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769) That boy started with the blessing for the food and said, “One verse says, ‘And you shall eat before the Lord your God,’ and another verse says, ‘And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God.’ These verses were held while Israel were in the holy land and were seen before the Creator in the Temple. How are they held now? Who can eat before the Lord and rejoice before the Lord?”
770) In the beginning, when one sits at one’s table to eat, he blesses, “Who brings forth,” and not “Brings forth.” It is written, “Creator of the heaven,” and not “The Creator,” “Maker of the land,” and it is not written, “Who makes the land.” What is the reason for saying here, “Who brings forth”?
771) The Hey is concealed in all the things that are from the upper, hidden world, Bina, for there is no prefix Hey there [the]. It is to show that it is from the hidden and concealed world. Also, all the things from the lower world, Malchut, which are more revealed, are written with a Hey, as it is written, “He who brings out their host by number,” “Who calls for the waters of the sea.” All are from the lower world. If a name is written, it is also with a Hey, such as The Great God. And here, where it is openly with a Hey, it is because it is from the lower world, for when a person blesses, Divinity comes before him.
772) And the verse, “And you shall eat before the Lord your God” is included here, to speak in words of Torah, for so it should be because the Creator stands before him, as it is written, “This is the table that is before the Lord,” as well as, “And you shall eat there before the Lord your God.”
773) And because a person stands before his Master, he should also pardon the poor and give to them as the Creator gives to him to eat. He will be as one who eats before the holy King, and he should not be edacious at His table, for edacity is from the Sitra Achra. This is the meaning of, “Please let me have a swallow,” which is edacity.
So it is needed for the Sitra Achra, as it is written, “And the belly of the wicked shall want.” This is why it is written, “And you shall eat before the Lord your God,” and not before the Sitra Achra. Also, one should not engage in idle matters or requirements of the meal. One should engage in words of Torah, for when words of Torah are said at the table, a man gives strength for his Master.
774) “And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God,” with a cup of blessing. When one blesses with a cup of blessing, he should rejoice and show gladness and no sadness whatsoever. When one takes a cup of blessing, the Creator stands above him, and he must wrap his head with joy and bless for the cup. In a sitting of three who ate as one, we shall bless, “Of whose we have eaten.”
775) “And in whose goodness we live.” In this, we need to aim the desire above, toward the ancient of the ancient. Hence, it is in a concealed manner, for it says, “And in whose goodness,” and does not say, “And in Your goodness.” It says, “And in whose goodness,” and not “From whose goodness” because “And in whose goodness” is the upper right, Hesed, and “From whose goodness” is a different degree, below, which comes from the right side, Yesod. For this reason, we should say, “And in whose goodness,” since in goodness, Hesed, the world was built, as it is written, “For I have said, ‘A world of Hesed [mercy/grace] shall be built,’” and that he is fed.
776) He asks, “Why is it called ‘good,’ and why is it called ‘Hesed,’ which are two names?” Good means that the Sefira includes everything within it, and the light does not expand to descend below. Hesed is when the light comes down and does good to all creations, to the righteous and to the wicked, and there is no fear because there are no Dinim in it.
And although both good and Hesed are the same degree, as it is written, “Only goodness and mercy shall follow me,” if he says “Good,” why does he say Hesed? And if he says Hesed, why does he say “Good”? Would one of them not be enough? Indeed, “Good” contains everything within it and does not expand below, and Hesed descends and expands below, nourishing all—righteous and wicked alike. The good is illumination of Hochma that is included in Hesed. It illuminates from below upward and not downward. But Hesed illuminates from above downward.
777) It says, “And in whose goodness we live.” It could be interpreted that the abundance does not come down to the righteous and to the wicked, hence he repeats and says, “Who nourishes the whole world with His goodness, with Hesed,” as it is written, “Gives bread to all flesh, for His mercy [Hesed] is forever.” This is why it says, “Who nourishes all, the righteous and the wicked,” all.
This is called “the blessing of the right,” Hesed. The left, Gevura and Din, is not in the blessing for the food. For this reason, the left hand shall not help the right hand to hold the cup.
778) Once he has blessed the blessing for the food, the land of the living, Malchut, should be attached to the right, to be nourished from there, and to provide and give nourishments to all. This is why the second blessing is the blessing of the land. In it, the covenant and the Torah should be mentioned, “For Your covenant, which You have imprinted in our flesh, and for Your law, which you have taught us,” to show that the covenant and the Torah are nourished by that goodness, that it is a correction of that goodness.
779) We learn from this that women are exempt from the blessing for the food as a duty because there are no Torah or covenant in them. And will put a seal on the land and on the food, since their Dvekut [adhesion] together is in Hesed. “For the land” is the land of the living, Malchut, “For the food” is Hesed, and they are included in one another in one Dvekut.
780) The expansion of the good is a thanksgiving called Hesed because when the good expanded below, we thank for it. This is why it says, “We thank You” for this and for that, for miracles and tokens that were done for us on the part of the good. But it is written, “Pleasantness is in Your right forever.” But Netzah [forever/eternity] is in the right, and not Hod? However, each shows the place from which it came out. The Netzah is a result of wars, and the wars are left. Hod is a result of expansion of the Hesed, which is right. But in themselves, Netzah is right and Hod is left. In the blessing for the food, it relates to the place from which the Hod came out, hence it is right.
781) Netzah is right. But it is written in that regard, “Pleasantness is in Your right forever.” It is also written, “The sweet psalmist of Israel,” and psalms are left. Therefore, is Netzah left? It replies that every left is included in right, since Netzah is right, and pleasantness—which is left—is included in it. But thanksgiving—for he thanks for the goodness on the right—is to show that the Hod comes out of there, for it is a result of the expansion of the good from the right. This is the expansion of the good that expanded in the land of the living, Malchut.
782) What is the reason that there is no left in the blessing for the food, but only right? It is because the Sitra Achra has no part in the food of Israel. Had the left awakened, the Sitra Achra would awaken with it, as it extends from the left. But he already sold his seniority and his share to Jacob the patriarch. Hence, we give the slanderer his share in the filth of the last water, and if there is no filth in the hands that were washed, then his share is in the food to which the hands drew close, for there are still remnants of food in them.
The Sitra Achra suckles from the left, from the left line, which is not included in the right through the middle line, for their only aim is to extend illumination of Hochma on the left from above downward, GAR de Hochma. And due to the absence of Hassadim, the Hochma cannot illuminate and imparts harsh Dinim. This is the quality of Esau.
Jacob, the middle line, diminishes the left line from GAR de Hochma. But because of it, he unifies it in the right line, and the Hochma dresses in the Hassadim on the right, and illuminates in VAK de Hochma. It was said in The Zohar that Jacob is called “small” because of the lack of GAR de Hochma, and Esau is called “big” because of his effort to suckle from GAR de Hochma, which is Esau’s seniority.
“And Esau came in from the field” is the left line, called “field,” extending Hochma from above downward to receive the GAR de Hochma. Because of it, “He was tired,” since Hochma was extended to him without Hassadim, which is all Dinim, making him tired to death. It is written about it, “And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Please let me have a swallow,’” meaning extend to him of his Hassadim, which are called “bread” and “lentil stew.”
“And Jacob said, ‘Sell me your seniority today,’” meaning hand over his seniority, GAR de Hochma, which is necessarily diminished through the middle line. Then he would unite the left with the right and would give him Hassadim, which is food. It is written, “And Esau said, ‘Behold, I am about to die,” since the Dinim that extend from GAR de Hochma, which is seniority, are as harsh as death, “So of what use then is the seniority to me?” “And he swore to him” that he would not cling to the seniority once more, and then he gave him food, which is Hassadim, through the unification of right and left. But if Esau were to break the oath and return to extending seniority, the food would spoil and become filth.
There is no left in the blessing for the food because the Sitra Achra has no part in the food of Israel, as the Sitra Achra—who clings to the left, to extend from above downward—is devoid of food, Hassadim. And if there is food, there is necessarily a unification of two lines—right and left—and the Sitra Achra departs from there. For lack of nourishments on the left, Esau sold the seniority to Jacob the patriarch. Thus, by the awakening of the left of the Sitra Achra, the food departs.
This is why we give the slanderer his share in the filth of the last water, since the washing of the filth from the hands indicates the food that is being spoiled due to the Dvekut with the left of the Sitra Achra, which is called “filth.” The Sitra Achra is hinted that this is his share, meaning of what is attached to him. If it still does not completely cling to the left, turning the food into filth, then his share in the food is that the hands draw close to him.
Hands indicate extension of Hochma from above downward. And even though he still did not extend from above downward, but the hands drew close to extend, the food is also spoiled and becomes the share of the Sitra Achra.
783) For this reason the Sitra Achra has no part with us, for since his share is in the left without right, he has no part in the food, Hesed. And because he has no share with us, for he already took his share in the left, we need not evoke the left at all, even by inclusion with the right through the middle line. This is so that the slanderer will not awaken to suckle from his food, from the Hassadim that clothe the Hochma in the left, and will then receive two parts as a senior, one below, in the left without right, extended from above downward, and one above, in Hassadim that clothe the VAK de Hochma that illuminates from below upwards. He already sold his birthright to Jacob the patriarch because he saw two parts in Jacob, Hochma and Hassadim, which clothe the Hochma, and admitted that he had only one part, Hochma without Hassadim, and that he was going to die.
His share is below, in the left that is extended from above downward, and he has nothing above. He has no part in the Hassadim that clothe the Hochma through the middle line, for the Hochma illuminates from below upwards. Israel took above, and Esau took below. Hence, the left will not draw near at all during the blessing for the food. With this you will understand that the senior takes twofold, Hochma and Hassadim, and the rest of the brothers—only Hassadim.
784) Once the land of the living has been blessed from the right and receives food, we ask for mercy for all, and say, “Have mercy, the Lord our God, on Israel Your people, and on Jerusalem, Your city,” because we, Your people Israel, will receive from the food and provision in the land of the living, Malchut, and the Temple will be built below by these mercies. This is “And on Jerusalem, Your city.”
785) On Sabbath, there is no Din, so that NH will be considered Hassadim. Netzah, right, consists of left and the result of Din from wars, and Hod is a result of expansion of the Hassadim below. It follows that they are not actual Hassadim but are considered Hassadim. But on Sabbath, in which there is no Din, we say, “Please wish to strengthen us.” “Please wish” is Netzah, and “Strengthen us” is Hod, for then they are NH, the faithful Hassadim of David, actual Hassadim. Hence, “Let there not be trouble and grief,” for then, “Please wish” and “We thank,” NH, are the Hassadim of David without inclusion of any Din. “Establish peace” that we say in the prayer, in the blessing, “He who makes peace in His heights will make peace on us” is Yesod, who gives David’s Hassadim to David, Malchut.
786) Afterwards we say, “The good who does good,” since everything comes from the right side and nothing from the left side. One who blesses the blessing for the food receives the blessings first, prior to those who repeat after him. He is blessed in the blessing for the food, and for this reason he has long days. One who takes a cup of blessing and blesses on it, it is written, “I shall raise a cup of salvations.” Salvations are right, saving from all the slanderers in the world, as it is written, “And his right shall save him,” and as it is written, “Save with Your right, and answer me.”
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