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Nadab and Abihu are the two legs, netzach and hod, the root of all prophets.

Samuel the Prophet

Samuel the Prophet

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Thirty-Three, Section 3a

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This is the secret of: "And he saw the Kenites," (Num. 24:21) who is Cain, and Samuel was from Cain. This is alluded to in, "Oy! Who will survive when MShMV/misumo [He imposes] AL/el [these]?" (Num. 24:23) - which are the letters ShMUAL.

...Samuel himself finished what Saul started...

Moreover, just before that it said, "He saw Amalek," (Num. 24:20) who is from the evil side of Cain, as we will later explain. Thus he was saying, "Woe to Amalek when Samuel will come", because it was him who urged Saul to go off to war against him. As it says [that Samuel himself finished what Saul started], "Samuel severed Agag (king of Amalek) in Gilgal." (Samuel I 15:33)

This is from the prophecy of Balaam the wicked. Even though he was bad, he was given revelations way beyond what he deserved, in order for G‑d to thereby show His people how much He watches over and protects them from those who plot to destroy them. Based on previous discussions of the Balaam root this is well understood.

Balaam tried to destroy the people three times. Each time, G‑d foiled his efforts. (Berachot 55b) He then said this prophecy. He was saying to the nations that those who try to wipe out the chosen people will themselves end up obliterated. Samuel, who comes from the rectified Cain energy, is the one who eradicates those who come from the bad side of Cain to annihilate. This relates to Balaam, whose evil powers came from the bad of Cain. (Zohar III Balaam) When his own efforts to do harm were thwarted, he was made to prophesize how coming efforts of succeeding enemies are also be destined to fail.

Samuel killed the king of Amalek in Gilgal - invested by the power of the rectified gilgul of his Cain sparks. Rashi teaches that he sliced him into four. Rabbi Nachman explains that this refers to the four principle kingdoms through which the sitra achra manifests in the world - which are all under the jurisdiction of the Amalek scoundrel. Samuel retrieved the malchut/kingdom of holiness from them.1 This empowered him to anoint David, the full bearer of malchut of holiness in his Mashiach essence.

"Samuel snatched back from ...'Satan' what he had taken from Jacob..."

This is the secret of what the Zohar (Vayeitzei) writes, "‘And he touched his thigh(Gen. 32:26) - this refers to Nadab and Abihu." In Saba of Mishpatim it says, "Samuel snatched back from 'Satan' what he had taken from Jacob [when they wrestled]". (Zohar II Mishpatim 111)

The 'Satan' saw that Jacob was invincible and there was no way he could beat him. He tried at least to cause some damage. Nadab and Abihu harbor the messianic potential. Thus they were able to facilitate the consecration of the Mishkan. If this tikun was able to fully spread out, Mashiach could have come then. Instead, it was damaged by the 'Satan'. Now it takes this whole series of Nadab/Abihu stages enumerated by the Ari'Zl for the full tikun to eventually fully take hold.

This is because Nadab and Abihu are the two legs, netzach and hod, the root of all prophets. 'Satan' had grabbed on to them. When Samuel came along and grabbed this thigh from 'Satan' which is Nadab and Abihu, he merited prophecy through them, because the thighs are the source of the prophets. Prior to Samuel, the thigh had been in 'Satan's possession, as the Ari' Zl explains on the verse: "vision was not widespread." (Samuel I 3:1, Sefer HaLikutim)

This demonstrates the awesome power of Samuel - that he battles and defeats the Devil himself. Therefore was he empowered to anoint David/Mashiach (lit. "anointed"). He also opened the channel of prophecy to spread out to all those who are worthy. To this day, his grave is a special place that can open up Divine inspiration for visitors.

This is the secret of what the Sages say on the verse, "If You take note of the suffering of Your maidservant." (Samuel I 1:11) For Hannah [Samuel’s mother] said, "I will go into seclusion [with another man] and [will be forced to] drink the sotah [wayward woman's] waters, and then certainly will I have children".

A sotah is a woman who was alone with another man and is suspected of adultery. She is to be brought to the Holy Temple and given a special potion to drink. (Num. 5:24) If she is guilty, she dies a terrible death. If innocent - on the contrary, she is blessed to give birth to healthy children. Hannah was an extremely virtuous woman. According to Rabbi Elazar, she as if threatened on High and made a vow that if she would not have children, she would set herself up to go through the whole dark, suspicious sotah process in order to end up a mother. (Berachot 31b) She only meant this for the Divine honor, to be a vessel for its expression through motherhood.

This can be understood in light of what is found in the Saba of Mishpatim, where it says that Samuel grabbed the thigh from 'Satan', and gave him the thigh of the sotah in its place. Therefore, Hannah told G‑d that if she could not give birth to Samuel who could grab the thigh from 'Satan', she would go and become secluded [with another man]. This would cause two thighs to be taken away from 'Satan', the thigh of Jacob through Samuel, and the thigh of the sotah - since she would be pure and he would not overcome her.

She would set herself up in a test, withstand it, and thereby as if force Heaven to answer. This would come by virtue of the sotah process. For when she stands the test and is pure, this overcomes and subjugates the 'Satan', forcing him to relinquish energies that he stole from holiness through peoples’ mistakes.

She reached up to the level of super mercy...

"Hannah prayed upon G‑d..." (Samuel I:10) She reached up to the level of super mercy that is above the usual expression of Divinity afforded to people, called Atik, and changed the natural order. (Zohar) Samuel who came from this, lived above nature and anointed David/Mashiach who will elevate the whole world to this state. This all comes from Nadab and Abihu, who lived in this world in an elevated state.2

This is also the secret of "Moses and Aaron were among His priests, and Samuel among those who invoke His Name," (Ps. 99:6) for Samuel was considered equal to Moses and Aaron. (Berachot 31b) This is because Nadab and Abihu were in him, and they were equal to Moses and Aaron, as is said on the verse, "It [the Mishkan] shall be sanctified by My Glory [through the death of tzadikim3]." (Ex. 29:43)

And just as ELYShA/Elisha took the three letters ELY from ELYHV/Eliyahu/Elijah, as said in the previous discussion, so too did ShMVEL/Shmuel/Samuel take the two letters E-L from Eliyahu, alluding to the fact that he took Nadab and Abihu, who were originally in Elijah.

E-L is a Divine name denoting G‑d’s power. Yet it is a name of chesed4 (lovingkindness). As mentioned, this is part of the essential Nadab/Abihu dynamic.

Elisha also took the Y/yud from his master. As mentioned ELY/Eili means My L-rd. It fits with the ShA of ELYShA which means favor, referring to the lack of favor Cain experienced that was fixed in Elisha. This granted him the extra favor of ‘My L-rd’.

We need to explain the matter of Samuel, and we will start with Nadab and Abihu. Know that just as Nadab and Abihu sinned with the incense-offering, so too did Israel sin with the calf, and they caused them to be burned. As said earlier on the verse, "And all your brothers, the entire House of Israel, shall cry over the burning." (Lev. 10:6) Aaron also played a role in their death when he made the calf. As it says, "G‑d became very angry with Aaron to destroy him" (Deut. 9:20) - this refers to the destruction of his sons.5

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

Footnotes
1.
The letter D/dalet identifies with malchut and equals four. The Divine unity and reign spreads over the four directions of the world. This is the secret of the D of “Shema YisroelEchaD” being written large in the Torah scroll. (Likutei Moharan)
2.
for this reason they never married
3.
Moses thought it would be through him or Aaron. When he saw that they were taken, he said that he thus saw they were greater. (Rashi)
4.
E-L is chesed the whole day” (Ps. 52:3)
5.
Moshe’s prayer on his behalf nullified half the decree so that only two died. (Rashi)
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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