177. Another explanation of THE VERSE "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness..." (Beresheet 1:26) was given by the friends as referring to the ministering angels who spoke this phrase TO THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE. RABBI SHIMON said to them: Since the angels already know the past and the future, they already knew that man was destined to sin. Why then did they want to make man?
178. Not only that, but THE ANGELS Aza and Azael also opposed THE CREATION OF MAN. When the Shechinah said to the Holy One, blessed be He, "Let Us make man," they responded, "What is man that You take knowledge of him?" (Tehilim 144:3). Why do you wish to create man when You know that he shall definitely sin before you, with his wife, who represents darkness, because the light is the male and darkness is the Female principle. SHE IS the Left COLUMN, WHICH IS CONSIDERED the darkness of Creation. At that moment, the Shechinah said to them: You will fall by the same reasoning that you denounce, as it is written: "That the sons of Elohim saw that the daughters of men were fair" (Beresheet 6:2), so they went astray after them. And the Shechinah caused them to fall from their holy state.
179. The friends said, Rabbi, Rabbi, Aza and Azael did not lie, AND THE SHECHINAH SHOULD NEVERTHELSS HAVE ANSWERED THEIR ARGUMENTS, because Adam definitely was destined to sin by his wife AS AZA AND AZAEL SAID, AS WRITTEN "THE WOMAN WHOM YOU DID GIVE TO BE WITH ME, SHE GAVE ME OF THE TREE, AND I DID EAT" (BERESHEET 3:12). He replied: This is what the Shechinah said, You, AZA AND AZAEL, have laid accusations before me that go beyond those of all the hosts above. If you were better than man in your actions, you would have had a right to accuse him, but man will sin only with one woman while you are destined to sin with many women. Therefore, your sins are greater than those of human beings, as it is written: "The sons of Elohim saw the daughters of man." It is not written: 'the daughter of men,' but rather "the daughters of men," WHICH MEANS THAT THERE WERE MANY WOMEN. As man sinned, I prepared atonement for him to amend his sin, AS REPENTANCE TAKES PRECEDENCE IN THE WORLD. BUT ON THE ANGELS, ATONEMENT HAS NO EFFECT AT ALL.
180. The friends asked, If so, why all this? IN OTHER WORDS, IF THE REASON FOR CREATING MAN WAS TO ENABLE HIM TO REPENT AND ATONE FOR HIS SIN, THEN WHY ALL THIS? IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER HAD DARKNESS NOT BEEN CREATED IN THE FEMALE PRINCIPLE AND MAN NOT SINNED AT ALL. Rabbi Shimon replied: If the Holy One, blessed be He, had not created the Evil and Good Inclinations, which are light and darkness, there would not have been any precepts or transgressions for the man of Briyah. So man was created with both LIGHT AND DARKNESS, as it is written: "See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil" (Devarim 30:15). THIS IS WHY PRECEPTS AND TRANSGRESSIONS APPLY TO MEN AND WHY MEN ARE PRESENTED WITH THE CHOICE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL. They asked him: why all this? Better He had not created darkness. Then man would have no reward or punishment as opposed to being created and having to sin, thereby causing much DAMAGE AND DESTRUCTION.
181. He said to them: It was right to create him thus WITH LIGHT AND DARKNESS, because the Torah was created for the sake OF MAN, for it contains punishments for the sinful and rewards for the righteous. Thus, there can be no reward for the righteous or punishment for the sinful without the man of Briyah, WHO CONSISTS OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS. IT IS WRITTEN: "He did not create it a wasteland (lit. 'formless'), He created it to be inhabited" (Yeshayah 45:18). THE WORLD WAS NOT CREATED TO BE FORMLESS, TO BE IN DARKNESS BECAUSE OF THE SINFUL, BUT "TO BE INHABITED," WHICH MEANS FOR THE SAKE OF REWARDING THE RIGHTEOUS. THIS REWARD IS THE CONCEPTION OF THE TORAH, AS IT IS WRITTEN: "FOR THE EARTH SHALL BE FULL OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF HASHEM" (YESHAYAH 11:9), FOR THE TORAH AND THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, ARE ONE AND THE SAME. HAD MAN NOT BEEN CREATED BY LIGHT AND DARKNESS, WHICH ENABLE HIM TO CHOOSE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL AND REWARD AND PUNISHMENT, THEN THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO WAY TO REVEAL THIS REWARD FOR THE RIGHTEOUS. THIS REWARD REFERS TO WHAT IS ATTAINED FROM THE TORAH THAT WAS CREATED FOR HIS SAKE. THE FRIENDS said, Indeed, we have certainly now heard what we had never heard before. It is now clear that the Holy One, blessed be He, did not create anything that he did not require.
182. Furthermore, the Torah of Briyah, WHICH CONSISTS OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS AND REWARD AND PUNISHMENT, is the clothing of the Shechinah. If man had not been created, the Shechinah would have remained without clothing, like a pauper WHO HAS NO CLOTHES. Therefore, whoever sins acts as if he is stripping the Shechinah of Her garments. This is the punishment for the man WHO SINS.
183. Whoever performs the precepts of the Torah acts as if he is dressing the Shechinah in Her garments. According to this, THE VERSE about the garment of the Tzitzit reads, "For that is his only covering, it is his raiment for his skin; in what shall he sleep?" (Shemot 22:26). THIS APPLIES DURING THE PERIOD in exile, BECAUSE THEN THE SHECHINAH, DUE TO THE SINS OF YISRAEL, LOST HER GARMENTS. Come and behold: Darkness is THE SECRET OF black in the Torah (THE BLACK INK WITH WHICH THE LETTERS ARE WRITTEN). Light is the white in the Torah, REFERRING TO THE PARCHMENTS ON WHICH THE LETTERS ARE WRITTEN.