38. We have learned that AFTER THE DEATHS OF THE SONS OF AARON, Moses was seeking from the Holy One, blessed be He, this matter, WHICH IS CHESED. MOSES said to Him: If people return in repentance to You, by whom will they be blessed? The Holy One, blessed be He, replied: 'You are speaking to Me? "Speak to Aaron your brother," for in his hands are given the blessings for above and below,' FOR HE IS THE CHARIOT FOR CHESED, AS MENTIONED ABOVE.
96. All of these that are not found to be just in this world, even there ABOVE BEFORE COMING TO THE WORLD, distance themselves from the presence of the Holy One, blessed be He. They enter the chasm of the great abyss and hurry to descend to this world. And we learned that their souls are stiff necked in this world, as they were before coming to this world. They throw away the saintly part that THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, gave to them FROM THE SIDE OF HOLINESS and go wander about and become impure in that chasm of the great abyss. They take their share there, precipitate the hour and descend to earth. If a man later gains merit and repents before his Master, he will receive back his own portion, NAMELY, THE HOLY PORTION THAT HE THREW UPWARD, AS MENTIONED. This is the meaning of the verse, "That which is, already has been; and that which is to be has already been..."
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.
245. HE QUESTIONS: When is he cleansed from his sin? HE ANSWERS: When he properly enters repentance. Rabbi Yitzchak said: When he returns before the supernal King and prays from the depths of the heart, as the verse states, "Out of the depths I have cried to You, Hashem."
246. Rabbi Aba said, "Out of the depths I have cried to You, Hashem" MEANS there is a hidden spot above. It is the depth of the well, DENOTING BINAH. From here flow streams and springs in every direction and the deepest part is called repentance. One who wishes to return and cleanse oneself from sins in this depth needs to call upon the Holy One, blessed be He, as the verse says, "Out of the depths I have cried to You, Hashem."
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.
253. Rabbi Yosi said: If so, it is pleasing to the wicked to become harming forces in the world. Where is the punishment of Gehenom and where is the bad that awaits them in that world? Rabbi Chiya replied: We have learned and established that many prosecutors are ready to receive the souls of the wicked at the time they depart the world and deliver them to Gehenom. They receive three punishments daily in Gehenom. Later, DEMONS join them and the souls go, hover over the world and mislead the wicked people against whom repentance has been closed. Then they are returned to Gehenom to be punished there - and this continues daily.
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.
332. He said to him: When things depend upon repentance and people do not repent, the sublime Hei OF YUD HEI VAV HEI, BEING BINAH, takes and attracts the Vav and the Yud to itself, as they are not repenting. It then BECOMES A COMBINATION OF HEI-VAV-YUD called Hoy, MEANING Hoy (lit. 'ah'), when the King, ZEIR ANPIN, departs higher and higher TO BINAH. People cry but no one pays attention. SOMETIMES, that supernal concealed NAME, EHEYEH, DENOTING KETER, raises the Vav, ZEIR ANPIN, and the Yud, BEING THE HEAD OF YESOD, to itself, because one's prayer is not accepted, AND IT BECOMES THE COMBINATION OY (ALEPH VAV YUD). Then it is called Oy, as the Aleph THAT IS EHEYEH brings up to it the Vav and the Yud. Then repentance is not available, so the Hei departs from these letters, as it is no longer dependent on repentance, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF BINAH CALLED HEI.
333. Surely this is when sins in the world multiply excessively. At first, repentance was available but they did not want TO REPENT, then the Hei takes off, BEING BINAH, THE SECRET OF REPENTANCE and the Aleph, BEING KETER, raises the Vav Yud to it, so it is now called Oy. When the Temple was destroyed and repentance was gone, then they cried and said, "Woe (Oy) to us! For the day declines" (Yirmeyah 6:4). What is meant by "For the day declines?" It refers to the supernal day, MEANING BINAH called repentance, which departed and is not available. This is that specific day that extends its right hand to welcome evildoers. It has departed from all and is not available. Therefore, they say Oy instead of Hoy "for the shadows of the evening are lengthened" (Ibid.), MEANING PERMISSION has been granted to the rulers over other nations to rule over YISRAEL.
340. We have learned that the foes of Yisrael are not capable of harming them until Yisrael weaken the power of the Shechinah before the appointed ministers of other nations. Only then can the enemies of Yisrael overcome them, rule them and decree many harsh decrees regarding them. When Yisrael return towards Her WITH REPENTANCE, THE SHECHINAH smashes the power and strength of these appointed chiefs, breaks the power and strength of the enemies of Yisrael and takes revenge against them all.
345. He said to him: Who is the doctor? He replied: He is Rabbi Samlai. He asked: What cure did he give you? He replied: Spiritual healing. From that day, I returned with repentance. Every day I see my face in the mirror, WITHOUT ANY CHANGE. I have wept before the Holy One, blessed be He, 'ים ןד the Master of the world for that sin. With these tears, I have washed my face. Rabbi Aba said: If repentance would not have been withheld from you, I would have removed the impression on your face, but I will announce upon you, "And your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is purged" (Yeshayah 6:7). He told him to repeat this three times. He said it three times and the mark disappeared.
346. Rabbi Aba said: Surely your Master wished to remove THE MARK from you, as you were in a state of repentance. He said to him: I vow from this day ONWARD to toil in Torah day and night. He said to him: What is your name? He replied: Elazar. He responded: El Azar, (lit. 'God helped'), surely the name has some bearing, as your Elohim helped you and was with you. Rabbi Aba sent him off and blessed him.
352. Rabbi Aba said to him: You have spoken well. Where did you acquire this? He replied: I studied this. I also learned that this evil inheritance OF THE SPIRIT OF DEFILEMENT is acquired by all his children if they do not turn to penance, as nothing can stand in the way before repentance. So have I learned. This cure, NAMELY REPENTANCE, was given me once upon a time, when my face was marked. One day, I was walking and met one meritorious person, and through him was the mark removed from my face. He asked me my name. I replied Elazar. He announced me to be a different Elazar. RABBI ABA said to him: Blessed is the Merciful One that I have met you and deserved to see you accomplishing this. Blessed is your share in this world and the World to Come. It was I who met you.
394. We have learned the last statement of the Ten Commandments of the Torah, reads, "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife" (Shemot 20:14), as this generally represents the whole of them. He who covets another woman is considered transgressing the entire Torah. However, nothing stands before repentance, all the more so if he is willing to accept upon himself his penalty like King David. Rabbi Yosi said: We have learned that repentance does much good to whoever has sinned and then parted from the sin. If he does not PART FROM IT, repentance does not help and is to no avail. HE QUESTIONS: How was it that David did not part from Batsheba afterwards? He replied: Batsheba was his. He took what was his, as her husband had died.
411. Rabbi Yosi found Rabbi Aba sitting and reading this verse, "Cast your burden upon Hashem" (Tehilim 55:23). "Upon" is exact, MEANING ABOVE HASHEM, ZEIR ANPIN. Sustenance is dependent on Mazal, THE BEARD OF ARICH ANPIN. Rabbi Yehuda used to read, "For (lit. 'upon') this (Heb. zot fem.) shall everyone that is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found" (Tehilim 32:6). "Upon Zot" surely, MEANING ABOVE MALCHUT CALLED ZOT, BEING TIFERET THAT IS ABOVE MALCHUT. "In a time...be found," we established that it REFERS TO A WOMAN. Yet "in a time...be found" is like the words, "Seek Hashem while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near" (Yeshayah 55:6), REFERRING TO THE TEN DAYS OF REPENTANCE. Another explanation for, "In a time...be found," MEANING when the rivers, THE LIGHTS OF BINAH, flow and are drawn continuously. The Patriarchs, BEING CHESED GVURAH TIFERET, receive and all are blessed, FOR EVERY PIOUS MAN SHOULD PRAY FOR THIS. What is meant by "the flood of great waters" (Tehilim 32:6)? HE ANSWERS: It is the depth of the springs and rivers, BEING ATIKA KADISHA, FROM WHICH ARE DRAWN THE LIGHTS AND SPRINGS TO BINAH. For who will merit it, and who will merit to come near and ascend there! This is what is meant by the verse, "The flood of great waters shall not come near him." It is because they are not worthy and not capable OF RECEIVING FROM ATIKA.