"Alas, lonely sits the city." Rabbi Haninai and the Sages opened with this verse (as per) to Adam, as per "The L-rd G‑d took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden.(Gen. 2:15) "The L-rd G‑d took him...": How did He take him? R. Haninai said that He [persuaded him, enticed him] with words. As it says, "Take Aaron [via verbal persuasion] " (Lev. 8:2) The Sages said, He took him (Elijah) with the wind [the power of Zeir Anpin called ruach/spirit or wind], "G‑d will take your master [Elijah1] away from you today [up to heaven in a whirlwind (Rashi interprets this ‘in a stormwind’)]" (II Kings 2:3)

"And He placed him in the Garden of Eden [the secret of malchut]." This would provide him with the leisure ("menucha", from the same Hebrew root as "placed") needed to know and understand Wisdom and Torah [for the secret of the light of the Torah is in tiferet, and Wisdom is drawn from there to malchut]. As R. Haninai says that He taught Adam the Torah, as it says, "He (G‑d)saw it (the Torah) and counted (the letters in)it" (Job 28:27) (and the following verse is:)"He [G‑d]spoke [the Torah] to man." And the angels praised Adam.

Until 'Satan' saw him from the heavens and grew jealous of him. He descended from the heavens in the form of a shadow
[the secret of Lil— his female counterpart] riding on the Serpent. The Serpent was seen, while the shadow was its source of power and vigor. That Serpent drew close to the woman who was more light-headed than Adam. From here we learn that a woman is seduced only through another woman [for the serpent was also the aspect of the female consort to Sam-kel]. The serpent began by saying, "Did G‑d really [in Hebrew, ‘af’, also meaninganger and rage, as it says, "and the wrath/af of the Lord"] say 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden'?" (Gen. 3:1) He began his talk immediately with the word "really/af" [the kelipa called Af/anger]. From here one learns that from the beginning of a person’s speech, one can recognize their character.

[The serpent] took this sign in order to know whether [his attempts] would be accepted by her or not. He seduced her with his words until she answered with a sentence that began with the letter Mem. "Mikol /We are permitted to eat from all of the garden's trees." (Gen 3:2). [The serpent caused a blemish in thought, which is bina, the secret of Mem which opens to the left, the side of gevura and judgment.] Immediately, the serpent took that letter [mem] and attached it to his left arm [the side of gevura, where judgment flows], and waited until the letters Vav and Tav left her mouth [for by sinning with speech the letter Vav, which is in tiferet, was blemished and by sinning with action the letter Tav ,which is in malchut, was blemished], so that MVT/death might be prepared for them.

He began to seduce her with his words until we read, "the woman saw that the tree was good for eating." (Gen 3:6)
[with large and strong reasons i.e. both "good for eating and a pleasure for the eyes"] teaching us that the letters Vav and Tav [in the word "Va-Teire/she saw"] flew out from her lips and elevated to join with the letter Mem [to create MaVeT/death]. But the letter Mem also elevated and then fell and did not join with these other letters [Vav and Tav] until she was seduced [and then death was decreed on the creatures of the world].

The letters Vav and Tav flew forth4 times. These letters then surrounded the letter Mem in all 4 directions, as it is written. "She took the fruit and ate. She gave some to her husband...and the eyes of both were opened/VaTikach mipiryo VaTochal VaTiten gam La-isha...VaTipakachnah einiei sheneihem." (Gen. 3:6) The letters Vav and Tav are seen 4 times. This shows that they encompassed the letter Mem on all 4 sides, the Mem standing in the middle, Mavet/death
[spelled out] in all 4 directions.

As it says, "for death has climbed through our windows, has entered our fortresses." (Jeremiah 9:20) This refers to 'Satan' who is one of the windows of heaven. On this, it is written, "What man can live and not see death?" (Psalms 89:49) 'Satan' then immediately overcame Eve and spewed his filth upon her. G‑d came down to see, and Adam and his wife hid.

Come and see: Before they sinned, the Shechinah was a crown upon their heads; for their sake, She shined upon the world.
When they sinned, it was as if Her strength was weakened , and She left, no longer ruling the world [now ruled by 'Satan' and Lil--] The Holy One, Blessed Be He [Zeir Anpin] began to lament: "Alas/Eicha, [Eicha is parsed Ayeh, meaning] what will become [and Koh] of Her [the Shechinah], dominion has departed Her." So too, when the Temple was destroyed, [holy] dominion left, and G‑d began to mourn and say, "Alas, what will become of it [the Shechinah, called Koh]?"

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

Words have consequence. Extreme consequence. Because words are built with letters, the building blocks of the universe. (See Sefer HaYichud VeHa'emuna) Therefore, we need to be very circumspect whenever we open our mouth, for we have to power to create: "Abrakadabra/I create by speech", as well as the power to destroy, even kill, with slander.

The above Zohar examines carefully how the words in the Scriptures hint to a completely different level of meaning. How initial letters or numerical significance all can illustrate a deeper connotation and denotation. The same can apply to our words, as the Ba'al Shem Tov noted, even ordinary conversation can hint to profundities.

Use your words and the words and letters of others to build, and use them with consciousness, and you will do much to repair the inner Temple within.

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

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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