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If a Woman Inseminates
Article No. 22, Tav-Shin-Mem-Vav, 1985-86
The holy Zohar (Tazria, item 9), asks, “We learned that ‘A woman who inseminates first, delivers a male child.’ Rabbi Aha said, ‘We learned that the Creator sentences whether a drop will be male or female, and you say, ‘A woman who inseminates first, delivers a male child.’ Thus, we do not need the Creator’s sentence. Rabbi Yosi said, ‘Of course the Creator discerns between a drop of a male and a drop of a female. And because He has discerned it, He sentences whether it will be a male or a female.’”
He interprets in the Sulam [Ladder commentary]: “There are three partners in a man: the Creator, his father, and his mother. His father gives the white in him, his mother—the red in him, and the Creator gives the soul. If the drop is a male, the Creator gives the soul of a male. If it is a female, the Creator gives the soul of a female. This discernment that the Creator discerns in the drop—that it is fit for a soul of a male or a female—is regarded as a sentence of the Creator. If He did not discern it and did not send a soul of a male, the drop would not become a male. Thus, the two statements do not contradict one another. Rabbi Aha said, ‘delivers a male child,’ but does she deliver because she inseminates? It depends on conception! This verse should have said, ‘A woman who conceives delivers a male child.’ Rabbi Yosi said, ‘A woman, from the day she inseminates and conceives to the day she delivers has no other word in her mouth but whether her child will be a male.’”
We should understand the above matter. What does knowing about a woman inseminating first give us? And also, he tells us that the greatness of the Creator is that He knows how to discern between a drop of a male and a drop of a female. Is this the greatness from which one should be inspired and by which to take upon himself to be a servant of the Creator? We should also understand what Rabbi Aha is asking, “A woman who inseminates and conceives.” It should have said “male.” Rabbi Yosi explains, “A woman, from the day she inseminates and conceives to the day she delivers has no other word in her mouth but whether her child will be a male.” That is, she is concerned about her child being a male. What does knowing what is in the mouth of a woman give us? What will happen if we know this concern of a woman, that she is worried about her child being a male?
To understand all this we will explain what is written in the essay, “Preface to the Wisdom of Kabbalah” (item 57): “The whole purpose of the Tzimtzum that unfolded in Behina Dalet was to correct it, so there would be no disparity of form in it, as it receives the Upper Light. In other words, to create man’s body from that Behina Dalet. …Through his engagement in Torah and Mitzvot in order to bestow contentment upon his Maker he will turn the force of reception in Behina Dalet into working in order to bestow. By this he equalizes the form of reception to complete bestowal, and then will be the end of correction, since this will bring Behina Dalet back to being a vessel of reception for the Upper Light, while being in complete Dvekut [adhesion] with the Light without any disparity of form. Yet, this requires one to be included with the higher Behinot, above Behina Dalet, so as to be able to perform good deeds of bestowal. …This is because Behina Dalet, which should be the root of man’s body, was entirely in the form of vacant and empty space, devoid of Light, as it was of opposite form from the Upper Light. Thus, it is considered separated and dead. If man had been created from her he would not have been able to correct his actions whatsoever, since there would be no sparks of bestowal in him at all.”
To correct this was the matter of the association of the quality of mercy with judgment, since the world cannot exist on the quality of judgment, as it is written (item 58), “‘He saw that the world does not exist’ means that in this way it was impossible for man, who was to be created from this Behina Dalet, to acquire acts of bestowal, by which the world will be corrected in the desired amount through him. Through this association, Behina Dalet—the quality of judgment—was incorporated with the sparks of bestowal in the Kli [vessel] of Bina. By this, man’s body, which emerged from Behina Dalet, was integrated with the quality of bestowal, too, and could perform good deeds in order to bestow contentment upon his Maker until he turns the quality of reception in him to be entirely in order to bestow. Thus, the world will achieve the desired correction from the creation of the world.”
He interprets the association of the quality of mercy with judgment in the Sulam ( Tazria, item 95): “You already know that there are two points in Malchut: the first is Malchut de [of] Tzimtzum Aleph [first restriction], which was not mitigated in Bina, the quality of mercy, and is therefore unfit to receive any Light, since the force of the Masach [screen] and Tzimtzum [restriction] is over it. The second point is the point of Malchut that was mitigated with the quality of mercy, which is Bina. All the lights that Malchut receives are from the second point. Hence, the first point is concealed within it, and only the second point is revealed and governs it, and is therefore fit to receive the Upper Lights. For this reason, Malchut is called ‘the tree of knowledge of good and evil,’ since if one is rewarded, it is good, for the first point is concealed and only the second point governs. At that time there is abundance in Malchut and the lower one receives from her. If he is not rewarded, for he is a sinner, there is power in the serpent to reveal the first point in Malchut, which did not partake in Bina, and then she is bad.”
Now we can interpret the words of the holy Zohar concerning, “If a woman inseminates and delivers a male child.” We asked, “What does it teach us if a woman who inseminates first delivers a male child?” According to the words of the holy Zohar, there are two forces within us:
1) the quality of judgment, which is regarded as a female, called Malchut,
2) the quality of mercy, which is regarded as a male, namely a male force, meaning bestowal, as our sages said, “As He is merciful, so you are merciful.”
These two forces govern man, but at times the quality of judgment is concealed and the quality of mercy rules, and at times the quality of mercy is concealed and the quality of judgment rules. We should know that “insemination” is similar to one who sows wheat in the ground. The seeds decay and wheat that is good to eat begins to grow. We also try to fertilize the soil by which the wheat will grow good to eat.
By this we can explain the verse, “If a woman inseminates.” If a person wants to begin the work to achieve Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator, and wishes to enjoy “man’s food,” and not “animal food,” his order of work should be that he will sow the “woman” in him, called “will to receive.”
That is, he should place his vessels of reception in the ground and try to make self-reception rot in the ground. The more he fertilizes it, meaning tries to understand and feel that self-love is as loathsome to him as manure, and the more he tries to see the lowliness of self-love and wants his self-love to rot, this is called “If a woman inseminates,” meaning the female in him, the vessels of reception. He buries this in the ground, meaning he wants his self-love to rot, and then she “delivers a male child,” meaning vessels of bestowal. By trying to cancel his vessels of reception, meaning self-love, he is rewarded with vessels of bestowal.
This is similar to burying wheat in the ground so it will rot, and by this he will late have wheat fit to be food for man. “Food” means that we enjoy it. That is, before one begins to work on the path of truth he enjoyed only what entered the vessels of self-love. Now he enjoys things that enter the vessels of bestowal, which is called “food for man” and not “food for beast,” which are beastly pleasures. This is called “If he is rewarded, the quality of judgment is concealed.” That is, the will to receive is concealed and does not rule, and only the will to bestow, called “the quality of mercy,” rules.
“Rewarded” means that he wants to be pure, meaning bestowing. “Thick” means desire to receive. Because he wants to achieve the quality of mercy, he is rewarded with the disappearance of the vessels of reception. That is, they do not govern, but the quality of mercy governs, which is called “bestowal” and “male.” This is called “delivering a male child,” where the child is born through the woman’s insemination, meaning by burying the will to receive in the ground, meaning that he wants to receive all his joys in vessels of bestowal.
This is not so if the man inseminates first, if the beginning of his work is the vessels of bestowal, of which he consists from the root of the correction. Through the association of the quality of mercy with judgment, he desires to bury the vessels of bestowal, called “male,” and then she “delivers a female.” This means that then the quality of judgment is revealed in him and governs, while the quality of mercy, called “male,” disappears and he is powerless to do anything with vessels of bestowal.
At that time he eats only animal food, and he is placed only in self-love, like animals. That is, if he sows in the ground the vessels of reception, called “female,” then food for man comes out, meaning the power to bestow. But if he buries the forces of bestowal in the ground, then she “delivers a female,” and all his food is in vessels of reception, regarded as delivering a female. By this we will understand what Rabbi Yosi replied to Rabbi Aha’s question, that the Creator discerns between a drop of a male and a drop of a female, and because He has discerned it, He sentences it to be a male or a female.
We asked, “What does that teach us?” Our sages said, “He who comes to purify is aided,” and the holy Zohar says, “with a holy soul.” It follows that when the woman inseminates first, meaning that the beginning of his work is to sow, meaning bury the woman in him in the ground, namely his will to receive for himself, and all his thoughts are about how to be rid of self-love, and this is what he asks from the Creator, then the Creator discerns whether the drop is of a male, meaning that he wants the Creator to give vessels of bestowal. At that time the Creator gives him the soul of a male. That is, He gives him power from above, called “holy soul,” by which he can be a giver, if the Creator sees that his intention in the work of Torah and Mitzvot [commandments] is to purify himself because he wants to exist the Tuma’a [impurity] of self-love, so the Creator gives him a soul of a male.
If the Creator discerns that the drop is of a female, meaning that the man inseminates first, namely that the beginning of his work is to expand his vessels of reception, that his root, called “the association of the quality of mercy with judgment,” but he intends only to receive greater reward through his actions, as it is written in the holy Zohar, “they howl as dogs saying ‘Give us the wealth of this world, and give us the wealth of the next world,’” it follows that his aim was only to expand the possessions that belong to self-love.
It follows that by sowing, meaning by burying the mingling he has with the quality of mercy, he causes the quality of mercy, which is the force of bestowal, to be concealed. This is called “sowing,” when we place and conceal the wheat in the soil, and the wheat becomes hidden in the ground. This implies to us that the force of bestowal has been concealed, and the force of reception is revealed. This is called, “she delivers a female child.”
It follows that what Rabbi Yosi said—that the Creator discerns whether a drop is a male or a female—comes to teach us that one should not say, “I have been engaging in Torah and Mitzvot for so long, and have been observing everything, slight and serious, but I do not see that the Creator is helping me form above so I can ascend the degrees of holiness.” He asks, “Where is the help from above, as our sages said, ‘He who comes to purify is aided’?”
Rabbi Yosi comes and says about this that the Creator discerns what is the drop—whether a male, if you want the work of bestowal, or the work of a female, meaning that all your work is to receive reward, called “giving,” but in order to receive. Therefore, he cannot say that the Creator does not hear his prayer. Rather, the Creator hears and knows what he is praying, meaning that he does not want to bury his self-love in the ground at all, so how can the Creator give him what he does not want?
It is known that there is no light without a Kli. A Kli is called a deficiency, and “light” is the filling of the deficiency. If a person has no deficiency to feel that he has no desire to bestow, this is the essence of man’s lowliness, for which he is removed from Kedusha [holiness] and is unable to be rewarded with Dvekut [adhesion] with the Creator. This is regarded as not having a Kli to receive the filling. This is why Rabbi Yosi says that the Creator discerns which drop it is, meaning what a person wants the Creator to place there, which soul, meaning light that is clothed in vessels of bestowal, namely that He gives him light so as to have the force of bestowal, or the force of reception. For this reason, he must not complain to the Creator because He gives one what one wants.
This is as our sages said, “How is repentance? When He knows the mysteries will testify that he will not turn back to folly.” This means that by the Creator giving him a soul of a male, meaning light, so as to have the power to bestow, by this the testimony of the Creator appears, when He “testifies that he will not turn back to folly,” since the Creator has given him the soul. By this he is certain that henceforth he will not work for self-love but only in order to bestow.
It is written similarly in the words of the holy Zohar, that he who comes to purify is aided. And this is what Rabbi Yosi said, that the Creator certainly discerns whether a drop is of a male or of a female. And because He has discerned it, He sentences whether it is to be a male or a female. This is regarded as “He who knows the mysteries will testify that he will not turn back to folly.” However, how can one come to want to bury his self-love, which we call a Kli, and the Creator will give him light within this Kli, meaning the soul of a male in a Kli that comes by burying the will to receive, called “If a woman inseminates”?
It is very difficult for a person, once he has been created, to keep the quality of judgment revealed and the quality of mercy concealed. The beginning of man’s creation is as in, “Man is born a wild ass,” and the quality of mercy in him is a black dot, which does not shine. For this reason, he has no need or lack that will engender in him a thought that he needs vessels of bestowal. Rather, his only concern is to satisfy everything that self-love demands. If the Creator helps him to completely satisfy the will to receive, he will feel that he is the happiest man on earth, and what else does he need?
It follows that who can tell him that he needs a lack called “desire to bestow”? He hears a novelty: he is told that he needs a lack. That is, the name Kli, called “deficiency,” will now be what he lacks, meaning that he needs a lack, and the satisfaction will be receiving the lack. It follows that the names Kli and Ohr [light] refer only to the deficiency.
To understand this, we should precede with the words of our sages, that a prayer is called “work in the heart.” Why is prayer called “work in the heart”? After all, the prayer is only with the mouth. We should interpret that a prayer is called “deficiency,” when one wants his request to be granted, meaning to obtain a deficiency in that he has no need to want to bestow, but all he wants is self-love. But how can one demand something for which he has no need, although he hears that he is told, “This is all you need”? But if he does not feel, what should he do in order to feel that he is deficient?
Our sages gave us an advice about this, which is called “prayer,” which is the work in the heart. That is, a man says, verbally, that he lacks the desire to bestow, and the heart tells him that all he needs is to satisfy everything that self-love demands and not think of deficiencies, but of fillings. For this reason, he has a lot of work with his heart to want to ask for a deficiency that completely contradicts the will to receive, which is the creature’s very essence. At times the heart prevails, and at times the mouth prevails. It follows that then his mouth and heart are not the same because we need to know that in the end it is the heart that governs man, and not the mouth.
This is why it was said that man must work with his heart, to agree to ask for lack, meaning that the Creator will satisfy his lack, namely that here the filling is called “lack.” This is the meaning of “The Creator will satisfy his need,” meaning that the lack is regarded as filling.
Now we can understand that the only way to obtain a deficiency, that we are lacking the desire to bestow, is by prayer, which is a “medium” between man and the deficiency. That is, one prays for the Creator to give him something for which he has no deficiency, that he will lack it. It follows that the Kli that is called “deficiency” is a deficiency with respect to the feeling, meaning that he does not feel its lack, and the prayer is that the Creator will give him the light, which is the filling of his lack. It therefore follows that the filling is a lack. Thus, he has no other choice but to pray to the Creator to give him a deficiency, and this is what connects the Kli with the light.
It is as Baal HaSulam said in the name of the ADMOR of Pursov about what Rabbi Shimon said, “The writing should rush primarily where the pockets are empty.” A “pocket” means a Kli where one puts money. A “pocket” means deficiency, and “money” is the filling of the deficiency. Thus, if a person has no pocket, namely a deficiency, it is even worse than not having the filling because it is regarded as being unconscious. It follows that where one has no sensation of lack that he does not have a Kli of desire to bestow, he must hurry himself. With what? With prayer, which is the medium between the Kli and the light, between deficiency and deficiency, and the filling, where he already feels that deficiency that he cannot work in order to bestow.
Now we will explain what we asked about Rabbi Yosi’s answer to Rabbi Aha’s question about why it is written that “If a woman inseminates, she delivers a male child,” since the matter depends on conception, and it should have said, “If a woman inseminates and conceives a male child.” Rabbi Yosi replied that “from the day when she inseminates and conceives, a woman has no other word in her mouth but whether her child will be a male.” We asked, “What does it teach us, what the woman says?”
According to what we explained about the order of the work, we should interpret “If a woman inseminates” to mean the person who buries the self-love in the ground so that a male will grow out of it, meaning that he will be rewarded with a desire to bestow. It follows that as soon as he begins the work of obtaining the desire to bestow, called “If a woman inseminates,” the work in this direction begins and he begins to say, “I wish I will deliver a male.”
That is, we must go through a process of loathing self-love and feeling the measure of evil found in self-love. It is not enough to decide not to go on the path one is used to marching and wanting to change one’s habits. Rather, to him the measure of harm that self-love causes him should be revealed to him, for only by seeing what he is losing can he be certain that he will not regret midway.
This is similar to the sentence concerning a stranger who comes to convert (Yevamot, 47a), “Our sages said, ‘A stranger who comes to convert is told, ‘What did you see that you have come to convert? Don’t you know that these days Israel are afflicted, pushed, despised, maddened, and tormented (RASHI interpreted “despised” as in “low” and “coerced,” as “dethroned and coerced)?’ If he said, ‘I know and I am not worthy,’ he is accepted at once.’ The Great Book of Mitzvot wrote, ‘The reason is so he will not say afterwards, ‘Had I known, I would not have converted’’ (Yoreh De’ah, item 268).”
Wanting to exit self-love and begin the work of bestowal is similar to leaving all the states in which he lived, dropping everything off, and entering an area where he has never been. For this reason, he must go through conception and months of pregnancy until he has the ability to acquire new qualities, which are foreign to the spirit he has received since birth. Everything he has received from the environment with which he grew up and which reared him with their views and thoughts was entirely on the basis of self-love. He always thought about controlling others, and where he thought he would find a place where he could control he realized it is worth an effort, since it yields pleasure to the will to receive, and the majority supported him. This is regarded as receiving strength for his aspirations from the public, meaning he saw that everyone behaved this way so the body knew that it was worthwhile to exert to acquire power or respect or money. Everything focused on one line, called “desire to satisfy his Kli,” which is called “self-love.”
But now that he has come to convert, meaning exit self-love, where he thought about controlling others, now he is told he must make every effort to control himself and that he is forbidden to control others. And where each day he contemplated how much he has gained that day, which he put into the bag of self-love, now he is told that he should contemplate each day how much profit he has gained that he can put in the bag of love of others.
Accordingly, we should interpret what is said to one who comes to convert. It means that the person who was until now like a gentile, as it is written, “And they mingled with the nations and learned from their works,” the holy Zohar says, “Every person is a small world in and of itself,” namely that each person consists of the seventy nations, which correspond to seven qualities, each of which consists of ten. This is why they are called “seventy nations,” and the Israel in him is in exile, under the rule of the nations.
Therefore, when a person comes to take upon himself (the burden of) the kingdom of heaven and exit the exile to which he surrendered and to whom he listened until now—meaning he had to do what they asked and thought that this is how it should be, but the point in the heart has awakened in him and now he has come to work for the Creator—he is tolled, “Until now the nations did not humiliate the Israel in you. This means that your body still did not resist. But now that you want to be ‘Israel,’ while you have still not emerged from their governance, they despise the ‘Israel’ in you, since the body will not let you work in order to bestow. Therefore, first you must think if you want to take upon yourself this great work.”
But afterwards the nations of the world, too, surrender, meaning the body. However, before he completes his work he must go through months of pregnancy. For this reason, a person is not told the real meaning of annulling self-love. Rather, he must receive this information bit-by-bit, which is called “months of pregnancy.” This means that although it is said, “If a woman inseminates and delivers a male child,” the truth is as Rabbi Aha says, that it is not as people think that as soon as you inseminate, meaning as soon as you decide to bury your will to receive you “deliver a male child.” Rather, the matter depends on pregnancy. This means that although he has agreed to bury his will to receive, he still does not even know the real meaning of annulling self-love.
Rather, knowing the real nature of the will to receive is not something that one can feel at once, since the will to receive must be qualified and prepared so as to have the strength to relinquish real pleasures, which are eternal pleasures, if he has no exercises to accustom himself each time with greater self-love. That is, when a person begins the work of bestowal, he is constantly given from above greater pleasures even in corporeal things, so he accustoms himself to relinquish pleasures and receive them only in order to bestow.
Now we can understand what our sages said, that to the wicked, the evil inclination seems like a hairsbreadth, and to the righteous as a high mountain. We asked, “Is there a difference in reality?” But since a person should be prepared to have the ability to receive the eternal pleasures in order to bestow, he is constantly given more pleasure in everything, as exercises to learn how to use his vessels of reception, called “will to receive,” and still be able to receive it in order to bestow. Otherwise he will relinquish this great pleasure.
It follows that he must go through nine months of pregnancy, by which he acquires strength, called “desire to bestow.” If he sees that something disrupts the desire to bestow he has the power to repel it, and then he is called “delivers a male child.” That is, once he has been through the process of “months of pregnancy,” and not in the middle of the work, meaning that as soon as he begins the work he wants to see the power of bestowal that he has attained. Otherwise he is angry and says, “I have already started the work of sowing, so where are the fruits that I should obtain?” Rabbi Yosi explains about it that “A woman, from the day she conceives to the day she delivers has no other word in her mouth but whether her child will be a male.” This means that although she has not delivered, she cannot wait and wants to deliver right away.
Inapoi la pagina 1986 (ŞLAVEY HASULAM (TREPTELE SCĂRII) – link