67. In the book of Rabbi Yesa Saba (the elder), it is written, "And Abraham passed through the land," while elsewhere it is written, "I will make all My goodness pass before you" (Shemot 33:19). JUST AS THERE IT IMPLIES THE ENTIRE GOODNESS OF THE SUPERNAL PLACE, WHICH IS BINAH, SO THE IMPLICATION IS THE SAME HERE-it gives a hint about the holiness of the land, which emanates from a supernal place in all its proper GOODNESS. THIS REFERS TO MALCHUT THAT ENCLOTHES BINAH PROPERLY AND RECEIVES ITS LIGHTS.
68. "To the place of Shchem to the plain of Moreh" MEANS from one side to the other side, as was befitting. "And the Canaanite were then in the land," WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE EVIL SERPENT. It has been explained that at that time the curse of the evil serpent dominated the land, and the world was cursed. As it is written, "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren" (Beresheet 9:25), and also "you are cursed above all cattle" (Beresheet 3:14). When Abraham came close to the Holy One, blessed be He, it is written, "And Hashem appeared to Abraham" (Beresheet 12:7). Now was revealed to him that which he did not know, because of the profound force that governed the land. Thus appeared to him what had been concealed from him, and he was able to understand it.
69. Then "he built an altar to Hashem, who had appeared to him." Why were the words "who had appeared to him" added? Because here the grade, which was in dominion over the land, appeared to him. He entered it, rose through it, and was established in it.
70. "And he moved from there to the mountain" (Beresheet 12:8), where he recognized the mountain of Hashem and all the grades planted on that place. "And pitched his tent," (Heb. ohaloh) WHICH ALLUDES TO THE NUKVA, AS 'OHALOH' IS NOT SPELLED WITH A VAV BUT WITH A HEI. Thus he spread a curtain and received the kingdom of heaven, along with all the grades that come from it. He then knew that the Holy One, blessed be He, rules over all, and he built an altar.
71. There were actually two altars, because here the Holy One, blessed be He, appeared to him as the ruler over all. He now acquired knowledge of the supernal wisdom, which he had not previously attained. He therefore built two altars - one for the grade that manifested AS THE WORLD, and one ALTAR to the grade still hidden. Come and behold, it is written first, "and there he built an altar to Hashem, who had appeared to him," and later just "and there he built an altar to Hashem," without adding "who appeared to him." And all this is according to the secret of Wisdom.
72. Abraham was then crowned from grade to grade, until he ascended to his own grade. This is the meaning of "And Abraham journeyed, going on still toward the Negev." This is the south, BECAUSE HE WANTED TO ATTAIN THE GRADE OF CHESED OF ZEIR ANPIN CALLED SOUTH, Abraham's portion. THIS MEANS HE WAS DESTINED TO BECOME A CHARIOT TO THE SFIRAH OF CHESED OF ZEIR ANPIN, AND HENCE HE IS "going on still," grade after grade, until he reached the south, where he was properly attached, NAMELY, HE FIXED HIMSELF, SO HE COULD HOLD TO THE GRADE OF CHESED PERMANENTLY. HE THEN ascended to the south's grade, THAT IS, HE DESERVED TO BE A CHARIOT OF CHESED OF ZEIR ANPIN CALLED 'SOUTH.'
73. After Abraham was crowned with his grades in the Holy Land (the SECRET OF THE MOCHIN FROM THE REVEALED WORLD, RACHEL, CALLED 'THE HOLY LAND') and entered the holy grade - THAT IS, THE GRADE OF CHESED, AND THE ASPECT OF THE HIDDEN WORLD, LEAH - then it is written, "And there was famine in the land" (Beresheet 12:10), WHICH MEANS THAT they were not sure how to approach the Holy One, blessed be He, AS IN THE SECRET OF THE VERSE "NOT A FAMINE FOR BREAD, NOR A THIRST FOR WATER, BUT FOR HEARING THE WORDS OF HASHEM" (AMOS 8:11).
74. "And there was famine in the land" because until then the power ruling over the land did not supply the land with strength and nourishment. This occurred because THE NUKVA was not completely built and not PROPERLY established. When Abraham saw that the power appointed over the land did not supply it with might and holy strength as it merited, then "Abraham went down to Egypt to sojourn there" (Beresheet 12:10).
75. IT IS ASKED, How did Abraham know THAT THE LAND, THE NUKVA, WAS STILL LACKING CORRECTION? From the verse, "To your seed I will give this land." IT DID NOT SAY, 'TO YOU AND YOUR SEED WILL I GIVE THIS LAND.' Abraham then knew that the only way to amend the land was through the holy grades of his descendants. THEREFORE, IT IS WRITTEN, "TO YOUR SEED I WILL GIVE THIS LAND," AND NOT TO HIMSELF. Abraham then understood the secret of Wisdom, WHEREFORE the land will not be properly mended in holiness, except as we have said. HE THEREFORE WENT DOWN TO EGYPT, FROM THERE TO CORRECT THAT WHICH WAS LACKING.
76. Gilayon (Interpolation). The Holy One, blessed be He, alluded to the supernal Wisdom through Abraham and Isaac; Abraham is the Neshamah of Neshamah, NAMELY THE LIGHT OF CHAYAH. Sarah is the Neshamah, and Lot is the serpent, the spouse of Samael. The holy Ruach is Isaac; the Holy Nefesh is Rivkah. The Evil Inclination is the bestial Nefesh. And concerning this, King Solomon said in his wisdom, "Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upwards, and the spirit of the beast goes downwards" (Kohelet 3:21). The bestial Nefesh is the Nefesh that comes from the side of the Evil Inclination.