484. "And it came to pass after these things, that Elohim tested Abraham and said to him, 'Abraham,' and he replies, 'Behold, here I am'" (Beresheet 22:1). Rabbi Yehuda began the discussion with the verse, "You are my king, Elohim" (Tehilim 44:5). This symbolizes the complete unification of all the grades as one; they ARE ATTACHED to one another. THIS IS BECAUSE IN THIS VERSE ARE THE SFIROT - CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET AND MALCHUT - WHICH REPRESENT ALL THE GRADES, BECAUSE "YOU" ALLUDES TO CHESED, ACCORDING TO THE MYSTERY OF THE VERSE, "YOU ARE A PRIEST FOR EVER" (TEHILIM 110:4); "ELOHIM" IS GVURAH; "ARE" IS TIFERET; AND "MY KING" IS MALCHUT.
485. "...Command deliverances for Jacob..." (Tehilim 44:5) MEANS THAT all the messengers who accomplish their missions in the world shall be from the side of Mercy and not from the side of Judgment. There are emissaries from both sides - some from the side of Mercy and some from the side of harsh Judgment. Those messengers who come from the side of Mercy never take upon themselves a mission of Judgment in the world.
486. You might say, But we have learned that the angel who was revealed to Bilaam was a messenger of Mercy who changed to a messenger of Judgment, THEREBY SHOWING THAT A MESSENGER OF MERCY CAN EXECUTE JUDGMENT. HOWEVER, THE ANSWER IS he cannot. He never changed TO EXECUTE JUDGMENT. Rather, he was a messenger of Mercy who came to protect Yisrael and to be in their favor. But toward Bilaam, he was a messenger of Judgment. So these are the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, when He does good to someone. We can see that this benefit to one person may be a punishment for another person. And so first, he was a messenger of Mercy for Yisrael. But for Bilaam he was a messenger of Judgment. Because of this, HE PLEADED, "Command deliverances for Jacob." Thus, David said, "Command this for the world so that when a messenger will be sent, he will be from the side of Mercy."
487. Rabbi Aba said, "Command deliverances for Jacob" MEANS THAT HE PRAYED FOR JACOB, prayed for those in exile, that they might receive salvation. Come and behold, Jacob was the glory of the Patriarchs. Had it not been for Isaac, Jacob would not have appeared in the world. For this reason, "command deliverances for Jacob" alludes to Isaac, WHO IS THE DELIVERER OF JACOB, because when Isaac was saved DURING THE BINDING OF ISAAC, this was the deliverance of Jacob.
488. "And it came to pass after these things..." Rabbi Shimon said, We have learned that the words "And it came to pass (Heb. vayehi) in the days" are said concerning trouble. Thus, even though it is not written 'in the days of,' there is still a certain tinge of distress, as it says, "Vayehi." "And it came to pass after" MEANS that it happened after the lowest of the supernal grades OF ATZILUT. And what is it? IT IS "these things (Heb. d'varim)," NAMELY MALCHUT, as it is written, "I am not a man of words (Heb. d'varim)" (Shemot 4:10).
489. And what is "after" this grade, THAT IS, AFTER MALCHUT? THIS IS A REFERENCE TO THE WORDS, "that Elohim tested Abraham," which mean that the Evil Inclination came from there to lay accusations before the Holy One, blessed be He. THEREFORE, "ELOHIM TESTED ABRAHAM." This phrase should be studied carefully. It should have been written, 'tested Isaac,' because Isaac was already 37 years old and his father could no longer be punished for his sins. So if Isaac had said, 'I refuse to obey,' his father would not have been punished because of him. So then why is it written, "that Elohim tested Abraham," rather than, 'tested Isaac?'
490. AND HE REPLIES, IT SHOULD definitely BE WRITTEN, "tested Abraham," because he was supposed to be included within Judgment, as there was no judgment in Abraham previously - HE HAD CONSISTED ENTIRELY OF CHESED. Now water was mixed with fire; CHESED WAS MIXED WITH JUDGMENT. So Abraham did not achieve perfection until he crowned (prepared) himself to execute Judgment and establish it in its place.
491. So all his life, he did not reach perfection until now, until water mixed with fire - RIGHT MIXED WITH LEFT - and fire with water - LEFT WITH RIGHT. This is why, "Elohim tested Abraham" and not Isaac. Because THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, invited Abraham to be included with Judgment ACCORDING TO THE SECRET OF THE LEFT. So when he performed THE ACT OF BINDING ISAAC, the fire entered the water, THAT IS, JUDGMENT ENTERED CHESED, and they were perfected by each other, AS WAS SAID BEFORE. This is what the act of Judgment accomplished, it included one within the other. This is also the reason why the Evil Inclination came and accused Abraham of not being properly perfected until he performed the act of Judgment by BINDING Isaac. THE PLACE of the Evil Inclination is "after" (beyond) these "things," WHICH ALLUDES TO MALCHUT ACCORDING TO THE SECRET OF THE VERSE, "SIN CROUCHES AT THE DOOR" (BERESHEET 4:7). And so he came to persecute.
492. Come and behold, observe the mystery behind this issue. Even though it is written, "Abraham" and not Isaac, Isaac is still included in the passage. It is written, "Elohim tested (et) Abraham," rather than 'tested Abraham.' Instead of a dative particle, it uses Et. Et is accurate and ALLUDES TO Isaac, because at that time ISAAC resided in lower Gvurah, WHICH REFERS TO THE NUKVA. And as he was bound and underwent the trial of Judgment performed by Abraham, ISAAC was crowned in his place together with Abraham, and the fire combined with the water and rose upward. AND ABRAHAM WITH CHESED ROSE UP TO CHOCHMAH, AND ISAAC WITH GVURAH ROSE UP TO BINAH. Then the dispute was settled properly, BECAUSE THEY MADE PEACE BETWEEN THEMSELVES, AS fire and water WERE COMBINED AND BECAME INCLUSIVE OF EACH OTHER.
493. Who has ever seen a merciful father do a cruel thing TO HIS SON? It is only to settle the dispute and combine water with fire. THIS REFERS TO THE ATTRIBUTE OF CHESED OF ABRAHAM WITH THE FIRE OF ISAAC, and each one is properly crowned in its place. AND THIS REMAINED SO until Jacob appeared, WHO WAS THE SECRET OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN. Then, everything was properly established, and all three Patriarchs achieved perfection, WHICH MEANS THAT THEY BECAME A CHARIOT FOR THE UPPER THREE COLUMNS, and so the upper and lower beings were properly established.