99. "Therefore the children of Yisrael eat not of the sinew of the vein ... because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew of the vein." It is forbidden to enjoy it or even to give it to a dog. HE ASKS, Why is it called the 'sinew of the vein' (Heb. nashe)? HE ANSWERS, The sinew SEDUCES (Heb. menasheh) men from serving their Master. There lies the Evil Inclination.
100. When the angel wrestled with Jacob, he could not find a weak place in his body through which to overcome Jacob, because the parts of his body were all strong and without weakness - AND THE KLIPAH TAKES HOLD ONLY IN A PLACE OF WANT AND WEAKNESS. What did he do then? " ...He touched the hollow of his thigh," the sinew of the vein, his own kind, that is, the Evil Inclination which is his own kind. And there is the place OF THE EVIL INCLINATION, from where it comes to harm people.
101. For that reason the Torah reads, "Therefore the children of Yisrael eat not of the sinew of the vein." The friends said that a man's body parts allude to higher places. IF THE MEMBER is good, IT DRAWS goodness; if it be evil, IT DRAWS evil. Thus, each ANIMAL member WE EAT strengthens the CORRESPONDING member OF THE MAN WHO EATS IT. Assuredly, the sinew of the vein strengthens the Evil Inclination, which is its own kind, and therefore the children of Yisrael do not eat it. But the heathen nations may eat it, as they are of the side and kind of their angel Samael, for it strengthens their hearts.
103. There are 365 sinews, corresponding to 365 prohibitory precepts, AND THE SINEW OF THE VEIN IS ONE OF THEM. They correspond to the 365 days of the year, THAT IS, TOGETHER WITH THE TEN PENITENTIARY DAYS, the ninth of Av being one of them. It corresponds to THE ANGEL Samael, who is one of the 365 angels RULING OVER THE 365 DAYS OF THE YEAR. THE NINTH OF AV IS ONE OF THE DAYS OF THE YEAR, AND THE SINEW OF THE VEIN IS ONE OF THE 365 SINEWS. BOTH BELONG TO THE SAME CATEGORY. Thus, the Torah reads, "Therefore the children of Yisrael eat not of the sinew of the vein." The particle "Et" ('the') here includes the ninth of Av, when it is forbidden to eat and drink, BEING IN THE SAME CATEGORY AS THE SINEW OF THE VEIN.
104. The Holy One, blessed be He, saw it all, and there is a hint to Jacob IN THE VERSE, "And there wrestled a man with him," all the days of the year and with all of Jacob's members, but found NO PLACE TO HOLD ON TO but the sinew of the vein. Immediately, Jacob's strength diminished. Among the day of the year, he found the Ninth of Av, when SAMAEL was stronger, and we were sentenced, and the Temple destroyed. He who eats on the ninth of Av, eats as if of the sinew of the vein. Rabbi Chiya says, Had the strength of Jacob's THIGH not weakened, Jacob would have prevailed, and Esau's power would have been broken above and below.
105. Rabbi Shimon openedopened the discussion with the verse, "As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Hashem, And when I saw it, I fell upon my face" (Yechezkel 1:28). We have already studied this verse, yet come and behold, it is written, "And there arose not a prophet since in Yisrael like Moses" (Devarim 34:10). HE ASKS, What is the difference between Moses and the other prophets? HE ANSWERS, Moses looked into a clear mirror, ZEIR ANPIN; the other prophets beheld only a clouded mirror, THE NUKVA. Moses heard the prophecy standing, and his power was strengthened. He understood the matter thoroughly, as it is written, "manifestly, and not in dark speeches" (Bemidbar 12:8). The other prophets fell upon their faces AT THE TIME OF PROPHECY, and became weak because they could not understand it clearly. This was because "he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh," "and he limped upon his thigh."
106. No prophet knew what the Holy One, blessed be He, was destined to do to Esau, except the prophet Ovadyah, who was a proselyte from the side of Esau. He understood clearly what pertained to Esau, yet his strength did not diminish, AS RECORDED IN THE BOOK OF OVADYAH.
107. This is why the other prophets were weakened and could not perceive and grasp the prophecy as they ought. The reason is that "he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew of the vein." He drew and sucked away the power of the thigh. The power of the thigh broke, leaving him limping on his thigh and all the prophets in the world limited in their conception and understanding. Come and behold, all the prophets except Moses failed to understand matters correctly.
108. There is no one to support the students of the Torah, to give them MONEY for their needs in their pockets and thereby strengthen them. The Torah is forgotten with every generation and its power is daily diminished because the students of the Torah have no support. THE SECRET OF, "HE LIMPED UPON HIS THIGH," IS THAT NO ONE GIVES SUPPORT AND STRENGTH FOR THE STUDENTS OF THE TORAH, AND THEY ARE UNABLE TO CONTINUE TO STUDY IT. THEREFORE, the evil kingdom grows stronger every day. Behold what this sin causes when no one supports the Torah, ZEIR ANPIN, properly. The supports OF ZEIR ANPIN are weakened - THAT IS, NETZACH AND HOD OF ZEIR ANPIN, CALLED 'SUPPORTS' - and as a result, he who has no legs or thighs, on which to stand THE PRIMORDIAL SERPENT, is thereby strengthened.