45. He asks, What is the difference between a prophecy and a dream? 1) A prophecy is part of the world of the male, and a dream is part of the world of the female, THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN. Between them are six grades, AS PROPHECY IS PART OF NETZACH AND HOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, AND DREAM IS PART OF HOD OF THE NUKVA. BETWEEN THEM IS YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN AND CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH AND HOD OF THE NUKVA, WHICH CONSTITUTE SIX GRADES. 2) A prophecy is in right and left, THAT IS, NETZACH AND HOD, and dream is in the left, NAMELY, IN HOD. 3) A dream emanates downward a few grades TO THE ANGEL GABRIEL, FROM WHOM MEN RECEIVE THE ILLUMINATION OF DREAMS. Therefore, dreams abide everywhere in the world, EVEN OUTSIDE YISRAEL. Nevertheless, a man sees according to his grade, and according to the man, so is his grade. THIS MEANS THAT IT IS NOT THE SAME FOR EVERY MAN. But prophecy does not emanate DOWNWARD FROM MALCHUT OF ATZILUT, but shines where it is, IN THE NUKVA, THE PLACE OF ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE LAND OF YISRAEL, AND THE PROPHETS THAT ARE INSPIRED FROM IT.
46. Come and see, it is written, "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven, and behold the angels of Elohim ascending and descending on it" (Beresheet 28:12). He opened the discussion with the verse, "the word of Hashem came (Heb. hayoh hayah,) to Ezekiel the son of Buzi, in the land of Chaldeans, by the river K'var, and the hand of Hashem was there upon him" (Yechezkel 1:3). The words hayoh hayah (lit. 'being, was') INDICATE THAT this prophecy was specific to that time, for it was needed to strengthen those in exile in order to let them know the Shechinah had gone into exile with them. Therefore, Ezekiel saw what he saw, which applied to that time only. And although the place was not worthy of it, FOR PLACES OUTSIDE YISRAEL ARE NOT WORTHY OF PROPHECY, THE SCRIPTURE READS hayoh hayah, WHICH MEANS THAT THERE IS SOMETHING NEW HERE, THAT PROPHECY LIVES OUTSIDE YISRAEL. HE ASKS, Why DOES THE SCRIPTURE SAY TWICE, hayo hayah? HE ANSWERS, One is above IN ZEIR ANPIN, and one is below IN THE NUKVA, as it is written, "a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven," WHICH MEANS THAT it receives THE LIGHT OF CHASSADIM above IN HEAVEN, ZEIR ANPIN, and receives below, FROM THE NUKVA CALLED 'EARTH,' THE LIGHT OF CHOCHMAH. So in Hayo Hayah, one MEANS THE BEING OF CHASSADIM above, and the other MEANS THE BEING OF CHOCHMAH below.
47. Come and behold, this ladder was strengthened by two worlds, above IN ZEIR ANPIN and below IN THE NUKVA. THUS, "in the land of Chaldeans by the river K'var" (Yechezkel 1:3). The land of Chaldeans is the place of exile, NAMELY, THE LAND OUTSIDE YISRAEL. Nevertheless, it is "by the river K'var." What is the river K'var? IT MEANS THAT She was already (Heb. k'var) there; the Shechinah dwelt upon it before that, as it is written, "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden" (Beresheet 2:10), THE RIVER BEING THE SECRET OF BINAH. AND THE RIVER K'VAR IS one of the four rivers THAT FLOWED FROM THE RIVER THAT BEGAN IN EDEN, THE RIVER OF EUPHRATES IN BABYLON. Because it dwelt upon him before and was upon it already (k'var), now too it dwells upon it and was revealed to Ezekiel.
48. Come and behold, "And he dreamed." HE ASKS, How could it be that to holy Jacob, the chosen of the patriarchs, Hashem was revealed in a dream; and in such a sacred place, BETHEL, WHICH IS PART OF YISRAEL, A PLACE WORTHY OF THE DWELLING OF THE SHECHINAH, he saw HASHEM only in a dream? HE ANSWERS, Jacob was not yet married, AND WAS THEREFORE INCOMPLETE IN HIS BODY. Also, Isaac was still alive AND THE TIME OF HIS ASCENDANCY HAD NOT YET ARRIVED. THEREFORE, IT IS WRITTEN THAT HE DREAMED AND NOT THAT HE SAW A VISION WHILE AWAKE. You may wonder why, after he was married, it is written, "I...saw in a dream" (Beresheet 31:10). This was because he was outside Yisrael IN PADDAN ARAM, and Isaac was yet alive. Therefore it is written that he dreamed.
49. Afterwards -- when he came to the Holy Land with the tribes and "the barren woman" was perfected with them, "and be a joyful mother of children" (Tehilim 113:9), (AND HE WAS NOW WHOLE WITH HIS SPOUSE AND WAS IN THE LAND OF YISRAEL) it is written, "And Elohim appeared to Jacob" (Beresheet 35:9), "And Elohim spoke to Yisrael in the vision of the night" (Beresheet 46:2). No dream was mentioned here because he was of another, superior grade, WORTHY OF BEHOLDING A VISION WHILE AWAKE.
50. Come and behold, a dream comes from Gabriel, and A DREAM is six grades lower than a prophecy. THIS MEANS THAT GABRIEL RECEIVES THE DREAM FROM HOD OF THE NUKVA, WHICH IS THE SIXTH GRADE FROM PROPHECY, AND PEOPLE RECEIVE IT THROUGH GABRIEL. A vision IS RECEIVED from the grade of the living creature, which rules by night. BECAUSE VISION IS THE NUKVA OF ZEIR ANPIN IN HER ACTUAL PLACE, ABOUT WHICH IS SAID, "AND SHE RISES ALSO WHILE IT IS YET NIGHT" (MISHLEI 31:15), IT IS THEREFORE A VISION WHILE AWAKE, AND NOT A DREAM. You may contend that it is written, "AND said, Gabriel, make this man understand the vision (Heb. mar'ah)" (Daniel 8:16), AND THEREFORE, ONE COULD CONCLUDE THAT A VISION IS ALSO RECEIVED FROM GABRIEL. HE ANSWERS, Assuredly this is so, but a vision is unclear and a dream is more precise. Therefore, a dream explains that which is not clear in the vision. Thus, Gabriel, WHO IS IN CHARGE OF DREAMS, was chosen to explain the vague words of the vision.
51. Therefore, it is written, "in the vision (mar'eh)," WHICH IS DERIVED FROM THE SAME ROOT AS "AND HE LOOKED (HEB. VA'ERA)" AND "AND I SAW (HEB. VA'ERA)." The reason is that the mirror is like a mirror (Heb. mar'ah) OF POLISHED GLASS, in which all the shapes IN FRONT OF IT are seen. Therefore, it is written of it, "And I appeared (va'era) TO ABRAHAM... BY THE NAME OF EL SHADAI" (Shemot 6:3), FOR THE MIRROR, THE NUKVA, SAID, I have shown the image OF HASHEM by El Shadai. For this is the mirror in which the images of others and all the shapes of the supernal GRADES are seen.
52. Therefore, at the time BEFORE JACOB WED, it is written of him: "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth" (Beresheet 28:12). What is this ladder? It is a grade from which all other grades stem, NAMELY, THE NUKVA, THE GATE OF ALL GRADES, "and the top of it reached to heaven." It does reach up to connect to heaven. HE ASKS, What top? HE ANSWERS, The top of the ladder. And what is that? That of which it is written, "the top (lit. 'head') of the couch" (Beresheet 47:31), NAMELY, YESOD, THE HEAD OF THE NUKVA CALLED 'COUCH.' AND YESOD IS 'THE HEAD OF THE COUCH' because it is at the head of the couch, THE NUKVA, who shines with its light FROM YESOD. IT IS THEREFORE CONSIDERED HER HEAD. And "reached to heaven," because it is the final part of the body, TIFERET, CALLED 'HEAVEN.' FOR YESOD IS ATTACHED UNDERNEATH TIFERET, situated between the higher, ZEIR ANPIN and the lower, NUKVA, as the member of the Covenant, the final part of the body, lies between the thighs and the body. Therefore, THE SCRIPTURE READS, "reached to heaven," FOR THE TOP OF THE LADDER, YESOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, REACHES HEAVEN, AS IT CLEAVES TO ZEIR ANPIN, CALLED 'HEAVEN.'
53. "...and behold the angels of Elohim ascending and descending on it..." (Beresheet 28:12). These are the ministers of all the nations who ascend and descend this ladder. When Yisrael are sinful, the ladder is lowered and the ministers rise. When Yisrael improve their deeds, the ladder is raised; all the ministers descend and their government is annulled. All depends on this ladder. Here, Jacob saw Esau's government and that of the rest of the nations in his dream.
54. Another explanation of the verse, "and behold the angels of Elohim ascending and descending on it," is that the ladder is used to ascend and descend through its top. For when the top, YESOD, is removed, the ladder gives in and all the ministers rule again. When the top is attached again, it is elevated and they all lose their power to govern. All this is one matter, AND BOTH EXPLANATIONS ARE ESSENTIALLY IN AGREEMENT.