12. "And Hashem spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron" (Vayikra 16:1): Rabbi Chizkiyah opened the discussion saying, "Therefore, thus says Hashem concerning the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham..." (Yeshayah 29:22). This verse is troublesome. It should read, 'Therefore, thus says Hashem, who redeemed Abraham.' Why does it say "Therefore, thus says Hashem concerning the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham?"
13. We have already learned that Jacob surely redeemed Abraham. At the time that ABRAHAM fell into THE FURNACE OF the Chaldeans' fire, his fate was being decided before the Holy One, blessed be He. In what merit should this one be saved as he lacks ancestral merits? THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, said TO THE COURT ON HIGH: 'He should be saved because of his sons.' As we have learned, a son can bring merits for his father. The others replied: But Ishmael will descend from him. The Holy One, blessed be He, replied, 'But Isaac WILL DESCEND FROM HIM, who will extend his throat FOR THE SACRIFICE on the altar.' The others said: But Esau will derive from Isaac. THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, said, 'But Jacob will DESCEND FROM HIM, who is a whole throne, and all his sons are perfect before Me.' They concurred by saying: Surely for this merit, Abraham shall be rescued. Such is the meaning of, "who redeemed Abraham."
14. IT IS WRITTEN, "Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now grow pale; when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in the midst of him, sanctifying My name" (Yeshayah 29:22-23). HE QUESTIONS: Who are "his children, the work of My hands?" HE ANSWERS: They are Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, WHO THREW THEMSELVES INTO A BURNING FIRE TO SANCTIFY MY NAME. HE QUESTIONS, "Jacob shall not now be ashamed:" What is Jacob doing here? For it is written, "These were among the descendants of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah" (Daniel 1:6). NOTE, they are referred to as scions of Judah. As a result, it should read: 'Judah shall not now be ashamed.' Why then does it state, "Jacob shall not now be ashamed?"
15. HE ANSWERS: We have learned at the time they bound HANANIAH, MISHAEL AND AZARIAH in order to cast them into fire, each raised his voice and spoke before all the gathered nations, kings and nobles. Hananiah said, "Hashem is with me, I will not fear: what can man do to me? Hashem takes my part with those who help me: therefore I shall gaze upon those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in Hashem..." (Tehilim 118:6-8). Mishael said, "Therefore fear you not, My servant Jacob, says Hashem...For I am with you, says Hashem, to help you, for I will make a full end of all the nations" (Yirmeyah 30:10-11). At that moment, when THE NATIONS AND THE NOBLES heard the name Jacob, they were disgusted and began mockingly to laugh, BECAUSE HE PUT HIS TRUST IN JACOB. Azariah commenced to proclaim, "Hear O' Yisrael, Hashem our Elohim; Hashem is One" (Devarim 6:4).
16. This is what is written, "One shall say, I am Hashem's..." (Yeshayah 44:5). "One shall say, I am Hashem's" refers to Hananiah, WHO DECLARED THAT "HASHEM TAKES MY PART..." "And another shall call himself by the name of Jacob" (Ibid.): This is Mishael, WHO SAID, "FEAR YOU NOT, O MY SERVANT JACOB." "And another shall subscribe with his hand to Hashem, and surname himself by the name of Yisrael" (Ibid.). This is Azariah, WHO SAID, "HEAR O' YISRAEL..." At that moment, the Holy One, blessed be He, assembled His heavenly council, NAMELY THE ANGELS, and said to them, 'For which word among the words that these three uttered, should I save them?' They replied, "That they may know that You alone, whose name is Hashem, are the most high over all the earth" (Tehilim 83:19), MEANING SAVE THEM, BECAUSE THEY TRUSTED IN HASHEM.
17. At that hour, the Holy One, blessed be He, said to the throne, WHICH IS MALCHUT, 'My throne, for which word, among all the words THEY UTTERED, should I save these righteous men?' It replied: For the word that all the others mocked, I would save them, NAMELY THE MERIT OF JACOB, "Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now grow pale," SO THEY WILL SEE THAT THEY WERE SAVED IN HIS MERIT. Just as THE MERIT OF Jacob stood fast when Abraham was cast into the fire, now it will stand fast for these - NAMELY HANANIAH, MISHAEL AND AZARIAH. This is what is written, "Thus says Hashem concerning the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham, Jacob shall not now be ashamed..." namely by the contempt and the mockery with which THE NATIONS AND NOBLES RIDICULED HIM.
18. We have learned that all those who ridiculed this word, NAMELY "JACOB," were consumed by that fire, and a spark of flame killed them. Who saved Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah? HE DID, because they prayed before the Holy One, blessed be He, Hashem, and unified His Name properly. Because they unified His Name properly, they were saved from that consuming fire.
74. "Every man has his sword upon his thigh" (Ibid.): It is as you say, "Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty one" (Tehilim 45:4). THE SECRET MEANING OF THE SWORD HAS ALREADY BEEN EXPLAINED, "because of the fear by nights" (Shir Hashirim 3:8), they explained it as the fear of Gehenom. Yet, "because of the fear by nights" is saying where they receive it from - from fear, from the place called fear, as the verse says, "And the fear of Isaac, had been with me" (Beresheet 31:42), WHICH IS GVURAH OF ZEIR ANPIN, THE LEFT COLUMN KNOWN AS ISAAC. Just as this verse reads, "And Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac" (Ibid. 53), "by nights" REFERS TO those times designated for Judgments to be done, AS NIGHT IS THE TIME FOR JUDGMENT.
107. Come and see that when Jacob wished his sons to be blessed in the name of the Faith, it is written, "All these are the twelve tribes of Yisrael: and this (Heb. zot fem.) IS THAT WHICH THEIR FATHER SPOKE TO THEM" (Beresheet 49:28). TWELVE AND ZOT are thirteen, since the Shechinah, CALLED ZOT, participated with them and the blessings were fulfilled. This is the meaning of the verse, "Every one according to his blessing he blessed them" (Ibid.). What is meant by "according to his blessing?" MEANING according to the resemblance to that which is above, THE THIRTEEN ATTRIBUTES OF MERCY, NAMELY according to the blessing of each attribute.
112. Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion saying, "And took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes" (Beresheet 42:24). He questions: For what reason did Joseph see fit to take Simeon with him rather than any one of the OTHER brothers? HE ANSWERS: Joseph said that Simeon always was the opening for Judgment. When I left my father to go to my brothers, Simeon first began the Judgment, as the verse says, "And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer comes. Come now therefore..." (Beresheet 37:19). And later in Shechem, "that two sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi..." (Beresheet 34:25). All these actions pertain to Judgment. THEREFORE, it is better to take this one and not allow him to arouse quarreling among all the tribes.
132. Rabbi Shimon said, "And Jacob said to Rivkah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man" (Beresheet 27:11). What is this statement hinting at? Surely, Esau was a hairy (Heb. sa'ir) man, of him that is called goat (Heb. seir), WHICH IS THE OTHER SIDE, as it comes from the same aspect. "And I am a smooth (Heb. chalak) man," MEANING a man WHO WAS GIVEN (HEB. NECHELAK) from what He allotted (Heb. chalak) to the ministers of the other nations, as it is written, "Which Hashem your Elohim has allotted to all the nations" (Devarim 4:19) and, "For Hashem's portion (Hbe. chelek) is His people" (Devarim 32:9). Furthermore, "a smooth man" MEANS the two goats WERE PARTED and there remained one PORTION, which the priest divided (Heb. chilek). One went to the portion OF JACOB and one for the Holy One, blessed be He. Why? In order that THE GOAT carry upon its shoulders all Jacob's sins, as it is written, "And the goat shall bear upon it all their iniquities (Heb. avonotam)" (Vaykira 16:22). THESE COMPRISE THE LETTERS, Avonot (Eng. 'sins') tam (lit. 'a perfect man'), REFERRING TO THE SINS OF JACOB KNOWN AS THE PERFECT MAN.
182. "And there shall be no man in the Tent of Meeting." Rabbi Yitzchak said, "Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac..." (Vayikra 26:42). This verse has been explained. Come and see: When Yisrael are in exile, it is as if the Holy One, blessed be He, is with them in exile, as the Shechinah never forsakes them. When Yisrael were in exile in Babylon, the Shechinah resided among them and returned with them from exile. In the merits of these righteous people who remained in the land, She resided in the land and never left them. Rabbi Yehuda said: Then the Queen returned to the King and all returned TO BE IN the banquet of joy of the king. For this, they are called the men of the Great Assembly. The Great Assembly surely, AS MALCHUT CALLED ASSEMBLY RETURNED FROM ITS DIMINISHED STATUS DURING THE EXILE TO REGAIN HER PROMINENCE.
183. We have learned that whenever Yisrael are in exile and are found worthy, the Holy One, blessed be He, hastens His mercy for them and draws them out from exile. If they are not found worthy, He keeps them in exile until the time He originally decreed. If that time arrives yet they are not worthy OF REDEMPTION, the Holy One, blessed be He, is mindful of the glory of His Name, and does not forget them in exile. This is the meaning of the verse, "Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob..." (Vayikra 26:42). For they are everyone's Patriarchs, REFERRING TO CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET, the secret of the Holy Name, YUD HEI VAV HEI, AS HE IS MINDFUL OF THE GLORY OF HIS NAME.
184. Rabbi Chiya said: What is the reason that Jacob is MENTIONED first in the verse, AS IT READS, "THEN WILL I REMEMBER MY COVENANT WITH JACOB" AND LATER ISAAC AND LATER ABRAHAM? HE ANSWERS: Jacob, TIFERET, is the principal of the fathers, AS TIFERET ABSORBS WITHIN IT CHESED AND GVURAH, ALSO KNOWN AS ABRAHAM AND ISAAC. He is the holy tree, MEANING ZEIR ANPIN THAT INCLUDES ALL SIX ENDS. As such, the Vav of the Holy Name YUD HEI VAV HEI holds to him, so we pronounce Jacob with a Vav. Rabbi Yitzchak said: Vav FULLY SPELLED with all its letters HAS THE NUMERICAL VALUE OF THIRTEEN, NAMELY the thirteen attributes OF MERCY, AS JACOB, BEING ZEIR ANPIN, inherits the inheritance of the thirteen springs of the Holy sealed spring KNOWN AS ARICH ANPIN. FROM HIS BEARD ARE DRAWN THIRTEEN CORRECTIONS TO ZEIR ANPIN CALLED JACOB AND FOR THIS REASON, JACOB IS SPELLED WITH VAV.
193. The Yud is tied to the Hei ה, the Hei with the Vav and the Vav with the Hei. One is tied with the other, MEANING THAT THE VAV, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, IS CONNECTED WITH THE HEI, WHICH IS MALCHUT. Just as you say in the verse, "But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made supple by the hands of the mighty One of Jacob" (Beresheet 49:24), IN WHICH "STRENGTH" IS YESOD AND "HIS BOW" IS MALCHUT. THUS YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN IS ATTACHED TO MALCHUT, and "Strong is your dwelling place, and you put your nest in a rock" (Bemidbar 24:21), WHEREBY "STRONG" REFERS TO YESOD AND "ROCK" IS MALCHUT. They are tied together, one with another, and the keys are aglow WITH THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH. All faces are illuminated, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF SEVENTY FACES MENTIONED EARLIER. Then they all prostrate and tremble AS A RESULT OF THE JUDGMENTS REVEALED WITH THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, and they say: 'Blessed is the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.'
238. Rabbi Aba said: My master has told us from the text of the Mishnah that Yisrael were only exiled from their land for renouncing the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written, "We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Yishai" (II Samuel 20:1). DAVID DENOTES MALCHUT, SO THEY WERE SAYING, "WE HAVE NO PART IN MALCHUT." I have found another verse on this. It is written, "Now see to your own house, David" (I Melachim 12:16). HE QUESTIONS: DOES THE HOUSE OF DAVID ALSO DENOTE MALCHUT? He replied: Certainly MALCHUT is referred to as the house of David, as it is written, "O house of Jacob, come, and let us walk in the light of Hashem" (Yeshayah 2:5). The house of Jacob is similar to that which is written in, "And I will glorify My house of glory (Tiferet)" (Yeshayah 60:7), SINCE JACOB IS TIFERET AND THE HOUSE OF TIFERET IS MALCHUT. IN THE SAME MANNER, THE HOUSE OF DAVID POINTS TO MALCHUT. THE EXPLANATION OF THE VERSE, "O HOUSE OF JACOB, come, and let us walk in the light of Hashem:" IT HAS THE SAME MEANING as in, "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden" (Beresheet 2:10). RIVER REFERS TO ZEIR ANPIN THAT WATERS THE GARDEN THAT IS MALCHUT. He planted the Garden to enjoy himself there with the pious ones who dwell within. THEREFORE, IT IS SAID, "O HOUSE OF JACOB," DENOTING MALCHUT, "COME, AND LET US WALK IN THE LIGHT OF HASHEM," WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN THAT WATERS MALCHUT.
251. Come and see what is written concerning Isaac, "And Jacob went near to Isaac his father; and he felt him" (Beresheet 27:22). He said: He is lacking only the dew from heaven that flowed upon the earth, MEANING THAT HE LACKS ONLY THE BOUNTY OF ZEIR ANPIN CALLED HEAVEN, THE LIGHT OF CHASSADIM, AS HE IS A CHARIOT FOR ZEIR ANPIN. BUT HE DOES NOT NEED THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH. Rabbi Yosi spoke, "And the fatness of the earth" (Ibid. 28) IS ALSO WRITTEN DENOTING THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, and he blessed him with everything, BOTH CHASSIDIM AND CHOCHMAH. Why DID HE BLESS HIM WITH THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH? When he saw him with hair, DENOTING JUDGMENTS, he said, in order to remove this FROM HIM, he needs "the fatness of the earth" DENOTING THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, but not the filth of the earth, LIKE THE OTHER SIDE THAT FEEDS UPON THE FILTH OF THE NAILS. This filth comes from the earth, DENOTING MALCHUT. When the dew of Heaven and the fine fruit of the earth join, DENOTING ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT, that filth passes.
298. Rabbi Elazar asked of Rabbi Shimon his father: We learned that it is prohibited to teach Torah to idolaters and very beautifully did the Babylonian scholars explain that which is written, "He has not dealt so with any other nation" (Tehilim 147:20). But ONE COULD ASK since it is written, "He declares His word to Jacob" (Ibid. 19), so why write again, "His statutes and His Judgments (lit. 'justices') to Yisrael?" IT IS A REDUNDANT EXPRESSION. He replied: Elazar. Come and see how fortunate are Yisrael within whom this supernal portion was planted by the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written, "For I give you a good doctrine" (Mishlei 4:2) - to you and not to the idolatrous nations.
299. Because she is supernal, precious and hidden, His very name in the entire Torah is both concealed and revealed, AS IT CONTAINS THE ESOTERIC AND LITERAL MEANING in the secret of His name. Hence, Yisrael find themselves on two levels, MEANING concealed and revealed, as we learned there are three levels intertwined with each other, MEANING the Holy One, blessed be He, the Torah and Yisrael. Each OF THEM has one level above another, MEANING a hidden and a revealed one. As the Holy One, blessed be He, is a level upon level, concealed and revealed, the Torah is also concealed and revealing. Yisrael too is a level upon a level. This is what is written, "He declares His word to Jacob, His statutes and His Judgments (lit. 'justices') to Yisrael." Here are two levels, Jacob and Yisrael, one revealing, THE LEVEL OF JACOB, and one concealed, THE LEVEL OF YISRAEL.
300. HE QUESTIONS: What does the verse mean IN THE WORDS, "HIS STATUTES AND HIS JUDGMENTS (LIT. 'JUSTICES') TO YISRAEL?" HE ANSWERED: everyone who is circumcised and marked with the Holy Name is passed on with the revealed words of the Torah. He is informed generally of basic matters in brief, and has placed upon him the very strict CARE of the commandments of the Torah, and not more until he is elevated to another level. This is what the verse says, "He declares His word to Jacob," but "His statutes and His Judgments (lit. 'justices') to Yisrael" is a higher level, as it is written, "Your name shall not be called any more Jacob..." (Beresheet 35:10). THUS, ISRAEL IS MORE ESTEEMED THAN JACOB. THEREFORE, it is written, "His statutes and His Judgments (lit. 'justices') to Israel." These are the secrets of the Torah, the statutes of the Torah and the hidden parts of the Torah, which are not revealed except to one who finds himself to be on a more lofty level, as is proper.
305. For this reason, the Torah, THE SECRET OF ZEIR ANPIN, is the sustenance of everything and the Faith of all to bind the bond of Faith, NAMELY MALCHUT, one with another properly. He who is circumcised is bound with that bond of Faith, but he who is not circumcised is not bound with it, as it is written, "No stranger shall eat of the holy thing" (Vayikra 22:10) and "for no uncircumcised man shall eat of it" (Shemot 12:48). The spirit of defilement is stirred up from him and it comes to intermingle with holiness. Blessed is the Merciful One who set apart His children, Yisrael, who are marked with the holy impression, from them and their filth. About them, it is written, "And I had planted you a noble vine, an entirely right seed" (Yirmeyah 2:21). For this reason, IT IS WRITTEN, "You will show truth to Jacob" (Michah 7:20) and to no one else, a true Torah to a true seed. Rabbi Elazar approached and kissed him on his hands.
310. For this reason, "He has not dealt so with any other nation." "NATION," is unspecified, INCLUDING ALSO HIM THAT IS CIRCUMCISED YET DOES NOT PERFORM THE PRECEPTS. "And as for His ordinances they have not known them" forever and ever. Another interpretation, MEANING ACCORDING TO THE LITERAL MEANING OF THE TORAH AND THE PRECEPTS, we do not hand to them, and surely not the esoteric explanations of Torah and the ordinances of Torah. It is written, "For Hashem's portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance" (Devarim 32:9) and "Happy is that people, that is in such a case: happy is that people, whose Elohim is Hashem" (Tehilim 144:15).
385. The Hei OF THE NAME YUD HEI VAV HEI, BEING BINAH, is included in the Yud OF YUD HEI VAV HEI. It emerges from it, AS BINAH EMANATES FROM CHOCHMAH. Then CHOCHMAH AND BINAH, WHICH ARE YUD HEI OF YUD HEI VAV HEI crown the Patriarchs, MEANING CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET OF ZEIR ANPIN CALLED ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB. The Hei is opened with its streams, MEANING WITH THE FIFTY GATES OF BINAH IN IT, and crowns the head of the Vav, MEANING IT SUPPLIES THE FIRST THREE SFIROT TO ZEIR ANPIN, THE SECRET OF VAV OF YUD HEI VAV HEI, where the Patriarchs dwell. THIS MEANS THAT THE PATRIARCHS, CHESED, supernal GVURAH AND TIFERET, RISE AND BECOME HEAD - MEANING CHOCHMAH, BINAH AND DA'AT - THROUGH THE ILLUMINATION OF THE FIFTY GATES OF BINAH.