This week's Torah portion starts with the commandment to bring an Elevation offering. This offering atones for sinful thoughts and is considered the most choice of all the offerings. The name of the Elevation offering implies ascent, and is thus connected to both the idea of thought which rises up and the most choice because the tikun of the intellectual faculties is so important.

And G‑d spoke to Moses saying, "Command Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the Torah of the Elevation offering." (Lev. 6:1). Rebbe Shimon opened his discourse [on this verse] and quoted the verse "Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgements are in great depth O Lord, You preserve man and beast." (Psalms 36:7). We have learned about this verse and explained it [in another manner, but now] come and see; this Elevation sacrifice goes up [in the spiritual worlds] and connects the Jewish People above.

As a general rule, the sefira of malchut has three names in the Zohar. When she is in exile, removed from close connection to her spiritual source above in Zeir Anpin, she is called the Shechina. When she is in close connection to Zeir Anpin she "collects" [in Hebrew, "konesset"] the spirituality above and has a name reflecting this more elevated status - Knesset Yisrael [translated above as "the Jewish People"]. Malchut receives and reflects divine "light" from the spiritual sources above…

The feminine "she" is always used to reflect the fact that she is a vehicle for receiving the influence of the Divine. She is also referred to as "the Moon" because in the same way that the moon reflects the light of the sun, malchut receives and reflects divine "light" [i.e. energy] from the spiritual sources above.

She cleaves to him [Zeir Anpin], and together they go up to the World to Come.

The intellectual sefira of bina is known as the "World to Come". She is referred to in the feminine because she too receives, from below through acts in this world done with spiritual intention, and from above from the sefirot of keter and chochma. Bina is connected with understanding and planning. Plans are always a blueprint for action that is in the future, and true understanding, beyond our physical boundaries which inhibit our grasp of the infinite light, is also in the future. Hence the term "World to Come".

They are all blissfully connected in one unity.

The sefira of bina is also the source of joy. This is the joy of certainty after clearing all doubts, the joy of connecting with the divine wisdom. This joy is in turn a vessel for receiving "Mochin deGadlut", or higher consciousness, from the partzufim of Abba and Imma. In modern terminology we call this enlightenment.

Because they go up higher and higher they are referred to as "This is the Torah". This is the secret of male and female together, the Written and the Oral Torah, rising in love.

The meditative intention of the person offering the Elevation offering, or reading the verse concerning it in prayer, causes malchut to unite with Zeir Anpin, and both to rise in consciousness to bina. What was a vessel to receive the light becomes in turn a giver…

This double elevation is the reason why the term "higher and higher" is used. The words "This is the Torah" are "Zot HaTorah" in Hebrew. "Zot" is in the feminine form, representing malchut; "Torah" is masculine and is rooted in Zeir Anpin. The phrase therefore indicates this unity. This union is also reflected in the fact that the Torah itself is a unity of two aspects: the Written Torah is the male aspect, and the Oral Torah that was received from master to student, is the female. Note that in Hebrew the word for female is "nekeiva", meaning a receptacle. As divine influence descends, what was a vessel to receive the light becomes in turn a giver of this influence. When acting as a giver it is referred to as masculine - as a receiver, feminine. Gender is yet another allegory used by the Zohar in the quest to explain the Infinite in finite terms.

Then the North side is aroused, as we have learned from the verse "His left hand is under my head and his right hand embraces me" (Song 2:6). She then goes up in love and is crowned on the right side.

The North side refers to gevura of Zeir Anpin that is on the left side of the Tree of Life diagram of the sefirot. The person offering the sacrifice, or reading the scriptural verses which describe it, is manifesting an act of strength/gevura. This, in turn, awakens gevura in the spiritual dimension, which descends to arouse the sefira of malchut. She then is raised up in consciousness to Zeir Anpin in love, which is from the sefira of chesed on the right side of the tree. So an act of arousal from below in the physical world has caused a reaction in the spiritual dimension. This response causes a rising of consciousness of the Divine and generates great love.

She [malchut] is joined in the middle [tiferet of Zeir Anpin] and shines in full in the secret of the Holy of Holies.

Mystical union is always in the center line of the array of sefirot and comprises the sefirot of malchut, yesod, tiferet and daat. The elevation is to an expanded consciousness of the Divine…

On receiving a response from above that arouses great love, the union of both causes a further elevation. This time the elevation is to an expanded consciousness of the Divine that occurs in the sefira of bina. Bina is referred to as the "Holy of Holies" because it is Holy, i.e. separate from the lower non-intellectual sefirot. It also contains the influence of the other two intellectual sefirot of chochma and keter; this is implied by the plural form of the word "Holies". When bina is connected with the lower sefirot she "shines" on them, and they feel her influence.

This [elevation of consciousness] is from the secret of Man - the [meditative] will of the Priest, the prayer [of the Israelite Temple Watch], and the song [of the Levites].

The sacrifice was brought at the Temple in the presence of the Priests, the Levites and the Israelites; each had their function in accordance with the parallel spiritual world above. This is the secret of the man below. He was elevated because of the combination of the Priest representing the sefira of chesed, the Levi representing gevura and the Israelite Temple Watch, representing tiferet. When all were present in the sacrificial ceremony, they represented the perfection of Man and caused the arousal of expanded consciousness to descend to this world.

Zohar, parashat Tzav pp. 26a; translation and commentary by Simcha-Shmuel Treister

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