437. "Now the serpent WAS CRAFTIER..." (Beresheet 3:1). Rabbi Yitzchak said: The Serpent is the Evil Inclination, WHICH INCITES ONE TO SIN. Rabbi Yehuda said, It is a real serpent. They approached Rabbi Shimon, who said: Both interpretations are correct. It was Samael and he was seen RIDING on the serpent. The image of the serpent is Satan, NAMELY THE EVIL INCLINATION THAT INCITES HUMANS TO SIN AND THEN ASCENDS TO DEMAND PUNISHMENT ABOVE. They are both the same. YOU CAN SAY THAT THE SERPENT IS BOTH THE EVIL INCLINATION AND A REAL SERPENT.
438. We have learned that Samael, THE ANGEL, descended from heaven riding on this serpent at that time. All the creatures saw his image and fled from him. Then SAMAEL AND THE SERPENT approached the woman with words, and brought death upon the world. So Samael cleverly brought curses upon the world, MEANING THAT HE INCITED THEM TO SIN WITH CUNNING and brought damage to the first tree, NAMELY THE FIRST MAN, which the Holy One, blessed be He, created in the world.
439. This matter rested with Samael, WHICH IS DESCRIBED AS STEALING THE BLESSINGS AND THE MOCHIN FROM ADAM BY CUNNINGLY INCITING ADAM TO SIN AND EAT OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, until another holy tree appeared, who is Jacob, and took back the blessings from SAMAEL to prevent Samael, WHO IS THE MINISTER OF ESAU, from being blessed above and Esau FROM BEING BLESSED below. Jacob resembled Adam and his beauty was like that of Adam. So, just as Samael prevented the blessings from reaching the first tree - WHICH IS ADAM - so Jacob, who is a tree that resembled Adam, prevented the blessings from reaching Samael above and ESAU below. Everything Jacob took belonged to him, REFERRING TO EVERYTHING SAMAEL ROBBED FROM ADAM. Therefore, it is written: "And there wrestled a man with him" (Beresheet 32:25), ALLUDING TO SAMAEL.
440. "Now the serpent was craftier." THE SERPENT is the Evil Inclination, the Angel of Death. As a result, the serpent brought death upon the whole world BY TEMPTING EVE TO SIN IN THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE. This is the secret of the verse: "The end of all flesh is come before Me" (Beresheet 6:13), WHICH ALLUDES TO THE ANGEL OF DEATH, WHICH PUTS an end to all flesh by taking the soul away from all the flesh. It is thus called "THE END OF ALL FLESH."
441. "And he said to the woman, 'Is it true" (Beresheet 3:1). Rabbi Yosi said, THE SERPENT started with wrath (Heb. af) WHEN IT SAID, "'IS IT TRUE (HEB. AF), HAS ELOHIM SAID...?" Thus, it brought wrath and anger upon the world. He said to the woman, 'By this tree, the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world,' BECAUSE THE WORLD WAS CREATED BY THE FEMALE. Therefore, eat of it "and you shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil" (Ibid. 5), WHICH MEANS THAT YOU SHALL ALSO BE ABLE TO CREATE WORLDS WITH THE FEMALE PRINCIPLE, because he - NAMELY ZEIR ANPIN - is indeed Elohim. his name, 'THE FEMININE PRINCIPLE,' is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Therefore, IF YOU EAT FROM THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, WHICH IS HIS NAME, IF YOU CLEAVE TO THE FEMALE AND DRAW UPON HER ABUNDANCE, "you shall be as Elohim, knowing..." - YOU SHALL BE AS ZEIR ANPIN, AND WILL BE ABLE TO CREATE WORLDS AS HE DOES.
442. Rabbi Yehuda said: THE SERPENT did not say this because had he said, 'By this tree, the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world,' it would have been good. For this tree is like an ax in the hand of he who hews with it. But THE SERPENT did not say so. Instead, he said that from this tree, the Holy One, blessed be He, ate, MEANING THAT ZEIR ANPIN RECEIVED ABUNDANCE FROM THE FEMALE PRINCIPLE and then created the world. And every craftsman hates his fellow craftsman. So eat from it, and you shall also create worlds. THIS IS A COMPLETE LIE, BECAUSE THE FEMALE PRINCIPLE RECEIVES EVERYTHING FROM ZEIR ANPIN. This is why IT SAID, "For Elohim knows that in the day you eat of it," WHICH MEANS THAT because he knows THAT YOU SHALL BE AS ELOHIM AND BE ABLE TO CREATE WORLDS AS HE DOES, he commanded you not to eat from it.
443. Rabbi Yitzchak said, All its words were lies, even what it said at first was a lie, as it is written: "Is it true, has Elohim said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'" This was not so, because it is written: "Of every tree of the garden, you may freely eat." So he was permitted to eat of them all.
444. Rabbi Yosi said: We have learned that the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded him against idolatry, as it is written, "And... commanded" in "Hashem" against blaspheming the name; in "Elohim" for keeping laws; "Adam" the prohibition against shedding blood; and in "saying" against incest. HE ASKED: How many people were there in the world that he had to WARN HIM AGAINST DOING SO. HE RELPIED: All seven precepts were definitely related only to this tree, TO THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, BECAUSE ALL THESE PRECEPTS ARE CONNECTED TO IT.
445. Because all these precepts are connected to it, whoever takes THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL - NAMELY THE FEMALE PRINCIPLE - on its own WITHOUT HER HUSBAND ZEIR ANPIN, causes a separation BETWEEN ZEIR ANPIN AND THE FEMALE PRINCIPLE. Thus, he takes her down TO BESTOW PLENTY to the masses below IN THE WORLDS OF BRIYAH, YETZIRAH AND ASIYAH OF SEPARATION, WHERE THE KLIPOT ARE. AND THEY CLEAVE TO THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. SO HE TAKES UPON HIMSELF THE SINS OF IDOLATRY, BLOODSHED AND INCEST. HE IS GUILTY OF idolatry, BECAUSE HE DREW THE ABUNDANCE OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL DOWN to those ministers. IN DOING SO, HE WORSHIPPED THEM, WHICH IS IDOLATRY. HE COMMITTED bloodshed BECAUSE THE POWERS OF SHEDDING BLOOD ARE related to this tree, as it is the side of Gvurah, WHICH IS THE LEFT SIDE. Samael, WHO IS THE MINISTER OF ESAU, is appointed over this. HE IS GUILTY OF incest, because THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL is a woman and she is called the wife, NAMELY THE FEMALE PRINCIPLE OF ZEIR ANPIN. A man is not permitted to invite a wife on her own. She must be accompanied by her husband so there can be no suspicion of incest. AND THE SIN OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL IS THAT HE INVITED THE FEMALE ALONE, WITHOUT HER HUSBAND. Because of this, all SEVEN PRECEPTS relate to this tree and, because Adam ate from it, he transgressed them all and they all cleave to him.
446. Rabbi Yehuda said: This issue, REFERRING TO PROHIBITION THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, is indeed true, because nobody is allowed to enjoy alone the company of a married woman, unless her husband is with her. So what did that evil one, NAMELY SAMAEL, do? He said: Behold I have touched this tree, yet I have not died. You too can come closer and touch it with your hand - and you shall not die. He added this on his own, BECAUSE THE PROHIBITION WAS NOT ON TOUCHING, BUT ON EATING.