91. Concerning the Replaceable
In the Holy Zohar he explains the reason that Reuben was born to Leah, while he was thinking of Rachel during the act. The law is that if he thinks of another, the child is called “replaceable.” And the Holy Zohar explains that since he was thinking of Rachel and he thought that it really was Rachel, and replaceable means that his thought was of Rachel and of the act, he knew that it was Leah. However, here his thought was of Rachel and of the act, he thought that it really was Rachel.
And he explained it: it is known that in spirituality, they are as seal and imprint—each degree is sealed by its Upper degree. And the conduct of seals and imprints is that they are always opposites: the imprint is always opposite from the seal. It follows that what is considered Klipa (shell) in Beria, is Kedusha (Sanctity) in Yetzira, and what is Kedusha in Yetzira, is Klipa in Assiya.
Therefore, if the righteous is united in some degree, he certainly unites with the Kedusha in the degree. And if, during the act, he thinks of another degree, and what is considered Kedusha in that degree is considered Klipa in another degree, it is therefore called “replaceable.” That means that the offspring of this unification is replaceable because the degrees are opposite from one another.
Jacob, however, was thinking of Rachel, meaning of the Kedusha in the discernment of Rachel. And of the act, too, he thought that it was Rachel. Hence, both the thought was of the Kedusha in Rachel and the act intended to be the degree of Rachel. Therefore, there is no discernment of Leah here, to be considered replaceable.