And It Came to Pass at Midnight

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93) One should always be careful with the midday prayer, since this is the time when Din hangs in the world and one should focus one’s mind.

94) The world exists only by the heads of the people. If the heads of the people are righteous, it is good for the world and good for the people. And if they are not righteous, woe unto the world and woe unto the people.

95) It is certainly so because it is written, “I saw all of Israel being scattered…These have no master; let them return every man to his house in peace.” He asks, “Should it not have said, “will sit”? Also, it should have said “In his house,” since the people were in their place; hence, to where were they to return?

96) If the head of the people is not pure in his actions, the people are caught for his sin, since it is written, “And David spoke… I have sinned, and I have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done?” Thus, David sinned but Israel suffered. And if the head of the people is caught in his iniquity, the people are saved, since the judgment is removed from them, as it is written, “And the Lord said: ‘These have no master,’” meaning if they are not the head of the people, they may return from the path, each to his own home in peace. And even though the judgment was already over them on this path, since their head was caught in his iniquity and put to death, they may return in peace. Thus, they are all saved if their head is caught.

98) At midnight, Rabbi Hiya and Rabbi Yosi saw a deer walking past them yelling and raising her voice. They heard one voice declaring and saying, “Rise you youth, awaken those who are asleep. Worlds, prepare before your masters because your master is going to the Garden of Eden, Malchut, which is His palace, to entertain with the righteous.”

99) Rabbi Hiya said, “It is precisely midnight now, and this voice that we heard comes out and shudders the deer above, which is Malchut, and below, as it is written, ‘The voice of the Lord makes the deer to shudder,’ blessed are we for hearing it.”

100) When the Creator appears over the garden, the whole garden gathers, all the righteous in the garden, and it does not separate from Eden, Hochma. And springs, illumination of Hochma, come out of this Eden toward several ways and trails for the attainment of the righteous. And this garden is called, “The bundle of life,” where the righteous are refined by the illumination of the next world. And it is at that time that the Creator appears to them.

101) Rabbi Yosi said, “I have asked several times, why this was not on the day when the open miracle will be revealed to all? Also, why did all the weak ones die after the grindstone and the lambs in the sheep, and why did kings, ministers, and warmongers not die, as it was with Sennacherib, who were all kings, sons of kings, ministers, and officers, but the strength of one emissary of the Creator appeared there? Indeed, it was greater than this miracle, for here it was done by himself; thus, his miracle was worthy of being greater.

102) Since we have been rewarded with all that, and the road before us has been established, I heard that Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai is purifying the streets of the city of Tiberius; let us go to him. They sat until the day rose, and when the light came up they rose to their feet and left. When they reached him, they found him sitting with a book of Haggadah [Talmudic literature] in his hand.

103) “All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.” Question: Since he said, “All the nations are as nothing before Him,” why does it also say, “they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless”? I learned the view of all the peoples in the world, whose faith is as nothing, who attain neither the high degrees nor the lower ones. They take for themselves a faith of folly, but it is regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless, like the chaff that flies in the wind and roles in the fields in the summer, empty and without any content.

104) “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Et [the] is the right side of the Creator, and the Et is His left side. I learned that the Creator leaned to His right, Hesed, and created the heaven, and He leaned to the left, Din, and created the earth, as it is written, “Surely My hand founded the earth, and My right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand together.”

105) “They stand together.” Can you even think that heaven and earth, ZA and Nukva, do not stand together, but are separate right and left, which are Et and Et? Hence, the nations of the world will stand together. But how will they stand together? In this Malchut, which governs midnight, when EtHesed, is included in this Malchut, and then they are standing together.

106) “He hath made every thing beautiful in its time.” Et is Hesed de ZA. “Everything” is as it is written, “And the Lord had blessed Abraham in everything.” “Everything” is this Sefira called “this,” which is Malchut, comprising the Et and the Et, and governing the midnight on both sides, Rachamim and DinRachamim for Israel and Din for the idol worshippers. And the writing says, “Everything,” He made everything connected, “Beautiful in its time,” in midnight.

108) “Who is like the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high.” “Who is like the Lord our God” is ZA, who rises and crowns to dwell in the high, holy Keter, which is Bina, whose illumination is above all those lights that shine, and the Keters, and the wreaths, since all the Mochin in the worlds extend from Bina. “Who looks down low,” who descends in His Sefirot from Keter to Keter, from Bina’s right line to His own right, from crown to crown, from Bina’s left line to His own left, from illumination to illumination, from Bina’s middle line to His own middle line, from light to light, from Malchut de Bina to His own Malchut, to watch over above, in heaven, and below, in the earth, as it is written, “The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men.”

It speaks of attainments of the Mochin of ZA. First, ZA rises for MAN to Bina and determines between the two lines, right and left of Bina, which were disputed, and makes peace between them. Subsequently, three lines emerge in Bina, and the Malchut that receives from them. This is the “three emerge from one,” when the three lines of Bina emerge from one, which is ZA. The writing says about that, “Who is like the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high.” This is so because although ZA is discerned as VAK and not as GAR, he still rises to Bina and becomes a decisive line in her, called Daat, which is GAR, and it settles there among the Sefirot of Rosh.

Then, since three come out of one, it follows that the one is rewarded with all three, and ZA, too, stands in those three lines that it illuminated in Bina, since the lower one is rewarded with the same amount of light it induced in the upper one, as it is written, “The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men.” Thus, afterwards, He lowers Himself because He descends from Bina to His own place with those three Mochin that shine in the three lines. And He does that to bestow in heaven and in earth. And He calls the right line, Keter, calls the left line, “crown,” calls the middle line, “light,” and calls Malchut, “spark.”

109) “And it came to pass at midnight.” It should have said, “As middle of the night” or “As midnight,” as did Moses. And if you say as the friends said, so the sayers of Pharaoh will not say that Moses is a liar, since it is impossible to precisely tell the moment of the middle of the night, then the question still stands in three ways, for even Israel will say so.

  1. If so, he should have said, “And Moses said as the middle of the night.” Why does he say, “So says the Lord”? But the Lord said, “At midnight.” And as much as he may aim the time, it will not be caught onto Moses, but in the Master, since he said, “Thus said the Lord.”
  1. Since Moses said, “Even unto the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill.” But it was not so until the “first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon.” Still, Israel will say that he is a liar because matters did not unfold as he had said.
  2. That he said in the name of the Master. It is written of midnight, “And it came to pass at midnight,” and not, “as midnight,” as Moses had said.

110) But the heavier question, heavier than a beast can carry, is when you asked, “Why was the smiting of the firstborn at night and not during the day? And why did the weak ones behind the mill die?” Indeed, this is all a sublime secrete among the harvesters, who have been rewarded with attaining the plants of the hidden light that were sown in Malchut, called, “a field.” It is all honest in the words of the faithful prophet.

111) Happy is Moses, of whom it is written, “You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips…the oil of joy above Your fellows.” “You are fairer than the sons of men” [in Hebrew, sons of Adam], meaning Seth and Enoch. “Grace is poured upon Your lips,” from Noah and his sons. “Therefore God, Your God, has anointed you,” from Abraham and Isaac. “Oil of joy,” from Jacob. “Your fellows,” the rest of the prophets. And does a man who has climbed the highest degrees, which no other man has, not know what he says?

112) We learned that the Sefira called, “This,” Malchut, is called “a woman,” as it is written, “She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” The man is called, “This” [in Hebrew there is a difference between the masculine and feminine form of the word], and “This is a male man,” ZA, as it is written, “As for this Moses, the man,” meaning this man. Thus, a man is called “This” [in masculine form], and this is called “A man.” And this [feminine form] was taken from this [masculine], called “male.”

113) This is the reason why Malchut is called Tamar. It indicates male and female because the Tamar [palm tree] does not rise when one is without the other, male without female, as it is written, “like pillars of smoke.” As smoke rises with white and black, here in Malchut, called “this,” all is included in the middle of the night, to perform her actions at one time, at once, white for Israel, which is Rachamim, and black for idol worshippers, which is Din.

114) Until this night is divided, it does not carry out its operations. How do we know? From Abraham. It is written, “And he divided himself against them by night.” This means that he was divided in order to perform his operations. Here, too, Moses said, “as midnight,” meaning when the night divides, since Moses knew that he will not carry out his operations until he divides.

115) And so it was: He did not carry out his operations until he was divided. He carried out his operations in the second half of the night, as it is written, “And it came to pass at midnight.” What is half the night? What is half? It is the other half, when Malchut rules. And that “this,” Malchut, is always available to carry out operations. And each operation that takes place during the night is done in the second half.

116) “The Lord struck all the firstborn. “The Lord” is ZA and his court, which is Malchut. And “The Lord” means He and His operations. “Struck all the firstborn,” Moses said, “And all the first-born… shall die.” But Malchut of the quality of judgment—called Koh [thus far]—had awoken, as Moses was frightened, as it is written, “Behold, you have not listened until now.” This is why it said, “The Lord struck,” which is the name Koh [in Hebrew it’s part of the word struck], which killed all the firstborn in Egypt.

117) Pharaoh was wiser than all his charmers. He looked at this “this,” Malchut, which was to pass judgment on him and destroy his land, as Moses wrote, “In this you will know that I am the Lord.” “And Pharaoh turned,” meaning he turned his mind from this thought, as it is written, “Then Pharaoh turned and went into his house with no concern even for this.” The word, “even,” implies that even though he knew that the name, “This,” which is Malchut, would destroy his country, he still did not pay attention to her.

118) Even “All the firstborn.” A firstborn is considered Hochma, and “All the firstborn” indicates that even the higher and lower degrees were broken from their dominion. All those degrees that rule by their power of Hochma, which is the wisdom of Egypt, as it is written, “All the first-born in the land of Egypt.” And all the higher and lower degrees that were broken from their dominion were all seen in the text where it writes, “From the first-born of Pharaoh that sits upon his throne.” Thus, they are all seen in the text.

119) “From the first-born of Pharaoh that sits upon his throne” is the domination of the bottom Sefira of Klipot, which receives from the upper Malchut. “Even unto the first-born of the maid-servant” is a left Sefira, which is under the dominion, behind the four mills, being the four camps of Klipot. This is why it is written, “Behind the mill,” and not, “From the mill.”

“And all the first-born of cattle” is below the lower ones. It is a female from among the females that are in mares, beasts, and asses, in the coarse ones and in the thin ones, which are degrees of impurity. And men and females receive from them.

“Unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon” are those who come from the maidservants, which are used for doing magic to prisoners, to work them forever, and who will never be freed.

120) And with confidence over these degrees, the Egyptians refused to send Israel, since they have made a tie of magic for Israel so they can never be liberated from their servitude. And this is where the power and dominion of the Creator appeared, and this memory will not be stricken from the memory of Israel for many generations. Had it not been for the power and might of the Creator, all the kings of the nations and all the sorcerers of the world would not be able to deliver Israel from slavery, since He untied all their ties and broke all those crowns of the first-born of the captive to deliver them. It is written about that, “Who will not fear You, O King of the nations?”

121) Rabbi Shimon wept, raised his voice and sighed, saying, “You think that the adhesive has already been found, in adhering to the Creator, and He praised Himself so many times in the exodus from Egypt, as it is written, ‘Who brought you out of the land of Egypt,’ ‘And the Lord your God brought you out of there,’ ‘Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt,’ ‘And brought thee out with His presence, with His great power, out of Egypt,’ ‘The Lord brought you out from this.’” Fifty times is the exodus from Egypt mentioned in the Torah.

122) He replies that there are ten Keters, meaning Sefirot, below in the Klipot, such as above in holiness, all of which are blocked by three Klipot that are Pharaoh’s firstborn, the firstborn of the maidservant, and the firstborn of the cattle. And three ties are tied over these three degrees, which made it so Israel would never be redeemed from slavery.

123) Happy are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for because of them the ties were opened and the Creator remembered your three ties of faith, as it is written, “And God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” “With Abraham” is one knot, of Abraham; “With Isaac” is the other knot, that of Isaac, and, “With Jacob” is the third, complete knot of Jacob.

124) All the special dates, the holidays, and the Sabbaths are a reminder of the exodus from Egypt. This is what they all rely on. Had it not been for that, there would be no keeping of special dates, holidays, and Sabbaths. This is why the memory of Egypt has not abated from all the occasions, holidays, and Sabbaths. This judgment of the exodus from Egypt is the foundation and root of the Torah, all the Mitzvot [commandments], and the whole of Israel’s complete faith. This is why the exodus from Egypt is mentioned so many times in the Torah.

125) Why was the judgment of Egypt not during the day? It is written, “This day ye go forth,” and it is written, “The Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night.” Indeed, the essence of Israel’s redemption was only at night, which is Malchut, called “night.” The night opened the ties and took vengeances, and the day brought them out boldly, as it is written, “The sons of Israel started out boldly in the sight of all the Egyptians,” “While the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn whom the Lord had struck,” which was in order to make the miracle known.

126) The Creator made Jerusalem below, Malchut, such as Jerusalem above, Bina. And He had made the walls of the holy city and its gates. One who comes does not enter until the gates are opened to him, and one who climbs does not rise until the steps to the walls are fixed.

Who can open the gates of the holy city, and who fixes the high steps? It is Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai. He opens the gates to the secrets of the wisdom, and he fixes the high degrees. It is written, “All your males shall appear before the face of the Lord God.” Who is, “the face of the Lord God”? It is Rashbi, for one who is a male from the memories, meaning one who is considered a male from the upper Mochin, called, “memories”—which are Mochin de AVI—should appear before him.

127) “And the Lord struck all the firstborn.” He does not say, “All the firstborn from Egypt,” but simply, “All the firstborn,” since it relates to the degrees that the Egyptians were clinging to, as well, the four degrees of the Klipot. It was all as with those who died—that what was done in the degrees of the Klipot was as in the firstborn of Egypt who died.

Those are the tiers of the knots who were using their charms with these Keters. Some of them were operating in the upper ones and some in the lower ones. And although all are low, they were operating in the upper ones, as well. Thus, the whole of the land of Egypt was full of sorcery, as it is written, “For there was not a house where there was not one dead.”

128) The judgment was carried out on all, when they were all gathered in their homes and not dispersed in the desert and in the field, but were all in their homes. And the night, which is Malchut, carried out its judgments at that time, and the night was shining as though on a Tamuz [a summer month] day, and the whole people saw the judgments of the Creator, as it is written, “And the night is as bright as the day; the darkness is as the light.”

129) When Israel were departing, they were all dead on the streets in front of everyone. They wanted to bury them but they did not find them, since the dogs had eaten them. But not all were eaten, for some of them remained, of whom it is said, “The Egyptians were burying.” This was the hardest for them; on one hand, they were watching Israel leave, and on the other hand, they were seeing their dead. And it was all in order to make the miracle known—that no such thing had happened since the day the world was created.

130) “It is a night of watching unto the Lord for bringing them out.” It is also written, “This same night is a night of watching unto the Lord.” Why did he say, “A night of watching,” and not, “A watched night”? And why did he first say, “night of,” and then, “A night” [the difference is apparent only in Hebrew]?

131) It is written, “If there is a girl who is a virgin.” It writes Naara [girl, spelled without the final Hey], since as long as she did not receive a male, she is considered a boy. Once she receives a male, she is considered a Naarah [girl, with the final Hey]. Here, too, Malchut is called “night” [without the Hey], before she receives a male, ZA. And it writes about it, “a night of watching,” in plural tense [in Hebrew], which means that ZA is included in it, since the male, ZA, is destined to bond with her, but he hasn’t. And when the male bonds with her, it is written, “This same night is a night of watching unto the Lord.” Watching indicates male and female, ZA and Malchut, which is why it writes, “This night.”

132) And where there are male and female, the praise is only for the male. Thus, Israel praised their praises to the male and not to the female, as it is written, “This is my God, and I will glorify Him.” This is because where there are male and female, the praise is only for the male. And this is what Israel awaits, as it is written, “This is the Lord, for whom we waited, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation,” since He is destined to do the same for them, as it is written, “As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show you miracles.”

133) So will the Creator do to them, as it is written, “Watchman, what of the night [with a final Hey], Watchman, what of the night [without a final Hey]?” As there it is watching and night [without a Hey], here it is watching and night [without a Hey]. As there it is watching and night [with a Hey], here it is watching and night [with a Hey].

134) And it is called “night” because of the male that is included in her, as it is written, “Morning comes but also night,” ZA and Malchut. Morning means, as it is written, “And Abraham got up early in the morning,” for his quality is Hesed de ZA, called “Morning.” It is also written, “Lord, in the morning You will hear my voice,” meaning actual morning, ZA with the quality of Hesed.

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