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24) Three are they who repel Divinity from the world and cause the Creator’s abode to not be in the world. And people cry out in prayer and their voices are not heard. And here they are, 1. He who lays with menstruation. There is no greater impurity in the world than menstrual impurity. Menstrual impurity is harder than all the impurities in the world. One who lays is defiled and all those who come near him are defiled with him. Wherever they go, Divinity is repelled from them.
25) Moreover, he inflicts bad diseases on himself and on the seed that he will beget, since a man who comes near menstruation, it jumps on him and remains affixed to all his organs. The seed that he begets at that time draws the spirit of impurity, and all his days will be in impurity because the structure and foundation of the newborn is greater and stronger than all the impurities in the world. As soon as a man comes near menstruation, that impurity jumps on him, as it is written, “And her menstrual impurity be upon him.”
26) 2. He who lays with a daughter of a foreign god, a gentile, who places the holy covenant and the sign of the covenant into another authority, as it is written, “And has taken the daughter of a foreign god.” There is no such envy before the Creator as the envy of the covenant. It is a covenant of the Holy Name and of faith. What does it say? “And the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab.” Promptly, “And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.”
27) The heads of the people, who know this and do not protest against them, are punished first, as it is written, “Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up unto the Lord in face of the sun.” “In face of the sun” means in face of the covenant, which is called “sun.” It is said about that, “For the Lord God is a sun and a shield.” “A sun and a shield” means the holy covenant. As the sun shines and illuminates the world, the holy covenant shines and illuminates man’s body. It is called “a shield” because as the shield is for protecting a man, the holy covenant protects a man. And he who keeps it, no harm in the world can reach him. This is the meaning of “In face of the sun.”
28) The heads of the people are caught for this sin in each generation, if they know and do not envy it. This is because it is their duty to be envious for the Creator in this covenant, against anyone who brings this holiness into another authority. It is written about him, “You shall have no other gods before Me … you shall not bow down unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.” It is all one envy, both against the one who takes a gentile woman and against one who commits idolatry, and this is why Divinity is repelled from him.
He who lies in the holy covenant that is sealed in man’s flesh, it is as though he lies in the Holy Name. This is because one who lies with the King’s seal, with the holy covenant, lies in the King Himself. Hence, he has no share in the God of Israel, unless by constant penitence.
29) “And forgot the Lord their God,” “And they forsook the Lord.” What is, “And forgot,” “And forsook”? It means that they repelled the sign of the holy covenant from themselves, that they were circumcising but not exposing until Deborah came and instilled the exposing in all of Israel, as it is written, “When exposures are exposed in Israel, when the people volunteer, bless you the Lord.”
30) 3. He who kills his own sons, meaning the fetus that his wife was impregnated with, because he came to her on the ninetieth day of the impregnation, for then he puts the fetus to death and causes its killing in her intestines, or that he does something that causes her to abort the fetus. Thus, he destroys what the Creator built and crafted. There is he who kills a man, and there is he who kills his sons.
31) He has done three evils that the world cannot tolerate, hence the world collapses bit-by-bit, and it is not known why. The Creator departs from the world, and destruction, famine, and death come upon the world. These are three evils that he did: killing his sons, destroying the Creator’s structure—revoking the conception, the Creator’s construction—and repelling Divinity, who walks and wanders in the world, unable to find rest. And for those, the spirit of holiness weeps and the world is sentenced by all those Dinim. Woe unto that man; it would have been better for him to not be born at all.
32) Happy are Israel: even though they were in the exile in Egypt, they were kept from all those three: menstrual impurity, the daughter of a foreign god, and killing the sons. And they exerted in evoking multiplication with deeds in public. And even though there was the decree that all the sons who are born should be cast unto the Nile, not one among them killed a fetus in a woman’s intestines, much less after it was born. By this merit, Israel were redeemed from exile.
33) In Egypt, they avoided menstruation. It is written, “And he made the laver of brass, and the base thereof of brass, of the mirrors of the serving women.” Why were the women rewarded with bringing the mirrors to the tabernacle? It was because they kept themselves in the exile in Egypt, where once they were purified from their impurity, they would come and adorn themselves and look in the mirror in their husbands, and evoke them with multiplication. Thus, they avoided menstruation in the exile in Egypt.
34) From a daughter of a foreign God. In Egypt, they avoided the daughter of a foreign god from foreign women, as it is written, “All the hosts of the Lord went out.” It is written, “The tribes of the Lord, as a testimony unto Israel.” They certainly have nothing of a mixture of a foreign nation. And it is written, “These are the names of the sons of Israel,” “The tribes of the sons of Israel,” and “Speak unto the sons of Israel.” All this indicates that there was no mixture of foreign women in them.
35) But it is written, “Whose father was an Egyptian”? He certainly was one, and the text makes him known. In Egypt, they were meticulous with keeping multiplication, as it is written, “And the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly.” In Egypt, Israel kept away from all those: from menstruation, from a daughter of a foreign god, and from killing the sons. This is why the sons of Israel came to Egypt and the sons of Israel came out to freedom, as it is written, “These are the names of the sons of Israel who come into Egypt.” “Came” means that they did not come to stay, but that they came out, by keeping these three things.
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