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464) “And Pinhas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, and arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand.” He saw that the letter Mem was flying in the firmament. That letter is a sign of the angel of death, for Mem wishes to be built with the letter Vav and with the letter Tav, to create the combination Mavet [“death,” Mem–Vav–Tav]. Pinhas, who clothed in Isaac, took the letter Mem, snatched it from the angel of death, and connected it to himself. When the angel of death saw that Pinhas snatched the Mem, he promptly turned back.
465) It is because when Pinhas was jealous in his heart, he clothed in Isaac, and arose to being in the number Reish–Het (208), that his name adds up to be so, and Isaac add up to be so, too. When he saw the letter Mem flying in the firmament, he snatched it and connected it to him, and promptly became a Romach [spear], since the Mem connected with the Gematria Reish–Het in his name, and created the combination Romach [Reish–Mem–Het], as it is written, “and took a spear in his hand.”
466) The letter Mem was the first sign of Adam HaRishon to build death on the world, since that letter flew over Adam’s head when it was written, “And she took of its fruit.” MiPirio [of its fruit] has the letters of Mem Pirio, and the Mem was expecting the letters Vav Tav when it was written, VaTochal [and she ate], VaTiten [and she gave], VaTipakachna [and (their eyes) were opened]. This is when death was built on the world.
467) Pinhas saw the letter Mem flying over the heads of Israel. He saw the form of an open Mem full of blood. He said, “It is a sign of the angel of death.” He promptly snatched it and mentioned the explicit name on it, and lowered it to himself. Pinhas in Gematria is Reish–Het. He connected with a Mem, and created the combination Romach [Reish–Mem–Het]. And then, “And took a spear [Romach] in his hand.” It is written about it, “From over the children of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them.” Betocham [among them] has the letters of Betoch Mem [inside the Mem], since within the Mem was the jealousy that he was jealous.
Mem is male of the Sitra Achra, Dinim de Dechura that appear with the Hochma. Tav is Dinim de Nukva, Dinim de Man’ula, from which comes death. Vav is Yesod, which connects Mem with Tav. Death was not sentenced on the world before the two letters Mem and Tav were mated by the Vav, for then the Man’ula acquired the strength to put the living to death.
This letter flew over Adam’s head, since the tree of knowledge is Malchut from the left, and the sin was that he extended the Hochma in her from above downward, following the wish of SAM and the serpent who seduced him. When she began to extend, the Dinim de Dechura of the Sitra Achra—which is the Mem that flew over Adam HaRishon’s head, on his GAR—promptly appeared. When it is written, “And she took of its fruit, MiPirio [of its fruit] has the letters of Mem Pirio. When he began to extend the Hochma, the fruit—following the counsel of the serpent—the Mem appeared.
However, the male of Klipa does not have the power to put to death, since death comes from the side of the Tav, Man’ula, and the Mem was waiting for the letters Vav–Tav, which are the Nukva of the Sitra Achra, from whom comes death after she mates with the Mem. When it is written, VaTochal [and she ate], VaTiten [and she gave], VaTipakachna [and (their eyes) were opened], then death was built in the world, since at the end of the eating, at the end of the extension, the Vav–Tav appear, as it is written, “Sin crouches at the door.” At that time Mem mated with Vav–Tav and death came to the world.
Pinhas saw the form of an open Mem full of impure blood. The extension from below upward is called “impure blood” because of the iniquity of Peor. There he saw the form of the Mem, the Dinim of the male of the Sitra Achra that wait to mate with the Nukva of the Sitra Achra, Vav–Tav, and bring death. Promptly, he snatched from the Sitra Achra and connected her to Kedusha.
It is so because when Mem with the impure blood in her stand in the Panim, when the desire is to extend her from above downward, although she is full of Dinim, she is in the authority of the Sitra Achra, and the Sitra Achra draws from her the death. However, if we place the Mem and the impure blood in her in the Achoraim, repelling this extension due to the Dinim in her, then she returns to the Kedusha because she becomes the guardian of the Kedusha, so the wicked will not draw from her from above downward.
Pinhas mentioned the explicit name on her and lowered her to him. The middle line, ZA, is the explicit name, the four-letter name. The middle line diminishes the GAR of the left, in which the Sitra Achra and the wicked are gripped. In order for the letter Mem to be corrected into being the guardian of the Kedusha, it was necessary to first mention the explicit name of ZA on her, to diminish the GAR of the left. Afterward he lowered her to him, and she descended and became part of the Kedusha.
In Gematria, Pinhas is Reish–Het, Pinhas clothed in Hochma of the left of Kedusha, in Isaac, who is Reish–Het in Gematria, in order to rule over the Mem, and became the combination Romach, with whose Dinim he killed Zimri and Cozbi. This was done by the Romach [spear], which diminished the GAR of the left and stopped the plague.
He was jealous for the holy name that they were connecting to another authority, since the Mem that was in the hands of the Sitra Achra actually belonged to the holy name, to be a guardian over the Hochma, from the suckling of the wicked. Within the Mem was the envy that he envied at the Mem being in the hands of the Sitra Achra.
When the angel of death saw that Pinhas snatched the Mem, he promptly turned back. And since Pinhas pushed the Mem back, he cancelled her from being Panim, cancelled her extension, and put her in the back. And since the Mem is all the power of the angel of death, then the angel of death was pushed back along with her, and was unable to execute death anymore. This is why “the plague was stopped.”
468) He was envious for the Mem because it is the sign of death, the sign of forty smites, the sign of the four deaths of the courthouse [forms of capital punishment]. From there she ascends and descends, descends and ascends. When she ascends in the number, she is forty; when she descends she is four, four directions that spread from the male and female de Tuma’a. And because of them there are the four deaths of the courthouse. And from there they ascend to forty, as forty is a sign and Kelim of the angel of death. Pinhas took it and arose inside the Mem. This is why it is written, “And I did not destroy the children of Israel in My jealousy.”
The Mem are Dinim de Dechura that extend with the disclosure of Hochma from above downward. These Dinim are still not death, but rather only smites and suffering. However, at the end of those Dinim awakens the Man’ula, death, as it is written, “Sin crouches at the door.”
Mem is the sign of death, since death descends and hangs down from her. She is the sign Mem, Malkot [smites], the sign of the four deaths of the courthouse. That is, the Mem comprises both these Behinot, smites, as well as the four deaths.
From the Mem she ascends and descends, descends and ascends. When she ascends in the number, she is forty. When she descends she is four. That is, above, in the place of disclosure of the Mem, she receives only smites and there is no death in her. However, when she descends at her end, the four deaths of the courthouse that come from the Man’ula appear in her, as it is written, “Sin crouches at the door.” And since the Mem finally descends to being in the four deaths, the angel of death uses her to execute the death with her.
This is what Pinhas took, the Mem from above, while she was there in the Sitra Achra, only in the forty smites. He established her and connected her to the Kedusha, and arose inside the Mem, connecting her to the Hochma of Kedusha, to be keeping from the outer ones. Also, the illumination of Hochma is called “rising.” This is the meaning of “And he arose,” that he received the illumination of Hochma inside the Mem, that the Mem was keeping the Hochma for him from all around against the outer ones. In this manner, he established her in Kedusha.
469) How did Pinhas turn the Creator’s wrath away? It is written, “And the dead by the plague were twenty-four thousand.” If none of them had died, I would say he turned his wrath. But since all of them died, what is the point in saying “turned away My wrath … And I did not destroy the children of Israel”?
But woe to a person who blemishes his seed; woe to one who does not keep his seed properly, for all those died in the plague. But not even one of Israel died. Rather, in the tribe of Shimon, when the mixed multitude came, they mingled with the women of the tribe of Shimon after they converted, and they gave birth to children. Some of them died in the calf, and some of them died in the plague. The others, who remained, died here. It is written, “And the dead by the plague,” and it is not written, “Who died,” but “the dead,” indicating that they were already dead, since the wicked are called “dead.”
470) And because Israel and all of that holy seed were kept, they were all counted and not even one of them was missing. This is why it is written, “And I did not destroy the children of Israel.” This means that others, who were not from the children of Israel, He did destroy. And also, “turned away My wrath from the children of Israel” means that He had turned it away from Israel, but from others, who were mixed multitude, He did not turn it away. This is why the text specifies, “From the children of Israel.” And because of it the number of children of Israel was as before, and the Creator connected them with Him.
It is similar to the case with the calf, where it is written, “And there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” They were all from the mixed multitude, and to show that they were not from the children of Israel. Afterward it is written, “And Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel,” indicating that they were all in wholeness.
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