Vaera: Chapter 8

"Be afraid of the sword"


Rabbi Shimon speaks to Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yosi about the verse, "Be afraid of the sword. For wrath brings the punishment of the sword, that you may know that there is a judgment." He says 'the sword' is "the sword that avenges the revenge of the covenant --" in other words, that punishes anyone who cheats the covenant or is perverse. "For wrath brings the punishments of the sword," because all who falsify the covenant decrease the desire of Malchut to take sustenance from Zeir Anpin. On the other hand, everyone who observes the covenant stimulates it properly, thereby blessing those above and those below. The covenant is stimulated whenever righteous people are found in the world. As evidence for this, Rabbi Shimon offers, "And also I have sustained my covenant with them to give them the Land of Canaan, the land of their sojourns (Heb. megureihem)." When the covenant was still remembered and kept by the children of Yisrael, all the Sfirot combined in one to liberate them from Egypt.