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The Donkey Driver

74. Rabbi Elazar, the son of Rabbi Shimon, was on his way to visit his father-in-law, Rabbi Yosi, the son of Lakunya, and Rabbi Aba accompanied him. A man followed behind them, driving their donkeys. Rabbi Aba said, “Let us open the gates of the Torah, as it is time to correct our path.”

In Aramaic, the language in which The Zohar was written, “driver” means “one who pricks.” This is because the donkey driver’s function amounts to forcing the donkeys to move by pricking them with the edge of his stick.

75. Rabbi Elazar opened and said, “It is written: My Sabbaths you are to observe.” Let us see: the Creator created the world in six days. And each day would reveal His deeds, and gave strength to that day. When did He reveal His deeds and give them strength? On the fourth day of creation, for the first three days were concealed completely, and would not be revealed. The fourth day arrived, and He revealed the deeds and forces of all the days.

The phrase “He gave that day strength” means that He gave everything to the day of Shabbat. For the six days are Sefirot HGT NHY that reveal on Shabbat (Malchut) the work and the forces that were carried out during these days.

Yet, if the deeds of all the days are concealed, and only reveal at their end, on Shabbat, then why is it written that they are revealed on the fourth day of creation? The thing is that Malchut is called both the fourth and the seventh days: she is fourth with regard to the first three Sefirot HGT, called the “Patriarchs” (Hesed is Avraham, Gevura is Yitzchak, and Tifferet is Yaakov), and seventh with regard to the six Sefirot, after three additional Sefirot, called the “Sons”: Netzah is Moshe, Hod is Aaron, and Yesod is Yosef.

Malchut herself is King David – the day of Shabbat. Malchut grows and gradually accumulates her corrections in two principal stages, called Ibur (conception). The first three days correspond to Ibur Aleph (the first conception), and the second three days correspond to Ibur Bet (the second conception, Gadlut, the reception of Ohr Hochma).

In other words, Malchut is gradually created from Sefirot HGT of ZA in three days, and forms on the fourth day as the Sefira Netzah de ZA. Hence, at this stage in her growth, Malchut is referred to as fourth from the Patriarchs. And then Shabbat comes to our land (Malchut is called both land/earth and Shabbat). The state that Malchut achieves as a result of her growth from Sefirot NHY of ZA is called Shabbat on earth. And this state she attains as the seventh Sefira from all the Sefirot of ZA.

The first three days are not revealed in Malchut, for as long as a Partzuf lacks Malchut, it is defined as concealed or secret. The weekdays are defined so. And when Malchut completely attains the degree where she stands, she thereby attains herself. This state is defined as Shabbat.

However, if Malchut receives from the six Sefirot de ZA, shouldn’t they (the six weekdays) be more important than Malchut- Shabbat (inferior Sefira with regard to those she receives from)?

The truth is that all the weekdays constitute individual degrees of correction (weekdays’ work) that are devoid of Malchut. Hence, they are called “weekdays,” for a Partzuf without Malchut is considered a closed degree, unable to receive Light, and is therefore deprived of holiness. After all, in the absence of Malchut, there is no GAR of the Light, Ohr Hochma. And only when Malchut is revealed in the Partzuf (signifying the arrival of Shabbat) is the holiness of the ENTIRE degree revealed; “ENTIRE,” because all six days receive what they have earned, and the Light shines in all the weekdays thanks to them alone.

When the first three days of creation HGT emerged before the emergence of Malchut, these three Sefirot were devoid of Light, i.e., they were concealed. And when Malchut appeared, the fourth day arrived, and the importance and holiness of all four days manifested, for Malchut complements the entire degree, and the perfection of creation becomes revealed thanks to her. In the language of Kabbalah, this is described in the following way: all six days of creation are Ohr Hochma, and Shabbat is Ohr Hassadim. Ohr Hochma is present on weekdays, but cannot shine for lack of Ohr Hassadim, and when Ohr Hassadim arrives on Shabbat, all the Ohr Hochma shines thanks to this Ohr Hassadim of Shabbat.

76. There is fire, water and air – HGT – the three first days of creation. Although they are the initial Supernal foundations of all that will follow, their actions are not revealed until the earth, meaning Malchut, reveals them. Only then does the work of each of the Supernal foundations reveal itself. Hence, the power of the first three days is revealed only on the fourth.

77. However, the third day may be better described as one that reveals the creation of the first three days, as it is written: LET THE EARTH BRING FORTH GRASS. That is to say, the revelation of the earth’s (Malchut’s) deeds already took place on the third day. Yet, although it was written on the third day, Tifferet, it was actually the fourth day, Malchut. Malchut joined the third day, for Tifferet and Malchut are inseparable. And then the fourth day revealed its deeds – to elucidate the work of each and every one of HGT, for the fourth day is the “fourth leg” of the Supernal Throne (the Sefira Bina), whose four legs are HGTM (Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, and Malchut).

Malchut reveals the holiness and spiritual power of the three days. Therefore, Malchut ascended and joined the third day, so as to reveal by the unity of these three days (three lines) their exalted spiritual essence.

It is hence written that the deed is revealed on the fourth day, for Malchut alone completes their revelation at the conclusion of the three days. And afterwards, three more days emerge, which are NHY. After the revelation of the holiness of the first three days, HGT, called the “Patriarchs,” which are the foundation of ZA, ZA enters them (his main part is manifested), and the time comes for the Sons (NHY, the last three of the six days of creation) to be born.

This is why it is written that ZA is defined as the fourth leg of the throne of Bina, and the throne remains imperfect and incomplete until its fourth leg (foundation) manifests. Indeed, ZA is incomplete until Malchut manifests within him, i.e., until the fourth day arrives. And only after the emergence of Malchut can ZA father the Sons – the three final days of creation.

78. All of the actions of all the Sefirot, both on the first three days of creation, HGT, and on the last three, NHY, are dependent on the day of Shabbat, Malchut, GAR of the entire degree of ZA and its perfection. Hence, it is written, “AND THE CREATOR RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY, SHABBAT.” This refers to the fourth leg of the throne, as the seventh and the fourth days are both Malchut. Only the fourth day is Malchut that includes the Sefira Tifferet of ZA, from his chest upwards. Also, the seventh day is Malchut of the entire ZA, and they merge together face to face in a Zivug.

Although the first three days, HGT, end with the fourth day (the result of their actions), they nonetheless remain not entirely complete; their perfection manifests only on Shabbat, together with the last three days, NHY.

It is therefore written that Shabbat is the fourth leg of the throne, even though it is the seventh day, for, although it emerges after the Sons, it also completes the deeds of the Patriarchs, as the first three days did not complete their corrections on the fourth day, and a seventh day, Shabbat, is needed to complete them.

The reason for this is that on the fourth day, Malchut is in the state of Katnut, called the small phase of the Moon. As a result, the Moon (Malchut) returns to the state called Shabbat, when all the Light of all the days of creation manifest and shine within her. This is why the Light of the first three days of creation becomes revealed only on Shabbat.

79. Yet, if Shabbat is Malchut, then why does the Torah say, “My Sabbaths you are to observe,” implying two? It is written of the two parts of Shabbat: the night (Malchut) and the day (ZA) that shines in Malchut. Thus, there is no division between them, for they merge face to face in a Zivug, and are therefore called two Sabbaths.

He asks: two Malchuyot (plural for Malchut) of the fourth and the seventh days are completely separate, as is written, “You shall keep my Sabbaths,” implying two? Yet, when we clarify that the fourth day manifests in perfection only on the seventh day, it becomes clear that there is only one Shabbat. But what is meant here is ZA and Malchut that shine in the holiness of Shabbat, for this day is the male, bestowing part (Zachar) that manifests in the female part (Malchut or Nukva). Hence, they are called Sabbaths (plural). However, by merging in perfection, they become a single whole. As a result, ZA also assumes the name of Shabbat.

80. Following behind them with the donkeys, the donkey driver asked: “Why is it said, ‘You shall fear sanctity?’” They replied: “This refers to the sanctity of Shabbat.” The donkey driver asked: “What is the sanctity of Shabbat?” They replied: “It is the sanctity that descends from Above, from AVI.” He said to them, “If that is so, then Shabbatot (plural for Shabbat) are without sanctity, for sanctity descends on it from Above, from AVI.” Rabbi Aba answered him: “It is indeed so.” And it is said: “And call Shabbat a delight, a holy day dedicated to the Creator.” Shabbat and a holy day are mentioned separately. The donkey driver asked: “If that is so, then what does a holy day mean to the Creator?” He replied: “That is when sanctity descends from Above, from ZA, and fills Shabbat, Malchut.” The donkey driver objected, “But if sanctity descends from Above, then Shabbat itself is not a holy day. And yet, it is written, ‘You shall sanctify Shabbat,’ meaning Shabbat itself.” Rabbi Elazar said to Rabbi Aba, “Leave this man alone, for there is much wisdom in him, of which we do not know.” So he said to the donkey driver, “Speak, and we shall listen.”

The donkey driver’s question is this: if Shabbat is ZA, then why is it described as holy? After all, sanctity is the property of AVI, and only AVI are called holy. Hence, he objected that Shabbat should be separated from sanctity. Shabbat (ZA) is not holiness in itself, but because it receives holiness from Above, from AVI. That, which ZA receives from AVI is what is called the Creator’s holiness.

81. The donkey driver opened and said, “It is written: Shabbatot, i.e., there are usually two. And this alludes to the border of Shabbat, which is 2,000 Amah (cubits) in each direction from the city. This is why the word “Et” was added before the word Shabbatot, which designates the plural form – both the Upper Shabbat and the lower Shabbat joining into one.”

Although it is said: “Man shall not leave his place on the seventh day” (Shemot, 16), i.e., the singular form is used, in many places in the Torah, the word “Et” is used; for example, in the sentence: “Et 2,000 Amah in each direction from its place.” The word “Et,” consisting of the first and the last letters of the alphabet, Aleph and Tav, designates Malchut entering into union with ZA, which signifies the state of Shabbat; hence, the Light of AVI becomes revealed and shines (as a supplementary luminescence) upon ZON. This is because AVI are called “two thousand,” and so the word “Et” is present here to designate a supplement of Light to Shabbat.

There exist a Shabbat Above and a Shabbat below: the Upper Shabbat is Partzuf Tvuna, and the lower part of Partzuf Bina, whereas the lower Shabbat is Partzuf Malchut, Nukva de ZA of the world of Atzilut. In the world of Atzilut, Partzuf Bina is divided into two Partzufim: the Upper Part of Bina is called Partzuf AVI and the lower part of Bina (the part where she receives the Light from the Upper Part so as to pass it to ZA) is called Partzuf YESHSUT (Israel Saba veTvuna) or simply Tvuna. The relationship between Bina-AVI and Tvuna is similar to that of ZA and Malchut. Bina is called the “Upper World” and Malchut is called the “lower world.” On Shabbat, ZON ascend to Bina, ZA to AVI, and Malchut to Tvuna.

On Shabbat, Malchut merges with Tvuna. However, this does not mean that no difference is left between them, for Malchut receives the Light from Tvuna only because she ascends to Tvuna’s level. Yet, at her place on the last, lowest degree of the world of Atzilut, Malchut is unable to receive the Light from Tvuna. And to the extent that Malchut cannot yet receive the Light from Tvuna in her regular state, she is defined as “closed.”

Also, Tvuna suffers from Malchut being closed because while in her place, Malchut cannot receive the Light from Tvuna, for the revelation of Tvuna is possible only through Malchut. On Shabbat, Tvuna and Ima join to form one Partzuf, which is not closed. Yet, since its Light shines only when Malchut ascends to it, Tvuna feels the closed state of Malchut, and suffers, too.

82. One Shabbat was left, unmentioned Above, and felt ashamed. She said to Him, “The Creator of the Universe, from the day I was created, I am called Shabbat, but there is no day without night.” The Creator replied to her: “My daughter, you are Shabbat, and I have given you this name. But now I am surrounding and adorning you with the most exalted adornment.” He then raised His voice and proclaimed, “Those who sanctify shall fear. And this is the night of Shabbat that radiates fear.” But who is she? It is the merging together of I (Malchut, the nights of Shabbat) with the Creator Himself (ZA) into a single whole. And I’ve heard from my father that the word “Et” refers to the boundaries-borders of Shabbat. Shabbatot (two Sabbaths) denote a circle and a square within, which total two. According to them, there are two sanctities we should mention during the Shabbat blessing: “Vayechulu” consists of thirty-five words, and “Kiddush,” too, consists of thirty-five words. Collectively, they make up to the seventy names of ZA, with which ZA (the Creator), and Malchut (the Assembly of Israel) adorn themselves.

83. Since the circle and square are Shabbatot, they are both included in the instruction, “My Shabbatot you are to observe.” However, the Upper Shabbat is not included in the instruction “Observe,” but rather in “Remember.” For the Supernal King, Bina is as perfect as memory. This is why Bina is called “King,” whose perfection lies in peace and in memory. Hence, there is no contradiction Above.

Malchut de Malchut is called the central point of creation, and receives no Light even on Shabbat, as, being a Man’ula (lock), she is closed to the Light. And the entire Light enters her only in the form of Miftacha (key), into Yesod de Malchut, in Malchut that joins Bina with her properties, while Malchut herself is therefore referred to as “locked.”

This central point of creation is the only thing that the Creator created, and is comprised of all the creatures, including human souls. And she argues with the Creator that in the beginning of creation, in the world of AK, the entire Light was revealed and shone upon the creatures thanks to her, for there was no other Malchut in the world of AK, except for the central point. And only due to Tzimtzum Bet (second restriction), now in the world of Atzilut, was she restricted and closed to the reception of Light.

And this is a great and wonderful secret, for, as Malchut objects, even on the first day, it is said: “And there shall be evening, and there shall be morning – one day.” (Beresheet, 1:6) In other words, unity is revealed in both night and day together. Yet, why is the night of the first Shabbat not mentioned in the Torah, and only the words “on the seventh day” are used? The Creator replied to Malchut that a future Shabbat is implied – Shabbat of the seventh millennium, when the day of Shabbat will come and remain forever.

Meanwhile, during the 6,000 years, the Creator elevates Malchut to Bina, and as a result, she receives Supernal Adornments, greater than the ones she had had in the world of AK. For there she acted as the end of all Sefirot, but now she has risen to act in the place of GAR, in AVI, which are called “holy of holies.”

If Malchut is in Yesod, the lack of Ohr Hochma is felt. But if Malchut ascends to AVI (where Ohr Hassadim is present, and there is absolutely no need for Ohr Hochma), this state is defined as perfect.

Malchut is called “fear,” for she was restricted to refrain from receiving the Creator’s Light within her desire to receive pleasure. Therefore, she does not receive the Light from Above within her desire to receive pleasure. Instead, she receives the Light only in Ohr Hozer (Returning Light), when she refuses to use her egoism.

This occurs in the following way: first, Ohr Yashar (Direct Light) comes from the Creator to Malchut and wishes to enter her (Malchut feels both the delight and her own desire to receive and enjoy it). Secondly, by wishing to be like the Creator, Malchut repels the Light (prohibits herself from receiving the delight).

This renunciation of egoistic pleasure is called Ohr Hozer (Returning Light), because Malchut repels the Light (pleasure) from her. Thirdly, after Malchut has created Ohr Hozer, she begins to receive Ohr Yashar in it (her new desire to receive only because the Creator wants her to). This reception is possible because Malchut has an anti-egoistic force, will power, called a screen.

The spiritual world is a realm of sensations, desires, and forces, not vested in shells-garments, like the corporeal bodies in our world. Similarly, all the characters depicted in Kabbalah do not designate any images; rather, they demonstrate interactions of forces and properties.

Therefore, a circle implies that the Light shines completely unrestrictedly in every place and to the same extent, so there can be no change in its radiance. A square or a rectangle indicates restrictions, which create differences between the sides: right and left, top and bottom. Hence, the head has a round shape with regard to the rectangular shape of the body, for the Rosh (head) is free of restrictions, but VAK (body) are not.

Shabbat is a spiritual state, when ZON ascend to AVI and clothe them. As a result, the lower Shabbat (ZON) and the Upper Shabbat(AVI) merge into one. The Upper Shabbat (AVI) is designated by a circle, and the lower Shabbat (ZON) is designated by a square. On Shabbat, ZON merge with AVI, depicted as the square’s ascent and insertion into the circle.

Ohr Hochma is designated by the letter Ayin. Since Ohr Hochma is revealed only during the ascent of the lower Shabbat to the Upper, Ohr Hochma is divided into two parts: one half for the Upper Shabbat, and one for the lower. Hence, the passage of Vayechulu (Beresheet, 2:1) consists of thirty-five words that refer to half of the Light of the Upper Shabbat, whereas the blessing itself consists of thirty-five words that refer to half of the Light of the lower Shabbat. And the common soul, called the “Assembly of Israel” or Malchut (Shabbat), is adorned with this Light.

Since the circle and the square merge and assume the name Shabbatot (two Shabbats), the Light of both the circle and the square is defined as protecting – GUARD. And, although the word GUARD alludes to restrictions and borders that one must observe and fear violating, whereas the Upper Shabbat (designated by a circle) has no restrictions and borders, due to the joining of the two Shabbatot into one, there still appeared restrictions and borders.

The Upper Shabbat is called “REMEMBER,” and not “OBSERVE,” as it is completely free of restrictions. However, since it merged with the lower Shabbat, called “OBSERVE,” it, too, needs to GUARD, which normally relates to Malchut alone. Only due to Malchut’s ascent to Bina did the need to guard, which is present in Malchut, arose in Bina. But Bina herself remains only in the property of REMEMBER, for only egoistic desires to receive pleasure need GUARDING.

The Upper Shabbat (Bina) is designated by the letters MI = Mem-Yod. The lower Shabbat (Malchut) is designated by the letters MA = Mem-Hey, and has the form of a square, which implies a presence of controversy between its properties – the right and the left sides, which give it its square form.

84. There are two types of peace below: one is Yaakov (Tifferet), and the other is Yosef (Yesod). Therefore, PEACE is written twice in the greeting: “PEACE, PEACE to the distant one and to the near one.” “The distant one” refers to Yaakov, and “the near one” refers to Yosef. Or, as it is written, “From afar I see the Creator,” “Came to a stop far in the distance.”

“Below” signifies ZON, containing one of the properties, Yaakov or the Sefira Tifferet de ZA. ZON also contain the property called Yosef, or Yesod. Both these Sefirot indicate the place of a potential Zivug between ZA and Malchut, for Peace signifies Zivug. The Upper Zivug (Yaakov) is intended for reception of Ohr Hochma from Above, and the lower Zivug (Yosef) fills Malchut only with Ohr Hassadim.

It was already mentioned that it is impossible to receive Ohr Hochma without it being clothed in Ohr Hassadim. Ohr Hochma or the Zivug that is made on it is therefore defined as distant, for it must first be clothed in Ohr Hassadim before it can receive Ohr Hochma. Hence, it is written, “From afar I saw the Creator.”

The lower Zivug is called “the near one,” because the Partzuf receives Ohr Hassadim without any preliminary actions. Furthermore, with the help of this Ohr Hassadim, the Partzuf subsequently receives Ohr Hochma. This is why the word “peace” is used twice: “Peace, peace to the far and to the near” – a greeting to Yaakov and Yosef, respectively, both of whom take part in the great Zivug (the reception of Ohr Hochma) in ZA.

These two greetings are defined in ZON as a square, as there is controversy between them, defined as the controversy between the right and the left sides, and they end in the letter HeyNukva or Malchut, whereas the Upper Nukva (Bina) ends with the letter Yod, which designates not the female part, but the male. Hence, there is no controversy in her.

Even the notions of “near” and “far” do not exist in Bina herself, for she refers to GAR, perfection, and GAR can receive Ohr Hochma nearby, meaning they do not need to clothe in Ohr Hassadim beforehand, but can receive Ohr Hochma without Ohr Hassadim. Hence, it is said that the Upper Malchut is the King, who has peace. Thus, unlike ZON, two notions of peace are absent in him.

85. “From afar” is the Supernal Point, standing in His palace, of which it is said, “You are to guard.” “You shall fear My sanctity” refers to the point standing in the center, which must be feared more than anything, for its punishment is death, as it is written, “All who transgress in it shall perish.” Who are these transgressors? They are those who have entered the space of the circle and the square, and committed a sin. Hence, it is written, “You shall fear!” This point is called “I,” and there is a prohibition on its revelation, called HaVaYaH. “I” and HaVaYaH are a single whole. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba dismounted from their donkeys and kissed him. They said, “So great is your wisdom, and yet you drive donkeys behind us! Who are you, then?” He replied to them: “Do not ask me who I am, but let us go on and study the Torah. Each of us will speak his wisdom so as to illuminate our path.”

The distant point refers to the point that opens the way to the Partzuf for thirty-two streams of Ohr Hochma. And this is the letter Bet in the first word of the Torah – Beresheet, called the “point in the hall,” from which Ohr Hochma descends to ZON, when ZON ascend to AVI. For then, the two Shabbatot (the Upper – AVI and the lower – ZON) merge. It is written about them: “I saw the Creator from afar,” for ZON cannot receive Ohr Hochma without being clothed in Ohr Hassadim.

Hochma and Bina, called the “point in the hall,” are referred to as “distant from ZON,” for they need the garment of Ohr Hassadim from the lower world, Nukva, called MA. Malchut of the world of AK is the central point, called the “lock,” whereas Malchut of the world of Atzilut (the point in the hall) is the “key,” as the Light from ZAT de Bina(YESHSUT) can be received in it.

The circle is called AVI, the square – ZON. ZON ascend to AVI and thus the square enters the circle. As a result, two properties appear in Malchut of AVI: the “lock” (Malchut de Malchut, the central point or Malchut de AVI), and the “key” (the point in the hall, Yesod de Malchut or Malchut de YESHSUT). Malchut de AVI is called space, for she is unattainable, and he who wishes to fill her with Light is punished by death. It is written about it: “You shall fear My sanctity.”

The point itself is called “I,” and AVI is HaVaYaH that merges with it. And they are defined as a single whole; hence, the point itself is referred to as AVI, meaning that it is characterized as holy, as the property of AVI.

As was already mentioned before, The Zohar and the entire Torah speak exclusively of spiritual degrees, the structure of spiritual worlds, and the revelation of the Creator’s governance to us. There is not a word in the Torah that refers to our world. The whole Torah is, as it is said, “The Creator’s sacred names.” And those who reduce it from its spiritual heights to the corporeal level with their commentaries cast it down completely. As Rashi says, “the Torah only speaks in human tongue, but it tells us of man’s spiritual paths toward his Creator. Therefore, when we read that one Rabbi went to visit another, the real meaning is that one spiritual degree, called, for example, Rabbi Elazar, passes to another spiritual degree, called, for example, Rabbi Yosi.

ZA has his own AVI, who are called the Upper AVI. The wife of ZA(Nukva or Malchut) contains AVI, too, called YESHSUT. First, ZA attains the AVI of his wife (YESHSUT or Ohr Hassadim). Then it rises to a Higher Degree and attains the AVI themselves – Ohr Hochma (also called Ohr Haya).

The righteous who ascend the spiritual degrees are the constituents of Partzuf ZA. Since the degree of Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba is Ohr Hassadim (the Light of Neshama), this ascent means it went to (spiritually) see (in Ohr Hochma) another spiritual degree.

In the spiritual worlds, the donkey driver constitutes a special spiritual force that helps the souls of the righteous move from one spiritual degree to another. Without this help sent by the Creator from Above, it is impossible to exit your degree and ascend to the next. Hence, the Creator sends a Higher soul from Above to each of the righteous (those who wish to ascend). Each receives his own, according to his degree, properties, and purpose.

And so, at first the righteous fails to recognize this exalted soul; he considers it low, that it leeched onto him on his spiritual path. Such state is called Ibur – conception of the righteous’ soul. Since the Higher soul has not yet completed its assistance and purpose, it is not yet perceived by the righteous for what it really is.

However, after it completes its task in its entirety, and brings the righteous’ soul to the Upper Degree for which it is intended, the righteous then reveals the exalted properties of the soul that helped him. This is referred to as the revelation of the soul to the righteous.

In our case, the soul that was sent to help the souls of Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba was the soul of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba – a very exalted and perfect soul, the Light of Yechida. Yet, initially, it is revealed to the righteous in its smallest scope, called Ibur, conception (in sensations). Hence, they perceive it as the level of a spiritual donkey driver – a simple soul.

The Hebrew word for donkey is “Hamor,” which also means matter, “Homer!” Thus, one who can control his donkey, his body, his desires, ascends above matter as a spiritual being. And since he wishes to ascend above matter in his desires, he is considered a righteous. However, here, The Zohar speaks of Higher Degrees.

The donkey driver’s task is to take the riders, mounted atop of their donkeys, from place to place; yet, he walks in front of his donkeys, thereby leading them through spiritual degrees. Since every word in the Torah has several meanings, due to the multiplicity of the Upper Roots (wherefrom word notions descend), the notion of a “donkey driver” is more precisely referred to as a “donkey guide,” and implies properties that are coarse, sinful, and most base.

Therefore, Rabbi Aba said: “Let us open the gates of the Torah, for the time has come for us to correct our path,” that is, to open their souls with the help of the secrets of the Torah, so their path would be correct and lead them to the Creator. Rabbi Elazar then began to discuss a passage from the Torah that says, “You shall observe my Shabbatot,” as he stood at this degree (the Light of YESHSUT) in his properties. He therefore concluded that Shabbat itself is the property of ZON, which has not yet reached the property of sanctity, but only receives the Light of YESHSUT on Shabbat. It is written about this Light, “You shall fear my sanctity,” for when Ohr Hochma passes from YESHSUT to ZA, it evokes fear in them.

And here they receive the donkey driver’s help, who reveals to them the secret of Ohr Haya. He explains that the phrase “You shall observe my Shabbatot” signifies the Upper and the lower Shabbatot, which come together, due to the ascent of ZON to AVI. As a result, ZON themselves become holy (the square within the circle) and acquire the properties of Bina: mercy, altruism, Ohr Hassadim. Hence, it is written with regard to them: fear not and observe. For Ohr Haya repels foreign, impure forces and desires, and all restrictions are lifted on Shabbat; hence, there is no fear.

And, according to the donkey driver’s explanation, the phrase “You shall fear My sanctity” refers only to the central point that is used in GAR de AVI, in GAR of Ohr Haya, which is unattainable and where fear does exist.

At that, the soul of the donkey driver has fulfilled its role, for it brought them to the attainment of Ohr Haya. Only then did they merit the attainment of the height of the soul that had helped them, since they attained its revelation and were thus able to appreciate it.

This is why Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba dismounted from their donkeys and kissed him, for the attainment of the Upper One is defined as a “kiss.” However, this exalted soul has not yet finished aiding them: it must still help them attain Ohr Yechida. Yet, since the attainment of Ohr Haya already provides perfection, they’ve already attained thereby the degree of the son of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba.

The level of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba himself is the degree of attainment of Ohr Yechida. Therefore, by attaining only Ohr Haya, they mistakenly thought that the soul guiding them belongs to the son of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba. However, after the donkey driver had revealed to them the secret of the attainment of Ohr Yechida, they realized that their companion is none other than Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba himself.

And the reason why they could not recognize him before is that the powers of the helping soul cannot be seen until its role is fulfilled. Hence, they asked him to reveal his name, but he told them not to inquire about his name, for without having completed all the corrections, they do not merit the revelation of the secrets of the Torah. And he must help them in their studies of the Torah, for he still needs to illuminate their path, as they have not yet attained the desired goal.

86. He said to him: “Who appointed you to walk here and be a donkey driver?” He replied: “The letter Yod waged war with two letters, Chaf and Samech, for me to come and join. The letter Chaf did not want to leave its place because it has to support those who fall, for without a screen, they cannot survive.”

87. The letter Yod came to me alone, kissed me and wept with me. It said to me, “My son, what can I do for you? I disappear from many good deeds and from secret, supernal, basic letters. But I shall return to you and will be of help to you. And I shall give you two letters that are more exalted than those that have disappeared – the letters Yod and Shin. They shall become for you a treasury that is forever full. So, my son, go and drive the donkeys.” And that is why I am here in this role.”

As we already know, the donkey driver is an auxiliary force given to someone who wishes to ascend to a higher spiritual degree on his path toward the Creator, just as donkeys carry people on their backs, thereby helping them travel from one place to another. As this happens, the righteous one falls from his previous degree and enters the embryonic state of the new degree, just as the soul that came to help him. However, the property of Ibur-embryo (Ibur is also derived from the word Haavarah, crossing) means that all the Light that it had in the previous degree disappears upon the conception (Ibur) of a new, Higher Degree.

And that is what they wanted to know of the donkey driver: “How did the Creator bring you here in the state of Ibur, in our state of Ibur, as a result of which the Light in us has disappeared? Who lowers you from the Higher Degrees?” And that is why the donkey driver replied that the letter Yod waged war against the letters Chaf and Samech, to join with them. The degree of Hassadim is called Samech (Ohr Neshama).

“When the time has come for you to attain Ohr Haya (Yod from HaVaYaH, the degree from which I descended to help you to attain Ohr Haya), Hochma really wanted to connect Ohr Neshama (that was previously in you) to me. And here Yod wages war against Chaf and Samech. Malchut of the Upper Partzuf clothes in the lower Partzuf, designated by the letter Chaf. There used to be Ohr Neshama, and now there is Ohr Haya, whereas Yod, which desires Ohr Neshama as well, merges with it, and rejects the Chaf.”

This is so because the connection between the degrees, from the Highest Degree in the world of Atzilut to the end of the world of Assiya, is realized only by Malchut of the Upper One descending to the lower one and clothing in it. Malchut of the Upper One herself cannot descend from her degree of YESHSUT (the degree of Neshama) even for a moment, as the chain connecting the degrees would be instantly broken.

The property of Samech is the property of the Light itself, which the soul receives from Sefirot HBD HGT of AVI (above the Chazeh), and which AVI pass to ZON when the letters are in Katnut, and support them (the Hebrew word for support is Somech, derived from the letter Samech) so that ZON will not fall from the world of Atzilut.

The letter Chaf, Hassadim, is unwilling to leave its place and join Hochma, as it needs to connect the Upper Partzuf to the lower one. Thus, it must always remain in its place, for all the degrees are constant, and only the soul changes while moving from one degree to another within the worlds. This is why the soul is called the “inner part” with regard to the world (the external part) – the soul exists and moves about within the world by changing its properties.

Hence, the Light of the soul did not wish to join the letter Yod (degree of Hochma, the soul of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba) as it descended to help Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba. This is because they needed a new Light that would build a new degree within them, the degree of Ohr Haya, whereas each new degree is built from scratch, from the state of Ibur (conception). As that happens, the entire previous degree with all of its Light disappears. Similarly, in their case, the new degree starts with Ibur and reaches the level of Haya. This resembles a seed that must first abandon its present form and rot, in order to become a tree afterwards.

It is therefore written that it came to me without the Light of HBD HGT de AVI, called Samech, the Light of Hassadim. Samech is the property of mercy, a selfless desire to give, pure spiritual altruism. Hence, it is unwilling to join Yod, Ohr Hochma. Yet, Ohr Hochma cannot enter and fill the Partzuf without first being clothed in Ohr Hassadim, for this clothing of Ohr Hochma in Ohr Hassadim means that the Partzuf receives Ohr Hochma not for itself, but for the Creator’s sake. But Ohr Hassadim, Samech, does not wish to receive anything within itself; it wants nothing to do with Ohr Hochma! This is why the letter Yod wept, being unable to fill the Partzuf with its Light, for Hassadim refused to accept Hochma.

It is written in this regard: “Hence, I must now disappear, and you, the donkey driver, go to the state of Ibur, to rebuild the degrees of gradual development of a new Partzuf-state with you: Ibur (embryo), Leidah (birth), Yenika (nursing), and Mochin (maturity).

And know that such is the order of creating (begetting) each new degree: every time one is to attain a new degree, he must undergo (in his properties) a complete disappearance of the previous degree (level of attainment, Light), and begin anew. He must receive new attainments, from the lowest new degree, Ohr Nefesh (Ibur), to Ohr Ruach (Yenika), and so on, as though he had never attained any spiritual level at all.

It is impossible to take with you anything from a previous degree. Hence, one must start anew from the lowest level of Ibur, called “THE DONKEY DRIVER.” Ohr Haya de AVI is called YESH (Yod- Shin), where Yod is Hochma and Shin is Bina. And, of course, they are more important than the Ohr Neshama that was in the Partzuf before them.

88. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba rejoiced, wept, and said, “You sit on the donkey, and we shall drive it.” He replied to them, “Have I not told you that it is the command of the King that I act as I do, until the other donkey driver appears” (this hints at the Mashiach, who, as it is said, will appear poor and riding a donkey). They said to him, “You have not even told us your name! Where do you dwell?” He told them, “My dwelling place is wonderful and very precious to me. It is a tower that soars in the air, grand and unique. Only two live in this tower: the Creator and I. That is the place, in which I dwell. And I am exiled from there in order to drive the donkeys.” Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba looked at him, and his words were unclear to them, for they tasted sweeter than manna and honey. They said to him, “Perhaps you will tell us the name of your father, so that we could kiss the earth at his feet?” He responded, “What for? It is not my habit to boast of the Torah.”

After they have attained the greatness of the donkey driver’s degree, they could no longer bear his small state of Ibur, which he inhabited for their sake. Hence, they told him that since they have already attained Ohr Hochma, he has done enough and can leave the state of Ibur. And should a need arise to add anything else to them, they would be able to enter Ibur on their own, and he does not need to suffer for their sake.

However, the donkey driver warned them beforehand to not ask him his name, for they still require revelations of secrets of the Torah. Once again, he hinted that it is the degree of Ohr Yechida that they lack, which is implied here. This degree signifies the reception of the Light of the King Messiah’s face, which he mentioned by hinting at the poor donkey driver, as described by a prophet (Zachariah, 9:9). And he is commanded by the Creator to help them attain Ohr Yechida.

This is why they asked him about the type of his soul: “For you did not wish to reveal your name, as we have not yet received from you that which we must attain. But if so, at least tell us where you live, what is your degree? At least then we will know what we lack, what else we must receive, attain from you.”

He replied that his place is much higher than his present location, for now he himself cannot attain his own individual level. This is a result of the Upper Partzuf descending to the place of the lower one and becoming completely identical to it, and while there (in that state), the Upper Partzuf can no longer attain its own level. The tower that soars in the air is Bina, Hassadim. The Mashiach’s tower (the great tower) designates the time (state) of ascent to GAR de AA, when Ohr Hochma is available.

89. But the place of my father's dwelling was in the Great Sea. And he was a big fish that continually circled the Great Sea, from one end to the other. And he was mighty and he grew old, until he swallowed up all the other fish in that sea. And then he released them, and they were thriving and filled with all of the very best of the world. And it was in his power to swim across the entire sea in one instant. And He pulled him out and hauled him in with an arrow, like a warrior, and brought him to the place that I told you about, to the tower that soars in the air, but he returned to his place and disappeared in that sea.

The concealed Zivug is called Shaar HaNun (the 50th gate). The Great Sea is Malchut. All the Zivugim from Partzuf Atik de Atzilut and below do not include the Great Sea in its entirety, all the Sefirot of Malchut, but only the first nine Sefirot of Malchut. Moreover, none of the Zivugim include Malchut de Malchut.

This Sefira, Malchut de Malchut, is the only creation, because all the other Sefirot constitute properties of spiritual forces and desires above Malchut, existing in and referring to the Creator, the sole purpose of which is the correction of Malchut de Malchut. The only Zivug on this Malchut exists in Atik, and it will be revealed to all only at the end of correction.

Rav Hamnuna-Saba emerged from this concealed Zivug in Atik; hence, the donkey driver calls him “my father.” And he says that his father lived in the Great Sea, as this Zivug was on the entire Malchut, on Malchut de Malchut, called the “Great Sea.”

Yet, if one were to argue that all Partzufim make a Zivug on the Light with a screen that stands before Malchut, then that Zivug was made on the 50th gate, on all the parts of the desire, on the full depth of the Great Sea (Malchut), down to the very last of her desires and properties, from Keter de Malchut to Malchut de Malchut, from end to end of the Great Sea. Nevertheless, this occurs only in Partzuf Atik de Atzilut, but not below it. And this is not the donkey driver himself, but his father.

This occurs because the great Zivug absorbs all the other particular Zivugim (“swallows all the other fish in the Great Sea”) and all the souls in all the worlds, for they are all much weaker than it. Hence, it is as though they do not exist in its greatness and might. And since it includes absolutely everything, they are all called by the name Nunin, from the letter Nun (50).

This indicates that after all the major corrections that follow this great Zivug, all those Lights and souls, absorbed during its Zivug, return and are born anew for eternal life, for they are completely filled with Light as a result of the great Zivug, when the Light absorbed them completely.

All the Zivugim below Partzuf Atik stem from unifications of the Sefirot with one another. These unifications are defined as interruptions in a Zivug, whereas the Zivug in Atik is direct and without unification. Thus, it is defined as “instant,” for it goes on uninterrupted. It is therefore written that “he crosses the entire sea in an instant,” without any garments-unifications. And it mounts an attack, for there is great power of reception of Ohr Hochma in this Zivug; hence, he said: “Begets, like an arrow in the hands of a warrior.”

It is written of this Zivug in Partzuf Atik: “No one else but you saw the Creator.” However, no birth is possible without the forces of resistance, since, as is written: “The seed that is not shot like an arrow does not beget.” (Talmud, Hagigah, 16). Hence, after he had begotten me and hid me in the Great Tower, he returned to his concealed Zivug.

90. Rabbi Elazar contemplated his words and replied: “You are the son of the Holy Source, you are the son of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba, you are the son of the Source of the Torah, and you drive donkeys behind us!” They wept and kissed him, and continued their journey. Then he said: “If it pleases our master, let him reveal his name to us.”

It is written “looked,” because sight signifies Hochma, and no other words, such as “said,” “heard” (Bina) or “thought” could be used in its stead. Since they have not yet attained to the full extent of perfection what the donkey driver had told them, and their attainment reached only as high as Ohr Haya, they were delighted with what was begotten by Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba, for Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba is Ohr Yechida.

He asked him to reveal his name, that is, to receive his degree, for the attainment of a name denotes the attainment of the spiritual degree. Therefore, the saying, “the entire Torah consists only of the Creator’s names,” means that the entire Torah constitutes the degrees that one must attain, up to the very highest, called “Love” (“Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” items 70-71).

Each degree in the attainment of the Upper Worlds has its own name. All the Creator’s names: Moshe, Pharaoh, Avraham, the Temple, Sinai – every single word in the Torah – are degrees of perception of the Creator, degrees of attaining Him, for nothing exists besides man and his Creator. Everything else that exists in the world, as it seems to us, are the various degrees of our perception of the Creator Himself. He may appear to us as this world, and He may appear as the world of Assiya, as Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, or He may be revealed completely, without partial concealments of the spiritual world or total concealment of our world. Thus, the word Olam (world) is derived from the Haalamah (concealment).

91. He opened and began. It is written, “Benayahu (Benaiah) Ben (the son of) Yehoyada (Jehoiada).” This narrative is beautiful, but it serves to show us the exalted secrets of the Torah. And the name Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada indicates the secret of the Light of Wisdom, Ohr Hochma. Ben Ish Chai is the righteous who revives the worlds. Rav Paalim means that He is the Master of all that transpires, and that all the forces and Supernal Troops stem from Him. He is called the Creator of Force, the Master of all, and He is in everything.

It is written in Prophets: “Benayahu, the son of Yehoyada,” (Shmuel II, 23:20). Here, The Zohar reveals to us the exalted secrets of the Torah, for the holy name of Yehoyada consists of two: Yod-Hey-Vav, the first three letters of HaVaYaH, and Yeda (knowledge).

Keter of the world of Atzilut is called RADLA (unattainable head), whereas Atik itself surrounds all the other Partzufim of the world of AtzilutAA, AVI, and ZON. Atik is called Makif (surrounding), for the other, lower Partzufim cannot attain it or its Zivug. Moreover, they cannot attain anything that comes from it. In other words, there is nothing descending from Atik to the lower Partzufim. Even AA is concealed from them; hence, it is called the “concealed Hochma.” However, it is not defined as unattainable, like Atik, for it contains a Zivug on Ohr Hochma. Nevertheless, this Light does not descend to the lower ones, but only a small luminescence from it, called He’arat Hochma, reaches them.

And all the Light that fills the worlds through the 6,000 years comes from AVI and YESHSUT, who are called Hochma of the thirty-two paths or thirty-two forces (Elokim) of creation, i.e., thirty-two types of He’arat Hochma. This Light of Hochma is the result of Bina’s ascent to AA, where she receives Ohr Hochma and shines downward. Therefore, all the Light of Hochma that is revealed through the 6,000 years, before the end of correction, is no more than the Light of Bina, which received Ohr Hochma upon ascending to AA.

AA is called Yeda (knowledge) because it gives Ohr Hochma to Bina, and knows all the routes of Ohr Hochma into Bina and through her on to the lower ones. While making a Zivug, AA itself does not pass its Light downwards, but as AVI ascend to AA, they receive Ohr Hochma, called “thirty-two streams” or “paths of wisdom,” which can be attained by the lower ones.

Everything that is written in The Zohar refers to all the souls in general. However, there are exceptions that are not normally studied. There exist special, exalted souls that merit becoming a Kli, MAN for the great Zivug of RADLA after their exile, and to receive from this Zivug in the Upper World the degree of Yechida. These are the souls of Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada, Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba and a very few chosen others. These exalted souls reveal themselves to the righteous in this world, and as a result, the righteous merit delighting in Ohr Yechida, which shines only in such exalted souls, while still being in this world.

Therefore, the name of Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada indicates that it stems from the inner wisdom, the unattainable Light of Hochma of Atik. This name also causes the concealment of the Light of Hochma, for the name Yehoyada: Yod-Hey-Vav + Yeda means that only he who attains the first three letters Yod-Hey-Vav of the Creator’s name HaVaYaH shall attain Him, and no other shall.

Therefore, this name remains concealed in its place. At first, the donkey driver explains the quality of this Zivug in Atik – its height, the power of the Light that emerges onto it in Rosh de Atik, which the name of this Zivug, “Ben Ish Chai Rav Paalim ve Mekabtziel,” indicates. And then he explains what is concealed and what descends to the souls.

It was already stated that this Zivug takes place at the end of the correction of the entire Malchut. Hence, it includes all the individual Zivugim and the degrees that emerge on them through the 6,000 years. All the Lights accumulate into one. All the types of MAN combine into one and ascend to ask for this Zivug, which includes all the suffering and punishments gradually accumulated during the 6,000 years.

Hence, the height and greatness of this Zivug and the degree of Light that emerges from it are infinite, and it destroys all the impure forces once and for all. Yesod de ZA, from which the Light of this Zivug (the combination of all the Lights over the full course of the 6,000 years) is emanated, is called “Ish Chai Rav Paalim” – a vivid man of many actions. However, Malchut, which contains within her all the MAN, suffering, and work performed during the 6,000 years, is called Mekabtziel (gathering one).

The Zohar also calls it Tzadik Chai Olamim – the righteous, who revives the worlds, for it thereby points to the Sefira Yesod, which gives the Light to Malchut. The Sefira Yesod does not have a place to receive the Light for itself. Hence, it lives (Chai) only to pass the Light to Malchut. This is why it is called Tzadik (the righteous one), who revives the worlds (Chai Olamim).

Its other name, Rav Paalim (performing many actions) indicates that it includes all the MAD of all the good deeds and all the degrees that were revealed through the 6,000 years. This is because all these degrees are now being revealed all at once in a cumulative, integrated Light, as they leave Yesod and enter Malchut. And since Yesod now gathers all the Light that was emanated during the 6,000 years into one, and passes it to Malchut, this action determines its name – Rav Paalim.

92. Rav Paalimis also Mekabtziel – the Exalted Tree, gathering and performing many actions, Supreme Above all. Where did it come from? From which degree did it originate? Once more, the source indicates – from Mekabtziel, for it is an exalted and concealed degree that none has seen. It includes everything, for it gathers all of the Upper Light within it, and everything originates from it.

Malchut- Nukva is also named Mekabtziel, for she receives and gathers all the Light from Yesod within herself. Hence, Yesod is called Rav Paalim. The degree that emerges onto this Zivug is called the “Supreme and Exalted Tree” that originated from Yesod and entered Malchut. The Zohar goes on to explain that to show us the quality and the origin of this exalted degree, the name Mekabtziel (gathering) is used; Yesod accumulates the Upper Light and passes it to Nukva. And both Yesod and Malchut are called Mekabtziel.

And the degree that emerges onto this Zivug of Yesod and Malchut is called “None but you has seen the Creator.” This degree emerges after the complete correction has been achieved, at the moment of attachment of the final correction that completes them all. Therefore, this degree is defined as all-inclusive, for it collects all the Light over the full course of 6,000 years, and thereby manifests at once in its true perfection.

93. All of the degrees gather in this Supernal, Sacred, and Concealed Hall, where everything is concealed. All of the worlds are inside that hall. All the holy forces are sustained and revived by it, and all are dependant on it.

The Zohar speaks of Rosh de Atik, where all the degrees and all the Light of all the worlds are concentrated and concealed. It further explains how this Zivug can occur up to the final correction, so it would combine all the degrees emerging one after another during the 6,000 years. And it would emerge instantly during the 6,000 years of the world’s existence, when the degrees are in a state of constant ascents and descents, for as soon as a new degree, a new attainment of the Creator, of the Light, is revealed, the present degree disappears. This occurs due to the sin of the lower ones, who cannot retain this degree permanently (world – Olam, from the word Haalamah – concealment. The complete revelation of the Creator to His Creatures will take place at the end of the 6,000 years; thus, the world-concealment will cease to exist).

So, whenever a degree disappears, it does so only from the sensation of one who attains a new degree. In reality, this degree ascends to Rosh de Atik and hides there, so as to, by joining other degrees, be manifested at the end of correction.

In the same way, Atik gathers all the degrees revealed in the world during the 6,000 years, and conceals them within itself until the time of the end of correction comes; WHEN IT CORRECTS THE LAST PORTION OF WHAT IT MUST CORRECT, AND THUS CANNOT NO LONGER SIN. AND IT NO LONGER NEEDS TO SIN TO CORRECT THE NEXT PORTION OF EGOISM; HENCE, THIS FINAL DEGREE REMAINS PERMANENTLY AND DOES NOT DISAPPEAR. Then, Atik gathers all the degrees, and they all manifest simultaneously.

Everyone has his own Partzuf Atik. How can one accelerate his advancement along the degrees of correction in this world and in the spiritual worlds? It is written in the Talmud that an old man bends as he walks, as if he’s looking for something that he had lost.

An old man symbolizes someone of wisdom, Hochma, for even without having lost anything, he looks beforehand for things he can correct in himself, and thus finds them. Hence, he does not require the previous degree of attainment to disappear from him. And if one does not discover new egoistic properties in need of correction within him, his previous degree disappears and a new one begins. However, this process is considerably slower than when one acts like an old man in search of shortcomings.

Throughout the 6,000 years, Atik is defined as unattainable. Therefore, its head is called RADLA (an abbreviation for the Aramaic words, Reisha de Lo Etiada, the “unattainable head”), whereas the name Atik is derived from the word Ne’etak (isolated) from the lower ones, forit does not shine upon them. And, although it accumulates within all the Lights that emerge from it itself and become revealed in the lower worlds, the Light of the end of correction remains concealed nonetheless. It follows that after each degree disappears due to the sins of the lower ones, it ascends to Rosh de Atik and conceals itself there.

However, Guf de Atik, from its Peh downward, is located inside all the other Partzufim of the world of Atzilut, i.e., it is attainable by them. Thus, by clothing in the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut, Atik shines through them and gives the Light to them and to all the lower worlds of BYA. And any Light that shines on creation during the 6,000 years comes only from Guf de Atik, and not from some other spiritual object.

We usually say that whatever is present in the Rosh of a Partzuf manifests in its Guf. This is also true with regard to all the Partzufim of the world of AK and all the other Partzufim in all the worlds, except in Partzuf Atik! This is so because Atik remains in Tzimtzum Aleph and descends down to our world. However, with regard to other Partzufim below it, Atik acts as though it is in Tzimtzum Bet, making a special Zivug on itself and the Light from it descends to the lower worlds.

The Light that comes to revive the worlds is called “sustenance” or Ohr Hassadim, and the Light that comes to stimulate the growth of the Partzufim, to turn a small Partzuf (Katnut) into a big one (Gadlut) is called Ohr Hochma. Both these Lights originate in Guf de Atik. Ohr Hochma, which makes a Partzuf big, is called the Light that elevates the Partzuf, for the lying position is called Ibur (embryo), the sitting position is called Katnut (small), and the standing position – Gadlut (big).

94. He slew two – Ariel and Moav (Moab). Two Holy Temples existed thanks to Atik and received from it: the First Temple and the Second Temple. Since Atik’s disappearance, the process that stemmed from Above had ceased. It is as though he struck and destroyed them.

Only Malchut de Malchut must be corrected, and nothing else. All the other properties do not require correction. This Malchut de Malchut is Malchut of Olam Ein Sof (the World of Infinity), Behina Dalet, Nukva de ZA or Partzuf BON – the Creator’s only creation, the will to receive (pleasure) for oneself. It is this desire that caused the breaking of the Kelim (vessels) – the sin of Adam.

And all the work of the righteous during the 6,000 years concerns the correction of Malchut, so she becomes precisely as she was prior to the breaking of the Kelim and the sin of Adam. As a result, the great Zivug on Tzimtzum Aleph in Rosh de Atik will be revealed. The Light of this Zivug enables man to sort and separate his impure desires from the pure ones, and thus forever rid himself of the impure egoistic forces. This is exactly what Prophet Yeshayahu writes about: “He will eradicate death forever” (Yeshayahu, 25:8).

Since Malchut, Partzuf BON of the world of Atzilut, is completely corrected already and does not require any further corrections, her Partzuf BON ascends to the level of Partzuf SAG of the world of AK. Thus, Malchut completely attains the properties of Bina.

However, meanwhile, after the great Zivug in Atik, but before the ascent of Partzuf BON to SAG, the Light of Atik stops shining. As a result, the two Temples were destroyed. The two temples are the two Lights of Hochma: the Light of AVI, Ohr Hochma de Haya that shines in the First Temple, and the Light of YESHSUT, Ohr Neshama that shines in the Second Temple. And all the Light that Israel received from Atik disappears.

However, all these destructions and disappearances of Light are corrections and milestones on the path to deliverance and complete correction. They signify not devastation, but creation of perfection, as they are precisely those final corrections that bring BON back to SAG.

Since all the roots and sources of what transpires in this world exist in the spiritual realm, and must all manifest once in our world, every spiritual root must “touch” its branch in our world, and it does not matter when this occurs. In the spiritual world, everything unfolds in accordance with a strict cause-and-effect process, whereas in our world those same consequences can manifest at a completely different time.

An example of this is the destruction of the First and the Second Temples. While this event has already transpired in our world, in the spiritual world it occurs only when the last stage of correction is attained. Due to the complexity of time-transcending notions, we will examine this matter in another book. However, one way or another, only our inner spiritual properties can become the Temple in which we will feel the Creator and in which He will forever dwell!

At the end of correction, Ohr Haya and Ohr Neshama will be called the First and the Second Temples, respectively. Also, until the end of correction, Ohr Haya, which is received on the Zivug of Malchut and included in Yesod, is called Shabbat (Sabbath), while Ohr Neshama is called Hol (weekdays). As we can see, there is absolutely no connection between these Lights and the days of the week in our world.

After the destruction of the spiritual Temples (the disappearance of Light), they will be recreated from Above by the screen of Bina, called “Heaven.” This is because the screen of Partzuf SAG is a property of absolute mercy and is completely unrestricted in its actions, desiring only to bestow and refrain from receiving Ohr Hochma. Thus, it is beyond the influence of any restrictions and limitations.

As a result of this Zivug, the two Temples will be restored forever, and “the Light of the Moon (Malchut) shall be as the Light of the Sun (Bina)” (Yeshayahu, 30:26). The Light of Bina, which is now the Light of ZA (called “the sun”), will be seven times more powerful, as ZAT de Atik. From there, this Light will descend to AVI and create the first seven days of creation, for ZA (the sun) will become like AB and contain the Light of Guf de Atik. Malchut will become like ZA and receive his Light, the Light of the sun.

At the end of correction, a Zivug on Malchut herself (the primordial, but corrected egoism) will transpire, and all the particular Zivugim that were made on all the Lights through the 6,000 years (made not on Malchut, but on her inclusion in Yesod) will thereby disappear.

The Temple will be restored from Heaven, for Bina herself does not wish to receive Ohr Hochma. And it will not occur because she cannot, but because she does not want to. This degree is referred to as “in the hands of Heaven.” For example, it is written in the blessing on the new moon: “Life, which contains the fear of Heaven, and the fear of sinning.” This life is above our reasoning and desires, for it is said that faith must be “above reason”; otherwise, sins will ensue.

Thus, one desires nothing more than to go by faith above his reason and desires, for he is afraid to sin. However, there exists an even Higher Degree: when he no longer fears sinning, as he now has a screen, but still prefers to proceed by faith above reason and desires, for he yearns to be dissolved in the Upper One.

The reason for the Light’s disappearance from Guf de Atik prior to these corrections is that the two Malchuyot (Bina and Malchut, called SAG and BON) no longer exist. After the great Zivug of Atik, BON were annulled along with the screen of SAG, as Guf de Atik contains the connection between Bina and Malchut, designed for their interaction during the 6,000 years.

As a result of such interaction between Bina and Malchut, an opportunity arises to partially, gradually correct Malchut. In this mutual Zivug with Malchut, which is merged with Bina (Bina’s properties), Atik first creates AA and then all the other Partzufim of the worlds of Atzilut and BYA.

And since the screen of Malchut (Masach de BON) now disappears, the screen of Bina (Masach de SAG) disappears as well, as they are merged together. In the absence of Malchut and the screen, this Zivug stops, and all the Light of Guf de Atik emanating from this Zivug on the mutual screen of Malchut and Bina disappears. Therefore, all the Light that descended from its Guf (called Temples) disappeared.

In Rosh de Atik there is a Zivug on Malchut of Tzimtzum Aleph. Merged with Bina and existing for 6,000 years, the screen of Malchut disappears. As a result, the Light disappears as well. Malchut has yet to ascend to SAG to receive her perfection, as there is still no new Light. This complete absence of Light is called “destruction.” However, Malchut then receives the Light of AVI, and the worlds of BYA merge with the world of Atzilut.

95. And the Holy Throne (Malchut) is overthrown. Hence, the prophet Yechezkel (Ezekiel) wrote, “I am in exile,” signifying that the degree called “I,” which is Malchut, is in exile. Why? “By the river Kevar.” Kevar (already) is the river that had already existed, but has now disappeared. As it is written, “The river is destroyed and dried up.” It was “destroyed” in the first Temple and “dried up” in the second. Hence, it is written: “He struck and destroyed both, Ariel and Moav.” Moav (or Mi Av) means “from the Heavenly Father.” They were all destroyed for Him, and all the Light that shone upon Israel disappeared.

The word Kursa, derived from the word Kisse (throne) or Kissuy (cover) signifies the combination of the properties of Malchut and Bina, which leads to the Light descending to BYA during the 6,000 years. The Holy Throne is overthrown, because the screen of Bina (Kisse) has been annulled, as it is said, “I am in exile,” where “I” designates Malchut.

The entire spiritual complex is structured like a ladder, where Malchut of the Upper Partzuf becomes (descends to) the Keter of the lower one. This is also indicated in the names: Malchut is called “I” (Ani = Aleph-Nun-Yod) and Keter is called “no” (Ein = Aleph-Yod-Nun), as it is completely unattainable. Only that which is perceived within Malchut can be attained; hence, it is called “I.”

Only Malchut of the Upper Partzuf acts as a link between the Partzufim: the Upper One makes a Zivug on its Malchut, creates Ohr Hozer, and receives (clothes) the Upper Light within it, and then Malchut of the Upper One descends to the lower Partzuf in the form of Ohr Hozer. This state of the Upper One clothing in the lower one is called the exile of the Upper One, for the Zivug with the Upper Light disappears from it, and the Upper Light disappears from all the Partzufim. And the river dries up – the corrected screen is called the “river,” for it causes the Upper Light’s descent to the lower ones.

However, now that the screen (river) disappears, the descent of the Upper Light disappears as well. The destruction of the river in the First Temple causes the disappearance of Ohr Haya; the river in the Second Temple dries up, and Ohr Neshama vanishes along with it. The river in the First Temple is destroyed because the Zivug in AVI is stopped; the Light in YESHSUT is exhausted, and the river in the SecondTemple dries up.

The source of Ohr Haya and Neshama is Aba, called the “Heavenly Father,” for he shines in ZA, called “Heaven,” with the Light that elevates ZON to YESHSUT (the Second Temple) and to AVI (the First Temple). Because the Light stops shining from Guf de Atik,all of the Light descending to Israel disappears. This refers not only to the Light of the two Temples, but to all of the Light shining upon Israel, including Ohr VAK and the Light in the worlds of BYA.

96. Further, He descended and struck the lion. Initially, when this river rolled its waters down, Israel was in a state of perfection, for they offered up gifts and sacrifices to atone for their sins and to save their souls. Then, the image of a lion would descend from Above, and they would see it on the altar as it trampled the bodies of the sacrifices, devouring them, and all the dogs (all those who slander Israel) would fall to silence.

The fire that consumes the sacrifices laid on the Temple altar resembled a lion, and towered over the sacrifices, like a lion (Talmud, Yoma, 21:2), and that fire burned the sacrifices laid down by the sons of Israel. However, this is a corporeal image that a regular person perceives in our world.

But we shall follow our higher analysis and detach ourselves from this corporeal image; we will explain the action in the spiritual world that this language actually alludes to. All the languages in the Torah, including that which describes a rather corporeal image of sacrifice, speak only of spiritual actions. The most precise language for the description of these actions is the language of Kabbalah. However, this language is clear only to those who have ascended to the spiritual worlds and see both the roots, i.e., the events that transpire in the spiritual worlds, as well as their corporeal consequences.

Before the Light of Atik disappeared, when the Upper Light still shone upon Israel, like a river rolling its waters, Israel was in a state of perfection: by means of sacrifice, it raised its MAN (request), thus evoking a Zivug on its screen, and MAD (the Light, abundance) descends on it. As a result of these actions, it grew closer to the Heavenly Father, and all the impure forces distanced from it, for “it purified its souls, and purification signifies distancing from the impure forces (desires), the way a soiled garment is cleansed from dirt.

Hence, the Hebrew word for sacrifice is Korban, derived from the word Karov (near). Thus, sacrifice signifies a person tearing away a part of his inner animal egoism for the sake of drawing closer to the Creator. This is what brings Israel closer to their Heavenly Father.

And since Israel existed in perfection and raised MAN for the Creator’s pleasure alone, its MAN would ascend to Bina. The Light of Bina is called Ohr Hassadim, and its form resembles the image of a lion, like the property of bestowal, Hesed. This means that the lion- Bina receives Israel’s good desires and deeds. And it was seen how Bina consumes Israel’s MANOhr Hassadim descends from Bina onto this MAN, like a lion trampling his prey (MAN) and devouring it.

A lion devouring its prey is the principal aspect of sacrifice, for it signifies raising MAN to strengthen a screen and create Ohr Hozer. And since the magnitude of the received Ohr Yashar is determined by the magnitude (height) of Ohr Hozer, which creates the screen, it follows that existence and growth of Ohr Yashar is dependent on the Ohr Hozer. The greater the Ohr Hozer, the greater the descending Ohr Yashar becomes.

In other words, to the extent that every one of us desires to “bestow,” he evokes a corresponding response from Above, from the root of his soul. And just as in our world a living being’s life and strength depend on nutrition (it simply dies without it), the Upper Light depends on the Light reflected by the screen. When it stops, the Upper Light disappears from the Partzuf, i.e., man stops feeling it.

The Upper Light descends from Bina as Ohr Yashar (called a “lion”), i.e., in the form of “bestowal,” in accordance with Bina’s nature. And man sees (feels!) how Ohr Yashar clothes in Ohr Hozer, which ascends from its sacrifice (rejection of egoism), the lion’s nourishment.

It devours its prey and thereby grows: the extent of Israel’s perfection and their ability to offer sacrifices, to “bestow,” determines the magnitude of their MAN and the force with which the Ohr Yashar strikes the screen, which reflects the Direct Light (pleasure) from below upwards with all its might. Moreover, it does so in great fear: for what if it fails to reflect the Light and desires to enjoy the Light of this Commandment selfishly?

That is precisely where one’s work lies. It is called “faith above reason,” for it must rise above one’s reason (egoism) and intellect. Conversely, those who receive inner confidence that it is enough to advance within one’s nature are called “sacred still,” a pure inanimate (non-developing) being, as such reason prevents them from spiritual growth.

Therefore, if the height of Ohr Hozer is great, it is defined as a lion that tears and devours its prey, as a victor, for it grows and ascends to a higher spiritual level thanks to the efforts of the lower one (man).

The impure force, the selfish will to receive pleasure is called “a dog,” as it is written: “The leech has two daughters (who demand): Give-give.” (Mishley, 30:15). They bark like a dog, and demand (to receive) both this world and the next. And the Higher One ascends, the stronger this impure force, called Klipa, becomes. And its strongest part corresponds to Ohr Yechida, opposite the lion devouring its prey).

The lion represents mercy and bestowal, unwillingness to receive anything for oneself. As it is written in The Ethics of the Fathers,95: A Chassid, the merciful righteous one, says, ‘What’s yours is yours, and what’s mine is yours,’” so is the impure force (dog) aimed wholly at reception, and has no aspiration to bestow. As it is said in the Talmud (Bava Batra, 10:2), “The righteous among the nations of the world: all their mercy is for themselves alone;” hence, they are connected to the impure force of a dog. (Under no circumstances should any of this be interpreted literally, for, as it was repeatedly explained, the whole of the Kabbalah speaks only of man’s-prototype. Israel is one’s inner aspiration to the Creator, and Goy (a gentile) signifies egoism (regardless of and unrelated to one’s origin). Relate this to the above-mentioned corporeal and spiritual Temples, where there is no connection between rocks and spiritual objects. It is also unclear to the uninitiated why altruism is the property of a lion, while a dog, a loyal animal, is the root of egoism and impurity).

It is therefore said that when Israel was perfect, it acquired the property of a lion, and all the dogs left it be, for it gave Malchut the strength to raise Ohr Hozer to great heights (devoured its prey, like a victor), and the impure force, like a dog, was afraid to come near it, and would hide in fear of the lion.

97. Yet, when sins increased, he descended to the lower degrees and slew the lion. This was because the lion refused to give up its prey as before, and this is as though he killed it. Therefore, he struck the lion and threw it into a pit, to the Evil Side (according to his understanding). The Evil Side saw this and sent a dog to devour the sacrifices from the altar in the lion’s stead. What is the name of that lion? And what is the nickname of that dog? Baladan is its name; Baladan is formed by the words Bal-Adam, where the letter Mem is replaced by Nun,for he is not a human being at all, but a dog, and his face is like a muzzle of a dog.

(“He” refers to Benayahu Ben Yehoyada Ben Ish Chai, Rav Paalim uMekabtziel, in whom the degree of Atik, all of the Light, shines all at once.) Due to the disappearance of the screens of Malchut (BON) and Bina (SAG), Israel below could no longer raise MAN (the will to “bestow,” the screen, the lion’s nourishment). The Zivug stopped, and the Upper Light (lion) disappeared in its Root Above.

“Threw it into a pit” – the root of the desire to receive for one's own sake is in the eyes, as Rashi said: “The eye sees, and the heart burns with desire” (The weekly portion Shlach). This will to receive for oneself is called an “empty, waterless pit” (Beresheet, 37:24). The Upper Light does not fill it. Although it is empty, it is unworthy of being a vessel for the Light, as it is written: “He and I cannot dwell in the same abode” (Talmud, Suta,5).

Thus, the lion was thrown into a pit, for it was struck before the eyes of the impure egoistic force, called an “empty, waterless pit.” And these pits now emerge from their hideouts and reveal their power, and in place of a lion appears a barking dog.

ZA- MA = 45 is called Adam = Aleph + Dalet + Mem = 1 + 4 + 40 = 45, when he receives the Light from Bina. The property of Bina is bestowal. Hence, it is written: “Man is your name” (Talmud, Yevamot, 61), referring only to those who attain the property of bestowal, but not to the others, of whom it is said: “Even their mercy is only for their profit” (Talmud, Bava Batra, 10:2), and who are therefore called Baladan (Bal-Adan).

98. On a day of snow, on the day misfortunes descend from the Supernal Court Above, it is written, “Her household shall not fear snow,” that is, the Supernal Court, called “snow.” For her household is clothed twofold, and can thereby endure a strong fire. So the book says.

Strictness, judgment (Din) or restriction imposed on the use of egoism in the male part is called “snow” that stems from the Supernal Court. These restrictions are very powerful, but are mitigated below the Chazeh, where Malchut receives them. Nukva describes these restrictions in the following way: “Surround me with roses,” (Shir HaShirim, 2) referring to two fires: the Upper – Bina, and the lower, her own – Malchut.

After Malchut acquires these two fires, she weakens the strictness of the cold snow with her fire. Hence, it is written in Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) that her household shall not fear snow (the Supernal Court), i.e., the restrictions imposed on the male part, for her household is clothed twofold. In other words, on the contrary, the snow helps her withstand the heat of her fire. And only now that the screen and Zivug are gone, and the two fires are no more, the restrictions of the snow return.

99. What is written next? “And he struck an Egyptian.” This refers to a secret: every time Israel sinned, the Creator would conceal Himself and restrict them from receiving all the goodness and all the Light that He shone upon them. “He struck an Egyptian.” “He” refers to Moshe, the Light that shines upon Israel. For in Egypt he was born, grew up, and attained the Supernal Light.

The Torah speaks not of man, but of the Light that disappeared and concealed itself. Hence, it is defined as “slain.” Gone is the great Light, with which Moshe shone upon Israel. And this Light is called the “Egyptian,” for in Egypt Moshe was born, grew up, and attained the great Supernal Light, the Light that delivered Israel from Egypt.

100. A man of mirror. It is written, mirror and man, as it is written, a Godly man, the husband of that mirror, of the Creator’s glory, Malchut. For with this degree he merited ruling over the entire land in all of his desire – a feat unmatched by any other.

The difference between Moshe and the other prophets is that Moshe is the foundation of ZA, as he constructs and passes the Light from ZA to Malchut, whereas the other prophets are the foundation of Malchut, and receive from her. Hence, it is written of him: “Godly man,” the husband of Malchut, called the “Creator’s greatness.” And why is Moshe called the husband of Malchut? Because he attained the level of ZA and gives the Light to Malchut. Therefore, it is written that his attainments are beyond anyone else’s, for the other prophets receive from Malchut, and are therefore ruled by her.

He who attains Malchut receives from her. The degree called Moshe means that he who attains it gives the Light to Malchut, instead of receiving from her. Yet, how can this be? How can one possibly rise above Malchut if all our souls originate from her and exist in the worlds of BYA? This indicates the state of ascent above Malchut, which is how Moshe ascends to Bina.

101. This is the Creator’s staff that was delivered to him, as it is written, “With the Creator’s staff in my hand.” This is the staff that was created on the evening of the sixth day of the creation, before Shabbat. And His Holy Name is contained in it. And with this staff Moshe sinned by striking it twice against the rock. The Creator said to him: “Moshe, it is not for this purpose that I have not given you My staff; thus, it will no longer be in your possession henceforth.”

The words “evening” and “twilight” signify the state of mitigation of Malchut’s strictness by the properties of Bina to an extent that it becomes impossible to distinguish Malchut from Bina. This is because on Shabbat, Malchut ascends to AVI and becomes Bina. However, on the twilight of Shabbat, Malchut is not yet Bina, but is no longer Malchut (everything in the book speaks only of the properties of spiritual objects, for nothing but desires exists in the spiritual worlds. Only in our world are desires clothed in physical bodies).

Hence, it is said that ten things were created in the twilight, when there is no distinction between the thing itself and its origin, Bina or Malchut, for Malchut herself shows no distinction. And such is the property of the staff that was created in the twilight, before the world’s first Shabbat. Hence, it possesses the holy (special) property of the Creator’s name, an allusion to the properties of Bina, from which holiness (altruism) descends. And Malchut is ready to receive this holiness.

And these two properties of Bina and Malchut are contained in the Creator’s staff, utterly indistinguishable from one another, for they were created in the twilight. Hence, with the help of this staff, i.e., by means of the property of uniting Malchut with Bina, all the fortunes and wonders, all of the Light can be brought to Israel, for this is the purpose behind the Light’s descent from Bina to Malchut. With the help of this property (the staff), Moshe merited an ascent to Bina, up to the degree of “Godly man.” Therefore, the staff is called the Creator’s staff, according to the name of Bina.

Malchut is called Tzur (rock), and upon ascending to Bina, she is called Sela (another name for a rock). The inner Zivug between ZON (ZA and Malchut) in the state of their ascent to AVI, when Nukva uses Ima’s Kelim, is called “speech.” The outer Zivug between ZON, when they are in their own place, is called “Zivug de Hakaa” (a Zivug by Striking).

It is hence written to Moshe in the weekly Torah portion Bashalach: “You shall strike the rock (Tzur), and it shall bring forth water” (Shemot, 17:6), for a Zivug de Hakaa occurs within Malchut herself. However, it is written in the weekly portion Chukat: “Speak ye unto the rock before all eyes, that it give forth its water” (Bamidbar, 20:8), for the “rock” is in Bina, and the Zivug within her is called “speech.”

And herein lies the sin of Moshe: he struck twice: in addition to first striking the Tzur, he struck the Sela, which lacks the strike, and only has a Zivug in the form of speech. Since there is no distinction in the Creator’s staff, and it is unclear whether it refers to Malchut or to Bina, he also applied it to Sela-Bina. And the Creator told him that the staff was given to him to use with Tzur, but not with Sela.

102. At once He descended to him in strictness and wrenched the staff from the Egyptian’s hand, for the moment the staff was taken from him, it was taken for good. And he was killed by it: because of the sin of striking the rock with the staff, he died and did not enter the Holy Land. And that Light was concealed from Israel.

It was already mentioned in item 94 that as a result of a great Zivug in Atik, only BON were supposed to disappear, but not SAG, for BON could have immediately risen and forever become like SAG. However, as SAG and BON were merged, SAG disappeared together with BON.

The Light of Moshe disappeared from Israel for the same reason – because he committed an even greater sin and harmed the union of BON and SAG by striking the Sela. Hence, harsh judgment descended upon him, which refers to the disappearance of the Light of SAG. Indeed, SAG is no longer connected to BON in any way, and the annulment of BON has no influence on it.

This is the meaning of what is written in Psalms: “He resembled those who draw axes at a copse of trees, but now all of his adornments are smashed by hatchets and axes” (Tehilim, 74:5). Due to Malchut’s ascent to Bina, and her correction there, Malchut is like a “copse of trees,” for SAG, too, is annulled by the merging with BON, Malchut’s ascent, as if struck with “hatchets and axes.”

Hence, it is written that the staff was taken from the Egyptian, and will never return to him, for the staff refers to Malchut. So the Light disappears for good, because BON renews itself afterwards and becomes SAG forever. Thus, it is no longer necessary to use the staff for striking.

It is written in this regard that he was slain by the same staff, for had he been careful and used it only once – striking the Tzur, but not the SelaSAG would not have been annulled together with BON, and he would not have died. Instead, he would have immediately risen to SAG.

This is why it is written that Moshe shall not enter the Holy Land, Israel, as Israel is BON in the state of ascent to SAG, and it is called the Holy Land, for the Light of Bina (called the Holy Light) shines in it. However, until the end of correction arrives, there are still ascents and descents, which cause destructions (disappearance of the Light) and revelations (shining of the Light). But at the end of correction, BON will remain within SAG permanently as Eretz Israel, and there shall be no more exiles from it.

103. “The most respected of the thirty” refers to the Upper One that receives from Above and passes downward, one that receives and brings closer. However, he does not go to the first three, but they come to him and give to him wholeheartedly, but he does not come to them.

GAR (HBD) are called “thirty,” as each of the three Sefirot HBD consists of ten, which amounts to thirty. And their Light shines in all of the 6,000 years. The soul of Benayahu appears out of the great Zivug of Atik, which accumulates all the Zivugim during the 6,000 years. Hence, it is called Rav Paalim (performing many actions) and Mekabtziel (gathering all into one degree- Partzuf, called Benayahu Ben Yehoyada).

Therefore, he receives the Light of all of the Supernal Thirty, which descends to his soul. Indeed, he consists of particular Zivug im that have transpired through the 6,000 years, which he gathers into one. And, although they give him the best of their properties wholeheartedly, he still cannot draw closer to them and subsequently receive from them. This is because the disappearance of the screen in ZON made the screen in SAG disappear as well. Hence, he cannot come to them, raise MAN, and receive from them further.

104. Despite not being considered one of them, David heard the meaning that is never detached from the heart, for they can never be separated. David paid attention with all his heart, but he did not pay attention to David. For by the praises, hymns, and mercy that the moon offers the sun, the moon draws the sun closer so as to be with it.

David is Malchut; Malchut comes from the word Melech (King). Therefore, David is King, for his properties are the properties of Malchut (kingdom). And this is the fourth leg (support) of GAR. Hence, it is written that although he cannot be together with the thirty (GAR), he nonetheless clings to these properties, and never detaches himself from them.

This is because Malchut’s entire perfection is revealed in him, for it stems from the great Zivug of Atik, which destroys all the impure forces of BON, as it is said: “He destroys evil forever.”

Therefore, David resolved to never part with it again, for it is his perfection. However, Benayahu Ben Yehoyada paid no attention to David, as David is the fourth support of GAR. Hence, it is as though he is unable to receive from GAR. And since he cannot receive from David, he pays no attention to him.

With the help of the MAN of Malchut (called Se’ara – stormy wind), which is raised to ZA (called “Heaven”), as a result of the hymns, praises, and mercy, Malchut receives the Light of Benayahu Ben Yehoyada’s soul, which is absolute perfection, and merges with it for all eternity.

105. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba fell down on their faces before him and could not see him anymore, then rose and went in every direction, but could not see him. They sat and wept, and could not even speak to one another. Then, Rabbi Aba said, “It is true what we have learned, that the Torah accompanies the righteous on all their paths. The righteous of the other world come to them to reveal to them the secrets of the Torah. And this must have been Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba, who came to us from the other world to reveal these secrets to us. But before we could recognize him, he vanished.” They rose and wanted to lead their donkeys on, but could not. They repeatedly tried to goad the donkeys, but still they could not move. They grew frightened and left their donkeys behind.And to this day this place is called “the place of donkeys.”

Because they could not bear such a powerful Light, which was revealed to them upon the disclosure of those secrets, they fell (Katnut) and then rose (Gadlut), for it was so unbearable. After they merited receiving from it such a great degree, this Light disappeared at once and did not reappear, and they could not attain it anymore. Hence, they wept (a kind of Katnut) out of great grief that they had lost such exalted attainment, and they could not speak (absence of Kelim).

The bitterness of their loss made them realize that it was the degree of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba himself, and not lower, as they had mistakenly thought before. The forces that they received from the soul of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba are called “donkeys,” with which they can raise MAN, the request to attain Higher Degrees, Haya and Yechida.

In other words, the soul is a spiritual force of Light; like a pulling force of a donkey that helps overcome egoistic desires and move from place to place in the spiritual world, onto a Higher Degree. To raise MAN means to feel what is lacking and what needs to be attained – this is what man’s work is all about.

Such is the work of a righteous soul – it helps man by lifting him up onto his donkey (egoism) and taking the lead (pulling) in order to illuminate (give strength) for him the path of the righteous. And now, when its role has been completed, this soul disappears, although they would have very much liked to continue ascending and riding its donkeys, i.e., they wished to raise MAN anew to return and attain once more.

However, they could no longer receive the strength to raise MAN. Thus, they were struck by fear and left their donkeys in that place, which is hence called “the place of donkeys,” for they could not use them any longer.

106. Rabbi Elazar opened and said: “Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have hidden away for those who fear You! (Tehilim, 31:20).How infinite is the goodness that the Creator shall bestow on humankind in the future, on those sin-fearing, exalted righteous, who study the Torah as they arrive at that Upper World.”

The words “great goodness” refer to Gadlut, the attainment of the Light of GAR. For the basis of a Partzuf is its VAK – the amount of Light necessary for its existence, received from the Zivug of AVI, who make this Zivug and emit Ohr Hassadim, necessary to sustain the worlds. And all the extra Light, necessary for existence, is called GAR or Ohr Hochma – the additional, delectable and great Light.

This Ohr Hochma, the Light of GAR, stems from Bina, which is called “the world to come.” It is clothed in Ohr Hassadim that emerges from a Zivug of the Sefira Yesod (Chai Olamim – life of the worlds), and from there descends to the righteous who fear to sin.

The Zivug of AVI, when they are at the degree of Bina, gives Ohr Hassadim to ZA for the sustenance of the worlds. However, when AVI ascend to AA and beget new souls by their Zivug, their Zivug is inconstant, as it emits Ohr Hochma, called “new souls.”

107. The name “great goodness” can be further described as containing all the secrets of the Supernal wisdom, which descend from ZA to Malchut. There is a great tree, called ZA or Rav (great, strong), and there is a small tree, Malchut, which grows from it. And it is elevated to the Highest Firmament.

In addition to the attainment of the Light of GAR, there is also the inner part of the Supernal wisdom with its secrets, which become revealed in the Zivug of Atik at the completion of the 6,000 years, the end of correction. MA designates the lower world, Malchut. The great and strong tree is ZA in the state of ascent to Partzuf AB, as in this state he receives Ohr Hochma, and Hochma signifies strength (not “reason – strength” but the strength of Ohr Hochma lies in the fact that it allows one to go against reason, in defiance of common sense, in faith above reason).

However, when ZA is in his place, he is simply called “a tree,” for he lacks Ohr Hochma and has only VAK, Ohr Hassadim. Malchut is also called a tree and grows together with ZA; ZA ascends to Aba, to the utmost height, to the Supernal Firmament – Atik.

108. The “great goodness” is the Light that was created on the first day of creation and concealed so as to be revealed in the future for the righteous in the other world. Your Deeds are the Supernal Garden of Eden, which the Creator has created by His act.

The Light that was created on the first day of creation is the Light in which Adam saw from one end of the world to the other. Hence, the word “Light” is used five times in the Torah’s description of the first day of creation. This Light is intended for the righteous in the world to come, for it is concealed in Yesod de Aba and in Yesod de Ima, which are collectively called “righteousness and justice.”

(In Hebrew, the words Tzedek – justice and Tzadik – righteous/just have the same root. This name is given to one who attains the Creator’s governance and sees that His governance is just; hence, he justifies all of the Creator’s actions, and is thus called righteous. The other meaning of the word ‘righteous’ refers to man’s belief that the Creator is righteous, because in spirituality, one assumes the name of the degree one has attained. If he attains that the Creator is righteous by receiving this knowledge from the degree onto which he ascends, then he is already called by the name of that degree.)

Ohr Hochma can be received only in “precious garments,” called righteousness and justice, that is, only with these intentions. The above excerpt speaks of an open action, implying unrestricted diffusion of Light, as it will be after the end of all the corrections. In the Torah, such a state is called “the Supernal Garden of Eden.”

In the meantime, only the complete and perfect righteous ones, the souls of Benayahu Ben Yehoyada and others that merited reception of Light from the great Zivug of Atik, gather all the Light of the 6,000 years. These souls’ place of rest is referred to as the Garden of Eden.

There exists the lower Garden of Eden of earth, which is VAK, and the Supernal one, GAR. All the souls dwell in the lower Garden of Eden, and only on new moons and Sabbaths do they ascend to the Supernal Garden of Eden, and then return to their place. However, there are individual, special persons (souls), whose place is in the Supernal Garden of Eden. These are the souls of which Rabbi Shimon says: “I saw them ascending, but their numbers were few.”

109. All the righteous stand in the lower Garden of Eden, clothed in precious adornments, similar in quality and form to those which they wore in this world, meaning in the same form as people in this world and according to man’s actions in this world. They stand there and fly away through the air, ascend to the Assembly in the Supernal Garden of Eden, fly there and bathe in the dew of the pure river of Apharsemon (persimmon), then come down and fly below in the lower Garden of Eden.

The main difference between GAR and ZAT with regard to both Partzufim and souls is that GAR (KHB) do not need the garment of Hassadim. They can receive Ohr Hochma as it is. However, Partzufim of VAK and the souls born from ZON, whose basis is VAK(Ohr Hochma clothed in Ohr Hassadim), can only receive Ohr Hochma when it is clothes in Ohr Hassadim.

The Ruach de Tzadikim (spirit of the righteous) in the lower Garden of Eden is clothed in Ohr Hassadim, just as human souls in this world. And with the help of these precious garments, they can ascend to the Supernal Garden of Eden and there receive Ohr Hochma. Afterwards, they return to their place in the lower Garden of Eden, for that is their permanent place.

They ascend by the power of Ohr Hassadim,called “air,” and fly to the Supernal Garden of Eden to receive Ohr Hochma, called the river of Apharsemon. However, they cannot stay there, so they immediately descend from the Supernal Garden of Eden to the lower. The Zohar compares them to human souls, for both the Upper and the lower human souls need to receive the garment of Ohr Hassadim in order to correct themselves and ascend.

110. And sometimes these righteous appear as people in order to perform miracles, like celestial angels, just as we have seen the luminescence of the Upper Light, but did not merit to see and discover the wisdom’s great secrets.

DID NOT MERIT TO DISCOVER THE WISDOM’S GREAT SECRETS – for the donkey driver had left them and disappeared. There are special souls that abide in the Supernal Garden of Eden. They have risen so high that the souls from the lower Garden of Eden ascend to them only on new moons and Sabbaths, and, being unable to stay there, immediately descend to their permanent place. However, they are nonetheless similar to human souls, which descend from the Supernal Garden of Eden to this world and meet people, just like the angels that seldom descend to this world.

Now they have seen the Light of the Supernal Luminary, the Light of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba that descended on them from the highest point, the Supernal Garden of Eden, and was revealed before them in this world (while they are still living in this world).

AS PEOPLE refers to the souls that abide in the lower Garden of Eden, which have the form of people, and the Light of the Supernal Garden of Eden influences them. They can receive this Light during their ascent on new moons and Sabbaths, whereupon they merit meeting the souls of the Supernal Garden of Eden, and then descend to their permanent place.

However, one may also say that the words AS PEOPLE refer to the people of our corporeal world, while the souls from the Supernal Garden of Eden sometimes descend to this world and, like exalted angels, appear before the eyes of the righteous.

111. Rabbi Aba opened and said: “And he who is doomed said to his wife, ‘We shall die, for I have seen the Creator.’ Even though he was not aware of his actions, as it is written, ‘He did not know that it was an angel’; however, since it is written, ‘Man shall not see Me and live,’ we know that he has died. And we have merited this great Light to accompany us, and the world exists because the Creator Himself sent him to us, to reveal the secrets of His Supernal wisdom to us. How joyous is our share!”

When the angel saw him who was doomed, he did not yet have the proper level of attainment; thus, the angel was unwilling to reveal his name. Yet, although he did not know and did not attain him, he still feared the words, “Man shall not see Me and live” (Shemot, 33:20).

But we have merited complete attainment, for we came to know his name, Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba. And we live and exist in this world. It is therefore clear that the degree of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba is called “Show me Your glory” (Shemot, 33:18), Moshe’s request of the Creator.

But the Creator replied: “You cannot see My face, for man shall not see Me and live.” From this we see that they have attained more than Moshe. This state is described by sages as, “There was no prophet more exalted than Moshe, but there was a sage” (Yalkut Shimoni, the end). It is also written: “A sage is preferred to a prophet” (Talmud, Bava Batra, 12:1). Thus, they have spiritually ascended to merit the appearance of such an exalted soul, while still being in this world.

112. They walked and came to a mountain. The sun had set. The branches of the tree on that mountain started rattling and singing. As they were still walking, they heard a resounding voice proclaim, “Sons of the Holy Creator, dispersed among the living in this world, illuminated by the sons of the Assembly, gather in your places and rejoice with your Creator in the Torah. They grew frightened and stopped, then sat down.

“They came to a mountain” refers to the words of King David, who said (Tehilim, 24:3): “Who shall ascend the mountain of the Lord, and who shall stand in His holy place?” meaning who is worthy of it? After they climbed the mountain, the sun had set (the Light left the Partzuf). But they heard something from the trees, as it is written: “Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy” (Tehilim, 96:12).

They heard a voice that told them to return to their place, rejoice in the Creator and His Torah, and descend from the mountain. And it calls them by the name of that High Degree, which they’ve achieved. But it hints that people are not worthy of being at that degree and in this world simultaneously. Yet, although they were frightened, they remained on the mountain, sat down, and did not move. “Grew frightened,” “stopped,” and “sat down” are the spiritual states of the Partzuf.

We see how The Zohar explains the path of the righteous, those who cross the Machsom (the barrier that separates our world from the spiritual) and start ascending the rungs of the spiritual ladder. This path is diverse, and each book of the Torah describes it in its own way: the language of Kabbalah, legends, judicial laws, historical accounts of the Pentateuch, etc.. The Zohar draws a vivid picture for us – like a guidebook for those who will find themselves in the place of these exalted travelers in the spiritual world. Once there, you will see for yourselves what is implied by such notions as “mountain,” “tree,” and “voice.” Then The Zohar will become your true guidebook!

It is impossible to provide a more detailed description of the Partzufim, i.e., an inner perception of one who ascends spiritually. This is because the reader must first have certain analogous sensations of his own. If one could see only once what the described content (or something similar) really means, one would be able to clearly imagine what it speaks of.

It is the same in our world: even if we have never been to a certain country, we can imagine what others describe to us by analogy with what we already know. But in this case, there is no analogy. One who sees the spiritual world for the first time realizes how wrong all of his previous visualizations have been! Hence, we can say nothing about many of the states described in The Zohar.

113. Meanwhile, a voice called out again, “O, mighty rocks, great hammers of thunder, Bina stands upon a pillar, so enter and assemble.” At that moment, they heard the mighty voice of thousands of trees, which was saying, “The Creator’s voice breaks the cedars.” Both Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba fell down on their faces. Great fear fell upon them. They rose hastily and left, not hearing anything else, then came down the mountain and kept on walking.

It was previously said that they could not load their donkeys, meaning that they were unable to raise MAN, because Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba had already completed his helping mission. This is why they lost the power of their donkeys, and could not continue using them to raise MAN and merit Higher Degrees.

Therefore, Rabbi Elazar said earlier that they did not merit seeing and attaining the secrets of the Supernal wisdom. The fact is that after they attained the level of Yechida, i.e., revealed the soul of Benayahu Ben Yehoyada with the help of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba, the disappearance of the screen (Masach) of BON caused the loss of Masach de SAG. Hence, they could no longer raise MAN.

The Light stopped descending to them from Guf de Atik specifically to give them the opportunity, or rather the strength to recreate Masach de SAG. Consequently, BON will become like SAG, they will resume raising MAN, and will once more be able to ascend from degree to degree.

Hence, as soon as both Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba left their donkeys, they lost strength to raise MAN in order to bring BON back to the level of SAG. However, the voice proclaimed that they are as strong as rock and thunder, for so far they have endured all the trials. And they will gather strength to endure the mighty rocks and to overcome all the obstacles as before, until they obliterate these obstacles, like great hammers of thunder crashing down from Above.

Bina, though herself colorless, is called “the source of colors.” This is because she is all mercy, whereas all the other properties originate specifically from her by enduring all the trials, like rocks. From all this, Bina receives new forms, hence she received the powers of a new screen onto which emerge all the new degrees and Partzufim.

Together, the voice that informed them of Bina’s new powers, they heard another voice,“The Creator’s voice breaks the cedars” (Tehilim, 29:5), which let them know that all the cedars (obstacles) on their path to higher attainments have been removed. This gave them strength to climb down the mountain and continue their path onto Higher Degrees.

114. Upon reaching the house of Rabbi Yosi, the son of Rabbi Shimon Ben Yosi Ben Lakunya, they saw Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai. They rejoiced. Rabbi Shimon rejoiced, too. He said to them, “You have traveled this path of Heavenly signs and wonders correctly, for as I was sleeping, I saw you and Benayahu Ben Yehoyada, who was sending you two crowns with an old man, so as to adorn you. I am certain that the Creator was on this path too, because I see how your faces have changed.” Rabbi Yosi said, “Truly, it is said that a sage is preferred to a prophet.” Rabbi Elazar came and put his head on the knees of his father, Rabbi Shimon, and told him of what had happened.

Here The Zohar gives an allegorical explanation of two states: first, they merited attaining the Light of SAG (called Rabbi Yosi) once more, and secondly, now SAG and AB join in a constant Zivug. We see this from their meeting with Rabbi Shimon, who signifies Ohr Hochma. In other words, they merited their BON returning and becoming like SAG in its constant and eternal Zivug with AB.

Benayahu Ben Yehoyada sent them two crowns through Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba: Ohr Yechida, called Benayahu Ben Yehoyada himself, and a new Light AB-SAG, which they have just attained. This Light also came to them by the powers of Benayahu Ben Yehoyada as a reward for overcoming all the trials, thanks to which they, of all others, merited this degree, which is emanated from the great Light of his soul.

Hence, it follows that he sent them two crowns. However, all these descents on their spiritual path were not failures; rather, the Creator Himself was leading them to that High Degree, which they have now attained. This is why it is written: “I AM CERTAIN THAT THE CREATOR WAS ON THIS PATH (with you).” However, “HOW YOUR FACES HAVE CHANGED,” for you have attained something else, described by the phrase, “A SAGE IS PREFERRED TO A PROPHET.”

115. Rabbi Shimon was frightened and wept. He said, “I have heard the Creator and I am awed.” This verse was spoken by the prophet Havakuk (Habakkuk), when he saw his death and his resurrection by Elisha. Why was he named Havakuk? Because it is written that at around this time there would be a HOVVEK-ET – a son will be embraced. For Havakuk was the son of the Shunamit. And there were two embraces: one from the mother and one from Elisha, as it is written, “He put his mouth to his.”

First, it is unclear how the prophet Elisha could pass a seed in his blessing to the Shunamit, for this seed cannot exist (procreate). Indeed, Elisha was the greatest prophet after Moshe and his soul came from the Supernal Garden of Eden. Hence, his BON (in Hebrew, the words Ben – son and BON are spelled the same way: Bet-Nun) was already absolutely pure and perfect.

Therefore, when he passed his son to her, he tied him to the male side, whereas he tied Havakuk only to the female side. And since the female side, Nukva, is closer to the impure force, it clung itself to him, and he died. Thus, the reason for his death lies in the exalted level of the prophet, for his BON is pure and free from the clinging of impure forces.

Hence, the prophet prayed: “The Creator has hidden it from me and had not told me!” (Melachim II, 4:27). In other words, he had not the slightest clue that he could die by being connected only to BON. That is why it was necessary to return, revive, and attach him to the Upper World, to the resurrection of the dead.

The essence of the embryo is the white (Ohr Hochma) in it, as it is written (Talmud, Nidah, 31:1) that Aba (father) is Hochma, for Hochma is called “white,” as it is said, “He made everything with Hochma (wisdom)” (Tehilim, 104). However, there is also a need for clothing in Ohr Hassadim, the intention “for the Creator’s sake,” as it is impossible to receive Ohr Hochma, the Light of wisdom, attainment and delight, without the clothing of Ohr Hassadim, without an altruistic intention.

So the mother must provide the red, the screen, which provides OhrHassadim, required for the clothing of Ohr Hochma in it. As a result of the Ohr Hassadim embracing (clothing, enveloping) Ohr Hochma in itself, an embryo can exist. And here the embryo’s entire embrace came only from the mother, the Shunamit, i.e., only from the female side (BON).

Hence, when Elisha revived him, he gave him the white (Hochma) and the red (Hassadim) once more. It follows that it was Elisha himself who embraced him the second time. It is hence said that there were two Havakuks (from the word Hibuk – embrace): one from the mother and the other from Elisha.

116. I have discovered in the book of King Solomon that the name Havakuk consists of seventy-two names. Elisha created it with words. Each word consists of three letters, for the letters of the alphabet that the Father confirmed to him initially flew away when he died. But Elisha embraced him and confirmed in him all these letters in his seventy-two names. In all, there are 216 letters in his seventy-two names, three letters in each.

The embryo is built of 216 = RYU (Reish = 200 + Yod = 10 + Vav = 6) letters, designating Ohr Hochma, which descends to YESHSUT. This means that the embryo has RYU letters, which amounts to the Gematria of RE’IYAH = Reish- Aleph- Yod- Hey, i.e., the Light of vision. Re’iyah means vision in Hebrew, and vision is possible only in Ohr Hochma, for “seeing” means “attaining,” and the Light of the eyes is the Light of Hochma.

When a growing Partzuf attains Gadlut, receives the clothing of Ohr Hassadim of the Upper World from AVI, and RYU clothe in Ohr Hassadim, this Partzuf is called AB (72) names, as each three letters join into one and RYU = 216 letters turn into AB = seventy-two groups with three letters in each group, or AB = seventy-two names.

When Ohr Hassadim, the clothing of the Partzuf, comes only from the lower world, it is defined as RYU = 216 letters. And when it attains AB, Hassadim of the Upper World, each three letters form a group, and this results in AB = seventy-two names, as it is written, HE CONFIRMED IN HIM ALL THESE LETTERS. When Elisha revived Havakuk, the son of the Shunamit, he created the name Havakuk, AB = seventy-two letters from RYU = 216, for he gave him Ohr Hassadim of the Upper World from AB.

Because of it, all 216 letters made groups of three and formed three lines from Above downwards: right, left and middle. A cell made of three letters – the right, left, and middle lines, situated horizontally (referring to the same screen and type of Kli) – is regarded as one. Therefore, AB (seventy-two) letters is used instead of AB (seventy-two) names, because each letter is considered to include three, merged into one. When Ohr Hochma enters these seventy-two cells, the Partzuf is called AB and is said to have the complete Light of Hochma.

Ohr Hassadim is the Light that brings peace in the state of the Partzuf at a given moment, for its property is not to wish anything for itself, but to bestow. However, Ohr Hassadim received from the lower world is merely comfort “for want of something better,” whereas Ohr Hassadim received from the Upper World creates such a powerful property of “bestowal” that the Partzuf receives Ohr Hochma, thereby showing that although it has Ohr Hochma, it still prefers Ohr Hassadim.

This is similar to a person in our world, who says that he needs nothing. Yet, there is a distinction: does he say this in a state when he has nothing and can have everything he wants, but still wishes to restrict himself to bare essentials and to give away the rest?

Therefore, when the growing Partzuf (the son – BON) had only Ohr Hassadim from the lower world, it could not receive Ohr Hochma in it, and was thus called RYU letters. But since the impure forces still cling to them and tempt the Partzuf to receive Ohr Hochma for itself, Ohr Hochma cannot be clothed within them.

These RYU letters that Havakuk had since the day of his birth FLEW AWAY WHEN HE DIED. Hence, it was essential to give him RYU letters and AB names once more. And Elisha did just that by HIS SPIRIT, for he was obliged to recreate in him RYU letters in order to combine them into AB cells with the help of the Upper Hassadim (combine everything into three lines), when everything unites into AB names.

117. Elisha confirmed all of these letters in the soul of Havakuk so as to revive him by the letters of the seventy-two names. And he called him Havakuk, for that is his complete name, which describes all of his properties, as it alludes to two Havakuks and to the 216 letters of the Holy Name, as the Gematria (numerical value) of the name Havakukis 216, from which the seventy-two names were formed. By AB names he revived him and brought his spirit back, and by RYU letters he revived his body and let it live. This is why he is called Havakuk.

Havakuk = Chet + Bet + Kuf + Vav + Kuf = 8 + 2 + 100 + 6 + 100 = 216. The word Havakuk indicates two embraces (Hibukim, plural for Hibuk). Like all Hebrew names, it refers to the property of its bearer. For instance, Yaakov is derived from “Akev” (“got around” Esav), and Avraham signifies Av – father, Am – of the nation).

The first embrace came from Ima, but it did not yet allow Ohr Hochma into the Partzuf, into RYU letters, for the impure force clings to the red in Ima. But then Elisha embraced him with Hassadim of the Upper World that came from AVI. This united the letters into groups (names), and Ohr Hochma entered and filled these names permanently, since the impure force cannot cling to Hassadim of the Upper World.

As in the above example, even if all the Ohr Hochma were to be offered, the Partzuf, upon receiving protection in the form of a desire for Hassadim of the Upper World, receives such great strength (desire) to bestow that it never wants Hochma. This is precisely why Hochma can fill it for all eternity.

Therefore, the name Havakuk denotes two Chibukim (embraces): one from the mother and one from Elisha, thereby imparting him with perfection from all sides: from both the Ohr Hochma and the Ohr Hassadim. “Embraces” signify Ohr Hassadim that stems from AVI, and Ohr Hochma received within Ohr Hassadim is called “the secrets of RYU.”

It is hence written that HE REVIVED HIS SPIRIT BY AB NAMES AND HIS BODY BY RYU LETTERS. And he was revived by Elisha’s embrace, for RYU letters had formed names, that is, the three lines, in which Ohr Hochma could be received, thanks to the reception of Ohr Hassadim from AVI (the Upper World).

The impure forces (man’s egoistic desires) cannot attack in this Light. Hence, death (the result of receiving Ohr Hochma for oneself) does not exist. Subsequently, he receives Ohr Hochma, which yields the complete correction of his Guf.

However, the Partzuf (son of the Shunamit) had RYU letters from the moment of birth, and they left him when he died. Then why is he called Havakuk (two embraces)? After all, the first embrace of Ima (mother) left him the moment of his death, and Elisha revived him from death by embracing him only once. Thus, does he not contain only the embrace of Elisha?

The thing is that Elisha has given him nothing new at the time of resurrection, except for the embrace, the Light from the Supernal ImaSAG, whose Light evokes the resurrection of the dead. And RYU letters were simply revived by his lower mother – BON. These are the same RYU of BON with which he was born. Otherwise, it would have been an entirely new soul, of which one would not have been able to say that it was dead and then resurrected.

Therefore, now he truly has two embraces, for the first one has now been revived as well, when BON ascended to SAG. And since BON is in the place of SAG, his Hassadim are regarded as those of the Supernal Mother. They completely neutralize the impure forces and death, for their properties (desires) are only of bestowal, which the impure force cannot bear. Thus, they can no longer tempt man. This is why he is called Havakuk, after the action of the two embraces.

118. He said, “I have heard the Creator and I am awed by His name.” I have heard of what I had and have had a taste of the other world at the moment of death, before Elisha resurrected him, and I am awed. He began asking for mercy for his soul. He said, “O, Creator, the deeds that You have performed for me throughout the years were my life.” And whoever connects to the past years (the name of the Sefirot of Atik), connects to life. Throughout the years, bestow life upon the degree that has no life of its own, upon Malchut de Malchut.

His fear comes from the past, previous states, for now he has become perfect on all his sides, and therefore fear has no place. This fear remained from the past, when he left the world. This describes the state between death and resurrection. However, he continues receiving fear from the past state, so it would help him create a screen for raising MAN. It is precisely this fear from past times (states) that stimulates him to raise MAN (request for mercy).

This is the secret of the future screen, after BON becomes SAG. For then “He will eradicate death forever” (Yeshayahu, 25:8), and there will be no force evoking fear of death and suffering or able to cause harm to one’s purity and holiness. Hence, there will be no need to shun, no one to beware of or avoid.

So if one has attained such an exalted spiritual state, where could he possibly acquire fear? After all, he will not be able to ascend without it! Only if he takes fear from his past states! For the Partzuf retains the memories, records, recollections of past states, even after its ascent to SAG, when BON become like SAG.

If not for the recollections of fear from the past states, the Partzuf would not have been able to create a screen in a state when it has nothing left to fear. While explaining this, Rabbi Shimon told them of Havakuk, to teach them how to acquire fear, just as Havakuk did by taking fear from the past.

THE DEEDS THAT YOU HAVE PERFORMED… THROUGHOUT THE YEARS… WERE MY LIFE – because he lived through two periods: the years preceding his death and the years following his resurrection. Between these two periods, there was a state of exiting this world, death (during which he existed in the other world). That is to say, because I remember the time of my death, I thereby connect to life of the Upper World, which Elisha bestowed by resurrecting me.

ZAT de Atik is called the “past (sometimes ancient) years,” since they receive their Light from Malchut of the world of AK, Malchut of Tzimtzum Aleph. However, ZAT de Atik do not shine upon the lower Partzufim and worlds with their Light of Tzimtzum Aleph. ZAT de Atik shine downward during the 6,000 years with diminished Light, restricting it according to the laws of Tzimtzum Bet. Only at the end of correction will they begin to pass down all of their Light. It is written in the Torah that the Light that Atik had passed during the 6,000 years is designated with the small letter Hey in the word Avraham.

However, because Havakuk’s death has purified him completely, since at the end of correction he merited merging with the “past years” of Atik, he received the required strength in Elisha’s embraces and resurrection. It is hence written that after he has purified himself and felt fear at the moment of his death, the power of this fear enabled him to establish contact with ZAT de Atik and receive the Light called “eternal life.”

For having purified himself through death, BON received complete correction, upon ascending and becoming SAG at the time of death. Subsequently, it reaches the degree of Malchut de Malchut, a Zivug on which can only be made at the end of correction, and attains this degree, the Light of his life.

119. Rabbi Shimon wept and said: “And I have seen from the Creator what I have heard.” He raised his hands above his head, and said: “But you have merited seeing Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba, the Light of the Torah, face to face, while I have not.” He fell on his face and saw him who uproots mountains and lights candles in the Temple of the King (Mashiach). He said to him, “Rabbi, in the other world we shall be neighbors with the heads of the assemblies before the Creator. From here on, he called his son Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba by the name Pnei’el (the face of God), as it is written: “For I have seen the Creator face to face.”

He praised himself for using the same fear from the past, just like Prophet Havakuk.

All corrections are already ready and waiting in the hall of the King (Mashiach), down to the very last detail. They must all be revealed at the end of all corrections, with the appearance of the King. And the souls in that hall are those who merited completion of their individual corrections, for there is an individual correction and a general one.

Malchut de Malchut is the only creation, and it is divided into parts called souls. These parts merge with people of our world, and each of them, while existing within man, must attain one’s own correction, i.e., gradually replace one’s properties (desires) with those of the Creator. This is considered the soul’s individual or personal correction. So then, the souls that have attained their individual correction reach and exist in the state called “abiding in the hall of the King- Mashiach.”

The Light in that hall (the Light of the Torah), also called Hamnuna-Saba, completely liberates man from the impure forces, i.e., purifies him from all his primordial egoistic desires and corrects Malchut de Malchut, which “appears to the righteous as a high mountain” (Talmud, Sota, 52). This correction is made by creating a new SAG-like screen with the purpose of raising MAN (the request for final correction). MAN is called “Me’orei Esh” (sparkles of fire), as it is written: “Man’s soul is the Creator’s candle” (Mishley, 20:27).

The light of the sun designates the Light’s descent, MAD, just as sunlight descends upon us from Above, whereas a fire’s flame signifies Ohr Hozer that rises from below upwards, like candlelight. The Zohar therefore says that these two corrections, aimed at destroying the impure forces and ascending to light the candles in the hall of the King- Mashiach, are in the hands of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba.

And the perfect righteous in need of these two final corrections merit receiving them only through revealing the soul of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba. And he stated that they (the disciples of Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba) will merit the honor of serving in the hall of the King- Mashiach after their death, and will become his neighbors and the heads of the Creator’s Assembly.

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