Come and see! Just as the Shechinah does not reveal Herself in an inappropriate place, so She does not appear to anyone who is unworthy of Her [i.e. anyone whose body is ruled by kelipot, for if She would be revealed, she would be encompassed in them]. So from the time that Lot planned on returning to his evil ways, the Divine Spirit departed from Abraham [because Lot still accompanied him]. And when [Lot] separated from him, the Divine Spirit came back to rest in its place. This is why it is written: "And G‑d said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him..."

Come and see! Abraham saw that Lot returned to his evil habits, he was afraid. He said: 'Could it be, Heaven forbid, that because I associate with him, I have lost the holy portion [in the World to Come] that G‑d adorned me with!' But as soon as Lot left him, G‑d said to him, "Now lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you were."

What is the meaning of the words, "from the place where you were?" They mean from the place to which you cleaved from the beginning [in malchut, the opening from where holiness enters] and in which you were adorned by the complete Faith [which is malchut, from whence you rose up]. "Northward [towards gevura], southward [to cling to your attribute of chesed], eastward [towards tiferet], and westward [uniting tiferet with malchut]" - the directions of his first journeys, as it is written: "And he went on his journeys." And it is written: "going on still toward the Negev [to chesed]"; these are the supernal levels with which he was first adorned with complete faith.

And then he received the good news that they would not depart from him or from his children forever. As it is written: "For all the land which you see." (Gen. 13:15) What is the meaning of 'which you see'? This is the first level that appeared to him, as it is written: 'to G‑d, who appeared to him.' As a result, it is written: 'which you see' because this first level includes other levels and all of the levels appear in it. This is why it is written "For all the land which you see ..." [for all the levels appear in malchut].

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this selection? What are they trying to teach us?

Today continues yesterday's discussion of how to access the Shechinah. At the simplest level we are told to "depart from evil." A simple statement, but oh, so hard! How to do this depends on the individual. But even a voyage of 1000 miles begins with a single step. What am I going to do now to "pursue good?" Where am I missing the mark? How can I go towards the Negev in my life with complete faith? Certainly not easy questions, but for spiritual seekers, essential ones.

What does the selection mean to YOU?! Why are you reading it NOW?!


Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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