128. "And Hashem said to Moses, 'Say to Aaron, take your rod and stretch your hand on the waters of Egypt on their streams, on their canals, and on their ponds, and on all their pools of water, that they may become blood...'" (Shemot 7:19). Rabbi Yehuda said, We must concentrate on this passage. How could he have gone to all these places, NAMELY TO ALL THE WATERS OF EGYPT AND ALL THEIR PONDS THROUGHOUT THE LAND OF EGYPT? It is also written, "And seven days were completed, after Hashem had smitten the River" (Ibid. 25). It is written, "The River," yet you say, "On the waters of Egypt, on their streams, on their canals, and on their ponds."
129. HE ANSWERS, "The waters of Egypt" is the Nile. All the other ponds and streams and wellsprings and all their waters were filled from there. Therefore, Aaron raised his hand only to smite the Nile. Come and see that it is so, for it is written, "And Egypt could not drink of the water of the River" (Ibid. 21). SO WE SEE THAT THE RIVER INCLUDES ALL THE WATERS OF EGYPT.
130. Rabbi Aba said, Come and see, the lower waters spread in many directions, NAMELY RIGHT AND TO LEFT, and the upper waters gather in the gathering place of the water, WHICH IS YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, as it is written, "And Elohim said, 'Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together to one place.'..and the gathering together of the waters He called seas" (Beresheet 1:9-11). This passage was explained. Come and see, the firmament that contains the sun and moon and stars and constellations, WHICH IS YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, THAT INCLUDES WITHIN IT ALL THE LIGHTS OF ZEIR ANPIN, is the gathering place of the water, for it receives all the water, NAMELY ALL THE LIGHTS, and waters the earth which is the lower world, NAMELY MALCHUT. As soon as THE EARTH receives the waters, it spreads them and divides them to every side, and from there everything is watered.
131. During the time when Judgment dwells, the lower world, WHICH IS MALCHUT, is not nurtured by that firmament, but is nurtured by the left side THAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE RIGHT. Then MALCHUT is called, "The sword of Hashem is filled with blood" (Yeshayah 34:6). Woe to those who then are nurtured by her and are sustained by her, because at that time the sea, WHICH IS MALCHUT, was being nurtured from two sides, FROM YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN AND FROM THE LEFT SIDE. THEREFORE, it is divided into two parts, white FROM THE SIDE OF YESOD, and red FROM THE LEFT SIDE. Then it casts into the River the portion of Egypt, NAMELY THE RED, smites THEIR SOURCE above, and smites below. Therefore, the children of Yisrael drink water BECAUSE THEY ARE ATTACHED TO YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH IS THE WHITE PART OF MALCHUT, and the Egyptians drink blood, WHICH IS THE RED PART OF MALCHUT.
132. So if you say that THE PLAGUE OF BLOOD was only to repel them, come and see. They drank the blood, which entered their intestines, broke through and rose. So Yisrael sold them water for money. Then they drank water. Therefore, the first plague that smote them was blood.
133. Rabbi Yitzchak opened the discussion with this passage, "I will extol You, my Elohim, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever" (Tehilim 145:1). Come and see that David spoke of his level, "I WILL EXTOL YOU," for he wrote "my Elohim," MEANING my own ELOHIM, NAMELY MALCHUT, WHICH IS HIS LEVEL. For he wanted to raise the praise OF MALCHUT, and to bring it to the supernal light, NAMELY BINAH, to mix them one with the other, so THAT MALCHUT AND BINAH should be one. Therefore he said, "I will extol You, my Elohim, O King..."
134. For we learned that David endeavored all the days of his life to restore the Throne, WHICH IS MALCHUT, and to illuminate its face WITH THE LIGHT OF BINAH so it would protect it, and constantly illuminate the lower light, WHICH IS MALCHUT, with the upper light, WHICH IS BINAH, so that they would be one. MEANING THAT MALCHUT WOULD ASCEND TO BINAH, WHEN THEY ARE ONE. And when Solomon came, he found a world, WHICH IS MALCHUT, whole, and the moon, WHICH IS MALCHUT, full. MALCHUT HAD ALREADY ASCENDED TO BINAH, AND WAS COMPLETED AND FILLED WITH ALL ITS LIGHTS and he no longer had to toil at illuminating it.
135. Come and see, when the Holy One, blessed be He, wishes to do vengeance upon the idol-worshipping nations, the left SIDE is stimulated and the moon becomes full, FOR IT IS MALCHUT with blood from that side. Then the springs and rivers of below and all that are on the left side flow with blood. Therefore their punishment is blood.
136. Come and see, When this blood is aroused against any nation, it is the blood of killed people, because another nation is provoked to come and kill them. But in Egypt, the Holy One, blessed be He, did not want to bring another nation to arouse blood against them, NAMELY TO KILL THEM, because of Yisrael that were living among them, so that YISRAEL who dwelt in their country would not be distressed. The Holy One, blessed be He, smote them with blood in their streams instead, so they were not able to drink.
137. Since their dominion rules over that river, the Holy One, blessed be He, punished their dominion first, in order that their deity would be smitten first, because the Nile was one of their deities. Similarly their other deities were gushing with blood. This is the meaning of, "And that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone" (Shemot 7:19).
138. Rabbi Chiya arose one night to study Torah. The young Rabbi Yosi, who was still a child, was with him. Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion saying, "Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for the Elohim has already accepted your works" (Kohelet 9:7). HE ASKS, What did Solomon see that caused him to say this passage.
139. AND HE ANSWERS, All the words of Solomon were said with wisdom. "Go your way, eat your bread with joy" MEANS that the Holy One, blessed be He, brings a person who goes in the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, close to Him, and gives him tranquillity and repose. Then, he eats and drinks the bread and wine with a joyful heart because the Holy One, blessed be He, has accepted his actions.
140. That boy said to him, If so, then you have said that all the words of Solomon were with wisdom, so where is the wisdom here IN THIS PASSAGE. RABBI CHIYA said to him, My son, cook your food, MEANING CONCENTRATE WELL, and you will understand this passage. The boy said to him, Before I have cooked, I already know. RABBI CHIYA said to him, How do you know?
141. The boy said to him, I heard one voice, MEANING ONE THING my father used to say about this passage. Solomon cautioned people to crown the Congregation of Yisrael, WHICH IS MALCHUT, with joy, which is the right side, NAMELY THE LIGHT OF CHASSADIM, which is bread, so it would be crowned with joy. BREAD ALLUDES TO THE LIGHT OF CHASSADIM. Then it should be crowned with wine, which is the left side, NAMELY THE ILLUMINATION OF CHOCHMAH, WHICH IS THE LEFT OF BINAH, so that the Faith of all, NAMELY MALCHUT, will be in complete joy in the right and left. When it will be between both, all the blessings will dwell in the world. THIS IS THE UTMOST PERFECTION OF MALCHUT, THAT THE ILLUMINATION OF THE LEFT, WHICH IS CHOCHMAH, WOULD BE ENVELOPED IN THE LIGHT OF CHASSADIM THAT IS ON THE RIGHT, FOR THEN BOTH ILLUMINATE IN HER. FOR THIS IS THE SECRET OF BREAD AND WINE. All this occurs when the Holy One, blessed be He, accepts the deeds of people as it is written, "For the Elohim has already accepted your works." Rabbi Chiya approached and kissed him. He said, I swear my son that I left this for you, MEANING THAT EVEN THOUGH I ALSO KNEW IT, I DID NOT SAY IT, AND I LEFT IT FOR YOU TO SAY. And now I know that the Holy One, blessed be He, wishes to crown you with Torah.
142. Rabbi Chiya again opened the discussion saying, "Say to Aaron, 'Take your rod, and stretch your hand on the waters of Egypt.'.." (Shemot 7:19). HE ASKS, Why Aaron and not Moses, AND ANSWERS, For the Holy One, blessed be He, said, water remains in the place where Aaron is, BECAUSE WATER IS IN THE RIGHT, and the left wants to draw water from there. Aaron, who comes from that side, will stimulate A FLOW OF WATER, and when the left, WHICH IS EGYPT, receives it, it will be transformed into blood.
143. Come and see, the lowest of all levels, WHICH IS MALCHUT, WHICH IS CALLED "THE SWORD OF HASHEM IS FILLED WITH BLOOD," smote first, AND THEIR WATERS TURNED INTO BLOOD. Rabbi Shimon said, The Holy One, blessed be He, started to smite from the lowest, WHICH IS MALCHUT. His hand THAT CONTAINS TEN FINGERS, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE TEN SFIROT smote with each finger, FROM MALCHUT UNTIL KETER. And when He reached their highest level, WHICH IS THE FIRSTBORN OF ALL THE LEVELS, NAMELY CORRESPONDING TO KETER, He acted and passed over the land of Egypt and killed them all. Therefore, He killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, because this is their highest level and the firstborn to everything.