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Flower Buds

4. In the Beginning, Rabbi Shimon opened, “The flower buds have appeared on the earth” (In Hebrew the words “land” and “earth” are designated by the same word, “ Eretz”; Song of Songs, 2:12). “The flower buds” refer to the act of creation; “appeared on the earth.” When? On the third day, as it is said, “And the earth brought forth grass” (Beresheet, 1:12). “The time of singing has come” refers to the fourth day, the time of strictness, judgment, restriction. Therefore, on the fourth day, the word “lights” is written with a missing letter, which hints at the strictness of judgment and a curse. “And the voice of the turtle dove is heard” refers to the fifth day, on which it is said, “Let the waters swarm,” so that they can produce offspring. However, the words “is heard” already refer to the sixth day, on which it is said, “Let us make man,” who, in the future, shall put action before understanding (we shall do and we shall hear, Naaseh ve Nishmah). For here it is said, “Let us make man,” and there it is said, “We shall do and we shall hear.” “In our land” refers to the day of Shabbat, which is like the Land of Life, the world to come.

It is completely incomprehensible to us how The Zohar compares the words from Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs, 2:12) with what is written in the Torah about the first days of creation. The six days of creation symbolize the six Sefirot HGT-NHY of ZA,onto which all ten Sefirot of Nukva are built. This is because Nukva is only the will to receive (pleasure), while her entire spiritual body (desires of bestowal) consists of her husband’s Sefirot, ZA, the altruistic properties that ZA passes to Nukva.

Nukva herself (the created desire to receive pleasure) is an empty place unfilled with Light (the Creator). This is because the Light can only enter a desire (Kli) with similar properties to itself. Therefore, to the extent of her similarity to ZA, the properties that Malchut receives from ZA, those corrected properties of Malchut turn into a Partzuf and become filled with the Light that corresponds to their correction.

Thus, the greater the correction that is made in a particular part, the greater the Light (of the five Lights NRNHY) that enters that part. The corrected and fulfilled part of Malchut is referred to as a “world.” Here and henceforth, The Zohar explains how Nukva is built out of ZA, i.e., how the world is created.

Nukva is called “earth.” Flower buds are Sefirot – the properties of ZA that appear and grow within Malchut on the third day of creation, which corresponds to Sefira Tifferet (Hesed-1, Gevura-2, Tifferet-3). In the beginning, Malchut was created as ZA in height; two equally great celestial bodies, the Sun – ZA and the Moon – Malchut. This is why we see them as being equal in size when the Moon is full. After all, all that is said with regard to man. In the initial state following her creation, Malchut is a point at the feet of ZA, and subsequently grows along him.

That is to say, on the third day of creation, Malchut was equal in height (had the same properties) to Tifferet of ZA. However, Malchut was not able to receive the Light in such a state. Hence, it is said, STRICTNESS (judgment) APPEARED ON THE EARTH (in Malchut); the flower buds merely appeared.

And after that, THE TIME OF SINGING HAS COME already refers to the fourth day of creation, when Malchut was diminished, because she complained to the Creator: “Two angels cannot wear one crown” – if Malchut is equal to ZA in height, she cannot receive the Light of Hochma from him.

The reason for that being – not having received the Light of Hassadim from ZA beforehand, Malchut cannot receive the Light of Hochma, as the Light of Hochma can only be received within the Light of Hassadim,by clothing the Light of Hochma (pleasure) into the Light of Hassadim (the intention to enjoy “for the Creator’s sake”).

And the Creator answered Malchut: “Go and diminish yourself.” In other words: if, owing to your egoistic properties, you cannot receive the Light independently, but only from ZA, then diminish your own properties, accept His, and gradually correct yourself. Then you will be able to receive all of the Light and be like Him (ZA – the Creator). All of this is described in the Talmud (Hullin, 60:2), but only with the explanation provided in The Zohar do we stop perceiving it as a fairytale.

Then Malchut descended below Yesod of ZA, and her nine lower Sefirot fell below Parsa into the worlds of BYA. And only her SefiraKeter remained in Atzilut as a point standing below Yesod of ZA. And from here on, Malchut is built not of her own Sefirot (properties) that exist in BYA, but of Sefirot (properties) Netzah and Hod of ZA.

Although Malchut was previously bigger, she was not able to receive the Light for lack of the Light of Hassadim; now she will be smaller, but she will have the Light of Hassadim, in which she will be able to receive the Light of Hochma. Even though Malchut will be at a lower degree, she will be able to utilize it, for the Light of Hassadim repels the impure forces that cling to Nukva. That is the meaning of the word Zamir (singing/pruning). However, there is another meaning to this word that is at use here – cutting off, or pruning the impure forces from Malchut (rose bud).

THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE DOVE: The turtle dove is a Sefira, the property of Netzah de ZA, and the voice of the turtle dove represents Sefira Hod of ZA, the fifth day of creation. And since Malchut receives from Yesod (which receives from Hod that is joined with Netzah), such reception by Malchut is referred to as “the voice of the turtle dove.”

Therefore, the words “is heard” refer to the sixth day, since the voice of the turtle dove (Malchut) is heard only with the help of the sixth day, Yesod of ZA, which includes both Netzah and Hod, and passes their Light to Malchut. Hence, it is said that this voice is heard in Malchut only from Yesod, on the sixth day.

The reason for this is that Malchut can receive the Light only from the middle line of ZA: either from Yesod of ZA (she receives the degree called NHY, Ibur – embryo) or from Tifferet of ZA (she receives the degree called HGT = VAK, Yenika – nursing or Katnut – smallness) or from Daat of ZA (she receives the degree called HBD= GAR, Mochin – brain or Gadlut – big).

LET US MAKE MAN, FOR IN THE FUTURE HE SHALL PUT ACTION BEFORE LISTENING: sight refers to Sefira Hochma, hearing refers to Sefira Bina. Action or deed is a property of Malchut. In order to correct Malchut, the Creator’s only creation (other Sefirot are properties of the Creator Himself, with which He gradually created Malchut), a second restriction was made – Malchut ascended to Bina so as to combine her egoistic properties of reception with Bina’s altruistic properties of bestowal; Malchut ascended to Aba-Hochma, and Ima-Bina found herself below Malchut (Parsa), where she became similar in her properties to Malchut.

Eyes refer to Sefira Hochma or Aba. Malchut ascended to the level of eyes and stands at the level of pupils. Malchut is called Nukva; and Malchut that stands at the level of eyes is called Nikvey Eynaim (pupils) or NE. That is why there are only Keter and Hochma in the Rosh (head) of AA: Bina fell from the Rosh to the Guf (body) and Malchut is above Bina, that is, Malchut represents an action that is Above, i.e., precedes perception and understanding. This is what is meant by “we will do, and we will hear” – the act of the second restriction, limiting reception only to GE. Such a state is called the “return” (in one’s properties to the Creator). The “complete return” occurs when AHP of Malchut gets corrected and joins GE at this degree.

As a result of Malchut’s ascent to NE, she changes her properties (every one of us needs only this – to ascend to the level of the Creator’s properties, so that we can receive them and become like Him), and is now ready to ascend to AVI and receive the Light of Haya. The constant Light of this level is called the FirstTemple. That is why when receiving the Torah, Israel elected to act first and hear after. And for this reason they merited reception of the Torah (Talmud, Shabbat, 85:1), as the action (Malchut) ascended and clothed AVI, and thus the secret of the fifty gates of Bina was revealed.

Construction of the Temple does not pertain to it being built in this world, but rather to the attainment of the degree of the Temple, the degree of AVI de Atzilut, the Light of Haya (the First Temple) or the degree of YESHSUT de Atzilut, the Light of Neshama (the Second Temple).

Here The Zohar tells us: “it is heard” on the sixth day, for on this day (in this state) Malchut was corrected by means of her ascent above Bina, referred to as “placing action before listening,” to do and to hear as during the reception of the Torah. Malchut in the state of ascension to Bina is called the EternalLand or the Land of Life, for she inherits life from Bina.

“IN OUR LAND” REFERS TO SHABBAT, WHICH IS LIKE THE ETERNAL LAND OF LIFE: Ima-Bina is called the Land of Life or the EternalLand. As a result of the act on the sixth day, meaning the Creator’s action from Above (the factor of time is designated by an action of the Creator Himself, which has no causes in our world), Malchut ascended to Ima on the seventh day of creation (Shabbat) and became like Ima, for when the lower one ascends to the degree of the Upper One, they become equal (in properties). Hence, upon ascending to Bina and there receiving the Light of Haya, Malchut is called the Land of Eternal Life.

5. Another explanation: flower buds are the Patriarchs, who entered the mind and entered into the world to come, Bina, where they remain concealed. From there they emerge in concealment and conceal themselves in the true prophets. Yosef was born and they concealed themselves within him. When Yosef entered the Holy Land, he erected them there, and then “they appeared on the earth” and were revealed there. When did they appear? When a rainbow can be seen, they become revealed. At that moment, “the time of singing has come,” meaning the time to eradicate all the wicked in the world. Why did they survive? Because the flower buds have appeared on (from) the earth. And if they were to be seen beforehand , they could not have remained in the world, and the world would not have been able to exist.

Here The Zohar explains the attainment of the Light of Haya by ZA. NHY of ZA are called “sons” and HGT of ZA are called “patriarchs,” as well as the “turtle dove.” ZA himself (seemingly) consists of two parts: above his Chazeh, his Sefirot HGT are called the big ZON; below his Chazeh, Sefirot NHY are called the small ZON. Sefirot HGT correspond to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, while NHY correspond to Moshe, Aaron and Yosef. Malchut corresponds to King David.

Sefirot NHY are called “prophets,” and Yesod is called “the righteous one.” Here The Zohar speaks of the buds that gradually grow from the small state to the big state of ZON: first ZON were small, consisting of Sefirot NHY with the Light of Nefesh and called Ubar (embryo). Then, with the help of Yenika (nursing), i.e., receiving Light from Ima, ZON grew. Accordingly, the properties of Sefirot NHY grew to equalize those of Sefirot HGT, and Sefirot NHY received the Light of Ruach.

Thus, the Partzuf now consists of parts of HGT and NHY with the Lights Ruach and Nefesh. Subsequently, by further reception of strength from the Upper One, and further growth, they’ve attained the state of Gadlut Aleph, the first big state. Accordingly, Sefirot HGT became HBD with the Light of Neshama,Sefirot NHY became Sefirot HGT, and received new Sefirot NHY.

Thus, the Partzuf grew to include three parts: HBD, HGT, and NHY with the Lights Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama. And it is called Gadol (big – the first big state). Then, through further growth, they’ve attainted the state of maturity (Gadlut Bet, the second big state), and the Light of Haya entered Sefirot HBD.

The word “growth” refers to the growth of a screen, of man’s inner anti-egoistic forces and desires. This is the only difference between a big vessel and a small one, the only difference between the Partzufim. Their inner properties change depending on the change in the magnitude of the screen.

THESE FATHERS ENTERED THE SUPERNAL MIND AND ASCENDED INTO THE WORLD TO COME: This sentence speaks of the prenatal development of ZA, when he ascends to AVI (called “Supernal Mind” or “Supernal Thought”). Aba-Hochma is called “mind” or “thought,” and Ima-Bina is called “the world to come.” And together they are called “parents” – father and mother, AVI. It is there that creation begins – conception of ZA in the initial state of a spiritual embryo.

Just as an embryo in our world is completely dependent on the mother, having absolutely no desires or life of its own, and developing only thanks to her, so can every man become a spiritual embryo; if he completely relinquishes all of his desires and actions, and submits entirely to the will of the Upper Partzuf, he will turn himself into a spiritual embryo, just like a physiological one. The difference between a physiological embryo and a spiritual one lies in the fact that becoming a spiritual embryo requires tremendous personal desire and effort, whereas the conception of a physiological embryo depends on the parents.

As a result of its prenatal development within Bina (which means that one completely extinguishes all of his personal desires and thoughts, and, like an embryo, is ready to accept all that the mother gives: all of her thoughts and properties, regardless of how incomprehensible or unnatural they may seem to his essence), this embryo achieves the state of its spiritual birth.

However, this is a state of an even greater concealment of the Upper Light with regard to the embryo, for it does not yet have a screen for the reception of this Light. Hence, this state is called Katnut, CONCEALED IN THE TRUE PROPHETS, i.e., in Sefirot Netzah and Hod, which ZA attains as a result of the process of nursing, reception of milk, the Light of Hassadim from Ima (mother) Bina.

The Light of nursing comes to the NHY of ZA, and ZA attains VAK (Light of Nefesh- Ruach), the state of Katnut. During nursing, ZA attains the Sefira Yesod, which is why it is said that Yosef is born. After the nursing period is over, ZA ascends to AVI so as to receive from them the Light of Neshama, and this constitutes the state of Gadlut, called “Yosef.”

ZA consists of three parts: HBD, HGT, and NHY. The process of Zeir Anpin’s growth, of acquiring a screen on his desires, begins with the purest, least egoistic part – Sefirot HBD, in which he first receives the Light of Nefesh.

Afterwards, ZA acquires a screen on coarser egoistic desires – Sefirot HGT; the Light of Nefesh passes from HBD to HGT, and the Light of Ruach enters the empty HBD.

Finally, ZA acquires a screen on the most egoistic KelimSefirot NHY; the Light of Nefesh passes from HGT to NHY, the Light of Ruach moves from HBD to the empty HGT, and the Light of Neshama enters the empty HBD.

The attainment of the big state by ZA is called the birth of Yosef, for there emerge Sefirot NHY, of which the last Sefira, Yesod, is called “Yosef.” However, since the Light of Haya is not yet present, this state is called “concealment.” WHEN YOSEF ENTERED THE HOLY LAND AND ERECTED THEM THERE: that is, after the attainment of the first big state, the reception of the Light of Neshama, ZA continues to grow, cultivating his screen until the Light of Haya enters it.

In such a state, Malchut of ZA separates from him into an independent Partzuf, called THE HOLY LAND, as the Light of Haya is called holiness. It is therefore said that Yosef entered or, rather, ASCENDED TO THE HOLY LAND in the Gadlut state of ZA. ZA and Nukva became equally big in the state of PBP(Panim be Panim, face to face), which is the state that determines the Zivug between ZON.

AND YOSEF ERECTED THEM THERE: the Light of Haya or Hochma fills the Partzuf only during a Zivug, when ZON (ZA and Nukva) make a Zivug together. And this Light remains in Malchut, for only she (her screen) can reveal it. Just as AVI are GAR de Bina, YESHSUT is ZAT de Bina and the Light of Hochma is found only in YESHSUT, the relationship between Malchut and ZA works along the same principle, and the Light of Hochma is revealed only in Malchut. Therefore, only when the Light of Hochma fills Nukva can it be said that the Light has been revealed, and until that happens, it is considered to be concealed.

WHEN ARE THEY SEEN? WHEN A RAINBOW CAN BE SEEN IN THE WORLD: ZA is called a “rainbow,” the world is Malchut, and their union is called a “rainbow within a cloud.” THE TIME HAS COME TO ERADICATE ALL THE WICKED FROM THE WORLD – as the number of the wicked grows, as more impure forces cling to ZON. The impure forces can influence ZON so greatly that the entire world will be brought to ruin, as has happened in the time of the Flood. If so, there is no salvation for man other than through the revelation of the Upper Light, the Light of Haya. That is why The Zohar tells us that the world is saved by the flower buds appearing from the earth, meaning that the Light of Haya eradicates man’s impure forces from the earth (his desires, Malchut), and they cannot cling to her and hinder man.

AND HAD THEY NOT APPEARED, THERE WOULD BE NO SALVATION FOR THE WORLD – for initially Nukva is built as big as ZA. This is called the “two great celestial bodies,” when Malchut is on the same degree as ZA, but stands behind him, back to back, unable to receive the Light of Hochma in the absence of the Light of Hassadim. This is why Malchut complains about lacking the Light of Hassadim and thus not being able to receive the Light of Hochma.

Even though the moon grows as big as the Sun, it cannot shine independently, but only if the Sun (ZA) gives it Light. And since Malchut lacks the Light of Hochma, such a state is called reversed (Achor - back). And a Zivug cannot take place in the position of back-to-back (Achor be Achor).

However, after Nukva is born and grows (receives the properties) from the Guf of ZA, as it is written in the Torah (Beresheet 2) that Chavah (Eve) was born from the body of Adam, she becomes equal to ZA and enters into a Zivug face-to-face (Panim be Panim, PBP) with him.

Also, Nukva still retained the previous Light. Moreover, precisely because she felt the lack of the Light in her initial state, Malchut received the Light of Haya specifically into her previous sufferings. Similarly, man can feel pleasure only and precisely because of his previous suffering.

Therefore, The Zohar tells us that had the flower buds not appeared in Malchut during her Katnut, when she was standing behind ZA, she would not have been able to receive the Light of Haya in her state of Gadlut, as she would not have the Kelim (desires) to receive this Light. Every new creation is founded on the sensation of darkness, as it is said: the Creator emanates the Light out of Himself, and creates darkness out of nothingness. Man’s sensation of darkness signifies his readiness to receive the Light.

6. Who sustains the world and evokes the revelation of the Patriarchs? It is the voice of the children engaged in the Torah. The world exists thanks to these children. Hence, it is said: “We will make for you pendants of gold” (Shir HaShirim, 1:11). These are the children, youngsters of the world, as it is said: “Make two cherubs of gold” (Shemot, 25:18).

The Light of Ruach is called “the children of the world,” and the Zivug in this state (PBA – face to back) is referred to as THE VOICE OF THE CHILDREN ENGAGED IN THE TORAH. And it is also called “threads of gold” and “two cherubs of gold.” Before Nukva grew, the impure forces had the power to destroy the world. However, precisely because Nukva grows from ZA, the right and left lines merge in her as one, the RAINBOW (right line) shines WITHIN A CLOUD (left line), and the Light of Haya can enter Malchut. Without this Light, the world can be destroyed as during (in the state of) the Flood.

SO WHO IS IT THAT SUSTAINS THE WORLD: who causes the appearance of the Light of Haya? They are precisely the children engaged in the Torah. The “children” designate the Light of the opposite side, the Light of Ruach, the sensation of deficiency of the Light of Haya, for a “child” alludes to the process of nursing. The children of the house of Raban (Tinokot Shel Beit Raban) – are the Light of Haya, as the word “Raban” derives from “Rav” (big, Haya). They did not transgress, i.e., did not use their AHP (egoistic and yet uncorrected desires, for the word “children” designates the small state), their will to receive.

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