"This is the offering of Aaron." (Lev. 6:13) Rabbi Hizkiyah opened his discourse with the verse: "G‑d is righteous in all His ways, and gracious in all His works." (Psalms 145:17) We have learned how much a person should be in awe of their Master [to help his good inclination prevail over his evil inclination, to walk in the straight path in the service of his Creator] and not deviate from their ways outwards [to the side of impurity] for each and every day there is a decision impending upon the world. The world was created and exists in judgment.

Man should therefore keep himself from sinning, since he knows not the time when judgment will rest upon him. He sits at home and judgment rests upon him, he goes outside his house [and is therefore in a more dangerous place] and he is even more susceptible to judgment, and he cannot know whether he shall return [safely] home or not. And when traveling, all the more so, since then judgment [surely] goes out before him, as written: "judgment goes before him." (Psalms 85:14) Man should therefore anticipate this and ask for mercy before the King, to be saved from the judgment at the time it dwells upon the world. For each and every day, judgment dwells in the world, as it says: "And E-l is indignant [i.e. vengeful] every day."1 (Psalms 7:12)

Now is the time to raise a question. We learned, and our colleagues have remarked, that the name 'E-l' is always of chesed, as is written: "E-l HaGadol/The Great E-l." (Deut. 10:17) [the word “Great” reflects the sefira of chesed] This is the illumination of the supernal chochma [which illuminates chesed, being the sefira above it on the Tree of Life, and therefore should have no judgment in it at all]. Yet the verse says, "And E-l is indignant every day," (Psalms 7:12) disregarding all those other Divine Names [such as Elokim, that signifies judgment] and holding on [specifically] to this [Divine Name E-l, which signifies mercy, as indignant] These matters are not well-founded then. It is also written: "A mighty E-l, " (Isaiah 9:5) [here E-l is described with the word gevura/might]; we need to establish if it [the Divine Name E-l] is either judgment or mercy.

The explanation I have heard is this, that the wicked turn [even] mercy into judgment [even though E-l is kindness, they turn even the aspect of merciful E-l into being indignant], for throughout the supernal sefirot of the Holy King there are none in which [some] mercy is not included within judgment, and [some] judgment within mercy. The wicked [through their wicked actions] turn mercy into judgment [i.e. their actions cause the aspect of judgment to gain strength so that it prevails over the aspect of mercy that was hosting it].

Rabbi Yehuda said to him: This is a good explanation for the [verse] that says: "A mighty E-l", but [what of the verse that says:] "And E-l is indignant every day," (Psalms 7:12) meaning, E-l is of judgment each and every day, whether people in the world be righteous or not? [We can't explain it by saying that the wicked transform the mercy into judgment every day; this isn't possible.] He was not able to reply.

They went to ask Rabbi Shimon. He said to them: Surely, E-l is indignant every day. It has already been explained by our colleagues that it [E-l] is at times judgment and at times mercy. If people of the world have merit, the Name E-l prevails as chesed. If they have no merit, it prevails as 'Might'/gevura [and causes judgment to act against them]. That is how the aspect E-l acts on a daily basis. [There are always those who have merit as well as those that don't - E-l is indignant every day at those that don't have merit.]

The better explanation however is that E-l is universally the illumination of the supernal chochma [which is complete chesed, never turning into din/judgment]. It prevails daily [and is not changed over to judgment], as is written: "The Mercy of E-l endures continually". (Psalms 52:3) [Every day draws from the arousal of the attribute of chesed for] were it not for its awakening in the world, the world could not endure for an instant under the harsh judgments aroused daily in the world. Hence, "these are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created." (Gen. 2:4) Do not read it "Be'Hibaram" [meaning 'when they were created'], but [by switching around the letters] as "Be'Abraham "[meaning 'through Abraham']. Heaven and earth are maintained through the arousal of Abraham [i.e. the arousal of the attribute of chesed in the world]. When the attribute of Abraham arouses in the world, it pushes away all the judgments that are present each and every day, and they can not stand up to it.

"And an E-l who is indignant every day": It does not say 'E-l is angered' or 'made indignant', but that E-l is indignant [at others], for each and every day that there is a decree, [E-l is indignant at the judgments and] He pushes them outside [eliminating them] and He remains to perfume [and sweeten the judgment of] the world. Hence, it is written: "G‑d will command His love in the daytime [and sweeten all judgment]." (Psalms 42:9) Were it not for this, the world would not have been able to sustain even for a single moment [because judgment would have overpowered all]. The existence of everything is therefore due to Abraham.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does the above mean to you, and why is it revealed to you now?

We are privy above to a Zoharic discussion what the Holy Name E-l stands for: is it of mercy or is it of judgment?

And then the nice soft landing: the Name E-l is indeed related to chesed/lovingkindness, all due to the merit of our first father Abraham— related also to the upcoming Passover Holiday—who served G‑d through the attribute of chesed so well he eventually became a Chariot for Hashem of this quality. That means that chesed so permeated his entire existence that he "became" chesed. Most of our early life lessons relate to chesed: "Everything I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten"; most of those rules deal with being kind and nice to another. May we merit to keep all of our doors open to assist the stranger—like Abraham did—and thus help to build the world. "The earth is built on kindness." (Psalms 89:3)

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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