The wise who are initiated in the high secrets, [prefer to] perform their marital obligation on Shabbat nights, as was explained. (Ketuvot 62a) However, this subject I asked the holy luminary [Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai], for we see that the lower crown [of malchut which is the lowest partzuf of Atzilut], receives what she receives [from Zeir Anpin] by day and at night gives nourishment to all her armies [in the world of Beriya] as stated in the verse: "She rises also while it is yet night [malchut descends at night to the world of Beriya], and gives food to her household [the angels of the world of Beriya] and a portion to her maidens [the angels of the world of Yetzira]". (Prov. 31:15) She receives by day [from the world of Atzilut], and by night she gives. Yet now you say, Master, that there is union on that night [of Shabbat, in the world of Atzilut].

[Rabbi Shimon] said [there are 2 types of unions: (1) malchut elevates above to Zeir Anpin to receive the flow and the souls and (2) the souls descend to below until Zeir Anpin and Nukva unite below] but of course there is [a great] union [between Zeir Anpin and Nukva] on that [Shabbat] night. The reason is that on that night [malchut] distributes [select] souls to those wise [righteous and pious] men who are versed in the secret of wisdom [and who wait each week until Shabbat for union]. And there is no union on any other day that is completely joyful and without a mixture [from the Other Side], like on that [day of Shabbat] since [there is a great union between Zeir Anpin and Nukva which brings down] these souls [from the world of Atzilut] that she distributes, she distributes them to the wise, the righteous and the pious, as is fitting. Similarly, a union surely occurs every [week] night at midnight [between Zeir Anpin and Nukva] as was already explained, but it is not on all sides like that union [on the night of Shabbat]

For that reason, the wise men who know these secrets
[of uniting on Shabbat night] should prepare and perform their conjugal duties on that night [for there is a supernal union]. Why [have relations on Shabbat night]? Because on all the days of the week, we have a different spirit [from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil] dwelling in the world. [But] On this night we have another holy, superior spirit that descends to the holy children. This spirit blows from the most Ancient [Arich Anpin] and goes down to the lower point [of malchut] , to bring there rest [on Shabbat] for all [Israel]. This spirit is divided on all sides, above [in malchut] and below [in Israel], as was said "between Me and the children of Israel" (Ex. 31:16)

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

Here is one of the greatest secrets that have passed these posts for the past 11 months. The Zohar and commentary Metok Midevash have given over the reason why marital relations at midnight on Friday night are preferred. For marital relations at this holy time are not only good for the bonding of the loving couple, but they also benefit the children that come from this union, as well as the entire world.

Coupling may not produce a human being, but it will of necessity produce a spiritual form. That is why Jewish law is so strict about the how's and when's of relations: at night, in a dark room, ideally after midnight, and most ideal after midnight on Friday night. When done in a loving manner, we partner with G‑d in the birthing of souls of the highest caliber.

This may defy our common sense, after all, if something is between two loving consenting adults, what could possibly be wrong? This Zohar doesn't judge, but it does rank the potential type of soul that can emerge. We may not understand this, but to trust in its import and to try to comport our marital relations to this model can only add mindfulness and high intention to the union between our loved one and ourselves.

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

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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