The Sinew of the Thigh-Vein

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99) “Therefore the children of Israel eat not… in the sinew of the thigh-vein.” It is even forbidden enjoy it, and is even forbidden to give it to a dog. And why is it called, “the thigh-vein”? He replies that it is because it causes to forget, deflecting people from the work of their Creator, and there lays the evil inclination.

100) And since the angel struggled with Jacob, he did not find a place in his body where he could overcome Jacob, since all of the organs in Jacob’s body assisted him, since they were all strong and there was no weakness in them, and the Klipa grips only to a place of dearth and weakness.

“…he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh, …the sinew of the thigh-vein”—his kind, the evil inclination, which is his kind, and the place of the evil inclination. From there the evil inclination comes unto people. Since the sinew of the thigh-vein is the place of the evil inclination, which is the kind of the angel Sam’el, he thus had the power to grip there.

101) This is why the Torah said, “Therefore the children of Israel eat not the sinew of the thigh-vein.” And for this reason, any eating of an animal’s organ strengthens its corresponding organ in the one who eats. Certainly, the sinew of the thigh-vein strengthens the evil inclination, which is his kind. The children of Israel do not eat it, since they are not of its side and of its kind, but the idol worshipping nations do eat it because they are from the side and the kind of their angel, Sam’el, and he strengthens their hearts.

102) There are 248 organs in a man, corresponding 248 Mitzvot [commandments] in the Torah, which were given to do, and corresponding 248 angels, in which Divinity has been clothed, and whose name is as the name of their Master.

103) And there are 365 tendons in a man, corresponding 365 Mitzvot, which were not given to do, which the thigh-vein sinew is one of them, and corresponding to the 365 days of the year, in addition to the ten penitential days, which the ninth of Av [eleventh month in the Hebrew calendar] is one of them. This corresponds to the angel, Sam’el, who is one of the 365 angels that control the 365 days of the year. It turns out that the ninth of Av among the 365 days of the year and the thigh-vein sinew in the 365 tendons are one discernment. This is why the Torah said, “the children of Israel eat not ET [the] sinew of the thigh-vein.” ET [acronym of the Hebrew letters AlephTav] includes the ninth of Av, when a person neither eats nor drinks, since it is the same discernment as the thigh-vein sinew.

104) This is why the Creator saw everything. And an inkling for Jacob is implied in the words, “and a man wrestled with him,” during all the days of the year and all of Jacob’s organs. But it did not find a place to hold except in the thigh-vein sinew, and Jacob’s strength promptly faded. In the days of the year, it found the ninth of Av, in which Sam’el prevailed and we were sentenced, and the Temple was ruined. And anyone who eats on the ninth of Av it is as though he eats the thigh-vein sinew. And had the strength of Jacob’s thigh not weakened, Jacob could have overcome it, and Esau’s strength would break above and below.

105) “And there hath not arisen a prophet in Israel such as Moses.” What differs Moses from the rest of the prophets in the world? Moses looked in the illuminating mirror, ZA, and the rest of the prophets looked only in a mirror that was not illuminating, the Nukva. Moses heard the prophecy, stood on his legs, and his strength grew. He knew things for certain, as it is written, “manifestly, and not in dark speeches.” The rest of the prophets fell on their faces during prophecy and their strength weakened; they could not fully clarify the matter, since it is written, “because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh, … and he limped upon his thigh.” This is so because the prophecy is from Netzah and Hod of ZA, which are the two thighs, and since the thigh was scathed, their prophecy was therefore not sufficiently lucid.

106) And all these prophets could not perceive what the Creator was going to do to Esau, except for Prophet Obadiah [Ovadiah], who was a proselyte who came from the side of Esau. He thoroughly understood in the matter of Esau and his strength did not fade, as it is written in the book, Obadiah.

107) And the strength of the rest of the prophets faded and they could not stand and perceive matters properly and thoroughly. This is so “because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh, even in the sinew of the thigh-vein,” which took and sucked out all of the thigh’s strength. This is why the strength of the thigh was broken, and he remained “limped upon his thigh,” since all the prophets of the world could not attain and endure it.

108) When one who studies Torah has none to support him, none to toss money for produce into his pocket, to strengthen him, this is why the Torah is forgotten in every generation. The strength of the Torah wanes further every day, for those who engage in the Torah have not what to rely on, as it is written, “he limped upon his thigh.” They do not give strength and support to the disciples of the wise so they can engage in Torah. For this reason, the evil Malchut strengthens every day.

How much has this sin caused? And because the Torah, which is ZA, has no one to properly support her, the supports of ZANetzah and Hod de ZA—grew weak, and they cause the one without shins and legs, which is the primordial serpent, to stand over them.

109) “And the Lord God said…upon thy belly shall thou walk,” since his supports were broken and his legs chopped off, and he has nothing to stand on. So are Israel: if they do not want to rely on the Torah, to provide for disciples of wise, who engage in the Torah, they give the serpent support and shins to stand on and be strengthened in. This is so because the Sitra Achra is built of deficiency in the Kedusha [holiness].

110) How much deceit and cunningness did that rider of the serpent, Sam’el, devise against Jacob on that night? It is because he knew, as it is written, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau,” for if the voice of Jacobthe voice of Torahceases, then the strength is given to the handsthe hands of Esau. Hence, he looked to all sides to harm Jacob and to cease the voice of Torah.

111) But he saw him strong in every way. He saw the arms, Hesed and Gevura, called “Abraham” and “Isaac,” which are strong. He saw the body, Jacob, who unites the two arms and strengthens between them. And the saw the power of his Torah, that he was powerful in every way. Then “he saw that he prevailed not against him.” What did he do? He promptly “touched the hollow of his thigh,” the supports of the Torah, he schemed against him. He said that since the supports of the Torah were broken, the Torah will promptly become unable to strengthen further, and then what their father said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau” will come true. And also, “when thou shall break loose, that thou shall shake his yoke from off thy neck.”

112) This is how he schemed against Jacob, since Esau grew stronger, to break the power of his Torah. And when he saw that he could not harm his Torah, he weakened the strength of those who support the learners of Torah, since if there is no one to support the learners of Torah, the voice will not be the voice of Jacob, and the hands will be the hands of Esau.

113) And when Jacob saw that, when the day broke, he attacked him and prevailed over him until he blessed him and thanked him for the blessings, and told him, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel.” “…no more Jacob” indicates deceit, as it is written, “for he hath supplanted me these two times,” since if Israel is in pride and power, there is none who can defeat you, since the name “Israel,” indicates authority and pride, as it is written, “for thou hast striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”

114) Several armies spread to each side from this serpent, and they exist in the world among people. And they need to maintain that thigh-vein sinew because even though the rider on the serpent, Sam’el, comes near him, he exists and persists in the color, and does not break.

320 Nitzotzin [sparks] fell in the breaking of the vessels in the world of Nekudim. These are ten Sefirot, and in each, thirty-two discernments broke. There are eight Melachim [Kings]: Daat, Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, and Malchut. In each of them are four Behinot, HB TM, thus thirty-two. And ten times thirty-two are 320 in Gematria.

The upper nine in them are sorted and corrected by the Emanator, who built the four worlds ABYA from them, and through the righteous in keeping Torah and Mitzvot, which are nine times thirty-two, which are 248 in Gematria. But their last Sefira, Malchut, which consists of thirty-two Behinot, as well, remained unsorted within the Klipot, and cannot be sorted and corrected during the 6,000 years. This is why it is called, “the stony heart,” since it is forbidden to sort out from her unless one is very cautious to sort only the 248 Nitzotzin. Thus, during the 6,000 years, it is sorted by itself, without any act from below. And then it is said about her, “I will take away the stony heart” from within you, which is the thirty-two Behinot in the Kli of Malchut that broke and clothed in the Klipot. Thus, the correction is only in the hands of the Emanator, not in the hands of man.

It is known that there is World, Year, Soul in everything. In the stony heart, too, there are World, Year, Soul. World is the primordial serpent, which Sam’el rode; Year—the ninth of Av; and Soul—the thigh-vein sinew.

It is written, “And when he saw that he prevailed not against him.” This was because Jacob was complete with all 248 Nitzotzin, which he has completely corrected. Then, “he touched the hollow of his thigh,” the sinew of the thigh-vein, since this was not yet sorted. And for this reason, “and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was strained,” since as Sam’el has the power to ride the serpent, he also has the power over the thigh-vein sinew, for they are one discernment—one is in World and the other is in Soul.

It is written, “And there a man wrestled with him.” The thigh-vein sinew is the stony heart in Soul, and the ninth of Av is the stony heart in Year. They were not sorted out from among the Klipot, which is why he clung to them. Eating means sorting out the Klipot. And since the thigh-vein sinew is the stony heart, it must not be sorted by man. This is the reason for the prohibition on eating on the ninth of Av, for on that day, which is the stony heart, sorting is forbidden. Thus, the prohibition of the thigh-vein sinew and the prohibition on eating on the ninth of Av are one and the same.

And although it is forbidden to sort it and eat it, since the Klipot cling to it, we are still commanded to keep it for the future, until it is corrected by the Emanator. This is so because even though Sam’el clung to it, by doing so, he did not annul it, for although there is no correction at its very essence, there is correction in its color. Its color, which is black, consists of the three colors of Kedusha in the first nine Sefirot, and receives illumination and correction from them, so it will exist in a manner that is suitable for sorting in the future.

115) And we should increase the power of Kedusha in the world and show, as it is written, “for thou hast striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” And when he sees that the thigh-vein sinew did not break, for it is given illumination for sustenance, and that place is not eaten, since they keep from eating it, meaning sorting, then the power and authority of Sam’el breaks, and he cannot harm the children of Jacob. This is why we need not allow the people of the world to eat it and enjoy it.

116) For “he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh.” It is written here, “he touched the hollow.” And there it is written, “Whosoever touches the dead.” There it is impurity and here it is impurity, as well, since Sam’el defiled the thigh-vein sinew and we must not enjoy an impure place whatsoever, all the more so a place to which that the side of impurity, Sam’el, drew near. And the Torah does not say more, only “he touched,” as it is written, “he touched the hollow of his thigh.” It is also written, “And whatsoever the unclean person touches shall be unclean,” indicating that Sam’el defiled that place with his touch.

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