Heaven and Earth
151. Rabbi Shimon opened and said, “In the beginning the Creator created the Heavens and the earth.” This verse should be examined carefully, for whoever claims that there is another Creator disappears from the world, as it is written, “He who claims that there is another Creator perishes from both the earth and from Heavens, for there is no other Creator, but the Almighty.”
Here The Zohar continues to discuss the correction of the bride. It starts with the first sentence of the Torah: IN THE BEGINNING THE CREATOR CREATED, with the root and the source of all the corrections of the bride (Malchut) during the 6,000 years.
Malchut’s entire correction occurs only through her union with Bina and the reception of Bina’s properties. In the verse, IN THE BEGINNING THE CREATOR CREATED, the Creator is called Elokim, signifying Bina. This means that He created the world by the property of Bina for the purpose of correction.
Elokim consists of MI-Bina and ELEH-Malchut. Thanks to the constant union of MI and ELEH, the world can exist. The Creator is Bina, called Elokim, and as a result of Ohr Hochma clothing in Ohr Hassadim, the union of MI and ELEH provides ELEH with the property of Bina. It is through this correction that the world is able to exist.
The union of MI and ELEH does not permit for the existence of other, foreign, egoistic forces within the Partzuf. These are the so-called “other gods,” who cannot sustain the world, as they separate MI from ELEH and do not clothe the Light of pleasure (Hochma) in the altruistic intention of Hassadim (for the Creator’s sake), which leads to Ohr Hochma departing the Partzuf, leaving ELEH. Therefore, it is forbidden to believe that man is governed by any other forces besides the Creator, for instead of existence and reception of the Light of Life, such belief brings the world and man only ruin and disappearance of this Light.
152. With the exception of ELEH, everything is written in Aramaic. This is called “translation.” He asks: However, should you suggest that it is because the holy angels do not understand the translation, i.e., the Aramaic language, then everything should have been said in Hebrew, so the holy angels would hear and be grateful for it. He replies: This is exactly why it is written in the translation (in Aramaic), as the holy angels neither hear nor understand it, and hence will not envy people, which would be detrimental to the latter. For in this case, even the holy angels are called Creators, and they are included in the group of Creators, but they have not created Heaven and earth.
Aramaic is referred to as “translation.” It is very close to the holy language of Hebrew, but angels neither need nor know it nonetheless. Yet, they know and need all the other languages of the nations of the world. This is so because the translation from the holy language is called its “reverse side,” its VAK without GAR.
In other words, there is an altruistic language, which is hence called “holy,” and its reverse, preliminary stage, hence called “translation,” is the Aramaic language. No other language in the world but Aramaic can act as translation from the holy language. All the other languages in the nations of the world (egoistic desires) are strictly egoistic and are unrelated to altruism. They are not AHP with regard to GE (the holy language).
Therefore, the translation is truly close to the holy language. However, there is one distinction here, which renders it unnecessary to angels: the holy language is like the scale pointer that shows the extent of balance between the right and left scales, where the pointer moves between the two scales and delivers its judgment – toward the scale of reward (for merits) or towards the scale of punishment (for sins). It brings everything back to the state of correction, to purity and holiness, and is hence called the holy language (“Introduction to The Study of Ten Sefirot,” item 120).
As it is written in item sixteen, Heaven, earth, and all that inhabit them were created by MA, i.e., Malchut, as it is written, “MA = WHAT = HOW glorious is Your name in all the earth, which You have set above the Heavens!” Indeed, Heaven was created by the name (property) of MA (Malchut), whereas the Heaven that is mentioned alludes to Bina, called MI. But all is explained by the name Elokim.
The name Elokim is revealed in Heaven and earth, which were created by the power of MA, by attaching the letters ELEH from Ima-Bina with the help of MAN and good deeds of the lower ones. Therefore, the Light of GAR, i.e., Ohr Hochma, called Elokim, is consistent neither in Heaven (Bina) nor on earth (ZON).
Typically, only GE are present above the Parsa, in ZON of the world of Atzilut, whereas their AHP is below the Parsa, in the worlds BYA, for ZON themselves are unwilling to receive Ohr Hochma unless it is to be passed on to the Partzufim – the souls of the righteous – in the worlds of BYA.
When the lower ones, the righteous that exist spiritually in the worlds of BYA, raise MAN from below upwards, from their place in BYA to Malchut de Atzilut, MA turns into MI and the letters ELEH join with MI. Together, they create the word Elokim, which is the Light of Heaven and earth. However, if the lower ones corrupt their deeds by sinking into egoistic intentions, the Light disappears and leaves Sefirot K-H with the Light Ruach-Nefesh (called MI or MA), while the letters ELEH fall into the impure forces, for MI is GE and ELEH is AHP.
Therefore, the entire correction depends exclusively on attaching the letters ELEH to MI with the help of MAN. Hence, this correction is called the “holy language,” like the scale pointer, which determines the balance between egoistic desires and altruistic intentions, i.e., the reception for the Creator’s sake. This is why the scale pointer is set in the middle, and by means of such interaction of the properties of Malchut (the will to receive) and Bina (the will to bestow), one can achieve the reception of Ohr Hochma for the Creator’s sake.
The Light is called “holy,” as it passes the holy name Elokim to ZON, descends from Bina to ZON, and transfers the letters ELEH to the pure and holy side, to the scale of merit. This is why the Hebrew word for “scales” is Mawznaim (from the word Awzen), for the Light in AHP (Awzen-Hotem-Peh) is named according to its highest Light, the Light of Awzen of the Sefira Bina or Ohr Neshama.
And the language of translation called Targum is opposite to the holy language of Mawznaim (scales). It is so because when the lower ones do not raise MAN and do not harbor pure intentions, it is defined as an aspiration to use only the desires to receive, designated by the letters ELEH, and which do not aspire to unite with the desire (property) of bestowal (the letters MI-Bina). As a result, AHP of ZON, called MA, descend and Heaven and earth (ZON) return to the state of VAK.
Such a state is called the language of Targum. The Gematria of the word Tardema (sleep) matches that of the word Targum. In Hebrew, the word Targum is spelled with the same letters as the words Tered MA, which means “descending MA,” for through this spiritually impure language, AHP = MA (designated by the words Tered MA) becomes revealed. This leads to the descent from the scale of merit to the scale of punishment. While this is happening, the state of GE is called “sleep.”
However, all this refers only to ZON, to Heaven and earth created in MA, the desires of reception. This is because they have emerged as a result of a Zivug on Yesod, called MA. But the holy angels that emerged from the Zivug de Neshikin (kissing Zivug) of AVI, and which have only MI but no MA (only altruistic desires of bestowal, the property of IMA-Bina), permanently exist in the state of VAK without GAR, that is, without Ohr Hochma.
On the other hand, their VAK is Ohr Hassadim of MI = Ima-Bina. Ohr Hassadim in Bina is as important as GAR, for it fills desires with just as perfect a sensation as does the GAR, to the point that they reject Ohr Hochma, just like Ima. And there is holiness in them; hence, GAR are called holy, as well.
There are two reasons why angels do not respond to the language of Targum, which adds MA to ZON and returns ZON to the state of VAK:
Even when ZON are in the state of GAR due to the influence of the holy language, angels do not receive GAR (Hochma) from it, as, just like Ima, they want only Ohr Hassadim.
The addition of the Achoraim (AHP) does not apply to angels whatsoever; they lack the properties of MA. Hence, The Zohar says that THE HOLY ANGELS HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO NEED for translation AND DO NOT LISTEN to it. They do not need it because they neither lose anything when it is present nor gain anything when it is absent, as they constitute the property of VAK and lack the property of MA.
AND THEY SHALL NOT ENVY MAN – this sentence refers primarily to the damnation of other gods, the forces that prevent man from revealing GAR, Ohr Hochma. As a result, he loses the Light and the letters ELEH, for angels do not have the properties of GAR de Hochma either, but only GAR de Hassadim. Thus, they feel ashamed of their descent to such a low degree, and envy us for considering ourselves significant.
The Zohar says that in this case, even the holy angels are called “Creators,” but they have not created Heaven and earth and are called “Creators- Elokim”(forces) because they come from Ima-Bina (called Elokim), thus existing in the general Elokim. But THEY HAVE NOT CREATED HEAVEN AND EARTH, for they cannot uphold the existence of Heaven and earth in GAR de Hochma. However, Heaven and earth (the correction of the world to its ultimate merging with the Creator) cannot exist unless man settles there (man must consist of egoistic and altruistic desires) and sows and reaps (corrects his egoistic desires by uniting with the properties of Bina). This existence is possible only in the Light of GAR de Hochma (the reception of Ohr Hochma for the Creator’s sake). Hence, angels do not create Heaven and earth.
153. He asks: earth is called Arka, when it should read, Ar’a. He answers: because Arka is one of the seven lands below, where the sons of Cain’s sons reside. Indeed, after being banished from the face of the earth, they descended there and fathered generations; wisdom became so lost that all understanding was lost, and this is a double land, consisting of darkness and Light.
Each of the seven Sefirot (the six Sefirot of ZA and Malchut) contain the properties of the other six. Thus, each one of them contains the seven Sefirot HGT NHYM. In other words, Malchut, too, has seven Sefirot, and the lower world contains seven lands, as well, called Eretz, Adama, Arka, Gia, Neshia, Tzia and Tevel.
Our land is called Tevel and is the highest of the seven lands. Arka is the third of the seven lands. The souls of Cain and Abel descend from the word Elokim, but due to the impurity that Chava (Eve), Adam’s wife, received from the serpent, the soul of Cain emerged first from the letters ELEH, followed by the soul of Abel, which emerged from the letters MI. These two Partzufim were meant to unite and incorporate their properties in one another, which would make the name Elokim shine in both of them, as when MI is permanently present in ELEH. However, the impure force that emerged together with Cain’s soul incited him against his brother (MI of the word Elokim) to the point that he rose against Abel (MI in Elokim) and slew him. This is because the disappearance of the property of MI-Bina from ELEH is tantamount to murder.
Without the support of the properties of MI, ELEH (Cain’s own property) fell into the impure forces: from the spiritual level of the holy land to the impure place (of egoistic desires). And he lost his descendants (Partzufim filled with Light) because of the rule of the impure forces (the disappearance of the screen).
Thus, the holy language within him was substituted for translation, for he had lost the wisdom (Ohr Hochma). After all, the impure forces lack wisdom, as they have only the Light of HB without Daat.
The slaying of Abel, i.e., the exit of Light from this Partzuf (item 152), occurs because MI is formed in ZON exclusively by the power of MAN (raised by the pure thoughts of the righteous in the worlds of BYA). Then appear the letters ELEH, and the word Elokim becomes as complete in ZON as it is in AVI. Malchut ends just like ZA, like Ima, due to the replacing of the letter Hey with Yod (item 17).
However, the letter Hey does not disappear from MA forever. Rather, it simply enters the inner part of Malchut and hides there (the will to receive receives its fulfillment from altruistic actions, from Ohr Hassadim. Hence, its egoistic aspirations are temporarily unfelt, as they are concealed in Ohr Hassadim). Meanwhile, the letter Yod is revealed in MI.
This is why the Creator’s holy name Elokim is also found in ZON, in Heaven and earth. However, Cain raised MAN not in holiness and purity, but wished to use the letters ELEH – which relate to him – for his own pleasure. This is described as, AND CAIN ROSE UP AGAINST ABEL, HIS BROTHER, for he put himself above his brother, to rule over MI (Abel).
However, AHP of Nukva (the hitherto concealed letter Hey of MA) were immediately revealed, and the word MI disappeared from Malchut. Hence, Abel’s soul, which stems from MI of Nukva (MI fill the Partzuf with Light and are considered its soul) ascends and disappears as well, as is described by the words, AND SLEW HIM, for the Light’s exit from the Partzuf is referred to as death.
This is why The Zohar describes this process in the following way: The serpent’s impure force was within Cain (Beresheet, 2:4); hence, he wished to strengthen the letters ELEH, annul MI, and govern them. That is why he revealed AHP of Nukva (MA) and MI disappeared from Nukva, whereupon Abel’s soul, which descends from MI, disappeared as well (AND SLEW HIM).
Thus, Cain himself (ELEH) fell under the rule of the impure forces, called Arka or Eretz Nod, as it is written in the Torah: “And he settled in the land of Nod” (Beresheet,4:16).
The Zohar calls it a double land, one that contains both Light and darkness. This is because Light and darkness mix and act (rule) together, as there are two rulers in that land, who divide the power equally between them. One rules over darkness, the other over Light. Hence, in this state one is unable to separate Light from darkness, and only help from Above, the descending Light of reason, enables one to tell between the true Ruler and the lord of darkness.
154. And there are two rulers there – one rules over darkness and one over Light, and they become hostile to each other. When Cain descended there, they joined together and became complete. And they all saw that they were Cain’s descendants. Therefore, their two heads are like two serpents, except for when the ruler of Light defeats the other, the ruler of darkness. Hence, they enter Light and darkness, and become as one.
We need to review item 14, which expounds on the creation of the holy name Elokim. First, the letters ELEH ascend and join MI to form a simple word, since Ohr Hassadim is still insufficient, whereas holiness (Ohr Hochma) cannot enter the Kli (desire) without being clothed in Ohr Hassadim. Hence, it is concealed in the name Elokim.
That is why a Zivug takes place in MI – to receive Ohr Hassadim, which clothes Ohr Hochma, thereby correcting the name Elokim: MI BARA HELEH – BARAH is the source of Ohr Hassadim, which clothes Ohr Hochma, thus connecting MI to ELEH, which brings correction to the name Elokim. MI- Bina consists of GAR (AVI withthe property of pure altruism), who never receive Ohr Hochma, and ZAT(YESHSUT), who do receive Ohr Hochma.
Therefore, as the letters ELEH begin to ascend to MI, they first rise to ZAT de MI (YESHSUT), who receive Ohr Hochma, but are currently concealed in the name Elokim. Then transpires the second Zivug on GAR de MI, AVI, altruistic desires, which provide ELEH with Ohr Hassadim, thus bringing correction to the name Elokim.
AVI – GAR de Bina - Ohr Hassadim
YESHSUT – ZAT de Bina - Ohr Hochma
Since ELEH lacks Ohr Hassadim, those deprived from Ohr Hochma are called Partzuf Cain. Not only did Cain fail to raise MAN to receive MI with Hassadim, he also wished to receive Ohr Hochma from AVI, thereby destroying the Partzuf named Abel, for the egoistic desires of AHP de Malchut of Atzilut were exposed. The Light disappeared from Partzuf Abel, signifying its death, whereas Cain himself fell into the impure forces – ELEH.
The place of these impure forces is called Arka. Also, two rulers exist there, emerging from the impure ELEH: when AHP de MA in Malchut is concealed, while AHP de MI are revealed, they can pass the Light from the perfect, pure, and holy name Elokim to the souls. Ohr Hochma of ELEH (received by YESHSUT) then clothes in Hassadim (received from AVI), and the holy name Elokim becomes revealed.
However, since the impure forces cling only to the AHP of the pure forces (to MA), the letters ELEH within them exist in two incomplete states: (i) when no Hassadim are present at all; (ii) when Ohr Hochma in ELEH cannot clothe in Hassadim due to the lack of Hassadim de MI; hence, ELEH are kept in darkness.
This is the male part of the impure ELEH, as these Kelim are intended for Ohr Hochma. However, they have no Hochma due to the lack of Hassadim de MI. Hence, they are kept in darkness, devoid of both Hochma and Hassadim. Yet, these are great Kelim, for if they had been able to receive Ohr Hassadim, they would have been able to receive Ohr Hochma within it, too.
The female part of the impure ELEH stems from AHP de MA of the holy Nukva, the Kli for Ohr Hassadim. However, the impure Nukva is considerably injured, as she is the basis for everyone’s remoteness from the Creator, as she impersonates the holy Malchut. Depending on the extent of her corruption, she has a multitude of impure names. Yet, she still retains a tiny Light (Ner Dakik), since her Kelim stem from AHP de MA, the roots of which are Kelim of Ohr Hassadim.
These male and female parts of the impure ELEH are ZA and Malchut of the impure forces, the two rulers in Arka. The male part rules over darkness and the female part rules over the Light that is there. They complain against each another, since they are opposite. The male part complains because it is the Kelim of the letters ELEH, which are empty of Ohr Hochma; it hates the forces of remoteness from the Creator and forgery, existing within the Kelim of the female part of the impure forces, and prefers to remain in its darkness.
Nukva of the impure forces, however, who has a small Light of Hassadim, does not aspire for Ohr Hochma, let alone for the darkness in which her male part abides. Therefore, she complains about the male part and distances from it. As The Zohar says, two rulers govern there: one (the male part) over darkness, and the other (the female part) over Light, and they are hostile towards each other, for the male part rules over darkness and the female rules over Light. Hence, they hate, slander, and complain against each other. And since they are thereby distanced from one another, they cannot expand their dominance and are incapable of causing any harm.
However, after Cain had sinned and dropped the pure letters of ELEH of his soul into the impure forces of Arka, his ELEH, which are concealed from Hassadim, clothed in the tiny Light present in the impure forces. This revives the small Kelim de Hochma in Cain’s ELEH, for the Light of the impure forces bestows life upon them, just like the pure Light of Hassadim.
As a result, the male part of ELEH of the impure forces, too, made a Zivug with this Nukva, who clothed Cain’s ELEH, since he has these Kelim, as well. With the help of this Zivug, Cain fathered his descendants, the sparks of Ohr Hochma that remain in the letters ELEH, which are not mixed with the male impure Kelim of ELEH that clothed in the Light of Nukva of the impure forces.
This is why The Zohar says that when Cain descended there, everything merged and became complete, for the sparks of Ohr Hochma that remained in Cain’s ELEH were clothed in the Light of Nukva of the impure forces. Consequently, her male impure force wished to enjoy the sparks of Ohr Hochma that are in Cain’s ELEH.
Hence, they made a Zivug, i.e., spread and completed one another, and everyone saw that they were the descendants of Cain, that this Zivug produced the descendants, the clothing of the sparks of Ohr Hochma in Cain’s impure ELEH. Thus, the sparks of Ohr Hochma of Cain’s soul were revealed, and everyone saw that they were Cain’s descendants, born of a vile Zivug.
Therefore, their two heads are like two serpents, for they were born from a union of the male and female parts of the impure ELEH, which are initially opposite to one another. Therefore, Cain’s descendants have two heads, from the two impure forces: one craves the darkness of the desires to receive Ohr Hochma, and the other craves the Light within the impure desires of the impure Nukva. And the two serpent heads correspond to the two animals that belong to the system of the pure forces: the bull and the eagle.
However, the two heads exist only when the male part is dominant, when darkness rules. Indeed, by clothing in the Light of Nukva in order to enjoy the small sparks of Ohr Hochma, the male part also supports (against its will) the dominance of its Nukva, for it wants her Light. As a result, their descendants have two heads: the first pulls in one direction and the second in another.
Nukva of the impure forces does not need their male part whatsoever, as her male part exists in darkness and cannot give her anything. Therefore, Nukva dominates and prevails in her impurity, leaving nothing of the properties of the male part. Consequently, Cain’s two-headed descendants become one-headed.
The Zohar tells us that the ruler of Light defeats the lord of darkness. When the impure Nukva, which has the Light, dominates, she defeats the male impure part, as well as the other male ruler. She defeats the male part, fully subduing it to her rule, and they include themselves in her Light and darkness, and become as one. Consequently, the rule of the male part (darkness) is included under the rule of the female part (Light), and the two heads become one.
155. For these are the two rulers, called Afrira and Kastimon, who resemble holy angels with six wings. One has the image of a bull, and the other of an eagle. And when they unite, they create an image of man.
The male impure force is called Kastimon (from the word Kosti, devastation), for it is darkness and is unfit for man’s life. And the impure Nukva, the female part, is called Afrira (from the word Afar, dust), and is unfit for sowing. She is called so in order to show that although she contains Light, she is insufficient for sowing the seed and producing harvest to feed human beings.
The Zohar also says that she resembles holy angels with six wings, for the six wings of the holy angels correspond to the letter Vav in the name HaVaYaH. In contrast, there are only four wings in the impure forces, corresponding to the name ADNI, indicating the height of the impure forces with regard to the holy angels, opposite them.
The Upper Light is called “wine,” bringing joy to the Creator and to human beings. However, wine residue contains Sigim or wine yeast. And from this waste emerges the foremost wrecker of the world, for he is still connected to purity (to yeast) and has the image of a man. However, as he descends to bring people harm, he assumes the image of a bull. This is why a bull is the first of the four main types of wrecker.
Hence, The Zohar tells us that Kastimon is a wrecker in the image of a bull, thus indicating that it is the basis of all wreckers that are called “the impure bull.” It is the Sigim of the Supernal Ohr Hochma of the holy name Elokim, the impure ELEH that correspond to the pure ELEH of the name Elokim. For Sigim and yeast stand below it, but since it is still connected to purity, it has the image of man, for Ohr Hochma of the name Elokim is Tzelem (image and likeness) of man, of which it is said: “Be Tzelem Elokim – created man in image and likeness.”
Yet, when separated from purity (altruism) through deterioration of its desires and, consequently, of its properties, it descends to its place (befitting these properties) in Arka, and assumes the image (properties) of a bull. And its Nukva assumes (in Arka) the form (properties) of an eagle, in congruence with her goal and action of Linshor (to fall out) – to bring about the fall of human souls under her power.
Hence, the word Nesher (vulture) is derived from the word Neshira (fall), just as leaves fall from a tree, for the role of the impure Nukva is to seek people out and bring them to a state of night and darkness, to the destruction of the holy covenant, as a result of which people’s souls depart from them (item 131).
Therefore, The Zohar tells us: “And when they unite, they form the image of man,” i.e., if they return and unite with purity, existing as wine yeast, they return and assume once more the image of man, just as before they descended to Arka and became wreckers.
156. When they are covered with darkness, they turn into a serpent with two heads, and move like a serpent. They soar in the void and bathe in the Great Sea, and when they approach the chains of Aza and Azael, they rile and rouse them and leap into the mountains of darkness, thinking that the Creator wishes to bring justice upon them.
I suggest that the reader will try to comment on The Zohar on his own, without any help, and then compare his thoughts with those stated below. This way, we might understand what Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag has done for us with his commentary. Prior to the appearance of his commentaries on the books of the ARI and The Zohar, there was no way for us to understand Kabbalah correctly, and only a handful of people in each generation could climb the spiritual ladder on their own.
Now, however, I assure the reader that simply by constantly reading even my books, which retell the compositions of the great Kabbalists, Rabbi Ashlag and his elder son and my teacher, Rabbi Baruch Ashlag, anyone can attain ascension to the Creator. I think that those who have already read previous books realize that this is truly possible!
As The Zohar already mentioned in item 154, when the impure Nukva dominates man through her Light, the two heads become as one. However, in the darkness, when the male part, called Kastimon, dominates, they turn into a serpent with two heads, for the male part is unable to annul the power of the female part, as it needs to be clothed in her Light. Hence, the serpent has two heads. And they move like a serpent – aiming to bring harm (the property of the serpent), to tempt Chava to dine on the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.
By the power of the Rosh of the impure Nukva they soar in the void, which contains the root of the impure force, called “void” or the greatest fall, as it is written: “They ascended up to Heaven, they descended down to the abyss” (Tehilim, 107:26). By the power of the impure male part, they bathe in the Great Sea, in Ohr Hochma of the impure forces.
Therefore, Arka is called the Land of Nod, as it constantly sways from the rule of the two heads: those that reside there keep alternating between ascending up to the GreatSea and descending down into the void.
The angels Aza and Azael are very exalted angels. Indeed, even after they had fallen from Heaven into our world, into the mountains of darkness, linked by a metal chain, so great was their power that with their help Bil’am (Balaam) attained the degree of prophecy, of which it is written: “Sees the Creator’s presence” (Bamidbar, 24:4).
This is described as “falls and opens his eyes,” for Aza is referred to as “falling” because of his fall from Heaven to earth. And Azael is called “he who opens his eyes” with regard to Aza, at whose face the Creator throws darkness. And with regard to Bil’am’s prophetic degree, our sages have said the following: “There has not been a prophet in Israel like Moshe, not in Israel, but there was one among the nations of the world, and his name was Bil’am” (Bamidbar-Raba, 14) – so great was his prophetic degree.
And the reason for their downfall from Heaven to earth lies in their complaints against man at the moment of his making. Yet, there were many angels complaining and objecting, so why did the Creator cast down only these two? The answer to this question can be found in items 416-425 of the chapter “Balak” in The Zohar. Briefly, it says that when the desire to create Adam (or man, since the Hebrew word for man is Adam) appeared in the Creator, He summoned the Supernal angels, seated them before Him, and told them of His desire to create man.
The angels replied: “What is man, that You are mindful of him?” (Tehilim, 8:5), meaning what are the properties of this man that You so wish to create? He replied to them: “This man will be similar to Me and his wisdom will surpass yours, for the human soul includes all the angels and Supernal Degrees, just as his body includes all the creatures of this world.”
Therefore, at the moment of creation of man’s soul, the Creator summoned all the Supernal angels, so they would pass all of their properties and forces to man’s soul. It is therefore written: “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,” meaning that man’s “image and likeness” includes all of the properties of all the angels.
The words “image and likeness” are written in quotation marks, since the words Tzelem and Demut (image and likeness) are not mere words that simply describe likeness. Rather, they constitute very meaningful spiritual notions.
But the angels’ question should be interpreted as follows: “What kind of a creature is this man and what is his nature? How shall we benefit from passing (including) our properties in him?” The Creator replied to this: “This man will be similar to Me and his wisdom will surpass yours.” In other words, the Creator thus promised them that man will embrace all of their qualities (the properties of Tzelem), and that he will be wiser than them. However, because of their connection to him, they will also benefit from his great attainments and acquire everything that they presently lack.
This is because the human soul includes all the spiritual degrees and all the utmost properties of all the angels. And just as his body includes all the materials and creatures of our world with all of their properties, so was the Creator’s wish that his soul would absorb the whole of creation within it.
It is written in the Torah: “Yaakov and Israel shall be told of the Creator’s works (Bamidbar,23:23).” The sages have said that in the future the angels will ask Israel for things that they do not know themselves, for Israel’s attainments will be beyond that of the angels. Hence, all the angels took part in the creation of man and integrated all their properties within him.
However, once man was created and sinned, thus becoming guilty before the Creator, the angels Aza and Azael appeared before the Creator with accusations “that man, whom You have created, has sinned before You.” For these words, the Creator cast them down from their exalted and holy degree, and thus, they began to deceive human beings.
Of all the angels, only these two, Aza and Azael, came before the Creator to complain about Adam’s sins, for only they knew that man shall return to the Creator. However, Aza and Azael also knew that the harm brought to them by man’s sin will not be corrected by this return. Moreover, they would prefer man to not return in his desires to the Creator at all. This is why they were the only ones that complained about Adam’s sin, because from their perspective, this sin is incorrigible.
The thing is that the breaking of the vessels and Adam’s sin constitute the same breaking, disappearance of the screen (anti-egoistic willpower or intention to act for the Creator’s sake). The difference is that the breaking of the vessels signifies the breaking of the screen in the Partzuf called “world,” while Adam’s sin is the breaking, disappearance of the screen in the Partzuf called “soul.” The difference between these two Partzufim is that the Partzuf called “world” is external with regard to the inner Partzuf called “soul.” The soul exists within the world and is sustained by it.
The breaking has its causes and consequences. It is necessary for mixing all the properties of Bina and Malchut, and must transpire both in the spiritual world and within the soul, to impart the properties of Bina to Malchut, and thus enable her to correct herself.
The breaking of the world of Nekudim led to the breaking of the eight SefirotHesed-Gevura-2/3of Tifferet and 1/3of Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod-Malchut, four Sefirot H-B-ZA-M in each one that in turn consists of ten Sefirot, in all: 8 x 4 x 10 = 320 (SHACH) parts. As a result of the mixing of all the parts, each part in turn consists of 320 parts. All of these 320 parts, called Nitzotzin (sparks), acquired the egoistic will to enjoy by receiving the Creator’s Light, which signifies their descent into the impure forces.
In the spiritual realm there are no locations or departments of pure and impure. However, for the purpose of conveying information more vividly, we envision the reception of lower properties as a descent, the reception of more spiritual properties as an ascent, the attainment of equivalence of form as a union, and the emergence of a new property as separation. The appearance of egoistic desires in a spiritual object is considered a descent into the impure forces, although these forces exist within us (and not vice versa), and simply become more apparent. There is nothing surrounding us, for everything is within: all the worlds and desires, both pure and impure.
By studying Kabbalah we attract the emanation of the Light that surrounds our soul (see “Introduction to The Study of Ten Sefirot,” item 155), which cultivates within us a desire for correction. Then, as we attain the degrees of the spiritual worlds, we begin to feel the spiritual Light that corresponds to each degree, through which we begin to discern egoistic and altruistic parts in each of our properties.
By comparisons to the Light, we perceive our egoistic parts as evil, and to the extent that we sense it, we distance ourselves from it and refuse to use these desires. Conversely, we perceive our altruistic desires as good for us, but, having no strength to use them, we submit a request, receive the necessary strength, and accept the Light for the Creator’s sake, thereby ascending to a higher degree, where this process repeats itself.
The return (Teshuva – repentance) means that by raising MAN (request for correction), we elevate some of the 320 corrupt parts from the impure forces, into which they fell, back to the world of Atzilut, where they existed prior to Adam’s sin. However, we are powerless to sort out and correct, i.e., to elevate the thirty-two parts of Malchut herself, which exist in the eight Sefirot of this Partzuf (world), for their level of corruption is beyond our ability to repair them.
Therefore, out of the 320 (SHACH = Shin + Chet = 300 + 20) parts, we can, that is, we are entitled to and must sort out and correct only 320 – 32 = 288 parts (RAPACH = 288) by our return to the Creator, i.e., 9 x 32, where nine designates the first nine Sefirot in each Sefira that we are allowed to correct. Yet, we are unable to correct Malchut of each Sefira, for this requires a Light of a special power. We will receive this Light from the Creator only after the correction of all the other 288 parts, that is, at the end of correction.
These thirty-two parts of Malchut, which are impossible and thus prohibited to correct, are called Lev HaEven (Lamed-Bet Even – thirty-two stones). As I’ve repeatedly mentioned, there is no such notion as “prohibition” in Kabbalah; this word is used when it is necessary to point out the futility of trying despite one’s weakness and limitation. “Prohibited” means impossible, beyond one’s power. Moreover, it is not the Creator’s prohibition; rather, as a result of one’s personal faith and experience, one should admit that “prohibited” alludes to whatever is still beyond one’s power to correct.
Therefore, GAR de AVI are concealed, and their Light does not shine. After all, for all of its ten Sefirot to shine, a Zivug needs to be made on Malchut herself, for Lev HaEven, the thirty-two uncorrected parts of Malchut herself are a supplement to their ten Sefirot. And as long as these Kelim are missing, a complete Zivug is impossible. However, when the complete analysis and correction of the 288 (RAPACH = Reish + Pey + Chet = 200 + 80 + 8 = 288) Nitzotzin is completed, Lev HaEven will be corrected by itself, and no effort or corrections shall be required on our part.
So the prophet says: “A new heart also shall I give you, and a new spirit shall I put within you; and I shall take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I shall give you a heart of flesh” (Yechezkel, 36:26). Then AVI will receive their Light. However, this will occur at the end of correction, and before the end of correction, AHP of AVI will not be able to receive correction by means of our return, for we will be able to correct all of our egoistic desires, except for our very essence, Malchut de Malchut.
These angels – Aza and Azael – are the real AHP de AVI that were destroyed during the breaking of the vessels, and were nearly restored before the sin of Adam. However, Adam’s sin destroyed them once more, this time until the very end of correction.
Hence, both angels were complaining to the Creator about their Light, which has disappeared because of Adam, for they saw that there was no hope that Adam would correct them through his return to the Creator. Moreover, they saw that by his return, Adam had lowered their degree even more, for now the entire correction and return was limited to only 288 parts, without any participation or even mentioning of the thirty-two forbidden parts, Lev HaEven, which refer to the correction of AVI, whose Light is the Light of these angels, just as the Kelim of the true AHP de AVI are their Kelim.
Each raising of MAN designates cutting off, separation of impurity – Lev HaEven – from the food, RAPACH = 288 Nitzotzin, the parts that can be corrected. It follows that by preventing Aza and Azael from participating in the correction of Lev HaEven, we lower them even more. This is why the two angels complained to the Creator and tried to impede Adam from returning. After all, his return lowers them even further, for the thirty-two parts refer to them.
Therefore, when the Creator saw that their complaints threatened to weaken man’s strength to return to Him, He told them that Adam's sin did not spoil anything for them. For although there is greatness and holiness in them while they are in Heaven and no impure forces can cling to them, still this perfection is incomplete, as they cannot exist in our world, in a place of impure forces.
The Creator told them: “Hence, you have lost nothing as a result of Adam’s sin, for you are no better than him anyway, as your degree is merely the result of the place of your residence.” And since the Creator’s words constitute His actions, they fell instantly from Heaven to earth (into egoism, of course, not to the physical earth!).
And since they came (spiritually descended) to the corporeal life (as Kabbalah defines it), they began to sort through and analyze the thirty-two parts of complete egoism, called the “daughters of men,” of which the Torah says: “And the sons of great (angels) saw the daughters of men (egoistic Nukva), that they were fair (they saw in her an opportunity for egoistic reception of pleasure), and they took them as wives (used their egoistic desires), whomsoever they chose (they themselves chose precisely this low state)” (Beresheet,6:2). For they did not want to separate the impurity of the thirty-two egoistic parts and prefer only 288, but took everything they wished, including Lev HaEven.
Hence, they also transgressed with Nukva Lilit (Lilith) the sinner, and wished to draw the entire world toward sin, to fling it into the last stage of egoism, for they did not wish man to return, as it completely contradicts their root.
What did the Creator do? He put them in iron chains! For the Creator saw that if they had the power to return to Heaven after the sin, all the people would fail in their attempts to aspire to the Creator in their desires, as the dominance of these egoistic angels (forces) in man would be too great. (Rashi – the great eleventh century Kabbalist and Biblical commentator – says that the entire Torah speaks in the words of man. Hence, everything is described in notions of time and sequence of events. Similarly, the Creator seemingly creates and only then sees the results of his work).
Therefore, although their root is quite high, the Creator gave the root of the impure forces His permission to act (here we see that the Creator governs all the forces in creation). This root is called Barzel (iron), as it is written: “There was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building” (Melachim, 1, 6:7), for iron is an impure force.
And since this impure force clang to the two angels and bound them, as if with iron chains, by the desires that it dictates to them, such a state is characterized as being in the mountains of darkness, from which they can no longer ascend until the end of correction.
And when they approach the chain of Aza and Azael, rile and rouse them, it designates the awakening of the fourth part of the will to receive, Malchut de Malchut, the greatest desire to receive, called “wrath and rage.” And they leap over the mountains of darkness, thinking that the Creator wishes to bring justice upon them, for being bound by iron chains, they could not ascend to their roots and receive Hochma.
Therefore, this action is considered leaping, an attempt to ascend, followed by a fall, as a result of which they descend even deeper into the mountains of darkness. And they think that because of their leaps (attempts to receive the Light from their root), the Creator is becoming increasingly stricter with them; thus, they decide to stop leaping.
However, even though they cannot give anything, as their attempts to reach up are mere leaps and falls, it is nonetheless enough for the two rulers to receive Ohr Hochma from them, as this gives them the strength to swim in the sea of Hochma of the impure force, whereas before they had only the strength to bathe in it.
The reason for this is that there is no action in this exalted impure force, and everything is limited only in thoughts and desires, for such is the essence of the impure forces (desires) that separate us from the Creator – before the level of an action is achieved, purity disappears from it. Therefore, the impure forces will never reach the level of an action.
Hence, the work for the impure forces is called “Avoda Zara” (alien work or idol worshipping), as it is alien to spiritual work “for the Creator’s sake,” and is performed according to the instruction and desires that the impure forces insert into man’s thoughts. In this alien work for an alien master, the Creator punishes even for mere thoughts and desires, as the prophet said: “That the house of Israel may understand in their own heart” (Yechezkel, 14:5). And the sages have said that man is accused and punished even for thoughts, desires, and doubts in the alien work that transpires in his heart in exactly the same measure as for a completed action. Hence, the leaps of Aza and Azael are sufficient in their desire to receive Hochma, although in reality they received nothing.
157. And these two Creator-appointed rulers swim in the GreatSea, fly up from there, and at night go to Naamah, the mother of witches, for whom the first people fell (Beresheet, 6:1-4). And they wish to approach her, but she leaps 60,000 Parsa'ot and assumes several different forms, so that people may be deceived and enticed by her.
After receiving power from Aza and Azael, they can now make a Zivug with Naamah, as the first angels Aza and Azael erred. From that Zivug with Aza and Azael, Naamah gave birth to all the spirits and witches of the world. The Torah calls Aza and Azael the “sons of Gods” or the “sons of the great” (Beresheet, 6:2).
Yet, how could such exalted angels stoop to such depraved actions with Naamah, and why did she give birth to spirits and witches, and not to people?
The thing is that the Upper World (AVI) was created by the letter Yod, by the male part, which have nothing of the fourth part of Malchut, called Malchut de Malchut. However, ZON (the lower world) was created by the letter Hey, which includes Malchut de Malchut. AVI aspire only to Ohr Hassadim, to altruistic actions (bestowal), for Bina emerged as such in the four stages of Malchut’s birth, even before the appearance of the first Kli(Malchut de Malchut).
Nevertheless, ZON need Ohr Hochma, since ZA was created as such in the four stages of Malchut’s birth. Also, ZA wishes to receive Ohr Hochma within Ohr Hassadim, which he already has.
The Zivug of AVI, called the “Upper World,” begets angels who desire Ohr Hassadim, just like AVI, from whom they were born. Human souls are born from the Zivug of ZON, called the “lower world,” and they, like ZON, from whom they were born, desire only Ohr Hochma.
The moment the common soul of all the creatures (Adam) was born from ZON de Atzilut, ZON existed at the level of the Upper World (AVI) and clothed it. Like AVI, they, too, ended in the letter Yod of the name HaVaYaH. And the letter Hey of the name HaVaYaH was concealed in their posterior side, Achoraim or AHP.
Hence, Adam’s level was quite high because ZON was in the Upper World and ended in the letter Yod. The level of ZON was that of the angels that were born from AVI; therewith, ZON received Ohr Hochma according to their desires, as ZON are meant to.
As a result, ZON contain the name Elokim, Supernal Hochma, the perfection of the Upper World. This is because the ban of the first restriction to not receive Ohr Hochma does not apply to the letter Yod. Cain and Abel were born from this state: Cain was born from ELEH and Abel from MI. Malchut herself (the last letter Hey of the name HaVaYaH) was concealed in them both, and only the letter Yod was revealed; hence, they contained Supernal Hochma.
However, on the whole, Hochma is received in Kelim ELEH, ZAT de Bina, by Cain’s soul. This property of Cain is concealed in MI, as the last Hey is concealed inside Yod, and Cain wanted to make a Zivug with it, to receive Ohr Hochma in Malchut de Malchut, concealed in Abel’s soul.
It is by this that he slew Abel, for after the last Hey was revealed, the ban of the first restriction to receive Ohr Hochma in it was revealed. Hence, the Creator’s name Elokim disappeared from them both: MI, since it refers to GAR, ascended and disappeared (signifying Abel’s slaying), and Cain’s ELEH, since it refers to ZAT, fell into the impure forces, called Arka.
However, although it fell into the impure forces, sparks of Ohr Hochma still remain in these Kelim (desires), as it is written that his daughters did not suffer from it greatly, and the sparks of Bina still remained in them. From this we can understand that Naamah, one of Cain’s daughters, was the most beautiful of all the women in the world, for the sin transpired mainly in Cain’s male part, and not in his female part, as is described in the Talmud (Sanhedrin, 74:2).
Therefore, after the Creator cast Aza and Azael into this world (created by the letter Hey), and they’ve seen Naamah, a new hitherto non-existent desire appeared within them – the desire to receive Ohr Hochma, for in their essence they desire only Ohr Hassadim, and only the image of Naamah bore a new desire for Ohr Hochma within them.
And since there is no Hey (the last Hey, on which there is a ban to receive Ohr Hochma) in their essence and in that of Naamah (the last revealed one, for it originates from Cain’s ELEH), they erred in her, thinking that she is able to receive Ohr Hochma, and made a Zivug with her.
Their error was twofold:
Despite the fact that they do not have the last Hey from birth, since the place determines, and they exist in this world, the last Hey already governs them, and they are forbidden to receive Ohr Hochma.
They thought that the last Hey was absent in Naamah’s structure, when in fact, it was concealed. Hence, spirits and witches were born from their Zivug.
From this we can understand what is written in the Talmud (Hagiga, 16:1), that witches are half-angels half-people, for with regard to their fathers, Aza and Azael, they are angels, whereas with regard to Naamah, they are like people. But she could not give birth to people, for the seed within her came from angels, and not from people.
The reason for the harm that they cause lies in the fact that they were born from depravity, the greatest possible distance from the Creator. Hence, their impurity accompanies them and brings harm wherever it possibly can. Therefore, The Zohar says that at night they come to Naamah, the mother of witches, for whom the first people fell (see Beresheet, 6:1-4).
Indeed, after they received strength from these angels, who were the first to engage in depravity with Naamah, they could continue to engage in depravity with her. The Zohar indicates that this is precisely why they come at night, for the power of Hochma of the impure forces rules only in the darkness of night, the time of judgment and restrictions, and also as the consequence of roots, namely Aza and Azael, who reside in the mountains of darkness.
However, after engaging in depravity with them, she leapt 60,000 Parsa'ot, i.e., she rose so high that she wanted to annul the Parsa below VAK de AA, whose each Sefira is defined as 10,000; hence, its VAK = 6 Sefirot equal 60,000.
But as soon as they think to approach her, she leaps 60,000 Parsa'ot, but immediately falls back down and is unable to touch them, for there is no action in these upper impure forces, and all transgressions and all errors are only in thoughts and intentions.
Yet, there is still enough power in her to deceive and entice people, even if man does not reach the level of impure actions and is only drawn to her in his thoughts and desires. However, the Creator punishes for such thoughts and desires, as He does for actions, as the prophet warns us: “the house of Israel may understand in their own heart” (Yechezkel, 14:5). And the impure force assumes several different shapes, such as depravity with married women, murder and other things laid upon Lilit.
158. These two rulers soar in the entire world and then return to their places. And they rouse the sons of Cain’s sons with a spirit of evil desires to beget children.
“Soar in the entire world” – they bring harm to man in all of their thoughts, wherever they can, and lure him into the darkness of night. For after man sins, they return to their permanent place in Arka, where they rouse the sons of Cain to defile the descendants with impurities.
Moreover, The Zohar says that besides pushing the sons of Cain to sin in Arka, they also soar in our world (Tevel), and compel the sons of this land to sin.
159. The Heavens that rule there are not like ours, and the land bears neither seed nor fruit by the power of Heaven, as ours does, and the grains grow again only once in several years. Hence, it is written of them that they could not correct Shemaya and Arka, and perished from the Supernal land, called Tevel, where they will not be able to exist, nor rule over it, nor cause human beings to sin because of the night. Hence, they disappeared from Arka and from the place of Shemaya that were created by the name ELEH (as mentioned in item 14).
Our Heavens receive the Light essential for the birth of subsequent Partzufim from ZA, which has Ohr Hochma. Hence, our land, which receives in Malchut de ZA, receives a grain and a seed.
However, the Heavens in Arka do not have the Light to bear fruit and give birth due to the rule of the impure forces that are there. Hence, unlike our land, Arka cannot produce; its land has no power to receive and grow a seed, and this property appears in it only once in several years.
Here The Zohar speaks of the two rulers: Afriron and Kastimon, who could not correct Shemaya and Arka, to make them bear fruit. Therefore, these rulers are not allowed to be here and seduce people in our land (Tevel), to sin, for when they are here, they bring harm to our land so as to make it like their Shemaya and Arka.
Therefore, The Zohar says that they disappeared from the Supernal land of Tevel, from our land, for here they sought to bring harm by the power of the night. They provoke people toward sin by virtue of the night, and it is a curse that hangs over Arka because of their rule there.
Our Heavens were created by the name ELEH, for our Heavens receive from ZA, which was corrected by ELEH’s properties, by the words: IN THE BEGINNING THE CREATOR CREATED, where MI is connected to ELEH. Hence, our land is corrected by the Supernal holiness and purity. Therefore, these two rulers are not allowed to rule here.
160. Hence, there exists a Targum, a translation (from Hebrew to Aramaic, which The Zohar dubs Targum), so the holy angels will not think that it is said about them, so they will not harm us. This is the secret of the word ELEH – as we have already stated, it is a holy word that cannot be translated into a Targum.
Everything but the word ELEH has been translated into the language of the Targum, as it is said in item 149, that ELEH disappeared from both Arka and Shemaya, for the word ELEH is untranslatable, as it constitutes the full connection between ELEH and MI, which causes the descent of Ohr Hochma. And should anyone sin and corrupt the letters ELEH, as Cain had done, they would fall to the impure forces, so even the holiness of the Targum (VAK of the pure forces) would depart from them.