And Jacob Sat

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1) “And Jacob sat in the land where his father had lived.” How many slanderers are there to a person from the day the Creator gives him a soul in this world? And because he came into the world, the evil inclination immediately appears to partake with him, as it is written, “Sin crouches at the door,” for then the evil inclination partakes with him.

2) A beast watches over itself from the day it is born, and runs from fire and from any bad place. When man is born, he immediately comes to throw himself into the fire, since the evil inclination is within him and promptly incites him to the evil way.

3) “A poor and wise child is better…” this is the good inclination, which is a child from few days with man,(1) since he is with man from thirteen years of age onwards.

4) “…than an old and foolish king.” This is the evil inclination, called “King and man’s ruler in the world.” “…old and foolish,” since he is with man from the day one is born into the world.

5) “…who does not know how to beware.” It does not say, “to warn,” but “to beware,” since he is a fool. And Solomon said about him, “but the fool walks in darkness.” This is because the darkness comes from waste, and it has no light for the world. But one who does not know to warn others is still not considered a fool because of that.

6) “A poor and wise child is better…” is the good inclination. But a child is better, as it is written, “I was a youth, now I am old.” This is a youth who is a poor child with nothing of his own. And he is called a youth because he has the resumption [renewal] of the moon, which is always resumed, and he is always a poor child. And he is wise because there is Hochma [wisdom] in him.

There are two states to the Nukva: 1) the time when she reigns. At that time, she is as big as ZA. This is the state of illumination of Hochma in her, although she does not shine, for lack of light of Hassadim. 2) The time when she shines through her Zivug with ZA. At that time, she must be reduced to a point, and then she has nothing of her own and receives everything from ZA. That state is the state of illumination of Hassadim in her. And from those two states, the Nukva is clothed and shines in the angel Matatron.

And when he receives the second state of the Nukva, which is illumination of Hassadim, Matatron says, “I was a youth.” And he is also called “a child” because the illumination of Hassadim is VAK, called “a youth” or “a child.” He is also called “poor” because in that state, the Nukva is diminished to a point and has nothing of her own.

And when he receives from the first state of the Nukva, which is the time of her own dominion, and she is as big as ZA, which is the state of illumination of Hochma in her, Matatron says, “now I am old.” This is because an old is one who has acquired Hochma [wisdom]. Hence, he is called Hacham [wise].

Question: Why is the angel Matatron always referred to as “youth” and not as “old”? After all, he did say, “now I am old.” Should he not be regarded as “old”? Answer: This is so because he has the resumption of the moon, the Nukva, which is her Zivug with ZA, the second state, the state of illumination of Hassadim in her, which is considered VAK and is called “a child.” The state of resumption always applies to her, constantly. This is why he is called, “youth,” and not “old,” since the old age he receives from the first state, which is a state of her own dominion, does not always apply to him.

7) “…an old and foolish king” is the evil inclination, which extends from opposite Matatron, called “malicious man,” who has never parted from his impurity. And he is a fool because all his ways are toward the evil way. He walks and incites people and does not know how to beware. And he comes to people with lies, to lure them off the good way and toward the evil way.

8) For this reason, the evil inclination immediately connects itself to man from the day he is born, so he will believe him. And later, when the good inclination comes, man will not be able to believe him and his words will seem burdensome to him. A cunning wicked is one who makes his arguments before the judge prior to the arrival of his fellow litigator.

9) The cunning wicked is the evil inclination, as it is written, “the serpent was more crafty…” He, too, arrives early and is within man before the good inclination comes to be in him. And because he comes first and makes his arguments before him, later, when the good inclination comes, it will be bad for man to be with it, and he will not be able to raise his head, as though he has been burdened with all the burdens in the world. This will be so because the evil inclination had come first. And Solomon said about that, “the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard,” since the other one had come before.

10) For this reason, any judge who accepts the words of a litigator before his colleague arrives is like one who takes upon himself another god to believe in. However, when his friend comes and questions him, meaning after his friend has arrived, then he will hear his arguments. This is the way of a righteous man. A righteous man is a person who did not believe that crafty wicked, the evil inclination, since he made his arguments before the arrival of his friend, the good inclination. Rather, he keeps the other one, and his friend came and questioned him. It is in this that people fail from being rewarded with the next world.

11) But a righteous one, who fears his Master, how much evil does he suffer in this world so as to not believe and partake with the evil inclination? But the Creator saves him from all of them, as it is written, “Many are the ills of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” The text [in Hebrew] does not say, “Many are the ills of the righteous,” but “Many ills, righteous.” Thus, one who suffers many ills is righteous because the Creator wants him. This is so because the ills he suffers remove him from the evil inclination, and for this reason the Creator wants that person and delivers him from them all. And he is happy in this world and in the next world.

12) Many are the ills that Jacob suffered so as to not cling to the evil inclination and part from its lot. He suffered several punishments and ills for that, but he did not rest. And how many ills do righteous suffer in this world, ills over ills and pains over pains to purify them for the next world?

13) How has Jacob always suffered ills over ills, as it is written, “I was not at ease at the house of Laban, and I could not be saved from him.” And I had no quiet from Esau, from that affliction that his appointee had caused me. And later, the fear of Esau himself: “…and I had no rest,” from Dinah and From Shechem.

14) But anger came. This is Joseph’s anger and bewilderment, which was the hardest of them all, since Jacob went into Egypt because of his love for Joseph, which is the covenant. And this is why he loved him so much, since afterwards it is written, “…and I will remember My covenant,” that redemption was only for him, since Divinity was there with him, with the covenant, which is Joseph. This is why Joseph’s bewilderment was harder for him than all the troubles he had suffered.

15) “And Jacob sat in the land where his father had lived.” “The righteous perishes and no one takes it to heart.” “The righteous perishes” means that when the Creator looks at the world, and the world is not worthy of existing and judgment is in the world, He takes the righteous one who lives among them so that the judgment will be upon the others and there will be no one to protect them.

16) This is so because as long as the righteous is in the world, the judgment cannot control the world. How do we know that? From Moses, as it is written, “Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen stood before Him.” For this reason, the Creator takes the righteous one from among them and raises him up from the world, and then he is repaid and receives his share. The verse, “the righteous man is taken away because of the evil,” means that before the evil comes to rule over the world, the righteous is taken away. Another meaning: “because of the evil” means the evil inclination, which incites and leads the world astray.

17) Jacob was the senior patriarch, and he was about to be in exile. But because he was righteous, the judgment was stopped and did not rule over the world. Thus, through all of Jacob’s days, the judgment did not rule over the world and the hunger was cancelled.

18) Also, in the days of Joseph, who is the form of his father, there was no exile because he protected them all his days. And when he died, exile immediately came upon them, as it is written, “And Joseph died.” And soon after, “come, let us deal wisely with them.” And it is written, “And they made their lives bitter.”

19) Similarly, wherever there is a righteous man in the world, the Creator protects the world for him, and as long as he lives, the judgment does not rule over the world.

20) “And Jacob sat in the land where his father had lived.” “And Jacob sat” means that he was connected and sat in that place that was united in the dark. What is, “the land where his father had lived,” since he feared all of his days? “The land where his father had lived,” specifically, means that this terror and fear is Isaac’s, his father’s, who is the left line. “In the land of Canaan” means that the place is tied to his place. Nukva is called, “land,” and when she is tied to the left line, which is Jacob’s father, she is called, “Land of Canaan.” “…where his father had lived” is a harsh judgment, the left line of ZA. “Land” is a harsh judgment, the left line, and Jacob clung to it and settled in it.

The light of ZA comes from above downwards. Hence, if the left line shines in it, a very harsh judgment extends from it, since it is the sin of the tree of knowledge. But the light of the Nukva is considered a female light, which shines only from below upwards and does not extend downwards. Hence, even when she is included with the right, there is no harsh judgment in her, but a weak one. This is the meaning of, “in the land where his father had lived,” which is a weak judgment. And Jacob sat in it. He sat in the land, which is the Nukva, and only a weak judgment, not a harsh one, like the dwelling place of his father.


(1) Michael Laitman: This pertains to two degrees clothed in one another. First, there is the degree of a child, then the adult, but the child is still clothed within the adult.

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