[This is a continuation of Daily Zohar - Re'eh Day 6.]

Come and see: it is certainly so, that on the eve of the fourth day of the week, one should be careful [of harmful forces]. The reason is in the verse "let there be lights (in Hebrew, 'me'orot')." (Gen. 1:14) Me'orot is spelled here missing a Vav [and can be pronounced Me'arot/curses, hinting to the moon's waning, the secret of the blemish of the Shechinah which it symbolizes]. And since the moon is waning, many troops of [external forces and harmful] spirits [that are greatly strengthened] were included in these curses, for there are curses and maledictions when the moon is not full so all [those harmful forces] have extra power on that [Wednesday] night [and thus one is forewarned from going out alone in order to prevent harm to oneself].

On Shabbat eve
[i.e. Friday night], all demons disperse to enter a hole in the ground [called Tehoma Raba/the deep abyss] because they have power to dominate and cause harm [then]. A man should be careful not to go out alone [for they can harm him while on their way to enter this hole]. Also, even though they have no power, they could sometimes be seen and man should guard himself [from even seeing them, for they could frighten him].

This is as we have learned
[that man should not be alone and thus potentially harmed on Friday night]. If it is so [that the harmful forces are strengthened then], then is the protection [of the Shabbat] inadequate? This is surely not so, because there is protection on Shabbat for the holy nation and when Shabbat commences, G‑d bedecks everyone from Israel [with the extra Shabbat soul and the external forces are in awe of it]. They should guard the holy crown they were adorned with [and not go outside of the settlements to the places where the external forces dwell]. And though they [the harmful forces] are not in inhabited places, they nevertheless appear before a lone person and diminish their good fortune. A person should be adorned with the holy crown [of the extra Shabbat spirit] and guard it.

And we can conclude that there is protection for the holy nation
[for even if the extra soul is removed, there is an inclusive protection over them], since the haven of peace is spread over the people. For we learned that wherever the haven of peace [of the Shechinah] is present, the Other Side is not there [and it is not able to attach to the children of Israel]. Therefore the haven [Shechinah] is considered to be protection and there is protection available [generally; even though, the Sages warned about going out alone on Friday night due to the small anomalous danger]

BeRahamim LeHayyim: One may think that our most righteous/pious fellows float on air, oblivious of temporal/carnal weights to hold them down. However, the Talmud states that the "higher" one achieves in spirituality, so too the power of one's Evil inclination increases commensurably. (Sukkah 52a) As their desire to cleave to G‑d elevates, there is a concomitant greater attack of more earthly desires.

Perhaps that is the "hole" where all the demons go to on Shabbat which we need to be watchful of. Perhaps because Shabbat as traditionally observed is chock-ful of sensation, and sensual delights: romantic candles, wine for many the only time of the week, rich delicious food, spouses clothed in their Saturday-best, LeHayyim! Toasts of even more potent potions, late dining, afternoon naps, etc.

If we maintain the intention: Lichvod Shabbat Kodesh/for the honor of the Holy Shabbat, we keep all of these pleasures in the highest world of Atzilut. If we experience these sensations solely as the base form of satisfaction, we have missed the mark. Perhaps that is the Tehom Raba to avoid on Shabbat. The mind-train should be on the Sukkat Shalom/ surrounding aura of peace that pervades Shabbat. To hesitate mid-bite, mid-drink, or mid-kiss and to bring this into mindful intention can only help, methinks.

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


Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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