70. "If his offering be a burnt sacrifice" (Vayikra 1:3). Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways" (Yeshayah 55:8). "My thoughts (Heb. machshevotai)" has a defective spelling without a Vav. Come and see: The thought of the Holy One, blessed be He, THE SFIRAH OF CHOCHMAH, is the highest and the beginning of everything. Ways and paths emanate from that thought, so that the Holy Name is present and established properly. From that thought, the waters of the Garden of Eden issue forth to refresh all things. From that thought are maintained the higher and lower beings. That thought gives existence to the Written Torah, ZEIR ANPIN, and the Oral Torah, MALCHUT; THAT IS, THEY EMANATE FROM IT.
71. Man's thought is the beginning of everything; ways and paths emanate from that thought that turn his ways in this world and in the World to Come. From that thought issues and comes out the filth of the Evil Inclination to harm him and everything. Transgressions, sins and malicious deeds prevail from that thought, as do idolatry, incest and bloodshed. SCRIPTURE therefore SAYS ABOUT IT: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts."
72. Since THOUGHT IS THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING, it starts first of all with: "If his offering be a burnt sacrifice" (Vayikra 1:3), AS A BURNT SACRIFICE ATONES FOR THOUGHTS. "Of the herd" (Ibid.), but not ANY OF the herd. What then? ONLY a male, a young bullock AND NOT A COW, WHICH IS A FEMALE. Rabbi Yitzchak said, "Of the herd" is unspecified, INDICATING BOTH MALE AND FEMALE. Scripture then specifically adds: "Let him offer a male without blemish" (Ibid.) and not a female, because the male is considered to be above THE FEMALE and the female is considered to be below THE MALE. Similarly, "of the flock" (Ibid.), namely, of the sheep or of the goats, BUT NOT FEMALES.
73. All that is brought as a burnt sacrifice is male and not female, because the burnt sacrifice (Heb. olah, also: 'rises') rises above the heart. Surely it is above the heart; NAMELY, THOUGHT IS HIGHER THAN THE HEART. It is known what is above the heart - NAMELY THOUGHT - FOR THOUGHT, CHOCHMAH, IS CONSIDERED MALE AND THE HEART A FEMALE, NAMELY BINAH. THIS IS THE SECRET OF THE UNDERSTANDING HEART AS IT RECEIVES FROM CHOCHMAH. THE BURNT SACRIFICE thus rises higher and is male exclusively. The verse therefore begins with the burnt sacrifice rather than the other offering, because thought is the beginning of everything.
74. Rabbi Yehuda said, If this is so, then THE BURNT SACRIFICE should have been offered to the place of high thought, NAMELY THE SFIRAH OF CHOCHMAH. Why then is it brought before a low place, NAMELY YESOD? RABBI CHIYA could offer no explanation. He came before Rabbi Shimon, who said to him: The beginning of everything is thought - NAMELY THE SFIRAH OF CHOCHMAH, THE BEGINNING OF ZEIR ANPIN - and the ending of thought is the place called morning (Heb. bakar). What is it? It is the final part of the body that perfumes the Female, NAMELY YESOD, THE ENDING OF ZEIR ANPIN THAT IS CALLED BODY. Similarly, man's thought is the beginning of everything. Thought ends when the deed HE CONTEMPLATED is done. When IS THAT? In the morning (boker), as is written, "Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil on their beds!" (Michah 2:1) When? "When the morning (Heb. boker) is light, they execute it" (Ibid.). THE MORNING LIGHT ALLUDES TO YESOD THAT IS SO CALLED. Hence, the thought OF THE OFFERING rises to the place of thought, CHOCHMAH, and the deed OF THE OFFERING surely draws near to the ending of thought, YESOD.