Shmini: Chapter 4

"And it came to pass on the eighth day"


Rabbi Elazar tells of the supernal oil, the abundance of Chochmah in Binah, that flows to the seven Sfirot, and how those seven lamps (the Sfirot) are lit from it. The discussion turns on the seven days in "And you shall not go out from the door of the Tent of Meeting for seven days," and then on the eighth day of the sacrifice. We are reminded that acts below are reflected above. We learn why a ram and a calf were offered by Aaron, and why the people had to bring a bullock and a ram. On that day there was peace everywhere, and the sin of the golden calf was wiped out. But later Nadab and Abihu caused wrath to descend on the world again, and we read of the many ways they spoiled the joy of Yisrael. Rabbi Pinchas stresses that there must be a Male and a Female, and that the priest must be married before he is allowed to enter the sanctuary. When a man comes to his wife with love he awakens a supernal coupling as well. Rabbi Yosi says that God has mercy on the world for the sake of Jacob and Abraham, since He made them the Holy Chariot to shield the whole world. When God created the world, He created the world with Isaac, or Judgment; but when he saw that judgment would not endure, he made the world endure by Abraham, Chesed. Then he joined Jacob, Mercy, with Isaac and thus the whole world is supported by Abraham and Jacob. There is a long discussion of the appropriate animal for the sin offering and the peace offering. Lastly we are told that the priest must have no blemish, but must be perfect so that he does not cause a blemish above.