There is no soul in the entire world, heaven forfend, that does not have at least one garment to wear in this world. The concept of [spiritual] apparel…

Rabbi Shneur Zalman explains the need for clothes in the afterlife. (Likutei Torah Baal HaTanya) The reward and delight of the world-to-come comes from the splendor of the Shechina that shines to the person. It is too bright for even the soul to bear. Just as physical garb protects from sunburn, so does spiritual garb shield from 'soul-burn'. The celestial garments serve as an intermediary buffer conduit to transmit the light to the self. The nature of the garments determines the nature of the transmission. Simple clothes grant simple lights of ideas. Psychedelic cloths afford kaleidoscope lights of concepts...

"And Avrohom was aged, having come in years, and God blessed Avrohom with everything." (Gen. 24:1) The sum total of the days of a person form for him his garment in the next world. (Zohar I Vayeira) According to how one lived his life, so is his attire. If he did not use a day properly, the part of the clothing formed by that day is defective. It could come out as a tear or a snag...

…is hinted to in the Zohar in the portion Mishpatim in the words of Rav Yabba on the verse, "He must not diminish her clothing" (Ex. 21:10) and, "Seeing that "bigdo" [in Hebrew, 'he rebelled'; also can be translated, 'his garment'] against her." (ibid 21:8)

On the simple level, this section of the Torah deals with the laws of slaves. Kabbalistically, it is talking about the slavery of souls in their gilgulim, as we saw in Chapter Twenty.

The owner of a maid-servant is expected to take her as a wife upon maturity. If he is not willing to do this for her, it is figuratively called 'rebelling' against her. The word that the Torah chooses to express this through is "bigdo", also meaning "his garment" - hinting to the spirit-clothes that are affected by ones choices in life. They may dictate that the soul return in incarnation.

Now we will explain this concept of clothing for the soul. All that happened to Joseph with the wife of his master Potiphar, (Gen. 39:7-12) which caused him to lose ten drops of seed from between his finger nails, as it says, "the fingers of his hand spread." (Sota 36b) also happened to the supernal Joseph, which is the sefira of yesod. Hence, ten drops and sparks of holy souls left the supernal yesod, which is male, and were not received by the supernal female womb - instead taken by the kelipot.

The patriarchs and matriarchs are not just founding fathers. They are real meta-physical archetypes for their children to draw energy from. Their accomplishments elevated them to embody these levels, and the partzufim are called after them. The soul of Joseph comes from the sefira of yesod. He therefore was tested in his life in yesod-oriented issues. Because he withstood these tests, he merited to embody this level.

According to the Talmud, (Ibid) the result of Joseph ’s refusal to the wife of Potiphar still resulted in a minor defect of some type of involuntary emission - from his nails.

A man below is not allowed to ejaculate except inside of the female. (Yorah Daiah, Zohar I Breishit) If not, it causes a corresponding emission above without a union of the male/female coupling of the partzufim. This causes the sparks rooted in his seed to fall into the sitra achra.

I have already mentioned how many levels of partzufim there are above that depend upon Zeir Anpin and how each has a yesod aspect. Thus, from every level of yesod, sparks and souls went to waste and were taken by the kelipot - the yesod of each one alluding to Joseph. There are five [principle] levels of zivugim [pairs] above, and sparks went out from the yesod of each one.

This is the order according to their level:

At different times of the day, at different times of the week, partzufim line up in specific orders of pairs called zivugim. The nature of the particular pairing will determine the nature of the particular policy through which the world is run at that time. Whether one predominantly of mercy or judgment, leniency or stringency...

In general, the female partzufim process and actualize the flow they receive from the male partzufim. They as if conceive and give birth to certain types of light and energy, creating various flows and opportunities that are in turn given to the realms beneath.

The coming lesson will elaborate the specifics of how this works.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]