[Rabbi Yosi opened his discourse and said:] It is therefore written: "But of Zion [yesod is also called 'Zion'] it shall be said, 'a man and a man was born in her'." (Psalms 87:5) One ['man' hints] to judgment and another ['man' hints] to mercy. Yet when they are united together [judgment and mercy] in one, it is then called Zion. Zion [yesod] and Jerusalem [malchut] are then known and recognized in this manner and are interdependent [yesod depends on malchut, and vice versa].

Rabbi Yosi opened [his discourse] and said: "Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy." (Lev. 20:7) He who sanctifies himself below is sanctified from Above; he who defiles himself below is defiled from Above. It is well that he is sanctified from Above, that the holiness of his Master rests upon him, but how can he be defiled? From where? If you say that it is from Above, is there defilement Above [dwelling in the supernal worlds]?!

Rabbi Hiya said: It corresponds to what we have studied, that a deed Above is aroused by a deed below. [Purity and impurity in all worlds evolve from man's deeds.] If the deed below is in holiness, holiness is provoked and comes to rest Above and he is sanctified by it. If he defiles himself from below, a spirit of defilement is aroused from Above and comes to rest upon him and he is defiled by it. It depends upon the deed.

There is no good and evil or holiness and defilement without its essence and root Above [and G‑d created it all, but man is given free will from which to draw upon himself]. Through the deed below, a deed Above is aroused. Depending on the deed, a deed is aroused Above and the deed is done. And whatever depends upon words occurs through words, for when a word is pronounced it is so aroused Above.

You may ask in relation to words [for words seem so inconsequential, yet not only is that not so, but they have the power to arouse from Above]. What is aroused? It is written, "Nor speaking [vain] speech." (Isaiah 58:13) That spoken word arouses a pronouncement from Above, the sefira of malchut, as [in the verses] "The word of G‑d," (Hosea 1:1) "and the word of G‑d was precious," (I Samuel 3:1) and, "by the word of G‑d were the heavens made" (Psalms 33:6) [all these hint to malchut, which is called "davar" (lit. a word)]. For we learned that a word arises, piercing firmaments until it arises to its fitting place and arouses that which it arouses. If it is good, then good [malchut of holiness] is aroused; if it is evil, then evil [malchut of impurity] is aroused. It is therefore written "Then keep you from every evil thing/davar", [hinting to words, in this case from malchut of the evil side]. (Deut. 23:10)

There are four species in the [mitzvah of shaking the] lulav, which are seven [itmems: 3 myrtles, 2 willows, 1 lulav and 1 etrog]. It may be argued that there must be seven [different] species [included, in order to correspond to the seven sefirot] but it is not so, for there are four [species] divided [further] into three. [The 3 myrtles correspond to chesed, gevura and tiferet, the 2 willows to netzach and hod, the lulav for yesod, and the etrog for malchut]. Through the action [of shaking these four species], the other seven [i.e. the sefirot] are aroused Above to do good for the world in several respects.

Although it is part of the seven sefirot, the Congregation of Israel [malchut] is blessed from all the [other] six [sefirot: chesed, gevura, tiferet, netzach, hod and yesod] and from the deep river [bina] that continually streams, whose waters never cease to be drawn down to them. She [bina] suckles the daughter [malchut] for she [malchut] is her daughter, both in the supernal world and in the lower world, and receives blessings from them when they are aroused. When they bless the Congregation of Israel [malchut], all the worlds [of Beriya, Yetzira, and Asiya] are blessed. Hence we encircle the altar [with the four species during the Sukkot Festival], as we have learned [to draw down the encompassing light to malchut, represented by the altar].

Moreover, by this waving [of the four species] all six [sefirot] are blessed with [bountiful] water and are nourished by it. They all draw from the source of the deepest river [bina], and take it [bounty] down to the world. Therefore all [the four species] need to be fresh, not dry, to draw blessings to the world. Those trees [of these species] are always moist and their leaves are ever present. The time of their joy is then [during the time of Sukkot when their moistness is greatest].

We learned in the book of Rav Hamnuna Saba that the minister appointed over those trees [of the 4 species], each receive joyful blessings from Above only at that time [of Sukkot]. They all rejoice Above, and the rejoicing of those trees is below at this time. Their arousal depends upon the holy men of the King [the sefirot]. When Israel do their mitzvah by waving them, they are all aroused at that time and the world is blessed along with the Congregation of Israel [malchut], which then pours blessings upon the world.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: This is a rather long Zohar section that wants to reinforce the idea we have received many times: What goes below, also goes Above. In deed, word, and thought. Oh, if we only took this wisdom to heart!

The secrets of waving the lulav are given over as illustrative of the incredible power of our waving. Is this just to keep us focused on the correct intentions? No! It is to help with the healing of our world, and the pouring of blessings on self to be spread to the entire earth-plane. We are sacred ministers with an awesome responsibility. May this pep talk help motivate us to move in this special direction, even if only a tiny bit!

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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