Baal and Asherah

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209) It is written, “And the Lord God formed the man dust from the ground.” “The man” includes male and female together, two Partzufim that do not part from one another, being Panim be Panim [face-to-face]. It is written about them, “dust from the ground,” since now he is about to be corrected, so they part from one another and become Panim be Panim.

Here, the correction implied in the words, “dust from the ground,” is clarified. When a woman marries her husband she is named after her husband, such as man-woman, Tzadik [righteous]-Tzedek [justice]. He is called Ofer [fawn]; she is called Afar [dust]. He is called gazelle; she is called deer, as it is written, “She is a deer to all the lands.”

As the Creator is called “gazelle” or “fawn,” for before ZA is mitigated in Bina, he is called a “gazelle,” after he is mitigated in Bina he is called “deer,” as it is written, “My beloved is like a dear or a gazelle.” The Nukva too is called by these names.

He brings evidence from the text, “She is a deer to all the lands,” where the earth, Nukva, is also called deer then, like her husband. And similarly, before the Nukva is mitigated in Bina, she is called “dust,” like her husband, who is then called “fawn” [“dust” and “fawn” are spelled the same in Hebrew]. By that we explained the name, “fawn” [dust] in the words, “dust from the ground.”

210) “You shall not plant you an Asherah or any kind of tree beside the altar. It is written, “beside the altar,” meaning that only by the altar it is forbidden to plant an Asherah, and that above the altar, or anywhere else, who permitted to plant an Asherah?

But Asher is the name of her husband, after whom the woman is named, Asherah. That is Asher is ZA, since in the names “I am that I am,” the two “I am” are HB, and Asher [that] is ZADaat, sentencing between Hochma and Bina. Asherah is Nukva de ZA. This is why it is written, “for Baal and for Asherah,” standing opposite ZON de Kedusha—Baal opposite ZA, and Asherah opposite the Nukva.

This is why it is written, You shall not plant you an Asherah of any kind of tree by the altar. “By” is like “at the place.” “You will not plant you an Asherah of idol work instead of an altar of the Lord your God. The altar of the Creator insists on this, to cancel the Klipa of Asherah. Hence, corresponding to the altar you will not plant another Asherah, of idol worship.

211) All those who worship the sun are called “worshippers of the Baal.” And all those who worship the moon are called “worshippers of Asherah.” This is why it is written, “for Baal, and for Asherah, where Baal is the sun, male, and Asherah is the moon, female. She is called Asherah after her husband, who is called “Asher.”

If she is named after her husband, Asher, why was that name taken away from the Nukva? After all, we did not find Nukva de Kedusha being called Asherah. However, she is called Asherah in the verse, “Happy am I for the daughters will call me happy,” meaning because others make her happy and praise her. It is written about her, “Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth.” But the rest of the nations did not make her happy; they placed another Asherah in her stead, one of idol worship.

Moreover, they despise her, as it is written, “All who honored her despise her.” This is why that name was taken away from her, since they no longer make her happy. And in order to not strengthen the other, idol worshipping nations, she is called an “altar,” which is made of earth.

Altar was the name given to her instead of the name Asherah. It was made of earth, Bina, from the words, Eretz Edom [land of Edom]. Through the mitigation of Bina she receives Mochin of Panim be Panim that cancel the powers of idol worship, as it is written, “An altar of earth you shall make Me.” This is why it is also written concerning Adam HaRishon, “And the Lord God formed the man dust from the earth. Dust is Malchut; earth is Bina. Through the mitigation of dust in earth he was rewarded with receiving the Mochin of the living soul.

212) And once the dust has been mitigated in the ground, it is written, “And He breathed into his nostrils the soul of life.” The soul of life was included in this dust that was mitigated, which is the body of Adam HaRishon, like a female impregnated by the male. That is, once the body has been included in the ground, Bina, the body of Adam HaRishon rose to Nukva de Atzilut, who clothes Bina, and rose up there in Ibur. There he received the soul of life in the order, IburYenikaMochin, and the soul and body connected.

The light of Bina is called Neshama [soul]. And when the body is mitigated and becomes the Kli of Bina, it becomes fit to receive the light of Bina, and the light and Kli connect. The Guf is then filled with dust from all the lights, which are spirits and souls, and then it is written, “and the man became a living soul,” since now the man was established with body and soul, and he is poised to correct and nourish the living soul, his Nukva.

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