The First Palace, Yesod

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6) The first palace is the place that was established below to be as above, meaning Yesod in Malchut that was established in her place below to be as Bina. The friends have already discerned that it is of the laws of the Garden of Eden that all the Behinot in her must be as they are in the upper one, in Bina, and the Malchut of Midat ha Din will not be distinguished there at all.

The eye does not control her because the point of Malchut was concealed inside and is unseen, and only the point of Midat ha Rachamim is seen in her, except for the souls of the righteous, as they are engraved above and below, for they are completed from both Bina and Malchut. They are worthy of obtaining the point of Malchut. Moreover, through her they obtain looking at their Master and delighting in the high delights.

7) Those who attain the Malchut in the palaces are the righteous who did not replace the glory of their Master with other gods, who obtain the Malchut, as it is written, “A virtuous woman is the crown of her husband.” It is so because faith, Malchut, means that one who obtains her is rewarded with clinging to one’s Master, always fearing Him, not straying to the right or to the left.

One must not go after other gods, who are called “a woman of harlotry,” as it is written, “To keep you from a strange woman, from a foreign one who smoothes her words.” One is rewarded with all that only through Malchut, hence the merit of those righteous who attain her is very great.

The righteous are nourished by the arm. But the rest of the people cannot attain her because they need Midat ha Rachamim. For this reason, her quality was concealed inside and is unseen, and only the point of Midat ha Rachamim is revealed in her.

There are only six palaces, HGT NHY, in which there is attainment. There is no attainment in the seventh palace, and they are regarded as ten Sefirot because the first palace, the palace of Yesod, includes Malchut within it, and the last, upper palace, the palace of Bina, includes the GAR within it, KHB. Here The Zohar explains the first palace from below upward, the palace of Yesod.

8) That palace stands in the upper form, which is Bina, because when the souls of the righteous depart from this world, meaning pass on into their world, they enter those palaces in the lower Garden of Eden and each one sits there for the entire time that the soul needs to sit there.

It is so because the souls of the righteous are the light of Bina because the light of Bina is called Neshama [soul]. Thus, when the righteous passes, the soul needs to rise to the upper Garden of Eden, Bina. Yet, because it was clothed in a body in this world, Malchut de Midat ha Din, she was impressed by it and even after her passing, she cannot rise to her place, to the upper Garden of Eden because she must be purified from the body from which she was impressed. For this reason, the lower Garden of Eden has been prepared for her, which is essentially from Malchut, related to the Guf [body], as it is primarily from Malchut. But it is also related to the Neshama because it is included in the form of Bina.

9) In each palace in the lower Garden of Eden there are forms such as above, Bina, and such as below, Malchut. Therefore, although the soul is not yet purified from the Guf, she can enter there because there is the form of Malchut there, related to the Guf, while the soul herself, who is considered Bina, can enter there as there is also the form of Bina there.

There, in the lower Garden of Eden, the soul dresses in garments similar to her garments in this world, which is the Guf, and she is delighted there for the entire duration that she needs to be delighted with the lights in order to be completely purified from the scum of the Guf, until the time comes when the soul can rise to the upper place as she should, when all the impressions of the body that clothed in her in this world cease from her. Then she can rise up to her place in the upper Garden of Eden as she should.

Each soul is from Bina and must rise to her root, to the upper Garden of Eden. And out of that clothing in which the soul is clothed she sees high forms, from Bina, to regard the glory of their Master. That is, that clothing, which is similar to the clothing of this world, also consists of upper forms, of Bina. This is why the soul can obtain the upper lights from Bina through it, and regard the glory of her Master.

10) In this palace there are upper lights to regard, and the souls of the proselytes who converted stand there. The souls of the proselytes enter there to regard the upper glory, and there they clothe in one clothing of light, which illuminates and does not illuminate. It is so because through the lights in that palace, the righteous look and give to the souls of the proselytes who are there so the souls may enter and receive from the upper glory once they clothe in one clothing of light that illuminates and does not illuminate. In other words, there are two acts as one in this light: it illuminates to those who are worthy of it, and it does not illuminate—it darkens to those who are unworthy of it. That clothing causes them joy for having been rewarded being worthy of it.

That palace is surrounded by gems and gold. The lights of the right are called “gems,” and the lights of the left are called “gold,” as it is written, “From the north comes gold.”

11) There is a door there, which descends opposite the door to Hell. From there the proselytes look at all those wicked idolaters who did not convert and did not enter the token of the covenant of holiness. They are expelled by angels of destruction who chase them away with burning fire, and the proselytes see and are happy for having converted and been rid of that harsh Din.

12) Three times a day they illuminate from the upper light and play there. By that, it implies the lights of GAR that are drawn into that palace, for as there are three BehinotNHY HGT and GAR in the palaces in general, there are these three Behinot in each palace, too:

  1. NHY in that palace is the upper lights to regard, where the souls of the proselytes who converted stand.
  2. HGT is the lights of gems and gold.
  3. GAR is the one of whom it was said here, “Three times a day they illuminate from the upper light and play there,” thus implying lights of GAR.

Above them are Ovadia and Unkelus, the proselyte and the rest of the proselytes who are as important as they, who converted.

As was explained regarding this palace in the lower Garden of Eden, so is the quality of the lower palace in the upper Garden of Eden, where the souls rise when they can rise to be crowned there, once they have been long enough in the lower Garden of Eden.

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