138. Rabbi Aba said, I see that the people in the world do not observe or know the glory of their Master. It is written, of Yisrael, "and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine" (Vayikra 20:26), and, "Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am Hashem your Elohim" (Ibid. 7). But if they draw far FROM THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, where is their holiness, if their wish is distanced from Him? The verse declares, "Be not like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding" (Tehilim 32:9). For people are different from a horse and a mule only by their holiness, so as to be whole and distinguished more than everything.
139. Therefore people mate at specific times so as to direct their will to cleave to the Holy One, blessed be He. It has been remarked that at midnight the Holy One, blessed be He, enters the Garden of Eden to delight Himself with the righteous, and the Congregation of Yisrael, WHICH IS MALCHUT, praises the Holy One, blessed be He. It is a favorable time to cleave to them, TO THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE AND HIS SHECHINAH.
140. The friends who are engaged in Torah unite with the Congregation of Yisrael in praising the Holy One, blessed be He, and they are occupied with the Torah. For other people it is a favorable time to be sanctified with the holiness of the Holy One, blessed be He, NAMELY BY MATING, and direct their wishes to cleave to Him. The friends who are occupied with the Torah, the time for them to mate is when another, SUPERNAL union takes place. This occurs on Shabbat, so as to direct one's desire to cleave to the Holy One, blessed be He and the Congregation of Yisrael. For it is a time of goodwill when everything, the higher and lower, is blessed.
141. If people keep away from the Holy One, blessed be He and conduct themselves like animals, where is their holiness to make them holy? Where are their holy souls, which they draw from above? King Solomon cries out, saying, "Also, that the soul be without knowledge is not good" (Mishlei 19:2). In, "without knowledge," knowledge refers to the Holy One, blessed be He. "...The soul...is not good" refers to the soul they draw by their deed. It is "not good" since that soul comes to them from the Other Side, which is not good, since they do not direct their heart towards the Holy One, blessed be He.
142. If a person gets hot with the Evil Inclination, without directing his desire and heart toward the Holy One, blessed be He, THEN a soul that is not good is drawn upon him from the side of the Evil Inclination. This is the meaning of, "Also, that the soul be without knowledge is not good." "and he that hastens with his feet sins" (Ibid.). Whoever hastens with the feet and precipitates matters, THAT IS, DOES NOT WAIT UNTIL THE TIME IS PROPER, BUT IS without a holy wish, sins. Assuredly he sins in every way.
143. For that reason, evil plagues dwell in people and testify on their faces to their impudence, to show that the Holy One, blessed be He, rejects them and does not pay attention to them until they are worthy and better their deeds as before. For that reason the priest recognizes that the plagues come from the side of impurity and that they come from the Other Side.