Ki Tissa [When You Take]
Then Shall They Give Every Man a Ransom for His Soul
1) It is written, “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears are toward their cry.”
2) There is no blessing above for something that is counted. And how are Israel counted? He took from them ransom for their souls, and they did not calculate until all the ransom was collected and reached the number. In the beginning, Israel is blessed when receiving the ransom. Afterwards, they count the ransom and bless Israel once more. It turns out that Israel were blessed in the beginning and in the end, and there was no plague in them.
3) Why is a plague appearing because of the count? It is because there is no blessing in what is counted. And since the blessing disappears, the Sitra Achra is on it and can harm, hence the reception of ransom and redemption, to elevate the count over him.
Half a Shekel
4) Giving “Half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary.” Half a shekel is like half a hin, which is the Vav, the middle between the two Heys. A stone to weigh with is the Yod, and the “The shekel is twenty gerahs” is Yod. “The rich shall not give more” is the middle pillar, ZA, meaning not give more than the Yod. And we learn in The Book of Creation, only ten Sefirot, ten and not eleven. “And the poor shall not give less.” The poor is a righteous, Yesod. Will not give less than ten, as it is written in The Book of Creation, “Ten and not nine,” from the half shekel, which is the Yod.
“When you take the sum,” when you extend GAR to the children of Israel, “According to their number,” meaning in three points Holam, Shuruk, Hirik, “Then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord,” meaning they will abstain from extending GAR de [of] Hochma in the left. Instead, they will raise them to the Creator. “And there will be no plague among them.” But if they do extend GAR de Hochma, there will be plague among them due to the judgments of the left. “After the shekel of the sanctuary” is extension of Hochma, which is a complete degree. “The shekel is twenty gerahs” because in a complete degree, the ten Sefirot of the male light is dispensed from above downwards, and the ten Sefirot of the female light is dispensed from below upwards. Also, they are twenty Sefirot, and since they are considered left, they are called “twenty gerahs,” from the words, “I have been a Ger [stranger] in a strange land.” “Half a shekel” is ten Sefirot of male light. “An offering to the Lord” means it should be raised to the Lord and not extended, but only to extend half of the female light, which is from below upwards.
Half a shekel, half a hin, means half a measure. The Vav is the middle between the two Heys because the Vav is the middle line, called “scales,” which weigh the two lights, right and left, being the two Heys, so the left will not be greater than the right. This is why he diminishes the left, so it will not shine from above downwards but only from below upwards. And then it is equal with the right, which shines from above downwards. Thus, the Vav divides and makes half a shekel an offering to the Lord, which is the half that is from above downwards of the left.
A stone to weigh with is Yod, and twenty gerahs a shekel is Yod, since a full Yod indicates a complete degree, where the male light, Yod, and the female light—Vav and Dalet, which are ten in Gematria—make twenty together, twenty gerahs the shekel. And he says that the stone with which to weigh the offering to the Lord is Yod, the male light from above downwards. And they receive for themselves only the Yod of the female light, which shines from below upwards. “The rich shall not give more” is the middle pillar, which, from His essence, leans toward the right, to Hassadim, and does not need Hochma, hence its title, “rich.”
To not exceed ten means to not elevate any of the female light to being an offering to the Lord, and to raise only the Yod of the male light and nothing of the female light. In The Book of Creation, only ten Sefirot and not eleven. But if ZA were to exceed the half shekel, meaning raise some of the female light, it would thus be elevating eleven Sefirot, meaning more than ten.
“And the poor shall not give less,” this is righteous, for Yesod leans toward Hochma and needs it. Hence, in regards to that, it is considered poor. Will not fall short of ten means not leaving any of the ten Sefirot of the male light, that is, not rising to the Creator due to craving for abundance of Hochma, as it is written, “Ten and not nine.” This is so because if he fell short of ten Sefirot of the male light and did not raise her, it would not be elevating the whole ten, but only nine. But there must be ten and not nine.
6) The subsequent Mitzva [precept/commandment/good deed] is to sanctify the month, since the holy moon, Malchut, the bride, is sanctified according to the court house—Gevura de ZA. Malchut is built from the left side, Gevura, since the Levis are in Gevura de ZA. It is said about them, “And you shall sanctify the Levis.” Similarly, Malchut, which is from Gevura de ZA, needs sanctity, as well. And once the moon is seen and its light is relished, for she received Mochin, he blesses, “Blessed are You the Lord our God, king of the world, who created the heavens with His word, and all their hosts with the wind of His mouth.” Then she is sanctified and blessed in Tifferet, because she is Tifferet [glory] to those with a full stomach.
The Rite of the Sun
7) When the face of the east shines, all the sons of the east, of the mountains of light, bow before the light that shines instead of the sun, before it emerges over the face of the earth, and worship it. This is so because how many worship the sun after the sun comes out? They are those who worship this light of the illumination of the dawn, who call this light, “The God of the illuminating jewel.” And they swear by the God of the illuminating jewel.
8) And should you say that this work is in vain, then since the ancient days, they knew wisdom when the sun was shining, before it came out over the face of the earth, at which time that appointee that was appointed over the sun comes out with holy letters of the Upper Name written on his head. And by the power of these letters, he opens all the windows of the heavens, strikes them, and passes. And that appointee enters that radiance, which shines around the sun before it comes out and he is there until the sun comes out and spreads through the world.
9) And that appointee is appointed over gold and red jewels, and they worship that form which is in the light of the sun, which is the appointee. Then, in points and in signs that they inherited from the first, from ancient days, they walk and know the points of the sun, to find the places of gold and jewels. But how much longer will there be these many labors in the world? After all, the lie has no pillars to support it for its existence.
Truthful Lips Will Be Established Forever
10) “Truthful lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only for a moment.” If all the people in the world worshipped lies, they would be annulled. But this light and radiance that shines from the sun is certainly true. Also, the stars in the sky are true. And if they say and call upon those gods for their mind is deficient and foolish, it is not a reason for the Creator to obliterate His deeds from the world. Even in the future, the stars and lights will not be blotted out from the world, but those who worship them will be blotted out.
11) “Truthful lips will be established forever.” Those are Israel, who are the truthful lips, who say, “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” And all is true and they conclude with reading of the “Shema [Hear]… the Lord is your God, truth.” This is “Truthful lips will be established forever.”
12) How long will they persist in the world, until the future comes and I have rest from their hard labor? It is written of Israel, who are the truthful lips, “The people which I formed for Myself, that they might tell of My praise.”
13) Once, a bishop encountered Rabbi Eliezer. He told him, “Do you know the Torah of the Jews?” And he replied, “I do.” He told him, “Do you not say that your faith and your law are true, and that our faith and our laws are false? It is written, ‘Truthful lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only for a moment.’ We have always had kingship, and it has never parted with us, generation after generation. Thus, it will certainly be built forever. You, however, had kingship for a short time, and it immediately parted with you. Thus, the verse, ‘A lying tongue is only for a moment’ comes true in you.”
14) He told him, “I see that you were wise in the Torah, damned be the spirit of that man. Had the writing said, ‘You have established forever,’ it would have been as you said. But it does not say this, but ‘Will be established forever,’ which means that the truthful lip will be established in the future. This is not so now, for now the untruthful lip stands and the truthful lip lies in the dust. When truth stands up and rises out of the earth, then ‘Truthful lips will be established forever.’”
15) The bishop told him, “Right you are, and happy is the nation of the Torah, for they have inherited the truth.” After some days, we heard that he had converted. They went, came to a field, and prayed their prayer. After they prayed their prayer they said, “Henceforth, we will bond with Divinity and go and engage in Torah.”
All Those Who Are Angered At You Will Be Shamed and Dishonored
16) “All those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored.” The Creator is destined to do unto Israel all that good, which He had said through the prophets of truth, and for which Israel greatly suffered in the exile. Had it not been for all that good that they await and see, which is written in the Torah, they would have been unable to tolerate and stand the exile.
17) But they go to seminaries and open books, and they see all this good that they hope for. And they see that it is written in the Torah that the Creator promised them, and they are comforted in exile. And the rest of the peoples curse and revile them. And they said, “Where is your God? Where is the good that you say you are destined to have, and that all the peoples in the world will be shamed by you?”
18) This is the meaning of the words, “Hear the word of the Lord, you that tremble at His word: your brothers that hate you.” “You that tremble at His word” are those who have suffered much evil, several evil rumors; they heard and they feared for them, as it is written, “We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.” Those are always afraid of His word when there is judgment.
19) “Your brothers that hate you” are your brothers, the sons of Esau. “That cast you out,” as it is written, “Depart you! unclean! men cried unto them,” for there is no other nation that scorns in the face of Israel and spits in their faces like the sons of Edom. They say about Israel that they are all as impure as menstruation. This is, “That cast you out.” “For My name’s sake, have said: ‘Let the Lord be glorified,’” for they say, “We are the sons of the living God, and in us is His name glorified. We rule the world because of He who is called ‘Great,’ as it is written, ‘Esau, his elder son.’ And this name, ‘Great,’ is what the Creator is called, as it is written, ‘Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised.’ We are the children of the great, and he is great. Certainly, it is said about us, ‘For My name’s sake, have said: ‘Let the Lord be glorified’’”
20) And they say unto Israel, “But you are the smallest, as it is written, ‘Jacob her younger [also ‘small’ in Hebrew] son.’ Where is your God? Where is the good, that all the peoples in the world will be shamed by your joy? May it be that we will see your joy, as you say, and they will be shamed.” It should have said, “You will be shamed.” But it is as one whose curse depends on others, for they said that then Israel will be shamed and disgraced. Except they said, “But they shall be ashamed,” as one whose curse depends on others. And this is why the spirit of holiness would say this word in this way, that they will truly be shamed. It is said about that, “All those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored.” “All those who are angered at you,” who huffed with anger at you in this exile, for in the future, they will be shamed and dishonored by all the good that they will see in Israel.
The Exile Continues
21) We see, and so can the strong ones in the world, meaning the nations, that the exile is continuing and the Son of David has not come. So it is, but what makes Israel suffer this exile? It is all the promises that the Creator had promised them. They enter synagogues and seminaries and see all the comforts in the holy books, and in their hearts they are happy to suffer all that comes upon them. Had it not been for that, they would not have been able to withstand.
22) Everything depends on repentance. But they cannot all awaken to repentance together because it is written, “So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you.” It is also written, “and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you.” Also, it is written, “And you shall return to the Lord your God.” And then, if the One who banished you will be at the end of the sky, from there will He gather you. And before all these things come true, they cannot be awakened by them for repentance.
23) O how You have sealed all the trails and paths from the children of the exile, and have left no possibility for them to speak, for they did not delve in redemption every single generation, did not suffer the exile, did not seek reward, departed the rules of Torah, and mingled with the rest of the nations.
24) “As the pregnant woman approaches the time to give birth, she writhes and cries out in her birth pangs,” since it is the nature of a pregnant woman to wait nine whole months. But there are quite a few in the world who go through only one or two days of the ninth month, while all the pains and pangs of the pregnant woman are on the ninth. Hence, even if she only went through one day of the ninth month, it is considered as though the whole of the ninth month had passed for her. So are Israel: since they tasted the taste of exile, if they repent, it is considered for them as though they had experienced all the troubles that are written in the Torah, especially that they had experienced several pangs since the beginning of the exile.
25) But it is written, “In thy distress, when all these things are come upon thee, in the end of days.” How has the Creator pitied Israel with this thing? It is like a king who had an only son whom he loved dearly. And for his love, he gave him to his mother, the queen, to rear him and to teach him the right ways. Once, the son sinned before his father, and his father came and struck him, and then forgave his sin. He sinned against his father once again. His father was angry with him and expelled him from his house. Thus, the son departed the house.
26) And instead of going in the right way and being worthy and pure so his father would hear and want him, what did he do? He said, “Now that I have departed my father’s palace, from here on I will do as I wish.” What did he do? He bonded with whores and was defiled by filth of soiling with them, and he was only with them when they bonded. His mother, the queen, visited that son every day and knew that her son had bonded with whores, and that his only bonding was with them. She began to cry and to grow bitter with her son.
27) One day, the king came over to her and saw her crying. She said, “How can I not cry when our son is out of the palace? And not only is he not sitting in the king’s palace, he is sitting in a whorehouse.” The king said, “For you, I will bring him back, and you will be the guarantor that he will not sin.” She said, “I will certainly be his guarantor.”
28) The king said, “Since this is so, he need not be brought back openly, during the day, for it is shameful for us to follow him to the whorehouse. Had it not been so, that he defiled himself so and desecrated my honor, I and all my armies would follow him with many treasures, trumpeters marching before him, and weapons to his right and to his left, until all the people in the world would be shaken and all would know that he is the king’s son. Now, since he has defiled himself and desecrated my honor, he will return in secret, so he is not recognized.” The son returned to the king, who then gave him to his mother.
29) In time, he sinned as before. The king expelled him and his mother from his palace. He said, “You will both go, and both will suffer exile and affliction. And since you will suffer together, I know that my son will properly repent.”
30) Such are Israel. They are the sons of the Holy King. He brought them down to Egypt. And you might say that at that time, they had not sinned and He did not bring them down because of a sin but because of the sentence He had sentenced between the pieces, which merited coming true. Indeed, the Creator considered two things: Abraham’s words, “How will I know that I will inherit it?” which was the reason for the exile in Egypt, and that before they departed Egypt they were not a nation and were not worthy of being a proper nation.
31) “As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” The Creator wished to make Israel similar to what is above, so there would be one lily in the earth that is like the lily above, Malchut. And the fragrant lily, better than all the lilies in the world is only one who has grown among the thorns. This one smells as it should. Hence, He sowed seventy pairs, which are seventy souls, and brought them among the thorns, the Egyptians. And as soon as these thorns came, those pairs out there grew branches and leaves and dominated the world. Then the lily blossomed among them.
32) Since the Creator wished to take out the lily from among them, the thorns dried out and were thrown away and were corrupted until they were regarded as nothing. When He went to collect the lily, to bring out his firstborn son, the King went within several armies, ministers, and rulers with waved banners. He took out his firstborn son with several mighty ones and brought him to His palace to sit in the King’s house, as it should be.
33) Since he sinned against his father, He reproached him and struck him, as it is written, “And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He delivered them into the hands of spoilers.” He sinned as before and rebelled against his father. He took him out of His house. What did Israel do? They saw that they were scattered in Babel, they mingled with the nations, took foreign women, and begot sons from them. This is why the holy mother, Malchut, was their guardian and pleaded with the King, ZA, in their favor.
34) And for having done so, the Creator said, “He is a shame to Me; let My son come by himself. Since he desecrated My honor, he is not worthy of My going there to bring him out and to make miracles and wonders for him as previously in Egypt.” They returned without the help that befitted them, without wonders and miracles, but were all rejected, all tired and poor, and they returned to the King’s palace in shame. And the holy mother, Malchut, was their guarantor.
35) They sinned as before. The Creator expelled his son as before, and his mother with him. He said, “Henceforth, the mother and son will suffer some afflictions together, as it is written, “And for your transgressions was your mother put away.” It is also written, “In thy distress, when all these things are come upon thee, in the end of days.” “The end of days” is the holy mother, Malchut, which is the end of the ten Sefirot, with whom they have suffered all that they suffered in the exile.
36) And if they repent, even one evil or one affliction that they suffered will be regarded by them as though they suffered all the troubles of the exile. And if not, if they do not repent, they will have to wait until the end comes and all its generations, as it is written, “Permanently to its purchaser throughout his generations,” until the end of all the generations that precede the end. And still, this thing depends on repentance, which is why the exile continues.
At the End of Days
37) But all that the Creator saw for Israel is at the end of days, meaning Malchut, and at this end of days, He will make miracles and vengeances for them, as it is written, “And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills.” “The top of the mountains” is Abraham Saba, Hesed, the great priest, Hesed that rose to Hochma, which is the head of all because Hesed is the Rosh [head] of the ZAT. And since it is the Rosh, the cup of blessing, Malchut, will be established at the head of the mountains. This is Abraham Saba, the first of the rest of the mountains. This is so because HGT are called “mountains,” and Hesed is their first, since a cup of blessing, Malchut, needs to be corrected in the right, Hesed.
38) A cup of blessing should be lifted off the table by a certain measure called “the little finger,” to bless the Creator. This is, “And shall be exalted above the hills.” The hills are Bina, and “The virgins, her companions who follow her” is the measure of the little finger. Hence, he certainly carried a cup of blessing from the hills. And this is why the good that the firstborn son, Israel, will have is at the end of days. And in Aramaic, the little finger means handbreadth.
The degrees of Malchut, since the time she was in Mochin de Achoraim [posterior Mochin], are called “The virgins, her companions who follow her,” since “follow her” implies posterior. The Achoraim of the Malchut is judgments; hence they are called “the little finger,” from the word “stranger” [in Hebrew the words have the same root]. This is so because in “The virgins, her companions who follow her” is the little finger, meaning judgments. And she, who already climbed to the head of the mountains, Hesed, is full of softness, and she is called “a cup of blessing.” And the cup of blessing should be raised by the measure of the little finger over the table, which implies that there is no strangeness in her, as she had had while in the state of Achoraim.
39) At the head of the mountains, right, Abraham Saba is the Rosh of HGT. And “Shall be exalted above the hills” means from the measure of hills, which are her companions. “And all nations shall flow unto it” means even women and children. And one who serves the table, even if he does not eat, should hear the blessings and answer, Amen, so that one will not say, “But I did not eat because I did not join the summoning, I did not hear and I will not say, Amen.” This is why it is said “And all nations shall flow unto it,” for all are obliged by it.
40) “And all nations shall flow unto it.” Even though women and children are exempted from the Mitzvot [commandments], everyone is beholden to a cup of blessing, as long as they know to whom they are blessing. This is the meaning of, “All nations shall flow unto it.”
41) If the end of days is a real cup of blessing, meaning Malchut, then what is the “Mountain of the Lord’s house”? “And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the top of the mountains.” The end of days is Malchut and the mountains of the Lord’s house is Malchut. The end of days is the whole tree, the whole of Malchut from head to toe, the tree of good and knowledge. If he is rewarded, good; if not rewarded, bad. The mountain of the Lord’s house is the good of Malchut without the bad. The mountain of the Lord’s house is where the Sitra Achra has no part because the mountain of the Lord’s house is sorted out from the tree, which is the end of days. This is the cup of blessing at the top of the mountains.
42) Happy is the way we have been rewarded. This holy thing was illuminated by the Holy Light. Happy is a generation that sustains the world and that the pillars of the world are among them.
43) This is what the Creator showed Moses, since although Israel sin before Him each and every generation, He does not wish for anyone to slander them. For this reason, He blessed them with several blessings so they will repent, and to bring them back to their Father in heaven. And he did not move from there until the Creator forgave their sins and they were purified before Him.
What Are You Doing Here, Elijah
44) It is written about Elijah, “And came and sat down under a broom-tree.” He said, “Dear Lord, You sent a woman to Israel, whose name is Deborah, as It is written, ‘And she sat under the palm-tree of Deborah.’ This is the broom-tree under which Elijah sat, and she reformed them, as it is written, ‘Until I, Deborah, arose.’ And I came among them and declared before them, and I cannot make them repent.
45) While he was seated, the Creator appeared before him and told him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” In the beginning, in Moses’ days, you were complaining and envious over the covenant. And when I saw that you were envious for Me over that covenant, I took it, with Moses’ consent, and gave it to you. And Moses said, ‘I give unto him My covenant of peace.’
Pinehas [Pinchas] is Elijah. And now that it is yours, it is unbecoming of you to complain about it. You should have put away your envy for Me, as in the beginning when the covenant was Mine and I gave it to another and did not complain about him.”
46) What is “here”? The holy covenant is the mouth of the Lord, of which it is said, “I give unto him My covenant of peace.” And the Creator told him, “Since you did not wish to leave your mouth, the mouth that is zealous for the covenant, let the mouth that I have given you, the covenant of peace, return to the place of the mouth from before, to the Creator. At that time, that gift He had given to Moses, the covenant of peace, passed away from him, as it is written, “and went in the strength of that meal… unto Horeb the mount of God,” to ask from there.
But does he ask from there? One asks from the Lord! But he asked for what he had in the beginning, from the one from whom he inherited this covenant on the mountain of the Lord, meaning Moses. Pinehas is Elijah. Certainly, they are on the same degree. Moses told him, “You cannot receive from me the covenant of peace. Instead, go to the circumcision of the children of Israel and earn the covenant from them, and they will give you.” And so he did.
Moses, Aaron, and Miriam
47) How much good the Creator does to Israel in each and every generation. It is written, “And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.” But there were several prophets after Moses; hence, it should have said, “And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, Eliezer, Pinehas, Joshua, Elijah, Elisha,” and the rest of the righteous and pious. But the Creator said, “My People, My children, why do you not remember all the good that I have done for you, sending you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam?”
48) This is like a flesh and blood king, who has a state, and he sends there people, rulers, and ministers, to manage the people and to observe them and their judgments. Who is it who must be tied and committed to their nourishments and the things that they consume? Is it not the state? Against their will they must look out for them so they will not lack anything and will give them respect.
49) I have sent Moses. He brought you manna to eat and lead you and your sons and your stock, and he spoke on your behalf and toiled for everything that you needed. I sent you Aaron, who brought palaces of clouds of glory to cover you as kings. He bathed you with dew of honor so your clothes and shoes would not rot. They gave you of theirs and you ate and drank and sat under their canopy of glory, and you gave nothing of your own. Moreover, they spoke for you and took your load on their necks, and you cursed and reviled them.
Now Let Me Alone
50) There is no father so merciful to His children as the Creator, as it is written, “That not one thing has failed of all the good things.” Come and see His mercies. If it had said only, “That not one thing has failed of all the things,” it would include His bad things, too, and it would be better for the world to not have been created, for it would be intolerable. But since it said, “Of all the good things,” and left the bad behind, meaning that He left the bad things He said about Israel aside and they did not come true, this is where His mercies are seen. This is because He does not wish to do a bad thing.
51) And even though He frightened and lifted the strap, his mother came and held His right arm, and the strap remained in its place and did not come down, and the judgment was not done. This is so because they were of one mind, the one that frightened and the one that held His right arm.
52) How do we know that? It is from something that was revealed, as it is written, “Go down for your people have become corrupt,” meaning the Creator began to lift His strap. And Moses, who did not know the way of the mother, to hold Him by His right and to detain Him, kept silent. Since the Creator saw it, He to hinted him and knocked him and said, “Now let Me alone.” Moses immediately sensed and gripped the Creator’s arm, as it is written, “Remember Abraham.” This is the right arm, Hesed, and this is why He did not bring down the strap.
53) And should you say, “Where was Ima [mother], Malchut, who is used to holding the King’s strap? Why did she leave it in the hands of Moses?” He saw a sign on their faces, recognizing in them what they had come to ask Him. He said, “Come, holy sons. Come, the King’s beloved. Come, My beloved. Come, those who love each other.”
54) All those friends who do not love each other depart the world before their time. All the friends in Rashbi’s time had love of soul and love of spirit among them. This is why in his generation, the secrets of Torah were revealed. Rabbi Shimon would say, “All the friends who do not love each other cause themselves to stray from the right path.” Moreover, they put a blemish in the Torah, since there is love, brotherhood, and truth in the Torah. Abraham loved Isaac; Isaac loved Abraham; and they were embraced. And they were both gripped Jacob with love and brotherhood and were giving their spirits in one another. The friends should be like them and not blemish them, for if love is lacking in them they will blemish their value above, that is, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which are HGT.
55) In the future, when we see Divinity face to face, all the faces will be supported, for they will be shining in that secret.
56) The sons of the sins that the people on the outside sinned—meaning the mixed multitude—in which the holy nation participated, sinned in Ima, the Malchut, as it is written, “Come, make us a god.” Surely a god, to make them another god instead of Malchut, who is called “God.” Instead of this glory of Israel, meaning Malchut, who was over them like a mother over the sons. “Thus they exchanged their glory for the likeness of an ox.” This is the glory of Israel, their mother, the Malchut, as it is written, “The glory is departed,” for they caused Divinity to be in exile with them. Hence, “They exchanged their glory for the form of an ox.
57) Here is the meaning of the form of an ox. Below, in the wine yeast, the evil yeast, one damager came out—a slanderer, the first damager in the form of a man—when he approached the holiness. Since he was removed from holiness and wished to descend, he had to dress in another clothing, to harm the world. He and his chariots descended, and the first clothing he took was the form of an ox, the shape of an ox. And the first of the four primordial damagers is an ox. And these four primordial damagers come to harm the world. And the rest of the primordial damagers besides the ox are all of the ox. This is why it is written, “Thus they exchanged their glory for the likeness of an ox that eats grass.”
The upper Mochin are called wine, as it is written, “Wine, which cheers God and man.” And these are the Mochin of the left, Bina that returned to being Hochma. And due to the judgment in the left, there is waste at their end, called “wine yeast.” And out of this waste emerges the first damager to the world. And as long as the yeast are in wine, when the damager is attached to the Mochin of holiness, called “wine,” it is in the form of man, in Malchut, which is the form of man, which contains and receives all three shapes—lion, ox, and eagle—which are HGT. And when it is separated from holiness and descends to being a damager, it receives the shape of an ox, which is left that is separated for itself and does not connect with the four faces. And from this the damager is made. This is the first of all the damagers in the world.
58) “For the likeness of an ox that eats grass.” But it has no share of the extract of the bread and the seven kinds of grain. Rather, it eats grass. And since they were flawed in Ima, Malchut, Ima was not there and it was unbecoming of her to be there. And since Aba, ZA, knew Ima’s Rachamim [mercy] and her way, He said to Moses, “My beloved son, the way to avoid punishment for Israel is always in two: raising the strap and holding it and stopping. And since Ima is not here, it is on you. This is what was not befitting to be shown, so that the son would not know about it, and would see the strap being set and would always fear. But both are in this scheme and are of one mind, meaning the one who raises the strap and the one who stops it are of one mind.
59) Who are the people? They are the mixed multitude. And who are the mixed multitude? Were the ones called “mixed multitude” from Lod, Kush, Caphtor, or Togarmah? They were Egyptians who came out of Egypt. Had they been a mixed multitude of many nations, it should have said, “A great multitude arose with them, Lods, Kushes, etc.,” according to their nations.
60) But the writing says, “And a mixed multitude went up also with them,” without specifying the names of the nations, since they were one nation and one language. But they were all of Egypt’s sorcerers and magicians, for it is written about them, “And they also, the magicians of Egypt, did,” meaning they wished to rise against the wonders of the Creator and show that they, too, can do like Him. Since they saw the miracles and wonders Moses had done in Egypt, they returned to Moses. The Creator said to Moses, “Do not accept them.” Moses said, “Dear Lord, since they saw your powers, they wish to convert; they will see your power every day and will know that there is no other God but You.” Thus, Moses accepted them.
61) Why did he call them “mixed multitude”? Indeed, all the magicians were of Egypt, headed by Yonos and Yambros. In the hours of the day, after six hours, they would always perform their magic. And all these high magicians would look, and when the sun began to set, at six and a half, they would perform their magic until the beginning of the hour nine and a half, meaning the big evening, which is the time of great Minchah. All the small magicians would perform their magic from nine and a half through midnight.
62) The highest among them would look from the time the sun began to set. This is so because then 995 degrees begin to roam over the mountains of darkness, and their spirits wander over all those magicians in their magic. And these can do anything they wish, until all the Egyptians put their trust in them. And they are called “mixed multitude” because there is mixed handful, which is from the hour nine and a half and down. Thus, they are two mixtures, which is why it is said, “And a mixed multitude went up also with them.”
63) The mixed multitude had great wisdom. They would look at the hours of the day, and they would look at the degree of Moses, and they saw on all sides, Moses was on six; on the first six hours of the day, which they could not control, on the six upper degrees, to which Moses was holding, and on all sides, he was in the sixth, that is he was made of the six edges HGT NHY. And on the six crowns of the six hours of the day, HGT NHY, he was destined to climb off the mountains, as it is written, “Moses delayed [also, “on six,” in Hebrew] to come down from the mount.”
64) Promptly, “The people gathered themselves together unto Aaron,” to be included in the right side, since the left emerges from the right. But they wanted the left from him, not the right. But to be included in the right, in the place from which he came out, they gathered unto Aaron, who is right, Hesed, and said to him, “Come, make us a god.”
65) As long as Moses was in Egypt, he did not mention the name God, but only the name HaVaYaH [Lord]. This is why Pharaoh said, “I know not the Lord,” since there would be no strength to the Sitra Achra, so it would not grow strong in the world, since the Sitra Achra, too, is called other gods. Now the mixed multitude wanted the power of the left, called “God,” as it is written, “Come, make us a God.” “Us,” said the mixed multitude, we need this thing to strengthen our side, which has thus far been rejected because Moses did not mention the name “God.”
66) This is what they said: “We saw that you, Israel, have all the bounty and treasures of the world, while we are expelled. This is because for you, ‘And the Lord went before them by day.’ We, too, wish it, meaning gods that will walk before us as the Lord walks before you, since there is permission to our side to walk before us, too, if we perform the deed with the calf for it.”
67) All the clouds of glory that were walking in the desert were covering only Israel. And that glorified cloud, as it is written, “And the Lord went before them by day,” was walking before them. And the mixed multitude and all the beasts of sheep and cattle were walking last, outside the camp. During the whole of the forty years that Israel walked in the desert, no filth and dirt reached from the clouds inwards. Hence, the sheep and the cattle, which were grass eaters, were outside, as well as all those who were keeping them.
68) Thus, did the mixed multitude not eat from the manna? They certainly did, but of what Israel gave them. It was as one gives to one’s slave. They ate from the extract, what was left after the mill, the waste. And the text declares and says, “And the children of Israel did eat the manna forty years,” the children of Israel, and not another. “And when the children of Israel saw it, they said… ‘What is it?’” and not the rest of the mixed multitude, the sheep, and the cattle with which they were.
69) Thus far, the mixed multitude were surrendering. Now they rose and asked to strengthen the Sitra Achra. They said, “Either we are all one nation, and we are included with you, Israel, or we will have someone to walk before us, as your God walks before you.” Aaron said, God forbid that they should partake in the holy nation, that they will all be one collective. The holy nation will not mingle with this nation into one collective. Rather, it is best to separate them from the holy nation until Moses comes.
70) And Aaron meant well. But there were many from Israel who sympathized with the mixed multitude in their hearts. And for this reason, when Moses came, he had to sort out and cleanse the holy people from that sin, and gave them a potion until they were all sorted and there was no waste among them whatsoever.
71) “And Aaron said unto them: ‘Break off the golden rings.’” Did they have no other gold besides the golden rings? However, Aaron said, while they are fighting with their wives and children they will be delayed, and in the meanwhile Moses will come. We learned that the gentiles are as hard for Israel as psoriasis on the flesh. These mixed multitudes were not proper proselytes. What did they do? “And all the people broke off the golden rings which were in their ears.” Indeed, there were tens of thousands of rings from the rings of the mixed multitude.
72) It is written, “And he received it at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool.” Aaron was not careful from those two sages at the head of the mixed multitude. One of them was before him and the other was performing his magic. Since they had contrived together, they took that gold, two thirds in the hands of one and a third in the hands of the other, since so it should be in this kind of magic.
73) Rabbi Shimon wept and said, “Alas, the holy righteous, Aaron, the Messiah of the Holy God, with your righteousness, several of the holy nation fell and you did not know how to beware.” What did they do? When the sixth hour arrived and the day was even, meaning at noon, when the sun is in the middle of the sky and leans neither to the east nor to the west, like the balance pivot on the scale, they took the gold that they had taken off their ears, since one who wishes to make magic should not spare fortunes. They said, “Ours is the hour. If we do not restrain ourselves, it is not the time to spare the gold.” Promptly, “And all the people broke off.” “Broke off,” as it is written, “Rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks,” since they damaged and broke their ears.
74) “Then his master shall bring him unto God.” An ear that heard on Mount Sinai, “For unto Me the children of Israel are servants,” and cast off itself the burden of the kingdom of heaven and sold itself to another, will be pierced. And these transgressors, wicked ones, evil people, with their yearning to return to their bad ways, did not ask their wives and sons, but damaged their own ears. They damaged the ears that heard on Mount Sinai, “Thou shall have no other gods before Me,” which is worse than selling oneself to slavery. And they cast away from themselves the burden of the kingdom of heaven that Moses had commanded them and broke their ears and revealed that they had no share in the Holy Name and in the holy nation.
75) What did they do? They divided that gold between the two of them, Yonos and Yambros. One took two thirds and one took a third. They rose against the sun in the sixth hour of the day, performed their magic and enchanted with their witchcraft, with magic of the mouth. Since the beginning of the seventh hour arrived, they both raised their hands on Aaron’s hands, as it is written, “And he received it at their hand,” and they were not more than two, Yonos and Yambros. When he received it from their hands, a voice came out and said, “My hand upon it! The evil man shall not be unpunished,” as it is written, “That they are set on evil.” In other words, “And Aaron said: ‘thou knows the people, that they are set on evil,’” for they brought evil to the world.
The hands are considered GAR, extended from above downwards. Because he took from their hands, they could apply force to pulling Hochma from above downwards, which is the form of the ox of the Sitra Achra, while he took from the earth, which is VAK, from below upwards, and nothing extended from there to the Sitra Achra.
76) These wicked and sinners and sorcerers were the sons of evil Balaam, the grandchildren of wicked Laban. They saw that a cup of blessing, Malchut, was on the right and always gains strength from the right, from Hesed, and said, “If the Rosh [head] of the right, Aaron, were to be on the side of Sitra Achra, power and might would be ours, as it should be. The Sitra Achra extends from the left, meaning they wish to extend illumination of the left from above downwards. And their weakness is only because they do not have illumination of Hassadim, since there is no Hassadim in the left. This is why here they wanted to extend illumination of Hassadim by joining Aaron to them, meaning Hesed.
77) Since the seventh hour of the day arrived, they immediately gave to Aaron. Had he told them, “Put the gold on the ground first, and I will take it from the ground,” they would not have been able to affect anything with their magic. But he took it from their hands. And the text is angry and says, “And he received it at their hand.” See what Aaron did, a prophet, a sage did not know how to beware. Had he taken from the ground, all the magic in the world would not have succeeded. But the reason they succeeded with their deed was because he took it from their hands and not from the ground.
78) The meaning is not as people think, that he made drawings with dividers or with something else. Rather, the text comes to prove that Aaron did not know how to beware, for if he had thrown the gold to the ground when he took it from their hands, even if he would later take it off the ground, this evil deed would not have succeeded. But there was ill help in everything, for he took the gold and hid it from the eye. It is interpreted that he “fashioned it with a graving tool,” meaning bundled it in a sheet. Evil following evil—one is that he took it from their hands, and the other is that he did not throw it to the ground after he took it from their hands, and the third is that he bundled it with a graving tool and hid it from the eye. “And fashioned it with a graving tool” means that he put all the gold in one pocket and kept it from being seen by the eye. Then everything rose and became a fact.
79) In The Book of Hanoch, I found that an only son will be born to the Rosh [head] of the white, meaning Aaron, who was born from the side of Hesed, whose root is called “the Rosh of the white.” And when those who are from the flesh of asses come to him, meaning the mixed multitude, of whom it was said, “Whose flesh is as the flesh of asses,” they will mislead him, inserting jewels inside bells of gold, without his Daat [reason or the Sefira], and forming a shape with the graving tool, Enosh’s graving tool, which is the pen of evil Enosh, who misled the people.
There are two discernments in Malchut: Achoraim [posterior] and Panim [anterior]. In Achoraim, she is all left without any right, Hochma without Hassadim. In Panim, she is all right without left, Hassadim without Hochma. Hence, the Sitra Achra is removed from sanctity because the Sitra Achra is left, and therefore cannot nourish from the Panim of Malchut, since there is no left there at all. And they cannot nourish off the Achoraim of the Malchut because it is dark there and without any light, since Hochma without Hassadim does not shine.
Therefore, the mixed multitude, who are the magicians of Egypt, rebelled against holiness and gathered over Aaron, who is from the right side—Hesed. They said to him, “Make us gods,” so they will walk before us. God is the name of the left, whose place is in the Achoraim of Malchut. And they asked him to correct them to being at the Panim so they would have Hassadim, as it is written, “Who shall go before us,” in the Panim, and then they, too, will be able to suck from him.
As HaVaYaH is the God of Malchut de Hassadim in the form of Panim, as it is written, “And the Lord went before them,” the discernment of left would be in the form of Panim, and then they, too, will be able to receive from him. This means that there is permission to our Sitra Achra to walk before us, meaning in the Panim, if we summon for them the deed with the calf. It is written, “Thus they exchanged their glory for the likeness of an ox,” since they traded their glory, Malchut that was in the form of Panim, Hassadim, for a calf—left line—and abandoned the correction of the Panim of the Nukva.
Jewels are the discernments of the Masach de Malchut, which shines in the right line, called “jewel.” “Bells of gold” are considered left. And since it concerns the Sitra Achra, he calls them “bells,” for their content is as empty as bells. And the mixed multitude misled Aaron, inserting these jewels that shine in Hassadim into bells, which are the dark left. And they shine and can then suck from the left.
Now you can understand that the appointee is from holiness, and hence consists of right and left, and is therefore appointed over the left and over the red jewels on the right. Hence, those who follow the Sitra Achra serve it and offer sacrifices, to find the place where jewels and gold are together, so they can suck from the left.
80) This is the clarification: When Enosh was misleading the world to perform idolatry with his pen, he was taking notes of all the forms and idol worshipping with that pen. This is why it writes, “Graving tool,” for it indicates to do that with that graving tool. And this is the meaning of the thing.
81) The two meanings of the words “graving tools” were there: The Book of Hanoch and The Zohar. This is so because he certainly threw the gold in the pocket and hid it from the eye, as the magicians say. And so it should be with this kind of magic, for so is this magic done—for a thing that requires disclosure, to be revealed later, first needs a place for hiding and covering. First, it must be concealed from the eye, and then the craftsman lets his craft be shown. Thus, what needs covering later needs to be revealed first.
This is so because “God has made them one opposite the other.” All that exists in the degrees of holiness has its opposite in the Sitra Achra. And the only difference is that the Sitra Achra holds only the two lines, right and left, but they have no middle line. However, they are attached only to the left line. Still, it is impossible to extend left line if the right line had not been drawn first, since that Masach which rises and makes VAK without Rosh in the degree, when it is in the right line, descends and educes GAR in the degree when it is in the left line. Hence, they must first draw the right line, to reveal the GAR on the left line once more.
And know that this Masach, which is raised to the degree so as to diminish it from GAR, when it is in the right line, is called “pen” or “calamus.” Like the “pen of a ready writer,” which measures and reveals the shape of the letters to here and to here through the pen, the Masach that is raised in the right line, to diminish the degree, determines the whole shape of the Gadlut [greatness/adulthood] of the degree that comes out on the left line.
All the forms of the left, applied in idolatry, depend on and emerge from the calamus, which is a Masach that causes the Katnut and diminution in the left line, as it is written, “And fashioned it with a graving tool.” This means that he raised the graving tool, which is the calamus and the Masach, and first shaped it in diminution and concealment of the right line, and then extended the Gadlut of the left of the Sitra Achra, called “calf” or “ox.”
As we said, they cannot disclose the left line and suck from it before they extend the right line first, through raising the Masach, the calamus, to conceal the degree. This is so because the two meanings of the words “graving tool” are one thing. Rashbi interpreted, “Fashioned it with a graving tool” as dropping it in the pocket to conceal it from the eye, meaning to conceal it from the GAR, called “eye.” This means that they first extended the concealment and Katnut [smallness] that are in the right line. It is quite the same with the words of Hanoch. “Fashioned it with a graving tool” is also raising the Masach to conceal and diminish the degree in the right line, by which the Gadlut in the left is later directed.
82) On the side of holiness, the true God, who is the king of the world, was strengthened in three worlds, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya. And they extended the mixed multitude from all of these three worlds opposite Beria. It is written, “And he received it at their hand,” meaning he took something of which he had nothing thus far, meaning the gold. This indicates the world of Beria, since Beria means something new that was not in it before. And opposite Yetzira, it writes, “And fashioned it with a graving tool.” And opposite Assiya it writes, “And made it a molten calf.” Who in the whole world saw such magicians?
83) Does it not say, “And I threw it into the fire,” and he did nothing more, “And out came this calf”? And now you say, “And made it a molten calf.” However, Aaron certainly did not make the calf, as the writing proves, for it is written, “And he took the calf which they had made.” It does not write, “Which he had made.” But the writing, “And he received it at their hand,” and the words, “And fashioned it” mean that it was all made by Yonos and Yambros. It seems as though Aaron had made it, but had it not been for those two, the calf would not have been made and would not have been crafted. Thus, who caused it to be made? It is those two. While Aaron took from their hands, they were doing their magic and whispering with their mouths, drawing Ruach [also spirit] below, from the Sitra Achra.
84) And they drew two Ruachs together, one from the male and one from the female. The male Ruach clothe in the form of an ox, and the female in the form of an ass. And both were mingled. Why these two? With an ox, we already learned that it is because the first damager of the Sitra Achra is called an “ox.” The ass is because it is written about those Egyptian magicians, “Those who are from the flesh of asses.”
85) Hence all those from Israel who died, connected with the mixed multitude in their hearts. And since there were two forms, ox and ass, it is written, “These are your gods O Israel.” It is not written in singular form because they were two, together. Also, “which brought you up out of the land of Egypt” is in the plural form [in Hebrew].
86) It is written, “And made it a molten calf,” since Aaron said nothing. We learned that it contained 125 Kikarot [talents] of gold. Masecha [mask, but referring to “molten”] is 125 in Gematria. This is so because from the God of holiness to other gods, 120 combinations of God expand, after which begin the other gods. Correspondingly, they took 125 talents—120 opposite the 120 combinations, and five opposite the five letters in Elokim [in Hebrew].
87) Why does it say, “Received it at their hand”? Did they have all 125 talents? Rather, they only took a handful of these talents, but that handful was considered as though they had it all in their hands.
88) It is written, “And when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it.” Alas, the holy pious, how good was your will, but you did not know how to beware. When he threw it in the fire, the power of the Sitra Achra intensified in the fire and the shape of the ox emerged, as it is written, “in two extensions of the Sitra Achra—with an ox and with an ass.” Promptly, Aaron saw that the Sitra Achra had grown strong, and he immediately “Built an altar before it.” Had he not built this altar, the world would have reverted to its ruin.
89) Like a robber who emerges to destroy and to kill people, the king’s legion saw that that robber came out with great force. What did that legion do? It convinced the king to set out, and the legion pulled him toward the road where the robber was. While the robber was walking along that road, he saw the form of the king standing before him. When he saw the form of the king, he was startled and retreated.
90) Thus, “When Aaron saw this,” that the Sitra Achra had grown strong, he held to the cure and was strengthened, and extended the holy side and put it before him. When the Sitra Achra saw that the form of the King was before him, he immediately retreated and its strength and assertion weakened, since Aaron had grown strong and the altar, Malchut, intensified and the Sitra Achra weakened.
91) “And Aaron made a proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord,’” to the Lord, and not to the calf. He made it for the side of holiness, and to the side of holiness he proclaimed and said. This is the cure that he preceded. Had he not done so, the world would not have persisted. Still, His anger with Aaron did not subside, even though he did not mean to do harm.
92) The Creator told him, “Aaron, two magicians pulled you into what they wanted; thus, your two sons will fall, and they will be caught for this sin.” This is the meaning of the words, “Moreover the Lord was very angry with Aaron, to destroy him.” “To destroy him” are his sons, as it is written, “Yet I destroyed his fruit from above,” since man’s fruits are his sons.
93) Aaron put the altar, Malchut, before him, and put the calf, the Sitra Achra, behind him, for the essence of the sin with the calf was that they turned the left, whose place is in the back, and put it in front. Hence, now Aaron returned the holiness to the fore and the calf to the rear. And his sons put the Sitra Achra in the fore and sent the side of holiness back to the rear, similar to the sin of the calf, as it is written, “And offered strange fire before the Lord,” meaning they put the strange fire, the Sitra Achra, before the Creator, ahead. Thus, his sons were caught for this sin of the calf.
94) But Aaron thought that in the meantime, Moses would come. This is why he said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” This is why Moses did not shatter the altar he had made, for had it been as people think, that he built the altar before the calf, then the first thing that Moses would have had to shatter was the altar. As Ido prophesied about the altar of Beit-El, and his prophecy was about the altar in Beit-El. But with Aaron’s altar, this was not so, which is why it is written, “And he took the calf which they had made,” and not “And he shattered the altar.”
95) “And Aaron made a proclamation,” meaning he declared aloud, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” He was the announcer of the judgment. “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord” prophesied in the spirit of the altar, Malchut, on which the judgment is destined to be. “A feast to the Lord” means celebration and shattering, to execute judgment in you.
96) There were three judgments: 1) “And the Lord struck the people”; 2) the sons of Levi, who killed from among Israel; 3) intoxicating Israel. “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” A holiday indicates the killing of the sons of Levi. “To the Lord” indicates “And the Lord struck the people.” “Tomorrow” indicates Moses giving them the ashes of the calf to drink when they went to sleep that night, and were found swollen and dead the next day. He said about that, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” And all the healing that Aaron performed is in what is written, “He built an altar before it.”
97) “He saw the calf and the dancing.” However, it does not say “altar,” since Aaron knew that it is written, “He that sacrifices to the gods, save to the Lord only, shall be utterly destroyed.” Certainly, Aaron was saved by the good advice he had given to himself, to make an altar for the Creator, and all was with complete and good will, for he did not mean harm.
98) Of course this is so, and Israel did not make the calf. But Jeroboam, who made the calves, were Israel, and they made the calf. Jeroboam sinned and caused to sin, which is certainly a bad sin that he did. Moreover, he sinned in Malchut, like the mixed multitude in the sin of the calf.
99) Jeroboam said, “Surely, I know that the side of holiness is present only in the heart of the whole world, and this is Jerusalem. I cannot extend that side of holiness here. What shall I do?” Promptly, “Whereupon the king took counsel.” He took a bad counsel. He said, “After all, the Sitra Achra is immediately drawn to every place, especially in this land, where they wish to be in it. However, they can only clothe in the form of an ox.”
100) But why did he make two calves? Jeroboam said, “In the desert, they were the magicians, of whom it was said, ‘Those who are from the flesh of asses.’” Hence, they extended two Ruachs—an ox and an ass, male and female. But they did not clothe them; rather, they were both in one calf. Here, the same two evil spirits will clothe properly, in the two calves, for they are male and female—the male was in Beit-El and the female was in Dan.
And because it is written, “For the lips of a strange woman drop honey,” Israel were strongly attracted to them, as it is written, “For the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.” Thus, there were two calves in it, and Jeroboam drew them in the holy land, and the iniquity was upon him and upon Israel, and he prevented the blessings from the world. It is written about him, “He who robs his father or his mother,” for he flawed ZON, who are his father and mother.
101) Thus, there were two calves, since the first clothing that the Sitra Achra wears is an ox. Certainly, it is how it should be. And so it is in all the sides, since the beginning of the clothing is small, a calf.
102) Hence, My beloved sons, since they wished to extend the name “God,” the name of Malchut, and the act was built on the side of Malchut, the Holy God—which is Ima, Malchut, who always grips the King’s arm and moves away the strap—was not there. And Moses had to be there in her place, as the Creator hinted to him, and he observed and understood.
103) Thrice He hinted to him: “Alas, Moses, the loyal shepherd”; “How strong you are”; and “How great is your might.” Thrice He hinted to him: 1) “Now let Me alone”; 2) “My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them”; and 3) “And I will make of you a great nation.”
And Moses’ wisdom to hold back the strap was in these three implications. He held His right arm opposite, “Now let Me alone,” which his Hesed. He held the left arm opposite, “My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them,” which is Gevura. He embraced the King’s body opposite, “And I will make of you a great nation,” which is Tifferet. And when he embraced the body with both arms, meaning in all three Sefirot HGT, he could not sway and evoke judgment on any side in the world. This was Moses’ Hochma—from the King’s hints, he recognized in each of them which side will become stronger, and he acted wisely.
104) The friends came and kissed Rabbi Shimon’s hands. They said, “If we had come to the world only to hear this thing, we would have been content.” They wept and said, “Woe unto us. When you depart from the world, who will shine and reveal the lights of Torah?” This thing shines to the top of the heaven and is written in the King’s throne, and the Creator is now delighted about this thing. And how much joy over joy was added before the Holy King? Who will evoke words of wisdom in the world as you do?
105) Before Adam sinned, he rose and stood in the Hochma of the upper illumination, and was not separated from the tree of life. When he intensified his craving to know good and bad and to come down, he followed those of the Sitra Achra until he was separated from the tree of life and knew the bad and left the good. This is why it is written, “For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, no evil dwells with You.” This means that one who follows wickedness cannot dwell with the tree of life, and before they sinned, they heard a voice from above, from Bina, and they knew the upper Hochma but did not see. Since they sinned, they could not even stand in the voice below, from ZON, as it is written, “I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid.”
106) Similarly, before Israel sinned, while they were standing at Mount Sinai, the filth of the serpent was removed from them, since then there was the annulment of the evil inclination in the world and it was repelled from them. At that time, they united in the tree of life, rose to the uppermost degrees, and did not come down. Then they knew and saw the highest visions of ZA; their eyes shone and they were delighted to know and to here. At that time, the Creator girded them with belts of letters of the Holy Name, which are jewels from Mount Horeb, so the serpent would not be able to rule over them and would not defile them as before in Egypt.
107) When they sinned with the calf, all those degrees and upper lights parted from them, and the armed belts they were crowned with by the Holy Name were removed from them. And they extended upon them the evil serpent, as in the beginning, and caused death to the whole world once more. Afterwards, it is written, “And when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him,” meaning they feared even the light of Moses’ face.
108) First it writes, “And Israel saw the great work,” meaning that everyone saw the upper lights that shone in the illuminating mirror, ZA, as it is written, “All the people perceived the thunder.” But on the sea, they saw and did not see, as it is written, “This is my God, and I will praise Him.” And after they sinned, they could not see the face of the mediator. What does it say? “And they were afraid to come near him.”
109) It is written about them, “And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from mount Horeb onward.” This means that the arms that they received on Mount Sinai so that the serpent would not rule over them were removed from them. And since it was removed from them, it is written, “Now Moses took the tent to pitch it outside the camp, afar off from the camp.” Because Moses knew that the Higher armor was removed from Israel, he said, “From now on, the evil serpent will certainly return to dwell among them, and if it stands among them here in the tent of meeting, it will be defiled. “Now Moses took the tent,” since he saw that the evil serpent would rule over them, which had not been the case before.
110) “And he called it ‘the tent of meeting.’” First, it was an ordinary tent, but now he called it, “the tent of Moed [meeting].” A Moed [which also means occasion in Hebrew] is a day of the joy of the moon, Malchut, for having gained more holiness and for not being ruled by the flaw. Here, too, he called it an occasion to show that the tent, Malchut, was removed from them and was not blemished.
111) First, Malchut was an ordinary tent, as it is written, “a tent that shall not be removed, whose stakes shall never be plucked up.” But now it is the tent of meeting, meaning only for a time and not forever. This is so because Moed means time [and occasion]. First, there was the tent, Malchut, giving long life to the world so death would not govern them. Henceforth, the tent of meeting, as it is written, “The house appointed for all living,” for now she has been given time and limited life for the world. In the beginning, there was no flaw in her, but now she has been blemished. In the beginning, there was connection and Zivug to the moon, Malchut, in the sun, ZA, which does not stop. But now their Zivug is occasional, hence he called it “the tent of meeting [occasion],” which did not exist previously.
Jewels from Mount Horeb
112) It is written, “And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from mount Horeb onward.” This means that they caused death to themselves from that night onwards, and that the evil serpent—which they had already removed from themselves in the beginning—controlled them. Israel deserve it. But Joshua did not sin with the calf. Hence, was that higher armor removed from him, that jewel he had received with them on Mount Sinai?
113) If you say that the jewel was not removed from him, then why did he die like the rest of the people? After all, by merit of the jewel they had obtained liberation from the angel of death. And if you say that the jewel was removed from him, why was it removed? After all, he did not sin, for he was with Moses when Israel sinned. And if you say that he did not receive that crown, meaning the jewel, which Israel received on Mount Sinai, then why?
114) “For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face.” “For the Lord is righteous,” and His name is “Righteous.” For this reason, “He loves righteousness,” meaning Malchut, whose name is “Righteousness.” “Upright” means just and right, and “Will behold His face” refers to all the people in the world who will correct their ways to go by the proper, just way.
115) When the Creator sentences the world, He sentences it by the majority. When Adam sinned with the tree from which he ate, he caused the tree, Malchut, to have death in it for the whole world. Also, he caused the flaw of separating a woman from her husband, Malchut from ZA. This sin stood in the moon, Malchut, until the children of Israel stood at Mount Sinai. When Israel stood at Mount Sinai, that flaw of the moon had been removed, the flaw of the separation and death by the tree of knowledge, and she was about to shine forever, ceaselessly. But when Israel sinned with the calf, the moon was flawed once more, as in the beginning, the evil serpent ruled and gripped her, drew her to it, and she was flawed.
116) And when Moses knew that Israel sinned and the holy jewels were removed from them, he certainly knew that the serpent had gripped the moon and drew her to it, and she was flawed. When the serpent wishes to suck from Malchut, the light departs her so it will not have what to suck. This is why he took her outside the camp. And because she is about to be flawed, even though Joshua kept the crown of his jewel, since there is a flaw in Malchut and she reverted to the flaw that was in her in Adam’s sin, hence, a person cannot exist.
The exception is Moses, who governed Malchut, for he was the husband of the mistress. And his death was on another side, by the word of the Lord. Hence, Malchut did not have permission to always sustain Joshua, so he, or any other person, would not die. This is why he called her, “the tent of meeting [also time],” for there was a set time of life to the whole world in her.
117) There is right above and below; there is left above and below. The right above is in the upper holiness; the right below—in the Sitra Achra. The left above is in the upper holiness, to evoke love, so the moon, Malchut, would connect to a holy place, above, in ZA, so it would shine.
118) There is left below, which separates the upper love and separates the Malchut from shining through the sun, and from approaching it. This is the side of the evil serpent. It is so because when this left from below awakens, it pulls the moon to itself and separates her from above, from ZA. Then her light darkens and she clings to the serpent. At that time, she draws death down to all those who clung to the serpent and became removed from the tree of life. This is why he caused death to the whole world with the sin of the tree of knowledge. This is also the meaning of the Temple, Malchut, being defiled until the time when the moon is corrected and shines once more. This is why she is called “the tent of meeting [occasion].”
119) This is why Joshua did not die except by the counsel of that serpent, who approached and blemished the tabernacle, Malchut, as before. This is the meaning of the words, “Joshua, the son of Nun, a youth.” Even though he is a youth below—Matatron is called “a youth,” receiving light from Malchut—he will not move from within the tent, for he is similar to the tent, Malchut. And as the tent was flawed, Joshua was flawed, even though he had the holy jewel from Mount Sinai. This is so because since the moon was flawed, it is certain that he was not the only one to be saved from her, from that actual flaw.
120) Happy are the righteous who know the secrets of Torah and cling to the Torah, and keep the verse, “But you shall meditate on it day and night.” By her merit, they will be rewarded with the life of the next world, as it is written, “For this is your life and the length of your days.”