261. If he transgresses THE PRECEPTS OF the Torah, THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF HIS BODY shall be watered by the bitterness of the Tree of Evil, which is the Evil Inclination. It is written about all the parts of the body that are made of the four elements in him, "And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage..." (Shemot 1:14). They made them bitter by the bitterness of the gallbladder (Heb. marah). Of the sacred parts of the body, which are from the side of good, it is written: "And when they came to Marah (lit. 'bitter'), they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter..." (Shemot 15:23). Similarly, the sages of the Mishnah said that the verse, "And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage..." refers to hard questions, "in mortar (Heb. chomer) refers to inferences from minor to major," and "in brick (Heb. levenah)" in clarifying (Heb. libun), the Halachah, "And in all manner of bondage in the field," allude to the Barayta, "All their bondage" is the Mishnah. BECAUSE OF THEIR SINS AND TRANSGRESSION, THE OTHER SIDE CLEAVED TO ALL THE PARTS OF THEIR STUDY OF THE TORAH. AS OUR SAGES OF BLESSED MEMORY SAID, 'IF A MAN IS NOT WORTHY, THE TORAH BECOMES TO HIM A DEADLY POISON'.
262. If they repent, it is said of them: "And Hashem showed him a tree" (Ibid. 25), the Tree of Life by which "the waters were made sweet." AS THE BITTERNESS AND THE DEADLY POISON WERE REMOVED FROM THE TORAH, THE SWEETNESS OF IT, WHICH IS THE ELIXIR OF LIFE, WAS REVEALED TO THEM. And this TREE OF LIFE is Moses the Messiah. THE SOUL OF MOSES SHALL BE REVEALED AT THE COMING OF MESSIAH, as it is written of him BEFORE THE COMING OF MESSIAH: "The rod of Elohim is in my hand" (Shemot 17:9); "the rod of Elohim" is Metatron, who has life on one side and death on the other, AS HE CHANGES FROM A SERPENT TO A ROD AND FROM A ROD TO A SERPENT. When he changed into a rod, he was helpful TO MOSES from the side of good, AND LIFE ISSUED FROM HIM. But when he changed into a serpent, he worked against him, BECAUSE DEATH WAS ON HIS SIDE. So immediately, "Moses fled from it" (Shemot 4:3).