The Calf

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313) The spirit of Tuma’a, which is always present in the desert, found at that time a place in which to be strengthened. And while Israel were purified from the first filth that the serpent cast in the world, causing death to all, since the time they stood by Mount Sinai, now the sin with the calf defiled them as before. It prevailed over them and caused death to them and to the entire world once more, as well as to the generations following them, as it is written, “I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you sons of the Most High, yet you shall die like men.” This is why Aaron later returned to be purified in the upper faith in those seven holy days, the days of consecration, and then to be purified with the calf for a sin-offering.

314) Primarily, Aaron needed to be purified for had it not been for him, the calf would not have come out, since Aaron is right [line], he is the power of the sun, and the gold is from the sun, for the sun, Tifferet, consists of right and left, hence the gold comes out from the left. However, the power and dominion of the sun is right. The spirit of Tuma’a came down and was included there in the gold, the calf was made, Israel were defiled, and Aaron was defiled until they are purified.

315) He was defiled because the calf came out from the left side, which is an ox. As there are four Behinot on the left—ox, cow, calf, and heifer—these are HB TM of the left. The left is included in Aaron, who is right, and comes out by him. This is why he was given a calf for a sin-offering, just as he caused.

316) Thus, when the spirit of Tuma’a grew stronger and regained dominion over the world as before—for when Israel sinned with the calf, they extended the evil inclination upon them as before—when Israel were purified and wanted to be purified, they had to offer a he-goat, since the he-goat is part of the evil inclination, the spirit of Tuma’a.

317) “And they exchanged their glory for the image of an ox that eats grass.” “The image of an ox” is a calf. An ox is from the left side. Aaron is right, the left is included in him, intensified in him, and came out by him. “And they exchanged their glory” is Divinity, who was walking before them. They exchanged her with Tuma’a, another god. This is why the filth was not removed from the world until the Creator removes it from the world, as it is written, “And I will remove the … spirit of impurity from the land.”

318) It is written, “And [he] made it a molten calf.” It is also written, “And I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.” This means that he did not make it, but that it was made by another, so what is “And [he] made it”? Had it not been for Aaron, the spirit of Tuma’a would not have been strengthened to be included in gold. However, every correction that is needed must be built, and this is built by the charmers.

319) Some do magic and succeed, and some do and do not succeed, since these works require an established man.

320) Balaam was established for those charms of his, so he would succeed. It is written, “And the saying of the man whose eye is opened.” Open-eyed and close-eyed are all one, since one of his eyes was always closed, and his vision was not straight. He was flawed in his eyes. This is why he was established for his charms. It is written, “And shall send him away by the hand of an appointed man,” who is ready for his mission, whose eyesight was not straight, meaning there will be a flaw in him because the Sitra Achra clings to a flaw and a deficiency. But one who uses the holy spirit, it is written, “For any man in whom there is a blemish, he shall not approach a blind man or a lame.”

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