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Abaye

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Thirty-Six, Section 4g

Likewise, in regards to Abaye and Rav Bibi his son, my teacher taught me that regarding the verse, "Behold Tziyon, the city of mo’adainu [our festivals] - your eyes will see Yerushalayim". (Isaiah 33:20) If the M/mem of "MVADYNV/mo’adainu" is changed to a Y/yud, as per the rules of AT-BSh/at-bash,1then the head-letters will spell YTsChK/Yitschak. My master already explained to me to whom this name refers.2

Returning to where we left off, the head-letters of "Chazeh [behold] Tziyon, kirtat [the city of] mo’adainu [our festivals], ChTsKM/ches-tzadi-kuf-mem have the gematria of RChL/Rachel - alluding to this that he (Abaye) is from the level of Rachel, the Nukva of Zeir Anpin. For she is also "Tziyon the city of our festivals", that comes from the chaze [chest] of Zeir Anpin. (Eitz Chayim, Heichal Nukva) This is why it says "chaze (behold) Tziyon," which is an Aramaic translation of the Hebrew word re'eh, to hint to this.

ABYY/Abaye was also hinted to in the head-letters of "ahel bal yitsan bal yisa [the tent that will not be displaced, not moved]" (Isaiah 33:20) and Rav BYBY/Bibi, his son, in the head-letters of "bal yitsan bal yisa [that will not be displaced, not moved]". My teacher did not want to reveal to me why these matters were mixed into this verse.

Above, the Ari.Zl. explained that Abaye is from the Cain-root. A principle dynamic of this root is wandering and not having a settled place. (Gen. 4:12) The point of this wandering is to uproot people from the perspective of thinking that this world in terms of itself is a settled place. The only real settlement for the soul is to be by God. This is the idea of: "I walk before God in the land of the living". (Ps. 116:9)

The Temple is special in that it is a settled place for Divinity to dwell in this world with us. Through it a person can achieve real stability even in this temporal, passing plane. Therefore, the establishment of the Temple depends upon the fixing of the Cain-root.

Abaya, a major hitter of the Cain-root, accomplished this through his Torah learning. So he became "A tent that will not be displaced".3 As we find that God expressed His travels with the people prior to the Temple’s building as being in a tent. "And I have been wandering in a tent and a tabernacle". (Samuel II 7) Even after the destruction of the Temple, the houses of study and prayer provide an established base for a concentrated revelation of the Shechinah. Abaye significantly enforced the degree of the base-establishment and revelation through his exalted level of learning.4

Abaya’s son Rav Bibi continued this tikun, in the nuance of ensuring that it would not be disrupted. This is the idea behind, "not displaced, not moved". BYBY/Bibi is the same as ABYY/Abaye, except that in it Abaye’s A/aleph becomes a B/beit. Aleph is the first letter of the alphabet. It has in it the hidden potential of all. The Torah comes to bring actualization to the universe and so does not start with it. Beit is the first letter of the Torah, and the second letter of the alphabet. It literally means house and represents that the purpose of creation is to make "a dwelling place below" (Midrash Tanchuma, Naso 16) - the universe a place for G-dliness to substantially manifest. Abaye channeled the choice energy of the Cain-root and opened up wellsprings of potential. Rav Bibi extended the aleph of his father’s work into a concretizing beit - paving the way for the building of the third and final Temple which will last forever.

This is also seen in the gematria of their names. ABYY/Abaye equals twenty-three, BYBY/Bibi totals twenty-four. The name of malchut is ADN"Y. It is the vessel of expression for all levels. This comes about through the twenty-four permutations of ADN"Y. (Eitz Chayim) The son completes the father’s accomplishments.

Abaye especially associates with the paternal/potential aspect. He was an orphan who never saw his parents. He so became his own father and was outstanding in this category. ABYY/Abaye is ‘AB-YY’ - the father of Y-Y.5 Yud is the only letter that is a point, and does not reach to the bottom of the line. The two yud’s represent the seeds of potential above and below that the father sows.

The Talmud tells that Rav Bibi once wanted to see demons. He followed a suggested formula, saw them, but was damaged by them. The Rabbis prayed and he was healed. (Berachot 8a) Later, the Talmud tells that he did the mitzvah of reading the weekly Torah portion with the Targum [Aramaic translation] all in one day for the whole year.6

There are countless stories to be told about each of the Rabbis. The select accounts that the Talmud does relate about any given Rabbi have some intrinsic connection to his soul root.

The whole array of the sitra achra comes down from a source in the left side attribute of gevura. (Eitz Chayim) It is the place of Cain, and as stated later in this chapter, he accordingly especially connects with such energies from his negative side. (See Zohar I Bereishit) Seeing something gives a certain aspect of rulership over it. (Likutei Moharan 74) From this comes the concept in general of the evil eye. Rav Bibi, coming from the Cain-root, was aspiring to "fight fire with fire" and look at the dark forces in order to exercise a measure of power over them, to thereby subjugate them. Even though he bit off a bit too much to chew and was damaged, his efforts certainly made a big impression in this area and helped to subdue these energies.

The Torah is the life-force of the universe. (Likutei Moharan 56) Each week’s existence is channeled to the world via its respective Torah portion. This is the idea behind reading the portion. The Aramaic translation read along with it helps to constrict the existence force into bit-size portions allowing it to be drawn into every detail of reality.7

Rav Bibi’s source in the Cain-root from the world of Tohu also inclined him to cram and do much at once, as opposed to little by little. He so originally approached this mitsvah as an ‘all in one’ enterprise and read the entire Torah with the Targum in one day. Even though he was corrected and began to do it week by week, his first approach imprinted in the world the ability to do things from the great lights (Eitz Chayim) of the Tohu root and draw them into the vessels of the predominant world of Tikun. This is the Mashiach theme taught in Chasidut - a continuation of his father Abaye’s endeavors. As mentioned, he extended the aleph-potential of Abaye to the beit-house of Bibi.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]


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FOOTNOTES
1. At-bash is a form of letter permutation in which a letter can be exchanged for its partner on the diametrically opposite side of the alphabet. There are secrets in this method as to why a given permutation comes out specifically in this way.
2. See above from R. Shmuel Vital that this alludes to the Ari.Zl. himself.
3. This also explains the Talmudic passage about Abaya at first learning in his house, and then coming to the realization that it is better to learn in a house of study (Berachot 8a) which is a miniature form of the great Temple. (Ezekiel 11:15, Midrash)
4. This is also the secret of what Abaya tells of himself, that at first he would learn at home. After hearing that learning in a house of study is not speedily forgotten, he set himself there.
5. This is similar in style and in concept to the Torah’s title for the month of Nisan - “chodesh ha’aviv” [the month of spring] (Num. 16:1). ABYB/Aviv lends to be rendered AB-YB – father of the twelve months (Sefri). They are all included in the first month of Nisan, and the first twelve days actually correspond respectively to each month of the coming year. To the extent that one can actually see from what happens to him on each day what will happen in the parallel upcoming month (Raya Mehemna). Similarly, Abaya fathers the coming revelation of Divinity from the Cain root in Mashiach proportions.
6. Ibid. This relates to the opinion of Beit Shammai who maintain that one must light all the eight candles of the Chanukah menorah on the first day. We do like Beit Hillel who holds to start with one and work our way up - in gradation. (Shabbat 21)
7. The Torah itself is in the holy tongue and is drawn directly to fuel the holy. The Aramaic Targum is the source of the mundane (Likutei Moharan 19) and reading it funnels energy to the mundane.

By Rabbi Yitzchak Luria as recorded by Rabbi Chaim Vital; translation from Sha'ar Hagilgulim by Yitzchok bar Chaim; commentary by Shabtai Teicher   More articles...  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author
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."

 



 


Gate of Reincarnations
Souls from the Second Level of Cain (35:4)
Another Advantage of Cain (35:5)
The Heel (36:1a)
The Cain Root in the Sages of the Talmud (36:1b)
Regarding the End of Days (36:1c)
Many Who Came From Cain (36:2)
The Cain Soul-Roots Of Great Halachic Authorities (36:3)
Place of Attachment (36:4a)
The Prophet Ezekiel (36:4b)
King Hezekiah (36:4c)
Rabbi Akiva’s Name (36:4d)
Samson the Mighty (36:4e)
Teacher and Spokesman (36:4f)
Abaye (36:4g)
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