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Advanced Parsha 08 – Vayetzei Zohar

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  1. “And Ya’akov went out from Be’er Sheva…”
    In this section of secret Torah teachings, Rabbi Chiya discusses the symbolism and meaning of Ecclesiastes’ resonant verse, “The sun also rises,
    and the sun goes down, and hastens to its place where it rises again.” The verse refers to Ya’akov, when he was in Be’er Sheva and went to Charan,
    where Beresheet tells us he “tarried…all night, for the sun was set.” The solar directions, north and south, indicate the Left Column and the Right
    Columns of energy, or, respectively, the negative and positive forces. Rabbi Ashlag’s commentary further clarifies the word “place” as referring to
    Malchut, our physical world. Both Ya’akov and “the sun” represent Zeir Anpin–the Upper World, the source of our spiritual Light. We learn that the
    divine emanation alluded to in the text–“And Ya’akov went out”–is a complete one, combining the secrets of Chochmah and Chassadim; that is,
    both the Right and Left Columns. Rabbi Chiya explains Ya’akov’s journey in terms of the Light of Zeir Anpin descending into the material world of
    darkness, the Malchut; and Rabbi Yosi further elucidates the journey of Ya’akov in relation to the Exile of the Jews. These explanations are used to
    explore the nature of The Creator’s more awesome aspect, His “fierce indignation…” The Rabbis proceed into a brief discussion of the Tefilin, which
    are emblems of the divine presence as well as antennae-like instruments for evoking the Light, which is present even in the most seemingly dark
    and demonic situations. The reader comes to understand that such stories from Torah are really mullet-layered allegories, revealing the structures
    of reality and both the inner and the outer universe, as well as the essential harmony of God’s Creation. Lastly, in the secret of 22, it is shown that
    the driving force of the universe on every scale comprises the desire for union between Zeir Anpin, the Upper World, and the Nukva, the Malchut,
    our lower physical dimension. This includes such seemingly opposed aspects of the divine as male and female, darkness and light, anger and
    mercy. The rabbis then state that this duality that also lies at the root of our own confusion, fear,rage, and loneliness–everything that prevents us
    from attaining transcendence and union with the One.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The patriarch Ya’akov is the living embodiment of the Central Column force, known in lay terms as Restriction or Resistance. While the Right and
    Left Columns correspond to the positive and negative poles of an incandescent light bulb, the Central Column correlates to the filament,which
    creates light through resistance. Spiritual Light operates under the same principle. We draw Light from the Upper World of Zeir Anpin into our
    physical world of Malchut when we apply the concept of Restriction in our own life. This is achieved by resisting our impulsive, self-centered
    desires. Tefilin also assists us towards that end. Tefilin is bound upon the left arm, which denotes the negative power of the Left Column. Binding
    and restricting the power of the left arm weakens our own Left Column, the source of our selfish, wanton desires. The forces released through our
    visual connection to the Hebrew letters helps strengthen our connection to the Light, so that we may resolve the inner conflicts that cause our
    sense of separation from the Eternal. By invoking the power of Ya’akov and Tefilin through our attention to these passages, we receive the
    emotional strength, willpower, and foresight to rise above the power of impulse, creating union between ourselves and the Light of the Creator.
  2. “And Ya’akov went out from Be’er Sheva, and went toward
    Charan” (Bereshit 28:10). Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with
    the verse: “The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens
    to its place where it rises again” (Kohelet 1:5). This verse has been
    explained. The phrase, “the sun also rises,” refers to Ya’akov, WHO
    IS ZEIR ANPIN, when he was in Be’er Sheva, WHICH IS BINAH. The
    phrase, “and the sun goes down,” refers to Ya’akov when he went to
    Charan, THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN, as it is written: “and tarried
    there all night, for the sun was set” (Beresheet 28:11). The passage:
    “and hastens to its place where it rises again,” is similar to the
    verse: “and lay down in that place to sleep” (Ibid. 11). THIS REFERS
    TO THE NUKVA, CALLED ‘PLACE’, WHERE THE SUN HASTENS TO
    SHINE.
  3. Come and behold: although the sun illuminates the whole world, it
    travels in only two directions, as it is written: “goes towards the
    south, and veers to the north,” (Kohelet 1:6) for south is the Right
    COLUMN and north is the Left COLUMN. And the sun rises every day
    from the east side, FROM ITS OWN ASPECT, TIFERET, and travels
    toward the south side, TO THE RIGHT COLUMN, CHESED. It then
    veers to the north side, TO THE LEFT COLUMN, GVURAH. THAT IS,
    IT EVENTUALLY COMBINES THE ILLUMINATION FROM BOTH
    COLUMNS. And from the north it veers toward the west, THE
    NUKVA. Then the sun moves to the west, where it sets. HE
    EXPLAINED THAT the sun rises in the east, as it is written: “And
    Ya’akov went out from Be’er Sheva,” WHEN THE TWO COLUMNS,
    SOUTH AND NORTH, WERE COMBINED IN HIM. The sun goes west
    TO THE NUKVA, as it is written: “and went toward Charan.” THIS
    TEACHES US THAT THE ILLUMINATION ALLUDED TO IN THE TEXT,
    “AND YA’AKOV WENT OUT,” IS A COMPLETE ILLUMINATION
    COMPRISING THE TWO COLUMNS, RIGHT AND LEFT, WHICH IS
    THE SECRET OF CHOCHMAH AND CHASSADIM COMBINED.1
  4. Rabbi Shimon said that Ya’akov went out of the ambit of the land
    of Yisrael, as it is written: “And Ya’akov went out from Be’er Sheva,”
    WHICH IS THE NUKVA IN ITS ENTIRETY, CALLED ‘BE’ER SHEVA’,
    AND CALLED THE ‘LAND OF YISRAEL’. And he went to another
    domain, as it is written: “and went toward Charan,” OUTSIDE THE
    LAND OF YISRAEL, WHERE THE OTHER SIDE RULES. THUS,
    Ya’akov came from the east, THE SECRET OF THE CENTRAL
    COLUMN THAT COMPRISES THE RIGHT AND LEFT COLUMNS, as it
    is written: “And Ya’akov went out from Be’er Sheva.” This means
    that during the Shmitah, NAMELY, THE NUKVA, Ya’akov took the
    shining light from the supernal depth, BINAH, and traveled west.
    THAT IS, HE TOOK THE LIGHT WHICH SETS IN THE WEST, THE
    LEFT COLUMN WITHOUT THE RIGHT, “and went toward Charan,” a
    place of Judgment and wrath (Heb. charon), WHICH IS THE DOMAIN
    OF THE OTHER SIDE.
  5. According to Rabbi Yosi, this verse refers to the exile. For at first,
    the light descended from the supernal depth, WHICH IS BINAH, and
    Ya’akov, ZEIR ANPIN, took it with him and went to POUR IT on Be’er
    Sheva. THIS IS THE SECRET OF: “the well that the princes dug
    out” (Bemidbar 21:18). IT IS THE NUKVA, BUILT OF ABA AND IMA
    THAT ARE CALLED ‘PRINCES’, FROM where Ya’akov received his
    illumination, and perfected the well (Heb. be’er) in all its wholeness.
    During the days of exile, he wanders from Be’er Sheva to Charan, as
    written: “and went toward Charan”–that is, to fierce indignation
    (Heb. Charon). What is the fierce indignation of the Holy One,
    blessed be He? It is the evil grade, the land of the dominion of
    another, NAMELY, MALCHUT OF THE KLIPOT.
  6. Rabbi Chiya said that when the sun, ZEIR ANPIN, goes west, THE
    NUKVA, the west, represents the throne of the sun, the place upon
    which the sun dwells. This is the meaning of the verse, “and hastens
    to its place where it rises again,” for it goes to that place to shine
    upon it. It takes all the lights FROM THE RIGHT AND LEFT
    COLUMNS and gathers them to itself, THAT IS, IT BESTOWS THEM
    UPON THE NUKVA.
  7. So we have learned that the Holy One, blessed be He, NAMELY,
    ZEIR ANPIN, puts on Tefilin which means He takes all the supernal
    crowns when he. What are they? They are the secret of the supernal
    Aba and supernal Ima; THEY ARE THE MOCHIN OF CHOCHMAH
    AND BINAH, THE SECRET OF THE TWO PASSAGES: “KADESH
    (SANCTIFY TO ME)” (DEVARIM 11:13) AND “VEHAYAH KI YEVIACHA
    (AND IT SHALL BE WHEN HASHEM SHALL BRING YOU)” (SHMOT
    13:11-16). KADESH IS THE MOCHIN OF THE SUPERNAL ABA,
    WHICH IS CHOCHMAH. VEHAYAH KI YEVIACHA IS THE MOCHIN OF
    THE SUPERNAL IMA, BINAH. They are the head Tefilin, THE FIRST
    THREE SFIROT OF THE TEFILIN, THE SECRET OF YUD-HEI,
    CALLED ‘HEAD’. Thus, we have learned that the High Priest takes
    the first (lit. ‘in the head’), WHICH MEANS HE TAKES THE FIRST
    THREE SFIROT. After he took THE MOCHIN OF Aba and Ima, YUD-
    HEI, he received from the right and left OF THE MOACH OF DA’AT
    THE MYSTERY OF THE TWO PASSAGES, “SH’MA (HEAR, O
    YISRAEL)” (DEVARIM 6:4) AND “VEHAYAH IM SHAMOA (AND IT
    SHALL COME TO PASS, IF YOU HEARKEN)” (DEVARIM 11:13), THE
    SECRET OF VAV-HEI. So it is found that ZEIR ANPIN took all THE
    MOCHIN, THE CHOCHMAH, BINAH, CHESED, AND GVURAH, THE
    SECRET OF THE FOUR PASSAGES CALLED THE ‘TEFILIN OF THE
    HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE.’1
  8. Rabbi Elazar SUPPORTS RABBI CHIYA by saying: The “splendor
    (Tiferet) of Yisrael,” ZEIR ANPIN, takes all THE FOUR MOCHIN:
    CHOCHMAH, BINAH, TIFERET, AND MALCHUT. And when the
    Congregation of Yisrael is drawn upward TOWARDS BINAH, it too
    takes them all, LIKE ZEIR ANPIN, AND COMPRISES the male world
    of the Holy One, blessed be He, NAMELY BINAH, and the female
    world of the Holy One, blessed be He, ITS OWN ASPECT. And just as
    all the lights are emitted from this world OF BINAH, the world OF
    THE NUKVA ALSO absorbs them all. For the worlds are equal, THAT
    IS, BINAH IS NOW EQUAL TO THE NUKVA, SINCE THE LATTER
    WENT UP TO CLOTHE IT, AND THE LOWER THAT ASCENDS TO
    THE UPPER ASSUMS ITS IMAGE. Therefore, Be’er Sheva is a Yovel
    (Jubilee year,) WHICH IS BINAH, and Be’er Sheva is the Sabbatical
    (Heb. Shmitah) year, WHICH IS THE NUKVA. THIS MEANS THAT THE
    LIGHTS OF BINAH AND THE NUKVA ARE EQUAL, AND BOTH ARE
    CALLED ‘BE’ER SHEVA’. Because this sun illuminates only from the
    Yovel the scripture reads: “And Ya’akov went out from Be’er Sheva,”
    WHICH IS BINAH, ALSO CALLED ‘BE’ER SHEVA’, “and went toward
    Charan,” the west, which is the Shmitah, NAMELY, THE NUKVA.
  9. Rabbi Shimon said: “And Ya’akov went out from Be’er Sheva” is
    the west, the Shmitah year, NAMELY, THE NUKVA; “and went toward
    Charan” is the year of orlah. For as he fled from his brother, he went
    out from the sacred domain into another domain. And when he
    reached Bet-El, which is a sacred domain, it is written: “And he
    alighted on a certain place” (Beresheet 28:11).
  10. HE ASKS: What is this place THAT SCRIPTURE MENTIONS? Rabbi
    Chiya said: This is the place OF ZEIR ANPIN, NAMELY, THE NUKVA,
    as it is written: “and hastens to its place,” “and tarried there all
    night, because the sun was set,” as is written: “and hastens to its
    place where it rises again,” for he came there to shine upon it.
  11. Notice that it is written: “and he took of the stones of that place,”
    and not, ‘the stones of the place’. THIS MEANS THAT HE CHOSE
    CERTAIN STONES FROM THERE. HE SAYS: These are precious
    stones, the twelve supernal pearls, as written: “twelve stones,” (I
    Melachim 18:31) underneath which are twelve thousands and tens of
    thousands of polished stones, all of which are called stones.
    Therefore, the scripture reads, “of the stones,” and not, ‘the stones’.
    The place is the place mentioned, NAMELY, THE NUKVA.
  12. Of the phrase, “and put them under his head (lit. ‘heads’),” HE
    ASKS: Whose head? AND HE ANSWERS: The heads of that place,
    WHICH IS THE NUKVA. HE ASKS: What is the meaning of “heads”?
    It is not, as may be said, someone who puts something under his
    head, but rather alludes to the four heads of the universe. THESE
    ARE THE FOUR WINDS: SOUTH, NORTH, EAST, WEST–THE
    SECRET OF CHOCHMAH, BINAH, TIFERET, AND MALCHUT. THIS IS
    DERIVED FROM THE VERSE: “AND FROM THENCE IT WAS
    PARTED, AND BRANCHED INTO FOUR STREAMS (LIT.
    ‘HEADS’)” (BERESHEET 2:10). HE GAVE three stones to the north
    wind, three to the west wind, three to the south wind, and three to
    the east wind. And that place is above them, to be established by
    them. THAT IS, THIS IS THE SECRET OF THE VERSE: “HE MADE A
    SEA” (II DIVREI HAYAMIM 4:2); “IT STOOD UPON TWELVE OXEN,
    THREE LOOKING TOWARDS THE NORTH, AND THREE LOOKING
    TOWARDS THE WEST, AND THREE LOOKING TOWARDS THE
    SOUTH, AND THREE LOOKING TOWARDS THE EAST” (IBID. 4).1
  13. In the phrase, “and he lay down (Heb. vayishkav) in that place,”
    the word vayishkav CONTAINS THE WORDS VEYESH CAF BET
    (‘AND THERE IS 22’). THESE REPRESENT the twelve lower pearls
    UPON WHICH THE NUKVA RESTS. IT REFERS TO CHOCHMAH IN IT.
    And all the grades over this place, WHICH ARE THE TEN SFIROT,
    THEIR NUMBER REPRESENT THE ILLUMINATION OF CHASSADIM
    IN IT. Together, there are twenty-two, WHICH MEANS THAT IT IS
    MADE WHOLE FROM BOTH CHOCHMAH AND CHASSADIM. Once
    the couch was prepared, IN THE SECRET OF THE 22, he lay down in
    it. HE ASKS: Who lay down in it? AND HE ANSWERS: The sun, ZEIR
    ANPIN, DID. Therefore, it is written of Ya’akov, WHO IS ZEIR ANPIN:
    “and sat upon the bed” (Beresheet 48:2). It was proper for him, and
    for no other, FOR IT IS THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN. And therefore,
    “he lay down on that place,” of which scripture says, “And the sun
    also rises, and the sun goes down.”
  14. Seven vanities
    The hidden meaning of Ecclesiastes’ maxim, “Vanity of vanities, vanity of vanities, all is vanity” is revealed here. Rabbi Elazar comments that the
    apparent frustrations and disappointments of life are in fact blessings in disguise. He calls them “holy and necessary,” because they establish the
    limits within which Man can find authentic happiness. “The Sun Also Rises and The Sun Goes Down,” refers to the negative aspect of the seven
    vanities. In its dark midnight or sundown aspect, the inescapable vanity of human existence is compared to a man “Trying To Catch The Wind”–a
    futile and useless activity that is harmful to the spirit, and thus evil. Such habits or vices must be left behind.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The spiritual influences radiating through this section help us overcome inner weaknesses that impede our progress toward the Light. These
    positive forces foster deeper awareness of the aspects of life that can bring us lasting happiness and true fulfillment.
    Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
  15. “And the sun also rises, and the sun goes down” (Kohelet 1:5).
    HE ASKS: Why did King Solomon begin his book of wisdom with
    this SECRET OF THE RISING AND SETTING OF THE SUN? Rabbi
    Elazar said that King Solomon based his book upon the seven
    Vanities upon which the world is established. The pillars and
    foundations that sustain the world are called ‘vanities’, for just as the
    body cannot endure without vanity (also: ‘breath’), so the world
    cannot endure without these vanities mentioned by King Solomon.
    And these are seven, as it is written: “Vanity of vanities, says
    Kohelet, vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Ibid. 2). Altogether, there
    are seven VANITIES IN THE VERSE: VANITY IS ONE; VANITIES IS IN
    THE PLURAL, AND SINCE THE PLURAL MEANS AT LEAST TWO,
    THAT MAKES TWO VANITIES; TOGETHER THERE ARE THREE
    VANITIES. AND AGAIN HE SAYS, “VANITY OF VANITIES,” WHICH
    MAKES SIX IN TOTAL. AND IF WE ADD, “ALL IS VANITY,” AT THE
    END, THERE ARE SEVEN VANITIES.
  16. You may say that if this be so, the world is sustained on precious
    pearls. Yet elsewhere it is written of evil vanities that cause the
    destruction of the universe, as in: “this is vanity and an evil
    disease,” (Kohelet 6:2) and “This…is vanity and harmful spirit” (Ibid.
    4). HE ANSWERS THAT assuredly this is so. Although these seven
    vanities are holy and necessary for the existence of the world, there
    are corresponding vanities from which every judgment in the world
    radiates. These other vanities punish men and correct them, so they
    will walk the path of righteousness. They are called ‘a vanity in
    which there is evil disease’, and ‘a vanity which is striving after
    wind’. And they maintain the world because they ensure that men
    tread the path of righteousness in fear of the Holy One, blessed be
    He. Therefore, there are many EVIL vanities that spread from these
    seven HOLY VANITIES, FOR THEY ARE ALSO THE SUSTENANCE
    OF THE UNIVERSE.1
  17. The reason he began with the mystery of the sun, THAT IS, HE
    BEGAN HIS BOOK WITH THE VERSE, “AND THE SUN ALSO RISES,
    AND THE SUN GOES DOWN,” IS THAT it is a vanity that sustains the
    world–a secret for bringing man to the supernal faith of the Holy
    One, blessed be He, SO THAT HE WILL MERIT THE SUPERNAL
    MOCHIN OF BINAH, CALLED THE ‘SUPERNAL FAITH OF THE HOLY
    ONE, BLESSED BE HE’. Therefore, whatever is beneath this grade,
    THAT IS, UNDERNEATH THE SUN, is not the secret of the faith AND
    DOES NOT PERTAIN TO HOLINESS. Therefore it is written: “and
    there was no profit under the sun” (Kohelet 2:11), and, “in any thing
    that is done under the sun,” (Kohelet. 9:6) for we should not cleave
    underneath it.
  18. And the sun is within the moon, NAMELY, ZEIR ANPIN IS UNITED
    WITH THE NUKVA. They are one without separation, and although
    the moon is under the sun, AS THE NUKVA IS UNDER THE GRADE
    OF ZEIR ANPIN, AT THE TIME OF UNION everything becomes the
    sun. THAT IS, EVEN THE MOON IS THEN CONSIDERED PART OF
    THE SUN, BECAUSE THE SPIRITUAL CLINGING MEANS SIMILARITY
    OF FORM. THEN THE MOON MAY RECEIVE CHOCHMAH FROM THE
    SUN, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, without being considered under the
    sun. And everything under this is harmful spirit. IF CHOCHMAH IS
    DRAWN BENEATH THE SUN TO ZEIR ANPIN AND NUKVA, IT
    BECOMES A VANITY THAT STRIVES AFTER WIND, THAT IS, IT
    BECOMES A KLIPAH AND A FIEND, and it is forbidden to cleave to it.
  19. The splendor of the shining mirror
    This section discusses the true nature of the patriarch Ya’akov. “As the Color Purple includes all the colors, So the shining mirror comprises all the
    lights.” Just as the mirror includes all the lights, Ya’akov springs from the same mystical source asthe Fathers who preceded him, from Adam and
    Noah to Abraham and Yitzchak. Like the earlier patriarchs, Ya’akov’s potent self and soul are forged by the fires of sexuality, the union of opposites
    whose power the Other Side finds irresistibly attractive. Just as Adam was tempted by the serpent, Jacob had to “bring a gift to the other side;” that
    is, he had to survive a similar trial of darkness and desire. Although there were differences in the formative ordeals of the five patriarchs, we are told
    that they were essentially alike in nature. Thus, they produced similarly potent identities in the men who survived them. After Ya’akov endured his
    own trial-by-desire, he was given the name of the descendants who would share the identity he had gained for them–“Israel.”
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The Light arising from these verses cleanses negativity created through previous impure sexual thoughts and behavior. We become more
    enlightened to the power and potency of sexual union, and are inspired to keep the act free from the influences of the Other Side that always attend
    it. The Hebrew letters summon forth the might of the five patriarchs to help us conquer the obstacles and temptations employed by the devious evil
    inclination dwelling both within us and around us.
  20. “And Ya’akov went out” of the closed labyrinth; and from the
    closed mystery emerges the splendor of the shining mirror, which is
    composed of two colors joined together. Because they are included
    within one another, all the colors are visible in it. All the appearing
    lights are included in the color purple. THAT IS, AS THE COLOR
    PURPLE INCLUDES ALL THE COLORS, SO THE SPLENDOR OF THE
    SHINING MIRROR COMPRISES ALL THE LIGHTS. These lights run
    and return, FOR THEY RUN FROM THE ILLUMINATION OF THE
    RIGHT TO THE ILLUMINATION OF THE LEFT TO BE INCLUDED IN IT.
    BUT THEN THEY IMMEDIATELY RETURN TO THEIR PLACE IN THE
    ILLUMINATION OF THE RIGHT. And they do not stop to see–THAT
    IS, TO DRAW OUT CHOCHMAH–BUT IMMEDIATELY RETURN TO
    THEIR PLACE. THE ILLUMINATIONS OF THE RIGHT AND LEFT are
    joined within that splendor, BRINGING BOTH TO THE RIGHT IN THE
    ILLUMINATION OF CHASSADIM. AND THE ILLUMINATION OF THE
    LEFT IS NOT SEEN AT ALL, BUT IS NEAGTED AND INCLUDED
    WITHIN THE RIGHT.1
  21. In that splendor dwells whoever dwells, YUD-HEI-VAV-HEI,
    WHICH IS THE FIRST THREE SFIROT. This is a name that describes
    something closed and utterly unknown. THAT IS, THE NAME
    DWELLS ON THE ILLUMINATION OF THE RIGHT, WHOSE
    LABYRINTH IS NOT YET OPENED OR KNOWN. IT DOES NOT DWELL
    ON THE LEFT, WHOSE LABYRINTH WAS OPENED AND ITS
    EXISTENCE BECAME KNOWN. THIS SPLENDOR is called the ‘voice
    of Ya’akov’, NOT ‘A GREAT VOICE’. In this SPLENDOR, THE LIGHT
    OF THE FIRST THREE SFIROT OF BINAH, CALLED ‘the Whole Faith’,
    is seen. THESE CHASSADIM ARE ALSO CONSIDERED PART OF
    THE FIRST THREE SFIROT, AS THE CHASSADIM OF THE FIRST
    THREE OF BINAH. And within this closed LABYRINTH OF THE
    ILLUMINATION OF THE RIGHT, which is utterly unknown, the Name
    of Yud-Hei-Vav-Hei dwells. It is whole on all sides, for the upper and
    the lower, BINAH AND THE NUKVA, are here INCLUDED WITHIN
    THIS SPLENDOR. Therefore, Ya’akov was selected to be the chosen
    among the Fathers, for he is included in all sides. This splendor OF
    YA’AKOV’S GRADE, AS A RESULT OF THE purification of his name,
    WHICH REACHED MALCHUT, IS CALLED ‘THE CHOSEN AMONG
    THE FATHERS’, as it is written: “Ya’akov whom I have
    chosen” (Yeshayah 41:8). He is called by two names: Ya’akov and
    Yisrael. First, HE WAS CALLED ‘Ya’akov’. AT THAT TIME, HE LET
    THE RIGHT RULE. After HE ESTABLISHED THE ILLUMINATION OF
    BOTH LEFT AND RIGHT, FOR CHOCHMAH SHINES ONLY AFTER IT
    IS INCLUDED WITHIN CHASSADIM, HE WAS CALLED ‘Yisrael’.
  22. This is a great mystery, for the beginning, BEFORE HE WENT TO
    CHARAN, he was at the end of this thought, which is the explanation
    of the Written Torah, called the ‘Oral Torah’, WHICH IS THE NUKVA.
    THOUGHT MEANS BINAH; THE END OF THOUGHT IS THE NUKVA
    WHEN SWEETENED BY BINAH. It is therefore called a ‘well’ (Heb.
    be’er), as it is written: “Moshe began to declare (Heb. be’er) this
    Torah” (Devarim 1:5). For it is a well, which is an explanation (heb.
    be’ur) of that which is referred to as seven (Heb. sheva), BINAH,
    WHICH EXPLAINS AND REVEALS THE CHOCHMAH IN IT, as it is
    written: “So was he seven years in building it” (I Melachim 6:38).
    AND THE FIRST TEMPLE IS THE SECRET OF BINAH, which is a
    great voice. AND WHEN THE NUKVA RECEIVES CHOCHMAH FROM
    BINAH, IT IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE A GREAT VOICE, NOT
    YA’AKOV’S VOICE, SINCE IT IS CHASSADIM.
  23. The end of this thought occurs in Be’er Sheva where Ya’akov
    attained the top of his faith, THAT IS, HE ATTAINED THE FIRST
    THREE SFIROT FROM THE ASPECT OF CHASSADIM WHICH ARE
    CALLED ‘THE TOP OF FAITH’. Because YA’AKOV cleaved to this
    faith, THE FIRST THREE SFIROT OF CHASSADIM, he has to be tried
    in the same place his fathers were tried, the place where they came
    and whence they left in peace.
  24. Adam was tried first: HE WAS TEMPTED BY THE SERPENT.
    Because he was not careful, he was seduced, and he sinned with “a
    wife of harlotry,” (Hoshea 1:2) the primordial serpent. Noach was
    tried, but did not take heed. He was seduced BY A WIFE OF
    HARLOTRY and sinned, as it was written: “and he drank of the wine,
    and was drunk; and he was uncovered within his tent” (Beresheet
    9:21). Avraham went in and departed, as it is written: “And Avram
    went down to Egypt,” (Beresheet 12:10) and, “And Avram went up
    out of Egypt” (Beresheet 13:1). Yitzchak went in and departed, as it
    is written: “And Yitzchak went to Avimelech, king of the
    Philistines,” (Beresheet 26:1) and, “And he went up from there to
    Be’er Sheva” (Ibid. 23).1
  25. After Ya’akov entered the grade of faith, WHICH WAS THE
    DOMINION OF THE ILLUMINATION OF THE RIGHT–he had to bring a
    gift to that side–THAT IS, TO THE RULER OF THE ILLUMINATION OF
    THE LEFT, BY SURVIVING A TRIAL. For whoever survives THE
    TRIAL is beloved of and chosen by the Holy One, blessed be He. It is
    written: “And Ya’akov went out from Be’er Sheva,” from the side of
    faith, FROM THE RIGHT SIDE, “and went toward Charan,” which is
    the LEFT side, where a wife of harlotry TAKES HOLD, a fornicating
    wife. AND ALTHOUGH THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENCES AMONG
    THESE FIVE TRIALS–THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE, THE HEADY
    WINE, EGYPT, THE PHILISTINES, AND CHARAN, WHICH WERE THE
    TRIALS OF ADAM, NOACH, AVRAHAM, YITZCHAK, AND YA’AKOV–
    NEVERTHELESS, THEY HAVE THE SAME ROOT, NAMELY, THE
    DRAWING OF CHOCHMAH ONLY FROM DOWN UPWARDS, WHICH
    IS CALLED A ‘WIFE OF HARLOTRY’.
  26. Samael and the wife of harlotry
    This is a discussion of the dual nature of evil, as revealed by Ya’akov’s story. The Klipot, or ‘shells’ of negativity, have both male and female aspects.
    The text personifies the softer, female aspect of evil as a whore – “the wife of harlotry”- dressed up in her finery to seduce men. A foolish man is
    seduced by evil’s glittering facade and by distracting displays of false affection. After an individual has consorted with evil, its illusion of softness
    melts away, replaced by the hard and punitive male aspect, [do not pronounce this name] Samael, who is an avenger and a killer. Ya’akov, a wise
    man, is tempted by the evil’s feminine charms, and is almost seduced by the Other Side–but at the last moment, he sees its true nature and turns
    away. Samael is so vexed at losing a victim that he fights Ya’akov, as it is written: “and there wrestled a man with him…” Ya’akov is strong enough
    to defeat Samael, yet he is also forever scarred by the struggle when the demon “touched the hollow of his thigh.” This mark is his badge of honor.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Far too frequently, we fall prey to the illusions of our material existence, and this is never without cost. Our egos may be seduced by flattery and
    opportunities for gaining prestige and honor. Pride and social pressures make true spiritual growth and fulfillment almost impossible to achieve,
    setting the stage for perhaps the greatest of all metaphysical battles: the struggle with our own ego. The sages understood this challenge, and gave
    us the ability to invoke the might of Ya’akov through the Hebrew letters that compose this passage. As we are strengthened in the face of evil, we
    gain the power to see through its attractive faade, and to overcome the temptations that hinder our journey towards the Light.
  27. A deep mystery is found in the strength of Yitzchak’s light OF
    HOLINESS, and from the dregs of wine, WHICH ARE KLIPOT. One
    shape emerged FROM BOTH, made of GOOD AND EVIL, male and
    female, as one. It is red as a rose and extends to many sides and
    paths, HAVING MANY ASPECTS. The male is called ‘Samael’ and the
    female is always included within him. As on the side of holiness,
    ZEIR ANPIN AND NUKVA ARE ALWAYS INCLUDED ONE WITHIN
    THE OTHER; so it is on the Other Side, a male and female are
    included within one another. The female of Samael is called a
    ‘serpent’, “a wife of harlotry,” “The end of all flesh,” (Beresheet 6:13)
    and the end of days.
  28. Two evil spirits cling together. THE ILLUMINATION OF the spirit
    of the male is a thin light, NAMELY, ONLY THE SIX EXTREMITIES
    WITHOUT THE HEAD. And the spirit of the female materializes in
    many ways and paths, BEING AN ENTIRE PARTZUF, HEAD, AND
    BODY, FOR IN THE KLIPAH, THE FEMALE IS LARGER THAN THE
    MALE. She cleaves to the spirit of the male, wearing ample jewelry
    like an abominable whore standing on main roads and pathways to
    seduce men. THIS TEACHES US THAT SHE VALUES ONLY THOSE
    WHO START WALKING THE PATH OF HASHEM AND ARE APT TO
    FALL INTO HER TRAP. THEREFORE, SHE IS VIEWED AS STANDING
    AT THE MAIN (LIT. ‘START OF’) ROAD TO HASHEM’S DEVOTION.
    BUT FOR THOSE WHO ARE ACCUSTOMED TO THE WAYS OF
    HASHEM, THE WHORE IS SEPARATED FROM THEM AND HAS NO
    POWER OVER THEM.1
  29. When a fool approaches her, she holds and kisses him, ans she
    pours him wine full of dregs and snake’s venom. After he drinks, he
    whores after her. When she sees him whoring after her and turning
    from the path of truth, she removes all the decorations she put on
    for that fool, AS WILL BE EXPLAINED.
  30. Her seductive features include her hair, which is red as a rose,
    and her face, which is white and red. In her ears there are six
    earrings of Egyptian fabric. On her neck hang all the powers of
    Eastern lands. Her mouth is decorated by a small slit of a comely
    shape; her tongue is sharp as a sword; her speech as smooth as oil;
    and her lips as beautiful and red as a rose. Wearing purple and
    having forty decorations less one, she is sweeter than all that is
    sweet in the world.
  31. The fool follows her, drinks of her wine, and fornicates with her.
    What does she do? She leaves him sleeping in his bed, goes up to
    denounce him, and receives permission TO KILL HIM. She then
    descends ON HIM. The fool awakes thinking of lusting after her, as
    before. At this point, she has taken off the decorations and has
    become a mighty oppressor who wears a garment of burning fire
    that causes great horror and frightens the body and soul. That
    oppressor has horrible eyes and a sharp sword on which there are
    bitter drops. The oppressor kills the fool and throws him into
    Gehenom.
  32. Ya’akov went down to her, TO THE WIFE OF HARLOTRY, and
    went to her place, as it is written: “and went toward Charan,” A
    PLACE OF WRATH AND JUDGMENTS. He saw all the decoration of
    her house there and was saved from her, AND SO HE RETURNED TO
    THE LAND OF YISRAEL. Her male, Samael, was vexed THAT HE
    WAS SAVED FROM HER. He came down to fight with him but to no
    avail, as it is written: “and there wrestled a man with
    him…” (Beresheet 32:25). Then was he saved from them all,
    completely perfected, and raised by a whole grade. And he was
    named Yisrael, WHICH CONSISTS OF THE LETTERS LI-ROSH (LIT.
    ‘IT IS MY HEAD’). Wholly perfected, he became the middle pillar, of
    which it is written: “And the middle bar…” (Shemot 26:28).
  33. What is meant by: “he touched the hollow of his
    thight” (Beresheet 32:26)? He could not prevail against him, so he
    touched the hollow of his thigh, denoting Nadav and Avihu, who
    came from Aharon’s thighs. And of Ya’akov it is written: “and the
    middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to
    end.” (We do not consider this paragraph part of the article.)
    End of Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)1
  34. “And Ya’akov went out from Be’er Sheva,” part two
    In an addendum to the previous section, an analogy is made between the pattern of Ya’akov’s physical movements and the structure of the Tree of
    Life, which is Kabbalah’s great symbol for the attributes of God. The Tree of Life is also spoken of as the Ten Sfirot, or ten dimensions. The rabbis
    discuss some of the relationships between the various attributes of the Tree, such as “the 32 paths” which are woven into the structure of the Ten
    Sfirot. An anecdote concerning Rabbi Yitzchak further explains the powerful attraction among the three pillars or columns which comprise the
    ‘trunk’ of the Tree of Life. From these grow the branches that represent the complex interconnection of all aspects of Creation.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    All events that transpire throughout the cosmos, from the budding of a seed in the forest to the birth of a new star in a distant galaxy, are reflections
    of creative processes unfolding in the Upper World, through the agency of the Ten Sfirot. Our world is a reflection–a branch automatically
    responding to influences that emanate from the seed that is the Upper Reality. Physical existence can be likened to a marionette, whose strings are
    manipulated from dimensions on high. There is, however, one exception to this metaphor-man. Man has the power to influence and control the
    Upper World and the Ten Sfirot through his own conduct. Prayer, meditation, rituals, and most importantly, actions are the mechanism through
    which we exert control over the Sfirot. Thus, we determine which influences will rebound into our realm. The spiritual forces arising from this
    passage help us exert positive influence upon the Tree of Life through the actions of Ya’akov. This brings more Light in our lives and diminishes the
    presence of darkness and evil in the world as a whole.
    Tosefta (Addendum)
  35. People of the world, beloved of the High One, chosen of the
    government: THE TOSEFTA INVITES THOSE WHO ATTAINED THE
    ILLUMINATION OF THE THREE COLUMNS. ON THE SIDE OF THE
    CENTRAL COLUMN, THEY ARE CALLED ‘THE PEOPLE OF THE
    WORLD’, BECAUSE ZEIR ANPIN, THE CENTRAL COLUMN, IS
    CALLED ‘WORLD’, AND ON THE SIDE OF THE ILLUMINATION OF
    THE RIGHT COLUMN, THEY ARE CALLED ‘BELOVED’ BY THE HIGH
    ONE. ON THE SIDE OF THE ILLUMINATION OF THE LEFT COLUMN,
    THEY ARE CALLED ‘CHOSEN OF THE GOVERNMENT’, WHICH
    MEANS THAT THEY WERE CHOSEN TO RULE THE WORLD, AS THE
    POWER TO RULE COMES FROM THE LEFT COLUMN. Draw near
    and listen: whoever is wise among you, of intelligent eyes–NAMELY,
    WHOEVER IS VERSED IN CHOCHMAH OF TEVUNAH, FOR ‘EYES’ IS
    A DESCRIPTIVE NAME OF CHOCHMAH, TO BRING OUT
    CHOCHMAH OF STRAIGHT LIGHT–let him come and know that
    when the ‘White Head’, ATIKA KADISHA, took and engraved the
    three letters Aleph, Yud, and a final Nun, then was engraved Ayin
    (nothingness, Aleph Yud Nun). For Aleph is the head, high above all,
    the most hidden of all, NAMELY, THE HEAD OF ARICH ANPIN. Yud
    is the rising of desire, constructed from the head up, THE HEAD OF
    ARICH ANPIN. IT CAME AFTER ITS CONSTRUCTION, TO MALE AND
    FEMALE. HE EXPLAINED THAT it came down FROM THE HEAD OF
    ARICH ANPIN and resulted in 32 paths, WHEN IT AGAIN ENTERED
    THE HEAD OF ARICH ANPIN, until they were engraved between
    precious burning stones. These were connected with the final Nun,
    AND THIS IS THE SECRET OF THE JOINING OF male and female,
    two lovers, with strong contact between them, and the Holy Name,
    YUD-HEI-VAV-HEI, is connected to them. From them nourishment is
    drawn for all, and the worlds, ZEIR ANPIN AND NUKVA, are
    constructed.
  36. THE ZOHAR REPEATS AND FURTHER EXPLAINS THESE
    WORDS, SAYING: Therefore, the vertically extended straight, final
    Nun was engraved, FOR IT REPRESENTS the union OF MALE AND
    FEMALE, ZEIR ANPIN AND NUKVA. For the bent Nun represents the
    Nukva alone, WITHOUT A MALE. The letter Yud–‘desire’, BINAH,
    which produced 32 paths–struck between the letters, NAMELY, THE
    22 LETTERS, WHICH ARE MALE AND FEMALE, and formed the
    firmament, which is Ya’akov, NAMELY, THE CENTRAL COLUMN
    between the two winds: THE SOUTH AND NORTH, RIGHT AND LEFT
    COLUMNS. It then joined the pieces. Then Ya’akov descended
    toward the bent Nun, THE NUKVA, and HIS RIGHT AND LEFT
    COLUMNS north and south, were joined in It as one. BY THIS, THE
    NUKVA IS BUILT AND BECOMES READY FOR UNION. Then
    YA’AKOV AND THE NUKVA were joined as one, AND BECAME A
    STRAIGHT, FINAL NUN, WHICH INCLUDES YA’AKOV AND THE
    NUKVA. This bent Nun, WHICH IS THE NUKVA AND INCLUDES THE
    STRAIGHT, FINAL NUN, is called ‘Be’er Sheva’ and is filled by
    Ya’akov to water the flocks of sheep, NAMELY, TO GIVE PLENTY TO
    THE LOWER BEINGS. As it is written: “And Ya’akov went out from
    Be’er Sheva, and went toward Charan.” Further, “from Be’er Sheva”
    MEANS above, NAMELY, IN BINAH. For he came out of it AND1
    THERE RECEIVED PLENTY. THEREFORE, IT IS WRITTEN: “AND
    YA’AKOV WENT OUT FROM BE’ER SHEVA.” Then he went to water
    Charan, the lower well, THAT IS, THE NUKVA, WHERE THERE ARE
    JUDGMENTS CALLED the ‘Wrath of Hashem’, and the ‘Sword of
    Hashem’, IN WHICH LIES the judgment of the court house named
    Elohim. THEREFORE, SCRIPTURE MENTIONS THE NAME OF
    Elohim, as in: “Elohim, heathen nations have come into Your
    inheritance” (Tehilim 79:1).
    End of Tosefta (Addendum)
  37. Rabbi Yitzchak was sitting one day by the cave of Apikuta. A
    man passed with his two sons, one of whom said that the vigor of
    the sun, ZEIR ANPIN, is from the south side, WHICH IS THE SECRET
    OF THE RIGHT, CHASSADIM. And the world, THE NUKVA, does not
    exist save by wind, WHICH IS THE CENTRAL COLUMN, because the
    wind represents existence and perfection on all sides. THIS IS
    BECAUSE THE CENTRAL COLUMN, WHICH IS THE WIND,
    INCLUDES THE SOUTH AND NORTH SIDES, WHICH ARE RIGHT
    AND LEFT, THE SECRET OF CHOCHMAH AND CHASSADIM. If it
    were not complete, the world, THE NUKVA, would not have been
    able to survive.
  38. The younger brother said that if it were not for Ya’akov, the world
    would not have existed. Come and behold: whenever his children
    proclaim the unity of the supernal union saying, “Hear Yisrael;
    Hashem our Elohim; Hashem is one,” (Devarim 6:4) which is the
    perfection of the High One, FROM ABA AND IMA, SO AS TO BE
    joined in one unison, Ya’akov their father, THE CENTRAL COLUMN,
    TIFERET, then joins and takes possession of his house, THE
    NUKVA, SECRET OF THE LOWER UNION. And he sits in it united
    with the fathers, THE RIGHT AND LEFT COLUMNS, so as to join
    male and female as one. BECAUSE THERE IS NO UNION OF MALE
    AND FEMALE BEFORE THE CENTRAL COLUMN, YA’AKOV,
    MEDIATES AND ATTACHES THE TWO COLUMNS, RIGHT AND LEFT,
    WHO ARE AVRAHAM AND YITZCHAK.
  39. “Arise, Hashem”
    This section continues the anecdote concerning Rabbi Yitzchak, in which the secret meaning of the phrase “arise The Creator,” is debated. Both
    Moshe and David uttered the phrase; the text focuses on David’s meaning, which concerns the intermingling of wisdom and laughter–the jesting
    “Levites” of the Right Column and the priests of the Left. The Creator recognizes that in David’s kingdom on earth, truth often expresses itself in
    humorous form.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Laughter denotes the Left Column energy of receiving, for laughter arouses immediate and direct pleasure. The name Yitzchak, the patriarch and
    father of Ya’akov, also means laughter. We access the wisdom of Yitzchak through these verses, thereby strengthening our trust in the Creator and
    bringing true happiness and laughter into our life. In addition, we gain strength to laugh in the face of hardship. Laughter during spiritual tests
    ensures that hardships pass quickly and easily. We regain control of our own happiness, rather than surrendering to external circumstances.
  40. Rabbi Yitzchak said to himself: I shall join them and hear what
    they say. He went with them. The man opened the discussion with
    the verse: “Arise, Hashem, to Your resting place; You, and the ark of
    Your strength” (Tehilim 132:8). “Arise, Hashem, to Your resting
    place” MEANS may the King rise to His house of rest, to His abode.1
  41. Two men said, “Arise, Hashem,” Moshe and David, Moshe said:
    “Arise, Hashem, and let Your enemies be scattered” (Bemidbar
    10:35). David said: “Arise, Hashem, to Your resting place.” What is
    the difference between them? Moshe, THE HUSBAND OF THE
    QUEEN, said it as if commanding his household. He ordered his wife
    to engage in warfare with his enemies. David invited him to repose,
    as a man who invites his sovereign TO HIS HOUSE. He invited the
    King and His consort with Him. This is the meaning of the verse:
    “Arise, Hashem, to Your resting place; You, and the ark of Your
    strength”–You, THE KING, and the ark of Your strength, THE
    NUKVA, so as not to separate them.
  42. “Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness; and let Your
    pious ones shout for joy” (Tehilim 132:9). From this we learn that
    whoever invites the King should change his customs to bring joy to
    the King. If the King wants to be entertained by common jesters, he
    should arrange before him worthy jesters and great ministers.
    Unless he does so, he will not make the King happy.
  43. Come and behold: David invited the King and His consort to
    repose, AS IT IS WRITTEN: “ARISE, HASHEM, TO YOUR RESTING
    PLACE…” How did he do this? By changing the King’s jesters into
    distinguished ministers, who are, as it is written: “Let Your priests
    be clothed with righteousness; and let Your pious ones shout for
    joy.” It is written: “and let Your pious ones shout for joy,” but it it
    should have been, ‘and let Your Levites shout for joy’, for the Levites
    are the King’s jesters. But when David invited the King to rest, he
    ordered the priests and the pious ones, not the Levites, to be the
    King’s jesters.
  44. The Holy One, blessed be He, said TO DAVID: David, I do not
    wish to trouble them, THE PRIESTS AND THE PIOUS ONES TO
    DRAW THE ILLUMINATION OF THE LEFT. THEY ARE THE MYSTERY
    BEHIND THE VERSE: “BECAUSE HE DELIGHTS IN
    MERCY” (MICHAH 7:18). David answered: Master, when You are in
    Your palace, You do as You please. THAT IS SIMILAR TO MOSHE
    WHO SAID, “ARISE, HASHEM, AND LET YOUR ENEMIES BE
    SCATTERED,” WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE ILLUMINATION OF
    THE LEFT WHEN ON ITS OWN. THEN ONLY THE LEVITES, AND NOT
    THE PRIESTS OR THE PIOUS ONES, ARE THE JESTERS OF THE
    KING. Now that I have invited You, my wish is to bring before You
    those of a higher order TO BE YOUR JESTERS, NAMELY THE
    PRIESTS AND PIOUS ONES, even though it is not their custom, AS
    THEY PERTAIN TO THE SECRET OF THE VERSE: “BECAUSE HE
    DELIGHTS IN MERCY.”
  45. From here we learn that a man may arrange things as he pleases
    in his own house, but when invited somewhere else, it behooves him
    to follow the customs of his host. For when David replaced the
    Levites with the priests, the Holy One, blessed be He, accepted it
    according to his wishes.
  46. “And Ya’akov went out,” part three
    Rabbi Yitzchak discusses the meaning of “And Ya’akov went out…” This text refers to the exile of the Jews, the children of Ya’akov, and their need
    to accommodate themselves to the customs of the lands of exile–just as the Holy One Creator adjusts Himself to changes taking place in the Eternal
    Female, the feminine principle or Malchut. Israel must accomplish this adjustment in order to spread the message of Torah, and to nourish the world1
    with spiritual Light. It was for this task that Israel was chosen, and for nothing else.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The Hebrew term for ‘Chosen People’ is Am Segulah, which is derived from the Hebrew word Segol. Segol is the name of a particular Hebrew vowel
    whose shape illuminates the hidden significance of “Chosen People.”
    The vowel Segol includes three dots, as follows: These three dots signify the Right, Left and Central Column forces. The three Columns correlate to
    the positive and negative poles in a light bulb, and to the resisting function of the filament. A bulb without a filament immediately short circuits,
    producing momentary sparks followed by sudden darkness. “Chosen People” refers to the spiritual concept of Restriction or Resistance as it
    applies to human behavior.The children of Israel throughout all generations represent the filament; they are therefore responsible for bringing Light
    to the peoples of the world. This is achieved when we, as individuals, begin to resist our self-serving aspirations. Living life in a reactive manner
    causes a spiritual short-circuit, leaving the rest of world empty and dark–which, according to Zoharic wisdom, is the root of anti-Semitism.A truly
    spiritual person seeks to exemplify the sharing principle, resisting social pressures and subjugating the ego.This passage imbues us with the
    fortitude to apply Resistance to rash and intolerant behavior, so that we become beacons of Light to everyone we meet.
  47. David said: “For Your servant David’s sake do not turn away the
    face of Your anointed” (Tehilim 132:10). The way I ordered things
    may not be changed back, THAT IS, REPEALED. The Holy One,
    blessed be He, responded: David, upon your life, I shall not even use
    My own vessels; I shall use yours. And the Holy one, blessed be He,
    was not gone before He lavished gifts and presents on him, as it is
    written: “Hashem has sworn in truth to David; He will not turn from
    it; One of the sons of your body will I set upon your throne” (Tehilim
    132:11). Rabbi Yitzchak kissed him and said: Had I come this all way
    only to learn this, it is enough.
  48. One son OF THIS MAN opened the discussion with the verse:
    “And Ya’akov went out from Be’er Sheva, and went toward Charan.”
    This resembles the verse: “Therefore shall a man leave his father
    and his mother, and cleave to his wife” (Beresheet 2:24). FOR
    YA’AKOV WENT OUT FROM BE’ER SHEVA, LEAVING HIS FATHER
    AND MOTHER BEHIND, TO GO TO CHARAN AND TAKE A WIFE.
    Another explanation of: “And Ya’akov went…” is that it alludes to the
    children of Yisrael who left the Temple and were exiled among the
    nations, as it is written: “And from the daughter of Tzion all her
    splendor is departed,” (Eichah 1:6) and “Yehuda is gone into exile
    because of affliction…” (Ibid. 3)
  49. The other, younger son began with the verse: “And he lighted
    upon the place and tarried there” (Beresheet 28:11). HE ASKS: What
    is the meaning of the phrase, “And he lighted upon the place”? IT IS
    SIMILAR to the king who goes to the house of the consort. He needs
    to gain her favor and please her with substantial things so as to treat
    her with respect. Even if the king has His own gold bed with
    artistically embroided covers and bedding, if she prepares him a bed
    of rocks on the ground in a room of fodder, he will neglect his own
    place and sleep in hers to please her, to harmonize their desires
    without coercion. As we have learned, as soon as YA’AKOV went to
    her, it is written: “And he took of the stones of that place, and put
    them under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep,” THE
    SECRET OF THE NUKVA, to give her pleasure, so that even building
    stones were pleasant to tarry on.1
  50. Rabbi Yitzchak wept and rejoiced. He said: These pearls are in
    your hands. How can I not follow you? They replied: You shall go
    your own way, and we shall enter the city to attend the marriage
    feast of my son. Rabbi Yitzchak said: Now I must go my way–FOR
    HE SAW THAT THEY DID NOT WANT HIM TO WALK FURTHER WITH
    THEM. He set their words before Rabbi Shimon, who said: Assuredly
    they have spoken well. And everything THAT WAS SAID OF
    YA’AKOV was spoken of the Holy One, blessed be He. RABBI
    SHIMON said: These words are from the descendants of Rabbi
    Tzadok, the invalid. Why was he called an invalid? Because he
    fasted for forty years for Jerusalem, so that it would not be
    destroyed during his life. He used to find supernal secrets in every
    word of the Torah, and he paved in them a path on which the
    children of the world may live according to its teachings.
  51. Rabbi Yitzchak said: Not many days passed before I met that
    man and his younger son. I asked–where is your other son? He
    replied: I wed him, and now he stays with his wife. He recognized me
    and therefore said: Truly, I did not invite you to the marriage
    celebration of my son for three reasons. One is that I neither knew
    nor recognized you, and a man is invited according to his honor. I
    thought that perhaps you were a dignified man, and I might slight
    your honor. Another is that you may have been hurrying on your
    way, and I did not wish to inconvenience you. And the last was so
    that you would not be put to shame by the members of the party, for
    it is our custom that all who eat at the table of a bride and groom,
    lavish gifts and presents on them. I responded: May the Holy One,
    blessed be He, judge you kindly. I asked: What is your name? He
    said: Tzadok the Little. At that time, I learned thirteen supernal
    secrets of the Torah from him. And from his son I learned three
    secrets, one pertaining to prophecy and one to dreams–WHICH
    MEANS HE LEARNED FROM HIM THREE SECRETS ABOUT THE
    DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROPHECY AND DREAM.
  52. Prophecy vision, dream
    In this extremely important and mysterious section of the Zohar, the rabbis make complex and subtle distinctions concerning the nature of
    prophecy, visions, and dreams. They then apply their conclusions to the role of the Jews in exile. Rabbi Yitzchak continues his discussion with
    Tzadok the Little, his companion of the previous verses. Although dreams, prophecies, and visions are all sent by the Angel Gabriel, we learn that
    dreams are a relatively inferior means of enlightenment. Visions and dreams may dramatically vary in nature, according to the level of
    consciousness of those who receive them, and of those who are able-or unable–to interpret them. Moreover, a dream can sometimes be used to
    explain the meaning of a waking vision. The rabbis use the powerful symbolism of the story of Ya’akov’s Ladder to explain how dreams and visions
    link human consciousness to the upper realms. When the children of Israel are sinful, their sin expresses itself partly through The Creator’s turning
    away from them and granting the gift of His inspiration to great leaders in other lands, who may one day become the enemies of Israel. Similarly,
    when King Solomon falls into sin, he is denied the level ofvision that had once inspired him to build Jerusalem’s Temple; henceforth he must rely
    only on dreams for inspiration. This culminates in the sad decline into paganism, and the political and financial ruin that the king and his kingdom
    suffered in later years. Finally,we are told that as a man ages, his inner vision dims as much as his outer vision or eyesight.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The Light released through the Hebrew letters inspires us to foster and follow the guidance of visions and dreams on both conscious and
    subconscious levels. During sleep, our dreams ascend to the higher levels of the spiritual realms, where we are assisted, in subtle ways, by the
    wisdom and supernal Light of the Creator in all our endeavors.1
  53. He asks: What is the difference between a prophecy and a
    dream? 1) A prophecy is part of the world of the male, and a dream
    is part of the world of the female, THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN.
    Between them are six grades, AS PROPHECY IS PART OF NETZACH
    AND HOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, AND DREAM IS PART OF HOD OF THE
    NUKVA. BETWEEN THEM IS YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN AND CHESED,
    GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, AND HOD OF THE NUKVA, WHICH
    CONSTITUTE SIX GRADES. 2) A prophecy is in right and left, THAT
    IS, NETZACH AND HOD, and dream is in the left, NAMELY, IN HOD.
    (3) A dream emanates downward a few grades TO THE ANGEL
    GAVRIEL, FROM WHOM MEN RECEIVE THE ILLUMINATION OF
    DREAMS. Therefore, dreams abide everywhere in the world, EVEN
    OUTSIDE YISRAEL. Nevertheless, a man sees according to his
    grade, and according to the man, so is his grade. THIS MEANS THAT
    IT IS NOT THE SAME FOR EVERY MAN. But prophecy does not
    emanate DOWNWARD FROM MALCHUT OF ATZILUT, but shines
    where it is, IN THE NUKVA, THE PLACE OF ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH IS
    THE SECRET OF THE LAND OF YISRAEL, AND THE PROPHETS
    THAT ARE INSPIRED FROM IT.
  54. Come and see, it is written: “And he dreamed, and behold a
    ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and
    behold the angels of Elohim ascending and descending on
    it” (Beresheet 28:12). He opened the discussion with the verse: “the
    word of Hashem came (Heb. hayoh hayah,) to Yechezkel the son of
    Buzi, in the land of Casdim, by the river K’var, and the hand of
    Hashem was there upon him” (Yechezkel 1:3). The words hayoh
    hayah (lit. ‘being, was’) INDICATE THAT this prophecy was specific
    to that time, for it was needed to strengthen those in exile in order to
    let them know the Shechinah had gone into exile with them.
    Therefore, Yechezkel saw what he saw, which applied to that time
    only. And although the place was not worthy of it, FOR PLACES
    OUTSIDE YISRAEL ARE NOT WORTHY OF PROPHECY, THE
    SCRIPTURE READS hayoh hayah, WHICH MEANS THAT THERE IS
    SOMETHING NEW HERE, THAT PROPHECY LIVES OUTSIDE
    YISRAEL. HE ASKS: Why DOES THE SCRIPTURE SAY TWICE, hayo
    hayah? HE ANSWERS: One is above IN ZEIR ANPIN, and one is
    below IN THE NUKVA, as it is written: “a ladder set up on the earth,
    and the top of it reached to heaven,” WHICH MEANS THAT it
    receives THE LIGHT OF CHASSADIM above IN HEAVEN, ZEIR
    ANPIN, and receives below, FROM THE NUKVA CALLED ‘EARTH’,
    THE LIGHT OF CHOCHMAH. So in Hayo Hayah, one MEANS THE
    BEING OF CHASSADIM above, and the other MEANS THE BEING OF
    CHOCHMAH below.
  55. Come and behold: this ladder was strengthened by two worlds,
    above IN ZEIR ANPIN and below IN THE NUKVA. THUS: “in the land
    of Casdim by the river K’var” (Yechezkel 1:3). The land of Casdim is
    the place of exile, NAMELY, THE LAND OUTSIDE YISRAEL.
    Nevertheless, it is “by the river K’var.” What is the river K’var? IT
    MEANS THAT She was already (Heb. k’var) there; the Shechinah
    dwelt upon it before that, as it is written: “And a river went out of
    Eden to water the garden,” (Beresheet 2:10) THE RIVER BEING THE
    SECRET OF BINAH. AND THE RIVER K’VAR IS one of the four rivers
    THAT FLOWED FROM THE RIVER THAT BEGAN IN EDEN, THE
    RIVER OF EUPHRATES IN BABYLON. Because it dwelt upon him
    before and was upon it already (k’var), now too it dwells upon it and
    was revealed to Yechezkel.1
  56. Come and behold: “And he dreamed.” HE ASKS: How could it be
    that to holy Ya’akov, the chosen of the patriarchs, Hashem was
    revealed in a dream; and in such a sacred place, BET-EL, WHICH IS
    PART OF YISRAEL, A PLACE WORTHY OF THE DWELLING OF THE
    SHECHINAH, he saw HASHEM only in a dream? HE ANSWERS:
    Ya’akov was not yet married, AND WAS THEREFORE INCOMPLETE
    IN HIS BODY. Also, Yitzchak was still alive AND THE TIME OF HIS
    ASCENDANCY HAD NOT YET ARRIVED. THEREFORE, IT IS
    WRITTEN THAT HE DREAMED AND NOT THAT HE SAW A VISION
    WHILE AWAKE. You may wonder why, after he was married, it is
    written: “I…saw in a dream” (Beresheet 31:10). This was because he
    was outside Yisrael IN PADDAN ARAM, and Yitzchak was yet alive.
    Therefore it is written that he dreamed.
  57. Afterwards, when he came to the Holy Land with the tribes and
    “the barren woman” was perfected with them: “and be a joyful
    mother of children” (Tehilim 113:9), AND HE WAS NOW WHOLE
    WITH HIS SPOUSE AND WAS IN THE LAND OF YISRAEL, it is
    written: “And Elohim appeared to Ya’akov,” (Beresheet 35:9) “And
    Elohim spoke to Yisrael in the vision of the night” (Beresheet 46:2).
    No dream was mentioned here because he was of another, superior
    grade, WORTHY OF BEHOLDING A VISION WHILE AWAKE.
  58. Come and behold: a dream comes from Gavriel, and A DREAM is
    six grades lower than a prophecy. THIS MEANS THAT GAVRIEL
    RECEIVES THE DREAM FROM HOD OF THE NUKVA, WHICH IS THE
    SIXTH GRADE FROM PROPHECY, AND PEOPLE RECEIVE IT
    THROUGH GAVRIEL. A vision IS RECEIVED from the grade of the
    living creature, which rules by night. BECAUSE VISION IS THE
    NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN IN HER ACTUAL PLACE, ABOUT WHICH IS
    SAID: “AND SHE RISES ALSO WHILE IT IS YET NIGHT,” (MISHLEI
    31:15) IT IS THEREFORE A VISION WHILE AWAKE, AND NOT A
    DREAM. You may contend that it is written: “and said, Gavriel, make
    this man understand the vision (Heb. mar’ah),” (Daniel 8:16) AND
    THEREFORE, ONE COULD CONCLUDE THAT A VISION IS ALSO
    RECEIVED FROM GAVRIEL. HE ANSWERS: Assuredly this is so, but
    a vision is unclear and a dream is more precise. Therefore, a dream
    explains that which is not clear in the vision. Thus, Gavriel, WHO IS
    IN CHARGE OF DREAMS, was chosen to explain the vague words of
    the vision.
  59. Therefore, it is written: “in the vision (mar’eh),” WHICH IS
    DERIVED FROM THE SAME ROOT AS “AND HE LOOKED (HEB.
    VA’ERA)” AND “AND I SAW (HEB. VA’ERA).” The reason is that the
    mirror is like a mirror (Heb. mar’ah) OF POLISHED GLASS, in which
    all the shapes IN FRONT OF IT are seen. Therefore, it is written of it:
    “and I appeared (va’era) TO AVRAHAM… BY THE NAME OF EL
    SHADAI,” (Shemot 6:3) FOR THE MIRROR, THE NUKVA, SAID: I have
    shown the image OF HASHEM by El Shadai. For this is the mirror in
    which the images of others and all the shapes of the supernal
    GRADES are seen.1
  60. Therefore, at the time BEFORE YA’AKOV WED, it is written of
    him: “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the
    earth” (Beresheet 28:12). What is this ladder? It is a grade from
    which all other grades stem, NAMELY, THE NUKVA, THE GATE OF
    ALL GRADES, “and the top of it reached to heaven.” It does reach up
    to connect to heaven. HE ASKS: What top? HE ANSWERS: The top
    of the ladder. And what is that? That of which it is written: “the top
    (lit. ‘head’) of the couch,” (Beresheet 47:31) NAMELY, YESOD, THE
    HEAD OF THE NUKVA CALLED ‘COUCH’. AND YESOD IS ‘THE HEAD
    OF THE COUCH’ because it is at the head of the couch, THE NUKVA,
    who shines with its light FROM YESOD. IT IS THEREFORE
    CONSIDERED HER HEAD. And “reached to heaven,” because it is
    the final part of the body, TIFERET, CALLED ‘HEAVEN’. FOR YESOD
    IS ATTACHED UNDERNEATH TIFERET, situated between the higher,
    ZEIR ANPIN and the lower, NUKVA, as the member of the Covenant,
    the final part of the body, lies between the thighs and the body.
    Therefore, THE SCRIPTURE READS, “reached to heaven,” FOR THE
    TOP OF THE LADDER, YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, REACHES HEAVEN,
    AS IT CLEAVES TO ZEIR ANPIN, CALLED ‘HEAVEN’.
  61. “…and behold the angels of Elohim ascending and descending
    on it…” (Beresheet 28:12). These are the ministers of all the nations
    who ascend and descend this ladder. When the children of Yisrael
    are sinful, the ladder is lowered and the ministers rise. When the
    children of Yisrael improve their deeds, the ladder is raised; all the
    ministers descend and their government is annulled. All depends on
    this ladder. Here, Ya’akov saw Esav’s government and that of the
    rest of the nations in his dream.
  62. Another explanation of the verse, “and behold the angels of
    Elohim ascending and descending on it,” is that the ladder is used to
    ascend and descend through its top. For when the top, YESOD, is
    removed, the ladder gives in and all the ministers rule again. When
    the top is attached again, it is elevated and they all lose their power
    to govern. All this is one matter, AND BOTH EXPLANATIONS ARE
    ESSENTIALLY IN AGREEMENT.
  63. It is written: “Hashem appeared to Solomon in a dream by night:
    and Elohim said, ask what I shall give you” (I Melachim 3:5). HE
    ASKS: One may wonder why it was a dream, THAT IS, WHY IT WAS
    RECEIVED THROUGH GAVRIEL. What right does the grade of a
    dream have TO SAY TO HIM, SINCE HE IS BUT AN ANGEL: “ASK
    WHAT I SHALL GIVE YOU”? HE ANSWERS: Here a grade was
    included within a grade; the supernal grade, THE NUKVA OF ZEIR
    ANPIN, THE ROOT OF THE DREAM, WAS INCLUDED WITHIN AND
    CLOTHED by the grade down below, NAMELY, THE GRADE OF
    GAVRIEL. THE NUKVA SAID TO HIM, “ASK WHAT I SHALL GIVE
    YOU,” BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN: “AND ELOHIM SAID,” WHICH IS
    ONE NAME OF THE NUKVA. THE REASON HE APPEARS TO HIM
    ONLY IN A DREAM IS THAT until then Solomon was not complete.
    Once he was perfected, it is written: “And Hashem gave Solomon
    wisdom” (I Melachim 5:26) and “Solomon’s wisdom excelled,” (Ibid.
    10) for the moon, THE NUKVA, was then full and the Temple was
    built. Only then did Solomon see wisdom while awake; he had no
    further need of dreams.
  64. After he sinned, however, he had to resort to dreams again.
    Therefore, it is written: “who had twice appeared to him” (I Melachim
    11:9). IT APPEARS PROBLEMATIC THAT He was seen to him twice
    only, but THE EXPLANATION IS THAT from the side of the grade of a
    dream, He was seen to him only twice.1
  65. With all that, the dream grade of Solomon was greater than the
    dream grade of all other men; including one grade within another
    grade, VISION WHEN AWAKE, WHICH IS THE NUKVA, WAS
    INCLUDED within vision IN A DREAM, WHICH IS THE GRADE OF
    GAVRIEL. At the end of his days, the dream grade was considerably
    darkened. THEREFORE, SCRIPTURE REMINDS HIM OF THE TWO
    DREAMS THAT USED TO SHINE UPON HIM, AS IT IS WRITTEN:
    “ELOHIM OF YISRAEL WHO HAD TWICE APPEARED TO HIM.” This
    happened because he sinned, and the moon, THE NUKVA, began to
    wane, because he did not keep the Holy Covenant and pursued
    foreign women. This is the condition the Holy One, blessed be He,
    gave to David, as it is written: “If your children will keep my
    covenant…their children shall also sit upon your throne for
    evermore” (Tehilim 132:12).
  66. What is the meaning of “for evermore?” This is as it is written:
    “as the days of heaven upon the earth” (Devarim 11:21). Because
    Solomon did not keep the Covenant as he ought to have done, the
    moon began to wane. At the end, he had to resort to dreams again.
    This was also true of Ya’akov, BECAUSE HE WAS NOT COMPLETE,
    as we mentioned before.
  67. “And, behold, Hashem stood above it”
    This passage further explicates Ya’akov’s vision of the Ladder. It clarifies his special role amongst the Chosen People and his position among the
    other patriarchs in the Tree of Life.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Ya’akov represents the Central Column force of Free Will and/or Resistance, which brings about the subjugation of the ego. Of the three patriarchs,
    Ya’akov embodies the delicate balance between the will of the soul-sharing-and the primal urges of the body-receiving for the self. The Ladder in
    Ya’akov’s vision corresponds to the Ten Sfirot and the array of spiritual Lights that radiates from each respective realm. Because we as individuals
    do not possess the strength to triumph over our egos and our selfish drives, the Zohar provides us with the additional power of the patriarch
    Ya’akov, whose strength is instilled within us through the Light that that radiates from this passage. We also achieve a connection to the Lights of
    the Sfirot, which brightens our lives and the world with tranquillity and joy.
  68. “And, behold, Hashem stood above it” (Beresheet 28:13) means
    that Ya’akov saw here, IN THE LADDER, the Knot of Faith, WHICH IS
    THE NUKVA, BINDING ALL THE SFIROT as one. “…stood (Heb.
    nitzav) above it…” as “a pillar (Heb. netziv) of salt” (Beresheet 19:26)
    ALLUDES TO a mound, for all the grades are as one on that ladder,
    THE NUKVA, so that all will be connected into one knot. For this
    ladder was put between the two sides, and this is the meaning of the
    verse: “and said, I am Hashem the Elohim of Avraham your father,
    and the Elohim of Yitzchak…” These are the two sides, right and left–
    AVRAHAM IS RIGHT AND YITZCHAK IS LEFT.
  69. Another explanation of the verse, “And, behold, Hashem stood
    above it,” IS THAT IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT HE STOOD UPON THE
    LADDER, BUT RATHER THAT HE STOOD on Ya’akov, so that a holy
    Chariot would be made. Then, between the right and left is Ya’akov,
    CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, and the Congregation of Yisrael,
    NAMELY, THE NUKVA, will be tied with them. This is the meaning of,
    “Hashem the Elohim of Avraham your father, and the Elohim of
    Yitzchak.” How do we know that Ya’akov is in the middle OF
    AVRAHAM AND YITZCHAK? We know from the verse, “Hashem the
    Elohim of Avraham your father, and the Elohim of Yitzchak.” Note
    that it is not written ‘the Elohim of Yitzchak your father’, WHICH
    WOULD MAKE HIM THIRD AMONG THE FATHERS, NAMELY, THE
    SON OF YITZCHAK. FROM THIS WE LEARN THAT because he was
    connected to Avraham, AND WAS CONSIDERED HIS SON, HE WAS
    FOUND TO BE BEFORE YITZCHAK. THEREFORE, HE IS IN THE
    MIDDLE, BETWEEN AVRAHAM AND YITZCHAK. FOR THIS IS THE
    SECRET OF THE CHARIOT: AVRAHAM AND YITZCHAK ARE RIGHT
    AND LEFT, AND YA’AKOV IS BETWEEN THEM. Then, it is written:
    “the land on which you lie,” WHICH IS THE NUKVA. This makes all,1
    THAT IS, THE THREE COLUMNS WITH THE NUKVA, into one holy
    Chariot. Here, Ya’akov saw that he would be the chosen of the
    fathers.
  70. Come and behold: “Hashem the Elohim of Avraham your father.”
    Because He said, “Avraham your father,” assuredly he is in between
    AVRAHAM AND YITZCHAK. And “the Elohim of Yitzchak” alludes to
    the fact that Ya’akov was bound to the two sides–RIGHT AND LEFT–
    and was part of them. He is tied on the one side TO THE RIGHT, as it
    is written: “Hashem the Elohim of Avraham your father”; and on the
    other side he is tied TO THE LEFT, as it is written: “and the Elohim
    of Yitzchak.” In the latter case, the letter Vav (‘and’) is added TO
    “AND THE ELOHIM,” when Yitzchak is mentioned. This indicates
    that Ya’akov seized both sides, FOR VAV ALLUDES TO TIFERET,
    WHICH IS YA’AKOV, ATTACHED TO THE ELOHIM OF YITZCHAK,
    THE SECRET OF THE LEFT. THE SCRIPTURE CONNECTS HIM TO
    AVRAHAM BY CALLING HIM” YOUR FATHER,” AND CONNECTS
    HIM TO “THE ELOHIM OF YITZCHAK” VIA THE VAV.
  71. As long as Ya’akov was not married, this was not said of him
    openly, AS WAS SAID HERE, FOR IT IS NOT SPECIFICALLY
    WRITTEN: “THE ELOHIM OF YA’AKOV,” AS IT WAS OF AVRAHAM
    AND YITZCHAK. It is only said openly of he who knows the ways of
    the Torah. THIS MEANS THAT HE WILL BECOME A CHARIOT OF
    THE TWO WAYS, THE RIGHT AND LEFT, AFTER HE IS MARRIED.
    UNTIL THEN, HE CAN BE A CHARIOT ONLY OF ZEIR ANPIN, THE
    SECRET OF THE RIGHT, AND NOT OF THE NUKVA, THE SECRET
    OF THE LEFT. After he married and begot children, it was said of
    him openly, as is written in the verse: “And he erected there an altar,
    and called it El Elohei (‘the Elohim of’) Yisrael” (Beresheet 33:20).
    Thus, we learn that whoever is not perfected below, AS MALE AND
    FEMALE THAT IS, WHOEVER IS NOT MARRIED, cannot be perfected
    above. This is not so for Ya’akov, who was perfected above and
    below EVEN BEFORE HE MARRIED. However, it was not proclaimed
    openly, BECAUSE HE DID NOT YET PROFESS HIS UNITY OVER HIM.
  72. You may wonder how he was completely perfected BEFORE HE
    WAS MARRIED. This is not actually accurate. He was not perfected,
    but saw that he would eventually be perfected. If you say that it is
    written: “And, behold, I am with you, and will keep you wherever you
    go” (Beresheet 28:15), WHICH MEANS THAT HE WAS COMPLETELY
    PERFECTED, IT WOULD BE INACCURATE. Rather, the explanation
    is that the keeping of the Holy One, blessed be He, and His
    protection will never leave Ya’akov without whatever he needs in
    this world. But in the upper world, he can not have true perception
    until he is perfected, NAMELY, MARRIES.
  73. “And Ya’akov awoke…How dreadful is this place”
    The patriarch Ya’akov awakens at the future site of the Temple. As Ya’akov recognizes the power of the sacred ground, great spiritual Light is
    revealed to him.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Sometimes a simple observation conveys more than many words can describe. Such is the case with this passage. Suffice it to say that our souls
    tread the sacred ground upon which Ya’akov slept, and upon which the Temple stood.
  74. “And Ya’akov awoke out of his sleep, and he said: Surely
    Hashem is in this place; and I knew it not” (Beresheet 28:16). HE
    ASKS: It is a wonder that he did not conceive such great knowledge.
    HE ANSWERS: The meaning of “and I (Heb. anochi) knew it not” is
    similar to the meaning of the verse: “and I have not made
    supplications to Hashem” (I Shmuel 13:12). THAT IS, “I KNEW IT
    NOT” ARE WORDS OF UNION AND DEVOTION, AS ARE THE
    WORDS, “I HAVE NOT MADE SUPPLICATION.” Ya’akov said: This
    was all revealed to me, though I have not attentively searched to
    know THE HOLY NAME Anochi (‘I’), WHICH IS THE SHECHINAH, and
    come under the wings of the Shechinah to become a whole man.1
  75. Come and behold. It is written: “and she said, If it be so, why am I
    (anochi) thus” (Beresheet 25:22). Rivkah beheld the light of the
    Shechinah daily because the Shechinah was in her tent where she
    prayed. When Rivkah began to experience the pains of childbirth, it
    is written: “And she went to inquire of Hashem (Yud-Hei-Vav-
    Hei)” (Beresheet 25:22). She went from the grade of Anochi (‘I’) to the
    other grade of Yud-Hei-Vav-Hei. SO ANOCHI IS A NAME OF THE
    SHECHINAH. Therefore, Ya’akov said: ‘I have seen so much, yet did
    not know I…’ (anochi). This is because he was not married and did
    not yet come under the wings of the Shechinah.
  76. Next, it is written: “And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is
    this place.” “…place…” has two meanings reflecting the two sides.
    “How dreadful is this place,” refers to the place he mentioned before,
    THE SHECHINAH, and to the sign of the Holy Covenant, which must
    not be annulled.
  77. Although these are two aspects, YESOD AND MALCHUT, they are
    actually the same. He said, “this is none other than the house of
    Elohim.” ‘This’, WHICH IS YESOD CALLED ‘THIS’, must not be
    neglected; “this” should not be left alone. Its existence is no other
    than the house of Elohim, WHICH IS THE NUKVA, with which it
    unites to produce offspring and to pour blessings upon her from all
    the organs of the body. For this, WHICH IS YESOD, is the gate to the
    entire body, WHICH IS TIFERET, as the scripture reads: “and this is
    the gate of heaven” (Beresheet 28:17). THAT IS, TIFERET IS CALLED
    BOTH ‘BODY’ AND ‘HEAVEN’. Assuredly, this is the gate to the body
    by which blessings flow down TO THE NUKVA. It is attached above
    TO HEAVEN, WHICH IS TIFERET, and attached below TO THE
    NUKVA, WHICH IS CALLED ‘PLACE’, AND ALSO ‘THE HOUSE OF
    ELOHIM’. HE EXPLAINED: It is attached above, as it is written: “and
    this is the gate of heaven,” AS YESOD IS THE GATE OF TIFERET,
    WHICH IS CALLED ‘HEAVEN’. It is attached below, as it is written:
    “this is no other than the house of Elohim,” WHICH MEANS THAT
    THIS, YESOD, IS FOUND ONLY IN THE HOUSE OF ELOHIM, WHICH
    IS THE NUKVA. Therefore, “he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is
    this place.” THE PLACE IS THE NUKVA, AND “THIS” IS YESOD. But
    men disregard the preciousness OF YESOD, of being perfected
    through it. The father of the young man went to him and kissed him.
  78. Rabbi Yitzchak said: When I heard these words from his mouth, I
    wept. I said, blessed be the Merciful One for not letting high wisdom
    disappear from the world. I traveled with them three parasangs and
    entered the city with them. Shortly after they had arrived, the man
    affianced his son. I said to him: Your words have not been in vain,
    FOR AFTER DISCUSSING THE PERFECTION THAT COMES WITH
    MARRIAGE, HE TOLD HIM THAT HIS WORDS WOULD PREVAIL.
  79. Rabbi Shimon said that the words CONCERNING THE LADDER
    contain secrets of wisdom and have hidden meaning. When I
    presented these matters to Rabbi Shimon, he said: These are not the
    words of a youth, but rather descriptions of supernal mysteries.
    They all bear the mark of wisdom.1
  80. “and behold a ladder set up on the earth”
    The Zohar describes Ya’akov’s dream of the ladder, in which he sees his children receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai. The passage explicates the
    secret meaning of the reception of the Torah: that is, the Torah as the key to mastery of the world through the Angel Matatron, who is in effect a
    gatekeeper for the angelic messengers of wisdom.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The Torah is the divine instrument that imbues the children of Israel with the strength to gradually eliminate the Evil Inclination from their nature.
    This process takes place both in our physical world and in the supernal worlds above. We connect ourselves to the primordial spiritual Light that
    shone on Sinai during Revelation. This sacred emanation was so intense that all forms of darkness were eradicated, including death and decay.
    Through these verses we further arouse the forces of immortality and bring renewal, restoration, and rebirth to our lives.
    Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
  81. “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and
    the top of it reached to heaven” (Beresheet 28:12). It is six grades up
    from the level of a dream, HOD OF THE NUKVA, to the two grades of
    prophecy, NETZACH AND HOD OF ZEIR ANPIN. The six grades are
    YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH,
    AND HOD OF THE NUKVA. Therefore, a dream is one part out of
    sixty of prophecy, FOR EACH OF THESE SIX SFIROT INCLUDES TEN
    SFIROT, AND TEN TIMES SIX IS SIXTY. AND A DREAM, WHICH IS
    THE LOWEST, CONTAINS ONE OUT OF SIXTY. The ladder alludes to
    him seeing his children receive the Torah on Mount Sinai in the
    future, because the ladder represents Sinai, for MOUNT SINAI, AS
    SCRIPTURE READS, “is on the ground,” “and its top,” NAMELY, ITS
    HIGHEST POINT, reaches heaven. And all the Chariots and troops of
    the High Angels descended there with the Holy One, blessed be He,
    when he gave them the Torah, AS IT IS WRITTEN: “THE ANGELS OF
    ELOHIM ASCENDING AND DESCENDING ON IT.”
  82. YA’AKOV saw all this IN HIS DREAM. He saw THE ANGEL
    Matatron, the elder in the house OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE
    HE, ruling over what is His and governing the world by THE
    STRENGTH OF his mastery of the name Shadai. He rises above with
    the ascension of his Master’s name, Yud-Hei-Vav-Hei, which is the
    place in which Ya’akov was perfected. Afterward, the beginning of
    the name Shadai, which is the letter Yud, reaches heaven. After this
    letter rises to this place, NAMELY, TO HEAVEN, THE ANGEL
    MATATRON is perfected and is given his Master’s name, Yud-Hei-
    Vav-Hei.
  83. The verse: “and behold the angels of Elohim ascending and
    descending on it” (Beresheet 28:12) refers to holy angels close to
    Malchut who ascend BY WAY OF MATATRON. The other angels who
    are not close TO MALCHUT, THAT IS, THOSE THAT COME FROM
    THE OTHER SIDE, descend, AND THERE IS NO RECOVERY FOR
    THEM.
  84. Moreover, through him, THE ANGEL MATATRON, they ascend
    and descend. When he rises, THE ANGELS OF ELOHIM rise with
    him, and when he descends, THE ANGELS OF ELOHIM go down with
    him. These angels are the twelve precious pearls, known as Michael,
    Kadmiel, Pedael, Gavriel, Tzadkiel, Chasdiel, Refael, Raziel,
    S’turiyah, Nuriel, Yofiel, and Anael. They are “thousands upon
    thousands (Heb. Shin’an)” (Tehilim 68:18). They are the letters
    Shin’an (Shin, Nun, Aleph, final Nun) which consist of the initials of
    an ox (shor), an eagle (nesher), and a lion (aryeh); the final Nun
    alludes to a man who includes male and female. They rise when
    MATATRON rises, and descend when he descends.1
  85. And moreover, those who dominate in this world do so through
    him, MATATRON. And those who are prevented from ruling fall
    through him. They all are dependent on this ladder, MATATRON. Yud-
    Hei-Vav-Hei dominates them all. As it is written: “And, behold,
    Hashem stood above it.” When he awoke, it is written: “this is no
    other than the house of Elohim, and this is the gate of heaven.”
    Assuredly, MATATRON is the House of Elohim, the gate through
    which one passes to come within, as it is written: “Open to me the
    gates of righteousness: I will go in to them, and I will praise Yah
    (Yud-Hei)” (Tehilim 118:19). And “this is the gate to Hashem (Yud-Hei-
    Vav-Hei)” (Tehilim 118:20) is the gate of heaven. And all is one,
    WHICH MEANS THAT THE GATES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS–THE GATE
    OF HASHEM AND THE GATE OF HEAVEN–ARE ONE, AND THAT
    ONE IS MATATRON.
    End of Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
  86. “And Ya’akov vowed a vow”
    This passage explicates the story of Jacob in terms of the Sfirot and their interactions. Rabbi Chiya gives an interpretation concerning King David
    and his fear of the wickedness of the world: “the place where the books of the wicked are opened.” Other rabbis add that the pillar of the left,
    Judgment, is necessary for the subjugation of the Klipot.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Ya’akov corresponds to the Central Column, the Sfirah of Tiferet, whose position is squarely in the middle of the Tree of Life. Ya’akov is the
    balancing force between the Right Column energy of Mercy and the Left Column force of Judgment. Through the Sfirot, the attributes of mercy and
    judgment are carefully mingled, balanced, and disseminated in the physical realm, in accordance with the interactions of human beings to one
    another. In our world-signified by King David-wicked forces incite us to inflict judgment upon one another. Through the light of Ya’akov’s soul we
    can temper our judgment, sweeten it with mercy, and therefore treat one another with compassion and kindness. Doing so produces the same effect
    in the Upper World, and the Sfirot shower our physical domain with an equal measure of mercy. Reading these passages with a pure heart will set
    this light in motion.
  87. “And Ya’akov vowed a vow, saying, If Elohim will be with
    me…” (Beresheet 28:20). Rabbi Yehuda said: Although the Holy One,
    blessed be He, promised him all that WHEN HE SAID TO HIM, “AND,
    BEHOLD, I AM WITH YOU, AND WILL KEEP YOU” (BERESHEET
    28:15), why did Ya’akov not believe this? Rather, he questioned, “If
    Elohim will be with me…?” HE REPLIED: Only Ya’akov said, I have
    dreamed a dream, and some dreams are true, and some are not. If
    the events in the dream come to pass, then I shall know that the
    dream is true. Therefore, he said, “If Elohim will be with me,” as I
    dreamed, “then Hashem shall be to me for Elohim” (Ibid. 21); I will
    draw blessings from the source of the spring of life, BINAH, to the
    place called ‘Elohim’.
  88. Come and behold: Yisrael, NAMELY, THE CENTRAL COLUMN,
    who is in the middle of everything, receives plenty first from the
    source of life, BINAH. What he receives, he draws to the place, THE
    NUKVA. This is understood from the verse that begins, “then
    Hashem shall be to me”–WHICH MEANS THAT HE IS THE FIRST TO
    RECEIVE–and continues, “for Elohim,” WHICH IS THE NUKVA. THIS
    MEANS THAT HE WILL THEN PASS IT TO THE NUKVA. As Elohim
    will preserve me and do all this kindness by me, so will I draw from
    my place, NAMELY, ZEIR ANPIN, all these blessings, and the general
    connection, YESOD, will be tied to it. When will that be? In time, “so
    that I come back to my father’s house in peace” (Beresheet 28:21),
    which means when I will be perfect in my grade, TIFERET, and
    perfect in the grade of peace, YESOD, to correct “my father’s
    house,” WHICH IS THE NUKVA, CALLED ‘HOUSE’. “I come back…in
    peace” is precise, ALLUDING TO YESOD; “Then Hashem shall be to
    me for Elohim.”1
  89. Another explanation for: “So that I come back to my father’s
    house in peace.” There, IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE, is the Holy Land,
    where I will be perfected and “Hashem shall be to me for Elohim.” In
    that place I will properly rise from this grade to another, where I will
    worship Him.
  90. Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse: “Iniquities
    prevail against me: as for our transgressions, You shall purge them
    away” (Tehilim 65:4). This verse is difficult to understand because its
    two halves do not fit together–IT STARTS IN THE SINGULAR AND
    ENDS IN THE PLURAL. Only David asked forgiveness first for
    himself, and then for everyone else. “Iniquities prevail against me,”
    means that David said: I know I myself have sinned, but some
    wicked in the world have sins more grievous than mine. For that
    reason, I AM AFRAID AND ask first for me and then for them: “as for
    our transgressions, You shall purge them away.”
  91. THE REASON DAVID WAS AFRAID OF THE MANY SINS OF THE
    WICKED OF THE WORLD IS AS FOLLOWS. Come and behold: when
    there are many in the world who are wicked, they rise up to the place
    where the books of the wicked are opened. THIS IS THE NUKVA OF
    ZEIR ANPIN CALLED ‘BOOK’, as it is written: “they sat in judgment
    and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:10). Then judgment rests
    upon that book, THE NUKVA, WHICH IS FLAWED BECAUSE OF
    JUDGMENTS. THEREFORE, DAVID WAS AFRAID LEST OUR
    TRANSGRESSIONS FLAW THE NUKVA, AND HE ASKED TO BE
    PARDONED, saying, “Iniquities prevail against me: as for our
    transgressions, You shall purge them away.”
  92. Similarly, Ya’akov TOO WAS AFRAID THAT HE MIGHT SIN, AND
    THAT BECAUSE OF THE MANY WICKED IN THE WORLD, THE FLAW
    WOULD REACH THE NUKVA. Therefore, he did not trust THE
    PROMISE OF HASHEM THAT WAS GIVEN HIM. However, do not say
    that he did not trust the Holy One, blessed be He. It is not so. He
    simply did not believe in himself, and he was afraid that he might sin
    AND THAT HIS SIN, TOGETHER WITH THE OTHER SINS IN THE
    WORLD, would prevent him from returning home in peace. And as a
    result, the keeping would be removed from him. Therefore, he did
    not trust himself. “And Hashem will be to me for Elohim” means
    when I will return in peace, I will put even mercy before judgment, so
    I will worship Him always.
  93. Rabbi Acha EXPLAINED THE MATTER BY saying that Ya’akov
    said: Now I have no need of Judgment, ONLY CHESED, AS IT IS THE
    GRADE OF YA’AKOV. When I return to my father’s house, I will
    include Judgment also–THAT IS, THE RIGHT WILL INCLUDE THE
    LEFT–and I will be connected TO THE LEFT AS I AM TO THE RIGHT,
    THAT IS, THE GRADE OF YISRAEL, THE CENTRAL PILLAR. Rabbi
    Yosi said: This is not so. He said, “If Elohim will be with me,” AND
    THE NAME ELOHIM IS JUDGMENT, I NOW HAVE NEED OF
    Judgment to keep me until I return in peace to my father’s house.
    FOR SUBJUGATION OF THE KLIPOT REQUIRES THE ILLUMINATION
    OF THE LEFT, WHICH IS JUDGMENT. But once I have safely
    returned, I will include Mercy within Judgment, THAT IS, THE RIGHT
    WILL BE INCLUDED WITHIN THE LEFT, AND LEFT WITHIN THE
    RIGHT. And I will be bound in the tie of faith to make all THE SFIROT
    as one. “…and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be
    Elohim’s house…” because then, AFTER THE RIGHT AND LEFT ARE
    INCLUDED WITHIN EACH OTHER, all will become one. And this
    stone, THE NUKVA, will be blessed from right and left, CHOCHMAH
    AND BINAH, from above and below, TIFERET AND MALCHUT.
    Therefore, I will give a tenth from all. THAT IS, THE TENTH, THE
    NUKVA, WHICH IS ONE OUT OF TEN, WILL INCLUDE OF ALL TEN
    SFIROT FROM SOUTH AND NORTH, FROM ABOVE AND BELOW,1
    WHICH ARE CHOCHMAH, BINAH, TIFERET, AND MALCHUT.
  94. Rabbi Aba said: It is written, “and he took of the stones of that
    place.” THESE ARE THE TWELVE STONES ON WHICH THE NUKVA
    RESTS; THEY ARE NOT THE NUKVA HERSELF. It may be said that
    the stone he took is superior to all the other stones HE TOOK for his
    place of abode to rest on, THIS BEING THE NUKVA ABOVE THE
    TWELVE STONES. BUT THIS IS NOT SO, as it is written: “and this
    stone, which I have set for a pillar.” He should have said ‘the upper’
    ACCORDING TO WHAT YOU SAY. HE ANSWERS: This is because he
    said, “this is no other than the house of Elohim.” Here he lifted the
    supernal pillar, for he put all the praise OF THIS, YESOD, on THE
    UPPER STONE, saying, “this is” able to provide, NAMELY TO PASS
    MOCHIN, “to no other than the house of Elohim,” TO THE STONE
    ABOVE, WHICH IS THE HOUSE OF ELOHIM. And this is well.
    Therefore, it is written: “which I have set for a pillar,” AND NOT ‘THE
    UPPER’.
  95. The phrase, “shall be Elohim’s house,” MEANS forever, SO THAT
    PLENTY WILL UNCEASINGLY POUR ON HER FROM YESOD. HE
    ASKS: WHY DOES THE SCRIPTURE SAY, “Elohim’s house,” when it
    should have read ‘Hashem’s house’, as it is written: “and build the
    house of Hashem,” (Ezra 1:3) and “Let us go into the house of
    Hashem” (Tehilim 122:1). HE REPLIES: THE NUKVA IS a court, A
    PLACE OF JUDGMENTS, from two supernal sides on the side of the
    Jubilee (Heb. yoval), YISRAEL-SABA, AND TEVUNAH, called ‘Living
    Elohim’, FOR THE SEVEN LOWER SFIROT OF BINAH, YISRAEL-
    SABA, AND TEVUNAH ARE ALSO CALLED ‘ELOHIM’ AFTER
    CHOCHMAH–THAT IS, ‘GIVING PLENTY–AND ARE CALLED
    ‘LIFE’ (LIT. ‘LIVING’). On the side of Yitzchak, THE SECRET OF
    GVURAH OF ZEIR ANPIN, it is ALSO CALLED ‘Elohim’. THEREFORE,
    THE SCRIPTURE SAYS OF THE NUKVA, “ELOHIM’S HOUSE,”
    WHICH IS JUDGMENT, AND NOT ‘HASHEM’S HOUSE’, WHICH IS
    MERCY.
  96. Rabbi Elazar said that the Jubilee–YISRAEL-SABA, AND
    TEVUNAH, WHICH IS BINAH–is full of mercy, even though
    judgments will arise from it. Every joy comes out of it. It is the joy of
    all. THEREFORE, IT IS NOT TO BE SAID, AS RABBI ABA DID, THAT
    THE NUKVA IS CALLED “ELOHIM’S HOUSE,” BECAUSE SHE
    RECEIVES JUDGMENTS FROM THE JUBILEE. Rather, “Elohim’s
    house,” BY ITS NAME, INDICATES that it is of the side of severe
    judgment, GVURAH OF ZEIR ANPIN, ITS LEFT. It is either for good,
    as the love OF UNION is from the left, it is written: “His left hand is
    under my head” (Shir Hahirim 2:6); or it is for evil, as severe
    judgment is aroused from the left, it is written: “Out of the north
    shall evil break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land” (Yirmeyah
    1:14). It is THEREFORE assuredly CALLED “Elohim’s house.” Rabbi
    Shimon said: “Elohim’s house” is, as written: “the city of the great
    king” (Tehilim 48:3). THE NUKVA IS THE CITY OF BINAH, CALLED
    ‘GREAT KING’. HERE ALSO, THE NUKVA IS “ELOHIM’S HOUSE,”
    WHICH IS BINAH. For there is a ‘plain king’, THE NUKVA, and there
    is a ‘great king’. Assuredly, the supernal world is BINAH, CALLED
    ‘great king’. And A ‘PLAIN KING’ is the city of the ‘great king’, BINAH.
  97. Rabbi Chiya sees Eliyahu
    In a dream of Rabbi Chiya’s, the prophet Elijah announces the imminent destruction of the holy city within if men cease to study Torah. When Rabbi
    Chiya wakes and discusses his dream with the sages, Rabbi Yesa comments that although the wisdom of Torah watches over those who study it,
    the same is not true of “men who are strong in this world”–that is, who manifest the energy of the Left Column. Thus, the Holy City, in its external
    aspect, is doomed to destruction over and over again.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The Talmud teaches us that the Temple was destroyed, not for lack of academic study of the Torah, but because of hatred and intolerance among
    the children of Israel for no reason. The spiritual meaning of “Torah study” concerns character transformation, not scholarship. Torah study is a
    means to an end-learning to love thy neighbor as thyself. Everything else, according the sage Hillel, is merely commentary. Negative forces attempt
    to focus our attention on the study itself, arousing self-righteousness and self-importance. When this happens, the sages warn us, the Torah
    actually becomes poison to the body and soul. If we hold to our intolerant ways, the Temple will be destroyed repeatedly. Moreover, each year the
    Temple is not rebuilt represents the spiritual equivalent of its destruction. The Light activated as we read these verses hastens the rebuilding of the1
    Temple and the final redemption.
  98. Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Chizkiyah were sitting underneath the
    trees in the field of Ono. Rabbi Chiya dozed and saw Eliyahu. RABBI
    CHIYA said TO ELIYAHU: Because of my master showing the way,
    the field, THE NUKVA, is shining. ELIYAHU said: I have come to
    announce that Jerusalem, together with the cities where the sages
    dwell, is about to be destroyed. For Jerusalem, THE NUKVA, is
    judgment and is established upon it, and judgment now calls for its
    destruction. And Samael has already been given power over it and
    over the powerful men of the world. I have come to let the wise men
    know so they can try to extend Jerusalem’s years SO IT SHALL NOT
    BE DESTROYED; for as long as the Torah, which is the Tree of Life
    on which everything is maintained, dwells in it, it remains standing.
    Thus, as long as the Torah is awakened from below AND MEN ARE
    OCCUPIED IN ITS STUDY, the Tree of Life, ZEIR ANPIN, does not
    leave the celestial JERUSALEM. When the Torah is no longer studied
    below, WHEN MEN ARE NOT OCCUPIED IN ITS STUDY, the Tree of
    Life, ZEIR ANPIN, is gone from the world, THE NUKVA, CALLED
    ‘WORLD’, AND ALSO JERUSALEM. THIS DOES NOT REFER TO
    TERRESTRIAL JERUSALEM SINCE THESE SAGES LIVED LONG
    AFTER THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.
  99. Therefore, as long as sages are happy in their study of the Torah,
    Samael cannot prevail against them, as it is written: “the voice is
    Ya’akov’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esav” (Beresheet
    27:22). This is the supernal Torah, ZEIR ANPIN, called ‘Ya’akov’s
    Voice’. As long as the voice does not stop, speech rules and reigns,
    and study of the Torah can continue. Rabbi Chiya awoke. They went
    and told WHAT THEY HAD HEARD FROM ELIYAHU to the sages.
  100. Rabbi Yesa said, that everybody knew WHAT ELIYAHU SAID. IT
    WAS REVEALED TO THE SAGES THAT WHOEVER TURNS TOWARD
    THE LEFT DESTROYS THE NUKVA. This is so, as it is written:
    “unless Hashem keeps the city, the watchman stays awake in
    vain” (Tehilim 127:1). The Holy City, THE NUKVA, is maintained by
    those who study the Torah, WHO CLEAVE TO THE CENTRAL
    COLUMN CALLED ‘TORAH’. THEN, YUD-HEI-VAV-HEI, THE SECRET
    OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN, PRESERVES THE CITY, and not by men
    who are strong in this world, THAT IS, WHO CLEAVE TO THE LEFT.
    This is as it is written: “unless Hashem (THE CENTRAL COLUMN)
    keeps the city, the watchman stays awake in vain,” FOR IT IS
    DESTINED TO BE DESTROYED, AS HAS BEEN EXPLAINED.
  101. “And he looked, and behold a well in the field”
    Here the Zohar reveals the regenerative power of love tempered by justice. It explains how King David fled from his son Avshalom, and was
    comforted by the notion that his predecessors Jacob and Moses had also fled. Like them, he was consoled by the power of unconditional love, or
    the Eternal Female, “Nukva” or Malchut. This is symbolized by the phrase, “the well in the field.” Protecting this well is a stone, which represents the
    rigor of severe judgment. When the spirit is regenerated by love, the stone of judgment is rolled back into place because it is necessary to protect
    the “waters” from the wicked. In its negative aspect, this stone of severe judgment is evil. “The other side is forever present at the well’s mouth.”
    Here once again the Zohar defines evil as judgment without mercy.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Just as hatred for no reason is the singular cause of the destruction of the Temple and the resulting spiritual darkness, unconditional love has the
    power to remove even the most severe judgments decreed against mankind. Love is awakened in our hearts by this section–a love for others,
    particularly our enemies, that sweetens and removes looming judgments.1
  102. “And he looked, and behold a well in the field” (Beresheet 29:2).
    Rabbi Yehuda opened the discussion and said: “A psalm of David,
    when he fled from Avshalom his son” (Tehilim 3:1). This verse was
    known to the friends, WHO HAVE ALREADY DISCUSSED AND
    EXPLAINED IT. Yet “a psalm of David” IS PERPLEXING, FOR why did
    he sing? Perhaps it is because his son, and not a stranger, rose
    against him, AND HIS SON WOULD HAVE PITY ON HIM AND A
    STRANGER WOULD NOT. BUT THIS INTERPRETATION WOULD NOT
    BE TRUE because this was supposed to be a greater lament for him.
    A man grieves more over a small hurt from his kin than a great hurt
    from others. HE ANSWERS: “A psalm of David” means that he sang
    because it was David’s wish. At first he thought that the Holy One,
    blessed be He, would punish him for his sins in the world to come.
    When he saw that He would take revenge in this world, he rejoiced
    AND SANG.
  103. Another reason is that DAVID saw that men of greater importance
    in this world fled alone. Ya’akov fled, as it is written: “And Ya’akov
    fled into the country of Aram” (Hoshea 12:13), and he fled alone.
    Moshe fled, as it is written: “But Moshe fled from before
    Pharaoh” (Shemot 2:15), and he was alone. When David fled, all the
    rulers of the land, the valiant men of the country and the chiefs of
    Yisrael, all fled with him, surrounding him from right and left to
    guard him on all sides. When he thus saw himself valued, he sang.
  104. Rabbi Yehuda said that the others all passed by this well, THE
    NUKVA, WHILE THEY WERE FLEEING. HE ASKS: Why was David an
    exception? HE ANSWERS: David was then considered to be its foe
    BECAUSE IT PUNISHED HIM FOR THE SIN OF BAT-SHEVA, and
    therefore he did not come across it. But the well gladly accepted
    Ya’akov and Moshe, and wished to approach them. Therefore, when
    the well saw them, the water rose before them, as a wife happy with
    her husband.
  105. You may wonder why, when Eliyahu ran away, he did not come
    across THE WELL? HE ANSWERS: Eliyahu is beneath the well,
    BEING THE CHARIOT TO THE NUKVA CALLED ‘WELL’, and not
    above the well, as were Moshe and Ya’akov. Therefore, ELIYAHU
    was a messenger performing the errands OF THE NUKVA, while
    Ya’akov and Moshe were above the well, BEING A CHARIOT TO ZEIR
    ANPIN. THEREFORE, the well rejoiced to see them and the water
    rose to receive them. THIS IS THE SECRET OF THE ASCENSION OF
    THE FEMALE WATERS TOWARD THE MALE WATERS, as a wife
    rejoices to see and welcome her husband.1
  106. The verse, “And he looked, and behold a well in the field,”
    contains a secret. For he saw that the upper well, THE NUKVA,
    resembled THE LOWER OTHER WELL, WHICH WAS IN TUNE TO IT.
    As it is written: “and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by
    it” (Beresheet 29:2). THIS MEANS THAT THE THREE FLOCKS OF
    SHEEP ARE CONSTANTLY AT THE MOUTH OF THE WELL. HE
    ASKS: If there are three, why is it later written: “And there all the
    flocks gathered,” WHICH MEANS THAT THERE ARE MORE HERDS?
    HE ANSWERS: There are three AND NO MORE: south, east, and
    north–NAMELY, CHESED, GVURAH, AND TIFERET. South is on the
    RIGHT side, north on the LEFT side, and east is THE CENTRAL
    COLUMN between them. And those who stand on this well and join
    it, fill it. Why DO THEY WATER IT? Because, “for out of that well they
    watered the flocks,” THAT IS, THE LOWER SOULS OF BRIYAH,
    YETZIRAH, ASIYAH, as it is written: “they give drink to every wild
    beast” (Tehilim 104:11), WHICH ARE THE SOULS OF BRIYAH,
    YETZIRAH, ASIYAH. IN THAT WAY, HE EXPLAINS THE VERSE, “AND
    THERE WERE ALL THE FLOCKS GATHERED,” WHICH MEANS ALL
    THE SOULS OF BRIYAH, YETZIRAH, ASIYAH. BUT ONLY THREE
    WATER THE WELL–THE THREE COLUMNS CHESED, GVURAH, AND
    TIFERET.
  107. The verse, “And there were all the flocks gathered,” is similar to
    the verse, “All the rivers run into the sea” (Kohelet 1:7). AS THE
    RIVERS ARE SOULS, SO ARE THE HERDS. “…and they rolled the
    stone from the well’s mouth…” MEANS THAT they remove from THE
    WELL the vigor of severe Judgment, which was congealed and
    frozen as a stone, thereby preventing the water from coming out.
    And when these rivers run to the sea, THE NUKVA, south–which is
    Right, CHESED–is strengthened, and north, GVURAH, cannot freeze
    the water. Thus, the water of the river remains abundant and does
    not congeal as in a river of little water.
  108. Therefore, when these rivers run, south, which is the Right
    COLUMN, is strengthened. And the water thaws so that it can flow
    and water the herds, THE SOULS, as we have already said, “they
    give drink to every wild beast,” WHICH ARE THE SOULS. “…and put
    the stone back upon the well’s mouth in its place…” because the
    world needs the judgments OF THE NUKVA. There must be
    Judgment in order to reprimand the wicked. THEREFORE, THEY
    RETURN THE STONE TO ITS PLACE SO THAT THE NUKVA SHINES
    ONLY AT THE TIME OF UNION, WHEN SOULS RAISE FEMALE
    WATERS. AFTER THE UNION IS ACHIEVED, IT IS CLOSED AGAIN.
  109. Come and behold: when Ya’akov, who sat upon the well, saw the
    water rising up to him, he knew he would meet his wife there. After
    Moshe, who also sat upon the well, saw the water rising toward him,
    he too knew his wife would come there. And so it was that Ya’akov
    met his wife there, as it is written: “And while he was still speaking
    with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep…And it came to
    pass, when Ya’akov saw Rachel…” It is also written of Moshe: “And
    the shepherds came and drove them away…” (Shemot 22:17). And
    there he met Tziporah, his wife. This well caused all of this
    BECAUSE THE WELL IS THE SECRET OF THE SUPERNAL NUKVA.
    THUS, THEY MET THE NUKVA OF THIS WORLD.1
  110. Come and behold: this well is mentioned in this text seven times
    because seven IS THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN, THE SECRET OF
    SEVEN, WHICH INCLUDES SEVEN SFIROT. It also alludes to Be’er
    Sheva (lit. ‘a well of seven’). HE EXPLAINED THAT this well is
    mentioned seven times in this text, as it is written: “And he looked,
    and behold a well in the field…for out of that well…and a great stone
    was upon the well’s mount…and they rolled the stone from the well’s
    mouth…and put the stone back upon the well’s mouth…and till they
    roll the stone from the well’s mouth…and rolled the stone from the
    well’s mouth.” There are seven mentions. Assuredly this is so,
    because it includes seven grades.
  111. In the text about Moshe, THE WELL is mentioned only once, as it
    is written: “and dwelt in the land of Midyan: and he sat down upon a
    well” (Shemot 2:15). This is because Moshe renounced his house
    below. Ya’akov, HOWEVER, did not renounce his house below at all.
    Therefore, a well is mentioned only once in regard to Moshe, as it is
    written: “My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her
    mother” (Shir Hashirim 6:9). Therefore, Moshe is the owner of the
    house, AS HIS ROOT IS ABOVE THE LOWER NUKVA CALLED
    ‘HOUSE’ and he rose above it. Therefore, it is written of Moshe, “and
    he sat down upon a well,” THAT IS, ABOVE THE WELL. Of Ya’akov it
    is written: “And he looked, and behold a well in the field,” and not
    “and he sat down upon a well.”
    Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
  112. In the verse, “And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and,
    behold, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it” (Beresheet 29:2)
    the well is a grade called the ‘Master of all the Earth’. HE
    EXPLAINED: “the field” means the field of holy apple trees, NAMELY,
    THE NUKVA FROM THE CHEST BELOW. The “three flocks of sheep”
    are the three supernal holy grades that are set on that well. They are
    Netzach, Hod, and Yesod of the world. And these draw water,
    NAMELY, PLENTY, from above, ZEIR ANPIN, and fill the well.
  113. This is because this source, the foundation (Yesod) of the world,
    dwells inside that well, producing fruits and forever flowing. And the
    well is filled by it, MEANING THAT YESOD POURS INTO THE WELL,
    THE NUKVA, TWO KINDS OF PLENTY FOR THE PURPOSES OF: 1)
    PRODUCING SOULS, WHICH ARE FRUITS AND 2) SUSTAINING THE
    LOWER BEINGS. Because the well is filled WITH PLENTY, assuredly,
    “out of that well they watered the flocks,” which are the multitude of
    souls and holy armies that drink from that well, each according to its
    merit.
  114. “…and a great stone was upon the well’s mouth…” alludes to a
    stone upon which stumble people in the world, “a stone of stumbling
    and…a rock of offense” (Yeshayah 8:14). THE OTHER SIDE is forever
    present at the well’s mouth, THAT IS, BY ITS COMMAND, to seek
    justice from the entire world, so that no sustenance and goodness
    shall descend upon the world. THIS OCCURS WHEN THE NUKVA
    RECEIVES FROM THE LEFT, BUT NOT THE RIGHT, AND THEN
    PUNISHES AND DEMANDS JUSTICE.1
  115. Of the verse, “And there were all the flocks gathered,” HE
    ASKS: why is it not written: ‘And there were the flocks gathered’,
    INSTEAD OF “ALL THE FLOCKS”? WHAT DOES “ALL” MEAN? All
    these flocks are the holy troops above, THE ANGELS, and the holy
    troops below, THE RIGHTEOUS. By singing and praising above and
    by prayers and petitions below, they immediately “rolled the stone
    from the well’s mouth.” They roll it and remove it from holiness; THE
    WELL is then separated from the Judgment, CALLED ‘STONE’. Then
    “they watered the sheep,” the supernal angels received above, and
    Yisrael below.
  116. Then the words, “and put the stone back,” mean that according
    to the command of the well THEY PUT THE STONE BACK IN ITS
    PLACE so it will be ready to demand judgment from the world–to act
    according to Judgment. And so it ought to be, for the world needs
    judgment to survive, to ensure that all will be done according to
    Truth and Righteousness.
  117. After Ya’akov was perfected, WHEN HE FOUND HIS SPOUSE,
    RACHEL, he had no further need of that stone. It is then written:
    “and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth.” HE ASKS: Why is it
    written: “and (he) rolled,” and “they rolled,” instead of ‘he removed’,
    and ‘they removed’? Because “they rolled” is the rolling of the Satan,
    for they roll everything upon him and shake him so he cannot
    accuse.
  118. And Ya’akov alone ROLLED THE STONE and needed help from
    no one. For Ya’akov was the chosen of the fathers, THE CENTRAL
    COLUMN. Because he prevailed against Esav in this world, he could
    prevail above. In everything, there is need first of an action BELOW.
  119. Ya’akov inherited two worlds, the Revealed World and the
    Hidden World. Accordingly, from the Hidden World, FROM LEAH, the
    six tribes were issued. And from the Revealed world, FROM
    RACHEL, the other two tribes were issued. Also, the Hidden world,
    LEAH, THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN, issued six ends, and the
    Revealed world, RACHEL, issued two. They are the two Cherubs,
    Matatron and Sandalfon. And Ya’akov was located between the two
    worlds, THE REVEALED AND THE HIDDEN, in their very shape.
    Therefore, all Leah said was covered, and all that Rachel said was in
    the open.
    End of Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
    Tosefta (Addendum)1
  120. “And he looked, and behold a well is in the field.” Rabbi Elazar
    said: It is written, “Hearken to me, you that follow after
    Righteousness” (Yeshayah 51:1), MEANING THOSE WHO FOLLOW
    THE NUKVA, THAT IS CALLED ‘RIGHTEOUSNESS’, TO AMEND IT;
    those who claim the secret of the faith AND THEREBY THE
    JUDGMENT TO CORRECT THE NUKVA, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF
    THE LEFT COLUMN; those who cleave to the bond of the faith, THE
    SECRET OF THE BOND IN THE RIGHT COLUMN; AND those who
    know the ways of the Supernal King, THE SECRET OF THE
    CENTRAL COLUMN. THE ADDENDUM HEREBY INVITES THOSE
    WHO ATTAINED THE THREE COLUMNS, WHO FOLLOW THE
    NUKVA, TO AMEND HER, TO HEARKEN TO THESE WORDS.
  121. When the two COLUMNS move toward the one COLUMN, they
    receive it between their arms. Thus, two COLUMNS travel with the
    third between them. The first two are the seat of the prophets, from
    which they derive sustenance. The one in the middle is attached to
    both of them, and receives from AND INCLUDES them all.
  122. The holy well is beneath them. It is THEN CALLED a ‘field of
    holy apple trees’, “for out of that well they watered the flocks,” which
    are the Chariots of the winged ANGELS. Three are found lying upon
    the well. And this well is filled by them. This is the meaning of the
    verse: “for out of that well they watered the flocks.” It is called
    ‘Adonai’, as it is written: “Adonai Elohim, You have begun” (Devarim
    3:24), and, “and cause Your face to shine upon Your sanctuary that
    is desolate, for Adonai’s sake” (Daniel 9:17). IT IS CALLED the
    ‘Master (Heb. adon) of all the Earth’, as it is written: “Behold, the Ark
    of the Covenant, (of) the Master of all the earth” (Yehoshua 3:11).
  123. “And Ya’akov went out of Be’er Sheva,” part two
    Rabbi Aba explains the verse by citing another: “Happy are they who maintain justice and do Righteousness at all times.” Those who study Torah
    and follow God’s ways are freed from ruin–that is, “the power of death.” Those unrighteous, on the other hand, are abandoned by the Shekinah and
    become vulnerable to the Evil Inclination, the temptation to do harm. This temptation is a powerful force in the world. One verse explains the other,
    Rabbi Elazar replies to Rabbi Aba, the sense that Ya’akov’s leaving of the land of Israel symbolizes departure from a holy way of life.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Ya’akov’s departure from the Land of Israel is a metaphor for a man’s departure from a pure and positive existence. Throughout life, we are lured by
    the material world where short-lived achievements are based on egocentric drives and ambitions. Spiritual achievements-which are eternal-come
    about through struggle to remain on the path of spiritual development. Here, we arouse the divine presence of the Shechinah, which protects us
    from seductions of the external world and the compelling impulses ignited by our Evil Inclination.
  124. There is another explanation OF THE VERSE: “And Ya’akov
    went out from Be’er Sheva, and went toward Charan.” Rabbi Aba
    opened the discussion with the verse: “Happy are they who maintain
    justice, and do righteousness at all times” (Tehilim 106:3). “Happy
    are they who maintain justice,” happy are the children of Yisrael to
    whom the Holy One, blessed be He, gave the true Torah to study day
    and night. And whoever is occupied in studying the Torah attains
    freedom from everything, but especially freedom from death, which
    has no power over him. He who studies the Torah and attaches
    himself to it, holds the Tree of Life. If he relaxes his hold on the Tree
    of Life, the Tree of Death dwells upon him and seizes him. This is the
    meaning of the verse: “If you relax in the day of adversity, your
    strength is narrow” (Mishlei 24:10). The word “relax” means relaxing
    one’s hold on the Torah.1
  125. “…in the day of adversity, your strength (Heb. kochechah) is
    narrow.” HE ASKS: What is the meaning of, “your strength is
    narrow?” AND HE ANSWERS: The strength (ko’ach) of koh, WHICH
    TWO SEGMENTS CONSTITUTE KOCHECHAH, is narrow. IF HE
    RELAXES HIS HOLD ON THE TORAH, THEN THE STRENGTH OF
    THE SHECHINAH, CALLED ‘KOH’, IS NARROW, AND SHE DOES NOT
    PROTECT HIM. This is because THE SHECHINAH is always within
    the right, and always protects man when he walks the paths of the
    Torah. She pushes the evil out so it will not come near the man to
    denounce him. But when a man deviates from the ways of the Torah
    and relaxes his hold on it, then the strength of koh, THE
    SHECHINAH, is narrow, because the evil, the left, has power over
    that man and pushes koh, THE SHECHINAH, out until the place
    becomes narrow with hardship.
  126. Another explanation of the verse, “your strength is narrow,” is
    that when a man holds on to the ways of the Torah, he is beloved
    above and below. He becomes the beloved of the Holy One, blessed
    be He, as it is written: “and Hashem loved him” (II Shmuel 2:24). But
    when a man deviates from the ways of the Torah, then the strength
    is narrow (Heb. tzar) of koh, THE SHECHINAH. SHE becomes his
    enemy (Heb. tzar), and he becomes hers. And that evil, THE EVIL
    INCLINATION, rules over him and becomes his accuser in this world
    and the world to come.
  127. Come and behold: this evil, the Evil Inclination, reigns in the
    world in many ways and has much power in the world. It is the tyrant
    serpent by which Adam sinned and by which people in the world fail.
    They draw it upon themselves, until it takes their souls from them.1
  128. Come and behold: when that EVIL INCLINATION reigns, it reigns
    over the body, because as soon as it takes control over the body, the
    soul leaves it. For once the body is defiled, the soul leaves it and
    ascends. But the Evil Inclination has no power TO REMOVE A MAN’S
    SOUL until it receives permission to do so. Many that come from the
    side OF THE EVIL INCLINATION rule over the world. We learned that
    all the deeds done in the world rule over them THROUGH
    TEMPTATIONS. It has ministers and servants whose service pertains
    to worldly deeds, WHO TEMPT MEN TO DO EVIL.
  129. Therefore, it is the end of the left. It has been explained that
    there is the end of the right and the end of the left. This end of the
    left is “the end of all flesh,” (Beresheet 6:13) and not the end of all
    spirit. The secret IS THAT THERE ARE TWO ENDS. One is the end of
    all flesh, NAMELY, THE ONE IN CHARGE OF THE BODY. The other is
    the end of all spirit, THE ONE IN CHARGE OVER A MAN’S SPIRIT.
    Therefore, THE END OF ALL SPIRIT is internal AND THE END OF
    ALL FLESH is external. The INTERNAL one is holy and the
    EXTERNAL one is defiled. This has already been explained.
  130. Come and behold: WITHIN THE RIGHT SIDE, THE SOUTH, there
    is a deep mystery of the faith, the mystery of the male world, ZEIR
    ANPIN, and the female world, THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN. And the
    holiest and deepest secrets of the faith, THE NUKVA, come from
    here. All life and freedom, goodness and lights are from here. All
    benedictions and spreading of alms and loving love–everything
    comes from this side, THE RIGHT SIDE. This is the secret of the
    south.
  131. From the north side, the grades spread until the dross of gold
    reaches down TO BRIYAH, YETZIRAH, AND ASIYAH of the unholy
    side. The unholy filth grasps THE MALE above and THE FEMALE
    below. Here, male and female join together. They are the rider ON
    THE SERPENT and the serpent, which is the secret of the male and
    female. This is the secret of Azazel, WHICH INCLUDES THE MALE
    AND FEMALE OF DEFILEMENT.
  132. From here the grades are divided, and several aspects come
    into the world. They emanate from here and rule over the world. All
    of them are aspects of defilement and are ministers in charge of the
    world. Come and behold: when Esav was born into the world, he was
    red as a rose–AS THE RED COLOR ALLUDES TO THE LEFT–and
    hairy as a goat–WHICH ALLUDES TO DEFILEMENT, AS IT IS
    WRITTEN: “AND GOATS SHALL HOP ABOUT THERE” (YESHAYAH
    13:21). From here came all the chiefs and powerful officials who rule
    over the world. This has already been explained.
  133. Come and behold: “happy are they who maintain
    justice” (Tehilim 106:3). THAT IS, happy are those who preserve the
    faith of the Holy One, blessed be He, because He is called ‘Justice’,
    and it behooves man to maintain justice and keep himself from
    turning the other way. This is because the Holy One, blessed be He,
    is Justice, and all His ways are just.1
  134. “…and do righteousness at all times…” (Ibid.). HE ASKS: Can a
    man possibly do righteous deeds at all times? HE ANSWERS: He
    who walks in the path of the Torah and performs righteous deeds for
    those who need them IS JUDGED TO BE PERFORMING
    RIGHTEOUSNESS AT ALL TIMES. For whoever is charitable to the
    poor, increases righteousness, NAMELY, THE NUKVA CALLED
    ‘RIGHTEOUSNESS’, above and below, BY BRINGING ABOUT A
    UNION OF MALE AND FEMALE ABOVE AND THE POURING OF
    PLENTY OF BLESSINGS DOWNWARD.
  135. Come and behold: when whoever is striving to perform
    righteousness does so, that righteousness rises and reaches that
    place of Ya’akov, the upper Chariot, THE NUKVA CALLED ‘PLACE’,
    and draws blessings on that place from the source of all springs,
    FROM BINAH, FROM WHICH COME ALL MOCHIN. From that
    righteousness, THE NUKVA, AFTER RECEIVING BLESSINGS FROM
    BINAH, he blesses the lower ones and all the Chariots OF THE
    ANGELS and the supernal armies. All are blessed, and the lights are
    properly added. All THE LOWER BEINGS AND THE ANGELS are
    called “time,” BECAUSE THEY ARE DRAWN FROM THE NUKVA
    CALLED ‘TIME’. Therefore, it is written: “and do righteousness at all
    times,” WHICH MEANS THEY INCREASES ABUNDANTLY FOR ALL
    THE INHABITANTS OF THE THREE WORLDS–BRIYAH, YETZIRAH
    AND ASIYAH–THAT EMANATE FROM THE NUKVA, AND ARE
    CALLED ‘TIME,’ LIKE THE NUKVA.
  136. Come and behold: when the children of Yisrael were in the Holy
    Land, they drew blessings downward. When the children of Yisrael
    left the Holy Land and came under the dominion of another,
    blessings were withheld from the world.
  137. Come and behold: Ya’akov was under the Holy Government IN
    THE LAND OF YISRAEL. After he left the land, he came under
    another dominion, WHICH IS NOT HOLY. Before he came under
    another dominion, the Holy One, blessed be He, was revealed to him
    in a dream. He saw what he saw, and the holy angels walked with
    him until he sat upon the well. After he sat on the well, the water rose
    toward him. So it was with Moshe because there his wife chanced to
    meet him. The secret OF THE RISING WATER of the well is that it
    only rises when it sees its union, NAMELY, ITS SPOUSE to be joined
    with him.
  138. Rabbi Aba said that all these verses contradict each other. First,
    it is written: “And Ya’akov went out from Be’er Sheva, and went
    toward Charan,” and Lavan dwelt in Charan. IF IT BE SO, why then
    did Ya’akov leave Charan, as it is written: “Then Ya’akov lifted up his
    feet, and went to the land of the people of the east” (Beresheet
    29:1)? How do we know that Lavan dwelt in Charan? Because it is
    written: “And Ya’akov said to them, ‘My brethren, where are you
    from?’ And they said, ‘of Charan are we.’ And he said to them, ‘Do
    you know Lavan the son of Nachor?’ And they said, ‘We know'” (Ibid.
    4-5). This teaches us that Lavan then lived in Charan. WHY DID
    YA’AKOV TRAVEL TO THE LAND OF THE PEOPLE OF THE EAST?1
  139. Only Ya’akov thought: I want to join the Shechinah, THE
    SECRET OF THE WELL, because I want to take a wife. My father,
    when he was to be married, sent a servant to find a source of water
    where a wife chanced to be found for my father. But in this place,
    CHARAN, I did not find a source, a well, or water. Immediately,
    therefore, “Ya’akov lifted up his feet, and went to the land of the
    people of the east,” where he chanced upon the well and met his
    wife, as we have said.
  140. Rabbi Elazar said: Assuredly, YA’AKOV was in Charan, WHICH
    IS THE LAND OF THE EAST. And this well was in the jurisdiction OF
    CHARAN. If this be so, why is it written: “and she ran and told her
    father” (Beresheet 29:12)? This is because it was close to the town.
  141. Rabbi Elazar mused that if a wife chanced to Ya’akov by the
    well, why not Leah? She gave to Ya’akov all those tribes. HE
    ANSWERS: The Holy One, blessed be He, did not want to unite her
    with Ya’akov openly, as it is written: “And it came to pass, that in the
    morning, behold, it was Leah,” (Beresheet 29:25) but this was not
    revealed earlier, FOR THIS WAS THE WILL OF THE HOLY ONE,
    BLESSED BE HE.
  142. Another reason WHY RACHEL WAS SEEN AND NOT LEAH was
    so that Rachel’s beauty would catch the eye and heart of Ya’akov, so
    he would establish his dwelling there. Because of her, Leah too was
    united with him, and gave birth to all those tribes. HE ASKS: How did
    Ya’akov recognize Rachel, AS HE KNEW HER NOT? The shepherds
    told him, as it is written: “and behold, Rachel his daughter comes
    with the sheep” (Beresheet 29:6).
  143. “I will serve you seven years”
    This mysterious passage interprets the seven years Ya’akov served Lavan to win Rachel’s hand as symbolizing the seven Sfirot. The secret in the
    matter is in the phrase, “and they seemed to him but a few days”–since they were served in the hidden or unrevealed world.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    A man cannot win the hand of his soulmate until he merits her through his own spiritual growth and transformation. Ya’akov’s seven years of
    service corresponds to the years, or lifetimes, that we must endure before the reunification of two halves can take place. When this spiritual truth is
    ingrained in our consciousness, and if we are proactive in the removal of our negative traits, we can hasten the arrival of our true soulmate.
  144. Come and behold. It is written: “I will serve you seven years for
    Rachel your younger daughter” (Beresheet 29:18). HE ASKS: Why
    did Ya’akov say “seven years” instead of ten months or one year?
    HE ANSWERS: Ya’akov acted wisely so that people would not say
    that he lusted after Rachel’s beauty, but WOULD KNOW that he
    acted wisely. For the moon, THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN, is seven
    years old, MEANING IT NEEDS TO BE BUILT BY THE SEVEN
    SFIROT–CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD, YESOD AND
    MALCHUT. And all the seven upper years–CHESED, GVURAH,
    TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD YESOD AND MALCHUT OF BINAH–rested
    on Ya’akov before he married Rachel so that they would suit her
    properly, THAT IS, GIVE OF THE SEVEN SFIROT OF BINAH TO HER
    SEVEN SFIROT. For at first Ya’akov took everything FROM BINAH
    and then he came to her, so that he should be CONSIDERED AS
    ZEIR ANPIN, the heaven, and she should be CONSIDERED THE
    NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN, the earth.1
  145. The secret of the matter is in the phrase, “and they seemed to
    him but a few days.” HE ASKS: What is “a few (Heb. achadim)
    days?” HE ANSWERED that he considered all seven years as the
    SEVEN upper YEARS FROM BINAH, which are united (Heb. achadot)
    BY ONE UNION and never separated. They are bound to each other.
    “…for the love he had to her…” MEANS THAT HE LOVED HER,
    because she is to him as the supernal UNION WITHIN BINAH.
  146. Come and behold: even Lavan hinted at these seven SFIROT–
    although he did not know what he was saying, for he opened the
    discussion with the words, “It is better (lit. ‘good’) that I give her to
    you…” Rabbi Aba said: Surely this is so. He worked seven years,
    WHICH ARE THE SEVEN SFIROT, to be united with the Shmitah
    (Sabbatical year,) NAMELY, TO PASS THE SEVEN SFIROT TO THE
    NUKVA, RACHEL CALLED ‘SABBATICAL YEAR’. Rabbi Elazar said:
    Come and behold. Everywhere the Jubilee is undisclosed, while the
    Shmitah is disclosed.
  147. Come and behold: when Ya’akov served the first seven years, a
    voice resounded, saying, “from the world to the world” (Tehilim
    106:48). THIS MEANS THAT THERE IS A DRAWING FROM THE
    HIDDEN WORLD, LEAH, TO THE DISCLOSED WORLD, RACHEL. The
    undisclosed world above, which is jubilee, NAMELY LEAH, is the
    starting point, AND NOT THE REVEALED WORLD, WHICH IS
    RACHEL. And these GRADES, which are undisclosed and not
    revealed to us, are from the Jubilee and were therefore hidden from
    Ya’akov, who did not even know THAT THEY WERE FOR LEAH, THE
    JUBILEE. He thought they were for the Shmitah, THAT IS, FOR
    RACHEL. ANOTHER REASON WAS to make him start from the
    supernal world, LEAH, it was hidden from him THAT THEY
    BELONGED TO LEAH, because the Jubilee is undisclosed. BEING
    CLOSED AND COVERED BY CHOCHMAH, HE DID NOT WANT TO
    START AND DRAW FROM IT, UNLESS HE THOUGHT THEY
    BELONGED TO THE DISCLOSED WORLD. Later, when the seven
    undisclosed years of the Jubilee were over, Ya’akov served the
    seven disclosed Shmitah FOR RACHEL, and YA’AKOV was adorned
    in both worlds, THE UNDISCLOSED AND THE DISCLOSED WORLD,
    and was united with them.
  148. Upper Righteous and lower Righteous
    This passage concerns the hidden significance of Ya’akov’s sons with Leah and Rachel, especially the righteous Yosef and Benyamin. The Zohar is
    again employing the language of metaphor to trace the flow of Light through the complex structure of the spiritual worlds. The Zohar intricately
    describes a perfect and exact system–a science of the supernal worlds, a physics of spiritual Light.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    This section connects the reader to the metaphysical infrastructure of reality, the source of our soul, our light, and, ultimately, our happiness and
    fulfillment.
  149. Come and behold: Leah gave birth to six sons and one
    daughter, and so it should be, because six directions are established
    upon her, THAT IS YA’AKOV, WHO IS TIFERET, INCLUDING
    CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD. These
    six and the one daughter came out according to a supernal mystery.
    THE SIX SONS CORRESPOND TO THE SIX EXTREMITIES, CHESED,
    GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD OF YA’AKOV, AND
    THE ONE DAUGHTER CORRESPONDS TO MALCHUT.1
  150. Rachel bore two righteous sons, and so it should be, BECAUSE
    RACHEL is THE SECRET OF the Shmitah that sits forever between
    two righteous ones, as it is written: “The righteous shall inherit the
    land” (Tehilim 37:29). These are the righteous above IN ZEIR ANPIN,
    and the righteous below IN THE NUKVA. From the righteous above,
    the supernal waters are drawn, THE SECRET OF DIRECT LIGHT
    FROM ABOVE DOWNWARD, and from the righteous below, the
    Nukva wells up water to the male, THE SECRET OF REFLECTED
    LIGHT FROM BELOW UPWARD, in complete passion. AND SO IT
    COMES TO PASS THAT SHE HAS the righteous ones on both sides.
    As the supernal male, ZEIR ANPIN is situated between two females,
    BINAH AND NUKVA, so the lower female–MEANING THE NUKVA OF
    THE CHEST AND BELOW ZEIR ANPIN–is situated between two
    righteous ones, YOSEF AND BINYAMIN.
  151. Therefore Yosef and Binyamin are both righteous. Yosef
    merited to be the righteous above, IN ZEIR ANPIN, because he kept
    the sign of the Covenant. Binyamin is the righteous below, IN THE
    NUKVA HERSELF, so that the Sabbatical year, THE NUKVA, shall be
    adorned between the two righteous ones, Yosef, and Binyamin.
  152. HE ASKS: Was Binyamin righteous? AND HE ANSWERS: Yes,
    because never in his life did he transgress in regard to the sign of
    the Covenant, although he was not tried by deeds as was Yosef. HE
    ASKS: If this be so, why is he called ‘Righteous’ IF HE WAS NEVER
    CONFRONTED BY TEMPTATION? THERE ARE MANY WHO KEEP
    THE COVENANT ALL THEIR LIVES, BUT THEY ARE NOT CALLED
    ‘RIGHTEOUS’ UNLESS THEY ARE TRIED. HE ANSWERS: All the
    days Ya’akov was in mourning for Yosef, he did not perform his
    marital duty. FOR THAT, HE DESERVED TO BE CALLED
    ‘RIGHTEOUS’. You may say that when Yosef was taken from
    Ya’akov, Binyamin was a mere child and not married. HE ANSWERS:
    Even when he married later, he did not want to perform his marital
    duty.
  153. HE INSISTED AGAIN, YET we learned that when Yosef asked
    Binyamin “have you a wife?”, he answers: “yes.” He asked him,
    “have you sons?” He said, “yes.” He then said to him, “what are their
    names.” He replied, “they are named after my brothers, Gera and
    Na’aman…” as it is written: “And the sons of Binyamin were Bela and
    Becher…” (Beresheet 46:21). But you say he did not have conjugal
    intercourse.
  154. He said to him: I do. At that time, he did not yet have sons. HE
    THUS DISAGREES WITH THAT AGGADAH. And if you say IT IS
    EXPLICIT FROM THE VERSE, “And the sons of Binyamin were Bela
    and Becher,” when they came to Egypt, this is surely so, FOR HE
    ALREADY HAD SONS. Yet as long as Ya’akov mourned for Yosef,
    Binyamin did not perform his marital duty or beget any children.
    Binyamin said: My brother Yosef was the sign of the Covenant of my
    Father, AS YA’AKOV IS TIFERET, WHICH INCLUDES CHESED,
    GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD, AND YOSEF IS
    YESOD OF YA’AKOV, because the Covenant, YESOD, is the final
    part of the body, TIFERET. Because he is lost, I will guard my
    brother’s place, THAT IS, I WILL BE THE ASPECT OF THE
    RIGHTEOUS YESOD, THE ENDING OF TIFERET, LIKE YOSEF.1
  155. You may say that when Yosef was lost, he was not yet
    righteous, because one cannot be righteous before one is tried, AND
    AT THAT TIME HE WAS NOT YET TEMPTED. HE ANSWERS:
    Everybody knew it from Ya’akov, who knew that Yosef would inherit
    this place, MEANING THAT HE KNEW FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT THAT
    HE WOULD BE TRIED BY THE WIFE OF POTIFAR AND WOULD
    MERIT TO BE CALLED ‘RIGHTEOUS’. Therefore, he stopped a long
    time at the house of Lavan AND DID NOT RETURN HOME before the
    body was perfected. And the final part of the body is the Covenant,
    NAMELY, YOSEF. Therefore it is written: “And it came to pass, when
    Rachel had born Yosef, THAT YA’AKOV SAID TO LAVAN, SEND ME
    AWAY…” (Beresheet 30:25). He said: Now THAT YOSEF, YESOD, IS
    BORN, surely the body, TIFERET, is perfected. Because the body is
    perfected, I desire to go “TO MY OWN PLACE, AND TO MY
    COUNTRY,” AS YA’AKOV KNEW FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT THAT
    YOSEF IS OF THE ASPECT OF YESOD, AND FROM HIM EVERYONE
    ELSE KNEW AS WELL. Therefore, Binyamin knew and guarded his
    brother’s way, THAT IS, HE BECAME THE RIGHTEOUS, YESOD, FOR
    HIS FATHER, INSTEAD YOSEF, AFTER HE WAS LOST.
  156. When he came to Yosef, and he was found, NAMELY MADE
    HIMSELF KNOWN TO HIS BROTHERS, Binyamin returned home and
    performed his marital duty and begot children. Therefore the Holy
    One, blessed be He, made him Righteous below IN THE NUKVA, as
    Yosef was Righteous above IN ZEIR ANPIN. Thus did Rachel bear
    two sons, and Leah six sons and a daughter.
  157. Therefore, the first seven years were undisclosed, because
    Ya’akov did not know THEY WERE FOR LEAH, as they stem from the
    Jubilee year, WHICH IS BINAH, THE SECRET OF THE HIDDEN
    WORLD. And the SEVEN YEARS of the Sabbatical year, THE
    DISCLOSED WORLD, were revealed, AS HE KNEW HE WAS
    SERVING FOR RACHEL. Because of the Sabbatical year, the
    Disclosed WORLD, he ACTUALLY served for the Jubilee year, the
    Hidden WORLD. THAT IS, HE THOUGHT HE SERVED FOR RACHEL,
    THE SECRET OF THE SABBATICAL YEAR, BUT ACTUALLY HE
    SERVED FOR LEAH, THE SECRET OF THE JUBILEE YEAR, as it is
    written: “And Ya’akov served seven years for Rachel.” He served
    seven undisclosed years–NAMELY, FROM THE ASPECT OF THE
    HIDDEN WORLD, LEAH–for Rachel, and served the supernal seven
    years, THE SEVEN SFIROT OF LEAH, and so became attached
    through them to the two worlds. WHILE HE THOUGHT HE SERVED
    FOR THE DISCLOSED WORLD, HE WAS SERVING FOR THE HIDDEN
    WORLD. From this we learn that from the disclosed, a man reaches
    that which is hidden.
  158. You may say that he served the first seven years for the Jubilee,
    WHICH IS LEAH, and it is written of the Jubilee, “seven times seven
    years” (Vayikra 25:8). There are seven years, AS IT IS WRITTEN:
    “AND HE SERVED SEVEN YEARS,” BUT what happened to seven
    times SEVEN? DID HE HAVE TO WORK 49 YEARS, THE NUMBER OF
    THE YEARS OF THE JUBILEE? HE ANSWERS: These are the seven
    days he kept at the feast of Leah, AS IT IS WRITTEN: “AND
    FULFILLED HER WEEK” (BERESHEET 29:28)–which amounts TO 49,
    because each day represents one SEVEN, as it is written: “Seven
    times a day I praise You because of Your righteous
    Judgments” (Tehilim 119:164). THUS, there are seven in each day
    called one, seven times seven AMOUNTS TO 49, THE NUMBER OF
    THE YEARS OF THE JUBILEE.1
  159. In regards to Rachel it was not so, for he did not keep the seven
    days OF HER FEAST, but seven years only after HER MARRIAGE.
    You may say, if this be so, he should have served first the years of
    the Shmitah and then joined the Sabbatical year, RACHEL. FOR HE
    HAD TO DRAW FIRST THE SFIROT FOR HER, AS HE DID FOR THE
    JUBILEE YEAR, LEAH. HE ANSWERS THAT because he was intent
    upon serving, it was considered as if he already did serve, AND
    IMMEDIATELY THE SEVEN SFIROT FOR RACHEL WERE DRAWN TO
    HIM. Rabbi Aba came to him and kissed him. He said: Blessed be the
    Merciful One, that I merited an understanding of this verse. It is
    written of this place–FROM THE CHEST AND DOWN OF ZEIR ANPIN,
    NAMELY THE DISCLOSED WORLD, RACHEL–“Hashem was well
    pleased for his Righteousness’ sake, to magnify Torah, and to make
    it glorious” (Yeshayah 42:21).
  160. Four joints
    This passage seems to assign lesser importance to the four sons that Ya’akov had with the handmaidens of Leah and Rachel. However, the Zohar
    reveals that the spiritual system and supernal structure of reality is perfect, complete, and includes all components, no matter how irrelevant they
    might appear. Though the four children are not present among the Sfirot, they are included in the symbolic body of Adam Kadmon as the joints of
    his arms and legs.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    A good computer system depends on a powerful microprocessor. If a tiny, “insignificant” wire is absent or defective, the entire system is rendered
    inoperable. All the elements are, in a manner of speaking, equally important. Similarly, everyone in this world is as important as the most righteous
    sage, including those we might consider to be on a lower level of spirituality than ourselves. It behooves us to stop judging others, and to recognize
    that every person plays a vital role in the spiritual structure of humanity. This passage instills this wisdom in our consciousness, so that we may
    begin living it every day.
  161. Rabbi Elazar continued the discussion: We have learned that
    Leah surely bore six sons and one daughter, CHESED, GVURAH,
    TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD, YESOD AND MALCHUT. And Rachel bore
    two sons, THE TWO UPPER AND LOWER RIGHTEOUS ONES. This is
    also so. But what of the four sons of the handmaids? What is their
    connection? AS IN THE SONS OF RACHEL AND LEAH THERE ARE
    ALREADY ALL THE SFIROT. HE ANSWERS: They are the four knots
    called ‘hinder parts’, of whom it is written: “and all their hinder parts
    were inward” (I Melachim 7:25).
  162. In the right arm, CHESED, there are three joints, AS THE ARM IS
    DIVIDED INTO THREE PARTS–THE BICEPS, THE ARM, AND THE
    HAND. THE PARTS ARE CONNECTED BY THREE JOINTS. However
    the joint in the middle is bigger than the others and is CONSIDERED
    AS a hinder part protruding outward. Similarly, there is ONE MIDDLE
    JOINT OF THE THREE JOINTS in the left arm; one OF THE THREE
    JOINTS in the right leg; and one OF THE THREE JOINTS in the left
    leg. When everything is properly arranged, all four hind joints COME
    inside THE BODY, in keeping with the verse, “and all their hinder
    parts were inward.”
  163. All the other joints, EXCEPT FOR THESE FOUR, are on the same
    plane WITH THE MEMBERS OF THE BODY; only these four protrude
    out of the arms and legs to indicate the sons of the handmaids. For
    although they are of the twelve TRIBES, they are not of the same
    rank as the sons of Leah and Rachel. Therefore, they protrude out
    OF THE ARMS AND LEGS.
  164. Another explanation is that these SONS OF THE HANDMAIDS
    are the four JOINTS which force all the other joints to move; these
    four knots carry the others. Rabbi Aba said: Surely this is so, and
    therefore they are all connected as one.
  165. “And Hashem saw that Leah was hated”1
    The Zohar reflects on the symbolic importance of Ya’akov’s relations with Leah, whom he hated in public but loved in private, and who bore him six
    sons and one daughter. Ya’akov was unaware that his true relationship with Leah was hidden. She had a direct relation to the Eternal Mother, and
    therefore most of Ya’akov’s sons came from her. In this same way, God’s true intentions hidden from us.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Our perceptions often deceive us, as hidden truths lurk behind the physical existence. Though it appeared that Ya’akov hated Leah, a profound
    spiritual love existed on a deeper level. The lives of many of us are like that. Hence, the Light of this passage instills within us a keen awareness and
    desire to probe to hidden levels of the relationships and events that life presents us.
  166. “And Hashem saw that Leah was hated” (Beresheet 29:31).
    Rabbi Elazar opened the discussion with the verse: “He makes the
    barren woman to keep house, and be a joyful mother of sons,
    Haleluyah” (Tehilim 113:9). The verse, “He makes the barren woman
    (also: ‘the principal part’) to keep house,” refers to Rachel, the
    principal part of the house, and “a joyful mother of sons” refers to
    Leah, WHO BORE SIX SONS AND ONE DAUGHTER.
  167. According to another explanation, “He makes the barren woman
    to keep house,” refers to the Sabbatical year, THE NUKVA OF ZEIR
    ANPIN, which is the principal part, because the whole world is
    guided by her. “…a joyful mother of sons…” refers to the Jubilee
    year, BINAH, on which all joy and bliss in all the worlds OF BRIYAH,
    YETZIRAH, AND ASIYAH depend. FOR THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN
    HAS NOTHING OF HERSELF EXCEPT WHAT ZEIR ANPIN RECEIVES
    FROM BINAH AND PASSES ON TO HER. THEN SHE PASSES IT ON
    TO ALL THE WORLDS. THUS, ALL JOY IN THE WORLDS OF
    BRIYAH, YETZIRAH AND ASIYAH COMES FROM BINAH. This verse
    comprises everything, because it includes all in the secrets of
    Holiness, NAMELY, THE HIDDEN WORLD AND THE DISCLOSED
    WORLD. Therefore, the verse ends with Halleluyah, WHICH IS THE
    HIGHEST OF ALL PRAISES IN THE BOOK OF TEHILIM.
  168. “And Hashem saw that Leah was hated.” HE ASKS: Why was
    she hated? The sons of a hated wife cannot be decent sons, yet we
    see that all the good sons came from Leah. Now you say that Leah
    was hated. HE ANSWERS: Assuredly, the Jubilee year is always the
    Hidden World, and its words are never revealed. Therefore, all its
    acts were hidden from Ya’akov. THAT MEANS THAT SHE WAS
    LOVED BY HIM IN PRIVATE, BUT IN PUBLIC IT SEEMED AS IF SHE
    WAS HATED.
  169. Come and behold: the lower world, WHICH IS RACHEL, THE
    NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN, is revealed; it is the beginning of the
    ascension of the grades. The supernal Chochmah OF ARICH ANPIN
    is the starting point for everything FROM ABOVE DOWNWARD, as
    the lower world is Chochmah, the starting point FROM BELOW
    UPWARD. Therefore, it is called “You,” because it is a Sabbatical
    year and therefore disclosed.
  170. And the supernal world is the Jubilee year, NAMELY, LEAH
    WHO IS DRAWN FROM IMA, and we call it “he,” because all of its
    words are hidden. FOR THE WORD “HE” ALLUDES TO THE HIDDEN
    WORLD. The secret is as it is written of Leah: “And he lay with her
    that night (lit. ‘that night he’)” (Beresheet 30:16). It is therefore
    written: “And the Levite shall serve he,” (Bemidbar 18:23) WHICH
    MEANS THAT THE LEVITE SERVES in order to draw blessings from
    “he” to all THE WORLDS. “He” is ever the supernal secret world, and
    Ya’akov willingly cleaved only to what was revealed. This is the
    secret of the verse: “and cleave to his wife” (Beresheet 2:24).1
  171. “And Hashem saw that Leah was hated,” BECAUSE SHE IS
    DRAWN FROM IMA. From here it is understood that man has an
    aversion toward incest with his mother, BECAUSE HIS MOTHER IS
    THE SECRET OF THE HIDDEN WORLD, OF WHICH IT IS SAID,
    “THEREFORE SHALL A MAN LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER.”
    Moreover, a man may stay alone with his mother anywhere, and not
    fear OF BEING ALONE WITH HER. Thus, all was unknown to
    Ya’akov, because the supernal world, LEAH DRAWN FROM IMA, is
    completely undisclosed.
  172. The tribes
    The Zohar reflects that civilization as we know it started with Ya’akov. Before him, civilizations rose and fell without a trace. The sons of Ya’akov
    commence the twelve tribes of Israel. This too has a hidden significance.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The twelve tribes correspond to the celestial influences emanating from the twelve constellations. The power of Ya’akov and the patriarchs is in their
    ability to rise above any negative influences streaming down from the heavens. Using the mystic secrets of the Torah, they took control over the
    signs and captained their own destiny. This governing power over the stars is bequeathed to the reader of this passage.
  173. Come and behold: the world perseveres for Ya’akov’s sake. It
    may be said that it does so for Avraham’s sake, as it is written:
    “THESE ARE THE GENERATIONS OF THE HEAVEN AND OF THE
    EARTH when they were created (Heb. behibar’am)” (Beresheet 2:4);
    the Hebrew word contains the letters of the name of Avraham. THIS
    MEANS THAT THE GENERATIONS OF THE HEAVEN AND OF THE
    EARTH EXISTED DUE TO AVRAHAM. HE ANSWERS: Yet Avraham
    existed for the sake of Ya’akov, as it is written: “Therefore thus says
    Hashem, concerning the house of Ya’akov, who redeemed
    Avraham” (Yeshayah 29:22). Before that, the Holy One, blessed be
    He, used to build and destroy worlds. After Ya’akov came, the worlds
    were constructed from him and were not destroyed as before. This is
    the meaning of the verse: “thus says Hashem that created you,
    Ya’akov, and He that formed you, Yisrael…” (Yeshayah 43:1)
  174. Come and behold. It is written: “Yisrael is My son, My firstborn…
    Let My son go, that he may serve me” (Shemot 4:22-23). For Yisrael
    is called ‘a son to the Holy One, blessed be He,’ because he cleaved
    to him, as it is written: “and what is his son’s name, if you can
    tell” (Mishlei 30:4).
  175. When Leah bore Reuven, it is written: “and she called his name
    Reuven,” (Beresheet 29:32) simply Reuven (lit. ‘see, a son’),
    WITHOUT FURTHER EXPLANATION, AS SHE GAVE FOR SHIMON,
    SAYING “BECAUSE HASHEM HAS HEARD…” AND AS SHE GAVE
    FOR HER OTHER SONS. BECAUSE HE IS OF THE ASPECT OF
    CHESED, WHY DID SHE NOT CALL HIM BINYAMIN (LIT. ‘SON OF
    THE RIGHT’)? HE ANSWERS: This is because he was included
    within the three Columns which join to become one, THAT IS, WITH
    Shimon and Levi, THE LEFT AND THE CENTRAL COLUMNS. Why
    then DID SHE CALL THE THIRD SON Levi? The name Levi means
    accompaniment, which indicates the joining of all the aspects.
  176. Rabbi Yehuda said that from this it is understood THAT HE
    COMPRISES THE THREE COLUMNS, as it is written: “the excellency
    of dignity, and the excellency of power” (Beresheet 49:3). The
    translation into Aramaic is as follows: Birthright, THE CENTRAL
    COLUMN; Priesthood, THE RIGHT COLUMN; AND Kingdom, THE
    LEFT COLUMN,” because Malchut is on the side of Gvurah.
    Therefore she simply called him Reuven, ‘see, a son’, TO SHOW
    THAT HE COMPRISES THE THREE COLUMNS.1
  177. Rabbi Aba said THAT SHE simply SAID: “see, a son,” AND NOT,
    ‘SON OF THE RIGHT’, because he was included with Shimon and
    Levi. Thus, Leah reasoned, INCLUDING HIM WITHIN THE TWO
    OTHER SONS, as it is written: “Now this time will my husband be
    joined to me, because I have born him three sons,” (Beresheet 29:34)
    which indicates that there are three united as one, SO THAT EACH
    INCLUDES ALL THREE. SHE COULD THEREFORE NOT CALL HIM
    BINYAMIN (‘SON OF THE RIGHT’), BECAUSE HE ALSO INCLUDED
    THE LEFT.
  178. Come and behold: this is so, because the supernal Chariot
    comprises the fathers: AVRAHAM, YITZCHAK, YA’AKOV, and King
    David, who joined them. And all these four supernal Chariots are the
    secret of the Holy Name, YUD-HEI-VAV-HEI. THE YUD-HEI-VAV ARE
    THE FATHERS, NAMELY THE THREE COLUMNS, AND THE LAST
    HEI IS THE SECRET OF KING DAVID, NAMELY, THE NUKVA.
    According TO THE SAME SECRET, Reuven, Shimon, and Levi ARE
    THE THREE COLUMNS, YUD-HEI-VAV, and Yehuda, who inherited
    the kingdom (Malchut,) IS THE SECRET OF THE LAST HEI OF THE
    NAME OF YUD-HEI-VAV-HEI. Therefore, they are all in this place,
    THAT IS, IN THE MYSTERY OF THE CHARIOT. AS EACH OF THE
    THREE COLUMNS IS INCLUDED WITHIN THE CHARIOT, SO EACH
    OF THE TRIBES INCLUDES THE THREE COLUMNS.
  179. It is written: “Now will I praise Hashem…and she left off (lit.
    ‘stood from’) bearing.” This is because in here, YEHUDA, were
    completed the four legs OF THE THRONE, CHESED, GVURAH,
    TIFERET AND MALCHUT. REUVEN IS THE SECRET OF CHESED;
    SHIMON OF GVURAH; LEVI OF TIFERET; AND YEHUDA OF
    MALCHUT. HE ASKS: IN THE VERSE, “Now will I praise Hashem,”
    why did she say OF THIS SON, “Now will I praise Hashem,” why she
    did not say it OF THE REST OF THE SONS? HE ANSWERS: It is
    understood that as long as the Congregation of Yisrael, NAMELY,
    MALCHUT, was in exile, the Holy Name was not complete. Come and
    behold: although she had three sons before she bore Yehuda, WHO
    ARE CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET, the throne was not perfected.
    ONLY WITH YEHUDA’S BIRTH, MALCHUT, WAS THE THRONE
    PERFECTED. She therefore said, “Now will I praise Hashem,” ONLY
    IN REGARD TO YEHUDA and not in regard to all of them. Therefore,
    “she stood off bearing.” What is the meaning of this verse? It is that
    the chair stood on its legs, FOR WITH YEHUDA, THE FOUR LEGS OF
    THE THRONE, CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, AND MALCHUT WERE
    COMPLETED.
  180. “And she stood” NEEDS FURTHER EXPLANATION. Until now,
    MEANING UNTIL YEHUDA, WHO IS MALCHUT, she stood united.
    From here and down, NAMELY, BELOW MALCHUT OF ATZILUT, the
    World of Separation, IN THE THREE WORLDS, BRIYAH, YETZIRAH,
    AND ASIYAH OF SEPARATION. It may be said that the two sons she
    bore after YEHUDA, YISASCHAR AND ZVULUN, are of this aspect,
    NAMELY, OF SEPARATION, BECAUSE THEY WERE BORN AFTER
    MALCHUT, YEHUDA. HE ANSWERS: No. These two sons,
    YISASCHAR AND ZVULUN, were joined TO REUVEN, SHIMON, AND
    LEVI, because the six directions of the worlds are as one.1
  181. Come and behold: all twelve tribes are the essential parts of the
    congregation of Yisrael in this world. They properly strengthen the
    supernal black light. FOR THIS IS THE PERFECTION OF THE LEFT,
    BECAUSE CHOCHMAH WITHOUT CHASSADIM IS A BLACK LIGHT,
    WHICH IS THE SECRET OF the DARKNESS OF IMA. They also
    restore the foundation to its place, FOR THE SECRET OF
    CORRECTING THE RIGHT IS TO ALLOW CHASSADIM TO RULE.
    CHASSADIM ARE THE FOUNDATION; WITHOUT THEM, THERE IS
    NO ILLUMINATION THROUGHOUT THE WORLDS, BECAUSE EVEN
    THE ILLUMINATION OF THE LEFT IS BLACK AND DARK WITHOUT
    IT. All the worlds are identical; WHATEVER IS IN THE UPPER
    WORLD IS ALSO IN THE LOWER. Through this–NAMELY, THE
    TWELVE–the lower world, THE NUKVA, was constructed according
    to the supernal world, BINAH.
  182. Yisaschar and Zvulun ARE NETZACH AND HOD. Now there are
    six sons who represent the six directions of the world. REUVEN,
    SHIMON, LEVI, AND YEHUDA ARE CHESED, GEVURAH, TIFERET,
    AND MALCHUT; YISASCHAR AND ZVULUN ARE NETZACH AND
    HOD. THIS IS THE SECRET OF THE PERFECTION OF THE RIGHT,
    THE SIX EXTREMITIES OF CHASSADIM. Similarly, there are the four
    sons of the handmaids, who are joined WITH THE SIX EXTREMITIES.
    The four sons are the four joints that are attached to them, THE TWO
    JOINTS OF CHESED AND GVURAH AND THE TWO JOINTS OF
    NETZACH AND HOD. THEY ARE THE PERFECTION OF THE LEFT.
    BECAUSE THEY WERE CONNECTED TO THE RIGHT, it is written:
    “and their hinder parts inward” (I Melachim 7:25), SO THAT THE
    HINDER PARTS CAME TO BE INNER PARTS. Though they are the
    sons of the handmaids, OF THE ASPECT OF DARKNESS AND
    HINDER PARTS, YET they are inward.
  183. Rabbi Chizkiyah said: If this be so, we have learned that
    whatever the lower world, THE NUKVA AT THE END OF ATZILUT,
    begets is separated, as it is written: “and from thence it was
    parted” (Beresheet 2:10). What would you say, then, about Yosef and
    Binyamin? If you say that they are of one world, OF THE ASPECT OF
    UNION OF THE WORLD OF ATZILUT, this is not so, for they did not
    come from the upper world. So it is found that whatever the lower
    world begets, it begets below, MEANING THAT ITS GENERATIONS
    ARE BENEATH THE BOTTOM OF ATZILUT, and not above. If it is so,
    they are separated–THAT IS, THEY ARE OF THE WORLD OF BRIYAH
    OF SEPARATION.
  184. Rabbi Aba went to him and kissed him. He said: This matter is
    difficult because the upper world is perfected by the twelve that are
    its own. Yet come and behold: the Righteous constantly leaves and
    enters the lower world. He is therefore built in this place. Thus, he is
    of importance above and below, but constantly in the lower world, as
    it is written: “And it came to pass, as her soul was departing, for she
    died” (Beresheet 35:18).
  185. Come and behold: the Righteous both enters and leaves the
    lower world, THE NUKVA. When he enters, he is in the secret of
    Yosef the Righteous, and when he leaves, he is in the secret of
    Binyamin THE RIGHTEOUS. This is the meaning of the verse: “And it
    came to pass, as her soul (Nefesh) was departing, for she died.” HE
    ASKS: What is her Nefesh? HE ANSWERS: This is the Righteous,
    who came out from it.1
  186. Therefore, Binyamin was called “the son of my
    sorrow” (Beresheet 25:18), because she thought she bore him
    beneath ATZILUT, in the World of Separation, so that there remained
    eleven within the supernal TRIBES, NAMELY, IN ATZILUT. Yet it is
    written: “but his father called him Binyamin,” WHICH MEANS ‘Son of
    the Right’, because he had gone up to the supernal world; for when
    Yosef was lost, Binyamin took his place. Therefore, the righteous
    enters and leaves the lower world. And so Yosef and Binyamin, and
    all the twelve tribes, are in the image of the supernal TWELVE united
    together. THE SIX SONS OF LEAH ARE THE SECRET OF CHESED,
    GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD; THE FOUR SONS
    OF THE HANDMAIDS ARE THE SECRET OF THE FOUR JOINTS; THE
    TWO SONS OF RACHEL ARE THE SECRET OF THE TWO
    RIGHTEOUS ONES.
  187. “Now I will praise…And she called his name Yehuda”
    Here the Zohar relates a discussion between Rabbis Shimon, Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi concerning the secrets of the name “Yehuda.” Once
    again, the unity of all things is stressed in the verse, “I will praise The Creator with my whole heart.” Both the good and evil in one’s soul must be
    brought to God in prayer–that is, with total honesty. “Yehuda embraces all sides.”
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Kabbalah’s unique perspective on the evil that men do is revealed in this section. The ultimate objective of spirituality is not to remove the existence
    of evil or humanity’s negative traits. Instead, we must confront and transform these dark forces, for it is only through the struggle of transformation
    that we ignite the spark of divinity within us. The name “Yehuda” expresses this profound kabbalistic notion, and our connection to this name
    invokes in us the courage to confront and triumph over our evil tendencies.
  188. “Now will I praise Hashem…” Rabbi Shimon opened the
    discussion with the verse: “I will praise Hashem with my whole
    heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the
    congregation” (Tehilim 111:1). HE ASKS: Why is it written: “with my
    whole heart (Heb. levav),” instead of THE MORE COMMON lev? HE
    ANSWERS: David, in the supernal secret of the Holy Name, YUD-HEI-
    VAV-HEI, wanted to praise the Holy One, blessed be He. “I will praise
    Hashem with my whole heart,” MEANS with both the Good
    Inclination and the Evil Inclination, THE TWO HEARTS, THAT IS, THE
    TWO INCLINATIONS THAT DWELL IN THE HEART, the two sides,
    right and left.
  189. “…in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation…”
    refers to the other aspects of this world, THE NUKVA, for the whole
    heart resembles south and north, CHESED AND GVURAH. “In the
    assembly of the upright,” are the other sides, which are altogether
    six EXTREMITIES formed in the likeness of above, THAT IS, IN THE
    IMAGE OF CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND
    YESOD. They abide “in the assembly of the upright,” NAMELY,
    TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD, “and in the congregation
    (Heb. edah),” which refers to the place of Yehuda, NAMELY,
    MALCHUT. It is also written: “and my Testimony (Heb. edoti) that I
    shall teach them” (Tehilim 132:12), WHICH REFERS TO THE ORAL
    TORAH, MALCHUT.
  190. It is written: “Yehuda still rules (Heb. rad) with El” (Hoshea
    12:1). THIS MEANS THAT YEHUDA–MALCHUT CONNECTED TO YUD-
    HEI-VAV- HEI–WENT DOWN (HEB. YARAD) FROM THE SIX-SIDED
    NAME OF YUD-HEI-VAV-HEI TO THE NAME El, A NAME OF
    MALCHUT, IN THE SECRET OF THE VERSE: “AND AN El WHO HAS
    INDIGNATION EVERY DAY” (TEHILIM 7:12). It is also written: “I will
    praise You with my whole heart: before princes (lit. ‘Elohim’) I will
    sing praise to You” (Tehilim 138:1), TO THE NAME ELOHIM, AND
    NOT THE NAME YUD-HEI-VAV-HEI, because he praised this grade
    OF MALCHUT, CALLED ‘ELOHIM’, in order to unite it with the right
    side OF CHASSADIM. THEREFORE, IT IS WRITTEN HERE: “I WILL
    PRAISE YOU WITH MY WHOLE HEART (HEB. LIBI),” AND NOT
    LEVAVI, BECAUSE HE PRAISED ONE PLACE ONLY, THAT IS,
    MALCHUT OF THE LEFT, WHICH DOES NOT CLEAVE TO THE NAME
    OF YUD-HEI-VAV-HEI.1
  191. Come and behold: THE NAME Yehuda is attached all sides. It is
    attached to the south and the east because YEHUDA comes from the
    left side. It starts in the north and holds to the south. From there it
    goes to the right side, CHESED, and takes hold of the body,
    TIFERET. AND SO IT HOLDS ALL THE SIDES. Therefore, it is written:
    “Now will I praise Hashem,” WHICH INDICATES THAT IT INCLUDES
    ALL THE SIDES. In the phrase, “and she left off (lit. ‘stood from’)
    bearing,” ‘stood’ means that she stood firm, stood properly, FOR
    NOW THAT SHE HAS BORN FOUR SONS, REUVEN, SHIMON, LEVI,
    AND YEHUDA–CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, AND MALCHUT–the
    entire holy Chariot is fixed, WHICH IS CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET
    AND MALCHUT.
  192. Rabbi Shimon went to the country, where he chanced to meet
    Rabbi Aba, Rabbi Chiya, and Rabbi Yosi. When he saw them, he
    said: It behooves us to hear new expositions of the Torah. The three
    sat with him. When Rabbi Shimon turned to leave, each of them
    opened the discussion with a verse IN HONOR OF RABBI SHIMON.
  193. Rabbi Aba opened the discussion with the verse: “And Hashem
    said to Avram, after Lot was separated from him: Lift up now your
    eyes, and look” (Beresheet 13:14). HE ASKS: Is Avraham to inherit
    land according to his range of vision? For how far can a man see–
    three, four, or five parasangs? And the scripture says: “for all the
    land which you see…” (Ibid. 15).
  194. HE ANSWERS: Because he saw the four winds of the world, AS
    IT IS WRITTEN: “NORTHWARD, AND SOUTHWARD, AND
    EASTWARD, AND WESTWARD,” he saw the whole land. For the four
    winds of the world comprise the whole world. Another explanation is
    that the Holy One, blessed be He, lifted him above the land of
    Yisrael, THE SECRET OF THE NUKVA, and showed him that it is
    connected to the winds of the world, THE SECRET OF CHOCHMAH
    AND BINAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT OF ZEIR ANPIN, THE SECRET
    OF THE CHARIOT. Then he saw everything. Similarly, whoever sees
    Rabbi Shimon sees the whole world, BECAUSE HE, TOO,
    COMPRISES THE WHOLE WORLD. He is the joy of high and low.
  195. Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse: “the land on
    which you lie, to you will I give it, and to your seed” (Beresheet
    28:13). HE ASKS: Did the Holy One, blessed be He, promise him only
    this place, a mere four or five cubits, and no more? HE ANSWERS:
    At that time the Holy One, blessed be He, folded the whole land of
    Yisrael underneath him, so that this place included the whole land. If
    this place included the whole land, then Rabbi Shimon, the lamp of
    the whole land, is of equal value with the whole world.1
  196. Rabbi Yosi opened the discussion with the verse: “Now will I
    praise Hashem.” HE ASKS: Did it not behoove her to praise the Holy
    One, blessed be He, for each of the sons she bore and not only this
    son? HE ANSWERS: Yehuda is the fourth son of the throne, BEING
    MALCHUT, THE FOURTH LEG, and he completed the throne.
    Therefore, Yehuda alone perfects the throne; he is the pillar that
    supports all the other pillars, BECAUSE HE COMPLETES THE
    THRONE. How many lights shine because of Rabbi Shimon, who
    illuminates the world much more with the Torah, BEING THE PILLAR
    OF ALL PILLARS.
  197. His thought was with Rachel
    Ya’akov thought of Rachel while making love with Leah. This act cost Reuven his patrimony. This is a very important and insightful passage that
    illuminates the relation of thought to action. Wisdom can be seen on a man’s face and in his eyes. On the other hand, whoever indulges in evil
    contemplation lives in lies, or false consciousness. Such a person is not to be able to see good when it comes. Accordingly, bad acts follow bad
    contemplation.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Consciousness creates reality. For this reason, the Other Side attempts to raise doubts, create uncertainties, and induce immoral and negative
    thinking. The great gift of contemplation and consciousness even has the power to determine the grade of soul that is drawn to an unborn child at
    the moment of conception. The spiritual influences of this passage help us abolish doubts and negative thoughts, particularly during moments of
    intimacy and times of adversity. It is then that we are most vulnerable, and it is then that the Other Side unleashes a mindstorm of negativity.
    Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
  198. Mishnah. Children of the High One, supernal sages, Blessed of
    the World, of the inner part of the nut, gather and know: a bird
    descends every day, and is awakened in the garden with a flame of
    fire in her wings and three shovels in her left hand as sharp as a
    sword, and the keys to the treasures in her right hand.
  199. She cries out loud, saying TO THE RIGHTEOUS IN THE
    GARDEN OF EDEN: Whoever among you has a shining face–THAT
    IS, WHO MERITED WISDOM, AS IT IS WRITTEN: “A MAN’S WISDOM
    MAKES HIS FACE SHINE” (KOHELET 8:1)–who entered, left and was
    strengthened by the Tree of Life. THAT IS, WHOEVER ENTERED BY
    MEANS OF THE RIGHT COLUMN, LEFT BY MEANS OF THE LEFT
    COLUMN, AND WAS STRENGTHENED BY THE TREE OF LIFE, THE
    CENTRAL COLUMN. Whoever touched its branches–CHESED,
    GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD, INCLUDED
    WITHIN ZEIR ANPIN, THE SECRET OF THE TREE OF LIFE–whoever
    grasped the roots, THE FIRST THREE SFIROT OF ZEIR ANPIN;
    whoever eats from its fruits which are sweeter than honey, THE
    SECRET OF THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH OF THE NUKVA OF
    ZEIR ANPIN, THE SECRET OF ITS FRUITS. IT IS SWEET,
    ACCORDING TO THE MYSTERY IN THE VERSE: “TRULY THE LIGHT
    IS SWEET…FOR THE EYES” (KOHELET 11:7), AND THE EYES ARE
    THE SECRET OF CHOCHMAH, who revives the soul and heals the
    body.
  200. SHE ANNOUNCES THAT WHOEVER MERITS ALL THAT IS the
    one who is kept from the evil contemplation that defies the Tree of
    Life; from CONTEMPLATION that defiles the river and the spring,
    which is the source of Yisrael; and from CONTEMPLATION that
    results in death to the soul and breaking of oneself, so that he has
    no existence.1
  201. The contemplation, which defiles the source OF THE TREE OF
    LIFE, ZEIR ANPIN, produces a tree of lies because that
    contemplation rises and exchanges one soul for another, THAT IS,
    THE SOUL (NEFESH) OF THE LIGHTS OF THE OTHER SIDE IS
    EXCHANGED FOR THE SOUL (NEFESH) OF THE LIGHTS OF
    HOLINESS. FOR BECAUSE OF THAT CONTEMPLATION, the Tree of
    Life is gone and the Tree of Death, from which he draws his soul,
    clings to him.
  202. Woe to him who, because of that contemplation, is uprooted
    from the Tree of Life and attached to the Tree of Death, which has no
    branches. THIS MEANS THAT ITS LIGHT NO LONGER ILLUMINATES.
    He who clings to it never sees goodness. He is dry, without moisture
    OF LIGHT, his fruits as bitter as wormwood. Of him it is said: “For he
    shall be like the juniper tree in the desert, and shall not see when
    good comes” (Yirmeyah 17:6).
  203. But good contemplation ascends and seizes the Tree of Life,
    WHICH IS THE CENTRAL COLUMN, embracing its branches and
    eating its fruits. All that is holy and all blessings come from it. He
    inherits life for his soul and healing for himself. Of him it is said:
    “For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads
    out its roots by the river…” (Ibid. 8)
  204. Every act in the world follows thought and contemplation. Of
    this the scripture reads: “you shall therefore sanctify yourselves,
    and you shall be holy” (Vayikra 11:44), because sanctities in the
    world are manifested and drawn by means of good contemplation.
  205. He who is defiled by the evil contemplation of thinking about
    another woman while inseminating his wife, will confuse the
    supernal high grades BY SWITCHING the Holy grade with the grade
    of Defilement. As he changes his thoughts from his wife to another
    woman, so he causes change above.
  206. As the body of the son he begets is called a ‘changed son’, so
    his soul is also called ‘changed son’, as his contemplation was not
    drawn from holiness, and his soul was thus changed into another
    grade, NAMELY, A GRADE FROM THE OTHER SIDE.
  207. It was revealed before the Holy One, blessed be He, that all
    Ya’akov, the perfect one, did was true, and that he harbored
    thoughts of Truth. The night he had intercourse with Leah, his
    thoughts were of Rachel. He was with Leah and thought of Rachel,
    and his issue came from that thought.1
  208. Unknowingly HE DID THIS, because he did not know IT WAS
    LEAH. Therefore Reuven was not given a proper name. Yet the Holy
    One, blessed be He, knew IT WAS LEAH, and He showed him, and
    said: See, a son is born into the world. It is therefore written: “Can
    any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see
    him?” (Yirmeyah 23:24) Do not read er’enu (‘see him’), but ar’enu
    (‘show him’). It was known before the Holy One, blessed be He, that
    it was not intentional and that Ya’akov wished to contemplate the
    way of Truth. Thus, Reuven was not disqualified as a member of the
    holy tribes; THAT IS, HE WAS NOT CONSIDERED A CHANGED SON.
    If it were not so, he would have been disqualified.
  209. Because contemplation is so important and translates into
    action, the Holy One, blessed be He, who knew the place to which
    that contemplation clung during THE INSEMINATION OF the first
    drop, kept the birthright FOR THAT PLACE–as it is written: “for he
    was the firstborn; but since he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright
    was given to Yosef” (I Divrei Hayamim 5:1). For to the place to which
    contemplation followed at the time of insemination of the first drop,
    the birthright was taken from Reuven and given to the place he
    thought of. He thought of Rachel and the desire clung to her; thus,
    the birthright was attached to Rachel, and everything followed
    thought and contemplation.
  210. In the same manner, WE FOUND THAT contemplation and
    thought result in deeds and draw from what man secretly attaches
    himself to, as it is written: “the wife of the dead shall not marry
    abroad to a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in to
    her” (Devarim 25:5). Here, his thought and desire should cleave TO
    THE SOUL OF HIS DEAD BROTHER, and by that desire and thought
    he draws and does his duty, so that the dead man’s name shall not
    be erased from the world.
  211. This is the secret of the verse: “If he set his heart upon man, if
    he gather to himself his spirit and his breath (Ruach and
    Neshamah)” (Iyov 34:14). Assuredly this is so. Will and thought
    produce flowing and perform action in everything needed. Therefore
    in prayer, we need to desire and contemplate upon it. Thus, in every
    service of the Holy One, blessed be He, contemplation and thought
    act and are drawn to that which is in need of them.
    End of Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
  212. “and found mandrakes in the field”
    This is a lengthy and mysterious passage concerning birth and Creation. It is an explanation of the phrase “the world was formed by word and spirit
    together, Male and Female.” The hidden world is male, this one female. The Zohar reflects on the allegorical importance of the mandrake root, whose
    magical properties allowed Rachel to conceive. The Rabbis Chiya and Rabbi Yosi continue their discussion with a person called The Man of Arka,
    connecting the passage concerning the mandrakes, Rachel, and the birth of Reuven with the secret meaning of matzoh in the Passover story. “Out
    of the earth comes bread.” That is, the birth of a child is like the creation of worlds.1
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The creation of the cosmos is the same creative process that unfolds with the birth of each new child in this world. Each of us, therefore, is a
    supernal world, imbued with the divine Light of the Creator. Along with this comes the responsibility of recognizing the Godliness within and around
    us. Evolving this awareness constitutes the work of spiritual development.
  213. “And Reuven went in the days of the wheat harvest, and found
    mandrakes in the field” (Beresheet 30:14). Rabbi Yitzchak opened
    the discussion with the verse: “how manifold are Your works,
    Hashem, in wisdom have You made them all: the earth is full of Your
    creatures” (Tehilim 104:24). This verse has already been explained in
    several places. Yet who can count the works of the Holy One,
    blessed be He? For there are many different armies and legions OF
    GRADES AND ANGELS. They are countless, AS IS INDICATED IN
    THE VERSE, “HOW MANIFOLD ARE YOUR WORKS.” THIS SHOWS
    THAT THEY ARE WITHOUT NUMBER, WHICH IS AN ALLUSION TO
    MOCHIN OF CHASSADIM. THE PHRASE, “IN WISDOM HAVE YOU
    MADE THEM ALL,” REFERS TO MOCHIN OF NUMBER, CHOCHMAH.
    HE SAYS THAT ALTHOUGH THEY DIFFER FROM ONE ANOTHER,
    they were created together. Just as a hammer striking a stone or a
    red hot iron produces sparks on all sides simultaneously, the Holy
    One, blessed be He, brought forth countless, different kinds of
    legions all at once.
  214. Come and behold. The world was formed by word and spirit
    together, MALE AND FEMALE, as it is written: “By the word of
    Hashem were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the
    breath (spirit) of His mouth” (Tehilim 33:6). Thus, “the word of
    Hashem” is speech, THE NUKVA, WHICH SHINES WITH
    CHOCHMAH, and “the breath of His mouth” is the spirit, ZEIR ANPIN,
    WHICH SHINES WITH CHASSADIM. The one cannot exist without the
    other, and so they are included within each other, and several armies
    upon armies, legions upon legions were issued all at once,
    DIFFERING FROM EACH OTHER IN THEIR ILLUMINATION, THE ONE
    WITH CHOCHMAH AND THE OTHER WITH CHASSADIM.
  215. Come and behold: when the Holy One, blessed be He, wished to
    create the worlds, He produced one closed Light, THE LIGHT OF
    BINAH, BY INSERTING THE LETTER YUD WITHIN THE LIGHT (OR:
    ALEPH, VAV, RESH) AND PRODUCING AIR (AVIR: ALEPH, VAV,
    YUD, RESH). From that light, all the revealed lights radiated, THAT
    IS, BY TAKING OUT THE YUD FROM AVIR, THE AIR BECAME LIGHT
    AGAIN. From that light, all other lights radiated. This is the supernal
    world, BINAH.
  216. That Supernal Light, BINAH, spread further, and from it the
    artist, THE EMANATOR, created a light that does not illuminate.
    Thus, He made the lower world, THE NUKVA. Because this light does
    not shine, it needs to be attached above and below. Through the
    attachment below, it is connected so as to illumine through the
    connection above.
  217. This light that does not shine, NAMELY, THE LEFT COLUMN of
    the connection OF THE THREE COLUMNS above IN BINAH produces
    all the different armies and legions–THOSE IN CHOCHMAH AND
    THOSE IN CHASSADIM. This is the meaning of, “how manifold are
    Your works, Hashem in wisdom have You made them all.”1
  218. Whatever exists down on earth also exists above. There is
    nothing in this world, IN THE NUKVA, be it ever so small, which does
    not depend on something appointed over it above, IN BINAH. WHAT
    EXISTS IN THE NUKVA IS WHAT SHE RECEIVES FROM BINAH.
    THEREFORE, THERE IS NOTHING IN THE NUKVA THAT DOES NOT
    HAVE ITS ROOT IN BINAH. Thus, when something is aroused below
    IN THE NUKVA, ITS ORIGIN, appointed over it from above IN BINAH,
    is aroused because everything is united.
  219. Come and behold: “Give me, I pray you, of your son’s
    mandrakes” (Beresheet 30:14). This does not mean THAT the
    mandrakes caused Rachel to bear children, BUT RATHER that the
    Holy One, blessed be He, arranged for the birth of Yisaschar, who
    was destined to observe the Torah more than the other tribes, just as
    Rachel held fast to Ya’akov and did not let him go to Leah. This is
    the meaning of the verse: “Is it a small matter that you have taken
    my husband? …Therefore he shall lie with you tonight for your son’s
    mandrakes.”
  220. The mandrakes caused Yisaschar to come into the world so that
    the fragrance of the Torah ascended before the Holy One, blessed be
    He. Thus scripture reads, “The mandrakes give a fragrance” (Shir
    Hashirim 7:14), BECAUSE YISASCHAR HELD FAST TO THE TORAH
    MORE THAN THE OTHER TRIBES. It is written: “And he lay with her
    that night (lit. ‘that night he’)” (Beresheet 30:16). Assuredly, it is
    “he,” AND NOT ‘THAT HE’. It has already been explained that the
    supernal world is called “he,” because it is neither disclosed nor
    revealed. Because the Torah came out from the supernal world,
    WHICH IS UNDISCLOSED AND NOT REVEALED, THE UNION THAT
    RESULTED IN YISASCHAR WAS ALLUDED TO IN THE WORDS:
    “AND HE LAY WITH HER THAT NIGHT HE”–BECAUSE YISASCHAR
    IS A CHARIOT TO THE TORAH, AS HAS BEEN SAID.
  221. The supernal world is uniformly called “he” because it is
    undisclosed, as it is written: “But the Levite shall serve
    he,” (Bemidbar 18:23) WHICH MEANS THAT HE SERVES THE
    SUPERNAL WORLD CALLED “HE,” in order to draw from there
    blessings on all the worlds. And Yisaschar held TO THE SUPERNAL
    WORLD. Therefore, we call ZEIR ANPIN the Tree of Life, as it is a tree
    THAT COMES from the supernal life OF THE SUPERNAL HIDDEN
    WORLD, called “he,” and not ‘you’, AS THE PRONOUN ‘YOU’
    INDICATES THE KNOWN, AND THE PRONOUN “HE,” THE HIDDEN.
  222. It may be said that the mandrakes opened Rachel’s womb. This
    is not so, as it is written: “and Elohim hearkened to her and opened
    her womb” (Beresheet 30:22). Thus the Holy One, blessed be He,
    OPENED HER WOMB, and nothing else. As for the mandrakes,
    although they have the power of action above, it is not in their power
    to give children, because children depend upon Mazal, and nothing
    else.1
  223. It may be said that the mandrakes were created for nothing,
    NAMELY, THAT THEY HAVE NO POWER TO ACT. This is not so.
    THEY HAVE A SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITY even concerning this
    BEARING OF CHILDREN. They help those who are slow to give birth
    but are not barren, although it was decreed that they give birth
    through Mazal. THIS MEANS THAT IF THIS WAS DECREED IN THE
    SECRET OF MAZAL, BUT THEY ARE DETAINED FOR SOME
    REASON, THE MANDRAKES HELP.
    Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
  224. “And Reuven went in the days of the wheat harvest, and found
    mandrakes in the field.” We have learned that the cup of blessings–
    THE SECRET OF THE NUKVA IN HER ASPECT OF ILLUMINATION
    OF CHOCHMAH THAT SHINES IN THE SECRET OF, “WINE THAT
    CAUSES TO REJOICE ELOHIM AND MEN” (TEHILIM 104:15)–is
    blessed only on the right side, CHASSADIM, AS CHOCHMAH
    WITHOUT CHASSADIM IS DARKNESS. Therefore, while the right
    awakens TO POUR to the cup of blessing, THE NUKVA, the left, is
    unsupported because within the cup the right found a cause for its
    arousal toward the supernal world, WHICH IS CHASSADIM
    COVERED BY CHOCHMAH.
  225. This is the secret of: “And Reuven went.” Reuven is the south
    side, NAMELY, THE RIGHT COLUMN, CHASSADIM. Because of this,
    his standard faces south, which is the head and beginning of the
    twelve borders. THE SECRET OF THE TWELVE BORDERS IS THE
    SECRET OF THE FOUR DIRECTIONS, CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET
    AND MALCHUT. EACH HAS THREE COLUMNS, SO CHESED IS THE
    BEGINNING OF THE TWELVE BORDERS. The desire of the south
    side is to find a reason for and to give a present to the Matron,
    NAMELY, THE NUKVA, so as to bless her.
  226. It is written: “and found mandrakes in the field.” He searched
    the treasures OF THE NUKVA and found the mandrakes in the field,
    WHICH IS THE NUKVA. The scripture reads, “The mandrakes give a
    fragrance” (Shir Hashirim 7:14). These are the two Cherubs, the
    emendation OF THE NUKVA, who are awakened by the arousal
    above TOWARD BINAH. Because of all the amendments in that field,
    only the Cherubs aroused BINAH.
  227. When is the south side, CHESED, aroused toward her? When
    does it find a reason to bless her, THAT IS, TO DRAW CHASSADIM
    UPON HER? In the days of the wheat harvest, MEANING, the spoils
    are divided among her armies, THAT IS, THE ANGELS–ACCORDING
    TO THE MYSTERY IN THE VERSE, “SHE RISES ALSO WHILE IT IS
    YET NIGHT, AND GIVES FOOD TO HER HOUSEHOLD” (MISHLEI
    31:15)–and given to all the reapers of the field, THAT IS, THE SOULS
    WHO MERIT TO RECEIVE THE FRUITS OF THE NUKVA CALLED
    ‘FIELD’. He immediately “brought them to his mother Leah,” WHICH
    MEANS THAT he elevated their fragrance and desire to the covered
    supernal world, CALLED ‘LEAH’, to bring blessings on the lower
    world, RACHEL.
  228. When the mandrakes are blessed, THAT IS, CLOTHED IN
    CHASSADIM, they receive and give to all the worlds, as it is written:
    “And the mandrakes give a fragrance…” When they give a fragrance,
    NAMELY, WHEN THEY SHINE UPWARD WITH CHOCHMAH FROM
    BELOW, WHICH IS CONSIDERED FRAGRANCE, that fragrance
    receives the south side, CHESED, and uses it to raise it towards the
    supernal world, THAT IS, TO ILLUMINE UPWARD FROM BELOW.
    Immediately, it is written: “and at our gates are all manner of choice
    fruits” (Shir Hashirim 7:14), and no goodness is absent from the
    world.1
  229. The lower world is not awakened toward the supernal world, TO
    RECEIVE MOCHIN FROM IT, except when the mandrakes give a
    fragrance to the right. Once they do and the right is aroused toward
    the supernal world, the lower world is immediately aroused to ask
    for whatever it needs. Thus, it is written: “Then Rachel said to Leah,
    ‘Give me, I pray you, of your son’s mandrakes’,” WHICH MEANS:
    give me blessings from the arousal of the mandrakes which were
    aroused to be included within the right side, THAT IS, TO BE
    CLOTHED IN CHASSADIM OF THE RIGHT.
  230. Then the supernal world answers pleasantly and joyfully,
    saying, “Is it a small matter that you have taken my husband?”–as a
    mother who is DELIGHTED WITH her daughter, AND IS NOT
    REPRIMANDING HER. HE ASKS: If this is so, then IT SOUNDS AS IF
    the husband of the upper world, BINAH, is Ya’akov, AS SHE SAID
    CONCERNING YA’AKOV, “IS IT A SMALL MATTER THAT YOU HAVE
    TAKEN MY HUSBAND?” YET CHOCHMAH IS THE HUSBAND OF
    BINAH. HE ANSWERS: This is not so. The love of the father,
    CHOCHMAH, is always toward the daughter, THE NUKVA OF ZEIR
    ANPIN, because he loves his daughter always, for she is an only
    daughter among the six sons, CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET,
    NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD. To all six sons he gave portions,
    delights, and presents, but to her he dealt nothing, and she inherits
    nothing BECAUSE THE NUKVA HAS NOTHING FROM HERSELF
    EXCEPT WHAT HER HUSBAND ZEIR ANPIN–THE SECRET OF
    CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD, THE SIX
    SONS–GIVES HER. Therefore, he regards her with more love and
    friendship than all of them.
  231. In his love he called her ‘daughter’. As this did not suffice, he
    called her ‘sister’. As this did not suffice, he called her ‘mother’, after
    his own mother. As this did not suffice, he called her by his name, as
    it is written: “But where shall wisdom be found” (Iyov 28:12), and
    thus he did surely call her Chochmah. Thus the upper world, BINAH,
    IMA (‘MOTHER’), said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken
    my husband?”–CHOCHMAH, NAMELY, ABA (‘FATHER’), for all his
    love is drawn toward you. Thus, the mother talked to the daughter
    fondly, with love.
  232. HE INSISTED: IF THE MOTHER DID NOT SPEAK HARSHLY
    WHEN SHE SAID, “IS IT A SMALL MATTER THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN
    MY HUSBAND?” Why then did RACHEL respond, “Therefore he shall
    lie with you tonight?” HE ANSWERS: Wherever the word “therefore”
    is used, it is an oath. HE ASKS: In the verse, “he shall lay…” what is
    the meaning of the word “lay”? HE ANSWERS: Any mention of the
    word “lay” refers to the amendment of the Nukva by the male, who
    will insert into her the shapes of all the letters. Yishcav (lit. ‘he shall
    lay’) contains Yesh (‘there is’,) Caf Bet (= 22). Yesh is the upper
    world, BINAH, THAT CAME TO BE CHOCHMAH AGAIN; Caf Bet is
    the secret of the Torah, ZEIR ANPIN, a hidden point, where the
    twenty-two letters are aroused. This is the meaning of Yesh Caf Bet
    (‘there are twenty-two’). Thus, Yesh is the world to come, as it is
    written: “That I may cause those who love me to inherit substance
    (yesh)” (Mishlei 8:21). (Yesh) Caf Bet is the supernal point that
    brings forth all the twenty-two letters, the secret of the whole Torah.1
  233. This is the meaning of, “he shall lay.” It is PLAINLY written: “he
    shall lay with you,” instead of, “Ya’akov shall lay with you.” This
    ALLUDES TO the hidden one, NAMELY, THE SUPERNAL ABA, who
    is worthy of joining you.
  234. “And Ya’akov came out of the field in the evening.” “And
    Ya’akov came,” refers to the holy Tiferet, ZEIR ANPIN, who came
    from the field that embraces all the blessings, of which the scripture
    reads: “which Hashem has blessed” (Beresheet 27:27), THE NUKVA
    OF ZEIR ANPIN. Why is is written: “in the evening?” HE ANSWERS:
    It is as it is written: “And Yitzchak went out to meditate in the field at
    the evening time” (Beresheet 24:63); THAT IS, WHEN THE NUKVA
    RECEIVES THE ILLUMINATION OF THE LEFT WITHOUT THE RIGHT,
    THE SECRET OF CHOCHMAH WITHOUT CHASSADIM, IT IS
    DARKENED AND CALLED ‘EVENING’. This is when Yitzchak, his
    father, used to be aroused toward this field and hold it, for Yitzchak
    is not aroused toward this field, SINCE IT BELONGS TO YA’AKOV,
    THE SECRET OF ZEIR ANPIN. Only in the evening after Ya’akov had
    gone, BECAUSE THE DAY DECLINED, THE SECRET OF
    CHASSADIM, AND IT BECAME DARK, he left the field to Yitzchak his
    father, THE SECRET OF THE LEFT SIDE. Ya’akov then ascended TO
    BINAH.
  235. It is written: “and Leah went out to meet him” (Beresheet 30:16),
    that is, the supernal mother, BINAH, went out to meet her only son,
    ZEIR ANPIN. “…and said, ‘You must come in to me’,” which means,
    under my wings, so I can bless and satiate you with pleasures and
    supernal joys. Now is a time of goodwill and delight, a time to give
    you much satisfaction, for that field, THE NUKVA, before it is burned
    because of the Judgment of Yitzchak, THE LEFT COLUMN, WHICH
    ILLUMINATES WITHOUT CHASSADIM OF THE RIGHT, AND IS THEN
    CONSIDERED TO BE A BURNING FIRE.
  236. Because she receives Ya’akov under her wings, “he lay with her
    that night (lit. ‘that night he’).” “IT IS NOT WRITTEN “THAT ONE”
    BUT RATHER HE” THAT REFERS TO THE HIDDEN, the most
    undisclosed “he”; “he” from which all blessings and sanctities
    derive. THIS IS THE SUPERNAL ABA. It is not written: ‘and Ya’akov
    lay’, but rather, “and he lay,” which refers to he who is worthy of
    being united with her, THAT IS, THE SUPERNAL ABA, WHO GIVES
    PLENTY TO BINAH.
  237. Before YA’AKOV, who receives the sanctities and blessings,
    came under its wings OF BINAH, the supernal world was not filled
    with blessings and sanctities from the undisclosed point. Therefore
    mandrakes rouse everything, and everything is in the likeness of the
    supernal secret, WHICH MEANS THAT ALL THIS REFERS TO THE
    SEPERNAL SECRET. What is Reuven? THAT IS, WHO NAMED HIM
    SO AND SAID OF HIM, ‘REU-BEN’ (LIT. SEE, A SON)? HE ANSWERS,
    the Holy One, blessed be He, gave names (Heb. shemot) in the land,
    THAT IS, THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, CALLED HIM REUVEN,
    as written, “Come, behold the works of Hashem, who has made
    desolations (Heb. shamot) in the earth” (Tehilim 46:9).
    End of Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)1
  238. “…and Leah went out to meet him, and said, ‘You must come in
    to me…'” HE WONDERED IF the phrase, “YOU MUST COME IN TO
    ME,” is impertinent. HE ANSWERS: No. Rather, THE OPPOSITE, for
    here we learn of Leah’s modesty. She did not say it in the presence
    of her sister, but hastened to the road, and whispered to him to let
    him know that she had obtained Rachel’s permission, as it is written:
    “for indeed I have hired you” (Beresheet 30:16). From Rachel, I
    obtained permission. In order that Rachel should not be displeased
    by it, she said it to him outside and not at home.
  239. Moreover, Leah’s tent faced the road, and she let Ya’akov in
    through the outside entrance before he entered Rachel’s tent. Why?
    So that she would not have to say anything in the presence of
    Rachel and sound bold. Also, Leah said: If Ya’akov enters Rachel’s
    tent, it is not right to make him leave it. Therefore, she hastened to
    meet him outside.
  240. HE ASKS: What is the purpose of all this? HE ANSWERS: The
    Holy Spirit stirred within Leah, and she knew that all the Supernal
    Holy Tribes would come from her. She hastened to do it for love of
    the Holy One, blessed be He. For that reason, THAT SHE MERITED
    THE HOLY SPIRIT; she KNEW HOW TO name them according to the
    secret of wisdom.
  241. While walking together, Rabbi Yosi said to Rabbi Chiya: Each
    time we discuss the Torah, the Holy One, blessed be He, performs
    miracles before us. The way before us is long. Therefore, let us
    study the Torah, and the Holy One, blessed be He, will join us.
  242. Rabbi Chiya began the discussion with the verses: “In the first
    month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, shall you eat
    unleavened bread,” (Shemot 12:18) and “seven days shall you eat
    unleavened bread with it, the bread of affliction (lit. ‘of
    poverty’)” (Devarim 16:3). Note that “bread of poverty (Heb. oni)” is
    spelled WITHOUT THE LETTER VAV. The friends were already
    engaged on this account. But come and behold: when Yisrael were
    in Egypt, they were under an alien power. When the Holy One,
    blessed be He, wanted to bring them near to Him, He gave them the
    grade of the bread of poverty. HE ASKS: Who is the poor referred to
    in, “bread of poverty?” HE ANSWERS: He is King David, of whom it
    is written: “for I am poor and needy” (Tehilim 86:1).1
  243. This bread of poverty is called Matzah, WITHOUT THE LETTER
    VAV, ZEIR ANPIN, because the female without the male is poor. First,
    YISRAEL approached the ASPECT OF Matzah, BEING THE FIRST
    GRADE. Afterward, the Holy One, blessed be He, raised them to
    higher grades and the male joined the female, THAT IS, SHE WAS
    UNITED WITH ZEIR ANPIN, AND RECEIVED CHASSADIM FROM HIM.
    Then, when Matzah was united with the male, it was called
    ‘precept’ (mitzvah), with the letter Vav, FOR IT ALLUDES TO ZEIR
    ANPIN. This is the meaning of the verse, “For this
    commandment” (Devarim 30:11). Therefore, in its first GRADE, it is
    called Matzah; later, IN HIGHER GRADES, it becomes a precept.
  244. While they were walking, they heard a voice say: A group of
    murderers lurk in wait for you on the way. Therefore, turn upward
    and do not descend through the unroofed castle below. Rabbi Yosi
    said: One may derive from this that the Holy One, blessed be He,
    wishes to guard our way. They ascended a mountain located
    between strong rocks. They said: Since the Holy One, blessed be He,
    wishes us to take this path, we should expect to behold something
    noteworthy, perhaps a miracle.
  245. They sat down by a cleft in a rock and were surprised when a
    man appeared before them. Rabbi Yosi asked: Who are you? The
    man replied: I am from the people of Arka. When asked: Are there
    people there? He said: Yes, and they sew and reap. Some are of a
    strange shape that is different from my own; THEY HAVE TWO
    HEADS. I came up to you to learn the name of the land in which you
    dwell.
  246. He said: It is called the ‘earth’ (Heb. eretz), because it is the land
    of the living, as it is written: “As for earth (eretz), out of it comes
    bread” (Iyov 28:5). Bread comes from this earth. Other lands do not
    have bread or, if they do, it is not of the seven kinds. He returned to
    his place. They wondered and said: Assuredly, the Holy One,
    blessed be He, desires to awaken us by this.
  247. Rabbi Chiya said: Assuredly, it happened because of the verse
    you quoted. I remember learning about a supernal matter concerning
    Pesach from my grandfather. The Holy One, blessed be He, gave
    Yisrael this bread from the land of the living, NAMELY, THE NUKVA
    CALLED ‘MATZAH’. Later, this bread became bread from the heaven,
    NAMELY, FROM ZEIR ANPIN CALLED ‘HEAVEN’. This has already
    been explained.1
  248. He also said that when a man comes into this world, he knows
    nothing before he tastes bread. After he does, he is motivated to
    know and perceive. So when Yisrael went out from Egypt, they knew
    nothing until the Holy One, blessed be He, gave them bread from this
    land, THE NUKVA, CALLED ‘MATZAH’, as it is written: “As for earth,
    out of it comes bread.” Then Yisrael came to know and conceive the
    Holy One, blessed be He, like a baby who knows or conceives
    nothing before he tastes the bread of this world.
  249. The chilren of Yisrael had no knowledge or conception of higher
    matters, UPPER GRADES, until they ate of the supernal bread,
    WHICH IS DRAWN FROM ZEIR ANPIN CALLED ‘HEAVEN’. BEFORE
    THEY ATE OF THE SUPERNAL BREAD, they knew and conceived
    only that place, THE NUKVA, AND NO MORE. The Holy One, blessed
    be He, desired that the children of Yisrael should know more of the
    place, which is worthy of this land–THAT IS, THE UPPER GRADES
    THAT SHINE FROM THE PLACE OF ZEIR ANPIN TO THE NUKVA–but
    they could not until they tasted bread of that SUPERNAL place. What
    is that? That which is called ‘heaven’, NAMELY, ZEIR ANPIN, as it is
    written: “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you” (Shemot
    16:4). Then did they know and conceive that SUPERNAL place. But
    before that, they knew nothing and had no conception OF THAT
    SUPERNAL PLACE, ZEIR ANPIN.
  250. Rabbi Yosi came to him and kissed him. He said: Assuredly this
    is why the Holy One, blessed be He, aroused us TO SPEAK WITH
    THE MAN OF THE PEOPLE OF ARKA, FOR BECAUSE OF HIM WE
    CAME TO DISCUSS THIS VERSE. Therefore, the beginning of the
    knowledge of Yisrael was bread, NAMELY, THE BREAD OF
    AFFLICTION. They stood to go. While they were walking, they saw
    two Damascene plum trees, a male and a female. Rabbi Yosi said:
    There is nothing in the world that is not male and female. Moreover,
    whatever is on earth, exists also in the sea.
  251. Rabbi Yosi began with the verse: “And Ya’akov came out of the
    field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him.” HE ASKS: How
    did she know HE WAS COMING? HE ANSWERS: They said his ass
    was braying, so Leah knew and went toward him. Thus, the ass
    caused Yisaschar to come from Leah. This is the meaning of the
    verse: “Yisaschar is a strong (Heb. garem) ass” (Beresheet 49:14).
    Do not read garem, but rather garam, meaning ’caused’, BECAUSE
    the ass caused him TO BE BORN. Leah said: Surely I know that if
    Ya’akov enters Rachel’s tent, I cannot make him leave. Therefore, I
    shall wait for him here, and he shall come into my tent.
  252. “…for indeed I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” HE
    ASKS: Why did she say, “with my son’s mandrakes?” WAS NOT IT
    ENOUGH TO SAY, ‘WITH MANDRAKES’? HE ANSWERS: So that
    Ya’akov will draw satisfaction from their help in childbirth. Yet
    Ya’akov knew that this matter did not depend on the mandrakes, but
    on above, ON MAZAL.1
  253. He began by quoting: “He makes the barren woman to keep
    house, and be a joyful mother of children. Haleluyah” (Tehilim
    113:9). Rabbi Chiya said: The holy spirit said, “He makes the barren
    woman to keep house,” refers to Rachel, and “a joyful mother of
    children,” refers to Leah. HE EXPLAINED FURTHER THAT “He
    makes the barren woman to keep house,” refers to the lower world,
    THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN, CALLED ‘RACHEL’, AND “a joyful
    mother of children,” refers to the upper world, BINAH, CALLED
    ‘LEAH’. Therefore, Haleluyah CONTAINS THE LETTERS OF
    HALLELU (‘PRAISE’), YUD-HEI, BECAUSE THE UPPER WORLD WAS
    CREATED BY THE YUD, AND THE LOWER WORLD CREATED BY
    THE HEI.
  254. Rabbi Yehuda said that all the tribes are the result of correcting
    down below, NAMELY, OF THE NUKVA; they were all amended to
    resemble above, BINAH. “For I have hired you” to take from him a
    body. And what is it? It is the Torah. “…for indeed I have hired you…”
    MEANS you, your own body. “I have hired you” to bear your very
    shape.
  255. From this we understand that whoever studies the Torah
    inherits the world to come, THE MOCHIN OF BINAH, and the portion
    of Ya’akov, THE MOCHIN OF THE SUPERNAL ABA AND IMA, as it is
    written: “Yisaschar”–which contains the letters of Yesh sachar
    (‘there is a reward’), as in: “for your work shall be rewarded
    (sachar)” (Yirmeyah 31:15). THE WORK IS THE STUDY OF THE
    TORAH, as it is written: “That I may cause those who love me to
    inherit substance (Heb. yesh); and I will fill their treasures” (Mishlei
    8:21).
  256. “…because I have born him six sons…” Rabbi Chizkiyah said:
    They are above and below, NETZACH AND HOD, and to the four
    winds of the world, CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET AND YESOD.
    Whoever prolongs the “one” IN KRIAT SH’MA should claim the
    sovereignty of the Holy One, blessed be He, above and below, and
    on the four directions of the world, namely, one.
  257. Rabbi Chizkiyah said: It is written: “mountains of
    separation” (Shir Hashirim 2:17) and, “mountains of spices” (Shir
    Hashirim 8:14). HE ASKS: What are the mountains of spices? HE
    ANSWERS: They are the six sons of Leah, who include the other six,
    YOSEF, BINYAMIN, AND THE SONS OF THE HANDMAIDS. Together
    they are twelve and six, WHICH MEANS THAT THEY MAY BE
    COUNTED AS EITHER TWELVE OR SIX, because they include each
    other. IF YOU COUNT THE MAIN ONES, THEY ARE SIX, BUT IF YOU
    ALSO COUNT THOSE INCLUDED WITHIN THEM, THEY ARE
    TWELVE. And Leah presides over them, to fulfill the verse, “a joyful
    mother of sons. Haleluyah.”
  258. It is therefore written: “you shall not take the mother bird
    together with the young,” (Devarim 22:6) because she is of the
    hidden world which is not revealed, BECAUSE THE LOWER BEINGS
    HAVE NO CONCEPTION OF IT. Therefore, “you shall surely let the
    mother go, and take the young to you” (Ibid. 7), because the dam is
    of the hidden world, which is never revealed.1
  259. “…and take the young to you…” This resembles the verse: “For
    ask now of the days that are past…and from one side of the heaven
    to the other” (Devarim 4:32)–FROM CHESED, THE SIDE OF ZEIR
    ANPIN CALLED ‘HEAVEN’, TO YESOD, THE OTHER SIDE OF ZEIR
    ANPIN, THAT IS, THE SIX EXTREMINTIES CHESED, GVURAH,
    TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD, AND YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, CALLED
    THE ‘SIX SONS OF LEAH’. They are all called “the mountains of
    spices.” From there downward, BENEATH MALCHUT OF ATZILUT,
    they are called “mountains of separation,” as it is written: “and from
    thence it was parted, and branched into four streams” (Beresheet
    2:10).
  260. Rabbi Yesa said: The sons of the handmaids tied knots, the four
    knots that need correcting. Rabbi Elazar said: Therefore the knots
    (joints) protrude from the body. And although they are all one,
    NAMELY, EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE CORRECTED IN THE SECRET
    OF THE VERSE, “AND ALL THEIR HINDER PARTS WERE INWARD” (I
    MELACHIM 7:25), THEY NEVERTHELESS PROTRUDE FROM THE
    BODY, BEING AT FIRST, BEFORE THE UNION, EMPTY WITHOUT
    LIGHT. THIS MEANS THAT THE OTHER JOINTS are all on one plane,
    AND DO NOT PROTRUDE OUT OF THE BODY. Therefore, all the
    tribes ascend as testimony above, as it is written: “there the tribes
    used to go up, the tribes of Yah, as a testimony to Yisrael, to give
    thanks to the name of Hashem” (Tehilim 122:4).
  261. “And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Yosef”
    This is an enigmatic passage in which the rabbis comment on the symbolic and mystical importance of Ya’akov’s leaving his father-in-law, Lavan,
    and going into the land of Israel, once Yosef has been born and Benyamin has been conceived. For these commentators, Leah symbolizes the upper
    world, or all that is mysterious in life.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Ya’akov’s ability to evolve spiritually was limited during his stay with his Lavan. His going into the Land of Israel is a metaphor for his readiness to
    ascend to the level of the Upper World. The lesson for the reader is this: our physical location is a mirror of where we are spiritually. This passage
    awakens us to the importance of constant forward motion, both physically and spiritually, in order to continue the evolution of our souls, which is
    the very purpose of our life. Moreover, the act of meditating upon these verses helps our soul ascend to higher levels.
  262. Rabbi Elazar quoted the verse: “And it came to pass, when
    Rachel had born Yosef” (Beresheet 30:25). HE ASKS: Why did
    Ya’akov ask to leave only after Yosef was born? Before Yosef was
    born, he did not ask to leave. HE ANSWERS: As it was explained, he
    saw that the adversary of Esav was born, as YOSEF WOULD BE THE
    ADVERSARY OF ESAV, AS IT IS WRITTEN: “AND THE HOUSE OF
    YA’AKOV SHALL BE FIRE, AND THE HOUSE OF YOSEF FLAME,
    AND THE HOUSE OF ESAV FOR STUBBLE” (OVADYAH 1:18).
  263. Come and behold: Yosef perfected the place OF YA’AKOV after
    him, BEING THE SFIRAH OF YESOD, THE LAST SFIRAH OF
    YA’AKOV. Also, Yosef deserved to be called ‘Righteous’, NAMELY,
    YESOD, where the ending of the body is, THE LAST SFIRAH. After
    Ya’akov saw that the body was perfected WITH THE BIRTH OF
    YOSEF, the body asked to leave. The final part of the body is the
    member of the Covenant, NAMELY, YOSEF. With all that, Binyamin
    completed the number, because with him the number twelve was
    reached.1
  264. One may wonder if Ya’akov knew that until this time the number
    of the tribes was not yet complete, even though Yosef had been
    born. Why, then, did he not wait for Binyamin to be born and the
    tribes to reach completion? HE ANSWERS: Ya’akov acted wisely,
    and he did know THAT THE TRIBES WERE NOT YET COMPLETED.
    He said: Surely if the tribes are completed here, then perfection will
    be achieved here; yet I do not want them to be perfected in this
    country–only in the Holy Land.
  265. Come and behold: the twelve tribes are the perfection of the
    lower world, THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN FROM THE CHEST
    DOWNWARD. After Binyamin was born, AND THE TWELVE TRIBES
    WERE COMPLETED, Rachel died, and the lower world, THE NUKVA
    OF ZEIR ANPIN, assumed its place and was perfected through them.
    Therefore, Binyamin was born only in the Holy Land. This is the
    meaning of the verse: “And as for me, when I came from Paddan,
    Rachel died by me in the land of Cna’an on the way” (Beresheet
    48:7). Rachel died there, and was replaced by the lower world, which
    received a house in which to dwell. As long as Rachel was alive, the
    lower world was not yet perfected BY THE TWELVE TRIBES. Rachel
    died, BECAME ONE WITH THE UPPER NUKVA, and received a
    completed house.
  266. HE ASKS: You may wonder why Leah did not die at the same
    time, WHEN THE TWELVE TRIBES WERE COMPLETED. HE
    ANSWERS: This is because the house is in the lower world, IN THE
    NUKVA FROM THE CHEST DOWNWARD, CALLED ‘RACHEL’. And it
    behooves all to be perfected by it, WHICH MEANS THAT THE
    PERFECTION OF ALL THE LOWER BEINGS, IN BRIYAH, YETZIRAH,
    AND ASIYAH, DEPEND ON IT and not on the upper world. Therefore,
    Leah did not die at the same time. All that concerns Leah is hidden,
    as the upper world is covered and not discovered. Therefore, Leah
    did not die at that time, AS SHE WAS NOT ANNULED.
  267. Come and behold: this is assuredly so. All that pertains to the
    upper world, LEAH, is hidden, and all that pertains to the lower world
    is revealed. Therefore, Leah was hidden and buried in the cave of the
    Machpelah, and Rachel was buried by the open road. The one is
    hidden, and the other is open. Thus, the upper world excels in
    secrecy, as it is written: “And Leah said, Happy am I, for the
    daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name
    Asher” (Beresheet 30: 13).1
  268. Thus, all became one, because all comes from the upper world.
    This is true everywhere, BOTH WHEN ALL IS PERFECT AND WHEN
    ALL IS NOT PERFECT. There are two worlds: the one disclosed and
    the other hidden. We bless the Holy One, blessed be He, only
    through both worlds, as it is written: “Blessed be Hashem the
    Elohim of Yisrael from the world to the world” (Tehilim 106:48). We
    therefore call the upper world “he,” IN THE THIRD, HIDDEN PERSON,
    and the lower world “you,” IN THE SECOND, PRESENT PERSON.
    And because He is blessed from the upper world by the Righteous, it
    is written: “Blessed be Hashem out of Tzion, He who dwells at
    Jerusalem” (Tehilim 135:21). BECAUSE THE LOWER WORLD IS
    BLESSED BY CHASSADIM FROM THE UPPER WORLD, IT IS
    REVEALED TO US. This is so because it is from Tzion, YESOD OF
    THE UPPER WORLD, that it is blessed. THEREFORE, THE UPPER
    WORLD SHOULD ALWAYS EXIST IN THIS ASPECT.
  269. Come and behold: “Hashem, Hashem,” AT THE BEGINNING OF
    THE THIRTEEN ATTRIBUES, refers to the two worlds, the revealed
    and the hidden. Therefore, there is a comma between the two. But in,
    “from the world to the world,” all is one, BECAUSE THE DISCLOSED
    WORLD HAS NOTHING OF ITS OWN. EVERYTHING IT HAS IS GIVEN
    FROM THE HIDDEN WORLD.
  270. “And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Yosef.” Rabbi
    Yehuda said: Come and behold the perfection of Ya’akov, who did
    not wish to leave without Lavan’s permission. It may be said that at
    another time he did not take his leave, but rather fled from him. HE
    ANSWERS: This was because Ya’akov was afraid that Lavan would
    not let him go; then the twelve tribes would have been completed in
    a foreign land. Therefore, after Ya’akov saw that the time has come
    for Binyamin to be born, he fled, as it is written: “So he fled with all
    that he had” (Beresheet 31:21).
  271. This was because after Binyamin was born, the Shechinah
    attached herself to all the tribes and lived with them. Ya’akov, who
    understood the mystery of wisdom, saw that once the twelve tribes
    were perfected, the Shechinah would be adorned and attached to
    them, Rachel would die, and the Shechinah would receive the house.
  272. Come and behold: we have learned as much. The lower world,
    THE SHECHINAH, was worthy of being united with Ya’akov, as it was
    worthy of Moshe. However, it could not achieve union until there
    were twelve tribes in the house for her to be connected with. When
    the twelve tribes were completed, Rachel was removed, and THE
    SHECHINAH received the house containing the twelve tribes and
    became its foundation (Heb. ikar). Then, it was written: “He makes
    the barren (Heb. akarah) woman to keep house” (Tehilim 113:9).
  273. Ya’akov said: The time has come FOR BINYAMIN TO BE BORN,
    AND for the twelve tribes to be completed. Surely the world above
    descended to the house to be connected with them–and for this
    poor woman, RACHEL, to be removed from before it. If she dies
    here, I shall never leave. Moreover, this land is not worthy of
    completing the house, ONLY THE HOLY LAND IS WORTHY.
    Therefore, “And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Yosef,”
    means before the tribes were completed.1
  274. Rabbi Shimon heard. He said: All Rabbi Yehuda’s words were
    correct, but the last surpasses them all. You may wonder why he did
    not leave immediately, BUT RATHER STAYED AND WORKED SIX
    YEARS WITH LAVAN’S CATTLE. This was because as long as
    Rachel was not yet pregnant with Binyamin, he was delayed. Once
    the time had come AND SHE WAS PREGNANT with Binyamin, he
    fled. And he did not request his leave FROM LAVAN so that he would
    not be detained, and so that Ya’akov would be connected with all the
    tribes in the proper place IN THE HOLY LAND.
  275. Rabbi Aba began with the verse: “And Moshe went and returned
    to Yeter his father in law” (Shemot 4:18). Come and behold: Moshe
    was a shepherd for the cattle of Yitro, his father-in-law, and dwelled
    with him. When he desired to leave, he first obtained Yitro’s
    permission. But why did not Ya’akov, who was a perfect man and
    dwelled constantly with Lavan, ask permission AS MOSHE DID? HE
    ANSWERS: We have learned THAT YA’AKOV DID NOT ASK LAVAN’S
    PERMISSION BECAUSE HE WAS AFRAID Lavan would find excuses
    to make him stay. Once before he had told Lavan HE WISHED TO GO
    HOME. Immediately Lavan found excuses, and he stayed. Therefore,
    since he was afraid of him, HE DID NOT ASK HIS LEAVE.
  276. But Yitro did not oppose Moshe as Lavan, who was a sorcerer,
    opposed Ya’akov. Lavan used sorcery in everything he did against
    Ya’akov. Now Ya’akov did not desire to be delayed, because the Holy
    One, blessed be He, told him, “Return to the land of your
    fathers” (Beresheet 31:3). He therefore did not wish to be delayed
    and forsake the command of his Master. HE THEREFORE DID NOT
    ASK HIS PERMISSION.
  277. “A song to Alamot”
    The Friends discuss the mystical meaning of angels or ‘messengers’, who are grouped in ranks of three in the heavens, singing to the “Alamot,” or
    the maidens of song. We learn that true spiritual songs are songs of the soul, connecting us to the supernal realm of the angels, and drawing their
    positive influences into our lives.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Here we connect our souls to the realms where angels reside, and where they serve as a metaphysical interface between the mortal and the Divine.
    The sacred Light received through this bonding attunes us to the positive influences of these angelic forces, so that we hear their whispers and
    melodies over the distractions of everyday life.
  278. Come and behold. It is written: “And Elohim remembered
    Rachel…” (Beresheet 30: 22) He began by quoting the verse: “To the
    chief musician for the sons of Korach, A song to Alamot” (Tehilim
    46:1). We need to study this verse because it contains the secret of
    wisdom. All the songs and praises that the sons of Korach uttered
    WERE NOT NEW. RATHER, THEY WERE OLD songs and praises
    sung anew. The songs and praises David sang with his followers,
    WHO ARE MENTIONED IN THE BEGINNING OF WITH PSALMS IN
    TEHILIM, were part of the secret of the upper one, BINAH, in the
    secret of Chochmah.1
  279. Come and behold: the Holy One, blessed be He, formed the
    lower world, THE NUKVA, so that it resembled the upper world,
    BINAH, AS IT RECEIVES FROM IT. And all that David, his son
    Solomon, and the true prophets arranged, they arranged IN THE
    LOWER WORLD in the image of above, BINAH.
  280. Come and behold: as there are watches on earth, AND THE
    TWELVE HOURS OF THE NIGHT ARE DIVIDED INTO THREE TIMES
    FOUR, so it is that in the firmament THERE ARE THREE GROUPS OF
    ANGELS chanting to their Master, singing always. They stand one
    above the other ACCORDING TO THEIR RANK, WHICH IS THE
    SECRET OF THE VERSE: “FOR THERE IS A HIGH ONE WHO
    WATCHES OVER HIM THAT IS HIGH; AND THERE ARE YET HIGHER
    ONES OVER THEM” (KOHELET 5:7). They sing and praise standing
    in rows, EACH GROUP CHANTING ACCORDING TO ITS RANK. This
    has already been explained by the friends.
  281. HE ASKS: WHAT is the meaning of “A song to Alamot? (lit.
    ‘maidens’)” HE ANSWERS: It is similar to the verse, “There are sixty
    queens, and eighty concubines and young maidens without
    number” (Shir Hashirim 6:8). The “young maidens without number”
    are the same as in the verse, “Is there any number to His
    armies” (Iyov 25:3). As they are countless, it is written: “and young
    maidens without number.”
  282. They are arranged in rows facing each other, singing and
    praising their Master. These is “A song to Alamot (lit. ‘maidens’),” in
    the verse, for there are maidens who do not sing as these do. Thus,
    these are called ‘maidens of song’.
  283. Every order is by three
    The Zohar explains how relations between letter and number, earth and heaven, and male and female are structured in the form of a three part
    structure, or triad.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Before the creation of our universe, the infinite Light of the Creator shared its untold fulfillment with the infinite Vessel: Sharing and Receiving; Two
    Columns. The birth of our universe occurred when the primordial Vessel-composed of all the souls of humanity-purposely stopped receiving the
    Light of the Creator for the chance to create its own Light, and thus become the cause of its own fulfillment through spiritual development. This act
    brought into being a third force: Resistance. These three Columns–sharing, receiving, and resistance–are present throughout every scale of reality.
    In our own lives, we must use our free will as the force of resistance to control impulsive and self-serving drives. As a light bulb glows brightly when
    the filament performs resistance, our lives shine brilliantly when we apply restraining force. Life then has true circuitry. The strength and
    consciousness to live in accord with the three Columns is imbued into our nature by these passages.
  284. There are three orders divided among the four directions of the
    universe. Every order in each direction contains three other orders,
    SO THAT the first order of the eastern wind comprises three orders
    which are actually nine. In this way, every order contains three other
    orders. Thus, the three orders of each direction are actually nine
    orders. Underneath them, there are thousands and myriads of angels.1
  285. These nine orders all follow CERTAIN engraved letters, and
    each order constantly looks up SO AS TO RECEIVE PLENTY from
    these engraved letters WHICH PERTAIN TO IT. When these letters
    soar in the air of the spirit, which is assigned over everything, they
    travel. One letter below is struck, and it travels up and down, the two
    letters soaring above it. The letter below elevates the lower order
    and joins THE TWO SOARING LETTERS to become three letters,
    similar to the letters Yud-Hei-Vav, which are the three of the shining
    mirror, ZEIR ANPIN. These letters, YUD-HEI-VAV, divide into three
    orders–the two letters and the letter that joins them to form a trio.
  286. Come and behold: the two supernal letters that ascend in the
    air, THE RIGHT LETTER AND THE LEFT LETTER, are included within
    each other, as Mercy is included within Judgment. FOR THE RIGHT
    LETTER IS THE SECRET OF CHASSADIM AND MERCY, AND THE
    LEFT LETTER IS CHOCHMAH WITHOUT CHASSADIM AND
    JUDGMENT. BECAUSE OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM, they
    are considered two. They are of the supernal world, the secret of the
    male. The letter that ascends to join them, NAMELY, THE MIDDLE
    LETTER, is a female and is included within both of them. THIS
    MEANS THAT THE RIGHT AND LEFT LETTERS ARE UNITED WITH
    THE MIDDLE LETTER, WHICH TURNS INTO THREE LETTERS OF
    THE RIGHT, LEFT, AND MIDDLE. As the Nukva in her entirety
    comprises both the right and left sides–WHICH SHE RECEIVES
    FROM ZEIR ANPIN IN THE SECRET OF THE VERSE, “HIS LEFT
    HAND IS UNDER MY HEAD, AND HIS RIGHT HAND EMBRACES
    ME” (SHIR HASHIRIM 8:3)–and joins them, so does the MIDDLE
    letter, the Nukva, join the other two letters. And they TURN WITHIN
    THE MIDDLE LETTER into the RIGHT AND LEFT sides. THE TWO
    LETTERS IN IT become supernal, and it stands below them. All three
    letters become one, male and female IN THE SECRET OF THE
    UNION, LIKE A MALE AND A FEMALE–TWO UPPER ONES ARE
    MALE AND THE MIDDLE ONE FEMALE. For when the world was
    created, the two letters from the supernal world issued all the deeds
    below in their very shape–BUT NOT THE CENTRAL COLUMN.
    HENCE, THESE TWO LETTERS ARE CONSIDERED MALE. Therefore,
    whoever conceives them and is careful of them is beloved above and
    below.
  287. Rabbi Shimon said that all the letters, THE 27 LETTERS OF THE
    ALPHABET, are males and females included within each other as
    one. THE LETTERS OF THE RIGHT AND LEFT ARE MALES; THOSE
    OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN ARE FEMALES–in the secret of the
    supernal and female waters. THE MALE LETTERS POUR SUPERNAL
    WATERS AND THE FEMALE LETTERS RAISE FEMALE WATERS. All
    is joined and becomes one. This is the complete union. Therefore,
    whoever knows of these UNIONS and is careful IN MEDITATION
    upon them will have a happy lot in this world and the world to come.
    For the main part of the properly perfected union contains groups of
    threes, AS THE LETTERS ARE DIVIDED INTO GROUPS OF THREE:
    TWO MALES ABOVE AND ONE FEMALE BELOW, on this side and
    that side in one unity–WHICH MEANS THAT RIGHT AND LEFT WILL
    BE PROPERLY UNITED BY THE MIDDLE ONE, the perfection of all.
    Everything is in the secret of the high order, which is in the likeness
    of above, IN BINAH, which is arranged by groups of threes in the
    secret of one.1
  288. After explaining the nine orders in the first arrangement towards
    the east, Tiferet, he now explains that the second order is of the
    southern wind, CHESED. There are three orders in that direction, and
    each is further divided into three orders. Thus, there are nine orders,
    as was explained IN RELATION TO THE SOUTHERN WIND. They all
    emerge from the order of the patriarchs, the three Columns above IN
    BINAH, CALLED ‘AVRAHAM’, ‘YITZCHAK’, AND ‘YA’AKOV’,
    according to the arrangement of the letters Yud-Hei-Vav of the Holy
    Name, as has been explained. These nine orders follow certain
    letters, THAT IS, THE THREE GROUPS OF THE THREE LETTERS
    THAT ARE RIGHT, LEFT, AND MIDDLE. They travel after them, and
    armies and myriads of angels below IN BRIYAH, YETZIRAH, AND
    ASIYAH travel and follow that order OF THE SOUTHERN DIRECTION.
  289. The third order is of the northern wind, GVURAH. There are
    three orders of that direction, each of which contains three orders.
    These nine orders are of the three sides–RIGHT, LEFT, AND
    MIDDLE, as has been explained.
  290. The 27 ORDERS are the secret of the 27 letters. Although there
    are only 22 letters, the entire alphabet, TOGETHER WITH THE FINAL
    LETTERS MEM, NUN, TZADIK, PEI, CAF, comprises 27 LETTERS. So
    does this order. There are 27 orders DIVIDED into three orders for
    each wind: THREE TO THE EAST WIND, THREE TO THE SOUTH
    WIND, AND THREE TO THE NORTH WIND. BECAUSE EACH OF THE
    THREE IN EACH DIRECTION INCLUDES THE OTHERS, the three of
    each direction become nine. Altogether, there are 27 LETTERS.
  291. The secret is that these 27 are the secret of the nine female
    letters that are united with the other 18 orders in the secret of the
    males. All is as it is ought to be.
  292. Come and behold: resembling the letters in the supernal world,
    IN BINAH, there are other letters below, IN THE NUKVA. The supernal
    letters IN BINAH are big, and the lower letters IN THE NUKVA are
    small. Each resembles the other, and whatever is true for the
    LETTERS IN BINAH is true for the LETTERS IN THE NUKVA. The
    secrets within the mystery of male and female within the letters also
    apply to them, and all is perfected, WHICH MEANS THAT
    WHATEVER APPLIES TO THE SUPERNAL WORLD ALSO APPLIES
    TO THE LOWER WORLD.
  293. To remember and to visit
    Here the friends discuss the nature of luck in terms of remembrance in the upper world and the resulting effects in the world below. Good luck
    attends those without sin. Bad luck originates in remembrance on the other side, followed by a visit from its messengers, who are known as The
    Accusers. Their visit results in punishment and misfortune.
    The Relevance of this Passage1
    As with many of the Zohar’s discourses, inner meanings are often obscured by the literal text. Good and bad luck are not authentic concepts. They
    are simply codes for the principle of cause and effect. We create our own luck through our behavior and interactions with other people. Actions that
    are selfish, abusive, or inconsiderate propagates misfortune in our lives which we mistakenly interpret as bad luck. The wisdom of this truth is
    awakened in our souls so that we may see the future consequences of our present actions.
  294. “And Elohim remembered Rachel.” This is because CHILD
    BEARING depends on Mazal, THE SECRET OF THE RIVER THAT
    FLOWS OUT OF EDEN AND WATERS THE GARDEN, THE SECRET
    OF ZEIR ANPIN. Therefore the term “remembering” is used. IT IS
    DERIVED FROM THE WORD “REMEMBER,” WHICH IS THE SECRET
    OF ZEIR ANPIN, WHILE VISITATION IS DERIVED FROM THE NUKVA.
    HE ASKS: Does the verse, “And Hashem visited Sarah” (Beresheet
    21:1), not come from Mazal, AS THE TERM “REMEMBER” IS NOT
    MENTIONED? It may be said that childbearing does depend on Mazal
    and not on a lower place, THE NUKVA. So here, there was no Mazal
    (‘luck’) for Sarah. HE ANSWERS: There is Vav-Yud-Hei-Vav-Hei, AS
    IT IS WRITTEN: “AND THE HASHEM (IN THE TEXT: VAV-YUD-HEI-
    VAV-HEI) VISITED…,” which comprises all in one. FOR VAV-YUD-HEI-
    VAV-HEI ALLUDES TO HIM AND HIS COURT OF LAW, ZEIR ANPIN
    TOGETHER WITH THE NUKVA. THUS, REMEMBRANCE FROM ZEIR
    ANPIN, THE SECRET OF MAZAL, IS ALSO MENTIONED IN
    CONNECTION WITH SARAH.
  295. HE ASKS: If it be true THAT VAV-YUD-HEI-VAV-HEI (‘AND
    HASHEM’) INCLUDES BOTH ZEIR ANPIN AND NUKVA, THE SECRET
    OF REMEMBERING AND VISITING, why then is the term “visiting”
    used? VAV-YUD-HEI-VAV-HEI ALSO INCLUDES “VISITING”. HE
    ANSWERS: Because remembrance had already occurred, and the
    key FOR CHILDREN was delivered downward, as it is written: “But
    My covenant will I establish with Yitzchak, whom Sarah shall bear to
    you at this time…” (Beresheet 17:21). Afterward, it is similarly
    written: “AND HASHEM SAID…I WILL RETURN TO YOU, AT THIS
    SEASON, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON” (BERESHEET 18:13-
    14). Because remembrance has already been mentioned in the secret
    of above, OF ZEIR ANPIN–AS WRITTEN: “MY COVENANT,” WHICH
    IS YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN–it was said in the secret of visiting, the
    Nukva, so that all will be united into one, and both REMEMBRANCE
    AND VISITATION will be together for her.
  296. “And Elohim remembered Rachel.” Rabbi Chiya opened the
    discussion with the verse: “And I have also heard the groaning of
    the children of Yisrael, kept in bondage by Egypt; and I have
    remembered My covenant” (Shemot 6:5). “I have remembered” refers
    to remembrance (Heb. zachor), for it is above IN ZEIR ANPIN,
    because Mazal, which abides above in the male (Heb. zachar), comes
    upon visitation, the Nukva below, while she is in exile, TO REDEEM
    HER. It is similarly written: “And Elohim remembered Rachel,” which
    has the same meaning as, “and I have remembered My covenant.”
  297. Come and see: It is written: “I have surely visited you” (Shemot
    3:16). HE ASKS: COULD THE SCRIPTURE USE THE WORD “visited,”
    while visitation was in the Nukva, who was in exile at the time? How
    could she say, “I have surely visited,” WHEN SHE WAS IN EXILE?
    HE ANSWERS: Here we should look at the mystery of wisdom, AND
    ASK: 1) Since she was in exile, how was she revealed to Moshe, and
    2) how could she say, “I have surely visited?”1
  298. HE ANSWERS: We have learned that when the sun shines, it is
    in heaven, and its power and strength rule everywhere on earth.
    Similarly, it was said OF HASHEM that “the whole earth is full of His
    glory,” while the Temple was in existence. This verse refers to the
    Holy Land, NAMELY, THE NUKVA. THE SHECHINAH IS THEN WONT
    TO BE REVEALED. Now when Yisrael are in exile, THE SHECHINAH
    is above YET her power IS DRAWN TOWARD THE EARTH LIKE THE
    SUN, WHICH HIDES IN THE SKY, YET ITS POWER AND STRENGTH
    FILL THE EARTH. SHE encircles Yisrael to protect them, although
    they are IN EXILE in a different land.
  299. HE FURTHER EXPLAINED: Come and behold. There is the
    Shechinah below and above THE CHEST OF ZEIR ANPIN. The
    Shechinah above abides in the twelve borders of the holy Chariots
    and the twelve supernal living creatures. The Shechinah below
    abides in the twelve holy tribes. The Shechinah includes of above
    and below and they all shine simultaneously. AND THEN, “THE
    WHOLE EARTH IS FULL OF HIS GLORY” (YESHAYAH 6:3), AND THE
    SHECHINAH IS REVEALED BELOW IN THIS WORLD. When the
    children of Yisrael were in exile, the Shechinah was not perfected
    below or above. This is because the Shechinah is in exile with them.
  300. HE ASKS: How is the Shechinah amended DURING HER EXILE
    SO AS TO BE REVEALED BELOW? HE SAID: This is like a king
    whose son died. What did he do? He even turned down his bed for
    the mourning, and did not make it, but threw thorns and thistles
    under it and lay on them. So did the Holy One, blessed be He,
    behave when Yisrael went into exile, and the Temple was destroyed.
    He put thorns and thistles underneath Him. This is the meaning of
    the verse: “And the angel of Hashem appeared to him in a flame of
    fire out of the midst of a bush” (Shemot 3:2). HE DID THIS because
    Yisrael were in exile. THIS EXPLAINS HOW THE SHECHINAH WAS
    REVEALED TO MOSHE IN EXILE. SHE APPEARS TO MOSHE IN A
    THORNBUSH, WHICH IS UNPERFECT AND FULL OF JUDGMENT,
    FOR SHE CAN APPEAR IN THIS MANNER EVEN IN EXILE.
  301. “I have surely visited you.” HE RETURNED TO THE OTHER
    QUESTION: whom can a person who is not in his own domain, BUT
    IS IN EXILE, visit? What can he do? HOW COULD THE SHECHINAH
    SAY, “I HAVE SURELY VISITED YOU (LIT. ‘VISIT I HAVE VISITED
    YOU’),” WHEN SHE WAS IN EXILE? HE ANSWERS: “visit” means
    from above, ZEIR ANPIN, THE SECRET OF REMEMBRANCE, and
    “visited” is below IN THE NUKVA. He did not mention the word
    “remember,” because remembrance has been over Her earlier, as it
    is written: “and I have remembered My covenant.” Once it was
    written: “and I have remembered,” remembrance had been inserted
    into Her. Therefore she later said, “Visit I have visited you,” THE
    WORD “VISIT” ALLUDING TO THE REMEMBRANCE ALREADY
    GIVEN HER, because She held to that sign–IN THE WORDS “VISIT, I
    HAVE VISITED YOU,” beforehand. The same applies to Sarah, as it is
    written: “And Hashem visited Sarah.” As for Rachel, who was not
    remembered before, the term “visiting” is not used. Rather,
    “remembrance” is used. Everything that pertains to “remembrance”
    is in the secret meaning of Mazal.1
  302. Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Chizkiyah were going from
    Cappadocia to Lod. Rabbi Yehuda was riding, and Rabbi Chizkiyah
    was on foot. As they traveled, Rabbi Yehuda dismounted FROM THE
    ASS and said: From now on let us be occupied with the Torah, as it
    is written: “ascribe greatness to our Elohim” (Devarim 32:3).
  303. He said to him: It would be better if there were three of us,
    because one would speak and the other two would respond. He
    replied: This is true only for benedictions, when one mentions the
    name of the Holy One, blessed be He, and two respond, as it is
    written: “because I will call on the name of Hashem: ascribe
    greatness to our Elohim.” “…because I will call on the name of
    Hashem…” is the one WHO UTTERS THE NAME; “ascribe greatness
    to our Elohim,” refers to the two WHO RESPOND. But in regard to
    the Torah, even two who sit AND STUDY THE TORAH ascribe
    greatness, might, and the splendor of the Torah to the Holy One,
    blessed be He.
  304. Rabbi Chizkiyah asked: In regard to the benedictions, why do
    we need three? He replied: This has already been explained,
    concerning the verse, “ascribe greatness to our Elohim,” WHICH
    MEANS THAT TWO NEED TO RESPOND. The secret of the
    benedictions is that one blesses and two answer in order to raise the
    praise of the Holy One, blessed be He, by the secret of three–THE
    SECRET OF THE THREE COLUMNS: the one who blesses IS THE
    CENTRAL COLUMN, WHICH REVEALS THE LIGHT; the two who
    affirm AND SUSTAIN THE BLESSINGS ARE THE LEFT AND RIGHT
    COLUMNS, WHICH EMBRACE THE CENTRAL COLUMN AND SHINE
    WITH ITS POWER. Thus, the benedictions are sustained to be fitting
    in the supernal secret and according to the secret of three, as
    explained.
  305. While they were walking, Rabbi Yehuda said: We learned that
    there is a remembering for good and a remembering for evil; there is
    a visiting for good and a visiting for evil. HE EXPLAINS: The
    remembering for good is as it is written: “But I will for their sakes
    remember the covenant of their ancestors” (Vayikra 26:45); “And
    Elohim remembered Noach” (Beresheet 8:1); “And Elohim
    remembered His covenant” (Shemot 2:24). There is a remembering
    for evil, as it is written: “For He remembered that they were but flesh;
    a wind that passes away, and comes not again” (Tehilim 78:39).
    There is a visiting for good, as it is written: “I have surely visited
    you” (Shemot 3:16), and there is a visiting for evil, as it is written:
    “then I will punish (lit. ‘visit’) their transgression with the rod, and
    their iniquity with strokes” (Tehilim 89:33). All these are deep
    mysteries.1
  306. All the remembering and visiting for good represent specific
    grades of the mystery of the faith. Remembering and visiting
    symbolize the male and female of one mystery; REMEMBERING IS
    THE SECRET OF THE MALE AND VISITING OF THE FEMALE. Both
    are for good. The remembering and visiting for evil are the mystery
    of the Other Side, which is in the secret of strange Elohim, both male
    and female, as one. The remembering is FROM THE MALE, and
    visiting FROM THE FEMALE. They are always intent upon evil. Their
    sides correspond to each other. THE MALE AND FEMALE OF THE
    OTHER SIDE STAND IN OPPOSITION TO THE MALE AND FEMALE
    OF HOLINESS. From THE REMEMBERING AND VISITING OF
    HOLINESS come all the mysteries of the faith and all the holy upper
    GRADES, as has been explained. From THE REMEMBERING AND
    VISITING OF THE OTHER SIDE come out all sorts of evil, all kinds of
    deaths and aspects of wickedness in the world. It was explained that
    THE OTHER SIDE is in opposition TO HOLINESS.
  307. Rabbi Chizkiyah said: This is surely so. Happy is he whose lot is
    with the good side. He turns not to the Other Side, but escapes it.
    Rabbi Yehuda answered: Assuredly this is so; happy is he who can
    be saved from that side, and happy are the Righteous who escape it
    and wage war against that side. Rabbi Chizkiyah said to him: How
    DO THEY WAGE WAR? His answer began with the quotation, “For
    by wise counsel you shall make war…” (Mishlei 24:6) What war is
    that? The war that a man must fight against the evil side in order to
    escape it.
  308. Come and behold: this is what Ya’akov did to SUBDUE, deceive,
    and outwit Esav when it was needed in order to rule over him in the
    beginning and the end, so that all will be as it ought to be. The
    beginning and the end were as one, each resembling the other, as it
    is written: IN THE BEGINNING “my birthright” (bechorati, Bet Caf
    Resh Tav Yud), and in the end “my blessing” birchati (Bet Resh Caf
    Tav Yud) (Beresheet 27:36). THEY ARE WRITTEN USING THE SAME
    LETTERS, BECAUSE the beginning and the end were one and the
    same. The purpose of all this was to dominate him by the right
    means as befits him. Thus, happy is he who escapes THE OTHER
    SIDE and can govern it.
  309. Come and behold: remembrance and visiting are for good, that
    is, when they are as one in the mystery of the faith, THE NUKVA–
    NAMELY, WHEN ZEIR ANPIN, THE SECRET OF REMEMBERING,
    AND THE NUKVA, THE SECRET OF VISITING, ARE UNITED. Happy is
    he who strives to be worthy of the faith, as it is written: “They shall
    walk after Hashem, Who shall roar like a lion…” (Hoshea 11:10)
    Rabbi Chizkiyah said: This is surely so.1
  310. Come and behold: when a man says his prayer, he should
    refrain from asking, “remember me and visit me,” for himself,
    because there is remembering and visiting for good, and
    remembering and visiting for evil. The accusers might receive the
    words, “REMEMBER ME” AND “VISIT ME,” from his mouth, and then
    recall his sins and punish him. THIS MEANS THEY WILL BRING
    UPON HIM REMEMBERING AND VISITING FOR EVIL, unless he is
    absolutely righteous; in that case, the remembering and visiting for
    evil, THE MALE AND THE FEMALE OF THE KLIPAH, will look for his
    sins, but will not find any. ONLY THEN MAY HE SAY, “REMEMBER
    ME,” “VISIT ME,” as did Ezra, who said, “Remember me, O my
    Elohim, for good” (Nechemyah 13:31).
  311. Whenever a man prays, it behooves him to include himself
    within the multitude, among the crowd. Come and behold: Elisha
    said to the Shunamitess, “Would you be spoken for to the king, or to
    the captain of the host?” (II Melachim 4:13). “Would you be spoken
    for to the king” means that it was the holiday of Rosh Hashanah,
    when the kingdom of heaven sits in judgment on the world. The Holy
    One, blessed be He, is then called “the King of Judgment.”
    Therefore, he asked her, “Would you be spoken for to the king?”
    THIS IS A REFERENCE TO THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, AS A
    KING.
  312. It is written: “And she answered, I dwell among my own
    people” (Ibid.). HE ASKS: WHAT did she say? WHAT DID SHE MEAN
    BY THAT? HE ANSWERS: SHE SAID, I do not wish to be
    distinguished above as extraordinary, but rather to be one of many.
    Thus, it behooves a man to be included within the crowd and not be
    singled out, so that THE ACCUSERS shall not look at him and
    remember his sins.
  313. Death and the shadow of death
    The rabbis discuss death and how it may be escaped. God does not kill humankind. Men die when they walk in the shadow of the Angel of Death.
    When God’s wisdom prevails on Earth, death will vanish forever.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Death is an illusion of this physical world. It helps correct the soul when the accumulation of negativity in the body becomes too great a task to
    correct in the present lifetime. Negativity is aroused when behavior is rooted in Evil Inclination. When mankind has fully abolished this aspect of his
    nature, immortality will become the new reality. This can be hastened by a concentrated, meditative connection to the Hebrew texts that distill this
    wisdom.
  314. Rabbi Yehuda began the discussion with the verse: “have the
    gates of death been opened to you? Or have you seen the gates of
    the shadow of death?” (Iyov 38:17). The Holy One, blessed be He,
    said this to Iyov, who was aggravated by the judgments of the Holy
    One, blessed be He. Come and behold: Iyov said, “Though He slay
    me, yet will I trust in Him (Heb. lo)” (Iyov 13:15). It is written “lo
    (Lamed Aleph),” (lit.’not’), but read as with lo (Lamed Vav) (‘in him’)”.
    Thus, it includes everything, AND ALSO SAYS THAT THOUGH HE
    SLAYS HIM, HE WILL NOT TRUST IN HIM.1
  315. The Holy One, blessed be He, asked him: ‘Do I kill people?’ “…
    have the gates of death been opened to you? Or have you seen the
    gates of the shadow of death?” How many gates are open on that
    side THROUGH WHICH YOU CAN ESCAPE DEATH? BUT
    EVERYWHERE death controls them, because the gates are not
    opened to men who do not know of them. IN THE FUTURE,
    HOWEVER, WHEN THE VERSE IS FULFILLED, “FOR THE EARTH
    SHALL BE FULL OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF HASHEM” (YESHAYAH
    11:9), THEN, “HE WILL DESTROY DEATH FOR EVER” (YESHAYAH
    25:8). THUS, THEY DIE BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO BE
    GUARDED, AND NOT BECAUSE THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE,
    KILLS THEM.
  316. “Or have you seen the gates of the shadwo of death.” HE ASKS:
    What are the gates of death, and what are the gates of the shadow of
    death? HE ANSWERS: They are as one, joined together LIKE MALE
    AND FEMALE ARE JOINED TO BE ONE. We learned that “death”
    means the Angel of Death. It has already been explained TO BE THE
    SECRET OF THE SERPENT, WHICH IS FEMALE. The shadow of
    death is he who rides upon death, NAMELY, SAMAEL WHO RIDES
    UPON THE SERPENT. It is its shadow and gives it the power to be
    united into one bond. And so they are one.
  317. All the grades issued by them are connected TO THE MALE
    AND THE FEMALE OF THE KLIPOT; THEY are their gates. It is the
    same above, IN HOLINESS, as it is written: “Lift up your heads, O
    gates” (Tehilim 24:7). They are called ‘rivers and springs’, THAT IS,
    THE FOUNDATIONS OF the six ends of the world, THE MALE AND
    THE FEMALE OF HOLINESS. Here also, there are gates of death and
    gates of the shadow of death of the Other Side. They are grades that
    rule over the world. The gates of death and the gates of the shadow
    of death are male and female, clinging together.
  318. Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, addressed these words
    to Iyov: “As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away: so he who
    goes down to the grave shall come up no more” (Iyov 7:8). together
    with, “have the gates of death been opened to you?” Thus he may
    know that they are all under My authority, and in the future they will
    be removed from the world, as it is written: “He will destroy death
    forever.”
  319. And Elohim remembered Rachel
    The Zohar discusses the ability of Rachel to give birth to Binyamen, which came about through the spiritual level of Mazal. This spiritual realm is
    where all child-bearing originates.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Though it may be a person’s destiny to be unable to bear children as a result of a prior incarnation, spiritual transformation of character gives one
    the power to rise above destiny-the stars and planets in the heavens-and experience in the miracle of childbirth.
    We can reach this spiritual level, which lies above the plane of the planets, through the Light that shines in Rachel’s soul. Our connection to the
    matriarch’s soul is made through this passage and we can share her energy with people who are struggling to bear children.1
  320. Come and behold: “And Elohim remembered Rachel, and
    Elohim hearkened to her, and opened her womb” (Beresheet 30:22).
    HE ASKS: Why is Elohim mentioned twice? WOULD IT NOT BE
    ENOUGH TO SAY, ‘AND HE HEARKENED TO HER AND OPENED
    HER WOMB?’ HE ANSWERS: This is because one is from the world
    of the male, NAMELY, BINAH, WHICH IS CALLED ‘ELOHIM’; and one
    is from the world of the female, NAMELY, THE NUKVA OF ZEIR
    ANPIN, ALSO CALLED ‘ELOHIM’. For it depends upon Mazal, WHICH
    IS OF THE MALE WORLD, AS IT HAS ALREADY BEEN EXPLAINED
    THAT CHILDBEARING DEPENDS ON MAZAL.
  321. When Rachel was inspired by the name OF BINYAMIN, as it is
    written: “Hashem shall add (Heb. yosef) to me another
    son” (Beresheet 30:23), Ya’akov knew that it would be so because
    she is worthy of increasing the number of the tribes TO TWELVE. He
    also knew THAT AFTER THAT, she would no longer live in the world.
    That is why he wanted to go TO THE LAND OF YISRAEL: SO THAT
    THE TRIBES WOULD BE COMPLETED IN THE LAND OF YISRAEL
    AND RACHEL SHOULD NOT DIE OUTSIDE OF YISRAEL. He could
    not go BECAUSE LAVAN DETAINED HIM. So when Binyamin was
    due, NAMELY, AFTER SHE CONCEIVED HIM, he ran away so that the
    House would not be perfected BY THE TWELVE TRIBES, and the
    Holy World, THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN, would not be attached to it
    in a foreign country.
  322. This is the meaning of the verse: “And Hashem said to Ya’akov,
    ‘Return to the land of your fathers, and to your kindred; and I will be
    with you'” (Beresheet 31:3). HE ASKS: What is THE MEANING OF,
    “and I will be with you?” HE ANSWERS: THE Holy One, blessed be
    He, said to him–Until now Rachel, the foundation of the house, was
    with you. From now on, I shall be with you and take the House,
    NAMELY, THE SHECHINAH, with you by the twelve tribes. This is
    what is meant by the verse: “And as for me, when I came from
    Paddan, Rachel died by me” (Beresheet 48:7). It was because of me
    that Rachel was removed, and another tenant, NAMELY, THE
    SHECHINAH, came in and dwelt with me in the House.
  323. “Appoint me your wages”
    The rabbis comment on Ya’akov’s payment by his father-in-law, Lavan. Because Ya’akov was whole-hearted and sincere in his relations with Lavan,
    God rescued him and took him into the Holy Land, even though Lavan dealt with him unfairly. Through his honesty, Ya’akov was testing his luck-a
    necessary precaution before he could take the next step out of exile. This verse teaches us to deal honestly even with those who exploit us. Time
    will bring our reward.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Our rewards in life are often delayed by time, to test the authenticity of our virtuous behavior. The delay may create the illusion that honest behavior
    goes unrewarded, and that the wicked prosper from their negative deeds. This severely limited view of life only generates affliction and judgment at
    a later point in our lives. Here the ability to perceive the cause and effect principle that governs the cosmos is aroused in our consciousness.
  324. “Appoint me your wages, and I will give it” (Beresheet 30:28).
    HE ASKS: What is the meaning of “Appoint?” Rabbi Yitzchak said:
    The wicked one said–I see that Ya’akov has eyes only for females,
    therefore he shall serve me. He then said: “Appoint (Heb. nokvah)
    me your wages,” a female (Heb. nekevah) shall be your wages, as
    before. “…and I will give it…” means ‘tell me what woman you have
    cast your eyes on, and you shall serve me for her.’1
  325. “And Ya’akov said, ‘You shall not give me anything'” (Beresheet
    30:31). Ya’akov said, heaven forbid! whatever I did, I did for the glory
    of the holy King AND NOT FOR MY PASSIONS. Therefore, “You shall
    not give me anything,” because it was NEVER my intention but, “if
    you will do this thing for me…”
  326. “And he removed that day the he goats” (Beresheet 30:35).
    Rabbi Elazar began the discussion with the verse: “Hashem, who
    shall abide in Your tent” (Tehilim 15:1) This was explained by the
    friends. “He that walks in perfection” is Avraham, for when he was
    circumcised, he became perfect; “works Righteousness” refers to
    Yitzchak; and he who “speaks truth” is Ya’akov. Assuredly, Ya’akov
    cleaved to the attribute of Truth. HE ASKS: If he cleaved to the
    attribute of Truth, why did he behave as he did with Lavan, NAMELY,
    WHEN PEELING THE RODS?
  327. HE ANSWERS: Ya’akov was testing his luck BY WHAT HE DID.
    It is permissible for a man to see if fortune is with him before he
    returns to his country. If his luck stands by him, all is well; if it does
    not, he shall not set foot to go until the time is favorable.
  328. Come and see: It is written: “So shall my righteousness answer
    for me in time to come…” (Beresheet 30:33) for he did not attempt to
    obtain something from Lavan for nothing, but did everything
    truthfully and wholeheartedly. Moreover, he received permission
    from Lavan to do this. Thus, it is written THAT HE ANSWERS HIM: “I
    have learned by signs that Hashem has blessed me for your
    sake” (Ibid. 27). Lavan used magic and sorcery and tested his luck to
    find out WHETHER HE SUCCEEDED because of Ya’akov. He found
    that every month he added a hundred sheep, a hundred lambs, and a
    hundred male goats to his flocks because of Ya’akov, AND
    THEREFORE GAVE HIM PERMISSION.
  329. Rabbi Aba said: Ya’akov used to bring an additional thousand
    cattle, thousand lambs, and thousand male goats every month. This
    is what is meant by the verse: “For the little which you had before I
    came is now increased to a multitude; and Hashem has blessed you
    since my coming” (Beresheet 30:30). Blessing from above does not
    dwell on less than a thousand of each kind. So there were a
    thousand sheep, a thousand lambs, and a thousand male goats,
    since blessing from above does not dwell on a lesser number. Thus,
    Ya’akov brought Lavan great wealth.
  330. When Ya’akov asked for his wages, he found only ten of each
    kind, yet he thought it generous. He saw THE DIFFERENCE between
    the small amount he received from Lavan and what Lavan received
    as a result of his efforts. And what Ya’akov received was given
    reluctantly, as a result of the rods he placed against the cattle.1
  331. Come and behold: how much did the perfect Ya’akov toil for
    Lavan? It is written: “And he set three days’ journey between himself
    and Ya’akov” (Beresheet 30:36), and he brought him much wealth.
    Yet because Lavan did not want to pay Ya’akov’s wages, he gave
    Ya’akov ten of this kind and ten of that kind, and said to him: Take
    these, and if they issue as you said, SPECKLED AND SPOTTED, they
    will be your wages. THIS MEANS HE MAY TAKE TEN OF EACH. This
    is the meaning of the verse, “and changed my wages ten times (Heb.
    monim),” (Beresheet 31:7) that is, ten of (Heb. min) this and ten of
    (Heb. min) that. It is written: “And your father has deceived me, and
    changed my wages ten times.” By these ten, he strove after the Holy
    One, blessed be He, and blessed Him. With all his conditions, Lavan
    went back on his words and took everything from Ya’akov, until the
    Holy One, blessed be He, took pity on him and took from Lavan by
    force.
  332. The rods
    In this passage the rabbis discuss the allegorical meaning of the rods, or peeled branches of poplar, that Jacob used to separate his flocks from
    those of Laban at the drinking troughs. These rods represent the power of judgment, or the ability to make distinctions. Rabbi Elazar says, “All these
    verses instruct us wisely,” even the most trivial.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    In our material existence, the differences between good and evil, and truth and falsehood, are often blurred. This makes our spiritual efforts very
    challenging, and thus very rewarding also. The power of discernment is instilled in our consciousness, so that our choices in life keep us secure in
    our spiritual path.
  333. Rabbi Elazar said: All these verses instruct us wisdom. We have
    learned that in supernal matters, some depend on actions, SUCH AS
    TEFILIN AND THE TZIZIT (FRINGES;) some depend on speech, LIKE
    THE RECITAL OF THE SH’MA AND PRAYER; and some on devotion,
    SUCH AS LOVE AND FEAR. Whoever wishes to receive blessings
    should do so through prayer, speech, and devotion. Yet some are
    not DRAWN through prayer, but depend on actions.
  334. Come and behold: all that honest Ya’akov did was wise. It is
    written: “And he set the rods which he had peeled before the flocks
    in the gutters in the watering troughs” (Beresheet 30:38). All this he
    did in wisdom, to draw blessings from the source of all to the
    supernal grades, which are his lot.
  335. HE ASKS: What are “the rods?” AND HE ANSWERS: They are
    the grades of Judgment, “which he had peeled,” NAMELY, from
    which he removed Judgment; “in the gutters” (Heb. rehatim) is
    similar to the verse, “a king is caught in its tresses (Heb.
    rehatim)” (Shir Hashirim 7:6), because from that king, THE
    SUPERNAL KING, blessings come to all the worlds.1
  336. Another explanation for the verse, “a king is caught in its
    tresses,” is that this King, NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN, is bound and tied to
    the supernal gutters through which everything is watered by the
    high King. “…in the watering troughs…” refers to the rivers that run
    until they come to the place where they gather. “…when the flocks
    came to drink…” is similar to the verse, “they give drink to every wild
    beast: the wild asses quench their thirst” (Tehilim 104:11), which
    refers to the place where the water gathers, THE NUKVA, and
    everyone, THE INHABITANTS OF BRIYAH, YETZIRAH AND ASIYAH,
    comes to drink of it.
  337. And they were heated.” HE ASKS: What is the meaning of this
    verse? HE ANSWERS: When the north wind blows UPON THE
    NUKVA, NAMELY THE ILLUMINATION OF THE LEFT, CHOCHMAH
    WITHOUT CHASSADIM, water, which is plenty, congeals and does
    not flow. When the south wind, THE ILLUMINATION OF THE RIGHT,
    CHASSADIM, RISES, the water is heated, the ice breaks, and it flows
    TO THE THREE WORLDS: BRIYAH, YETZIRAH AND ASIYAH. Then
    everyone drinks, because the heat from the south breaks THE
    FROZEN WATER. Everyone is heated and drinks with joy, because
    the coldness of the north HAS PASSED. This is the meaning of the
    verse, “And they were heated.” HE ASKS: Why is it written IN THE
    FEMININE, WHEN ‘CATTLE’ IS MASCULINE? HE ANSWERS:
    Because they are all females.
  338. “And he took a fresh poplar rod”
    This verse continues the discussion of the secret meaning of the rods Ya’akov used to separate his animals from those of Lavan. Rabbi Elazar
    comments that God selected Ya’akov as his Chosen, and that Ya’akov also chose God. Typically, the Zohar here conflates cause and effect as one:
    that is, God choosing Ya’akov and Ya’akov choosing God are one and the same, indicating interrelated nature of creation. In Rabbi Elazar’s
    interpretation, “Man is the measure of all things.” God not only chooses his flock, but each of us has the power to choose God as well.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The power of the spiritual truths throughout this section awakens a realization of the power of choice God has bestowed upon us. We begin to
    recognize the daily opportunities to choose the Light of God over the evil of Darkness.
  339. Ya’akov meant to perform the following act wisely, NAMELY, TO
    DIRECT HIS ACTIONS ACCORDING TO SUPERNAL GRADES, as it is
    written: “And Ya’akov took him rods of fresh poplar” (Beresheet
    30:37). Rabbi Elazar opened the discussion with the verse: “For Yah
    has chosen Ya’akov to Himself, Yisrael for His peculiar
    possession” (Tehilim 135:4). Come and behold: we do not know from
    the verse, “For Yah has chosen Ya’akov to Himself,” who chose
    whom. Did the Holy One, blessed be He, choose Ya’akov, or did
    Ya’akov choose the Holy One, blessed be He. IN HEBREW, IT CAN
    BE INTERPRETED BOTH WAYS. HE ANSWERS: From what the
    scripture tells us, I know that the Holy One, blessed be He, took
    Ya’akov for Himself as His portion. As it is written: “For Hashem’s
    portion is His people; Ya’akov is the lot of His inheritance” (Devarim
    32:9).
  340. Come and behold: Ya’akov also chose his inheritance and lot as
    his portion; he rose above all the grades and took as his portion,
    “rods of fresh poplar (Heb. livneh),” namely, the white (Heb. lavan)
    grade of the right side, and “almond and plane tree,” the red grade of
    the left side.1
  341. “…and peeled white streaks in them…” He removed the
    Judgment FROM THE ALMOND AND THE PLANE TREE THAT ARE
    OF THE LEFT, and connected them to the right. He himself, THE
    CENTRAL COLUMN, came between them and brought them together
    so that they became one with two colors. With all that, he “made the
    white appear” IN SUCH A MANNER that the white dominated the red.
    Why should he do that? To pour blessings on his portion, THE
    CENTRAL COLUMN, from the universal source, and to perfect this
    grade by the three COLUMNS, so the three COLUMNS shall become
    as one.
  342. We already explained the verse, “in the gutters in the watering
    troughs.” By this wise act, BY THE PERFECTION OF THE THREE
    COLUMNS, blessings flow downward; all the worlds are watered,
    and blessings dwell on them, as was explained when discussing the
    verses, “in the morning he shall devour the prey” (Beresheet 49:27),
    and, then “at night he shall divide the spoil” (Ibid.). Then all the
    worlds below will be blessed, THE THREE WORLDS OF BRIYAH,
    YETZIRAH, AND ASIYAH. And Ya’akov took his portion from the
    blessings which dwell on him below, because it is the lot of the Holy
    One, blessed be He.
    Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
  343. “And Ya’akov took him rods of fresh poplar…” The intention of
    this act was for the bonds of Faith–TO DRAW THREE KNOTS, THE
    THREE COLUMNS, ON THE NUKVA, CALLED ‘FAITH’. The sound of
    sounds was brought from above downward, and our eyes opened.
    HE EXPLAINED: The wheel turned a few times and the melodious
    sound was heard. Those who slumber and sleep, who have sleep in
    their eye sockets, awake! They do not know, or look, or see, for they
    shut their ears, heavy hearted, asleep without knowledge. The Torah
    is before them, yet they pay not attention, nor know what they look
    at. They see, yet do not see. The Torah raises sounds. Behold, fools,
    open your eyes, and know. But there is no one to notice, no one to
    lend an ear. How long will you be in darkness because of your evil
    desires? Look to know, and the shining light shall be revealed to you.
  344. As a result of his problems in a foreign country and rule with
    strange grades, INSTEAD OF IN THE HOLY LAND, honest Ya’akov
    rejected them all and chose as his inheritance–NAMELY, WITHIN
    THE CENTRAL COLUMN–a light out of darkness, THE RIGHT
    COLUMN, and wisdom out of stupidity, THE LEFT COLUMN. He
    honored his Master while still under foreign rule IN PADDAN ARAM,
    HE BEING THE CENTRAL COLUMN. Then it was said of him:
    “Ya’akov shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now grow
    pale” (Yeshayah 29:22).
    End of Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
    Tosefta (Addendum)1
  345. The pure knot rose in the innermost place. Before it found an
    inhabited place, that place did not exist; it was lost to all, and ruin
    was everywhere. Ruin alludes to the male, Samael, who was created
    from the impurities of the might of Yitzchak. Death is its female, the
    primordial serpent called a ‘wife of harlotry’, about whom it is
    written: “Her feet go down to death” (Mishlei 5:5). These two, Ruin
    and Death, heard the strong commandment of the King.
  346. There is a deeply held mystery, undisclosed and not revealed,
    that is, hidden more than any thought. From it came the letter Yud,
    the supernal point from which everything else develops. THE YUD
    drew and issued the letter Hei, the supernal mother, who waters all.
    From this Hei comes the letter Vav, the secret of the six SFIROT,
    which unites all the sides. It is ” the rods of fresh poplar and almond
    and plane tree.”
  347. It contains two arms. THE ARMS come out and are included
    within the last Hei, to bind the tabernacle into one. Then the thirteen
    attributes of Mercy become one, AS THE NUMERICAL VALUE OF
    ECHAD (‘ONE’) IS THIRTEEN. White was engraved on the colors and
    predominates, as it is written: “white appear.” Then it reads,
    “Hashem shall be one and His name One” (Zecharyah 14:9) and
    “Hashem is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down
    in green pastures: He leads me in the paths of
    Righteousness” (Tehilim 23:1).
    End of Tosefta (Addendum)
    Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
  348. “And Ya’akov took him,” means that he chose his lot and
    portion. “The rod of fresh (also: ‘moist’) poplar,” is the Right
    COLUMN, the white color. It is moist, FROM THE ASPECT of water,
    CHASSADIM. The almond is the Left COLUMN, red as a rose, and the
    plane tree combines them together, BEING THE RIGHT COLUMN,
    WHICH CAUSES THE RIGHT AND THE LEFT TO BE INCLUDED
    WITHIN EACH OTHER. Right embraces and overpowers them
    through its WHITE color, as it is written: “white appears.” THIS
    INDICATES THAT THOUGH ZEIR ANPIN, THE CENTRAL COLUMN, is
    connected to the two Columns, RIGHT AND LEFT, its lot is with the
    Right Column. It engraved THE ILLUMINATION OF THE RIGHT on
    both COLUMNS. He was then called a ‘perfect man’, complete in
    every respect.1
  349. It is written in the scriptures: “And it came to pass, whenever
    the stronger cattle did conceive, that Ya’akov laid the rods…” This
    mystery of mysteries was transmitted to those who were wise of
    heart. Within the legions of High Angels, there are grades and higher
    grades. Some are internal and some external. The internal are
    attached to the Holy King, ZEIR ANPIN, and are attached to Yisrael,
    the holy children of the Holy One, blessed be He. They are called
    “the stronger (also: ‘attached’) cattle,” NAMELY, the troops OF
    ANGELS attached above TO THE RIGHT SIDE and TO THE CENTRAL
    COLUMN below.
  350. When the passion of the angels is for the supernal splendor of
    above, the middle pillar, the perfected Ya’akov, takes the rods, THE
    PORTIONS OF the head Tefilin, AND PUTS THEM in the gutters, the
    place and receptacle of the Tefilin. From this place, all the supernal
    armies and battalions, which are attached above TO THE RIGHT
    COLUMN and below TO THE CENTRAL COLUMN, NAMELY, THE
    STRONGER CATTLE, receive light and resplendence. IN THE SAME
    MANNER, once they receive illumination from the gutters and the
    troughs of water, they become springs and sources which flow down
    ON BRIYAH, YETZIRAH, AND ASIYAH generously.
  351. For this reason, Ya’akov distinguished between the supernal
    holy grades and the other grades of the rest of the nations, as it is
    written: “and he put his own flocks by themselves and put them not
    to Lavan’s cattle.” He separated cattle for himself so that his portion
    would not be like that of the other nations. In the same manner,
    Ya’akov separated the grades of faith above. HE SEPARATED THE
    STRONGER CATTLE, BORN OF THE NUKVA CALLED ‘FAITH’, FROM
    THE EXTERNAL TROOPS DRAWN FROM THE LEFT. He also had to
    separate the grades of the holy armies below–THE HEALTHY
    LAMBS BORN TO THE CATTLE WERE SEPARATED FROM THE
    FEEBLE ONES BORN TO THE EXTERNAL ARMIES–to attach them to
    the palaces of the Queen, THE NUKVA.
  352. All bear the mark of the High King, ZEIR ANPIN, THE CENTRAL
    COLUMN, because as the children of Yisrael are marked AND
    DISTINGUISHED among the nations, so are the grades of the
    supernal troops of HOLY angels distinguished as the portion of the
    Holy One, blessed be He, from the other armies and legions of
    angels, WHICH ARE NOT OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN. Therefore,
    Ya’akov chose for his lot and portion the secret of the Faith, THE
    NUKVA. And the Holy One, blessed be He, chose Ya’akov from
    among the other armies and legions of the world.1
  353. The supernal legions are divided among themselves, because
    when the brightness of the fire within the illumination of the
    Shechinah is revealed, all the other grades, DRAWN FROM THE
    LEFT, are ashamed and enfeebled; THAT IS, THEY ARE WEAK IN
    THEIR PASSION for the splendor they can not approach. But the
    holy grades are all perfected BY THE CENTRAL COLUMN, YA’AKOV.
    When the splendor is revealed, they joyously ascend to approach it
    and cling to it. And the splendor is thus improved because of them.
    This is the secret of, “so the feebler were Lavan’s,” BECAUSE THEY
    ARE DRAWN FROM THE LEFT AND THEY ARE ENFEEBLED WHEN
    THE SPLENDOR IS REVEALED. “…and the stronger Ya’akov’s…”
    ARE THOSE WHO ARE PURIFIED AND CAN BE ATTACHED TO IT.
  354. Ya’akov had to choose and divide the STRONGER holy grades
    as his portion, from the FEEBLE grades of other nations. Ya’akov
    had to do all this. Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, wrote in
    the Torah about the faithfulness AND RIGHTEOUSNESS of Ya’akov
    in these secret words. Happy is his portion.
    End of Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
  355. “Blessings are upon the head of the righteous”
    Rabbi Shimon explains the verse “Blessings are upon the head of the righteous.” When blessings flow into this world, they emanate from those
    people who read Torah and keep God’s commandments.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The truly righteous souls in our world uphold and sustain its existence. Their souls are worth far more than the souls of millions of wicked human
    beings. The deeds of the few outweigh the abundance of negative deeds performed by the multitudes. We gain the power of the righteous to help to
    counter any negative deeds that we have committed.
  356. Rabbi Yesa Junior frequently visited Rabbi Shimon. He said to
    him: It is written, “Blessings are upon the head of the
    righteous” (Mishlei 10:6), when it should have been written: ‘upon
    the righteous’. Why, then, is it written: “head of the righteous?” He
    replied: The “head of the Righteous” is the holy crown, THE CROWN
    OF YESOD. This has already been explained. Moreover, Ya’akov is
    the head of the righteous. He is TIFERET, AND THE BODY, AND IS
    CALLED THE “HEAD OF THE RIGHTEOUS” because he receives
    blessings and showers them on the righteous, NAMELY, ON YESOD,
    CALLED ‘RIGHTEOUS’, from where they flow in every direction,
    THAT IS, RIGHT AND LEFT OF MALCHUT. Thus, all the worlds are
    blessed.
  357. We also explained that the verse, “Blessings are upon the head
    of the righteous,” refers to the place, which is the covenant, called
    ‘righteous’, from which rivers flow. As the mouth of the pitcher, from
    which the wine is poured, is at the top, so is the head of the
    righteous. The place from which springs gush into the Nukva is
    called the ‘head of the Righteous’. The righteous is the head because
    all the blessings dwell therein AND FLOW FROM THERE.1
  358. We should further explain that a man who succeeded in keeping
    the sign of the Covenant and observing the precepts of the Torah is
    called ‘righteous’, and is considered righteous from head to feet. OF
    HIM THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, “BLESSINGS ARE UPON THE HEAD OF
    THE RIGHTEOUS.” For when blessings flow into the world, they
    dwell on his head, and it is because of him that blessings abide in
    the world–through the holy, righteous children that are his issue.
  359. Rabbi Yesa further said: It is written, “I have been young, and
    now am old…” (Tehilim 37:24). This verse was said to have been
    uttered by the Minister of the World. He said it with greater wisdom
    than most people think. HE THEREFORE WISHED TO UNDERSTAND
    ITS MEANING. Rabbi Shimon said: My son, indeed THIS VERSE WAS
    WRITTEN WITH GREAT WISDOM, because the words, “I have been
    young, and now am old,” refer to the holy union.
  360. “I have not seen a just man forsaken”
    This verse refers to the fact that a righteous person, even in exile, cannot be abandoned by the eternal Light of the Creator, regardless of the
    changes that are taking place in the supernal world.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Sometimes, the presence of negativity in our environment is so intense, it can attach itself to even the most spiritual of people, even though it’s
    unwarranted. However, through the Light of this passage,we can connect ourselves to a higher spiritual level where the negative vibrations of the
    physical environment are unable to exert any form of influence.
  361. The verse, “yet I have not seen a just (lit. ‘righteous’) man
    forsaken” (Tehilim 37:24), praises the union OF ZEIR ANPIN AND
    THE NUKVA. THIS TEACHES US THAT there is no day, ZEIR ANPIN,
    without night, THE NUKVA. For night always clings to day, ZEIR
    ANPIN TO THE NUKVA. The Righteous, YESOD, is attached above
    TO ZEIR ANPIN, DAY, and below TO THE NUKVA, NIGHT. THIS IS
    THE SECRET OF JOINING TOGETHER IN UNENDING UNITY.
  362. What is the meaning of the verse: “and his seed begging
    bread” (Tehilim 37:24)? HE SAID: As long as his seed flows, he
    claims and asks not for the Nukva, because she is with him in a
    never ending union. She is then ready for him, because the seed is
    not ejaculated until the female is ready. Their passion is as one, in
    unending devotion. Therefore, he does not have to ask for her.
  363. He said to him: This is not so in exile. ZEIR ANPIN AND NUKVA
    ARE IN AN UNENDING UNION ONLY WHEN THE CHILDREN OF
    YISRAEL ARE IN THEIR LAND AND THE TEMPLE STANDS, NOT
    DURING THE TIME OF EXILE. HE ANSWERS: It is written, “his seed
    BEGGING BREAD,” rather than, ‘he BEGGING BREAD’. When is THE
    SEED ejaculated? When the female is united with the male. It may be
    said that the scripture also reads, “yet I have not seen a just man
    forsaken,” WHICH REFERS TO THE MALE HIMSELF. YOU MAY
    FURTHER ASK how it is in exile, WHEN A JUST MAN IS FORSAKEN
    AND NOT UNITED WITH THE NUKVA?1
  364. HE ANSWERS THAT even during THE TIME OF EXILE, he is
    attached above TO ZEIR ANPIN, who never forsakes him.
    THEREFORE, THE SCRIPTURE READS, “YET I HAVE NOT SEEN A
    JUST MAN FORSAKEN,” EVEN IN EXILE. At another time, AS LONG
    AS THE TEMPLE STANDS, the righteous are never forsaken by the
    Nukva. He is then attached above TO ZEIR ANPIN and below TO THE
    NUKVA. We therefore find that at the time of exile, he is attached
    above TO ZEIR ANPIN, and at another time, he is attached to both
    sides, above and below, ZEIR ANPIN AND NUKVA. In either case, he
    is never left alone.
  365. “And He set them in the firmament of heaven”
    This paradoxical passage locates “the firmament of heaven” in the “final” or most earthy part of the human body, the genitals. The end is the
    beginning; the lowest is most high.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Our physical world is the lowest of all dimensions. Yet, because the desires implanted within physical human beings are the most intense, the
    physical world has the power to reveal the greatest amount of spiritual Light. When we transform our most extreme desires from negative to
    positive, we create Light for all the worlds. Our most powerful instinctive desires are our sexual impulses. When these desires are tamed and
    directed towards spiritual endeavors-sharing love with your spouse, bringing down positive energy from above, bringing forth new life-the Light
    aroused is of untold luminance. Thus, the wisdom and strength to utilize our sexual desires for positive purposes is instilled within us.
  366. It is written: “And Elohim set them in the firmament of
    heaven” (Beresheet 1:17). This is the Righteous, NAMELY, YESOD,
    even though it says, “in the firmament of heaven,” AND THE
    HEAVEN IS ZEIR ANPIN, NOT YESOD. But it is assuredly called “the
    firmament of heaven,” being the final part of the body.
  367. “Two firmaments: beginning and end”
    This verse expands on the ideas introduced in article number 35. It asserts that the highest, starry firmament of the heavens is identical to the
    lowest, or ‘the river’. Both are endless and eternal.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The lowest world is furthest from the Light of the Endless. Thus, it feels the greatest emptiness. This painful void also creates the greatest longing
    for Light. When this longing and desire is used in a spiritual manner, Light is drawn in equal measure to desire. Thus, the full radiance of Light in the
    uppermost realm can shine forth in the darkest realm–when desire to receive the Light exists for the purpose of sharing it with others. Then both
    worlds, the Upper and Lower shine with equal intensity. When we transform negative desires into actions of sharing, we in turn draw the greatest
    amount of Light into our own lives. The ability to control and transform our most intense longings is awarded to us through the Light of wisdom
    emanating from these Hebrew words.
  368. Come and behold: there are two firmaments, the beginning and
    the end, created in the same pattern. The beginning is the eighth
    firmament, where all the stars, great and small, are set. This is the
    upper, undisclosed firmament, which creates and sustains
    everything. It is the eighth one, counting from below, the beginning
    from which everything emerges.
  369. The eighth firmament from above follows the same pattern. In it,
    all the beginnings, all the lights and candles are set. It receives all,
    because it represents the end. The UPPER eighth firmament is the
    starting point of everything, that on which all the lights depend. It
    receives everything FROM ABOVE, and everything emerges from it.
    Similarly, the LOWER eighth firmament receives the lights from its
    superiors and it releases the lights into all the worlds.1
  370. The beginning and the end, THE TWO FIRMAMENTS, are alike,
    and therefore THE LOWER FIRMAMENT is the river from which water
    comes out and never stops flowing. The purpose is to pattern the
    end after the beginning. Therefore, “Elohim set them in the
    firmament of heaven” (Beresheet 1:17), THE LOWER FIRMAMENT.
    They are there to shine on the earth, WHICH IS THE NUKVA AND
    BRIYAH, YETZIRAH AND ASIYAH.
  371. Although THE UPPER AND LOWER FIRMAMENTS clearly
    resemble each other, THERE MUST BE a difference between them. IT
    BEHOOVES US TO ASK what it is. HE ANSWERS: THE UPPER
    FIRMAMENT nourishes and sustains the supernal aspects, and THE
    LOWER FIRMAMENT nourishes and sustains the lower world, THE
    NUKVA and all the lower aspects OF BRIYAH, YETZIRAH, AND
    ASIYAH.
  372. It may be asked, What is the upper world? For the eighth upper,
    undisclosed firmament is itself the upper world, and is so called, for
    there are only two worlds, as we have already learned. HOW CAN IT
    BE SAID, THEN, THAT IT NOURISHES THE UPPER WORLD, WHICH
    MEANS THAT IT IS BUT ONE ASPECT OF THE UPPER WORLD? HE
    ANSWERS: THE UPPER FIRMAMENT itself is the upper world, and
    all the grades issued from it are named after it, NAMELY, THE
    UPPER WORLD. The one and the other, THE UPPER AND LOWER
    FIRMAMENTS, are all one. Blessed be He, forever and ever.
  373. “The trees of Hashem have their fill”
    In this passage the Zohar explains the dual nature of Binah. Although it is female because it is reflective Mind, Binah is also male–that is, active–
    because it gives understanding. Unlike the dark and sorrowing Malkut, which is located on a lower level of existence, Binah is all Light, and
    therefore full of gladness.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Kabbalistically, the realm of Binah is a cosmic repository of spiritual Light. Touching this realm awakens the full Light of the Creator in our lives,
    producing great gladness in our hearts and souls. Connection to Binah is established when we make visual connection to the words that tell of
    these supernal wonders. Thus, the Light of Gladness and Happiness fills our souls, especially if we meditate to share the Light with others as we
    peruse these verses.
  374. Come and behold, it is written: “The trees of Hashem have their
    fill; the cedars of Levanon which He has planted” (Tehilim 104:16).
    What does “Levanon” mean? As has already been explained, IT IS
    THE SECRET OF BINAH RETURNED TO CHOCHMAH. THE WORD
    LEVANON CONTAINS THE LETTERS LEV (‘HEART’), WHICH HAS A
    NUMERICAL VALUE OF 32, AND NUN, WHICH HAS A NUMERICAL
    VALUE OF FIFTY. THUS, THE WORD LEVANON MEANS THERE ARE
    32 PATHS OF WISDOM AND FIFTY GATES OF BINAH. They also
    discussed the verse: “where the birds make their nests” (Ibid. 17).
    Where does this happen? HE ANSWERS: In Levanon, THE
    SUPERNAL BINAH OF ARICH ANPIN RETURNED TO CHOCHMAH.
    These are the two birds mentioned in several places, THAT IS, THE
    TWO NUKVAS, LEAH AND RACHEL. From them several other birds
    come out, IN BRIYAH, YETZIRAH, ASIYAH. But these two birds are
    supernal IN ATZILUT. They come from Levanon above. This is the
    secret meaning of the verse: “And Lavan had two
    daughters” (Beresheet 29:16). THESE ARE THE TWO BIRDS LEAH
    AND RACHEL. LAVAN IS THE SECRET OF LEVANON, WHICH IS THE
    SECRET OF THE MALE, WHILE LEVANON IS THE MALE JOINED
    WITH THE FEMALE.1
  375. “…as for the stork, the cypress trees are her house…” (Tehilim
    104:17). This refers to the six supernal sons, THE SIX ENDS OF THE
    WORLD, CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD, AND
    YESOD. It has been explained THAT THEY EMERGE FROM THE
    SUPERNAL WORLD, BINAH, AND ARE CONSIDERED TO BE ITS
    HOUSE. Why is BINAH called a ‘stork’? HE ANSWERS: Because this
    supernal world, although it is female, NAMELY BINAH, is referred to
    as male, because when goodness and lights issue, it is from her that
    it appears and expands. AND, WHATEVER GIVES IS REFERRED TO
    AS MALE.
  376. Because BINAH is a ‘stork’ (Heb. chasidah), the light of Chesed
    emanates from Her–the primordial light, about which the scripture
    reads, “And Elohim said, Let there be light” (Beresheet 1:3).
    Therefore, it is written: “the cypress trees are her house.”
    “Broshim” (‘cypress trees’) should be read “Berashim” (‘in the
    heads’), BECAUSE BINAH IS THE FIRST THREE SFIROT, AND HER
    HOUSE IS HER SIX ENDS, CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETRZACH,
    HOD, AND YESOD. AND THESE ARE IN HER HEAD, THAT IS, IN THE
    ASPECT OF HEAD AND THE FIRST THREE SFIROT. But the LOWER
    world, THE NUKVA, lives in the lower beings, AND NOT IN THE
    HEADS. She is called the ‘Law Court of the World’. Sometimes THE
    LOWER WORLD, THE NUKVA, is named as the upper world, BINAH,
    by all its names. THIS IS WHEN THE NUKVA RISES AND CLOTHES
    BINAH.
  377. Of this place, THE NUKVA, the scripture says, “And Hashem
    repented…and it grieved Him at His heart” (Beresheet 6:6). This is
    because judgments and sadness are from this place. But above, IN
    BINAH, all is light and full of life. From this we derive that there is no
    sadness before Hashem; ‘before’ is precise, INDICATING THE INNER
    PART, BINAH. ONLY THERE, NO SADNESS ABIDES. IN THE OUTER
    PLACE, THE NUKVA, THERE IS SADNESS. It is therefore written:
    “Serve Hashem with gladness: come before His presence with
    singing” (Tehilim 100:2). The first part corresponds to the supernal
    world; the second part to the lower world. Happy are the children of
    Yisrael in this world and in the world to come. Thus, the scripture
    says, “Happy are you, O Yisrael: Who is like to you? O people saved
    by Hashem, the shield of your help, and the sword of your
    excellence…” (Devarim 33:29)
  378. The rods
    Rabbi Elazar further speculates on the secret meaning of Ya’akov’s rods. He reflects on the verse; “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; and if
    you scorn, you alone shall bear it.” A man benefits from the wisdom of the Torah; if he fails to understand it, it is he who languishes in ignorance;
    the Torah itself is not diminished at all. Rabbi Aba adds that when Ya’akov in his wisdom separated his flocks from those of Lavan, he created the
    singular nation of Israel, which was set off from the heathen peoples.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The most critical part of spiritual work is learning how to identify and thus separate good from evil; to distinguish the whims of the ego from the
    longings of the soul. This passage raises our consciousness so that we can begin to differentiate darkness from Light when the temptations of the
    physical world and the seductive drives of our ego attempt to blur the lines.1
  379. “And he set the rods…” Rabbi Elazar opened the discussion
    with the verse: “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself: and if you
    scorn, you alone shall bear it” (Mishlei 9:12). Come and behold: woe
    to the wicked of the world, who do not know or look at the words of
    the Torah. And if they do, as they have no intelligence, the words of
    the Torah seem empty and useless to them. This is because they
    themselves are empty of knowledge and intelligence. But all the
    words of the Torah are high and precious, each of its words is dearer
    than pearls, “and all the things that may be desired are not to be
    compared to it” (Mishlei 8:11).
  380. When all those stout-hearted fools see the words of the Torah,
    they fail to understand and say things of no value. Woe to them, at
    the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, will exact from them the
    shame of the Torah, and they will be punished for rebelling against
    their Master.
  381. It is written in the Torah: “For it is not an empty thing for
    you” (Devarim 32:47), for the whole Torah is full of precious stones
    and pearls and all the goodness in the world. This is as it is written:
    “and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.”
    How can they say the Torah is empty?
  382. King Solomon said: “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself.”
    When a man is wise in understanding the Torah, he benefits from
    that wisdom. HIS WISDOM DOES NOT BENEFIT THE TORAH,
    because he can not add even one letter. It is further written: “and if
    you scorn, you alone shall bear it,” because the value of the Torah
    shall not be diminished one wit, and his jesting is his alone. He
    dwells in it, and it causes him to perish from this world and the world
    to come.
  383. Come and behold: when the supernal letters, THE GRADES OF
    BINAH, are attached to this grade, the ending of all the holy,
    supernal grades, THE NUKVA, it is filled from them and blessed by
    the supernal world, BINAH. This grade then waters all the flocks,
    each according to its worth. Each one of them is watered by
    Judgment and Mercy.1
  384. Come and behold, it is written: “And he set the rods.” Ya’akov
    wanted to compose the evening prayer, WHICH THE LEFT SIDE, THE
    NUKVA, WHICH IS DARK, and to shine on the moon, THE NUKVA OF
    THE NIGHT, to water her and bless her on all sides, RIGHT AND
    LEFT. As it is written: “And he set the rods,” the judgments OF
    MALCHUT, and the Gvurot from the supernal Gvurah, THE LEFT
    COLUMN OF BINAH.
  385. When Ya’akov wanted to amend this grade, THE NUKVA, he
    removed all Judgments and Gvurot from the rods OF WHOSE
    JUDGMENTS IT IS SAID, “AND MADE THE WHITE APPEAR.” He set
    THE RODS in the gutters, the four gutters WHICH ARE THE FOUR
    VESSELS OF CHOCHMAH, BINAH, TIFERET, AND MALCHUT,
    abiding underneath, “the well that the princes dug out” (Bemidbar
    21:18). THE NUKVA, CALLED ‘WELL’, IS AMENDED BY CHESED,
    GVURAH, AND TIFERET OF BINAH, CALLED ‘PRINCES’,
    COMPRISING THE FOUR VESSELS OF CHOCHMAH, BINAH,
    TIFERET, AND MALCHUT CALLED ‘GUTTERS’. When it is filled by
    the higher rivers and sources, THE SFIROT OF BINAH, the water
    flows from that holy well, and the four VESSELS take it all. They are
    therefore called ‘gutters’, where THE ANGELS AND SOULS come to
    drink.
  386. These judgments and Gvurot, WHICH HE REMOVED FROM THE
    RODS, stand IN THE GUTTERS, so that each will receive its proper
    share. In the verse, “when the flocks came to drink…and the flocks
    conceived before the rods,” THE TWO USES OF THE WORD ‘FLOCK’
    correspond the ones to the others–THE GRADES WORTHY OF
    RECEIVING CHASSADIM AND THE GRADES WORTHY OF
    RECEIVING JUDGMENTS AND GVUROT. He asks: What is the
    meaning of “heat” in the verse, “that they should conceive (lit.
    ‘heat’)”? HE ANSWERS: When THE ANGELS, THE FLOCKS, are
    crowned by CHASSADIM AND RECEIVE Judgment, they are heated
    by that Judgment, BECAUSE RECEIVING JUDGMENT IS CALLED
    ‘HEATING’. They then roam the world inspecting the ways of men for
    either good or evil, IN ORDER TO REWARD OR PUNISH THEM,
    BECAUSE THEY INCLUDE CHASSADIM AND JUDGMENTS.
  387. Come and behold, it is next written: “And the flocks conceived
    before (lit. ‘were heated against’) the rods.” This is because these
    rods, JUDGMENTS AND GVUROT, were heated, and they are now in
    charge of the Judgments in the world. People are judged by them, as
    it is written: “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the
    sentence by the word of the holy ones…” (Daniel 4:14).
  388. Rabbi Chiya began the discussion with the verse: “My soul
    clings to You: Your right hand upholds me” (Tehilim 63:9). We have
    to study this verse carefully. It reads, “My soul clings to You.” David
    himself always cleaved to the Holy One, blessed be He. He cared not
    for other, WORLDLY matters, but cleaved to the Holy One, blessed
    be He, with his heart and soul. Because his only wish was to cleave
    to Him, the Holy One, blessed be He, supported him and never left
    him, AS IT IS WRITTEN: “YOUR RIGHT HAND UPHOLDS ME.” From
    this we understand that when a man cleaves to the Holy One,
    blessed be He, He upholds him and never leaves him.1
  389. Another explaination for: “My soul clings to You.” This David
    does so that his grade may be crowned above. For when his grade is
    attached to the supernal grades and rises to them, the right,
    CHASSADIM, embraces him, raises him, and joins him WITH THE
    RIGHT into a worthy union. This is echoed in the verses, “and Your
    right hand shall hold me,” (Tehilim 139:10) and, “His right hand
    embraces me” (Shir Hashirim 8:3). Therefore, the scripture reads,
    “Your right hand upholds me.”
  390. When he cleaves to the Holy One, blessed be He, it is written:
    “His left hand is under my head, and His right hand embraces me.”
    This is his union with THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE. When he
    joins HIM in a union, his grade is filled and blessed.
  391. When all the gutters are filled on all four sides of the world, all
    the flocks are given water, each according to its grade, FROM THE
    FOUR ASPECTS OF CHOCHMAH, BINAH, TIFERET, AND MALCHUT.
    When Ya’akov came to purify this grade, THE NUKVA, he chose the
    right side, which was worthy of him. The Other Side, which was not
    worthy, was separated from him, as it is written: “and he put his own
    flocks apart and put them not to Lavan’s cattle.” He was “apart,” on
    his own, and did not worship strange Elohim from the other sides.
    Happy is the portion of Yisrael, of whom it is written: “For you are a
    holy people to Hashem your Elohim, and Hashem has chosen
    you…” (Devarim 14:2).
  392. Come and behold: Ya’akov, the chosen of the fathers, includes
    all of them, BECAUSE THE CENTRAL COLUMN, YA’AKOV,
    INCLUDES THE RIGHT AND LEFT COLUMNS, AVRAHAM AND
    YITZCHAK. He includes them all and thus strives to shine upon the
    moon, THE NUKVA, since it is for Ya’akov to compose the evening
    service, THE NUKVA.
  393. He made all the preparations correctly and installed all the holy
    aspects with his aspect OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN. He thus
    separated his share from that of the other nations OF THE LEFT.
    Those were the holy, supernal grades of high holiness; the others
    were the grades defiled with the fifth of impurity.
  394. We have already explained that the verse, “and he put his own
    flocks apart,” means that he established for the faith, THE NUKVA,
    alone, according to the verse: “For you are a holy people to the
    Hashem your Elohim and Hashem has chosen you” (Devarim 14:2).
    “…and put them not to Lavan’s cattle…” because he did not share his
    lot and portion with them.1
  395. Therefore Ya’akov, the chosen among the fathers, established
    the mystery of faith and separated his lot and portion from that of
    other nations. Of this the scripture reads, “But you that did cleave to
    Hashem your Elohim are alive every one of you this day” (Devarim
    4:4).
  396. Rabbi Aba said: Happy is the portion of Yisrael who are superior
    to the heathen nations, because their grade is high AND THEY
    RECEIVE THE ILLUMINATION OF THE LEFT FROM BELOW. The
    grades of the heathen nations are below, BECAUSE THEY DRAW
    THE ILLUMINATION OF THE LEFT FROM ABOVE. The first, those of
    the right, are on the side of Holiness. The second, those on the left,
    on the side of Defilement.
  397. After the destruction of the Temple, it is written: “He has drawn
    back His right hand from before the enemy” (Eichah 2:3). It is also
    written: “save with Your right hand, and answer me” (Tehilim 60:7),
    because as the left becomes stronger, the impure are strengthened.
    This will continue until the Holy One, blessed be He, rebuilds the
    Temple and establishes and amends the world properly. Then
    everything shall be set aright again, and the side of Defilement will
    pass from the world. We have learned this from the verses, “and…I
    will cause the…unclean spirit to pass out of the land” (Zecharyah
    13:2, and, “He will destroy death for ever” (Yeshayah 25:8).
  398. The Holy One, blessed be He, alone shall remain, as it is written:
    “And the idols shall utterly be abolished,” (Yeshayah 2:18) and,
    “Hashem alone shall be exalted on that day,” (Yeshayah 2:17)
    because “there was no strange El with him” (Devarim 32:12). For the
    force of defilement will be annihilated from the world, and there will
    be no one left above and below except the Holy One, blessed be He.
    And the children of Yisrael, His Holy Nation which serves Him, shall
    be called ‘holy’, as it is written: “And it shall come to pass, that he
    that is left in Tzion, and he that remains in Jerusalem, shall be called
    holy, every one in Jerusalem that is written to life” (Yeshayah 4:3).
    Then there will be one King above and below, and one people to
    serve Him, as it is written: “And who is like Your people Yisrael, a
    singular nation on earth” (I Divrei Hayamim 17:21).
  399. “Hashem lives; and blessed is my rock”
    Rabbi Yitzchak and Rabbi Yesa assert that the Holy Spirit attaches itself to travelers such as themselves, especially when they discuss Torah. On
    the road, Rabbi Yitzchak speculates on the verse “The Creator lives; and blessed is my rock.” For the Righteous, the Lord is a living presence. When
    united with the Malchut of Zeir Anpin, the Eternal Female or Rock, blessings of abundance flow.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    When two sages are said to be traveling, it refers to the spiritual travels of their souls in the Upper Worlds. Our constant physical trek in this
    material existence, directly influences and guides the journey of our souls in the Upper World. Thus, our travels through the darkened corridors of
    life can be divinely illuminated when we connect to the Light of the Torah. This is accomplished through the study of the spiritual wisdom of the
    Torah-The Kabbalah-and by the application of its wisdom to our lives. For instance, when we are busy helping others, the Light of the Creator will in
    turn help and attend to us. The consciousness to think of others before ourselves is stirred within us through these passages.1
  400. Rabbi Yitzchak and Rabbi Yesa were walking along the road.
    Rabbi Yesa said: The Shechinah is with us, BECAUSE SHE
    ATTACHES HERSELF TO TRAVELERS ON THE ROAD TO PROTECT
    THEM. Let us study the words of the Torah, for whoever studies the
    Torah and shines in her draws the Shechinah nearer, AS HE DRAWS
    ZEIR ANPIN, THE SECRET OF THE TORAH. THEN ZEIR ANPIN AND
    HIS FEMALE, THE SHECHNAH, WILL BE JOINTLY CONNECTED TO
    THEM.
  401. Rabbi Yitzchak opened the discussion with the verse: “Hashem
    lives; and blessed is my rock; and let the Elohim of my salvation be
    exalted” (Tehilim 18:47). This verse contains a mystery. It is written:
    “Hashem lives”. Do I not know that the Holy One, blessed be He,
    lives? HE ANSWERS: Even the righteous, YESOD, is referred to as
    “living (Heb. chay),” BECAUSE THE RIGHTEOUS DRAWS THE
    ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, CALLED THE ‘LIGHT OF CHAYAH’,
    AND IS THEREFORE CALLED “CHAY.” “Living” refers to the
    righteous above and below-his ZEIR ANPIN, ABOVE, AND HIS
    YESOD, BELOW, ARE BOTH REFERRED TO AS “LIVING”. The Holy
    One, blessed be He, above, ZEIR ANPIN, is called “living,” AS IT IS
    WRITTEN: “HASHEM LIVES.” And the righteous below is called
    “living,” NAMELY, YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, as it is written: “And
    Bnayahu the son of Yehoyada, the son of a living man” (II Shmuel.
    23:20), WHICH ALLUDES TO YESOD. Why is THE HOLY ONE,
    BLESSED BE HE, called “living?” Because He is Righteous,
    BECAUSE HE INCLUDES THE ASPECT OF THE RIGHTEOUS,
    YESOD, AS WELL, and the righteous is called “the life of the
    worlds.” The phrase, “and blessed is my rock,” has a similar
    meaning. These are all one because the living and the blessed are
    never separated. THE LIVING MEANS THE ILLUMINATION OF
    CHOCHMAH, AND THE BLESSED REFERS TO THE ILLUMINATION
    OF CHASSADIM. THEY HAVE TO BE CLOTHED BY EACH OTHER
    BECAUSE CHOCHMAH WITHOUT CHASSADIM IS DARKNESS.
    “HASHEM LIVES; AND BLESSED IS MY ROCK,” ALLUDES TO
    CHOCHMAH AND CHASSADIM TOGETHER; “MY ROCK” IS THE
    NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN. When “HASHEM LIVES; AND BLESSED BE
    MY ROCK” are joined together, THE ROCK becomes a well of living
    water. The water flows from the inside OF THE WELL, NAMELY,
    FROM THE LIVING AND THE BLESSED, and fills THE ROCK, WHICH
    IS THE WELL.
  402. The verse, “and let the Elohim of my salvation be exalted,”
    refers to the supernal world, BINAH, which is exalted and uplifted.
    Everything is issued from it, and every spring that fills the well IS
    DERIVED FROM IT. THE NUKVA is blessed from there and shines
    upon all those beneath ATZILUT. When everyone is filled WITH
    PLENTY from her, then “the Elohim of my salvation be exalted,”
    BECAUSE IT IS EXALTED AND UPLIFTED BY THE WEALTH IT
    SHOWERS ON THE LOWER BEINGES.
  403. “He withdraws not his eyes from the righteous”
    As the rabbis travel, the discussion continues. Quoting scripture, Rabbi Yesa asserts that the wicked will perish and the righteous will prevail. They
    meet a man with a child on his shoulders, fleeing the wicked. The man says people can achieve merit by giving him alms. The rabbis give him alms
    and food to eat.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    Actions of charity have the power to remove decrees of death against us. Often, before a judgment is executed against us, the Light will send us an
    opportunity to share and truly go outside of ourselves so that we can sweeten the judgment. The Evil Inclination, however, blinds us to these
    opportunities and we remain in our selfish, uncaring ways. The wisdom and foresight to recognize opportunities to give charity is aroused in our
    consciousness. Moreover, the strength to take the initiative and perform charitable contributions is also stirred within our souls. We just have to
    listen to the whispers arising from words of this portion.1
  404. Rabbi Yesa opened the discussion with the verse: “He
    withdraws not His eyes from the Righteous: but with kings on He
    throne the establishes them for ever, and they are exalted” (Iyov
    36:7). Come and behold: when the wicked lose their power and
    perish from the world, the Righteous then rules the world. This is the
    meaning of the verse: “He preserves not the life of the wicked: but
    gives to the poor their right” (Ibid. 6), THAT IS, THE WICKED WILL
    PERISH FROM THE WORLD. It is then written: “He withdraws not His
    eyes from the Righteous,” which is similar to the verse, “The eyes of
    Hashem are towards the Righteous” (Tehilim 34:16).
  405. The verse, “but with kings on the throne,” refers to the ruling
    kings, settled upon the throne; “He establishes them for ever”
    means that they sit upon their throne firmly; and “they are exalted”
    in order to rule the world and so that the throne shall be established
    on its supports. Another explanation for the phrase, “and they are
    exalted,” is that they take the throne, THE NUKVA, place it up high,
    IN THE PLACE OF BINAH, and put it in its proper place.
  406. While they were walking, they saw a man with a child riding on
    his shoulders. Rabbi Yitzchak said: Surely this man is Jewish and
    has come to help people attain merit, THAT IS, HE IS COMING TO
    RECEIVE CHARITY AND ALLOW PEOPLE TO MERIT THE WORLD
    TO COME. Rabbi Yesa said: Let us be the first to merit by him.
  407. When he reached them, Rabbi Yesa asked: Where is YOUR bag
    of food? RABBI YESA SAW THAT THE MAN CARRIED NOTHING
    SAVE THE CHILD ON HIS SHOULDERS. He replied: I HAVE
    NOTHING, so that people can achieve merit BY GIVING ALMS TO
    ME. I had two sons, but the army came into town and took them
    captive. Now I am walking to afford people the opportunity to earn
    merit BY GIVING RANSOM MONEY. And they did, by giving him
    ALMS AND food TO EAT.
  408. “My offering, the provision of my sacrifices made by fire”
    The man the Rabbis meet on the road enlightens them to the hidden benefits of giving charity.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The wisdom and insight to recognize opportunities for sharing, combined with the motivation to give beyond our comfort zones is instilled within
    the reader. We must, however, be cognizant of the importance of concealed blessings. When one gives to receive honor and acclaim for his
    philanthropy, it is not considered true sharing. Thus, the prudence to give anonymously is also awakened in our souls.
  409. The Jew then opened the discussion with the verse: “My
    offering, the provision of my sacrifices made by fire” (Bemidbar
    28:2). The daily sacrifice of the Holy One, blessed be He, sustains
    the world and gives nourishment above and below. Because there is
    stirring below AS A RESULT OF THE DAILY OFFERING, THE
    POURING OF PLENTY is bestirred above, and all are adequately
    sustained.1
  410. “My offering, the provision of my sacrifices” corresponds with
    the verse, “I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk
    my wine with my milk” (Shir Hashirim 5:1); THEY BOTH ALLUDE TO
    SUSTENANCE. The words “made by fire,” like, “Eat, O friends” (Ibid.)
    ALLUDE TO NOURISHMENT. The Holy One, blessed be He, provides
    that nourishment from above to pour down sustenance to the lower
    world from that nourishment ABOVE. How much more blessed is a
    man who gives food TO THE POOR, to sustain his soul; the Holy
    One, blessed be He, blesses him and showers on him supernal
    nourishment, and the world is blessed for him.
  411. Rabbi Yitzchak said: HE EXPLAINED this mystery very well
    indeed. Rabbi Yesa replied: Surely this is why it has been said that a
    man should refrain from contempt toward any one, BECAUSE
    THOUGH AT FIRST THEY THOUGHT HIM BOORISH AND WERE
    CLOSE TO SHOWING HIM DISRESPECT, I twice attained merit
    through this man.
  412. The man discoursed on the following verse, as discussed by
    Rabbi Elazar: “My offering, the provisions of my sacrifices made by
    fire.” “…an offering…” is the secret of the Congregation of Yisrael,
    THE NUKVA. The particle ‘et’ BEFORE “MY OFFERING” REFERS TO
    THE NUKVA. “…my offering (Heb. korbani)…” is derived from
    proximity (Heb. kirvah) and attachment. IT ATTACHES AND
    CONNECTS THE NUKVA WITH ZEIR ANPIN. “…the provision…” is the
    nourishment flowing from above, bestirred from below BY THE
    DAILY OFFERING. “…made by fire…” comes to include the other
    angels that are nourished here, each according to his rank. “…for a
    sweet savour to me…” is the desire and union caused by the secret
    of the supernal world, BINAH.
  413. “…shall you observe to offer to Me in their due
    season…” (Bemidbar 28:2). HE ASKS: What is their season? HE
    ANSWERS: THE time when Avraham awoke to carry out the wishes
    OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, as it is written: “And Avraham
    rose early in the morning” (Beresheet 22:3); THE TIME OF THE
    MORNING OFFERING; the time when Yitzchak was bound to the
    altar; was at sunset, THE TIME FOR THE EVENTIDE DAILY
    OFFERING. Rabbi Yesa asked: Why, if there are two seasons, is it
    written “in their season” in the singular, instead of in the plural,
    SEEING AS THERE ARE TWO SEASONS? He replied: At the time OF
    THE OFFERING, fire was included within water, and water within fire,
    THE ATTRIBUTE OF AVRAHAM, WATER, WAS INCLUDED WITHIN
    THE ATTRIBUTE OF YITZCHAK, FIRE, AND VICE VERSA. It is
    therefore written: “in their season,” in the singular, FOR THEY
    BECAME ONE.
  414. Come and behold, of no offering is it written: “observe,” as it is
    here in the phrase, “shall you observe to offer to Me.” This is
    because “observe” is the secret of “keep,” THE NUKVA, which
    needs to be summoned up TO ZEIR ANPIN, as it is written: “shall
    you observe to offer to Me,” TO OFFER THE NUKVA “in their
    season,” by right and left OF ZEIR ANPIN. These were explained
    above to be Avraham and Yitzchak. All this is in accordance with the
    supernal mystery.1
  415. Rabbi Yesa said: Had I come only to hear these words, it was
    worth my while. Happy are the children of Yisrael in this world and in
    the world to come. Of this, the scripture says: “Your people also
    shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever; they shall
    be the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be
    glorified” (Yeshayah 60:21).
  416. The images
    In this verse, the rabbis comment wryly on the low nature of Lavan’s idols or “images.” Lavan communicated with the statues representing his gods,
    and thus was able to make black magic. Rachel took these images when she and Ya’akov fled, and hid them under her skirts in order to cure her
    father of idolatry and also to prevent him from successful pursuit.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The negative forces who dwell in our midst have the power to help us achieve many objectives in life, but there is a price to be paid at a later date.
    The rewards are short-lived and they leave a residue that creates chaos and turmoil somewhere in our lives. Idols do not refer only to statues
    depicting Gods. Anything that is ego-based–such as money, power, prestige and material possessions–is considered to be an Idol if it holds sway
    over our thoughts and behavior. Through the spiritual power of Rachel and Ya’akov, we are now rising above the temptations and trappings of
    physical existence in order to discover the true and eternal treasures of life.
  417. “And Lavan went to shear his sheep…” (Beresheet 31:19). Rabbi
    Yosi asked: What are the images? HE REPLIED: They pertain to
    idolatry. They were called Terafim in offensive language, after the
    place of the toref, A WOMAN’S PUDENDA. How do we know they
    pertained to idolatry? From the verses: “yet why have you stolen my
    Elohim” (Ibid. 30), and “Anyone with whom you find your
    Elohim” (Ibid. 32). Lavan was the greatest sorcerer in the world, and
    by means OF THE IMAGES he knew whatever he needed to know.
  418. Rabbi Chiya said that the images were created through magic;
    Rabbi Yosi said that it was by means of divination. Rabbi Yehuda
    said: They are made only at certain times. They were called Terafim,
    because one must know when to shape them and when to wait, as it
    is written: “stay (Heb. heref) now your hand” (II Shmuel 24:16).
    BECAUSE ONE HAS TO RELAX ONE’S HAND AT CERTAIN HOURS,
    THEY ARE CALLED TERAFIM.
  419. When the craftsman makes it, a man who knows the moments
    and hours, WHO KNOWS WHEN TO STRIKE AND WHEN TO STAY,
    stands by him, telling him when to act and when to rest. There is no
    other action that needs holding off AT A CERTAIN HOUR as that of
    THE IMAGES. The image constantly speaks and gives advice on how
    to harm a man’s soul.
  420. Rachel feared lest the images would give counsel on how to
    harm Ya’akov. She placed them under her to show disrespect to the
    idolatry, so that they would not be able to speak. For when one
    prepares them to talk he sweeps and cleans before them, to show
    them respect. But now it is written: “and she sat upon
    them” (Beresheet 31:34), BECAUSE SHE SHAMED THEM INTO NOT
    TALKING. THE IMAGES were male and female, and much prayer was
    needed to encourage them to speak. Because THE IMAGES WERE
    NOT IN HIS POSSESSION, Lavan was held for three days, as he did
    not know Ya’akov had fled. As it is written: “And it was told Lavan on
    the third day that Ya’akov was fled.”1
  421. Rabbi Yehuda said that he prepared himself in two ways: by
    gathering together all the magic he had and all the weapons he had
    in order to destroy YA’AKOV, as it is written: “An Arammian was
    going to destroy my father” (Devarim 26:5). When the Holy One,
    blessed be He, saw that he wanted to destroy Ya’akov, it is written:
    “Take heed that you speak not to Ya’akov either good or bad.” This
    is because, “It is in the power of my hand to hurt you” (Beresheet
    31:29). HE ASKS: What made him so sure of himself? HE ANSWERS:
    He trusted the magic means he had.
  422. Come and behold: Lavan covered in one day the same distance
    that Ya’akov needed seven days to walk. He did this to destroy
    YA’AKOV, first because Ya’akov fled, and second, because of the
    imeges, WHICH WERE STOLEN FROM HIM. And although Rachel did
    this to wean her father from idolatry, she was punished in spite of
    her good intentions by not bringing up Binyamin or spending even a
    single hour in this world with him, due to her father’s sorrow.
  423. Rabbi Yitzchak said: All the reproof Ya’akov administered to
    Lavan caused him to repent and acknowledge the Holy One, blessed
    be He, as it is written: “see, Elohim is witness between me and
    you” (Beresheet 31:50), THUS MENTIONING THE NAME OF ELOHIM.
    Yet come and behold. It is written: “The Elohim of Avraham, and the
    Elohim of Nahor judge between us,” because he returned to his evil
    ways, saying “the Elohim of Avraham,” WHO IS HOLY, and then
    mentioning “the Elohim of Nahor,” WHO IS IDOLATROUS.
  424. “And Ya’akov swore by the Fear of his father Ya’akov”. HE
    ASKS: Why did Yitzchak swear by the Fear of Yitzchak and not by
    the Elohim of Avraham?” HE ANSWERS: Because he did not want to
    lean heavily on the right, AVRAHAM, and draw it to Lavan. HE
    THEREFORE DID NOT SWEAR BY THE ELOHIM OF AVRAHAM, THE
    SECRET OF THE RIGHT. Moreover, a man should not swear by a
    lofty place at all times, even though he is telling the truth.
  425. Rabbi Yosi said: Assuredly, Ya’akov swore to further emphasize
    his oath, NAMELY, HE MEANT TO STRENGTHEN HIS OATH BY
    MENTIONING THE FEAR OF HIS FATHER YITZCHAK. This ought to
    be so. Ya’akov also studied it carefully, and said: Lavan already
    mentioned the Elohim of Avraham, but not my father YITZCHAK. I
    shall complete it. Immediately, “Ya’akov swore by the Fear of his
    father Yitzchak.” Another explanation is that he meant to be included
    within Judgment, to be firm against Lavan.
  426. “and angels of Elohim met him”
    This last passage of the section reiterates some of the first principles of Kabbalah: the existence in all things of an eternal male and female. This
    reflects the underlying duality of God’s creation–which paradoxically also contains the idea of an eternal reality where ‘all is one’.
    The Relevance of this Passage
    The terms “male” and “female” are code words denoting two basic traits of humanity, desire to share and the desire to receive, respectively.
    Balancing these two traits is critical if we are two achieve fulfillment and Light in our lives. The wisdom to manage our sharing and receiving
    attributes is stimulated within us so that we can reconcile and unify these opposite qualities for the purpose of reuniting with the Light of the
    Creator.1
  427. “And Ya’akov went on his way, and angels of Elohim met
    him…” (Beresheet 32:2). Rabbi Aba began with the verse: “male and
    female He created them” (Beresheet 5:2). How much it behooves us
    to look into the words of the Torah, THE SECRET OF ZEIR ANPIN,
    THE CENTRAL COLUMN. Woe to all the hard hearted and
    blindfolded, WHO CLEAVE TO THE LEFT COLUMN, BLOCKED FROM
    CHOCHMAH, WHICH IS ‘EYES’, AND FROM BINAH, CALLED
    ‘HEART’. For the Torah, WHICH IS OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN, calls
    to them: “Come, eat of my bread (WHICH IS DRAWN FROM THE
    RIGHT COLUMN OF THE TORAH), and drink of the wine which I have
    mingled (WHICH IS DRAWN FROM THE LEFT COLUMN OF THE
    TORAH)” (Mishlei 9:5). “Whoever is simple, WHOEVER CLINGS TO
    THE LEFT, let him turn in here: as for him that lacks understanding,
    she says to him” (Mishlei 9:4). But there is no one to pay attention to
    her.
  428. Come and behold: “MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM,”
    for it contains deep mysteries. It alludes inwardly TO THE MALE
    AND FEMALE and outwardly TO ADAM AND CHAVAH. THIS MEANS
    THAT THERE IS A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE INNER MALE AND
    FEMALE, IN GREATNESS, AND A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE
    OUTER MALE AND FEMALE, IN SMALLNESS. It may be understood
    in this INNER manner, and that OUTER manner. One way to
    understand this is that the sun and moon, MALE AND FEMALE, are
    bound as one, about which it is written: “He created them,” and “The
    sun and moon stood still in her habitation” (Chavakuk 3:11). THEY
    ARE THE SECRET OF THE INNER MALE AND FEMALE. It is also
    understood FROM THIS VERSE that Adam and Chavah were created
    AND COME from the union OF THE SUPERNAL, OUTER MALE AND
    FEMALE. Once they were joined as one, Elohim “blessed
    them” (Beresheet 5:2). This is because blessing dwells only where
    male and female are found.
  429. Come and behold: when Ya’akov turned to go toward Charan,
    he was unmarried. It is written: “and he lighted on a certain
    place” (Beresheet 28:11). Then he was answered only in a dream.
    After he was married and came to all the tribes, the supernal camps
    met him and entreated him, as it is written: “and angels of Elohim
    met (also: ‘entreated’) him.” Now they came to meet him, NAMELY,
    TO ENTREAT HIM. First he WAS BEGGING, as it is written: “and he
    lighted (Heb. vayifga) on a certain place.” Now they BEGGED, AS IT
    IS WRITTEN “and angels of Elohim met (Heb. vayifgeu) him.”
  430. The reason is that Ya’akov and the tribes were given water from
    the great sea, THE PLENTY OF THE NUKVA AT TIME OF
    GREATNESS, THEN CALLED THE ‘GREAT SEA’. THEY THEREFORE
    ENTREATED HIM TO DRAW PLENTY ON THEM. Also, at first, he saw
    them at night in a dream, AS IT IS WRITTEN: “AND HE DREAMED…
    AND BEHOLD THE ANGELS OF ELOHIM ASCENDING AND
    DESCENDING ON IT.” Now he saw them with his eyes during the
    daytime, as it is written: “And when Ya’akov saw them, he said: This
    is Elohim’s camp” (Beresheet 32:2).
  431. HE ASKS: How did he recognize them TO BE ANGELS OF
    ELOHIM? HE ANSWERS: He saw they were the same angels as in his
    dream. He therefore called them “Machanayim (lit. ‘two camps’),”
    THAT IS, AFTER THE VERSE, “AND BEHOLD THE ANGELS OF
    ELOHIM ASCENDING AND DESCENDING ON IT,” WHOM HE SAW IN
    HIS DREAM. Those who were seen above and below FORMED TWO
    CAMPS.1
  432. HE ASKS: Why were THE ANGELS now revealed to him to
    entreat him? HE ANSWERS: The Shechinah went to take Ya’akov his
    house, SO AS TO HAVE THE WHOLE HOUSEHOLD OF YA’AKOV.
    THE SHECHINAH waited for Binyamin to take the house together
    with Ya’akov properly, NAMELY, WITH ALL THE TWELVE TRIBES.
    THE ANGELS WERE THEN REVEALED TO HIM, TO COMPLETE HIM.
    Then scripture reads, “And Ya’akov shall return, and be quiet and at
    ease, and none shall make him afraid” (Yirmeyah 46:27).
    Blessed be Hashem forever and ever. Amen and amen.
    Sitrei Torah (Secrets of the Torah)
  433. “And Ya’akov went on his way, and angels of Elohim met him.”
    Mishen: The shields of the ministers are standing upright, and the
    bright blade of the revolving sword is appointed over all the armies
    and camps.
  434. That bright, revolving sword is a red sword, about which it is
    written: “The sword of Hashem is filled with blood” (Yeshayah 34:6).
    On this sword the revolving OF THE ANGELS WHO ARE now men,
    now women, depends. From this ASPECT several other aspects of
    grades are derived.
  435. From the side of the Tree of Life come those who are joined by
    the union of the bond. These holy ones are always filled by the dew
    of the heaven. THEY ARE CALLED THE ‘DEW OF HEAVEN’. The
    name of Elohim is perfected through them. By the four winds of the
    world, THE MOCHIN WERE MADE for the legs of the throne. They are
    all pearls, limbs and pillars, and are never divided from that name.
    They are tied to Ya’akov, who chose them as his portion, and was
    perfected with this name. They all issued from Ya’akov.
  436. When Ya’akov went on his way, the four sides, the four corners
    of the world, surrounded and guarded him. Only for a short time did
    the supernal place stir in order to maintain the tree below. Then
    “And Ya’akov said, when he saw them ‘this is a camp (Heb.
    machaneh) of Elohim'” then “he called the place
    Machanaim.” (Beresheet 32:3).
  437. FROM HERE UNTIL THE END OF THE PORTION HAS BEEN
    EXPLAINED ABOVE, PRARGRAPHS 246-251.1
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