The Donkey Driver
Rabbi Aba said, “Let us open the doors of Torah, for now is the time and the hour for our ways to be corrected.” “Driving” means stinging, since it is an alias to the donkey driver because of his custom to sting the donkeys with a needle so they will go quicker.
75) Rabbi Elazar started and said, “You shall keep My Sabbaths.” Come and see: the Creator created the world in six days. Each day, He disclosed His deed and placed His strength in that day. When did He disclose His deed and place His strength? On the fourth day, since those first three days were all hidden and not revealed. When the fourth day came, He executed the power of all of them.
“In that day” refers to the Sabbath. The six days are HGT NHY, and they reveal the perfection of their works and power on the Sabbath day, in Malchut. Each day He places his strength in the Sabbath day.
And why does it say here that it was only on the fourth day? It is because Malchut is called “fourth” and “seventh,” a fourth to the patriarchs, HGT, and a seventh to the sons, NHY. It is written, “The flower buds have appeared in the earth, and the time for pruning has arrived.” The flower buds, HGT, appeared in the earth on the third day. And the time for pruning has arrived on the fourth day, since then Malchut was diminished and rose for a second Ibur. Thus, the Malchut was emanated from HGT on the third day, and was corrected on the fourth day through Netzah de ZA, which is the fourth day. Hence, in that regard, she is considered “a fourth to the patriarchs.” It is also written, “And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” “In our land” is the Sabbath day, which is a sample of the land of the living. Thus, Malchut, which is called “earth,” is the Sabbath day, a seventh to the sons, and the matter of fourth and seventh is explained here.
It was said that those first three days were all concealed and were not revealed because as long as the degree is deficient of Malchut, it is regarded as hidden and unknown. Upon its obtainment of Malchut, it obtains its perfection. This is the meaning of the six days of work and the Sabbath.
It would seem as though the six workdays should be more important than the Sabbath, since HGT NHY, which are the six days of work, are more important than the Malchut, the Sabbath day. However, each week is a separate degree, which—during the workdays—lacks the Malchut. Hence, the degree is hidden and there is no holiness in it, since with the absence of Malchut, GAR of lights are absent, and only upon the appearance of Malchut in the degree, at the arrival of the Sabbath day, the holiness appears in the entire degree—during the six days of work, as well—and holiness is present in the entire week.
Similarly, in the six days of creation, when the first three days were emanated, HGT, prior to the disclosure of Malchut, they were hidden, without disclosing the Kedusha [holiness] in them. And when Malchut was emanated on the fourth day, the holiness of all four days was revealed. When the fourth day came, it executed the power of all of them, meaning that the Kedusha appeared in the work and the in potential of all four days, since Malchut complements the degree.
76) Fire, water, and wind are HGT, the first three days. Even though they are three superior Yesodot [plural of Yesod], the three Sefirot, HGT, they were all reliant, and the complete work was not disclosed before the earth—Malchut—disclosed them. Then the work of each of them was known.
77) But it is written on the third day, “Let the earth spring forth grass … The earth brought forth grass.” Was the disclosure of the work of the earth, Malchut, not on the third day? Indeed, even though it is written on the third day, Tifferet, it was the fourth day, Malchut. It was included in the third day since Tifferet and Malchut are one, without separation. Afterwards, the fourth day disclosed its work of bringing out the craftsman to the work of each of the HGT, since the fourth day is the fourth leg of the throne, Bina, whose four legs are HGT and Malchut.
This is so because since Malchut discloses the holiness of the three days, she rose and was mingled in the third day to disclose the unification upon them, since Tifferet and Malchut are one, without separation. Afterwards, the fourth day disclosed its work of bringing out the craftsman to his work, of each of the HGT. This is so because on the fourth day, Malchut compensated for only the first three days, and afterwards three more days came out, NHY.
This is so because once the Kedusha appeared over the first three days—HGT, the patriarchs, the essence of ZA—ZA, who is the craftsman, went out to his work, and the sons, NHY, were emanated—the last three days of the six days of creation. This is so because the fourth day is the fourth leg of the upper throne, Bina, and ZA is considered a throne to Bina. And as the chair is not completed before the fourth leg is completed in it, ZA, too, is not completed before the Malchut appears in it on the fourth day, and he could emanate the three days NHY only after its completion.
78) All the actions of the first three days, HGT, and the last three days, NHY, depended upon the Sabbath day, Malchut, with respect to the GAR and its completion. It is written about it, “And on the seventh day God completed His work.” Sabbath is the fourth leg of the throne. The Sabbath and the fourth day are both considered Malchut. However, the fourth day is also the Malchut that is included in ZA, in his Tifferet from the Chazeh and above. And the Sabbath day is Malchut in a Zivug ZA PBP.
And even though the first three days were completed on the fourth day, they were still not entirely completed in it and were dependent until the Sabbath. It follows that on the Sabbath, they were completed between the first days, HGT, and the last days, NHY, as it is written, “And on the seventh day God completed His work which He had done,” all six days, including the first three days.
This is the Sabbath, and this is the fourth leg of the throne. The seventh day is the Sabbath, a seventh to the sons. It is also the fourth leg of the throne, which complements to the patriarchs, too, and the Sabbath is their fourth.
The reason why the three days, HGT, were not sufficiently corrected on the fourth day, but need the Sabbath day to complement them is that on the fourth day, there was a diminution in Malchut, called “the diminution of the moon.” Because of it, she returned for a second Ibur and her completeness was revealed on the Sabbath day. It follows that the Sabbath day complemented the first three days, as well.
79) If Sabbath is the Malchut, why does it say, “You shall keep My Sabbaths,” which are two? The Sabbath of the eve of Sabbath is Malchut, and the Sabbath of the actual day of Sabbath is ZA, who shines in Sabbath, which is Malchut. They are not separated because they are united PBP and are called “two Sabbaths.”
If according to the first view, the two Malchuts, fourth and seventh, are whole in themselves, it is very clear that the words “My Sabbaths,” fourth and seventh, are two. But if it is not completed on the fourth, but only after it is included in the seventh, then they are only one Sabbath. And why does the text say, “My Sabbaths,” two? It refers to the ZON that illuminate in the holiness of the Sabbath, since the Sabbath day is the male, and the eve of Sabbath is the female. And they are two Sabbaths included in “My Sabbaths,” since they are actually one, without separation. This is why ZA is called “Sabbath,” too.
80) That donkey driver who was leading the donkeys behind them said, “And why is it written, ‘And fear My sanctuary?’” He replied to him, “This is the holiness of the Sabbath.” He told him, “And what is the holiness of the Sabbath?” He replied to him, “It is Kedusha [holiness] extended from above, from AVI.” He told him, “Then how did you make the Sabbath, who is not holy in itself, but Kedusha lies on it from above, from AVI?” Rabbi Aba said, “So it is, for it is written, ‘And call the Sabbath ‘a delight,’ and the sanctification of the Lord ‘honorable.’’ Thus, the Sabbath is mentioned separately, and the sanctification of the Creator is separate.” He told him, “Then who is the sanctification of the Creator?” He replied to him, “It is the Kedusha that descends from above, from AVI, and hovers over the Sabbath.” The donkey driver told him that if Kedusha that is extended from above is called “honorable,” does it imply that the Sabbath itself is not honorable? But it is written, “And honor it,” so is the Sabbath itself honorable? Rabbi Elazar said to Rabbi Aba, “Leave that man, for there is a word of wisdom in him, which we do not know.” They told him, “You tell it.”
Commentary: He asked him, “And what is the meaning of what is written, ‘And fear My sanctuary’?” Because the Sabbath is considered ZON, why are they called “My sanctuary”? It is because only AVI are called “holy.” This is why he told him, “Thus, the Sabbath is mentioned separately, and the sanctification of the Creator is separate.” By that, he proved to him that the Sabbath itself is considered ZON, that she is not holiness in herself, but because Kedusha is extended to her from above, from upper AVI, who are called “holiness,” and an extension from AVI is called “sanctifying the Creator,” of whom it was said, “and the sanctification of the Lord ‘honorable.’”
81) “My Sabbaths.” Et [“of,” this word appears only in the Hebrew of “My Sabbaths”] comes to include the Sabbath zone, two thousand cubits to each side. This is why he added the word Et [Aleph–Tav]. “My Sabbaths” is in plural form, the upper Sabbath and the lower Sabbath: two are included together and concealed together.
“Et comes to include the Sabbath zone,” since even though it is written, “Let no man go out of his place on the seventh day,” the text added two thousand outside his place to each direction in the word Et. Also, Et is the Malchut, from whose Zivug come forth the Mochin of AVI, which shine in the Sabbath in the addition of illumination of the ZON. This is so because AVI are two thousand, for which the text adds Et, which comes to add to it.
“My Sabbaths” refer to the upper Sabbath and the lower Sabbath. The upper Sabbath is Tevuna, and the lower Sabbath is Malchut, Nukva de ZA, who are called MA and MI, “the upper world” and “the lower world,” included together. This is so because on the Sabbath, ZON rise and clothe AVI. Tevuna and Malchut are included in one another together because the lower one that rises to the upper one becomes like him, and they are concealed together.
For this reason, Malchut does not become actual Tevuna without recognition between them because the Mochin de Tevuna are received by Malchut only above, at the place of Tevuna. But in Malchut’s own place, below, she does not have these Mochin. In that sense, Malchut is still considered hidden.
Also, Tevuna suffers from Malchut’s blocking, for because their Mochin are included together, they are also blocked together. It follows that even though Tevuna herself is not under any blocking, since now on Sabbath she is one Partzuf with upper Ima, but because the Mochin do not shine in one inclusion with Malchut’s Mochin, Malchut’s blocking is sensed in the Mochin de Tevuna, as well.
82) Another Sabbath remained, who was not mentioned. She was in shame and she said before Him, “O Lord, since the day You have made me, I have been called ‘Sabbath,’ and there is no day without a night.” He told her, “My daughter, you are Sabbath and I have called you Sabbath. But behold, I am crowning you with the highest crown.” He passed on a manifest saying, “Fear My sanctuary.” This is the Sabbath of the eve of Sabbath, who is fear and in whom there is fear, which the Creator mingled together and said, “I am the Lord,” where “I” is the Malchut, the eve of the Sabbath, “The Lord” is ZA, and in the words “I am the Lord,” they were mingled together.
And I heard from my father who said so and made the precision that the word Et includes the Sabbath zone. “My Sabbaths,” in plural form, and the circle and square within it, which are two, two Sabbaths. And opposite those two there are two sanctities that we should mention: one is, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed,” and one is the Kiddush [sanctification, a special blessing]. There are thirty-five words in the blessing, “Thus the heavens…” and thirty-five words in the Kiddush that we sanctify. All together, they add up to seventy names, in which the Creator and the Assembly of Israel are crowned.
83) And because those circle and square are My Sabbaths, both are included in the “Keep,” as it is written, “Keep My Sabbaths.” But the upper Sabbath is not included in the “Keep” but in the “Remember,” since the upper king, Bina, was completed in the “Remember.” This is why Bina is called “A king that peace is his,” since his peace is “Remember.” Hence, there is no dispute above.
Commentary: “Another Sabbath remained, who was not mentioned” is Malchut de Malchut, called “middle point,” and which does not receive Mochin during the Sabbath day, as well, since she is the Man’ula [lock] herself, and all the Mochin come only in the Miftacha [key], Yesod de Malchut. And since she did not receive Mochin, she was in shame.
“Another Sabbath remained, who was not mentioned” is the middle point, who did not receive Mochin and was in shame. She argued, “Since the day You have made me,” in the beginning of my emanation in the world AK, I have been called “Sabbath.” All the Mochin were imparted by me because there was no other Malchut in AK, but only the middle point, which was diminished only during Tzimtzum Bet [second restriction], to the world of Atzilut.
She also argued, “There is no day without a night.” This is very beautiful because she argued that even on the first day, it is written, “And there was evening and there was morning, one day,” meaning that the unity appears over day and night together. Thus, was a night not mentioned on the Sabbath of Beresheet? It is so because no night is written on the seventh day of the act of creation, and the Creator told her, “You are a Sabbath for the future, in the seventh millennium, on a day that is all Sabbath. I have called you ‘Sabbath’ since the day I made you in the world AK, but behold, I am crowning you with the highest crown.”
In other words, the Creator raised her so she would serve in the GAR of the Partzufim, for she was established as Malchut of upper AVI, unknown Avir. Upper AVI are called “the holy of holies.” She, too, is in the upper holiness, and it was said that he passed on a manifest, saying, “Fear My sanctuaries,” since through her correction in upper AVI, she became a sanctuary, which is “Fear My sanctuaries.” It follows that now Malchut has gained the upper crown, more than she has had in the world AK, since there she was using the Sium of the Sefirot in her stead, and now she rose to serve in the place of GAR, in upper AVI, who are called “holy of holies.” This is why it was said, “Behold, I am crowning you with the highest crown.”
This is the Sabbath of the eve of Sabbath, who is fear and in whom there is fear. Malchut is called “fear” because a Tzimtzum [restriction] was on her to not receive into her own quality. Thus, she does not use the Ohr Yashar from above downward into her own essence, but only the Ohr Hozer, when she is corrected with a Masach, with a tremor and a shudder, so the light will not traverse from the Masach down.
Now, upon her ascent to the upper holiness of AVI, there is upper fear in her, since the upper HaVaYaH of AVI is in her. This is the eve of the Sabbath day that was now erected, as she argued—“There is no day without a night.” And this is the Sabbath of the eve of Sabbath. The quality of night has also been included in the Sabbath day, and the fear that is in it is that the Creator included together and said, “I am the Lord,” since the upper HaVaYaH de AVI is included in her, and said, “I am the Lord.” To interpret that, Rabbi Elazar brings the words that he heard from his father.
The image of the circle indicates that the light shines there equally in all the places, and there is no Din there at all, for which any change should occur in the measure of illumination. The image of the square indicates that there are Dinim there, for which one should distinguish between right and left, east and west. Hence, the Rosh is regarded as being shaped as a circle with respect to the body, which is a square, since there are no Dinim in GAR—Rosh—and there are Dinim in the Guf, for which there are right and left in the Guf, face and back.
The Sabbath is that the ZON rise and clothe AVI, who are considered upper Sabbath and lower Sabbath, mingled together. The upper Sabbath, AVI, are considered a circle, and the lower Sabbath, ZON, Guf, are regarded as a square. Hence, on Sabbath, the ZON in the square rise and mingle with AVI, who are in a circle. This is why it is written, “My Sabbaths,” to include two Sabbaths, upper Sabbath, a circle with a square within it, and the lower Sabbath, which rose and mingled with it.
Thus, the Mochin de Hochma are called “seventy names” or “seventy crowns,” since Ayin [eye] implies Hochma. And since those Mochin appear only through the ascent of the lower Sabbath to the upper one, the Mochin divide over both: half of them for the upper Sabbath, and half of them for the lower Sabbath. Hence, in the blessing, “And … completed,” there are thirty-five words, which are half the Mochin that are on the upper Sabbath, and in the Kiddush there are thirty-five words, as well, implying to half the Mochin on the lower Sabbath. These are the Mochin in which the Assembly of Israel, Malchut, the Sabbath, is crowned.
And since the circle and the square are mingled together in “My Sabbaths,” the Mochin of the circle are also discerned as “keep,” like the square. Although “keep” indicates Din and a boundary from which one should keep, on the upper Sabbath, which is a circle, there is no Din. Still, out of its mingling together with the Sabbath of a square, there is also the matter of “keep” in them.
The upper Sabbath itself is included in the “remember,” not in the “keep,” since the upper king, Bina, was complemented in the “remember,” and there is no Din in it at all, of which it will be fitting to say “keep,” since there is keeping only in the Nukva. However, with respect to the upper Sabbath being included in the lower Sabbath, there is keeping in both of them together, but not in the upper Sabbath itself.
“And peace is His” is “remember.” Hence, there is no dispute above, since the upper king, Bina, MI, who was completed in the letter Yod, is male Kelim, indicating that there is no dispute there at all, without Din. This is why it is called “a circle.” But the lower Sabbath, MA, was completed in the letter Hey, hence there is dispute in her, right and left. This is why it is called “a square.”
84) There are two peaces below. One is Jacob, Tifferet, and one is Joseph, Yesod. This is why it is written, “peace,” twice: “Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near.” “To him who is far” is Jacob, and “To him who is near” is Joseph.” “To him who is far” is as it is written, “The Lord appeared to me from afar,” and also, “His sister stood at a distance.” “To him who is near,” it is written, “New, who came lately.”
There are two peaces below, in ZON: Jacob is Tifferet and Joseph is Yesod. This implies to the two Zivugim in ZON, since peace is Zivug, for there is an upper Zivug in it for extension of the level of Hochma, and there is a lower Zivug in it, for extension of Hassadim. The upper one is Jacob and the lower one is Joseph.
And since ZAT cannot receive the level of Hochma without Hassadim, the level of Hochma in ZON is far from them, since they can receive it only by clothing in Hassadim. Also, it is written, “The Lord appeared to me from afar,” since the level of Hochma is far from him and he needs clothing to receive it. Hence, Jacob’s peace is called “far,” and the lower Zivug, and Joseph’s peace is called “near,” for it is received without clothing. Moreover, through his level of Hassadim, he can receive Hochma, as well.
The two peaces, Jacob’s and Joseph’s, which always apply in ZON’s Zivug de Gadlut, are considered a square. Thus, there is a dispute in them and they end in the letter Hey, the Nukva. But the upper king, Bina, MI, end in the letter Yod, male, and there is no dispute in them. Even the matter of far and near do not apply in Bina herself, since she is considered GAR, and GAR can receive Hochma in the near, meaning they do not need the clothing of Hassadim at all, and receive Hochma without Hassadim. Also, there aren’t two peaces in the upper king, as there are in ZON, since he is a king that peace is his.
85) “From afar” is the highest point that stands in his palace. It is written about this one, “Keep,” and it is included in the “keep.” “And fear My sanctuary” is the point that stands in the middle, which should be feared most, for her punishment is death.
It is written, “They who profane it shall surely be put to death.” “They who profane it” means those who enter the space of the circle and the square, to the place where that point is present, and blemishes it, “Shall surely be put to death.” It is written about this one, “Fear.” And the middle point is called “I,” and there is that upper hidden one over her, who is undisclosed, HaVaYaH, and “I” and HaVaYaH are all one.
Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba came down from their donkeys and kissed the donkey driver. They said, “What is all that wisdom that is under your hand, while you are driving our donkeys? Who are you?” He told them, “Ask not who I am, but I and you shall walk and engage in Torah, and each shall say words of wisdom to illuminate the way.”
“From afar” is the highest point in His palace, the Miftacha [key], from which the Hochma of the thirty-two paths pours out. The point in His palace is the letter Bet in Beresheet, from which the level of Hochma pours out to ZON when ZON rise and clothe upper AVI, for then the two Sabbaths are mingled together—the upper Sabbath and the lower Sabbath. It is written about them, “The Lord appeared to me from afar,” since the ZON can receive Hochma only when it is clothed in Hassadim.
“From afar” is the highest point in His palace, the HB, who are “From afar” to the ZON. Also, ZON needs the clothing of Hassadim from the lower world, which is MA, which ends in the Nukva. Because he needs the Zivug of the lower one of MA, which was completed in the Nukva, who is called “keep,” the level of Hochma, too, was included in the “keep.” This is the reason why it is written about, “Keep My Sabbaths.”
Also, the upper Sabbath that is included in ZON is included in the quality of “keep,” and not in the “remember,” since they necessarily end in the Nukva, to receive the level of Hassadim. Only the upper king, HB in and of themselves, who receive Hochma from “Him who is near,” without clothing in Hassadim, end in “remember” and are called “remember” and not “keep.”
The point that stands in the middle is the actual Man’ula that was established in upper AVI, in an unknown Avir. The middle point operates only in AK, and not in the world of Atzilut, hence there is no attainment in upper AVI, who are GAR de Bina. And all the Hochma is imparted in the world of Atzilut only from ZAT de Bina, who is called YESHSUT, where the Miftacha operates. It is called, “a point in His palace.” And since she was established in upper AVI, she is called “My sanctuary,” hence there is fear in her, as it is written, “And fear My sanctuary,” which is the point that stands in the middle.
“They who profane it” are those who enter the space of the circle and the square, the place where that point is present, and blemish it. The circle is AVI, and the square is ZON that clothe AVI and are included in the circle. Also, Malchut de AVI is the point within them.
There are two discernments in this Malchut, Man’ula [lock] and Miftacha [key]. Miftacha is called “a point in His palace,” and she is only Yesod in Malchut, operating only in YESHSUT. Man’ula is Malchut in Malchut, the actual middle point, operating only in upper AVI.
One who enters the space of the circle and the square, meaning Malchut de AVI—whose Avir is unknown, the place where the middle point is present, and blemishes it—shall be put to death because he wishes to extend light into her space, and it is forbidden to extend any light into her. This is why it is written, “Fear,” and it is written about the middle point, “And fear My sanctuary.”
The actual middle point is called “I,” and AVI are HaVaYaH that are present over that point. This is why they are hidden upper ones, undisclosed, since the thought has no attainment of them whatsoever. And this is “I the Lord,” and it is all one, for they are regarded as one. This is why the point is called AVI, as well, meaning “And fear My sanctuary,” since the actual point is considered holiness, like AVI, for they are one.
You should know that the way in which Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba walk is not as it seems. Rather, it is as it is written, “The way of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” It was said that Rabbi Elazar went to see Rabbi Yosi, son of Rabbi Shimon, son of Lakunia, his father-in-law. This implies to the level of degree at which they stood at that time. This is because ZA has his own AVI, upper AVI. He also has his wife’s AVI, who are YESHSUT.
First, ZA obtains the ZA for the AVI of his Nukva [female], who are YESHSUT, Mochin de Neshama, and then he rises to a higher degree and obtains Mochin de Haya for his own AVI, who are upper AVI. Also, the righteous that walk on the degrees are a Merkava [chariot/structure] for ZA. And since the way in which Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba were walking was in Mochin de Neshama, the indication came that Rabbi Elazar went to meet his father-in-law, AVI of his Nukva, who is Mochin de Neshama.
The donkey driver who is leading the donkeys behind them is the assistance to the souls of the righteous, which is sent to them from above to raise them from one degree to the next. Had it not been for this assistance, which the Creator sends to the righteous, they would have been unable to rise from their degree and ascend higher. Hence the Creator sends a high soul from above according to the merit and degree of each righteous, and it assists him on his way.
In the beginning, the righteous does not know that soul at all. It seems to him that it is a very low soul which is accompanying him on his way. This is called “the impregnation of the righteous’ soul.” It means that the soul above has not completed her assistance, hence it is completely undistinguishable that it is her. But once she completes her assistance and brings the righteous to the desired degree, he recognizes her and sees her sublimity. This is called “the disclosure of the soul of the righteous.”
This soul, which came to assist Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba, was the soul of Rabbi Hamnuna Saba. This is a very high soul, immeasurably sublime. She is the light of Yechida. However, in the beginning, she came to them by impregnation, and they only recognized the quality of the simple donkey driver in her, owner of the donkeys, whose craft is to take passengers from place to place on his donkeys, while he himself is walking on foot before his donkeys and leads them. This is why he is called “the donkey driver.”
Rabbi Aba said, “Let us open the doors of Torah, for now is the time and the hour to be corrected on our way, to open the channels of the soul by opening the gates of the secrets of Torah so they will be corrected on the path of the Creator on which they march. Rabbi Elazar explained the verse, “Keep My Sabbaths” in terms of the degree on which he stood, at Mochin de YESHSUT, which is called “seeing his father-in-law.”
Hence, he explained that the Sabbath itself is considered ZON that are not yet holiness, but extend from holiness, from Mochin de YESHSUT that the ZON extend on the Sabbath day. They explained the words “And fear My sanctuary” on these Mochin, since there is still fear in the Hochma that comes to ZON from the bottom Mochin de YESHSUT, for they are still poised for a question, hence there is fear in that holiness.
Here the donkey driver assisted them and revealed the Mochin de Haya in them. He explained “Keep My Sabbaths” on the upper Sabbath and on the lower Sabbath that come together through ZON’s rising to AVI, where ZON themselves become holiness, a square within a circle. It was not said “fear” in regard to them, but only “keep,” since the Mochin de Haya repel all the outer ones, and all the Dinim come out of her on the Sabbath day. In that respect, there is no fear there. And he explained to them the words, “And fear My sanctuary,” in regard to the middle point, which operates in GAR de AVI, GAR of Mochin de Haya, in which there is no attainment at all, and in which there is fear.
By that, the soul completed her task because she brought them to attain Mochin de Haya, and then they were rewarded with the disclosure of the soul of the righteous, for now they recognized the merit of that soul. For this reason, Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba came down and kissed the donkey driver, since the obtainment of the merit is clarified in the act of kissing. However, in truth, the role of that soul has not been completed because she still needed to assist them in obtainment of the light of Yechida. But since the obtainment of Haya alone is a complete degree in and of itself, it is therefore considered that the soul appeared to them to that extent.
And the reason why they thought he was the son of Rav Hamnuna Saba and not Rav Hamnuna Saba himself is that Rav Hamnuna Saba is Yechida, and his son is Haya. Hence, because they only attained Haya now, they were mistaken about him, thinking that he was Rav Hamnuna Saba’s son. However, once he notified them the meaning of the words of Benayahu, Ben [son of] Yehoyada, who is the disclosure of the degree of Yechida, he appeared to them in full and they saw that he was Rav Hamnuna Saba himself.
This is why he said to them, “Ask not who I am,” since they felt about themselves that they still did not fully know him, for the assisting role of that soul has not been completed. For this reason, they entreated him to disclose his name, but he replied to them that they should not ask for his name because further disclosures of secrets of the Torah were required. In other words, the path has not been fully mended. He told them, “Rather, I and you shall walk and engage in Torah,” for you still need me to assist you in the engagement in Torah, “And each shall say words of wisdom to illuminate the way,” for we still need to light the way because we have not reached our destination.
86) They told him, “Who let you come here to be a donkey driver?” He replied to them, “The Yod waged war on two letters, Chaf and Samech, to come and bond with me. Chaf did not wish to depart from her place and bond with me because she cannot be even for a moment, but only in it: in the throne. Samech did not wish to leave her place because she must support those who are fallen, for they cannot be without the Samech.
87) Yod came to me alone, kissed, embraced me, cried with me, and told me, “My son, what shall I do for you? But I am departing, and I am filled with several good things and superior and respectable hidden letters, and then I will come to you and assist you. And I will give you the inheritance of two letters, which are higher than the ones that have departed: Yod–Shin. The upper Yod and the upper Shin will be to you treasures filled with everything. For this reason, my son, go and drive donkeys.” This is why I am walking so.
The donkey driver is an impregnation of the soul of a righteous that comes to assist those who walk on the path of the Creator, to exit his degree and arrive at a more important degree, like those donkey drivers who take people from place to place on their donkeys. At that time, the righteous, too, falls from his previous degree and comes to an impregnation of a new degree, like the soul that comes to assist him.
Impregnation means departure of the Mochin. This is what they wanted to know from him—how the Creator made it so that you would come to us by impregnation, by which we have come to the departure of the Mochin, and who let you walk here and be a donkey driver?
He told them, “The Yod waged war on two letters, the Chaf and the Samech, so they would come to connect with me.” Yod is Hochma, and the degree of Mochin de Neshama is called “a throne,” from the words “the Throne of God,” since the Mochin de Hochma come clothed and covered and are not disclosed. When the time came to obtain Mochin de Haya, Yod de HaVaYaH, the degree with which I have come to reward you, Hochma really did wish to connect the Mochin of the throne in me, too, the Mochin de Neshama, who was previously in you, and Yod waged war against them.
However, the Chaf did not wish to depart from her place and bond with me because she cannot be for even a moment, but only in Him. This is so because Malchut of the upper that dresses in the lower is Chaf, and when the Chaf wished to descend from the throne, the throne shook and all the worlds shuddered and were about to fall, since any bonding of degrees with one another—from the top of Atzilut to the bottom of Assiya—is through Malchut of the upper that dresses in the lower. Hence, she cannot come down from her place, the degree of YESHSUT, which is the degree of Neshama, for even a moment, since there cannot be a cessation in the degrees.
Also, the Samech did not wish to leave her place because she must support those who are fallen, since they cannot be without a Samech. The Samech is the actual Mochin that the soul receives from HBD HGT de AVI, which impart upon ZON at the time of their Katnut. They support them so they will not fall from Atzilut outwards. Hence, it must be permanently in her place, unchanged.
The thing is that the degrees are fixed, and only the souls undergo changes as they walk from degree to degree. Hence, the Mochin of Neshama did not wish to bond with the Yod, which is the level of Hochma, and connect to the soul of Rav Hamnuna Saba, upon her descent to assist Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba, since they needed a new construction and extension of Mochin on the order—beginning with impregnation, through the level of Yechida.
This is why he said that Yod came to him alone. That is, she came to him without the Mochin de HBD HGT de AVI, called Samech. Also, it is known that the level of Hochma cannot clothe without the level of Hassadim that extend from the Samech. And since Yod came alone, without the level of Hassadim, she kissed him, embraced him, cried with him, and said to him, “My son, what shall I do for you?” In other words, she kissed and embraced him because she wished to clothe without Hassadim, so she cried with him and said, “My son, what shall I do for you, as I have no tactic for clothing in you?”
And I depart and “I am filled with several good things and superior and respectable hidden letters,” meaning “Therefore, now I must depart, and you will come in impregnation, to be built by yourself in all the discernments of Ibur, Yenika, and Mochin anew. And I will return to you with complete Mochin, filled with everything.”
You should know that this applies to any new degree, since as long as one needs to receive a new degree, he must arrive at the departure of the previous Mochin. And as he previously never had any degree to begin the acquiring of the soul anew, which is called Ibur, then Yenika, which is the light of Ruach, she therefore said that because of that, “My son, go and drive the donkeys.” Because it is impossible to extend anything from the previous degree, you must start the Ibur anew, and this is called “donkey driving.”
“And I will give you the inheritance of two letters, higher than the ones that have departed: Yod–Shin.” The Mochin de Haya, which are called “inheritance of AVI,” are called Yod–Shin, since Yod is Hochma and Shin is Bina. They are certainly more important than those Mochin de Neshama that have departed. “And you will have treasures filled with everything,” as it is written, “To inherit those who love me with substance, and I will fill their treasuries.”
88) Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba rejoiced, wept, and said, “Go, ride the donkey, and we will prod it behind you.” He was to ride and they were to lead the donkey. He told them, “And I did not tell you that it is the King’s command, until that donkey driver arrives.” He is implying to the Messiah, of whom it is written, “Poor, and mounted on a donkey.” They said to him, “But you have not told us your name, and where is your dwelling place?”
He replied to them, “My dwelling place is good and of great value to me. It is a tower floating in the air, great and honorable. And those who dwell in that tower are the Creator and one poor man. This is my dwelling place, I was exiled from there, and I lead donkeys.” Rabbi Aba and Rabbi Elazar looked at him and his words were agreeable to them; they were as sweet as manna and as honey. They told him, “If you tell us the name of your father, we will kiss the dust of your feet.” He told them, “What for? It is not my way to boast in the Torah.”
Now that they have recognized his great merit, they could not tolerate his state of impregnation on their behalf, so they told him that now that they have already obtained the Mochin, it was enough for him and he could exit the impregnation. And if they might still have something to complement, they can be in impregnation themselves, and there is no reason for him to suffer on their behalf. This is why they said, “Go, ride the donkey, and we will prod it behind you.”
“He told them, ‘And I did not tell you that it is the King’s command, until that donkey driver arrives.’” This means that they need not ask for his name because they need further revelations of secrets of the Torah. Here he also hinted to them that this refers to the Yechida that was missing in them, which is the welcoming of the Messiah King. This is the intimation, “Until that donkey driver arrives,” for the Messiah King is poor and rides a donkey. And the King’s commandment is “Until that donkey driver arrives” because the King’s commandment relates to him, to assist them until they are rewarded with the light of Yechida.
This is why they told him, “But you have not told us your name.” “You have not told us your name” because we still did not obtain what we should attain from you. Yet, can you tell us your dwelling place nonetheless, the place of your degree, by which we will know what we still need to obtain from you? “He replied to them, ‘My dwelling place is good and of great value to me.’” That is, my degree is good and sublime compared to the degree where I am now, for now it is even beyond my own attainment.
“It is a tower floating in the air.” A tower is the palace of the Messiah. Those who live in that tower are the Creator and one poor man, since the Messiah is poor and rides the donkey. The reason why he calls it great and honorable is that a mere tower that floats in the air is Bina, but here, when referring to the Messiah’s palace, he mentions it by the name “a tower floating in the air, great and honorable.”
He says, “This is my dwelling place, I have been exiled from there, and I lead donkeys.” That is, my dwelling place is in the tower, but now it is beyond me, as he said before.
89) “But my father’s dwelling place was in the great sea. He was a fish that circled the great sea from end to end, and he was great and honorable, old and so ripe of age that he would swallow all the other fish in the sea, and then would bring them out alive and well, filled with all the abundance of the world. With his might, he would sail the entire sea in one moment. He took me out as an arrow in the hands of a mighty man, and hid me in that place that I have told you, the tower floating in the air, and he returned to his place and hid in that sea.”
Explanation: The hidden Zivug is called “a fish,” implying to the fiftieth gate. The great sea is Malchut. All the Zivugim from Atik de Atzilut down do not include any of the great sea, meaning all the Sefirot of Malchut, but only the first nine of Malchut, and Malchut de Malchut is not included in the Zivug because she remains as it is written, “The path no eagle knows.” However, in Atik Yomin there is a Zivug on that Malchut, too, which will appear only at the end of correction.
Rav Hamnuna Saba came out of that hidden Zivug in Atik Yomin, which is why he calls it “My father.” He says, “My father’s dwelling place was in the great sea,” meaning that he mated with the Malchut, who is called “the great sea.” And should you say that all the Partzufim mate on the Malchut, he says to that, “He was a fish that circled the great sea from end to end.” In other words, he is considered a Zivug on the fiftieth gate, which mates with the great sea with all the Behinot [discernments/aspects] in her, from Keter to Malchut, from end to end, including Malchut de Malchut. “And he was great and honorable, old and so ripe of age,” for he is called Atik Yomin [“ancient days”], and from him and below, this great Zivug does not exist.
It was said that he would swallow all the other fish in the sea. This is so because that great Zivug swallows within it all the Zivugim and the Neshamot [souls] in all the worlds, for they are all included and annulled in it. And out of that Hitkalelut [mingling/inclusion], they are all called Nunim [fish]. And after the great corrections following that Zivug, he gives birth once more to all the lights and Neshamot that he had swallowed during the Zivug, and they live and exist forever, since they have already been filled with all the abundance of the world, by him swallowing them through his great Zivug.
“He would sail the entire sea in one moment,” since all the Zivugim from Atik Yomin down come by clothing of the Sefirot in one another. These clothings are regarded as cessations along the Zivug until the drop comes to the Yesodot of male and female. But in the great Zivug of Atik Yomin, it is without any clothing, hence it is considered that the Zivug is in an instant.
“He would sail the entire sea in one moment,” without any clothing. “With his might,” meaning for all the Gevurot included in that Zivug, “He took me out,” delivered me, “As an arrow in the hands of a mighty man.” However, these Gevurot are nothing like the Gevurot of the Zivugim below Atik Yomin. Rather, they are as it is written, “Neither has the eye seen a God besides You.” However, indeed there is no birth without Gevurot because a seed that is not shot as an arrow does not beget. This is why it was said, “He took me out as an arrow in the hands of a mighty man.”
“And hid me in that place that I have told you,” the great and honorable tower where the Creator and one poor man live. “He returned to his place and hid in that sea.” That is, after he begot him and hid him in a great and honorable tower, he returned to his Zivug and hid in his place as before.
90) Rabbi Elazar looked at his words and told him, “You are the son of the holy light, you are the son of the old Rav Hamnuna Saba, you are the son of the light of the Torah, and you are leading our donkeys?” They wept together and kissed him, and went. They returned and said to him, “Perhaps it will be agreeable with our lord to let us know his name?”
Commentary: They have not attained his words to the fullest, and attaining them was only in Mochin de Haya. This is why they thought that he was the son of Rav Hamnuna Saba, since Rav Hamnuna Saba himself is from the Mochin de Yechida. “To let us know his name” means to receive his degree, since obtainment of his name means attainment of his degree.
91) “And Benaiahu, Ben [son of] Yehoiada, son of a living man of many deeds, Mekabze’el.” This verse comes to show the highest secrets of the Torah. The name, Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada, comes to imply to the meaning of the Hochma. It hints to a hidden thing, and the name causes. “Son of a living man” is the righteous one who lives forever. “Valiant” means he is the master of all the deeds and all the upper hosts, for they all stem from him. He is called “The Lord of hosts,” since he is a token in all His hosts, excellent and greater than all.
Here the writing shows sublime secrets of the Torah. Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada implies to the meaning of the Hochma, since the holy name, Yehoiada, this Yedia [knowing] relates to the meaning of the Hochma [wisdom]. It is a very sublime, hidden secret, and the name Yehoiada causes it to be hidden.
Explanation: Keter de Atzilut is called RADLA [Aramaic: the unknown Rosh], and Atik Yomin surrounds five Partzufim of Atzilut—AA, AVI, and ZON—and is called RADLA, a Rosh that is not known, where there is no Zivug even in its own place. It is not known means that there is no extension of Mochin to the degrees below it. AA de Atzilut is hidden from the lower ones, too, hence he is called HS [Hochma Stimaa (Hidden Hochma)]. However, he is not regarded as “unknown,” as is RADLA, since there is a Zivug in its own place. Rather, it is only unknown, since there is no extension of Mochin from it and below, and all the Mochin known in the worlds during the 6,000 years are only from AVI and YESHSUT, which are called Hochma of the thirty-two paths, or thirty-two Elokim of the act of creation.
It was written, “From where does wisdom [Hochma] come, and where is the place of understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all living … God understands its way, and He knows its place.” He understood its way, meaning only the Hochma of the thirty-two paths, the thirty-two Elokim of the act of creation. This is why it is written, “God understands its way.”
Hochma is phrased as Bina [understanding], for it is written, “Understood its way,” since the essence of Hochma is only Bina, but she becomes Hochma through her ascent to Rosh AA, receiving from HS and bestowing below. It follows that this Hochma appears only in the path of Bina while she rises to HS de AA. Elokim, Bina, understood her way to abundance of Hochma. This is why it actually writes, “Its way,” meaning only a way for abundance of Hochma, but she herself is Bina and not Hochma.
“And He knows its place” relates to AA, for the name, “He knows” points to what is hidden from the lower ones, which is AA, who is called “holy Atik.” He says about him that he knew the place of Hochma of the thirty-two paths, since he is the actual Hochma that imparts upon the Bina. This is why he says, “Her actual place,” and all the more so her way, since he is from the place of imparting of that Hochma, especially that he knows the way of Hochma when she is clothed in Bina. Moreover, Hochma is blocked in holy Atik, meaning that he knows his own HS. However, he also knows her place, since this Zivug is disclosed only in its own place, but it is not imparted from it and below at all.
Thus, Mocha de AA are considered “knowing” in its own place, although it is regarded as unknown from him and below. Only Mochin de AVI, which are the Mochin of the thirty-two paths of Hochma, are regarded as “known.” “God understands its way,” but the upper Rosh, above AA, the Rosh de Atik Yomin, is regarded as knowing and unknown, for there is no Zivug even in his own place, and there is no expansion of Mochin from him to the lower ones.
And yet, all this relates only to the souls and the worlds in general. However, in relation to the souls in particular, there are high souls that were rewarded with being MAN for the great Zivug of that Rosh de Atik Yomin after their demise, and to receive the level of Yechida in the upper world, which comes from that Zivug. These are the souls of Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada, Rav Hamnuna Saba, and others. Those high souls appear to the righteous in this world, and the righteous, too, are rewarded with seeing the light of Yechida that illuminates in those high souls.
The name, Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada, comes to imply to the meaning of the Hochma. This soul, called Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada, comes from the internality of Hochma, Hochma de Atik Yomin. The illumination of that soul is hidden because the name, Yehoiada, causes the illumination of the soul to be hidden, for it means Yeho [Yod–Hey–Vav] Yada [knew], but it was unknown to others. Thus, he remained hidden in his own place.
First, he explains the quality of the Zivug and the merit of the level of the great light that comes out of that Zivug of Rosh de Atik Yomin, which is explained in the verse, “Son of a living man of many deeds, Mekabze’el.” Afterwards he explains the meaning of the hidden matter in the illumination of that soul, and this is explained in the verse, “He struck the two, Ariel, Moab.”
It is written, “Son of a living man of many deeds, Mekabze’el,” for you know that this Zivug is the Zivug of the end of correction, which includes all the Zivugim and levels that came out one at a time during the 6,000 years, when all these lights gather in it at the same time. Similarly, the MAN that rises for that Zivug includes within it all the torments and the punishments that have appeared during the 6,000 years one by one.
Thus, there is no end to the height of the level that comes out of that Zivug, and it terminates the Klipot and the Sitra Achra forever. The Yesod, which gives the general MAD, meaning all the lights that came out during the 6,000 years, is called “A living man of many deeds,” and the Malchut that includes within it all the MAN and the suffering that have appeared over the 6,000 years is called “Mekabze’el.”
It is written, “Son of a living man.” This is a righteous who lives forever, since the name always indicates the Yesod, which gives to the Nukva. He has no receptacle for his own need, hence it is considered that he is living only in the world, in Nukva, when he gives to her. This is why he is called “a righteous who lives forever.” However, in this Zivug of his, he is mentioned by name, “Of many deeds,” the master of all the deeds and all the upper hosts, which now includes in his MAD all the good deeds and all the upper degrees that have appeared one by one during the 6,000 years. Now they have all assembled in him at the same time, and they are renewed in the upper light, and come out from him to the Nukva all at once. This is why he is called “Of many deeds.”
And this is why he said that they all come out of him, meaning that they all come out to the Nukva at once. Since the Lord of hosts is a token in all His hosts, finer and greater than all, for now the holy name “Lord of hosts” has appeared in Him in its full perfection, as now he is a token in all His hosts, as he is inscribed with all the works and all the upper hosts. And he grows and transcends all of them in his illumination.
92) “Of many deeds” is Mekabze’el, the great and honorable tree, the greatest of all. From which place did he come out? From which degree did he come? The writing repeats, “Mekabze’el” is a high and hidden degree, which “Neither has the eye seen a God besides You.” A degree that everything is in it, and which collects of the upper light within it, and from which everything comes out.
Explanation: Now the Nukva is called Mekabze’el because “Of many deeds” is Mekabze’el, meaning that the Nukva assembles within her all the lights from Yesod at once. This is why he is called “Of many deeds.” The level that comes out on this Zivug is called “the great and honorable tree,” which comes out of Yesod and comes to the Nukva. He says that to show us the quality of that high level, from which it comes and arrives, he replied that verse in the name Mekabze’el, that the upper light assembles them in Yesod and gives them to the Nukva. Thus, both are named Mekabze’el together.
This is a high and hidden degree that neither has the eye seen a God besides You. In other words, that degree, which comes out of that Zivug, is called “Neither has the eye seen a God besides You.” He says that the entire correction is at that degree, at the time of the last perfection. Hence, it is regarded as a degree that everything is in it because he assembled of the upper light within it, and all the abundance and the upper lights from all 6,000 years at once, and renewed them in the upper light. This is why it was said that everything comes out of it, because this is why all the longed for perfection comes out and appears now.
93) This is the holy, hidden palace in which all the degrees are hidden and assembled. And in the Guf of that palace are all the worlds, and all the holy hosts are nourished by it and exist.
It applies to the Rosh of Atik Yomin itself. It says that it is a holy and hidden palace, that all the degrees in all the worlds are assembled and hidden within it. By that, it explains how this great Zivug of the end of correction was formed and made possible to include all the degrees and levels that came out within it one at a time during the 6,000, to renew it, and bring it out at once.
That Rosh de Atik Yomin is the holy and hidden palace, in which all the degrees are hidden and assembled, that is, during the days of the existence of the world, when the degrees are in ascent and descent. This is so because once the degree becomes revealed, it departs again because of the sin of the lower ones. Upon the departure of the degree, it is not lost, but rises to Rosh de Atik and becomes concealed there. In this way, it gathers within it each level and degree that appears in the worlds. They come there one at a time and assemble and disappear within it until the time of the end of correction, when it renews them and brings them out at once.
In that Guf of that palace are all the worlds, since that hidden and holy palace, called Rosh de Atik Yomin, is regarded as not knowing and unknown during the entire 6,000 years. Hence, although it gathers within it all the lights that appear in the worlds, none of them appears until the end of correction. It follows that after the concealment of each degree, due to the flaw in the lower ones, since she has risen to Rosh de Atik and was hidden there, all the degrees are hidden and assembled in it. However, Guf of Atik Yomin, from its Peh de Rosh down, is clothed in the five Partzufim of Atzilut, and through them, it illuminates to all the worlds. Also, there is no illumination, small or great, which does not come from Guf de Atik Yomin.
In the Guf of that palace are all the worlds, since the Guf de Atik Yomin dresses in all the Partzufim in ABYA, and all the worlds clothe it and exist on it. Their whole existence and illumination come from it, and all the holy hosts are nourished by it and exist. These are the lights that come to revive the worlds, and they are called “nourishments.” They are the lights that come for Mochin de Gadlut, and they all extend from Guf de Atik Yomin.
In regard to the abundance for sustaining the worlds, it was said that they are nourished by it, meaning nourishments. And in regard to the Mochin de Gadlut, it was said that they exist, since the Mochin impart upon each Partzuf according to level attributed to it.
94) There were two temples that were nourished for it, the First Temple and the Second Temple. Since it departed, the extension that was extended from above was arrested, and it is considered that he seemingly struck them and ruined and destroyed them, as it is written, “He struck the two, Ariel Moab.”
Commentary: After the illumination of Guf de Atik Yomin departed, the abundance that was extended from it from there and above ceased, hence two temples were ruined. It follows that He seemingly struck them, ruined them, and destroyed them. These are truly profound things because it means that due to the disclosure of the level of the great Zivug of Rosh de Atik Yomin, the illumination of Guf de Atik Yomin departed from all the worlds, hence the temples were ruined, and all the lights that illuminated for Israel were darkened.
Also, all the corrections relate only to Behina Dalet, Malchut and Nukva de ZA, Partzuf BON. This is so because the breaking of the vessels occurred because of it, as well as the sin of the tree of knowledge. All the work of the righteous during the 6,000 years is to return and correct it, as it was prior to the breaking of the vessels and before the sin of Adam HaRishon. Afterwards, the great Zivug of Rosh de Atik Yomin will appear, forever uprooting the Klipot and the Sitra Achra, as it is written, “Death will be swallowed up forever.” And since the BON has already been corrected forever and no longer needs any corrections, then BON will return to being SAG, and this will complete the entire correction.
However, in the meantime, after the great Zivug de Atik Yomin and before the return of BON to being SAG, there is an issue of departure of the illumination of the Guf de Atik. Because of its departure, two temples were ruined, two Behinot [discernments] of Mochin, which illuminate in two temples. Mochin of upper AVI, which illuminate in the First Temple, and Mochin de YESHSUT, which illuminate in the Second Temple. Also, all the illuminations of Israel were ruined and departed, for all those ruins are the last corrections, which bring the BON back to being SAG, which is all that is desired.
And then the two temples will be rebuilt by heaven, from Masach de Behina Bet, Bina, that is, through the Masach de SAG de AK, from before Tzimtzum Bet, which is cleaned of any Tzimtzum, but only out of heaven, as it is written, “For He desires mercy.” At that time, the two temples will exist forever and the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, upper Bina, which is now the light of ZA, the sun.
Also, the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of the seven days, as ZAT de Atik Yomin, from which the light extends to AVI that emanated the seven days of creation, since ZA, the sun, will once again be AB, in which there is the light of Guf de Atik.
And the reason for the departure of Guf de Atik prior to those corrections is that there are only two Nukvas in ten Sefirot: Bina and Malchut, SAG and BON. It follows that after the great Zivug of Atik Yomin, BON was cancelled and the Masach de SAG was cancelled along with it due to the correction that is done in Guf de Atik, associating Bina and Malchut with each other, associating Midat ha Din [quality of judgment] with Midat ha Rachamim [quality of mercy]. Through that association, he emanated to Partzuf AA de Atzilut, and all the Partzufim of ABYA came out and existed only in this Malchut, which is associated and mitigated by Midat ha Rachamim, Bina.
Hence, since the Masach de BON has been cancelled, the Masach of Behina Bet has been cancelled along with it, which is the Masach de SAG, while they are tied together as one. And since the Nukva and the Masach were cancelled, the Zivug with the upper light were stopped, hence the entire illumination of the Guf de Atik that was over the Masach that is associated with Midat ha Rachamim completely departed. And naturally, all the lights from the Masach downward, which extend from Guf de Atik, were ruined.
It was written, “He struck the two, Ariel and Moab.” Two temples existed and were nourished for it, the First Temple and the Second Temple. When he departed, the extension that was being extended from above had ceased, since because the BON was cancelled by the great Zivug of Atik Yomin, the SAG, the Masach of Behina Bet itself was cancelled, too. And since the Masach is unfit for Zivug, the upper light that was the extension that extended from above ceased because of the canceling of the Masach.
Thus, due to the great Zivug that was done in Rosh de Atik Yomin, the imparting of light from Guf de Atik Yomin has ceased and was cancelled due to the Zivug of the Rosh cancelled the Masach de BON. And because thus far the Masach de BON was connected with the Masach de SAG in Guf de Atik Yomin as one, the Masach de SAG was cancelled, too. And since there is no Masach for Zivug de Hakaa, there is no room for the upper light to impart there.
95) The holy throne, Malchut, fell, as it is written, “And I was in the exile.” That degree, “I,” Malchut, was in the exile on the river Chebar, which extends and comes out since the days of old, and now its waters and fountains have dried out and it no longer flows as before. It is as it is written, “And the river will be ruined and dry out,” ruined in the First Temple and dry out in the Second Temple. This is why it is written, “He struck the two, Ariel Moab.” Moab means from the Av [father] in heaven. They were ruined and perished for Him, and all the lights that illuminated for Israel have darkened.
A throne points to the mitigation of Malchut in Bina, which is the throne of Rachamim, by which all the Mochin are imparted in 6,000 years to all the Partzufim of ABYA. This is why it was said, and the holy throne, Malchut, fell, since out of annulling the Masach de BON, the Masach de SAG, the throne, was cancelled and fell, as well, as it is written, “And I was in the exile,” meaning that degree, “I,” was in the exile. “I” is Malchut of the upper one, which becomes Keter for the lower one. This is so because the letters Ani [I] are the letters of Ein [naught], name of the Keter [crown].
It is known that Malchut of the upper one is the whole connection between the Partzufim. Each upper one makes the Zivug on his Malchut, which elicits Ohr Hozer [reflected light], dressing the Ohr Yashar [direct light] of the upper one. Afterward, Malchut of the upper one descends in the ten Sefirot of her Ohr Hozer, within which the level of Ohr Yashar clothes, and dresses in the lower one. Thus, now that degree, “I,” is in exile, since the Zivug with the upper one has been cancelled from it and the upper light ceased from all the Partzufim.
“On the river Chebar, which extends and comes out since days of old, and now its waters and fountains have dried out.” This is so because while she is corrected with a Masach, she is called “a river that extends and comes out.” This means that the upper light extends to the lower one through her, like the waters of a river that flow continuously. But now that the Masach has been revoked, this river is named “the river Chebar,” for in the past it was a river, but not now, since now its waters and fountains have dried out.
Its waters is the upper light that used to be extended in it. Its fountains are the Masach, which was considered a fountain while it was corrected in her. This is so because the abundance was tied to it and ceaselessly emitted from it, and now it has all that stopped and is not continuing as before, meaning that the upper light no longer extends from it as before, as it is written, “And the river will be ruined and dry out.” It will be ruined in the First Temple and dry out in the Second Temple. Ima is considered “the First Temple,” and Tevuna is called “the Second Temple.” It is written about the First Temple that it will be ruined because in it, the Zivug had stopped because the fountain, which is the Masach, was ruined. And since there is no Zivug in upper Ima, Tevuna is completely dried out. This is why it is written about Tevuna “And dry out.”
Moab means from the Av [father] in heaven. This is so because the root of the Mochin of the two temples is from Aba, who is the father in heaven, which shines for ZA, heaven, whose lights elevated ZON to YESHSUT in the Second Temple, and to upper AVI in the First Temple. Now they have been ruined and darkened due to the cessation of the abundance of Guf de Atik Yomin, and all his lights, which used to shine for Israel, have gone dark. This means that not only did the great Mochin of the two temples darken, but the lights that illuminated for Israel, even the lights of VAK and the lights of BYA, were all ruined.
96) He went down and struck the lion inside the pit. In early times, when this river extended its waters below, Israel were in wholeness because they would offer offerings and sacrifices to atone for their souls. At that time, an image of a lion would come down and they would see it on the altar crouching over its prey, eating the offerings as a mighty man, and all the dogs, the slanderers, would hide from him and would not come out to slander.
Explanation: The fire of the high one, who would crouch over the altar in the Temple, was crouching like a lion. It would burn the offerings that the children of Israel offered on it. This is why it was said, “In early times, when this river extended its waters below, Israel were in wholeness.” It is so because before the illumination of Atik was revoked, and the upper lights were drawn to Israel as a river whose waters extend from above downward ceaselessly, Israel were in their full wholeness, for they would offer offerings and sacrifices to atone for their souls.
Along with the offerings that they would offer, they would raise MAN for the upper Zivug on the Masach, and MAD, which are the Mochin, would be drawn out. By that, they drew closer in great Dvekut [adhesion] to their father in heaven, and all the Klipot fled and moved away from them. This is the meaning of “To atone for their souls,” since the departure of the Klipot from the souls was considered atonement. It is like a stained garment whereby washing, all the stains are removed and cleaned from the garment.
This is why it was called “offerings,” since Israel offer for their father in heaven. And since they were in their wholeness and were raising MAN only to bring contentment to their Maker, the MAN would rise up to Bina, where there is the light of Hassadim and bestowal in the form of a lion, Hesed. It is considered that Bina’s lion received the good deeds and the MAN that the children of Israel raised, and they saw how their MAN fell prey to upper Bina, Bina’s light of Hassadim extended in Ohr Yashar over the MAN, and the Ohr Yashar would crouch over the prey, MAN, and eat it.
Regarding the lion’s eating of the offering, the essence of the offering is the MAN that rises for strengthening the Masach and to raise Ohr Hozer. And since the amount of Ohr Yashar is measured by the amount of the Ohr Hozer that rises from the Masach, it is considered that the Ohr Yashar is nourished by the MAN and grows and is sustained by it. It is like an animal that lives and grows by the food that it eats. Similarly, all the livelihood of the corporeal animal depends on the food that it eats, and dies upon their cessation. Just so, the upper light depends on the Ohr Hozer that rises from the Masach, and when the Ohr Hozer ceases, it is cancelled from the lower one.
This is why it was said that an image of a lion comes down from above. The light of Bina, which extends from above downward in Ohr Yashar, is in the image of a lion, the form of bestowal, as the nature of Bina. They would see it crouching over its prey, meaning they saw the Ohr Yashar clothing and crouching within the Ohr Hozer that rises from the offering, which is its prey and nourishments.
It eats the offerings as a mighty man. This means that it eats and grows through the offerings, as a mighty man, because when Israel were in wholeness, the measure of bestowal, which is raising MAN and Ohr Hozer, was with great power from below upward. This is so because the level of the Ohr Hozer was measured by the size of the striking of the Masach in tremor and in shudder, which repels the upper light from below upward. And as the measure of the level of ascent of Ohr Hozer, so is the level of Ohr Yashar extended in it. Hence, if the level of Ohr Hozer increases with great power, it is considered that the lion is eating the offerings as a mighty man, upright and with strength, for by the strength, its level increases and rises.
This is why it was said that all the dogs, the slanderers, would hide from it and would not come out to slander. It is so because the Klipa of reception for oneself is called “a dog,” as The Zohar says about the words, “The leech has two daughters—Hav, Hav [give, give]—which howl as dogs and say Hav [give] us the wealth of this world and Hav us the wealth of the next world.” This is the strongest Klipa, whose strength grows most opposite the light of Yechida, as it is written, “Deliver my soul from the sword, my only one [Yechida] from the dog.”
That Klipa is the opposite of the lion, who eats the aforementioned offerings. It is so because as the lion, Hesed, is all to bestow and to not receive, like the quality of Hassid [pious], “What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is yours,” the dog Klipa is all to receive and nothing to bestow. It is as we learn about the righteous ones among the nations of the world, that all the grace [Hesed] that they do, they do for themselves, since they are connected to the dog Klipa.
This is why it was said that when Israel were whole and were rewarded with the discernment of the lion that eats its offerings, all the dogs would hide from it and would not come out, since they raised MAN with great might. By that, they gave power to the Masach in Malchut to repel the upper light from it and above with great might. Thus, the amount of Ohr Hozer that was in the level was very high, as it was said that he was eating the offerings as a mighty man. Hence, even those harsh Klipot, which are the dogs, all fled and hid, for fear of the might of that lion, and would not come out of their hiding.
97) Since they caused the iniquities, he descended into the degrees below and killed that lion, for because he did not wish to give him his prey as before, it is regarded as though he killed him. Hence, indeed, he struck the lion. Into the pit, before the other side, the evil one. When that other side saw it, it grew stronger and sent a dog to eat the offerings from over the altar instead of the lion. That lion is named Uriel, whose face is the face of a lion. And the name of that dog is Baladan, with the letters of BalAdam [not human] with the letter Mem replaced with Nun, since he is not at all a man but a dog, and the face of a dog.
Because the Masachim were revoked from BON and from SAG, Israel below could no longer raise MAN, which is the nourishment of the lion, hence the Zivug stopped and the upper light, the lion, departed. It is regarded as though he killed that lion, for he rose above to his root and disappeared from the lower ones.
This is why it was said, “Into the pit, before the other side, the evil one,” since the root of reception for oneself is in the eyes, for the eye sees and the heart covets. This reception is called “a pit” because it is an empty pit without water, meaning that the upper light is not drawn into there, as we learn, “He and I cannot dwell in the same abode.”
He struck the lion inside the pit, before the other side, the evil one because striking the lion was before the evil eyes of the Sitra Achra, who is called “a pit,” which are broken cisterns that will not hold the water. And now they have come out of their hiding and appeared with great domination. He sent a dog to eat the offerings because the opposite of the lion that eats the offerings is that dog, which always howls Hav, Hav [give, give].
“That lion is named Uriel, whose face is the face of a lion.” The name of El [God] is Hesed, right, and the lion, the light of Hesed, is called Uri [Illuminte] El [God], meaning light that extends from the name El. His face is to the right, bestowal, as it is written, “All four had the face of a lion on the right.”
And the name of that dog was Baladan, for he was not at all a man, but a dog. ZA is called “a man” when he has Mochin from Bina, which is Adam in Gematria, forty-five [Aleph–Dalet–Mem]. Bina is bestowal, hence we learn, “You are called “man,” and the nations of the world are not called “man” because all the grace that they do, they do for themselves. This is why he is called Baladan, with the letters Bal Adam, for the Mem is replaced with a Nun.
98) “And he went down and struck the lion inside a pit on the day of the snow,” the day when they caused the iniquities, when the judgment was sentenced above, from the upper courthouse. This is why it is written, “She is not afraid of the snow for her household,” which is the upper Din [judgment], called “snow.” Also, it is written that she is not afraid because her entire household is dressed in scarlet, hence she could tolerate a strong fire.
The Dinim [judgments] corresponding to the male are called “snow.” Hence, it is considered that they extend from the upper courthouse. These Dinim are very harsh at first, but light in the end, for they are mitigated only in the end, which is the Nukva. And in relation to those Dinim the Nukva said, “Sustain me with raisin cakes [Heb: Ashishot],” which implies two Ishot [fires], the upper fire, Bina, and her own fire.
Then, once she has those two fires, she mitigates the Dinim, which are as cold as snow, since her fire takes out their chill. This is why it was said, “She is not afraid of the snow for her household,” which is the upper Din, the harsh male Dinim. She is not afraid because her entire house is dressed in scarlet. Scarlet is two fires, and since her household is dressed in two fires, “She is not afraid of the snow for her household.” Moreover, the snow is mitigated inside her fires.
This is why it was said that she could tolerate a strong fire, that this snow helps her tolerate her fires. He tells us that now that the Masachim and the Zivugim of BON and SAG have been cancelled, and those two fires have been cancelled, the Dinim of snow have regained their strength. They imply that what is presented thus far appeared immediately after the Zivug de Atik Yomin, but what is written afterwards is a consequence and comes after that.
99) Afterwards, it is written, “And he struck an Egyptian, a man in view … and killed him with his own spear.” It comes to alert that each time Israel sinned He departed and prevented all the abundance from them, and all the lights that illuminated for them. “He struck an Egyptian” is light that was illuminating for Israel, and he is Moses, of whom it is written “And they said, ‘An Egyptian saved us from the shepherds,’” since he was born and raised in Egypt, and there he rose to the upper light.
The text does not refer to an actual person, but to light, since he cancelled and concealed the light, which is regarded as though he killed him. This is why it was said that it is that light that illuminated for Israel, and it is Moses. That is, it cancelled the great light of the illumination of Moses unto Israel, and calls it “an Egyptian” because he was born and raised in Egypt, as it is written, “And Moses grew and went out to his brothers,” where he was rewarded with the upper light, the redemption of Israel from Egypt.
100) “A man in view.” “In view” is as it is written, “In view and not in riddles.” “A man” is as it is written, “A man of God,” seemingly the husband of that view of the glory of God, Malchut, for he was rewarded with conducting this degree in the earth in all that he wished. This, no other man has been rewarded.
The difference between Moses and the rest of the prophets is that Moses was a Merkava [chariot/structure/assembly] for ZA. He would build and bestow from ZA to the Nukva, but the rest of the prophets were a Merkava for the Nukva and were given by the Nukva. This is why it was said, “A man of God,” the husband of that view, the Nukva, called “the glory of God.”
He is regarded as the husband of Divinity because he was rewarded with leading this degree, for he is a Merkava for ZA, building, imparting, and leading the Nukva. No other man has been rewarded it, since the rest of the prophets were a Merkava for the Nukva, and the Nukva was giving to them. Thus, they are below her, guided by her, hence no other person in the world has been rewarded with the quality of Moses.
101) “The Egyptian had a spear in his hand.” This is the staff of God that was given to him. “And the staff of God in my hand” is the staff that was created on the eve of the Sabbath, in the twilight, in which a holy carving is engraved, the holy name. With that staff, he sinned with the rock, as it is written, “And struck the rock twice with his rod.” The Creator told him, “Moses, I did not give you My staff for this; thus, henceforth it will not be in your hand.”
The twilight is the great mitigation of Malchut in Bina, to the point that it is indistinguishable whether it is Malchut or Bina. This is so because on Sabbath, Malchut rises to AVI and becomes Bina. And on the eve of the Sabbath, in the twilight, she is no longer actually Bina, but is also not discerned as Malchut. These are the ten things that were created in the twilight, when their origin is indistinguishable, whether from Bina or from Malchut, since then the Nukva herself is indistinguishable.
This is the staff that was created on the eve of the Sabbath in the twilight, and for which a holy carving is engraved in it, the holy name. Engraving the holy name points to Bina, from whom the Kedusha [holiness/sanctity] extends. Holy carving points to Malchut, which is only a carving to receive the holy name.
These two carvings were included in the staff as one, indistinguishable discernment, since it was created on the eve of the Sabbath in the twilight. Hence, it could extend all the lights and all the miracles and wonders upon Israel, which are the extension of the lights of Bina in Malchut. Through it, Moses was rewarded with upper Bina and with being the man of God. This is called “the staff of God,” after Bina, and it is called “a spear,” Vav de HaVaYaH, which mates with the bottom Hey.
Malchut is called Tzor [flint], and Bina is called “rock.” The inner Zivug of ZON—when rising to AVI and the Nukva uses the Kelim de Ima—that Zivug de Hakaa is called “speech.” And the outer Zivug of ZON in their own place is called Zivug de Hakaa. This is the meaning of what was said to Moses, “And you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it,” since the flint is Malchut, in which there is striking.
However, it is also written, “And speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water,” since when the rock is in Bina’s place, the Zivug is called “speech,” and this is the sin of Moses, for he used his staff twice, since besides hitting its flint, he also struck the rock, meaning twice. Thus, he had sinned with the rock, since there is no striking in it, only speech.
He sinned in the rock with this staff, since because it was indistinguishable whether the staff of God belonged to Malchut or to Bina, he used it on the rock, as well, as it is written, “And struck the rock twice with his rod,” the flint and the rock. The Creator told him, “Moses, I did not give you My staff so you would use it on the rock, as well.”
102) Promptly, “And he went down to him with a club,” meaning with harsh Din, “And snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand,” since from that time forth, that staff, which is the spear, has been devoid of him and he will not have it forever. “And killed him with his own spear,” for because of that sin of striking the rock with the staff, he died and did not enter the holy land, and this light was prevented from Israel.
This is so because by the great Zivug of Atik Yomin, the SAG did not need to be cancelled whatsoever, only the BON, and then the BON would immediately rise and become SAG for all eternity. However, since the SAG and the BON were attached together, the SAG was cancelled along with the BON, and because of that, the Temples were ruined in the meantime. For the same reason, Moses’ illumination to the children of Israel was cancelled, for he sinned most in the connection of the BON with the SAG by the striking of the rock.
For this reason, “And he went down to him with a club,” with harsh Din, for the cancellation of the SAG was done in harsh Din, since indeed, he had no connection with the BON, and the cancellation of the BON did not concern him at all. It is written, “It will be known as bringing upwards axes in a thicket of trees, and now all its carved work they smash together with hatchet and hammers.” This is so because due to the raising and mitigating of Malchut and her ascent to Bina, it has now become as though bringing upward axes in a thicket of trees, for the SAG, too, has been cancelled by that ascent, “Smash … with hatchet and hammers.”
This is why it was said, “And snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand,” since from that time forth, the staff, the spear, was never in his hand because the spear actually belonged to BON. For this reason, his illumination has been revoked forever, since the BON itself was later renewed and became SAG for eternity. Hence, there is no longer interest in using the staff for striking. This is why it was said, “And killed him with his own spear,” for because of that sin of striking the rock with the staff, he died. Had he been cautious, using it only with flint and not with rock, the SAG would not have been cancelled with the BON and he would not have died but would immediately rise to SAG.
He did not enter the holy land because the land of Israel is the ascent of BON to the SAG, hence it is called “the holy land.” This is so because the Mochin de Bina, which shine in it at that time, are called “holiness,” and prior to the end of correction, while there are ups and downs, there are ruins and exiles because of it. But at the end of correction, BON will remain in SAG forever, as in regard to the land of Israel, and there will never be any exile.
103) It is written, “He was more honorable than the thirty, but he did not come to the three. And David set him to his discipline.” These are the upper thirty years, from which he would take and extend below. He would take of them and draw near, but did not come to the three. Rather, they would come to him and give him willingly, and he did not come to them.
GAR, HBD, are called “thirty,” three Sefirot, each of which comprises ten. These are the whole of the Mochin that illuminate during the 6,000 years. And the soul of Benaiahu that comes from the great Zivug de Atik Yomin collects from all those Zivugim of the 6,000 years, in a Zivug of a “Man of many deeds, Mekabze’el” on a single level, which is Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada. It follows that he receives and is honored by all those thirty upper years, which he would take from the Mochin of thirty years, which extend to his soul below, at the end of them all. And from them, he would take and approach, since his whole level is only from what he took and gathered of their Zivugim, which came one at a time.
And yet, he did not come to the three. They would come to him and give him willingly. He did not come to them, for although they gave him all of his sublime merit willingly, he still could not come to them afterward and receive more from them, since by the annulment of the Masach de BON, his Masach de SAG was cancelled, too, and he remained without a Masach. Hence, he could not come to them to raise MAN and to receive from them more.
104) Even though he was still not counted and calculated by them, it is still written, “And David set him to his discipline,” meaning that he never parted from his heart, for they never part. David paid attention to him, but he did not pay attention to David because the praises, the songs, and the mercy that the moon does toward the sun draw toward her, making his dwelling with her. This is the meaning of “And David set him to his discipline.”
David is Malchut, the fourth leg of GAR. Although he could not come to the thirty upper years, which are GAR, still, “David set him to his discipline,” meaning he clung to him and never moved from his heart. The reason is that all the wholeness in Malchut is revealed in him, since he is from the great Zivug of Atik Yomin, which arrests all the Klipot from the name BON, as it is written, “Death will be swallowed up forever.”
This is why it was said that David paid attention to him, that he never parted from his heart, for his wholeness was in him. But Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada did not pay attention to David because David is the fourth leg of GAR. Hence, as he cannot receive from GAR, he could not receive from David, so he did not pay attention to him.
Through the praises, the song, and the mercy that the moon does for the sun, meaning through the MAN that Malchut, the moon, raises to ZA, the sun, she extends upon her the illumination of the soul of Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada, her last wholeness, so his dwelling will be with her, that he may cleave to her forever.
105) Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba bowed face down before him. At that time, they did not see him. They rose, looked to all the sides, but did not see him. They sat, wept, and could not speak to one another. Rabbi Aba said, this must be what we learned, that whichever way the righteous walk with words of Torah among them, the righteous from that world come to them to disclose to them words of Torah. It must be that Rav Hamnuna Saba came to us from that world, to disclose these things to us. And before we got to know him, he went away and disappeared from us.
They rose and wished to drive the donkeys, but the donkeys would not go. They wished to drive them again, but they would not go. They feared and left the donkeys, and to this day, that place is called “the place of the donkeys,” for they could not tolerate that great light that appeared to them upon the disclosure of these secrets, and they bowed down before him. “At that time, they did not see him,” since after they were rewarded with receiving from him his great and sublime degree, he promptly disappeared from them and they could no longer find him and catch up with him. Hence, their sorrow was so great that they sat and wept until they could not speak to one another.
They said, “It is Rav Hamnuna Saba,” for now they have recognized his degree, that he was Rav Hamnuna Saba himself, and not as they previously thought—that he was only Rav Hamnuna Saba’s son. They rose and wanted to drive the donkeys, for the donkeys are the forces that the soul of Rav Hamnuna Saba gave them, so they could raise MAN to obtain the degrees Haya and Yechida, which they obtained through him.
He put them on the donkeys and walked before them to light the path of the righteous for them. And now that he has completed his task and disappeared from them, they wished to climb up and ride his donkeys once again, meaning raise MAN once more, to attain him once again. However, they wished to lead them, but they would not walk, for now they could no longer receive from the donkeys the strength to raise MAN. Hence, they feared and left the donkeys in that place where Rav Hamnuna Saba disappeared from them, and marked that place by the name, “The place of the donkeys,” after the event of not being able to use them anymore.
106) Rabbi Elazar started and said, “How great is Your goodness, which You have concealed for those who fear You, which You have made for those who take refuge in You, before people.” How much is the honorable, upper good that the Creator is destined to do for people, to those upper righteous who fear sin, who engage in Torah, when they come to that world. It does not say, “Your goodness,” but “Great is Your goodness,” as it is written, “They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness.” This is the life of pleasure that extends from the next world to the one who lives forever.
It is indeed called “The memory of Your abundant goodness,” as it is written, “And the great goodness for the house of Israel.” The word “great” always indicates Gadlut. “Great goodness” indicates a life of pleasure, Mochin de GAR, since the essence of the Partzuf and its life is Mochin de VAK, which is received from Zivug AVI to sustain the worlds. However, there is also Mochin of addition, which delights the living. These are Mochin de GAR and they are called “Great goodness” and “a life of pleasure.”
This is why it was said, “That extends from the next world to the one who lives forever,” since Mochin de GAR, which are Hochma, extend from the Bina, which is called “the next world,” and clothe in honorable clothing of Hassadim, which comes from the Zivug of Yesodot, called “the one who lives forever.” From there, the Mochin arrives to the righteous who fear sin.
107) We should also interpret “How great is Your goodness,” that here the meaning of the Hochma is engraved, and all the secrets are included here. “Great” is a great and strong tree, ZA, since there is a smaller tree than him—the Malchut. This ZA is great and brings him in the height of the firmaments.
Hochma indicates Zivug Atik, and “All the secrets” indicates the completion of the entire correction.
MA is the lower world. “Great” points to a great and strong tree, ZA, upon his clothing over AB. At that time he is called “a great tree,” after the Hochma, and he is called “strong” in and of himself. However, when ZA is in his own place, he is only called “a tree.” This is why it was said, “Since there is another tree, smaller than him—the Malchut,” which is called “a tree,” too.
This ZA is great, and when he clothes the level of AB he is called “great” and brings him in the height of the firmaments, since the height of AB reaches up to Keter, called “The height of the firmaments,” since the AB dresses over Partzuf Keter. Hence, AB raises the ZA to the height of the firmaments.
108) “Your goodness” is the light that was created on the first day of the act of creation.” “Which You have concealed for those who fear You,” since He concealed it for the righteous in that world. “Which You have made” is the upper Garden of Eden, as it is written, “The place which You have made for Your dwelling, O Lord.” This is the meaning of “Made for those who take refuge in You.”
The light that was created on the first day is the light that Adam HaRishon watched from the end of the world to its end. It is the five times “light” that are said on the first day of the act of creation. “For the righteous in that world,” in the next world, since that light was concealed in Yesodot, which are Tzadik [righteous] and Tzedek [justice] of AVI, which is called “the next world.” Those Tzadik and Tzedek are called, “Those who fear You,” hence the power of concealment in them. And from them, that light is received by the righteous.
“Made” is the upper Garden of Eden, since prior to that, it is written, “Which You have concealed.” It means that the Mochin come in a garment of honor of Tzadik and Tzedek, concealed, covered by those garments. And here it says, “Made,” which means an open act, without the above-mentioned cover. He brings evidence from the verse, “The place which You have made for Your dwelling, O Lord,” meaning a complete and open act.
The Zohar explains that “Made” refers to the upper Garden of Eden, which is operated and is excluded from those previous Mochin in the verse, which apply during all 6,000 years. And the meaning of the words, “How great is Your goodness, which You have concealed for those who fear You,” is that they are the Mochin of the entire 6,000 years. You have made all those through the great Zivug de Atik Yomin, for those who take refuge in You, as these Mochin elicit and operate the upper Garden of Eden, where the complete righteous, who take refuge in the Creator, stay, like those souls of Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada. These are rewarded with receiving from the great Zivug of Atik, assembled from all those Mochin of the 6,000 years.
Know that the resting place of the souls is called “the Garden of Eden.” There is the Garden of Eden of the earth, called “the lower Garden of Eden,” regarded as VAK, and there is the upper Garden of Eden, GAR of the Garden of Eden. All the souls are present only in the lower Garden of Eden. However, on beginnings of months and on Sabbaths, they rise to the upper Garden of Eden and then return to their place.
However, there are a chosen few whose place is in the upper Garden of Eden. Rabbi Shimon said about it, I have seen the elevated ones, that they are few.
109) The lower Garden of Eden is where all the righteous stand in a spirit that dresses in a garment of honor, in the same way and manner that it was in this world. This is the meaning of the words, “Before people,” that is, in the same form of people in this world. They stand there and fly in the air from there, and rise to the seminary of the firmament in that Garden of Eden of above, where they fly and bathe in the dew of rivers of pure persimmon, and descend and stay below, in the lower Garden of Eden.
The primary difference between GAR and ZAT in the Partzufim and Neshamot [plural of Neshama (soul)] is that GAR can receive light of Hochma as it is. They have no need for Hochma to clothe in a garment of light of Hassadim for them. But the Partzufim of VAK, as well as the Neshamot that are born out of ZON, who is primarily VAK, can receive the light of Hochma only when it is clothed in light of Hassadim. And it was that this is the lower Garden of Eden where all the righteous stand in the spirit that dresses in a garment of honor, in the same way and manner that they were in this world.
This is so because the Ruach of all the righteous in the lower Garden of Eden clothes in a garment of honor of light of Hassadim, like the souls of people in this world. Through this garment of honor, called Avir [air], they can rise to the upper Garden of Eden, receive light of Hochma from there, and subsequently return to their place in the lower Garden of Eden.
“They stand there” means that their permanent place is primarily in the lower Garden of Eden. “And fly in the air from there, and rise to the seminary of the firmament in that Garden of Eden of above.” Through this AVI, the light of Hassadim, they fly and rise to the upper Garden of Eden to receive Hochma. There they fly and bathe in the dew of rivers of pure persimmon, since the light of Hochma that they receive there in the Garden of Eden is called “thirteen rivers of pure persimmon,” for the Hochma is called “oil,” and the number thirteen points to the Hochma of the thirty-two paths.
Afterwards, they come down and stay below, since they cannot remain there. Immediately after their reception of Hochma within their garment of honor, they come down from the upper Garden of Eden to their place, to the lower Garden of Eden. And since they should receive the Hochma within the clothing of Hassadim, like souls of people in this world, the text calls them “Before people,” as well, since they have the same form as people in this world, for they, too, need clothing of Hassadim, like them.
110) Sometimes, these righteous appear to people, making miracles for them, like the upper angels, such as we saw now, the upper illumination, and we were not rewarded with observing and knowing the secrets of the wisdom further.
This refers to the souls of the chosen few in the upper Garden of Eden. Although their merit is so high that even the souls in the lower Garden of Eden that rise to them on beginnings of months and on Sabbaths cannot remain there, but promptly descend to their places. Hence, sometimes they appear to people, descending from the upper Garden of Eden to this world, appearing to people like high angels that sometimes descend to this world. It is as he now saw the light of the upper illumination of Rav Hamnuna Saba who descended to them from the height of his degree, from the upper Garden of Eden, and appeared to them in this world.
The text explains “Before people” in two ways:
Referring to the souls in the lower Garden of Eden, who have the form of people. He made for them the sublime lights in the upper Garden of Eden, so they could receive from there through ascending on beginnings of months and on Sabbaths. At that time, they are rewarded with greeting the souls in the upper Garden of Eden and descend back to their places.
Before actual people in this world means that those souls in the upper Garden of Eden sometimes descend to this world like high angels and appear to the righteous.
This is why it was said, “We were not rewarded with observing and knowing the secrets of the wisdom further,” complaining that he promptly disappeared from them. And since that time, he has not been rewarded with attaining the secrets of the Torah thus far.
111) Rabbi Aba started and said, “And Manoah said to his wife, ‘We will surely die, for we have seen God.’” Even though Manoah did not know what he was doing, as it is written, “For Manoah did not know that he was the angel of the Lord,” because it is written, “For man shall not see Me and live,” and we saw, hence “We will surely die.” And we saw and were rewarded with this light that was walking with us, and still existed in the world, since the Creator sent it to us, to inform us the secrets of the wisdom that it revealed. Happy are we.
Commentary: When the angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah, his attainment was incomplete in him, since the angel did not wish to tell him his name. Hence, he feared the verse, “For man shall not see Me and live.” But we were rewarded with the complete attainment, for we knew his name, Rav Hamnuna Saba, and we live and exist in this world. From this you understand that the meaning of greeting the degree of Rav Hamnuna Saba is considered “I pray You, show me Your glory,” which Moses asked of the Creator, of which the Creator told him, “You cannot see My face, for man shall not see Me and live.” It follows that their attainment is greater than Moses’ attainment.
We learn about it that no prophet such as Moses has risen, but a sage did rise. And also, a sage is preferable to a prophet. By that, they were praising themselves, “And we were rewarded with this light, of which it was written, ‘For man shall not see Me and live,’ which was walking with us, and we are alive in this world.”
112) They went, reached a mountain as the sun was setting, and began to knock the branches of the tree on the mountain against each other, and to sing. As they were walking, they heard a loud voice saying, “Holy sons of God, you who are scattered among the living in this world, you, lights of the members of the seminary, gather unto your places to play with your Master in the Torah.” They feared and remained standing still, and sat.
Commentary: “They went and reached a mountain” is the mountain of which King David said, “Who will ascend up the mountain of the Lord, and who will rise in His holy place?” When they climbed the mountain, the sun was setting, implying that their illuminations were departing. And the branches of the trees were rattling against each other, which is the conversing of the tree. They heard singing from them, as it is written, “Then all the trees of the forests shall sing for joy.”
They heard a loud voice telling them to return to their places to play with the Lord and His Torah, meaning to come down from the mountain. He calls them, “Holy sons of God” after their sublime degree. However, he hints to them that people in this world are not worthy of dwelling with. This is the meaning of his intimation to them, “You who are scattered among the living in this world.” That is, the people of this world are not worthy of them, for they would not be able to tolerate each other. This is why it was said that fear came over them, yet they did not come down from the mountain but rose, sat, and did not move from their place.
113) In the meantime, a voice came out as before and said, “Strong rocks, high hammers, behold the owner of the colors, who is embroidered in images, standing on the pillar. Come in and gather!” At that time, they heard the sound of the branches of the trees, loud and strong. They said, “The voice of the Lord breaks down the cedars.” Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba bowed down and great fear fell upon them. They rose hastily and went away, and they heard nothing. They went out of the mountain and walked away.
It was clarified earlier that this is why they could not drive the donkeys, meaning that they could no longer raise MAN because Rav Hamnuna Saba had already finished his task to assist them. Hence, the power of his donkeys was cancelled, too, and they could not use them anymore for raising MAN and being rewarded with a higher degree. Thus, Rabbi Elazar said above, “We were not rewarded with observing and knowing the secrets of the wisdom further.”
We should understand the attainment of the Mochin and cancellation of the strength for raising MAN. Once they had obtained the degree of Yechida, which is the revelation of the soul of Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada through Rav Hamnuna Saba, what occurred to them was as explained about the soul of Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada. This is so because once the Masach de BON had been revoked from them, the Masach de SAG had been revoked along with it. Thus, they could not raise MAN anymore, and left the donkeys. It was explained that the whole cessation of illumination of Guf de Atik was in order to impart them with strength to sort out the Masach de SAG for them once more, and then the BON would return to being SAG. Then they will raise MAN anew and will go once more from strength to strength.
Also, since Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba left the donkeys and went thus far, all the adventures sufficed for them to sort out new strength for raising MAN and bringing the BON back to being SAG. This is why it was said that a voice came out as before and said, “Strong rocks, high hammers.” The voice was implying to them that they were strong rocks and high hammers, since they endured all the great trials thus far and withstood them as strong rocks. Also, they prevailed over all the obstacles, until they smashed them as a great hammer that comes down from very high.
By that, they caused, “Behold the owner of the colors, embroidered in images, standing on the pillar,” since the Bina, who is called “owner of the colors,” as she herself is colorless but is all Rachamim, but all the colors awaken and come out from her. And through their endurance as a mighty rock against all those trials, now the Bina has been embroidered with images anew. This is why he calls Bina “the owner of the colors, embroidered in images,” since she received the power to be corrected with a Masach, on which new levels and degrees, called “images,” emerge, while she stands on the pillar, the throne. And now the Bina has been set up in the throne as before, hence it was said, “Come in and gather,” it is time for you to come into your places in the holiness as before.
“At that time, they heard the sound of the branches of the trees, loud and strong. They said, ‘The voice of the Lord breaks down the cedars.’” That means that along with the voice that told them that the Masach of Bina and the throne have been corrected, they also heard a voice from the branches of the trees saying, “The voice of the Lord breaks down the cedars.” This implies to them that all the cedars that were impediments on their way to holiness have been broken. “They went out of the mountain” because they mustered the strength to come out of the mountain and make their walk in holiness as before.
114) When they arrived at the house of Rabbi Yosi, son of Rabbi Shimon, son of Lakunia, they saw Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai there and they were glad. Rabbi Shimon was glad. He told them, “You must have passed through a road of miracles and high tokens, for I have been sleeping now and saw you and Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada sending you two crowns through an old man, to crown you. It must be that the Creator was on that way, for I see that your faces have changed.” Rabbi Yosi said, “You said well—that a sage is preferable to a prophet.” Rabbi Elazar came and placed his head between the knees of his father, Rabbi Shimon, and told him the feat.
This implies to two issues: 1) They have been rewarded once more with Mochin de SAG, the father-in-law of Rabbi Elazar, who is called Rabbi Yosi, son of Rabbi Shimon son of Lakunia. 2) Now the SAG connected with the AB for them in a never ending Zivug, since Rabbi Shimon, father of Rabbi Elazar, implies to Mochin de AB. This is why it was said that when they arrived at the house of Rabbi Yosi, son of Rabbi Shimon son of Lakunia, they saw Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai there, for now they have been rewarded with the great Behina [discernment] that their BON has become actual SAG again, forever, in a never ending Zivug with AB, as well.
This is why he told them, “I saw you and Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada sending you two crowns through an old man.” He hinted to them that Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada had sent them two crowns through Rav Hamnuna Saba: 1) Mochin de Haya, considered Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada himself, and 2) The new Mochin de AB SAG that they have now obtained, which are also extended by the power of Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada.
In other words, he was implying and saying to them, “This is the continuation of the trials and adventures that you had, and by which you were rewarded with the current degree, for it, too, is a direct extension of the great light of his soul. It therefore follows that Benaiahu Ben Yehoiada sent them two crowns through Rav Hamnuna Saba. This is why he told them, “It must be that the Creator was on that way,” meaning that all those declines that occurred to you are not faults, but the Creator Himself was leading you to your current merit.
“For I see that your faces have changed.” In addition to what you have attained, I see that your faces are extremely bright, due to the road by which you went. If there were any flaws in it, you would certainly not be rewarded with an illuminating face, the way I see you.
“Rabbi Yosi said, ‘You said well—that a sage is preferable to a prophet.’” They thought that this is why all those adventures happened to them, since they were conceited in their minds over Moses, for they thought about themselves, “A sage is preferable to a prophet.” They said, “And we saw and were rewarded with this light, which was going with us, and still existed in the world.” Rabbi Yosi comforted them about it, “You said well—that a sage is preferable to a prophet,” your words are sincere.
115) Rabbi Shimon feared and cried. He said, “Lord, I have heard the report of You and I am afraid.” Habakkuk said this verse when he saw his death and his revival by Elisha. He is called Habakkuk, as it is written, “At this time next year you will embrace [In Heb: “embrance” is Hibuk] a son,” since this Habakkuk was the son of the Shunammite. There were two embraces: one of his mother and one of Elisha, as it is written, “And put his mouth on his mouth.”
We should seemingly ask, “How is it possible that Prophet Elisha extended to the Shunammite a seed that is not of one who is sustainable?” Prophet Elisha was greater than all the prophets, aside from Moses. He was rewarded with souls from the upper Garden of Eden, whose BON was already in complete purity and wholeness, as it is in the future. Hence, when he extended the son to her, he did not take the precaution of tying him to the male world because he told her, “You will embrace a son,” and tied that embrace only to the side of Nukva. And since the Nukva, BON, is near the Klipot and Sitra Achra, the Sitra Achra clung to him and he died.
It follows that the cause of death was the prophet’s great sublimity, since his own BON was already cleaned of any grip of Sitra Achra and death. This is why the prophet was surprised, “And the Lord concealed from me and did not tell me.” In other words, he could not even contemplate that death would occur to him due to his connection only to the BON. Hence, he had to be revived and tied to the upper world at the revival of the dead.
The meaning of embrace: The actual fetus is the whiteness in it, from Aba, Hochma, since the Hochma is called “whiteness,” as it is written, “In wisdom You have made them all.” However, it requires clothing of Hassadim, since there cannot be Hochma without clothing of Hassadim. Hence, Ima’s redness is required, meaning the Masach that extends Hassadim to clothe the Hochma.
It is considered that through the embrace of the Hassadim to Hochma, the fetus extends and exists. This is why it was said that this Habakkuk was the son of the Shunammite. That is, the embrace of Hassadim in Hochma that was performed on the fetus was all from his mother, the Shunammite, meaning only from the side of BON.
But he had two embraces, one of his mother and one of Elisha, since when he revived him, he re-extended for him whiteness and redness. It follows that Elisha made the second embrace for him.
116) Elisha carved on the name Habakkuk—the carved name of seventy-two names—in words. Each word consists of three letters, since the letters of the alphabet that his father carved in him at first had fled from him when he died. And now that Elisha embraced him, he carved in him all those letters in the seventy-two names.
The engraved letters of these seventy-two names are Reish–Yod–Vav (Gematria 216), three letters in each name, since the letters from which the fetus was built are 216 letters, and they are illumination of Hochma that extends from YESHSUT. This is why the fetus is considered to have 216 letters in it, which are Reiah [“vision,” made of Reish–Aleph–Yod–Hey] in Gematria, meaning the light of the eyes, Hochma. And upon the Gadlut, when receiving the clothing of Hassadim from the upper world, from AVI, and 216 letters clothe in them, he is called by the name “seventy-two” words, where each three letters connect into a single word, and they are seventy-two words.
When he does not have Hassadim for clothing, but only from the lower world, it is regarded as 216 letters. When he obtains the male AB, Hassadim from the upper world, all three letters conjoin into a single word, and seventy-two words are the name AB. This is the engraved name of seventy-two names that Elisha carved on Habakkuk in words, since when Elisha revived the son of the Shunammite, Habakkuk, he carved in him seventy-two words from 216 letters. He extended in him the Hassadim of a higher world, called “male AB,” which arrange the 216 letters in a correction of lines of three letters in each word. When the letters clothe in them, it is the name AB, complete Mochin de Hochma.
However, previously, while he had only Hassadim de Nukva, they still lacked the combination of seventy-two words. That is, there were no words in them, meaning Kelim for clothing of Hochma. Rather, they are referred to only by the name “216 letters” because there is still a hold for the Sitra Achra in them, hence the Mochin de Hochma could not clothe there.
And since the letters of the alphabet, which his father initially carved in him—the 216 letters that Habakkuk had from the time of his birth—fled and departed him at the time of death, he had to extend new 216 letters and seventy-two names for him. This is why it was said that Elisha carved all those letters in Habakkuk’s spirit, to revive him with the letters of seventy-two names, since he had to carve new 216 letters in him, to join 216 letters into seventy-two words through the upper Hassadim, at which time they become seventy-two names.
117) Elisha carved all those letters in Habakkuk’s spirit to revive him with letters of the seventy-two names. He called him Habakkuk, which is a name that complements and implies to all the sides. It complements and implies to two embraces, and complements and implies to the 216 letters of the holy name, since Habakkuk is 216 in Gematria, from which the seventy-two names were formed.
He revived and brought back his spirit with seventy-two names, and revived to existence his entire body with 216 letters, hence he is called Habakkuk. It is so because Habakkuk indicates two Hibukim [embraces], for it complements and implies to two embraces. Also, Habakkuk is 216 in Gematria, complementing and implying to the 216 letters, since Hochma is called “216 letters.” However, an embrace is required, clothing of Hassadim.
In the first embrace, which was from his mother’s side, the Hochma still could not be revealed in 216 letters, since the Sitra Achra had a hold of the redness of his mother. However, now that Elisha extended an embrace for him from the Hassadim of the upper world, from AVI, the letters joined into words and Mochin de Hochma permanently clothed in him, since there is no longer a hold for the Sitra Achra in the Hassadim of the upper world.
Also, the name Habakkuk points to two embraces: an embrace of Ima, and another embrace, from Elisha. He is completed from Hochma and from Hassadim in complete perfection, since he complements and implies to two embraces, and complements and implies to 216 letters.
Embraces are the Hassadim de AVI, and 216 letters are the Hochma. This is why it was said that he revived and brought back his spirit with seventy-two words, and revived to existence his entire body with 216 letters, since the words that were formed out of the 216 letters were made by the second embrace of Elisha, by which Habakkuk was revived.
Embraces are extension of Hassadim from the upper world, where there is no hold for the Sitra Achra, which is death. Hochma existed in him in 216 letters—the existence of his entire body—since the Mochin de Hochma complement the Guf [body] in all the needed perfection.
However, the 216 letters that he had had from his birth departed him upon death. Hence, why was Habakkuk named after two embraces? Did his mother’s embrace not leave him upon death and there was only Elisha’s embrace in him? Indeed, Elisha did not extend anything new in him in his revival, except the embrace that he extended for him from upper Ima, SAG, in whom there is the revival of the dead. Rather, the 216 letters, as well as the embrace from his mother, from BON, were only revived. They are the same 216 letters and BON from the time of his birth, for otherwise he would have been a whole new soul and you would not be able to attribute revival to him.
It follows that now he actually has two embraces, since the first embrace of his mother has been revived, as well. But the BON rose and clothed the SAG, and since the BON is in the place of SAG, the Hassadim are regarded as being from the upper world and there is no hold for the Sitra Achra in them, which is death. This is why Habakkuk is named after two embraces.
118) He said, “Lord, I have heard the report of You and I am afraid.” I heard what had happened to me, I tasted from that world—when he was dead—and before Elisha revived him, “I am afraid.” He began to ask for mercy for his soul and said, “O Lord, the work that You have done for me for years will be his life.” “His life” means like his life. And anyone who connects to those early years, the Sefirot de Atik, life connects to him, as it is written, “In the midst of the years make it known,” meaning impart life upon that degree where there is no life, Malchut de Malchut, for “Make it known” means bestow.
His fear is from the past, since he has already been completed from all sides and fear is impertinent in him now, except for the fear that he had at the time when he departed from the world. This is why he said, “I heard what had happened to me, I tasted from that world,” meaning after his demise, before Elisha revived him. From there he extends fear even now, to be a Masach for him for raising MAN. This is why he began to ask for mercy for his soul, for by the force from the past, he began to raise MAN, meaning asked for mercy for himself.
So is the Masach in the future. Once the BON returns to being SAG, as it is written, “Death will be swallowed up forever,” there will be no power that will make it possible to fear and to keep himself in purity and beware of any grip. At that time, all the fear will be from the past, for his Reshimot [recollections] will remain in BON even after he has become SAG.
This is necessary, for there is no correction of the Masach without fear. Rabbi Shimon told them this commentary on Habakkuk in that regard, to teach them that they, too, will receive fear from the same path of miracles and high tokens that they had traversed, like Habakkuk, who used this fear according to his degree.
This is why he said, “O Lord, Your work, which You have done for me for years will be his life,” since he had two discernments of years: years before his death and years after his revival. In between them, he was deceased in the world of truth. He says about the time when he was in that world, which are between the two discernments of years, “Your work, which You have done for me, in them his life will be.” In other words, “By remembering the period of my death between the years, I connect to the life of the upper world, in which Elisha revived me. I heard what had happened to me, that I tasted from that world, and I am afraid.”
ZAT de Atik are called “the early years” in regard to Malchut de AK clothing in them. They are earlier than Tzimtzum Aleph [first restriction], like AK, and they do not shine in the 6,000 years, but at the end of correction, since during the 6,000 years ZAT de Atik illuminate, in regard to the correction of Tzimtzum Bet [second restriction], in the small Hey of Hibaram [when they were created].
However, Habakkuk’s death completely purified him, like the end of correction, hence he was rewarded with connecting to those early years of Atik through the embrace and the revival of the dead that he was granted by Elisha.
“The work that You have done for me over the years” is the purity and fear that he was awarded during the years of his death. They will be his life, since by that fear, he will be rewarded with connecting to those early years of Atik. This life is eternal life, and anyone who connects to those early years, life connects to him forever.
This is why it is written, “In the midst of the years make it known,” meaning bestow life upon that degree in which there is no life, since through the purity that he was granted by his death, BON received his complete correction, having risen and becoming SAG upon his demise. And then he was in that degree in which there is no life at all, Malchut de Malchut, for whom there is no Zivug prior to the end of correction. Now, she, too, receives her life.
119) Rabbi Shimon wept and said, “I, too, was afraid of the Creator, of what I heard.” He put his hands on his head and said, “But Rav Hamnuna Saba is the light of the Torah. You were granted seeing him face-to-face, and I was not.” He bowed down and saw him uprooting mountains and lighting candles in the hall of the Messiah King. Rav Hamnuna Saba said to him, “My Rav, in that world, you will be next to the heads of the seminaries before the Creator.” From that day forth he would call Rabbi Elazar, his son, and Rabbi Aba, Pnei’el [face of God], as it is written, “For I have seen God face to face.”
He praised himself that he, too, was using that same fear of Prophet Habakkuk, from what he had heard of the past, in the verse, “I have heard the report of You and I am afraid.”
In the hall of the Messiah King, all the corrections that should be revealed at the end of correction—upon the arrival of the Messiah King—are already prepared and ready. Not a single detail is missing, and those souls in the hall of the Messiah King are all those who have already been rewarded with the end of correction from the root of their own souls.
This is why he said that he saw him uprooting mountains and lighting candles in the hall of the Messiah King, since Rav Hamnuna Saba is the doer of these corrections in the hall of the Messiah. He uproots the mountains of the Sitra Achra, which seem to the righteous as a high mountain, he lights candles, and corrects the new Masach of SAG for raising MAN at the end of correction, since the MAN is called “lights of fire.” Also, he is “Man’s soul is the Lord’s candle,” since the light of the sun indicates the descent of the MAD, like the light of the sun that comes down to us from above downwards.
Also, the “lights of fire” is Ohr Hozer [reflected light] that rises from below upwards like a flame rising from the candle. These are the two corrections, 1) to remove the Sitra Achra, 2) to raise and to light the candles in the hall of the Messiah King. They are in the hands of Rav Hamnuna Saba.
Those complete righteous who need those two corrections are rewarded with them through the discovery of the soul of Rav Hamnuna Saba. He told him that he and his students, Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba would also be rewarded with serving in the hall of the Messiah King after their demise. They would be there next to him and be heads of seminaries there before the Creator.
120) Rabbi Hiya started, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a good mind for all those who do them; His praise endures forever.” Should this verse not have said, “Fear of the Lord is the end of wisdom,” since fear of the Lord is Malchut, which is the end of wisdom [Hochma]? However, Malchut is the first to enter the degree of upper Hochma, as it is written, “Open for me the gates of righteousness [Tzedek],” the gates of Malchut, who is called Tzedek. “This is the gate of the Lord.” Indeed, if he does not enter by this gate, he will never enter the upper King, for He is sublime, hidden, and concealed, and He makes gates for Himself, one atop the other.
Explanation: Because the fear of the Lord is the Sefira Malchut, who is at the end of the ten Sefirot, should he not have said, “Fear of the Lord is the end of wisdom?”
It was said about the upper King that he is sublime, hidden, and concealed, and He makes gates for Himself, one atop the other. This is not an allegory. Rather, it is the lesson itself, since being a sublime, hidden, and concealed King, the thought cannot perceive Him whatsoever. Hence, He made many gates one atop the other, by which He made it possible to approach Him, as it is written, “Open for me the gates of righteousness.” These are the gates that the Creator has made and made it possible for the righteous to approach Him through those gates.
At the end of all the gates, He made a gate with several locks. That gate is called Malchut de Malchut, the final point of all the upper gates. This last gate is the first gate for the upper Hochma [wisdom]. That is, it is possible to be rewarded with the upper Hochma only after the attainment of this last gate specifically, as for attainment of the upper Hochma, it is the first gate. This is why it is written, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” since “Fear of the Lord” is called the last gate, which is the first for the wisdom of the Lord.
121) “At the end of all the gates, He made a gate with several locks,” several openings in several halls, one atop the other. He said, “Anyone who wishes to come into My place, this gate will be the first toward Me. One who enters will enter through this gate.” Here, too, the first gate for the upper Hochma is the fear of the Lord, which is Malchut, and this is the one called “first.”
We should thoroughly understand the meaning of locks, openings, and halls. Know that they are three forms that come one after the other over a single substance. This is a very deep matter and I will exert to clarify as best as possible, enough to somewhat understand the words of The Zohar before us. We should know that although it is clear that the thought cannot perceive Him whatsoever, the truth is that the thought of creation is to delight His creatures and no pleasure is perceived by the creature while he must be separated from the Creator. Moreover, we learn that the Creator craves to dwell in the lower ones.
The common thing in understanding those two matters, which deny each other, is that the world was created in complete oppositeness from the Creator, from one end to the other, in every single point. This is so because this world was created with a desire to receive, which is the opposite form of the Creator’s, in whom there is not even a shred of this desire, as it is written, “And man is born the foal of a wild donkey.”
In that respect, all the issues of the governance of His guidance in this world are in total contrast to the thought of creation, which is only to delight His creatures, for it is according to the desire to receive in us, which is our standard and our tastefulness.
This is the meaning of the locks on the gates. First, all the many contradictions to His uniqueness, which we taste in this world, separate us from the Creator. Yet, when exerting to keep Torah and Mitzvot with love, with our soul and might, as we are commanded—to bestow contentment upon our Maker—all those forces of separation do not affect us into subtracting any of the love of the Creator with all our souls and might. Rather, in that state, every contradiction we have overcome becomes a gate for attainment of His wisdom. This is so because there is a special quality in each contradiction—revealing a special degree in attaining Him. And those worthy ones who have been rewarded with it turn darkness into light and bitter into sweet, for all the powers of separation—from the darkness of the mind and the bitterness of the body—have become to them gates for obtainment of sublime degrees. Thus, the darkness becomes a great light and the bitter becomes sweet.
Hence, to the extent that they previously had all the conducts of His guidance toward the forces of separation, now they have all been inverted into forces of unification, and sentence the entire world to the side of merit. This is because now each force serves for them as a gate of righteousness, by which they will come to receive from the Creator everything that He has contemplated for them, to delight them with the thought of creation, as it is written, “This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous will enter through it.”
However, prior to being rewarded with inverting the desire to receive in us through Torah and Mitzvot, into reception in order to bestow, there are strong locks on those gates to the Creator, for then they have the opposite role: to drive us away from the Creator. This is why the forces of separation are called “locks,” since they block the gates of approaching and drive us away from the Creator.
But if we overcome them so they do not affect us, cooling His love from our hearts, the locks become doors, the darkness becomes light, and the bitter becomes sweet. Over all the locks, we receive a special degree in His Providence, and they become openings, degrees of attainment of the Creator. And those degrees that we receive on the openings become halls of wisdom.
Thus, the locks, the doors, and the halls are three forms that come upon our substance, the desire to receive in us. Before we turn it into reception in order to bestow upon our Maker, that substance turns the light to darkness and the sweet to bitter, according to our taste, since all the conducts of His Providence remove us from Him. At that time, locks are made from the desire to receive in us, and after we repent, we are rewarded with receiving in order to bestow, all the locks become doors, and then the doors become halls. Remember this well henceforth for I will not repeat the words.
He said, “Anyone who wishes to come into My place, this gate will be the first toward Me.” The end of all the gates, the last discernment among them, the lowliest there is, can be called Malchut de Malchut. And he says that to be rewarded with the upper Hochma, this gate, the last of them, was made the first gate to the hall of upper wisdom.
In truth, all the gates serve as doors and halls of the Creator’s wisdom, but it is impossible to obtain the upper wisdom unless by attaining specifically the last gate, since it is the first for the upper wisdom. This is why it is called “first,” meaning Beresheet [“In the beginning” but also, “At first”] in which the Torah begins, since Beresheet indicates the fear of the Lord in relation to the last gate, which is the first for obtainment of the upper wisdom.
122) The letter Bet from Beresheet [at first] indicates that those two join together in Malchut. They are two points, one concealed and hidden, and one disclosed. And because they are not separated, they are called “first,” meaning only one and not two, for one who takes one, takes the other, too. It is all one, for He and His name are one, as it is written, “That they may know that You alone, whose name is ‘the Lord.’”
Explanation: Those two points are the mitigation of Midat ha Din [quality of judgment] with Midat ha Rachamim [quality of mercy], when Malchut rose and was mitigated in Bina, Midat ha Rachamim, as it is written, “And they both walked together,” Bina and Malchut. It follows that the Masach that was established in Malchut consists of both, hence there are two points there, conjoined as one. One is hidden and concealed, and the other is disclosed, since the Din in the point of Malchut is hidden and concealed, and only the Rachamim from the point of Bina is disclosed. Had it not been so, the world would not be able to exist, as we learn, “First, the world was created with Midat ha Din; He saw that the world could not exist, and associated it with Midat ha Rachamim.
And because they are not separated, they are called only “first,” and not “two,” since one who takes one, takes the other, too. That is, although Midat ha Din is concealed, it does not mean that the Zivug is not performed on her, for those two points have actually become one, and the point of Malchut receives this Zivug with the point of Bina, too, albeit in secret and not openly. This is what the name Resheet—in singular form—indicates, that they are both one.
“It is all one, for He and His name are one.” “He” indicates Bina, and “His name” indicates Malchut. In “He and His name are one,” both must be one because when they are one, Malchut, too, receives the upper Zivug along with Bina, by which Midat ha Din is finally mitigated at the end of correction. And on that day, “The Lord will be one and His name One.”
Because of this Midat ha Din, included in the letter Bet of Beresheet, she is called “first” to Hochma, for her correction will be at the end of correction. At that time, the upper Hochma will appear, as it is written, “The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord,” since the last gate is the first gate to Hochma. And it is written, “That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord,” for then the knowledge will be revealed in the whole of the earth.
123) “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a good mind for all those who do them.” Why is Malchut called “Fear of the Lord?” It is because Malchut is the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When one is rewarded, it is good. If he is not rewarded, it is bad. Hence, there is fear in that place. She is the gate to come into all the good that is in the world. “A good mind” is those two gates, the two points that are as one. Rabbi Yosi said, “A good mind is the tree of life, for it is a good mind without any evil at all. And because there is no evil in it, it is a good mind, without evil.”
The last gate is called “the fear of the Lord,” of which it is written, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” This is the tree of knowledge with which Adam HaRishon sinned, for on this point, his punishment is death, and the great fear is not to blemish it. At the end of correction, when this point is completely corrected, in the full perfection, the verse, “Death will be swallowed up forever” will come true. This is why it is called “The fear of the Lord.”
This is why it was said that there is fear in that place, and that she is the gate for all the good in the world, since the disclosure of the upper Hochma is all the good in the world, included in the thought of creation. And since the fear of the Lord is the first gate to the upper Hochma, it follows that it is the gate to all the good in the world.
“A good mind” is those two gates, the two points that are as one. The two points are included in the letter Bet of Beresheet together, and when he does not say “two points,” but “two gates,” it refers to after the correction of BON, when the two points are called “two gates,” for then both of them are good without any evil at all. Hence, the words, “A good mind” are possible. But prior to the end of correction they are called “the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
Rabbi Yosi said, “A good mind is the tree of life, for it is a good mind without any evil.” Rabbi Yosi does not dispute Rabbi Hiya, since Rabbi Hiya explains the verse after the correction of BON, when the two points have become two gates. There is no evil in them, they are a good mind without any evil, and Rabbi Yosi explains the verse prior to the end of correction, when they are considered the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is why he says, “A good mind is the tree of life,” ZA in Mochin de Ima, called “the tree of life,” which is all good without any evil, even before the end of correction. However, the two points are good and evil prior to the end of correction, for which the Malchut is called “the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
124) “For all those who do them” are the faithful Hassadim of David, keepers of the Torah. Those who keep the Torah are seemingly the ones who make it. There is no doing in all those who engage in Torah while they are engaged in it. However, there is doing in those who keep it and by that, the verse, “His praise endures forever,” comes true and the throne is properly sustained.
Explanation: The gate of the fear of the Lord is the last gate. It is the first gate to the upper Hochma. It follows that all those who engage in Torah, who have already corrected the last gate and the two points have become two gates for them—which are a good mind without evil—it is considered that there is no doing in them, which is the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, there is doing, which is good and evil, in those who have not yet been rewarded with the end of correction, those who are called “keepers of the Torah,” since they have not yet corrected the sin of the tree of knowledge.
Also, those who keep the Torah are seemingly the ones who make it because all those forces of separation are inverted and become gates, each lock becomes a door, and each door becomes a hall of wisdom. By those who keep the Torah, all the sublime degrees that are included in the thought of creation to delight His creatures come and become revealed.
It follows that all the wisdom and the whole Torah are revealed only by those who keep the Torah, those in whom there is doing, in whom there is good and evil. This is why they are called “keepers of the Torah,” for it appears only through them. The verse calls them “Those who do them,” for they are seemingly the ones who make the Torah. This is so because were it not for their concealments, which have become gates through their prevailing, the Torah would not have been revealed.
This is why it was said, “Those who keep the Torah are seemingly the ones who make it.” That is, they are regarded as the ones who seemingly make it, revealing it. It was said that the Torah seemingly preceded the world. Certainly, the Creator made it, but were it not for the good deeds of those who keep the Torah, it would never have been revealed, hence they are regarded as the doers and the makers of the Torah.
By that, the verse, “His praise endures forever” is sustained, meaning by the force of those who keep the Torah. You find that His glory, which is all the wisdom and all the Torah, endures forever and ever, including after the end of correction, since then, too, they will need the fear of the Lord. After the correction of the tree of knowledge they will have nowhere to take fear of the Lord except the past, related to those who keep the Torah. It follows that they establish the glory of the Creator forever and for all eternity. This is why it was said, “The throne is properly sustained,” for by that the throne of the Lord is properly sustained forever.