On My Bed at Night
1) “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘when a woman delivers and bears a male child.’” “On my bed night after night I sought him whom my soul loves.” The assembly of Israel spoke before the Creator and asked Him about the exile, since she is seated among the rest of the nations with her children and lies in the dust. And because she is lying in another land, an impure one, she said, “I ask on my bed, for I am lying in exile,” and exile is called “nights.” Hence, “I sought him whom my soul loves,” to deliver me from it.
2) “I sought him but did not find him,” since it is not His way to mate in me, but only in His palace, and not in exile. “I called him but he did not answer me,” for I was dwelling among other nations, who do not hear his voice except for His sons. “Did ever a people hear the voice of God?”
3) “On my bed night after night,” said the assembly of Israel, Divinity. “On my bed I was angered before Him, asking Him to mate with me to delight me—from the left line—and to bless me—from the right line—with complete joy—from the middle line.” When the king, ZA, mates with the assembly of Israel, several righteous inherit inheritance of a holy legacy, upper Mochin, and several blessings are found in the world.
A Woman of Valor, Who Can Find
4) “A woman of valor is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.” A woman of valor is the assembly of Israel, Divinity. “She who shames him is like rottenness in his bones” are idol worshipping nations, which the Creator cannot tolerate in the world, as it is written, “And therefore I abhorred them.” They are like thorns and thistles that restrain a person and he cannot tolerate them.
A woman of valor, the assembly of Israel, overcomes several armies and camps of angels that are in the world, that is, all the dwellers of BYA that expand from her. A woman of valor implies mistress and master. “The crown of her husband” means the crown of Tifferet, for Tifferet is the husband of Divinity.
5) “A Woman of valor, who can find?” “Who can find” is as we said, who will find you at the end of days, meaning obtain you. “Who will find” means who will be rewarded and achieve being in her in wholeness, and being with her forever.
6) “For her price is far above rubies.” It should have said “worth,” that it is harder to buy her than rubies, meaning that she sells and turns over to other nations all those who do not fully cling to her and are not whole with her, as you say, “And the children of Israel abandoned the Lord,” and He sold them to the hand of Sisera. And then they are all far from those high and holy rubies, which are the secrets and the internality of the Torah, for they will have no share in them.
7) “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.” “The heart of her husband trusts in her” is the Creator, ZA. This is why He appointed her over the world, to be governed by her. He appointed all His arms in her hand, and all those warmongers. Hence, “He will have no lack of gain,” for He placed in her hands all the powers to make war and to subdue the Sitra Achra, by which she brings out the holy sparks that fell to the outer ones due to the sin, and she brings them back to holiness. And these holy sparks are called “gain,” the gain of war.
8) “She does him good and not evil, all the days of her life.” “She does him good” means she benefits the world and benefits the King’s palace and the sons of His palace. “And not evil” needed to be said because it is written, “the tree of knowledge of good and evil,” where Malchut is called “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” because if he is rewarded, good; if not rewarded, bad. This is why he says, “And not evil.” “Good and not evil” is while the days of the heaven, the Sefirot de [of] ZA shine on her and properly mate with her. The days of the heavens are the days of her life, since the tree of life, ZA, sends her life—the Mochin from Bina—and shines for her. At that time, “She does him good and not evil.” And all these writings were said about the assembly of Israel.
A Woman Who Inseminates First, Delivers a Male Child
9) “A woman who inseminates first, delivers a male child.” The Creator sentences whether a drop is male or female, and you say, “A woman who inseminates first, delivers a male child.” Thus, the Creator’s sentence is redundant. Indeed, it is certainly the Creator who decides between a drop of male and a drop of female. And because He has discerned it, He sentences whether it is to be a male or a female.
There are three partners to a man: the Creator, his father, and his mother. His father gives the white in him; his mother—the red in him; and the Creator gives the soul. If the drop is a male, the Creator gives the soul of a male. If it is a female, the Creator gives the soul of a female. It turns out that when the woman first inseminated, the drop has not become a male yet, if the Creator had not sent within her a soul of a male.
This discernment that the Creator discerns in a drop—that it is fit for a soul of a male or a female—is considered “the sentencing of the Creator.” Had He not discerned it and did not send a soul of a male, the drop would not have become a male. Thus, the two statements do not contradict one another.
10) And since she inseminates, does she deliver? After all, this requires pregnancy. It should have said, “If a woman is impregnated, she delivers a male child.” What is, “If she inseminates, she delivers”? Since the day of insemination and conception to the day of delivery, a woman has not a word in her mouth except her offspring, whether it will be a male. This is why it is written, “If a woman inseminates, she delivers a male child.”
11) “If a woman inseminates.” “How manifold are Your works, O Lord.” How manifold are the deeds of the Holy King in the world. It is akin to a person who took some seeds together and sowed them all at once, and then each kind buds independently. Thus, the Creator does His deeds with wisdom, and in wisdom does He take them all together and sows them. Afterwards, each and everyone emerges in its own time, as it is written, “In wisdom have You made them all.”
12) “How manifold are Your works, O Lord.” How manifold are the deeds of the Holy King. And all of them, the whole of reality in the worlds, are hidden in Hochma [wisdom], as it is written, “In wisdom have You made them all.” All are included in Hochma and do not come out, except by trails, which are the thirty-two paths of Hochma, to Bina. And from Bina, all is made and corrected, as it is written, “By understanding it is established. This is why it says, “In wisdom have You made them all,” with understanding, through the Bina.
The Earth Is Full of Your Possessions
13) “The earth is full.” The earth is the assembly of Israel, Malchut. She is filled by Bina, as it is written, “All the rivers run into the sea.” “Your possessions” is Malchut, which later brought them out, as it is written, “These are the generations of the heaven and the earth when they were created.” He created them with a Hey, which is Malchut, the bottom Hey of HaVaYaH. For this reason, “The land is full of Your possessions.”
14) When a man comes to sanctify and to mate with his female, with his holy desire, the spirit of holiness—which consists of male and female—awakens upon him. This is so because he was born and extends from ZA and Malchut, which are male and female. And the Creator implies to an emissary that is appointed over impregnating people and gives him that spirit, and tells him in which place he should give it, as it is written, “And the night which said, ‘A boy is conceived.’” The night, Malchut, said to that appointee to conceive a man from a certain man, so he would place the spirit there. And the Creator commands that spirit, adjuring it to be righteous.
Man Walks as a Mere Figure
15) Then the spirit descends with one figure with it. A figure that has the shape of above is called “the image of God.” He is created in this image and walks in this world with this image, as it is written, “Man walks as a mere figure.” As long as the image is with him, a man persists in this world. If the image departs him, he dies. And there are two images that join together, and King Solomon warned people and said, “Until the day breathes and the shadows flee away.” Two.
16) In the book of the magicians of Asmodeus, I have found that those who wish to do magic from the left side and to cling to them will rise by the light of the candle, or in a place where his image is seen by the light of the moon, and will say, “These are the proper words for these charms.” He will call upon those sides of impurity by their names of impurity, and will summon his images to these names of impurity that he has called. And he should say that he is willingly being set up for their authority and their command. Then that person departs the domain of his master and the deposit of his master. This means that he is giving the soul that was given to him as a deposit from his master to the side of impurity.
17) And through these words of wizardry that he was saying, inviting them to his images, two spirits are seen, which are established in his images. They have the semblance of people and at times they alert him things to harm him and at times to benefit him. And those two spirits were not included in the body, for he did not make bodies for them before he sanctified the Sabbath. But now they are included in the images that man gave them, and they are established in them and tell a man things that harm him. This is the meaning of him departing his master’s authority and giving his deposit—the soul—to the side of impurity.
18) In one’s anger, one must not throw household utensils or anything of the sort, and give it to the Sitra Achra. He must not do so, for several investigators of law and judgment are ready to receive that thing. And from that time, no blessings will be upon him, for he is from the Sitra Achra. It is even more so with one who invites the Sitra Achra, the other one, over that high goodness, his image, since he invited them to his images.
19) When the time approaches for a person to leave this world, that high image he was given, that evil spirit that clung to him everyday comes and takes that image away from him, establishes itself in it and leaves. And that image will never return to a person, and he will know that he will be rejected from everything.
20) When the soul descends to the entrance to this world, she first descends to the Garden of Eden of the earth and sees the glory of the spirits of righteous standing column by column. Afterwards, she goes to hell and sees the wicked crying “Alas! Alas!” and no one pities them. She is given testimony of everything: the wicked testify how they are punished for each sin, and the righteous testify to the good reward that they receive for each Mitzva [good deed/commandment]. And that holy image stands over her until she leaves toward this world.
21) When she comes out to the world, that image comes to her and partakes with her and grows with her, as it is written, “Man walks as a mere figure.” And man’s days partake in that image and are dependent upon it. If it departs, man parts from this world, as it is written, “For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow.” “Our days upon earth are a shadow” means that our days depend on this shadow, and from the day a woman conceives until the day she delivers, people do not know how great and how sublime are the deeds of the Creator, as it is written, “How manifold are Your works, O Lord.”
Delivers a Male Child
22) All the spirits in the world are made of male and female. When they come out to this world, they emerge male and female. Afterwards, they divide according to their way. The spirit of the male dresses in a male, and the spirit of a female—in a female. Afterwards, if one is rewarded, they mate together, meaning with his mate, and they unite in one Zivug [coupling] in everything—spirit and body, as it is written, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind.” “After its kind” is that spirit of man that emerges with its similar mate.
23) “Let the earth bring forth” refers to Malchut, from whom the living creature [in Hebrew, “living Nefesh”] emerges. This is the spirit of Adam ha Rishon, who was born and came out of Malchut, as it is written, “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden.” “The fruit of the tree” is the Creator, ZA, called “the tree of life.” His fruit is the spirit of Adam ha Rishon. “Which is in the midst of the garden” means within the woman, who is called “garden” and Malchut, since the spirit of Adam ha Rishon came from a Zivug of ZA and Malchut.
“If a woman inseminates, she delivers a male child.” The woman, Malchut, delivers the souls, and delivers a male child. It is not included of male and female, as it is usually when the souls are born male and female, since through the sins of the lower ones, they cause the souls to not join male and female in Malchut, as they emerge above, in couples—male and female. This is why it is written, “She delivers a male child,” since what appears to this world is only a male, who is not included with a female.
24) Since Adam ha Rishon and Eve sinned before the Creator, they were divided into male and female, and were therefore divided into male and female, when they come out from above into this world. Thus, a male soul is born separately, and a female soul is born separately, until the Creator so wishes (if one is rewarded) that one is given one’s mate, the soul of the female, who was included with him above. If not, she is separated from him and is given to another, and they beget sons inappropriately.
This is why it is written, “My spirit shall not abide in man.” What is “My spirit”? It should have said “His spirit,” meaning man’s spirit. However, they are two spirits, for they emerge as couples. You need not pronounce “My spirit” in singular form, but in plural form. And the writing says that they should not abide together, for they emerge separated from one another. This is why it is written, “She delivers a male child,” without including male and female together, as is normally done above, since they caused it.
25) “She delivers a male child” means it is born from the Malchut into this world without a female. Yet, everyone comes as male and female, included together, and then divide and come separately into the male and separately into the female. But “She delivers a male child” means that the male and female are included together from the right side, which is considered male.
If she delivered a female it would mean that the female and male are included together from the left side, which is considered a female. Then the left side would be ruling over the right side, and the male on the right would yield and not dominate. In that state, such a male, who emerged from the Nukva, Malchut, from her left side, all his ways are as a female, hence he would be called “female.” But a male that emerges from the right side of Malchut is the dominant, and the female that emerges with it surrenders, since the left side is not dominant. Hence, it is written about it, “She delivers a male child.”
26) Tens of thousands of souls emerge in the world at once. And from the day she educes them, they are not called Nefashot [plural of Nefesh], receiving their illumination from Malchut, until they settle in a body for thirty-three days. Until then, the body is incomplete for the soul to dwell and clothe in. And the soul is impure for seven days because for all seven days, spirits do not enter the Malchut to connect with her. And during all those seven days, the spirit walks in the body, to find its place of dwelling. Then it is written, “Then it shall be seven days under its mother,” Malchut, meaning he is under her and cannot attach to her.
27) On the eighth day, the spirit and body return before the queen, to attach to her and to the male, ZA, in body and spirit. “She shall remain in the blood of purification for thirty-three days” so that the spirit will settle in the body. Three days after the circumcision, the child suffers the pain of the circumcision and the spirit does not abide in the body as during the rest of the days. Hence, “She shall remain in the blood of purification for thirty-three days.”
The doe [female deer] cannot deliver the soul unless the serpent bites her pudendum. Hence, the soul was made impure by his bites, since the bite of the serpent and his filth evokes the point of the quality of judgment, which is not associated with Bina, which is a lock. For this reason, the spirit, the light, cannot clothe in the body, the Kli, and the spirit must rise back to the Malchut that was mitigated in Bina, in the key, and connect with her. Then, it, too, receives the mitigation of the association of Malchut in Bina and can clothe in a body, as it is written, “Then she shall be unclean seven days,” which are the seven Sefirot, HGT NHYM, when Malchut must rise to Bina to be mitigated in Bina.
And before she comes to Bina, which is the eighth day, no spirit rises to her to attach to her. However, the ascent of Malchut to Bina is not for her own need, but for the purpose of purifying the soul from the serpent’s bite in her pudendum while she was delivering. This is so because after the soul received the mitigation from Bina, she becomes worthy of connecting to the Malchut, which is corrected in the key. Thus, the spirit can clothe in a body. It is called Ruach [spirit], and not Neshama [soul] because on the eighth day, when she receives the mitigation from Bina, during Malchut’s ascent to Bina, she still does not have GAR, Neshama, but only the Katnut, called Ruach.
To receive a soul [Neshama], she must sit for thirty-three days in the blood of her purification. This is so because bloods are judgments that appear from the Masach de Katnut [infancy/smallness], which prevents the GAR.
Also, there is pure blood and there is impure blood, since they are two kinds of Masachim [plural of Masach]—the Masach of the lock, from Tzimtzum Aleph [first restriction], and the Masach of the key, from Tzimtzum Bet [second restriction]. The judgments of the Masach of the lock are called “impure bloods,” since as long as there is a hint of their filth in the soul, it is unfit for any light, as it is written, “Then she shall be unclean seven days.” And the judgments that extend from the Masach of the key are called “pure bloods,” since they are fit to receive light. However, she needs time for the Malchut to connect in HGT de ZA, from whom she receives the GAR.
As it is written, she needs to wait in Katnut that is mitigated in Bina, called “pure bloods,” for the duration of thirty days so that the Ruach will receive its GAR, at which time it will clothe in the body. However, according to this, thirty days should have sufficed, in accordance with the three Sefirot HGT de ZA, each of which consists of ten. But after the circumcision, three days are required to heal the circumcision. These are the three lines of Katnut, and when they are received, the circumcision is healed, and the Malchut can rise and connect in three lines of Gadlut, which are thirty days.
28) Is it blood of purification or days of purification? In blood of purification it is the circumcision blood—blood that is after the blood that comes from the child. The Creator watches over those bloods all those days, as it is written, “Remain in the blood of purification.”
Just Taharah [purity], which does not have the Mafik Hey [a special pronunciation mark], and is not pronounced in the reading, indicates that he does not mention the bottom Hey of HaVaYaH, Malchut. But do not say that it is about the purification of Malchut, the mother of the Neshama [soul], but about plain purity. This is so because plain blood of purification is what the pure bloods are called, since it is only about the soul that is born out of her. And all the ascents and attachment that are said about Malchut relate to Malchut being the root of the soul.
The circumcision blood, which are on the eighth day, are the root of the pure blood that extends from the Masach of the key, and the bloods that are drawn during the thirty-three days are drawn from the pure blood of the circumcision, as it is written, “Blood of purification,” which are the roots of pure blood.
Also, the blood that is seen during the thirty-three days is considered blood of circumcision, pure blood, from the Masach of the key. Without these judgments of Katnut it would not be possible for her to ever receive GAR. This is why the Creator must keep them, to qualify her to receive GAR.
29) Each day, the assembly of Israel, Malchut, takes food from the king’s house for people’s spirits and nourishes them with holiness, except for those spirits that are in the thirty-three days of purification. Until these spirits settle in a body after thirty-three days, she watches over them daily, for then the spirits attach to the body like the rest of the dwellers of the world. As the Malchut is present only in a whole place, all her deeds toward the spirits of people are in this manner until they are perfected, as it is written, “She shall not touch any hallowed thing.” This is the meaning of watching over the souls, meaning she does not touch holiness to receive food from the holy, which is ZA, for the souls.
If She Bears a Female Child
30) “But if she bears a female child.” Because the left side dominates and the right surrenders to it, everything is two instead of one, and the Nukva, Malchut, is removed from ZA, to attach the Ruach so it clothes in a body. This is so because the left does not sit in the body like the right, for it is more under the force of the Gevurot, since the right, which is male, could mitigate only the judgments of Nukva, which are impure and pure bloods.
But in the female, in which the left prevails, the judgments of the left should be corrected, too, meaning the male judgments. This is why everything is doubled. The impurity is two weeks, corresponding to the male judgments and the female judgments. And also, the days of purity are sixty-six days, thirty-three corresponding to the male judgments and thirty-three corresponding to the female judgments.
Circumcision and Foreskin
31) “And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” This commandment to circumcise the circumcision of the holy covenant on the eighth day is a sublime thing, as it is written, “The counsel of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and His covenant, to make them know it.” He announces the counsel, which is the covenant, to those who are afraid, who fear sin. This is so because the meaning of the holy covenant should not be seen outside of them. And we already learned the meaning of the holy covenant in several other places.
32) This counsel, which is for eight days, is mandatory for the world, for the whole of the holy nation, as it is written, “And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” The eighth day is the sign of the holy covenant, the Sefira of Yesod, which is the eighth among the degrees. If you count the degrees from Hochma down, Yesod is in the eighth degree, and Keter is Ein Sof and is not counted.
Also, the circumcision of the covenant is to remove the foreskin, the impure serpent from the covenant, the holy Yesod. We may ask why is it that once he says that the eighth day is Bina, meaning from below upwards, and once he says that the eighth day is Yesod, meaning from above downwards. It is so because of the inverse relation between the Kelim and the lights, since in the light, the lower enters first and we begin from below; and in the Kelim, the upper ones complete first and we begin from above downwards.
33) This is so because when the holy nation gathers to remove the foreskin from the covenant, the Creator assembles His entire entourage and appears, so as to move the foreskin up from the sign of the holy covenant, which is Yesod. All the deeds that Israel do below evoke deeds above. Hence, at that time, the foreskin—the impure serpent—is repelled upwards from the whole of the holy nation. And a vessel with dust is set up for this foreskin, to put the foreskin in it, as it is written, “And dust shall be the serpent’s food,” and “Dust shall you eat all the days of your life.”
34) We learn from this that one need not be contemptuous of the foreskin, even though it is removed from the covenant. Its place, after it is removed from this covenant, is in the dust, since after that serpent was removed from man, the Creator set up its dwelling place in the dust, as it is written, “Dust shall you eat all the days of your life.” And since the Creator set up its residence in the dust when He removed it from man, when we remove the foreskin, we should set up dust for it to dwell in, in this very way.
35) Every person should gladly and willingly sacrifice that son as an offering to the Creator, to bring him under the wings of Divinity. This is regarded by the Creator as a complete offering and is received willingly.
36) This offering is like an offering from the beast, since this is for eight days, and that is for eight days, as it is written, “But from the eighth day and thenceforth it may be accepted” because it has already been through one Sabbath, since there has to be one Sabbath among the eight days. And since it has been through one Sabbath, this offering—the beast—is accepted.
The circumcised child is for an offering because he was attached and came to be at this Sabbath, which is Malchut, the holy covenant—Yesod. On Sabbath, the Yesod is in its fullest perfection; hence, the child receives illumination from it, to correct his holy covenant. And the beast is accepted as an offering, as well, since the offering unites Yesod and Malchut. For this reason, it must receive correction from the complete Yesod on the day of the Sabbath. Thus, everything is in the upper one.
There Is No Rock Such as Our God
37) “There is none holy as the Lord, for there is none besides You; neither is there any rock like our God.” “There is none holy as the Lord” means that there is still another who is holy, but is worse than the Lord. “Neither is there any rock like our God” means that there is another rock, but it is worse than the Lord.
38) However, certainly, there is none so holy as the Lord. There are many holy ones above—the angels. And Israel, too, are holy, as it is written, “You will be holy.” But they are not as holy as the Lord, as it is written, “There is none besides You.” Thus, the Creator’s holiness is without the holiness of the angels and of Israel, for He does not need their holiness. But they are not holy without Him, and this is the meaning of “There is none besides You,” that they have no holiness without You.
39) “Neither is there any rock like our God” means that the Creator formed a shape within a shape, the shape of an embryo in the shape of its mother. He corrects it and blows the spirit of life into it, and delivers it into the air of the world. “Neither is there any rock like our God” means that He has governance and kingship over everything.
A Star that Struck another Star Three Times
40) Rabbi Hiya and Rabbi Aha were seated one night before Rabbi Abba. They rose at midnight to engage in Torah. As they stepped outside, they saw a star striking another star three times, blocking its light. All the while, they heard two voices from two sides, a voice to the north and up, and a downward voice. And the downward voice declared and said, “Come in, gather unto your places, for now the keeping of Nukva, Malchut, has begun, for the Creator has entered the garden to stroll and to entertain with the righteous in the garden.” Then that voice went silent.
The night divides into four parts: Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, and Malchut. On the first half of the night, the two lines, Hesed and Gevura in Malchut dominate. At midnight, Tifferet, which is the middle line, begins to dominate and sentence and unite the two lines, Hesed and Gevura in Malchut. The Creator, Tifferet, the middle line, enters the Garden of Eden, Malchut, and unites the right and the left in her.
To unite the right and the left, the middle line must extend the Masach de Hirik in both its discernments, in the key and in the lock, since the left does not surrender to unite with the right without them. Also, this Masach diminishes the GAR of the left line and blocks it.
These two actions in the key and lock, which are operated by the Masach de Hirik are called “two voices.” And the two actions in the middle line are the voice of the key that is mitigated in Bina, and the downward voice—the voice of the lock, the voice of the lower Malchut, which was not mitigated in Bina. The voice of the lock—the first act of the middle line—which is the main force that diminishes the left line, declared and said to those clinging to the left line and wishing to extend from the GAR of the left, that voice of the lock told them to gather and return to their places, as in, “If your heart runs, turn back.”
This is so because the guarding of the Malchut had begun. Until midnight, there was no guarding for Malchut’s left line and the wicked could suck from the left line. But now, at midnight, when the middle line rules and has revealed the lock that diminishes the left line and blocks it, there is guarding, so the wicked can no longer suck from the left in Malchut. And the middle line, Malchut, reveals this voice of the lock. After the announcer sounded and everyone saw that the left line has been blocked, it went silent, concealed, so the voice from the north side could dominate. This is the second act in the Masach de Hirik, which comes from the Malchut that is mitigated in Bina, which is a key, so it may re-extend VAK de GAR of the left line. And had the voice of the lock not been silenced, the voice of the key would not have been able to dominate and it would be impossible to extend any measure of GAR.
41a) Rabbi Aha and Rabbi Hiya returned to the house and said, “It must be a time of good will,” the awakening of the assembly of Israel to join with the Holy King, ZA, the middle line. And the assembly of Israel connects to the Creator only out of singing, out of her praise for Him.
Before midnight, during the time of the dominion of the left, its illumination was considered external. This is why it is written that before they received the external illumination from the left, they already saw how the midnight point was arriving and the middle line was shining in both its actions, uniting the left with the right. And then their illumination was considered internality. This is why it is written that they did not come out to receive illumination from the left line, but returned into the house, for the right and the left have already been united through the middle line, and their illumination was considered internality.
During the domination of the left in Malchut, prior to the point of midnight, Malchut—whose essence comes primarily from the left—is remote from Tifferet, from the middle line, which leans to Hassadim and to the right, even though she is dark, without the Hassadim of the middle line. This is like the left line prior to the determining of the middle line. At midnight, when the Creator comes to unite the left with the right in its two actions, Malchut recognized the merit of the Creator, the middle line, due to the perfection of the unity of right and left. And then she united with the Creator.
41b) When the morning comes, the king gives her a thread of grace. At that time, the Hochma in her clothes in Hesed and is completed, as it is written, “And the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand.” The king is ZA; Esther is Malchut; and the golden scepter is the thread of grace, which is called “a scepter of God,” when the Hochma in Malchut clothes in it. And do not say that the king holds out the golden scepter only to her, but to her and to all those who join her. Come let us join together.
And He Took One of His Ribs
42) “And the Lord God said: ‘It is not good that the man should be alone.’” It does not say, “That it was good,” on the second day, since the rib for building the Nukva was to be taken from Adam. The second day is Gevura and left line. And completing the left line is only in the Malchut, which is built from it. And since Adam, ZA, was alone and Malchut had not yet been cut off from him, it is written, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” This is why it was not said, “That it was good” on the second day. Before Malchut is separated from ZA and is built into a separate Partzuf, the left line of ZA, which is the second day, is not completed. It is said about it, “It is not good.”
43) Was he alone? It is written, “He created them male and female,” and we learned that Adam ha Rishon was created in two Partzufim, male and female, attached to one another in their Achoraim [posteriors]. And you say, “It is not good that the man should be alone”? However, he did not try with his Nukva and she was not help made against him, for she was at his side and they were attached at their backs, and then Adam was alone.
44) “I will make him a help made against him,” opposite his Panim [face], so they would bond face to face. What did the Creator do? He cut him and took the female from him, as it is written, “He took one of his ribs.” “One” is his Nukva, as it is written, “My dove, my undefiled, is but one,” and brought her to Adam, who established her as a bride. And He brought her to be opposite his face, shining face to face. And while the Nukva was clung to his side, Adam was alone. Afterwards, the two rose and mated, and seven rose together: Cain with his twin, Abel with two twins, thus five, and Adam and Eve, thus seven.
45) When Eve was established with Adam, the Creator blessed them, as it is written, “And God blessed them,” like a cantor who blesses the bride with seven blessings. We learn from this that when the bride and groom are blessed with the seven blessings, they are attached together as it is above, when Malchut is blessed by the seven blessings from HGT NHYM de ZA.
46) Hence, one who comes to bond with another man’s wife blemishes the Zivug [coupling], since the Zivug of the assembly of Israel is only in the Creator, both when it is in Rachamim [mercy] and when it is in Din [judgment]. When one bonds with another man’s wife, it is as though he is lying to the Creator and to the assembly of Israel. Hence, the Creator does not atone him through repentance, and repentance is hung for him until he departs from the world, as it is written, “Surely this iniquity shall not be forgiven you until you die.” It is forgiven when he enters in repentance into that world and receives his punishment there, and then he is forgiven.
47) One who lies to the assembly of Israel, who comes to bond with another’s wife, his repentance is not accepted before he is sentenced in hell; all the more so with one who lies to the assembly of Israel and to the Creator. It is even more so if he compels the Creator to make the form of a bastard in another’s wife and publicly lies to the king, openly.
He Who Robs His Father and His Mother
48) “He who robs his father and his mother.” His father is the Creator; his mother—the assembly of Israel. “Robs,” as it is written, “The plunder of the poor is in your houses.” The plunder is one who covets another woman, who is not his mate.
49) Anyone who enjoys this world without a blessing, as though steals from the Creator and the assembly of Israel, as it is written, “He who robs his father and his mother, “And says, ‘It is not a transgression’ is the companion of a man who destroys.” Anyone who enjoys this world—this rule that says, “Anyone who enjoys,”—is a woman. This is so because one who clings to a woman, who comes to enjoy her, even if she is available, but enjoys her without a blessing, without the seven blessings that the bride is blessed, it is as though he robs the Creator and the assembly of Israel.
The reason is that their Zivug is in seven blessings. And one who enjoys without seven blessings blemishes the seven blessings above. And as with an available one, it is much more so with the wife of another, who stands in a Zivug in seven blessings through her husband, as it is above.
50) “Is the companion of a man who destroys” is Jeroboam. “And says, ‘It is not a transgression,’” meaning he says, “She is available; why is it forbidden?” he thus robs his father and mother. Moreover, he is a companion to a man who destroys. Who is a man who destroys? It is one who blemishes the form and the correction above. It is even more so with one who covets his friend’s wife, to cling to her, for he blemishes more. For that, he is blemished forever. “A man who destroys,” since he blemishes above, blemishes below, and blemishes his soul.
Let Me Go, For the Dawn Is Breaking
51) “Then he said, ‘Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.’” “Then he said, ‘Let me go.’” Was he a prisoner of Jacob? Happy are the righteous, for the Creator spares their honor and never leaves them, as it is written, “He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Still, it is written, “And the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was sprained.”
52) But the angel took what was his, as it is written, “And he himself lodged that night in the camp.” It is also written, “And he took them, and sent them over the stream.” What was on Jacob’s mind, to take them across the river at night? But he saw the accuser walking among his camps, and Jacob said, “I will move them to the other side of the river, perhaps there will not be bewilderment.
53) What did he see? He saw a blazing flame of fire walking and flying through his camps. Jacob said, “It would be best to take them from here across the river so the river will part between them and there will be no bewilderment, since damagers do not cross rivers. “And he took them, and sent them over the stream.” “And Jacob was left alone.” And since Jacob obstructed him from harming the camps, he touched the hollow of his thigh, “And the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was sprained,” for he had taken from him what was his. We learn from this that one can be harmed if he is alone at home at night, or in a secluded house during the day, and especially during the night in a secluded house, separated from other houses, or walks alone at night.
54) “And Jacob was left alone.” Then, “There wrestled a man with him.” The angel came from the side of judgment and his government was on the side of the night, appointed over bringing Israel into exile, which is night, and darkness. And since the light came up, his power waned and Jacob’s strength overcame him, since he came from the side of the night. Hence, while it was night, Jacob could not prevail over him, and when the light came up, Jacob’s strength intensified and he held him and prevailed over him. Then Jacob saw that he was an angel.
55) The angel told him, “Let me go for I cannot overcome you.” He could not overcome him because the light had come up and his spirit had been broken, as it is written, “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” They shouted means that all those from the side of judgment were broken. Shouted means that they were broken, as in, “The earth is broken, broken down.” “Sons of God” are those that come from the side of judgment, called “God.” Then Jacob grew strong and gripped him.
56) He told him, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” It was time to assemble and praise the Creator. And he said, “I will not let you go, except you bless me.” It should have said, “If you will bless me” [in future tense], why “Except you bless me,” which is past tense [in Hebrew]? Jacob told him, “My father certainly blessed me with these blessings, which he wished to bless Esau with, and I am afraid of you in regards to these blessings, whether you admit to them; for if not, you might slander me for them.
57) “He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be Jacob.’” He told him, neither by deceit nor by cunningness did you obtain these blessings. Hence, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob.” It is as Esau said, “Therefore… he has supplanted me two times.” But this was not with cunningness. Rather, it was Israel, ZA, from whom the blessings emerge. Certainly, admitting about you that the blessings are yours because you are gripped in it, and for this reason, I and all the camps of angels admit that the blessings are yours.
58) “For you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” “With God” are all those who come from the side of harsh judgment. “And with men” is Esau and his camps. “And have prevailed,” you overcame them and they did not overcome you. And Jacob did not leave him until he admitted to these blessings before him, as it is written, “And he blessed him there.”
59) When the light of Bina comes up, all the litigants yield and are absent, and the assembly of Israel speaks with the Creator. That time is a time of good will for all, and the king gives a scepter, a thread of grace to Malchut and to all who are with her, to be whole in the holy king.
60) When the Creator is with the assembly of Israel, Malchut, and she evokes the desire for him first, and attracts him to her with much love and yearning, Malchut is filled with the Hassadim of the male from the right side, and several camps of angels are on the right side in all the worlds.
And when the Creator evokes love and desire first, and Malchut awakens later, not while the Creator has awakened, then everything is in the form of female, Malchut, and the left awakens. And several camps of angels stand and awaken on the left side in all the worlds, as it is written, “If a woman inseminates and delivers a male child.” If the woman inseminates first, she delivers a male child, since the lower world is akin to the upper world, and one is like the other. And as it is above, if Malchut awakens the desire first, below, too, she is filled with the male from the right side.
61) For this reason, the Creator determines a male or a female, for a desire, Malchut, exists in the world first, and then the woman below awakens to inseminate first, and deliver a male child. This is so because everything depends on above not on below, and in all things, man must have his desire clinging upwards, toward the Creator, so there will first be a desire in the world, Malchut, and then his wife, too, will inseminate first and deliver a male. Happy are the righteous who know how to attach their will to the Holy King. It is written about them, “You that cleave unto the Lord your God are alive everyone of you today.”
Look Not upon Me, that I Am Swarthy
62) “Look not upon me, that I am swarthy, that the sun has tanned me.” In exile, the moon, Malchut, is covered and says, “Look not upon me.” It is not that she is demanding that we do not see her. But because she sees Israel’s desire to see her light she says, “Look not upon me,” meaning you will not be able to see me; “Look not upon me” because I am swarthy, since I am in the dark.
63) What is swarthy? Should it not have said “Black”? Indeed, there are two kinds of darkness: 1) “That the sun has tanned me,” that the sun, ZA, has parted from me, from shining in me and from looking at me. 2) “My mother’s sons were incensed against me, they made me keeper.”
64) Sheshzaphtany [that has tanned me] implies six, since Sheshzaphtany is made of Shesh [six] Zaphtany. This is so because when the sun—ZA—shines, it shines in six lights, in the six Sefirot HGT NHY. And when it leaves, all six lights leave. “My mother’s sons” are those that come from the side of harsh judgment to punish for the sins. “Were incensed against me,” as in, “My throat is dried” [there is similarity of words and pronunciation in Hebrew]. It is written, “To our very necks we are pursued,” since when Israel came to the exile, their hands were tied behind them and millstones were around their necks, and they could not open their mouths, as it is written, “My throat is dried.”
65) “They made me keeper of the vineyards,” to go into exile and to keep the rest of the nations for Israel. “But I have not kept my own vineyard,” for I cannot keep them as in the beginning. In the beginning, I was keeping my own vineyard, Israel, and from it, the rest of the vineyards—which are the nations—were kept. Now I keep the rest of the vineyards for my own vineyards, so it will be kept among them.
The Earth Is the Lord’s, And All It Contains
67) “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” The land is Malchut. Since he said, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,” why the double wording, “The world, and those who dwell in it”? Is the world not the earth? However, he says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains.” This is the holy land, called “the land of the living.” “The world and those who dwell in it” are the rest of the lands.
68) “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains.” The earth is Malchut. “All it contains” are the souls of the righteous in Malchut. “The world, and those who dwell in it.” The world is the earth below, in this world. “Those who dwell in it are people, and the earth is the Malchut, “For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon rivers.” This is so because the land of the living, Malchut, “He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon rivers,” since all of them, all the Mochin, emerge from the uppermost river that stretches out of Eden, from Bina. And the Malchut is corrected by them, to be crowned with the Holy King and to nourish the worlds.
69) “Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord? … who has not carried My soul [Nefesh] in vain.” My Nefesh is Malchut, and King David was united in that heart, and that Nefesh, in Malchut. This is why he says, “Who has not carried his soul [Nefesh] in vain.”
Pangs of Love
70) As they were walking, they came across a man whose face was full of sores, who rose from under a tree. They looked at him and saw that his face had turned red from all the sores. Rabbi Hiya told him, “Who are you?” And he replied, “I am a Jew.” Rabbi Yosi said, “He is a sinner, or these bad sores would not be seen in his face. These are not called ‘Pangs of love.’” Rabbi Hiya said, “It must be so, since pangs of love are covered from people.”
71) It is written, “When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, or a scab, or a bright spot.” There are three kinds, and they are all called “The plague of leprosy,” as it is written, “And it become in the skin of his flesh the plague of leprosy.” The plague of leprosy is with a closed syllable [in Hebrew], for it is closed in everything, meaning that the affliction is covered and hidden from the eye. It is written about that, “He shall be brought unto Aaron the priest.” But the sores that are seen on the outside, it is written about that, “And the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean,” since what is seen to people on the outside comes from the side of impurity and are not pangs of love.
72) How do we know that? It is written, “Better is open rebuke than love that is hidden,” which means that open rebuke is better. And if the rebuke is out of love, it is hidden from people. Similarly, one who rebukes one’s friend with love must hide his words from people so his friend will not be shamed by them. And if his words are open before people, they are not with love.
73) So is the Creator. When He rebukes a person, He rebukes him with love in everything. First, He strikes him in his body, from within. If he repents, good. If not, He strikes him under his clothes. And these are called “Pangs of love.” If he repents, good. If not, He strikes him openly in his face, in front of everyone, so people will look at him and know that he is a sinner and is not loved by his Master.
74) That man told them, “You must have contrived to come over me to despise me. You must be from among those who sit at the house of Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai, who fear nothing. If my sons, who come after me, should come, they will persecute you. Why do you speak openly? After all, you should fear my sons.” They told him, “Such is the Torah, for it is written, ‘She calls at the head of the noisy streets, at the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings.’ If we fear you with words of Torah, we are in contempt of the Creator. Moreover, the Torah needs purity, meaning to speak openly.” The man started and said, “Who is a God like You, that pardons iniquity?” He raised his hands and cried. At that time, his sons came and his junior son said, “Here is heaven’s help to my father.”
There Is a Righteous Man Who Perishes in His Righteousness
75) “All things have I seen in the days of my vanity; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.” How did King Solomon, the wisest of all, say that he saw everything while he was walking in the darkness of the world, in the days of his vanity? After all, one who engages in the darkness of the world sees nothing and knows nothing.
76) However, in the days of King Solomon, the moon was full and Solomon was wiser than all the people in the world, and then he saw and knew everything. He saw everything is Yesod, which is called “everything,” for it does not move away from the moon, Malchut, and was shining the sun for her, as it is written, “All things have I seen in the days of my vanity.” Vanity is the moon, Malchut, which consists of everything: water—Hesed, fire—Gevura, and Ruach—Tifferet. All is like Hevel [fume] that comes out of the mouth, which contains everything—water, wind, and fire.
77) And he saw everything, which is Yesod, in Hevel—Malchut—which grips it. “There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness.” When there are many righteous in the world, “everything,” Yesod, is never removed from the moon, Malchut. And this “everything” takes all the oil and the valor and the joy above, and is filled and rejoices and rises to mate with the moon. And he gains all that for her.
78) And when the wicked in the world multiply and the moon grows dark, the righteous, Yesod, perishes in his righteousness. It does not say, “A righteous is lost,” but “the righteous perishes, since he is not seen in the moon, to which he is not imparting and does not take oil and valor and joy to fill her and to unite with her. Hence, a righteous loses all of that in his righteousness, which is the moon, meaning he is lost because the moon is not there to unite with him and he does not nourish from the joy above, as he did. Then, the whole of the left side awakens and the wicked prolong peacefully in the world, as it is written, “And there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness,” in that evil side that has clung to him.
79) “There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness” because when the righteous multiply in the world and the judgment is hung, the righteous perishes in his righteousness. He is caught in their iniquities like my father, who was caught in the iniquities of his town’s people, who were all insolent and he did not warn them and never shamed them, and he prevented us from provoking the wicked. He would tell us, “A Psalm of David. Do not fret because of evildoers; do not envy evildoers.” His father said, “The Creator must have punished me for it, for I had the authority to stop them but I did not, and I did not despise them, neither secretly nor openly.”
And Breathed into His Nostrils the Breath of Life
80) His other son started and said, “Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground.” “Then the Lord God Yatzar [formed],” The word Yatzar is written with two Yods [in Hebrew], indicating that man was created in two inclinations, the good inclination and the evil inclination. The good inclination corresponds to water, and the evil inclination corresponds to fire. “The Lord God” is a full name. “The man” consists of male and female, since “the” implies the female. “Dust from the ground” is the dust of a holy land, from which he was created, the place of the Temple. Dust is Malchut; ground is Bina, the land of Edom. Adam ha Rishon was created from Malchut that was mitigated in Bina, since the dust of the Temple is considered Malchut that is mitigated in Bina.
81) “And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” is the holy soul that extends from this life above, from Bina.
“And man became a living soul,” meaning man was mingled with the Nefesh of holiness of the upper Haya, Bina, who educed the land, Malchut.
“Let the earth bring forth the living [Haya] soul” is the Nefesh of that upper Haya, Bina.
82) Whenever the holy soul is attached to a person, he is his Master’s beloved. He is kept by guards from all sides, written favorably above and below, and the Holy Divinity is upon him.
83) And when he diverts his ways, Divinity parts from him and the holy soul does not cling to him. And a spirit awakens on the side of the evil, harsh serpent, and wanders about in the world. It stays only in a place where the upper holiness has parted and it hovers over man. Then, man is defiled and he becomes flawed in all his flesh and in the appearance of his face.
84) Because this living soul is holy and sublime, from Bina, when the holy earth, Malchut, pulls her and mingles within her, she is called “a soul,” since the light of Bina is called “a soul.” It is she who rises and speaks before the holy king and enters in all the gates, and there is no one to stop her. This is why she is called “the whispering Ruach [wind],” “the speaking Ruach,” for all other souls that are not from Bina have no permission to speak before the king, except this one, who is from Bina.
85) This is why the Torah declares and says, “Keep your tongue from evil.” It is also written, “Who keeps his mouth and his tongue,” since if one’s lips and tongue say these bad things, the words rise up and everyone declares and says, “Turn away from the evil words of so and so, make room for the way of the harsh serpent.” Then the holy soul is removed from him and departs, and cannot speak, as it is written, “I was mute and silent, I refrained from good, and my sorrow grew.”
86) And that soul rises in disgrace, in affliction from everything, and it is not given room as before. It is written about that, “Who keeps his mouth and his tongue, keeps his soul from troubles.” His soul, which used to speak, is now silent because of the evil words that she spoke. Then comes the serpent, for everything has reverted back to the beginning, as before he was rewarded with a soul. And when the evil speech rises by certain ways to being before the harsh serpent, several spirits awaken in the world, and an impure spirit descends from that side, of the serpent, and finds that that man evoked it with the evil speech. It finds that the holy speaking Ruach is removed from him, at which time the impure Ruach is upon him and defiles him, and then he is a leper.
87) As man is punished for evil words, so he is punished for good words that he could say but did not. This is so because he has flawed that speaking Ruach, for he has been corrected to speak above and speak below, and all in holiness. It is even more so if the people walk on a twisted path, and he can speak with them and rebuke them, but he does not speak. It is said about him, “I was mute and silent, I refrained from good, and my sorrow grew.” It grew by the afflictions of impurity, as we said, that King David was afflicted with leprosy and the Creator turned away from him, for he asked, “Oh turn unto me and be gracious unto me,” which means He had turned His face from him.
The Plague of Leprosy
88) “When the plague of leprosy is in a man, then he shall be brought unto the priest.” The friends evoked all the colors of this affliction in him, and the priest knew them, to purify and to defile. He knew that they were pangs of love, or those that are found in those whose Master despises and turns away from them, since the plague is caused in the world according to man’s ways.
89) It is written, “Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to be occupied in deeds of wickedness.” We learn from this that when a person wishes to walk, he is walked, and that the Creator lures a person to walk by the way of sin and to do evil deeds, for he says, “Incline not my heart to any evil thing.” Thus, there is no judgment in this world or in the next world, and the Torah is not established, for it is written of her, “Whether you hear or do not hear.” Thus, does it all depend on man?
90) However, David warned his heart with his words, “Incline not my heart to any evil thing,” to lead it in the path of truth, as it is written, “And lay it to thy heart.” “And lay it” means one must rehearse with the heart—once, twice, and thrice—to lead it on the path of truth and to caution it. And this is what he told him, “Incline not my heart to any evil thing,” for an evil thing causes affliction in the world. Then there is judgment in the world, the plague of leprosy.
91) Leprosy means closing, since it closes the upper lights and does not open. And when it closes and does not open, it is called “a plague.” The patriarchs, HGT, are not nourished, for they do not receive light, and all the more so the sons, NHY. It is written, “When the plague of leprosy is in a man,” meaning actually in Adam, in ZA, who is HaVaYaH with Alephs, which is Adam in Gematria. And from here it descends to the lower Adam, who caused it, and blocks his light, and there is affliction for all by that closing of lights.
92) This is the meaning of the thing. It is written, “He has abhorred His sanctuary,” when the lights of the Temple, Malchut, were closed because the people of the world caused it with their iniquities. It is written, “He has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord.” “Defiled,” since ZA departed and the harsh serpent is present and casts filth and defiles, and all because of the iniquities of the world.
She Eats, and Wipes Her Mouth
93) When the primordial serpent begins to show, the supporters, Netzah and Hod, disappear, and the structures, which are the Mochin, are removed from the Malchut. Then comes the strong serpent and casts filth, and the sanctuary is defiled. The sanctuary is as it is written, “And I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession.” It is written, “Now the serpent was more crafty… and he said unto the woman,” actually to the woman, in whom the place of the sanctuary unites, which is Malchut. “He has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord” through his sins, since through his sins, the strong serpent appeared.
94) His sins are slander, since the primordial serpent appears because of slander, whether above or below, as it is written, “And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people.” It does not say, “burning” or “burnt,” but “fiery.” Fiery relates to the primordial serpent. And he says “serpents,” in plural form, as it is written, “heads of the sea-monsters,” two, for one gripped above and one gripped below in this world.
It is also written, “Above Him stood the seraphim,” opposite the Creator, since the judgments are the sons of God, and the Lord is Rachamim [mercies]. “Above him” is the same as opposite him, and then it is complete closing, for all the lights are closed and there is no one to open. At that time comes the serpent and casts filth at the root of the sinner’s soul, which is in Malchut, and this is considered adultery. This is why it is written, “This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wrong.’”
95) By the will of everything, meaning by the will of the Upper One, the serpent is not present below, since it is present above. And it is present above only where it is present below, in the iniquities of the world, for everything is interdependent.
There are two points in Malchut: the first point is Malchut de [of] Tzimtzum Aleph [first restriction]. It was not mitigated in Bina, in the quality of Rachamim, and is therefore unfit to receive any light, since the force of the Masach and Tzimtzum is over it. The second point is the Malchut that was mitigated in the quality of Rachamim, in Bina. All the lights that Malchut receives are from the second point. Hence, the first point is concealed within her, and only the second point is revealed and governs her. This is why she is fit for reception of the upper lights.
For this reason, Malchut is called “the tree of knowledge of good and evil,” since if a person is rewarded, it is good.
When the first point is concealed and only the second point rules, there is abundance in Malchut and the lower one receives from her. If he is not rewarded, for he is a sinner, then there is power in the serpent to reveal the first point in Malchut, which did not partake in Bina, and then she is bad because all the lights depart her, for the force of Tzimtzum that rides over her appeared, as it is written, “Sin crouches at the door.” This is when the sinner gives strength to the Sitra Achra to extend from the left, from above downwards, as did Cain. Then the serpent, called “sin,” which crouches at the door of Malchut, discloses the first point, which is hidden in Malchut, and all the lights depart from the root of the soul of the sinful person (in Malchut), as in, “If not rewarded, bad.”
Afterwards, the serpent intensifies further and casts filth, and blemishes and expels the lights from Bina de Malchut, too. This is so because after Malchut is associated with Bina, Bina receives the form of Malchut. Hence, after Malchut was flawed due to the appearance of the Tzimtzum over her, Bina in Malchut is flawed, as well, since she has the form of Malchut. Thus, in the beginning, only Malchut is blemished by the disclosure, and this is Malchut of the quality of judgment. Afterwards, Bina de Malchut is blemished, too, since she has the form of Malchut due to the association of the second point.
He says here that there are two serpents. This is so because one who uncovers the point of Tzimtzum Aleph, which blemishes only Malchut and none of the first nine Sefirot, cannot blemish Bina later. But another serpent awakens and rises and clings to Bina because she has the form of Malchut, due to the association.
The sinner causes the uncovering of the serpent, as it is written, “Sin crouches at the door.” The serpent acquires strength through its sin to uncover the hidden point of Tzimtzum Aleph, when the Kelim of NHY de Bina that are present in Malchut depart, meaning the ones through which Malchut receives all her lights. And she receives these Kelim de NHY from Bina through association of the quality of mercy, as it is written, “The mother lends her clothes to her daughter.” The Kelim and the lights in the Kelim depart with them because the association with Bina that is in her was corrupted by the disclosure of the point of Malchut de Tzimtzum Aleph, which is not associated with Bina whatsoever.
And once all the lights depart, due to the disclosure of the first point to which the serpent clung, there comes another serpent and casts filth in Bina de Malchut, called “Sanctuary,” and then the sanctuary is defiled. This is why he calls the second serpent, “a strong serpent,” since it rose and clung not in its place, in Bina, which is all Rachamim without any judgment at all. However, it has the strength to cling to her because she was associated with Malchut in order to mitigate her.
It was written, “And he said unto the woman, actually to the woman,” to Malchut. The Kelim of Bina—the place of the sanctuary—were mingled with Malchut by the association of Malchut in Bina, as it is written, “He has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord.” Hence, when the serpent cast filth in Bina de Malchut, called “the sanctuary of the Lord,” due to the association of Malchut in Bina, Bina received the form of Malchut and the serpent had the power to cast filth in her.
This means that the second serpent, called “the strong serpent,” appeared and rises and clings to Bina, for one who slanders, who casts flaws at one’s friends when they are not on him gives strength to the second serpent to throw filth and to blemish Bina de Malchut, even though it is clean from any restriction and judgment. However, since the second serpent can act only by the force of the earlier flaw in Malchut, through the first serpent, it turns out that he flaws both Bina—through the second serpent—and Malchut—through the first serpent, since to give strength to the second serpent, the first serpent necessarily awakens.
And he brings evidence that there are two serpents from the verse, “And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people.” It says “serpent,” in plural form, one in Bina de Malchut and one only in Malchut. This is why he says, “Fiery serpents,” in plural form.
The fiery serpents are corporeal serpents, which is why it is said “fiery.” And the sons of God are judgments, facing HaVaYaH, Rachamim. In the verse, “Above Him stood the seraphim,” they are opposite the Creator, too, and they are the sea monsters. The fiery serpents here are the sea monsters, too. It was written that all the lights were closed, since wherever the point of Malchut of Tzimtzum Aleph appeared, all the lights close and there is no one to open them. This is so because in Malchut de Tzimtzum Aleph, repentance does not help, but only in Malchut de Tzimtzum Bet [second restriction].
It is written that for repentance to help, “This is the way of an adulterous woman.” The disclosure of the point of Tzimtzum Aleph through the serpent and its grip in it, which removes the lights of holiness, is considered that the serpent is really the adulterous woman. “She eats and wipes her mouth, and says.” This is perplexing: Because the first serpent disclosed the point of Tzimtzum Aleph, which is not associated with Bina, she lost the association with the quality of Rachamim, Bina. Thus, since the association with Bina was parted, there should not be the form of Malchut in Bina. Thus, how will the second serpent be able to cast filth in Bina because she has the form of Malchut? It is a contradiction.
This is why the text says, “This is the way of an adulterous woman,” who is the first serpent. “She eats and wipes her mouth” after she flaws Malchut and her lights depart due to the corruption of the association of the quality of Rachamim. She wipes and cleans her mouth as though she had done nothing, “And says, ‘I have done no wrong,’” to keep the form of association of Malchut in Bina as prior to the corruption of the serpent, so the second serpent may cling to Bina because she has the form of Malchut.
Indeed, this ascent of the serpent to cling to Bina is an obstacle to the serpent, since now that it has clung to Bina, the serpent itself cancelled the flaw of Malchut de Tzimtzum Aleph and established the flaw of the sin in Malchut de Tzimtzum Bet. This allowed for a possibility to cancel the flaw through repentance because through repentance, illumination comes down from AB SAG de AK, which lowers the Malchut from Bina and purifies Bina from the filth of the serpent. Had it not clung to Bina, the flaw of the first serpent would have remained, meaning the disclosure of the point of Malchut de Tzimtzum Aleph, where the force of the restriction rides atop Malchut, making her unfit to receive light. Here repentance is irrelevant because repentance does not revoke Tzimtzum Aleph and the Masach that prevents Malchut from receiving the upper light. Thus, concerning the second serpent that clung to Bina, it was deliberately given this grip, so that repentance could work. This is an obstacle only to the serpent.
This is done by a higher will. Since there is the grip of the serpent above, which qualifies the sinner to repent, there is the grip of the serpent below to reveal the Tzimtzum Aleph in Malchut, and there is no fear that repentance will not work there and the flaw will remain forever. After all, it is certain that the serpent will rise and cling in Bina above, and it, itself, will cancel the flaw of Tzimtzum Aleph, as it is written, “She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wrong.’” And then repentance will work.
Also, there is no fear that the serpent might not rise to cling to Bina, since it is instilled in the serpent’s nature to always crave to grip unto a higher place. And if it finds a way to cling to Bina, it is certain that it will. Had the serpent not initially revealed the flaw of Tzimtzum Aleph in Malchut, to not receive light, the second serpent would not have been able to cling to Bina and to blemish her because she has the form of Malchut, while the flaw would not appear in Malchut herself. Also, had there not been the grip of the serpent above, which allows for repentance and correction of the flaw, no possibility would have been given from above for the serpent to cling to Malchut, below. And if there weren’t the grip of the serpent below first, it would be inconceivable for the serpent to grip above, in Bina. Thus, they are interdependent.
Wisdom Excels over Folly
96) “And I saw that wisdom excels over folly.” I looked in several places in the words of King Solomon, and I observed his great wisdom, where he concealed his words inside the holy palace. Why did he say, “And I saw”? Do the rest of the people in the world not know and do they not see it? After all, even one who has never known wisdom and has never observed it knows that wisdom excels over folly as light excels over darkness. And he praises himself and says, “And I saw.”
97) However, we learn that there is none so wise as Solomon, who was called by seven degrees of wisdom, such as above, opposite HGT NHYM de Malchut, which is the lower Hochma, the degree of Solomon. There are six days above, HGT NHY de ZA, and the seventh one above them is Bina. The six days below, in Malchut, are HGT NHY, and the seventh one above them is Bina. There are six degrees to Solomon’s throne, and he is on the throne, as it is written, “Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king.” There are seven Keters of days above, which are seven Sefirot HGT NHYM. Opposite them are the seven names of Solomon, to show the holy wisdom in them. This is why he is called by seven names: Solomon, Jedidiah, Agur, Son of Jakeh, Lemuel, Ithiel, and Koheleth.
98) He said seven vanities. “Hevel Havalim [Vanity of vanities], says Koheleth; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” There are three times vanity here, and two times vanities, which are four, and together they are seven. And what did he see that no other person saw. When he collected the wisdom and rose in the degree of Hochma [wisdom], he was called Koheleth. He said the seven vanities opposite the seven Sefirot above, and each vanity was made into a voice, and the world exists only on vanity, the seven vanities ZAT of YESHSUT. These are essentially the left line de YESHSUT from before the deciding from the middle line, which unites the right and left. Also, the illumination of the left is considered vanity, affliction, and ill spirit. After the unification through the middle line, it is seven vanities from which ZA is emanated, and it is called “a voice,” and the world exists from them.
99) Hevel [vanity, but also fume from exhaling] is left line. It produces a voice with the wind and water in it, in the mingling of right line, called “water,” and the middle line, called “wind.” There is no voice except in Hevel. And in the seven vanities, which are HGT NHYM de YESHSUT, the Upper Ones—ZON—exist, as well as the lower ones—the dwellers of BYA. Thus, the world exists on Hevel. Without the Hevel coming out of a person’s mouth, he would not be able to exist for even an hour.
100) A person cannot exist without the Hevel of his mouth. Solomon said his words, by which the world lives, and he said that by that, the world persists. And this Hevel, by which the world persists, comes from the Havalim above, as it is written, “Vanity of vanities,” meaning vanity from the vanities above. All his words were so. It is written concerning the vanities above, that man is according to what comes out of the mouth of the Creator. What comes out of the mouth of the Creator is the vanities above, ZAT de YESHSUT.
101) “And I saw that wisdom excels over folly.” The benefit for the wisdom comes from the very folly, for if there had not been folly in the world, wisdom and its words would not have been known. And we learned that it is mandatory for a man who learned wisdom to learn a little bit of the folly and to know it, for it is for that that wisdom has come, just as there is benefit to light from darkness, for without darkness, light would not have been known and no benefit would come from it.
102) There is advantage to wisdom, for it contains upper wisdom and wisdom of this world. The upper wisdom does not shine and is not illuminated, except for a folly that has awakened from another place. Were it not for this folly, there would not be the light and the great and excessive pride, and the benefit from wisdom would not be seen. And because of the folly, the wisdom shines more and it is shone upon more, as it was said, that wisdom excels over folly both above and below because this is how it is below. If there weren’t folly in the world, there would not be wisdom in the world.
103) When the friends learned the secrets of the wisdom from Rav Hamnuna Saba, he would set up before them chapters of words of folly, so as to yield benefit for them from wisdom, as it is written, “A little folly is weightier than wisdom and honor.” This is so because folly is the correction of wisdom and weightier than wisdom, which is why it is written, “And my heart conducting itself with wisdom, how yet to lay hold on folly.”
104) “Weightier than wisdom and honor” refers to the weight of wisdom and its beauty. And what is the weight of the honor of above, which is Malchut? It is a little folly. This is because a little folly shows and reveals the weight of wisdom and the honor of above more than any other way in the world.
105) “As light excels over darkness.” The benefit of the light comes only out of the darkness. The correction of the white is black, for without the black, the white would be pointless. And because there is black, the white is elevated and respected. It is like sweet and bitter. A person cannot know the taste of sweetness before he has tasted bitterness. Thus, what makes it sweet is the bitter.
In things where there are opposites, the one reveals the other, such as in white and black, light and darkness, sick and healthy. If there were no sickness in the world, the term healthy would be unattainable, as it is written, “God has made the one opposite the other.” And it is also written, “It is good that you grasp the one, and also not let go of the other.”
What does King Solomon tell us with the words, “And I saw that wisdom excels over folly as light excels over darkness”? After all, who does not know it? To answer that, he brought the explanation of the seven vanities that he said in Koheleth. There are two discernments in Hevel:
When it is in the form of the left line without unification with the right. Even though at that time, GAR de Hochma shines in it, it is still considered Hevel and affliction, Hevel and ill spirit. This is so because when it is separated to itself, without the right, it is Hochma without Hassadim, and then it is darkness and not light. Moreover, harsh judgments extend from there, for which it is considered Hevel and ill spirit.
When it is united with the right through the middle line. This determines between right and left, where the right, Hassadim, shines from above downwards, and the left, Hochma shines from below upwards, which is VAK de Hochma. At that time the Hochma of the left clothes in Hassadim of the right. From here stem all the Mochin of ZON and BYA, and all the worlds persist on this Hevel.
The seven vanities are the seven Sefirot de YESHSUT, each of which consists of Hevel, wind, and water, since all the Mochin of the upper ones, which are ZON, and the lower ones, in the three worlds BYA, come out of these vanities. It turns out that even though at that time the left line in and of itself has GAR de GAR, it does not shine at all. On the contrary, it is Hevel and affliction. And when it unites with the right, although it consequently diminishes into VAK de Hochma and lacks GAR de Hochma, all the worlds persist from it.
It is written, “And I saw that wisdom excels over folly as light excels over darkness.” In three things are wisdom and folly akin to light and darkness:
If there were no darkness, there would be no advantage to the light and there would be no concept of calling it by that name. Likewise, were it not for folly, there would be no advantage to wisdom, for us to call it by that name. On the contrary, we would call it vanity and affliction.
Even though without the darkness we would have no perception in the light, it does not mean that the light would be an actual reality without it, but only that we would not have the concept in and of itself, to define it by a name. So is wisdom: even though without folly it would be unattainable, it does not mean that there would be no wisdom in reality at all. Moreover, at that time there is wisdom, since when it is without any folly, the GAR de Hochma [wisdom] shine. And yet, it would not be attained in the definition of wisdom.
As a dark place is one without light, a place without wisdom is one with folly.
Now we can understand the whole essay. We said that before the left line unites with the right, it has GAR de Hochma, but they do not shine and they are considered Hevel and affliction. Only later, when it is included in the right line through the middle line is it completed and all the Mochin in the world extend from it. However, it loses the GAR de Hochma due to the sentencing of the middle line that the right will shine from above downwards, and the left, which is Hochma, will shine from below upwards.
The illumination from below upwards is illumination of VAK de Hochma, which lacks GAR. And it has been explained above, in the third comparison between wisdom and light, that where there is lack of wisdom there is folly, as where there is lack of light there is darkness. It turns out that after the unification of the left line with the right there is folly in the left, in the place of the lack of GAR. Thus, prior to its unification with the right, even though it was not shining, the presence of wisdom in the left line—in the second comparison—was without folly, since then the left line was in GAR de Hochma. Now, however, when it lacks GAR de Hochma, there is folly opposite it.
The absence of GAR de Hochma that was done after the unification of right and left is considered folly. However, out of this folly appeared the illumination of Hochma [wisdom] to the worlds. This is so because prior to the unification, when it was without folly, Hochma was dark, and did not shine. But now Hochma is shining in its fullest perfection due to the folly, since it has been diminished from GAR and can unite with the Hassadim on the right. Thus, folly, which is the absence of GAR, reveals the VAK de Hochma so it may shine in whole. And had there not been folly, there would not have been wisdom.
And had folly not awakened from the diminution of GAR, but remained as GAR de Hochma in the left line and would not unite with the right, Hochma would not have shone and would have been dark. Then, all those great Mochin would not have been revealed to the worlds.
A man who extends the upper Hochma must also pull his hands away from extending GAR and Hochma. And even though folly appears in a place of absence of Hochma, instead, he learns wisdom out of this folly. In other words, the wisdom he obtains is through this folly, which he does not touch, and which is therefore not considered actual folly but a speck of folly, sufficient to learn and to know the wisdom that shines.
Thus, we learn from it how to extend the wisdom that shines, and it arranges for them that they do not draw the Hochma in the chapters of GAR de Hochma, since at that time, folly appears in those chapters and teaches them that benefit will come from this folly to the wisdom that shines. As long as GAR de Hochma illuminated and there was no speck of folly, the Hochma was Hevel and ill spirit, without wisdom and without honor. But now that the left has been united with the right, even though there is a little folly due to the absence of GAR de Hochma, for that, she shines with much glory and elegance. This is because one who attains it is rewarded with wisdom and honor, as it is written, “And my heart conducting itself with wisdom,” VAK de Hochma. “Yet to lay hold on folly” means to not extend GAR de Hochma, as it is written, “It is good that you grasp the one,” meaning wisdom, “And do not let go of the other,” meaning hold on to the folly of the absence of GAR de Hochma, as well.
106) By how many degrees is a person called? Adam, man, human, and person. The greatest among them is Adam, as it is written, “And God created man [in Hebrew: Adam] in His own image.” And it is written, “For in the image of God made He man [in Hebrew: Adam].” It is written, “When any man [in Hebrew: Adam] of you brings an offering unto the Lord.” Who needs to bring an offering? Only one who sins, which is a bad degree. But should it write “Adam” about such as that?
107) The persistence of the world, upper and lower, is a sacrifice, for it is the contentment of the Creator. And who is worthy of sacrificing this contentment before Him? Adam, the most precious, more precious than man, human, and person. It is written, “When a man [in Hebrew: Adam] shall have in the skin of his flesh… the plague of leprosy.” And this is why he is called “Adam.” The Creator needs to purify him more than anyone, for one who is in the highest degree cannot stay like that, without purity.
108) For this reason, it is written about Adam, “then he shall be brought unto… the priest.” It does not say, “And he came to the priest,” but “brought,” indicating that anyone who sees him must sacrifice him before the priest so that the holy form of Adam will not stay as it is. It is written, “And when a man or woman has a plague… if a man or a woman have in the skin of their flesh bright spots.” It does not say about them, “brought.” Only about Adam does it say, “brought,” due to his importance.
109) It is written, “And the man [in Hebrew: person] Moses.” “As for this Moses, the man [in Hebrew: person],” why was he not called Adam? It is because he was called a servant of the king, as it is written, “My servant Moses is not so.” Similarly, he is called “a person” compared to the upper Adam, ZA, in HaVaYaH in Alephs, which is Adam in Gematria. It is written, “The Lord is a man [in Hebrew: person] of war,” and it does not say Adam. In this place, I was not rewarded with understanding.
110) It is considered the perfection of everything when the Creator sits on the throne, Malchut. And before He sits on the throne, before He joins with the Malchut, there is no wholeness. It is written, “And upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man [in Hebrew: Adam] upon it above.” And when it writes, Adam, when he sits on the throne, it means he is in wholeness, since the name, Adam, consists of the four faces in the chariot, as it is written, “And the form of their faces was the form of a man [in Hebrew: Adam],” which is the wholeness of everything. He said to him, “But it is written, ‘The Lord is a man [in Hebrew: person] of war,’ it does not say Adam?”
111) There on the sea, the complete wholeness was not found, since he performed judgment in Egypt. This is why it writes “person.” But here, when he sits on the throne, it is the complete wholeness and contains everything, and this is why he is called “Adam.”
112) It is written, “Man [in Hebrew: Adam] and beast,” and not “person and beast,” although here it is a small degree, since he compares him to a beast. The reason it writes, “Man [Adam] and beast” is that so is the conduct of the text: to grip the highest of all and the lowest of all. The highest of all is man [Adam], and the lowest of all is the beast.
113) But it is written, “And there was not a man [Adam] to till the ground. Why is it important to mention the name Adam here? Everything that there is in the world exists only for Adam, and all exists for him. Hence, they were not seen in the world and everything was delayed until the one called “Adam” came, as it is written, “No shrub of the field was yet in the earth.” “Yet” means “not yet,” since the upper form, called “Adam,” had not been seen. It is written, “And there was not a man [Adam] to till the ground.” This means that everything was delayed because of that form, until it was seen. For this reason, that shape of Adam was created only in its proper form, as it is written, “Then the Lord God formed man [Adam],” with a full name, for the name Adam is the wholeness of everything and contains everything.
114) Adam was created on the sixth day, which is a chariot for the upper Adam, ZA, when the throne was completed, Malchut. There are six steps to the throne, HGT NHY. Hence, Adam was created on the sixth, when the six Sefirot HGT NHY had already been completed, when the upper Adam was already set to sit on the throne. And when Adam was created, everything was corrected, all that is above—ZA and Malchut—and below, and all is contained in Adam.
Before Adam ha Rishon was created, ZA and Malchut were back to back, without connection. On the sixth day, after the VAK were completed and Adam was born, he caused by his actions for ZA and Malchut to return to being face-to-face and to unite. Hence, Adam was created on the sixth, after VAK de ZA were completed, at which time the ZA is fit to sit on the throne, since then it is possible for Adam to bring ZA and Malchut back to face-to-face and they will unite. This was not possible before the sixth day since their own VAK had not been completed, neither in ZA nor in Malchut.
115) “And the form of their faces was the form of a man [in Hebrew: Adam].” In other words, the face of Adam contains everything, and all three faces, lion, ox, and eagle are included in this form of the face of a man [Adam]. It is written, “And they four had the face of a lion on the right side; and they four had the face of an ox on the left side.”
Thus, are there forms of lion and ox, as well? They were all the face of Adam. And all the colors and shapes are seen in this form of Adam. It is not that the face of an eagle is an eagle, but within the form of Adam appears the form of an eagle. But its essence is the form of Adam because Adam’s face contains all the colors and all the forms.
116) Everything that is under the governance of Adam is called “person,” since it is established in the manner of Adam, from another degree, which was in him first, meaning VAK, which Adam had before he obtained GAR. When Adam was created, he descended in a high, holy form, and two spirits came down with him on either side—on the right and on the left—and they are the whole of Adam.
The spirit on the right hand side is called “the holy soul,” as it is written, “And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” and the spirit on the left hand side is called “a living soul.” And he descended from above downwards to the Garden of Eden, and the soul from the right did not sit with the other, on the left, meaning he sinned in the tree of knowledge and separated the right from the left.
117) When the Sabbath entered and Adam had already sinned, creatures that spread in the world were made of the spirit of the left. Their bodies were incomplete, meaning demons, and they joined in this body of Adam in the male, and in the female, in Eve, and procreated in the world. These are called, “The strokes of the sons of men.” We learned that there are upper spirits, from among those who were made of the spirit of the left of Adam ha Rishon. Those do not cling below in this world, and they hang in the air and hear what they hear from above. Some of them know other spirits below in this world, and appear to people in their dreams and alert them.
118) We learned that 125 sparks come out of the harsh spark. They are carved and are joined together from the side of Gevura, and they are called Gevurot. They unite and become one, and when they enter the body, ZA is called “a person.” There is a person who is blameless and upright, and there is a righteous person. But the person here is a person of war, as it is written, “The Lord is a man [person] of war,” for He is all judgment, and it is all one.
Why is it all one? After all, a blameless, upright person is Rachamim, and a man of war is judgment? Also, we learned that it is written, “She shall be called Woman, for she was taken out of man [person].” But we learned that a person is Hesed, and here he is judgment.
Here he is speaking of the correction of Partzuf Katnut [smallness/infancy] of ZA. It is known that all the Partzufim in the worlds were sorted and made of Kelim and sparks of the seven kings of Nekudim that broke, whose discernments add up to 320, and they are called 320 sparks. Also, each little item that is sorted out of them consists of all of them and its number is 320 sparks, as well. And since the shattering occurred because of Malchut of the quality of judgment that was mingled in them, they are all considered that the Malchut of the quality of judgment rides atop them.
To correct them so that they are worthy of receiving light, this Malchut must be mitigated in Bina, which is the quality of Rachamim. Hence, five sparks from HGT NH in Bina—which are the Katnut of Bina—are extended to them, as well, so they will later be fit to receive the Gadlut from Bina, too. And the Partzuf of Katnut de ZA is corrected by these, as well. Also, it is known that each lower Partzuf is corrected in the Partzuf above it. Hence, it turns out that these 325 sparks of ZA are corrected in Bina.
And he said, “from the harsh spark,” meaning the forces of judgment in Bina, 320 sparks of ZA emerge and rise to Bina from the shattering of the seven kings, and the five sparks of Bina herself, which correct the 320 sparks. And all of them are from the side of Gevura, for the 320 sparks and the five sparks unite and become one, for they receive only the force of judgment mitigated in Bina. Also, the forces of Malchut of the quality of judgment are swallowed in the forces of Malchut that is mitigated in Bina, and when they enter ZA, they are established in a headless body. And then he is called “a person,” for this level of Katnut of ZA is called “a person.”
119) It is all of equal weight and it is all one, meaning that “a person” is both Hesed and Din [judgment]. And since the judgments of the lower ones unite and connect in the Se’arot [hair] of this one, he is called “harsh judgment.” And when the Se’arot of his Rosh [head] are removed from him, he is perfumed and the judgments of the lower ones are not encountered. For this reason, he is called “pure,” since pure is only one who comes out of the side of impurity. And when he emerges out of impurity, he is called “pure,” as it is written, “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean,” certainly from an unclean. But here it writes, “And if a man’s hair be fallen off his head, he is bald; yet is he clean.”
120) At the head of this person is the harsh spark. For this reason, the skull of the head is as red as a rose, and the hairs are red within the redness of the skull. And the lower Sefirot below, which evoke judgments in the world, hang down from it, and when the hairs are removed from him and he has gone bald, everything is perfumed by the upper Hesed, for the illumination of Hochma in it is perfumed by the upper Hesed and he is named “pure” after him.
121) If he is named after him, he should have been called “holy,” not “pure.” But this is not so, since he is called “holy” only when there are hairs hanging off his head, for holiness depends on the Se’arot, as it is written, “He shall be holy, he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long.” And this man is called “pure” because of those that hang down from him, which are the external, impure ones that were removed along with the removing of his hair. This is why his hair was removed and he was purified.
Here the hair in the head means judgments, which reduce the lights of the Rosh from the Partzuf and establish it as VAK without Rosh. This is so because you know that the five additional sparks to the 320 sparks are five discernments from HGT NH de Bina from her Katnut. And her Katnut comes from the entrance of the Yod in her light of GAR, so they become Avir [air], meaning VAK. And from this Yod, which removes the GAR, emerge the Se’arot Rosh de Katnut, since Se’arot are like Sa’arot [storms], meaning judgments. The external ones cling to them because it is their way to cling to a place of deficiency in holiness.
Even though a “person” is Hesed, meaning has the level of Hassadim of Behina Aleph, VAK, the Se’arot Rosh emerge in him because of the Yod that entered the light and diminished it into VAK without GAR. The outer ones grip these Se’arot below, and they are called “harsh judgment” because of the grip of the external ones.
And when the Yod comes out of the Avir once more, and the Avir returns to being Ohr [light], meaning when the GAR returns, at that time, the hair on the head is removed from him. This is so because since the Yod has been removed from the Avir, who was their root, all her branches are removed with her and the grip of the outer ones below is cancelled. And since the Se’arot are removed, the grip of the impure outer ones that clung to the Se’arot is revoked.
It turns out that he has parted and came out of the impurity altogether, which is why he is called “pure,” as it is written, “And if a man’s hair be fallen off his head, he is bald; yet is he clean.” Thus, once the hair is removed from a person, the grip of the impurity of the outer ones has been separated from him; hence he is pure.
At the Rosh of this person, who is Partzuf Katnut de ZA, there is the harsh spark, the judgment force of Katnut de Bina, the Yod that entered the light of the Rosh and became VAK, Avir. The red color is from Bina. And since there is Katnut of Bina in him, the color of the skull is red, as is the hair. However, if the Katnut comes from the force of the Malchut that is not mitigated in Bina, the color of the Se’arot is black. He tells us that even though the Se’arot of ZA are black, as it is written, “His locks are curled and black as a raven,” it is so when he is in Gadlut. But in Katnut, his hair is red.
And when he obtains GAR de Katnut, in the descent of the Yod from the Avir, the Se’arot are removed from him altogether. And when he obtains Mochin de Gadlut, when Malchut that is not mitigated in Bina—from which the black color is educed—is concealed in his GAR, his hair grows again and his Se’arot are as black as raven.
And even though the Se’arot grow from the Avir [air], from the Yod that entered the Ohr and became Avir, for which the outer ones grip to the Se’arot, there is still pure Avir. This is because no grip to the outer ones extends from him, that is, in upper Aba ve Ima that are corrected from GAR de Bina de AA, in whom the Yod never leaves the Avir. For this reason, the Avir is regarded by them as pure Avir, since this diminution, which extends from the Yod that entered the Avir, is only diminution with respect to receiving Hochma.
But since AVI never receive Hochma, for they delight in mercy and not in Hochma, they do not consider this diminution as deficiency at all, their Hassadim are utterly perfect, and there is no room for grip of the outer ones in them. Indeed, they are regarded as complete GAR. Moreover, they are more important than Hochma because the Hochma is imparted to all the Partzufim from them, although they themselves are merely Hassadim without Hochma.
And all of that is only in the upper AVI. But in ZA, whose essence is Hassadim in illumination of Hochma, the entrance of the Yod in the light that diminishes it from Hochma is regarded as deficiency. Hence, the outer ones grip to the Se’arot that grow from this Yod, for it is their conduct to cling wherever there is deficiency. For this reason, this Avir of ZA is not pure Avir like the Avir of AVI, for it contains a grip to the impure outer ones. It is considered pure only when these hairs are removed from him.
All of that is in VAK and GAR de Katnut de ZA, which grows red hair in the state of VAK. In the state of GAR de Katnut, they are removed from him and he is pure. Afterwards, through the ascent of MAN from lower ones, ZA rises to a state of Mochin de Gadlut, and ascends and clothes upper AVI. And since it is known that the lower one that rises to the upper one becomes like him, it is considered that at that time, he, too, does not contain the Yod, that it departed the Avir, as in AVI.
The Masach that extends the Hassadim de AVI, which are pure Avir, extends from this Yod. Also, the Se’arot Rosh extend from it. And when ZA receives this pure Avir from AVI, he is called “holy,” like AVI.
The holiness extends to ZA from upper AVI after he rises and clothes them. At that time, the Yod is in his Avir as in AVI; hence, he has Se’arot. If he has no Se’arot, it means he is not clothing upper AVI, and is therefore not holy. Thus, holiness depends on the Se’arot.
He brings evidence from a nazirite [hermit/ascetic], as it is written, “He shall be holy, he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long.” The nazirite assumes the holiness of upper AVI in order to extend upon himself pure Avir [air]. This is why he abstains from wine, ale, and grapes, which are considered left and extension of Hochma, and have no room in the upper AVI, since the Yod in them, which is the root of the Se’arot, does not depart the Avir. Hence, the nazirite, too, should grow his hair.
AVI themselves, however, have no Se’arot at all because Se’arot extend from deficiency in Hochma, and it is not a deficiency at all in them because they never receive Hochma for themselves. As for ZA, since he does need illumination of Hochma, he can retire from Hochma and be as AVI—in covered Hassadim, holding his Yod in the Avir as they do—but only after he received illumination of Hochma and his Se’arot of Katnut have been removed. However, since at his core he does need Hochma, the Yod in the Avir, which diminishes the Hochma, causes growth of the Se’arot in him.
In that, he is different from AVI. Also, the nazirite that extends from ZA has Se’arot from that Yod in the Avir of AVI. However, since the Se’arot come from the Yod in the Avir of AVI, they indicate the pure Avir that he receives from AVI, from which the holiness extends, as it is written, “He shall be holy, he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long.” Thus we see the great difference between holy and pure: in the pure, all his purity comes from balding of the hair. And in the holy, all his holiness comes from growing the hair.
122) Anyone who comes from the side of judgment, and judgments cling to him, is not purified until the Se’arot are removed from him. When the Se’arot are removed from him, he is purified. And if you say that Adam is ZA in Mochin de Gadlut, that he has HaVaYaH filled with Alephs, which is Adam in Gematria, and that the Se’arot need to be removed from him, it is not so. He is the wholeness of everything and there are Rachamim in him. This is why it is not so. All the female holy ones and male holy ones, which are the upper AVI, unite in him; hence, moreover, the growing of the Se’arot is his whole beauty, for they extend from pure Avir that he receives from upper AVI. But when he is called “person” and not “Adam,” which is ZA in Katnut and VAK without GAR, in that state he is judgment, and judgments cling to his hair. Hence, he is not perfumed until the hairs are removed from him.
123) The Levis that come from the side of judgment are not purified until the Se’arot are removed from them, as it is written, “And thus shall thou do unto them, to cleanse them: …and let them use a razor over all their flesh.” To make them more perfumed, the priest, who comes from the side of the upper Hesed, must wave them, as it is written, “And Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord for a wave-offering,” to mingle the illumination of Hochma in them with the Hassadim of the priest, as it is in this person above, who is ZA de Katnut after his hair has gone bald through the illumination of Hochma he had received. And when he wishes to become more perfumed, the upper Hesed that clothes the Hochma appears in him, and he is perfumed. And also, it perfumes the Hesed below, in the Levis.
124) And this man is Adam, which are two Partzufim of one Partzuf, which is ZA. This is so because “a person” is the Partzuf Katnut in him and Adam is the Partzuf Gadlut in him, and they are clothed in one another—the Adam in the person. And when the Creator wishes to wage war in this Partzuf of person, He wages war in them, in this very person, as it is written, “The Lord is a man [in Hebrew: person] of war.”
He does not wage war with them until He removes the Se’arot Rosh [hair on the head] from Himself, so they will descend from their gripping and hanging and will break all those Keters of externality that hang and grip to the Se’arot de ZA in the person. It is written about that, “In that day shall the Lord shave… beyond the River, even with the king of Assyria, the head and the hair of the feet; and it shall also sweep away the beard.” In other words, to overthrow the king of Assyria, He will shave all the upper Se’arot to which they cling.
125) “And thus shall you do unto them, to cleanse them.” “And thus,” meaning as above, as in Partzuf “person” of ZA. “Sprinkle the water of purification upon them” relates to the residue of crystal dew, an illumination of Hochma that is blocked in Bina. Through this illumination, Bina returns to being Hochma, and all who are below her receive illumination of Hochma through her, for purity comes from her.
Here “water of purification” are the residue of the dew for the future, as it is written, “And I will sprinkle clean water upon you,” meaning the Hassadim of upper AVI. Also, their Avir is pure. “For the future” implies upper AVI. “And let them wash their clothes,” such as above, in ZA, when the correction of this person who washes in the upper Hesed is purified from everything. Here, too, “Let them wash their clothes” in Hesed, called “water.”
126) It writes “With a razor,” not with scissors, so that the Se’arot will be removed from their roots, since the razor removes the hairs from their roots, and the lower judgments will leave their grip on his Se’arot. And when the deeds of the lower ones are upright, the Creator is destined to remove their Se’arot and pluck them so it will not grow and multiply, as it is written, “If the hair on a man’s head is plucked.”
127) The greatest of all the Levi’s is Korah. The Creator made him such as the “person” above, and called him Korah when He plucked this person of above for him, as it is written, “If the hair on a man’s head is plucked, he is bald.”
128) And when Korah saw his hair without Se’arot and saw Aaron being adorned with ornaments of kings, he was dishonored in his eyes and he envied Aaron. The Creator told him, “I made you such as above and you do not wish to rise in the Upper Ones and mingle with the right line as do the Partzufim of holiness. Go down and be in the lower ones, as it is written, ‘And they descend alive into Sheol.’” Sheol is hell, where the wicked cry and there is no one to pity them. And they are destined to be revived and rise from hell when the Creator awakens His people and revives them, as it is written, “The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up.”
129) What if his hair is plucked because of his face. We learned that there is a shining face, as it is written, “The Lord make His face shine on you,” and there is a dark face of anger. In the words, “And if… from the front part of his head,” this is called “a face of anger,” and all those who hang down from this fierce face are harsh, and they are all merciless. And when the Se’arot are removed from the front of this face, all the external ones that are dependent on them are removed and break.
130) All those external ones that hang down the Se’arot Rosh are superior to others and they are not as insolent as they are. And all those who hang down the edge of the Se’arot of this fierce face are insolent and harsh. This is why his face is as hot as fire, due to the harsh spark within them. This is why it is written, “The anger of the Lord has divided them,” and “The face of the Lord is in them that do evil.”
The difference between Galgalta [skull] and Panim [face] is that Galgalta is corrected with the Mem de Tzelem, and there is no place for disclosure of Hochma there. But the Panim are Lamed–Tzadik de Tzelem, where Hochma appears. Hence, when the harsh spark is present in the Rosh, the outer ones have two grips in the Se’arot of the Rosh: 1) in the deficiency of Hochma in Galgalta; 2) in the deficiency of Hochma in the Panim. And since there is no disclosure of Hochma in Galgalta, no deficiency is apparent and the outer ones are not insolent. And those that cling to the deficiency of Hochma in the Panim are all insolent and uncompromising, since the deficiency is apparent only in the Panim, the place of disclosure of Hochma. It is written about it, “A man’s wisdom illuminates his face”; hence, they are fierce and insolent.
A Reddish-White Plague
131) What is a reddish-white plague? It is a real plague if the white is seen and the red does not go away. This is the meaning of the words, “reddish-white.” Thus, they are both seen there. Reddish-white means that the white is seen only in the red, like white and red together. Even though the white is visible, it is a plague if the red does not disappear from there, as it is written, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” This is so because when it becomes completely white, there is Rachamim and the judgments are absent.
White is Hesed and red is judgment. The Yod that entered the Ohr made it Avir, which is the harsh spark, and causes it to display the color red. If the Yod exits the Avir and he returns to being Ohr, the redness disappears.
The Yod that enters the Ohr is the Masach de Behina Aleph, which elicits the level of Hassadim. It is called “plague” because of the redness, which is judgment with absence of Hochma. Thus, even when there are Hassadim, the Hassadim do not help in purifying him until the Yod departs the Avir, which is the disappearance of the redness. Alternatively, the Hassadim emerge on Masach de Behina Aleph, when the Yod enters the Avir. At that time, the Hassadim are like the judgment that causes them, too. And since the level of Hassadim is invisible due to the Masach de Behina Aleph, the red, the white, too, meaning Hesed, is not more important than it.
132) Once it writes “plague” in masculine gender, and once it writes “plague” in feminine gender. When the Nukva, Malchut is defiled by the iniquities of the lower ones, it writes “plague” in feminine gender. And when the male is not purified due to the iniquities of the lower ones, which is ZA at the degree of “person,” it writes “plague” in masculine gender.
133) These things are known to a priest, whether the judgments come from ZA or from Malchut. And the offerings that should be offered are known, as well, as it is written, “A male without blemish.” It is also written, “He shall bring it a female without blemish.” These things are known to the priest—where the judgments come from and where iniquities are from, and whether they cling to the male or to the female. This is why it is written about these offerings, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,” unlike the rest of the offerings, of whom it does not say, “Broken spirit,” since they are peace to the world and the joy of the upper ones and the lower ones.
He Shall Be Brought Unto the Priest
134) “O You who hears prayer.” The one who hears the prayer is the Creator, ZA. And what is “prayer”? It should have said, “Hears prayers.” However, “a prayer” is the assembly of Israel, Malchut, as it is written, “But I am all prayer.” Malchut is called “I,” and it is called “prayer.” It is said about that, “Who hears prayer,” meaning Malchut. This is a prayer of the hand, of which it is written, “Upon thy hand” with a Hey at the end [of the word “hand,” unusual in Hebrew], which indicates Malchut.
135) “Unto You shall all flesh come.” When the body is afflicted by disease and sores, as it is written, “When the body has a boil on its skin… the plague in the skin of the flesh,” the raw flesh. This is why it is not written, “Unto You shall all spirit come,” but “All flesh come.” “Unto You,” as it is written, “Then he shall be brought unto the priest,” the Creator, as it is written, “But if the priest look on it,” which is the Creator. In one place it writes, “Aaron the priest,” and in another place, just “The priest,” without writing Aaron, and this is the Creator.
136) “When the plague of leprosy is in a man, then he shall be brought unto the priest,” which is the Creator, since every purity and holiness depends on the Creator. Hence, why is it said “Shall be brought”? It should have said, “Shall be raised,” since it is ascent when it is toward the Creator, not bringing. It is similar to the words, “Its poles shall be inserted into the rings,” meaning bringing one within the other. Here, too, “brought” means ushered into the Creator, who is called “Priest,” in order to purify him, and the thing was brought before him.
137) “The plague of leprosy.” A plague means harsh judgment that is present in the world. Leprosy means closing, as we learned that it is closing of the upper light, closing of the upper goodness, which does not descend unto the world. “Is in a man,” plainly man, referring to man above and Adam below. “Shall be brought unto the priest” is the priest below, who is corrected so as to open the closing, to light the candles, the Sefirot. Thus, blessings will be on his hands above and below, and that plague will be removed and gone, and the light of mercy shall be upon everyone. For this reason, “He shall be brought unto the priest.”
138) I see the people in the world who do not observe and do not know the glory of their Master. It is written about Israel, “I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine,” and it is written, “Sanctify yourselves and be holy; for I am holy.” And if they part from the Creator, where is their sanctity? After all, it is their desire that turns away from Him.
The writing declares and says, “Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding.” Indeed, what is the difference between a human and a horse or a mule? Only their sanctity—to be whole and marked above all.
139) Hence, the coupling of people is at set times, to aim their desire to adhere to the Creator. And they already commented that at midnight, the Creator enters the Garden of Eden to entertain with the righteous, and the assembly of Israel, Malchut, praises the Creator. This is a good time to cling to them, to the Creator and His Divinity.
And Be Holy
140) The friends who engage in Torah unite with the assembly of Israel to praise the Creator, and they engage in Torah. And for the rest of the people it is then a good time to be sanctified with the sanctity of the Creator, in a Zivug, and to aim the desire to adhere to Him. And the Zivug of those friends who engage in Torah is at a time when another Zivug, the upper one, from Sabbath to Sabbath, is to aim the desire to adhere to the Creator and to the assembly of Israel. This is so because it is a good time, when everyone is blessed, upper and lower.
141) If people drift afar from the Creator and behave as beasts, where is their sanctity, so they are holy? Where are the holy souls that draw from above? King Solomon cried out and said, “Also, that the soul be without knowledge is not good.” “Knowledge” is the Creator. “The soul… is not good” is Nefesh that they draw by their actions. It is “Not good” because the Nefesh is drawn upon them from the Sitra Achra, who is not good, since they do not aim their hearts to the Creator.
142) One who is flared by the evil inclination without a desire and intention in the heart toward the Creator, a soul that is not good extends upon him from the evil inclination, as it is written, “That the soul be without knowledge is not good, and he who hurries his footsteps errs.” One who hurries his feet and puts off the hour, who does not see that the time is ripe for it, but is without a holy desire, sins, for he certainly sins in everything.
143) This is why there are many bad sores in people, which testify to their insolence in their faces, to show that the Creator despises them and his mind is not for them until they are worthy and better their deeds as before, and they are blessed. This is why the sores are apparent to the priest—those that come from impurity and those that come from the Sitra Achra.
144) “When you enter the land of Canaan …and I put a mark of leprosy on a house in the land of your possession.” Is this the good reward, that there will be infections in the houses of those who have been rewarded with entering the land of Israel? However, after they shatter the infected houses they will find treasures that the Canaanites hid in their homes and Israel will enjoy them.
145) Happy are Israel who adhere to the Creator and whom the Creator loves, as it is written, “I have loved you, says the Lord.” And for His love, He brought them into the holy land to instill His Divinity among them and to dwell with them, so Israel will be holier than all the people in the world.
146) “And all the women whose heart stirred them up,” when they did their chores, would say, “This is for the Temple; this is for the tabernacle; and this is for the curtain” [Hebrew: Parochet—a curtain covering the holy ark]. And so did all the craftsmen, so there would be holiness in their hands and so that that work would be sanctified. And when it was brought to its place, it rose and was in holiness.
147) It is similar with one who performs idolatry or who is toward another side, which is not holy. When he mentions that work, the spirit of impurity is on him, and when the work rises, it rises in impurity.
The Canaanites were all idolaters. They all adhered to the spirit of impurity in idol worshipping and built structures for their faces and their abomination of the impure side, for idolatry. And when they began to build, they would utter some thing. And since it was mentioned in their mouths, a spirit of impurity rose upon that building. And when the work rose, it rose in the spirit of impurity.
148) When they came to the land of Israel, the Creator wished to purify for them, to sanctify the land for them, and to make room for Divinity so Divinity would not be in an impure place. Hence, by that affliction of leprosy, they would destroy the buildings of trees and rocks that were made in impurity.
149) If this act of shattering the infected houses was only to find treasures, they should have brought the stones back to their places afterwards, as they were before. Also, they should have brought the dust back to its place. However, the writing says that they were to “take out the stones.” It is also written, “and he shall take other mortar,” to remove the spirit of impurity, so the land will be cleared and sanctified as before. Thus, Israel would be in holiness and in sanctified housing so Divinity would be among them.
Who Builds His House without Righteousness
150) When one begins to build a house, he should mention in his mouth that he is building it for the work of God, because it is written, “Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness.” Then, help from above will be over his house and the Creator prepares His sanctity over him and calls peace upon him, as it is written, “And you shall know that your tent is in peace; and you shall visit your habitation, and shall miss nothing.” “And you shall visit your habitation” implies commanding [“commanding” is written similar to “visiting” in Hebrew] with the words of his mouth with which he builds, that is, pronouncing with his mouth that he is building it for the work of God. Then it is written, “And shall miss nothing.” If not, the Sitra Achra is ready to be over his house.
151) It is even more so with one who builds and wishes for another thing, since he unites his house with the other side, to be defiled in it. Thus, the spirit of impurity is certainly in it. And that person does not pass away from the world before he is punished in that house. Also, one who dwells in it could be harmed because the spirit of impurity is in that house, and harms all who are in it.
152) How does one know if the one who built it extended the spirit of impurity there? If the one who built that house or the ones who live in it are harmed, either in body or in possession, and two neighbors after him who were dwelling in it were harmed, as well, then a person should certainly run for the mountains and not dwell in it, or live in a cave of dust, but not dwell in it.
153) This is why the Creator spared Israel, who did not know at all if there was the spirit of impurity in all the houses that they found in the land or not. And the Creator said, “You do not know, but I know, and I will mark them with an infection.” An affliction in the house is the Sitra Achra. Thus, I have sent there another, strong affliction to bring it out and remove it from the world. And then, “He shall therefore tear down the house, its stones, and its timbers.” And since the affliction has gone, due to the other affliction that has brought it out, what is the reason for tearing down the house if the Sitra Achra has already gone from there? It is that as long as the house is standing, it belongs to the Sitra Achra and he can return.
One who builds a house should build it in righteousness, to be a chariot for Divinity, called “house,” and “righteousness,” meaning the illumination of Hochma in it, as it is written, “In wisdom is a house built.” If not, the Sitra Achra is drawn into the house and the spirit of impurity of the Sitra Achra is in it, and this is the opposite of the holy spirit of Divinity. It is written about that that he is Divinity, called “righteousness.”
The difference between the Sitra Achra and Divinity is that the correction of illumination of Hochma in Malchut is to shine from below upwards as the decision of the middle line, and the Sitra Achra extends the Hochma from above downwards, separating the left from the right. And those houses of the Canaanites who built their houses for the Sitra Achra and idolatry contain harsh judgments of the left line there, for the spirit of the Sitra Achra from the left line is in them, and they harm people.
It is known that when the left line is separated from the right, it is impossible to bring it back to the right except through awakening of the judgments from the Masach de Hirik, which is to elevate the Malchut to the place of Bina, which diminishes the left line from GAR de Hochma. And the afflictions extend from these judgments of the ascent of Malchut to the place of Bina, too, when the Yod enters the Ohr [light] and the light is diminished into Avir.
And since the affliction of the presence of the Sitra Achra is in the house, being the illumination of the left from above downwards, it separated from the right. This is the affliction that the Creator sends into these houses, which extend from the Yod that entered the Ohr and diminishes the left of Hochma. And the Sitra Achra exits the house because it does not have the strength to extend anything from the separated left. Because it diminishes the left line, the force of the Sitra Achra, it not only exits the house, but the world, for she has all been cancelled. However, after the affliction overcomes the spirit of impurity and revokes it, the affliction remains in the house and there is no one to cancel it.
And He Shall Break Down the House
154) In the holy land, and all the more so in another land, the more the spirit of impurity is in those houses, the more a person can be harmed by it. Moreover, the spirit of impurity that is there calls upon its friends, the other Klipot, to be there. And even knocking on vessels (they used to knock on vessels to drive out spirits and damagers from places) does not remove the damagers from that house. This is why the text declares and says, “Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness,” for the dwellers in that house certainly say that verse, every day.
Affliction and the Spirit of Impurity Are Opposites
156) Idol worshippers and other people live in the house and they are whole, meaning they are not harmed. They come from their side, which is why they are not harmed. But one who fears sin could be harmed. But even if they continue to live in it, they cannot be unharmed. It is written, “Their houses are safe, without fear,” meaning that the house was from another, who built it in righteousness, and the wicked took it and sat in it. But the text says “Their houses are safe, without fear,” meaning when their houses are safe, without fear—for they were built in righteousness—God’s rod is not upon them.
158) When affliction enters the house, the spirit of impurity that was in the house appears, and they fight one another. At first it seems that the spirit of impurity that was covered has reappeared, and the affliction that was revealed has been covered. Afterwards, it appears that an affliction was revealed in the house and that the spirit of impurity has been covered. It is written about that, “Shall come and tell the priest,” for it is a word of wisdom.
The affliction and the spirit of impurity that is in the house are opposites, since it is not built in righteousness. The spirit of impurity extends illumination of Hochma of the left line from above downwards, GAR, and the affliction is considered Avir de Katnut that diminishes the GAR of the left line. Hence, when the affliction is seen in the house, the spirit of impurity is immediately covered because the GAR of the left has been diminished and he has nothing from which to suck. Afterwards, however, he returns and overcomes the affliction and appears, and the affliction becomes covered and unseen.
When the affliction enters and appears in the house, the spirit of impurity overcomes it and appears, and the affliction is covered, as they fight each other. This is why he says, “It seems to me,” since he first saw that the spirit of impurity that was covered when the affliction came has reappeared. And the affliction that was revealed in the house has been covered due to the appearance of the spirit of impurity. This means that the affliction has returned and overcame the spirit of impurity, and the form of the affliction reappears to him in the house. Then the spirit of impurity is covered and disappears.
He writes, “It seems to me like an affliction in the house.” As an affliction, but it is not an affliction, since he saw them fighting each other and thought that the spirit of impurity would prevail and would cover and conceal the affliction. This is why he says, “It seems to me,” for it seemed to him that the affliction has overcome the spirit of impurity and its shape was seen in the house. But for another or for a priest, it may seem different, meaning that it is about the word of wisdom, since the affliction annuls and conceals the illumination of Hochma.
159) And then came the priest, and they will tear down the house, its timbers, and its stones and all. And since they tore and purified everything, they are blessed. At that time, it is written, “And have built good houses and lived in them,” meaning they will be built in righteousness. Those are called “good,” since the first houses were not good and were not included in holiness and purity.
160) Thus, how do we understand the text that they wrote, “And houses full of good things which you did not fill”? If the spirit of impurity is in them, how are they full of good things? They are filled with abundance of money, silver, and gold, and with everything, as it is written, “For the good things of all the land of Egypt.”
But all of the houses of the Egyptians were filled with charms and idolatry. How can the verse say, “For the good things of all the land of Egypt”? It was said, “Good things” because of the wealth of the land. And here, too, it says, “And houses full of good things” for the wealth and the fortune.
161) On two occasions did Israel take wealth: one was when they came out of the exile in Egypt, and the other was when the came to the land and tore down the infected houses. All the infections of the houses were certainly to sanctify the land and to remove the spirit of impurity from the land and from Israel. Yet, when he smashed the house, he would find fortune in it, sufficient to build and to fill his house, so he would not regret that he had shattered the house and will be in the abode of holiness.
162) “And if a man or a woman have in the skin of their flesh bright spots, even white bright spots.” There is great acrimony in the bright spots. Three hundred rules and verdicts were said about it. It is in a vision, and in a vision is it judged by these many ways. There are those who observe three hundred reasons in the strong brightness. And I learned them all except that one black hair is still impure because it is one witness, while two black hairs are two witnesses and it is pure. Henceforth, even a hundred hairs are as two, and two hairs are as a hundred. This is what I later learned from the verse, “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin… on the evidence of two witnesses.”
White Color and Red Color
163) It is written, “A reddish-white plague,” since then it is a plague. This is because the white that implies Hesed does not remain unaltered, but leans toward the red, which implies judgment. It is written, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Happy are Israel, for the Creator wishes to purify them completely, so they will not be guilty before Him and the litigants will not govern them.
Everything follows its kind: red goes to judgment and white goes to Hesed. Right, which is white, is to the right, which is Hesed, and left, which is red, is to the left, which is judgment.
164) It is written about Esau, “And the first came forth ruddy.” Hence, his kind—judgments, which are red—is in him. And should you say that it writes “ruddy” about Esau, it says about David, “And brought him in. Now he was ruddy.” Esau was made of the filth of gold, which are harsh judgments, and David clung to the radiance of gold, which is the left of Bina, Rachamim.
It is written about Esau, “Ruddy all over like a hairy mantle,” meaning he came out of the waste that remains after the fusion of gold. But of David, it says, “With beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance,” which implies illumination of Hochma, called eyes and seeing, which extends from the left line of Bina, which is included with the right in her.
165) What is the reason that a reddish-white plague is impure? It is known that white appearance is Hesed and red appearance is judgment. Hence, if it were red at first and now the white appears in it, then purity is born in it and begins to be purified. And if it were white first, and now the red appears in it, it is beginning to become defiled.
It is written, “Then the priest shall pronounce him unclean” because red was born in him, which is judgment, becoming impure. And the priest was aware of all those visions. Sometimes, when a vision of purity was seen in him, he closed him, to see if another vision is born in him. And if not, he purifies him, as it is written, “Then the priest shall pronounce him clean.”
She Seeks Wool and Linen
166) “The leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your seed forever.” If he sins, why are his sons stricken? Elisha saw more than the rest of the prophets. He saw that no decent son would come out of Gehazi; hence, he cursed all of them.
167) Moreover, he told him, “I served a sublime service under Elijah, and I was rewarded with twice the spirit of Elijah, for I was serving in truth. But you are wicked and you blemished me, for you have sworn a lie and you coveted the gift of Naaman. Thus, you have broken the whole of the Torah, and one who breaks it is dead for the next world. But since you were working for me, your service will not be futile, and your death will be in this world and not in the next.” For this reason, “The leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your seed.”
168) Why the garments of wool or linen? He should have just said garment. The plague is present everywhere and governs everything. Wool comes from Bina and linen from Malchut, and the plague governs both. It is written, “She seeks wool and linen.” This teaches us that Malchut is using both. For this reason, here, too, it teaches us that the dominion of this affliction, which comes out of a high place, from the judgments of the Malchut in Bina, governs the wool and the linen. This is why the text says, “This is the law for the mark of leprosy in a garment of wool or linen.”
Who Builds His House without Righteousness (2nd Essay)
172) Do you know if another person was damaged in the house? I know that a man was harmed in it, and they say it is a disease. But others say that the spirit in the house harmed him. Afterwards, several people went in and were not harmed. A house that was built without righteousness, the spirit of impurity is in it. It harms its dwellers and woe unto those that breach their words.
173) Woe unto one who builds his house without righteousness, for wherever there is righteousness, Malchut, all the spirits and all the damagers in the world flee him and avoid being before him. Yet, he who comes first and takes the place wins it. If the holy Malchut takes the place first, holiness wins it. But if the Sitra Achra comes to the place first, the Sitra Achra wins it. Thus, is the Holy Name equal to the spirit of impurity, that you say that whoever comes first wins it?
174) This is not so. Rather, the Holy Name, which is Malchut, is not present in a place of impurity. For this reason, if the Holy Name takes the place first, all the spirits and damagers in the world cannot be seen there, much less come near it. And if the spirit of impurity precedes, it takes the place and the Holy Name is not in it, for this is not its place.
175) And when the plague of leprosy would come down to the house, it would purify the place and would bring out the spirit of impurity from its place. Afterwards, the house is shattered, the wood, the stones, and everything, and he builds it from the start, on the holy side, in righteousness, mentioning the Holy Name and instilling holiness in it. And yet, he will build it with different dust and will remove the house two handbreadths from its place, from the first foundation.
176) And now that he is not seen and there is no one to descend and fight that spirit of impurity, to remove it from its place, since now there are no plagues in the house, what is the correction of a house in which the spirit of impurity has sat first? If one can take it out of the house by himself, good. If not, he should build from the start, with different stones and woods and all, and will take it out and remove it from its initial place, and will build it for the Holy Name.
177) Still, the spirit of impurity does not leave the first place, and holiness is not present in an impure place. Thus, why trouble himself so, to tear down the house and rebuild it in a different place, when there are no plagues? It is written, “That which is crooked cannot be made straight.” This is so because since the ruin of the Temple, since there are no plagues, there is no cure in the world. This is why one must be careful and keep himself from the spirit of impurity, and not dwell in this house anymore.
Say You Are My Sister
181) “Please say that you are my sister.” This is a perplexing verse. Would Abraham, who feared sin and loved the Creator, say that about his wife so that he would be favored? But even though Abraham feared sin, he did not rely on his merit and did not wish for the Creator to diminish his merit. Instead, he relied on his wife’s merit that he would gain for her the money of the rest of the nations, since a man is rewarded with money thanks to his wife, as it is written, “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers; but a prudent wife is from the Lord.” Thus, one who wins a prudent wife wins everything, and it is written, “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.”
182) Thus, thanks to her was Abraham going to eat the gain of the rest of the nations, “And he will have no lack of gain.” He relied on her merit that they will not be able to punish him and to mock her, so he gave them nothing by saying, “She is my sister.” Moreover, he saw an angel walking before her, saying to Abraham, “Do not fear for her, for the Creator sent me to draw out the money of the rest of the nations and to guard her from everything. And then Abraham was not afraid for his wife but for himself, for he did not see the angel with him, but with his wife. He said, “She is guarded and I am not guarded.” And this is why he said, “Please say that you are my sister.”
183) “That it may go well with me.” Should it not have said, “That it may do well for me”? After all, it is written, “When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’” Hence, it should have said, “That it may do well for me.” However, “That it may go well with me” refers to the one who walks before you, the angel. The Creator will do well for me in this world in money, and my soul will live in that world because of you, for you will not stray from the path of truth. If I gain money for you in this world and you stray from the way, then death awaits me in that world. Hence, stand guard so that my soul will live in that world because of you.
184) And because there was an angel walking before her and guarding her, it is written, “And the Lord plagued Pharaoh… because of Sarai,” meaning because of her words, for she would say to the angel, “Strike!” and he would strike. This is why Abraham had no fear for her, for she was guarded. What he did fear for was himself, since he saw no guarding over himself.
185) Ten times did Sarah command the angel to strike Pharaoh, and with ten plagues was he struck. This is so because Sarah made a mark for her sons after her in Egypt, meaning that the Egyptians will be struck by ten plagues until they are redeemed from their hands.
186) “As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show you miracles.” The Creator is destined to show redemption to His sons, such as in the days when the Creator sent to deliver Israel from Egypt. And He showed these plagues on the Egyptians and struck them for Israel.
What is the difference between the redemption at the end of days and the redemption from Egypt? The redemption from Egypt was in one king and in one kingdom, while here it is in all the kings in the world. At that time, the Creator will be honored throughout the world and everyone will know the reign of the Creator, and everyone will be struck by blows from above, twice for one, since they will all refuse to let Israel go.
187) Then will the reign of the Creator appear, as it is written, “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.” And then the nations will volunteer to bring Israel to the Creator, as it is written, “And they shall bring all your brothers.” Then the patriarchs will be revived in joy to see the redemption of their sons as in the beginning, as it is written, “As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show you miracles.”