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The Eleventh Commandment

244. The eleventh Mitzva is to give a tithe of the fruits of the earth. Here there are two Mitzvot: to separate a tithe of the fruits of the earth, and to bring the first fruits of the trees, as it is written, “Behold, I have given you every herb-yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth” (Beresheet, 1:29). Here it is written, “I HAVE GIVEN YOU.” Elsewhere it is written, “And to the children of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel” (Bamidbar, 18:21). It is also written, “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Creator’s” (Vayikra, 27:30).

These verses say that the Creator gave everything to Adam. Yet, why does that oblige us to separate a tithe, to bring the first fruits of the earth, and why are we forbidden from eating them? After all, this contradicts the aforesaid.

The thing is that the process of (spiritual) nourishment includes exposure, selection, and separation of the holy sparks of the Light from the impure forces. In the process of feeding (reception of Light), the sparks of the Light (Nitzotzin) that are contained in the food unite with man’s soul, with his very flesh, and the waste, except for the sparks, leaves the body. This continues throughout man’s life (6,000 degrees of ascent); he gradually accumulates within him all the holy sparks, with which he complements his soul. Without them, the soul cannot attain completeness and perfection.

I think that the reader already understands that The Zohar in no way speaks about the process of feeding, digestion, and secretion of our physical body. As the whole of the Torah, The Zohar speaks only of the goal of creation and the ways of its attainment. Therefore, I call upon the reader (in defiance of what his mind suggests to him after the first reading) to realize that these texts are written in the language of branches, when spiritual objects are described in the language of our world; yet, despite the corporeal language, the objects remain spiritual!

It is written in the weekly portion Lech Lecha that Adam was forbidden to eat meat: “I have given you every herb…” (Beresheet, 1:29). However, since Adam sinned, and egoism, impurity entered his body, it was said to Noah: “Every moving thing that lives shall be for food for you; as the green herb have I given you all” (Beresheet, 9:3), that is, including meat.

Since Adam was created in absolute perfection, everything was sorted and corrected within him, which corresponds to the animate part of creation, as it is written (Beresheet, 2:19): “Out of the ground the Creator formed every beast of the field,” and also, “whatsoever the man would call every living creature, that was to be the name thereof.” This means that Adam attained every name (spiritual level) of the animal souls, for the pure forces were already separated from the impure ones.

Hence, Adam was not given the task of exposing, sorting, and correcting animals by eating them, for even before the creation of man, the Creator corrected this in the world of Atzilut. And only the inanimate and vegetative (parts of the soul) remained uncorrected, containing both pure and impure forces. Therefore, Adam was instructed to expose the sparks that his soul lacked in the inanimate and vegetative food.

However, as a result of Adam’s sin, pure and impure desires (forces) were mixed once more. And as Adam’s soul was shattered into many parts, all of which fell into the impure forces, all the animals (animate desires) were corrupted along with him (with the human level of desire). Thus appeared the need to expose, sort, and correct them. Therefore, after the sin the Creator ordered Adam and the subsequent generations to eat animals, and thus extract the sparks from impurity.

It is said that Adam was created IN THE IMAGE AND AFTER LIKENESS, i.e., with the help of the TzeLeM Elokim,the Light of Bina, by the four passages from the Torah in the Tefillin. And this is his soul. However, after he was born with this holy soul, thanks to his good deeds, he merited raising MAN and receiving Ohr Haya, and then, on Shabbat, attaining Ohr Yechida as well.

Therefore, Adam was left to correct the creation with the help of only a tithe and offerings. And by feeding on tithe and offerings, he attained the revelation of his desires and raised MAN to the level of Ohr Haya and Yechida. Yet, after he sinned, all of his corrections and everything that had filled his soul was corrupted, mixed, and egoism took over the body.

Due to our egoism, tithe and offerings are forbidden for us, for fear that we will desire Supernal purity. Instead, we are obliged to extract and pass them on to the Cohanim and Levi’im (parts of the soul). And if we observe this Creator’s Mitzva of spiritually separating a tithe of the fruits of the earth and the offerings (as He commanded), we will receive the strength to raise MAN and receive Ohr Haya on Shabbat (the ascent of the worlds is called Shabbat) in the same way that Adam attained this state while feeding on tithe and offerings.

Thus, after man receives Ohr Neshama by putting on the Tefillin, he can raise MAN with the help of the two Mitzvot (tithe and offerings) in order to receive Ohr Haya. As it is explained, Adam was receiving Ohr Haya by feeding on tithe and offerings. However, we are forbidden to feed on them (to try to receive this Light for the Creator’s sake) because of the egoism that acts in our body (desires). Instead, we are bid to give a tithe and the offerings to the Cohanim and the Levi’im. As a result, we receive the strength to receive this Light.

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