The Stars

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831) Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Aba were sitting one night. As the night fell, they went into the garden by the Sea of Tiberias. At that time, they saw two stars going, one from here and one from there, meeting each other and becoming concealed.

832) Rabbi Aba said, “How great are the deeds of the Creator in the heaven above and on the earth below. Who could know about these two stars that came out one from here and one from there, and met each other here and were hidden?” Rabbi Elazar replied, “Did we not see them? But we looked at them, and we looked at several other works that the Creator always does.”

833) “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power.” Great, and mighty, and superior is the Creator. Do I not know that the Creator is great and very powerful? What is David’s praise here?”

834) But David says everywhere, “The Lord is great,” while here he says, “Our Lord is great.” When he says, “Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,” he is saying in the upper degree, ZA. But when it is written here, “Our Lord is great,” he is saying in the bottom degree, Malchut, who is the Lord of all the earth. It is written about this verse, “He counts the number of the stars; He gives them all their names.” If all the people since the day man was created were to gather to count the stars, they would not be able to, as it is written, “And count the stars, if you can count them.” And the Creator counts the stars and gives them all names, since it is written, “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power.” As none can count the number of the stars in the heaven but the Creator, it is written about Him, “His understanding is innumerable.”

The stars extend from the left, hence they shine only in the night. The substance of the stars is dark and thick, but they receive light from Malchut de Atzilut. The Aviut [thickness] of the stars comes from the three Behinot Din, from Dinim de Dechura [male], which extend from the left, from Dinim de Nukva [female], which is mitigated in Bina, and from Dinim de Nukva from Tzimtzum Aleph [first restriction]. The Dinim de Nukva extend from the south, right, in the Holam. The Dinim de Dechura extend from the north, from the left in Shuruk.

It was said, “They saw two stars going one from here and one from there.” One star was going from the south side, in which there are Dinim de Nukva, and one star was going from the north side, in which there are Dinim de Dechura. They met each other and disappeared, since Dinim de Nukva and Dinim de Dechura are opposites, and when they meet in the same place, they annul one another.

Malchut counts the number of the stars, since a number is illumination of Hochma, and David says about that, “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power,” since illumination of Hochma is revealed only in Malchut. The Creator, Malchut, counts the stars because there is greatness in our Lord. Thus, the verse ends, “His understanding is innumerable.” Does that mean that there is no number in Malchut, as well? Others, besides Him, have no number for His understanding, but in Malchut herself there is a number.

835) “Who leads forth their host by number.” The Creator took each of the hosts, camps, and stars by name, none of them missing. In all the stars and the signs of all the firmaments, rectors and officers were appointed to serve the world, each as he should. Thus, there is not a tiny grass in the whole world on which there is no star and sign governing in the firmament. And on that star is an appointee who serves before the Creator, for each as he deserves.

836) All the stars in the firmaments are serving over this world, and all are appointed to serve every single thing for those in this world. Herbs and trees, and grass, and wild grass do not grow or rise unless by the sight of the stars standing over them, appearing over them face-to-face, each and every one as it deserves.

The growing and rising of the herbs and the fruits come from the illumination of Hochma in the left. And although the actual fruits are from the Hassadim in the right, they neither grow nor rise if the left does not illuminate them. Hence, each blade of grass needs its own star illuminating the illumination of the left in it, which is proper for it, and then it grows and rises.

Also, the illumination of Hochma in the left is called “a vision” or “vision,” whose source is in Malchut. And as the vision in Malchut de Atzilut originates in Bina, then to ZA, and then to Malchut, so it is in the stars that grow from their vision in Assiya, each receiving from an angel in Yetzira and from a seraph in Beria who stands and serves before the Malchut in Atzilut.

The seraph in Beria serves before the Creator, Malchut, and receives from her, giving to an angel in Yetzira, and from him to the star in the firmament of Assiya. By that strength, it nurtures the grass in Assiya.

They neither grow nor rise if not in the vision of the stars that are seen on them face-to-face, since growing comes only from the vision that is seen on them, from the illumination of Hochma, which is called “a vision” and “vision.”

837) The multitude of camps of stars and signs all come out in the beginning of the night, within three hours minus one quarter. From then on only small stars come out. All these stars neither operate in vain nor are seen in vain. There are stars that operate the whole night, to nurture and to grow all those things on which they are appointed, and there are stars that operate through half the night, nurturing and growing from the beginning of the night through that hour all those things on which they were appointed.

And there are stars that operate a short time of the night, for after they are seen with that herb or grass, its operation is at once completed and no longer needs to operate that night, for they do not stand idly. Once they have completed their operation, they are no longer seen in this world and they enter their place.

The 12 hours of the night divide in two ways: 1) into three watches, corresponding to the three lines, where in each watch there are four hours, corresponding to HG TM, and they are 12. 2) They divide into four watches, corresponding to HG TM, with three hours in each watch, corresponding to three lines, and they are 12 hours. In each line, each hour, the four watches HG TM are included, and they are four quarters in each hour. Thus, there are 12 quarters of an hour in each of the four watches—three lines, in each of which are HG TM.

We discern two upper lines in GAR, in the three lines themselves, and the middle line is in VAK. In the three lines HBD there will be HB GAR, and Daat VAK. In the three lines HGT there will be HGGAR, and Tifferet, VAK, and in the three lines, NHY, there will be NHGAR, and Yesod, VAK. It is so because this is how the three lines came out in their root, Bina. The two lines—right and left, Holam Shuruk—are Bina herself, GAR, but the middle line is from ZA that rose to BinaVAK.

Therefore, here in the three hours in the beginning of the night—the first watch, Hesed—there are three lines, which are three hours, and each hour consists of four quarters, HG TM. It is considered that the third hour of the first watch, which is the middle line, lacks Malchut, as it is discerned in each degree that the Malchut of that degree, Man’ula [lock], is hidden in GAR in that degree, in the two upper lines, and the VAK of that degree, the middle line, lacks the Malchut because she ends in the Miftacha [key], Ateret Yesod, lacking Malchut.

“The multitude of camps of stars and signs all come out in the beginning of the night, within three hours minus one quarter.” These are the first of the four watches, HB TMHesed, in which there are three hours minus one quarter, 11 quarters. The fourth quarter of the middle line is missing, and since they are Hesed, they are big stars. Henceforth only small stars come out—all those that belong to the three other watches, Gevura and TM. They are small compared to the first, which are from Hesed, the first watch, but they are few and the majority of them extend only from the first watch.

They operate the whole night because there are all four watches in them, HB TM. There are also stars that operate through half the night because there are only the first two watches in them, HG, lacking the two other watches, TM, from midnight onward. Those are big, as well, but are few.

It is known that although GAR de Hochma do not illuminate in the worlds, but only VAK de HochmaGAR de Hochma still come out, for VAK de Hochma cannot come out without GAR. However, once the GAR have taken out the VAK de Hochma, they promptly disappear. This is why it was said that there are stars that operate for a short time in the night, and after they are seen with that herb or grass, their operation is promptly completed, for they have managed to disclose the VAK de Hochma in them, for they have already completed their operation, and they promptly vanish.

838) In the book of the upper wisdom of the ancients, it is said about all those comets, which send a scepter after them in the firmament, that a long tail of light is attached and comes out of those stars. It is said that there are those among the herbs on the earth that are called “the potion of life,” and there are gemstones in the earth, and beaten gold that grows inside the high mountains, in a little water, which are Hassadim from the middle line, covering it and uncovering it. They cover them with regard to GAR de GAR, and do not cover from VAK de GAR, but are extended over it. The comets rule over all of them and they grow through them.

839) All of their correction and growing is only in the vision and brightness of that scepter that the star sends in the firmament, and then those things are all corrected.

840) There are several illnesses in people, and it seems that they are an illness of the gall-bladder, that their faces change to green. Their healing is dependent only upon a single mirror of light iron that sparkles for the eyes, a mirror made of polished iron. The sick one should look at it, but he is not healed until he moves the mirror to this side and to that side, and the mirror will stretch out a flash, such as a scepter on his face. In that presentation of the bright flash to the eyes the healing comes to him.

Similarly, all those of whom these stars govern have no correction and nurturing in being seen, but only in that expansion of the scepter. By that, they are corrected in looks, color, and power, as it should be.

The comet is the stars that extend from the Man’ula of Malchut de Tzimtzum Aleph [first restriction]. They are also called “the comet,” and there is no attainment in the Man’ula. For this reason, they carry within them the correction of the Man’ula, which is a proliferation of the lights that are drawn by the power of the Man’ula in them, which is the long tail that sparkles from them. Those herbs are called “the potion of life,” “gemstones,” and “beaten gold,” even those in whom the force of the Man’ula is mingled.

For this reason, their correction is only through comets. They are not corrected in a vision from the stars, which is Hochma, who is called “a mirror,” since there is the force of the Man’ula in them, which does not receive a mirror and is not corrected by it, but only by that expansion of the scepter in the proliferation of the lights that are drawn in the comet on them. By that, they are corrected in looks, color, and power, since because the Man’ula became the cause of the proliferation of those lights in the upper ones, she, too, is corrected in those lights, which are called “looks,” “color,” and “power.” And the comet bestows upon those herbs and gemstones below.

841) If the brightness of sparkling and glowing of certain stars were missing in the Hochma of gemstones, they would not grow and would never be corrected, since there is the force of Man’ula in them. The Creator established everything for the correction of the world, as it is written, “To give light on the earth,” for they illuminate and correct all that needs to be corrected in this world.

842) It is written, “And you shall make fifty clasps of bronze.” It is also written, “And you shall make fifty clasps of gold.” He who did not see those clasps in the tabernacle, did not see the light of the stars in the firmament, since the clasps of the tabernacle were similar in the mirror and the manner of the stars, to all who gazed at them.

843) There are stars in the firmament that come out of the firmament, where all the stars are gripped. This is the second firmament, in which there are the sun, moon, stars, and fixed signs. This firmament is the third firmament that comes out of it. There are 100 excavated windows in that firmament, some to the east, some to the south, and there is a star in each and every window.

844) When the sun goes in those windows and diggings in the firmament, and sparkles in a sparkling, those stars come out to sparkle from that sparkling of the sun. Some of them are dyed copper-red, and some gold-like green. Hence, some are red and some are green. There are 50 stars in those 50 windows, and 50 in those other windows. They are green on the east, red on the south, and the end of the tabernacle grips them.

Those stars and windows are the hooks and the loops in the tabernacle, since there is a space in the window like the loops, and the stars, which are the hooks, are pinned to them. There are two loops for every window, and they are 100 hooks—50 gold hooks in the ten linen curtains, and 50 copper hooks in the 11 goat-hair curtains. These are the 100 stars, some of which are copper-like red—the 50 copper hooks—and some of them are gold-like green—which are the 50 gold hooks.

On the east, they are as green as gold, and the east includes the west in it, as well, since there are two connectors of five curtains, connecting one to the east, and connecting the other to the west. And because the east is governing, it mentions only the Eastern side.

To the south, they are red. These are copper hooks, which include the north side with it, too. It is so because here, too, there are two connectors—one with five curtains, and one with six curtains. Hence, one connector is to the south, and the other is to the north. And because the south is the governing, it mentions only the south side.

The reason why the linen curtains on gold hooks, which are the essence of the tabernacle, are on the east and west of the firmament, and the 11 goat-hair curtains on copper hooks—which are only for a tent over the tabernacle, for keeping, are on the south and north of the firmament—is that it concerns the third firmament, Tifferet, in which the Man’ula is hidden, as it is the middle line. It is known that each degree comprises three lines. When dividing the degree into GAR and VAK, it is considered that the Man’ula is concealed in GAR, and the Miftacha operates in VAK. Hence, there is illumination of Hochma only in VAK, and not in GAR. You also know that the two lines, right and left, are regarded as GAR in regard to the middle line, which is VAK with respect to them.

Therefore, the Man’ula is concealed in and below the south and north of the third firmament, the middle line, and illumination of Hochma cannot illuminate in them. This is the reason for the 11 goat-hair curtains, for goats indicate the fierce Din in them from Malchut de Tzimtzum AlephMan’ula. For this reason, they were established only for keeping the tabernacle. This is why they are considered copper hooks, which are as red as copper, which implies Din.

And although the Dinim do not blemish from below upward, they are still considered Din, since there is no illumination of Hochma in them. But there is no Man’ula in the east-west of the third-firmament—which is the middle line in Tifferet and VAK in it—but Miftacha. This is why they are worthy of receiving illumination of Hochma, which is gold, and they are green on the part of the middle line, east, whose color is green. This is why they are gold hooks. It was said that the end of the tabernacle grips to them, to the red stars, which are copper hooks, 11 goat-hair curtains to which the end of the tabernacle, Malchut de Tzimtzum AlephMan’ula, grips and in which it is concealed.

845) Night stars mingle in all those stars that come out of the firmament. They sparkle and blaze, and govern this world. Some of them rule over the copper, and some of them over the greenish gold, and with their force, they are corrected and grow.

846) Those stars rule over the 25 and a half points of the night, which are the moments of the hour. When those copper towers, and those red, blazing, and sparkling stretch out three times sparkling to the east, or five times or seven, the kings of the nations shall come over that side, and all the wealth and gold will depart from that side.

If the sparkling is once, twice, four times, six times, one at a time, dread and fear shall come down and be on that side. And if the sparkling knocks and quiets down, the sparkling knocks and quiets down, wars will awaken and will not be done, for at that time there is awakening before the Creator in the appointees of the world that govern the rest of the nations. Also, it is likewise on the other side, west.

Those on the south include those on the north, as well, as they are two connectors—one with five curtains, to the south, and one with six curtains, to the north. When we divide the 50 hooks between them, there are 25 hooks to the south and 25 hooks to the north. However, the point of Man’ula is hidden in them, Malchut of Midat ha Din that is hidden between the two of them. Thus, it is considered that the point was divided into two halves, half to the south, and there are 25 and a half points to the south, and half to the north, and there are 25 and a half points to the north, as well.

If the governance of the 100 stars were divided into the 12 hours of the night, there would be 50 in the south and north through midnight, as they are two lines—right and left of the night—and 50 on the east and west, which are the middle line, illuminating from midnight onward. Those 50 stars on the south and north divide in their governance into two parts, in each of which are 25 and a half points. They illuminate in the minutes of the hour in different manners, one at a time.

Those copper towers from the south side are red due to the Din. When the stars in the south—which govern the 25 and a half points with the illumination of the Man’ula—stretch out three times sparkling, from the three Sefirot HGT in them, the Tifferet in them is the place of Man’ula, as they are considered GAR of the firmament. That sparkling comes to the east side, the middle line, the VAK of the firmament, which is the place of illumination of Hochma, the wealth and the gold. All the wealth and the gold will vanish from that side because wherever the sparkling of the Man’ula comes, all the lights soon depart there, either five times, for five is Hod, which is the place of all the Dinim, or seven, Malchut, which is in fact the place of the Dinim.

It was said, “If the sparkling is once, twice, four times, six times, one at a time,” one sparkling is Hesed, two is Gevura, four is Netzah, six is Yesod. And since Tifferet is absent there—and Hod and Malchut, which are the places of Din—dread and fear shall come over and be on that side. Even though the places of the Din did not sparkle, there is still Hitkalelut [mingling] of the Dinim in them, hence dread and fear shall come over them, but the lights will not depart. If the sparkling knocks and quiets—the sparkling knocks and quiets—it indicates that the Din de Man’ula is not absorbed there, and this is why it sparkles and wanes. This does not even cast fear and dread, but indicates that the Din is destined to be absorbed in them and there will be wars. But now, they have not yet been done, since it indicates that there is only an awakening to execute the Din on the nations’ appointees, but not now.

Likewise, in the Sitra Achra, on the west side, if the sparkling of 25 and a half points reaches there, it will be there as on the east. By that, he tells us that although the Man’ula is hidden and in south and north, it still does not blemish there, as it is there below them, and the Din does not blemish from below upward, and the majority of the flaw is from there down, to the east and west, as long as it is not properly concealed.

847) It is all in His domain. He brought His holy people out of the power and domain of the stars and signs because they are other gods, and “Not like these is the portion of Jacob,” for his portion is in the Maker of everything. The idol-worshipping nations offer sacrifices to the stars to remove the Dinim from them, as though there is no governor over them and they can affect whatever they wish. But Israel do not believe in the powers of the stars, nor do they turn to them, but to the Maker of everything, who sets up the systems and operates them as He pleases.

848) There is a firmament above all those firmaments, the firmament of Bina, above the seven firmaments, HGT NHYM. It is written about it, “Out of whose womb came the ice?” It is hidden and concealed, and the seal of the ring of the tabernacle, the upper tabernacle, Bina, and the seal of the ring, Malchut de Midat ha Din—concealed in this firmament—causes it to be hidden, concealed, and unknown. This firmament is called “the chamber of the tabernacle,” “the chamber of the upper tabernacle,” and in this firmament are all those 100 windows from this side and from that side. From it, they are extended to the third firmament below, which grips all those orders of the lower tabernacle, Malchut.

Six windows are greater than all, HGT NHY, and one is concealed, corresponding to the seal of the ring, which is the Malchut de Man’ula that governs them, concealing and covering them from the attainment of the lower ones.

849) One window of the seven great windows is called a “glowing window,” corresponding to Hesed. In it, a single star comes out, which the sages call, a “hand.” This is the power of the fusion that melts below, to bring out the Dinim in it, governed by Judah. It is not that he has a portion in it, for the tribes of Israel have no lot or portion in the stars to worship them. Rather, the tribe of Judah governs those Dinim, and not them over it.

850) When the sons of Judah strayed from following the Creator and went to know that window and that star, they said that he is the hand that defeats the rest of the nations, for it is written about it, “Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies.” They followed it and worshipped it in service and work, as it is written, “Judah did evil in the eyes of the Lord.”

851) When this star comes out, it stretches out one hand, Hesed, the right hand, in the five fingers HGT NH in it, and illuminates and sparkles in that window. Charmers and magicians fear that place because when this one governs, all the magicians and charmers get confused and their magic does not succeed. It is so because the right hand, which is Hesed, right line, extends from the point of Holam, in which there was the ascent of Malchut to Bina. Thus, the Din of this Malchut, who rose up there, confuses the charmers, who are extended from the left line, and whose every deed is from the illumination of the left line.

852) Since this firmament is hidden in Bina, how do the charmers know it, to the point of being confused by it? They have a sign in the holy externality, from which they know that that star governs. They always fear it and their magic and charms do not succeed. For this reason, there are times when people succeed in it, and there are times when they do not succeed in it. This is why the charmers and magicians diminish in the world, for they do not know the root when they see that their magic does not succeed. Hence, the first magicians knew the root for they looked in that sign in the holy externality, which they knew.

853) The second window is Gevura. It is called “The nail window,” as it resembles a nail. The left line is called a “nail,” and in it, one star comes out, which the sages call a “viper,” for it governs by the governance of a strong Din with its head and tail. Like a viper, it lurks for the kill. The harsh Dinim of the left line of Bina are drawn below as long as it does not unite with the right line, the point of Shuruk.

854) From that window, 600,000 10,000 spirits come out, ruling over people’s nails when they are thrown openly. By that, all those who know them work magic and charms. At that time, when that star governs, all those who throw their nails or work magic with them cause death to the whole world, and the magic they perform succeeds.

855) The third window, Tifferet, is the “vest window,” in which a single star comes out, which is called “the brightness of the candle.” It is a sparkling that sparkles and stands over every spirit, and there is rest and saving in it, as it is the middle line, uniting right and left. By that, it removes all the Dinim in them. When it governs, there is no slandering in it at all, every contentment and every light governs in the world, and peace, satiation, and abundance govern in the world.

856) The fourth window, Yesod is a goblet window, for in it the wine is received. It pours the wine—illumination of the left that is mitigated with the right—to the Malchut. A single star comes out in it, which the sages call “a cluster of ransom,” since so it emerges, illuminating like a cluster, sparkling sparks like grapes in the cluster of the ransom. By that, the awakening of Rachamim awakens in the world, pushing away the Dinim and bringing the Rachamim closer. Many offspring multiply in the world, and the people of the world are not meticulous when they need one another. Peace and joy awaken in the world.

857) The fifth window, Netzah, is called a “well,” after the star that comes out in it. It enters and comes out, pumping out the abundance like a bucket from a well, and never rests. In that star, the wisehearted cannot stand on it in the path of truth because it never stands still and never rests. For this reason, the wisehearted rush to scrutinize that place and to sentence.

NHY are three lines—right left and middle—from the Chazeh and below. It follows that Netzah, which is the right line, like Hesed, extends from the point of Holam, as was said about the window of Hesed. This is why there is Malchut’s force of Din in it, which conceals the attainment from him. Yet, because of that it is attached to the light of Hassadim, which goes and pumps out like a bucket from a well, and never ceases.

858) The sixth window is Hod. It is called Noga [brightness], and a single star comes out in it, called Gizron, for when that one rules, the world stands in Din in several Gzerot [decrees] and several punishments—the left line from the Chazeh and below—like Gevura, extending from the point of Shuruk, from which the strong Dinim are drawn, as in the window of Gevura. Each day, decrees over the world are made anew. And before these Dinim are through, new Dinim are made. This star does not govern in the world so much.

859) However, near the days of the Messiah, this window, with that star, will govern the world. Hence, evil animals will rule over the world and various evils will be made over the world one by one, and Israel will be in trouble. When they are pressed in the darkness of the exile, the Creator will shine the light of day for them, redemption, they will receive the upper holy ones, Malchut, the Malchut will be cancelled from the idol-worshipping nations, and Israel will govern them. Then the verse, “And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun” shall come true.

860) Then the seventh window, the hidden MalchutMan’ula, will be opened throughout the world. The Dinim of Masach de Tzimtzum Aleph will be removed from her, and his star is the star of Jacob. This is the meaning of what Balaam said, “A star shall come forth from Jacob,” and that star will illuminate 40 days. When the Messiah King appears and all the nations of the world gather unto the Messiah King, the verse, “The root of Yishai, who will stand as a banner for the peoples. Unto him shall the nations seek; and his resting-place shall be glorious” will come true.

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