1. "And Hashem spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron... and Hashem said to Moses" (Vayikra 16:1). Rabbi Yehuda comments: Since the verse says, "And Hashem spoke to Moses," what need is there to repeat "and Hashem said to Moses, Speak to your brother Aaron...?" The first statement should have sufficed. HE ANSWERS: We learn that it is written, "And Hashem (lit. 'He') called to Moses and (lit. 'Hashem') spoke to him" (Vayikra 1:1) and also, "And He said to Moses, Come up to Hashem" (Shemot 24:1). It has already been established that the discourse here, NAMELY "AND HE CALLED TO MOSES" OR "AND HE SAID TO MOSES" represents one level, NAMELY MALCHUT. Afterwards, the words, "AND HASHEM SPOKE TO HIM" OR "COME UP TO HASHEM" represent another level, NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN. Here too in our text, "And Hashem spoke to Moses" represents one level, NAMELY THE LEVEL OF JUDGMENT REFERRED TO AS 'SPEAKING,' and afterwards the verse, "And Hashem said to Moses, Speak to your brother Aaron" represents another level, NAMELY THE QUALITY OF MERCY REFERRED TO AS 'SAYING.' IN BOTH INSTANCES THE NAME YUD HEI VAV HEI IS MENTIONED, which reveals that they carry one equal scale and all are joined from one source. THIS MEANS THAT BOTH LEVELS, JUDGMENT AND MERCY, ARE OF ONE SCALE FROM ONE SOURCE, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN REFERRED TO AS YUD HEI VAV HEI.
106. Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion saying, "Let the pious be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds" (Tehilim 149:5). We have learned that the knot of Faith, NAMELY MALCHUT, is tied with the thirteen attributes OF MERCY so that blessings are to be available for all. The entire Faith of the Holy One, blessed be He, is enclosed in three, NAMELY THREE COLUMNS, THE SECRET OF THIRTEEN, AS THEY ENLIGHTEN EACH OF FOUR SFIROT - CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT WITHIN IT. NOW, THREE TIMES FOUR EQUALS TWELVE AND, TOGETHER WITH MALCHUT THAT CONTAINS THEM, THERE ARE THIRTEEN. Consequently, the Torah is crowned with the thirteen attributes, as we have established IN THE BARAITHA OF RABBI YISHMAEL, namely using the arguments of an inference from minor to major and comparison by analogy. We have explained this several times. The Holy Name, NAMELY MALCHUT, is crowned with this.
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.
115. We have learned that Yisrael has a more fortunate share than the idolatrous nations, as the Holy One, blessed be He, desired to purify them and have mercy for them as they are His portion and inheritance. It is written, "For Hashem's portion is His people..." (Devarim 32:9) and "He made him ride on the high places of the earth" (Ibid. 13). "On the high places" exactly, as they join up higher and higher WITH ZEIR ANPIN. Therefore, the love of the Holy One, blessed be He, is clinging to them, as it is written, "'I have loved you,' says Hashem" (Malachi 1:2) and, "But because Hashem loved you" (Devarim 7:8). From this excessive love, He gave them one day during the year to purify them and clear them from their sins, as it is written, "for on that day..." (Vayikra 16:30). This was in order that they may be meritorious in this world and in the World to Come, and that no sin may be found in them. Consequently on this day, Yisrael are crowned and rule over the prosecutors and all spirits.
138. It is written, "And confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Yisrael" (Vayikra 16:21) and "the goat shall bear upon it all their iniquities" (Ibid. 22). When THE OTHER SIDE sees this goat, his desire towards it IS AROUSED to be with it, and he does not know which of the sins the goat took upon himself. He then returns to Yisrael and sees that they are free and clear of sins and blemishes, as all sins are upon the head of the goat. He ascends and praises them before the Holy One, blessed be He. The Holy One, blessed be He, pays attention to the testimony of the accuser and, since His desire is to have mercy on His people, He extends mercy to Yisrael even though He is aware of all that transpired.
156. We have learned that at that hour, THE ARRIVAL OF MORNING, the Patriarchs - NAMELY CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET OF ZEIR ANPIN - meet with the Queen and proceed to speak with her and join us with her. The Holy One, blessed be He, ZEIR ANPIN, speaks with her through them, and He calls her to spread His wings upon her. This is the meaning of the verse, "A psalm of Asaf. El, Elohim, Hashem, has spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof." El refers to light of Chochmah and is called Chesed, NAMELY THE RIGHT COLUMN, DENOTING CHESED THAT RISES TO BECOME CHOCHMAH. Elohim denotes Gvurah, REFERRING TO THE LEFT COLUMN. Hashem refers to total perfection, to mercy, NAMELY THE CENTRAL COLUMN THAT BRINGS TOGETHER RIGHT TO LEFT. Therefore, THE CENTRAL COLUMN "has spoken and called the earth," DENOTING MALCHUT, AND IN THAT IT PERFECTS MALCHUT.
157. Rabbi Elazar was sitting before Rabbi Shimon, his father. He said to him: We have learned that THE NAME Elohim always denotes Judgment. The name Yud Hei Vav Hei is sometimes pronounced Elohim, MEANING WHEN IT IS WITH THE VOWELS OF ELOHIM, such as "Adonai Yud Hei Vav Hei" (Beresheet 15:8), PRONOUNCED WITH THE PUNCTUATION OF ELOHIM. HE QUESTIONS: Why pronounce it "Elohim" when its letters, NAMELY YUD HEI VAV HEI, always denote Mercy?
158. He said to him that it is written in the scripture, "Know therefore this day, and consider it in your heart, that Hashem He is Elohim" (Devarim 4:39). It is also written, "Hashem He is the Elohim" (I Melachim 18:39). He said to him: I know that where there is Judgment, there can be Mercy and sometimes where there is Mercy, there may be Judgment. THEREFORE, THE VERSE STATES "HASHEM HE IS THE ELOHIM." He continued: See that it is so, Yud Hei Vav Hei always stands for Mercy. But when the wicked convert Mercy to Judgment, the verse is written, "Yud Hei Vav Hei," but it is read "Elohim."
160. This river is called the mother of the Garden of Eden, DENOTING MALCHUT, AS BINAH IS REFERRED TO AS MOTHER (HEB. EM, ALEPH MEM), AS IT IS WRITTEN, "IF (HEB. IM, ALEPH MEM) YOU CRY AFTER BINAH" (MISHLEI 2:3), being higher than the Garden. IT IS CALLED MOTHER, because Eden, DENOTING CHOCHMAH, joins with it and does not leave it. For this reason, all the springs OF MOCHIN come out, draw FROM IT and water all sides, BOTH TO THE RIGHT OR TO THE LEFT, and open doors within it. Hence, there is Mercy coming from it, DENOTING THE CENTRAL COLUMN and Mercy opened in it AS THE BEGINNING OF THE OPENING OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN, WHICH RECONCILES AND JOINS RIGHT WITH LEFT BEING THE PERFECTION OF EVERYTHING, STARTS AT BINAH.
161. For this reason, they call BINAH mother, DENOTING Nukva and Gvurah, and Judgment comes forth from it. HENCE, it is referred to as Mercy on its own, ITS OWN QUALITY. However, from its aspect, the Judgments are aroused and THE NAME BINAH is written with Mercy, MEANING WITH THE LETTERS YUD HEI VAV HEI, WHICH INDICATES MERCY. Its vowels are of Judgment, MEANING THAT HER FOUR LETTERS OF YUD HEI VAV HEI ARE VOWELED AS IN THE NAME OF ELOHIM. THUS, the letters OF THE NAME ARE of Mercy, yet Judgments are drawn from its aspect, AS HINTED IN THE VOWELIZATION OF THE NAME as YeHeVoH. This is one grade.
165. The secret of the matter is this. THE NAME "Eheyeh" comprises everything, BEING THE SUPERNAL ABA AND IMA WHO ARE THE THREE FIRST SFIROT OF BINAH, ALWAYS IN THE SECRET OF THE VERSE, "HE DELIGHTS IN MERCY (HEB. CHESED)" (MICHAH 7:18) AND NEVER RECEIVE CHOCHMAH, AS when the paths are blocked and not clear, and are all included in one place. Then they are called Eheyeh, which includes all. It is concealed and does not become revealed.
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.
196. We have learned that from the new moon, MEANING ROSH HASHANAH (THE JEWISH NEW YEAR), the books are opened and the judges judge. The courts start to judge daily until that day known as the ninth day of the month. On that day, all judicial decisions go up to the judge. They prepare a supernal throne of Mercy for the Holy King. On this day, Yisrael need to rejoice in joy before their Master who will on the second day be sitting on His throne of Mercy for them, His throne of absolution MEANING FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
247. We have studied that when one sins before his Master, Mercy is awakened if he offers his sacrifice on the altar and the priest attains forgiveness for him and prays his prayer for him. The Judgments are mitigated and repentance, NAMELY BINAH, pours out blessings in the springs that emerge and flow. All candles are blessed together, NAMELY THE SFIROT OF MALCHUT, and one is cleansed from his sin.
258. IN THE BOOK OF KING SOLOMON, it is written that the Holy One, blessed be He, made three dwellings for righteous people, FOR THEIR NEFESH, RUACH AND NESHAMAH AFTER THEIR DEMISE. One is for the Nefashot (Heb. plural) of the righteous that did not depart this world and are still in this world, AS THE NEFESH OF THE DECEASED DOES NOT DEPART THIS WORLD. When the world needs mercy and living PEOPLE are in distress, the Nefashot pray for them. They go and tell this to those who slumber in Hebron, MEANING THE PATRIARCHS, who awaken and go to the earthly Garden of Eden, where the Ruach of the righteous are clothed with crowns of light, take counsel with them and make a decree. And the Holy One, blessed be He, fulfills their wish and shows mercy to the world.
262. We have learned that when the world needs Mercy, THEN the Nefesh of these meritorious righteous men, which is in this world in order to defend the world, rises, flies across the world and alerts the Ruach. The Ruach rises, adorns itself and alerts the Neshamah. The Neshamah alerts the Holy One, blessed be He, and then He has mercy on the world. Then He descends from above downwards, the Neshamah informs the Ruach and the Ruach informs the Nefesh.
264. When the world needs mercy, the living go and inform the Nefashot (Heb. plural) of the righteous, and weep on their graves. Those who are worthy to inform the righteous men: what is the reason THEY ARE WORTHY? BECAUSE they concentrate on clinging to Nefesh with Nefesh; then the Nefashot of the righteous awaken, assemble, fly to the slumberers of Hebron, inform them of the distress of the world, and they all ascend to the door of the Garden of Eden to inform the Ruach. These Ruchot (Heb. plural) that are adorned in the Garden of Eden, with celestial angels going among them, all inform the Neshamah, the Neshamah informs the Holy One, blessed be He, and all beg for mercy for the living. And the Holy One, blessed be He, shows Mercy to the world on their behalf. This is what Solomon meant in, "So I praised the dead that are already dead."
266. Rabbi Yosi said: They realize that the world is in distress, and the living people are neither worthy of nor know how to inform them. At that very time everyone wails the Torah - we have failed and the Torah has been exiled to this place. If people return WITH REPENTANCE and cry with a complete heart, they then return to the Holy One, blessed be He. All assemble and seek mercy, and inform the slumberers of Hebron, and enter and inform the Ruach in the Garden of Eden, as we have mentioned.
267. If they do not repent wholeheartedly , entreating and crying for the distress of the world, woe to them, in that they assembled for nothing. They say: Who caused the Holy Torah to be exiled because of them who failed to do repentance. Then they come to list their sins. Therefore, none should go there without repenting or without fasting to seek requests. Rabbi Aba said: Not without three fasts. Rabbi Yosi says: Even one FAST SUFFICES, but it must be on that same day as long as the multitudes sit in great distress. Then they would come together, MEANING NEFESH, RUACH AND NESHAMAH, seeking mercy upon the world.
272. Furthermore, when other nations come before their deceased, they come with sorcery to awaken kinds of evil beings. When Yisrael come to their deceased, they come in great repentance before the Holy One, blessed be He, with a broken heart and fasting. All this is done so that the holy souls will ask for mercy for their sake before the Holy One, blessed be He. And the Holy One, blessed be He, shows mercy to the world on their behalf.
275. Rabbi Elazar said: Regarding that which the friends have said, it is forbidden to exile a Torah scroll even to be taken from one synagogue to another and certainly into the street. If so, why DO WE TAKE IT OUT into the street? Rabbi Yehuda replied: So it will awaken them to seek mercy for the world. Rabbi Aba said that when the Shechinah went into exile, it also moved from place to place until She said, "Oh, that I were in the wilderness, in a lodging place of wayfaring men..." (Yirmeyah 9:1). Here too, at first the Torah is exiled from one synagogue to another and later into the street. Afterwards it is "in the wilderness, in a lodging place of wayfaring men." Rabbi Yehuda said: The Babylonians are reverent and do not pass the Torah scroll even from synagogue to synagogue and certainly not there, INTO THE STREET.
282. "For he knew not that she was his daughter in law (Heb. kalah)" (Ibid.), MEANING the destruction (Heb. kelayah) of the world, as translated into Aramaic, WHICH MEANS THAT HE DID NOT KNOW SHE WAS DESTROYING THE WORLD, as kalah is derived from kelayah. Why did he not know? Because she welcomed him so as to receive from him. She came there to be alleviate and bestow mercy upon the world. ANOTHER EXPLANATION FOR, "She was his daughter in law" is literally a bride (Heb. kalah), as it is written, "My bride (Heb. kalah), with me from Lebanon" (Shir Hashirim 4:8).
308. "And keep My ordinances" (Vayikra 18:4): "My ordinances" are the customs of the King, NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN. "My Judgments (lit. 'justices)" (Ibid.) are the decrees of the Torah. Rabbi Yehuda said: All these customs stem from the place called righteousness, DENOTING MALCHUT. They are called "My ordinances" and are Royal decrees. Wherever something is called Justice, it refers to Royal Laws of the Holy King, the Holy One, blessed be He, the King to whom all peace is His, being the Holy King in a place where two portions are held one with another, MEANING Judgment and Mercy. Therefore, it is written, "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne" (Tehilim 89:15) and they are Judgment and Mercy. For this reason, THEY ARE ordinance and Judgment. Of this, it is written, "His statutes and His Judgments (lit. 'justices') to Yisrael" (Tehilim 147:19) to Yisrael, but not to any other nation.
396. We have learned that Rabbi Yosi said: It is written, "I am Hashem" (Vayikra 18:30), MEANING I am Hashem, who will give good reward for the righteous in the World to Come. I am Hashem who will take revenge upon the wicked in the World to Come, MEANING upon those about whom it is written, "That have rebelled against Me" (Yeshayah 66:24). HE QUESTIONS: It is written, "I am Hashem," WHICH POINTS TO THE QUALITY OF MERCY and it is written, "I kill, and I make alive" (Devarim 32:39), WHICH POINTS TO THE QUALITY OF JUDGMENT. HE ANSWERS: Even though I have the quality of Mercy, the evildoers convert Me to the quality of Judgment. We have learned that Yud Hei Vav Hei Elohim is a full name. YUD HEI VAV HEI STANDS FOR MERCY AND ELOHIM FOR JUDGMENT, MEANING if they merit it, then it is Yud Hei Vav Hei. If they do not merit, it is Elohim. Rabbi Shimon said, The evildoers cause a defect above. What is the defect? It is, as we established, a real defect as explained EARLIER.