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The Divine Presence rests upon the sukkah like a mother bird.

Nesting Time

Nesting Time

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Nesting Time
The Divine Presence rests upon the sukkah like a mother bird.

The following Zohar begins with an analysis of the verse:
"If a bird's nest chances to be before you in any tree or on the ground as you travel, whether there are chicks or eggs, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. You shall let the mother go and take the chicks, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days." (Deut. 22:6)

Those souls which emanate from the aspect of the higher Shechinah are called "chicks". Those whose Nefesh emanates from the lower Shechinah are called "eggs". This is the secret of the verse [we read on Friday night as we are about to receive the extra soul] "Who spreads his tabernacle [in Hebrew, "sukkat"] of peace over us." This is the Higher Mother [Imma Ilaah, related to bina, associated with the Shechinah], which is the sukkah of peace, which is a protective covering above us. Peace is with her as is written, "I hereby give him my covenant of peace". (Num. 25:12)

Peace (shalom) is another name for the sefira of yesod, which represents the covenant/brit and the male reproductive organ; yesod is associated with Zeir Anpin, which corresponds to the vav of the name Havayah. Sukka, which in its highest form represents the source of all souls, represents the sefira of malchut, associated with the final hei of the name Havayah. The sukka of peace thus represents the union of Zeir Anpin and Malchut in the higher spiritual realms.

There is a lower Sukkah that is made up of the letters kaf, vav and hei samech. This is the union of the name Havayah and Ado-nai.

The gematria (numerical value) of the letters kaf and vav is 20 plus 6 = 26, which is the same value as the name Havayah: yud and hey and vav and hei, 10 + 5 + 6 + 5. The gematria of hei and samech is 5 plus 60 = 65, which is the same as the holy name Ado-nai spelled aleph, dalet, nun, yud or 1 + 4 + 50 + 10 = 65. The significance of this is that the very word "sukkah" can represent the union of Havayah (associated with Zeir Anpin) and Ado-nai (which is associated with malchut). This powerful union signifies peace and protection. It is also reflected in the very spelling of the word "sukkah",which is 26 - kaf vav, i.e. Havayah - couched in the midst of 65, represented by the first letter samech and the last letter hei, i.e. Ado-nai.

The "tabernacle [in Hebrew, 'sukkat', spelled samech, vav, kav, and tav] of peace" can be understood [when its letters are rearranged] as a cup [in Hebrew, "kos", spelled kav, vav, and samech] of the letter tav, which represents [the sefira of] tiferet.

In the same way that the sukkah of peace unites the name Havayah (corresponding to the letter vav of the Name) and Ado-nai (corresponding to the final hei of the Name), so too does it unify the sefirot of tiferet (associated with the letter vav) and that of malchut (associated with the final hei). Malchut "below" becomes a cup -- or vessel -- which contains, so to speak, the divine flow from "above", as represented by the sefira of tiferet.

It is also possible to interpret the verse, "If a bird's nest chances to be before you" as referring to the sukkah, which is Higher Mother [Imma Ilaah]. [This is the surrounding light represented by the branches on the roof of the sukkah]. "In any tree" [relates to the 4 species] as is written, "And you shall take on the first day, the fruit of a citrus tree, branches of palm trees..." (Lev.23:40)

"Chicks" are the seven days of the festival of Sukkot [each day of the festival representing a different sefira].

"…or eggs" these represent the seven times the bima is surrounded [once each day when the "Hoshanot" are recited].


Tikunei Zohar p.23a; translation and commentary by Simcha-Shmuel Treister

Copyright 2003 by KabbalaOnline.org. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, unless with permission, in writing, from Kabbala Online.

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, also know by the acronym "Rashbi," lived in the Holy Land in the 2nd century C.E. A disciple of Rabbi Akiva, Rashbi played a key role in the transmission of Torah, both as an important Talmudic sage and as author of the Zohar, the most fundamental work of Kabbalah. He was buried in Meron, Israel, west of Safed.
Shmuel-Simcha Treister is a lawyer from New Zealand who made aliya to Safed with his family in 1993 to study Zohar. He continues doing so to this day. He also works in the Ascent multi-media center.
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