94. Rabbi Chiya said, "That which is, already has been; and that which is to be has already been..." (Kohelet 3:15). "That which is, already has been." We have learned that before the Holy One, blessed be He, created this world, He created worlds and destroyed them - THIS IS THE SECRET OF THE BREAKING OF THE VESSELS - until it entered the will of the Holy One, blessed be He, to create this world. First, He took counsel with the Torah, THE SECRET OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN, then He put on His adornments and was crowned with His crowns and created this world. All that is found in this world was there before Him, AT THE TIME OF CREATION, and was prepared before Him.
99. We have learned that before coming to the world, all the true pious people were prepared above and were given names. From the day that the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world, even Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai was prepared and came before the Holy One, blessed be He. The Holy One, blessed be He, called him by his name. How fortunate is his lot above and below. About him, is addressed the verse, "Let your father and your mother be glad" (Mishlei 23:25). "Your father" is the Holy One, blessed be He, and "your Mother" is the Congregation of Yisrael.
210. We have learned that it is written, "The voice of Hashem makes (lit. 'frightens') the hinds (Heb. ayalot) to calve" (Tehilim 29:9). IT IS PRONOUNCED "ayalot," yet spelled without Vav. This is the gazelle (Heb. ayelet) of dawn, REFERRING TO MALCHUT. Another explanation of the wild hinds: We have learned that at midnight, when the Holy One, blessed be He, enters the Garden of Eden to delight in the righteous, this voice, NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN, goes out and strikes pain to all those hinds that surround the holy throne of glory, NAMELY MALCHUT. This is what is written, "Sixty valiant men are round about it..." (Shir Hashirim 3:7). Another explanation, "Makes (Heb. yecholel) the hinds to calve" as it says "his hand slew (Heb. cholelah, also: 'created') the slant serpent" (Iyov 26:13), WITH CHOLELAH MEANING THAT HE CREATED AND STRENGTHENED. ALSO, "YECHOLEL" MEANS HE STRENGTHENS THE HINDS THAT ARE THE SIXTY WARRIORS. "And strips the forests bare" (Tehilim 29:9), as the verse says, "honeycomb (lit. 'forest of honey')" (I Shmuel 14:27),and, "I had eaten my honeycomb with my honey" (Shir Hashirim 5:1), MEANING THAT ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE VOICE OF HASHEM, nurtures those SIXTY VALIANT MEN CALLED HINDS as a mother nurtures her children. THEREFORE, IT IS WRITTEN, "THE VOICE OF HASHEM MAKES THE HINDS TO CALVE," MEANING IT NURTURES AND MAINTAINS THEM.
219. Come and see: When the holy souls come from above downwards and the pious of the world draw them from the King and the Queen, NAMELY FROM THE UNION OF MALE AND FEMALE, there are few THAT MERIT it, that at the exact moment when they descend TO EARTH, they are standing AND SERVING before the King, who pleases to look at it. AFTERWARDS, IT DESCENDS INTO THE WORLD. When the Holy One, blessed be He, blew the breath INTO EVERY SINGLE SOUL AND into every angel in Heaven, all the hosts were created and stood complete, as we have established. This is what the verse says, "And all the hosts of them by the breath of His mouth" (Tehilim 33:6). Among THE SOULS, there are those that remain STANDING BEFORE THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, AS MENTIONED, until the Holy One, blessed be He, causes them to descend.
220. We have learned that from the day the world was created, THE SOULS OF THE GREAT PIOUS ONES have stood before the Holy One, blessed be He, held back IN HIS PRESENCE. THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, WATCHES THEM until the time arrives to send them below, MEANING TO BECOME CLOTHED WITH A BODY, and they rule above and below. Thus the verse, "As Hashem the Elohim of Yisrael lives, before whom I stood." It doesn't say, 'I stand,' but "I stood," MEANING BEFORE DESCENDING TO THIS WORLD. Afterwards, he returned to his place IN HEAVEN and entered his chamber. Other SOULS do not ASCEND TO THEIR PLACE until they die. This is because they never stood earlier BEFORE THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, ON THAT LEVEL of the others, NAMELY ENOCH AND ELIJAH THAT MERITED TO ASCEND TO THEIR PLACE WHEN STILL ALIVE. For this reason, Elijah became a messenger and angel above, AND ENOCH TOO. And these were those that clung most to the King, MEANING MORE THAN AN ANGEL.
222. We have learned that 125,000 levels of the pious souls arose in the desire OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, before the world was created. The Holy One, blessed be He, designated them for this world in every generation. They ascend, fly in the world, and join in the bundle of life, MEANING MALCHUT. In the future, the Holy One, blessed be He, will renew the world with them. About them, it is written, "For as the new heavens and the new Earth..." (Yeshayah 66:22).
243. Rabbi Yehuda opened the discussion saying, "A song of ascent. Out of the depths I have cried to You, Hashem" (Tehilim 130:1). We have learned that when the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world, He wanted to create man. He took counsel in the Torah. She said before Him: You wish to create this man, he will sin before you. He will anger You and, if You react to him according to his deeds, the world then will not survive before You, certainly not man. THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, said to her, "Am I for no reason called an "El, merciful and graciously long-suffering" (Shemot 34:6).
244. Before He created the world, He created repentance. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to repentance (WHICH IS THE SECRET OF BINAH CALLED REPENTANCE): 'I wish to create man in the world on the condition if they turn to you from their sins, you will be ready to forgive their sins and render atonement.' At every hour, repentance is available for mankind. When mankind repents from their iniquities, this repentance, NAMELY BINAH, returns to the Holy One, blessed be He, MEANING EXTENDS MOCHIN TO ZEIR ANPIN and atones for all. The Judgments are all subdued and mitigated, and man is purified of his sins.
279. We have learned, what did this pious woman contemplate that she did such a thing? HE ANSWERS: She understood from being in the house of her father-in-law the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, NAMELY how He conducts this world with its human beings. Because she knew this, the Holy One, blessed be He, set up this matter to happen through her. This matter goes along the same line, as we have learned. Batsheba was designated FOR DAVID from the six days of Creation to be the mother of King Solomon. Here too, Tamar was designated for this from the creation of the world.
289. Rabbi Yitzchak said: IT WAS the practices of Egypt THAT THEY USED to worship the maidservant, MEANING THE KLIPAH CALLED MAIDSERVANT, as we have explained. The practice of Canaan WAS TO worship THAT PLACE called "the captive that was in the dungeon" (Shemot 12:29). Therefore, it is written, "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren" (Beresheet 9:25). For this reason, they all falsified in matters of holiness and everything practiced IDOLATRY. For this reason, IT IS WRITTEN, "After the doings of the land of Egypt, in which you dwelt..." (Vayikra 18:3). Rabbi Yehuda said: They created evil Judgments that will rule over the land, NAMELY MALCHUT, as the verse says, "That your land be not defiled" (Devarim 21:23) and, "And the land is defiled" (Vayikra 18:27).
395. We have learned that Batsheba was chosen for David from the day of Creation. What had delayed HIS TAKING HER was because he took the daughter of King Saul. That day, Uriah took her mercifully even though she was not to be his. Later, David came and took what was his. Since David forced time before the Holy One, blessed be He, to kill Uriah and behave in this way, he sinned before Him. So He punished David, because the Holy One, blessed be He, wanted to return BATSHEBA to David in order to sustain for his sake the holy supernal kingdom, AS BATSHEBA WAS THE CHARIOT OF MALCHUT. So what he yearned for was really his.