18. "And Hashem spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the voice of the words..." (Devarim 4:12). Rabbi Elazar said, We have to examine this verse. IT SAYS "the voice of the words." What does that mean? AND HE ANSWERS that IT MEANS voice is considered speech, since every speech comes from it. THE VOICE IS ZEIR ANPIN AND SPEECH IS MALCHUT, BUT SINCE WORDS COME FROM VOICE, MALCHUT IS CALLED "THE VOICE OF THE WORDS." Hence it is written, "And Hashem spoke to you OUT OF THE MIDST OF THE FIRE," since speech comes from that place, MALCHUT THAT IS CALLED FIRE. And it, MALCHUT, is called "the voice of the words."
19. "You heard," since hearing depends on it, ON MALCHUT, since hearing comes from speech. Hence IT IS WRITTEN, "You heard." This has already been explained. "And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl" (Shemot 21:6), because he blemished that place called hearing, which means both words and hearing.
20. "You heard the voice of the words, but saw no form." HE ASKS, What is a form, AND HE ANSWERS, It resembles "and the similitude of Hashem does he behold" (Bemidbar 12:8), WHICH IS MALCHUT. THIS WAS SAID TO PRAISE MOSES, WHO USED TO LOOK AT THE SHINING MIRROR, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, AND HENCE, "THE SIMILITUDE OF HASHEM DOES HE BEHOLD," WHICH IS MALCHUT THAT REVEALS YUD HEI VAV HEI. According to another explanation, "a form" is an inner voice, NAMELY BINAH, which was not visible at all, NOT EVEN TO MOSES; "only a voice" (Devarim 4:12) refers to another EXTERNAL voice, as we said, NAMELY MALCHUT CALLED "THE VOICE OF THE WORDS." And why is BINAH called a form (or: 'similitude')? HE ANSWERS, Because it manifests the body, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN CALLED BODY, THAT IS, THE FORM OF THE SIX EXTREMITIES, THE TWELVE BORDERS AND SEVENTY BRANCHES, ETC., which comes out from it, FROM BINAH.
21. You may argue that another, NAMELY MALCHUT, is also named thus, A FORM. WHY IS IT CALLED A FORM? HE ANSWERS, It is so, for the other one IS ALSO CALLED A FORM, BECAUSE the lower manifestations IN BRIYAH, YETZIRAH AND ASIYAH emerge from it. For that reason BINAH AND MALCHUT ARE CALLED supernal Hei and lower Hei BECAUSE THEY ARE EQUAL. The supernal Hei IS THE SECRET OF, "a great voice which was not heard again" (Devarim 5:19), since its founts never stop flowing, BECAUSE IT IS WITH ABA, CHOCHMAH, IN A NEVER-ENDING UNION. All these voices were there when the Torah was given to Yisrael, THE SECRET OF THE SEVEN VOICES OF ZEIR ANPIN. They all came out from the inner voice above all, WHICH IS BINAH, since everything is suspended from it AS THEY EMANATED FROM BINAH.
22. Moses spoke from himself the words of Deuteronomy (lit. 'the second Torah'). This has already been explained. HE ASKS why it is so AND HE ANSWERS, Supernal Chochmah is called the embodiment of the Torah, from which everything comes out into the inner voice, WHICH IS BINAH. Afterwards, everything is settled and becomes attached to the place called the Tree of Life, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN CALLED MOSES. The general and the particular come from it, namely the Written Torah, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN CALLED GENERAL, and the Oral Torah, WHICH IS MALCHUT CALLED PARTICULAR. They are also called the Torah and the second Torah. ZEIR ANPIN IS CALLED TORAH AND MALCHUT IS CALLED THE SECOND TORAH. IT WAS THEREFORE SAID THAT MOSES, WHO IS ZEIR ANPIN, SPOKE THE SECOND TORAH, WHICH IS MALCHUT, FROM HIMSELF, NAMELY, IT EMANATED FROM MOSES. At first, THE FIRST SET OF TEN COMMANDMENTS CAME OUT from uninterrupted Gvurah, NAMELY FROM BINAH, OF WHICH IT IS SAID, "A GREAT VOICE WHICH WAS NOT HEARD AGAIN." Now, WITH THE SECOND SET OF TEN COMMANDMENTS IN THE SECOND TORAH THEY CAME OUT all together, THAT IS, FROM ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT, ACCORDING TO THE PRINCIPLE THAT MOSES, ZEIR ANPIN, SPOKE THEM FROM HIMSELF. For that reason, all these ten commandments are spelled with Vav, in, "neither (Heb. ve) shall you commit adultery. Neither shall you steal. Neither shall you bear... Neither shall you covet...neither shall you desire" (Ibid. 17-18), AS VAV INDICATES ZEIR ANPIN.
23. Rabbi Yosi said, What is meant by, "neither shall you desire"? "Neither shall you covet" should suffice. He said to him, Blessed are the truly righteous. Coveting is one grade, desire another. Coveting MEANS that if he can, he will grab her, for the coveting that took him over will cause him to act. Desire is not so. Even when he will not take to following her, IT IS STILL CONSIDERED DESIRE. This has already been explained.
24. Rabbi Yosi said to him, Why is not it written, 'Neither shall you murder' SPELLED WITH VAV like the others? He said to him, For the level OF MURDER is Judgment and comes from Gvurah THROUGH THE LEFT COLUMN instead of from the place of Mercy, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN CALLED VAV. Hence "You shall not murder" (Ibid. 17) is without Vav. Since five Vavs are needed, CORRESPONDING TO CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH AND HOD, Vav was added to "shall you covet," since in "You shall not murder" no Vav should dwell BECAUSE IT IS IN GVURAH. HENCE Vav was added here.
25. Rabbi Pinchas, who sat behind RABBI ELAZAR, heard it. He kissed him, wept and laughed. He said OF RABBI ELAZAR, Who can stand before him and his father in the world! Happy is the lot of the righteous, and happy is my own lot in this world and in the World to Come to have merited it. Of this it is written, "The righteous see it, and are glad" (Iyov 22:19).
26. Rabbi Elazar opened with, "Go you near, and hear..." (Devarim 5:24). Come and see, when the Torah was given to Yisrael, all voices were present, NAMELY, FROM BINAH, ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT. BINAH IS CALLED AN INNER VOICE, ZEIR ANPIN AN OUTER VOICE AND MALCHUT THE VOICE OF THE WORDS. The Holy One, blessed be He, sat on the throne, WHICH IS MALCHUT, and one was visible from within another - ZEIR ANPIN WAS SEEN FROM WITHIN MALCHUT. The words of the one, MALCHUT, came from within that which was above it, ZEIR ANPIN. This is the secret of the verse, "Hashem talked with you face to face in the mountain out of the midst of the fire" (Devarim 5:4), AS ZEIR ANPIN AND MALCHUT WERE FACE TO FACE. And speech came out and spoke from within the fire and the flame, WHICH ARE THE LEFT COLUMN that pushed the speech out OF ZEIR ANPIN by striking of wind and water, WHICH ARE the CENTRAL AND RIGHT COLUMNS that empower THE LEFT, SO THAT SPEECH, WHICH IS MALCHUT, COMES OUT FROM ALL THREE COLUMNS OF ZEIR ANPIN. For fire, wind and water, THE THREE COLUMNS OF ZEIR ANPIN, came out of the Shofar, BINAH, as it, BINAH, includes them all. Yisrael kept away from this awe.
27. Because of that, BECAUSE OF THAT AWE, YISRAEL SAID TO MOSES, "And speak to us" (Ibid. 24), SAYING, We do not want this lofty force from above, NAMELY FROM ZEIR ANPIN, but from the place of the Female, MALCHUT, and no further. THIS IS THE MEANING OF, "and speak to us," WITH A FEMININE SUFFIX. Moses said TO THEM, You have surely weakened my power and weakened another power OF MALCHUT, for had not Yisrael distanced themselves, they would have heard all those words FROM ZEIR ANPIN as before, the world would not have been destroyed and Yisrael would have lived for generations.