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Leah is the upper feminine aspect, Rachel is the lower.

The Zivugim

The Zivugim

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Twenty-Six, Section 2

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ZIVUG 1: This is Zeir Anpin which is called Israel, and its female counterpart is called Rachel. The time for this zivug is [during the] musaf [prayer] on Shabbat, at which time Rachel, [who is usually only up to the chest of] Zeir Anpin, grows to equal his full size, and a zivug is able to occur with the real yesod.

Musaf means addition. Previously the Ari mentioned 'additional Shabbat' with regard to time immediately before and after Shabbat; this time has less sanctity than Shabbat proper. The concept of kedusha of the additional musaf prayer on Shabbat itself is greater than the rest of Shabbat. Israel and Rachel, the highest coupling, pair at that time.

ZIVUG 2: This is the zivug of Yaakov and Rachel during the weekday shacharit [morning prayer]. It occurs through his real yesod.

Like Shabbat musaf, this is a morning pairing. "To tell in the morning of Your loving-kindness." (Psalms 92:3) The morning is a time of mercy. In general, the feminine partzufim lean towards judgment. The pairing process sweetens the judgment. The judgments of Rachel are stronger than those of Leah. (Shaar HaKedusha Rosh Hashana) The great awakening of mercy in the morning affords the ability to sweeten Rachel. Therefore the pairing is then with it.

ZIVUG 3: This is the zivug of Yaakov and Leah, and it occurs after chatzot [midnight]. At that time both enlarge, spreading to the full length of Zeir Anpin. [This unification happens] as a result of his single yesod.

Night is a time of judgment. Midnight is the special, golden time when things are turned around. Yaakov and Leah are partzufim around Zeir Anpin that come from fallen lights of Abba. The movement of falling is a backside aspect that associates with night. The judgment is broken and sweetened at midnight. The gates open - opening the partzufim to expand. This results in expanding the consciousness of those below. For this reason, midnight is the choice time for meditation and communion with the Maker of All. (Likutei Moharan)

ZIVUG 4: This is the zivug of Israel with Leah during the weekday minchah [afternoon prayer]. She only extends to the length of his upper half, until his chest-aspect. The zivug then takes place through his yesod that was originally toward Zeir Anpin, since he is only on the level of the six extremities [chesed through yesod], as we explained regarding prayer. (Shaar HaKedusha Tefila)

Leah is the upper feminine aspect, Rachel is the lower. The day starts in a morning with Providence being channeled through the lower Rachel aspect. The coming afternoon period ascends to a channeling through the Leah aspect. Without the midnight sweetening, it remains only in the upper half of Zeir Anpin.

The above does not contradict the idea that minchah is a time of judgment. The sun rises in the morning, representing the rise of chesed. At noon it begins to wane and set, representing the decrease of chesed. Both dynamics function simultaneously. As we find that Elijah was answered specifically at the time of minchah. (Berachot) Because the light is so high, it lends itself to lesser revelation and appears decrease.

ZIVUG 5: This is the zivug of Yaakov with Leah during the weekday arvit [evening prayer], which occurs over the upper half of Zeir Anpin, and through another yesod.

This is the same coupling as at midnight, without the extension. It is best to sleep the first part of the night. (Chagiga, Noam Elimelech) then to awaken at midnight (Likutei Moharan) and use the special time of good will for spiritual pursuits. (Zohar)

Thus, there are five kinds of zivugim, and from them five types of yesodot. From each of these yesodot, wasted seed went out. These drops are the secret of the clothing of the souls, which always remain connected to the souls even after resurrection, as is the case with the rest of the kinds of clothing for the other souls.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

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: 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
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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