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93) When the primordial serpent begins to show, the supporters, Netzah and Hod, disappear, and the structures, which are the Mochin, are removed from the Malchut. Then comes the strong serpent and casts filth, and the sanctuary is defiled. The sanctuary is as it is written, “And I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession.” It is written, “Now the serpent was more crafty… and he said unto the woman,” actually to the woman, in whom the place of the sanctuary unites, which is Malchut. “He has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord” through his sins, since through his sins, the strong serpent appeared.
94) His sins are slander, since the primordial serpent appears because of slander, whether above or below, as it is written, “And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people.” It does not say, “burning” or “burnt,” but “fiery.” Fiery relates to the primordial serpent. And he says “serpents,” in plural form, as it is written, “heads of the sea-monsters,” two, for one gripped above and one gripped below in this world.
It is also written, “Above Him stood the seraphim,” opposite the Creator, since the judgments are the sons of God, and the Lord is Rachamim [mercies]. “Above him” is the same as opposite him, and then it is complete closing, for all the lights are closed and there is no one to open. At that time comes the serpent and casts filth at the root of the sinner’s soul, which is in Malchut, and this is considered adultery. This is why it is written, “This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wrong.’”
95) By the will of everything, meaning by the will of the Upper One, the serpent is not present below, since it is present above. And it is present above only where it is present below, in the iniquities of the world, for everything is interdependent.
There are two points in Malchut: the first point is Malchut de [of] Tzimtzum Aleph [first restriction]. It was not mitigated in Bina, in the quality of Rachamim, and is therefore unfit to receive any light, since the force of the Masach and Tzimtzum is over it. The second point is the Malchut that was mitigated in the quality of Rachamim, in Bina. All the lights that Malchut receives are from the second point. Hence, the first point is concealed within her, and only the second point is revealed and governs her. This is why she is fit for reception of the upper lights.
For this reason, Malchut is called “the tree of knowledge of good and evil,” since if a person is rewarded, it is good.
When the first point is concealed and only the second point rules, there is abundance in Malchut and the lower one receives from her. If he is not rewarded, for he is a sinner, then there is power in the serpent to reveal the first point in Malchut, which did not partake in Bina, and then she is bad because all the lights depart her, for the force of Tzimtzum that rides over her appeared, as it is written, “Sin crouches at the door.” This is when the sinner gives strength to the Sitra Achra to extend from the left, from above downwards, as did Cain. Then the serpent, called “sin,” which crouches at the door of Malchut, discloses the first point, which is hidden in Malchut, and all the lights depart from the root of the soul of the sinful person (in Malchut), as in, “If not rewarded, bad.”
Afterwards, the serpent intensifies further and casts filth, and blemishes and expels the lights from Bina de Malchut, too. This is so because after Malchut is associated with Bina, Bina receives the form of Malchut. Hence, after Malchut was flawed due to the appearance of the Tzimtzum over her, Bina in Malchut is flawed, as well, since she has the form of Malchut. Thus, in the beginning, only Malchut is blemished by the disclosure, and this is Malchut of the quality of judgment. Afterwards, Bina de Malchut is blemished, too, since she has the form of Malchut due to the association of the second point.
He says here that there are two serpents. This is so because one who uncovers the point of Tzimtzum Aleph, which blemishes only Malchut and none of the first nine Sefirot, cannot blemish Bina later. But another serpent awakens and rises and clings to Bina because she has the form of Malchut, due to the association.
The sinner causes the uncovering of the serpent, as it is written, “Sin crouches at the door.” The serpent acquires strength through its sin to uncover the hidden point of Tzimtzum Aleph, when the Kelim of NHY de Bina that are present in Malchut depart, meaning the ones through which Malchut receives all her lights. And she receives these Kelim de NHY from Bina through association of the quality of mercy, as it is written, “The mother lends her clothes to her daughter.” The Kelim and the lights in the Kelim depart with them because the association with Bina that is in her was corrupted by the disclosure of the point of Malchut de Tzimtzum Aleph, which is not associated with Bina whatsoever.
And once all the lights depart, due to the disclosure of the first point to which the serpent clung, there comes another serpent and casts filth in Bina de Malchut, called “Sanctuary,” and then the sanctuary is defiled. This is why he calls the second serpent, “a strong serpent,” since it rose and clung not in its place, in Bina, which is all Rachamim without any judgment at all. However, it has the strength to cling to her because she was associated with Malchut in order to mitigate her.
It was written, “And he said unto the woman, actually to the woman,” to Malchut. The Kelim of Bina—the place of the sanctuary—were mingled with Malchut by the association of Malchut in Bina, as it is written, “He has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord.” Hence, when the serpent cast filth in Bina de Malchut, called “the sanctuary of the Lord,” due to the association of Malchut in Bina, Bina received the form of Malchut and the serpent had the power to cast filth in her.
This means that the second serpent, called “the strong serpent,” appeared and rises and clings to Bina, for one who slanders, who casts flaws at one’s friends when they are not on him gives strength to the second serpent to throw filth and to blemish Bina de Malchut, even though it is clean from any restriction and judgment. However, since the second serpent can act only by the force of the earlier flaw in Malchut, through the first serpent, it turns out that he flaws both Bina—through the second serpent—and Malchut—through the first serpent, since to give strength to the second serpent, the first serpent necessarily awakens.
And he brings evidence that there are two serpents from the verse, “And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people.” It says “serpent,” in plural form, one in Bina de Malchut and one only in Malchut. This is why he says, “Fiery serpents,” in plural form.
The fiery serpents are corporeal serpents, which is why it is said “fiery.” And the sons of God are judgments, facing HaVaYaH, Rachamim. In the verse, “Above Him stood the seraphim,” they are opposite the Creator, too, and they are the sea monsters. The fiery serpents here are the sea monsters, too. It was written that all the lights were closed, since wherever the point of Malchut of Tzimtzum Aleph appeared, all the lights close and there is no one to open them. This is so because in Malchut de Tzimtzum Aleph, repentance does not help, but only in Malchut de Tzimtzum Bet [second restriction].
It is written that for repentance to help, “This is the way of an adulterous woman.” The disclosure of the point of Tzimtzum Aleph through the serpent and its grip in it, which removes the lights of holiness, is considered that the serpent is really the adulterous woman. “She eats and wipes her mouth, and says.” This is perplexing: Because the first serpent disclosed the point of Tzimtzum Aleph, which is not associated with Bina, she lost the association with the quality of Rachamim, Bina. Thus, since the association with Bina was parted, there should not be the form of Malchut in Bina. Thus, how will the second serpent be able to cast filth in Bina because she has the form of Malchut? It is a contradiction.
This is why the text says, “This is the way of an adulterous woman,” who is the first serpent. “She eats and wipes her mouth” after she flaws Malchut and her lights depart due to the corruption of the association of the quality of Rachamim. She wipes and cleans her mouth as though she had done nothing, “And says, ‘I have done no wrong,’” to keep the form of association of Malchut in Bina as prior to the corruption of the serpent, so the second serpent may cling to Bina because she has the form of Malchut.
Indeed, this ascent of the serpent to cling to Bina is an obstacle to the serpent, since now that it has clung to Bina, the serpent itself cancelled the flaw of Malchut de Tzimtzum Aleph and established the flaw of the sin in Malchut de Tzimtzum Bet. This allowed for a possibility to cancel the flaw through repentance because through repentance, illumination comes down from AB SAG de AK, which lowers the Malchut from Bina and purifies Bina from the filth of the serpent. Had it not clung to Bina, the flaw of the first serpent would have remained, meaning the disclosure of the point of Malchut de Tzimtzum Aleph, where the force of the restriction rides atop Malchut, making her unfit to receive light. Here repentance is irrelevant because repentance does not revoke Tzimtzum Aleph and the Masach that prevents Malchut from receiving the upper light. Thus, concerning the second serpent that clung to Bina, it was deliberately given this grip, so that repentance could work. This is an obstacle only to the serpent.
This is done by a higher will. Since there is the grip of the serpent above, which qualifies the sinner to repent, there is the grip of the serpent below to reveal the Tzimtzum Aleph in Malchut, and there is no fear that repentance will not work there and the flaw will remain forever. After all, it is certain that the serpent will rise and cling in Bina above, and it, itself, will cancel the flaw of Tzimtzum Aleph, as it is written, “She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wrong.’” And then repentance will work.
Also, there is no fear that the serpent might not rise to cling to Bina, since it is instilled in the serpent’s nature to always crave to grip unto a higher place. And if it finds a way to cling to Bina, it is certain that it will. Had the serpent not initially revealed the flaw of Tzimtzum Aleph in Malchut, to not receive light, the second serpent would not have been able to cling to Bina and to blemish her because she has the form of Malchut, while the flaw would not appear in Malchut herself. Also, had there not been the grip of the serpent above, which allows for repentance and correction of the flaw, no possibility would have been given from above for the serpent to cling to Malchut, below. And if there weren’t the grip of the serpent below first, it would be inconceivable for the serpent to grip above, in Bina. Thus, they are interdependent.
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