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Just as the upper realm is divided into seven sections, so the physical realm is divided into seven continents.

Mountains, Valleys, Streams, & Trees

Mountains, Valleys, Streams, & Trees

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Twenty-Five

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I have decided to discuss a topic from my teacher regarding the mountains, valleys, and streams that G‑d created in this world:

Just as the upper land, which is the malchut, is divided into seven sections, which is why it is called Bat Sheva [daughter of seven], so the lower land is divided into seven different continents, as is known. Nothing happens in the land below that is not the result of [the actions of] a heavenly minister above, [who is] appointed over it.

...each of the large mountains and hills of the land have ministers assigned to them.

Thus, each of the large mountains and hills of the land have ministers assigned to them. Depending upon the height of one mountain over another, relatively-speaking, that is how much higher its minister is than the one for the lower mountain.

Furthermore, each day these mountains either increase or decrease in size, though it may not be noticeable to man. It is as the Sages say regarding the Land of Israel, that it was once four hundred parsot,1 but it shook and shrank. (Gittin 57a)

There are some mountains that increase in size and become stronger, as result of the power of the Heavenly minister over it. Sometimes the heavenly minister is eliminated, and so the mountain to which it was assigned will also disappear by joining to another mountain to which it is attached. It will then no longer be recognizable on its own.

Sometimes, they remove part of his rulership from him and divide his dominion, giving half to another minister. The result is a split in the mountain itself. Occasionally, we see large rocks that have been split into two equal halves, with no residual rocks to be found.

...there is no spring on the lower land that does not have a corresponding light in the upper land.

Springs correspond to the level of the springs of M"N in the upper land of malchut, which ascend from the depths to above on the face of the land. However, the rain that falls is the level of M"D, and so you find that there is no spring on the lower land that does not have a corresponding light in the upper land.

M"N is the upward flow of sparks from malchut to the sefirot above, which brings them to unify. It is so represented by the flow of water from the hidden great abyss in the earth to the surface. Whereas M"D is that which reciprocally flows downward to bring blessing to the lower worlds. It is so likened to rain.

M"N ascends from malchut to Zeir Anpin the entire lifetime of the stream. When a stream or well closes and dries up, so too does the source above, and M"N no longer ascends. Sometimes, we see that a stream is renewed producing water from a new source. This reveals that a light above has been renewed, or that a soul has caused M"N to ascend from malchut to Zeir Anpin.

There is also a minister appointed over each tree below, and when it is terminated the tree dries up. Not only this, but every time a leaf falls from the tree, the minister above is accordingly weakened. From what we have just written you will be able to understand many wondrous things.

This revelation prompts the awareness to a whole new perspective on reality: Everything that happens before our eyes is the result of and actually a lower expression of what happens above. It so being, one can expand their operational mode to new vistas.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

Footnotes
1.
A parsa is approximately four kilometers. According to this, the Land of Israel would be about half the size of America.
Rabbi Yitzchak Luria […Ashkenazi ben Shlomo] (5294-5332 = 1534-1572 c.e.); Yahrtzeit (anniversary of death): 5th of Av. Buried in the Old Cemetery of Tzfat. Commonly known as the Ari, an acronym standing for Elohi Rabbi Yitzchak, the
G-dly Rabbi Isaac. No other master or sage ever had this extra letter Aleph, standing for Elohi [G-dly], prefaced to his name. This was a sign of what his contemporaries thought of him. Later generations, fearful that this appellation might be misunderstood, said that this Aleph stood for Ashkenazi, indicating that his family had originated in Germany, as indeed it had. But the original meaning is the correct one, and to this day among Kabbalists, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria is only referred to as Rabbenu HaAri, HaAri HaKadosh [the holy Ari] or Arizal [the Ari of blessed memory].
Yitzchok bar Chaim is the pseudonym of the translator, an American-born Jerusalem scholar who has studied and taught Kabbala for many years. He may be contacted through: webmaster@kabbalaonline.org. He translated the Ari's work, "Shaar HaGilgulim;" his translation into English (but with much less extensive commentary than offered here). Information about his translation in book form may be obtained through www.thirtysevenbooks.com
Rabbi Chaim Vital c. 5303-5380 (c. 1543-1620 CE), major disciple of R. Isaac (Yitzchak) Luria, and responsible for publication of most of his works.
Rabbi Peretz Auerbach, originally from New York, has been living and learning Torah and kabbala in Jerusalem for 18 years. He teaches at Shvu Ami beit medrash, lectures in Kabbalah and chassidut at the Jerusalem Connection and Heritage House and to private groups. Rabbi Auerbach is also a talented musician. He is currently working on an all new translation of the Zohar into English with extensive commentary as well as a disc entitled "Music, Meditation and Mysticism."
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