Vayak'hel: Chapter 42

"in sorrow you shall bring forth children"


Rabbi Elazar asks his father Rabbi Shimon how this title passage applies to the supernal woman, Malchut. Rabbi Shimon replies by referring to "as the hart pants after the water brooks," coming to the conclusion that the female (Malchut) pants after the water (the light of Chassidim), conceives from the male and is in labor because she is under judgment. He says that when she gives birth God prepares for her a big supernal serpent; it bites that place and she delivers. The meaning of, "I will greatly multiply the pain of your childbearing," is that she shudders daily and is saddened by the deeds of the world. The sorrow of the title verse is the secret of the serpent that saddens the face of the world. Rabbi Shimon says that Malchut was originally as big as Zeir Anpin but she diminished her light and rule and has no power herself but what Zeir Anpin gives her, exactly like the moon and the sun, and so he rules over her. We are told that the serpent, sorrow, is required because he opened a way through which the upper souls descend into the world, and if it weren't for that opening, no souls would dwell inside man at all. In "sin crouches at the door," the 'door' is the door of Malchut, whose purpose is to give birth; the serpent stands at the door. However, Rabbi Shimon tells us, any souls that descend into holy bodies do not have the serpent present at their entrance because their gates are not closed, as they are drawn from the Right Column. But for everyone else the serpent rules over the body and Malchut rules over the soul, both being wrapped around one another. Lastly, we hear that when the serpent delivers before his time he dies at delivery, as written in, "He will destroy death forever," and "The dead men of your people shall live, my dead body shall arise."