor the lower ones. They take for themselves a faith of folly, but it is regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless, like the chaff that flies in the wind and roles in the fields in the summer, empty and without any content.
104) “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Et [the] is the right side of the Creator, and the Et is His left side. I learned that the Creator leaned to His right, Hesed, and created the heaven, and He leaned to the left, Din, and created the earth, as it is written, “Surely My hand founded the earth, and My right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand together.”
105) “They stand together.” Can you even think that heaven and earth, ZA and Nukva, do not stand together, but are separate right and left, which are Et and Et? Hence, the nations of the world will stand together. But how will they stand together? In this Malchut, which governs midnight, when Et, Hesed, is included in this Malchut, and then they are standing together.
106) “He hath made every thing beautiful in its time.” Et is Hesed de ZA. “Everything” is as it is written, “And the Lord had blessed Abraham in everything.” “Everything” is this Sefira called “this,” which is Malchut, comprising the Et and the Et, and governing the midnight on both sides, Rachamim and Din, Rachamim for Israel and Din for the idol worshippers. And the writing says, “Everything,” He made everything connected, “Beautiful in its time,” in midnight.
108) “Who is like the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high.” “Who is like the Lord our God” is ZA, who rises and crowns to dwell in the high, holy Keter, which is Bina, whose illumination is above all those lights that shine, and the Keters, and the wreaths, since all the Mochin in the worlds extend from Bina. “Who looks down low,” who descends in His Sefirot from Keter to Keter, from Bina’s right line to His own right, from crown to crown, from Bina’s left line to His own left, from illumination to illumination, from Bina’s middle line to His own middle line, from light to light, from Malchut de Bina to His own Malchut, to watch over above, in heaven, and below, in the earth, as it is written, “The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men.”
It speaks of attainments of the Mochin of ZA. First, ZA rises for MAN to Bina and determines between the two lines, right and left of Bina, which were disputed, and makes peace between them. Subsequently, three lines emerge in Bina, and the Malchut that receives from them. This is the “three emerge from one,” when the three lines of Bina emerge from one, which is ZA. The writing says about that, “Who is like the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high.” This is so because although ZA is discerned as VAK and not as GAR, he still rises to Bina and becomes a decisive line in her, called Daat, which is GAR, and it settles there among the Sefirot of Rosh.
Then, since three come out of one, it follows that the one is rewarded with all three, and ZA, too, stands in those three lines that it illuminated in Bina, since the lower one is rewarded with the same amount of light it induced in the upper one, as it is written, “The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men.” Thus, afterwards, He lowers Himself because He descends from Bina to His own place with those three Mochin that shine in the three lines. And He does that to bestow in heaven and in earth. And He calls the right line, Keter, calls the left line, “crown,” calls the middle line, “light,” and calls Malchut, “spark.”
109) “And it came to pass at midnight.” It should have said, “As middle of the night” or “As midnight,” as did Moses. And if you say as the friends said, so the sayers of Pharaoh will not say that Moses is a liar, since it is impossible to precisely tell the moment of the middle of the night, then the question still stands in three ways, for even Israel will say so.
1. If so, he should have said, “And Moses said as the middle of the night.” Why does he say, “So says the Lord”? But the Lord said, “At midnight.” And as much as he may aim the time, it will not be caught onto Moses, but in the Master, since he said, “Thus said the Lord.”
5. Since Moses said, “Even unto the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill.” But it was not so until the “first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon.” Still, Israel will say that he is a liar because matters did not unfold as he had said.
6. That he said in the name of the Master. It is written of midnight, “And it came to pass at midnight,” and not, “as midnight,” as Moses had said.
110) But the heavier question, heavier than a beast can carry, is when you asked, “Why was the smiting of the firstborn at night and not during the day? And why did the weak ones behind the mill die?” Indeed, this is all a sublime secrete among the harvesters, who have been rewarded with attaining the plants of the hidden light that were sown in Malchut, called, “a field.” It is all honest in the words of the faithful prophet.
111) Happy is Moses, of whom it is written, “You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips…the oil of joy above Your fellows.” “You are fairer than the sons of men” [in Hebrew, sons of Adam], meaning Seth and Enoch. “Grace is poured upon Your lips,” from Noah and his sons. “Therefore God, Your God, has anointed you,” from Abraham and Isaac. “Oil of joy,” from Jacob. “Your fellows,” the rest of the prophets. And does a man who has climbed the highest degrees, which no other man has, not know what he says?
112) We learned that the Sefira called, “This,” Malchut, is called “a woman,” as it is written, “She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” The man is called, “This” [in Hebrew there is a difference between the masculine and feminine form of the word], and “This is a male man,” ZA, as it is written, “As for this Moses, the man,” meaning this man. Thus, a man is called “This” [in masculine form], and this is called “A man.” And this [feminine form] was taken from this [masculine], called “male.”
113) This is the reason why Malchut is called Tamar. It indicates male and female because the Tamar [palm tree] does not rise when one is without the other, male without female, as it is written, “like pillars of smoke.” As smoke rises with white and black, here in Malchut, called “this,” all is included in the middle of the night, to perform her actions at one time, at once, white for Israel, which is Rachamim, and black for idol worshippers, which is Din.
114) Until this night is divided, it does not carry out its operations. How do we know? From Abraham. It is written, “And he divided himself against them by night.” This means that he was divided in order to perform his operations. Here, too, Moses said, “as midnight,” meaning when the night divides, since Moses knew that he will not carry out his operations until he divides.
115) And so it was: He did not carry out his operations until he was divided. He carried out his operations in the second half of the night, as it is written, “And it came to pass at midnight.” What is half the night? What is half? It is the other half, when Malchut rules. And that “this,” Malchut, is always available to carry out operations. And each operation that takes place during the night is done in the second half.
116) “The Lord struck all the firstborn. “The Lord” is ZA and his court, which is Malchut. And “The Lord” means He and His operations. “Struck all the firstborn,” Moses said, “And all the first-born… shall die.” But Malchut of the quality of judgment—called Koh [thus far]—had awoken, as Moses was frightened, as it is written, “Behold, you have not listened until now.” This is why it said, “The Lord struck,” which is the name Koh [in Hebrew it’s part of the word struck], which killed all the firstborn in Egypt.
117) Pharaoh was wiser than all his charmers. He looked at this “this,” Malchut, which was to pass judgment on him and destroy his land, as Moses wrote, “In this you will know that I am the Lord.” “And Pharaoh turned,” meaning he turned his mind from this thought, as it is written, “Then Pharaoh turned and went into his house with no concern even for this.” The word, “even,” implies that even though he knew that the name, “This,” which is Malchut, would destroy his country, he still did not pay attention to her.
118) Even “All the firstborn.” A firstborn is considered Hochma, and “All the firstborn” indicates that even the higher and lower degrees were broken from their dominion. All those degrees that rule by their power of Hochma, which is the wisdom of Egypt, as it is written, “All the first-born in the land of Egypt.” And all the higher and lower degrees that were broken from their dominion were all seen in the text where it writes, “From the first-born of Pharaoh that sits upon his throne.” Thus, they are all seen in the text.
119) “From the first-born of Pharaoh that sits upon his throne” is the domination of the bottom Sefira of Klipot, which receives from the upper Malchut. “Even unto the first-born of the maid-servant” is a left Sefira, which is under the dominion, behind the four mills, being the four camps of Klipot. This is why it is written, “Behind the mill,” and not, “From the mill.”
“And all the first-born of cattle” is below the lower ones. It is a female from among the females that are in mares, beasts, and asses, in the coarse ones and in the thin ones, which are degrees of impurity. And men and females receive from them.
“Unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon” are those who come from the maidservants, which are used for doing magic to prisoners, to work them forever, and who will never be freed.
120) And with confidence over these degrees, the Egyptians refused to send Israel, since they have made a tie of magic for Israel so they can never be liberated from their servitude. And this is where the power and dominion of the Creator appeared, and this memory will not be stricken from the memory of Israel for many generations. Had it not been for the power and might of the Creator, all the kings of the nations and all the sorcerers of the world would not be able to deliver Israel from slavery, since He untied all their ties and broke all those crowns of the first-born of the captive to deliver them. It is written about that, “Who will not fear You, O King of the nations?”
121) Rabbi Shimon wept, raised his voice and sighed, saying, “You think that the adhesive has already been found, in adhering to the Creator, and He praised Himself so many times in the exodus from Egypt, as it is written, ‘Who brought you out of the land of Egypt,’ ‘And the Lord your God brought you out of there,’ ‘Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt,’ ‘And brought thee out with His presence, with His great power, out of Egypt,’ ‘The Lord brought you out from this.’” Fifty times is the exodus from Egypt mentioned in the Torah.
122) He replies that there are ten Keters, meaning Sefirot, below in the Klipot, such as above in holiness, all of which are blocked by three Klipot that are Pharaoh’s firstborn, the firstborn of the maidservant, and the firstborn of the cattle. And three ties are tied over these three degrees, which made it so Israel would never be redeemed from slavery.
123) Happy are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for because of them the ties were opened and the Creator remembered your three ties of faith, as it is written, “And God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” “With Abraham” is one knot, of Abraham; “With Isaac” is the other knot, that of Isaac, and, “With Jacob” is the third, complete knot of Jacob.
124) All the special dates, the holidays, and the Sabbaths are a reminder of the exodus from Egypt. This is what they all rely on. Had it not been for that, there would be no keeping of special dates, holidays, and Sabbaths. This is why the memory of Egypt has not abated from all the occasions, holidays, and Sabbaths. This judgment of the exodus from Egypt is the foundation and root of the Torah, all the Mitzvot [commandments], and the whole of Israel’s complete faith. This is why the exodus from Egypt is mentioned so many times in the Torah.
125) Why was the judgment of Egypt not during the day? It is written, “This day ye go forth,” and it is written, “The Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night.” Indeed, the essence of Israel’s redemption was only at night, which is Malchut, called “night.” The night opened the ties and took vengeances, and the day brought them out boldly, as it is written, “The sons of Israel started out boldly in the sight of all the Egyptians,” “While the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn whom the Lord had struck,” which was in order to make the miracle known.
126) The Creator made Jerusalem below, Malchut, such as Jerusalem above, Bina. And He had made the walls of the holy city and its gates. One who comes does not enter until the gates are opened to him, and one who climbs does not rise until the steps to the walls are fixed.
Who can open the gates of the holy city, and who fixes the high steps? It is Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai. He opens the gates to the secrets of the wisdom, and he fixes the high degrees. It is written, “All your males shall appear before the face of the Lord God.” Who is, “the face of the Lord God”? It is Rashbi, for one who is a male from the memories, meaning one who is considered a male from the upper Mochin, called, “memories”—which are Mochin de AVI—should appear before him.
127) “And the Lord struck all the firstborn.” He does not say, “All the firstborn from Egypt,” but simply, “All the firstborn,” since it relates to the degrees that the Egyptians were clinging to, as well, the four degrees of the Klipot. It was all as with those who died—that what was done in the degrees of the Klipot was as in the firstborn of Egypt who died.
Those are the tiers of the knots who were using their charms with these Keters. Some of them were operating in the upper ones and some in the lower ones. And although all are low, they were operating in the upper ones, as well. Thus, the whole of the land of Egypt was full of sorcery, as it is written, “For there was not a house where there was not one dead.”
128) The judgment was carried out on all, when they were all gathered in their homes and not dispersed in the desert and in the field, but were all in their homes. And the night, which is Malchut, carried out its judgments at that time, and the night was shining as though on a Tamuz [a summer month] day, and the whole people saw the judgments of the Creator, as it is written, “And the night is as bright as the day; the darkness is as the light.”
129) When Israel were departing, they were all dead on the streets in front of everyone. They wanted to bury them but they did not find them, since the dogs had eaten them. But not all were eaten, for some of them remained, of whom it is said, “The Egyptians were burying.” This was the hardest for them; on one hand, they were watching Israel leave, and on the other hand, they were seeing their dead. And it was all in order to make the miracle known—that no such thing had happened since the day the world was created.
130) “It is a night of watching unto the Lord for bringing them out.” It is also written, “This same night is a night of watching unto the Lord.” Why did he say, “A night of watching,” and not, “A watched night”? And why did he first say, “night of,” and then, “A night” [the difference is apparent only in Hebrew]?
131) It is written, “If there is a girl who is a virgin.” It writes Naara [girl, spelled without the final Hey], since as long as she did not receive a male, she is considered a boy. Once she receives a male, she is considered a Naarah [girl, with the final Hey]. Here, too, Malchut is called “night” [without the Hey], before she receives a male, ZA. And it writes about it, “a night of watching,” in plural tense [in Hebrew], which means that ZA is included in it, since the male, ZA, is destined to bond with her, but he hasn’t. And when the male bonds with her, it is written, “This same night is a night of watching unto the Lord.” Watching indicates male and female, ZA and Malchut, which is why it writes, “This night.”
132) And where there are male and female, the praise is only for the male. Thus, Israel praised their praises to the male and not to the female, as it is written, “This is my God, and I will glorify Him.” This is because where there are male and female, the praise is only for the male. And this is what Israel awaits, as it is written, “This is the Lord, for whom we waited, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation,” since He is destined to do the same for them, as it is written, “As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show you miracles.”
133) So will the Creator do to them, as it is written, “Watchman, what of the night [with a final Hey], Watchman, what of the night [without a final Hey]?” As there it is watching and night [without a Hey], here it is watching and night [without a Hey]. As there it is watching and night [with a Hey], here it is watching and night [with a Hey].
134) And it is called “night” because of the male that is included in her, as it is written, “Morning comes but also night,” ZA and Malchut. Morning means, as it is written, “And Abraham got up early in the morning,” for his quality is Hesed de ZA, called “Morning.” It is also written, “Lord, in the morning You will hear my voice,” meaning actual morning, ZA with the quality of Hesed.
All Things Have I Seen
136) “All things have I seen in the days of my vanity; there is a righteous man that perishes.” What did Solomon, who was wiser than any man, say about this verse? Solomon implied a hint of wisdom.
137) When the eyes of the Creator wish to observe the world and scrutinize it, as it is written, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth,” and wicked were found in the world, that righteous who is in that generation is caught for their transgression. And the Creator is patient with the wicked until they repent. And if they do not repent, there is no one to ask for mercy over them, since the righteous one had already died, as it is written, “There is a righteous man that perishes in his righteousness.” And because he is righteous, he departed the world, so as to not ask for mercy over the generation.
138) For this reason, one should always dwell only in a place where men of action dwell, since woe unto one who dwells among the wicked, for he is caught for their transgression. And if one dwells among the righteous, he is rewarded for their merit.
139) In the beginning, a man lived among the people of Kaputkia, and he was plagued by diseases. He took his home and placed it among the owners of the shield in Zippori, among wise disciples, who are called, “owners of the shield,” and he rose and was rewarded with much wealth and plentiful Torah. And he said, “I have been granted with all for I have come among those whom the Creator observes, to benefit them.”
140) “All things have I seen in the days of my vanity.” Did Solomon—in whom there were more degrees of Hochma [wisdom] than in all his contemporaries, as it is written, “For he was wiser than all men,” and it is written, “Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king”—say of his life, “In the days of my vanity”? But it is written, “Vanity of vanities, says Kohelet.”
141) Solomon has seven names: Jedidiah, Agur, Bin Jakeh, Ithiel, Lemuel, and Kohelet, and the name Kohelet is tantamount to all of them. And they are all named in correspondence with above. Kohelet is also called “a holy congregation of ten men,” and it is said about that, “there is no crowd of less than ten.” A crowd is a hundred, and even more, but it is no less than ten. But Kohelet contains everything, the whole of Israel, as it is written, “The congregation of Jacob.”
142) His names are named after Hochma, which is why he made three books: Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs, all of which are to complement the Hochma. Song of Songs corresponds to Hesed; Kohelet corresponds to Din; Proverbs to Rachamim, in congruence with the three lines—Hesed, Din, Rachamim. To complement the Hochma, he did all that he did, to show Hochma, and corresponding to the higher degree. And he said about himself, “In the days of my vanity,” and, “Vanity of vanities.”
143) But Hevel [vanity, but also mouth fume, breath] is a precious secret. It is the Hevel that comes out of the mouth, from which comes the sound. And the world exists only on the Hevel of the mouths of kindergarten-disciples who did not sin. However, it is not considered a sin for them only because they are small. Also, Hevel is made in wind and in water, and all that is done in the world is done with Hevel. And this Hevel of the infants becomes a voice that spreads in the world, and they are the keepers of the world and the keepers of the city, as it is written, “Unless the Lord guards the city.”
144) Hevel is voice. What is the difference between them? Hevel stands because a voice will come out of it, but a voice exists because a word will come out of it. And that Hevel was his property from his father, and from him was all that Solomon saw. And although he had much support from above—from other degrees—to announce the matter, he said, “In the days of my vanity,” to announce that that word came from there.
Hevel is the illumination of the left line of Bina, which was blocked and ruined by the dispute with Bina’s right line, through which its illumination came out and became Hevel. It comes out from the interior of the degree outwardly, and the light becomes Hevel. And when ZON are in GAR de Katnut, they are called “kindergarten-disciples.” They receive illumination of the left line of this Bina, and their illumination, too, comes out of their mouths and becomes Hevel. And it is written, “The world exists only on the Hevel of the mouths of kindergarten-disciples, since afterwards, at the time of Gadlut, when ZON are called “Big Face,” the entire amount of Hochma in them is from this Hevel, which they elicited from their mouths while they were still “Small Face.” And since the world exists only in illumination of Hochma, it follows that the world exists on their Hevel.
The illumination of Hochma keeps the world from the Klipot and the damagers. But the Hevel, in the place where it exists, in Bina’s left line, is Hevel, and there is nothing in it but destruction. Only afterwards, when ZA rises to Bina as a middle line and determines and makes peace between the right and the left lines, and unites them with each other, the Hevel returns to being light, and the three lines—Hochma, Bina, and Daat—emerge. At that time, ZA is born in the Mochin de Gadlut from the Bina, since all that it causes in the Upper One, the lower one is awarded, too.
And had it not been for ZA, called “voice,” who sentenced between the lines of Bina and educed HBD in her, Bina would remain disputed and her light would remain as Hevel. Hence, ZA was awarded the three Mochin HBD, as well. This is, “Three emerge from one, one stands in the three.” It follows that ZA was born out of this Hevel of Bina that it brought back to the light.
This is the meaning of the Hevel de Bina having the strength to educe and beget the voice, ZA, after it rises as MAN and determines and brings the Hevel back to light. But ZA, called “voice,” is already standing at Mochin de HBD, called “existence,” to emit the speech, the Nukva, and the unification of voice and speech occurs, which is the complete unification of Panim be Panim [face-to-face].
This is why it is written that because the voice, ZA, was born out of Bina, Bina is considered the mother and the father of the voice, since the voice was rewarded with that Hevel, as a son who inherits from his father and mother. Thus, indeed ZA has no share in the Mochin de Bina. But because it sentenced her lines, he was rewarded and inherited these Mochin from them. But the Hevel is only the left line of Bina, and ZA inherited all three lines from her, which are HBD. Hochma is extended through the Daat, which comes only from the Hevel, and it is of this Hochma that he mentioned, “In the days of my vanity.”
145) “All is vanity…All things have I seen in the days of my vanity.” “There is a righteous man that perishes in his righteousness,” for everything depends on the days of my vanity, that is, when this Hevel sucks from the Din [judgment], to pass judgment, before the sentencing of the middle line. “A righteous man who perishes in his righteousness” is by the force of that Din. And when that Hevel sucks from the Rachamim, after the sentencing of the middle line, the wicked prolongs his evil, since the Rachamim make him patient. And both wicked and righteous are dependent upon that Hevel. This is why it is written, “In the days,” and not “In the day.” And all are dependent upon that Hevel; what will happen during the Din is in Din [judgment], and what will happen during the Rachamim is in Rachamim [mercy].
146) “There is a righteous that perishes,” in present tense. But why does he not say lost? After all, if it were time-dependent, he should have used past tense, not the present tense. The answer is that whenever that Din awakens, the righteous is lost from the world and from the generation. This is always true. And there is a wicked who prolongs his wickedness, substantially prolongs his sin, since when that Din sucks from the Rachamim, he pities that wicked and reprieves him.
147) The smoke of the incense rises up and goes down. The smoke is crowned in the slime of the earth from above, and therefore rises up and comes down. This implies the Hevel, where since it is lowly and full of judgments, ZA is crowned in it, meaning corrected it and gained the Mochin from Bina. In the mean time, the field emits fragrance that smells better than all perfumes. It is written about that, “As the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed.”
And He Smelled the Smell of His Garments
148) “And He smelled the smell of his garments… the smell of my son is as the smell of a field.” This means that the clothes were emitting fragrance and that that scent never vanished from them. It is written, “The smell of his garments,” and it is written, “The smell of my son.” It does not say, “The smell of the clothes,” but, “The smell of my son,” since Jacob entered the Garden of Eden with him, and those clothes were of Adam ha Rishon, as it is written, “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them,” and took them out of the Garden of Eden.
149) And should you say, it is written, “and they sewed fig-leaves,” what are the garments of skins that the Lord had made for them? And why does it say, “And the Lord God made,” if they sewed by themselves? It is written, “garments of skins,” but were they not fig-leaves? Rather, garments of skins should be interpreted as the most precious of clothes. And they were emitting scent from the perfumes in Eden.
150) They were made with the full name, as it is written, “And the Lord God made,” which is the full name. The heaven and earth were not made so because it is only God in regard to them. But it is written, “In the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.” Yet, this is not perplexing, since when they were made, they were not made with the full name, and when they existed, they existed in the full name. And the verse, “In the day that the Lord God made” refers to existence.
151) And what they said—that these garments came to that wicked, Esau, who took them from Nimrod—is perplexing, since it says, “For Adam and for his wife,” meaning He made garments for Adam and garments for Eve. And what was done with Eve’s garments? With what were they buried? Is it conceivable that they left the sublime radiance that the Creator gave them and threw them off themselves?
152) But these garments that Adam and Eve had worn, no other person wore them, since with these garments, they were similar to what is above. And if you consider that they had worn them by themselves, it is written, “And clothed them,” meaning the Creator clothed them. Happy are they.
153) “O Lord my God, You are very great, You are clothed with splendor and majesty.” And it is written, “Splendor and majesty are before Him.” It is also written, “Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak.” Since He was clothed, He created the world. This teaches that the Creator covered Himself in light and created the heavens. And the clothes of Adam ha Rishon were similar to this clothing. The “best garments” are attires of kingship, silk and gold. It is common practice to adorn them with perfumes and fragrances for the preciousness of the garments.
154) First, “he smelled the smell of his garments,” since he thought that the scent was coming from them. And when he felt, he said, “See, the smell of my son,” since he knew that it was up to him, that the scent was coming for him, and not from the clothes. “As the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed.” But how did Isaac know the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed?
155) These are two things, but it is all one. It is written, “Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening,” and he was one with the field which the Lord has blessed. But did he not have a house or some other place in which to pray? Rather, it was that field which Abraham bought, near the Cave of Machpelah, as it is written, “The field which Abraham purchased of the children of Heth.” And when Isaac came to the field, he saw Divinity over it, and it was emitting high and holy scents. Hence, he prayed there and set that place as a place of prayer.
156) Why did Abraham not pray there, in the field of the Cave of Machpelah, as did Isaac? It is so because in the beginning, he had permanency of a different place, and he saw another thing of scent on Mount Moriah. And why is it called, “Mount Moriah”? It is named after the good myrrh that was there.
157) And it was all with Jacob, since besides his smell, the Garden of Eden entered with him, too, and this is why he blessed him. For this reason, he did not ascribe the matter to the clothes but to Jacob himself, since he saw that the scent depended on him, and he was worthy and his merit was rising to be blessed, and entered the Garden of Eden with him. For this reason, when Esau complained, he said, “he shall be blessed,” as well.
158) The Torah should have been written only from, “This month shall be unto you,” since it is the beginning of the dominion of the moon. Hence, the Torah should have begun to be written from here. This was connected to the Creator because the moon is Malchut. When she is whole, she unites with the Creator; hence, the Torah should have begun at the start of the wholeness of the moon, which is, “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months.”
159) It is not perplexing that it does not say, “This,” “This month” [in feminine form], since the name of the moon is “this” [in feminine form]. This is so because “this” [masculine] and “this” [feminine] are tied together. And where there are male and female together, the merit is only for the male. This is why it says, “This month,” [in masculine] and not, “this” [in feminine]. Hence, it says, “It shall be the first month of the year to you.” “Month of the year” indicates that it concerns Malchut, called “year.” But the merit depends on the male. It writes “To you,” “To you.” This is because the doubling of the “To you” emphasizes that it is only for Israel, and not for the rest of the nations, as it is written, “For the Lord’s portion is His people.” This connection of the month is for you, and not for the rest of the nations.
A Lamb for a Household
160) “Speak to all the congregation.” Why on the tenth of the month? When the Yovel [jubilee, and also 50th year anniversary], Bina, shines to the moon, Malchut, as it is written in the Yovel, “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement,” and the day of atonement is the illumination of Bina. Thus, the illumination of Bina in Malchut is on the tenth of the month.
161) “They shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers’ houses.” This is so because at that time it needs to be anointed, since we learned that in the taking of the lamb the bottom Keter broke, the one to which all the other lower Keters of Klipa cling. And Moses explained that and said, “Draw out, and take you lambs,” which are, as is written, “Flocks, and men-servants, and maid-servants,” which are the bottom Keters of the Klipot, and flocks contain them all. And the Egyptians made them into gods.
162) The Creator said, “You do the deed below,” extending and taking flock, “and I will break their force above.” And as you make them to burn in fire, as it is written, “But roast with fire,” I, too, will take them through fire above, in a river of fire.
163) Why was he anointed on the tenth of the month and slaughtered on the fourteenth? Israel were tied under the enslavement of the lamb, the god of Egypt, for 400 years. And although they were not enslaved for the whole of the 400 years, it is still considered that they were enslaved the whole of the 400 years because they were willing to connect to them for 400 years, had the Creator not skipped the end. This is why the lamb is held for four days, tied in the authority of Israel. Then, the whole of the congregation of Israel slaughters it at twilight.
164) Why is it slaughtered at twilight? Because it is a time when there is Din. And when this thing, the exile in Egypt, was given through Abraham, as it is written, “And it came to pass, that when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and a dread, even a great darkness, fell upon him.” “Dread” is one Keter of the Klipa [singular of Klipot]. “Darkness” is another Keter. “Great” means it is greater than all the Keters.
And although we have clarified that text about the rest of the enslavements of Israel, where dread is Babel, darkness is Medes, and great is Greece, it all did happen. They imply the three Keters of Klipa, as well as the exiles, as we said about the lamb, that the Creator said, “You do the deed below, and I will break their force above.” Thus, “For I will utterly blot out,” you will do below, and I will do above.
165) Israel did not come out of Egypt until the government of all their ministers was broken above, and Israel departed their domain and came to the domain of the upper holiness in the Creator, and tied to Him, as it is written, “For the sons of Israel are My servants; they are My servants.” What is the reason that “they are My servants”? It is that, “I brought [them] out from the land of Egypt”; I have brought them out of the other authority and brought them into My authority.
Sourdough and Leaven
166) “But on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses, for whoever eats anything leavened…” This sourdough and leaven are one degree, and they are all one. Another authority are the ministers appointed over the rest of the nations. And we called them, “the evil inclination,” “another authority,” a “foreign god,” and “other gods.” Here, too, sourdough, leaven, and leavened food are all one. The Creator said, “All those years you stood in another authority and served a different people. From here on, you are free, ‘But on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses,’ ‘You shall eat nothing leavened,’ and ‘nothing leavened shall be seen among you.’”
167) It follows that we should not eat leaven all the days of the year, so why only seven days? After all, it is written, “Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses.” As long as one must show oneself as free, one should not eat leaven. And when one is not obliged, there is no need for prohibiting leaven.
168) It is like a king who made one man a minister. All the days while he was climbing to that degree, he was happy and wore stately clothes. Afterwards, he did not need it. On another year, he keeps those days when he had risen to this glory and wore those clothes. And so it was every year.
Such are Israel. It is written, “Seven days shall there be no leaven found.” These are the days of joy, the days when they have risen to this honor and emerged from enslavement by another. And for this reason, every single year we keep those days when we have risen to this honor and emerged from the other authority, and have come to the domain of holiness. This is why it is written, “Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread.”
Matzot [unleavened bread] of Din
169) It writes Matzot without the Vav [in Hebrew], as in “visions of God,” which lacks Vav, which therefore implies Din. They are called Matzot since they are holy Din, Din that is gripped to the Holy Name, Din that was not strong all that time within Israel because the moon was flawed. And because the moon was flawed, it is written, “bread of affliction.”
First, Nukva was in the form of the two great lights, when both ZA and Malchut were of equal level. ZA clothed Bina’s right line and Malchut was to the left side of Bina. At that time, they were discerned as, “small Panim [face],” since they are Mochin de Achoraim [posterior] that do not shine, and they are considered Din.
Later, through MAN raised by the lower ones, Malchut diminishes and returns to being a point. Afterwards, she is built as a big structure through AVI and returns to Mochin de Gadlut [adulthood]. And although ZA and Malchut already stand in Mochin de Gadlut, the Mochin de Achoraim are not cancelled but return to shine in the form of Rachamim. And all the illumination of Hochma in the degree comes from these Mochin. Matza [singular for Matzot] is those Mochin de Achoraim that are already corrected in Mochin de Gadlut.
And why is Matzot called Din, as is written, Matzot without Vav because they are Din? It is because they are Mochin de Achoraim, while ZON were in Mochin de Katnut [infancy]. However, it is holy Din, since they have already returned and came in Mochin de Gadlut, which are sanctity, united in the form of three lines, which are the Yod-Hey-Vav of the Holy Name.
And two corrections are required of Malchut to achieve Mochin de Gadlut: 1) To be diminished into a point; and 2) the construction of Gadlut. Hence, there are two actions in the awakening from below: 1) circumcision; and 2) Priah [exposure of the glans].
And since Israel circumcised themselves at that time, Malchut had already been corrected in the first correction, when she was diminished into a point, as in the waning of the moon. This sweetened the Din of the Mochin de Katnut in the Matza. And through the Priah, which consists of the letters Parah Yah [the Lord repaid], the construction of Malchut through AVI is evoked, and the Mochin de Gadlut appear.
And since they had already circumcised themselves, and the moon, which is Malchut, had already waned, the power of Din in the Mochin de Katnut weakened. Later, when the Priah will be carried out, the Mochin de Gadlut will emerge.
And there is no question about how on Passover, the Mochin de Gadlut already shines, although Israel had not done Priah yet, since this is done through an awakening from below, while on Passover night was the illumination of Mochin only by awakening from above. This is why they did not shine only on that night. And this is also why it writes, “Bread of affliction,” since concerning the awakening from below, they still had not extended the Mochin de Gadlut.
170) What is the reason that the moon, Malchut, stood in her diminution? It is because they did not perform Priah [exposure], and the holy sign was not apparent in them. This is so because the extension of Mochin de Gadlut is done through Priah, and then the moon is full. Israel were circumcised, but they did not perform Priah. When did they perform Priah? When the writing says, “He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them.”
171) And should you say that on the days of Joshua they did perform Priah, it is not so. Rather, they did, as it is written, “But all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way.” After they were circumcised, the Creator said, “In the beginning, you will eat Matzot,” since the moon had been diminished. This is called, “bread of affliction.” From here on, this bread will be from another place, as it is written, “I will rain bread from heaven for you.” Not from the moon, Malchut, as on the time before they had done Priah, but actually from heaven, from ZA, as it is written, “Now may God give you of the dew of heaven.”
172) And the holy Israel keep those days that have come under the wings of Divinity. They keep the bread that comes from her side, the Matzot, as it is written, “’You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread,” and as it is written, “And keep My covenant,” which is the circumcision. And everything rises and clings to one degree.
173) Why did Moses not expose [commit Priah on] them, but left them circumcised without Priah? It was so that Israel would not wait there until they were healed. This is why he did not expose them. It is written about that, “Seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, for you came out… in haste.” It is also written that they “could not delay,” and hence were not exposed. And circumcision without Priah extends bread of affliction.
174) When Israel came to the land, they came circumcised and exposed. It is written, “A land where you shall eat bread without scarceness.” “Scarceness” is bread of affliction. It is called, “bread of affliction” because the moon, Malchut, has been waned and is not blessed by the sun, ZA, and does not shine from the sun, as it is written, “For all that is in the heaven and in the earth.” This means that, “All,” which is Yesod ZA, clings to the heaven, ZA, and to the earth, Malchut, receiving from the heaven and giving to the earth.
And why did she not shine from the Yovel [jubilee, and also 50th anniversary], which is Bina? Because they did not expose themselves. But here, in the coming to the land, when Israel were circumcised and exposed, it is written, “You shall not lack anything in it,” meaning Yesod de ZA that shines to Malchut. Hence, “A land where you shall eat bread without scarceness,” since, “You will not lack anything in it,” as you were lacking in Egypt.
175) Each year, Israel remembers Egypt and eats Matzot. They have not stopped for generations. And since they did not expose themselves in Egypt, they lacked this, “Anything,” and the moon remained diminished. This is called, “bread of affliction.”
Affliction means poverty. And the reason for eating bread of affliction in Israel, although they had already exposed themselves, is to remember Egypt. This has been the custom for generations. In the future, the writing says, “Your sun shall no more go down, neither shall your moon withdraw itself,” meaning there will not be another diminution in the moon, which is Malchut.
176) On the tenth of this month, they shall take them. It is written, “But the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement.” Taking the lamb depends on the tenth, which is Bina that shines in Malchut. In that regard, he brings the comparison between the tenth here and the tenth of the day of atonement, which is Bina. It is written, “Of this month.” Should it not have said, “In this month”? Because when the illumination came to Malchut, it is written, “Of this month,” precisely, “Month,” which is Malchut, called “Month.”
177) “They shall take… a lamb, according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household.” They are three knots: the firstborn of the cattle, the firstborn of the captive, and the firstborn of the maidservant. And all the other degrees of Klipa [singular of Klipot] connect to these three above manners. Everyone ties to the one called, “Flock,” and everything is included in the flock, which is the highest degree among all of them. Also, the flock below connects to the flock above and cannot be separated from their knots. It follows that all are connected to the lamb.
This is why it is written about it, “And you shall keep it,” tie it with a knot and it will be given to your hand—to your authority—until you slaughter it, carry out the judgment in it. And it is written about the time that will come, “Who is this that comes from Edom?” It is also written, “For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah,” meaning He will blot out all the Sitra Achra from the land. And then it is written, “And the Lord shall be king.”
Praising the Exodus from Egypt
178) “And the people took their dough.” This commandment is to remove the leaven. This commandment was given to them, to Israel, “And the people took their dough before it was leavened.” It is written, “There will be no leaven found in your houses.” We explained the meaning of leaven and Matza of the exodus from Egypt, that they are the evil inclination and the good inclination.
179) The commandment that follows is to speak in the praise of the exodus from Egypt, which is mandatory for man for all time. Every man who tells the story of the exodus from Egypt and delights in that story will rejoice with Divinity (which is joy from all sides) in the next world. This is a man who is delighted with his master, and the Creator is delighted with that story of his.
180) When the Creator brings his company together and tells them, “Go and listen to the story of My praise, which my children tell, and rejoice in My redemption,” they all come and gather and bond with Israel, and listen to the story of the praise, that they are happy with the delight of redemption from their master, and come and thank the Creator for these miracles and mighty deeds, and thank Him for the holy nation that He has in the land. And they are happy with the joy of redemption of their Lord.
181) Then more power and might is added to him above. And with that story, Israel give strength to their Master, like a king who is given further power and might when his strength is praised and he is thanked, and all fear him and his honor rises above all. For this reason, this story and praise must be told. Similarly, man must always speak before the Creator and publicize the miracle with all those miracles that He had done.
182) But why is it a must to speak of the miracles? After all, the Creator knows everything—what came before and what will come after. So why the publication before Him of what He had done and knew? Indeed, man must make the miracle known and speak before Him of all that He had done because these words rise and the whole of the household of above gathers and sees them and thanks the Creator, and His honor rises in their eyes above and below.
183) This is akin to one who tells, and details his sins and all that he had done. Why does he need it? It is because the slanderer always stands before the Creator to tell and demand for people’s transgressions, and to demand judgment for them. And when a person comes first and details each of his sins, he does not give room for that slanderer to come and demand judgment for them. This is because he always demands judgment first, and then tells and accuses—person so and so did that. This is why man should come before him and detail his sins.
184) When the slanderer sees that, he has nothing to say about him and he completely departs from him. If he repents, good. And if not, then the slander is above him and says, “This person, who came before You and confessed with insolence, rejected his Master; his sins are this and that. Hence, one should be careful with all those so he will be found to be a loyal servant before the Creator.
185) The commandment that follows is to eat Matza on Passover, since it is a memory of the faith for all generations. This is so because at that time, Israel departed the other gods and came into the faith.
The Passover Sacrifice
186) It is a commandment to slaughter the Passover during twilight on the fourteenth of Nissan [7th month of the Hebrew calendar], as a memory of the Passover in Egypt. This is mandatory for all, as it is written, “And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at dusk.”
187) This Passover should be kept for ten days or more, as it is written, “In the tenth day of this month they shall take.” This is because then the moon begins to shine, from ten days onwards, until it is completed on the fifteenth. And it is slaughtered on the fourteenth, when the Din is over the world, at dusk.
188) This is so as to remove the foreskin from over the holy covenant and to enjoy the scent that spreads from the roast. In other words, the commandment is essentially to enjoy its scent, which is why it comes only over satiation, when he does not need to eat any longer. For this reason, anyone who is uncircumcised will not eat it, and one in whom there is the holy covenant will eat it. This is so because one who is from the sons of the covenant breaks the force of the Sitra Achra and removes the foreskin from the covenant. This is why it should be done in the sons of the covenant and not in the uncircumcised.
189) When the Creator came to Egypt, he saw the Passover blood written on the door, and the covenant blood—how they were standing at the door—as it is written, “And you shall take a bundle of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch.” Hyssop removes evil spirits, and it removes each side, each evil spirit with its awakening for the sublime redemption of Israel.
190) In the future, the Creator will come to the evil inclination and slaughter it. And now, with this redemption of Egypt, it is written, “The whole of the congregation of Israel slaughters it,” which is a reminder from the future of that sublime redemption from Egypt.
191) “On the two side-posts [Mezuzahs] and on the lintel.” This is the Reshimo of the letter Yod in the Mezuzahs and on the lintel, to show the Reshimo of the holy covenant in them, which is the Yod. And the foreskin broke because of the blood of the covenant, which is written on all, and blood came upon blood, that is, the blood of Passover over the blood of the covenant. When the destroyer passed, he saw the blood and moved away from the house.
192) If the Creator alone was doing the killing, why does it say, “And will not allow the destroyer”? This means that the destroyer was walking, and not the Creator. It was certainly the Creator who was killing, but the destroyer was walking to find libel against Israel, with which to accuse them. Since he saw the breaking of the foreskin in two discernments, in the Passover blood and in the circumcision blood, he fled and parted from them.
193) For the Creator’s killing of all the firstborn of that side, He gave and obliged the firstborn of Israel to redeem themselves, so the Sitra Achra would find no libel against them. Indeed, the Creator was keeping them from everything like a father over sons.
194) “They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The word Matzot [unleavened bread] is written without a Vav. The writing also obliges that the Matzot and bitter herbs will be eaten together, to show the exile of Divinity with Israel in this bitterness of theirs, as it is written, “And they made their lives bitter with hard service.” And when they eat the Passover, it is to show all that had been done to them in Egypt, in that exile and in that enslavement. This is why it is eaten on Matzot and bitter herbs.
195) “Nor are you to break any bone of it,” to display contempt in it, and in all the gods of Egypt. This is because the bones were thrown to the street and dogs would come and drag them from place to place, and this was the most difficult for them, for the bones are the correction of the body, and they are similar and correspond to the other side, to their other gods. And Israel threw them on the street scornfully. This is why it is written, “Nor are you to break any bone of it.” You will not break, but the dogs were coming and breaking them.
196) The Egyptians would come and see the bones that the dogs were carrying from place to place and breaking them, and they would put them in the ground so the dogs would not find them. This is the greatest cancelling of idolatry on their part. By that, the Creator Himself is elevated and all the other forces of idolatry surrender, for they surrendered completely when the cancelation came from themselves, when they hid the bones of their gods in the ground. This is why Israel did not cancel them, as it is written, “Nor are you to break any bone of it.”
Sanctify to Me Every Firstborn
197) “Sanctify to Me every firstborn.” This commandment is to sanctify every firstborn of cattle. The ignorant needs two things: 1) to be redeemed from under the government of the evil inclination, which is its master. It is similar to what Jacob said to Esau, “Let my lord pass on before his servant,” in this world. He is a master from the perspective of the many transgressions on the body. As we explained, the wicked is judged by the evil inclination, the righteous is judged by the good inclination, and the intermediate is judged by both. Intermediate is a brother to the evil inclination and a brother to the good inclination, as it is written, “my brother; let what you have be yours.”
198) When merits are plentiful, the wind breaks the two shifts of the night—which are a braying ass, yelling dogs—and rises to the third shift of the dawn where there is man, meaning a woman speaking with her husband. And man returns to being master over all creations, as it is written, “And I have oxen, and asses and flocks, and men-servants and maid-servants,” and he rises to the degree of man, of whom it is said, “And have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air… And the fear of you and the dread of you.” This is the second thing that the ignorant must achieve.
199) And when the merits are intermediate, “And a man wrestled with him.” This means that the merits and transgressions struggle and wage war. From the side of the merits, it is written, “He saw that he had not prevailed against him.” From the side of transgressions, it is written, “He touched the socket of his thigh in the sinew of the hip.” The word Nashe [hip] comes from the verse, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household” [in Hebrew Nashani means made me forget]. It comes from the word Neshia [oblivion], which is one section of these seven countries. And one who goes down there forgets the Torah.
For He Will Give His Angels Charge over You
200) Before a person comes to this world and emerges from his mother’s womb, “And a man wrestled with him.” This is Gabriel. “Wrestled,” meaning in that same dust of ground, as it is written, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground.” It follows that man is dust, and the dust of the ground is the evil inclination.
Also, Gabriel is the good inclination, which wrestles with the evil inclination, called “dust.” It teaches him seventy languages, which is why it writes, “formed,” with two Yods [in Hebrew]. One Yod opposite the good inclination, Gabriel, who taught him seventy languages, and one Yod opposite the evil inclination, which wrestled him, as it is said, “For he touched the socket of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew of the hip,” and made him forget the seventy languages that the good inclination had taught him.
201) First, four angels descend. It is said about them, “For He will give his angels charge over you.” If he has ancestral merit, then one is Michael, by the merit of Abraham; the second is Gabriel, by the merit of Isaac; the third is Nuriel, by the merit of Jacob; and the fourth is Raphael, by the merit of Adam ha Rishon. And the good inclination is atop him.
202) If he has no merit, four harm-doers go with him: Crime, Destroyer, Anger, and Fury. And the evil inclination is atop them, to sentence him to the world that will come. For this reason they explained, “The wicked is judged by the evil inclination, the righteous is judged by the good inclination, and the intermediate is judged by both.” Hence, if he is intermediate, then Gabriel, which is the good inclination, and Sam’el, which is the evil inclination, both sentence him.
203) Every person with four foundations—fire, wind, water, and dust—has four angels descending with him on the right, and four on the left. The four on the right are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Nuriel, and the four on the left are Crime, Destroyer, Anger, and Fury. And as for the body, Matatron descends upon him from the right, and Sam’el from the left.
204) There is not a person without the four foundations—fire, wind, water, and dust. But the order of these four follows the foundation that was first in him. If his sign is Lion, which is Hesed, then Michael comes first, followed by Gabriel, Nuriel, and Raphael. If his sign is Ox, which is Gevura, Gabriel comes first, followed by Michael, Nuriel, and finally Raphael. If his sign is Eagle, which is Tifferet, Nuriel comes first, followed by Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. And if his sign is Adam (man), which is Malchut, Raphael comes first, followed by Michael, Gabriel, and Nuriel.
205) For those on the right, the side of Michael, all of its four faces—Lion, Ox, Eagle, Man—are Rachamim. He is benevolent and his face is white. If this man engages in the Torah, he is generous, pious, and wise. But if he does not engage in the Torah, he is the opposite—from the side of the evil inclination: a thief, foolish, and mean-spirited, since the ignorant is not pious.
206) From Gabriel’s side, which is Sam’el, his four faces are Ox, Lion, Eagle, and Man. They are judgment, the quality of judgment over the wicked, and provoke them, as we established, that it is permitted to provoke the wicked in this world. He is a hero over his inclination, fears sin, and he will be a judge if he engages in Torah and is strong in his studies.
And conversely, if he is from the side of the evil inclination, he provokes the righteous, to perform harsh judgment over them. He is strong in committing transgressions, does not fear sin, and his face is red, like the blood shedder Esau.
207) One whose sign is eagle, who is from the middle line, is not very merciful, and is not in a great measure of Din. Rather, he is intermediate in his good inclination, his good qualities, and intermediate in the evil inclination, bad qualities. And he has a white and red face.
208) One whose sign is man, which is Malchut, is included with all the good qualities from the good side: pious, wise, strong in Torah, fears sin, and filled with every good quality. The color of his face is black. And if he is from the evil inclination, his is filled with every bad quality.
209) And if one has many sins, all the camps of the evil inclination govern him, until all the camps of the good inclination depart him, and he will crown Sam’el and all his camps over his organs.
210) And if one has many merits, the camps of the good inclination govern him, until all the camps of the evil inclination depart him, and he crowns the camps of the good inclination over all his organs. At that time, the name HaVaYaH governs him.
211) And if he is intermediate, the hosts of heaven stand over him from his right and from his left. These pull right, toward merit, and those pull left, toward sin. And the stronger one prevails. For this reason, the authors of the Mishnah stated, “One should always consider oneself as though the whole world depends on him,” meaning he should consider himself and the whole world as intermediate. And if he keeps one commandment, he sentences himself and the whole world to a scale of merit. And if he commits one transgression, he sentences himself and the whole world to a scale of sin.
212) From Michael’s side, man is called Bechor [firstborn], and his degree is white silver, implying Hesed. For this reason, the redemption of the firstborn is silver, five rocks, equal to Abraham’s Hey [which equals 5 in Gematria]. If he grows wise in the Torah, the Yod—holiness, Hochma—will be added to him, and in it he will need to sanctify every firstborn of the cattle, “The holiness of Israel to the Lord.” And in it, he must give tithing of the young, for each young is from the side of the son of Yod-Hey, which is Vav, Tifferet.
213) All the holy animals were called by the letters of the Holy Name, as it is written, “Every one that is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory.” Even all the creations were created in the letters of the Holy Name, and there is no creation that is not written in this name, to know the one who created it. Yod of the name HaVaYaH is the form of the head of each creation. The Hey, Hey of the name is the form of five fingers on the right hand, and the five of the left hand. Vav is the form of the body.
For You Saw No Manner of Image
214) This is the reason why he said, “‘To whom then will you liken Me, that I would be his equal?’ says the Holy One.” There is no creature that will be equal to Me. And even though I have created it in the image of My letters, I can obliterate that form and remake it several times, and there is no other God over Me that can obliterate My form. This is why it is written, “For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.”
215) And should one say that it is written, “For you saw no manner of image,” so how can we specify letters and names in Him? He will reply to him that this image that I have seen is as it is written, “And he beholds the image of the Lord,” which means the Sefira of Malchut, and not any other image that He created and formed in the letters. This is so because the Sefira of Malchut is the root of all the receivers and the Kelim [vessels], but not the first nine Sefirot, which are devoid of any form. And this is why He said, “To whom then will you liken Me, that I would be his equal?” and, “To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him?”
216) And even this image in Malchut is not in the place of Malchut, but only when the light of Malchut descends and expands to the creatures, to rule over them. Then it appears to each of them, according to their image, and vision, and imagination—with respect to the receivers, not with respect to Malchut herself—as it is written, “And through the prophets I gave parables.”
217) This is why the Creator tells them, “Although I appear to you in your forms, in vision and imagination, still, To whom then will you liken Me, that I would be his equal?” After all, before the Creator created an image in the world, and before He drew a form, the Creator was alone in the world, shapeless and imageless. And one who attains Him prior to the degree of Beria, which is Bina, still outside of any form, is forbidden to make a form and likeness in the world, not in the letter Hey, not in the letter Yod, or even to call Him by the Holy Name, or by any letter or point. It is written, “For you saw no manner of image,” meaning you did not see anything that has an image or similitude.
218) But after He had made that form of the chariot of the upper Adam, He descended and clothed there, and He is named in it in the shape of the four letters HaVaYaH, the ten Sefirot KHB TM, so He will be attained through his qualities, which are the Sefirot, in each and every quality. And He is called, “God, Oh God, I will be the Lord of Hosts,” so he will be known in each quality, how He leads the world with mercy and with judgment, according to people’s actions. And had He not spread His light over all creations, how would they know Him, and how would, “The whole earth is full of His glory” come true?
219) Woe unto one who resembles Him to any quality, and even one of His qualities, and all the more so to people, which are inferior Kelim. But the imagination that we imagine is according to His dominion over that quality, and even according to His dominion over all creations. And there is no similitude above that quality. And when His dominion departs one, one has no measure, no likeness, and no form of that quality.
220) Such as the sea. There is neither perception nor form in the waters of the sea that come out of Him. But the expansion of the waters of the sea over the Kli, which is the earth, creates their image. And we can calculate there: The source of the sea is one; the spring that emerges from it—according to its expansion in the Kli as a circle, which is Yod—makes two forms, for the source is one and the spring that emerges from it is two. Also, the source is the Keter and the spring is the Hochma.
221) Afterwards, He made a big Kli, similar to one who digs a deep hole, and it was filled with the water that comes out of the spring. And this Kli is called, “the sea.” This is the third Kli, Bina.
Also, that Kli is divided into seven streams. As with long Kelim [vessels], the water spread from the sea to the seven streams. Thus, the source, the spring, the sea, and the seven streams make ten. And if the craftsman were to break these tools that He had corrected, the waters would return to the source and the broken Kelim would remain dry, without water.
222) Thus, the Cause of Causes made ten Sefirot. He called the Keter, source, and in it, there is no end to the springing of His light. For this reason, He called Himself, Ein Sof [No End]. And He has no shape and form, and there is no tool by which to attain Him there, and to know anything at all about Him. This is why they said, “Do not interpret what you cannot perceive; do not inquire into what is covered from you.”
223) Afterwards, He made a small Kli, which is the Yod, and it was filled by it, by the source. He called it, “a wellspring,” Hochma [wisdom]. And He called Himself within it, “Wise.” And he called that Kli Hochma. Subsequently, He made a big Kli and called it, “Sea,” and called it, Bina [understanding]. And He called Himself within it Mevin [the one who understands].
224) Wise of his own and understanding of his own. This is so because Hochma is not called Hochma with respect to itself, but because of this wise, who fills her with His springing. And she is not called Bina with respect to herself, but after that Understanding One, who fills her with Him. If He parted her, she would remain dry, as it is written, “As water evaporates from the sea, and a river becomes parched and dried up.”
225) Afterwards, He struck it into seven streams. He made seven precious Kelim and called them, “Greatness,” meaning Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut. And in greatness, He called Himself, “Great,” and Hasid [kind/benevolent], Gibor [mighty] in Gevura, Mefoar [glorified] in Tifferet, and Baal Nitzahon [triumphant] in the wars in Netzah Netzahim [all eternity]. In Hod, He called Himself, “The Magnificence of Our Creator,” and in Yesod, He called Himself, “Righteous.” And Yesod, everything is near it, all the Kelim and all the worlds. And in Malchut, He called Himself, Melech [King]. And His is the greatness, the Gevura, the Tifferet, the Netzah, and the Hod, for all that is in heaven is righteous, Yesod, and His is the kingdom, which is Malchut.
226) Everything is under His authority. Whether to remove Kelim and add springs in them, or to subtract, goes by His will for them. And there is no God that will add or subtract in Him. Hence, it is about the Kelim from the world of Atzilut.
227) Afterwards, He made servants to these Kelim de [of] Atzilut—a chair with four pillars and six steps to the chair, thus, they are ten. And altogether, it is called, “A Throne,” which is the world of Beria. It is like a cup of blessing in which ten things are corrected, since the Torah was given in the ten commandments because the world, which is the act of creation, was created in ten utterances.
228) And He established parties to serve the throne. Those are angels, serpents, animals, Ofanim [wheels], Hashmalim [electricity], Elim [gods], Elohim [God], sons of Elohim, persons. And He made servants to these—Sam’el with all his parties, which are as clouds, to ride them and to descend to the earth. And they are as horses for them, for the angels.
229) Clouds are called, “vehicle,” as it is written, “Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt.” This is Egypt’s appointee, called, “Swift Cloud.” And as soon as they saw that their god, which is their appointee, is as a horse under the Creator’s chariot, promptly, “The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, And the heart of the Egyptians will melt.” They moved from their faith and their hearts melted like wax from the faith that they had in their appointed minister. And they said, “Until now, faith,” meaning the Godly, “Our appointee has become like a horse.” Their hearts moved from their faith and melted like wax. And how do we know? Because melting comes from the words, “melting like wax,” as it is written, “My heart is like wax; it is melted within me.”
Every Firstborn of an Ass You Shall Redeem With a Lamb
230) “And every firstborn of an ass.” It is a commandment to redeem the firstborn of an ass, and to decapitate the firstborn of an ass, if it is not redeemed, as it is written, “But if you do not redeem it, then you shall behead it.” This is the meaning of the evil inclination being able to repent and to later return to being good inclination, as it is written, “I will make him a helpmate against him.” If he is rewarded, “help”; if not rewarded, “against him.” This is because it was said of these forms, a lamb and an ass, “Every firstborn of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb,” meaning that if he is rewarded with repenting, although he is an ass, ignorant, he will be redeemed from the exile with a lamb, where a lamb is the disperse of Israel. And if he does not repent, “You shall behead him,” since he makes himself stiff-necked, and they are destined to be blotted out from the book of life. It is said about them, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.”
The Tefillin [Phylacteries]
231) This commandment is called by a different name. It is not called, “a commandment,” but, “Sanctity.” And these are the Tefillin, the Tefillin of the hand and the Tefillin of the head, which are the correction of grandeur and beauty of the upper visions. This is why they are called Totafot [frontlets], as it is written, “Israel, in whom I will show My glory.”
232) It is written, “When Israel was a youth I loved him.” This is a small Israel, ZA in Mochin de Katnut. And it is written, “Hear O Israel,” which is Ysrael Saba, Bina in Mochin de Gadlut, which is the beauty of the visions, above, in Bina, and below, in Malchut. He explains how the Mochin of Ysrael Saba come below. He says, Joseph, Yesod de ZA, which carries the Masach de Hirik in the middle line, rises to Bina and crowns there in two visions, white and red, in the two lines of Bina, through its sentencing in the two lines of Bina, as in “Three come out of one; one stands in the three.”
Before he rose to Bina, he was called, “a youth.” And after he was crowned in Mochin de Bina, he was called, “a righteous.” How beautiful within him are the visions to see? This is the meaning of, “Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.” He is beautiful on two sides, right and left, on two degrees, Hochma and Hassadim, in two visions, white and red, above in Bina and below in ZON. This is so because after he decides in Bina, he descends and decides in ZON.
233) “You shall do what is right and good.” “Right” is the Tefillin of the hand, Malchut, to extend for her in the Tefillin of the head, ZA, so they may unite as one. And the Tefillin of the hand is placed before the Tefillin of the head, but there must not be separation between them.
234) One who is crowned with Tefillin stands like the Upper One, in the two interpretations that we said about Joseph, who is called, “Youth,” and is called, “Righteous,” as in, “faithful servant” and as in, “an only son.” These are the Tefillin of the hand—“Youth” and, “faithful servant”—and the Tefillin of the head—“Righteous,” and, “Only Son.” And both are one collective.
235) The four portions in the Tefillin are in four compartments in the Tefillin of the head. And as they are four houses in the Tefillin of the head, there are all in one compartment in the Tefillin of the hand. This is because the Tefillin of the hand, which is Malchut, has nothing of her own, except what she receives from above, from ZA. And since she receives them at once, she has only one compartment. But ZA receives them one at a time, hence they are in four compartments.
This is the meaning of the words, “All the rivers flow into the sea.” The rivers, which are the abundance from ZA, flow to Malchut, which is called, “a sea.” And because she receives them from above, from Bina, she is called, “prayer,” and she is sanctified by their holiness, and she is called, “holy,” since Mochin de Bina is called, “holy,” and it is called “prayer.” Then, Malchut is called, “the complete kingdom of heaven.”
236) We have already explained the four portions. But the first portion, “Sanctify to Me every firstborn,” which is Hochma, is a sublime secret that contains all four houses, HB TM, as in, the upper light, Hochma that emerges from absence, Keter, called “absence.” This is so because each of the four portions, HB TM, contains them all, and in each there is HB TM.
237) And all of these four, HB TM, are implied here in the first portion, “Sanctify.” This is so because “Sanctify” is the high sanctity, the upper Hochma, called “sanctity,” from which everything is sanctified, as in, the high concealment, called “holiness.” “To Me” is Bina, the Upper World, the inner palace. “Every” is Hesed, both above and below, Tifferet from the discernment of Hesed. “Firstborn” is the firstborn son, as it is written, “Israel is My son, My firstborn,” Tifferet.
And this firstborn includes all the sides and all the visions, since it includes Malchut with it, too. Thus, the text includes all four, HB TM, as in, the high Hochma, which is the first portion. But this is in general, to know that all is included in it. But in particular, each corresponds to a specific Sefira, and this is the first portion, which includes the rest of the portions.
238) The second portion, “And it shall be when the Lord shall bring you,” is Bina. In this portion, there is the exodus from Egypt, which came from the side of Yovel, which is Bina. Hence, its beginning is, “And it shall be,” since this word is in the Yovel [in Hebrew this phrase is one word]. Hence its name, “And it shall be,” for there is no, “And it shall be,” in future tense [in Hebrew]. But in this place, Bina, which means that it is intended to be drawn below and to light up the illuminations, which are ZON, and to be in the lower degree, which is Malchut, because she shines in a concealed way, she is not openly called by the name, “And it shall be,” but is given for the wise to know. Hence, the Bina is written in the holy name in the word, “And it shall be.”
Even though the Mochin de Hochma appear in Bina, as in, Bina that returns to being Hochma, they are nonetheless hidden in Bina herself and do not shine. But they extend from Bina to ZA, and from ZA to Malchut, and appear and shine in Malchut. Hence, Bina is named after the future, as in, “will be.” And also, “And it shall be,” for she does not shine in her place, but is destined to appear in the place of Malchut.
239) The third portion, which is, “Hear, O Israel,” is the right, called, “upper Hesed.” This means that the Daat, the middle line that determines between the two lines Hochma and Bina, divides into right and left, where the right in it is the upper Hesed, Tifferet, and the left in it is Dinim [judgments], Malchut. Also, the third portion corresponds to the Hesed in Daat, which is Tifferet, and the fourth portion corresponds to the Gevura in Daat, which is Malchut.
Daat unites them all into four sides—three lines and the Malchut that receives them—and the Creator arranges in it the order of the whole world, meaning that the whole world persists through it. This is what expands to all sides, even into the low chasms, as in Daat that spreads to the lower ones.
In this, the Creator created the world, when He wrapped in a cloak of light. Also, this is what unites the uniqueness, since it is the middle line that unites the two lines, right and left, which are Hochma and Bina. For this reason, ”Hear” is near the, “And it shall be,” since, “And it shall be” is Bina, and “Hear” is the Daat that decides between Hochma and Bina.
240) The unification of every day is a unification to know and to implement one’s intention. The unification of every day is, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord,” and they are all one. This is why He is called, “One.” But they are three names, so how are they one?
241) However, it is known in a vision of the spirit of holiness, that the three lines implied in, “The Lord our God, The Lord,” are one. This is the meaning of the voice that is heard, for a voice is singular. And there are three discernments in it, fire, wind, and water, and all are one, as in, the voice. Here too, “The Lord our God, the Lord” are one; they are three discernments and they are one.
ZA is Ruach and the middle line. When it rises to Bina, called Awzen [ear], and decides between the two lines, right and left, which are there, called “water” and “fire,” the two lines—water and fire—unite in him, and it is called, “the voice that is heard.” Through it, the lights of Bina open and are heard outside, meaning they spread outwardly, since it contains all three lines within it, called, “fire,” “wind,” and “water.”
Also, these three lines cannot shine without each other, but all at once, since the right line without the left is missing GAR, and the left without the right is Hochma without Hassadim, which cannot shine. And without the middle line, the left does not unite with the right. Thus, the three lines are interdependent and shine only all at once.
And as in the voice, all three become one. If one of them had been missing, the voice would not have been heard. Similarly, Aba is considered the right line, Ima, the left line, and ZA rises and decides between them, as in the middle line. This is why it writes here, too, “The Lord our God, the Lord is One,” since, “the Lord” is Aba and right line, and “our God” is Ima and left line. The Lord is ZA, middle line, which decides between Aba and Ima. And since they are three lines, they do not shine without each other, but rather all at once.
242) This is the voice, which one makes, as in unification, to implement one’s aim on uniting all the degrees from Ein Sof to the end of all, in uniting this voice, which he does in these three lines, which are one. And this is the unification in each day, which appears in the spirit of holiness.
243) Several manners of unification were said, and they are all true. One who makes this unification does good, and one who makes that unification does good. But this unification, which we evoke from below, in the voice, which is one, is the scrutiny of hearing in general, and contains within it all three lines, as in, “The Lord, our God, the Lord.” But besides that, it is particular, meaning that the portion of, “Hear” is only one element, ZA, the right of Daat.
244) The fourth portion is the harsh Din, Malchut, the left of Daat, as it is written, “Beware,” meaning Din [judgment]. These are the four portions of the Tefillin of the head, which are in four houses. The Tefillin of the hand are four portions, too, but they are in one house, and we already commented that they are considered one.
245) The knot of the Tefillin of the head is the shape of [the letter] Dalet. It is written about that, “And you will see My back.” Hence, the knot is in the back, and there everything connects into one knot, because the knot implies Mochin de Achoraim [posterior], which extend from the left line before it is connected with the right, which is Hochma without Hassadim, which cannot shine.
However, in Mochin de Gadlut, the left and the right connect through the middle line, and the Hochma in it clothes in the Hassadim in the right. Thus, the Hochma of the left line, which was in Achoraim, can now shine to the lower ones, since she had been clothed in Hassadim, as it is written, “And you will see My back.” This is so because seeing is Hochma, whose source is in the left line, in the Achoraim, hence the knot is in the shape of Dalet, from the words Dalah [poor] and Aniah [meager], since she was poor and meager before she clothed in Hassadim.
246) When Malchut lets the Tefillin of the hand connect to ZA, there is another knot—of the Tefillin of the hand—which is in the shape of [the letter] Yod, the holy covenant, the Yesod to which Malchut connects. Happy are those of Israel who know that secret. And one should put them every day, to be the sublime form. It is written about it, “And all the peoples of the earth shall see that the name of the Lord is called upon you; and they shall fear you. Blessed is the Lord forever, Amen and Amen.