When Shabbat begins, the holy nation have to cleanse themselves from the work week's practices. What is the reason? Because during the work week, a different spirit (of external forces) roams and rests over the people. And when a person wishes to be released from that spirit and come into the influence of a another, holy and supernal spirit [of Shabbat], he should cleanse himself, so that that this holy supernal spirit shall rest upon him.

Come and see the lofty meaning of the matter. All these six days
[sefirot of Zeir Anpin: chesed, gevura, tiferet, netzach, hod, yesod], are united within the secret of a certain holy point [malchut of Atzilut], and all these days become one within it. There are other days [the chambers of the kelipot] that stand outside, on the Other Side [and are called Evil Days], and there are days [the sefirot of Azilut] which stand within the holy circle [sefirot of malchut], and they are united within the holy point.

And (the holy people of) Israel and all those who are involved in holiness all the days of the week, their six days are joined with the six inner days [malchut of Atzilut], which are united within the point to protect them. And all the six days of that week pertain to that hidden point (within). And when Shabbat commences, the point [of malchut of Atzilut] ascends and is crowned and united above (with Her husband Zeir Anpin of Atzilut), and they (the worlds of Beriya Yetzira and Asiya elevate as well and) are all hidden within her [malchut of Atzilut].

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What do they want us to learn?

Here is revealed to us the subtle reason for the Halachah that one must wash up before the Sabbath. The intention is to remove any attachment to weekday negativity that may be sticking to us, and thus to receive the extra Shabbat soul in as pure a manner as possible.

To receive Shabbat properly requires preparation and action. Now that you are physically ready, the other rectifications of speech and action are to follow.

What does the above mean to you, and why is it being revealed to you now?


Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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