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The Fifth Commandment

215. The fifth Mitzva. It is written: “LET THE WATERS SWARM WITH SWARMS OF LIVING CREATURES” (Beresheet, 1:20). This verse contains three Mitzvot. The first is to study the Torah, the second is to procreate and multiply, and the third is to remove the foreskin on the eighth day. And it is necessary to study the Torah on all the days, at all times, in order to correct one’s soul and spirit.

The four previous Mitzvot originate in the first four days of creation, and are intended for the correction of the degrees H-B-ZA-M of the world of Atzilut.

The First Mitzva originates from the word BERESHEET (Bina, fear of the Great and Mighty Creator, who rules over all), referring only to GAR de Bina that is located in AVI. The position of AVI is from Peh to Chazeh de AA, Yod of the name HaVaYaH.

The Second Mitzva originates from the words LET THERE BE LIGHT, and is meant for the correction of ZAT de Bina (called YESHSUT), located from Chazeh to Tabur de AA, i.e., below its Parsa. However, when it is said, LET THERE BE LIGHT, this means that YESHSUT ascended and united with AVI, forming one Partzuf above Chazeh de AA. And from there they ascended to Rosh de AA.

Such a state (degree) is called “Great love,” designated by the first letter (Hey) of the name HaVaYaH: Yod-Hey- Vav- Hey, and the Light passes from it to ZON. However, ZON cannot receive Ohr Hochma from AVI, for they are GAR de Bina and will always remain only with Ohr Hassadim, unwilling to receive, hence their name, “fear.”

ZON, however, receive Ohr Hochma from ZAT de Bina (YESHSUT), which ascended above Parsa de AA, called “Great love.” However, YESHSUT, which stand below Parsa de AA, cannot pass Ohr Hochma to ZA, for Ohr Hochma is concealed within them. Also, their Tvuna is called DRY LAND.

The Third Mitzva originates from the two stars that were created on the third day of creation, of which it is written: LET THE WATERS UNDER THE HEAVENS BE GATHERED TOGETHER ONTO ONE PLACE, AND LET THE DRY LAND APPEAR… and LET THE EARTH BRING FORTH GRASS. This Mitzva is intended for the correction of VAK de ZON, whose union Above stems from the verse, LET THE WATERS, referring to ZA, whereas the union below stems from the verse, LET THE EARTH PUT FORTH GRASS, and refers to VAK de Nukva.

The Fourth Mitzva originates from the verse, LET THE STARS, and is meant for the correction of GAR in ZA and Malchut. Thus, all the corrections necessary for AVI, YESHSUT and ZON de Atzilut have already taken place in the first four days of creation. ZON received GAR(Ohr Hochma), and, being of equal height, can now make a Zivug face to face. Therefore, the rest of the Mitzvot are intended for this Zivug of ZON.

The Fifth Mitzvais LET THE WATERS SWARM WITH SWARMS OF LIVING CREATURES. Now there is a need to bring ZON to a perfect face-to-face Zivug, i.e., (i) to receive Ohr Neshama onto this Zivug, so that Adam, too, will receive this Light and make a holy and pure Zivug, which is attained by man’s efforts in the study of the Torah; (ii) to give birth to holy souls; and (iii) to correct the holy covenant by circumcision and rejection.

Man’s efforts lie in that he studies the Torah, although he realizes that he does not attain it (receives nothing in his corrected desires, called Guf, body). He merely utters its words with his “mouth” (not yet able to receive the Light (Torah) in his body for the Creator’s sake), but as a result, he attains Ohr Nefesh.

Man’s efforts should correspond to his readiness to do everything in his power to attain and understand the Torah, which causes him to attain Ohr Ruach. However, he must not limit himself to such attainments, but rather multiply his efforts so as to attain Ohr Neshama. Thus, every day he must aspire to correct his Nefesh and Ruach, and by increasing them, attain Neshama.

216. Because man labors in the study of the Torah, he corrects the other holy soul, as it is written, SWARMS OF LIVING CREATURES, referring to the life-giving holy soul, Malchut. For when man does not study the Torah, he lacks the holy soul and the holiness that descends from Above. Yet, when he does study the Torah, he merits its Light, just like holy angels.

Nukva de ZA that makes a face-to-face Zivug with ZA in the state of Gadlut is called “living,” for ZA is then called the “Tree of Life.” Consequently, Nukva is called “Life.” By raising MAN during the study of Torah for the Creator’s sake, man causes ZON to make a Zivug and receives Ohr Nefesh from it. And if he does not study the Torah for the Creator’s sake, he cannot even attain Ohr Nefesh, for he fails to bring about the Creator’s Zivug with the Shechina. And a Zivug can be attained only by raising MAN.

It is therefore written: LET THE WATERS SWARM WITH SWARMS OF LIVING CREATURES, for the Torah is called “water.” If man raises MAN with the help of the Torah, he merits Ohr Nefesh (holy spirit) from Ohr Haya (Life). Moreover, he merges with the Creator only after he attains Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama from HAYA (Supernal holy life). He unites Ohr Nefesh with Ohr Ruach, Ohr Ruach with Ohr Neshama, and Ohr Neshama with the Creator.

217. It is written, “Angels of the Creator shall bless Him.” This refers to those who study the Torah, as they are called His angels on earth. It is also written, “BIRDS SOARING OVER THE EARTH.” This refers to this world. However, in the world to come, as it is said, the Creator will make them wings like those of an eagle so they may soar in the whole world.

Why does The Zohar mention angels? Because angels are spiritual forces – mechanical enactors of the Creator’s will. They were repeatedly compared to animals in our world (e.g., a horse) that fulfill man’s will. Angels are spiritual forces without freedom or egoism; hence, they never sin and have no need for the Torah, which is why they are spiritually inanimate, motionless – they do not grow spiritually.

Man is created in such a way that before he carries out any task, he needs to realize what he is supposed to do. But angels carry out their assignments even before they hear and understand what the Creator wants from them, for His desire rules over them. Hence, nothing prevents them from instant fulfillment of His will. They always follow the Creator, just like man’s shadow follows him. This is why they are believed to act before they even hear.

Man can therefore act like an angel (even though his desires are of egoistic nature) if his desires become like those of angels, whose actions precede their understanding (hearing). Just like an angel, such a person fulfills all the Creator’s desires before he realizes, hears and understands them, for he follows the Creator as a shadow follows man.

This can be illustrated by the following example: when a strong wind throws dust in one’s eyes, he quickly shuts them, even before his brain and thoughts feel and realize the need to do so: the action (shutting the eyes) precedes the actual realization of the thought of dust.

Although the physical body of such a person exists together with us in this world, his spiritual body (desires) becomes angel-like, and his actions precede his hearing. He does not need to hear in order to fulfill the Creator’s will, but observes any Mitzva even before his brain realizes what he is doing. Therefore, he is regarded as an angel.

Hence, The Zohar says that in the future the Creator will provide him with wings to enable him to soar over the whole world. For until man attains the holy soul (Ohr Nefesh – the smallest spiritual Light), the impure force rules over him, as the prophet said: “The souls of your enemies, them shall he sling out, as from the hollow of a sling” (Shmuel I, 25:29).

Hence, one cannot merge with the Creator and observe His desires (Mitzvot) until he has acquired faith in the Creator’s names and knows that He is absolutely good to all and bestows only goodness. And if one has not yet attained the holy soul, and the impure force still rules over him, when his thoughts soar above the world, it seems to him as though the Creator’s rule is not quite as good as it should be according to His names. This feeling of his brings corruption to the Creator’s holy names, and he cannot find a quiet place for himself, cannot have faith in His names and draw closer to Him.

Therefore, he stains himself with such impurity that it leads him toward lack of faith in the Creator and in His names. However, nothing of this affects the spiritual; it occurs simply because man has not yet attained the spiritual realm, and is making no effort to do so.

But as soon as he receives the holy soul (Ohr Nefesh), his body (desires and thoughts) instantly becomes angel-like: his actions precede realization. It is written about such a person: “And the birds shall soar above the earth,” for in the future, the Creator will give him wings, and he will soar above the whole world.

For he soars mentally above the whole world and sees how the Creator governs all. Yet, not only does he not err when seeing the manifestation of this governance, he receives the strength to raise MAN to increase his spiritual anti-egoistic powers. By looking upon all the forms of the Creator’s rule over this world and, seeing the harshness of the external manifestations of this rule, such a person is given an opportunity to ask for the strengthening of his faith. And owing to his faith in the Creator’s unity and absolute kindness of His rule, he raises MAN and receives increasingly greater Light for the Creator’s sake.

218. It is written in this regard: LET BIRDS SOAR OVER THE EARTH, for the Torah, called “THE WATERS,” will SWARM WITH SWARMS OF LIVING CREATURES from its place of life, Malchut, and all will descend down below. This is what King David referred to, when he said, “THE CREATOR CREATED IN ME A PURE HEART” to study The Torah, and “A HOLY SPIRIT WAS RENEWED WITHIN ME.”

So as to continue to explain the aforementioned text, The Zohar compares the Torah to water – just as living creatures emerged from water, in the same way the Light of life descends from Malchut (called “life”) upon the entire world. This is the Light for which King David asked the Creator. He begged for a pure heart in order to study the Torah and raise MAN, for this would lead him to the reception of the holy spirit of renewal – the strength to merge with the Creator even more.

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