Introduction to the Book Tree of Life


Introduction to the Book Tree of Life

  1. It is written at the end of the Mishnah (Okatzin), “The Creator did not find a receptacle that holds a blessing for Israel, but peace, as it is written, `The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.'”

There is a lot to learn in this: First, how did they prove that nothing is better for Israel than peace? Second, the text states explicitly that the peace is the blessing itself; it writes “giving” regarding “strength” and “blessing” regarding “peace”. According to them, it should have stated “giving” regarding “peace”. Third, why was this article written to end of the Mishnah? Also, we need to understand the meaning of the words “peace”, “strength” and what they mean.

In order to interpret this article in its true meaning, we must go by a long way, for the heart of Sayers is too deep to search. It means that all the issues of the Torah and the Mitzva bear revealed and concealed, as it is written, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

Indeed, the Halachot (collective name for Torah and Mitzvot) are like grails of wine. When one gives one's friend a gift, a grail of wine, then both the insides and the outside are important. This is because the grail has its own value as does the wine inside it.

The legends, however, are as apples. Their interior is eaten and their exterior is thrown away, as the exterior is completely worthless. You find that the entire worth and importance is only in the interior, the insides.

So is the matter with the legends; the apparent superficiality seems meaningless and worthless. However, the inner content concealed in the words is built solely on the bedrocks of the wisdom of truth, given to virtuous few.

Who would dare emit it from the heart of the masses and scrutinize their way when their attainment is incomplete even in the two parts of the Torah called “Pshat” (literal) and “Drush” (that you have to delve in to understand)? In their opinion, the order of the four parts of the Torah (PARDES) begins with the Pshat, then the Drush, then Remez (insinuated), and in the end the Sod (Secret) is understood.

However, it is written in the prayer-book of the Vilna Gaon that the attainment begins with the Sod. After the Sod part of the Torah is attained it is possible to attain the Drush part and then the Remez part. When one is granted fluency in these three parts of the Torah, one is awarded the attainment of the Pshat part of the Torah.

It is as it is written in the Masechet Taanit: “If one is granted, it becomes a potion of life to him; if not granted, a potion of death.” Great merit is required in order to understand the interpretation of the texts, since first we must attain the three inner parts of the Torah that the Pshat robes, and the Pshat will not be parsed. If one has not been granted it, one needs great mercy so that it does not become a potion of death for him.

Unlike the argument of the negligent in attaining the interior who say to themselves: “We settle for attaining the Pshat. If we attain that, we will be content.” Their words can be compared to one who wishes to climb to the fourth floor without first stepping on the first three floors.

  1. However, according to that we need to understand the great secretion applied in the interior of the Torah, as it is said in the Masechet Hagiga, one does not study the torah in pairs, and not the Kabbalah alone. Also, all the books at our disposal in this trade are sealed and blocked before the eyes of the masses. Only the few who are summoned by the Creator shall understand them, as they already understand the roots by themselves and in reception from mouth to mouth.

It is indeed surprising how the ways of wisdom and intelligence are denied to the people for whom it is the life and the length of their days. It is considered a criminal offence, as about such our sages said in Midrash Rabba (Bereshit) about Ahaz, that he was called Ahaz (lit. held/seized) for he had seized seminaries and synagogues, and this was his great iniquity.

Also, it is a natural law that one is possessive concerning dispensing one's capital and property to another. However, is there anyone who is possessive concerning dispensing one's wisdom and intelligence to others? Quite the contrary, more than the calf wants to eat, the cow wants to feed.

We also find such mysteries in the wisdom even in secular sages in previous generations. In Rav Butril's introduction to his commentary on Sefer Yetzira (Book of Creation), there is a text ascribed to Plato who warns his disciples in these words: “Do not pass the wisdom unto one who knows not its merit.”

Aristotle also warned: “Do not pass the wisdom to the unworthy, lest it shall be robbed.” He (Rav Butril) interpreted that if the sages teach wisdom to the unworthy, they rob the wisdom and destroy it.

The secular sages of our time do not do so. To the contrary, they exert in expanding the gates of their sagacity to the entire crowd without limits or boundaries. Seemingly, they strongly disagree with the first sages who confined the doors of their lore to a handful of virtuous few that they have found worthy of it, leaving the rest of the people fumbling the walls.

  1. Let me explain the matter. We distinguish four divisions in the speaking species, arranged in gradations one atop the other. Those are the Masses, the Strong, the Wealthy, and the Sagacious. They are equal to the four degrees in the entire reality, Still, Vegetative, Animate and Speaking.

The Still can educe the three properties, Vegetative, Animate and Speaking. We discern three values in the quantity of the beneficial and detrimental force in them.

The smallest force among them is the Vegetative. The flora operates by attracting what is beneficial for it and rejecting the harmful in much the same way as humans and animals do. However, there is no individual sensation in that manner, but a collective force, as all the plants in the world induce this operation in them.

Atop them there is the Animate. Each creature feels itself concerning attracting what is beneficial for it and rejecting the harmful. It follows, that one animal equalizes in value to all the plants in reality. It is so because the force that distinguishes the beneficial and the detrimental in the entire Vegetative is found in one creature in the Animate, separated to its own authority.

This sensing force in the Animate is very limited in time and space since the sensation does not operate at even the shortest distance outside its body. Also, it does not feel anything outside its own time, meaning in the past or in the future, but only at the very present moment.

Atop them there is the Speaking. It consists of an emotional force and an intellectual force together. For that reason its power is unlimited by time and space in attracting what is good for it and rejecting what is harmful, like the Animate.

This is so because of its lore, being a spiritual matter that is not confined to a time and a place. One can teach others wherever they are in the entire reality, and also at all times and all generations.

It follows, that the value of one person from the Speaking equalizes with the value of all the forces in the Vegetative and the Animate in the entire reality at that time, and in all the past generations. This is so because its power encompasses them and contains them within its own self, along with all their forces.

This ruling also applies to the four divisions in the human species, namely the Masses, the Strong, the Wealthy, and the Sagacious. Certainly, they all come from the Masses, which are the first degree, as it is written, “all are of the dust.”

It is certain that the entire merit of the dust and its very right to exist is according to the merit of the three virtues it educes, Vegetative, Animate, and Speaking. Similarly, the merit of the Masses is as the properties that they educe from within them, as they also connect in the shape of a human's face.

For that purpose the Creator has instilled three inclinations in the masses in general. They are called Envy, Lust, and Honor. Due to them, the Masses develop degree by degree to educe a face of a whole man.

The inclination for Lust educes the Wealthy. The selected among them have a strong desire, and also lust. They excel in acquiring wealth, which is the first degree in the evolution of the Masses. Like the Vegetative degree in the general reality, they are governed by an alien force that deviates them to their inclination, as lust is an alien force in the human species, borrowed from the Animate.

The inclination for Honor educes the famous heroes from among them. They are the ones that govern the synagogue, the town, etc. The most firm willed among them that also have an inclination for honor, excel in acquiring dominion.

They are the second degree in the evolution of the Masses. Like the Animate degree in the general reality, the force that operates in them is already present in their own essence, as we have said above. This is because the inclination for honor is unique to the human species, and along with it the craving for power.

The inclination for Envy elicits the sages from among them, as it is said, “When writers vie, wisdom mounts.” The strong-willed with the inclination for envy excel in acquiring knowledge and lore. It is like the Speaking degree in reality as a whole, in which the force that operates is not limited by time and space, but is collective and encompasses every item in the world throughout all times.

Also, it is the nature of the fire of envy to be general, encompassing all times and the whole reality. This is because it is the conduct of envy that if one had not seen the object in one's friend's possession, the desire for it would not have awakened in one at all.

You find that the sensation of absence is not for what one does not have, but for what one's friend has, who are the entire progeny of Adam and Eve throughout all times. Thus, this force is unlimited and it is therefore fit for its sublime and elated task.

Those who remain without any merit is because they do not have a strong desire. Hence, all three above-mentioned inclinations operate in them together, in mixture. Sometimes they are lustful, sometimes they envy and sometimes crave honor. Their desires break to pieces; they are like children who crave everything that they see and cannot attain any. Hence, their value is like the straw and bran that remain after the flour.

It is known that the beneficial force and the detrimental force are in the same subject. In other words, as much as something can be beneficial, so it can be detrimental. Hence, since the force of one specific individual is greater than all the beasts and the animals throughout time, one's detrimental force also supercedes them all.

Thus, as long as one does not merit one's degree in a way that one uses one's force only to do good, one needs a careful watch that he will not acquire a higher level than the human level, which is lore and science.

For this reason the first sages hid the wisdom from the masses for fear of taking indecent disciples who would use the force of the wisdom to do harm and damage. These would break and destroy the entire population with their beastly lust and wildness, using Man's great force.

Once the generations have lessened and their sages themselves had started to crave both tables, meaning a good life for their corporeality too, their opinion drew near to the masses. They traded with them and sold the wisdom for prostitution at the price of a dog. Since then the fortified wall that the first had exerted on has been ruined and the masses have looted it.

The savages had filled their hands with the force of men, seized the wisdom and tore it. Half was inherited by adulterers and half by murderers, and they have put it in eternal disgrace to this day.

  1. From that you can deduce about the wisdom of truth, which contains all the secular teachings within it, which are its seven little daughters. This is the entirety of the human species and the purpose for which all the worlds were created, as it is written, “If My covenant be not with day and night, if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth.”

Hence, our sages have stated (Avot 4, Mishnah 7), “He who uses the Crown passes.” This is because they have prohibited us from using it for any sort of worldly pleasure.

It is that that has sustained us thus far to maintain the armies and the wall around the wisdom of truth so that no stranger and foreigner would break in and put it in their vessels to go and trade it in the market as with the secular sages. This was so because all who entered have already been tested by seven tests until it was certain beyond any concern and suspicion.

After these words and truth we find what appears to be a great contradiction, completely opposite to the words of our sages. It is written in the Zohar that in the time of the Messiah this wisdom is destined to be revealed, and even to the young.

However, according to the above, we learned that in the days of the Messiah the entire generation will be the most high. We will need no guard at all and the fountains of wisdom shall open and water the entire nation.

Yet, in Masechet Sutta, 49, and Sanhedrin 97; 71, they say, “Impudence shall soar at the time of the Messiah, authors' wisdom shall go astray, and righteous shall be castaway.” It interprets that there is none so evil as that generation. Thus, how do we reconcile the two statements, for both are certainly the words of the Living God?

The thing is that this careful watch and door-locking on the hall of wisdom is for fear of people in whom the spirit of writers' envy is mixed with the force of lust and honor. Their envy is not limited for wanting only lore and knowledge.

Hence, both texts are correct, and one comes and teaches of the other. The face of the generation is as the face of the dog, meaning they bark as dogs Hav Hav, righteous are castaway and authors' wisdom went astray in them.

It follows, that it is permitted to open the gates of the wisdom and remove the careful guard since it is naturally safe from theft and exploitation. There is no longer fear lest indecent disciples might take it to sell it in the market to the materialistic plebs, as they will find no buyers for this merchandise, for it is loathsome in their eyes.

Since they have no hope of acquiring honor through it, it has become safe and guarded by itself. No stranger will draw near except the lovers of the wisdom and its dwellers. Hence, any examination shall be removed from those who enter and even the very young will be able to attain it.

Now you can understand what they said (Sanhedrin 98; 71): “The Son of David comes either in a generation that is all worthy, or all unworthy.” This is very perplexing. Seemingly, as long as there are a few righteous in the generation, they detain the redemption. When the righteous will perish from the land, the Messiah will be able to come. I wonder.

Yet, we should thoroughly understand that this matter of the redemption and the coming of the Messiah that we hope will be soon in our days Amen, is the uppermost wholeness of attainment and knowledge, as it is written, “and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, saying: 'Know the Lord'; for they shall all know Me, from the greatest of them unto the least of them.” With the completeness of the mind, the bodies are completed too, as it is written (Isaiah 11), “the youngest shall die a hundred years old.”

When the Children of Israel are complemented with the complete reason, the fountains of intelligence and knowledge shall flow beyond the borders of Israel. They will water all the nations of the world, as it is written (Isaiah 11), “for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord,” and as it is written, “and shall come unto the Lord and His goodness.”

The proliferation of this knowledge is the matter of the expansion of the Messiah King to all the nations. Yet, the imagination of the crude, materialistic plebs is completely attached to the power of the fist. Hence, the matter of the expansion of the Kingdom of Israel is engraved in their imagination only as a sort of dominion of bodies over bodies, to take their fee from the whole with great pride and vanity over the entire world.

What can I do for them, if our sages have already rejected them and the likes of them from among the congregation of the Lord saying, “One who is proud, the Creator says, `he and I can not dwell in the same compartment.'”

Also, some err and sentence that as the body must exist prior to the existence of the soul and the complete perception, so the perfection of the body and its needs precede in time the attainment of the soul and the complete perception. Hence, complete perception is denied of a weak body.

This is a grave mistake, harder than death, as a perfect body is inconceivable whatsoever before the complete perception is attained. In itself it is a punctured bag, a broken cistern. It cannot contain anything good for itself or for others, except with the attainment of the complete perception.

At that time the body rises to its completeness right along with it. This rule applies both in individuals and in the whole.

  1. Now you will understand what is written the Zohar: “That with this composition the Children of Israel will be redeemed from exile,” as well as in many other places, that only through the expansion of the wisdom of Kabbalah in the masses will we obtain complete redemption.

They also said: “The Light in it reforms.” They were intentionally meticulous about it, to show us that only the Light enclosed inside it, “like apples of gold in settings of silver,” is the remedy that reforms a person. Both the individual and the nation will not complete the aim for which they were created, except by attaining the inner part of the Torah and its secrets.

Although we hope for the complete attainment at the coming of the Messiah, it is written, “Will give wisdom to the wise.” It also says, “I have put wisdom in he heart of every Wise.”

Hence, it is the great expansion of the wisdom within the nation that we need first, to merit receiving the benefit from our Messiah. Consequently, the expansion of the wisdom and the coming of our Messiah are interdependent.

Therefore, we must establish seminaries and compose books, to hasten the circulation of the wisdom throughout the nation. That was not the case before, for fear lest unworthy disciples would mingle, as we have elaborated above. This became the primary reason for the prolonging of the exile due to our many sins to this day.

Our sages said: “Messiah Son of David comes in a generation that is all worthy,” meaning everyone will retire from pursuit of honor and lust. At that time it will be possible to establish seminaries and prepare them for the coming of the Messiah Son of David.

“Or in a time when the generation is all unworthy,” meaning in such a generation when the “face of the generation is as the face of the dog,” righteous shall be castaway, and authors' wisdom shall go astray in them.” At such a time it will be possible to remove the careful guard and all who remain in the house of Jacob with their heart pounding to attain the wisdom and the purpose, “Holy” shall be their names.

They shall come and learn, for there will no longer be fear lest one might not sustain one's merit and trade the wisdom in the market, as no one in the mob will wish to buy it. The wisdom will be so loathsome in their eyes that no glory or desire shall be obtainable in return for it.

Hence, he who wishes to enter may come and enter. Many will roam and the knowledge will multiply among the worthy of it. By that we will soon be awarded the coming of the Messiah and the redemption of our souls soon in our days, Amen.

With these words I unbind myself from a considerable complaint that I have dared more than all my predecessors in disclosing the ordinarily covered rudiments of the wisdom in my book, which was thus far unexplored. This refers to the essence of the ten Sefirot and all that concerns them, Yashar and Hozer, Pnimi and Makif, the meaning of the Hakaa and the meaning of the Hizdakchut.

The authors before me deliberately scattered the words here and there and in subtle insinuations. Thus, one's hand would fail to gather them. I, through His Light that appeared upon me and with the help of my teachers, have gathered them and disclosed the matters clearly enough and in their spiritual form, above space and above time.

They could have come to me with a great argument: If there are no additions to my teachers here, then the Ari and Rav Chaim Vital themselves, and the genuine authors of the interpretation of their words could have disclosed and explain the matters as openly as I have. If you wish to say that it was open to them, then who is this writer, for whom it is certainly a great privilege to be dust and ashes under their feet, saying that his heritage is more fortunate than theirs?

However, as you will see in the references, I neither added to my teachers nor innovated in the composition. All my words are already written in the Eight Gates, in the Tree of Life, and in Mavo Shearim (Entrance of the Gates) by the Ari. I did not add a single word to them, but they aimed to conceal the matters, hence they scattered them one here and one there.

This was so because their generation was not yet completely unworthy and needed a careful watch. We, however, for our many sins, all the words of our sages are already true in us. They had been said for the time of the Messiah to begin with, for in such a generation there is no longer fear of disclosing the wisdom, as we have elaborated above. It is for this reason that my words are open and in order.

  1. And now sons do hear me: The “Wisdom crieth aloud in the streets, she uttereth her voice,” “Whoso is on the Lord's side, let him come unto me,” “For it is no vain thing for you; because it is your life, and the length of your days.”

You were not created to follow the act of the grain and the potato, you and your asses in one trough.” As the purpose of the beast will not be to serve all other beasts of the time in this world, so is not the purpose of man to serve the physical bodies of the people of his time. Rather, the purpose of the ass is to serve and be of use to man, who is superior to it, and the purpose of man is to serve the Lord and complete His aim.

As Ben Zuma said: “All those were created only to serve me, and I, to serve my Maker.” He says: The Lord hath made all things for His own purpose,” since the Creator yearns and craves our completeness.

It is said in Bereshit Raba (Chap 8) that the angels said before Him: “`What is man, that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that Thou thinkest of him?' Why do You need this trouble? The Creator told them: `Therefore why sheep and oxen?'”

What does it resemble? A king who had a tower filled with goodly matters, and no guests. What pleasure has the king from his fill? Right away they said unto Him: “O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is Thy name in all the earth! Do that which suits You.”

Seemingly, we should doubt that allegory, since where does that tower filled with goodly matters stand? In our time we really would fill it with guests to the rim.

Indeed the words are earnest. You see that the angels made no complaint about any of the creatures that were made during the six days of creation, except about Man. This is because he was created in God's image and consists of the Upper and Lower together.

The angels that saw it were startled and bewildered. How would the pure spiritual soul descend from its sublime degree and come to dwell in the same compartment as this filthy beastly body? In other words, they wondered: “Why do You need this trouble?”

The answer that came to them is that there is already a tower filled with goodly matters and empty of guests. We need the existence of this human, made of Upper and lower together, in order to fill it with guests. Thus, this pure soul must clothe this filthy body. They understood it right away and said: “Do that which suits You.”

Know, that this tower filled with goodly matters implies all the pleasure and goodness for which He has created the creatures, as they said, “The conduct of The Good is doing good.” Hence, He has created the worlds to delight His creatures.

Since there is no past and future in Him, we must realize that as soon as He had thought to create creatures and delight them, they came out and were instantly made before Him, they and all their fulfillments of delight and pleasure, as He had designed them.

It is written in the book “My Desire is in the Creator” (chapter 1) by the Ari that all the worlds, upper and lower, are contained in the Ein Sof (lit. Infinite) even before the Tzimtzum (lit. restriction) in the form of He is one and His Name One. The incident of the Tzimtzum is the root of the worlds ABYA, confined to this world.

It occurred because all the roots of the souls themselves yearn to equalize their form with the Emanator. This is the meaning of Dvekut (lit. adhesion), as separation and adhesion in any spiritual thing is possible only with matters of equivalence of form or disparity of form.

Since He wanted to delight them, the will to receive pleasure has necessarily been imprinted in them. By that their form has been changed from His, since this form is not present in the Emanator whatsoever, as from whom would He receive?

The Tzimtzum and the Gevul (lit. border/limitation) was made for this purpose until the elicitation of this world to a reality of a clothing of a soul in a corporeal body. When one engages in Torah and work in order to bestow contentment upon one's Maker, the form of reception will be reunited in order to bestow once more.

This is the meaning of the text, “and to cleave unto Him.” This is because then one equalizes one's form to one's Maker, which, as we have said, is Dvekut in spirituality. When the matter of Dvekut is completed in all the parts of the soul, the worlds will return to the state of Ein Sof, as prior to the Tzimtzum.

“In their land they shall possess double.” This is because then they will be able to receive once more the entire delight and pleasure that has been prepared for them in advance in the world of Ein Sof.

Moreover, now they are prepared for the real Dvekut without any disparity of form since their reception is no longer for themselves, but to bestow contentment upon their Maker. You find that they have equalized in the form of bestowal with the Maker.

  1. Now you will understand their words, that Divinity in the lower ones is a high need. This is a most perplexing statement, though it does go hand in hand with the above study.

They have compared the matter to a king who has a tower filled with goodly matters, and no guests. It is certain that he sits and waits for guests, or his whole preparation will be in vain.

It is like a great king who had a son when he was already old, that he was very fond of. Hence, from the day of his birth he thought thoughts for him, collected all the books and finest scholars in the land, and built schools for him.

He gathered the finest builders in the land and built palaces of pleasure for him, collected all the musicians and the singers and built him concert halls. He assembled the best cooks and bakers in the land and served him every delicacy in the world, and so on and so forth.

Alas, the boy grew up to be a fool with no wish for knowledge. He is also blind and cannot see and feel the beauty of the buildings; he is deaf, and cannot hear the singers. Sadly, he is diabetic, permitted to eat only coarse-flour bread, arising contempt and wrath.

Now you can understand their words about the verse, “I the Lord will hasten it in its time.” The Sanhedrin interpreted (98): “If they are not rewarded, `in its time'; if they are rewarded, `I will hasten it'”.

Thus, there are two ways to attain the above-mentioned goal: through their own attention, which is called a “Path of Repentance”. If they are awarded that, then “I will hasten it” will be applied to them. This means that there is no set time, but when they are awarded, the correction ends, of course.

If they are not awarded the attention, there is another way, called “Path of Suffering”. As the Sanhedrin has said (97), “I place upon them a king such as Haman and they will repent against themselves, meaning in its time, for in that there is a set time.

By that they wanted to show us that His ways are not our ways. For that reason the case of the flesh and blood king who had troubled so to prepare those great things for his beloved son and was finally tormented and all his trouble was in vain and in contempt and wrath, will not happen to Him.

Instead, all the deeds of the Creator are secured and reliable; there is no fraud in Him. This is what our sages said, “If they are not awarded, `in its time.'” What the desire will not do, time will do, as it is written, “Canst thou send forth lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee: 'Here we are'?”

There is a path of pain that can cleanse any defect and materialism until one realizes how the head is taken out of the beastly crib in order to soar and climb the rungs of the ladder of happiness and human success, for one will cleave to one's root and complete the aim.

  1. Therefore, come and see how grateful we should be to our teachers who impart us their sacred Lights and dedicate their souls to do good to our souls. They stand in the middle between the harsh torments and the path of repentance and save us from the bottom of hell that is harder than death.

They also accustom us to reach the heavenly pleasures, the sublime gentleness and the pleasantness that is our share, ready and waiting for us from the very beginning, as we have said above. Each of them operates in his own generation, according to the power of his Torah and sanctity.

They have already said, “You have not a generation without such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Indeed, that Godly man, our Rav Itzhak Luria has troubled and provided us the fullest measure. He did wondrously more than his predecessors, and if I had a tongue that praises I would praise that day when his wisdom appeared almost as the day when the Torah was given to Israel.

There are not enough words to measure his holy deed in our favor. The doors of attainment were locked and bolted, and he came and opened them for us. Thus, all who wish to enter the King's palace need only purity and sanctity, and to go and bath and shave their hair, and wear clean clothes in order to stand before the sublime Kingship as one should.

You find a thirty-eight year old who subdued with his wisdom all his predecessors through the Genius and at all times. All the elders of the land, the gallant shepherds, friends and disciples of the Godly sage the RAMAK stood before him as disciples before the Rav.

All the sages of the generations following them to this day, none of them missing, have removed their hands from all the books and compositions that preceded him, the Kabbalah of the RAMAK, the Kabbalah of The First and the Kabbalah of The Genius, blessed be the memory of them all. They have attached their spiritual life entirely and solely to his Holy Wisdom. Naturally, it is not without a reason that a total victory is awarded as this young in years father of wisdom has.

Alas, the devil's work succeeded and there were obstacles along the path of the expansion of his wisdom into a holy nation and only very few have begun to conquer them.

It is so primarily because the words were written by hearsay, as he had interpreted the wisdom day-by-day before his disciples, who were already elderly and with great proficiency in the Zohar and the Tikkunim (Corrections). In most cases, his holy sayings were arranged according to the profound questions that they asked of him, each according to his own interest.

For that reason he did not convey the wisdom in a suitable order as with compositions that preceded him. We find in the texts that the Ari himself had wished to bring the issues in order. In that regard, see the beginning of the sayings of Rashbi in the interpretation of the Idra Zuta, in a short introduction by Rav Chaim Vital.

There is also the short time of his study, since his entire time of study was some seventeen months, as is said in the Gate to Reincarnations, Gate No. 8, p. 49. It is so because he had come to Zephath from Egypt soon before Pesach (Passover) in the year 1571.

At that time, Rav Chaim Vital was twenty-nine years of age, and in July 1572, on the eve of Shabbat he fell ill, and on Tuesday of the following week had passed away.

It is also written in The Gate to Reincarnations (Gate No. 3, p. 71) that upon his demise he ordered Rav Chaim Vital not to teach the wisdom to others and permitted him to study only in whispering. The rest of the friends were forbidden to engage in it entirely because he said that they had not understood the wisdom correctly.

This is the reason that Rav Chaim Vital did not arrange the texts at all and left them unorganized. Naturally, he did not explain the connections between the matters so it would not be as teaching others. This is the reason we find such great caution on his part, as is known to those proficient in the writings of the Ari.

The arrangement found in the writings of the Ari were arranged and organized by a third generation in three times by three organizers. The first organizer was the sage MAHARI Tzemach. He lived at the same time of MAHARA Azulai, who passed away in the year 1644.

A large portion of the texts came by him and he arranged many books from them, the most important of which is the book Adam Yashar (Upright Man). In it he collected the root and the gist of the studies that were at his disposal. However, some of the books that this Rav had complied were lost. In the introduction to his book Kol BeRama (A Loud Voice) he presents all the books that he had compiled.

The second organizer is the disciple of the sage MAHARAM Paprish. He became greater than his Rav since some of the books that were held by the sage MAHARASH Vital came by his hands, and he arranged many books.

The most important among them are the books Etz Chaim (Tree of Life) and Pri Etz Chaim (A Fruit of the Tree of Life). They contain the entire scope of the wisdom in the full sense of the word.

The third organizer was the sage MAHARASH Vital, the son of MOHARAR Chaim Vital. He was a great and renowned sage. He arranged the famous Eight Gates from the literary remains that his father had left him.

We see that each and every one of the organizers did not have the complete writings. It heavily burdened the arrangement of the issues since they were not qualified for them. They did not have the true proficiency in the Zohar and the Tikkunim; hence few are those who ascend.

  1. In return for that, we are privileged by Him to have been awarded the Baal Shem Tov, whose greatness and sanctity are beyond any word and any utterance. He was not gazed upon and will not be gazed upon except by those worthy that have served under his Light, and they too only intermittently, each according to what he receives in his heart.

It is true that the Light of his Torah and Holy Wisdom are built primarily on the holy foundations of the Ari, yet they are not at all similar in issue. I shall explain that in comparison to a person drowning in the river, rising and sinking as drowning people do. Sometimes only the hair is visible and then a counsel is sought to catch him by his head. Other times his body appears as well, and then a counsel is sought to catch him from opposite his heart too.

So is the matter before us. After Israel has drowned in the evil waters of the exile in the nations, from that time onward they rise and fall, and not all times are equal. At the time of the Ari only the head was visible. Hence the Ari had troubled in our favor to save us through the mind. At the time of the Baal Shem Tov there was relief. Hence it was a blessing for us to save us from opposite our heart, and that was a great and true salvation for us.

The wheel has been turned over again in our generation because of our iniquities and we have declined tremendously as though from the zenith to the nadir.

In addition, there is the collision of the nations which has confused the entire world. The needs have increased and the mind grew short and corrupted in the filth of materialism which apprehends the lead.

Servants ride horses and ministers walk upon the earth, and every thing that is said in our study in the above-mentioned Masechet Suta has come true in us because of our iniquities. Again the iron wall has been erected even on this great Light of the Baal Shem Tov, which we have said illuminated as far as the erection of our complete redemption.

Wise at heart did not believe in the possibility in this generation and could not see by its Light. Our eyes have darkened; we have been robbed of good, and when I saw this I said, “It is time to act!” Thus I have risen to open the gates of Light of the Ari widely, for he is indeed capable and fit for our generation too, and “Two are better than one.”

We should not be blamed for the brevity in my composition since it corresponds and is adapted for any wisdom lover, as too much wine wears off the flavor, and the attainment will become harder for the disciple.

We are not responsible for those fat at heart since the language to assist them has yet to be created. Wherever they rest their eyes they find folly, and there is a rule that from the same source from which the wise draws his wisdom, the fool draws his folly.

I stand and warn at the outset of my book that I have not troubled at all for all those who love to look through the windows. Rather, it is for those who yearn and crave the Creator and His Goodness in order to complete the purpose for which they were created, for the will of God shall become true in them as the Lord wishes, as it is written, “All those who seek Me shall find Me.”

  1. Come and see the words of the sage, Rabbi Even Ezra in his book “Yesod Mora” p.8: “And now note and know that all the Mitzvot that are written in the Torah or the conventions that the fathers have established, though they are mostly in act or in speech, they are all in order to correct the heart, `for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts.'”

It is written, “to them that are upright in their hearts.” It's opposite, “A heart that deviseth wicked thoughts.” I have found one verse that contains all the Mitzvot, which is, “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; and Him shalt thou serve.”

The word “fear” contains all the negative Mitzvot in speech, in the heart, and in action. It is the first degree from which one ascends to the work of God, which contains all the positive Mitzvot.

These will accustom one's heart and guide one until one cleaves to the Lord, as for that was Man created, not for acquiring fortunes and building buildings. Hence, one should seek every thing that will bring one to love Him, to learn wisdom and to seek faith.

The Creator will open the eyes of one's heart and will renew a different spirit within one. Then one will be loved to one's Maker in one's life.

Know that the Torah was given only to Men of heart. Words are as corpses and Taamim (lit. flavors), as souls. If one does not understand the Taamim, one's whole effort is in vain, labor blown away.

It is as though one exerts oneself to count the words in a medicine book. No cure will come from this labor. It is also like a camel that carries silk; it does not benefit the silk, nor does the silk benefit it.

We draw only this from his words, to hold on to the goal for which Man was created. He says about it that this is the matter of the Dvekut (adhesion) with the Creator.

Hence, he says that one must search every means to bring one to love Him, to learn wisdom and to seek faith, until the Creator awards one the opening of one's eyes and renewing a different spirit within one. At that time one shall be loved to one's Maker.

He makes that precision deliberately, to be loved to one's Maker in one's life. It indicates that while one has not acquired that, one's work is incomplete, the work that was necessarily given to us to do today.

It is as he ends it, that the Torah was only given to Men of heart, meaning ones who have acquired the heart to love and covet Him. The sages call them “wise-hearted” since there is no longer a beastly spirit there, descending, for the evil inclination is present only in a heart vacant from wisdom.

He interprets and says that the words are as corpses and the Taamim, as souls. If one does not understand the Taamim it is similar to exerting oneself counting pages and words in a medicine book. This exertion will not yield a remedy.

He wishes to say that one is compelled to find the means to acquire the above-mentioned possession. It is because then one can taste the flavors of Torah, which is the interior wisdom and its mysteries, and the flavors of Mitzva, which are the interior love and the desire for Him.

Without it one has only the words and the actions; dead bodies without souls. It is like one who labors counting pages and words in a medicine book etc. Certainly, the medicine will not be completed before one understands the meaning of the written medicine.

Even after one purchases it for whatever price is asked, if the conduct of the study is not arranged to bring one to it, it is like a camel that carries silk. It does not benefit the silk, and the silk does not benefit it to bring it to conclude the intention for which it was created.

  1. According to these words our eyes have been opened concerning the words of Rabbi Simon in Midrash Rabba, chapter 6 about the verse, “Let us make man.” The Creator consulted the ministering angels, and they were divided into sects and groups. Some said, “Let him be created,” some said, “Let him not be created,” as it is written, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”

    • Mercy said, “Let him be created, for he does merciful actions.”

    • Truth said, “Let him not be created, for he is all lies.”

    • Righteousness said, “Let him be created, for he performs righteousness.”

    • Peace said, “Let him not be created, for he is all strife.”

What did the Creator do? He took Truth and threw it to the ground, as it is written, “and it cast down truth to the ground.” The angels said before the Creator: “Why do you disgrace your seal? Let Truth come up from the ground, as it is written, “truth springeth out of the ground.”

This text is difficult from behind and from before:

  1. It does not explain the seriousness of the verse, “Let us make man.” Is it a counsel that He needs, as it is written, “Deliverance in the heart of a counsel”?

  2. Regarding Truth, how can it be said about the entire human species that it is all lies, when there is not a generation without such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?

  3. If the words of Truth are earnest, how did the angels of Mercy and Righteousness agree to a world that is all lies?

  4. Why is Truth called Seal that comes at the edge of a letter? Certainly, the reality exists primarily outside the seal. Is there no reality at all outside the borders of Truth?

  5. Can true angels think of the True Operator that His operation is untrue?

  6. Why did Truth deserve such a harsh punishment to be thrown to the ground and into the ground?

  7. Why is the answer of the angels not brought in the Torah if their question is brought?

We must understand these two conducts set before our eyes, which are completely antipodal. These are the conducts of the existence of the entire reality of this world and the conducts of the manners of existence for the sustenance of each and every one from the reality before us. From this end we find a reliable conduct in utterly affirmed guidance that controls the making of each and every creature in reality.

Let us take the making of a human as an example. The love and pleasure are its first reason, certain and reliable for its task. As soon as it is uprooted from the father's brain, Providence provides it a safe and guarded place among the beddings in the mother's abdomen, that no stranger may touch it.

Providence provides it there with its daily bread in the right measure. It tends to its every need without forgetting it for even a moment until it gains strength to come out to the air of our world that is filled with obstacles.

At that time Providence lends it power and strength. Like an armed, experienced hero, it opens gates and breaks the walls until it comes to such people it can trust to help through its days of weakness with love and great compassion to sustain its existence, as they are the most precious for it in the whole world.

Thus, Providence embraces it until it qualifies it to exist and to continue its existence onward. As is with Man so it is with the animate and the flora. All are watched wondrously, securing their existence, and every scientist of nature knows that.

On its other end, when we regard the order of existence and sustenance in the modes of existence of those realities, large and small, we find confused orders as if an army is fleeing the campaign sick, beaten, and afflicted by the Creator. Their whole life is as death, having no sustenance unless through torments and pains that precede it, and they earn their bread in return for their souls.

Even a tiny louse breaks its teeth when it sets off for a meal. How much frisking it frisks to attain enough food to eat enough to sustain itself? As it is, so are all, great and small alike, and all the more so humans, the elite of creation, intermingled with every thing.

  1. We discern two opposites in the ten Sefirot of Kedusha (lit. Holiness). The first nine Sefirot are in the form of bestowal and, Malchut means in reception. Also, the first nine are filled with Light, and Malchut has nothing of her own.

This is the meaning of our discrimination of two discernments of Light in each Partzuf, being Ohr Pnimi (lit. Inner Light) and Ohr Makif (lit. Surrounding Light), and two discernments in the Kelim (lit. Vessels), which are the Inner Kli (lit. Vessel) for Ohr Pnimi and an Outer Kli for Ohr Makif.

It is so because of the two above opposites, as it is impossible for two opposites to be in the same carrier. Thus, we need a specific carrier for the Ohr Pnimi and a specific carrier for the Ohr Makif.

However, they are not really opposite in Kedusha since Malchut is in Zivug (Copulation) with the first nine, and its attribute is also of bestowal in the form of Ohr Hozer (lit. Returning Light).

Conversely, the Sitra Achra (lit. Other Side) has nothing of the first nine. They are built primarily from the Vacant Space, which is the form of the great measure of reception over which the first Tzimtzum (lit. Restriction) occurred. That root remained without Light even after the luminescence of the Kav (lit. Line) reached inside the Reshimo (lit. Reminiscence).

For that reason they are two complete opposites compared to life and Kedusha, as it is written, “God hath made even the one as well as the other,” hence they are called dead.

It has been explained above (item 6) that the whole Tzimtzum was only for the purpose of the adornment of the souls in equalizing their form to their Maker's. This is the matter of the inversion of the vessels of reception to the form of bestowal.

You find that this goal is still denied from the perspective of the Partzufim of Kedusha (lit. Countenances of Sanctity). This is because there is nothing there of the Vacant Space, which is the form of the great measure of reception, which the Tzimtzum had been applied to. Hence, there will be no correction to something that does not exist.

Also, there is certainly no correction here from the perspective of the Sitra Achra, though it does have a Vacant Space, since it has a completely opposite interest and everything it receives dies.

Hence, it is only a human in this world that we need. In infancy, it is sustained and supported by the Sitra Achra, inheriting the Kelim of the Vacant Space from it. When they grow, they connect to the structure of Kedusha through the power of Torah and Mitzvot to bestow contentment to their Maker.

Thus, one turns the great measure of reception that one has already acquired to be solely arranged for bestowal. In that the form is equalized with the Maker and the aim comes true in him.

This is the meaning of the existence of time in this world. You find that first these two above opposites were divided into two separate subjects, namely Kedusha and Sitra Achra, as it is written, “even the one as well as the other.” They are still devoid of the above correction for they must be in the same carrier, which is Man.

Therefore, the existence of an order of time is necessary for us since then the two opposites come in a person one-by-one, meaning in a time of infancy and a time of adulthood.

  1. Now you can understand the need for the breaking of the vessels and their properties, as it is written in the Zohar and in the writings of the Ari, that two kinds of Light are present in each ten Sefirot, running back and forth.

    • The first Light is Ohr Ein Sof (lit. Light of Infinity). It travels from above downward, and it is called Ohr Yashar (lit. Direct Light).

    • The second Light is the upshot of the Kli of Malchut, returning from below upward, called Ohr Hozer (lit. Returning Light).

Both unite into one. Know, that from the Tzimtzum downward the point of Tzimtzum is devoid of any Light and remains a Vacant Space. The Upper Light can no longer appear in the last discernment before the end of correction, and this is said particularly about Ohr Ein Sof, called Ohr Yashar. However, the second Light, called Ohr Hozer, can appear in the last discernment since the incident of the Tzimtzum did not apply to it at all.

Now we have learned that the system of the Sitra Achra and the Klipot (lit. Shells) is a must necessity for the purpose of the Tzimtzum. This is in order to instill in one the great vessels of reception while in infancy, when one is dependent on her.

Thus, the Sitra Achra too needs abundance. Where would she take it if she is made solely of the last discernment, which is a space that is vacant of any Light since from the Tzimtzum downward the Upper Light is completely separated from it?

Hence, the matter of the breaking of the vessels had been prepared. The breaking indicates that a part of the Ohr Hozer of the world of Nekudim descended from Atzilut out to the Vacant Space, and you already know that Ohr Hozer can appear in the Vacant Space as well.

That part of the Ohr Hozer that descended from Atzilut outwardly contains thirty-two special discernments of each and every Sefira of the ten Sefirot of Nekudim. Ten times thirty-two is 320, and these 320 discernments that came down were prepared for the sustenance of the existence of the lower ones.

The latter comes in two systems, as it is written, “God hath made even the one as well as the other,” meaning the worlds of ABYA of Kedusha and opposite them the worlds of ABYA of the Sitra Achra.

In the interpretation to the verse, “and the one people shall be stronger than the other people,” it is written that when one rises the other falls, and that Tzor is built only over the ruins of Jerusalem. This is because all these 320 discernments that descended can appear for the Sitra Achra, at which time the structure of the system of Kedusha for the lower ones is completely ruined.

Also, these 320 discernments can connect solely to Kedusha. At that time the system of the Sitra Achra is completely destroyed from the land. They can also divide more or less evenly between the two of them, according to people's actions, and so they incarnate in the two systems until the correction is completed.

After the breaking of the vessels and the decline of the 320 discernments of sparks of Light from Atzilut outwardly, 288 of them were sorted and rose, meaning everything that came down from the first nine Sefirot in the ten Sefirot of Nekudim. Nine times thirty-two are 288 discernments, and they are the ones that reconnected to the system of Kedusha.

You find that only thirty-two discernments remained for the Sitra Achra from what had descended from Malchut of the world of Nekudim. This was the beginning of the structure of the Sitra Achra, in its utter smallness, when she is as yet unfit for her task. The completion of her construction ended later by the sin of Adam ha Rishon (lit. The First Man) with the Tree of Knowledge.

Thus we find that there are two systems one against the other operating in the sustenance of reality. The ration of Light needed for the existence is 320 sparks that were prepared and measured by the breaking of the vessels. This ration is to be swaying between the two systems, and that is what the sustenance and existence of reality depends on.

You should know that the system of Kedusha must contain at least a portion of 288 sparks to complete her nine upper Sefirot, and then it can sustain and provide for the existence of the lower ones. That was prior to the sin of Adam ha Rishon and for that reason the entire reality was conducted by the system of Kedusha, since it had all 288 sparks.

  1. Now we have found the opening to the above study regarding the four sects, Mercy, Righteousness, Truth and Peace that negotiated with the Creator regarding the creation of Man. These angels are servants of Man's soul and this is why He negotiated with them, since the whole act of creation was created for them to know, as each and every soul consists of ten Sefirot in Ohr Pnimi and Ohr Makif.

    • Mercy is the Ohr Pnimi of the first nine of the soul.

    • Righteousness is the Ohr Pnimi of the Malchut of the soul.

    • Truth is the Ohr Makif of the soul.

We have already said that Ohr Pnimi and Ohr Makif are opposites since the Ohr Pnimi is drawn following the law of the luminescence of the Kav (lit. Line). It is prevented from appearing for the point of the Tzimtzum, which is the form of the great measure of reception.

The Ohr Makif extends from Ohr Ein Sof that surrounds all the worlds, as in Ein Sof, the great and small are equal. For this reason the Ohr Makif shines and bestows upon the point of Tzimtzum too, much less for Malchut.

Since they are opposites, two Kelim are needed (lit. Vessels). This is because the Ohr Pnimi illuminates in the first nine. Even to Malchut it shines only according to the law of the first nine, and not at all to her own self. Instead, the Ohr Makif shines in the Kelim that extend specifically from the point of the Tzimtzum, which is called “the Outer Kli”.

Now you can understand why the Truth is called “Seal”. It is a borrowed name from a seal at the end of a letter, at the end of the matters. Nevertheless, it asserts them and gives them validity. Without the seal they are worthless and the whole text is wasted.

It is the same with the matter of the Ohr Makif that bestows upon the point of the Tzimtzum, which is the great measure of reception, until it equalizes its form with its Maker in bestowal. Indeed, this is the purpose of all the limited worlds, upper and lower.

The protest of Truth regarding Man's creation is its claim that he is all lies. It is so because from the perspective of the Creator, Man does not have an Outer Kli, which he needs to draw from the point of the Tzimtzum, as she has already been separated from His Light. Consequently, the Angels of Truth are unable to help Man attain the Ohr Makif.

All the limited worlds, upper and lower were created solely for that completion, and this Man should have been its sole subject. Since this Man is unfit for his purpose, it follows that they are all abyss and falsehood; the labor in them is useless.

It is the opposite with the angels of Mercy and Righteousness, which belong specifically to the Ohr Pnimi of the soul. Because he has nothing of the Vacant Space, they could bestow upon him all the Lights of the Neshama (lit. Soul) abundantly, in the most sublime perfection.

Thus, they were happy to benefit him and agreed to Man's creation wholeheartedly. Because they are NHY that enter by Zivug de Hakaa (lit. Copulation in striking), they belong to the half of the Ohr Makif from the perspective of the Ohr Hozer in it.

The angels of Peace claimed that he is all strife. In other words, how will he receive the Ohr Makif? In the end, they cannot come in the same carrier with the Ohr Pnimi, as they are opposite from each other, meaning all strife.

The Ohr Makif is discerned by two: the future Ohr Hozer and the future Ohr Makif. The Outer Kli for the Ohr Hozer is the Masach (lit. Screen) and the Outer Kli for the Ohr Makif is the Aviut of Behina Dalet itself (lit. Fourth Discernment), namely the Stony Heart.

You find that Adam ha Rishon lacked only the Outer Kli, which belongs to the angels of Truth. He did not lack the Outer Kli, belonging to the angels of Peace. Hence they agreed to creation, but claimed that he is all strife, meaning the Ohr Makif cannot enter the Inner Kli since they are opposite.

  1. Now we have been awarded the understanding of the rest of the verses in the sin of the Tree of Knowledge of good and bad, which are most profound. Our sages, which disclosed a portion of them, concealed ten portions of them.

As a foreword, it is written, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Know, that the issue of clothing means an Outer Kli. Hence, the text precedes to demonstrate the reason for the sin of the Tree of Knowledge, as it is written in the verse, “Libel is terrible for the children of man, for in libel you come upon him.”

It means that the sin had been prepared in advance, and this is the meaning of the words that Adam and his wife did not have an Outer Kli upon creation, only Inner Kelim that extend from the system of Kedusha, hence they were not ashamed. They did not feel their absence, as shame refers to a sensation of want.

It is known that the sensation of want is the first reason for the fulfillment of the want. It is as one who feels one's illness, and is ready to receive the medication. However, when one does not feel that one is ill, he will certainly avoid all medications.

Indeed, this task is for the Outer Kli to do. Since it is in the construction of the body and is empty of Light, as it comes from the Vacant Space, it begets the sensation of emptiness and dearth in it, by which one becomes ashamed.

Hence, one is compelled to return to fulfill the want and extend the lacking Ohr Makif that is about to fill that Kli. This is the meaning of the text, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife,” of the Outer Kli. For this reason they were not ashamed, as they did not feel their absence. In that manner they are devoid of the purpose for which they were created.

Yet, we must thoroughly understand the sublimity of that man, made by the hands of the Creator. Also, his wife, to which the Creator has administered greater intelligence than him, as they have written (Nidah 45) in the interpretation to the verse, “And the Lord made the rib.”

Thus, how did they fail and become as fools, not knowing to beware of the serpent's slyness? On the other hand, that serpent, which the text testifies that it was more cunning than all the animals of the field, how did it utter such folly and emptiness that should they eat from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, they would be turned to God? Moreover, how did that folly settle in their hearts?

Also, it is said below that they did not eat because of their desire to become God, but simply because the tree is good to eat. This is seemingly a beastly desire!

  1. We must know the quality of the two kinds of discernments customary for us:

    • The first discernment is called “discernments of good and bad”.

    • The second discernment is called “discernments of true and false”.

This means that the Creator has imprinted a discerning force in each creature that executes every thing that is good for it and brings it to its desired completion.

The first discernment is the active physical force. It operates using the sensation of bitter and sweet. It rejects and repels the bitter form, because it is bad for it, and loves and adducts the sweet, because it is good for it. This operating force is sufficient in the Still, the Vegetative and the Animate in reality, to bring them to their desired completion.

Atop them there is the human species, in which the Creator has instilled a rational operating force. It operates in sorting the above second discernment, rejecting matters of falsehood and emptiness with loathing to the point of nausea, and adducting true matters and any benefit with great love.

This discernment is called “discernment of true and false”. It is implemented solely in the human species, each according to his own measure. Know that this second acting force was created and reached Man because of the serpent. At creation, he had only the first active force from the discernments of good and bad. That was sufficient for him at that time.

Let me explain it to you in a parable: If righteous were rewarded according to their good deeds, and the wicked punished according their bad deeds in this world, Kedusha would be determined for us in the reality of sweet and good, and the Sitra Achra would be defined in the reality of bad and bitter.

Thus the commandment of choice would reach us, as it is written, “Behold, I have set before thee the sweet and the bitter; therefore choose sweet.” Thus all the people would have been certain to achieve the perfection, for they would certainly run from the sin, as it is bad for them.

They would be occupied in His Mitzvot day in and day out without rest like today's fools regarding the bodily matters and its filth, since it is good and sweet for them. So was the matter of Adam ha Rishon because He created him.

“And put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” They interpreted: “to dress it,” these are the positive Mitzvot, “and to keep it,” these are the negative Mitzvot.

His positive Mitzva was to eat from all the trees of the Garden and be delighted by them. His negative Mitzva was not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of good and bad. The positive Mitzva was sweet and nice and the negative Mitzva was retirement from the bitter fruit that is as hard as death.

Not surprisingly, these cannot be called Mitzvot and labor. Such as that we also find in our present chores, where by the pleasures of Shabbat and good days we attain the sublime Kedusha. We are also rewarded for retiring from reptiles and insects and everything that one finds loathsome.

You find that the choice in the work of Adam ha Rishon was in the form of “therefore choose sweet.” It follows, that the physical palate alone was sufficient for one's entire benefit, to know what the Lord had commanded and what He had not commanded him.

  1. Now we can understand the serpent's craftiness, which our sages added to notify us that SAM clothed in it, meaning because its words were very high. It started with, “Yea, hath God said: 'Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?'” It began to speak to her since she was not commanded by the Creator, hence it asked her about the modes of sorting.

In other words, how will you know that the Tree of Knowledge had been prohibited? Perhaps all the fruits of the Garden were forbidden for you too? “And the woman said… Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” There are two great precisions here:

  1. The touching was never forbidden; hence, why did she add to the prohibition?

  2. Did she doubt the words of the Creator? The Creator said, “thou shalt surely die,” and she said, “lest ye die.” Could it be that she did not believe the words of God even prior to the sin?

Yet, the woman answered it according to the serpent's question. She knew what the Creator had prohibited, that all the trees of the Garden are sweet and nice and good to eat. However, she was already close to touching that tree inside the Garden and tasted in it a taste that is as hard as death.

She herself had proven that according to her own observation there is fear of death, even by merely touching. For this reason she understood the prohibition further than she had heard from her husband, as there is none smarter than the experienced.

“Lest ye die” concerns the touching. The answer must have been quite sufficient for who would interfere and deny another's predilection? However, the serpent contradicted her and said, “Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened.”

We must make the precision here concerning the matter of the opening of the eyes to this place. Indeed, it informed her of a new thing, beyond her. It proved that it is folly to think that the Creator created something harmful and detrimental in His world. Thus, it is certain that with regard to the Creator it is certainly not bad and harmful.

Instead, that bitterness that you will taste when even close to touching it is only on your part. It is to notify you of the height of your merit. Thus, it is additional Kedusha that you need during the act so that your sole aim will be to bring contentment to your Maker, to keep the intention for which you were created. For that reason it seems evil to you, so that you would see the additional Kedusha that is required of you.

“For in the day that thou eatest thereof.” It means that if the act is in Kedusha and purity as clear as day, then “ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.” This means that as it is certainly sweet to the Creator with complete equivalence, so the good and bad will be for you, in complete equivalence, sweet and gentle.

It is still possible to doubt the creditability of the serpent since the Creator did not tell it that Himself. Therefore, the serpent first said, “for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened.”

This means that it is unnecessary for the Creator to notify you of that since He knows that if you note that, to eat on the side of the Kedusha, your eyes shall be opened by themselves to understand the greatness of His sublimity. You will feel wondrous sweetness and gentleness in Him, hence He does not need to let you know, as for that He has instilled in you the scrutinizing force, that you may know what is to your benefit by yourselves.

It is written right after that: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes.” This means that she did not rely herself on His words but went and examined with her own mind and understanding.

She sanctified herself with additional Kedusha to bring contentment to the Creator in order to complete the intention desired of her, and not at all for herself. At that time her eyes were opened, as the serpent said, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food.”

In other words, by seeing that “it was a delight to the eyes,” meaning before she even touched it, she felt great sweetness and lust, her eyes alone seeing that she has not seen anything so desirable in all the trees of the Garden.

She also found out that the tree is good for knowledge, and hence there is more to crave and covet in this tree than in all the trees of the Garden. This refers to knowing that they were created for this act of eating, and that this is the whole purpose, as the serpent had told her.

After all these certain observations “she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.” The text accurately writes “with her,” meaning with the pure intention only to bestow and not for her self. This is the meaning of the words “and she gave also unto her husband with her,” with her in Kedusha.

  1. Now we come to the heart of the matter and the mistake that was connected to his leg. This Tree of Knowledge of good and bad was mixed with the Vacant Space, meaning from the form of the great measure of reception upon which the Tzimtzum was implemented and from which the Ohr Elyon departed.

It has also been explained that Adam ha Rishon did not have any of the form of the great reception in his structure, which extends from the Vacant Space. Instead, he extended solely from the system of Kedusha, concerned only with bestowal.

It is written in the Zohar (Kedoshim), that Adam ha Rishon had nothing of this world. For that reason the Tree of Knowledge was forbidden for him, as his root and the entire system of Kedusha are separated from the Sitra Achra due to their disparity of form, which is the meaning of separation.

For that reason he was also commanded and warned about connecting to it, as thus he would be separated from his root and die like the Sitra Achra and the Klipot (lit. Shells) that die due to their oppositeness of form and separation from the Kedusha and the Life of Lives.

However, Satan, which is SAM, the angel of death that was clothed in the serpent, came down and enticed Eve with deceit in its mouth: “Ye shall not surely die.” It is known with any false matter that if you do not say a true matter in the beginning, it does not stand. Hence, it started with a true word and revealed the purpose of creation to her, which came only in order to correct that tree, meaning in order to invert the great vessels of reception to the side of bestowal.

It said to her that God had eaten from this tree and created the world, meaning looked at that matter in the form of “The end of an act is in the first thought,” and for this reason He has created the world. As we have seen above, the whole matter of the first Tzimtzum was only for Man, destined to equalize the form of reception to bestowal.

This is true and that is why it succeeded and the woman believed it when she prepared herself to receive and enjoy solely in order to bestow. You find that at any rate, evil vanished from the Tree of Knowledge of good and bad, and the Tree of Knowledge of good remained.

This is because the whole matter of bad there is only the disparity of form of reception for the `self' that was imprinted in him. Yet, with reception in order to bestow he is brought to his complete perfection, and thus you find that she has made the great unification, as it should be at the end of the act.

However, that sublime Kedusha was still untimely. She was only fit to endure it in the first eating but not in the second eating. I will explain to you that one who abstains oneself before one has tasted and grown accustomed is not like one who abstains after having tasted and become connected to it. The first can certainly abstain once and for all, but the other must exert to retire from one's craving bit-by-bit until one completes the matter.

So it is here since the woman has not yet tasted from the Tree of Knowledge and was completely in bestowal. For this reason it was easy for her to perform the first eating in order to bestow contentment upon the Creator in absolute Kedusha. However, after she had tasted it, a great desire and coveting has been made in her for the Tree of Knowledge until she could not retire from her craving. The matter had gone out of her hands.

This is why our sages said that she ate prematurely, meaning before it was ripe. In other words, before they acquired the strength and power to rule over their desire. It is similar to what the sages said in Masechet Yevamot, “I have eaten and I shall eat more.”

This means that even when he had explicitly heard that the Creator was in wrath with him, he still could not retire from it, since the lust had already been connected to him. You find that the first eating was on the side of the Kedusha, and the second eating was in great filth.

Now we can understand the severity of the punishment of the Tree of Knowledge, that all the people are put to death for. This death extends from eating it, as the Creator had warned him, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

The thing is that the form of the great reception extends into his limbs from the Vacant Space, and from the Tzimtzum onward it is no longer possible to be under one roof with the Ohr Elyon (lit. Upper Light). Hence, that eternal breath of life, expressed in the verse, “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” had to leave there and depend on a slice of bread for its transient sustenance.

This life is not an eternal life as before when it was for himself. It is similar in value to a “sweat of life”, meaning a life that has been divided into tiny drops. Each drop is a fragment of his previous life, and this is the meaning of the sparks of souls that were spread out throughout his progeny. Thus, in all his progeny, all the people in the world in all the generations through the last generation that concludes the purpose of creation are one long chain.

It follows, that the acts of the Creator did not change at all by the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. Rather, this Light of life that was complete in Adam ha Rishon, was extended and stretched into a long chain that continues through the wheel of transformation of form until the end of correction. There is no cessation for a moment since the actions of the Creator must be alive and enduring; “Sanctity is raised, not lowered.”

As is the case of Man, so is the case of all the creatures in the world. This is so because they all came down from an eternal and general form on the wheel of transformation of form, as did Man.

Man and the world both have an inner value and an outer value. The outer always ascends and descends according to the inner. This is the meaning of “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.” Instead of the previous breath of life that the Creator had breathed in his nostrils, there is now a sweat of life in his nostrils.

  1. Our sages said (Babba Batra 17): “He is the evil inclination, he is Satan, and he is the angel of death. He declines and incites, and rises and complains, and he comes and takes his soul. This is because two general corruptions occurred because of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge.

The first corruption is the matter of “rises and complains.” He had been tempted to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and acquired a vessel of reception of the Vacant Space in the structure of his body. That, in turn, caused hatred and remoteness between the eternal Light of life that the Creator had breathed in Adam's nostrils, and Adam's body.

It is similar to what they said, “One who is proud, the Creator says, `he and I cannot dwell in the same compartment.'” This is so because pride stems from the vessels of reception of the Vacant Space from which the Ohr Elyon has already departed from the time of the Tzimtzum onward.

It is written in the Zohar that the Creator hates the bodies that are built only for themselves. For that reason the Light of life fled from him, and this is the first corruption.

The second corruption is the descent of the 288 sparks that were already connected in the system of Kedusha. They were given and descended to the system of Sitra Achra and the Klipot so that the world would not be destroyed.

This is so because the system of Kedusha cannot nurture and nourish people and the world because of the hate that had been made between the Kedusha and the Kelim of the Vacant Space. This follows the law of opposites, “he and I can not dwell in the same compartment.”

Hence, the 288 sparks were given to the system of the Sitra Achra so that they would nurture and sustain Man and the world throughout the incarnations of the souls in the bodies, as it is written, “Ten thousand for a generation and for a thousand generations,” until the end of correction.

Now you can see why they are called Klipot (lit. Shells/Peals). It is because they are like the peal on a fruit. The hard peal envelops and covers the fruit to keep it from any filth and harm until the fruit is eaten. Without it, the fruit would have been corrupted and would not fulfill its purpose. Also, you find that the 288 sparks were given to the Klipot in order to sustain and qualify reality until they would connect and attain their desired goal.

The above-mentioned second corruption is the matter of “cometh and taketh his soul.” I wish to say that even that tiny part of the soul that remains for a person, as “sweat of the previous life”, is also robbed by the Sitra Achra through that same administration that she gives him from the 288 sparks that have fallen into her.

To understand that you need a clear picture of the Sitra Achra as she really is. Thus you will be able to examine all her ways.

All the parts of the reality of a lower world are branches, extending from their roots like an imprint from a seal from the Upper World, and the Upper from the one above it and that Upper from the its own Upper.

Know that any discernment in branches about the roots is only in the elements of their substance. It means that the substances in this world are corporeal elements, and the substances in the world of Yetzira are spiritual elements, meaning from the spiritual aspect in Yetzira. Each and every world is the same in its own elements.

However, the occurrences and the comportments in them have the same worth from each branch to its root. It is like two identical drops of water and like the imprint, whose form is completely equal to its seal in every way. Once you know that, we can seek that branch of the upper Sitra Achra in this world, and then we will also know the root of the upper Sitra Achra.

We find in the Zohar (Parashat Tazria) that the afflictions in people's bodies are branches of the upper Sitra Achra. Hence, let us take the Animate level and learn from that.

We find that the spouting that occurs in its body through the attainment of pleasure is what proliferates its life. For this reason Providence has imprinted in the little ones that every place they rest their eyes on gives them pleasure and contentment, even the most trifle things.

This is so because the level of the small must proliferate sufficiently to grow and sprout, and this is why their pleasure is copious. Thus you find that the Light of the pleasure is the progenitor of life.

However, this law applies only in pleasures that come to the level as a whole. Conversely, in a segregated pleasure, when the pleasure is concentrated and received only by a separated part of the level of the Animal, we find the opposite rule.

If there is a defected place in its flesh that demands scratching and rubbing, the act of scratching carries its reward with it, as it feels great pleasure pursuing it. However, that pleasure is sodden with a drop of death. If one does not govern one's desire and pays the haunting demand, the payment will increase the debt.

In other words, according to the pleasure from the scratching, so will the affliction increase and the pleasure will turn into pain. When it begins to heal again, a new demand for scratching appears and at a greater extent than before.

If one still cannot control one's desire and pays to saturate the demand, the affliction will grow as well. Finally, it brings it a bitter drop, entirely poisoning the blood of that animal. You find that it died by receiving pleasure, because it is a segregated pleasure, received only by a particular part of the level. Hence, death operates within the level in the opposite manner from the pleasure administered to the entire level.

Here we see before us the form of the upper Sitra Achra from head to toe. Her head is the will to receive for herself alone and not bestow outside herself, as is the property of the demand in the afflicted flesh concerning the entire animal. The body of the Sitra Achra is a certain form of demand that is not going to be paid. The repayment one makes increases the debt and the affliction even more as with the example of the scratching.

The toe of the Sitra Achra is the drop of the potion of death that robs it and separates it from the last spark of life that it still has left. It is like that drop of poison that intoxicates all the blood in the animal.

This is the meaning of what our sages said, “in the end, it cometh and taketh his soul.” In other words, they said that the angel of death comes with a drawn sword with a drop of poison at its tip; the person opens his mouth, he throws the drop inside and he dies.

The sword of the angel of death is the influence of the Sitra Achra, called “Herev” (lit. Sword, but it comes from the Hebrew word Harav - destroyed), because of the great separation that grows according to the measure of reception, and the separation destroys him.

One is compelled to open one's mouth since one must receive the abundance for sustenance and persistence from her hands. In the end, the bitter drop at the tip of the sword reaches one and this completes the separation to the last spark of the soul of one's life.

  1. As a result of these two corruptions, Man's body was corrupted too, as it is adapted from creation to receive the abundance of its sustenance from the system of Kedusha with complete accuracy. It is so because any viable act, its constituents are guarded from any surplus or scarcity. An act that is not viable is because its parts are imbalanced and there is some shortage or surplus in them.

As he says in the Poem of Unification: “Of all Your work, not a thing You have forgotten; You did not add, and You did not subtract.” It is an obligatory law that perfect operations stem from the perfect Operator.

However, for a person from the system of Kedusha to the system of the Sitra Achra, because of the barnacle attached to his construction by the Tree of Knowledge, many parts of him are already in surplus, needless. This is because they do not receive anything from the abundance of sustenance dispensed from the authority of the Sitra Achra, as we find with the Luz bone (Zohar, Midrash HaNe'elam, Toladot), and also in a certain portion of each and every organ.

Hence, one must receive sustenance into one's body more than is necessary since the surplus joins every demand that rises from the body, and therefore the body receives for them. However, the surplus itself cannot receive its share, and thus its part remains in the body as surplus and litter that the body must later eject.

Thus, the feeding and digesting tools exert in vain. They diminish and lessen to extinction because their sentence is decided, as that of any imbalanced act, destined to disintegrate. Hence, you find that from the perspective of the construction of the body too, its death depends on cause and effect from the Tree of Knowledge.

Now we have been awarded knowing and learning about the two contradicting and antipodal conducts (item 11). The sustenance and keeping of the children of reality has already passed from the system of Kedusha to the system of the Sitra Achra.

This is so because of the barnacle of the great will to receive for oneself. It is connected to the children of reality because of the eating from the Tree of Knowledge that induced separation, oppositeness and hatred between the system of Kedusha and the structure of the bodies of the children of the reality of this world.

Kedusha can no longer sustain and nurture them from the high table. Thus, in order to not destroy reality, and to induce an act of correction for them, it gives the collective abundance of the sustenance of reality to the system of the Sitra Achra, which are the 288 sparks. They will provide for all the children of the world during the time of the corrections.

For that reason the ordinances of existence are very confused, because evil sprouts from the wicked. If the abundance is reduced to the children of the world, it certainly brings ruin and destruction, and if abundance is increased, it brings excessive force of separation to the receivers, as our sages said, “He who has one portion, wants two hundred; he who has two hundred wants four hundred.”

It is like the segregated pleasure that the separated and defected flesh feels where the growing pleasure increases the separation and the affliction. Consequently, self-love greatly increases in the receivers and one swallows one's friend alive. Also, the life of the body shortens since the accumulation of reception brings the bitter drop at the end sooner, and wherever they turn they only condemn.

Now you can understand what is written in the Tosfot (Ktubot p. 104): “While one prays that Torah will enter one's body, one should pray that no delicacies will enter one's body.” This is because the form of the self reception, which is the opposite of Kedusha, increases and multiplies according to the pleasure that one's body acquires.

Thus, how can one attain the Light of Torah inside one's body when one is separated and in complete oppositeness of form from the Kedusha and there is great hatred between them. It is as with all opposites, they hate each other and cannot be under the same roof.

Therefore, one must first pray that no delights and pleasures will enter one's body, and as the deeds in Torah and Mitzvot accumulate one slowly purifies and inverts the form of reception to be in order to bestow. You find that one equalizes one's form with the system of Kedusha and the equivalence and love between them returns as it was prior to the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. Thus, one is awarded the Light of the Torah since one enters the presence of the Creator.

  1. Now it is thoroughly understood why the answer of the angels above is not presented, regarding Man's creation, which we learned in the Midrash (item 11). It is because even the angels of Mercy and Righteousness did not agree to the present Man; he has gone completely out of their influence and has become completely dependant on the Sitra Achra.

The Midrash ends: “He took Truth and threw it to the ground. They all said immediately, `Let Truth spring out of the earth.'” This means that even the angels of Mercy and Righteousness regretted their consent, as they never agreed that Truth would be disgraced.

This incident occurred at the time of the eating from the Tree of Knowledge, when Truth was absent from the leadership of the sustenance of reality. This was so because the scrutinizing force imprinted in Man by creation, which operates by the sensation of bitter and sweet, has weakened and failed (item 17).

However, after the first tasting of the Tree of Knowledge, because of which the form of the great reception for self has stuck to them, their body and Kedusha became two opposites. At that time the abundance of sustenance, which is the 288 discernments, went to the hands of the Sitra Achra.

You find that the 288 sparks that had already been sorted, were remixed by the Sitra Achra. Thus, a new form was made in reality, the form whose beginning is sweet and whose end is bitter.

This was because the form of the 288 has been changed by the Sitra Achra, where the Light of pleasure brings separation and a bitter drop. This is the form of falsehood, the first and foremost progenitor of every destruction and confusion.

It is written, “He took Truth and threw it to the ground.” Thus, because of the serpent, a new discernment was added to Man, being the active intellectual force. It operates by discernments of true and false, and one must use it throughout the period of correction, for without it the benefit is impossible (item 17).

Come and see how confused it has become because of the fall of the 288 sparks into the hands of the Sitra Achra. Before he tasted from the Tree of Knowledge, the woman too could not even touch the forbidden thing (item 17). She tasted a bitterness such as death in the Tree of Knowledge from the mere proximity to it.

For that reason she understood and added the prohibition on touching. Yet, after the first eating, when the Sitra Achra and falsehood was already in power in the sustenance of reality, the prohibition became so sweet in its beginning that they could no longer retire from it. This is why he said, “I have eaten and I shall eat more.”

Now you can understand why the reward in the Torah is intended only for the ripe bodies. It is because the whole purpose of the Torah is to correct the sin of the Tree of Knowledge that induced the confusion of the conduct of the sustenance of reality.

For this correction the Torah was given, to raise the 288 sparks to Kedusha once more. At that time the conduct of the sustenance will return to the Kedusha and the confusions will be lifted form the modes of the sustenance of reality. In that state people will be brought to their desired perfection by themselves solely by the discernment of bitter and sweet, which was the first to operate prior to the sin of the Tree of Knowledge.

The prophets too speak only of this correction. This is why our sages said: “All the prophets made their prophecies only for the days of the Messiah.” This is the meaning of the restoration of the modes of sustenance of the world under Sorted Providence, as it was before the sin.

“But for the world to come” means the end of the matter, being the equivalence of form with the Maker, “neither hath the eye seen a God beside Thee.” It is also written that in the days of the Messiah, if Egypt does not rise, there will not be rain on them, meaning through discernments of good and bad.

  1. Now we understand the words of our sages that the Creator did not find a vessel that holds a blessing for Israel but peace. We asked; “Why was this statement chosen to end the Mishnah?”

According to the above, we understand that the eternal soul of life that the Creator had blown in his nostrils, only for the needs of Adam ha Rishon, has departed because of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. It acquired a new form, called “Sweat of Life”, meaning the general has been divided into a great many particulars, tiny drops, divided between Adam ha Rishon and all his progeny endlessly.

It follows, that there are no changes in the act of the Creator, but there is rather an additional form here. This Light that was fascicled in the nose of Adam ha Rishon has expanded to a long chain. It evolves on the wheel of transformation of form in many bodies, body after body until the necessary end of correction.

It turns out that he died at the very day he ate from the Tree of Knowledge, and the eternal life departed from him. Instead, he was tied to a long chain by the procreation organ (which is the meaning of the copulation, called “Peace”).

You find that one does not live for oneself, but for the entire chain. Thus, each and every part of the chain does not receive the Light of life into itself, but only distributes the Light of life to the entire chain.

This is what you find in the measurements of one's days of life. At twenty he is fit to marry a woman; ten years he may wait to bear children, thus he must certainly beget by thirty.

Then he sits and waits for his son until he is forty years of age, the age of Bina (lit. understanding). Thus, he can pass on his fortune and the knowledge that he has acquired by himself and everything he had inherited and learned from his forefathers, certain that it will not be lost in an evil matter. Right then and there he passes away and his son grips the continuation of the chain in his father's place.

It has been explained (item 15) that the incident of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge was compelled for Adam ha Rishon, as it is written, “Libel is terrible for the children of men.” This is so because one must acquire an outer Kli to receive the Surrounding Light.

Thus, the two opposites will come in one carrier in two consecutive times. During the infancy he will be dependent on the Sitra Achra. His vessels of reception of Vacant Space will grow to their desired measure by the selfish pleasures that one receives because of them.

Finally, when one reaches adulthood and engages in Torah and Mitzvot, the ability to turn the great vessels of reception in order to bestow will be readily available. This is the primary goal, called “The Light of Truth”, “The Seal” (item 14).

However, it is known that before one connects to the Kedusha, one must retire once more from any form of reception that he has received from the table of the Sitra Achra, as the commandment of love came to us “with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Hence, what have the sages done by this correction, if one loses everything he has acquired from the Sitra Achra?

For this reason His Providence provided the proliferation of the bodies in each generation, as our sages said, “He saw that righteous are few, stood and planted them in each and every generation.” It means that He saw that in the end, the righteous will repel the matter of self-reception altogether, and thus their Surrounding Light would be lessened in them, as the outer Kli that is fit for that has been rejected from them.

For this reason He planted them in each and every generation, as there is no generation in which a large number of the people are created primarily for the righteous, to be the carriers of the Kelim of the Vacant Space for them. Thus, the Outer Kli would necessarily operate in the righteous, involuntarily.

This is so because all the people in the world are attached to one another. They affect one another both in bodily inclinations and in opinions. Therefore, they necessarily bring the inclination for self-reception to the righteous, and in this manner they can receive the desired Surrounding Light.

However, according to that, the righteous and the wicked should have been of equal weight in each generation. Yet, it is not so, but we find one righteous for many thousands of vain. Yet, you must know that there are two kinds of dominion in creation: 1 - A qualitative force; 2 - A quantitative force.

The force of those that hang about the feet of the Sitra Achra is meager, contemptible and low, undesirable and purposeless, and they are blown like chaff in the wind. Thus, how can such as those do anything to wise-hearted people, whose way and wish are clear and purposeful, and a pillar of Upper Light shines before them day and night sufficiently to bring the tiny inclinations in their hearts?

Hence, He provided the quantitative force in creation, as this force does not need any quality. I will explain it to you in the way we find the qualitative force in strength such as in lions and tigers. Because of the great quality of their strength no man will fight them.

Opposite them we find no strength and power in the flies, only quantity. Yet, because of their quantity no man will fight them. These wanderers roam man's house and set table freely and it is man who feels weak against them.

However, with wild flies, insects and other such uninvited guests, though the quality of their power is greater than the domestic flies, man will not rest until he entirely banishes them from his domain. This is so because nature did not allot them a reproduction ability such as the flies.

Accordingly, you can see that there must necessarily be a great multitude for every single righteous. They instill their crude inclinations in him through the power of their proliferation, as they have no quality whatsoever.

This is the meaning of the text, “The Lord will give strength unto His people.” It means that the eternal Light of life attained by the entire chain of creation is called “Strength”. The text guarantees us that the Creator will surely give us that strength.

Yet, we should ask: “How so, if not every one is already complete? Our sages have written, “It is better for one to not be born than to be born.” Hence, why are we certain of His eternity?”

The text ends: “the Lord will bless his people with peace,” meaning the blessing of the children. It is as our sages have said in Masechet Shabbat: “He who sets peace in the house is cancelled.” It is so because through the sons, this chain is tied and linked to the end of correction, at which time all the parts will be in eternity.

For this reason our sages said, “The Creator did not find a receptacle that holds a blessing for Israel, but peace.” As His blessing is eternal, so should the receivers be eternal.

Thus you find that the sons that grip to their fathers make the chain of eternity, fitting to sustain the blessing for eternity. It follows that it is peace that holds the wholeness of the blessing and conducts it.

Hence, our sages ended the Mishnah with this verse, since peace is the vessel that holds the blessing of the Torah and all the Mitzvot for us until the complete and eternal redemption soon in our days Amen, and everything will come to its place in peace.

1 Introduction to the Book Tree of Life



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