"Binding [his donkey foal] to the vine": What is the vine? It is the Congregation of Israel. Why is it called a vine? As a vine will receive no graft from another tree, so the Congregation of Israel accepts none but G‑d. Therefore, in front of the Congregation of Israel all other forces [i.e. donkeys' and ass' foals] are subdued and they cannot harm and rule the world. Therefore Scripture inserts the Divine Name Yud-Hei between them, on each side [of the words for "vine", "donkey foal", and "ass's colt"]. The ass's colt [which stands for a harsh kelipa] is uprooted due to [Israel, called] the choice vine, as said: "And I have planted you a noble vine" [for all Israel's offspring are true].

"He washed his garments in wine." Why does it say "washed" instead of "washes"? He has been washing [his garments] from the day the world was created. Who has? King Mashiach [in the world below; whenever Jewish bloood is spilled by the other nations, he washes his garments. And in what does he wash them?] "In wine" [meaning] the left side [i.e. gevura of Zeir Anpin, for it is red as wine]; "the blood of grapes" is the left side below [gevura in malchut; the Mashiach will use both gevurot, from Zeir Anpin Above and from malchut below, to avenge them]; Mashiach will rule Above over all the other forces of the idolatrous nations, and crush their stronghold Above and below.

Another explanation for "He washed his garments in wine" [and not in blood]: wine is a sign of joy [and comes from the side of bina] and is [nonetheless] entirely judgment [from the aspect of gevura of Zeir Anpin] so too King Mashiach causes joy for the children of Israel, but is all judgment to the idolatrous nations.

[Since mentioning earlier that King Mashiach has been washing since the world was created, the discussion now moves to the intention of the 6 days of Creation.] It is written, "And the spirit of G‑d hovered over the surface of the waters". (Gen. 1:2) [and the midrash interprets:]"this is the spirit of King Mashiach" [over the water hinting at the side of chesed of Israel]. From the day of the Creation of the world, he washes his garment in the supernal wine [from gevura of Zeir Anpin].

See the following words: "His eyes are red from wine, and his teeth white from milk." This refers to the supernal wine [of bina] which quenches thirst when one drinks from the Torah. "And his teeth white with milk", for the Torah is called [both] wine [which hints at gevurot] and milk [which hints at chesed], the Written Torah [tiferet, which includes chesed] and the Oral Law [malchut that includes gevurot].

It is written, "And wine makes glad the heart of man; oil to brighten faces". (Psalms 104:15) Indeed it [wine flows] from the place [of wisdom] called oil.

Come and see: wine first makes glad [because its source is] a place from whence all joys come, and it [wine] ends in judgment [for when man gets drunk it brings him evil, an aspect of judgment]. Why? Because the end of its flow [of gevura of bina is in malchut] a place of gathering of all [judgment] and through it [malchut] the world is sentenced [for the gevurot of wine flow to the place of judgment]. [It is all for the good of the world, for the world needs judgment and limits.] Therefore wine starts with joy and ends in judgment [and needs] "oil to brighten faces," [chochma to sweeten the judgment] from whence all joys issue.

"And bread sustains the heart of man": (Psalms 104:15) What is the [secret of] bread? It is bread [machut] which sustains the world. You might say that the world depends on it alone. This is not true, since night [malchut] cannot exist without day [Zeir Anpin]. One must not separate them [by sinning]. Whoever separates them is separated from life, as it is written: "That He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone". (Deut. 8:3) Thus one should not separate them [to separate the flow of malchut from the flow of Zeir Anpin].

And if you will ask why David said: "And bread which sustains the heart of man," seeing that the world does not depend on it alone for nourishment. He was precise in saying "and bread" with an extra vav [referring to the secret of tiferet] like [as if to say] "and G‑d," and therefore all is together.

Come and see: when saying Grace after Meals, one should not bless over an empty table [in order not to draw down the flow of blessing on emptiness, allowing it to attach to external forces]. There should be bread on the table and a glass of wine on the right [for even though wine relates to gevura on the left, it needs to be held in the right hand for blessing]. What is the reason? It connects the left to the right. Thus the bread [the secret of the malchut] will be blessed by them [both chesed and gevura] and be connected to them and they will all become one knot [it will arise between the two arms of Nukva and Zeir Anpin] for the proper blessing of the Divine Name [as Nukva and Zeir Anpin wil be unified]. For bread is connected to wine and wine will be connected to the right [for it is held in the right hand]. Then blessings rest on the world and the table [lower malchut, for it is under the bread] is properly perfected.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What is there to learn?

Spiritual seeking Jews sometimes are looking for love in all the wrong places.

"There is no place like home." For the above Zohar reveals amazing secrets, hidden alchemical truths that would challenge the best of other traditions. Wine, Milk, Bread, Oil [particularly Olive] on your table at home. Who would have thought that these ordinary everyday substances would have such deep eternal meanings? The "set table" below in our homes is geared to align supernal energies above. Our table is the Temple, Truly! What can we do to fulfill this truth? Can our meals substitute for the Temple sacrifices? Wine, Milk, Bread, Oil on your Table. Worth pondering at your next repast.

What does this mean to you, and why are you reading it now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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