Ten Things to Do on the Sabbath Table

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620) Breads of Gratitude are forty Hallas, ten biscuits, ten thickened pastries, ten of leavened flour, ten of unleavened flour. Thus, they are forty, corresponding to the four letters Yod in the four HaVaYot [pl. of HaVaYaH] in the four faces. That is, corresponding to Yod de HaVaYaH, the four faces of man, and corresponding to the Yod of HaVaYaH, the four faces of a lion, and the Yod of HaVaYaH, the four faces of an ox, and corresponding to the four faces of an eagle. This is the first correction of the king’s table, since there are ten things that a man must do on the Sabbath table.

621) The first correction on the Sabbath table is to set up the table as one who eats before the king, as it is written, “This is the table that is before the Lord.”

The second correction is washing the hands up to the spot that the sages determined: five fingers of the right hand, in which there are fourteen joints, since in each finger there are three joints, and the thumb has two joints, thus they are fourteen. The same goes for the fourteen joints in the left hand, and together they are twenty-eight joints.

These twenty-eight joints correspond to ChafHet [Koah (strength)] of HaVaYaH [the Lord], meaning twenty-eight letters of the first verse in the work of creation [in Hebrew]: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” in which there are twenty-eight letters. It was said about them, “And now, I pray, let the power of the Lord be great.”

622) Ten fingers imply ten utterances in the work of creation. For this reason, one who slights the washing of the hands is uprooted from the world because there are ten utterances and twenty-eight letters in them, by which the world was created.

623) The third correction is the cup of blessing, in which ten things were established: flushing, washing, decorating, wrapping, Hay [alive/living], full, receiving it [the cup] with both hands, giving it with the right hand, fixing his eyes on it, raising it a handbreadth from the ground, and dispatching it as a gift to his household.

624) A cup full of the blessing of the Lord: In Gematria, a cup [ChafVavSamech (Cos)], is Elokim (86), Bina. It is Malchut that clothes Bina. From there is the Neshama [soul], which is named after it, “cup,” as it is written, “I shall lift up the cup of salvation.” Salvations are five fingers holding the cup, opposite the five Sefirot HGT NH in the cup, which is the living God, Bina, who spreads in five Sefirot to fifty gates, which are five times ten, meaning in the letter Yod, which is ten things that sages established in the cup: living God, the five letters of Elokim, which amount to five, and ten times five is fifty gates.

625) There must be flushing and washing in the cup, flushing from without, and washing from within, so its insides is the same as its outside—the internality and externality of the cup must be equal. One who has been rewarded with a Neshama from that cup, from Bina, the Neshama must be a pure Neshama from within and from without, as it is written, “And purified it and sanctified it,” purity from within and sanctity from without.

There is no purification and sanctification of a cup from within or from without, without water. Likewise, the purity and sanctity of the soul from within and from without cannot be achieved without the Torah. For this reason, one whose insides is not as his outside will not enter the seminary because he is not from the side of the tree of life, but from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. One who lacks sanctity from without, or lacks purity from within, is mixed with good and evil.

626) A decoration mentioned in regard to the cup, we learn about it, “crowns it with disciples.” The letter Hey is the cup, Bina; he crowns with disciples, with the letter Yod, which is a crown over the letter Hey, since students enhance and extend Hochma.

We learn about the wrapping mentioned in regard to the cup that you must wrap the head and cover it because the Shechina is on its head. A wise disciple must not go four cubits bareheaded because “the whole earth is full of His glory.” It is even more so with a blessing, with mentioning the holy name, that it is forbidden to be bareheaded.

627) The reason why it is forbidden to go bareheaded is that the letter Yod from HaVaYaHHochma, wrapped itself in Ohr [light] and became Avir [air], since the letter YodHochma, is in Avir. This is the light in which He cloaked Himself when He created the world, as it is written, “Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak.” It is as it is written, “Let there be light,” let there be air [Avir]. And before anything was formed, the HaVaYot were formed. This is why it is written, “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light,” which is a light that existed before.

Yod de HaVaYaHHochma, is upper AVIHey de HaVaYaH is Bina and YESHSUT. It is known that prior to all the correction was the correction of the mitigation of Malchut in Bina, which is the point of Holam. By that, Bina was diminished from her light of GAR, and became VAK. This is the Yod that entered the light and became Avir.

Afterward, in Gadlut, the Yod descended from the Avir, meaning when Malchut descended from Bina and the light returned to her place. This is only in Hey de HaVaYaHYESHSUT. But in Yod de HaVaYaH, upper AVI, the Yod never exits the Avir.

Yod from HaVaYaHHochma, cloaked herself in light and became Avir. It is so because the Malchut in Yod de HaVaYaH, meaning upper AVI, rose into their Bina. This is the ascent of Yod to the light, which becomes AvirVAK, called “air” [Avir] and “wind” [Ruach].

It is regarded as the light of GAR of AVI that was cloaked, covered, and vanished, as it is written, “Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak,” as though the light was covered with a gown. This is the meaning of “Let there be light,” let there be air, since the correction of the ascent of the Yod to the light is the correction of ZON and BYA so they are fit to receive light. Were Malchut not corrected mitigated in Bina, the worlds would be unfit to receive any light.

For this reason, the first correction that was said, “Let there be light,” is “Let there be air,” for the Yod to enter the light and become air. Otherwise, it would be impossible to have light in the worlds.

And before anything was formed, the HaVaYot were formed, the Yod de HaVaYaH, where that correction of the ascent of the Yod to the Avir remains. This is why it is written, “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” It is a light that existed before, and afterward, in Gadlut, when it is written, “and there was light,” it was not new light, but the same light that was initially diminished into Avir, then the Yod descended from the Avir, by which the light from before reappeared.

628) Hay [alive/living] was said regarding the cup of blessing. It means living from the barrel, so it is not poured with water there, the upper ShechinaBina, the eighth Sefira in the ten Sefirot when beginning to count from below upward. This is why she is called Het [the first letter in Hay, and also eight].

It is written about her, “In wisdom shall a house be built.” It is a Havit [barrel], with the letters, Het Bayit [BetYodTav (house)], indicating that the wine, Gevura de ZA, will extend from Bina, which is called Havit [barrel], Het Bayit [BetYodTav (house)]. And because Bina is life, as it is written, “She is a tree of life to those who hold her,” the wine, which extends from Bina, is alive. It is the wine of Torah, for one who engages in it is called “alive.” A righteous, Yesod, is called “alive” and he lives from the barrel, whose lights extend from Bina, who is called a “barrel.”

629) There are two colors to wine: white and red. Wine, in Gematria, is seventy, which is seventy faces, thus there are seventy-two. It implies that the lights of the name AB [seventy-two] illuminate in wine. Also corresponding to the two colors of the wine there are “remember” and “keep” of the Sabbath. With the seventy words in the Kiddush [sanctification on Sabbath Eve], “And … were completed,” they are seventy-two.

630) “Full,” which is said regarding the cup of blessing, is as it is written, “A cup full of the blessing of the Lord.” It should be filled with the wine of Torah. So a man should be whole, as it is written, “An innocent man,” which means “a whole man,” as it is written, “And Jacob came whole.” Thus, Jacob is called “whole,” and so should the soul be called, “whole.” There must not be any flaws in it, for “all that has a blemish will not approach.” Likewise, the letters AlephLamedMem [mute] with YodHey are the letters of Elokim [God], as the count of “cup,” eighty-six.

For this reason, the cup must be full, for if you reverse the word Elem [mute] you will find Maleh [full]. The word “cup,” in Gematria, is “full,” eighty-six, for it is full when there is YodHey there, as it is written, “For a hand on the throne of the Lord [KohYodHey],” for the full name is missing, lacking the VavHeyADNI in a small number is as the count of VavHey.

The middle pillar is filled with both, from YodHey and from VavHey. For this reason there is the name Adam on it, which is the explicit name, YodVavDalet HeyAleph VavAlephVav HeyAleph, which is Adam [man] in Gematria.

631) He receives the cup of blessing with both hands, as the Torah was in two tablets, five commandments in each tablet, corresponding to the five fingers in the right hand, and five commandments in the other tablet, corresponding to the five fingers on the left hand. It is given with the right hand, as the five in the left are included in the five in the right. This is why it is written that he brought down two stone tablets in his hand, and not in his hands. In one hand, the right one, as it is written, “On His right was a fiery law unto them.”

632) He fixes his eyes on the cup of blessing because that cup corresponds to the land of Israel, Malchut who clothes Bina, of whom it is written, “The eyes of the Lord are always on her.”

The eyes of above are the seventy Sanhedrin, and Moses and Aaron atop them are the two upper eyes, HB, the right one and the left one. They are seventy-two, as the count in wine. The seventy Sanhedrin correspond to HGT NHYM, where each of them comprises ten, and HB is atop them—Moses and Aaron. He fixes his eyes on the cup, meaning extends HB to the cup, to Malchut.

633) He raises it a handbreadth from the ground, since the letter Hey de HaVaYaH is a cup, and must be raised to the letter Yod de HaVaYaH, which is called handbreadth, in which the Hey opens in five fingers, fifty gates of Bina.

And he dispatches it as a gift to his household, so his wife, the Nefesh [soul] will be blessed. It is written about her, “But now our soul is dried away; there is nothing at all.” She is blessed and she bears fruit, as it is written, “Let the earth put forth grass.”

634) The fourth correction in the table is to have on his table words of Torah, so he will not be in it as the uneducated, as it is written, “For all the tables are full of vomit and feces.” But one who wishes to grow rich shall go north, fixing the table toward the north, where the table is to the left, judgment. For this reason, the right must be connected to it, the Torah, which was given from Hesed, mercy, the right hand of the Lord.

635) The fifth correction in the table is to prolong one’s stay on it, for the poor, to delight them with his table, so the charity will prolong his days, so he will not die prematurely. It is like the Torah, which is prolonging of days for the soul in two worlds, in this world and in the next world. Likewise, charity is prolonging of days for the body in two worlds, as it is written, “For he is your life and the length of your days.”

“For he is your life” in this world, “and the length of your days” in the next world. To the body, the next world means at the revival of the dead, that once he is resurrected at the revival of the dead, he will not die. As he will exist in the next world, he will exist in this world.

636) The sixth correction is to not be a glutton and a drunkard on the king’s table, like Esau, who said, “Stuff me,” as in stuffing, but rather by way of grinding, meaning that he will grind the food with his teeth. Likewise, one who utters words of prayer or words of Torah from his mouth should bring them out whole in the grinding, meaning to scrutinize and negotiate them, which is similar to grinding, and not by “stuffing,” when they are incomplete. Moreover, because of the danger of preceding trachea to gullet, he should eat in a manner of grinding and not by stuffing.

637) The seventh correction is “last water.” The first water is a commandment; the last are mandatory, and the middle ones are optional. In the first water, he needs to raise his fingers so the watering will not come down again and defile the hands.

Some sages said that “last water” is because of the Sodomite salt, so it does not blind the eyes. And by that, they have exempted us, since last water is only a good advice, to not blind the eyes, and is not mandatory.

638) Also they said three times “holy” about it, as it is written, “And you shall sanctify yourselves and be holy, for I the Lord am holy.” “And you shall sanctify yourselves” is the first water. “And be holy” is the last water. “For I the Lord am holy” is fragrant oil, to remove the filth from the fingers. “I the Lord” is a blessing, and the middle water between cheese and meat. For this reason, “And you shall sanctify yourselves and be holy, for I the Lord am holy.” How fortunate is the people whose Master places them with Him, who makes them adhered to His holiness.

639) It is likewise with “And sanctify yourselves” during intercourse. The first water that the man sows are a commandment, when he keeps the commandment to multiply and be fruitful. The last water is the seed of the female, which is mandatory, where the male’s semen compels her to inseminate. The middle water are as it is written, “You curdle me like cheese,” where the Creator “curdles” the semen for the building of a newborn. It is written, “You pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese,” implying the middle water, between cheese and meat, and it is written about the Creator, “You clothe me with skin and flesh.”

Gevina [cheese] comes from the word Binyan [building]. Flesh means that the Creator turns the semen into flesh. This is the middle water, the water of the Creator, which is median to the male’s MAD and to the female’s MAN.

640) The eighth correction is that three require a cup, since the cup implies Bina, and Bina is the third Sefira in the ten Sefirot. For this reason, less than three do not require a cup. Three require a cup implies the verse, “they will give You a threefold ‘holy.’” The Torah does not go below three: priests, Levites, Israelites; Torah, Prophets, Writings [Hagiographa], and it was given on the third month, on the third day.

Bina is YodHeyVav de HaVaYaH, three lines. It was said about her, “The night is three watches.” Malchut is the fourth Hey, receiving all three lines, of whom it was said, “Four watches is the night,” corresponding to the three lines and Malchut who receives them. Shin has three branches, corresponding to three shifts. Shin with four branches corresponds to four watches.

641) The ninth correction is the cup of blessing, a fourth of a log [the volume of six medium size eggs]. Its measure corresponds to the letter Hey, the fourth letter of the name, HaVaYaH.

The tenth correction is that in the tenth, the one who blesses says, “Let us bless our God.” The lower ShechinaMalchut, is the fourth and tenth: fourth in HaVaYaH and tenth in the ten Sefirot and in the ten letters, YodVavDalet HeyAleph VavAlephVav HeyAleph. For this reason, it requires ten to mention the name “our God.”

One should really keep oneself from throwing these things where he should not, as one who throws bread. It is even more so with one who throws the bread of Torah outside his table, which is the Shechina, of whom it is written, “This is the table that is before the Lord.”

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