The Zohar

Michael Laitman, PhD

Prologue

About Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai [1]

In the second century CE, a single man was granted the spiritual knowledge that Kabbalists had accumulated for 3,000 years before his time. Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai (Rashbi) put it all on paper and then hid it, as humanity was not ready for it. Today, we are ready for the revelation of The Book of Zohar.

Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai (Rashbi), author of The Book of Zohar (The Book of Radiance) was a Tana – a great sage in the early Common Era centuries. Rashbi’s name is tied to numerous legends, and he is mentioned constantly in the Talmud and in the Midrash, the sacred Hebrew texts of his time. He lived in Sidon and in Meron, and established a seminary in the Western Galilee.

Rashbi was born and raised in the Galilee (a mountainous region in today’s Northern Israel). Even as a child, he was not like other children his age. Questions such as, “What is the purpose of my life?” “Who am I?” and “How is the world built?” plagued him and demanded answers.

In those days, life in Galilee was very harsh: the Romans persecuted Jews and continually invented new laws to make their lives more difficult. Among these laws was a decree that prohibited Jews from studying the Torah (then synonymous with Kabbalah).

However, despite the Romans’ prohibition, Rashbi immersed himself in the Kabbalah and tried to understand its subtle teachings. He felt that beneath the Biblical stories was a profound and hidden truth, which held the answers to his persistent questions.

Gradually, Rabbi Shimon came to realize that he had to find a teacher who had already been through the spiritual path, gained experience, and could guide others up the spiritual ladder. He decided to join the group of the greatest Kabbalist of the time – Rabbi Akiva – a decision that turned out to be the turning point in Rashbi’s life.

STUDYING WITH RABBI AKIVA

Rabbi Shimon was an avid, devoted student, burning with desire to discover the Higher realms of reality. Before long, he was one of Rabbi Akiva’s prime students. He studied with Rabbi Akiva for thirteen years, and achieved the highest levels on the spiritual ladder.

The Bar-Kokheva revolt abruptly ended the great days of Rabbi Akiva’s seminary. Almost all of his 24,000 students died in plagues, and in fierce battles against the Romans. Of the 24,000 students, only five survived, and Rashbi was among them.

Rashbi was among the leaders of the Bar-Kokheva revolt against the Roman rule in the land of Israel. His resistance became even more fierce and unyielding when he’d learned how his teacher, Rabbi Akiva, had been ruthlessly executed.

The Talmud writes that once, when Rashbi spoke against the Roman rule, a fellow Jew heard him and alerted the Roman authorities. In consequence, Rashbi was tried in absentia and was sentenced to death. The Roman emperor sent men in search of him, but to their disappointment, Rashbi seemed to have vanished into thin air.

THE CAVE AT PEQI’IN

Legends have it that Rashbi and his son fled to the Galilee, hid in a cave at Peqi’in, a village in the north of Israel, and remained there for thirteen years. During that time, they delved in the secrets of the wisdom of the hidden. Their efforts succeeded, and they discovered the entire system of creation.

After thirteen years in a cave, Rashbi heard that the Roman emperor had died. He could finally heave a sigh of relief. After leaving the cave, Rashbi gathered nine students and went with them to a small cave in Meron, known as The Idra Raba (Great Assembly). With their help, he wrote The Book of Zohar, the most important book of Kabbalah.

Baal HaSulam described Rashbi and his students as the only beings who achieved perfection, the 125 spiritual degrees that complete the correction of one’s soul. When he finished his commentary on The Book of Zohar, Baal HaSulam held a festive meal to celebrate its completion. At that celebration, he stated that “…prior to the days of the Messiah, it is impossible to be awarded all 125 degrees… except the Rashbi and his contemporaries, meaning the authors of The Book of Zohar. They were awarded all 125 degrees in completeness, even though they lived prior to the days of the Messiah. Hence, we often find in the Zohar that there will not be a generation such as the Rashbi’s until the generation of the Messiah King. This is why his composition made such a strong impression in the world, since the secrets of the Torah in it occupy the level of all 125 degrees. This is also why it is said in the Zohar that The Book of Zohar will not be revealed except at the end of days, meaning in the days of the Messiah.”

THE IDRA RABA (GREAT ASSEMBLY) AND THE BOOK OF ZOHAR

Idra Raba is a cave located in the north of Israel, between Meron and Zephath. Rashbi took his students to this cave, and there he wrote The Book of Zohar. It is almost impossible to understand how great Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai really was. He belongs, as Baal HaSulam puts it, to the highest Inner Light. This is why he had to use Rabbi Abba to put his words into writing. In The Book of Zohar, the Rashbi tells his students: “I am arranging you as follows: Rabbi Abba will write, Rabbi Elazar, my son, will study orally, and the rest of the friends will converse in their hearts” (Zohar, Haazinu).

The Book of Zohar was written in the second century CE, not long after the ruin of the Second Temple and the beginning of the last exile of the people of Israel from its land. But even prior to the exile, Rashbi predicted that The Book of Zohar would only be revealed at the end of the exile. He stated that its appearance to the masses would symbolize the end of the spiritual exile: “…in it, they will come out of the exile with mercy” (Zohar, Naso).

It is also written in The Book of Zohar that its wisdom would be revealed to all toward the end of the six thousand years, the period allotted to the correction of humanity: “And when it is near the days of the Messiah, even infants in the world are destined to find the secrets of the wisdom, and know in them the ends and the calculations of redemption, and at that time it will be revealed to all” (Zohar, VaYera).

THE REINCARNATION OF A UNIQUE SOUL

Rashbi is an incarnation of a unique soul, which coordinates and connects the Upper Force to every creation. This soul comes down into our world and incarnates in the patriarchs of Kabbalah. This is the order of its appearance: Abraham, Moses, Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai, the ARI (Rabbi Isaac Luria), and Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam). Each incarnation of this soul promotes humanity to a new spiritual degree and leaves its mark in Kabbalah books, which serve the generations that follow.

An example of this process can be found in special sections of The Zohar called Raia Meheimna (The Loyal Shepherd). In these parts, Rashbi speaks from a state of clothing in Moses’ soul. Another example of this is the book, Shaar HaGilgulim (Gate of Reincarnations), where Rashbi speaks from a state of clothing in the soul of the ARI.

The Book of Zohar is undoubtedly unique and one of the world’s most renowned compositions. Since its writing, thousands of stories have been linked to The Zohar, and the book is still shrouded in mystery today. The fascination around it is so great that even though the book is completely incomprehensible to our generation without proper interpretation, millions of people diligently read it.

RASHBI’S DEPARTURE

According to tradition, Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai passed away in the presence of his friends on Lag BaOmer (the 33rd day of the Omer count, which starts on the first day of Passover) of the year 160 CE, and was buried in Meron. With his death, the soul of a giant Kabbalist completed its task in our world.

Rashbi fulfilled his destination. Hundreds of thousands visit his gravesite yearly, trying to sense some of the Light that he had brought to the world. The greatest Kabbalists praise his composition and repeatedly claim that The Book of Zohar is destined to bring redemption to the world.

Rav Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, writes about the Zohar (Ohr Yakar): “This composition, called The Book of Zohar, is like Noah’s Ark, where there were many kinds, but those kinds and families could not exist unless by entering the ark. …Thus the righteous will enter the secret of the Light of this composition to persist, and thus is the virtue of the composition, that immediately when engaging, with his desire for the love of God, it will draw him as a magnet draws the iron. And he will enter it to save his soul and spirit and his correction. And even if he is wicked, there is no fear should he enter.

We are living in a historic time. The soul of Rashbi is completing its mission in our generation, and thanks to this spiritual giant, who lived nearly 2,000 years ago, the wisdom of Kabbalah is emerging so we may all ascend to a life of eternity and wholeness.

[1] The articles, “About Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai” and “About The Book of Zohar” are presented here courtesy of the paper Kabbalah Today.

About The Book of Zohar

The Book of Zohar is the most mysterious, and at the same time the most significant book of Kabbalah. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that although The Book of Zohar was written eighteen centuries ago, it was actually written for our time. Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) opened it to us and rekindled what has long been forgotten from our hearts.

 

The depth of the wisdom in The Book of Zohar is locked behind a thousand doors.

– Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), “Preface to the Book of Zohar”

Since the dawn of humanity, unique individuals climbed the spiritual ladder and achieved the highest level of bonding with the Upper Force, the Creator. We call those people “Kabbalists.”

Through this bonding, they came to understand that the whole of reality, from the highest spiritual worlds down to our world, is founded on love and bestowal. They realized that there is nothing in the world except for this Force, and that everything that happens in reality was made only to bring humanity to permanent existence with this sensation.

Kabbalists have searched and found the answers to every question they asked – the purpose of our lives, the structure of the world, and how we can determine our destiny. They wrote about what they discovered in books such as Raziel Hamalaach (The Angel Raziel), Sefer Yetzira (The Book of Creation), Etz Chaim (The Tree of Life), and others.

Of all the books, the most seminal, mysterious, and profound is The Book of Zohar (The Book of Radiance). The Book of Zohar describes the hidden system of the Upper Guidance. It depicts the worlds, the great powers that govern them, and how one who chooses to study Kabbalah affects his or her own fate and that of humanity.

The Zohar also explains how every event cascades from the Upper World to ours, and the dressings it acquires here. But what makes The Zohar unique is the fact that it was not written for its contemporaries; it was rather intended for a generation that would live two millennia later – our generation.

REMOVING THE COVERS

Our generation stands at the very threshold of redemption, if we only know how to spread the wisdom of the hidden in the masses.

– Baal HaSulam, “Messiah’s Horn”

The twentieth century has brought unprecedented changes. These opened the door to a whole new phase, which the greatest Kabbalists have been describing for centuries in their writings. The greatest change of all is that in this century, Kabbalists state that studying Kabbalah is not only permitted, it is a must!

It is written in The Book of Zohar itself that the wisdom of Kabbalah would begin its spreading from the year 1840. The great 18th century Kabbalist, The Vilna Gaon (GRA), wrote in his book Kol HaTor (Voice of the Turtledove) that the process of the revelation of the Kabbalah would begin in 1990. In his book, Even Shlemah (A Perfect and Just Weight), Chapter 11, he even stated that redemption depends primarily on the study of Kabbalah.

Rav Kook explained that “the great spiritual questions that were once resolved only for the great and the excellent, must now be resolved to various degrees within the entire nation” (Eder HaYaker ve Ikvey HaTzon, p. 144).

But it was Baal HaSulam who turned the words of the Kabbalists from a vision to a tangible reality. He clearly saw that the time had come to allow everyone to study The Book of Zohar. He claimed that by studying The Zohar, the whole of humanity would rise and attain the spiritual world.

With this vision in mind, Baal HaSulam devoted himself to composing a comprehensive, accurate, and systematic interpretation of The Book of Zohar. His goal was to unveil the book to the public and make it suitable for the souls of our generation.

In the introduction to his commentary on The Zohar, he explained why he wrote it: “I have named the commentary HaSulam (the ladder) to indicate that the function of my commentary is as the function of any ladder. If you have an attic filled with abundance, you need only a ladder to climb it, and all the bounty in the world will be in your hands.”

ACCELERATING THE SPREAD OF THE WISDOM

All the Kabbalists dreamed of our generation, when the whole of humanity could discover the wondrous things they already had. They prayed that through reading the authentic sources they had left for us, we, too, would achieve bonding with the Upper Force, as did they. In his commentary on The Book of Zohar, Baal HaSulam threw us a rope, “a life buoy.” In doing so, he paved our way to a future of abundance and prosperity.

Baal HaSulam called upon us to give greater weight to engagement in the wisdom of Kabbalah, and accelerate the spreading of the wisdom. He knew that only the wisdom of Kabbalah could elevate the world to the spiritual realm and into the eternity that Kabbalists had been experiencing throughout the generations.

Webster’s Dictionary defines a generation as “a group of individuals born and living contemporaneously (at the same time).” In Kabbalah, however, a generation is a spiritual phase. According to great Kabbalists such as the Holy ARI, our generation – our spiritual phase – began in the sixteenth century.

The longer we wait with the spiritual ascension our generation is meant to achieve, the greater will be our discomfort. The spiritual realm, which determines what happens in our world, will increase its pressure on us until we decide to achieve this realm for ourselves.

In the words of the great Kabbalist Rabbi Avraham Azulai (in his introduction to the book, Ohr ha Chama (Light of the Sun)), “I have found it written that the above decree to not openly engage in the wisdom of truth was only for a time – until the end of the 1490. From then on …the sentence has been lifted, and permission was given to engage in The Book of Zohar. And from the year 1540 it has become praiseworthy to engage in great numbers since it is by virtue of this the Messiah King will come, and not by another virtue. It is inappropriate to be negligent.”

“But the wise shall understand that their elevation comes from the Creator, the Tree of Life. And they who are righteous shall shine like the brightness of the firmament” (Daniel, 12:3) [.1.].

“By virtue of Rabbi Shimon’s composition, The Book of Zohar, from the Supernal Force that brings all things back to the Creator, at the end of days, the children of Israel will taste from the Tree of Life, which is The Book of Zohar; and they will be redeemed from exile by the Creator’s mercy.” (Naso, 90).

[.1.] To facilitate comprehension of the spiritual meaning of ancient Hebrew sources, quotes are not direct translations, but rather reflect the Kabbalistic meaning of the texts.

The Zohar

Introduction

The Book of Zohar was written by the great Kabbalist RASHBI (Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Bar Yochai means the son of Yochai; Rabbi (Rav) means big, wise. RASHBI was born 40 years after the destruction of the Second Temple. He was a disciple of the renowned Tana (prominent sage of the generation) Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Akiva said about RASHBI: “I and the Lord know your power” (The Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin, §1, part 2). This characterization testifies to RASHBI’s eminence. He became especially close to Rabbi Akiva, when the Romans put his great teacher into prison for disseminating the Torah, and after only 5 of his 24,000 disciples (Rabbi Shimon was one of them) had survived the outburst of plague.

Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Ben Bava empowered Rabbi Shimon to continue passing the acquired knowledge. These five remaining disciples of Rabbi Akiva continued the great centuries-old stream of the Torah.

At a very young age Rabbi Shimon married the daughter of the Tana Rabbi Pinchas Ben Yair. His great son, Rabbi Elazar was born in that wedlock. Rabbi Shimon said about him in the Talmud (Sukkah 45, 2): “I see those who ascend spiritually, but they are few. If they are a thousand, I and my son are among them. If they are a hundred, I and my son are among them. If they are two, they are my son and I.”

In the course of the subsequent years Rabbi Shimon takes the leading place among all the sages of his generation. His name is mentioned over 350 times in Mishnah and over 2300 times in the Talmud and Midrash.

Rabbi Akiva was imprisoned for dissemination of the Torah and Rabbi Shimon fled and had to hide in a cave near the village of Peki’in for 13 years. During that period, while living in a cave and eating the fruit of the carob tree and drinking water from a nearby spring, Rabbi Shimon and his son attained all 125 levels of the spiritual ascent (Talmud. Shabbat 33, 2).

The Zohar relates that Rabbi Shimon and his son reached the level of the prophet Elijah; hence it is said that Elijah himself visited their cave to teach them Torah. (The village of Peki’in still exists today.)

The author of “Divrey Yoel” says in the book The Torah of Rashbi: “Before Rabbi Shimon attained the secrets of Torah, there had been a rule in the cave to decide on a question in dispute according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehudah, the author of the Talmud. However, after Rabbi Shimon had left the cave, everything that he wrote in The Zohar, was considered to have exceeded all human attainments.” Rabbi Shimon himself received the name “Butzina Kadisha” (holy candle) because he attained the soul of Moshe (Moses).

Verdicts on legislative and procedural questions are pronounced in accordance with the Talmud or the Book of Zohar depending on where this question is examined more strictly. If a question is mentioned neither in the Talmud nor in The Zohar, then the decision is based on the source that elucidates this question. If a disputed question refers to the Talmud and legislators, the decision is based on the statement from the Book of Zohar. If legislators cannot come to an agreement on a question in dispute, the decision is also based on the opinion of The Zohar (See “Mishna Brura,” 25, 42).

The great follower of Rabbi Shimon, an heir (or next receiver) to his soul Kabbalist ARI points out in his books that his soul is the same soul of Rabbi Shimon and Moshe (the ARI. Sha’ar HaGilgulim, item 64). Rabbi Shimon received his soul to correct the soul of Ichiya Ashiloni who “corrupted” Malchut. This happened in connection with the sin of the King Irva’am and led to the transgression of all Israel. Hence, the soul of Rabbi Shimon appeared to correct Israel’s sins. The part of The Zohar entitled “Raya Mi’emna” (faithful guide) relates how Rabbi Shimon attained the soul of Moshe, merged with it, and obtained the higher wisdom.

The great Achida also says in his books Maranan and Rabanan and Kli Yakar(Malachim 2, 12) that RASHBI’s work lay in correction of Ichiya Ashiloni’s sin.

Rabbi Shimon says in the Talmud (Sukkah 45, 2): “I can deliver the entire world from judgment from the day of my birth to present day. If my son is with me, we can deliver the entire world from judgment from the day when the world was created to present day. And if Yotam Ben Aziyahu is with us, we can deliver the entire world from judgment from the day the world was created until its end.” The book of Malachim narrates about Yotam Ben Aziyahu (20, 15).

After the verdict was lifted, Rabbi Shimon founded his yeshiva in the settlement of Tekoa and in the village of Meron, where he taught his disciples and wrote the Book of Zohar. He revealed the knowledge that was forbidden to divulge from the time when Israel received the Torah (See Tikuney Zohar, Hakdamah, p.17).

To write all the secrets of the Torah, Rabbi Shimon was obliged to relate them in a secret form. Hence, he asked his disciple Rabbi Abba to set out his thoughts. According to his soul’s property, Rabbi Abba could convey the spiritual knowledge in a secret, concealed form. “THIS IS BECAUSE THE BOOK OF ZOHAR MUST REMAIN CONCEALED UNTIIL THE GENERATION OF MASHIACH’S COMING, SO THAT WITH THE HELP OF THIS BOOK HUMANKIND WILL RETURN FROM ITS SPIRITUAL EXILE.” (The Ari. Sha’ar Hakdamot. Hakdamah, p.3). That is why Rabbi Abba wrote the teaching of Rabbi Shimon in Aramaic, which is the reverse side of Hebrew.

The Ari writes in “Ma’amarey RASHBI” (p. 100) that the writing of The Zohar in a secret form was possible because the soul of Rabbi Abba originated from the surrounding Light and not from the inner Light. Hence, he could relate the highest wisdom in a secret form as simple stories.

(Rabbi Shimon lived around 80 years and passed away on the holiday of LAG BA OMER, the 18th day of the month Iyar, surrounded by his disciples and generally recognized. This day is celebrated as the holiday of Light. Rabbi Shimon’s body was buried in a cave on Mount Meron. The body of his son Elazar is buried a few meters from him.)

Like the subsequent compositions of the Ari and other Kabbalists (evidently such is the lot of all true spiritual books), the Book of Zohar was concealed for 800 years in a cave near Meron, until an Arab found it and sold it in the market place as a wrapping material.

Part of the detached sheets fell into the hands of a wise man who recognized and appreciated the writings. After a long search, he found many sheets in refuse bins or bought them from spice vendors who had used the sheets of The Zohar to wrap their merchandise. The book (as we know it today) was compiled from the found sheets.

For many centuries, from that time until today, this book has been a subject of controversy. Philosophers, scientists, and other “wise men” continue arguing about it. The fact is that only a Kabbalist, meaning a person who ascends to a certain spiritual level, attains what this book says. For others it looks as a collection of stories or ancient philosophy, etc. Only the people who understand nothing in this book argue about it. Kabbalists clearly know one thing: the book of RASHBI is the greatest source of the spiritual attainment that people in this world received from the Creator.

Although the Book of Zohar was written in the 4th century, only Rabbi Y. Ashlag could compose a full commentary on it in the 1930s and 1940s. The reason for the concealment of The Zohar from the 4th to 11th century and the lack of a complete commentary on it for 16 centuries is explained in The Introduction to the Book of Zohar.

Rabbi Y Ashlag called his commentary “Sulam” (ladder) because by studying it a person can ascend the spiritual levels of attaining the Upper Worlds as one climbs a ladder in our world. After the commentary of the Sulam appeared in print, Rabbi Y. Ashlag received the title “Baal HaSulam” as it is customary among the Torah sages to call a person not by his name but according to his highest attainment.

The Book of Zohar consists of:

1. Hakdamat Sefer HaZohar – “The Introduction to the Book of Zohar.” This part includes a number of articles that fully reveals the inner meaning of the Torah.

2. Sefer HaZohar – The Book of Zohar. It is divided into parts and chapters in conformance with the weekly chapters of the Torah:

The Book of Beresheet: Beresheet, Noach, Lech Lecha, Vayera, Chaiey Sarah, Toldot, Vayetze, Vayishlach, Vayeshev, Miketz, Vayigash, Vayichi.

The Book of Shemot: Shemot, Vayera, Bo, Bashalach, Yitro, Mishpatim, Terumah (Safra de Tzniuta), Tetzaveh, Ki Tissa, Veyikahel, Pekudey.

The Book of Vayikra: Vayikra, Tzav, Shmini, Tazria, Metzura, Acharey, Kedushim, Emor, Ba Har, Vechukotay.

The Book of Bamidbar: Bamidbar, Naso (Idra Raba), Baalotcha, Shlach Lecha, Korach, Chukat, Balak, Pinchas, Matot.

The Book of Devarim: Ve Etchanen, Ekev, Shoftim, Titze, Vayelech, Ha’azinu (Idra Zuta).

3. Zohar Hadash – “The New Zohar” – additions to the weekly chapters:

Beresheet, Noach, Lech Lecha, Vayera, Vayetze, Vayeshev, Bashalach, Yitro, Teruma, Ki Titze, Tzav, Acharey, Ba Har, Naso, Chukat, Balak, Matot, Ve Etchanen, Ki Titze, Ki Tavo.

4. Additional books in the Book of Zohar that are not the commentary on the Torah:

Idra Raba, Idra Zuta, Safra de Tzniuta, Raza de Razin, Tosefta, Raya Mi’emna, Ashmatot, Sitrey Torah, Sitrey Otiot, and Tikuney Zohar.

5. “ Midrash Ha Ne’elam – the commentary on the writings: Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, and on the Torah.

 

As a result of the second restriction, Malchut rose to Baal HaSulam made the commentary on the entire Zohar that reached us. His main commentaries in “The Introduction to the Book of Zohar” and the chapter “Bereshit” are related in the language of man’s spiritual work. The most valuable articles for the science of Kabbalah are The Zohar, Idra Raba, Idra Zuta, and Safra de Tzniuta written in the language of Kabbalah. Beside these articles, the rest of The Zohar is the Midrash.

In its original form, the Book of Zohar written by Rabbi Abba 16 centuries ago was not divided into weekly chapters. Its volume was several times larger that what reached us, and it expounded not only the Torah, but also 24 other books of the Tanach (“Prophets” and “Writings”).

Beside the Book of Zohar Rabbi Shimon’s book of Tikkunim has reached us. It consists of 70 commentaries on the first word of the Torah, BERESHIT, because it includes everything.

This book offers a semantic translation of The Zohar, “The Sulam” commentary of Rabbi Y. Ashlag and my explanations. It also contains the first part of the Book of Zohar, “ Hakdamat Sefer HaZohar.”

At the beginning of the text the semantic translation is given in bold script. The Sulam commentary and my explanations are given in regular script or italics because it turned out to be extremely difficult to separate my explanations from Rabbi Ashlag’s holy texts. The numbers at the beginning of paragraphs correspond to the numbers of paragraphs in the Book of Zohar with “The Sulam” commentary, vol. 1.

The reason for the interlacing of texts lies in the fact that in the first place we sought ways to explain the meaning of The Zohar simultaneously in several languages: of Kabbalah (Sefirot, Partzufim, Gematria, and worlds), of spiritual work (feelings), of the Torah (narrative) and of the Talmud (judicial).

For an understanding of the book’s style, I recommend the reader to return to the translation of the original text after learning and mastering the commentary.

The Book of Zohar, like the entire Torah, speaks only about man (creation) and his relationship with the Creator. The Torah gives names of our world to all man’s inner properties: the aspiration to the Creator is called “Israel,” the aspiration to the selfish reception of pleasures is called “nations of the world.” There is no connection whatsoever between these names in the Torah and the Jews and gentiles in our world. Kabbalah appeals to MAN!

The book contains articles commented in the language of Kabbalah and others commented in the language of sensations which the beginner understands better. The reader can begin studying the book from such articles as “Night of the Bride,” “Who rejoices on holidays” and others, although the complete study of The Zohar is based on a consistent learning of the material. Kabbalah gradually enters a person’s heart as one’s consciousness gets used to it. It can be mastered only by repeatedly reviewing the studied material

Rav Michael Laitman, PhD

The List of Abbreviations and Explanations

AAArich Anpin – the Partzuf of Hochma, the central, initial Partzuf in the world of Atzilut, from which all the other Partzufim originate.

Aba – Father – the Partzuf of Hochma.

Ima – Mother – the Partzuf of Bina.

ZAZeir Anpin – Son (with regard to AVI).

ZONZA and NukvaMalchut.

Nukva, Malchut – a Sefira (singular for Sefirot) or Partzuf that receives from all the preceding Partzufim (plural for Partzuf). Malchut of the world of Atzilut is the sum of all the creatures, all human souls. For this reason it is called Knesset Israel (The Assembly of Israel).

Israel – the property of “bestowal,” altruism. This is the property of the Creator, the property of Bina. Israel derives from the Hebrew words Yashar – straight, and El – the Creator. Thus, Israel is the property of aspiring to attain equivalence of form with the Creator. The “nations of the world” are the aspiration to selfish reception of pleasure. Naturally, these two properties are present in everyone, and Kabbalah is the method for the development of the property of Israel within man, with the purpose of attaining the Creator in this life.

Kli (vessel) egoistic desires and aspirations are not considered a Kli. A Kli is the corrected desires, suitable for reception of Light. These are altruistic desires with a screen that has transformed them from egoism into altruism.

The human heart that receives all sensations is called the Kli (vessel) of reception of sensations. The spiritual vessel, the only vessel that The Zohar speaks of, is the desire to bestow upon the Creator: to hand over all of man’s desires to the Creator, as though saying that he agrees with all his heart to relinquish all of himself for His sake. Such a complete and true intention is called “Lishma” (for the Creator’s sake).

SEFIROT

SEFIROT THE CREATOR’S NAMES

KETER

EKYEH=Aleph-Hey-Yod-Hey

HOCHMA

YAH=Yod-Hey

BINA

HaVaYaH with Nikud Elokim

HESED

EL=Aleph-Lamed

GEVURA

ELOKIM=Aleph-Lamed-Hey-Yod-Hey

TIFFERET

HaVaYaH with Nikud of Shvah-Holam-Kamatz

NETZAH and HOD

TZEVAOT

YESOD

SHADDAY=Shin-Dalet-Yod or EL=Aleph-Lamed CHAI=Chet-Yod

MALCHUT

ADNI=Aleph-Dalet-Nun-Yod

Mittuk (sweetening/mitigation) of a restriction law. Restriction is a ban for Malchut to receive Light. This ban is lifted when Malchut is corrected by the properties of Bina.

Zivug – coupling – is translated as a sexual union between a man and a woman in this world. Since spiritual actions are absolutely detached from the way we would normally perceive them, I have chosen to use the Hebrew term Zivug, as it is more abstractedly perceived by people with no knowledge of Hebrew. This will help prevent confusions based on previously existing conceptions. The spiritual Zivug is an aspiration of the Upper One (ZA – male part) to pass the Light (pleasure) to the lower one (Malchut – female part). In doing so, both desires are completely selfless, as in the example of the guest and the host.

PBPPanim be Panim (face to face). This state occurs when a Zachar (male Sefira), or Aba (father), passes Ohr Hochma (Light of Wisdom) to the female Sefira, or Ima (mother), for the subsequent transfer to the children ( ZON). The same relationships of ABA (see below) and PBP also transpire between their children, ZON ( ZA and Malchut).

ABAAchor be Achor, back to back (pronounced Ach be Ach). If Partzuf Aba(Hochma) has Ohr Hochma, but is unwilling to pass it on to Partzuf Ima (Bina), and if Ima also does not want to receive it, such a relationship between them is called back to back. The same relationship can exist between ZA and Malchut.

Hesed – mercy, compassion, altruism, Ohr Hassadim (the Light of mercy, compassion, and altruism). It appears only within a Kli (desire) that wishes to give selflessly and be similar to the Creator. This is the property of the Sefira or Partzuf of Bina. Bina of the world of AK (Adam Kadmon) is called SAG. Bina of the world of Atzilut is called Ima, the Supernal Mother, YESHSUT, and AVI. The Light of Bina is the pleasure of being similar to the Creator’s properties; hence, this Light (sensation) is the most reliable protection from the impure forces. And the Kli that possesses the properties of Bina is unable to transgress, as its desire is solely to bestow.

KHBKeter-Hochma-Bina (pronounced Kahab). These are the first three Sefirot that form the Rosh (head) of the Partzuf. The Rosh decides how much pleasure the Partzuf can accept not for its own sake but for the sake of the Creator. This Light descends from the Rosh to the Guf (body).

HBDHochma-Bina-Daat (pronounced Habad). This is the same as Keter-Hochma-Bina (the Rosh ofthe Partzuf). Sefira Daat is not a Sefira, but the request (also known as MAN) of ZON(Zeir Anpin and Nukva). Daat is the appeal of ZON to Bina regarding their desire to receive Ohr Hochma from her. This prayer of ZON is called MAN, for it ascends to Bina and evokes in Bina(Ima – their mother) the desire to bestow upon her children – ZON. MAN in Bina is called Sefira Daat. This is not a Sefira like the other ten Sefirot; it is rather a request. However, to stress this state, we use the name HBD instead of KHB.

HGTHesed-Gevura-Tifferet (pronounced Hagat). These are the Sefirot of the Guf (body), similar to the Sefirot of the Rosh: Hesed is tantamount to Keter, Gevura is tantamount to Hochma,and Tifferet is tantamount to Bina.They are called GE (see below) of the body.

NHYMNetzah-Hod-Yesod-Malchut (pronounced Nehim). These Sefirot receive from the Sefirot HGT(GE). Since they receive and have the will to receive, they are called AHP of the body.

GEGalgalta-Eynaim (skull and eyes). Sefirot Keter-Hochma-and GAR of Bina. These Sefirot do not have the will to receive and wish only to bestow. Hence, they cannot become egoistic.

NRNNefesh-Ruach-Neshama (pronounced Naran). This is the Light that fills the small Partzuf. Katnut (small state) is when the Partzuf has the strength (a screen) only to bestow, but is unable to receive for the Creator’s sake, despite its desire to do so. In this case, the Partzuf has only Ohr Hassadim (Light of Mercy), but not Ohr Hochma (Light of Wisdom). This is why it is considered a small Partzuf, without strength and reason, similar to a child in our world.

AHPAwzen-Hotem-Peh (ear-nose-mouth), pronounced Ahap. These are Sefirot ZAT of Bina-ZA-Malchut, which possess a will to receive. Therefore, in the absence of a proper screen (resistance to that desire), they become egoistic. A Partzuf without a screen on its AHP is called Katan (small) and its state is called Katnut (smallness, incompleteness). It is like a child in our world, as this Partzuf, too, has no strength (screen), and can therefore have only Ohr Hassadim without Ohr Hochma).

Gadlut – big state. A Partzuf with a screen (strength to resist its egoistic nature) to not only refrain from receiving for its own sake, but to receive not for its own sake (as in the example of the guest and the host. In this case, the Partzuf fills all of its desires (all ten Sefirot) with the Lights of Hassadim and Hochma.

First Big StateGadlut Aleph, the attainment of the Light of Neshama.

Second Big StateGadlut Bet, the attainment of the Light of Haya.

Ohr Hochma – Light of wisdom. This Light fills the Kelim (vessels/desires) of reception. It comes only if there is a screen on altruistic reception.

Ateret Yesod – literarily “foreskin,” the place of union between Israel and the Creator. After the second restriction, it is forbidden to make a Zivug (spiritual coupling) on Malchut herself due to the absence of the screen. However, a Zivug can be made on the properties that Malchut received from ZA, called Ateret Yesod. Just as the desires of Malchut herself are cut off, the foreskin is circumcised, and the desires that remain within her are those received from ZA, called Ateret Yesod. On these desires, Malchut can make a Zivug with ZA, and receive the Light of Hochma. Naturally, this is not the same Light of Hochma that Malchut would receive if she were able to make a Zivug on her desires, that is, on herself, on her own properties, called “the central point of creation,” the truly egoistic desires. Malchut will be able to do that only after 6,000 years, at the end of correction. But before that happens, these desires are called the mark of union with the Creator, since a Zivug on Ateret Yesod brings her closer to the Creator.

Ateret Yesod is also Malchut de Malchut that remains after the circumcision, the removing of the Orla (foreskin). This is the corrected part of Malchut, her unification with Sefira Yesod, upon which a Zivug can be made while still during the 6,000 years, thus bringing Malchut to the end of correction.

NRNHYNefesh-Ruach-Neshama-Haya-Yechida (pronounced Naranhay).This Light fills the big Partzuf, consisting of GE and AHP.

Ohr (Light) – pleasure, the sensation of the Creator. Ohr should always be interpreted as the same concept, for although the term is used in general, all of its synonyms are implied!

Kli (vessel) – desire, creature. Like Ohr, the word Kli is used in general, but all of its synonyms are implied!

Gematria – numerical value of a letter, or a combination of letters and words. This is a special way of recording spiritual information.

Parsa – firmament, the division between the world of Atzilut and the worlds BYA. The Parsa divides the ten Sefirot into two parts: the altruistic Kelim of bestowal (GAR, KHB, and GE) and the Kelim of reception (ZON or Bina- ZA- Malchut), for Bina deliberately fell into ZA(AHP) with the purpose of correcting him. Malchut, which ascends above Bina and stands below Hochma, is called Parsa or “firmament,” and separates GE from AHP.

ZAT, ZAK – the seven Sefirot Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut (HGT NHYM).

VAT, VAK – the six Sefirot Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod (HGT NHY, pronounced Hagat Nehy).

Dethe preposition ‘of’ in a possessive meaning. For example, Malchut de Atzilut means Malchut of the world of Atzilut.

English translation – Whenever it says so in parenthesis, this refers to the books of the Torah (Pentateuch), Neviim (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings/Hagiographa), published by Mosad HaRav Kook, in Hebrew with English translation. For example, (Yeshayahu, 11:9; English translation p. XXX, 9) means that if you open page XXX in the book of Prophets, what you are looking for will be in sentence number nine. When the original source is indicated, it is recommended to refer to it there and then to read at least the passage that the quoted saying is ascribed to. This will help you to see even more clearly that the Torah, using an allegorical, figurative language, speaks only of the spiritual world and man's ascension to it, and not at all about history or about our world.

Garments – attributes, desires, Kelim. Generally, the garments in question are those that Malchut receives from Bina.

Huppah – a wedding baldachin, a canopy under which a marriage ceremony takes place.

Nartik – the covering of ZA; same as the Huppah.

Adornments – the Light of Hassadim, Light of Bina, which she passes into Malchut. This corrects Malchut, and enables her to receive the Light of Hochma in the Light of Hassadim.

Orla – foreskin on the Sefira Yesod, the place of the Zivug between ZA and Malchut. The Orla must be removed, for during the 6,000 years, it is impossible to make a Zivug (intention) on Malchut herself and receive for the Creator’s sake. Only a Zivug on the union of Malchut with ZA can be made. This is called Ateret Yesod, the part of the Sefira Yesod that remains after the cutting off of the Orla. Orla is also MalchutdeMalchut, or the impure forces.

Ima – Mother – Bina with regard to Malchut, who is the daughter.

DaughterMalchut with regard to Bina, mother.

Kodesh ha KodashimHoly of Holies – the Light of GARNeshama-Haya-Yechida.

Question – the sensation of lack of the Light of Hochma in Malchut.

Sela – rock or truth. The name of Malchut.

Shechina – Divinity – the sensation (appearance, vision) of the Creator to those who attain Him. Malchut in the state of reception of the Light (the Creator) is called Shechina. The sensation of the Creator, the place where one experiences the Creator is called Shechina.

Techum – zone – the distance beyond the bounds of which one is forbidden to go on Shabbat (the Sabbath). Techum Shabbat constitutes the maximal distance within which one can move about during Sabbath.

Sigim – dross – impure desires that exist within pure desires. Man’s work is to separate the two, and to gradually correct the Sigim. The term Sigim comes from SAG, for they appeared as a result of the breaking of the Kelim of the world of Nekudim, which refer to the system of the Partzufim of Partzuf SAG. The term Sigim found its way from Kabbalah into spoken Hebrew.

SHACHShin-Chaf – 300 + 20 = 320 fragments of the broken vessel.

RAPACHReish-Peh-Chet – 200 + 80 + 8 = 288 fragments of the broken vessel, which one can and must be corrected during the 6,000 years, by climbing the 6,000 steps of the spiritual ladder.

Lev ha Even – Stony Heart – Lev = Lamed-Bet = 30 + 2 = 32 fragments into which Malchut had broken. These fragments of Malchut cannot be corrected and made altruistic; one can only refrain from using these desires. Lev ha Even is corrected only after the 6,000 years, that is, after the Creator Himself corrects the 288 fragments within man. It becomes completely altruistic and receives the name Lev Basar (heart of flesh).

Lo Lishma – not for the sake of the Creator. Since nothing exists in creation but the Creator and man, if something is not done “for the sake of the Creator,” it is done “for one’s own sake.” Thus, Lo Lishma denotes man’s egoistic intention.

Lishma – for the Creator’s sake. Man’s selfless intention to act only to please and bring joy to the Creator.

Four angels that participate in the creation of man – the four basic properties of nature: mercy – Hesed, justice – Tzedek, truth – Emet, and peace – Shalom.

Eretz Israel – Land of Israel – Yetzira of this world. Yerushalaim (Jerusalem) is Ateret Yesod in Malchut.

Original Names and Titles and Their Equivalents Accepted in the English Translation

Aaron

Aaron

 

Nachum

Nahum

Amon

Ammon

 

Navuchadnetzar

Nebuchadnezzar

Ana’el

Anahel

 

Nechemia

Nehemiah

Anafiel

Anafiel

 

Noach

Noah

Ariel

Ariel

 

Ovadia

Obadiah

Avraham

Abraham

 

Petachia

Petahyah

Bat-Sheva

Bathsheba,

 

Pinchas

Pinchas

Benayahu

Benaiah

 

Pisgania

Pesagniyah

Betzalel

Betzalel,

 

Rahel

Rachel

Bil’am

Balaam,

 

Rivka

Rebecca

Chagai

Haggai

 

Rut

Ruth

Chava

Eve

 

Sandalphon

Sandalphon

Eden

Eden

 

Shet

Seth

Eicha

Eichah

 

Shimon

Simeon

Elisha

Elisha

 

Shlomo

Solomon

Eliyahu

Elijah

 

Shmuel

Samuel

Esav

Esau

 

Tamar

Tamar

Ester

Esther

 

Tzefania

Zephaniah

Ezra

Ezra

 

Tzur

Tyre

Gavri’el

Gabriel

 

Yaakov

Jacob

Gazaria

Gazardiel

 

Yehoyada

Jehoiada

Hanoch

Eunuch

 

Yechezkel

Ezekiel

Havakuk

Habakkuk

 

Yehoshua

Joshua

Iyov

Job

 

Yehudah

Judah

Korach

Korach

 

Yerushalaim

Jerusalem

Leah

Leah

 

Yeshayahu

Isaiah

Lilit

Lilith

 

Yirmiyahu

Jeremiah

Machaniel

Manhiel

 

Yishmael

Ishmael

Matat

Metatron

 

Yitzchak

Isaac

Micha

Micah

 

Yosef

Joseph

Moav

Moab

 

Zachariah

Zechariah

Moshe

Moses

 

Zvuliel

Zebuliel

Original Titles and Their Equivalents Accepted in the English Translation:

Beresheet

Genesis

Shemot

Exodus

Vayikra

Leviticus

Bamidbar

Numbers

Devarim

Deuteronomy

Kohelet

Ecclesiastes

Shmuel 1 and 2

Samuel 1 and 2

Melachim 1 and 2

Kings 1 and 2

Divrey HaYamim

Chronicles

Mishley

Proverbs

Tehilim

Psalms

Shir HaShirim

Song of Songs

Shoftim

Judges

The Example of the Original Text of the Zohar

Literal Translation of the Aforecited Text From Aramaic Into English

1. Rabbi Hizkiyah opened, “It is written, as a rose among thorns.” That a rose is the Assembly of Israel. Because there is a rose and there is a rose, just as a rose among thorns is tinged with red and white, the Assembly of Israel consists of judgment and mercy. Just as a rose has thirteen petals, the Assembly of Israel is surrounded on all sides by the thirteen attributes of mercy. However, Elokim, that is here, thought to bring out the thirteen words that surround the Assembly of Israel and guard it.

2. Afterwards, this is mentioned another time. The reason it is mentioned another time is to bring out the five rigid leaves that surround the rose. And these five stand for salvation. These are also the five gates.

It is written of this secret, “I will raise the cup of salvation, it is the cup of blessing.” The cup of blessing must rest on five fingers, and no more, just as a rose rests on five rigid leaves that correspond to the five fingers. And this rose is the cup of blessing. From the second to the third mention of the name Elokim, there are five words. From here on, the Light was created and concealed, enclosed within that covenant, and entered the rose and fructified it. And this is referred to as a fructiferous tree, wherein is the seed thereof. And this seed truly exists in the letter of the covenant.

3. And just as the form of the covenant is sown in forty-two conceptions from that seed, so is the legislative, special name of creation sown.

4. In the beginning, Rabbi Shimon opened, the flower buds appeared on the earth. “The flower buds” refer to the act of creation. They appeared on the earth when, on the third day, as it is said, “And the earth shall pullulate.” That was when they appeared on the earth. The time of singing has come, and this is the fourth day, when there was a reduction from the Light of Hassadim. The voice of the turtle dove refers to the fifth day, where it is written, “Let the waters swarm,” so as to produce offspring. “It is heard” refers to the sixth day, where it is written, “Let us stand and create man,” and there it is said, “We will do and we will hear.” “In our land” refers to the day of Shabbat, which represents the Land of Life.

5. Another meaning is that these flower buds are the Patriarchs who entered the thoughts of the future world, and there they are concealed. They emerged from there in concealment, and concealed themselves in the true prophets. Yosef was born and they concealed themselves in him. When Yosef entered the Holy Land and founded them there, they appeared in the land (earth) and were revealed there. When are they seen? When a rainbow is seen in the world. It is when the rainbow is seen that they are revealed. As the time of pruning has come. The time has come to eradicate the wicked from the world. Why were the wicked saved? Because the flower buds can be seen in the earth. And if they could not be seen, they would not have remained in the world, and the world would not be able to exist.

6. Who animates the world and causes the Fathers to appear? It is the voice of the children, who study the Torah, meaning that these children of the world save the world. In deference to them, “We will make you pendants of gold.” Those are the children, children of the world, as is it said, “You shall make two Cherubs of gold.”

7. In the beginning, Rabbi Elazar opened, “Raise your eyes above and see who has created this.” Raise your eyes. To what place? To the place where all eyes depend on Him. And who is He? He is one who opens eyes. And you will know this. It is the concealed Atik, wherein lies the question, who has created this. And who is He? MI = who. He is called from the edge of Divine Heaven, where everything belongs to Him. As there is a question, He is along a concealed path, and does not reveal Himself. He is called MI, as there is no question Above, this edge of Heaven is called MI.

8. And there is another below, called MA. What is between this and that? The first one, called MI, is concealed. There is a question in him, because man asks, searches and looks, and beholds from degree to degree until the end of all the degrees. And after he arrives there, he is asked: MA?(What?). What have you learned? What have you seen? What have you investigated, since everything is still concealed, just as it was before.

9. It is written of this secret, “Who can I point out to you? Who can I compare you to?” After all, the Temple was destroyed, and a voice came forth and said, “What can I point out to you, and what can I compare you to?” The word MA = what, testimony, each day and the day of testimony to you from the days of past, as it is written: “I call to witness Heaven and earth,” which is like unto you.

According to the same type, “I adorned you with holy ornaments,” made you ruler over the world, as it is written: “Is this the city that was called the quintessence of beauty?” and so forth. I have called you, “Jerusalem, a city built by me.” “What could be compared to you?” Just as you sit, so he is like Above, just as now the holy nation does not enter into you to perform holy work, so I swear to you that I will not enter Above until I dwell down below. This is your consolation, as this degree is equal to you in all things. And now that I am here, “Your misery is great, like the sea.” And if you claim that there is no existence or remedy for you, then MI (who) shall heal you? It shall be precisely that concealed Supernal Degree, which animates all things; it shall heal you, and exist within you.

10. MI is the upper edge of Heaven, MA is the lower edge of Heaven. This was inherited by Yaakov, that he shines from edge to edge, from the first edge, which is MI, until the last edge, which is MA,for he stands in the middle. Therefore, who has created this?

11. Rabbi Shimon said, “Elazar, my son, stop talking and reveal to us the supernal secret, which the people of the world know nothing of.” Rabbi Elazar was silent. Rabbi Shimon wept and said, “One minute.” Rabbi Shimon said, “Elazar, what is ELEH (these)? If you say the stars and the signs of the zodiac, have they not always been seen? However, MA (what) were created, as it is said, by the word of the Creator were the Heavens made. If it is about concealed things, then it is not written ELEH, because they are revealed.

12. But this secret was never revealed, until one day when I was at the seashore, Eliyahu came and told me: “Rabbi, do you know what this is, WHO HAS CREATED THIS?” I told him: “These are the Heavens and their hosts, the works of the Creator, that man can look at them and bless them, as is written, ‘When I behold Your Heavens, the work of Your hands, our Master, how glorious Your name is throughout all the earth’!"

13. He told me: “Rabbi, there was one thing concealed before the Creator, which He revealed to the Supernal Assembly, and it is this. When the concealed of all the concealed desired to reveal Himself, He first made one single point, and this point ascended and became a Thought. With it, He drew all the forms and with it engraved all the images.

14. He engraved inside a concealed, sacred candle an image of a concealed image of the holy of holies. A profound structure emerged from the depth of that thought, and it is called MI – who, which is the inception of the structure both standing and not standing, which is hidden deep inside the name. It is not called, but only MI – who. He desired to reveal Himself and to be called this name, so He clothed Himself in a precious, radiant garment and created ELEH, and ELEH ascended in name. These letters combined with these, and the name Elokim was completed. And until He created ELEH – this, Elokim did not ascend to form the name Elokim. And these sinned in worshipping the golden calf. Of this secret it is said, ELEH is your Lord, Israel.

15. Just as the letters MI joined the letters ELEH, so does this name remain forever united, and on this secret stands the world. Eliyahu then flew away, and I could not see him. It is from him that I knew this, which stands on the secret, and its explanation. Rabbi Elazar has come, and all the disciples, too, and they bowed down before him, wept and said, if we had (not) come into this world but only to hear this secret, it would have been enough.

16. Rabbi Shimon said: “Onto these Heavens and their hosts were created in MA, as it is said, ‘When I behold the Heavens, the works of Your hands,’ and it is said, ‘ MA, how glorious Your name is throughout all the earth, which You set Above the Heavens, it ascends in name.’ That is why it created Light for Light, clothed this into this, and elevated in the Supernal Name, this the Creator created in the beginning. This is the Supernal Creator, for MA is not such and was not created.

3 The translation in the book is semantic and not literal

Rose

1. Rabbi Hizkiyah opened (began): “It is said, as a rose among thorns” (Shir HaShirim, 2:2). He asks, “What does a rose represent?” He answers, “It is theAssembly of Israel, meaning Malchut. For there is a rose, and there is a rose.Just as a rose among thorns is tinged with red and white, so does the Assemblyof Israel (Malchut) consist of judgment and mercy. Just as a rose has thirteenpetals, so the Assembly of Israel consists of thirteen properties of mercy,surrounding it on all sides. After all, Elokim (the name of the Creator thatalludes to His attitude towards the lower ones by the force of judgment), asit is said, ‘In the beginning, Elokim created’ (the first sentence in the Torah), In the beginning (initially) when He thought it, He created thirteen words tosurround the Assembly of Israel and to protect it, and here they are: THE, HEAVEN, AND-THE, EARTH, AND-THE EARTH, WAS, EMPTY, AND CHAOTIC, AND-THE DARKNESS, OVER, THE FACE, OF THE ABYSS, AND-THE SPIRIT, up to the word Elokim” (In Hebrew, “and” is written inconjunction with the word following it. Hence, it is considered as one word).

As its object of study, Kabbalah takes the only creation, the only thing that exists besides the Creator – man’s self, or “I,” and researches it. This science breaks down the self into parts, explains the structure and properties of each part, and the purpose of its creation. Kabbalah explains how every part of man’s self, called “the soul,” can be changed so that one would reach the goal of creation, the state desired by both the Creator and man himself, provided he realizes it.

There is not a science in the world that can describe, either graphically or analytically, through use of formulas, our sensations and desires, and how diverse and multifaceted they are. That is how fickle, unpredictable, and absolutely distinct they are in everyone. This is because our desires surface in our mind and sensations in a gradual order, in a certain sequence, so we may acknowledge and correct them.

Our self is our essence, the only thing that characterizes an individual. However, it is ever-changing, and what remains is merely an external, animate shell. This is why it is said that every moment man is born anew. Yet, if this is so, how should we regard one another, and how should we perceive ourselves? How can we possibly “stabilize” anything within and outside of us if we are constantly changing, and all that we perceive is a function of our inner state?

The Creator is the source of Light (pleasure). Those who draw near Him sense Him as such. Such people, who draw near the Creator and thereby sense Him, are called Kabbalists (from the word Lekabel – to receive the Creator’s Light). One can draw near the Creator only through equivalence of desires. The Creator is incorporeal, and can only be sensed with our heart. Naturally, what is meant by “heart” is not the pump that mobilizes blood through our veins, but the center of man’s every sensation.

However, one cannot sense the Creator with just his heart, but only with a small point in it. And to feel this point, man must develop it himself. When one develops and expands this point, the sensation of the Creator, His Light, can enter it.

Our heart is the sum of our egoistic desires, and the small point within it is part of the spiritual, altruistic desire implanted from Above by the Creator Himself. It is our task to nurture this embryo of a spiritual desire to such an extent that it (and not our egoistic nature) will determine all of our aspirations. At the same time, the egoistic desire of the heart will surrender, contract, wither, and diminish.

After being born in our world, one is obliged to change his heart from egoistic to altruistic, while living in this world. This is the purpose of his life, the reason behind his appearance in this world, and it is the goal of all creation. A complete replacement of egoistic desires with altruistic ones is called “the End of Correction.” Every individual and all of humanity must attain it in this world together. Until one achieves this, he will continue to be born into this world. The Torah and all the prophets speak exclusively of this. The method of correction is called “Kabbalah.”

One can change his desires only if one wishes to change them. Man is created an absolute egoist; he can neither adopt different desires from other people or from the surrounding world – as his surroundings are just like him – nor does he have any link to the spiritual worlds, since such a link is possible only through mutual properties. The spiritual can only be perceived in altruistic desires.

Hence, an individual in our world has no chance of transcending the boundaries of this world on his own. That is why we were given the Torah and its most effective part, Kabbalah – to help man acquire the desires of the spiritual worlds.

In order to create man in remoteness to Himself, so that man would realize his insignificance and would come independently to the desire to ascend, the Creator created all creation as degrees descending from Him. The Creator's Light descended along these degrees, and at the lowest degree, created our world and man in it. Having realized his insignificance and wishing to ascend to the Creator, man (to the extent that he wishes to approach the Creator) ascends along the same degrees by which his initial descent took place.

In all, there are ten degrees, called “ten Sefirot”: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut. Like ten screens or curtains, these ten Sefirot conceal the Creator’s Light from us or the Creator Himself (which is the same thing). These ten screens constitute the ten degrees of our remoteness from the Creator.

Therefore, in order to draw near the Creator by one degree, the lowest one above our own properties, we must acquire the properties of that (lowest) degree. This means that our properties become similar to the properties of that degree, rather than remaining inferior to it. To acquire similar properties means to have the same desires. As soon as our desires coincide with the desires of that degree, its concealment fades, and we seemingly exist on it, and only nine degrees separate us from the Creator.

However, the last, lowest degree differs from all the others: as soon as one ascends out of our world and onto the first degree, he already begins to see (sense) the Creator. And all the subsequent degrees are degrees of drawing closer to the Creator. Only the very last degree, at which we presently exist, conceals the Creator completely, whereas all of the Higher Degrees only distance Him.

Although we count ten degrees, there are in fact only five of them. This is because six degrees: Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, and Yesod combine into one Sefira, called Zeir Anpin (ZA).ZA itself is sometimes referred to as Tifferet, for this Sefira reflects the common attributes of all of its six Sefirot.

So, there are five degrees of concealment from the Creator down to our world: Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA, and Malchut. Every degree is alternatively called Olam (world), from the word Haalamah (concealment). Every degree has its sub-degrees, called Partzufim (plural for Partzuf), and every sub-degree has its own sub-degrees, called Sefirot (plural for Sefira). Thus, in all, 5 x 5 x 5 = 125 degrees- Sefirot exist between us and the Creator.

Below is a table of the degrees from the Creator down to our world:

The Creator: an absolutely altruistic desire to create a soul (man) in order to fill it with delight.

The World of Infinity: the existence of souls in the ultimate, perfect state.

Our world: the five egoistic desires felt in the heart.

(*) – Consists of five Sefirot – Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA, and Malchut.

In all, there are 125 degrees from the Creator to our world.

THE GOAL OF CREATION

Since there is no notion of time in the spiritual, we already exist in our ultimate, perfect state in the World of Infinity (Ein Sof). Because desire in the spiritual designates action, desire itself acts, without a body. Therefore, when the desire to create souls (the will to enjoy) appeared in the Creator, when He wished to fill them with the most perfect delight – to sense Him and to delight in His perfection – to make creatures just as He is, His desire was immediately realized. Thus appeared the World of Ein Sof, in which we already exist in our final state.

However, we still need to attain this state in our sensations. This is reminiscent of a sleeping person: even though he is sleeping somewhere, he does not understand where he is until he wakes up. However, in order to achieve this perfect state, we must go through a gradual process of transformation of our inner properties (desires), which corresponds to the spiritual ascension from our world through all the worlds, to the World of Ein Sof.

To lead us to the final state, the Creator governs us from Above through all the worlds. Thus, there is nothing in our world that does not originate in the World of Ein Sof, where the final state of every soul determines the path that it is destined to travel in general and the changes that it has to undergo in particular at every moment (state) of its spiritual advancement towards the World of Infinity.

There is no way back: everything that happens is dictated by the necessity to bring every soul to its final state. Only this goal determines the state of our world at every second, what happens to it in general and to each of us in particular. The Creator created nothing for naught. Rather, everything serves His purpose.

However, the will that stems from Above does not exclude our active participation in our own advancement. Instead of being slaves that move under the compulsion of a beating stick called suffering, we can turn our path of suffering into the path of Torah – to actively and quickly travel this path from below upwards on our own by realizing that the Creator’s purpose is indeed desirable.

This is possible via a request for spiritual elevation – raising MAN, a prayer. In response, we will receive spiritual strength from Above that will help us improve our qualities, i.e., to ascend. The entire Torah speaks only of this, and Kabbalah goes further still and provides a detailed explanation of the path itself. As if on a map, it depicts what we go through and where (in what state and at which degree) we are now.

Kabbalah studies the structure of the spiritual worlds. The purpose of these worlds is to weaken the Creator’s signals (desires) so that we could understand them with our egoism and realize them with our mind. In Hebrew, the word for “world” is Olam (from the word Haalamah – meaning concealment), for these worlds conceal and weaken the Creator’s Light to such an extent that we can feel it.

Depending on everyone’s spiritual qualities, on the degree of one’s attainment (complete egoism = our world, partial altruism = spiritual worlds), we perceive the Creator or His Light differently at each of the 125 degrees. These 125 degrees amount to just ten, called “the ten Sefirot between the Creator and us,” where every lower Sefira transmits less of the Creator’s Light, as perceived by those at that degree. The lower the Sefira, the less of the Creator’s Light it lets through to those that are below it.

SEFIROT

These are the names of the Sefirot: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut. However, six of them are combined into one Sefira, called Zeir Anpin, so in all there are five Sefirot: Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA, and Malchut. Also, ZA himself (ZA is usually considered a male Sefira) is sometimes called Tifferet, since Tifferet is his main Sefira, absorbing within itself the properties of all six Sefirot of ZA. Thus, the Creator created only five Sefirot:

Keter – the Creator’s desire to bestow delight upon us, Malchut;

Hochma – the pleasure itself, which the Creator wishes to bestow upon us;

Bina – passes the pleasure from Hochma to ZA;

ZA – accepts the pleasure from Bina and passes it to Malchut;

Malchut – receives the pleasure.

Bina consists of two parts: her upper part, called GAR or AVI, is unwilling to receive the Light from Hochma. However, since the Creator wishes to impart this Light to the lower ones, the lower part of Bina, called ZAT or YESHSUT, receives the Light from Hochma and passes it to ZA. ZA does not want to receive the Light, but Malchut (to the extent of her correction) evokes ZA to receive the Light from Bina and pass it on to her. Hence, we sometimes speak of the general reception of the Light by ZA and Malchut, which are together called ZON(ZA and Nukva).

The process is such that Malchut – to the extent that her desires are corrected from egoism to altruism – asks ZA to receive the Light “for the Creator’s sake.” To this extent, ZA requests the Light from Bina. Subsequently, Bina turns to and receives the requested amount of Light from Hochma, then passes it to ZA. Malchut (to the extent of her corrected properties) merges with ZA via equivalence of form (desires), and receives this Light.

Keter, Hochma, and GAR of Bina do not want to receive the Light, but starting with ZAT of Bina(YESHSUT), the desire to receive the Light so as to pass it to the lower ones appears in the Sefirot.

Malchut herself is the creature – the egoistic will to receive pleasure, to enjoy the Creator’s Light. This desire is to enjoy the Creator’s Light or the Creator (which is the same thing) is the essence of Malchut. We are parts of Malchut. However, if we have only egoistic desires, we feel the Creator’s Light as pleasures in our world. This is a micro dose of His Light. By correcting our desires (properties), we can ascend the spiritual degrees of the Upper Worlds, and there experience the Creator’s true delight.

According to the Thought of Creation, Malchut must receive the Light from the four previous Sefirot, and delight in it. Hence, Malchut herself consists of five parts: she receives the Light from the preceding Sefirot in four parts, and senses it in the fifth.

All the Sefirot that precede Malchut (excluding Malchut) are similar to our sensory organs, and Malchut is like the heart that receives from all organs: brain, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. The heart is Malchut, and the sensory organs are the first nine Sefirot that precede Malchut. All of these parts of Malchut are egoistic – they wish to receive the Light (pleasure) so as to enjoy it. With such properties, Malchut cannot receive more than a micro dose of the Light of our world, sensing the Creator in a manner called “this world.”

However, if Malchut, i.e., every one of us, were to receive desires (aspirations) from Above to bestow delight upon the Creator to the same extent that we feel the Creator bestowing upon us, with this property (desire), man would ascend spiritually to a degree above our world. He would sense the Creator as spiritual Light, altruistic pleasure and great knowledge, attainment of supernal thoughts and the essence of existence.

SCREEN

Malchut (man) can receive the Light only in anti-egoistic desires. If such desires appear in Malchut as a result of the realization that egoism is her enemy (with the help of Kabbalah), to the extent of her hatred for it, Malchut can repel the egoistic pleasures for the sake of spiritual perfection, i.e., similarity to the Creator in her desire to please Him and act for His sake.

This ability to repel selfish reception of pleasure is called “a screen,” and the repelled pleasure is called “Returning Light,” and the pleasure that comes to Malchut is called “Direct Light.” It is precisely in the repelled pleasure, meaning in the desire to bestow whole-heartedly, selflessly, that man can sense the Creator’s Light and Supreme Knowledge.

Since Malchut (man’s egoism) has to repel pleasure from the five parts of her egoism, the reflecting screen must also consist of five parts. Hence, it creates five parts of the Returning Light. The five parts in Malchut are called by the names of the Sefirot from which they receive. The five kinds of Direct Light are called NRNHY: Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya and Yechida. The Light that emanates from the Creator descends in the following order:

Yechida

Haya

Neshama

Ruach

Nefesh

PARTZUF

After Malchut reflects the Light (pleasure), she decides to receive it in order to delight the Creator, because He wants Malchut to receive pleasure and feel Him. The reflection of all the incoming pleasure is called Rosh (head). The partial reception of the Light to the extent of one’s anti-egoistic powers is called Toch (interior). The unfulfilled desires (due to the absence of a screen on them) are called Sof (end) (See diagram on page ADD PAGE NUMBER WHEN PRE-PRINT IS READY).

This is the structure of the soul (Kli, vessel, corrected altruistic desire, Partzuf or spiritual body). We call the parts of the spiritual structure by the names of our physiological body: head, body, and limbs. There are five parts in the Rosh (head): skull – Galgalta, eyes – Eynaim, ears – Awznaim, nose – Hotem, and mouth – Peh. There are five parts in the Guf (body) from the mouth – Peh to the navel – Tabur. In the limbs, there are five parts from the navel to the toes (see below diagram).

THE INVERSE PROPORTION BETWEEN THE VESSEL AND THE LIGHT

The more strength Malchut has to oppose egoism, the greater the Light that enters her. However, although one works on the correction of the vessel’s coarser part, he receives the Light from his efforts in his subtler desires. In other words, there is an inverse proportion between the vessel and the Light: the coarser the desire (Kli) that is corrected, the greater the Light that enters Malchut (vessel); however, it enters her Upper Kli (desire).

Since Malchut (i.e., all that exists apart from the Creator) is absolutely egoistic, she can only be corrected by imparting onto herself the properties of Bina, the Creator – bestowal without reception. This is the property of absolute altruism, of selfless bestowal. To receive such a property (desire) is tantamount to ascending from the level of Malchut to the level of Bina.

Malchut herself is the will to receive pleasure. The ban imposed on the reception of pleasure for oneself is called the First Restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph). Restriction is a ban on the reception of pleasure; however, if the receiver aspires to please the Creator and not himself, he is allowed to receive the pleasure. Whether Malchut wants it or not, if she (soul, man) has egoistic desires, the Light will not enter her (be felt within her). Hence, we are utterly unable to feel the spiritual (the Creator).

THE STATE OF KATNUT (SMALLNESS)

Yet, Malchut is not the only Sefira that cannot receive the Light: from the world of Atzilut and below, Sefirot Bina and ZA cannot receive the Light either. This ban is called the Second Restriction (Tzimtzum Bet). In this restriction, Malchut seemingly ascends in her desires to Sefira Bina. Her desires of “reception” dominate three Sefirot: Bina, ZA, and Malchut, as Sefirot Bina and ZA also fall under the rule (desire) of the elevated Malchut.

If a Partzuf has no strength to oppose its egoistic desires of reception in Sefirot Bina, ZA and Malchut (AHP), its lower part is not entitled to receive the Creator’s Light, as it will receive it selfishly, thereby causing great harm to itself. To avoid this, the upper part of the PartzufSefirotKeter and Hochma (GE) – separates from the lower part by Parsa (partition), through which the Light cannot pass downwards. Therefore, as a result of Malchut’s ascent to Bina, each degree was divided into two parts:

Malchut restricted the spreading of Light inside the Partzuf, and two parts were formed in her: GE receives the Light, i.e., Sefirot Keter and Hochma receive the Lights Nefesh and Ruach, while the other part of the Partzuf (Sefirot Bina, ZA, and Malchut) is below the Parsa, and therefore does not receive the Light. Their corresponding Lights – Neshama, Haya and Yechida – also remain outside of the Partzuf.

This degree (Partzuf) is deprived of the Light Neshama-Haya-Yechida and is left with just the Light Nefesh-Ruach, called “air.” This is designated by the entry of the letter Yod into the word Light (Ohr = Aleph-Vav-Reish). Thus, the word Light (Ohr) turns into air (Avir = Aleph-Vav-Yod-Reish). This state of the vesselis called Katnut (small state). In other words, the ascent of Malchut to Bina is designated by the entry of the letter Yod into the word Light (Ohr = Aleph-Vav-Reish +Yod = Aleph-Vav-Yod-Reish = Avir – air). This means that because of Malchut’s ascentto Bina,the Partzuf lost its Light and was left with air.

In such a state, the degree or Partzuf is called Katnut (smallness), where Sefirot Keter and Hochma have only the Light Nefesh-Ruach, as Sefirot Bina, ZA and Malchut are below the Parsa, and do not receive the Light. The Parsa prevents the Light from spreading below it. Sefirot Keter-Hochma and Bina-ZA-Malchut are designated by the following letters:

In the reverse order, these letters form the Creator’s name Elokim, where GE = letters Mem + Yod = IM (pronounced as MI), and AHP = letters Aleph + Lamed + Hey = ELEH. Since man attains the Creator from below upwards, the Creator’s name ELOKIM is read from below upwards.

After the birth of all the worlds and the descent of the entire Creation to our world, all the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut and the worlds of BYA passed into the state of Katnut. Thus, the Light is present in GE, but absent in AHP. AHP of the Upper Degree fell into GE of the lower degree, thus forming the spiritual ladder between the Creator and man in our world, and the lowest part of the last spiritual degree of the world of Assiya fell into a point in man’s heart. Consequently, all the intermediate degrees now exist one inside the other: AHP of the Upper Degree is inside GE of the lower one:

The sum of man’s desires is referred to as his heart. Since the nature with which we are born is absolute egoism, man does not feel the spiritual point in his heart. However, at some point in one of his reincarnations, man begins to gradually strive towards attainment of the causes of life, its evaluation; he yearns to attain himself, his source, just as you do right now. Man’s aspiration to the Creator is precisely this aspiration to attain his origin. Man’s discontent in life often helps him in this search, when there’s nothing that appeals to him in his surroundings. Such circumstances are sent from Above in order for man to start feeling an empty point in his heart, and to stimulate in him the desire to fulfill it.

The Creator manifests as the altruistic property to bestow pleasure without any benefit for Himself. From this, we can understand the property of Sefirot Keter, Hochma, and Bina that share the Creator’s property of bestowal. The only creation is Malchut, the will to receive the Light (pleasure). All of us and our entire world are the lowest part of this egoistic Malchut.

THE STATE OF GADLUT (GREATNESS/ADULTHOOD)

However, if one (Malchut) raises MAN, the request for his spiritual ascent, by making efforts to free himself from egoism and by praying to the Creator for help, the Light AB-SAG descends from Above. It comes from the world of AK, brings Malchut altruistic strength and enables her to return from Bina back to her place. In other words, Malchut’s ability to refrain from selfish reception of pleasure is complemented with the strength to receive pleasure for the Creator’s sake, to receive the Light of Hochma within AHP, for His sake.

Subsequently, AHP, or Sefirot Bina, ZA and Malchut, become reactivated, the Partzuf regains all five Kelim (parts), the letter Yod disappears from the word Avir (air), and it turns to being Ohr (Light). In that state, all five Lights NRNHY fill the Partzuf, the letters MI join the letters ELEH, forming the Creator’s name – Elokim. This state is called Gadlut (greatness/adulthood).

ASCENT OF THE LOWER ONE TO THE UPPER ONE

As a result of Malchut’s ascent to Bina, the Upper Partzuf establishes contact with the lower one. As a result, the lower Partzuf can ascend to the level of the Upper One. This is the reason for the second restriction: to give the lower ones (man) the opportunity to ascend to the World of Infinity, up to the Creator Himself.

In order to establish this contact, the Upper Partzuf deliberately diminishes itself, descends to the level of the lower Partzuf, and becomes similar to the lower one in its properties. AHP of the Upper Partzuf willingly falls into GE of the lower one, as though it has no strength to receive the Light, and they become a single whole. This is similar to a scenario when a strong individual joins a society of criminals, imitating their behavior, so that after being admitted into their circle and establishing contact with them, he will gradually influence and correct them.

How? The Upper Light (the so-called Light of AB-SAG) comes and provides AHP of the Upper Partzuf with the strength to ascend to their GE. And GE of the lower Partzuf ascend together with them: because they were a single whole and equivalent in their properties below, they receive the same strength to ascend.

Upon receiving the Light of AB-SAG, GE of the lower Partzuf become like Upper One. Therefore, we should not regard the second restriction as negative, but as help from the Upper Partzuf. It descends to the lower Partzuf by corrupting its own properties in order to equalize itself with the lower one, so as to subsequently ascend together with it to its previous level. This way, the lowest degree can ascend not only to the next Higher One, but also to the Highest Degree of the spiritual ladder.

THE LIGHT OF ZON IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLDS BYA

Partzuf YESHSUT is AHP of Partzuf Bina of the world of Atzilut, and all that it receives and passes to ZON of the world of Atzilut subsequently descends to the worlds of BYA and then to us.

In the small state (Katnut), AHP of YESHSUT falls into ZON. Then YESHSUT receives strength, and by elevating its AHP, it elevates ZON, too. By ascending to YESHSUT, ZON become similar to it and receive the Light at the level of YESHSUT. ZON can never receive the Light of Hochma in their own level; they can only receive the Light of Hassadim, the Light essential to their existence.

ZON of the world of Atzilut are called Olam (world), just as our world is also called Olam, for all that ZON de Atzilut receive can be received by man in this world. And vice versa – all that ZON de Atzilut cannot receive is unattainable to man, for we attain only up to the level of ZON, and not higher.

And since ZON cannot receive the Light of Hochma in their place, the Creator purposely initiated the second restriction, thereby lowering the Sefirot of AHP of Partzuf YESHSUT down to ZON, so that ZON would be able to ascend to YESHSUT and higher, up to the Highest Degree. Hence, it is said in the Torah (Beresheet Barah): “In the beginning the Creator created all in judgment (restriction), but after seeing that the world (ZON) cannot exist (receive all of the Light of Hochma prepared for it), added to judgment the property of mercy.”

In the beginning, He elevated Malchut (the restriction of YESHSUT, for Malchut is restricted from receiving Light) to Bina (mercy of YESHSUT). As a result, AHP of YESHSUT fell into ZON and merged with them. However, the world (ZON) still cannot exist in this way. Hence, the Creator added mercy to judgment: He gave YESHSUT the strength to elevate its AHP together with ZON to the degree of YESHSUT. There, ZON receive the Light of YESHSUT and pass it down to all the worlds of BYA and to our world.

CORRECTION IN THREE LINES

Each of the ten Sefirot in turn consists of ten individual sub- Sefirot. Malchut ascends to Bina in each individual Sefira, i.e., to the full height of the ten Sefirot; in each particular Sefira, Malchut moves up from its place to the place of Bina in that Sefira:

(M - ZA - | B - H - K) - K

(M - ZA - | B - H - K) - H

(M - ZA - | B - H - K) - B

(M - ZA - | B - H - K) - ZA

(M - ZA - | B - H - K) - M

The sign | signifiesaparticular Parsain a Sefira, the restriction imposed on the spreading of Light. GE that remain in each Sefira above the Parsa are called the “right line,” for there is Light in them. Malchut that ascends to Bina in each Sefira creates the “left line” with her restriction on the reception of Light. A Zivug made on the elevated Malchut (only on the free, unrestricted Kelim KHB) allows the Light of Hassadim to shine in GE, and this reception of the Light of Hassadim in GE is called the “middle line.”

Now let us clarify what is written in The Zohar: There are ten Sefirot: Keter (K), Hochma (H), Bina (B), Hesed (H), Gevura (G), Tifferet (T), Netzah (N), Hod (H), Yesod (Y), and Malchut (M). However, there are actually only five of them: Keter (K), Hochma (H), Bina (B), Tifferet (T), and Malchut (M). This is because Tifferet (alternatively called Zeir AnpinZA) consists of six Sefirot, from Hesed to Yesod. Five Sefirot KHB-ZA-M created five Partzufim in each world. In the world of Atzilut, these Partzufim are Arich Anpin (AA), Abave Ima (AVI), and Zeir Anpin and Nukva (ZON). Keter is called AA; correspondingly, Hochma and Bina are called AVI; and ZA (Tifferet) and Malchut are called ZON.

The essence of the seven days of creation lies in Partzufim ZA and Nukva of the world of Atzilut, which consist of seven Sefirot: HGT-NHYM. And from the description of creation it transpires how AVI(Hochma and Bina) beget ZON (all of creation, including us) and elevate them to their final state during the 6,000 years. This is what The Book of Zohar tells us.

Rabbi Hizkiyah began his explanation of Nukva of the world of Atzilut by clarifying the birth of ZON from Ima (Bina), called Elokim. That is why he began his explanation with a rose, Nukva of ZA. At the utmost completion of its development, Nukva of ZA is called KnessetIsrael, the Assembly of Israel. For Nukva consists of all the souls called Israel; hence, it is said that a rose is Knesset Israel.

There are two states in a rose (Malchut). The lowest, initial, small state (Katnut) is when Malchut consists only of Sefira Keter filled with the Light Nefesh, while her other nine Sefirot are those that fell from the world of Atzilut to the world of Beria. The other state of Nukva is mature, big, complete (Gadlut), when her nine Sefirot ascend from the world of Beria back to the world of Atzilut, and complete the full ten Sefirot of her Partzuf. Then, being equal to her husband, Malchut ascends together with him to AVI and clothes them, i.e., receives their Light.

The clothing of the lower, outer Partzuf onto the Upper, Inner One means that the lower Partzuf attains a part of the Upper One, ascends to a Higher spiritual level, and becomes in some way similar to the Upper Partzuf.

In that state, ZA is called Israel, from the letters LI (to me) and ROSH (head), which signifies the state of Gadlut, while Nukva is called “the Assembly of Israel,” for she accumulates all of the Light of her husband, ZA, and passes it to the lower ones – the souls in the worlds BYA.

Nukva’s state of Katnut is called “a rose among thorns,” for nine of her lower Sefirot in the Katnut state fell under the Parsa of the world of Atzilut, thereby losing the Light of the world of Atzilut, and becoming as dry as thorns. And in her Gadlut state, Nukva is simply called “a rose” or “the Assembly of Israel.” This is why it is written, “there is a rose, and there is a rose.”

The color red designates the rose’s connection with the outer, impure forces, which, because of this connection, can suck the strength (Light) from it. This is because nine of her Sefirot are in exile below the world of Atzilut, in the world of Beria, which may already contain impure forces. And the rose also has a color white in its Sefira Keter, for her Sefira Keter is in the world of Atzilut, above the Parsa, where there is no contact with the lower, impure forces. In other words, there are two opposite states: perfection and its absence, Light and darkness. They are felt by him who merits it.

It is therefore written that just as a rose among thorns is tinged with red and white, so does the Assembly of Israel consist of judgment and mercy. This shows that in Gadlut, when Malchut is called Knesset Israel, even though she ascended to Bina and clothed her, she still retains the property of judgment, of restriction – an attitude that’s tough and just, rather than compassionate. This is so because she needs a screen (a force of resistance to her egoistic desires), which, if available, enables Malchut to receive the Upper Light.

The law, judgment, or restriction does not allow for the reception of Light in egoistic desires. The screen, the aspiration to oppose one’s egoistic desires, repels the Upper Light (pleasure) back to its source, the Creator. The Light that man sends back is called “Returning Light” or the “Light of Judgment.” To the extent of the intensity of the reflective force (i.e., the force of resistance to one’s will to receive), man is allowed to receive the ten Sefirot of the Upper Light (called the Direct Light or the Light of Mercy) for the Creator’s sake, in precisely these altruistic desires. And that is why, even in its complete state, the Assembly of Israel consists of judgment and mercy, which corresponds to the red and white colors of a rose among thorns.

And this is the pool made by King Shlomo (Solomon). It is built on twelve bulls, for the nine lower Sefirot of Malchut that fell to the world of Beria were corrected there from twelve heads of bulls. One of their Sefirot, Keter, which remained in the world of Atzilut, is called the “pool” that is built on these bulls. Together, they are called thirteen rose petals. (The reason why the ten Sefirot of Malchut are divided by ten- Hassadim or thirteen - Hochma will be clarified later).

The Light of a complete Nukva is called Hochma, as it contains the Light of Wisdom, and originates from the thirteen names called “the thirteen attributes of mercy.” However, the main thing that Rabbi Hizkiyah wants to tell us is that a rose among thorns is above the Assembly of Israel, because, as is well known, all that is present in Nukva’s complete state must exist in her small state as well, albeit in diminished similarity.

Therefore, it is said that the properties of white and red in the small state correspond to the properties of mercy and judgment in the big state. And the thirteen petals of the small state, when corrected, create in Nukva the thirteen attributes of mercy in her big state. Later on, we will see how these thirteen attributes of Malchut of the world of Atzilut change her in both the small and big states.

It is written that, in the process of creation, “in the beginning Elokim(Bina de Atzilut) created” Nukva of ZA with thirteen words: ET, SHAMAIM, VE’ET, ARETZ, VEARETZ, HAITA, TOHU, VABOHU, VECHOSHECH, AL, PNEI, TEHOM, VERUACH (from the word “ Elokim” to the word “Elokim”). And these thirteen words signify the thirteen petals of a rose among thorns (her small state), like the pool built by the King Shlomo, which stands on thirteen (twelve) bulls (nine lower Sefirot of Malchut without Light, as they are in the world of Beria, below the Parsa of the world of Atzilut). These words are the preparation for the purification and correction of the Assembly of Israel in order to receive the thirteen attributes of mercy.

These thirteen attributes of mercy (the Light of a complete Nukva) surround her and shine upon her from all sides, and guard her from the touch of foreign (egoistic) desires. After all, until she is filled with all the Light of Hochma in her complete, big state, there’s a potential for foreign, egoistic desires to cling to and feed off her.

2. Afterwards, the name Elokim is mentioned once more, “Elokim soars.” Why is it mentioned in this sense? So as to bring out the five rigid leaves that surround the rose, which are called “salvation.” And these are the five gates. And it is said of this secret, I will raise the “cup of salvation” (Psalms,116:13). It is the cup of blessing. The cup of blessing must rest on five fingers, just as a rose rests on five rigid leaves that correspond to the five fingers. And this rose is the cup of blessing, from the second to the third mention of the name Elokim (Beresheet, 1:2-3), there are five words: “soars,” “over,” “the surface,” “of the waters,” “and said” – in all, five words parallel the five leaves. And further, “The Creator said: ‘Let there be Light’ – this Light was created, however, it was concealed and enclosed within that covenant that entered the rose and fructified it. And it is referred to as “A fructiferous tree, wherein is the seed thereof” (Beresheet, 1:12). And this seed exists in the mark of the covenant.

The five leaves are the five Sefirot of the Light reflected from Malchut, which she raises from the Zivug de Hakaa. The direct incoming Light is called five Hassadim HGT-NH, and it clothes into five parts (types of restrictions) of the Returning Light HGT-NH, called the five rigid leaves of a rose, which correspond to the text from the second (the spirit of God soared over the waters) to the third (and said) mention of the word Elokim in the Torah.

These words explain how the five rigid leaves (attributes) can be extracted from Malchut so that she will be fit for a Zivug and achieve the big state. And during the big state, when the five rigid leaves become five restrictions, they are defined as the five gates of reception of the Light of Hassadim of the Direct Light, and they are called salvation, and Malchut is called the cup of salvation or the cup of blessing and good fortune, for, thanks to these leaves (restrictions), Malchut can receive the Light of Hassadim – a blessing.

The cup of blessing must rest on five fingers, for Malchut can receive the Light of Hochma only if she is clothed in the Light of Hassadim beforehand. Therefore, first she has to make a blessing, which means to receive the five parts (NRNHY) of the Light of Hassadim with the help of five fingers (five restrictions), and only then to receive in them (i.e., in the corrected intentions) the Light of Hochma.

Hence, a cup of wine must be raised with two hands, as five fingers of the right hand symbolize mercy – Hassadim, and five fingers of the left hand symbolize restrictions. However, having started the blessing, the cup must only be held with the five fingers of the right hand (Hassadim, bestowing). Otherwise, the impure forces that take from the left (receiving) side become active, as such forces cling only to a place where there is reception of Light.

What follows is the big state of Malchut, which corresponds to the words of the Torah: “Let there be Light.” These are the five lights, in which Adam saw the world from end to end, as it is written in the Talmud (Hagigah, 12). But the Creator saw that there would be transgressions in the generations of the Flood and the Tower of Babel, and concealed this Light. And the following generations will then need to attain it on their own.

Previously, these five Hassadim were in Yesod of ZA, and Malchut received from it, and not from Bina, called Elokim, as she does now. Yesod de ZA is called the mark of the covenant with the Creator (after the corrections, called circumcision, are made), and five Hassadim received on the five restrictions are called “seed.” The main force of restrictions and the impact forces of the screen, with which it repels the Light, are in Ateret Yesod (the end of the Sefira Yesod). There occurs Zivug de Hakaa, from which Malchut receives the Light. Only at the end of correction will this Zivug pass on to Malchut herself.

Therefore, during the 6,000 years, the screen that is in Yesod, strikes at the incoming Light (pleasure) with its five restrictions (the forces that oppose egoistic reception of pleasure), thus creating five parts of the Returning Light, and receiving in them the five parts of the Light of Hassadim. Subsequently, ZA passes these five Lights of Hassadim from his Yesod to Nukva. And these five Lights of Hassadim are called “seed.”

3. Just as the covenant is conceived from that seed in forty-two Zivugim, so the secret name fills and inseminates all forty-two letters of the initial act of creation.

The name “forty-two” = MB = Mem + Bet = 40 + 2 is composed of HaVaYaH (four letters), filled HaVaYaH (ten letters), and doubly filled HaVaYaH (twenty-eight letters). In all, 4 + 10 + 28 = 42, signifying the seed that exists in the mark of the covenant that is enclosed in five Hassadim and five Gevurot.

There are two aspects to Nukva: her body (Partzuf), which emerges from Bina, and her Zivug, called the secret of unity with ZA. Nukva can be in two states: small or big (Katnut or Gadlut respectively). The small state is an incomplete, insufficient state of Malchut, but it is necessary as preparation for the big state, called the revelation of the secret, of the concealed.

And since the big state reveals the small, and all that is concealed in the small state becomes clear in the big, he who is in a state of spiritual descent does not see the reasons for his state, but it all becomes clear to him when he attains the big state that follows.

As a result of the ascent of Malchut of AVI to their Bina, Partzuf of Bina(AVI) was divided into two parts: the upper part, GE, acquired the name AVI, while the lower part, AHP, became known as YESHSUT. AVI are filled with the Light of Hassadim, since they wish for no other, and YESHSUT receives it from them, for, although it desires the Light of Hochma, it cannot receive it in view of the fact that Malchut of AVI ascended above it.

However, although there is no Light of Hochma in AVI, they do not suffer without it whatsoever, and therefore exist in perfection called GAR, even in the absence of the Light of Hochma. And even when one raises MAN requesting strength (i.e., the Light of Hochma) so as to overcome his impure desires, AVI do not receive the Light of Hochma. YESHSUT receives this Light and passes it to ZA. Hence, although AVI are below the Rosh of AA, and there is no Light of Hochma in them, they do not suffer from it.

However, YESHSUT suffers from the absence of the Light of Hochma, wishing to pass it to ZA, so it waits for MAN from ZA in order to ascend to AVI in the form of Sefira Daat. For when the lower ones raise MAN, the whole of Bina ascends to the Rosh of AA; YESHSUT receives the Light of Hochma from AA and passes it to ZON. This corresponds to the disappearance of the letter Yod from the word Avir (air), and Avir turns into Ohr – Light (Hochma) once more.

However, for all that, even in the Rosh of AA, AVI remain only with the Light of Hassadim (air). Hence, the heads of both AA and AVI are called “Supreme Waters” or “Heaven.” This is considering the fact that AVI can be beneath the Rosh of AA; however, since it does not affect their independence and perfection, it is as if they are in the Rosh of AA.

Under AVI there is a firmament (Parsa) of the world of Atzilut, which separates the Kelim of bestowal from the Kelim of reception of the world of Atzilut. YESHSUT and ZON (inferior waters) that need the Light of Hochma stand below the Parsa, which is in the chest of AA. It is therefore said that the inferior waters weep (i.e., their state is small), for they feel the lack of OhrHochma and wish to ascend to the Rosh of AA. In no way should one confuse the Parsa of the world of Atzilut (located within the world of Atzilut) that divides it into GE and AHP with the Parsa below the world Atzilut that separates it from the worlds of BYA.

The Light that is received above the Parsa of the world of Atzilut is called the Light of Mem-Bet (MB). However, the seven Sefirot of ZON (six Sefirot of ZA and one Sefira of Malchut) that designate the seven days of creation cannot receive this Light of MB, as they are located below the Parsa and receive only the Light of Hassadim (minimal sustenance) from YESHSUT.

However, when the lower ones (man) raise MAN, and MAD descends from AB-SAG (the Light that brings Bina back to the Rosh of AA), YESHSUT receives the Light of Hochma and passes it to ZON, allowing ZON to ascend above the Parsa that stands in the Chazeh (chest) of AA, and receive the Light of MB.

That is why the Light of MB in ZON is manifested in thirty-two Elokim and ten sayings, where thirty-two Elokim represent YESHSUT in the state of ascent, when YESHSUT receives thirty-two streams of wisdom (Hochma) that create in it the thirty-two names of Elokim, mentioned in the act of creation: “In the beginning the Creator created,” and so on.

The ten sayings are five Hassadim. After ZON have already received the Light of Hochma from thirty-two Elokim, the five Lights of Hassadim that were received from AVI (signifying MB) are called “Supreme Waters.” We see that the five Hassadim in ZON do not turn into the name MB before they receive from thirty-two Elokim. It is therefore said that thirty-two Elokim and ten sayings form the name MB, i.e., in the state of ascent.

Hence, Rabbi Hizkiyah said that the five Lights in the saying “Let there be Light” (signifying the five Hassadim) are called “seed” (abundance), which Yesod of ZA passes to Malchut. And it is called MB, although essentially it is merely five Hassadim; however, since it has the Light of Hochma that was received from thirty-two Elokim of YESHSUT, it refers to MB.

Flower Buds

4. In the Beginning, Rabbi Shimon opened, “The flower buds have appeared on the earth” (In Hebrew the words “land” and “earth” are designated by the same word, “ Eretz”; Song of Songs, 2:12). “The flower buds” refer to the act of creation; “appeared on the earth.” When? On the third day, as it is said, “And the earth brought forth grass” (Beresheet, 1:12). “The time of singing has come” refers to the fourth day, the time of strictness, judgment, restriction. Therefore, on the fourth day, the word “lights” is written with a missing letter, which hints at the strictness of judgment and a curse. “And the voice of the turtle dove is heard” refers to the fifth day, on which it is said, “Let the waters swarm,” so that they can produce offspring. However, the words “is heard” already refer to the sixth day, on which it is said, “Let us make man,” who, in the future, shall put action before understanding (we shall do and we shall hear, Naaseh ve Nishmah). For here it is said, “Let us make man,” and there it is said, “We shall do and we shall hear.” “In our land” refers to the day of Shabbat, which is like the Land of Life, the world to come.

It is completely incomprehensible to us how The Zohar compares the words from Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs, 2:12) with what is written in the Torah about the first days of creation. The six days of creation symbolize the six Sefirot HGT-NHY of ZA,onto which all ten Sefirot of Nukva are built. This is because Nukva is only the will to receive (pleasure), while her entire spiritual body (desires of bestowal) consists of her husband’s Sefirot, ZA, the altruistic properties that ZA passes to Nukva.

Nukva herself (the created desire to receive pleasure) is an empty place unfilled with Light (the Creator). This is because the Light can only enter a desire (Kli) with similar properties to itself. Therefore, to the extent of her similarity to ZA, the properties that Malchut receives from ZA, those corrected properties of Malchut turn into a Partzuf and become filled with the Light that corresponds to their correction.

Thus, the greater the correction that is made in a particular part, the greater the Light (of the five Lights NRNHY) that enters that part. The corrected and fulfilled part of Malchut is referred to as a “world.” Here and henceforth, The Zohar explains how Nukva is built out of ZA, i.e., how the world is created.

Nukva is called “earth.” Flower buds are Sefirot – the properties of ZA that appear and grow within Malchut on the third day of creation, which corresponds to Sefira Tifferet (Hesed-1, Gevura-2, Tifferet-3). In the beginning, Malchut was created as ZA in height; two equally great celestial bodies, the Sun – ZA and the Moon – Malchut. This is why we see them as being equal in size when the Moon is full. After all, all that is said with regard to man. In the initial state following her creation, Malchut is a point at the feet of ZA, and subsequently grows along him.

That is to say, on the third day of creation, Malchut was equal in height (had the same properties) to Tifferet of ZA. However, Malchut was not able to receive the Light in such a state. Hence, it is said, STRICTNESS (judgment) APPEARED ON THE EARTH (in Malchut); the flower buds merely appeared.

And after that, THE TIME OF SINGING HAS COME already refers to the fourth day of creation, when Malchut was diminished, because she complained to the Creator: “Two angels cannot wear one crown” – if Malchut is equal to ZA in height, she cannot receive the Light of Hochma from him.

The reason for that being – not having received the Light of Hassadim from ZA beforehand, Malchut cannot receive the Light of Hochma, as the Light of Hochma can only be received within the Light of Hassadim,by clothing the Light of Hochma (pleasure) into the Light of Hassadim (the intention to enjoy “for the Creator’s sake”).

And the Creator answered Malchut: “Go and diminish yourself.” In other words: if, owing to your egoistic properties, you cannot receive the Light independently, but only from ZA, then diminish your own properties, accept His, and gradually correct yourself. Then you will be able to receive all of the Light and be like Him (ZA – the Creator). All of this is described in the Talmud (Hullin, 60:2), but only with the explanation provided in The Zohar do we stop perceiving it as a fairytale.

Then Malchut descended below Yesod of ZA, and her nine lower Sefirot fell below Parsa into the worlds of BYA. And only her SefiraKeter remained in Atzilut as a point standing below Yesod of ZA. And from here on, Malchut is built not of her own Sefirot (properties) that exist in BYA, but of Sefirot (properties) Netzah and Hod of ZA.

Although Malchut was previously bigger, she was not able to receive the Light for lack of the Light of Hassadim; now she will be smaller, but she will have the Light of Hassadim, in which she will be able to receive the Light of Hochma. Even though Malchut will be at a lower degree, she will be able to utilize it, for the Light of Hassadim repels the impure forces that cling to Nukva. That is the meaning of the word Zamir (singing/pruning). However, there is another meaning to this word that is at use here – cutting off, or pruning the impure forces from Malchut (rose bud).

THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE DOVE: The turtle dove is a Sefira, the property of Netzah de ZA, and the voice of the turtle dove represents Sefira Hod of ZA, the fifth day of creation. And since Malchut receives from Yesod (which receives from Hod that is joined with Netzah), such reception by Malchut is referred to as “the voice of the turtle dove.”

Therefore, the words “is heard” refer to the sixth day, since the voice of the turtle dove (Malchut) is heard only with the help of the sixth day, Yesod of ZA, which includes both Netzah and Hod, and passes their Light to Malchut. Hence, it is said that this voice is heard in Malchut only from Yesod, on the sixth day.

The reason for this is that Malchut can receive the Light only from the middle line of ZA: either from Yesod of ZA (she receives the degree called NHY, Ibur – embryo) or from Tifferet of ZA (she receives the degree called HGT = VAK, Yenika – nursing or Katnut – smallness) or from Daat of ZA (she receives the degree called HBD= GAR, Mochin – brain or Gadlut – big).

LET US MAKE MAN, FOR IN THE FUTURE HE SHALL PUT ACTION BEFORE LISTENING: sight refers to Sefira Hochma, hearing refers to Sefira Bina. Action or deed is a property of Malchut. In order to correct Malchut, the Creator’s only creation (other Sefirot are properties of the Creator Himself, with which He gradually created Malchut), a second restriction was made – Malchut ascended to Bina so as to combine her egoistic properties of reception with Bina’s altruistic properties of bestowal; Malchut ascended to Aba-Hochma, and Ima-Bina found herself below Malchut (Parsa), where she became similar in her properties to Malchut.

Eyes refer to Sefira Hochma or Aba. Malchut ascended to the level of eyes and stands at the level of pupils. Malchut is called Nukva; and Malchut that stands at the level of eyes is called Nikvey Eynaim (pupils) or NE. That is why there are only Keter and Hochma in the Rosh (head) of AA: Bina fell from the Rosh to the Guf (body) and Malchut is above Bina, that is, Malchut represents an action that is Above, i.e., precedes perception and understanding. This is what is meant by “we will do, and we will hear” – the act of the second restriction, limiting reception only to GE. Such a state is called the “return” (in one’s properties to the Creator). The “complete return” occurs when AHP of Malchut gets corrected and joins GE at this degree.

As a result of Malchut’s ascent to NE, she changes her properties (every one of us needs only this – to ascend to the level of the Creator’s properties, so that we can receive them and become like Him), and is now ready to ascend to AVI and receive the Light of Haya. The constant Light of this level is called the FirstTemple. That is why when receiving the Torah, Israel elected to act first and hear after. And for this reason they merited reception of the Torah (Talmud, Shabbat, 85:1), as the action (Malchut) ascended and clothed AVI, and thus the secret of the fifty gates of Bina was revealed.

Construction of the Temple does not pertain to it being built in this world, but rather to the attainment of the degree of the Temple, the degree of AVI de Atzilut, the Light of Haya (the First Temple) or the degree of YESHSUT de Atzilut, the Light of Neshama (the Second Temple).

Here The Zohar tells us: “it is heard” on the sixth day, for on this day (in this state) Malchut was corrected by means of her ascent above Bina, referred to as “placing action before listening,” to do and to hear as during the reception of the Torah. Malchut in the state of ascension to Bina is called the EternalLand or the Land of Life, for she inherits life from Bina.

“IN OUR LAND” REFERS TO SHABBAT, WHICH IS LIKE THE ETERNAL LAND OF LIFE: Ima-Bina is called the Land of Life or the EternalLand. As a result of the act on the sixth day, meaning the Creator’s action from Above (the factor of time is designated by an action of the Creator Himself, which has no causes in our world), Malchut ascended to Ima on the seventh day of creation (Shabbat) and became like Ima, for when the lower one ascends to the degree of the Upper One, they become equal (in properties). Hence, upon ascending to Bina and there receiving the Light of Haya, Malchut is called the Land of Eternal Life.

5. Another explanation: flower buds are the Patriarchs, who entered the mind and entered into the world to come, Bina, where they remain concealed. From there they emerge in concealment and conceal themselves in the true prophets. Yosef was born and they concealed themselves within him. When Yosef entered the Holy Land, he erected them there, and then “they appeared on the earth” and were revealed there. When did they appear? When a rainbow can be seen, they become revealed. At that moment, “the time of singing has come,” meaning the time to eradicate all the wicked in the world. Why did they survive? Because the flower buds have appeared on (from) the earth. And if they were to be seen beforehand , they could not have remained in the world, and the world would not have been able to exist.

Here The Zohar explains the attainment of the Light of Haya by ZA. NHY of ZA are called “sons” and HGT of ZA are called “patriarchs,” as well as the “turtle dove.” ZA himself (seemingly) consists of two parts: above his Chazeh, his Sefirot HGT are called the big ZON; below his Chazeh, Sefirot NHY are called the small ZON. Sefirot HGT correspond to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, while NHY correspond to Moshe, Aaron and Yosef. Malchut corresponds to King David.

Sefirot NHY are called “prophets,” and Yesod is called “the righteous one.” Here The Zohar speaks of the buds that gradually grow from the small state to the big state of ZON: first ZON were small, consisting of Sefirot NHY with the Light of Nefesh and called Ubar (embryo). Then, with the help of Yenika (nursing), i.e., receiving Light from Ima, ZON grew. Accordingly, the properties of Sefirot NHY grew to equalize those of Sefirot HGT, and Sefirot NHY received the Light of Ruach.

Thus, the Partzuf now consists of parts of HGT and NHY with the Lights Ruach and Nefesh. Subsequently, by further reception of strength from the Upper One, and further growth, they’ve attained the state of Gadlut Aleph, the first big state. Accordingly, Sefirot HGT became HBD with the Light of Neshama,Sefirot NHY became Sefirot HGT, and received new Sefirot NHY.

Thus, the Partzuf grew to include three parts: HBD, HGT, and NHY with the Lights Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama. And it is called Gadol (big – the first big state). Then, through further growth, they’ve attainted the state of maturity (Gadlut Bet, the second big state), and the Light of Haya entered Sefirot HBD.

The word “growth” refers to the growth of a screen, of man’s inner anti-egoistic forces and desires. This is the only difference between a big vessel and a small one, the only difference between the Partzufim. Their inner properties change depending on the change in the magnitude of the screen.

THESE FATHERS ENTERED THE SUPERNAL MIND AND ASCENDED INTO THE WORLD TO COME: This sentence speaks of the prenatal development of ZA, when he ascends to AVI (called “Supernal Mind” or “Supernal Thought”). Aba-Hochma is called “mind” or “thought,” and Ima-Bina is called “the world to come.” And together they are called “parents” – father and mother, AVI. It is there that creation begins – conception of ZA in the initial state of a spiritual embryo.

Just as an embryo in our world is completely dependent on the mother, having absolutely no desires or life of its own, and developing only thanks to her, so can every man become a spiritual embryo; if he completely relinquishes all of his desires and actions, and submits entirely to the will of the Upper Partzuf, he will turn himself into a spiritual embryo, just like a physiological one. The difference between a physiological embryo and a spiritual one lies in the fact that becoming a spiritual embryo requires tremendous personal desire and effort, whereas the conception of a physiological embryo depends on the parents.

As a result of its prenatal development within Bina (which means that one completely extinguishes all of his personal desires and thoughts, and, like an embryo, is ready to accept all that the mother gives: all of her thoughts and properties, regardless of how incomprehensible or unnatural they may seem to his essence), this embryo achieves the state of its spiritual birth.

However, this is a state of an even greater concealment of the Upper Light with regard to the embryo, for it does not yet have a screen for the reception of this Light. Hence, this state is called Katnut, CONCEALED IN THE TRUE PROPHETS, i.e., in Sefirot Netzah and Hod, which ZA attains as a result of the process of nursing, reception of milk, the Light of Hassadim from Ima (mother) Bina.

The Light of nursing comes to the NHY of ZA, and ZA attains VAK (Light of Nefesh- Ruach), the state of Katnut. During nursing, ZA attains the Sefira Yesod, which is why it is said that Yosef is born. After the nursing period is over, ZA ascends to AVI so as to receive from them the Light of Neshama, and this constitutes the state of Gadlut, called “Yosef.”

ZA consists of three parts: HBD, HGT, and NHY. The process of Zeir Anpin’s growth, of acquiring a screen on his desires, begins with the purest, least egoistic part – Sefirot HBD, in which he first receives the Light of Nefesh.

Afterwards, ZA acquires a screen on coarser egoistic desires – Sefirot HGT; the Light of Nefesh passes from HBD to HGT, and the Light of Ruach enters the empty HBD.

Finally, ZA acquires a screen on the most egoistic KelimSefirot NHY; the Light of Nefesh passes from HGT to NHY, the Light of Ruach moves from HBD to the empty HGT, and the Light of Neshama enters the empty HBD.

The attainment of the big state by ZA is called the birth of Yosef, for there emerge Sefirot NHY, of which the last Sefira, Yesod, is called “Yosef.” However, since the Light of Haya is not yet present, this state is called “concealment.” WHEN YOSEF ENTERED THE HOLY LAND AND ERECTED THEM THERE: that is, after the attainment of the first big state, the reception of the Light of Neshama, ZA continues to grow, cultivating his screen until the Light of Haya enters it.

In such a state, Malchut of ZA separates from him into an independent Partzuf, called THE HOLY LAND, as the Light of Haya is called holiness. It is therefore said that Yosef entered or, rather, ASCENDED TO THE HOLY LAND in the Gadlut state of ZA. ZA and Nukva became equally big in the state of PBP(Panim be Panim, face to face), which is the state that determines the Zivug between ZON.

AND YOSEF ERECTED THEM THERE: the Light of Haya or Hochma fills the Partzuf only during a Zivug, when ZON (ZA and Nukva) make a Zivug together. And this Light remains in Malchut, for only she (her screen) can reveal it. Just as AVI are GAR de Bina, YESHSUT is ZAT de Bina and the Light of Hochma is found only in YESHSUT, the relationship between Malchut and ZA works along the same principle, and the Light of Hochma is revealed only in Malchut. Therefore, only when the Light of Hochma fills Nukva can it be said that the Light has been revealed, and until that happens, it is considered to be concealed.

WHEN ARE THEY SEEN? WHEN A RAINBOW CAN BE SEEN IN THE WORLD: ZA is called a “rainbow,” the world is Malchut, and their union is called a “rainbow within a cloud.” THE TIME HAS COME TO ERADICATE ALL THE WICKED FROM THE WORLD – as the number of the wicked grows, as more impure forces cling to ZON. The impure forces can influence ZON so greatly that the entire world will be brought to ruin, as has happened in the time of the Flood. If so, there is no salvation for man other than through the revelation of the Upper Light, the Light of Haya. That is why The Zohar tells us that the world is saved by the flower buds appearing from the earth, meaning that the Light of Haya eradicates man’s impure forces from the earth (his desires, Malchut), and they cannot cling to her and hinder man.

AND HAD THEY NOT APPEARED, THERE WOULD BE NO SALVATION FOR THE WORLD – for initially Nukva is built as big as ZA. This is called the “two great celestial bodies,” when Malchut is on the same degree as ZA, but stands behind him, back to back, unable to receive the Light of Hochma in the absence of the Light of Hassadim. This is why Malchut complains about lacking the Light of Hassadim and thus not being able to receive the Light of Hochma.

Even though the moon grows as big as the Sun, it cannot shine independently, but only if the Sun (ZA) gives it Light. And since Malchut lacks the Light of Hochma, such a state is called reversed (Achor - back). And a Zivug cannot take place in the position of back-to-back (Achor be Achor).

However, after Nukva is born and grows (receives the properties) from the Guf of ZA, as it is written in the Torah (Beresheet 2) that Chavah (Eve) was born from the body of Adam, she becomes equal to ZA and enters into a Zivug face-to-face (Panim be Panim, PBP) with him.

Also, Nukva still retained the previous Light. Moreover, precisely because she felt the lack of the Light in her initial state, Malchut received the Light of Haya specifically into her previous sufferings. Similarly, man can feel pleasure only and precisely because of his previous suffering.

Therefore, The Zohar tells us that had the flower buds not appeared in Malchut during her Katnut, when she was standing behind ZA, she would not have been able to receive the Light of Haya in her state of Gadlut, as she would not have the Kelim (desires) to receive this Light. Every new creation is founded on the sensation of darkness, as it is said: the Creator emanates the Light out of Himself, and creates darkness out of nothingness. Man’s sensation of darkness signifies his readiness to receive the Light.

6. Who sustains the world and evokes the revelation of the Patriarchs? It is the voice of the children engaged in the Torah. The world exists thanks to these children. Hence, it is said: “We will make for you pendants of gold” (Shir HaShirim, 1:11). These are the children, youngsters of the world, as it is said: “Make two cherubs of gold” (Shemot, 25:18).

The Light of Ruach is called “the children of the world,” and the Zivug in this state (PBA – face to back) is referred to as THE VOICE OF THE CHILDREN ENGAGED IN THE TORAH. And it is also called “threads of gold” and “two cherubs of gold.” Before Nukva grew, the impure forces had the power to destroy the world. However, precisely because Nukva grows from ZA, the right and left lines merge in her as one, the RAINBOW (right line) shines WITHIN A CLOUD (left line), and the Light of Haya can enter Malchut. Without this Light, the world can be destroyed as during (in the state of) the Flood.

SO WHO IS IT THAT SUSTAINS THE WORLD: who causes the appearance of the Light of Haya? They are precisely the children engaged in the Torah. The “children” designate the Light of the opposite side, the Light of Ruach, the sensation of deficiency of the Light of Haya, for a “child” alludes to the process of nursing. The children of the house of Raban (Tinokot Shel Beit Raban) – are the Light of Haya, as the word “Raban” derives from “Rav” (big, Haya). They did not transgress, i.e., did not use their AHP (egoistic and yet uncorrected desires, for the word “children” designates the small state), their will to receive.

Who Has Created These

7. In the beginning, Rabbi Elazar opened, “Raise your eyes and you shall see, WHO HAS CREATED THESE” (Yeshayahu, 40:26). Raise your eyes where? To the place on which all eyes depend. Who is He? He is the One who opens eyes, Malchut de Rosh de Arich Anpin. And there you shall see that Atik is concealed and within it lies the answer to the question: WHO HAS CREATED THESE? WHO? MI, ZAT de Bina, the Highest Edge of Heaven, and everything depends on Him. And since the question lies in Him, and He is concealed, He is called MI. For MI is like when the question “Who?” is asked, as there are no questions above Him. The question is found only at the Highest Boundary of Heaven.

In the beginning, Rabbi Elazar opened, “Raise your eyes on high and look at who has created these.” Raise your eyes to what place? To the place, where all eyes depend on Him. And who is He? He is the One who opens eyes. And there you shall know. It is the concealed Atik, within which lies the question: who has created these? And who is He? MI = who. He is called by the edge of the Supernal Heaven, where everything belongs to him. Since there lies a question, and He is on a concealed path and does not reveal Himself, He is called MI. And because there is no question Above, this edge of Heaven is called MI.

In Hebrew, the word MI means the question “Who?” as well as the preposition “from.” Since Kabbalah tells us about the property of our world’s roots, one spiritual object can sometimes reveal an entire range of associations, properties, and categories. In the same way, here the word MI is a part of the word ElokIM, where the last two letters form the word MI. However, at the same time, they carry a variety of additional charges and meanings.

Rabbi Elazar wishes to explain how Heaven and earth were created. Naturally, just like the whole of the Torah, The Zohar refers only to spiritual degrees and categories, and does not deal with explanations of the physical origin and development of our world. Moreover, it is impossible to understand the true origin and development of our world without attaining the spiritual world. However, whatever one does attain, he is unable to pass these attainments to others. Hence, even after he attains the full essence of our nature’s origin and its actions, he will still be unable to describe it in a form that will be comprehensible to others.

Heaven and earth constitute the seven days of Creation – ZON of the world of Atzilut. However, if it is a part of Atzilut, then why is it described as BARAH (created, from the word Beria) and not ATZIL (emanated, from the word Atzilut)? Yet, precisely herein lies the opportunity to open our eyes to the process of creation.

Rosh (head) de AA has only Keter and Hochma. Malchut standing below the eyes, below Sefira Hochma, is called “the opening of the eyes.” After all, only when she opens up does the Light of Hochma pass through her from Rosh de AA to all the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut.

It is therefore said that the eyes should be raised up TO THE PLACE ON WHICH ALL EYES DEPEND, for the Light of Hochma can fill all the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut only when Malchut opens up in Rosh de AA. Hence, the entire secret of the opening lies in Malchut. The Light of Hochma (the Light of wisdom) is the Light of the eyes. It exits the eyes, and only in this Light can one see.

The word BARAH signifies BAR (beyond), meaning outside the world of Atzilut. This is because Bina herself came out of the Rosh of AA and stood lower, outside the Rosh of AA, giving birth to, that is, precisely BARAH (creating) ZON.

In Hebrew, every notion has several possible names that determine the specific action that takes place. Here, the birth of ZON occurred by means of Bina’s exit and descent from her degree; hence, the birth of ZON is called BARAH, from the word BAR – outside (of one’s degree).

The entire creation consists of only ten Sefirot. Yet, since every Sefira includes all the others, and since all of them are interconnected, every world, degree, or Sefira includes the properties of all the others, and consists of their parts. Therefore, every Sefira consists of Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA, and Malchut, each of which in turn consists of five. In all, 5 x 5 x 5 = 125 Sefirot or steps of the ladder that separate us (the lowest) from the Creator (the highest).

The property of Bina herself is not to receive the Light of Hochma. Yet, in order to pass the Light of Hochma to ZA and Malchut, who desire to receive it for the Creator's sake, since receiving the Light of Hochma is the goal of creation, Bina allocates within herself a certain part called ZAT de Bina or YESHSUT, which receives the Light of Hochma from Partzuf Hochma and passes it to ZON. The main part, Bina herself, is called GAR de Bina. The part of Bina that receives the Light of Hochma is called ZAT de Bina.

Therefore, if Bina exits the Rosh and falls into the Guf, as it occurs in the second restriction, this has no effect on Bina herself, for she does not suffer from lack of the Light of Hochma whatsoever, as though she had never left the Rosh. This refers only to the Upper part of Bina, GAR de Bina, which has no desire for Hochma. This part is called AVI, and it spans from the Peh (mouth) down to the Chazeh (chest) of AA.

However, ZAT de Bina, which wants to receive Hochma for ZON, just as a mother who wants to receive for her children, feels the exit from the Rosh of AA to its Guf, for there it cannot receive the Light of Hochma, but only the Light of Ruach- Nefesh, VAK of the Light. This part of Bina is called YESHSUT, and it spans from the Chazeh down to Tabur of AA.

ZON of the world of Atzilut, which receive from YESHSUT, span from Tabur to the end of the feet of AA, on the Parsa. Thus, there are two Parsaot (plural for Parsa): one is in the world of Atzilut, separating the Sefirot of “bestowal” (GE) from the Sefirot of “reception” (AHP).This Parsa is located at the chest of AA. The second Parsa is located between Atzilut and BYA. However, we can also say that every Partzuf has its own Parsa, which separates the desires of bestowal from the desires of reception.

Although GAR de Bina are positioned below the Rosh of AA, they are considered not to have left it, as they do not feel it, that is, they do not want Hochma; they wish only to bestow, and he who wants only to bestow feels perfection wherever he is. All the Partzufim and their parts that have nothing to do with reception of Hochma (Keter, Hochma, and GAR de Bina) separate themselves with a Parsa from the remaining parts of the world of Atzilut that want Hochma (ZAT de Bina and ZON).

The “existence of the question” that The Zohar speaks of signifies the sensation of the lack of Light of Hochma, the desire for it. This is felt by ZON, which is why they raise MAN. MAN is a request of the lower one to receive the Light of Hochma from the Upper One for the Creator’s sake. It is called a “question,” for a question is similar to prayer or request. The Zohar tells us that the question exists only in YESHSUT, meaning that it receives MAN from below, from ZON.

And before that, it is said of YESHSUT: BARAH (from the word Beria = BAR), something that exists outside of its degree. What did it do? BARAH (created) ELEH (AHP, ZON). However, it created them as headless as itself. For the word BARAH (beyond) indicates the lack of a Rosh(Kelim of the world of Atzilut).

ZAT de Bina that wait for an “answer to their question,” for the Light of Hochma, are called MI. It is said BARAH in regards to them because they exited and descended independently from the level of the Rosh de AA to below its Chazeh. These are ZAT de Bina, called YESHSUT or MI, the “Highest Edge of Heaven,” for Heaven refers to ZA, who receives from YESHSUT. Malchut is called “earth.”

ZAT de Bina is called “firmament.”

ZA is called “Heaven.”

Malchut is called “earth.”

All that exists below YESHSUT (ZON and the worlds of BYA) receives from it. Hence, it is considered that YESHSUT revives the whole of creation: whatever it has, they will receive it, too. However, their MAN determines whether or not YESHSUT will have something to bestow upon them.

THERE LIES NO QUESTION in GAR de Bina (AVI). They do not receive MAN for the reception of Hochma, and they never feel any lack of Hochma, neither for themselves nor so as to give to others. Only ZAT de Bina or YESHSUT are created and exist for the question, for the reception of MAN (ZON’s plea). YESHSUT raises MAN that is received from ZON to the Rosh of AA and receives the Light of Hochma from there. YESHSUT is called the “Highest Edge of Heaven,” for ZA, called “Heaven,” receives from it.

8. But there is another one below, called MA. What is in common between this one and that one? The first one is concealed and is called MI. There exists a question in it for man to inquire and research in order to see and know all the degrees, down to the end of all degrees, which is Malchut. That is MA. What does MA mean? MA (what) do you know? What do you see? What do you research? After all, everything is initially concealed.

Being in a state of Zivug PBP with ZA, Malchut is also called MA (like ZA) and is considered the lowest edge of Heaven, for she concludes all the degrees and Atzilut. ZA, called “Heaven,” stands between Malchut (lowest edge of Heaven) and YESHSUT (Highest Edge of Heaven).

MAN MUST INQUIRE, SEE, RESEARCH – only if one who is below ZON raises MAN (his prayer) to ZON will they raise this MAN higher. For ZON themselves are corrected by the Light of Hassadim, and do not want to receive the Light of Hochma. And only if a request comes from below, from man, will ZON ascend to YESHSUT and ask for the Light of Hochma. YESHSUT proceeds to raise MAN to AVI, and AVI raise MAN to AA: AVI ascend to the Rosh of AA, where there is the Light of Hochma, where they make a Zivug on this Light.

A Zivug of AVI is called “Aba and Ima looking at each other.” To “look” means to receive the Light of Hochma (to “hear” means to receive the Light of Hassadim). As a result of AVI’s ascent to the Rosh of AA, Bina starts receiving Hochma for ZON. All the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut are corrected by the Light of Hassadim in such a way that they do not want to receive the Light of Hochma for themselves.

He who is able to raise his request (MAN) to compel ZON to ascend to YESHSUT, whereupon YESHSUT and AVI will ascend to the Rosh of AA together so as to receive the Light for him – such a person is not simply considered a mere “person,” but a “righteous”!

The request that one raises to ZON is called one’s “soul,” for a soul is a vessel, a desire filled with Light. However, the Light inside a vessel is determined by the desire. Hence, the spiritual desire, the intention to act for the Creator’s sake is called “a soul.” Naturally, if one does not yet have such an intention, he does not have a soul.

The spiritual world is a world of only desires without any corporeal shells. The reader must revise his ideas about the soul, body, connections between worlds, etc., and correct himself continually so as to properly interpret these categories.

So then, man’s corrected desires are called “the souls of the righteous.” These souls of the righteous ascend to ZON in the form of MAN and compel ZON to ascend to YESHSUT. The presence of ZON creates in YESHSUT adesire to receive the Light of Hochma. This compels YESHSUT(ZAT de Bina) to ascend to the Rosh of AA and there join with GAR de Bina (AVI) into one Partzuf. And then AVI(AB + SAG = AA + AVI) look at each other, exchange the Light ofHochma between them, and pass it down to ZON.

Without a request from below, AVI will be satisfied with the Light of Hassadim and will not “look” at one another. Only the request of their children (ZON) compels AVI to face each other (Panim be Panim) and make a Zivug. In this Zivug, Ima-Bina receives the Light of Hochma for the children, ZON, from Aba-Hochma.

However, this occurs BECAUSE MAN INQUIRED – man’s question signifies the raising of MAN so as to make AVI look at each other, make a Zivug together, and let Ima receive Hochma from Aba for the man that is elevating his soul. The descending Light of Hochma is called knowledge or wisdom (Daat), for ZON ascend to YESHSUT + AVI, and there stimulate a Zivug on the Light of Hochma, called “knowledge.” Hence, it is written in the Torah: “And Adam came to know his wife.”

Thus, to COME TO KNOW means to receive the Light of Hochma. ZON that stand in AVI and compel AVI to receive the Light of Hochma are called Daat (knowledge) or the SefiraDaat.

Yet, Daat is not an additional Sefira. There are only ten Sefirot. However, in order to designate the fact that ZON’s request for the light of Hochma is inside the ten Sefirot of Partzuf AVI, we say that AVI have a Sefira called Daat. In this case, instead of the regular count of Sefirot: KHB-HGT-NHYM, we count the Sefirot: HBD-HGT-NHYM. The SefiraKeter is omitted, and we only mention the Sefira Daat after Hochma-Aba and Bina-Ima. FROM ONE DEGREE TO ANOTHER signifies the passing of the Light of Hochma from the Sefira Daat of the degree of AVI to the degree of ZA. And TO THE END OF ALL DEGREES – from ZA to Malchut, which is called “the end of all degrees.”

When the Light is present in Nukva, she is called MA, and the Light that she passes to the lower ones is called 100 blessings. There are several states in Nukva, Malchut of the world of Atzilut. We need to know them, for all that we receive, we receive from her alone. In addition to all stages of growth from a point to a full Partzuf, a grown Malchut has two big states.

Malchut attains the first big state when she receives the Light of Neshama. This occurs when, due to her MAN, AVI ascend one degree from their permanent place to the Rosh of AA. However, although YESHSUT ascends from its permanent place between the chest (Chazeh) and the navel (Tabur) of AA to where AVI used to be (between the mouth and the chest of AA), it still remains clothed onto the Guf of AA, even though it merges into one Partzuf with AVI.

And since YESHSUT now clothes the place from the mouth (Peh) to the Chazeh of AA from the outside, YESHSUT becomes like the Rosh of AA, as it merged with AVI in the Rosh of AA as one Partzuf. Also, YESHSUT ascends from under the Parsa of Atzilut in the Chazeh of AA and stands above it, where the Rosh of AA shines.

That is why YESHSUT passes the Light of Hochma to ZA, and ZA passes it on to Malchut, who fills herself with this Light, called “100 blessings,” for, having received this Light, ZON can ascend to the permanent place of YESHSUT between the C hazeh and the Tabur of AA.

By ascending to this degree, Malchut becomes like Ima. In the spiritual world, the degree of a spiritual object determines all of its properties. Even in our world, the degree of man’s inner development alone determines his properties, thoughts, and desires. And since Ima equals 100, Malchut, too, is called “100,” so as to emphasize the fact that Malchut ascended to Bina of the world of Atzilut.

Now Malchut is similar to MI just as YESHSUT was prior to raising MAN and passing the Light. This is because she now clothes the place of the small state of YESHSUT from the Chazeh to the Tabur of AA, and stands under the Parsa of the world of Atzilut, below which the Light from the RoshdeAA cannot pass.

That is why Malchut gained no Light, for the sake of which she had raised MAN. Nevertheless, Malchut gains by receiving the properties of Ima-Bina, for she ascended to YESHSUT, called Ima.

Hence, the Light that Malchut received is only considered VAK of the Gadlut state, the first stateof Gadlut. Malchut will not be able to receive the GAR of Gadlut, the second Gadlut, the Light of Hochma(Haya), as long as she is under the Parsa of Atzilut in the Chazeh of AA. (How Malchut receives GAR of the Gadlut is explained in items 11 through 15 in the next article).

The Zohar calls Nukva that ascended to YESHSUT by the word MA (from the word Me’ah – 100), for by means of this ascent, Malchut gained the properties of Bina – 100 blessings. And she gained the sensation of the question – she feels that it has only VAK (a half, a part of the big state). Put differently, she feels the desire for its second half, GAR. Nevertheless, she gained a part of the big state, VAK of AVI.

Thus, Nukva became like YESHSUT before it raised MAN, but gained the properties of Bina, 100 blessings. And since this is VAK of the Light of the big state, she feels a deficiency (a question), just as YESHSUT felt prior to raising MAN – at its place, when YESHSUT was in the Katnut state. When it ascended to AVI, AVI ascended to AA, and ZON ascended to the place of YESHSUT. AVI shine from the Rosh of AA on the place of YESHSUT. ZON that stand there now feel the Light that they receive from AVI, and realize that this is merely a part of the Light, which generates another question within them.

9.This is the secret defined by the word MA: WHAT do you testify and WHAT is equal to you? When the Temple was destroyed, a voice came forth and said, “What (MA) shall I indicate to you, and what (MA) shall I equate to you?” (Eicha,2:13). However, here MA means, “What is the covenant, testimony, what ( MA) is equal to you?” For every day testifies to you the days of past, as it is said: “This day I call onto Heaven and earth to witness for you” (Devarim, 30:19). WHAT is equal to you? It is said: “I adorned you with holy adornments and made you ruler of the world.” And it is said: “Is this the city that men called the quintessence of beauty?” (Eicha,2:15). I have called you, “Jerusalem, a city rebuilt by me” (Tehilim,122:3). “What shall I equate to you?” (Eicha, 2:13). Just as you sit here, so He sits Above in Supernal Jerusalem. Just as the holy nation does not enter into you, so I swear to you that I will not enter Above until I enter you down below. And this is your consolation – that I will equate you with this degree, with Supernal Jerusalem, which is the Supernal Malchut (Hebrew – Kingdom) that rules over all. But for now you are here, and “Your misery is great, like the sea” (Eicha, 2:13). And if you say that there is no existence or salvation for you, then WHO (MI) shall heal you (not Who? with a question mark, but the Upper Force called WHO is what will heal you), that is, that same concealed Upper Degree, which is called MI, Bina that revives all,shall heal and revive you.

In other words, MA and MI, besides being translated as WHAT and WHO, also designate the names of spiritual objects that perform actions described in The Zohar. The destruction of the Temple was the consequence of Israel’s transgression of egoistic reception, because they did not want to raise MAN for the Zivug of ZON, and instead wished to receive the Light into the impure forces, their egoistic desires, called “other gods” (Elokim Acherim). There is only one Creator.

There is but one property for the Creator, and we know it – the property of bestowal. Drawing closer to this property is defined as working “for the Creator’s sake.” Any other desire can only mean distancing from this property and from the Creator, for except for this property or its opposite (rather, its absence), nothing else exists in creation. Hence, man’s inner movement towards the property of “reception” pushes him away from the Creator, and is therefore called “worshipping other gods.” As a result, ZON stopped their Zivug, the 100 blessings disappeared from Nukva, and the Temple was ruined.

The FirstTemple – Malchut ascended to AVI and there receives the Light of Haya. Its ruin is the fall of Malchut to the level of reception of the Light GAR de Ruach.

The SecondTemple is Malchut’s ascension to YESHSUT and the reception of the Light of Neshama. In its ruin, Malchut fell to the level of reception of the Light of Nefesh in her SefiraKeter, while the other nine Sefirot fall below the Parsa. Such a state is called Galut – exile from the spiritual, from the world of Atzilut. The single Sefira Malchut in the world of Atzilut remains as a point below the Sefira Yesod of ZA.

ZA is called “six days” and Malchut is called Shabbat (Saturday). Yet, is Malchut really bigger than ZA, as Shabbat is bigger (higher) than weekdays? The worlds of BYA, including our world, receive the Light, their life-force, from Malchut. The “six weekdays” are a state of ZON when ZA and Malchut are unconnected to one another. Shabbat is a state of ZON when Malchut joins with ZA, a Zivug takes place between them, and Malchut receives the Light from ZA and passes it on to the whole world.

Since the state of Malchut when she passes the Light received from ZA down to the world is important to us, by measuring our states in accordance with what we receive from Malchut, we define the extent of maximal reception as Shabbat. (Naturally, this has nothing to do with our calendar: weekdays and Shabbat are spiritual states that transcend time).

AND A VOICE CAME FORTH AND SAID: “EACH AND EVERY DAY MY COVENANT HAS BEEN IN YOU SINCE THE DAYS OF PAST” – here, The Zohar speaks of the Light of VAK that ZON receive in the state of Gadlut, which Nukva receives as MA. This Light is called “the past days” (Yamim Kadmonim). Therefore, it is written in the Torah (Devarim, 4:32): “Ask now of the past days, which were before you, since the day the Creator created man, from one edge of Heaven unto the other, whether there has been any such thing as great as this?...”

The Light of VAK of the Gadlut state is called in ZON “the past days,” for it is VAK of AVI. YESHSUT is ZAT of AVI. ZAT is an abbreviation of the words Zayin (7), and Tachtonot (lower, meaning the lower Sefirot). ZAT of AVI, meaning the seven Sefirot of Partzuf AVI, is YESHSUT. These Zayin are seven days, the seven primary Sefirot of AVI with regard to Zayin, the seven days or the seven Sefirot of ZON.

Hence, it is written, “MY COVENANT EACH AND EVERY DAY BY HEAVEN AND EARTH” (Devarim, 4:26). These words of the Torah speak of the Zivug of ZON called “Heaven” ( ZA) and “earth” ( Nukva). “The past days” or “Supernal Days” constitute YESHSUT, and “the low days” or “the present days” are ZON.

In this sentence, the Creator cautions that the Zivug of ZON needs to be constantly realized and maintained. Otherwise, the Creator warns that “you will disappear from the earth.” And this is the meaning of the Creator’s warning about the 100 blessings: they should be guarded and constantly created.

For these 100 blessings that Nukva receives from ZA every day in the Zivug of MA between them take place during the ascent of ZON to YESHSUT, when ZA becomes like YeshS (Israel-Saba) and Nukva becomes like T (Tvunah).YESHSUT stands for Israel- Saba and Tvunah. And then, the Light that Nukva receives from ZA becomes 100 blessings, like the light in Tvunah.

It is said about it, “the city that united with her,” for Nukva, called “city,” merged with Tvunah, and Nukva became like Tvunah. And Nukva receives in Tvunah the Light of Tvunah, called “holy adornments,” and then, like a crown of beauty, she surrounds the earth and receives power over the earth.

However, as a result of Israel’s transgressions (the rise of impure desires over the pure ones), the Temple is ruined (the Light disappeared), and Israel is banished from its land (fell to lower degrees). This led to the distancing of Nukva (all creatures) from ZA (the Creator), for the lower nine Sefirot (desires) of Nukva fell to the impure forces (became egoistic). In other words, the nine pure, altruistic desires (forces) lost their screen and became egoistic, and Nukva herself turned into a point that stands below the SefiraYesod of ZA.

Hence, it is written: “WHO SHALL REBUILD YOU AND HEAL YOU” – if the sons of Israel return in their aspirations to the Creator (to altruism), called “the return,” correct their deeds (desires), and raise their prayers (MAN) for help in their correction to the Creator in ZON, they will once more be able to receive the Upper Light in ZON, Nukva will rise again to YESHSUT, called MI, and will be healed thereby (the Upper Light will enter Malchut, the souls, and will impart its properties onto them).

10. MI – WHO sets the boundary of Heaven Above – YESHSUT. MA – WHAT sets the boundary of Heaven below – ZA and Malchut. And this is what Yaakov inherited, as he is ZA that shines from end to end. From one boundary, which is MI, to the other boundary, which is MA. For he, Yaakov, stands in the middle, between YESHSUT and Malchut. Hence, it is said, MI BARAH ELEH: MI is YESHSUT, BARAH means created, and ELEH stands for ZA and Malchut.

Actually, it should rather be written, “from the beginning, i.e., from the Height of Heaven down to its end (lowest point) below.” Yet it says, “from the boundary of Heaven.” MI is YESHSUT that upholds everything with its question, the desire to receive the Light for ZON. MA is Nukva. Before Nukva raises MAN, she is the very last degree, standing below the Chazeh of ZA. Between YESHSUT and Nukva stands Yaakov – ZA that clothes AA from Tabur to Malchut of AA.

Arich Anpin is the central Partzuf in the world of Atzilut. Since Atik is unattainable, everything comes from AA, and all the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut clothe it (receive from it): Rosh de AA towers over all, and no one can clothe it, meaning no one can attain its thoughts and reasons for its actions.

The next Partzuf is AVI. AVI clothe (attain) AA from Peh to Chazeh. Below AVI stands Partzuf YESHSUT, clothing AA from Chazeh to Tabur. ZA stands below YESHSUT and clothes AA from Tabur downwards. Partzuf ZA is incomplete, as he has only six Sefirot HBD-HGT or VAK; he is in the Katnut state, ending with his Sefira Tifferet (his Chazeh).

Nukva(Malchut) stands below ZA, or parallel to his last Sefira Tifferet (the Chazeh of ZA). She has only one Sefira Keter, whereas her nine other Sefirot fell below the Parsa to the worlds BYA. The entire world of Atzilut ends at the Chazeh of ZA, where the single Sefira of Malchut stands, who is therefore called a point.

In our world, there is desire and its physical manifestation – action. For example, one wants to receive something, but he does not allow himself to perform the physical act of taking. Meanwhile, his desire to take remains the same. In the spiritual world, there are no bodies, only bare desires. Therefore, the desire itself already constitutes action, like an already completed mental and physical action in our world. Therefore, the desire alone determines man’s spiritual state.

Just imagine what it would be like if in our world we judged a person not by his actions, but by his desires! It is terrifying to think how distant we are from spiritual demands. However, our desires are determined by our spiritual degree. And The Zohar explains that only by raising MAN (the request for correction) can we attract onto us the flow of Upper Light, which will correct and elevate us to a Higher Degree. And we will immediately begin to think and desire whatever that degree will evoke within us.

Therefore, our task is to attain the desire for correction. To this end, we need a “question,” perception of our state as intolerable. This is called the realization of evil, i.e., that our egoism is evil, that it brings me harm by severing me from the spiritual.

However, in order for this to happen, we need to come to sense at least a little bit of what the spiritual is and how good it is. Evil can only be realized in contrast with good. Yet, how can we sense the spiritual if we have yet to escape egoism? In what Kelim (desires) can we sense this? Even though we lack corrected desires, and therefore cannot sense the spiritual, as a result of studying Kabbalah, one begins to sense the surrounding Light, which bestows onto him the desire for the spiritual (See “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” item 155).

The desire of one who physically exists in our world, but spiritually exists in the worlds of BYA – is a desire to enjoy the Light. However, opposite these desires one has an “anti-desire,” a screen, which neutralizes his innate will to receive pleasure.

A screen is created (appears, emerges, born) within the Kli (desire, man) as a result of man’s sensation of the spiritual Light (the Creator). Therefore, all our requests (prayers, MAN, “questions”) should be about one thing only: for the Creator to grant us the strength necessary to ascend spiritually, to transform our desires or, as Kabbalah defines it, to acquire a screen. It is impossible to annul one’s will to receive pleasure. The Creator created it, and it is His only creation. All we can do is acquire a screen (counterbalance) on it, thereby ascending above creation (egoism), and become similar to the Creator! And to the extent of this similarity, to merge with him.

Thus, Partzuf Yaakov stands from MI (YESHSUT) to MA (Malchut), from end to end. However, what is referred to here is the state of ZON, when they ascend to YESHSUT and receive the Light of its degree.

The entire spiritual distance from us to the Creator is divided into 125 invisible degrees, all of them named. These degrees differ from one another only by the magnitude of their screen on man’s egoistic desires. Man receives the Light in his corrected, altruistic desires. The volume of the received Light depends on the screen’s magnitude (the size of the desire’s corrected part).

Every degree is characterized by a particular sensation of the Creator, and this sensation is called Light. Hence, we can designate the spiritual state of the Kli (man) in the spiritual world by the name of its degree or the name of the Light it receives, as every degree has its own particular Light. These gradations of the sensation of the Creator are precisely what we call spiritual degrees.

That is why, having ascended to a degree called YESHSUT, ZON receive the Light of YESHSUT, although Partzuf YESHSUT itself ascended, accordingly, to a Higher Degree, and there receives the Light of that degree, called AVI. In turn, AVI ascend to a degree called AA, where theyreceive the Light of AA. We call degrees by the names of the Partzufim that abide there in their usual, lowest state. Such a state is called permanent.

Even though by ascending to a Higher Degree, the lower Partzuf receives the Light of that degree, which changes its properties, the Partzuf remains itself nonetheless, just as a person who acquires new properties remains a person, though now one of another level. Therefore, when it is said, “having ascended to the Upper One, the lower one becomes like him,” it implies a change only in the inner properties of man (or Partzuf), but not in his identity.

Upon ascending to YESHSUT, ZA receives greater Light, for an ascent in the spiritual world signifies an increase in the magnitude of a screen, and, accordingly, reception of greater Light. That is to say, ZA himself grew, but did not turn into YESHSUT:previously, at his own place, he had only the Light Ruach- Nefesh, but upon ascending and acquiring a screen, he receives the Light of Neshama as well.

Therefore, all the places between us and the Creator are established, and the Partzufim that are there “stand” on them in their permanent place. However, all the Partzufim and the worlds can ascend relative to their permanent, lowest states by one, two, or three degrees. In its lowest state, a Partzuf has only GE and no AHP, and only the Light of Nefesh-Ruach.

By receiving the Light of correction from Above, the Partzuf can gradually correct its AHP: it corrects the Sefira Bina and receives the Light of Neshama, which designates an ascent of one degree. After that, the Partzuf corrects the Sefira ZA, and receives the Light of Haya, which designates an ascent to another degree, i.e., already two degrees. And after that, it corrects Sefira Malchut and receives the Light of Yechida, which designates an ascent to yet another degree, a third one.

However, the new Light does not enter the just corrected Kli (Sefira), but comes from Above and enters through the Sefira Keter.

Man’s spiritual ascent can be the consequence of two factors:

An awakening of a desire from Above, called “special days” – holidays, new moons, Sabbaths. This kind of an ascent is called “an awakening from Above,” and leads to the general ascent of all the worlds ABYA, and, consequently, of all that inhabits them.

Man’s efforts in his studies and inner work, his prayer to merit the Creator personally giving him the strength to ascend to a Higher Degree.

Moreover, such an ascent is not limited to only three degrees, but can elevate man along all 125 degrees to the Creator Himself. Ascension to the Highest Degree is precisely the purpose for which man was created. He must accomplish this task while still living in this world. And until he attains this goal, he will have to return to this world again and again.

Although ZON are called “the last days,” upon ascending and receiving the Light of YESHSUT, they receive the name “the days past or first days.” In this instance, one boundary of Heaven (Malchut or MA) ascends and clothes the other boundary of Heaven (YESHSUT or MI).MA and MI merge in one, and The Zohar emphasizes that fact. AND KNOW:

MI = WHO

BARAH = CREATED

ELEH = THIS

MI is YESHSUT that stands in the place of Bina de AA, from Chazeh to Tabur de AA. And although only Kelim of GE (vessels of bestowal) are present in the world of Atzilut, there are Partzufim among them that wish only to “bestow”: Atik, AA, AVI, and those that want to receive for the sake of bestowal, so as to pass the Light on to YESHSUT and ZON.

YESHSUT and ZON want to receive the Light so as to pass it to the souls of the righteous, the people who seek correction. Hence, within the world of Atzilut there is a division into two types of KelimGE and AHP. They are separated from each other by the Parsa of the world of Atzilut that stands in the Chazeh of AA.

The Light from the Rosh de AA does not pass below the Parsa of the world of Atzilut. Therefore, YESHSUT in its permanent state, or ZON, when they ascend to YESHSUT, cannot receive the Light of RoshdeAA. This is why they have the desire to receive the Light of Hochma, called “question.” The question (desire to receive the Light of Hochma) therefore amounts to MI (YESHSUT, the Light of YESHSUT), which is BARAH (beyond ELEHZON), and upon their ascent, ZON do not receive the Light of Hochma, as they are outside the Rosh of AA, outside of the Light of Hochma, but with a question (a desire for it). This enables them to continue their ascent.

Who Created These (by Eliyahu)

11. Rabbi Shimon said: “Elazar, my son, reveal the supernal secret, which the dwellers of this world know nothing about.” Rabbi Elazar was silent. Rabbi Shimon wept and paused for a moment, and then said: “Elazar, what is ELEH? If you say that they are like the stars and the signs of the zodiac (destiny), are they not always visible (unlike the changeable signs of destiny)? And in MA, that is in Malchut, they were created as it is written, ‘By the word of the Creator were the Heavens made’ (Tehilim, 33:6), meaning that the Heavens were made by Malchut, called the Creator’s word. And if ELEH speak of the hidden secrets, then there would be no need to write ELEH, as the stars and the signs of destinies are visible to all (the word ELEH (THIS) tells us that something is clear).

Rabbi Elazar did not reveal the reception of the Light of the first Gadlut state (Ohr Neshama), and Rabbi Shimon wished to reveal the way to receive the Light of the second Gadlut state (Ohr Haya). Therefore, he asked Rabbi Elazar to speak and to reveal the way to attain Ohr Neshama, which is concealed from people by a supernal secret, for this Light has not yet been revealed in the world, and Rabbi Shimon reveals it here.

The fact is that, although there were righteous who attained the Light of Haya, there was no one among them who could explain the path of its attainment in detail, no one who could reveal it to the entire world. This is so because to understand means to attain, to ascend to that degree, which depends only on man’s efforts. While there were many people throughout the generations who attained the degree of ELEH, revealing it to the world requires an even greater degree, and a special permission by the Creator (See the article The Conditions for Disclosing the Secrets of the Wisdom of Kabbalah).

Rabbi Shimon asked him what ELEH means, what new things is the Torah telling us with the words, MI BARAH ELEH (WHO CREATED THESE), where the word ELEH designates ZON? After all, if it speaks of the stars and the signs of the zodiac – luck, which signify the Light of VAK of the big state, then what is so special about it? After all, ZON can receive this Light even on weekdays. There is nothing so extraordinary in this to mention MI – WHO CREATED THIS separately.

(One might say that this Light is constant, for only the Light of VAK is constantly present in ZON, but not GAR. And only as a result of MAN does ZON receive the Light of VAK of the big state, the Light of Neshama. The answer lies in that this Light can be received at any time, even on weekdays during the morning prayer. However, he still does not understand why these were created in MA. After all, Light refers not to Bina, but to the ZON of the world of Atzilut, called MA, and exits them, as is written BY THE WORD OF THE CREATOR, where the Creator is ZA and His word is Malchut.)

12. However, this secret was revealed on another day, when I was on the seashore. The prophet Eliyahu came to me and said: “Rabbi, do you know the meaningof MI BARAH ELEH – WHO HAS CREATED THESE?” I answered: “These are the Heavens and its forces, the works of the Creator, looking at which, people should bless Him, as it is said, ‘When I behold Your Heavens, the work of Your hands’ (Tehilim, 8:4), and ‘O LORD! Our Lord! How glorious is Your name throughout all the earth!’” (Tehilim, 8:10).

13. He replied to me: “Rabbi, the Creator took the concealed and revealed it to the Celestial Council. And here it is: When the most Concealed of all that are Concealed desired to reveal Himself, He first made a single point, which is Malchut, and it ascended to His Thought, that is, into Bina,meaning that Malchut ascended and merged with Bina. In her, He shaped all the creatures, and in her confirmed all the laws.

Atik is the first Partzuf and the Rosh of the world of Atzilut. And it is called the most concealed and secret of all the Partzufim, and its name – Atik (from the word Ne’etak – isolated, unattainable) testifies to that fact. No one can attain this Partzuf in itself, its properties, but we can attain it the way it appears to us: Atik deliberately diminishes and changes itself in such a way that the lower ones could attain the outer form (its properties) in which it appears to them, but not Atik itself.

In the words of The Zohar, when Atik wished to reveal itself to the worlds, although it is a Partzuf that acts according to the laws of the first restriction, it “clothed itself in the garments” (an external Partzuf that acts according to the laws of the second restriction) with regard to the lower ones so as to enable them to perceive and attain it.

There is an enormous difference between the properties of the sensory organs that perceive sensations of the first and the second restrictions. Just as man in our world is born without sensory organs that can perceive spiritual worlds, which is why he cannot sense them, so is the Partzuf that is corrected for the conditions of spiritual work at the level of the second restriction unable to accept (perceive) the Light that descends according to the law of the first restriction. A similar distinction exists between Partzuf Atik and the other Partzufim of the world of Atzilut and the worlds of BYA.

To be connected to the lower ones, Atik elevated Malchut de Rosh de AA within the Rosh of the lower-standing AA up to the Sefira Hochma. As a result, Sefirot Bina and ZON de Rosh de AA fell from the Rosh of AA to its Guf. After all, Malchut ascended from the Peh to the Eynaim and stood in the Rosh at place of Bina, whereas Bina and ZON exited the Rosh. The Guf (body) begins after Malchut de Rosh (after the decision on how to act), wherever it may be.

Here is how one should understand this: the Sefirot of the Rosh are the thoughts and desires with regards to which the Partzuf, man’s inner properties (man himself) makes the decisions as to how they can be used in order to advance as much as possible toward the goal of creation. The fact that Sefirot Bina and ZON exited the Rosh of AA means that Partzuf AA cannot make any decisions with regard to them for lack of a screen on them. This is why they fell into the Guf, outside the Rosh.

Hence, their remaining role is only to receive the Light from the Rosh, just as it is received by all the Sefirot of the Guf. In other words, they receive the Light that is accepted by the screen of Sefirot Keter and Hochma that remained in the Rosh. Man deliberately restricts the use of his desires, and uses only those desires with which he can work for the Creator’s sake.

Therefore, when Malchut ascended and stood under the Sefira Hochma, Hochma became like the male part (bestowing, fulfilling), and Malchut became like the female (receiving) part of the Rosh. And since Malchut took the place of Bina (called “thought”), Malchut assumed the name “thought,” since now it’s Malchut that makes a Zivug and receives Ohr Hochma.

A Partzuf that receives from Hochma is defined as Bina, and not Malchut. Therefore, although Malchut herself is merely a black point (egoistic creature), as a result of her ascent, she becomes Bina, i.e., Malchut acquires Bina’s properties. Hence, Malchut is now called Bina or “thought.”

The Zohar calls a “thought” either to Hochma or to Bina. The difference is that a thought is something that is received from Hochma. Hence, Bina is called a thought only if she is in the Rosh and receives the Light from Hochma. In the first restriction, Bina always receives from Hochma, and is called “thought.” However, in the second restriction, Malchut ascended above Bina and started receiving from Hochma. That is why it is Malchut that is now called “thought,” and not Bina.

All the Partzufim of the worlds of ABYA are created by this ascent of Malchut to Bina.Therefore, it is written: “IN HER HE SHAPED ALL HE CREATURES, AND IN HER CONFIRMED ALL THE LAWS” – Sefirot Keter and Hochma remained in the Rosh of each Partzuf, and a Zivug was made on these two Sefirot. This is why the Light received in Guf of the Partzuf consists of only two Lights, Nefesh and Ruach.

Previously, Malchut stood in Peh de Rosh and the Rosh (the part of the Partzuf in which it calculated how much Light it can receive for the Creator’s sake) ended there. Then, the Partzuf would receive that Light from the Rosh to the Guf, between the Peh and the Tabur.

But now Malchut ascended to Eynaim de Rosh and stands under them. This is known as the ascent of Malchut to NE(Nikvey Eynaim – pupils of the eyes), which are called NE precisely because Nikvey Eynaim means Malchut of the eyes. Prior to Malchut’s ascent to the Eynaim, it was as though there were no pupils (NE). It is worth noting that only in Malchut (desire) can we feel what surrounds us (the Creator, Light). This is why all of our sensory organs are designed as apertures: Nekev (orifice), Nukva, Malchut in the eyes, Awznaim (ears), Hotem (nose) and Peh (mouth).

Only he who can create desires that work according to the principle of the second restriction through his own strength and effort, and put Malchut after Keter-Hochma (think in terms of “bestowal”), can start perceiving through this corrected spiritual sensory organ. Wherever there is a screen, it constitutes that sensory organ with which one can perceive the Upper Light.

Upon her ascent, Malchut stood under Hochma and made a Zivug on her own screen, on Sefirot Keter-Hochma (GE). Sefirot Bina-ZA-Malchut (AHP) are located below the Rosh, in the Guf of the Partzuf, and passively receive the Light from the Rosh. This leads to a division of the ten Sefirot of the Guf, KHB-ZA-M, in the same way the ten Sefirot of the Rosh were divided: Sefirot K-H of the Guf continue receiving from K-H of the Rosh, and Sefirot B-ZA-M of the Guf, being unable to receive from the Rosh, start receiving from K-H of the Guf, like the Sefirot below the Tabur of the Partzuf.

As is well-known, every Partzuf consists of a Rosh, a Guf, and extremities. The Rosh decides how much Light the Guf can receive for the Creator’s sake, in accordance with the magnitude of the screen that reflects the Light (pleasure). The decision to accept this Light causes the Light to descend through the screen, from the Rosh to the Guf, filling it from the Peh down to the Tabur. Each Sefira of the Rosh fills its corresponding Sefira in the Guf.

If there are only two Sefirot K-H in the Rosh, then only the two Sefirot K-H remain in the Guf. This is because only they can receive from the corresponding Sefirot in the Rosh. Sefirot B-ZA-M of the Rosh receive the same Light as Sefirot K-H of the Guf, which means that they are located under the screen (Malchut that ascends and stands under Hochma de Rosh). Thus, the Guf contains K-H that receive, accordingly, the Lights Ruach-Nefesh, and AHP of the Rosh that receive these two Lights of Ruach-Nefesh, too.

B-ZA-M (AHP) of the Guf cannot receive the Light from the Rosh, as their corresponding Sefirot B-ZA-M of the Rosh do not participate in a Zivug, since they lack the strength of the screen sufficient to reflect the egoistic desires of AHP de Rosh so as to receive for the Creator’s sake. In other words, since there are no AHP in the Rosh, there are also no AHP in the Guf. And since AHP de Guf receive no Light from AHP de Rosh, they are like the extremities – the end of a Partzuf, below its Tabur. Hence, at the end of a Partzuf, below Tabur, there are GE of Raglaim (feet) and AHP de Guf, which fell there. And AHP of Raglaim are not parts of a Partzuf whatsoever, as they are located at a lower degree.

The Light that cannot be received by the Partzuf remains outside, surrounding it, and waits until the Partzuf acquires the strength to receive it. It is called “Surrounding Light,” and it corresponds to the desires that do not take part in a Zivug, those desires that are still uncorrected and lack a screen.

If, previously, before the second restriction, Malchut (the last Sefira of the Guf) was in Tabur, now, when only two Sefirot K-H remain in the Guf, Malchut de Guf, too, ascends to Bina de Guf, called Chazeh. Therefore, when Malchut ascends to Bina de Rosh, the entire Partzuf “diminishes” in size: the Rosh reaches only up to the Eynaim, the Guf only to the Chazeh, and the Raglaim only to Tabur. And that is why this state of the Partzuf is called “the state of Katnut.”

However, if the Partzuf receives new strength from Above, acquires a Masach (screen), it will be able to resolve to accept the Light for the Creator’s sake in its AHP, then AHP de Rosh will rise again from the Guf to the Rosh, and complete the Rosh to ten Sefirot, while the Sefirot of AHP de Guf will ascend from the Raglaim back to their place in order to receive additional Light. And then Rosh, Guf, and Raglaim will all contain ten Sefirot. This state of the Partzuf is called “the state of Gadlut.”

In the language of The Zohar, the restriction of a Partzuf, its transition from the Gadlut state to the Katnut state is described as a division of each part of the Partzuf (Rosh, Guf, and Raglaim) into GE (MI) and AHP (ELEH). All ten Sefirot are called by the Creator’s name Elokim, which consists of the letters ELEH-IM, that are further divided into MIGEK-H and ELEHB-ZA-M. When in Katnut, only Sefirot ELEH maintain their degree, whereas Sefirot IM fall to a lower degree. The word Elokim is read from below upwards, the way they are attained by man.

“IN HER HE SHAPED ALL THE CREATURES, AND IN HER CONFIRMED ALL THE LAWS” – alludes to the division of each degree into two parts; their new form signifies the division into ELEH and MI, the separation of the Kelim (desires) of “bestowal” and “reception,” where, due to the lack of strength to oppose one’s nature (egoism), part of the Sefirot (desires) remain unused, outside of their degree. Accordingly, their Light remains outside as Ohr Makif (Surrounding Light), and waits until the Partzuf acquires additional strength to become big and thus receive all the Light.

During the 6,000 years, our entire correction transpires only according to the laws of Tzimtzum Bet (second restriction). As soon as the Partzuf acquires new strength (Masach) to receive the Light selflessly in Sefirot/Kelim B-ZA-M (ELEH), it will immediately attach them to itself and receive in them the Lights Neshama-Haya-Yechida. And it will grow to become a big Partzuf consisting of five Kelim (ten Sefirot) with the five Lights of NRNHY.

14. He confirmed in the sacred and concealed candle (in Malchut that merged with Bina), a concealed image, the Holy of Holies, a secret structure that emerges from the thought, GAR that is called MI, which is the beginning of this structure. It stands and it does not stand; it is great and concealed in the name Elokim (ELEH and IM). It is called MI from the word Elokim, that is, it lacks the letters ELEH of the name Elokim. He desired to be revealed and called by the complete name Elokim, so He clothed Himself in a splendid shining garment, the Light of Hassadim. He created ELEH. The letters ELEH of the name Elokim ascended and combined with the letters MI and formed the complete name Elokim. And until He created ELEH, He did not rise (did not ascend) to the name Elokim. Hence, those who sinned by worshipping the Golden Calf alluded to this secret by saying, “ ELEH (this is) your God, Israel!” (Shemot, 32:4).

“ELEH (this is) your God, Israel!” – that is, these egoistic desires (ELEH) are your deity, which you must worship until you correct yourself. The use of ELEH is the reason for all transgressions and ruin: the breaking of the vessels (Kelim), the sin of Adam and the shattering of his soul into 600,000 pieces, worshipping the Golden Calf and the breaking of the Tablets by Moshe, the ruin of the First and SecondTemples, and so forth.

As a result of the lower ones raising MAN, meaning their request to receive the strength necessary to make a Zivug and receive Ohr Hochma for the Creator’s sake, there descends from Above the Light called MAD (Mayin Dechurin) – the force that enables the Kli to create a Masach capable of reflecting Light, thereby resisting its egoistic nature. This force comes in the form of Light, the sensation of the Creator’s greatness, and is referred to as the Light of AB-SAG, as it descends from the Partzufim Hochma (AB) and Bina (SAG) of the world of AK (Adam Kadmon).

If one ascends from the degree called “our world” to the worlds BYA, then wherever he may be in those worlds, his request for spiritual correction will rise through all the worlds and degrees up to Partzuf SAG. SAG turns to AB, receives the Light of Hochma from it, and passes it down to all the Partzufim along which MAN had ascended.

Since the entire world of AK exists in the first restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph) and above the second restriction (Tzimtzum Bet), the Light that comes from it provides the Kli that receives this Light with the strength to pass from the small state to the big one. In other words, the Light of AB-SAG enables the Kli to create a Masach, reflect the Light of Hochma, and receive it for the Creator’s sake. The Gadlut state is called “the holy of holies,” for being filled with the Light of GAR (“the holy of holies”) is utterly perfect.

The Light of AB-SAG first descends to the Rosh of Partzuf AA and lowers the point (Malchut) from the thought (Bina) back to its place in the Peh, where it was prior to Tzimtzum Bet. In consequence, the three Sefirot B-ZA-M rejoin the two Sefirot K-H and become five Sefirot in the Rosh, AHP (ELEH) ascend and join with GE (MI), and the Creator’s name Elokim is completed.

However, this does not mean that the Partzuf can be filled with the five Lights NRNHY; it merely acquires a Masach, the strength to receive the Light in all its ten Sefirot. Since only Ohr Hochma shines in AA, this Light cannot fill the elevated Kelim of ELEH, as they can only receive Ohr Hochma if it is clothed by Ohr Hassadim. Only the GAR of the Partzuf (K-H-B) can have pure Ohr Hochma; the ZAT of the Partzuf(Sefirot ZA-M) can only receive diminished Ohr Hochma – half-mixed with Ohr Hassadim. This is called the reception of Ohr Hochma in the middle line (consisting of half Hochma and half Hassadim).

Therefore, says The Zohar, THIS STRUCTURE STANDS AND IT DOES NOT STAND – even though all the Sefirot are already present in the Rosh, they still need to be filled with Light, meaning that Sefirot ELEH are not yet revealed in the name Elokim. Only the letters MI have so far been revealed (filled with the Light).

Hence, first, the Partzuf makes a Zivug on its Katnut state and receives Ohr Hassadim. Then, it clothes Ohr Hochma into PRECIOUS GARMENT (Ohr Hassadim).Only afterwards can the mixed Light of Hassadim and Hochma fill Sefirot ZAT (ELEH), and all five Sefirot will shine in perfection.

However, before MI gives Ohr Hassadim to ELEH so as to enable ELEH to receive Ohr Hochma in it, ELEH cannot receive Ohr Hochma, and only the Light of MI shines in the entire name Elokim. Further, The Zohar tells us that neglect of Ohr Hassadim (the intention for the Creator’s sake) is precisely what constitutes the entire transgression. And since they transgressed, i.e., neglected Ohr Hassadim, that is, since they did not wish to receive with the intention “for the Creator’s sake,” but desired only Ohr Hochma, they caused the separation of MI from ELEH. Hence, it is written, ELEH – THIS (the desires of reception and not MI, the desires of bestowal) IS YOUR LORD, ISRAEL – and the Light instantly passed to the impure forces.

The Torah does not tell us about the history of an ancient nation, but about the structure of the spiritual degrees that we must attain. To know the properties of these degrees (whose attainment is designated by the acquisition of their properties), Kabbalah explains to us how they were originally created by a gradual descent (spiritual coarsening) from the Creator Himself.

And in order to give us an opportunity to correct our egoism, the Creator mixed it with altruism at the very creation of the spiritual degrees. This kind of mixing of opposite properties is possible only through an “explosion,” since opposite properties cannot be combined otherwise. There were several such mixtures that occurred as a result of explosions (breaking of properties).

One of them is mentioned in the Torah (Shemot, 32:4), when, by worshiping the Golden Calf, the sons of Israel (the altruistic desires of “bestowal”) suddenly wished to receive the Light for themselves. Consequently, the Sefirot (Kelim) of GE and AHP mixed together, and the properties (desires) of GE penetrated AHP. Through these altruistic properties that are secretly concealed within a small, egoistic human being, it is possible to awaken him, to evoke in him an aspiration to ascend spiritually and to disregard this world.

Therefore, everything that is written in the Torah should not be perceived by us not as history, but as an instruction manual. All the actions described in the Torah are positive: all the devastations, including the ruin of the First and the Second Temples, wars, adultery and murder. We only need to realize what exactly the Torah is telling us. And one can understand it correctly only if he stops perceiving it as a collection of injunctions referring to the mechanical performance of Commandments.

15. Just as MI join ELEH into one name Elokim, when Hochma clothes itself in Hassadim, so is the name combined by this precious shining garment. The world exists thanks to this secret, as is written, “The world was created by mercy.” (Tehilim, 89:3). Then Eliyahu flew away, and I did not see him anymore. Yet, it is from him that I discovered that I stood upon the secret and its concealment. Rabbi Elazar approached with the others, and they bowed down before him. They wept and said, “If we have come into this world only to hear this – it is enough for us!”

Rabbi Shimon continues his explanation: There is only one law of reception of Ohr Hochma: Ohr Hochma can only be received if Ohr Hassadim clothes it beforehand. Just as this occurs in Partzuf Bina, called “the Upper World,” so does it occur in Partzuf Malchut (MA, Nukva of ZA), called “the lower world.” Malchut is typically referred to as BON, but when she joins ZA and receives the Light from him, she is called by his name – MA.

The Upper World, Bina of the world of Atzilut, desires only Hassadim, but the lower world, Malchut of the world of Atzilut, wants Hochma. However, Eliyahu the prophet spoke only of the order of Light and the structure of the name Elokim in AVI (Bina de Atzilut), whereas Rabbi Shimon continues his explanation in the next article and describes the structure and reception of Light in the name Elokim in Malchut de Atzilut herself.

The Mother Lends Her Clothes to Her Daughter

16. Heaven, Earth, and all that inhabit them were created by MA, which is Malchut, as it is said: “When I behold your Heavens, the work of your hands” (Tehilim, 8:4). And before this, it is said, “MA – WHAT (How) majestic Your name is throughout the earth, which You established above the Heavens” (Tehilim, 8:2). After all, the Heavens were created by the name (property) MA(Malchut). It is written “in the Heavens,” which refers to Bina, called MI, the Heavens that are above ZA. The explanation for this lies in the name Elokim. MA (Malchut) ascends and enters with her properties into Bina, i.e., connects into Bina, and receives her properties. Bina is called Elokim. After He CREATED LIGHT FOR LIGHT, meaning Ohr (Light) Hassadim (called “precious adornments or garments”) so as to clothe Ohr Hochma, Ohr Hassadim clothes Ohr Hochma, which signifies the creation of Light for Light; by the force of the Supernal Name Elokim (Bina), Malchut ascends, and, upon joining Bina, receives all of her properties, and includes herself in Bina. Therefore, BERESHEET BARAH ELOKIM (In the beginning the Creator created) refers to the Supernal Elokim, to Bina and not to Malchut. For MA (Malchut) is not created by the name MIELEH.

The lower world (Malchut, MA) receives the Light (marked from Above by the name Elokim) from Bina. This Light brings Malchut strength, and the properties suitable for the creation of Heaven, earth, and posterity manifest within her. After all, there cannot be any posterity or birth of new generations without the Light of Haya.

And this is what The Zohar tells us: so does the lower world (Malchut, MA) exist by the name Elokim, by the name from the Upper World, which is why there’s strength in Malchut (Ohr Hochma) to create generations. And if Malchut has Ohr Hochma, then the world can be created by her.

(Haya is one type of Ohr Hochma. There is one Light that the Creator emanates, or rather, the sensation of the Creator we refer to as Light. This sensation depends on the desires- Kelim in which we feel Him. And since there are only two types of desires- Kelim, those of “bestowal” and those of “reception,” there exist only two types of Light, Hassadim and Hochma. However, each of them includes several subtypes, and Ohr Haya constitutes a particular form of Ohr Hochma. This is because Hochma is the Light or pleasure that is felt by the will “to receive,” whereas Hassadim is the pleasure that is felt by the will “to bestow.” If only the Kelim of bestowal (GE) are present in the Partzuf, it is filled with Ohr Hassadim; and if it has the strength to receive for the Creator's sake, it is filled with Ohr Hochma.) (Do not confuse this with MA, which is used here, where MA = Malchut with ZA = MA in Gematria).

The Zohar explains that the Light descends from the name Elokim thanks to the merging of MI and ELEH. ZA is called “Heaven.” YESHSUT is above Heaven (ZA). There is no MI in Heaven (ZA), only MA. However, after Ohr Hassadim clothes Ohr Hochma (the Light ELEH = AHP clothes the Light of MA = GE), all the letters combine and ascend by the name Elokim above Heaven = ZA = MA to YESHSUT = Bina = MI.

MI (Bina) is above the second restriction, above its ban, as her properties are higher, better than those to which the restriction extends: the property of Bina is “not to receive anything,” which is why the ban of the second restriction – to not receive – simply does not apply to her, for in her essence, she has no desire to receive.

There remains only the ban of Tzimtzum Aleph, the restriction imposed on the reception of Light in Malchut herself (Malchut de Malchut), the central point of all creation, the only creating being. Malchut herself is egoistic, but if she has a Masach and only receives the Light by means of a Zivug de Hakaa (resistance to one’s own desire, only for the Creator’s sake) on the desires of bestowal, such reception does not occur in Malchut, but rather in the first nine Sefirot. Hence, Malchut can receive the Light in her first nine Sefirot.

In other words, if Malchut has the will (strength) to receive (enjoy) the Light (pleasure) not for herself, but only because the Creator so desires, then she receives only this amount of Light (pleasure). In order to receive the Light under such a condition, Malchut (man’s inclination to pleasure and enjoyment) must first reject all incoming pleasure, which Malchut perceives to be right there before her. This is referred to as the Light’s (pleasure's) impact against the screen and its reflection off the screen (the reflection of pleasure by force of will so as to not receive, in spite of the natural, primordial desire to receive pleasure).

The reflected pleasure is called Ohr Hassadim. Essentially, this is not a Light, but rather Malchut’s intention to receive only for the Creator’s sake. However, this intention is that necessary and sufficient condition for the subsequent reception of Ohr Hochma from the Creator. For after Malchut repelled all the Light (expressed her intention to not receive for her own sake), she thereby met the condition of Tzimtzum Aleph (first restriction) to only receive the Light of Hochma in the intention for the Creator’s sake, which is called Ohr Hozer (Returning Light) or Ohr Hassadim. And now she can receive Ohr Hochma, the pleasure that the Creator wants to bestow upon her.

However, by receiving this Light, Malchut is no more a mere recipient-creature. Now, like the Creator, she bestows pleasure upon Him! In this manner, the creature attains the degree of the Creator, becomes equal to Him in properties, for it wants to bestow everything. This is called “being filled with Ohr Hassadim.” Moreover, Malchut receives and enjoys, for if she does not feel pleasure, she will not please the Creator.

Therefore, Malchut receives, meaning she is filled with Ohr Hochma, full of wisdom and pleasure, from both bestowal and reception for the Creator’s sake. And herein lies the perfection of the Creator’s Creation: she becomes perfect and similar to the Creator. And this is the perfection of the Creator’s works: His creation can ascend to His level independently!

One can imagine one’s path from the lows of our world up to the ultimate spiritual peak – the Creator – as a passage through a suite of rooms. In all, between our state and the Creator there are 125 connected, walkthrough rooms. Each room has its own properties, and only those who possess the same properties can be there. If, regardless of reason, man changes his properties, he is automatically moved as though by an invisible current to a room that corresponds to his new properties.

This is how one can move between these rooms: an infinitesimal inner change of properties evokes influence of a spiritual force-field upon man, and he immediately moves to his new place of equilibrium, where his inner properties completely coincide with the external properties of the spiritual field. Hence, there are no guards at the rooms’ entrances/exits; as soon as man changes himself so as to match the properties of the next, higher room, he is automatically transferred there by the spiritual current or field.

What properties must one change in order to move from one room to another within this spiritual field? He only needs to alter the type of pleasure to which he aspires. We cannot help receiving pleasure, for such is the entire material of creation, it is all that was created. However, we can change the object of our aspirations, what it is that we wish to enjoy: either coarse reception, reception of mere necessities, or the Creator being pleased with us that we bestow to Him, that we receive because such is His wish.

Our “I,” the entity that feels pleasure is present in all of our desires, which change ceaselessly in terms of both magnitude and the desired object. This “I” never disappears. The only thing of which one should rid himself is the sensation that he does something to please this “I.” One should aspire to sense the desires of the Creator, how He is pleased with him (just as a mother is pleased with her son’s achievements).

After Malchut decides to receive only for the Creator’s sake, i.e., according to the force of her Masach (the force of resistance to her egoistic will to receive pleasure), she receives Ohr Hochma only in accordance with the magnitude of the Returning Light. Or, conversely, one may say that the magnitude of the Returning Light determines man’s willpower and his desire to act for the Creator’s sake.

However, the first nine of Malchut’s ten Sefirot are not egoistic, as they are the Creator’s properties with which He wishes to correct Malchut. Only the last Sefira of Malchut, Malchut herself, the single creation, called Malchut de Malchut, is egoistic and remains under the ban of the first restriction: Ohr Hochma does not enter where the will to receive pleasure is present. Therefore, the first nine Sefirot can receive the Light of Hochma.

However, after the second restriction , in order to correct Malchut and impart the properties of mercy (Hassadim) onto her so she would be able to desire to “bestow,” acquire the properties of Bina, and convert her initial, primordial egoism into altruism, Malchut ascended to Partzuf Aba, became Malchut in Partzuf Aba in Bina’s place, while Bina found herself below Malchut. Bina herself can receive Ohr Hochma without any restrictions, even when below Malchut. However, Bina adopted the limitations of Tzimtzum Bet for the sole purpose of correcting Malchut.

Therefore, due to the MAN raised by the lower ones, by man’s requests for spiritual correction, the Light AB-SAG descends and lowers Malchut from the level of Bina back to her own place: Malchut descends from Bina, and the Light of attainment and wisdom is revealed.

As a result of Malchut’s descent, Bina purifies herself from all restrictions and limitations and returns to receiving Ohr Hochma. And after the Ohr Hassadim clothes the Ohr Hochma, MI shines in ELEH and the name Elokim is revealed, meaning that Ohr Hochma shines.

The structure of the name Elokim cannot be found in MA, for the lower boundary of Heaven (Malchut herself) is limited by Tzimtzum Aleph – the ban imposed on the reception of Ohr Hochma, and by Tzimtzum Bet’s 6,000-year long prohibition on the usage of the desires of reception. Hence, The Zohar tells us that the name Elokim was created with MI, and not with MA, by the property received by Malchut upon her ascent to Bina.

17. But as the letters ELEH descend from Above, from Bina down to Malchut, for the mother temporarily lends her clothes to her daughter and adorns her with her own adornments, the name Elokim descends from Bina (mother) to Malchut (daughter). When does she adorn her with her own adornments? When she sees the male essence before her. It is then written of her, “Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord Creator” (Shemot, 34:23). For Malchut is then called by the male name “Master.” As it is written: “Behold the Ark of the Union, the Master of all the earth” (Yehoshua, 3:11). The Torah is the Union and the Ark is Malchut, called by the male name “Master.” For she received the Kelim (properties , desires) called “clothes,” and the Light called “adornments” from her mother, Bina. The letter Hey (A from MA) then leaves MA (Mem + Hey) and the letter Yod (I) enters in its stead, and just like Bina, Malchut assumes the name MI. And then she adorns herself with male clothes, with the clothes of Bina, to accept all the husbands of Israel.

As it is written (item 13), Tzimtzum Bet is in force from the Rosh of AA downwards, for Malchut of AA ascended to Bina and created all the lower Partzufim of the world of Atzilut in the property of Tzimtzum Bet. Thus, each Partzuf of AA, AVI and ZON has only two Sefirot K-H, and three Sefirot B-ZA-M separated themselves (their properties) from that degree, and moved to a lower one (their properties became equal to it). This is how B-ZA-M (AHP of Partzuf AA) fell to Sefirot K-H (GE) of Partzuf AVI, B-ZA-M (AHP of Partzuf AVI) fell to Sefirot K-H (GE) of Partzuf ZON, and B-ZA-M (AHP of Partzuf ZON) fell below Parsa to the worlds of BYA.

Sefirot K-H (GE) that remained in their degree in their Partzuf are called MI, and Sefirot B-ZA-M that separated (in their properties) and descended (by equivalence in properties) to a lower Partzuf are called ELEH.

BUT AS THE LETTERS ELEH DESCEND FROM ABOVE – when Malchut is expelled from Bina, the letters ELEH get detached from AVI and fall to ZON (a lower degree), and clothe themselves in ZON: ELEH of Aba (YESHS – Israel Saba) clothe ZA, and ELEH of Ima(Tvuna) clothe Malchut. Bina of the world of Atzilut is a complex Partzuf: her GE constitute AVI (two Partzufim), and her AHP have the name of a separate Partzuf YESHSUT, for they fulfill separate functions with regard to ZON: Bina: GE = MI =GE of Aba + MI = GE of Ima. ELEH = AHP of Aba = YESHS (Israel Saba) + T (Tvuna) = ELEH = AHP of Ima.

When Ohr Haya descends from Above (as a result of which Malchut descends from Bina’s level back to her own place), three Sefirot B-ZA-M thereby return to their degree, and correspondingly, Sefirot KHB (called the “holy of holies”) enter the now complete Partzuf consisting of five Sefirot. (Here, the Light is called by the name of the Sefirot it fills.) Previously, there was only Ohr Ruach- Nefesh in K-H, and now Ohr Neshama- Haya- Yechida was added to KHB, while Ruach- Nefesh descended to ZA-M.

However, when AHP of Rosh de AA (B-ZA-M of Rosh de AA) that fell to its Guf ascend (return from Guf to Rosh de AA), the Kelim of GE de AVI ascend along with them to Rosh de AA.(These are the Kelim of GE de AVI that were clothed in AHP de AA in their small state, when AHP de AA had fallen to GE de AVI.) Once there, the Kelim of GE de AVI receive the Light called “holy of holies” that shines in Rosh de AA.

The reason for this is that when the Upper One descends to the lower one, it becomes like the lower one. And when the lower one ascends to the Upper One it becomes like the Upper One. This is because no space or motion exist in the spiritual, and only a change of properties instantly and automatically moves a Partzuf or its part in spiritual space, closer (higher) to the Creator or farther away (lower) from Him. Therefore, spiritual ascent itself implies a change of properties of the lower one to those of the Upper One, and a descent of the Upper One signifies that its properties became equal to the properties of the degree to which it descended.

Hence, in Katnut, when Sefirot B-ZA-M = AHP de Rosh of Partzuf AA separate from its head and fall (move according to their now inferior properties) to its Guf, from Peh to Chazeh, where Partzuf AVI clothes Partzuf AA, they (B-ZA-M = ZON = AHP de Rosh of AA) become like AVI in their properties, without Ohr Hochma, and only with the Light of Bina, Hassadim.

That is why, in Gadlut, when B-ZA-M = AHP de AA return to the Rosh (the degree that is higher than Guf), they take with them GE of AVI, as they all became one degree while in Katnut. Therefore, in Gadlut, GE of AVI ascend from AHP de Rosh of AA to Rosh de AA and become equal to it (in their properties), where they receive the Light called “holy of holies” that shines in Rosh de AA.

ZON ascend to AVI in the same way: after AVI receive the Light in Rosh de AA, they acquire strength (screen), and lower Malchut from Bina back to her place in Malchut, thereby enabling their Sefirot B-ZA-M = AHP to return to their degree, AVI, as in AA. However, when the Kelim- Sefirot B-ZA-M = AHP de Bina that were inside K-H = GE de ZON ascend to AVI, they also take with them Sefirot of ZON, which they’ve clothed – K-H = GE de ZON. Thus, K-H = GE de ZON ascend to AVI and there receive the Light called “holy of holies,” the Light of Haya.

Therefore, it is written that Ima-MOTHER DESCENDS TO HER DAUGHTER TO DRESS AND ADORN HER: the letters ELEH or Ima (Bina) in her small state descend to Malchut. This means that THE MOTHER DESCENDS TO HER DAUGHTER, for the three Sefirot of Ima assumed the property of Malchut, thereby separating from Bina and becoming a part of Malchut. This is akin to Bina giving part of her Kelim to Malchut. Yet, this gift is temporary, as though Bina LENDS, GIVES (these Kelim) FOR TEMPORARY USE, and thus, Malchut uses them temporarily.

And then, Ima- Bina (mother) ADORNS HER DAUGHTER WITH HER ADORNMENTS. This is so because in Gadlut, when the three Sefirot ELEH return to Bina, Malchut ascends to the degree of Bina together with them, and there receives the Light of “holy of holies.” And since an ascent to Bina implies becoming like Bina (in properties), she now has the right to receive the same Light as Bina.

It turns out that, as a result of the mother lowering her Kelim (properties) ELEH to her daughter by intentionally assuming the properties (desires) of Malchut instead of her own properties (desires), thereby entering the small state and willingly diminishing herself, upon receiving the properties of Malchut instead of properties of Bina, mother Bina adorned her daughter Malchut with her adornments, meaning the Light that subsequently comes in the state of Gadlut: the Light of Bina entered Malchut. This is described as “Malchut received her adornments.”

There are two kinds of adornments that the daughter Malchut receives from her mother Bina: the first is Ohr Hochma (Ohr Haya, the Light of GAR), the Light of perfection, for it imparts the property of perfection to the Kli that it is filling, the Light that Malchut receives from Ima (Supernal Mother), who stands between Peh and Chazeh of Partzuf AA, above its Parsa. The second adornment is Ohr Neshama, which still designates imperfection, as it is received from the lower mother, Partzuf of Tvuna that stands between Chazeh and Tabur de AA, below its Parsa.

Naturally, to receive either Light, Malchut must ascend to the corresponding degree. In other words, she must change her properties so as to be able to receive, to merit that Light.

When Malchut ascends to Tvuna and receives her adornments from Tvuna, these adornments are still imperfect, for Malchut remains with a “question” (without the Light of Hochma), as Tvuna was before the raising of MAN. This means that to attain perfection, Malchut still needs to receive MAN from the lower ones, called the “husbands of Israel.” In this state, the lower ones, called the righteous or “the husbands of Israel,” receive the Light from ZA, which ascended to YESHS = Israel-Saba.

However, when Malchut ascends another degree, to the place of the Supernal Mother, Bina, above Chazeh de AA, and there receives her adornments from Ima and not from Tvuna, then these adornments are perfect, for they contain Ohr Haya; there is no more “question” in her, as she is considered a male, bestowing Kli, and the husbands of Israel receive from her.

And all the husbands of Israel appear before her and receive the Light from her. And Malchut is CALLED MASTER (Hebrew – Adon). The regular Malchut is called by the Creator’s female name Adonay (mistress) or ADNI, whereas in this state she is called by the male name Adon (master).

And this is because Malchut no longer has a question, for MAN is no longer raised within her, as she has reached perfection (Light of Haya)and is therefore called “husband” or master (Adon). Hence, the prophet said: “BEHOLD THE ARK OF THE COVENANT, THE MASTER (Adon) OF ALL THE EARTH” (Yehoshua, 3:11). Malchut is called the “Ark,” for ZA, who bestows upon her, is called the “Covenant.” The Zohar calls Malchut the “Master of all the earth” or “husband.”

As a result of the letter Hey in the word MA (Mem-Hey), signifying the female essence, leaving Malchut, for the letter Hey signifies the presence of a question in Malchut, i.e., the absence of Ohr Hochma, whereas Ohr Hochma brings absolute knowledge, all questions disappear, and with them the letter Hey. The letter Yod ascends to the place of Hey, and Malchut assumes the name MI as Ima, which signifies Malchut’s reception of the name Elokim, as the name Ima.

18. Israel receives the last letters (ELEH) from Above, from Bina down to that place, i.e., to Malchut, who is now called MI, just like the name Bina. I pronounce the letters ELEH and my whole soul weeps so as to receive these letters ELEH from Bina into the house of Elokim, which is Malchut. So that Malchut would be called Elokim, just as Bina is called Elokim. How can I receive them? “With joyous songs of praise sung in the voice of the Torah, and festive throngs” (Tehilim, 42:4). Rabbi Elazar said, “My silence has erected the Temple Above, which is Bina, and the Temple below, which is Malchut. Of course, as people say, ‘A word is worth a gold coin’ (Hebrew – Sela), but silence is worth two.” So the words “a word is worth a gold coin” mean that I spoke and came to regret it. Silence, my silence, is worth twice as much, for the two worlds, Bina and Malchut, were created by this silence. For had I not kept silent (see item 11), I would not have attained the unity of both worlds.”

After Hey has left MA and Yod ascended in her place, thereby forming MI, Israel elevates the LAST LETTERS ELEH to Malchut by raising MAN. As we’ve already explained, in Katnut, ELEH of the Upper One fell to GE of the lower one. Hence, they refer to the lower one in Gadlut as well. For when B-ZA-M = ELEH of the Upper One return to its Rosh, they thereby elevate GE of the lower one, too. The lower one thus acquires the ELEH of the Upper One and the Light with which they filled themselves in their present Gadlut.

To equalize with the lower one and enter the state of Katnut, the Upper One deliberately makes Tzimtzum Bet on its AHP. And upon connecting to the lower one, the Upper One returns to the state of Gadlut, and passes the Light to that part of the lower one which they’ve both occupied in the state of Katnut.

This scenario is similar to one when a good, strong person joins a company of wicked men, and connects with them by pretending to be like them. And when such contact is established between them, he begins to correct them, little by little, precisely through this connection that has formed between them beforehand.

Each Partzuf in the small state is divided into two parts: GE and AHP. However, since there is a “column” of Partzufim between our world and the Creator, there is a connection between them via the common parts of the upper and the lower ones. Precisely because there is a part of an Upper One in each lower one, the lower one can receive strength from Above, through this common property, and ascend independently up to the Creator Himself.

Each Upper One that falls to the lower one completes its Kelim to ten Sefirot: AHP fall to GE of the lower one, and together they make up ten Sefirot, since they stand at the same level. In turn, AHP of the lower one falls into GE of the next lower one, and so on.

Afterwards, in Gadlut, when GE of the Upper One receive the strength to attach their AHP to themselves and elevate them, GE of the lower one ascend together with AHP, as they were joined below. Therefore, upon ascending, GE of the lower one continue to be joined with AHP of the Upper One, and together they form a Partzuf of ten Sefirot.

I PRONOUNCE THE LETTERS ELEH: Israel (one who wishes to receive the properties of the Creator) raises MAN (prayer for it) to receive in Malchut the Light of Gadlut (for self-correction) with the help of the letters ELEH, Ima- Bina. This is achieved by praying near the Gates of Tears, after which no one ever returns empty-handed, that is, after raising MAN, ELEH descend from AVI to Malchut, the house of Elokim. This is because after receiving ELEH, Malchut herself receives the name Elokim, just like Ima.

A WORD IS WORTH A GOLD COIN, BUT SILENCE IS WORTH TWO: the words (spiritual action) of Rabbi Elazar (the spiritual Partzuf of that name) elevated Malchut to Tvuna, below Chazeh de AA, where there is still no Light of Hochma, which designates the presence of a question in Malchut, a request for Ohr Hochma. And this is called “gold” (Hebrew – Sela, a gold coin), for that is the name of Malchut.

However, Rabbi Elazar’s silence enabled Rabbi Shimon to reveal Ohr Haya by raising Malchut to the Supernal Mother, whereupon both worlds were simultaneously created, for the lower world, Malchut, was created together with the Upper World, Bina, of which The Zohar speaks: SILENCE IS WORTH TWICE (two worlds) AS MUCH.

19. Rabbi Shimon said, “From here on the perfection of the written is said to bring forth their host by number.” For these are two degrees, and each must be recorded, that is, noted: one is called MA and the other MI. MI is the Upper One, and MA is the lower one. The Upper Degree registers, speaks, and brings forth their hosts by number, where the letter Hey alludes to the one that is known and unequaled, namely MI. This is similar to the phrase, “HaMotzi Lechem” – He who brings forth bread from the earth (an appeal to the Creator), where the letter Hey refers to the knowledge of the known, lower degree, namely MA. And together they are one degree, Malchut. However, the Upper One is MI de Malchut and the lower one is MA de Malchut, the one that brings forth their host by number, for the number 600,000 refers to the number of stars that stand together, and they bring forth innumerable hosts.

The Zohar alludes to the words of the prophet (Yeshayahu, 40:26): “Raise your eyes to the height of Heavens and see: WHO HAS CREATED THESE (them) – MIBARAHELEH? He that brings out their host by number, He calls them all by name; no one shall be hidden from the greatness of His might and the force of His power.”

The word “recording” means “marked by the letter Hey,” for two degrees must be recorded in Malchut: MI and MA. With the help of the Light that is received at the time of ascent above Chazeh de AA to the Upper World, Malchut becomes like the upper world and assumes the name MI, for the letter Hey exits MA (Mem-Hey), and the letter Yod ascends to its place. Thus, Malchut is called MI, like the Upper World, and is adorned with the male property.

Nevertheless, MA, the previous degree of Malchut, does not disappear. The reason for this is that the degree of MI is essential in order to pass the Light, the perfection of the “holy of holies” to the generations, the posterity of Malchut, NRN of the righteous, the lower ones. However, the birth and procreation of these generations (sons) depend on the name MA. Hence, if either (MA or MI) is missing in Malchut, she will not be able to beget future generations, to create new souls (lower Partzufim filled with Light).

Therefore, Malchut BRINGS OUT THEIR HOST BY NUMBER – this is the degree of MI, which Malchut inherits from the Supernal Mother, for the letter Hey before the words “brings out” (Motzi= HaMotzi) alludes to the fact that Malchut contains the perfect Light, called “adornments,” which she receives from AVI. This is the maximal Light that may fill Malchut during the 6,000 years.

The same letter, Hey, designates the presence of the Light of YESHSUT, the degree of MA within Malchut. For this degree must also be recorded, be present in Malchut. And these two degrees, MI and MA, are present in Malchut: MI above and MA below.

The Zohar calls Malchut the “world being revealed.” That is to say, whatever Malchut reveals, the lower ones receive. Those individual attainments, individual sensations of the Light that descend from Malchut are what they call “their world.” Similarly, whatever we feel in our sensory organs is what we call “our world.” But this is nothing more than what we receive from Malchut of the lowest degree in the world of Assiya, Malchut of the previous degree.

However, we should know that the actual notion of “our world” indicates the true attainment of the degree called “our world,” i.e., man’s sensation of his ultimate disconnection from the Creator, total helplessness, and the realization of his absolute egoism. One can attain this sensation only if the spiritual Light shines on him from Above, in contrast to which he will see his true spiritual state. However, in order to reach such a state, one must make great efforts in the study of Kabbalah so as to draw upon himself the influence of the Surrounding Light (“Introduction to The Study of Ten Sefirot,” item 155).

However, when man attains this state, he immediately raises such a request to the Creator that his MAN is not left unanswered, and he receives the strength to transcend “our world” and ascend with his properties to a Higher Degree – Malchut of the world of Assiya. And then it is she that becomes his world.

Here we’re speaking about very high degrees. The Malchut that is being revealed is Malchut of the world of Atzilut, Nukva de ZA. And the fact that The Zohar calls her “Supernal” indicates the state of Malchut when she attains the degree of MI during her ascent and clothing the Upper World, the Supernal Mother. Therefore, Malchut herself is then called “Supernal,” and the degree of MA is, accordingly, called “lower.”

KNOWS ALL THE HOSTS BY NUMBER: number designates perfection. Light without a number indicates that the Light is imperfect, whereas the Light with a number is perfect. The action of ZA with regard to passing the Light from Bina to Malchut is described in the phrase: “THE HEAVENS TELL OF THE CREATOR’S GREATNESS.” THE HEAVENS (ZA) TELL (Hebrew – Mesaper, from the word Mispar – number, the Light’s perfection). ZA passes this Light from AVI to Malchut, called “THE CREATOR’S GREATNESS.”

This Light is called 600,000, for the degree of Malchut designates units, the degree of ZA – tens, the degree of YESHSUT – hundreds, the degree of AVI – thousands, the degree of AA – tens of thousands.

There are two parts in AVI: their own part, where they are regarded as thousands, and the part from Ohr Hochma that is received from Rosh de AA, where they are regarded as AA, that is, tens of thousands. However, they cannot be considered a complete degree of AA, but only as its VAK, for they clothe AA from the Peh down to the Chazeh. And since VAK = Vav Ketzavot = 6 Sefirot x 10 = 60, the degree of VAK de AA equals 60 x 10,000 = 600,000.

Therefore, when Malchut ascends to AVI, she receives a complete, perfect number – 600,000, where 60 signifies that it is merely VAK, for Malchut has not yet reached Rosh de AA and that she still lacks this degree. And the degree of 10,000 refers to AA, the part that clothes in AVI, for AVI are VAK de AA. Therefore, Malchut contains the number 600,000.

Thus, two degrees are recorded in Malchut:

These two degrees create one Partzuf within Malchut: her part that is above the Chazeh is clothed in AVI, and her part that is below the Chazeh is clothed in YESHSUT. Therefore, in the generations, in Malchut’s descendants, each Partzuf consists of two parts (degrees): from the Upper Part (MI) there is a Light of 600,000, and from the lower part (lower world, MA), there is an absence of number (perfection) in each descendant.

The phrase, THEY BRING FORTH INNUMERABLE HOSTS is not interpreted as infinitely big. Rather, “Innumerable” indicates the imperfection of the Light that is received in the lower part, as it comes from YESHSUT, the degree that is without a number.

Malchut’s descendants are therefore defined as imperfect, as these two degrees exist in her as one, and are connected as one. Hence, there are two degrees in Malchut’s descendants: the Upper One – 600,000, and the lower one – without a number. However, the lower one is defined as supplement to perfection and is not considered a flaw.

The reason for this is that the blessing of the seed, propagation depends only on the lower world, MA, without a number, as it is said in the Torah that Avraham complained that he is childless (Beresheet, 15:5), and the answer was: “Look now toward Heaven, and count the stars. Will you be able to count them? So shall be your descendants.” From this we see that the blessing of the seed comes from the lack of a number, i.e., the name MA.

Hence, after all the perfection that Malchut attains from the Light of AVI(MI), Malchut has an additional blessing from MA, which is called the “lack of a number,” and both these degrees are included in her descendants – the souls and generations.

20. All of these 600,000 and all their innumerable hosts, He calls the names. What does this mean: “calls the names?” If you say that He calls them by their names, it is not so, for then it would have said, “calls by name.” However, when this degree does not ascend in the name Elokim, but is called MI, it does not beget and does not reveal those that are concealed within it. And although they were all concealed within it, meaning that even though the letters ELEH have already ascended, the “precious garment” of Ohr Hassadim is still concealed. And while it is concealed, it is not called by the name Elokim. For He created the letters ELEH and they ascended in His name – clothed themselves in “precious garments” of Ohr Hassadim, as a result of which ELEH combine with MI, and are called Elo-im. Then, by the power of this name, He brought them forth in perfection, defined as “CALLS THEIR NAMES,” which means that He called by name and brought forth every type and species to exist in perfection. Hence, it is said: “HE BROUGHT FORTH THEIR HOST BY NUMBER – called them all by name, that is, by the name Elokim.

It was already mentioned that the perfection of the Light, which is the Creator’s name Elo-im, descends to the souls, generations, descendants, two degrees joined in one. This degree includes 600,000 from the Upper Degree, and innumerable hosts from the lower, and the Creator’s name descends on both of them.

The blessing of the seed depends entirely on MA, for it is determined by Ohr Hochma, as this Light designates perfection. Whereas the Light without a number, Ohr Hassadim, comes precisely from the name MA. As is already known, Ohr Hochma is accepted only when clothed in Ohr Hassadim. Until such clothing occurs, even though ELEH ascend to MI, the name Elokim (ELO-IM = ELEH + IM) does not act.

Hence, it is written that MI DOES NOT BEGET (ANY OFFSPRING), even though the point of Malchut left the thought (Bina) and descended back to her place, and all ten Sefirot and the Light returned to the Partzuf, THE NAME ELEH IS still CONCEALED, for she still cannot receive Hochma in the absence of Hassadim.

However, BECAUSE HE CREATED ELEH, meaning that after He added a Zivug to the screen of MA (lower world, Malchut), there appeared Ohr Hassadim, called WITHOUT A NUMBER. And ELEH were filled with Ohr Hassadim, which means BARAH = CREATED ELEH, as clothing in OhrHassadim is called BARAH (creation). Only after this are they called ELOKIM, for only after the reception of Ohr Hassadim can they receive Ohr Hochma, called “the Light of a number,” the Light of 600,000, as a result of which, the letters combine and form the complete name Elokim.

The same perfection (clothing of Hochma in Hassadim) also extends to the souls and descendants that emerge from the name Elokim. AND HE IS CALLED BY THIS NAME: all that emerges is called by this name, with these properties He creates all descendants – Partzufim from His Zivug on Ohr Hochma. THE NAME 600,000 is Hochma, TOGETHER WITH HASSADIM, so that they will have the perfection of the name, so that Light will clothe Light, as they are clothed in the NAME. It is therefore written: “SEE, I CALL THEM BY NAME,” for “to call” means to revive and bring to perfection.

21. He asks: “What is the meaning of “by the greatness of His might and wealth?” This is the head of the degree, where all desires ascend and remain concealed. The strong one that ascended in the name Elokim, as it is said: “This is the secret of the Upper World, called MI.” No man is missing of the 600,000 that He created by the power of this name. And because no one is missing from these 600,000, it follows that wherever the sons of Israel perished and were punished for their transgressions, we subsequently find that not one from the 600,000 had disappeared, so that everything would remain the same Above and below. And just as no one had disappeared from the 600,000 Above, no one has disappeared from this number below.

FROM THE GREATNESS OF HIS MIGHT AND WEALTH signifies Keter de AVI, called the HEAD OF DEGREES. This is Bina of AA, which became Keter de Partzuf AVI, WHERE ALL DESIRES ASCEND (MAN of the lower ones), and receive all the degrees from there. This degree is filled with Ohr Hassadim, and exists in perfection even in the absence of Ohr Hochma, as its Light of Hassadim comes from GAR de BINA of AA. In other words, it has such a powerful Light of Hassadim that although this degree emerged from Rosh de AA, it is not regarded as having left it, for it feels no need for Ohr Hochma. This degree, Keter of AVI, is the Rosh of all the degrees in the world of Atzilut, from where AVI, YESHSUT and ZON receive the Light.

THE STRONG ONE IS THE SECRET OF THE UPPER WORLD, the property of MI that is present in Malchut, from where the number 600,000 descends, for she clothes the Upper World, AVI. Therefore, it is written that NO ONE DISAPPEARS FROM THOSE 600,000 because there Malchut receives Ohr Hochma, called “600,000.” Hence, it is said that AS NO ONE DISAPPEARED ABOVE, SO IT IS BELOW, for Malchut clothes AVI, described in the phrase: THE MOTHER ADORNS HER DAUGHTER WITH HER OWN ADORNMENTS, by which Malchut becomes completely similar to AVI. And just as the Light of AVI is perfect (which is why it is called “600,000” and NO ONE HAS DISAPPEARED, i.e., no lack of Ohr Hochma is felt), Malchut is perfect in this number, which means NO ONE HAS DISAPPEARED below.

The Letters of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba

22. Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba said: “In the first four words of the Torah, IN THE BEGINNING THE CREATOR CREATED EtBeresheet Barah Elokim Et, the first two words begin with the letter Bet, and the following two begin with Aleph” (The letter Aleph is pronounced both as “A” and “E”). It is said that, “When the Creator thought to create the world, all of the letters were still concealed, and even 2,000 years before the creation of the world, the Creator gazed into the letters and played with them.

In the language of Kabbalah, the same sentence appears in the following way: when the Creator (Bina) decided to create the world (ZON of the world of Atzilut), the Kelim of ZON (Zeir Anpin and Nukva) were still in Bina. Hochma and Bina (Aba ve ImaAVI) are called 2,000 years. Before the creation of the world (the birth of ZON), all the letters (the Kelim of ZON) existed in AVI in the form of MAN, and MAN always stimulates a desire in the Upper One to attend to it.

With regard to the lower Partzuf, the Upper One is called the Creator, for it truly begets it, and whatever the lower one receives, comes directly from its Upper One. Moreover, one may say that this is all that the Upper One desires, its entire existence is meant exclusively for the lower one. Therefore, the Upper One always waits for the lower one’s genuine request for the desire to ascend spiritually, which is called MAN. Provided this desire is sincere, the Upper One immediately responds and passes the powerful light of correction to the lower one.

Since the lower one is ZON of the world of Atzilut, and all that is below this Partzuf (all the worlds of ABYA and our world) is considered a part of it, AVI of the world of Atzilut constitute the Upper Partzuf. The desires and properties of ZON are called “letters,” and here The Zohar explains the properties that ZON (the spiritual worlds and our world, we ourselves) were created with, which properties are desirable, which require correction, and how this correction is achieved.

Since the properties of the future Creature are determined by the Creator’s purpose in creating it, it is said that even before the creation of the world, the Creator played with the letters. The word “played” suggests that the Creator’s interaction with the Creature is like His game with the leviathan (the legendary sea monster), with the property that is opposite from Him. At the end of correction all the letters unite and combine into the one name of the Creator.

The order of the Hebrew alphabet indicates the descent of the Direct Light from Above, the Inner Light that fills the Partzuf. The reverse order of the letters from the end of the alphabet alludes to the ascent of the Returning Light. The direct order of the alphabet refers to mercy, whereas the reverse order – to the strict law and restrictions on using egoistic desires.

When Adam sinned, the letters detached themselves from him, and only the letters Shin and Tav (the Kelim for the Light of VAK of Nefesh) remained in him. The Kelim for the Light of Neshama are represented by the letters from Aleph to Yod; the letters from Yod to Kuf are the Kelim for the Light of Ruach, and the letters Kuf and Reish – the Kelim for GAR of Nefesh – disappeared from him.

This is why Adam gave his son, born after his sin, the name SHeT (Seth): Shin- Tav, according to the two last letters of the alphabet – the Kelim that remained in him. The Kli Shin-Tav are only fit for the Returning Light from below upwards, but not for the reception of the Upper Light from Above downwards. However, after it receives Yesod of Zeir Anpin (the letter Yod), Shin- Tav turns into a combination Shin-Yod-Tav. And if the Creator creates the world by the letter Bet, it then enters between Shin and Tav and forms the word Shabbat (Sh-B-T), the state of spiritual perfection, the goal of creation. For this reason, the first word in the Torah – Beresheet consists of: Bara (created) Sh(in)- Y(od)- T(av).

23. When the Creator thought to create the world, all the letters of the alphabet came to Him in reverse order from last (Tav) to first (Aleph). The letter Tav entered first and said, “Master of the world! It is good, and also seemly of You, to create the world with me, with my properties. For I am the seal on Your ring, called EmeT (truth), that ends with the letter Tav. And that is why You are called truth, and why it would befit the King to begin the universe with the letter Tav, and to create the world by her, by her properties.

The Creator answered: “You are beautiful and sincere, but do not merit the world that I conceived to be created by your properties, since you are destined to be marked on the foreheads of the truly faithful who fulfill all of Torah from Aleph to Tav (from the first letter to the last), and perished because of you” (Talmud Bavli, Shabbat, 55)

What does a particular name of the Creator mean? The name of the spiritual object indicates the way one can receive the Light that fills it, the way one can attain its spiritual degree. Generally speaking, the twenty-two letters are the ten Sefirot-Kelim in the Ibur (embryonic phase) of the future Partzuf in the Sefira Yesod, for that is where the screen of the embryo of the new Partzuf is located. That is why Yesod is called a “number,” as it measures the size of a new Partzuf.

Bearing in mind that each name determines specific spiritual properties and states of an object, one can understand what is meant by a change of name, place, or action.

HaVaYaH is the basis of all the letters, but the filling of each letter clarifies the letter itself. The filling of a letter is heard as the letter is pronounced. As we read the letter Yod in the word HaVaYaH (Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey), we actually pronounce three sounds (y-o-d); although we write only one letter, the sounds “o- Vav” and “d- Dalet” are heard together with the sound “y.” When we say “Hey,” the sound “ey” – Yod or “ey” – follows the sound “h.” Therein lies the clarification of the name HaVaYaH in the process of its emergence.

The Creator’s form-properties are revealed in His deeds; hence, the three lines in Bina (the Creator) are imprinted and act in His created beings (the lower worlds) as a seal and its imprint. Therefore, the name MB exists in Bina, as well as in ZA and Malchut. However, in ZA, this name is divided into the ten sayings and thirty-two forces of creation of Elokim, which create Malchut, the creature.

Bina is designated by the letter Mem, Malchut – by Bet; the name MB designates the creation of Malchut by Bina. The letter Aleph designates ZA, which passes all the twenty-two letters (from Aleph to Tav) to Malchut (Bet). This is why Malchut is called ET (Aleph pronounced as‘ E-Tav).

Malchut is the central part of creation and its purpose. She is the only creation and includes all the worlds with all that inhabits them, us included. Depending on its states, parts of Malchut or Malchut herself (which is one and the same) have different properties designated by the different letter combinations. For this reason, Malchut’s parts receive various “codes” (combinations) of letters (properties) or names.

All the words in the world originate here, in Malchut. There is not a single property in the world that is not included in Malchut. Each property of Malchut, each of the creatures (for all creatures are her parts) is designated by the property that distinguishes it from the others, by the unique set of letters-properties that forms its name.

Malchut is called Shechina (Divinity), as she is filled with the Light, Shochen (Dweller – the Creator). The Creator is called Shochen when Malchut feels Him as such, within her. If man, being part of Malchut, purifies himself of egoism, either partially or completely, and thus fills his corrected desires with the Light (the Creator), he becomes part of the Shechina.

Malchut consists of four parts that are named by their properties (also called faces): face of a lion, face of an ox, face of an eagle, and face of a man. Alternately, Malchut is likened to a spiritual kernel, surrounded by four shells, which correspond to the four Klipot (impure forces): Ruach Se’ara (Stormy Wind), Anan Gadol (Great Cloud), Esh Mitlakachat (Blazing Flame), and Noga (Radiance).

Kabbalah can describe spiritual actions either as names of Sefirot and Partzufim or as names of HaVaYaH, EKYEH, and so forth, with their fillings and Gimatriot (plural for Gematria – the numeric value). Although the most frequently used language is that of Sefirot and Partzufim, sometimes the language of HaVaYaH with its fillings can also be applied, even in parallel or simultaneously with the former.

Most Kabbalistic terms are composite: Maatzil (the Creator) comes from the word Tzel (shadow), as the Creature emerges from the Creator’s concealment, from His restrictions. Another name for the Creator is Boreh (combination of Bo – come and Re’eh – see).

A name denotes attainment. Upon attaining an object, man gives it a name. Similarly, man gives a name to the Creator according to the property that he attains, depending on how he feels the Creator. There are several kinds of names to the Creator, based on His properties. For example, the Creator’s name EMET – “Truth” is based on the sensations of His Light within the Partzuf.

Below are the names of the Creator with the corresponding names of the Sefirot:

Keter: Aleph-Hey-Yod-Hey (EKYEH)

Hochma: Yod-Hey (YA)

Bina: HaVaYaH with the punctuation Segol-Holam-Hirik, as Elokim: Yod(Yod-Vav-Dalet) - Hey (Hey-Yod) - Vav (Vav-Aleph-Vav) - Hey (Hey-Yod).

Hesed: Aleph-Lamed = EL (pronounced KEL)

Gevura: Aleph-Lamed-Hey-Yod-Mem (ELOKIM)

Tifferet: Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey (HaVaYaH without punctuation)

Netzah: HaVaYaH TZEVAOT.

Hod: ELOKIM TZEVAOT

Yesod: Shin-Dalet-Yod = SHADDAY

Malchut: ADONAY (pronounced ADNI)

Merging the two worlds, the Upper and the lower, is designated by the words HaVaYaH-ADNI, implying the ascent of Malchut- ADNI to the level of Bina-HaVaYaH with the punctuation of Elokim.

The name ZA of HaVaYaH comes from the right line (Hesed), and the name ADNI, from the left line (Gevura). Joining of these two lines forms the middle line, where the Light of Hochma shines on account of the presence of the Light of Hassadim from the right line. Such state is designated by a combination of the two names HaVaYaH-ADNI:

YOD-Aleph-HEY-Dalet-VAV-Nun-HEY-Yod. The union (Zivug) of ZA and his Nukva is designated by mixing the two names.

HaVaYaH-ADNI: Yod-Aleph-Hey-Dalet-Vav-Nun-Hey-Yod. The opening Yod indicates the Light of Hochma in ZA, the Yod at the end refers to the passing of this Light to Nukva.

As a result of the second restriction, Malchut ascended to Bina, and governs Bina and ZA with her desire. Since it is impossible to receive the Light of Hochma in the three SefirotBina, ZA, and Malchut, which are governed by Malchut’s egoistic desire, the Light of Hochma is absent in the Partzuf, and only the Light of Hassadim is present.

This is designated in the following way: the letter Yod enters the word light (Ohr contains the letters Aleph- Vav- Reish, signifying the Light of Hochma), and forms the word Avir (air, containing the letters Aleph- Vav- Yod- Reish), signifying the Light of Hassadim. If the Partzuf returns to the Gadlut state, the letter Yod exits it, and it is refilled with the Light of Hochma. Consequently, Avir (air) becomes Ohr (Light).

Unfilled HaVaYaH designates Partzuf Keter. HaVaYaH with the filling of AB (72) designates Partzuf Hochma (AA). HaVaYaH with the filling of SAG (63) designates Partzuf Bina (AVI). Together, these three HaVaYaH form MB (42) letters – the sacred name of the Light that corrects the souls by its influence on the Kli, the screen.

All that was created is the desire to receive pleasure, which we call “creature.” Only this desire was created, and nothing else. All the worlds and all that inhabits them, our world with everything within it, are but degrees of the desire to receive pleasure. The intensity of the desire determines its place in the spiritual realm, where all creation and our world – as its lowest point – are located. Man’s actual location (the world, his spiritual degree) determines the particular kind of pleasure he desires, how he chooses to enjoy.

In order for the creature to emerge from the Creator, the Light emanating from Him must descend through four stages, whereas the fifth stage already perceives itself as a separate and independent (from the Creator) desire to enjoy precisely the Light emanating from the Creator.

Upon emerging from the Creator – a result of a sequential emanation of His Light – the desire to receive pleasure (Kli-vessel) also consists of five parts designated by the letters: the tip of the Yod, Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey. These five parts (four letters) are called the Creator’s name HaVaYaH, because the Kli gives the Creator a name according to its sensation of Him, according to its sensation of the Light that fills it. The Light that fills the Kli is called “filling.”

The Kli created by the Creator is divided into five parts, called “worlds.” Each world is in turn divided into five more parts, called Partzufim (faces). Then, each Partzuf (singular for Partzufim) consists of five parts called Sefirot. In all, there are 5 x 5 x 5 = 125 spiritual objects or degrees from the lowest degree to the Creator Himself.

Each Partzuf consists of five parts (Sefirot), designated by a dot and four letters: Keter-dot + Hochma- Yod + Bina- Hey + ZA- Vav + Malchut- Hey = HaVaYaH. The difference between each of the 125 Partzufim lies in the type of Light that fills them, whereas the core of the Kli, the letters HaVaYaH, remain the same. A desire cannot appear unless the Creator’s Light had previously passed through the five stages; only the fifth stage is considered a birth of a new creation (desire).

The whole universe (all the worlds) is nothing but the ten Sefirot or the Creator’s name HaVaYaH.

A filling of HaVaYaH with Light is referred to as its revelation. Thus, the letters emerge from the state of concealment when they are not filled. In all there are five Partzufim: Keter (Galgalta), AB, SAG, MA and BON. The first – Partzuf Keter – is the main one and the source of all the rest. Its ten Sefirot is plain (inner) HaVaYaH, for each of the four letters of its HaVaYaH comes outside, revealing a new Partzuf that clothes it.

So then, out of Partzuf Keter-Galgalta, from the letter Yod comes Partzuf Hochma (AB), from the letter HeyPartzuf Bina (SAG), from the letter VavPartzuf ZA (MA), and from the letter HeyPartzuf Malchut (BON). Thus Partzuf Keter is designated by plain HaVaYaH, and the Partzufim that clothe it are designated by filled HaVaYaH. The recording of HaVaYaH with the Light that fills it is called Miluy (filling). For the purposes of brevity when naming a Partzuf, the notion of Gematria was introduced. Gematria is the numerical value of the Light that fills the Partzuf.

Wisdom (Hochma) is called calculation (Heshbon), Gematria. A calculation is made only in a place where Light is received: (i) a preliminary calculation is made as to how much Light the Partzuf can receive for the Creator’s sake; (ii) the Light is received in accordance with the calculation; (iii) calculation of the received amount, called Miluy, Gematria.

Malchut cannot receive the Light of Hochma without the Light of Hassadim, and in that event, Hochma cannot shine in her. Then Malchut ascends to Bina and becomes like an embryo inside of her, by which she receives the right line – Hassadim. Upon joining the past and the present states, Malchut receives Hochma into Hassadim, and the Light of Hochma shines in her. All these actions of Malchut are accompanied by calculations, called Gimatriot.

The Gematria (numerical value) of the Partzuf unfilled with the Light, the Gematria of the empty HaVaYaH is as follows:

HaVaYaH = Yod + Hey + Vav + Hey = 10 + 5 + 6 + 5 = 26. The Gematria of a filled HaVaYaH is formed by filling each letter; In Hebrew, each letter has a full name: A- Aleph, B- Bet, etc.. Hence, there are four kinds of fillings in HaVaYaH: 1) AB, 2) SAG, 3) MA and 4) BON.

1) HaVaYaH with the filling of AB:

Yod: Yod + Vav + Dalet = 10 + 6 + 4 = 20

Hey: Hey + Yod = 5 + 10 = 15

Vav: Vav + Yod + Vav = 6 + 10 + 6 = 22

Hey: Hey + Yod = 5 + 10 = 15

In all: 20 + 15 + 22 + 15 = 72 = AB, where “A” designates the letter Ayin = 70, and not Aleph = 1. HaVaYaH filled with this Light is called Partzuf AB (Partzuf Hochma), for the letter Yod with its filling signifies the Light of wisdom, Ohr Hochma. Such a filling is called “HaVaYaH with the filling of Yod.”

2) HaVaYaH with the filling of SAG: the Partzuf that is filled with Light of mercy, Ohr Hassadim, is called SAG, for its Gematria is this:

SAG = Samech (60) + Gimel (3) = 63:

Yod: Yod + Vav + Dalet = 10 + 6 + 4 = 20

Hey: Hey + Yod = 5 + 10 = 15

Vav: Vav + Aleph + Vav = 6 + 1 + 6 = 13

Hey: Hey + Yod = 5 + 10 = 15

In all: 20 + 15 + 13 + 15 = 63 = Samech + Gimel = SAG

If the Kelim and their filling originate from the first restriction, the letter Yod is present in the filling of HaVaYaH. And if the Kelim are filled with the Light of the second restriction, it is the letter Aleph, present in the filling of HaVaYaH. The difference between the Gimatriot of AB and SAG lies in the filling of the letter Vav: Gematria of Vav in Partzuf AB is twenty-two (from the filling of Ohr Hochma), whereas Gematria of Vav in Partzuf SAG is thirteen (from the filling of Ohr Hassadim). From the aforesaid, it is clear that Partzuf AB originates from the first restriction, whereas the letter Vav (ZA) in Partzuf SAG originates from the second restriction.

3) HaVaYaH with the filling of MA:

Yod: Yod + Vav + Dalet = 20

Hey: Hey + Aleph = 6

Vav: Vav + Aleph + Vav = 13

Hey: Hey + Aleph = 6

Such a filling of HaVaYaH is called 20 + 6 + 13 + 6 = 45 = Mem (40) + Hey (5) = MA (the letter Hey is pronounced as “ah”).

4) HaVaYaH with the filling of BON:

Yod: Yod + Vav + Dalet = 20

Hey: Hey + Hey = 10

Vav: Vav + Vav = 12

Hey: Hey + Hey = 10

Such a filling of HaVaYaH is called 20 + 10 + 12 + 10 = 52 = Nun (50) + Bet (2), pronounced as BON for easier articulation. This is the Gematria of Partzuf Malchut, and it is equivalent to twice the value of the unfilled HaVaYaH: HaVaYaH = 26, and 26 x 2 = 52 = MA.

Partzuf Malchut cannot receive the Creator’s Light due to the absence of a screen. Instead, it can only passively receive what Partzuf ZA gives it. Hence, the twofold twenty-six indicates that whatever Malchut has comes to her from ZA.

From the four kinds of HaVaYaH, it becomes clear that the root of creation is neither Partzuf Hochma nor Bina, but only ZA, as it is the first Partzuf built on the second restriction.

The primary ten Sefirot are located in Partzuf Keter, whereas Partzufim AB, SAG, MA, and BON are merely branches stemming from the first Partzuf. However, when the Light spreads within the Partzuf, it contains five inner Lights NRNHY and five outer Lights. The five outer Lights of Bina come out of the right ear, and the five inner Lights of Bina come out of the left. The five outer Lights of ZA come out of the right nostril, and the five inner Lights of ZA come out of the left.

Since the two Malchuyot (plural for Malchut) are remote from one another, as a branch in our world, man’s ear holes are also separated and distanced. The two nostrils are separated by a smaller distance, whereas the five inner and outer Lights of the common Light of the Peh (mouth) come out of the same opening. Thus, as they exit the mouth, they collide and interweave, and as a result of their collisions, letters (Kelim) are born.

Since twenty-two letters originate from Bina-SAG = Samech + Gimel = 60 + 3 = 63, the opening through which they come out is called 63 + 22 = 85 = Pey + Hey = PeH (mouth). The letters come out of the Peh of ZA, for Yesod of Ima is located there.

We received our entire Torah, all of the knowledge about the spiritual worlds, from our Great Patriarchs, who ascended spiritually above our world, sensed the Upper Worlds, and described them to us. This is how we received the whole Torah – both the written and the oral parts.

We cannot imagine the spiritual world because our sensory organs cannot detect it. Thus, to describe the objects and concepts still unattainable by us, Kabbalists use several techniques, languages. The whole Torah speaks only of the creation, governing, and correction of the world; never about history, geography, or anything else. As it is said in the Torah itself, the Torah is the sacred names, that is, manifestations of the Creator, the degrees and methods of His attainment.

Kabbalists, those who ascend to the spiritual world and thus establish direct contact with the Creator, convey this information to us using four languages:

  1. The language of the TaNaKh (Torah – Pentateuch, Nevi’im – Prophets, Ketuvim – Writings/Hagiographa). This is the language of the written Torah.

  2. The language of laws.

  3. The language of legends.

  4. The language of Sefirot and Partzufim – the language of Kabbalah.

All the languages speak about the same thing – the attainment of the Creator by us, those living in this world. For this is the sole purpose of our creation, and according to the Creator’s design, we must devote all of our physical, mental, and spiritual abilities only to it. And if we were to aspire only to this, we would naturally use our language only for this purpose. After all, everything that is given to us is only for the fulfillment of this exclusive goal – the attainment of the sensation of the Creator, while still in this life.

And this is why the first language mastered by humankind was Hebrew. However, as they distanced from fulfilling their mission, humankind conceived other languages. All the other languages in the world have their inner meaning, too, but since their alphabets were not revealed to us by Kabbalists, we study the spiritual forces depicted in the Hebrew alphabet, the source of all the others.

Every Partzuf is divided into two parts: right and left. The right part consists of Ramach = Reish – Mem – Chet = 248 parts (organs) filled with the Light of Hassadim; and the left part consists of Shasah = Shin – Samech – Hey = 365 parts (tendons) filled with the Light of Hochma. ZA is called a “voice”; he is generally the Light of Hassadim. But when he joins with Malchut, called “speech,” Malchut receives the Light of Hassadim with Hochma from ZA, and thus “speech” is formed.

The seven primary Sefirot of ZA are called “Seven Heavens.” The seventy names of ZA originate from the 70 (7 x 10) Sefirot of ZA. ZA himself is called “Heaven” and Malchut is called “earth.” The Sefirot of ZA are also called Ruach, owing to the Light of Ruach within them, which ascends to Bina (ears) and transforms into sound: Hochma in the left ear and Hassadim in the right.

There is a difference between language and alphabet, as in our world there are people who can speak, but cannot read or write. The most ancient spoken language is that of the TaNaKh, which dates back to Adam. The language of laws originated from it, followed by the language of legends. All of these languages combined and each of them in particular are used in our holy scriptures.

The language of Kabbalah was the last to develop. It is the most difficult language, since proper understanding of it requires sensing the spiritual categories that this language narrates. Kabbalah is also the most precise language of all. It is the only language that can accurately render all the spiritual information.

However, only through direct study with a Kabbalist-teacher can a student learn it and grasp its information. And since for many generations there were only a few Kabbalists, unconnected with one another, the language of Kabbalah was the last to evolve. Even today it can only be “learned” directly from a Kabbalist-teacher.

Initially, Kabbalists enciphered their knowledge of the spiritual world as letters, whose outlines reflected the interrelationships of spiritual forces. In other words, each spiritual degree is characterized by a unique interrelationship of spiritual forces. By assigning each spiritual property with a particular symbol, one can depict the interrelationship, as well as the general product of the union of spiritual forces of each degree, i.e., its essence.

Thus, Kabbalists created the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The Zohar pays much attention to analyzing the connection between the letters, which helps a student to synthesize his knowledge and find new ways of discovering spiritual forces and their actions within.

As our forefather Avraham writes in his Book of Creation (Sefer Yetzira), letters represent the stones from which the building-word is constructed. As our sages tell us, the world was created with the letters of the “sacred language,” each letter representing a certain holy, spiritual, altruistic force of creation.

The properties of this force are reflected in the letter’s outline, its importance with regard to other letters, its potential combinations with the others, its potential punctuation marks, its crowns and notations, its numerical value (Gematria) and variations.

However, this only concerns separate letters and their combinations. There are also certain rules that enable us to determine the properties of spiritual forces not from letters, but from whole words. Moreover, quite often we can replace letters or even parts of a word with similar ones.

The language itself, the roots of its words, indicate the properties of the spiritual object they describe. For example, Adam originated from Adama – earth, which emphasizes his insignificance, and from the word Adameh – similar (to the Upper One), which emphasizes his eminence. The name Yaakov comes from the word Ekev – to get around (Esau). There are many such examples in the Torah, for everything is named after its root, as after the patronymic name of one's father.

Once we have established that certain combinations of letters (Kelim, language of letters) can be used instead of the language of Sefirot and Partzufim when describing spiritual actions, the entire description of the spiritual worlds amounts to portraying objects and actions in the form of letters and their combinations. This is how the whole of the Torah is written, in words. Thus,

a) The shape of each letter and the elements of its structure indicate all the properties and the general state of a spiritual object, Sefira, or Partzuf, which this particular letter depicts;

b) The order of letters in a word indicates the connection between spiritual objects, Sefirot, and their shared properties and actions. Attainment of a word‘s spiritual meaning signifies an ascent to the spiritual level of the object. When that happens, he who attains it becomes this very word, assumes its name. Man’s name keeps changing as he ascends the spiritual degrees; it is determined by the degree he is on, as he assumes the name of that degree. It is therefore said that everyone can become like Moshe, i.e., attain the degree called “Moshe;”

c) The word itself in its “corporeal” reading, its “corporeal” meaning indicates the spiritual root and its branch – consequence in our world;

d) A combination of words indicates an entire spiritual process, which, as a rule, has a corresponding action (Commandment) in our world.

Names change depending on the aspect that requires clarification:

a) By elements of Sefirot:

Keter – has none

Hochma – fire

Bina – water

ZA – air

Malchut – earth

b) By colors:

Keter – has none

Hochma – white – the basis of all colors

Bina – red – most prominent

ZA – green – most perfect

Malchut – black – cannot be changed by any other color

Colors are present only in the Guf (body) of the Partzuf, but never in the Rosh (head). These colors are projected onto Malchut from Above, and she passes them on to all the lower ones.

c) By lines:

Hesed – right – white

Gevura – left – red

Tifferet – central, includes all the colors – green

Quite often, colors and elements are used instead of the names of Sefirot and their properties: fire, water, air, earth (The Zohar, Vayera, Item 32). Malchut is called “earth,” but Malchut that ascends with her properties to Bina is called “earth of the Temple.” In the Temple, the four sides of the world – Hochma, Bina, Tifferet and Malchut join the four elements of the world – fire, water, air and earth. Out of the two points of Bina and Malchut, which are joined together, the Creator made one Partzuf – Adam.

The four foundations of the world, or the four sides of the world:

Four fundamental metals are created as a result of a Zivug of the four foundations with Malchut: gold, silver, copper and iron. All of these names, as well as many others, are used in the Torah instead of the names of the ten Sefirot. Therefore, although the languages of the Torah, legends, the Talmud, and the Scriptures are extraordinarily vivid, only the concise language of Kabbalah provides an accurate description of the spiritual worlds.

The four kinds of symbols used with letters:

Taamim – tone modulations used in pronouncing letters – signify the Direct Light, which spreads from Above downwards in the body of the Partzuf.

Nekudot – letter punctuation marks – signify the Light during its gradual exit from the body of the Partzuf from below upwards.

Tagin – crowns above the letters – represent Reshimot (reminiscences/records) of the previously present Light (Taamim). Tagin originate from GAR de Bina.

Otiot – letters – represent Reshimot of the Light’s exit from the body of the Partzuf (Nekudot). Letters originate from Zat de Bina.

The ten Sefirot are divided into three primary parts – Taamim, Nekudot,and Otiot:

TaamimKeter

NekudotHochma

OtiotZAT de Bina and ZON

According to the Light in them, Sefirot are divided into:

TaamimHochma

NekudotBina

OtiotZON

The letters were created in the following order: the letter Aleph, which was initially on the right side, begot the letter Shin, which emerged from it and moved to the left side. The letter Shin consists of three sides: the left, the middle, and the right. The letter Vav is thereby formed by three letters , and upon joining with Aleph, it formed the word Aleph- Shin = ESH (fire) in the left side.

Out of the interaction of the right and the left sides these two letters came forth in contradiction between them, as the right line includes water, while the left line includes fire. Their collisions begot the letters Reish, Vav, and Chet, which formed the word Ruach (wind). This wind entered between the two sides (fire and water) and joined them together, thereby establishing the order of the first letters and their perfection.

At first, The Zohar offers a general description of the three lines in ZA, designated by the three names of the Creator: El, Elokim and Elokeinu, and then proceeds to clarify the descent of the degrees of filling ZA and Malchut with the Light of Hochma in the form of letter combinations, in the order of the degrees’ descent from Above downwards. Mayim – water, Esh – fire, Ruach – wind constitute the three lines in ZA from AVI. This is why the first letters in ZA come from AVI.

Then the following combinations emerged: Aleph revealed Mem from its right side, so Mem stands to the left line of Aleph. Mem revealed Shin as the middle line, as Mem initially consists of the left line, for it exists in the form of a concealed letter Mem in the word Elokim, which pertains to the left line, and so forth. This is how all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet were born.

The Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet

The letters Aleph and Ayin do not have any particular sound, and only the accompanying punctuation mark determines their pronunciation.

The letters Bet, Chaf and Peh with a dot inside them are pronounced as “b,” “k,” and “p.” The absence of a dot changes their pronunciation to “v,” “ch” and “f.”

The letter Hey is not pronounced, but rather aspirated.

The shapes of the letters Mem, Nun, Tzadik, Peh, Chaf (pronounced MANTZEPACH) change when placed at the end of a word, as seen in the table of letters.

The shape, external form of letters: the protruding element of a letter indicates that the Light in this part of the letter is greater than in the other. The filling (Miluy) indicates the height of the degree. A punctuation mark (Nikud) indicates the origin of each part of the Partzuf: whether it came from the Upper Partzuf (and constitutes its part in the present one), from the lower Partzuf, or from itself.

The Kelim-Sefirot themselves are called “letters,” and their punctuation marks (Nekudot) indicate the Light that enters and exits them. The Light of Bina, ZA, and Malchut can enter the Kelim, but the Light of Keter or Hochma cannot. A dot above a letter (Holam) signifies the Lights Keter and Hochma, which never clothe the Kli, hence the location of the dot above the letter.

Two horizontally positioned dots (Tzere) allude to Sefirot Hochma and Bina, that Bina does not receive the Light of Hochma, and contains only the Light of Hassadim, the Light of mercy (AVI back-to-back). Bina herself is also called Tzere, for ZA receives everything from her. If there is a third dot (Segol) between these two dots, it means that ZA raised his request for the Light of Hochma to AVI. Such a request of ZA in AVI is called Daat. Daat receives the Light of Hochma in order to pass it on to ZA. The punctuation mark Kamatz (a “T” shaped mark under the letter) indicates that ZA collects (Mekabetz) the Light of Hochma.

A dot indicates Malchut with a reflecting screen, but not a receiving one. Such a form testifies to the absence of Light in the Kli; it is merely a black dot, as the law of restriction rules over it.

The Sefira Hod is an inclusion of Malchut’s properties into ZA, out of which ZA makes a whole Partzuf Malchut. The letter Hey in the word Hod signifies Keter in Malchut, and the nine lower Sefirot of Malchut are located among the impure forces that cling to them. This is designated by an elongated leg of the letter Kuf (dipping below the line), which indicates that the impure forces receive their strength from the spiritually pure forces through this element, the Kuf.

The white background is a plain, indistinguishable and thereby imperceptible Light (by us). Whatever we can distinguish may only be expressed by restricting the diffusion of this white color. The forms and degrees of its restriction are called letters. That is why we see black outlines on white background, and attain only the black restrictions.

We can describe the diffusion of Light in the worlds using attraction and restriction of the Light. And these two forces must act simultaneously. Similarly, when we perceive something in our sensory organs, we only sense it by way of restriction, as the object’s surface or a light wave collides with our sensory organ, which restricts its expansion, and can thereby perceive it.

The spiritual roots of the forms are as follows: A circumference originates from the first restriction of the Light in the world of Ein Sof (Infinity), the first restriction on the diffusion of Light. Since this restriction was equal and uniform, it assumed the form of a circumference.

A vertical line, length without width, signifies that the notion is unattainable by us, and is therefore called a “thin line” of the diffusion of the Light of Hochma. The Light of Hochma can only be received with the help of the screen in Malchut, which creates Returning Light that clothes the Light of Hochma. Therefore, the Upper Light that comes to the Kli is called a line.

A horizontal line, width without height: when a vertical line – the diffusion of the Light of Hochma from Above downwards – collides with the screen, their collision (of desires) compels the vertical line to shift into the horizontal line (to the right), resulting in a shape of the English letter L. Its width is determined by the force of the Returning Light that ascends from the screen from below upwards.

A rectangle is formed by the interlacing of the descending Light of Hochma and the Returning Light: five vertical descending lines – five Sefirot of the Light of Hochma and five horizontal lines from right to left – five Sefirot of the Light of Hassadim. The size of the rectangle’s side is called Amah, consisting of five parts – Tefachim (plural for Tefach). (Both Amah and Tefach are distance measuring units.) This is why we describe the Kli as a rectangle.

The two kinds of diffusion of Light, the Light of Hochma and the Returning Light, are called the right and the left cheeks, respectively, which turn into the upper and the lower lips. Since, after the first restriction, the Light may not be received in Malchut, the Returning Light is only received in four parts of the Kli, not in five. This is why there are 4 x 4 = 16 teeth on the lower jaw and 16 teeth on the upper jaw (The Returning Light stems from resistance, from “chewing” the Light before receiving it inside)

In the second restriction, a Triangle is formed, as Malchut ascends to Bina and forms a slanted line. Thus the combination of the Direct Light with the Returning Light and restrictions beget various spiritual forms.

The Light of Hassadim is defined as “protruding,” for a protrusion beyond the limits of a spiritual body means that:

1) The Light is so great that it comes out by elevating, protruding the limits;

2) It originates from the middle line, Tifferet.

A cavity in the body occurs due to the following reasons:

1) The Light is insufficient; the Light cannot shine there;

2) The Light of Hochma is present, but the lack of Hassadim prevents it from shining.

PUNCTUATION MARKS IN THE HEBREW ALPHABET (NEKUDOT)

Nekudot are defined by three lines:

In the Rosh (Head):

KamatzKeter – right line

Patach – Hochma – left line

Tzere – Bina – middle line

Holam – Tifferet – middle line

In the Guf (Body):

Segol – Hesed – right line

Shva – Gevura – left line

Shuruk – Tifferet – middle line

In the Extremities:

Hirik – Netzah – right line

Kubutz – Hod – left line

Malchut – middle line (has no designation)

The Levels of Nekudot:

Above the letters – Light of Neshama

In the letters –Light of Ruach

Under the letters – Light of Nefesh

Zivug de Nekudot is the Zivug between Hochma de Aba and Hochma de Ima.

Zivug de Otiot is the Zivug between Bina de Aba and Bina de Ima.

The letters combined together designate Returning Light during the screen’s ascent from Tabur to Peh. They are combined, for they all ascend to their root, which unites everything, whereas the use of the will to receive, even for the Creator’s sake, causes separation.

A state of separated letters occurs when the Light enters the Kli (vessel, the letters of HaVaYaH); the four letters thereby separate, since the Light makes a distinction between the Sefirot: depending on their different properties, it clothes in them in different ways.

HaVaYaH with filling Aleph comeson a screen with Aviut Aleph (thickness one), HaVaYaH with filling Hey comes on a screen with Aviut Bet (thickness two). A plain name refers to Aviut Shoresh (zero thickness) with the Light of Nefesh. Plain letters refer to a Partzuf with a screen of Aviut Aleph.

The truly faithful, who believe in the three fundamentals: the Creator, His Providence and the Torah, need the two lines to be in constant balance for their spiritual advancement. The left line is wisdom, the Light of Hochma that enters the desire to receive, which pertains to the left side, and the right line is faith, the Light of Hassadim (mercy), the altruistic desire to bestow.

Existing in knowledge only means that man is under the rule of the impure forces (Klipa) of the left side, which renders him totally unable to feel the spiritual, leaving him in spiritual darkness. Alternately, existing only in faith means that man is under the rule of the impure forces (Klipa) of the right side that convinces him that he has achieved perfection, that there is nothing else to work on, nothing to correct within him. This, too, denies him the opportunity to advance.

The Zohar continues: And the Creator answered further (the letter Tav): “The word MaveT (death) ends with you. And since these are your properties, you are not suitable for Me to create the world with you.” Immediately following, the letter Tav departed from Him.

The moment the Creator set about creating the world- ZON by selecting their properties, all twenty-two letters of ZON appeared before Him, starting from the last – Tav, and ending with the first, Aleph – the head of all letters. The reason for the letters coming in reverse order is that they constitute the MAN of ZON, the Kelim of ZON, which emerge from below upwards. The usual alphabetical order corresponds to the Light (MAD), which descends from Above downwards. But the order of MAN is opposite to that of MAD, for it ascends from below upwards.

Letters are none other than desires, properties, and thoughts that, in man’s opinion, are suitable for the attainment of the spiritual, the Creator, of His Providence. Man skips from one thought to another: one moment he thinks that it is possible to attain the Upper Worlds with one property, next he believes he can enter the spiritual realms by mastering another property, then he begins to stubbornly observe all the Commandments and pray zealously, or disregards all the actions and plunges into contemplation and reading. Sometimes he craves only knowledge, and sometimes only faith, right down to fanaticism.

Just as there are two extremes in our world – knowledge and faith, in the spiritual world, as man now consciously ascends the spiritual ladder to the Creator, there is spiritual work in the attainment of knowledge and faith. Hence, Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag’s commentary on The Zohar is entitled The Sulam (The Ladder).

Each of the twenty-two Hebrew letters represents a certain property. At times it seems that the property of the letter Tav is suitable for the attainment of the spiritual; at times he believes that some other letter is more appropriate. This occurs because in the process of his spiritual ascent, man begins to increasingly understand the true Goal of creation and the Creator, which is exactly what is demanded of him.

Thus, he continues to sort through it all, until his search yields the truth: only with the help of the letter Bet, which stands at the beginning of the word Berachah (blessing) – contact with the Creator, – only with the help of this force can one achieve the goal.

Therefore, The Zohar tells us how the letters – properties, forces, and desires – come to the Creator. By offering up his prayer (MAN), man asks for some property that seems like a real goal to him. And each letter tries to prove that it is best suited for the attainment of the sensation of the Creator and merging with Him. But the Creator shows that the best and the only letter is Bet, as only it can help man to establish contact with Him. This is why the Torah begins with this letter.

The description of the spiritual forces designated by each letter is incredibly deep, and in order to attain full clarity we need to bridge several other preliminary explanations: the creation of the world includes its existence and process of perfection so that the world could attain the goal for which it was created.

The Creator created the world consisting of two contrasting forces; against each pure, altruistic force, He created an impure, egoistic one, which is its equal and opposite. Just as there are four pure worlds ABYA, the Creator created opposite them four impure worlds ABYA.

Therefore, in our world – the last degree of the world of Assiya – a spiritually evolved person that senses the Creator and has entered with his properties into the spiritually pure world, looks no different from an egoistic and spiritually undeveloped person, who has not attained the spiritual realm. This means that one who does not perceive the spiritual is totally unable to differentiate between spiritual purity and impurity.

We see that in our world one cannot advance with the help of the pure forces. On the contrary, it is his egoistic aspirations that provide man with the strength to conquer everything in the world. How often do we see fervent fanatics immersed in their impure desires to capture for themselves both this world and the next, whereas one that aspires to the Creator has no strength for even a slightest spiritual movement! In our world there is no proof or confirmation that man advances on the right path. And under no circumstances should one draw conclusions based on one’s life experience or “common sense.”

So how can a person in this world exist and advance towards the Goal of creation if he is unable to tell good from bad, pure from impure? There is one sign by which one can distinguish purity from impurity: impure forces bear no spiritual fruit. Thus, those that advance through the impure worlds ABYA do not attain anything spiritual, whereas those who are connected to the pure forces reap spiritual fruit on their path.

As it is explained in the “Introduction to The Study of Ten Sefirot” (items 19-23), if man advances along the right path, he attains the secrets of the Torah in three to five years. The Creator helps those who wish to acquire altruistic desires over and above their own requests, and thus one attains the desired goal. From below, man aspires to the Creator with his small desire (MAN), and from Above, the Creator pours onto him tremendous spiritual desires and strength (MAD).

This is the only opportunity to check whether or not the path that one is on is correct, whether it leads to altruism or to even bigger egoism. By no means can one consider his well-being, soaring elation, his happiness and success in life as proofs of correct advancement. It is precisely in those states of feeling perfection, well-being, and contentment that he must ask himself: “Have I attained the secrets of the Torah?” And until he has attained them, his “perfection” is impure.

Man should always strive for the middle line – a balance of faith and knowledge – in the following three notions: the Creator, His Providence, and the Torah. And under no circumstances should he advance by either faith or knowledge alone. If he only wants to attain the Creator, His Providence or the Torah, he enters spiritual darkness, for it is impossible to receive the Light of wisdom (Ohr Hochma) without the Light of mercy (Ohr Hassadim).

Such a state is referred to as the left impure force, “Klipat Esau.” And if man strives to advance through faith alone, he enters the impure force of the right side, “Klipat Yishmael,” which tells him he is in a state of perfection. In this case, he sees no point in his work and is thus unable to continue to advance.

In other words, even if one is full of joy, which is exactly what the Torah urges him to feel (to perceive the Creator’s Providence with joy, for joy signifies justification of creation, understanding that His Providence is always just and kind), unless he has attained the secrets of the Torah, his path is considered erroneous, as he lacks the intention “for the Creator’s sake,” which reveals the secrets of the Torah.

This article explains the particular properties of the Hebrew letters – how all the letters come before the Creator, each asking Him to create the world with its property. Each of the twenty-two letters represents a spiritual degree in the worlds ABYA, and each believes that its pure spiritual properties are most suitable for the task, that by attaining its degree and acquiring its properties, the inhabitants of the world will be able to elevate the pure forces over the impure ones, so much so that they will reach the end of correction, the Goal of creation.

However, the Creator answers each letter that against it are the corresponding impure forces, and therefore man will be unable to properly separate the pure forces from the impure ones, and afterwards, utilize the pure forces to achieve the goal. This occurrence repeats itself until the appearance of the letter Bet, which represents the degree called “the Creator’s blessing,” against which there are no impure forces of any kind.

And the Creator consented to create the world with the letter Bet, with its property; for it has no impure counterpart, only Bet presents an opportunity to carry out an analysis between good and evil, to determine when man works for himself and when he works for the Creator’s sake. Therefore, only by its force, by its property can the world exist: so as to extract from the “mixture” of one’s desires only what’s pure, and elevate them above the impure, down to complete eradication of the latter, and the consequent attainment of complete correction of one’s nature.

As it follows from The Zohar, only the Creator’s help, called “a blessing,” is the force of man’s salvation, the only thing capable of freeing him from the rule of the impure forces. And this force, called “blessing,” descends only upon those that advance along the right path.

The right path is a combination of three conditions: (i) one’s efforts in studying (only!) genuine Kabbalistic sources; (ii) contact with a true Kabbalist, whom he accepts as his teacher; and (iii) contact with like-minded people, who seek spiritual elevation. A more detailed explanation will be provided to serious students only.

All twenty-two letters are divided into three degrees: Bina, Zeir Anpin(ZA), and Malchut, since there are no Kelim (letters) above Bina. Twenty-two letters in Bina are called “big,” twenty-two letters in ZA are called “medium,” and twenty-two letters in Malchut are called “small.”

Each of the three Sefirot of Bina, ZA, and Malchut are further divided into three degrees: The twenty-two letters of Bina contain their own Bina, ZA, and Malchut. Likewise, ZA has his own ten Sefirot, in which his Bina, ZA, and Malchut also contain twenty-two letters. The same applies to Malchut.

The twenty-two letters of each degree are divided into three types. The letters from Aleph to Tet (1-9) are considered units; these are the nine Sefirot of Bina. The letters from Yod to Tzadik (10-90) are considered tens; these are the nine Sefirot of ZA. And finally, the four letters Kuf, Reish, Shin and Tav (100-400) are considered hundreds; and these are the four Sefirot of Malchut, since Malchut is located below and downwards of Chazeh de ZA, which corresponds in height to the four Sefirot of ZA.

Bina, units, big letters, nine letters: Aleph, Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Hey, Vav, Zayin, Chet, Tet.

ZA, tens, medium letters, nine letters: Yod, Chaf, Lamed, Mem, Nun, Samech, Ayin, Peh, Tzadik.

Malchut, hundreds, small letters, four letters: Kuf, Reish, Shin, Tav.

However, it is known that units are in Malchut, tens are in ZA, and hundreds are in Bina, which contradicts the aforesaid that units are in Bina, tens are in ZA, and hundreds are in Malchut. Such inverse dependence is caused by the inverse relationship between the Lights and the Kelim: the lowest Light enters the Highest Kelim. The Upper Kelim are the first to emerge, from Keter down to Malchut (Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA, and Malchut), whereas the first to enter them is the smallest Light, Nefesh, followed by Ruach, Neshama, Haya and Yechida.

Therefore, if there are only units in the Kelim, from Aleph to Tet, then only the Light of Nefesh is present. And if tens are added to the Kelim, the Light of Ruach appears, and if hundreds are added to the Kelim, the Light of Neshama fills them.

This is why hundreds are defined as Bina, tens as ZA, and units as Malchut. However, with regard to the Kelim, the order is inversed: units are in Bina, tens are in ZA, and hundreds are in Malchut.

Bina:

Light (100)

Kelim (1);

ZA:

Light (10)

Kelim (10);

Malchut:

Light (1)

Kelim (100).

The letters descend from Bina to ZA and from there to Malchut. When they descend from Bina to ZA, they descend as three lines: 22/3 = 7 letters in each, with the remaining letter being added to the middle line. These twenty-two letters descend in three lines to Malchut, which consists of five final letters MANTZEPACH, thereby bringing the total number in Malchut to 22 + 5 = 27 letters.

The middle line is called “Heaven,” “firmament.” Therefore, when The Zohar speaks of letters in the firmament, it means that the two middle lines, 7 + 7 = 14 = Yod + Dalet = Yad (hand) writes all the twenty-two letters in the firmament (ZA) through the middle line. That is how one should interpret the words of the Torah regarding the letters that appear in the sky or having seen the hand that writes the letters in the sky.

The twenty-two letters of the Torah are the Kelim to be filled by the Light of NRN. Units – from Aleph to Yod – are the Kli intended for the Light of Bina (Neshama). Tens – from Yod to Kuf – are the Kli meant for the Light of ZA (Ruach). Hundreds – from Kuf to Tav – are the Kli for the Light of Malchut (Nefesh).

Letters are the Kelim, into which the Light clothes; in all, there are twenty-two special properties, and thus twenty-two symbols of their description, called letters. Just as the combinations of the twenty-two letters suffice for the description of all existing knowledge, the various couplings, unions (Zivugim of Sefirot) of the twenty-two Kelim, properties, desires of the Partzuf are sufficient for receiving and bestowing Light, fulfilling all spiritual actions and bringing all the letters (man’s desires) to correction.

Letters represent the various correlations of ZON:

a) ZA, consisting of six parts of his extremities, husband to Malchut, designated by the letter Vav, Sefira Yesod – level of an embryo;

b) ZA designated by the letter Vav, Sefira Tifferet, consisting of six parts of his hands – level of nursing;

c) ZA that stands between AVI, while Nukva must ascend to him, thereby reaching the level of reception of Ohr Hochma.

d) ZA, the letter Vav, above him areten Sefirot Keter-Hochma, below him are ten Sefirot Bina-Tifferet-Malchut – and together they make up the letter Aleph. And the final corrected state will come when Malchut ascends to Keter of ZA (the Upper Yod in the letter Aleph) at the end of correction. When Malchut ascends above Parsa (Vav), she receives the Light herself, whereas when she descends below Vav, she receives from ZA. As Malchut ascends, she forms Taamim (tone marks), when she descends, she is called Nekuda (point), and when she merges with ZA, she is referred to as a point inside Vav (Shuruk).

The order of ATBaSH: There is a special combination of letters, e.g. the first with the last (‘A’ through ‘T’), the second with the second last (‘B’ through ‘Sh’), etc., which designate the conditions for diffusion of the Upper Light from Above downwards.

MANTZEPACH: All the worlds and Partzufim were created with the twenty-two letters of Malchut. The screen is located in the head of the Partzuf, preventing the Light from entering. It repels the Light, calculates how much it can receive for the Creator’s sake, and only then accepts it.

Each of the five levels of the will to receive that exist in Malchut, in the Guf of the Partzuf, has a corresponding restriction in the screen, located in the Peh, to prevent the Light from entering the body. Therefore, the screen in the Peh consists of five parts, forces.

These five restrictive forces of the screen, five exertions of the screen are designated by the five final letters of the alphabet: Mem-Nun-Tzadik-Pey-Chaf (abbreviated as MANTZEPACH). They are called “final letters” because they are written only at the end of words. These forces determine the reception of Light in the body of the Partzuf, and therefore beget the other twenty-two letters (Kelim, corrected desires, which receive the Light). Although the five letters MANTZEPACH are only found at the end of words, in oral speech they represent the five groups of pronunciation of the twenty-two letters. And the letters MANTZEPACH stand at the head of each group.

Out of the five letters MANTZEPACH originate five groups of sounds:

  1. Peh-Keter: a group of four sounds-letters emerges from the throat; they are called AChHAAleph-Chet-Hey-Ayin. Aleph is the Light of Partzuf Keter of Atzilut, concealed from the lower ones and called Atik. Chet is the Light of Partzuf Hochma of the world of Atzilut, called Arich Anpin and also concealed from the lower ones. Hey is the Light of Partzuf Bina of the world of Atzilut, called Ima (mother), who receives the Light of Hochma from Aba (father) in order to pass it on to her children (ZON). Ayin is the Light of Zeir Anpin’s face. Since the Light of ZA that enters Malchut is called “the Torah,” it is said that the Torah has Ayin (70) faces, that the Creator (ZA) has Ayin (70) names. After all, with regard to Malchut, ZA is the Creator. Therefore, seventy souls descended to Egypt, and so forth.

  2. Chaf-Hochma: a group of four sounds-letters emerges from the palate; they are called GIChiKGimel-Yod-Chaf-Kuf. The letters AChHA transfer the Light to the letters GIChiK: Aleph passes the Light to Gimel,which carries reward (GemulGimel) for the righteous. Chet passes the Light of Hochma to Yod, but this Light is concealed. Hey illuminates Chaf with the Light of Bina,which carries joy. Ayin illuminates Kuf. Just as Ayin = 70, as it consists of seven Sefirot, Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod-Malchut, each containing ten Sefirot of its own, Kuf =100, as it consists of ten Sefirot from Keter to Malchut, each consisting of its own ten. Hence, the palate fully complements the throat.

  3. Nun-Bina: a group of four sounds-letters emerges from the tongue, called DaTLaTDalet- Tet- Lamed- Nun-Tav.

  4. Mem-ZA: a group of four sounds-letters emerges from the lips, called BOMoCHBet-Vav-Mem-Chaf.

  5. Tzadik-Malchut: a group of four sounds-letters emerges from the teeth, called ZaSSHRaTZZayin-Samech-Shin-Reish-Tzadik.

Voice and speech: Voice is formed in ZA, speech – in Malchut. If he who is righteous, and who exists in the worlds BYA, raises his prayers (MAN) to Malchut of the world of Atzilut, he causes ZON to ascend to AVI, and unites them in a constant Zivug so as to assure the Light’s descent to the lower ones. ZON receives the Light from AVI; this Light is called “voice” and “speech,” and this is the power of the righteous – to create the pure and destroy the impure with their voice.

Man’s speech is conceived in the lungs: as the air exits the lungs and reaches the mouth, it turns to voice, and as it leaves the mouth, it becomes speech. Two lips accept the voice from the two parts of the lungs (the left and the right) and turn it into speech. Each lung consists of five parts so as to pass to the five parts in the mouth: to the guttural letters AChHA, the labial letters BOMoCH, the palatal letters GIChiK, the lingual letters DaTLaT and the dental letters ZaSSHRaTZ.

The seven primary Sefirot of ZA are called “Seven Heavens.” The seventy names of ZA originate from the seventy (7 x 10) Sefirot of ZA. ZA himself is called “Heaven,” and Malchut is called “earth.” The Sefirot of ZA are also known as Ruach (because of the Light of Ruach in them), which ascends to Bina (ears), where it turns to sound, with Hochma in the left ear and Hassadim in the right.

The Letter Tav

Each of the twenty-two letters corresponds to a particular spiritual degree, on which it acts. The letter itself is that spiritual degree. Hence, the letter Tav claims that its properties are the most suitable for the creation of the world, that its properties can bring the world to correction and to the goal of creation, for it defines the property of “truth,” the Creator’s seal.

The impure forces exist solely on account of the miniature Light received from the pure forces; this Light is called Ner Dakik (tiny candle). Without this Light, the impure forces would neither be able to exist nor to function – tempting man with the pleasures they received from the tiny spark of Light that fell from the pure Sefirot. Therefore, the last, lowest pure degree lets a little bit of the Upper Light down to the impure forces.

Without the support of the pure forces, the impure forces would instantly disappear. A question arises: who needs them to exist and what for? Obviously, the impure forces were created on a par with pure ones by the Creator Himself, for there is no other power in the entire Universe besides Him.

It was necessary to create impure forces in order to concentrate them in the enormous desires to receive pleasure, in immense egoism. The system of the impure worlds of ABYA serves as a kind of storehouse of desires to receive pleasure, from which, to the extent of his correction, man can take more and more new desires so as to correct them. Thus, by attaching uncorrected impure forces to himself and correcting them, man can gradually ascend higher and higher, up to the level of the Creator. For this purpose the Creator created impure forces and sustains them through the system of pure ones.

The impure system of the worlds ABYA exists on the same level, parallel to the pure one. Our world is located under these two spiritual systems. Our world is also called egoistic and impure, but its forces and desires are so insignificant that they are located below the worlds of the impure ABYA.

When, with the help of Kabbalah, one surmounts the level of our world’s egoism, he enters the pure world of Assiya. And immediately after, the impure world of Assiya begins to influence him, tempting him with its false pleasures. By overcoming the temptations of the impure world of Assiya, one ascends spiritually. But until one surmounts the impure desires of his body, of our world, he will not begin to sense, or enter the spiritual worlds, for he would not be able to withstand the impure forces that act there.

Unlike the forces that act in the spiritual world, man in our world is only influenced by the small egoistic force called his “body,” his ego. Man can struggle with this force, either winning or losing his battles. But even if he is defeated, man retains that tiny spark of Light (Ner Dakik), which sustains his existence.

Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag gives the following example: man’s work in this world resembles writing on a school blackboard, where any mistake may be wiped off without harming the writer, where he can make corrections and write anew, until he learns to write correctly. Only when he learns to write correctly is he allowed to enter the spiritual realm.

Therefore, our world is the most insignificant of all. Everyone must begin here, and everyone is bound to return here, and be born again and again until he crosses the boundary between our world and the spiritual one. (There are many additional conditions required for the soul to not descend to this world anymore, and those who will merit, will understand.)

Hence, the vertical line, the leg of the letter Kuf, descends below the writing line, which signifies the Light descending through this letter down to the impure forces. And no other letter descends below the writing line, like the Kuf does.

For the impure forces to exist (any creature, whether pure or impure, can only exist by receiving Light), the last, lowest degree of pure forces descends into the impure forces and gives them the Light necessary for their existence and realization of their role: to entice man with their pleasures and convince him to act according to the law of the impure forces.

At first, the left leg of the letter Tav also descended below the writing line. But the Creator saw that the impure forces would then be too closely connected to pure ones, so He severed this connection and returned the left leg of the letter Tav back to the writing line, to the level of the pure forces.

As a result of this shortening, the left leg of the Tav doubled in thickness, as it folded in two, and no Light passes to the impure forces anymore. On the contrary, it even becomes the Creator’s seal by holding the impure forces at bay and preventing them from stealing the Upper Light, for as soon as any impure forces touch it, they instantly die.

And all the life-force necessary for the sustenance of the impure forces is passed by the Creator through the letter Kuf, because, being the first letter of Malchut, it is remote from them; thus, there is no fear or risk that its connection to the impure forces would become too strong.

Malchut consists of only four letters from Above downwards: Kuf, Reish, Shin, and Tav. Kuf is the first, Tav is the last, and below it are the impure forces. Therefore, if they receive the Light they need according to the thought of creation from Kuf, the furthest letter from them, the impure forces have no way of “stealing” more Light than Malchut, who consists of four letters, is obliged to give them.

This is why this letter is called Kuf, to show that it gives strength to the impure system of ABYA – a fake (nonexistent) man, just as a monkey (Kof in Hebrew) resembles a human being.

And it misleads people by pretending to be the truth and claiming that its path leads to the attainment of spirituality, the Creator, Lishma, the sensation of the Creator. However, the pure forces maintain that only with the help of the Torah can man attain adequate correction of his properties so as to merge them with the Creator.

And this is what the letter Tav claimed: because it is the Creator’s seal of truth, it stands at the end of the pure system and does not allow the impure forces to cling to pure ones, and pose as if they are pure. This is why its properties are worthy of becoming the basis for the creation of the world – so that via the analysis of good and evil, purity and impurity, inhabitants of this world may be sure that by acquiring its properties they will achieve the goal of their creation.

The four letters Kuf-Reish-Shin-Tav make up the four Sefirot of Malchut of the world of Atzilut: Keter-Hochma-Bina-Tifferet, where Tifferet consists of six SefirotHesed-Gevura-Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod. But when the letter Kuf is by itself, without Reish-Shin-Tav, the Torah, which spreads to the worlds BYA, also shines upon the impure forces, and the angel of death receives the strength to destroy all that lives. This state is designated by the letter Kuf. But when Malchut is corrected, she is designated by the letter Hey, whose difference from Kuf lies in the long leg of the Kuf (Malchut de Malchut).

This long left leg, which turns the Heyinto Kuf, indicates that the Light descends from the pure forces (Partzufim) to the impure worlds of BYA, the impure forces referred to as death. And when Malchut joins with Bina and receives the strength from Bina to ascend and receive the Light, the other letters join Malchut, and she draws the Light of life from Bina.

In this state, the left leg of the Kuf is reduced in half, turning the Kuf into Tav, whose left leg is twice as thick, due to its shortening. The part of Malchut that passed Light to the impure forces now ascended out of them, hence there are two kinds of Malchut: Miftacha (key) – the part that joined with Bina, and Man’ula (lock) – the part that ascended out of the impure forces.

These two parts of Malchut manifest in different ways: Miftacha – openly and Man’ula – secretly. Two paths of bringing man to correction emerge from them: the good path of the Torah and the path of suffering.

However, after Malchut corrects her properties and joins with Bina, she no longer parts from Bina, but, upon receiving Light from her, Malchut pours it onto the worlds, and the impure forces lose their strength to sow death and rule over the world. And if a case arises where a sinner must be punished, the impure forces must first receive permission to punish him, for without permission they may not reveal the Man’ula.

Thus, after Malchut joins with Bina, thereby correcting her properties, the impure forces are no longer free to rule the world, unless they are permitted. The reason for this is the letter Tet, the last letter of Bina, which sends the Light of life to all with the help of the Miftacha. After Malchut joins with Bina, she becomes a Miftacha, and does not let go of this connection. Respectively, the impure forces, the leg of the letter Kuf, can no longer sow death.

Three places emerge from this: (i) where only the properties of the letter Tet rule by shining with the Light of life of this world; (ii) the entire world after Malchut joins with Bina, defined as Miftacha, when the letter Tet shines upon all, but permits the punishment of sinners according to the rule: “You advance towards the goal either by the path of the Torah or by the path of suffering”; (iii) hell, the place of eternal punishment by the letter Kuf, in contrast with the first place, ruled by the letter Tet, where life is eternally prosperous.

All the letters with all their secret properties, described by those who understand them, are located in the Temple. All the Upper and lower worlds are created and function in the framework of their laws-properties, and the Supernal Name, the Creator’s name HaVaYaH rules over all.

The Mishkan (tabernacle) in the Temple was also designed with the help of letters, for its builder, Betzalel, knew how to join the letters that made Heaven and earth. And since he was unique in possessing this wisdom, he was entrusted with the building of the sanctuary.

As the Creator chose Betzalel Above, so He wished him to be chosen below, as He said to Moshe Above: “Choose Betzalel.” So Moshe said to his people below: “The Creator has chosen Betzalel.” For such was Betzalel’s name-property (Be Tzel El) – “In the Creator’s shadow.”

The Creator is called ZA or the SefiraTifferet in Partzuf ZA, which shines upon the Sefira Yesod, called Tzadik (righteous one). Betzalel is called Yesod, which receivesthe Light of VAK – an incomplete Light – from Tifferet, which is hence called “sitting in the shadow,” and, in turn, shining into Malchut. Thus, like Tifferet, the Sefira Yesod that passes this Light also consists of six Sefirot: Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod.

The name of the letter Tav, “truth,” indicates that in order to reach its level, its degree, one must attain the property of truth. Therefore, the letter Tav claimed that with its properties man can fully analyze good and evil, renounce his impure desires as false, and to the degree that he renounces them, draw closer to the pure desires (forces), and thereby be certain that he will reach the goal of creation – correction of all his desires (Gmar Tikkun, end of correction).

This corresponds to the saying: “The Creator is close only to those who truly ask Him for help.” For only with His help can one achieve correction and spiritual elevation. However, this help only comes to those who genuinely, “truly” demand it. As soon as man is able to cry out wholeheartedly for the Creator’s help, he instantly receives it. And if he does not receive an answer from the Creator – it is a sign that his request is not yet complete, that he did not yet fully realize his egoistic nature and properties as worthless, has not yet fully felt his helplessness and inability to exit and correct his properties by himself. This is why letter Tav was certain that once man acquires its property of truth, he will be able to reach the goal.

But the Creator answered her that it is not worthy of becoming the basis of creation, for the forces of judgment that would arise from it would be so strong that even the complete righteous, who fulfilled the entire Torah from Aleph to Tav (A to Z) and reached the property of truth, will nevertheless be punished by it, for they have not destroyed all the sinners, as it is written in the Talmud (Shabbat, 55).

Furthermore, the Creator declines its request, for it is also the seal of death, as its power brought death to this world. For man is bound to die, as the serpent forged its seal and deceived Adam in his understanding of the Tree of Knowledge. This is why the world cannot exist with its properties.

The Letter Shin

24. The letter Shin appeared before the Creator and said: “Maker of the world, it befits the world to be created with me, for Your own name Shadday begins with me.” The Creator replied: “You are fine, handsome, and truthful, but since the letters (properties) of the word Sheker (falsehood) took you to be with them, I cannot create the world with your properties, for SheKeR (falsehood) exists only because the letters Kuf and Reish took you.”

Malchut consists of ten Sefirot and has two endings:

1) If she has only her own properties, she contains all ten Sefirot, from Keter de Malchut to Malchut de Malchut. In this case she firmly restricts the diffusion of Light and is designated by the letter Tav;

2) If Ima-Bina of the world of Atzilut fills Malchut with her Light, Partzuf Malchut ends not in the Sefira Malchut, but in the Sefira Yesod, and is designated by the letter Shin.

The three tips of the letter Shin are called its crown and signify the Light of Bina, Ohr Hassadim (the Light of mercy), which descends from Partzuf Ima-Bina into Partzuf Malchut. This Light of Bina, Ohr Hassadim (the Light of mercy),creates new altruistic properties in Malchut, altruistic intentions to receive the Light for the Creator’s sake, after which Partzuf Malchut can receive the Ohr Hochma (Light of wisdom) from ZA (Talmud, Sanhedrin, 22). When bonded so, ZA and Malchut are called “husband and wife,” and the Light that Malchut receives from ZA is called “100 blessings.”

This new ending of Partzuf Malchut in the Sefira Yesod instead of in the Sefira Malchut is therefore called Yesod de Nukva or “the central point of existence,” for all that exists in the world originates from it and exists thanks to it. Partzuf Malchut is the sum of all the creatures, and we are all its parts. All the worlds and all that inhabit them constitute various parts of Partzuf Malchut of the world of Atzilut.

Each Upper Partzuf is considered the Creator of its adjacent lower Partzuf, for the latter originates (born) from it. Therefore, in relation to all the creatures, Zeir Anpin of the world of Atzilut is considered and called “the Creator,” our Creator.

And, like the Tav, the letter Shin is called “truth” and “the Creator’s seal,” for a seal signifies the end of a spiritual object – Partzuf, like a seal fixed at the end of a letter, written in the name of the Creator. The Creator's seal is similar to Himself; this is why the seal is called the mark of truth, for only the presence of a seal gives a letter the force of truth, and confirms the truthfulness of its content.

However, the significance of the letter Shin is greater than that of the letter Tav, for Shin is the first letter of the word Shadday, one of the Creator’s names-properties, designating His power, by which He said “ Dai” (enough) to creation – stop and do not descend further (Talmud, Hagigah, 12) – do not descend below the letter Shin.

This reveals that the world and its inhabitants can only exist with the help of the letter Shin, thanks to its property that restricts the diffusion of Light. The Creator said: “Stop, Creature, at the letter Shin, and do not spread to the letter Tav,” for if the Light had spread to Tav, the impure forces would have received such great strength that man would have no hope of escaping them and reaching altruistic properties. This is why the ending point of Shin is called “the central point of existence.”

Therefore, after the letter Shin saw the Creator refuse the letter Tav, precisely because ending the diffusion of Light with Tav creates conditions for correction of the world that are too difficult for man to meet, the letter Shin claimed that its property of Shadday is suitable for the creation of the world, and was certain that the Creator would choose it – its properties – as the basis of creation, for it possesses all the advantages that Tav lacked, which was the reason for the Creator’s refusal.

And it has Tav’s advantage, as well: it is the Creator’s seal – truth. Moreover, it has an additional advantage: it is called by the name Shadday, the new ending of Malchut for the inhabitants of the world, instead of the ending by the property of the letter Tav. Based on all that, the letter Shin found the strength and courage to appear before the Creator with the proposition to create the world with it.

But the Creator answered that precisely because of Shin’s additional advantages compared to those of the letter Tav, the impure forces opposite it are strengthened. For opposite each letter (spiritually pure forces or properties) there is an opposing impure force (egoistic desire), as it is written: “The Creator had made one opposite the other” (Kohelet, 7:14).

The strengthening of the impure forces from the properties of the letter Shin occurred as a result of her properties joining the impure properties of falsehood, forging spiritual purity of the letters Kuf and Reish: falsehood would be unable to exist in the world, for it would be recognized at once, had the letters Kuf and Reish not put Shin at the head of the word SheKeR (falsehood). And when truth stands at the head of the word that designates the property of falsehood, man naturally tends to err.

There are two sources of impure forces: the first is a small luminescence (Ner Dakik), which the pure force itself (the Creator) sends to the impure forces (desires) so as to sustain them. This is done so they would not disappear until there is a need to “punish” the sinners with them. However, these are small forces – their height is not great, for they receive only a small luminescence, sufficient to sustain their life.

This small luminescence descends into the impure forces from the letter Kuf, which results in these impure forces becoming similar to man in the worlds BYA, as a monkey in comparison to a human being, as it is said: “The Creator had made one opposite the other” (Kohelet, 7:14).

The second source of impure forces arises from the lower ones’ spiritual fall: as a result of people’s evil, egoistic actions, the Light passes from the system of the pure forces into the impure. And the first transgression is Adam’s sin, by which the system of the impure forces assumed an identical formation to that of the pure system, stationing itself opposite, parallel to it. As a result, the impure worlds ABYA emerged opposite the pure ones.

The second source of impure forces is the letter Reish, which indicates that the impure forces rise and attach themselves to the pure forces, right up to the level of Bina of Malchut, designated by the letter Dalet.

As was previously stated, the twenty-two letters of Partzuf Malchut of the world of Atzilut are divided in three groups of letters: units in Bina, tens in ZA, and hundreds in Malchut.

The letters Aleph-Bet-Gimel correspond to Sefirot Keter-Hochma-Bina, called “the head” of a spiritual object (Partzuf). The letters from Dalet to Tet refer to the body of the Partzuf.

The body only receives what descends to it from the head. Therefore, Dalet, the first letter of the body, through which the body receives Light from the head, is called Dalahve Aniyah (poor and destitute). Dalet only receives what Gimel gives it. Since Gimel contains the Light of Hassadim, that is, what descends into Dalet.

And this is why the letter Gimel is called Gomel Hassadim (merciful One) (Talmud, Shabbat, 104), according to its action with regard to Dalet, which would otherwise be completely without Light. The protruding sharp angle on the right side of Dalet is the sign of Dalet’s abundance of Ohr Hassadim.

However, opposite the pure (altruistic) Malchut, stands the impure Malchut, who is pride and does not wish to receive the Light from Gimel and rely on it. Instead, she rises up in the desire to be the head, and in so creates the sharp angle of the Dalet. That indicates that the presence of Ohr Hassadim disappears, transforming it into the letter Reish, which is written as it is pronounced – with two letters: Reish and Shin.

The true merging of the pure ZA and Malchut is called ECHaD (one), consists of the letters Aleph, Chet and Dalet, for the letters from Aleph to Chet are the nine Sefirot of ZA. He passes the Light from Gimel of Bina to Gimel of Malchut, resulting in Malchut being filled with the Light of Hassadim, thereby becoming Dalet with a protruding right angle. As a result of this, ZA and Malchut become one.

When the lower ones (people) sin in their actions (intentions), they give the impure Malchut the strength to cling to the pure one – Dalet, to erase the sharp angle of the Light of Hassadim and turn it into the letter Reish. Thus, the word Echad (one) becomes Acher (other, alien, foreign): Aleph-Chet-Dalet of the word Echad are transformed into Aleph-Chet-Reish of the word Acher, for instead of the connection with the Creator emerges a connection with other, impure forces, called “ Elokim Acherim” (other gods), which cling to ZA and Malchut of the pure world of Atzilut.

This leads to the letters Kuf and Reish distorting the Creator’s seal (Shin), the letter of truth. As a result, Yesod of Malchut, which receives from Yesod de ZA, becomes linked to the impure source instead of the pure, for a new Yesod of the impure Malchut was formed with the help of the letter Shin.

From here the impure forces develop up to ten Sefirot with a head and a body, whereas Shin becomes the source of all that desolates, for destruction of purity begets impurity. And from this emerged the system of the impure worlds ABYA of the impure man.

Thus, we have learned how the letters Kuf and Reish became the two sources of emergence and development of impure forces. And since the impure forces pose as pure, they are called false, counterfeit letters whose purpose is to annihilate the system of the pure forces and their unity with the Creator, so as to forge themselves out of the devastation of the pure forces.

The birth of the impure forces from the destruction of the pure ones is possible on account of the letter Shin, Yesod of Malchut, joining with the impure forces as a result of the forging of the letter Reish out of Dalet. Thereby, Echad turns into Acher, and the system of the impure forces (Elokim Acherim, other gods) is created.

And had the letters Kuf and Reish not captured the letter Shin, such an enormous system of impure forces, so capable of lying and falsifying everything in the eyes of man, would not have come into being.

Therefore, the Creator answered the letter Shin: “Though you are good, you will stand at the head of the word Sheker (falsehood) together with the letters Kuf and Reish. Indeed, upon capturing you, with your power they will be able to create an entire system of impure forces of falsehood and forgery. Hence, I cannot create the world with your properties, for since there is an impure system opposite from you, it is impossible to achieve the goal of creation with you.”

The Letters Kuf and Reish

25. From the aforesaid, it follows that whoever wishes to tell a lie will succeed if he first tells the truth as a base on which the lie will then grow and start to act. And this is because the letter Shin is a letter of truth, in which the Patriarchs had been united, for the three lines in the writing of the letter Shin (ש) signify the three Patriarchs, who designate the Sefirot-properties Hesed- Gevura- Tifferet.

The letters Kuf and Reish indicate the evil side, as they form the impure side, called KaR (cold), which lacks warmth and life, for it draws its sustenance from Malchut when she turns from living water into ice. However, to create an opportunity to exist, these letters attach the Shin to themselves, thus creating the combination KeSHeR (tie, knot), which embodies strength and survival.

For the Light of Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet of Bina, which she receives from Yesod de ZA, creates a new ending in Malchut, a new Kli-desire to receive the Light called “100 blessings” from ZA. And since Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet are called the Patriarchs, and the Light that passes to Malchut descends from them, the letter Shin that designates them is called “truth.”

By eliminating the sharp angle of the letter Dalet, the impure forces turn it into the letter Reish. By this, they convert the word ECHaD into ACHeR, thereby stealing Yesod of the pure Malchut, designated by Shin. Also, with the letter Shin they build the Yesod of the impure Malchut, which leads to a very strong clinging of impure forces to pure ones. This clinging is called KeSHeR, the reciprocal tie joining pure and impure forces, a knot that is not easily severed.

From the aforesaid, we see that the reason for the letters wishing for the world to be created with them is that each of them believes that only its properties can correct the world. The letter Shin thinks that the Light of Hassadim will bring the souls to the goal of creation. However, the letters Kuf and ReishKaR (cold) – do not desire this Light, for receiving the Light of mercy for the sake of bestowal is pure, but receiving it for the sake of pleasure is impure.

The Letter Tzadik

26. Subsequently, the letter Tzadik appeared before the Creator and said: “Master of the world, You should create the world with me, for Tzadikim (the righteous) are marked by me. You, who is called a Tzadik (righteous one), are also recorded within me, for You are righteous and You love righteousness. Therefore, my properties are suitable to create the world by.”

The Creator answered: “Tzadik, you are truly righteous, but you must remain concealed and not be revealed to the extent required were the world to be created by you, so as to not give the world an excuse.” The concealment of the letter Tzadik is necessary, for first came the letter Nun, which was then joined by the letter Yod from the Creator’s Holy Name Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey (HaVaYaH), who stood above it as a mark of the bond between the Creator and His creations, mounted the letter Nun and joined it on its right hand side, thereby creating the letter Tzadik.

The reason for the necessity of concealing the letter Tzadik, which makes it unsuitable for the creation of the world with it, is that when the Creator created Adam, i.e., ZA, He created him as two Partzufim-objects – male and female, connected to each other back to back. This is why the letter Yod stands with its back to the back of the letter Nun, both facing opposite directions, just as the letter Tzadik is depicted: the face of Yod turned upwards, while the face of Nun is turned downwards.

And the Creator also said to Tzadik: “In the future I will revoke the relationship of back-to back, and will join them face-to-face. In another place shall you so rise as such, but not at the beginning of creation. For in the beginning of creation, you must be connected back-to-back by the letters Nun and Yod, for this form indicates that the Light in you is concealed. Therefore, the world cannot be created with you.” The letter Tzadik then left.

Tzadik came to suggest that the world should be created with its properties, for when it saw that the Tav’s request was turned down by the Creator due to its heavy laws, and the letter Shin – due to the impure forces clinging to it – it thought that its properties could be suitable for the creation of the world. After all, it, too, contains the Creator’s seal, and no impure forces cling to it.

That is why Tzadik said to the Creator that the righteous are sealed by its name as a mark of their union with Him, by circumcision and turning up of the place of contact (Zivug) with the Creator, which, thanks to these corrections, repels all the impure forces.

The Creator, called Bina, is also marked by Tzadik, for He is righteous like ZA, since the Upper Part of Bina of the world of Atzilut (Aba ve ImaAVI) corresponds to the male and female parts, like ZA and Malchut. And AVI are forever joined so as to send down the Light of mercy and thus sustain the existence of all that are below them. This is why Tzadik thought itself suitable for creating the world, for the world lives by the Light of mercy, and can reach the goal with its help.

The letter Tzadik is called the SefiraYesod of ZA. When Yesod joins with Malchut, it is defined as Tzadik (righteous), for the nine Sefirot of ZA are from Yod to Tzadik, and Kuf is the beginning of Malchut, which consists of four SefirotKuf, Reish, Shin, and Tav.

When Malchut is joined with Yesod of ZA, Kuf is joined with Tzadik, and Yesod is called Tzadik (righteous). And to this the Creator replied to Tzadik that it is Tzadik in Yesod of ZA: “And you are Tzadik in Me, for AVI are forever joined so as to pour down the Light of mercy and sustain the existence of the lower ones. And you are righteous, for Malchut is also connected to you, just as in the alphabet, Kuf follows Tzadik. Yet, in spite of all that, you do not merit for your properties to become the basis of the world.”

Yesod of ZA includes in itself Malchut in the form of the letter Kuf in the word TzadiK. And when Malchut is included in Yesod as Tzadik, it is designated by the letter Nun, for Nun is Gevura of ZA (Yod-Keter, Chaf-Hochma, Lamed-Bina, Mem-Hesed, Nun-Gevura).

When ZA grows and becomes big, his Sefirot Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet become Sefirot Hochma-Bina-Daat. Thus, Gevura becomes Bina. And when ZA becomes small once again, Bina, too, returns to being Gevura (Nun). This fall is designated by Nun’s head looking down.

The letter Tzadik consists of the letters Nun and Yod connected back-to-back. The letter Nun designates Malchut with the properties of the Sefira Yesod included in her; Yod designates the actual Yesod of ZA. Their connection – back-to-back, facing out in opposite directions – indicates that impure forces cling to their backs.

They conceal their backs from strangers since there is a flaw in their backs – the desire to receive the Light of wisdom (Ohr Hochma). This flaw must be concealed so as to prevent the impure forces from clinging to their backs. Therefore, the letter Tzadik is unsuitable for the world to be created by its properties. Its very shape reveals an opportunity for the impure forces to cling to it; this is why Adam (created out of ZA and Malchut when they are joined as Tzadik) is also created consisting of two halves, male and female, joined at their backs.

And if the letter Tzadik were to argue that in the big state, in the presence of Ohr Hochma, ZA and Malchut unite face-to-face, it would be told that such connection is impossible at their place, but only during their ascent to AVI. For if such a connection were possible in their own place, the impure forces would immediately cling to them. For this reason, the letter Tzadik is unworthy of becoming the basis of the universe.

The Letter Peh

27. The letter Peh entered and said: “Master of the world, it would be good to create the world with me, for the future liberation of the world is inscribed in me, as the word Pedut (liberation, redemption) begins with me. That is, liberation is deliverance from all suffering. And it is therefore fitting to create the world with me.”

The Creator answered her: “Though you are fine, the word Peshah (transgression) begins with you and is secretly denoted by you, like a serpent that strikes and hides its head in its body. So a sinner bows his head, hiding from others’ eyes, but stretches out his hands to sin. So is the shape of the letter Peh, whose head is hidden inside it.” And the Creator also said to the letter Ayin that it would be unfitting to create the world with its properties, for within it is the property of Avon (crime, sin). And though Ayin tried to object, saying that its properties are contained in the word Anavah (humility), the Creator refused it nonetheless.

Pedut (Liberation) begins with the letter Peh, meaning that the property of Peh is contained in future liberation. This is why the letter Peh claims that it is worthy of being the basis of the world. Indeed, both Galut (exile) and Ge’ula (redemption) depend on Malchut: when Malchut has no inner Light of Hochma, the people of Israel are exiled from the land of Israel. For in our world, the land of Israel corresponds to Malchut of the world of Atzilut, the spiritual land of Israel.

Just as in the spiritual world, ZA (Israel) distances from Malchut (the land of Israel), the people of Israel separate and leave their land in our world. And when the children of Israel correct their actions, they cause ZA (Israel) to fill his Malchut (the land of Israel) with Light, build her with his Light and unite with her face-to-face. As a result, the children of Israel of our world merit redemption and return to their land.

The Light from ZA, which builds and fills Malchut, descends from Sefirot Netzah and Hod in ZA. Hochma of Malchut clothes in Netzah and Bina of Malchut clothes in Hod. The letters Ayin and Peh are Netzah and Hod in ZA. This is why Peh, the SefiraHod in ZA, claimed that it was suitable to be the basis of the world, for the Light of Hochma that brings redemption to the entire world stems from Peh to Malchut. Thus, if the world achieved its property, it would undoubtedly reach the end of correction – complete redemption.

The letter Peh thought that it was more suitable to become the basis of the world than Ayin because although Ohr Hochma enters Netzah-Ayin and Hod-Peh, and is mainly present in Netzah-Ayin, redemption depends on Hod-Peh, nonetheless. That is because initially, Bina liberates Malchut from her restrictions and thereby redeems her.

By receiving from Bina her properties of mercy, Malchut merits redemption. This is fulfilled in the following way: Bina transcends her own properties and joins with Malchut, as a result of which, upon receiving the Light of Hassadim, Malchut can now receive the Light of Hochma. The restrictions imposed on the reception of Light mostly affect the left side, i.e., Hod-Peh in ZA. And that is why the letter Peh thought that since the Light of Bina enters it, and not Netzah-Ayin, it is better suited to become the basis of the world.

However, all the individual corrections made during the 6,000 years of the world’s existence until the end of correction are considered incomplete, for the Upper Light, which allows for the discovery and analysis of all the impure forces within oneself, is not present in its entirety. Therefore, the Light may not be received in the worlds of BYA, below Parsa, below the boundary that separates the world of Atzilut from the worlds of BYA.

Parsa is Malchut that ascended to Bina in order to restrict the diffusion and reception of Light into those parts of her that are located below Bina. And as a consequence of Adam’s attempt to nevertheless receive the Light under the Parsa, impurity slipped into Malchut, of which it is said that the serpent appeared before Chava (Eve) and brought impurity upon her (Talmud, Shabbat, 146). This impurity will only be corrected at the end of correction.

The thing is that the absence of the Upper Light in the force capable of discerning good from evil in all of Malchut’s thickness gives rise to a flaw called “tears” – two tears that fall into a vast sea from the two eyes of Hochma and Bina that are concealed from all.

The two eyes are Hochma and Bina, and the tears signify the flaw in them from the presence of the impure force that appeared in them as a result of Adam’s sin. This led to the ruin of the two Temples. These tears in Malchut’s eyes will only dry at the end of correction, when death disappears from the world and all the Light shines in Hochma and Bina (item 56).

So the letter Peh was told that although it brings the world Pedut (redemption) with its light, and although all redemptions pass only through it, this light is incomplete. All the individual corrections are imperfect, for they come and go, just as the two Temples.

For the properties of Peshah (transgression) and Pedut (redemption) in the letter Peh are not sufficiently perfect and complete so as to withstand the sin of Adam, for in the absence of the full Light of Hochma, there is clinging of impure forces. Hence, the letter Peh is unworthy of being the basis of the world.

And since the property of Peshah (transgression) is concealed, the force of the serpent is present therein, deceiving people and leading them to their death. And it is impossible to kill it, just as a snake bites and immediately hides its head in itself (similar to the head of the letter Peh), which makes it impossible to kill it, for one may only kill the serpent within oneself by striking the “head.” This is why the letter Peh is unsuitable for the creation of the world.

The Letter Ayin

Bina of the world of Atzilut is called Ima Ilaa (Supernal Mother) and also Anavah (modesty, humility). (Here, the capital “A” designates the letter Ayin, not to be confused with Aleph). The Sefira Netzah of Zeir Anpin (designated by the letter Ayin) clothes into Malchut with all of its Light, and ascends to Bina, who adorns her with her own adornments: Bina clothes into Netzah of ZA. But since the letter Peh, signifying Peshah (transgression) is concealed in Netzah, the Creator refused to create the world with its properties, as it is written in item 27.

Two words render the meaning of the word “transgression” in Hebrew: Peshah and Avon. However, “transgression” is mainly concentrated in the letter Peh, for Malchut of ZA connects into the Sefira Hod of ZA.

As a result of Adam’s sin, Klipot (shells, impure forces) cling to Malchut of ZA. But Netzah of ZA is a property of ZA himself, and impure forces cannot cling to it. Yet, as it is written in the Talmud (Baba Kama), even Netzah is subject to Klipot clinging to it.

This flaw – the ability of the impure forces to cling to Netzah of ZA – is called “transgression.” However, the word Avon” (not Peshah) indicates that Netzah is pure and direct, and that the transgression is caused by its connection with the Sefira Hod.

The reason the Creator turns to the letters Peh and Ayin at the same time is that Netzah and Hod are like two body parts – two legs. This is why they both appeared before Him with their requests. However, The Zohar clarifies each of them (their properties) one at a time.

The Letter Samech

28. The letter Samech appeared before the Creator and said: “Creator of the world, it would be good to create the world with my properties, for within me is Smicha (support) for the fallen, as it is written: ‘The Creator supports (Somech) all who fall.’” The Creator replied: “That is why you are needed in your place; do not move from it. If you move from your place, contained in the word Somech, those who fall will lose your support, for they rely on you (your properties).” Having heard this, the letter Samech departed.

The letter Samech stands for Sefira Tifferet in ZA, i.e., Bina in the body of ZA. Since Sefirot Keter-Hochma-Bina (KHB) were transformed into Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet (HGT) in ZA, they were emptied of the Light of Hochma, and were left with only the Light of Hassadim, thus changing their name from KHB to HGT.

As we know, Bina consists of two parts: the Upper Part, called GAR: Gimel (three) Rishonot (first ones) – the first three Sefirot KHB, and the lower part, called ZAT: Zayin (seven) Tachtonot (lower ones) – the seven lower Sefirot from Hesed to Malchut. The Upper Part of Bina is called AbaveIma(AVI). Being filled with the Light of mercy, Abave Ima exist in a state of perfection – without any desire to receive, but only to bestow.

AVI are designated by Samech (numerical value – 60), for they include the first three Sefirot KHB and three Sefirot of ZA, which, in view of the absence of Ohr Hochma in ZA, are not called KHB, but rather HGT. Therefore AVI consist of six Sefirot, each consisting of ten, totaling 60 = Samech.

ZAT of Bina receive the Light from Above and pass it on to ZA. This part of Bina has the property of ZA, rather than of Bina,as it needs to receive exactly what ZA needs, and then pass it to him. Since, unlike Bina, who does not wish to receive anything, ZAT of Bina need to receive Ohr Hochma for ZA, they feels a lack for it, and thus separate from Bina and an independently existing object- Partzuf forms out of her lower part.

This Partzuf is called YESHSUT, and it is designated by the letter Mem (numerical value – 40), for it consists of four SefirotTifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod of Partzuf AVI. Owing to its shape (properties), the block-letter Mem is called Mem Stumah (closed).

However, this separation of AVI into two parts occurs only when they have no Light of Hochma, but only the Light of Hassadim. Consequently, the Upper Part of Bina remains in its perfection, whereas the lower part feels a flaw in its state by not receiving Ohr Hochma. And since spiritual objects are separated by the differences in their properties, the sensation of imperfection separates the lower part of Bina from the Upper.

However, if those below improve their “intentions” (called “actions” in the spiritual), and ask ZA for help in correcting their actions, overcoming the egoism of impure desires, and acquiring spiritually pure, altruistic desires, ZA then turns to the superior YESHSUT, which turns to AVI. AVI then send their request even higher, receive the Light of Hochma and pass it to YESHSUT.

Finally, YESHSUT and AVI unite into one Partzuf, for having received Ohr Hochma, YESHSUT becomes as perfect as AVI are perfect being filled with Ohr Hassadim. YESHSUT passes the Light of Hochma down to ZA, who then passes it to Malchut. The Light that Malchut receives from ZA is referred to as 100 blessings, for Samech = 60 joins with Mem = 40.

However, when man sins in his intentions (desires, actions), he does not turn to Malchut with a request for help, causing the Light of Hochma to disappear from ZA, and ZA returns from Gadlut (big state) back to Katnut (small state). (When ZA contains the Light of Hochma, he is called “big”; and when he is filled with only the Light of Hassadim, he is called “small”). And the united Partzuf Bina is once more divided into AVI and YESHSUT.

In this small state (Katnut), ZA and Malchut are in danger of impure forces (Klipot) clinging to them. To make certain this does not happen, for then they may fall from the world of Atzilut below the Parsa into the worlds BYA, AVI send them the property of Samech (the Light of mercy). And although it is only the Light of Hassadim without the Light of wisdom (Light of Hochma), it provides ZA and Malchut with the sensation of perfection in acts of bestowal, and thus impure forces can no longer cling to them, for the sole intention of the impure forces is to receive the Light of wisdom from a pure Partzuf.

And this is why the Light that fills ZA in Katnut is called Samech, which testifies to its action: Samech “supports” ZA and Malchut so that they wouldn’t fall from the world of Atzilut below the Parsa.

That is why the letter Samech thought that if the world were created with its properties, it would be able to reach the goal of creation and merge with the Creator. Its Light could shine in ZA and Malchut even in their small state, and the Klipa (impure force) would not attempt to snatch the Light from them. On the contrary, the impure, egoistic forces would flee from its Light. Samech believed that if the world were to be created with its properties, it would be able to protect all creatures, even when their actions were corrupted, for even in such a state, the impure force would not be able to harm them.

But the Creator said to Samech that precisely because its role is to support those who fall and to protect the lower ones in times of their spiritual descent, it must stay in its place and not move from it. For if the world were created by it, its power would always prevail over all, ridding ZA and Malchut of the chance to grow out of their small state.

And if ZA and Malchut don’t stimulate the lower ones (people) to raise MAN – request for help in achieving Gadlut, the Upper Light will not be able to descend to bring the creatures to the end of correction and redemption. Therefore, the letter Samech must support the lower ones until they merit more. But when they do merit, they will be able to receive the great Light called “100 blessings” into their entire Partzuf. So the Creator refused to create the world with the letter Samech.

“Because the lower ones need Samech only in their Katnut, in the absence of the Light of wisdom (Ohr Hochma), ZON need you and you can help them. However, they need you only in their Katnut. But you do not help to bring them to perfection, and so you cannot be the basis of the world.”

The Letter Nun

29. The letter Nun entered and said to the Creator: “It would be good for You to create the world with me, for Norah Tehilot (great praises) is written with me, as well as ‘Praising of the righteous.’”

The Creator replied: “Return to your place, for you are the reason that the letter Samech returned to its place. And rely on it for support. For the letter Nun exists in the word Nefilah (fall), which must be corrected by the letter Samech. This is the reason why it needed to return to its place – so as to strengthen the lower ones.” The letter Nun left Him at once.

When Nun saw that the Creator sent the letter Samech away (as its properties are only used in the state of Katnut, that is, only to support those who had fallen from the Gadlut), it thought that it was worthy of being the basis of the world. This is because not only does Nun have all the advantages of Samech, but it can also use Ohr Hochma, the Light of Gadlut. Thus, the reason for the Creator’s refusal to Samech does not apply to Nun.

The Sefira Gevura in ZA is called Nun, for it is entirely mitigated by Bina’s property of mercy, called Nun = 50 gates of Bina. It is this property of Gevura that gives ZA the name Norah Tehilot (great praises). Ima-Bina is called Tehilah (praise), and since Gevura descends from Bina, it is referred to as Norah Tehilot, while Nun is used in the Sefira Yesod, in the Gadlut of ZA during his Zivug with Nukva. Like Ima, this is whence Nukva receives the name Tehilah, while ZA becomes one in both TehilotIma and Nukva.

Therefore, the letter Nun said that, being in Gevura, the left line of ZA, it attracts the Light of mercy emanated by Samech (Bina, Ima), which is also called the “Upper Tehilah,” as a result of which ZA acquires its properties and the name Norah Tehilot to match them. This is why Nun has all the properties of Samech: the Light of mercy that bestows perfection and repels the impure forces-desires.

The letter Nun added: “However, I have an additional advantage in that I am used during the big state of ZA in his Yesod, in the letter Tzadik, of which I am the left element.” This Nun in the letter Tzadik is that same Nun that is defined as Norah Tehilot (praises of the righteous), for even when ZA achieves Gadlut during the ascent of ZON to AVI, Nun also acts in Yesod of ZA, connecting Nukva back-to-back with ZA, so that ZA receives the Light of mercy from AVI (Samech).

And so Nun is called “praises of the righteous,” for Yod (righteous one, the basis of the world) mounts it. Nun is called “great praises,” for it attracts the Light of wisdom to Malchut in the state of Gadlut.

Therefore, we find that Malchut receives all her beauty from Nun, which is located in Yesod of ZA. This is why the letter Nun claimed that it merits for the world to be created with its properties, for its luminescence adds to the Light of wisdom that unites and revives ZON, and does not merely support them, like the letter Samech.

So the Creator answered it: “You are wrong in thinking that you merit leading the world to complete correction by your properties, without the clinging of impure forces, for even your properties need to be supported by the letter Samech. Indeed, this is precisely why you are connected back-to-back with the letter Yod, and the Light of Samech guards you against the clinging of the impure forces onto you. And that is why your properties, which rely upon the strength of Samech, are merely ones of support. Hence, you are unworthy of becoming the basis of the world.”

The Letters Mem and Lamed

30. The letter Mem entered and said: “Master of the world, it would be good for You to create the world by me, for Melech (King) is called by me.” The Creator replied: “That is so, but I shall not create the world by you, for the world needs a King. Return to your place. Also, I shall not create the world with the letters Lamed and Chaf that form the word MeLeCH (King), as the world cannot exist without a King.”

The letter Mem is the Sefira Hesed in ZA, which receives the Light from its corresponding Sefira Hesed in Bina. When, in addition to the Light of mercy in his small state, ZA receives the Light of wisdom and becomes big, his Sefirot HGT turn into Sefirot Hochma-Bina-Daat (HBD). In other words, Hesed in ZA ascends and becomes Hochma, thereby revealing a new Light, the Light of Hochma, the Light of the Creator’s face.

This is why the letter Mem claimed that it was suitable for the world to be created by it, for it reveals the Creator’s Light to the world, thereby eliminating any risk of impure forces clinging to it, and so the world is guaranteed complete correction.

But the Creator answered that it is forbidden to reveal this Light to the world, for the world needs for this great Light to first clothe itself in the three letters of the word MeLeCH. In other words, the great Light may be revealed in the world only if Mem joins with the letters Lamed and Chaf. So the Creator said, “Go and join with them.”

Mem in the word Melech is Hesed. Lamed is Bina, which passes the Light to ZA. The letter Chaf is Malchut, Nukva of ZA, for there cannot be a Melech (King) without Malchut (Kingdom). Also, all of the Light becomes revealed only thanks to Malchut.

In this case, Malchut shines from ZA in three places:

1) Malchut becomes a Kisseh (throne) for a King (ZA). A Kisseh derives from Kissui (cover, concealment), so it is designated by the bent letter Chaf.

2) Malchut clothes ZA. Because the great Light is revealed only to Israel, Malchut clothes ZA, and when her kingdom is revealed, ZA frees himself from her garment and throws it over all the nations of the world, idolaters, and the Light of his face pours upon Israel. And all the righteous then point their finger at the Creator and say: “This is the Creator, to whom I aspired!” This diffusion of Light is designated by the letter Chaf.

3) Malchut becomes a crown on the head of ZA. And this is the property of the letter Chaf, of Keter (crown of ZA).

The Letter Chaf

31. At this time the letter Chaf descended from the Kisseh – the Creator’s throne, and stood before the Creator. It trembled and said to Him: “Creator of the world, with my properties I merit to become the basis of the world, for I am Kavod – Your Glory.” When the letter Chaf descended from the Creator’s throne, all the worlds trembled, and the throne itself, verging on collapse. The Creator then answered: “Chaf, what are you doing here? I will not create the world by you. Return to your place, for you exist in the word Kelayah (destruction) and in the word Kalah (bride).”

The Creator’s throne is the world of Beria. The appearance of the letter Mem before the Creator led to the letter Chaf falling from His throne. As a result, Hochma and Bina of the world of Beria trembled, as well as all the lower worlds with all their inhabitants.

All the arguments that the letters raised in their wish for the world to be created with each of them is like raising MAN – a request for precise measure of help from Above in the form of Upper Light (called MAD), corresponding to that particular letter.

If so, ZON will rule the world, and this ruling is effected by the very Light descending from ZON in the exact quantity of MAD that each letter evoked and caused, for the MAD precisely corresponds to the MAN in both quantity and quality, whereas MAN is the actual property of the letter. Hence, each letter argues that it can draw the kind of Light from Above that will surely bring all creatures to the goal.

Similarly, the Creator’s answers to each of the twenty-two letters of ZON de Atzilut constitute the descending MAD (the Upper Light, strength, help) that precisely corresponds to the MAN raised by that particular letter. And when the Upper Light that descends from a particular letter begins to rule the world, this signifies the Creator’s reply to that letter. Since the impure forces cling to one of the letter’s properties, as the Creator created two precisely balanced, opposing systems of pure and impure forces, this reveals the letter’s inability to rule the world. And thus, the Creator dismissed each letter’s individual claim to build the world by its property in order to bring it to the goal of creation.

Herein lies the Creator’s “game” with each of the twenty-two letters, giving each the opportunity to reveal its properties, power and forces, until it becomes clear from their aspirations and analysis, which of them truly merits the world being governed by it.

From this we see that when the letter Mem began to reveal its great Light in the world, in doing so, it caused the fall of the Kisse (throne). This is so because the Kisse has two properties: (i) it covers and conceals the Creator, where the word Kisse derives from the word Kissui; (ii) it reveals the Creator’s greatness in the worlds with the help of the three letters MeLeCH. Then, Malchut that became a Kissui, the Creator’s cover, ascends and turns to Chaf – the Creator’s own garments – thus revealing the King (Creator), and it becomes a crown on His head.

But as soon as the letter Mem, which was not clothed in Chaf, began to reveal the Light of the Creator’s face, the letter Chaf fell from the Kisse (the throne of His Glory), stopped concealing Him, and stated that from now on only the Creator’s revealed glory would rule over it, without any kind of concealment, as desired by Mem.

Owing to Chaf’s fall from the throne, two hundred thousand worlds that originate from Hochma and Bina of the world of Beria, as well as the worlds below them, shook and trembled on the verge of collapse. For the entire connection between the lower degree or Partzuf and the one above it lies in the fact that Malchut of the Upper Degree becomes Keter of the lower. And the property of the letter Chaf consists in clothing Malchut of an Upper spiritual object in Keter of a lower one.

There are three distinctive features to the throne: (i) six steps leading to the throne, six Sefirot – Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod of the lower one; (ii) four legs of the throne, the Light in Sefirot Keter-Hochma-Bina-Daat of the lower one; (iii) Malchut of the Upper One that descends to the lower one, clothes into it, and all the Light from the Upper One is passed through her to the lower one.

Thus, when Chaf fell from the throne of the Creator’s glory, the connection between the world of Atzilut and the throne (world of Beria) was severed. This is so because Chaf (Malchut of the world of Atzilut) that clothes in Sefirot Keter-Hochma-Bina-Daat of the world of Beria pours all the Light onto the world of Beria, called the throne of His glory. But when Chaf fell from the throne, the connection between the world of Atzilut and the world of Beria was severed, Chaf trembled, for it lost the power to bestow upon the world of Beria, and two hundred thousand worlds (Hochma and Bina out of Sefirot Keter-Hochma-Bina-Daat of the world of Beria) trembled in fear of collapsing, for they lost all of their life-force, which they receive from the world of Atzilut.

Similarly, in the world of Atzilut, Bina of the world of Atzilut, the Creator, is connected with ZON. This is because Partzuf Bina of the world of Atzilut consists of ten Sefirot, and her last Sefira, Malchut, clothes in ZA of the world of Atzilut with the property of the letter Chaf. Malchut of the Sefira Bina, which clothes in ZA, is the letter Chaf. And this letter Chaf is the Creator’s throne in ZA. For the Creator is Bina, Sefira above ZA. And ZA becomes a throne for Bina. And during the fall, the connection between Bina and ZA is severed, since Chaf is Malchut of Bina; it clothes into ZA and passes all the Light to him.

And it therefore trembled (lost its ability to bestow upon ZA), and so did two hundred thousand worlds, which are the Light for ZA, called Hochma and Bina or KHBD – the four legs of the throne – for all the Light departed from them. And the worlds trembled in fear of collapsing, that is, Sefirot Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod in ZA that include all the worlds below them, for all the Light of Bina departed thence.

The Creator told the letter Chaf that because it fell from the throne of His glory, the first three Sefirot of ZA trembled, and all the other worlds are on the verge of total collapse and destruction without any hope of restoration; hence, Chaf must return to its place in the throne of glory.

Chaf’s return to its place in the Creator’s throne takes place just as He refuses to create the world with the letter Mem, for the world needs a King. That is, the trembling of the letter Chaf as it fell from the Creator's throne, which in turn, made the worlds tremble in fear of possible collapse, and the Creator's answer to the letter Mem transpire simultaneously.

The Letter Yod

32. The letter Yod entered and said: “Maker of the world! It would be good to create the world by me, for Your Holy name begins with me.” The Creator replied: “It is sufficient that you are inscribed in My Name, in Me, and all of your aspirations are to Me, and you should not be uprooted from it all.”

Since Yod is the first letter of the Creator’s name HaVaYaH (Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey), the beginning of the Creator’s revelation to creatures, the first degree of the Upper Light, the letter Yod argued for the world to be created with its properties, for the world would then be absolutely guaranteed complete correction. However, the Creator objects to it. As was already stated, the letters’ questions and the Creator’s answers signify the Creator playing with each letter, where the letters’ questions are their MAN, and the Creator’s answers are MAD in the form of the Upper Light.

So, by telling Yod, “It is sufficient,” the Creator thus explained the creation of restriction – that the Light is only allowed to descend to its level, but no further. And this restriction is fixed in the Creator’s name Shadday (Shin-Dalet-Yod). After Yod began to spread with the great Light, the Creator stopped it, forbidding it to spread to the letter Tav, but only to Shin (as was said above, in item 25). He said to it: “Enough, and do not spread further. Otherwise you will not be able to remain forever in My Name HaVaYaH.”

As the sages said: “My Name is not pronounced as it is written. For it is written HaVaYaH, but pronounced Adonay” (Talmud, Pesahim, 50). Indeed, the name HaVaYaH is not subject to change, as it is written: “For I, the Lord (HaVaYaH), do not change” (Malachi, 3:6). For corruption and its correction emerge in the days of the world’s existence, meaning that constant changes are coming. Therefore, until the end of correction, the Creator is called Adonay, for this name is subject to change, and not HaVaYaH, which can never be altered.

Yet, in the future, after the end of correction, HaVaYaH will be pronounced as it is written. Therefore, the Creator said, “If I see some fault or evil in you, by this you will be removed from My Name, for My Name, HaVaYaH, may not contain anything flawed or corrected – neither corruption nor correction. And this is why the world cannot be created by your properties.” There are three degrees in the letter Yod of the name HaVaYaH: in the Sefira Hochma of ZA, in Hochma of AVI, and in Hochma of Arich Anpin, called “concealed wisdom.”

HaVaYaH begins with a dot, which then turns into Yod. Subsequently, Yod (Ohr Hochma) spreads to the sides and downward and turns into the letter Dalet, which consists of a horizontal roof-like line that indicates the property of Bina-Ima (mercy, Hassadim, width). When Ohr Hassadim stops spreading in width, Ohr Hochma begins to spread downward in the form of a vertical line. This is the leg of the letter Dalet, the property of Hochma-Aba.

The common property of AVI is designated by the letter Dalet. AVI beget ZA, designated by the letter Vav inside the Dalet, and eventually forms the shape of the letter Hey. Thus, the request of ZA(Vav) to receive from AVI compels them to unite their properties of Hochma (vertical line) and Hassadim (horizontal line), with the help of the letter Yod. Consequently, AVI receive the Light from Yod and pass it on to ZA.

The screen with the desires of Malchut is called “a point,” since the collision between the screen and the coming Light yields Returning Light. And since the received Light always consists of ten Lights, the screen is called “ten points.”

Yod designates the spreading of Nekudot inside Partzuf Keter, from the Light of Hochma downwards, while Vav signifies the spreading of Nekudot inside Partzuf Hochma. However, there is no sign in HaVaYaH that indicates the diffusion of Light in Keter.

Entrance or exit of the letter Yod in a word signifies either presence or absence of the Light of Hochma. There are four kinds of correction:

1. The First Ibur – conception of the small state of ZON. This is an absolutely passive spiritual state, where the letter Yod enters the word Ohr (Light) and transforms it into Avir (air), becoming the VAK of the Partzuf.

2. The letter Yod exits the word Avir, which converts it back to Ohr: the Light of Hochma enters VAK of Partzuf;

3. The Second Ibur – conception of the Gadlut state of ZON: AHP of Bina ascend from ZON to Bina,and GE de ZON ascend with them, for they were together in the Katnut state, defined as conception of GE de ZON;

4. The diffusion of the Light of Hochma.

The Letter Tet

33. The letter Tet entered and said: “Maker of the world, it would be good to create the world with me, for it is by me that You are called Tov (Good).” The Creator replied: “I will not create the world by you, for your goodness is concealed within you and is invisible. Therefore, it cannot take any part in the world that I wish to create, and will only be revealed in the world to come. And since your goodness is concealed within you, the gates of the palace will sink into the ground, for the letter Chet is opposite from you, and when you join together, the word CHeT (sin) will be formed. This is why these two letters are not recorded in the names of the holy tribes.” The letter Chet immediately moved aside.

The letter Tet, whose numeric value of nine, is the inner property of the Sefira Yesod in ZA, while the outer property of Yesod in ZA is the letter Tzadik, whose numeric value of ninety, and it joins with Nukva deZA, forming the notion of Tzadik (righteous one). Besides being the inner property of Yesod in ZA, Tet is also the ninth letter among the letters of Bina in ZA.

Also, Tet is called Tov (good). And since Tov is called Tzadik, for it is the inner Light of Yesod, called Tzadik, to whom no impure forces could cling, Tet calls on the above to justify its claim to become the basis of the world.

In the Talmud (Hagiga, 12), the sages wrote: “In the Light by which the Creator created the world, Adam saw from one end of the world to the other. But the Creator saw that the deeds of the generations of the Flood and the builders of the Tower of Babel are detrimental, and concealed that Light for the righteous in the future.” Because the Creator saw that their actions will bring the threat of the clinging of the impure forces, He concealed this Light, Thus, the Light descended secretly from the Supernal Righteous (AVI) to the righteous one (Yesod in ZA), the letter Tet.

And so the Creator told Tet that because He must conceal it from the sinners and only the righteous will be worthy of it in the world to come, it cannot partake in the creation and correction of the world, for the world is ZON, and the letter Tet is constantly in danger of being clung to by impure forces.

And since this Light shines only secretly inside Yesod of ZA, and not openly, Nukva will not be able to receive this Light directly, but only through its concealment in her. Therefore, the gates of Nukva sink into her Sefira Yesod, which safeguards them against the clinging of the impure forces, and they are confident that the impure forces will not be able to rule over her gates. For even at the time of the ruin of the Temple, the impure forces could not rule over the gates of the Temple, and sank into the ground, that is, the ground consumed them. “But because you are in need of such protection, I cannot create the world with you,” the Creator answered Tet.

There are two pipes (channels) in Yesod de ZA in the world of Atzilut: the right one serves for the birth of the souls, and the left one for throwing away waste to the impure forces. The letter Chet is Hod, whose property is Malchut in ZA, the left pipe in Yesod of ZA, for the properties of the letter Chet are the properties of Kuf included in Yesod, whereas Kuf emanates Ner Dakik (tiny Light) to the impure forces, from which they receive the strength to be similar to an image of a pure man, as a monkey compared to a man, for the Creator created purity parallel to impurity.

These two pipes are located very close to each other, separated only by a thin partition, called “a garlic husk.” Consequently, the left pipe has the strength to rule over the right one, thereby forming CHeT (numerical value 8 + 9 = 17).

The numerical value of CHeT (17) equals that of the word TOV (9 + 6 + 2 = 17), which means that the impure force opposes the pure one. And if the right pipe (the letter Tet) prevails, the word CHeT (sin) will turn into TOV (good, goodness).

Since the left pipe (CHeT) has the strength to rule over the right one (Tet), the impure forces can suck the Upper Light for themselves. This would give power to the sinners of the world. This is why neither Chet nor Tet are present in the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, to show that they (the tribes) are above the letter Chet, the root of all the opposing impure forces.

When all the letters merited receiving a blessing through the letter Bet, they lined up in their alphabetical order, in which the letters Tet and Reish joined. The letter Tet ascended, but did not take its place until the Creator asked her: “Tet, why did you ascend, but do not take your place?” It replied: “You created me to begin the words Tov (goodness) and Torah, as it is written: ‘And the Creator saw that the Light was good.’ How then can I join and stand beside the letter Reish, when it begins the word Rah (evil)?”

The Creator answered: “Return to your place, for it is precisely you that needs the letter Reish. For man, whom I intend to create, combines all those properties – you as the right property, and Reish as the left.” After that, both Tet and Reish returned to their places.

Three lines emerge in ZA of the world of Atzilut. However, they emerge from their source, Bina. (As a result of the second restriction, Malchut ascends to Bina, which leads to Sefirot Bina-ZA-Malchut falling into a lower Partzuf, into ZA.) Bina is called Eloh-im(Aleph-Lamed-Hey-Yod-Mem), and as a result of second restriction, her part Aleph-Lamed-Hey (the ELEH of the word Eloh-im, AHP) fell into a lower Partzuf, to ZA. Only the letters Yod-Mem (the IM of Eloh-im) remained in Bina. This means that only half, (VAK, GE) remained in her from the previous level of GAR. Whatever is left is designated by a sign called HolamVav with a dot above it, as this is the right line, Ohr Hassadim.

Then, in the big state, the letters Aleph-Lamed-Hey (ELEH) returned to Bina and joined with Yod-Mem (IM). Subsequently, the level of GAR returned, yet the Light of Hochma in Bina was incomplete, for the Light of Hassadim disappeared and the Light of Hochma cannot shine without the Light of Hassadim. The returned letters A-L-H are Shuruk - Vav with a dot inside it, because, due to the restrictions in it, it constitutes the left line.

These restrictions are effective until ZON, upon ascending to Bina, begin to receive the Light, and the middle line emerges and reduces GAR of Hochma in the left line. As a result, the right line joins with the left: Ohr Hochma shines in the Ohr Hassadim. This middle line is called Hirik-Vav with a dot under it, or the screen of Hirik, for the Light enters the Partzuf because of it.

And since Bina regained GAR with ZA’s help, ZA, now that he had acquired the three lines, begins to receive this Light from Bina, too. Yod-Mem (IM), Tet and Holam constitute the right line, Aleph-Lamed-Hey (ELEH), Reish and Shuruk constitute the left.

Now let us translate this into the language of Sefirot. When Bina returned once more to the state of Gadlut, ELEH returned to IM, the left line merged with the right, and this drove Tet (right line, Hassadim) away from Reish (left line). This is because being opposite to each other, they cannot stand side by side until the Creator (ZA, middle line) reduces the GAR of both the left and right lines by the force of His screen, which is expressed by the words: “And the Creator commanded it to return to its place.”

GAR de Hochma is called Man’ula – the lock that prevents the Light from entering a Partzuf, and its diminution is called Miftacha – the key that opens a passage for the Light, VAK of Hochma, to spread in the left line into a Partzuf. Then, Tet, the right line, receives Ohr Hochma from the left, joins with Reish, receiving from it the Light of Hochma. Otherwise it would have remained in VAK. Adam, too, is created from the union of these two lines.

But why was the letter Tet reluctant to join with the letter Reish, and had to be forced to do so by the Creator? In the spiritual world, a root rules over all its branches, and the branches submit to its rule. Therefore, Tet did not wish to join with Reish, as it was then bound to become a branch and submit to its root, Reish.

However, the Creator wanted Tet to receive the Light of Hochma from Reish so that this union would enable man to receive the Light of GAR. Thus, when ELEH return to Bina, He made it so Bina’s restrictions would be weakened so as to allow the Reish to join with the Tet and receive the Light of Hassadim from it. It follows that Tet becomes the root with regard to Reish, for without its Hassadim, Reish would be unable to shine, due to the restrictions placed on its Light.

The Letter Zayin

34. The letter Zayin entered and said: “Maker of the world, it would be good to create the world by me, as Shabbat is preserved with me, for it is written: ‘Remember (Zachor) the day of Shabbat, so as to keep it.’” The Creator replied: “I will not create the world by you, for within you is a force of war, as sabers and swords, called “Klei Zayin” (weaponry), are made by you. And you are like the letter Nun, with which the world was not created, for within it is Nefilah (fall)” (item 29). Having heard that, the letter Zayin left Him.

The letter Zayin is depicted as a combination of Vav and Yod, as a head over it, which signifies the big state and the great Light in Malchut, ZA’s wife, for Malchut includes herself into her husband, ZA (designated by Vav), and becomes a crown (Yod) on his head. Together, these two letters, Vav with Yod standing above it, form the letter Zayin.

Therefore, it is written: “Remember the day of Shabbat, so as to keep it holy.” As a result of Shabbat’s elevation, that is, Nukva’s ascent to the head of ZA, when she becomes his crown, she includes herself in the word Zachor (remember) and receives the name Nukva Kedoshah (holy Nukva). This is why the letter Zayin claimed that since this Light is so great and holy that it brings absolute rest on this day, for purity is completely separated from impurity in this state called Shabbat, it is worthy of becoming the basis for the creation of the world.

Zayin is the Sefira Netzah in ZA. When Nukva is included in Netzah and merges with its properties, she gains the strength to ascend along with ZA to AVI. There she becomes a crown on his head, by which he is adorned, which signifies the day of Shabbat. However, since this correction occurs solely as a result of her inclusion in the male essence and their ascent to AVI, and not in her regular place, where she normally abides with ZA, Nukva cannot be corrected completely during the 6,000 years.

The reason for this is that when Nukva returns to her place on weekdays, her connection with the letter Zayin is defined as a Kli Zayin (weapon), and all the wars with the impure forces emerge from her, like the weekdays that prepare Shabbat.

For every man must defeat the impure force within him on the weekdays, and thus merit the King’s daughter – Shabbat. However, during the 6,000 years, the Light of Shabbat is insufficient for the neutralization of the impure forces, for weekdays return and surround the Shabbat. This continues until the end of correction, when there will be only Shabbat as the day of absolute perfection for all eternity.

This is also why the Creator replied to Zayin: “I will not create the world with you, for when you are in your place, your Light is not yet perfect. Only after you defeat the impure forces in war will man be able to attain you.” And the shape of the letter Vav (ZA) resembles a spear, ready to strike and pierce through the impure forces. For Gevurot (courage) signifies the left line of Bina’s male part (Nun).

The Letters Vav and Hey

35. The letter Vav entered and said: “It would be good to create the world with me, for I am a letter from Your Name HaVaYaH (Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey).” The Creator replied:Vav, both you and the letter Hey should just be glad to be contained within My Name. This is why I will not create the world with your properties.”

Although the letter Yod expressed a similar request, Vav thought that Yod had been turned down because of its excessive size (spiritual force). This is why Vav claimed that it would be good to create the world with its properties, i.e., according to the letters Vav- Hey in the name HaVaYaH, with the Light of the Supernal Bina (Ima) of the world of Atzilut.

The Creator responded with the same answer he had given to the letter Yod – that He restricted it by saying to DaY (Dalet-Yod): “Stop at the letter Shin and spread no more, so that the impure forces would not cling to you.” Hence, the letters Vav and Hey are not suitable for the world to be created with their properties, for even they need protection against the impure forces.

Sefira Tifferet is designated by the big letter Vav (Vav with a head), for it has all six (Vav) Sefirot: Hesed-Gevura-Tifferet-Netzah-Hod-Yesod. Yesod is the Sefira that is responsible for passing the Light from ZA to Malchut. This is why it has the same Light as in MalchutNHY without HGT, and this is also why Yesod is called the small Vav(Vav without a head).

The Letters Dalet and Gimel

36. The letters Dalet and Gimel appeared before the Creator. However, the Creator told them right away: “It is enough that you are both together, so that as long as the poor exist on earth, there is someone to treat them with mercy (Li Gmol Hesed). The letter Dalet derives from Dalut (poverty), while Gimel renders mercy to it (Gomelet Hassadim). Therefore, you cannot part, and it is enough for you to aid one another in this way.

It was already stated (item 24) that although Dalet receives the Light from Gimel and its sharp right angle protrudes from the Light of Hassadim, the impure forces are nonetheless strong enough to cling to it, separate it and make the sharp angle smooth, thus transforming it into the letter Reish.

This is why the letter Dalet requires special protection so as not to be corrupted and to be able to continue being fulfilled by Gimel so as to keep the needy ones (Dalut) in the world from disappearing. Thus, it is sufficient for these two forces to sustain and complement one another, to fulfill one another in reciprocal union so as to prevent the impure forces from ruling. And this role is enough from them. This is why the Creator did not want to create the world with them.

The Letter Bet

37. The letter Bet entered and said to the Creator: “Maker of the world, it would be good to create the world by me, as by me You are blessed Above and below. For Bet is Berachah (blessing).” The Creator replied to Bet: “Of course, I will create the world by you, and you shall be the basis of the world!”

The letter Bet is the property of Hochma (wisdom), or rather Hesed in Hochma, a point in a palace, for Ohr Hassadim is a palace for Ohr Hochma and is called Berachah (blessing). Passing through all of the worlds from the Creator down to the lowest degree of the lowest world, this Light does not diminish in any way.

Rather, just as this Light is at the Highest Degree that receives it from the World of Infinity, it is just as great, magnificent, and mighty in the world of Atzilut, and likewise all the way down to the world of Assiya. And it does not get coarser or weaker as it passes through all the screens from Above downwards.

That is why the letter Bet vied for the world to be created with its properties, as the Light of blessing is the same both Above and below; no screen can weaken it and no coarse desires can harm it.

This is also why the property of mercy (Hassadim) is most suitable for the creation of the world, for no impure forces can cling to it. This is because the impure forces can only cling to a place where there is a deficiency. And since there is no deficiency of any kind in the property of mercy, there can never be any contact between Bet and the impure forces.

The Creator agreed with Bet that its property is perfect and suitable for the creation of the universe by Him. As it is said: “Olam (world) Hesed (mercy) Yi Baneh (will be built),” where Yi Baneh means Boneh (building) and HaVana (understanding). (In Hebrew, the letters Vav and Bet are denoted by the letter Bet). This is because the Creator determined that this property is entirely sufficient for precisely evaluating and separating pure from impure.

And if man seeks an idol in the Creator’s stead, a Berachah (blessing) does not descend upon him, for blessing stems from the Creator alone. Thus, it is possible to determine who is righteous and who is a sinner, who works for the Creator’s sake and who works for himself, for the world is built by mercy.

Yet, the Creator did not order the Light of mercy to rule the world. He merely intended it for a good beginning, sufficient to bring the world to perfection. This is because the Light of Hassadim is incomplete (VAK, and not GAR), insufficient for begetting new souls, for their union and multiplication, as no Partzuf (spiritual object) can beget until it attains the full Light of Hochma, termed GAR or head. Until then, the Partzuf remains in a state of imperfection.

Our normal (the lowest possible) state is determined by the property of the letter Bet. Hence, the Creator laid it as the basis for the creation of the world. In other words, the basis of a state is a state of a pure Partzuf (object), when nothing at all can diminish or impede it.

In such a state, an addition of Ohr Hochma to Ohr Hassadim, necessary for the birth of a new Partzuf is no longer considered basic and essential. Rather, it is defined as an addition, i.e., it depends solely on the good deeds of the lower ones. And the fundamental Light, VAK, will never be lacking.

The Letter Aleph

38. The letter Aleph stood outside and did not enter to appear before the Creator. The Creator said to it: “Why do you not come to me like all the other letters?” Aleph replied: “Because I saw all the letters leaving your presence without the desired answer. And besides, I saw You presenting the letter Bet with this great gift. And, indeed, the King of the universe cannot take back his gift and give it to another!” The Creator replied: “Although I will create the world by the letter Bet, it is you who will stand at the head of all the letters, and there shall be no unity in Me, but through you alone; all accounts and deeds of this world shall always begin with you, and all of unity shall be in you alone.”

As we already know, all the letters’ questions are Aliyat MAN – their individual requests, prayers, desires to ascend to the Creator. And the Creator's answers to them are called Yeridat MAD – the descent of the Light from Above, giving strength and abundance according to the letters’ requests. The great perfection in the letter Aleph stems not from the lower ones’ request for spiritual ascent and correction, but from a force (Light) descending from Above and elevating those that dwell below.

This is why from the beginning of correction to its end, Aleph (unlike the other letters, whose properties fuel the process of correction during the 6,000 years) is never stimulated to raise its request to the Creator. And only if the Light that bestows strength for spiritual ascent descends from Above and begins to shine upon Aleph will it be stimulated. However, this will only take place at the end of correction.

Aleph did not raise its plea (MAN) to the Creator, for it saw that all the other letters asked, but to no avail, for there was an opposite property in the system of the impure forces against each of their properties. Therefore, Aleph decided that it was no better than the rest, that there is a corresponding impure force against it as well.

Furthermore, it raised no requests (MAN) to the Creator because it saw that the Creator decided to create the world with the letter Bet, mercy. And since it had no doubt that His decision was irrevocable, it decided not to ask Him.

Although it is true that the world was already created with the property of Bet, and that the Creator will not turn His gift over to another letter, the Partzuf that was created by the property of Bet is incomplete, small, VAK without a head. And since a Partzuf needs a head in order to reach the state of Gadlut, which is possible only when the Partzuf is filled not only with the Light of mercy (Hassadim), but also with the Light of wisdom (Hochma), more letters are necessary for the connection, conception and birth of a new Partzuf, a new state.

A state of Gadlut can only be achieved with the help of the property of the letter Aleph. Only Aleph can bring a Partzuf to Gadlut, to supplement its body, VAK, with a head, GAR, Mochin – the Light of Hochma. The letter Aleph brings the union between ZA and Malchut in a face-to-face position, whereas previously, in Katnut, while being filled with only the Light of mercy, ZA and Malchut were connected back-to-back. This is why Aleph creates a head for all the letters, and hence stands at the head of the alphabet.

The Creator said: “That is why My Unity in the world is expressed only through the property of the letter Aleph. Furthermore, all rewards and punishments, distancing and drawing nearer, as well as the aspiration for spiritual correction (Teshuvah), all of which lead to the achievement of the end of correction, will only happen by the property of the Aleph. I have made Bet the basis of the Partzuf so that it would be in no way dependent on the deeds of the lower ones. Thus, even if they begin to sin, those above will remain unaffected.”

He continued: “But the Light in you, Aleph, is directly related to the actions of the lower ones. So if they sin, the Light of wisdom (the Light of GAR in you) will immediately disappear. But if they correct their actions (Teshuvah), the Light of Hochma will return. And My unity with all the creatures at the end of correction will only be realized through the letter Aleph.”

Letters are Kelim (plural for Kli – vessel), desires. And this refers to both the individual letters of the alphabet and those that form words. In the names of spiritual objects, letters signify the force of their desire, which the Light can fill. Letters of a simple name, without filling, designate its basis without Light – Kli of Aviut zero with the Light of Nefesh. Letters of a fulfilled name designate the magnitude of desires that are filled by Light.

There are two sources of letters: Yod and Aleph. Yod is a genuine source, for when we write something, we begin with a dot (Yod), and then, as we proceed from the dot in one of the four directions, we get a line. Letters are Kelim, desires, in which the Light (pleasure) is received.

A desire for something specific may only emerge if: (i) the initial, still unconscious desire is filled with delight, and (ii) the delight exits the desire. It is the memories (Reshimot) of past pleasures that lead to the emergence of a true desire to receive it, to feel it once more. And this is the very desire that is called Kli.

A filled Kli cannot be called a desire, for it is satisfied. Therefore, expulsion of the Light and sensation of spiritual descent constitute the period of the creation of new Kelim for future receptions of Light, for new attainments. Because the first restriction is the reason for the disappearance of Light from all the vessels, its black dot, Yod, is the basis of all the letters- Kelim.

However, the second restriction is the only true root of all the worlds, because the first restriction was only made on a point, (Phase Four, Malchut, the fourth letter Hey in the Creator’s name HaVaYaH). The second restriction, however, was made on Bina, in whom the two points, Bina and Malchut, were joined. The union of the two points forms a line, either vertical or horizontal. If it is a horizontal line, it is called “firmament” or Parsa.

The sum of consequences of both the first and second restrictions forms a slanted line (\); GE (Keter-Hochma) is depicted to its right, and AHP (Bina-ZA-Malchut) to its left. Keter-Hochma remain on their previous level and are designated by the letter Yod, the first root of the world, whereas, a result of the second restriction, designated by a slanted line (\), Bina-ZA-Malchut fell to a lower level. And since the letter Yod is the first, though a very remote root of the worlds, and all the worlds were created afterwards and in accordance with the law of the second restriction, the letter Aleph stands at the head of the alphabet.

The kind of Light that fills the spiritual Kli or Partzuf can also be seen from its designation: if it is filled with the Light of wisdom (Ohr Hochma), the filling is designated by the letter Yod; and if it is filled with the Light of mercy (Ohr Hassadim), it is the letter Aleph.

39. The Creator made the Upper letters, which refer to the Sefira Bina, large, and the lower letters that refer to Malchut – small. Therefore it is said: “Beresheet Barah” (in the beginning He created) – two words that begin with Bet, and then Elokim Et (the Creator Himself) – two words that begin with Aleph. The first set of Aleph and Bet are letters of Bina, and the second set of Aleph and Bet are letters of Malchut. And they should mutually affect one another with their properties.

When the Upper One wishes to give Light to the lower one, it should clothe in the lower one, signified by the first two letters Bet and the two letters Aleph in the first four words of the Torah. For the first, Upper Bet is Bina, the second, lower Bet is ZA, and the first Bet clothes into the second one.

Similarly, the first Aleph refers to Bina and clothes into the second Aleph in ZA so as to fill it with Light. Therefore, the two letters Bet are like one letter Bet and the two letters Aleph are like one letter Aleph, since the lower letter merely constitutes the influence of the Upper One, which tells us that the Upper Partzuf fills the lower one.

The world cannot be created with Aleph, for the word Arur (cursed) begins with it, and had the world been created with Aleph, the impure forces, called “cursed,” would have received great power from the pure forces, called Baruch (blessed). This is why the world (Nukva of ZA) is created with the letter Bet. Likewise, Adamin Nukva of ZA is also created by the power of Bet. Thus, Malchut of the world of Atzilut constitutes the root of all creation, all the worlds, and all that inhabit them.

Supernal Wisdom

40. Rabbi Yudai asked, “What does the word BERESHEET mean?” It is the wisdom, upon which the world, ZA, is established to enter the concealed supernal secrets, namely the Light of Bina. Here are the six Supernal and great properties, VAK de Bina, from which everything emerges. The six river mouths, VAK de ZA, that flow into the Great Sea (Malchut) were formed from them. The word BERESHEET consists of the words BARAH (created) and SHEET (Aramaic: six), meaning that six properties were created. Who created them? He who is unmentioned, concealed, and unknown: Arich Anpin.

There are two types of Ohr Hochma (Light of Wisdom) in the world of Atzilut:

1. The original Light, Ohr Hochma of AA, called “the concealed Ohr Hochma.” This Light of Hochma is present only in Partzuf AA and does not spread to the lower Partzufim.

2. Ohr Hochma that descends via thirty-two paths from Bina, who ascended to Rosh de AA to receive Ohr Hochma and pass it to ZA. Hence, the word Beresheet means Be-Resheet, with- Hochma. However, this is not the true Ohr Hochma thatis concealed in AA, but rather the Light that descends via thirty-two paths from Bina to ZA and sustains ZON.

It is written that the world is established on the “concealed supernal secrets,” for when ZON (called “world”) receive the Light of Hochma of thirty-two paths, they ascend to AVI, the concealed supernal secrets. Hence, it is said that ZON enter the concealed supernal secrets and attain the degree of AVI, as the lower one that ascends to the Upper One becomes equal to it in its properties.

The word BERESHEET, besides being divided into BE-RESHEET, is also divided into BARAH-SHEET (in Hebrew, both words are spelled the same), which translates as CREATED SIX – created six Sefirot (properties), called VAK (abbreviation of the words Vav Ketzavot, six extremities/properties of ZA, from which all creatures emerge).

The Sefira Bina fulfills the function of the Sefira Hochma, the source of Ohr Hochma for ZA. Because Malchut ascended to Bina, and Bina departed from Rosh de AA and became like its Guf (body), she cannot receive the Ohr Hochma of AA.

But then, thanks to the MAN raised by the lower ones, human beings who are spiritually present in the worlds of BYA, Bina returns to Rosh de AA, receives Ohr Hochma from AA, passes it to ZON, and ZON pass it to all the worlds. It follows that all the worlds emerged from these six properties (extremities), into which Bina was divided.

It is therefore written that all six riverheads originate from Bina, and descend into the GreatSea. Bina’s division into six properties, VAK, when she exits Rosh de AA, is called “six sources,” for this is only a source of Light for ZA. But then, when Bina returns to Rosh de AA, they become Ohr Hochma, called the rivers that descend to Partzuf ZA.

And they are called “six rivers,” as it is written: “He will drink off the brook in the way; therefore, will he lift up the head” (Tehilim, 110:7). Afterwards, ZA passes this Light into the Great Sea, to his Nukva. The rivers and brooks signify the Light of ZA. VAK de Bina is considered the sources of the Light of wisdom, Hochma, for it emerged from Bina in the form of VAK with the sole purpose of creating a source of Light for ZON. And had Bina not emerged, ZON would have had no chance of receiving the Light.

The word Beresheet has several meanings: Bere = Barah – created six properties without Ohr Hochma, as the word Barah signifies concealment. Hence, the word Beresheet has two meanings:

1. Hochma, as the word Resheet means Hochma.

2. Barah Sheet, which shows how the Sefira Hochma was divided into six parts without a Rosh, without Ohr Hochma. These six parts are the source of Light for ZON (called the “world”), and these six parts of ZA together with Malchut are called the “seven days of creation.”

However, since the word Barah is inside the word Beresheet, this means that it was created by “Him who is concealed and unknown,” i.e., the concealed Hochma of Arich Anpin, for it expelled Bina from its Rosh and turned her into VAK. In other words, it created the six parts described in Beresheet.

Beresheet designates Hochma. The Light cannot descend to ZA until Ima- Bina comes outside, for because of Tzimtzum Bet, ZAT de Bina fell to ZON. Hence, when Bina is in Gadlut, ZA receives Ohr Hochma in his Kelim, the desires of Bina. The word Barah in Beresheet = Barah Sheet also means Bar (Hebrew, to exit, to transcend).

The Lock and the Key

41. Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi were walking along a road. As they reached a field, Rabbi Chiya said to Rabbi Yosi, “The words BARAH SHEET (created six) certainly allude to BERESHEET, for the six Supernal Days, VAK de Bina, shine on the Torah (ZA), while the others, GAR de Bina, are concealed.”

ZA of the world of Atzilut is called the Torah. The six Supernal Days are VAK de Bina that are above ZA. Hence, the first word of the Torah, BERESHEET = BARAH (created) and SHEET (six) indicates that the Sefira Bina turns to the Sefira Hochma in order to receive Ohr Hochma and pass it to ZA. Since ZA is unable to receive all the Ohr Hochma(GAR de Hochma, the Light of the ten Sefirot) from Bina, but only VAK de Hochma (Light of six Sefirot), this is stressed in the word BARAHSHEET – CREATED SIX. This means that ZA receives from Bina the Light of only six Sefirot, HGT NHY or VAK de Hochma, whereas GAR de Hochma, the Light of Sefirot KHB, is concealed from him.

The reason for this is that although Partzuf Atik belongs to Tzimtzum Aleph (the first restriction), it is obliged to shine down on all the other Partzufim of the world of Atzilut, and on all the worlds BYA with the Light of Tzimtzum Bet. Therefore, with regards to the lower Partzufim, it appears as a Partzuf that belongs to Tzimtzum Bet.

In other words, it deliberately imposed on itself an outward (with regards to others) restriction of its Light, to enable the lower Partzufim to receive from it. Hence, it elevated Malchut from the Peh to the Eynaim and made a Zivug on the screen that stands in Nikvey Eynaim, thus begetting Partzuf AA.

This is why AA is a Partzuf with properties of the second restriction, and acts as Keter of the entire world of Atzilut instead of Atik. This was designed so by Partzuf Atik itself, which split into two parts: GE remained in Atik, and AHP became part of the second Partzuf, AA. And since Malchut ascended to NE(Nikvey Eynaim),Partzuf AA remained without Malchut, the Sefira Ateret Yesod was used in its stead, and Malchut became concealed in the NE of Partzuf Atik. Also, GE de Atik became concealed from the lower Partzufim, Malchut stood in NE of Rosh de Atik, AHP de Atik became GE de AA, and Ateret Yesod became Malchut de AA.

All the subsequent Partzufim of the world of Atzilute merged similar to these Partzufim. Thus, they all split into two parts, GE and AHP: Partzuf Bina was split into two Partzufim: GE de Bina formed Partzuf AVI and AHP de Bina formed Partzuf YESHSUT. Malchut ascended and remained in AVI, while Partzuf YESHSUT remained without Malchut.

The same applies to ZON: GE formed the big ZON and AHP formed the small ZON. Malchut remained in NE of the big ZON, while the small ZON have only nine Sefirot without Malchut, which is replaced in them by Ateret Yesod, as in Partzuf Atik. Therefore, just as Keter(Atik) split into two parts: GAR = Atik and ZAT = AA, so was Bina divided into GAR = AVI and ZAT = YESHSUT, and ZON into GAR = the big ZON and ZAT = the small ZON: Malchut remained in GAR and Ateret Yesod replaced it in ZAT.

As a result, the Upper Part of each degree remains concealed, just like Partzuf Atik, for Malchut does not descend from the place where she had ascended (NE) to her previous place in the Peh. And although in Gadlut, AHP return to their place or ascend to their own GE (which is one and the same), GE do not become filled with Ohr Hochma (the Light of GAR) as a result, since Malchut remains concealed in GE. Moreover, Malchut exists under the ban of Tzimtzum Aleph on the reception of Ohr Hochma. Hence, GE remain with Ohr Hassadim.

Only the lower part of each degree is filled with the Light of GAR(Hochma) in Gadlut: there was Avir (air) = Aleph- Vav- Yod- Reish, then the letter Yod departed from this word, and only the letters Aleph- Vav- Reish remained to form the word Ohr (Light) – Ohr Hochma or GAR.

It follows that all Partzufim of the world of Atzilut have GE, GAR of Kelim, Sefirot KHB HGT with Ohr Hassadim, the Light of VAK, whereas AHP, Sefirot NHY, Vak de Kelim in the Gadlut of the Partzuf are filled with Ohr Hochma,the Light of GAR. GE (GAR de Kelim) are filled with the Light of VAK (Ohr Hassadim), and AHP(VAK de Kelim) are filled with the Light of GAR (Ohr Hochma). It is therefore said that there’s no greater light for ZA in the world of Atzilut than the Light of VAK = six days, while GAR are concealed even in the Partzufim above ZA.

42. However, it is said in the secrets of creation of BERESHEET that He who is Holy and Concealed established the laws in Bina, in the secret and concealed, meaning Malchut of Partzuf Atik, which is a Partzuf with Malchut of Tzimtzum Aleph, who ascended to Bina and removed AHP de AA below its Rosh. And the same law that He established in Bina He established and concealed within, and everything is locked under one key. And He hid this key in a hall. And although everything is hidden in that hall, the most important thing is in that key, for it locks and unlocks everything.

HE WHO IS HOLY AND CONCEALED is AA, for its Hochma is concealed. THE LAWS ARE ESTABLISHED IN IT, meaning in Malchut de Atik. The deficiency of the Kelim de AHP is confirmed. Malchut of Tzimtzum Aleph, called “the central point of all creation,” is also the sole creation on which Tzimtzum Aleph was imposed. Contrary to her, if the screen stands not in Malchut, but in Yesod or, more precisely, in Ateret Yesod, the place of the covenant (circumcision), the place of the Zivug that was permitted after Tzimtzum Bet, this screen allows for the reception of Light. Hence, it is called the “point of population,” and not the “central point.”

The thing is that there is no GAR in AA, for the Supernal Malchut of Atik, within AA, is already corrected to the point of being in NE of her own Partzuf. In Gadlut, the screen descends from NE to Peh, which makes AHP return to their place, and a Zivug transpires on all ten Sefirot, which receive the GAR of the Light, Ohr Hochma.

Therefore, the screen in NE is called a “lock,” for it blocks the entry of GAR of the Light into the Partzuf. The GAR of the Light are called Ohr Hochma. Yet, by descending from NE to Peh, the screen lets the Light into the Partzuf, and is therefore called Nikvey Eynaim (pupils of the eyes).

Although Atik itself is in NE together with Malchut, it affects AA, and not Atik itself, as AA was created by the screen, located not in Malchut, but in Ateret Yesod (or simply in Yesod), and there is no Malchut in it. This is why it is not Malchut that rules in NE de AA, but Ateret Yesod. And this is why, unlike the Light of Atik, its Light can be attained, for Malchut in Atik is the central point, which does not make a Zivug on Ohr Hochma. Although with regards to Atik, AA is AHP of Atik, AA itself has its own GE and AHP.

Subsequently, AA created AVI and confirmed the absence of Ohr Hochma in them, due to the absence of AHP de Kelim. These AHP are the HALL in which the entire Light of Hochma is concealed (GAR de Neshama, GAR de Haya, and GAR de Yechida). This KEY IS KEPT HIDDEN IN A HALL: Bina is a hall for Ohr Hochma. Malchut ascends to GAR de Bina ( AVI) and rules there, but the absence of Ohr Hochma is not felt there, for the properties of AVI want only Ohr Hassadim; this is what is important to them, as it completely substitutes the Ohr Hochma. And VAK de Bina is ruled by the key, Ateret Yesod.

IN THAT KEY, FOR IT LOCKS AND UNLOCKS EVERYTHING – concealments and revelations are made by Malchut that stands in NE: when Malchut ascends to NE she conceals Ohr Hochma, since in such a case, the Partzuf remains without its Kelim of AHP – it cannot use its desires to “receive” for the Creator’s sake. Consequently, it contains no Ohr Hochma, for Ohr Hochma can only be received in Kelim de AHP.

And when a Partzuf receives strength from Above to resist the egoistic desires of reception of its Kelim de AHP, and can receive for the Creator’s sake, this means that it has acquired a screen against its desires, and can also work with them for the Creator. It then brings its Malchut back from the NE to the Peh. Put differently, it elevates its Kelim (desires of AHP) to the Rosh and begins to calculate how much Light it can receive within them for the Creator’s sake. However, the received pleasure must not be too great, or it will make the Partzuf enjoy it egoistically. Afterwards, the Partzuf receives Ohr Hochma in its Guf.

Thus, only Malchut that stands in NE allows or forbids the Light from entering the Partzuf. And since she must let the Light into the Partzuf in ZAT (where the rule belongs not to Malchut that ascended to NE, but to Ateret Yesod, called “key”), whereas the GAR of each Partzuf remain with Ohr Hassadim (they desire only the Light of Hassadim), letting the Light in or preventing it from entering the Partzuf depends only on the key, and not on Malchut herself.

43. That hall conceals tremendous treasures piled one upon the other. And there are fifty tightly closed gates in that hall, which are meant to block access to the Light. They were divided into four sides and became forty-nine gates, for one gate has no side, and it is unknown whether it exists above or below. Hence, it remained closed.

There are many types of GAR: GAR of Ohr Neshama, Haya, or Yechida. Each of them contains countless individual degrees and details. Hence, it is written, ONE UPON THE OTHER. Yet, as long as Malchut stands in NE, all these degrees of Light remain concealed and unknown.

A gate signifies a vessel – a desire to receive the Light. In the spiritual world, there are no bodies, only desires. The desire itself is called “a body.” If there is no desire, there is no body, as there is no vessel to receive the Light (pleasure). The bigger the desire, the “bigger” the body. However, all the bodies are similar in structure; just as a human body in our world consists of 613 parts, the spiritual body consists of 613 spiritual parts (desires).

If one is able to use one of the desires of his spiritual body for the Creator’s sake, such action is referred to as a Mitzva (commandment, good deed). The received Light is called “Torah.”

A spiritual Partzuf has a Rosh (head), the place where decisions are made. It contains only those desires that are known to be fit with a screen (resistance to the desires) to use them spiritually, altruistically, and to “reverse” them from “for one’s own sake” to “for the sake of the Creator.” If one has fulfilled all 613 Commandments of the Torah and the seven Mitzvot (plural for Mitzva) of the nations of the world (620 Mitzvot in all), he thereby ascends 620 degrees and completely merges with the Creator.

To observe all the Commandments means to completely fill one’s spiritual Partzuf with the Light of the Torah by fulfilling observant Commandments (Mitzvot Aseh – positive Mitzvot) and prohibitory Commandments (Mitzvot Lo Taaseh – negative Mitzvot). The fulfillment of the later lies in the unwillingness to receive the pleasure that is found within them.

There are two types of desires or gates: when they are closed and receive nothing, and when they open and receive the Upper Light. When they are all closed, there are fifty of them. However, only forty-nine of the fifty can be opened. There are ten Sefirot KHB HGT NHYM or five Sefirot KHB ZA-M (as ZA consists of six Sefirot HGT NHY). However, Malchut also consists of these six, and hence includes allten Sefirot. And since each of the five Sefirot consists of ten, in all they make up fifty.

However, since a Zivug is made not on Malchut, but on Ateret Yesod, Malchut de Malchut itself does not receive the Light. Instead, Light is received by the four Sefirot KHB ZA that precede Malchut. Each of them consists of ten, hence 4 x 10 = 40 plus nine Sefirot from Keter to Yesod in Malchut herself yields 40 + 9 = 49.

Only one Sefira (Malchut de Malchut) out of the fifty does not receive the Light. This is because until all the Kelim (desires) have been completely corrected, the Light cannot enter it, as it is known in advance that Malchut de Malchut has no strength to oppose such a powerful egoistic desire to receive pleasure.

Instead of being in Malchut de Malchut, the screen stands in Yesod de Malchut, and this place is called Brith (Covenant), the place where the Mitzva of circumcision must be kept, so as to make a Zivug not on Malchut herself (on the first restriction), but on Yesod, or rather, Ateret Yesod (on the second restriction). Malchut de Malchut itself is called “ Shaar Nun” (the 50th gate). This refers to Malchut of each Partzuf in the worlds ABYA.

And although Malchut of Partzuf AVI descends from NE de AVI to her place in Peh, while AHP and YESHSUT that clothe them ascend to the degree of AVI, and AVI merges with YESHSUT into one Partzuf, as a result of which, Ohr Hochma descends to them from AA, AVI are unwilling and therefore do not receive anything from Ohr Hochma, and remain only with Ohr Hassadim, as though Malchut had never even descended from Eynaim to Peh.

Therefore, it is impossible to tell by the Light of AVI whether Malchut is located at the NE or at the Peh. On the contrary, by looking at AVI, it always seems to us that Malchut stands at NE. Only by the state of YESHSUT can we determine Malchut’s location, for when she ascends to AVI in Gadlut (big state), YESHSUT receive Ohr Hochma.

Although Malchut herself can receive Ohr Hochma in AVI, since AVI receive no Ohr Hochma whatsoever, they do not utilize their own Malchut. Since YESHSUT already has Ateret Yesod instead of Malchut, it receives the Light or “opens up,” whereas AVI remain closed.

However, the absence of the 50th gate, the Zivug on Malchut herself in YESHSUT, causes the absence of the corresponding Light of Hochma in all the Partzufim. It is written about it: “fifty gates of Bina, and all are given to Moshe, except for one, the last secret of the absence of the Upper Light.” For this Upper Light can be received only within the Kelim (desires) of Malchut herself, of primordial egoism, which will occur at the end of all the corrections, at the completion of the 6,000 years.

44. Those gates have one lock with a narrow space inside for inserting the key. It is unmarked, and recognized only by the impress of the key, which is unknown in that narrow space, but only in the key itself. And it is written of this secret: BERESHEET BARAH ELOKIM (IN THE BEGINNING THE CREATOR CREATED). “In the beginning” is the key, and all is concealed within it, as it unlocks and locks. And six gates are contained in this key, which locks and unlocks. When it locks those gates, encloses them within itself, it is written IN THE BEGINNING (BERESHEET): a revealed word, though it is usually concealed. BARAH (CREATED) is a concealed word everywhere, implying that the key unlocks it and locks it up.

Malchut that stands in NE is called a “lock,” for she prevents Ohr Hochma from entering the Partzuf. The entire Partzuf ends in Hochma (the Light can only be in K-H). Hence, it is merely Nefesh- Ruach. After all, in the absence of Kelim- Sefirot B-ZA-M, the Lights Neshama-Haya-Yechida are absent. Yesod de Malchut is the 49th gate, the maximum that can be before the end of correction, for Malchut de Malchut itself is the 50th gate.

If the key (Ateret Yesod of the Light) enters Yesod de Malchut (the 49th gate), then this Light lowers Malchut to her place, from NE to Peh. This Light opens the Partzuf and Ohr Hochma fills it. This is why Ateret Yesod is called a “key.”

However, there is a special Reshimo that allows one to not use Malchut de Malchut as a place of Zivug before the final correction of all the others (except for Malchut de Malchut, Kelim-desires). This Reshimo is in AVI: since they never receive Ohr Hochma (they do not use this key), their real AHP do not ascend. Nevertheless, even their false AHP is sufficient to let YESHSUT receive Ohr Hochma and realize that knowledge signifies the presence of Ohr Hochma.

If the Light that corresponds to Ateret Yesod enters the corresponding Sefira in Malchut (in Yesod de Malchut, the 49th Sefira), then Malchut (the 50th gate) does not forbid this Light to fill the Partzuf, does not “lock up” the Partzuf, as she contains the Reshimo of prohibition only on that which enters Malchut herself. The reason for it is that the Reshimo (the key’s memory) rules in ZAT de Bina, that is, in YESHSUT. Hence, this Light is called a “key.”

And the word BERESHEET – IN THE BEGINNING includes in itself only the key (Ateret Yesod, the 49th Sefira), excluding Malchut de Malchut, the 50th gate. However, none of the Sefirot KHB of all the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut receive Ohr Hochma; Ohr Hassadim shines within them instead.

Therefore, the words IN THE BEGINNING CREATED (BERESHEET BARAH) mean CONCEALED HOCHMA, for the word BARAH (created) is derived from the notion of BAR (beyond), which signifies moving Malchut de Malchut beyond the reception of Ohr Hochma; hence, this part of the Kelim was locked up by the absence of Light.

Аvraham

45. Rabbi Yosi said: “I heard from the great source of Light, i.e., from Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai, that BARAH is a concealed word, the key to which locked it up and did not unlock it. And since the key locked up the word BARAH, there was no world and no possibility of its existence, and nothingness enveloped all. And when nothingness rules, there is no world, nor its existence.

46. So when did this key unlock those gates, and everything became ready for the existence and evolution of the generations? When Avraham appeared, as he is the property of Hesed (mercy), of which it is written: “These are the generations of Heaven and earth Be-Hibar'am (with which He built).” However, one should pronounce the word not as Be-Hibar'am, but as Be-Avraham (in Hebrew, these two words consist of the same letters, but in a slightly different order). Then, all that was concealed in the word BARAH was revealed as letters, meaning that the Kelim opened up to listen. And there appears the Pillar of Procreation, the sacred Yesod, upon which the world’s existence is based, for the word BARAH consists of the same letters as the word AVAR (passed).

He asks: “When it is revealed, can one act and produce generations?” This question includes three questions:

1. When will it be revealed? When Malchut descends from the Eynaim (where she ascended as a result of Tzimtzum Bet) to her previous place in the Peh, which leads to the revelation of the forty-nine gates of Hochma;

2. When can it be used? When Ohr Hochma clothes in Ohr Hassadim, as a result of which AHP can receive Ohr Hochma, for unless it is clothed in Ohr Hassadim, MI = GE cannot shine within ELEH = AHP, as the Light is not yet suitable for reception and use by the lower ones;

3. What does it mean to produce, multiply generations? Generations are the souls that exist in the worlds BYA, begotten by ZA de Atzilut. After ZA receives the Lights of Hochma and Hassadim (the Light of perfection), this Light enables him to make a Zivug with Nukva and beget the souls of the righteous.

Avraham is the property of the Sefira Hesed in Partzuf ZA during its Gadlut (big state), when Hesed ascends and becomes Hochma: Sefirot HGT become HBD:

Before Avraham appeared, everything was concealed in the word BARAH and nothingness ruled over the world – there was neither Ohr Hochma nor Ohr Hassadim in ZON. However, when Avraham (the Light of Hesed that descends to ZA) appeared, the gates were opened for Ohr Hochma, for Malchut descended from Eynaim to Peh, and YESHSUT merged with AVI into one degree,which led to the descent of Ohr Hochma to YESHSUT, for Ohr Hassadim of Avraham’s properties was already present in ZA.

Ohr Hochma then clothed in Ohr Hassadim, MI(GE) joined ELEH (AHP), the Creator’s name ELO-IM was completed, and Hochma filled ZA. Then Malchut descended from Eynaim to Peh in ZA, and ZA received new AHP from Bina, thereby entering Gadlut and passing the Light through his Yesod into Malchut, called the “lower world.” As a result, Malchut begets the souls of the righteous.

47. When Yesod of ZA joins the word BARAH (Malchut), there occurs a concealed and supernal division of the Creator’s name and greatness, called MI, and ELEH comes into being. Also, the sacred name MA comes from BARAH. The sacred concealed ELEH exists just like Yesod. Yet, when Yesod attains its complete state, the Partzuf attains its complete state , the letter Hey corresponds to Yesod and the letter Yod – to ELEH.

Here, The Zohar clarifies which Light is present in ZA, depending on his states. In the SefiraYesod of Partzuf ZA there is an end, meaning a place of contact with Malchut, the place of the covenant between the Creator (ZA) and the Shechina (the souls of the righteous), also called “Israel” or Malchut. This place of contact is called Ateret Yesod (encirclement of Yesod) or Keter de ZA (the crown of ZA).

The word BARAH signifies Katnut (small state), which comes as a result of Malchut’s ascent to NE. AVI never abandon the properties of GAR de Bina (properties of mercy); they do not desire to receive. Having ascended and standing in them, Malchut is called Man’ula (lock), which prevents the Light from spreading below her. Ateret Yesod de ZA is called Miftacha (key), for it is through its property that the Light can be received in the Partzufim located below AVI.

This is possible on condition that ELEH = AHP ascend to MI = GE. Ohr Hochma can be received in the Kelim ELEH that wish to receive it, but only upon their ascension above Parsa. However, until the properties of Malchut acquire the property of Bina, until they are “softened” by this property, there is no way to receive the Light, and Malchut is called “the 50th gate.”

Hence, we see that the words MI BARAH ELEH signify not the question, “Who created these?” but the action: MI = GE BARAH (created) ELEH = AHP by the descent of Malchut from NE back to Peh. As a result, ELEH = AHP ascended to the Rosh and there received the Light of GAR (Hochma).

Upon descending to Peh, Malchut is called MA, as that is the name of the lower world. Her screen in the Peh makes a Zivug, onto which descends Ohr Hassadim, called “Light of blessing,” for it abolishes the prohibition and the lock imposed on the diffusion of Light.

48. When the letters Hey and Yod wished to complement one another, the letter Mem emerged from them, and the word ELO-HIM = ELE + Hey + Yod + Mem was formed by the union of both sides. The word AVAR + Hey + Mem = Avraham originated from ELEH. However, one might say that the Creator took the words ELEH and MI, joined them and formed the word ELOKIM, whereas the words MA and AVAR formed the word Avraham, where the word MI designates the fifty gates of Bina, and the word MA refers to the numerical value of the holy name, for HaVaYaH with the filling of the letter Aleph forms the Gematria of MA – 45.

Both this world and the world to come exist in these two letters, Yod and Hey. This world is in Yod, and the world to come is in Hey. Hence, the world to come was created with MI, and this world with MA.

It is therefore written: “These are the created (Be-Hibar'am) generations of Heaven and earth,” where the letters Be-Hibar'am make up the word “Avraham,” for there was no perfection until the letters formed this word. Therefore, the Creator’s name HaVaYaH is first mentioned in the Torah only after the name Avraham.

Ohr Hassadim in MA and Ohr Hochma in ELEH wished to complement one another and be complemented within one another. As a result, Ohr Hochma clothed in Ohr Hassadim, and Malchut receives from both Hassadim and Hochma. In so doing, MA and MI join and create MM, i.e., Malchut that receives Ohr Hochma clothed in Ohr Hassadim from Above.

The Vision of Rabbi Chiya

49. Rabbi Chiya prostrated himself on the ground and kissed it. He wept and said: “Dust, how hard and heartless you are, how many you have consumed, all the pillars of Light and all the great souls were consumed by you. And the greatest of all, Rabbi Shimon, the Light of the entire world, of all the worlds, who illuminates and governs over the descending Light, upon which our world exists, is also consumed by you, and yet you govern the world?” But then he collected himself at once and said: “Do not be proud, dust, for the pillars of the world will not be betrayed to you, and Rabbi Shimon will not be consumed by you!”

Malchut is the sole creation. And this sole creation is nothing but a desire to receive pleasure. It was made this way, and its essence cannot be changed. Yet, what can be changed is the intention – for which or whose sake to receive the pleasure.

As a result of Malchut’s union with Bina with an altruistic will to bestow delight, give pleasure, Malchut acquires Bina’s desire in addition to her own. That is, an additional desire appears in Malchut – to bestow, opposite to her nature.

Only this desire of Bina in Malchut can result in a Zivug and reception of Light. When Malchut receives all the desires that she possibly can from Bina, and fills them with Light, only her own initial egoistic property will remain uncorrected, but even that will be corrected from Above by the Creator Himself. The order of correction and reception of Light in Bina’s properties inside of Malchut is referred to as the reception on the Zivug of Yesod, and it takes place sequentially along 6,000 degrees, called “6,000 years.”

Malchut de Malchut of the world of Atzilut cannot receive any Light during the 6,000 years until all of its parts are completely corrected. All the Zivugim (plural for Zivug) throughout the 6,000 years are made not on Malchut herself, but on the properties she received from Bina. The place of such a Zivug is called Yesod de Malchut or Ateret Yesod. Whereas Malchut herself (egoistic desires) remains closed to the Light, and is therefore called the “closed gates.”

The reception of Light during the 6,000 years, correction of the Partzufim, and the gradual filling of Malchut with the Light, takes place with the help of Bina’s desires in Malchut, which are called “Miftacha” (Yesod de Malchut), for the impure (egoistic) force has no power over this part of Malchut.

Yesod de Malchut means that Malchut only acts with the properties she received from a Higher Sefira – Yesod, which is free from the influence of the impure forces (Klipot). All the properties, except for those of Malchut, are altruistic, since they originate from Bina. However, since we wish to emphasize that a Zivug is made on an altruistic desire, above the egoistic desire of Malchut, we usually say Yesod instead of Bina. And since Yesod is the Sefira immediately above Malchut, we say that a Zivug is made not on the egoistic desires of Malchut, but on Yesod. And since, upon acquiring the properties of Yesod, Malchut can receive the Light, such reception of Light on Yesod de Malchut is called “Miftacha” (from the word Mafte'ach, key) – the key that opens the way for the Upper Light.

However, since Malchut herself, that is, Malchut de Malchut (“closed gates”) remains inaccessible to the Light for 6,000 years, Rabbi Chiya (a particular spiritual degree) could not understand how Rabbi Shimon (the spiritual Partzuf called Rabbi Shimon) could achieve such complete perfection. Indeed, Rabbi Shimon is a Partzuf of such spiritual height that it receives the Light of Yechida. And it is impossible to receive this Light without utilizing a Zivug on Malchut de Malchut itself.

And yet, this part of Malchut remains uncorrected until the completion of the 6,000 years (the end of correction), and thus cannot be used. By defying these desires, it is as though one has already partially corrected it. And all the prohibitory commandments refer to Malchut de Malchut; hence, the ban imposed on its use is called “a restriction.”

Yet, if it is impossible to fill the “stony heart” (Lev HaEven), i.e., Malchut de Malchut (the root of egoism, the basis of creation), with Light, how can even a single soul achieve complete correction? After all, complete correction implies the reception of Light in the entire Malchut. Each soul, each part of Malchut that man is destined to correct contains a part of all the other parts of Malchut, including a part of Malchut de Malchut, which he may not work with until the end of correction.

On the other hand, Rabbi Chiya sees Rabbi Shimon in a state of complete correction. So how could the latter have attained such state? This contradiction roused Rabbi Chiya so greatly that he prostrated himself on the ground and cried out.

It is impossible to constantly “translate” the words of the Torah or The Zohar into a language we can understand, that “ground” signifies egoism and “dust” refers to the impure forces, that “crying out” implies raising MAN, and so forth. All the words and definitions in the text of The Zohar should be perceived sensuously rather than literally, as physical actions of our world. In other words, whatever The Zohar speaks of is related only to inner, spiritual sensations and experiences of one who perceives the spiritual realm.

All the worlds constitute the “environment,” the spiritual sphere, within which the Creator made His only creation – man (Adam). Everything else was created only in order to help man to achieve his spiritual mission of becoming like his Creator.

Just as in our world, the world itself and all its inhabitants, except man, are robots operated by their animal nature, rather than creatures with free will, in the spiritual worlds, all the spiritual beings, except for the soul, are operated by their spiritual nature. Upon being born in our world, man, too, is an animal without freedom to act against his egoistic desire to receive pleasure. He usually stays that way throughout his existence on earth, being not at all different from the still, vegetative, and animate levels of nature, automatically following orders of his inner master, egoism.

Only with the help of Kabbalah can one gradually receive Upper, spiritual strength, and consequently acquire freedom of choice, that is, liberate himself from the influence of the impure, egoistic forces, and become free in his desires, like the Creator. However, such an opportunity is only given to one who can control his automatically-driven, egoistic nature: according to the strength of his screen, man ascends (moves inwardly, in his sensations) from this world to the spiritual.

After creating the spiritual worlds as a home for his future creation, the Creator created the creature (soul, Adam). The soul constitutes the desire to delight in the sensation of the Creator, of His light. The sensation of the Creator is called “Light.” There is nothing else in the entire universe besides the Light and the soul!

Although the soul itself is Malchut de Malchut (the only egoistic creation), the Creator imparted onto it the property of altruism, having created it mixed with the Kelim (desires) of Bina, thereby demonstrating how wonderful it would be to be like Him.

While performing altruistic actions, the soul (Adam) decided to use its natural egoism, Malchut de Malchut itself, to receive the Creator’s Light with altruistic intentions. Yet, when it began to let the tremendous Light of Yechida into Malchut de Malchut, it could not resist and wished to enjoy it egoistically. This change in the soul’s desires is referred to as its fall.

As a result of the fall, Adam’s soul split into myriad parts (600,000), all of which fell into captivity of impure, egoistic forces (acquired egoistic desires). After the fall, Adam corrected some of the souls (obtained an anti-egoistic screen), but only partially. And then, of the total number of souls, some were selected for correction, lowered into this world, and clothed into bodies, generation after generation.

The descent (distancing from the Creator) into our world (egoistic sensations of only one’s own desires) occurs as a result of attaching an additional “makeweight” of egoism to the soul. In the spiritual world, movement (farther from the Creator or closer to Him) and distance (from Him) are determined by the correlation of egoistic and altruistic desires within the soul.

The purpose behind the souls’ descent to our world is to transform one’s egoistic desires with the help of Kabbalah, and to return to the Creator with one’s intentions, by performing altruistic actions. The souls’ descent continues until each of them and all of them together achieve complete correction.

And the most exalted souls that refer to the degrees of Yechida and GAR of Haya depend on the correction of Malchut herself in Malchut of the world of Atzilut (“closed gates”). These will only be corrected at the completion of the 6,000 years, after the correction of all the rest. This is due to the inverse relationship between the souls and the Light that fills them: the more egoistic the soul is, and the lower it is located, the greater the Light that enters the general Partzuf (the common soul) at the time of its correction.

THE LIGHT OF THE SOUL:

Yechida

Chaya

Neshama

Ruach

Nefesh

MALCHUT:

Keter

Hochma

Bina

ZA

Malchut

This is why these exalted souls are consumed by dust (impure force), i.e., the impure force rules over them with its enormous and insolent power, for it is certain that no one and nothing can save these souls from captivity.

This is why Rabbi Chiya wept: “Dust, how cruel you are!” That the most exalted souls are “consumed by you without any hope of escaping you!” In other words, the actual root of creation, the primordial egoism cannot be corrected.

It turns out that as a result of the exalted souls’ captivity by the rule of the impure forces, all the righteous that bring Light to the entire world cannot achieve perfection themselves. Since all the souls are interconnected, not a single individual soul can arrive at the end of correction until all the souls are corrected. This is why they are susceptible to the ruthless rule of the dust.

At first, Rabbi Chiya wanted to say that Rabbi Shimon himself was also consumed by dust, i.e., did not achieve complete correction. He had heard that Rabbi Yosi also reasons that the closed gates are closed for all. Yet, after some contemplation, he inquired: “If Rabbi Shimon revives all the worlds and governs them, how can it possibly be that he has not reached perfection?”

Therefore, he concludes that Rabbi Shimon was not consumed by the dust, that he did achieve complete correction and is probably in a state of absolute perfection. The thing that Rabbi Chiya could not understand, however, is how any individual soul could achieve the end of correction prior to (without) the complete correction of all the others. This, Rabbi Chiya could not explain to himself.

50. Rabbi Chiya stood up and started to walk and weep. Rabbi Yosi joined him. He fasted for forty days so that he might see Rabbi Shimon. He was told he still was not worthy of seeing him. He wept and fasted for another forty days. He was then shown a vision: Rabbi Shimon and his son Rabbi Elazar were discussing him, Rabbi Chiya, the words he said to Rabbi Yosi, and thousands are listening in on their discussion.

Although the fasting that The Zohar speaks of is a spiritual act, in our world such a description is a good example of how strong a desire should be in order to be answered from Above. Other spiritual actions include weeping, tears – the small state (Katnut) of a spiritual Partzuf, in this case referred to as “Rabbi Chiya.” Naturally, Rabbi Shimon and all the other characters of The Zohar are spiritual Partzufim, rather than people of our world.

Truth be told, the spiritual level of a person known by a certain name in our world may coincide with his spiritual root described in the Torah. However, elucidation of this matter exceeds the scope of this particular article. It is nonetheless essential to note that Pharaoh in the corporeal Egypt, naturally, was not a spiritual Pharaoh, the way he is described in The Zohar (the Partzuf that includes all of Malchut), and Laban, portrayed in the Torah as a villain, is in fact the Supernal Spiritual Light of Partzuf AB, the Supernal Light of Hochma. This will be explained later on.

The strong desire to attain the degree of Rabbi Shimon allowed Rabbi Chiya to see him, for he was certain that Rabbi Shimon had not been consumed by the dust. He came to this conclusion precisely because of his conversation with Rabbi Yosi, and hence passionately desired to see Rabbi Shimon.

51. In that same vision, Rabbi Chiya saw several great celestial wings: how Rabbi Shimon and his son Rabbi Elazar mounted them and soared to the Assembly of Heaven, while the wings waited for them. Afterwards, they both returned to their place and shone brighter than ever before, brighter than the light of the sun.

The Heavenly Assembly refers to the Assembly of the angel Matatron. However, his full name is not pronounced, and the name Matat is used instead, for pronouncing a name is equivalent to an action, which is not always desirable. The term Supernal Assembly refers to the Assembly of the Creator Himself, while the Heavenly Assembly refers to the Assembly of Matat.

The wings that were waiting for Rabbi Shimon and his son Elazar are angels (spiritual forces, similar to robots or draft animals in our world), whose task is to help the souls to ascend from one spiritual degree to another. And just as these wings must assist the souls in their ascent, they must assist them to descend to their places. Therefore, it is said that the wings were waiting for Rabbi Shimon and his son Rabbi Elazar to bring them back down.

And when Rabbi Chiya saw them returning from the Heavenly Assembly back to their place (to Rabbi Shimon’s Assembly), he noticed a new light on their faces, and radiance surrounded them that was brighter than the sun.

52. Rabbi Shimon opened and said: “Let Rabbi Chiya enter and see how much the Creator renews the faces of the righteous in the world to come. Happy is he who comes here without shame. Happy is he who stands in the other world as a rigid pillar opposite all.” And Rabbi Chiya saw himself entering, and Rabbi Elazar and all the other pillars of the world that were there stood up before Rabbi Chiya. And he, Rabbi Chiya, was ashamed; he entered, bending, and sat at the feet of Rabbi Shimon.

Rabbi Shimon opened (opened the way for the Light) and said: “Happy is he who enters without shame.” And all that were present there felt no shame. Only Rabbi Chiya was ashamed. This is because they had the strength to withstand the power of the dust, and Rabbi Chiya did not. They were all perfect, whereas Rabbi Chiya had a flaw – the desire to attain. And this is what he was ashamed of.

53. A voice sounded: “Lower your eyes, do not raise your head, and do not look.” He lowered his eyes and saw Light that shone from afar. The voice returned and said: “The Supernal Ones, concealed and enclosed, who have eyes that watch over the entire world, look and see: the lower ones are sleeping, and the Light of their eyes is concealed in their pupils. Wake them!”

After he followed the instruction to lower his eyes and not raise his head (not use his desire to receive Light, but only desires to bestow), he merited hearing (Light of Hassadim) the appeal, with the help of which he attained everything he wished. The voice divides all souls into two groups: the first is a group of Supernal Holy Ones that are concealed, who merited their eyes to be opened to behold the entire world, and the second group of souls have the Light of their eyes concealed in their eye-sockets, which is what blinded them. This is why the voice called upon the souls of the first group to behold, i.e., to use the reception of the Upper Light, to draw the Upper Light together with the second group.

54. Who among you turns darkness into Light and savors bitter as sweet even before he came here, that is, while still living in the other world? Who among you hopes and waits each day for the Light that shines when the Lord distances, when His greatness grows and He is called the King of all kings of the world? For he who does not wait for this each day while living in this world, has no place in the other world either.

The Creator’s goal is for man to fully attain Him while still living in this world, to feel Him as he did prior to descending into this world, prior to incarnating in a physical body. From this the division of people of our world into two groups is clearly evident, and the voice appeals to them.

The voice emphasizes to each group their main advantage. To the souls of the first group, it says that they turned darkness into Light. These are the souls of the world of Atzilut, for the Creator created two opposite systems in the worlds BYA: the system of darkness and bitterness opposite the system of Light and sweetness. Therefore, in the Torah of the worlds BYA there is a division into suitable and unsuitable, pure and impure, permitted and forbidden, holy and unholy, whereas the Torah of the world of Atzilut, which consists wholly of the Creator’s names, contains nothing impure whatsoever.

And the sinner Laban is regarded as a holy name in the world of Atzilut, as well as the Pharaoh. And all the names that represent impure forces in the worlds BYA become corrected in the world of Atzilut, exalted and pure spiritual objects and forces with corresponding holy names. Therefore, the souls that have attained the Light of the world of Atzilut transform all darkness into Light and all bitterness into sweetness. In other words, the whole difference between the holy, pure, and good, and their opposites lies in the correction of the desire and in acquiring an anti-egoistic screen over the will to receive.

And to the second group the voice said that they’re waiting for the Creator’s help, and He will rise (Shechina, His manifestation to the lower ones) from the dust (in their sensations). But those who do not wait for Him, being preoccupied with other aspirations, will not rise from the dust, and the sensation of the Creator will remain concealed from them.

55. In his vision, Rabbi Chiya saw many of his friends gathering around the standing pillars. And he saw them being elevated to the Heavenly Assembly, some are elevated, while others are lowered. And above them all, he saw Matat, the owner of wings, approaching.

As the voice was calling, Rabbi Chiya saw several souls of the righteous, belonging to the two groups, standing around the two pillars that were already present in Rabbi Shimon’s assembly, and whom he had already seen ascending to the Heavenly Assembly. Some were ascending, and some were descending; moreover, this motion ensued in mutually opposite directions.

This way the two groups help one another according to the calling voice, which instructs the first group to descend and the second to ascend. Rabbi Chiya saw also that due to the excitement of all these souls over their aspirations, i.e., the power of the two groups, Matat descended from the Heavenly Assembly to the assembly of Rabbi Shimon and swore an oath.

56. The angel Matat swore that he heard from behind the curtain how each day the Creator remembers and grieves over Malchut, cast into the dust. And when He remembers her, He strikes 390 firmaments, and they all tremble with terrible fear before Him. And the Creator sheds tears for the Shechina (Divinity), Malchut that has fallen to the dust. And those tears simmer like fire, and fall into the Great Sea. And by the power of these tears, the Ruler of the Sea, called Rachav, is revived, blesses the Creator’s holy name, and vows to swallow up everything, from the first days of creation, and to absorb all within himself, when all the nations gather against the holy nation, and the waters will dry, and Israel will walk through dry land.

This vow signifies that the Creator never forgets, but remembers each day that the Shechina lies in the dust. However, this does not refer to the entire Holy Shechina: this, the Creator need not vow, for it is revealed and seen by all who dwell in the Upper Worlds that everything He does is for the Shechina (Malchut) alone.

But this refers only to Malchut de Malchut. She is the one Rabbi Chiya thinks about being held captive by the impure forces, completely abandoned. Hence, he wept: “Oh dust that consumes all!” And here, the angel Matat, who has come to the Assembly of Rabbi Shimon, revealed to Rabbi Chiya a great secret – that the Creator’s rule is absolute, and He remembers Malchut de Malchut each day.

A Zivug (union of the Masach-screen and the Light-pleasure) is defined as a stroke of Light onto the screen, a result of the desire to enter and cross the screen’s barrier, while the screen restricts and repels it. This act of repelling is called the Returning (reversed) Light, as it rises from the screen from below upwards and clothes the coming Light.

This may be compared to the example of the host (Creator) offering delicious food (Light) to his guest (Kli), who wishes to enjoy the delicacies. However, as a result of the shame from being the receiver, the guest refuses to receive, and the screen repels the food (Light). It is as though the guest (Kli) says to the host (Creator) that he refuses to receive the pleasure (Light) for himself, for his own enjoyment. This repelling of the food (Light) forms the Returning Light, for it stems not just from not wanting to feel shame, as it is in our world, but from the spiritual Kli’s desire to be like the Creator.

The Returning Light is that altruistic intention, desire. This is also the spiritual Kli, and only within it can the Light be received; only in this intention can one feel the Creator.

After the Kli was able to repel all the pleasure coming to it, and demonstrated that it could meet the condition of the first restriction (to refrain from egoistic reception), it began to calculate how much Light it could receive for the Creator’s sake. The Kli receives only the amount of pleasure that it is certain it can receive for the Creator’s sake.

The delight that was received inside the Kli is referred to as the Inner Light. The amount of Light received inside the vessel determines the degree of similarity to the Creator; the Kli acts like the Creator: just as He desires to bestow pleasure upon the Kli, so the Kli wishes to bestow upon Him, to the extent of the Inner Light received. Therefore, the size of the Kli, (from Peh to Tabur, where it receives the Light) determines the degree of merging with the Creator. In this place, the Kli is merged with Him in properties and intentions.

If the Kli’s powers of resistance are not sufficient to receive for the Creator’s sake, and it can only refrain from reception, the Kli is considered to be in the “small” state, Katnut. The Kli that was created by the Creator is the strongest. However, afterwards, as it begins to descend, its screen gradually weakens until the Kli can no longer receive for the Creator’s sake. It is left with just enough strength to not receive for itself. This is why from this state onward there is a ban on reception of Light into the Kli’s desires “to receive.” The Kli may only use its GE, but not its AHP. And the boundary beyond which the Light cannot spread is called Parsa, the firmament. This barrier is built from Above; thus, even if the Kli suddenly wishes to receive the Light for itself, it will not be able to do so.

The screen divides the firmament and consists of four parts: Hochma, Bina, Tifferet, and Malchut (HBTM), the four letters of HaVaYaH. Because Malchut joined with Bina and thereby corrected her egoistic properties into altruistic ones, the screen is located not in Malchut, but in Bina. Bina is counted as hundreds; therefore, the four parts HBTM equal 400. However, there is no Zivug (reception of Light) on Malchut de Malchut itself (after all, it is called the “closed gates”). This means that Malchut contains ninety Sefirot, and not 100: 9 Sefirot, each consisting of ten.

Therefore, the screen that is called “the firmament” and that makes a Zivug with the Upper Light by reflecting it consists of 390 parts, for the part of Malchut de Malchut is lacking. The firmament is therefore said to consist of 390 firmaments, and on it a daily Zivug with the Shechina is made, whereas a Zivug on the dust, which signifies the ten parts of Malchut de Malchut, is forbidden. The impact between the screen and the incoming Light resembles shuddering from fear to receive the Light inside of oneself, beyond the limits of one’s restrictions.

There are five Sefirot in the Rosh (head) of a Partzuf:

Keter

-

Galgalta (or Metzah)

-

forehead

Hochma

-

Eynaim

-

eyes

Bina

-

Ozen

-

ear

ZA

-

Hotem

-

nose

Malchut

-

Peh

-

mouth

Just as the secretion from one’s physiological eyes is called tears, the secretion of the Light of Hochma from the part of the spiritual Kli called “eyes” is referred to as “tears.” Tears constitute the part of the Light that is rejected by the Partzuf due to the absence of a screen on Malchut de Malchut. All the Light that comes to a Partzuf wishes to enter and fill it with its pleasure, even the part of the Partzuf that has no screen to receive with altruistic intentions. Therefore, the screen immediately repels this portion of the Light.

But between the strike of the Light from Above and the resistance of the screen from below, tiny drops of Light seep through the screen, which, due to its hurry, is unable to repel them. These drops have nothing to do with the level of Hochma of the Partzuf, as they lack the clothing of the Returning Light. They exit the Partzuf Hochma and receive the name “tears.” But it is nonetheless Light!

This is similar to a state where we are filled with tears of compassion for another person. Indeed, all that exists in our world exists because it derives from its spiritual prototype, and all that transpires in this world, transpires only because it stems from its Upper, spiritual root.

After all, the fact that the Upper Light strikes the screen, trying to break through its restriction, stems from its origin in the Highest Place, the Creator Himself, and is unrelated to the creature’s desire to receive this Light within the bounds of its altruistic capabilities. The Light stems from the world of Infinity, from the Creator Himself, long before the Kli appeared and wished to restrict itself.

The Upper Light wishes to fill the desire to enjoy that it created, as it is said, “the Creator wishes to dwell in His creatures below.” The Light and the Creator are one and the same; after all, man defines the sensation of the Creator as spiritual Light. And this Upper Light strives to force its way through the screen and enter man’s desires, but the screen hurls it back. Thus, this repelled Upper Light becomes Returning Light, which designates man’s altruistic intentions to bestow delight upon the Creator.

As a result of the collision with the screen, portions of the Light fall outside, for these tears originate from the Creator’s love and compassion for His creation. In our world, this spiritual action results in an emission of tears in an individual overwhelmed with suffering and love. However, spiritual tears do not disappear.

This is described in Song of Songs (8:6): “For love is as strong as death, jealousy is as cruel as hell; the flashes thereof are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord!” This is because these tears stem from the Upper One's love and compassion for the lower one. And just as flaming tears shed by someone in our world burn, so do the boiling and burning Upper tears burn like fire, like the very flame of the Lord!

Being related to the property of Hochma, Malchut is called the “sea.” It is therefore said that the tears (Light of Hochma without first being clothed in Light of Hassadim) fall into the sea, into Malchut. And it is written that the many sea waters will not extinguish the Creator’s love for His creatures, expressed in these tears.

It was said during the creation of the world: “Let the waters be gathered together unto one place” (Beresheet, 1:9). But the angel that governed the sea did not wish to swallow these waters, and was hence killed (was emptied of Light). Now, as the tears fall, he is revived.

The reason for this is that during the creation of the world, Malchut de Malchut itself had not undergone any kind of correction, as the Creator created the worlds ABYA in a special correction, called MAN de Bina or Ateret Yesod, and not MAN de Malchut or Malchut de Malchut. In other words, correction is possible only if man corrects not Malchut de Malchut itself (his essence), but, while completely refraining from its use (use of egoism), he acquires higher, altruistic desires from Bina and receives the Creator’s Light in them (in Sefirot KHB-ZA de Malchut, in 390 Sefirot).

These higher, altruistic desires are referred to as desires of Bina or as MAN de Bina, and the reception of Light in them (Zivug) is made not on egoism (Malchut herself), but on the will to bestow, called Ateret Yesod. This Zivug is therefore sufficient to fill only the first nine Sefirot in Malchut, but does not fill Malchut herself.

Prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiah) writes in this regard: “Who are you with, partners? I started the worlds, and you are to complete them!” The correction of Malchut de Malchut is incumbent solely upon the creatures. Hence, when the sea ruler was told: “Let the waters be gathered together unto one place,” he objected and did not wish to swallow up the created waters, for due to the uncorrected state of Malchut de Malchut, the impure forces prevailed and ruled over him. And that is why he was killed.

However, these tears correct Malchut de Malchut, and thus revive the sea ruler so that he would rise from the dead, sanctify the name of the Lord, fulfill the Creator’s will, and swallow up the primeval waters. For then, all the impure forces, all the evil in the world will disappear and all (desires) will gather in one place (property), whose name is Atzilut. This is because the world of Atzilut will spread from the end of the world of AK down to our world, and there will come the end of correction, for the worlds of BYA will return in their properties to the world of Atzilut.

In the future, at the end of correction, after the correction of the first nine Sefirot of Malchut, when only Malchut de Malchut, the last, tenth Sefira, remains to be corrected, when all the nations of the world (Malchut de Malchut) unite to destroy Israel (the first nine Sefirot of Malchut, the desire to correct all the ten Sefirot of Malchut), the act of the sea ruler will be revealed in that he will swallow up all the primeval, evil waters, and the waters (severe restrictions) will dry up, and the sons of Israel (those who aspire for the Creator) will walk through dry land.

The prophet Micha (Micah) says of this: “As we fled the land of Egypt, we saw wonders.” However, this was only the beginning, for it was only in the End Sea (the Red Sea; the Hebrew name signifies the end of Malchut, or Malchut de Malchut), and only for a limited time. But, at the end of correction, death will disappear forever.

This is how Matat explained his oath: “the Creator never forgets Malchut, which is cast in the dust. For even though a daily Zivug with the Shechina is made on only 390 firmaments, on the nine Sefirot of Malchut and not on Malchutde Malchut itself, which remains lying in the dust, and, as it seems to us, completely forgotten by the Creator, nothing could be further from the truth. In truth, He corrects it with each Zivug, because with each Zivug, as a result of the 390 firmaments being struck, the tears fall outside. And these tears are not lost, but fall into the Great Sea (Malchut de Malchut), which receives from them slow, yet gradual corrections, even if it is the Light of Hochma without the clothing of the Light of Hassadim. As it becomes more and more corrected, the sea ruler is revived until the tears accumulate to the necessary amount for the correction of the entire Malchut, so that all of her intentions would be for the Creator’s sake.

This will occur when all the nations of the world unite to attack Israel. Then, the sea ruler will rise back to life and swallow up all the primeval waters, for Malchut de Malchut will receive the lacking correction, for each day the Creator cares for her until she, His only creation, reaches her final correction.

And here Rabbi Chiya’s delusion was revealed to him: he understood that nothing disappears in the dust, but, on the contrary, each day Malchut undergoes corrections, just as Matat swore.

57. Through all this, he heard a voice: “Clear this place, clear this place! The Mashiach (Messiah), the King-Redeemer is coming to the assembly of Rabbi Shimon,” for all the righteous gathered there are the heads of groups and assemblies, whereas all of the assembly members ascend from this assembly to the Assembly of Heaven. And the Mashiach visits all these assemblies and seals the Torah that stems from the mouths of the righteous. And at that moment, the Mashiach comes to the assembly of Rabbi Shimon, surrounded by the heads of all the Supernal assemblies.

As a result of the great revelation – the end of correction – concealed in the oath of Matat, all of the righteous present at Rabbi Shimon’s Assembly were elevated, especially the two groups of the righteous that caused Matat to appear and take his oath. As a result, all of them attained Upper Degrees and reached the levels of “heads of assemblies,” for each assembly has members and a head, and the difference between them is similar to the difference between VAK, GE of the degree or Partzuf, from GAR, the complete Partzuf.

Hence, it is written that the place should be cleared for the Mashiach. After all, when Matat revealed the secret of the end (of correction), and specifically how creation will be delivered from egoism, a voice appeared and commanded to prepare a place for the Mashiach, the King-Redeemer, for the end of correction is connected to the King- Mashiach.

However, only the righteous of Rabbi Shimon’s assembly, who are above all the heads of assemblies, merit his coming, for only those who are on the same spiritual level as the King- Mashiach (all those who have already corrected all of their other properties – the first nine Sefirot in their part of desires- Malchut – all of the properties except for the original egoism, Malchut de Malchut) can merit the revelation of his face.

The level of the Mashiach is the Light of Yechida. And if all the members had not reached the level of the heads of the assemblies, the GAR of the degrees, i.e., corrected all that they could, they would not have merited the revelation of the Mashiach’s face. But the heads of the Assemblies are not GAR of the low degrees. Rather, they represent a level so high that all the members have merited reaching the Heavenly Assembly of Matat.

And now all the members merited becoming the heads of the Assemblies, wherefrom they merited an ascent to the Heavenly Assembly. Moreover, thanks to their corrections, they merited the Mashiach himself coming to all these assemblies to be adorned with their deeds in the Torah. And now all the members have merited reaching the level of the assemblies’ heads. This is why the Mashiach is adorned with the Torah of the assemblies’ heads. Thus, thanks to them, the Mashiach himself ascends to a Higher Degree.

58. At that time, all the members stood up. Rabbi Shimon stood up, too, and his Light rose to the firmament. The Mashiach said unto him: “Happy are you, Rabbi, for your Torah has risen in 370 beams of Light, and each beam divides into 613 beams (properties) that ascend and bathe in the rivers of the holy Apharsemon (persimmon). And the Creator confirms and signs the Torah of your assembly, of the assembly of Chizkiyah (Hezekiah), the King of Judah, and the assembly of Achiyah ha Shiloni (Ahijah the Shilonite).”

When the Mashiach revealed himself to them and came to Rabbi Shimon’s Assembly, all the members stood up (ascended from the level of VAK to GAR), and Rabbi Shimon stood on the same degree as the Mashiach. And the Light rose to the height of the firmament. This indicates that Rabbi Shimon has attained the Light of the ten firmaments, the previously missing tenth firmament on account of the closed gates of Malchut de Malchut, and has attained the Light of Yechida, which he now was able to receive, as he could make a Zivug on Malchut de Malchut. And the Light of Yechida that shines from this Zivug is called Mashiach. The “sitting” level is 390, or VAK; the “standing” level is 400, or GAR.

The Mashiach said to Rabbi Shimon that his Torah gave rise to the Light of Yechida in Partzuf Atik, because:

Units (0 – 9) are in Malchut;

Tens (10 – 90) are in ZA;

Hundreds (100 – 900) are in Ima;

Thousands (1,000 – 9,000) are in Aba;

Tens of thousands (10,000 – 90,000) are in Arich Anpin;

And hundreds of thousands (100,000 – 900,000) are in Atik.

Since each Sefira of Atik equals 100,000, the four Sefirot of HaVaYaH(HBTM of Atik) total 400,000.

However, in this case, he should have said that the Torah performed the deed in 400,000; yet, he said that the Light emanated by Ima is not used on 400, but only on 370, for although the Torah had reached the zenith of the firmament, it still could not reach GAR of the last, Supernal Hundred. Hence, there are only 370, while the Upper Thirty are absent in Ima.

The same applies with regard to thousands – the Light of Aba does not use GAR of each thousand, but only VAK, i.e., 600 instead of 1,000. Instead of the GAR of each thousand, it uses thirteen (Hochma of the “thirty-two Netivot (paths of) Hochma”). The number thirteen signifies Hochma of the “thirty-two Netivot Hochma,” the weak Light of Hochma, called the holy Apharsemon.

It is therefore said that the Torah attained 370 lights, and each of them divides into 613 beams; thus, in the 400 of Ima, thirty of the Upper Light of Hochma are absent, which leaves it with only 370. And each thousand lacks the Upper 400 (GAR of Hochma). Instead of using the thirteen paths of the holy Apharsemon, each thousand contains no more than 613, for all the supernal secrets are concealed in Rabbi Shimon’s assembly. And the Creator Himself sealed them, for He ascends and becomes adorned with the achievements of all the righteous in the Torah.

We know from the Talmud (Sanhedrin, 99:1) that everything the prophets ever said refers only to the days of the Mashiach’s coming, but in the future (Yeshayahu, 64), everyone will behold the Creator themselves. For all the degrees and levels that refer to the days of the Mashiach will then be corrected, and all the secrets of the Torah will be revealed, everyone will attain complete revelation of the Light, of the Creator, as it is said, everyone will see with their own eyes (sight implies GAR de Hochma).

From the aforesaid, it becomes clear that there exists an opportunity to correct one’s individual Malchut de Malchut even before all the souls achieve it in the future. In such a case, man reaches his individual level of attainment of 400, although his general level cannot be higher than 370, as in the case of everybody else. This is the degree that Rabbi Shimon, Rabbi Chizkiyah, and Achiyah ha Shiloni had reached.

59. The Mashiach said: “I have come here not to confirm the Torah of your assembly, but only because the “owner of wings” is on his way here. For I know that he shall not enter any other assembly, but only yours.” Meanwhile, Rabbi Shimon told him of the oath taken by the “owner of wings.” Right then the Mashiach trembled in awe and raised his voice, and the Heavens shook, and the Great Sea boiled, and the Leviathan stirred, and the entire world threatened to overturn.

At that moment, he saw Rabbi Chiya in Rabbi Shimon’s adornments. He asked, “Who gave man in this world the adornments, garment of the other world?” (garment of the other world onto the body of this world). Rabbi Shimon answered, “This is Rabbi Chiya, the cresset of the Torah!” He said to him, “Gather him and his sons (those who have left this world), and they shall join your Assembly.” Rabbi Shimon said, “Time was granted to him, he was granted time” (Rabbi Chiya’s time has not yet come).

The Mashiach said to Rabbi Shimon that he came not for the sake of the Torah, but because the “owner of wings” has come to the assembly, wishing to know what Matat had said. For Matat had revealed that the end of correction would be preceded by terrible suffering for Israel – the Heavens and the Great Sea would tremble, and the world would be on the verge of collapse, as predicted in the Talmud (Sanhedrin, 97): “All is broken.” Hence, he raised his voice, wishing to mitigate all this upheaval.

The Mashiach was surprised to see Rabbi Chiya’s garment (that Rabbi Chiya exists in a physical body of our world, in the property of this world), for if he had merited the appearance of Matat and his oath, he had attained the degree of complete correction of all his evil. And since he merited seeing the Mashiach’s face, to receive the Light of Yechida, he had obviously completed his work in this world, and there is nothing left for him to do here. Hence, he should leave it and enter Rabbi Shimon’s assembly in the Garden of Eden.

But Rabbi Shimon persuaded Rabbi Chiya that he needs to continue performing new, additional corrections in this world. And both the Mashiach and Rabbi Shimon explained to Rabbi Chiya what else specifically he still needed to do in this world.

60. Rabbi Chiya trembled in awe when the Mashiach left, and his eyes fulfilled with tears. For the Mashiach left Rabbi Shimon’s Assembly weeping from the great desire for the final correction and redemption. And Rabbi Chiya was also anguished from the fervent desire to reach the end of correction. Rabbi Chiya cried and said: “Happy is the lot of the righteous in the other world, and happy is the lot of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who has merited all of this.”

Who Is Your Partner?

61. Beresheet: Rabbi Shimon opened: “Put my words in your mouth. How much effort should man exert in the Torah day and night, for the Creator is attentive to those who study it. And with every word that man attains by his efforts in the Torah, he builds a firmament.”

The Creator gave the righteous the power of His speech. And just as the Creator creates the creature by the power of His word, so the righteous create new Heavens by its power. This is why Rabbi Shimon opened his speech by explaining the words, “In the beginning, the Creator created Heaven and earth,” as the word Barah (created) also means “closing” and “limiting.” And we must understand why the Creator had created it in such a closed form. He answers, “To put the correction of Heaven and earth in the words of the righteous, to make them His partners – participants in the creation of Heaven and earth.”

There are two kinds of renewal of Heaven and earth that the Creator enclosed in the mouths of the righteous:

1. The correction of Adam’s sin, the correction of the past. Even before the creation of Adam, the Creator had made a secret correction of Heaven and earth, as it is described in the beginning of the Torah, in the chapter Beresheet: ZON de Atzilut ascended to AVI and to AA, while Adam ascended to ZON and YESHSUT. As a result, Adam received the Light of NRN de Atzilut, for he clothed YESHSUT and ZON de Atzilut, i.e., ascended to their level.

Adam is located within the worlds BYA and he ascends together with these worlds. All the worlds can ascend above their permanent state or descend to their places with Adam inside of them. Adam’s spiritual level and the Light that he receives are determined by his location:

In other sources, such as the Talmud (Bava Batra, 58:2), this is described as Adam’s ascent to the level of the sun (ZA de Atzilut). This Light is called “Zihara Ilaa(Zihara is the Aramaic word for Zohar in Hebrew or “radiant Light” in English).

As a result of his sin, Adam fell spiritually to the level of our corporeal world (Talmud, Hagigah, 12:1). And instead of NRN de Atzilut that he used to receive before his fall, he now receives the Light from the worlds BYA that are below Parsa. And as a result of Adam’s sin, Heaven (ZA) and earth (Malchut) of the world of Atzilut descended to the level of VAK de ZA and the point of Malchut respectively, as they descended below Tabur de Partzuf AA.

And the righteous that live in this world, but already exist spiritually in the spiritual worlds of BYA, are entrusted with the task of correcting all that transpired through Adam’s fault, and to return, to renew the Heavens and the earth (ZON de Atzilut) and elevate them to AVI and AAZA to AA and Malchut to AVI, as it was before the sin. And as a result of their work, the righteous will receive the Light of the world of Atzilut that the corrected Adam is entitled to, for they (their souls, spiritual Kelim or inner spiritual Partzuf) are his parts.

2. However, even before the sin, Adam was not in the perfect state for which the Creator had created him. Hence, after the righteous correct the consequences of Adam’s sin and attain NRN de Atzilut, which existed in Adam before the sin, new work awaits them – to receive new Upper Light that has yet to descend. In other words, if the first goal is to correct the sin, the second is to attain even more. It is called to “create new Heaven and earth,” new properties of ZON, in which new, Higher Light can be received.

This new level or degree that has never been present in any Kli is described as “neither hath an eye seen the Creator beside thee,” and the degrees which the righteous attach to the worlds are called “new Heaven” and “new earth,” for they are truly new and have never before existed in reality.

And this Heaven and earth, which the righteous correct to the level that preceded Adam’s sin, during the creation (Beresheet), are not called new, as they’ve already existed and the Creator Himself corrected them even before Adam’s sin. Hence, they are called renewed, and the righteous who correct them are not called the Creator’s partners.

“Encloses in their mouths” implies reception of such Upper Light that was neither received by Adam nor emanated from the Creator. And now, by the actions of the righteous, which are called partners, participants and co-creators, it comes out and shines in creation. Thus we see that all the righteous are divided into two groups: those who correct Adam’s sin and those who create new degrees of attainment. The latter are called the Creator’s partners.

ZA is called voice and Malchut is called speech. When a righteous person studies the Torah and thereby raises MAN (by the voice and speech of his Torah) from his soul to ZON, his voice ascends to ZA and his speech ascends to Malchut. The voice of the Torah that ascends with MAN to ZA is called the Creator (Kadosh Baruch Hu).

Also, each renewed word in the Torah builds a new firmament. A word means speech, and any speech that renews the Torah by those who study it ascends in the form of MAN to Malchut, who is called “word and speech.” This creates a new firmament in the form of a screen, on which a Zivug between the Creator and the Shechina is made. This is what the righteous, who study the Torah, attain by raising MAN!

However, renewal in the words of the Torah does not imply anything new in the voice of the Torah. For Malchut has to recreate herself for each new Zivug, for after each Zivug, Malchut returns to the state of virginity thanks to the MAN raised by the righteous, who constantly renew her properties, her Yesod – the Kli for the reception of Light from ZA. Hence, it is written that the Torah is renewed by each word, for a word (Malchut) is renewed by the speech of the righteous in the Torah, as, after each Zivug, the previous Kli disappears and a new one appears.

62. We have learned that just as the Torah is renewed by one’s mouth, that renewal ascends and appears before the Creator. And the Creator accepts this wisdom, kisses it, and adorns it with seventy adornments. And the renewed wisdom itself ascends and settles on the head of the righteous that revive the worlds, and then flies, soaring through 70,000 worlds, until it ascends to Atik, the Sefira Keter. And all that exists in Atik is concealed, Supernal wisdom.

When a person raises MAN from his Torah, this word, which is Nukva de ZA, ascends and connects to the Creator in a Zivug with Him. The Creator takes this word, kisses, and adorns it, and these are the two types of Zivugim (plural for Zivug) in ZON:

1. Zivug de Neshikin (kisses);

2. Zivug de Yesodot (bases/foundations).

Each Zivug consists of two Zivugim, for a Zivug on Ohr Hochma must clothe itself into the Partzuf (garment) of Ohr Hassadim. Therefore, a preliminary Zivug must be made on Ohr Hassadim, whose role is to become a garment for Ohr Hochma. This is why each Zivug consists of two Zivugim:

1. Zivug on the degree of Hochma, called Zivug de Neshikin, because it stands at the Peh de Rosh of the Partzuf, at the level of Rosh and GAR.

2. Zivug on the degree of Hassadim, called Zivug de Yesodot, because it takes place at the level of the bodies of the Partzufim.

Therefore, it is said that the Creator took Nukva in this word and kissed her, i.e., made a Zivug de Neshikin at the level of GAR, and then adorned her, i.e., made a Zivug de Yesodot at the level of Hassadim. As a result, Ohr Hochma clothed in Ohr Hassadim, and Nukva received the complete Light.

IN SEVENTY ADORNMENTS: the complete Light of Nukva is called “seventy adornments,” because Malchut is the seventh day, and when she receives from ZA, her Sefirot become tens, just as the Sefirot of ZA; this turns Malchut into 7 x 10 = 70. Mochin (wisdom), Ohr Hochma is called Atara (adornment or crown). Hence, what she receives is called “seventy adornments.” After Malchut receives the Light of Hassadim, with the help of the MAN of the righteous, she becomes fit to receive the Upper Light of Hochma, the seventy adornments.

As was said above, there are two kinds of renewal of Heaven and earth (ZON):

1. When everything returns to the state preceding Adam’s sin. In that instance, Malchut is called the “word of the Torah” (VAK), where the Torah is ZA.

2. When Heaven and earth are created with a new Light, which even Adam did not attain prior to his sin. And this attainable word is called GAR.

It is written (Talmud, Berachot, 7:1) that the righteous sit with adornments on their heads, for Malchut ascended to adorn the head of the righteous (ZA) in his Yesod, called Chai Olamim (reviver of worlds), or, rather, in his Ateret Yesod – the place of circumcision. And this transpires thanks to the MAN raised by the righteous that have already attained the Upper Light of Adam’s Zihara Ilaa, just as Rabbi Shimon and his friends have already attained it.

Ohr Hochma is called Ohr Haya. Since ZA desires only Hassadim, he can receive Ohr Haya only with the help of his Nukva, Malchut. It turns out that ZA lives, i.e., receives Ohr Haya,only if he is in a Zivug with Nukva, called Olam (world). That is how the name Chai Olamim (reviver of worlds) originated.

Also, Nukva, the adornment on his head, becomes important (Keter – crown) because ZA receives this Light only thanks to his Malchut. Although Malchut was born from ZA, since it is Malchut and no other that evokes, makes reception of the Light of Life possible, ZA calls her his mother. Indeed, ZA receives Ohr Haya (the Light of Life) from her.

Therefore, it is written that Malchut flies and soars in 70,000 worlds, and after her Zivug with ZA on his Atara (adornment on his head), she ascends even higher, to AA, where the seven Sefirot of Malchut, called 70,000 worlds, become corrected, as one Sefira of ZA equals 10,000. After that, Malchut ascends higher still – to Atik. And all of these ascents of ZON to Atik transpire thanks to the efforts made by the righteous that raise MAN: a Zivug on Atara elevates ZON to AVI, from which they ascend to AA (70,000 worlds), and from there to Atik, the highest possible point of ascent.

It is therefore written that all the words of Atik’s Supernal wisdom are locked, since Malchut receives the Upper Light upon ascending to Atik, and each degree that she receives from Atik is called “concealed,” “Supernal wisdom,” i.e., GAR de Hochma. This is because words of wisdom signify the degree of Hochma, and the words “concealed,” “secret,” and “Supernal” refer to GAR. Also, they are revealed only to those who attain the level of Atik, but not below, as Tzimtzum Bet (the second restriction) already exists in AA.

63. And when this hidden wisdom, which is renewed here in this world, ascends, she joins Atik, ascends and descends, enters 18 worlds, where no eye has seen the Creator besides you. They emerge from there and appear before Atik, complete and perfect. Meanwhile, Atik tests her and finds her most desirable above all else. He then takes her and adorns her with 370,000 adornments. And she, the renewed Torah, ascends and descends, and is transformed into a firmament.

During the ascent of Malchut to Atik, she joins the Zivug that transpires there, and creates Ohr Hozer (Returning Light) by accepting Ohr Yashar (Direct Light) at the level of Atik’s properties. The ascent of Malchut means that Malchut elevates Ohr Hozer from herself upwards. Malchut’s descent means that she sends Ohr Yashar from Above downwards. And then Malchut receives the hidden, secret, and Supernal wisdom. The word “joins” signifies her contact with the Ohr Hozer and the Ohr Yashar within Atik itself.

This Zivug is made in Atik on its Yesod, but not on Malchut, since Malchut de Atik is concealed until the end of correction. Like Yesod de ZA during its ascent to AVI, this Yesod is called Chai Olamim. The difference between them is that Yesod de Atik is called “No one else but you can see the Creator,” for a Zivug on Yesod elevates Ohr Hozer and clothes Ohr Yashar with it. This screen is defined in AVI, below Atik, as wings that block the Upper Light. This shows that the screen possesses a force of restriction, law, judgment. This is why Ohr Hozer is also called “the Light of Restriction.” Thus, Ohr Hozer exists in AVI.

Conversely, the screen in Yesod de Atik, of which it is said that there “the Creator no longer hides from you” (Yeshayahu, 30:20), while it does raise Ohr Hozer, it does not conceal the Creator thereby, does not have the properties of wings. This is the reason why it is called Chai Olamim (reviver of worlds).

Nevertheless, it remains concealed until man attains that level himself, as is written: “Only your eyes shall see the Creator.” There are no wings or anything else there that conceal Him from outsiders’ eyes, for no restrictions are imposed and everything is revealed. And neither are there any restrictions in Ohr Hozer, but only mercy and benevolence, as in Ohr Yashar.

The name Chai Olamim implies that a Zivug is made not on ten Sefirot of Ohr Yashar from Above downwards and ten Sefirot of Ohr Hozer from below upwards, and not on the whole of the twenty Sefirot, i.e., not on Malchut herself, but on Yesod de Malchut. In this instance, there are nine Sefirot of Ohr Yashar and nine Sefirot of Ohr Hozer, as Yesod is the ninth Sefira: 9 + 9 = 18 = 10 + 8 = Yod + Chet, which is pronounced in reverse order as Chet-Yod (Chai), for this is the Returning Light. The word “life” (Chaim) is derived from the word “alive” (Chai), for he who is able to make a Zivug on Yesod receives the Upper Light of life, Ohr Hochma.

Tremendous Upper Light manifests in Atik as a result of this Zivug. This is because all the worlds and all that inhabit them join Nukva, and together they attain true perfection, the level for which they were initially conceived and created by the Creator.

Hence, it is said that word flies in the firmament, which signifies the creation of Ohr Hozer from below upwards, which leads to Ohr Yashar descending from the Creator, from Above downwards. And the clothing of Ohr Hozer on Ohr Yashar creates a firmament, because the screen that appears in Malchut for the creation of Ohr Hozer comes as a result of the good deeds of the righteous, their MAN (requests for spiritual ascent) aimed at pleasing the Creator. So then, after this screen makes a Zivug with the Upper Light, it becomes a firmament, with the help of which, the righteous attain the full height of the degree on which they have now made a Zivug.

This occurs because when this degree descends to the righteous through the firmament, it clothes in Ohr Hozer (garment of this firmament), which, together with the Ohr Yashar clothed within it, turn over and they descend below the screen (firmament) and thereby become attainable by the righteous.

Those righteous that have achieved such perfection that they can raise MAN to such exalted Zivug have already rid themselves of egoism completely and have no desire to receive anything for themselves. Instead, they raise their MAN (request) with the sole purpose of pleasing the Creator. Therefore, by their corrections (MAN), they correct the screen in Malchut, and, by creating Ohr Hozer in her, which ascends from the screen of Malchut upwards, make her capable of a great Zivug. This is because all that ascends is altruism, bestowal, repelling, and rejecting reception for oneself and egoistic pleasure.

Then there is a Zivug with the Upper Light, and the Upper Light clothes in the ascending Returning Light. This descending Upper Light clothes into the Returning Light and enters into the righteous that have raised MAN. The expression “from below upwards” implies the repelling of Light by a person, and “from Above downwards” designates a person’s reception.

And since the Upper Light comes to man through a firmament, it takes the Light reflected from the firmament as its garment, and one receives the Upper Light clothed in Returning Light. This means that, even after one already receives the spiritual information of the entire degree, he delights in the Upper Light that descends to him only to the extent in which he can please the Creator thereby, i.e., to the extent of his strength, the magnitude of his screen, and the amount of Returning Light that clothes the Direct Upper Light.

Such reception of the Upper Light (only to the extent of the magnitude of Ohr Hozer created by man) is called the reception for the Creator’s sake. And wherever one cannot find a way to bestow upon the Creator, he does not receive. Hence, his reception is clothed in bestowal: the Upper Direct Light is clothed in Returning Light, meaning the lower one receives only the clothed Upper Light from the Upper One, i.e., only through the firmament.

64. And thus, every deed creates firmaments that appear before Atik, and he calls them “new Heavens” or, rather, “renewed firmaments,” concealed by Supernal wisdom. And all the other parts of the Torah that are not renewed by means of Supernal wisdom appear before the Creator, ascend and become “the lands of life” (Artzot HaChaim). They then descend and adorn one land. And it becomes renewed, and a new land comes into being from all that was renewed in the Torah.

The righteous are constantly raising newer and newer MAN, and thus receive newer and newer degrees of attainments from Atik, with the help of the firmaments created by the Upper Zivug. From these firmaments emerge new Heavens, which are renewed in the degrees of Atik. These exalted attainments of the righteous are therefore called the hidden secrets of Supernal wisdom, for they descend clothed in the garments received from the firmaments.

Malchut is called “earth” and Bina is called “the lands of life” (Artzot HaChaim). When Malchut attains all the degrees of Bina, she acquires the name “the land of life.” Malchut is also called the “new land,” for she exchanges her own properties for those of Bina. And everything that was previously Malchut now becomes Bina.

Therefore, it is written that in the future, BON will become SAG, and MA will become AB, for Heaven is ZA that now ascended to the degree of Atik (AB or Hochma). The earth, Nukva de ZA, Malchut, became SAG, Bina. Hence, the new land and the new Heavens are Malchut and ZA that became SAG and AB, Atik and AA.

65. It is written, “When the new land and the new Heavens, which I make.” It is not written, “I have made,” in past tense, but rather “I make,” in present tense, for they are constantly made from the renewal and secrets of the Torah. And it is written of this: “And I shall place it in your mouth, and in the shadow of your hands’ garments, that I may take the Heavens, and lay the foundations of the land” (Yeshayahu, 51:16). It is simply said “Heavens,” for it implies the Heavens renewed by the Torah.

Everything that is described in the Torah is written in the present tense, as there is no time in the spiritual; everything is written with regard to the one who attains the Torah at that given moment. This is what The Zohar wants to stress here: the matter concerns man’s constant work on himself, on his nature. And the righteous that have already attained the Upper Light continue creating newer and newer Heavens and lands, as is written, “The righteous ascend from summit to summit,” and this process is infinite.

66. Rabbi Elazar said, “What is the meaning of ‘in the shadow of your hands’ garments?’.” He answered, “When the Torah was passed to Moshe, tens of thousands of Supernal angels appeared so as to raise him with the flames of their mouths, but the Creator protected him. So now, when the renewal in the Torah ascends and appears before the Creator, He protects it and shelters the one who performed it, so as to prevent the angels from finding out and envying him, until new Heaven and earth are made out of this renewal in the Torah. Hence, it is said, “To take the Heavens and lay the foundations of the land from the shadow of your hands’ garments.” It follows that all that is concealed from the eyes achieves a supernal result. This is why it is said, “In the shadow of your hands’ garments.” Yet, why should it be concealed from the eyes for the sake of a supernal result? Hence, it is immediately said, “So that I may take the Heavens and lay the foundations of the land.” As we have learned – so that new Heavens and earth will appear out of this concealment.

The phrase “In the shadow of your hands’ garments” alludes to Ohr Hozer, the garment that stems from the firmament, clothing and covering of the Ohr Hochma. Like a shadow, this garment conceals Hochma from outsiders’ eyes, so they do not know what is inside. Why are High Degrees concealed from angels? So they would not envy man, for when the angels, which are made of a very light material (without egoism), look at one who is righteous and see his negative properties, they envy him for the High Degree that he has achieved. They then begin slandering that righteous, the properties that they discover in him. This brings harm to the righteous.

Therefore, when a degree clothes into the garment of a firmament (Ohr Hozer), this garment measures the degree itself, its magnitude, to prevent man from receiving more than his intention for the Creator’s sake allows, i.e., only to the extent of Ohr Hozer. Thus, he is protected from the angels’ envy and from their ability to harm his spiritual condition, for he becomes equal to them in his properties: his Returning Light makes him equal.

Like everything else that fills the worlds, Melachim (angels) are man’s inner properties and forces. In order to avoid harming himself by wishing to attain Higher Degrees before he has acquired Ohr Hozer, these degrees must be concealed. However, in addition to Ohr Hozer, one should exercise caution against his desire.

This explains the rule: “The eye sees and the heart covets,” and man would not be able to protect his intention, to keep it for the Creator’s sake alone, and would desire to receive for himself. However, once clothed in the garment of the firmament, he can be certain that he will not receive above his intention to receive for the Creator’s sake.

Let us briefly examine how a desire is conceived in man. One looks at something for the first time, not yet knowing what he is going to see. It is as if an object accidentally falls into his field of vision. Naturally, no ban can be imposed on it, as this occurrence is not dependent on man; thus, it is neither rewarded nor punished.

However, when looking at it for the second time – here, man already has freedom of choice. And if the second look is going to result in the desire to receive pleasure, it is forbidden. If man cannot restrain himself, and looks for the second time, his eyes send a signal to his heart, and the heart begins to desire. Thus, man has the power to decide whether or not to allow the desire to be born within him. This is the meaning of the phrase: “The eye sees and the heart covets.”

67. He said to these gates and to the words that were set one upon the other in the renewed Torah: “Who are you with? You are my partners. Just as I make the Heavens and the earth with My words, as it is written, ‘By the Creator’s word were the Heavens made,’ so you create new Heavens and earth by your labor in the Torah.”

The properties of reception are called “gates,” because, like open gates, they are always ready to receive. “Words” are the properties of bestowal, of raising MAN to the Creator. The phrase “Set one upon the other” signifies one clothing the other, and so occurs reception for the sake of bestowal.

68. However, if one were to claim that the renovation of the Torah by one who does not even know what he is saying creates a firmament, then look at one who is not familiar with the secrets of the Torah: since he renews the Torah without having sufficient knowledge, all that he renews ascends, and the reverse side of man (male part of the impure force), and the false tongue (from Nukva of the impure force, called Tehom Rabagreat abyss) comes toward him. This reversed man skips 500 Parsaot (measures of distance) to receive this renewal of the Torah, takes it and makes a false firmament out of it, called Tohu (abyss).

As we already know, the righteous raise MAN to please the Creator. This is called the “words of the Torah,” for the words are renewed as a result of the Upper Zivug, and ZON receive a new Light from this Zivug, to the extent that they come to merit the renewal of Heaven and earth by their actions. They thereby become the Creator’s partners – fellow workers, for, just like Him, they renew Heaven and earth with their words.

Although one who is not familiar with the secrets of the Torah (the ways of the Creator) so as to know how to protect himself and to not harm the Higher Degrees tells himself that his intention is for the exalted goal, he deludes himself, for he does not know that which his soul surely knows – that his intentions are for himself. Terrible punishment awaits him, for he allows the impure forces to destroy those who labor in the Torah. The Zohar explains: if one does not know the exact meanings of the words, i.e., if he raises MAN to the great Zivug without a thorough understanding of all the intricate details of the act, the reverse man and the false tongue capture his word.

Klipot (one’s impure forces) also consist of male and female parts. The male part is called “fruitless return,” and the female part is called “falsehood.” The male part of the Klipa is not as bad as the female part. And when it is by itself, it does not prompt one to lie by the Creator’s name; on the contrary, goodness strikes his eye, yet the eye itself is evil. And he who falls into the hands of the male impure force uses the Creator’s name in vain, for he detaches himself from the Creator and receives no Light from Him, i.e., he utters words and seemingly acts, but fruitlessly, for these actions are not the screen’s interaction with the Light.

Hence, the sages said: “The Creator says of all who is proud: He and I cannot be together” (Talmud, Suta, 5:1), for his intentions are to receive everything for himself, for his own benefit, for his pride and vanity, as the sensation of one’s “I” is the greatest manifestation of pride. Hence, man falls under the power of the evil eye. Consequently, the MAN that he raises receives no response from Above, and he utters the Creator’s name in vain. Therefore, the male part of the impure force is called empty, fruitless, false, vain, unsuccessful, and futile, for the Creator cannot unite with him due to the dissimilarity of their properties.

If, however, one feels not his similarity to the Creator, but rather his oppositeness in properties from Him, and perceives himself as the most evil of all, he can then lower himself before the Creator, suppress all of his properties out of hatred for them, and the Creator Himself will perform the remaining part of his correction. However, one who is proud not only fails to understand the extent of his remoteness from the Creator, he actually believes that he is entitled to receive more than others, and that the Creator owes him something.

Nukva de Klipa is called “falsehood.” After one falls into the net of the male part of the impure force, the latter makes a Zivug with its Nukva (impure, bitter, and evil force), which, as a result of its connection to the male part, falsifies the Creator’s name, descends and instigates man, and then ascends, complaints against him, and takes his soul. However holy this soul was, Nukva de Klipa grabs all of it for itself.

Naturally, this refers to one who works on himself and advances spiritually, for whom working for the Creator’s sake is his life’s calling. Yet, he may occasionally fail to observe precisely all the restrictions, and thus find himself in such states. An ordinary person, however, who neither works on himself nor studies Kabbalah, is obviously entirely unrelated to either pure or impure spiritual forces.

For example, the male impure force says that one must study the Torah, but then steals the results of his work for itself. As a result, man loses interest in his studies, and must once more consolidate himself in his efforts and advancement. And although he attains the Creator and the revelation of Light to a certain degree, it is nonetheless fruitless, for all of his attainments vanish from him, and he gains nothing from them.

Therefore, the Torah refers to it as the “reverse man,” for initially he ate and drank and said “Go,” i.e., raise MAN to the Creator and receive the Light for the sake of the exalted goal, but not for yourself. Thus, it pretends that it is not the impure force, but its opposite. However, due to its property called “fruitless return,” it then makes a Zivug with its Nukva (the great abyss), which steals man’s soul and destroys him with its falsehood, and man is left without even the slightest part of his soul that is holy and pure!

Hence, it is written that he skips through 500 Parsaot: initially, ZON of the impure forces have only VAK in ZA and a point in Malchut. Consequently, they can only be equal to ZON de Atzilut in their Katnut (small state), when they are also VAK and a point, and have neither the power nor the place to connect to Bina.

Nevertheless, thanks to the MAN raised by the lower ones, the male impure force is given the opportunity to skip through ZAT de Bina, which sustain the pure and holy ZON. ZON contain Sefirot HGTNH (Netzah- Hod) = 5 x 100 = 500, since a Sefira in Bina equals 100. And this occurs thanks to the MAN raised by one who is uncertain of his intentions (whether or not he acts for the Creator’s sake).

The “reverse man” then makes a Zivug with his Nukva on this false MAN, and receives the Upper Light for the construction of his Partzuf, much like the spiritually pure Heavens that were created on the pure MAN. Also, the new Heavens created on the impure MAN are called “reverse,” “empty.” And since the impure Malchut took part in this, these Heavens are called Tohu (abyss/chaos).

69. And this reverse man then flies across the empty firmament, traversing 6,000 Parsaot in one bound. And as soon as this empty firmament stops, an impure woman emerges at once, seizes onto this empty firmament, and partakes in it. She leaves it and slays hundreds of thousands, for as long as she remains in this firmament, she has the authority and power to fly and traverse the whole world in an instant.

All that stems from the empty firmament stems from the impure force, which is correspondingly opposite the Supernal, holy wisdom of Ohr Hochma. The Sefira Hochma equals 1,000, and so it is written that it flies across the firmament in 6,000 = six Sefirot HGT NHY of Partzuf Hochma, each of which equals 1,000.

After the new heavens of the impure male part, called the “empty heavens,” were completed, the power of its female half, Nukva (“the great abyss”), was revealed. Her force attacked the firmament with falsehood by the Creator’s name; she soared through the sky, and the heavens were then called Tohu.

Since Nukva of the impure forces partakes in this firmament, she becomes stronger and grows even more than the male level of the impure part. This is because the male impure part reaches up to VAK of Hochma, which equals 6,000 Parsaot, whereas Nukva grows to the full ten Sefirot, i.e., the entire world.

Therefore, she is immensely powerful and can destroy many, for, as Rashi says, “The Creator created one opposite the other.” And just as new, Holy Heavens and lands are created thanks to the MAN raised by the righteous, new, impure heavens and lands are created through the MAN raised by those who do not know exactly how one should work for the Creator.

70. It is written of it: “Do not facilitate fruitless transgression.” Transgression is related to the male part, and is as heavy as wagon shafts. What is this transgression? It is the impure Nukva. With reins she draws the male impure part to fruitlessness. And then, as a result, a transgression is committed, as the male part draws itself towards this Nukva, who grows strong and flies off to slay people. And many does she slay. And who is it that caused all this? It is those that study the Torah, but do not attain Ohrah and Morah (Light and bestowal). May the Creator be merciful to them!

As was already mentioned above, the male impure part is not as evil as the female part. This is so because it makes itself similar to the holy part of the creature; hence, it is called fruitless. However, due to this similarity, it has great power to ensnare man, as, for example, just as the sages do, it encourages people to study the Torah. Yet, its goals are different from that of the Creator; it wants to receive wisdom (Hochma), and not to become altruistic.

And after one is caught in its toils, the male impure force makes a Zivug with its impure Nukva, and, like heavy wagon shafts, they pull man into an abyss so great and dark that he doesn’t even realize that he is in darkness. On the contrary, he considers himself wise and righteous. The male part only catches man, binds him, and then brings him to the impure Nukva and casts him at her feet. Only then does he falter, falls into the great abyss and perishes.

71. Rabbi Shimon said to his friends, “I beg of you not to utter any discernments from the Torah, no matter what you may hear from the Great Tree of Truth, so that you would not assist the impure Nukva in slaying multitudes of people for naught. They all opened and mouthed: “Save us, O Merciful One! Save us, O Merciful One!”

Rabbi Shimon said that if you have attained the discernment yourselves, then you are allowed, but if not, you must listen to the Great Tree (the great learned sage, whose wisdom and purity can be trusted) to learn how to work for the Creator.

72. Come and see, the Creator created the world by the Torah. And He looked into the Torah not once, not twice, not thrice, and not four times. Only after that did He create the world. This should show people how not to err.

73. Opposite these four times, the Creator saw, counted, prepared, and investigated what He had created. It is therefore written, “Beresheet (In the beginning) Barah (created) Elokim (the Creator) Et (the)” – four words, corresponding to the four above. And then, it is written: “Heaven” – opposite all four words, for the Creator looked into the Torah before He began to manifest His thought into reality.

The four words signify four time periods or four Sefirot H- B-ZA-M. ”Saw” designates Hochma, “counted” – Bina, “prepared” – ZA, and “investigated” – Malchut. After these four, the Creator created what He created.

We find the same in the Torah: Beresheet is Hochma, Barah is Bina, Elokim is ZA, and Et (the) is Malchut, which includes everything from Aleph to Tav – all the letters and all the properties. Hence, she is designated in the Torah by the word Et = Aleph-Tav (from the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph, to the last, Tav). And after these four, He created the Heavens and the earth, i.e., revealed the next, lower degree, below Malchut.

The Donkey Driver

74. Rabbi Elazar, the son of Rabbi Shimon, was on his way to visit his father-in-law, Rabbi Yosi, the son of Lakunya, and Rabbi Aba accompanied him. A man followed behind them, driving their donkeys. Rabbi Aba said, “Let us open the gates of the Torah, as it is time to correct our path.”

In Aramaic, the language in which The Zohar was written, “driver” means “one who pricks.” This is because the donkey driver’s function amounts to forcing the donkeys to move by pricking them with the edge of his stick.

75. Rabbi Elazar opened and said, “It is written: My Sabbaths you are to observe.” Let us see: the Creator created the world in six days. And each day would reveal His deeds, and gave strength to that day. When did He reveal His deeds and give them strength? On the fourth day of creation, for the first three days were concealed completely, and would not be revealed. The fourth day arrived, and He revealed the deeds and forces of all the days.

The phrase “He gave that day strength” means that He gave everything to the day of Shabbat. For the six days are Sefirot HGT NHY that reveal on Shabbat (Malchut) the work and the forces that were carried out during these days.

Yet, if the deeds of all the days are concealed, and only reveal at their end, on Shabbat, then why is it written that they are revealed on the fourth day of creation? The thing is that Malchut is called both the fourth and the seventh days: she is fourth with regard to the first three Sefirot HGT, called the “Patriarchs” (Hesed is Avraham, Gevura is Yitzchak, and Tifferet is Yaakov), and seventh with regard to the six Sefirot, after three additional Sefirot, called the “Sons”: Netzah is Moshe, Hod is Aaron, and Yesod is Yosef.

Malchut herself is King David – the day of Shabbat. Malchut grows and gradually accumulates her corrections in two principal stages, called Ibur (conception). The first three days correspond to Ibur Aleph (the first conception), and the second three days correspond to Ibur Bet (the second conception, Gadlut, the reception of Ohr Hochma).

In other words, Malchut is gradually created from Sefirot HGT of ZA in three days, and forms on the fourth day as the Sefira Netzah de ZA. Hence, at this stage in her growth, Malchut is referred to as fourth from the Patriarchs. And then Shabbat comes to our land (Malchut is called both land/earth and Shabbat). The state that Malchut achieves as a result of her growth from Sefirot NHY of ZA is called Shabbat on earth. And this state she attains as the seventh Sefira from all the Sefirot of ZA.

The first three days are not revealed in Malchut, for as long as a Partzuf lacks Malchut, it is defined as concealed or secret. The weekdays are defined so. And when Malchut completely attains the degree where she stands, she thereby attains herself. This state is defined as Shabbat.

However, if Malchut receives from the six Sefirot de ZA, shouldn’t they (the six weekdays) be more important than Malchut- Shabbat (inferior Sefira with regard to those she receives from)?

The truth is that all the weekdays constitute individual degrees of correction (weekdays’ work) that are devoid of Malchut. Hence, they are called “weekdays,” for a Partzuf without Malchut is considered a closed degree, unable to receive Light, and is therefore deprived of holiness. After all, in the absence of Malchut, there is no GAR of the Light, Ohr Hochma. And only when Malchut is revealed in the Partzuf (signifying the arrival of Shabbat) is the holiness of the ENTIRE degree revealed; “ENTIRE,” because all six days receive what they have earned, and the Light shines in all the weekdays thanks to them alone.

When the first three days of creation HGT emerged before the emergence of Malchut, these three Sefirot were devoid of Light, i.e., they were concealed. And when Malchut appeared, the fourth day arrived, and the importance and holiness of all four days manifested, for Malchut complements the entire degree, and the perfection of creation becomes revealed thanks to her. In the language of Kabbalah, this is described in the following way: all six days of creation are Ohr Hochma, and Shabbat is Ohr Hassadim. Ohr Hochma is present on weekdays, but cannot shine for lack of Ohr Hassadim, and when Ohr Hassadim arrives on Shabbat, all the Ohr Hochma shines thanks to this Ohr Hassadim of Shabbat.

76. There is fire, water and air – HGT – the three first days of creation. Although they are the initial Supernal foundations of all that will follow, their actions are not revealed until the earth, meaning Malchut, reveals them. Only then does the work of each of the Supernal foundations reveal itself. Hence, the power of the first three days is revealed only on the fourth.

77. However, the third day may be better described as one that reveals the creation of the first three days, as it is written: LET THE EARTH BRING FORTH GRASS. That is to say, the revelation of the earth’s (Malchut’s) deeds already took place on the third day. Yet, although it was written on the third day, Tifferet, it was actually the fourth day, Malchut. Malchut joined the third day, for Tifferet and Malchut are inseparable. And then the fourth day revealed its deeds – to elucidate the work of each and every one of HGT, for the fourth day is the “fourth leg” of the Supernal Throne (the Sefira Bina), whose four legs are HGTM (Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, and Malchut).

Malchut reveals the holiness and spiritual power of the three days. Therefore, Malchut ascended and joined the third day, so as to reveal by the unity of these three days (three lines) their exalted spiritual essence.

It is hence written that the deed is revealed on the fourth day, for Malchut alone completes their revelation at the conclusion of the three days. And afterwards, three more days emerge, which are NHY. After the revelation of the holiness of the first three days, HGT, called the “Patriarchs,” which are the foundation of ZA, ZA enters them (his main part is manifested), and the time comes for the Sons (NHY, the last three of the six days of creation) to be born.

This is why it is written that ZA is defined as the fourth leg of the throne of Bina, and the throne remains imperfect and incomplete until its fourth leg (foundation) manifests. Indeed, ZA is incomplete until Malchut manifests within him, i.e., until the fourth day arrives. And only after the emergence of Malchut can ZA father the Sons – the three final days of creation.

78. All of the actions of all the Sefirot, both on the first three days of creation, HGT, and on the last three, NHY, are dependent on the day of Shabbat, Malchut, GAR of the entire degree of ZA and its perfection. Hence, it is written, “AND THE CREATOR RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY, SHABBAT.” This refers to the fourth leg of the throne, as the seventh and the fourth days are both Malchut. Only the fourth day is Malchut that includes the Sefira Tifferet of ZA, from his chest upwards. Also, the seventh day is Malchut of the entire ZA, and they merge together face to face in a Zivug.

Although the first three days, HGT, end with the fourth day (the result of their actions), they nonetheless remain not entirely complete; their perfection manifests only on Shabbat, together with the last three days, NHY.

It is therefore written that Shabbat is the fourth leg of the throne, even though it is the seventh day, for, although it emerges after the Sons, it also completes the deeds of the Patriarchs, as the first three days did not complete their corrections on the fourth day, and a seventh day, Shabbat, is needed to complete them.

The reason for this is that on the fourth day, Malchut is in the state of Katnut, called the small phase of the Moon. As a result, the Moon (Malchut) returns to the state called Shabbat, when all the Light of all the days of creation manifest and shine within her. This is why the Light of the first three days of creation becomes revealed only on Shabbat.

79. Yet, if Shabbat is Malchut, then why does the Torah say, “My Sabbaths you are to observe,” implying two? It is written of the two parts of Shabbat: the night (Malchut) and the day (ZA) that shines in Malchut. Thus, there is no division between them, for they merge face to face in a Zivug, and are therefore called two Sabbaths.

He asks: two Malchuyot (plural for Malchut) of the fourth and the seventh days are completely separate, as is written, “You shall keep my Sabbaths,” implying two? Yet, when we clarify that the fourth day manifests in perfection only on the seventh day, it becomes clear that there is only one Shabbat. But what is meant here is ZA and Malchut that shine in the holiness of Shabbat, for this day is the male, bestowing part (Zachar) that manifests in the female part (Malchut or Nukva). Hence, they are called Sabbaths (plural). However, by merging in perfection, they become a single whole. As a result, ZA also assumes the name of Shabbat.

80. Following behind them with the donkeys, the donkey driver asked: “Why is it said, ‘You shall fear sanctity?’” They replied: “This refers to the sanctity of Shabbat.” The donkey driver asked: “What is the sanctity of Shabbat?” They replied: “It is the sanctity that descends from Above, from AVI.” He said to them, “If that is so, then Shabbatot (plural for Shabbat) are without sanctity, for sanctity descends on it from Above, from AVI.” Rabbi Aba answered him: “It is indeed so.” And it is said: “And call Shabbat a delight, a holy day dedicated to the Creator.” Shabbat and a holy day are mentioned separately. The donkey driver asked: “If that is so, then what does a holy day mean to the Creator?” He replied: “That is when sanctity descends from Above, from ZA, and fills Shabbat, Malchut.” The donkey driver objected, “But if sanctity descends from Above, then Shabbat itself is not a holy day. And yet, it is written, ‘You shall sanctify Shabbat,’ meaning Shabbat itself.” Rabbi Elazar said to Rabbi Aba, “Leave this man alone, for there is much wisdom in him, of which we do not know.” So he said to the donkey driver, “Speak, and we shall listen.”

The donkey driver’s question is this: if Shabbat is ZA, then why is it described as holy? After all, sanctity is the property of AVI, and only AVI are called holy. Hence, he objected that Shabbat should be separated from sanctity. Shabbat (ZA) is not holiness in itself, but because it receives holiness from Above, from AVI. That, which ZA receives from AVI is what is called the Creator’s holiness.

81. The donkey driver opened and said, “It is written: Shabbatot, i.e., there are usually two. And this alludes to the border of Shabbat, which is 2,000 Amah (cubits) in each direction from the city. This is why the word “Et” was added before the word Shabbatot, which designates the plural form – both the Upper Shabbat and the lower Shabbat joining into one.”

Although it is said: “Man shall not leave his place on the seventh day” (Shemot, 16), i.e., the singular form is used, in many places in the Torah, the word “Et” is used; for example, in the sentence: “Et 2,000 Amah in each direction from its place.” The word “Et,” consisting of the first and the last letters of the alphabet, Aleph and Tav, designates Malchut entering into union with ZA, which signifies the state of Shabbat; hence, the Light of AVI becomes revealed and shines (as a supplementary luminescence) upon ZON. This is because AVI are called “two thousand,” and so the word “Et” is present here to designate a supplement of Light to Shabbat.

There exist a Shabbat Above and a Shabbat below: the Upper Shabbat is Partzuf Tvuna, and the lower part of Partzuf Bina, whereas the lower Shabbat is Partzuf Malchut, Nukva de ZA of the world of Atzilut. In the world of Atzilut, Partzuf Bina is divided into two Partzufim: the Upper Part of Bina is called Partzuf AVI and the lower part of Bina (the part where she receives the Light from the Upper Part so as to pass it to ZA) is called Partzuf YESHSUT (Israel Saba veTvuna) or simply Tvuna. The relationship between Bina-AVI and Tvuna is similar to that of ZA and Malchut. Bina is called the “Upper World” and Malchut is called the “lower world.” On Shabbat, ZON ascend to Bina, ZA to AVI, and Malchut to Tvuna.

On Shabbat, Malchut merges with Tvuna. However, this does not mean that no difference is left between them, for Malchut receives the Light from Tvuna only because she ascends to Tvuna’s level. Yet, at her place on the last, lowest degree of the world of Atzilut, Malchut is unable to receive the Light from Tvuna. And to the extent that Malchut cannot yet receive the Light from Tvuna in her regular state, she is defined as “closed.”

Also, Tvuna suffers from Malchut being closed because while in her place, Malchut cannot receive the Light from Tvuna, for the revelation of Tvuna is possible only through Malchut. On Shabbat, Tvuna and Ima join to form one Partzuf, which is not closed. Yet, since its Light shines only when Malchut ascends to it, Tvuna feels the closed state of Malchut, and suffers, too.

82. One Shabbat was left, unmentioned Above, and felt ashamed. She said to Him, “The Creator of the Universe, from the day I was created, I am called Shabbat, but there is no day without night.” The Creator replied to her: “My daughter, you are Shabbat, and I have given you this name. But now I am surrounding and adorning you with the most exalted adornment.” He then raised His voice and proclaimed, “Those who sanctify shall fear. And this is the night of Shabbat that radiates fear.” But who is she? It is the merging together of I (Malchut, the nights of Shabbat) with the Creator Himself (ZA) into a single whole. And I’ve heard from my father that the word “Et” refers to the boundaries-borders of Shabbat. Shabbatot (two Sabbaths) denote a circle and a square within, which total two. According to them, there are two sanctities we should mention during the Shabbat blessing: “Vayechulu” consists of thirty-five words, and “Kiddush,” too, consists of thirty-five words. Collectively, they make up to the seventy names of ZA, with which ZA (the Creator), and Malchut (the Assembly of Israel) adorn themselves.

83. Since the circle and square are Shabbatot, they are both included in the instruction, “My Shabbatot you are to observe.” However, the Upper Shabbat is not included in the instruction “Observe,” but rather in “Remember.” For the Supernal King, Bina is as perfect as memory. This is why Bina is called “King,” whose perfection lies in peace and in memory. Hence, there is no contradiction Above.

Malchut de Malchut is called the central point of creation, and receives no Light even on Shabbat, as, being a Man’ula (lock), she is closed to the Light. And the entire Light enters her only in the form of Miftacha (key), into Yesod de Malchut, in Malchut that joins Bina with her properties, while Malchut herself is therefore referred to as “locked.”

This central point of creation is the only thing that the Creator created, and is comprised of all the creatures, including human souls. And she argues with the Creator that in the beginning of creation, in the world of AK, the entire Light was revealed and shone upon the creatures thanks to her, for there was no other Malchut in the world of AK, except for the central point. And only due to Tzimtzum Bet (second restriction), now in the world of Atzilut, was she restricted and closed to the reception of Light.

And this is a great and wonderful secret, for, as Malchut objects, even on the first day, it is said: “And there shall be evening, and there shall be morning – one day.” (Beresheet, 1:6) In other words, unity is revealed in both night and day together. Yet, why is the night of the first Shabbat not mentioned in the Torah, and only the words “on the seventh day” are used? The Creator replied to Malchut that a future Shabbat is implied – Shabbat of the seventh millennium, when the day of Shabbat will come and remain forever.

Meanwhile, during the 6,000 years, the Creator elevates Malchut to Bina, and as a result, she receives Supernal Adornments, greater than the ones she had had in the world of AK. For there she acted as the end of all Sefirot, but now she has risen to act in the place of GAR, in AVI, which are called “holy of holies.”

If Malchut is in Yesod, the lack of Ohr Hochma is felt. But if Malchut ascends to AVI (where Ohr Hassadim is present, and there is absolutely no need for Ohr Hochma), this state is defined as perfect.

Malchut is called “fear,” for she was restricted to refrain from receiving the Creator’s Light within her desire to receive pleasure. Therefore, she does not receive the Light from Above within her desire to receive pleasure. Instead, she receives the Light only in Ohr Hozer (Returning Light), when she refuses to use her egoism.

This occurs in the following way: first, Ohr Yashar (Direct Light) comes from the Creator to Malchut and wishes to enter her (Malchut feels both the delight and her own desire to receive and enjoy it). Secondly, by wishing to be like the Creator, Malchut repels the Light (prohibits herself from receiving the delight).

This renunciation of egoistic pleasure is called Ohr Hozer (Returning Light), because Malchut repels the Light (pleasure) from her. Thirdly, after Malchut has created Ohr Hozer, she begins to receive Ohr Yashar in it (her new desire to receive only because the Creator wants her to). This reception is possible because Malchut has an anti-egoistic force, will power, called a screen.

The spiritual world is a realm of sensations, desires, and forces, not vested in shells-garments, like the corporeal bodies in our world. Similarly, all the characters depicted in Kabbalah do not designate any images; rather, they demonstrate interactions of forces and properties.

Therefore, a circle implies that the Light shines completely unrestrictedly in every place and to the same extent, so there can be no change in its radiance. A square or a rectangle indicates restrictions, which create differences between the sides: right and left, top and bottom. Hence, the head has a round shape with regard to the rectangular shape of the body, for the Rosh (head) is free of restrictions, but VAK (body) are not.

Shabbat is a spiritual state, when ZON ascend to AVI and clothe them. As a result, the lower Shabbat (ZON) and the Upper Shabbat(AVI) merge into one. The Upper Shabbat (AVI) is designated by a circle, and the lower Shabbat (ZON) is designated by a square. On Shabbat, ZON merge with AVI, depicted as the square’s ascent and insertion into the circle.

Ohr Hochma is designated by the letter Ayin. Since Ohr Hochma is revealed only during the ascent of the lower Shabbat to the Upper, Ohr Hochma is divided into two parts: one half for the Upper Shabbat, and one for the lower. Hence, the passage of Vayechulu (Beresheet, 2:1) consists of thirty-five words that refer to half of the Light of the Upper Shabbat, whereas the blessing itself consists of thirty-five words that refer to half of the Light of the lower Shabbat. And the common soul, called the “Assembly of Israel” or Malchut (Shabbat), is adorned with this Light.

Since the circle and the square merge and assume the name Shabbatot (two Shabbats), the Light of both the circle and the square is defined as protecting – GUARD. And, although the word GUARD alludes to restrictions and borders that one must observe and fear violating, whereas the Upper Shabbat (designated by a circle) has no restrictions and borders, due to the joining of the two Shabbatot into one, there still appeared restrictions and borders.

The Upper Shabbat is called “REMEMBER,” and not “OBSERVE,” as it is completely free of restrictions. However, since it merged with the lower Shabbat, called “OBSERVE,” it, too, needs to GUARD, which normally relates to Malchut alone. Only due to Malchut’s ascent to Bina did the need to guard, which is present in Malchut, arose in Bina. But Bina herself remains only in the property of REMEMBER, for only egoistic desires to receive pleasure need GUARDING.

The Upper Shabbat (Bina) is designated by the letters MI = Mem-Yod. The lower Shabbat (Malchut) is designated by the letters MA = Mem-Hey, and has the form of a square, which implies a presence of controversy between its properties – the right and the left sides, which give it its square form.

84. There are two types of peace below: one is Yaakov (Tifferet), and the other is Yosef (Yesod). Therefore, PEACE is written twice in the greeting: “PEACE, PEACE to the distant one and to the near one.” “The distant one” refers to Yaakov, and “the near one” refers to Yosef. Or, as it is written, “From afar I see the Creator,” “Came to a stop far in the distance.”

“Below” signifies ZON, containing one of the properties, Yaakov or the Sefira Tifferet de ZA. ZON also contain the property called Yosef, or Yesod. Both these Sefirot indicate the place of a potential Zivug between ZA and Malchut, for Peace signifies Zivug. The Upper Zivug (Yaakov) is intended for reception of Ohr Hochma from Above, and the lower Zivug (Yosef) fills Malchut only with Ohr Hassadim.

It was already mentioned that it is impossible to receive Ohr Hochma without it being clothed in Ohr Hassadim. Ohr Hochma or the Zivug that is made on it is therefore defined as distant, for it must first be clothed in Ohr Hassadim before it can receive Ohr Hochma. Hence, it is written, “From afar I saw the Creator.”

The lower Zivug is called “the near one,” because the Partzuf receives Ohr Hassadim without any preliminary actions. Furthermore, with the help of this Ohr Hassadim, the Partzuf subsequently receives Ohr Hochma. This is why the word “peace” is used twice: “Peace, peace to the far and to the near” – a greeting to Yaakov and Yosef, respectively, both of whom take part in the great Zivug (the reception of Ohr Hochma) in ZA.

These two greetings are defined in ZON as a square, as there is controversy between them, defined as the controversy between the right and the left sides, and they end in the letter HeyNukva or Malchut, whereas the Upper Nukva (Bina) ends with the letter Yod, which designates not the female part, but the male. Hence, there is no controversy in her.

Even the notions of “near” and “far” do not exist in Bina herself, for she refers to GAR, perfection, and GAR can receive Ohr Hochma nearby, meaning they do not need to clothe in Ohr Hassadim beforehand, but can receive Ohr Hochma without Ohr Hassadim. Hence, it is said that the Upper Malchut is the King, who has peace. Thus, unlike ZON, two notions of peace are absent in him.

85. “From afar” is the Supernal Point, standing in His palace, of which it is said, “You are to guard.” “You shall fear My sanctity” refers to the point standing in the center, which must be feared more than anything, for its punishment is death, as it is written, “All who transgress in it shall perish.” Who are these transgressors? They are those who have entered the space of the circle and the square, and committed a sin. Hence, it is written, “You shall fear!” This point is called “I,” and there is a prohibition on its revelation, called HaVaYaH. “I” and HaVaYaH are a single whole. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba dismounted from their donkeys and kissed him. They said, “So great is your wisdom, and yet you drive donkeys behind us! Who are you, then?” He replied to them: “Do not ask me who I am, but let us go on and study the Torah. Each of us will speak his wisdom so as to illuminate our path.”

The distant point refers to the point that opens the way to the Partzuf for thirty-two streams of Ohr Hochma. And this is the letter Bet in the first word of the Torah – Beresheet, called the “point in the hall,” from which Ohr Hochma descends to ZON, when ZON ascend to AVI. For then, the two Shabbatot (the Upper – AVI and the lower – ZON) merge. It is written about them: “I saw the Creator from afar,” for ZON cannot receive Ohr Hochma without being clothed in Ohr Hassadim.

Hochma and Bina, called the “point in the hall,” are referred to as “distant from ZON,” for they need the garment of Ohr Hassadim from the lower world, Nukva, called MA. Malchut of the world of AK is the central point, called the “lock,” whereas Malchut of the world of Atzilut (the point in the hall) is the “key,” as the Light from ZAT de Bina(YESHSUT) can be received in it.

The circle is called AVI, the square – ZON. ZON ascend to AVI and thus the square enters the circle. As a result, two properties appear in Malchut of AVI: the “lock” (Malchut de Malchut, the central point or Malchut de AVI), and the “key” (the point in the hall, Yesod de Malchut or Malchut de YESHSUT). Malchut de AVI is called space, for she is unattainable, and he who wishes to fill her with Light is punished by death. It is written about it: “You shall fear My sanctity.”

The point itself is called “I,” and AVI is HaVaYaH that merges with it. And they are defined as a single whole; hence, the point itself is referred to as AVI, meaning that it is characterized as holy, as the property of AVI.

As was already mentioned before, The Zohar and the entire Torah speak exclusively of spiritual degrees, the structure of spiritual worlds, and the revelation of the Creator’s governance to us. There is not a word in the Torah that refers to our world. The whole Torah is, as it is said, “The Creator’s sacred names.” And those who reduce it from its spiritual heights to the corporeal level with their commentaries cast it down completely. As Rashi says, “the Torah only speaks in human tongue, but it tells us of man’s spiritual paths toward his Creator. Therefore, when we read that one Rabbi went to visit another, the real meaning is that one spiritual degree, called, for example, Rabbi Elazar, passes to another spiritual degree, called, for example, Rabbi Yosi.

ZA has his own AVI, who are called the Upper AVI. The wife of ZA(Nukva or Malchut) contains AVI, too, called YESHSUT. First, ZA attains the AVI of his wife (YESHSUT or Ohr Hassadim). Then it rises to a Higher Degree and attains the AVI themselves – Ohr Hochma (also called Ohr Haya).

The righteous who ascend the spiritual degrees are the constituents of Partzuf ZA. Since the degree of Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba is Ohr Hassadim (the Light of Neshama), this ascent means it went to (spiritually) see (in Ohr Hochma) another spiritual degree.

In the spiritual worlds, the donkey driver constitutes a special spiritual force that helps the souls of the righteous move from one spiritual degree to another. Without this help sent by the Creator from Above, it is impossible to exit your degree and ascend to the next. Hence, the Creator sends a Higher soul from Above to each of the righteous (those who wish to ascend). Each receives his own, according to his degree, properties, and purpose.

And so, at first the righteous fails to recognize this exalted soul; he considers it low, that it leeched onto him on his spiritual path. Such state is called Ibur – conception of the righteous’ soul. Since the Higher soul has not yet completed its assistance and purpose, it is not yet perceived by the righteous for what it really is.

However, after it completes its task in its entirety, and brings the righteous’ soul to the Upper Degree for which it is intended, the righteous then reveals the exalted properties of the soul that helped him. This is referred to as the revelation of the soul to the righteous.

In our case, the soul that was sent to help the souls of Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba was the soul of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba – a very exalted and perfect soul, the Light of Yechida. Yet, initially, it is revealed to the righteous in its smallest scope, called Ibur, conception (in sensations). Hence, they perceive it as the level of a spiritual donkey driver – a simple soul.

The Hebrew word for donkey is “Hamor,” which also means matter, “Homer!” Thus, one who can control his donkey, his body, his desires, ascends above matter as a spiritual being. And since he wishes to ascend above matter in his desires, he is considered a righteous. However, here, The Zohar speaks of Higher Degrees.

The donkey driver’s task is to take the riders, mounted atop of their donkeys, from place to place; yet, he walks in front of his donkeys, thereby leading them through spiritual degrees. Since every word in the Torah has several meanings, due to the multiplicity of the Upper Roots (wherefrom word notions descend), the notion of a “donkey driver” is more precisely referred to as a “donkey guide,” and implies properties that are coarse, sinful, and most base.

Therefore, Rabbi Aba said: “Let us open the gates of the Torah, for the time has come for us to correct our path,” that is, to open their souls with the help of the secrets of the Torah, so their path would be correct and lead them to the Creator. Rabbi Elazar then began to discuss a passage from the Torah that says, “You shall observe my Shabbatot,” as he stood at this degree (the Light of YESHSUT) in his properties. He therefore concluded that Shabbat itself is the property of ZON, which has not yet reached the property of sanctity, but only receives the Light of YESHSUT on Shabbat. It is written about this Light, “You shall fear my sanctity,” for when Ohr Hochma passes from YESHSUT to ZA, it evokes fear in them.

And here they receive the donkey driver’s help, who reveals to them the secret of Ohr Haya. He explains that the phrase “You shall observe my Shabbatot” signifies the Upper and the lower Shabbatot, which come together, due to the ascent of ZON to AVI. As a result, ZON themselves become holy (the square within the circle) and acquire the properties of Bina: mercy, altruism, Ohr Hassadim. Hence, it is written with regard to them: fear not and observe. For Ohr Haya repels foreign, impure forces and desires, and all restrictions are lifted on Shabbat; hence, there is no fear.

And, according to the donkey driver’s explanation, the phrase “You shall fear My sanctity” refers only to the central point that is used in GAR de AVI, in GAR of Ohr Haya, which is unattainable and where fear does exist.

At that, the soul of the donkey driver has fulfilled its role, for it brought them to the attainment of Ohr Haya. Only then did they merit the attainment of the height of the soul that had helped them, since they attained its revelation and were thus able to appreciate it.

This is why Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba dismounted from their donkeys and kissed him, for the attainment of the Upper One is defined as a “kiss.” However, this exalted soul has not yet finished aiding them: it must still help them attain Ohr Yechida. Yet, since the attainment of Ohr Haya already provides perfection, they’ve already attained thereby the degree of the son of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba.

The level of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba himself is the degree of attainment of Ohr Yechida. Therefore, by attaining only Ohr Haya, they mistakenly thought that the soul guiding them belongs to the son of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba. However, after the donkey driver had revealed to them the secret of the attainment of Ohr Yechida, they realized that their companion is none other than Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba himself.

And the reason why they could not recognize him before is that the powers of the helping soul cannot be seen until its role is fulfilled. Hence, they asked him to reveal his name, but he told them not to inquire about his name, for without having completed all the corrections, they do not merit the revelation of the secrets of the Torah. And he must help them in their studies of the Torah, for he still needs to illuminate their path, as they have not yet attained the desired goal.

86. He said to him: “Who appointed you to walk here and be a donkey driver?” He replied: “The letter Yod waged war with two letters, Chaf and Samech, for me to come and join. The letter Chaf did not want to leave its place because it has to support those who fall, for without a screen, they cannot survive.”

87. The letter Yod came to me alone, kissed me and wept with me. It said to me, “My son, what can I do for you? I disappear from many good deeds and from secret, supernal, basic letters. But I shall return to you and will be of help to you. And I shall give you two letters that are more exalted than those that have disappeared – the letters Yod and Shin. They shall become for you a treasury that is forever full. So, my son, go and drive the donkeys.” And that is why I am here in this role.”

As we already know, the donkey driver is an auxiliary force given to someone who wishes to ascend to a higher spiritual degree on his path toward the Creator, just as donkeys carry people on their backs, thereby helping them travel from one place to another. As this happens, the righteous one falls from his previous degree and enters the embryonic state of the new degree, just as the soul that came to help him. However, the property of Ibur-embryo (Ibur is also derived from the word Haavarah, crossing) means that all the Light that it had in the previous degree disappears upon the conception (Ibur) of a new, Higher Degree.

And that is what they wanted to know of the donkey driver: “How did the Creator bring you here in the state of Ibur, in our state of Ibur, as a result of which the Light in us has disappeared? Who lowers you from the Higher Degrees?” And that is why the donkey driver replied that the letter Yod waged war against the letters Chaf and Samech, to join with them. The degree of Hassadim is called Samech (Ohr Neshama).

“When the time has come for you to attain Ohr Haya (Yod from HaVaYaH, the degree from which I descended to help you to attain Ohr Haya), Hochma really wanted to connect Ohr Neshama (that was previously in you) to me. And here Yod wages war against Chaf and Samech. Malchut of the Upper Partzuf clothes in the lower Partzuf, designated by the letter Chaf. There used to be Ohr Neshama, and now there is Ohr Haya, whereas Yod, which desires Ohr Neshama as well, merges with it, and rejects the Chaf.”

This is so because the connection between the degrees, from the Highest Degree in the world of Atzilut to the end of the world of Assiya, is realized only by Malchut of the Upper One descending to the lower one and clothing in it. Malchut of the Upper One herself cannot descend from her degree of YESHSUT (the degree of Neshama) even for a moment, as the chain connecting the degrees would be instantly broken.

The property of Samech is the property of the Light itself, which the soul receives from Sefirot HBD HGT of AVI (above the Chazeh), and which AVI pass to ZON when the letters are in Katnut, and support them (the Hebrew word for support is Somech, derived from the letter Samech) so that ZON will not fall from the world of Atzilut.

The letter Chaf, Hassadim, is unwilling to leave its place and join Hochma, as it needs to connect the Upper Partzuf to the lower one. Thus, it must always remain in its place, for all the degrees are constant, and only the soul changes while moving from one degree to another within the worlds. This is why the soul is called the “inner part” with regard to the world (the external part) – the soul exists and moves about within the world by changing its properties.

Hence, the Light of the soul did not wish to join the letter Yod (degree of Hochma, the soul of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba) as it descended to help Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba. This is because they needed a new Light that would build a new degree within them, the degree of Ohr Haya, whereas each new degree is built from scratch, from the state of Ibur (conception). As that happens, the entire previous degree with all of its Light disappears. Similarly, in their case, the new degree starts with Ibur and reaches the level of Haya. This resembles a seed that must first abandon its present form and rot, in order to become a tree afterwards.

It is therefore written that it came to me without the Light of HBD HGT de AVI, called Samech, the Light of Hassadim. Samech is the property of mercy, a selfless desire to give, pure spiritual altruism. Hence, it is unwilling to join Yod, Ohr Hochma. Yet, Ohr Hochma cannot enter and fill the Partzuf without first being clothed in Ohr Hassadim, for this clothing of Ohr Hochma in Ohr Hassadim means that the Partzuf receives Ohr Hochma not for itself, but for the Creator’s sake. But Ohr Hassadim, Samech, does not wish to receive anything within itself; it wants nothing to do with Ohr Hochma! This is why the letter Yod wept, being unable to fill the Partzuf with its Light, for Hassadim refused to accept Hochma.

It is written in this regard: “Hence, I must now disappear, and you, the donkey driver, go to the state of Ibur, to rebuild the degrees of gradual development of a new Partzuf-state with you: Ibur (embryo), Leidah (birth), Yenika (nursing), and Mochin (maturity).

And know that such is the order of creating (begetting) each new degree: every time one is to attain a new degree, he must undergo (in his properties) a complete disappearance of the previous degree (level of attainment, Light), and begin anew. He must receive new attainments, from the lowest new degree, Ohr Nefesh (Ibur), to Ohr Ruach (Yenika), and so on, as though he had never attained any spiritual level at all.

It is impossible to take with you anything from a previous degree. Hence, one must start anew from the lowest level of Ibur, called “THE DONKEY DRIVER.” Ohr Haya de AVI is called YESH (Yod- Shin), where Yod is Hochma and Shin is Bina. And, of course, they are more important than the Ohr Neshama that was in the Partzuf before them.

88. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba rejoiced, wept, and said, “You sit on the donkey, and we shall drive it.” He replied to them, “Have I not told you that it is the command of the King that I act as I do, until the other donkey driver appears” (this hints at the Mashiach, who, as it is said, will appear poor and riding a donkey). They said to him, “You have not even told us your name! Where do you dwell?” He told them, “My dwelling place is wonderful and very precious to me. It is a tower that soars in the air, grand and unique. Only two live in this tower: the Creator and I. That is the place, in which I dwell. And I am exiled from there in order to drive the donkeys.” Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba looked at him, and his words were unclear to them, for they tasted sweeter than manna and honey. They said to him, “Perhaps you will tell us the name of your father, so that we could kiss the earth at his feet?” He responded, “What for? It is not my habit to boast of the Torah.”

After they have attained the greatness of the donkey driver’s degree, they could no longer bear his small state of Ibur, which he inhabited for their sake. Hence, they told him that since they have already attained Ohr Hochma, he has done enough and can leave the state of Ibur. And should a need arise to add anything else to them, they would be able to enter Ibur on their own, and he does not need to suffer for their sake.

However, the donkey driver warned them beforehand to not ask him his name, for they still require revelations of secrets of the Torah. Once again, he hinted that it is the degree of Ohr Yechida that they lack, which is implied here. This degree signifies the reception of the Light of the King Messiah’s face, which he mentioned by hinting at the poor donkey driver, as described by a prophet (Zachariah, 9:9). And he is commanded by the Creator to help them attain Ohr Yechida.

This is why they asked him about the type of his soul: “For you did not wish to reveal your name, as we have not yet received from you that which we must attain. But if so, at least tell us where you live, what is your degree? At least then we will know what we lack, what else we must receive, attain from you.”

He replied that his place is much higher than his present location, for now he himself cannot attain his own individual level. This is a result of the Upper Partzuf descending to the place of the lower one and becoming completely identical to it, and while there (in that state), the Upper Partzuf can no longer attain its own level. The tower that soars in the air is Bina, Hassadim. The Mashiach’s tower (the great tower) designates the time (state) of ascent to GAR de AA, when Ohr Hochma is available.

89. But the place of my father's dwelling was in the Great Sea. And he was a big fish that continually circled the Great Sea, from one end to the other. And he was mighty and he grew old, until he swallowed up all the other fish in that sea. And then he released them, and they were thriving and filled with all of the very best of the world. And it was in his power to swim across the entire sea in one instant. And He pulled him out and hauled him in with an arrow, like a warrior, and brought him to the place that I told you about, to the tower that soars in the air, but he returned to his place and disappeared in that sea.

The concealed Zivug is called Shaar HaNun (the 50th gate). The Great Sea is Malchut. All the Zivugim from Partzuf Atik de Atzilut and below do not include the Great Sea in its entirety, all the Sefirot of Malchut, but only the first nine Sefirot of Malchut. Moreover, none of the Zivugim include Malchut de Malchut.

This Sefira, Malchut de Malchut, is the only creation, because all the other Sefirot constitute properties of spiritual forces and desires above Malchut, existing in and referring to the Creator, the sole purpose of which is the correction of Malchut de Malchut. The only Zivug on this Malchut exists in Atik, and it will be revealed to all only at the end of correction.

Rav Hamnuna-Saba emerged from this concealed Zivug in Atik; hence, the donkey driver calls him “my father.” And he says that his father lived in the Great Sea, as this Zivug was on the entire Malchut, on Malchut de Malchut, called the “Great Sea.”

Yet, if one were to argue that all Partzufim make a Zivug on the Light with a screen that stands before Malchut, then that Zivug was made on the 50th gate, on all the parts of the desire, on the full depth of the Great Sea (Malchut), down to the very last of her desires and properties, from Keter de Malchut to Malchut de Malchut, from end to end of the Great Sea. Nevertheless, this occurs only in Partzuf Atik de Atzilut, but not below it. And this is not the donkey driver himself, but his father.

This occurs because the great Zivug absorbs all the other particular Zivugim (“swallows all the other fish in the Great Sea”) and all the souls in all the worlds, for they are all much weaker than it. Hence, it is as though they do not exist in its greatness and might. And since it includes absolutely everything, they are all called by the name Nunin, from the letter Nun (50).

This indicates that after all the major corrections that follow this great Zivug, all those Lights and souls, absorbed during its Zivug, return and are born anew for eternal life, for they are completely filled with Light as a result of the great Zivug, when the Light absorbed them completely.

All the Zivugim below Partzuf Atik stem from unifications of the Sefirot with one another. These unifications are defined as interruptions in a Zivug, whereas the Zivug in Atik is direct and without unification. Thus, it is defined as “instant,” for it goes on uninterrupted. It is therefore written that “he crosses the entire sea in an instant,” without any garments-unifications. And it mounts an attack, for there is great power of reception of Ohr Hochma in this Zivug; hence, he said: “Begets, like an arrow in the hands of a warrior.”

It is written of this Zivug in Partzuf Atik: “No one else but you saw the Creator.” However, no birth is possible without the forces of resistance, since, as is written: “The seed that is not shot like an arrow does not beget.” (Talmud, Hagigah, 16). Hence, after he had begotten me and hid me in the Great Tower, he returned to his concealed Zivug.

90. Rabbi Elazar contemplated his words and replied: “You are the son of the Holy Source, you are the son of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba, you are the son of the Source of the Torah, and you drive donkeys behind us!” They wept and kissed him, and continued their journey. Then he said: “If it pleases our master, let him reveal his name to us.”

It is written “looked,” because sight signifies Hochma, and no other words, such as “said,” “heard” (Bina) or “thought” could be used in its stead. Since they have not yet attained to the full extent of perfection what the donkey driver had told them, and their attainment reached only as high as Ohr Haya, they were delighted with what was begotten by Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba, for Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba is Ohr Yechida.

He asked him to reveal his name, that is, to receive his degree, for the attainment of a name denotes the attainment of the spiritual degree. Therefore, the saying, “the entire Torah consists only of the Creator’s names,” means that the entire Torah constitutes the degrees that one must attain, up to the very highest, called “Love” (“Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” items 70-71).

Each degree in the attainment of the Upper Worlds has its own name. All the Creator’s names: Moshe, Pharaoh, Avraham, the Temple, Sinai – every single word in the Torah – are degrees of perception of the Creator, degrees of attaining Him, for nothing exists besides man and his Creator. Everything else that exists in the world, as it seems to us, are the various degrees of our perception of the Creator Himself. He may appear to us as this world, and He may appear as the world of Assiya, as Yetzira, Beria, Atzilut, or He may be revealed completely, without partial concealments of the spiritual world or total concealment of our world. Thus, the word Olam (world) is derived from the Haalamah (concealment).

91. He opened and began. It is written, “Benayahu (Benaiah) Ben (the son of) Yehoyada (Jehoiada).” This narrative is beautiful, but it serves to show us the exalted secrets of the Torah. And the name Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada indicates the secret of the Light of Wisdom, Ohr Hochma. Ben Ish Chai is the righteous who revives the worlds. Rav Paalim means that He is the Master of all that transpires, and that all the forces and Supernal Troops stem from Him. He is called the Creator of Force, the Master of all, and He is in everything.

It is written in Prophets: “Benayahu, the son of Yehoyada,” (Shmuel II, 23:20). Here, The Zohar reveals to us the exalted secrets of the Torah, for the holy name of Yehoyada consists of two: Yod-Hey-Vav, the first three letters of HaVaYaH, and Yeda (knowledge).

Keter of the world of Atzilut is called RADLA (unattainable head), whereas Atik itself surrounds all the other Partzufim of the world of AtzilutAA, AVI, and ZON. Atik is called Makif (surrounding), for the other, lower Partzufim cannot attain it or its Zivug. Moreover, they cannot attain anything that comes from it. In other words, there is nothing descending from Atik to the lower Partzufim. Even AA is concealed from them; hence, it is called the “concealed Hochma.” However, it is not defined as unattainable, like Atik, for it contains a Zivug on Ohr Hochma. Nevertheless, this Light does not descend to the lower ones, but only a small luminescence from it, called He’arat Hochma, reaches them.

And all the Light that fills the worlds through the 6,000 years comes from AVI and YESHSUT, who are called Hochma of the thirty-two paths or thirty-two forces (Elokim) of creation, i.e., thirty-two types of He’arat Hochma. This Light of Hochma is the result of Bina’s ascent to AA, where she receives Ohr Hochma and shines downward. Therefore, all the Light of Hochma that is revealed through the 6,000 years, before the end of correction, is no more than the Light of Bina, which received Ohr Hochma upon ascending to AA.

AA is called Yeda (knowledge) because it gives Ohr Hochma to Bina, and knows all the routes of Ohr Hochma into Bina and through her on to the lower ones. While making a Zivug, AA itself does not pass its Light downwards, but as AVI ascend to AA, they receive Ohr Hochma, called “thirty-two streams” or “paths of wisdom,” which can be attained by the lower ones.

Everything that is written in The Zohar refers to all the souls in general. However, there are exceptions that are not normally studied. There exist special, exalted souls that merit becoming a Kli, MAN for the great Zivug of RADLA after their exile, and to receive from this Zivug in the Upper World the degree of Yechida. These are the souls of Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada, Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba and a very few chosen others. These exalted souls reveal themselves to the righteous in this world, and as a result, the righteous merit delighting in Ohr Yechida, which shines only in such exalted souls, while still being in this world.

Therefore, the name of Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada indicates that it stems from the inner wisdom, the unattainable Light of Hochma of Atik. This name also causes the concealment of the Light of Hochma, for the name Yehoyada: Yod-Hey-Vav + Yeda means that only he who attains the first three letters Yod-Hey-Vav of the Creator’s name HaVaYaH shall attain Him, and no other shall.

Therefore, this name remains concealed in its place. At first, the donkey driver explains the quality of this Zivug in Atik – its height, the power of the Light that emerges onto it in Rosh de Atik, which the name of this Zivug, “Ben Ish Chai Rav Paalim ve Mekabtziel,” indicates. And then he explains what is concealed and what descends to the souls.

It was already stated that this Zivug takes place at the end of the correction of the entire Malchut. Hence, it includes all the individual Zivugim and the degrees that emerge on them through the 6,000 years. All the Lights accumulate into one. All the types of MAN combine into one and ascend to ask for this Zivug, which includes all the suffering and punishments gradually accumulated during the 6,000 years.

Hence, the height and greatness of this Zivug and the degree of Light that emerges from it are infinite, and it destroys all the impure forces once and for all. Yesod de ZA, from which the Light of this Zivug (the combination of all the Lights over the full course of the 6,000 years) is emanated, is called “Ish Chai Rav Paalim” – a vivid man of many actions. However, Malchut, which contains within her all the MAN, suffering, and work performed during the 6,000 years, is called Mekabtziel (gathering one).

The Zohar also calls it Tzadik Chai Olamim – the righteous, who revives the worlds, for it thereby points to the Sefira Yesod, which gives the Light to Malchut. The Sefira Yesod does not have a place to receive the Light for itself. Hence, it lives (Chai) only to pass the Light to Malchut. This is why it is called Tzadik (the righteous one), who revives the worlds (Chai Olamim).

Its other name, Rav Paalim (performing many actions) indicates that it includes all the MAD of all the good deeds and all the degrees that were revealed through the 6,000 years. This is because all these degrees are now being revealed all at once in a cumulative, integrated Light, as they leave Yesod and enter Malchut. And since Yesod now gathers all the Light that was emanated during the 6,000 years into one, and passes it to Malchut, this action determines its name – Rav Paalim.

92. Rav Paalimis also Mekabtziel – the Exalted Tree, gathering and performing many actions, Supreme Above all. Where did it come from? From which degree did it originate? Once more, the source indicates – from Mekabtziel, for it is an exalted and concealed degree that none has seen. It includes everything, for it gathers all of the Upper Light within it, and everything originates from it.

Malchut- Nukva is also named Mekabtziel, for she receives and gathers all the Light from Yesod within herself. Hence, Yesod is called Rav Paalim. The degree that emerges onto this Zivug is called the “Supreme and Exalted Tree” that originated from Yesod and entered Malchut. The Zohar goes on to explain that to show us the quality and the origin of this exalted degree, the name Mekabtziel (gathering) is used; Yesod accumulates the Upper Light and passes it to Nukva. And both Yesod and Malchut are called Mekabtziel.

And the degree that emerges onto this Zivug of Yesod and Malchut is called “None but you has seen the Creator.” This degree emerges after the complete correction has been achieved, at the moment of attachment of the final correction that completes them all. Therefore, this degree is defined as all-inclusive, for it collects all the Light over the full course of 6,000 years, and thereby manifests at once in its true perfection.

93. All of the degrees gather in this Supernal, Sacred, and Concealed Hall, where everything is concealed. All of the worlds are inside that hall. All the holy forces are sustained and revived by it, and all are dependant on it.

The Zohar speaks of Rosh de Atik, where all the degrees and all the Light of all the worlds are concentrated and concealed. It further explains how this Zivug can occur up to the final correction, so it would combine all the degrees emerging one after another during the 6,000 years. And it would emerge instantly during the 6,000 years of the world’s existence, when the degrees are in a state of constant ascents and descents, for as soon as a new degree, a new attainment of the Creator, of the Light, is revealed, the present degree disappears. This occurs due to the sin of the lower ones, who cannot retain this degree permanently (world – Olam, from the word Haalamah – concealment. The complete revelation of the Creator to His Creatures will take place at the end of the 6,000 years; thus, the world-concealment will cease to exist).

So, whenever a degree disappears, it does so only from the sensation of one who attains a new degree. In reality, this degree ascends to Rosh de Atik and hides there, so as to, by joining other degrees, be manifested at the end of correction.

In the same way, Atik gathers all the degrees revealed in the world during the 6,000 years, and conceals them within itself until the time of the end of correction comes; WHEN IT CORRECTS THE LAST PORTION OF WHAT IT MUST CORRECT, AND THUS CANNOT NO LONGER SIN. AND IT NO LONGER NEEDS TO SIN TO CORRECT THE NEXT PORTION OF EGOISM; HENCE, THIS FINAL DEGREE REMAINS PERMANENTLY AND DOES NOT DISAPPEAR. Then, Atik gathers all the degrees, and they all manifest simultaneously.

Everyone has his own Partzuf Atik. How can one accelerate his advancement along the degrees of correction in this world and in the spiritual worlds? It is written in the Talmud that an old man bends as he walks, as if he’s looking for something that he had lost.

An old man symbolizes someone of wisdom, Hochma, for even without having lost anything, he looks beforehand for things he can correct in himself, and thus finds them. Hence, he does not require the previous degree of attainment to disappear from him. And if one does not discover new egoistic properties in need of correction within him, his previous degree disappears and a new one begins. However, this process is considerably slower than when one acts like an old man in search of shortcomings.

Throughout the 6,000 years, Atik is defined as unattainable. Therefore, its head is called RADLA (an abbreviation for the Aramaic words, Reisha de Lo Etiada, the “unattainable head”), whereas the name Atik is derived from the word Ne’etak (isolated) from the lower ones, forit does not shine upon them. And, although it accumulates within all the Lights that emerge from it itself and become revealed in the lower worlds, the Light of the end of correction remains concealed nonetheless. It follows that after each degree disappears due to the sins of the lower ones, it ascends to Rosh de Atik and conceals itself there.

However, Guf de Atik, from its Peh downward, is located inside all the other Partzufim of the world of Atzilut, i.e., it is attainable by them. Thus, by clothing in the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut, Atik shines through them and gives the Light to them and to all the lower worlds of BYA. And any Light that shines on creation during the 6,000 years comes only from Guf de Atik, and not from some other spiritual object.

We usually say that whatever is present in the Rosh of a Partzuf manifests in its Guf. This is also true with regard to all the Partzufim of the world of AK and all the other Partzufim in all the worlds, except in Partzuf Atik! This is so because Atik remains in Tzimtzum Aleph and descends down to our world. However, with regard to other Partzufim below it, Atik acts as though it is in Tzimtzum Bet, making a special Zivug on itself and the Light from it descends to the lower worlds.

The Light that comes to revive the worlds is called “sustenance” or Ohr Hassadim, and the Light that comes to stimulate the growth of the Partzufim, to turn a small Partzuf (Katnut) into a big one (Gadlut) is called Ohr Hochma. Both these Lights originate in Guf de Atik. Ohr Hochma, which makes a Partzuf big, is called the Light that elevates the Partzuf, for the lying position is called Ibur (embryo), the sitting position is called Katnut (small), and the standing position – Gadlut (big).

94. He slew two – Ariel and Moav (Moab). Two Holy Temples existed thanks to Atik and received from it: the First Temple and the Second Temple. Since Atik’s disappearance, the process that stemmed from Above had ceased. It is as though he struck and destroyed them.

Only Malchut de Malchut must be corrected, and nothing else. All the other properties do not require correction. This Malchut de Malchut is Malchut of Olam Ein Sof (the World of Infinity), Behina Dalet, Nukva de ZA or Partzuf BON – the Creator’s only creation, the will to receive (pleasure) for oneself. It is this desire that caused the breaking of the Kelim (vessels) – the sin of Adam.

And all the work of the righteous during the 6,000 years concerns the correction of Malchut, so she becomes precisely as she was prior to the breaking of the Kelim and the sin of Adam. As a result, the great Zivug on Tzimtzum Aleph in Rosh de Atik will be revealed. The Light of this Zivug enables man to sort and separate his impure desires from the pure ones, and thus forever rid himself of the impure egoistic forces. This is exactly what Prophet Yeshayahu writes about: “He will eradicate death forever” (Yeshayahu, 25:8).

Since Malchut, Partzuf BON of the world of Atzilut, is completely corrected already and does not require any further corrections, her Partzuf BON ascends to the level of Partzuf SAG of the world of AK. Thus, Malchut completely attains the properties of Bina.

However, meanwhile, after the great Zivug in Atik, but before the ascent of Partzuf BON to SAG, the Light of Atik stops shining. As a result, the two Temples were destroyed. The two temples are the two Lights of Hochma: the Light of AVI, Ohr Hochma de Haya that shines in the First Temple, and the Light of YESHSUT, Ohr Neshama that shines in the Second Temple. And all the Light that Israel received from Atik disappears.

However, all these destructions and disappearances of Light are corrections and milestones on the path to deliverance and complete correction. They signify not devastation, but creation of perfection, as they are precisely those final corrections that bring BON back to SAG.

Since all the roots and sources of what transpires in this world exist in the spiritual realm, and must all manifest once in our world, every spiritual root must “touch” its branch in our world, and it does not matter when this occurs. In the spiritual world, everything unfolds in accordance with a strict cause-and-effect process, whereas in our world those same consequences can manifest at a completely different time.

An example of this is the destruction of the First and the Second Temples. While this event has already transpired in our world, in the spiritual world it occurs only when the last stage of correction is attained. Due to the complexity of time-transcending notions, we will examine this matter in another book. However, one way or another, only our inner spiritual properties can become the Temple in which we will feel the Creator and in which He will forever dwell!

At the end of correction, Ohr Haya and Ohr Neshama will be called the First and the Second Temples, respectively. Also, until the end of correction, Ohr Haya, which is received on the Zivug of Malchut and included in Yesod, is called Shabbat (Sabbath), while Ohr Neshama is called Hol (weekdays). As we can see, there is absolutely no connection between these Lights and the days of the week in our world.

After the destruction of the spiritual Temples (the disappearance of Light), they will be recreated from Above by the screen of Bina, called “Heaven.” This is because the screen of Partzuf SAG is a property of absolute mercy and is completely unrestricted in its actions, desiring only to bestow and refrain from receiving Ohr Hochma. Thus, it is beyond the influence of any restrictions and limitations.

As a result of this Zivug, the two Temples will be restored forever, and “the Light of the Moon (Malchut) shall be as the Light of the Sun (Bina)” (Yeshayahu, 30:26). The Light of Bina, which is now the Light of ZA (called “the sun”), will be seven times more powerful, as ZAT de Atik. From there, this Light will descend to AVI and create the first seven days of creation, for ZA (the sun) will become like AB and contain the Light of Guf de Atik. Malchut will become like ZA and receive his Light, the Light of the sun.

At the end of correction, a Zivug on Malchut herself (the primordial, but corrected egoism) will transpire, and all the particular Zivugim that were made on all the Lights through the 6,000 years (made not on Malchut, but on her inclusion in Yesod) will thereby disappear.

The Temple will be restored from Heaven, for Bina herself does not wish to receive Ohr Hochma. And it will not occur because she cannot, but because she does not want to. This degree is referred to as “in the hands of Heaven.” For example, it is written in the blessing on the new moon: “Life, which contains the fear of Heaven, and the fear of sinning.” This life is above our reasoning and desires, for it is said that faith must be “above reason”; otherwise, sins will ensue.

Thus, one desires nothing more than to go by faith above his reason and desires, for he is afraid to sin. However, there exists an even Higher Degree: when he no longer fears sinning, as he now has a screen, but still prefers to proceed by faith above reason and desires, for he yearns to be dissolved in the Upper One.

The reason for the Light’s disappearance from Guf de Atik prior to these corrections is that the two Malchuyot (Bina and Malchut, called SAG and BON) no longer exist. After the great Zivug of Atik, BON were annulled along with the screen of SAG, as Guf de Atik contains the connection between Bina and Malchut, designed for their interaction during the 6,000 years.

As a result of such interaction between Bina and Malchut, an opportunity arises to partially, gradually correct Malchut. In this mutual Zivug with Malchut, which is merged with Bina (Bina’s properties), Atik first creates AA and then all the other Partzufim of the worlds of Atzilut and BYA.

And since the screen of Malchut (Masach de BON) now disappears, the screen of Bina (Masach de SAG) disappears as well, as they are merged together. In the absence of Malchut and the screen, this Zivug stops, and all the Light of Guf de Atik emanating from this Zivug on the mutual screen of Malchut and Bina disappears. Therefore, all the Light that descended from its Guf (called Temples) disappeared.

In Rosh de Atik there is a Zivug on Malchut of Tzimtzum Aleph. Merged with Bina and existing for 6,000 years, the screen of Malchut disappears. As a result, the Light disappears as well. Malchut has yet to ascend to SAG to receive her perfection, as there is still no new Light. This complete absence of Light is called “destruction.” However, Malchut then receives the Light of AVI, and the worlds of BYA merge with the world of Atzilut.

95. And the Holy Throne (Malchut) is overthrown. Hence, the prophet Yechezkel (Ezekiel) wrote, “I am in exile,” signifying that the degree called “I,” which is Malchut, is in exile. Why? “By the river Kevar.” Kevar (already) is the river that had already existed, but has now disappeared. As it is written, “The river is destroyed and dried up.” It was “destroyed” in the first Temple and “dried up” in the second. Hence, it is written: “He struck and destroyed both, Ariel and Moav.” Moav (or Mi Av) means “from the Heavenly Father.” They were all destroyed for Him, and all the Light that shone upon Israel disappeared.

The word Kursa, derived from the word Kisse (throne) or Kissuy (cover) signifies the combination of the properties of Malchut and Bina, which leads to the Light descending to BYA during the 6,000 years. The Holy Throne is overthrown, because the screen of Bina (Kisse) has been annulled, as it is said, “I am in exile,” where “I” designates Malchut.

The entire spiritual complex is structured like a ladder, where Malchut of the Upper Partzuf becomes (descends to) the Keter of the lower one. This is also indicated in the names: Malchut is called “I” (Ani = Aleph-Nun-Yod) and Keter is called “no” (Ein = Aleph-Yod-Nun), as it is completely unattainable. Only that which is perceived within Malchut can be attained; hence, it is called “I.”

Only Malchut of the Upper Partzuf acts as a link between the Partzufim: the Upper One makes a Zivug on its Malchut, creates Ohr Hozer, and receives (clothes) the Upper Light within it, and then Malchut of the Upper One descends to the lower Partzuf in the form of Ohr Hozer. This state of the Upper One clothing in the lower one is called the exile of the Upper One, for the Zivug with the Upper Light disappears from it, and the Upper Light disappears from all the Partzufim. And the river dries up – the corrected screen is called the “river,” for it causes the Upper Light’s descent to the lower ones.

However, now that the screen (river) disappears, the descent of the Upper Light disappears as well. The destruction of the river in the First Temple causes the disappearance of Ohr Haya; the river in the Second Temple dries up, and Ohr Neshama vanishes along with it. The river in the First Temple is destroyed because the Zivug in AVI is stopped; the Light in YESHSUT is exhausted, and the river in the SecondTemple dries up.

The source of Ohr Haya and Neshama is Aba, called the “Heavenly Father,” for he shines in ZA, called “Heaven,” with the Light that elevates ZON to YESHSUT (the Second Temple) and to AVI (the First Temple). Because the Light stops shining from Guf de Atik,all of the Light descending to Israel disappears. This refers not only to the Light of the two Temples, but to all of the Light shining upon Israel, including Ohr VAK and the Light in the worlds of BYA.

96. Further, He descended and struck the lion. Initially, when this river rolled its waters down, Israel was in a state of perfection, for they offered up gifts and sacrifices to atone for their sins and to save their souls. Then, the image of a lion would descend from Above, and they would see it on the altar as it trampled the bodies of the sacrifices, devouring them, and all the dogs (all those who slander Israel) would fall to silence.

The fire that consumes the sacrifices laid on the Temple altar resembled a lion, and towered over the sacrifices, like a lion (Talmud, Yoma, 21:2), and that fire burned the sacrifices laid down by the sons of Israel. However, this is a corporeal image that a regular person perceives in our world.

But we shall follow our higher analysis and detach ourselves from this corporeal image; we will explain the action in the spiritual world that this language actually alludes to. All the languages in the Torah, including that which describes a rather corporeal image of sacrifice, speak only of spiritual actions. The most precise language for the description of these actions is the language of Kabbalah. However, this language is clear only to those who have ascended to the spiritual worlds and see both the roots, i.e., the events that transpire in the spiritual worlds, as well as their corporeal consequences.

Before the Light of Atik disappeared, when the Upper Light still shone upon Israel, like a river rolling its waters, Israel was in a state of perfection: by means of sacrifice, it raised its MAN (request), thus evoking a Zivug on its screen, and MAD (the Light, abundance) descends on it. As a result of these actions, it grew closer to the Heavenly Father, and all the impure forces distanced from it, for “it purified its souls, and purification signifies distancing from the impure forces (desires), the way a soiled garment is cleansed from dirt.

Hence, the Hebrew word for sacrifice is Korban, derived from the word Karov (near). Thus, sacrifice signifies a person tearing away a part of his inner animal egoism for the sake of drawing closer to the Creator. This is what brings Israel closer to their Heavenly Father.

And since Israel existed in perfection and raised MAN for the Creator’s pleasure alone, its MAN would ascend to Bina. The Light of Bina is called Ohr Hassadim, and its form resembles the image of a lion, like the property of bestowal, Hesed. This means that the lion- Bina receives Israel’s good desires and deeds. And it was seen how Bina consumes Israel’s MANOhr Hassadim descends from Bina onto this MAN, like a lion trampling his prey (MAN) and devouring it.

A lion devouring its prey is the principal aspect of sacrifice, for it signifies raising MAN to strengthen a screen and create Ohr Hozer. And since the magnitude of the received Ohr Yashar is determined by the magnitude (height) of Ohr Hozer, which creates the screen, it follows that existence and growth of Ohr Yashar is dependent on the Ohr Hozer. The greater the Ohr Hozer, the greater the descending Ohr Yashar becomes.

In other words, to the extent that every one of us desires to “bestow,” he evokes a corresponding response from Above, from the root of his soul. And just as in our world a living being’s life and strength depend on nutrition (it simply dies without it), the Upper Light depends on the Light reflected by the screen. When it stops, the Upper Light disappears from the Partzuf, i.e., man stops feeling it.

The Upper Light descends from Bina as Ohr Yashar (called a “lion”), i.e., in the form of “bestowal,” in accordance with Bina’s nature. And man sees (feels!) how Ohr Yashar clothes in Ohr Hozer, which ascends from its sacrifice (rejection of egoism), the lion’s nourishment.

It devours its prey and thereby grows: the extent of Israel’s perfection and their ability to offer sacrifices, to “bestow,” determines the magnitude of their MAN and the force with which the Ohr Yashar strikes the screen, which reflects the Direct Light (pleasure) from below upwards with all its might. Moreover, it does so in great fear: for what if it fails to reflect the Light and desires to enjoy the Light of this Commandment selfishly?

That is precisely where one’s work lies. It is called “faith above reason,” for it must rise above one’s reason (egoism) and intellect. Conversely, those who receive inner confidence that it is enough to advance within one’s nature are called “sacred still,” a pure inanimate (non-developing) being, as such reason prevents them from spiritual growth.

Therefore, if the height of Ohr Hozer is great, it is defined as a lion that tears and devours its prey, as a victor, for it grows and ascends to a higher spiritual level thanks to the efforts of the lower one (man).

The impure force, the selfish will to receive pleasure is called “a dog,” as it is written: “The leech has two daughters (who demand): Give-give.” (Mishley, 30:15). They bark like a dog, and demand (to receive) both this world and the next. And the Higher One ascends, the stronger this impure force, called Klipa, becomes. And its strongest part corresponds to Ohr Yechida, opposite the lion devouring its prey).

The lion represents mercy and bestowal, unwillingness to receive anything for oneself. As it is written in The Ethics of the Fathers,95: A Chassid, the merciful righteous one, says, ‘What’s yours is yours, and what’s mine is yours,’” so is the impure force (dog) aimed wholly at reception, and has no aspiration to bestow. As it is said in the Talmud (Bava Batra, 10:2), “The righteous among the nations of the world: all their mercy is for themselves alone;” hence, they are connected to the impure force of a dog. (Under no circumstances should any of this be interpreted literally, for, as it was repeatedly explained, the whole of the Kabbalah speaks only of man’s-prototype. Israel is one’s inner aspiration to the Creator, and Goy (a gentile) signifies egoism (regardless of and unrelated to one’s origin). Relate this to the above-mentioned corporeal and spiritual Temples, where there is no connection between rocks and spiritual objects. It is also unclear to the uninitiated why altruism is the property of a lion, while a dog, a loyal animal, is the root of egoism and impurity).

It is therefore said that when Israel was perfect, it acquired the property of a lion, and all the dogs left it be, for it gave Malchut the strength to raise Ohr Hozer to great heights (devoured its prey, like a victor), and the impure force, like a dog, was afraid to come near it, and would hide in fear of the lion.

97. Yet, when sins increased, he descended to the lower degrees and slew the lion. This was because the lion refused to give up its prey as before, and this is as though he killed it. Therefore, he struck the lion and threw it into a pit, to the Evil Side (according to his understanding). The Evil Side saw this and sent a dog to devour the sacrifices from the altar in the lion’s stead. What is the name of that lion? And what is the nickname of that dog? Baladan is its name; Baladan is formed by the words Bal-Adam, where the letter Mem is replaced by Nun,for he is not a human being at all, but a dog, and his face is like a muzzle of a dog.

(“He” refers to Benayahu Ben Yehoyada Ben Ish Chai, Rav Paalim uMekabtziel, in whom the degree of Atik, all of the Light, shines all at once.) Due to the disappearance of the screens of Malchut (BON) and Bina (SAG), Israel below could no longer raise MAN (the will to “bestow,” the screen, the lion’s nourishment). The Zivug stopped, and the Upper Light (lion) disappeared in its Root Above.

“Threw it into a pit” – the root of the desire to receive for one's own sake is in the eyes, as Rashi said: “The eye sees, and the heart burns with desire” (The weekly portion Shlach). This will to receive for oneself is called an “empty, waterless pit” (Beresheet, 37:24). The Upper Light does not fill it. Although it is empty, it is unworthy of being a vessel for the Light, as it is written: “He and I cannot dwell in the same abode” (Talmud, Suta,5).

Thus, the lion was thrown into a pit, for it was struck before the eyes of the impure egoistic force, called an “empty, waterless pit.” And these pits now emerge from their hideouts and reveal their power, and in place of a lion appears a barking dog.

ZA- MA = 45 is called Adam = Aleph + Dalet + Mem = 1 + 4 + 40 = 45, when he receives the Light from Bina. The property of Bina is bestowal. Hence, it is written: “Man is your name” (Talmud, Yevamot, 61), referring only to those who attain the property of bestowal, but not to the others, of whom it is said: “Even their mercy is only for their profit” (Talmud, Bava Batra, 10:2), and who are therefore called Baladan (Bal-Adan).

98. On a day of snow, on the day misfortunes descend from the Supernal Court Above, it is written, “Her household shall not fear snow,” that is, the Supernal Court, called “snow.” For her household is clothed twofold, and can thereby endure a strong fire. So the book says.

Strictness, judgment (Din) or restriction imposed on the use of egoism in the male part is called “snow” that stems from the Supernal Court. These restrictions are very powerful, but are mitigated below the Chazeh, where Malchut receives them. Nukva describes these restrictions in the following way: “Surround me with roses,” (Shir HaShirim, 2) referring to two fires: the Upper – Bina, and the lower, her own – Malchut.

After Malchut acquires these two fires, she weakens the strictness of the cold snow with her fire. Hence, it is written in Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) that her household shall not fear snow (the Supernal Court), i.e., the restrictions imposed on the male part, for her household is clothed twofold. In other words, on the contrary, the snow helps her withstand the heat of her fire. And only now that the screen and Zivug are gone, and the two fires are no more, the restrictions of the snow return.

99. What is written next? “And he struck an Egyptian.” This refers to a secret: every time Israel sinned, the Creator would conceal Himself and restrict them from receiving all the goodness and all the Light that He shone upon them. “He struck an Egyptian.” “He” refers to Moshe, the Light that shines upon Israel. For in Egypt he was born, grew up, and attained the Supernal Light.

The Torah speaks not of man, but of the Light that disappeared and concealed itself. Hence, it is defined as “slain.” Gone is the great Light, with which Moshe shone upon Israel. And this Light is called the “Egyptian,” for in Egypt Moshe was born, grew up, and attained the great Supernal Light, the Light that delivered Israel from Egypt.

100. A man of mirror. It is written, mirror and man, as it is written, a Godly man, the husband of that mirror, of the Creator’s glory, Malchut. For with this degree he merited ruling over the entire land in all of his desire – a feat unmatched by any other.

The difference between Moshe and the other prophets is that Moshe is the foundation of ZA, as he constructs and passes the Light from ZA to Malchut, whereas the other prophets are the foundation of Malchut, and receive from her. Hence, it is written of him: “Godly man,” the husband of Malchut, called the “Creator’s greatness.” And why is Moshe called the husband of Malchut? Because he attained the level of ZA and gives the Light to Malchut. Therefore, it is written that his attainments are beyond anyone else’s, for the other prophets receive from Malchut, and are therefore ruled by her.

He who attains Malchut receives from her. The degree called Moshe means that he who attains it gives the Light to Malchut, instead of receiving from her. Yet, how can this be? How can one possibly rise above Malchut if all our souls originate from her and exist in the worlds of BYA? This indicates the state of ascent above Malchut, which is how Moshe ascends to Bina.

101. This is the Creator’s staff that was delivered to him, as it is written, “With the Creator’s staff in my hand.” This is the staff that was created on the evening of the sixth day of the creation, before Shabbat. And His Holy Name is contained in it. And with this staff Moshe sinned by striking it twice against the rock. The Creator said to him: “Moshe, it is not for this purpose that I have not given you My staff; thus, it will no longer be in your possession henceforth.”

The words “evening” and “twilight” signify the state of mitigation of Malchut’s strictness by the properties of Bina to an extent that it becomes impossible to distinguish Malchut from Bina. This is because on Shabbat, Malchut ascends to AVI and becomes Bina. However, on the twilight of Shabbat, Malchut is not yet Bina, but is no longer Malchut (everything in the book speaks only of the properties of spiritual objects, for nothing but desires exists in the spiritual worlds. Only in our world are desires clothed in physical bodies).

Hence, it is said that ten things were created in the twilight, when there is no distinction between the thing itself and its origin, Bina or Malchut, for Malchut herself shows no distinction. And such is the property of the staff that was created in the twilight, before the world’s first Shabbat. Hence, it possesses the holy (special) property of the Creator’s name, an allusion to the properties of Bina, from which holiness (altruism) descends. And Malchut is ready to receive this holiness.

And these two properties of Bina and Malchut are contained in the Creator’s staff, utterly indistinguishable from one another, for they were created in the twilight. Hence, with the help of this staff, i.e., by means of the property of uniting Malchut with Bina, all the fortunes and wonders, all of the Light can be brought to Israel, for this is the purpose behind the Light’s descent from Bina to Malchut. With the help of this property (the staff), Moshe merited an ascent to Bina, up to the degree of “Godly man.” Therefore, the staff is called the Creator’s staff, according to the name of Bina.

Malchut is called Tzur (rock), and upon ascending to Bina, she is called Sela (another name for a rock). The inner Zivug between ZON (ZA and Malchut) in the state of their ascent to AVI, when Nukva uses Ima’s Kelim, is called “speech.” The outer Zivug between ZON, when they are in their own place, is called “Zivug de Hakaa” (a Zivug by Striking).

It is hence written to Moshe in the weekly Torah portion Bashalach: “You shall strike the rock (Tzur), and it shall bring forth water” (Shemot, 17:6), for a Zivug de Hakaa occurs within Malchut herself. However, it is written in the weekly portion Chukat: “Speak ye unto the rock before all eyes, that it give forth its water” (Bamidbar, 20:8), for the “rock” is in Bina, and the Zivug within her is called “speech.”

And herein lies the sin of Moshe: he struck twice: in addition to first striking the Tzur, he struck the Sela, which lacks the strike, and only has a Zivug in the form of speech. Since there is no distinction in the Creator’s staff, and it is unclear whether it refers to Malchut or to Bina, he also applied it to Sela-Bina. And the Creator told him that the staff was given to him to use with Tzur, but not with Sela.

102. At once He descended to him in strictness and wrenched the staff from the Egyptian’s hand, for the moment the staff was taken from him, it was taken for good. And he was killed by it: because of the sin of striking the rock with the staff, he died and did not enter the Holy Land. And that Light was concealed from Israel.

It was already mentioned in item 94 that as a result of a great Zivug in Atik, only BON were supposed to disappear, but not SAG, for BON could have immediately risen and forever become like SAG. However, as SAG and BON were merged, SAG disappeared together with BON.

The Light of Moshe disappeared from Israel for the same reason – because he committed an even greater sin and harmed the union of BON and SAG by striking the Sela. Hence, harsh judgment descended upon him, which refers to the disappearance of the Light of SAG. Indeed, SAG is no longer connected to BON in any way, and the annulment of BON has no influence on it.

This is the meaning of what is written in Psalms: “He resembled those who draw axes at a copse of trees, but now all of his adornments are smashed by hatchets and axes” (Tehilim, 74:5). Due to Malchut’s ascent to Bina, and her correction there, Malchut is like a “copse of trees,” for SAG, too, is annulled by the merging with BON, Malchut’s ascent, as if struck with “hatchets and axes.”

Hence, it is written that the staff was taken from the Egyptian, and will never return to him, for the staff refers to Malchut. So the Light disappears for good, because BON renews itself afterwards and becomes SAG forever. Thus, it is no longer necessary to use the staff for striking.

It is written in this regard that he was slain by the same staff, for had he been careful and used it only once – striking the Tzur, but not the SelaSAG would not have been annulled together with BON, and he would not have died. Instead, he would have immediately risen to SAG.

This is why it is written that Moshe shall not enter the Holy Land, Israel, as Israel is BON in the state of ascent to SAG, and it is called the Holy Land, for the Light of Bina (called the Holy Light) shines in it. However, until the end of correction arrives, there are still ascents and descents, which cause destructions (disappearance of the Light) and revelations (shining of the Light). But at the end of correction, BON will remain within SAG permanently as Eretz Israel, and there shall be no more exiles from it.

103. “The most respected of the thirty” refers to the Upper One that receives from Above and passes downward, one that receives and brings closer. However, he does not go to the first three, but they come to him and give to him wholeheartedly, but he does not come to them.

GAR (HBD) are called “thirty,” as each of the three Sefirot HBD consists of ten, which amounts to thirty. And their Light shines in all of the 6,000 years. The soul of Benayahu appears out of the great Zivug of Atik, which accumulates all the Zivugim during the 6,000 years. Hence, it is called Rav Paalim (performing many actions) and Mekabtziel (gathering all into one degree- Partzuf, called Benayahu Ben Yehoyada).

Therefore, he receives the Light of all of the Supernal Thirty, which descends to his soul. Indeed, he consists of particular Zivug im that have transpired through the 6,000 years, which he gathers into one. And, although they give him the best of their properties wholeheartedly, he still cannot draw closer to them and subsequently receive from them. This is because the disappearance of the screen in ZON made the screen in SAG disappear as well. Hence, he cannot come to them, raise MAN, and receive from them further.

104. Despite not being considered one of them, David heard the meaning that is never detached from the heart, for they can never be separated. David paid attention with all his heart, but he did not pay attention to David. For by the praises, hymns, and mercy that the moon offers the sun, the moon draws the sun closer so as to be with it.

David is Malchut; Malchut comes from the word Melech (King). Therefore, David is King, for his properties are the properties of Malchut (kingdom). And this is the fourth leg (support) of GAR. Hence, it is written that although he cannot be together with the thirty (GAR), he nonetheless clings to these properties, and never detaches himself from them.

This is because Malchut’s entire perfection is revealed in him, for it stems from the great Zivug of Atik, which destroys all the impure forces of BON, as it is said: “He destroys evil forever.”

Therefore, David resolved to never part with it again, for it is his perfection. However, Benayahu Ben Yehoyada paid no attention to David, as David is the fourth support of GAR. Hence, it is as though he is unable to receive from GAR. And since he cannot receive from David, he pays no attention to him.

With the help of the MAN of Malchut (called Se’ara – stormy wind), which is raised to ZA (called “Heaven”), as a result of the hymns, praises, and mercy, Malchut receives the Light of Benayahu Ben Yehoyada’s soul, which is absolute perfection, and merges with it for all eternity.

105. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba fell down on their faces before him and could not see him anymore, then rose and went in every direction, but could not see him. They sat and wept, and could not even speak to one another. Then, Rabbi Aba said, “It is true what we have learned, that the Torah accompanies the righteous on all their paths. The righteous of the other world come to them to reveal to them the secrets of the Torah. And this must have been Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba, who came to us from the other world to reveal these secrets to us. But before we could recognize him, he vanished.” They rose and wanted to lead their donkeys on, but could not. They repeatedly tried to goad the donkeys, but still they could not move. They grew frightened and left their donkeys behind.And to this day this place is called “the place of donkeys.”

Because they could not bear such a powerful Light, which was revealed to them upon the disclosure of those secrets, they fell (Katnut) and then rose (Gadlut), for it was so unbearable. After they merited receiving from it such a great degree, this Light disappeared at once and did not reappear, and they could not attain it anymore. Hence, they wept (a kind of Katnut) out of great grief that they had lost such exalted attainment, and they could not speak (absence of Kelim).

The bitterness of their loss made them realize that it was the degree of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba himself, and not lower, as they had mistakenly thought before. The forces that they received from the soul of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba are called “donkeys,” with which they can raise MAN, the request to attain Higher Degrees, Haya and Yechida.

In other words, the soul is a spiritual force of Light; like a pulling force of a donkey that helps overcome egoistic desires and move from place to place in the spiritual world, onto a Higher Degree. To raise MAN means to feel what is lacking and what needs to be attained – this is what man’s work is all about.

Such is the work of a righteous soul – it helps man by lifting him up onto his donkey (egoism) and taking the lead (pulling) in order to illuminate (give strength) for him the path of the righteous. And now, when its role has been completed, this soul disappears, although they would have very much liked to continue ascending and riding its donkeys, i.e., they wished to raise MAN anew to return and attain once more.

However, they could no longer receive the strength to raise MAN. Thus, they were struck by fear and left their donkeys in that place, which is hence called “the place of donkeys,” for they could not use them any longer.

106. Rabbi Elazar opened and said: “Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have hidden away for those who fear You! (Tehilim, 31:20).How infinite is the goodness that the Creator shall bestow on humankind in the future, on those sin-fearing, exalted righteous, who study the Torah as they arrive at that Upper World.”

The words “great goodness” refer to Gadlut, the attainment of the Light of GAR. For the basis of a Partzuf is its VAK – the amount of Light necessary for its existence, received from the Zivug of AVI, who make this Zivug and emit Ohr Hassadim, necessary to sustain the worlds. And all the extra Light, necessary for existence, is called GAR or Ohr Hochma – the additional, delectable and great Light.

This Ohr Hochma, the Light of GAR, stems from Bina, which is called “the world to come.” It is clothed in Ohr Hassadim that emerges from a Zivug of the Sefira Yesod (Chai Olamim – life of the worlds), and from there descends to the righteous who fear to sin.

The Zivug of AVI, when they are at the degree of Bina, gives Ohr Hassadim to ZA for the sustenance of the worlds. However, when AVI ascend to AA and beget new souls by their Zivug, their Zivug is inconstant, as it emits Ohr Hochma, called “new souls.”

107. The name “great goodness” can be further described as containing all the secrets of the Supernal wisdom, which descend from ZA to Malchut. There is a great tree, called ZA or Rav (great, strong), and there is a small tree, Malchut, which grows from it. And it is elevated to the Highest Firmament.

In addition to the attainment of the Light of GAR, there is also the inner part of the Supernal wisdom with its secrets, which become revealed in the Zivug of Atik at the completion of the 6,000 years, the end of correction. MA designates the lower world, Malchut. The great and strong tree is ZA in the state of ascent to Partzuf AB, as in this state he receives Ohr Hochma, and Hochma signifies strength (not “reason – strength” but the strength of Ohr Hochma lies in the fact that it allows one to go against reason, in defiance of common sense, in faith above reason).

However, when ZA is in his place, he is simply called “a tree,” for he lacks Ohr Hochma and has only VAK, Ohr Hassadim. Malchut is also called a tree and grows together with ZA; ZA ascends to Aba, to the utmost height, to the Supernal Firmament – Atik.

108. The “great goodness” is the Light that was created on the first day of creation and concealed so as to be revealed in the future for the righteous in the other world. Your Deeds are the Supernal Garden of Eden, which the Creator has created by His act.

The Light that was created on the first day of creation is the Light in which Adam saw from one end of the world to the other. Hence, the word “Light” is used five times in the Torah’s description of the first day of creation. This Light is intended for the righteous in the world to come, for it is concealed in Yesod de Aba and in Yesod de Ima, which are collectively called “righteousness and justice.”

(In Hebrew, the words Tzedek – justice and Tzadik – righteous/just have the same root. This name is given to one who attains the Creator’s governance and sees that His governance is just; hence, he justifies all of the Creator’s actions, and is thus called righteous. The other meaning of the word ‘righteous’ refers to man’s belief that the Creator is righteous, because in spirituality, one assumes the name of the degree one has attained. If he attains that the Creator is righteous by receiving this knowledge from the degree onto which he ascends, then he is already called by the name of that degree.)

Ohr Hochma can be received only in “precious garments,” called righteousness and justice, that is, only with these intentions. The above excerpt speaks of an open action, implying unrestricted diffusion of Light, as it will be after the end of all the corrections. In the Torah, such a state is called “the Supernal Garden of Eden.”

In the meantime, only the complete and perfect righteous ones, the souls of Benayahu Ben Yehoyada and others that merited reception of Light from the great Zivug of Atik, gather all the Light of the 6,000 years. These souls’ place of rest is referred to as the Garden of Eden.

There exists the lower Garden of Eden of earth, which is VAK, and the Supernal one, GAR. All the souls dwell in the lower Garden of Eden, and only on new moons and Sabbaths do they ascend to the Supernal Garden of Eden, and then return to their place. However, there are individual, special persons (souls), whose place is in the Supernal Garden of Eden. These are the souls of which Rabbi Shimon says: “I saw them ascending, but their numbers were few.”

109. All the righteous stand in the lower Garden of Eden, clothed in precious adornments, similar in quality and form to those which they wore in this world, meaning in the same form as people in this world and according to man’s actions in this world. They stand there and fly away through the air, ascend to the Assembly in the Supernal Garden of Eden, fly there and bathe in the dew of the pure river of Apharsemon (persimmon), then come down and fly below in the lower Garden of Eden.

The main difference between GAR and ZAT with regard to both Partzufim and souls is that GAR (KHB) do not need the garment of Hassadim. They can receive Ohr Hochma as it is. However, Partzufim of VAK and the souls born from ZON, whose basis is VAK(Ohr Hochma clothed in Ohr Hassadim), can only receive Ohr Hochma when it is clothes in Ohr Hassadim.

The Ruach de Tzadikim (spirit of the righteous) in the lower Garden of Eden is clothed in Ohr Hassadim, just as human souls in this world. And with the help of these precious garments, they can ascend to the Supernal Garden of Eden and there receive Ohr Hochma. Afterwards, they return to their place in the lower Garden of Eden, for that is their permanent place.

They ascend by the power of Ohr Hassadim,called “air,” and fly to the Supernal Garden of Eden to receive Ohr Hochma, called the river of Apharsemon. However, they cannot stay there, so they immediately descend from the Supernal Garden of Eden to the lower. The Zohar compares them to human souls, for both the Upper and the lower human souls need to receive the garment of Ohr Hassadim in order to correct themselves and ascend.

110. And sometimes these righteous appear as people in order to perform miracles, like celestial angels, just as we have seen the luminescence of the Upper Light, but did not merit to see and discover the wisdom’s great secrets.

DID NOT MERIT TO DISCOVER THE WISDOM’S GREAT SECRETS – for the donkey driver had left them and disappeared. There are special souls that abide in the Supernal Garden of Eden. They have risen so high that the souls from the lower Garden of Eden ascend to them only on new moons and Sabbaths, and, being unable to stay there, immediately descend to their permanent place. However, they are nonetheless similar to human souls, which descend from the Supernal Garden of Eden to this world and meet people, just like the angels that seldom descend to this world.

Now they have seen the Light of the Supernal Luminary, the Light of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba that descended on them from the highest point, the Supernal Garden of Eden, and was revealed before them in this world (while they are still living in this world).

AS PEOPLE refers to the souls that abide in the lower Garden of Eden, which have the form of people, and the Light of the Supernal Garden of Eden influences them. They can receive this Light during their ascent on new moons and Sabbaths, whereupon they merit meeting the souls of the Supernal Garden of Eden, and then descend to their permanent place.

However, one may also say that the words AS PEOPLE refer to the people of our corporeal world, while the souls from the Supernal Garden of Eden sometimes descend to this world and, like exalted angels, appear before the eyes of the righteous.

111. Rabbi Aba opened and said: “And he who is doomed said to his wife, ‘We shall die, for I have seen the Creator.’ Even though he was not aware of his actions, as it is written, ‘He did not know that it was an angel’; however, since it is written, ‘Man shall not see Me and live,’ we know that he has died. And we have merited this great Light to accompany us, and the world exists because the Creator Himself sent him to us, to reveal the secrets of His Supernal wisdom to us. How joyous is our share!”

When the angel saw him who was doomed, he did not yet have the proper level of attainment; thus, the angel was unwilling to reveal his name. Yet, although he did not know and did not attain him, he still feared the words, “Man shall not see Me and live” (Shemot, 33:20).

But we have merited complete attainment, for we came to know his name, Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba. And we live and exist in this world. It is therefore clear that the degree of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba is called “Show me Your glory” (Shemot, 33:18), Moshe’s request of the Creator.

But the Creator replied: “You cannot see My face, for man shall not see Me and live.” From this we see that they have attained more than Moshe. This state is described by sages as, “There was no prophet more exalted than Moshe, but there was a sage” (Yalkut Shimoni, the end). It is also written: “A sage is preferred to a prophet” (Talmud, Bava Batra, 12:1). Thus, they have spiritually ascended to merit the appearance of such an exalted soul, while still being in this world.

112. They walked and came to a mountain. The sun had set. The branches of the tree on that mountain started rattling and singing. As they were still walking, they heard a resounding voice proclaim, “Sons of the Holy Creator, dispersed among the living in this world, illuminated by the sons of the Assembly, gather in your places and rejoice with your Creator in the Torah. They grew frightened and stopped, then sat down.

“They came to a mountain” refers to the words of King David, who said (Tehilim, 24:3): “Who shall ascend the mountain of the Lord, and who shall stand in His holy place?” meaning who is worthy of it? After they climbed the mountain, the sun had set (the Light left the Partzuf). But they heard something from the trees, as it is written: “Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy” (Tehilim, 96:12).

They heard a voice that told them to return to their place, rejoice in the Creator and His Torah, and descend from the mountain. And it calls them by the name of that High Degree, which they’ve achieved. But it hints that people are not worthy of being at that degree and in this world simultaneously. Yet, although they were frightened, they remained on the mountain, sat down, and did not move. “Grew frightened,” “stopped,” and “sat down” are the spiritual states of the Partzuf.

We see how The Zohar explains the path of the righteous, those who cross the Machsom (the barrier that separates our world from the spiritual) and start ascending the rungs of the spiritual ladder. This path is diverse, and each book of the Torah describes it in its own way: the language of Kabbalah, legends, judicial laws, historical accounts of the Pentateuch, etc.. The Zohar draws a vivid picture for us – like a guidebook for those who will find themselves in the place of these exalted travelers in the spiritual world. Once there, you will see for yourselves what is implied by such notions as “mountain,” “tree,” and “voice.” Then The Zohar will become your true guidebook!

It is impossible to provide a more detailed description of the Partzufim, i.e., an inner perception of one who ascends spiritually. This is because the reader must first have certain analogous sensations of his own. If one could see only once what the described content (or something similar) really means, one would be able to clearly imagine what it speaks of.

It is the same in our world: even if we have never been to a certain country, we can imagine what others describe to us by analogy with what we already know. But in this case, there is no analogy. One who sees the spiritual world for the first time realizes how wrong all of his previous visualizations have been! Hence, we can say nothing about many of the states described in The Zohar.

113. Meanwhile, a voice called out again, “O, mighty rocks, great hammers of thunder, Bina stands upon a pillar, so enter and assemble.” At that moment, they heard the mighty voice of thousands of trees, which was saying, “The Creator’s voice breaks the cedars.” Both Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba fell down on their faces. Great fear fell upon them. They rose hastily and left, not hearing anything else, then came down the mountain and kept on walking.

It was previously said that they could not load their donkeys, meaning that they were unable to raise MAN, because Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba had already completed his helping mission. This is why they lost the power of their donkeys, and could not continue using them to raise MAN and merit Higher Degrees.

Therefore, Rabbi Elazar said earlier that they did not merit seeing and attaining the secrets of the Supernal wisdom. The fact is that after they attained the level of Yechida, i.e., revealed the soul of Benayahu Ben Yehoyada with the help of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba, the disappearance of the screen (Masach) of BON caused the loss of Masach de SAG. Hence, they could no longer raise MAN.

The Light stopped descending to them from Guf de Atik specifically to give them the opportunity, or rather the strength to recreate Masach de SAG. Consequently, BON will become like SAG, they will resume raising MAN, and will once more be able to ascend from degree to degree.

Hence, as soon as both Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba left their donkeys, they lost strength to raise MAN in order to bring BON back to the level of SAG. However, the voice proclaimed that they are as strong as rock and thunder, for so far they have endured all the trials. And they will gather strength to endure the mighty rocks and to overcome all the obstacles as before, until they obliterate these obstacles, like great hammers of thunder crashing down from Above.

Bina, though herself colorless, is called “the source of colors.” This is because she is all mercy, whereas all the other properties originate specifically from her by enduring all the trials, like rocks. From all this, Bina receives new forms, hence she received the powers of a new screen onto which emerge all the new degrees and Partzufim.

Together, the voice that informed them of Bina’s new powers, they heard another voice,“The Creator’s voice breaks the cedars” (Tehilim, 29:5), which let them know that all the cedars (obstacles) on their path to higher attainments have been removed. This gave them strength to climb down the mountain and continue their path onto Higher Degrees.

114. Upon reaching the house of Rabbi Yosi, the son of Rabbi Shimon Ben Yosi Ben Lakunya, they saw Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai. They rejoiced. Rabbi Shimon rejoiced, too. He said to them, “You have traveled this path of Heavenly signs and wonders correctly, for as I was sleeping, I saw you and Benayahu Ben Yehoyada, who was sending you two crowns with an old man, so as to adorn you. I am certain that the Creator was on this path too, because I see how your faces have changed.” Rabbi Yosi said, “Truly, it is said that a sage is preferred to a prophet.” Rabbi Elazar came and put his head on the knees of his father, Rabbi Shimon, and told him of what had happened.

Here The Zohar gives an allegorical explanation of two states: first, they merited attaining the Light of SAG (called Rabbi Yosi) once more, and secondly, now SAG and AB join in a constant Zivug. We see this from their meeting with Rabbi Shimon, who signifies Ohr Hochma. In other words, they merited their BON returning and becoming like SAG in its constant and eternal Zivug with AB.

Benayahu Ben Yehoyada sent them two crowns through Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba: Ohr Yechida, called Benayahu Ben Yehoyada himself, and a new Light AB-SAG, which they have just attained. This Light also came to them by the powers of Benayahu Ben Yehoyada as a reward for overcoming all the trials, thanks to which they, of all others, merited this degree, which is emanated from the great Light of his soul.

Hence, it follows that he sent them two crowns. However, all these descents on their spiritual path were not failures; rather, the Creator Himself was leading them to that High Degree, which they have now attained. This is why it is written: “I AM CERTAIN THAT THE CREATOR WAS ON THIS PATH (with you).” However, “HOW YOUR FACES HAVE CHANGED,” for you have attained something else, described by the phrase, “A SAGE IS PREFERRED TO A PROPHET.”

115. Rabbi Shimon was frightened and wept. He said, “I have heard the Creator and I am awed.” This verse was spoken by the prophet Havakuk (Habakkuk), when he saw his death and his resurrection by Elisha. Why was he named Havakuk? Because it is written that at around this time there would be a HOVVEK-ET – a son will be embraced. For Havakuk was the son of the Shunamit. And there were two embraces: one from the mother and one from Elisha, as it is written, “He put his mouth to his.”

First, it is unclear how the prophet Elisha could pass a seed in his blessing to the Shunamit, for this seed cannot exist (procreate). Indeed, Elisha was the greatest prophet after Moshe and his soul came from the Supernal Garden of Eden. Hence, his BON (in Hebrew, the words Ben – son and BON are spelled the same way: Bet-Nun) was already absolutely pure and perfect.

Therefore, when he passed his son to her, he tied him to the male side, whereas he tied Havakuk only to the female side. And since the female side, Nukva, is closer to the impure force, it clung itself to him, and he died. Thus, the reason for his death lies in the exalted level of the prophet, for his BON is pure and free from the clinging of impure forces.

Hence, the prophet prayed: “The Creator has hidden it from me and had not told me!” (Melachim II, 4:27). In other words, he had not the slightest clue that he could die by being connected only to BON. That is why it was necessary to return, revive, and attach him to the Upper World, to the resurrection of the dead.

The essence of the embryo is the white (Ohr Hochma) in it, as it is written (Talmud, Nidah, 31:1) that Aba (father) is Hochma, for Hochma is called “white,” as it is said, “He made everything with Hochma (wisdom)” (Tehilim, 104). However, there is also a need for clothing in Ohr Hassadim, the intention “for the Creator’s sake,” as it is impossible to receive Ohr Hochma, the Light of wisdom, attainment and delight, without the clothing of Ohr Hassadim, without an altruistic intention.

So the mother must provide the red, the screen, which provides OhrHassadim, required for the clothing of Ohr Hochma in it. As a result of the Ohr Hassadim embracing (clothing, enveloping) Ohr Hochma in itself, an embryo can exist. And here the embryo’s entire embrace came only from the mother, the Shunamit, i.e., only from the female side (BON).

Hence, when Elisha revived him, he gave him the white (Hochma) and the red (Hassadim) once more. It follows that it was Elisha himself who embraced him the second time. It is hence said that there were two Havakuks (from the word Hibuk – embrace): one from the mother and the other from Elisha.

116. I have discovered in the book of King Solomon that the name Havakuk consists of seventy-two names. Elisha created it with words. Each word consists of three letters, for the letters of the alphabet that the Father confirmed to him initially flew away when he died. But Elisha embraced him and confirmed in him all these letters in his seventy-two names. In all, there are 216 letters in his seventy-two names, three letters in each.

The embryo is built of 216 = RYU (Reish = 200 + Yod = 10 + Vav = 6) letters, designating Ohr Hochma, which descends to YESHSUT. This means that the embryo has RYU letters, which amounts to the Gematria of RE’IYAH = Reish- Aleph- Yod- Hey, i.e., the Light of vision. Re’iyah means vision in Hebrew, and vision is possible only in Ohr Hochma, for “seeing” means “attaining,” and the Light of the eyes is the Light of Hochma.

When a growing Partzuf attains Gadlut, receives the clothing of Ohr Hassadim of the Upper World from AVI, and RYU clothe in Ohr Hassadim, this Partzuf is called AB (72) names, as each three letters join into one and RYU = 216 letters turn into AB = seventy-two groups with three letters in each group, or AB = seventy-two names.

When Ohr Hassadim, the clothing of the Partzuf, comes only from the lower world, it is defined as RYU = 216 letters. And when it attains AB, Hassadim of the Upper World, each three letters form a group, and this results in AB = seventy-two names, as it is written, HE CONFIRMED IN HIM ALL THESE LETTERS. When Elisha revived Havakuk, the son of the Shunamit, he created the name Havakuk, AB = seventy-two letters from RYU = 216, for he gave him Ohr Hassadim of the Upper World from AB.

Because of it, all 216 letters made groups of three and formed three lines from Above downwards: right, left and middle. A cell made of three letters – the right, left, and middle lines, situated horizontally (referring to the same screen and type of Kli) – is regarded as one. Therefore, AB (seventy-two) letters is used instead of AB (seventy-two) names, because each letter is considered to include three, merged into one. When Ohr Hochma enters these seventy-two cells, the Partzuf is called AB and is said to have the complete Light of Hochma.

Ohr Hassadim is the Light that brings peace in the state of the Partzuf at a given moment, for its property is not to wish anything for itself, but to bestow. However, Ohr Hassadim received from the lower world is merely comfort “for want of something better,” whereas Ohr Hassadim received from the Upper World creates such a powerful property of “bestowal” that the Partzuf receives Ohr Hochma, thereby showing that although it has Ohr Hochma, it still prefers Ohr Hassadim.

This is similar to a person in our world, who says that he needs nothing. Yet, there is a distinction: does he say this in a state when he has nothing and can have everything he wants, but still wishes to restrict himself to bare essentials and to give away the rest?

Therefore, when the growing Partzuf (the son – BON) had only Ohr Hassadim from the lower world, it could not receive Ohr Hochma in it, and was thus called RYU letters. But since the impure forces still cling to them and tempt the Partzuf to receive Ohr Hochma for itself, Ohr Hochma cannot be clothed within them.

These RYU letters that Havakuk had since the day of his birth FLEW AWAY WHEN HE DIED. Hence, it was essential to give him RYU letters and AB names once more. And Elisha did just that by HIS SPIRIT, for he was obliged to recreate in him RYU letters in order to combine them into AB cells with the help of the Upper Hassadim (combine everything into three lines), when everything unites into AB names.

117. Elisha confirmed all of these letters in the soul of Havakuk so as to revive him by the letters of the seventy-two names. And he called him Havakuk, for that is his complete name, which describes all of his properties, as it alludes to two Havakuks and to the 216 letters of the Holy Name, as the Gematria (numerical value) of the name Havakukis 216, from which the seventy-two names were formed. By AB names he revived him and brought his spirit back, and by RYU letters he revived his body and let it live. This is why he is called Havakuk.

Havakuk = Chet + Bet + Kuf + Vav + Kuf = 8 + 2 + 100 + 6 + 100 = 216. The word Havakuk indicates two embraces (Hibukim, plural for Hibuk). Like all Hebrew names, it refers to the property of its bearer. For instance, Yaakov is derived from “Akev” (“got around” Esav), and Avraham signifies Av – father, Am – of the nation).

The first embrace came from Ima, but it did not yet allow Ohr Hochma into the Partzuf, into RYU letters, for the impure force clings to the red in Ima. But then Elisha embraced him with Hassadim of the Upper World that came from AVI. This united the letters into groups (names), and Ohr Hochma entered and filled these names permanently, since the impure force cannot cling to Hassadim of the Upper World.

As in the above example, even if all the Ohr Hochma were to be offered, the Partzuf, upon receiving protection in the form of a desire for Hassadim of the Upper World, receives such great strength (desire) to bestow that it never wants Hochma. This is precisely why Hochma can fill it for all eternity.

Therefore, the name Havakuk denotes two Chibukim (embraces): one from the mother and one from Elisha, thereby imparting him with perfection from all sides: from both the Ohr Hochma and the Ohr Hassadim. “Embraces” signify Ohr Hassadim that stems from AVI, and Ohr Hochma received within Ohr Hassadim is called “the secrets of RYU.”

It is hence written that HE REVIVED HIS SPIRIT BY AB NAMES AND HIS BODY BY RYU LETTERS. And he was revived by Elisha’s embrace, for RYU letters had formed names, that is, the three lines, in which Ohr Hochma could be received, thanks to the reception of Ohr Hassadim from AVI (the Upper World).

The impure forces (man’s egoistic desires) cannot attack in this Light. Hence, death (the result of receiving Ohr Hochma for oneself) does not exist. Subsequently, he receives Ohr Hochma, which yields the complete correction of his Guf.

However, the Partzuf (son of the Shunamit) had RYU letters from the moment of birth, and they left him when he died. Then why is he called Havakuk (two embraces)? After all, the first embrace of Ima (mother) left him the moment of his death, and Elisha revived him from death by embracing him only once. Thus, does he not contain only the embrace of Elisha?

The thing is that Elisha has given him nothing new at the time of resurrection, except for the embrace, the Light from the Supernal ImaSAG, whose Light evokes the resurrection of the dead. And RYU letters were simply revived by his lower mother – BON. These are the same RYU of BON with which he was born. Otherwise, it would have been an entirely new soul, of which one would not have been able to say that it was dead and then resurrected.

Therefore, now he truly has two embraces, for the first one has now been revived as well, when BON ascended to SAG. And since BON is in the place of SAG, his Hassadim are regarded as those of the Supernal Mother. They completely neutralize the impure forces and death, for their properties (desires) are only of bestowal, which the impure force cannot bear. Thus, they can no longer tempt man. This is why he is called Havakuk, after the action of the two embraces.

118. He said, “I have heard the Creator and I am awed by His name.” I have heard of what I had and have had a taste of the other world at the moment of death, before Elisha resurrected him, and I am awed. He began asking for mercy for his soul. He said, “O, Creator, the deeds that You have performed for me throughout the years were my life.” And whoever connects to the past years (the name of the Sefirot of Atik), connects to life. Throughout the years, bestow life upon the degree that has no life of its own, upon Malchut de Malchut.

His fear comes from the past, previous states, for now he has become perfect on all his sides, and therefore fear has no place. This fear remained from the past, when he left the world. This describes the state between death and resurrection. However, he continues receiving fear from the past state, so it would help him create a screen for raising MAN. It is precisely this fear from past times (states) that stimulates him to raise MAN (request for mercy).

This is the secret of the future screen, after BON becomes SAG. For then “He will eradicate death forever” (Yeshayahu, 25:8), and there will be no force evoking fear of death and suffering or able to cause harm to one’s purity and holiness. Hence, there will be no need to shun, no one to beware of or avoid.

So if one has attained such an exalted spiritual state, where could he possibly acquire fear? After all, he will not be able to ascend without it! Only if he takes fear from his past states! For the Partzuf retains the memories, records, recollections of past states, even after its ascent to SAG, when BON become like SAG.

If not for the recollections of fear from the past states, the Partzuf would not have been able to create a screen in a state when it has nothing left to fear. While explaining this, Rabbi Shimon told them of Havakuk, to teach them how to acquire fear, just as Havakuk did by taking fear from the past.

THE DEEDS THAT YOU HAVE PERFORMED… THROUGHOUT THE YEARS… WERE MY LIFE – because he lived through two periods: the years preceding his death and the years following his resurrection. Between these two periods, there was a state of exiting this world, death (during which he existed in the other world). That is to say, because I remember the time of my death, I thereby connect to life of the Upper World, which Elisha bestowed by resurrecting me.

ZAT de Atik is called the “past (sometimes ancient) years,” since they receive their Light from Malchut of the world of AK, Malchut of Tzimtzum Aleph. However, ZAT de Atik do not shine upon the lower Partzufim and worlds with their Light of Tzimtzum Aleph. ZAT de Atik shine downward during the 6,000 years with diminished Light, restricting it according to the laws of Tzimtzum Bet. Only at the end of correction will they begin to pass down all of their Light. It is written in the Torah that the Light that Atik had passed during the 6,000 years is designated with the small letter Hey in the word Avraham.

However, because Havakuk’s death has purified him completely, since at the end of correction he merited merging with the “past years” of Atik, he received the required strength in Elisha’s embraces and resurrection. It is hence written that after he has purified himself and felt fear at the moment of his death, the power of this fear enabled him to establish contact with ZAT de Atik and receive the Light called “eternal life.”

For having purified himself through death, BON received complete correction, upon ascending and becoming SAG at the time of death. Subsequently, it reaches the degree of Malchut de Malchut, a Zivug on which can only be made at the end of correction, and attains this degree, the Light of his life.

119. Rabbi Shimon wept and said: “And I have seen from the Creator what I have heard.” He raised his hands above his head, and said: “But you have merited seeing Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba, the Light of the Torah, face to face, while I have not.” He fell on his face and saw him who uproots mountains and lights candles in the Temple of the King (Mashiach). He said to him, “Rabbi, in the other world we shall be neighbors with the heads of the assemblies before the Creator. From here on, he called his son Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba by the name Pnei’el (the face of God), as it is written: “For I have seen the Creator face to face.”

He praised himself for using the same fear from the past, just like Prophet Havakuk.

All corrections are already ready and waiting in the hall of the King (Mashiach), down to the very last detail. They must all be revealed at the end of all corrections, with the appearance of the King. And the souls in that hall are those who merited completion of their individual corrections, for there is an individual correction and a general one.

Malchut de Malchut is the only creation, and it is divided into parts called souls. These parts merge with people of our world, and each of them, while existing within man, must attain one’s own correction, i.e., gradually replace one’s properties (desires) with those of the Creator. This is considered the soul’s individual or personal correction. So then, the souls that have attained their individual correction reach and exist in the state called “abiding in the hall of the King- Mashiach.”

The Light in that hall (the Light of the Torah), also called Hamnuna-Saba, completely liberates man from the impure forces, i.e., purifies him from all his primordial egoistic desires and corrects Malchut de Malchut, which “appears to the righteous as a high mountain” (Talmud, Sota, 52). This correction is made by creating a new SAG-like screen with the purpose of raising MAN (the request for final correction). MAN is called “Me’orei Esh” (sparkles of fire), as it is written: “Man’s soul is the Creator’s candle” (Mishley, 20:27).

The light of the sun designates the Light’s descent, MAD, just as sunlight descends upon us from Above, whereas a fire’s flame signifies Ohr Hozer that rises from below upwards, like candlelight. The Zohar therefore says that these two corrections, aimed at destroying the impure forces and ascending to light the candles in the hall of the King- Mashiach, are in the hands of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba.

And the perfect righteous in need of these two final corrections merit receiving them only through revealing the soul of Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba. And he stated that they (the disciples of Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba) will merit the honor of serving in the hall of the King- Mashiach after their death, and will become his neighbors and the heads of the Creator’s Assembly.

The Two Points

120. Rabbi Chiya began and opened, “The beginning of Hochma (wisdom) is fear of the Creator, and those who observe this rule receive all the goodness.” He asks, “The beginning of wisdom?” One should rather say that the end of wisdom is the fear of the Creator, for fear of the Creator is the property of Malchut, which is at the end of Hochma (wisdom). He replies: Yet, Malchut is the beginning of the entrance to the degrees of reception of the Supernal wisdom.” Hence, it is written, “Open to me the gates of justice,” meaning that the gates of Malchut, called “justice,” are the Creator’s gates. And if man does not enter these gates he shall not reach the Supernal King through any other, for He is concealed and detached, and has erected many gates on the path to Him.

Fear of the Creator is the Sefira Malchut. Yet, how can Malchut serve as an entrance if she is the last of the ten Sefirot? Indeed, she may be called the end of Hochma or of a Partzuf, but not the beginning. However, this is not an allegorical expression, but the essence itself, for HE IS CONCEALED AND DETACHED and no thought of man can attain Him. Hence, He has put up many gates ON THE PATH TO HIM, and thanks to these gates He grants sufferers the opportunity to draw closer to him, the opportunity for attainment.

This is precisely what the verse, “Open to me the gates of justice,” (Tehilim, 118) alludes to; these are the very gates that the Creator made, through which people can come to Him. HOWEVER, AT THE END OF ALL THE GATES ERECTED A SPECIAL GATE WITH MANY LOCKS. This gate is Malchut de Malchut, the ultimate point of all creation, the ultimate point of all Supernal gates.

And this last gate (from Above downwards) is the first gate to Supernal wisdom (from below upwards), for it is impossible to attain the Supernal Hochma (wisdom) without attaining precisely this final gate, as it is the first gate with regard to attainment of the Supernal wisdom. It is therefore written (Tehilim, 111:10): “Fear of the Creator is the beginning of wisdom,” as fear of the Creator is called the final gate, which stands first on the path to Supernal attainment.

121. And at the end of all the gates He erected a special gate with several locks, several entrances, and several chambers, one atop of the other. And He said, “Whoever wishes to reach Me, let this be the first gate on his way to Me.” Whomever enters through this gate – will enter.” Only this is the first gate to the Supernal wisdom, the gate of fear of the Creator, Malchut, which is hence called “beginning.”

The locks, entrances, and chambers are three successive processes of attainment, of realizing the spiritual in one’s inner sensation. The thought that created the world was the Creator’s thought to make a creation (the human soul) in order to fill it with delight. However, it is impossible to feel delight as long as one is removed from the Creator, for He is the only One in existence. And He has created us in such a way that the nearer we come to Him, the greater delight we feel, whereas and the farther we are from Him, the more we suffer.

Those of us who live in and perceive only this world can only accept the above words on faith or reject them. However, Kabbalists, who ascend spiritually and draw closer to the Creator, make these assertions and describe their attainments for us. And as to how and when we shall travel the same path to the Creator and attain complete unity with Him, this depends on us alone. However, regardless of whether we want to or not, we will need to travel the entire path from our world to complete unity with the Creator while still existing in this body, during one of our lifetimes in this world. This is the purpose of creation, and until it is fulfilled, man must reincarnate and return to this world, as the sages said: “The Creator wished to dwell in the lower ones.”

Our world is built completely opposite from the Creator, as it was created in the property of egoistic will to receive pleasure, and this property is the exact antithesis to the Creator’s property (desire) to delight us. Additionally, there is no trace of a will to receive pleasure in the Creator Himself.

It is hence said about a person in our world: “Man is born akin to a wild ass” (Iyov, 11:12). Therefore, to those who live in this world, the Creator’s governance seems completely opposite to the purpose of creation – to delight the creatures. After all, that is how we perceive His rule over us, and feel the surrounding world in our egoistic sensations.

According to the Creator’s plan, one must correct his egoistic desires and make them altruistic, whereupon the Creator fulfills them with supernal, absolute delight (to the extent of their correction). Until one attains this state, he continues to suffer from his desire to enjoy either this world or the spiritual.

These sensations are called “gate locks,” for all the numerous contradictions to the oneness of the Creator’s actions that we feel in this world separate us from the Creator and prevent us from drawing closer to Him. However, when we exert to observe the Torah and Commandments with love, with our heart and soul, as devotedly as it was prescribed for us, with the sole intention of pleasing the Creator and without any benefit for ourselves, all of the forces that separate us from Him and every contradiction that we overcome on our path to Him becomes a gate of attainment of His Supernal wisdom, of Ohr Hochma. This is because every contradiction reveals its own uniqueness in the attainment of the Creator’s governance.

Thus, those very questions and contradictions, which initially seemed to prevent us from accepting the oneness of the Creator’s governance, then turn into knowledge, thanks to which we come to understand and attain the oneness of His governance.

And those who merit this transform darkness into Light (within themselves) and bitterness into sweetness. This is how they feel their attainments – in precisely those past sensations of darkness and bitterness. For the forces that repel us from the Creator, that form our minds and are perceived by the body as bitter turn into gates of attainment of Supernal Degrees. This way, darkness becomes Light and bitterness becomes sweetness.

And the more negative the Creator’s governance is first perceived, the deeper man eventually comes to realize the perfection of His governance. At last, the entire world ends up on the scale of merit, for every force and insight now serve as SHAAREY TZEDEK (the gates of truth), through which one can enter and receive from the Creator everything that He intended to bestow at the Thought of Creation. Thus, it is written about such contradictions that turn into realization of unity: “These are the gates to the Creator; the righteous shall enter them” (Tehilim, 118:20).

Hence, until one merits turning his will “to receive for himself” into the will “to receive for the Creator” with the help of the Torah and Commandments, all the gates to the Creator have sturdy locks (the sensation of imperfection in the Creator’s governance), as they then play their opposite role: to distance and turn one away from the Creator. And they are called locks, for they lock the gates of contact with the Creator and distance us from Him.

However, if we make efforts to overcome them so they stop influencing us and weakening our love for the Creator, we will thus turn these locks into entrances, darkness into Light, and bitterness into sweetness. This is because for every lock we receive a special degree of attainment of the Creator. These degrees become entrances that lead to the degrees of sensation of the Creator Himself. And the degrees themselves turn into halls or chambers of wisdom.

Thus, we see that locks, entrances, and chambers constitute the three types of perception of one material, our will to receive or egoism. Indeed, before we turn the egoistic desire to receive into reception (of pleasure) for the Creator’s sake, altruism, this material transforms Light into darkness and sweetness into bitterness, in accordance with our (egoistic) taste. In other words, egoism finds suffering in the same types of influence that bring pleasure to altruism. Therefore, to perceive the Light (delight) that surrounds us, we only to need change our senses. But until we do, this Light will be perceived by us as darkness and suffering.

Initially, whatever examples of the Creator’s governance we see, they distance us from Him. This is because we perceive them negatively; at that very moment, our egoism (will to receive pleasure) begets locks. However, once we transform our desires to “reception for the Creator’s sake,” these locks become entrances, and entrances turn into chambers – vessels of wisdom, Ohr Hochma.

As we already know, the end of all the degrees, i.e., the very last degree, below which nothing can possibly exist, is called Malchut de Malchut. To attain Supernal wisdom, one must first overcome this last gate, which turns into the first gate to ascend from below upwards, toward the chamber of Supernal wisdom, the Sefira Hochma. All gates become entrances and chambers of the Creator’s wisdom. This is why it is written, IN THE BEGINNING (the first words in the Torah), for IN THE BEGINNING signifies fear of the Creator, the last gate (Malchut), which becomes the first on the path to attainment of the Supernal wisdom.

122. The letter Bet in the word BERESHEET (IN THE BEGINNING) indicates that the two are joined together in Malchut. Both are points: one is concealed, while the other is revealed. However, since there’s no division between them, they are called THE BEGINNING, which signifies only one, rather than two, for he who takes one, takes the other as well, and all is one, for He and His Name are one, as it is written, “And you shall know that this is the Creator’s only name.”

The Hebrew letter Bet has a numerical value of two, indicating two points. These two points symbolize the correction of the egoistic point of Malchut, onto which the point of mercy (Bina) imposes a restriction of use. Correction is achieved when Malchut (strictness) ascends to Bina (mercy), as it is written, “So they both walked” (Rut, 1:19), i.e., Bina and Malchut. Hence, the screen in Malchut consists of both points, and they are thereby joined together as one.

It is explained in Megilat Rut (The Book of Ruth) how Malchut (Ruth) merges with Bina (Naomi), which then leads to the correction of Malchut and the birth of David, the first King (the word King, Melech, is derived from Malchut, (kingdom) of Israel.

HOWEVER, ONE IS CONCEALED, WHILE THE OTHER IS REVEALED, for the judgment in the point of Malchut is concealed, whereas only the property of mercy in the point of Bina is revealed. Otherwise, the world could not exist, as it is written, “In the beginning, He created the world with the property of judgment, but seeing that it cannot exist, He attached to it the property of mercy” (Beresheet Raba, item 1).

Although the restriction is concealed, this does not mean that a Zivug is not made on it, since these two points merge into one, and the point of Malchut receives a Zivug together with the point of Bina, though it participates in it secretly. Therefore, it is written, IN THE BEGINNING, for the word “beginning” indicates one point, which includes two that are as one.

Because Malchut participates with Bina in all the Zivugim that are made during the 6,000 years (albeit secretly), she corrects herself to such an extent that at the end of all the corrections, even her property of restriction is corrected, and she acquires the property of Bina. It is written of this state that on that day He and His name will be one.

Since the property of restriction is also concealed within the letter Bet of the word BERESHEET (in the beginning), this property is called RESHEET (first) in Hochma (wisdom). However, the correction of this property occurs only at the end of corrections, when the Supernal wisdom is revealed, as the prophet said: “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Creator” (Yeshayahu, 11:9). This is because the last gate will become the first. Hence, it is written, “That they may know that it is Thou alone whose name is the Lord, the Most High over all the earth,” (Tehilim, 83:19) for the Creator’s wisdom will be revealed in our world to all.

123. Why is Malchut called “fear of the Creator?” It is because Malchut is the Tree of Good and Evil: If man merits, it is good, but if he does not, it is evil. This is why fear dwells in that place. And this gate leads to all the goodness that exists in the world. ALL THE GOODNESS signifies two gates, two points that are as one. Rabbi Yosi said that ALL THE GOODNESS refers to the Tree of Life, for it is entirely good and completely without evil. And because it is without evil, it is entirely good, without evil.

It is written of the last gate: “THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM IS FEAR OF THE CREATOR.” So why is it called “fear of the Creator?” Because this is the secret of the Tree of Knowledge, by which Adam sinned, for the use of that point (egoistic desires) is punishable by death (disappearance of the Light). And great fear is needed to refrain from touching (using) it before all the other desires have been corrected. Nevertheless, at the end of correction, when even this point is completely corrected, death will cease to exist for all eternity. That is why it is called “fear.”

The Creator created one creation – the egoistic Malchut. The goal of creation is to fill her with the Creator’s Light using an altruistic intention. As a result, Malchut merges with the Creator and receives limitless delight.

Malchut, the only creation, consists of five parts: KHB ZA-M. Her parts KHB ZA, excluding Malchut de Malchut, have altruistic properties, which they received from the Light.

As a result of her decision to refrain from receiving Light into egoistic desires, called Tzimtzum Aleph (the first restriction), Malchut receives the Light only in her first four desires: KHB-ZA. Malchut de Malchut remains inaccessible to the Light. So how can she be corrected?

To correct Malchut de Malchut’s properties (desires), the Creator creates the conditions under which Bina and Malchut mix, and consequently, Malchut acquires the properties of Bina.

This process needs to occur more than once, so that all of Malchut’s parts will be mixed with Bina. Every time it takes place in an increasingly deeper layer of Malchut, it is called the breaking of holiness, for Bina descends and passes her properties to Malchut, but she herself breaks during this mixing, as though losing her altruistic properties.

Thus, we can conclude that all the shattering of vessels, the breaking of Adam’s soul, the ruin of the First and Second Temples, and other spiritual disasters take place not as punishment, for punishment (as we understand it) does not exist in the spiritual, but only so as to enable the altruistic desires of Bina penetrate deeper into the egoistic desires of Malchut.

The last point of Malchut, the yet uncorrected Malchut de Malchut, is that very point the use of which is punishable by death (the Light’s disappearance is considered death). It is forbidden to use Malchut de Malchut until all the other properties of Malchut (KHB-ZA) have been fully corrected. Or rather, if man refrains from using egoism (the point of Malchut de Malchut), and uses only his other altruistic desires, he gradually constructs a “non-reception” screen on Malchut de Malchut.

Having filled all of his corrected desires with Light, man achieves the end of correction – of what he could correct by himself. As soon as that happens, i.e., as soon as one receives the Light in all of his soul’s first nine Sefirot (KHB-ZA, excluding Malchut), the Light called Mashiach descends from Above, which imparts Malchut de Malchut with the altruistic property of bestowal, of acting for the Creator’s sake. This concludes the entire correction process of man’s soul, and he attains complete unity with the Creator. The Creator’s goal is for man to attain this state while still living in our world and in his physical body, to combine all the worlds, spiritual and material, within himself.

AND THIS GATE LEADS TO ALL THE GOODNESS, for there is nothing better than the revelation of the Supernal wisdom in the world, included in the Thought of Creation. And since fear of the Creator is the last gate to the Supernal wisdom, it also constitutes the gate to all the goodness.

THESE TWO GATES ARE AS ONE refers to the two points, Bina and Malchut, which are united in the letter Bet of the word BERESHEET (IN THE BEGINNING), the first word in the Torah. And the two points are mentioned because they allude to the state following the correction, when these two points are called “the two gates,” for both turn out to be good and free from evil, thereby bringing man only perfect goodness.

Nevertheless, until the end of correction, one must strain to separate within him the desires that refer to the point of Bina from those that refer to the point of Malchut, to reject the desires of Malchut, and, in defiance of egoism, use the desires of Bina. During man’s work on self-correction, called “6,000 years,” these two points are referred to as “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

RABBI YOSI SAID – Rabbi Yosi does not object to the words of Rabbi Chiya. They are talking about two different states: Rabbi Chiya alludes to a state past the end of correction of Malchut, when both points become a gate, and there is no more evil within them. And Rabbi Yosi explains a state in the correction process, when the two points, Bina and Malchut, exist within us as our Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Hence, he tells us that ALL THE GOODNESS IS (can only be found in) THE TREE OF LIFE.

ZA filled with the Light of Ima-Bina is called “The Tree of Life,” for he possesses only good properties. And the two points of good and evil, Bina and Malchut, remain within Malchut until the end of correction; hence, Malchut is called “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

124. To all those who act, it is the faithful mercy of David that upholds the Torah. Those who keep the Torah seemingly create it themselves. All those who study the Torah – there is no action in them as they study, but those who keep the Torah – in them there is action. And the world exists by this force, eternal are the wisdom and the Torah, and the throne stands just as it should stand.

It was previously said that fear of the Creator constitutes the last gate, though it is the first gate to the Supernal wisdom. It turns out that ALL THOSE WHO STUDY THE TORAH have already corrected the last gate, and the two points become for them two entrances, all goodness without evil. Hence, it is said that THERE IS NO ACTION IN THEM, i.e., no analysis of good and evil, for they have already corrected everything.

However, those who have not yet reached the end of correction are referred to as those who keep the Torah. There is action in them, for they have not yet corrected good and evil in everyone’s Tree of Good and Evil – not everyone has realized in one’s inner tree (in all of one’s properties) what is good and what is evil with regard to the spiritual truth.

It is therefore said that THOSE WHO KEEP THE TORAH SEEMINGLY CREATE IT THEMSELVES. As a result of man’s effort to refrain from their use, all the distracting and impeding forces (thoughts and desires) of the point of Malchut become gates, all the locks become entrances, and all the entrances become chambers of wisdom filled with Ohr Hochma.

It follows that all the wisdom and the entire Torah become revealed only through the efforts of those who keep the Torah. Hence, they SEEMINGLY CREATE IT THEMSELVES. The forces of good and evil are combined within them, and they become those who keep the Torah, for the Torah is revealed thanks to their inner work of separating and correcting good and evil.

Such people are called “those who act,” for they seemingly create the Torah by themselves. After all, without perceiving the Creator (The Torah, Light) as concealed, and then overcoming this concealment, thereby turning it into gates, entrances, and chambers the Torah could never have been revealed.

The perfection of the Creator’s actions lies in the fact that by creating man so paltry (with such insignificant egoistic desires, completely opposite to the Creator in his properties, and utterly powerless to change himself, the Creator gave man an opportunity to become like Him (in properties, greatness, and the sensation of creating himself), to create within and by himself all of the worlds and the Torah. By revealing the Light, it is as though man actually creates it.

Thus, since these individuals reveal the Torah, they are regarded as its creators. The word is SEEMINGLY used to indicate that the Torah was created before the creation of our world (Talmud, Pesachim, 54:1), and of course, it is the work of the Creator Himself. Yet, without the good deeds of those who keep the Torah, it would not have been revealed to the world. Hence, they are regarded as the makers and creators of the Torah.

The wisdom and the Torah are eternal; that is, they exist even after the end of correction, for fear of the Creator is needed even then. However, once the entire egoism is corrected, there is no place from which to take this fear, for the Tree of Good and Evil becomes only good, and can no longer furnish fear of the Creator.

However, because they received fear in the past, they can continue using it in the present, after the end of correction, when there is nothing left to fear, as there are no restrictions in Malchut. And the only reason they can do so is that during the correction they worked on creating within them the sensation of the Creator’s absolute rule and the eternity of the Torah. And since this fear is never-ending, the Creator’s throne remains forever standing in their attainment.

The Night of the Bride

125. Rabbi Shimon was sitting and studying the Torah on the night when the Bride, Malchut, unites with her husband, Zeir Anpin. And all the friends present in the bridal chamber on that night, the eve of the holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost), must stand together with the bridegroom under the Huppah (wedding canopy), and be with him this whole night, and rejoice with him in the corrections of the Bride, i.e., study the Torah, then Prophets, then Holy Scriptures, and finally the wisdom, for these corrections are the Bride’s adornments. And the Bride receives corrections, adorns herself with them, and rejoices with them all of that night. And on the next day, on the holiday of Shavuot, she only comes to the Huppah together with them. And her friends, who studied the Torah all night long, are called the sons of the Huppah. And as she approaches the Huppah, the Creator asks about them, blesses and adorns them with the Bride’s adornments. Happy are those who merit this!

All the days of exile are called night, for this is when the Creator’s face is concealed from Israel, as the impure forces rule and separate His loyal servants from Him. Yet, this is the time when the bride unites with her husband (in Hebrew, “husband” and “master” are the same word, so one must keep in mind the second meaning of the word as well). The Huppah is a wedding canopy, under which the ritual of union between a bride and a bridegroom (their merging in a Zivug) takes place.

The union between the bride and her husband (The Zohar uses the word “husband” instead of “bridegroom”) occurs thanks to the Torah and Mitzvot (Commandments) of the righteous, referred to as “those who keep the Torah.” And all the Supernal Degrees, called “secrets of the Torah,” become revealed thanks to them alone, for they are also called MAKERS (as though CREATING the Torah itself), as is described in item 124. Therefore, the time of exile is called the NIGHT WHEN THE BRIDE UNITES WITH HER HUSBAND. AND ALL THE FRIENDS, THE SONS OF THE BRIDE’S JOY, ARE CALLED THOSE WHO KEEP THE TORAH.

And after THE END OF CORRECTION and complete deliverance, of which the prophet Zachariah writes (14:7): “And there shall be one day, which shall be known to the Creator, neither day nor night, but it shall come to pass come evening time: there shall be light.” THE NEXT DAY, THE BRIDE AND HER HUSBAND ENTER THE HUPPAH, for BON will become like SAG and MA will be like AB (see item 64).

This state is therefore defined as the next day and a new Huppah. Whereas at this time (in this state), the righteous are called “SONS OF THE HUPPAH,” in whom there is no action, for then, as it is written: “They shall not do evil upon My holy mountain, for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Creator, as waters cover the sea” (Yeshayahu,11: 9).

And since these righteous elevated BON to SAG by their actions, i.e., made its properties similar to those of SAG, they are considered to have made a new Huppah, they are called “sons of the Huppah.”

The night of Shavuot (Pentecost) is when THE BRIDE UNITES WITH HER HUSBAND, for the Huppah takes place on the next day, the day of Shavuot, the day of the reception of the Torah. On that day, all of creation achieves the state of the end of correction, as it is said: “He will swallow up death forever; and the Creator Himself will wipe away the tears off all faces” (Yeshayahu, 25:8).

The Torah describes this state as “engraved upon the scrolls” (Shemot, 32:16). In Hebrew, the word “engraved” is Harut, but itshould be pronounced Herut (freedom), freedom from the angel of death. However, the sin of the golden calf followed and the High Degree was lost. Since Shavuot is the day when the Torah was received, it is also regarded as the end of correction.

Therefore, all the necessary preparations (the corrections carried out during the concealment period) are completed beforehand, on the night before the holiday of Shavuot. This night is hence defined as the night when the bride unites with her husband so as to enter the Huppah the following day, on the holiday of Shavuot, when all the corrections are completed and liberated from the angel of death, thanks to the actions of the righteous, who erect a new Huppah.

All of the bride’s friends, those who keep the Torah, also called “sons of the bridal chamber,” must be merged with the Shechina-Malchut (the bride) all of that night, called “exile.” Only then do their acts in the Torah and Mitzvot correct and purify the good in her from the taint of evil, so she would emerge with the properties that contain only good, without evil.

Hence, those who keep the Torah should rejoice together with the bride for all the great corrections that they’ve made in her. Then they joyously continue with their corrections in THE TORAH, then in PROPHETS and finally in the HOLY SCRIPTURES. All the degrees and revelations of the secrets of the Torah, which make up the framework of the Shechina herself at the end of her correction, are made exclusively by the righteous, who keep the Torah during the exile.

Therefore, all the degrees that emerge at the time (state) of the exile are called the bride’s corrections and adornments from the Torah, Prophets and Holy Scriptures, for Sefirot Hesed, Gevura, and Tifferet constitute the Torah, Sefirot Netzah, Hod, and Yesod are the Prophets, and Malchut is the Holy Scriptures. The Light of VAK is called Midrashim and the Light of GAR is called “the secrets of the Torah.” And all these corrections must be made in Malchut (the bride) on the night when she completes her corrections (precisely in the darkness of exile from the spiritual does man carry out the work of his inner correction).

It is known that the end of correction does not bring anything new or that was previously unknown. Rather, all the MAN and MAD, along with all degrees and Zivugim that have emerged consecutively during the 6,000 years will merge into one degree and become corrected with the help of the Light of Atik.

The bride will then enter her Huppah, and THE CREATOR WILL ASK ABOUT EVERYONE, about every man who had even once raised MAN for the Supernal, final Zivug. For the Creator waits for all the small Zivugim to assemble, as though asking about and waiting for each of them. And when they’ve gathered, a great Zivug will unfold, called RAV PAALIM U MEKABTZIEL (HE WHO BLESSES AND ADORNS HER). And when all the creatures are blessed and adorned together, correction comes to an end. This is referred to as “the adornment of the bride’s crown.”

126. This is why Rabbi Shimon and all of his friends stayed up that night, and each of them renewed the Torah again and again. Rabbi Shimon was joyous, and so were his friends. Rabbi Shimon said to them: “My sons, how blessed is your lot, for it is you who shall accompany the Bride tomorrow to the Huppah, for all those who correct Her and rejoice in Her this night shall have their names recorded in the Book of Remembrance. And the Creator shall bless them with seventy blessings and adornments of crowns of the Upper World.”

The Book of Remembrance, mentioned by the prophet (Malachi, 3:15): “You will say, ‘How futile it is to serve the Creator! When we carried out the Creator’s will, and walked heavy-hearted before Him – what is the use of it all? And now we regard the wicked as blessed: they have settled in their wickedness, tried the Creator, and were liberated.’ Then those who feared the Creator spoke with each other, and the Creator hearkened and heard, and a Book of Remembrance was recorded before Him for those who fear the Creator and honor His name. ‘They shall become chosen for Me on the day that I shall determine, and I shall spare them, as a man spares his own son, who serves him.’”

But how can we understand that when they spoke ill of the Creator, they referred to fear of the Creator, as the prophet says? Moreover, they were inscribed in the Book of Remembrance as those who “feared the Creator and honored His name?”

The thing is that at the end of correction, when the great general Zivug of Atik manifests, great Light will be revealed in all the worlds, and in this Light everyone will return to the Creator in absolute love. The Talmud (Yoma, 86:2, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”) says: “He who attains the repentance from love shall have his sins turned to merits.”

Here, the prophet refers to the sinners claiming the futility of spiritual work: on the great day of the end of correction, when the Light of repentance from love shall shine, all the most malicious and deliberate, worst imaginable sins, will turn to merits, and their words shall be deemed not slight, but fear of the Creator.

Therefore, all the sins, as well as all the good deeds, are recorded before the Creator, for He will need them on that great day of His miracle: all the merits gather and complete the Kli, which receives the Light necessary for the final correction. Hence, it is said that the Creator shall record the names of those who fear Him in the Book of Remembrance, for He will need them on that day to complete the common Partzuf. This is exactly what the prophet says: those who remain shall be close to the Creator, like sons who served Him.

It is therefore said that everyone and everything will be recorded in the Book of Remembrance, even the sins. However, The Creator will record them as though they are merits, as though they served Him. These are the words of the prophet.

The number seventy signifies the Light of Hochma, GAR, adornment, a crown, and the Light of Hassadim is called “a blessing,” for the world was created with the letter Bet (blessing), as it is written: “The world was built by mercy” (Tehilim,89:3), which is VAK. But at the end of correction, the Light of Hassadim will also be like seventy crowns, like the Light of Hochma, for MA and BON will ascend to AB and SAG. Therefore, The Zohar says that the Creator will bless them with seventy blessings and adornments of crowns of the Upper World.

127. Rabbi Shimon opened and said, “The Heavens declare the Creator’s greatness. I have already explained this, but when the bride awakens to enter the Huppah on the following day, with all the friends who rejoiced with her through that night, she rejoices with them, corrects herself and shines with her adornments.”

128. And on the following day, a multitude of masses, hosts, and legions join her. And she, together with all these masses, hosts and legions, awaits all those who corrected her by studying the Torah on that night. This is so because Zeir Anpin unites with Malchut, and she sees her husband, and it is said: “The Heavens declare the Creator’s greatness.” “The Heavens” alludes to the Bridegroom (ZA), who enters the Huppah. “The Heavens declare,” i.e., shine, like the luminescence of a sapphire, upon the entire Malchut, from end to end.

The day of the end of correction is called “tomorrow,” as it is written in the Talmud: “Do today, and receive the reward tomorrow” (Eruvin, 22:1). The masses are the worldly masses who do not serve the Creator, the hosts are those who serve the Creator, and the legions are chariots of warriors in armor – the Supernal groups of angels that accompany the souls, as it is said: “For He bid His angels to guard over you on all your paths” (Tehilim, 91:11). Just as the Creator waits for everyone, as was previously stated, so does the Shechina.

“Heavens” is the bridegroom entering the Huppah – the state of the end of correction, of which it is written: “And the light of the moon (Malchut) shall be as the light of the sun (ZA)” (Yeshayahu, 30:26). The Creator is called the “Heavens,” and at the end of correction He is referred to as the “bridegroom,” as it is said: “Just as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so shall your Creator rejoice over you.” (Yeshayahu, 62:5).

Wherever it is said that the Creator descends, it indicates His strictness and judgment, for it speaks of diminishing His greatness in the eyes of the lower ones, as it is said: “His might and greatness are in His place.” But at the end of correction, when all sins turn to merits, for it will become clear that all the spiritual descents were nothing other than spiritual ascents, the Creator becomes the “bridegroom” and the Shechina becomes his “bride.”

The Hebrew word for “bride” is Kalah, as in the words Kalat Moshe(Bamidbar, 7), which describes the completion of the altar. Hence, in the Torah, the word Kalah signifies the end of construction. The Hebrew word for “bridegroom” is Hatan, and it signifies the descent along spiritual degrees, as it is said in the Talmud: “Descends the steps” (Yevamot, 63:1). However, this descent is greater than all the previous ascents, for it takes place on the way towards the bride at the moment of the end of correction.

The Huppah represents the total of all the Returning Light received on the MAN raised by the righteous in all the Zivugim at all the times during the 6,000 years. This is because now they have all gathered into one great Returning Light, rising and soaring over the Creator and the Shechina, over the bridegroom and his bride, like a Huppah – wedding canopy.

In this state, the righteous are called “Sons of the Huppah,” for each of them has a part in this Huppah, to the extent of the MAN they raise to the screen of Malchut, which evoked, produced the Returning Light, corresponding in magnitude to this MAN. At the end of correction, the Creator is called Hatan (bridegroom), for He Nechit Darga – descends from His degree to his bride, and enters the Huppah.

At this time (in this state), the Heavens say – this is a great Zivug of the future, as the Talmud says: “The wife speaks to her husband” (Berachot, 3:1). The word “speaks” (Mesaperet) implies a Zivug, and is derived from Sapir (sapphire), the name of the Shechina, as it is said in the Torah, “…and under His feet – like a pavement of sapphire” (Shemot, 24:10).

THE LUMINESCENT SAPPHIRE is the Returning Light, ascending from below upwards. LUMINESCENT, LIKE LUMINESCENCE – The Returning Light, LUMINESCENT is equivalent to the Direct Light, LUMINESCENCE. This great Zivug gathers all of the Returning Light from all the Zivugim made during the 6,000 years, and the Direct Light will shine in it, as it is said, FROM END TO END.

129. The Creator’s glory = EL – is the bride, Malchut, called EL, as it is written: “ EL rages each day.” She is called EL on all the days of the year. And now, on the holiday of Shavuot, when she already entered the Huppah, she is called GREATNESS and she is called EL, greatest of the great, luminescent out of the luminescent, dominion over dominions.

El is the name of great mercy. Yet, here it says: “El rages each day,” which is contrary to mercy. The Torah says: “And there shall be evening, and there shall be morning, one day.” The Shechina is a small star, the Moon, which reigns at night. It is called “fear of Heaven,” for it is the property of the righteous, who must raise MAN through their aspiration to be corrected, thereby evoking the Returning Light to descend on Malchut from Above and correct her.

It is therefore written: “The Creator hath made it so man would fear Him” (Kohelet, 3:14). This is so because it is impossible to raise the MAN without fear. The absence of fear of the Creator is referred to as Malchut’s reign at night, in the state of darkness. In the absence of Light, all the restrictions and suffering are revealed, as they are opposite to the property of day, mercy. Thus, fear of the Creator emerges; were it not for this fear, the property of morning and day could not be revealed.

So it is written: “And there shall be evening, and there shall be morning, one day.” Night also enters morning, for without a night, there would be no morning, and one cannot do without night. It is hence written that “ EL RAGES EACH DAY.” After all, the property of mercy, called EL, is revealed only with the help of the night, through the property of RAGE. Hence, this property is also regarded as mercy; and consequently, the Shechina is called EL.

This is why it is said that the CREATOR’S GREATNESS = EL – IS THE BRIDE, MALCHUT, CALLED EL, for it is impossible to achieve the state of “day” without the state of “night.” So it is in each of the six days of creation, of which it is said: “And there shall be evening, and there shall be morning, one day.” We see that the night is included in the name “day.” And just as they are all called the six DAYS of creation, the 6,000 years are called “night” in the property of mercy.

And in the great Zivug at the end of correction, a day shall come; the light of the moon will become like that of the sun, as the prophet said (Zachariah, 14:7): “It shall come to pass, that at evening time there shall be light.” This will cause the degrees of Malchut to increase twofold, for even during the 6,000 years, the light of the moon was according to the aforesaid, “And there shall be evening, and there shall be morning.”

And at the end of correction, when the moon becomes like the sun (ZA), the moon will be twice as great as before, as it will become greatness itself, for its greatness will equal that of ZA, of which The Zohar says: “THE GREATEST OF THE GREAT, DOMINION OVER DOMINIONS.” Although it merged with the light of the morning during the 6,000 years, as it is said, “And there shall be evening, and there shall be morning, one day,” now that it is as big as the sun (ZA), it becomes light, itself, LUMINESCENT OUT OF THE LUMINESCENT. Previously, its light was solely the result of the inclusion of the properties of Higher Sefirot into it.

Also, DOMINION OVER DOMINIONS, for during the 6,000 years, its reign was that of a small star, reigning only at night. Now, however, it also reigns during the day, for it is as big as the sun.

130. The hour when the Heaven (ZA) enters the Huppah and shines upon Malchut, all of her friends, who corrected her by studying the Torah, are known by their names, as it is said: “The Heavens declare the work of His hands.” “The work of His hands” refers to the members of this covenant, called “the work of His hands.” As you say: “Confirm for us the work of our hands,” which is the mark of the covenant, imprinted on man’s body.

”Friends” are those who keep the Torah, which includes both good and evil deeds, even those parts of them that are still evil and uncorrected; EACH IS KNOWN BY A NAME (his corrected part), as it is said: THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE WORK OF HIS HANDS. “Heavens” is the Book of Remembrance, which constitutes the Light of the great Zivug that leads to repentance (correction) out of love, when sins become merits (Talmud, Yoma, 86:2).

And even those who were speaking ill things, it is said about them: “Then they shall impart their fear of the Creator upon one another” (item 126). Therefore, the action defined as “upholding the Torah,” which includes both good (for the worthy) and evil (for the unworthy), now becomes completely good and holy. And it turns into THE WORK OF HIS HANDS – the Creator’s actions, for THE HEAVENS SPEAK even of the unworthy. It turns out that all the friends have performed only good deeds and carried out holy work, for they would all correct Malchut, and ALL ARE KNOWN BY THEIR NAMES.

It is therefore said: “CONFIRM FOR US THE WORK OF OUR HANDS” (Tehilim, 90:17). However, it is unclear whose hands are meant: His or ours? Only one thing is meant here – that the covenant is referred to as “the work of our hands,” for its confirmation is Yesod(Yesod is not only the name of a Sefira, it also means “basis,” “foundation” in Hebrew), the foundation of the entire construction.

The correction of Yesod is Brit Milah (circumcision). Hence, it is said that the existence of the covenant is called “the work of our hands,” for we separate the Orlah (foreskin) from Yesod through the work of our hands. But this only concerns the period up to the end of correction. And at the end of correction, THE WORK OF HIS HANDS will be revealed. In other words, the Creator Himself will detach the Orlah from us, and THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE WORK OF HIS HANDS. But until that state comes, we are entrusted with the correction of the circumcision. Therefore, we ask: “CONFIRM FOR US THE WORK OF OUR HANDS.”

131. Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba then said as follows: “Do not let your mouth cause your body to sin,” i.e., one must not allow his mouth to get close to evil and be the cause of sin for the sacred flesh, which bears the mark of the holy covenant with the Creator. If he does so, he shall be dragged to hell. And the ruler of hell, called Domeh, stands at the gates of hell with hundreds of thousands of angels, but he is forbidden to approach those who have kept the holy covenant in this world.

There is a warning here: let each man be careful of what he utters, so that his prayer is pure when he raises MAN with the help of the Torah and Commandments. If the impure force clings to his prayer, it will receive his MAN. As a result, man will develop a grudge against the Creator and foreign thoughts, thereby causing the Orlah to once again cling to the holy covenant. Consequently, his holy soul will fall into the captivity of the impure forces, and they will drag it to hell. This is similar to what Rabbi Elazar said about falling into Lilit’s hands (item 68).

THE SACRED FLESH, WHICH BEARS THE MARK OF THE HOLY COVENANT alludes to the holy soul guarded by the holy covenant, as it is said: “From my flesh I shall see the Creator,” i.e., from my nature, my properties. Yet, doubts evoke the return of the impure force of the Orlah. It touches the holy covenant, and the Divine soul is instantly driven away. Hence, “The Tree cried out: Sinner, do not touch me,” for this Tree is Yesod, Ateret Yesod (foreskin – the very essence of creation, egoism), the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

“DOMEH, THE RULER OF HELL” – DOMEH is derived from Dmamah – lifelessness, for he robs man of his soul and leaves him lifeless. This is the angel that fills man’s heart with doubts regarding the Creator’s greatness, and creates within him a sinful desire to perceive His plans as though they were plans of one born of a woman, i.e., as though they were of this world. And since he likens the Creator’s thoughts in man’s perception to those of man, he is named so (Domeh also means likeness, similarity).

At first, man understands that the Creator’s thoughts and ways are different from ours, for the created mind can grasp neither Him nor His thoughts nor His governance, as our mind is inferior to His. But, through sin, the angel Domeh plants a silly spirit within man, which forces him to say that the mind of one born of a woman is similar to the Creator’s. This leaves man open to doubts, which DRAG HIM TO HELL.

Therefore, the power of the angel Domeh is in his name, as it is said: “Who is as mighty as You, who is LIKE You, the King that kills and resurrects?” This indicates that the connection with the one who is LIKE him leads to death, whereas in the realization that there is none like Him, man finds life.

However, the doubts and thoughts that man receives from the angel Domeh are countless, as The Zohar says, “HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ANGELS ARE WITH HIM,” and they are all standing at the gates of hell, through which man is dragged there, though the gates themselves are not yet considered hell.

BUT HE (THE ANGEL) IS FORBIDDEN TO APPROACH THOSE WHO HAVE KEPT THE HOLY COVENANT IN THIS WORLD. And even if one did not fully keep (observe) the covenant, and there is still good and evil in his deeds, he is nonetheless regarded as one who has kept the holy covenant. So, unless one comes to doubt, the angel Domeh is forbidden to drag him to hell.

132. When this happened to King David, fear enveloped him. Right then, Domeh ascended before the Creator, and said: “Master of the world, it says in the Torah (Vayikra, 20:10): ‘And the man that commits adultery with another man's wife…’ David broke his covenant, is it not so?” The Creator replied to him: “David is righteous, and his holy covenant remains pure, for it is known to Me that Bat Sheva was destined for him since the creation of the world.”

Although David committed no sin, as the Talmud explains (Shabbat, 56:1) that he who says that David sinned is wrong, he was enveloped with fear nonetheless, as if he really had sinned, for Domeh cited the Torah in his complaint.

However, Bat Sheva had been destined for David since the creation of the world (Talmud, Sanhedrin, 107:1); thus, he did not violate his covenant. Yet, if Bat Sheva had been destined for David, why was she first married to Uriah? After all, a wife is half of her husband’s body. And if she is half of David’s body, how could Uriah have taken her, if there is nothing in him that corresponds with her?

The fact is that Bat Sheva is David’s true Nukva (female) from the day of the creation of the world, for David is the male part of Malchut, while Bat Sheva is the Nukva in Malchut. But since, as the world was being created, Malchut ascended to Bina to receive the property of mercy (bestowal) from her, Bat Sheva, too, required this correction in GAR. Without it she could not have given birth to the soul of King Solomon.

And Uriah the Hittite was an exalted soul, the properties of GAR, wherefrom the name “Uriah,” which consists of Ur = Ohr (light) and i (a) h = i (Yod) + h (Hey) = the first two letters of the Creator’s Name HaVaYaH, is derived. In other words, Uriah signifies “the Creator’s Light.” And the fact that his name contains only the first two letters Yod-Hey = Hochma-Bina, and lacks the last two letters Vav-Hey = ZA-Malchut indicates that his Light is the Light of GAR. Therefore, to correct Bat Sheva in the property of mercy, she was joined with Uriah. As a result, she became fit for queenship, and became the Queen of Israel.

133. Domeh said to Him: “Master of the World, what is revealed to You is concealed from him.” The Creator answered: “Whatever David did was done with My permission. For no man goes to war without first giving his wife a get (document of divorce).” Domeh then said: “But if this is so, David should have waited three months, which he did not.” The Creator replied: “This extension is only necessary to make certain that the woman is not pregnant from her previous husband. But it is known to Me that Uriah never went near her, for My Name is imprinted in him as testimony. Indeed, Uriah is Ohr-Iah, the Creator’s Light, though it is written Uriahu = Ohr + i + a + hu (Yod-Hey-Vav), without the last Hey, Malchut, which proves that he did not use Malchut.”

The letters Yod-Hey in Uriah’s name (Aleph-Reish-Yod-Hey) indicate that he had never touched Bat Sheva. This is because Uriah refers to GAR without VAK. And The Zohar emphasizes that whenever VAK is used, the name Uriahu is applied. However, it is written here that Uriah was Bat Sheva’s first husband, meaning that he had nothing of VAK in him, but only GAR – the Light of Hochma without the Light of Hassadim, for Vav signifies Hassadim. This is why he could not come near Bath Sheba.

134. Domeh said to Him: “Master of the World, this is exactly what I have said: if You knew that Uriah had never laid with her, then who revealed it to David? He should have waited three months. And if You will say that David knew that Uriah had never laid with her, why did he send Uriah to his wife, saying: ‘Go down to your house, and wash your feet?’”

Usually the readers of the Torah give this example of “a love triangle” as evidence of King David’s less than exalted qualities and of the inconsistency of the Creator’s judgment – how He forgave David for “killing” Uriah, and so forth. We must remember that the Torah speaks only of the spiritual worlds and their laws, which have no obvious consequences in our world. There is a cause-and-effect connection: whatever occurs in our world is a result of a Higher cause, but in no way is it vice versa, i.e., whatever is described in the Upper World does not necessarily need to manifest in ours. To consider the Torah a narrative about our world relegates the Torah of the world of Atzilut, the Creator’s holy names, the Creator’s Light, to the lowest level of creation, which is strictly forbidden: “Do not make an idol for yourself.”

135. He replied to him: “Of course, David did not know, but he waited more than three months, as four months had passed. As we have learned, on the 15th day of Nissan, David ordered all the people of Israel to prepare for war, Yoav – on seventh day of Nissan. They conquered the lands of Moav and remained there for four months, until he went to Bat Sheva in the month of Elul. And on Yom Kippur, the Creator forgave him his sin. But there are those who say that David dispatched his orders on the seventh day of Adar, the troops assembled on the 15th day of Iyar, he went to Bat Sheva on the 15th day of Elul, and on Yom Kippur the Creator forgave him and spared him from death at the hands of the angel Domeh.

Domeh is in charge of adultery. And since David was forgiven on the Day of Atonement, he thereby escaped death at the hands of Domeh. However, death was a consequence of Uriah’s death at the hands of Amon’s sons, as is recorded in the book of Kings (Melachim, 1, 15:5), “For David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.”

136. Domeh said: “Master of the World, I have nonetheless one claim against him: why did he open his mouth and say: ‘The Lord is righteous, for a mortal does so,’ thus condemning himself to death. Hence, I have the power to bring death upon him.” The Creator replied to him: “You are not allowed to bring death upon him, for he has repented and confessed: ‘I have sinned before the Creator,’ even though he did not sin. But he did sin in one matter – the killing of Uriah. I have recorded his punishment, and he had received it.” Then Domeh immediately gave up his complaints, and returned, despondent, to his place.

The last letter Hey in the name HaVaYaH has two points – restriction (strictness) and mercy. And all the corrections of Malchut with the help of the covenant (circumcision) are intended to conceal strictness and reveal mercy. Then, the Creator’s name descends into Malchut. Even though Malchut exists there under the ban of the first restriction (strictness and judgment), and all the impure forces cling onto her, this point is nonetheless concealed, and only Bina’s property of mercy is revealed. Thus, the impure forces-desires, which are foreign to holiness and spirituality, are powerless and cannot cling to her.

To violate the covenant means to reveal the strictness and judgment in Malchut (the letter Hey). As a result, the impure forces immediately cling to her, for this is their property – a part of them. The holy soul, the Creator’s name, thereby disappears at once, as it is written (Iyov, 4:9): “By the breath of God they perish.”

David himself is the part of Malchut related to Malchut’s property of mercy. Hence, he requires special care so as to prevent Malchut’s property of strictness from being revealed in him. For he who reveals the property of strictness and violates the covenant with the Creator, surrenders himself to the impure forces, which condemn him to death. This is because the property of strictness reveals itself within him before the impure force (the angel Domeh), who wished to cling to David’s soul and drag it to hell.

Although he was innocent, David begged the Creator’s forgiveness for adultery, and received it. But with regard to David sending Uriah to his death, Domeh had no right to ask the Creator for punishment, as he is only in charge of adultery.

137. And David said to this: “Were it not for the Creator’s help, Domeh had nearly claimed my soul.” “Were it not for the Creator’s help” means “had the Creator not been my guard and guide against the angel Domeh.” “Nearly” means that only the distance as thin as a thread remained for Domeh to drag my soul to hell.

David is Malchut, of whom it is written (Mishley, 5:5): “Her feet descend to death,” for she is the end, conclusion of holiness (the spiritual). The impure forces originate in Malchut, and she sustains them, as it is said (Tehilim, 103:19): “His kingdom rules over all.”

However, when Malchut exists in her corrected property of mercy (item 122), she is defined as consisting of two points: her own point of judgment and the point of mercy that she received from Bina. Her point of judgment is concealed, while the point of mercy is revealed. And thanks to this correction, all that the impure forces can get from Malchut is a Ner Dakik (tiny luminescence), which only sustains their existence, but does not allow for their spreading.

Ner Dakik, the source of existence for the impure forces, is also known as Hoteh Dakik, a small sin, the root of sins, as it is written (Talmud, Sukkah, 52:1): “Initially, the impure force seems to as thin as a spider web, but then grows as thick as a shaft.” And it is called small (Dakik), for judgment and restrictions are concealed within the property (point) of mercy.

However, he who violates the covenant causes the point of judgment in Malchut to be revealed. As a result, the impure forces cling to Malchut and draw much Light from her, thus receiving the strength to spread and expand. And he who does so is said to be forsaking his own soul, as it is written: “By the breath of God they perish” (Iyov, 4:9).

And when he merits returning to the Creator, he returns and corrects Malchut with the property of mercy. This is why this process is called Teshuva (return), from the word of Tashuv (to return) + “A,” where “A” (Hey) designates the Creator. In other words, it is the return to the property of mercy, whereas the property of judgment goes back to being concealed in the property of mercy, like a small candle, and nothing more.

It is therefore written: WERE IT NOT FOR THE CREATOR’S HELP, referring to His acceptance of my return and repelling the angel Domeh by bringing Malchut back to her place (to the property) of mercy, reducing the property of judgment to a mere small candle, a hair’s-breadth fire, whose LIGHT SEPARATES ME FROM THE IMPURE FORCE.

This is that minimal Light that must always remain between Malchut and the impure force, so as to allow Malchut to exist and be sustained by this small Light, called “small sin,” so small that DOMEH WOULD NOT DRAG MY SOUL TO HELL FOR IT.

It is precisely the magnitude of this Light that saved me from the hands of Domeh, for had the property of judgment not returned to Malchut in the measure of a small sin, I would have fallen into the hands of Domeh.

138. Therefore, man should be careful not to say what David said, for one cannot say to the angel Domeh that “It was an error” (Kohelet, 5:5), as it was with David, when the Creator won the dispute against Domeh. “Why should the Creator be angry over your word” (Kohelet, 5:5), i.e., for what you have said. “Destroyed the work of your hands” (Kohelet, 5:5) i.e., the sacred flesh, the holy covenant, which you have broken, and are therefore to be dragged to hell by the angel Domeh.

There are two ways to return to the Creator (“Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” items 45, 59, 64; Talmud, Yoma, 86:2):

1) Repentance out of fear, when intentional sins become unintentional,

2) Repentance out of love, when intentional sins become merits.

Before the end of correction, when the forces of strictness, restriction, and judgment are still needed in the world, as it is written (Kohelet,3:14), “The Creator hath so made it that man should fear Him,” Malchut must sustain the existence of the impure forces as Ner Dakik, so they will not disappear from the world.

Therefore, at such a time (in this state), Malchut’s corrections are made in two points: mercy and judgment. However, judgment is concealed, while mercy acts openly. This is why the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is feared: if man is worthy – it is good, if not – it is evil (items 120-124).

Therefore, DURING THE 6,000 YEARS, WE RETURN TO THE CREATOR ONLY OUT OF FEAR, which causes our intentional sins to turn into unintentional ones – errors. As a result of our repentance, we bring Malchut back to the property of mercy. But strictness and judgment are concealed in her to the extent of a small candle (small sin), since Malchut must still remain in the property of fear. Hence, this return is called “the return out of fear.”

The small sin that must remain is also called “unintentional sin,” an “error,” a “mistake,” for it is not regarded as a sin in and of itself. Rather, it only leads man to commit an unintentional sin. Man sins intentionally only after having first committed an unintentional sin: he committed something unintentionally, but it turned out that he has sinned.

Thus, this small sin remains in Malchut, but although it remains, it is not really considered a sin. Yet, through this concealed judgment and strictness we come to intentional sins. This is why it is said: “Initially, it is as a hair’s-breadth,” i.e., like a small sin. But then, unless we properly guard our covenant, it “becomes as thick as a shaft,” as the property of strictness and judgment becomes revealed in Malchut.

It is hence said that Domeh stands at the gates of hell, as the power of a small sin is only an entrance, for it is said that it looks as thin as a spider web. Therefore, our repentance is called “forgiven sins,” which turn into unintentional errors, as though they were mistakes. For a small sin remains, which is capable of leading us to intentional sins.

All this refers to the repentance out of fear, whereas the second kind is the repentance out of love, when intentional sins turn to merits (item 126).

Therefore, MAN SHOULD BE CAREFUL NOT TO SAY WHAT DAVID SAID, i.e., not to utter the word that causes the property of judgment in Malchut to be revealed (as David had done). FOR ONE CANNOT SAY TO THE ANGEL DOMEH THAT IT WAS AN ERROR, for he is unsure as to whether he can return to the Creator right away, so that his sin would be forgiven and made unintentional, AS IT WAS WITH DAVID, WHEN THE CREATOR WON THE DISPUTE AGAINST DOMEH.

It happened with David because throughout his life all of his actions before the Creator were pure, he had committed no crimes, and the only exception was his act toward Uriah. Hence, the Creator became his defender, and helped him return to Him at once, and his sin was turned into an error, as it is said in The Zohar (item 137): WERE IT NOT FOR THE CREATOR’S HELP, DOMEH HAD NEARLY CLAIMED MY SOUL. But other people should fear this angel, for an unintentional sin may lead them to hell at the hands of Domeh.

DESTROYED THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS, THE SACRED FLESH, THE HOLY COVENANT, WHICH YOU HAVE VIOLATED, AND ARE THEREFORE TO BE DRAGGED TO HELL BY THE ANGEL DOMEH. The correction in us called “the holy covenant” is regarded as “the work of our hands,” as it is written: “Confirm the work of our hands.” The holy soul is called the sacred flesh, as it is said, “Out of my flesh shall I see the Creator” (Iyov, 19:26) (item 131). Because of the revelation of the property of strictness and judgment in Malchut, the correction of the covenant was corrupted, and Domeh drags the soul to hell.

Therefore, THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE WORK OF HIS HANDS (item 130). In the end of correction, the Heavens will declare the work of His hands, as the reward for all these corrections will be revealed. It will become clear that this was THE WORK OF HIS HANDS, and NOT OURS’, and THE HEAVENS DECLARE this. And the great Zivug RAV PAALIM U MEKABTZIEL will be made on these actions (corrections) (item 92). DECLARE refers to the Light’s descent from Above.

Know that this is the only difference in our world before and after the end of correction. Before the end of correction, Malchut is called the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, for Malchut is the revelation of the Creator’s governance over this world. And until people achieve the state where they can receive His Light (as He conceived and prepared for everyone back at the Thought of Creation), the world will be ruled by good and evil, by reward and punishment.

The reason for this is that our Kelim de Kabbalah (vessels of reception) are impure, stained by egoism, which (i) prevents the Creator’s Light from filling theses desires, and (ii) separates us from the Creator. And the infinite goodness that He has prepared for us may only be received in altruistic desires, for these delights are not limited by the bounds of creation, like egoistic pleasures, in which fulfillment instantly douses the pleasure.

Hence, it is written: “The Creator hath made everything for His own glory” (Mishley, 16:4), i.e., all the deeds in the world were initially created by Him so that we could please Him. Therefore, people in our world are engaged in things that are totally opposite from what they should be doing, according to the purpose of their creation. After all, the Creator clearly states that He created the world for Himself: “I have created it for My glory” (Yeshayahu,43:7).

Yet, we claim the exact opposite – that the whole world was created for us, and we desire to swallow it whole, for our own pleasure, satisfaction, indulgence, and exaltation. So it is no surprise we are unworthy of receiving the Creator’s perfect goodness. And thus He rules over us through good and evil, in the form of reward and punishment, for one depends on the other: reward and punishment give rise to good and evil.

Because we use our desires to receive (pleasure), thus becoming opposite from the Creator, we perceive His governance towards us as evil. This stems from the fact that man cannot perceive obvious evil from the Creator, as this would greatly undermine the creatures’ perception of the great and perfect Creator, for the Perfect one cannot create evil.

Therefore, to the extent that man feels bad and evil, and denies the Divine Providence, a veil immediately falls over him, and the sensation of the Creator’s existence disappears. This is the worst punishment in the world!

Hence, the sensation of good and evil in the Creator’s governance gives us a feeling of reward and punishment. This is because he who exerts efforts not to lose faith in the Creator‘s existence and governance, even if he tastes evil in His governance, is rewarded with finding strength to not lose faith in the governance and good purpose of the Creator’s “evil” influence. But if he had not yet merited the opportunity to exert efforts in believing that the Creator pursues a definite purpose by sending him unpleasant sensations, he is punished with remoteness from faith in the Creator and the sensation of His existence.

Therefore, although He has done, is doing, and will do all the deeds in the world, it remains semi-concealed from those who perceive both good and evil. For when they perceive evil, the impure force is allowed to conceal the Creator’s governance and faith in Him. Thus, man suffers the worst punishment in the world – the sensation of detachment from the Creator – and becomes filled with doubts and denial of the Creator's existence and governance. And when he returns to the Creator, he receives a corresponding reward, and is able to unite with Him once again.

But through this very governance of reward and punishment, the Creator has prepared for us the opportunity to utilize this governance in order to achieve the end of correction, when all people attain their corrected Kelim (desires), and use them to bring pleasure to the Creator, as it is written that He has created everything for Himself! In other words, our bestowal must be absolute.

Then the great Zivug of Atik will be revealed, we will all return to the Creator out of love, all our intentional sins will turn to merits, all evil will be felt as infinite goodness, and His Divine Providence will be revealed in the entire world. Thus, ALL SHALL SEE that only He has done, is doing, and will do all the deeds in the world, and that no one acts besides Him. After the sensation of evil and punishment is turned to one of goodness and reward, and our egoistic desires become altruistic, we are given the opportunity to attain the Maker, for we conform to the work of His hands by blessing and exalting Him above all evil and all punishments we had once suffered.

However, the most important point to stress here is that until the end of correction, all the corrections were considered as THE WORK OF OUR HANDS. This is why we receive rewards or punishments for them. But in the great Zivug at the end of correction, it will be revealed that all the corrections and all the punishments are THE WORK OF HIS HANDS.

Thus, it is said, THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE WORK OF HIS HANDS. This is because the great Zivug signifies what the Heavens will declare, that all the deeds are the work of His hands, that He has done, is doing, and will do all the deeds in the whole of creation.

139. Thus, “the Heavens declare the work of His hands.” These are the friends who have united in the bride (Malchut) by studying the Torah on the night of the holiday of Shavuot. They are all participants of the covenant with her, and are called “the work of His hands.” And she praises and notes each and every one of them. What is Heaven, firmament? It is the firmament, where the sun, the moon, the stars, and the zodiac are located. This firmament is called the Book of Remembrance, and it declares and records them, so they shall become the sons of His palace, and He will fulfill all their desires.

Yesod of Zeir Anpin, onto which a Zivug is made for the revelation of all the Supernal Degrees, called the sun, the moon, the stars, and the signs of the zodiac, is referred to as the “firmament.” All of the Supernal stars exist on the firmament, called Yesod of Zeir Anpin. And everything exists thanks to it, for it makes a Zivug with Nukva, called earth, and shines upon her with all these stars, i.e., gives these stars to her.

It turns out that Malchut is smaller than the sun (ZA). But at the end of correction, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seventy times greater than before – Malchut will become as big as Zeir Anpin during the six days of creation. When will this be? Rabbi Yehuda answers: on the day when death disappears forever, and the Creator and His Name are as one.

The Heaven or the firmament (ZA) is HaVaYaH, called “the sun.” Malchut (Nukva) receives from it, and is called “the moon.” During the 6,000 years, Malchut receives the Light from the six days of creation, but Zeir Anpin does not reveal that the Creator and His Name are one. Hence, the moon is smaller than the sun. Its lesser size is a result of Malchut’s consisting of both good and evil, reward and punishment.

There is a considerable difference between “Him” and “His Name.” “His Name” is Malchut, where all the Zivugim, and all the states of unification and separation are accumulated. But at the end of correction, when death is said to disappear forever, HaVaYaH and His Name will be one. The Name (Malchut) will be like the Light of Zeir Anpin – only goodness without evil, and the private governance will be revealed in her, which means that the light of the moon will become equal to that of the sun.

Therefore at this time (in this state), Nukva will be called “the Book of Remembrance,” for all human deeds are recorded in her. Yesod of Zeir Anpin is called ‘remembrance,” for it remembers the deeds of the entire world, studies, and analyzes all the creatures that receive from it.

During the 6,000 years before the end of correction, the Book of Remembrance exists sometimes together and sometimes separately. But at the end of correction, these two degrees will merge into one, and Malchut herself will be called “the Book of Remembrance,” when ZA and Malchut become a single whole, for Malchut’s Light will equal that of ZA.

Therefore, the firmament is a place where the sun, the moon, the stars, and the signs of the zodiac are located. The firmament is Yesod of ZA, which emanates all the Light of the world and sustains all existence. It passes the light onto Malchut when she is smaller than it, and the state, “He and His Name are one” has not yet been achieved. And at the end of correction, it will be exactly like Malchut, who is hence called the Book of Remembrance.

Thus, when Malchut receives all the properties of Zeir Anpin (the firmament, called “Remembrance”), she will become the Book of Remembrance, i.e., she and the firmament will be one.

140. Day after day brings Omer – a sheaf. The holy day out of those days (Sefirot) of the King (Zeir Anpin) praises the friends, who study the Torah on the night of Shavuot. They say to each other, “Day after day shall bring a sheaf,” and praise it. And the words “night after night” refer to all the degrees, Sefirot of Malchut, that reign in the night, praise one another by each receiving from a friend, from another Sefira. And the state of complete perfection makes them beloved friends.

Having explained that THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE WORK OF HIS HANDS is THE BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE. The Zohar continues to clarify the writings in the Book of Malachi (3:14-16): “You have said, ‘How futile it is to serve the Creator! When we carried out the Creator’s will, and walked heavy-hearted before Him – what is the use of it all? And now we regard the wicked as blessed: they have settled in their wickedness, tried the Creator, and were liberated.’ Then those who feared the Creator spoke WITH EACH OTHER, and the Creator hearkened and heard, and a BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE was recorded before Him for those who fear the Creator (every day) and honor His (holy) name. ‘And they shall become chosen for Me,’ – the Lord said, – ‘on the day that I shall determine, and I shall spare them, as a man spares his son, who serves him, – on the day that I shall work a miracle, on the day of the end of correction.’”

Before the end of correction, before we prepare our desires “to receive” only for the Creator’s sake, and not for self-gratification, Malchut is called “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil,” for Malchut governs the world in accordance with man’s deeds. Inasmuch as we are not yet ready to receive all the delight that the Creator prepared for us in His Thought of Creation, we have no choice but to submit to Malchut’s governance of good and evil.

And this very governance prepares us for the eventual correction of our desires to receive (Kelim de Kabbalah) into desires for bestowal (Kelim de Hashpaa), thus achieving the goodness and delight that He conceived to bestow upon us.

As was previously stated, the sensation of good and evil creates in us a feeling of reward and punishment. Therefore, when one tries to retain his faith in the Creator while he is feeling evil, but still continues to observe the Torah and Commandments as he did before, he is rewarded.

And if he cannot overcome this test and is distanced from the Creator, he becomes filled with doubts with regard to the good governance. Alternatively, he stops believing that the Creator governs the world altogether, or feels resentment towards the Creator in response to these unpleasant sensations. The Creator punishes for all thoughts, just as He does for all actions (Talmud, Kidushim, 40:1).

It is also said that one’s righteousness is of no help to him on the day of his sin. But sometimes man’s doubts are so overpowering that he regrets even the good deeds he had previously done, and says (Malachi, 3:14): “You have said, ‘How futile it is to serve the Creator! When we carried out the Creator’s will, and walked heavy-hearted before Him – what is the use of it all?’” He becomes a complete sinner, who regrets his righteous past (complaining that he wasted time and effort instead of enjoying this world like the others!), and his doubts and regrets cause him to lose all of his good deeds, as the Torah warns us: “One’s righteousness is of no help to him on the day of his sin.”

Yet, even in this state, man can return to the Creator. However, he is said to be beginning on his path anew, as though he is a newborn, for all of his past good deeds are gone.

One should not take the aforesaid literally, even in its spiritual context, for he who works to achieve unconditional altruistic deeds constantly experiences descents and ascents, is filled with doubts, and tries to overcome them. Only one who advances in this manner feels that he is starting his work every time anew, that he understands no more than a newborn baby. Conversely, one who belongs to the masses – who works in his egoistic desires – is constantly filled with self-reverence and thinks that on each new day, he adds to the previous one, and nothing seems to disappear. This makes his spiritual growth impossible.

Only one who truly ascends the spiritual degrees feels like a newborn baby before his Creator at each moment. After all, as he ascends from one degree to the next, the previous state (degree) disappears, and until he attains a Higher Degree, he is in total darkness and feels that he is starting from scratch, rather than supplementing his assets, which is how the spiritually inanimate (Domem de Kedusha) feel.

The governance of good and evil causes us to ascend and descend – each in his own way… Each ascent is considered a separate day (sensation of Light). As a result of the great descent that he has just undergone by regretting his past good deeds, man moves into a state of ascent, as one who is born anew.

Therefore, at each ascent, it is as though one starts over on his path to the Creator. Thus, each ascent is regarded as a separate day, for there is a break (night) between these states. And each descent is hence considered a separate night.

This is what The Zohar tells us: “DAY AFTER DAY SHALL BRING A SHEAF” – in each ascent we draw nearer to the Creator’s greatest day (the end of correction), “HE PRAISED THE FRIENDS AND THEY WOULD SPEAK WITH EACH OTHER.” This is because through the great Zivug at the end of correction, they will all merit returning to the Creator out of love, for the desire “to receive” will be completely corrected, and they will begin to receive only for the Creator’s sake, so as to bestow delight upon Him.

In this great Zivug (unity), we will reveal all the supreme goodness and delight of the Thought of Creation. And we will then see with our own eyes that all those punishments we experienced in the states of descent, which made us doubt and regret the efforts exerted in the Torah, all those punishments would correct and purify us. And now, at the end of correction, they are the direct cause for our sensation and reception of the Creator’s goodness.

Had it not been for the terrible suffering and punishments, we would not have been able to achieve the state of being filled with perfect delight. Therefore, even these intentional sins turn into merits, as it is said: “DAY AFTER DAY SHALL BRING A SHEAF” – each ascent in Malchut, up to the end of correction, is like a separate day.

This day is revealed by the word, which supports the Torah in all its greatness. What is this word? When they say, “How futile it is to serve the Creator! When we carried out the Creator’s will, and walked heavy-hearted before Him – what is the use of it all?”

These words brought punishments that have now become merits, for all the perfection and magnificence of that great day can now be revealed thanks to these very punishments of the past. Thus, those who uttered these words are now regarded as those who fear the Creator and praise His Name. (And these words could only have been spoken by those who made efforts to advance on the Path of Truth, and felt frustrated upon receiving uncorrected egoism of a Higher Degree. In other words, frustration comes only to those who truly work for the Creator’s sake.)

Hence, it is said about them: “The Lord said, ‘On the day that I shall determine, and I shall spare them, as a man spares his son, who serves him,’” for all the nights – states of descent, suffering and punishments, which sever their connection with the Creator – now become merits and good deeds. And the night turns into day, darkness turns into Light, and there are no divisions between days, and all 6,000 years gather into one great day.

And all the Zivugim that were made one after another, revealed the ascents and the separate, consecutive degrees, have now gathered into one degree of one great Zivug – Unity, which shines in the world from end to end. Hence, it is written: DAY AFTER DAY SHALL BRING A SHEAF, that is, the intervals between days now become magnificent glory, for they have been turned into merits. Thus, everything becomes the Creator’s one glorious day!

And the words “night after night” refer to all the degrees that reign in the night. They praise one another, and each receives everything that man feels as suffering in a state of descent – this is called night. And through such sensations, intervals are formed between the sensations of day.

On the whole, each degree is separated from one another. Night is an aspiration to attain the Creator. And while each night is full of darkness, now all the nights (states of feeling emptiness, hopelessness, heaviness of efforts, the Creator's concealment) gather together and form a unified vessel of reception of Supernal wisdom, which fills the entire earth with Knowledge of the Creator, and the nights shine like days.

For each night receives its own part of Knowledge only by joining with the other nights. Thus, each night is said to help the other nights in the Knowledge. Put differently, man is ready to receive the Knowledge only if he joins with the other nights.

And since night is a feeling of lacking knowledge, attainment, and sensation of the Creator by uniting, they form a perfect vessel of reception of the Knowledge of the Creator. And they praise one another, for each has received his share of the Knowledge of the Creator thanks exclusively to his friend, through uniting with him. Only in unity do they merit reception of the Supernal Knowledge. Hence, it is said that through the perfection achieved by all, the nights became beloved friends.

141. Does he speak of the others in the world who do not obey the Creator, and whom He does not wish to hear? But they made lines through all the earth, that is, these things make a line out of those that reside Above and out of those that reside below. From the first – firmaments are made, and from the second, from their return – earth. And should you say that they revolve around the earth in one place, it is said that they are also at the end of the world.

Thus far, we have discussed the most terrible punishments and suffering in the world – being detached from the Creator and losing faith in Him. Moreover, The Zohar tells us that all the punishments, all the suffering of hell and of the body, which stem from personal sins and fill this world, also gather and are included into one great Zivug, as it is written: “And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to cause you to perish, and to destroy you” (Devarim, 28:63).

All will gather and become one great Light, and everything will turn to great joy and bliss. It is therefore said that THERE IS NO SHEAF AND NO THINGS IN THE OTHER WORDS OF THE WORLD, which man perceives in this world as suffering. But they will turn to joy and bliss, and thus the holy King, too, shall wish to hear them.

So, all the suffering during the 6,000 years will gather at the end of correction and will become a tremendous delight, as the prophet said: “In those days and in that time, said the Lord, even if the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, there shall be none” (Yirmiyahu, 50:20).

Everything will turn to merits, so much so that they will ask and search “for the past sins that can be included in the Zivug, and which can be laughed at, for they were felt as suffering and now they are joy and bliss,” but they will not find any. There will be no more suffering in its true form, as it was in the past, although they greatly desire to find it and feel it, for all suffering will have now been turned to great Light.

This Supernal Degree, created by the great Zivug out of all the souls and all the deeds, both good and evil, is now defined as a pillar of Light, which shines from one end of the world to the other. And this unity is perfect, as is said by the prophet (Zachariah, 14:9): “And the Creator shall be one (for all), and His name one” – all the senses will grasp the Creator’s complete and perfect name, “the Infinitely good.”

Precisely because this most Supernal Degree is achieved as a result of bringing together all the suffering and punishments, it fills the entire universe with Light, including earth. However, it should be noted that the suffering of which The Zohar speaks is not the suffering of the body’s lack of pleasure. It is the suffering caused by the absence of unity with the Creator!

But if suffering is so useful, why is it written, “neither them nor the reward for them?” Suffering is necessary, for it is correction. However, the true suffering, for which man can receive the degree of the end of correction, is caused by temporary distancing from the Torah and Commandments as a result of feeling the pain of suffering, and this pains the Creator. Thus, the Shechina suffers, for when man suffers in his heart, he speaks ill of her, willingly or unwillingly. Although the Torah tells him to be patient, to endure and have faith above reason – selfless faith that all of this is the correction that he must undergo – he debases the Shechina by being unwilling to endure them and achieve the end of correction.

Man’s soul is also a Partzuf consisting of ten Sefirot. In its initial, spiritually undeveloped, unborn state, the soul is defined as a point, as a potential future spiritual body. If man works on himself, this point within him gradually acquires a screen, and he makes a Zivug on it. He repels all the pleasures for the sake of the Creator’s desires, and receives Light in this point. Thus, he “amplifies” it to the size of a Partzuf and transforms it into a body, a newborn Partzuf.

Afterwards he continues to cultivate his screen, gradually nurturing the small state into the big one, until he receives all of the Light destined for him by the Creator within his spiritual body. This state is called “the end of the personal correction.” When all the personal corrections merge into one, the general correction of the entire world (of Malchut) will occur. Malchut is a Partzuf that consists of separate souls; each soul, the Partzuf of each soul, is part of Malchut, and Malchut is a collection, the sum of all the Partzufim that are to be made by all the people. To make a Partzuf is to acquire a screen and become filled with Light.

THOSE THAT RESIDE ABOVE AND THOSE THAT RESIDE BELOW refers to the order of time in the spiritual, eternal world, which is different from ours. When the Creator wished to create the world, He immediately created everything: all the souls filled with Light in a state of absolute perfection, called “the end of correction,” where all the creatures receive the infinite delight that He envisioned.

This ultimate state was born with the Creator’s first thought to create the world, and it exists in its final form from the very first moment, for the future, present, and past are merged in the Creator, and the factor of time does not exist in Him.

All human progress is necessary only to enable us to imagine that the following is also possible:

  1. Change of time: the stretching of time into infinity, i.e., when time stops and the present merges with the past and the future; when time reverses its course or disappears. Yet, time is the only thing that provides us with a perception of existence. By “switching off” time, we stop perceiving that we exist!

  2. Transformation of space: expanding and contracting of space into a point; space taking other forms, other dimensions; infinity and total absence of space altogether.

I’ve already dealt with these issues in my book, Kabbalah, Science and the Meaning of Life, and I would prefer not to digress from the text of The Zohar. However, to understand our true state, and not the one we currently perceive, it is essential to remember that notions of time and space do not exist with regard to Creator. In reality, we are completely different and exist in a completely different form and state from what we presently perceive. We feel this way because our sensations are distorted by our egoism, which infuse our senses and possess our bodies, like a cloud.

Therefore, all that is described in the Torah refers strictly to the spiritual realm. This information transcends time, referring at once to our past, present and future, for time exists only with regard to those who are still confined to their egoistic Kelim (desires). From this we can understand what is said in the Torah: “The Creator showed Adam each generation and its representatives, and showed it to Moshe as well” (Talmud, Sanhedrin, 38:2).

Yet, if the above described unfolded before the creation of these generations, how can the Creator show them to Adam and Moshe? It is possible because all the souls with all their destinies from the moment of their creation to the end of their correction emerged before the Creator in their completeness and reside in the Supernal Garden of Eden. From there they descend and enter the bodies of our world, each at their own “time.” And there, “Above,” the Creator revealed them to Adam, Moshe, and all the others who were worthy of it. However, this is a difficult notion, and not every mind is ready to grasp it.

Therefore, The Zohar says (Terumah, 163): “The way the six Sefirot of Zeir Anpin unite as ONE above Chazeh de Zeir Anpin, where they are free from the Klipot, Malchut unites with Zeir Anpin below his Chazeh, so that unity exists below, as it does Above. For the Creator (Zeir Anpin) is One (male) Above. And Malchut becomes One (female), so that One (male) would be with One (female). This is the secret of unity expressed in the words: ‘He and His Name are one’; ‘He’ (ZA) and ‘His Name’ (Malchut) are within one another.

The degree that is born at the end of correction, in the state of “He and His Name are one,” already exists Above as the sum of all the 600,000 souls and deeds during the 6,000 degrees (called “years”) in the world, which will emerge before the end of correction, but exist in their eternal form Above, where the future is as present.

Therefore, the pillar of Light that will shine upon the world from one end to the other at the end of correction already exists in the Supernal Garden of Eden, which illuminates it with the same brilliance that will be revealed to us in the future. This is because at the end of correction the two degrees will shine as one, and “He and His Name will be one.” A pillar (line) of Light will appear, made of those that reside Above (the souls that reside in the Supernal Garden of Eden) and those that reside below (the souls clothed in the bodies of our world). And “One receives One”; these two degrees shine together, and reveal the Creator’s unity thereby, as it is said that on that day “He and His Name will be one.”

From the aforesaid one can assume that the pillar of Light that shines in the Supernal Garden of Eden descends and shines in the Garden of Eden of our world. But this is not so. Rather, FROM THE FIRST – FIRMAMENTS ARE MADE, for this degree exits onto a Zivug of Yesod of Zeir Anpin, called “firmament.” Therefore, all the Zivugim that ascend above the firmament shine upon those that receive them from the firmament and below. The degree above the firmament is referred to as “Heaven,” and the degree that receives from the firmament is called “earth.”

When the line (pillar) of Light unites the inhabitants of Above and those of below, the distinction between the Supernal Garden of Eden and the inhabitants of this world still remains. This is because the inhabitants of the Supernal Garden of Eden receive from a Zivug above the firmament, and what they receive is called “the new Heaven for the inhabitants of Above.” And only a small luminescence, called “the new earth,” descends below the firmament to the inhabitants of below. This is what The Zohar says: “From the first – firmaments are made, and from the second, from their return – earth.”

Although in this great Zivug, as in all Zivugim, all that is decided above the firmament, above the Zivug, spreads down to earth, below the line of the Zivug, one should not think that this Zivug (like all the previous ones) is merely a thin line of Light, called “one,” a limited, inner place, as it is written at the beginning of creation: “Let the waters gather together unto one place,” i.e., in the inner place of the worlds (and not the outer), a place of Israel.

But the Light of this Zivug revolves around the world and fills it whole. This Light reaches even the outer parts of the worlds (the nations of the world), as the prophet writes: “The earth shall be filled with Knowledge of the Creator” (Yeshayahu, 11:9).

142. And since out of them Heavens were created, who resides there? He returned and said, “There is a shelter for the sun in them. This is the holy sun, called Zeir Anpin, and it dwells and resides there, and adorns itself with them.”

143. Since Zeir Anpin resides in those firmaments and clothes in them, he emerges like a bridegroom out of his wedding canopy, and rejoices and races along these firmaments, and exits them and enters, and races toward a tower in a different place. He emerges from one end of Heaven, from the Upper World, from the Highest place, from Bina. And his season – where is it? It is the opposite place below, i.e., Malchut, which is the year’s season that forms all the ends and binds everything – from Heaven to this firmament.

The Zohar speaks of the great secret of the sun coming out of its hiding. It is worth noting that Kabbalists often use the word “secret” only to explain and as if reveal the mystery in the passages that follow. The reader should nevertheless understand that there are no secrets in the world. Man attains everything from his degree. Even in our world, in the process of his mental development, man attains new notions on every new degree. And whatever he considered a secret only yesterday now becomes clear and revealed before him.

The same is true with regard to spiritual attainments. Kabbalah is called a secret wisdom, for it is concealed from ordinary people, it is a secret to them. But as soon as one acquires a screen and begins to perceive the spiritual world, he sees the secret becomes a reality. And this process continues until he completely attains the entire universe, all of the Creator’s secrets (“Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot,” item 148).

The sun emerges from its hiding (sheath – Nartik), from under the Huppah, and rushes to a tower at a different place – after the great Zivug under the Huppah. Zeir Anpin leaves his hiding and enters Malchut, called the tower of Oz (strength) of the Creator’s Name, for Malchut then ascends and unites with ZA, and they become as one.

The end of Malchut is called “the year’s season.” And until the end of correction, the impure forces, called “the end of days,” attach themselves to it. Now, after the end of correction, it is still necessary to correct this part of Malchut, called “the end of days.” To this end, the sun emerges from its hiding, LIKE THE BRIDEGROOM EMERGING FROM UNDER THE HUPPAH, and shines, and enters the tower of Oz(Malchut), races and shines on all the ends of Malchut to correct “the year’s season” of the lower end of Heaven.

For this last action corrects all the ends of Malchut and unites all from the Heavens to the firmament. In other words, Malchut receives the Light of THE END OF HEAVENS above the firmament (ZA).

144. There is nothing hidden on account of the year’s season and the phase of the sun that revolves in all directions. And there is no concealment, i.e., not a single Supernal Degree is hidden from him, for all were bound together and everyone appeared before him, and none could be concealed from him. Thanks to him and thanks to them he returned to them, to the friends, in the phase of complete return and correction. All this year and all this time is for the Torah (to study it), as it is written: “The Creator’s Torah is perfect.”

After the great Zivug, a restriction was imposed on all the Upper Light (item 94). Therefore, a new Zivug (TOWER) is necessary, which reveals anew all of the Upper Light that was concealed on account of the disappearance of the degree of BON, before it begins to ascend to SAG. Thus, NOTHING IS CONCEALED FROM THAT PHASE OF THE SUN THAT REVOLVES IN ALL DIRECTIONS.

Indeed, a Zivug between the phase of the sun and the year’s season corrects the ends of Malchut on all sides, until the correction is completed. Thus, BON ascends and becomes like SAG, which amounts to the complete correction of BON, whereupon THERE IS NO CONCEALMENT, NOT A SINGLE SUPERNAL DEGREE IS CONCEALED FROM HIM, for all the degrees and the Upper Light are once more revealed in their perfection. AND NOTHING CAN BE CONCEALED FROM Him, for all the degrees and Light gradually return to Him, until all become revealed.

It is hence said that the revelation does not occur at once, for while in its phase, the sun travels and shines in sufficient measure for a COMPLETE RETURN, as it is written that He punishes the sinners and cures the righteous, whereupon they all merit the complete revelation of the Star.

145. The word HaVaYaH is written six times, and there are six verses from “the Heavens declare” and until “The Creator’s Torah is perfect” (Tehilim, 19:2-8). And this is the secret of the word BERESHEET, which consists of six letters: “THE CREATOR CREATED ET (THE) HEAVENS AND THE EARTH,” six words in all. The other sources of the verse from “The Creator’s Torah is perfect” and until “they are better than gold” (Tehilim, 19:2-8) correspond to the six utterances of the name HaVaYaH in them. The sources from “the Heavens declare” through “The Creator’s Torah is perfect” are for the six letters in the word BERESHEET, whereas the six names are for the six words from “the Creator created” through “the Heavens and the earth.”

It is known that any degree born or revealed in the worlds is first revealed through its letters, which signifies the, as yet, unattainable. Afterwards, it appears in the combination of letters. This degree then becomes attainable, its contents become known, as previously described with the letters RYU = 216 and AB = 72 (item 116).

The six letters in the word BERESHEET contain everything that exists in Heaven and on earth, but in an unattainable form, and are hence designated by these letters alone, without their combinations. Then there are the six words: Bara Elokim Et Ha-Shamayim Ve-Et Ha-Aretz (THE CREATOR CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH), where everything that the word BERESHEET contains (Heaven, earth, and all their inhabitants) is already attained.

The same principle allows us to understand what is included in the six verses from “the Heavens declare” to “The Creator’s Torah is perfect.” This is just the beginning of the revelation of attaining the end of creation in the form of letters, as with the six letters in the word BERESHEET.

And the complete revelation, the attainment of the end of creation begins with the verse “The Creator’s Torah is perfect.” This verse contains six names, each of which constitutes unique attainment, thus indicating that only after the completion of this degree do all the letter combinations become revealed and attained in the great Zivug at the end of correction, as it is said, NOTHING IS CONCEALED IN CONSEQUENCE OF HIM.

This is why TheZohar says that THE WORD BERESHEET, WHICH CONSISTS OF six, IS WRITTEN (SPEAKS) ABOUT THIS SECRET. The word BERESHEET contains six letters, where Heaven and earth are concealed, before they become revealed in the six words, “THE CREATOR CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH.”

The same applies to the six verses (Tehilim, 19:2-8): the great Zivug of the end of correction is not yet revealed from “THE HEAVENS DECLARE” to “THE CREATOR’S TORAH IS PERFECT.” Only after “NOTHING IS CONCEALED IN CONSEQUENCE OF HIM” are the six names revealed, which in turn reveal the end of correction in its full perfection.

146. As they were sitting and talking, Rabbi Elazar, the son of Rabbi Shimon, entered. He said to them: “Certainly, the face of the Shechina has come, hence I called you Pniel (Pnei – face + El – Creator = the Creator’s face)” (item 119), for you have seen the Shechina face to face. And now that you have attained Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada, it certainly refers to Atik, the Sefira of Keter, just as everything else that occurred afterwards, as it is written in the Torah: “And he slew the Egyptian.” And he who is concealed from all – is Atik.

It is said in the continuation of “The Donkey Driver,” who revealed the soul of Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada to Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba, as a result of which Rabbi Shimon called them Pniel. For the soul of Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada is a spiritual degree destined to be revealed in the future, at the end of correction. This is why they were in a state of concealment of the Upper Light (item 113), as was already mentioned with regard to the Zivug of the sun’s phase and the year’s season, until they have found Rabbi Shimon Ben Lakunya and others, thus meriting all the Light once again.

Therefore, Rabbi Shimon says to them, YOU HAVE ATTAINED, BENAYAHU BEN-YEHOYADA WAS REVEALED TO YOU. This means that they have already attained the six verses, the essence of “THE HEAVENS DECLARE,” and exist in the six names. When they have attained the soul of Benayahu Ben-Yehoyada with the help of the donkey driver, their attainment had not yet been revealed to them, as they still existed in the six verses – the reason for their concealment. But now they have attained and revealed his soul, that it is the great Zivug of Atik, when everything is revealed to all.

147. The words, “He slew the Egyptian” are explained in another place, i.e., at a different degree, in a different way. He opened and said, “He slew the Egyptian, a man of good stature, five cubits high.” All of this refers to the same secret. This Egyptian is the one who is well-known and is described as “very great in the land of Egypt in the eyes of the Jew,” for he is great and honored, as that old man had already explained (item 99).

The Torah describes the killing of the Egyptian in the book Shemot (2:12). As we have already learned from the article about Rabbi Hamnuna-Saba, it is expressed differently at a different degree (in a different language, the language of Divrey HaYamim). However, these two verses are the same secret, for it is written in the book Shmuel 1 (11:23): “And he slew the Egyptian, a prominent man,” while in Divrey HaYamim it is written: “And he slew the Egyptian, a man of good stature, five cubits high.” Both verses are the same secret, which The Zohar continues to clarify.

148. This case was examined at the Divine Assembly. “A prominent man” and “a man of good stature” are the same, as they constitute Shabbat and the bounds of Shabbat. As it is written: “You shall measure it from outside the city.” It is also written, “You shall not impede limitations in measure.” Hence, he was a man of good stature. Precisely such, from one end of the world to the other. Such is he, Adam, the first man. And should you disagree, referring to the written “five cubits,” know that these five cubits extend from one end of the world to the other.

The matter concerns the Divine Assembly, of which Rabbi Shimon said: “I saw those ascending, but how few they were” (Talmud, Sukkah, 45:2). There is a lower assembly of the angel Matat. However, the described above takes place in the Supernal Assembly, which will be clarified further.

“A prominent man” is the degree of Moshe, of whom it is written in the Torah: “And there hath not since risen a prophet in Israel such as Moshe” (Devarim, 34:10), of whom it is written “My servant Moshe is not so; he is trusted in all My house; with him do I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not with riddles” (Bamidbar, 12:7-8).

“A prominent man” also constitutes a measure, which extends from one end of the world to the other. Moreover, its form and size correspond to Shabbat and the bounds of Shabbat, where the bounds of Shabbat are the end of its measure. During the 6,000 years, the bounds of Shabbat are limited by only 2,000 Amah (cubits). However, after the end of correction, the bounds of Shabbat will extend from one end of the world to the other, as it is written: “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth” (Zachariah, 14:9).

As we already know, the Light can descend and fill the Partzufim down to the level of Parsa of the world of Atzilut. Shabbat is a spiritual state when the worlds of BYA with all that inhabit them rise above the Parsa to the world of Atzilut. Above Parsa are only pure forces, corrected desires (Kelim). Hence, naturally there is no need to separate pure Kelim from impure ones and to correct them during Shabbat.

However, the Light of Shabbat shines not only in the world of Atzilut, but beyond its bounds as well. It thus affects the sixteen Sefirot from Parsa down to Chazeh of the world of Yetzira so the soul can be in the state of “ Shabbat” with these desires, too. The language of our world describes this as the permission to transcend the bounds of the city of Atzilut (seventy Amah) by 2,000 Amah down to the Chazeh of the world of Beria, and then another 2,000 Amah from Chazeh of the world of Beria to Chazeh of the world of Yetzira. (Seventy Amah are regarded as being within the city limits.)

However, after all the Kelim (desires) are corrected, there will be no restrictions; the world of Atzilut will extend down to our world, and only the state of Shabbat will prevail in the entire world – in all desires of all creatures.

It is hence written: “A PROMINENT MAN” and “A MAN OF GOOD STATURE” are one and the same, for they constitute shabbat and the bounds of shabbat, as is said: “AND YOU SHALL MEASURE FROM OUTSIDE THE CITY,” and it is also written: “YOU SHALL NOT IMPEDE JUDGMENT IN MEASURE.” It follows that an object’s measure represents its limit, just as the words “A MAN OF GOOD STATURE” alludes to the end, the bounds of Shabbat after the end of correction, which will extend from one end of the world to the other.

AND HE SHALL BE PRECISELY MAN OF GOOD STATURE” indicates that size does not rule over him; rather, he rules over size, and it is he who determines this size according to his own will. SUCH IS HE, ADAM, who, prior to his sin, extended and shone from one end of the world to the other (Talmud, Hagigah, 12:1), as the bounds of Shabbat after the end of correction.

FIVE CUBITS FROM ONE END OF THE WORLD TO THE OTHER – because the five cubits are the five Sefirot: Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA, and Malchut that expand and fill everything from one end of the world to the other after the end of correction.

149. It is, as is written, “like a weaver’s beam” (Shmuel 1, 17: 7) “as the Divine staff” (Shemot,4:20) that was in his hand, which reveals by the secret name (Light) confirmed in it by the light of the letter combinations that Betzalel and his disciples engraved, called “weaving,” as is written, “He filled them and others, and BOUND them.” And that staff – within it shone a secret name, inscribed on all its sides by the Light of the sages, who confirmed the secret name in forty-two properties. And the rest of what is written from here onward is similar to what the old man had already explained. Happy is his lot!

The secret of the letter combinations in sacred names is called “weaving,” like a weaver joins his threads into a fabric, the letters join into combinations of sacred names, which designate man’s spiritual level of their attainment. Hence, The Zohar says that the Creator’s staff in Moshe’s hand had engraved the letter combinations of the secret name, which Betzalel and his disciples engraved as they worked on the Tabernacle.

The Creator’s staff is therefore called a “weaver’s beam.” The Hebrew word for “beam” is MANOR (from OHR – Light). This refers to the Light of the letter combinations in the secret name, which Betzalel weaved and engraved, as it is said, “by the Light of the letter combinations that Betzalel engraved.”

However, the staff does not shine in all directions until the end of correction, for there is a distinction between the Creator’s staff and that of Moshe. It is written of the staff of Moshe: “Put forth your hand and take it by the tail (of a snake), and it shall become a staff in your hand” (Shemot, 4:4). This means that it did not shine from all sides.

However, after the end of correction, it will shine in all directions, as it is said: And the secret name shone from within that staff in all directions by the Light of sages, who confirmed the secret name in forty-two properties.” For the secret name that was engraved on the staff shone in all directions, i.e., in the property called “He will eradicate death forever” (Yeshayahu, 25:8). It will thus begin to shine evenly in all directions, whereas the Light of the name engraved on the staff is the Light of Hochma of the Name MB.

150. Be seated, dear friends. Be seated and let us renew the correction of the Bride on this night, for whomever joins her on this night shall be guarded Above and below in the coming year. And this year shall pass over him in peace. Such people are described in the verse: “The angel of the Lord stands round those that fear Him, and delivers them. O taste and see that the Creator is good” (Tehilim, 34:8-9).

As was already stated in item 125, there are two explanations of the aforesaid. The first is that since the day of the giving of the Torah is the Light of the end of correction that abolishes death forever and brings freedom from the angel of death, one should exert to receive this Light on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost), as Light is renewed on the holiday and brings deliverance from death.

According to the second explanation, Malchut is called a “year,” and the renewal of the Light by those who keep the Torah after the end of correction will also bring the complete and final correction of the year (Malchut). This is because the renewal of the Light by those who keep the Torah is referred to as the correction of the night of the bride, Malchut, called a “year.” And this brings us to a corrected year.

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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 HELEHBARAH 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

YESHSUTZAT de Bina - Ohr Hochma

ZON

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Among All the Sages of the Nations of the World, There Are None Like You

161. Rabbi Elazar said, “It is written: ‘Who would not fear the King of the nations of the world?’ What kind of praise is this?” Rabbi Shimon replied: “Elazar, my son, this has been said in several places. However, one should not understand the verse, ‘For among all the sages of the nations of the world, and in all their kingdoms, there are none like You’ in its simple, literal interpretation. This is because it naturally gives rise to evil intentions of sinners – those who think that the Creator is not aware of their dark thoughts, doubts and intents. Therefore, their folly must be clarified. A philosopher of one of the nations of the world came to me and said, ‘You say that your Creator governs the entire Heavens, and that all the Heavenly hosts are unable to attain Him, nor come to know His dwelling place. However, this does not add to His greatness, as it is written, ‘among all the sages of the nations of the world, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You.’ What kind of a comparison is this when He is compared to man, who is nothing?’”

This is similar to what is written about sinners in Psalms (Tehilim, 73:11-12): “And they say: ‘How does the Creator know? And is there knowledge in Him? Behold the wicked; they are always at peace, rich and powerful.’” This is exactly what the philosopher says. He was one of the greatest sages among the nations of the world, and he came to Rabbi Shimon to dishonor Israel’s wisdom and work in absolute faith for the Creator’s sake, which ought to be in great wholeness, perfection, purity, and integrity, for no thought can grasp Him.

This sage was a representative of the philosophers who asserted that the main principle in working for the Creator is to attain Him, rather than serve Him in faith, for in their understanding, they attain Him. And now he has come to ridicule Israel’s approach.

Hence, he said: “The Creator is above all human wisdom, and thereby He rules, and He bid you to work for Him in faith and purity, and have no doubts in Him, for the human mind cannot grasp Him. After all, even the Heavenly hosts, His legions and angels are unable to attain Him, as it is written of those who say: ‘Blessed be the Creator in His place,’ for they do not know ‘His place.’”

However, the phrase, “as among all the sages of the world, there is none like the Creator” does not imply the Creator’s greatness. Indeed, if this prophetic expression is used in order to exalt the God of Israel and show that He is greater than the god attained by the sages of the nations of the world by their human strength and reason, then naturally, this does not add to the glory of the God of Israel, as He is being compared to trifle and transient forces. On the contrary, this statement shows great disdain for your Creator, when you compare Him to the sages of the nations of the world, who are mortal and restricted creatures. Those were the words that the scholarly sage, who represented the wisdom of the nations of the world, uttered before Rabbi Shimon.

Clearly, The Zohar is referring to some overseas sage who paid a visit to Rabbi Shimon. Just like all the other names of places and characters mentioned in the Torah, the Talmud, and the Kabbalah, names of places, animals, people, and actions described in The Zohar speak only of the spiritual world, the Creator’s actions, and how one can achieve the goal of creation. In no way does any of this relate to events in our world!

Therefore, the “sage of the nations of the world” symbolizes man’s own egoistic property to research and know everything, instead of having faith above reason, as the Torah demands. This human property, called a “sage of the nations of the world,” the egoistic reason, is in a state of constant argument with man’s spiritual, altruistic property, called “Israel” or the aspiration to the Creator. Thus, by opposing it, man builds himself and grows.

162. Furthermore, you claim, as your Torah says, that “There had not risen a prophet since in Israel like Moshe.” There are none in Israel, but there is one among the nations of the world! So I claim the same: there is none like You among all the sages of the nations of the world, but among the sages of Israel there is one like You. However, if there is one like Him among the sages of Israel, then He cannot be the Supreme Ruler. Look closely into my words, and you shall see that I am right.

Here the philosopher (man’s egoistic voice) spoke wisely. He understood that should he speak directly, he would hear precise answers to his questions. It is written: “Among all the sages of the nations of the world, there are none like You,” meaning that there is no one that can attain You. For the words, “there are none like You” imply that You have no equals, that it is impossible to attain You, attain Your degree.

However, since the sages of the nations of the world (human reason) take pride in their attainment of the Creator (that they understand His intentions and actions), they consider themselves similar to Him, for attainment means similarity of properties with the attained degree. This is why it is considered a lie, and that there are none like Him, for they do not attain the Creator, but only delude themselves by thinking that they do.

The philosopher (within man) understood that, and hence began (leading man astray from the path of faith, which surpasses and defies reason) with a completely different question: “If it is explicitly said that no one is equal to the Creator among the sages of the other nations, does it not mean that there are those who can attain Him among the sages of Israel? Otherwise, why would it be necessary to specify that there are none like Him among the sages of the nations of the world?

“But if this is so, and He is similar to you, then He cannot be the Supreme Ruler! Thus, how can you say that the God of Israel cannot be attained by reason and that He governs all? You speak by means of faith in His greatness, but indeed there are those among your sages who are like Him, i.e., those who attain Him.”

163. Rabbi Shimon said to him, “You object correctly that there are those among the sages of Israel who are similar to the Creator, for who resurrects the dead back to life, if not the Creator Himself? Yet, Eliyahu and Elisha came and resurrected the dead back to life! Who causes rain to fall if not the Creator Himself? Yet, Eliyahu came and abolished rain, and then summoned it through his prayer! Who created the Heavens and the earth, if not the Creator Himself? Yet, Avraham came, and, as it is written, the Heavens and the earth were revived.”

Rabbi Shimon replies that the (inner) sage speaks the truth when he asserts that there are those among the sages of Israel who are similar to the Creator. However, in no way does this revoke the simple faith in the Creator’s unattainability by human reason. Of course, He is the master and ruler of the Heavens, and He is so much higher than all of them that even the Supernal angels cannot attain Him and do not know His place.

Yet, the Torah and Mitzvot (commandments) were given to us precisely for this purpose – so that by observing the Mitzvot (making a Zivug between the screen and the Light) and studying the Torah (receiving the Light) for the Creator’s sake, we, Israel (those who aspire to the Creator) would completely merge with Him (in our properties), so His Light would permeate us and clothe in us to such an extent that we would merit (begin to desire and receive the power of a screen) carrying out the same actions as the Creator: resurrecting the dead (correcting egoism), summoning rains (Ohr Hassadim), and reviving Heaven and earth (filling all the Partzufim in all the worlds with the Light of our actions).

In that, we are just like Him, as it is said: “By Your deeds (by experiencing them on myself) I will know You.” However, we attain all this only through absolute and devout faith (the property of Bina), which leaves within us no desires whatsoever to attain Him with our reason (to verify first and act next), as in the path of sages of the nations of the world (our egoism). Our egoism consists of a Partzuf called a “sage of the nations of the world.” Its Rosh (head) designates knowledge and desire to attain everything, and its Guf (body) is the will to receive pleasure for oneself.

The philosopher argues that if Israel can do what the Creator does, then Israel attains Him. This is correct, for if one is able to act like the Creator, then, to the extent of his actions, he attains and perceives Him. After all, it is said: “By Your deeds I will know You.” If one acts like the Creator, then he understands the Creator’s analogous actions in his own actions, and thus perceives Him. However, one must first advance by faith above reason, and as a result, he attains the Creator’s properties, thereby becoming like Him in his actions.

164. (Rabbi Shimon continues:) “Who governs the sun, if not the Creator? Yet, Yehoshua came and stopped it. The Creator issues His decree, yet Moshe immediately issues a decree of his own, and it is carried out. The Creator wishes to punish, and the righteous of Israel annul His verdict. Moreover, He bid us to closely follow His ways and to be like Him in every way.” The philosopher then went and became Israel, and lived in the village of Shachalayim, and they called him Yosi HaKatan (Little Yosi). He studied the Torah a great deal, and was among the sages and the righteous of that village.

The problem is that if a person does everything only by means of his faith, he denies himself the chance to attain the Creator, for attainment comes through applying reason. However, the moment he begins to apply his reason, he immediately diminishes his faith. So how can one combine faith with reason?

It is true that those who aspire to draw nearer the Creator (those who are called Israel) diminish their simple, devout faith. However, they do this only because He bids them to do so in order to attain His actions, and thus become like Him, as it is said in the Torah: “Follow His way” (Devarim, 21). Hence, they observe His Commandments. The philosopher was so overwhelmed by this truth that he became “Israel” and started observing the Torah and Mitzvot.

He was overwhelmed when he had found that Israel’s actions, their attainments of the spiritual worlds, did not diminish their faith above reason, for all of their actions and attainments were based on faith. Israel attains the Creator because He bids them to, not because they desire this with their egoism.

165. And now the time has come to take a closer look at this verse. It is written that all the nations of the world are nothing before Him. Yet, how does this exalt Him? Hence, it is written: “Who sees the King of the nations of the world?” Yet, is the King of the nations of the world also not the King of Israel? The Creator wishes to elevate Israel in all places; this is why He is called everywhere “the King of Israel.” The other nations of the world say that they have another King up in the Heavens, for it seems to them that He governs only them, and not us.

The nations of the world are certain that their Supernal King is not the King of Israel, that the King who sits in the Heavens and governs them is only their King, and that the King of Israel has no power over them. Thus, it seems to man’s egoism that it exists under some other (non-altruistic) system of governance, and not altruism. The egoism fails to realize that the Creator made it exactly the way it is so as to achieve His goal: using egoism, to bring man to altruism, from “for one’s own self” to “for the Creator’s sake.”

166. It is written: “Who would not fear the King of the nations of the world?” (Yirmiyahu, 10:7) That is, their Supernal King is there to threaten and persecute them, and do with them as He pleases. Hence, He should be feared. And all fear Him Above and below. For it is written that among all the sages of the nations of the world (the angels that rule over these nations) and in their Kingdoms (Above) there is none like You. There are four Kingdoms Above that rule over all the nations of the world according to the Creator’s will. And there is no one who can do even the smallest action without His personal instruction. The sages of the nations of the world are the forces that rule them from Above, and all the wisdom of the nations of the world comes from these rulers. “In all their Kingdoms” means that the Creator’s will rules over them.

These lines describe how the bride, who is in a state of exile, prepares herself for her future, final correction. The power of the nations of the world (in every one of us) amounts to conquering us (the altruistic desires for the Creator) and placing us under their power (serving only the body). They wish to drive us away from the Creator’s rule and let other desires, called “the nations of the world’ dominate us. Our egoistic desires, the nations of the world, do so because of their power (tempting us with various pleasures) and wisdom (appealing to our common sense).

Their actions over us (spiritual aspirations) stem from the system of the impure forces and their impure (egoistic) angels (our inner egoistic forces), which give power and reason to the nations of the world. With the help of their wisdom, they (our egoistic desires) lead us (the sons of Israel, those who aspire only to the Creator) to all sorts of doubts and desires to understand the Creator, His ways and thoughts, without any fear or reverence before His greatness and supremacy.

Because of these doubts, we draw far from the Creator and His Supernal Light, which, as a result, passes on to them (our egoistic desires), as it is written, “Tzur (the capital of the impure forces) was built only on the ruins of Jerusalem (the capital of the pure forces).” Thus, they acquire the strength to persecute and humiliate Israel, and force them to submit to their will (suppress the only true path to the spiritual – faith above and in defiance of reason – with their persuasions and proof of their “real” rightfulness). And as it was already explained in the“Introduction to the Book of Zohar” (items 69-71), our inner spiritual enslavement leads to our external, corporeal enslavement, persecution, and humiliation by the nations of the world.

This is the secret of the four Kingdoms that rule over us in our four (spiritual and therefore physical) exiles, which correspond to Sefirot H-B-ZA-M, symbolized by Nebuchadnezzar, as it is written: “Here is that idol, its head made of pure gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass, its shins of iron, and its feet part iron and part clay” (Daniel, 2:32-33).

When this idol governs us, the nations of the world mock us, claiming that they have a King of their own. However, such was the Creator’s plan, as it is said: “The Creator hath so made it, that men should fear Him” (Kohelet,3:14), for the sensation of the Creator, called Shechina, is also referred to as fear before Him. However, since we do not yet feel the greatness and supremacy of the Creator, we do not merit fearing Him, and live in fear of the King of the nations of the world.

This points to the fact that we have no other way of completely and eternally merging with the Creator other than by means of tremendous fear before His greatness, by assuming His Torah and His desires (Mitzvot) in devout and complete faith, without any doubts in His properties.

Only then will we merge with Him in absolute, eternal union, and the Creator will impart us with all the goodness for which He had created us. He conceived this in the beginning of creation, and it became the purpose behind the whole of creation. This state is considered the complete and final deliverance and correction.

However, before the attainment of such an exalted spiritual state, this is how the prophet describes those who aspire to the Creator: “You have sown much, and brought in little; you eat but you have not enough; you drink but your thirst is not quenched” (Haggai, 1:6), for in all of our actions (of those who aspire to the spiritual) the impure force (egoism) constantly takes all the Light for itself. This occurs as a result of our doubts with regard to faith in the Creator, which the impure force itself cultivates within us.

However, the purpose of these punishments is not to cause us grief! Everything happens according to the Creator’s plan and serves only to promote us toward correction. Therefore, as long as man can listen only to egoistic arguments, the Creator develops us gradually, using these forces. With their help, we gradually become fit to feel fear of the Creator, through the many trials and sufferings our exile from the spiritual brings us.

But in the end, we merit the reception of complete and devoted faith and fear before His greatness. It is written of this state: “He remembered His mercy and His allegiance toward the house of Israel, and all the worthless creatures of the earth witnessed the help and deliverance at the Creator’s hands” (Tehilim,98:3).

This is because at the end of days, the Creator will remember us in His mercy, and will give us the strength to receive complete and devout faith in Him. Thus, Jerusalem (the capital of altruism) will be rebuilt on the ruins of Tzur (the capital of egoism), for all the Light, which Malchut of the impure force was robbing of us throughout our exile from the spiritual, will return to us when we acquire complete and devout faith, and will shine within us with all its might.

All the worthless creatures of the earth (manifestations of egoism) will then see with their own eyes how our Creator saves (corrects) them. For all the nations of the world (within us) will see that they have always possessed this Light until the very last moment before their correction so as to give it back to us at the appropriate time. And all shall see that “one man’s rule over another is to the detriment of the ruler!” (Kohelet, 8:9).

The burden of our slavery and the impure force’s rule over us (over holiness) harms only the impure force, for it thereby compels us to attain complete and devoted faith in the Creator even faster! And the prophet speaks of this time, “Who would not fear the King of the nations of the world?” for it has now been revealed that He is the King of the nations of the world, who persecutes and dominates those nations. It previously seemed to them (our egoistic intentions) that they persecuted us (our altruistic intentions), but now the opposite has been revealed to them – that they were merely blind enactors of the Creator’s will, our servants and our slaves, whose purpose is to bring us to perfection.

It seemed to us that they were beating us. Now it turns out that they were beating themselves, for thanks to these blows (suffering from unrealized egoistic desires and constant frustration), they have accelerated our deliverance and attainment of perfection (our realization of the need to choose the path of faith above reason). Thus, they have also accelerated their own demise (their own correction).

And wherever it seemed to us (our reason) that they rebelled against the Creator (argued that the Creator is not the source of all reality) and acted (supposedly) however they pleased so as to humiliate us and satiate their base egoistic desires, and it appeared that there was no (Supernal) judge and no law (the advancement of creation toward its goal), it has now been revealed that they have always been fulfilling the Creator’s will, to bring us (all our desires, them included) to perfection.

The same applies to every person in the world – whether he wants to or not, at all times and in every way, he fulfills only the Creator’s will. Why then is he not called the Creator’s servant? Because he acts unconsciously, not of his own will. To compel man to fulfill His will, the Creator gives him some alien desire to enjoy, which forces him to carry out an action, but he does so as a slave of his desire, and not as someone who fulfills the Creator’s will.

For example, the Creator may give man an alien desire to make money, thereby compelling him to open a restaurant so as to carry out altruistic actions as a slave of his egoistic desire.

In other words, to compel us to do what is necessary, the Creator created within us an egoistic desire to receive pleasure, thus obliging us to do His will by enabling us to find pleasure in the actions and objects on which He wants us to work. This is why we live in constant chase of pleasures, whereas in truth we are constantly and unconsciously fulfilling the Creator’s will. This resembles a situation in which children are given many toys to play with, but as they play, they also carry out work.

The entire world is doing the Creator’s will, but our goal, the purpose of our development is to do it consciously. We must attain and realize His will; we must ascend so high that we will want to do it wholeheartedly and on our own, rather than as we do it now – unconsciously and coercively. We must achieve a state when our desires fully coincide with those of the Creator, which designates complete and conscious union with Him.

Thus, it becomes clear that the King of the nations of the world is the same Creator that rules over them and compels them to fulfill all His desires, as a King does with his slaves. And now fear before the Creator is revealed to all the nations of the world. The phrase, “all the nations of the world” alludes to the angels that rule over those nations, such as Afriron, Kastimon, Aza, Azael and others, from whom the sages of the nations of the world (our egoism and reason) receive their wisdom, and with whose help they oppress Israel (our altruistic desires).

IN THEIR KINGDOMS refers to the four existing Kingdoms, which govern the seventy nations of the world (ZON = seven Sefirot, each of which containing ten sub- Sefirot: in all seventy Sefirot) and over us (altruistic aspirations) in our four exiles, which correspond to the impure Sefirot H-B-ZA-M (described as Nebuchadnezzar). As the prophet writes: “Here is that idol, its head made of pure gold (the first Kingdom), its breast and its arms of silver (the second Kingdom), its belly and its thighs of brass (the third Kingdom), its shins of iron, its feet part iron and part clay (the fourth Kingdom)” (Daniel, 2:32-33).

There is not one among them who can make even the smallest action of their own, but only what You bid them. However, this will only be revealed at the end of correction, and all will know that all of our misfortunes and suffering that had the power to separate us from the Creator were but loyal executors of the Creator’s aspiration to draw us closer to Him. Moreover, these cruel forces did nothing else but obey His orders.

And the sole purpose of all that transpired was to bring us to a state where we can receive all the perfection and infinite goodness that He intended to bestow upon us from the very beginning in His plan of creation. The Creator must lead us to complete and devout faith, the result of which will be, as the prophet said: “Then, at once, the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold all crumbled to pieces and became like the chaff on summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, and no trace was left of them; and the stone that smote their image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel, 2:35).

Absolute faith is called “unbreakable (non-crumbling) stone.” After one merits absolute faith, the impure force (his inner egoistic desires and thoughts) disappears as though it had never existed. And all the worthless creatures (reason, logic, philosophy, and common sense), which inhabit the earth, witness deliverance at the hands of the Creator, as the prophet said: “They shall not do evil nor destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters fill the sea” (Yeshayahu,11:9).

167. Yet, among all the sages of the nations of the world and in all their kingdoms, I have found in the ancient books that even though the Heavenly hosts and legions fully obeyed their given orders and each would receive precise instructions to be carried out, but who among them can do it if not You, who will do it better than You? For You excel over them all in both properties and deeds. Hence, it is written: “There is none like You.”

The Creator Himself carries out all the creatures’ actions with His Light, and leads them to His goal. Man’s sole task is the realization of all creation and governance, to wholeheartedly agree with all of the Creator’s actions, and take an active part in the process of spiritual creation.

168. Rabbi Shimon said to his friends: “This wedding must be a wedding for all of you, and each of you should bring a gift (his own part in the common Malchut) to the Bride.” He said to Rabbi Elazar, his son: “Present the Bride with a gift, for on the following day Zeir Anpin will look as he enters the wedding canopy at the sound of these songs and praises of the sons of the wedding canopy, who stand before the Creator.”

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.

He Who Rejoices on Holidays

174. Rabbi Shimon opened and said: “He who rejoices on holidays and does not give a part to the Creator, the evil eye hates and slanders him, removes him from this world, and brings him many miseries.”

We have already said (item 68) that the impure forces (egoistic spiritual forces within man that know of and hence desire the pleasures hidden in the Creator’s Light) consist of male and female parts. The male part brings less harm than the female. It leads man to transgressions such as lying in the name of the Creator, as though it inspires man to observe the Mitzvot (commandments), but not in complete purity (with the sole purpose of pleasing the Creator). Instead, it causes man to also add a touch of personal benefit and selfish enjoyment, as it is written: “Eat not the bread of an ill-willer, nor desire his treats; for as one reckons within himself, such is he: ‘Eat and drink,’ he shall say to you; but his heart is not with you” (Mishley, 23:6-7).

Since the male impure force has absolutely no intentions to bestow, the commandment remains devoid of fear and love (without a heart). Yet, since the male impure force has already caught man in its net, it gains power to make a Zivug with its female half (the impure Nukva), which is a bitter and evil impure force that lies in the name of the Creator, and, upon seducing man, captures his entire soul.

Hence, The Zohar says that the evil eye hates and slanders man, and removes him from this world by provoking him to fail to observe the Commandment of rejoicing on a holiday (the reception of Ohr Hochma, joy on a higher degree) – so that this joy would not be for the sake of the Creator. It is as though he eats alone and does not share his food with the needy, which leads to the male impure force making a Zivug with Nukva and capturing man’s soul.

175. The Creator’s role is to cheer the poor, according to His ability. For the Creator appears on the holidays so as to look at His broken Kelim. He comes to them, and He sees that there is nothing to rejoice in, and He weeps for them, and ascends Above to destroy the world.

To understand this passage and the angels’ objections, one must first understand the words of the sages (Midrash Raba, 86): “When creating the world, the Creator asked the angels: ‘Shall we create man in our image (Tzelem) and likeness?’ And the four angels (forces, properties) of creation gave their answers:

Mercy said, LET US CREATE, for he creates Hassadim, mercy. Truth said, LET US NOT CREATE, for he is all falsehood. Justice said, LET US CREATE, for he dispenses justice. Peace said, LET US NOT CREATE, for he is all enmity.”

What did the Creator do? He took truth and concealed it in the ground, as it is written: “cast down truth to the ground” (Daniel, 8:12). Our entire purpose in the study of the Torah and Mitzvot lies in that, thanks to them, as the Talmud says (Psachim, 50, 2): “From Lo Lishma (intentions for oneself) man comes to Lishma (intentions for the Creator’s sake).”

And since man is born with such insignificant desires and powers, he is unable to immediately engage in the Creator’s Mitzvot for the sake of pleasing the Giver of these Mitzvot, for as it is said: “Man is born akin to a wild ass” (Iyov, 11:12). Due to his egoistic nature, he is unable to make any inner movement or action if it is not for his own benefit.

Therefore, the Creator allows man to begin observing the Mitzvot solely for his own sake, seeking personal benefit. Yet, in spite of this, his actions attract spiritual light to him. And then, with the help of the received Light, he comes to observe the Mitzvot for the Creator’s sake, in order to please Him.

This is exactly what Truth presented when it objected to man’s creation and said that he is all falsehood. After all, how can man be created to study the Torah and observe Mitzvot in a state of absolute falsehood, i.e., “for oneself?”

However, Mercy said, “Let us create,” for man performs merciful deeds. Although the Mitzvot of mercy, which man observes (even if mechanically) initially “for his own sake,” are mere external actions without the intention of bestowal, with their help he gradually corrects his intentions until he becomes capable of observing all the Mitzvot “for the Creator’s sake.” Hence, there exists an absolute certainty and guarantee that through his efforts, man will achieve the goal – altruistic actions “for the Creator’s sake.” And that it is okay to create man.

Peace also asserted that man is all “enmity;” hence, he can observe the Mitzvot “for the Creator’s sake” only if it also brings him personal benefit. However, due to such mixed intentions and actions, man exists in constant conflict with the Creator, for it seems to him that he is great and righteous, and he utterly fails to see his shortcomings. In other words, he is completely unaware that all his work in the Torah and Mitzvot is exclusively for his own benefit.

And because he feels this way, he fills up with anger and resentment towards the Creator: why does the Creator not treat him as it befits one so perfectly righteous? It follows that he alternates between states of peace and conflict with the Creator. That is why Peace objected to the creation of man.

However, Justice said that man should be created, for he dispenses justice. By observing the Mitzva (singular for Mitzvot) of giving charity to the poor, even with the intention “for oneself,” he gradually acquires the property of “bestowal,” learns to act “for the Creator’s sake,” and merits eternal peace with Him.

After the Creator heard these opinions, He agreed with the angels of Mercy and Justice, and cast down Truth to the “ground.” By this, He allowed man to begin observing the Mitzvot with the intention “for oneself,” despite its falsehood.

It follows that the Creator cast Truth down to the ground because He had accepted the claims of Mercy and Justice, that thanks to the Mitzva of giving charity to the poor, man will ultimately come to Truth, i.e., work for the Creator’s sake, and Truth will rise from the ground.

The only creation created by the Creator is Malchut de Malchut, egoism, and it can only be corrected by “instilling” the Creator’s properties of Bina or mercy into it. Yet, if these properties are opposite, how can such a thing be accomplished? After all, in the spiritual world, distance is proportionate to the difference in properties. So how can Malchut be united with Bina?

To this end, the Kli was broken: the spiritual, altruistic desire lost its screen and became egoistic. Yet, it retained sparks of the Light, and these sparks exist within egoistic desires. This is why egoistic desires have power over us.

These sparks of the Upper Light are the source of various pleasures and love, for Light is pleasure. And since these particles of Light are clothed in impure garments and exist under the rule of the impure forces, man starts perceiving these feelings of love and delight as being inherent in the impure forces, as though these egoistic garments contain pleasures, and such is their property. And he associates the properties of love and pleasure with the impure forces, failing to understand that the impure forces draw him solely with the spiritual spark that has fallen into them.

However, as the impure force is very appealing, it lures man into all kinds of transgressions, such as theft, robbery, and murder. At the same time, it gives us the desire to observe the Torah and Mitzvot for our own sake. Even if we start observing them not “for the Creator’s sake,” but “for ourselves,” (for our own benefit, to fulfill our base aspirations, according to the desires of the broken, egoistic Kelim-vessels), we gradually come to the intention “for the Creator’s sake,” and merit the goal of creation – to receive all the pleasure that was prepared for us back in the Thought of Creation – “to delight man.” Thus, the impure forces destroy themselves, but that is exactly the purpose for which the Creator conceived and created them.

The Zohar says that the Creator appears on these holidays to look at all the broken Kelim. On holidays, when man observes the Mitzva of rejoicing because of the great Light that he receives from the Creator, the Creator appears to look at His broken vessels, by which man is given an opportunity to observe the Mitzvot not “for the Creator’s sake.” The Creator comes and looks at how well these broken vessels have fulfilled their mission to bring man to observance of the Mitzvot with the intention “for the Creator’s sake.”

However, the Creator comes to them and sees that there is nothing to rejoice in. He weeps over them, for He sees that nothing spiritual (altruistic) was created from the broken vessels, that man has yet to correct even a single broken vessel (egoistic desire). In other words, there’s not one vessel that was intentionally broken by the Creator that has brought man to the intention “for the Creator’s sake,” and he rejoices on holidays solely for his own pleasure.

So the Creator weeps and regrets breaking the vessels, for He broke them and cast Truth to the ground only for man’s sake, to give him an opportunity to start working in falsehood (in the intention “for oneself”) and gradually come to Truth, to the intention “for the Creator’s sake.” Yet, when He sees that man has not changed at all in his aspirations for selfish pleasure, it is as though the vessels were broken in vain, and so He weeps for them.

And He rises Above, to destroy the world – meaning, He ascends so as to stop the Light’s descent and thereby destroy the world. The world and creatures can exist only if they receive the Creator’s Light (even if unconsciously). However, if man’s state and selfish actions cannot lead him to the intention “for the Creator’s sake,” the Light itself becomes detrimental to him, for in pursuit of this Light, man sinks ever deeper into egoistic desires (impure forces) and growing dependency on egoism. Therefore, it is more desirable and beneficial for man to stop feeling pleasure in his impure desires, so that it would not destroy him completely and prevent him from sinking into such powerful egoistic desires that, having become a slave to their pleasures, he would never be able escape them and attain the spiritual

176. The members of the assembly then appear before the Creator and say: “Master of the world, You are called merciful and forgiving, send Your mercy upon Your sons.” He answers them: “Have I not done so, when I created the world based on mercy? As it is written, ‘The world is built by mercy’ and the world is established upon it. However, if they do not show mercy to the poor, the world will be destroyed.” The Heavenly angels then say to Him: “Master of the world, here is a man who had eaten and drunk to his heart’s content, and could have been merciful to the poor, but did not do anything.” The prosecutor appears, receives permission, and persecutes that man.

The exalted souls, called “the members (or the sons) of the assembly” begin praying for the lower ones, so the Creator would have mercy on His sons and not discontinue the flow of Light descending onto them. They do everything within their power to justify man’s state of being, and say that as long he observes his Mitzvot in faith, he is called “the Creator’s son,” and hence deserves the Creator’s mercy, as a son deserves the mercy of his father.

The Creator replies to them that He created the world by the property of mercy, and the world stands on this property alone. In other words, man will not be corrected by the Creator’s Light as long as he disdains the poor, for the world’s creation was the result of the Creator’s agreement with the angel of Mercy, which states that due to man’s merciful deeds, the world will be able to exist and will gradually come to the intention “for the Creator’s sake.” But now, since people are not showing mercy, there will be no correction.

Then the Supernal angels said, “Master of the universe, here is a man who had eaten and drunk, and had his fill, and could have been merciful to the poor, but did not give them anything.” In this case, the angels begin to accuse man, instead of defending him, even the angels of Mercy and Justice. And all those who did not wish to create an egoistic man with desires “for oneself,” but agreed to it only because they assumed that by deeds of mercy and justice he would escape his egoism “for one’s own sake” and achieve the altruistic property “for the Creator’s sake.” Now, they, too, turn against man.

And if man is unable to acquire the intention “for the Creator’s sake,” the angels repent and regret at having agreed to his creation, and they now accuse him before the Creator. And after it becomes clear that man will not achieve the altruistic property “for the Creator’s sake” by observing the Mitzvot, he is passed into the hands of the prosecutor.

177. There are none greater in our world than Avraham, who acted with mercy toward all creatures. It is written of the day that he prepared a feast: “The child grew and was weaned, and Avraham made a great feast on the day that Yitzchak was weaned.” So Avraham prepared a feast and invited all the leaders of that generation. It is well known that at every feast, the supreme prosecutor is about, watching. And if there are any poor people in the house, he leaves that house and does not return there. However, if the prosecutor enters a house and sees rejoicing without the poor – without having first shown mercy to the poor – he ascends Above and brings accusations against the host of that feast.

178. Because Avraham was the leader of his generation, the prosecutor descended from Heavens and stood at the door of his house, disguised as a poor man. And nobody so much as looked at him. Avraham was attending to kings and ministers, and Sarah was feeding all of their children, for they did not believe that she had born a child, but rather claimed that Yitzchak was a foundling, whom they had bought at the marketplace. This is why they brought their children with them, and Sarah nursed them in front of all. And the prosecutor stands at the door. Sarah said: “The Creator has made laughter for me” (“For anyone who hears will laugh on account of me” (Beresheet, 21:6). The prosecutor ascended at once and stood before the Creator, and said to Him, “O Master of the world, You have said that You love Avraham, and here he had prepared a feast, but had not given anything to You nor to the poor, had not sacrificed even a single pigeon for Your sake. And Sarah says that You have laughed at her.”

Until the end of correction, it is impossible to fully rid oneself of the impure forces. Hence, however hard even the most exalted righteous may try to observe the Creator’s Mitzvot in purity of their altruistic intentions, without any touch of personal benefit, the impure forces can nonetheless accuse them and find faults in their observance of the Mitzvot.

Therefore, the Creator prepared another opportunity for the righteous to silence the prosecutor – by bribing him with a certain portion of holiness and purity, thus silencing him. This way, the prosecutor is reluctant to accuse a righteous one and does not want him to disappear, for then the prosecutor, too, will be deprived of his part of holiness, the Light that he receives as the righteous one observes each Mitzvot.

Hence, the need for external hair in Tefillin (phylacteries), scapegoat rite, red heifer, and so forth. (The Zohar, Emor, p. 88). From this we see how extraordinary, multifaceted, and complex this world is created, how impossible it is to judge human deeds and the Upper Governance by external manifestations, as they are seen by us, and how “entangled” and inseparably intertwined all the connections between the pure and impure forces really are.

Even when we look at our great leaders-Kabbalists, we see how much they’ve suffered, how they were forced to submit to the will of petty rulers or ignorant masses, and how persecuted they were – those who were closest to the Creator! Everyone feels these obstacles, even those who are just beginning on their spiritual journey.

But here, in the example of Avraham, The Zohar does not speak about an ordinary prosecutor, for Avraham had surely given food to all the poor, as he had always done even before he invited his distinguished guests to his table. But this prosecutor demanded his share of holiness, of the Light. However, Avraham did not wish to give anything of holiness to impurity. Rather, he wanted to overcome its power and push it away from himself completely. This is why the prosecutor ascended Above and accused Avraham.

The Zohar tells us that the prosecutor was not really poor, but only disguised himself as such, and demanded to be treated at Avraham’s festive table. Avraham felt that this was an impure force that assumed the image of a poor man; hence, he refused to give it anything.

This is why it is written: “He did not sacrifice even a single pigeon,” for in accordance to the sacrificial rites (rejection of egoistic parts, of man’s “I”), only two pigeons are offered, which symbolize the two combined points in Malchut: the property of Malchut that was corrected by the property of mercy, Bina. This common point contains both the properties of restriction and mercy, but the property of restriction is concealed, whereas the property of mercy is revealed (item 122).

Without this combination of Malchut’s properties with those of Bina, called the “mitigation” or “sweetening” of Malchut, the world (Malchut) cannot exist, i.e., receive the Creator’s Light. Therefore, it is necessary to offer precisely two baby pigeons. One of them was sent by Noah from his Ark, never to return (Beresheet, 8), for one pigeon designates the property of restriction in Malchut that is unmitigated by Bina’s property of mercy. And since Noah could not correct anything in her, the pigeon never returned to him (The Zohar Shlach, p. 52).

The prosecutor’s claims and complaints concerning Avraham’s feast on the day when Yitzchak was weaned stem from his demand to receive his share, the corrections of the part of Malchut that cannot be corrected until Gmar Tikkun (the end of correction). And this is the property of the restriction within Malchut, with which the world cannot exist; hence, it must be concealed. This property is the pigeon that did not return to Noah.

Man was not entrusted with the task of correcting his Creator-given primordial egoism, for it is impossible to alter what the Creator had made. However, man can hide his Malchut, hisegoism (refrain from using it), and instead act by receiving his desires from Bina. This is why a combination of the properties of Malchut (egoism) and Bina (altruism) was formed in man – to let him make the effort and conceal the properties of Malchut,and act only according to the properties of Bina.

When one is able to completely reject the use of his egoism and is guided only by the properties of Bina, he will achieve a state called “the end of his correction.” Correction is made during the 6,000 years, i.e., along the degrees of the 6,000 consecutive actions.

Then, man’s Mashiach (Messiah/savior), the Upper Light, comes to him and transforms all of man’s egoism (the primordial nature that he was rejecting during the 6,000 years) into altruism. Then, one’s egoistic properties serve for the reception of the Light of pleasure for the Creator’s sake, and he no longer needs to refrain from using them.

The property of Malchut, with which man cannot work for the Creator’s sake until his final correction, is referred to as “restriction.” Using the properties of Malchut herself remains forbidden until she is completely corrected through gradual purification by the properties of Bina during the 6,000 years. Alternatively, Malchut is called “strictness” or “judgment,” for this restriction is also the source of all punishments and prohibitions.

Avraham could not correct this property of restriction in Malchut,i.e., receive the Light and fill Malchut entirely. Hence, he received nothing in this part, and that is exactly the way he treated the prosecutor, who ascended at once and began to accuse Avraham before the Creator, claiming that Avraham failed to correct anything in Malchut’s property of restriction with his feast. This property of restriction is called “poor,” for it does not receive Light; hence, it constitutes the essence of Malchut, her egoism.

Since the Creator mitigated the restrictive property of Malchut with the property of mercy, and mixed Malchut with Bina for the sole purpose of giving the world an opportunity to exist, the Light that is received thanks to the property of mercy is defined as the part of Light belonging to all the world’s inhabitants. This part helps Malchut become corrected. Since the Creator created Malchut in order to personally fill her with Light, she is regarded as His personal part.

As a result of a miracle of nursing the babies that were brought to Sarah, Avraham received all the Light that exists in the property of mercy, and began to doubt his ability to correct the poor part of Malchut. This part receives nothing (for it cannot be used during the 6,000 years) and constitutes the Creator’s personal part.

Therefore, the prosecutor ascended, accusing Avraham of not giving to the poor, i.e., not giving to the part of the Creator, Malchut de Malchut herself,which no man can correct by himself, as even Noah was unable to do so. And he gave nothing to You nor to the poor, and sacrificed not even a single pigeon for Your sake.

And Sarah says that You have laughed at her. Sarah is the part of Bina that shines in Malchut. With the words: “Any who hears will laugh on account of me” (Beresheet, 21:6), Sarah - Bina gave Malchut such powerful Ohr Hassadim that Malchut stopped feeling her egoistic desires, felt the perfection of altruism, and temporarily acquired the properties of Bina, while under the influence of Ohr Hassadim.

However, there emerges fear that due to such a sense of perfection and absence of sufferingfrom unfulfilled desires, the absence of the feeling of deficiency, Malchut would remain uncorrected. Such a state is similar to the following description of Adam’s state in the Torah (Beresheet, 3:22): “Lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever.” In other words, he must not stop feeling his own nature nor forget the fact that he is obliged to correct his defect in the “Tree of Knowledge.” And that is why Adam was cast down into a place that is suitable for correction, the lowest possible egoistic place, called our world.

179. The Creator said to him: “Who in the world is like Avraham?” And the prosecutor did not leave from there until he had consumed the entire fare. So the Creator decreed that Yitzchak is to be sacrificed. And He said that Sarah shall die from grief for her son. The cause of this grief is that he did not give anything to the poor.

Yitzchak’s sacrifice was aimed at the correction of Malchut, to compensate for what Avraham could not correct at his great feast in honor of Yitzchak’s weaning. Sarah’s death was the result of the great Light that she passed to Malchut, saying: “The Creator has made laughter for me,” alluding to the Light that obstructs the correction of Malchut.

Malchut and gives her the sensation of perfection prevents her from correcting herself. Hence, the Creator stopped it. This is the significance of Sarah’s death, for Sarah constitutes the Light of Bina that enters Malchut. Thus, all that the Torah speaks of is but the essence of the process of Malchut’s correction, until her correction is completed.

The Torah and Prayer

180. Rabbi Shimon opened and said: “It is written that Hizkiyahu (Hezekiah) turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Creator.” Let us see how great and potent the power of the Torah is, and how high it rises above all. He who engages in the Torah has no fear of those Above or below, nor of any hardships or illnesses of this world, for he is connected to the Tree of Life and learns from it each day.

181. For the Torah teaches man how to walk a path of truth; it teaches him how to return to his Master and cancel what is predestined for him. And even if man is shown that what is predestined for him cannot be cancelled, it is nonetheless completely cancelled and annulled, then disappears at once and does not prevail over him in this world. Hence, man should study the Torah day and night, and never abandon it, as it is written: “Contemplate Him day and night.” Whomever abandons the Torah, it is as though he abandons the Tree of Life.

“Contemplate Him day and night” – “Him” implies the Creator! In another place in The Zohar, it is said that Hizkiyahu’s prayer was accepted by the Creator, for nothing (no egoistic desires) separated him from the wall (the Shechina, the sensation of the Creator, akin to the Wailing Wall).

This was the advice that he received from the Torah, when, through his efforts in the Torah, he realized how to achieve complete return to the Creator, whereby nothing would separate him from the Creator (from the wall, the Shechina, the sensation of the Creator). As a result, the decree of his death (the Light’s exit from the Partzuf) was revoked. So great is the power of the Torah.

182. Come and see – such is the advice given to man. When he goes to bed at night, he must accept the Creator’s governance from Above, and wholeheartedly entrust his soul with Him. Thus, man is immediately spared all the illnesses, slander, and evil eyes, and they will no longer have power over him.

Here we come to a precise understanding of certain definitions from the Torah, which are quite different from the notions that we are accustomed to. Daylight signifies the sensation of unity with the Creator. It is called “Light,” for this is how man defines his good feelings. Therefore, daylight is when man feels closeness of the Creator and the greatness of spirituality.

Darkness coincides with nighttime in our world. Accordingly, with regard to man’s spiritual states, darkness designates the absence of the sensation of the Creator, of the Upper Light, due to the actions of the impure, egoistic forces that separate man from the Creator. At night in our world, we sleep. The spiritual Partzuf is filled with the minimal amount of Light in an unconscious state called “sleep.” The amount of Light within the Partzuf is so little that it is defined as one sixtieth – 6 (Sefirot of ZA) x 10 (in each part) – of death or complete absence of spiritual Light, for the impure forces rule here.

Due to these two forces that govern and control us, we cannot completely and permanently merge with the Creator. As the result of our sensation of the state of night, the impure forces that rule at night impede us in our efforts, for their power over us keeps returning, thus creating gaps in our unity with the Creator and in our work for His sake.

To correct this, Rabbi Shimon gives us his advice: every “night” (a feeling of separation from the spiritual), when man goes to “sleep” (sinks deeper into the sensations of this world), he must wholeheartedly accept the Creator’s governance, entrust himself completely under His rule. For if the night (the sensation of night) is corrected as in the act of creation, when day follows night, as it is said, “And there was evening and there was morning, one day,” both night and day become as a single whole.

And the night, called “the rule of Malchut,” shall not mix with any impure force, and shall not attack man because of the disappearance of the sensation of the Creator on account of egoistic desires and obstacles of “reason.” For first, man has realized the necessity of the night for the attainment of the next day (greater sensation of the Creator, a bigger altruistic desire), and perceives these two states as a single whole and as an advancement, despite the fact that in his sensations, a night designates remoteness from spirituality.

In the language of spiritual work, this means that if man feels remoteness from the Creator, and is therefore without joy, despite all the possible pleasures, for him this state is called “night.” It is precisely in such a state of complete absence of sensation and lack of faith in the Creator that man can, through his own effort, without feeling any taste in the Torah, yield before the Creator’s rule. That is, he closes his eyes (as one who goes to sleep) and says: “I bring myself under the Creator’s rule and submit to His will.” This state is called “descent for the sake of a subsequent ascent,” and serves as a springboard, by which man attains an even brighter “day.”

However, to this end man must completely accept the SupernalKingdom’s rule, so that nothing will separate him from the Creator. In other words, he must submit to the Supernal Rule unconditionally, whether it brings life or death, so that no force in the world will be able to stop him from uniting with the Supernal Ruler, as it is written, “Love your Creator with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might” (Devarim,6:5).

If man accepts everything that the Creator sends him with all his heart, he is certain that nothing will separate him from the Creator. This determines the fulfillment of the condition of entrusting one’s soul with the Creator. For he gives himself into the Creator’s hands in advance, by deciding to fulfill all His desires (commandments) to the fullest, right up to self-sacrifice.

Hence, as man sleeps, when his soul (the sensation of the Creator), the Light that previously filled him, leaves his body (desires), he does not feel the taste of the sixtieth part of death, for the impure (egoistic) forces have no power over him. In other words, they do not separate him from the Creator. Rather, he merely fails to feel the Creator temporarily.

Thus, the impure forces cannot interrupt his spiritual work even in the state called “night,” for his evening and morning are already as one day – the Creator’s Light. The night becomes a part of the day, for it is precisely because of the night that he recognizes his future merit of receiving an even greater Light.

This is because his night stems not from the rule of the impure forces. Instead, he understands that the Creator intentionally sends him such states. Thus, even in such sensations as darkness and lack of feeling, absence of aspiration and taste for the spiritual, he sees an opportunity to merge with the Creator. And this means that nothing stands between him and the wall.

183. And in the morning, when he rises from his bed, he must bless the Creator, enter His house, and bow before Him in fear and trepidation, and only then should he pray. He should take advice of his holy Patriarchs, as it is written, “By Your great mercy shall I come into Your house, to bow in fear of Your holy greatness.”

Thanks to Your great kindness, I can now bless You for being merciful to me, for ending my spiritual descent, and for letting me come into Your house once more, for allowing me to feel You. However, I am happy not because my suffering gave way to pleasure, but because now I can thank You. I come to Your house so as to kneel in awe before Your holy greatness, which I now attain more than ever before.

The prayer in our heart is the correction within Malchut (the Shechina, the sensation of the Creator, or the common soul of Israel), and the fulfillment of this common soul with the Upper Light (the sensation of the Creator), in accordance with all of its corrected desires. Hence, all our pleas are expressed in plural form, for we pray not for our own soul, but for the common soul of Israel. Naturally, all that is present in the Shechina is subsequently present in every soul of Israel, and vice versa, all that the common soul of Israel lacks is also absent in each soul.

Therefore, before we start praying, we need to understand (feel) what is lacking in Malchut (the Shechina), to know what we need to correct in her and how we can fulfill her. Our heart, the center of our desires, is a part of this Malchut (the Shechina). All the generations of Israel are included in the common soul – the Shechina.However, we need not correct what has already been corrected by previous generations, but only what is left after those generations of souls.

Our Patriarchs, the spiritual Partzufim called “Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov,” also known as the Sefirot Hesed, Gevura, and Tifferet of Partzuf ZA de Atzilut, include the entire community of Israel, all the properties that subsequently manifest in the corrected Malchut, who, in her corrected state, is called “Israel.” The Patriarchs designate the three spiritual roots of the 600,000 souls of Israel in all the generations. In other words, these are the three sources of desires born within man’s part of Malchut for the purpose of his correction.

All the good deeds, the reception and bestowal of Light carried out by the “community of Israel” (by Kabbalists) in all the generations, first trigger reception of the Upper Light by our holy Patriarchs (Sefirot de ZA), for all the Upper Light descends through them from Above downwards. From them, this Upper Light descends onto the “community of Israel,” the righteous of that generation who exist with their properties in the worlds of BYA, and evoke the descent of this Light with their prayers.

Such is the order of spiritual degrees: each branch can receive only through its root (the preceding, Higher Degree), but never independently. The main Light remains in the root, and only an insignificant part of it descends to the branch that evokes it. Therefore, all the corrections completed in the community of Israel (the Shechina, the common soul) are stored and preserved in the souls of our holy Patriarchs.

(The Light received in the corrected Kelim remains forever within them. Our description of the Light’s exit and descent should be understood as a metaphor, for the Partzuf receives new empty desires that require correction, and the sensation of emptiness from the received empty desires is perceived as the Light’s departure. Nevertheless, upon correcting these newly received desires, in them the Partzuf will receive an even greater Light than before.)

Therefore, the essence of our prayer lies in supplementing the Shechina with whatever it needs to achieve complete correction, after all the previous corrections that were performed in it by the past generations of Kabbalists. Hence, he who spiritually ascends must first make all the corrections that have already been performed in the Shechina, and only then will he be able to recognize what is left for him to correct.

This is why it is written that one cannot enter the Beit Knesset (synagogue, but in Hebrew it means “the house of assembly” or “the house of prayer,” from the word Kones – “to assemble”) before he assembles his prayer and asks the holy Patriarchs for guidance, for he needs to know what has already been corrected and what still needs to be corrected. This is possible only after he receives everything that the Patriarchs have corrected through the Shechina. Only then will he come to know what is left for him to correct in the Shechina.

The Patriarchs have corrected the prayer in the Shechina. Prayer and the Shechina are one and the same, for prayer is a request, a raising of MAN, a Kli, the corrected Malchut or the desire for the Creator’s sake. The correction performed by Avraham is called Shacharit (the morning prayer), by Yitzchak – Mincha (the afternoon prayer), and by Yaakov – Arvit (the evening prayer). Therefore, one must first repeat in his prayer everything that was already corrected by them, and then he will discover how to construct his personal plea, and what other imperfections are left that only he can, and consequently, must correct.

184. Man cannot enter the Beit Knesset (synagogue, house of prayer) unless he first receives permission from Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, for they have corrected the prayer to the Creator. It is therefore written, “And in Your great mercy shall I enter into Your house” (Tehilim,5:8). The aforesaid refers to Avraham, for his property is mercy, the SefiraHesed. “I will bow before Your holy chamber” refers to Yitzchak, for thanks to him Malchut is called Heichal – chamber, the Sefira Gevura. “In fear and trepidation” refers to Yaakov, for his property is the SefiraTifferet, called “fear.” And man must first enter into these properties, and only then enter the Beit Knesset to raise his prayers. Such a state is described by the verse, “Here is My slave, Israel, by whom I am adorned.”

Here The Zohar analyzes the first three main corrections, made by the Patriarchs in the Shechina. Avraham corrected the property called Bait (house, permanent dwelling), which allows man to merge with it and to always exist in the Creator’s properties and sensations, just as he can always dwell in his house.

Yitzchak complemented the correction and corrected Malchut in the property called the “holy temple,” so that the King Himself would always dwell in it, as a king always dwells in his chambers. Yaakov added to the correction by the property of fear, which corresponds to a gate in front of a house, and designates the condition that (if met) allows man to enter Malchut,Avraham’s house, and into Yitzchak's holy temple that are both within her.

Upon including within him all three corrections of the Patriarchs in full perfection, he attains what has already been corrected in the holy Shechina, and then proceeds to correct what has not been corrected.

Avraham is the source of the property of mercy in the souls of Israel. Therefore, he corrected the holy Shechina in such a way that it could receive Ohr Hassadim, the Light of mercy.And the Shechina received this Light in its entirety for all the souls of Israel. Had it remained this way, all the souls of Israel would have been in complete and eternal unity with the Creator, and the Shechina would have been filled with Light (pleasure). Thus, no man would ever wish to part with the Shechina (the sensation of the Creator) even for a single moment.

Yet, Avraham’s entire correction consisted in the creation of a perfect, bestowing Kli, which consisted only of Ohr Hassadim. There was no way of corrupting its properties or introducing imperfection within it, for, just like Avraham’s property of mercy (Hesed), this Kli (desire) consisted only of the will to bestow upon, and please the Creator, as it is written: “Mine is yours and yours is yours designates the property of mercy” (Avot,85). By imparting creation with his property, Avraham completely separated the impure forces (thoughts and desires) from the Shechina, and made it completely holy and pure.

However, the Thought of Creation does not end here, for it lies in fulfilling the souls with delight. And the extent of pleasure depends on the aspiration to enjoy, on the degree of hunger. Only the extent of preliminary hunger, the will to receive pleasure, determines the extent of the subsequent reception of pleasure.

The Shechina (Malchut de Atzilut, the sum of the souls) received its correction from Avraham – the Supernal force of Hassadim, the Sefira Hesed of ZA de Atzilut – and acquired the property of mercy from it. This property is completely free from any selfish will to receive, that is, its desire to receive something from the Creator has completely disappeared, and only the will to bestow upon Him remains. This desire is called “bestowal for the sake of bestowal.” However, this brought no correction to the souls (parts of the Shechina), for their role is to receive the pleasure prepared for them by the Creator. To that end, they must first have the “will to receive.” After all, pleasure is felt only when preceded by an aspiration or desire for it, and is determined by the extent of this desire.

It is hence written that Avraham fathered Yitzchak: Yitzchak found the Shechina in absolute spiritual perfection, in the property of pure selfless bestowal, filled with Ohr Hassadim because of all the corrections made by Avraham. However, in accordance with his properties, Yitzchak (the left spiritual force) felt imperfection in this state of the Shechina – that it was not yet corrected to “receive” all that was conceived in the Thought of Creation.

Therefore, he corrected it by turning it into a Kli (vessel) of reception, by supplementing it with the will “to receive,” so that it could receive all the perfection prepared for it. Yitzchak evoked in the Shechina the will to receive pleasure from the Creator, albeit in the form of “reception for the Creator’s sake” – with the intention of receiving pleasure in order to delight Him.

The reception for the Creator’s sake means that although man fervently wishes to receive pleasure, he receives not because he wishes to enjoy, but only because the bestowing Creator wishes for him to receive it. And had the Creator not wished it so, man would have no desire to receive from Him.

Reception for the Creator’s sake is equivalent to selfless bestowal. Thus, the egoistic, impure force, cannot cling to such a desire.

Hence, Yitzchak corrected the Shechina and brought it to complete perfection, for now it can receive all that the Creator conceived to bestow upon it, as this is the purpose of His creation.

Thus, after being corrected by Yitzchak, the state of Malchut- Shechina is called Heichal (the Creator’s chambers), for now He can fill it with Himself, His Light, which means that He dwells in its halls.

Yet, Avraham’s correction, called “house,” did not yet allow the Shechina to be filled and worthy of the Creator’s presence. Hence, Yitzchak is considered to have corrected all the Gevurot (willpower and resistance to egoism in the souls of Israel). This means that he mitigated all the laws and restrictions in the Creator’s governance. This is because all restrictions and punishments come into this world for the sole purpose of correcting the souls’ will to receive, to make them suitable for reception of the infinite goodness contained in the Thought of Creation. And since Yitzchak corrected the Shechina to complete perfection, all its restrictions and forces have been corrected, and all of its properties have attained the desired goal.

However, his correction, too, did not retain this form in the Shechina, and became corrupted, for the world was still unprepared for the end of correction. Hence, Yitzchak fathered a sinner, Esav, who, being unable to resist the temptation to receive for himself, corrupted Yitzchak’s correction in the Shechina. Unlike Yitzchak, he could not resist the selfish reception. This means that even when it became clear to him that the bestowing Creator did not wish for him to receive, he wanted to receive nonetheless, for such was his desire of self-gratification.

Therefore, the impure force (Klipot-shells, the husk, or rind surrounding the pure forces) clung to the Shechina.Thus, the legs (Sefirot NHYM) of Partzuf Malchut de Atzilut descended to the place of the Klipot below Parsa,where egoistic desires dominate the desires of NHYM.

Yet, the Rosh and the Upper Part of the Guf down to the Tabur of Partzuf Malchut remained above the rule of the impure forces. Hence, his head (Rosh) understands how he should act (hence, Yitzchak’s head is buried together with the bodies of Avraham and Yaakov in the Machpela cave), but the body (Guf) still wants to receive pleasure for its own sake.

And since Yaakov saw the damage caused by Esav, he corrected the Shechina by adding his property of fear to it, as it is written: “His hand had hold on Esav’s heel” (The Torah, Beresheet, 25:26). Because Yaakov realized what imperfection Esav had caused in Shechina (in the created souls), he corrected himself in fear to such an extent that he raised the holy Shechina as a crown-adornment. By this he also retained the corrections made by Avraham and Yitzchak.

However, Yaakov’s correction was not final, for this fear is more similar to the fear of transgression than the selfless fear that comes from within. For this fear of his is born in him from Esav’s hip, even though he had not transgressed by receiving, as did Esav. But the end of correction will bring a different state: Esav’s hip will be annulled, as it is written: “Death will forever vanish from the world,” and fear will remain only because the Creator is almighty and great.

Yaakov attained this genuine fear by himself. However, the entire “community of Israel,” all the souls that form the Shechina, still need to correct themselves in all the generations, from the first to the last, to the end of correction. (Only Moshe attained the property of true fear – one out of greatness and love – only he, and no one else. Hence, as the Talmud says, description of fear out of love for the Creator doesn’t even exist.)

The Zohar cites the words of the Psalm (5:8): “By Your great mercy I shall come into Your house,” since Avraham corrected the Shechina up to the property of a “house” that is filled with goodness, i.e., with Ohr Hassadim. The words, “So as to bow before Your holy chamber,” refer to Yitzchak, who corrected the Shechina from a “house” to a “chamber” that befits the Creator. The words, “in fear” refer to Yaakov, who corrected the Shechina with his property of fear, whereupon he made it a Kli (vessel) of reception that includes all the corrections made by Avraham and Yitzchak.

Yet, how did he find out what else needed correction in the Shechina? Only by correcting and including himself in these three corrections performed by the holy Patriarchs before him. This means that, just as they did, Yaakov can act according to the conditions of these corrections. In other words, Yaakov merged with their properties, thereby ascending to their level.

Thus, man must first attain these properties and correct them within him. Only after he assumes the properties of these three corrections into himself can he start correcting them from where our Patriarch Yaakov left off, i.e., elevating fear to the extent of the Creator’s greatness and omnipotence, and drawing the Upper Light with his prayer, with his awe of the Creator’s greatness. And the Upper Light will bring with it the fulfillment of the Shechina and the end of its correction. Hence, man’s prayer must include two objectives: to obtain fear of the Creator’s true greatness, and with this attainment, to achieve the final correction of his egoism.

Rabbi Shimon’s Departure from the Cave

185. Rabbi Pinchas stood before Rabbi Rachuma on the shore of Lake Kinneret. He was wise, old, and almost blind. He said to Rabbi Pinchas: “I have heard that our friend Shimon Bar-Yochai has a jewel, a son. I have looked upon the Light from that jewel, and it shines like the light of the sun, and illuminates the entire world.

A fully corrected Malchut is called a jewel (usually a pearl). Rabbi Nachum tells Rabbi Pinchas that Rabbi Shimon has already merited complete correction, for a “son” designates the next state, the next Partzuf that emerges or is born from the preceding one. And Rabbi Pinchas sees this while looking (with his spiritual sight, called Ruach HaKodesh – the Holy Spirit) at the Light of this pearl, which shines like the sun emerging from its hiding (Nartik – sheath). This means that after the future correction of Malchut (the moon), her Light will become like that of the sun, and will illuminate the entire world.

And when the Light of the moon becomes like that of the sun, it will rise to the zenith and illuminate the whole world with a pillar of Light, from Heaven to earth. And it will shine until Rabbi Shimon completes the correction of Atik. This speaks to the fact that he has already merited attaining the degrees of the Creator’s two revelations, i.e., the end of correction.

186. And that Light extends from the Heavens down to the earth and illuminates the whole world until Atik- Keter appears and sits upon its throne, which occurs at the end of correction. And that Light abides entirely in your household (for the daughter of Rabbi Pinchas was wife to Rabbi Shimon, and Rabbi Elazar was therefore his grandson). And a tiny ray of Light (called “the son of the household,” Rabbi Elazar) separates from the Light that fills the household, comes forth and shines upon the whole world. Happy are those who merit such a destiny! Come out, my son, come out! Go after that jewel, which illuminates the world, for it is a good time to do so!

Since the daughter of Rabbi Pinchas was the wife of Rabbi Shimon (Rabbi Shimon and his wife designate two spiritual Partzufim that are below Rabbi Pinchas), Rabbi Shimon (together with his wife) belonged to the household (was included in the Partzuf) of Rabbi Pinchas. This refers to Rabbi Elazar, the Partzuf that emerged from the Light and illuminated the world, which filled the household (ten Sefirot) of Rabbi Pinchas, i.e., came out of the Partzuf called “Rabbi Shimon and his wife.”

187. He came out before him and stood waiting to board a ship. Two women were with him. He saw two birds soaring over the water. He raised his voice and said, “Birds, you soar over the sea; have you seen the place where one could find Bar-Yochai?” He waited some and said, “Birds, O birds, fly away.” They flew away and disappeared into the sea.

Rabbi Shimon fled from the authorities that condemned him to death, and hid in a cave with his son. And no one knew where he was. Therefore, Rabbi Pinchas set out to look for him.

Although everything described here is historically true, it is nonetheless essential for us to understand the words of The Zohar as the actions of Supernal spiritual causes, whose consequences determine all that transpires on earth. The egoistic authorities (forces) of a Partzuf as exalted as Rabbi Shimon’s try to overcome his own altruistic aspirations and deprive him of the Light, that is, to kill him. And he hides from them in a cave, i.e., assumes a small state (Katnut) and shines with the Light of mercy. This is referred to as “hides in a cave” – becomes invisible to egoistic forces, for they desire Ohr Hochma and cannot see Ohr Hassadim.

188. Before he boarded the ship, the birds approached again, and in the beak of one of them was a letter. It read that Rabbi Shimon, the son of Yochai, had left the cave together with his son, Rabbi Elazar. Rabbi Pinchas went to them and found them completely changed: their bodies were covered with sores (like holes in the ground – see the Talmud, Bava Batra, 19:2) from staying in the cave for so long. He wept and said, “Woe that I have seen you so!” Rabbi Shimon replied: “O how happy is my lot that you have seen me so, for had you not seen me so, I would not have been what I am!” Rabbi Shimon opened about the Mitzvot (commandments) of the Torah and said, “The Mitzvot of the Torah that the Creator gave to Israel are all described in a general form.”

While staying in the cave (in Ohr Hassadim) for many years (degrees), Rabbi Shimon had no choice but to sit in the sand (the external garment – Levush covering the Partzuf with a particular property, called “earth”) in order to cover his naked body (desires) so he could study the Torah (receive the Upper Light in his Partzuf with the intention for the Creator’s sake). As a result of being covered with sand, his entire “body” was covered with “rust and sores” (but these were necessary corrections).

And not only did the Partzuf called Rabbi Shimon need the correction of concealment in Hassadim (cave) and the cover of an external garment (Returning Light), but his next state, fathered by him, called his son, Rabbi Elazar (a lower Partzuf), also needed these corrections to attain all of the Creator’s Light.

He wept and said: “Woe that I have seen you so!” Rabbi Shimon replied:“O how happy is my lot that you have seen me so, for had you not seen me so, I would not have been what I am!” In other words, if I would not look as I do, I would not have merited all the secrets of the Torah, for all that I have attained, I have attained during those thirteen years (thirteen successive corrections) of hiding in the cave.

Mitzvot of the Torah: “The Mitzvot of the Torah that the Creator gave to Israel are all described in a general form.” All of the Mitzvot of the Torah are described in the passage from the Torah, starting with “In the beginning the Creator created” and ending with “Let there be Light.” These are the Mitzvot of fear and punishment, which include all the Mitzvot of the Torah. This is why they are called “in general.”

The First Commandment

189. BERESHEET BARA HELOKIM (In the beginning the Creator created) is the first Mitzva (commandment), the root and foundation of everything. And it is called “fear of the Creator” or Resheet (beginning), as it is written: “Fear of the Creator is the beginning of wisdom.” Fear of the Creator is the beginning of wisdom, for this fear is called “the beginning.” And it is the gate that leads to faith. And the whole world is based on this Mitzva.

It is difficult to understand why fear is called “the beginning,” and why it precedes wisdom and faith. The Zohar answers: it is because fear is the beginning of every Sefira, and it is impossible to attain any Sefira (property) without first attaining the property of fear. Yet, this implies that fear is merely a means of attaining other qualities or properties. But then, if it is only a means, then why is it included in the list of Mitzvot (plural for Mitzva) as the first Mitzva? Can it be that fear is a kind of prerequisite?

Therefore, The Zohar says that it is impossible to attain perfect, selfless faith in any way other than through fear of the Creator. And the extent of fear will determine the extent of faith. Hence, the whole world is based on the Mitzva of fear, for the whole world exists only thanks to the Torah and Mitzvot, as the prophet said: “If not for My union with day and night, I would not have appointed the ordinances of Heaven and earth” (Yirmiyahu, 33:25).

And since fear is the beginning and the gate to the other Mitzvot (for fear is also the gate to faith), the whole world is based on this property of fear. It is hence written that the Mitzva of fear includes all of the other Mitzvot of the Torah; and were it not for fear, the Creator would not have created anything.

190. There are three types of fear, two of which have no real basis, but one does. If man fears that his children may die, or fears illness or bodily suffering, or fears for his material well-being, this kind of fear (even if constant) is not the basis or root, for only desirable consequences constitute the cause of fear. This is called “the fear of punishment in this world.” But there is also another type of fear: the fear of punishment in the world to come, in hell. These two types of fear – the fear of punishment in this world and in the world to come – do not constitute real basis and root.

191. The real fear is the fear of the Creator, for He is great and almighty, for He is the Source of everything, and all else is nothing compared to Him. Man should concentrate all his attention on attaining this kind of fear.

There are three kinds of fear before the Creator, but only one of them is considered true fear. If one is afraid of the Creator, and observes His Mitzvot so he and his children will be well and prosperous, this constitutes the first kind, the fear of the various punishments in this world. If he observes the Creator’s Mitzvot because he fears punishments in hell, this is the second kind of fear. The Zohar says that neither of these two kinds is true, for man observes the Mitzvot only out of fear of punishment, for the sake of his own benefit, and not because these are the Creator’s Mitzvot.

In this case, his personal wellbeing is the cause of his observance, and his fear is merely a consequence of his will to receive pleasure. Rather, true fear must stem from the Creator’s greatness and omnipotence, for He rules over all and is the source of everything. All the worlds emerge from Him, and His deeds testify to His greatness. And all that He created is nothing compared to Him, for it adds nothing to Him.

Thus, we can plainly see that there is no difference in action: one observes out of the first or second kinds of fear, while the other observes out of the third kind. To an onlooker, they perform the same actions, the Creator’s Mitzvot. But the enormous difference between them lies only in their intention, their motivation – why they observe the Creator’s decree!

Hence, it is impossible to discern man’s spiritual degree by his external observance of the Mitzvot, which is visible to all. Moreover, those who observe them in order to receive an immediate reward from others usually do so with the utmost outward zeal. But one whose intentions and thoughts are directed inwardly, who seeks true observance, as a rule, does not stand out amidst the masses in any way.

One must constantly seek to perfect and complement his intentions only by observing the Mitzvot at an increasingly deeper level, while focusing on inner contemplation and direction of his thoughts. In no way should he engage in excessive “mechanical observance,” on which there is a clear prohibition: “Do not exaggerate in the Mitzvot.”

On the contrary, one must devote all his attention to the attainment of true fear, as the Creator’s first Mitzva decrees. As Rabbi Baruch Ashlag said, “Fear of the Creator is the constant, selfless desire that is expressed in the thought: ‘Have I done everything I could for the Creator, or is there anything more that I can do for Him?’”

192. Rabbi Shimon started to weep, wailing, “Woe if I reveal and woe if I do not reveal: If I say, the sinners will know how to work for the Creator’s sake, and if I do not say, it will not reach my friends. Wherever there is true fear, opposite it and correspondingly below stands an evil fear, which strikes and prosecutes. It is the scourge that whips the sinners (punishing them for their sins). This is why he is afraid to reveal it, for the sinners may learn how to avoid punishment, and punishment constitutes their correction!

Here Rabbi Shimon warns that he cannot reveal everything in its entirety (this refers to “Avoda Lishma” – work “for the Creator’s sake”), for he fears it may harm the sinners. Here he wishes to reveal how one can draw nearer and merge with the Tree of Life, and therewith refrain from touching the Tree of Death. However, this refers only to those who have already corrected themselves with regard to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Nevertheless, the sinners (those who have yet to correct their transgressions in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) are not entitled to know this, for they still need to toil in all the required tasks until they correct themselves in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Thus we see that the Torah defines a sinner as one who is yet to correct the Tree of Knowledge in his soul.

The prohibition on revealing the true essence of the work for the Creator’s sake is based on the words of the Torah: “Behold, Adam has become as one of us in knowledge of good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever” (Beresheet, 3:22).

After Adam’s sin in the Tree of Knowledge, the Creator banished him from the Garden of Eden to prevent Adam from connecting to the Tree of Life and gaining eternal life. This is because then, what he corrupted in the Tree of Knowledge would remain uncorrected. Therefore, to let only the righteous know this wisdom, Rabbi Shimon reveals it by way of allusion.

193. But he who fears the punishment by whippings, the true fear of the Creator cannot descend upon him. Instead, evil fear overtakes him in the form of fearing punishment by whipping.

194. Therefore, the place that is named “fear of the Creator” is called the beginning of knowledge. This is why this Mitzva is included here. And it is the foundation and source of all the other Mitzvot of the Torah. And whoever observes the Mitzva of fear of the Creator, thereby observes all the others. But he who does not observe the Mitzva of fear of the Creator, does not observe the other Mitzvot of the Torah, for this Mitzva constitutes the foundation for all the others.

Here The Zohar repeats that in one place it is written, “Fear of the Creator is the beginning of wisdom,” while in another it says, “Fear of the Creator is the beginning of knowledge.” And The Zohar explains that where the property of fear ends, another evil fear begins, one that slanders and whips. In this regard, it is said in Kabbalah that the legs of a pure Partzuf Malchut descends to a place of impure forces.

However, he who observes the Mitzva of fear because the Creator is great and almighty unites with Him (becomes equal to the Creator in his properties), so as to not feel shame in receiving from Him. Besides this correction, no other work exists for the creatures.

This is called “fear of the Creator for the sake of life,” for as a result of merging with the Creator, creatures are filled with life. Otherwise, they fall under the power of the restriction, as Tzimtzum Aleph (first restriction) restricted the reception of Light in egoistic desires. Such a Kli (desire) becomes a cause of death, for it is an empty place (devoid of Light). Hence, creatures must fear failing to make the corrections that they were entrusted with.

However, those who observe the Mitzvot out of fear, rather than out of realization of the Creator’s greatness and His decree, are ruled and whipped by the fear of an empty Malchut. And since the end of fear lies in the evil scourge, true fear is called “The beginning of knowledge of the fear of the Creator,” which indicates the necessity to aspire only to this kind of fear, and beware of the evil kind. Because of this, Adam’s sin is corrected.

195. Therefore, it is written, “IN THE BEGINNING” (signifying fear) THE CREATOR CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH. For whoever transgresses here, transgresses all of the Torah Mitzvot. And his punishment is the evil scourge, i.e., the evil fear that whips him. The words, “AND THE EARTH WAS UNFORMED AND CHAOTIC, AND DARKNESS WAS UPON THE FACE OF THE DEEP, AND THE SPIRIT OF THE CREATOR” refer to the four punishments of the wicked.

196. WITHOUT FORM refers to strangulation. CHAOTIC refers to stoning, i.e., the stones that fall into the great deep to punish the sinners. DARKNESS signifies burning, the fire that falls upon the heads of the wicked to burn them down. THE SPIRIT OF THE CREATOR refers to beheading.

Those who observe the Mitzva of fear before the Creator not because such is His decree, but because they are afraid of punishment, fall into the impure force’s trap, called “without form.” As a result, they are lost, having no understanding of the Creator’s thoughts and deeds. And this impure force is defined as a rope on man’s neck, blocking the inflow of pure (holy) air to his soul and preventing him from gaining life. And to the extent of man’s ignorance, the impure force strangulates him!

And when he is caught in the impure force’s noose, tightening around his neck, it has the power to control man at its will: to stone, burn, or behead him. Stoning means that impure thoughts befall his head with desired pleasures, thus pulling him down into the deep. There they punish him with darkness (burning), and the impure force turns him on fierce fire until it burns all the pure life-force out of him.

197. The spirit of the Creator means beheading, for the scorching wind (Ruach Se’ara) is a flaming sword – punishment for whoever does not observe the Torah and Mitzvot that are mentioned after the Mitzva of fear, called “foundation,” as it includes all the Mitzvot. This is because after the word BERESHEET (BEGINNING), which signifies fear, it is written WITHOUT FORM, CHAOS, DARKNESS and SPIRIT – in all, the four penalties of death. And then follow the rest of the Torah and Mitzvot.

Following the first sentence of the Torah, the remaining part of the Torah refers to the rest of the Mitzvot, which are particular with regard to the general and all-inclusive Mitzva of fear.

The Second Commandment

198. The second Mitzva (commandment) is inseparably connected with the Mitzva of fear, and it is the Mitzva of love – for man to love his Creator with perfect love. What is perfect love? It is a great love, as it is written, “He walks before the Creator in complete sincerity and perfection” (Beresheet, 17:1), which signifies perfection in love. Thus, it is written, “And the Creator said, ‘Let there be Light’” (Beresheet, 1:3) – this is perfect love, called “great love.” This is precisely how man should love his Creator.

There exists conditional love, which appears as a result of all the goodness received from the Creator (“Introduction to The Study of Ten Sefirot,” items 66-74), as a result of which man merges with the Creator with all his heart and soul. Yet, although he merges with the Creator in complete perfection, this love is considered imperfect. It is similar to Noah’s love (Beresheet Raba, 30), who constantly needed to reinforce his feeling – to see that the Creator sends him only goodness.

Avraham, however, needed nothing to reinforce his love for the Creator, as it is written: “He walks before the Creator in complete perfection.” For the words “walks before” mean that he needs nothing to reinforce his feeling of love for the Creator. And even if he does not receive anything from Him, his love remains constant and perfect, and he wishes to merge with the Creator with his heart and soul.

199. Rabbi Elazar said, “I have heard what perfect love means.” He was told, “Tell this to Rabbi Pinchas, as he truly exists on that degree.” Rabbi Elazar said, “Perfect love means that it is perfect on both sides; if it does not include both sides, such a love is imperfect.”

He was told to turn to Rabbi Pinchas, for Rabbi Pinchas had already attained the degree of perfect love and will be able understand him correctly. The words “on both sides” refer to both the good side and the evil side. In other words, if the Creator gives him not only goodness, but restrictions, too (which he perceives as unpleasant), and even if He takes his soul away, still man’s love for the Creator remains perfect, as though he receives from Him nothing but the very best in the world.

200. Therefore, there is he who loves the Creator in order to gain riches, live a long life, have many healthy children, and rule over his enemies – he receives everything he wants, and this is why he loves the Creator. However, should he receive the opposite, should the Creator lead him through a wheel of suffering, he will come to hate the Creator, and will feel no love toward Him whatsoever. Therefore, such a love is baseless.

Since his love depends on what he receives from the Creator, when reception stops, so does his love. Clearly, man can love only one or the other – himself or the Creator!

201. Love is considered perfect if it exists on both sides – on the side of judgment and the side of mercy (success in life). As we already mentioned, when one loves the Creator, even if He were to take away his soul, this love would remain perfect on both sides: mercy and judgment. Therefore, the Light of the First Act of Creation was revealed and then concealed. And because of this concealment, strict judgment appeared in the world, and both sides, mercy and judgment, united to form perfection. And this is the desired love.

The Light that was created on the first day of creation (in the verse “Let there be Light”) was later concealed, as it is written, for the righteous in the world to come. It was concealed so as to let strict judgment appear in this world.

This leads to the unification of the two sides (mercy and judgment) into one, for man receives an opportunity to reveal the perfection of love even when the Creator takes his soul away, and he is given an opportunity to supplement and perfect his love. And had the Light not been concealed, strict judgment would not have been revealed, and the GREAT LOVE would have been concealed from the righteous, and there would be no way of revealing it.

202. Rabbi Shimon kissed him. Rabbi Pinchas approached, kissed and blessed him. He said, “It is clear that the Creator has sent me here. This is the tiny ray of Light that was said to be shining in my house, and would later light up the whole world” (item 186). Rabbi Elazar