33. It is written, "And a river went out of Eden" (Beresheet 2:10). We have learned the name of this river. We established that its name is Yuval, NAMELY BINAH, as it is written, "And that spreads out its roots by the river (Heb. yuval)" (Yirmeyah 17:8). In the book of Rabbi Hamnuna Saba (the elder), IT SAYS that its name is life, NAMELY BINAH, whence life comes to the world, which is referred to as the life of the King. We established that it is that great and strong tree, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, that feeds all and is called the Tree of Life, MEANING the tree that has planted its roots in that life ABOVE, NAMELY BINAH. And all is appropriate.
79. In the left hand, MEANING FROM THE LEFT COLUMN OF MALCHUT, seventy branches COME OUT, WHO ARE THE SEVENTY CHIEFTAINS OF THE WORLD NATIONS, who are raised among the fish of the sea, REPRESENTING THE LEVELS OF THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH OF THE LEFT, REFERRED TO AS FISH. THE SEA MEANS MALCHUT. All of them are red like a rose, BECAUSE OF THE JUDGMENTS WITHIN THEM, AS THE JUDGMENTS OF THE LEFT ARE RED. Above them, one branch is extremely red. THAT IS THE HARSHEST JUDGMENT OF ALL, NAMELY SAMAEL. It goes up and down, MEANING ATTRACTS CHOCHMAH FROM ABOVE DOWNWARD. IT IS HE WHO RODE ON THE SERPENT AND ENTICED ADAM TO DRAW CHOCHMAH FROM ABOVE DOWNWARD, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. All of them are covered with hair OF MALCHUT, MEANING HER JUDGMENTS REFFERED TO AS HAIRS.
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.
200. Since joy prevails above, if the priest merits it here too, BELOW, at that time the goodwill of light is manifested and scented with the fragrance of mountains of the pure supernal balsam, which fragrance spreads throughout that place. It enters the two nostrils of the priest and his heart is satisfied. Then there is silence with no fault to be found. The priest opens his mouth in prayer willingly and with joy, and he utters his prayer.
295. "You shall do My Judgments, and keep My ordinances, to walk in them..." (Vayikra 18:4). Rabbi Aba said: Fortunate is the lot of Yisrael that the Holy One, blessed be He, desires them above all the idolatrous nations. As a result of His love for them, He gave them truthful statutes, planted with them the Tree of Life, ZEIR ANPIN, and caused the Shechinah to dwell in their midst. What is the reason? It is because Yisrael are marked with the holy impression in their flesh and so are recognized as His and members of His temple.
317. "The nakedness of your father, or the nakedness of your mother, shall you not uncover" (Vayikra 18:7). Rabbi Chiyah opened the discussion saying, "Like the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons..." (Shir Hashirim 2:3). This verse has been expounded by the friends. Yet, how beloved is the Congregation of Yisrael before the Holy One, blessed be He, that she lauds Him in this VERSE. We should look into this. Why does she laud Him through the apple and not with something else or with something THAT HAS color, or fragrance or taste.
318. HE ANSWERS: Since it is written "apple tree," IT TURNS OUT she is lauding him in every manner, with color, fragrance and with taste. Just as the apple is a cure-all also the Holy One, blessed be He, is a cure for all. Just as apple appears in colors - as we established, IT HAS WHITE, RED, GREEN - so does the Holy One, blessed be He, appear in supernal colors - NAMELY CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET THAT ARE THE SECRET OF WHITE, RED AND GREEN. As the apple tree has a fine fragrance MORE than other trees, so about the Holy One, blessed be He, it is written, "And His fragrance like the Lebanon" (Hoshea 14:7). Just as the apple's taste is sweet, so also is the Holy One's, blessed be He, as it is written, "His mouth is most sweet" (Shir Hashirim 5:16).
369. We have learned that after the passing of Cain and Abel, Adam returned to his wife. A different spirit enveloped him and he begot Seth. From this lineage, the righteous trace their line in the world. The Holy One, blessed be He, increased Chesed in the world, and with each was also born a female to populate the world, just as above, AS ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT WERE BROTHER AND SISTER. The friends have established in the general Mishnah that it is written ABOUT THEM, "And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness... It is a disgraceful (Heb. chesed, it is confusing but the word chesed can mean disgraceful or kindness) deed" (Vayikra 20:17). Assuredly it is Chesed, for after Chesed rests, offspring and roots come out underneath upwards, and branches spread, MEANING ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT. What was near moved away. Then the branches grew, ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT, and came to join into one in a tree. This was in the beginning, in the concealed state of the world. It is written, "For I have said, the world is built by love (chesed)" (Tehilim 89:3). THEREFORE, from now on, people in this situation THAT MARRY THEIR SISTER "shall be cut off in the sight of their people" (Vayikra 20:17).
371. We have learned that the upper Hei, BINAH, became pregnant lovingly and fondly, for the Yud, CHOCHMAH, never parts from it (her). She conceived and delivered Vav, BEING ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF VAV IN THE HEI. Afterwards, it stands before her, MEANING THE VAV THAT IS AFTER THE YUD HEI IN THE NAME OF YUD HEI VAV HEI, and she nurses it. This Vav when departing FROM BINAH, its pair MALCHUT comes out with it, Chesed rouses itself towards him, ZEIR ANPIN, separates them ONE FROM THE OTHER, and stems shoot forth from bottom to top. The branches spread, ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT, and grow. The lower Hei is formed. Its branches grow higher and higher until MALCHUT pairs with the supernal tree, BEING ZEIR ANPIN, and Vav then joins, BEING ZEIR ANPIN, with the Hei, DENOTING MALCHUT, AS SAID EARLIER. Who brought this about? "It is a disgraceful (Heb. 'chesed') deed." Chesed certainly joins them together.
382. Rabbi Yitzchak said, "There the tribes used to go, the tribes of Yah" (Ibid. 4). Who are the tribes? HE ANSWERS: These are the twelve boundaries that spread from that large and strong tree, BEING ZEIR ANPIN, BEING THE SECRET OF FOUR SFIROT - CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT. EACH HAS THREE COLUMNS WHICH ARE TWELVE BOUNDARIES. FROM ZEIR ANPIN, THEY ARE DRAWN TO MALCHUT, WHERE THEY ARE CALLED BY THE NAME OF TWELVE TRIBES that HE inherited from Aba and Ima. This is what is written, "The tribes of Yah," MEANING from the good testimony that the holy son gives, as it is written, "The tribes of Yah, an appointed practice (lit. 'testimony') for Yisrael," AS THE TWELVE BOUNDARIES ARE THE SECRET OF THE TESTIMONY, MEANING THE ILLUMINATION OF EDEN (CHOCHMAH). These are the deep rivers flowing from Yah (Yud Hei), WHICH ARE ABA AND IMA. It is all for the purpose "to give thanks to the name of Hashem" (Ibid. 4). THEREFORE, "for there are set thrones of Judgment, the thrones of the house of David" (Ibid. 5), in order to bequeath the Holy Kingdom to him and his sons for generations. This is the poem recited by David concerning the holy, supernal kingdom.