We have learned that which is written, "And I will put enmity [in Hebrew, 've'eivah'] between you and the woman." (Gen. 3:15) The serpent placed 24 types of defilement in the female when he connected with her, according to the numerical value of "ve'eivah,"1 and 24 judgments are aroused Above and 24 below [and they connect to the female at the time of her menstruation]. The hairs grow and nails grow and judgments are aroused in all. We have learned that when a woman wishes to purify [from her menstrual impurity], she needs to cut hair that grew from the time she became impure and to cut her nails and [clean] all the filth within them.

We have learned that in the secrets of impurity, the filth of the nails arouses other filth. For this reason, it is necessary to hide them [the cut nails so that nobody shall step on them]. One who eradicates them entirely [from the world, for instance by burning them] it is as if he aroused chesed in the world. We have learned that man should not leave a remembrance for those evil forces. As we have learned, 1,405 evil types are caught up in the filth that the mighty serpent spewed [into Eve] and all are aroused by that filth of the nails.

One who wishes can even perform witchcraft with them on others, due to these external forces that are bound to them. He who eradicates them is considered as if he multiplies kindness in the world so that evil judgments are not present, and that filth will be annulled and its nails that are marked by it. We have learned that one who steps by foot or shoes on them [fingernails or toenails] might be harmed. If it is so with the remnants of what was left of the refuse above, then how much more so the woman that becomes impure due to having joined with the serpent in whom he injected his refuse. Woe to the world who will receive from her from that refuse. "Also you shall not approach [to cohabit with] a woman during the impurity of her menstrual flow." (Lev. 18:19)

Rabbi Shimon said: G‑d said, 'Bring atonement on My behalf [lit. above Me'] on the New Moon' [to atone for My having reduced the moon's size during the 6 days of creation. The moon is malchut that is renewed and purified from Her deficiency and from being connected to external forces, and then all the branches become rectified]. Truly "above Me" [bina, which is above tiferet], in order to remove the serpent and to perfume [and sweeten] any who need it [by sweetening the judgments in their source in bina]. "above Me" [means bina] as it says "Serafim stood above him." (Isaiah 6:2) [and we know that Serafim are in the world of Beriya whose source is in bina].

Therefore, it is written regarding Korach: "Who are gathered together against
[lit. 'above'] G‑d," (Num. 16:11) [for they held strongly onto the judgments in their source in bina without them being sweetened], one ['Satan'] was aroused to their side. Also here, "Bring above Me your atonement" above Me literally, in order that it [malchut] will be fragranced and removed and the serpent will not be found where it dwells. What is all this [atonement on G‑d's behalf] for? Because I reduced the moon [representing malchut] and [thus allowed] he who should not [i.e. the Other Side] have sway over her [allowing external forces influence malchut]. Hence it says, "also you shall not approach [to cohabit with] a woman during [while she is connected to the Other Side by] the impurity of her menstrual flow." (Lev. 18:19)

Happy is the generation that Rabbi Shimon dwells therein. Happy is his lot among the higher and lower beings. Regarding him, it is written, "Happy are you, O land, when your king is free." (Eccl. 10:17) What is meant by "free"? His head stands straight and he states matters without fear, as one who is free. He says what he wants and fears not. Who is "your king"? This refers to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, master of Torah, master of wisdom. When Rabbi Aba and the Colleagues would see Rabbi Shimon, they would run after him saying, "They shall walk after G‑d, who shall roar like a lion." (Hosea 11:10)

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

Above is described the linked secret between the laws concerning husband/wife relations during her menstrual cycle and the renewing of the moon. It is profound. No woman is considered dirty—-G‑d forbid—at the time of her menstruation. Rather, the woman is imbued with "disembodied death residue"--kind of that eerie feeling one has when one is in a room where a dead body has just been taken out. That eerie feeling is spiritual, not physical. The link above relates to that spiritual—not physical—reality which challenges us moderns so thoroughly. The mystical system is complete and holistic. It does not seek to punish or isolate; rather purity and holiness are desired as both the means and the ends.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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