47. "And Isaac was forty years old." Rabbi Bo began in the name of Rabbi Yosi with the verse: "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth..." (Shir Hashirim 1:2). With how many GOOD qualities was the world created? We have learned that Rabbi Acha bar Jacob said that everything the Holy One, blessed be He, created in His worlds, outside of Himself, was in collaboration - THAT IS, THE COMBINING OF MALCHUT, AN ASPECT OF JUDGMENT, WITH BINAH, AN ASPECT OF MERCY. IT IS FROM THESE PARTNERSHIPS THAT MANY QUALITIES ARE FOUND IN THE WORLD. ONE THOUGHT THIS PARTNERSHIP OF GOOD AND EVIL APPLIES TO CREATURES, SO HE RAISED A QUESTION. Rabbi Acha asks, Is that so? Heaven forbid, for this will add dissension in the world, FOR EVERYBODY WHO HEARS HIM WILL DISAGREE. For if you say that it means that the angels, created as the Holy Spirit itself, have a blend OF GOOD AND EVIL in them, then their faces and ours are the same - THAT IS, ANGELS AND MEN ARE EQUAL.
48. Rabbi Aba said THAT IT IS TRUE, and through this, dissension will increase in the world. For we learned in the Mishnah that all that the Holy One, blessed be He, created, He made as body and soul. THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, JOINED TOGETHER THE BODY FROM MALCHUT AND THE SOUL FROM BINAH. THIS IS THE SECRET OF JOINING JUDGMENT WITH MERCY. One may argue that the angels have no bodies and cannot perform actions until the Holy Soul, THE LIGHT OF BINAH, joins them which is help from above.
49. Rabbi Yosi said that the instant the Holy One blessed be He, resurrects the dead, all troubles will end, on the fortieth year FOLLOWING THE GATHERING OF THE EXILES. It has been resolved by law "Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed" (Devarim 25:3). The journey of Yisrael in the desert WAS COMPLETED in the fortieth year. Forty years before the body is resurrected, the soul awaits it in the land of Yisrael. IT APPEARS THEN that in the fortieth year OF THE WAITING OF THE SOUL IN THE LAND OF YISRAEL, the bodies will rise from the dust. After forty days the rain stopped, this is the meaning of the verses "And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights" (Beresheet 7:12), and "it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened" (Beresheet 8:6). Also, the time of the Redemption of Yisrael is during the fortieth year. During the fiftieth year the world, which is Jubilee, will be populated. The return of the soul to the body occurs after forty years of waiting in the land of Yisrael. This is the meaning of, "and Isaac was forty years old." That is, he was waiting for the body. "When he took Rivkah," who was put in the body prepared for him. Their passion and longing at that moment was for the splendor of the Shechinah only and to be nourished by Her splendor. This is the meaning of the verse, "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth." Rabbi Aba said, "Let him kiss me" means let him nourish me. Their sole nourishment is the enjoyment and sustenance of the supernal splendor. Rabbi Yosi said that this is proven by the end of the verse, which reads, "for your love is better than wine" (Shir Hashirim 1:2).
50. "The daughter of Betu'el" means the daughter (Heb. bat) of El. Rav Huna disagreed with this. He said that BETU'EL is not ONE OF MALCHUT'S NAMES. I have been to distant lands, and heard there that this is the name of the bone of the spine. Of all the bones this one remains in the grave, AND DOES NOT ROT. It is called 'Betu'el the deceitful,' THAT IS, THE 'SCOUNDREL.' I asked about it, ABOUT ITS NATURE, and they said that its shape resembles a head of a serpent, which is deceitful. And that more than any other bone in the body, this bone is deceitful.
51. For we have learned that Rabbi Shimon asks, Why does this bone endure longer than the other bones? This is because it is deceitful and does not bear the taste of human food like the other bones. For that reason, it is stronger than all the other bones. And at the resurrection of the dead, the body will be built on this root. This is the meaning of the verse, "the daughter of Betu'el the Arammian."
52. We learned that Rabbi Shimon said, It, THE BONE OF THE SPINE, is deceitful, and IT CAME from a deceitful world, NAMELY, FROM PADDAN- ARAM. Also, deceitful is the Evil Inclination, WHICH IS THE HEAD OF THE SERPENT, WHICH IS THE EVIL INCLINATION, THE ANGEL OF DEATH. This is the meaning of the verse, "the daughter of Betu'el the Arammian," who is the deceitful bone of the spine. The words, "of Paddan-Aram," WHICH MEANS THAT HE CAME FROM A DECEITFUL (HEB. RAMAI) WORLD, represent two deceivers, as we have learned that Paddana means a 'couple.'The two deceivers are "the sister of Laban," NAMELY, the sister of the deceitful Evil Inclination. At first, when it was corrupted by sins in this world, it was called 'Lot.' In the future, when it will no longer be as corrupted, IT WILL BE as someone who has washed and was cleansed of his impurities, and it will be called 'Laban' (lit. 'white'). Nevertheless, the Evil Inclination is not eliminated from the world.
53. Come and hearken, we learned from the Mishnah that the two daughters of Lot symbolize the two forces of the body that arouse the Evil Inclination. Because it has bathed and is no longer so impure, it is called 'Laban'. And the two daughters are not completely negated, as it is written, "And Laban had two daughters" (Beresheet 29:16). Rabbi Yosi asks, Why are they there referred to as the firstborn and the younger, and here the elder and the younger?
54. Rabbi Yosi said that they no longer have the power to do evil or arouse the Evil Inclination. This is understood from the verse, "the name of the elder (lit. 'bigger') was Leah" (Beresheet 29:16), for she was weary (Heb. leah) from her wickedness and evil, while Rachel, "the younger (lit. 'smaller')," did not have the power to incite. As it is written, "and as a sheep (lit. 'Rachel') before her shearers is dumb" (Yeshayah 53:7). Rav Huna said, This is the Evil Inclination. Its two daughters are different than they were at the beginning. First, it was Lot, cursed and corrupted; now it is Laban (lit. 'white'), who has been cleansed, not as cursed and corrupted as it was before. First its two daughters were strong; each had her individual strength. Now the name of the elder was Leah - weary ('Leah') without power; weary without strength; Leah, fatigued from her former deeds. And the name of the younger was Rachel, as we have said, not as they were at first.
55. Rabbi Acha bar Jacob, said, Come and behold. It is written, "And Isaac entreated Hashem for his wife, because she was barren" (Beresheet 25:21). Rabbi Acha asks, Why is she barren? Because the Evil Inclination does not have its full strength in the world, the only fruition and multiplying comes through prayer. It is then written, "And Hashem was entreated by him, and Rivkah his wife conceived." Once the Evil Inclination is aroused, there is procreation!
56. Rabbi Yosi asks, What then is the difference between this world and the world at that time; WILL THERE BE EVIL INCLINATION TOO? The scripture also says, "AND HASHEM WAS ENTREATED BY HIM, AND RIVKAH HIS WIFE CONCEIVED," WHICH MEANS that the Holy One, blessed be He, does it Himself, AND AWAKENS THE EVIL INCLINATION AT THAT TIME, WHICH IS ALSO PUZZLING. Rabbi Acha said, It is so. The Holy One, blessed be He, arouses THE EVIL INCLINATION for the specific purpose of mating, but not all the time, so that the Evil Inclination may be with men always, and they sin because of it. But it is aroused only for mating, and the arousal OF THE EVIL INCLINATION AT THE TIME OF UNION will be caused by the Holy One, blessed be He. This is the meaning of the verse, "And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh" (Yechezkel 36:26). What is a heart of flesh? Rabbi Yehuda replies, It is a heart that would issue flesh and nothing else, AS, FOR EXAMPLE, A HEART THAT WOULD ONLY BEGET CHILDREN. THEREFORE IT IS WRITTEN, "AND I WILL GIVE YOU," FOR THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, WILL HIMSELF AROUSE THE EVIL INCLINATION AT THE TIME OF MATING.