Rabbi Yitzchak said, we learned that in "a plague of tzara'at," plague is harsh judgment that rests over the world. tzara'at is a closing, as we learned, a closing of the supernal light, concealing the supernal goodness from descending into the world. It "is in a man": man in general [hints to supernal man who is Zeir Anpin]. "He shall be brought to the priest," is the priest below who is knowledgeable in opening that which is closed and kindling the lamps [the sefirot] so that through him there will be blessings above and below, that plague shall be removed and gone, and the light of mercy will dwell on everything. For that reason, "he shall be brought to the priest."

Rabbi Aba said, I see that the people in the world do not observe or know the glory of their Master. It is written of Israel, "and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine," (Lev. 20:26) and, "Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the L-rd your G‑d." (Ibid. 20:7) But if they draw far away, where is their holiness, if their wish is distanced from Him? The verse declares, "Be not like the horse, or the mule, which have no understanding." (Psalms 32:9) For people are different from a horse and a mule only by their holiness, so as to be whole and distinguished more than everything else.

Therefore people couple at specific times so as to direct their will to cleave to the Holy One, blessed be He. It has been remarked that at midnight the Holy One, blessed be He, enters the Garden of Eden to delight Himself with the righteous, and the Congregation of Israel praises the Holy One, blessed be He. It is a favorable time to cleave to Him.

The colleagues who engage in Torah [at midnight] unite with the Congregation of Israel in praising the Holy One, blessed be He, and they are occupied with the Torah. For other people it is a favorable time to be sanctified with the holiness of the Holy One, blessed be He and direct their wishes to cleave to Him. The colleagues who are occupied with the Torah, the time for them to couple is when another union takes place. This occurs on Shabbat, so as to direct one's desire to cleave to the Holy One, blessed be He and the Congregation of Israel. For it is a time of goodwill when everything, the higher and lower, are blessed.

If people keep away from the Holy One, blessed be He and conduct themselves like animals, where is their holiness to make them holy? Where are their holy souls, which they draw from above? King Solomon cries out, saying, "Also, that the soul be without knowledge is not good." (Proverbs 19:2) In, "without knowledge," knowledge refers to the Holy One, blessed be He. "...the soul...is not good" refers to the soul they draw by their deed. It is "not good" since that soul comes to them from the Other Side, which is not good, since they do not direct their heart towards the Holy One, blessed be He.

Whoever gets aroused with the Evil Inclination, without directing his desire and heart toward the Holy One, blessed be He, a soul that is not good is drawn upon him from the side of the Evil Inclination. This is the meaning of, "Also, that the soul be without knowledge is not good;" "and he that hastens with his feet, sins". Whoever hastens with the feet and precipitates matters without a holy wish, sins. Assuredly he sins in every way. For that reason evil plagues dwell in people and testify on their faces to their impudence, to show that the Holy One, blessed be He, rejects them and does not pay attention to them until they are worthy and better their deeds as before. For that reason the priest recognizes that the plagues come from the side of impurity and that they come from the Other Side.

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

Could there be a more stern admonishment than above?! Could it be that unacceptable sexual acts done in the spirit of lovingness by consensual partners still bring about supernal union? The Zohar wants to answer this with a NO. Yes, there is a union being created, but not a good one. Does Hashem care about what happens behind closed doors? Of course yes! We are commanded to be holy? What does that mean? For us and for the world? These are questions one must contemplate by oneself. No answers here.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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