210. It is written: "You shall not plant an asherah (grove) of any tree near the altar of Hashem your Elohim, which (Heb. asher) you shall make" (Devarim 16:21). ARE WE TO UNDERSTAND FROM THE WORDS "near the altar" THAT ONLY NEAR AN ALTAR IS IT NOT PERMITTED TO PLANT A GROVE? If so, then who permitted planting a grove anywhere else, or above the altar? But, as we have explained, Asher is the name of the husband and his wife is called after him, Asherah. Thus, the words "for the Baal and Asherah" (II Melachim 23:4) INDICATE THE SIDE CORRESPONDING TO ZEIR ANPIN AND NUKVA OF HOLINESS; THE SIDE WHERE BAAL (ENG. HUSBAND) CORRESPONDS TO ZEIR ANPIN, AND ASHERAH CORRESPONDS TO THE NUKVA. Hence, WE UNDERSTAND WHY it says, "You shall not plant an Asherah of any tree near the altar of Hashem your Elohim." IN THE WORDS, "NEAR THE ALTAR," "NEAR" IS LIKE "INSTEAD OF." THE VERSE MEANS "YOU SHALL NOT PLANT AN ASHERAH" OF IDOLATRY in the place of Hashem your Elohim because the altar of Hashem is situated upon it, THAT IS, ABOUT TO ANNUL THE KLIPAH OF ASHERAH, AS WAS SAID BEFORE. Thus, do not plant another Asherah OF IDOLATRY by the altar.
211. Come and behold: All those who worship the sun are always referred to as the worshippers of Baal, and those who worship the moon are called worshippers of Asherah. Hence, the above passage "for the Baal and Asherah" REFERS TO BAAL, WHO IS THE SUN AND IS MALE, AND THE ASHERAH, WHO IS THE MOON AND IS FEMALE. She is called Asherah after her husband Asher. But, if she is called Asherah after her husband Asher, why is THE NUKVA not called ASHERAH anymore? ALTHOUGH THE NUKVA OF PURITY IS NO LONGER CALLED SO, she was called Asherah in the past after the passage: "Happy (Heb. oshri) am I, for the girls will call me blessed" (Beresheet 30:13). SHE WAS CALLED SO BY THOSE WHO PRAISED AND AKNOWLEDGED HER. AND, IT IS WRITTEN OF HER: "BEAUTIFUL OF ALL SITES, THE JOY OF THE WHOLE EARTH" (TEHILIM 48:3). But the other nations did not acknowledge her, erected AN ASHERAH OF IDOL WORSHIP in her stead, and moreover BELITTLED HER, as it is written: "All that honored her despised her" (Eichah 1:8). And hence, the name Asherah was taken away from her BECAUSE THEY STOPPED ACKNOWLEDGING HER. And to prevent the other idolatrous nations from gaining strength, she is called an altar, which is made of earth. This is as written: "An altar of earth YOU SHALL MAKE FOR ME" (Shemot 20:24). Hence, it is said OF ADAM: "AND HASHEM ELOHIM MADE ADAM FROM the dust of the earth" (Beresheet 2:7), WHERE DUST IS MALCHUT AND EARTH IS BINAH. THUS, THROUGH THIS SWEETENING OF DUST WITH EARTH, HE MERITED RECEIVING THE MOCHIN OF NESHAMAH OF LIFE.
212. AFTER THE DUST WAS SWEETENED WITH EARTH, IT IS WRITTEN: "and breathed in his nostrils the breath (Heb. Neshamah) of Life" (Ibid.). As the soul of life was breathed into the dust, THE BODY OF ADAM WAS SOOTHED, like a woman conceiving from a man. Through this process, SOUL AND BODY become joined. BECAUSE THE LIGHT OF BINAH IS CALLED NESHAMAH AND BECAUSE THE BODY IS SWEETENED TO BECOME AN ADEQUATE VESSEL FOR BINAH, LIGHT AND VESSEL EMBRACE EACH OTHER. This dust, WHICH IS THE BODY, becomes filled with EMANATIONS OF LIGHT. HE ASKS: What are THOSE LIGHTS? AND HE SAYS: THEY ARE the Ruach and Neshamah. It is written that then "and man became a living soul (Heb. Nefesh)" (Ibid.), WHICH MEANS THAT he was now complete IN BODY AND SOUL and could now correct and sustain the living Nefesh THAT WAS HIS WIFE.
213. "And of the side, which Hashem Elohim... He made" Here also, IN THE BUILDING OF THE SIDE, the full name is used, AS IT WAS USED IN "AND HASHEM ELOHIM MADE MAN." Because her father and mother corrected her before the woman came to her husband's home, ZEIR ANPIN, HENCE A FULL NAME IS MENTIONED, AS HASHEM IS ABA AND ELOHIM IS IMA. "The side" is described in the verse, "I am black, but comely, O daughters of Jerusalem" (Shir Hashirim 1:5), MEANING IT WAS FASHIONED AFTER THE SECRET OF the mirror that does not shine. Later, her father and mother prepare her, so that her husband world reconcile to her. THIS IS WHAT IS MEANT BY, "HE BROUGHT HER THE MAN."