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176) Children of the upper one, high holy ones, blessed of the world with a hazel brain, gather to know that a bird comes down each day and awakens in the garden with a flame of fire in its wings. In its hand are three rakes and shovels as sharp as a sword, and the keys to the treasures are in its right hand.
The Zohar invites only those people who have been rewarded with the degrees HB TM—the children of the upper one, meaning Bina. The high holy ones are Hochma, the blessed of the world are Tifferet, and the hazel brain is Malchut. It tells them, “Gather to know the calling of the bird that declares in the Garden of Eden each day, for they are the ones who are worthy of understanding its words, and not others, who have not been rewarded with these degrees.
The bird is the Nukva de ZA. The garden is the Garden of Eden, the place of the Nukva who obtained the form of her mother without any remnant of her own form. The bird, Nukva, descends from the place of Ima [mother] after she received her form and awakens in the Garden of Eden each day, to declare from there, since there she is equal to Ima.
The equalization to the shape of Ima is in three forms: 1) Katnut, VAK, called “wings,” for she needs to be similar to the wings of Ima. 2) Illumination of Hochma while she is still blocked. Her place is in the left hand and she is GAR de VAK. 3) Hassadim that clothe Hochma and open her to illuminate in complete perfection. For this reason, they are called “the keys to the treasures.” Without them, all the treasures of the wisdom would remain hidden.
The Nukva descended to the Garden of Eden from Ima and received from her a flame of fire in her wings. Along with her, she lowered the Dinim from Ima, which are called “a flame of fire.” Their place is called “wings,” the Katnut from Ima. She also lowered three rakes with her, as sharp as a sword. With the left hand, she brought down the illumination of Hochma, and even though it is still hidden, she still chases away all the Klipot, which are the filth and foulness that block the channels of abundance from imparting upon the lower ones.
This is why she is called “a rake that is as sharp as a sword,” because she cleans each dirt until its place is unrecognized. And since there are twelve Behinot [discernments] because of the mingling, three joints in each of the HG and NH, which are called arms and thighs, the three rakes on her left hand are regarded as the three joints of the hand. This is the second discernment that she received from Ima.
The keys to the treasures are on her right hand. These are the third discernment that she brought down with her from Ima to the Garden of Eden, the light of Hassadim whose place is in the right hand, which clothe the Hochma, and which are called “keys to the treasures,” since they open the treasures of the wisdom. Without them, all the treasures of the wisdom would remain hidden, like a lock and bolt.
177) She calls out loud to the righteous in the Garden of Eden, “Whomever among you whose face shines (who has been rewarded with wisdom [Hochma], as it is said, ‘Man’s wisdom makes his face shine’), who came in and came out and grew strong in the tree of life (who has been rewarded with three lines), entered (in the right line) and came out (in the left line), and grew strong in the tree of life (the middle line), who has reached his branches (HGT NHY de ZA, which are the tree of life and its branches), and has clung to his roots (GAR de ZA), who eats of its fruits that are sweeter than honey (the illumination of Hochma in Nukva de ZA, which is its sweet fruit), who gives life to the soul and healing to himself (to his body), she declares and says, ‘Who is the one who is rewarded with all that?’ It is one who is kept from bad thoughts, from a thought that is deceitful in the tree of life, from a thought that defiles the river and the stream, the source of Israel, from a source that gives death to the soul and shattering to himself; he has no existence whatsoever.”
In and of herself, Nukva is unfit for reception of any Mochin because Tzimtzum Aleph [first restriction] is on her, and all the Mochin that she receives is due to her ascent and mingling with Kelim de Ima. Hence, the point of her self should be hidden in her in complete concealment. And if she is revealed, all the lights immediately depart her because it is revealed that she is not considered Ima but Malchut, for the Tzimtzum is on her and she is unfit for reception of lights of Ima.
This is the reason why the tree of knowledge is good and bad. If one is careful in clinging to the middle line, which decides between the two lines, where the right line shines from above downwards and the left line from below upwards, and man, too, does not extend illumination of Hochma in the left line from above downwards, it is considered that he has been rewarded.
And this is good, meaning that the point of Nukva herself is hidden and unknown. However, if he extends illumination of the left from above downwards and blemishes the middle line, it is considered that he was not rewarded and this is bad. Then the point of Nukva herself immediately appears on him and the lights of life promptly flee and depart him.
Concerning not being rewarded, it does not require an actual deed, to actually extend from above downwards. Rather, the thought of sinning—even though he has not actually sinned—is already considered not been rewarded, and it is bad. Then the lights depart from him and the spirit of folly, which is death and evil, dresses in him, and this is what causes the actual sin, as it is written, “One does not sin unless the spirit of folly enters him.”
One who is rewarded with the upper lights is one who is kept from bad thoughts, from the thought of sinning and extending illumination of the left from above downwards, from that thought that lies and blemishes the tree of life. The tree of life is the middle line, which decides that only the right line will shine from above downwards, and the left line only from below upwards. And since man thought of extending from above downwards, he lies and blemishes the correction of the tree of life. Moreover, he defiles the river, Ima, and the stream, Yesod de Ima, the source of ZA, called “Israel.”
This is so because once the lights depart from the Nukva because the force of Tzimtzum appeared in her, this flaw reaches Ima, too, since the Nukva has already been included in Ima. This is considered that she is defiled by her touch with others. For herself, Ima has no flaw from Tzimtzum Aleph. Rather, she is only flawed by her inclusion with the Nukva. Ima is called “a river that comes out of Eden,” and from the perspective of her Yesod, she is called “a stream,” as it is written, “He will drink of the brook in the way.” Hence, he will raise his head, meaning that ZA obtains GAR and Rosh [head] from the stream, which is Yesod Ima.
It is written, “A thought that gives death to the soul and a breaking with it.” This is so because after the lights depart from Nukva, the light of man, called “soul” [Nefesh] depart, as well, and his Kli, called Guf [body], breaks, since he has no one from whom to receive the lights of life. Hence, he breaks and dies.
179) The thought that defiled the source of the tree of life, which is ZA, since it elevated the flaw of Nukva to Ima, makes the tree of falsehood. This is so because the flaw and the ruin of the lights of the source of the tree of life gradually build the tree of falsehood of the Sitra Achra, as it is written, “Tyre was built only on the ruin of Jerusalem.” Through that thought, it rises and replaces Nefesh for Nefesh—Nefesh from the lights of the Sitra Achra for Nefesh from the lights of Kedusha. Because of the thought, the tree of life departs and the tree of death clings to it, pulling the Nefesh out of it.
This is so because as soon as he thinks of transgressing, the lights of holiness, which are the tree of life, depart him, since if he is not rewarded, it is bad. Instead, the lights of the Sitra Achra—the tree of death—clothe in him. It turns out that now his soul necessarily extends from the tree of death and he has a Nefesh of the Sitra Achra instead of the Nefesh of holiness that he had before.
180) Woe unto him for because of that thought, he was uprooted from the tree of life and clung to the tree of death, whose light has stopped and is not spreading, and one who clings to it sees no good in the world. It is dry without any moisture of light, and its fruits are as bitter as wormwood. It is said about him, “For he shall be like a tamarisk in the desert, and shall not see when good comes.”
181) A good thought that rises above clings to the tree of life, the middle line, holds onto its branches, and eats of its fruits. All the sanctities and all the blessings come from him, and he inherits life for his soul and healing for himself. It is said about him, “For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and … by the river.”
182) All the words of the world follow the thought and the contemplation. It is written, “Sanctify yourselves and be holy.” This is so because He brings out and extends all the sanctities in the world with a good thought.
183) One who is defiled by an evil thought, when he comes to mate with his wife, he replaces the upper degrees above—the degree of holiness with the degree of impurity—because his wish and his thought are for another woman and he inseminates with this thought. As his thought replaces below, replacing his wife with another woman, he also replaces above. And as the body of the son that he begets is called “replaceable,” with respect to his soul he is called “replaceable” because he did not extend holy extension with that thought and his Nefesh was replaced with the degree of the Sitra Achra.
The great flaw that he makes if he clings to Kedusha, to the tree of life, when he thinks of extending the left from above downwards, is that with his evil thought, all the lights of life and all the good immediately depart him, and an impure Nefesh [soul] replaces his holy Nefesh because he was not rewarded, and it is bad. Thus, one who mates with his wife and thinks of another, because those who mate in holiness are a Merkava for the upper ZA and Nukva, when he think of another, he evokes the Nukva of the Sitra Achra, a woman of harlotry, opposite from the Nukva de ZA.
Thus, he causes the illumination of the left from Nukva—regarded as the tree of knowledge of good and evil—to be extended from above downwards to the Klipot. It is considered the tree of knowledge of good and evil because if he is not rewarded, it is bad, since the point of Tzimtzum Aleph appeared on her, when all the lights of Kedusha depart and instead of them arrive the lights of the Sitra Achra. It turns out that then those who mate become a Merkava [chariot/structure] for ZON de Klipot. Hence, a son who is born from this Zivug extends from the Sitra Achra and becomes replaceable, since there is an evil soul in him, from the Sitra Achra, from the forces of Tzimtzum Aleph, and he is no longer worthy of receiving the light of life of holiness.
If he is not rewarded, it is bad, the point of Tzimtzum Aleph appears and the lights of life are replaced with the lights of the tree of death. And as the evil appeared below, in the Nukva, in the place where the good was placed, a swap was made above in Ima, whose flaw rose to ZAT de Ima, too, since because they were connected to each other during the correction, they blemish each other during the flaw.
184) Hence, as the body of the son that he bears is called “replaceable,” he is considered replaceable with respect to his soul, as well, since he did not extend holy extension with that thought and his soul was replaced with another degree, with the Sitra Achra.
The body extends from Nukva and the soul from the lights of Ima. But since, Ima, too, was blemished, not only was the body blemished, but the soul from Ima was blemished, too, and it is considered replaceable, for she has been replaced and became an impure soul.
185) Jacob, who was whole, was revealed before the Creator and all of Jacob’s ways were in truth, and always contemplated thoughts of truth in everything. The night when he copulated with Leah, his thought was of Rachel. He was copulating with Leah but thinking of Rachel, and his source went with his thought.
Leah is Bina and Rachel is Malchut, Nukva from Chazeh de ZA and below. Nukva de ZA cannot receive light in and of herself because she is in Tzimtzum Aleph. Rather, she first extends Kelim from Ima, which is Malchut that is mitigated with Midat ha Rachamim [quality of mercy], and then she is fit for reception of the lights. It turns out that in and of herself, Rachel is unfit for any light, but only after she receives the Kelim from Leah, from Ima. In the first seven years, Jacob wished to extend the seven lights HGT NHYM to Rachel, since first, corrected Kelim must be extended from the upper world, Bina, which is Leah, to the lower world, which is Nukva, Rachel.
It turns out that when he came to Leah and thought of Rachel, of extending the lights to Rachel, when he did not know that it was Leah, he thought of extending the lights in the Kelim of Tzimtzum Aleph before they were mitigated. And they are called “bad,” that if he is not rewarded, it is bad.
Before he married Leah, he could not extend corrected Kelim to Rachel. This is why Leah’s Kelim were replaced for him with Rachel’s Kelim, since the force of Tzimtzum was in Rachel, and he clung to the Kelim of Leah and could only extend VAK without a Rosh in his Zivug.
186) He did not know that she was Leah. This is why Reuben did not receive a name, since he had VAK without a Rosh, since a name means attainment. But the Creator, who knew that she was Leah, Bina, and did not need to be blemished by Rachel’s force of Tzimtzum, showed him, meaning imparted upon him Rosh and GAR. And he said, “Reu Ben [Look, a son] is born in the world.” Because he appeared before the Creator, since Jacob was thinking truthfully in his desire, Reuben was not disqualified from among the holy tribes, meaning he was not considered replaceable, for if this were not so, he would have been disqualified.
187) Because the thought is the essence and the doer of the act, the Creator, who knew the place where that thought was clung while inseminating the first drop, He kept the seniority for that place. It is written about it, “For he was the first-born; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s couch, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph,” since where the thought went and clung to the insemination of the drop, there the birthright clung and was given.
Thus, the seniority was taken from Reuben and was given to the place to which the thought clung—he thought of Rachel and the desire clung to her. This is why the birthright was attached to Rachel, and everything was established after the thought and the contemplation.
188) The thought and the contemplation make the act, and extend the extension from everything that man clings to in secret, as it is written, “The wife of the dead shall not be married abroad.” Here the thought and the will must cling to the soul of his dead brother, and with that will and thought, he draws the extension and does the deed he must do, and the name of the dead will not be erased from the world.
189) “If He set His heart upon man, He will gather his spirit and his breath unto Himself.” The will and the thought draw the extension and do the deed with everything that is needed. This is why in prayer, a desire and a thought to aim in are required. Similarly, in all the works of the Creator, the thought and the contemplation does the deed and draw extensions to all that is needed.
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