21. That old man wrapped himself, and spoke, "And if a priest's daughter be married to a stranger, she may not eat of an offering of the holy things" (Vayikra 22:12). This verse is followed by another, "But if a priest's daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and has returned to her father's house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father's bread, but no stranger shall eat of it" (Ibid. 13). These verses may be understood literally, yet the words of the Torah are undisclosed, AS THERE ARE SECRETS IN EACH AND EVERY MATTER.
108. That Ruach that comes out of this world, having neither grown nor expanded in this world, THAT IS, HAD NO CHILDREN, incarnates and finds no rest. It incarnates in this world as a stone in a sling, until he finds a redeemer to redeem him, THAT IS A KINSMAN TO MARRY HIS WIFE, and places him in the very vessel he employed and cleft to in Ruach and Nefesh, and which used to be his spouse, spirit to spirit, NAMELY HIS WIFE. That redeemer establishes him as before, THAT IS, BRINGS HIM INTO THE SON BORN FROM HIS WIDOW, SO HE COMES BACK TO LIFE IN THIS WORLD AS BEFORE.
125. THE OLD MAN SAID TO HIMSELF, What shall I do now, if I say, yet this obscure secret must not be revealed. If I do not speak, these righteous men will remain bereaved of this secret. The old man fell on his face and said, "Into Your hand I commit my spirit: You have redeemed me, Hashem El of truth" (Tehilim 31:6). The vessel below, NAMELY THE WIDOW WHO USED TO BE THE DEAD CHILDLESS MAN'S WIFE, AND WAS UNDER HIM, how could it be above, AND BECOME HIS MOTHER? Her husband, NAMELY HE WHO DIED CHILDLESS, who was above her, how could he turn to be under, BECOMING HER SON? His spouse turns into his mother. Wonder upon wonder, his brother is his father. If the father of the former, HIS WIFE, would have redeemed him, AND MARRY HIS WIFE, it would have been well. But that his brother would be his father, is not it a wonder? Assuredly it is a world turned upside down, the upper below and the lower above.
130. It the same with the vessel, THE WIDOW. At first he, HER DEAD HUSBAND, was of the grade of Joseph, YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, THAT IS, the husband of the lower tree, MALCHUT. She obeys his wishes and he rules over her, because every woman is fashioned in the shape of the Nukva, WHICH IS the lower tree, MALCHUT. Since he did not wish to abide in the grade of Joseph, and did not live to use it and multiply in the world and beget offspring, BUT DIED CHILDLESS, he went down, AND INCARNATED IN THE CHILD BORN TO THE LEVIRATE MARRIAGE, while she, HIS WIFE, becomes his mother. The redeemer, HIS BROTHER, received the inheritance of Joseph that he, HIS BROTHER, had before, while he descended AND INCARNATED IN THE BORN CHILD.
134. Regarding this it is written, "But if a priest's daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and has returned to her father's house, as in her youth" (Vayikra 22:13). We have explained the phrase 'a priest's daughter' AS THE SOUL. It is a widow from the former body OF THE CHILDLESS DEAD MAN, 'divorced' because it does not enter the King's curtain, because all those not of the world of the male have no share in it. He has gone and uprooted himself from the world of the male, so he has no share IN THE KING, ZEIR ANPIN. Hence it is divorced; "and have no child," for had it had a child, it would not be uprooted FROM THE WORLD OF THE MALE, nor had it descended to the world of the female.
139. HE SAID TO HIMSELF, Old, old man, once you started to sail in the wide sea, go as you wish in every direction in the sea. It is now the time to reveal, for I have said that the redeemer, NAMELY THE KINSMAN, when he comes and enters the vessel I mentioned, NAMELY THE WIDOW, brings his spirit there and causes it to cleave to that vessel. Thus nothing is lost, not even a breath. It is well and it is so. Old man, if you talk and reveal, speak without fear.
149. Friends, I do know that now you should raise a question and say that in this case, the second husband died unlawfully and was not judged from above, BUT WAS REJECTED BY THE SPIRIT OF THE FIRST HUSBAND. Come and see, everything is according to law, BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN DECREED ABOVE that either one would overcome one, or that one would not attack one. He who marries a widow is like he who enters the sea with strong winds BLOWING, without ropes, and does not know whether he will pass in peace or drown in the deep.
156. All those second HUSBANDS rejected before the first HUSBANDS, the first ones were their soulmates while the latter were not. This is why they do not live with them, and the second spirit is pushed from before the first spirit. Hence one says of he who marries a widow, "and knows not that it is for his life" (Mishlei 7:23), "for no heed is taken of the net" (Mishlei 1:17), since it is not known if she is his real soulmate or not.
157. An unmarried widow, who does not wish to marry even if her soulmate comes, the Holy One, blessed be He, does not force her to by law. And the Holy One, blessed be He, arranges that man another wife, and THE WIDOW is not judged for this in that world, even if she does not have a child, since a woman is not commanded to be fruitful and multiply, as we explained.
197. This is the meaning of, "from the prey, my son, you are gone up" (Beresheet 49:9), for there is no prey OR FOOD for another on your table. "He stooped down" when Er died, "he couched" when Onan died. He then got stronger "as a lion" to sire Peretz, "and as a lioness" to raise up Zerach. "Who shall rouse him up?" (Ibid.), as written, "And he knew her again no more" (Beresheet 38:26), which is translated into Aramaic as, "and he stopped not." This is the meaning of, "Who shall rouse him up?" Who can say this woman is forbidden, who can say that once she completed her practices, you need her no longer, that once the widow has finished her practices, she is of no more use to you, and you are beholden to withdraw from her. But, "Who shall rouse him up?" From now on she is his, because she bore him, who was moving about in her belly, NAMELY THE SPIRIT OF HER FIRST HUSBAND, WHICH HE LEFT IN HER IN HIS FORMER LIFE. IT WAS MOVING IN HER BELLY, AND NOW SHE BORE IT.
198. There is a hidden mystery here. Why SHOULD a man's brother MARRY HIS WIDOW, and moreover, why SHOULD Judah his father MARRY HIS WIDOW, INSTEAD OF A STRANGER WHO IS NOT A KINSMAN? HE ANSWERS, Because he who moves about in the belly OF THE WIDOW, NAMELY, THE SPIRIT HER DEAD HUSBAND LEFT IN HER, sees him who keeps him, THAT IS, HIS KINSMAN, and charges against him in every manner. HAD HE BEEN A STRANGE MAN, HE WOULD HAVE REJECTED HIM, BUT HE DOES NOT WISH TO PUSH AWAY HIS KINSMAN. Hence he wishes to go away FROM THERE. Once he leaves, he summons the other, NAMELY the other, MAIN spirit OF THE DEAD, and the TWO enter THE WOMAN'S BELLY again, until he is newly established, NAMELY, INCARNATES IN THE SEMEN OF THE KINSMAN. THIS CAME ABOUT by means of the fierce denouncement against his brother, FOR WHICH REASON HE DECIDED TO GO AWAY FROM HER. From now on the woman is permitted to him, SINCE THE DENOUNCING SPIRIT HAS ALREADY LEFT HER. THIS IS WHY THE KINSMAN SHOULD MARRY HER, BECAUSE A STRANGE MAN, WHO IS NOT A RELATIVE, WOULD HAVE BEEN REJECTED BY THE SPIRIT.
514. A man cursed his neighbor, and Rabbi Yesa passed by and said to him, "you acted like a villain." The person came before Rabbi Yehuda with a complaint. He said to him, I did not say to him, that he is a villain, but acts like a villain exhibiting cruel behavior, but I did not call him a villain. Rabbi Judah came and asked about this case of Rabbi Elazar. He told him, Surely he is not liable, and the proof, there is a verse, "Hashem was like an enemy" (Eichah 2:5), but not an actual enemy. Were it now so, nothing would have remained of the race of Yisrael in the world. Similarly, "like a widow" (Eichah 1:1), not actual widow, but like a widow whose husband went overseas and she awaits him, AND BEING ALONE WITHOUT A HUSBAND SHE IS LIKENED TO A WIDOW.