80. Rabbi Yosi asks why all kinds of witchcraft and sorcery abide only in women. He said that when the serpent came upon Eve, he injected impurities only into her and not into her husband. BECAUSE WITCHCRAFT RADIATES FROM THE POLLUTION OF THE SERPENT, WITCHCRAFT IS THEREFORE IN WOMEN. He said, Assuredly this is so. Rabbi Yosi kissed Rabbi Yitzchak and said, Many times have I asked upon this matter, but never deserved to understand it until now.
81. He asks, Where did Bilaam learn everything that he did, NAMELY ALL HIS SORCERY, and all that he knew? He answers, He learned it from his father. But in "the mountains of the east" (Bemidbar 23:7), in the land of the east, he learned MOST OF the enchantments and kinds of magic, for in these mountains abide the angels Aza and Azael, whom the Holy One, blessed be He, caused to fall from heaven BECAUSE THEY DENOUNCED THE CREATION OF MAN. They are tied in chains of iron there and reveal spells to men. This is where Bilaam gained knowledge, as it is written, "Balak the king of Moab has led me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east" (Ibid.), WHERE AZA AND AZAEL ARE.
82. He said, It is written, "He went not, as at other time, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness" (Bemidbar 24:1), WHICH MEANS THAT HE DID NOT ALWAYS LOOK FOR ENCHANTMENTS (ALSO: 'SNAKES'). Rabbi Yitzchak said that the lower side, which comes from the unholy spirit above, is the unholy spirit that ruled over the wilderness at the time when the children of Yisrael defiled themselves by committing the sin of the golden calf. THEREFORE, "HE SET HIS FACE TOWARD THE WILDERNESS." He cast his spells to all directions in order to uproot the children of Yisrael, but could not do so.
83. Rabbi Yosi said, When you earlier explained why witchcraft abides in women, you said that the serpent came upon Eve and injected impurity into her. This is well, but we have learned that when Yisrael stood by Mount Sinai and received Torah, their impurities were cleansed. But the heathens who did not receive Torah remained impure, SO IMPURITY IS ALREADY GONE FROM WOMEN. THEREFORE, MY QUESTION IS STILL UNANSWERED, WHY IS WITCHCRAFT MOSTLY IN WOMEN?
84. He said to him, You spoke well. Nevertheless, come and behold, Torah was given to males only, as it is written, "And this is the Torah which Moses set before the children (lit. 'sons') of Yisrael" (Devarim 4:44). As women were exempt from the commandments of Torah(NAMELY FROM THE COMMANDMENTS VALID AT A CERTAIN TIME), THEREFORE THEY REMAINED IMPURE AT THE GIVING OF TORAH. FOR THAT REASON, WITCHCRAFT, WHICH DERIVES FROM THE IMPURITY OF THE SERPENT, ABIDES MAINLY IN WOMEN.
85. Moreover, everyone became defiled again after the sin, EVEN THE MEN. It is more difficult for women to cleanse impurities from themselves than for men. Thus, women practice sorcery and abide in defilement more so than men. THE REASON WHY IT IS DIFFICULT FOR WOMEN TO BE CLEANSED FROM DEFILEMENT IS THAT women come from the left side and are attached to the strict Judgment OF THE LEFT. This side cleaves to them more than to men, because they come from strict Judgment. Everything is attached to and follows its own kind.
86. Come and behold, As I have said, ENCHANTMENT COMES FROM THE DEFILEMENT OF THE SERPENT, for Bilaam used to defile himself first to draw upon him the unholy spirit. THEN HE PRACTICED SORCERY. Similarly, it behooves man to stay away from a woman during menstruation LEST HE TOUCH HER, because she is attached to the spirit of defilement. If she practices sorcery at that time, she will be more successful that at other times. Whatever she touches is therefore defiled, and all the more so whomever approaches her. Happy are the children of Yisrael, for the Holy One, blessed be He, gave them Torah, and told them, "Also you shall not approach to a woman in the impurity of her menstrual flow, to uncover her nakedness... I am Hashem" (Vayikra 18:19-21).
87. He asks, Why is it called sorcery if someone uses the chirping of birds TO TELL THE FUTURE? It is because the unholy spirit abides in that bird, which is drawn from this side OF DEFILEMENT. That unholy spirit foretells events. Every defiled spirit, is attached to and comes to the world from the serpent and no one in this world is safe from it, because it is everywhere, until the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, will remove it from the world, as it is written, "He will destroy death for ever" (Yeshayah 25:8) and "I will also cause...the unclean spirit to pass out of the land" (Zecharyah 13:2).