Behold, Three Men—and They Ate

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93) After Abraham was circumcised, he was sitting and hurting, and the Creator sent him three angels openly to give him regards. How were they revealed? Who can see angels, because it is written, “He makes winds His messengers”?

94) Of course he saw them, since they came down to earth in the form of people. They were certainly holy spirits, but when they come down to the world, they clothe in air and in elements of cover and wrapping and seem to people precisely in their form.

95) Abraham saw them as in the form of people. And although he was in pain from the circumcision, he went out and ran toward them, since it was his way to welcome guests.

96) But he certainly saw them as angels, as is evident from what is written, “And the Lord [ADNI] said,” which is the name AlephDalet of Divinity. Aleph Dalet is an acronym of the name ADNI, since Divinity was coming and those angels were her supports and her throne, since they are the three colors—white, red, and green—below Divinity, from her Chazeh down, regarded as being under the degree in each degree. These angels are the externality of Divinity, from the Chazeh down.

97) And he saw that they were angels because he was circumcised, which he did not see previously, before he was circumcised. In the beginning, he knew that they were men, and afterwards he knew that they were angels who came to him on a mission from the Creator when they told him, “Where is Sarah, your wife?” and gave him the news of Isaac.

98) The punctuated letters in the word “Unto him” [in Hebrew] in the verse, “And they said unto him: ‘Where’” are AlephYodVav. The sign AlephYodVav implies to what is above; it implies to the Creator. It is about Him that they asked him, “Where.” And he said, “Behold, in the tent,” meaning he was adhered to Divinity. This is because here it is written, “Behold, in the tent,” and there, “A tent that shall not be removed.” As there it means Divinity, here it means Divinity, as well.

Since the AlephYodVav are already punctuated in the words “Unto him,” why does it then say “Where”? It is because the joining of male and female together is faith. This is why they asked AlephYodVav about the Creator, and “Where” about Divinity. In other words, they evoked him to unify the Creator and His Divinity. As was said, the writing says, “And he said, ‘Behold, in the tent,’” since there he connected everything—the Nukva, called “tent,” and there is the Creator.

99) But did the angels not know that Sarah was in the tent that they asked about her, “Where”? These angels know in this world only what is permitted for them to know. “For I will go through the land of Egypt,” I the Lord. But there are several emissaries and messengers to the Creator; why did He go through the land of Egypt Himself? It is because the angels cannot tell a drop of a firstborn from one that is not of a firstborn. Only the Creator knows that.

100) “And put a mark on the foreheads of the men.” Why do the angels need that sign? It is because the angels know only what is permitted for them to know, meaning all those things that the Creator is destined to bring to the world. And they know it because the Creator makes announcements through all the firmaments and announces the thing that He is destined to bring to the world, and the angels hear the announcements and know.

101) When there is a saboteur in the world, one should hide oneself in one’s home and not be seen on the street so he will not sabotage. As you say, “And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.” This is because one should hide from those angels that he can hide. But from the Creator, one does not need to hide, as it is written, “Can a man hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? says the Lord.”

102) Why did they ask about her? It is because even after they had heard that she was in the tent, they did not go in there to tell her, but told Abraham while he was outside. They did not wish to convey the message to her face. Hence, when he said, “Behold, in the tent,” he immediately said, “I will certainly return,” since they did not intend Sarah to hear. Come and see, it is common manners that before Abraham invited them to eat, they told him nothing so it would not seem as though he invited them to eat because of the news. Hence, after it is written, “And they ate,” they told him the news.

103) But do angels from on high eat? Indeed, for Abraham’s honor it seemed as though they were eating, meaning they were pretending to eat. But another said that they actually ate, since they are fire that consumes fire. And it was not that they seemed as though they were eating. Everything that Abraham gave them, they ate, since they ate from Abraham’s side above.

Extending Hassadim is eating above. And Abraham is Hesed. Hence, they ate everything that he gave them from his quality, the quality of Hesed, since this is how they eat above, in heaven.

104) Everything that Abraham ate, he ate in purity. For this reason, he sacrificed before the angels and they ate. And Abraham kept purity and impurity in his home. An impure person could not even serve in his home until he gave him a Tevila [purifying bathing]—if he were only slightly impure—or made him properly keep seven days in his home if he were in grave impurity, and afterwards he gave him a Tevila.

105) It is written, “If there is among you any man who is unclean because of a nocturnal emission,” what is his correction? “When evening approaches, he shall bathe himself with water.” If some other grave impurity occurs to him, such as gonorrhea or leprosy or menstruation, meaning he has two impurities, the Tevila that he took for his emission that day before evening is insufficient. Instead, he must keep seven days and then perform Tevila again. And it makes no difference if the emission occurred to him before he received the other impurity or afterwards.

106) Abraham and Sarah were setting up Tevila for every person—he for the men and she for the women. The reason why Abraham engaged in purifying people is that he was pure and he was called “pure,” as it is written, “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one,” and Abraham is pure who came out of Terah, who was unclean.

107) This is why Abraham engaged in Tevila, to correct the degree of Abraham. And his degree is water, Hassadim, for which he was made to purify all the people in the world with water. Similarly, when he invited the angels, in the beginning of his words, it is written, “Let him take some water,” to strengthen the degree where there is water, the degree of Hesed.

108) For this reason, he was purifying people from everything, purifying them from any idolatry and purifying them from the side of impurity. And as he was purifying the men, she was purifying the women. Thus, all those who came to him were purified from everything, from idolatry and from impurity.

109) Wherever Abraham lived, he planted a tree. But it did not grow properly in any place except when he lived in the land of Canaan. And by that tree he would know who was united with the Creator and who was united with idolatry.

110) When one was united with the Creator, the tree would spread its branches over him and cover his head and give him a nice shade. When one united with idolatry, the tree would lift itself from him and its branches would rise up. Then Abraham knew that he was an idolater and warned him and did not let go until he united with faith in the Creator.

111) One who is pure, that tree receives him. And one who is not pure, that tree does not receive him, and then Abraham knew that he was impure and would purify him with water.

112) There was a spring under the tree. When anyone needed Tevila, the waters would immediately rise toward him and the branches of the tree would rise. Then Abraham knew that he was impure and needed immediate Tevila, meaning that he was only slightly impure and did not need to wait seven days. And if he did not need Tevila at once, the water would dry out. Then Abraham would know that he still needs to be impure and wait for seven days.

The tree is the tree of life, ZA, the middle line. The spring beneath it is the Masach de Hirik, which became a perpetual spring, emitting the level of Hassadim by which he subdues the left line and mingles with the right. And all the prohibitions and the Sitra Achra, such as idolatry and impurity, come from the left line because they wish to give the left dominance over the right and to extend the abundance of the left from above downwards, which is the source of all the prohibitions in the world.

It turns out that within the impure who clings to the left, there is that same correction that was during the elicitation of the left line, when it was in dispute and shutting of lights until the level of Hassadim extended over the Masach de Hirik in the middle line. At that time, the Hassadim overcame the left line and it surrendered and was included in the right line.

It is the same with one who fails by the Sitra Achra and clings to the left line to extend from it from above downwards. He cannot be corrected unless by receiving the level of Hassadim from the middle line. At that time, he is integrated in the right and is pure, as was written, “What is his correction? But it shall be when evening approaches, he shall bathe himself in water.” This is because he needs to return and extend the left line, and extend the sentencing of the middle line through coming in water, which is the level of Hassadim that comes out on the Masach de Hirik under the tree.

“When evening approaches” he returns and draws the illumination of the left because there is no illumination of the left in the daylight. “He shall bathe himself in water” means that he returns and draws the level Hassadim in the middle line that subdues the illumination of the left and incorporates it in the right.

It is known that there are two points in the Nukva, one is mitigated in Bina and is called Miftacha [key], and one is of the quality of Din, from Tzimtzum Aleph [first restriction]. This one is unmitigated in Bina and is called Man’ula [lock]. One who is rewarded with adhering to the middle line, the point of the quality of Din is concealed for him, and the point of the quality of Rachamim [mercies] is revealed for him in the high governance. If he is rewarded, good. If he is not rewarded but clings to the domination of the left, the point of the quality of Din appears—in Nukva de Tzimtzum Aleph that was on the Malchut that is unfit for reception of direct light. And at that time, all the lights depart her. Thus, if he is not rewarded, it is bad.

For this reason, there are two kinds of impurities: one is slight impurity, such as night emission, when one clings to the left line, but not enough to reveal the point of Man’ula, as in, if he is not rewarded, it is bad. Thus, he lacks only the subjugation of the middle line through the level of Hassadim, and he goes in water and he is purified.

The second is grave impurity where by adhering to the left, the point of Man’ula has already appeared and removed all the lights from the Nukva, as in, if he is not rewarded, it is bad. At that time, he must first mitigate the Malchut in Bina in the two discernments, in Katnut and in Gadlut, which are the count of seven days.

Thus, with light impurity, the tree raises its branches and does not shade him, since he is still attached to the left line, which is his impurity. This is so because while the middle line mingles the two lines—left and right—in one another, it makes a shade that covers the GAR de GAR. Therefore, when he clings to the left line he has no shade at all, as it was written that the tree removes its branches from him. But the spring under the tree, the middle line, raises its level of Hassadim to him, which stretches over him so he would immediately come inside the water, the lines will be integrated in one another, and he will be purified.

But in the acute impurity, when the Man’ula appears on him, the waters in the spring dry out, which means that there is no Zivug on the Masach in the middle line to educe the level of Hassadim. This is so because due to the disclosure of the Man’ula, the Zivug ceases, for as long as the Man’ula is revealed in ZON, they are unfit to receive the upper light. Hence, the spring dries up until he counts the seven days and returns and mitigates the Malchut in Bina, as in, third and seventh for Katnut and for Gadlut. At that time, the Zivug on the Masach in the middle line and the spring regain their strength and then he goes in the water and purifies, for he lacks only the reception of the determining of the middle line, which comes with the Tevila.

However, this pertains only to the Masach de Hirik in the middle line of ZON. But the Masach is not obliged to mitigate in the Miftacha in the Masach de Hirik of the middle line in Bina, but the Zivug for the level of Hassadim emerges on the discernment of Man’ula. And the reason is that the Masach of the Man’ula does not act in any way to blemish above its own source, above ZON, since Tzimtzum Aleph occurred only on the Malchut herself, as well as on ZA who serves her, but not at all in Bina.

113) Even when he invited the angels, he told them, “Lean under the tree,” to see and to examine them. He examined all the people in the world in that tree. And the reason is that he said that for the Creator, who is the tree of life for all. This is why he told them, “Lean under the tree,” which is the Creator, and not under idolatry.

114) When Adam ha Rishon sinned, he sinned with the tree of knowledge of good and evil, as it is written, “but of the tree of the knowledge.” And he sinned in it and caused death to the whole world. It is written, “And now, he might reach out his hand and take from the tree of life, as well, and eat, and live forever.” And when Abraham came, he corrected the world with the other tree, the tree of life, and announced the faith to all the people in the world.

115) Rav said, “If we examine the portion, we must examine wisely. If you interpret it concerning the soul, the beginning is not as the end and the end is not as the beginning.” This means that it is hard to explain the end of the portion in regards to the soul, as well. It turns out that its end is not as its beginning, and its beginning not as its end.

And if you interpret it in regards to man’s passing from the world, we will continue in this way throughout the portion. And whether we interpret this portion one way or another, we must continue. What is the meaning of “Let him take some water, and wash your feet”? What is, “And I will fetch a piece of bread”? what is, “And Abraham rushed into the tent to Sarah”? what is, “And Abraham ran to the herd”? And what is, “And he took butter and milk”?

116) The soul found no use for the body except what he implies here of the offerings in the above mentioned verses, “Let him take some water.” And although they cancelled the offerings because the Temple was ruined, the Torah was not cancelled, and he can engage in Torah, which will do him even more good than the offerings.

118) Anyone who utters the matter of offerings and sacrifices in synagogues and seminaries and intends it, a covenant is made that those angels that mention his iniquities to harm him can only do him good.

119) And who proves it? This portion proves it to us. He said, “Three men stood opposite him.” What is “opposite”? It is to consider his judgment. Since the soul of the righteous saw it, it is written, “And Abraham hastened into the tent.” The tent is the seminary. And what did he say? “Quickly, prepare three measures,” which are the sacrifices, and the soul intends in them. And it is written, “And Abraham ran to the herd,” and then they are content and cannot harm him.

120) It is written, “And, behold, the plague was begun among the people.” And it is written, “And Moses said unto Aaron: ‘Take thy fire-pan,’” and it is written, “And the plague was stopped.” In the same manner, here it writes “quickly,” when it says that he rushes to the congregation, and there it writes, “Quickly, prepare three measures.” As it is a sacrifice to be saved there, it is a sacrifice to be saved here, as well.

121) I once met Elijah. I said, “Let my lord say a word that is good for people.” He told me, “The Creator made a covenant. When all those appointed angels come before him to mention a person’s iniquities, when people mention the sacrifices that Moses commanded and set their hearts and desire on them, all the angels mention them favorably.”

122) Elijah also told me that when there is a plague among people, a covenant is made, and an announcer declares to all the hosts of heaven that if his sons enter synagogues and seminaries in the land and wholeheartedly say the matter of the incense that was for Israel, the plague will be removed from them.

123) It is written, “And Moses said unto Aaron: ‘Take thy fire-pan,’” Aaron told him, “What for?” Moses said, “For there is wrath gone out from the Lord.” And what does it say? “And ran into the midst of the assembly… and the plague was stopped.” The damaging angel could not rule and the plague was revoked. Thus, it explains that the incense cancels the plague.

124) Rabbi Aha went to the village of Tarsha and went into a hotel there. All the town’s people talked about him and said, “A great man has come, let us go to him.” They went to him and told him, “Have you no mercy for the plague?” He said, “What is that?” They told him that for seven days now there has been a plague in the city, which is getting stronger every day without letting up.

125) He told them, “Let us go to the synagogue and ask for the Creator’s mercy.” While they were walking, people came and told them that so and so have died, and that so and so are about to die. Rabbi Aha told them, “It is not the time to stand idle, time is of the essence.”

126) “Take forty of your purest men and divide them into four parts of ten, and I am with you. Ten to this corner of the city, ten to that corner of the city, and ten to the four corners of the city. And say with your soul’s desire the matter of the incense that the Creator gave to Moses. And also, say the matter of the sacrifices with it, too.”

There is Dever [Bubonic plague] and there is a plague. Dever is if three people die within three days in a city, one at a time. This is Dever. A plague, however, is mass mortality, as was written in the portion about Korah, “Now they that died by the plague were fourteen thousand.”

There are two discernments in the Dinim in general: Dinim de Nukva, called “the tent door,” and male Dinim, called “In the heat of the day.” Dever extends from the Dinim de Nukva, as in, if he is not rewarded, it is bad, when the quality of Din in it appears. It requires prayer and penitence to re-mitigate it with the quality of Rachamim as it was prior to the sin. And a plague extends from the male Dinim, from the overcoming of the left line over the right. These Dinim extend from Bina, the male world, the quality of Rachamim. Hence, no prayer is required here, whose purpose is to mitigate the Nukva with the quality of RachamimBina.

On the contrary, these Dinim from the quality of Rachamim come from Bina, the place of these three lines. Instead, what is needed is to raise MAN in the Masach de Hirik and to extend the middle line and include the right and left lines in each other, in Bina itself, and from there to ZON. This is done by offering the incense or by saying it with intention.

In the beginning, Rabbi Aha thought that there was Dever in the city, for which a prayer is required to bring the Nukva back to the quality of Rachamim. This is why he told them to pray. But when he heard that there were multiple deaths, when he was told that so and so have died and so and so were about to die, he saw that it was a plague, and a prayer does not help with a plague. This is because this does not require the mitigation in the quality of Rachamim. Rather, the incense is required, to reveal the middle line in it and to incorporate the lines in one another. And all this is done by the incense or by saying the portion of the incense with intention.

Four times ten men that he took with him and arranged for them to say the portion of the incense in the four corners of the city, and who did this three times, is to extend the thirteen holy attributes from Dikna de AA. This is why he circled the city three times, since three times four in the forty men is twelve, which was corresponding to the one that contains all twelve, and together they were thirteen.

127) And so they did. Afterwards, he told them, “Let us go to those who are about to die and say these verses: ‘And Moses said unto Aaron, ‘Take thy fire-pan…’ And Aaron…And he stood between the dead.’” So they did, and the plague was removed from them.

128) They heard a voice saying, “Concealment, the first concealment was mitigated above, for the Din of heaven does not abide here, since they know how to cancel it.”

Two things were meant to be corrected by saying the incense: 1) To raise MAN to the Masach de Hirik on which the level of Hassadim—the middle line—extends. 2) To extend the Zivug on the Masach de Hirik and to include the right and left lines in one another and extend GAR.

However, because of the sins of the town’s people, they raised only the Masach de Hirik, which weakens the strength of the left line, by which the male Dinim, which is the plague, were cancelled. But because of it, they came into a second concealment when they fell into a state of VAK without Rosh, since they did not reveal the Zivug on the Masach to extend the GAR. This is what that voice evoked them to, saying, “Only the first concealment, the plague, was mitigated above. Male Dinim, called ‘heaven,’ are no longer here.”

This is so because through the incense, they raised the Masach de Hirik that cancels out the male Dinim. However, for this reason, they came into the second concealment, which is VAK without a Rosh, and it is to that that the voice evoked them.

Rabbi Aha’s heart was weakened. He drowsed. He heard himself being told, “As you did this, do that. Go and tell them to repent, for they are sinners before Me.” He rose and reformed them in complete penitence, and they took it upon themselves to never abandon the Torah. They changed the name of the city and called it, “Shelter Town,” for the Creator sheltered [in Hebrew: also spared] them.

After Rabbi Aha heard the voice, his heart was weakened and he drowsed. This means that he, too, felt the departure of the Mochin. By that, he was told that he must reform them in complete penitence so they will extend the GAR by extending the Zivug on the Masach and include the lines in one another, at which time a Zivug Panim be Panim [face-to-face] extended to ZON. This is called Teshuva [penitence]—when the Hey Tashuv [will return] to the Vav. Since you brought them to VAK without a Rosh, you must instruct them to extend the GAR, as well, so they will forever cling to the middle line, called Torah.

This is so because previously it was called “The Village of Rocks,” from the term, “A field of rocks,” meaning a field that is filled with rocks and is unsuitable for sowing because its dwellers follow the left line. But now that they have clung to the middle line and extended GAR, the place has been changed and has become a shelter city, a place that the Creator shelters and imparts them with abundance.

138) “And He said, ‘I will surely return unto you.’” It should have said, “He will surely return,” since the key to visiting those who are barren is in the hands of the Creator, and not in the hands of another messenger.

139) Three keys were not given to a messenger: Chayarevival of the dead, and rains [also corporeality in Hebrew]. Since they were not given to a messenger, why does it say, “I will surely return unto you,” which means that the angel would return when the time comes and will visit her? Instead, the Creator who stood over them said it. This is why it is written, “And He said: ‘I will surely return unto you.’”

140) Wherever it writes, “And he said,” or “And he called,” without mentioning who is saying or calling, it is the angel of the covenant, Divinity. And everything is said in the Creator because Divinity is the Creator. This is why it is written, “And He said, ‘I will surely return unto you,’” since the Creator, who has the key for the barren in His hand, will say, “I will surely return.”

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