The Sons of Israel, the Sons of Jacob

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266) All the grass of the land have strong ministers were appointed in heaven, since there is not a single blade of grass on earth that does not have a star and a sign in the firmament that strikes and tells it, “Grow!” Also, each has its own meaning, just as they have special appointees above, and one appointee does not interfere with the other, and one who seeds a mixture confuses their dominion over one another. It is written about that, “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens or fix their rule over the earth?” It is also written, “He calls them all by name,” and all that is in the world has a meaning in and of itself, and the Creator did not wish to suspend it from its place and mix it with another. And he calls each of the sons of Jacob by a name, for they are holy tribes, the persistence of the world, and it is even more so, as it is written, “These are the names of the sons of Israel.”

267) Had it said, “These are the names,” it would mean that so it is. But “These are the names of the sons of Israel” implies the importance of the tribes that sustain the world. Now that it is written, “And these are the names” with an extra Vav [in Hebrew], it implies that he adds to the first.

The name, “Israel,” implies ascent and importance, and the name Jacob implies descent. And since it writes here, “The sons of Israel,” it is said about the importance of the tribes. But because of the added Vav when it says, “And these,” it indicates that it is connected to the previous writings and stands after the death of Jacob and Joseph and the tribes, when they came to a descent in degree and were called “the sons of Jacob.” And even though the writing says, “The sons of Israel,” it is not because of importance, since in terms of degree, they have already fallen to the degree of the sons of Jacob. Rather, it is for another reason: it is in Jacob’s honor.

268) When the Creator said, “I will go down with you to Egypt,” would you even consider that Divinity descended with him right at that moment, that as soon as they came into Egypt, the sons of Jacob were in the state of descent? Rather, when his sons had a descent, Divinity descended, as it is written, “I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again,” meaning as long as you will have an ascent, I will have an ascent, as well. And when you have a descent, I will go down with you. And after Joseph and all his brothers died, meaning had a descent, Divinity stood and went down with them. As the sons of Israel went down, Divinity and her Merkavot [assemblies] went down.

269) It is written, “And Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old.” When Joseph died and all the tribes had a descent, the sons of Israel descended into exile and Divinity, and the high angels went down with them. It is written, “And these are the names of the sons of Israel,” where the Vav of “And these” is added to the first, after the death of Joseph and his brothers, descending to exile. This is why they are necessarily the sons of Jacob, meaning in descent.

270) Thus, was Jacob dead or not? It is written, “Who come into Egypt with Jacob.” Remove the name Jacob from there, since he has already died, since the Vav adds to the first. However, the writing did not say, “Who came down into Egypt with Jacob” because thus far, Jacob did not have a descent. Instead, it writes, “Who came.”

We learned that Divinity and the twelve tribes in her came to Egypt with Jacob. They went from there until they came down to the exile, after the death of Jacob and the tribes, and then they came down with them, meaning Divinity and her twelve tribes. This is why it writes, “And these are the names of the sons of Israel,” referring to their great merit and importance, since it concerns the days of ascent, not the days of descent.

271) Each and every day, Divinity and the twelve tribes in her and go their way. This is the meaning of the words, “Who come into Egypt,” in present tense, and not, “Who came,” in past tense. First it writes, “Who come into Egypt with Jacob,” relating to prior to the descent. Afterwards, when they had a descent, it writes, “They came each man with his household,” which is past tense. By that time, the sons of Jacob had all died and went down into exile.

(înapoi la pagina ZOHAR CUPRINS / ŞMOT – click)

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