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45) There is a difference between a prophecy and a dream:
- Prophecy is in the world of the male, ZA, and the dream is in the world of the female, the Nukva de ZA. Six degrees go down from one to the other because prophecy is in NH de ZA and the dream is in Hod de Nukva. In between them are Yesod de ZA and HGT NH de Nukva, which are six degrees.
- Prophecy is in the right and left, Netzah and Hod, and the dream is in the left, in Hod.
- The dream spreads to several degrees through the angel Gabriel, by whom they receive the illumination of the dream. For this reason, the dream is all over the world, even abroad. But man sees according to his degree, and according to man, so is his degree. This means that in that, not all people are the same. But prophecy does not spread below Malchut de Atzilut, but shines in Nukva, the place of ZA, the land of Israel, and the prophets receive from it. Thus, the root of prophecy is in NH de ZA that spreads through the Nukva, by which the prophets receive, and the root of the dream is in Hod de Nukva, and spreads through the angel Gabriel, by whom the people receive.
46) “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven.” This is as it is written, “There was indeed the word of the Lord to Ezekiel … in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar.” “There was indeed” indicates that the prophecy was for its time, since it needed the strengthening of those in exile, to alert them that Divinity had gone down to exile with them. Hence, Ezekiel saw only for his time, although the place was not worthy of it, since abroad, it is unfit for prophecy. This is why the writing says, “There was indeed,” meaning that there was an innovation here that there was prophecy abroad.
It writes “was” twice [only in Hebrew] because there is a “was” above in ZA and a “was” below in Nukva, as it was written, “A ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven,” taking the light of Hassadim from above, in heaven, ZA, and taking below, on earth, the light of Hochma. One “was” is the HaVaYot [plural of HaVaYaH] of Hassadim from above, and one “was” is HaVaYot of Hochma from below, meaning that Hassadim are received from ZA and the Hochma from the Nukva. This is why Nukva is called “the lower Hochma,” and there is no perfection for Hochma without Hassadim. This is why complete light is drawn only through a Zivug of ZA and Nukva.
47) This ladder was fortified above in ZA and was fortified below in Nukva, as it is written, “In the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar.” “In the land of the Chaldeans” means abroad. Yet, “By the river Chebar” means that she was Chebar [Hebrew: already], meaning that Divinity was in that place even before, as it is written, “And a river came out of Eden to water the garden.” The river is Bina, and the river Chebar is one of four rivers that extend from that river which comes out of Eden, from the river Euphrates in Babylon.
And because it was there before and was already over it, it was over it now, too, and appeared to Ezekiel. In other words, although the prophecy was meant to strengthen Israel in the exile in Babylon so they would not fall into despair, had this river not stretched from the river that comes out of Eden, with Divinity already over it, the prophecy would not have been revealed to him in Babylon.
48) Can it be that to the holy Jacob—the senior patriarch—the Lord appeared in a dream in this holy place, Beit-El, which is in the land of Israel and worthy of the presence of Divinity, meaning that he saw the Creator only in a dream? At the time, Jacob was unmarried, he was half a body, and Isaac was alive. His time to rule had not come yet, and this is why a dream is written in regards to him and not a vision while awake. But why does it say after Jacob married a woman, “And saw in a dream”? There the place was the cause, since he was abroad, in Padan-Aram, and Isaac was alive. This is why it writes “A dream” in regards to him.
49) After he came to the holy land with the tribes, the barren woman was completed with them, and the mother of children was joyful, meaning he was whole with his spouse and was in the land of Israel, it is written, “And God appeared unto Jacob.” It is also written, “And God spoke unto Israel in the visions of the night.” It did not say “dream” because now he was in a high degree and was worthy of a vision while awake.
50) The dream is through Gabriel. The dream is below, in the sixth degree from prophecy because Gabriel receives the dream from Hod de Nukva, and people receive through Gabriel. A vision is received through a degree of the animal that rules in the night. This is so because the vision is the Nukva de ZA in her own place. It is said about her, “She rises while it is still night.” This is why she is a vision while awake and not a dream.
But it is written, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” The vision, too, is received through Gabriel. The vision—its words are abstruse. In the dream they are clearer and the dream interprets the abstruse things in the vision. Gabriel, the appointee of the dream, was appointed to interpret the words of the abstruse vision.
51) This is why it is written “And saw,” “And appeared,” “In a vision.” A vision is like a mirror of polished glass, where all the shapes in front of it are seen within it. This is why it is written about it, “And I appeared unto Abraham … as God Almighty,” since the vision, the Nukva, said, “I saw the shape of the Lord in God Almighty,” since she is a mirror, whose shape of the other appears within her and all the shapes of the upper degrees are seen in her.
The shape of the Nukva is Hochma and the shape of ZA is Hassadim. Hence, there is no complete light unless through a Zivug of both of them. Also, Hassadim receive Hochma from the Nukva, the Hochma of the Nukva is clothed in Hassadim, and both are completed. This is why the illumination of Hochma in the Nukva is not imparted from her down but from her up, to the Hassadim in ZA, which are complemented in GAR and are imparted from above downwards. It is written about it, “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband,” in whom her husband is crowned. The Hassadim de ZA are crowned in GAR through her and are imparted below. But the Nukva is not crowned with her husband because her shape, which is the illumination of Hochma, is not imparted from her down.
A mirror—the shape of the other is seen within her—the shape of ZA, Hassadim. It appears to the lower ones through her, meaning that they are imparted from her and below. But her own shape does not appear to the lower ones because she does not impart the Hochma from her down. It turns out that she is like a polished mirror, which is concerned not with showing her own form, but only with the form of others, those who look at her or those who stand in front of her.
She resembles a mirror also because the whole quality of the glass mirror is the murky color in its other side. It reflects the rays of light, for if it were transparent, no shape would be seen in it. So is the Nukva—all her strength is in the Masach in her, which detains the light from shining from her down. Without this Masach, there would have been no light in her at all.
52) For this reason, before Jacob married a woman it is written, “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder was set on the earth.” The ladder is the Nukva upon which all the degrees depend. “With its top reaching to heaven,” to connect to the heaven. Its top is the top of the ladder, Yesod, the Rosh of the Nukva, who is called “staff” [wand]. The Yesod is called “the Rosh [head] of the staff,” since it is the head of the Nukva, and she shines from it. This is why it is considered that he, her head, reaches the heaven, since it is the conclusion of the Guf [body], Tifferet, heaven, since Yesod is attached under the Tifferet and stands between the upper one, ZA, and the lower one, the Nukva. This is like the circumcision, which is the conclusion of the Guf and is placed between the thighs and the Guf [body].
53) “And behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” Those are the appointees of all the nations, which ascend and descend on this ladder. And when Israel sin, the ladder is lowered down and those appointees rise. When Israel improve their actions, the ladder rises and all the appointees come down, and their governance is cancelled. It all depends on this ladder. Here in his dream, Jacob saw the governance of Esau and the governance of all the other nations.
54) “And behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” What are they ascending and descending? The top of the ladder. When its Rosh, Yesod, departs it, the ladder surrenders and all the appointees rise in their dominion. And when the Rosh connects to that ladder, it ascends and all the appointees come down from their dominion. It is all one thing. The two interpretations are one and there is no difference between them except in the way it is interpreted.
First interpretation: The governance of the nations extends from the left line without right. When Israel sin, they add strength to the left line with their evil deeds. Then the ladder, Nukva, is brought down for lack of Hassadim. Then the appointees of the nations rise and tyrannize Israel.
And with their good deeds, they intensify the middle line, which bestows Hochma and Hassadim together, and the power of the left wanes. Thus, the ladder appears in complete perfection and the ruling power of the appointees over the nations decreases.
Second interpretation: This is unrelated to the sins of Israel, but speaks of the existence of the top of the ladder, Yesod de ZA, which imparts Hassadim, as it is written, “With its top reaching to heaven.” When the Rosh departs from the ladder and the ladder remains in Hochma without Hassadim, the ladder falls because their whole dominion depends on the illumination of the left without right, Hochma without Hassadim. And when the Hassadim connect with Hochma, the ladder rises and all the appointees come down. Thus, the two interpretations are one.
55) It is written, “The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, ‘Ask what I shall give you.’” If this was a dream through Gabriel, what permission has the degree of dream to tell him, “Ask what I shall give you”? After all, Gabriel is only an angel. However, here a degree was included in a degree—the upper degree, Nukva de ZA, the root of the dream, was included and dressed in the lower degree, Gabriel. The Nukva told him, “Ask what I shall give you,” since so it was said, “And God said, ‘Ask,’” which is the name of the Nukva. This is why it appeared to him only in a dream, since thus far Solomon was incomplete. Once he was completed, it is written, “And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom.” It is also written, “And Solomon’s wisdom excelled,” meaning the moon, Nukva, was full, and the Temple was built, and then Solomon saw Hochma [wisdom] with his very eyes and no longer needed to dream.
56) After he sinned, he needed the dream as in the beginning. This is why it is written, “Who had appeared unto him twice.” But did He only appear to him twice, and not more? From the degree of the dream, He appeared to him only twice.
57) And yet, Solomon’s degree of dream was greater than the degree of a dream of the rest of the people because a degree was included in a degree for him—a vision while awake—the Nukva was included for him in the vision in the dream, which is the degree of Gabriel. Now, at the end of his days, the degree of a dream grew very dark for him, which is why the text reminds him of the two dreams that illuminated for him, as it is written, “The Lord … who had appeared unto him twice.”
This was because he sinned and the moon, the Nukva, was about to become deficient because he did not keep the holy covenant and was wooing after foreign women. This is the condition that the Creator made with David, as it is written, “If your sons keep My covenant … their sons also shall sit upon your throne forever.”
58) It is as it is written, “As the days of the heavens above the earth.” Because Solomon did not keep the covenant, the moon began to wane. This is why in the end he had to dream. It is the same with Jacob: because he was incomplete, he had to dream.
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