1. "And Hashem spoke to Moses, saying: 'This shall be the Torah of the leper in the day of his cleansing'" (Vayikra 14:1-2). Rabbi Aba opened the discussion with the verse: "Be afraid of the sword: for wrath brings the punishments of the sword that you may know that there is judgment (Heb. shadun)" (Iyov 19:29). It is PRONOUNCED, "shadun," but spelled shedin (lit. 'demons'). Observe in how many ways people should guard their way, fear the Holy One, blessed be He, and not depart from the right way, and people should neither transgress the laws of the Torah nor ever leave her.
2. He who does not learn the Torah and does not strive by her is scorned by the Holy One, blessed be He. The Shechinah does not rest upon him and the guardian ANGELS who accompany him TO PROTECT HIM depart from him. Moreover they stand before him proclaiming: 'Withdraw from this man, for he does not honor his Master.' Woe to him, for he is abandoned by the upper and lower beings and has no part in the way of the living.
3. When man makes an effort in serving his Master and learns the Torah, many guards are there to protect him. The Shechinah also rests upon him and everyone proclaims: 'Honor the image of the King! Honor the son of the King! He is protected in this world and the World to Come! Blessed be he!'
4. Come and behold: the evil tongue of the Serpent, with which he spoke to the woman, brought death upon the man, the woman, and the whole world. Thus, it is written: "And their tongue a sharp sword" (Tehilim 57:5), referring to the evil tongue. Therefore, "be afraid of the sword," NAMELY the evil tongue. What does the following verse mean? "For wrath brings the punishments of the sword." This is "the sword of Hashem," for as we learned, the Holy One, blessed be He, has a sword with which He punishes the wicked, as it is written: "the sword of Hashem is filled with blood" (Yeshayah 34:6). It is also written: "My sword shall devour flesh," (Devarim 32:42) FOR THIS IS THE ASPECT OF JUDGMENT WITHIN MALCHUT. Therefore, "be afraid of the sword for wrath brings the punishments of the sword that you may know that there is judgment," WHICH MEANS that you know it has been so decreed, and THAT ANYONE who has a sword in his tongue - NAMELY, HE WHO SPEAKS WITH THE EVIL TONGUE - is punished with the sword that destroys all, FOR THIS IS MALCHUT FROM THE SIDE OF JUDGMENT. This is the meaning of: "This shall be the Torah of the leper;" THAT IS, MALCHUT FROM THE ASPECT OF JUDGMENT, WHICH IS CALLED 'THIS,' JUDGES THE LEPER FOR HIS EVIL TONGUE, BECAUSE PLAGUES COME FROM THE EVIL TONGUE.
5. Rabbi Elazar cited the verse: "Like the birds that are caught in the snare, so are the sons of men snared in an evil time" (Kohelet 9:12). Although we have already learned this verse, come and behold: people are not aware of their Master's desire and do not listen to it, nor do they look to it. The supernal announcer goes before them every day to awaken them, but no one is there to listen to him and no one awakens his spirit to worship his Master.
6. When the night falls and the gates are closed, a chasm in the great abyss is opened and many battalions of demons present in the world. Then, the Holy One, blessed be He, casts sleep upon all human beings in the world AND CASTS SLEEP even upon those who are awake, NAMELY THE RIGHTEOUS. AND THE SPIRITS go around the world and inform people of different matters IN THEIR DREAMS, part of which is false and part of which is truth. People are thus linked with them in their sleep.
7. When the north wind is awakened at midnight, a flame comes out and slaps the rooster's wings and it cries. Then, the Holy One, blessed be He, comes into the Garden of Eden to delight Himself with the righteous. An announcer comes out and proclaims, and all people awaken in their beds. Those who are awake stand by their beds to worship their Master. They learn Torah and praise the Holy One, blessed be He, until the morning comes.
8. When the morning comes, all the battalions of angels above praise the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written: "When the morning stars sang together" (Iyov 38:7). Many gates are then opened on all sides and the gate of Abraham, THE SECRET OF CHESED, is opened to the Congregation of Yisrael, WHICH IS MALCHUT, and invites all the people of the world TO ENJOY THE CHASSADIM, as it is written: "And Abraham planted a tamarisk in Beer-Sheva" (Beresheet 21:33). MALCHUT IS CALLED 'BEER-SHEVA,' AND ABRAHAM PLANTED A TREE OF CHESED THERE.
9. How will a man who does not wake up to worship his Master come before the King when Judgment is brought against him? He will be fettered in chains, MEANING THAT HE WILL BE IMPRISONED AND BROUGHT TO TRIAL, and no merit will be there to save him. Then he will be "like the birds that are caught in the snare, so are the sons of men snared in an evil time" (Kohelet 9:12). Thus, before man departs from this world, both the body and the soul suffer many chastisements before they are separated from each other, and no one is there to care ABOUT IT.
10. When that time comes, WHEN THE SOUL must depart FROM THE BODY, the soul does not leave the body until the Shechinah shows Herself to it. Then it goes out from the body in joy and love of the Shechinah to meet Her. If a man is righteous, he cleaves and bonds himself to Her. If not, the Shechinah departs FROM HIM and his soul is left behind, mourning over its separation from the body. It is similar to what is said about the cat which will not be driven away from the fire: 'Sharpen Your knife and it shall follow you,' FOR IT WILL THINK THAT YOU ARE GOING TO CUT MEAT, AND SO IT WILL BE DRIVEN AWAY FROM THE FIRE. THUS, THE SOUL DOES NOT WANT TO SEPARATE FROM THE BODY BUT WHEN THE SHECHINAH SHOWS HERSELF TO IT, IT LEAVES THE BODY.