Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Zohar - Parshas Bamidbar - "Man" & The Jewish People - A Composite of all Worlds


Matok Midvash

Daf 117a – “Man” & The Jewish People – A Composite of All worlds

In order to understand the coming discourse, we need to precede briefly a few words of the Arizal (Likutei Torah Parshas Ki Tisa.) The reason that with regards to the creation of man only does it say “Let US make man,” in the plural, and not with other creations, is that the Holy One Blessed be He wanted that a person should reach through all the worlds and should connect with all of them. Therefore the Holy One Blessed be He commanded that all worlds should give of themselves to a person – that means the world of Asiya gave him a Nefesh, and Yetzira a Ruach, and Beriya a Neshama. And so too the Partzufim of Atzilut gave of their portion – Nefesh from Malchut, Ruach from Z”A, Neshama from Imma, Chaya from Abba. And therefore He said, “Let US make man” in the plural language – since He “consulted” with all the Partzufim, that all should give of their own will a portion of themselves to a person. And through this, if a person will sin, he will cause a defect in all the worlds, and all of them will request mercy upon him. And if he a person will merit, they will all rejoice and exult in him.

And G-d spoke to Moses in the Sinai desert in the Tent of Meeting on the first of the second month [Iyar]. In order to explain this verse, Rabbi Abba opened, he preceded to explain what is written (Bereishit 1:27), “And G-d created the man in His image, in the image of Elokim He created Him, male and female He created them.” This verse is explained, its explanation has already been said, and now we will explain it in this manner: Come and see, at the time that the Holy One Blessed be He created man, i.e. the first man, that he would be the purpose of the creation – to connect all the worlds and to reach through all of them, He made him in the image of the Supernal beings, by the means that all the Partzufim of Atzilut gave him the sections of the Neshama from their portion, and in the form of the lower beings, by the means that all the Partzufim of the worlds of Beriya, Yetzira and Asiya gave to him the portions of the Neshama from their portion, and he was included with all of the aspects of the Neshamot of all the worlds (which are 600 000 souls – roots of the entire community of Israel that were included in him.) And his light illuminates from the [one] end of the world to the other end of the world, since he was the conduit that draws the Shefa [emanation] to all the worlds from the head to the end, since he was composed of all of them. And all of the creations feared him, as our Sages said, that even the ministering angels wanted to recited before him “Holy…”, for he was complete and perfect in the image of Elokim [G-d] upon his face.

And even though they already explained it – this verse, nevertheless, there is to look and reflect at this verse, that it is written “And Elokim created the man in his image, in the image of Elokim He created him,” and he asks, “Since it said ‘In His image,” what does it mean, “In the image of Elokim He created him”? Why did it double and repeat again and say “In the image of Elokim”? And he answers, “But certainly,” “In His image,” “In the image of Elokim,” are two levels composed of male and female, that means, as it is said “And Elokim created the man in His image,” which is an abbreviation “בצל"ם ו' [BeTzelem” and “Vav”] which is the secret of Tzelem Vavone [Tzelem] for male and as is written "בצלם אלקים ברא אותו" this means Tzelemone [mention of the word Tzelem] for female, which is the secret of Malchut which is called Elokim.

And since they are two levels, therefore Zu”N of Atzilut, and corresponding to them Adam and Eve below, they were certainly two Partzufim below, and the end of the verse proves this, as it is written, “Male and female He created them.”

And he said further, Adam was composed of two sides, he was composed also of the female aspect, and even though the female was co-joined on his side, from this it appeared that we didn’t need these rules, indeed, behold, she herself was composed of two sides, for she consisted of the male aspect as well, in order that they would be complete [perfect] in everything – all aspects, this means the potential [strength] of the male in the female and the potential [strength] of the female in the male, since a man is the aspect of MaH and included in him the BaN of Mah, and Chava [Eve] is the aspect of BaN and includes in her the Mah of BaN! And so it comes out that Adam and Chava were both included with each side. [They were completely intertwined within each other in every aspect, with Adam having Chava included in him, and Chava having Adam included in her.]

And the first man – Adam, looked with the wisdom of the Supernal beings in spiritual matters, and with the wisdom of the lower beings in the matters of nature in order to know the dependence of each on the other. And since his head was in Atzilut, he had the potential to draw down the light of Atzilut until the ends of all the worlds. And since he sinned, the Supernal Partzufim were diminished until Zu”N descended and it’s height was diminished greatly from what it was in the beginning while above, and so too did Adam cause the descents of the worlds of Biya into the worlds of separation through his sin, that there [in the three worlds of Biya] there is no aspect of Atzilut. And therefore, the wisdom of Atzilut departed from him, and he could no longer see any further except to those things applicable to the needs of the body.

After he sinned, he gave birth to children from the higher [worlds] and from the lower [worlds]. This means to say that Hevel [Abel] was from the higher worlds since he had a supernal and holy soul, and Kayin [Cain] was from the lower worlds as he was born from the pollution of the snake. And both of them were unable to dwell in the world, since Hevel was killed, and Kayin was wiped out in the flood, until there was born a son from which the world was planted, who was called Shet [Seth], since from him the world was established [הושתת – the middle letters of the word “was established” contain the root letters Shet] and laid. And so it has been explained.

[The Zohar continues with the progression of the great foundation souls of the world, from Avraham to Yitzchak to Yaakov, the 12 tribes, to the 70 souls that descended into Egypt.]

And nevertheless the world was still not complete until the Jewish people accepted the Torah at Mount Sinai, and the Tabernacle was erected, that through this was the erection of the Supernal Tabernacle – which is the Shechina [the Indwelling Divine Presence,] and then all the worlds were established and completed, and the upper and lower beings and worlds were scented and sweetened.


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.

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