Every Beginning Is Hard

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172) It is written, “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham”; this is why he remained with this name. But with Jacob, it does not say “was” [a word that appears only in the Hebrew Bible text], but “Israel shall be thy name”; hence, at times he is called “Jacob,” and at times, “Israel.” And when his sons were crowned with priests and Levis and rose in the upper degrees, he was always crowned by the name, “Israel.”

173) When Rachel (who was meant to be corrected in twelve tribes) died, she took the house, Divinity, so that Divinity will be properly crowned, so she would obtain Mochin de GAR and the mother of the sons will be glad. In other words, Rachel died so that the lower Divinity—Rachel—and the higher Divinity—Leah—will become one Partzuf. At that time, the lower Divinity obtains GAR, and the higher Divinity, which is the mother of the sons, was glad with the correction of the twelve tribes. And the reason why Leah did not die, and that Divinity began to take the house and become corrected with Benjamin, is that she is considered the Yesod [foundation] of the twelve tribes; hence, she is the first to correct Divinity. This is why Benjamin is always in the west, in banners, since Yesod is considered west.

174) With Benjamin, Divinity begins to correct in twelve tribes, and with him, the Kingdom of heaven begins to become known in the land. This is so because the first king in Israel, Saul, was of his sons. This is the meaning of “every beginning” that is about to be known, comes with questions, and hence contains a Din of death. Afterwards, she settles and persists.

175) When Divinity wanted to be corrected and to take the house in the correction of the twelve tribes, the Din was made in Rachel, for she died. Afterwards she was corrected to settle. Similarly, when Malchut wanted to become known in the land, she began with Din and did not settle in her proper place until the Din awakened in Saul according to his actions, and he was killed in the mountains of the Gilboa. Afterwards, Malchut settled in David and was corrected.

176) Every beginning is hard, then comes relief. In the beginning of the year, the beginning is hard, since the whole world is judged, each according to his deeds. Afterwards there is relief, forgiveness, and repentance on the day of atonement and Succoth. This is so because the beginning is in the left, hence its Dinim are harsh, and then the right awakens, as it is written, “his left hand be under my head.” Afterwards, “and his right hand embrace me”; hence the relief.”

177) It is to the contrary in the nations of the world. In the future, the Creator will first awaken peacefully over the other nations, the idol worshippers, and afterwards will prevail over them with harsh judgment, as it is written, “The Lord will go forth as a mighty man.” First HaVaYaH, which is Rachamim, and then as a mighty man, though not like a real mighty man. And afterwards, “like a man of war,” but not like a real man of war. After that, the Gevura appears over them to obliterate them, as it is written, “He will cry, yea, He will shout aloud, He will prove Himself mighty against His enemies.” And it is written, “Then shall the Lord go forth and fight,” and it is written, “Who is this that comes from Edom”?

175) “The Lord is good, a stronghold.” Happy is the man who strengthens in the Creator, since the stronghold of the Creator is a stronghold. “The Lord is good,” as it is written, “The Lord is good to all.” The stronghold is a stronghold that has salvations, as it is written, “He is a stronghold of salvation to His anointed.” “In the day of adversity,” a day of trouble, when the other nations pester Israel.

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