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The Zohar trans. Sperling, Harry
Simon Maurice, 1934
The Socino Press, London.
These extracts from the Zohar are to give a hint at the Creation, the radiance (Zohar) the indwelling (Shekhinah) and the nature of the Elohim and the divine conjugal union implicit in the Zohar narrative.
First Precept: Fear of the Lord. "In the beginning God created ... "
Second precept: Great and perfect love. "walk before me and be thou wholehearted" (G17:1)
Third precept: Acknowledge there is a God to make due
proclamation of his unity.
Fouth precept: The Lord is God. (Deut 4:39)
Let the waters swarm with the movement of living creatures
Fifth precept: Study the Torah
Sixth precept: Be frutiful and multiply - cause the stream of existence to be perennially flowing. Whenever a soul descends into this world the winged being that issued together with it from that tree accompanies it
Seventh precept: Circumcise a male child on the eighth day. Let the water of the holy seed be stamped with the stamp of the soul of the living. (Enoch).
Eighth precept: Love the proselyte who comes to be circumcised and to be brought under the wings of the "Divine presence" (Shekhinah) Thge 'nations' separated from Israel in various celestial compartments.
Ninth precept: Show kindness to the poor and to provide them with their needs.
Tenth precept: Put on phylacteries - attain oneself the perfection of the divine image of God. (Man in God's image)
Eleventh precept: Giving tithe of the produce of the land.
Twelfth precept: Bring as an offering the friuts of the Tree
Thirteenth precept: Redeem the first-born son so as to attach him firmly to life.
Fourteenth precept: Observe the sabbath day.
Yod opening the womb
Vau absolute unity Shema The summary of all expressive of absolute unity, combining and absorbing all - the tree of life.
He God's power below
When the upper world was filled and became pregnant, it brought forth two children together, a male and a female, those being heaven and earth after the supernal pattern. The earth is fed from the waters of the heaven whichare poured into it. These upper waters, however are male, wheras the lower are female, and the lower are fed from the male and the lower waters call to the upper, like a female that receives the male, and pour out water to meet the water of the male to produce seed. Thus the female is fed from the male, as it is written "and the earth" with the addition of vau.
BERESHITHI Gen. i, i-vi, 8
At the outset the decision of the King made a tracing in the supernal effulgence, a lamp of scintillation, and there issued within the impenetrable recesses of the mysterious limitless a shapeless nucleus enclosed in a ring, neither white nor black nor red nor green nor of any colour at all. When he took measurements, he fashioned colours to show within, and within the lamp there issued a certain effluence from which colours were imprinted below. The most mysterious Power enshrouded in the limitless clave, as it were, without cleaving its void, remaining wholly unknowable until from the force of the strokes there shone forth a supernal and mysterious point. Beyond that point there is no knowable, and therefore it is called Reshith (beginning), the creative utterance which is the starting-point of all. It is written: And the intelligent shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever (Dan. XII, 3). There was indeed a "brightness" (Zohar).
The Most Mysterious struck its void, and caused this point to shine. This "beginning" then extended, and made for itself a palace for its honour and glory. There it sowed a sacred seed which was to generate for the benefit of the universe, and to which may be applied the Scriptural words "the holy seed is the stock thereof" (Is. vi, 13). Again there was Zohar, in that it sowed a seed for its glory, just as the silkworm encloses itself, as it were, in a palace of its own production which is both useful and beautiful. Thus by means of this "beginning" the Mysterious Unknown made this palace.
This palace is called Elohim, and this doctrine is contained in the words, "By means of a beginning (it) created Elohim." The Zohar is that from which were created all the creative utterances through the extension of the point of this mysterious brightness.
NOW THE EARTH HAD BEEN VOID AND WITHOUT FORM.
The word hoithah (was), being a pluperfect, implies that the earth had been previously. There was snow in the midst of water, from the action of which was produced a slime. Then a mighty fire beat upon it and produced in it a refuse. So it was transformed and became Tohu (chaos), the abode of slime, the nest of refuse, and also Bohu (formlessness), the finer part which was sifted from the Tohu and rested on it. The word "darkness" in the text alludes to this mighty fire. This darkness covered the Tohu, namely the refuse, and was buoyed up by it. The "spirit of God" is a holy spirit that proceeded from Elohim Hayyim (living God), hovering over the face of the waters". When this wind blew, a certain film detached itself from the refuse, like the film which remains on the top of boiling broth when the froth has been skimmed off two or three times. When Tohu had thus been sifted and purified, there issued from it "a great and strong wind rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks", like that which Elijah saw (i Kings xix, i 1, 12).
Similarly Bohu was sifted and purified, and there issued from it earthquake, as with Elijah. Then what we call "darkness" was sifted, and there was contained in it fire, just as to Elijah there appeared "after the earth- quake fire". When what we call "spirit" was sifted, there was contained in it a still, small voice. Tohu is a place which has no colour and no form, and the esoteric principle of "form" does not apply to it. It seems for a moment to have a form, but when looked at again it has no form. Everything has a "vestment" except this.
Bohu, on the other hand, has shape and form, namely, stones immersed in the chasm of Tohu, but sometimes emerging from the chasm in which they are sunk, and drawing therefrom sustenance for the world. Through the form of their vestment they draw sustenance from above to below, and ascend from below above, and therefore they are hollow and strong. These are suspended in the expanse; that is to say, sometimes they are suspended in the expanse when they rise out of the chasm, and sometimes they are hidden, to wit, on the "day of cloud", when they draw waters from the abyss to supply therewith Tohu, for then there is joy that Tohu was spread in the universe. "Darkness" is a black fire, strong in colour. There is a red fire, strong in visibility; a yellow fire, strong in shape; and a white fire, the colour which includes all. "Darkness" is the strongest of all fires, and this it was which took hold of Tohu. "Darkness" is fire, but fire is not darkness, save when it takes hold of Tohu. The symbol for this is, "his eyes were dim so that he could not see, and he called Esau, etc." (Gen. xxvii, i). Here, too, "the countenance of the evil one was darkened" because it countenanced the evil one. Hence this fire is called "darkness" because it rested upon Tohu and took hold of it; this is the inner meaning of the words "and darkness on the face of the abyss".
"Spirit" is the voice which rests on Bohu, and grasps it and guides it as required. This is symbolised in the words "The voice of the Lord is on the waters" (Ps- xxlx, 3); and so, too, "the spirit of the Lord was hovering over the face of the waters". By "face of the waters" is meant stones sunk in the abyss, so called because waters issue from them. Thus each was provided as befitted. Tohu is under the aegis of the name Shaddai ; Bohu, under that of Zebaoth ; Darkness, under that of Elohim ; Spirit, under that of Yhvh.
AND GOD SAID, LET THERE BE LIGHT; AND THERE WAS LIGHT.
From this point we can begin to discover hidden things relating to the creation of the world in detail. For up to this point the Creation has been described in general, and lower down the general description is repeated, so that we have a combination of general-particular-general. Up to this point the whole was suspended in the void in direct dependence on the limitless. When, however, energy had been extended through the supernal palace alluded to in the name Elohim, the term "saying" is used in connection with it, in the words "and God said" - opoens the dorr to inquiry and understanding.
And the darkness he called night.
He summoned to issue from the side of darkness a kind of female moon which rules over the night and is associated with Adonai the Lord of all the earth.
AND GOD SAID LET THERE BE A FIRMAMENT IN THE MIDST OF THE WATERS
Here is an allusion to the separation of the upper from the lower waters through that which is called "the left" - hereto discord was created between the left (discord) and the right (unity).
There emerged a quarrel of love and affection which made for the permanence of the world as reflected in the creative complementation between the oral and written Torah.
Even after the separation of the waters, discord did not cease until after the third day. At this point the avenging spirit was reinforced and the legions of demons.
"Man" implies the union of male and female, without which the name "man" (Adam) is not applied.
AND GOD SAID, LET THERE BE LIGHTS.
The word for "lights" (meoroth) is written defectively, as if me'eroth (curses), for the reason that the children's disease, croup, was through them created. For after the primordial light was withdrawn there was created a "membrane for the marrow", a k'lifah, and this k'lifah expanded and produced another. As soon as this second one came forth she went up and down till she reached the "little faces".
She desired to cleave to them and to be shaped as one of them, and was loth to depart from them. But the Holy One, blessed be He, removed her from them and made her go below. When He created Adam and gave him a partner, as soon as she saw Eve clinging to his side and was reminded by his form of the supernal beauty, she flew up from thence and tried as before to attach herself to the "little faces". The supernal guardians of the gates, however, did not permit her. The Holy One, blessed be He, chid her and cast her into the depths of the sea, where she abode until the time that Adam and his wife sinned. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, brought her out from the depth of the sea and gave her power over all those children, the "little faces" of the sons of men, who are liable to punishment for the sins of their fathers. She then wandered up and down the world. She approached the gates of the terrestrial paradise, where she saw the Cherubim, the guard- ians of the gates of Paradise, and sat down near the flashing sword, to which she was akin in origin. When she saw the flashing sword revolving, she fled and wandered about the world and, finding children liable to punishment, she maltreated and killed them. All this is on account of the action of the moon in diminishing her (original) light.
She wanders about at night time, vexing the sons of men and causing them to defile themselves. Wherever these spirits find people sleeping alone in a house, they hover over them, lay hold of them and cleave to them, inspire desire in them and beget from them. They further inflict diseases on them without their being aware-all this through the diminution of the moon. When the moon was restored, the letters of meoroth (lights) were reversed to form imrath (word), as it is written, "the word (imrath) of the Lord is tried, he is a shield to those that trust in him" (Ps- XVIII, 3I), i.e. He is a shield against all those evil spirits and demons that wander about the world at the waning of the moon, unto those that hold fast to their faith in the Holy One, blessed be He.
King Solomon, when he penetrated into the depths of the nut garden" (as it is written, "I descended into the nut garden", S. S. vi, ii), took a nut-shell (klifah) and drew an analogy from its layers to these spirits which inspire sensual desires in human beings, as it is written, "and the delights of the sons of men (are from) male and female demons" (Eccl. ii, 8). This verse also indicates that the pleasures in which men indulge in the time of sleep give birth to multitudes of demons. The Holy One, blessed be He, found it necessary to create all these things in the world to ensure its permanence, so that there should be, as it were, a brain with many membranes encircling it. The whole world is constructed on this principle, upper and lower, from the first mystic point up to the furthest removed of all the stages. They are all coverings one to another, brain within brain and spirit within spirit, so that one is a shell to another. The primal point is the innermost light of a translucency, tenuity, and purity passing comprehension.
The extension of that point becomes a "palace" (Hekal), which forms a vestment for that point with a radiance which is still unknowable on account of its translucency. The "palace" which is the vestment for that unknowable point is also a radiance which cannot be compre- hended, yet withal less subtle and translucent than the primal mystic point. This "palace" extends into the primal Light, which is a vestment for it. From this point there is extension after extension, each one forming a vestment to the other, being in the relation of membrane and brain to one another.
Although at first a vestment, each stage becomes a brain to the next stage. The same process takes place below, so that on this model man in this world combines brain and shell, spirit and body, all for the better ordering of the world. When the moon was in connection with the sun, she was luminous, but as soon as she separated from the sun and was assigned the charge of her own hosts, she reduced her status and her light, and shells upon shells were created for covering the brain, and all for the benefit of the brain. Hence meoroth is written defectively. All this was for the benefit of the world, and hence it is written, "to give light upon the earth".
AND GOD MADE THE TWO GREAT LIGHTS.
The word "made" signifies the due expansion and establishment of the whole. The words "the two great lights" show that at first they were associated as equals, symbolising the full name ,7ehovah Elohim (although the latter part is not revealed, but is known inferentially). The word "great" shows that at their creation they were dignified with the same name, so that through them the name of the Whole was called Ma;paz Ma;paz,l the two highest names of the thirteen categories of mercy.2 These were invested with greater dignity, and they are placed at the head because they derive from on high and ascend for the benefit of the world and for the preservation of worlds. Similarly the two lights ascended together with the same dignity.
The moon, however, was not at ease with the sun, and in fact each felt mortified by the other. The moon said "Where dost thou pasture ?" (S- S- 1, 7). The sun said "Where dost thou make thy flock to rest at noon ? (Ibid.) How can a little candle shine at midday ?" God there- upon said to her, "Go and diminish thyself." She felt humiliated and said "Why should I be as one that veileth herself ?" (Ibid.). God then said "Go thy way forth in the footsteps of the flock." Thereupon she diminished herself so as to be head of the lower ranks. From that time she has had no light of her own, but derives her light from the sun. At first they were on an equality, but afterwards she diminished herself among all those grades of hers, although she is still head of them; for a woman enjoys no honour save in conjunction with her husband. The "great light" corresponds to Yhvh, and the "lesser light" to Elohim, which is the last of the degrees and the close of the Thought.
"The stars" are the remainder of the forces and the hosts which, countless in number, are all suspended in that "firmament of the heaven" which is the "life of the universe", as it is written, "and God placed them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. . . ." This is the lower earth, which derives light from them as they from above. On this (the fourth) day the kingdom of David was established, the fourth leg and support of the (divine) throne, and the letters (of the divine Name) were firmly fixed in their places. Yet withal until the sixth day, when the likeness of man was fully formed, the throne was not firmly fixed in its place; but then at last both the upper and the lower thrones were established, and all the worlds were settled in their places, and all the letters were fixed in their spheres by the extension of the primordial vapour.
The fourth day was "rejected of the builders", because on it this luminary degraded itself and abated its radiance, and the outer shells were reinforced. All those radiating lights are suspended in that firmament of the heaven, that by them the throne of David may be established. Those lights are formative agents in the lower world to perfect the shape of all those who are included in the term "man". This is the name given to every interior shape; and thus every shape which is comprised in this extension is called "man", which properly indicates man's spirit emanating from the realm of holiness, to which his body is a vestment, as we read, "Thou clothest me in skin and flesh" (job x, i i).
Hence we often meet the expression "flesh of man", implying that the real man is within and the flesh which is his body is only a vestment.
Thus the supernal lights radiate in that "firmament of the heaven" to fashion in the lower world the requisite shapes, as it is written, "and God set them in the firmament of the heaven . . . and to rule by day and by night". It is fit and proper that two lights should rule, the greater light by day and the lesser light by night. The lesson we derive is that the male rules by day to regulate his household and to bring food and sustenance into it. When night arrives, the female takes command, and she rules the house, as it is written, "she rises while it is still night and giveth food to her house" (Prov. xxxi, 15)-she and not he. Thus the dominion of the day belongs to the male and the dominion of the night to the female.
Further it is written, AND THE STARS. As soon as the wife has given her orders and retired with her husband, the direction of the house is left to the maidens, who remain in the house to look after all its requirements. Then when day comes the man again duly takes command. "And God made the two lights." There are two kinds of luminaries. Those which ascend above are called "luminaries of light", and those which descend below are called "luminaries of fire". These latter belong to the lower sphere and rule over the weekdays. It is for this reason that at the expiry of Sabbath a blessing is said over the lamp, because rule is then restored to these luminaries.
'We must picture a king who wanted several buildings to be erected, and who had an architect in his service who did nothing save with his consent. The king is the supernal Wisdom above, the Central Column being the king below: Elohim is the architect above, being as such the supernal Mother, and Elohim is also the architect below, being as such the Divine Presence (Shekinah) of the lower world. Now a woman may not do anything without the consent of her husband. When he desired anything built in the way of emanation (aziluth), the Father said to the Mother by means of the Word (amirah), "let it be so and so", and straightway it was so, as it is written, "And he said, Elohim, let there be light, and there was light": i.e. one said to Elohim, let there be light: the master of the building gave the order, and the architect carried it out immediately; and so with all that was constructed in the way of emanation. When he came to the world of separation", which is the sphere of individual beings, ihe architect said to the master of the building: "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness." Said the master of the building: "Truly, it is well that he should be made, but he will one day sin before thee, because he is foolish: so it is written, 'A wise son rejoiceth his father, and a foolish son is a heaviness to his mother' (Prov. x, i)." She replied: "Since his guilt is referred to the mother and not the father, I desire to create him in my likeness." Hence it is written, "And Elohim created man in his image", the Father not being willing to share in his creation. Thus in reference to his sin it is written, "and through your transgression your Mother is dismissed" (Is. L, i). Said the king to the mother, "Did I not tell thee that he was destined to sin ?" At that time he drove him out and drove out his mother with him; and so it is written, "A wise son rejoiceth his father and a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother."
Only the supernal Mother had a name combining light and darkness-light, which was the supernal vestment and which God created on the first day and then stored away for the righteous, and darkness, which was created on the first day for the wicked. On account of the darkness, which was destined to sin against the light, the Father was not willing to share in man's creation, and therefore the Mother said: "let us make man in our image after our likeness". "In our image" corresponds to light, "after our likeness", to darkness, which is a vestment to light in the same way that the body is a vestment to the soul, as it is written, "Thou didst clothe me with skin and flesh." '
Jacob foresaw the oppression of the last captivity in the end of days, and therefore "he prayed in that place and tarried there because the sun had set" (Gen. xxviii, i i), i.e. the night of captivity had come. David, referring to the captivity, said "hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness". He saw the Shekinah parched and withered and dried, and was in deep sorrow on its behalf. When he saw Israel returning in joy, he composed ten kinds of chants, and at the cnd of all he exclaimed: "A prayer for the poor man when he fainteth" (Ps. cii, i). This is the prayer which comes before God before all the others. Which is the "prayer of the poor man" ? This is the evening prayer, which is single, without a husband; and because she is without a husband she is poor and dry. Like her is the just man, poor and parched; this is the seed of Jacob, which is in subjection to all nations and resembles the evening prayer, which typifies the night of captivity. The Sabbath prayer is a kindness to this poor man. Therefore a man when reciting the Amidah prayer during the weekdays should stand like a poor man at the king's gate on account of the Shekinah, and he should clothe it with the vestment of the fringes, and he should stand in his phylacteries like a beggar at the gate when he begins with the word Adonai (Lord). When he opens his mouth to utter the evening prayer an eagle, comes down on the weekdays to take up on its wings the evcaing prayer. This is the angel called Nuriel when coming from the side of Hesed (Kindness), and Uriel when coming from the side of Geburah (Force), because it is a buming fire. For the morning prayer also a lion comes down to receive it in his winged arms: this is Michael. For the afternoon prayer an ox comes down to take it with his arms and horns: this is Gabriel. On Sabbath God himself comes down with the three patriarchs to welcome his only daughter. At that moment the celestial beings who are called by the name of the Lord exclaim "Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates, and be exalted, ye everlasting doors", and straightway the doors of seven palaces fly open. The first palace is the palace of love; the second, of fear; the third, of mercy; the fourth, of prophecy through the clear mirror [24a]; the fifth, of prophecy through the hazy mirror; the sixth, of righteousness; the seventh, of justice.'
The following is another explanation of the words: "These are the generations of heaven and earth." The expression "these are ..." here corresponds to the same expression in the text: "these are thy gods, 0 Israel" (Ex. xxxil, 4) - When these shall be exterminated, it will be as if God had made heaven and earth on that day; hence it is written, "on the day that God makes heaven and earth".
At that time God will reveal Himself with the Shekinah and the world will be renewed, as it is written, "for as the new earth and the new heaven, etc." (IS. LXVI, 22). At that time "the Lord shall cause to spring from the ground every pleasant tree, etc.", but before these are exterminated the rain of the Torah will not descend, and Israel, who are compared to herbs and trees, cannot shoot up, as is hinted in the words: "no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field, etc." (Gen. ii, 5), because "there was no man", i.e. Israel were not in the Temple, "to till the ground" with sacrifices. According to another explanation, the words "no shrub of the field was yet in the earth" refer to the first Messiah, and the words "no herb of the field had yet sprung up" refer to the second Messiah.
Why had they not shot forth? Because Moses was not there to serve the Shekinah-Moses, of whom it is written, "and there was no man to till the ground". This is also hinted at in the verse "the sceptre shall not depart from judah nor the ruler's staff from between his feet", "the sceptre" referring to the Messiah of the house of Judah, and "the staff" to the Messiah of the house of Joseph. "Until Shiloh cometh": this is Moses, the numerical value of the two names Shiloh and Moses being the same. It isalso possible to refer the "herbs of the field" to the righteous or to the students of the Torah....
AND THE LORD GOD FORMED MAN. "Man" here refers
to Israel, whom God shaped at that time both for this world and for the future world. Further, the word vayizer (and he formed) implies that God brought them under the wgis of His own name by shaping the two eyes like the letter Yod and the nose between like the letter Vau.... Forthwith at that time He planted Israel in the holy Garden of Eden, as it is said: "and the Lord God planted" (Gen. ii, 8). The two names here refer to the Father and the Mother; the "Garden" is the Shekinah on earth, and "Eden" is the supernal Mother; "the man" is the Central Column; the Shekinah was to be his plantation, his spouse who was never to depart from him and was to be his perpetual delight. Thus God at that time planted Israel as a holy shoot, as it is written, "the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, in which I glory".
AND THE LORD GOD CAUSED TO GROW. The two names may be referred to the Father and the Mother; "every pleasant tree" refers to the Zaddik; "good to eat" refers to the Central Column, through which He provided food for all, and from which alone the Zaddik is nourished, as the Shekinah from him. These have no need of the lower world, but, on the contrary, all below are nourished from him. For in this period of captivity the Shekinah and "the Life of the universe" are only nourished by the eighteen blessings of Israel's prayer, but at the time he will be food for all.
AND THE TREE 0F LIFE. This means that at that time the Tree of Life will be planted in the Garden, so that "he shall take also of the Tree of Life and eat and live for ever" (Gen. HI, 22). The Shekinah will no longer be in the power of the "evil influence", i.e. the mixed multitude who are the tree of the knowledge of good and evil", and shall no longer receive inio itself anyone unclean, to fulfil what is written, "the Lord alone shall lead him and there shall be no strange god with him" (Deut. xxxll, 12).
For this reason proselytes will no longer be admitted in the days of the Messiah. The Shekinah will be like a vine on which there cannot be grafted any shoot from another species, and Israel shall be "every tree pleasant to see", and their former beauty shall be restored to them, of which we are told: "He cast from heaven to earth the beauty of Israel" (Lam. ii, i). "The tree of the knowledge of good and evil" shall be thrust from them and shall not cleave to them or mingle with them, for of Israel it is said: "and of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ye shall not eat".
This tree is the "mixed multitude", and God pointed out to them that through mixing with them they suffered two losses, of the first and of the second Temple, as it is said: "and on the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt surely die". They caused the Zaddik to be left parched and desolate by the loss of the first Temple, which is the Shekinah in heaven, and by the loss of the second Temple, which is the Shekinah on earth.
Hence it is written, "and the river shall be drained dry"; i.e. the river vau shall dry in the lower he', so as to deprive it of the flow of yod issuing from En-Sof. But as soon as Israel shall go forth from captivity, that is, the holy people alone, then that river which was dried up shall become "the river that goes forth from Eden to water the garden". This river is the Central Column; "goes forth from Eden" is the supemal Mother; "to water the garden" is the Shekinah on earth. In reference to that time it is saict of Moses and Israel, "Then thou shalt delight in the Lord", and the words shall be fulfilled, "then Moses shall sing" (Ex. xv, i). [26b] . . . Further, the river "shall part from thence and become four heads" (Gen. ii, io). The first of these is Hesed (Kindness), which is the rioht arm. From this shall drink the camp of Michael, and with it the tribe of Judah and his two accompanying tribes. The second is Geburah (Force), and from it shall drink the camp of Gabriel, and with it the tribe of Dan and his two accompanying tribes. The third is Nezah (Victory), the right leg, and from it shall drink the camp of Nuriel, and with it the tribe of Reuben and his two accompanying tribes. The fourth is Hod (Majesty), the "left leg" (referred to in what was said of' Jacob, that "he halted on his left thigh"), and from it shall drink the camp of Raphael, whose mission is to heal the ills of the captivity, and with it the tribe of Ephraim and his two accompanying tribes.'
AND THE LORD GOD TOOK THE MAN AND PUT HIM IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN,
From whence did he take him ? He took him from the four elements which are hinted at in the verse "and from there it parted and became four heads". God detached him from these and placed him in the Garden of Eden. So does God do now to any man created from the four elements when he repents of his sins and occupies himself with the Torah; God takes him from his original elements, as it is said, "and from there he parts" i.e. he separates himself from the desires which they inspire, and God places him in his garden, which is the Shekinah, "to dress it", by means of positive precepts, "and to keep it", by means of negative precepts. If he keeps the law, he makes himself master of the four elements, and becomes a river from which they are watered, and they obey him and he is their ruler. But if he transgresses the law, they are watered from the bitterness of the tree of evil, which is the evil inclination, and all his limbs are full of bitterness; but when the members of the body are kept holy from the side of good, it may be said of them that "they came to Marah and were not able to drink waters from Marah, for they were bitter" (Ex. XV, 23)- Similarly, the study of the Talmud is bitter
compared with that of the esoteric wisdom, of which it is said, "And God showed him a tree" (Ibid.); this is a tree of life, and through it "the waters were sweetened". Similarly -of Moses it is written, "And the staff of God was in his hand." This rod is Metatron, from one side of whom comes life and from the other death. When the rod remains a rod, it is a help from the side of good, and when it is turned into a serpent it is hostile, so that "Moses fled from it", and God , delivered it into his hand. This rod typifies the Oral Law which prescribes what is permitted and what is forbidden. When Moses struck the rock God took it back from him, and "'he went down to him with a rod" (ii Sam. xxxiii, zi), to :Smite him with it, the "rod" being the evil inclination, which is a serpent, the cause of the captivity.
AND THE LORD GOD COMMANDED THE MAN, SAYING.
It is agreed that the term "command" in the Scripture -always has reference to the prohibition of idolatry. This sin has its root in the liver, which is the seat of anger, and it has been laid down that "to fall into a passion is like worshipping idols". The expression "the man" designates bloodshed, on the analogy of the verse: "by man shall his. blood be shed" (Gen. ix, 6). This sin has its root in the gall, the sword of the .angel of death, after the verse: "her latter end is bitter like gall, piercing like a two-edged sword" (Prov. V, 4). The expression "saying" refers to incest, which has its root in the spleen, as it is written, "Such is the way of the adulterous woman, she eats and wipes her mouth" (Ibid. xxx, 20).
Before Israel went into captivity, and while the Shekinah was still with them, God commanded Israel: "thou shalt not uncover thy mother's nakedness" (Lev. xvlii, 7), and this captivity is the uncovering of the nakedness of the Shekinah, as it is written, "On account of your sins your mother has been put away" (IS. L, i), i.e. for the sin of unchastity Israel has been sent into captivity and the Shekinah also, and this is the uncovering of the Shekinah.
This unchastity is Lilith, the mother of the "mixed multitude". It is they who separate the two Hi's of the sacred name, and prevent the Vau from entering between them; so it is written, "the nakedness of a woman and her daughter thou shalt not uncover", referring to the upper and lower Shekinah. When the "mixed multitude" are between the one Hi and the other, the Holy One, blessed be He, cannot link them together, and consequently "the river becomes dry and parched" - dry in the upper Hi and parched in the lower Hi, in order that the "mixed multitude" may not be nourished by the Vau, which is the Tree of Life. Therefore the Vau does not link together the two Hi's when the mixed multitude is between them, and the letter Yod is not able to draw near to the second Hi; thus the precept "thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter-in- law" is transgressed. Further, they separate the Yod from the upper Hi, and so break the command "thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's wife", the Yod being the father, the first Hi the mother, Vau the son and the second Hi the daughter. Therefore it is ordained with regard to the upper Hi, "thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's wife"; "the nakedness of thy sister the daughter of thy father" refers to the lower Hi; "her son's daughter and her daughter's daughter" refers to the Hi and Hi which are the children of Hi; "the nakedness of the father's brother" refers to the Yod, which is the product of the letter Yod, a brother to Vau. In a word, when the "mixed multitude"
Further, the words "let us make man" may be taken to signify that God imparted to the lower beings who came from the side of the upper world the secret of forming the divine name "Adam", which embraces the upper and the lower in virtue of its three letters, aleph, daleth, and mim final. When these three letters descended below, together in their complete form, the name Adam was found to comprise male and female. The female was attached to the side of the male until God cast him into a deep slumber, during which he lay on the site of the Temple. God then sawed her off from him and adorned her like a bride and brought her to him, as it is written, "And he took one of his sides and closed up the place with flesh." .(Gen. II, 21). I have found it stated in an old book that the word "one" here means "one woman", to wit, the original Lilith, who was with him and who conceived from him. Up to that time, however, she was not a help to him, as it is written, "but for Adam there was not found an help-meet for him." Observe that Adam came last of all, it being fitting that he should find the world complete on his appearance.'
We have stated that Adam and Eve were created side by side. Why were they not created face to face ? Because "the Lord God had not yet caused it to rain upon the earth" (Gen. II, 5), and the union of heaven and earth was not yet firmly estab- lished. When the lower union was perfected and Adam and Eve were turned face to face, then the upper union was consummated. We know this from the case of the Tabernacle, of which we have learnt that another tabernacle was erected with it, and that the upper one was not raised till the lower one was raised; and similarly here. Further, since all was not yet in order above, Adam and Eve were not created face to face. The order of verses in the Scripture proves this: for first we read, "For the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth", and then "there was not a man to till the ground", the meaning being that man was still defective, and only when Eve was perfected was he also perfected. This is further indicated by the fact that in the word vayisgor (and he closed) the letter samekh, which means "support", occurs for the first time in this section, as if to say that they now supported one another, as male and female. Similarly the lower and the upper world mutually support one another. For until the lower world was completed, that other world of which we have spoken was not completed. When this lower world was turned face to face to the upper, it became a support to the upper, for previously the work had been defective, because "the Lord God had not caused rain to fall upon the earth".
Next, A MIST WENT UP FROM THE GROUND, to repair the deficiency below, by "watering the whole face of the ground". The rising of the mist signifies the yeaming of the female for the male. According to another explanation, we supply the word "not" from the previous clause after "mist", the meaning being that God did not send rain because a mist had not gone up, etc., it being necessary for the impulse from below to set in motion the power above. So vapour first ascends from the earth to form the cloud. Similarly, the smoke of the sacrifice rises and creates harmony above, so that all unite, and in this way there is completion in the supemal realm. The impulse commences from below, and from this all is perfected. If the Community of Israel did not give the first impulse, the One above would not move to. meet her, for by the yearning from below completion is effected above.'
THE TREE OF LIFE ALSO IN THE MIDST OF THE GARDEN, AND THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.
The Tree of Life, according to a tradition, extends over five hundred years' journey, and all the waters of Creation issue from its foot. This tree was in the middle of the Garden, and it collected all the waters of Creation, which afterwards flowed from it in different directions. For the perennially flowing stream rests upon this Garden and enters it, and the waters issuing from it divide into numbers of streams below which water the "beasts of the field", just as the waters originally issued from the supernal world and watered the celestial "mountains of pure balsam".
THE TREE OF GOOD AND EVIL.
This tree was not in the middle. It is called by this name because it draws sustenance from two opposite sides, which it distinguishes as clearly as one distinguishes sweet and bitter, and therefore it is called "good and evil". All those other plants rest upon it.
'How do we know that Adam and Eve were also planted out ? From the verse, "the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, wherein I glory" (IS. LX, 2i).
OF ALL THE TREES IN THE GARDEN THOU SHALL SURELY EAT
This means he was permitted to eat them all together, for as we shall see, Abraham ate, Isaac and Jacob ate, and all the prophets ate and remained alive. This tree was however a tree of death, in so far as he who ate it by itself was bound to die since he took passion.
We have learnt that at that moment Samael came down from heaven riding on this serpent, and all creatures saw his form and fled before him. They then entered into conversation with the woman, and the two brought death into the world. Of a surety Samael brought curses on the world through Wisdom and destroyed the first tree that God had created in the world. This responsibility rested on Samael until another holy tree came, namely Jacob, who wrested the blessings from him, in order that Samael might not be blessed above and Esau below. For Jacob was the reproduction of Adam, and he had the same beauty as Adam. Therefore as Samael withheld blessings from the first tree, so Jacob, who was such another tree as Adam, withheld blessings, both upper and lower, from Samael; and in doing so Jacob but took back his own.
This serpent is the evil tempter and the angel of death. It is because the serpent is the angel of death that it brought death to the world.'
"With this tree God created the world; eat therefore of it, and ye shall be like God, knowing good and evil, for through this knowledge he is called God." ' What he said, was that God ate of the tree and so built the world. "Therefore," he went on, "eat you of it and you shall create worlds.
'With refer- ence to the dictum quoted above, that God prohibited to Adam idolatry, injustice, murder, incest, and so forth, why should all this have been necessary, seeing that Adam was still alone in the world? The answer is that all these prohibitions had reference to the tree alone, and were applicable to it. For whoever takes of it causes separation and associates himself with the lower hordes which are attached to it. He renders himself guilty of idolatry, murder, and adultery. Of idolatry, because he acknowledges the superior chieftains; of bloodshed, because that is inspired by this tree, which is of the side of Geburah (Force), under the charge of Samael; and of adultery, because the tree is of the female principle and is called "woman", and it is forbidden to make an appointment with a woman without her husband, for fear of suspicion of adultery.
Now God formed [Adam] with both good and evil inclination - with the good inclination for himself, and the evil inclination to turn towards the female. Esoterically speaking, we learn from here that the North is always attracted to the female and attaches itself to her, and therefore she is called isha (i.e. esh he, fire of he). Observe this. The good inclination and the evil inclination are in harmony only because they share the female, who is attached to both, in this way: first the evil inclination sues for her and they unite with one another, and when they are united the good inclination, which is joy, rouses itself and draws her to itself, and so she is shared by both and reconciles them. Hence it is written, "and the Lord God formed man", the double name being made responsible both for the good and the evil inclination. As we have explained, male and female, together and not separated, so as to turn face to face.
The use of the word "[dust of the] ground" (adamah) here must be explained. When the wife is joined with the husband she is called by the name of the husband; thus the correlatives ish (man) and ishah, zaddik (righteous one), and zedek, 'ofer (buck) and 'efar, zebi (hart), and Tibia. So, too, with the words asher (which) and asherah. It says, 'Thou shalt not plant thee an Asherah (grove) of any kind of tree beside the altar of the Lord thy God which (asher) thou shalt make thee.' Are we to suppose that any- where else it is permitted ? The truth is that the Hi is called Asherah, after the name of its spouse, Asher, and the meaning of the verse is therefore: 'thou shalt not plant another asherah by the side of the altar which is established upon this.'
Observe that throughout the Scriptures the worshippers of the sun are called servants of Baal and the worshippers of the moon servants of Asherah; hence the combination 'to Baal and Asherah.' If this is so (that Asherah is the name of the Hi), why is it not used as a sacred name ? The reason is that this name brings to mind the words of Leah, 'happy am I, for the daughters will call me happy (ishruni)', but this one is not 'called happy' by other nations, and another is set up in its place; nay more, it is written, 'all that honoured her despise her' (Lam. i, 8).
It is incumbent on a man to be ever "male and female", in order that his faith may be firm, and that the Shekinah may never depart from him. What, then, you will say, of a man who goes on a journey and, being absent from his wife, is no longer "male and female"? His remedy is to pray to God before he starts his journey, while he is still "male and female", in order to draw to himself the presence of his Master. When he has offered his prayer and thanksgiving and the Shekinah rests on him, then he can depart, for through his union with the Shekinah lie has bec(,me "male and female" in the country as he was "male and female" in the town, as it is written: "Righteousness (zedek, the female of zaddik) shall go before him and shall place his footsteps on the way" (PS. LXXXV, I4)- Observe this. All [5oa] the time that a man is on his travels he should be very careful of his actions, in order that.. the celestial partner may not desert him and leave him defective, through lacking the union with the female. If this was necessary when his wife was with him, how much more so is it necessary when a heavenly partner is attached to him ? All the more so since this heavenly partner guards him on the way all the time until he returns home. When he does reach home again, it is his duty to give his wife some pleasure, because it is she who procured for him this heavenly partner. It is his duty to do this for two reasons. One is that this pleasure is a religious pleasure, and one which gives joy to the Shekinah also, and what is more, by its means he spreads peace in the world, as it is written, "thou shalt know that thy tent is in peace, and thou shalt visit thy fold and not sin" (job. v, 24)- (Is it a sin, it may be asked, if he does not visit his wife? The answer is that it is so because he thereby derogates from the honour of the celestial partner who was joined with him on account of his wife.) The other is, that,if his wife becomes pregnant, the celestial partner imparts to the child a holy soul, for this covenant is called the covenant of the Holy One, blessed be He. Therefore he should be as diligent to procure this gladness as to procure the gladness of the Sabbath, which is the partner of the Sages. Hence "thou shalt know that thy tent is in peace", since the Shekinah comes with thee and abides in thy house, and therefore "thou shalt visit thy house and not sin", by performing with gladness the religious duty of conjugal intercourse in the presence of the Shekinah.
In this way the students of the Torah who separate from their wives during the six days of the week in order to devote themselves to study are accompanied by a heavenly partner in order that they may continue to be "male and female". When Sabbath comes, it is incumbent on them to gladden their wives for the sake of the honour of the heavenly partner, and to seek to perform the will of their Master, as has been said.
Similarly again, if a man's wife is observing the days of her separation, during all those days that he waits for her the heavenly partner is associated with him, so that he is still "male and female". When his wife is purified, it is his duty to gladden her through the glad performance of a religious precept. All the reasons we have mentioned above apply to this case also. The esoteric doctrine is that men of true faith should concentrate their whole thought and purpose on this one (the Shekinah).
You may object that, according to what has been said, a man enjoys greater dignity when he is on a journey than when he is at home, on account of the heavenly partner who is then associated with him. This is not so. For when a man is at home, the foundation of his house is the wife, for it is on account of her that the Shekinah departs not from the house. So our teachers have understood the verse, "and he brought her to the tent of his mother Sarah" (Gen. xxiv, 67), to indicate that with Rebecca the Shekinah came to Isaac's house. Esoterically speaking, the supernal Mother is found in company with the male only when the house is prepared, and the male and female are joined.
By "king" we have to understand the Holy One, blessed be He, the most high King, who, if the field be tilled and cultivated properly, attaches himself to it. What is this field ? It is the field mentioned in the "words, "as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed" (Gen. xxVII, 27)-' R. Eleazar said: 'Herein are contained various deep esoteric ideas.
The term "king" here is an allusion to the Shekinah, who does not dwell in a house unless the master of the house is married and is united to his wife for the purpose of bearing offspring; the Shekinah then brings forth souls to plant in that house. Hence the King, or Shekinah, is only attached to a cultivated fieId, but to no other. According to another explanation we translate, "a king is subjected to a field". "King" in this case is an allusion to the God-fearing woman of whom it is written, "but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised" (Prov. XXXI, 30), while "field" alludes to the strange woman of whom it says, "that they may keep thee from the strange woman" (lbid. vil, 5). For there are fields and fields. There is the field in which abide all blessings and sanctities, and of which it is said, "as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed" (Gen. XXvll, 27); and there is another kind of field which is the abode of desolation, impurity, war and slaughter. And that king is sometimes enslaved to such a field, as it says, "For three things the earth doth quake . . . for a servant when he reigneth [122b] . . . and a bandmaid that is heir to her mistress" (Prov. XXX, 21-2-3).
Such a king is plunged in darkness until he purifies himself and regains the supernal sphere. It is for that reason that a he- goat is offered up on New-Moon days, namely, because that field has been estranged from the Divine King, so that no blessings from that King could rest upon it; so when the other king is enslaved to the field, we may apply the words, "for in the field he found her, etc." (Deut. XXII, 27). Thus when Eve came into the world she attached herself to the serpent, who injected his impurity into her, so that she brought death into the world and to her husband.
Then came Sarah, who, though she went down, came up again, and never attached herself to the serpentThe scripture says "and the life of Sarah was .. " not used in the case of Eve, or any other woman. For Sarah attached herself throughout to life, and thus life was made her own.
Of Sarah alone among all women do we find recorded the number of her days and years and the length of her life and the place where she was buried. All this was to show that the like of Sarah was not to be found among all the women of the world. You may object that we find a somewhat similar record in connection with Miriam, of whom it is written, "And Miriam died there, and was buried there" (Num. xx. 1). But the object there was to show the unworthiness of Israel, for whom water was made to flow forth only through the virtue of Miriam.
Happy are Israel, to whom the Holy One, blessed be He, gave the Torah, by the study of which all hidden paths should be made known to them and sublime mysteries should be revealed to them. The "land" here is "the land of life", and it is "happy" because its King showers upon it all the blessings pronounced upon it by the patriarchs. This is through the mystic influence of the Vau, who is always in readiness to pour on it blessing, and who is the "son of freedom" and "son of Jubilee", who obtains for slaves their freedom. He is a scion of the supernal world, and the author of all life, of all illuminations, and all exalted states. All this does the first-born son draw towards that land. Hence, "Happy art thou, 0 land." On the other hand, the words "Woe to thee, 0 land, when thy King is a boy" (Ibid.) refer to the nether earth and the nether world which draw their sustenance only from the dominion of the uncircumcised, and from that king called "boy".1 Woe to the land that has to draw its sustenance in this manner I For this "boy" [I25a] possesses nothing of himself, but only such blessings as he receives at certain periods. But when these blessings are withheld from him, when the moon is impaired and darkness prevails, then woe to the world that needs to draw sustenance at that time I And how much the world has to endure before it obtains sustenance from him.
AND IT CAME TO PASS, THAT BEFORE HE HAD DONE SPEAKING, BEHOLD, REBEKAH WENT OUT. Instead of itwent out" (yozeth) we should have expected "came" (baah). The implication is that God brought her away from the people of the town, and made her an exception to them.
AND SHE WENT DOWN TO THE FOUNTAIN.
This fountain was none other than the well of Miriam; hence the word "to" here is expressed by the letter hi (ha-'aynah). According to another explanation, the term "went out", like the similar term in the passage, "young maidens going out to draw water" (i Sam. ix, i i), implies modesty, that is, that they kept at home and only went out at a certain hour to draw water. This was the sign by which Abraham's servant recognised her. For when he reached Haran and met Rebekah "at the time of evening" it was the time of the afternoon prayer (minhah). Thus the moment when Isaac began the aftemoon prayer coincided with the moment when the servant encountered Rebekah. So, too, it was at the very moment of his afternoon prayer that Rebekah came to Isaac himself. Thus all was fitly disposed through the working of the Divine Wisdom. It was as part of the same scheme that the servant came to the well of water, the inner significance of which is to be found in the passage, "Thou art a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and flowing streams from Lebanon" (S.S. iv, I5).
AND ISAAC BROUGHT HER INTO THE TENT (OF) SARAH HIS MOTHER. R. Jose remarked: 'The letter hi at the end of the word haohelah (into the tent) is a reference to the Shekinah, which now returned to the tent. For during the whole of Sarah's life the Shekinah did not depart from it, and a light used to burn there from one Sabbath eve to the other; once lit, it lasted all the days of the week. After her death the light was extinguished, but when Rebekah came the Shekinah returned and the light was rekindled. Thus the verse reads literally: "And he brought her into the tent - Sarah his mother", the last phrase implying that Rebekah was in all her works a replica of Sarah his mother.' R. judah said: 'Just as Isaac was the very image of Abraham, so that whoever looked at Isaac said, "there is Abraham", and knew at once that "Abraham-begat Isaac", so was Rebekah the very image of Sarah.
For, verily, although Sarah died, her image did not depart from the house. It was not, however, visible for a time, but as soon as Rebekah came it became visible again, as it is written, "and he brought her into the tent-Sarah his mother", as much as to say, "and forthwith Sarah his mother made her appearance". No one, however, saw her save Isaac, and thus we understand the words, "and Isaac was comforted after his mother", that is, after his mother became visible and was installed in the house again.'
R. Simeon said: 'Why does the Scripture tell us with so much detail that Isaac TOOK REBEKAH, AND SHE BECAME HIS WIFE, AND HE LOVED HER ? The last statement seems to be unnecessary, for naturally if she became his wife he loved her, as is the way of all men to love their wives. The explanation is that the attraction of the male to the female is derived from the left, as we read, "Let his left hand be under my head" (S. S. ii, 6), the left being symbolic of night and darkness; hence although Abraham loved Sarah, the statement "and he loved her" is only mentioned in the case of Isaac (he being of the left). Of Jacob also it is written that he "loved Rachel" (Gen. xxix, i8); but here the explanation is that this was due to the side of Isaac which was contained in him.
Observe that Abraham, on seeing Sarah, only embraced her, and nothing more, whereas Isaac seized Rebekah and put his arm under her head, as it is written, "Let his left hand be under my head, and his right hand embrace me" (S. S. ii, 6). Jacob afterwards had intercourse with his wives and begat twelve tribes. Observe, too, that all the patriarchs followed the same course, in that each one of them espoused four women. Abraham had four spouses, besides Sarah and Hagar, two concubines, as is seen from the passage, "but unto the sons of the concubines that Abraham had" (Gen. xxv, 6). Isaac had four spouses, in that Rebekah, mystically speaking, combined in herself the virtues of four women. This is indicated in Scripture in the following manner: "And- he took Rebekah" alludes to one; "and she became his wife" indicates a second; "and he loved her" indicates a third; "and Isaac was comforted for his mother" makes four. Correspondingly, Jacob had four spouses; and one mystic purpose guided them all.' R. Hiya said: 'Abraham and Isaac had each one wife for a union of holiness, the one Sarah, the other Rebekah, and Jacob had as many as both together twice over, namely four.'
AND ABRAHAM TOOK ANOTHER WIFE, AND HER NAME WAS KETURAH. Keturah was none other than Hagar. For we know by tradition that though Hagar when she left Abraham went astray after the idols of her ancestors, yet in time she again attached herself to a life of virtue. Hence her name Keturah (lit. attached). Abraham then sent for her and took her to wife. From here we learn that a change of name acts as an atonement for sin, since that was the reason why her name was changed. The term vayoseph (lit. and he added) here indicates not that Abraham took another wife, but that he took again his former spouse whom he had driven out on account of Ishmael, and who had now abandoned her evil practices, and had made a change in her name symbolical of her change of life. Observe that in comment on the passage, "And Isaac brought her into the tent-Sarah his mother", said that the form of Sarah was there revealed, and Isaac was comforted by virtue of this, as he looked at her image every day. But Abraham, although he married again, never entered Sarah's tent nor allowed that woman to enter there, for a handmaid may not be heir to her mistress. No other woman, in fact, ever appeared in Sarah's tent save Rebekah. And although Abraham knew that Sarah's image revealed itself there, he left the tent entirely to Isaac to behold each day his mother's form. This is indicated in the verse, AND ABRAHAM GAVE ALL THAT HE HAD UNTO ISAAC, where the expression "all that he had" indicates the form of Sarah that was installed in that dwelling. According to another explanation this verse indi- cates that Abraham transmitted to Isaac the exalted doctrine of the true faith, so that he should be attached to his rightful grade. BUT UNTO THE SONS OF THE CONCUBINES THAT ABRAHAM HAD ABRAHAM GAVE GIFTS. What sort of gifts were they ? They comprised the sides of the low grades, that is to say, the names of the powers of the unclean spirit, so as to complete the whole list of grades. (Isaac was raised above those grades by the power of the true faith.) "The sons of the concubines" are the sons of Keturah, who had formerly been a concubine and was now once more a concubine.' R. Hiya said that the term "concubines" here in the plural must be taken literally.
EASTWARD, UNTO THE EAST COUNTRY: for the reason that there are the haunts of the impure practitioners of magic and witch- craft. Observe this. It is written: "And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the East" (i Kings v, io). Herein is an allusion to the descendants of the very children of Abraham's concubines, who, as already said, in- habit the mountains of the East, where they instruct the sons of men in the arts of magic and divination. It was this very land of the East from which came Laban and Beor and his son Balaam, who were all magicians.'
The truth is that when the Sanctuary was destroyed and the Temple was burnt and the people driven into exile, the Shekinah left her home in order to accompany them into captivity. Before leaving, however, she took one last look at her House and the Holy of Holies, and the places where the priests and the Levites used to perform their worship. When she entered the land of exile she observed how the people were oppressed and trodden under foot by the nations, and she exclaimed, "Who gave Jacob for a spoil, etc. ?" And the reply of the people was: - "he against whom we have sinned". Then the Shekinah echoed back: "And in whose ways they would not walk."
So in the days to come, when the Holy One, blessed be He, will remember His people, the community of Israel, the Shekinah will return from exile first and proceed to her House, as the holy Temple will be built first. The Holy One, blessed be He, will then say to the Community of Israel: "Shake thyself from the dust, arise and sit down, 0 Jerusalem" (IS. LII, 2). She will enquire, "Whereto shall I go, since my House is destroyed, my Temple is burnt with fire ?" The Holy One, blessed be He, will then rebuild the Temple first, restore the Holy of Holies, build the city of Jerusalem and then raise her from the dust. So Scripture says: "The Lord doth build up Jerusalem" first, and then, "He gathereth together the dispersed of Israel", and afterwards, "Who healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds" (PS. CXLVII, 2, 3)-this being an allusion to the resurrection of the dead. Then will be fulfilled that which is written, "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, etc." (Ezek. XXXVI, 27)- 'Blessed be the Lord for evermore !'
When the Holy One, blessed be He, will raise that still voice from the dust and join the vau with it, then all that was lost to them in the time of exile will be restored, and they will feast on the supernal radiances that will stream with added brightness from the supernal world, as Scripture says: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great horn shall be blown; and they shall come that were lost in Assyria, and they that were dispersed in the land of Egypt; and they shall worship the Lord in the holy mountain at Jerusalem" (Ibid. xxvii, 13)-'
'When', he said, 'the Temple was destroyed and Israel on account of their sins were driven from their land, God removed Himself, as it were, to the height of heights and regarded not the destruction of the Temple nor the exile of His people, and so the Shekinah was exiled with them. When God again descended, He observed His House that was burnt down. He looked at His people and behold, they were in exile. He inquired concerning the Matron (Shekinah) and found that she had been driven out. Then, "in that day did the Lord, the God of hosts, call to weeping, and lamentation, and to baldness, and to girding with sack-cloth" (Ibid. xxii, 12); and the Matron was called upon to "lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth" (Joel i, 8), because He had removed Himself from her and they were separated. The very heaven and the very earth lamented, as it is written: "I clothe the heaven with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering" (Is. L, 3). The celestial angels all raised their voices in lamentation, as it says: "Behold, the angels cry without; the angels of peace weep bitterly" (Is. XXXIII, 7). The sun and the moon mourned and their light was darkened.