Shemot: Chapter 1

"And these are the names"


An explanation of, "And these are the names,"proceeds from a discussion of the meaning of the quotation, "And they who are wise..." This, we learn, contains the secret of the Firmament, which illuminates the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life. Those imbued with supernal Wisdom - the internal and external angels, and the life-giving souls born of the Tree of Life - inhabit the Tree, and these beings merit eternal life. The branches of the Tree spread over all forms and beings of Holiness, and the fruit of the Tree gives life to all. The side of Impurity, however, does not dwell in the Tree of Life, and derives no nourishment from it. There follows a description of the splendor of the Tree, which ascends to great heights, and the one radiation in the Tree, which contains the colors white, red and green. Rising in direct light and descending in returning light, these colors come to rest only in the Tree. From this Tree, the twelve Tribes of Israel went down into the exile of Egypt with the light that does not illuminate (Malchut), accompanied by multitudes of heavenly hosts.


This passage explains that those of us who embrace the "secret of wisdom--which is the Holy Zohar - sparkle and shine with the Light of Chochmah. Chochmah is one of the highest spiritual dimensions of the Upper World. This is the flawless reality known by the code term "Tree of Life."

The Tree of Life is the source of our joy. It is the place that wisdom and pleasure come from. It is a realm of immortality and eternal peace. When we are connected to this divine dimension, we know only fulfillment, joy, and perfection. The turmoil of human existence occurs when we find ourselves disconnected from the Tree of Life, languishing in our physical domain of darkness known as the Tree of Knowledge reality.

The opening verses of this powerful section of Zohar unite us with the Tree of Life. Immediately, order emerges from chaos. We are impervious to the negative influences of the twelve constellations.

The illumination we generate by virtue of these verses banishes darkness from our lives and from all existence. We ignite the forces of immortality, expelling death from human existence. We become wise in the ways of the Creator.

Upon the merit of this passage, our exile ends as we rise out of Egypt (the material world of pain and suffering) and experience the Garden of Eden forevermore.