Tzav: Chapter 12

The Name El


Rabbi Chizkiyah wonders about the name El, which should always be of Chesed but seems sometimes to be of Judgment. Rabbi Shimon explains that the wicked turn Mercy into Judgment. A further question arises of "an El who is angry every day," and Rabbi Shimon answers that, if people have merit, the name El prevails, but if they do not, the name 'Mighty' prevails; so for those who are wicked, El is angry every day. A better explanation, however, is that El prevails daily because it is universally the illumination of the supernal Wisdom. The existence of everything is due to the fact that El pushes the decree away every day, and to the fact that Abraham awakened and pushed away all the verdicts. Rabbi Shimon explains the meaning of "wonderful, counselor, a mighty El, the everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." He talks about the sacrifice, saying that when the priest brings the sacrifice below, the priest above (Chesed), brings about the union of Malchut and Zeir Anpin.