And He Said, “She Is My Sister”

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342) “And Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev [south].” All of his journeys were toward the south, Hesed, more than toward any other side. He did this with wisdom, to cling to the south, which is Hesed.

343) “And Abraham said to his wife, Sarah … she is my sister.” One should not rely on a miracle. If the Creator performs a miracle for a person once, he should not rely on the miracle the next time, for not every time does a miracle occur.

344) And if one puts oneself in a place where the harm is evident, he thus cancels all his previous merits, as it is written, “I am smaller than all the mercies and all the truth.” And once Abraham came up from Egypt and was saved once, why did he agonize himself now as before, saying once more, “She is my sister”?

345) But Abraham did not rely on himself at all, since he always saw Divinity in Sarah’s abode, that it did not move from there. And because Divinity was there, Abraham relied on that and said, “She is my sister,” as it is written, “Say unto wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’” referring to Divinity, called Hochma [wisdom]. This is why he said, “She is my sister.”

346) “And God came unto Abimelech.” But does God come to the wicked? It is written, “And God came unto Balaam.” Did God come to Balaam? But they were wicked. Indeed, it was the appointee, the messenger appointed over them.

Every nation has its own minister in the heaven. And when the angels do their missions on behalf of the Creator, they all receive the name, “God,” since they come from the side of Din, and the name, “God,” indicates Dinim. This is why it is written, “And God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night,” meaning only an angel appointed over his people and not the Creator.

347) “The lip of truth shall be established for ever.” This is Abraham, whose every word in the beginning and in the end was true. “But a lying tongue is but for a moment” is Abimelech.

348) It is said of Abraham, “And Abraham said to his wife, Sarah … she is my sister.” This is as it was in Egypt, when he said about Divinity, who was with Sarah, “She is my sister.” Here, too, he said, “She is my sister” about Divinity. And Abraham did everything wisely.

349) What is the reason that Divinity is called “sister”? Since Abraham is from the right side, he said, “She is my sister,” as it is written, “My sister, My dove, My undefiled.” This is also why Abraham always called her, “my sister,” since he clung to her and they will never move from one another.

Since Abraham is considered Hesed, and in GadlutHesed rises and becomes Hochma, meaning upper AVI, whose Zivug is perpetual, when Divinity rises to them, she is there with Abraham in a never ending Zivug, as well. At that time, Divinity is called “my sister,” and not “my wife.” This is because a sister is from the right, and a wife [Isha] is from the left, as in Esh Hey [fire of the Lord].

350) In the end, it writes, “And moreover she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother.” But was it really so? After all, she was Haran’s daughter. But he said everything, meaning “She is my sister” about Divinity. In the beginning it is as it is written, “Say unto wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’” and afterwards it is written, “And moreover she is indeed.” Why “moreover”? It adds another clarification to what he said in the beginning. “My sister, the daughter of my father” means that Divinity is a daughter to the upper Hochma, upper AVI, called Aba. For this reason, Divinity is called “his sister,” and she is called Hochma.

“But not the daughter of my mother.” “My mother” extends from the place where everything begins, concealed from all, AA, from whom the Bina that returns to being Hochma is extended. And she dresses in YESHSUT, which are called Ima. And Divinity is not a daughter. Rather, she is as Ima herself because she clothes her. And since she is left, from the side of Ima, “and so she became my wife,” with friendship and kindliness, as it is written, “And His right shall embrace me,” for she desires the Hassadim on the right so that the Hochma in her will clothe in Hassadim, and everything is the Hochma.

This is why he added the clarification that the reason why he said about her, “She is my sister” was from the side of AVI, that from their side she is a daughter and a sister and is not worthy of a wife, since she is from the right. But from the side of YESHSUT, which is Ima, she is neither a daughter nor a sister, but a wife, the fire of the Creator, and worthy of Zivug.

351) When they descended to Egypt for the first time, he said, “She is my sister,” to cling to faith. He called her “my sister” so it will not be mistaken with those degrees outside of holiness. With Abimelech, too, he said, “She is my sister,” so as to not shift away from faith.

352) Abimelech and all the dwellers of the land were idolaters, while Abraham clung to faith. This is the reason why he entered there and said about Divinity, “She is my sister.” And as a sister never parts from the brother, so it is here: Abraham was adhered to Divinity in a way that he would never part with her. A woman can be separated from her husband, but a sister can never part from her brother, since two brothers can never part from each other.

This is so because a brother and a sister extend from the upper AVI, whose Zivug never stops. This is also why a brother and a sister never part. But a man and a woman extend from YESHSUT, whose Zivug is terminable and is not perpetual; hence, a man and a woman can also part.

353) This is why Abraham said, “She is my sister,” for they were all keen for the lights of stars and idols, and worshipped them, while Abraham clung to faith and said about Divinity, “My sister,” so we will never part. And the sign is, “And for his virgin sister,” which is said to the priest, for the priest is the place where Abraham, who is right—Hesed—is present. This is why Divinity is called in relation to him, “And for his virgin sister,” since from the right side, Divinity is called “sister,” as well as “daughter.”

354) It is written, “Fear the Lord your God.” Et [“of the,” the “of” is missing in the English] is the first degree of the ten Sefirot from below upwards, the Nukva, the place of the fear of the Creator. This is why it writes, “Fear,” since the Nukva is where one should fear one’s Maker, since she is Din.

355) “And serve Him.” “Him” is the upper degree, Yesod de ZA that stands atop Nukva. They never separate from one another. Et and Him are attached to each other and never part. “And … Him” is the place of the covenant, a sign to the world, meaning Yesod. This is so because there is no work in Et and it is not for work but for fearing. Rather, the work is above, in Yesod de ZA, called “Him.” This is why it writes, “And serve Him.”

356) “And to Him shall you cling,” where adherence is applied, which is the Guf [body] that is in the middle, the middle line, Tifferet, which stands in the middle between the two hands, Hesed and Gevura, meaning the two lines, right and left. “And swear by His name” is the seventh place of the degrees, when the Nukva is in the form of the Sabbath. The Nukva is called Et in the unification of Et and “Him,” when the unification is from the right line, which receives from the upper AVI. She is called “And swear by His name” when she receives the Mochin of the Sabbath from the middle line, at which time she is called “seventh.”

357) This is why Abraham clung to faith, to Divinity, in the degree of a sister, when he descended to Egypt and when he went to the land of the Philistines. It is like a person who wishes to go down a deep pit and fears that he will not be able to climb back out of the pit. What does he do? He ties a rope above the pit and says, “Now that I have tied this rope, I can go in.” So did Abraham; when he wished to go down to Egypt, prior to descending, he tied a knot of faith to strengthen in it and then went down.

358) He did that when he went into the land of the Philistines, too. This is why “Truthful lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment” is Abimelech, who said, “the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands.” And when God replied to him, what does it say? “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this,” but it does not say, “Innocence of hands” as Abimelech said. Thus, Abimelech was lying when he spoke of the innocence of his hands. This is why it is written about him, “A lying tongue is but for a moment.”

359) It is written, “He will keep the feet of His holy ones.” It writes “His holy ones” without a Yod [in Hebrew], which means a holy one, Abraham, from whom He never removed his keeping. “The feet of” are Abraham’s wife, with whom the Creator sent His Divinity and always kept her.

360) “He will keep the feet of His holy ones.” It writes “His holy ones” without a Yod [in Hebrew], which means a holy one, Abraham, with whom the Creator always went, so that others would not be able to harm him. “But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness.” Those are the angels that the Creator killed on the night when Abraham chased them.

361) It writes, “Are silenced in darkness,” which means night, Nukva, which was connected in the darkness and killed them. Abraham chased and the night killed them, as it is written, “And he divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and struck them.” “And he divided himself against them by night” is the Creator, who split the Rachamim from the Din to avenge Abraham’s vengeance. This is why it is written, “But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness.” It is written, “And struck them,” but it should have said, “And they struck them,” in plural form, since it was Abraham and his servants who struck them. However, it is the Creator who struck them, for not by force does one prevail, for he and Eliezer were alone, since Eliezer is 318 in Gematria, meaning the 318 who were born in his household that the writing mentions.

362) Where there is harm, one should not rely on miracles. And there is no such place where harm is found as when Abraham went after the four kings, chasing them and waging war on them. Why did he rely on a miracle? When Abraham went into it, he did not go to wage war or rely on a miracle; rather, Lot’s anguish drove him out of his home and he took money with him to redeem him. And if he could not redeem him, he would die with him in captivity. But when he went, he saw Divinity shining before him and several armies of angels around him. Then the Creator chased them and killed them, as it is written, “But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness.”

363) “He will keep the feet of His holy ones” was Abraham. And when he went to fight the kings, Isaac bonded with him and they fell before him. Had Isaac not bonded with Abraham, he would have been unable to destroy them. It is written, “But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness,” since it is not by force that one prevails. Although the force is always in the right, Abraham, if the right was not mingled with the left, Isaac, the kings would not be defeated by him.

364) “He will keep the feet of His holy ones.” When a person loves the Creator, the Creator loves him in everything he does, and keeps his ways, as it is written, “The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.”

365) See how fond Abraham was of the Creator. Wherever he went, he did not think of what was his at all, but only of adhering to the Creator. For this reason, “He will keep the feet of His holy ones.” This was his wife, since “feet” imply his wife, as it is written, “Now Abimelech had not come near her,” and it is written, “Therefore I did not let you touch her.”

366) It is written about Pharaoh, “And the Lord plagued Pharaoh … because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.” She said, meaning Sarah would say to the Creator, “Strike!” and He would strike. This is why it is written, “He will keep the feet of His holy ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness.” These are Pharaoh and Abimelech, upon which the Creator executed judgments at night, in the darkness, for not by one’s force does one prevail. “One” is Abraham, as it is written, “Now therefore restore the man’s wife.”

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