And Jethro Heard

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1) “And Aaron raised his hands.” It writes “His hands” without a Yod [in Hebrew], which means one hand, since he had to raise the right over the left.

2) It is written in King Solomon’s book that anyone who raises his hands not in prayer and litany is a person who was cursed by ten rulers who were in the city. These are ten appointees over those who raise their hands up, to receive that prayer or that blessing, and place in it the strength to honor the holy Name, and he is blessed below. When he is blessed below by the raising of his hands above, he is blessed above and grows on all sides.

3) Those ten appointees are there to receive the blessings above and to pour them down, to bless the one who blesses Him, as it is written, “And I will bless them.”

4) For this reason, one should guard himself when he raises his hands, to make them be in prayer or in litany. One should not raise one’s hand in vain, since those ten appointees are there, awakening to the raising of hands, and if it is in vain, those ten curse him with 248 curses.

5) Then the spirit of Tuma’a [impurity] is on those hands, whose conduct is to be in an empty place, and there is no blessing in an empty place. This is why it is written, “I have lifted up my hand unto the Lord, God Most High,” which translates as “under His shade,” meaning in prayer.

6) There are high secrets in the spreading of hands. When they spread and are raised upright, a person honors the Creator with several high secrets and is worthy of unifying ten utterances, to unite everything and to properly bless the holy Name. Also, he is worthy of uniting the inner Merkavot [assemblies/structures] de Atzilut, and outer Merkavot, outside of Atzilut, so the holy Name will be blessed on all sides and everything will unite as one, above and below.

7) It is written, “And none shall appear before Me empty-handed.” This is the meaning of the stretching of the fingers: when one stretches them upward, he must not stretch in vain, but in prayer, in litanies, and in blessings.

8) There are ten rulers below, ten utterances, like letters that are inscribed as above. They are the first to stand over that stretching of fingers, and by that, the whole side of Kedusha [holiness] unites above. Then all the Sitra Achra surrender and thank the holy King.

9) In Kedusha, there is a King, and priest serving below him, whether above or below. There is a King above, who is the holy of holies, Bina, and he is the upper King. Below Him is a priest, the first light, which serves before Him, the Sefira of Hesed. This is a priest who is called “great,” the right side.

10) There is a king below, Malchut, like the upper King, and he reigns over everything below, BYA. And below him is a priest who serves him, Michael, the great priest, who is to the right, Hesed, the complete faith, the side of Kedusha.

11) In Sitra Achra, there is a king who is called “a foolish old king.” This is the evil inclination. Below him is the priest of On, as it is written, “And Ephraim said, ‘But I have become rich; I have found On [strength] for myself,’” meaning the priest of Sitra Achra. This is so because this power, On, controls the deed that Jeroboam did. Were it not for that force, he would not have been able to succeed in that act.

12) When this king and that priest of the Sitra Achra surrender and break, all the other sides surrender and thank the Creator. Then the Creator alone rules above and below, as it is written, “And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”

13) In precisely the same way, the Creator worked in the earth. He broke the foolish old king, who is Pharaoh. When Moses came to Pharaoh and said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us,” Pharaoh started and said, “I do not know the Lord.” The Creator wanted His name honored on earth as it is honored above, so He struck him ten blows. When He struck him and his people, he came and thanked the Creator.

14) Afterwards, that priest of On, Jethro, broke and surrendered until he came and thanked the Creator. He said, “Blessed be the Creator for saving you from the hand of Egypt and from the hand of Pharaoh. Now I know that the Lord is great.” This is the priest of On, another side, the left side. Likewise, when Rachel saw that she was dead, she said, Ben Oni [son of my strength]. For this reason, Jacob hurried and said, Ben Yamin [son of the right side], and not Ben Oni [son of my strength], meaning the right side and not the left.

15) Since the king and that priest thank the Creator and break down before Him, the Creator rises in His glory above everyone, above and below. And before the Creator rose in His glory, when these thanked before Him, the Torah was not given, until Jethro came, confessed, and said, “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods. Blessed be the Lord who saved you.” Then the Creator rose in His glory above and below, and He gave the Torah in the fullness of His governance over everything.

16) “Let the peoples thank You, O God; let all the peoples thank You.” King David rose and praised and thanked the holy King. He engaged in Torah when the northern wind awakened and struck the chords of the violin, and the violin would play, and he would sing. And what would he sing?

17) When the Creator awakens to all those Merkavot, to give them prey, as it is written, “She rises while it is still night and gives prey to her household and a portion to her maidens,” they all started and said joyfully, “God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us—Selah.” When the northern wind awakens and descends to the world, it blows and says, “That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.”

When the violin is played by the wind, he started and said, “Let all the peoples thank You.” When David would rise and the holy spirit awakened upon him, he started and said, “The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him,” to extend the good of the Creator from above to below.

Afterwards, David came with the spirit of holiness and set them up together, as it is written, “God blesses us.” He observed all this verse concerning the violin, “Let all the peoples thank You,” since the wholeness of the glory of the Creator is above and below, as it is written, “That all the ends of the earth may fear Him.”

18) When the rest of the peoples surrender and come and thank the Creator, when they yield and thank Him, the glory of the Creator is completed above and below. When Moses came to Pharaoh and told him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews has met with us,” Pharaoh stared and said, “I do not know the Lord.”

19) The Creator wanted His name glorified on earth as it is glorified above. When He struck him and his people, he came and thanked the Creator, as it is written, “The Lord is the righteous one, and I and my people are the wicked ones.” When he who was an important king throughout the world confessed, all the other kings confessed, as it is written, “Then the champions of Edom were startled.”

20) Jethro, a high and great priest, a minister appointed over all the other idols, came and thanked the Creator. He said, “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods.” Then the Creator rose and was glorified in His honor above and below. And afterwards, He gave the Torah in the completeness of His governance over everything.

21) It is written about it: “Let the peoples thank You, O God; let all the peoples thank You.”

22) But it does not write, “Priest of On” in regard to Jethro; it writes “Priest of Midian.” Yet, it is all one. In the beginning, he was called “Priest of On,” Joseph’s father-in-law. Afterwards, he was called Moses’ father-in-law, priest of Midian. It is all one: the priest of Midian is like the priest of On, since those two, Moses and Joseph, are at the same degree of the letter Vav, which is VavVav in the king, two Vavs together. The first Vav is Moses, Tifferet, and the second Vav is Joseph, Yesod. It was said “Priest of Midian” in relation to “a contentious woman.”

23) Rabbi Aba raised his hands on his head, wept, and said, “Now the light of Torah rises to the height of the firmament of the uppermost throne. When my lord departs from the world, who will illuminate the light of Torah? Woe to a world that will be orphaned from you. But the words of my lord will illuminate in the world until the Messiah King arrives, and then it is written, ‘And the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.’”

24) “And Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.” In the beginning it writes, “All that God had done for Moses,” and then it writes, “That the Lord had brought Israel out.” “God had done” is the Malchut; it is the name that protected Moses and Israel and which did not move from them during the exile. Afterwards, the upper name, YovelBina, brought them out of Egypt.

25) “All that God had done for Moses,” meaning that he was thrown in the river, and that He saved him from Pharaoh’s sword. “And for Israel, His people,” as it is written, “And God heard their groaning.” And it is written, “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out.”

26) It is written, “He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; holy and awesome is His name.” Why do all the verses in this chapter have two words from the alphabet, and in this verse and its subsequent there are three words? It is to complete the six Behinot [discernments] in the alphabet, which are three redemptions: Torah [Pentateuch], Prophets, and Hagiographa. This verse corresponds to the three redemptions of Israel: Babylon, Greece, and Edom, excluding the first exile, in Egypt, which already took place. And the other verse corresponds to Torah, Prophets, and Hagiographa.

27) It is written, “He has sent redemption to His people.” When He brought Israel out of Egypt and worked miracles and mighty deeds for them, “He has ordained His covenant forever,” meaning Jethro came and the Creator accepted him and brought him closer to His work. From there, all those foreigners drew closer under the wings of Divinity. Henceforth, “Holy and awesome is His name,” since then the name of the Creator is sanctified, when the Sitra Achra broke and surrendered.

28) “And Jethro … heard.” Can it be that Jethro heard and the rest of the people in the world did not hear? Indeed, the whole world heard, but they did not break, hence their hearing is not hearing. He heard and was broken, surrendered before the Creator, and drew nearer to fearing Him, hence his hearing is hearing.

29) Everything that the Creator does above and below is true, and His work is true. There is nothing in the world that one should reject or despise, since they are all true works, and everything is needed in the world.

30) It is written, “If the serpent bites before being charmed.” The serpent does not bite people until it is whispered to from above. It is told, “Go and kill this or that person.

31) Sometimes—as it does that—so it saves people from other things. Through it, the Creator works miracles to people; it all depends on the Creator; it is all the work of His hands. But the world needs them. If it did not need them, the Creator would not make them. Hence one need not be contemptuous toward things in the world, and certainly not toward the words and deeds of the Creator.

32) “And God saw all that He had done, and behold, it was very good.” “And God saw” is the living God, Bina.” “Saw” means that He looked, to illuminate for them and to watch over them. “All that He had done” means it is all included as one, above and below. “And behold, it was very good” is the right side. “Very” is the left side, “Good” is the angel of life. “Very” is the angel of death, and it is all one matter for those who observe the wisdom.

33) “And God saw all that He had done.” Throughout the story of creation, it is written, “And God saw that it was good.” And here, “And God saw all that He had done.” God below, Malchut, governs the lower ones. God above, Bina, governs the upper ones. God above, who governs the upper ones, is the living God, Bina. This is why, “And God saw all that He had done,” since He illuminated and lit all those upper and lower candles, and from there, all the lights come out to shine.

34) An imprint of the Masach of Midat ha Din [quality of judgment], which uses Atik, is inscribed in the most covered of all that is covered, Atik, who is unseen and is not revealed. That imprint inscribes another PartzufAA, who imprints and does not imprint, for it is not imprinted from it. The ones with Tevuna and open eyes, who have Hochma, cannot perceive him. He is the existence of everything. That imprint in AA is so small that it is unseen and is not revealed; it stands there with a desire to sustain everything. In other words, its existence is felt only in the desire that it will be, since everything exists because of it, receiving what one receives of that in which there is neither Reshimo nor will, and which is unseen. This is Ein Sof, and were it not for that imprint, they would not be able to receive from Ein Sof.

The Zohar explains the order of the emanation of the Partzufim of AtzilutAtikAAAVI, and ZA, how the source of everything, the Masach of Malchut of Midat ha Din, uses Partzuf Atik, operates in AA to conceal the Hochma there, and how a part of her is mitigated in Bina, called “palace,” while she herself is hidden in the GAR of the palace, who are upper AVI. Afterwards, it explains VAK de ZA concerning six curtains, and the embroidered curtain, GAR de ZA.

35) That imprint wished to cover itself and made a palace for itself, to cover in it. It elevated part of it to be mitigated in Bina, and then Bina became a palace. It took it out of itself, meaning raised a part of it to Bina, and drew it with great and elaborate expansion, in illumination of Hochma that shines to all sides. And he honored it with a garment of honor, the light of Hassadim to clothe the Hochma, and opened fifty gates in it.

36) Deep within that palace—in the GAR in it, which is upper AVI—that imprint was covered and concealed. When he was hidden in it and entered it, upper AVI were filled with light. Lights and sparks stem from that light, which is Ohr Hozer [reflected light], come out of those gates in the palace, and they all shine.

37) That palace is covered, meaning clothes in six curtains, HGT NHY de ZA. Six curtains are five because Yesod is not a particular Sefira but includes only the five Sefirot HGT NH. Deep within those curtains stands an embroidered curtain, the GAR of the curtains. The palace covers and clothes in that curtain, meaning it is the first to clothe the palace, Bina, and the other six curtains are atop it. From it, it observes and watches everything. In other words, it is the GAR, in which there is vision.

38) This palace is opening of eyes, so he will not sleep. It always keeps an eye for illuminating below, out of the light of the imprint, the light of Hassadim. That Tevuna—the covered Hochma, and the will of wills, the KeterGAR in the palace, which are all upper AVI—is hidden and covered and is not revealed. It is present and absent. It is more blessed than the one who is more covered than all who are covered, Keter.

39) Jethro gave Moses an advice about the correction of the Dinim, and so it should be. He thanked the Creator and set up the correction of his Dinim before him, indicating what is written, “For the judgment is for God,” and not for the Sitra Achra, and the Dinim were given to Israel and not to another, as it is written, “His statutes and His ordinances to Israel.” One should not treat others with contempt, and a matter from a layperson is a matter, as it is written about Moses, “And Moses listened to his father-in-law.”

40) This is why it is written, “I will give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord, and I will sing to Your name.” King David said it in the spirit of holiness, when he saw that the glory of the Creator was not rising in exaltedness and was not glorified in the world, but only by the rest of the nations. But is the Creator not glorified in the world only thanks to Israel? So it is indeed, since Israel are the foundation of the candle to shine. But when the rest of the nations come and thank Him in subjugation to the glory of the Creator, the foundation of the candle is supplemented and strengthens over all its works in one bonding, and the Creator alone rules above and below.

41) The whole world feared and dreaded the Creator when they heard of the miracles of the exodus from Egypt. And when Jethro—who was the high priest of all the other gods—came, the glory of the Creator strengthened and ruled over everything.

42) This is so because when the whole world heard of the Creator’s might, they all shook and looked at Jethro, who was wise and the great appointee over all the idols of the world. When they saw him approaching and serving the Creator, saying, “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods,” they all veered away from their works and knew that they were futile. Then the glory of the holy Name of the Creator was glorified on all sides. This is why this portion was written in the Torah, and the beginning of the portion is with Jethro.

43) Jethro was one of Pharaoh’s sages. Pharaoh had three sages: Jethro, Job, and Balaam. Jethro—there was not one operation, appointee, a sun, or a star that governed in its governance, that did not know its proper work and utilization. Balaam was charming with any kind of witchcraft, whether in deeds or in words.

44) Job was fearful with fear, and in that fear was the core of his power. This is so because a circumcision above, whether of Kedusha [holiness] or of the Sitra Achra, one cannot draw the spirit above to below and bring it near him unless with fear, by aiming one’s heart and will with fear and with breaking of the heart. Then he will extend the spirit above downward and the required desire.

45) If one does not place one’s heart and will toward that side, his will cannot cling to Him, except for those fine forms. And not in all of them, since there are rulers among them that require fear and the will of the heart. It is all the more so with sublime matters that require great fear, dread, and will.

46) Jethro needed to always work on the same side, either in times when a person needed him and or in times when he did not need him, so that that will be attached to him when he needed it. Balaam clung to those charms, as we said.

47) In Egypt, Job returned to fearing the Creator when he saw the mighty deeds and miracles that the Creator performed in Egypt. Jethro did not return to the Creator through all of that, until Israel went out of Egypt, when all the ties and forms that the Egyptians tied were nothing, and they went out after He drowned them in the sea. Then he repented and went back to serving the Creator.

48) Balaam did not repent and did not return, because the filth of the Sitra Achra was attached to him. And yet, he was looking from afar, within that filth and attachment of the Sitra Achra, since there is one fine illumination in the Sitra Achra that illuminates around, as it is written, “And a bright light around it.” He was looking that small looking from afar, but not at all the things.

49) When he was looking at a small thing from that illumination, it was as if from behind a wall. He said, and did not know what he was saying. And he was looking at that illumination with the blocked part of the eye, when the eye rolled, and a man sees a blocked light, and he does not see.

50) There is no Sitra Achra in which there is no fine and tiny illumination from the Kedusha. It is like many dreams, where in a lot of straw there is a single seed of wheat. Besides those tiny forms, they were all very impure, and through them Balaam knew.

51) Happy is Moses, who is above in all the sublime sanctities, looking at what no other person in the world was permitted to look. And as Balaam saw a fine and small illumination as if from behind a wall, out of that Sitra Achra, Moses—out of a great and sublime illumination—saw one fine darkness that appeared to him below, as if from behind a wall. But not at all times, as did Balaam; he was not looking at that illumination at all times.

52) Happy is Moses, the loyal prophet. It is written about him, “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush.” The bush, which is a Klipa, was certainly in that Kedusha and clung to it, for everything clings to one another, pure to impure, and there is no purity unless out of impurity.

53) “Who can make the pure out of the impure?” Klipa and Mocha rise in one another, and this Klipa will not be absent or broken until the dead rise from the dust. Then the Klipa will break and the light will shine from the Moach [mind/brain] without concealment in the world. Happy are the righteous in this world and in the next world.

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