Vayishlach: Chapter 11

"...and built him a house"


Rabbi Chiya leads a discussion on God's creation of the House of the World. This highly metaphorical discourse describes the process of creation. From the midst of the House, we are told, a tree, visible only by day, reaches up into heaven and the House is watered by this tree. When night falls and the doors of the House are closed, a flame erupts out of the darkness. While a myriad on either side chant praises and hymns, a herald ascends to make proclamations. Then Zeir Anpin [The dimension of Light in the Upper World] enters and the House is lit by six lights of Mercy, from which flow the rivers that water all the animals of the field. God builds and perfects this House as long as the energy of prayer ascends from below in proper form. The discussion then turns to God's nightly protection of "the city" from the Other Side, and His guarding of the Sanctuary from the primordial serpent. Rabbi Elazar then concludes the discussion by explaining the complete perfection of Jacob both above and below.


Using the language of metaphor, the Zohar draws upon the mystical power of the Hebrew letters to connect us to the primordial forces of Creation, which sustain and protect the world. Through this passage, we draw the energy of creation into our lives, for renewal, healing, and protection.