Now we will explain the reason why sometimes great and righteous people are the sons of completely evil people, like Abraham who was the son of Terach, a priest of idol worship who made idols for the world and caused people to stumble. We will then be able to understand why the kelipot cause man to sin to the extent that the Temple was destroyed, the blessed Shechina was exiled amongst the nations, and G‑d was angered.

As a result of the sin of Adam, all the souls fell into the depths.

The sod is that as a result of the sin of Adam, all the souls fell into the depths of the kelipot.

The Zohar explains that today also, sins cause souls to be given over to and taken captive by the kelipot. From this we see the great responsibility we have for our actions.

(If one has already caused damage, it's never too late to repair. The Hebrew word for repentance is 'teshuva', it literally means to return. It refers to the restoration of the souls to the side of holiness.)

The kelipot themselves are the remainder of the 'zuhama' [dirt] and 'pesolet' [extraneous material]…

"Zuhama" usually refers to the profound and indelible spiritual impurity imparted to mankind by the Original Snake. "Pesolet" is usually a type of unusable waste product, which in this case is also the aspect of spiritual impurity within creation. Both of these terms are used in reference to the negative forces. They came into being through the shattering of the vessels, from the broken pieces. Therefore, all of the things that come out of them have an aspect of being extraneous and tend to be unclean.

…separated out from that which was holy, at the time the "kings" of Edom died, as we explained.

This refers to the "breaking of the vessels," the shattering of the pre-creation sefirot which resulted in the World of Tohu, the state of existence just prior to the first day of creation. Before the initial rectification of creation, the sefirot had yet to be named chesed, gevura, etc. Instead, they are referred to by the names of the kings of Edom, as listed at the end of parashat Vayishlach (Gen. 36:31-40).

The kelipot are called the "level of death"

The kelipot themselves are actually called the "level of death," whereas holiness is the "Living G‑d" and "King of the world." Therefore, they [the kelipot] chase after holiness which is called "life" in order to feed from them and survive.

Evil has no intrinsic existence of its own and therefore must derive its sustenance from the side of holiness.

As long as something from the side of holiness is among [the kelipot], they are able to derive sustenance and can survive. The moment the source of holiness leaves them, they die.

Therefore, they pursue holy sources and cause the holy soul of man to sin, since this brings the holy soul to enter their "vicinity."

When someone sins, it opens the spiritual door for impurity to envelope the person and his soul.This allows the kelipot to derive nourishment from the soul's energy field. For example, sometimes one may feel depleted and down, fatigued and unhealthy – for no psychological or physically diagnosable reason. The real cause is the person's own bad actions. They generate an unholy energy that becomes attached to him. It becomes like a leech that sucks sustenance from the soul.

Once this happens they can draw sustenance from it, since something holy can never be severed from its holy source; the Creator always tries to save those who stray from disappearing altogether—even a small spark from a holy soul.

This is what King David requested, "I have strayed like a lost sheep – seek your servant" (Psalms 119:176). Just as a sheperd looks for a lost member of his flock, so does G‑d quest after us. A prayer to be sought by G‑d helps hurry this up. It also increases the person's awareness of G‑d while he is away in the lost place itself.

G‑d continues to sustain the soul from His holy place while it is within the kelipot.

Therefore, G‑d continues to sustain the soul from His holy place while it is within the kelipot, and from that sustenance the kelipot draw benefit as well. For this reason, they chase after a person to cause him to sin, like one who troubles himself to find food and for whom there is no disgrace in stealing since he is famished.

Thus does it say, "sin crouches at the door, and to you is its desire" (Gen. 4:7).

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]