Come to Your Brother’s Wife

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155) “Then Judah said to Onan.” How foolish are people, for they do not know and do not observe the ways of the Creator. They are all asleep, lest sleep will depart the holes of their eyes.

156) The Creator made man as it is above, all in wisdom. And there is not an organ in a man that does not stand in sublime wisdom, for each organ implies a unique degree. And after the whole body is properly corrected in its organs, the Creator partakes with it, and instills a holy soul within it, to teach man the ways of Torah and to keep His commandments so that man will be corrected appropriately, as it is written, “the soul of man shall teach him.”

157) And because he has a holy soul, he is worthy of bearing children in his own image. For this reason, one should increase the similarity to the Upper King in the world. This is why the waters of that river that extends and flows out (which is the upper Yesod) never stop. Hence, man, too, should not stop the river and his source in this world, but should bear sons.

And whenever a man does not succeed in having sons, the Creator uproots him from this world and replants him many times. Thus, many times one dies and reincarnates until he succeeds in bearing sons.

158) “I have aroused one from the north, and he has come.” “I have aroused” is the awakening of the Zivug in a person in this world. It is the awakening from the north, from the left side. “…and he has come” is the holy soul that comes from above. The Creator sends her from above, and she comes into this world and enters people.

159) “…from the sun in the east…” is the place of that river that stretches and comes out, meaning Tifferet. This is the place of Yesod, from which the soul is born and shines, since the souls come from the Zivug of Tifferet and Malchut.

“…And he will come upon rulers…” are the armies of the world. The Nukva is called “world.” And her armies, which come with the awakening of the souls, and are born along with them, are the angels. “…as matter,” as a man awakens in his body, called “matter.”

160) For this reason, the Creator makes Zivugim [couplings] and casts souls into the world. And the Zivug is above and below, and the source of all is blessed. Hence, the Creator made man so as to delve in His ways, and to never stop his origin and springing, but to have sons.

161) Anyone whose source had stopped, who did not bear sons, will not be in the presence of the Creator when he passes away and will not partake in that world.

It is written, “And Joseph Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah.” This means that the soul first comes into the body to be corrected. Joseph Abraham is the soul and the wife is the body. And the words, “And Abraham took another wife” mean that after the soul departed the body, it continued to come into a body, to correct what it did not correct while being in the first body.

162) What does it say about that body? “Yet it pleased the Lord to crush him by disease; to see if it would render…” The Lord wishes it so he will be purified. “…render itself as a guilt offering,” to see if the soul wishes to be properly corrected. “…he will see seed…” because the soul wanders and roams, for she has no place to rest, and she is destined to enter that seed where man engages in multiplication. And then, “he will prolong his days.” “…and the will of God,” which is the Torah, “will prosper in his hand.” But if he has not been rewarded with sons, the Torah does not assist him.

163) Even if a man engages in the Torah day in and day out, but his origin and springing are in vain, for he does not bear sons, he has no place being in the presence of the Creator. If a spring does not enter a well of water, it is not a well, for the well and the origin are one, and one who has no sons is as one whose origin did not enter him and is not acting within him.

164) How good are words of Torah? Each and every word in the Torah contains sublime and holy secrets. When the Creator gave the Torah to Israel, he placed all the upper, holy secrets in the Torah, and they were all given to Israel when they received the Torah in Sinai.

165) Lone ones, who have no wife, who are not male and female as they should be, rise early to their work. Those who return late, delay the rest, for they are late to marry a wife. This is so because returning means resting, for the wife is considered rest, in relation to man.

166) “…that eat the bread…” When a man has sons, he eats bread with joy and willingness. And for one who has no sons, the bread is “the bread of the sad.”

167) “…for He gives to His beloved sleep.” To one whose origin is blessed, who has sons, the Creator gives sleep in this world, since he has a share in the next world. For this reason, that man lies in the grave and suitably enjoys in the next world.

168) “There is one, and there is no second.” “There is one” is man, who is alone in the world.” But he is not alone as it should be, alone in wisdom. Rather, he is without a wife. “…and there is no second,” no assistant with him, meaning wife. And “he has neither a son,” to keep his name in Israel, “nor a brother,” who would bring him to correction by levirate marriage.

169) “…and there is no end to all his labor,” for he always toils, rising up early in the day and at night, and he has not the courage to look and say, “for whom am I laboring and depriving my soul of pleasure?”

And should you say that he is toiling to eat and drink abundantly, and feast himself forever, it is not so, since the soul does not enjoy that. Rather, he is depriving his soul of the pleasures of the light of the next world, since it is a deficient soul, which has not been properly complemented. And come and see how merciful the Creator is over His deeds, for He causes it to reincarnate and correct because He wishes for it to be corrected and to not be lost from the next world.

170) One who is a complete righteous and has engaged in the Torah day and night, and all his actions are for the name of the Creator, and has not been rewarded with sons in this world, or tried and was not rewarded, or he had sons but they died, what are they to the next world? His deeds and the Torah protect him so he will be rewarded with the next world.

171) It is written about them and about true righteous, “For thus says the Lord to the eunuchs.” And what does it say afterwards? “To them I will give in My house and within My walls,” for they have a share in the next world.

172) A complete righteous is one who has had all these virtues, who was appropriately complemented, who died without sons, and who inherits his place in the next world. Hence, does his wife still need levirate marriage? And if she needs levirate marriage, it is in vain, for he does not need his brother’s complementing, for he has already inherited his place in the next world.

173) However, he certainly needs to perform levirate marriage on his wife, since we do not know if he was perfect in his deeds or not. And if his wife conceives, it is not in vain, even if he was completed, since the Creator has a place for those who died without sons, and also have no brother to impregnate their wives.

When a man dies in the world without having sons or redeemer in the world, since that complete righteous died and his wife was impregnated, he has inherited his place and does not need to correct the levirate marriage. Thus, that person who did not leave a redeemer is complemented by that levirate marriage of the righteous’ wife. And in the meantime, the Creator prepares a place for the man without redeemer, where he can be until this complete righteous dies and he will be completed in the world, as it is written, “…for he will remain in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest.”

This is so because one who has no sons diminishes the image. He is akin to one who accidentally slays people, and the place that the Creator prepares for those who have no sons and no brother is a city of refuge. He dwells there until that complete righteous—the high priest—dies, and then descends and becomes corrected through his wife.

174) The righteous are destined to have sons when they die, the sons of the levirate marriage, which correct those who die without sons and have no brothers. In their lives, they are not rewarded; but in their death, they are. Hence, all of the Creator’s deeds are true and just; He pities all, even those with no brothers.

And we should not ask, “Do all the dead have no sons?” because they do have sons, after their death, through levirate marriage. But the primary innovation here is in his saying, “…to the righteous.” This is so because the dead without sons are deficient and not righteous, which is why he needed this excuse.

175) “Two are better than one.” Those are the ones who strive to have sons in this world, because for the sons that they had, they have a good reward in this world, and it is for them that their fathers inherit a share in the next world.

176) The Creator plants trees in this world. If they succeed, good; if they do not succeed, the Creator uproots them and plants them elsewhere, even many times. Hence, all of the Creator’s ways are for the best, and to correct the world.

If a person is not rewarded with being completed in his first life, he reincarnates in this world a second time, and so on, many times, until he is completed.

177) “Come to your brother’s wife.” He did not have to tell him that, since Judah and all the tribes knew it. But the main reason why he told him, “…and raise a seed,” is that that seed was needed for that thing to be corrected, to prepare a mass that would receive its proper correction, so the trunk will not separate from its root. This is the meaning of the words, “and man shall return unto dust.”

Even though man has been sentenced to death, which separates him from the eternal root, he is still not completely separated, for he remains attached to his eternal root through the sons that each one has, since every son is a part of the father’s body. Thus, each person is like a link in the chain of life, which begins with Adam ha Rishon [the first man] and continues through the revival of the dead, forever and ever. And as long as man’s chain of life continues, for he leaves a son behind him, death does not separate him from eternity at all, and he is seemingly still alive.

If one dies without sons, he needs correction so he will not separate from his eternal root because of the death, since his chain of life has stopped. And two corrections are required for that: 1) correction of the separation that is over him due to his demise without sons; and 2) to create a mass, a body for the soul of the dead to clothe, and to reunite and connect to the chain of life.

178) Afterwards, when he is properly corrected through the aforementioned incarnation, they are improved in the next world, since the Creator desires them. This is why it is written, “And I praise the dead that are already dead more than the living that are still alive,” for having reincarnated into life and returned to days of refinement, which has returned to them due to the incarnation.

179) “But better than both of them is the one who has never existed,” who has never returned to his youth, and who has never incarnated, for his is completely righteous and does not need to be corrected by reincarnation or suffer the transgressions of the first. This is so because one who incarnated suffers from the transgressions he had made in the previous incarnation, because the Creator gave him a properly corrected place in the next world.

180) “So I have seen the wicked buried,” who reincarnated in order to be corrected, since the Creator is merciful and does not wish to destroy the world. But the wicked are corrected through incarnation, and all His ways are truth and mercy, to do good to them in this world and in the next.

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