Fourth Palace, Gevura

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102) The fourth palace is different from all the other palaces because it contains four palaces one inside the other, and they are all one palace. These four palaces are courthouses—the innermost one is four judging souls, and the three courthouses surrounding it are for the rest of the Dinim [judgments].

That palace is Gevura and not Tifferet. The spirit here is called Zechut [merit] since in that place, the sins of all the people in the world are turned into merits. That spirit takes everything. That is, one who has been rewarded with it is rewarded with sentencing himself and the entire world to a scale of merit.

103) Seventy lights come forth from the spirit Zechut. They all sparkle at once, and all of them illuminate in circles because they do not expand to illuminate from above downward like the rest of the lights. The lights cling to one another, illuminate in one another, and grip to one another.

Clinging indicates that there is equivalence of form among them, since spiritual Dvekut [adhesion] is actually equivalence of form. Illuminating in one another indicates that the lights mingle with one another to shine together as one.

Gripping to one another indicates that they need each other, that they cannot illuminate without one another. If one of them were missing, they would not be able to shine. All the merits of the world are before those lights, meaning by their light we see how all the sins of the world are inverted into scales of merit.

Explanation: All the people of the world are in utter wholeness, to such an extent that there has never been such joy before the Creator as on the day when heaven and earth were created. However, a person cannot take part in His great joy unless he has made complete repentance from love. Before that, he will not rejoice at all with himself or with the people of the world. On the contrary, he feels before him a world full of sorrow and pain until he says, “The earth is given into the hand of the wicked,” both pains of the body and pains of the soul, which are the sins he commits.

All of that came to him because he is going against the nature of creation, since the world was created only in bestowal, to engage in Torah and good deeds in order to bestow contentment to one’s Maker, and not for one’s own pleasure. It is written, “All the works of the Creator are for Him,” so that people would bestow contentment upon Him.

But in the beginning, it is written, “A man is born a wild ass’ colt,” whose sole interest is his own delight and who has none of the desire to bestow. He argues, “All the works of the Creator are for me, for my own delight,” since he wishes to devour the entire world for his own good and benefit.

Hence, the Creator has imprinted bitter and harsh afflictions in self-reception, instilled in man from the moment of his birth—bodily pains and pains of the soul—so that if he engages in Torah and Mitzvot even for his own pleasure, through the light in it he will still feel the lowliness and the terrible corruptness in the nature of receiving for oneself.

At that time he will resolve to retire from that nature of reception and completely devote himself to working only in order to bestow contentment upon his Maker, as it is written, “All the works of the Creator are for Him.” Then the Creator will open his eyes to see before him a world filled with utter perfection without any deficiencies whatsoever.

Then he partakes in the joy as at the time of the creation of the world. Because he was rewarded, he has sentenced himself and the entire world to a scale of merit,” for wherever he casts his eyes he sees only good and perfection. He sees no faults at all in the works of the Creator, only merits.

There are two ways in the corporeal and spiritual afflictions he had prior to repenting:

  1. All that the Creator does, He does for the best. He sees that were it not for the terrible pains that he had suffered for being immersed in the nature of reception for himself, he would never have been rewarded with repentance. Therefore, he blesses for the bad as he blesses for the good, since without the bad he would not have been rewarded with the good, as well. It follows that all is for the best.
  2. That, too, is for the best. Not only did the evils that were done cause good, but even the evils themselves have been inverted to good through very great lights that the Creator illuminated through all those evils until they were inverted into good—both the bodily afflictions and the afflictions of the soul, which are the transgressions. Thus, the sins have been inverted and received the form of merits. And these lights that turn sins to merits are the seventy lights in the palace before us. It is because of them that this palace is called “palace of merit [Zechut].”

Two lights emerge from all of seventy lights, and they are tantamount to one, always standing before them. These seventy lights are the ones that turn people’s sins to merits. At that time the sins and merits are regarded as two lights, equal to each other. That is, the merit of the sins is as important as that of the merits, and one is not more important than the other. They always stand before the seventy lights and testify before them.

104) Opposite those seventy lights are seventy appointed ministers, from whom come all the Dinim in the world, which stand outside and surround all those four palaces from without. But the seventy lights and two lights that stand before them are internal, the innermost, as it is written, “Your belly is like a heap of wheat circled with lilies.”

“Your belly” is the interior, like intestines, which are in the interior of the body. Hitah [Wheat] implies Hataaim [sins], the sins that became merits through the 72 lights, which are in the innermost part of the four palaces. This is why it is written about them, “Your belly is like a heap of wheat.”

However, it is circled from the outside with lilies, which imply Dinim, being the seventy appointed ministers, who do all the Dinim in the world. Seventy ministers are the contrary of seventy lights, for although all the sins and punishments come from the seventy ministers, they are not on their own, but serve the seventy lights. Their role is to qualify the lower ones to be fit to receive the great disclosure of the seventy lights. This is why it is considered that the seventy appointed ministers circle the palaces and the seventy lights from the outside.

105) All the merits and the works of all the people in the world come before these seventy lights to be sentenced. That is, the seventy lights are the courthouse of above, which sentence all the people in the world. The two lights that stand before them testify the testimony of the works of the people in the world, as there are seven eyes of the Creator that roam throughout the earth.

Eyes mean providence. There are seven qualities to the providence of the Creator, HGT NHYM, the seven eyes of the Creator. The seven kinds of providence qualify the people of the world to receive the upper pleasure and pleasantness. Everything that happens in the world, both good and bad, its form is imprinted in that very act and in that very merit, and they exist and stand forever. In other words, nothing is lost from the world, neither the bad deeds nor the good deeds. Rather, each act is registered in its form by the seven eyes of the Creator, by which it is given eternal existence.

The two lights see and observe each act, and testify a testimony before the seventy lights, which are the courthouse of above. Once the seventy lights hear their testimony, these seventy lights sentence sentences and make judgments, for better and for worse, according to the testimony of the two lights.

At the time of wholeness, these two lights, the light of sins and the light of merits, are equal, and the sins become for him as merits. At that time the seventy lights, which are the seventy Sanhedrin of above, sentence each work favorably, according to their good testimony. But if the two lights are not equal, but the light of merits is far greater than the light of sins, to that extent there is a great deficiency in the bad deeds that the person did, and he must repent them from love.

This is considered that the two lights testify a bad testimony over the deeds that the person did. At that time the seventy lights sentence unfavorable sentences until the person repents them from love and they become completely as merits, and the two lights equal one another. Thus, the seventy lights judge the person according to the testimony of the two lights—whether they are equal or not—according to the measure of the deficiency, until they are equal.

But here in this palace is the place of merit, meaning that what has been said, that they sentence sentences for better and for worse, does not appear here but in the abundance poured down from the seventy lights that reach below, where the evil is apparent. But here it is only the merit.

106) The spirit, Zechut, in that palace—from which emerge seventy lights—the three letters YodHeyVav are inscribed in it. Ten Sefirot are YodHey VavHeyYodHey is HBVav is Tifferet, which includes HGT NHY, and the bottom Hey is Malchut. The spirit from which emerge seventy lights is YodHeyVav, only the upper nine, male, and does not include the bottom HeyNukva.

When the letters YodHeyVav cling to Malchut, called “place,” “bottom Hey,” the letters YodHeyVav are inscribed in the spirit and do not depart from there. It is so because each degree emerges through Zivug de Hakaa of the upper light, which is the upper nine, male, on the Masach in MalchutNukva. At that time the Ohr Hozer in Malchut rises and clothes the upper light—which is the upper nine—from below upward. By that clothing, the upper nine are tied and fixed to the degree.

When the letters YodHeyVav—the upper light and male—cling to the bottom HeyMalchut, in a Zivug de Hakaa from the upper light, the male, to MalchutNukva, the spirit—which includes seventy lights—is emanated. At that time the letters YodHeyVav, the upper nine, are inscribed in the spirit and do not depart from there because the Ohr Hozer clothes them and they become connected to it through that clothing.

Afterward a light emerges and illuminates to four sides. That light elicits three other lights because those ten Sefirot that emerged from below upward are regarded as ten Sefirot de Rosh, spirit, which include all seventy lights and two witnesses.

Also, it is known that once the Zivug de Hakaa was made and elicits ten Sefirot de RoshMalchut de Rosh expands from above downward and elicits two Behinot in the body, HGT through the ChazehGAR de Guf, and NHY from the Chazeh and below down to the Sium Raglin [end of the legs].

It is also known that HGT from Chazeh and above are complete in the four Behinot HB TM, which are four animals—lion, ox, vulture, and man. But NHY from Chazeh and below have only three Behinot HB and Tifferet, with the face of a man, Malchut, missing.

Once the YodHeyVav de Rosh come out in Zivug de Hakaa, a light emerges and illuminates in four directions, meaning that the light of Malchut de Rosh has expanded and illuminated the HGT from Chazeh and above from above downward. There are four sides there, HB TM. That light elicits three other lights, and from HGT emerge and expand NHY from the Chazeh and below. These are only three sides, HB and Tifferet, but the face of a man is missing there.

These three lights HB and Tifferet are three courthouses that sentence other sentences on the matters of the world, which are not soul-sentences, meaning concerning wealth, poverty, illnesses, the complete health, and other matters by which the world is judged.

The spirit that contains seventy lights and two witnesses is YodHeyVav in the Rosh, which illuminate from below upward. These seventy lights that extend from it are the seventy Sanhedrin that sentence soul-sentences.

The lights from the Chazeh and below, which extend from the bottom Hey in the Rosh, which are three sides, are three courthouses that sentence other sentences, which are not soul-sentences, in a sitting of three together, where each of the three sides consists of all three. This is why they are three courthouses.

And the reason why it does not consider courthouses in the four sides from the Chazeh and above is because there the Hassadim are covered, and there is no disclosure of illumination of Hochma in them, nor any Dinim to which they can grip, since the Dinim are only in a place where there is illumination of Hochma. The reason is that the Tzimtzum [restriction] was not at all on light of Hassadim.

One palace is for the first seventy lights. It is in the innermost part of the palaces. The three palaces around it are for three other courthouses, since that palace consists of four palaces one inside the other. And the seventy lights, which are seventy Sanhedrin and two witnesses, are in the innermost palace of all, while the three other courthouses are in the three palaces that surround the inner palace.

107) That spirit ascends, includes within it all those lights of below—the four lights from the Chazeh and above, and the three lights from the Chazeh and below—and elicits one holy, blazing animal. The animal has eyes like the eyes of a human being, to watch over the accusers with a thousand thousands and ten thousand ten thousand armies. All those accusers take sentences from the courthouse and open or close the pipelines of abundance to the world, completing, meaning executing the Din.

The spirit is seventy lights, GAR and RoshYodHeyVav. That animal extends primarily from the spirit and from the seventy lights in it. But to emanate it in Rosh and Guf, the spirit, too, must be included with the Guf—with the four lights and the three lights, which are Guf. By that the animal can complete and execute the Din that the seventy lights sentenced, since they are its root.

The animal has eyes like the eyes of a human being, indicating that the eyes of the animal extend from GAR, where there are seventy lights. There are also the face of a man there. Eyes means providence, to watch over the accusers with a thousand thousands and ten thousand ten thousand armies.

It is so because being from the Rosh, they extend from their corresponding Behina in Atzilut, which is AtikRosh de Atzilut. The digits of Atik are in the number 100,000, and his ten Sefirot are a thousand thousands. It is written about Atik in Daniel, “a thousand thousands will attend him.”

Additionally, there is another hidden Zivug in Atik, from the Malchut that is hidden in RADLA. In that Behina, each Sefira [sin. of Sefirot] in him is ten thousand. And ten Sefirot is ten thousand ten thousands, as it is written in Daniel, “and ten thousand ten thousand stood before him.”

And because they are the ones who execute the sentences that are sentenced in the seventy lights—as they are considered Rosh, receiving from Atik, who is opposite them—they, too, have those two numbers that apply in Atik: a thousand thousands from the revealed Zivug, and ten thousand ten thousands from the concealed Zivug.

108) Under that animal are four seraphim, all of whom blaze as button and flower, and sparks of fire rise up. The four seraphim are four Behinot HB TM of the animal, which illuminate to four directions. The blazing as button and flower, and the sparks of fire, are the sweat of the animals, which sweat as they travel to the four directions.

It is so because to each direction they travel, they direct their faces to the middle line very meticulously, to not stray to the right or to the left. And because they cannot restrict themselves to the middle as much as they would like, they lean too much once to the left, thus promptly extending a spark of burning fire, then lean too much to the right, thus extending Ohr Hassadim. One who is meticulous about keeping himself in the middle tilts himself once to the right and once to the left, until he precisely determines the middle line.

The excessive leaning to the right is called “button” because the receptacle of the light is called “spoon.” Also, the level of light that is extended is called “ornament,” as in “ornaments of gold.”

The excessive leaning to the left is called “flower” or “sparks of fire.” It is called “flower” after the blossoming of the light of Hassadim, since the light of Hochma that extends from the left line extends without the light of Hassadim, and it is considered that the light of Hassadim fled from there [in Heb: Parach means both “blossomed” and “fled”]. It is also called “sparks of fire” for because the light is without Hassadim it burns the lower ones.

This is so because those who extend from ZAT, which are primarily Ohr Hassadim, are cancelled by light without Hassadim. But since those four seraphim are from GAR, they do not burn due to the absence of Hassadim because the GAR can receive Ohr Hochma without Hassadim. This is why they are called seraphim, indicating that their illumination that extends to the lower ones Sorephet [burns] them.

Each of the four seraphim has 72 wheels that blaze in fire. This is four times 72, which in Gematria is Parach (288). It indicates that the light of Hassadim has fled from there because those wheels gathered and rose to them from sparks of fire. This is why they are blazing.

When they travel, a river of fire is made by them because the leaning to the left always occurs during traveling, for each time they try harder to direct their faces to the middle line, they necessarily sweat, leaning to the right and to the left in order to determine the middle more precisely. In each leaning to the left, sparks of fire come out, until they accumulate and become a river of fire.

A thousand thousand angels serve that fire, since the Mochin that the seraphim receive during their traveling extend from Atik de Atzilut, who is in the number a thousand thousands with respect to the revealed Zivug, and in the number ten thousand ten thousands with respect to the concealed Zivug. This is why it is considered that the river of fire was made by the illumination of a thousand thousands, which extends from Atik. And several armies are born and emerge from those thousand thousands.

When the wheels travel, several ten thousand ten thousands are born and stand with them inside the fire. They extend from the hidden Zivug of Atik, which is ten thousand ten thousands. Thus, those who are attending and make the river Dinor are as is written, “a thousand thousands will attend him.” And those who are born and come out inside the river Dinor itself are as is written, “and ten thousand ten thousand stood before him.”

Under the second palace emerge angels that sing and come to approach here. They all burn because they are from VAK, which are primarily Ohr Hassadim, so the Ohr Hochma without Hassadim that is here becomes a burning fire for them, hence they are burned and destroyed.

109) All those appointees appointed to rule in the world, here is where they are appointed to rule. Their appointing emerges from the spirit, Zechut, that is here, who is registered in the three letters YodHeyVav. From here they are removed from the world and are sentenced in that fire that extends in the river Dinor. Everything is given in that palace because it is written in the three letters YodHeyVav, in which the spirit here is included.

This animal elicits innumerable armies and camps of angels because the governance of the appointees on Kedusha [holiness] in the world is to subdue the Sitra Achra. And because, as it is written, “God has made one opposite the other,” they cannot govern them and subdue them unless when they receive Mochin de GAR from the spirit, Zechut, that is here. At that time they can subdue the Sitra Achra and rule in the world.

From here they are removed from the world, for as the great Mochin are received here, if they are not careful to receive them in the three letters YodHeyVav—where the spirit that is here is registered in them, meaning that the VavTifferet, middle line, determines over the YodHeyHB, right and left, but they rather lean to the left—they are promptly removed from the world. At that time they are sentenced in that fire that emerges and extends from the river Dinor in a way that everything is given in that palace, both the great Mochin, and being completely wiped out from the world.

110) All the Dinim in the world emerge from that palace, for better and for worse. All but the three: sons, life, and nourishments. No permission was granted to judge them in that place. Rather, they are hanging in that upper river called Dikna de AA, or “upper fortune.” All the lights of sons, life, and nourishments extend from him, and the matter depends only on him.

The reason is that in the palace, Zechut [merit], domination is given primarily to love, since sins become merits only by love, as we learn that through repentance from love, the sins become to him as merits. However, in the upper fortune, which is Se’arot Dikna de AA, predominance is given to fear. This is why they are called Se’arot, from the word Soarot [storming], and sons, life, and nourishments are extended only through fear. This is why they cannot come from the palace, Zechut, but only from Se’arot Dikna de AA, where there is the quality of fear.

The seventy lights are the great Sanhedrin, who make soul sentences. Therefore, the living, too, are sentenced in the palace, Zechut. The reason is that after being sentenced to life in the palace, Zechut, life is drawn from Mazla de AA, and he is given life from him.

In the middle of that palace is a corrected place so the upper spirit in the fifth palace is received in the spirit that is here. That place rises in them. And that place, the pillar that is standing in the middle of each palace, comprises two spirits in those two spirits. This is why it raises the spirit that is here to the upper spirit in the fifth palace.

111) There are twelve openings to that palace. In each opening are the officers and appointees who declare, announcing below all the Dinim that are destined to come down. The essence of the palace is from the Chazeh and above, and the lower ones, whose root is from the Chazeh and below, are fit to receive only from the Chazeh and below, since each Behina must receive only from its corresponding Behina.

The openings in the palace are from the Chazeh and below of the palace, so the lower ones can receive their abundance from them. For this reason they are regarded as openings, indicating that they cannot come and receive from the palace, but through them, which is from the Chazeh and below, such as them. It is similar to a corporeal palace—you cannot enter it unless through the door.

For this reason, all the appointees stand at the openings, from which they impart the sentences in the courthouses in the palaces to the lower ones, who are the clarions that announce and are heard, and are made in the world.

There are twelve openings to the palace because there are four palaces in that palace, corresponding to the HB TM of the palace. In each palace are three openings, thus twelve openings. There aren’t four openings in each palace because being from the Chazeh and below, they lack the face of a man, and there are only three faces there, HB and Tifferet.

Just as each animal has four wheels, since they are from the Chazeh and above, and each wheel has three foundations, as they are from the Chazeh and below, so here—the four palaces are included in that palace, since they are from the Chazeh and above. But in each palace there are only three openings, since they are from the Chazeh and below.

112) All those with wings receive from those clarions and officers and appointees at the openings of the palaces, until they announce the matter to the firmament of the sun, the second firmament in the world of Assiya, where the sun is between seven planets.

Winged ones refers to angels, as it is written, “for a bird of the heavens will carry the voice, and that which has wings will tell the matter.” All the angels below the palaces in BYA receive the clarions of the officers and appointees at the openings of the palace, where each higher angel gives to the one below it, until the clarion reaches the sun, the fourth of the seven Planets.

However, it does not refer to the seven corporeal planets, but to the seven Sefirot in the second firmament of the spiritual world of Assiya, where the seven corporeal planets are considered their branches. This is the manner of the sages: to speak of corporeal branches and clarify with them their spiritual roots.

From there, when the sun comes out over the earth, the clarion comes forth from the sun and roams the world until the matter reaches the serpent in the firmament, in which all the stars of the firmaments are frozen, and which stands in the middle of the firmament. They hear the matter and those officers of below receive it. And those appointees over the serpent—from there the matter spreads to the world.

In the middle of the firmament, a glittering path is tied—the serpent in the firmament. All the stars that are fine from seeing them are tied to it in heaps. Astronomers call it the “Milky Way,” for due to the abundance of stars there it seems to us like a path that is as white as milk.

These fine stars are appointed over the hidden actions of people in the world. This is why it was said here, “until the matter reaches the serpent in the firmament,” the Milky Way, where the stars are all frozen and do not move. Personal Providence is arranged under the stars, as we learn, “You have not a blade of grass below that does not have a star or a fortune from above that strikes it and tells it, ‘Grow!’”

It is known that each degree and the abundance extended from it are divided in two—from the Chazeh and above, and from the Chazeh and below. Hence, the stars are also divided by them.

There are stars that are not planets. They are frozen in the Milky Way. These are from the Chazeh and above, where the Hassadim are covered and the abundance does not reach from them to the lower ones openly. These fine stars are appointed over the hidden actions of people in the world, for they are appointed only over hidden actions.

There are planets, which are Shabtai [Saturn], Tzedek [Jupiter], Maadim [Mars], Hamah [Mercury], Noga [Venus], and the planet, Levanah [Moon]. These are from the Chazeh and below, where the Hassadim are revealed and the abundance from them reaches the lower ones openly. Hence, they circle the world, each in its own unique way, dispensing its unique bounty.

It was said that the clarion comes out from the sun and roams the world until the matter reaches the serpent in the firmament, where all the stars of the firmament are frozen. They hear the matter because these stars do not receive the matter in order to bestow upon the lower ones; they only hear it.

And only the officers below the Milky Way receive the matters. They are from the Chazeh and below, and from them it is dispensed to the lower ones. Also, those appointees over the serpent above the Milky Way receive the matter, too. But the stars themselves in the Milky Way do not receive, but only hear, in a manner that suffices to the officers below to receive from them.

113) From the officers below, the clarion spreads and is made in the world. Even the spirits and demons, and the birds of the sky transmit and announce the clarions in the world. That is, all creations in the world, even demons and spirits, are ready to execute these clarions.

The appointees return and close the openings. When there is bestowal of providence on the world, the twelve openings open and the clarions hang down to the world through the degrees. And once it is executed in the world, they close the openings once more, since they are open only while bestowing.

The spirit here does not rise to the upper spirit in the fifth palace until all the spirits in the lower palaces become one with the spirit that is here, and all the spirits mingle and enter one another until they all become one. After that Hitkalelut, the spirit that is here rises with them to the fifth palace and mingles with the spirit that is there.

114) When a person is laying sick on his deathbed, he is sentenced here to life or to death. Life depends above on the upper river, and not here in the palace, Zechut. However, if he is sentenced to life here, he is given life from above, from the upper river called Fortune. Otherwise, life is not given to him from above. Happy is he who clings to his Master and enters and exits this palace as he pleases.

Here in this palace, bowing down to the ground is employed, where the face touches the ground in order to overcome the Din. In the second palace, kneeling is required, and in the third palace bowing, lowering of the head. But here bowing to the ground is required, where the face touches the ground. The kneeling and bowing that the righteous perform in order to appease their Master are directed by the Mochin they extend.

Therefore, in the palace, HodVAK, kneeling is required. In the third palace, regarded as GAR compared to the second palace, bowing is required, lowering of the head, until he sees a coin opposite his heart. But they do not need to bow down to the ground because it is still not actual GAR, as it is from the Chazeh and below of the palaces. But in the fourth palace, from the Chazeh and above of the palaces, there is GAR from the Panim, hence bowing to the ground where the face touches the ground is required.

It is written about that palace, “a God of faith and without iniquity, just and right is He.” This implies to the beginning of the verse, “for all His ways are justice,” since in that palace is the courthouse where it becomes revealed that all His ways are justice. And by that we attain Him, as it is written, “a God of faith and without iniquity, just and right is He.”

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