335. Come and behold: Observe WHAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN: "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech" (Beresheet 11:1). What is written next? "And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east (also, 'yore')" (Ibid. 2). FOR THEY REMOVED THERMSELVES from the Originator of the world. IN OTHER WORDS, THEY DREW DOWN THE ILLUMINATION OF THE LEFT, WHICH THE ORIGINATOR OF THE WORLD HAD FORBIDDEN THEM TO DO. THEREFORE, THE PASSAGE CONTINUES, "They found a plain in the land of Shinar" from where JUDGMENTS spread out in all directions. This is the beginning of Malchut's separation FROM HOLINESS. IT IS DESCRIBED BY THE PHRASE, "YOU ARE THIS HEAD OF GOLD" (DANIEL 2:38), BECAUSE "ELOHIM HAS MADE THE ONE AS WELL AS THE OTHER" (KOHELET 7:14). IN THE KLIPOT, THERE ARE ALSO FOUR ASPECTS: CHOCHMAH, BINAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT. AND THE KLIPAH OF BABYLON IS CHOCHMAH OF THE KLIPAH. HENCE, IT IS THE HEAD OF ALL OF THE KLIPOT.
336. You might ask: Since it has already been written, "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted" (Beresheet 2:10), HOW CAN WE SAY THAT THE PLAIN (LIT. 'PARTITION') IN THE LAND OF SHINAR WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE SEPARATION? AND HE REPLIED: It is certain THAT THE SEPARATION STARTS AFTER OR BEYOND MALCHUT OF ATZILUT, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE GARDEN. When they journeyed from THE GARDEN, THEY FOUND THE PLAIN IN THE LAND OF SHINAR, and the separation was complete. If they gathered IN THE GARDEN for nourishment, BUT DO NOT DRAW THE ILLUMINATION OF THE LEFT, then there was no separation. THAT IS WHY THE VERSE STATES THAT FROM THE GARDEN "IT WAS PARTED." Only when they journeyed away FROM THE GARDEN did the separation occur, as it is written, "as they journeyed from the east," OR FROM THE GARDEN, they "found a plain," as previously explained. HAD THEY NOT LEFT THE GARDEN, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE FOUND A PLAIN IN THE LAND OF SHINAR AND THEY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SEPARATED FROM HOLINESS. THIS IS WHY THE PLAIN IN THE LAND OF SHINAR IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE BEGINNING OF THE SEPARATION.
337. "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech," because it had one basic and essential foundation, MERCY. All peoples had faith in the Holy One, blessed be He, AND WOULD NOT SIN BEFORE HIM. But what does it say? It says, "And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east" - MEANING THAT THEY "DRIFTED AWAY" from the First and Foremost of the world and from the universal faith, and "they found a plain." They did indeed find something, something that would cause them to leave the supernal faith, AS SHALL BE EXPLAINED.
338. Come and behold: What is said of Nimrod? It is said: "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babylon" (Beresheet 10:10). For he drew POWER from Babylon that helped him to cling on to the dominion of the Other SIDE. IT ALSO READS, "They found a plain in the land of Shinar," MEANING they filled their hearts WITH DESIRE derived from Shinar, to leave the upper dominion and join a different power. FOR THE LAND OF SHINAR, WHICH IS BABYLON, IS THE HEAD AND ROOT OF SEVERENCE FROM THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE.
339. "And they said, Come, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach to heaven; and let us make us a name" (Beresheet 11:4). Rabbi Chiya quoted the verse: "And the wicked are like the troubled sea" (Yeshayah 57:20). HE ASKS: Is there a "troubled sea?" AND HE REPLIES: Yes, indeed, because when the sea leaves the bed, in which it belongs and starts to sway uncontrollably, ATTEMPTING TO OVERCOME THE BOUNDARIES OF THE SAND THAT HOLDS IT IN PLACE, AND THUS POUR OVER THE LAND, it is troubled and driven from its place. It is like a drunkard who cannot sit steadily in his place and sways up and down. Why is that? Because "it cannot be still, and whose waters cast up mire and dirt" (Ibid.), FROM ITS FLOOR up to its shore.
340. Similarly, the wicked GENERATION OF THE TOWER OF BABYLON CALLED 'THE GENERATION OF SEPARATION', left the right and proper way FIXED BY THE ORIGINATOR OF THE WORLD, and were as directionless and purposeless as drunk men. THEY ATTACHED THEMSELVES TO BINAH OF THE KLIPAH, straying from the straight path and taking a crooked one. THE CROOKED PATH WAS THE PLAIN OF THE LAND OF SHINAR AND THE FLAW THAT THEY FOUND THERE. Why did this happen? Because it "cannot rest." The crookedness of their way, WHICH IS THE FLAW THAT THEY FOUND IN IT, caused them to be purposeless and restless, UNTIL THEY SAID, "LET US BUILD US A CITY AND A TOWER..." - THAT IS, THEY BUILT CHOCHMAH AND BINAH OF THE KLIPOT.
341. Not only that, but they were full of anger when they uttered these words. THAT IS, WHEN THEY SAID, "LET US BUILD US A CITY AND A TOWER," THEY INTENDED TO FULFILL THEIR LUST, SINCE A GLUTTON IS ALWAYS IRATE. Their words were "mire and dirt," AND THE VERSE DESCRIBES THEIR ACTION AS, "WHOSE WATERS CAST UP MIRE AND DIRT," WHICH IS A REFERENCE TO THE ASPECTS OF THE KLIPAH CALLED "MIRE AND DIRT." They brought up filth and abomination from their mouths. THEY BROUGHT ON THE DEFILEMENT OF THE SERPENT, WITH THE WORDS, "LET US BUILD US...", until they were themselves defiled BY THE SERPENT.
342. Come and behold: "And they said, come, let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach to heaven." The word "come" is an invitation. The words, "let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach to heaven," WERE UNACCOMPANIED BY ACTIONS. THE UTTERANCE OF THE WORDS ALONE CAUSED THE BUILDING OF THE CITY AND TOWER IN THE UPPER WORLDS. The people took bad advice, following the stupidity and vanity of their hearts, and going against the Holy One, blessed be He.
343. Rabbi Aba then said that they followed the stupidity of their hearts, but they used the Chochmah of the Klipah to leave the upper dominion OF HOLINESS and enter the dominion OF THE KLIPOT, exchanging the glory of the blessed One, with that of a strange El. This whole matter contains a secret of supreme wisdom.
344. "Let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach to heaven." Come and behold: When they reached the plain that was the foreign dominion, THE PLACE WHERE THE FLAW OF BINAH OF THE KLIPAH WAS, AND SETTLED, it was revealed to them that the place was stuck among the fishes of the sea. They said, "This is the place to settle and strengthen our hearts, and let the lower beings enjoy themselves, AND DRAW THE LIGHT DOWNWARD, BECAUSE THIS IS THE PLACE OF THE KLIPOT." Having found the place, they immediately said, "Let us build a city and establish a tower for ourselves."