"And you take to you"
(Ex. 28:1). Rabbi Shimon said: Moses who was [a chariot for the sefira
of tiferet also known as] the sun, was
not able to cause a unification in [malchut, which is called]
the moon until he comprised all aspects of the secret meaning
of the letter Vav [all 6 sefirot – but especially those higher than
tiferet – chesed and gevura – as well as netzach, hod,
and yesod all included in tiferet, as alluded to by the gematria
of vav that is 6], as we have established [upon expounding the conclusion of this
verse previously: "And take to you" means to include within yourself, "Aaron
your brother", the aspect of the priests which is chesed, "and his sons",
with the aspect of the Levites which is gevura].
Come and see: it is written, "From among the
children of Israel, that he may minister to Me" (Ibid.) 'To minister'
is spelled with an extra Vav, 'for its service' - for the service
of the letter Vav [which is Torah study], certainly for its
service [to use] 'for Me' [malchut] which is the letter Hei,
so as to bring the Vav to unite with the Hei, so everything
will become one [in the secret of "G‑d (Vav/tiferet/Zeir Anpin) is One and His Name (malchut/Final Hei in the
Name Havayeh) is One"].
Blessed are the children of Israel who entered [in
the secrets of the Torah] and came out [in peace].
Blessed are the children of Israel who entered [in
the secrets of the Torah] and came out [in peace]. They know the
secrets of the ways of the Torah [and so can make correct new interpretations of it] so as to walk the true path.
Why "from among the children of
Israel"? (Ibid.) Because all of the higher Faces/partzufim are only properly unified when they are from within the Children of Israel [those] from among the
children of Israel [who keep Torah and mitzvot]. For the children
of Israel stand below [to cause an arousal in the spiritual realms through their good deeds,
and through this] - open the ways [from tiferet
to malchut via the yesod, that is called a byway, and after] to
illuminate the paths [those paths leading to the sefira of wisdom/chochma
on the right] and kindle the lamps [the sefira of bina/understanding on the
left] and take everything from
below upwards, so that everything shall be one [in a higher level of consciousness]. Therefore, it is written: "But
you who did cleave to the L-rd your G‑d [are alive - fully conscious - this day]" (Deut. 4:4).
[But how can this verse be
explained as referring to a unification in malchut; "coming close" refers
to one who is far away, and not unification?] Rabbi Shimon said:
[unification means coming near for] all is brought near to the one who knows
how to affect unity and to serve his Master, for when the sacrificial offering
is found to be proper, everything is brought together as one [and all the
different midot are included in each other]. The shining divine
countenance is present in the world inside the Temple, and the Other Side is
subdued and concealed, and the side of Holiness rules with light and joy.
But when the offering is not found to be proper or the
unity was not properly affected, then the divine countenance is sad
[the Divine Presence/Shechinah in the lower world is hidden] and the light is
not prevalent. And the moon [the light of Shechinah] is concealed
[it doesn't have influence] and the Other Side [of impurity] rules
in the world, because there is no one who knows how to unite the Holy Name
G‑d did not test Job...like the tests of other righteous people.
Rabbi Shimon said: G‑d did not test
Job and did not bring him to a test like the tests of other righteous people.
[Job's tests were not those of love, as of the other righteous, and did not
cause the Shechinah to rise and be united with her mate, as tests of love
do.] For is it not written of him: 'G‑d tested Job', as is written
about Abraham: "G‑d tested Abraham" (Gen. 22:1), who offered his
only son to Him with his own hand. Job did not give Him or hand Him anything,
nor was it said to him [that he should give] but he was given over to
the instigator through the judgment of G‑d, as He aroused the instigator against
him, which he [the instigator, Satan] did not request. The instigator is
constantly coming to denounce people but here, G‑d aroused the instigator
against him, as is written: "Have you considered My servant Job" (Job
1:8) but this is a deep secret [for Job was used as a decoy to distract the accusing forces away from Israel as they left Egypt].
"If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
And if I am for myself only, what am I? And if not now, when?"
(Pirkei Avot 1:14)
I simply cannot get enough of this teaching!
Above, it is revealed that Moses, our first and primary teacher, had to do his
own work by healing his capacities for lovingkindness, severity, beauty,
endurance, humility, and connection, before he could seek to unite with that
which he wished to share. The "sun" had to perfect itself before
illuminating the moon. Note, though, that this was the plan from the
start, that Moses knew that he could not be for himself only, rather that he had
to fix himself first. All of his work was with the goal of unity.
Sometimes we shelve important connections because we say we are "not ready."
Perhaps so. But it is not for us to complete the work; the process of
coming together is the work. Sadness
is a trap for the unwary. Joy is a path to redemption.
Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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