Three Watches [parts of the night]

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432) “Maschil of Eitan the Ezrahite” [Psalms 89]. Abraham the patriarch said this psalm while he was exerting in the work of the Creator, and was doing grace to the people of the world so they would all know the Creator, since the Creator governs the land. He is called “Eitan” [strong] because he grew strong in the Creator.

433) “I will sing of the Hassadim [mercies] of the Lord forever.” But is the coming to the singing from the side of Hassidim, meaning the right line? After all, singing comes from the left line. However, here the left side is incorporated in the right, hence the Creator tested Abraham and tried him.

Isaac was thirty-seven at the time of the tying. So why does it write that He tested Abraham? It should have said that He tested Isaac. Indeed, it is written that He tested Abraham so that he would be in Din [judgment] and would be properly improved in Din, since his quality was all Hesed, so that he would be properly completed. This is why, “I will sing of the Hassadim [mercies] of the Lord forever,” since he was already integrated with the left line, from which singing comes.

It should have said that he tested Isaac, who was already thirty-seven and could protest. However, testing means rising and completion, since through the tying, which is an act of Din and Gevura, Abraham was incorporated with the left line and his quality was fully completed.

434) “I will sing of the Hassadim [mercies] of the Lord forever.” These are the Hassadim that the Creator does with the world, as it is written, “To all generations I will make known Your faith with my mouth,” meaning the grace and truth that He does with all. “To all generations I will make known Your faith with my mouth” is the faith in the Creator that Abraham announced in the world, and which he mentioned in the mouth of all the people. For this reason, “I will make known Your faith with my mouth.”

435) The Creator announced the meaning of faith, Nukva, to Abraham. When Abraham knew the meaning of faith, he knew that he was the kernel and the sustenance of the world, that the world was created and persisted for him, since he was the Hesed, as it is written, “For I have said, ‘Let a world of Hesed be built.’”

This is so because when the Creator created the world, Nukva, He saw that the world could not persist until He reached out His right, the Hesed, and it persisted. Had He not reached out His right over it, it would not persist because this world, Nukva, was created in Din, hence it cannot exist without Hesed.

436) We learn about Beresheet [In the beginning] that there are two manners in one inclusion here. Although we said that Beresheet is the beginning from above downwards, meaning MalchutResheet [beginning] also means Hochma, meaning Bina that returned to being HochmaBeresheet is also Be [the letter BetRasheet [major/prime/first], like Beit Kodesh ha Kodashim [the house of the holy of holies], Nukva, the house of the beginning of Hochma. Also, the word Beresheet includes Nukva and Hochma as one.

437) This world, Nukva, was created with this Bet. It is built as a house to Hochma, which she receives from the left line. For this reason, she is devoid of Hassadim and exists only in the right, Hesed, since Hochma without Hesed cannot exist. It is written about it, “These are the generations of the heaven and the earth BeHibaram [when they were created],” which has the letters of BeAvrahamHesed. This is why it is written, “For I have said, ‘Let a world of Hesed be built.’”

In the first building of the world, the Nukva, that light of the first day had the sustenance, Hesed. Afterwards, on the second day, it was included in the left, Gevura, and by those the heavens, ZA, were set up. It is written about it, “In the heavens You will establish Your faith,” for because the heavens were established with the two lines, HG, the preparation for faith was made, meaning Nukva, to be corrected in the two lines, HG.

438) “In the heavens You will establish Your faith.” The heavens is ZA. He was corrected by those Hassadim, and faith—the Nukva—was corrected in them, as it is written, “Let a world of Hesed be built.” It follows that the heavens imparted the Hesed to the Nukva, who is called “world.” This is why it is written, “In the heavens You will establish Your faith,” since there is correction to the Nukva only from heaven, ZA.

439) “I have made a covenant with My chosen.” Covenant is the faith that was given to David. Covenant is a righteous, Yesod, from whom blessings stem to all the lower ones, and all the holy animals, the angels, are blessed by that bounty that pours out to the lower ones.

440) “I have sworn to David My servant.” This oath is the faith, Nukva, which always stands in the righteous, Yesod. This is the oath of the world that they will never part. Alone during the exile, when they are parted, the abundance of blessings is prevented and faith is not completed, and any joy is hindered. Also, when the night comes, as of that time, joys do not enter before the King.

441) Although joys do not awaken at night, outside the King’s hall, angels stand and sing songs. When half the night is through and the awakening rises from below upwards, the Creator awakens all the armies of heaven for weeping, He kicks the firmament, and upper and lower shake.

442) He has no contentment unless when there is awakening in the Torah below. At that time, the Creator and all the souls of the righteous listen and delight in that voice, and then He has contentment. This is so because since the day the Temple was ruined below, the Creator swore that He would not enter Jerusalem above until Israel enter Jerusalem below. It is written about it, “A holy man among you who is holy, and I will not come into a city.” That is, even though there is a holy man among you, I will still not come into the city—Jerusalem above—until Israel enter Jerusalem below.

This is so because the night—Nukva—and the day—ZA—are in Zivug, as it is written, “And there was evening and there was morning, one day,” and all the orders that apply during the day, apply at night, as well. However, there is a difference in the dominion: the Nukva governs the night, from the left, when Mochin de Achoraim [posterior Mochin] are extended, and ZA governs the day, when Mochin de Panim [anterior Mochin] are extended.

Hence, as there is the order of three lines at the daytime Zivug, extending from the three points—HolamShurukHirik—there are three watches to the night Zivug, during which the angels sing, since the Mochin appear in singing. However, they are only Mochin de Achoraim, externality and Katnut, and with respect to the Panim and interior, it is dark and not light. This is so because then there is darkness and no joy in the lights of Panim, but Mochin de Achoraim do shine, since at that time Mochin de Achoraim are extended, meaning GAR of externality. This is why the angels stand outside the hall and sing songs from those Mochin.

The three watches are three lines from the three points—HolamShurukHirik. The first two watches are the two lines—right and left—which extend from the Holam and the Shuruk. In the middle of the second watch, the point of midnight, the Masach de Hirik is drawn out, on which the middle line comes out. It carries two actions: 1) reducing the ten Sefirot of the left, which shine only in Achoraim, from GAR to VAK; 2) connects the left with the right.

When half the night is through and its awakening rises from below upwards, when MAN is raised for disclosing the Masach de Hirik for the elicitation of the middle line, the Creator awakens all the armies of heaven for weeping. Weeping implies diminution of GAR, since through the disclosure of the Masach de Hirik, the GAR of the left is diminished and all the angels cry, even the angels that still do not have GAR on the outside.

And when the Creator disclosed the Masach de Hirik since all the Mochin are cancelled, there is an immediate second act—extending the level of Hassadim on the Masach de Hirik. Through it, He connects the two lines, right and left, and re-extends the GAR, but in VAK de GAR. When MAN is raised for extending of the level of Hassadim, by that, the right and left unite and the GAR return, and the angels, too, sing once again.

Nukva, the Temple, was ruined by the illumination of the left. At that time, the Creator raised the Masach de Hirik and extended a middle line to unite the left with the right, which is the reason why GAR de GAR were diminished into VAK de GAR. This diminution is regarded as an oath because since this correction, GAR de GAR no longer shine until the end of correction. At the end of correction, when the whole of Malchut is corrected, the Zivug of GAR de GAR will return, meaning that Jerusalem above will enter, and this explains, “I have sworn to David My servant,” the oath that He will not enter Jerusalem above until Israel enter Jerusalem below.

443) All the singers stand outside the palace and sing during the three watches of the night, corresponding to the three lines. Also, all the armies of heaven awaken at night, since they are from the externality, and at night the Mochin of the externality illuminate. Israel are during the day because they are from the internality, and Mochin of internality shine only at daytime.

No Kedusha [holiness/sanctity] is said above until Israel sanctify below, since the Mochin of externality of the angels cannot exist unless through the middle line, which shines during the day, for Israel. At that time, all the armies of heaven sanctify the Holy Name together. Hence the holy Israel are sanctified by upper ones and lower ones together, as it is written, “You shall be holy for I the Lord your God am holy.”

444) When the Creator created the world, Nukva, He created it on pillars, which are the seven pillars of the world, HGT NHYM. It is not known what those pillars stand on, as it is written, “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone?”

The world, Nukva, stands on seven pillars—the seven SefirotHGT NHYM—that she receives from Bina and from ZANukva herself is unfit to receive upper light because she is the Malchut that was restricted during the creation of the world to not receive of the upper light. It is not known what these pillars, the seven lights HGT NHYM in her stand on because the Nukva cannot receive them due to the Tzimtzum [restriction] on her.

445) The world, Nukva, was not created until the Creator took a single stone, called Even Shtiah [a cornerstone], and threw it into the deep, and it was stuck from above downwards. And from it, the world, Nukva, was planted. This is the middle point of the settlement of the world, and at this point, the holy of holies, GAR de Nukva, stands, as it is written, “Who laid its cornerstone?” It is also written, “A costly cornerstone,” and it is written, “The stone which the builders loathed has become the cornerstone.” All those are cornerstones.

The cornerstone, Malchut, called “stone,” rose to Bina and was included in it. Through this ascent, she received the Kelim of ImaYodHey de HaVaYaH—and could therefore receive the seven Sefirot HGT NHYM from Ima. This is why she is called Shtiah, meaning Sht-Yod-Hey, since Ima, who is YodHey, corrected her.

And before Malchut rose to Bina and obtained the Kelim from Bina, who was then referred to as “cornerstone,” she could not receive any light due to the Tzimtzum upon her, and she could not exist. The Creator threw a cornerstone, the mitigated Malchut, into the place of Malchut herself, which is called “the deep,” and it was stuck from above downwards, since she came down from Bina’s place and was stuck in the deep—the Malchut below—of the Nukva, by whom she receives GAR, called “holy of holies.”

446) This stone was created of fire, wind, and water, which she receives from the three lines of ZA, and she was hardened by all of them and became a single stone, standing on the deep. Sometimes, water flows out of her, the deeps are filled, and this stone stands as a sign in the middle of the world. This is the stone that Jacob set up and planted for the expansion and persistence of the world, as it is written, “And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.”

447) “This stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house.” Did Jacob set up this stone? After all, it was created in the beginning, when the Creator created the world. However, He placed it for sustenance above and below, hence when it writes, “Which I have set up for a pillar,” what does, “Which I have set up” mean? It is as it is written, “Shall be God’s house,” meaning that he placed the section of above here, that is, extended the upper Mochin into her.

448) This stone has seven eyes on it, as it is written, “Upon one stone are seven eyes.” Eyes are Hochma. The Hochma appears from HGT NHYM de Nukva, who is called “seven eyes.” She is called Shtiah because from her, the world was Nishtal [planted]. Shtiah has the letters ShtYodHey, meaning that the Creator put her—Bina, who is called YodHey—for the world to be blessed by her.

449) When the sun sets, in the first watch of the night, those cherubim stand at the holy of holies, which stands in the middle point, which is the cornerstone. It was a miracle that they were sitting, meaning through the lights of Bina, which do not belong to her and are regarded as a miracle to her. They were striking their wings and spreading them, and the sound of the singing of their wings was heard above. Then the angels that sing in the beginning of the night begin to sing so that the glory of the Creator will rise from below upwards. The poems that the wings of the cherubim would say is as it is written, “Bless the Lord, all servants of the Lord … Lift up your hands to the sanctuary,” and then the singing reaches the upper angels, to sing.

450) On the second watch, the cherubim strike their wings above and the sound of their singing is heard. At that time, the angels that stand on the second watch begin to sing the singing of the wings of the cherubim, as it is written, “Those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, which will not fall.” And then the singing reaches the angels who stand on the second watch, to sing.

451) On the third watch, the cherubim strike their wings and sing, as it is written, “Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord … from the rising of the sun to its setting.” Then all the angels that stand on the third watch sing.

Cherubim are small Panim [face], GAR de Katnut. This is so because GAR that extend during the night are GAR de Achoraim, externality and Katnut, and stand at the holy of holies, GAR de Nukva. And since they are Mochin de Achoraim, it is said in regard to their disclosure that they were striking their wings because the Achoraim are called “wings,” and their extension comes by striking.

The three lines apply to the night Mochin, too, meaning three watches that extend from the Mochin that are called “cherubim.” Hence, their singing divides into three lines, too. For this reason, on the first watch—the right line, which extends from the Holam, meaning the disclosure of VAK without a Rosh in them—it is said, “Behold, bless the Lord,” “And I will raise my hands,” since hands indicate VAK without a Rosh. It is also said that they are spreading their wings, meaning disclose the Din in them.

On the second watch, “Those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, which will not fall.” This indicates to the left line, which extends from the point of Shuruk, in which the essence of these GAR de Achoraim is revealed, and it is said about the GAR, “Which will not fall.”

On the third watch, the middle line, which extends from the point of Hirik, it is said, “Praise the Lord! … Blessed be the name of the Lord … from the rising of the sun to its setting.” This is because the entire perfection and sustenance of these Mochin depend on the third line.

452) All the stars and signs in firmament begin to sing on the third watch, as it is written, “When the morning stars sing together and all of God’s children cheer.” It is also written, “Praise Him, all the stars of light,” since those are stars of light that play the light, where through the singing, the light is drawn out.

453) When the morning rises, Israel below sing after them, meaning receive GAR of internality, GAR de Gadlut, and the glory of the Creator rises from below upwards. Israel sing below during the day, and the upper angels during the night, and then the holy name is completed on all sides, both in Mochin de Achoraim and in Mochin de Panim.

454) All the upper angels and Israel below are strengthened by that stone, Malchut, from which they received their Mochin, while she rises up to be crowned, to receive Mochin from the fathers, HGT de ZA, during the day. At night, the Creator, ZA, comes to play with the righteous in the Garden of Eden, Malchut, meaning receives her Mochin de Achoraim from her.

455) Happy are those who are present in their existence and engage in Torah at night, since the Creator and all the righteous in the Garden of Eden hear the voices of people who engage in Torah, as it is written, “You who sits in the gardens, friends listen to your voice. Let me hear it.”

456) This stone is a good stone. It was mitigated in Bina and it is fit for reception of Mochin, as it is written, “You shall mount on it four rows of stones.” These are the orders of the good stone, the fillings of a precious stone, which are Mochin of illumination of Hochma that are received in Malchut three times four, which are twelve. It is so because there is another stone, unfit for MochinMalchut that was not mitigated in Bina—and it is written about it, “And I will remove the heart of stone.” It is also written, “And I will put My spirit within you,” which means that as long as the heart of stone is not removed, the spirit of the Creator is not in us because it was not mitigated in Bina, and she, too, is called “A costly cornerstone.”

457) It is written about that, “The stone tablets,” since those tablets were carved from here, from a good stone. This is why they are named after this stone, as it is written, “From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel,” who is also a good stone.

458) “The stones shall be according to the names of the sons of Israel: twelve.” These are high, precious stones, and they are called “the stones of the place,” as it is written, “And he took of the stones of the place,” meaning the Sefirot of Nukva, since Nukva is called “a place.” “The stones shall be according to the names of the sons of Israel: twelve,” since as there are twelve tribes below, there are twelve tribes above, in the Nukva, and they are twelve precious stones.

“Four rows of stone” are HB TM in her, each of which consists of three lines, thus they are twelve. And it is written, “To which the tribes went up, the tribes of the Lord, a testimony to Israel.” This is Israel above, ZA, who imparts these twelve upon the Nukva, and all of them are to thank the name of the Lord, the Nukva. This is why it was said, “The stones shall be according to the names of the sons of Israel.”

459) As there are twelve hours in the day, which are the twelve of ZA, there are twelve hours at night, which are the twelve of the Nukva. During the day, above; during the night, below. The twelve of ZA are above, and the twelve of Nukva are below, receiving from the twelve of ZA. And all are one opposite the other. These twelve hours of the night divide into three parts, which are three watches, and several appointed armies stand under them, degree after degree. They are all appointed at night, first receive prey, and then they sing, as it is written, “She rises while it is still night and gives prey to her household.”

460) And then, when half the night is through, there are two orders on this side and two orders on the other side, and the upper spirit comes out between them. At that time, all the trees in the Garden of Eden begin to sing and the Creator enters the Garden of Eden, as it is written, “Then [all the trees of the wood] shall sing.” It is also written, “He judges the poor with justice,” since the sentence, ZA, has come between them, and the Garden of Eden was filled with him.

“Night” is the Partzuf of the Nukva, in whom the left line governs, Hochma without Hassadim. This is why she is dark. The point of midnight is the point of Chazeh in her, Masach de Hirik, on which the middle line is revealed, which unites the two lines. And then there are two lines from the point of Chazeh and above, which are from the beginning of the night through midnight, and two lines from the point of Chazeh and below, meaning from midnight through morning. The middle line comes out on the Masach de Hirik, the point of midnight, called “upper spirit [Ruach],” ZA.

When the middle line, ZA, connects right and left in the Garden of Eden, Nukva, they are all filled with light, and the Creator, the middle line, enters the Garden of Eden, NukvaZA, the middle line, is called “a sentence,” and the Garden of Eden is filled by him because the sides from the Chazeh and above and from the Chazeh and below have conjoined.

461) Northern wind awakens in the world and joy is present because after the sentencing of the middle line, the north dresses in the south, and Hochma dresses in Hassadim. And then there is joy in the illumination of the north, the left line, since that wind, the middle line, blows through those perfumes, illumination of Hochma, by which the illumination of Hochma in the perfumes dresses in the Hassadim in the wind [Ruach]. At that time, the perfumes raise a scent from below upwards and not from above downwards, and the righteous crown in their crowns, receive Mochin, and enjoy the luster of the illuminating mirror, ZA.

462) Happy are the righteous who are rewarded with that upper light, the illuminating mirror that shines to all sides, to the right and to the left. Each of those righteous receives in his share what he should, meaning receives according to his actions in this world. And there are some who are ashamed by that light, of which their friend received more to illuminate.

463) The night watches: On the first watch, from the time the night begins to fall, several emissaries of judgment awaken and roam the world, and the vents of the light shut. Afterwards, on the second watch, several types of forces of Din [judgment] awaken. The second watch is the left line, the northern wind. As long as it is not connected with the southern wind, right, many Dinim [judgments] awaken from it. And then, when half the night is through, in the middle of the second watch, which is the point of Chazeh, the north wind comes down from above the Chazeh to below the Chazeh and grips the night, Nukva, until the end of the two watches of the night.

The first watch is the right line and the second watch is the left line. And although the Masach de Hirik awakens at midnight, in the middle of the second watch, it is only to extend the northern wind below the Chazeh, while its main power to connect the left with the right appears after the end of the second watch.

464) On the third watch, the south side—Hesed—awakens to connect to the north by the force of the middle line until the morning comes. When the morning comes, the south and north are already gripped to the Nukva, and Israel below come with their prayer and request and raise her to ZA until she rises and is concealed among them in the lights of ZA. That is, she diminishes herself, annuls before the degree of ZA, and takes blessings from the head of the King, meaning receives GAR de Panim [anterior GAR] from ZA, who is His Rosh [head].

465) She is blessed by that dew, which is drawn to ZA from above, from Galgalta de AA. That dew divides to illuminate to several directions, to the right and to the left, although the dew itself is only the light of Hesed. And several tens of thousands of degrees are nourished by that dew, and from it, the dead will be revived. It is written about it, “Awake and sing, you who lie in the dust, for your dew is a dew of lights,” dew from those upper lights that shine above.

466) When the north wind awakens and the night divides, the Creator desires the voice of the righteous in this world, who engage in Torah. Now the Creator listens to them.

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