45) And that Light of Nefesh is called “the Light of the holy still in the world Assiya.” This is because it corresponds to the purity of the still part of the will to receive in man’s body. It shines in spirituality like the still category in corporeality (see Item 35), whose particles have no individual motion, but only collective motion, common to all the items equally. So it is with the Light of Partzuf Nefesh of Assiya: although there are six hundred and thirteen organs in it, which are six hundred and thirteen forms of receiving the bounty, these changes are not apparent in it, but only a general Light, whose action enfolds them all equally, without distinction of details.
46) Bear in mind that although the Sefirot are Godliness, and there is no difference in them from the head of Keter in the world of AK, through the end of the Sefira of Malchut in the world of Assiya, there is still a great difference with respect to the receivers. This is so because the Sefirot are considered Lights and Kelim (vessels), and the Light in the Sefirot is pure Godliness. But the Kelim, called KHBTM in each of the lower worlds – Beria, Yetzira, Assiya – are not considered Godliness, but are rather covers that conceal the Light of Ein Sof within them and ration a certain amount of Light to the receivers. Each of them will receive only according to the level of its purity.
And in this respect, although the Light itself is one, we name the Lights in the Sefirot NRNHY because the Light divides according to the qualities of the Kelim. Malchut is the coarsest cover, hiding the Light of Ein Sof. The Light it passes from Him to the receivers is only a small portion, related to the purification of the still body of man. This is why it is called Nefesh.
The Kli of Tifferet is purer than the Kli of Malchut. The Light it passes from Ein Sof relates to the purification of the vegetative part of man’s body, because it acts in it more than the Light of Nefesh. This is called “the Light of Ruach.”
The Kli of Bina is purer still than Tifferet, and the Light it passes from Ein Sof relates to the purification of the animate part of man’s body, and it is called “the Light of Neshama.”
The purest of all is the Kli of Hochma. The Light it passes from Ein Sof relates to the purification of the speaking part of man’s body. It is called “the Light of Haya,” and its action is beyond measurement.
47) In Partzuf Nefesh, which man one attains through engaging in Torah and Mitzvot without the intention, there is already a point from the Light of Ruach clothed in there. And when one strengthens and keeps Torah and Mitzvot with the desired aim, he purifies the vegetative part of his will to receive, and to that extent builds the point of Ruach into a Partzuf. And by performing the 248 positive Mitzvot with intention, the point expands through its 248 spiritual organs. And by observing the 365 negative Mitzvot, the point expands through its 365 tendons.
When it is completed with all 613 organs, it rises and clothes the Sefira of Tifferet in the spiritual world of Assiya, which extends to him a greater Light from Ein Sof, called “the Light of Ruach,” which corresponds to the purification of the vegetative part in man’s body. And all the items of the still, vegetative, and animate in the world of Assiya, related to the level of Tifferet, aid one’s Partzuf of Ruach to receive the Lights from the Sefira of Tifferet in all its entirety, as was explained above with the Light of Nefesh. Because of that, it is called “holy vegetative.”
The nature of its Light is like the corporeal vegetative: there are distinct differences in motion in each of its elements, so in the spiritual Light of vegetative there is much strength to shine in unique ways for each and every organ of the 613 organs in PartzufRuach. Each of them manifests action-power related to that organ. Also, with the extension of Partzuf Ruach, the point of the next degree Above it extended from it, a point of the Light of Neshama, which dresses in its internality.
48) And by engaging in the secrets of Torah and the flavors of the Mitzvot, he purifies the animate part of his will to receive, and to that extent builds the point of the soul, dressed in him in its 248 organs and 365 tendons. When the construction is completed and it becomes a Partzuf, it rises and dresses the Sefira of Bina in the spiritual world of Assiya. This Kli is much purer than the first Kelim, TM (Tifferet and Malchut). Hence, it extends a great Light from Ein Sof, called “Light of Neshama.”
And all the items of still, vegetative, and animate in the world of Assiya, related to the level of Bina, aid and serve one’s Partzuf of Neshama in receiving all its Lights from the Sefira of Bina. And it is also called “holy animate” because it corresponds to the purification of the animate part of man’s body. And so is the nature of its Light, as we have seen with the corporeal animate (Item 37), which gives a sensation of individuality to each of the 613 organs of the Partzuf, that each of them is alive and free, without any dependence on the rest of the Partzuf.
At last, it is discerned that its 613 organs are 613 Partzufim (plural for Partzuf), unique in their Light, each in its own way. And the advantage of this Light over the Light of Ruach, in spirituality, is as the advantage of the animate over the still and the vegetative in corporeality. And there also extends a point from the Light of Haya of Kedusha, which is the Light of the Sefira of Hochma, with the emergence of Partzuf Neshama, and dresses in its internality.
49) And when he has been rewarded with the great Light called “the Light of Neshama,” each of the 613 organs in that Partzuf Light fully shine in their own unique way, each as an independent Partzuf. Then there opens before him the possibility to engage in each Mitzva according to its genuine aim, for each organ in the Partzuf of Neshama lights the path of each Mitzva related to that organ.
And through the great power of those Lights, one purifies the speaking part of one’s will to receive and inverts it into a desire to bestow. And to that extent, the point of the Light of Haya, dressed within him, is built in its spiritual 248 organs and 365 tendons.
When it is completed into a whole Partzuf it rises and dresses the Sefira of Hochma in the spiritual world of Assiya, which is an immeasurably pure Kli. Therefore, it extends a tremendous Light to it from Ein Sof, called “the Light of Haya” or Neshama to Neshama. And all the elements in the world of Assiya, which are the still, vegetative, and animate related to the Sefira of Hochma, aid him in receiving the Light of the Sefira of Hochma to the fullest.
And it is also called “Holy Speaking,” since it corresponds to the purification of the speaking part of man’s body. And the value of that Light in Godliness is as the value of the speaking in the corporeal SVAS. This means that one obtains the sensation of others in a way that the measure of that Light over the measure of the spiritual still, vegetative and animate is as the advantage of the corporeal speaking over the corporeal still, vegetative and animate. And the Light of Ein Sof, dressed in this Partzuf, is called “the Light of Yechida.”
50) Indeed, you should know that these five Lights, NRNHY, received from the world of Assiya, are but NRNHY of the Light of Nefesh and have nothing of the Light of Ruach. This is because the Light of Ruach is only in the world of Yetzira, the Light of Neshama is only in the world of Beria, the Light of Haya only in the world of Atzilut, and the Light of Yechida only in the world of AK.
But everything that exists in the whole appears in all the items, too, down to the smallest possible item. Thus, all five discernments, NRNHY, exist in the world of Assiya, as well, although they are only NRNHY of Nefesh. Similarly, all five discernments, NRNHY, are found in the world of Yetzira, which are the five parts of Ruach. And also, there are all five discernments, NRNHY, in the world of Beria, which are the five parts of Neshama. And so it is in the world of Atzilut, which are the five parts of the Light of Haya; and so it is in the world of AK, which are the five parts of the Light of Yechida. The difference between the worlds is as we have explained in the discernments between each of the NRNHY of Assiya.
51) Know that repentance and purification cannot be accepted unless they are totally permanent, that he will not turn back to folly, as it is written, “When is there Teshuva (repentance)? When He who knows all mysteries will testify that he will not turn back to folly.” Thus, as we have said, if one purifies the still part of his will to receive, he is rewarded with a Partzuf of Nefesh of Assiya, and ascends and clothes the Sefira of Malchut of Assiya.
This means that he will certainly be granted the permanent purification of the still part, in a way that he will not turn back to folly. And then he will be able to rise to the spiritual world of Assiya, for he will have definite purity and equivalence of form with that world.
But as for the rest of the degrees, which we have said are Ruach, Neshama, Haya, and Yechida of Assiya, corresponding to them, one should purify the vegetative, animate, and speaking parts of one’s will to receive, so they will clothe and receive those Lights. Yet, the purity does not need to be permanent, “until He who knows all mysteries will testify that he will not turn back to folly.”
That is so because the whole of the world of Assiya, with all its five Sefirot KHBTM, are actually only Malchut, which relates only to the purification of the still. And the five Sefirot are but the five parts of Malchut.
Therefore, since he has already been rewarded with purifying the still part of the will to receive, he already has equivalence of form with the whole of the world of Assiya. But since each Sefira in the world of Assiya receives from its corresponding discernment in the worlds Above it, thus, the Sefira of Tifferet of Assiya receives from the world of Yetzira, which is all Tifferet and the Light of Ruach. And the Sefira of Bina of Assiya receives from the world of Beria, which is all Neshama. And the Sefira of Hochma of Assiya receives from the world of Atzilut, which is all Hochma and the Light of Haya.
Thus, although he has permanently purified only the still part, if he has purified the remaining three parts of his will to receive, even if not permanently, he can receive the Ruach, Neshama, and Haya from Tifferet, Bina, and Hochma of Assiya, though not permanently. This is because when one of the three parts of his will to receive awakens, he immediately loses these Lights.
52) After he permanently purifies the vegetative part of his will to receive, he permanently rises to the world of Yetzira, where he attains the permanent degree of Ruach. There he can also attain the Lights of Neshama and Haya from the Sefirot Bina and Hochma that are there, which are considered Neshama and Haya of Ruach, even before he has been granted with purifying the animate and speaking parts permanently, as we have seen in the world of Assiya. Yet, this is not permanent, for after he has permanently purified the vegetative part of his will to receive, he is already in equivalence of form with the whole of the world of Yetzira, to its Highest degree, as written about the world of Assiya.
53) After he purifies the animate part of his will to receive, and turns it into a will to bestow, “until He who knows all mysteries will testify that he will not turn back to folly,” he is already in equivalence of form with the world of Beria. And he rises there and receives the permanent Light of Neshama. And through the purification of the speaking part of his body, he can rise up to the Sefira of Hochma and receive the Light of Haya that is there, although he has not yet permanently purified it, as with Yetzira and Assiya. But the Light, too, does not shine for him permanently.
54) And when one is rewarded with permanent purification of the speaking part in his will to receive, he is granted equivalence of form with the world of Atzilut, and he rises there and permanently receives the Light of Haya. And when he is further rewarded, he receives the Light of Ein Sof, and the Light of Yechida dresses in the Light of Haya, and there is nothing more to add here.
55) Thus, we have clarified what we asked, “Why does man need all the Upper Worlds, which the Creator had created for him? What need has man of them?” Now you will see that one cannot bring contentment to one’s Maker, if not with the help of all these worlds. This is because he attains the Lights and degrees of his soul, called NRNHY, according to the measure of the purity of his will to receive. And with each degree he attains, the Lights of that degree assist him in his purification.
Thus, he rises in degrees until he achieves the amusements of the final aim in the Thought of Creation (Item 33). It is written in TheZohar (Noah, Item 63), about the verse, “He who comes to be purified is aided.” It asks, “Aided with what?” And it replies that he is aided with a holy soul. For it is impossible to achieve the desired purification for the Thought of Creation, except through the assistance of all the NRNHY degrees of the soul.
56) And you should know that the all the NRNHY we have spoken of thus far are the five parts, by which the whole of reality is divided. Indeed, all that is in the whole exists even in the smallest element in reality. For example, even in the still part of the spiritual Assiya alone, there are five discernments of NRNHY to attain, which are related to the five general discernments of NRNHY.
Thus, it is impossible to attain even the Light of still of Assiya except through the four parts of the work. Therefore, there is not a person from Israel who can excuse himself from engaging in all of them, according to one’s stature. And one should engage in Torah and Mitzvot with intent, in order to receive the level of Ruach of his stature. And he should engage in the secrets of the Torah, according to his stature, to receive the level of Neshama according to his stature. And the same applies to the Taamim (flavors) of the Mitzvot, for it is impossible to complete even the smallest Light in Kedusha (holiness) without them.
57) Now you can understand the aridity and the darkness that have befallen us in this generation, such as we have never seen before. It is because even the worshipers of the Creator have abandoned the engagement in the secrets of the Torah.
Maimonides has already given a true allegory about that: If a line of a thousand blind walk along the way, and there is at least one leader amongst them who can see, they are certain to take the right path and not fall in the pits and obstacles, since they are following the sighted one who leads them. But if that person is missing, they are certain to stumble over every hurdle on the way, and will all fall into the pit.
So is the issue before us. If the worshipers of the Creator had, at least, engaged in the internality of the Torah and extended a complete Light from Ein Sof, the whole generation would have followed them. And everyone would be certain of their way, that they would not fall. But if even the servants of the Creator have distanced themselves from this wisdom, it is no wonder the whole generation is failing because of them. And because of my great sorrow I cannot elaborate on that!
58) Indeed, I know the reason: it is mainly because faith has generally diminished, specifically faith in the holy men, the wise men of all generations. And the books of Kabbalah and The Zohar are filled with corporeal parables. Therefore, people are afraid lest they will lose more than they will gain, since they could easily fail with materializing. And this is what prompted me to compose a sufficient interpretation to the writings of the Ari, and now to the Holy Zohar. And I have completely removed that concern, for I have evidently explained and proven the spiritual meaning of everything, that it is abstract and devoid of any corporeal image, above space and above time, as the readers will see, to allow the whole of Israel to study The Book of Zohar and be warmed by its sacred Light.
And I have named that commentary The Sulam (Ladder) to show that the purpose of my commentary is as the role of any ladder: if you have an attic filled abundantly, then all you need is a ladder to reach it. And then, all the bounty in the world will be in your hands. But the ladder is not a purpose in and of itself, for if you pause on the rungs of the ladder and will not enter the attic, your goal will not be achieved.
And so it is with my commentary on The Zohar, because the way to fully clarify these most profound of words has not yet been created. But nonetheless, with my commentary, I have constructed a path and an entrance for any person by which to rise and delve and scrutinize The Book of Zohar itself, for only then will my aim with this commentary be completed.
59) And all those who know the ins and outs of the holy Book of Zohar, that is, who understand what is written in it, unanimously agree that the holy Book of Zohar was written by the Godly Tanna (sage) Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Only some of those who are far from this wisdom doubt this pedigree and tend to say, relying on fabricated tales of opponents of this wisdom, that its author is the Kabbalist Rabbi Moshe De Leon, or others of his contemporaries.
60) And as for me, since the day I have been endowed, by the Light of the Creator, with a glance into this holy book, it has not crossed my mind to question its origin, for the simple reason that the content of the book brings to my heart the merit of the Tanna Rashbi (Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai) far more than all other sages. And if I were to clearly see that its author is some other name, such as Rabbi Moshe De Leon, then I would praise the merit of Rabbi Moshe De Leon more than all other sages, including Rashbi.
Indeed, judging by the depth of the wisdom in the book, if I were to clearly find that its writer is one of the forty-eight prophets, I would consider it much more acceptable than to relate it to one of the sages. Moreover, if I were to find that Moses himself received it from the Creator Himself on Mount Sinai, then my mind would really be at peace, for such a composition is worthy of him. Hence, since I have been blessed with compiling a sufficient interpretation that enables every examiner to acquire some understanding of what is written in the book, I think I am completely excused from further toil in that examination, for any person who is knowledgeable in TheZohar will now settle for no less than the Tanna Rashbi as its writer.
61) Accordingly, the question arises, “Why was The Zohar not revealed to the early generations, whose merit was undoubtedly greater than the latter ones, and were more worthy”? We must also ask, “Why was the commentary on The Book of Zohar not revealed before the time of the Ari, and not to the Kabbalists that preceded him”? And the most bewildering question, “Why were the commentaries on the words of the Ari and on the words of The Zohar not revealed since the days of the Ari through our generation”?
The answer is that the world, during the six thousand years of its existence, is like one Partzuf divided into three thirds: Rosh (head), Toch (interior), Sof (end), meaning HBD (Hochma, Bina, Daat), HGT (Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet), NHY (Netzah, Hod, Yesod). This is what our sages wrote, “Two millennia of Tohu (chaos), two millennia of Torah, and two millennia of the days of the Messiah” (Sanhedrin 97a). In the first two millennia, considered Rosh and HBD, the Lights were very small. They were regarded as Rosh without Guf (body), having only Lights of Nefesh. This is because there is an inverse relation between Lights and vessels: with the Kelim (vessels) the rule is that the first Kelim grow first in each Partzuf; and with the Lights it is the opposite – the smaller Lights dress in the Partzuf first.
Thus, as long as only the upper parts are in the Kelim, the Kelim HBD, only Lights of Nefesh dress there, which are the smallest Lights. This is why it is written about the first two millennia that they are considered Tohu. And in the second two millennia of the world, which are Kelim of HGT, the Light of Ruach descends and clothes in the world, which is considered the Torah. This is why it is said about the two middle millennia that they are Torah. And the last two millennia are Kelim of NHYM (Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut). Therefore, at that time, the Light of Neshama dresses in the world, which is the greater Light, hence they are the days of the Messiah.
This is also the conduct in each particular Partzuf. In its vessels of HBD, HGT, through its Chazeh (chest), the Lights are covered and do not begin to shine, which is open Hassadim, which means that the appearance of the sublime Light of Hochma occurs only from the Chazeh down, in its NHYM. This is the reason that before the Kelim of NHYM began to show in the Partzuf of the world, which are the last two millennia, the wisdom of The Zohar in particular and the wisdom of Kabbalah in general were hidden from the world.
But during the time of the Ari, when the time of the completion of the Kelim below the Chazeh had drawn closer, the Light of the sublime Hochma was revealed in the world, through the soul of the Godly Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Ari), who was ready to receive that great Light. Hence, he revealed the essentials in The Book of Zohar and the wisdom of Kabbalah, until he overshadowed all his predecessors. Yet, since these Kelim were not yet completed (since he passed away in 1572), the world was not yet worthy of discovering his words, and his holy words were only known only to a chosen few, who were prohibited to tell them to the world.
Now, in our generation, since we are nearing the end of the last two millennia, we are given permission to reveal his words and the words of The Zohar throughout the world to a great measure, in such a way that from our generation onwards the words of TheZohar will become increasingly revealed in the world, until the full measure is revealed, as the Creator wills it.
63) Now you can understand that there really is no end to the merit of the first generations over the last, as this is the rule in all the Partzufim (plural for Partzuf) of the worlds and of the souls, that the purer one is the first to be selected into the Partzuf. Therefore, the purer Kelim, HBD, were selected first in the world and in the souls.
Thus, the souls in the first two millennia were much Higher. Yet, they could not receive the full measure of Light, due to the lack of the lower parts in the world and in themselves, which are HGT NHYM.
And afterwards, in the two middle millennia, when the Kelim of HGT were selected into the world and in the souls, the souls were indeed very pure, in and of themselves. This is because the merit of the Kelim of HGT is close to that of HBD. Yet, the Lights were still concealed in the world, due to the absence of the Kelim from the Chazeh down, in the world and in the souls.
Thus, in our generation, although the essence of the souls is the worst, which is why they could not be selected for Kedusha thus far, they are the ones that complete the Partzuf of the world and the Partzuf of the souls with respect to the Kelim, and the work completed only through them.
This is because now, when the Kelim of NHY are being completed, and all the Kelim, Rosh, Toch, Sof are in the Partzuf, full measures of Light, in Rosh, Toch, Sof, are now being extended to all those who are worthy, meaning complete NRN. Hence, only after the completion of these lowly souls can the Highest Lights manifest, and not before.
64) Indeed, even our sages asked this question (Masechet Berachot, p 20): “Rav Papa said to Abayei: ‘How were the first different, that a miracle had happened to them, and how are we different, that a miracle is not happening to us’? Is it because of the study? During the years of Rav Yehuda, the whole study was in Nezikin, whereas we are learning the six volumes (the whole Mishnah). And when Rav Yehuda delved in Okatzin, he said, ‘I saw Rav and Shmuel here, whereas we are learning thirteen Yeshivot in Okatzin. And when Rav Yehuda took off one shoe, the rain came, whereas we torment our souls and cry out, and no one notices us.’ He replied, ‘The first gave their souls to the sanctity of the Lord.’”
Thus, although it is obvious, both to the one who asks and to the one who answers, that the first were more important than they, with respect to the Torah and the wisdom, Rav Papa and Abayei were more important than the first. Thus, although the first generations were more important than the latter generations in the essence of their souls, because the purer is selected to come to the world first, with respect to the wisdom of the Torah, it is increasingly revealed in the latter generations. This is so for the reason we have mentioned, that the overall measure is completed specifically by the latter ones. This is why more complete Lights are extended to them, although their own essence is far worse.
65) Hence, we could ask, “Why, then, is it forbidden to disagree with the first in the revealed Torah?” It is because, as far as the practical part of the Mitzvot is concerned, it is to the contrary, the first were more complete in them than the last. This is because the act extends from the holy Kelim of the Sefirot, and the secrets of the Torah and the Taamim (flavors) of the Mitzva extend from the Lights in the Sefirot. You already know that there is an inverse relation between Lights and vessels: in the Kelim, the Higher ones grow first (see Item 62), which is why the first were more complete in the practical part than the last. But with the Lights, where the lower ones enter first, the last are more complete than the first.
66) Bear in mind that in everything there is internality and externality. In the world in general, Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, are considered the internality of the world, and the seventy nations are considered the externality of the world. Also, there is internality within Israel themselves, which are the wholehearted workers of the Creator, and there is externality – those who do not devote themselves to the work of the Creator. Among the nations of the world, there is internality as well, which are the Righteous of the Nations of the World, and there is externality, which are the rude and the harmful among them.
Additionally, among the servants of the Creator among the Children of Israel, there is internality, being those rewarded with comprehension of the soul of the internality of the Torah and its secrets, and externality, who merely observe the practical part of the Torah.
Also, there is internality in every person from Israel – the Israel within – which is the point in the heart, and externality – which is the inner Nations of the World, the body itself. But even the inner Nations of the World in that person are considered proselytes, since by cleaving to the internality, they become like proselytes from among the Nations of the World, that came and cleaved to the whole of Israel.
67) When a person from Israel enhances and dignifies one’s internality, which is the Israel in that person, over the externality, which are the Nations of the World in him, that is, when one dedicates the majority of one’s efforts to enhance and exalt one’s internality, to benefit one’s soul, and gives minor efforts, the mere necessity, to sustain the Nations of the World in him, meaning the bodily needs, as it is written (Avot, 1), “Make your Torah permanent and your labor temporary,” by so doing, one makes the Children of Israel soar upwards in the internality and externality of the world as well, and the Nations of the World, which are the externality, to recognize and acknowledge the value of the Children of Israel. And if, God forbid, it is to the contrary, and an individual from Israel enhances and appreciates one’s externality, which is the Nations of the World in him, more than the inner Israel in him, as it is written (Deuteronomy 28), “The stranger that is in the midst of thee,” meaning the externality in that person rises and soars, and you yourself, the internality, the Israel in you, plunges down? With these actions, one causes the externality of the world in general – the Nations of the World – to soar ever higher and overcome Israel, degrading them to the ground, and the Children of Israel, the internality in the world, to plunge deep down.
68) Do not be surprised that one person’s actions bring elevation or decline to the whole world, for it is an unbending law that the general and the particular are as equal as two peas in a pod. And all that applies in the general, applies in the particular, as well. Moreover, the parts make what is found in the whole, for the general can appear only after the appearance of the parts in it, according to the quantity and quality of the parts. Evidently, the value of an act of a part elevates or declines the entire whole. That will clarify to you what is written in The Zohar, that by engagement in The Book of Zohar and the wisdom of truth, they will be rewarded with complete redemption from exile (Tikkunim, end of Tikkun No. 6). We might ask, what has the study of The Zohar to do with the redemption of Israel from among the nations?
69) From the above we can thoroughly understand that the Torah, too, contains internality and externality, as does the entire world. Therefore, one who engages in the Torah has these two degrees, as well. When one increases one’s toil in the internality of the Torah and its secrets, to that extent, one makes the virtue of the internality of the world – which are Israel – soar high above the externality of the world, which are the Nations of the World. And all the nations will acknowledge and recognize Israel’s merit over them, until the realization of the words, “And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord” (Isaiah 14, 2), and also “Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and set up my standard to the peoples: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried on their shoulders” (Isaiah 49, 22).
But if, God forbid, it is to the contrary, and a person from Israel degrades the virtue of the internality of the Torah and its secrets, which deals with the conduct of our souls and their degrees, and the perception and the tastes of the Mitzvot with regard to the advantage of the externality of the Torah, which deals only with the practical part? Also, even if one does occasionally engage in the internality of the Torah, and dedicates a little of one’s time to it, when it is neither night nor day, as though it were redundant, by that one dishonors and degrades the internality of the world, which are the Children of Israel, and enhances the externality of the world – meaning the Nations of the World – over them. They will humiliate and disgrace the Children of Israel, and regard Israel as superfluous, as though the world has no need for them, God forbid.
Furthermore, by that, they make even the externality in the Nations of the World overpower their own internality, for the worst among the Nations of the World, the harmful and the destructors of the world, rise above their internality, which are the Righteous of the Nations of the World. And then they make all the ruin and the heinous slaughter our generation had witnessed, may God protect us from here on.
Thus you see that the redemption of Israel and the whole of Israel’s merit depend on the study of The Zohar and the internality of the Torah. And vise versa, all the destruction and the decline of the Children of Israel are because they have abandoned the internality of the Torah. They have degraded its merit and made it seemingly redundant.
70) This is what is written in the Tikkunim (corrections) of The Zohar (Tikkun 30): “Awaken and rise for the Holy Divinity, for you have an empty heart, without the understanding to know and to attain it, although it is within you.” The meaning of it is, as it is written (Isaiah 40), that a voice pounds in the heart of each and every one of Israel, to cry and to pray for raising the Holy Divinity, which is the collection of all the souls of Israel. But Divinity says, “I have no strength to raise myself off the dust, for ‘all flesh is grass,’ they are all like beasts, eating hay and grass.” This means that they keep the Mitzvot mindlessly, like beasts, “and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field, all the good deeds that they do, they do for themselves.”
That means that with the Mitzvot they perform, they have no intention of doing them in order to bring contentment to their Maker. Rather, they keep the Mitzvot only for their own benefit, and even the best among them, who dedicate all their time to engagement in the Torah, do it only to benefit their own bodies, without the desirable aim – to bring contentment to their Maker. It is said about the generation of that time: “A spirit leaves and will not return to the world,” meaning the spirit of the Messiah, who must deliver Israel from all their troubles until the complete redemption, to keep the words, ‘for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.’ That spirit had left and does not shine in the world.
Woe unto them that make the spirit of Messiah leave and depart from the world, and cannot return to the world. They are the ones that make the Torah dry, without any moisture of comprehension and reason. They confine themselves to the practical part of the Torah, and do not wish to try to understand the wisdom of Kabbalah, to know and to understand the secrets of the Torah and the flavors of Mitzva. Woe unto them, for with these actions they bring about the existence of poverty, ruin, and robbery, looting, killing, and destructions in the world.
71) The reason for their words is, as we have explained, that when all those who engage in the Torah degrade their own internality and the internality of the Torah, leaving it as though it were redundant in the world, and engage in it only at a time that is neither day nor night, and in this regard, they are like blind searching the wall, by that, they intensify their own externality, the benefit of their own bodies. Also, they consider the externality of the Torah higher than the internality of the Torah. And with these actions they cause all the forms of externality in the world to overpower all the internal parts in the world, each according to its essence.
This is so because the externality in the whole of Israel, meaning the Nations of the World in them, overpowers and revokes the internality in the whole of Israel, which are those who are great in the Torah. Also, the externality in the Nations of the World – the destructors among them – intensify and revoke the internality among them, which are the Righteous of the Nations of the World. Additionally, the externality of the entire world, being the Nations of the World, intensify and revoke the Children of Israel – the internality of the world.
In such a generation, all the destructors among the Nations of the World raise their heads and wish primarily to destroy and to kill the Children of Israel, as it is written (Yevamot 63), “No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.” This means, as it is written in the above corrections, that they cause poverty, ruin, robbery, killing, and destruction in the whole world.
And through our many faults, we have witnessed to all that is said in the above-mentioned Tikkunim, and moreover, the judgment struck the very best of us, as our sages said (Baba Kama 60), “And it start with the righteous first.” And of all the glory Israel had had in the countries of Poland and Lithuania, etc., there remains but the relics in our holy land. Now it is upon us, relics, to correct that dreadful wrong.
Each of us remainders should take upon himself, heart and soul, to henceforth intensify the internality of the Torah, and give it its rightful place, according to its merit over the externality of the Torah.
And then, each and every one of us will be rewarded with intensifying his own internality, meaning the Israel within us, which is the needs of the soul over our own externality, which is the Nations of the World within us, that is, the needs of the body. That force will come to the whole of Israel, until the Nations of the World within us recognize and acknowledge the merit of the great sages of Israel over them, and will listen to them and obey them.
Also, the internality of the Nations of the World, the Righteous of the Nations of the World, will overpower and submit their externality, which are the destructors. And the internality of the world, too, which are Israel, shall rise in all their merit and virtue over the externality of the world, which are the nations. Then, all the nations of the world will recognize and acknowledge Israel’s merit over them. And they shall follow the words (Isaiah 14, 2), “And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord.” And also (Isaiah 49, 22), “And they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.” That is what is written in The Zohar (Nasoh, p 124b), “through this composition,” which is The Book of Zohar, “they will be delivered from exile with mercy.” Amen, would that be so.
 Translator’s note: By Nefesh he means the first degree in NRNHY.
 Translator’s note: Positive Mitzvot are precepts you have to perform in action, and negative Mitzvot are precepts you keep by avoiding certain actions.
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