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The Night of the Bride

125. Rabbi Shimon was sitting and studying the Torah on the night when the Bride, Malchut, unites with her husband, Zeir Anpin. And all the friends present in the bridal chamber on that night, the eve of the holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost), must stand together with the bridegroom under the Huppah (wedding canopy), and be with him this whole night, and rejoice with him in the corrections of the Bride, i.e., study the Torah, then Prophets, then Holy Scriptures, and finally the wisdom, for these corrections are the Bride’s adornments. And the Bride receives corrections, adorns herself with them, and rejoices with them all of that night. And on the next day, on the holiday of Shavuot, she only comes to the Huppah together with them. And her friends, who studied the Torah all night long, are called the sons of the Huppah. And as she approaches the Huppah, the Creator asks about them, blesses and adorns them with the Bride’s adornments. Happy are those who merit this!

All the days of exile are called night, for this is when the Creator’s face is concealed from Israel, as the impure forces rule and separate His loyal servants from Him. Yet, this is the time when the bride unites with her husband (in Hebrew, “husband” and “master” are the same word, so one must keep in mind the second meaning of the word as well). The Huppah is a wedding canopy, under which the ritual of union between a bride and a bridegroom (their merging in a Zivug) takes place.

The union between the bride and her husband (The Zohar uses the word “husband” instead of “bridegroom”) occurs thanks to the Torah and Mitzvot (Commandments) of the righteous, referred to as “those who keep the Torah.” And all the Supernal Degrees, called “secrets of the Torah,” become revealed thanks to them alone, for they are also called MAKERS (as though CREATING the Torah itself), as is described in item 124. Therefore, the time of exile is called the NIGHT WHEN THE BRIDE UNITES WITH HER HUSBAND. AND ALL THE FRIENDS, THE SONS OF THE BRIDE’S JOY, ARE CALLED THOSE WHO KEEP THE TORAH.

And after THE END OF CORRECTION and complete deliverance, of which the prophet Zachariah writes (14:7): “And there shall be one day, which shall be known to the Creator, neither day nor night, but it shall come to pass come evening time: there shall be light.” THE NEXT DAY, THE BRIDE AND HER HUSBAND ENTER THE HUPPAH, for BON will become like SAG and MA will be like AB (see item 64).

This state is therefore defined as the next day and a new Huppah. Whereas at this time (in this state), the righteous are called “SONS OF THE HUPPAH,” in whom there is no action, for then, as it is written: “They shall not do evil upon My holy mountain, for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Creator, as waters cover the sea” (Yeshayahu,11: 9).

And since these righteous elevated BON to SAG by their actions, i.e., made its properties similar to those of SAG, they are considered to have made a new Huppah, they are called “sons of the Huppah.”

The night of Shavuot (Pentecost) is when THE BRIDE UNITES WITH HER HUSBAND, for the Huppah takes place on the next day, the day of Shavuot, the day of the reception of the Torah. On that day, all of creation achieves the state of the end of correction, as it is said: “He will swallow up death forever; and the Creator Himself will wipe away the tears off all faces” (Yeshayahu, 25:8).

The Torah describes this state as “engraved upon the scrolls” (Shemot, 32:16). In Hebrew, the word “engraved” is Harut, but itshould be pronounced Herut (freedom), freedom from the angel of death. However, the sin of the golden calf followed and the High Degree was lost. Since Shavuot is the day when the Torah was received, it is also regarded as the end of correction.

Therefore, all the necessary preparations (the corrections carried out during the concealment period) are completed beforehand, on the night before the holiday of Shavuot. This night is hence defined as the night when the bride unites with her husband so as to enter the Huppah the following day, on the holiday of Shavuot, when all the corrections are completed and liberated from the angel of death, thanks to the actions of the righteous, who erect a new Huppah.

All of the bride’s friends, those who keep the Torah, also called “sons of the bridal chamber,” must be merged with the Shechina-Malchut (the bride) all of that night, called “exile.” Only then do their acts in the Torah and Mitzvot correct and purify the good in her from the taint of evil, so she would emerge with the properties that contain only good, without evil.

Hence, those who keep the Torah should rejoice together with the bride for all the great corrections that they’ve made in her. Then they joyously continue with their corrections in THE TORAH, then in PROPHETS and finally in the HOLY SCRIPTURES. All the degrees and revelations of the secrets of the Torah, which make up the framework of the Shechina herself at the end of her correction, are made exclusively by the righteous, who keep the Torah during the exile.

Therefore, all the degrees that emerge at the time (state) of the exile are called the bride’s corrections and adornments from the Torah, Prophets and Holy Scriptures, for Sefirot Hesed, Gevura, and Tifferet constitute the Torah, Sefirot Netzah, Hod, and Yesod are the Prophets, and Malchut is the Holy Scriptures. The Light of VAK is called Midrashim and the Light of GAR is called “the secrets of the Torah.” And all these corrections must be made in Malchut (the bride) on the night when she completes her corrections (precisely in the darkness of exile from the spiritual does man carry out the work of his inner correction).

It is known that the end of correction does not bring anything new or that was previously unknown. Rather, all the MAN and MAD, along with all degrees and Zivugim that have emerged consecutively during the 6,000 years will merge into one degree and become corrected with the help of the Light of Atik.

The bride will then enter her Huppah, and THE CREATOR WILL ASK ABOUT EVERYONE, about every man who had even once raised MAN for the Supernal, final Zivug. For the Creator waits for all the small Zivugim to assemble, as though asking about and waiting for each of them. And when they’ve gathered, a great Zivug will unfold, called RAV PAALIM U MEKABTZIEL (HE WHO BLESSES AND ADORNS HER). And when all the creatures are blessed and adorned together, correction comes to an end. This is referred to as “the adornment of the bride’s crown.”

126. This is why Rabbi Shimon and all of his friends stayed up that night, and each of them renewed the Torah again and again. Rabbi Shimon was joyous, and so were his friends. Rabbi Shimon said to them: “My sons, how blessed is your lot, for it is you who shall accompany the Bride tomorrow to the Huppah, for all those who correct Her and rejoice in Her this night shall have their names recorded in the Book of Remembrance. And the Creator shall bless them with seventy blessings and adornments of crowns of the Upper World.”

The Book of Remembrance, mentioned by the prophet (Malachi, 3:15): “You will say, ‘How futile it is to serve the Creator! When we carried out the Creator’s will, and walked heavy-hearted before Him – what is the use of it all? And now we regard the wicked as blessed: they have settled in their wickedness, tried the Creator, and were liberated.’ Then those who feared the Creator spoke with each other, and the Creator hearkened and heard, and a Book of Remembrance was recorded before Him for those who fear the Creator and honor His name. ‘They shall become chosen for Me on the day that I shall determine, and I shall spare them, as a man spares his own son, who serves him.’”

But how can we understand that when they spoke ill of the Creator, they referred to fear of the Creator, as the prophet says? Moreover, they were inscribed in the Book of Remembrance as those who “feared the Creator and honored His name?”

The thing is that at the end of correction, when the great general Zivug of Atik manifests, great Light will be revealed in all the worlds, and in this Light everyone will return to the Creator in absolute love. The Talmud (Yoma, 86:2, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”) says: “He who attains the repentance from love shall have his sins turned to merits.”

Here, the prophet refers to the sinners claiming the futility of spiritual work: on the great day of the end of correction, when the Light of repentance from love shall shine, all the most malicious and deliberate, worst imaginable sins, will turn to merits, and their words shall be deemed not slight, but fear of the Creator.

Therefore, all the sins, as well as all the good deeds, are recorded before the Creator, for He will need them on that great day of His miracle: all the merits gather and complete the Kli, which receives the Light necessary for the final correction. Hence, it is said that the Creator shall record the names of those who fear Him in the Book of Remembrance, for He will need them on that day to complete the common Partzuf. This is exactly what the prophet says: those who remain shall be close to the Creator, like sons who served Him.

It is therefore said that everyone and everything will be recorded in the Book of Remembrance, even the sins. However, The Creator will record them as though they are merits, as though they served Him. These are the words of the prophet.

The number seventy signifies the Light of Hochma, GAR, adornment, a crown, and the Light of Hassadim is called “a blessing,” for the world was created with the letter Bet (blessing), as it is written: “The world was built by mercy” (Tehilim,89:3), which is VAK. But at the end of correction, the Light of Hassadim will also be like seventy crowns, like the Light of Hochma, for MA and BON will ascend to AB and SAG. Therefore, The Zohar says that the Creator will bless them with seventy blessings and adornments of crowns of the Upper World.

127. Rabbi Shimon opened and said, “The Heavens declare the Creator’s greatness. I have already explained this, but when the bride awakens to enter the Huppah on the following day, with all the friends who rejoiced with her through that night, she rejoices with them, corrects herself and shines with her adornments.”

128. And on the following day, a multitude of masses, hosts, and legions join her. And she, together with all these masses, hosts and legions, awaits all those who corrected her by studying the Torah on that night. This is so because Zeir Anpin unites with Malchut, and she sees her husband, and it is said: “The Heavens declare the Creator’s greatness.” “The Heavens” alludes to the Bridegroom (ZA), who enters the Huppah. “The Heavens declare,” i.e., shine, like the luminescence of a sapphire, upon the entire Malchut, from end to end.

The day of the end of correction is called “tomorrow,” as it is written in the Talmud: “Do today, and receive the reward tomorrow” (Eruvin, 22:1). The masses are the worldly masses who do not serve the Creator, the hosts are those who serve the Creator, and the legions are chariots of warriors in armor – the Supernal groups of angels that accompany the souls, as it is said: “For He bid His angels to guard over you on all your paths” (Tehilim, 91:11). Just as the Creator waits for everyone, as was previously stated, so does the Shechina.

“Heavens” is the bridegroom entering the Huppah – the state of the end of correction, of which it is written: “And the light of the moon (Malchut) shall be as the light of the sun (ZA)” (Yeshayahu, 30:26). The Creator is called the “Heavens,” and at the end of correction He is referred to as the “bridegroom,” as it is said: “Just as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so shall your Creator rejoice over you.” (Yeshayahu, 62:5).

Wherever it is said that the Creator descends, it indicates His strictness and judgment, for it speaks of diminishing His greatness in the eyes of the lower ones, as it is said: “His might and greatness are in His place.” But at the end of correction, when all sins turn to merits, for it will become clear that all the spiritual descents were nothing other than spiritual ascents, the Creator becomes the “bridegroom” and the Shechina becomes his “bride.”

The Hebrew word for “bride” is Kalah, as in the words Kalat Moshe(Bamidbar, 7), which describes the completion of the altar. Hence, in the Torah, the word Kalah signifies the end of construction. The Hebrew word for “bridegroom” is Hatan, and it signifies the descent along spiritual degrees, as it is said in the Talmud: “Descends the steps” (Yevamot, 63:1). However, this descent is greater than all the previous ascents, for it takes place on the way towards the bride at the moment of the end of correction.

The Huppah represents the total of all the Returning Light received on the MAN raised by the righteous in all the Zivugim at all the times during the 6,000 years. This is because now they have all gathered into one great Returning Light, rising and soaring over the Creator and the Shechina, over the bridegroom and his bride, like a Huppah – wedding canopy.

In this state, the righteous are called “Sons of the Huppah,” for each of them has a part in this Huppah, to the extent of the MAN they raise to the screen of Malchut, which evoked, produced the Returning Light, corresponding in magnitude to this MAN. At the end of correction, the Creator is called Hatan (bridegroom), for He Nechit Darga – descends from His degree to his bride, and enters the Huppah.

At this time (in this state), the Heavens say – this is a great Zivug of the future, as the Talmud says: “The wife speaks to her husband” (Berachot, 3:1). The word “speaks” (Mesaperet) implies a Zivug, and is derived from Sapir (sapphire), the name of the Shechina, as it is said in the Torah, “…and under His feet – like a pavement of sapphire” (Shemot, 24:10).

THE LUMINESCENT SAPPHIRE is the Returning Light, ascending from below upwards. LUMINESCENT, LIKE LUMINESCENCE – The Returning Light, LUMINESCENT is equivalent to the Direct Light, LUMINESCENCE. This great Zivug gathers all of the Returning Light from all the Zivugim made during the 6,000 years, and the Direct Light will shine in it, as it is said, FROM END TO END.

129. The Creator’s glory = EL – is the bride, Malchut, called EL, as it is written: “ EL rages each day.” She is called EL on all the days of the year. And now, on the holiday of Shavuot, when she already entered the Huppah, she is called GREATNESS and she is called EL, greatest of the great, luminescent out of the luminescent, dominion over dominions.

El is the name of great mercy. Yet, here it says: “El rages each day,” which is contrary to mercy. The Torah says: “And there shall be evening, and there shall be morning, one day.” The Shechina is a small star, the Moon, which reigns at night. It is called “fear of Heaven,” for it is the property of the righteous, who must raise MAN through their aspiration to be corrected, thereby evoking the Returning Light to descend on Malchut from Above and correct her.

It is therefore written: “The Creator hath made it so man would fear Him” (Kohelet, 3:14). This is so because it is impossible to raise the MAN without fear. The absence of fear of the Creator is referred to as Malchut’s reign at night, in the state of darkness. In the absence of Light, all the restrictions and suffering are revealed, as they are opposite to the property of day, mercy. Thus, fear of the Creator emerges; were it not for this fear, the property of morning and day could not be revealed.

So it is written: “And there shall be evening, and there shall be morning, one day.” Night also enters morning, for without a night, there would be no morning, and one cannot do without night. It is hence written that “ EL RAGES EACH DAY.” After all, the property of mercy, called EL, is revealed only with the help of the night, through the property of RAGE. Hence, this property is also regarded as mercy; and consequently, the Shechina is called EL.

This is why it is said that the CREATOR’S GREATNESS = EL – IS THE BRIDE, MALCHUT, CALLED EL, for it is impossible to achieve the state of “day” without the state of “night.” So it is in each of the six days of creation, of which it is said: “And there shall be evening, and there shall be morning, one day.” We see that the night is included in the name “day.” And just as they are all called the six DAYS of creation, the 6,000 years are called “night” in the property of mercy.

And in the great Zivug at the end of correction, a day shall come; the light of the moon will become like that of the sun, as the prophet said (Zachariah, 14:7): “It shall come to pass, that at evening time there shall be light.” This will cause the degrees of Malchut to increase twofold, for even during the 6,000 years, the light of the moon was according to the aforesaid, “And there shall be evening, and there shall be morning.”

And at the end of correction, when the moon becomes like the sun (ZA), the moon will be twice as great as before, as it will become greatness itself, for its greatness will equal that of ZA, of which The Zohar says: “THE GREATEST OF THE GREAT, DOMINION OVER DOMINIONS.” Although it merged with the light of the morning during the 6,000 years, as it is said, “And there shall be evening, and there shall be morning, one day,” now that it is as big as the sun (ZA), it becomes light, itself, LUMINESCENT OUT OF THE LUMINESCENT. Previously, its light was solely the result of the inclusion of the properties of Higher Sefirot into it.

Also, DOMINION OVER DOMINIONS, for during the 6,000 years, its reign was that of a small star, reigning only at night. Now, however, it also reigns during the day, for it is as big as the sun.

130. The hour when the Heaven (ZA) enters the Huppah and shines upon Malchut, all of her friends, who corrected her by studying the Torah, are known by their names, as it is said: “The Heavens declare the work of His hands.” “The work of His hands” refers to the members of this covenant, called “the work of His hands.” As you say: “Confirm for us the work of our hands,” which is the mark of the covenant, imprinted on man’s body.

”Friends” are those who keep the Torah, which includes both good and evil deeds, even those parts of them that are still evil and uncorrected; EACH IS KNOWN BY A NAME (his corrected part), as it is said: THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE WORK OF HIS HANDS. “Heavens” is the Book of Remembrance, which constitutes the Light of the great Zivug that leads to repentance (correction) out of love, when sins become merits (Talmud, Yoma, 86:2).

And even those who were speaking ill things, it is said about them: “Then they shall impart their fear of the Creator upon one another” (item 126). Therefore, the action defined as “upholding the Torah,” which includes both good (for the worthy) and evil (for the unworthy), now becomes completely good and holy. And it turns into THE WORK OF HIS HANDS – the Creator’s actions, for THE HEAVENS SPEAK even of the unworthy. It turns out that all the friends have performed only good deeds and carried out holy work, for they would all correct Malchut, and ALL ARE KNOWN BY THEIR NAMES.

It is therefore said: “CONFIRM FOR US THE WORK OF OUR HANDS” (Tehilim, 90:17). However, it is unclear whose hands are meant: His or ours? Only one thing is meant here – that the covenant is referred to as “the work of our hands,” for its confirmation is Yesod(Yesod is not only the name of a Sefira, it also means “basis,” “foundation” in Hebrew), the foundation of the entire construction.

The correction of Yesod is Brit Milah (circumcision). Hence, it is said that the existence of the covenant is called “the work of our hands,” for we separate the Orlah (foreskin) from Yesod through the work of our hands. But this only concerns the period up to the end of correction. And at the end of correction, THE WORK OF HIS HANDS will be revealed. In other words, the Creator Himself will detach the Orlah from us, and THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE WORK OF HIS HANDS. But until that state comes, we are entrusted with the correction of the circumcision. Therefore, we ask: “CONFIRM FOR US THE WORK OF OUR HANDS.”

131. Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba then said as follows: “Do not let your mouth cause your body to sin,” i.e., one must not allow his mouth to get close to evil and be the cause of sin for the sacred flesh, which bears the mark of the holy covenant with the Creator. If he does so, he shall be dragged to hell. And the ruler of hell, called Domeh, stands at the gates of hell with hundreds of thousands of angels, but he is forbidden to approach those who have kept the holy covenant in this world.

There is a warning here: let each man be careful of what he utters, so that his prayer is pure when he raises MAN with the help of the Torah and Commandments. If the impure force clings to his prayer, it will receive his MAN. As a result, man will develop a grudge against the Creator and foreign thoughts, thereby causing the Orlah to once again cling to the holy covenant. Consequently, his holy soul will fall into the captivity of the impure forces, and they will drag it to hell. This is similar to what Rabbi Elazar said about falling into Lilit’s hands (item 68).

THE SACRED FLESH, WHICH BEARS THE MARK OF THE HOLY COVENANT alludes to the holy soul guarded by the holy covenant, as it is said: “From my flesh I shall see the Creator,” i.e., from my nature, my properties. Yet, doubts evoke the return of the impure force of the Orlah. It touches the holy covenant, and the Divine soul is instantly driven away. Hence, “The Tree cried out: Sinner, do not touch me,” for this Tree is Yesod, Ateret Yesod (foreskin – the very essence of creation, egoism), the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

“DOMEH, THE RULER OF HELL” – DOMEH is derived from Dmamah – lifelessness, for he robs man of his soul and leaves him lifeless. This is the angel that fills man’s heart with doubts regarding the Creator’s greatness, and creates within him a sinful desire to perceive His plans as though they were plans of one born of a woman, i.e., as though they were of this world. And since he likens the Creator’s thoughts in man’s perception to those of man, he is named so (Domeh also means likeness, similarity).

At first, man understands that the Creator’s thoughts and ways are different from ours, for the created mind can grasp neither Him nor His thoughts nor His governance, as our mind is inferior to His. But, through sin, the angel Domeh plants a silly spirit within man, which forces him to say that the mind of one born of a woman is similar to the Creator’s. This leaves man open to doubts, which DRAG HIM TO HELL.

Therefore, the power of the angel Domeh is in his name, as it is said: “Who is as mighty as You, who is LIKE You, the King that kills and resurrects?” This indicates that the connection with the one who is LIKE him leads to death, whereas in the realization that there is none like Him, man finds life.

However, the doubts and thoughts that man receives from the angel Domeh are countless, as The Zohar says, “HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ANGELS ARE WITH HIM,” and they are all standing at the gates of hell, through which man is dragged there, though the gates themselves are not yet considered hell.

BUT HE (THE ANGEL) IS FORBIDDEN TO APPROACH THOSE WHO HAVE KEPT THE HOLY COVENANT IN THIS WORLD. And even if one did not fully keep (observe) the covenant, and there is still good and evil in his deeds, he is nonetheless regarded as one who has kept the holy covenant. So, unless one comes to doubt, the angel Domeh is forbidden to drag him to hell.

132. When this happened to King David, fear enveloped him. Right then, Domeh ascended before the Creator, and said: “Master of the world, it says in the Torah (Vayikra, 20:10): ‘And the man that commits adultery with another man's wife…’ David broke his covenant, is it not so?” The Creator replied to him: “David is righteous, and his holy covenant remains pure, for it is known to Me that Bat Sheva was destined for him since the creation of the world.”

Although David committed no sin, as the Talmud explains (Shabbat, 56:1) that he who says that David sinned is wrong, he was enveloped with fear nonetheless, as if he really had sinned, for Domeh cited the Torah in his complaint.

However, Bat Sheva had been destined for David since the creation of the world (Talmud, Sanhedrin, 107:1); thus, he did not violate his covenant. Yet, if Bat Sheva had been destined for David, why was she first married to Uriah? After all, a wife is half of her husband’s body. And if she is half of David’s body, how could Uriah have taken her, if there is nothing in him that corresponds with her?

The fact is that Bat Sheva is David’s true Nukva (female) from the day of the creation of the world, for David is the male part of Malchut, while Bat Sheva is the Nukva in Malchut. But since, as the world was being created, Malchut ascended to Bina to receive the property of mercy (bestowal) from her, Bat Sheva, too, required this correction in GAR. Without it she could not have given birth to the soul of King Solomon.

And Uriah the Hittite was an exalted soul, the properties of GAR, wherefrom the name “Uriah,” which consists of Ur = Ohr (light) and i (a) h = i (Yod) + h (Hey) = the first two letters of the Creator’s Name HaVaYaH, is derived. In other words, Uriah signifies “the Creator’s Light.” And the fact that his name contains only the first two letters Yod-Hey = Hochma-Bina, and lacks the last two letters Vav-Hey = ZA-Malchut indicates that his Light is the Light of GAR. Therefore, to correct Bat Sheva in the property of mercy, she was joined with Uriah. As a result, she became fit for queenship, and became the Queen of Israel.

133. Domeh said to Him: “Master of the World, what is revealed to You is concealed from him.” The Creator answered: “Whatever David did was done with My permission. For no man goes to war without first giving his wife a get (document of divorce).” Domeh then said: “But if this is so, David should have waited three months, which he did not.” The Creator replied: “This extension is only necessary to make certain that the woman is not pregnant from her previous husband. But it is known to Me that Uriah never went near her, for My Name is imprinted in him as testimony. Indeed, Uriah is Ohr-Iah, the Creator’s Light, though it is written Uriahu = Ohr + i + a + hu (Yod-Hey-Vav), without the last Hey, Malchut, which proves that he did not use Malchut.”

The letters Yod-Hey in Uriah’s name (Aleph-Reish-Yod-Hey) indicate that he had never touched Bat Sheva. This is because Uriah refers to GAR without VAK. And The Zohar emphasizes that whenever VAK is used, the name Uriahu is applied. However, it is written here that Uriah was Bat Sheva’s first husband, meaning that he had nothing of VAK in him, but only GAR – the Light of Hochma without the Light of Hassadim, for Vav signifies Hassadim. This is why he could not come near Bath Sheba.

134. Domeh said to Him: “Master of the World, this is exactly what I have said: if You knew that Uriah had never laid with her, then who revealed it to David? He should have waited three months. And if You will say that David knew that Uriah had never laid with her, why did he send Uriah to his wife, saying: ‘Go down to your house, and wash your feet?’”

Usually the readers of the Torah give this example of “a love triangle” as evidence of King David’s less than exalted qualities and of the inconsistency of the Creator’s judgment – how He forgave David for “killing” Uriah, and so forth. We must remember that the Torah speaks only of the spiritual worlds and their laws, which have no obvious consequences in our world. There is a cause-and-effect connection: whatever occurs in our world is a result of a Higher cause, but in no way is it vice versa, i.e., whatever is described in the Upper World does not necessarily need to manifest in ours. To consider the Torah a narrative about our world relegates the Torah of the world of Atzilut, the Creator’s holy names, the Creator’s Light, to the lowest level of creation, which is strictly forbidden: “Do not make an idol for yourself.”

135. He replied to him: “Of course, David did not know, but he waited more than three months, as four months had passed. As we have learned, on the 15th day of Nissan, David ordered all the people of Israel to prepare for war, Yoav – on seventh day of Nissan. They conquered the lands of Moav and remained there for four months, until he went to Bat Sheva in the month of Elul. And on Yom Kippur, the Creator forgave him his sin. But there are those who say that David dispatched his orders on the seventh day of Adar, the troops assembled on the 15th day of Iyar, he went to Bat Sheva on the 15th day of Elul, and on Yom Kippur the Creator forgave him and spared him from death at the hands of the angel Domeh.

Domeh is in charge of adultery. And since David was forgiven on the Day of Atonement, he thereby escaped death at the hands of Domeh. However, death was a consequence of Uriah’s death at the hands of Amon’s sons, as is recorded in the book of Kings (Melachim, 1, 15:5), “For David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.”

136. Domeh said: “Master of the World, I have nonetheless one claim against him: why did he open his mouth and say: ‘The Lord is righteous, for a mortal does so,’ thus condemning himself to death. Hence, I have the power to bring death upon him.” The Creator replied to him: “You are not allowed to bring death upon him, for he has repented and confessed: ‘I have sinned before the Creator,’ even though he did not sin. But he did sin in one matter – the killing of Uriah. I have recorded his punishment, and he had received it.” Then Domeh immediately gave up his complaints, and returned, despondent, to his place.

The last letter Hey in the name HaVaYaH has two points – restriction (strictness) and mercy. And all the corrections of Malchut with the help of the covenant (circumcision) are intended to conceal strictness and reveal mercy. Then, the Creator’s name descends into Malchut. Even though Malchut exists there under the ban of the first restriction (strictness and judgment), and all the impure forces cling onto her, this point is nonetheless concealed, and only Bina’s property of mercy is revealed. Thus, the impure forces-desires, which are foreign to holiness and spirituality, are powerless and cannot cling to her.

To violate the covenant means to reveal the strictness and judgment in Malchut (the letter Hey). As a result, the impure forces immediately cling to her, for this is their property – a part of them. The holy soul, the Creator’s name, thereby disappears at once, as it is written (Iyov, 4:9): “By the breath of God they perish.”

David himself is the part of Malchut related to Malchut’s property of mercy. Hence, he requires special care so as to prevent Malchut’s property of strictness from being revealed in him. For he who reveals the property of strictness and violates the covenant with the Creator, surrenders himself to the impure forces, which condemn him to death. This is because the property of strictness reveals itself within him before the impure force (the angel Domeh), who wished to cling to David’s soul and drag it to hell.

Although he was innocent, David begged the Creator’s forgiveness for adultery, and received it. But with regard to David sending Uriah to his death, Domeh had no right to ask the Creator for punishment, as he is only in charge of adultery.

137. And David said to this: “Were it not for the Creator’s help, Domeh had nearly claimed my soul.” “Were it not for the Creator’s help” means “had the Creator not been my guard and guide against the angel Domeh.” “Nearly” means that only the distance as thin as a thread remained for Domeh to drag my soul to hell.

David is Malchut, of whom it is written (Mishley, 5:5): “Her feet descend to death,” for she is the end, conclusion of holiness (the spiritual). The impure forces originate in Malchut, and she sustains them, as it is said (Tehilim, 103:19): “His kingdom rules over all.”

However, when Malchut exists in her corrected property of mercy (item 122), she is defined as consisting of two points: her own point of judgment and the point of mercy that she received from Bina. Her point of judgment is concealed, while the point of mercy is revealed. And thanks to this correction, all that the impure forces can get from Malchut is a Ner Dakik (tiny luminescence), which only sustains their existence, but does not allow for their spreading.

Ner Dakik, the source of existence for the impure forces, is also known as Hoteh Dakik, a small sin, the root of sins, as it is written (Talmud, Sukkah, 52:1): “Initially, the impure force seems to as thin as a spider web, but then grows as thick as a shaft.” And it is called small (Dakik), for judgment and restrictions are concealed within the property (point) of mercy.

However, he who violates the covenant causes the point of judgment in Malchut to be revealed. As a result, the impure forces cling to Malchut and draw much Light from her, thus receiving the strength to spread and expand. And he who does so is said to be forsaking his own soul, as it is written: “By the breath of God they perish” (Iyov, 4:9).

And when he merits returning to the Creator, he returns and corrects Malchut with the property of mercy. This is why this process is called Teshuva (return), from the word of Tashuv (to return) + “A,” where “A” (Hey) designates the Creator. In other words, it is the return to the property of mercy, whereas the property of judgment goes back to being concealed in the property of mercy, like a small candle, and nothing more.

It is therefore written: WERE IT NOT FOR THE CREATOR’S HELP, referring to His acceptance of my return and repelling the angel Domeh by bringing Malchut back to her place (to the property) of mercy, reducing the property of judgment to a mere small candle, a hair’s-breadth fire, whose LIGHT SEPARATES ME FROM THE IMPURE FORCE.

This is that minimal Light that must always remain between Malchut and the impure force, so as to allow Malchut to exist and be sustained by this small Light, called “small sin,” so small that DOMEH WOULD NOT DRAG MY SOUL TO HELL FOR IT.

It is precisely the magnitude of this Light that saved me from the hands of Domeh, for had the property of judgment not returned to Malchut in the measure of a small sin, I would have fallen into the hands of Domeh.

138. Therefore, man should be careful not to say what David said, for one cannot say to the angel Domeh that “It was an error” (Kohelet, 5:5), as it was with David, when the Creator won the dispute against Domeh. “Why should the Creator be angry over your word” (Kohelet, 5:5), i.e., for what you have said. “Destroyed the work of your hands” (Kohelet, 5:5) i.e., the sacred flesh, the holy covenant, which you have broken, and are therefore to be dragged to hell by the angel Domeh.

There are two ways to return to the Creator (“Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” items 45, 59, 64; Talmud, Yoma, 86:2):

1) Repentance out of fear, when intentional sins become unintentional,

2) Repentance out of love, when intentional sins become merits.

Before the end of correction, when the forces of strictness, restriction, and judgment are still needed in the world, as it is written (Kohelet,3:14), “The Creator hath so made it that man should fear Him,” Malchut must sustain the existence of the impure forces as Ner Dakik, so they will not disappear from the world.

Therefore, at such a time (in this state), Malchut’s corrections are made in two points: mercy and judgment. However, judgment is concealed, while mercy acts openly. This is why the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is feared: if man is worthy – it is good, if not – it is evil (items 120-124).

Therefore, DURING THE 6,000 YEARS, WE RETURN TO THE CREATOR ONLY OUT OF FEAR, which causes our intentional sins to turn into unintentional ones – errors. As a result of our repentance, we bring Malchut back to the property of mercy. But strictness and judgment are concealed in her to the extent of a small candle (small sin), since Malchut must still remain in the property of fear. Hence, this return is called “the return out of fear.”

The small sin that must remain is also called “unintentional sin,” an “error,” a “mistake,” for it is not regarded as a sin in and of itself. Rather, it only leads man to commit an unintentional sin. Man sins intentionally only after having first committed an unintentional sin: he committed something unintentionally, but it turned out that he has sinned.

Thus, this small sin remains in Malchut, but although it remains, it is not really considered a sin. Yet, through this concealed judgment and strictness we come to intentional sins. This is why it is said: “Initially, it is as a hair’s-breadth,” i.e., like a small sin. But then, unless we properly guard our covenant, it “becomes as thick as a shaft,” as the property of strictness and judgment becomes revealed in Malchut.

It is hence said that Domeh stands at the gates of hell, as the power of a small sin is only an entrance, for it is said that it looks as thin as a spider web. Therefore, our repentance is called “forgiven sins,” which turn into unintentional errors, as though they were mistakes. For a small sin remains, which is capable of leading us to intentional sins.

All this refers to the repentance out of fear, whereas the second kind is the repentance out of love, when intentional sins turn to merits (item 126).

Therefore, MAN SHOULD BE CAREFUL NOT TO SAY WHAT DAVID SAID, i.e., not to utter the word that causes the property of judgment in Malchut to be revealed (as David had done). FOR ONE CANNOT SAY TO THE ANGEL DOMEH THAT IT WAS AN ERROR, for he is unsure as to whether he can return to the Creator right away, so that his sin would be forgiven and made unintentional, AS IT WAS WITH DAVID, WHEN THE CREATOR WON THE DISPUTE AGAINST DOMEH.

It happened with David because throughout his life all of his actions before the Creator were pure, he had committed no crimes, and the only exception was his act toward Uriah. Hence, the Creator became his defender, and helped him return to Him at once, and his sin was turned into an error, as it is said in The Zohar (item 137): WERE IT NOT FOR THE CREATOR’S HELP, DOMEH HAD NEARLY CLAIMED MY SOUL. But other people should fear this angel, for an unintentional sin may lead them to hell at the hands of Domeh.

DESTROYED THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS, THE SACRED FLESH, THE HOLY COVENANT, WHICH YOU HAVE VIOLATED, AND ARE THEREFORE TO BE DRAGGED TO HELL BY THE ANGEL DOMEH. The correction in us called “the holy covenant” is regarded as “the work of our hands,” as it is written: “Confirm the work of our hands.” The holy soul is called the sacred flesh, as it is said, “Out of my flesh shall I see the Creator” (Iyov, 19:26) (item 131). Because of the revelation of the property of strictness and judgment in Malchut, the correction of the covenant was corrupted, and Domeh drags the soul to hell.

Therefore, THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE WORK OF HIS HANDS (item 130). In the end of correction, the Heavens will declare the work of His hands, as the reward for all these corrections will be revealed. It will become clear that this was THE WORK OF HIS HANDS, and NOT OURS’, and THE HEAVENS DECLARE this. And the great Zivug RAV PAALIM U MEKABTZIEL will be made on these actions (corrections) (item 92). DECLARE refers to the Light’s descent from Above.

Know that this is the only difference in our world before and after the end of correction. Before the end of correction, Malchut is called the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, for Malchut is the revelation of the Creator’s governance over this world. And until people achieve the state where they can receive His Light (as He conceived and prepared for everyone back at the Thought of Creation), the world will be ruled by good and evil, by reward and punishment.

The reason for this is that our Kelim de Kabbalah (vessels of reception) are impure, stained by egoism, which (i) prevents the Creator’s Light from filling theses desires, and (ii) separates us from the Creator. And the infinite goodness that He has prepared for us may only be received in altruistic desires, for these delights are not limited by the bounds of creation, like egoistic pleasures, in which fulfillment instantly douses the pleasure.

Hence, it is written: “The Creator hath made everything for His own glory” (Mishley, 16:4), i.e., all the deeds in the world were initially created by Him so that we could please Him. Therefore, people in our world are engaged in things that are totally opposite from what they should be doing, according to the purpose of their creation. After all, the Creator clearly states that He created the world for Himself: “I have created it for My glory” (Yeshayahu,43:7).

Yet, we claim the exact opposite – that the whole world was created for us, and we desire to swallow it whole, for our own pleasure, satisfaction, indulgence, and exaltation. So it is no surprise we are unworthy of receiving the Creator’s perfect goodness. And thus He rules over us through good and evil, in the form of reward and punishment, for one depends on the other: reward and punishment give rise to good and evil.

Because we use our desires to receive (pleasure), thus becoming opposite from the Creator, we perceive His governance towards us as evil. This stems from the fact that man cannot perceive obvious evil from the Creator, as this would greatly undermine the creatures’ perception of the great and perfect Creator, for the Perfect one cannot create evil.

Therefore, to the extent that man feels bad and evil, and denies the Divine Providence, a veil immediately falls over him, and the sensation of the Creator’s existence disappears. This is the worst punishment in the world!

Hence, the sensation of good and evil in the Creator’s governance gives us a feeling of reward and punishment. This is because he who exerts efforts not to lose faith in the Creator‘s existence and governance, even if he tastes evil in His governance, is rewarded with finding strength to not lose faith in the governance and good purpose of the Creator’s “evil” influence. But if he had not yet merited the opportunity to exert efforts in believing that the Creator pursues a definite purpose by sending him unpleasant sensations, he is punished with remoteness from faith in the Creator and the sensation of His existence.

Therefore, although He has done, is doing, and will do all the deeds in the world, it remains semi-concealed from those who perceive both good and evil. For when they perceive evil, the impure force is allowed to conceal the Creator’s governance and faith in Him. Thus, man suffers the worst punishment in the world – the sensation of detachment from the Creator – and becomes filled with doubts and denial of the Creator's existence and governance. And when he returns to the Creator, he receives a corresponding reward, and is able to unite with Him once again.

But through this very governance of reward and punishment, the Creator has prepared for us the opportunity to utilize this governance in order to achieve the end of correction, when all people attain their corrected Kelim (desires), and use them to bring pleasure to the Creator, as it is written that He has created everything for Himself! In other words, our bestowal must be absolute.

Then the great Zivug of Atik will be revealed, we will all return to the Creator out of love, all our intentional sins will turn to merits, all evil will be felt as infinite goodness, and His Divine Providence will be revealed in the entire world. Thus, ALL SHALL SEE that only He has done, is doing, and will do all the deeds in the world, and that no one acts besides Him. After the sensation of evil and punishment is turned to one of goodness and reward, and our egoistic desires become altruistic, we are given the opportunity to attain the Maker, for we conform to the work of His hands by blessing and exalting Him above all evil and all punishments we had once suffered.

However, the most important point to stress here is that until the end of correction, all the corrections were considered as THE WORK OF OUR HANDS. This is why we receive rewards or punishments for them. But in the great Zivug at the end of correction, it will be revealed that all the corrections and all the punishments are THE WORK OF HIS HANDS.

Thus, it is said, THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE WORK OF HIS HANDS. This is because the great Zivug signifies what the Heavens will declare, that all the deeds are the work of His hands, that He has done, is doing, and will do all the deeds in the whole of creation.

139. Thus, “the Heavens declare the work of His hands.” These are the friends who have united in the bride (Malchut) by studying the Torah on the night of the holiday of Shavuot. They are all participants of the covenant with her, and are called “the work of His hands.” And she praises and notes each and every one of them. What is Heaven, firmament? It is the firmament, where the sun, the moon, the stars, and the zodiac are located. This firmament is called the Book of Remembrance, and it declares and records them, so they shall become the sons of His palace, and He will fulfill all their desires.

Yesod of Zeir Anpin, onto which a Zivug is made for the revelation of all the Supernal Degrees, called the sun, the moon, the stars, and the signs of the zodiac, is referred to as the “firmament.” All of the Supernal stars exist on the firmament, called Yesod of Zeir Anpin. And everything exists thanks to it, for it makes a Zivug with Nukva, called earth, and shines upon her with all these stars, i.e., gives these stars to her.

It turns out that Malchut is smaller than the sun (ZA). But at the end of correction, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seventy times greater than before – Malchut will become as big as Zeir Anpin during the six days of creation. When will this be? Rabbi Yehuda answers: on the day when death disappears forever, and the Creator and His Name are as one.

The Heaven or the firmament (ZA) is HaVaYaH, called “the sun.” Malchut (Nukva) receives from it, and is called “the moon.” During the 6,000 years, Malchut receives the Light from the six days of creation, but Zeir Anpin does not reveal that the Creator and His Name are one. Hence, the moon is smaller than the sun. Its lesser size is a result of Malchut’s consisting of both good and evil, reward and punishment.

There is a considerable difference between “Him” and “His Name.” “His Name” is Malchut, where all the Zivugim, and all the states of unification and separation are accumulated. But at the end of correction, when death is said to disappear forever, HaVaYaH and His Name will be one. The Name (Malchut) will be like the Light of Zeir Anpin – only goodness without evil, and the private governance will be revealed in her, which means that the light of the moon will become equal to that of the sun.

Therefore at this time (in this state), Nukva will be called “the Book of Remembrance,” for all human deeds are recorded in her. Yesod of Zeir Anpin is called ‘remembrance,” for it remembers the deeds of the entire world, studies, and analyzes all the creatures that receive from it.

During the 6,000 years before the end of correction, the Book of Remembrance exists sometimes together and sometimes separately. But at the end of correction, these two degrees will merge into one, and Malchut herself will be called “the Book of Remembrance,” when ZA and Malchut become a single whole, for Malchut’s Light will equal that of ZA.

Therefore, the firmament is a place where the sun, the moon, the stars, and the signs of the zodiac are located. The firmament is Yesod of ZA, which emanates all the Light of the world and sustains all existence. It passes the light onto Malchut when she is smaller than it, and the state, “He and His Name are one” has not yet been achieved. And at the end of correction, it will be exactly like Malchut, who is hence called the Book of Remembrance.

Thus, when Malchut receives all the properties of Zeir Anpin (the firmament, called “Remembrance”), she will become the Book of Remembrance, i.e., she and the firmament will be one.

140. Day after day brings Omer – a sheaf. The holy day out of those days (Sefirot) of the King (Zeir Anpin) praises the friends, who study the Torah on the night of Shavuot. They say to each other, “Day after day shall bring a sheaf,” and praise it. And the words “night after night” refer to all the degrees, Sefirot of Malchut, that reign in the night, praise one another by each receiving from a friend, from another Sefira. And the state of complete perfection makes them beloved friends.

Having explained that THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE WORK OF HIS HANDS is THE BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE. The Zohar continues to clarify the writings in the Book of Malachi (3:14-16): “You have said, ‘How futile it is to serve the Creator! When we carried out the Creator’s will, and walked heavy-hearted before Him – what is the use of it all? And now we regard the wicked as blessed: they have settled in their wickedness, tried the Creator, and were liberated.’ Then those who feared the Creator spoke WITH EACH OTHER, and the Creator hearkened and heard, and a BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE was recorded before Him for those who fear the Creator (every day) and honor His (holy) name. ‘And they shall become chosen for Me,’ – the Lord said, – ‘on the day that I shall determine, and I shall spare them, as a man spares his son, who serves him, – on the day that I shall work a miracle, on the day of the end of correction.’”

Before the end of correction, before we prepare our desires “to receive” only for the Creator’s sake, and not for self-gratification, Malchut is called “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil,” for Malchut governs the world in accordance with man’s deeds. Inasmuch as we are not yet ready to receive all the delight that the Creator prepared for us in His Thought of Creation, we have no choice but to submit to Malchut’s governance of good and evil.

And this very governance prepares us for the eventual correction of our desires to receive (Kelim de Kabbalah) into desires for bestowal (Kelim de Hashpaa), thus achieving the goodness and delight that He conceived to bestow upon us.

As was previously stated, the sensation of good and evil creates in us a feeling of reward and punishment. Therefore, when one tries to retain his faith in the Creator while he is feeling evil, but still continues to observe the Torah and Commandments as he did before, he is rewarded.

And if he cannot overcome this test and is distanced from the Creator, he becomes filled with doubts with regard to the good governance. Alternatively, he stops believing that the Creator governs the world altogether, or feels resentment towards the Creator in response to these unpleasant sensations. The Creator punishes for all thoughts, just as He does for all actions (Talmud, Kidushim, 40:1).

It is also said that one’s righteousness is of no help to him on the day of his sin. But sometimes man’s doubts are so overpowering that he regrets even the good deeds he had previously done, and says (Malachi, 3:14): “You have said, ‘How futile it is to serve the Creator! When we carried out the Creator’s will, and walked heavy-hearted before Him – what is the use of it all?’” He becomes a complete sinner, who regrets his righteous past (complaining that he wasted time and effort instead of enjoying this world like the others!), and his doubts and regrets cause him to lose all of his good deeds, as the Torah warns us: “One’s righteousness is of no help to him on the day of his sin.”

Yet, even in this state, man can return to the Creator. However, he is said to be beginning on his path anew, as though he is a newborn, for all of his past good deeds are gone.

One should not take the aforesaid literally, even in its spiritual context, for he who works to achieve unconditional altruistic deeds constantly experiences descents and ascents, is filled with doubts, and tries to overcome them. Only one who advances in this manner feels that he is starting his work every time anew, that he understands no more than a newborn baby. Conversely, one who belongs to the masses – who works in his egoistic desires – is constantly filled with self-reverence and thinks that on each new day, he adds to the previous one, and nothing seems to disappear. This makes his spiritual growth impossible.

Only one who truly ascends the spiritual degrees feels like a newborn baby before his Creator at each moment. After all, as he ascends from one degree to the next, the previous state (degree) disappears, and until he attains a Higher Degree, he is in total darkness and feels that he is starting from scratch, rather than supplementing his assets, which is how the spiritually inanimate (Domem de Kedusha) feel.

The governance of good and evil causes us to ascend and descend – each in his own way… Each ascent is considered a separate day (sensation of Light). As a result of the great descent that he has just undergone by regretting his past good deeds, man moves into a state of ascent, as one who is born anew.

Therefore, at each ascent, it is as though one starts over on his path to the Creator. Thus, each ascent is regarded as a separate day, for there is a break (night) between these states. And each descent is hence considered a separate night.

This is what The Zohar tells us: “DAY AFTER DAY SHALL BRING A SHEAF” – in each ascent we draw nearer to the Creator’s greatest day (the end of correction), “HE PRAISED THE FRIENDS AND THEY WOULD SPEAK WITH EACH OTHER.” This is because through the great Zivug at the end of correction, they will all merit returning to the Creator out of love, for the desire “to receive” will be completely corrected, and they will begin to receive only for the Creator’s sake, so as to bestow delight upon Him.

In this great Zivug (unity), we will reveal all the supreme goodness and delight of the Thought of Creation. And we will then see with our own eyes that all those punishments we experienced in the states of descent, which made us doubt and regret the efforts exerted in the Torah, all those punishments would correct and purify us. And now, at the end of correction, they are the direct cause for our sensation and reception of the Creator’s goodness.

Had it not been for the terrible suffering and punishments, we would not have been able to achieve the state of being filled with perfect delight. Therefore, even these intentional sins turn into merits, as it is said: “DAY AFTER DAY SHALL BRING A SHEAF” – each ascent in Malchut, up to the end of correction, is like a separate day.

This day is revealed by the word, which supports the Torah in all its greatness. What is this word? When they say, “How futile it is to serve the Creator! When we carried out the Creator’s will, and walked heavy-hearted before Him – what is the use of it all?”

These words brought punishments that have now become merits, for all the perfection and magnificence of that great day can now be revealed thanks to these very punishments of the past. Thus, those who uttered these words are now regarded as those who fear the Creator and praise His Name. (And these words could only have been spoken by those who made efforts to advance on the Path of Truth, and felt frustrated upon receiving uncorrected egoism of a Higher Degree. In other words, frustration comes only to those who truly work for the Creator’s sake.)

Hence, it is said about them: “The Lord said, ‘On the day that I shall determine, and I shall spare them, as a man spares his son, who serves him,’” for all the nights – states of descent, suffering and punishments, which sever their connection with the Creator – now become merits and good deeds. And the night turns into day, darkness turns into Light, and there are no divisions between days, and all 6,000 years gather into one great day.

And all the Zivugim that were made one after another, revealed the ascents and the separate, consecutive degrees, have now gathered into one degree of one great Zivug – Unity, which shines in the world from end to end. Hence, it is written: DAY AFTER DAY SHALL BRING A SHEAF, that is, the intervals between days now become magnificent glory, for they have been turned into merits. Thus, everything becomes the Creator’s one glorious day!

And the words “night after night” refer to all the degrees that reign in the night. They praise one another, and each receives everything that man feels as suffering in a state of descent – this is called night. And through such sensations, intervals are formed between the sensations of day.

On the whole, each degree is separated from one another. Night is an aspiration to attain the Creator. And while each night is full of darkness, now all the nights (states of feeling emptiness, hopelessness, heaviness of efforts, the Creator's concealment) gather together and form a unified vessel of reception of Supernal wisdom, which fills the entire earth with Knowledge of the Creator, and the nights shine like days.

For each night receives its own part of Knowledge only by joining with the other nights. Thus, each night is said to help the other nights in the Knowledge. Put differently, man is ready to receive the Knowledge only if he joins with the other nights.

And since night is a feeling of lacking knowledge, attainment, and sensation of the Creator by uniting, they form a perfect vessel of reception of the Knowledge of the Creator. And they praise one another, for each has received his share of the Knowledge of the Creator thanks exclusively to his friend, through uniting with him. Only in unity do they merit reception of the Supernal Knowledge. Hence, it is said that through the perfection achieved by all, the nights became beloved friends.

141. Does he speak of the others in the world who do not obey the Creator, and whom He does not wish to hear? But they made lines through all the earth, that is, these things make a line out of those that reside Above and out of those that reside below. From the first – firmaments are made, and from the second, from their return – earth. And should you say that they revolve around the earth in one place, it is said that they are also at the end of the world.

Thus far, we have discussed the most terrible punishments and suffering in the world – being detached from the Creator and losing faith in Him. Moreover, The Zohar tells us that all the punishments, all the suffering of hell and of the body, which stem from personal sins and fill this world, also gather and are included into one great Zivug, as it is written: “And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to cause you to perish, and to destroy you” (Devarim, 28:63).

All will gather and become one great Light, and everything will turn to great joy and bliss. It is therefore said that THERE IS NO SHEAF AND NO THINGS IN THE OTHER WORDS OF THE WORLD, which man perceives in this world as suffering. But they will turn to joy and bliss, and thus the holy King, too, shall wish to hear them.

So, all the suffering during the 6,000 years will gather at the end of correction and will become a tremendous delight, as the prophet said: “In those days and in that time, said the Lord, even if the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, there shall be none” (Yirmiyahu, 50:20).

Everything will turn to merits, so much so that they will ask and search “for the past sins that can be included in the Zivug, and which can be laughed at, for they were felt as suffering and now they are joy and bliss,” but they will not find any. There will be no more suffering in its true form, as it was in the past, although they greatly desire to find it and feel it, for all suffering will have now been turned to great Light.

This Supernal Degree, created by the great Zivug out of all the souls and all the deeds, both good and evil, is now defined as a pillar of Light, which shines from one end of the world to the other. And this unity is perfect, as is said by the prophet (Zachariah, 14:9): “And the Creator shall be one (for all), and His name one” – all the senses will grasp the Creator’s complete and perfect name, “the Infinitely good.”

Precisely because this most Supernal Degree is achieved as a result of bringing together all the suffering and punishments, it fills the entire universe with Light, including earth. However, it should be noted that the suffering of which The Zohar speaks is not the suffering of the body’s lack of pleasure. It is the suffering caused by the absence of unity with the Creator!

But if suffering is so useful, why is it written, “neither them nor the reward for them?” Suffering is necessary, for it is correction. However, the true suffering, for which man can receive the degree of the end of correction, is caused by temporary distancing from the Torah and Commandments as a result of feeling the pain of suffering, and this pains the Creator. Thus, the Shechina suffers, for when man suffers in his heart, he speaks ill of her, willingly or unwillingly. Although the Torah tells him to be patient, to endure and have faith above reason – selfless faith that all of this is the correction that he must undergo – he debases the Shechina by being unwilling to endure them and achieve the end of correction.

Man’s soul is also a Partzuf consisting of ten Sefirot. In its initial, spiritually undeveloped, unborn state, the soul is defined as a point, as a potential future spiritual body. If man works on himself, this point within him gradually acquires a screen, and he makes a Zivug on it. He repels all the pleasures for the sake of the Creator’s desires, and receives Light in this point. Thus, he “amplifies” it to the size of a Partzuf and transforms it into a body, a newborn Partzuf.

Afterwards he continues to cultivate his screen, gradually nurturing the small state into the big one, until he receives all of the Light destined for him by the Creator within his spiritual body. This state is called “the end of the personal correction.” When all the personal corrections merge into one, the general correction of the entire world (of Malchut) will occur. Malchut is a Partzuf that consists of separate souls; each soul, the Partzuf of each soul, is part of Malchut, and Malchut is a collection, the sum of all the Partzufim that are to be made by all the people. To make a Partzuf is to acquire a screen and become filled with Light.

THOSE THAT RESIDE ABOVE AND THOSE THAT RESIDE BELOW refers to the order of time in the spiritual, eternal world, which is different from ours. When the Creator wished to create the world, He immediately created everything: all the souls filled with Light in a state of absolute perfection, called “the end of correction,” where all the creatures receive the infinite delight that He envisioned.

This ultimate state was born with the Creator’s first thought to create the world, and it exists in its final form from the very first moment, for the future, present, and past are merged in the Creator, and the factor of time does not exist in Him.

All human progress is necessary only to enable us to imagine that the following is also possible:

  1. Change of time: the stretching of time into infinity, i.e., when time stops and the present merges with the past and the future; when time reverses its course or disappears. Yet, time is the only thing that provides us with a perception of existence. By “switching off” time, we stop perceiving that we exist!

  2. Transformation of space: expanding and contracting of space into a point; space taking other forms, other dimensions; infinity and total absence of space altogether.

I’ve already dealt with these issues in my book, Kabbalah, Science and the Meaning of Life, and I would prefer not to digress from the text of The Zohar. However, to understand our true state, and not the one we currently perceive, it is essential to remember that notions of time and space do not exist with regard to Creator. In reality, we are completely different and exist in a completely different form and state from what we presently perceive. We feel this way because our sensations are distorted by our egoism, which infuse our senses and possess our bodies, like a cloud.

Therefore, all that is described in the Torah refers strictly to the spiritual realm. This information transcends time, referring at once to our past, present and future, for time exists only with regard to those who are still confined to their egoistic Kelim (desires). From this we can understand what is said in the Torah: “The Creator showed Adam each generation and its representatives, and showed it to Moshe as well” (Talmud, Sanhedrin, 38:2).

Yet, if the above described unfolded before the creation of these generations, how can the Creator show them to Adam and Moshe? It is possible because all the souls with all their destinies from the moment of their creation to the end of their correction emerged before the Creator in their completeness and reside in the Supernal Garden of Eden. From there they descend and enter the bodies of our world, each at their own “time.” And there, “Above,” the Creator revealed them to Adam, Moshe, and all the others who were worthy of it. However, this is a difficult notion, and not every mind is ready to grasp it.

Therefore, The Zohar says (Terumah, 163): “The way the six Sefirot of Zeir Anpin unite as ONE above Chazeh de Zeir Anpin, where they are free from the Klipot, Malchut unites with Zeir Anpin below his Chazeh, so that unity exists below, as it does Above. For the Creator (Zeir Anpin) is One (male) Above. And Malchut becomes One (female), so that One (male) would be with One (female). This is the secret of unity expressed in the words: ‘He and His Name are one’; ‘He’ (ZA) and ‘His Name’ (Malchut) are within one another.

The degree that is born at the end of correction, in the state of “He and His Name are one,” already exists Above as the sum of all the 600,000 souls and deeds during the 6,000 degrees (called “years”) in the world, which will emerge before the end of correction, but exist in their eternal form Above, where the future is as present.

Therefore, the pillar of Light that will shine upon the world from one end to the other at the end of correction already exists in the Supernal Garden of Eden, which illuminates it with the same brilliance that will be revealed to us in the future. This is because at the end of correction the two degrees will shine as one, and “He and His Name will be one.” A pillar (line) of Light will appear, made of those that reside Above (the souls that reside in the Supernal Garden of Eden) and those that reside below (the souls clothed in the bodies of our world). And “One receives One”; these two degrees shine together, and reveal the Creator’s unity thereby, as it is said that on that day “He and His Name will be one.”

From the aforesaid one can assume that the pillar of Light that shines in the Supernal Garden of Eden descends and shines in the Garden of Eden of our world. But this is not so. Rather, FROM THE FIRST – FIRMAMENTS ARE MADE, for this degree exits onto a Zivug of Yesod of Zeir Anpin, called “firmament.” Therefore, all the Zivugim that ascend above the firmament shine upon those that receive them from the firmament and below. The degree above the firmament is referred to as “Heaven,” and the degree that receives from the firmament is called “earth.”

When the line (pillar) of Light unites the inhabitants of Above and those of below, the distinction between the Supernal Garden of Eden and the inhabitants of this world still remains. This is because the inhabitants of the Supernal Garden of Eden receive from a Zivug above the firmament, and what they receive is called “the new Heaven for the inhabitants of Above.” And only a small luminescence, called “the new earth,” descends below the firmament to the inhabitants of below. This is what The Zohar says: “From the first – firmaments are made, and from the second, from their return – earth.”

Although in this great Zivug, as in all Zivugim, all that is decided above the firmament, above the Zivug, spreads down to earth, below the line of the Zivug, one should not think that this Zivug (like all the previous ones) is merely a thin line of Light, called “one,” a limited, inner place, as it is written at the beginning of creation: “Let the waters gather together unto one place,” i.e., in the inner place of the worlds (and not the outer), a place of Israel.

But the Light of this Zivug revolves around the world and fills it whole. This Light reaches even the outer parts of the worlds (the nations of the world), as the prophet writes: “The earth shall be filled with Knowledge of the Creator” (Yeshayahu, 11:9).

142. And since out of them Heavens were created, who resides there? He returned and said, “There is a shelter for the sun in them. This is the holy sun, called Zeir Anpin, and it dwells and resides there, and adorns itself with them.”

143. Since Zeir Anpin resides in those firmaments and clothes in them, he emerges like a bridegroom out of his wedding canopy, and rejoices and races along these firmaments, and exits them and enters, and races toward a tower in a different place. He emerges from one end of Heaven, from the Upper World, from the Highest place, from Bina. And his season – where is it? It is the opposite place below, i.e., Malchut, which is the year’s season that forms all the ends and binds everything – from Heaven to this firmament.

The Zohar speaks of the great secret of the sun coming out of its hiding. It is worth noting that Kabbalists often use the word “secret” only to explain and as if reveal the mystery in the passages that follow. The reader should nevertheless understand that there are no secrets in the world. Man attains everything from his degree. Even in our world, in the process of his mental development, man attains new notions on every new degree. And whatever he considered a secret only yesterday now becomes clear and revealed before him.

The same is true with regard to spiritual attainments. Kabbalah is called a secret wisdom, for it is concealed from ordinary people, it is a secret to them. But as soon as one acquires a screen and begins to perceive the spiritual world, he sees the secret becomes a reality. And this process continues until he completely attains the entire universe, all of the Creator’s secrets (“Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” item 148).

The sun emerges from its hiding (sheath – Nartik), from under the Huppah, and rushes to a tower at a different place – after the great Zivug under the Huppah. Zeir Anpin leaves his hiding and enters Malchut, called the tower of Oz (strength) of the Creator’s Name, for Malchut then ascends and unites with ZA, and they become as one.

The end of Malchut is called “the year’s season.” And until the end of correction, the impure forces, called “the end of days,” attach themselves to it. Now, after the end of correction, it is still necessary to correct this part of Malchut, called “the end of days.” To this end, the sun emerges from its hiding, LIKE THE BRIDEGROOM EMERGING FROM UNDER THE HUPPAH, and shines, and enters the tower of Oz(Malchut), races and shines on all the ends of Malchut to correct “the year’s season” of the lower end of Heaven.

For this last action corrects all the ends of Malchut and unites all from the Heavens to the firmament. In other words, Malchut receives the Light of THE END OF HEAVENS above the firmament (ZA).

144. There is nothing hidden on account of the year’s season and the phase of the sun that revolves in all directions. And there is no concealment, i.e., not a single Supernal Degree is hidden from him, for all were bound together and everyone appeared before him, and none could be concealed from him. Thanks to him and thanks to them he returned to them, to the friends, in the phase of complete return and correction. All this year and all this time is for the Torah (to study it), as it is written: “The Creator’s Torah is perfect.”

After the great Zivug, a restriction was imposed on all the Upper Light (item 94). Therefore, a new Zivug (TOWER) is necessary, which reveals anew all of the Upper Light that was concealed on account of the disappearance of the degree of BON, before it begins to ascend to SAG. Thus, NOTHING IS CONCEALED FROM THAT PHASE OF THE SUN THAT REVOLVES IN ALL DIRECTIONS.

Indeed, a Zivug between the phase of the sun and the year’s season corrects the ends of Malchut on all sides, until the correction is completed. Thus, BON ascends and becomes like SAG, which amounts to the complete correction of BON, whereupon THERE IS NO CONCEALMENT, NOT A SINGLE SUPERNAL DEGREE IS CONCEALED FROM HIM, for all the degrees and the Upper Light are once more revealed in their perfection. AND NOTHING CAN BE CONCEALED FROM Him, for all the degrees and Light gradually return to Him, until all become revealed.

It is hence said that the revelation does not occur at once, for while in its phase, the sun travels and shines in sufficient measure for a COMPLETE RETURN, as it is written that He punishes the sinners and cures the righteous, whereupon they all merit the complete revelation of the Star.

145. The word HaVaYaH is written six times, and there are six verses from “the Heavens declare” and until “The Creator’s Torah is perfect” (Tehilim, 19:2-8). And this is the secret of the word BERESHEET, which consists of six letters: “THE CREATOR CREATED ET (THE) HEAVENS AND THE EARTH,” six words in all. The other sources of the verse from “The Creator’s Torah is perfect” and until “they are better than gold” (Tehilim, 19:2-8) correspond to the six utterances of the name HaVaYaH in them. The sources from “the Heavens declare” through “The Creator’s Torah is perfect” are for the six letters in the word BERESHEET, whereas the six names are for the six words from “the Creator created” through “the Heavens and the earth.”

It is known that any degree born or revealed in the worlds is first revealed through its letters, which signifies the, as yet, unattainable. Afterwards, it appears in the combination of letters. This degree then becomes attainable, its contents become known, as previously described with the letters RYU = 216 and AB = 72 (item 116).

The six letters in the word BERESHEET contain everything that exists in Heaven and on earth, but in an unattainable form, and are hence designated by these letters alone, without their combinations. Then there are the six words: Bara Elokim Et Ha-Shamayim Ve-Et Ha-Aretz (THE CREATOR CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH), where everything that the word BERESHEET contains (Heaven, earth, and all their inhabitants) is already attained.

The same principle allows us to understand what is included in the six verses from “the Heavens declare” to “The Creator’s Torah is perfect.” This is just the beginning of the revelation of attaining the end of creation in the form of letters, as with the six letters in the word BERESHEET.

And the complete revelation, the attainment of the end of creation begins with the verse “The Creator’s Torah is perfect.” This verse contains six names, each of which constitutes unique attainment, thus indicating that only after the completion of this degree do all the letter combinations become revealed and attained in the great Zivug at the end of correction, as it is said, NOTHING IS CONCEALED IN CONSEQUENCE OF HIM.

This is why TheZohar says that THE WORD BERESHEET, WHICH CONSISTS OF six, IS WRITTEN (SPEAKS) ABOUT THIS SECRET. The word BERESHEET contains six letters, where Heaven and earth are concealed, before they become revealed in the six words, “THE CREATOR CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH.”

The same applies to the six verses (Tehilim, 19:2-8): the great Zivug of the end of correction is not yet revealed from “THE HEAVENS DECLARE” to “THE CREATOR’S TORAH IS PERFECT.” Only after “NOTHING IS CONCEALED IN CONSEQUENCE OF HIM” are the six names revealed, which in turn reveal the end of correction in its full perfection.

146. As they were sitting and talking, Rabbi Elazar, the son of Rabbi Shimon, entered. He said to them: “Certainly, the face of the Shechina has come, hence I called you Pniel (Pnei – face + El – Creator = the Creator’s face)” (item 119), for you have seen the Shechina face to face. And now that you have attained Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada, it certainly refers to Atik, the Sefira of Keter, just as everything else that occurred afterwards, as it is written in the Torah: “And he slew the Egyptian.” And he who is concealed from all – is Atik.

It is said in the continuation of “The Donkey Driver,” who revealed the soul of Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada to Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba, as a result of which Rabbi Shimon called them Pniel. For the soul of Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada is a spiritual degree destined to be revealed in the future, at the end of correction. This is why they were in a state of concealment of the Upper Light (item 113), as was already mentioned with regard to the Zivug of the sun’s phase and the year’s season, until they have found Rabbi Shimon Ben Lakunya and others, thus meriting all the Light once again.

Therefore, Rabbi Shimon says to them, YOU HAVE ATTAINED, BENAYAHU BEN-YEHOYADA WAS REVEALED TO YOU. This means that they have already attained the six verses, the essence of “THE HEAVENS DECLARE,” and exist in the six names. When they have attained the soul of Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada with the help of the donkey driver, their attainment had not yet been revealed to them, as they still existed in the six verses – the reason for their concealment. But now they have attained and revealed his soul, that it is the great Zivug of Atik, when everything is revealed to all.

147. The words, “He slew the Egyptian” are explained in another place, i.e., at a different degree, in a different way. He opened and said, “He slew the Egyptian, a man of good stature, five cubits high.” All of this refers to the same secret. This Egyptian is the one who is well-known and is described as “very great in the land of Egypt in the eyes of the Jew,” for he is great and honored, as that old man had already explained (item 99).

The Torah describes the killing of the Egyptian in the book Shemot (2:12). As we have already learned from the article about Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba, it is expressed differently at a different degree (in a different language, the language of Divrey HaYamim). However, these two verses are the same secret, for it is written in the book Shmuel 1 (11:23): “And he slew the Egyptian, a prominent man,” while in Divrey HaYamim it is written: “And he slew the Egyptian, a man of good stature, five cubits high.” Both verses are the same secret, which The Zohar continues to clarify.

148. This case was examined at the Divine Assembly. “A prominent man” and “a man of good stature” are the same, as they constitute Shabbat and the bounds of Shabbat. As it is written: “You shall measure it from outside the city.” It is also written, “You shall not impede limitations in measure.” Hence, he was a man of good stature. Precisely such, from one end of the world to the other. Such is he, Adam, the first man. And should you disagree, referring to the written “five cubits,” know that these five cubits extend from one end of the world to the other.

The matter concerns the Divine Assembly, of which Rabbi Shimon said: “I saw those ascending, but how few they were” (Talmud, Sukkah, 45:2). There is a lower assembly of the angel Matat. However, the described above takes place in the Supernal Assembly, which will be clarified further.

“A prominent man” is the degree of Moshe, of whom it is written in the Torah: “And there hath not since risen a prophet in Israel such as Moshe” (Devarim, 34:10), of whom it is written “My servant Moshe is not so; he is trusted in all My house; with him do I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not with riddles” (Bamidbar, 12:7-8).

“A prominent man” also constitutes a measure, which extends from one end of the world to the other. Moreover, its form and size correspond to Shabbat and the bounds of Shabbat, where the bounds of Shabbat are the end of its measure. During the 6,000 years, the bounds of Shabbat are limited by only 2,000 Amah (cubits). However, after the end of correction, the bounds of Shabbat will extend from one end of the world to the other, as it is written: “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth” (Zachariah, 14:9).

As we already know, the Light can descend and fill the Partzufim down to the level of Parsa of the world of Atzilut. Shabbat is a spiritual state when the worlds of BYA with all that inhabit them rise above the Parsa to the world of Atzilut. Above Parsa are only pure forces, corrected desires (Kelim). Hence, naturally there is no need to separate pure Kelim from impure ones and to correct them during Shabbat.

However, the Light of Shabbat shines not only in the world of Atzilut, but beyond its bounds as well. It thus affects the sixteen Sefirot from Parsa down to Chazeh of the world of Yetzira so the soul can be in the state of “ Shabbat” with these desires, too. The language of our world describes this as the permission to transcend the bounds of the city of Atzilut (seventy Amah) by 2,000 Amah down to the Chazeh of the world of Beria, and then another 2,000 Amah from Chazeh of the world of Beria to Chazeh of the world of Yetzira. (Seventy Amah are regarded as being within the city limits.)

However, after all the Kelim (desires) are corrected, there will be no restrictions; the world of Atzilut will extend down to our world, and only the state of Shabbat will prevail in the entire world – in all desires of all creatures.

It is hence written: “A PROMINENT MAN” and “A MAN OF GOOD STATURE” are one and the same, for they constitute shabbat and the bounds of shabbat, as is said: “AND YOU SHALL MEASURE FROM OUTSIDE THE CITY,” and it is also written: “YOU SHALL NOT IMPEDE JUDGMENT IN MEASURE.” It follows that an object’s measure represents its limit, just as the words “A MAN OF GOOD STATURE” alludes to the end, the bounds of Shabbat after the end of correction, which will extend from one end of the world to the other.

AND HE SHALL BE PRECISELY MAN OF GOOD STATURE” indicates that size does not rule over him; rather, he rules over size, and it is he who determines this size according to his own will. SUCH IS HE, ADAM, who, prior to his sin, extended and shone from one end of the world to the other (Talmud, Hagigah, 12:1), as the bounds of Shabbat after the end of correction.

FIVE CUBITS FROM ONE END OF THE WORLD TO THE OTHER – because the five cubits are the five Sefirot: Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA, and Malchut that expand and fill everything from one end of the world to the other after the end of correction.

149. It is, as is written, “like a weaver’s beam” (Shmuel 1, 17: 7) “as the Divine staff” (Shemot,4:20) that was in his hand, which reveals by the secret name (Light) confirmed in it by the light of the letter combinations that Betzalel and his disciples engraved, called “weaving,” as is written, “He filled them and others, and BOUND them.” And that staff – within it shone a secret name, inscribed on all its sides by the Light of the sages, who confirmed the secret name in forty-two properties. And the rest of what is written from here onward is similar to what the old man had already explained. Happy is his lot!

The secret of the letter combinations in sacred names is called “weaving,” like a weaver joins his threads into a fabric, the letters join into combinations of sacred names, which designate man’s spiritual level of their attainment. Hence, The Zohar says that the Creator’s staff in Moshe’s hand had engraved the letter combinations of the secret name, which Betzalel and his disciples engraved as they worked on the Tabernacle.

The Creator’s staff is therefore called a “weaver’s beam.” The Hebrew word for “beam” is MANOR (from OHR – Light). This refers to the Light of the letter combinations in the secret name, which Betzalel weaved and engraved, as it is said, “by the Light of the letter combinations that Betzalel engraved.”

However, the staff does not shine in all directions until the end of correction, for there is a distinction between the Creator’s staff and that of Moshe. It is written of the staff of Moshe: “Put forth your hand and take it by the tail (of a snake), and it shall become a staff in your hand” (Shemot, 4:4). This means that it did not shine from all sides.

However, after the end of correction, it will shine in all directions, as it is said: And the secret name shone from within that staff in all directions by the Light of sages, who confirmed the secret name in forty-two properties.” For the secret name that was engraved on the staff shone in all directions, i.e., in the property called “He will eradicate death forever” (Yeshayahu, 25:8). It will thus begin to shine evenly in all directions, whereas the Light of the name engraved on the staff is the Light of Hochma of the Name MB.

150. Be seated, dear friends. Be seated and let us renew the correction of the Bride on this night, for whomever joins her on this night shall be guarded Above and below in the coming year. And this year shall pass over him in peace. Such people are described in the verse: “The angel of the Lord stands round those that fear Him, and delivers them. O taste and see that the Creator is good” (Tehilim, 34:8-9).

As was already stated in item 125, there are two explanations of the aforesaid. The first is that since the day of the giving of the Torah is the Light of the end of correction that abolishes death forever and brings freedom from the angel of death, one should exert to receive this Light on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost), as Light is renewed on the holiday and brings deliverance from death.

According to the second explanation, Malchut is called a “year,” and the renewal of the Light by those who keep the Torah after the end of correction will also bring the complete and final correction of the year (Malchut). This is because the renewal of the Light by those who keep the Torah is referred to as the correction of the night of the bride, Malchut, called a “year.” And this brings us to a corrected year.

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