Rabbi Abba was sitting one night and studying Torah, and Rabbi Yossi and Rabbi Chizkiya were with him. Rabbi Yossi said, “There are many people with a hard heart, that they pay no attention to the world to come!” Rabbi Abba said, “The evil of the heart – which is the evil inclination in the heart of a man – holds onto and spreads throughout all the limbs of a person and includes all the material sides, makes them like this.”
Rabbi Abba opened and said what is written, (Ecclesiastes 6:1) “There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it is prevalent over man.” That as it is written “There is an evil,” – this is the evil strength of the heart of a man, that wants only to rule and be busy with the desires of this world, and it doesn’t pay any attention to things of the world to come.
And it asks, why is it – the heart – bad? And it says, the verse afterwards proves it. As it is written, “A man to whom G-d has given riches and property and honor and he does not lack to his soul anything that he desires, and G-d did not give him the power to eat of it [to enjoy it.]” And it said, this verse is difficult to understand. Since it is written that he lacks nothing for his soul from everything that he desires, if so, why [is it that] G-d did not give him the power to eat of it, for there is nothing lacking to his soul. And it answers, but rather, it is a secret, and all the words of King Solomon are clothed in other words, this means that they are clothed in parables that hint to the secrets of Torah, like words of Torah that are clothed in stories of this world.
Come and see, even though we are required to look at it’s garments, the clothing of Torah – that means to contemplate also on the simplicity of things, since the Torah does not depart from it’s literal meaning, but now this is what the verse is saying: A person goes about in this world, and the Holy One Blessed be He gives him wealth, in order that he will merit through the means of using it in the Mitzvah of Tzeddakah [charity], the world to come, and there will remain over to him the main [reward]– which is the Mitzvah of charity in the world to come.
(And it asks, “What is the ‘main’?” – what is the secret of “HaKeren” [the main reward]? And it said, “That which exists,” this means the Yesod of Z”A which is living and exists and gives existence to Malchut, that it is the place to bind all the souls together, this means through the Mitzvah of Tzeddakah this person’s soul will be bound in the Bond of Life which is Yesod. Because of this he needs to leave his wealth for this Keren – “main reward”, this means that he should give Tzeddakah from his wealth in order to repair the Yesod, and his soul will receive this Keren “main reward” after it leaves this world.
Since this Keren “main reward” which is the Yesod – is the Tree of Life of the supernal world, and there only to be found of it in this world of it’s fruit that comes from it [as opposed to the thing itself,] that means to say that which it bestows to Malchut in order to bestow of it in this world, and therefore a person who merits it, eats of his fruit in this world, and the Keren “main reward” for the Mitzvot of the Tzeddakah exists for him in the world to come, to merit him through this to supernal life above, that his soul will ascend to Yesod of Z”A.)
And one who makes himself impure, by means of drawing after the desires of his body, and he does not lack anything for his soul and his body, this means he is drawn – on account of his wealth – after the desires of this world. Through this he makes himself impure. And this tree, which is Yesod he leaves behind and casts over his back, since he does not occupy himself with Tzeddakah, and he does not place it opposite himself in fear in order that it will receive his soul after it exists from him [[to go} upwards, then it will be fulfilled what is written, “And G-d did not give him the power to eat of it.” This means he will not merit through this wealth – not in this world, nor in the next. Then certainly another man will eat of it, since he himself will not enjoy it, like it says (Job 27:17) “He will prepare” – the evil person will prepare, “And the righteous will wear” – he will wear what the wicked person prepared.
And therefore a person needs to merit the world to come through the means of the money that the Holy One Blessed be He gave him, that he should give from it to Tzeddakah. And then he eats from it in this world, and there is left over for him the Keren “main reward” in the other world, that he – his soul – will be bound in the Bond of Life. Rabbi Yosi said “Certainly!” so is it as you have said!
NOTES TO SIGNS USED IN FORMATTING:
Bold print: Original Zohar
Ordinary text: Matok Midvash
[Square brackets]: ELIYAHU ben PINCHAS
(Round brackets): Either the source being quoted e.g. Proverbs etc., or alternatively used to quote the kabbalistic language as discussed in Matok Midvash. The Matok Midvash formats the Nigleh side of things in an ordinary print, and the Nistar terminology in Rashi script. I’ve therefore put the Rashi script – the Nistar terminology in round brackets.