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Who Is This?

169. Rabbi Elazar opened and said, “Who is this coming up from the wasteland?” (Shir HaShirim, 3:6). MIZOT – who is this – is the common ground of the two questions, the two worlds, Bina and Malchut, which are bound together. COMING UP – coming up to become the “Holy of Holies.” For MI is Bina, called the “Holy of Holies.” And she joins with ZOT (Malchut), so that Malchut could come up FROM THE WASTELAND, for she inherits THIS from the wasteland, to become a bride and enter the bridal canopy.

The Zohar explains the following passage: “Who is this coming up from the wasteland, leaning upon her beloved!?” (Shir HaShirim,8:5). It describes a state at the end of correction, whenthe bride enters the wedding canopy. MI ZOT: MI is Bina and ZOT is Malchut. At the end of correction, Bina and Malchut unite, and both are called holy. But until the end of correction only Bina is called holy, while Malchut ascends to Bina and receives holiness from her.

Nevertheless, at the end of correction, Malchut becomes like Bina, and they both become holy. Malchut completely unites with Bina through equivalence of form, and fully merges with the source of life, for a screen (the restriction imposed on reception of Light within Malchut) creates the Returning Light that combines all Sefirot into one.

The Creator’s Ohr Hochma can be received precisely in this Returning Light. As a result, Malchut ends with the letter Yod and becomes forever similar to Bina. Hence, it is written that Malchut and Bina unite by equalizing their desires to form a single whole.

Similarly, the Light of Malchut will be forever connected to the Light of Bina, for Malchut herself ascends to the level of the “Holy of Holies,” thus becoming exactly like Bina. SHE COMES UP just like a sacrifice, which is the “Holy of Holies,” for MI (AVI, Bina or the “Holy of Holies”) joins ZOT (Malchut), so Malchut would ascend and become the “Holy of Holies.” Sacrifice is the part of Malchut (man’s animal egoism) that ascends with its properties to Bina.

And when MI (Bina) joins ZOT (Malchut), and ZOT becomes the “Holy of Holies,” there is no longer a diminution of Malchut’s state, for this diminution occurred only because of the deterioration of Malchut’s properties, when new egoistic desires emerge within her.

Now that Malchut has become as holy (altruistic) in her properties as Bina, death disappears, and the fall of Malchut into her egoistic desires is impossible, for she has been fully corrected and has attained the properties of Bina, which are referred to as holy. Through Malchut’s acquisition of these properties, the Upper Light (life) enters her. Malchut emerges from the wasteland (the sensation of life’s absence for want of altruistic properties) and enters her wedding canopy.

This occurs thanks to man’s efforts, called “those who keep the Torah” (item 124). These efforts are the foremost part of creation, for they create the Torah and bring Malchut to the great Zivug at the end of her correction, to her complete fulfillment with the Light. This great Zivug on the entire corrected Malchut (including Malchut de Malchut) can be achieved by precisely this sensation (by man) of the spiritual wasteland.

170. She comes up from the wasteland of the soft utterance of lips, as it is written, “And your mouth is comely” (Shir HaShirim, 4:3). This is because the Hebrew word Midbar (desert/wasteland) is derived from Dibur (speech). It is written of the mighty forces, that these mighty forces strike Egypt with all the plagues of the wasteland, for all that the Creator did to them was not in the wasteland, but in settlements. And the phrase “in the wasteland” means “by the power of speech, of spoken word.” This comes up from articulation, from the mouth (Malchut) as she ascends and comes under the wings of Ima (mother, Bina). Then, through speech, she descends upon the entire holy nation (the difference between speech and articulation is that articulation is an action that forms speech).

Before the end of correction, when Malchut is still called the “Tree of Good and Evil,” all corrections occur through MAN (prayers or requests), through which the righteous (those who wish to become similar to the Creator in their properties) elevate Malchut to Bina. Consequently, Malchut receives Bina’s properties for as long as Malchut remains there, for spiritual ascent signifies an attainment of properties. Malchut becomes as holy (altruistic) as Bina.

MAN is a silent prayer in the heart of man, for Malchut signifies “speech.” Yet, until the end of correction, good words cannot exist without bad ones. That is, this will not happen until both voice and speech come from Bina herself, when Malchut becomes like Bina, which designates the unity of voice and speech – the Zivug of ZON in their corrected state of Gadlut.

ZA receives the voice from Ima and passes it in his speech to Malchut. Hence, this speech is completely good, devoid of any evil. Thus, Malchut receives from Bina the Light of holiness, Hassadim. Unless it is corrected by the completely good, altruistic voice of Bina, Malchut’s voice will always consist of both good and evil. This is why impure, egoistic forces cling to her, and Malchut cannot receive anything from holiness (Bina).

Hence, MAN that the righteous raise in their prayers is like a soft murmur of lips, a voiceless speech, as the prophet says: “Only the lips move, but the voice cannot be heard” (Shmuel I, 1:13). This is because there is no connection between MAN and the impure force, and Malchut can be elevated to Bina so she can receiveher voice from Bina.

As a result, a holy edifice of Malchut is erected, and she receives the Light from a Zivug between voice and speech, and the holiness of her speech descends upon the heads of the righteous that raised MAN and thereby revived Malchut.

This is why it is written that SHE COMES UP FROM THE WASTELAND, for the bride (Malchut) is now invited to a great Zivug under the wedding canopy. This occurs thanks to the raising of MAN by the righteous, who thereby united Bina (voice, Ima) with Malchut (speech). As a result, Malchut’s speech became as beautiful as that of Bina.

All of these individual Zivugim made by the various righteous (each of whom constitutes a small part of the common Malchut) during the 6,000 years, now connect all of Malchut’s parts (souls of the righteous) together in one great Zivug, as the bride (Malchut) enters her wedding canopy.

In other words, it is precisely this soft prayer, the raising of MAN during the 6,000 years by a voiceless speech (seeing as good is still mixed with evil in the voice of Malchut), that creates the conditions for the great Zivug of Malchut with ZA, of man with the Creator.

And since Malchut received the voice of Bina (from Ima - Mother) thanks to the help of the righteous(all the good deeds performed by the righteous during the 6,000 years), everything is now combined into the great Supernal Zivug under the wedding canopy. This is because Malchut becomes completely good without a hint of evil – the “Holy of Holies,” just like Ima.

Silent speech is defined as the movement of lips without the participation of the palate, larynx, tongue, and teeth. This is how MAN is raised when Malchut ascends between the wings of Bina,i.e., receives the voice of the wings of Ima in her speech. Afterwards, having acquired the speech, she descends upon the heads of the holy nation. For after the reception of voice through Ima’s property of mercy, Malchut becomes as holy as Bina herself, and her holiness descends upon those who corrected her. Consequently, they are called the “holy nation,” for now the speech of Malchut is as holy as that of Ima-Bina.

There is “voice” and there is “speech.” “Voice” is the inner part, whereas “speech” is its outward appearance. This appearance is based on exhaling (the silent letter Hey). ZA is called “voice,” and Malchut is called “speech.” Letters are sung according to the note signs (Taamim), followed by the letters with their punctuation marks.

The level of Ohr Haya (called Kol – voice) emerges on the screen in the Peh of the third degree of thickness, known as “teeth.” From this Light ZA receives Ohr Hochma, and his voice is then heard outside (begets the souls of the lower ones).

Yet, the voice of ZA is not heard below the level of Neshama, for his screen is not strong enough to receive Ohr Hochma. The level of Ohr Yechida in ZA, called Dibur (speech), emerges on the screen in the Peh of the fourth degree of thickness. This screen is the most powerful, as it reveals all of the Light, and is called “lips.”

The Light of NRNHY reveals the inner, Supernal and concealed wisdom, Hochma, the concealed thought, the inner Light of Bina, which cannot shine to the lower ones, that is, in ZA, because ZON cannot receive from Peh de AA. Nevertheless, the two levels of the Light – Haya and Yechida – that descend from AA are converted into voice and speech with Bina’s help, even though it is the Light of thought, wisdom and reason.

Voice is formed in ZA,and speech in Malchut. If a righteous one raises his prayers (MAN) to Malchut, thereby causing ZON to ascend to AVI, who are in constant union, to provide Light for the lower ones, ZON receive this Light from AVI, which is called “voice and speech.” The property of the righteous is to create the pure and destroy the impure with their voice. In the beginning, there was only one language (one speech) in the world, Lashon HaKodesh – the holy language. In Hebrew (as in English) the same word (Lashon) means “tongue” (both as a body part and as a means of communication).

171. He asks: “How does Malchut ascend in speech?” And he replies: “When man first awakens in the morning and opens his eyes, he must bless his Creator and Master. How is he to bless Him? The way it was done by the first Hassidim: they would prepare a vessel of water beside them, so that when they woke at night, they would wash their hands at once, and, having blessed the Torah, would rise to study it. When the rooster crowed, precisely heralding midnight, the Creator was with the righteous in the Garden of Eden. And it is forbidden to perform a blessing in the morning with unclean hands.”

He asks: since it is written that the beginning of Malchut’s correction must be expressed in a quiet murmur of lips, how can he who wakes up (spiritually) immediately pronounce a blessing at the top of his voice? After all, the blessing must also be uttered in whisper so as to first receive a voice from Ima, and with this voice (by the force of Ima- Bina) elevate Malchut to Bina, and impart onto her altruistic properties.

The Zohar replies: The first Hassidim have corrected this. As man falls asleep (falls to the level of the Light in his Partzuf called “sleep”), his holy soul (the Light that was in his spiritual Partzuf) ascends, and only the impure spirit of the primordial serpent (egoistic properties) remains in him, for sleep constitutes the 60th part of death (Talmud, Berachot, 57:2).

Since death is an impure property of the primordial serpent, the impure spirit (egoistic desires) does not leave man completely as he wakes up (receives a new Light from Above), but remains on man’s fingertips (not all of man’s desires change under the influence of the Light received from Above, called “the Light of morning” or “the Light of awakening”).

And the greater holiness and Light that was present in man before he fell asleep (before he fell into a diminished spiritual state, called “sleep”), the more the impure (egoistic) force clings to these desires when the altruistic intentions exit them during sleep.

Fingertips constitute the purest place (desires) of the entire body (all desires), man’s most spiritual desires, for they can be filled with Ohr Hochma (Ohr Hochma enters these desires during a Zivug, with the help of a screen). Therefore, even after awakening (at the beginning of the spiritual ascent), the impure (egoistic) force does not leave this place, wishing to receive at least some of that great Light, which can fill these most altruistic human desires.

Hence, hands must be washed in order to remove the residual egoistic desires. For this to happen, two vessels need to be prepared: the Upper One (cup) and the lower one that will accept the removed impurity.

The Upper Vessel designates Bina, whose Light drives the impure force away. Hence, washing the fingertips with water (the forces or desires of Bina) expels the impure force (man’s egoistic desires) from them. Thus, Malchut rids herself of her evil (egoism) and becomes holy and good. Afterwards, one can study the Torah and bless the Creator for it, for washing hands is similar to raising MAN in a whispered prayer to the wings of Ima.

And when the rooster crows (this is a special spiritual sign of the angel Gavriel), it is precisely midnight, as it is written: “The greater star to rule the day and the lesser star to rule the night” (Beresheet, 1:16). For the lesser star, the holy Shechina - Malchut grew smaller, clothed in impure forces and “her feet descend to death” (Mishley, 5:5).

This is so because during the 6,000 years, up to her final correction, Malchut constitutes the Tree (foundations) of Good and Evil: if one is worthy, she becomes good for him and purifies him, if not – she turns evil. Accordingly, the rule of night is also divided into two parts: the first refers to a state called “unworthy – evil,” and the second refers to a state called “worthy – good.”

The first correction of Malchut’s good part is made exactly at midnight (in a state so called “midnight”), for it is then that Malchut receives the voice of Bina. Put differently, Malchut ascends to Malchut de Ima- Bina and corrects herself within it. As a result, the strictness and judgment in Malchut become holy and good, completely devoid of evil. This means that strictness and judgment fall onto the impure forces, but for Israel, they turn into mercy.

Yitzchak signifies restriction, the property of Malchut within Bina. The Hebrew word for a “rooster” is Tarnegol, and also Gever (man) and designates the angel Gavriel, who attends to Malchut, the lesser star. The strictness of Bina pierces the wings of the rooster (Gavriel), and through it Malchut receives the voice of Bina.

And when Gavriel passes the voice of Bina to Malchut, his call reaches all the roosters of this world, the property of judgment in the spiritual void. Such a state is called “this world” or Malchut de Malchut. Everyone speaks only in this voice, which was corrected by Bina’s property of mercy.

Therefore, the voice of Malchut (her judgment) no longer dominates the second half of the night, and the voice of Bina claims this place. This is what the “rooster of this world” heralds – the property of judgment in MalchutdeMalchut.

Hence, a rooster’s crow (change of properties) is heard precisely at midnight (when states change), for this crow means that Malchut has already been corrected by the voice of Bina, and that this voice is already within Malchut. This is defined as the moment of midnight, which marks the beginning of the second half – absolute goodness, devoid of evil.

After Malchut receives the voice of Bina, the righteous (man’s properties in the worlds of BYA) raise MAN with the help of their study of Torah after (in the state of) midnight. They keep raising MAN to the “cheerful strictness” in Ima, of which it is written: “She rises also while it is yet night” (Mishley, 31:15), for it is precisely at night that the Supernal Malchut reveals herself in all her splendor.

And the actual revelation of Malchut takes place in the Garden of Eden, i.e., she is meant for those righteous who have corrected her with their work and studies (in the state) after midnight. The Creator rejoices with them (merriment signifies fulfillment with Ohr Hochma) in the Garden of Eden, for the corrected Malchut is called “the Holy Shechina” or “the Garden of Eden,” for she receives Hochma and rejoices with the righteous that constitute MAN within her.

And the phrase that describes how impurity (egoistic desires) is washed away (corrected to altruistic properties) from man’s fingers (his most exalted desires) is true not only with regard to nighttime. Man ascends from the lower degree of “sleep” onto a higher degree of “awakening,” the difference between the two states being that previously, he was receiving only the vital Ohr Hassadim, called “sleep,” while “awakening” signifies reception of Ohr Hochma. This is because the impure force constantly clings to man’s fingertips (precisely for man to correct it and thus attain greater spiritual heights), and he is obliged to wash his hands (make his desires and intentions “for the Creator’s sake”) before uttering a blessing (appealing to the Creator for reception).

172. For when man is asleep, his soul (spirit) leaves him. And as soon as his soul departs from him, the impure spirit replaces it at once, and it fills his hands and defiles them, and it is forbidden to utter a blessing without washing one’s hands. And should you object that when man is awake and his soul does not leave him, the impure force does not descend upon him, then, if he enters a washroom, he is forbidden from reading even a single word of the Torah until he washes his hands. And if you say that it is because his hands are soiled, this is not true, for how are they soiled?

173. But woe unto those who do not beware and do not guard the Creator’s honor and do not know the foundation of this world. There is a certain spirit that dwells in every cesspool of the world, a spirit that relishes depravity and excrement, and it immediately settles on the fingers of man’s hands.

The Zohar, and he who merits it – will understand this text himself.

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